#ReadingChallenge #Giveaway – Romantic Summer Reading Challenge

Hey, book lovers! Remember those summer reading programs from when we were kids? You would read a certain number of books and get a pizza. Or maybe if you completed a list of books you received a certificate and a prize from the librarian. Why should the fun end just because we’re adults? Join us this summer for the inaugural Romantic Summer Reading Challenge.

Now through midnight (CDT) September 4, read all ten books on our reading list to win prizes. This year’s featured books include:

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander
New Attitude by Kathryn R. Biel
Playing House by Laura Chapman
Makeup & Murder by Stephanie Damore
Click Date Repeat Again by KJ Farnham
Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Tequila & Tailgates by Andrea Johnston
Reality Rocks by Liberty Kontranowski
Pas de Deux by Wynter S.K.
This is 35 by Stacey Wiedower

How does it work? When you finish each book on the list, leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Then, once you are done with all ten, copy the links on the entry form, complete the rest of the information, and submit it. After September 4, everyone who completes the challenge will receive a free ebook from one of the authors’ backlist. You will also be entered in the drawing for a chance to win one of ten prize packages created by the authors (valued at $20 each) and the grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card. (No purchase necessary to win. Prize packages limited to U.S. residents only this year.)

What if you’ve already read one (or more) of the books on this list? It still counts. Just post your review and share the link on the form.

If this sounds like a fun way to discover new authors, score a free book, and enter for a chance to win prizes, please join us! You can also follow the Facebook page, which will include author takeovers that give you a chance to interact with authors and other readers throughout the summer.

#Giveaway – CHRISTMAS BLISS by Mary Kay Andrews

Christmas Bliss

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Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of Summer Rental comes a novella that celebrates love, the holidays, and antiques

Christmas is coming, but Savannah antique dealer Weezie Foley is doubly distracted—both by her upcoming wedding to her longtime love, chef Daniel Stipanek and also by the fact that her best friend and maid-of-honor BeBe Loudermilk is due to give birth any day—and is still adamantly refusing to marry her live-in-love Harry. Readers have come to love these characters in Mary Kay Andrews’ three previous Savannah novels:  Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, and Blue Christmas.

Christmas Bliss offers Andrews’s legions of fans the best of many things: familiar characters, a new novella for Christmas, and a celebration of Mary Key Andrews’s own favorite pastime-antiquing. Blue Christmas was a fan favorite, and now Christmas Bliss is sure to fly off store shelves and into the hands of Andrews’s fans in bestselling numbers.

MeetTheAuthor

Mary Kay AndrewsMary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels including THE WEEKENDERS, BEACH TOWN, LADIES’ NIGHT, SUMMER RENTAL, DEEP DISH and HISSY FIT.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she received a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia and was a newspaper reporter for 14 years. The last ten years of her career were spent as a features reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

She is married to her high school sweetheart, Tom Trocheck, with whom she has a 40-year (and counting) collaboration yielding two grown children, two adorable grandchildren and countless memorable kitchen experiences.

After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.

Her first novel, EVERY CROOKED NANNY, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins Publishers. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of SAVANNAH BLUES. In 2006, HISSY FIT became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by eleven more New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.

Mary Kay Andrews’ first cookbook, THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK, published by St. Martin’s Press, goes on sale May 2. She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide, both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels. In between cooking and plotting her next novel, Mary Kay is an intrepid treasure hunter whose favorite pastime is junking and fixing up old houses.

Read Full Bio

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Giveaway

One (1) Paperback copy of CHRISTMAS BLISS by Mary Kay Andrews

(Ends May 31, 2017)

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#BookBlitz #FreeBook – MAYBE THIS TIME by Claire Yezbak Fadden

mayeb this tim

Title: Maybe This Time

Author: Claire Yezbak Fadden

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

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Synopsis

Architect Kate Jameson has sworn off men. That is until she meets Eric, the handsome son of her current client. Fresh out of a messy relationship with a co-worker, Kate’s not ready to trust her judgement where men are concerned. She dodges Eric’s advances, but can’t deny the attraction growing between them. Everything–especially his soul-searing brown eyes–makes her want to throw caution to the wind and try again. At her sister’s prodding, Kate finally agrees to date Eric, surprised at the joy he brings into her life. But when their budding romance is threatened, Kate is forced to make hard decisions and fight for her true happiness.

Undercover CIA agent Eric Wiley has survived enough loss in his life to ever want to risk being hurt again. He has long since given up on true love. Still, he’s drawn to Kate in a way he can’t rationalize. Avoiding her isn’t working and for the first time in a relationship, he wants to be truthful about his past and his career. Before their romance can bloom, however, Kate goes missing. Recognizing the danger, Eric stops at nothing to rescue the woman who has captured his heart.

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY FREE! 
 
MeetTheAuthor
About the Author
When
she’s not playing with her granddaughter, Pennsylvania native Claire Yezbak
Fadden is writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature strong women
who overcome life’s challenges, always putting their families first. Claire
loves butterflies, ladybugs and holds a special affinity for carousel horses –
quite possibly the result of watching “Mary Poppins” 13 times as a young girl.
Claire loves to cheer on the San
Diego State Aztecs, her alma mater, and is a big fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates,
Steelers and Penguins. The mother of three, she lives in Orange County,
California with her husband, Nick and two spoiled dogs, Bandit and Jersey Girl.
Claire’s work as an award-winning journalist, humor columnist and editor has
appeared in 100 publications across the United States, Canada and Australia.
Maybe This
Time

is a continuation of her Begin Again series, starting with her debut novel,
A Corner of
Her Heart
.
 Follow Claire @claireflaire, email her at claire@clairefadden.com, join her Facebook Fan
Page

or visit her at clairefadden.com.
tour-stops
 
 
 
