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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.

 

 

 
2 Comments

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

 

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BOOK BLAST ~ Five Things I Love About You by Sarah Ballance

“…hilarious.” – Shelly on GR

“Crosby was sooo droolworthy.” – Michelle on GR

“Pickles. Boobs. Smokin’ hot man body.” – Melissa on GR

“…had me laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants.” – Niki on GR

“…so many one line favourites that this reader couldn’t pick one.” – Talking Books on GR

FIVE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT YOU (Chase #1) 

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…

All buy links @ http://www.entangledpublishing.com/five-things-i-love-about-you/

  • Title: FIVE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT YOU
  • Author: Sarah Ballance
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Lovestruck)
  • Release Date: August 17, 2015
  • ISBN 13: 978-1-63375-337-2
Something exploded overhead.
She ducked, for what good it did, because explosions had a way of triggering that instinct in a person. Then she realized the source of the noise. The corner of her shopping cart had inexplicably rammed the upper shelf of pickle jars, sending several crashing to the floor in a smattering of broken glass and mutated cucumbers. And as she crouched there, clutching her hard-won jalapeños, she realized to her dismay that the front of her white T-shirt was soaked in pickle juice. Cold pickle juice.
She really should have worn a bra.

“Are you okay?”

She looked toward the sound of the voice, and, to her horror, found it belonged to absolute hotness. The man was utter devastation in well-worn jeans and a shirt that looked like it would have to be clawed off. Not that it was tight, but rather it fell against him just so to make no secret of the fact that dude was ripped. His biceps made a joke of his shirt-sleeves, and despite the way he leaned over her, his abs remained resolutely flat against what she could see of his waistband beneath the fabric. His jaw, requisitely square, hosted just enough stubble to promise delirium-inducing friction, which was beyond okay because sensual lips promised to soothe every ache.

He also had the greenest eyes she’d ever seen. Positively electric in their intensity, they focused on her.

Her and her pickle-juiced nipples.

ABOUT SARAH BALLANCE

Sarah Ballance

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids, but nevertheless, you’ll find her writing sexy contemporary romance for Entangled Publishing until they throw her out. To learn more, stalk accordingly.

WEBSITE – http://www.sarahballance.com

NEWSLETTER – https://confirmsubscription.com/h/t/0B801D3AA4F986BF

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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Special Guest Sarah Ballance author of The Marriage Agenda

Hello Readers! Please help me welcome good friend, author extraordinaire, and girl with a new release Sarah Ballance! Sarah is a talented writer and her newest release, which officially hits shelves tomorrow 8/18/2014 is a MUST READ book. I’ve read it from cover to cover and I know once you check out one of Sarah’s books you’ll be hooked. She has an amazing way of putting words together to tell a story. And, the book is also getting AMAZING pre-release reviews on Goodreads. Congrats Sarah!!!

Now, let’s move on to the cover! LOVE. THIS. COVER. So much so I had to put it into the post twice…lol

Yes, I’m having a major fan-girl moment and the best part is that it’s for a good friend 🙂

Take it away Sarah and congrats on your latest release with Entangled Publishing!!! ***throwing confetti***

TMA

Every now and then a book will catch people by surprise. I’m guessing it’s not so often that the person in question is the author, but as I sit here still somewhat dazed by the fact that my name somehow found itself on the cover of this book, I am SO that person.

I. Am. On. The. Floor.

Truth is, the publication of this book is more than just a dream realized…it’s a whole bunch of milestones crammed into one totally amazing package that has pretty much changed my writing life. Here’s why.

1. The Marriage Agenda practically starts off with sex. I have never started a book with sex before, and I’ve never had a single encounter last more than one chapter. (ERMAGERD.) But what I really love is what happens between Knox and Chloe is SO THEM. It’s not a meaningless event, and it’s not something that would happen to anyone else. It belongs to these characters, and it wrote itself. I never knew sex could do that. I never knew *I* could, and it feels SO GOOD.

