Book Tour + Giveaway: PAST PRESENCE, A Novel From NICOLE BROSS! @brossypants @RABTBookTours

Mystery
Date Published: April 1, 2019
Publisher: Literary Wanderlust
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Only by looking into the past can Audrey save her future.
Audrey Eames is happy living the wanderer’s life. After a near-death experience in her teens, Audrey can see people’s past lives whenever her skin touches theirs, and afraid of being labeled delusional, she’s never stayed in one place too long or made any deep connections.
So when Audrey’s estranged aunt dies and leaves her the historic Soberly Inn and Public House on the scenic Oregon coast, Audrey wants nothing to do with it. She’s determined to sell the inn and leave town before someone discovers the power she’s been hiding from the world, but clauses in her aunt’s will seem to block her at every turn.
Yet once ensconced in Soberly’s small town life, the people—particularly the inn’s bartender, Kellen Greene—start to grow on her, and she begins to feel that maybe she’s finally found a place of her own. As accepting as the townspeople seem, Audrey fears their reactions—and Kellen’s rejection—and decides to keep her visions a secret. But all is not well in Soberly. Soon after Audrey arrives, people in town start dying in the same manner as in their past lives—but in this lifetime it’s murder. When suspicion starts to fall on Audrey and Kellen, Audrey vows to use her gift to find the murderer and protect the people she loves—before it’s too late.
 

EXCERPT:

“It’s been nice chatting with you, Miss Eames.” The night coach driver offers me his hand, palm up, as I prepare to step down and off the bus. With a smile, I accept—careful not to put any weight onto his fingers, which look swollen and red with age and the decades he’s been gripping the wheel.
He handed a woman, all swirling skirts, and ruffles, off the carriage-and-four. She was laughing at something her mother had said, but before she stepped up the gravel path leading to the doors of the grand estate, flung open to welcome guests to the ball within, she turned to give him a nod and a half-smile.
“Enjoy your evening, Miss.” He returned her nod as the heat crept up under his stiff white collar, but she had already caught up with her mother, and he didn’t think she had heard him.
The way his hand clasps mine is the same. Some habits carry over from one lifetime to the next, as I’ve learned. The vision lingers in my mind even after I pull away and shoulder my duffel. The manor home looked English, and the woman’s dress was definitely late Victorian.
The sun is cracking the horizon, bathing the village of Soberly, Oregon, all twelve streets of it, in a glow that changes from sepia to marigold. The bus pulls away behind me in a cloud of exhaust and fine yellow sand, off to the next tiny hamlet along the coastal highway, leaving me standing in the empty street.
My destination is clearly visible—there is only one hotel here, the sensible, if unoriginally named, Soberly Inn and Public House. Standing one block away, it faces the sea and even from here I can see how the salt spray has faded the once-cobalt blue paint to a dull cornflower over the years. For reasons I don’t yet understand, the Soberly Inn now belongs to me, and I am here to claim it.
I had no idea my Aunt Roz had even owned the inn. The last time I saw her I was an awkward pre- teen, and she was less than twice my age. I sometimes remembered to email her on her birthday, but not, I’m ashamed to say, every year, although she never forgot mine. Yet despite our distant, superficial relationship, she had left this place to me, rather than the wife she left behind when she died of a rapidly progressing cancer ten days ago. Maybe she was an ex-wife now. I had no idea. We weren’t even Facebook friends. The notification of her death had come via her lawyer, not my father, along with the news that, for the first time in my life, I was a property owner. The news had affected me deeply, more so than I expected. Now, looking at Roz’s prize for the first time, the quiet ache in my chest ramps up to a throbbing spasm before fading again.
This was what my carefree aunt gave up her vagabond life for, and now she wanted me to do the same? I stare up at the building, taking note of the aged wooden siding where the paint has curled away in places, the cracked cedar shingles, and the plain-lettered sign swinging from two chains beside the entrance. ‘Shabby’ was the word that came to mind, and not ‘shabby chic,’ either. I could only imagine the interior was just as dusty and unremarkable as the exterior.
“What were you thinking, Roz?” I say under my breath. My feet are still planted in the same place because I don’t know where to go. There isn’t a soul in sight at this time of day, nor are any of the assortment of shops and businesses that line the main street open. I know there will almost certainly be someone at the front desk of the inn, but although I’ve come all this way, I’m not ready to make an appearance there yet, not without knowing what I want to say, something I’d neglected to plan on the long bus ride. I scuff one toe of my battered Chucks in the sand that’s accumulated along the curb, stalling. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the beach, I decide, as I step into the street with the rising sun at my back. The inn is a problem I delegate to Future Audrey. Right-now Audrey is going for a walk along the coast.
***
As it turns out, the only thing four hours of roaming the beach does is add hunger and the intense need to find a bathroom to my problems. Possibly a sunburn as well, judging from the pinkish hue my skin is taking on. I’ve always felt the injustice of not inheriting the platinum blonde or fiery red hair color that usually accompanies my level of fair skin. There’s nothing even remotely exotic or attention-getting about the flat, medium- brown I ended up with. At least I can be thankful it doesn’t frizz in the humidity, otherwise, I’d look like a positive nightmare right now.
The sun is almost directly overhead when I make my way over the last dune to the boardwalk. Although the village’s one cafe is now open and will serve my requirements, I trudge past it to the inn, standing a bit apart from the businesses surrounding it by virtue of its height, the only three-story building in a two-story town.
Faced with two doors, one into the inn itself and one into the pub, I choose the latter. It takes my eyes a moment to adjust to the dimness, but my stomach reacts to the environment immediately, growling audibly as the scent of fresh-fried fish greets me.
The pub is classic seaside kitsch, decorated with fishing nets and glass buoys, old traps, and a well-worn rowboat suspended upside-down from the ceiling. Maps of the coastline and faded photographs decorate the walls, as well as other assorted nautical ephemera, and together it paints a portrait of the rich coastal history of the town.
I’m still blinking away the daylight, taking this all in, when someone steps into my field of vision.
“Grab a seat wherever you want,” a guy holding a large plastic tub says. He’s clearing empty glasses and plates as he says it. I nod my acknowledgment because the pair of red Beats headphones he’s wearing will certainly drown out any verbal reply. His head is bobbing in time to music only he can hear as he disappears through a door leading to what I assume is the kitchen.
I duck into the washroom first, eliminating one of my problems. The maritime theme continues, with signs for pirates and wenches on the doors, and mirrors framed to look like portholes. Girls can be pirates too, and I don’t see why boys can’t be wenches. Geez, Roz. Sexist much? She’d been an ardent feminist in her early twenties. Had she stopped caring, or was I reading too much into a couple of bathroom signs?
The only table free seats six, so I choose a high stool at the near-vacant bar instead. I’ve arrived right in the middle of the lunch rush, from the looks of it. I still don’t know what to say to anyone here. “Hi, I’m the new owner,” seems arrogant, especially since I have no intention of keeping the place.
A menu appears in front of me, startling me out of my ruminations. Across the polished walnut bar stands a man whose skin is a shade lighter than the wood he’s resting his hands on. His smile widens as he stares at me expectantly.
“Sorry—what?” I shake my head, flustered. Who has teeth that straight, that white? Self-conscious, I half-cover my mouth with the back of my hand. Mine show clear evidence of my two-pot-a-day coffee habit. I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe someone of the same vintage as the decor, but it definitely wasn’t someone younger than me, although maybe only by a couple years.

