Interview with Mac Coalson from Whistlin’ Dixie by Maggie Adams – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie will award a $20 GC to Amazon or Barnes and Noble to one randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Hello, this is Cecelia Hope with Channel 2 news. I’m with Mac Coalson, eldest son of Hank and Ginny Coalson, and owner of Coalson Construction Company: Give us a little background on your company

Coalson Construction Company is a family-owned business. My six brothers and I all have shares in the company. We actually started the company when the flood of 1993 happened. The Army Corp of Engineers camped out at our farm. We helped with the clean up, of course, and we decided to take it a step further. I had just graduated college with degree in construction management. Chance was right behind me with a business degree. The others worked through college here.

How long have you lived in the Grafton area?

One of my ancestors came with the Fr. Marquette expedition to bring Christianity to the area, fell in love with a Native American and settled here. Coalsons have been here ever since. That’s one of the reasons we are so determined to save our town.

Any ideas on who is vandalizing the homes your company has built? Why just your company?

My company? I have no idea, but I will find out. As for the actual vandalism, we are cooperating with the police and setting up our own security to facilitate a rapid conclusion to the problem.

Rumor has it, you picked up some teen vandals. One of them, the new schoolteacher’s brother?

Some teens were brought in for questioning, but were later released.

Makes it a bit awkward to date the new schoolteacher if you arrested her brother, doesn’t it? She was the one who accused you of the vandalism in order to collect the insurance money, right?

No comment.

C’mon, Mac, is it true you fired a man for grabbing her hand? Did she or did she not accuse you of being a fornicating, Mississippi river rat?

The interview is over.

But Mac…what do you think about the bets going on around town about you and Dixie Harris? Who’s going to surrender first in your silent war? Well, this is Cecelia Hope, Channel 2 News with a now absent Mac Coalson.

Enjoy the book video:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00064]A man on a mission….

Mackenzie Coalson was determined to rebuild his hometown after a devastating flood left it in ruins. He has no time for a relationship and all the romantic junk that goes with it. He has a vandal to catch and no sweet smelling bundle of femininity is going to sway him.

A woman protecting her family…..

Dixie Harris charged into the county sheriff’s office with a sassy sway and a smart mouth, eager to give the sheriff, and anyone else, a piece of her mind. When she locks horns with the devil himself, in the form of Mac Coalson, she quickly learns he has a temper to rival hers, even if he’s the living epitome of her sexual fantasies.

When the two unite to catch a potential murderer, it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep it, “business only”. But that’s hard to do when their combined attraction is volatile enough to burn down the town.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Knocking again a little more forcefully, he pleaded. “Dixie baby, please open up. You didn’t see what you thought you saw. Please. Just let me explain.”

“I may be young, but I’m not stupid. And I am most certainly not blind,” she snapped at him from the other side of the door. The man was unbelievable.

“You are the most infuriating bit of baggage I have ever encountered. If I didn’t care for you so much, I’d leave right now and never look back.”

“You call that caring?! I call it a line of crap! The only thing you cared about begins with an “F” and ends with me losing my virginity!” Oh, God! Had she really just shouted that?

Pounding on the door with his fist, he shouted, “Dixie Harris, you open the door this minute, or I’ll break it down!”

“Then I’ll just have you arrested for breaking and entering. Sort of ironic, don’t you think?” she countered sweetly. She felt like crying the Mississippi River because he broke her heart, but she was not going to let that arrogant pain-in-the-ass know just how much she was hurting. She had her pride!

“Fine. Just fine. I should’ve known better than to get involved with a little girl, anyhow. Maybe, in a few years, when you grow up and if you have apologized nicely, I might just take you back! And bring a damn soapbox to stand on. My neck’s getting sore from looking down at you!” he snarled. After giving the closed-door another good pounding, he stomped out of the house, slamming the front door.

