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Regina Cole's TO HAVE AND TO HARLEY Giveaway

You may now kiss the biker

Bethany Jernigan owes her bestie. Big time. So when wedding planning overburdens the bride-to-be, Bethany steps in to handle the nitty-gritty. But the guy in charge isn’t anything like she imagined. He’s gruff, tattooed, and 100% male. His staff is even rougher around the edges, and it’s not long before she feels as if she’s stepped into some kind of crazy alternate reality.

Are those…bikers? Arguing about wedding favors?

Trey Harding never wanted this to get so out of hand. One little lie somehow snowballed into a world of dresses and flowers and food and holy-hell-he’s-in-over-his-head. But it’s not like he can confess he’s not the wedding planner he’s pretending to be—especially now that he’s falling for the maid of honor! His charade is becoming a farce, and as engines rev and ribbons fly, Trey’s running out of time to figure out how to tell the truth without losing his new family, his crew…or the woman of his dreams.

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Regina Cole, lover of manly muscled arms, chest hair, and mini-marshmallows, has been reading romance since her early teens. When she’s not frantically pounding away at the keyboard, she can be found fishing with her family, snuggling with her hubby and tiny twin boys, or slinging mud in her magical home pottery studio. She lives outside Raleigh, North Carolina.

Fling Club Inspirations by Tara Brown & Giveaway

 
 
My book releasing is Fling Club, sort of like Fight Club but with romance.
 
The fabulous main characters are Cherry and Ashley, an unlikely match. It’s opposites attract to the extreme. Cherry is a spoiled rich girl with a serious problem, how to get revenge on the mean girl ruining her life. And Ashley is a sexy, geeky MIT scholarship student who doesn’t fit in her world. He doesn’t even want to. He can’t stand the rich elite and makes no bones about sharing that opinion.
 
Cherry’s from a rich family and went to school at a private, well known academy where the expectations from parents are demanding. She is demure and reliable, a doormat like most of her friends. Letting parents and guys take the lead in their lives. 
 
After summers of the boys running the shore and parents ruling their lives, the girls decided to take back the power. One girl in particular. She created Fling Club, a fun way to control the dating and socializing the young women were expected to participate in. The head mean girl who runs it, Cait, is every young woman’s nightmare. Controlling, conniving, and completely self-centered. If you have a social life and friends, it’s because Cait allowed it. She has all the parents and every guy on the shore fooled, while all the young women are terrified of crossing her.
 
When Cherry catches Cait in bed with her boyfriend, the fake friendship is off just as the summer is beginning, meaning Cherry has to come up with a plan for revenge against her frenemy.
 
With the help of her sarcastic and judgmental brother, Andy, and her pessimistic and evil genius sister, Ella, Cherry is about to wreak havoc on Fling Club, and Cait.
 
This is where Ashley comes into the plan. He is the bait. Sexy, funny, sarcastic, and just arrogant enough that they don’t have to worry about him falling for Cait while she is falling for him. But after a couple weeks together, the plan is threatened when Ashley and Cherry start falling for each other.
 
He desperately wants Cherry to see that she is so much more than she pretends to be, and that fitting into her world isn’t worth the price she is paying. And once she starts seeing herself the way he does, she realizes how much she hates the person she has always pretended to be.
 
Fling Club, which used to be called The Exception to the Summer Fling, is an old story I wrote a decade ago but never published. It came to me when I was driving. I was crossing North America, moving from the West Coast to the East for my husband’s work in 2008. My girls were watching movies in the backseat, kid’s movies. So I got to listen to that the entire six day drive.
 
I don’t even remember the movie they were watching, I think it was a Barbie movie, maybe Princess and the Pauper, but it got me envisioning the moment Cait marched back and forth in front of the new recruits, cruelly telling them the rules of the summer fling club. (Being a HUGE fan of Cruel Intentions and Gossip Girl, of course I already had a stable of possible plots for mean rich girls.)
 
The story really formed when I got Cait down in my head, thanks to the long drive and the kids movies.
 
Cait needed to be that sweet and powerful girl the parents would respect and want their daughters to emulate. But she also needed to be terrifying and controlling so the girls went along with whatever she demanded of them. Even if it was disturbing. Of course, Cait is similar to Kathryn from Cruel Intentions, she is calculating and cold. Almost sociopathic in her nature. But I decided to spin the story a little and make our poor little victim, her equal in social rank.
 
Cherry might be the weaker link at the start of this story, but she comes from a good family with a lot of money. And as the story progressed she evolved from the damsel in distress who can’t cope with anything into a strong young woman. I wanted her to be victim of the story but then I also wanted her to be the savior. Her own savior. I like that love helped her find herself, but she needed to do the work.
 
I think we nailed that, and the way the characters are meant to make you hate them. I wanted the readers’ feelings to grow and change as the characters did. Cait is unbearably horrible and yet somehow relatable once we have all the facts. Cherry is weak and pathetic to start but grows into someone we liked in the end. And we made the bad guy someone you didn’t expect.
 
I love the idea that there is an underbelly in the wealthy world, a place we don’t see because they hide it from us. And I adore the meet cute we have created for the entire series of standalone novels, the Post-it Note Wall.
 
Welcome to the Serendipity Series, starting with Fling Club.
Title: Fling Club
Author: Tara Brown
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Publisher: Skyscape
 
Summary
 

For the young, rich, and beautiful, summertime in the Hamptons means one thing: Fling Club. Only this time, Cherry Kennedy won’t be selecting a boy for a fleeting romance. Nope, this season, Cherry is out for revenge. Her target? The Fling Club founder and society darling who slept with Cherry’s now-very-ex-boyfriend. And all Cherry needs is the perfect guy for her plan…Ashley Jardine can’t afford to refuse. He scored almost a full ride to MIT. But that almost still costs a lot. And this is so much money for a little game of revenge and a chance—albeit short—to live the high life. Here, rich girls rule the shore, and everyone has a role to play. Only nothing in the job description warned Ashley that the redhead who’s running the scheme would be so crazy. And cute. Or that he wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about her.

