Friday, May 22, 2015

Blog Tour: A New Threat by Aaron Demott

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Title:   A New Threat
Series:  The Psygen Chronicles
Author:   Aaron Demott
Published:  April 21st, 2015
Publisher:  AltWit Press
Genre:  YA Science Fiction
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When an alien ship lands unexpectedly in the middle of her clan’s territory, Bast is sent to investigate as part of her scout trial. After an accident, she meets these new visitors. She and her senior scout Rrrark are invited to return with the aliens to their home planet to open diplomatic relations. What started out as a simple diplomatic mission becomes complicated when they discover a pirate scheme that might be more than it seems. Only Bast, Rrrark, and two of the aliens called Pysgens are capable of stopping the pirates.

Amazon | GoodReads

Excerpt from A New Threat by Aaron Demott

Bast rushed through the forest while trying to maintain some measure of stealth. She flicked her ears in every direction and listened for anything unusual. So far, only natural sounds filled the forest.
The air was crisp and sunlight filtered through the leaves. The perfect day for her first assignment. She clenched her jaw, measured her breathing, and straightened her tail. She needed this assignment to go well. Only then could she be recognized as an adult.

Scouts from every one of the clans had seen the giant metal ship—something that large and with such an unnatural shape could only be a ship—come slowly down to the ground. If it kept going without a change in its speed or direction, it would land in the part of the Large Grassland which fell inside in her clan's territory. Besides, where could it have come from? What sort of creature would travel through the stars on such a craft?

She approached the edge of the forest and looked around for a nice bit of cover. She found a line of bushes between a stand of trees. It would work perfectly and provide an escape back into the forest if it became necessary. She sat on her haunches behind the brush, curled her tail around her feet, and licked a speck of dust off one of the white patches of fur on her paw. The ship should land soon.
"It could be crashing too..." she mused aloud.

But the scouts and scientists had reported it was on a stable course and wasn't on fire or anything. She liked surprises–for the most part–and this would certainly be an interesting sight. A faint, high-pitched noise came from the west. She poked her nose from the bush and raised her whiskers in that direction. Nothing yet. She waited a little longer. The sound grew louder, and a slight wind blew across the plain.

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About the Author:
Aaron has had a few different jobs, ranging from computer tech support, to real-estate, and lawn and farm sales and service. He also enjoys photography and reading, and has been a Star Trek and Star Wars fan for as long as he can remember.

The Psygen Chronicles, Book 1: A New Threat is Aaron’s first novel.

Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Signed Print copy of A New Threat (US only). If winner is INT the prize is an ecopy of A New Threat.
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Blog Tour: Wet by Stacy Kestwick

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Title: Wet

Author: Stacy Kestwick

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Water's Edge (Book 1)