“Oooooh!” Dixie’s eyes narrowed to mere slits and her hands balled into fists as Mac’s last remark registered with the banging of the screen door. It was like pouring gasoline on a bonfire. She was out of her bedroom and on the front porch in seconds. Heedless of the people walking down the street, she advanced like a mad woman across the yard, screaming. “Apologize to you? When pigs fly, you Mississippi River rat.

About the Author:Hi! I’m Maggie Adams. I live near St. Louis, MO, with my high school sweetheart, Ned, and my wonderful kids, Katie (Kyle) and Ross (Valerie). My life is like a walking, talking sitcom from I Love Lucy, but I love it, although people do tend to keep their distance from me!

Writing has always been my dream, with reading my favorite hobby. When I’m not writing, I can be found singing, dancing, and cooking, often all at the same time. I try to include a little bit of my life in everything I write, so when you read my books, keep your eyes wide open – I’m in there somewhere! Happy reading!

I love to hear from readers and I can be contacted at maggieadamsbooks@gmail.com.

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Married to a Perfect Stranger by Jane Ashford – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Today we are pleased to sit down with John and Mary Bexley, the protagonists from Jane Ashford’s Married to a Perfect Stranger (March 2015). From February 23rd through March 20th the Bexleys will be answering questions about their relationship at each stop in their tour! Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win a copy of the book.

What is the oddest location you’ve shared a kiss?

John: There are no odd locations for a kiss.
Mary: The public square outside the house?

John:
It was dark. Besides, why shouldn’t I kiss my wife? (He does so.)
Mary: It was nearly much more than a kiss.
John: That would have been…oddly memorable.

Enjoy an excerpt:

John Bexley reined in his hired horse on a slight rise and gazed down at the red brick manor, somnolent under the August sun. Eager as he was to get to London, he’d felt he must detour west into Somerset to fetch Mary. Her family’s decision to put her under the care of a great-aunt while he was away just showed he was right to fear that such a shy, quiet girl couldn’t arrange a journey on her own. And now that he was here, the sight of this place soothed him; it looked the very essence of English country comfort and peace.

John’s knock was answered by an aged butler. He gave his name, stepped in, and inhaled the familiar scents of beeswax polish and potpourri. The place reminded him of his own home farther north. Golden light pooled on the wooden floor and gleamed on the stair rail. In the rooms on either side of the entry, the furnishings were classic and inviting. Mary had certainly had a beautiful and serene spot in which to wait for him. “Mary’s husband,” he added when it seemed as if the old man didn’t know what to do with him. “I believe I am expected.”

“Yes, si…”

A filthy, hysterical chicken shot through the rear door of the dining parlor on his left, skidded in a turn around the table, and raced past him, neck extended, screeching, flapping its mottled wings. A little boy slathered with mud came racing after it, careened off the doorjamb, and staggered across the entryway, leaving streaks and globs of dirt in his wake. The old butler stiffened in horror.

The bird hopped across a flowered sofa in the front parlor, stitching it with muddy tracks, circled the delicate carpet, and looped back toward John. The boy in pursuit slipped, fell, jumped up, and turned to follow. He flapped muddy hands at the fowl in an inept attempt to trap it.

What seemed like a herd of adults jostled into the dining parlor, then surged forward. “Arthur!” snapped a young woman, her voice crackling with authority.

“It isn’t my fault,” the boy shouted over the wild squawking. “I pulled her from the mire. Fox was after her. I never shot her or nothing.”

As the crazed chicken surged past him, John bent, reached, and snatched hold of its legs. When he straightened, he held the muddy bird upside down, at arm’s length, well away from his clothing. It flapped and protested; flakes of dirt dropped to the floor.

“Good!” said the managing female, striding from the dining room into the hall. “Take it from him, Alice, and put it outside at once.”

The middle-aged maid jumped to obey like a subaltern responding to a commanding general. The butler relaxed. The boy stood to attention. “It wasn’t me, I swear,” he repeated. “I rescued ’er. I killed three rats as well. Would have been four, but I…”

“Very well, Arthur,” the woman replied. “Go now and get cleaned up.”