Now, everything is going according to plan—until an unexpected attraction raises the stakes. It’s enough to turn the perfect payback into absolute heartbreak.


Author Biography
 
The international bestselling author of Roommates and the Puck Buddies series, Tara Brown writes in a variety of genres. In addition to her comedic Single Lady Spy series, she has also published popular contemporary and paranormal romances, science fiction, thrillers, and romantic comedies. She especially enjoys writing dark and moody tales, often focusing on strong female characters who are more inclined to vanquish evil than perpetrate it. She shares her home with her husband, two daughters, two cats, an Irish wolfhound, and a Maremma Sheepdog. Find out more about Tara by visiting www.TaraBrownAuthor.com.
 
Social Media Links
 

 

Maria Vale's A WOLF APART excerpt & giveaway

Can a human truly make room in her heart for the Wild?

Thea Villalobos has long since given up trying to be what others expect of her. So in Elijah Sorensson she can see through the man of the world to a man who is passionate to the point of heartbreak. But something inside him is dying…

Elijah Sorensson has all kinds of outward success: bespoke suits, designer New York City apartment, women clamoring for his attention. Except Elijah despises the human life he’s forced to endure. He’s Alpha of his generation of the Great North Pack, and the wolf inside him will no longer be restrained…

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Here Elijah visits Thea’s isolated cabin. He comes to the realization that his usual posturing isn’t going to work on her and he decides to try something else.

Here’s the truth. I didn’t do anything. The letter you wrote for Liebling? The one that you showed me in New York? It would have been just fine as it was. A change or two maybe to make it stronger. Our letterhead, sure. But it was fine as it was.”

So why did you say it was more complicated?” The smell of coffee hits the back of my throat as she spoons the grounds into the filter.

Because I wanted to see you again.”

She stops for a moment before screwing the lid back on and returning it to the cold box.

That’s kind of pathetic.”

I know. I’m not used to being pathetic, but there it is.”

A thin wisp of steam starts to curl up from the kettle.

And why are you here now?”

Same reason. I wanted to see you again, and after yesterday…I wasn’t sure you would.”

You’re right. I wouldn’t have.” She raises her arm, stroking her cheek with the back of her hand. “Your skin is so soft,” she whispers, low and deep and urgent [imitating me]. “You should never wear anything but silk.”

If I weren’t so humiliated by the words, the sound of her voice would have made me come right there.

She grins and hands me the mug and a spoon.

When you’re done with that, give it back.”

What?”

The spoon. I’ve only got one.”

She pours milk into the bowl in front of her and then coffee, and then taking the spoon from my hand, she swirls the clouds of milk through her bowl of coffee.

It is so terribly, achingly intimate.

There is, I realize, looking over the rim of my mug, only one of anything here. A single cup. A single bowl. A single small skillet. A single pot. A single chair. A single plate. A single towel hanging from the bathroom door.

The only thing that might accommodate more than one is the bed with its thick duvet and four pillows.

Doug wanted to expand Thea’s cabin. Install a refrigerator, a sofa, a TV. What did he say? “That’d be nice, right?” He wanted more. More noise, more stuff, more him.

But he missed the point of this place. Thea’s cabin isn’t just a shelter that could use modernizing and expanding; it’s a bulwark protecting her solitude. And no matter what he thought could be done, should be done, it would not be done, because there was no room here for more Doug or more of any man.

But…I am not any man. I am not a man at all. And as wolves, we understand what it is to be wordless. We understand the primal importance of silence.

She stirs distractedly, staring at the silence beyond the window.

How long have you been here?”

Four years,” she says, “give or take.”

That’s a long time to be in the middle of nowhere. Do you ever get bored?”

Bored? Never. I like the quiet. Helps me focus. For me, things get muddled when there are too many voices telling you what to do or how to be. Can I warm you up?”

You have got to be kidding me.

I glare down at the mountain ridge in my pants, pointing out that the only thing this woman with a steaming pot in her hand is offering to warm up is my coffee.

My…brain suddenly goes all curious about whether Doug is out of the picture. Because I don’t want him or anyone else offering to refill her.

You don’t get lonely?”

Sometimes. Not a big deal. Then I just make more effort to see friends. But most of the people I see need me. I like it. It feels more real than when someone’s squeezing you into their schedule, praying that you’ll cancel at the last minute.” She taps at the window with her finger, then wags the same finger. Even I, who am a creature of the forest, can’t see who she’s reprimanding. “Do you?” she asks. “Get lonely, I mean.”

Me? Pffft. I see people all the time.”

That’s not what I asked.”

I think of all the clients I have spent time with, laughing and impressing and cajoling. And all the women I have spent time with, laughing and impressing and seducing. And in the end, have come home, vomited, and crawled into bed with a wolf-shaped hole in my chest.

Yes. Sometimes.”

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Maria Vale is a journalist who has worked for Publishers Weekly, Glamour magazine, Redbook, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a logophile and a bibliovore and a worrier about the world. Trained as a medievalist, she tries to shoehorn the language of Beowulf into things that don’t really need it. She currently lives in New York with her husband, two sons and a long line of dead plants. No one will let her have a pet.

Susan Stoker's DEFENDING ALLYE Excerpt & giveaway

Allye turned to her right and glanced at the group of men sitting at the only square table in the room—and froze.

Her breathing increased, and her fight-or-flight instinct kicked in. The men weren’t paying any attention to her and hadn’t seen her yet.

