Category Archives: Blog Tour

The Secret Life of Amy Benson Series by Lisa Renee Jones – BLITZ

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  • Escaping Reality – Book One
  • The Secret Life of Amy Bensen Series
  • Lisa Renee Jones
  • Genre: New Adult Romance
  • Print Length: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • July 22nd 2013
  • ASIN: B00L01GHBY

“If you’re worried I’ll bite, I promise to tell you first.”
― Lisa Renee Jones, Escaping Reality

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Book Description:

His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.

At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loved to start a new life.
Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten—even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets her guard down, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.

On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give?

Excerpt – http://www.lisareneejones.com/escaping-reality/?action=excerpt

BUY LINKS

AMAZON | BARNES&NOBLE | KOBO

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  • Infinite Possibilities – Book Two
  • The Secret Life of Amy Bensen Series
  • Lisa Renee Jones
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • June 17, 2014
  • ASIN: B00L01GHHS

They are everywhere: haunting her, tormenting her. In the midst of it all, he’d been her escape, her passion. The only person she’d trusted in six years. And then he’d made her doubt that trust, cutting her deeply. But she is ready to fight and not just for survival. She is fighting for the truth and she won’t stop until she has it, not even for…him.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON | BARNES&NOBLE | KOBO 

About the Author:

LRJNew York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today and USA Today lists.

Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at http://www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on twitter and Facebook daily.

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Calculated Collision (Crossing Forces #3) – C.A. Szarek

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  • Title: Calculated Collision
  • Author: C.A. Szarek
  • ISBN13: 9781784300401
  • Series: Crossing Forces #3
  • Published:  June 6th 2014 by Totally Bound
  • Format: eBook
  • Genre: Romantic Suspense
  • Page Count: 270

SYNOPSIS

Special Agent Lee Dawson has secrets. Secrets that forced her from Dallas to New York City in disgrace two years ago.

Dallas County Assistant District Attorney, Nate Crane, visits New York and witnesses the brutal murder of a friend. When Lee is assigned to the investigation, her personal and professional life collides. She can’t avoid the man she ditched six months ago.

She’s the one Nate can’t stop thinking about. The one he let get away. He’s determined to get her back, no matter what she thinks she wants. Being a witness in her case puts them close—and Nate intends to keep it that way.

After Nate’s attacked at a safe house, Lee knows there’s a leak – a dirty FBI agent working with the human trafficker her unit has been hunting for years.

Can Lee protect her witness and resist the heat between them or will she succumb to her desires and throw them both into danger?

Calculated Collision (1)

EXCERPT

Sweat broke out on her brow and Lee gripped her Glock tighter instead of wiping the moisture away. She bit back a curse.

What’s taking so long?

They should’ve already heard shouts of “Federal agents!”

She hated being in the back. Being back-up.

Lee and her partner, Clint Downs, were the lead agents of their unit, and usually headed raids.

Not today.

Their boss, Special Agent Olivia Barnes, wanted them—Lee in particular—to take a breather from going hard and fast.

Nothing wrong with the passenger seat, right?

Maybe if she kept telling herself that, it’d sink in.

Hard and fast was all Lee knew. How she got the job done. But even her partner had reminded her there were twelve members of their human trafficking unit. They were all partners.

Ugh. She’d rather hang a ‘Doesn’t play well with others’ sign around her neck.

“You good?”

Her partner’s gravelly voice made Lee tense. “Yup.” She didn’t look his way.

“You seem shaky.”

“I’m good.” Flexing her fingers on her gun’s grip, she inched forward. “Wanna get this done.”

Downs didn’t have a chance to answer. The battering ram exploded the door in front of them and wood splinters went flying.

Collective shouts of “Federal agents!” coupled with “FBI!” surrounded her and she rushed forward behind her team-mates. In correct formation, head in the game.

We’re doing this.

Screams and whimpers greeted her ears. Her heart used to jump with the fears of the victims every time they did a raid, but not anymore. Instead it was steel, and her gut made of iron.

Lee was used to seeing tears, and hearing them cry. What she’d never get used to were the bruises and skimpy clothing on kids that were less than half her age.

Babies. They’re all babies.

Most weren’t even sixteen, yet in a lot of cases they’d been bought, sold and forced to have sex with more pieces of scum than she could count. The lucky ones got owners that didn’t beat them, but a sex-slave was still a sex-slave.

Bastards. They all needed to die.

The relief on the girls’ faces when they first realised they were being rescued was always a reward. Reminded Lee she was a good person—why she did the job. If only the sentiment lasted in her mind.

A shot rang out and her instincts kicked in. She dropped to the dingy carpet and rolled to the nearest cover—a dark-coloured couch.

Someone returned fire just as her partner crouched beside her. “Shit,” Downs spat. “It’s going south, fast.”