The boy finally noticed the mud sliding from his clothes to the polished floor. His face shifted from defensive to horrified, and he slunk out. In the same moment, John realized that the woman with a voice like a sergeant major was his meek little sparrow of a wife.

2_26 jane ashfordTime and distance have changed them both…

Quiet and obliging, Mary Fleming and John Bexley marry to please their families and John immediately leaves on a two-year diplomatic mission. Now John is back, and everything they thought they knew about each other was wrong…

It’s disconcerting, irritating—and somehow all very exciting…

About the Author: Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. Her romances have been published all over the world. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Shattered Vows by Linda LaRoque – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Linda will be awarding three individual prizes to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour: 1st prize—sterling charm bracelet with baby theme and a handmade wooden jewelry box; 2nd prize—a handmade wooden shawl pin and an ecopy of Shattered Vows; or 3rd prize—an ecopy of Shattered Vows. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_ShatteredVowsA mother, confronted with her husband’s infidelity, must decide whether to help raise his child or end her marriage.

Annie and Stuart Rayburn have loved each other since high school. Their life is idyllic until their baby dies of SIDS, and Annie falls into a deep depression. Months of therapy help her recover, and they look forward to another child sometime in their future.

Despite his own grief Stuart tries to comfort Annie, yet when he reaches for her in the night, his advances are rebuffed. In a moment of weakness, he turns to another woman. Stu learns his night of infidelity produced a baby girl. The mother died in a car crash, and her will gives Stu custody.

Stu can’t deny the child is his, and he’s determined to raise her. He begs Annie’s forgiveness. Hurt and angry, Annie must face her demons, decide if she can forgive Stu, and love the innocent child, or divorce him and move on without the only man she’s likely to love.

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

In his room, with his few clothes stowed in the closet and drawers, he undressed and put the suit and shirt in a bag for the cleaners to pick up. He yanked the spread back on the king size bed and stretched out in his boxers and a tee shirt. His cell phone on the bedside table rang. He grabbed it hoping it was Annie.

Susan, his assistant, fired a question before he could say hello. “Stewart, will you be in early in the morning?” He’d been gone all day. Most likely she wanted to bring him up to date with the day’s activities.

“Yes, I’ll be in by seven-thirty. I need to be at the airport at noon, so cancel any afternoon appointments.”

“When do you want to reschedule?”

“Day after tomorrow.” He paused. “By the way, doesn’t the casino have cribs and such as that for when guests come with children?”

“Uh . . . yes, I believe so.”

“And a well-screened babysitting service?”

“Yes. Stewart, what’s going on?”

He sighed and raked a hand through his hair. “Just get a crib sent up to my office and resumes and credentials on all the sitters on the list. I’ll explain everything tomorrow. Good night, Susan.” He dropped the phone to his chest and flung an arm across his eyes.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_ShatteredVowsLinda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.

A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.

Linda writes contemporary western romances, time travel romances and futuristic romances. Shattered Vows is her first Inspiration Women’s fiction.

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Other Books by Linda LaRoque

Contemporary Westerns
Forever Faithful
Investment of the Heart
When the Ocotillo Bloom

Futuristic
Born in Ice

Time Travel
The Turquoise Legacy
My Heart Will Find Yours
Flames on the Sky
A Way Back
Desires of the Heart
A Law of Her Own
A Marshal of Her Own
A Love of Her Own
Birdie’s Nest
A Time of Their Own (A collection of three time travels set in Prairie Texas—A Law of Her Own, A Marshal of Her Own, and A Love of Her Own.)

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Pretty Poison by Lynne Barron – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lynne will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What’s an American heiress to do when a pair of britches, a plunge into a pond in the dead of winter and a broken betrothal force her to set sail across the ocean to an arranged marriage with a fortune hunting Englishman?

