#GuestPost #Giveaway #PreOrder – THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH by Melissa McClone

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The Chocolate Touch by Melissa McClone

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I’m so happy to be here today to tell you about my upcoming release. I haven’t even mentioned this on my own blog yet, since I just received the cover on Tuesday, but I did post it on Facebook. I just couldn’t wait to show it off.

The Chocolate Touch, Book #8 in the twelve book, multi-author series called Love at the Chocolate Shop. I’ve also written books #2 and #5. When I heard the concept romance and chocolate, I was all over this project! If the series is new to you, check out our Facebook page.

My upcoming release tells the story of York Parker, who is the older brother to my heroines in the other two books. He’s fresh out of the air force and spending a month with his sisters before he begins a new career as a computer consultant. The last thing he’s looking for is love, but as most of us romance readers know, that’s when you find it! I had fun creating a heroine who is the opposite of what he wants, but exactly who he needs. She also happens to be an expert about chocolate.

Synopsis

Here’s the blurb:

Chocolate expert Chantelle Cummings arrives in Marietta, Montana with two goals—sign copies of her new book and research a quaint local chocolate shop. When she meets a gorgeous guy passing out chocolate samples, her visit turns sweeter than she ever imagined. The man melts her heart, but her dream of working in France with her family makes her hesitant to pursue a romance.

 Former Air Force captain York Parker has one month before embarking upon a consulting career. He never expected to be selling chocolates, but he’s happy to help his sister and her boss. He also likes spending time with sassy, pretty Chantelle. His new co-worker may have the chocolate touch, but he’d rather taste her decadent kisses… That is, until he learns the real reason she’s in town.

 Will the truth harden his heart, or will love pave the way to a sweet future?

The book is available for preorder at a special $2.99 price at the following retailers:

Amazon Kindle/BN Nook/iBooks/Kobo

Giveaway

Since the title of this book is The Chocolate Touch, I’d love to hear about your favorite kind of chocolate. Comment and you’ll be entered to win a print copy of either A THANKFUL HEART (Book #2) or THE VALENTINE QUEST (Book #5) plus a recipe card and a couple other surprises. ENDS APRIL 6TH!!! Winner announced April 7th!! 

If you’d like to know more about me, check out my website at melissamcclone.com.

#NewRelease #Giveaway – THE FIRST YEAR by Genevieve Gannon

the first year

Title: The First Year

Author: Genevieve Gannon

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Date: April 24

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Synopsis

The first year of marriage is hard no matter what. Throw in jealous exes, high-pressure careers and two wildly different families, and the degree of difficulty goes up a few more notches. Determined to beat the odds, one couple comes up with a plan to keep their romance alive – but life has other ideas.

Saskia is an up-and-coming jewellery designer, waiting tables at a trendy cafe to keep her fledgling company afloat. Andrew is a corporate lawyer who wants to be known for more than his family’s money. They’re passionate about their work and each other, but with Andy’s job in jeopardy and Saskia’s jewellery label taking off, the pressure is taking its toll.

As life pulls them in different directions, the two of them are forced to decide: Just how important is their marriage? And how hard are they willing to work to protect it?

‘Genevieve Gannon writes with a fresh and funny narrative voice … chick lit at its very, very best’ Tess Woods, author of Love at First Flight

MeetTheAuthor
Genevieve Gannon is an Australian journalist and author. She has worked in newsrooms in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in The Age, The Australian, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, among others. Most recently she covered crime in Melbourne for Australian Associated Press before moving to Sydney to be a feature writer for The Australian Women’s Weekly. Her favourite books are We Need To Talk About Kevin, Middlesex, Atonement, Prep and One Day. She likes Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and wasabi (not together) and hates mangoes. Her first book, Husband Hunters, was  published in 2014. The First Year is her third novel.
Twitter: @gen_gannon
Instagram: @gen_gannon
 
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Questions:
 
What is your new novel about?
The First Year is a novel about a newly-in-love couple who got married way too fast. Andy Colbrook is a high-flying lawyer with a snobby family and Saskia Hill is a bolshy ewellery designer whose father has done several stints in jail. On their honeymoon, Andy offers to support Saskia so she can quit her day job at a café and devote herself wholly to her art. But Saskia’s fledgling business is only just recovering from the financial blow it suffered when her ex-fiance cheated on her then ditched her with the bill for the wedding, and she is uncomfortable being reliant on her new husband. Tensions begin to emerge. Things are exacerbated when Andy discovers his law firm is in financial trouble. Despite their best efforts to keep the flame alive their marriage begins to suffer. Then Saskia makes a discovery that blows her world apart. 
 
What inspired the book?
This one came about slowly. When I sat down to write my first two novels, the concepts were fully formed in my head. I rejigged the stories and characters a lot, but when they were finished, they were how I had imagined them from the beginning. With The First Year, I found myself unsure what I wanted to do. I had an idea of following a couple day-by-day through their first year, but I didn’t know what would happen to them over that time. I thought the concept of the first year of marriage being the hardest was a good one to explore in a romantic comedy. So I wrote a few chapters and scene fragments, then I hit a bit of a wall. I knew I wanted Andy to be a corporate type, and Saskia to be an artist, but I didn’t have much more detail than that. Then one day I came across an article about a designer who had made the same discovery Saskia makes in the book. I did a bit of research and it turns out it is a really common problem. I don’t want to spoil the plot
by revealing the big discovery, but once I had that I knew what I wanted Andy and Saskia’s story to be.
 
What makes the main character who they are?
Saskia Hill comes across really brash but she’s actually quite vulnerable. She loves a man, Andrew Colbrook, who wants to support her as she builds her business, but the idea of being reliant on him conflicts with her feminist values. She eventually accepts his offer to back her financially until she is established, but it never sits right with her and
ultimately is the cause of much tension.
One of my favourite lines in the book comes when Saskia receives a letter from her mother-in-law addressed to Mr and Mrs Andrew Colbrook. She has not changed her name and when the letter arrives she asks of Andy, “What am I? Some sort of subsidiary of you?” I feel like this sums her up perfectly.
 
Do you base your characters on real people?
My characters are original creations, but inevitably I find myself incorporating traits of family and friends. Usually it’s just a little thing to give the character a ring of authenticity. When trying to *show* rather than *tell* – something that a lot of writers struggle with – I find it helpful to think about how real people display their emotions – the way their postures change, the tone of their voice, what they do with their hands and eyes. Sometimes I’ll lift a small anecdote (with permission) or give a sly nod to a friend by including a personal joke. But generally I try to ensure the characters are wholly their own people.
 
How long did it take you to write The First Year?
I am often asked this question but this is the first time I’ve ever been able to answer it properly. For about a year, I had a few fragments of this story and a vague concept but didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. Then I made the discovery that revealed the plot to me and it was all very fast. It took me about three months to write a three chapter sample, a synopsis and a plot outline. I pitched it to HarperCollins in November, got the go ahead in December and had completed the manuscript by June. It was quite a fast process because I had been thinking about the characters and the supporting players for so long. As is always the case, it needed some major reworking and I relied heavily on my amazing beta-readers. But it basically took one year of procrastination and six months of furious writing.  
 
