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Spotlight: The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien

160713-merchantspearl-bookbaby3ASIN: B01J2LCANW
Print Length: 466 pages
Publisher: BookBaby; 1 edition
Publication Date: July 24, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Blurb

The opinionated, only daughter of a missionary, is enslaved and gifted to an Ottoman prince who has an inner vow to win her affection.

Sarai was led to believe that the whole world could exchange their beliefs for hers. But when her parents are murdered, she quickly learns that the world never stops for just one person. The world takes, forgets, and swiftly moves on.

By 1875, she isn’t even Sarai anymore. She had spent her teenage years repackaged as Leila, a palace concubine-in-waiting for the overly indulgent, Ottoman Sultan, Abdul’Aziz. Leila does her best to stay out of the eye of ‘Aziz as well as his son, Prince Emre. But when young and thoughtful Emre claims Leila for his own harem, she is forced out of her shell and thrown into a ring of competitive women. Here, she cannot hide from the attention her young master wishes to lavish upon her. Nor can she can avoid the ruthless retaliations of his prior favorite, Aster. But it’s the unexpected gift of sexual sanctuary and an inside look into his family’s struggles that really collides with Leila’s upbringing. Soon, despite her better judgment, she finds her heart becoming increasingly tied to him.

But can she submit her faith and independent spirit to such a future—a future where to be loved means settling for the fact that she can only ever be his favorite? Will she be able to take turns sharing him among the four beautiful girls he had received before her, one being a jealous rival and another a closest friend? And what will happen to their love if Emre’s father can’t hold together his fragile kingdom, an empire that has grave threats encroaching from every side…including within?

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N |Kobo

About the Author:

AmieOBrienPic (2) - Copy

This is the first novel from Amie O’Brien, but she would tell you her characters are constantly nagging her for their future installments. Madly in love with her husband and children, she hopes to spend more time petting horses, reading books, and pursuing her addiction with world travel.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Q & A with Amie O’Brien

What is the first book that made you cry?

Wow. I’ve got to really go back on that one because, for some odd reason, I love books that make me cry.
I think it was The Red Pony by John Steinbeck. I was really young, much too young for Steinbeck! I picked up the book at a neighbor’s yard sale. I really related to the main character because I wanted a horse of my own in the worst way and this boy finally gets gifted a pony. He takes care of it, loves it like mad, only for it to get sick and later wander off and then he finds it in the canyon getting eaten by buzzards. It was terribly depressing. Scarred my little heart for life, LOL.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me to the point of exhaustion! No seriously, there is something about writing that gets me so fired up I basically just live, sleep, eat, and breathe the story. I wrote The Merchant’s Pearl in 14 months, including my research. Granted, I spent the next whole year editing it and polishing the research, but still, that’s pretty obsessive writing, especially considering its length and that I was working a full-time job. I think I spent like 2 years with an average of 4 hours of sleep per night.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I don’t think I really write conscious of either. Don’t get me wrong, I desperately want to be a bestselling author. I also want to make a good living. But when I write, I feel the characters so strongly I just write where the story is leading.

I also write within the confines of what I think is possible. The romance genre would have most authors push the limits, you know, in order to evoke feelings of that perfect, fairy tale ending. But I look at what reality would be and give my characters the very best I possibly can for them. I think I have to be true to life and show that although there may still be hardships, they’re stronger now because they are encountering them together.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

I think that people are capable of anything. I personally feel things very strongly. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I know it. In fact, I sometimes catch stares at Starbucks because I make sympathetic faces for my characters when writing dialogue, LOL. Unconsciously, of course. I can’t help it.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Easy! I bought a book by Blake Snyder called Save the Cat. It was at Donald Miller’s suggestion and I have to say it’s absolute genius, not just for writing screen plays but for any story, any genre.

Does your family support your writing?

Whole-heartedly 

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I’m sure I’m supposed to respond with a book, but it was actually a song, Man in the Mirror, by Michael Jackson. As a kid, seeing that music video on MTV made me look outside of myself for the very first time. It wrecked me. In a good way.

Do you hide any secrets in your book that only a few people would find?

Yes. But I think only my hubby could spot them. There are a few times that small actions or things said come directly from our own relationship, good times and bad. He kept lifting his eyebrow at me while reading it.

Excerpt2

His face hadn’t hardened at all these last few years. It still looked soft. His eyes seemed a deeper hazel than before, a soft chocolate brown rather than the medium color they had been when we were children. I studied them along with his long, thick, black lashes.
He didn’t have the lengthy beard either, the kind captured in oil paintings in certain rooms of the palace—the kind that made me cringe. Instead, his was a refined shadow that any man could grow in two or three days’ time. And then there was that olive skin, not as rich as his father’s, but a perfect match to his half-brother, Yusuf. Reflecting on the conduct of both, I had to smile. Suri was right. He seemed so much more thoughtful and less showy than Yusuf.
He must have felt me watching him or maybe it was the smile. He turned to look at me.
“I’m afraid I have built too good of a fire. Would you like to see the view from the window as the flames settle down a bit?”
“Yes, Sire.”
He didn’t offer me a hand up, just stood in a gentleman like manner as I rose to go before him to the twin towering windows.
“Allow me,” he said, reaching over me. He gently pulled back the velvet drapes using a long cord. “Everything about these windows is such a nuisance. I guess we don’t always feel very secure as a family. We like our unwanted ones to arrive and retreat announced, so the windows have very little play and are filled with squeaks.”
“Seems about right,” I mumbled.
He quickly glanced up at me.
“I mean, I think I would wish it that way too, if I were the Sultan.”
He said nothing, just looked back to the window, but I noticed a smug smile.
He gestured to the Bosphorus. In awe, I placed a hand on the cool pane of glass. The water looked as if it were practically below our feet. There was only a small strip of land between the palace, white iron gate, and the low, concrete sea wall. If anyone were in a boat coming from the opposite direction, I would swear it would have to look like a floating castle to their naked eye.
“It’s unbelievable.” I let out a little sigh.
“Have you not ever seen it before?”
“No. How could I? We came in by carriage.”
“Yes. I guess you wouldn’t have seen it so close like this. The land side, that’s where the Forbidden Gates are and where everyone like you enters.” He cleared his throat. “Sorry, what I meant to say was…that’s where your dormitory lies. Everyone else would enter by the Shore Gate, or perhaps, the Treasury Gate—not the Harem Gate.”
“How do you sleep at night with such a vision right outside your window?” I asked, peering out at the vast, still waters that gently licked up against the smooth wall. “The reflection of the torch lamps, it’s like the water itself is on fire.”
“I manage. I suppose after enough years even this becomes commonplace.”
“Well, that is a great misfortune, Sire. It is truly the loveliest sight my eyes have ever beheld. And I’m afraid I don’t give credit to much.”