With her hopes and dreams sinking to the bottom of the sea like so much lost treasure, Emily Calvert falls into the pretty poison she finds in a little blue bottle.

Can Nicholas Avery, a charming aristocrat with a faulty memory for names and a family in dire need of financial salvation, convince the wounded lady that the blessed oblivion she finds in his arms is sweeter than opium?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Without a word Emily pushed open the carriage door and jumped to the ground, her boots sinking into the muck of the stable yard, her hem trailing along behind her as she turned and marched off toward the small village.

“Miss Emily!” Tilly struggled to catch up to her mistress, her little hands clenched in her skirts to hold them above the mud. “Lord above, what’s come over you, hollering at your father that way?”

“Do not start in on me, Tilly,” Emily warned with a glare over her shoulder. “You’d do well to remember your place.”

“My place?” the girl repeated as she caught up and fell into step beside Emily.

“You are my servant,” Emily answered even as she cringed at the malice dripping from her voice, swirling in her head. She felt mean, mean and nasty and cruel. “We’re in England now, Matilda Calvert. I’m to be a lady now and you had best learn to curb your tongue and behave as a lady’s maid ought to.”

“Why’s everyone staring at us?” Tilly asked, ignoring Emily’s words entirely.

“They’ve likely never seen a dark-skinned girl like you before,” Emily replied. “Drop your skirts, Tilly, you’re showing off your ankles.”

Tilly dutifully complied, her wide eyes taking in the village and the people who’d stopped to stare at them as they passed. “I think it’s you they’re eyeballing.”

“Why on earth would they be looking at me?” Emily demanded.

“I don’t think they’ve ever seen a lady marching down the street with her hair falling from her pins and fire shooting from her eyes,” Tilly answered with a grin.

“Well, let them look,” Emily muttered as she reached up to tuck a wayward curl back into place.

“Where are we going?”

In answer Emily stopped before a little shop wedged between a milliner and a curio shop. The door was painted a bright green and flanked by two large multi-paned windows through which she could see row upon row of bottles stacked on shelves from floor to ceiling. Above the door hung a weathered sign carved with a mortar and pestle.

The proprietor, a stoop-shouldered man with a shiny bald head and trim beard greeted them, his welcoming words tinged with a faint Prussian accent.

Wasting little time on pleasantries, Emily ordered a bottle of the apothecary’s own special recipe of laudanum, one he’d only whipped up that morning.

As she waited, she looked about the long, narrow shop, entranced by the odd assortment of goods stored on the shelves and on tall rotating display cases. The air was redolent with myriad scents, from lavender to ginger, frankincense to eucalyptus, all combining into an exotic, spicy aroma that somehow soothed her frayed nerves, calmed the rapid beat of her heart.

“Oh look at all the pretty little bottles!” Tilly cried from across the room.

Emily joined her before one of the windows where the girl had discovered a display of colored glass bottles of all shapes and sizes. A bright blue bottle with a round base and a long, elegant neck sat on the edge of the shelf. Emily tilted her head to study the bottle that was as pretty and dainty as any porcelain statue that had ever graced her mother’s front parlor. It was shaped almost like a woman, the base the bell of her shirts, the handle a long elegant arm cocked out with hand resting along a trim waist. Deep within the fluted neck sat a stopper decorated with pretty blue, red, and green gems.

“My wife says the ladies prefer their tonics in pretty bottles,” the apothecary said as he joined them. “She thinks it make the taking of them less onerous.”

“I’ll take this one.” Emily lifted the dainty blue bottle, surprised by its near weightlessness. The bottle was only slightly larger than her hand and even lovelier up close. She held it up to the sunlight, amazed by the way it glowed, by the blue beam that shot through the glass to dance along the warped wood floor, as if the little bottle had captured the sunlight and turned it into a moonbeam.

“Shall I fill it for you?” he asked with a nod.

