Category Archives: Excerpt

[Review & Giveaway] The Wedding Date by Cara Connelly

 

 
 
The Wedding Date by Cara Connelly
A Save the Date Novella
Releasing November 19th, 2013

Blurb
 
Julie Marone isn’t your ordinary matchmaker. Instead of setting up singles, she matches already-happy couples with their dream homes. It’s her calling. Her gift. And since she lost the other half of her own happy couple, it’s become her passion.
Cody Brown isn’t your ordinary cowboy. Instead of roping runaway steers, he wrangles sick kids and strung-out junkies as an ER doc. It’s his job. His responsibility. And since his brother lost his wife to a drunk driver, it’s his mission.
When Cody moves from Austin to Boston, he wants Julie to find him a condo, and fast. But she’s got issues with that. Because not only is Cody single, he’s a doctor to boot, and ever since her fiancé died, she’s got a major grudge against doctors.
Cody charms her into breaking her “couples-only” rule, but when he angles to be her date for her sister’s Christmas Eve wedding, he finds out Julie’s “no-doctor” rule is unbending. Still, he’s not quitting, because as hard as Julie fights it, there’s heat between them. If Cody has his way, they’ll be a couple by Christmas, and the next dream house Julie finds will be their own.
 
 
Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N | iTunes 
 
My Review: 
4.5 Star Review – The Wedding Date

I recommend this book.

This book contains heartache, passion, and laughs.    

Julie has a gift for matching couples to there perfect homes.  When Cody stops in her office he needs a condo.  She turns him down as she only works with couples. 
 
When he talks her into helping him out she does but she’s not happy about it. He is not part of a couple and even worst he is a doctor. 

Something in her past has made her hate all doctors.  How will Cody breakdown her walls if he is hated by her for his profession? 

Cody is very attracted to Julie and really wants to get to know her better.  With her doctor issue is it even worth it?

I like Cody and Julie.  You can feel the chemistry jump off the pages.  On one hand you can understand Julie’s issue with Doctors but since Cody was not even around can she really blame him also?  Love how Cody slowly breaks down her walls one by one. 

 
 

Author Info
 
 
 
 
Cara Connelly is an award-winning author of contemporary romances. Her smart and sexy stories have won high praise, earning Cara several awards including the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart, the Valley Forge Romance Writers’ Sheila, and the Music City Romance Writers’ Melody of Love. Cara lives in rural upstate New York with her handsome husband Billy and magical rescue dog Bella. Cara is proudly represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal/Lyon Literary Agency.
Author Links
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6921968.Cara_Connelly

EXCERPT

Outside, a sleety December drizzle came down from a leaden sky. Cars shissed past, spraying sludge. She sprinted next door to the Plaza and marched straight up to the desk. “I’m looking for Dr. Brown,” she informed the pretty brunette with the “Ashley” nametag. “Can you ring his room?”

Ashley broke into a smile. “Oh, Cody’s not in his room. He went down the street to Starbucks.” Looking up over Julie’s shoulder, her smile widened. “Here he comes now. And he’s got my latte. Isn’t he sweet?” She sighed.

Julie turned around. And sure enough, here came Cody, swaggering across the ultra-opulent lobby, a dozen gilt-framed mirrors ricocheting his reflection off every wall. Even if she’d tried, she couldn’t escape the golden hair, the stubbly sun-kissed jaw. She couldn’t ignore the nut-hugger jeans that served up his package on a plate, and the battered leather jacket, unzipped to display a rain-spattered T-shirt plastered to his paving-stone abs.

Ashley sighed again.

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[Blitz & Giveaway] Break My Fall by J.T. Cameron

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Synopsis

When Leah’s ex-boyfriend Kevin betrays her in a horrifically public way, she leaves town to spend her last summer of college in a place where no one knows who she is, what happened to her, and what she did to make herself so vulnerable. All she wants is a little peace of mind and some good surfing so she can regroup before returning for her senior year. After his own tragedy a few years ago, Drew developed an entirely new and unique outlook on life and became a risk-taker, daring and dangerous, everything Leah wanted to avoid. But a chance encounter forces her to let Drew into her life, little by little, secret by secret. He’s smart, funny, persistent, hot, and makes money in a rather unconventional way. They share a mutual fascination and attraction, until her past with Kevin complicates her present with Drew, making Leah question her future. Just as her life seems to be spinning out of control, Leah learns that sometimes you save someone by letting them save you. (New Adult romance)

Excerpt

Drew put his hat on and pulled it down just enough to where I could still see his eyes. He finally answered, and it wasn’t what I expected at all. “You’re the first girl I’ve ever seen surfing around here. I mean really surfing, not just messing around. That interested me. That’s why I talked to you those times. Because you were different. Like me. You’re a risk-taker, but something’s holding you back. Something happened to you. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you mostly keep to yourself. That’s why you have those walls up.” I felt my eyes narrowing in anger. I didn’t like this at all. Everything he was saying was true. And it pissed me off. I slid off the seat and stood. “I have to go.” I started walking toward the door and I had just picked up my surfboard when he said, “Leah, wait. I’m sorry.” I turned around. He got up and moved toward me. “It’s raining like crazy, it’s still windy. At least let me drive you home. I looked out the window and saw that it was still quite blustery. Walking home with this surfboard wouldn’t have been much fun. And it was only a short distance, which meant I wouldn’t have to put up with him for long. I pushed the door open and started to walk out. “Okay. But stop psychoanalyzing me.” He held the door open for me. “Done.”