Doughnuts were her weakness. If Sadie Mullins hadn’t been running on the beach to burn off the calories from her doughnut addiction, she wouldn’t have noticed the man not moving out in the water. Wouldn’t have dived in after him. Wouldn’t have met West Montgomery. The cocky bastard should have been thankful, grateful even. Of course, he wasn’t. That should have been the end of it. Of course, it wasn’t. Damn doughnuts.
Our second date kind of sucked. Yeah, it was fun to sit on a barstool and stare at West and watch his ass shake when he mixed cocktails and bent over to scoop up grog. It was far less amusing watching all the ladies, and I use that term loosely, offer themselves up to him as not-so-virgin sacrifices. The Wreck clearly did not have self-respect on tap. I sighed as a girl just happened to spill her drink down her shirt. A sheer white tank top. Her big doe eyes widened as she pressed the cocktail napkin to her breast, rubbing at the damp spot until her nipple hardened. Oh, look! West had more napkins to save the day. How nice. West sent me a pained look and rolled his eyes. The girl looked barely legal as it was. It was like a guppy taunting a shark. Stupid girl. Sharks like to chase their prey. Needing a break from all the calculated desperation clogging the bar area, I escaped to the bathroom. The stall I picked had a working lock — thank God for small favors — and I forced myself to take a deep cleansing breath as I sat there. Okay, yeah, that was poor planning on my part, since the bathroom reeked of covert cigarettes, drugstore perfume, and stale urine, but it was the thought that counted. Like the rest of the bar, the bathroom was covered in graffiti. I never understood how people always just seemed to have Sharpies handy when they felt like marking their territory. I looked over the scribbled messages that peppered the wall. Ohmygod — West lives up to the hype, every inch of it! <3 Jaymie Wyatt is mine 4ever. The mine had been crossed out and Kim’s was written above it. Right below that it said, Kim’s a slut-faced hoebag. Huh, eloquent. Several seemed to echo the popular sentiment, West is so hot. I spotted a bubble-lettered, Theo is a sweetheart, which probably wasn’t what he was hoping the girls bathroom said about him, considering the other notes about male anatomy it was tucked between. But what started to piss me off was the drawing of an erect cock with the words, West and life-sized scrawled next to it. Other inscriptions saying, agreed! and totally! and yum! had arrows pointing to the image. The artist was accurate too. Whoever the slut-faced hoebag was. I did a quick survey of the other wall of the cramped stall and saw my date for the evening was the star attraction and, boy, did he shine. Just as I started to flush and rearrange my bikini bottoms under my dress, I heard two sets of footsteps echo off the stained concrete floor. “Amber, did you see that hopeless blonde that’s been hovering at the bar all night? I think West feels bad for her or something, he keeps going to check on her.” “Yeah, but I asked him about it. He said she was his date!” Her sarcastic tone conveyed how ridiculous she considered that. They snickered and the sound of running water gurgling in the sink did little to muffle their words. I stilled, shamelessly eavesdropping. “She doesn’t even look like she’s taken a shower today.” “I know! And her skin looks creepy under the lights! Maybe West had too many shots or something tonight. He has better standards than that. It’s an insult to all of us who’ve come before her.” They dissolved into laughter, and the water turned off. “Let’s try offering him a combo. He’s gone for it before.” “Mmm, you know I love a good BOGO deal, Tipper. It’s worth a try. I think his date’s disappeared anyway. She must have gotten the hint.” Their laughter faded and a hollow thunk of the door closing signaled their exit. Wow. Just — wow. My mind whirled, and I was annoyed I hadn’t been able to see them through the crack between the stall door and the wall. How many other girls out there had already screwed my West? I made a face as I flushed the toilet, berating myself for letting things with him go past a quick fuck-and-duck. I finished adjusting my admittedly wrinkled dress, opened the stall door with more force than necessary, and peered at myself in the crappy mirror. What the hell had that slut said about my skin? Oh. Oh! I looked down at my arm, pressed the fingers of my other hand onto my skin, and let go. Five fingerprints glowed white before returning to an angry, lobster-red hue. The skin around my eyes seemed okay, thanks to the protection my gold-rimmed aviators had provided, but the rest of me looked almost fluorescent, like a raccoon in reverse. My hair was crinkled like old straw, frizzed and barely contained by my sad excuse for a braid. I might have been so caught up in West earlier that I had forgotten sunscreen. And to look in a mirror once we got off the boat. Maybe. Possibly. No wonder those girls had been mocking me. I looked like a hot mess. Like, roasted. Running a cautious fingertip over my shoulder, the tenderness of my skin confirmed the extent of my sunburn. I needed to roll like a pig in a puddle of aloe, stat. The time had come to call this date a failure and make a quick exit, only I didn’t have my Wrangler. We’d dropped off the dog and picnic supplies at West’s place and come straight here in his oversized truck. Twisting to see the back of my head, I finger combed my hair as best I could, letting it fall around my face to try to hide my Ray-Ban tan lines. Then I took the coward’s way out and sent West a text that I wasn’t feeling well and was taking a cab back home. Slipping my tote bag over my shoulder, I skirted the perimeter of the bar, escaping out the front doors without looking back. I was standing on the front sidewalk and searching for the number of the cab company on my phone when it was suddenly snatched right out of my hands. I gasped, taking a step back, and tucked my bag to my side. “Running away?” How the fuck had West gotten out of there so fast? I dropped my gaze and let my hair hide my eyes, trying to disguise the worst of the damage. “Yeah, I think I got a little too much sun,” I mumbled, not wanting to meet his eyes. Even though it was after eight, the sun was just beginning its descent, and there was still plenty of daylight. He hooked my hip with his hand and tugged me closer. Using his free hand, he tipped my chin up, exposing my face. Eyes widening, he touched my cheek with the tip of his finger, wincing as he removed it. “Shit, Sadie, you’ve got to be in pain. Hold on, let me tell Wyatt I’ve got to get you home.” I snorted. “Wouldn’t you rather stay here? I’m sure there are other toys you can play with instead.” “What the fuck are you talking about?” “Amber and Tipper would be more than willing to entertain you tonight. Together.” West glanced toward the bar then back at me, annoyance splashed across his face. He moved closer, invading my personal space, and loomed over me, his eyes flashing gray storm clouds, but I stood my ground, refusing to step back. “I’m two inches from the person I want to be with tonight. Two inches. And I’d be happy to erase those two inches if you’re still not clear on that.”