“Thank you,” Emily replied with a trembling smile, her eyes fixed on the package he held out to her in exchange for the blue bottle. The paper-wrapped parcel was heavy enough that Emily suspected the contents would last her to London, would see her cocooned in oblivion through her first meeting with her aunt, through her father’s departure to join up with a group of train-mad gentlemen to tour the country’s fledgling railways, perhaps even through her first introduction to her future husband.

If she was very lucky she might even manage to make it through her first London Season in quiet contentment, might avoid thinking of her future, a future that held no resemblance whatsoever to the one she’d imagined for herself.

“Now mind me, young miss,” the apothecary cautioned as he handed the second, smaller wrapped parcel into her hands. “Every apothecary brews his own variety of laudanum. This here that I’ve given you might be a bit more potent than what you’re familiar with. You be sure to take care with how much you take until you’ve accustomed yourself to it.”

Emily nodded, barely hearing his words as anticipation shivered up her spine, finding a nest at the nape of her neck where it settled like a faint beat, a warm, whispering tingle.

It was an odd sensation, anticipation coupled with a sort of jittery restlessness, and one she would come to both welcome and dread in the months that followed.

About the Author: Write About What You Know.

Every Creative Writing Teacher and College Professor said these words to Lynne Barron in one form or another. But what did she know?

She knew she enjoyed the guilty pleasure of reading romance novels whenever she could find time between studying, working and raising her son as a single mother.

She knew quite a bit about women’s lives in the Regency and Victorian era from years spent bouncing back and forth between European History and English Literature as a major in college.

She knew precious little about romance except to know that it was more than the cliché card and a dozen red roses on Valentine’s Day.

Then she met her wonderfully romantic husband and finally she knew.

Passion, Love and Romance.

And she began to write.

If you would like to learn more about Lynne Barron and the Idyllwild Series, please visit her website at www.LynneBarron.com or follow her at Facebook or Twitter.

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Once and Forever by Elizabeth Hoyt – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy if Once and Always by Elizabeth Hoyt.

2_25 elizabeth cover54861-mediumIS THERE A PROBLEM, OFFICER?

Small town cop Sam West certainly doesn’t mind a routine traffic stop: speeding ticket, stern warning, and sayonara. With a whopper of a blizzard closing in, that’s all he has time for. But the lawbreaker he pulls over is anything but typical. From her mile-long legs to her razor-sharp wit, Maisa Bradley is like nothing Coot Lake, Minnesota, has ever seen . . . and she’s about to take Sam on the ride of his life.

BEING BAD HAS ITS BENEFITS

Whoever said blood is thicker than water probably wasn’t related to a former Russian mobster. But an innocent mix-up and rumors of stolen diamonds soon have the Russian mob taking an unusual interest in the sleepy little town—and Maisa facing heated scrutiny from a certain tall, dark, and handsome deputy. Sam’s dazzling blue eyes beg her to reveal all her secrets, but how much should she tell? Getting snowed in with the sexiest lawman in the frozen north may not be the worst way to decide.

Read the beginning of the book on the author’s website.

About the Author: 2_25 elizabeth HoytElizabethElizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including reader favorite, The Raven Prince.

Elizabeth was born in New Orleans but grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was fortunate to be able to travel extensively as a child, visiting St. Andrews, Scotland; Germany; France; and Belgium. She spent a year in Oxford, England and was a summer exchange student to Kawasaki, Japan.

Elizabeth has a BA in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and, as a result of having no clue what to do with her life thereafter, a career history as a barista, a (terrible) sales clerk, a Wisconsin Revenue Service data entry slave, and an archeological field work grunt. Fortunately, Elizabeth married relatively young and produced two children who kept her busy until her mid-thirties. At about this time, when her youngest was entering Kindergarten, Elizabeth’s mother hinted that perhaps Elizabeth should get a Real Job.

Sadly, Elizabeth was so delusional she thought writing a romance novel might qualify as a Real Job.

