Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Book Blitz: Play Your Heart Out by Crystal Kaswell








Play Your Heart Out
Crystal Kaswell
(Sinful Serenade #4)
Publication date: May 24th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:

He parties like a rockstar.
She’s there to make sure no one finds out…

Jess James has her eye on the prize. She is finding the money to pay for law school. Period. She is starting a new life on her own. Period. And she’s absolutely staying in Los Angeles, three thousand miles away from the people who expect her to lie for them. It doesn’t matter how lonely she gets on her own, how exhausted she is from working overtime as a cocktail waitress, or how deep the knife wound in her back cuts. She is going to be a lawyer, whatever it takes.

Only she doesn’t have what it takes. She can barely afford to pay her rent.

Sinful Serenade bassist Pete Steele has enough to pay Jess’s rent and buy her a small island in the Caribbean. The famous, talented rock star has everything… except the one thing his manager wants. Pete rose to fame as a devoted boyfriend. Doesn’t matter that his ex slept with his best friend, he needs to stop screwing his way through Los Angeles to keep his reputation clean. Pete works hard, and parties harder… and the sweet, blond waitress is exactly the girl he needs on his arm if he wants to keep the record company happy.

Their arrangement is simple: he pays her tuition, she plays his girlfriend. They’ll lie to the world, but not to each other. Especially not when they’re alone, in his bed, him figuring out exactly which buttons to push to get her moaning his name.

Jess is good at keeping up appearances. She can play the enigmatic rock star’s girlfriend. But Pete shouldn’t play games with a girl who’s been broken before…

Previous books in the series:
26014662 27847598 28599719




EXCERPT

          My eyes find Pete’s. There’s an earnestness to his expression. I feel like I can trust him. Like I can talk to him.
          That might be worth lying to everyone else.
          His hand slides under my skirt. My thoughts fade away. My shoulders and back relax. I want to feel the way I did at the park, like there’s nothing in the world but the two of us.
          Sex first. Decision second.
          I lean in to whisper. “Do we have to stay to talk?”
          “Have to clear something with Aiden but I can do it after.”
          Mmm. After. I nod. “Yes please.”
          “Yes please, what?”
          I can hear the smile in his voice. “Yes, please… will you… Do I have to say it?”
          He chuckles. “I’ll get you there.”
          His fingertips skim my thighs as he pulls his hand back to his lap. He pulls back enough he can stare into my eyes. I still can’t figure out what the expression in his deep brown eyes means, but damn if I don’t like staring into them.
          They’re gorgeous eyes.
          That vulnerability returns. He blinks and it’s gone. I shift backwards, breaking his touch. But it’s too loud to think.
          Pete stands and pulls me to my feet. He nods goodbye to his friends then leads me to the back of the VIP area. There’s a roped off area with a NO ENTRANCE sign. He scans the room. A cocktail waitress has her eyes on us. More likely, she has her eyes on him. She licks her lips hungrily.
          He could easily take her home. But he looks at her with apathy. He doesn’t want her. He doesn’t want any of the gorgeous models in this place.
          He wants me.
          Pete leans in to whisper. “Wait for me on the balcony. I’ll lose her.” He motions to the closed door in the corner of the roped off area.
          He wants to do this on a balcony? Damn. First the bar bathroom then this. He has a thing for public sex.
          I should say no. I’m going to be a lawyer. I can’t get caught having sex in public.
          I try to force the word to my lips but it refuses. “What if we get caught?”
          “This is private property. They’ll ask to leave. That will be it.” His eyes meet mine. “We can hold off till we get back to your place.”
          I shake my head. I don’t want to hold off. I want him. Now.
          I trust his assessment of the situation.
          “No. Let’s do now,” I say.
          He nods.
          I wait for him to grab the waitress’s attention and I sneak past the velvet rope. The door to the balcony is frosted glass. You can’t see in or out. I turn the handle and check my footing. All good.
          We’re overlooking the alley. No one can see us, not from the street, not from the club.
          No one is going to catch us. Not on camera—it’s too dark for that.
          Thoughts swirl around my brain. I like Pete. Find him interesting. Hell, find him fascinating.
          Can I play his girlfriend without falling in love with him?
          I press my hands into the smooth metal railing. It’s the only cold thing here. The sounds of the street—conversations and cars—flow into my ears, competing with the music coming from the club.
          There’s only one thing I know: I can’t leave without being with him.
          Period.