Author Bio
I’m a Southern girl who firmly believes mornings should be outlawed. My perfect day would include lounging on a hammock with a good book, carbohydrates, and the people around me randomly breaking into choreographed song and dance routines. It would not include bacon, cleaning, or anything requiring patience.

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Author Spotlight/Interview: Amy Manemann

Amy Manemann is an International Best Selling Author. She writes sexy and
intriguing romantic suspense, young adult paranormal romance, contemporary
romance (HOT NEW RELEASE!), and dabbles in children's books. She resides in
her hometown along the Mississippi river with her husband and their two
children. When she isn't plotting her next book, she enjoys spending time
with her family and friends, and diving into a good book.

Amy is also a site administrator for the World Literary Café, an online
literary community for authors and readers.

You can connect with Amy at

Sarah's Interview with Amy Manemann

What was your inspiration for Love on the Slopes?
My kids and I LOVE to go skiing in the winter time and the storyline came
to me when we were hitting the slopes. When it came to the location,
however, it just wasn't clicking until we happened to pay a visit
to Jackson Hole Wyoming for vacation. It was absolutely beautiful! I simply
fell in love with the place and knew that was where the Hartley family were
meant to be. If you haven't been, I strongly encourage you to go for a

What's your favorite thing about being a writer?
Besides the joy of having the option to kill off people you don't like? lol
Seriously though, I love to write. Creating stories has always been a
passion of mine since I was a little girl, so becoming a writer in my adult
years was an easy fit.

Who inspired you to write?
My mom inspired me to be the avid reader I still am today, and with all
those Harlequins and Danielle Steele's came the imagination to create my
own stories, so I would have to say my mother.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Haha, that's an easy one. YES!

Are there any situation(s) in any of your books you regret?
When I published my first book I was pretty green and make quite a few
mistakes I've since learned from. As to any situations IN my books that I
regret? Not a one!

What's the oddest thing you had to research for your writing?
Pap smears lol In Deadly Science the doctor was illegally upcharging
laboratory testing through pap smears so I had to learn my ins and outs, so
to speak.

What book are you currently reading?
Nothing. Why, do you have a recommendation? ;-)

Can you share with us what you're working on right now?
Oh how I WISH I could, but it's a super secret project that's launching
very SOON, and one I cannot reveal. Sorry! But keep an eye on my facebook
page for updates!!

Is there anything else we should know about you?
That I'm a chocolate loving, coffee drinking enthusiast who adores my
husband and our two children, and there isn't anywhere in life I would
rather be than where I'm at right now.

**Side Note...I recommended to her Rainbow Rowell to read.**

Jessa Hartley is haunted by memories of the night she threw herself at her childhood crush, Dominic DeRenzi – and he turned her away. Years later, Jessa has managed to put the past behind her and climb up the ranks as head instructor of the ski lodge she one day hopes to purchase. Only her plans take a nosedive when the smooth talking Italian shows back up in town. Even worse, he’s planning on purchasing HER lodge.

After surviving a disastrous marriage, Dominic DeRenzi returns to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, hoping to make a fresh start for him and his six year old son by purchasing the old ski lodge. Until a chance encounter with Jessa Hartley throws his well laid plans off track. The once innocent girl from his childhood has grown into the beautiful woman he always knew she would become, and he is painfully reminded of the night he over stepped his bounds and kissed her. Then broke her heart by sending her away.