But! Five years later, to everyone’s surprise, she actually sold that romance novel (The Raven Prince) and began a rather successful career as a Romance Novelist. This was most fortunate since Elizabeth is singularly unqualified to do anything else but Make Up Stories.

Since then Elizabeth has written eighteen books to critical acclaim: The Prince Trilogy (The Raven Prince, The Leopard Prince, and The Serpent Prince); the Legend of the Four Soldiers series (To Taste Temptation, To Seduce a Sinner, To Beguile a Beast, and To Desire a Devil); and the Maiden Lane series (Wicked Intentions, Notorious Pleasures, Scandalous Desires, Thief of Shadows, Lord of Darkness, Duke of Midnight, Darling Beast, and the upcoming Dearest Rogue.) She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Julia Harper (Hot, For the Love of Pete, and the upcoming Once and Always.)

Elizabeth’s books have made the New York Times bestseller list seven times, have finaled six times in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award contest, and have won three Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards. All of her books have received Top Pick reviews from RT BookReviews magazine. Wicked Intentions, Notorious Pleasures Scandalous Desires, and Thief of Shadows received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly. Four of her books were voted into All About Romance’s (AAR’s) Top 100 Romances of All Time list and six were Desert Isle Keepers at AAR. Elizabeth’s books have been translated into eighteen languages.

Elizabeth researches extensively for her historical romances, both by reading books on topics such as: history, costume, warfare, social mannerisms, and cooking, and frequenting museums whenever she can to study portraits and the little dogs that aristocratic Georgian ladies seem to always be holding. When desperate she often consults Mr. Hoyt, who is an archaeologist and Historical Research Wizard.

Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the ever faithful Mr. Hoyt.

Buy Once and Always at Barnes and Noble, BAM, IndieBound, Kobo, Google, Apple, or Amazon.

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Top Five Pet Peeves About Writing by S.C. Stephens – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter to Rafflecopter to win a signed set of the Thoughtless series.

Top 5 Pet Peeves About Writing

-Realizing you used the same word fifty thousand times.

-Making major storyline changes when you’re 80% done.

-Working on a book all day, and only having 200 words to show for it.

-Hating a character’s name and changing it over and over and over.

-Editing. Editing. Editing.

2_26 Stephens_Thoughtful_TPIn Thoughtless, Kiera told her story. Now it’s time to hear from the sexy rock star who captivated us all . . .

The only place Kellan Kyle has ever felt at home is onstage. Gripping his guitar in a darkened bar, he can forget his painful past. These days his life revolves around three things: music, his bandmates, and hot hookups. Until one woman changes everything . . . Kiera is the kind of girl Kellan has no business wanting-smart, sweet, and dating his best friend. Certain he could never be worthy of her love, he hides his growing attraction . . . until Kiera’s own tormented heart hints that his feelings might not be one-sided. Now, no matter the consequences, Kellan is sure of one thing-he won’t let Kiera go without a fight.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Determined to stop thinking, to just go with whatever happened, I dipped my finger into my drink and wet the backs of our hands. Kiera watched every move I made as I shook some salt over our hands. When she made no move to drink her shot, I broke the ice and took mine so she’d feel more comfortable about doing this with me. My throat was numb from doing Jäger shots all night, so it didn’t even burn. It burned for Kiera though.

Her tongue came out to lick the salt off her hand, her mouth opened to receive her drink, and her lips curled around the lime, squeezing its juices. It was an erotic thing to watch. Then her face twisted into a grimace. I chuckled at her reaction, then poured us another round.

The second shot went down easier for her. The third was even easier. We didn’t talk, just drank. And the more alcohol she consumed, the hungrier her eyes became. She was staring at me as tenaciously as the women in the bar did. I did my best to ignore it, but it was difficult to do…I wanted her to look at me like that. I wanted to look at her like that. But I wasn’t about to make any assumptions on what was going to happen tonight. We were just two friends sharing a drink. Two single friends who had almost shared a lot more recently…

By the fourth shot, the alcohol was getting to me. I spilled the tequila trying to pour it in those tiny little glasses. I laughed as I almost dropped the lime from my mouth. I was way beyond buzzing now.