Author Bio:
Crystal Kaswell writes steamy new adult and erotic romance books. She loves when flawed characters fall head over heels for each other. Especially if they fall into bed first. She loves police procedurals, tea, and The Hunger Games series. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.






















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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review - The Contract by Melanie

The Contract
Author: Melanie Moreland
Release Date: May 24, 2016
New Adult, Contemporary Romance


Synopsis:

A tyrant by day, a playboy by night. That is the reputation that precedes Richard VanRyan. He lives life the way he wants, no concern for the opinion of others. He cares for no one, is completely unrepentant, and he has no desire to change his ways. 

Katharine Elliott works under Richard as his PA. She despises him and his questionable ethics, but endures all the garbage he sends her way, because she needs the job. Her end goal is far more important than the daily abuse and demands she tolerates from her nasty tyrant of a boss. 
Until the day, he asks her for something she never expected. A new role with a personal contract— fiancĂ©e instead of PA. 

What happens when two people who loathe each other, have to live together and act as though they are madly in love? 

Sparks.
 
That’s what happens. 

Can the power of love really change a person? 

Will they survive the contract? 

What do you do when the one person you hate the most becomes the one person you can’t live without? 

Amber's Review:

Richard VanRyan is definitely the type of character one loves to hate. How could you not? I hated this man from the very beginning. A selfish, haughty, self-centered man who only cares about his self and his goals and could care less about those who support him or stand in his way.

One of the fascinating things about Melanie's writing style and Richard's character is that over the course of the story, one finds themselves changing their opinion of Richard and his character. He evolves into a loving, supportive and more balanced individual.

This book was entertaining to say the least. A rollercoaster of a ride. Fast paced and quick to read. Unfortunately, it was over way too quickly.


Purchase Links: Amazon

Book Blitz: Shining Sea by Mimi Cross








Shining Sea
Mimi Cross
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Arion Rush has always played the obedient sidekick to her older sister’s flashy femme fatale—until a mysterious boating accident leaves Lilah a silent, traumatized stranger. As her sister awaits medical treatment with their mother, Arion and their father head to his hometown in Maine to prepare a new life for them all. Surrounded by the vast Atlantic, songwriting is Arion’s only solace, her solid ground.

Unexpectedly, Arion blossoms in the tiny coastal town. Friends flock to her, and Logan Delaine, a volatile heartthrob, seems downright smitten. But it’s Bo Summers—a solitary surfer, as alluring as he is aloof—that Arion can’t shake. Meanwhile, Lilah’s worsening condition, a string of local fatalities, and Arion’s own recent brushes with death seem ominously linked…to Bo’s otherworldly family. As Arion’s feelings for Bo intensify and his affections turn possessive, she must make a choice. How will Arion learn to listen to her own voice when Bo’s siren song won’t stop ringing in her ears?