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Book: Break My Fall
Author: J.T. Cameron
Genre: New Adult
 
 

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[Release Day Blitz & Giveaway] Enslaved By the Ocean by Bella Jewel

Enslaved By the Ocean Cover
Title: Enslaved By the Ocean
Author: Bella Jewel
Expected Release Date: December 9, 2013
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

 

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18625453-enslaved-by-the-ocean

 

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Synopsis

Indigo is running, she has no other choice. She’s done something bad, and there only way to escape it, is to flee her home, and her country. She sets out on a luxury Yacht, to take her to another country with her best friend Eric. But she runs into a problem. The Yacht catches fire. She ends up stranded in the ocean, terrified, and scared of the uncertain. Until they show up. The pirates. Terrified, Indigo and Eric have to face the reality that this might be the end for them. These are pirates, they are the criminals of the ocean. What chance have they got of surviving this nightmare? Then she lays eyes on Hendrix. He’s the Captain, he’s gorgeous, rugged, and mean. He’s planning on keeping her to repay his debt to another man, by selling her. Now Indigo has a crazy ex after her, as well as a pirate she can’t seem to get out of her head. Come on this heart wrenching, dark, angsty and dangerous adventure as two people so opposite, find something so beautiful.

 

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Excerpt

“No,” I scream, shoving him so hard he takes two steps back. “I won’t listen to you. All you’re going to do is make me feel incomplete. Do you know that you can do that? Make someone feel so utterly worthless? You touched me like I mattered, and yet you look at me like I’m a sale. I won’t do it. I don’t deserve it. I don’t…” He’s moving toward me before I can finish, and before I know what’s happening he grips my shoulder and jerks me forward, crushing his lips down on mine. My world stops. My legs give way. Hendrix wraps his arms around my waist, holding me up before parting my shocked frozen lips with his tongue. It only takes a moment for me to respond. My entire body is tingling with warmth, my heart is thumping, and my stomach is full of butterflies. I open my mouth to him, and I let him slide his tongue inside. I connect my tongue with his, and finally, I get to taste him. It’s been worth the wait. His lips, his tongue, his mouth: it’s like heaven. The feeling of his stubble on my cheeks is exactly as I imagined.

 

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About the Author

Bella Jewel is an Aussie girl through and through. She spent her life in Western Australia, growing up in many different areas of the state. She now currently lives in Perth with her husband, children and mass amounts of pets. She’s crazy, fun, outgoing and friendly. Writing is her passion, she started at the young age of 18 but finally got the courage up to publish, and her first novel Hell’s Knights was released in August 2013.

Connect with the Author

Facebook | Website | Goodreads

 

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Giveaway
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[Blitz & Giveaway] At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey



At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey
(Gaming the System #1)
Publication date: December 9th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:


Achievement Unlocked: Geek Virgin

When Mia Strong, proud geek-girl and popular gaming blogger, auctions off her virginity online, she knows she’ll make waves. But what she will not be making is a love connection. Her rules are set in stone: One night. No further contact.

It’s a desperate step, but it’s the only way she can go to medical school and pay her mother’s mounting hospital bills.

Difficulty Level: Millionaire CEO

Adam Drake, the enigmatic auction winner, is a software prodigy who made his first million at seventeen. Now, in his mid-twenties, he’s sexy, driven and–as CEO of his own gaming company–he’s used to making the rules. Before Mia knows what’s happening, he’s found the loophole in the rules of her auction. Every stipulation she’s made to protect her heart gets tossed by the wayside.

She can’t tell if he’s playing her…or if he’s playing for keeps.

This New Adult book is intended for audiences over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content and adult situations.

 

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18716577-at-any-price?ac=1

 
Purchase:

 


AUTHOR BIO

Brenna Aubrey is an author of New Adult contemporary romance stories that center on geek culture. Her debut novel, AT ANY PRICE, releases in December, 2013.

She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna’s favorite author is Jane Austen and favorite novel is PERSUASION.

Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover’s heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. A mommy to two little kids and teacher to many more older kids, she juggles schedules to find time to pursue her love of storycrafting.

She currently resides on the west coast with her husband, two children, two adorable golden retriever pups, two birds and some fish.


LINKS:




 
EXCERPT

“I’m quite capable of understanding sexual attraction, Mr. Drake.”

“Adam,” he said quietly, his eyes lowering to focus on my mouth. My heart skipped a beat in its frenetic pace.

“Adam.”

“Why does it make you uncomfortable to call me by my first name?”

I locked gazes with him, suddenly intensely aware of how close we were standing. I could smell him—a subtle scent, masculine, clean, like the ocean and the hint of peppermint candy on his breath. I could almost feel the heat and power oozing off of him in waves. I swallowed in a suddenly dry throat.

“I don’t know.”

“I want to give you one more thing to think about.”

“And what is that?”

He leaned closer, his head approaching mine. I didn’t have the time to step back nor, I think, the willpower to do it even if it had occurred to me. His mouth met mine in a firm, sure kiss.

It wasn’t overpowering. That was the first thing that surprised me. It was a subtle give and take—gentle, at first, a warm pressure of his lips on mine. Then he took a step closer and slid a hand around my waist, the other going to my back.

