Cover Reveal—Enticing Daphne by Jessica Prince

Title: Enticing Daphne
Author: Jessica Prince
Genre: Sassy Romantic Comedy
Release Date: January 10, 2018

It’s easy to stop believing in happily ever afters when the man you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with abandons you right before your wedding day. After that disastrous event I decided that commitment was for suckers. I was young, successful, and in the prime of my life.

I didn’t need a man to make me happy.

Then an unexpected blast from the past came waltzing into my studio and decided I was a challenge he was more than willing to accept. The only problem is that he doesn’t remember he’s met me before.

He’s the ultimate playboy, determined to stop at nothing until he entices the hell out of me. But if Caleb McMannus thinks he can lure me in with his sinful looks and silver tongue,
then he’s…probably right.

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JessicaPrince

Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.

Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says.

In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.

Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.

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Excerpt Tuesday–Cindy Huff

Excerpt Tuesday–Sarina Rose

This week on Excerpt Tuesday, Cindy Huff is here sharing about her newest release, Secrets & Charades

 

 Secrets & Charades Back Cover Copy

 

Jake Marcum’s busy ranch leaves him no time for courting, and his wounded heart has no place for love. When battlefield nightmares disturb his peace and his tomboy niece, Juliet, needs taming, somehow a mail-order bride seems like a logical solution.

Dr. Evangeline Olson has no idea her niece is writing to a rancher on her behalf, and she sure isn’t interested in abandoning her medical practice for a stranger. But when an inheritance threatens to reveal a long-buried secret, she travels west to become Jake’s wife.

Jake soon realizes Evangeline is more than he bargained for, especially when her arrival causes a stir in the community. As the two try to find their way in a marriage of convenience, their fragile relationship is further tested by cattle rustling and kidnapping. Can their hearts overcome past hurts to create a real marriage?

 

Biography:

Cindy Huff is a multi-published freelance writer who loves to bring her imaginary characters to life. As president of the Aurora Illinois chapter of Word Weavers is enjoys helping other writers hone their craft. Her Historical Romance, Secrets and Charades is now available. When she is not writing articles, editing posts or talking with her imaginary friends she helps with her grandchildren and binge reads.  Her main goal and passion is to encourage other writers in their journey and believers as they grow in faith. Check out her blog  Jubileewriter at www.jubileewriter.wordpress.com

Excerpt Tuesday–Kittye Sharron

Excerpt Tuesday–Sarina Rose

This week on Excerpt Tuesday, Kittye Sharron is here sharing about her books., Secrets & Charades

 

 

Blurb , IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD! THE GENE THAT STUMPED THE DOCTORS:

Kittye Sharron shares more than her hairstyle…she shares her true story which will boggle your mind! A rocky journey strewn with despair, fear hopelessness, depression, pain and misery, and how her persistence saved her life. The medical profession has recently discovered a rare mutated gene. Turns out she’s one in a million! And who else? Over 21 different doctors concluded her “preposterous” symptoms were ALL IN HER HEAD!

“I was so hot that I slept in a bathtub full of cold water, every night, for 6 ½ years. In the middle of winter I sat outside on the doorstep wearing only a sleeveless top and Bermuda shorts. I watched the snow melt as it fell on my bare skin.”

And, that was only the beginning…

(Foreword by: Mary C. Mobley, Med, MS, CGC) “Kittye’s story is an important one to tell. Without her resilience and determination, an entire family and its future generations may never have known about the rare condition for which they are at risk.”

There is an entire chapter devoted to her hairstyle with helpful tips and pictures. Furthermore, this author features a how-to-do-it-yourself video on her YouTube channel showing how to achieve the look, as well as, to advertise her book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAEKi3GgfsQ  (OR can be found @: You Tube then search for Kittye Sharron.) The video can also be viewed on her Word Press website@: https://wordpress.com/types/jetpack-testimonial/kittyesharron.com and, readers can “follow her books” @: http://www.kittyesharron.com . In addition, she has a Facebook author page @: www.facebook.com/KittyeSharron .

 

Published a year ago, was her first book in the series titled, “THE LONGEST LETTER: INCREDIBLE HOPE”. Available in both eBook and paperback, the ordering link is: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BHGW2OW. This book is a lifeline for victims of childhood sexual abuse. The Prologue has a Disclaimer because that section contains very graphic, mature content about a little 8 year old girl being sexually molested. (That was Kittye Sharron’s personal story; one in which she kept to herself for 45+ years. It wasn’t until physical pain began to present itself she chose to reveal the horrific events. The only way in which she could find the words was to become, Amy Kayleen.) Thirty-five years later, the development of her faith emerged while trying to help a wayward relative.

Blurb  THE LONGEST LETTER: INCREDIBLE HOPE by: Kittye Sharron

The letter began with the salutation, “Dear Mama.” It was an answer to a cry for help from a loving grandmother, Mama, whose granddaughter was in trouble, again! Mama was the only mother Sarah Lane had ever known. It prompted Amy Kayleen’s attempt to rescue Sarah Lane from a dark world whose victims rarely escape; a life on the streets filled with crime, prostitution and drugs, maybe even murder!