EXCERPT

GOODBYE
          Tuneless humming is coming from the bedroom next to mine. I’ve always been the better singer, no secret. Even before I could talk, I sang. To me, singing feels like . . . flying.
          As a little kid I sang in the church choir, later on in the choruses at school, and about six months ago I started writing songs—not that I’d call myself a songwriter yet. My first gig was last week, down in the Mission District. Standing on the spotlit stage of the black box performance space, I played one long set—twelve tunes total—while hipsters watched with crossed arms.
         Performing in front of an audience is a good way to tell if your songs are finished.
         Or not.
        The song I’m trying to capture now definitely falls into the not category.
        I give the guitar a soft strum—a ghost of a chord slips out. Playing the haunting notes a little louder, I listen for the melody. It’ll come, eventually, but we’re leaving any minute.
        Not just leaving . . . moving.
        “Do you know,” I whisper sing, “where lost things go?”
        In the next room Lilah falls silent. The lyrics tangle in my throat.
        My fingers fumble, then jerk—playing a rhythmic pattern atop a single minor chord: one and two, one and two. Words tumble out of me. “Saint Anthony, can you come around? There’s something lost, and it can’t be found.”
        Saint Anthony—is he the one?
        A quick Google search on the laptop perched at the end of my bed tells me he is. Saint Anthony is invoked as the finder of lost things. Pulling my guitar closer, I play the line over and over.
        “Arion? You up there?”
        Dad. After shoving the laptop into my backpack, I shut the guitar in its case and head into the hall. Hands full, I stand in my sister’s doorway.
        She doesn’t see me.
        Even as thin as she is, even with the ever-present dark shadows beneath her eyes, Lilah is beautiful. Her features are regular and in proportion. Mine . . . are slightly exaggerated. Nose longer, lips fuller. Now, without music to distract me, the tears I’d vowed not to cry fill my eyes. Brown eyes. On a good day, they’re hazel. Maybe.
        There’s no mistaking the color of my sister’s eyes. Bright blue. Her hair is black and shiny, cut straight across her forehead and blunt at her shoulders in a way that has always made me think of Cleopatra, but especially since the accident, when she became a mystery to me. Lilah no longer tells me her every thought. She can’t.
        My sister blinks her bellflower eyes now, and for a split second— seems to focus on me.
        But the illusion vanishes just as quickly. I swallow around the lump in my throat, wondering for the millionth time if she has any idea what’s going on.
        Her bed is up against the window. In the distance—over a nearly invisible San Francisco Bay—the Golden Gate Bridge hovers in fog. Sitting down beside her on the bed, I lay a hand on one of her legs—feel bones, atrophied muscles. A raw feeling spreads through me, like a dull blade is scraping the underside of my skin.
        “So . . . guess it’s time for goodbye.” I take a deep breath in, let it out slowly—which doesn’t help at all. “I’ll see you in Rock Hook Harbor. Dad’s one-horse hometown . . . Sounds happening, huh?” My attempt at lightheartedness fails completely. The words drop like bricks.
        Leaning in, I kiss her cheek.
        She turns away, as if looking toward the ghostly water. Or, is she looking at the water? Or just staring blankly?
        I so want it to be the former. The doctors say it’s the latter.
        In my chest, a hairline fissure I’ve fused together with lyrics and chords pops open.
        “I love you,” I choke out.
        She doesn’t answer. Of course she doesn’t.
        Biting down hard on my lip, I stand up, trying not to feel like I’m leaving my best friend stranded. But I am. She is. Stranded. She’s been stranded, for a year.
        Swiping at my eyes, I take a few steps down the hall—then turn suddenly into my parents’ room, which is mostly Mom’s room now. Dad spends the nights he’s here on the living room couch, where, after dinner—usually something complicated he’s cooked up involving lots of pots and pans—he falls asleep with the TV on. Blue screen to white noise; maybe the sound helps him. Music works better for me. Or, it used to. I used to lie in bed at night and sing. Lately, all I want to do is sleep.
        Like the rest of the house, my parents’ bedroom is crowded with canvases. Filled with slashes of color and geometric shapes, each paint- ing has the name “Cici” scrawled in large letters down in the right-hand corner. Mom’s pictures pulse with unfamiliar energy, and my nostrils flare at the scent of paint fumes as I move a half-finished piece—an abstract portrait of a girl, I think—that’s leaning up against the glass door. Slipping out onto the balcony, I clutch the cold railing and eye a moldering stack of Psychology Today magazines. Therapy is Mom’s religion.
        A pair of paint-splattered jeans hangs off a chair. A handful of paintbrushes soak in a bucket. There’s no sign of Dad.
        My parents are like a couple of unmoored boats. Drifting. One of the few things they agreed on this past year? The accident was Dad’s fault. A pretty stupid conclusion, really, considering he hadn’t even been on the boat. But he’s a ship’s captain. Lilah and I inherited our love of the water from him.
        Water. I hate it now. Because of the water, I’m on this balcony almost every day, drawn out here as if for a long-standing appointment, some prearranged meeting between me and my broken heart. I cry here; sometimes I yell. Sometimes I write, and one day, I nearly threw my guitar over the railing.