Allye took one step backward toward the doorway she’d just walked through. But she was too late.

“What the hell?” The exclamation had come from Black. The man she’d met just over a week ago on a mission she knew wasn’t exactly public knowledge.

Five more heads swiveled to look in her direction, and Allye could do nothing but stare. It was as if she could actually feel the amount of testosterone in the room increase.

All six men at the table were big. And good-looking. And staring at her as if they’d never seen a woman before.

But it was Grayson Rogers’s eyes that she couldn’t look away from.

Without a word, he stood, a fluid movement that was as graceful as those of any dancer in her troupe, and walked toward her.

“Kitten, what the hell are you doing here? How’d you find me?”

She loved the sound of her nickname on his lips, but his second question sounded more like an accusation than an actual “Boy, am I glad to see you again” statement.

“I . . . I didn’t know you’d be here,” she stammered. “I wasn’t looking for you.”

He looked confused.

“I called Rex, and he arranged to meet me here. But he hasn’t shown up yet. I was sitting out there”—she pointed at the doorway—“talking to the bartender, Dave, and got bored waiting. I didn’t know you’d be here,” she repeated.

“Rex,” Gray said under his breath, then held out his hand. “Whatever the reason, I’m glad to see you again. Are you okay?”

Allye liked this gentler Gray. She nodded and put her hand in his outstretched one. The second she touched his palm, his fingers closed around hers. The warmth from his body seemed to seep into her. She hadn’t even known she was chilled until she felt how warm his skin was. “I’m okay,” she said softly.

“No one’s been following you?” Gray asked.

Allye shrugged. “I don’t think so. I’ve felt uneasy recently, but it’s probably just a result of what happened to me before.”

Gray frowned and tightened his fingers. “Maybe, maybe not. Come on, I want you to meet my friends.”

She allowed him to lead across the room. He stopped at the table and wrapped an arm around her waist. Their hips were smashed together, and she felt every finger as he gripped her opposite hipbone.

“Guys, I’d like you to meet Allye Martin. Allye, these are the guys. Meat, Arrow, Ball, Ro, and you know Black.”

“Hi,” she said awkwardly. “It’s nice to meet all of you.”

Her greeting was returned by all the men, and she couldn’t help but squirm under their scrutiny. The man Gray called Meat got up, snagged a chair from a nearby table, and placed it next to the empty one. She sat when Gray gestured to it. She didn’t lean back in the chair but instead sat fully upright, wondering what in the world was going on.

“So . . . you’re the woman Gray rescued the other week, huh?” Arrow asked.

Allye swallowed, then gave him a small nod.

“What I’m about to tell you, kitten, isn’t common knowledge. But after what you’ve been through, and given the fact that you’re supposed to be meeting Rex here, so he obviously trusts you, I’m comfortable telling you. These men and I are all part of a group called Mountain Mercenaries,” Gray said quietly. “Rex is our leader, so to speak. He contacts us when he has rescue jobs for us to do, mostly involving women and children who are being abused or were abducted. And before you ask, we’re highly qualified. All of us are former military, all different branches, for the most part, and we’ve been through extensive training.”

Allye stared at him for a second, then her eyes went to the rest of the men around the table. She was surprised that he’d explained as much as he had, but she had no trouble believing that these men had the skills and strength to operate rescue missions.

Then something Gray said sank in.

“Mercenaries?”

He nodded.

Allye was confused. “You have a name? Can I look you up online? Hire you?”

“No.”

“Then why have a name?” Allye thought it was Ball who answered.

“Because Rex decided, rightly so, that we would become more well known if we were associated with a name. He wanted the bad guys to fear hearing the Mountain Mercenaries were coming for them. And it’s worked. There was a situation not too long ago where a bad guy in Chicago was desperate to keep Rex and his Mountain Mercenaries out of his business. Desperate enough to kill his own son when he couldn’t control him anymore.”

Allye wasn’t sure she wanted to know the details about that. But she was still a little confused. “But mercenaries are guns for hire. Like, they go where the money is and don’t care about right or wrong, good or bad. They’re all about the money. Aren’t you more like vigilantes or something? Working around the law to do what’s right and good?”

Gray stared at her, but the other men around the table chuckled.

Finally, Gray grinned. “Knew you were too smart for your own good,” he said. “You’re right, but when Rex formed our little group, he thought Mountain Mercenaries sounded tougher than vigilantes.”

Allye rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I guess Vengeful Veterans doesn’t exactly have the same ring, does it?”

And with that, the other men burst out laughing.

***

 

About the Book

Title: Defending Allye

Author: Susan Stoker

Release Date: August 7, 2018

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Summary

Ever since his rescue op off the Pacific Coast, Mountain Mercenary Gray Rogers hasn’t been able to forget his latest “job”—Allye Martin. Any other woman would have panicked during a rescue, but the wily dancer kept her cool—even after being kidnapped by an elusive human trafficker. And Gray couldn’t be happier when a grateful Allye follows him home to Colorado Springs…

For Allye, finding sanctuary in the arms—and bed—of the former Navy SEAL is only temporary. People are disappearing off the streets of San Francisco, victims of the same underground trade that targeted her, and Allye could be the key to dismantling the entire operation. She’s willing to do anything to bring them down. Gray isn’t—for good reason. But you don’t say no to a tough girl like Allye who refuses to play it safe.

Now Gray is risking more than ever before. The Mountain Mercenaries have his back. But is it enough to keep the woman he loves out of harm’s way?

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Susan Stoker is a New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author whose series include Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, and Delta Force Heroes. Married to a retired army noncommissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri to California to Colorado—and currently lives under the big skies of Texas. A true believer in the happily ever after, Stoker enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love. To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website, www.stokeraces.com, or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorsusanstoker.