Lee smirked and raised her Glock. “Nah, we got this.” She popped up over the couch for a quick survey. A bullet whizzed overhead and her partner yanked her back down.

“Don’t be reckless.”

When he flashed his perma-scowl, she almost rolled her eyes. How many times had he said that?

Welllllllll, for today it’s probably the first time.

Orders to drop weapons went unheeded as more bangs made her ears ring. She risked another look over the couch. Other members of their unit had taken cover, but several were returning fire.

One of the girls screamed again and Lee’s gaze darted that way. Three—no, four—teens were huddled in a corner, arms wrapped around each other, but they were out of the line of fire.

Good.

Today’s group of fine, upstanding human traffickers was made up of illegals from Mexico. Lee and Downs had been after these guys for months. The fact they’d hooked up with Tony Caselli’s outfit was dumb luck.

The other object of today’s raid—Giovanni Nicci—was shooting a big .45. One of the assholes he was supposed to sell girls to lay in a pool of blood about five feet from him. Dead Mexican’s partner returned fire next to Nicci.

If—no, when—the FBI gained control of the situation, their unit would score double. According to the morning’s intel, Nicci was supposed to be meeting up with Russians. They’d have to find out why there’d been a change in plans later. It had to mean something.

Lee took a shot, hearing her partner curse next to her. She ignored him and pulled the trigger again.

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About The Author:

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C.A. is originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She is married and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She works with kids when she’s not writing. She’s always wanted to be a writer and is overjoyed to share her stories with the world.

SOCIAL MEDIA

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | WEBSITE | BLOG 

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Totally Bound | ARE Cafe

Other Books in Crossing Forces series:

Crossing Forces

Electrified – Rachel Blaufeld

Get Electrified with Rachel Blaufeld and the first book in her brand new Electric Tunnel series!

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Title: Electrified (The Electric Tunnel Series #1)

Author: Rachel Blaufeld

Release date: April 29th, 2014

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About Electrified (The Electric Tunnel Series #1):

Electrified CoverEveryone knows her as Sienna Flower.

Her curves and long lashes tease and taunt from her very own billboard where the desert meets the Las Vegas Strip. She’s the hottest stripper in town, known for her sultry and indecent moves coupled with her virginal eyes.

She’s a heady and unique combination, and a mystery to all who come to see her.

Sienna captivates crowds nightly at the Electric Tunnel, leaving them wanting to know more about the sensual enigma. But no one ever sees beyond the heavily guarded stripper on-stage. She is Sienna Flower 24/7.

No one other than her closest friend and boss, Asher Peterson, who helped turn a young and frightened girl into who Sienna is today. Together they created the sexual illusion known as Sienna Flower. They will go to any lengths to protect her image, which is why Sienna is convinced she must remain unattached and alone.

Like everyone else in Vegas, Sienna is hiding something and playing a role. A good girl in her former life, she was raised to be obedient and accepting of her fate, but there are some circumstances no one should be expected to accept. She escaped to a world light years away from the one she was subjected to… the Electric Tunnel.

Now she can never be anything other than Sienna Flower. Not only would she be hurt, but everyone around her would suffer the consequences.

That is, until she meets private detective Carson Graham, the dark and mysterious ex-FBI agent who watches her dance every weekend. With his dark hair and chocolate-brown eyes, Carson begins to heat Sienna’s heart and body, melting away the layers and secrets. Sienna doesn’t want to get attached to Carson, but when another man surfaces and starts hunting her down, bringing out the scars of her old life, she can’t help but seek comfort in Carson’s protection.

With everyone trading on the secrets of her past, Sienna finds herself caught in an awful web of lies. Her ultimate fear is hurting her friends at the Tunnel, but she doesn’t know who to trust. Namely, Carson. Is he good? Or bad? Does she have the luxury of finding out?

REVIEW

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas has new meaning in Electrified. In another life Sienna Flower, the most sought after dancer on the strip, was known as Lila. An innocent young woman who would know nothing about Sin City and the vices available there. For all intents and purposes that girl ceased to exist when she fled her abusive husband years prior. Her closest friend and confidante guards her secret closely but Sienna lives in fear of discovery keeping everyone at arms length rarely leaving her home and thus risking discovery.

Coincidentally Carson is working a missing persons case one that is going nowhere for people he doesn’t particularly like or trust when by serendipity he catches Sienna Flower’s act at the Tunnel. He is utterly captivated and finds himself returning again and again just for her act and then leaving immediately afterwards. Though a chance meeting and an even more unlikely set of events they end up meeting for coffee which sparks an electric connection that proves to be undeniable.

Electrified is a sultry, sensual read that makes you want to either a) sign up for pole dancing lessons immediately or b) take the first flight to Nevada available or lastly c) both

My pick would be option “c”, however if that is not a possibility or if you need something to read on the plane then I highly suggest Electrified.