“Drink?” he repeats, jerking his head at the long row of taps, each with a branded handle. Most of them I’ve never heard of, and I’m not a daytime drinker anyway. “This is a pub,” he adds and winks. The bartender who’s well aware of his good looks. I’m familiar with the type. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it my type, but I’d gone home with enough of them over the years.
“Sweet tea,” I say. “Extra ice.”
“Sure you don’t want a pint? Maybe a cold glass of white?”
I shake my head. “Tea’s fine.”
“G&T? I’ll put lots of ice in it.” He’s polishing up a tumbler, reaching for the bottle of Bombay on the shelf behind him. I roll my eyes, but I can’t keep the side of my mouth from twitching.
“Put that back. I just want the sweet tea. Are you on commission or something?”
“Nah, I just want to card you so I know your name,” he says. Unrepentant, he points to the sign nailed to a pillar that states We ID Anyone Under 25.
“You’re off the mark by a few years, my friend,” I tell him. He’s finally pouring my sweet tea from the soda tap into a massive glass full of ice.
“Bullshit.” As soon as he sets it down in front of me, I’m chugging it back, not breathing until the glass is half-empty. He snags it back and refills it while I wipe my mouth with a cocktail napkin. What I want to do is scoop the ice out and rub it all over my arms and face, which are starting to feel alarmingly hot. From all the sun, I tell myself. Not from the attention of this cocky bartender.
“We ID for all food orders too, you know.”
I lean in close and pause before speaking, making it clear I’m appraising him. “Maybe I’m not hungry.”
“You are. I saw you drinking in the smell of the fryer when you walked in. You got this dreamy smile that said you knew exactly what you wanted. So, let’s see it.” He holds out his hand with a crooked, teasing smile, but I push it away with the menu I haven’t even glanced at. He’s right. I don’t need to look at it at all, but I don’t want to admit that he can read me so well.
“You don’t have to show ID to order food here. You made that up.”
“So what? I can make up the rules if I want.”
“Oh, you must own the place?” I mirror his teasing tone, but I’m watching him closely, seeing how he’ll respond. I expect a smart ass reply in the same vein as our banter, but a shadow crosses his face and the smile slips. Shit. The owner just died, you idiot. As usual, the words spilled out of my mouth before I had a chance to think them through.
“I’m not, actually,” he says.
“I know. I’m sorry, that was stupid of me to say.” I bite my lip and plunge forward. “I’m Audrey. Audrey Eames. Roz’s niece. Umm, I’m the owner, I guess. So, they tell me. For now.” The silence stretches out between us as he takes all this in, frozen in place while I sit there, feeling like an utter moron with my hand outstretched, waiting for him to shake it. I’m just about to withdraw it into my lap when a wide grin cracks his face. He grips my hand so our forearms touch and our elbows rest on the bar, like we’re about to arm-wrestle. I’m drawn forward in the process so we’re almost nose-to-nose.
A gaggle of children ran through the field ahead of her and scrambled over the stile. They were jostling each other and shouting raucously, overjoyed to be free of the classroom for the afternoon. All but one, a small boy whose hand was clasped snugly into hers.
“Look, Miss Dean, a nest. The others missed it.” The boy spoke with a thick country accent as he pointed up at the treetops.
“Good eye, Wil. What sort of bird do you think made it?”
“Something big. A kite, maybe.” She nodded in agreement, and they continued on in companionable silence, following the sounds of laughter ahead.
“You totally played me, Audrey. I thought you were just another tumbleweed. I’m glad you’re not. Kellen Greene. It’s very nice to meet you.” The vision of his past- self fades from my mind, and I wonder what qualities he and the teacher have in common.
“A tumbleweed?” He squeezes my hand before releasing it, the pad of his thumb tracing a line up the side of my index finger like he’s trying to maintain contact up to the last possible second.
“Tourists that roll on through town with the wind, here and gone before you know it. They don’t bring anything with them, and they don’t take anything away either.”
“My bag should have clued you in that I wasn’t just passing through,” I point out, kicking it where it rests at my feet.
“Ahh, but there’s only one place to stay in Soberly,” he nods toward the ceiling and the rooms above, “and it’s full up, at least until Sunday.” Kellen walks over to the door leading into the back and swings it open. “Hey, Ma,” he shouts, drawing the attention of everyone in the pub. “Come meet your new boss.”

About the Author
Nicole Bross is an author from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where she lives with her husband, two children and one very large orange cat. When she’s not writing or working as the editor of a magazine, she can be found curled up with a book, messing around with her ever-expanding collection of manual typewriters or in the departures lounge of the airport at the beginning of another adventure. Past Presence is her debut novel.
Contact Links
Twitter: @brossypants
 
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Cover Reveal: BREAKUP BOOT CAMP, A New Rom Com From BETH MERLIN is Coming October 8th!@bethmerlin80 @XpressoTours

Breakup Boot Camp
Beth Merlin
Published by: Firefly Hill Press
Publication date: October 8th 2019
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

After weeks of training to whip Joanna Kitt into shape for her big day, her picture-perfect relationship is torn in two and Joanna is left out on her perfectly toned rear end. In an effort to put the past and her heartache behind her, she gears up for a whole different kind of boot camp – but will 12 steps be enough to get her life back on track?

Or will her getaway to get over him prove healing the heart takes a whole lot more?

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Author Bio:

Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

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Book Blitz + Giveaway: THEIR DISCOVERY (Legally Bound #3 )by REBECCA GRACE ALLEN!@RGraceAllen @XpressoTours

Their Discovery
Rebecca Grace Allen
(Legally Bound, #3)
Publication date: April 29th 2019
Genres: Erotica, Romance

Exploring their fantasies could save their marriage…or push it over the edge

Legally Bound, Book 3

Samantha Archer’s life has hit a wall. Her world is housework, homework and reminding her husband—the biggest kid in the family—to help out at home. Once she felt confident, powerful and sexy, but Brady doesn’t seem to notice her anymore, and now all she feels is invisible.

Brady has tried being the goofy guy who stole Sam’s heart, but it’s not working. He’s losing the woman he loves and doesn’t have a clue how to fix it. He’s keeping his darkest fantasies hidden too, sure they’re not what Sam wants, and his inability to please her cuts him deeper than she knows.

When Sam lands a new job at a law firm, Brady still won’t pick up the slack, and one night giving him orders unexpectedly reignites their missing spark. Sam discovers the Femdomme she didn’t know she was, kindling Brady’s submissive desires.

But while things heat up inside the bedroom, life outside it starts unraveling. Brady’s need to call the shots at work complicates his hunger to kneel for his wife, and Sam has longed to experiment in more ways than one. Their exploration of dominance and submission goes a step too far when they invite Sam’s sultry switch coworker into their bed, and the fallout could cost them everything.

Warning: contains a six-foot-five, ex-football player geek and a ballsy, badass redhead who’s learning to unleash her inner Domme. Scenes depicting humiliation, pegging and threesomes could disturb, or stimulate a thirst for adventure.

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The full trilogy:

EXCERPT:

She went up on her toes, stretching her supple body to put an unused juice glass back in its place. The move pulled her nightshirt away from her back, offering Brady a slice of skin in between the cotton and the edge of her pajama bottoms.

He adjusted himself and tried to think about something else, and not just because his kids were nearby. Even if they weren’t, he’d bet nothing would happen. Sam’s lack of interest in sex had been from the baby weight she’d gained. Brady never minded when she was heavier—he’d joked that there was more of Sam to love. To him it was a reminder of the years they’d spent building this family, the lives they’d lived. Her hips had seemed more lush back then, too, her breasts fuller. She’d stopped letting him play with them when she was nursing, and now that she’d lost the weight, he’d been waiting for the green light to go back there again.

She’d never given it.

They’d become platonic, disconnected in a sexless marriage. He’d taught himself to shut down his impulses, trying to find satisfaction with his right hand. But now, watching her move around, her messy red hair up in a bun, he wished he could get her even messier, wished he could reach for whatever she was trying to get, and after he’d given it to her, she’d hop up on the counter and take off her shirt. She’d tell him to kiss each tender nipple, then order him to the floor. Laughing, she’d comment on how desperate she’d gotten him, how she’d bet he couldn’t wait until his face was between her thighs.

