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Author Archives: ChristineWarner

So, I read this book…Five Things I Love About You by Sarah Ballance

First let me start out with my disclaimer. lol I’m not a professional reviewer. Even though I’m an author, I also love to read. I read quite a bit and on occasion I like to share a book or novella that has really grabbed hold of me and share it with my blog friends. 

Today, I’d like to share a fun little novella from author Sarah Ballance titled Five Things I Love About You…which is a steal at .99!

MY REVIEW:

Five Things I Love About You is such a fun story, but I should’ve known it would be because Sarah Ballance always has a way of pulling me into one of books with the dialogue, characters, and overall awesomeness. I can’t even begin to tell you how she is a master at weaving words together that just make you fall in love!

My favorite part of this story—besides the characters—was the yellow fanged cat who would just show up out of nowhere and somehow steal the scene. But his little part toward the end of the story melted my heart. I won’t go into detail because you should read this book yourself to discover all the little tidbits of amazingness.

Estelle comes to New York City from the sunny west coast to apartment sit her brother’s place. She’s not thrilled because she hates the city–how the people are rude, the sidewalks are dirty, and the overall stench. She ends up meeting a hunky neighbor who just happens to douse her with pickle juice and then come to her rescue when her air conditioner goes on the fritz. From the get go these two are attracted and between their conversations filled with sexual innuendo and the thoughts racing through their heads—about each other—this is a real page turner. Crosby–the hunky neighbor–is determined so show Estelle that the city has a lot to offer. He’ll find at least 5 things that she’ll love about city life.

Let the fun begin…

Being that they were from different ends of the continent, I was anxious to find out how they’d have their happily ever after. Would they end up having a long distance relationship…would he chuck in his business and leave it to his brothers and head west…or would she sell her house and move to the big city, or would they compromise and meet somewhere in the middle? I guess if you want to find out, you need to grab a copy of this fun novella and find the answer. This is the first book in a series about the Chase brothers, and I’m already in love with the men in this family. Looking forward to book 2!!!

five

BLURB

Five things to love about NYC. But she only needs one…

California landscape artist Estelle Donovan hates big cities. Between the grime, the smell, all the drab concrete, and the suffocating summer heat, how can anyone breathe? Housesitting her brother’s New York apartment, complete with broken elevator and smoking air conditioner, is her kind of hell. It’s only for two weeks, though. What could possibly go wrong?

Dumping a jar of pickles on the hot girl at the grocery store wasn’t Crosby Chase’s finest hour, nor was getting bitten in the butt by the demonic cat on her fire escape. But he is going to change her mind about his beloved city, damn it. In fact, if they could just make it five minutes without falling into bed, he bets Estelle he can find five things she’ll love about New York.

Falling in love wasn’t part of his plan. And with an entire country between them, Crosby realizes he doesn’t need five reasons to make Estelle love New York.

He needs one big reason to make her stay…

Title: Five Things I Love About You
Series: Chase Brothers
Author: Sarah Ballance
Genre: Contemporary Romance, novella
Length: 160 pages
ISBN: 978-1-63375-337-2
Release Date: August 17, 2015
Imprint: Lovestruck

Price listed is for the U.S. digital format. Please confirm pricing and availability with the retailer before downloading.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in Review, So...I read this book

 

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SPECIAL GUEST ~ Victoria James author of Falling for the PI ~ GIVEAWAY

Today I’d love your help in welcoming author Victoria James to the blog! She’s talking about an author’s muse and then sharing her latest release Falling for the PI. Don’t you L O V E this cover? Then wait until you read the blurb and the excerpt~

Please remember to click on the link below to enter Victoria’s giveaway :)

Take it away Victoria… 

An author’s muse and how they help them to write

 

I remember reading a quote by a famous author and how she didn’t believe in waiting for one’s  muse to show up. I agree with this! When you’re writing for a publisher, you have deadlines and a schedule. There are some days that I find writing very difficult. There are some days that it’s so easy, I don’t want to stop. But either way, the writing needs to get done.

 

The days that the words come fastest are when I’m on a tight deadline ;-)…but always when I’m really into the story. The characters become very familiar to me, almost like old friends. I love topics surrounding families, redemption, healing, and home.

 

In my newest book, Falling for the P.I., I’m able to capture all my favourites into one book. It’s an emotional read that tests the meaning of family and the power of healing.

 

Thanks so much for having me on your blog!

 

Victoria

xo

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$25.00 Amazon eGift Card 

 

FALLING FOR THE P.I.
Still Harbor #1
Victoria James
Releasing Aug 10th, 2015
Entangled: Bliss
Teacher Kate Abbott’s fresh start in Still Harbor was the beginning of the life that she and her two best friends always imagined for themselves. Still, being a working single parent of a special needs daughter hasn’t exactly improved Kate’s love life. But Kate’s preference for nachos over men quickly disappears when she meets the oh-so-sexy Matt Lane.
Until she finds out he’s a cop.
Matt is a former cop-turned-private investigator, and he knows fear when he sees it. A cop clearly spooked Kate…or hurt her. Still, something about the gorgeous professor catches his attention, and despite his “no settling down” policy, he can’t resist her. But all of the attraction in the world won’t be enough to overcome Kate’s past…
 
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EXCERPT

Matt’s mind was spinning. What the hell had he gotten himself into? Kate was a mother. Well, one date wasn’t going to hurt him. He could sign up for the donation and then never see her again. He paused before getting into the SUV and pretended to glance down at his phone. He hadn’t made any commitments. It was a working date, nothing more.