On the fifth shot, everything changed. Just as I was bending down to lick the salt from my skin, Kiera took my hand and ran her tongue over the back of it. She was soft, wet, warm, and felt amazing on my sensitive body. I wanted her to keep doing it, but she pulled back to drink her tequila shot. When she placed her wedge of lime between my lips, my heart sped up. Was she…?

She was. Her mouth reached up to connect with mine. Our lips pressed together as she sucked on the lime. All I could taste was lime and her. It was an intoxicating combination. But it wasn’t nearly satisfying enough. I needed more.
My breath felt strained when Kiera pulled away. Ragged. She teasingly removed the lime from her mouth and set it on the counter. When she seductively licked her fingers, my resolve evaporated. I suddenly didn’t give a shit what we’d been before, or who we’d been with. I didn’t care if she’d dated Denny—that seemed like a long-past memory at the moment. I didn’t care about Evan’s warnings, my regrettable experience with bedding roommates, my promise to Denny to stay away, or my own decision to not cross that uncrossable line. Kiera kissed me. She wanted me. And fuck, I wanted her too.

I took my shot of tequila straight, slammed the glass on the counter, then pulled her back to my mouth, where she belonged.

Our lips moving together felt better than I had imagined. There was so much eager, pent-up passion, I felt like we were both going to burst into flames. I couldn’t get enough of her. My hand on the back of her neck tightened, drawing her in even closer. My other hand found the small of her back. Perfection.

About the Author: 2_26 Stephens_Thoughtful_TPS. C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.

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Favorite Meals from the Authors of ACCIDENTAL VALENTINE: Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour sponsored by Roane Publishing. A randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter will receive a paperback copy of Accidental Valentine and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The authors of this anthology have agreed to share their two favorite meals for us.

Claire Gillian: I love to go a Mongolian Grill type restaurant where you assemble your own fresh ingredients and the chefs stir fry it on this massive grill while you wait. I don’t have to cook or clean up, always a plus, and it’s fairly healthy eating with no hidden MSG or excessive oils or other fats. After that I really enjoy making my yearly Thanksgiving spread, with a roasted turkey, yeast rolls made from scratch and slathered with creamy butter, an array of root and green vegetables and something sinfully decadent for dessert. Yum! I’m hungry now!

Katrina Sizemore: My favorite meals are homemade meatballs with spaghetti, and steak.

Jaylee Austin: Favorite meals are any dish I didn’t have to prepare. Cooking is the least favorite activity I like to do. If I never have to prepare another meal I’d be on top of the world. Two favorite dishes are my fresh cranberries with brandy, coconut sugar, orange juice or peel and nuts. Yummy! And Chicken tortilla soup.

S.L. Hughson: My most favorite meals are all about the gravy. Top choice: buttermilk biscuits slathered with sausage gravy. Close second: chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes – both drowned beneath country gravy – and green beans. I eat like a Southern girl, don’t I?

Wendy Sparrow: Eggplant Parmesan made by someone else. Food that I don’t have to agonize over getting right—and I never can seem to with eggplant—is the best sort of food. Then, of course Key Lime pie for dessert. Nothing makes me happy like good Key Lime pie.

2_24 AccidentalValentine_CvrGuiding Hearts by Claire Gillian: Is a lonely woman’s GPS sentient or is her subconscious taking her by the hand to help heal a scarred heart?

When Jemma Ernst’s GPS malfunctions and sends her to the home of handsome and engaging Gabriel Nash, she writes it off as a fluke. But she can’t seem to reprogram him out of her thoughts nor her GPS.