What is your typical writing routine?
I used to write at night and on weekends but now that I live in Sydney I find myself getting up early and writing before work. I assume that’s because it gets hot and sunny here very early. That being said, I still try to get some writing in after work. And I can be found most weekends in a café somewhere with a pile of manuscript pages and a laptop.
People love to ask writers if they are planners or pantsers. I think I’m a combination of both. I like to have a plot outline before I begin, but sometimes it is very vague and details emerge – and characters are created or killed off – as the writing progresses.
 
Where do you write?
I do a lot of writing at my dining room table – but I far prefer to write in cafes. It’s not always possible, of course. Sometimes you have a burst of creative energy at 2am when all the good cafes are selfishly closed, and realistically it’s just not possible to mainline
lattes for eight hours and a Saturday or Sunday. But my preference is definitely to write in a café. When I was living in Melbourne I would write a lot at Milkwood in East Brunswick (try the white beans on toast) or a Minor Place (more white beans, these come with Dukkah and avocado). Another favourite is a café called True North in Coburg. They have lovely booths that I like to spread out in, and do great sandwiches with heaps of vegetarian options.
 
What book do you wish you had written and why?
This is a complete departure from the type of fiction I write, but I am in awe of We Need To Talk About Kevin. Lionel Shriver creates so much tension and complexity. I adore her prose and the way she uses a million little perfectly phrased observations to make-up the
story.  I love the way she tricks the reader into thinking they know what is happening, only to discover all is not as it seems as the narrative slowly reveals itself.
 
Who are your favourite writers?
This is such a difficult question to answer because there are so many, and I turn to different writers for different things. I love Caitlin Moran for the sheer joy she gives me with her hilarious stories. No less important is the strong feminist message in everything she does. I really admire Curtis Sittenfeld’s skill as a story-teller, and Gillian
Flynn for the ease with which she spins complex narratives, imbuing her characters with light and shade. Jeffrey Eugenides remains an all-time favourite. Whenever I’m asked about my favourite books Middlesex is always at the top, and his first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was hauntingly, devastatingly beautiful. Oh, and Michael Chabon for so many reasons, especially inventiveness.
In terms of my own genre – which I consider to be a loose grouping of contemporary chick lit with rom-com tendencies –  I LOVE Lauren Sams who wrote She’s Having Her Baby and Crazy Busy Guilty. I also can’t go past fellow HarperCollins authors Tess Woods and Sunni Overend. The Regulars by Georgia Clark is great fun.
 
Who is your favourite literary character?
I have racked my brain, trying to come up with an answer that isn’t a total cliché, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that Elizabeth Bennett is a sublime literary creation, and has to be my favourite character. She’s clever, sensitive, witty and warm. She loves her sister Jane and her friend Charlotte Lucas, and she’s loyal but not without flaws. She speaks her mind and isn’t intimidated by those who think them better than she is. At a completely different end of the spectrum is Uncle Oswald, a recurring character in the short stories of Roald Dahl. Uncle Oswald is a hilarious, wealthy, horny old man who often finds himself entangled in pseudo-scientific schemes with hilarious outcomes.
 
What are you working on at the moment?
Having just finished a book I’m a bit of a free agent at the moment. I have two ideas that are in the very early stages, so I’m playing with both of them, thinking about the characters and deciding which one to commit to. I have just started a new job as a feature writer so I am finding that at night I’m spending the time I would normally dedicate to fiction thinking about feature ideas. That being said, I want my next venture to be a departure from my usual books. Neither of the concepts I’m currently playing with could be described as romantic comedies. The First Year has parts set in a court room, which came about because I spent the past few years covering courts as a journalist and my two new ideas are also inspired in part by that part of my job.
 
What would you do if you weren’t a writer?
This one is tricky because writing is both my hobby (fiction) and my livelihood (journalism). My other hobby is baking, so perhaps if it all falls in a heap I could retrain as a pastry chef. I have made a few wedding cakes for friends, and I really enjoy playing with flavour ideas and pretty shapes. Strangely, when it comes to savoury meals I’m terrible, but I have mastered cakes.
 
What are you reading right now?
I just finished Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty which I devoured, barely lifting my eyes to draw breath. Liane dazzles me with her ability to tease and entice. I am also reading Sweet Bitter by Stephanie Danler. I cheated on Sweet Bitter with Moriarty because I found myself at the airport without a book and knew I couldn’t go wrong with one of Liane’s books.
 
Coffee, wine or something else?
I am completely addicted to coffee. I don’t drink much wine, unless I’m sharing a bottle at a dinner party or something. If I’m at a bar I’ll order sloe gin (rocks and lime), a gin and tonic or a cocktail. Sometimes when it’s really hot I’ll take my laptop to a pub and write while drinking cider and ice. But generally on those days my preference is a
café and an ice coffee.
 
What is your favourite social media platform and why?
I am addicted to social media. I love Instagram and Twitter but for different reasons. In my day job, I work as a journalist, so I love being able to keep an eye on the issues of the day as they unfurl on Twitter. I follow major news outlets, journalists I like and admire, politicians and specialists in my areas of interest. I also follow a few funny accounts to break it up. I like checking-in on Twitter when I take a break from work. Instagram is great for book recommendations, food and bar recommendations, fashion, recipes and just keeping up with what my friends are doing. I recently moved interstate, so it’s great to be able to see what my friends have been up to with a few swipes of my phone.
 
Of all your books, do you have a favourite one?
This is like being asked to choose between your children! I hate to admit it, but I do have a favourite one. My latest novel, The First Year, is my third. I think because I had been through the process twice before it was less daunting and stressful. I had a lot more
confidence and I think it shows in the writing. I also quite like the story. My previous books were what I’d call caper romances. In both, the protagonists hatched hair-brained schemes in order to find love. The First Year is a lot more grounded in reality. The characters’ families and work colleagues play a great role and I feel like they’re more rounded because of it.
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$20 Amazon Gift Card

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#BookBlitz #Giveaway – LAST SEMESTER by Corine Mekaouche

Last Semester
Corine Mekaouche
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Breathe, Rob! Just breathe!” I demand in a panicky voice from the back seat as we swiftly pull up to the entrance of the hospital. Clutching his chest in pain next to me, he heaves out a few spouts of air, but it’s not enough to help him.

Shit!

I watch my roommate Rob’s cheeks turn from a shade of deep pink to a dark crimson red. “A.J.! He’s getting worse!” I yell to my other roommate in the driver’s seat. He rolls his eyes then turns around.

“Calm down, Jo!” he exclaims. “I can’t think when you’re yelling like this!”