        Splintered wood, snapped strings, I’m interested in broken things. The circling song lyrics fade at the sound of Mom’s strained voice. “Arion, have you finished saying goodbye to Delilah? Your dad’s ready to go.”
        I stay another second, then scoop up a stray guitar pick from the terracotta tiles and head inside, not paying any attention to the paint- ings now, just intent on leaving before I get any more upset.
        But then I’m passing Lilah’s room—and I see it.
        The slim black notebook I’ve searched for probably a hundred times over the past year.
        Oh, I’ve seen the palm-size Moleskine with its curled cover, seen it clutched in Lilah’s fist, watched as she whisked the small black book beneath her quilt, or shoved it between her sheets. I just haven’t been able to get my hands on it, and I’ve wanted to, desperately.
        So many times I’ve seen her slip the notebook between the over- size pages of the art books that Mom insists on bringing home from the library. She’ll hug the book close then—her treasure safe inside— but she’ll never actually look at the glossy pages. Not like she looks at that notebook. She looks at that black book like it’s the only thing she recognizes.
        It’s definitely some kind of diary. Not that I ever see her writing in it, not since before. But she’s always got it on her.
        Only, she doesn’t have it on her now.
        Now, there it is, on the floor next to her bed. And Lilah, there she is, still looking but not looking out the window. Transfixed, it would seem, by the gray bay. As I watch, she lifts one hand, bringing her fingertips to the glass—as if there’s something out there she wants to touch.
        It’s kind of amazing how I do it, how I steal her most precious pos- session without breaking my stride. How I silently sweep into the room and, bending low, snatch it up—then keep on walking like nothing’s happened. Like I’m ten-year-old Lilah herself, that time at the rock and gem shop down near the beach, trying on one sterling silver ring, then another. I’ll never forget it, how she smiled at the shopkeeper—maybe even said thank you—then practically skipped out the door, still wear- ing at least one of the rings. Once outside, she tossed a half-dozen more rings onto the pebbles that served as the shop’s front yard, so that she could retrieve them that night when the gem shop was closed, so that we could retrieve them.
        Eight-year-old me, I’d held the flashlight for her. She’d given me one of the rings as my reward, but only one.
        I feel bad taking the book; if I could read it and leave it, I would. But there’s no time. Through the hall window I can see Dad standing down in the driveway by the old green Jeep Cherokee, the car that will be mine once we get to Maine.
        So I slide the notebook into the pocket of my backpack where it burns a hole so big I think it will surely fall out—pages fluttering like fiery wings—and slap the floor with a sound so sharp, Lilah will shud- der to life. She’ll spring up and shout at me, her old self at last.
        But nothing like this happens.
        Leaving Lilah. Taking the notebook. My skin ripples with guilt. But we have to go on ahead.     School’s starting in a few weeks, plus Dad’s new job—they won’t hold it any longer.
        And really, I have to take the book. I need to know what happened.
        Out in the driveway, I crane my neck, trying to see if Lilah’s still at the window.
        “Hold on,” Mom shouts from the house, “I almost forgot!”
        Time seems suspended as Dad and I wait by the car, the limbo of the long ride already upon us . . .
        Mom reappears holding a square box wrapped in gold paper and a purple ribbon. Balanced on top is a fat cupcake with pink frosting.
        “Happy birthday, Arion.” Her flinty blue eyes soften. She hands me the awkward duo and gives me an equally awkward hug. “From both of us.”
        Dad smiles, shakes his head. “Seventeen.” He’s always been a man of few words.
        “Thanks, Mom. Dad.” Swallowing hard, I climb into the car with the gifts on my lap. Mom pecks Dad on the cheek, and he gets behind the wheel. As we pull away, she blows me a kiss.
        Twisting in my seat, I wave—then look up at the second story. No Lilah.
        My chest hurts so much—I actually glance down. But there’s nothing except a smear of pink icing on my shirt, where I’d leaned into the cupcake.
        We’ll fly back close to Thanksgiving, when Lilah is scheduled for the operation that my parents have finally decided is her best bet: a surgical procedure to implant a device in her brain.
        It’s not as sci-fi as it sounds. The battery-operated device is kind of like a pacemaker, only for your brain instead of your heart. This kind of surgery is used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms, although I think whoever came up with DBS—deep brain stimulation—was thinking of people with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, not, well, whatever’s wrong with Lilah. Her case is—entirely different. I’m not going to pretend: I’m scared. But the plan is, we’ll all be together in Maine by Christmas, so that’s what I’m trying to focus on. I’ll miss Lilah. Mom too. But I’m glad to be leaving San Francisco.
        My life here . . . is on hold—except for my music. The rest is a waiting game.
        We’ve all been waiting for Lilah to find what she lost. As if she can look for it.