He retreated, just slightly, just enough to allow me to pursue him. His mouth moved against mine, teasing, pressing it open. Now his body pressed against mine, his head angled down to reach me, for I was at least five inches shorter than him.

I opened my mouth to him then and his tongue slid in easily. Nothing tentative in this kiss. He knew exactly what he was doing. He was telling me I had the control, declaring the decision mine and then swooping in and taking no prisoners.

His hands stayed put. I was glad of that though I wanted his touch everywhere—my aching breasts, the throbbing between my legs. Goose bumps prickled up and down my arms. His tongue explored my mouth with surety, easy possession. And—to my utter humiliation—I let loose a small whimper at the back of my throat.

The arm around my waist tightened when he heard it, responding immediately, almost instinctively. He pulled his tongue back, as if inviting me to follow him with my tongue. And tentatively, I did.

I’d been kissed before—back in high school when I was normal and I actually dated. But it had been years, now, and I’d never, ever been kissed like this. My tongue entered his mouth and he made a noise at the back of his throat, not quite a growl, kind of more like a huff. It emboldened me. Empowered me. I thrust my tongue, lacing my hands around the back of his neck. Our heads moved together for long minutes and I felt like I hadn’t breathed in a lifetime.

Everything was spinning around me and I—I was spinning too, delirious with want. Like a woman drowning in the middle of stormy sea, in desperate need of a life raft. That sea was Adam Drake and he was pulling me adrift, stranding me in some strange and forgotten land.

When finally he ended it, he pulled away so slowly that I could hardly tell our lips had parted until cool air passed between us. It was then that I saw that he was as affected as I was—flushed cheeks, his breath coming fast, his eyes dark and drunk with desire.

 

 



 

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[Blitz & Giveaway] Forever, Jack by Natasha Boyd


Forever, Jack by Natasha Boyd
Eversea #2
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:

A feisty small-town girl and the Hollywood star who broke her heart

An all-consuming love threatened by fame

One last chance at FOREVER

Keri Ann Butler’s life changed on the night she met movie star, Jack Eversea. She thought she knew a Jack that was very different to the man adored by fans the world over. In the wake of his betrayal and abandonment, Keri Ann has had to pick up and move forward with the life she was supposed to live and has put off far too long.

Suddenly Jack is back, and his explanations for why he left seem more and more plausible, and his declarations more seductive. But being Jack’s latest tabloid accessory isn’t on Keri Ann’s career agenda, no matter how much she is attracted to him. And how can she can ever trust him again?

Jack knows he let the only ‘real’ thing that ever happened to him slip through his fingers. And his hands have been tied to try and stop it. Until Now.

Jack is now fighting to save his relationship with Keri Ann, even as his crazy life threatens to tear them apart. Again. The question is, can he convince her she can have it all? And have him? Forever?

Read how it all began in “Eversea“…

 

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18077900-forever-jack?ac=1


Purchase:


AMAZON 

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Natasha Boyd is a writer with a background in marketing and public relations. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and lives in the coastal Carolina Lowcountry, complete with Spanish moss, alligators and mosquitoes the size of tiny birds.  She has a husband, two sons and a host of scared relatives that worry the next book will be about them.  She is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America and Island Writers Network, where she has been a featured speaker. Forever, Jack is the sequel to her award-winning and first full-length novel, Eversea. 

 

twitter @lovefrmlowcntry

instagram @lovefrmlowcntry

 


EXCERPT

 

Jack wasn’t wearing his ball cap, and the breeze ruffled his darker, longer hair.

It seemed laughable now, that I would have waited until tomorrow morning to find out what he was doing back here. I cocked my head. “You realize this qualifies as seriously creepy.”

I thought I saw his mouth lift slightly on one side.

“I couldn’t sleep and thought walking would help. And well, I ended up here.” Jack shrugged, his hands still wedged in his jeans. His soft, deep voice that I knew so well, that the world knew so well, was a smooth melody over the jagged rasping of the cicadas. “I didn’t know you’d be awake.”

You just showed back up in my life, how could I be sleeping? I bit down, holding my teeth together to keep from inviting him in. “Why couldn’t you sleep?” I asked eventually.

“Why couldn’t you?” he returned.

My skin got warm. “I was sleeping.”

Barely.

I imagined I saw his eyes narrow. “But Jazz texted and woke me,” I added. Not technically a lie.

Jack nodded, pursing his lips and rocked back on his heels. I could see more details now that my eyes were accustomed to the night and the clouds continued clearing the sky. He was wearing dark jeans and a snug dark t-shirt. His eyes hadn’t left me. I reached up and smoothed my hair, tucking an errant strand back in the direction of my messy braid, wondering what on earth I looked like after tossing and turning for the last few hours.

“Stop.”

I paused.

“You’re beautiful.”

My blood pressure rose. I clamped my jaw tight again. My upbringing dictated I thank him, but a wave of anger, no … make that pure and utter pissed-off-ness, almost choked me. “You can’t even see me,” I snorted. “Nice try. What do you want anyway?”

“I don’t need to see you to know you’re beautiful.”

Well, didn’t that knock an oyster out of its shell? What was he playing at? “Seriously, what do you want, Jack? You need someone to buy your groceries or something?” My acidic tone left no doubt about how I felt.

His shoulders moved almost imperceptibly, and I had the thought he’d either let out a long sigh or he was at a loss as to what to say, and was about to give up and turn around. “Can I come in?” he asked so quietly, I almost didn’t hear him. “I’d like to talk to you.”

