BLOG TOUR~ MISTY EVANS~DEADLY FORCE~With #Giveaway

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DEADLY FORCE by Misty Evans

DF Cover

About the Book

Title: Deadly Force
Series: SCVC Taskforce #3
Author: Misty Evans
Release Date: January 12, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense

DF CoverBook Summary:

Some secrets can kill…

NSA agent Bianca Marx is determined to save her marriage, even if it kills her…which it just might do since she knows a secret about her estranged husband’s last mission that has put a target on her back. A highly-skilled assassin is hot on her trail and the only man who can keep her safe doesn’t want anything to do with her.
She’ll be dead in 24 hours…unless he can save her.

After his marriage failed, Navy SEAL Callan Reese threw himself into his work. On his last black ops mission, three of his men—three good men who counted on him—were killed. Now PTSD and a military investigation have sidelined him…until Bianca shows up. She claims someone high up in the US government wants her dead, and the assassin after her is also after him.

The couple that spies together, dies together…

On the run from the very government they serve, Bianca and Cal only have each other. When they uncover a deadly scandal threatening the nation, they’ll have one chance to save the day…and one last chance at love.

Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or iTunes

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Misty Evans PhotoAbout the Author

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

Connect with Misty:  Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter / Pinterest

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DF CoverExcerpt from DEADLY FORCE

Bianca found a pair of binoculars on the bridge. As she stood hidden behind the navigation controls, wishing she’d worn more sea-worthy clothes, she watched Cal running back to the boat.
As per normal, he was in his element—water. He’d been a gifted swimmer even as a kid and had competed nationally in high school.

She’d never learned to swim. The best she could do was dog-paddle and even that was a struggle. Open water made her feel claustrophobic—the opposite of most people. Being in water over her head sent her into a full-fledged panic.

We really couldn’t be more opposite. But opposites did attract. In their case, that was both good and bad. From the day they’d met, she and Cal had come together, broken up, and come together again. First as friends, then as more.

Even now, she couldn’t deny the sexual chemistry between them. Her pulse jumped at the sight of him, every part of her body tingled when he looked at her. If only there weren’t so much bad stuff between them. She wished they could lay all the ugliness down, get out from under it for a few hours, and enjoy coming together once more.

Not just for the physical stuff. For the friendship. Cal had been her best friend since elementary school. She missed him.

While rain pelted the bridge’s windows, Bianca stood transfixed, unable to take her eyes off him. He ran with such ease, his tan face turned up to the rain as his long, sure strides ate up the distance between them. Her parts tingled and her heart beat erratically in her chest.

God, I love you.

She understood the science behind what she was feeling—the chemical releases going on in her brain. Cal was familiar. Cal was safe. Her most precious memories were tied to him. Her happiest times were rooted in him.

He may have been her polar opposite, but since the day he’d picked a shy girl up off the playground asphalt, brushed pieces of the sharp cinders from her knees, and raised his fists to the school bully who’d made her life hell, Cal had been her hero.

Even when he’d broken her heart.

Now it was time for her to repay the favor. This time the bully was the government she and Cal had sworn to serve. Standing up to that bully would cost her everything…her job, the quiet existence she enjoyed, and quite possibly her life. But the government had already taken the one thing she held most dear—Cal. She wouldn’t let them destroy him as well.

The dog ran by his side, completely soaked and tongue lolling from the side of its mouth. They hit the boardwalk and slowed to a jog. She was sure the dog was smiling.

Through the binoculars, Bianca could see the animal was missing vital male parts, so it must be female. That might explain the adoration in the dog’s eyes. Bianca had never met a female yet who could resist the absolute alpha male prowess Cal exuded.

Hell, she’d been at restaurants with him where the male waiters hit on him.

The thing none of them realized was that he was a very dangerous man. A weapon the US had trained and given specialized skills. When she told him about Senator Halston, Cal would want to use those skills on the man.

What to do? Could she keep her husband away from the senator until the worst of Cal’s anger subsided and she could convince him to go along with her rational, logical plan? Cal would be out for blood, and if he went after the senator his way—with violence—she’d be forced to rein him in.

She lowered the binoculars as Cal and the dog came aboard and headed down the stairs, oblivious to her in her hidden vantage point.

“B?” he called over the noisy rain, and his deep voice made her pulse jump. There was the usual irritated edge to his voice, but something else as well. “Where are you?”

Worry? Was that what she heard in his voice? Sure had been a hell of a long time since he’d worried about her.

She had to do this. She had to tell him. What happened after that would be up to him.

Leaving the binoculars behind, she flipped on the tiny camera she’d installed by the boat’s windshield so she could keep an eye on the marina’s entrance. Grabbing the handrail, she steadied herself. The storm might buy her an hour or two—keep Cal from going anywhere and slow down anyone searching for her—but she needed to figure out a way to keep him sequestered, and her ass out of the line of fire until she could find physical evidence against the senator she could take to the Justice Department. They wouldn’t bring him up on charges over hearsay.

And hearsay was all she had.

Bianca sighed. After what she’d put Cal through already, he was more likely to toss her overboard than become her bodyguard.

 

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Giveaway Information

Tour-wide giveaway includes a $25.00 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and a Digital or Print copy of Deadly Pursuit. Just fill out the Rafflecopter Form below to enter!

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Blog Tour Stops

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You can follow the tour to learn more about the book and author through interviews and reviews! Just click on the link or button below and it will take you to a list of tour stops.

http://www.readmistyevans.com/news/7/deadly-force-blog-tour

 

Presented by:

Misty Evans

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TODAY’S GUEST AND NEW RELEASE ALERT~ JESS MICHAELS~ THE OTHER DUKE…with #giveaway

The Other Duke by Jess Michaels
MBA&M: What is the single most important thing you have ever done?
I think the most important thing anyone can do is love and be loved. And I’ve definitely done that. That’s pretty much the best legacy you ever get in this world.

MBA&M: How do prioritize your writing?
After my husband, my writing is my number one priority. I write or promote about 80 hours a week. I’m pretty much always working at this point. LOL

MBA&M: How do you great your creative juices to flowing?
Writing is such a pleasure to me that it’s actually hard to turn the juices off rather than get them flowing. I sit down and my body and mind are trained to write. Even on days when it’s harder, after I get some words going, the switch flips and I’m into the story.