Brady tore his gaze away from her, his cheeks blazing. He wasn’t supposed to fantasize like that. A real man didn’t want his wife to order him around, to let her take what she wanted and to revel in whatever pleasure he could give her. He was the ex-football player, the breadwinner, the dad of two little girls. He was supposed to be strong. Dominant. Like the men in her books.

He’d peeked at them once when she’d left her iPad open. After months of saying she felt fat, that the kids would hear, or one of the dozens of other reasons she’d given him, he never imagined she’d be reading, well, smut. And the men who filled those digital pages gave orders and grabbed fistfuls of hair. They were rough and aggressive, took what they wanted and commanded obedience.

That wasn’t him. And if that was what Sam wanted, there was no point in reaching for her at all.

It was ironic. A real flaw in his DNA. He knew a few strands different and he’d be more like the kind of guy Sam wanted. The kind who was forceful in bed and didn’t miss half of what she was saying because he had so much on his mind he couldn’t focus. It was like the information got stuck between his ears and his brain, which often had him standing stock-still and trying to recall what she’d asked, lowering his head in embarrassment when she had to repeat it.


Author Bio:

Rebecca Grace Allen is an author of sweet, sexy and soul searching romance, emphasis on the sexy! She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a double concentration in Creative Writing and Literary Comparison, as well as a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education, both of which seemed like good ideas at the time. After stumbling through careers in entertainment, publishing, law and teaching, she’s returned to her first love: writing. A self-admitted caffeine addict and gym rat, she currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, two parakeets, and a cat with a very unusual foot fetish.

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Discovery

Book Tour + Giveaway: MAMMA’S MOON ( The Hoodoo of Peckerwood Finch ) by JEROME MARK ANTIL! @RABTBookTours

Crime/Romance
Date Published: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Little York Books
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This suspenseful sequel to “One More Last Dance” follows Peck Finch’s search for his mother after leaving home at the age of nine, and the struggles of his friend Gabe, who is simultaneously facing a second-degree murder charge. Set within the rich and storied culture of Louisiana, this tale of self-discovery explores important questions about the meaning of love, friendship, family and more.
“Mamma’s Moon” has received early praise for its layered storytelling with BlueInk Reviews calling Antil’s newest work “a lovely story about the strong bonds of friendship that often supplant family ties.”

EXCERPT:

Chapter 2 Good Morning, Murder

Bonjour, meurtre
id you murder the kid, Gabe?” Lily Cup asked. The aging army captain, veteran of Korea and Vietnam, low¬ered his newspaper just enough to see over the entertainment page.
“Close the door, honey, AC’s on,” Gabe said.
In a tight, black skirt with a tailored matching waistcoat and white Nike walking shoes, she leaned and propped a black leather briefcase against the wall by the door. She stood like an exasperated tomboy, adjusting and refastening the diamond brooch on her lapel.
“I heard you’ve been walking with a cane, dancing man. What’s that all about? You’ve never carried a cane. You jazz dance for hours a couple of nights a week and Sasha tells me you started carrying one everywhere you go when you don’t need one. It’s smelling pretty premeditated to me, Gabe. What’s up with the cane thing?”
“Does Sasha know about this morning?”
“I haven’t told her anything. She’d have a canary.”
Gabe lifted the paper again to read.
“I need to know if it was murder,” Lily Cup said.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Gabe said.
He closed the paper, folded it in half, and in half again. Dropping it on the arm of the chair, he stood and left the room.
“Define murder,” he said from the kitchen.
She tossed a handbag and white driving gloves onto the other chair, lifted Chanel sunglasses to the top of her head.
“Gee, I’ll have to think on this one. Hmmm…Oh, I know. How about the police have a cane with blood on it and there’s a dead man.”
“It’s a walking stick. My cane is over by the door.”
“Well now it’s a goddamned murder weapon. They checked for prints, and yours are the only prints on it, and their guess is the lab will say the blood has his DNA.”
Gabe came out with a coffee urn in one hand and his finger and thumb through two empty cup handles. He held the cups out for her to take one.
“No more,” Gabe said.
“You’re rather nonchalant for the spot you’re in. Why’d you clam up on me like that at the precinct? It didn’t set well with any of them. The DA entered a charge of second-degree murder. The police chief put out a warrant for you from lunch at Brennan’s.”
He held the empty cups closer to her.
“Just made it. Chicory and cinnamon.”
“If you had television you’d have seen it—‘Daylight killing on St. Charles Avenue.’ It’s all over the news, freaking out the DA and the Visitors Bureau. No telling how many videos from streetcars going by will wind up on You Tube.”
“That’s enough,” Gabe said.
“People can live with violence after dark. That’s expected in any city, but when it’s in broad daylight, forget it. The DA pushed for an early docket with a magistrate and it’s Tulane and Broad for you at nine a.m. tomorrow.”
“What’s Tulane and Broad?”
“Magistrate Court. Congratulations, Gabe, you made the big time. You have to appear before a magistrate to hear the second-degree murder charge against you.”
She took an empty cup in one hand, pinched his arm with the other.
“Look me in the eye and swear it wasn’t murder,” Lily Cup said.
“This some kind of technique they teach at Harvard Law, Miss Tarleton?”
She rolled her eyes and turned to the other chair.
“The only reason they haven’t busted down your door and you’re not behind bars is you’re a decorated veteran, and I’m your attorney, and I promised you’ll show up in the morning. Sasha warned me about you. I should have listened. You’re an ornery, stubborn old coot when you have a mind to.”
She sat down.
“I’m never ornery,” Gabe said. “But that’s enough.”
He leaned and poured coffee.
“You’re lucky we have Magistrate Judge Fontenot tomorrow. I heard her dad was killed in Vietnam. She’s been pretty fair to me in the past. A new school gal, tough on the letter of the law, but she’ll listen to reason if it solves a case. She hates red tape with a passion, and seldom lets the DA or the defense use the system for delays. She doesn’t get hung up on tradition.”
“Have you heard?” Gabe said. “Our Sasha has asked me to give her away. How about them apples?”
“Gabe, like she’s been my best friend since kindergarten, she tells me everything,” Lily Cup said. “It’s sweet.”
“I’m thinking Peck and I might throw a party,” Gabe said. “Something she’ll remember—commemorate their engagement Mardi Gras style. Lots of pictures; close friends.”
“Will you print invitations, like a formal do?” Lily Cup asked.
“But of course,” Gabe said. “Maybe costumes?”
“It’s party time! She would flip over a costume party, all our friends would,” Lily Cup said. “You and Peck celebrating her engage¬ment will mean a lot to her.”
“Should we do it here or over at Charlie’s Blue Note with the live jazz?”
“Gabe, you’ve got one picture on the mantle, two chairs, and a cardboard box in the living room. This isn’t exactly what I’d call a Commander’s Palace party room.”
“I was thinking a streetcar day pass in the invite if we do it here at the house,” Gabe said.
“That’s a nice idea—parking sucks on this street. When are you going to buy some furniture?”
“I’m too old to impose furniture on Peck. Peck would only feel obligated to keep it after I’m gone. I’ll let him and Millie pick out the furniture doodads, curtains, and the dishes when they play house. There’s time.”
“How’s your stomach with what happened today? Were you hurt?” Lily Cup said.
“What stomach? They removed it.”
“I meant how’ve you been since the operation?”
“I’m a hospice survivor with some time left in me, hopefully. At least enough time to plan a party.”
“You might be partying in Angola if the DA pushes this to a grand jury,” Lily Cup said.
Gabe stood, got the coffee urn again and brought it into the liv¬ing room.
“Warm your coffee?”
“Do you two at least have beds?” Lily Cup asked.
“Of course we have beds,” Gabe said. “Peck thinks he’s a prince— a mattress with sheets after sleeping on a canvas cot most of his life.”
“This must be a new world for him,” Lily Cup said.
“For fifteen years he slept in an unheated shed at a wood mill,” Gabe said. “Saw blades hanging over him like Macy’s parade bal¬loons. It took him weeks getting used to sleeping on a bed. I’d find him curled on the floor with his window wide open.”
“Peck and Millie,” Lily Cup said. “They do seem like a good fit, don’t they?”
“She’s loved the boy with a passion since the day he made the Greyhound bus stop so he could jump off just to give her the baby doll she left on her seat,” Gabe said.
“Her baby doll, Charlie. Sasha told me about the doll. Hell, I had my Teddy bear all through Harvard. I still have it,” Lily Cup said.
“Millie does love her Charlie,” Gabe said.
“Does she like the house?”
“That girl loves New Orleans. It’s a completely different world for her from the strict Baptist home life in Tennessee and Baylor University. But hell, the girl would love Milwaukee if Peck were there. Her mom and dad love Peck. I’m not certain Millie’s had a good look at the house the few times she’s come on her school breaks. She hits the door, pauses just long enough to hug ole Gabe here a genuine hello and a kiss on the cheek, then she’ll grab Peck’s arm like it’s an empty egg basket handle, close his bedroom door behind them and climb his bones until he comes out peaked, steps on the porch for some air and goes back in for another round.”
“Whoa, now that takes me back,” Lily Cup said. “I can remember those wild younger days of reckless abandon.”
She sipped her coffee, smiling.
“Innocent times,” Gabe said.
“They weren’t so innocent,” Lily Cup said.
“Oh?”
“I remember after school sometimes; Sasha and I’d be feeling randy and we’d corner us a couple of momma’s boys we thought showed promise. We’d sneak into one of those back storage rooms on Magazine Street and wear them out.”
“Lord help ’em,” Gabe said. “Impetuous youth.”
“We had perfect lures. Sasha was the first in our grade to wear a D cup bra,” Lily Cup said.
“Her girls,” Gabe said.
“They were magnets for high school bad boys dying for a peek,” Lily Cup said. “The bigger her girls, the ‘badder’ the boys.”
“Youth,” Gabe said.
“We developed our fancies,” Lily Cup said. “Hers was arousing a dude and putting his condom on him. She’d ride it like a sailor on a rowboat—the boy gawking up at her girls in her Victoria Secret bra she saved her allowance for. She’d never take it off. She’d say a boy appreciates a cleavage—why spoil the fantasy?”
“And you?”
“Let’s just say I developed a liking for the feel of a firm cigar.”
“Ha!” Gabe guffawed. “Is that why you smoke those short Panatelas?”
“Over the years I’ve learned to keep my expectations low.”
“Youth is uncouth,” Gabe said. “At least you’re sophisticated and couth now, little lady.”
“Too couth. I like to get mussed up on occasion.”
“You’re an attractive woman. It’ll happen.”
“She’s talking about the wedding reception maybe being at Charlie’s Blue Note,” Lily Cup said.
“If that’s true, I’m surprised James hasn’t put up a scuff,” Gabe said. “A jazz joint in an alley off Frenchmen Street isn’t what I’d call his cup of tea.”
“I think the house would be best for the engagement party, fixed up a little. I’ll help,” Lily Cup said.
“It would be more personal here,” Gabe said.
“I think so,” Lily Cup said. “This is like home to her.”
“I’ll have Peck paint the porch ceiling,” Gabe said.
Lily Cup stood, coffee cup in hand. She walked to the door look¬ing out at the porch’s ceiling.
“Why?” she asked.
“I’m changing the sky–blue to another color, maybe a white.”
“It looks freshly painted.”
“It’s a tradition thing,” Gabe said.
“What tradition?”
“A lady at the library told me a sky–blue ceiling on a front porch signals an available woman–of–age living in the house.”
“That’s phooey,” Lily Cup said. “I heard that one and three others like it. Like sky–blue wards off spiders and attracts bees away from people sitting on porch swings. I wouldn’t bother painting it.”
“I’m a Chicago boy—what would I know from superstitions?”
“It’s an old wives’ tale,” Lily Cup said. “Those are different than superstition. Sasha and I still sit on a roof in the Quarter under a full moon if it’s not lightning—it’s bad gris–gris if there are thun¬derstorms under a full moon. We light candles and talk through the 