 

 

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[Cover Reveal] Into the Unknown by Bethany Shaw

 Into the Unknown by Bethany Shaw
Book 2
Werewolf Wars Series

Expected Release date – January 2014
Cover Design Creator: Sarah Foster at Sprinkles in Top Studios
Hosted by: Reading Writing and Book Reviews

Synopsis:

Gene has taken on the role of alpha after the devastating loss of his father. A war is on the horizon and Gene is determined not to fail his pack. He makes an unlikely alliance with Natalia, the woman his enemy is hunting. The more time they spend together, the more Gene finds himself drawn to the sexy, mysterious, she-wolf.

Natalia has lost faith in her kind. After being rescued from her captors by Gene’s pack, she wants to take her son and run far away from everyone. But, she knows she wouldn’t get far with her psychotic family chasing her. She agrees to team up with Gene in an attempt to end her family’s tyranny. As they attempt to work together, she finds herself wondering if she can truly trust him, or will his betrayal be the greatest yet?

 

 

 

Excerpt: Into the Unknown *Unedited*

“Wow,” Natalia breathed as they reached the top of the peak. She closed her eyes as the cool breeze ghosted against her face. Pine and oak fragranced the air, causing a smile to slide across her face. Opening her eyes, she surveyed the landscape.

Trees spread out for as far as the eye could see. The sun hung low, filling the sky with an orange pink hue. She spun around relishing in the fresh scent and the complete seclusion the trees offered. Crickets chirped and she could hear wildlife scuttling about. “This is amazing,” she said, focusing her gaze on Gene.

 “My father worked hard on the landscape back home, but I don’t think it will ever be this secluded.”

“It is nice at your ranch,” Natalia commented. “I grew up in the city anything outside the city limits is rustic to me.”

“And you weren’t around any other wolves?” Gene questioned.

“No. My mother taught me what she knew. Which was not much. Her only experience was with my father, Luis.”

“I meant what I told you. I want to help you – teach you are ways.”

Natalia moved to the edge of the hill and stared down over the edge. Taking the chance and trusting him was about as appealing as jumping to the rocks and brush below. Still, she wanted to believe him.

“How do you do it?”

Swallowing she held her breath as he came to stand next to her. “What?”

“The partial shift. How do you do it?”

Natalia turned to look at him quirking her brow up as he came to stand in front of her. His heels touched the edge of the cliff and she blinked surprised how vulnerable he was allowing himself to be.

Her breath caught in her throat as he placed his hands on her shoulders, his chocolate eyes meeting hers. Her pulse spiked and a shiver ran up her spine as anticipation rolled through her.

“Close your eyes,” he said quietly.

Her eyes widened, heart accelerated and she fought the urge to lean into him. The innocent touch seemed anything but to her.

“You need to focus, close your eyes,” he urged, seemingly oblivious to her discomfort and arousal.

Clearing her throat, she closed her eyes, needing to escape his gaze.

“Now, think about your wolf. Your sight specifically. Imagine you are running. The wildlife and trees are whirling by you as you survey your surroundings. Everything is clearer, sharper. Inhale the pine and oak, the dirt and leaves.”

Natalia forced her breathing to even out, letting his voice guide her as she imagined what he was saying. Warm puffs of air hit her face as he spoke. She let his voice soothe her until she found herself lost in his words.

“Open your eyes, Talia,” Gene said softly.

Fingers grazed her cheeks and gently cupped her face. Startled, she opened her eyes, gasping at their close proximity.

Blinking, she stepped back taking him in. His face appeared clearer, stubble poked out from his pores. Gene’s brown eyes stared at her allowing her to see her goldish eyes reflecting off of them. Turning away from him, she took in the leaves noticing the fine lines of each of them and the tiny insects that gathered on the trunk of a tree.

“All you have to do is focus. How do you feel?” Gene asked.

“Good,” Natalia beamed. In fact, she felt better than she had in weeks.
“If you follow the same mindset when you transition I think it will help. The important thing to remember is you are still in control even if you are the wolf. Embrace who you are don’t fear it.”

“I’m not afraid of-“

“Yes, you are. You’re afraid of what we are because you don’t want to be like Juarez. You can be the wolf and still be yourself,” Gene said. He took a step to the side. “The wolf doesn’t make us do anything we wouldn’t already do. It’s just like with humans there are humans that are just evil. The same rule applies to wolves. There are wolves that are just bad too. On the flip side, there are good humans and wolves. It’s what we do that defines us not what we are.”

Gene sighed as he looked over the edge of the cliff. “I’m heading back. The house is a quarter of a mile that way,” Gene said pointing as he turned in the direction they’d come. “You should try shifting.”

Natalia nodded waiting until she heard the dirt and gravel crunching beneath his feet to turn around. He’d helped her. Swallowing, she watched as he disappeared into the trees. Satisfied she was alone, she undressed and prepared to transition.



Buy Links for Out of the Shadows:

 

https://www.createspace.com/4544602(not currently available for sale as of yet)

Author Bio:
Bethany Shaw is happily married to her husband of nine years. She has two
children ages five and two and enjoys being able to stay home with them and
pursue a writing career. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she has
been writing for as long as she can remember. Mornings are usually when she
gets her muse and she enjoys listening to music while her dog curls up at her feet.
Paranormal romance and dystopian romance are the genres she prefers to write but
she loves to read and reads just about everything.
 