MBA&M: What is the first book you remember reading as a child?
My Mom read to me from before I can even remember, so I don’t know what my first book read to me was. The first book I remembering reading that had a HUGE impact on me was Anne of Green Gables. I wanted so much to be friends with Anne Shirley. Honestly, I still would be.

MBA&M: If you could pick character,main or secondary, as your favorite. Who would it be, from which book and why are they your favorite character?
If you’re talking about from my own books, that would be impossible. I love all my characters and have learned and grown from telling their stories. From another person’s book, I’ll go back to Anne. I would totally hang out with her.

MBA&M: If you could have dinner with one person, real or fictional, who would it be, and where would you go to eat?
Right now I’m in deep introvert mode as the year comes to an end, so I think I’d most like to have dinner with my Mom, Dad, brother and husband in my house. And we’ll be doing just that for Christmas! Our first one together in 13 years!
Thank you, Jess, for stopping by today! Congratulations on your latest release..The Other Duke
Be sure you’re on my newsletter list for all the news!
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About the author…

Jess Michaels began writing full-time in 1999 after being encouraged by her husband to follow her dream. In 2003, she sold her first novella to Red Sage Press, an erotic historical romance about an Egyptian tomb and a very sexy curse. Since then she has published (or has contracted to publish) 50 novels and novellas under three different pen names with several major publishers, small presses and via self-publishing. Her erotic historical romances have been national bestsellers and won awards from booksellers and readers.
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Jess Michaels’ other books…
WANTON CHRISTMAS WISHES (Anthology) November 18
A MEASURE OF DECEIT (Ladies Book of Pleasures 3) December 9
THE OTHER DUKE (The Notorious Flynns 1) January 13


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About the book…

The Other Duke

The Other Duke by Jess Michaels

The Notorious Flynns, Book 1

For years Serafina McPhee has been engaged to marry the heir to the Duke of Hartholm and for almost as long, she has been struggling to find a way out of that engagement. When he suddenly dies, she does not mourn but thrills at the idea that she will be free. Unfortunately, best laid plans go awry when the next in line for the title, her intended’s cousin, Raphael “Rafe” Flynn is forced to take over the engagement. But Serafina knows Rafe’s reputation as a libertine and wants nothing to do with him, either, even if he is devastatingly handsome.

She proposes an arrangement: she will agree to the marriage and provide Rafe with his heir and spare. Once she has done her duty, he will let her go. Rafe is intrigued both by her beauty and by her utter disgust with the idea of being his bride. Women normally fall at his feet, not cringe away from him. However, since their arranged marriage is not something he can escape, he agrees to her terms.

But when he finds out on their wedding night the truth about her torture at the hands of his predecessor, he finds himself driven not just to fulfill his bargain with his new bride, but to introduce her to desire. While they move closer together, surrendering to wicked pleasures, dangerous emotions may violate every agreement they’ve made.

 

Order January 13 from:
Order Amazon
Order Barnes and Noble (Coming Soon)
Order iTunes
Order Kobo

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~GIVEAWAY ALERT~
The Other Duke by Jess Michaels
One week only!
As a special, for one week only, we are offering 1 lucky commenter a chance to win a digital copy of THE OTHER DUKE  by Jess Michaels.
**You MUST promote this title, as today is release day, for this title**
Once you have Facebook, Twitter, Google+,  Tsu, or any other social network, please share with us as well. If you don’t use social networking, no worries, just tell a friend, co-worker, or family member and just let us know.
The more you tell the more chances to win. Whomever, shares the most could win a copy.
So go forth, and promote….
And thank you all so much!
You MUST return to the site to see the winner!
*Giveaway WILL end January 9, 2015, with the winner announced on January 10, 2015*
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BLOG TOUR~ COLORADO HOPE~ CHARLENE WHITMAN…with excerpt and review…

Colorado Hope Blog Tour

Colorado Hope banner

Charlene Whitman

 

About the Author
Charlene Whitman spent many years living on Colorado’s Front Range. She grew up riding and raising horses, and loves to read, write, and hike the mountains. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins as an English major. She has two daughters and is married to George “Dix” Whitman, her love of thirty years. Colorado Hope is the second sweet Historical Western Romance novel in her Front Range series.

Her latest book is the sweet western historical romance, Colorado Hope.

Connect with Charlene on Facebook and Twitter.

 



 
Colorado Hope 3About the Book:

1875 ~ Beset by a sudden spring storm on the Front Range, newlywed Grace Cunningham watches in horror as her husband, Monty, is swept downriver. Pregnant and despairing, she stumbles into Fort Collins and tries to make a life for herself, praying that one day the man she loves will walk into town and back into her life.

A year after Grace’s tragic loss, Monty enters the dress shop where she works—with a beautiful woman on his arm. Shocked that he has no recollection of her, Grace is determined to win back his heart. Somehow she must help him regain his memories and his buried love for her—and not just for her sake but for the sake of their infant son, Ben.

Monty, miserable in his marriage to a woman he hardly knows, is inexplicably drawn to Grace. Every time he’s near her, memories surface, but they are hazy and troubling. He’s torn between his vows and the desires of his heart, for he cannot stay away from Grace.

Grace’s hope is sparked when Monty starts recalling glimpses of his past. But when murderous outlaws come to town, she is thrust into grave danger. Monty risks his life to rescue her, only to face even greater perils in the treacherous mountains. Can she truly hang on to hope when she is about to lose all she loves?

For More Information

 

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Colorado Hope 3Book Excerpt:
May 16, 1875

A fierce wind whipped Grace Ann Cunningham’s hair, yanking at the long strands and pulling them free from their pins. She squinted through the haze of the blustery day and stroked her bulging belly, trying to comfort her baby, who seemed just as agitated by the sudden storm.

Her back ached from sitting on the hard buckboard bench all these miles—much less comfortable than the plush sleeper car they’d enjoyed last week on the train from Illinois to Cheyenne.

She frowned at the dark roiling clouds that had moved in and quickly blotted out the sun.

What had been a pleasant uneventful morning was now turning into an ominous and unsettling afternoon on the open prairie.