Available for purchase:

Amazon | iBooks | B&N

 

About Rachel Blaufeld:

Rachel BlaufeldRachel Blaufeld is a social worker/entrepreneur/blogger turned author. Fearless about sharing her opinion, Rachel captured the ear of stay-at-home and working mom’s on her blog, BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and inventing a product, often at the same time. She has also blogged for The Huffington Post, Modern Mom, and StartupNation.

Turning her focus on her sometimes wild-and-crazy creative side, it only took Rachel two decades to do exactly what she wanted to do—write a fiction novel. Now she spends way too many hours in local coffee shops plotting her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end lusciously.

Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs. Her obsessions include running, coffee, icing-filled doughnuts, anti-heroes, and mighty fine epilogues.

Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

 

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Turning Home – Stephanie Nelson GUEST POST, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

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When Brooke Kingsley finally captures the interest of her four-year crush-Dylan Crawford-her world turns upside down. Feeling alive for the first time, Brooke decides to spend her last three days of summer with Dylan and discovers there’s more to him than the rumors being whispered all over town. The problem is, Brooke’s father doesn’t want his daughter anywhere near the blue-collar bad boy.

  • Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00070]Title: Turning Home 
  • Author: Stephanie Nelson
  • ISBN: 1495951375 (ISBN13: 9781495951374)
  • Series: A Small Town – Book #1
  • Published:  February 23rd 2014 by Smashwords Edition (first published February 14th 2014)
  • Format: eARC
  • Genre: New Adult Romance
  • Page Count: 336
  • Source: Blog Tour
  • Rating: B+

REVIEW

In a vast departure from her two established PNR series, Gwen Sparks, featuring the witch after whom the series is named and a number of other paranormal creatures and the Anna Avery series about a werewolf, Stephanie Nelson’s Turning Home could almost be referred to as a cosy romance if there is such a thing. It’s the last weekend before Brooke Kingsley departs for college, her future is completely laid out for her. Go to college, her mother’s Alma mater of course, join the same sorority, conduct parent approved charity work and marry her appropriately well bred if absolutely uninspiring boyfriend and continue to follow the rules she always has. She has one last opportunity to encounter her not so secret crush Dylan Crawford at his sister’s going away party and decides to stop following the rules for once.

I don’t know if I would call Dylan Crawford a bad boy, he is a man whore without a doubt but other than his revolving door of women he is a far more upstanding citizen than the residents of the small town Brooke and he live in would think. He and Brooke are if anything victims of the culture of their small community. Living in a town of “haves” and “have not’s” is divisive no matter what the locale is. Brooke, daughter of the town’s wealthiest residents is clearly a “have” and Dylan is almost by default a “have not”. Brooke as the product of an overbearing father and a beaten down mother keeps her fascination with this so very unsuitable boy close to her heart.

Despite having believed that Brooke was no different than the other rich over indulged children in their town Dylan also feels an irresistible pull toward Brooke. He orchestrates her invitation and decides to approach the town’s ice princess. Recklessly Brooke accepts Dylan’s invitation and the two spend stolen moments together the rest of their last weekend together, falling irrevocably in love.

Turning Home was a lovely surprise, a genuinely sweet romance between two likeable characters and blessedly light on the angst. Though the typical New Adult markers were checked they were done so deftly and with skill. While the story itself may have been somewhat predictable, the rich girl, poor boy star crossed love affair has not been a classic since Dickens’ Great Expectations, if not longer, for nothing. I greatly enjoyed my respite to Turning Home’s rural Alabama and now I will be sure to make the acquaintance of  Stephanie Nelson’s other characters.

GUEST POST

Hi, and thank you so much for having me on Penny Dreadful Book Reviews. Today, I’m going to share the playlist for Turning Home. Music is such an important part of all of my books, but especially for Turning Home. Brooke Kingsley has always loved music and dreamt about being a singer. Unfortunately, her father wants her to go to law school and follow in his footsteps. Since Brooke’s life has been mapped out for her, she finds solace in writing and playing music. Instead of writing in a diary, she composes songs from her feelings. To hear a sample see the YouTube playlist below.

Here are some of the songs featured on the Turning Home playlist.

  1. You and I by One Direction
  2. Kiss You Inside Out by Hedley
  3. You Make Me Wanna by Thomas Rhett
  4. Stay by Florida Georgia Line
  5. So Contagious by Acceptance
  6. You don’t know her like I do by Brantley Gilbert
  7. Don’t Ya by Brett Eldredge
  8. Do you think about me by Carrie Underwood
  9. This Time by Carrie Underwood
  10. Not Over You by Gavin DeGraw
  11. Can’t Shake You by Gloriana
  12. Wanted by Hunter Hayes
  13. Walking Away by Jason Aldean
  14. Because of You by Kelly Clarkson
  15. Like Nobody Else by My Darkest Days
  16. Red by Taylor Swift
  17. Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
  18. Bring Me Home by Tori Kelly

GIVEAWAY

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

003This may be my least favourite part about writing a book. You guys may be surprised to learn that I am the most boring person you’ll ever meet. The most interesting thing about me is that I write books, most of the time in my pyjamas and jacked up on caffeine.