Drew, our other roommate, and usually the voice of reason, says nothing as he quickly jumps out of the Range Rover and runs into the hospital entrance.

“Can’t. Breathe,” Rob manages to force out of his mouth, then before I know it, his body falls limp and his head somehow ends up on my lap. His eyes roll to the back of his head.

“I think he’s dying!” I whine and suddenly I’m losing my breath.

Releasing a loud groan, A.J. climbs out of the SUV and casually walks into the hospital as if nothing is wrong.

Why is he so calm and I’m flipping the hell out?

I begin to shake Rob’s shoulders but he doesn’t respond and I’m almost positive that he’s not breathing at all now.

It’s official.

I killed my roommate.

Okay, maybe he’s not dead yet, but if death was a road, he just made a left turn for the worse then ran over a few annoying potholes and some week old roadkill…and probably drove off a cliff or something…

Ugh! I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore! I feel guilty for doing this to him and I feel even more guilty because I kinda hate his arrogant, smug ass, but just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean that they deserve to die, does it?

The back door opens and I see A.J. and Drew standing outside with a wheelchair. A.J. roughly wraps his arms around Rob’s body and begins to pull him out of the car. “Fuck! He’s like the size of an ogre,” he complains as he struggles to get Rob into the wheelchair. The fact that Rob is as useless as a wet noodle right now makes it difficult for A.J. to adjust Rob’s body in the chair. I cringe just watching it.

“I knew this was going to happen one day,” Drew says shaking his head. “The inevitable always happens.”

Shooting Drew a snarling glare, A.J. grits his teeth. “Just roll the goddamn chair into the hospital,” he instructs. Drew turns the chair around and begins to jog into the emergency room with Rob’s body leaning to one side. A.J. looks at me in the SUV, annoyed. “Well, are you coming?” he asks and I just freeze.

Do I stay? Do I go? I don’t know what to do with myself!

Taking a quick yet deep breath, I climb out of the SUV, shut the door and join A.J. on the other side of the vehicle.

“I’m horrible,” I blurt out and I can feel wetness welling in my eyes. “I’m a horrible person.”

“Dammit, Jo! I hate it when girls cry,” he complains as he shuts the other back door and begins to walk into the hospital. He pauses in his tracks when he notices that I’m not following him.

I’m frozen.

 

Author Bio:

The geek and a dreamer, Corine Mekaouche has always had the vision of becoming a writer. While growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, Corine spent her childhood immersed in music, novels, and writing. To her, the arts was the best escape ever. For college, she attended Rutgers University majoring in English and minoring in Theatre Arts. Somehow, Corine survived the college experience and became somewhat of a grown-up yet still kept the vision of being a writer alive because it may be all she’s qualified for. So, she wrote and wrote until Last Semester, a new adult novel about college life and growing up, was born. Currently, she is writing other novels and plays for future release. When she’s not writing, loudly singing to songs in her car or dancing in random places for no apparent reason, Corine is being an awesome wife and a mom residing outside of the wonderfully flawed New York City..

Website / Twitter

 

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$15 Amazon gift card
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#BookBlitz #Giveaway – SERENADE by Heather McKenzie

Serenade
Heather McKenzie
(The Nightmusic Trilogy #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult

Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.

Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver – a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart – until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya’s world unravels when she’s kidnapped.

Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya’s father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that’s what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run…

An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

This was it, now or never.

I gathered every single ounce of energy I had and steadied my mind to ignore the pain in my foot and the dizziness in my head. Then, with everything I had, I turned and bolted toward the dense forest. The darkness instantly enveloped me. I could see well enough not to run into tree trunks, but branches caught me at every turn. My head felt as if it was spinning like a top, but I forced my legs to keep going. I could hear the men’s voices yelling at each other in an organized manner.

I tripped and found myself on all fours. Get up, girl. There’s nothing wrong with you—get up…

I made it a few more steps before my head connected with a blue spruce, and then I collapsed in a pathetic heap. My arms were so wobbly I could barely wipe at the gash across my forehead. My body was completely failing me. I prayed to God that the dog would just snap my neck and get it over with quickly…

Human footsteps approached. I gulped in some air and tried to push myself up, but the world tipped on its side and I fell with it. Within moments, large hands had my wrists pinned to the ground. I struggled and fought with everything I had left, which wasn’t much.

“Stop fighting,” he said.

His voice created such confusion inside me. I kicked harder.

“Stop… please,” he begged.

His body pinned mine to the ground. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.

“Please, Kaya, trust me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, I promise.” He leaned forward and pressed his sleeve to my bleeding forehead, dabbing and inspecting it closely while I had no choice but to gaze up him. How could this beautiful man be a kidnapper? It just didn’t fit.

“It’s just a scratch; no stitches required,” he said, voice trailing off as his eyes met mine.

We stayed like that for a while: me on the ground, him kneeling over me, and our line of sight only on each other—until an unmistakable sound broke through the tree tops.

“They’ll find me,” I said softly, wondering if Oliver was in the helicopter circling over our heads.

He positioned his arms under my body, and, in one graceful motion, he picked me up and into his arms. “Just don’t run. Promise me that, please. I’ll keep you safe. You have my word. Okay?”

He held me tightly—protectively—waiting eagerly for my reply with turmoil in his blue eyes. My whole body hurt, and admittedly, I couldn’t have walked another inch. The wolves or that beast would have got to me long before Oliver would have. I was at my kidnapper’s mercy, laying helplessly in his arms and falling harder for him by the second.

“I promise,” I said.

 

Author Bio:

Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box (Intl winner would get eBook prizes)
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#BlogTour #Excerpt – CLICK. DATE. REPEAT. AGAIN by K.J. Farnham

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Title: Click. Date. Repeat. Again
Series: Click. Date. Repeat. Series
Author: K.J. Farnham
Release Date: April 19th, 2017
Genre: women’s fiction
Tour Dates: April 19th – 23rd, 2017

Buy the Book:

AmazonUS | AmazonUK | AmazonAU | AmazonCA

Book Blurb: Never in her wildest dreams would Jess Mason ever imagine herself being a part of the online dating hype. Yet here she is smack-dab in the middle of it all. And she’s dated her fair share of online crazies to be a new connoisseur of all the weirdos out in the cyber world. After a slew of bad dates and pussy (cat that is) pictures, Jess knows that she needs to finally commit to something—or someone. And suddenly there he is, a man she can actually imagine herself with.

But when Jess is faced with an undeniable attraction to a handsome, unavailable co-worker, she’s conflicted about continuing her quest for Mr. Right-At-Her-Fingertips. Now, it’s feast or famine—and she’s not willing to starve. She certainly can’t have both–that wouldn’t be right. After all, that’s the “old Jess.” The new Jess is ready to start clicking with someone special and make a real love connection.