Grace sucked in a breath as the baby again kicked her ribs in protest. Her sweet husband’s sun-browned face tightened in concern as he caught her gesture. He pulled on the reins of the two draft horses—sturdy ones they’d bought yesterday in Cheyenne. Surefooted, the seller had told them. And Monty knew his horses, so she trusted his purchase and assurance that they’d
haul them without incident to Fort Collins. But looking at her husband’s face now, seeing the subtle telltale signs indicating that he hadn’t expected this squall nor felt at ease about it, gave her pause. And her normally talkative husband had been too quiet this last hour, eyeing the sky and listening to the roar of the nearby river, as if hearing their complaints and trying to suss out
nature’s intentions.

“The baby all right, darlin’?” He scooted over on the buckboard seat to look her over, then took her hands in his.

Warmth from his gentle grip comforted her, but not as much as the love streaming from his adoring gaze.

“I think so,” she told him, then smiled as he laid his hand firmly on her belly.

Grace thanked the Lord in a silent prayer for this wonderful man who’d married her in a simple ceremony last September. All those years she’d lived with her doting aunt Eloisa in the boardinghouse back in Bloomington, she never imagined she’d be blessed with such happiness.

When Montgomery Cunningham had first stepped into the parlor to take a room before starting college at Wesleyan University, she’d been a shy, giggling girl of ten. Neither of them foresawthe love that would spark six years later when he showed up again unexpectedly, about to head west to explore and survey lands unknown.

Monty closed his eyes, his hand still on the baby in her womb. She imagined him communing with their baby, speaking to it the way he spoke to rivers, to trees, to the land he traversed by boat and on horseback and on foot. Something had happened to him when he returned from the Hayden Yellowstone Expedition. He had changed from boy to man, yes—but it was more than that. He had fallen in love with the West, and with rivers in particular. Although he’d studied geology in college with John Powell, water captured his heart, and he sought out trips that had him navigating whitewater. Nothing made his eyes sparkle more than talking about the way water moved and sang as it cascaded and carved the face of mountains and spilled into waiting valleys. Well, except the way he looked at her.

Monty may have loved rivers, but Grace knew he loved her more. So much more, for he gladly gave up his exploring to settle down and marry and start a family. Although, Grace thought moving to the new town of Fort Collins, Colorado, was adventure enough. She hoped he’d come to see it that way as well and not be into the wild.

 

Follow the blog tour:

Pump Up Your Book Presents Colorado Hope Virtual Book Publicity Tour

Presented by:

www.PumpUpYourBook.com

MY THOUGHTS:

COLORADO HOPE by Charlene Whitman is an exciting Historical Western Romance. #2 in “Front Range” series, but can be read as a stand alone, set in 1875, Fort Collins, Colorado. See, “Colorado Promise”.

Grace Cunningham, suddenly finds herself alone, and pregnant after watching her beloved husband,  Montgomery Cunningham, swept away in a flash flood. A year later, enter Monty walks into Fort Collins, with another woman on his arm. A beautiful woman named Stella, at that, who claims to be his fiance.   Grace is determined to help Monty find his lost memories of their time together, and their love, not just for herself, but for their infant son, Ben, as well.

Filled with loss, grief, outlaws, dangers, mystery, suspense, challenges of the wild Colorado territory, and a journey of love. “Colorado Hope” is a heart- wrenching tale of love and loss. But it is also heart warming, where love is put to the test, danger lurks around the bend and the characters are faced with challenges everyday. Can love re-surface, after a year? Please, pick up “COLORADO HOPE” to find out how Grace and Monty, and their infant son, Ben, come to grips with the life they once had, the dangers that lurks and challenges they face.   A sweet Western Historical Romance, which is fast paced and drama filled with danger and challenges. Well done! I can’t wait to read the next installment.

*Received for an honest review*

Rating: 4

Heat rating: Sweet

Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

 

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GUEST BLOGGER~ KAREN HARPER~ BROKEN BONDS with #giveaway, excerpt and review

Broken Bonds bannerPlease welcome today’s guest…

KAREN HARPER

~BROKEN BONDS~

Welcome, Karen!!

I imagine most writers were great readers first.  I can recall my mother reading to me when I was very young.  In those days, it was common for an elementary teacher who had a child to take a leave of absence.  I was, no doubt, my frustrated mother’s only remaining elementary pupil, but I was the beneficiary of that.  My father was a great reader too, especially of Charles Dickens’ novels.  I still have his lovely, leather-bound set of those today. 

I knew both of my grandmothers well, and they were great story tellers about their pasts—and big readers.  I set out to be an English teacher (I did teach high school for 15 years and college for two) but no wonder I ended up as a full-time writer.  If loving books wasn’t in my genes, it was in my family tree.

My parents never could have afforded all the books I read growing up, so I was blessed to have a public library near my home in Toledo, Ohio.  I had excellent teachers who urged me to write and praised my work when I did.  All you parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians out there, keep up the good work, encouraging your “kids” to read and write.  I read everything from Nancy Drew books (they used to cost $1.09!) to adult novels to history books—and it has all somehow come out in my “writer wash.”

My husband and I were on a trip to England once—for a while, we went to Europe every summer—when I got an idea for a historical novel.  I wrote it, and it’s now collecting dust under my bed, but I wrote a second novel, then a third—and, the third time’s the charm.  I sold books #3 and #2 in that order.  Both were historicals, but I later added writing contemporary romantic suspense, which I’ve always loved to read, though these are a far cry from Nancy Drew books!

I used to tell my students that the only way to learn to write was to write, and I’ve found that’s true.  That is, if you add reading along with it.  I read now for pleasure (I binge read between writing books) but I also read, of course, for research.  Not research on how to write, but on multiple subjects that will provide my characters’ careers, settings—and the crimes that come their way and they need to solve. 

My historical novels (I just finished a book set in late-Victorian and Edwardian times) of course, take lots of research.  But so do my romantic suspense books set in the here and now.  For example, for BROKEN BONDS, book #3 in my COLD CREEK SERIES, I studied up on Appalachia, coal mines, fracking, social work and the Navajo nation.

OK, I admit Appalachia and Navajo land was pretty easy, since I have visited both places, but my writing is always dependent on my reading.  Even if I can visit my settings, I usually still need background research to make a place come alive—become a character in its own right.