Rekindling the flames of their past isn’t part of the plan, yet Dominic and Jessa soon find they’re helpless to stop the fire that burns brightly between them. He broke her heart the first time he left, but can he make her see this time around he’s here to stay?

Sarah's Review: I absolutely adored this cute love story! I personally love it when two people from the past still show interest in one another.  I liked how they were trying to play it off but couldn't do it anymore.  It was sweet how it all finally came together.

  Hot, rich, Italian, and an amazing dad?!  You know you're going to love the story just from that!   Dominic is a great dad to Dante.  I hope to see more of this relationship in the next books.

I was getting confused a little with the sibling's names all starting with a "J" but once I read more of the series I'm sure I won't have a problem keeping up with their personalities.


The story was well written, put together great, it kept my attention and left me wanting for more.



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Promotion: My Soul To Wake by Tara Oakes

My Soul to Wake will be available for pre-order on May 23rd and May 24th for 0.99 cents.

 Make sure to get it at that time before it goes up to it’s regular price of $2.99! You can find teasers and the trailer as well as the synopsis below!

Witchcraft. Reincarnation. True love. These are the things of legend. Unexplained, some even say impossible, but nonetheless prevalent in stories and tales from all cultures and in every land from the beginning of time. What if there is something to it? What if there is an explanation behind the mysteries and bedtime stories? Something beyond words? SALEM, MASSACHUSETTES 1692 She was taken from him in the cruelest way... condemned, sentenced and punished out of fear of the unknown. How is he supposed to live without her? How can he go on knowing that in this life, by the natural order of things, they will never be together? There's only one thing to do... only one option that will bring them together again. SALEM , MASSACHUSETTES TODAY Amelia is taken on a weekend excursion with her best girlfriends to let loose, relax and have a little fun. What harm is there in a little vacation? It's not like the legends, the haunted history of the place can scare them away. It's all harmless fun. Or so she thought. Something seems familiar about the town. The trees, the winds, the feel of everything. Her ever present nightmares have become more intense within the limits of the old historical setting. She's prepared to write off the whole trip as nothing more than a case of her mind running away with the sensationalized magic here. When she meets a handsome stranger who's eager to know her in a way no one else can, she begins to think there may be something more to this place, something more to him. Will has been waiting, biding his time, and praying that she'll come back. He's broken the natural order of things to possibly find her again, weaving their way through the years until they can be together again. He knows he may never find her, but he can't risk not trying. This place calls to her, just as it did to him. It will bring her back home. It will bring her back to him. What's 300 years when it comes to true love? He's prepared to wait an eternity if he has to, just to see her, hold her, kiss her again.. to make her remember what was stolen from them so long ago. To make her remember who she is, the power she possesses and the love they swore to each other.
And don’t forget to join the Release Game! It will go from March 19th until Release Day. There will be prizes galore, including daily prizes! You can join the fun here:
My Soul to Wake will be releasing on Memorial Day, 2015. MAY 25TH, 2015



Book Blitz: Once in a Blue Moon by Amie Stuart

Once in a Blue Moon by Amie Stuart 
Publication date: May 19th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


At eighteen, Ty Boudreaux married his high school sweetheart and planned to live happily ever after on the family ranch. But after twelve years in a volatile, one-sided marriage, this gentle cowboy is struggling to put his life back together.

At eighteen, Bettina Blanchard’s goal in life had been to shake the dust of Bluebonnet, Texas off her heels, and with her baby sister now safely in college, that dream is within her grasp. But underneath Bad Betti’s tough exterior beats the heart of a woman with hopes and dreams, and she’s loved Ty almost as long as he loved his ex-wife.

When fate drops Ty in her lap, one night of passion leaves them dealing with a pregnancy and a marriage both have reservations about. Can a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and Bluebonnet’s favorite son find common ground outside the bedroom? Despite the interfering in-laws, a jealous baby sister and a holiday no one wants to remember, Betti and Ty discover that even though their happily ever after doesn’t come easy, anything worth having is worth working for.