Her discoveries reveal a concrete jungle which captures young, unsuspecting victims. It erodes their cognitive awareness so that they cannot retain core, family values. They often find themselves in more turmoil, running from life itself!

Biography:

 

Inspirational and Motivational: Author, KITTYE SHARRON, pictured below, is retired. She and her husband reside in Muskegon, Michigan. She has made it her mission in life to continue researching the rare genetic mutation which she and her extended family are at risk. Her goal is to reach an audience for whom hope is difficult to grasp because something, or someone they love and care for, is sucking the very life out of them! Her aim is to provide clarity and personal solutions toward victory.

Excerpt Tuesday–Matt Ferraz

Excerpt Tuesday–Matt Ferraz

This week on Excerpt Tuesday, Matt Ferraz is here sharing about his newest release, Grandma Bertha Solving Murders: The Convenient Cadaver.

 

Excerpt:

The woman sitting at the other side of the table was probably in her forties, but could pass for a thirty-something. She didn’t rely that much on makeup to look younger; her light-blue lipstick only made her smile look friendlier. Her brown hair had been dyed once or twice, and her eyes seemed a bit tired, but there was a youthful feeling to her that pleased Todd and Lydia from the start.

“So, Sharon,” said Lydia, looking at her notes. “Do you have any experience with this sort of thing?”

“Well, not professionally,” replied Sharon. “But I did take care of my mother for three years before her passing. She was eighty-one when she died, six months ago.”

“I’m sorry,” said Lydia. “Was she . . . difficult?”

“Very,” answered Sharon. “She was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s. The last couple of years she didn’t even remember who I was. It was like taking care of a baby.”

“You wouldn’t have that kind of problem with Grandma Bertha,” said Todd. “She is difficult, but in a completely different way, if you know what I mean.”

Lydia went back to her questions. “What kind of work do you do? I mean, professionally.”

“I was a kindergarten teacher,” explained Sharon. “For twenty-five years. Children were my life. I have a kid of my own, but his father has custody. We’re divorced.”

“Don’t you think of going back to that?” Lydia asked. “With your experience, you certainly can find a job in teaching.”

“I don’t know if I could,” said Sharon. “I still love kids, but after this experience I developed some sort of connection with elderly people. I thought this might be the time to make some drastic changes in my life.”

Todd and Lydia stared at each other. “What do you think?” Lydia asked.

“I have to be honest with you, Sharon, we’ve never done this before,” he said. “And you’re only the third person we’ve interviewed. We like you, though.”

Sharon seemed pleased. “Thank you,” she said. “If there’s anything else you want to know . . .”

“I think that the most important thing,” said Lydia, “is to see how you interact with Grandma Bertha. That will be decisive.”

“I’d love to meet her,” said Sharon. “I could do it right now.”

Todd pretended to write something on his piece of paper. “She’s not an easy person,” he said. “She doesn’t get along with new people, especially . . .”

“I fully understand that,” said Sharon. “Trust me, I do. And I’m not afraid of trying.”

Lydia whispered something in his ear and he whispered something back. “Okay,” said Todd. “Let’s see how this goes.”

The second they opened the back door, the dogs started jumping around them and sniffing Sharon. “I’m so sorry!” said Lydia. “Go back inside while I put them on the leash.”

“That’s no problem!” said Sharon. “I love dogs.”

The dogs seemed to like her, and that put Todd and Lydia in a good mood. She played with them for a couple of minutes, and they continued on their way.

“Remember,” said Lydia. “Never comment on the film she’s watching. Not even good things. She watches a lot of bad films and a compliment may come off as an insult.”

“Okay,” said Sharon. “Should I watch it with her?”

“If you like that sort of thing,” continued Lydia. “But I warn you, they can get pretty gruesome.”

Todd added: “Never, ever say she’s drinking too much. Nothing irritates her more than that. Plus, you don’t have to worry, she can take more beer than the three of us together.”

“And if she mentions the investigation,” continued Lydia, “just listen to what she has to say and smile.”

Sharon was confused. “What do you mean? What investigation?”

They stopped in the middle of the yard. “You must have heard about what happened behind our house, haven’t you? It was all over the papers.”

“You mean the little girl who got killed?” Sharon asked in a surprised tone. “I knew it was in the neighborhood, but had no idea it was close to the house.”

Todd and Lydia looked hopeless. If she decided to take her things and leave now, they wouldn’t judge her. But she stood still. “Are you still interested?” asked Lydia.

“In the job?” replied Sharon. “Of course! Why? Do you think the killer is going to come back?”

“No! No!” they both said at the same time.

“The only problem is Grandma Bertha’s silly fixation with being a detective,” explained Lydia. “Somehow she thinks she’s going to get the killer.”