Although I’ve always lived in large cities, I love to set my romantic suspense novels in small towns or rural areas.  I know the edge of Appalachia and have found the area to be perfect for setting scary scenes in the COLD CREEK trilogy:  an old farmhouse surrounded by a corn field, a defunct coal mine, an abandoned insane asylum and places in the hills where cell phones don’t work.  Yes, the dead cell phone has happened to me there but not being trapped in the insane asylum–yet!   

I sometimes think of this kind of unique-place writing as “setting as character.”  The area itself takes on a personality and may be welcoming or threatening at times.  Think of the Titanic, which begins as a luxury refuge, a huge party, a great adventure—then the ship becomes a killer, like many a villain.  Or for an example of another successful setting as character, think of Tara in GONE WITH THE WIND, the love of Scarlett’s life, even more than Rhett was.  (What was wrong with that woman?  Rhett was fabulous on the page and in the movie!)

So I’m pleased to be able to share a bit about my writing and researching life for a site called My Book Addition and More.  If it weren’t for my reading addiction from an early age, I doubt if I’d be more than an avid reader—and here I get to do both.  To be around books all the time one way or the other—hm, wonder if I’ve died and gone to heaven?

***

Karen Harper is the NYTimes bestselling author of contemporary romance and historical novels.  SHATTERED SECRETS, book #1 in THE COLD CREEK TRILOGY, has been selected as one of Suspense Magazine’s Best of 2014 books.  Winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award for DARK ANGEL, Karen’s most current books are SHATTERED SECRETS (Sept.), FORBIDDEN GROUND (Nov.) and BROKEN BONDS (Jan.)  Visit her website www.KarenHarperAuthor.com and her facebook page www.facebook.com/KarenHarperAuthor

Broken Bonds Blog Tour

Karen HarperAbout the Author
A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep, and where she has set many of her historical Tudor-era mysteries and her historical novels about real and dynamic British women. Karen’s books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen has given numerous talks to readers and writers across the county.

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Broken Bonds, the third book in the Cold Creek Trilogy.

For More Information



Broken Bonds 2About the Book:

Three very different sisters…
Three desirable, dangerous men…
Three endangered lives…
THE COLD CREEK TRILOGY is set in Appalachia in a small town where the enemy is us.

Haunted by the past…
Cold Creek is a place with a dark history, especially for the Lockwoods. Now adults, the three Lockwood sisters are still recovering from the events that led to the destruction of their family when they were children. Determined to move forward, Tess and Kate are making fresh starts, ready to put bad—even deadly—memories to rest and settle happily in the small but booming town. And they’re hoping their older sister, Charlene, can do the same.
Char is back in town seeking comfort as she figures out her next move. A social worker used to difficult situations, she soon runs afoul of some locals who think she’s sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. She’s certain something sinister is being covered up, and when she witnesses Matt Rowan being run off the road, she knows she’s right.
Working together, Matt and Char figure uncovering the truth will be dangerous, but living in Cold Creek won’t be safe for any of them until its secrets are revealed.

 

For More Information

  • Broken Bonds is available for pre-order at Amazon.
  • Pre-order your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Broken Bonds will be available at Indiebound.
  • Add Broken Bonds to your to be read list at Goodreads.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Other books in the trilogy include:

Shattered Secrets 2Shattered Secrets:

“Harper, a master of suspense, keeps readers guessing about crime and love until the very end.” –Booklist, starred review on Fall from Pride.

ISBN-13: 9780778316473
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: MIRA
Publication date: 8/26/2014
Series: Cold Creek Series , #1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 400

Sales links:

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Secrets-Karen-Harper/dp/0778316475/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shattered-secrets-karen-harper/1117716201?ean=9780778316473

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778316473

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19486810-shattered-secrets

Forbidden Ground 2Forbidden Ground:
“Masterfully drawing the reader in, Harper has delivered the best, once again.” –Suspense Magazine on Upon a Winter’s Night.

ISBN-13: 9780778316701
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: MIRA
Publication date: 10/28/2014
Series: Cold Creek Series , #2
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 352

Sales links:

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forbidden-ground-karen-harper/1118656156?ean=9780778316701

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Ground-Karen-Harper/dp/077831670X/

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778316701

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20821543-forbidden-ground?from_search=true

 

Three very different sisters…

         Three desirable, dangerous men…

          Three endangered lives…

THE COLD CREEK TRILOGY is set in Appalachia in a small town where the enemy is us



 

Excerpt # 2
Matt grabbed her—almost tackled her—and rolled them off the low concrete single step into the wet leaves. He pulled her around the corner of the cabin, where they huddled, kneeling with her pressed between him and the outside wall.
“I—I can’t believe that,” she whispered. “We could have—could have been hit.”
“And I’m the common denominator. Either someone’s been following me, looking for another chance at me, or someone’s staked out your place, knowing we’re together.”
They were whispering in each other’s ears. “The headlights made us the perfect target,” she said. “If we hadn’t stepped apart…the arrow came head high, not chest level.”
“Either way it could have killed one or both of us.”
She was not only scared but furious. Someone had ruined her new place, ruined this beautiful night.
“Stay here,” he said. “I’m going to get to the car, turn it around so the headlights shine into the trees where the arrow must have come from. It’s sticking in the wood at an upward angle—like it was shot from the sky. Probably just arced up, then hit.”
“Should we call Gabe?”
“Not unless we spot someone. My bet is we’ll find no one out there. And it’s late. Let’s give him a break and call him in the morning. Tonight you can go down to stay in one of the guest rooms at the lodge where—”
“It’s my first night here! I’m not running, even if some stupid hunter or even worse wants to scare me off.”
“Char, just for the night!”
“I’m not going to leave. I’m going to get that arrow for evidence, tape up the hole and lock my doors.”
“Then I’m staying, too.”
“What?”
“I’ll sleep on the couch, just in case.”
“And if it’s you the shooter’s after? That could have been the second attempt on your life.”




 ~GIVEAWAY~

Karen Harris is giving away 10 sets of the Cold Creek Trilogy!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Pump Up Your Book Presents Broken Bonds Virtual Book Publicity Tour

 

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MY THOUGHTS:

BROKEN BONDS by Karen Harper is an exciting Romantic Suspense set in a small town in Appalachia. #3 in “The Cold Creek” Trilogy, about three sisters, the Lockwood Sisters, and their dangerous men. See, “Shattered Secrets”, and “Forbidden Ground”. While, this story is a stand alone, I would recommend the other two in this series first and in order.  Each book centers on one of the sisters, Tess, Kate, and now the third sister, Charlene. The storyline is about Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, which is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. A  controversial issue, in today’s world and one in which Ms. Harper has driven into full force. This is a story which is very intense, both emotionally and personally to the characters and readers as well.

