Showing posts with label Xpresso Book Tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Xpresso Book Tours. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Last Chance by J. Bliss


Last Chance
J. Bliss
(Chance Series #3)
Publication date: February 5th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
After a traumatic attack, Jasmine Chance recovers from a coma and decides to take on the life she’s always longed for in Paris. While there she encounters a man from her past, causing her to re-evaluate what she truly desires.
As the love of her life, Andrew Rodd, is fighting for their relationship, his company is threatened, forcing him to choose between struggling to make things work with Jasmine and staying in Atlanta to uphold his business.
Will Jasmine find the balance between her passions, companionship, and the future of her business? Will Drew choose to maintain order in his company and remain loyal to his best friend or finally win the love of his life? Only time can tell if this will be their last chance.
Previous books in the series:

Grab book 1 – Not By Chance – for FREE on Feb 5 & 6 only!
EXCERPT:
Jasmine

“He’s a nice guy, his name is Andrew Rodd.” The door pushes open, and Drew appears. I walk to his side and he moves closer to the woman that helped raise me. He’s holding a hanging wisteria floral arrangement.
“Grandmother, this is Andrew. I call him Drew.”
He smiles and takes over the greeting. “Hello, Grandmother Carrie.”
Wow, he is claiming her title as if she is his grandmother. She is grinning. “Andrew, are those flowers for me?”
It’s her favorite flower and color.
“Yes, ma’am.” He is a breath of fresh air in her presence. I worried too much about these two meeting. My grandmother is upright, studying Drew.
“Purple is my favorite color. I am sure my baby girl enlightened you that wisteria is my favorite flower.”
He grins. “Yes, ma’am, she did. It’s a flower as full of mystery and beauty as you are.”
“Jasmine, this young man knows about flowers.” She has a smile full of delight growing on her face. “Find a place by the window to set them and you have a seat and stay a week.” The room fills with laughter as the fear of disappointing her rules diminishes.
“Where are you from, young man? It doesn’t sound like my baby girl found you in Paris? You sound like you have done traveling, but not too far off from around my parts? Where are your people from?”
Drew sits in the chair next to me. “I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, my parents still live here.”
She smacks her lips. “Is that right?”
He smiles looking in my direction. “I met your baby girl in Atlanta.” I believe he is enjoying calling me baby girl the way he emphasizes it.
“Is that right?” Her eyes drift to the top of her head and turns back with a stern eye in my direction. Oh, no this might not be a good remark.
“This is not that guy from high school… hmm? I told my girl not to get involved too fast. Chantal told me everything about that boy. I never met him in person.”
My grandmother is fiddling with her hand. She talks as if I am not present, gaining Drew’s attention. “No, Jasmine didn’t bring him around me. But it seems like he must not have had a tight grip on her heart seeing you are here with her instead of the other.”
I drop my head in my hand and Drew grips my leg. “Perhaps, he was only there to keep her company until she met me.”
Her eyebrows rise. “Andrew, you sound confident over there and I see you touching my granddaughter’s knee.”



Author Bio:
J. Bliss Influenced by, Maya Angelo, Terry McMillan, and her own mother's prestigious writing, J. Bliss began writing stimulating poetry at the age of thirteen. She dreamt of being an author and never gave up on the passion deep to write that she held within herself.
Her first novel originated from a past radio talk show she was the host of, based on many callers that spoke about having marital problems, most of which stemmed from a lack of intimacy. Drawing from her own experiences and struggles, she felt compelled to write Lovers of Convenience leading to Not by Chance.

The author also has a great giveaway on her Facebook page!
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Lead The Way by Brittany Carter


Lead The Way
Brittany Carter
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Fresh off the high of college graduation, Melody James is back in her Podunk town. She needs a job, but first, she’ll spend a lazy summer with no agenda at all.

But life’s got other plans for Melody, ones she’d sooner ignore. When the next-door neighbor passes away, his son returns home to take care of his affairs. Thane Cohen hasn’t been home in ten years. The last time he was, someone accused him of murdering Melody’s parents. Now, after major efforts to recover his self-worth and start a construction company, Thane wonders if enough time has passed for him to clear his once good name.

At the time of the murders, Melody was the only person who didn’t believe Thane was responsible. But how could she even suggest otherwise when just about everyone in town was convinced of Thane’s guilt? Her brothers would never allow it. With nothing to lose before, Thane packed up and left, leaving the town and Melody behind. Now that he’s back, rekindling an old flame in Melody and proving his innocence are critical.

When several car windshields get broken and fires start unexpectedly, the world inside their little town is tossed upside down. With Melody’s brother against her, and Thane fighting every attempt she makes at breaking down his walls, Melody’s push for answers leads her to a frightening conclusion. Thane may actually know more about her parents’ death than she was lead to believe. Can she trust him, or has everyone else been right about him all along? Only time will tell if she can let love lead the way.

*Author previously wrote under the name, Alla Kar

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Author Bio:

Brittany Booker Carter previously writing as Alla Kar. I'm a Christian, lover or romance, a wife and mother to a wild-child!

Website / Facebook / Twitter


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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Something About Tuesdays by Barbara C. Doyle


Something About Tuesdays
Barbara C. Doyle
Publication date: January 29th 2019
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

They say nothing exciting ever happens on a Tuesday, but that’s far from the truth in my life.

It’s a Tuesday when I almost hire a male escort to attend my brother’s wedding with me.