Excerpt
 Kate walked faster, but Colleen stopped.
“There’s a guy back there waving at you. Kinda nice looking. Now he’s coming
our way.” Colleen smiled as though inviting him to come closer.
“Don’t encourage him,” Kate said.
“Too late. Here he is.” Colleen made a sweeping motion as though she were a hostess on a game show introducing today’s prizes.
Oh God, his eyes are browner than I remember.
“Kate, I’m glad I caught you,” Eric said. “Sorry I missed you on the phone. I got back into town early.”
“I see that,” Kate muttered, her icy tone coating each word. Not going through this drama again. Crazy guy.
Multiple girlfriends. Bad endings.
“I’m Eric Wiley,” he said, offering his hand for Colleen to shake before returning his attention to Kate.
“So maybe we can set up that coffee date. There’s a great little place a couple of doors down.”
“I know. Colleen and I just had coffee there.”
“And scones,” Colleen chimed in, handing Kate her bag of leftovers. “I’ve got to get going. I have class in
thirty minutes.”
“Teacher or student?” Eric asked.
“Yoga instructor.”
“Nice. Maybe I can take your class sometime. It’s not that sweaty yoga, is it?”
“No, it’s more of a flow class.
Kate can tell you all about it.” Colleen tapped Kate on the shoulder. “I’ll see
you later,” she said before scurrying toward the yoga studio.
“I like your friend,” Eric said gesturing to Colleen’s back.
“She’s pretty terrific. We met in her class. Used to be a cop.” Kate wanted to run away, but her feet grounded into the earth as though an alien force rooted them in place. All the small talk didn’t comfort her. Minutes before this guy was kissing another woman, and now he was flirting with her. Was there no end to his nerve?
“Now that’s really switching career paths,” Eric said. “I consider doing that sometimes.”
“And leave the family business for what? I don’t see that happening.” You’re such a privileged mama’s boy, Kate wanted to say, but didn’t. Truth was during their earlier interactions, Eric didn’t strike her as someone who life had been easy on. It was obvious his parents leaned on his judgment. Eric presented himself as a self-made man, working for what success came his way. Still, he was hiding something she couldn’t quite put her finger on.
Granted with business-owner parents, his path may have been smoother than many. Even if your folks set you up, you’re the one who has to walk that path. Kate knew lots of privileged folks who took the benefits they were born into and managed to drink, gamble or in some other way squander their advantage, as though opportunity was an all-you-can-eat buffet. Made a bad choice, no problem. Just get a clean plate and try again. The sports pages and movie magazines were filled with celebrity examples. A couple of Kate’s sorority sisters were still trying to find themselves. That’s what they claimed at the last reunion.
“You’d be surprised. I can tell you more about my future plans over a hot mocha.”
Kate readjusted her purse strap and leaned away. “Thanks for the invite, but I need to get to work. We’re already brainstorming the next complex. Proposal is due in two weeks.”
“Yeah, I know. We talked about your innovative ideas. I thought they were great. You’re great.” Eric licked his lips and stepped closer. “Seems to me like we connected, at least a little bit, but if you’re not interested, just say so. You don’t have to go through not answering my calls and giving me the brush off. Just be honest. It will save us both a lot of time.”
Kate shoved her paper pastry bag in her coat pocket and crossed her arms. “Honesty? Is that the most important value to you, because I believe in always telling the truth. I always tell the truth.”
“And you’re suggesting I don’t?”
Eric’s nostrils flared with anger, causing Kate to step back. “We are standing in the street arguing about I don’t know what. Do you want to have a cup of coffee with me or not? It’s just that simple.”
“Not until you answer a question first.” Kate straightened to her full five-foot-six height. “Who were you kissing a moment ago?”
“Kissing? What are you talking about?”
“Near the cab. The woman who kissed you. Who is she? You’re an only child, so I know that wasn’t your sister. A cousin, maybe?” Kate huffed.
Eric’s eyes widened.
Is this how he stalls for time, cooking up a lie, Kate thought. This should be really good. She waited, even tapped the toe of her boot a time or two. “Well?”
“Like I said on my call, business ended early. I grabbed a cab with a coworker. End of story.”

“Not quite. Here comes your coworker, and she looks ticked.”

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#Giveaway – LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE by Jessica Knoll

Synopsis

HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

MeetTheAuthor

Jessica Knoll Jessica Knoll has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan, and the articles editor at SELF. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Follow Jessica

One (1) Paperback copy of LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE by Jessica Knoll

(Ends July 12, 2017)

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#NewRelease #Giveaway – ROCK STAR by Stacey Kennedy

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty 

and a whole lot more complicated!

ROCK STAR
A Bad Boy Homecoming Novel
Stacey Kennedy
Releasing June 27, 2017

 

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy.

Veterinarian, Rae Evans expects to attend a dreadful ten-year high school reunion. Instead, she’s confronted by a past she’s never gotten over. The love of her life, Travis Walker, has returned to Catfish Creek, and the now-famous rock star wants only three things: Her. Naked. And screaming his name.
 
Fresh off his last world tour, Travis has returned to town to get a dose of reality. With fame casting a superficial cloud over Travis’s life, he’s scrambling to stay afloat. He needs an anchor, and Rae is that for him. But as he finds himself, he’s determined to remind Rae of the heat that once burned between them.
Before they know it, their one hot night is three, and soon, just like ten years ago, Travis holds the strings to Rae’s heart. But Rae’s not that young girl who watched her high school sweetheart race off to become famous. She’s a woman who knows what she wants and realizes when a man needs her. She just has to decide if she should put the past on repeat, or walk away from it forever.
tastytoursexcerpt

Travis Walker made women’s panties disappear.

On most nights, anyway.

Tonight, sitting on a wooden stool set upon the stage at Catfish Creek High School’s conference center, only one woman was on his mind. His fingers strummed over the strings of the guitar, mouth rested near the microphone, and after he sang the final two lines of the chorus—I wanna kiss you under the moonlight. And love you ‘til the sun comes up—the applause from the crowd reopened his eyes.

Sparkling string lights and masquerade masks hung from the ceiling above him, reminding him that he wasn’t surrounded by thousands of his typical screaming and wild fans. In his Texas hometown, he stared out at teachers, old friends, and classmates, all dressed in formal wear and masquerade masks.

From his seat in the spotlight, he recalled playing for smaller crowds on this very stage back in high school. Those had been some of the happiest days of his life. Now, fresh off his last world tour, he realized he loved that scene, too. The energy of a smaller crowd, who knew him personally, and a larger crowd, who thought they were in love with him, was so different he couldn’t compare the two, but admittedly, he missed the intimacy that came from a smaller venue.

Done with his song, and with the crowd quieting, he slid the guitar strap over his head and handed the instrument back to a member of the band that’d been hired to play at Catfish Creek High School’s ten-year reunion. When he jumped off the stage, he sighed in relief, finding that all the cell phones pointed in his direction were now put away, and the flashing lights were gone.

That’s when he set his focus on what mattered tonight: finding her. Rae Evans—the muse behind the song he sang tonight, Moonlight.