Book Promo & Author Interview: Her Secret Ranger by Donna Michaels

Kissing
the sexy soldier was a dare she couldn’t resist…

HER SECRET RANGER
The Men of At Ease Ranch #2
Donna Michaels
Releasing March 6th, 2017
Entangled Lovestruck

Kissing
the sexy soldier was a dare she couldn’t resist…


By-the-book
event planner Beth Brannigan’s best friend dared her to kiss a cowboy. She
should have said no. Instead, she said please…again and again. If
her brother finds out she’s dating—okay, kissing—okay, sleeping with—one
of his military buddies, he’ll kill her. Assuming he doesn’t kill his friend
first.
Former Army
Ranger Brick Mitchum isn’t a relationship kind of guy. But then he meets Beth
and starts to wonder if maybe it’s time he settled down. She’s mysterious.
Unpredictable. Curvy in every way he needs… And hiding something. He’s just got
to figure out what

Don’t Miss the first title in the series
IN A RANGER’S ARMS
Now a USA Today Bestseller

Donna Michaels is an award winning, New York Times & USA
Today bestselling author of Romaginative fiction. Her hot, humorous, and
heartwarming stories include cowboys, men in uniform, and some sexy, primal
alphas. With a husband in the military fulltime, and a household of nine, she
never runs out of material to write, and has rightfully earned the nickname
Lucy…and sometimes Ethel. From short to epic, her books entertain readers
across a variety of sub-genres, and one has even being hand drawn into a Japanese
translation. Now, if only she could read it.


Q&A with Donna Michaels

How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

Right from the birth of The Men of At-Ease Ranch series concept, I knew from discussing with my editor that the heroine in the second book, Her Secret Ranger, was going to be the sister to one of the other heroes. The mistaken identity trope went into play, because the hero would never “knowingly” mess with another Ranger’s sister. It made for a little bit of fun trying to keep the two men from meeting.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed writing all of it. I really did. The characters practically wrote the book themselves. It was every author’s dream type book. They were funny and sweet, hot and hardheaded, and then I got to revisit the characters from the first book, including Lula Belle. Yep, this was one of my all-time favorite books to write. I wish they were all this fun and easy.

Name three things on your desk right now.

Three things on my desk, besides my laptop and mouse, are:

1. Halo, my cat. She’s half on my lap, half on my laptop desk. Bless her. She’s been diagnosed with inoperable cancer, so if she wants to lay on my work, I let her, I just have to try to type around her, like I am doing now. 
2. Coffee mug with the phrase: Writer’s Block: When your imaginary friends stop talking to you.
3. My phone so I can keep up with the messages from authors about parties I’ve agreed to do, and of course, texts from my kids.
What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis. I’m so freaking excited it’s going to be made into a movie!! I love all her books. Can’t get enough of Jill!

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

When I’m not writing, if I have some me-time, I’ll either read or watch TV. I have a lot of shows I usually have to catch up on once I meet my deadline. Halo likes this too, because she gets to have my lap unobstructed by the computer.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

I just finished writing book 3, tentatively titled: The Right Ranger. In it, I got to have fun causing a little chaos to Cord Brannigan who is Beth’s brother and Brick’s best friend. He’s been kind of quiet, unsmiling, and a little controlling in the first two books, so it was fun to dig into why and give him a heroine who is a bit independent.


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Book Tour & Review: His Cowboy Heart by Jennifer Ryan

BT-HisCowboyHeart_FINAL

His Cowboy Heart
Montana Men #6
By: Jennifer Ryan
Releasing February 21, 2017
Avon Books
Link to Follow Tour: Tasty Book Tours
Goodreads
Goodreads Series

HisCowboyHeart mm cBlurb

Bound by honor and by love…
That’s a Montana Man

Ford Kendrick has often dreamed of the day that Jamie Keller would come home to Montana. After high school, she needed to leave—and he, duty-bound to rescue his family’s ranch, pushed her to go. The Army made Jamie a hero, but Ford still sees the gorgeous, loving woman who lit up his whole world.

Every day since she left, Jamie has longed for Ford. One glimpse confirms it: the sexy, dangerous-looking cowboy left a hole in her heart that nothing else can fill. Yet the battle scars she bears—inside and out—won’t let her trust anyone enough to get close.

Ford wants to bring Jamie back to the life they dreamed of building. But locked somewhere in her memories is a dark truth that threatens her safety. It’s a battle Ford won’t let her fight alone, not when he’s determined to keep her by his side, now and always…

tastytoursreview

Oh Ford, how do I love the…way you look out for Jamie, the way you selfishly let her go so she could make a better life for herself, the way you’ve remained dedicated to her throughout the years, and the way you stepped up without hesitation when she returned and needed you.

Ford, like the other Kendrick brothers, is swoon-worthy. His Firefly (his nickname for Jamie) has always owned his heart, and he has no problem letting it be known. She’s suffering from PTSD, which results in some rather radical behavior, but she’s still the same to him. He sees past her demons and loves her unconditionally. She knows she has issues, and she doesn’t want Ford to see her in her current state; but her feelings for him are too strong to permanently push him away. Holding strong, he’s by her side every chance he gets and he makes time to be there for her. She becomes his number one obligation. True to their family’s nature, his brothers, their wives, and Grandpa are right there in full support. I absolutely love this family.

I didn’t care for Jamie’s mother at all. My heart went out to Jamie and Ford and all they’d sacrificed for those they loved. It’s a true testament to real love, and I rooted for them the whole way. I liked the way Ford announces his presence so he doesn’t startle her. He’s so kind and patient. Jamie’s just as loyal, dedicated, and in love with him as he is with her, and that love was the push she needed to get better. She wanted that life they’d always talked about, and I admired the way she threw all her energy into getting better. She didn’t just concentrate on herself though. She always had Ford and his well-being in the front of her mind, and she made efforts to give to him as well. I just love them.

It’s always a pleasure to catch up with past characters. Rory and Sadie, Colt and Luna, Dane and Belle, and all the other Montana Men and their women. And let’s not forget Grandpa Sammy. Such a character (no pun intended 😉 ). I love the interactions between the brothers. The sexual tension between the couples can choke a few horses, and we romance lovers know how much fun that adds to the story.

As in Ryan fashion, there’s a mystery to solve. I did figure it out, but that took nothing away from the story itself. What I love most is watching it all unfold.

I want more!

Rating system: Cups of Coffee (the less the better)

0: You won’t need any coffee to stay up for this one. It’s intriguing enough all on its own.
1: You’ll stay up late, but not all night. Brew one cup.
2: You’ll read as long as you’re not tired. If you are, two cups should do the trick.
3: I hope you got plenty of rest; you’ll need it, or at least 3 cups.
4: If the cable goes out, read the book. It’s better than nothing, I guess. Oh, don’t forget your brew!
5: Find anything else to do- it doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t waste your coffee. Too much caffeine is bad for you.

My rating: 0 cups of coffee

Buy Links: AMAZON | B & N | GOOGLE | ITUNES | KOBO

author-photo_jennifer-ryanAuthor Info

Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted, McBride, and Montana Men series. She writes suspenseful contemporary romances with outrageous plot twists, deeply emotional love stories, high stakes and higher drama. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.

Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.