2. Speaking of sex, ever since I was introduce to the term “purple prose” (think Fabio-esque 80s bodice rippers and phrases such as love tool and gilded pleasure sleeve) I have had a secret desire to sneak one such phrase into one of my books. And y’all, I DID. My favorite purple prose ever is within the pages of The Marriage Agenda, and I smile every time I think of it. J (And lest you think my editor was asleep on the job, let me assure you it was not said in a moment of passion. It was more of a well-flung insult, but hey, it’s there!)

3. I have never, ever made so many changes to a book without killing it. The first draft of The Marriage Agenda was a novella and bears little resemblance to the published version, save for the opening scene and subsequent encounter (which initially had a completely different ending). Even after I lengthened the story, I had to rearrange several scenes. This is significant because I have never before made sweeping changes to a manuscript, much less cohesively. This was one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a writer, and as such, it stands as one of my biggest accomplishments.

4. This book is ME. Not in the literal sense (my 17-year marriage isn’t likely to make the pages of a romance novel, lol), but the snark and humor and banter and ALL THE THINGS represent my real life voice. For once I stopped worrying what people would think and I just wrote…and you know what? I freaking love the results. And being able to admit that is my biggest accomplishment of them all.

 

THE MARRIAGE AGENDA – only 99 cents for a limited time

TMA

 

There’s a scandal brewing in Washington…

 

Knox Hamilton wants his father’s recently vacated Senate seat, but the only way his conservative constituents are going to vote for Knox is if he loses his playboy reputation. Which means Knox needs a wife. There’s only one woman with whom he’s willing to share his life, but after the way he broke things off with her, will she give him another chance?

Chloe Lochlan’s job is on the line. If she doesn’t grab a big headline, she’ll be ousted from her gig at the major newspaper where she works as a reporter. Knox’s offer of marriage chills her to the bone. He already crushed her heart once and she has no intention of letting it happen again. But being with him gives her the kind of access to top tier social events rarely granted to media, access that could land her the story of a lifetime. When the truth she uncovers threatens to destroy the man she still loves, will she bury the story…or his career?

Find it @ Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo iTunes | Google Play | ARe | Goodreads

  • Title: THE MARRIAGE AGENDA
  • Author: Sarah Ballance
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  • Release Date: August 18, 2014
  • ISBN 13: 9781633750524
  • Available format(s): ebook

Sarah Ballance

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). To learn more about her work in contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense, please stalk accordingly.

FIND THE AUTHOR HERE:   @SarahBallance     Facebook      Website     Good Reads     Pinterest

Excerpt

“I’ve never kissed anyone in the rain.”

Chloe swallowed. “Maybe you’ve never found the right person.”

His gaze fell to her lips. “Maybe I have.”

“We are two hours from home and it’s officially pouring. Don’t even think about it.”

He stood, pulling her up with him. “Is that a refusal?”

“It’s common sense.”

“Common sense is not actually wanting a splinter in your foot.” He maneuvered her near the railing, where a few errant drops found their way through the greenery and splattered the floor boards. “How’s this?”

She didn’t answer, which was apparently answer enough. He tugged her closer. For an endless moment, he did nothing but look. Then he threaded his fingers through her hair and leaned down, kissing her so softly she wondered if she had imagined the pressure, but there was no denying the effects. Her pulse raced, her heart stumbled, and her hands shook. Chill bumps pebbled her bare arms. Just the rain. But it wasn’t, and she knew it.

“Live up to your expectations?” she murmured.

The water weighted the rose branches and filled the blooms. “I know the home-and-garden gig was a bit of a blow to you,” he said softly, ignoring her question, “but it’s not so far from who you are. Is it?”

Chloe stared at him, surprised by his conclusion. How had she never seen it? She didn’t answer him.

She couldn’t.

He brushed back her hair and smiled. “Ready to go home?”

She looked around at the house. The porch. The storm.

The man she loved.

Words escaped her, emotion choking her. She nodded.

He took her hand and led her to the steps. The rain fell heavily, and they’d left the windows down. It would be a wet ride home.

“Ready to make a run for it?”