Author Bio:
Mimi Cross was born in Toronto, Canada. She received a master's degree from New York University and a bachelor's degree in music from Ithaca College. She has been a performer, a music educator, and a yoga instructor. During the course of her musical career, she's shared the bill with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Sting. She resides in New Jersey.












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Book Blitz: Curse by Steven James








Curse
Steven James
(Blur Trilogy #3)
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: May 24th 2016
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Don’t miss this intriguing and climactic conclusion to the Blur Trilogy.

As Daniel Byers prepares to attend a basketball camp before his senior year of high school, the terrifying blurs that’ve plagued him for the last nine months return.

Dark images begin to haunt him—creatures crawling from the deepest pits of his nightmares, glimmers of chilling memories from his early childhood. But before he can unearth the meaning behind his mysterious hallucinations, Daniel must team up with two other extraordinary teens to save a young woman who has been abducted by a scientist obsessed with enacting his own warped form of justice.

This atmospheric mystery picks up where Fury left off and takes readers into the uncharted regions where reality and madness intertwine.



EXCERPT

          Dr. Waxford wound his way along the road, climbing higher into the Great Smoky Mountains.
          He and his team had made great strides in the last couple of years, but the loss of the research facility in northern Wisconsin last December had slowed things down—that is, until they located this old hotel here in this remote part of eastern Tennessee.
          Actually, the site was ideal. It was isolated and lay at the end of a one-lane road that had hardly been used in years.
          Back in the 1950s when a new highway was built that wrapped around the other side of the mountain, it took the tourists and other businesses with it. The hotel owners went bankrupt and the property went into foreclosure.
          Rumored to be haunted, the Estoria Inn had sat empty for decades and was being reclaimed by the forest when Adrian and his team started renovations. Most people, even those in the nearby towns, had forgotten that this place even existed.
          And none of them knew what kind of research was happening there now.
          Which was probably a good thing.
          Fortuitously, the Estoria was also less than an hour drive for the hypnotherapist Adrian sometimes brought up to implant suggestions in the minds of his subjects after they’d been put into a deep trance.
          When you pay a hypnotist enough, you can get him to implant any suggestions that you want.
Despair. Depression. Loneliness. They can all be the tools you use in the service of the
greater good.
•••
          We’re on our phones searching Internet news sites for recent obituaries when the X-ray results come back.
          No broken bones.
          The ankle is only sprained. The shoulder will recover. It won’t be ideal for the basketball camp, but at least it’s not my shooting arm.
          The doctor gives me a sling to keep the shoulder in place, then explains what I already know: It’s going to be very sore for a while and I’ll run the risk of it coming out of its socket again unless   I’m careful. “You’ll need to keep your arm in that sling for the next four to six weeks.”
          “Okay. Thanks,” I say, but I know that’s not going to happen.
          This camp is a huge deal and missing it isn’t an option. At least a dozen Division I coaches will be there recruiting players and it’s my best chance to get the attention I need for a scholarship offer.
          Although I’ve had some interest from a few Big Ten football coaches, honestly, I’d rather play college basket- ball. Way fewer injuries. Less time lifting and more time actually playing. Besides, I don’t really have the size for col- lege football—not to mention my mom worrying about me less, which is a bonus.
          While the doctor calls Dad to bring him up to speed and also get permission to give me some pain medication, I touch base with Mom to make sure she knows I’m alright. I decide that it’ll be best to explain about the blur in person, so I don’t bring it up.
          Finally, the doctor hands me the meds, along with a prescription.
          On their way to see me at the hospital, Kyle had picked up Nicole from her place, so now we swing by to get my car from the road out by the lake where I left it earlier.
          Somehow, the logging company has managed to get the logs far enough to one side to allow cars to get past.
          Being here brings everything back again and I can’t tell if it’s just my imagination, but my shoulder seems to throb more as I remember what it was like to get hit by that truck.
          My attention shifting from one thing to the next. That slipstream again. All those unnoticed slivers of reality curling right past me.
          But now, the ones branded with pain are coming to the forefront.
          I ride with Nicole, who drives my car so I can rest my shoulder. Kyle follows us back to my house in his vintage Mustang. Even though it’s late, we search online again for a little
while, but we still can’t find anything about kids who’ve recently died—at least not any that match the age of the boy in the road.
          However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s still alive.
          He might not have died recently. After all, the girl I saw burn up in my blur back in December had actually died in the 1930s.
          As it turned out, I’d learned about her story and seen her picture years ago when I was nine.   Then, just before Christmas, my mind threaded some clues together and showed me what it might have looked like when the lantern she was standing next to caught fire to her nightgown and ended up taking her life.
          I’d forgotten all about her.
          When the memory came back, it brought a flood of other grisly images with it because the day I first saw her photo I’d been present when a killer struck, but I’d blocked it out.
          They say trauma can do that, that it can rip the fabric between your conscious and your subconscious mind.
          My problem is that the rip keeps getting bigger.
          My friends get word from their parents that they need to take off and I tell them goodnight.
          “See you tomorrow?” Nicole says. “Yeah.” I give her a quick kiss. “Kiss me and I’ll dislocate your other shoulder,” Kyle tells me. Then he taps a finger thoughtfully against the air. “But at least then you wouldn’t notice the first one so much. So there is that.”
          “Thanks, but no thanks.” “Okay, so before I go, I’ve got one for you.” “You’ve got one?” “A riddle: I’m twice as old as I used to be when I was half as young as I am now. How old am I?” For months he’s been trying to trick me with math or logic problems. Doesn’t always work out so well.   “That one’s easy. It would be whatever age you are, so you’re the same as me. Seventeen.” “Yes. And           I’m seriously glad you’re still seventeen and not dead.” “Yeah.”
          “It would have totally ruined my night.” “Mine too.” “Text me.” “I will.”
          A little while after they leave, Dad comes home and checks on me.
          “I’m good,” I tell him. “Anything serious with that call?” “Call?” “The dispatch code. I heard it at the hospital. Was it a suicide?”
          “Scarlett Cordova accidentally overdosed on some over the counter drugs.”
          Scarlett is a year behind me at school. “Is she alright?” “She will be. Gave everyone a scare, though.” “How do they know?” He looks at me curiously. “How do they know what?” “You said she accidentally OD’ed. How do they know it was an accident?” “There were three other kids there with her when it happened. It was during some kind of drinking game. Her parents were gone. Good thing she’s alright. Lucky girl.”
          “There’s a lot of that going around tonight.” “A lot of what?” “Luck.” “I guess maybe there is.”
          After telling me one more time how thankful he is that I’m okay, he heads to his room and I climb into bed, hoping that even with the aching shoulder I’ll be able to get some rest.
          Instead, I find myself caught up thinking about who that boy might have been and what the blur might mean.
          He’d reached out to me, just like the girls in my earlier blurs had done.
          It’d been too late to save them.
          Maybe if we were lucky one more time, it wouldn’t be too late to save him.