Author Links:
 
 
 
 

 

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[Blitz & Giveaway] Beyond by S.P. van der Lee

Beyond (Beyond)
Release date: November 25th 2013
Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Raven desperately wants to fit in, but after using a Ouija Board, her already overwhelming hallucinations take a turn for the worse. A ghostly figure named Sam begins to haunt Raven and seems eager to kill her.
She’s saved by a reclusive biker named Damian who goes to the same school and appears to have an interest in her. Raven can’t help but feel drawn to him. Determined to uncover Damian’s connection to the ghost, Raven sets out to discover his secret and the reason Sam started haunting her. However, there’s more at stake than just her reputation. Raven’s choice between unveiling Damian’s true intentions, and living a normal life will put everyone she cares about at risk. To save them, she’ll have to go beyond.

Lives are ruined.
Hearts are shattered.
Death lurks at every corner.

 

 
Available from:
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Check out the trailer here!

“I loved the premise of the book & I loved the characters. The ending left me wanting more…” ~ Lisa W.
“Finally this ends my dry spell of unsatisfying fantasy novels! I loved the plot! I can’t help but get hooked into it as the story unfolds.” ~ Poecilia from Goodreads
“The book is very good. It has really good mystery in it and a cliffhanger in the end that leaves you screaming for the second book.” ~ Katie from Goodreads
About the Author
I am a writer and reader of YA Paranormal Romance novels and aspire to be a well known author. I love reading the same genre, as well as Dystopian and an occasional fantasy book. In my spare time, when I’m not reading books, I like to play games such as RPG’s.

I have a bachelor in Digital Communication and enjoy pretty much anything that has to do with technology 🙂


BEYOND will be published on November 25th 2013. I’m currently available for Promos, spotlights, reviews, interviews, guest posts, you name it! Just send me a message 🙂


Author Links:
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Excerpt:

Never before have I felt such fear, suffocating and unrelenting. If my heart continues to beat the way it is, I might die. My hallucinations have never taken the form of a humanlike figure before. Just thinking about the smoke he emitted makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

The only things I’ve ever seen were items being moved around or floating lights, which made people think I was nuts. But just now, at the party, I saw a real shady figure, and he moved the wooden arrow.

I pedal as fast as I can. I can’t look back, because I’m afraid I might see something that will make my heart stop. I have to get out of here.

Simon and Emma are yelling at me from Lillian’s home, but I’m not listening to what they’re saying. I just tell myself that everything has been a fantasy, even though it still bothers me. Hallucinations should only affect me, not my surroundings. They’re not supposed to be able to touch a Ouija board.

Calm down, Raven. Maybe my pills will work.

I pull the brakes and come to a stop so quick that I have to put both feet on the ground so I don’t fall over. I grab my bag and rummage through it, looking for the bottle. The pills that reduce the intensity of my hallucinations should be in there. My mom always makes me take them along wherever I go.

But they’re not in my bag. How could I have forgotten them? How could I have been so stupid? In my haste to get to the party I must’ve forgotten to pack them. What do I do without my meds?

I throw my bag on the ground and exhale a few times before picking it up again. I snort and brush away the sweat from my forehead. Well, nothing I can do about it now. I’ll have to get home as quick as I can.

I hop on my mountain bike again and force myself to pedal. It isn’t real. My head is playing tricks. I’m me, not my delusions.

They’re all fake.

I bike across the road and swallow a couple of times. Maybe the anxiety will go away then. I check my surroundings to assure myself that everything I see is beyond a doubt there and not all in my head.

Then I see them, a group of figures in the cemetery.

Only they aren’t just figures. Shadows are watching me.

Their faces are smooth and unwavering. Their eyes are hollow. Surrounding them is a black and white mist-like fog. The people all look different, but with one similarity; I can see right through them.

I shriek and peddle as hard as my feet will allow me, past the cemetery. I’m going nuts. I see things that aren’t really there. Delusions that are so terrifying I feel like I’m going to faint again. This isn’t real. It can´t be! I’m trying to convince myself.

Tears roll down my face, and my lungs burn. The warmth of my overheated body makes my soaking wet clothes prickle against my skin. I’m heaving, totally out of breath.

In the forest beside me, I spot the shades again. They’re everywhere. At least, I think, but they don’t look like just shadows anymore. They look like real people.

Am I hallucinating about ghosts? Their black and white glow is as clear as daylight in the darkness.  The lampposts light the cement path. At first I think the entities are staring into nothing, but then they chase after me.

I bike even harder, but my thighs burn. I’m already past my limit. I steal a glimpse, and the floating ghosts are still following me, floating.

“Stop! Stop it!” I scream and close my eyes, hoping they will disappear, but when I open them again they’re still there.

One of the ghosts drifts closer. It moves so fast, I’m unable to spot it until it’s in my face with its mouth open.

I shriek and flap my hands, hoping to push the attacker away, but it doesn’t work. It’s already gone. The shadow went right through me.

I’m wobbling so much I lose my balance and fall off my bike. My head hits the asphalt, surging burning pain to the side of my skull. I’m dizzy, and everything around me fades to black.

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[Blitz & Giveaway] The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Marie Landry

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Release Date: 11/05/13
Summary from Goodreads:
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, right? At least that’s what twenty-year-old Ginny Bailey’s grandmother always told her, and Ginny believed it until Grama died. She even put on a brave face the following two Christmases, carrying on Grama’s traditions and decorating her house and café with Grama’s favorite decorations.