He opened the door for her and he could read the surprise on her face when he did. “Uh, thanks,” she said, but then paused, not stepping into his SUV. Instead, she turned to look at him, crossing her arms in front of her.

“I just want to be clear,” she began softly. “I’m not looking for anything other than a donation. I can tell you’re surprised that I have a daughter.” Her head was tilted back so that she could look at him squarely in the eye.

He cleared his throat. “So only one is yours?”

Kate surprised him by smiling, and he found himself smiling in return, then looking at her mouth. She was not what he’d expected, and his attraction to her was only increasing instead of diminishing. That should have sent off some warning bells.

“Yes. The little girl with glasses, Janie, is my daughter. She has Down’s syndrome. I adopted her. There is no father, no husband, no anyone,” she said softly, but in a voice that was filled with conviction, slightly defensive.

He stared at her, speechless, impressed. She made him think of all the good women in his life, the ones who had sacrificed and loved him. She made him think all the naïve thoughts he’d once had about people when he was little, before he learned how horrible they could really be. Her expression reminded him of himself when he’d defiantly look up to his father, hoping for acceptance, but bracing himself for the worst.

He swallowed, hard. “Why didn’t you introduce me to your daughter?”

Her eyes narrowed. “I read the expression on your face. I saw the shock and I have no intention of introducing my daughter to someone who won’t be around tomorrow. Don’t worry, I’ve gotten used to it. I also know that I’ve had to choose my…friends wisely. I don’t put up with crap from people, so if you want to donate, it will be greatly appreciated. If you were after something else and now want out, that’s fine too. Just don’t waste my time and don’t bother acting all charming if you’re after a quick screw. I don’t work that way,” she said, backing up abruptly.

Matt grabbed her hand, finding his voice. “Don’t do that, don’t assume I’m like everyone else.” He didn’t know  what the hell he was doing, or what he was promising, but he didn’t want to be that guy she was describing, and he didn’t want to say good-bye to Kate.

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Victoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.

In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.

Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after’s for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.

Sign up for Victoria’s Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming releases and exclusive giveaways, follow her blog for daily antics and insight into her daily life, and get to know her on twitter and Facebook. She loves hearing from readers!

 
 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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SPECIAL GUEST Robyn DeHart author of Undercover with the Earl ~ GIVEAWAY

Please help me welcome author Robyn DeHart to the blog. Robyn writes amazing historical romances that make you stay up way to late on nights you have to work…trust me. lol Today she’s talking about wicked men, who just happen to be sexy. The best kind. Afterward check out her latest release Undercover with the Earl, and don’t forget to enter her giveaway. Take it away Robyn…

 

 

Wicked men…why are they so sexy? This question was posed to me for this blog and I decided to tackle the topic because well, who doesn’t love to talk about sexy men? Now the easy answer is…because they’re HOT! I take this notion of creating heroes quite serious. Consider it for a moment…when you’re reading a romance novel, you want to root for the heroine and fall in love with the hero. If I can’t create a hero that readers can fall in love with, then I’m not doing my job right. But what is it about the wicked ones, the bad boys, that really call to us? They don’t in the real world (for the most part). I mean most of us are married to the good guys. I know I am. My husband is a college professor for Pete’s sake. While he’d love to thing of himself as a rough-and-tumble tough guy, he’s a big ‘ol softy. So that’s what I want to come home to every night, but when I snuggle up with a book, sometimes I want that rogue. I think the biggest appeal is not so much how naughty they are, but that they’re naughty with a chance at being redeemed. We want to be that woman that brings that bad boy to his knees. We secretly long to be that girl, the one with the stack of books and the glasses sitting in the school cafeteria and the hottest guy in school walks past those cheerleaders because he can see the reality of who that girl is. He wants to know her. It’s all tied into that fantasy. So the redeem-ability factor is huge. The other thing is those naughty men give the heroines a reason to be naughty, even if only behind closed doors. It’s nice to fantasize about being able to be daring and reckless with a man, to trust him so much we’d let him take us anywhere. All right readers, your turn, who’s your favorite bad boy hero? It can be TV, book, movie, whatever.

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$25.00 eGift Card or Ebook Bundles

 

UNDERCOVER WITH THE EARL
Brotherhood of the Sword #1
Robyn DeHart
Releasing Aug 10th, 2015
Entangled: Scandalous

 

London, 1838
The handsome Earl of Summersby may just be the most eligible bachelor in London, but has no interest in a wife. As a member of the Brotherhood, Bennett Haile is far more vested in his undercover duties for the crown and protecting the Queen from would-be assassins. For now he has the perfect tool with which to lure out the villains—a young woman with an uncanny likeness to the queen.
The spirited Evelyn Marington is about to live out every country girl’s dream—becoming royalty overnight. Under the tutelage of the arrogant Earl of Summersby, she’ll have to fool the entire court that she is, in fact, the queen. But as danger threatens from every side, Bennett realizes that his lovely little protegé isn’t just placing her life in his hands… She’s stealing his heart.
 