 

BRAVE NEW EARL by Jane Ashford w/ giveaway

Jean searched the parlors on either side of front hall, calling softly and beginning to feel foolish. This was obviously a futile quest. She had given up and turned back when she noticed a line of light under the library door. She went in, finding the chamber still warm, the coals of a fire still glowing. “Tab?” she said.

I beg your pardon?”

Jean started so violently that a drop of hot wax splattered from the candle to the back of her hand. The pain made her breath catch.

Lord Furness rose from the chair by the hearth. “What are you doing here?” she asked. “With no lights?” In her fright, she sounded accusing.

I don’t sleep well,” he replied. “I often come down. And you?”

I was looking for my kitten.”

Got out, did he?” Still half in his broken reverie, Benjamin eyed his guest. The lines of her body were beautifully revealed by her thin wool dressing gown and gossamer nightdress. Her hair had been braided down her back, but soft tendrils had escaped all around her face. He imagined what that hair would look like loose—what a wild riot of curls.

I don’t see how,” she said, her tone oddly defensive. “But he’s not in my room.” The candle wavered in her hand. “Oh, what if he’s in the kitchen when your cook gets up.”

The cook will cope.” Miss Saunders’s unexpected appearance was like a dream, yet so different from the ones that usually disturbed his nights.

Why must everything I do go wrong? I had this one small creature to care for—”

And tomorrow we will find him,” Benjamin interrupted. “There’s no sense looking in the dark. Too easy for him to hide. We’ll turn out the staff in the morning. By then, he’ll be hungry and come looking for food.”

Yes.” Miss Saunders startled suddenly, setting the light of her candle dancing over the walls. “The portrait seemed to move.”

Benjamin looked up at Alice’s likeness above the mantel. “Yes, when it’s dim like this, she does. Seem to.”

You loved her very much,” said Miss Saunders softly.

We met at a ball in London, fell in love, married, and were parted by death all in a year. Such a short time to encompass so much.”

A life sliced in half,” she replied. Her tone was contemplative and…bitter?

Yes.” Benjamin sank back into his chair. “You understand that?”

Oh yes.” Absently, she sat down opposite, putting her candle on the low table by the fireplace.

A love you lost?”

She shook her head, setting the errant curls bobbing. “Say rather…a person who defined my existence.”

It was a striking phrase. He waited a moment. When she didn’t go on, he asked, “Who?”

Miss Saunders hesitated before answering, “My mother.”

Ah. That can be a deep bond.”

Yes.”

The single word dropped between them like a rock tossed into a well. The echoes were odd, Benjamin thought. Not sadness, not regret. “You miss her a great deal.”

Miss Saunders laughed without humor. “How I wish I did. She haunts my dreams.”

Benjamin felt as if some mighty hand had reached deep inside him and struck a chord. His whole being resounded with it. He leaned forward and took her hand. It was trembling.

As his strong fingers closed over hers, Jean couldn’t look away. Under his dressing gown, his nightshirt was open at the neck. The strong column of his throat rose above a muscular chest. She’d never been more intensely aware of another person, much less a man.

The past keeps its claws in us,” he said.

The phrase was so exactly right. “It feels like talons,” she said. “Sunk right in. No matter how you fight, they won’t come loose.”

A mouse carried off by a hawk,” he said.

Lips parted in amazement at his understanding, Jean nodded. Lord Furness leaned nearer. She’d moved toward him as well, she realized, irresistibly. For a moment, a kiss seemed inevitable. They grew closer, closer. She could feel a hint of his breath on her skin.

Then, all at once, he seemed to become aware of their proximity, their laced hands. He let go, drew back. In a welter of emotion, Jean did the same. Color flickered in the corner of her eye; the image of her cousin Alice looked down on them from above the mantel.

Lord Furness cleared his throat. “So, you see.” He took a breath. “Previous…events make it more difficult with Geoffrey. For me. Despite what I might wish.”

Jean gazed at him.

The resemblance.” He indicated the portrait with a gesture. “It…flashes out at me. There and then gone. He looks just like his mother, and then he doesn’t. If it was one or the other, I’m sure I’d grow accustomed. But I find it hard to take the…sudden blow.”

She nodded. Her dreams were like that. Some memories as well.

I’m very glad you’re here to help,” he added.

You are?”

Yes.”

I’d thought you seemed to be doing well. With the pony and all. Perhaps I wasn’t needed.”

He sat straighter. “We agreed to work together, for Geoffrey’s sake.”

But I’m not sure what I can do.” She wanted to help him, Jean realized. She wanted a number of things she hadn’t recognized until tonight.

Lord Furness turned away. “I ran today,” he said in a harsh tone. “I had to get away from him. My own son. I hid in this room as I’ve been doing for far too long. I wanted never to come out.”

But you did.”

And I was a bear at dinner. Surly and curt.” He turned back to her. “Do you see that hiding is easier?”

Jean couldn’t look away from those blue-gray eyes. They were mirrors and temptations and beckoning abysses. “Yes,” she whispered.

He blinked. Jean felt as if she’d tripped on a missed step. She felt Alice staring down at her. In a confusion of emotion, she stood. “I…I should go up.”

He didn’t argue. Was he finding it just as difficult to speak? Shaken, Jean took her candle and went.

When she entered her room—minutes, eons, later—Tab was sitting on her bed. He gazed at her in seeming reproach and mewed. “Where were you?” cried Jean. “I looked everywhere.”

Mew,” said Tab. He kneaded the damask coverlet, pulling a thread of the pattern loose.

Don’t. Oh, I’ll have to ask for a plain bedcover.” She put the candlestick on the bedside table and ran a hand over the kitten’s silky fur. He flopped over and offered his pale belly, tiny paws waving in the air. Jean laughed and petted him.