Well written with engaging characters who are realistic and enduring. The storyline is very realistic, filled with dark secrets, mystery, suspense and romance. While, this book was a bit slow at times, I would recommend it to mystery and suspense readers, it does pick up quickly. Well worth the time to read. But, I would highly recommend reading the other two in this Romantic Suspense prior to reading this one to get some background on the sisters. Overall an enjoyable and satisfying read!

*Received for an honest review*

Rating: 4

Heat rating: Mild

Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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LANDFALL~ JOSEPH JABLONSKI…blog tour with review…

Landfall Blog Tour

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Joseph JablonskiMEET THE AUTHOR…
Though far from the open sea, Nebraska produced a man whose love of adventure led him from the Central Plains to become midshipman up to commander of the largest container ship in the American merchant marine fleet.

Joseph Jablonski was born in 1948 and spent 30 of his 66 years circumnavigating the world on an odyssey that would bring him to test the limits of his courage and stamina.

At age 50, Jablonski relinquished his role as captain for that of writer. This story, and Three Star Fix that precedes it, reveal the heart of a man engaged with the world, undaunted by its challenges, and at peace with his own nature.

His latest book is the literary fiction, Landfall.
For More Information

 

 

ABOUT LANDFALL…

Landfall 2After a long career at sea, Jake Thomas thinks he’s finally put his life in order. He’s got a new wife, a new home, time to write and tend his roses. But his past and the secrets he’s kept, even from himself, won’t stay buried.

Forty years earlier, a woman was murdered during Jake’s first voyage on the American freighter, the SS James Wait. Her children want answers only Jake can give. But resurrecting old memories takes him spiraling back to the chaos and upheaval of the late 1960s.

In this riveting story-within-a-story, Jake’s peaceful routine in Portland, Oregon, stands in stark contrast to his days as a merchant seaman in Subic Bay, when he set off on a journey to discover his dark side. A journey that hasn’t yet ended.

Like Joseph Conrad, Joseph Jablonski has created a novel set at sea that is as much a careful observation of human nature and a powerful condemnation of war as it is a fascinating sea story.

For More Information

 


Monday, January 5

Book Featured at Examiner

Tuesday, January 6

Book Featured at What Is That Book About

Thursday, January 8

Book Review at My Book Addiction and More

Monday, January 12

Book Featured at Mythical Books

Tuesday, January 13

Book Featured at Bound 2 Escape

Wednesday, January 14

Book Review at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Book Featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner

Thursday, January 15

Book Featured at Confessions of a Reader

Monday, January 19

Book Review at Deal Sharing Aunt

Thursday, January 22

Book Featured at The Writer’s Life

Wednesday, January 28

Book Review at Sit Back and Get Cozy

Thursday, January 29

Book Review at Reeca’s Pieces

Friday, January 30

Book Featured at Lori’s Reading Corner

Courtesy of:

www.PumpUpYourBook.com


MY THOUGHTS:

LANDFALL by  Joseph Jablonski is an exciting Suspense/Romance/Mystery. Set in Portland, Oregon, partly in the 1960’s, upon the American Freighter, SS James Wait.

An intense tale of murder, suspense, mystery, sea-stories, and a merchant sea man’s first command as a deck cadet. It is also the discovery of one’s dark side, old memories, the chaos and upheaval of the late 1960’s, and long buried secrets.

Fast paced, where the writing is unique, intense and compelling. It is written as a story within a story. A riveting story! The characters are intriguing as well as compelling. A unique tale in itself. A fascinating tale, any suspense reader would enjoy. A powerful story of condemnation of war, and human nature. Well written and explosive.

*Received for an honest review from the author and/or publicist*

Rating: 4

Heat rating: Mild

Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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MELISSA FOSTER~ SEASIDE SUMMER…Blog tour with #giveaway and review…


NEW RELEASE 

SEASIDE SUMMERS BOOK 3…..

The newest addition to the LOVE IN BLOOM series, featuring a group of fun, sexy, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re funny, flawed, and will have you begging to enter their circle of friends. You met them in READ, WRITE, LOVE, (The Remingtons, Book 5), follow these friends on their search for forever love in the Seaside Summers series.

SEASIDE SUNSETS

Jessica Ayers has lived a sheltered life with little more than cello lessons and practices taking up her day. Now a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she escapes the prim and proper symphony to vacation in the Seaside community in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and determine if she is living life to the fullest or missing it altogether.

For the first time since developing the second largest search engine in the world, billionaire Jamie Reed is taking the summer off. He plans to work from the Cape and spend time with his elderly grandmother—and falling in love is not in his plans.

From the moment Jamie and Jessica meet, the attraction is white-hot. Once-overly-focused Jamie can think of little else than sensual, smart, and alluring Jessica, and Jessica discovers a side of herself she never knew existed. But when Jamie’s business encounters trouble and his attorney and best friend intervenes, he proves that the blond beauty is too distracting for Jamie. To make matters worse, it appears that Jessica might not be who she says she is, turning Jamie’s life—and his heart—upside down. In a world where personal information is always one click away, Jamie must decide if he should trust his heart or watch the woman he loves walk away.

SEASIDE SUMMERS are the newest addition to the LOVE IN BLOOM series

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from…… 

Amazon.co.uk

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on The Women’s Nest
or her
personal website.Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

Find Melissa on the following sites…..

Facebook    Twitter    Google+    Goodreads    Pinterest

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

 

ALSO AVAILABLE 

 

Books 1 – 3 Snow Sisters, Love in Bloom Series #1 – 3

 

 

 

Books 1 – 6 The Bradens, Love in Bloom Series #4 – 9

 

 

Books 1 – 5 The Remingtons, Love in Bloom Series #10 – 14 

Books 7 – 12 The Bradens, Love in Bloom Series #15 – 20

Books 1 – 4 Seaside Summers, Love in Bloom Series #21 – 24


NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY !!

 

Five lucky winners will each win Game of Love (1st book from The Remingtons)
& Taken by Love (1st book from the Braden Cousins)

 

Ending on Thursday 5th February at 11.59pm EST

 

Open Worldwide

 

 

 

Enter Below & Good Luck !!