He scanned the crowd overtop the decorated tables with their gold chairs, but the beauty had escaped him somehow. He recognized Annie Flowers, the librarian, who gave him a little wave, and Christopher Christianson, the principal, who was grabbing a drink from the bar. Travis could have sworn he spotted Rae entering the masquerade ball when he began his song. Desperation now clawed at his chest.

Determined to find her, he moved farther into the crowd, just as his cell vibrated in his pocket. Knowing exactly who it’d be, and that he couldn’t ignore the call, he reached for his phone and then frowned at the text from his manager, Scott Price.

Awesome job. The video is already up on YouTube. Fans are loving it. The mask was a nice touch. Don’t miss your flight in the a.m.

Travis shifted the black masquerade mask around his eyes, and the muscles along his shoulders tightened with the reminder of the weight they carried; of the need for him to always be on point, and the fact that nothing, not even his high school reunion, was sacred anymore.

Life had changed dramatically since the last time Travis stepped foot in the conference center. But he didn’t want to think about the shit weighing on him, so he fired off a response—I’ll be on it—then tucked his cell phone back into his pocket.

He had tonight to fix everything that was wrong with his life, and he wouldn’t waste it.

In the eyes of his manager, Travis had come to the reunion to put on a show and to look real to his fans. But Travis hadn’t come for the publicity; he had come for one very good reason: to find his anchor—the woman who stopped his world from spinning wildly out of control.

Lately, in a sea of chaos, he’d finally stopped drowning and saw a way back to the happiness he once had. That happiness had started with Rae, and surely, she was his way to find himself again.

One touch. One taste. He wanted to remember what that happiness felt like.

Again, he searched the crowd, ignoring the way some men glowered at him, and some women batted their lashes. Rae. That’s whom he’d come here to see tonight. Only her.

The band behind him started playing another ballad, and that’s when he found her, staring right at him from across the room. She wore a sleek, black, strapless gown around her slender figure with matching long, black gloves.

His muscles surged with adrenaline, and he went to move toward her when a hard voice came from behind him.

“Karly wants you to play another song.”

Travis slowly glanced over his shoulder to find the biggest asshole in Catfish Creek High School history, Jason, a blond-haired, slender, one-time big shot. Rae was best friends with Kate, and Kate had loved—and later married and divorced—the dipshit behind him.

Times had changed.

Travis didn’t owe Jason anything now, and he certainly didn’t owe the reunion’s event planner, Karly, shit. “You can tell Karly that I told her I’d play one song, and that’s exactly what I did. Bother me again, and we’ll have a problem.”

Jason didn’t make a move or say a word in rebuttal. Once a coward, always a coward.

Refocused on the only person who mattered tonight, and pulled by the energy only Rae conjured, Travis stretched out his fingers, shedding his frustrations as he moved with purpose through the crowd. Her pretty, hazel eyes surrounded by dark makeup followed his every move, and she yanked him forward with a simple look.

She’d always been a pretty girl, but she’d grown into a blindingly beautiful and stunning woman. Her gown fit her like a glove. A gold filigree mask somehow made the creaminess of her skin appear richer. She wore her shoulder-length, brown hair in big waves framing her round face.

Tonight, she didn’t look so fresh-faced and innocent. She looked sexy as hell, and just the sight of her again caused Travis’s cock to swell eagerly.

While he’d talked to her through email, text, and the occasional late-night, drunk phone call every birthday and Christmas over the last ten years, he hadn’t seen her. Not since that day on his parents’ porch. Sure, he’d kept an eye on her through the Catfish Creek Chronicle when they featured her for her charity work, and also on the website for the vet clinic she owned. But after he’d walked the path that led away from her, he’d never found his way back. Life got busy. New friends were found. Fame overtook him.

Now, he was…home.

When he finally reached her, the air between them felt charged. “Rae,” he said.

Her eyes warmed. Dark, red-painted lips curved. “Travis.”

Christ, he remembered how those lips tasted. How she tasted—every goddamn inch of her.

Beneath her mask, those pretty eyes now turned a little suspicious. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming to the reunion?”

Perhaps he should have called, but… “I wanted to surprise you.” Because there were important reasons he returned to his hometown, ones that he didn’t want her to know about. Yet.

It all began with an article in the Catfish Creek Chronicle.

Dr. Rae Evans feels she’s done what was needed to help the animals in Catfish Creek, and she’s ready to begin a new journey. She’s looking to open another clinic in one of the neighboring towns.

At twenty-eight years old, she’d achieved what she hoped to do by thirty, and that article reminded him of the guy he used to be when she’d first made those plans. He wasn’t the same man who left Catfish Creek all those years ago, and he didn’t know when exactly he lost himself. While Rae had likely found all the happiness she wanted in her success, he simply wanted to find his way back to the carefree guy he once was.

To do that, he had to come back to the place where he was the happiest. He had to come back to her. “But to tell you why I wanted to surprise you, I need to tell you a story.” He offered his hand. “How about we dance, and I’ll share it.”

For a second, he thought she might refuse him. She simply stared at his hand.

When her eyes met his again, and she slowly slid her palm into his, the tightening in his chest eased. He closed his fingers around hers and sensed her soften, making him smile.

Reliving that infectious energy she carried, he led her into the middle of the dance floor, then he spun her around and pulled her to him, nice and close, sliding his hand across her lower back.

She laughed softly, eyes twinkling behind her mask. “You’ve still got the moves, I see.”

“My moves will never fail me.” He grinned.

The band played the perfect song. Something a little sexy and slow, keeping her hips swaying perfectly with his. He did nothing to shield his erection, but one look into her eyes told him that was all right. With her breasts pressed against his chest, her cheeks a little pink now, he noticed the heat in the depths of her gaze. He’d recognize it anywhere. That fire felt like it belonged to him—always had, always would. Yet in the past, she’d shy away from that desire. Now, he noted how she firmly held his gaze, telling him she wasn’t the young lover he once had.

“How long are you staying in town?” she asked, in an obvious attempt to divert their attention away from his cock.

“Just tonight.” He stroked his thumb over the back of her hand, keeping her as close as he could, inhaling her flowery scent that had faded from his memory. “I fly out bright and early in the morning.”

“Only tonight?” She shot him a questioning glance. “You came all the way here from New York just for the reunion?”

“You seem surprised.”

She shrugged, seemingly unaffected when another couple bumped into her, her interest obviously centered on him. “Seems like a long way to come for only a few hours.”