His Cowboy Heart Teaser #4His Cowboy Heart Teaser #2

Guest Post

Jennifer Ryan – His Cowboy Heart

Meet My Hero

Ford Kendrick is a genuine nice guy, trying to do the best he can for his family, ranch, and the woman he loves, even when he sends her away for her own good. It’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make for her happiness. But when she returns broken in heart and soul, he’ll do everything he can, even if it’s to just be the friend she desperately needs. Ford isn’t about to give up on Jamie until she’s well and happy again. His patience, unwavering dedication to her recovery, and steadfast resolve to push her to be better and give her a helping hand when things don’t go her way all help Jamie to overcome her obstacles. But it’s his love through the good times and bad that bring them back together.
Excerpt:
He wanted to be the beacon in her life that brought her back from the dark world her memories sucked her into every second of the day. He wanted to give her everything they’d talked about and planned back when things were simple and easy between them. Now, just getting her to eat seemed a complicated maneuver to convince her he meant no harm and only had her best interests at heart.
She thought he pitied her. Not so. He admired her tenacity, but hated that her complicated past broke her down to the point her life became nothing but endurance.
She’d survived hell and come home, but hell followed her.
She couldn’t escape, didn’t know how, but she kept fighting. He’d help her. He wouldn’t give up on her. He wouldn’t let her suffer alone.

Ford isn’t the only hero in His Cowboy Heart. Jamie is a military vet. She’s risked her life for our country and to save her fellow soldiers. But it’s her inner strength, determination, and dedication to healing, even when she backslides, that prove heroes don’t have to be perfect, they just have to persevere.
Excerpt:
She wanted so much to go back in time and change the course of her life. She wanted Ford to ask her to stay, not tell her to go. She wanted to have the life they dreamed about, but seemed like some other woman’s wish because she wasn’t that person anymore. She wanted to be that hopeful girl again, but couldn’t fight reality. She’d never be the same again. This version of herself wanted to run. From the nightmares. That terrifying black hole in her mind. From Ford. Herself.
Damnit, she was so tired of fighting herself, the dark thoughts in her mind and the feeling of defeat that swamped her sometimes, and especially fighting what she felt for Ford. She didn’t want to do it anymore.
Time to declare a cease fire with herself.
I’ll take care of myself.
I’ll be kinder to myself.
I’ll allow myself to believe good things still happen.

Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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Book Sale & Author Interview: The Odds of You and Me by Cecilia Galante

ON SALE TODAY!

THE ODDS OF YOU AND ME
CECILIA GALANTE
February 1, 2017
ISBN 9780062434852 |E-book ISBN 9780062434869
$14.99

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In THE ODDS OF YOU AND ME we meet Bernadette, “Bird,” Sincavage, determined to escape the injuries and errors of the past to create a new life for herself and her four-year-old son, Angus.

Bird has a mere thirteen days to go before being free of probation. Free from making payments to the supermarket where she wrote bad checks. Free from living at home with her overzealous mother who’s constantly nagging her about attending church again. Free to finally create the normal life Angus deserves. Bird’s impending move to Moon Lake, where she’s plunked down a deposit on a brand new apartment, is so close she can almost taste it. What could possibly go wrong in less than two weeks?

But before her probation is up, a force from Bird’s past—a potent symbol of the people and circumstances that have irrevocably shaped her adult life, comes storming to the fore in the form of one James Rittenhouse.

Bird is stunned to see James being arrested on the evening news for assaulting someone in a local bar. She is even more shocked to later discover him hiding out in an abandoned church choir loft. Somehow he escaped police custody, broke his leg, and got his hand on a gun—which he’s now pointing at her.

Bird doesn’t dare tell anyone she saw James, and there’s no way she’s helping him. She can’t screw up her probation or her second chance for a new future. And she has her son’s welfare to think about. Still, Bird struggles to forget the terrified look in James’ eyes and the fact that he’s hurt. James once defended her fearlessly when she needed him most, and it’s nearly impossible to forget his life saving intervention, or how he put himself in harm’s way to come to her rescue.

Bird simply can’t cast aside all that James has done for her, and thus capitulates to secretly assisting him as he remains a fugitive hidden inside the church. Despite the dark clouds that gather, threatening Bird’s freedom and the future she has struggled so hard to establish for herself and her child—doing the right thing may lead indirectly to a redemption sweeter than anything she could have ever dreamed.

In THE ODDS OF YOU AND ME, with empathy and searing truth, CECILIA GALANTE brings a poignant tale about what it means to be well-intentioned yet misunderstood. In Bird Sincavage we find an indefatigable young woman who thwarts the judgment of a mother who simply can’t wrap her head around her daughter’s life; a young woman who, with the aid of an unexpected ally, ultimately conquers the odds to find her own happiness.

image006ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

CECILIA GALANTE, who received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Vermont, is the author of six young adult novels and a children’s chapter-book series. She has been the recipient of many awards, including an NAIBA Best Book of the Year, and an Oprah’s Teen Read Selection for her first novel, The Patron Saint of Butterflies.

She lives in Kingston, Pennsylvania with her three children.

In Conversation with Cecilia Galante

1 Did you learn anything new or surprising while writing your latest book?

I did, actually. The most obvious were all the strange facts I researched for James’ Curious Facts and Data book. Sometimes research for a book can be tedious, but the incredible information I uncovered for this one, including how the human heart beats more than 100,000 times a day, and that there is an actual name for the metallic way the air smells after it rains, were so interesting that it never felt like work. It was just so much fun!

2 How would you say the landscape in which you grew up (i.e. the region, culture, family)
has shaped you as a writer?

I always sigh a bit when I get this question because I know I’ll have to go into a lot of strange detail about my somewhat unusual background (born into and raised in a fanatically religious cult for the first fifteen years of my life in upstate New York) but I’ve also learned that sometimes it’s is not the physical place or the culture that shapes people who end up writing – it’s the books along the way. At least that was true for me. I’d be errant if I said that growing up without a solid relationship to my parents has influenced several storylines in my books, (including this most recent one) but I’m also pretty sure I became a writer because my eleventh-grade English teacher, who may have noticed that I was a little bit out of my element, having just moved from the cult into the “real world,” left a copy of The Catcher in the Rye on my desk.
I read the novel in a day, finishing the last chapter inside the school’s bathroom stall, weeping uncontrollably. In a world where almost nothing made any sense, here was someone who told the truth – no matter how ugly or scary or funny it was – without worrying whether or not others would stop loving him if he did. Was that how things worked out here? Were we really allowed to write and say things that might make us look weak or even downright crazy? Because if it was, I knew that day, that it was all I ever wanted to do with the rest of my life. And it still is.

3 What is the difference between a fleeting idea you have for a book, which you eventually
forget or discard, and one that gets you putting pen to paper, so to speak?

I’m not sure if there is a difference between the two. I’d say it’s more of a seed and soil analogy; almost all of my ideas that have eventually led me to the page have always started off as a fleeting thought of some sort. Sometimes it’s not even an idea; it’s just a character who has found herself in a ridiculously interesting situation. That might be the glimmer of the idea. The one that gets to the page is the one that keeps on glimmering, day after day, week after week, until it gets so bright you’ve got to put the damn thing down before you go blind.