But Ginny can’t pretend any longer. When she finds out she’s going to be alone for the holidays this year, her Christmas spirit goes out the window, along with her luck. Everything that can go wrong does, and Ginny just wants to spend the holidays hiding under the covers…until Dean Riley comes back into her life. With their shared past, old feelings begin to resurface almost immediately, and Ginny thinks Dean might just be the Christmas miracle she’s been waiting for to help her remember why Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.


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What people are saying about The Most Wonderful Time of the Year:
“While The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is a quick read, it is an adorable one. This story shows the value of friends and family and the importance they have in our lives, no matter what time of the year it is…If you’re looking for a well-written, heartwarming story for those cold days, pick this up.”
~ Jessica Sankiewicz, author of If Only We
“Marie Landry delivered the perfect little holiday novella with The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. It has a small-town coffee shop, memories of Christmas with Grandma, snowballs, hot cocoa and a yummy man from our heroine’s past. Mini review: romantic, sweet and filled with holiday spirit.”
The Most Wonderful Time of Year was quick and sweet, just how I like my holiday reads.”
~ Christy from Love of Books
About the Author
Marie Landry is the author of BLUE SKY DAYS (contemporary YA—January 2012), THE GAME CHANGER (women’s fiction—November 2012), WAITING FOR THE STORM (contemporary YA—April 2013), and THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR (a new adult holiday novella-November 2013). Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood, she’s had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, wandering around with a camera in her hand, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece.

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Excerpt: Full first chapter

 

‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ came over the speakers in the café, and I smiled, humming along to the jazzy song. It was one of my favourites, but then again I had a lot of favourite holiday songs.

 

I added a dollop of whipped cream and shook some red and green sprinkles onto the peppermint mocha latté I’d just made. I carefully pressed a lid into place before setting the hot drink on the counter. “Here you go, Mrs. Sanders.”

 

“Thank you, dear.” Mrs. Sanders tucked a loose white curl under her crocheted hat. She was in her seventies, and had a sweet tooth like I’d never seen. She volunteered at the used clothing store down the street, and on any given day would pop into the café two or three times for a sugary drink or a freshly baked goodie.

 

Mrs. Sanders’ gaze swept over the café. “The place is looking wonderful, Ginny,” she told me, a warm smile lighting her grey eyes. “Looks just like it did when your grandma owned the place and decorated for the holidays.”

 

I swallowed the lump that always formed in my throat when someone mentioned Grama. “I’m really happy to hear you say that,” I replied, managing a small smile. “Christmas was always her favourite time of year.”

 

“Don’t I know it.” Mrs. Sanders chuckled and shook her head. “She’d be up in that attic of yours fishing around for Christmas decorations as soon as Halloween was over.” Her smile dimmed slightly, turning wistful. “I’m glad she passed her love for the holidays on to you. It’s nice to have someone to keep up those traditions and add in some new life.”

 

I nodded, swallowing compulsively around that stupid growing lump in my throat. It had been three years since Grama passed away, but I still felt her loss as if it were yesterday. She’d been so much more than my guardian—she was my best friend and confidant, the one person who loved me unconditionally and supported me no matter what. She’d also been a huge part of the community; she had a seat on town council, and had owned what was once the only café in town until a Tim Horton’s moved in near the mall.

 

“I do it for her.” I knew Mrs. Sanders would understand the slight tremor in my voice that I couldn’t control. “Because of her, I’ve believed in the magic of Christmas for as long as I can remember. It was always the best time of year growing up. Everything just seems different around Christmas. Like anything could happen, you know?”

 

Mrs. Sanders still wore that soft, wistful smile. “Now you sound just like her. She was always talking about the magic of Christmas. She’d be really proud of you, Ginny.”

 

This time my smile was genuine. I knew Mrs. Sanders missed Grama too. They had been friends most of their lives, and Mrs. Sanders was one of the few people who freely talked about Grama around me. Most of the other people in town seemed to think I’d shatter into a million pieces at the mere mention of her. “Thank you.”

 

The older woman nodded and reached for her wallet, but I waved her away. “It’s on me today. Enjoy.”

 

Mrs. Sanders patted my hand where it rested on the counter, then pulled on her leather gloves and tugged the collar of her coat up around her neck. “I’ll see you tomorrow, dear.”

 

I watched her go, then glanced around the café as Mrs. Sanders had done a few moments earlier. Most of the decorations were Grama’s, but I’d added a few over the years. There was a small artificial tree in every corner, decorated with lights and the mismatched ornaments Grama and I had been collecting or making since I was a child. Star-shaped lights hung in the big windows on either side of the door, and the fireplace was adorned with stockings that were almost filled with donated toys for the local yearly toy drive.

 

I made my way around the counter, smiling at the people scattered at tables and on couches around the café. It was one of the quietest times of day; the after work rush had finished and most people were home having dinner. Things would pick up again around seven, when a lot of folks liked to drop in for coffee or dessert, or grab a snack on their way to the movies.

 

I collected dirty mugs and plates before wiping down tables, all the while humming along to the carols playing on the stereo. I was surprised to find almost every empty table held a tip. People didn’t often leave tips, and if they did it was in the fancy jar by the cash register. I scooped the money into the pocket of my Christmassy apron, enjoying the musical jingling sound as the change and bills accumulated.