I began writing six years ago for fun and published my first book in 2012. Since then, my hobby has become my job and I love every second of it. I live in Illinois, in the country where I’m surrounded by corn and soy-bean fields. When I manage to escape my office, I enjoy fishing, spending time with my family and playing Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong. Yes, I’m a huge video game nerd.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

 

The Request – Marquita Valentine REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

NOW AVAILABLE! TR

  • Series: The Request #1
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Release Date: 6/25/14

Hosted by: Wordsmith Publicity

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The undercover Russian contract killer has never turned down an assignment that rids the world of scum. But this … request is the first time his conscience gets the best of him. Only, he has a good reason—Everly Andrews, the woman who saved him from dying and has no clue who or what he really is. There’s nothing Roman won’t do to keep Everly in the dark, even if it means losing her in the process.

This is a three-part series, releasing every month, perfect for the summer!

  • Part One: The Request – Releases June 25, 2014
  • Part Two: The Deception – Releases July 30, 2014
  • Part Three: The Confession – Releases August 27, 2014
REVIEW

The Request was a delicious quick escape that left me looking at my e-reader in puzzlement as to where the story had gone so fast? Almost like on a perfect sunny day when you are on a patio with a Stoli Spicy Peach cocktail and all of a sudden your glass is empty with seemingly no explanation other than it was just so good. The other thing that is readily apparent after reading The Request is that I am frequenting the wrong book stores. Not once, and I have been in a number, have I come across one manned by anyone resembling Roman nor one that has an easy chair for my sole use and as many cinnamon jelly beans (I substituted Everly’s preferred green apple jelly beans, as it’s my fantasy already)  as I could eat. Granted if I ever found such a place they would have to bodily remove me.

Everly Andrews has found just such a place, she has her books shipped to a bookstore manned by a sinfully handsome man with a clientèle of one, herself. She just doesn’t know that salient fact. Roman knows he should discourage Everly from coming into the store, a front for his “real” business but he just can’t resist their weekly meetings as brief as they might be. Until his other life intervenes in the form of an assassin sent to exterminate Roman.

I greatly enjoyed The Request, my only complaint was that it was over too soon but I suppose I only have my reading gluttony to blame. Ms Valentine perfectly combined an unlikely heroine and a deliciously attractive assassin wrapped in a bookstore and I was completely sold as a result. Now while I might doubt the veracity of the existence of a bookseller who looks like Roman I will spend my time pondering this while I eagerly wait for the release of The Deception.

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Penny Dreadful Book Reviews is happy to be hosting the FINAL part of the excerpt chain! Please be sure to check the excerpt chain schedule below to read all of them.

EXCERPT

The tips of her fingers touch my mouth, and a shudder rocks my body. A sharp inhalation of breath lets me know I’m not the only one affected. Lifting my eyes, I gaze up at her, sucking on the straw and letting the cool liquid ease the burning path that used to be my throat. A connection forms between us, and she leans closer, so close that I can smell the lingering shampoo and perfume she wears. My body goes hard, and my dick joins in. The thin sheet tents. Her eyes widen, and the cup shakes. The straw slips from my mouth.

“More,”

I demand, and her attention returns to my face. I wrap my hand around her wrist and bring the cup closer, parting my lips and waiting. She doesn’t hesitate. Her fingers touch my mouth, the straw glides in, and I imagine she’s doing this to me. Her mouth is on me, taking me inside…

“You can hold this; I need to go to the restroom to freshen up. I can’t possibly smell good,” she says, hurrying away. A smile kicks up the corner of my mouth. I haven’t felt like this in years. I haven’t felt like a man instead of just a contract killer. Sure, I’ve been with women. Women who were wealthy, beautiful, and as deadly as I am with a gun. Innocents like Everly Andrews have no place in my life. But the part of me she’s awakened doesn’t want to listen to that. That part of me wants her. Wants her smile, her laugh, her touch… her body. It wants to get to know her beyond my bookstore, to know what else she likes to drink besides hot cocoa. What else she likes to eat besides Granny Smith apple-flavoured jelly beans.

“I feel a bit better now, but I really need a shower,” she announces, walking back into my room from the private bathroom. “Will you be okay if I go home to change?”

I won’t be okay, but it has nothing to do with my health or safety. It has everything to do with her.

“The nurses will keep me sorted.”