It’s a Tuesday when I get brutally dumped by my boyfriend.

Annnnd it’s a Tuesday when I catch my dog impregnating the neighbor’s mutt.

Needless to say, it’s also a Tuesday when I meet the silver-eyed Chase Newman—who is none too pleased with how I come crashing into his life based on the sexy scowls he sends my way.

But that doesn’t stop me from getting more than puppies in our sudden involvement.

Because behind those angry eyes is lust, and if I’m going to get a date before desperation has me calling a 1-800 number, I need to convince him to help me.

And if sex is the language he speaks, I am more than happy to become fluent.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

One

Chase

If the redhead leans any further across the bar, her tits are bound to pop out of her shirt. I’ve been bartending long enough to know that’s exactly what she wants, along with a free drink and a quickie in the backroom. While I’ll probably take her up on the sex at some point before the sun rises, my shift doesn’t end for another two hours and the Black Oak is packed.

She waves a manicured hand in the air to get my attention like my eyes haven’t been plastered to her chest this entire time. We both know where my mind has gone as I poured everyone else’s round.

“What can I get you, sweetheart?” I shoot her the same crooked grin that gets me a jar full of tips and phone numbers every night.

Red straightens and lets her green eyes rake down my front like I’ve been doing to her tiny frame since she strutted up to the bar. From up close, I realize her hair isn’t natural. Shame. I have a thing for redheads.

“What do you recommend?” she purrs.

The smart thing to do is let her have more time to decide, because the line hasn’t subsided since rush hour started. College kids from Oakland University are here to get screwed up and make stupid choices, and they’re not patient about it since they just got back from Thanksgiving break where they pretended to be good little kids for Mommy and Daddy.

But nobody said I’m smart.

“Depends on what you like.” Leaning my elbows on the edge of the bar, I prop my chin on the back of my hands. She doesn’t seem like a beer type of girl. I’d guess martini or one of those shitty fruity drinks that I spend half my shift making.

She bats her overdone lashes at me. “What if what I like isn’t alcohol right now?”

Someone from behind her yells, “Then move out of the fucking way,” and gets a reaction from at least three other people that makes me chuckle.

Her full lips pull into a tight scowl as she glances over her shoulder.

“They’re right,” I say, shrugging.

The green eyes once narrowed at the other patrons shoot back to me. “What?”

I gesture to my side of the counter. “Do you see any other help right now? Even if I wanted to fuck you in the stock room, I’ve got nobody to cover me.”

Her lips part at my bluntness. Guess my reputation for being an asshole didn’t make its way to her like the one about me being easy.

I grin. “So, alcohol?”

The lust drains from her hopeful eyes once she realizes I won’t be peeling that tight dress off her. I’m ninety-nine percent sure she’s not wearing panties under it, since it clings to her hips without showing any sign of the scrap.

Her throat clears. “I guess my table will just have tequila shots. Five of them.”

My eyes wander over to the back corner where she sauntered from. There were only four of them when they came in, all dressed to impress in skimpy dresses and knee-high boots that demands most of the male attention.

There’s now a fifth girl with her back to me laughing at something the others say. My eyes narrow on her short blonde hair that stops just above her shoulders. It’s not straight or slicked with products like the others seem to be, and she’s not dressed up like them either. Her tight jeans cling to her long legs, flared hips, and perky ass, and the coat she’s still wearing makes me wonder if she’s sticking around.

When she turns her head to glance over at the bar for her friend, I suck in a sharp breath.

“Emily?”

Red’s brows pinch. “Who the hell is Emily?”

Her bitter tone makes me want to roll my eyes, but I’m too stuck on the blast from the past to pay her attitude any attention. It’s hard to find similarities between her and my not-so-distant memory from this far away. It could be Emily, but the lighting in here sucks. After how she left almost eight months ago, it wouldn’t surprise me if we both found ourselves in a new town while still avoiding each other.

My chin tips toward her table. “Who’s the girl that joined you?”

Busying myself with the shots so she doesn’t get pissy (well, more pissed than she already is for turning her down and asking about her friend), I glance up to see the blonde already focused back on their group.

Red crosses her arms over her chest, which is probably for the best. It may be warm in here with all the bodies crammed together, but it’d be a shame if they caught frostbite when she steps outside since none of them felt jackets were necessary in twenty-degree weather.

“Why do you want to know about Sam?”

Sam. Not Emily.

Tension rolls off my shoulders as I place the shot glasses onto a tray. “Just curious.”

She produces the money from some unknown part of her body that I don’t care about so long as it’s in my hand. Passing her the change, I let myself shoot one last look at the blonde. She’s a good couple inches taller than the girls she stands beside and she’s not even wearing heels. Normally, tall chicks don’t do it for me. But her laid back demeaner is refreshing to see in a room full of people willing to sell their soul for cheap liquor and one-night stands.

When Red makes it back to their table, she whispers something to the blonde that makes her tense. Neither one looks back at me as they take their shots. Someone calling out for a drink snaps my sudden infatuation in two.

A hasty look from Red tells me she won’t be waiting for me to finish my shift like she planned to.

In my short six months in Mayfield, I’ve been deemed the town Grinch from my lack of enthusiasm over the events they host for the holiday season. Despite feeble attempts to get me to join in on the fun, the only time anyone sees me is if people come to the Black Oak to get drunk, laid, or vent their frustrations like I’m part of the clergy.

Probably a good thing, because some of these people would shock even a priest.