 

I was heading back to the counter when the front door flew open, sending the bells overhead into a tinkling frenzy and a gust of wintry air into the café. I turned and smiled when I saw my best friend, Clara, sweep inside, stamping her booted feet and shaking the hood of her coat.

 

“Is that snow?” I rushed through the café to the window. I nearly pressed my face against the cool pane when I saw that it was, indeed, snowing softly. We’d hardly had any snow yet this winter, and as Christmas drew nearer I was afraid we weren’t going to get any. Christmas wasn’t Christmas without snow.

 

“I’ll be right back, everyone,” I called to no one in particular as I grabbed Clara’s hand and pulled her back outside.

 

“What are you doing?” Clara asked. “Where’s your coat? You’re going to freeze!”

 

Ignoring her, I stood on the sidewalk and turned my face toward the sky. Fat snowflakes fell, melting instantly as they touched my skin, which was overheated from being close to the fire while bussing tables. An uncontrollable smile spread over my face, and I closed my eyes, letting the flakes cool my eyelids, cheeks, and forehead.

 

“You’re a loon, you know that?” Something warm settled over my shoulders, and I opened my eyes to see that Clara had taken off her coat and draped it over both of us. She looped her arm through mine and pressed against me, pulling her half of the coat around her as much as she could.

 

“I know,” I answered easily. “But you know how much I love snow.”

 

“I do, which is why I stopped in. I figured you’d be busy and might not have seen it yet.”

 

“That’s why you came by?” I asked, surprised and touched.

 

“Well, yeah.” Clara shrugged. “I was leaving the library when it started, so I figured rather than call I’d just come up the street and see you. I know I haven’t been around much lately.”

 

It was true. Clara had been dating a guy named Bobby since summer, and they were nearly inseparable. I’d gone from seeing my best friend all the time to practically having to make an appointment just to have a conversation with her. It had been hard on me, and at times it felt like our friendship was scarcely bearing the weight of the strain. None of that seemed to matter right now, though. She was here, it was snowing, and everything seemed right with the world, even if it was only for a few minutes.

 

“Thanks for coming.” I turned my face back to the sky. I didn’t want to talk about Clara’s absence lately.

 

“Well, I knew…” Clara’s voice trailed off and she shifted closer to me. I glanced at her and saw she was staring resolutely at the sky, her jaw tight, and tears glistening in her eyes.

 

“Don’t,” I pleaded.  “Please don’t.”

 

She jerked her head back and forth, and one lone tear slipped down her cheek. “I’m sorry,” she said quickly. “I swore I wouldn’t. I told myself all the way over here that if I started to cry, I’d never forgive myself, but I just can’t help it.”

 

I let out a quiet groan as I felt the lump return to my throat. Clara and I had grown up together, so she’d known Grama forever, and felt her loss almost as acutely as I did. She’d been the one who had mourned with me, held my hand when I needed comfort, cried with me, and shared stories from our childhood.

 

Clara took a deep breath and slid her hand down my arm to grip my hand tightly. “She was like a little kid when it snowed,” she said quietly. I couldn’t look at her for fear I’d start crying, but I could hear the smile in her voice now, and it calmed me a bit.

 

“I remember you telling me about how she’d drag you outside during the first snow, no matter where you were, what you were doing, or what time it was,” she continued. “Like that time when you were six and it started snowing in the middle of the night and she dragged you out of bed to see it. I don’t think I really believed you until the next year when I was sleeping over and she woke us up at 3 a.m., bundled us into our coats, and took us outside.”

 

I laughed shakily at the memory. It was one of my favourites. I could still remember us throwing our coats, hats, mittens, and boots on over our pajamas and following Grama outside. The three of us stood on the huge front lawn, holding hands, and staring up at the sky as fat snowflakes fell around us.

 

Clara squeezed my hand, drawing me back to the present. “I think someone wants a refill.” She pointed over her shoulder at the woman waiting patiently near the counter with an empty mug.

 

“Shoot.” I started to slip Clara’s coat off, but she swung it off her shoulders instead and wrapped it around me.

 

“I’ll go. You enjoy the snow for another few minutes.” She paused with her hand on the doorknob and gave me a small, sad smile. “I swear I feel her out here, Gin.”

 

She hurried inside before I could reply—or before either of us could burst into tears and spend the next half hour blubbering on the sidewalk in the snow. I watched her for a second as she spoke to the woman at the counter, smiling brightly and tossing her golden hair over her shoulder. I felt a swell of affection for her that nearly took my breath away, and I turned away quickly before I really did start to cry.

 

While there were a few people who understood that I was still mourning the loss of my grandmother even after all this time, Clara was the only person who I felt really got it. She’d been like a sister to me growing up, and I’d happily shared Grama with her.

 

Christmas was the hardest time of year for me since it had been Grama’s favourite, but I’d promised myself I would celebrate it just like we always had. I swore I would hold on to the magic of the season, the way she’d taught me. I turned my face to the sky once again and closed my eyes. The snowflakes slowed, touching my cheeks gently like angel kisses. Clara was right; I could feel Grama here too.
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[Blitz & Giveaway] Connectivity by Aven Ellis

 
Connectivity by Aven Ellis

Publication date: October 16th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:

Overachiever Mary-Kate Grant (who is indeed named after an Olsen Twin) has followed every rule to the letter to pursue her dream of working in TV programming. Ripping a page from the “hard work pays off” playbook, she takes an assistant level job at a Chicago sports network to break into the industry.