Grandma Bertha Solving Murders: The Convenient Cadaver
Blurb

Excerpt Tuesday–Matt Ferraz

When Grandma Bertha moved to her son’s place, she brought along three dogs, several cases of beer and many, many horror film DVDs. While her daughter-in-law insists on the idea of sending Grandma Bertha to a retirement home, a dead girl appears near the house, shot three times in the back. Many years ago, Grandma Bertha let a murderer escape for not trusting in her own detective abilities. Now, armed with her wit and wisdom, she decides to solve that crime before the police. Could this crazy dog lady be a threat to a cold-blooded killer? And for how long can the family stand that situation?

 

 

 

 

 

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A Better Place- Jennifer Van Wyk

Title: A Better Place
Author: Jennifer Van Wyk
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing

Because fighting for love is always worth it.


After James Cole’s wife walked out on him, he put his dreams aside to raise his daughter. But now she’s grown and he’s ready for more.
When the opportunity arises to own a restaurant, his life-long dream, he can’t deny that it’s meant to be. And for more reasons than one.
He’s kept his heart closed off since the day his wife walked away. He’s never found someone who he thought was worth opening himself up to. But one look at her, and he knew she was everything.
Carly Hanson has a secret. A secret only she and her teenage son, Jack, know about. She’s built a new life but kept herself carefully guarded.
The day Carly stumbled, literally, into James, her world was turned upside down. She tries to keep him strictly as a friend, but he’s relentless in his pursuit. Can he break down the walls she’s so firmly built? Can he get her to join him in… A Better Place?
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“Can I come in?” he asks, still standing on my front porch under the soft glow of the porch light.
“Oh! Yeah. Of course. Let me just let Jack know you’re here,” I say over my shoulder as I make my way back into the house.
“Wait. Can I talk to you? Just for a quick second?” he asks, reaching out and touching my hand and stopping me.
“Sure.” I nod my head. “What about?” I ask as I lean against the back of the couch in the living room. I reach over and grab one of the cream-colored throw pillows and hug it to my chest. It gives me a sense of comfort, and stops me from fidgeting — or reaching out and tugging him close to kiss the crap out of him. That might not give him the right idea for just staying friends.
“I have a favor to ask,” he hedges but hastily continues, “and I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t really important, and it’s a strictly friendship favor. I promise.”
“James. I know I’ve been a little… determined to keep it in the friend-zone, and you’ve never crossed the line. I can’t tell you how much your patience means to me. I trust you. I promise.”
“Yeah? I’m not being too pushy?”
“No.”
“Okay. Good. That’s good. I would never want to do anything to make you feel uncomfortable.”
There’s not a single molecule in my body that doesn’t believe that. “I know. And you haven’t.”
“Would you go to a wedding with me?” he blurts out.
“What?!” I ask, surprise evident in my voice.
“I’m sorry. I just kind of blurted that out, huh? Let me start over. My niece, Emily, is getting married a few weeks after Christmas. It’s only about two hours from here, but I wondered if you would be my plus-one? And I’d love for you to meet Lily, and she’s been so swamped lately that she hasn’t had a chance to spend much time here. I guess she’ll be here for Christmas, so maybe you can meet then, but yeah. And, Tess will be there, obviously, so you would know someone.”
“I don’t know, James. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m honored that you invited me, or thought of me…”
“No one else I would think of,” he murmurs before I continue with my protest that I know will just fall flat anyway.
“You don’t want to bring someone else?”
“Like who?” he challenges, turning his head to the side.
I shrug my shoulders and say the only name that comes to mind. “Christine?”
They actually seem like a logical couple to me, both being in the food-service industry. Both being single parents of daughters. But even though there’s so much that seems right about those two together — and I love Christine dearly — the thought of it makes me physically ill.
He’s shaking his head before I even finish saying her name.
“There’s no one else I would rather bring with me to this wedding, Carly. Jack can come with us, if you’re worried about it being too date-like. I told you I would keep it in the friend-zone, and I don’t go back on my promises. But that doesn’t mean that I want to stop getting to know you better or spending time with you.”
“Can I think about it?” I ask, already knowing that he’ll break me down, and my answer will be yes.
His smile stretches across his scruff-covered face. I was never big on facial hair, but the way James does it makes shaving seem like it should be a crime. Apparently, anything James does makes me change my views. Tattoos? Used to make me turn the other direction. Now? Hot enough to lick. Facial hair? Used to make me think lazy and dingy. Now? I want to run my fingers through it and lick. Either I’m severely hard up, or James is getting burrowed deep under my skin.
“Of course. But let me sweeten the pot. This way you can answer that question that you’ve been dying to have answered since the moment you met me.”
I giggle quietly. “Oh yeah? And what’s that?”
“Who’s the cooler uncle, Dean or myself?”
I almost burst out laughing. He’s so lighthearted and full of life. He’s truly just a fun guy to be around — always a mischievous twinkle in his eye. He could have become a bitter and cynical man after being left to raise a daughter on his own. Instead he embraced it.
“Oh, that question! I already figured it out!”
“It’s not hard to realize, right?” he said as he puffed his chest out a bit, giving me an impish grin.
“Nope. Dean is obviously the way cooler one between you two.” I press my lips together to stop the smile threatening to take over my face.
“Carly,” he warns playfully as he takes a step toward me.
“What? He’s probably not boring, and I’m sure way better looking.”
“Oh really?”
Two steps.
I nod my head seriously. “And in way better shape,” I say, almost choking on the words.
“You think so?”
Another step.
“I’m positive. And cooking? Pssshhh. Hands down, I bet he’s better in the…”
I squeal and take off running through the house as James advances one step closer, a deep growl escaping his throat.
I burst out laughing. Heavy footfalls follow me, making my heart race in anticipation. I round the kitchen island and spread my hands across it, breathless from laughing and running. “Maybe I had it wrong this whole time, and he’s Captain and you’re Private?”
“Take it back,” he says, smiling, his own hands spread wide across the wooden countertop of the island.
I turn my head to the side. “What? Take what back?” I ask innocently.
“Carly,” he warns again.
I tap my finger on my chin, feeling more playful and lighter than I have in years. “Hmmm, maybe I will have to come with you to the wedding. See what the younger Cole brother has to live up to.”
His eyes flash, and I know I’m in trouble, but I can’t seem to stop. “Oh, you think you’re so funny, don’t you?”
I giggle and shrug my shoulders as I start to take steps toward him. He turns and saunters my way, flipping his ball cap backward, our eyes never leaving each other’s. “I think I’m a little funny,” I say as I continue walking toward him, holding my finger and thumb up with only a little space apart.
“Funny or delusional?”
Saunter.
Step.
I guffaw and press my hand to my chest. “Delusional? Who’s the delusional one here?”
Saunter.
Step.
“You’ll see.”
Saunter.
Step.
“I’ll see the awesomeness of Dean? I have no doubts.”
Saunter.
Step.
And I’m suddenly hanging upside down over James’s shoulder being carried back into the living room.
“Aggghhh! James! Put me dow…” I laugh. “I’ll pee! James! Seriously!” I’m laughing so hard that tears are already forming in my eyes.
He tosses me on the couch and pounces, his large body covering mine in a very non-friendly way, but I don’t say a thing. I can’t say a thing. While we have not been overly touchy in the weeks that we’ve known each other, we also haven’t refrained from showing each other small amounts of affection. He always puts his hand on the small of my back when we’re walking, and he’s held my hand when we were crossing the street to go for supper. This, though? This is by far the most affection and feeling we have shown each other.
“Take it back,” he repeats, his eyes heated and voice husky, his arms pinning my hands above me, our fingers threaded together so perfectly it felt like they were made for each other.
“Hmm? What was that?”
“I said…” He lowers his face so we’re nose to nose. “…take…” His nose skims the length of my neck. “…it…” Deep inhale. “…back.”
Heart flutters.
Flips.
Flops.
Kaboom!
My breathing picks up, and I know in this moment that I have two choices:

  1. Melt into a pile of goo. Which I’m basically well on my way to doing.
  2. Take matters into my own hands.

I choose option two.
I pull my hands free, frame his face, and pull him down closer. His eyes heat and flit over mine questioningly. And I do something I’ve been wanting to do for what feels like ever.
I lick him, from jawline to temple.
I lay my head back down on the pillow and watch as his face transforms from lust-filled to incredulous.
“Did you just… lick me?”
“I did.”
“I don’t know what to do with that,” he admits.
He pushes himself into sitting position, and I shimmy up the couch, crossing my legs and tucking my hair behind my ears. He’s facing forward. Slowly he turns his face toward me. “You licked me,” he says like he still can’t believe it.
“Yup,” I say. I have no clue why I did it, other than I just wanted to, so giving an explanation isn’t even an option at this point.
“First time your tongue was on me…” He trails off, looking away again.
A giggle bursts out of me, and I quickly put my hand up to my mouth to hold it in.
James shakes his head at me, stands up, and places his hands on his hips. He narrows his eyes and points at me. “Now you have to go to the wedding with me.”
“For the lick?”
“Wedding for the lick.” My eyes widen, and he continues. “That’s right. I said it. You licked me. Therefore, we wedding.”
“That’s not even grammatically correct!” Stupid argument? Probably.
“That’s your defense against going?”
“Hey! It’s true!”
“Be that as it may, doesn’t change the fact that you licked me. And we’re now going to a wedding. Together. Hi, Plus-One.”
I hear a deep snort from the other side of the room and gasp when I see Jack standing in the doorway to the living room, his broad shoulder leaning against the opening, an amused expression on his face.
“You guys are so weird,” he says, pointing to the two of us.
“You say weird. I say awesome,” James says. “Just wait and see who the best Cole man is when you both join me for Emily’s wedding.”
“Why am I being sucked in to this thing?” he asks. “I hate weddings. I don’t wedding.”
“Maggie will be there. In a dress. She’s a bridesmaid.”
“I’ll be there.”
James snorts and looks my way, winks, and my entire body goes up in flames. Bye-bye wall I built so strongly.
James huffed and puffed, and it blew right down.