Everly stares at me for a moment. “I could go to your place and bring back whatever you need.” The only thing I need is standing by my hospital bed.

“That’s not necessary.”

“But I really appreciate the offer,” I add before she mistakes my refusal as a rejection.

“One last question before I go,” she says, her smile turning shy.

“Ask away,” I softly command.

“Do you think you can call me Everly now? I mean, I did rescue you from the jaws of death.” She bites her lip, like she’s trying not to giggle. For the first time in years, I throw my head back and laugh, uncaring of how much it hurts to do so.

“God, yes. I’ll call you whatever you want, love.”

A uniformed officer walks inside, and my laughter fades away. This is the moment I’ve been dreading. “Mr. Smith, I’m Officer Jones, and I’d like to ask you a few questions.”

Everly’s gaze bounces to the officer. “Do you need me for anything?”

Officer Jones gives her an easy smile, one that speaks of familiarity. “You’ve been more than helpful, Ms. Andrews.”

“Great.”

She walks to me, her eyes soft as her fingers brush my hair back. I can’t help but wonder what she told the police. Has she betrayed me, without even knowing it? “I’ll see you later,” she says, and then leaves the room.

Officer Jones steps closer to my bed, pulling out a pad of paper and a pen. “Can you tell me what happened on the 26th?”

Prepared for this moment, I say, “A man walked in, clearly high, wanting money. He picked the wrong shop. I don’t deal with cash. Credit card purchases only.”

“That would explain the lack of a till,” the officer says as he takes notes.

I clear my throat. “When he realized I wasn’t lying, he got all pissed and fired a couple of shots—lucky shots, and then,” I close my eyes, as if the memory is painful to relive, “I passed out. I’m not quite sure how long I laid there before Ms. Andrews came inside, looking for her coat.”

“Detectives have already been down to your bookstore. We couldn’t find a weapon or any other bullet holes.”

My eyes open, inwardly relieved. My secrets are safe. “Son of a bitch.”

“Is there anything else you can tell me about the perp? Maybe describe him?”

“Brownish hair, late twenties to early thirties. Male.  Um, eyes, uh… bloodshot. His skin was a sickly grey color.”

Officer Jones snorts. “You just described every junkie down on Hargett.”

Perfect. I make another noise of disgust. “I’m not that observant. Honestly, all I can remember is the barrel of his gun.”

The officer nods. “Thank you for your time. If we have more questions, we’ll be in touch.”

“Thank you.”

As soon as Officer Jones walks out of the room, I exhale. My cover hasn’t been blown, and I’m still alive. But what will I do about Everly? I owe her my life now. I owe her everything.

Excerpt Chain – Part One

Excerpt Chain – Part Two

Excerpt Chain Part Three

Whirlwindbooks – whirlwindbooksandreviews.com

Giveaway

5 – The Request, Part One (eBooks)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ca1d2-64332645b15dNew York Times Best-selling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the best-selling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

  

BLOG TOUR STOP & AWESOME GIVEAWAY – Night Owl by M. Pierce

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  • Title: Night Owl
  • Author: M. Pierce
  • ISBN: 1250058236 (ISBN13: 9781250058232)
  • Series: Night Owl Trilogy – Book #1
  • Published:  July 1st 2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin (first published September 6th 2013)
  • Format: eARC
  • Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
  • Page Count: 272
  • Source: Blog Tour
  • Rating: A

“No pictures,” I told Hannah on Skype. “No specifics, no last name, no phone number. Nothing. I don’t want to know you, and I don’t want you to know me. We write together online, that’s it. I’m not looking for a new friend. I’m looking for a writing partner.”

What is it about a bad boy? It has actually been an ongoing debate that my friend and I have (though I secretly might agree with her) on the merits of the bad boy versus the good boy in literature. She is invariably reasonable in her arguments on behalf of why a fondness for bad boys can only lead to disaster and at the time I have trouble adequately supporting my position. Almost immediately afterwards I will often find myself indulging in a story featuring an irascible literary character not unlike Matt Sky who is most definitely a very bad boy.

From best-selling eBook author M. Pierce comes the first novel in a provocative erotic trilogy where an anonymous online writing partnership turns into an uncontrollable, passionate obsession.

Night Owl Paperback Cover

BUY LINKS

Get the eBook now for the introductory price of $2.99 while it lasts!

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At twenty-eight, Matt Sky has the perfect life. He has a beautiful girlfriend, a massive inheritance, and four national best-sellers — all penned under his airtight alias, M. Pierce.

At twenty-seven, Hannah Catalano is a train wreck. Her boyfriend is a deadbeat and her job is abysmal.

Matt and Hannah meet online as writing partners. Their relationship is safe, anonymous, and innocent…

Until Matt sees a picture of Hannah. Hannah’s picture sparks an attraction Matt is powerless to ignore. When circumstance brings Matt and Hannah together, the strangers begin a love story that’s passionate, poignant, unforgettable, and unstoppable.