 

***
MY THOUGHTS:
Seaside Sunsets by Melissa Foster is an hot Contemporary Romance. #3 in the “Love in Bloom: Seaside Summers” series, but can be read as a stand alone. Although, I would recommend reviewing the others in this series. Check out, “Seaside Dreams” and “Seaside Hearts”.
Jessica Ayers and Jamie Reed‘s story and what a story. Jamie is a Multi-billionaire internet search engine creator. Jessica drops her cell phone, literally out of the sky.
Faced paced and filled with smoking hot romance, a bit of conflict, everyday life, and wonderful characters. So far, Ms. Foster has once again weaved a story of love and romance. A must for any romance reader. I look forward to the next installment.
*Received for an honest review from the publisher*
Rating: 4
Heat rating: hot
Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
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MAN LAW~ ADRIENNE GIORDANO…#giveaway,and #excerpt…

The Marshall Blog Tour Button

MAN LAW by Adrienne Giordano

The Marshal Cover

About the Book

Title: The Marshal
Author: Adrienne Giordano
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue
Release Date: January 1, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Buy Links:

Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Apple / Harlequin / Kobo / BAM / Google

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1I21jSi
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1zUHPPX
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1xj17fU
iBooks: http://bit.ly/1y41356
Harlequin: http://bit.ly/1B9cmJ7
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1BosVP1
BAM: http://bit.ly/1vJQyy6
Google: http://bit.ly/1zB7Rmm


The Marshal Cover

Book Summary:

His painful past is their present danger. The last thing US Marshal Brent Thompson needs is distraction from his work. But distraction—in the form of a sexy Chicago investigator—is exactly what he gets. Jenna Hayward is as alluring as she is determined, driven to help apprehend the murderer who killed Brent’s mother twenty-three years ago. With a shared mission—and a steadily rising attraction that jeopardizes Brent’s resolve to stay unattached—the pair must work together to get answers…before the murderer makes them his next victims.

 