**This book is a spinoff of Click Date Repeat, so it can be read as a standalone.**

Excerpt

Online Dating Profile

Jess – 26

Location: Milwaukee

My Subscription was a Gift

Relationship Status: Never Married

Kids: No

Want kids: Undecided

Ethnicity: White / Caucasian

Body type: Curvy

Height: 5′ 4″

Religion: Non-denominational

Politics: Middle of the Road

Smoke: Social Smoker

Drink: Social Drinker

Pets: Cats

Education: Bachelor’s

Employment: Travel Industry

Income: 20,000-30,000

I’m not really sure what to say here, soooo . . . I like going to the movies, but no thanks to the popcorn. (Is anyone else annoyed when the kernels get stuck in your teeth?) I also like to read. Historical fiction novels are my favorite, and sci-fi is my least favorite. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, a good game of Scrabble, and wine (any variety) are my favorite pastimes. (Drinking wine is a pastime, right?) I’m not a fan of extreme exercise or all-consuming professional sports. If you’d like to know more, drop me a line!

 

“Lookin’ good, pretty lady,” I say, bringing my hands to my hips and turning right for a side view in the mirror. It never hurts to give yourself an ego boost, especially when there’s no one around to do it for you.

Mags, my lazy and overweight tabby, looks on from the bed behind me and meows as if I was talking to her. “What’s up, Mags?” I ask, swiveling back for another front view. She silently stares at my reflection, almost like she’s thinking the ten minutes of effort I’ve put into dolling myself up have been a waste of time. I don’t disagree.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I lament as I dip into a front shimmy and dig a hand into my bra cups to give each breast a boost. “Trust me, you’re not the only one who thinks online dating is a bad idea.” She curls into herself for a nap, seemingly satisfied to know we’re on the same page. “But I promised I’d give it a shot, and . . . I’m bored,” I mumble as I turn and reach over Mags to grab my purse off the bed.

When I open the bedroom door, my other furry roommate, Savannah, scurries in, brushing against my jet black pixie capris. She’s white and sheds like crazy.

“Seriously, Savannah?” I groan, rushing over to my dresser where a lint roller is always at the ready.

Checking the clock on my nightstand, I increase my rolling speed. If I don’t head out the door as soon as possible, I might be tempted to change my mind about this impromptu date.

I’m on my way to Tiki Time when my phone vibrates. It’s Chloe, my best friend, and the person who gifted me the three-month subscription to Yahoo! Personals for my birthday. I let the call go to voicemail and listen to her message as soon as I pull into a parking spot.

“Hey! Haven’t talked to you in a few days so I’m just calling to see what’s new. If you call back tonight, just make sure it’s not during Survivor, okay? Oh, and not after ten either . . . So, I guess just try to call sometime between eight and ten. Otherwise, I’ll call you tomorrow. I can’t believe you’re going on your first date! I need to hear all about this guy! Talk to you later. Bye!”

I delete Chloe’s message and chuckle at her excitement over my first date, which she thinks is tomorrow. Heck, when I emailed her about it last night, that’s what I thought too. But then I’d had a message from this new guy, Coordinates Kyle, waiting for me when I logged into my Personals account this afternoon.

Hey there Jess,

 

Great tagline. I’m curious…who gave you the gift of online dating? I recently moved to Milwaukee from Homewood, Illinois, so in my case, it was my nosey sister Eileen. So who was it for you? Your mom? A co-worker? A best friend who insists you’ll have more luck finding someone worthwhile online than in a sleazy bar? For the record, I have another nosey sister who thinks online dating is just as sleazy as meeting someone in a bar, and she’d much rather I meet a nice girl at church. Eileen swears this works though. She keeps sending me and nosey sister number two articles about the growing popularity of online dating, and I keep telling her popularity doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. Interested in testing the waters with me?

 

Kyle

 

Kyle’s message was a nice change of pace compared to most of the other introductory messages I’ve received over the last two weeks. With the exception of two guys, the rest have been bland variations of one another. Something along the lines of, “I read your profile and you seem like: a nice person/the kind of woman I’m looking for/someone I could get along with.”

One of the first standouts caught my attention with a joke the day after I set up my account. It was actually pretty lame, but his unique approach won me over. We’ve been messaging back and forth ever since.

The other standout’s introductory message focused on his love for being one with nature when he hunts and fishes. Granted, things with hunter guy didn’t make it past two rounds of messages because he took offense to my asking if hunting with a rifle was kind of like cheating compared to using a bow. Touchy-touchy.

My luck getting past the first round of messages with most of the generic guys hasn’t been great. I’ve deleted a few snore-worthy conversations early on, and several guys have abandoned ship without explanation.

Entertained by Kyle’s message, I had clicked to view his profile.

Coordinates Kyle – 25

Location: Milwaukee

J.R.R. Tolkien anyone?

 

Relationship Status: Single

Kids: No

Want Kids: Yes        

Ethnicity: White / Caucasian

Body type: Average

Height: 6’ 8″

Religion: Spiritual

Politics: Liberal

Smoke: No

Drink: Yes

Pets: No

Education: Bachelor’s

Employment: Professional         

Income: 30,000-40,000

My first thought had been, “Six foot eight? Holy shit!” Then I proceeded to think about the logistics of dating someone that tall. At five foot four, I’d have to crane my neck to look up at him when we talk, and I’d have to stand on my tiptoes to hug or kiss him. And what if we had sex?

I decided that could be interesting, so I messaged him back.

Hey Kyle,

 

Thanks for the message. My tagline is a result of having a best friend who would probably get along great with your sister Eileen. Since online dating worked for her, she thinks everyone who’s single should give it a go.

Testing the waters together sounds like a plan. But I do have a pressing question first . . . Why is your screen name Coordinates Kyle?

 

~Jess

Between loads of laundry and cleaning up around my apartment, we exchanged nearly a dozen messages apiece this afternoon. In the first message, Kyle revealed that he’s a mapmaker, hence his catchy screen name. After we cleared that up, the rest of our online conversation was a long string of questions and answers back and forth. Nothing too personal though. No ex talk, no deep dark secrets, and nothing about fetishes or kinky sexual fantasies (such as getting it on with someone who’s over a foot taller than you). Instead, we shared other basics like where we grew up, favorite food/color/movie/type of music, etc. I was enjoying the virtual conversation enough that the online-dating skeptic in me faded into my subconscious—for a little while anyway. Then, as I ate tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner, Coordinates Kyle messaged to see if I was up for a fufu drink.

“A fufu drink?” I replied.

“Yeah, you know, one of those drinks that looks all pretty and innocent but if you aren’t careful it’ll leave you passed out on the bathroom floor with your pants down?”

Actually . . . ahem . . . I’m quite familiar. Been there, done that.

“Tonight? Well, okay, sure . . . why not? You talked me into it. Why keep conversing via a computer screen and keyboard? Where did you have in mind?”