She nodded again, and despite her bittersweet emotions, she couldn’t help but laugh when they jumped and the lukewarm water sluiced over her. They ran to the car, holding hands like kids, and were within a few feet of its shelter when Knox stopped and drew her around. Before she’d managed the first word of protest, his mouth was on hers. Rain sheeted, soaking them both, but in the circle of his arms, Chloe didn’t care. He cradled her head with one hand and the small of her back with the other, pulling her closer as he deepened the kiss. Breathless moments passed. When they broke free, neither one moved. Then he kissed her again, slowly and gently, despite the torrent, and his smile was genuine.

Even with the wet hair and clothes plastered to his skin, he couldn’t have looked any better. The reason didn’t hit her at first, but then that crooked grin traced his lips and she knew. For the first time since he’d left her months earlier, Knox Hamilton had taken a step far more important than inviting her into his world.

He’d fit into hers.

 

 

 

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NOVELLA BLITZ with review ~ Hawthorne by Sarah Ballance

Please help me welcome author Sarah Ballance to the blog today! She’s sharing one of her fabulous stories with us titled HAWTHORNE. I’ve read this novella and loved it. My review follows her post.

ENJOY 🙂

Hawthorne 500x750

Oh, boy. Talk about a love-hate relationship with a book. Writing HAWTHORNE was simultaneously one of the hardest and easiest projects I’ve ever tackled. I wouldn’t have volunteered to write a novella—I’ve heard too much about how hard it is to craft a complete story into a confined word count, and I didn’t think I could pull it off—but when a fellow author approached me back in 2011 about writing a story for charity, I couldn’t say no. Besides, at the time the deadline was months away. Easy, right?

Sure it was. It was easy until I decided I’d procrastinated enough and subsequently tried to write the first word. THIS BOOK WOULD NOT HAPPEN. Days passed, and nothing. Some books write themselves…this one hid in the corner and tried to take off my arm when I got too close. So I did something proven totally ineffective: I complained…to my husband. He doesn’t read romance so I didn’t expect anything out of him, much less something brilliant. But you guys…his idea was brilliant.

His idea was the end.

I dove in and wrote the last scene in minutes. Then I went back to the beginning and y’all, this book WROTE ITSELF. It first released with Astraea Press in 2011, and now I’m proud to put it back out there in the world—no longer a charity title, but still one of my favorite books. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well. 🙂

Thank you, Christine, for allowing me back onto your blog, and thanks to all of you who are reading this. HAWTHORNE is free to borrow if you’re a member of Amazon Prime and just $1.29 to purchase, but I’ve got to warn you…you may want my head on a platter when it’s over. (No, really. It happens. A lot.)

 Hawthorne 500x750

HAWTHORNE

After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it takes ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home. She seeks peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she finds is an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she can right.

Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett has never forgotten about Emma Grace. In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents reveals a truth that can cost him everything. What he finds gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?

Find it @ Amazon 

§                     Title: HAWTHORNE

§                     Author: Sarah Ballance

§                     Genre: Supernatural Romance

§                     Release Date: February 11, 2014

§                     ISBN 13: 978-0-9889995-1-0

§                     Available format(s): ebook

EXCERPT

The car slowed to a stop and a decade’s worth of memories tumbled onto the sun-blanched asphalt.

Hawthorne Manor.

The hand-painted sign hadn’t changed in years. Despite the thick stew of humid air filling the Louisiana landscape, the wood display remained inexplicably unaffected. There it sat—every meticulously scripted letter as crisp and clean as the stark white walls of the manor it lauded, oblivious to the passage of time.

Emma Hawthorne tensed in the seat of the Mustang convertible and stared at her past. Uncertainty churned into unease, the effects of which sent terror flailing in her gut. Anywhere else, the view would have been gorgeous. The drive, lined on both sides with live oak laden with Spanish moss, was the South personified. At the end, Hawthorne Manor held court. Pristine, proud, the boastful antebellum home beamed, lording over its acreage.

But it harbored the unspeakable. No amount of time could erase what happened to her on the other side of the expanse of green lawn. Nothing could change what she’d seen there. Some might say she was crazy — that she’d imagined or invented the whole ordeal — but her scars were all the proof she needed. Whether the shadows lurking behind the façade of the picturesque plantation were real or born of an overactive imagination, there was no way she was going back into that house.

Especially not for a dead woman.