jennifer-van-wyk
From the Ground Up was Jennifer’s first published novel, with the hopes of many more to come. Jennifer makes her home in small town Iowa with her high school sweetheart, three beautiful and amazing kids, one crazy Jack Russell terrier. This is where her love for all things reading, baking, and cooking happen. Jennifer’s family enjoys camping, boating, and spending time outside as much as possible. When she’s not writing or editing/proofreading manuscripts for the many talented authors she’s come to love, you can find her cheering the loudest at her kids’ sporting events, sipping coffee or iced tea out of a mason jar with her Kindle in her lap or binging on Netflix.

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Release Blitz: AIM by L.P. Dover


Title: Aim
Series: A Circle of Justice Novel
Author: L.P. Dover
Genre: Romantic Suspense

HE NEVER MISSES HIS MARK.

*STANDALONE NOVEL*

When someone asks what I do for a living, I answer it plain and simple . . . I’m a hunter. I hunt the dregs of society and I’m very damn good at it.

I’m Ian Chandler, FBI agent and a member of the Circle of Justice, an organization of justice seeking vigilantes. My mission is to solve a string of ‘accidental’ hiking deaths occurring around my Wyoming town. When Grace Myers –a woman who’s been missing for days –shows up on my land, it turns out she’s the key to it all. Someone is hunting her, and I make it my duty to keep her safe.

However, the deeper I get into the case, the more dangerous it becomes; especially, now that I’ve fallen for the woman I have to protect. If hunting is the game, I won’t fail. I always hit my mark.

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My phone rang and I thought it’d be Bryce, but it wasn’t. “What can I do for you, Chief?”

Colton Myers was the chief of police back in Wyoming. His call wasn’t unusual, because they often called me and my brothers when there were cases the local PD couldn’t solve. “I need your help,” he replied, his voice shaking.

The cab driver pulled up to the airport entrance and I passed him a wad of bills before getting out. “What’s going on? I’m about to get on a flight to head home.”

“Good. I’ll drop these files off with Reed, so you can see them when you get back.”

The din of the bustling city made it hard to hear him, but I could tell he was distraught. “Files for what?”

He sighed heavily. “You know how there’ve been missing hikers in Montana?”

“Yeah, I saw something about it before I left for New York.” It wasn’t uncommon for tourists to sway from the hiking trails or test their limits by doing stupid shit. Most of those people found themselves dead. I liked to climb the cliffs, but I was good at it.

“We’re missing people here too,” Colton confessed.

“It happens every year. Why does this case shock you?” I’d been gone for three weeks, so I hadn’t even paid attention to what was going on in Wyoming.

He huffed angrily. “About three weeks ago, eight men supposedly went missing in our mountains. Just this morning, I couldn’t get a hold of Grace. Her boss also called me and said she never showed up at their meeting last night. Her car is still at the hotel. It’s like she disappeared.”

“You’ve got to be shitting me,” I growled low.

Grace was his daughter and a good friend of mine. Hell, I’d wanted to be more than that for quite some time. I only held back from pursuing her out of respect for her father. She was one of the most beautiful women I’d ever known.

“Please, Ian. I have to find her.”

Hurrying through the doors, impatience flooded through my veins. “We’ll find her, if it’s the last thing I do . . . I swear.”

 

 

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LP Dover

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.

Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can’t forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.

Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over twenty novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed & Dangerous series, the Royal Shifters series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.

L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

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Excerpt Tuesday–Ruth O’Neil

Excerpt Tuesday–Sarina Rose

This week on Excerpt Tuesday, Ruth ONeil is here sharing about her newest release, Belonging.

Excerpt Chapter 1

 

Shelly was in denial.

“It really didn’t happen,” she said talking to herself. “It didn’t happen,” she whispered. It was hard to tell if it was the bright sun or something else that made tears come to her eyes. She put on her sunglasses just in case the sun was the culprit.

It was a beautiful, early September day. The sun was shining. The sky was bright blue as it always was after a cleansing rain. There was a hint of color in the leaves on the maple trees. Normally Shelly would have enjoyed the scenic drive home, but not today. Today was different.

The three-hour drive gave Shelly a lot of time to think. She had traveled this road so many times in the last six years she had not lived with her dad. She paid little attention to where she was going. It was as if she was on auto-pilot. However, there wasn’t much to think about. It was official. No matter how much she tried to deny it. She was now completely alone in the world. She had always preferred being by herself and was definitely a loner by anyone’s standards, but this time was different. It hadn’t been her choice.