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EXCERPT

  “Stand and walk to the other side of the room,” he said. “I beg your pardon?” “I must evaluate how you walk.” She gaped at him. “How I walk?” “Do try and keep up, Miss Marrington. People will be watching.” “Is there something wrong with how I walk?” “Your walk is …” No. In truth, she walked with an unconscious grace and agility he found charming. There was nothing studied about her movements, nothing calculated. She managed to be both completely natural and totally bewitching, which was entirely beside the point. “Your walk is unstudied.” “Are you staying I’m clumsy?” Her gaze sparked with indignation, but perhaps a flash of pain as well. “I am well aware that I lack the grace and cultivation of my older sisters, but I assure you I am not some clumsy oaf who can’t be trusted to walk into a room.” He drew in a deep breath, praying for patience. This was why he wasn’t yet married. This was why he was absolutely the wrong man for this job. “Your mannerisms must match hers,” he said tightly. She closed her eyes and took several deep breaths before standing, then walked across the room. It was not a clumsy or awkward gait, but not regal either. “No.” He shook his head. “Try it again but slower, yet with more purpose.” She crossed her arms over her ample bosom. “This is ridiculous.” He allowed his gaze to linger on her tempting curves before stepping over to her. “Miss Marrington, do you want to do this assignment or not?” Her mouth opened, then she paused and her brows slanted down in anger. “My Lord, I realize that you are an Earl and of relation to our Queen and our Society deems you more important than I. Perhaps they are even correct; however, it would seem to me that you,” she jabbed a finger into his chest, “need me more than I need you for this assignment. Thus far you have insulted my family, the way I walk and my hair. You are arrogant and rude and sorely lacking in manners.” Her hands fisted on her hips accenting their roundedness. How was it that this little slip of a woman shoed no fear of him? He’d frightened women merely by walking into their drawing room. And here, he was being a bully—and for good reason—to Evelyn Marrington, but she was quite obviously not afraid of him. He couldn’t help but find that both infuriating and alluring. “You have obviously decided that I do not possess the intelligence nor grace to succeed in this charade. I will not stand for this sort of treatment. I should like a carriage to bring me home on the morrow. Good day, Lord Somersby.” She turned and marched from the room. He watched her go in complete disbelief. No one had ever spoken to him in such a way. Arrogant and rude! She was the only lacking in manners. This entire assignment echoed with idiocy. Ellis had claimed his cousin amiable and clever, neither of which Bennett had seen. All he had witnessed was her sharp tongue. Damned if he didn’t find her sass alluring as hell. All the more reason to send her back home and tell Potterfield she refused to participate. Bennett couldn’t be blamed for this failure if she was the one who walked away. This would work out perfectly. He’d get to continue with the Brotherhood and not be distracted by the ridiculously attractive and fiery-tongued Miss Marrington. It would almost be worth completing the assignment just to see if she was as passionate in other areas. Almost.

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National Bestselling author, Robyn DeHart’s novels have appeared in the top bestselling romance and historical romance lists. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her historical romantic adventure series, The Legend Hunters, were not only bestsellers, but also award-winners, snagging a Reader’s Crown and a Reviewer’s Choice award. She had three releases in 2013 and 2014 will see four more, all set in the popular historical romance Regency and Victorian eras. Known for her “strong dialogue and characters that leap off the page” (RT Bookclub) and her “sizzling romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been featured in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. A popular writing instructor, she has given speeches at writing conferences in Los Angeles, DC, New York, Dallas, Nashville and Toronto, among many others. When not writing, you can find Robyn hanging out with her family, husband (The Professor) a university professor of Political Science and their two ridiculously beautiful and smart daughters, Busybee and Babybee as well as two spoiled-rotten cats. They live in the hill country of Texas where it’s hot eight months of the year, but those big blue skies make it worth it. 
 
 
 
 
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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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BOOK BLAST ~ Laid Out by Sidney Halston ~ GIVEAWAY

Enter to Win 
Loveswept & FLIRT Mugs and
Select Ebook Bundle

 

LAID OUT
Worth the Fight #4
Sidney Halston
Releasing August 18th, 2015
Loveswept

 

Perfect
for fans of Monica Murphy and Cecy Robson, Sidney Halston’s scorching new MMA
romance proves there are no holds barred when it comes to seduction.
Growing up an Army brat, Violet Channing could never meet her dad’s high expectations.
But in the eyes of her best friend, she could do no wrong. He even insisted
that he should be her first kiss. Now Cain Sorensen is all grown up, hardened
by years in special ops and always looking for a good fight. Tall, with
striking blue eyes and impossibly blond hair, he’s a modern-day Viking warrior.
Of course, Violet’s all grown up, too, and she’s ready to surrender to his
every command.
Cain knows he’s bad for Violet. His work is dangerous, and his hobbies are downright
deadly. As a private mercenary and a mixed martial arts fighter, he could never
let such an innocent soul into his world. And yet his most grueling combat
training is no match for Violet’s killer curves, hot touch, and suggestive
glances. Now all of Cain’s most explosive fantasies are coming true—but once
they cross the line between friends and lovers, there’s no turning back.
 