An Earl mired in melancholy is no match for a determined woman…

Widower Benjamin Romilly, Earl of Furness, has given up hope of finding happiness. His wife died in childbirth five years ago, leaving him with a broken heart and a child who only reminds him of his loss.

Miss Jean Saunders is a cousin by marriage. She doted on Benjamin’s late Countess, and can’t bear it when she hears rumors that the Earl is too bereaved to care for his young son. She arrives on the scene to evaluate his fitness as a father, and if necessary, to take his son away.

Jean’s sudden eruption into the Earl’s household simultaneously infuriates and invigorates him. She may be the only person who can breathe life into his neglected home—and his aching heart…

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HALF EMPTY excerpt & giveaway with Catherine Bybee

They closed the bar and took their last round to the hotel lobby.

Wade had to admit he was a bit more than tipsy, and Trina wasn’t exactly sober. She’d tucked her feet under her on the lobby sofa as she described Venice in a way that made him want to visit.

“There isn’t one car?” he asked.

“No place for them. You only get around on foot or boat. Which is probably best to help counter the pasta you consume while you’re there.”

“So why did you pick Venice?”

Her eyes drifted away, something Wade had noticed happened a lot when she was lost in thought. A hint of sorrow quickly came and went, almost as if she caught herself. The smile she flashed felt forced. “I wanted isolation so I could study.”

“Study?” She rattled off something that went completely over his head.

Her dark brown eyes glistened with her smile. “I’m learning Italian.”

Wade blew out a breath. “Oh, thank God. I thought maybe that last beer was one too many.”

“I like languages.”

“As in many?”

“A few.”

He was happy to speak English. “I’m impressed.”

“Don’t be. Most Europeans are fluent in a minimum of two languages.”

“Are you from Europe?”

“No. Born and raised in Southern California. My grandparents on my mother’s side are from Mexico. Spanish was always spoken in our home.”

“So you speak Spanish as well?” He squirmed in his chair.

“Yup.”

“Now I’m feelin’ a bit inferior.”

“Language is my hidden talent,” she said.

“So how did you end up in Texas?”

Her gaze met his before she wrinkled her nose and gave a quick shake of the head. “It’s a long story.”

“Which is your way of saying don’t pry.”

She stretched out her arms. “It’s my way of saying that we’ve had a pleasant conversation, and bringing up my recent move will change all that. I’d just as soon keep this light.”

Wade wasn’t expecting her reply. “Now you’ve piqued my interest.”

“Another time,” she said.

He offered a smile that usually had women crawling all over him. “Am I going to have that chance?”

“Chance for what?”

“Another conversation.”

Her eyes bored into him as if he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. “I told you, I’m not interested.”

He lifted one eyebrow, flashed a dimple. “What if I told you I was rich?”

She burst out in laughter.

His smile fell.

“Sorry…” She appeared to pull in her mirth. “You’re gonna have to do better than money.”

“Good lord, woman.”

“Sorry.”

He scratched his head. “I’m famous.”

She bit her lip. “That explains the arrogance.”

Wade placed a hand on his wounded chest. “I am not.”

Trina tossed her head back, and her deep laugh filled the empty lobby. “My name is Wade Thomas, you don’t know who I am?” Her mimicry of him was off by several octaves.

Her laughter tickled his gut.

“I can teach you the two-step.”

She pinched her lips together, trying to contain herself.

His pride was starting to dim.

“I’m not bad looking.”

She looked him up and down … twice. “I’ll give you that.”

He lifted both hands in the air. “Finally.”

For the span of a full minute, she stared. Her smile slowly started to fall, and he knew she was talking herself out of dating him.

“Tell you what. I’m flying home tomorrow. Private charter, because I’m rich, famous, and arrogant.” He moaned on that last word.

“And good-looking.”

Now they were getting somewhere.

“I can give you a lift home.”

Trina blew out a breath. “I’m avoiding going home,” she reminded him.

“And I was thinking I needed a quick stop in Nassau … where the plane might not be able to leave right away. That tropical depressed storm and all.”

She pointed a finger in his direction. “I like the way you think.”

 

***
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About the Book

Title: Half Empty

Author: Catherine Bybee

Release Date: July 31, 2018

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Summary

Trina Petrov’s marriage-by-contract was only meant to be temporary. But when tragedy strikes, Trina is left one of the wealthiest women in the world. To recover from the shock, she takes some time off in Italy, swearing not to fall for any men while there. But that doesn’t mean she can’t fall for anyone on the trip home . . .

Country-music superstar Wade Thomas is lying low in a hotel bar when he gets the cold shoulder from the woman next to him. He’s used to fans fawning at his boots, and Trina is a refreshing change—so is the fact that she has no idea who he is.

As things begin to heat up, Trina discovers that the circumstances of her late husband’s death are not what they seemed. Now she’s in trouble, and Wade isn’t about to let her out of his sight. Getting close to love and danger could get them killed . . . or it could sweep them both off their feet.

About the Author

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee has written twenty-eight books that have collectively sold more than 4.5 million copies and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite series, the Weekday Brides series, the Most Likely To series, and the First Wives series.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.catherinebybee.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCatherineBybee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/catherinebybee

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2905789.Catherine_Bybee

 

 

 

Excerpt & giveaway of HIGHLAND BETRAYAL with Alyson McLayne

Laird Callum MacLean vowed to marry Maggie MacDonnell. But when his father’s apparent suicide makes him Laird of his clan, Callum must unmask his father’s killer before bringing Maggie into his dangerous new home.

Maggie’s home isn’t any safer. When Callum fails to return, Maggie does what any resourceful Highland lass would do. She escapes—and finds herself toe-to-toe with Callum, who’s determined to fulfill his promise. Maggie can’t bring herself to trust him with her heart again. But with a traitor still at large, they must rely on each other in every way, or their clans—and their love—will be destroyed.