Author Bio:
Best known for his high-octane thrillers, Steven James is the award-winning author of eleven suspense novels. The Blur Trilogy is his first mystery series for teens. Steven has taught creative writing around the world and loves rock climbing, science fiction movies, and chicken fajitas. Find him at www.stevenjames.net.












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Book Blitz: Hot & Nerdy 2 by Shannyn Schroeder


Hot & Nerdy 2 
Shannyn Schroeder
Published by: Lyrical Press
Publication date: May 24th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Adam, Hunter, and Free have a lot in common, like geeky passions and not exactly great track records when it comes to dating. But a New Year’s Eve bash will bring everything they’ve ever wanted–and so much more . . .

His Work Of Art

Adam Hayes has never met a girl like Reese. She’s sassy, smart, and loves talking comics, although he can’t see why she’d choose DC over Marvel. He’s thrilled to finally put his artistic chops to use in their upcoming comic project. But when the two combine forces, they churn out magic in more ways than they had planned . . .

His New Jam

There’s something unusual about the sarcastic percussionist Hunter Reed hired for his band. For one thing, she’s impervious to his advances. But when Hunter sees how passionate Sydney is behind the drums, he orchestrates a plan to find out if she kisses like she plays. What he doesn’t anticipate is falling so hard . . .

His Dream Role

Free Mitchell loves the theater. When he’s masquerading as Dr. Who or Sherlock Holmes, he feels he can escape his shy, dorky persona. But nothing’s prepared him to play boyfriend to a gorgeous girl like Samantha Wolf. The more time they spend together, the more they seem to be going off the script, and the hotter everything gets . . .