So here I am, two hours later, half a block down from Tiki Time, a cozy bar that specializes in ice cream drinks and exotic cocktails. Oddly placed, it’s located in a residential neighborhood on Milwaukee’s southeast side and nestled between single family homes. If it weren’t for the neon multicolored martini glass in the front window, passersby would never guess it’s a dimly lit, vintage cocktail lounge. Most women probably would have declined to meet someone for the first time in such an intimate setting, but Coordinate Kyle’s reason for choosing it seems totally legit. He’d recently seen an article in Milwaukee Magazine that listed Tiki Time as having one of the city’s most unique drink menus. Plus, I’m a sucker for liquored-up ice cream drinks.

As I make my way to the entrance, I laugh at the thought of how anxious Chloe was when she started online dating and met people for the first time. I think it was because the optimist in her thought there was a chance each guy could have turned out to be “the one.” I, on the other hand, don’t feel the slightest bit nervous. Instead, my mouth is simply salivating at the thought of the Vanilla Winter Russian I plan to order.

While I wait in line to speak with the hostess, I scan the foyer and bar area for Coordinates Kyle. At six foot eight, he should be easy to spot. While looking for him, my eyes adjust to Tiki Time’s hazy reddish glow. Not only are the floor and walls red, but the bar is also lined with fuzzy red fabric reminiscent of Muppet fur. Judging by the décor, you’d never suspect the brilliance of their drink menu.

I step forward as the people in front of me are led away by a server.

“Good evening. How many in your group tonight?” the mild mannered blonde hostess asks as she repositions black glasses atop her nose. They’re the kind of glasses people tend to wear as an accessory versus necessity. Her name tag says CORA.

“Just two. Me and . . .” I quickly scan the immediate area again. “I’m actually meeting a guy I met online.”

She smiles broadly and squeals, “How exciting!”

“Yeah, I guess,” I say, chuckling. “We just started messaging back and forth this afternoon, so hopefully he doesn’t turn out to be a closet whack job. Although, I’m sure the odds of that are probably pretty high, right? I mean, considering the type of people who are lurking about online.” I say lurking with little air quotes, laughing, but my laughter stops abruptly when I realize she’s no longer smiling.

“I met my fiancé online,” she says icily, raising her chin a tad.

Whoops. Once again, I’ve managed to offend a more sensitive soul by putting my foot in my mouth. I’m pretty used to it by this point in my life.

I give Cora a small apologetic shrug. “Well, I’m obviously not saying you or your boyfriend are whack jobs. Just that—”

“There’s no wait at this time. Would you like to be seated now or when your date arrives?” She cuts me off, her voice and demeanor aloof.

“I’ll wait,” I say, doing my best to stifle a grin. I can’t help but find it funny that she’s so offended. Chloe’s online dating statistics alone are proof that one in three matches are loony tunes, but I was mostly just trying to be funny. Chill out, lady.

I step aside to make way for the group of people behind me, and head to the end of the bar next to the window displaying the neon martini glass sign. No sooner do I lean against a wall when a noticeably tall man ducks through the entryway. I can’t see his face clearly due to the distance and the dim lighting, but what are the odds of another guy as tall as Kyle showing up at Tiki Time tonight? He looks around as the group in front of him starts following a server to their table and a path to the hostess clears.

“Coordinates Kyle?” I say, peeking over at Cora to see if she’s watching us. She is, of course, as she rapidly taps the cap of the pen she’s holding against the podium in front of her.

Kyle is all smiles when he looks down at me and extends a hand. “Jess. Awesome to meet you. Oh, and you can just call me Kyle.”

“Are you sure? I think Coordinates Kyle has a nice ring to it.”

I loosen my grip on his hand, expecting to pull back, but he maintains a light hold and says, “Yeah? Then by all means, feel free to keep calling me that.” His bright toothy grin returns, and he finally releases my hand.

I wonder if his teeth are really as white as they look or if it’s because of the dim lighting or his dark hair and olive complexion. Maybe a combination of the two?

“Are you ready to be seated?” Cora interrupts. I glance at Coordinates Kyle to see if he notices the glare she’s giving me. Judging by the way his smile has migrated over to her, I’m guessing he hasn’t.

“That would be great. Thanks,” he responds.

“So. You two met online,” Cora says. It’s a statement not a question.

“How’d you guess?” Kyle glances at me with a look of surprise.

Cora shrugs. “Oh, you know. A lot of couples come here on first dates. And lately, a lot of them have met through dating sites.”

“So, any guess as to whether this date will go smoothly or not? You know, since you witness couples like us so often?” He grins at me sideways. I grin back before both of our gazes migrate to Cora.

She stares at me, blinking a few times, before returning her attention to Kyle. “I’d limit my alcohol intake if I was you. She has quite the whack job vibe going on.”

Kyle laughs until he notices Cora’s deadpan expression. “Wait, are you serious?”

Cora ignores him as she hands two menus to the server who’s just arrived at her side. “Right this way,” the petite brunette says loudly above the voices of the people who’ve arrived behind us. Resisting the urge to even look at Cora, I follow the server, tugging gently on Coordinates Kyle’s sleeve to make sure he follows too.

Seconds later, Kyle and I are scooting into a cozy arc-shaped booth next to the bathrooms. Our server places menus on the table in front of us. “I’ll give you a few minutes to decide,” she says as she retrieves a pen and order pad from her apron before scurrying off to a table across the room.

“I can’t believe the hostess said that!” Kyle’s expression is two parts concerned and one part amused. I like the combination. It tells me he’s probably a compassionate, non-confrontational guy.

“Actually, I might have unintentionally offended her before you arrived,” I say raising an eyebrow.

He nods slowly and smirks. “Okay, let’s hear it.”

So I tell Coordinates Kyle about the ridiculous reason for the hostess’ rude comment, and we have a good laugh over it. Then we discuss how it wasn’t the least bit rude of me to call most online daters whack jobs, yet it was definitely rude of her to call me the exact same thing. The discussion makes me feel a certain sense of camaraderie with him.

Every time someone goes in or out of the bathroom, our faces are illuminated by the glow of fluorescent lighting. This allows me to get a good look at Kyle, and I like what I see. He’s the perfect example of tall, dark and handsome. Plus, he has the sexiest dimple on his left cheek, and a laid back demeanor that complements my own.

By the time our drinks arrive, we’ve moved on to discussing details about his job as a cartographer and mine as a flight attendant. Then when our next drink (a fish bowl drink for two) arrives, we move on to talking about old TV shows we used to watch when we were kids. I have no idea what led us to the topic, but to me, it’s evidence that the date is going well. After all, “Different Strokes” was a favorite of his too, and his Arnold impression is spot-on. Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout Willis?

By the time we’re about halfway through our fishbowl, our conversation takes a more serious turn. Kyle begins telling me about his most recent relationship, which ended a few months ago when he decided to move to Milwaukee for his current job. Apparently, he was blindsided by the abrupt breakup.