Sparing a glance in the rearview mirror, Emma steeled herself against a trembling in her hands that threatened to overtake her body. She released a pent-up breath, her heart settling into a less acrobatic rhythm at the thought of leaving. She didn’t have to stay here.

Let the South win this one. She was going home.

A split second later, something caught her eye. She blinked, trying to see through the swaying canopy of leaves and moss, certain a figure stood atop the widow’s walk straddling the roofline of the house. But no one—

Something brushed the car, rocking it. Swallowing panic, Emma tried to tear her focus from Hawthorne Manor, but fear kept her from looking anywhere else. Time and distance hadn’t done her any favors; she was a fool for coming anywhere near this place, much less with the ragtop down.

The car rocked harder. The something refused to be ignored.

Panic tightened her throat. Fighting it — fighting the remnants of her past that beckoned and taunted from the walls of the manor home — Emma forced herself to look away from the house, toward the intrusion over her left shoulder.

The first thing she saw was an aged set of gnarled fingers resting on the door, blue automotive paint showing through an ugly translucence.

The second was the face — withered, centurion, and expressionless. Haunting.

Familiar.

Her.

Emma screamed.

Sarah Ballance

AUTHOR BIO & LINKS

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). Though she adores romantic suspense, she writes in many genres. Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found on her website.

Website: http://www.sarahballance.com/

Blog: http://sarahballance.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarah.ballance.author.news