EXCERPT

          Hunter walked into his bedroom and bounced on the bed, waking Sydney.
          She grunted at him. “It’s Saturday. And we played a gig last night. I should get to sleep in.”
          “You did sleep in. It’s almost noon.”
          She rolled over. “I hate morning people.”
          Hunter laughed. Then he leaned over and kissed his way up her spine. “I have to go to Comic Con. I promised Adam I’d help out today.”
          “So go.”
          “Don’t you want to come, too? Free and Sam will be here soon. We’re all driving together.”
          She rolled over and opened one eye to look at him. “Comic Con?”
          “Adam and Reese are selling their book. It’ll be fun.”
          She sat up and opened both eyes. “What the hell are you wearing?”
          He stood and straightened his jacket. He picked up the hat he’d left on the dresser and posed. “I’m Indiana Jones.”
          “Why?”
          “Because it’s Comic Con. Dressing up is half the fun.”
          “I thought dressing up was Free’s thing.” She reached for the coffee he’d set on the nightstand for her.
          “It is. Except for today. I think I look good.”
          “Yeah, except you’re wearing a leather jacket. In August.”
          “The convention center will be air-conditioned.”
          The doorbell rang. Hunter pointed at her. “You coming?”
          “Yeah, sure.”
          He ran to let Free and Sam in. Free was wearing his god-awful Riddler costume. Of all the things Free owned, this was the one Hunter hated. “Really? You had to wear that?”
          Sam stepped from behind Free. “What would go better with Batgirl?”
          Hunter rolled his eyes. “You’re such nerds.”
          “We’re nerds? You’re dressed up, too,” she said.
          “First, I borrowed this costume from your boyfriend and his nerd closet. Second, Indiana Jones is cool.”
          Free pointed at him. “He’s a college professor and an archaeologist. I think by definition, that’s nerdy.”
          “Whatever.” Hunter turned and yelled toward the bedroom, “Are you ready, Syd?”
          Sydney came around the corner a minute later, wearing shorts and a T-shirt. “What the hell?” She waved her pointer finger at them. “I am not dressing like that.”
          Hunter shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
          He drove to the convention center since his minivan was more comfortable for them all to fit. This weekend was a nice break and end to summer. School was starting for teachers in a week and he couldn’t wait. Free had started working for his dad as expected right after graduation. Adam was the only one still in the same place.
          Hunter really hoped the convention would give Adam the kick start he needed for his career. One of Adam’s biggest problems was that he was too cautious. He overthought everything. Hunter had really thought that adding Reese to his life would make Adam a little more easygoing.
          Once they got into the convention center, Free said, “Adam and Reese are in Artist Alley. I’ll come by in a while. We have a couple of panels we want to get in on.”
          With a nod to Hunter and Sydney, he grabbed Samantha’s hand and pulled her through the crowd. When he was gone, Sydney said, “He really gets into this, doesn’t he?”
          Hunter nodded. “It’s easy for him to pretend to be someone else.”
          “I haven’t seen him in costumes much lately.”
          Hunter pointed them in the direction of Adam and Reese. “That’s because Cary doesn’t need the distraction at the health club anymore. And Free has Samantha, so he doesn’t need to impress anyone else.”
          When they walked down an aisle of Artist Alley, Hunter saw Adam and Reese sitting behind a table. He sighed. Holding Sydney’s hand, he said, “They really need our help.”
          “What?”
          “Nobody’s paying attention to them.”
          Syd smiled. “Maybe they should’ve worn a costume.”
          Hunter stopped in front of the table. “How do you expect to sell anything sitting there like that. Where are your book things?”
          “Dude, we tried talking to people. You have any idea how exhausting it is to try to grab someone’s attention?”
          “Yeah, yeah. Gimme some books.”
          Adam came around the table with an armful of the sample booklets they’d printed and stapled. “I’ll come with you. Sydney will stay with Reese, right?”
          Syd rolled her eyes but nodded. She and Reese weren’t exactly friends, but they got along. As he and Adam stepped away from the table, Hunter heard Syd telling Reese about Free and Sam and the costumes. The girls’ laughter followed them down the aisle.
          “I’m glad you’re here.”
          “I told you I would be.”
          “I know you’re busy getting ready for the school year. It’s cool that you made time for this. And convinced Sydney to come.” Adam blew out a breath.
          Hunter took a moment to smile at a couple of women dressed as aliens and offer them a booklet. They each took one.
          “It’s been a crazy couple of days,” Adam continued. “Reese and I split up yesterday to sit in on some workshops and I did pitch sessions.”
          “Any luck?”
          “Yeah, but that’s part of the problem. I think Reese and I went into this with different expectations. Or at least we have different ones now.”
          “How do you mean?” Hunter paused again beside a group of women. “Excuse me. My artist friend here and his girlfriend wrote a really kick-ass comic. Here’s a sample.”
          At first they looked startled that Hunter had interrupted them, but then they relaxed and each took a book. When he resumed walking beside Adam, he said, “And that, son, is how it’s done.”