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 EXCERPT

Cain hadn’t left Tarpon Springs, Florida, for this long since he’d moved there four years ago. He’d grown up on an army base, then served in the military for eight years before retiring, and this was the first time in his adult life that he felt he had a home. After one too many fights in school, his father had forced him to enlist, to follow the path of his father and his father’s father. The Sorensons bred military men. Then his second tour ended and he didn’t want the army to be a career, so he’d gotten out, much to his father’s dismay. Right now, if someone asked him why he had signed up with IMC, International Military Coalition, as a contractor, he couldn’t answer. At the time he’d only seen the dollar bills. The pay was amazing compared to what the U.S. government had paid him for risking his life for years as an Army Ranger, and signing up to make four times the amount with a private company seemed like the obvious next step.

As soon as Cain walked out of the airport, he hailed a taxi to take him straight to the Pier. It was Friday night, and his friends would undoubtedly be there. Plus, he needed a beer . . . or seven. On the ride over, he received a text from Iggy Mitchell, another mercenary he’d met overseas. Iggy had lost a leg in a tour in Iraq a couple of years ago, and when he wasn’t on a mission for IMC, he worked as a consultant in Tampa specializing in testing firewalls and other online security threats. In other words, he was a professional hacker. The two men had quickly hit it off and sparred together during their free time. Iggy’s hard work and zest for life made the prosthetic leg a nonissue. One evening Iggy had mentioned how he loved to gamble on a series of underground fights put together by some Russians. The text Cain was currently reading was the address of a fight happening in a few days. But Cain wasn’t a gambling man, so he wasn’t interested. He slid the phone back into his pocket and settled in for the forty-five-minute cab ride to the Pier.

It was raining when the taxi arrived. He swung the big duffle bag over his shoulder and looked around the familiar town before he reached to open the front door. A hand on his shoulder stopped him. “Hey, man! You’re back.” It was Tony, his friend, sparring partner, and professional mixed martial arts fighter, whom he had helped train a few months ago.

“Cain, honey, so glad you’re home!” Tony’s wife, Francesca, threw her arms around him for a big hug. He wasn’t big on contact, and he awkwardly put his arm around her waist and patted her back.

“Come on, let’s go inside,” Tony said. “The rest of the guys are on their way. Do they know you’re back? Where were you, by the way?”

“Libya. Just arrived. No one knows,” Cain replied.

Francesca hissed. “Libya. Fuck. That’s not safe.”

“No.”

“Still quite the conversationalist, I see.” Tony patted Cain roughly on the back.

“Leave the man alone. He just came back from hell, he doesn’t need that attitude tonight. By the way . . .” She poked Cain in the shoulder. “Don’t you ever fuckin’ leave again without letting us know you’re leaving or where you’re going. We were worried.” She reached in and hugged him again.

“Violet?” Cain asked when she released him.

“What about her?” Francesca asked.

“She okay?”

“Ask her yourself—she’s here.”

Cain tried not to smile, but his lips seemed to curl upward all on their own. He hadn’t seen Violet for years until a few months ago, when she’d moved to town. He was happy he’d get to see her tonight. As had always been the case, her warm smile was the perfect salve for his shitty mood.

Cain put a hand on Francesca’s upper arm. “Wait—before we go in, are there any fights coming up? Sign me up for something. Soon.” Francesca was co-owner of Worth the Fight Academy, a mixed martial arts gym that trained professional cage fighters, which was what Cain had been doing before heading off a few months earlier.

“You just got into town. You need to take a breather. We can talk about it when you’re settled back.”

“I’m settled. I’m back. Sign me up.”

“Fine. But tonight, relax, at least for a few hours. Come have a drink and say hello to everyone. We’ll find you something tomorrow,” Francesca said.

As soon as he opened the door to the familiar laughter and smell he started to feel better.

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Sidney Halston lives her life by one
simple rule: “Just do it.” And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of
thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a
pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first
stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in
South Florida with her husband and children.
 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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SPECIAL GUEST ~ Jennifer Ryan author of Her Lucky Cowboy ~ Giveaway

Thank you for joining me on the blog today :) Please help me welcome author Jennifer Ryan. She’s talking cowboys–and who doesn’t love a good cowboy romance–and sharing her latest release Her Lucky Cowboy. As most of  you know, I’m a total cover junkie, and I just adore this cover…this cowboy is H A W T :)

Afterward, please enter Jennifer’s giveaway!

Take it away Jennifer…

Top 5 Reasons We All Fall for Cowboys

 

#5 All that sexy hotness packed into a tight pair of jeans. Need I say more? Okay, we could talk about their sculpted muscles beneath sun-kissed skin from all that hard work. *Fans face.*

 

#4 Cowboy kindness. It’s the manners that get me. All that, “Yes, ma’am,” and opening doors for their ladies. They tip their hats and smile so nice, all with a gleam in their squinted eyes.

 

#3 They’re animal lovers. Whether it’s a barn cat or their favorite horse, Cowboys care for the animals they tend. It’s in their nurturing spirit. Don’t we all just drool when we see a hot cowboy in the cab of his truck with his trusty dog right beside him?

 

#2 They’ve got a wild side. How else can you explain their crazy need to get on a bucking bull? Or ride like the wind on the back of a horse? It’s that fun-loving side that’s got them dancing in the local saloon and chasing their favorite cowgirl and stealing a kiss.

 

#1 Strength. Yes please, I do need you to pluck me off my horse with your strong grip at my hips. Lift a heavy bale of hay, or a sack of feed, no problem for our tough guys. But that strength goes deeper than their tight muscles. It’s in their determination to get the job done and go after what they want, to hold onto tradition and a way of life that’s rooted in the land and providing for others. It’s in their dedication to family and home and the woman they love.