REVIEW

I was utterly captivated by this story from the first page. What was supposed to be a simple online writing partnership quickly evolved for Night Owl and Little Bird. Matthew Sky lives in secrecy, only a select few know of his stratospheric success as novelist M. Pierce. The story they were working on together created an unexpected bond. Hannah Catalano in contrast is unemployed, her relationship with her boyfriend is a bust and she is moving in with her parents. Though Matt is wealthy, successful and already attached, he is drawn to his new writing partner and finds himself breaking all of his own rules.

Night Owl seizes the reader immediately and despite the hero’s definite lack of interpersonal skills and the fact that he is cheating on his girlfriend. You can’t help but find yourself beguiled by Matt and Hannah’s tempestuous relationship as unconventionally as it may have begun. I enjoyed every moment of the first book in this trilogy and am anxiously awaiting Last Light‘s publication this fall.

EXCERPT

Matt had a sprawling, high-rise apartment in downtown Denver. I probably should have guessed. The rooms were clean and modern, harshly white, with light hardwood floors and gorgeous area rugs. The fixtures were all of matching brushed metal and the décor was spare but tasteful. I recognized a framed John Singer Sargent print on the wall.

Matt loomed as I padded through the neat, quiet rooms. Each time I smiled at him, I thought I caught a glimmer of anxiety in his expression. Why would he be nervous? Was my opinion really that important to him?

“This place is lovely,” I said. “It’s amazing. I can’t believe it was ever messy.”

“Oh, I had a maid come through,” he said.

“Laurence!” I squealed when I saw the rabbit’s hutch in the living room. The hutch was as swanky as Matt’s apartment, made of beautiful varnished wood with little gold knobs.

“Your lady love is back,” Matt said to the rabbit.

We watched Laurence hop around his hutch for a while. Matt’s hovering was making me uneasy—and strangely aroused. He hadn’t touched me yet, but I knew he planned to. I assumed his bedroom was down the hall.

Was something wrong? Tension and desire made my stomach clench.

We drifted into the kitchen, Matt right at my back.

“Nice.” I swallowed and brushed my hand over the granite countertop. Even the kitchen was immaculate.

I could feel Matt behind me. I thought I heard him take a soft breath. My skin prickled. God, if he didn’t touch me soon—

I exhaled in a rush as Matt brought his chest flush against my back. He pinned me to the edge of the island and cupped my breasts from behind. I moaned.

“Are you ready?” he whispered in my ear.

 GIVEAWAY

  • LELO Elise 2
  • 3 signed SMP Night Owl paperbacks
  • 1 signed original/indie Night Owl Paperback
  • 4 sets of signed bookmarks
  • 3 Night Owl Ebooks
  • 2 Last Light Ebooks (delivered on release day)
  • Oh Whimsical Me Night Owl bracelet (with original cover)
  • Oh Whimsical Me Night Owl bracelet (with new ebook cover)
  • Night Owl Inspired Necklace
  • Night Owl bottle cap magnets (set of 4)
  • Night Owl Trilogy Bookmarks & Night Owl paperback cover magnet
  • Night Owl Trilogy ribbon bookmarks (set of 3)

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lawrenceAbout the Author:

M. Pierce is the best-selling author of Night Owl, book one in the erotic Night Owl Trilogy. The author lives in Colorado and owns a rabbit named Laurence.

 

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GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY – Crossing Into The Mystic by D.L. Koontz

Crossing into the Mystic Banner 450 x 169

  • Blog Stop: Penny Dreadful Books & Reviews
  • Post Date: 6.25.2014
  • Topic/Title: What Builds Suspense?

GUEST POST

Hi, Andrea. Thanks for letting me join your blog today to talk about Crossing into the Mystic.

Many people ask me what I think makes a good suspense novel, so I thought I’d talk about that today.

Building suspense involves many features, but four that I try to keep in the forefront of my mind are: (1) instilling character desire, (2) building anticipation, (3) leaving your reader wanting more, and (4) making it plausible, believable.

Character Desire

I once learned that as soon as possible in your book, have your character want something, even if it’s a glass of water.

So, to use that example, it would work this way: Your main character – we’ll call her Ann – comes in the house from working in the garden for three hours. She’s hot, tired and thirsty. All she wants is to get a glass of water. But, let’s ramp it up for interest: If she doesn’t take her magic pill with that water real soon, she’ll pass out/go into shock/die from mystery disease.

(As reader, I’ve learned what Ann wants. She seems like a likeable character so I’m in for the short-term, at minimum. I want her to get that glass of water. I’ll journey with her till she gets the water, then I’ll decide from there if I want to continue reading.)