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Callum heard the whine of the pulley on the rope.

His stomach dropped as he stared at the curtain wall, rooted to the ground in disbelief and fear. Only one person he knew would be forced to escape the castle like that.

When the clouds drifted from the moon and the shape of a woman appeared from the darkness, barely hanging on to a rickety pulley, he knew it had to be Maggie. Her wild hair streamed behind her as she streaked toward them from high above.

“Lord have mercy,” Artair said. Beside him, Gill made the sign of the cross.

“Christ Almighty, she’s going too fast,” Drustan croaked, sounding as helpless as Callum felt.

She was bare-legged again, her skirts tied up between her legs, and when he saw her lift them up to the rope, it propelled him into motion.

He jumped from his horse directly to the tree and climbed as fast as he could, passing Finn on his way down. Dread tightened Callum’s chest. He wouldn’t make it in time to catch her or soften the impact. Then he heard a bang and the sound of the pulley dragging on the rope, and he knew she’d popped it off the track to slow herself down.

By God, she might make it after all if the rope didn’t fray.

Resourceful woman!

He drew even with the lookout and saw her glide into view and bump arse-first into the tree. Seconds later, a gust of laughter burst from her lungs before she clamped a hand over her mouth. All his fear turned to relief, then boiled into anger over what might have happened—just as it had when she’d been chased up the tree by the wolves.

He had to squeeze the words past the tightness of his throat and clenched jaw. “Maggie MacDonnell, if I e’er find you up a tree again, lucky to be alive, I swear I’ll lock you in my bloody castle and throw away the key!”

She yelped in surprise and almost fell, but her harness held, and she tipped halfway over instead. “Callum?”

He hauled himself up beside her on the platform as she scrambled to right herself. Her skirts fell back to her ankles. He steadied her as he lifted his knife above her head and sawed viciously at the rope. Moments later, it gave way, fell to the ground, and slithered back to the castle.

His emotions careened inside him, all tangled up and whipped into a frenzy like her hair from the pulley ride. Without any thought, consumed by raw need and want, he tucked the knife into his belt and hauled her against him, tight and hot.

Her startled breath fanned his lips as his hand squeezed high on the back of her thigh, pulling it around him.

“Callum MacLean!” She sounded shocked and breathless but not admonishing. Her fingers curled into his waist, anchoring herself instead of pushing him away.

He sank his other hand into the mass of curls at the back of her head and held her in place. Her eyes met his for just a second, and he knew she wanted the same thing he did—wanted him to devour her, to reaffirm that she’d made it, that she was alive!

He caught her mouth without warning, lips open, tongue stroking in, tasting her, savoring her, until neither one of them could breathe. He nibbled down her throat, his hand sliding along her thigh to her knee.

“I’ve dreamt of this, of you, every night since we’ve been apart.” Voice rough, he sounded almost feral.

She answered with a groan as he slipped his hand under her skirts and cupped her thigh, trailing his fingertips along the sensitive inner muscles. They quivered against his palm, and her breath rasped through her lungs. When he reached the top, she gasped, rocked her hips toward him, her heel lifting higher to push into his backside.

He pressed closer and inhaled her scent—the smell of fresh air and sunshine and that unique bouquet of Maggie that he would sometimes wake to even though she wasn’t there.

He knew he should stop, that they weren’t safe yet, but his need for her overwhelmed rational thought. His body was so filled with lust, with feelings, that he could barely reason and strained to sink into her warmth.

He lifted his head and watched her in the moonlight. Her eyes had closed, her mouth had parted. When he skimmed his fingertips along the crease at the top of her leg, her throat arched and lips quavered on her sudden inhalation.

She released his waist and slid her hands up his back to tangle in his hair, pulling and twisting in the short strands.

“We are betrothed, Maggie,” he ground out. “All we need is this final intimacy, then before God and man, we’ll be married. We doona need a priest. Let me join with you, sweetling.”

She groaned and opened her eyes. “I canna believe you’ve asked me this. We’re in a bloody tree, surrounded by our enemies. Your men are just below!”

The low, rough timbre of her voice sent shivers up his spine. “We’re alive. When I saw you flying down that rope, knowing you could fall at any moment, going too fast to land safely…” His throat tightened, and he couldn’t continue.

She pressed her cheek against his, her breath huffing past her lips in warm bursts of air. Every puff sent a jolt down to his groin, tightening his stones. When her teeth dragged over his stubble, he knew it was with a mix of desire and anger, and he wanted to bite back.

“You left me,” she accused, her voice filled with hurt, with fury.

“Aye, and I’m sorry. My father died, Maggie. They whispered he committed suicide, but I knew it was murder. I couldnae keep you safe at my home until I had answers.”

He released her leg and cupped his hands around her face, brought her gaze to his. “But this time, I came back. I left so I could return to the castle and save you.”

“I didn’t need you to save me. I needed you not to leave.”

Alyson McLayne is a mom of twins and an award-winning writer of contemporary, historical, and paranormal romance. She’s also a dog lover and cat servant with a serious stash of dark chocolate. After getting her degree in theater at the University of Alberta, she promptly moved to the west coast where she worked in film for several years and met her prop master husband.

Her self-published works in contemporary romance include her Santa Barbara Billionaire Bachelor series: How To Catch A Bride, How To Claim An Heiress, and How To Outplay A Player. How To Catch A Bride (formerly The Fabrizio Bride) was recently nominated for a RONE award.