4 Who or what inspires your characters? Do you have a particular type of character that fascinates you?

If I admitted to all the people I’ve known over the years who have influenced a character of mine in some way, I’d probably get in a lot of trouble! I’ve rarely based a character completely off someone I know; the process is more of an organic one, in which I start off thinking of someone and then watch as the character flourishes into someone in her own right. It happens like that all the time, and it always amazes me when it does, because the finished character is almost nothing like the original one I had in my head. The process is just incredible.
As for characters that fascinate me, I’d have to say the angry ones. Or more accurately, the ones that aren’t afraid to be angry or piss people off. I LOVE writing characters like that, probably because I am the polar opposite of them. It’s freeing to live vicariously through someone else for a while, even if it’s just on the page.

5 What is the best piece of advice you have received that has influenced you as an author?

Best advice I’ve ever received as a writer: Sit down and write.
Best advice I’ve ever received as an author: Don’t take no for an answer.

6 What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from your book?

Probably what I discovered while writing it: that God and parents and everything that goes with them are nothing without love.

Book Review & Author Interview: Serving Trouble by Sara Jane Stone

Serving Trouble

Blurb

The first sexy contemporary romance in Sara Jane Stone’s brand new Second Shot series!

Five years ago, Josie Fairmore left timber country in search of a bright future. Now she’s back home with a mountain of debt and reeling from a loss that haunts her.

Desperate for a job, she turns to the one man she wishes she could avoid. The man who rocked her world one wild night and then walked right out of it.

Former Marine Noah Tager is managing his dad’s bar and holding tight to the feeling that his time overseas led to failure. The members of his small town think he’s a war

hero, but after everything he’s witnessed, Noah doesn’t want a pat on the back. The only thing he desires is a second chance with his best friend’s little sister.

Josie’s determined to hold onto her heart and not repeat her mistakes, but when danger arrives on Noah’s doorstep and takes aim at Josie, they just might discover that

sometimes love is worth the risk.

Review:

Josie’s been through a lot and she’s fought hard – and is still fighting- to get through it all. I admire her character’s strength and I wanted a better life for her. A former marine, Noah has seen more than anyone’s share of turmoil. Although he’s back home, like many others, he still lives with the terror. On the surface, the man that returned is not the man that left, however, deep down, he still has the same essence.

I’m always intrigued by second-chance love stories. I like understanding the changes the characters have made since their first union, and I especially enjoy reading about what brings them back together. The whole return-home-after-hitting-hard-times thing is going on, but nonetheless, it has it’s own charm and uniqueness. Unfortunately, there wasn’t as much to the relationship evolvement as I would’ve liked. Although the lovers did have a history together and did have a sexual encounter, they had never been in a relationship before, so I expected more between them before either decided they were – and have always been- in love with each other. I felt something was missing.

My heart went out to Caroline. I couldn’t imagine going through what she was going through. Being there for her said a lot about Noah, but I must admit, I expected more to come out of the story. I was all in, and I so wanted to see everyone get what they deserved, but somehow I felt cheated. It was like one big ol’ red herring – not really, but kinda. At least in my mind.

Despite all of this, the story managed to keep my interest.

Rating system: The less the better.

0: You won’t need any coffee to stay up for this one. It’s intriguing enough all on its own.
1: You’ll stay up late, but not all night. Brew one cup.
2: You’ll read as long as you’re not tired. If you are, two cups should do the trick.
3: I hope you got plenty of rest; you’ll need it, or at least 3 cups.
4: If the cable goes out, read the book. It’s better than nothing, I guess. Oh, don’t forget your brew!
5: Find anything else to do- it doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t waste your coffee. Too much caffeine is bad for you.

My rating: 2 1/2 cups of coffee

Interview with Sara Jane Stone

The Second Shot series is your second with Avon Books, what is your favorite part about starting a new series? (The character development?

World Building? Etc.)

SJS: First, let me just say that I love writing sexy stories set in timber country. And I’m so thankful that Avon allows me to follow the characters and find the story. The first book in a new series always sets the tone for the series. And it never leads where I initially expected. That certainly held true for the Second Shot series. I didn’t anticipate the suspense element until Caroline walked into the story. To be honest, I don’t develop my characters. They just walk into my imagination and start talking. And the story unfolds around them. I’ve tried following strict outlines. But in general, I prefer to follow the characters. They show me their world. (And wow, reading over that, it sounds a little crazy. As if I’m sitting at home talking to imaginary people all day . . .)

You have written romances in small towns and in large cities, do you have a favorite setting for a series? Do you find one easier to write, or more fun?

SJS: I love writing series set in Oregon Timber country. Both the Independence Falls books and the Second Shot stories are set in small towns that share many similarities with where my husband grew up. This part of this country is completely different from where I was raised in southern Florida. The first time I visited Oregon I walked away in awe of the land’s natural beauty. I’m also fascinated by the timber industry. And no, one is not easier or more fun to write. The easiest story is always the one I’m revising. And that one tends to be the most fun too. Until the next one hits that phase of the process Noah and Josie have quite the abrupt ending to their secret rendezvous in RUNNING WILD, the free novella which kicks off the Second Shot series.

Did you know ahead of time that they were going to be former lovers or did that “event” take shape after you began writing SERVING TROUBLE?

SJS: I knew from the beginning that this couple would be former lovers. I’ve wanted to write Josie Fairmore’s story the past four years. She’s a character who walked into my imagination before I sold my first book and never left. But it took a while to find her perfect hero. Most of my stories feature military heroes or heroines. With the Second Shot series, I wanted to write about couples that met before the hero joined the armed forces and continued when he returned. I truly believe that time and life experiences change people. And sometimes it allows for a second chance at love.

Did you have to do any special research on the “Mechanical Bull Ride Scene”? (hee hee)

SJS: The short answer—no. But there are two funny stories about this scene. First, I was writing the early draft of Serving Trouble and realized that the story was a little different from my original pitch to my agent and editor. So I reached out to my agent and let her know. My agent read the first few chapters. She liked some of the “cowboy” elements and the bar setting. But somehow the follow-up phone conversation led to an I-need-an-X-rated-mechanical-bull scene. Fast forward a few months and I was on the phone with my agent again. We were talking about the mechanical bull scenes. (Yes, plural. They continue in Serving Trouble) I told her something she said gave me the idea. There was a moment of silence followed by: “what did I say?” Then there was the time a close friend at Avon wrote and asked if my husband inspired the mechanical bull scene. I jokingly told him that he should ask my husband the next time he saw him. I then explained to my confused love, who does not read my books, that he might receive a few questions about sex on the back of a mechanical bull.

How did the Second Shot Series come about?