The weekend following Thanksgiving started the initial town frenzy with its annual Christmas decorating competition. Once Black Friday was done and over with, people got crazy over the cash prize and media coverage that comes with winning. It’s why the row of businesses stretching across Main Street and Central Avenue are covered in lights, fake snow, and wreaths, with trees displayed in their windows.

Mayfield looks like Chris Cringle just barfed all over it after a bender. But I’m not the only one who doesn’t have lights strung up based on the neighbor’s house. I’ve seen a car parked out in the driveway when I leave for work at night and a dog barking from behind the fence attached to the backyard. But no human that belongs to either.

Once Chris finishes hiring more bartenders, I won’t be stuck working from three in the afternoon until two in the morning six days a week. The entire town is asleep by the time I get home at three, my mystery neighbor included.

I have theories of who they are. The car is gone from the basic nine to five job period, which means the person works fulltime. And it’s not a particularly nice car, in fact I want to hold it hostage in my garage and fix the shit out of it. It’s a mechanic’s wet dream, so I assume the owner doesn’t have a lot of money since the Nissan has rust coating the bottom and dents rutting the side.

They’re a pet person, based on the dog I hear yapping every so often. Probably patient, since my dog drives me nuts with how much she wants to go outside and play in the snow. Whether it’s a man or woman is beyond me, but based on the single car, I’m guessing it isn’t a couple. That little nugget of information interests me the most.

Something wet licks my face, pulling me out of the Guess Who mystery game. Normally, I don’t mind wakeup calls that involve warm, wet things first thing in the morning. But I never left the bar with anyone after closing last night, which means the culprit isn’t a sexy redheaded vixen, but an oversized pooch.

I try pushing Bailey’s mouth away from me and flop onto my side, but she doesn’t relent. For someone who knows she’s not supposed to be on the mattress, she finds herself up here more times than not. Then again, I never shove her off whenever she demands attention when I get home at stupid o’clock from work.

“Bails,” I groan when her cold nose burrows into my neck. Cursing, I peel my face from the pillow and adjust my eyes to the brightly lit room.

Bailey is usually good about letting me sleep in. Lately, she hasn’t been acting herself. I’ve woken up twice to vomit on the kitchen floor over the past two weeks, and she sleeps more than usual. But when I called my old vet, they told me it was just a stomach bug and not to worry since she was still eating, drinking, and using the bathroom regularly.

She nudges my neck again.

“Do you really need to go out?”

Her soft whimper is all I need to hear before I throw my blanket off and stand up reluctantly. Hissing when my bare feet touch the cold hardwood floor, I rub Bailey’s side and pull on a shirt and pair of socks.

Glancing at the time on the microwave when I follow Bailey out of the bedroom, I all but curse her name. It’s not even eight in the morning, which means I’ve only been home five hours and sleeping for less than three.

Being a dog owner with no roommates means letting her out when nature calls. I just wish nature had respect for the do not disturb sign I obviously taped to my forehead when I dragged myself inside smelling like tequila and bad decisions early in the morning.

Does that bitch care? No.

As soon as I chain Bailey up so she can do her business, I slip back inside. For it being so early in the winter season, it’s been a consistent bitter mid-twenties. The flurries we’ve gotten produced heavy, wet snow that sticks to everything and becomes a pain in the ass to clear off. Despite that, I love winter. Living in New York my whole life means being used to the bipolar fifty degrees one day and ten the next. I swear Mother Nature hits the bottle more than some of my regulars do.

Scrubbing a palm across my tired face, I scan over the truck calendar my dad gave me that hangs on the fridge. We’re supposed to be getting more help at the tavern in the next week, which means my schedule will be open to picking up more projects for what I want to be doing—jumpstarting my automotive business.

The vehicle repairs I do on the side currently take place in my garage until I can build a larger client list to apply for a business loan. It’s the only means of getting a bigger place to work out of, because the small workbench in my add-on doesn’t offer much room to get shit done.

Every day is a step closer to that dream when I’m not stuck bartending at a place barely any better than a rundown dive bar. I just need to work on gaining more people to get out of there. The clients I do have are steadily growing by word of mouth. Unlike the last garage I worked for, I don’t play games with anyone. When people see the difference between me and Todd Crenshaw, they make the shift.

It’s why I refuse to work part time in a different garage after leaving Oakland. Bartending isn’t what I want to be doing, but it’s better than working for a grade-A asshole who only cares about the money instead of getting a job done right. At least where I work now gives me time during the day to get my projects done before getting groped and bitched at.

Thoughts of the Crenshaw family makes my blood boil. Not just because of Todd’s fucked up business methods, but her. Emily. My best friend since childhood. And ex-girlfriend.

We weren’t proud of ruining a perfectly good friendship by succumbing to everyone’s belief that we’d be perfect for each other. Turns out, just because two people make good friends doesn’t mean it translates to dating. We stopped confiding in each other when we smacked a label on it and found excuses to stay out late until we were nothing more than strangers.

Instead of walking away from each other while we had the chance to mend our old friendship, we chose to settle. I thought we were both too afraid to lose each other if we decided to end it, which is why we stayed. Why I stayed. Emily didn’t think the same way.

It’s why she left a note at her brother’s garage for me to find when I came in to work nearly eight months ago. I’m sorry. That’s all it said. There was no explanation or anything else scripted on the ripped paper she tore from my billing ticket.