A very good point, indeed. “Well, you see, that brings us to my story.” He sent her out, twirling her around before bringing her in close again and returning the smile she gave him. “But I think we need to go back even further for you to truly understand.”

“Go on,” she said, watching him closely.

He paused, collecting his thoughts, then he began. “You’ll never hear me complain about my life. I have far more than I probably deserve.”

“That’s a good thing,” she said firmly, even as a playful grin teased her lips. “You have a pretty amazing life, and you’d better not complain to me about all the fabulous trips you get to take around the world, or you might lose a tooth.”

He chuckled but leaned in, calling her out. “And how do you know so much about my life? Reading up on me?”

“A little,” she admitted.

That’s what he liked most about Rae. She was honest, through and through. The fact that she followed his life could bite him in the ass later, but at this point, there was no going back, so he pushed the conversation along. “So, then you know that I have a very good life. I travel. I stay in fancy hotels. I eat at amazing restaurants. I never have to lift a finger. I have everything that anyone should want.”

Her eyes searched his. “But it’s not the life you want?”

Of course, she caught on. He didn’t expect otherwise. That’s why he’d come to the reunion—to be with someone who truly knew him. “It’s not that I don’t want the life I live,” he explained gently. “It’s that something is missing. Something very important.”

“Which is?”

“The guy I used to be.”

She began nibbling her lip like she used to do in high school when she became confused. “What do you mean?”

“I can have anything I want, Rae. There is nothing that’s not available to me.” He slid his hand along her spine, pulling her in closer, leaving no room between them. “But the guy I was when we were together…I don’t know him anymore.”

Her eyes softened, and her voice grew quiet. “That’s really kinda sad, Travis.”

“It is what it is.” He shrugged, not wanting to get stuck on the things he couldn’t change. “My manager told me that I’d been invited to the reunion and saw it as a business opportunity. But I saw it as a personal one.”

The song shifted to something faster, and the crowd began to fill the dance floor, bumping into his back. He refused to let her go, holding her tightly against him. “Do you want to know the real reason I came to the reunion tonight?”

“Yes,” she said, a little breathlessly.

“I came to relive the past, Rae.” He released her hand, wrapping his other arm around her and bringing his mouth close to hers. “That’s the only reason I’m here. I want to remember what it’s like to be with a woman who knows the real me.” He was encouraged by her shiver. An involuntary movement that spoke of her willingness to give him all that he wanted and more.

Hot and hard, he dropped his head into her neck, inhaled the subtle hints of her flowery perfume, and said into her ear, “We have a chance that many people don’t get. To go back and feel what we felt before.” He dragged his nose across her neck in the way he knew she liked, feeling her quiver under his hands. “Tomorrow, our lives will return to normal. Nothing will have changed. You’ll live here, entirely focused on your clinic and your life, and I’ll live mine in New York. Tonight’s our one free pass to dip into the past, and I want to take it. Because tonight, Rae”—he brushed his lips across her neck, and a soft moan escaped her mouth as he murmured—“I want one more taste of you.”

She gasped and stepped back, blinking rapidly. “I…sorry, excuse me. I need to get some air.” Then those pretty pink cheeks and wide, excited eyes were gone, her dress trailing behind her as she ran for the door.

Travis shoved his hands into the pockets of his suit and grinned. He didn’t mind hunting her, it sweetened his reward.

STACEY KENNEDY is the USA Today bestselling author of the Dirty Little Secrets and Club Sin series. She writes deeply emotional romances about powerful men and the wild women who tame them. When she’s not writing sensual stories, she spends her time in southwestern Ontario with her real life hero, her husband, their two young children, and her other babies: a mini labradoodle named Jax and a chocolate labrador named Murphy. Stacey is a proud chocolate, television show, Urban Barn, and wine addict. She likes her heroes in her books like she likes her coffee . . . strong and hot!
 

 

 $50 Amazon eGift Card with a Rock Star Mug

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#SRC2017 – THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Booksparks SRC2017

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

From Taylor Jenkins Reid, “a genius when it comes to stories about life and love” (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for “creating complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

Booksparks SRC2017 June

Upcoming June Books

Proof by C.E. Tobisman

#BlogTour #Giveaway – THE DARCY MONOLOGUES Anthology

 

Blog Tour: The Darcy Monologues, Edited by Christina Boyd

The blog tour for ‘The Darcy Monologues’ drops by today. This book features short stories from fifteen fantastic authors: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin Williams. The collection has been brought together and edited by Christina Boyd. The stories can be Regency or modern but what each story has in common is that they are from Mr Darcy’s point of view.

Book Cover: The Darcy Monologues, Edited by Christina Boyd
goodreads

It’s my turn on The Darcy Monologues Blog Tour today and I’m really looking forward to sharing with my readers a collection of swoon-worthy Austenesque short stories, each told from Fitzwilliam Darcy’s perspective. Natalie Richards, the author of ‘Pemberley by Stage,’ takes readers to the Wild West and shares with us a Darcy like none I’ve ever seen before.

Before I interview Natalie, Sophia Rose is here to tell us why she’s fangirling over Natalie’s story.

Sophia Rose

Natalie Richards Takes Readers on Another Amazing Adventure by Sophia Rose

Should I write an ode to our Natalie of Song and Stories?  No, ode-writing is not in the cards for me.  But, dancing up and down screaming and cheering and crushing on books and book characters is soooo my gig.

Her masquerading Darcy and Lizzy getting their second chance in SunKissed: Effusion of Summer’s Midsummer Madness started my love affair with Natalie’s writing that belied her rookie status as a published author.  And then, she showed me she was not a one-hit wonder with her holiday modern take on Sense & Sensibilities’ Marianne and a truly heroic Brandon in Then Comes Winter’s A Man Whom I Can Really Love.

But right now…

It’s her latest writing effort that has me antsy and bouncing in the saddle.  Did I ever mention how much I love America’s Wild West and stories that are set in that place and time?  And to pair that with Pride & Prejudice’s Darcy and Elizabeth…Gah!  Be still my heart, people!   This Cali girl is ecstatic to get her paws on, Pemberley by Stage, a 1860’s California western romantic adventure for Darcy and Lizzy in The Darcy Monologues.  Hints that matters in this tale are so much more than they seem and are just fueling the fire to encounter Natalie’s Darcy on the western trails.  Come a Ti Yi Yippee Yippee Yay for Natalie!