Meet Jerome Mark Antil

JEROME MARK

 

JEROME MARK ANTIL writes in several genres. He has been called a “greatest generation’s Mark Twain,” a “write what you know Ernest Hemingway,” and “a sensitive Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.” It’s been said his work reads like a Norman Rockwell painting. Among his writing accomplishments, several titles in his The Pompey Hollow Book Club historical fiction series about growing up in the shadows of WWII have been honored. An ‘Authors and Writers’ Book of the Year Award and ‘Writer of the Year’ at Syracuse University for The Pompey Hollow Book Club novel; Hemingway, Three Angels, and Me, won SILVER in the UK as second-best novel.
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Book Blitz: THREE STAR ISLAND by KAT CAULBERG is Now LIVE!@kat_c_writes @XpressoTours

Three Star Island
Kat Caulberg
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: April 10th 2019
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance, Time-Travel

Stepping through a time portal into 1716, historian Penny Saunders didn’t expect to get stranded in the past. Five years later, now a pariah to the townsfolk of Three Star Island, she endures solitude and ridicule until a hurricane tosses a dangerous castaway onto her shores.

William Payne’s history precedes him. Pirate, outlaw, and ruthless captain, he’s a monster among men. . . or so it seems. Desperately seeking redemption for his blood-soaked past, he upends Penny’s world by showing her a passion she’s never experienced.

But time is closing in on them; the governor of the Carolinas has rescinded his pirates’ pardon, the locals are growing suspicious of Penny’s new houseguest, and she can’t keep her secrets from William forever. When everything falls apart, she must use both wits and weapons against lawmen and pirates alike to save the one man who would tear down the world for her.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Penelope stood in the crater the time portal had sliced into the tree line. Sheared-off branches sprouted new growth overhead, and grass choked the scorched ground, concealing most of the sand that had been fused into glass globules by the rift. Frowning, she dislodged one of the spheres with the tip of her shoe and kicked it into the dunes. This gate hadn’t opened in months.

Two days prior, a hurricane had ravaged Three Star. Alone on the southern tip of the island, Penny had ridden out the storm in her farmhouse while gales ripped up centuries-old live oaks by their roots and tossed debris through the walls of her outbuildings. She’d seen a time gate’s flicker in the immediate aftermath half a mile from where she now stood on the beach, but there had been no reason to dash out into the dwindling rain in hopes of reaching it before it shut.

None of them would let her go home again.

Grasping her skirts in one hand, she made her way through the oat grass to ascertain what the storm had offered her in compensation. The summer of 1721 had been a blistering one, providing scarcely any rain to offset the heat. With few thunderstorms of much note, ships in the area had enjoyed a season of calm, returning to port with full holds and happy sailors, and Penny’s larder suffered for it. Without wreckage to pick through, she’d survived on meager rations from her garden and the bones of a sloop that ran aground on the shoals to the south.

Yesterday threw one more long, hard bout of rain at the island, keeping her inside until dusk. Now, with the sun a few hours into the sky, she hurried to collect her share of the shattered remains of dead men’s fortunes. This time, she was determined it wouldn’t bother her. She tucked a short strand of hair behind her ear, knuckled her glasses higher, and proceeded to the shore.

The sea mirrored the heavens, flat and tranquil. Whitecaps lapped the sand, pulling back to reveal a stripe of broken shells stretching as far as she could see. Currents funneled past the rock barrier jutting out into the water, and a smattering of planks and splintered crates gathered on the sand bars the rising tide would soon submerge.