Sheryl Grace's KING, DUKE, & PRINCE spotlight & excerpt

Write Now Literary is pleased to be coordinating a blog tour for Sheryl Grace, author of King, Duke & Prince. Book a tour here.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publication Date: July 1, 2018

About The Book

Ten years ago, James Miller walked out of prison vowing to leave the past behind. That past included his sons and their mothers and though he told himself that he would return, he never did. Now, he has a new name, a new family, a new career and a best-selling memoir. Meanwhile, the sons he left behind navigated their way to manhood while dealing with the questionable choices of their mothers.

King relies on his looks, charm, and sexual prowess as he methodically plans to find the next successful woman to support his lifestyle. Simply because he works only when he feels like it. When he finds the one, it is not business as usual. But will he reexamine his trifling ways when it nearly causes him to lose those he loves the most?

Darius has a penchant for pursuing the wrong women. However, his mind for business manages to keep him afloat despite his challenges to keep his emotions intact. Working for a stepfather he despises only builds resentment between he and his mother. What happens when the worlds of the two men collide unexpectedly, causing all to question their love and loyalty to one another?

Prince is awkward and highly intelligent. His hard-working mother is thrilled beyond measure upon receiving the news that her son has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. But Prince’s world is shattered by someone he and his mother trusted dearly. The secret is killing him. What will happen when the secret is exposed?

The sons do not know they are brothers but when find out, they are determined to make James pay the price for leaving them behind.

Three Brothers, Three Mothers, One Father and whole lot of drama!
“Charge it to the game cause everybody’s trying to score”

Purchase autographed copies from author’s website

About The Author

Sheryl Grace is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Louisiana native currently residing in North Texas. Her debut novel “He Calls Her Blue” has received positive reviews. Sheryl is also the co-host of the award-winning internet radio show, The Authors Lounge.

Connect Socially

Website | Facebook

Excerpt from Chapter 6

“Hi, I just came over to introduce myself. My name is King” He said as he held out his tone and muscular arm in her direction to shake her hand. Still under his allure, she did manage to reach out her hand to shake his and stated “Nice to meet you, I’m Lauren” she stated. “Thank you again for the drink” she said politely while looking intensely at his eyes. “You are welcomed, Beautiful” He said with a deep voice that resounded in her soul and made her tingle inside although she tried all she could not to show it. He followed up with the sexiest smile she had ever seen. This is one tall glass of chocolate milk better yet Kahlua, she thought.

TWO STEPS PAST THE ALTAR with Patricia A. Bridewell

Write Now Literaryis pleased to be coordinating a blog tour for Patricia A. Bridewell. This tour will run July 23- Aug 3, 2018.  Book your own tour here.

Title: Two Steps Past the Altar
Genre: Genre: Inspirational Romance/Fiction  
ISBN: 978-1732130913
ASIN:B07DCC5XFT

          Meet Patricia 
Reading and daily journal entries were the catalyst to Patricia’s first novel, Reflections of a Quiet Storm, published by an independent publisher in 2009. An avid reader, her previous published work includes two books, multiple short stories, monthly health care columns for an online magazine, and several health care articles for a local newspaper. She also enjoys reading Women’s Fiction and Romance novels, which occupy many seats on her bookshelves.
Patricia is a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, she holds Adjunct Nursing Faculty positions at two universities. She is a member of the National Black Nurses Association/Council of Black Nurses – L.A., Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Black Nurses Rock, California Association of Nurse Practitioners, and International Black Writers & Artists.
Patricia’s church home is Greater Zion Church Family in Compton, CA. She considers music, reading, and prayer as the keys to relaxation and creativity, and she loves spending time with her family.
Patricia’s short story appears in the Brown Girls Books Anthology Single Mama Dating Drama, an AALBC two-time best-selling book. Two Steps Past the Altar is her third and latest novel. She is currently working on her fourth novel.
                                                About The Book
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, Sasha Edmonds, is a motivated high-flyer with a stellar track record. Being the top sales representative and having a fiancé who loves her is more than she could ever imagine. Her life spins in another direction when she discovers that her mom requires a life-saving medication and her fiancé, Damien, may be cheating. Devastated, she breaks off their engagement. 
Amid healing, she becomes captivated by Wesley, a wealthy pharmaceutical businessman who may hold the cure for her mom, career, and wounded heart. Romance transforms into a love triangle, surfeit of lies, blackmail, and deception. A story of love, trust, restoration, and forgiveness.
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Q&A w/ Will & Kyra from Nancy Herkness' SECOND TIME AROUND w/ giveaway

Opposites Attract: Character Questionnaire from Second Time Around by Nancy Herkness 

Today it is a pleasure to introduce Will Chase and Kyra Dixon to readers! The hero and heroine are from Nancy Herkness’ newest release Second Time Around and the title of the story certainly is inspired by the characters’ story. The ‘first time around’ for this couple was in college when Will was dating Kyra’s roommate. This evil ex cheated on Will and while Kyra longed to comfort her secret crush, but she was firmly friendzoned.

Years later in an accidental meeting in NYC, Kyra and Will are reunited–only this time sparks fly with nothing to get in the way of igniting….except the fact that Will is a little (okay, a lot) out of Kyra’s social circle. This makes interacting with his family and friends a teeny bit awkward. But while Will may have money, he is also kind, funny, hardworking, and stubborn. Too stubborn in fact to let a little bit of status stand in the way of him and the woman he wants.

However, we have to ask: Just how different are these two characters really? Read on for a questionnaire where we find out if Will and Kyra are true opposites or if they are more alike than they realize. ***

 

Question #1: What can you tell us about your favorite childhood memory?

Kyra: My father worked at the Mack Truck factory so he was very wiry and muscular, even though he was short in stature. When I was a child, he would toss me up in the air and catch me. I’ll never forget feeling the strength of his hands wrapped around my waist as he boosted me up, the sense of exhilaration as I flew through the air, and the security of knowing with absolute certainty that his steely, powerful arms would be waiting for me when I came down.