SJS: Four years ago this March, before I sold my first book, I was pacing my apartment in Brooklyn. My daughter, who was born premature and very little, was only a few months old. And she cried every night from about 8pm until midnight. So I would put my son to bed and then walk laps around my bedroom with the screaming baby. The walking seemed to help a bit even though she still cried. At some point during my paced, Josie Fairmore (she had a different name at the time, but the same character) walked into my imagination. A few weeks later, I stared writing. I sat down at my computer whenever the kids napped. I wrote the first hundred pages of Josie’s story and sent it to my agent. She pointed out all of the problems. I kept working on it. Eventually, I sold another book. Then I another and another. But Josie was still there, waiting for her hero. It wasn’t until I met Noah while writing the Independence Falls series that I thought maybe—maybe he’s just right for Josie. So I wrote up a proposal for a new series and sent it off to my agent and editor. Avon accepted and I proceeded to write Josie’s story. Once I went back and looked at the old pages that I initially sent my agent, but I started Serving Trouble from scratch and followed Josie’s lead.

Who’s head do you more enjoy being in, your hero or heroines? Does it change with each story?

SJS: Both honestly. It depends on where I am in the story. I can generally feel when I should shift. If I’m having trouble writing a scene from one perspective, then I switch. I’ve found if I
trust my instinct it usually works out.

Do you have a favorite book of all you have written? Do you have a favorite couple?

SJS: No. I love the book I’m revising at the moment. Never the first draft. That always feels horrible. But once I’m taking it apart and putting it back together, tinkering until it feels just right—that’s my favorite. Until I reach that stage with the next one. I don’t have a favorite couple. But Josie is my favorite heroine. I’ve spent the most time with her. And Chad Summers from Hero By Night will always be my favorite hero. He was so much fun to write. And oh so hot.

What’s next in the Second Shot Series or from you in general?

SJS: In April, I’m releasing the third installment in my Sin City SEAL series. And in June, STIRRING ATTRACTION will come out. I’m super excited to share Dominic and Lily’s story. (I’m revising this one now, so it is my favorite at the moment) This story starts in a different place than my previous stories. It opens with a bang in more ways than one. There is also more suspense to the plot. And Dominic has some of my favorite lines. Even his thoughts blew me away. He returns battered and broken from his time with the Army Rangers. And he’s gone this bearded, long haired look . . .sigh. I hope readers are ready to fall in love with Dominic too. 

Book Review & Guest Post: The Asset by Anna del Mar

TheAsset

About The Asset

Anna del Mar’s explosive, sexy debut novel in the Wounded Warrior series, perfect for fans of Lisa Marie Rice and Lora Leigh—the story of a woman desperate to escape her dangerous past and the navy SEAL who would lay down his life to save her

Ash Hunter knows what it is to run. A SEAL gravely injured in Afghanistan, he’s gone AWOL from the military hospital. Physically and mentally scarred, he returns home to his grandmother’s isolated cottage—and finds a beautiful, haunted stranger inside.

Like recognizes like.

Lia Stewart’s in hiding from the cartel she barely escaped alive, holed up in this small Rocky Mountain town. Surviving, but only just. Helping the wounded warrior on her doorstep is the right thing to do…it’s loving him that might get them both killed.

Soon, Ash realizes he’s not the only one tormented by the past. Pushing the limits of his broken body, testing the boundaries of her shattered soul, he’ll protect Lia until his last breath.

REVIEW:

With boatloads of chemistry and action, this romance is built on a solid plot, well-developed characters, and vivid descriptions.

Ash is a force to be reckoned with. An injured Navy SEAL, he has enough attitude to go along with his loyalty and determination. He’s forceful – in an acceptable way- and he doesn’t give up on what he wants. I couldn’t do anything but smile when he politely let Lia know that the status of their relationship was more than what she was ready to admit. It was the cutest (for lack of a better word coming to my brain right now) revelation I’ve ever read. Ash was extremely skilled, and his investigative abilities were outstanding – while believable. As a former private investigator, I had to tip my hat to him. But the great thing was the slick, sly, subtle way the plan was revealed. Kudos to del Mar!

Lia is strong and she knows how to fight. Her past brought tears to my eyes, and my heart went out to her. She’d come a long way at making a better life for herself, and the fact that she was willing to take on her “crew”, as well as take care of Ash, was admirable. The suspense held on to my brain cells, and page after page, I couldn’t wait to find out what she was running from, and what a terrible thing to be fleeing.

Ash’s fellow SEALs stole my heart. They were each broken in some way, but they forged on ahead. I also developed somewhat of an attachment to the townspeople who hung out at Mario’s Bar, but I think Neil is the real man of the hour! I wished for a little more at the end, but I’ll definitely be watching out for more in the future.

Rating system: The less the better.

0: You won’t need any coffee to stay up for this one. It’s intriguing enough all on its own.
1: You’ll stay up late, but not all night. Brew one cup.
2: You’ll read as long as you’re not tired. If you are, two cups should do the trick.
3: I hope you got plenty of rest; you’ll need it, or at least 3 cups.
4: If the cable goes out, read the book. It’s better than nothing, I guess. Oh, don’t forget your brew!
5: Find anything else to do- it doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t waste your coffee. Too much caffeine is bad for you.

My rating: 1 cup of coffee

Guest Post

What (and maybe who) comes next in The Wounded Warrior Series?

Who Comes Next in The Wounded Warrior Series?

By Anna Del Mar

The first book of my Wounded Warrior series has just been released and yet I kept being

asked the question: Who comes next?

My Wounded Warrior series is a collection of hot, smart romances about strong heroines

struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, kickass, military heroes who

challenge their limits to protect the women they love. In The Asset, the series’ first novel, we

meet Ash Hunter, a Navy SEAL wounded in Afghanistan who’s struggling to overcome his

injuries when he finds himself staring down the barrel of Lia Stuart’s shotgun.

Lia is a fugitive, hiding in a small Rocky Mountain town, desperately trying to escape her

terrifying past. She may not be a SEAL and she’s definitively keeping secrets, but Ash

recognizes her for who she really is: a fighter and a survivor, the kind, caring, passionate

woman he could love, if only she wasn’t so afraid to let him. When she risks her cover to help

him, Ash commits to a new mission: He will lay down his life to save hers.

In the second novel of the Wounded Warrior series, The Stranger, we meet Seth Erickson and

Summer Silva. When her sister runs away with a guy she met on the internet, Summer, a

warmth-loving Miami architect, chases her reckless sibling to Alaska and finds her life in

danger from more than the elements. Only a stranger, Seth Erickson, a wounded warrior with

a quarreling family as complicated as Summer’s and no time for a lady in distress—let alone

one who walks on her sleep—can save her from disaster. Together, two strangers from

different worlds and opposite spectrums of the thermometer must unravel the intrigues that

threaten their lives and overcome their painful pasts to chase after a new dream, together, in

majestic Alaska.

Like The Asset, The Stranger is a smart, fun, sexy, Wounded Warrior romance that explores

the extraordinary power of sex and love as healing agents. Set against Alaska’s magnificent

background, the story takes full advantage of the stunning setting, the clash of cultures, and

the local customs and legends to add a whimsical touch to this enduring, heartwarming tale.

And like The Asset, The Stranger follows the Wounded Warrior series’ hero equation: Brawn

+ brains + heart = Sizzling hot heroes.