“So you dated exclusively for a year, and she broke up with you just like that?” I ask.

“Just like that,” Kyle responds with a nod as he rolls up a sleeve of his navy and lime green checkered button down shirt. I can’t remember the body type he listed on his profile, but his forearm is nice and toned. It makes me wonder what the rest of his body looks like.

“She didn’t even entertain the thought of getting a teaching job in Milwaukee and moving with you?”

He shakes his head and begins rolling up his other sleeve. “Nope.”

“No mention of trying the long distance thing or waiting to see if you could eventually find a job closer to Homewood? Homewood isn’t even that far from here.” I’m being more nosey than usual, but something seems off about this break up. Not with Kyle, but with this ex of his. I can’t help but wonder if she was looking for a reason to end things with him.

Kyle finishes the sip he’s taking from our rum-laden fishbowl and shakes his head again. “She just said it was the perfect opportunity for us to take a break.” I sigh with a heavy heart over the glint of sadness in his eyes. “Anyway,” he continues, “Enough about me. What about you? When did your last relationship end?”

“It’s complicated,” I say as I automatically reach for the emerald gemstone dangling between my cleavage.

“Try me.” He props his elbows on the table and rests his chin on his laced fingers. The pose makes me think of the therapist I used to see after my parents got divorced, and suddenly I’m overcome by an urge to spill my guts.

So I give him the Cliffs Notes of my on-again-off-again relationship with my ex, Ned.

“Wow, that guy sounds like a total douchebag.” Kyle says.

On one hand, I feel a sense of retribution upon hearing his assessment of Ned. But on the other, I feel a sliver of guilt. After all, I did leave out certain details that might not have painted me in the best light, including the fact that I just broke down and slept with Ned a few days ago.

Oh well, no need to tell him everything. “I’m certainly no saint,” I respond. “But yeah, he’s a rather large douche.”

Sighing sympathetically, he grabs his straw from our nearly empty fishbowl and holds it up, prompting me to do the same with mine. “Here’s to forgetting about our asshole exes and to all the whack jobs that are going to help us do it.”

“Amen,” I say as we tap straws. Then we proceed to polish off the rest of our drink, which now consists mostly of rum and melted ice.

“This is me,” I say to Kyle, stopping next to my car.

He turns to face me and says, “I had a lot of fun tonight.”

“Me too,” I say, nodding and smiling. In fact, I had such a great time that I wouldn’t mind continuing the date back at my place. But I’m trying not to steer things in that direction for a change.

He stares at me intently, giving off the vibe that the contemplative wheels in his mind are turning. Should he kiss me or not? “Would you—” Hiccup. “Excuse me. Would you like to—” Hiccup. “Shit. This is embarrass—” Hiccup. “—ing.”

Poor Kyle takes a deep breath and holds it in as an attempt to rid himself of this sudden bout of hiccups. Me? I’m laughing so hard I can barely breathe, but I’m also wondering what he was going to ask.

He exhales slowly and then waits a moment before attempting to speak. “Okay, I think they’re gone. So, would you like to—” Hiccup. “Damn it. I can’t—” Hiccup. “—believe this!” He rolls his eyes. Then he hiccups again.

“I’m so sorry for laughing,” I say as I clutch my belly.

“Don’t be. People always—” Hiccup. “—laugh when this happens to me.”

“Always? How often does this happen to you?”

He slowly exhales another breath he’d been holding. Then, looking embarrassed, he rubs his brow before answering. “I guess it’s—” Hiccup. “—not always, but sometimes when—” Hiccup. “—I’m nervous.”

This tidbit sends me into another fit of laughter. Except now I’m not just laughing at his hiccups. I’m also laughing because I’d almost forgotten how I met Kyle, aka Coordinates Kyle. It figures that he suffers from this bizarre hiccupping condition.

“So-can-I-see-you-again?” He quickly slurs the words together just to get them all out before another . . . Hiccup.

There’s an uncomfortable silence as I imagine what it would be like to make out with Kyle. Would he become nervous and hiccup in my mouth? Would we ever even make it to first base? Or would he be too busy trying to cure a hiccup attack? Then my mind shifts to how much I enjoyed his company—tonight and earlier when we were messaging back and forth. I think about the sad look on his face when he told me about his ex dumping him on the day he accepted his job here in Milwaukee. I think about how attentively he listened as I revealed choice tidbits about my relationship with Ned. I think about the adorable dimple in his left cheek and his overall attractiveness. I also have a lot of questions about this hiccup issue of his.

Shifting his weight awkwardly from one foot to the other, Kyle waits for my response.

“Sure, sounds good,” I say as I stand on my tippy toes and lean in for a goodbye hug.

Hiccup.

Say Hello to author K.J. Farnham!

Bio:

K. J. Farnham writes contemporary fiction for women and young adults. A former educator who grew up in the Milwaukee area, she now lives in Western Wisconsin with her husband and three children. When not keeping up with her kids, she can usually be found reading or writing. Beach outings, coffee, acoustic music, and road trips are among her favorite things. She currently has several projects in the works!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

It’s a Series:

If you haven’t checked out book 1 in the series you should!


Title: Click. Date. Repeat.
Series: Click. Date. Repeat. Series
Author: K.J. Farnham
Release Date: August 21st, 2014
Genre: women’s fiction

Buy the Book:

AmazonUS | AmazonUK | AmazonAU | AmazonCA

Blurb:

These days, finding love online is as commonplace as ordering that coveted sweater. But back in 2003, the whole concept of internet dating was still quite new, with a stigma attached to it that meant those who were willing to test the waters faced a fair amount of skepticism from friends and family.

Such is the case for Chloe Thompson, a restless 20-something tired of the typical dating scene and curious about what she might find inside her parents’ computer. With two serious but failed relationships behind her, Chloe isn’t even entirely sure what she’s looking for. She just knows that whatever it is, she wants to find it.

Chloe’s foray into online dating involves a head-first dive into a world of matches, ice breakers and the occasional offer of dick pics, all while Chloe strives to shake herself of the ex who just refuses to disappear. Will she simultaneously find herself and “the one” online, or will the ever-growing pile of humorous and downright disastrous dates only prove her friends and family right? There’s only one way to find out…

Click. Date. Repeat.

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#CoverReveal – PRESERVATION by Kate Canterbary

Some things have to fall apart before they can be put back together.
PRESERVATION
The Walshes #7
Kate Canterbary
Releasing May 23, 2017
Vesper Press


Two lonely hearts.
Just once, she’d like to be someone’s first choice.
She’s strong-willed and spunky, but she’s left picking up the pieces from her ex’s lies and
manipulations, and daydreaming about taking a scalpel to his scrotum.
Flying under the radar is what he does best.
He’s laid-back and loyal, but he wants the most off-limits woman in his world, and nothing will ever make that a reality.
An arrangement of mutual benefit.
Two months, four dates.
Five, if things go well.
Five at the most.
But possibly six.
Definitely no more than six dates.
Only the appearance of a romantic relationship is required, and they expect nothing more from their time together. There will be none of those benefits involved.
One wild weekend.
 