Natalie Richards

Natalie Richards

Without further ado, I’d like to welcome Natalie Richards to my blog…

Natalie, I understand this is your third time participating as an author in an Austenesque anthology. Can you describe for me readers how you came to be inspired by Miss Austen, as both a woman and as a writer?

My first real introduction to Jane Austen was the Pride & Prejudice miniseries starring Colin Firth. I was a tomboy-leaning preteen who preferred Dad’s Robert Ludlum to Mom’s L.M. Montgomery, and was known to duck under a blanket if people started kissing in a movie. I did NOT want to watch this ‘sissy show’, but I had to stick around and help my mom fold laundry. Before I knew it, the laundry was done and I was still there, utterly engrossed. Before that, my stories were all dreadfully lurid murder mysteries (crayon illustrated, of course). After, I started to lean more and more towards romance, in both my reading and writing tastes. Today, my family despairs of my girliness. I do not think I would be quite the same person I am now if not for Jane Austen.

Your story, ‘Pemberley by Stage,’ and Jane Austen; what do you think makes them work together? What do they have to say to each other?

The fun of writing JAFF is taking Jane Austen’s original themes and tweaking them, turning them around, exploring the angles she did not. In Pemberley by Stage, I wanted to see what would happen if Mr. Darcy was the one in trouble without the resources to get out of it by himself, an echo of the way Elizabeth was helpless when Lydia vanished. There are other thematic echoes, some more obvious than others, but you will just have to read the story and see for yourself.

The modern-day woman appears as besotted as ever by Mr. Darcy. What were the attributes that you felt you needed to include in the Mr. Darcy character in your story?

Mr. Darcy begins Pride & Prejudice as a man sure of who he is and his place in the world. When Elizabeth challenges this view, his self-examination is honest and unflinching. I think that kind of strength of character is enormously appealing to women of any time. In Pemberley by Stage, the situation is a bit different, but I did my best to show his ability to question himself, and to adapt to new knowledge of himself and the people closest to him. His protectiveness of his friends and family is also something that strikes an enduring chord with readers, whether he is defending them from scandal and an imprudent marriage, or the dangers of the Wild West.

Can you give us a six-word memoir about yourself?

Writing and singing are my umbrellas.

Why do you believe Austen’s stories still speak to modern-day readers?

The characters. It does not matter what time or place, Austen’s characters are incredibly real. I think that is part of why there is so much JAFF; it is so easy to picture them in different situations because when you look at the world around you, you can see that silly, boy-crazy girl, the coworker who is always kissing up to the boss, a friend who always gives you the best advice even as she drives you nuts because she is so dang practical. It does not matter that two hundred years have passed, because people have not changed much, and Jane Austen had a rare talent for understanding them.

What can readers look forward to reading from you in the future and how can readers stay in touch with you?

I have a full-length JAFF novel I have been re-writing and cleaning up for publication, hopefully in the next year. You can read the first draft of it on the Darcy & Lizzy Forum, but there will be some fairly major alterations in the finished story. After that, I have plans for another novel. Not Jane Austen inspired, but definitely romance, and, who knows, maybe there will be another short story or two along the way.

 

Readers can connect with me at the following places:

Songs & Stories

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Thank you, Natalie, for spending some time with my readers. It’s been great getting to know you, along with the other authors who participated in this anthology.

Natalie has brought an excerpt from her story to share with my readers. I think you’ll love it as much as I do!

04 - Natalie

Pemberley by Stage by Natalie Richards

California, 1860

The stagecoach rocked hypnotically as it jostled down the road. Leather straps swayed back and forth, hanging from the ceiling like pendulums. The creak of leather and wood made a sort of soothing music, lulling a body into a state of catatonia, at least until a wheel hit a rock or rut. It had been a long, difficult journey, one I was ready to have come to an end. Thankfully, we were on the last leg between San Jose and San Francisco.

“You will love San Francisco, Darcy. It is the most exciting place, full of opportunity, fascinating people. I am certain we shall do well there.” Bingley had not stopped repeating variations of this theme ever since we left St. Louis nearly a month previously.

His enthusiasm made me smile. “If I did not believe you the first time you said it, I would not have come.” In truth, these words belied a confidence I did not feel. Leaving my familiar, orderly life in Boston for the unknown of the West was not a decision I had made lightly. I glanced at my sister, who somehow managed to fall asleep despite the rough road. Was I mad to be taking a young girl to such a wild place? She is completely innocent of the world’s dangers. Bingley’s sister I worried about less; Louisa always landed on her feet. Why, she spent most of the trip thus far flirting with Mr. Hurst, a railway investor with the Central Pacific Railroad. Caroline, the other Bingley sister, flatly refused to leave and remained in Boston with her aunt.

Despite my misgivings, there was something about the wide open spaces of the West that called to me. Seeing the alien landscape rush past filled me with a sense of excitement and wonder.

“Hold on!”

The stage picked up speed as the driver cracked a whip—and a gunshot split the air.

Georgiana jolted awake. “What was that?”

“A gunshot. It seems we have run into trouble.” I wrapped one arm around her and gripped one of the pendulous leather straps with the other. I looked across the aisle and met Bingley’s eyes. My friend was white as a ghost, Louisa clinging to him in terror. The other passengers, a widow traveling with her elderly father-in-law and young son, ducked down low.

More gunshots followed. It sounded as though several men were shooting at us, and the man riding shotgun with the driver fired back. I heard indistinct shouts, followed by a cry and a thump as the body of the conductor hit the side of the stage on its way to the ground. Louisa screamed and Georgie flinched against me.

Bingley stuck his head out the window then pulled back quickly as a bullet whistled past his head.

“What do you see?”

Bingley’s voice was uncharacteristically grim. “Bandits. At least two on this side. I doubt we can outrun them.” He looked at me with a question in his eyes.

I held Georgiana in a close embrace for a brief instant, as if she was still a child small enough to sit on my lap, before trading places with her on the bench. Her whole body shook, but thank God, she was not screaming or in hysterics.

We could fight but at what risk? As businessmen from Boston, our skill in a gunfight had been untested. “If we cannot outrun them, we will give them what they want. Save the bullets in case they threaten the ladies.” I made sure to meet Bingley and Hurst’s eyes to verify we were in agreement.

Louisa was babbling hysterically. “We are going to die! We will be robbed and ravished and left to the wolves and Indians! I want to go home. Charles, we need to turn around and go home!”

“Miss Bingley, be silent! You are not helping.” Mr. Hurst commanded. “You have my word I will keep you safe.” This, surprisingly, brought an effective end to her cries.