Todd told me Emily left town with some guy she met months before the split, which explains why she distanced herself from me leading to the breakup. Honestly, I was relieved when she ended it. I didn’t have the balls to hurt her by admitting I was miserable, so I stuck it out and busied myself with work to cope. But when she ran off and cut me out of her life, going as far as blocking my number, her name became a bitter pill to swallow.

I can deal with her moving on, even deal with her brother kicking me out of the garage I liked going to every day. But being ghosted by the only true friend I had for most my life still hit me hard. It makes me glad I got out of west bumfuck and away from the memories we built there.

Seeing Sam, the blonde look-alike, last night brought back memories I don’t want to have anymore. Moving to Mayfield and starting my own business is supposed to be my fresh start. I just hope she doesn’t become a regular.

Bailey barks at me to let her back in.

“Come on,” I call. “It’s time for bed.”



Author Bio:

Hey! I'm Barbara Celeste Doyle, although my middle name should be awkward. My life is a romantic comedy gone wrong, so I've become obsessed with four-legged felines and chocolate--not necessarily in that order.

My love for the written word led me to obtain a bachelor's degree in English and soon a master's in education to teach college classes.

I love connecting with readers so find me online!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram


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Power by Debbie Cassidy


For the Power
Debbie Cassidy
(For the Blood #2)
Publication date: February 5th 2019
Genres: Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Reverse Harem, Urban Fantasy

Take the journey, find the lock that fits the key and get some damn answers.



Get from point A to point B. Stick to the mapped-out route and take shelter at the pre-planned times. It sounds simple enough, now if only we’d factored in getting attacked by djinn and having to take a detour through The Wilds.

With obstacles at every turn, the last thing the fangs and I need on our arse’s is a new breed of Feral, but it looks like that’s exactly what fate us about to throw at us.

This trip is going to be anything but dull, but with the Fangs as back up, I may just make it to the Bunker in one piece and finally get some answers.

Whoever said road trips were fun can go suck it!



The Vampire Diaries meets The Walking Dead in this Post-Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy with a slow burn Why Choose romance

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

No. I didn’t. I didn’t want to hear it. “Don’t.”

The corner of his mouth lifted. “Oh, Eva, we are so past that.” His mouth crushed mine in a punishing kiss. The heat that had been gathering behind my eyes melted to tears.

“No!” I tore my mouth from him. “No. You don’t get to do this. Not now. I can’t. I won’t.”

He kissed me again, hard and desperate and hungry, as if trying to cram a hundred kisses into one. My heart swelled in my chest, and the numbness threatened to retreat. I shoved at his immovable torso, wanting him gone, but in the next heartbeat, I fisted his shirt, pulling him closer.



Author Bio:

Debbie Cassidy lives in England, Bedfordshire, with her three kids and very supportive husband. Coffee and chocolate biscuits are her writing fuels of choice, and she is still working on getting that perfect tower of solitude built in her back garden. Obsessed with building new worlds and reading about them, she spends her spare time daydreaming and conversing with the characters in her head - in a totally non psychotic way of course. She writes Urban Fantasy, Fantasy and Reverse Harem Fantasy. All her books contain plenty of action, romance and twisty plots.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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Monday, February 4, 2019

Unexpected Demon blitz with Xpresso Book Tours


Unexpected Demon
Layla Stone
(Unexpected, #2)
Publication date: January 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

I never liked her kind before. Rank climbing bastards. Liars. Cowards.

The second I see her walk into the captain’s meeting, I want to dislike her but I can’t. I’m captivated by her smooth curves, long thick hair and her confidence. I want to taste her sweetness.

She’s got guts, smarts and I want her to come willingly to my bed. Except, she doesn’t respond to my charm. The female is nothing like I expect.

She’s also taken unnecessary risks.

My mission is on the line. I have people to save and a team to protect.

When I get my hands on her, she better be prepared for what a night in my bed entails… and she better promise never to leave the ship without me again.

Note to readers: If you are looking for a Steamy Sci-Fi Romance with a strong and obsessive male with an equally strong and confident female, then this book is for you.

Goodreads / Amazon



Author Bio:

Layla Stone is a Sci-Fi Romance author who is passionate about writing and reading romances. Her books are a blend of science fiction, romance and action adventure.

A business coordinator by training and a bookworm at heart, Layla makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a trio of fur babies.

You can find more information about her characters and their races at www.authorLaylaStone.com

To learn more about Layla, her life and writing process, copy and paste this link into your browser and join her monthly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/daY1qj

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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The Night Docket by Michele Lang


The Night Docket
Michele Lang
Publication date: February 26th 2019
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Praise for author Michele Lang:

“Lang is a writer to watch and is sure to have wide appeal to fans of Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, and other urban fantasy A-listers.” -Booklist

“A groundbreaking, rich, enthralling series….stakes that couldn’t be higher. A tour de force!” – Rachel Caine, NYT best-selling author of the Morganville Vampire series (for the Lady Lazarus series)

“Michele Lang is a talented writer and gifted storyteller…one of the leading voices in historical urban fantasy.” — D.B. Jackson, author of THIEFTAKER

When you do your part to kill a necromancer, death isn’t the final goodbye.

No, it’s not the end.

Instead, it’s more like pouring gasoline on a dumpster fire…

By day, solo street lawyer Nicole Farmer represents the down and out in the tough town of Amistad, Connecticut. Bankruptcies, divorces, criminal defense, foreclosures…Nicole’s clients are the hardest-luck cases in a hard-luck rustbelt city.