* * *

Giordano Author PhotoAbout the Author

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

Connect with Adrienne: Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

* * *

The Marshal CoverChapter One from The Marshal

This was a switch.
Deputy U.S. marshal Brent Thompson stood in a Chicago hotel ballroom among a throng of impeccably dressed political big shots that, for once, he didn’t have to protect.
Tonight, he was a guest.
Whether that made him happy or not was anyone’s guess. But he’d stay another hour for Judge Kline, a woman he’d spent two years watching over after her husband and children were murdered by some nut who’d been on the losing end of a ruling. Judge Kline had ordered him to pay a $1,200 fine and somehow he was mad enough to wipe out her entire family, leaving her to deal with guilt and rage and heartache.
Crazy.
Sometimes—sometimes? Really?—Brent didn’t understand people. Or maybe it was their motivations he didn’t understand, but the human race baffled him.
Tonight Judge Kline, who’d refused to allow her life to collapse under grief, was smiling. A welcome sight since her eighty-five-year-old mother had decided to throw one hell of a shindig for the judge’s sixtieth birthday.
“Brent?”
Brent turned and found the ever-polished Gerald Hennings, Chicago’s highest-profile defense attorney, weaving through the crowd. Accompanying him was a petite blonde in a floor-length bright blue gown. She had to be over fifty, but may have had a little work done to preserve her extraordinary looks. Her perfect cheekbones, the big blue eyes and sculpted nose were duplicates of the ones Brent recognized from Hennings’s daughter, Penny. Didn’t take a genius to figure out this woman was Mrs. Hennings. Brent held his hand out. “Mr. Hennings. Nice to see you.”
Five months earlier, Brent had been assigned to protect Penny Hennings after yet another nut—plenty of nuts in his world—had attempted to kill her on the steps of a federal courthouse. Penny had nearly put Brent into a psych ward with her relentless mouthiness and aggressive attitude, but he’d formed a bond with her. A kinship. And, much like Judge Kline, they’d remained friends after his assignment had ended. For whatever reason, emotionally speaking, he couldn’t let either one of them go. The fact that they’d all experienced tragedy might be the common denominator, but he chose not to think too hard about it. What was the point? None of them would ever fully recover from their individual experiences. All they could do was move on.
Hennings turned to the woman at his side. “I don’t think you’ve met my wife, Pamela. Pam, this is Marshal Brent Thompson. He was the marshal.”
She smiled and—yep—he was looking at Penny in twenty-five years.
“I know,” Mrs. Hennings said. She stepped forward and gripped both of his arms. “Thank you.”
The gesture, so direct and heartfelt, caught him sideways and he stiffened. Freak that he was he’d never gotten comfortable with strange women touching him. Most guys would love it. Brent? He liked his space being his.
But he stood there, allowing Penny’s mother to thank him in probably the only way she knew how. He could go on about how he’d just been doing his job, which was all true, but even he understood that he’d worked a little harder for Penny. She reminded him too much of his younger sister, Camille, and he hadn’t been able to help himself. “You’re welcome. Your daughter has become a good friend. And if I ever need legal advice, I know who to call.”
Mrs. Hennings laughed.
Mr. Hennings swooped his finger in the air. “You’re not working tonight?”
“No, sir. Judge Kline is a friend.”
“How nice,” Mrs. Hennings said.
“Yes, ma’am. I worked with her for two years. She would always tell me if my tie didn’t match. That happened a lot.”
“As the mother of two sons, I’m sure your mother appreciates that.”
Mother.
Mr. Hennings cleared his throat and, in Brent’s mind, the room fell silent. He glanced around, looking for…what? Confirmation that the room at large wasn’t listening to his conversation?
Maybe.
All around people gabbed and mingled and pretty much ignored Brent. Imagined it. He exhaled and once again the orchestra music—something classical—replaced the fog in his brain.
He’d fielded comments about his mother almost his entire life. It should have been easier by now.
Except for the nagging.
Twenty-three years of gut-twisting, anger-fueled obsession that kept him prisoner. “My mother died when I was seven, ma’am.”
Social pro that she must have been, considering her husband’s wizardry with the press, Mrs. Hennings barely reacted. “I’m so sorry.” She turned to Gerald, shooting him the stink-eye. “I didn’t know.”
Moments like these, a guy had to step up and help his brother-in-arms. “No need to apologize. I think about her every day.” And knowing how this conversation would go, the curiosity that came with why and how such a young woman had died, Brent let it fly. “She was murdered.”
Social pro or not, Mrs. Hennings gasped. “How horrible.”
Brent sipped his club soda, gave the room another glance and came back to Mrs. Hennings. “My sister and I adjusted. We have a supportive family.”
“I hope they caught the person who did this.”
“No ma’am. It’s still an open case.”
A case that lived and breathed with him and had driven him into law enforcement. If the Carlisle sheriff’s office couldn’t find his mother’s killer, he’d do it himself.
“Are the police still looking into it?”
Brent shrugged. “If they get a tip or some new information. I work it on my downtime, but downtime is short.”
Mrs. Hennings, obviously still embarrassed by bringing up the subject of his dead mother, turned to her husband. “Can’t one of your investigators help? You do all sorts of pro bono work for clients. Why not this?”
“Pam, those are cases where we’re defending people. This is different.”
Brent held up his hand As much as he’d like help, he didn’t want a domestic war started over it. “Mrs. Hennings, it’s okay. But thank you.”
Still, down deep, Brent wanted to find the person who’d wrecked his family and had saddled him with a level of responsibility—and guilt—no seven-year-old should have known. Every day, the questions haunted him. Could he have helped her? Should he have done something when he first heard noise? Was he a crummy investigator because all these years later he still couldn’t give his mother justice?
At this point, if he couldn’t find this monster on his own, he’d take whatever help available. Ego aside, justice for his mother was what mattered.
Mrs. Hennings kept her gaze on her husband. “You were just complaining that Jenna is bored with her current assignments. After what Brent did for Penny, give Jenna his mother’s case to investigate. It’ll challenge her and keep her out of your hair. Where’s the problem?”
Hennings pressed his lips together and a minuscule, seriously minuscule, part of Brent pitied the man. If he didn’t agree with his wife, his life would be a pile of manure.
Mrs. Hennings shot her husband a meat cleaver of a look, then turned back to Brent. “My husband will call you about this tomorrow. How’s that?”
With limited options, and being more than a little afraid to argue because, hey, he was no dummy either, he grinned at Mr. Hennings. “That’d be great. Thank you.”
*
JENNA SLID ONTO one of the worn black vinyl bar stools at Freddie’s Tap House, a mostly empty shot-and-a-beer joint on the North Side of Chicago.
How the place stayed in business, she had no idea. On this Wednesday night the sports bar down the block was packed, while the only people patronizing Freddie’s were an elderly man sitting at the bar and a couple huddled at a table in the back.
The bartender glanced down the bar at her and wandered over. “Evening. Get you something?”
You sure can.
“Whatever’s on tap. Thanks.”
He nodded and scooped a glass from behind the bar, pouring a draft as he eyed her black blazer and the plunging neckline on her cashmere sweater. “Haven’t seen you in here before. New in town?”
As much as she’d tried to dress down with jeans, she hadn’t been able to resist the sweater. When dealing with men, a little help from her feminine wiles—also known as her boobs—never hurt. “Nope. New in here though.”
“You look more Tiffany’s than Freddie’s.”
Already Jenna liked him. “Are you Freddie?”
“Junior.”
“Sorry?”
“Freddie Junior. My dad is Freddie. I took over when he retired.”
He slid the beer in front of Jenna. Once more she looked around, took in the polished, worn wood of the bar, the six tables along the wall and the line of empty bar stools.
“Slow night,” Freddie said.
Lucky me. She opened her purse, pulled out a fifty and set it on the bar. Next came the photo taken the week prior by a patron in this very bar. He glanced down at the fifty, then at the photo.
“I’m not a cop,” Jenna said. “I’m an investigator working for a law firm.”
“Okay.”
She pointed at the photo of two men with a woman in the background. Jenna needed to find that woman. “Have you seen her in here?”
He picked up the photo and studied it. “Yeah. Couple of times. When a woman like that walks into a beer joint, there’s generally a reason. Kinda like you.”
Figuring it was time to put her cleavage to work, Jenna inched forward, gave him a view of the girls beneath that V-neck and smiled. Most women would love the idea that a fifteen-pound weight gain had gone straight to their chest. Jenna supposed it hadn’t hurt her ability to claw information from men—and maybe she used it to her advantage. But she also wanted to be recognized for extracting the information and not for the way she’d done it.
Did that even make sense? She wasn’t sure anymore. All she knew was her need for positive reinforcement had led her to using her looks to achieve her goals. That meant wearing clingy, revealing clothing. Such a cliché. But the thing about clichés was they worked.
“Any idea what her reason for being here was?”
Freddie took the boob-bait and leaned in. “No. Both times she met someone. Why?”
All Jenna could hope was he’d gotten the woman’s name. “My client is being held on a robbery charge. He says he was in here the night of the robbery and he met this woman. Her name is Robin.”
“Where’d you get the picture?”
“Friends of my client.”
He dropped the picture on the bar and tapped it. “Birthday party, right?”
“Yes. My client and six of his friends. Any idea where I can find her?”
“Nah.”
“Did she pay by credit card?”
If she paid by credit card, there would be a record of the transaction, and Jenna would dig into the Hennings & Solomon coffers and pay Freddie a highly negotiated sum for a look at his credit card receipts. From there, she’d get a name and two calls later would have an address for Robin-the-mystery-woman.
“Cash.”
Shoot.
Freddie may have been lying. Jenna studied him, took in his direct gaze. Not lying. At least she didn’t think so. Again with the wavering? Didn’t she have a good sense about these things? Yes, she did. For that reason she’d go with the theory that Freddie seemed to be a small-business owner who wanted to stay out of trouble while trying to make a living. She dug her card and a pen out of her purse, wrote her cell number on the card and placed it next to the fifty on the bar.
“How about I leave you my card? If she comes in again and you call me, there’s a hundred bucks in it for you.”
Freddie glanced at the card. After a moment, he half shrugged. “Sure. If I see her.”
Jenna took one last sip of her beer, slid off the stool and hitched her purse onto her shoulder. “Thanks.” She nodded toward the fifty. “Keep the change.”
* * *

Giveaway Information

Tour-wide giveaway includes a $25.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, a swag pack, and a custom handmade ceramic mug which the winner gets to design! Fill out the Rafflecopter Form to enter!