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahBallance

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4103362.Sarah_Ballance

~~~MY REVIEW~~~

Sarah Ballance has a way with words. This story was incredible and from the first sentence I was hooked. Not only was the story descriptive, well thought out and detailed, but her characters were so real I felt I wasn’t just reading, but right there with them living every scene.

This was an amazing read and I couldn’t step away until I’d finished the story to find out what happened to Noah and Emma Grace at Hawthorne Manor. I loved the intrigue, romance, setting, characters, descriptions, mystery…I loved it all!

Well done Sarah Ballance!

This was definitely a 5 STAR read 🙂

 
 

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What to Read Wednesay

Happy Wednesday and thank you for joining me for What to Read Wednesday. Today we have author Sarah Ballance joining us. She has a wonderful new historical release set during the Salem Witch Trials out from the Scandalous line with Entangled Publishing titled HER WICKED SIN, which is the first book in A Sins for Salem line.

Take it away Sarah!!!

5 Ways Colonial Puritans Got their Freak On (Sarah Ballance)

I don’t know about you, but I never considered Puritans to be the naughty type. Maybe it’s the way they tend to frown from those stodgy old sketches that populate text books, or perhaps it’s the reputation earned after they strung up their neighbors willy nilly during the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692-93. Or maybe I just can’t picture them gettin’ busy when they’re glaring at me from a few centuries back. (Y’all, now is NOT the time to google Cotton Mather, mkay?) But YOU GUYS, they totally got their freak on. Here are a few facts that’ll have you wishing you hadn’t clicked that link for ol’ Cotton (you did, didn’t you?), because you so don’t need that visual in your head for this.

The Wooden Plank for Birth Control

Young couples needed their parents’ blessings for courtship. This courtship often involved testing their compatibility by spending the night in the same bed (usually in the same room as the girl’s parents) with a board bundled between them. Interestingly, (and depending somewhat on who you ask) some 20-40% of these young ladies were knocked up before the big day. Now, I don’t know what they were going for with this compatibility test, but apparently the answer was all too frequently a resounding yes.

Covet Thy Neighbor

If a married woman had an affair, it was called adultery and was most often punished with death. Men who strayed to other women, however, were guilty of mere fornication. Their punishment for the very same act that could get a woman killed? A public lashing.  People knew this, and still they carried on like fiends. That, my friends, is dedication. (Or a lack thereof, as the case may be.)

Grounds for Divorce

Unsatisfying sex was grounds for divorce. So was a lack of sex. If you were impotent before the days of Viagra, you were screwed. (Or, rather, you were not so much screwed, but I digress.) Lest that seem unfair, women could also be accused of impotence. I’m not sure how that works, exactly, but good for them for thinking outside of the box.

A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On…

Handfasting—something you will see in HER WICKED SIN—was a totally acceptable method of marrying. Basically, you shook on it. Anyone who’s ever dropped a few grand on a wedding can probably really get into this method, but men (sorry, guys, but it was usually the man) quickly figured out how to ruin it for the next few centuries. You saw this coming, right? “I will love you forever,” he says. Next morning, he’s hopping out the door on one leg trying to don his trousers with the other, never to be seen again. (Handfasting apparently worked better with witnesses.)

…But Not on Sundays

Pretty much everything was forbidden on Sundays, including travel, preparation of meals (they did this ahead on Saturday), work (not sure how the ministers got around this), and sex. Probably not the end of the world, but since many of them tended to believe babies were born on the same day of the week they were conceived, this little rule got quite a few good Puritans in a heap of trouble. Oftentimes those poor Sunday-born kids were even denied baptism, as many ministers were vehemently strict on this infraction. The Reverend Israel Loring was one such stalwart … until his wife delivered twins on a Sunday.

Now that you know Puritans aren’t quite as boring as we’ve all been led to believe, I hope you’ll carry some of that newfound interest over to HER WICKED SIN, my new historical romance from Entangled Scandalous. Set during the Salem Witch Trials, the story features a woman with a dark secret, a handsome stranger on a mysterious errand, combustible smexiness, and a couple of dark, delicious plot twists that will keep you out of the woods at night. Intrigued? Read on!

HER WICKED SIN Sarah Ballance

 

HER WICKED SIN (Sins of Salem #1) – Entangled Scandalous

 

SALEM, MA 1692

On a moonless night, he rides into the winter forest on his beast as black as midnight….

Dashing stranger, Henry Dunham, comes to Salem on a mysterious errand, but is thrown from his horse in the dead of night and rescued by the local Puritan midwife, Lydia Colson.

Haunted by her past, Lydia is running from her own dark secrets, avoiding intrusive questions by pretending her dead husband is simply…away. But when she and Henry are caught in a compromising situation, one punishable by Puritan law, he saves her from scandal by claiming to be her errant spouse…and claiming her bed.

Forced to fake a marriage, Lydia and Henry find their passion overwhelming and their vows a little too real. As their lies become truths, a witch hunt closes in on Lydia, threatening not only their burgeoning love, but her life.

Find it @ Amazon Barnes & Noble | Kobo iTunes Goodreads

 

EXCERPT