A few days previous she had received that dreaded phone call. Her father had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack. Shelly wiped away a tear remembering the conversation. It wasn’t actually a conversation as she had hardly said a word as her father’s pastor gave her the news. Her father never had any heart problems before – at least none they had known about. He was never one to go to the doctor for no reason. Maybe if he had gone they would have known his cholesterol was through the roof and clogging his arteries. If her dad had known, he could have done something about it and then he might still be here with her. But there was no going back. There was only now and she was alone.

Shelly had no other family. Her mother had passed away shortly after delivering Shelly and she had been the last living member of her family. Over the years Shelly and her father had researched her mother’s family tree so she could learn about them and feel a little closer to them. Those had been some fun times with her dad and what she had learned was interesting, but that didn’t change the fact that they were all deceased. There was no more family.

Besides her father and Professor Yates, God had been the One she had always been closest to. It didn’t matter that she couldn’t see Him; His presence was always felt. Even from the time Shelly was a young girl she could talk to God like she could no one else. Unlike with other people, conversation with God was never a problem. The words always flowed from her heart and soul. It didn’t matter what troubles she was facing, God was always a loving friend who could comfort her.

Her thoughts wandered back to her father. Guilt plagued her for not being there when he needed her most. After high school, Shelly attended a small college in a smaller town three hours away and had ended up staying there. It had actually been all her father’s idea for her to stay. Although it had taken a few years for Shelly to understand her father’s thinking, she understood now. It certainly wasn’t because Allen didn’t want his daughter to live at home. It was because he knew he was Shelly’s security blanket. Shelly was shy, painfully shy. Many times Shelly had fought this after graduation, thinking he had just wanted to get rid of her. She hardly had any friends while she was growing up and that hadn’t changed throughout her college years.

Shelly never seemed to mind not having friends, but Allen had minded, and it broke his heart to see her alone. She had to admit it wasn’t because the other girls Shelly’s age didn’t try. They tried over and over to include her in their conversations, but if Shelly spoke at all, it was with one one-syllable word at a time and never looking them in the eye. Shelly would never go to any events the other girls planned. No birthday parties, no movies, no get togethers, no nothing. Allen had thought by forcing her away from him, it would lead her to other people, other girls her own age and with whom she had things in common. But his plan didn’t work.

While Shelly was in college she often spoke highly of her mentor, Professor Yates. Her father had taken it upon himself to call Professor Yates and make a plan. Professor Yates understood what Allen’s concerns were. She agreed as well, that after graduation, Shelly should be on her own and not living with her father.

Since then, Shelly and her dad spoke to each other on the phone about every other day and visited back and forth as often as possible. But now, as Shelly drove through her hometown, it didn’t seem as if it had been enough. For some reason, unrealistic as it might be, she had assumed her dad would always be there. She had the feeling now that she never should have stayed away.

 

Belonging Blurb

Shelly never saw the need for companionship outside of her father and Professor Yates. Now her father is gone and Professor Yates is pushing her to step out her front door, out of her comfort zone. Then there’s Jay. His comfort zone includes the entire universe and he is bound and determined to drag Shelly along with him.

In honor of her father’s memory, Shelly picks up one of their old pastimes, genealogy. She figures it would be nice to know where she came from. It would be nice to belong. What would it feel like to belong?

Everyone seems to have a place in the world where they belong. Except Shelly.

 

 

~Links~

http://ruths-real-life.blogspot.com

http://ruthoneil.weebly.com

https://www.facebook.com/RuthONeilAuthor

https://twitter.com/writerrutho

http://www.amazon.com/Ruth-ONeil/e/B00AJ5S3YQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1404915478&sr=8-1

Belonging buy links:

 

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LA8KK9M

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1143870928

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belonging-ruth-oneil/1120404512?ean=2940150460935

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/belonging-40

Excerpt Tuesday–M.H. Johnson

 This week on Excerpt Tuesday, M.H. Johnson is here sharing about her newest release, Breaking Free From Me.

Excerpt Tuesday–M.H. Johnson

 

After dinner, Jacqueline and her crew headed to the club. From the moment she walked in, it was lights, camera, and action. Jacqueline was the center of attention, and she reveled in it. She forgot all about her issues with every complimentary drink she took. As the night went on, Jacqueline continued to drink, and the more she drank, the more obnoxious she got. She started making fun of other people at the club. She quickly pointed out those unfortunate souls who would be caught dead with last year’s designer purse. Spice, who had grown up much of his life without so much as a pot to piss in became angrier and angrier at Jacqueline’s insensitivity. Even though Spice was a designer, he was not a flashy person. He lived in a small apartment and took pleasures in simple things, like reading a newspaper and drinking a cup of coffee, rather than the shallow attention from paparazzi and camera lenses. Spice couldn’t take it anymore.