Penny stooped to dip her fingers into a mountain of sea foam. Lacework-white and delicate, it dissolved at her touch. A flicker of movement caught her eye. Slanting toward the beach on a downdraft, a laughing gull shrieked its peculiar, broken cry and swooped over a figure lying in the surf.

Her stomach dropped. The waves had disgorged a body.

Straightening, she fidgeted with her apron strings. The tide was rising. Soon, the ocean would reclaim the life it had taken, leaving no trace of the drowned man behind. Here, he was alone and unknown. Somewhere else, however, he would be an empty seat at a hearth, a bed half-filled, a promise unkept. Like her, he could never go home again.

Penelope sighed. Unable to bury him, she could at least bear witness to his return to the sea. Keeping close to the water, she trudged toward him.

She stopped when his arm moved. It was a tiny motion she could’ve mistaken for a trick of the wind, his sleeve toyed with by the breeze, yet when his fist clenched the sand, she was certain.

He was alive.

“Son of a . . .”


Author Bio:

For as long as she can remember, Kat Caulberg has been obsessed with history and the paranormal. Somewhat to the dismay of her parents, her interests led her into both museums and graveyards as a child, a trend which has continued into her adulthood. This has influenced her reading tastes and her writing, whether it be a good ghost story, thrilling tales of time-travel, or devouring endless volumes of ancient warfare.

She signed a contract with Soul Mate Publishing in 2018 for her first novel, Three Star Island, a time-travel story set in 1721. She enjoys writing strong, quirky heroines, and has a weakness for cheeky heroes who have as much compassion as they have flaws.

Kat currently lives in North Carolina with her Englishman and a few cats.

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Book Blitz + Giveaway: CAUGHT IN THE STORM,A Romantic Suspense Novel from RACHAEL BROWNELL is Now LIVE!@AuthorRachaelB @XpressoTours

Caught in the Storm
Rachael Brownell
Publication date: April 9th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Love can be blinding and by the time the truth shines through, it’s too late to escape.
Fame.

Fortune.

Success.Is that too much to ask?All I need is to catch a break. To snag the attention of someone important. Someone who can help make my career everything I want it to be.

Joseph was that man. Until the night the lights went out and I left with someone else. Someone who stole my breath and made me want for things I’d never considered before.

I should have known better than to trust a stranger. Especially one of his stature and class. Money means power and power means control.

Over my heart.

My career.

My entire life.

My dreams died the moment I agreed to his terms and a new chapter in my life began. I was blinded by my love for him and thought nothing would ever change the way I felt.

Then I uncovered the truth about him. About the kind of man he really was and the secrets he paid good money to keep hidden from everyone.

Now I’m trapped, with no way out.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider my book. If you have questions or would like further information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“I don’t get you, Johnathan. You’re still a mystery to me, but I must admit, I like it. I like not knowing what will happen next. It’s exciting.”

Leaning across the table and taking her hands in mine, I kiss each of them and then whisper so only she can hear.

“And I like that the sound of your voice just turned me on. We’re going to need another bottle of wine before I can stand up from the table thanks to your dirty remarks, my love.”

A fierce blush spreads across Amelia’s cheeks, and a giggle escapes her. She covers her mouth, but it’s loud, and a few tables close to us turn in our direction.

“I’m sorry,” she says. “I was just thinking about your little predicament, and I couldn’t help but laugh.”

“Yeah, well,” I start, releasing one hand and reaching under the table. When my hand meets silk, her laugh comes to an abrupt halt. “Two can play at that game.”

The challenge has been laid on the table, and she’s not backing down, uncrossing her legs for me and scooting closer.

“If that’s how you want to play—”

Amelia’s words are interrupted by a camera flash. I knew things were too good to be true. There are three reporters in the lobby taking pictures as Charles attempts to hold them back.

They’ve killed my hard-on, but that also means we can leave now.

 

Author Bio:

An award-winning romance author, Rachael is a midwest girl (yes, they say she has an accent but no, she doesn’t hear it) who loves to create amazing stories that tug at your heart strings. Keep your tissues handy.

When she’s not writing, you can find her on the golf course in the summer or cuddled up with a cup of coffee and her Kindle in the winter.

To keep up with what Rachael is doing at the moment, follow her on social media (IG is her fav) or sign up for her newsletter. bit.ly/2KDE5dG

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GIVEAWAY!

-Enter to win a SIGNED PAPERBACK ARC of Caught in the Storm!

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C2

Book Blitz + Giveaway: SEER, A Paranormal Romance From HETTIE IVERS is Now LIVE! @hettie_ivers @XpressoTours

Seer
Hettie Ivers
Publication date: April 7th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Ten years ago, seers across the globe were wiped out, thrusting the supernatural world into figurative darkness.

When word spreads that the first new seer in a decade has been found, powerful forces will hunt her.

The dead will unite to defend her.

And a repressed sadist werelock will abandon his century-long vow of celibacy to claim her as his own.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

LAUREN

He cleared his throat. “I want to ask a favor of you.”

Here we go. He suddenly looked nervous, which made me nervous. I fiddled with the strap of my bag, readjusting it on my shoulder. “So ask it.”

“I want you to stay away from the man you walked home with this afternoon.”

Of all the everloving—“You mean Michael?”

He nodded slowly. “He isn’t who he seems.”

“I only just met him today. We share a class.” Why was I on the defensive explaining myself? “With all due respect, it’s none of your business who I spend my time with.”

“I know,” he acceded after a pause, his jaw tightening. His hand clenched into a fist at his side.

He wanted it to be his business. The confirmation sent an unwanted thrill through me. I squashed it. He was moving away. He thought he was too old for me.

I should’ve just said goodbye to him and entered my suite then, but I didn’t want my time with Kai to be over—forever. Plus, I wanted to see how far I could push his jealousy buttons.

“There a particular reason you want me to stay away from Michael? Something you know about him you’d care to share?”

He hesitated before saying, “Michael works for someone I know. Someone I don’t trust.”

This was getting weird. Go inside, Lauren. “I don’t see what that has to do with me.”

“Nothing on the surface. But I believe you understand more than most that life is greater than what we often see on the surface.”

What did that mean? A nervous, scornful chuckle escaped me. “Next you’re gonna tell me that you and Michael are rival international spies, I’ll bet. Wait, let me guess: you’re here on a high-stakes espionage mission that somehow involves taking turns playing mind games with an unsuspecting college student.”

The mocking smirk slipped from my lips when the light above us began flickering like crazy again—as if Casper was trying to tell me something.

Kai spared an exasperated glare at the ceiling before returning his gaze to me and lecturing, “Lauren, there are limits to what spirits can know. Much like the living, spirits see what they want to see, fear what they want to fear. Always trust your own instincts and your own analysis. Otherwise, your abilities will prove worthless to you in life.”

My cheeks flooded with heat at his sharp—and most unexpected—words. My throat felt irrationally tight.

Kai wasn’t the first to call me out on my fledgling supernormal awareness. My grandmother, of course, along with her close group of seer friends, had known. A few random strangers had picked up on something different about me and had made comments over the years. Heck, a wacky gypsy woman had even approached my mom in the grocery store once when I was six and had tried to buy me off her for the future potential the woman had glimpsed in me. But somehow Kai knowing about my abilities and thinking me ill-equipped to navigate them felt humiliating.

I’d never asked for this. Never wanted it. It wasn’t my fault I’d inherited it—and that there were no great seers left alive to teach me how to use it.

But beyond the initial, knee-jerk embarrassment I felt at Kai possibly knowing my secret, there was also fear. Every muscle in my body had tightened with it. Because more than anything else, the one rule Granny Nina and my mother had always instilled in me was that it was dangerous for the wrong people to find out about my abilities.

Who constituted “the wrong people” was something Granny Nina had never been clear about, though. Which made it near impossible to gauge whether Kai was among them. Based on the frantic flickering and increased humming of the light bulb above, Casper sure seemed to have determined Kai was a danger to me.