Fighting the good fight, Nicole has to hustle just to make a living. And by night, unquiet spirits call to her on the dream plane, seeking revenge and healing…and demanding that she solve the coldest cases of all.

Powered by coffee and a sparkly pink cell phone with uncanny mojo, Nicole was made for trouble and badassery. But even she can’t go 24/7 without a break. Sooner or later, she knows she will crack.

Everything changes when Evangeline, the spirit of a murdered young woman, invades Nicole’s dreams. Her killer, a power-hungry and psychopathic warlock, wants to strike again.

Nicole commits to hunting Evangeline’s killer…and opening the Night Docket means all hell breaks loose in Amistad.

Attacked by enemies living and undead, Nicole must face her own past, call in all her favors, and find a way to achieve cosmic justice — without losing her own life and soul…

You will love Michele’s new contemporary urban fantasy series! Read it now, and instantly disappear into the otherworldly, dangerous landscape of Amistad and the Afterworld.

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Author Bio:

Michele Lang writes fantasy, science fiction, crime, and romance, as well as non-fiction. Her Lady Lazarus WWII historical fantasy series was published by Tor Books, and her short fiction has been published by DAW, PM Press, and WMG Press, among others. Her story "Sucker's Game" was included in the Anthony Award-nominated anthology, Jewish Noir.

Michele is a recovering lawyer who has practiced the unholy craft of litigation in both New York and Connecticut. She returned to her native New York shortly before 9/11, and now lives in a small town on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband, her sons, and a rotating menagerie of cats, hermit crabs, and butterflies.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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Sunday, February 3, 2019

Shadow’s Voice by Natalie Johanson blitz


Shadow’s Voice
Natalie Johanson
Publication date: January 2nd 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Rose Trewin is on the run. Pursued by memories of her father, she runs from city to city, seeking normalcy. But Rose can’t escape her past, or the magic running through her veins, the magic that allows her to slip through the shadows unnoticed. The magic her father once used to mold her into a mercenary sent to destroy his enemies.
Now her magic is growing and changing, becoming something new and untamable. Rose is unable to rest. Wolves wrapped in fog follow her relentlessly along the countryside. Desperate, she uses her magic to escape, but the shadows are pushing her towards the center of a conspiracy.
Now, her country teeters on the brink of a civil war as a Lord Governor gathers power against the king. An enemy, with magic similar to her own, emerges in the chaos of political intrigue.