 

Wounded Warrior Series: http://www.annadelmar.com/pages/home.html

The Asset: http://www.annadelmar.com/pages/books_asset.html

Get a Copy: Amazon | B&N | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo | Carina Press

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28076268-the-asset

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Book Review & Guest Post: Intimate Fear by D.C. Stone

3D Intimate Fear

ISBN: 978-1-77233-392-3
ASIN: B00ZZ7S9YW

Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Date of Publication: 06/19/15

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Dwayne Gonzalez has always had a thing for the beautiful Brooke Mason, but she married another man, had his child, and started her life without him. Now, years and a divorce later, he’s still on the sidelines, yet in Brooke’s and her daughter, Hailey’s life, but not in the way he wants.

A drug investigation brings Dwayne on the front step of Brooke’s life. With his attention distracted, Hailey is kidnapped and engulfed in a human trafficking ring. Dwayne marches in and toes the line between the right side of the law, and in it, pursues his heart’s desire.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/UzHuq11-r1E

Evernight Amazon Amazon UK

Amazon CA ARe Bookstrand

Review:

Stone created a romance filled with a hint of suspense, a bunch of familial togetherness, and a whole lotta male hotness that’s read-me-now-and-spread-the-word good!

I respected Brooke’s attachment to her daughter; it being nothing more than a loving mother trying desperately to raise and protect her offspring. Although Hailey’s father is long gone, she’s always had a father in Dwayne, and he’s played the part to a T. The strong connection between the trio is based on what he has with his adoptive family, and they, too, love the red-headed look-alike duo. Despite Dwayne’s love for Brooke, he’s lead a full life as a bachelor, although no one has ever caught her attention the way she does.

Stone played it safe, but not boring, I’m glad to say, with the circumstances surrounding Hailey’s kidnapping. I must admit, for a moment I feared I’d have to put the book down, but she made the story more than readable, without taking away from the believability. The relationship between Brooke and Dwayne switched gears amid the turmoil, but their connection didn’t take anything away from the mother’s love for or determination to bring her daughter home. There were heartwarming shifts between Brooke’s love for the two most important people in her life, and not one time do they look bad for exploring their relationship under the circumstances. This couldn’t have been an easy fete, so most definitely, I give Stone kudos.

From beginning to end, the story is captivating and held my attention like a gambler during a lottery draw, and I’m glad to say, I came out a big winner!

Rating system: Cups of coffee – the less the better

0: You won’t need any coffee to stay up for this one. It’s intriguing enough all on its own.
1: You’ll stay up late, but not all night. Brew one cup.
2: You’ll read as long as you’re not tired. If you are, two cups should do the trick.
3: I hope you got plenty of rest; you’ll need it, or at least 3 cups.
4: If the cable goes out, read the book. It’s better than nothing, I guess. Oh, don’t forget your brew!
5: Find anything else to do- it doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t waste your coffee. Too much caffeine is bad for you.

My rating: 0 cups of coffee

Excerpt:

Worried about Hailey, exhausted to the bone, and slightly swaying, Brooke clung to Dwayne, took strength from this solid, very real protector. She would have to be dead not to notice his firm body beneath her fingertips, the hardness of his chest pressed to her breasts, and the wicked, clean scent drifting from his skin. While they were no longer hugging, but more her clinging to him, she didn’t want to turn away, couldn’t find the power to do so. How easy would it have been to end up with this man? She’d caught the looks he had given her before. But that had all been in the past, a separate life for them both.
She had become a mother, someone who dedicated her entire being to making sure her daughter was well-rounded, cared for, and knowingly loved. Not only that, but she wasn’t a young pup any longer, and from the few women she’d seen Dwayne with, his type seemed to have a list of traits all very similar: young, perky breasts, tight asses, single, and free of major responsibilities.His hand tightened on her back and she held her breath, waiting to see if he would push her away.

Just a few more minutes, please.

She needed him, this close contact with another being. It had been so damn long.

Hailey refused to slow down to cuddle on the couch as she had once done as a young girl. Her daughter had her own life now, one currently held in peril, but Brooke had faith they would find her. They had to. Failure wasn’t an option.

Dwayne trailed his hand up her back and pressed a palm to her head, his other arm tightening around her waist. She went with the direction, pressed her face into his warm neck, and breathed. His skin emitted heat rivaling the summer’s sun. She grasped the back of his suit jacket, wishing she could be closer. He shifted their bodies, and her aggravation spun to something else. His lips brushed her temple, and moist air fanned across the side of her face. He hovered there. So close, all she had to do was turn her face and take his mouth. She knew he would let her, too.

So near to him, starved for human contact, she wanted to get lost for a while. She trailed her nose along his neck, took another deep breath, and pressed closer.

He grumbled something unintelligible, the sound coming from his chest more than his mouth. His hand at her waist laid flat on the small of her back and urged her closer still.

The situation was moving fast out of control. Tendrils unraveled, but she was helpless to stop it. This strong male held her as if she were a treasure. He had the power and ability to make her forget everything, to make all the stresses and danger go away.
His hand slipped beneath the back of her shirt and made direct contact with her skin. They both hissed and his breath pushed her hair from her face. His cruel yet sensual mouth continued to drift in a teasing caress across her temple. She turned her head, like molasses on a cold day, up and toward him. Her lips tingled in anticipation, waiting for his kiss. She brushed her mouth across the line of his jaw, a hairsbreadth from his skin.

His heart thudded against hers, a matching hammer between their bodies, telling her he was just as affected. The hand at the back of her head tightened. She trailed the caress over his cheek; his lips were right there, centimeters away.

The rest of their surroundings faded. She didn’t know if it was because of this man drawing her absolute attention, or because of her exhaustion.

She touched the side of her mouth to his and thought she’d be prepared for the rush of desire.

She was so wrong.

Guest Post

Keeping a reader’s interest in a romance, when the happily ever after is pretty much a sure thing, is a tricky, yet fascinating process. Interestingly enough, I ran into this issue when writing INTIMATE FEAR. One reader specifically stated she was so wound up about things happening in the first few chapters that she had to put the book down and take a deep breath. She then went on to state that she knew I’d never let her down with the HEA so she picked it back up and continued reading, and was very happy she did. 🙂

Outside of the sensitive subjects the characters go through in INTIMATE FEAR, I also had to give the hero and heroine plenty of time to finally come to terms with their HEA. This is also what most authors like to refer to as angst. Real life romances aren’t all wine and roses, sweet words, and the never-appearing argument. No, real life romance takes communication and hard work, compromise and understanding. THAT’s how I write my stories. THAT’s how I address the arc with my characters, and THAT’s where my motto comes from under Real Crimes, Real Men, Real World.

Many times when I’m writing, I’ll address my characters as if they are an actual real person, and in most circumstances, they are based on someone I’ve met or know. If I run into an issue surrounding how someone would react to something or what they’d say, that problem is solved with just a quick phone call or email sent their way. Or even a subtle question directed at my better-half. (Thanks, honey!) Making sure their actions and speech doesn’t stand out as fake or over-the-top is important to me, because I’ve been the reader on the receiving end of those stories and I understand the frustration it causes. I’ve actually put down a book or three for exactly that reason (as recently as last week), without finishing it.