“I’m losing studying time,” I made myself say. “I—I gotta go.”

I heard Kai sigh my name and then curse as I spun toward the door to make my escape. I didn’t even get the key up to the lock this time before he was on me, grabbing me from behind and turning me in his arms. Divested of my bag and keys so fast it was as if they’d vanished, I felt my feet come off the ground and my back hit the door. In a flash, it registered that he was actually finally going to kiss me!

No one had ever swept me off my feet to kiss me before. I was so overcome by the sensation of his strong hands digging into my ass and sliding down the backs of my thighs as he maneuvered my legs around his waist that I didn’t have time to get nervous as his mouth descended.

His irises were neither blue nor brown but a dynamic, coalescing mix of the two as they captured my gaze. His lips brushed once. Then he paused for half a breath and pulled back until the tip of his nose was barely touching mine.

No way were we stopping this time.

My fingers slipped into the thick, soft hair at the back of his head, my nails raking against his scalp, pulling him closer as I leveraged my upper back against the door and pressed myself into him.

He reacted by growling and squeezing my ass hard enough to leave bruises before grinding his erection so forcefully into my center I thought I might fly apart on the spot.

At my gasp, his tongue filled my mouth, stroking deeply, claiming it completely.

And I was lost.

My arms wound about his neck and my thighs seized around his waist, my pelvis arching and rocking into him, seeking as much delicious friction as I could get as his tongue plundered my mouth and his hands punished my ass, squeezing and rolling the fleshy cheeks in his powerful grip like he was angry with them—with me.

I couldn’t bring myself to care what he might be so angry about. I couldn’t bring myself to care about anything for that matter—except for how good he felt devouring me.

I sucked hard on his tongue as it stroked inside my mouth, letting him know exactly what I wanted. Needed.

Boy, did I need it. Suddenly, I needed to feel the full breadth of him pushing inside me where I was so wet and desperately empty, the full weight of his body bearing down on me, every ounce of his strength crushing me, every inch of him filling me. And I needed it now like I needed air—like I’d never needed anything before.

The current of energy flowing between us was crazy. It felt just like … well, magic.

It was like the buzz of energy I often felt in my hands when I awoke in the middle of the night. Like the sudden push of otherworldly clarity I felt whenever I was about to get a strong vision or message.

And then it happened. Foreign images—disjointed at first, then more coherent—began flashing through my mind’s eye. Images that made my blood run cold and my state of arousal screech to a halt.

They were visions of a little white puppy being attacked by a pack of full-grown dogs. No, not dogs—wolves. Vicious adult wolves were tearing a little baby wolf apart.

Literally, tearing him apart. His bones were being crushed between their much larger jaws. His fur ripped open, his limbs torn asunder, his blood and innards splattered onto the otherwise pristine snow-covered ground as his shrill caterwauls of pain met the merciless growls of his attackers.

I could hear the horrific sounds as clearly as if I was there, witnessing it.

For a moment, it felt like I was. Instinctively, I knew this wasn’t a vision of the future I was seeing. It was the past.

The torturous attack seemed to go on forever. And yet it was all over so fast—the pack of wolves leaving the broken white wolf pup to die alone on the frozen ground.

Only he didn’t—because he couldn’t die for some reason.

He couldn’t die.

It made no sense, yet somehow I knew that gruesome scene wasn’t the first or last time a pack of wolves had tried to end that poor little white wolf.

I was jolted back to present reality when Kai growled against my mouth and abruptly dropped me. Unable to regain my footing quickly enough, my back slid down the door and my ass collided with the hard floor—just as the light bulb flickering and humming above burst, sending shards of glass raining down.

Pale blue eyes were glaring down at me in disbelief. No, it was worse than that. Kai’s eyes were accusing, regarding me like I was some kind of a monster—like I’d just committed the most unspeakable sin.

Crap. What had I done? Sometimes I got so caught up in visions I lost track of what was happening in the present. I’d clearly done something to offend him. Then I noticed a tinge of blood staining his lip.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to … bite … you?” My statement of apology ended as a question when I tasted blood in my own mouth and felt the sting from a fresh gash as I ran my tongue over my lower lip.

I was the one bleeding. He’d bitten me.

“Have to go.” His tone was emotionless, his piercing eyes dazed. “You won’t see me again.”

KAI

A few months ago, I could’ve easily dismissed Lauren’s vision in the hallway as false retrocognition. Memories of my formative years in wolf form had always been hazy at best, consisting of nothing but a blur of endless incomprehensible pain, deep-seated shame, pervasive loneliness, and sorrow.

They were my wolf’s memories—not mine.

Since finding my human form at sixteen, I’d largely blocked out all years prior—for over four centuries. But ever since first encountering the little seer nine weeks ago, strange memories—each one more disturbing than the last—had begun to surface.

Yet nothing I’d remembered on my own in recent weeks had prepared me for the graphic vision of my past that I’d just unwittingly glimpsed through Lauren’s mind.

It couldn’t be real. I never would’ve survived.

Werewolves were born in human form, and most shifted into wolves for the first time upon reaching puberty. But I was the great anomaly of my species—even within my werelock subspecies. A freak among freaks. As far as I knew, I had been born in wolf form—not human form as all others of my species were.

I had no recollection of my parents. My earliest memories were of being alone in a frozen world, craving contact and connection—and of enduring agony far worse than the isolation and rejection I’d sought to vanquish each time I’d encountered other beings and attempted to connect with them.

I remembered being ostracized as a pup. I remembered being repeatedly mauled within an inch of my life by the very packs I’d sought acceptance from. But Lauren’s vision had presented a bird’s-eye view into one of those brutal attacks that was simply unfathomable. It couldn’t possibly have happened that way. Despite the shocking clarity of her vision, it must’ve been distorted somehow—exaggerated by her emotional response to what she was witnessing.

I’m in charge.

I’m in control.

With each step I took, I fought my inner wolf. With every step that took me deeper into the woods behind Lauren’s dormitory—closer to the scent of Mike Salvatella—it became harder to subvert my inner animal and maintain that control.

His scent was all over her, the arctic beast within me raged. He touched what’s ours!

I sensed my eyes shifting, my claws extending. I was losing control already. Lately, it had been happening too quickly, and far too frequently. With each passing day, my human self remained in the driver’s seat less and less. I could no longer deny the reality I was facing: I was devolving—regressing to my original, primal self. After four centuries of suppression, my true monster nature was reemerging, and he was swiftly regaining control.

It had started nine weeks ago—the moment I’d first scented Lauren. For the past one hundred and eight years since my mate Maribel’s passing, I’d been celibate. After one whiff of the human seer, my wolf had demanded we mount her on the spot. That we devour her utterly.

I’d denied him. Since then, my thoughts had been overrun by the beast’s need to taste the seer’s blood, to tear into her throat and unleash our venom into her bloodstream as our seed flooded her womb. Day and night, he howled for her blood and sex, clawing at me to claim her. It was as if I were sixteen again, fighting the seemingly insurmountable battle to subjugate my dominant wolf nature and accept my new and awkward human form.

Mike came into view. He was waiting for me in the clearing up ahead, leaning against a tree, a lazy grin on his face.

Kill him! Eliminate the threat.

I pushed my wolf down, forcing his claws to retract as I reminded him—and myself—that no one could claim a seer. She wasn’t ours. We couldn’t protect her by attempting to lay claim to her. Staying calm and acting smart about this was the only way to safeguard Lauren.

Mike greeted me with a smug raised brow. “That was quite an intense first kiss for a guy long renowned for the nickname ‘pack priest.’ ”

I snapped in an instant, my eyes shifting, my claws coming back out. “Stay out of her head.”

“Easy.” He held his palms up. “Wasn’t in it. If you don’t know by now that I can keep tabs on people without listening to their thoughts, then your boy Kaleb wasn’t doing his job very well.”