Author Bio:
Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.















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Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Blitz: Sleeping Tom by E.V. Fairfall







Sleeping Tom
E.V. Fairfall
(Sleeping Tom #1)
Publication date: February 14th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Hitchhiking is a bad idea but Caden is desperate.

When she accepts a ride from the first car to come by she meets Gabriel. He’s her age, hot, and the closest thing she has to a savior. Problem is, he is a total jerk. With nowhere to go, Caden convinces Gabriel to let her stay with him for one night. He reluctantly lends a couch.

That night Caden wakes up to strange noises. Concerned, she rushes into Gabriel’s room, already anticipating his bad temper. Instead, he’s kind, sweet, and suspiciously harmless—nothing like the man who gave her a ride. He seems like a different person altogether, and claims he is. By night he is Tom, and by day he is Gabriel. Caden finds herself drawn to the mysteries hidden in his eyes.

For Gabriel, Caden is an annoying mistake. One night turns into many, and despite all his anger towards her, she stays. She even seems to accept him and his flaws, but he still doesn’t trust her—is she staying for him, or has she already discovered more than he’s willing to share?
Grab yours today for only 99cents (for a limited time only)!
Stay tuned for Waking Gabriel‘s release in July!



EXCERPT

          “Don’t go.”
          He was creeping her out. She wanted to run and hide from him, but instead she held her ground and, as casually as she could, leaned into the doorframe. “It’s like three in the morning,” she reminded him, attempting a frown to hide her anxiety.
          “Do you want to play a game?”
          “What?” Caden asked, his voice once again making her unsure. A game? It sounded like something Sean would say. Caden shifted her weight, eyeing him warily. I can handle this. She let out a deep breath; if nothing else she could use this as an opportunity. Cleaning at three in the morning obviously hadn’t scored her enough Good Samaritan points.
          “Sure… We can play a game.” She wondered if her hesitation would make him angry, like she had when they had been in the car that afternoon.
          She looked around for a weapon, anything she could use to protect herself. As her eyes scanned the room each surface was bare, aside from the bulky old alarm clock on the nightstand.
          “First, you have to turn off the lights.”
          Caden’s hand shook. This didn’t feel right. “Okay,” She mumbled, attempting to seem unfazed, and she turned off the lights with a flick of her wrist. It took a few seconds for her eyes to readjust, and when they did she saw the boy leap back onto the bed, light and agile. She took an uneasy step back. Her chest constricted and her breath caught in her throat. Caden couldn’t deny being unsure of the situation, of this boy who somehow had to be the man she’d met earlier that day.
          His head moved from side to side, watching her as intently as she watched him. “What do you want to play?” he asked.
          Even then, with him in better visibility, Caden couldn’t tell if the boy was really Gabriel. It was the same voice she had heard earlier, but without the rough edge of his irritation it sounded much younger and innocent, like that of a child. “I don’t know…”
          “Oh, come on, think of something,” he said.
          When he didn’t move to grab her, she relaxed a little, her breath evening out once again. Caden could feel her confidence slowly building. Maybe he really just wants to play a game. “Aren’t you tired?”
          The boy’s shoulders and head dropped. “So you don’t want to play,” he confirmed dejectedly.   She watched as he turned around on the empty bed, to face the other wall.
          Caden’s little sister Reese always used guilt to get what she wanted. She hadn’t known a guy her own age could make her feel just as guilty, if not worse. “No, no, I want to play. I do.” As long as you stay on that side of the room. Caden moved farther into the room but stayed a good six feet away.
          “What game? What game?” He bounced on the bed in his sitting position.
          “Do you have any cards?” She clutched the blanket tighter around her, but tried to keep her voice light and casual.
          “Cards?” The boy, who no longer seemed like Gabriel at all, stuck out his tongue. “Dumb. Something else.”





Author Bio:
The hunger is encompassing, so she feeds the beast books. But the hunger never settles… so she writes. E.V. Fairfall has an itch that drives her to the world of story telling. With several published short stories, and soon several books (fingers crossed), she explores the topics of humanity and hardship.
During the daylight hours, a book is always within reach. She spends her nights reading with her husband, surrounded by towers of tomes and three furry children curled in close. If she isn’t reading, she is browsing bookstores or hiking, but always awaiting her next adventure.












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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up #117


                                                                                 

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