 

Your order might be different. I can only say that for me after you get past the hot guy in a tight pair of jeans with a really fine ass, cowboys have a hell of a lot more going on to temp any cowgirl into falling head over heels for them.

 

What’s your favorite thing about a cowboy?

 

 

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Montana Men Ebook Bundle

 

HER LUCKY COWBOY
Montana Men #3
Jennifer Ryan
Releasing Aug 25th
Avon

Champion rodeo rider Dane Bowden is eight seconds from winning under the Vegas lights, one last hurrah before reluctantly returning to his family’s Montana ranch. But his bull has other plans. When Dane wakes up, he’s sure he’s died and gone to heaven . . . because the doctor who comes to his aid is the same girl who saved his life and disappeared years ago.

Bell would do anything for Dane. He’s the fantasy that always kept her going. A child genius hidden away by her family, Bell was the secret no one talked about, the girl no one wanted. Despite finding success as a young surgeon, she’s still the awkward girl who’s never had a boyfriend. So why does Dane, a notorious playboy and sizzling-hot cowboy, insist on taking her on a real date?

Bell is the only woman in Dane’s heart. When a rodeo rivalry turns deadly, it’s his turn to save Bell’s life—because he sure as hell won’t lose his guardian angel again.

 
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 EXCERPT

Bowden Ranch, Montana

Eleven years ago

 

Dane was flying.

One moment he was riding his horse across the far reaches of his family’s land, the next his horse reared up and kicked his massive hooves in the air, spooked by some unseen threat. Dane let loose the reins and fell sideways, hoping the horse didn’t trample him. Dane’s left foot hit the ground first, his ankle twisting painfully as his body slammed into the packed dirt and weeds. His shoulder hit next, breaking most of his upper body’s fall, but his head smashed into a jagged rock. Pain exploded through his head.

Hombre galloped away. Alone now, Dane rolled and lay flat on his back, staring up at the canopy of tree branches overhead. The sound of the rushing river next to him added to the thrashing heartbeat in his ears. He rubbed his hands over his eyes, hoping that cleared his spotty double vision. His left hand came away wet and sticky with blood from the gash swelling on his head.

He closed his eyes tight, his hands falling limp on his stomach. When he opened them moments later, he stared into a pair of dazzling blue eyes. The young girl’s dark hair hung down, covering most of her pale face as she stared at him. The most beautiful girl he’d ever seen.

“Are you okay?”

Such a soft, sweet voice. Where had she come from? No one lived out here. He liked the peace and quiet. The solitude.

“I must be dead. You’re an angel.”

Those ethereal eyes went wide with surprise. “Trust me, I’m no angel.” She filled those soft words with as much shock and disbelief as showed on her pretty face.

Calling her a liar probably wouldn’t make her like him.

She crouched, opened her hand, and set a long blue feather on his chest before touching her fingers to his aching head. The sting made him hiss in pain. Definitely not dead. Which meant she was real. Despite his prone body and inability to think clearly, one thing came through loud and clear. He wanted to know this girl.

“I need to stop this bleeding.”

He must have torn his T-shirt when he hit the ground. She ripped a piece free, walked to the edge of the river, and dipped it in the icy water. His vision blurred. He closed his eyes and moaned when she pressed the cold cloth to his head.

“There now. You’ll be okay.”

At fifteen, the last thing he wanted to do was ask for help, but his head swam and his ankle throbbed in time to his heart and the headache pounding in his head. No way he’d get home on his own. “My ankle hurts. Please, you have to get my dad. Find one of my brothers.”

Her soft hand settled on his chest over his heart. “You’ll be okay.” She snatched it back, like touching him burned her. He missed the sweet contact.

She reached for his foot and carefully pulled off his boot. He tried to bite back the groan, but it burst from his tight lips when the pain shot up his leg. Not cool to look like a wuss in front of a pretty girl, but with his head busted open, he was in bad shape.

She ripped his shirt again and used the long strip to bind his ankle. It actually felt better.

She sat beside him, her hands clenched in her lap. “I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t have touched you. I’m sorry.”

He didn’t understand her distress. He tried to sit up and comfort her, but he fell back to the ground, his eyes closing as blackness swamped his dizzy mind.

 

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Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.
 
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional
worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.
 
 
 
 
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Posted by on August 24, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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SPECIAL GUEST ~ Sarah Hegger author of Nobody’s Fool ~ GIVEAWAY

Please help  me welcome a special guest to the blog today! Sarah Hegger is visiting and talking romance heroines. She’s also giving us a peek into her latest release Nobody’s Fool by sharing a blurb and excerpt. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know more about today’s guest author and her latest release.

Don’t forget to click on the link that will take you to Sarah’s wonderful giveaway too!

Take it away Sarah…

 

I was having drinks with a writer friend recently (yes, Veronica Forand, I’m talking about you) and she was talking about my books—one of my favorite subjects. She was saying she was looking forward to reading Nobody’s Fool and getting to know another of my frustrating female characters

Huh?

Pretty much my reaction, too. Veronica went on to explain that she’ll be reading along, guessing the direction of the story and then I’ll go and break trope and take my lady in an entirely different direction.

Oh, and she said she loved that about my books.