“Willard, you beast.” A round of profanity followed the utterance. Though the stranger’s words were foul, they offered for his equine companion both comfort and reassurance. Their soothing cadence eased the alarm from the horse’s eyes, leading his ears to relax from their pinned state.

Lydia found herself enchanted by the man’s tones and by his obvious affection for the horse. 

He shifted in the leaves, still facing away, and he had yet to acknowledge her. She should flee. She had freed him from his quandary, and his voice tinged itself not with pain, but with humor. She would feel no remorse for moving past, yet her feet did not budge.

If she remained silent, would he not know her there? No, eventually he would wonder what held the reins aloft. She watched, waiting for that moment. Through the profound darkness, she noticed his hair was a nutty brown and longer than that of a Puritan man, though its richness showed no trace of the powder worn by many wealthy travelers. He was a study of contrasts, this man. For all of his finery, he seemed to shun the ways of society, and his roguish nature appealed to those innermost desires she had thought long lost. Her husband, as he were, had ruined her womanhood. 

This stranger, in the most insignificant ways, had roused it.

 

BIO

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.

She loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture—a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) Though she adores nail-biting mystery and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, Sarah writes in many genres including contemporary and ghostly supernatural romance. Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found on her website.

Sarah Ballance

Find Sarah @ Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 
15 Comments

Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Book Excerpts, What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday

Yep, it’s that time again for What to Read Wednesday. Today I have the uber-talented, awesomematic, terrifically funny Sarah Ballance joining us. We both share visions of cocktails on boats and writing endlessly–maybe with a hunky cabana boy fanning us and feeding us grapes and cheese–but today she’s going to give us a sneak peek into her latest release LAST CALL and also her most interesting life–seriously, I don’t know how she does all she does and still finds time to write amazing stories. 

Take it away Sarah…Sarah Ballance

Interrupt Me. Please.

By day, I have six kids underfoot. (Like, all day. They’re homeschooled). By the time dinner is on the table, I’ve served about 24 meals, started at least four loads of laundry, and have handwashed at least two times every dish in the house. (Okay, so that last part is an exaggeration, but it sure feels that way.) So when it’s time to go to my writing cave, I really, REALLY don’t want to be bothered. But there are some events that really bear interruption. Here are five such moments.

  • The toilet is overflowing. We only have one, so this is news I need. Not so I can fix it, mind you, but so I can make sure my husband knows so he can fix it. Because, ew. (Honorable mention to the time the entire bathroom door was detached and laying in the hall.)
  • You have coffee for me. I’m just sayin’.
  • The fire department is here. True story: my husband built a bonfire so big the fire department said “we can’t touch it” and left. Talk about a proud moment for him, LOL.
  • There’s a pig running around the yard. Or a snake loose in the house. (True on both counts. And I don’t mean a pet snake. I mean an uninvited four foot king snake. In the house.*shudder*)
  • The kids are gone. Not gone as in kidnapped, but gone as in at grandmas. While this is a fantastic time to write, it’s also a great time to have a drink. A wickedly stiff one. On a boat. (Come to think of it, I’d also need to know they were kidnapped.)

I also make exceptions for hugs, kisses, and little voices saying Love you, Mommy, but all such encounters end with “LOCK THE DOOR!” Not exactly warm and fuzzy, but dang it, I WANT TO WRITE!

Do you allow interruptions to your writing time? (Like we “allow” them, LOL. Suffer might be a better word!) If so, where do you draw the line?

Thanks so much for having me here today, Christine! I’m thrilled to share your spotlight for the day. (And I’m totally sneaking us out to the boat for drinks later, mkay?)

You know I’m in!  Woot Woot!!!…and thank you for joining us on What to Read Wednesday 🙂

LastCall 500x750LAST CALL by Sarah Ballance – Romantic suspense for just 99 cents!

In a perilous game of trust, a shocking betrayal deals a dangerous hand.

An accidental witness to a murder-for-hire, ex-cop Rhys Clark becomes the target of ruthless killer—one determined to silence her at any cost. Playing dead seems to be the most likely way to stay alive, but when her protection comes in the form of mega-sexy former adversary Nick Massey, Rhys can think of  a few fates worse than death.

Nick Massey may have walked away from his troubles, but he never got past wanting Rhys. Once paired undercover, they’d been nothing but fireworks until a botched assignment ended her career, sending his into a tailspin. Now a mysterious client threatens Nick’s life if he doesn’t keep Rhys safe, but it isn’t until fate takes a critical turn that he realizes the devastating truth: he’s been her greatest threat all along.

Title: LAST CALL

Author: Sarah Ballance

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: For the Muse Publishing, 2013

ISBN 13: 978-0-9889995-0-3

LAST CALL is available from: For the Muse PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords (formats: .mobi, .epub, HTML, PDF, RTF, LRF, PalmDoc, and Plain Text). Click here to add to Goodreads or here for reviews.

Cover art by For the Muse Design

Last Call | Excerpt

Nick Massey dropped a fifty on the bar. “Keep ’em coming,” he said, claiming the stool he planned to own the rest of the night.