Faced with a country at war and a king brought to his knees, Rose must accept who she is and harness her powers in order to save her country and herself.
EXCERPT:
Rose stretched her neck and sighed. the low setting sun was hot on her neck and sweat trickled down her back. She groaned and pushed away from the spinning wheel, dropping the bundle of wool back into the pile at her feet.
“Miss Trewin, you haven’t finished.”
She rolled her stiff shoulders and turned to the older, white haired woman. “No, ma’am. But the sun is setting and I’m hungry.” She dusted her lose skirts free from the wool fibers. “I’ll make it up tomorrow.”
The shopkeeper glowered at her but relented with a wave of her hand. “Fine then. Business has been slow anyway.”
“Thank you, Marg.”
Rose smiled softly and slipped past the gruff woman—the first to offer
Rose a job in this small town. She wasn’t a great seamstress or spinner, but she worked hard, and Marg wasn’t a cruel shop owner.
“Are you still staying at the inn?” Marg asked as she passed.
She tucked stray hair behind her ear. “Yes. It’s clean and not too expensive.”
Marg snorted softly at her. “You should look for a room somewhere else. There are plenty of people who would rent you a room. I even know of a small cottage or two near the woods.”
“Perhaps,” she said as she dusted off her skirts.
Rose looked up when her boss cackled at her. “You’ve been here nearly six weeks. Living in an inn can’t be enjoyable.”
“No, it is not but . . .” She trailed off. “Thank you again.”
Slipping outside, she wandered down the uneven cobblestone street toward the pub and inn. It was a small building, dingy and worn. The ceiling had a haze of smoke clinging to it, but it had decent food, mostly, and clean beds. It was a small town, smaller than she liked, but it seemed to suit her. The buildings were a ramshackle collection of stone and wood, many wedged next to each other as if the city grew too quickly.
Rose settled herself at a small table in the corner. “Dinner ma’am?”
She looked up at the tired barmaid and nodded. “Some ale as well, please.”
The barmaid quickly returned with a bowl of stew and a mug of ale. Rose sipped at the thin broth and poked at the chewy chunks of meat. She wrinkled her nose at it and pulled the mug of ale closer. Leaning back in her creaky chair, she watched the room.
Her view was interrupted by a man stopping in front of her table. “Yes?” Rose drawled and slowly dropped her hand closer to the dagger sheathed in her boot.
The thin man gestured to the empty chair across from her. “Might I join you for some conversation and a meal?”
She glanced at the stranger and looked him quickly up and down.
Worn and cracked boots, old but nice clothes, dirty face but clear eyes. Before she could shake her head no, he was dragging the chair around and sitting next to her, his back to the wall.
Rose raised an eyebrow at him as he settled in the chair and waved over the barmaid. “Yes, of course . . . help yourself,” she drawled and shifted so she could face him.
He snorted. “A horse makes for stale company after so long.” He turned to the woman. “Some stew and ale, please.”
She sipped her ale and watched him. “I’m Nico.”
“Rose.”
Nico gulped down half of his ale before stopping for air. “Have you lived here long?”
She clucked her tongue and finished off her ale. “Born and raised.” She stood from the rickety table. “Now, I must be off. Enjoy your stew.” Rose walked steadily and calmly toward the narrow stairway in the corner without looking back. She didn’t care for strangers and cared for questions even less, no matter where they came from. Let that traveler think she was born in this rotting little town and forget all about the strange girl he met in the tavern when he left.
Rose unlocked the door to her small room and slipped inside, locking it behind her. She walked to her narrow bed and pulled the dagger from each boot, dropping them onto the small table next to it. She slipped off the simple skirt of browns and reds and yanked off the constricting bodice. Rose climbed into bed, ignored the sounds of a tavern below her, and tried to sleep.
The night was restless, with the wind howling outside all night. Dreams of her father and life before made for a long night. When morning came, it was gray and cold. Rose looked at the sky from her small window and thought grimly how it fit her mood. She dressed quickly in more reds and browns before heading out of the inn for another day of tedious work. She liked the flashy bright colors of turquoise or green, but those stood out. She paused as she passed the small mirror hanging on the wall. Her hazel eyes and straight brown hair were simple. Too young to have wrinkles, but life didn’t care that she was barely in her second decade and there were small lines at the corners of her eyes. Rose loved bright colors when she was young. Now, reds and browns were her col- ors. They don’t stand out. She snorted at her reflection and left her room.
Rose pulled her long jacket closed against the wind. The walk from the inn to the shop was short but the wind was cold and hard. By the time she reached the shop door, she was half running. The bell dinged softly as Rose tried to smooth her hair back into place.
“Oh, hello dear.”
She gave up pulling her hair out of her face with a huff. “Nasty wind picking up, there better not be a storm coming.”
Marg snorted and turned the page in her ledger. “Oh, someone came looking for you after you left yesterday.”
She snapped her head up. “What?” Alarm made her insides twist. No one should be looking for her. No one should know to come here. Marg licked her thumb and turned another page. She spoke without bothering to look up, “Yes, tall man. Had quite a lot of black hair. He said he was an old friend of yours.”
Rose tried to swallow but her mouth had gone dry from fear. “What did you tell him?”
Marg finally looked up. “That you’d gone for the day.”
“Anything else?”
Marg frowned at her. “No, dear. What’s gotten into you?”
She rubbed her lips with her shaking fingers. “I need to run an errand. I’ll be back later. I’ll make up the missed work tonight.”
Marg frowned at her. “You only just got here, girl. What am I paying you for?”
“I’ll be back.” Rose turned on her heel and went back out into the wind. Her hair whipped around her face as she turned down the narrow alley between the drapery next door. Her light skirt wrapped around her legs in the wind. She took another turn and headed along the back of the buildings toward the inn.
“Morning, Flower.”
Rose jerked to a stop. She turned faced the speaker. “You know I hate that name.”
A tall man leaned against the wall, his dark hair hiding most of his face. She could never tell if it was to be sensual, to hide his face, or if he simply couldn’t control his messy locks.
“I thought I’d wait around for you.”
“Why are you here, Gavin? Have you finally found someone who will hire you?”
He leaned against the shop wall, trying to look relaxed, but Rose could see the strain in his neck and the clench of his jaw.
“I’m looking for better employ, if you must know. You, however, are a long way from home. Your father must be so worried.”
Rose pulled her hands out of her pockets and kept her arms lose at her sides. The wind pulled her hair from the loose braid and it whipped around her face. “I’m sure,” she drawled. “Is that what you’re going to do, Gavin? Rush back to him with news of my whereabouts, hope that lets you back into his fold? Do you think presenting me as a gift will get you work?”
He jerked away from the wall and grabbed her hard by the arm. “He’ll be mighty pleased to know your location. Might even pay me good coin for the information. And if he won’t, others will. You know they will.”
A quick, hard whirl freed her arm from Gavin’s grip. Before he could say more, she turned away. He shouted after her but she ignored him; keeping her back straight. She slipped in through the servant’s door near the stables and used their hallways to get up to her room. She locked the door behind her and let out a deep breath.
Her little room was barren: a small bed against one wall, a short rick- ety desk along the other. She had no decorations and her few personal items were still packed in her bag. If she were to leave, no one would remember she’d been here. Her spot at the small spinner shop would be easily filled.
Rose slumped onto her small bed. This was the farthest west she’d been, had even crossed the province borders into Amora and still her past found her. She’d been here too long already, and Gavin couldn’t be allowed to sell his news of her. She curled onto the bed, tucked the scratchy wool blanket around her, and set in to wait for the night.



Author Bio:
Natalie Johanson has been interested in writing and reading since she first held a pencil. What first began a short story for her own reading turned into a world with a story to tell the world. When her time isn't being monopolized by her ferret, work as a police officer, running Dirty Dash races or reading she is writing.
Check out Natalie's website, nataliejohanson.com, for news, updates and more.

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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Ink by Jobie Baldwin blitz


Ink
Jobie Baldwin
(Tribe, #1)
Publication date: October 6th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

A powerful god, a magical tattoo and a rebellious teenager. What could possibly go wrong?

Christian, an unruly English teenager, stumbles onto a mysterious tattoo parlor. Possessed by the Rune God, Hagalaz, he becomes immortal, gifted with magical powers which allow him to harness the forces of nature.