So, feeling appeased I gave it some thought. And I suppose I do. It’s certainly never been deliberate on my part, but I really like the grey areas in life. I think we all operate somewhere in those murky depths between black and white, good and bad, honest and dishonest. It’s what makes us human, and it’s what makes a character interesting to write about, and read about. The books I love to read also wallow around in the grey, messy bits of experience.  A great villain is never 100% evil. Think of Stephen King’s great character, Annie Wilks, from Misery. As crazy as she is, she does a little tugging on the sympathy strings. Wonderful heroes are often a bit flawed and we love them all the more for it. Who didn’t totally crush on Hans Solo, or perhaps I’m dating myself here. Let’s bring this into this decade and think of Star-Lord (Peter Quill) in Guardians of the Galaxy.

We’re all a collection of our experiences, and characters are just the same. Holly, in Nobody’s Fool, is a woman who has taken on responsibility for her siblings. She’s caught between responsibility and wanting to cut lose and live her life her way. And it’s not easy, because her responsibilities are heavier than most and very real. Really bad stuff will happen if Holly walks away from them. At the same time, she deserves to be happy and live her life on her terms. Then, I made it a bit more difficult for her by throwing in a huge chunk of temptation in the form of delicious Josh Hunter.

So, how is Holly going to resolve all this and find her happily-ever-after? Well, I can’t tell you that without spoiling the book. But I will tell you (are you listening, Veronica?) that she’ll take a few twists and turns along the way.

 

What qualities do you like best in your romance heroines? Leave me a comment and let me know.

 

 

Enter to Win
$50 GC, $20 GC or 
Copy of NOBODY’S ANGEL

 

NOBODY’S FOOL
Willow Park #2
Sarah Hegger
Released August 25th, 2015
Kensington Books : Zebra

 


In Sarah Hegger’s latest Willow Park Romance, long-held crushes and past frenemies reunite–and wonder if there’s ever a second chance to make a good first impression. .

Holly Partridge had no plans to return to Willow Park, Illinois, until her troubled younger sister Portia fled her home and aimed herself straight at Holly’s high school nemesis–too-gorgeous-to-be-true Josh Hunter. Riding a manic bipolar high, Portia’s only a danger to herself, but Holly needs to find her before she crashes. That means asking Josh for help.

The ultimate love ’em and leave ’em lothario, Josh was never good for anything but a broken heart. But now he’s lending a hand when Holly needs it most–and revealing surprising generosity and compassion. Has Josh shed his bad boy ways? Or is Holly suddenly grown up enough to acknowledge her own mistakes? Trusting Josh could be a disaster–or the first step in banishing the past to make way for a future happier than Holly ever imagined. .

BUY NOW
EXCERPT

Josh ducked out of the rain beneath the overhang outside the bar.

Holly made a pathetic sight. She’d lost her pencils in the downpour and her hair clung like rattails to her face and back. She stood with her head bent and her shoulders slumped, water pooling in the bottom of her jeans and splashing over her Converse sneakers. The rain had plastered her clothes to her body.

Time to get very wet. He snagged a complimentary Scants umbrella and prepared to best his dragon. Despise him now, did she?

“Hi again.” Josh almost took a self-preserving step backwards as the blast from her eyes broadsided him. He held the umbrella over both their heads.

“Ah, perfect.” She threw her hands up. “This is all I need right now. Why did I think it couldn’t get any worse?”

Josh inched the umbrella over her head. Rain streamed down his neck and under the collar of his shirt. In seconds he was as wet as she was. “Is something wrong?”

“What do you think?”

Her body thrummed with tension, her hands clenched by her sides. He got the feeling this was about more than the rain.

“I wouldn’t bother.” She snarled at the hot pink canopy above her soaking head. “Keep it for yourself. That pretty shirt of yours must have cost more than my car is worth.”

She was probably right, but this wasn’t the time to say so. “Where’s your car?”

“Not here.”

“Okay.” She was right about the umbrella. The rain bounced off the canopy and streamed over the edge and down his head. “Should we—?”

“My car is not here because it’s missing.” Her face grew flushed as the volume rose. Anger emanated off her in waves.

“Is it—?”

“Because some miserable, fuckwit, son of a bitch, asswipe, bastard, pissant, dickhead, wanker, prat, git stole it. They stole my car.”

And thar she blows!

Not good. Her car had been stolen. It explained the standing in the rain.

She went quite red in the face. “They stole my car.” The level of rage reminded him of his mother trying to get her three six-foot plus sons to do her bidding.

Josh was impressed and a bit scared for his life. Holly got mad good and proper, and her swearing was near legendary. He wasn’t sure what a wanker, a prat, or a git were, but they couldn’t be good.

Ah, dammit! Her nipples pressed against the nearly transparent fabric of her shirt. Her voluminous diatribe floated over his head.

He needed to focus on the problem.

“Are you looking at my breasts?”

“Um…” There wasn’t much he could say as he had—totally against his will, of course—been ogling the cinnamon-tinted peaks of her nipples.  “Are you sure?”

“You are such a dog.” Her eyes disappeared into narrow lines of death.

“Are you sure your car was stolen?”

“I’m standing here without clothes, money, a passport, and a bloody car and you’re getting your ya-ya’s out. Weren’t those girls in there enough for you?”

The Bambi/Barbie/Bubbles thing swung back to haunt him. “About that—”

“I don’t care.” She stormed to beat the crap out of the weather. “They stole my car and everything in it.”