Bart — short for bartender, because that was the only name the bastard provided — raised his eyebrows, his face scoured with surprise. The blink-and-you-missed-it moment passed, but the edge of curiosity left his tone musical. “Thought you didn’t ‘pay three times the cost of the grocery store’ for a drink,” he said. It was Nick’s oft-repeated refrain.

Nick snorted. He’d been a regular before he left town several months back, but not the sort who paid well. Since he mostly went for the company, he didn’t find Bart’s scowling face worth the cost of the beer. “Special occasion.” Nick tapped the bill, the likes of which had never left his wallet in present company. “You want it or not?”

Bart worked his hands through a dingy towel. “Depends on how much of it’s the tip,” he said, eyeing the crisp Ulysses as if dead presidents made a regular habit of walking out of his bar.

Of course, this one might. “Not a damn cent if you don’t bring me a beer.”

Before Nick finished his sentence, the drink hit the counter in front of him, spewing from the mouth. He turned up the bottle, the liquid going down a lot easier than his sorrows. When he returned the beer to the counter, Bart’s pinched, narrow gaze bore into Nick.

“What?” he asked.

“You’re drinking.” Shaking his head, Bart flipped the towel over his shoulder and pointed a thumb at the television, which flashed the late news in a soundless cadence of light. “World end or something?”

Sarcasm. Nick raised the bottle, tipping it toward the screen. “Update at eleven.”

Bart’s face cracked into a grin. “It’s a woman.”

Nick figured his lack of answer was answer enough.

“Gimme one guess,” Bart said, rubbing his chin with meaty fingers. If the gesture intended to hide the slow smile creeping across his lips, it failed. “The one you shot?”

“The one and only.” Rhys Clark. Just the woman Nick was there to forget. Bart had the memory of an elephant; granted, if Nick had kept his mouth shut about the shooting eight months ago, Bart wouldn’t have anything to remember. The whole incident had been swept under the proverbial rug — the media had been none the wiser and evidentiary points of collateral damage numbered two. One being Rhys’s career, and the other the patch of cemetery grass blanketing an innocent witness.

Nick had wasted a whole lot of time failing to get over either one.

Bart pushed a finger against the bar. “She’s been thinking about you. And after what went down, goes without saying you’d be thinking back.”

Nick drained the bottle and slid it across the counter. “What do you mean, she’s been thinking about me?”

Bart dropped a replacement on the scarred wooden slab, then pointed to a table in the corner. The same table Nick had shared with Rhys for all of an hour, days before he shot her. “She’s been here once or twice. Same real estate.”

The news hit him in the stomach, some odd combination of grief and hope. “She sat at the same table? Alone?”

Bart’s bushy brow lifted. “Sitting — and drinking — alone.”

Nick’s grip on his beer turned white. As partners on the force, he and Rhys had been intense. Though much of their shared passion bordered on adversarial, there hadn’t been a single moment he didn’t fight the urge to take her to bed. Hell, the look in her eyes dared him to do it; the table in the corner was as close as things had ever come to getting personal.

Only, it was all personal.

There was some sort of departmental code against screwing the wheels off your partner, but he worked deep undercover without a shield. Sidestepping rules was in his job description, though he wasn’t without conscience. He knew he’d hurt her in the end.

Damned fool.

He’d been worried about her heart, never once thinking he’d end her career.

Nick was kidding himself thinking he could come back to his old life. Hell, he didn’t even know who he was anymore. He’d spent so many years playing a role he’d lost himself along the way. The one beacon in his dark night was Rhys, and he’d yet to forgive himself for what he’d done to her. Guilt had nearly cost him his own career — an end he saw fitting if he was one for giving up.

And that, he was not.

Still, though he’d only seen Rhys that morning in a glance through the plate glass window of a downtown coffee shop, the ache of being so close was physical. Knowing she’d been in the bar while he was gone — at their table — tore him up.

Which was about as cliché as a guy could get, but he wasn’t out for originality.

He wanted to forget.

“Speak of the devil. That’s her, ain’t it?”

Nick’s attention shot from the maimed, carefully-lacquered countertop.

Bart had his back turned, giving Nick a good view of the bartender’s thick neck rolls. Arm extended, remote in hand, Bart pumped buttons until noise filled the room.

“…Rhys Clark, twenty-nine…”

The television — Nick craned to see around Bart just as he stepped to the side — revealed a head shot of Rhys on the screen.

Right over the headline.

Murdered.

LAST CALL is available from: For the Muse PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords (formats: .mobi, .epub, HTML, PDF, RTF, LRF, PalmDoc, and Plain Text). Click here to add to Goodreads or here for reviews.

About Sarah Ballance

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.

She loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture—a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) Though she adores nail-biting mystery and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, Sarah writes in many genres including contemporary and ghostly paranormal romance. Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found at http://sarahballance.com

Website: http://www.sarahballance.com/

Blog: http://sarahballance.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarah.ballance.author.news

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahBallance

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4103362.Sarah_Ballance

 

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