 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

* * *

Blog Tour Stops

You can follow the tour to learn more about the book and author through interviews and reviews! Just click on the link or button below.

http://www.adriennegiordano.com/appearances

Courtesy of the author:

Adrienne Giordano


Check out My Thoughts on our sister site:

THE MARSHALL by Adrienne Giordano…a review

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PENELOPE DOUGLAS~FALLING AWAY~#Excerpt,and #giveaway…Mature content,18 +

Falling Away - 3 day countdown FINAL

Falling Away by Penelope Douglas –

18343413

Book info:
Jaxon is the guy she’s supposed to avoid. K.C. is the girl he won’t let get away….

K. C. Carter has always followed the rules—until this year, when a mistake leaves her the talk of her college campus and her carefully arranged life comes crashing to a halt. Now she’s stuck in her small hometown for the summer to complete her court-ordered community service, and to make matters worse, trouble is living right next door.

Jaxon Trent is the worst kind of temptation and exactly what K.C. was supposed to stay away from in high school. But he never forgot her. She was the one girl who wouldn’t give him the time of day and the only one to ever say no. Fate has brought K.C. back into his life—except what he thought was a great twist of luck turns out to be too close for comfort. As they grow closer, he discovers that convincing K.C. to get out from her mother’s shadow is hard, but revealing the darkest parts of his soul is nearly impossible.

Author info:
Penelope Douglas was born in Dubuque, Iowa and has a Masters of Science in Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. She lives with her family in Las Vegas.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Buy links:

Amazon

http://amzn.to/1wzgNGD
Barnes and Noble
iBooks
Kobo
Books a Million


18343413

Falling Away – Chapter 5 Excerpt

“So, how did this happen?” I asked, holding the gauze on his skin, under the cuts, to catch the saline.
His abs flexed, probably from the cold fluid, since saline didn’t sting, as I poured it over the cuts, cleaning them.
He sucked in air through his teeth. “Some of the science kids have greenhouses on the roof,” he grunted, and I almost laughed out loud. “Masters asked me to go up and make sure the roofs were closed, but I slipped coming back down the stairs. Scraped myself on some bolts.”
Ouch.
I used the rest of the gauze to wipe up the solution, and then ripped open a package with a wet wipe and made sure the blood was cleared up.
“You should be using gloves,” he pointed out. “You know? Blood and all.”
“I thought any girl was safe with you,” I shot back, tearing open bandages. “Isn’t that what you told me?”
Jax was silent for a minute, narrowing his eyes farther and watching me as I placed three rectangular bandages on his stomach.
“I said any girlfriend of mine,” he finally clarified. “But you shouldn’t be so careless. Use gloves next time.”
I ignored him, feeling weird on the occasions he acted like this. Jax had a habit of scolding me, sometimes acting as though he was protecting me, and then following it all up with being an asshole. I finally figured out condescension was his way of gaining superiority. Making others feel stupid.
I sat back, looking him in the eye and changing the subject. “Is anything else hurt?”
He hesitated only a moment. And then folded his arm back, lifting his right elbow to reveal the scratches I’d noticed earlier.
Repeating the same procedure, I stood up and leaned over him, catching the saline wash as it cascaded over his wound and into the gauze.
He hissed, and I blinked.
“Blow on it,” he ordered.
“It doesn’t sting,” I scoffed, knowing damn well that saline didn’t hurt.
“K.C., Jesus,” he barked, wincing.
I rolled my eyes but gave in. Holding the underside of his arm—his hard triceps—I leaned down and released a slow, cool breeze over the scratches. Jax’s scent wafted over me again, and I desperately wanted to close my mouth so I could breathe him in through my nose.
But I didn’t. I could tell his eyes were on me.
“Why are you watching me?” I asked, wiping up the rest of the solution and blood.
I didn’t look at him, but I heard him swallow.
“This is just the first time you’ve ever made me feel good, is all,” he replied in probably the most candid way I’d ever heard him speak.
I pinched my eyebrows together.
The first time I’d ever made him feel good. I didn’t know what to say to that. Hell, I had nothing to say to that.
Keeping quiet, I finished applying his bandages as fast as I could and didn’t meet his eyes again. He’d tried to be nice to me in high school. He’d tried to be a friend. Maybe friends with benefits but still a friend. Now here I was, forcing my attention on him, and he probably had no patience for me anymore.
“Can I ask you a question?” I ventured.
“What?”
“That night you drove Liam home . . .” I swallowed, smoothing my fingers over the bandage I’d fixed to his arm. “You said you had tattoos. Too many.” I repeated his words, my eyes fixated on his forearm. “What did you mean?” I pressed, because clearly Jax didn’t sport any tattoos. His statement hadn’t made any sense.
Even though I hadn’t looked at him, I noticed his head turn away as he inhaled a slow, deep breath. Kind of as though he was getting ready to dive deep underwater and knew he wouldn’t be up for air for a while.
“Sorry,” I said quietly, straightening up and crumpling the bandage wrappers in my fist. “I just . . . I don’t know . . .” I trailed off. “I just want to understand.”
I finally met his eyes, and he studied me silently. I didn’t know if he was trying to figure out what to tell me or if he wanted to tell me anything at all. Funny thing was, I’d thought about what Jax said that night a lot over the years, and while I was curious, it wasn’t until I’d overheard his conversation with Jared today that I knew it had something to do with his childhood.
And I realized that I didn’t know Jaxon Trent at all.
He rubbed his forearm and narrowed his eyes briefly before relaxing. “If you could get a tattoo, what would it be?”
I blinked, shocked by his question. “Um.” I laughed softly, thinking. “I thought about a set of angel wings, I guess. With one of the wings broken,” I admitted.
“It has something to do with your past?”
I nodded. “Yes.”
“And it’s something you want to remember?” he pressed.
“Yes.”
“That’s why I don’t have any tattoos,” he concluded. “People get tattoos for all kinds of reasons, but they’re always badges of what has made them who they are. I don’t care to remember what and who made me this way. The people that gave me life. The people that brought me up . . .” He shook his head, defiant. “The places I’ve seen or anything I’ve done. It’s all in my head, anyway. I don’t want it on my body, too. I don’t care about anything that much.”

Courtesy of:

Berkley/NAL Publishing

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