His dig at Kaleb, my Reinoso pack’s deceased head of security detail, did nothing to cool my beast’s ire. Mike served Kaleb’s role within his own pack—the Salvatella pack. While it was a critical role within any pack, it was a tedious task that should’ve been beneath Mike, given his birthright. Many of us had assumed for years that it was a role Mike’s former Alpha and late second cousin, Gabriel Salvatella, had forced upon him. Yet now, with Gabe gone, I wondered if it wasn’t more of a choice Mike had made for himself—in an attempt to retain behind-the-scenes control over everything involving his own pack as well as their rivals. Mike had always been far more powerful and cunning than he preferred to let on.

Still, he was also young and foolish—much like his new Alpha, Raul. Because his next jab went too far.

“Maybe it was a good thing Maribel took Kaleb out before she left the ether, huh?”

Mike’s bloody, cleanly severed left arm was in my grasp before either of us had processed what my wolf had done.


Author Bio:

Hettie Ivers is an accidental romance author who likes to escape the stress of her workweek with a good dirty book—preferably one that’s also funny. Her current career does not allow much time for creative smut writing, but she loves to write after hours and on weekends and strives to publish one to two books per year, as life permits.

To learn more about Hettie and the books she has written, please feel free to visit her website at http://www.hettieivers.com, sign up for her Newsletter, friend her on Facebook, or join her Facebook Group to keep in touch.

Please feel free to follow/connect with Hettie via any of these platforms as well:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Amazon

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 $100 Amazon gift card
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Seer_Teaser7_XpressoTours

 

Book Blitz: EIGHTY-ONE NIGHTS ( Beautiful Illusion Duet #1 ) by New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author GEORGIA CATES is Now LIVE!@GeogiaCates

Eighty-One Nights
Georgia Cates
(Beautiful Illusions Duet, #1)
Publication date: April 9th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Beautiful, penniless American girl meets handsome, wealthy Scotsman.
Sounds like the beginning of a fairy-tale romance?
It’s not.
This story begins with a contract.
And an exchange of money.
A lot of money.
An angel perches nervously on one shoulder.
A devil lounges smugly on my other.
And even that dark little bastard is leery of what I’m doing.
Maxwell Hutcheson wants the girlfriend experience.
All of it.
And I’m going to give it to him.
I’m not supposed to enjoy being his whore.
I’m also not supposed to fall in love with him.
But I do. Both.
When our contract expires, I will walk away.
Because I have to.
But he’ll always have a piece of me.
I’ll mask my sorrow with a smile.
I’ll hide my love with indifference
… all while it’s killing me softly.
A fairy-tale romance.
It isn’t mine to have.
And this man I’ve come to love so dearly isn’t my happily ever after.
About Eighty-One Nights:
While the characters from Eighty-One Nights are entirely new, their storyline is a combination of fresh material and carefully selected themes, scenes, and settings from The Beauty Series, The Sin Trilogy, Dear Agony, and Indulge. This is intentional. I chose some of my favorite elements from previous releases and interjected them into Hutch and Lou’s story. Let’s call it a “story fusion” between our old favorites and new material. This work was briefly released under a pen name and was titled The Girlfriend Experience.

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

EXCERPT:

I’m standing on a platform, the wall in front of me covered with a floor-to-ceiling mirror. I feel like I should be trying on wedding dresses in a bridal boutique, waiting to say yes to the dress so that I can be jacked up with a veil and jewelry.

Cora taps the center of my back directly between my shoulder blades. “Stop slouching.”

She walks down the steps of the platform and looks up at me. “What is your European shoe size?”

“Thirty-six.”

“Valerie, bring the seventy-five-millimeter black peep toes in her size.”

Good Lord. This woman has an assistant for everything, even shoe fetching.

“We’ll begin your stride training with lower heels and work our way up to the higher ones.”

Cora is short like me, but you don’t notice until you look at her tall heels and see that four inches of her height can be attributed to her shoes.

Valerie returns and places the black pumps on the floor in front of me.

“Louboutins.” I didn’t intend for that to come out. And I definitely didn’t mean for it to sound so covetous.

“I understand. You’ve never had shoes like these, but your closet is about to be filled with countless pairs like them along with designer clothing and handbags. You represent Inamorata. You represent me. It’s crucial that you always look your best, but your job right now is to be my student. Listen to me and you’ll learn how to entertain some of the wealthiest and most influential men in Scotland.”

That’s a frightening thought.

“You aren’t at all concerned that your clients won’t like me?”

“You’re going to be a polished gem when I finish with you. No part of you will be unlikable.”

I’m pretty sure that she’s wrong about that.

“Not everyone loves Americans.” I’ve lived in Scotland for six years, but I still consider myself American—my first sixteen years were spent there.

“Inamorata clients are going to love that about you. You’re a different flavor from my other girls.”

I hear what she’s saying, but I look at myself in the mirror and can’t imagine any high-class Scotsman who would be willing to pay big bucks for my company. I’m nobody.

“What’s wrong, Caitriona?”

“I’m afraid.”

“Don’t be. I do background checks on every man before accepting him as a client. I reject anyone with even a hint of a questionable past.”

“That’s not the kind of afraid that I’m talking about.”

“Well, I need you to explain what that means before we go any further.”

It’s embarrassing to admit my fears. “What if they don’t think I’m pretty enough? Or smart enough? Or interesting enough?”

Cora claps her palms together twice, making a high-pitched slapping sound. “Everyone out. Now.”

Her three assistants scramble to get through the door, nearly running each other down. I truly believe that if Cora told them to jump, they would ask how high.

She comes up on the platform, standing behind me. She grasps my upper arms and looks over my shoulder at my reflection in the mirror. “Look at the woman staring back at you. Who is she?”

“Caitriona Louden.”

“You’re stating the obvious and it’s a waste of my time. Look deep inside of the woman in front of you, and find the wee lass beneath her surface.”

Find the wee lass beneath my surface? No way. That’s stupid.

I shake my head. “I don’t want to do that.”

“I don’t care if you want to do it or not. You’re going to if you want to work for me. The choice is yours.”

I contemplate walking out. I want to so badly, but I can’t. I need money.

“What do you want from me?”

“Start by taking a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and think about what you see.”

Long brown hair, thick and often unruly. Hazel eyes, more green than brown after I’ve had a good cry. Fair skin, a few scattered freckles across my nose and cheeks. Short and small-framed.

“Are you pretty?” Cora asks.

“According to others, I am. But I never was in my mother’s eyes.”

“What did your mother say to you about the way you look?”

God, you look just like that Scottish bastard. I heard that from her so many times that it became as much a part of my DNA as the X chromosome that he gave me. “She said that I looked like my father.”

“Did she hate him?”

“She did eventually.” His marriage to Heidi changed everything. My mother couldn’t take his being happy with another woman.

“She saw him when she looked at you?”

“Yes.”

“We grow up and become women, but no matter how old we get, we always have a wee lass living inside of us.”

I’ve never heard anyone say anything like that, but I suppose it’s true at least to some degree.

“Tell me about the wee lass inside of you.”

Little Caity Louden. She’s not someone that I like to think about. Her story isn’t a happily-ever-after fairy tale. “Her father abandoned her before she was born. She was raised by a single mom in the trashiest part of New Orleans. Her mother worked at a bar on Bourbon Street, but she drank more cocktails than she served.”

“Keep going.”

“She learned at a very early age how to fend for herself because no one took care of her.” No one loved her. It’s hard to admit, even to myself only in my head, that the one person in this world who was supposed to love me unconditionally didn’t.

“And?” Cora says.

“Her tears ran dry and her delicate, soft heart hardened. It turned to stone.”

Cora nods. “Stone is strong and resilient.”

My eyes move to hers. “Stone is cold and resistant to penetration without being broken.”

“Also true.”