Purchase:   Amazon

AMIE STUART – Excerpt 

      On the way home Ty drove by Bettina’s again. The for sale sign hadn’t changed. But her grass sure needed to be cut.
      If her car had been in the driveway, he would have stopped and let her know about Rhea’s threats. At least, that was the excuse he told himself. He sat parked at the curb, tapping his steering wheel and debating on whether to leave a note or not.
      In hindsight, he could see his ex-wife’s abuse, her manipulation, the petty jealousies, her rages and tears went back even longer than the twelve years they’d been married—all the way to high school. The violence had started later. He’d never laid a hand on her, so her ability to casually inflict pain on him had left him stunned and confused.  But then, so had her lack of interest in working things out.
      What would his life have been like if he and Bettina had dated in high school? Or if he’d dated anyone other than Rhea, for that matter. He smiled, remembering how he’d occasionally catch Bettina mooning after him. He’d never said anything but always found it flattering, even if she had run with a rough crowd.
      Put it in perspective. He shook it off. Rhea didn’t deserve that much time. He hated not fighting back, but refused to stoop to her level and make a scene.
      A part of him wanted to take Zack’s advice and call Bettina up, but the rest of him just didn’t feel ready for all that. Dating and flowers and...he’d learned he wasn’t a very good judge of character. But here he sat, outside her house like a lovesick fool. And his momma would probably know about it before he got home. He snorted and reached for the ignition only to stop and lean on the steering wheel, not quite ready to leave.
      Funny how he could sit here so many years later and remember walking Bettina home from that dance in the sixth grade. To the very same house with the same cracked cement walkway. Funny how life could change but stay the same.
      He chuckled again. Funny he’d never considered whether he was a breast man or not before. But he could remember, even in the sixth grade, Bettina had been chesty. His skin prickled as the temperature in the truck went up about ten degrees and the crotch of his jeans tightened.   She still had big breasts with tight pink nipples and wasn’t at all bashful about ‘em either. He groaned and adjusted his jeans.
      And all that soft curly hair. And pouty lips. And those eyes. Those big green eyes that laughed and said, "I dare you."
      Maybe it wasn’t her chest size but everything about her. There was something powerful about her that had turned him on that night. Sex with her had been like some forbidden treat. A guilty pleasure—like his sweet tooth. Just the thought of her naked and riding him again, the memory of their quickie in the chair, her kisses, her teasing made him hard all over again. He suddenly realized how hot he was, how his shirt stuck to his back. Hell, the temperature had to be 104 today, and here he sat in a tin can with a raging hard-on.
      If he weren’t wearing his best jeans, he’d cut her grass. At the least manual labor would take care of his erection—though so would jacking off.
      If the neighbors wouldn’t see him doing her yard work, though honestly, it didn’t look like anyone was home.
      If his mom heard he’d cut Bad Betti Blanchard’s grass, she’d really light into him. Momma had settled down some, but she still had her moments. And she already thought he was half off his rocker anyway.
      Fuck it.
      He climbed out of his truck, quietly closing the door. Like anyone was gonna hear him.
      He couldn’t remember who lived to Bettina’s right, but to her left was Old Lady Lindsay. She was ninety, if she was a day, smoked like a freight train and drove her gigantic ancient Oldsmobile to the Senior Recreation Center every afternoon for bingo. And had since he was in high school.
      Ty casually looked around again.  Not a soul. He unbuttoned his shirt and tossed it in his front seat, thankful he’d worn an undershirt.   Then went to find Bettina’s lawnmower.


Amie Stuart is the last of a dying breed, a native Texan, and still makes her home there, where cowboys and music (her other two loves) abound. Growing up, she wanted to be a lawyer and a psychologist. No doubt the shrinks would have a field day with her head, but she's seen the error of her ways and considers all those other jobs 'research' for the writing gig. 

She's a multiple contest finalist as well as a trained contest judge and is affectionately know as The Terminator by her critique partners. She's written as CELIA STUART for Black Lace Books, & Liquid Silver Books, and as AMIE STUART for Kensington Aphrodisia, she has a short story (PEACHES 'N CREAM) in Zane's CARMEL FLAVA 2, and launched Cobblestone Press's short erotica line,Wicked in 2007.

-One (1) ebook copy of Once in a Blue Moon. 
-Open internationally. 

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cover Reveal: Flame by Erin Noelle


I’m soaring.