I lifted a corner of the curtain and peered out. “Three on this side.” They were close, close enough I could see the lead man’s green eyes above his blue-and-white-checkered bandana.

A rifle shot rang out from the other side of the stage, and the vehicle careened sideways.

“Damn,” Bingley swore, “I think they got the driver.”

The stage left the road as the horses ran wild, spurred on by gunshots.

In an instant, the violence of a collision lifted one side of the stagecoach into the air, slamming the passengers into one another, before crashing down onto its side. The last thing I heard before everything faded into darkness was the screaming of horses.

Giveaway

There are two very special giveaways you can enter, and what makes it even better is that the giveaway is international!

Prize bundle of 24 signed books as part of The Darcy Monologues Blog Tour!

One winner will win our grand prize of 24 paperback books, each one autographed by the author, and mailed to the winner’s home. See picture for more details.

Pride & Prejudice Peacock Handbag and Kindle cover, prizes from The Darcy Monologues Blog Tour

The second winner will win their choice of either a Pride and Prejudice pocketbook (handbag) or a Pride and Prejudice Kindle Fire Case with stand – Pride and Prejudice Book Cover Case for Amazon Kindle Fire 7″ and 6″ – Kindle Fire / Fire HD / Fire HDX tablet. See picture and covet away! Giveaways are international.

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#NewRelease – BOY, TOYS – OH MY! by A.M. Willard

Boys, Toys – Oh My! Vol 3
Business of Sex Series
A.M. Willard
Romantic Comedy

 

Blurb:

I’m no longer the girl who blushes at a drop of a hat or from the sight of a novelty toy. No, I’m bold and brazen, the one who stands up and takes what she wants. Well, until it backfires on me and the plan is no longer in my favor… Or is it?

Cooper has a way with words, a way with my heart, and not to mention my body. I shouldn’t have been surprised when he tricked me, or should I say made the front-page of the newspaper with an anonymous announcement that even has me at loss for words.

Don’t worry, I still sell toys and I might still have the guy of my dreams. It’s just all happening backward for us. I’ve learned along this journey that life is full of surprises and you have to roll with the punches. And boy if this surprise just isn’t one that has left me in shock and awe. But I’m Charlie… nothing will hold me back from what—or who—I want. Mixing business with pleasure may not be suggested, but I’ve learned to take risks…

Goodreads

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About the Author

Bestselling Author, A.M. Willard resides in Savannah, Georgia. She joined the Peach State many years ago after leaving the crystal blue waters and sugary white sand behind from the Panhandle of Florida. She’s also known for being a wife, mother, and caretaker for her farm animals. A.M. loves anything sassy, glittery, and is a sucker for the Hallmark Channel. That last one might be the reason she believes in soulmates or it could be because she married her high school sweetheart almost twenty years ago.

Connect with A.M. Willard

 

Newsletter Sign Up: http://amwillard.com/newsletter/

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#BookBlitz #Giveaway – SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL by Amanda Gernentz Hanson

Something Beautiful
Amanda Gernentz Hanson
Published by: Pen Name Publishing
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Cordelia and Declan have been best friends since they were three years old. By the time they hit middle school, Cordelia—Cord, to Declan—is already feeling the blackness in her life as depression takes hold. Their mutual attraction to each other leads to a serious high school relationship, one with their foundation of friendship at the forefront. Cordelia seems to have her mental health under control. All appears to be well.

However, when Declan starts to accept his own fluid sexuality, it sets something in motion in their lives that is both beautiful and tragic as they learn to love each other for who they are.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1—Now

October 2014

“Fresh off of her book tour, I have here an advocate who is actively involved in fighting inequality in her daily life. I give you, Cordelia Quinn!” The rally organizer steps aside, and I can finally see the crowd. I wave, and the rally organizer gives me a dazzling smile before she continues. “Cordelia Quinn is the bestselling author of The Yellow Wood, a coming-of-age story about a boy and a girl who are best friends as children but choose different paths as adults and then come together later in life. She is also an award-winning screenwriter and one of the most outspoken LGBTQ allies in publishing. Please join me in welcoming her to the podium!” The crowd breaks into thunderous applause that echoes through the cold air, and a smile pulls at the corners of my mouth.

I can’t lie—I’m nervous. I’m not good at hiding my emotions, so I’m afraid that people might be able to tell. I hate crowds, and I hate public speaking. I’ve managed to avoid it ever since I spoke at high school graduation.

“Hello, Topeka,” I begin. My voice is shaking. God, I hope no one notices.

The crowd is rumbling below me, waiting for me to say something good. I’m not even sure I have anything good to say. I’m so bad at this. But I’ve learned that being honest is usually the best way to go, so I decide to veer away from my prepared speech and try for candor.

“I’m going to admit something to you,” I say, gripping the sides of the podium to keep my hands from trembling. I can’t be trusted to hold papers or they’ll be shaking so much that I can’t read them. “I’m not a fan of public speaking, and I don’t usually speak at rallies like this one. But this issue… it’s really important to me. Those of you who have read my book know that. So, when my publicist asked me to come here and talk to you, I couldn’t really turn her down.”

The crowd cheers, and I smile and take a deep breath. With each breath, I feel more at ease, more comfortable speaking up here in front of everyone. I close my eyes for a second, trying to center myself. I see my children’s faces, and my grin widens.

“Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say,” I continue, gaining confidence. “I believe in equality. I believe in love. And I believe that the government should not tell us who we are allowed to love and marry.” At this, all I can think about are the people I left at home—the people who I love, the person I married. I’m lucky. I’ve never had to fight for those rights. “The politicians who are fighting against marriage equality are all active in their conservative churches—well, ladies and gentlemen, I find two issues with that. First, this country was founded on the separation of church and state—it’s in the First Amendment of the Constitution. What ever happened to that?”

I’m on a roll now. My hands have stopped shaking and everything.

“And second, marriage isn’t just about love. Anyone who has made that kind of commitment to someone can tell you that. There are legal rights that come with marriage that should be available to everyone, no matter who they love!”

I can’t help it. I start looking for him. He’s here. I can feel it.

And then I see him, and my face breaks open into the giddy sort of smile I wish I could contain. I knew he’d come. We’ve been apart for weeks now while I’ve been on my book tour, and I’ve missed him so much. Almost as much as I’ve missed the kids. God, I wish they were here with me.