“Jackie, you need to get yourself together! Why are you acting like this? Oh, I know why. It’s because you’re drunk!”

As Spice tried to take the vodka out of her hand, Jacqueline slapped him across the face. “What’s your problem Spice? I’m just having a little fun. If you don’t like how I’m acting, be my guest and exit left.”

Spice stood at the VIP section in shock, “You know what Jackie, I feel sorry for you. You have everything, but you’re throwing it all away. I’m not going to stand by and watch you drink yourself to death. And Lena, are you just gonna sit there and watch Jackie embarrass herself? What kind of friend are you?”

Lena preoccupied by her own buzz clumsily replied, “Who do you think you are talking to Spice? Jacqueline’s right. You’re welcome to leave at any time. Besides, what harm is a little drink gonna do?”

“You’re delusional Lena. I’m outta here.”

Spice signaled for the first cab he saw, and went straight home, hoping to eradicate the night’s events from his mind.

Excerpt from Chapter Two – Breaking Free From Me

No portion of this excerpt shall be reproduced or copied without express written permission from Author M.H. Johnson

mhjohnsonblog.com

 

Breaking Free From Me – Synopsis

“A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.” Proverbs 25:28 MSG

Excerpt Tuesday– M.H. Johnson

From the outside looking in, Jacqueline Devereaux had it all. Groomed to be a singer from the age of ten, she took the music world by storm. Cars, houses, clothes and anything else money could buy were at her disposal. Yet when a secret is revealed, Jacqueline comes to a fork in the road and her money and fame are not compensation enough to handle the aftermath. Plagued by the consequences of reckless behavior, Jacqueline’s life takes a devastating turn. As she deals with the results of her impulsive actions, Jacqueline will come face to face with the decisions she has made. Will she learn from her mistakes and change her destructive ways? Turn the page to discover if Jacqueline will transform her life, deny her fleshly desires and start anew.  Only time will tell if she will exercise self-control and finally learn an important lesson in breaking free from me.

Get a Copy of Breaking Free From Me at Amazon.

 

About the Author

Excerpt Tuesday – M.H. Johnson

Margaret H. Johnson is a Christian Author and Inspirational Speaker. It was through a debilitating illness that left her confined to a wheelchair that she discovered her purpose. She is the author of five books and her calling is to encourage others that the obstacles and roadblocks in life are often the same catalysts that God uses to propel us into our destiny. She received her Master’s Degree in Religion and Biblical Studies from Liberty University in 2013. Margaret finds great joy in ministering at various retreats, conferences and the like with the hope of sharing the message of Jesus Christ. Margaret enjoys blogging at mhjohnsonblog.com and she lives by the mantra – Be Real. Be Authentic. Be You. Margaret currently resides in North Carolina with her husband Corey and their three sons – Jamaal, Jamison, and Javon.

You can visit M. H. Johnson at her website.

 

Sweat by Rebecca Jenshak

  1. Title: Sweat
    Author: Rebecca Jenshak
    Series: Sweetbriar Lake
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing

“A spectacular debut that I truly couldn’t put down—one of those rare romances that manages to perfectly blend realistic characters into a wonderfully sweet and sexy fairy tale. The skilled writing made the story feel both timeless and fresh. Absolutely recommend.” — Lauren Layne, New York Times Bestselling Author

Elle Hastings flees to the small town of Sweetbriar to put some distance between her and the cheating ex-boyfriend who broke her heart. When a black-tie ball provides the perfect opportunity to show him what he’s missing, Elle enlists the help of a personal trainer to make her look irresistible. She didn’t plan on her new trainer making her heart beat faster than the rigorous workouts he puts her through.
Gym owner and personal trainer, Ryan Calloway, is Sweetbriar’s most eligible bachelor. He’s worked hard to make his gym a respected and successful addition to the community he loves. When Elle walks into his office, her soft, sexy curves have his head spinning. He vows to keep their relationship professional. He has a feeling ex-lovers don’t make good clients – a theory he’s not looking to test.
Book one in the Sweetbriar Lake series of standalone novels.
She was ready to give in and get Chinese takeout instead when she spotted Ryan across the store in the produce section. Elle tried to hide between the frozen food and dairy aisle, but Ryan looked up and waved before she could get out of his line of vision. She blushed and gave him a half wave, hoping he wouldn’t come over, even as he had started walking in her direction.
Well, well, imagine Ryan Calloway in non-athletic gear. Tiny darts of awareness zinged across Elle’s nerves. Dark jeans rose from casual brown loafers and encased powerful looking thighs. Elle’s mouth went dry, and she forced herself to lift her gaze so she wouldn’t be caught staring below the belt. A form-fitting blue sweater hugged his biceps and pectoral muscles.
Oh… peach cobbler, apple pie, hot fudge sundae. The list of forbidden, high-calorie desserts did nothing to distract Elle’s mind from the yummy factor of the man walking toward her.
Heat rose into her cheeks, and she fought the urge to fan herself. Her hand shook as she self-consciously tucked a stray bit of hair behind her ear.
“Hey, Elle. Fancy seeing you here.” Ryan smiled, his brown eyes turning a lighter shade.
“What in the world is kale?” Elle blurted before she could catch herself.
Ryan tipped his head back, and a deep chuckle emerged from his throat. “May I help?”
“Yes, that would be great, actually. I think I’m way out of my league here.” That was true in relation to standing next to Ryan too.
He led her through aisles and explained each item on the list and why it was important, when and how to eat it, and even offered some basic cooking ideas for kale, sweet potatoes, and some other items Elle had never bothered to cook before. Ryan was in his element; apparently, he truly believed in his work and the lifestyle he taught. It was intoxicating to see him this way, and Elle started to think there was more to this gym god than met the eye. He was smart, funny, assertive — and he made Elle feel like she was a friend instead of just a client he was taking pity on.
They finished filling the cart with items from the list, and Elle thanked him profusely.
“See ya soon, Elle,” Ryan said, handing her the food list.
Their fingers brushed at the exchange, causing Elle to jump in reaction and fumble the paper. Every time he touched her, her whole body reacted. She waved awkwardly and swerved her cart to the checkout line, putting some much-needed space between them.
Lemon meringue, strawberry shortcake, blueberry cobbler. Nope, turns out nothing sounds as delicious as Ryan Calloway.