Only problem? Hagalaz God of Disruption, is intent on making Christian’s life a living hell.

Oh, and did I mention the Settlers, a mysterious group with a dark and devastating secret?

It is up to Christian and his new Tribe of four, each gifted with their own celestial passenger, to uncover that secret.

But nothing is what it seems, and it will take much more than the powers of a few long-forgotten gods to stop the impending global disaster that threatens to destroy everyone and everything in its path.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Oh hell!”

My hands were glowing blue-white, and sparks were shooting out of my fingers. I moved them away from my sides, which turned out to be a bad idea, because forks of lightning shot out of them hitting the street below.

‘Stop!’ yelled Ben and I turned to look at him. He’d climbed off the ledge and was clinging to a drain pipe attached to the side of the building. The wind whipped at his shirt and almost tore it off his body.

‘I’m trying!’ I shouted back as more lightning flared out of my fingertips and crashed to the street below, tearing up pavement like paper. So far I hadn’t hit anyone, but it was just a matter of time as lightning was firing off left and right.

Hagalaz was really getting into his stride. I had to do something, but what?



Author Bio:

JOBIE BALDWIN is the author of the Young-Adult Fantasy novels, Ink (2018) and Flak (2018).

In 2008 Jobie joined a writers' collective, Café Three Zero and contributed short stories to their published anthologies Tales from the Cafe and Red.

She is currently working on a couple of prequel novellas to her Tribe series and is planning on starting to write the next instalment of the Tribe series this Summer.

Jobie lives near London with her husband and their two rescue dogs Lori (the Greyhound) and Monty (the Podenco). She says, "I'm vegan, I'm a biker, but the thing I love most of all is writing down the stories my characters whisper to me while I'm asleep."

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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Friday, February 1, 2019

Remote by Lisa Acerbo


Remote
Lisa Acerbo
Publication date: December 24th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

When technology fulfills every dream, reality is a nightmare.

Below the streets of New State, the Grounders fight to remain free of the technological control of the world above. When dusk falls, Wren risks her life by entering the capital city as a raider to secure resources for the rebellion. Each step further inside puts her life in jeopardy from New State’s deadliest weapons – Phantoms. More machine than human, tortured until devoid of emotion and caring, Phantoms have only one objective. Kill. And they do it with exacting precision.

Wren is good at her job as a raider and committed to the cause until she meets Codex, a New State citizen who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. After a couple of awkward encounters, he shows her the meaning of hooking up—a computer simulation that allows people to live out their fantasies—without the complication of emotional entanglements or physical reality. But what Wren feels for Codex is very real. And it’s punishable by death.

As she and Codex grow closer, Wren convinces him to leave New State for the underground. But unrest between New State and the Grounders escalates, and Phantoms move in to destroy her world. Nothing goes as Wren planned. Families are arrested, loyalties are strained, and Wren’s forced to choose between her people and her feelings. The wrong choice could mean the end of her people, and reality could slip away—forever…

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“We should stop.” Part of her didn’t want to.

Codey ignored her words, pulling her closer.

Wren should draw back, take a breath, but her body betrayed her and she wrapped her arms around him tightly, tangling her fingers in his hair when their lips met. She kissed him back.

She felt his hand run over her thigh and then move up. He slid his fingers under the fabric of her worn sweater so he could caress her abdomen, tracing the lines of her ribs. In the next second, he whipped off his shirt and pulled her close, continuing to kiss her. She felt his skin, smooth and hot, and thought she would scream if she couldn’t get closer to him. She pushed herself against him, and Codey responded with another passionate kiss as he pressed gently against her on the bed.

The watch on Wren’s arm belched an alarm. Her mouth dropped open in a silent ‘ooh.’ How could so much time have passed? “This is bad.” She sprang off the bed. “I’m late.” Gaze intense she said, “You’re so not what I expected.”

“I’m not what a lot of people expect. But you can’t leave me like this. Hook ups never end like this.”

“Welcome to reality.” She smiled at him.

“I’m not sure I like it.” He adjusted his clothes.

“You have to help me. I had another reason for coming here but got distracted.” Wren didn’t have time to blush. “I need a tablet, smartphone, or portable computer and a change of clothes.”

“Why?”

“No time to explain.”

He acquiesced, grabbing an old six-inch tablet. She shoved it into her pack as Codey began to lead her out the door.

“We can get some of my mom’s clothes in the automatic laundry, but they might be big for you.”

“They’ll do.”

Codey stopped her in the doorframe of his room.

“What? We need to go.”

“Not until I get a“We should stop.” Part of her didn’t want to.

Codey ignored her words, pulling her closer.

She should draw back, take a breath, but her body betrayed her and she wrapped her arms around him tightly, tangling her fingers in his hair when their lips met. She kissed him back.

She felt his hand run over her thigh and then move up. He slid his fingers under the fabric of her worn sweater so he could caress her abdomen, tracing the lines of her ribs. In the next second, he whipped off his shirt and pulled her close, continuing to kiss her. She felt his skin, smooth and hot and thought she would scream if she couldn’t get closer to him. She pushed herself against him, and Codey responded with another passionate kiss as he pressed gently against her on the bed.

The watch on Wren’s arm belched an alarm. Her mouth dropped open in a silent oh. How could so much time have passed? “This is bad.” She sprang off the bed. “I’m late.” Gaze intense she said, “You’re so not what I expected.”