After waking up in bed together—very naked and even more hungover—the terms and conditions of their arrangement no longer apply. Now they’re faced with something riskier than exposing their fake relationship:  letting go of the past and zipping up the future.
Some things have to fall apart before they can be put back together.

 

Kate Canterbary doesn’t have it all figured out, but this is what she knows for sure: spicy-ass salsa and tequila solve most problems, living on the ocean–Pacific or Atlantic–is the closest place to perfection, and writing smart, smutty stories is a better than any amount of chocolate. She started out reporting for an indie arts and entertainment newspaper back when people still read newspapers, and she has been writing and surreptitiously interviewing people—be careful sitting down next to her on an airplane—ever since. Kate lives on the water in New England with Mr. Canterbary and the Little Baby Canterbary, and when she isn’t writing sexy architects, she’s scheduling her days around the region’s best food trucks.

Start The Walshes series for ONLY $0.99

#BlogTour #Giveaway – A CHARMED LITTLE LIE by Sharla Lovelace

Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make 

a dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it?

A CHARMED LITTLE LIE
Charmed in Texas #1
Sharla Lovelace
Releasing April 18th, 2017
Lyrical Shine

 

Lanie Barrett didn’t mean to lie. Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make a dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it? Lanie thinks so, especially since her beloved Aunt Ruby would have been heartbroken to know the truth of her niece’s sadly loveless, short-of-sparkling existence. Trouble is, according to the will, Ruby didn’t quite buy Lanie’s tale. And to inherit the only house Lanie ever really considered a home, she’ll have to bring her “husband” back to Charmed, Texas for three whole months—or watch Aunt Ruby’s cozy nest go to her weasel cousin, who will sell it to a condo developer.

 

Nick McKane is out of work, out of luck, and the spitting image of the man Lanie described. He needs money for his daughter’s art school tuition, and Lanie needs a convenient spouse. It’s a match made . . . well, not quite in heaven, but for a temporary arrangement, it couldn’t be better. Except the longer Lanie and Nick spend as husband and wife, the more the connection between them begins to seem real. Maybe this modern fairy tale really could come true . . .
 
tastytoursexcerpt

There are things a girl hopes to hear in her lifetime, and a marriage proposal definitely tops that list. A proposal offered as a business deal, probably thrown out in desperation to stop my meltdown and pending dehydration, however, was not what most women have in mind.

“Don’t, Nick,” I said, hiccupping through my sobs, trying to make it stop. “Don’t play with that. Don’t make fun.”

 

“I’m not,” he said, still facing Ralph, the dog’s face in his hands as if it were all addressed to him. “I’m dead serious.”

I waited for more and it didn’t come. Um, I needed more explanation than that.

Wiping at my face in vain, I leaned against the post and looked down at possibly the hottest man I’d ever met. Sitting on my porch in a black-on-black suit, asking me to marry him by proxy of Ralph.

“Why?”

Finally, he let go of Ralph’s large head and stood, turning to face me as though it was with his last dying breath.

“You need this house,” he said, his words slow and precise. His dark eyes didn’t blink, didn’t look away uncomfortably, didn’t falter. “You may or may not need the money, I don’t know. I don’t see you getting all emotional about that, but you’re hugging the house, so I’m guessing the money’s not an important factor.”

“I didn’t even know about that money.”

“Which brings it to me,” he said, closing his eyes briefly. “I need a job.”

“Are you saying—”

“I’m saying I just got in a car with a stranger for five hundred dollars,” he said. “That’s how far I’ve fallen. Three months of my life—what would that be worth?”

My tongue felt as swollen and stuck as my eyelids.

That sentence, along with the glazed over look his eyes got and the hard set of his jaw, was possibly the saddest thing I’d ever witnessed. To be followed closely by the strong possibility of my saying yes.

Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sexy small-town love stories. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her retired husband, a tricked-out golf cart, and two crazy dogs. She is the author of five stand-alone novels including the bestselling Don’t Let Go, the exciting Heart Of The Storm series, and the fun and sexy new Charmed in Texas series.

For more about Sharla’s books, visit http://www.sharlalovelace.com, and keep up with all her new book releases easily by subscribing to her newsletter. She loves keeping up with her readers, and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

#NewRelease #Giveaway – THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE Vol. II by Anna Bloom

☆.•°☆.•°*°•.☆Anna Bloom Release Day Giveaway!☆.•°☆.•°*°•.☆ 

The Truth About Love Vol II is out now!

Grab your copy here – myBook.to/TruthAboutLovevol2

Synopsis

Cherry Donaldson goes through dates like some women go through coffee. So when she find herself in need of a temporary roommate, saying yes to the gorgeous guy—even if he’s not her usual type—is a bad idea. A very bad idea.

The last thing she expects is to fall into a friendship with Jared. But he makes it so easy. And before she knows it, the lines blur and his annoying habits become just a little bit charming.

Will Cherry break her own rules to take a chance on the guy she now calls a friend, or is The Truth About Love too much to bear?

Buy now – myBook.to/TruthAboutLovevol2

Giveaway

Head on over to Anna’s facebook page to enter the pinned giveaway for a chance to win a copy – https://www.facebook.com/AnnaBloomBooks/



Connect with Anna

 

#CoverReveal #Giveaway – LIGHTSTRUCK by Liz Crowe

Brewer Ross has given up on love…until he meets a 
woman who turns his life—and brewery—upside down.
 
 
LIGHTSTRUCK
The Brewing Passion Series #2
Liz Crowe
Releasing May 30, 2017
Totally Bound

Brewer Ross has given up on love…until he meets a woman who turns his life—and brewery—upside down.

Ross Hoffman held the potential for a perfect life in his hands—a life with Evelyn, the only woman he’d ever allowed himself to love, their baby and…her husband, Austin Fitzgerald, who also happened to be his best friend. But the challenge of trying to make a threesome into something acceptable—let alone the thought of actually sharing Evelyn with anyone—forces him to bolt. Determined to put all thoughts of their relationship behind him, Ross jumps headfirst into a new brewery job in Colorado, and back into the sort of sexual decadence that he hopes will distract him from his misery.

When he agrees to assist Austin through a spate of brewery mishaps, he lays eyes on his true fate—in the form of the petite, mysterious and exotic Elisa Nagel. Hired as assistant brewer, Elisa is absolutely everything he believes he doesn’t want in a woman. But he’s drawn to her in ways he can’t explain, and he can’t help but fall hard, fast and deep, which places him square in the middle of her horrific, until now secret backstory.

Ross is determined that his love will conquer and overcome the horrors of Elisa’s past, allowing her to trust him with the only thing he desires—her heart.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene with attempted rape and violence, as well as a brief scene alluding to person being drugged and raped.