“I’m sorry,” he said. Words failed him. The situation sucked, no two ways about it.

“Did you call the police?”

“Of course I called the bloody police.” She waved her hands around as punctuation.

Josh kept a sharp eye on her hand punching through the air. “What—?”

“Did you think I was standing out here waiting for the car to magically reappear? Or perhaps you thought I was waiting for a big strong man to come and tell me what to do?”

Actually, she’d hit perilously close to the truth. He’d been about to offer his manly arm for her rescue. “You’re getting wet.”

“You don’t say?” She glared up at the umbrella.

He kept the umbrella right where it was. There had to be something he could say to make this seem a little less dire. But nothing came to him. His eyes burned to drop down and get another look. Do not look at her breasts again. Do not look at her breasts again. Do not—

“Would you like to wait where it’s dry?” Inspiration, when it struck, was dizzying.

“Where?” Her eyes narrowed. Her freckles stood out against her skin in a way that was totally adorable, and she’d probably eviscerate him for even thinking it.

He pointed across the street. “My condo is over there.”

“I know that.”

“You do?”

She ground her teeth and gave a long-suffering sigh. “Yes. I went there first and your doorman told me where to find you.”

“Philip told you where to find me?” Philip needed to be a little less free with the information. Not really the issue right now.

“Yes.” Her chin stuck out in open challenge.

He’d ask Philip later and have a much better chance of surviving the encounter. Also lessen the risk of imminent drowning.

“You can see the street from my window.” Josh motioned to a wide picture window on the top floor. “You’ll be able to see when the police get here.”

“Of course you have the penthouse.” She scoffed and threw her hands up again. “Tell me, Joshua Hunter, in your charmed existence, has anyone ever had the temerity to steal your car?”

“Er … no.” She made it sound like a bad thing.

“Typical. Sodding typical.”

“Someone once stole my iPhone,” he offered by way of consolation.

She snorted and crossed her arms over her lovely breasts.

The rain subsided to a steady torrent. The cuffs of his pants were wet. He must be as prissy as his younger brother said because the pants were D&G this season, and he liked them. “The condo.” Getting out of this rain would be a good move. “Would you like to wait there for the police?”

“I have to find Portia.” Her lips tightened into a straight line. “I don’t have time for this. I have to find her.”

Her eyes gleamed fever bright, and Josh had the horrible feeling she held back the tears by sheer force of will. “She could be anywhere and she isn’t—I have to find her.”

“But first you need to speak to the police and they’re on their way.” His gut screamed at him. There was a story here. “Did you say your money and your passport were in the car?”

Her shoulders drooped and she heaved a huge sigh. “And my clothes.”

Not good. “Okay, first things first, let’s get out of this rain.”

“I’m not going to your lair.”

His damsel refused to be rescued. Not really surprising.

“What about the foyer?” He mentally congratulated himself for his quick two-step shuffle. “You can wait in the lobby until the police arrive.”

“Okay.”

“And then we can talk about what else we can do to get you out of this mess.”

“Don’t patronize me.” She sloshed after him to his building.

“I’m not patronizing you. Now, be a good girl and come along.”


 

 

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Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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INTERVIEW with Diane Burton author of The Protector ~ GIVEAWAY

Please help me welcome friend and author Diane Burton to the blog. Diane has agreed to take the hot seat and answer a few questions. If you don’t already know Diane, I think you’ll enjoy getting to know a little more about her, and of course her latest release The Protector.

Don’t forget to check out her blurb and excerpt, and then enter her awesome giveaway at the end of the post!

Let’s get started…

db

Describe yourself as if you were tweeting…that’s right. You get 140 characters! :)

Action/adventure romance author. 1 spouse, 2 kids, 3 gr’kids. Quilter, gardener, reader, movie watcher. Detroit Tigers & Star Wars fan.

Nicely done! What’s the first thing we’d see when we walked in your front door?

Family pictures.

What is your favorite meal to cook?

Mostaccioli or as my grandkids call it “fat spaghetti” from my grandmother’s recipe.

Pasta is always a favorite. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

In high school, but a teacher discouraged me. A long time later, with empty nest approaching, I decided I would write a romance novel, sell a zillion copies, and be as famous as Nora Roberts. LOL Life doesn’t work like that.

It’s rewarding none the less though :) I love choosing names for my characters. How did you go about choosing yours?

For my science fiction romances, it’s sound—how the combination of consonants and vowels appeal to me. I want them to be different from American names yet pronounceable. For romantic suspense, I decide on the character’s heritage and the part of the country they are from.

What makes THE PROTECTOR different from other books in the same genre?

I tackle issues that are just as common in the future as they are today, like human trafficking.

Which character is most like you?

Bits and pieces of me are in all the characters I write. Rissa’s lack of confidence in Dillan’s love; Dillan’s rebellion against his father’s plan for his career; Arjay’s inadvertent humor.

Do you prefer to write in the morning, afternoon, evening, or just whenever you can?

Definitely in the morning when I’m freshest.

That’s how I roll, too. lol What’s the first sentence in your book?

After cutting the heel off a loaf of jambor, Rissa Dix sat on a stool at her work island, closed her eyes, and inhaled the scent of freshly-baked bread.

What was your favorite scene in THE PROTECTOR to write and why?

When Dillan takes Rissa up into the rainforest canopy. The scene shows her having fun, something she rarely does.