Anticipation

Ann pulls off her garden boots, heads to the kitchen cupboard and pulls out the only clean glass she owns. (The rest are dirty, in the dish washer.) In her haste (remember, she’s very thirsty), she drops it and it shatters into dozens of pieces She yells something befitting the character sketch in your mind, and in so doing, realizes again how dry her throat is.

She looks at the glass on the floor and panics. That glass was a gift from her husband David’s dead mother, and David is on his way home! She must come up with a story to delay him. Yes, she’ll have him swing by the grocery store for something. She backs up to reach for the phone and steps on a broken piece of glass.

She shrieks from the pain, again getting a reminder of how dry her throat is, and oh yeah, of that blasted pill she needs to take. She needs to get a band-aid before she can call David.

She heads into the bathroom for the band-aid and, as she goes, she drips blood onto the new dining room carpet! Why in the world did she buy white carpet?

Now, despite a headache brought on by dehydration, and parched lips, and that shaking that comes from not taking her pill for mystery disease, and her panic to call David, she’s got to spray carpet cleaner on that blood ASAP, before it sets in…

Wanting More

Before I know it, as reader, I’m in the middle of the book, still waiting for her to drink that water and take that pill! I can’t put the book down because I need to know if she ever gets that glass of water. And now, because she’s encountered so many other obstacles, I want to know how she resolves them all.

Recap: Your character’s desire is to get a glass of water and take a pill. However, your job as writer, is to keep Ann from accomplishing that task. You do that by placing as many obstacles in her path as possible. This keeps your reader wanting more.

Believability

The glass of water analogy is a tough one to carry off because any reasonably intelligent person – upon finding no glass – would grab a measuring cup or a bowl, or just bend over and drink directly from the faucet. However, I wanted to use the simple glass of water to follow through on the analogy.

To make the water idea more plausible, you might have her and David be a couple of newlyweds, with very few items in their house. Perhaps they are on the run from the mob, or camping in a rustic cabin (in which case, you’d need to change her gardening task to, say, picking berries).

Regardless, you get the point – make the story as believable as possible.

In my book, Crossing into the Mystic, my insufferably independent character Grace tackles the unfinished business of the ghosts she finds in her new home, but begins to wonder if she’s dealing with angels and demons in disguise. As if the thrills and chills of ghosts and demons aren’t enough, she finds herself embroiled in a love quadrangle – with two living guys and one dead.

Now here’s the kicker: she’s only 16 and doing all this. Believable? Perhaps, not at first. But I added believability by explaining that she lost her family in a horrific accident at age 13 (she grew up fast), and the aunt that she lived with in the interim was nasty and volatile (ramps up the desire for a solo escape and willingness to deal with a ghost rather than a wacko aunt).

Moving Forward

So there you have it: character desire, anticipation, wanting more, and believability. What other techniques do you particularly like in a suspense novel? What makes you “stick” with a book to the end?

  • CITMTitle: Crossing Into The Mystic
  • Author: D.L. Koontz
  • ISBN: 1941103030 (ISBN13: 9781941103036)
  • Series: The Crossings Trilogy #1
  • Published: March 21st 2014 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
  • Format: eARC
  • Genre: Inspirational Fantasy/Paranormal
  • Page Count: 258
  • Source: Blog Tour
  • Rating: B+

Three years after losing her family in a car crash, Grace MacKenna is set to inherit her stepfather’s ancestral estate among the mountains of West Virginia. Seeking solace and healing, Grace discovers the ghost of William Kavanaugh, a dashing Civil War captain in Virginia s 17th Infantry, haunts the property. When William charms Grace into investigating the mystery that led to his death a hundred and fifty years ago, she finds herself drawn into a world of chivalry and honor, but also deception with secrets too dark to speak aloud.

Meanwhile, Clay Baxter, home from service in Afghanistan, fights his own demons and ghosts. When Clay senses Grace falling deeper into the realm of the dead, he seeks to pull her back. But is he too late?

Torn between her love for two mysterious young men – one living and one dead – Grace stands in the shadows of the Antietam Battlefield with a choice: one that could leave Grace lost forever, “crossing into the Mystic.”

REVIEW

An inheritance of an estate near the location of the most infamous of the battles of the Civil War pretty much guarantees that it would come complete with a spectre. While Grace was uncommonly mature for her 16 years and somehow convinced her lackadaisical guardian to grant her permission to stay unchaperoned at Crossings for the summer. I found it required some suspension of disbelief on my part to think that a sixteen year old, with only a cat and dog for company, would have any desire to stay at an abandoned isolated estate yet I found that I came to accept this as the story unfolded. Regardless of the plausibility of Grace’s stay in a small town alone all summer long, D.L. Koontz’s descriptions are downright eerie as Grace becomes aware that she is not alone at Crossings.