As I make eye contact with him, an idea strikes. I decide to roll with it. “I’m very pleased to tell you that the person who inspired my book is with us tonight. I’d like to call him up here, so that you can meet the first man I ever loved—Declan MacLeod. Come up here, Dec!”

People turn to look at him as he shakes his head and starts moving toward me. I can nearly feel my body vibrating. I can’t wait to be next to him again, to feel his warm hand in mine. My smile is so big it feels like it’s going to split my face in two.

“I’m going to kill you,” he whispers in my ear as he wraps his arms around me. I want him to hold me forever, to never let go of me, to keep me safe and warm wrapped in his strong arms. But we’re in front of all of these people. He has to let go.

“No, you’re not,” I murmur back. “You’re better at this stuff than I am. Tell them something. Anything.” He starts chewing on his bottom lip as he thinks, and I throw him a sharp look. I’ve been on him about that since high school, but he always slips back into the old habit when we’re apart.

He makes his way to the podium and clears his throat. “Hello,” he starts as he waves at the crowd. “I had no idea that I was going to be speaking here tonight, so I apologize if what I say doesn’t make any sense.” He takes a deep breath and glances back at me. “As Cordelia mentioned, I’m Declan MacLeod. I grew up across the street from her in Hamden, Connecticut. Now, I spend most of my time in New York, performing on Broadway.”

The crowd is hypnotized, and I don’t blame them. I’ve been told that, together, Dec and I are hypnotic. We have an energy. I’m not sure I agree—I think he’s the one who radiates energy and charisma, whose skin feels electrifying, no matter how many times I touch it.

As I watch him look out into the crowd, I know one thing—he’s everything. He’s my reason, my why. He’s it for me. I’d be nothing without him.

Author Bio:

Amanda Gernentz Hanson has been writing stories since the third grade, when she entered a five-page story about talking dogs into a local youth arts contest. She is an instructional designer by day and an everything else by night. Amanda is a proud Latina who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Hope College and her Master’s degree in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University. You can find her on the internet at browneyedtwentysomething.com, diverseladybookproject.tumblr.com, and on Twitter and Instagram @amandamariegh. If you see her in the wild, she probably has a book in her purse.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
3x paperback copies of Something Beautiful + swag
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#BlogTour #Giveaway – ALL THAT GLITTERS by Tracy Krimmer

All That Glitters banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for All That Glitters by Tracy Krimmer. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 19 till 25 June. See the tour schedule here.

All That GlittersAll That Glitters (All That #1)
By Tracy Krimmer
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Age category: Adult
Release Date: summer 2017

Blurb:
Country-music star, Dory Walker, never wanted to come back to the small town of Sycamore Bay. But after her fairy-tale life is flipped upside down, and her marriage becomes a casualty, she has no choice.

Harris Malone is a man with few commitments. He keeps a low profile most days while he cares for his young daughter and helps run his dad’s hardware store.

But when he and Dory run into each other at the local gas station, all either can think about is the searing kiss they shared many years ago.

Can a woman who only wants to rekindle her career and a man who enjoys a no-strings attached lifestyle find everlasting love?

You can find All That Glitters on Goodreads

You can buy All That Glitters here.

Review

What a feel good story about old flames being rekindled! The writing was smooth, which allowed the story to flow so easily. The story is told between two characters and I felt that the transitions were smooth with each chapter picking up where the prior chapter left off. Enjoyable read for the beach!

I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review.

Excerpt

Dory

“So what happened with you and Jody?” I asked it even though I knew I should have kept the question in my head. I wanted to know, though. They seemed so in love in high school. They clicked together and roamed the halls like a power couple. Whatever mistakes they made, I wanted to be sure I avoided them at all costs. Their relationship, or past relationship, was between them, though. I shouldn’t have even tried to involve myself. “I’m sorry. It’s none of my business.”

“No, no. It’s fine. Everyone in town knows, so why shouldn’t you?”

“Everyone?”

He pressed his lips together and the side of his mouth curled up. “Come on, you know this whole community gossips.”

True, but I was pretty sure every community did. That’s why it surprised me more people didn’t know about me and Dylan or even cared that I was in town. I may not have been a superstar anymore, but I thought most people would be a little star struck.

“After she had Laura, we drifted apart. She found someone else.”

My mouth dropped open. How could she cheat on him? That was the ultimate betrayal. “While you were still married?”

“Yeah. But I’m not mad about it. Laura was all that mattered. Our marriage ended months before she started up with the guy. She’s not with him anymore. She lives with her new boyfriend, and we’re all friends.”

“You are?”

“Of course. Laura comes first.”

Every man should be like Harris. He was handsome, sweet, and set a perfect example for everyone around him. I could never be friends with Dylan. And unfortunately, all my friends were his friends, so by not having Dylan, I didn’t have any friends, either.

“What else is new in this place?” I wanted the scoop on everything in town. Who to talk to, who to avoid, what places to eat, where I should shop. “What’s the deal with all our old classmates? Who’s married? Who’s not? Who’s addicted to drugs? Who’s already been through rehab? Where’s everyone living? I want to know all the scandals.”

He stuffed the last bite of his sandwich into his mouth and rolled up his paper bag. “Sorry, but all you’re getting from me is what happened between me and Jody because that I can verify as the truth.”

“Not one little piece of information?” I wanted something, anything, to feel like I was home again, that I belonged here. Being in on a secret would help accomplish that.

“Nope. Think about that interview. You didn’t like that splashed all over, did you?”

Did he have to throw that painful memory back in my face? And it was so fresh. “No, but—“

“But it hurt. And I don’t want to be a part of spreading any rumors, whether they’re true or not.” He pulled his leg up on the bench and put his hand on my shoulder. “I’m so glad you’re back, Dory. You being here is something I would never have expected in a million years. Let’s not worry about everyone else.” His hand glided down my arm and he took my hand. “Let’s focus on us, okay?”

My throat tightened, and my heart hammered. What did this mean? What was he saying? I nodded because I couldn’t remember how to speak.

“I have to get back to work, and I’m sure you do, too. Let’s hook up again soon, okay? We need to practice.”

Practice. When he said us, he referred to us working together. Did he think of me the same way I thought of him? Could he be open to the possibility of us starting something up?

I couldn’t worry about that now. I had work to do at the salon. I picked up the rose, lifted it to my nose, and the soft petals rubbed against my skin as the fragrance tickled my senses.

“I look forward to it,” I said as he leaned in and kissed my cheek.