I don’t want that for my readers,  but I also want them to go on the same journey I’d like to go on watching as the hero and heroine break down each other’s walls, push each other’s boundaries, and work to make their relationship last.

I hope you enjoy INTIMATE FEAR, and please stop by to say hello! Happy reading!

XOXOXO,

DC

About the Author:

D.C. “Desi” Stone is a best-selling romance author and full-time fraud investigator. She lives in the northeast with her incredibly supporting husband, two kids, and the ever-growing family of cats.

After serving eight years of service with the United States Air Force, she went on to transition into the world of financial crimes and became a lead investigator for many years.

Reading has always been a passion of hers, getting lost in a good, steamy romance is one of her favorite past times. She soon after discovered her own love for writing and recreating stories and characters in her head. Her writing concentrates on romantic with specifics in paranormal, suspense, and erotica.

Now, when she isn’t trying to solve a new puzzle in the world of fraud, she is engulfed with coffee, her laptop, and all those crazy characters in her head. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hudson Valley Romance Writers, New Jersey Romance Writers, RomVets, RWA Kiss of Death, and the Liberty State Fiction Writers. She served as the 2014 NJRW Vice President and Conference Chair. Come stop by on Facebook, Twitter, or her website and say hello!

Facebook PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/authorDCStone

Facebook PROFILE: http://www.facebook.com/dc.stone.92

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DCStoneauthor

Website: www.authordcstone.com

Tour giveaway

2 ebook copies of Intimate Fear

5 ebook copies of Intimate Danger, book 1 in the series.

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Direct link to entry form
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Author Michelle Sharp: Best & Worst Pickup Lines

Michelle Fielden Photography

Michelle Fielden Photography

 

MICHELLE SHARP

Hi everyone. My name is Michelle Sharp and I’m the author of the new Dream Seeker Series.

I’ve thought long and hard about this worst pick-up line thing. Time and again, I keep coming

back to one infamous night. Not because it was terribly exciting or anything, but because me

and my best friend still laugh about it today.

 

So first off, let me set the scene. I’m an eighties girl. Big hair. Z-Cavaricci Jeans. (Wow, I loved

those jeans.) The flash dance off the shoulder shirts. I would post a picture but it doesn’t reflect

well on me. LOL. Come on…I’m not the only eighties girl here, am I? Man, I feel old.

So I’m in college, out with my friends and its girl’s night—no guys tonight. And of course

there’s… “that guy.” You know, the one who is not nearly as hot as he thinks he is. Not quite as

funny as he’d like to be. And just a little too sweaty. His specialty is capturing random,

unsuspecting women on the dance floor if they are unfortunate enough to accidently turn in his

direction. Yes, that would be me and my friend, who is still my BFF today.

 

So, in order to not be rude, we kind of dance… well, sort of next to the guy, not really WITH him,

but not wanting to totally dis his Michael Jackson moves either. When the song ends, we make

a hasty retreat to the bathroom. But when we finish and exit, he’s waiting for us. Apparently he

mistook our “dance” as an invitation to a threesome. He puts his arms up to trap us in the small

hallway we’re in. In his most stud-like voice he says, “Stop. It’s Hammer time.” My friend and I of

course look at each other and without missing a beat, push him hard in the chest and reply in

unison, “Can’t touch this.”

 

Okay, so I told you, not that great of a story. But Cindy and I still say to each other, “Hey,

remember the MC Hammer dude?” And I got to say, I quite miss the eighties. So I’m going to

post some pictures of things I loved most about the eighties. And if I can figure out how to scan,

I will post some totally hideous pictures of myself in the eighties.

 

Now, whoever posts the funniest eighties picture, (the one that makes me spew coffee on my

keyboard) I will send an autographed copy of Dream Huntress. Come on eighties girls…I know

you’re out there. And by the way, to get you in the mood, go here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otCpCn0l4Wo -I dare you to watch that and not smile 😉

 

25988722

 

Tamed by the Outlaw Blurb

Author Jessie Jameson is the Bad Girl of romance, making a huge name for herself writing love

stories with sizzling hot sex scenes. No one needs to know that her real-life inspiration is sexy

publishing exec Grayson Reynolds. Or that after the hottest sex of her life, Grayson walked out

on her.

 

Grayson’s finally taken the reins of his family’s publishing business, and he’s determined to sell

off the romance division. But Jessie Jameson’s contract is complicating things. It’s like she’s

been trying to ruin him ever since the mind-blowing night they shared—the night she walked out

on him.

 

Now the sparks are flying. Heated, sexy sparks. It’s a Wild West showdown between Jessie and

Grayson. But when Romance ends up in bed with Business, only one can walk away…

 

About Michelle Sharp

Award-winning author, Michelle Sharp, has been nominated for a 2014 National Readers

Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense and Best First Book. In addition, her debut novel

Dream Huntress has been selected as a finalist in the 2015 Daphne Du Maurier award for

Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.

 

Although she has a degree in Journalism from Southern Illinois University, she finds weaving

tales of danger, deception, and love much preferable to reporting the cold, hard facts. Her goal

in life? To team resilient, kickass heroines with the sexy Alpha’s who love them.

 

As most authors probably are, she is an avid reader. Her family may even call it obsessive.

Growing up in St. Louis has made her a die-hard Cardinals fan, and having a child with Down

Syndrome has made her passionate about any issue regarding special needs kiddos. She’s

also a fairly big sucker when it comes to anything with fur or feathers.

 

Michelle is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and Missouri Romance Writers.

You can learn more about her at michelleshapbooks.com, where you will also find links to her

social media.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Author Kristine Bria: Best & Worst Pickup Lines

Copyright Erica Aitken Photography

Copyright Erica Aitken Photography

 

 

KRISTINE BRIA

You know the beginning of the movie Grease where Sandy and Danny are having their beautiful

romantic innocent fling? The brief relationship that was so beautiful, they each wrote a song

about it? Mine wasn’t like that.

 

We didn’t have a moment where we locked eyes across a crowded room. We didn’t see each

other standing on the beach. He wasn’t a millionaire trying to woo me with a bottle of

champagne. None of those were even close.

 

I was at the beach with my sister and some friends. Being hot, young, single girls, we went to

one of those “meat market” clubs that exist for the sole purpose of encouraging sunburned

college students to party. A friend of a friend knew the owner and took us to the second floor of

the club to visit with him in his office. We enjoyed it, mostly because he was a fun guy. I guess

you would have to be to run a joint like that. On the way back down the spiral staircase, I was

the last in line.

 

I would never describe myself as particularly coordinated. That night was not an exception.

Narrow spiral staircases are tedious even for the graceful, at least that’s what I tell myself.

These steps were a beautiful black cast iron with scrollwork that was all but imprinted on my

backside as I slipped and nailed the last three with my rear.

 

My sister isn’t mean; she just has a wicked sense of humor. Nevermind that this type thing

doesn’t ever happen to her. She had an image to uphold so she kept walking and didn’t look

back. I sat there on the floor of the club in my pale pink mini-skirt stunned, embarrassed, and

alone. While I wondered if 1) I was hurt, and 2) if it was possible to regain my dignity, the crowd

parted for a muscular, tan guy with brown hair and green eyes who leaned down and gently

asked, “Are you okay?”