Crossing into the Mystic was a unique read, an inspirational paranormal novel throughout which the concept of a person’s personal spiritual fortitude as a guarantee (of sorts) of passage to a higher state of being was woven throughout but not overtly. References to religion were subtle and Grace’s interactions with the ghost of William Kavanaugh and his history were quite intriguing though her relationship with Clay lacked enough convincing exchanges for me to believe that there would be any real connection between the two so very quickly. Despite this the primary and secondary characters were well rounded and the story itself was compelling, building a solid foundation for future growth and I look forward to what the next book in the series has in store for Grace.

GIVEAWAY

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DLKoontzD. L. Koontz was born in Pennsylvania, but with her husband, now splits her time between their home in mountainous West Virginia and their cattle ranch in coastal plains Georgia. She has a son and a stepdaughter. A member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors), she is a former journalist, business consultant, spokesperson, and college instructor. After several non-fiction books, Crossing into the Mystic is her first novel.

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EXCERPT

All of it became mine that day: the hefty trust fund, my mother’s red SUV, and my stepfather’s ancestral estate isolated amidst the caverns of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was embarking on a 500-mile journey to make solo use of all three.

As long as I remained in Boston, I would continue to live my life backward— dwelling on the past and longing for the parents and sister who were dead. Buried. Gone. There was no way I could have known that by turning away from death I would be running into it.

That day seemed like the perfect time to launch my escape. The rising sun shot beguiling streaks of crimson through the divisions of the massive brown-stones on Boston’s Beacon Hill, teasing away any threat of “Red sky at morning, sailor take warning.”

In the stillness of the morning, I heard a house door latch, then a husky voice grumble. “Ouch … ouch … dang!”

My cousin, Michael, barefoot and clad only in gym trunks and a T-shirt, pranced between stones as he hurried up the steep three-block incline toward me. He was carrying travel snacks, but what I hoped he was bringing me was reassurance of our individual escapes.

“Grace, go! Go! Go! Click your heels and get the Sam Hill out of Oz before she changes her mind!”

Though Michael’s words echoed my resolve, I laughed. He was four inches taller and eight years older, but a million times more sociable and often reminded me of an oversized little boy.

“Auck, Dorothy.” He reached my car, glanced back toward our house, and handed me a zip-locked bag stuffed with trail mix. “You’re too late. You’ll never get to Kansas now.”

I turned to see the subject of his wicked witch allusion exit through the over-sized front door of our ivy-covered brownstone and begin her march up the side-walk with Uncle Phil dawdling behind. Aunt Tish wasn’t toting a flying broom, but she was storming along, face scowling, hands fisted.

Michael grinned. “I guess she’s saving the flying monkeys for me.”

“Maybe. She wasn’t very happy about you leaving tonight for Chile. You sure you’re tough enough to stand up to her?” I elbowed him, knowing he wouldn’t feel the jab. Despite his baby face and wire-rimmed glasses, he had the abs of a body-builder.

“No problem. She can’t control me anymore. It’s you who better leave quickly.”

“I’m going. Don’t worry about that.” I tossed the trail mix on the back seat. From the front, my dog, Tramp, watched it land and turned back to the front window, more excited about going somewhere than the goodies. He barked twice. Let’s go.

“Good. It will be two years before you’ll get another chance,” Michael warned in a whisper. “I won’t be here this summer to save you like I have before.”

“Which is exactly why I’m leaving today. Thanks for coming home to see me off. She’s not that bad you know.” Maybe voicing such hope would make it so.

Eyes wide, he said, “What? She’s an unstable, soul-sucking—”

“Shush.” I stifled laughter. “She’ll hear you.”

He sobered and leaned against my car, crossing his arms. “You’re sure about this?” “The trip? Of course.”

He shook his head. “The house. It sounds … weird. Like Norman Bates lives there.”

I looked at him, startled. Michael was generally carefree and titillated by the unknown. He loved the notion that people held secrets within themselves.

“That’s crazy,” I affirmed, lest his uncharacteristic concern unnerve me.

“Is it? Jack was so close-mouthed about the place.”

“Michael, stop it! It’s only a house. Jack was there three years ago. How bad could it be?”

“Remember. I’m only a phone call away. You have to live there what— three months?”

“That’s what the will says. Then it’s mine to do what I want. Including selling it. And, of course, that’s exactly what Aunt Tish expects me to do.”

“We’ll work that out later. Stick with this charade that you’re fixing it for your senior project, then selling it and moving back to Boston. By the end of summer, my new company will transfer me back to the states, and you can live with me.

Just don’t come back here.”

“I know, I know.”

“And keep Tramp close by.”

I shook my head to indicate his concern was unnecessary. But inside, I couldn’t help but wonder if Tramp would be able to stop all threats that I might encounter.