I touched my hand to where his lips touched, and I never wanted this moment to end. I tried not to be sad when he got into his car, but my heart was heavy. I already couldn’t wait to see him again.

Every moment away from him felt like one moment too long.

MeetTheAuthor

Tracy KrimmerAbout the Author:
Tracy’s love of writing began at nine years old. She wrote stories about aliens at school, machines that did homework for you, and penguins. Now she pens books and short stories about romance. She loves to read a great book, whether it be romance or science fiction, or any genre in between, or pop popcorn and catch up on her favorite TV shows or movies. She’s been known to crush a candy or two as well. Her loves include fitness, reading, coffee, dogs, and naps (not in that order), and her dislikes are blue cheese, cold weather, and burpees.

You can find and contact Tracy here:
Website
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Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of All That Glitters. One winner will win a $10 Amazon gift card!

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#SRC2017 – AMERICAN FAMILY by Catherine Marshall

Booksparks SRC2017

American Family by Catherine Marshall-Smith

American Family

Richard and Michael, both three years sober, have just decided to celebrate their love by moving in together when Richard―driven by the desire to do the right thing for his ten-year-old-daughter, Brady, whom he has never met―impulsively calls his former father-in-law to connect with her. With that phone call, he jeopardizes the one good thing he has―his relationship with Michael―and also threatens the world of the fundamentalist Christian grandparents who love Brady and see her as payback from God for the alcohol-related death of her mother. Unable to reach an agreement, the two parties hire lawyers who have agendas far beyond the interests of the families―and Brady is initially trusted into Richard and Michael’s care. But when the judge learns that the young girl was present when a questionable act took place while in their custody, she returns Brady to her grandparents. Ultimately, it’s not until further tragedy strikes that both families are finally motivated to actually act in the “best interests of the child.”

Booksparks SRC2017 June

Upcoming June Books

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Proof by C.E. Tobisman

#NewRelease – THE BRONTE BOOK CLUB FOR HOPELESS ROMANTICS by Laura Briggs

Bronte Book Club Cover Image

 

Synopsis

Quaint Lewis Cove is home to the charming three-story Victorian manor known as the Alice Wilshire Lending Library and its plucky librarian Peg Turner:  the current hostess of the weekly Bronte Book Club, better known as the ‘Hopeless Romantics’ of all ages. Nurse Annette has been too busy working for love; mechanic Tim has missed the boat somewhere in his past; art student Sophie comes off as too unique, while tech geek C.J. has fallen—hopelessly—for the too-cool-to-care Llourdes.

With her vacation plans indefinitely on hold for the summer, Peg has decided to transform the ‘Hopeless Romantics’ into hopeful ones. But while she’s trying to help her fellow readers find romance, she’s avoiding her matchmaker friend Caroline’s latest blind date—only to see her best friend Cam, the ruggedly-cute-but-sometimes-curmudgeonly coffee shop owner fixed up instead. And that’s something Peg isn’t sure she likes.

Questions about love and last chances on her mind, and way too many books piled on her desk, will Peg succeed in finding romantic hope for anyone, including herself?

Excerpt

“Evening everybody!” Caroline breezed into the coffee shop in her usual manner. She pulled off her summer scarf and dropped her shopping bags on the floor as she sat down at our table. “Did you see the repair work they’re doing on the highway? I had to cut across Ocean Lane in Valencia to get here from the city.”

Next to Stacy — and Cam — Caroline was my oldest friend in Lewis Cove. We had known each other in college; now she worked as a realtor with an office closer to the metropolis than town, and believed firmly that one’s social life should never slow down, no matter the time of day or the fatigue one might be feeling.

“Just a cup of black coffee for me, and a low-cal snack,” she said to Cam. “What’s with the book?” Her gaze fell on the copy of Jane Eyre.

 “It’s mine,” I said. “I’m trying to recruit new members for the book club.”

“Was that tonight?” said Caroline. “Is that why you said ‘no’ to going out with Greg’s friend tonight?” Greg was Caroline’s current boyfriend — his friend was a blind date setup I had been stealthily avoiding for two weeks.

“A date?” said Cam. “You’re dating again?” He looked at me.

“For the record, I was never not dating,” I clarified. “I just haven’t met anybody with whom the interest is mutual. Not in awhile, anyway.”

“To qualify as ‘dating,’ you have to go out with them,” said Caroline. “Not just say you’re going to do it sometime, then keep giving them excuses for why you’re not available.”

“Those aren’t excuses, Caroline, those are reasons,” I said. “Friday nights, I’m always at the book club. I’m the librarian, I have to be there to unlock the door and let them in.”

“So? Get them to meet somewhere else. They can meet in Cam’s coffee shop. Lots of atmosphere and great beverages.”

“The music will drive them out,” said Cam, placing a low-fat granola bar in front of her. “I’m instituting an ‘all rock and roll, all the time’ policy come Monday.”

I hid my smile for this answer. “Besides, I like the club,” I continued. “I like being part of their meetings.”

“The Hopeless Romantics?” said Caroline. “There’s a reason why it has that nickname, Paige. They’re people who can’t find the right person because they’re too picky, or because they’re too blind to see the right person when it’s right in front of them. You are not hopeless — and you’re definitely not a fully-fledged romantic.”

“I have a romantic streak,” I said. “And it’s mean to call them hopeless just because they have a lot of free time and no romantic ties. They’re just trying to spend an evening with people they have something in common with. That’s the whole point of the club — an exchange of mutual ideas on literature.”

“Will you exchange mutual ideas with Greg’s friend next week?” she asked me.

“Maybe,” I said. “I’ll call him. We’ll find an evening we’re both free.” From behind the counter, Cam coughed noisily. I wondered if he had tried a bite of the low-fat granola bars he kept on hand for calorie-conscious customers.

Caroline leaned forward and lowered her voice. “Speaking of dating,” she said, “I have the perfect person for Cam.” She glanced to the side, making sure he was busy with a new customer.

Did I mention Caroline is an obsessive matchmaker, too?

 

MeetTheAuthor

Laura Briggs is the author of several women’s fiction and chick lit novels, with themes that range from wedding planning to modern Jane Austen. Even though she tends to write stories with a romance theme, as a reader she has a soft spot for mysteries, including those by Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rinehart. She also enjoys books by Jane Austen, Anne Tyler, Amy Tan, and too many others to name. In her free time, she likes to experiment with new recipes and tries to landscape her yard (a never-ending project).

Author Website: http://paperdollwrites.blogspot.com/

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