“I’m not what a lot of people expect. But you can’t leave me like this. Hook ups never end like this.”

“Welcome to reality.” She smiled at him.

“I’m not sure I like it.” He adjusted his clothes.

“You have to help me. I had another reason for coming here but got distracted.” Wren didn’t have time to blush. “I need a tablet, smartphone, or portable computer and a change of clothes.”

“Why?”

“No time to explain.”

He acquiesced, grabbing an old six-inch tablet. She shoved it into her pack as Codey began to lead her out the door.

“We can get some of my mom’s clothes in the automatic laundry, but they might be big for you.”

“They’ll do.”

Codey stopped her in the doorframe of his room.

“What? We need to go.”

“Not until I get another kiss.” His voice was husky and human, his smile unabashed.

Wren acquiesced.

Once downstairs in the laundry room, Codey shoved some of his mom’s clothes into a small duffle and handed it to Wren.

“What do you need these for?” he asked.

“I came here to get your opinion on the archives and tell you about something the Grounders are attempting, but never got the chance.”

“What are the clothes for?”

Wren didn’t know how much to reveal. She had to leave and return to the rest of the raiders soon or they’d trigger the alarm to search for her. She lacked the time to explain properly and hated to leave Codey guessing about the Grounders and the archive raid.

“It’s part of the plan being developed,” she said.

“What plan? Is it dangerous? Will you be risking your life?” Codey’s voice crept up an octave. “Nobody knows about us, right? My family wouldn’t get in trouble?”

“I’m so sorry, but I have to go. You’ll understand soon.” Wren hoped she survived so she could come back and explain.



Author Bio:

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, two dogs, and horse. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education.

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Book of the Dead by Nadine Nightingale


Book of the Dead
Nadine Nightingale
(Gods of Egypt, #2)
Publication date: February 7th 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Nisha

They called me Angel of Death, but I am something else. Someone else. That is, if you believe the Egyptian desert god, Seth, who haunted my dreams since I can think. Sounds crazy, huh?

I, too, thought I was insane.

Broken beyond repair.

But—

When Seth’s followers—the Black Flags—invaded our annual Halloween ball and slaughtered half the town, my nightmares became reality. Those crazy bastards think I’m the reincarnation of Nebt-Het, the Egyptian goddess of protection, that I can help Seth get his immortality back. It’s why they pushed my cousin, Izzy, through a portal to the Underworld, knowing I had no choice but to follow her.

Now, I’m trapped in this godforsaken place, forced to conquer all twelve caverns, with Seth by my side.

Blaze

I was born into a Traveler clan. Grew up with tales of warriors and magic. I thought it was all bullshit. Fairytales. Until—

Nisha Blake, the girl of my dreams, caused an earth quake.

And an Egyptian God sent his crazy disciples to kill half the town.

I failed to protect Nisha. Couldn’t stop her from going after her cousin, from walking right into hell. Now, she’s in Seth’s world, bound to do what he wishes.

Our only chance, to get the girls back, is to find The Book of the Dead—some long lost magic tome, no one has seen or heard of in ages.

Wish us luck.

We’ll need it.

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Author Bio:

Nadine aka Dini is a traveler at heart. She considers the world her home and practically lives out of her suitcases. When she's not glaring at a blank page or abusing her poor keyboard, she spends her time reading, watching movies (preferably horror), pretends to work out, and hangs out with friends and family. Poor girl also suffers from a serious Marvel superhero addiction. So, if you run into her at night, wearing black, know she's secretly dreaming of being the infamous Black Widow.

Her love for writing started in the sixth grade where she annoyed her classmates with a short story featuring Sailor Moon characters, a cemetery, and creepy ghosts. Yes, she's always been addicted to the dark side. Nadine writes paranormal romance. Her debut novel "Karma" the first book in her paranormal romance series Drag.Me.To.Hell. is published by the Wild Rose Press.

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Fluffy by Julia Kent


Fluffy
Julia Kent
Publication date: April 30th 2019
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

An all-new STANDALONE from New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent

It all started with the wrong Help Wanted ad. Of course it did.

I’m a professional fluffer. It’s NOT what you think. I stage homes for a living. Real estate agents love me, and my work stands on its own merits.

Sigh. Get your mind out of the gutter. Go ahead. Laugh. I’ll wait.

See? That’s the problem. My career has used the term “fluffer” for decades. I didn’t even know there was a more… lascivious definition of the term.

Until it was too late.

The ad for a “professional fluffer” on Craigslist seemed like divine intervention. My last unemployment check was in the bank. I was desperate. Rent was due. The ad said cash paid at the end of the day.

The perfect job!

Staging homes means showing your best angle. The same principle applies in making a certain kind of movie. Turns out a “fluffer” doesn’t arrange decorative pillows on a couch.

They arrange other soft, round-ish objects.

The job isn’t hard. Er, I mean, it is — it’s about being hard. Or, well… helping other people to be hard.

Oh, man…

And that’s the other problem. A man. No, not one of the stars on the movie set. Will Lotham – my high school crush. The owner of the house where we’re filming. Illegally. In a vacation rental.

By the time the cops show up, what I thought was just a great house staging gig turned into a nightmare involving pictures of me with an undressed naked star, Will rescuing me from an arrest, and a humiliating lesson in my own naivete.

My job turned out to be so much harder than I expected. But you know what’s easier than I ever imagined?

Having all my dreams come true.

Goodreads / Bookbub / iBooks



Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

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