Will: My parents’ house had a two story library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and ladders on rails to reach them. It seemed like a magic cave filled with treasure to me. Once I convinced them that I would treat the books and the room with respect, they allowed me free run of it. I spent many a happy hour deciding which book to read and then stretching out on the Oriental rug to read it. Sometimes I even walked in merely to smell the scent of books waiting to be read.

Question #2: When you were growing up what types of activities did you enjoy?

Kyra: I was a voracious reader, and loved going to the public library where the librarians would set aside books they thought I would like. However, my favorite time spent there was wandering among the shelves until a book called out to me. Ice skating and riding my bike got me outdoors when Mom decided I’d spent too much time inside reading. Mom liked to shop, so we went “malling”, as she called it. I enjoyed that because I always got a treat.

Will: Reading was my activity of choice. However, my sister would sometimes bother me until I came to help her with her beloved horses at the stables, and I got to like that, especially because it was away from our parents. Tennis wasn’t bad. I hated sailing, which my mother forced me into. Couldn’t wait to give that up. I did the usual sports in school: soccer, lacrosse, basketball, etc. Working up a good sweat was satisfying.

Question #3: When it was time for college, how did you decide to attend Brunell college?

Kyra: I couldn’t afford to go far from home, so I stuck to schools in Pennsylvania. Brunell was the best school that offered me a good financial aid package. It also had a terrific English lit department, which was my passion. I only wish I had been able to finish my degree there.

Will: Brunell was my first flash of rebellion. Pops went to Harvard; Mum went to Princeton. I refused to apply to either of those. I wanted to study the classics and a noted authority on Homer taught at Brunell.

Question #4: What was your favorite part about college?

Kyra: Playing quote wars with Will Chase! Well, pretty much anything that had to do with Will. This smart, rich, golden boy from Connecticut was so alien that he fascinated me. Okay, so I loved the classes, too. I was pretty drunk on the whole “learning for the sake of learning” concept. The campus is gorgeous as well. All those brick buildings with white trim and vast, rolling, green lawns.

Will: The classics professor who made me choose Brunell, Dr. Weiss, was a spectacular teacher and mentor. His classes made me think and stretch and grow. Sometimes he’d hold class in his home where he always served the most delicious, sugary doughnuts from the local convenience mart. Every now and then, I still buy a box of those for nostalgia’s sake.

Question #5: What’s your career? How did you choose it?

Kyra: I didn’t exactly choose my career, if you could call it that. I needed to pay off the debt from college and my parents’ health issues and heard that bartenders at high end clubs in New York City could make a lot of money. I knew a little bit about bartending—and cooking— from working at a local restaurant in my hometown, so I packed up and moved. I also cook for the kids at the Carver After-School Care Center, which I love. But I started there only because the job offered a free apartment.

Will: I’m the CEO of Ceres, a multinational chain of cafés that I founded. I started the company because I didn’t want to join my father’s law firm, as he expected me to. Do you see a theme here? It was satisfying to battle the challenges of building a company, never knowing from day to day if it would survive or fail. Now that it’s grown so huge, I find myself restless.

Question #6: Do you have an active social life? What is a favorite date you have been on recently?

Kyra: Social life? I tend bar at night and cook for kids during the day. Who has time for a social life? I can’t remember the last time I went on a date.

Will: I’m the face of Ceres so I attend quite a few charity events, if you consider that a social life. I’m not sure I do. Between that and the hours I work, dating isn’t a priority. Not to mention, a broken engagement left a sour taste in my mouth when it comes to romance. My favorite recent charity event was held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I could wander through the classic Greek and Roman art exhibits without a crowd. That was an unexpected pleasure.

Question #7: What are your goals for the future? Where do you see yourself in a few years?

Kyra: My most urgent and immediate goal is to pay off my debt. Sometimes it feels like a boulder crushing me into the sidewalk. If I ever manage to do that, my aspiration is to finish my college degree in English lit and get a job as an editor at a publishing house. Hey, a girl has a right to her pipe dreams, doesn’t she?

Will: My goal is to figure out where the hell I see myself in a few years. Right now, my future looks like more of the same: long hours at work, too much business travel, attending events for PR purposes, and resisting my mother’s efforts to marry me off to one of her friends’ daughters. Not an exciting prospect.

 

***

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About the Book

Title: Second Time Around

Author: Nancy Herkness

Release Date: July 24, 2018

Publisher: Montlake Romance

 

Kyra Dixon, a blue-collar girl from the boondocks, is dedicated to her job at a community center that matches underprivileged kids with rescue dogs. When she runs into Will Chase—Connecticut blue blood, billionaire CEO, and her old college crush—she’s surprised that he asks a favor from her: to be his date for his uptight family’s dreaded annual garden party. If his parents don’t approve, all the better.

Kyra’s not about to say no. It’ll give her a chance to be oh-so-close to her unrequited love. What begins as a little fling turns so mad hot, so fast, that Kyra finds herself falling all over again for a fantasy that won’t come true. How can it? She doesn’t belong in Will’s world. She doesn’t want to. But Will does want to belong in hers.

All he has to do now is prove it. Will is prepared to give up whatever is necessary to get what his heart most desires.

 

Nancy Herkness is the award-winning author of the Wager of Hearts, Whisper Horse, and Second Glances series, as well as several other contemporary romance novels. With degrees in English literature and creative writing from Princeton University, she has earned the New England Readers’ Choice award, the Book Buyers Best Top Pick honor, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, and she is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award.

 Nancy is a native of West Virginia but now lives in suburban New Jersey with a goofy golden retriever.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.nancyherkness.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancyherkness

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NancyHerkness

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/594870.Nancy_Herkness