I look back at myself. “I’m damaged. Something’s missing inside of me. A piece of me is not here.”

Cora walks around and stands in front of me so that we’re face-to-face. “Strong people don’t have easy pasts, and the scars they carry prove that they are stronger than whatever tried to hurt them. You’re a warrior and a beautiful young woman who is deserving of good things and happiness. You’re special, Caitriona, whether you realize it or not. Our pasts aren’t all that different; I understand you far better than you can ever imagine.”

Cora’s words are… empowering and soothing at the same time.

She crouches, unnecessarily repositioning the shoes in front of me, and I see the act for what it truly is. She’s lowering herself and elevating me. “Toes go in first, beautiful warrior.”

I grow three inches when I step into the shoes. She stands upright, and it feels good to look this powerful, independent woman in the eyes. She makes me want to be stronger.

“Diamonds are beautiful. And they’re also flawed. They don’t crack but they do cut.” Cora places a finger beneath my chin, lifting it slightly, and looks directly into my eyes. “Be a diamond, Caitriona.”

 

Author Bio:

Georgia Cates is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Author of The Beauty Series. She resides in Mississippi with her husband and two daughters. Please visit georgiacates.com for additional information.

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81 nights

 

Book Blitz: THE IRRESISTIBLE SPARK by ABBY TYLER is Now LIVE!@abbeytylerauthor @XpressoTours

The Irresistible Spark
Abby Tyler
Publication date: April 7th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

She started the blaze. The firefighter fanned the flame.

Abby Tyler welcomes you to the witty, well-meaning busybodies of Applebottom, Missouri, where the community takes its pies — and its matchmaking — very seriously.

Lorelei Spencer is over that loser who wasted the last few years of her life, and she’s going to prove it.

After she’s had enough mourning and midnight rage-crying, Lorelei dumps all the clothes, stuffed animals, notes, and mementos from the relationship on her front lawn. Then, she sets the pile ablaze.

It feels great.

Until it catches the grass on fire, too.

Volunteer firefighter Micah Livingston arrives on the scene and handily douses the blaze. But the fire he puts out sparks a new one in his heart when he realizes this feisty woman with a zeal for life might be exactly what he’s been looking for.

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EXCERPT:

Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.

Lorelei couldn’t take her eyes off the fire. What had seemed like a great idea five minutes ago was now clearly her worst ever.

The pile of wadded-up paper, bedding, clothes, and mementos had gone up in flames more swiftly than she would ever have predicted. But then the singed grass of the yard, hot and dry at midsummer, had started smoldering.

Several heads turned up the street at the same time. Lorelei followed their gazes to see what was more interesting than her front yard blaze.

It was definitely worth a look. A dark-haired firefighter, partially dressed in yellow gear, ran full speed up the street.

She felt imprisoned, unable to move.

“Is that the girl who started it?” he asked her neighbor, not taking his eyes off her.

“That would be the one,” Arnold said.

“She from around here?”

Lorelei puffed with indignation. Pretending not to know a born-and-bred citizen of Applebottom was pretty much the biggest insult you could make in this town.

She stomped right up to him. “Micah Livingston, you know good and well that I’m Lorelei Spencer. You went to high school with my sister Mandy.”

Micah’s eyebrows shot up. “You’re little Lori? The spunky snot-nosed kid who used to steal cupcakes out of Mandy’s lunch?”

Nobody made fun of Lorelei Spencer, not even a hottie firefighter.

Author Bio:

Abby Tyler loves puppy dogs, pie, and small towns (she grew up in one!) Her Applebottom Matchmaker Society books combine the sweet and wholesome style of romance she loves with the funny, sometimes a-little-too-truthful characters she remembers from growing up in a place where everyone knew everybody’s business.

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TIS

 

Book Blitz + Giveaway: LOVE, AGAIN by New York Times Bestselling Author L.P. DOVER is Now LIVE! @LPDover @XpressoTours

Love, Again
L.P. Dover
Published by: Loveswept
Publication date: April 9th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sometimes all you need is a second chance.

“L. P. Dover knows how to create the men who make us swoon, the book boyfriends we all want.”—New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin

Aubrey Reynolds is a small-town girl who’s made it big. A successful Hollywood director, Aubrey doesn’t have time to linger on what could have been. But when a routine blood test comes back with a false positive, she decides to take some time off to do the things she’s always wanted to do: taste the famous chocolate chip cookies at the Minnesota State Fair, hike the Grand Teton National Park, scuba dive in the Caribbean. But after Aubrey admits to herself what she’s really missing, she heads back home to Dusty Valley, Oklahoma . . . and the man she left behind.

Cole Haywood is a small-town fireman and that’s just fine with him. Sure, when the love of his life left their hometown to chase her dreams he was heartbroken and—he’ll admit—damn mad. But Cole would have never forgiven himself if he had held Aubrey back from success. So the last thing he expects after all these years is to walk into his favorite bar one night and find the girl he’s always loved—there—looking for him. Maybe now’s the time to make his dreams come true.

Look for more of New York Times bestselling author L. P. Dover’s captivating novels:

 

The Breakaway series: HARD STICK • BLOCKED • PLAYMAKER

The Second Chances: CATCHING SUMMER • DEFENDING HAYDEN • INTENDED FOR BRISTOL

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EXCERPT:

We pulled up to Tornado Alley bar, and Cole’s truck was there along with a dozen others. “Are you sure this is a good idea?” I asked, glancing around at all the cars. “There’s a lot of people here.”

Bennett parked his truck and pulled out the key. “Yep. A lot of our high school buddies will be in there. They’ll be excited to see the famous movie director, Aubrey Reynolds.” He winked, and it gave me hope. If I could get him on my side, I had to believe I could convince Cole too. He reached over and opened my door. “If you don’t want to go in there with everyone, I’ll bring him out.”

Hands shaking, I nodded as my whole body started to tremble with nerves. “That sounds better. I don’t want to go in there just yet.”

Bennett sighed. “All right. I’ll bring him out.”

He got out of the truck and disappeared inside. Slowly, I exited the truck and walked toward the steps. My legs felt so heavy I doubted I could even climb up them. This was it. It was the moment I’d been dreading, yet looking forward to. I’d dreamed about the time I’d see Cole again, face to face. I already knew it wouldn’t be an easy meeting, especially considering how Bennett’s first encounter with me was.

Everything moved in slow motion as I waited for Cole to come outside. I stood at the bottom of the steps, feeling more vulnerable with each passing second. What if he saw me and then turned right back around? Getting him to hear me out wasn’t going to be easy.

“Oh my God, I can’t do this.” Heart racing out of control, I dashed to the side of the building. I peeked my head around the corner just as the door opened and Cole stepped out. I flattened myself against the wall so he couldn’t see me, and I was almost certain he’d hear me hyperventilating.

“What exactly did you want me to see?” Cole asked, laughing at Bennett. It was clear he’d had a couple of drinks already. “There’s nothing out here.” Hearing his voice brought up all sorts of emotions inside me. I’d missed him so much.

Bennett huffed, most likely thinking I ran off. “Never mind, brother. My mistake.”

Cole chuckled. “Come on, I’ll buy you a drink.”

I jumped out from beside the building, and Bennett stopped. “Wait,” I called out. Cole had his back to me, but he froze and turned around slowly. The second our eyes locked, nothing else existed. It was what I’d secretly hoped for. He might hate me, but there was no denying the bond we had. I felt the spark between us even now.

 

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L. P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she began her literary journey she worked in periodontics, enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.

She loves to write, but she also loves to play golf, go on mountain hikes and white-water rafting, and has a passion for singing. Her two youngest fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime, usually Christmas carols.

Dover has written countless novels in several different genres, but her favorite to write is romantic suspense. However, she has found a new passion in romantic comedy, especially involving sexy golfers. Who knew the sport could be so dirty and fun to write about.

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LoveAgain