 

 

Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
 
Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance: Worth the Risk,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”).
 
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.

 

 

 Grand Prize: $50.00 Amazon GC;
Runner Up: $20.00 Amazon GC;
Runner Up: Signed copy of TAPPED

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#BookBlitz #Giveaway – BEAUTIFUL SACRIFICE by Ember Raine Winters

Beautiful Sacrifice
Ember Raine Winters
(Pride and Honor, #2)
Publication date: April 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Tasha

Being a cop, I didn’t have any choice, but I really wish I hadn’t got mixed up in this case. My dark past is catching up to me ever since he barreled into my life without a care. It terrifies me that he sees right through me. He could be the one to save me . . . or break me.

Twitch

It was just a job. Until it wasn’t. By then the sexy little redhead had her claws in me. Now, she’s in my life and I’m lost. How am I supposed to keep the demons from her past from eating her alive? I don’t know, but I will do whatever it takes to make her mine.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

It happened again. I didn’t think a person could dream when they were that drunk. I was wrong. She let out a blood-curdling scream, and I jumped from my spot on the couch and ran into the bedroom. I was looking around wildly for any possible threat, when I noticed Tasha thrashing and whimpering in the bed.

“Tasha? Tasha!” I bellowed.

I walked over to the bed and brushed the hair from her face and watched as she settled. Walking around the bed, I figured I’d stay and make sure another nightmare didn’t come back. I leaned up against the headboard and watched her sleep for a bit. I was drowning.

I couldn’t believe how much this woman had gotten under my skin. I didn’t like it, but as I sat there looking at her sleep, her scarlet locks framing the pillow, I knew I was done for. I would do anything to protect her, even from herself.

Everyone joked and talked crap about how I reacted in times of stress, but I learned that from living in foster care and on the streets. I became that way after having to not only watch my back, but also watch Kelly’s as well. It did me a great deal of good in the military. I just wished I knew what to do to help Tasha.

“GO, go, go!” I screamed at Kelly as we ran down an alley.

We had a really big ugly dude on our tail. I was pretty sure he was after Kelly. She was a cute little thing, and we had our fair share of big guys trying to take advantage of her.

We ran down the alley and came to a busy street. There were people everywhere so we slowed our pace.

“Do you think we lost him?” she asked with a tremor in her voice.

I wrapped an arm around her and continued down the street. I could tell she was scared. I hated that she came with me. She actually had a decent family this time. Mine had sucked and the guy had tried to hurt me several times.

When I told Kelly what was happening, she insisted that we take off again—she was a persistent little thing. Finally I agreed after the guy punched me in the face, blackening my eye.

“I don’t know, Tink,” I sighed and hugged her closer.

A moment later she was ripped from my arm and I turned around to see Big Ugly with his meaty paw wrapped around her biceps. She squealed in pain and was thrashing against him. I saw red.

“Let her go!” I raged and stepped forward.

He laughed then. The sound grated on my already fried nerves. I was looking around. It wasn’t good to cause a scene in the middle of a busy street. If someone called the cops, we would be going back to foster care.

It didn’t matter that the guy was roughly pulling Kelly down a sidestreet, struggling all the while. I walked up behind him and punched him in the back of the head as hard as I could.

“What the fuck?” he yelled and swung around with a right cross, but I ducked under his arm and plowed into his middle. He got me from behind, and each blow he delivered to my back felt like I was getting hit by a truck, but I refused to let go. Once he had me on the ground, he flipped me over and straddled my waist as he rained blow after blow on my head and chest. I vaguely heard Kelly’s panicked screams. I was covering my face in an attempt to ward off his punches when everything went black.

My eyes shot open as I looked around wildly. I didn’t recognize anything in the room I was sleeping in. After a few minutes, I relaxed when I noticed Tasha asleep in the bed next to me.

I hadn’t even realized that I had fallen asleep sitting up, until Tasha rolled over and moaned.

“Twitch? What are you doing here?” She yawned.

“Sorry, you had a nightmare. I came in to try to calm you. I must have fallen asleep.” I put my legs over the bed and stood up.

“It’s okay, just stop screaming at me,” she groaned.

I chuckled and then I went to the bathroom. Grabbing a bottle of water and aspirin, I walked back to the bed and handed them to her.

“Thanks.” She popped the aspirin in her mouth and downed the bottle of water. “I don’t really remember much of last night. I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable,” she said shyly.

“No worries. I have dealt with many drunk people before. You were fine,” I laughed.

“Ugh,” she groaned. “I let her get to me.”

“I figured that. You okay?” I asked, making sure to lower my voice.

“Yup, I’m here to do a job. That’s all!” She was getting fired up. “I’m not going to let her and her selfish need for my forgiveness get to me.”

“Okay, well, you feeling good enough to get this show on the road then?” I asked.

“Absolutely,” she said sitting up, stopping for a second as if noticing something for the first time and looked at me accusingly.

“Did you undress me?”

“Nope, that was all you,” I chuckled. “Carried you to the bed after you passed out on the sofa, but you woke up and started stripping. I hightailed it out of here as soon as I realized what was happening. I only came back in when I heard your nightmare.”

She looked around, seemingly for the first time, and saw her clothes and shoes sprawled across the floor and shook her head.

“This is why I never drink whiskey,” she sighed dramatically.

“You drank whiskey?” I asked flabbergasted.

“Yeah, and a lot of it.” she replied. “Can you leave so I can get dressed, please?”

“Sure thing.”

 

Author Bio:

Ember Raine Winters is a new author who just self published her first book. She went to community college to study political science and philosophy. She is currently taking classes to get her BS in business majoring in Sports management. She is an avid reader mostly fantasy and science fiction with a little romance thrown in as well. She loves writing Science Fiction mainly dystopian but is trying her hand in Fantasy as well.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

Signed copy of the first book in the series, Beautiful Delusions

$20 Amazon gift card
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#BookBlitz #Giveaway – WEDDING DREAMS Anthology

Wedding Dreams: 20 Delicious Nuptial Romances
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

**You are invited to the weddings of your dreams**

Twenty award-winning, USA Today and International best-selling authors have come together to bring you over 3,000 pages of love, lust, and lusciously sexy men.

From sweet second chance romances to bad boys, BBWs, and brides looking for revenge, this is a perfect read for anyone who enjoys Romance or Women’s Fiction. These pages are packed with cozy romances, thrilling international and holiday adventures, and sweet heart-melting stories. Our authors bring you everything from hot cowboys to rockstar romances, elegant weddings to nuptial disasters, and blushing brides to bold women, all in a delightful celebration of love.

You’re in for a wild, passionate ride on a breathtaking voyage to make your heart soar. This box set will leave you craving all things marital and wishing the honeymoon would never end.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Let’s meet a couple of authors from this boxed set!

 

GIVEAWAY!
A blue Kindle eReader
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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