MK has no time or desire for a relationship right now—she is totally focused on her career and being independent, unlike the other women in her family.

But MK’s plans are run through the shredder when she finds herself working for William Cumberland, a British media mogul who made his fortune with Connectivity, a social media site. William blows into Chicago just like the winds off Lake Michigan and purchases the group of networks MK works for—and makes her his personal assistant in the process.

Suddenly MK finds her career plans in jeopardy. William makes her question everything she has ever thought and has the uncanny ability to see right through her. And for the first time in her life, MK finds herself not only questioning what she wants for her career but for her personal life as well…





https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18484171-connectivity?ac=1


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AUTHOR BIO:
 
 
Aven Ellis has been writing fiction since she was sixteen. She studied communications at a large Midwestern university, and after graduation, Aven worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, followed by a stint at a public relations agency.
But writing about city council meetings and restaurant franchises was not as much fun as writing for young women trying to figure out their careers and potential boyfriends. So Aven got herself a job in television that allowed her to write at night. Connectivity is Aven’s debut novel; Waiting For Prince Harry and Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista (New Adult romantic comedy) will be published next year.
Aven lives in Dallas with her family. When she is not writing, Aven enjoys shopping, cooking, connecting with friends on social media, and watching any show that features Gordon Ramsay.
 
Author links:
 
EXCERPT Hotel Bar Scene
We arrive at the hotel, one of the most expensive and sleekest in Chicago. William escorts me to the bar, which is gorgeous and sophisticated and just perfect for a glass of wine. We grab a spot near the open fireplace, and William helps me take off his coat. I sink down into a cozy chair breathe an appreciative sigh.
“This is so much better,” I say gratefully. “Thank you for the rescue, William.”
He studies me for a moment as he sinks down into the chair across from me. “You’re an old soul, aren’t you?” he asks slowly.
I watch as the light from the fireplace flickers across William’s amazing cheekbones. “Just like you.”
William stares back at me, but I already know what he is thinking. That I get him like nobody else does. I can’t explain it, but it is a feeling I have, one that is so strong and so powerful I know I’m right.
And he understands me better than anyone ever has, too.
“Welcome back, Mr. Cumberland,” the waitress says, dropping down two cocktail napkins on the coffee table in-between us and interrupting my thoughts. “The usual?”
“No.” William looks at me. “What would you like to drink, Mary-Kate?”
“A glass of pinot noir sounds really nice,” I say.
“Then I would like a bottle of your best pinot noir please,” he says.
The waitress nods and then leaves.
“Hmmm. ‘Welcome Back?’” I say slowly. “Do you regularly bring the ladies to this bar, William?”
Jesus did I just ask him that?
William studies me. “Would you like to know, Mary-Kate?”
“Only if you care to answer, William,” I say, matching him.
And my pulse jumps again as I wait for his reply. Here we go. We say we are employee/boss. But we don’t speak to each other like employee/boss. And now there is this damn undercurrent of attraction, of sexual tension that I like way too much, and I feel like my whole career, my dreams, and my future could go up in flames because I am playing with a match here.
But at this moment, in this bar, I don’t care.
 
 
 
 
 

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[Cover Reveal & Giveaway] Push the Envelope by Rochelle Paige

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Title: Push the Envelope
Author: Rochelle Paige
Genre: New Adult Romance
Cover Designer: Kari Avasha at Cover to Cover Design
Expected Release Date: December 20, 2013
 
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Synopsis

Alexa is just your average college junior, attending classes and piloting Mile High Club charter flights. Boys haven’t been on her radar for a couple years after a disastrous breakup with her high school sweetheart. Her plans to focus on school hit a bit of a snag when she meets bad-boy Drake Bennett and he sets his sights on making her his own. Drake transferred to Blythe College for the rugby team, not for a new assortment of college girls. He’s sexy and cocky, and he attracts women like moths to a flame. When he meets Alexa, Drake knows he’s met his match. She tries to resist him, but Drake isn’t used to taking no for an answer. Warning: 18+ due to sexual content

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Excerpt

I stared at him as he drove back to campus. His face was chiseled as his jaw clenched. There was no sign of the dimples that flashed when he laughed. No smiling twinkle in his eye. No softness in his gaze as he flashed a heated look my way. It felt like time hung suspended, but before I knew it we were parked in front of my dorm again.

Drake cut off the engine and turned his body towards me. He unclipped his seatbelt and pocketed his keys, but he didn’t move to exit the car. His eyes had darkened to the color of melted chocolate, and a flush spread across his cheekbones. I stayed silent, trying not to push him over the edge.
“Want you more than I’ve ever wanted anyone before, but I know you aren’t ready to hop in between the sheets with me yet. You’re different, special. Gotta make sure I treat you right.” Drake reached across and stroked his thumb over my cheek as he held my chin in his hand. “Now isn’t the time for this. I know that in my head, but fuck if my body will listen to reason.”

 

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About the Author
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I absolutely adore reading – always have and always will. My friends growing up used to tease me when I would trail after them, trying to read and walk at the same time. If I have downtime, odds are you will find me reading or writing. I am the mother of two wonderful sons who have inspired me to chase my dream of being an author. I want them to learn from me that you can live your dream as long as you are willing to work for it. When I told my mom that my new year’s resolution was to self-publish a book in 2013, she pretty much told me “About time!”

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads Author Page | Website

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