After years of hard work and determination, I am exactly where I want to be in life. As the top ranked Freestyle Motocross rider in the world, I have more money than I could ever dream of spending and gorgeous women throwing themselves at me in every city I land. I have everything I could ever want. 

Everything except her.

While in Breckenridge for my best friend’s wedding, I was introduced to Dakota Shavell, a friend of the bride-to-be, and from the moment our blue gazes met, sparks flew.

What I initially intended to be a single steamy night together turned into a scorching two week road trip to New Orleans with a sassy-mouthed blonde. Being between her legs gave me a bigger adrenaline rush than I’d ever gotten from flying through the air while straddling a bike.

It was supposed to just be fun, a good time. I planned to walk away unchanged.

But it was more. Feelings I never intended to have got involved, and I’ll never be the same.

Yet, I still walked away.

Except now I’m injured and my outlook has changed. Priorities have become clear.

And I’m going back to reclaim her…to show her that together we can make the fire between us burst into flames.

Cover Design: by Hang Le
Photographer: Golden Czermak with Furious Fotog
Cover Model: Brendon Charles



The bright lights blind me to everything except the dirt track laid out in front of me. The energetic, bustling noise from the crowd feeds the adrenaline buzzing at the speed of light through my veins. The familiar vibration of the bike’s engine securely tucked between my legs locks me into that special frame of mind where things move in slow motion, allowing me to do what it is that I do best.

This is it.
Why I’ve busted my ass every day for the last decade.
The final tour stop of the year.
Winner takes all.
Me or him.
Do or die.

Tightly wrapping my fingers around the throttle, I coast down the ramp, picking up speed as I go. By the time the tires hit the clay-colored earth, I envision myself executing the trickmy trick—flawlessly from take-off to landing, exactly like I do each and every time I nail the 501 Double Back flip.
            Moments later, I’m soaring through the air, my body somersaulting forward over the handle bars as I whip the bike into two full backward rotations. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a flash of yellow and twist my head instinctively, wondering if it was her. If she came to watch. A collective gasp from the packed crowd can be heard a split-second before I look away from the multitude of camera flashes around the arena and glance down below.

Something’s wrong.

Want the rest ?
 Subscribe to the newsletter HERE to get the rest of the prologue on May 27. 

 BOOK 1 in the series

I'm failing.

My younger brother is getting worse, and my job - my duty - is to help him at all costs. We've tried everything modern medicine has to offer and nothing works.

Deciding to turn to unconventional treatments, we end up at Fire-on-the-Mountain, a holistic resort deep in the Rockies.

In our search for medical marijuana, I find beautiful, free-spirited Hudson Shavell - a girl who may not only hold the key to heal my brother, but to fix me as well. Even though I can't afford distractions right now, she's all I can think about. All that I want.

It's funny how everything can change with one little SPARK.

***Though Spark is the first book in the Fire on the Mountain Series, it is a stand alone novel***

***Intended for mature audiences only***


Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History at the University of Houston, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child.
A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels.

Her titles published include the Book Boyfriend Series, the Dusk ‘Til Dawn Series, Translucent, Conspire — co-authored with SE Hall, Surviving Us, MILF: Wrong Kind of Love and Spark.
Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100.

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Release Day Launch: Dissipate by Kristin Mayer

Dissipate RDL Ban

It’s release day for Kristin Mayer’s Dissipate! We are so excited to share this exciting YA romance with you! Kristin is sharing a new excerpt and giveaway with us today!! Check out all the release day festivities.  


Dissipate Synopsis:

Kenzie Brooks needs to vanish. All she has ever known is a string of misconceptions, including her name. Upon her mother’s passing, Kenzie is left with no other choice but to disappear without a trace from all she has ever known which is The Society. She must vanish.   Will Kenzie be able to fool The Society into thinking she’s dead? Or will they put the pieces together and discover she’s learned the truth about where she came from?