Why should we read THE PROTECTOR?

If you like adventure along with romance, second chances and healing, you’ll find it in THE PROTECTOR.

Sounds great :) What is one of your fondest memories from when you were growing up?

Lying on a quilt in a shady spot outside and reading Nancy Drew mysteries.

Growing up my sister and 2 neighbor girls would read romances while we soaked up the sun on a trampoline. Fond memories :) What is the best part of the writing process for you…the beginning of the book, the middle, or the      end…and why?

The beginning. It’s a new adventure, full of promise. I know basically where the story will go but not how. There are always surprises.

Would you give us a sneak peek into what you’re working on now?

I’m working on the second book in my cozy mystery series called The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé. It features a female detective in a fictitious resort town on Lake Michigan. It should be available in October. Then I’m finishing a Christmas novella that started as a short story about the voyage of a small team of astronauts to a “Goldilocks” planet. Christmas in Space will be released in November.

bn

The Protector (An Outer Rim Novel)
by Diane Burton
Amazon  Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | Smashwords
Genre: Romantic Adventure/Science Fiction
Release Date: July 24, 2015
Length: 370 Pages

After tavern owner Rissa Dix rescues two girls from a slave ship, she must rally the townsfolk to prevent traffickers from raiding the frontier colony. She’s met with apathy and disbelief. Because she lost her own baby to traffickers, she’s determined that no other mother will suffer the same heartache.

Industrialist heir Dillan Rusteran aids her in rescuing more children. Little do they know they’re about to tangle with a trafficking ring that puts Rissa in danger. Dillan’s loved her for years despite her claim she’s too old for him. As they fight the traffickers, will she finally see him in a new light?

EXCERPT

Dillan woke up to a steady thump-thump-thump. Damn, the sublight engine was acting up again. He rolled over and almost fell out of bed.

Two things hit him at the same time. He wasn’t in the wide, comfortable bed in his quarters aboard ship and the thumping wasn’t his sublight. Thank the stars for that. Still, it had been acting a little wonky lately. He’d have to check it out.

After dressing and taking care of his needs in the small san-fac near the stairs, he ambled down carrying his boots in the event the big Zebori was still asleep. Although how anyone could sleep through all that thumping he had no idea. He followed the noise into the kitchen.

Rissa stood at the island kneading dough. Last night he remembered how much higher than normal the island was. She’d built it to accommodate her height. For a moment, he just watched her as she concentrated on the dough. Several lumps of grayish-brown dough sat on the flour-covered table waiting their turn. Even though he was a few meters away, the yeasty scent hit his nose and brought back memories of the times he’d been there before. And how much he enjoyed her company. Despite her treating him like a kid.

The dark haired teen—Pela?—worked alongside Rissa. She noticed him first. Panic crossed her strong features before she murmured to Rissa.

“Good morning, sleepyhead.” She laughed as she turned the dough she’d been punishing into a long, loaf pan. She picked up another lump and went to work on it.

Dillan yawned. “What time is it?”

“Almost Mid-Day.” When she looked up, she did a double take. “Your beard is gone.”

“It itched. When I find the barber, I’ll get my hair cut, too.” He ran his fingers across the top of his head. “It’s Mid-Day? Damn. I wanted to get an early start.”

Without stopping her kneading, she asked, “Early start on what?”

“Going into the mountains.”

“Did you come here to go climbing again?”

Grief hit Dillan the way it had for the past six years any time someone mentioned his former favorite sport. He hadn’t climbed since his best friend died in a freak rock slide. Or so he thought until a year ago.

Rissa’s dark eyes reflected guilt. She stopped working the dough. “I’m sorry, Dillan. I forgot.”

“Apparently, so did Konner.” He didn’t conceal the hurt he’d felt when he learned Konner was not only alive but had a family. “Turns out I was wrong about some things. I’ll, uh, leave you to your work.”

With her forearm, she wiped the sweat off her brow then went back to kneading. “Pela, you did fine. Turn that one into the next pan then get Dillan a cup of sheelonga tea.”

Pela eyed him with uncertainty.

“I can get it.” He sure didn’t want to upset the girl. “Mugs still next to the sink?”

Rissa looked surprised that he remembered. He remembered everything about her. She’d stayed in his mind after every trip from the time he was sixteen. Konner had teased him about being infatuated. Dillan knew it was more than infatuation. Especially after that last visit.

About Diane Burton
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

db

I grew up in the Detroit-area and have lived in Portage (MI), Sedalia (MO) as well as a brief stint in Chicago-land.  I’ve been a Parks & Recreation supervisor, an inventory clerk for a flute store, and a long-time volunteer for Girl Scouts. My last job was for an oil and gas exploration company where I discovered the cure for insomnia—reading oil and gas leases.  My longest-running gig was as a teacher where I taught elementary kids for over 10 years.  I am a member of Romance Writers of America and the Mid-Michigan and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapters of RWA. I met my own hero on a blind date. It was love at first sight–for me. It took him a little longer. We currently reside in West Michigan and have two grown children and three delightful grandchildren.

I’ve been a reader all my life, and I love movies, especially action adventure, mysteries, science fiction, and romantic comedy. CastleFirefly, and NCIS are my favorite TV shows. So is it any wonder that I write science fiction romance and romantic suspense, both with comedic elements?

~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~

$15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

***CLICK HERE TO ENTER***

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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