 

The consummate gentleman, he helped me off the floor then asked, “Will you dance with me?”

Beautiful, right?

 

Not when he’s the guy that you and your sister had spent the evening evading because he had

that certain something…that you don’t want in a guy. He wasn’t ugly or impolite. He was just

plain uncool. We didn’t want to be seen with him let alone be with him. And I had no graceful

way out.

 

Sure, I could’ve blown him off, but I couldn’t have done it with a clean conscience. The guy had

done nothing to deserve any disrespect from me. He had linked himself with the club’s token

klutz. I had no room to judge. So I danced.

 

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Not Quite Home Blurb

Adam’s life is headed south—to the hometown he swore he’d never see again. Adam’s plan is

to head home to settle a pending lawsuit and then get out fast. The last thing he counted on was

falling for sexy Kate Braswell. The slow burn that starts when they meet soon begins to sizzle,

but Kate is putting down roots in the last place he wants to be … how can they build a future?

Newcomer Kristine Bria is pleased to present Not Quite Home, Book 1 of her new contemporary

romance series, Moss Point.

 

Architect Adam Moultrie’s bad-boy past is catching up with him and his blossoming career.

Inheriting the Moss Point plantation he never wanted, he can’t get rid of it fast enough. Even

though he paid someone to board it up, a local teenager breaks in and gets hurt. Her mom,

Adam’s ex from high school, seizes the opportunity to get revenge on the guy who abandoned

her at the plantation on prom night fifteen years earlier. With a professional partnership in

Portland slipping through his fingers, he heads to his hometown on the Georgia coast to resolve

the lawsuit as quickly as possible.

 

Kate Braswell gave up everything to open Local Flavor, her coffeehouse showcasing art, but her

builder shatters his leg—and possibly her dreams. Facing bankruptcy and failure, Adam is the

only one who can save her and her shop. He becomes her unlikely hero, but the last thing he

needs is a sexy woman in pink lip-gloss. Kate doesn’t want a man, even smoldering Adam,

regardless of what her hormones say. Still, he can’t keep his hands off the conservative Kate,

using all his bad-boy moves to show her what she’s been missing.

 

Adam and Kate’s sexual attraction eclipses their attempts to dodge an affair that neither wants.

She adopts Moss Point while he longs for Portland. His exile is her home, and both must decide

if either can survive a compromise.

Amazon | LsBooks.com

 

About Kristine Bria

Kristine Bria was the annoying teacher’s pet who always made straight As. Sure, she used to

ride to and from school with the principal–it wasn’t her fault they lived next door to each other.

Carpooling made sense. She shared her toys and played well with others. In short, she was a

good girl.

 

When you have been a good girl, people around you have high expectations of you. Kristine

knows all about how stressful it can be when friends, family, and bosses want different things at

the same time. What do you do? How do you decide? What happens when you don’t (because

you can’t) make everyone happy? There are fabulous stories all around us, and she loves to tell

them.

 

Kristine also likes to write about who we are in public versus who we are in private. With whom

do we reveal our true selves? Why does someone get to see the real us inside?

Hint: It must be love.

 

P.S. Kristine is good…but not too good. It turns out she has a bit of a wild streak that likes to

come out and play as Kristi Hancock. Kristi writes erotic novellas where good girls are very, very

bad and bad boys are very, very good.

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Author Rebecca Thomas: Best & Worst Pickup Lines

2013-RebeccaThomas

 

REBECCA THOMAS

My name is Rebecca Thomas. I’m the author of two historical romance novellas with Entangled

Publishing and I’m about to launch my Alaskan Hero contemporary romance series. So excited

about this! I’ve lived in Alaska my entire life. My husband bugged me for years to write an

Alaska story. Finally I did, and now I have an entire series planned. The first book in the series

is Her Alaskan Hero and it will release on August 25th. I also have a novella entitled Sweet

Home Alaska, as part of this series that is available now in a boxed set entitled Small Town

Summer.

 

I recently attended a writer’s conference at a very nice, very large hotel. Hundreds of women

roamed every floor and hallway of this hotel. It was about eight o’clock at night when I tried to

check into my room. However, my room wasn’t ready and my roommate hadn’t arrived yet, so

even though this was annoying, I wasn’t about to let these circumstances bring down my happy

mood. I was at a writer’s conference and I was on vacation.

So I waited in the lobby with a book in hand and almost immediately I was approached by a

man who asked if I was here for the writer’s conference. I said, yes. He introduced himself by

saying, “I’m Anthony, I’m an attorney and I’m from the Bahamas.” And then almost as an

afterthought he asked, “What’s your name?”

 

I gave him my name, then he immediately asked, “Do you have a roommate?”

So there is nothing so horrible about this conversation except clearly he was trying to impress

me with his profession and/or place of residence. And who knows if he was actually trying to

pick me up, but of course I told him I had a roommate and I expected her to arrive at any

moment. So Anthony went along his way and left me in the lobby.

As I watched him leave, my romance writer’s imagination took over. I envisioned myself saying.

“No, I don’t have a roommate.”

 

As a side note, in my head he was much more attractive and gorgeous and sexy too. Next thing

I know he invites me for a ride in his private jet where he takes me to his mansion in the

Bahamas. And you know the rest of the story—we lived happily ever after of course.

But back to reality, I mean, really, what did he expect me to say? And if I did say, no, I don’t

have a roommate. What would he have said? I guess I will never know, I can only imagine.

Was there ever a time you wish you’d said something else in a similar situation? So the story

would have ended differently?

 

HerAlaskanHero1

 

Her Alaskan Hero Blurb

After being left at the altar, California girl Sabrina Tate needs to make a fast getaway. With her

famous overbearing parents and the paparazzi hot on her heels, where else is a jilted bride to

go to lick her wounds but Alaska? With only her tropical honeymoon clothes in tow, she makes

her escape. For two weeks, she’ll live on her own and prove to herself—and her family—that

she can make it without a husband.

 

Zak Forrester is a man on a mission. He’s turned his rugged yet luxurious Alaskan lodge into a

hotspot for hunters, all in the hope to make up for a painful event in his past. But when

Sabrina—one of the rare women to enter his rugged realm—stumbles into his world, he can’t

get rid of her fast enough. He has no time for her yoga, vegetarian meal requests, or Scrabble.

Soon, neither can resist the other, and two hearts collide. With time ticking away, they have to

decide where they belong. Is a life in a different world better than being a world apart?

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About Rebecca Thomas

Rebecca Thomas enjoys a love-hate relationship with Alaska. She lives there with her bush pilot

husband and two teenaged sons. When she isn’t reading, writing, or playing board games, she

is cheering for her sons at their hockey games and tennis matches.

A reluctant reader as a child, she didn’t become interested in books until her teen years when

she discovered historical romance. Now she loves all sub-genres of romance and can’t decide

which one is her favorite.

 

Rebecca earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Alaska and was

employed in the airline industry for several years before working in her current position as a

program manager in a higher education.

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