  Buy Links: Amazon Barnes and Noble      


  Exclusive Excerpt 

        My head throbbed. The one thing I wanted, I couldn’t have—to crawl in bed with my mom while I asked her endless questions about what I should do. It was against the Keeper’s command to waste time thinking on anything that wasn’t productive. All thoughts were to be used for betterment of The Society. That was hard for me as I constantly desired to learn more. 
       I thought back on the last minutes with my mom. 
      Candles were lit on every surface, letting The Light know my mom neared the end. It was a haunting site. The Keeper’s raspy voice broke the silence. “Anita, your light has shown bright and will live on in Sarah. You will continue to burn bright in the light hereafter.” 
      My mom closed her eyes in acknowledgment. Speech had stopped hours ago as it exhausted her.
      A week ago, she started not feeling well. We tried all of the herbal remedies, but she never got better. It was a mysterious disease that took one to two people every year from our group. The sickness started as an extreme headache and quickly turned to excessive vomiting. 
      Now, not seven days later, she lay in her bed dying and my world was falling apart. 
      The Keeper laid his hand on top of Mom’s and looked at me. His steel-colored beady eyes made me feel queasy. “Sarah, we shall give you a few minutes alone with your mom as time is coming. We shall all be downstairs.” A tear seeped from my mom’s eye. She appeared as scared as I felt. How was I going to survive here without her? As soon as we were left alone, I lunged toward my mom’s bed as I allowed the fear of the situation to take root in my mind. 
      “Mom, please don’t leave me. I can’t bear to think of a world that you’re not in. You’re my everything,” I sobbed. 
      My mom’s hand shook as it came to my face. Her fingernails had become dry, cracked and discolored. The herbalist said it was from lack of nutrition since my mom couldn’t keep anything down. I leaned into the touch before she had to drop her hand while I tried to memorize what it felt like to be near her—warm and loving. 
      She softly spoke, “Sarah, I should have told you sooner, but we haven’t been alone since I got sick. The truth is in an envelope in the bottom of the locked chest in the attic. The key is hidden underneath your nightstand. There’s not much time.” 
      I became desperate. “Mom, please don’t go.” A sob erupted. “Please. Please.” 
      Her eyes closed. “Shh…sweetheart. I thought I had more time to prepare. You’re not going to understand what I’m about to say, but it’s the truth. Your real name is Kenzie Brooks. If you want a choice and a say in your life, read the letter. Your inquisitive mind belongs in the world.” 
     My heart raced frantically. Kenzie Brooks. I’m Sarah. The world. Choice. Life. Those words were jumbled in my head as my mom’s breathing became more labored. My breathing increased while panic took over. “Mom, please. I don’t know what you’re saying. I don’t understand.” 
      We spoke in hushed whispers. “Kenzie, I love you. You are the light in my world. I’m so sorry for the choices I made, but know that I have loved you with my entire heart. Never doubt that.” 
      Mom stopped and took a few breaths. These were moments I was supposed to treasure, not be told secrets that would change my life more than it was. I wanted to argue with her, but she didn’t have much time. Her hand got colder. These were the last moments I would ever have with my mom. I wasn’t prepared to be left alone. I wasn’t strong enough to survive without her. 
      She continued, her voice growing weaker. “Regardless of what you think of my decision, know that I loved you. I tried to do what was best for you.” 
      Closing her eyes for a moment, they fluttered open as I spoke, “I love you, Mom. I will love you regardless of what the letter says. Know that. Always know that I’ll never stop loving you.” 
     “You’re so strong, my sweet Kenzie.” Mom’s eyes fully closed. A few more breaths followed, then she exhaled her last breath. 
      She was gone. Forever. 
      The room seemed dimmer without her in it. I crawled up in bed with Mom and sobbed as I held onto her. My body racked with uncontrolled sadness as I lost the only thing I cared about in this world. 
      She was gone. I was alone. Those two words echoed in my head—gone and alone. 

Kristin Mayer Bio: Kristin Mayer is a wife, a proud mother, and a full-time Analyst and Import Manager. Since an early age, she has always enjoyed reading and writing. While visiting her father one weekend, he suggested that she should take up writing again. With family and a career, she didn’t give it a lot of thought, until a story entered her mind and wouldn’t leave. It just kept forming and developing over a couple of months.   At the beginning of 2013, she decided to sit down and write it all down, but she kept it to herself. One sentence developed into two, and before she knew it, she had the makings of a novel.   Kristin tries to live life to the fullest during every moment. She loves to travel and meet new people. She holds a degree in International Business and uses it daily in her job. Kristin now adds “author” on her list of jobs, and feels very blessed and thankful. 

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