 

Rebecca lives in Arizona with her husband and children. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, going to the movie theater, and binge-watching Netflix.

 

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Firefly by Molly McAdams


Title: Firefly
Author: Molly McAdams
Series: A Redemption Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense


“I’m wrecked, ruined, destroyed, and in awe.” – #1 New York Times bestselling author, Rachel Van Dyken

The next captivating installment in New York Times bestselling author Molly McAdams’s Redemption series.

As the Princess of the Irish-American Mob, there’s no shortage of men ready to help guard and protect me. To slowly suffocate me to the point of seeking freedom—a place where I can breathe.

Kieran Hayes has been saving me for as long as I can remember. It’s in his blood, and one of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Until my favorite trait became his biggest flaw, making me resent the man I love. An unwavering warrior, his love for me has been shrouded by those instincts.

Save Lily. Protect Lily. Hide Lily. Cage Lily.

What I wasn’t prepared for was Dare—the man who would set my world on fire with just one touch. He saw straight through to my soul, as though he knew I was desperate for freedom, and silently demanded my heart from the beginning.

And I didn’t expect Dare to be Demitri Borello—the reason for so many deaths in my family. A man who will take my life the moment he finds out who I am.

Despite it all, I’ll love him until that moment comes.

A fire will die if there is no oxygen for it to consume. Ours is rapidly stealing every last breath we can sacrifice to it.

 

***The Redemption series is a series of romantic suspense standalones***

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“Nothing’s getting past me,” I assured her.

Her breath washed over my lips as I leaned in to kiss her again when she whispered, “I thought we were talking about you.”

I paused for a few seconds, then looked up into her hazel eyes. “What?”

“I think I’m in danger from you.”

My brow pulled tight, and I forced out a low, frustrated laugh. “Me.”

She nodded again, the movement of her head so slow as her eyes explored mine. “I need you to let me go for so many reasons, but I easily forget why when you don’t. I think there was a reason neither of us crossed that invisible barrier before today. Because being in your arms?” She hesitated, her tongue quickly darting out to wet her lips. “Trust me, it’s dangerous.”

A weight pressed down on my chest, making it hard to breathe. Because damn it if she wasn’t right.

There were dozens of girls over the years who’d meant nothing more than a night. Maybe two. Not one could I remember the name of, most I couldn’t remember their face.

Then there’d been one who I would’ve sold my soul for if I could’ve had one more night with her.

My days with her had been everything. A slow burn that had built over time until I hadn’t been able to get enough of her. Until she’d meant too much.

And there hadn’t been a girl since.

Not a second glance. Not a thought. Nothing.

Until one morning at Brooks a few years ago.

But there was nothing slow about the thoughts and needs for the girl pressed against me. There hadn’t been since the very first morning I’d found her staring at a mirror like it had the power to destroy her world. Like that possibility fascinated her.

Fuck, if I didn’t need to find out why.

Dangerous was exactly what we were. Only she had no idea just how much.

My gut twisted as unwanted thoughts entered my mind, but I pushed them away. Because I knew what I needed to do. I needed to let her go and force myself not to follow.

But when there’s a flicker of light in your life after so much darkness, it’s impossible to stay away.

And this girl burned so damn bright.

Calling to me and beckoning me toward her, and I knew no matter how many times I let her slip away, I would follow her just to catch her again.

I brushed my thumb across her full lips. “Goddamn firefly.”

A powerhouse romantic suspense that will have you questioning your morals and second guessing your view on love.

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molly-mcadams

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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