Better Latte Than Never by Katrina Sizemore: Single and cold on Valentine’s Day, Hailey Merritt is not looking forward to working all day at the coffee shop while everyone around her is cheery with romance and she’s stuck trying to figure out her next step in life.

But, when a special bouquet arrives for her from a secret admirer, she decides to reserve judgment on this holiday and find whomever sent the flowers.

Maybe Cupid has a plan to make this her favorite Valentine’s Day ever.

Dream Architect by S.L. Hughson: Taylor and Sons Custom Design keeps ASHLIN TAYLOR at arm’s length from her dream job. If only she were a son, she could follow her architectural dream. In the Taylor creed, girls get married and boys have careers. DYLAN CUTRIGHT focuses on finishing college and landing an architectural engineering job in a large firm. Minus emotional ties.

After their accidental encounter, their attraction is amplified during their work interaction. Unlike her family, Dylan encourages Ashlin to pursue her dream by enrolling in college. He even argues her case with Uncle Mike. All of this support confuses Ashlin because when she moves closer to him, he rebuffs her for reasons she can only speculate about.

Valentine’s Day might be the perfect opportunity for Ashlin to make him notice her. They are working together – alone – on the most romantic day of the year. Dylan builds her dream of career, but will he ever lower his walls and become more than just the man IN her dreams?

One Hot Angel by Jaylee Austin: Oblivious to Tiffany Jenkins in three short weeks her life will end—unless she makes the perfect choice. Will she chose revenge and expose her ex-husband? Or chose love and surrender her heart to the only man who can save her?

Rock My Bones by Wendy Sparrow: Jared has been eyeing the sexy mural painter from inside the museum’s paleontology lab, but she’s way out of his league. He can’t let her paint that obviously misplaced fern, though…even if it means initiating contact.

You could call her a paleontology groupie, but Shay Meyers is interested in a more modern specimen. An adult male Homo Sapien to be exact—one who needs to be dragged out of his lab for a practical course in mating rituals. If she’s lucky, this will be the Valentine’s Day she rocks his bones.

Buy the book at  Roane Publishing, Createspace, Amazon, Amazon (UK)Bookstrand, Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble.

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Return to You by Samantha Chase – Spotlight and Giveaway

2_24 SamanthaChaseGiveawayThis post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win author Samantha Chase’s travel prize pack including a Coach tote, copies of RETURN TO YOU and MEANT FOR YOU, a journal and beauty bag. Return to You releases March 3.

 

 

 

2_24 ReturnToYouShe will never forget their past…

He can’t stop thinking about their future…

James Montgomery has achieved everything he’d hoped for in life…except marrying the girl of his dreams. After a terrible accident, Selena Ainsley left ten years ago. She took his heart with her and she’s never coming back. But it’s becoming harder and harder for him to forget their precious time together, and James can’t help but wonder what he would do if they could ever meet again.

Enjoy an excerpt:

It was near midnight and Selena’s eyes felt heavy. With her head resting on James’s shoulder, she tried to focus on the ending of The Philadelphia Story. Back when they were dating, they used to enjoy watching classic movies, and finding one on the television seemed like the perfect way for them to relax after such an emotional evening.

James looked over at Selena and smiled to himself. If he could freeze this moment in time, he would. For years he had wondered if he’d ever find a woman he could come home to, with whom he could sit like this and simply relax. The woman half-asleep beside him was the only woman he wanted to fit that bill. The credits were beginning to roll, and he gently nudged her with his shoulder. “Hey,” he said softly, “are you still awake?”

“Mmm…barely,” she whispered and then yawned. As much as Selena knew that the bed would be a far more comfortable place to sleep, she didn’t want to leave the security of James’s side. She jumped when he shifted beside her to stand up. A wave of panic hit her as she prayed that he wasn’t getting up to leave. Before she could even voice her concern, James turned off the television and then scooped her up into his arms. “Oh!”

“Don’t get me wrong. I was completely enjoying being curled up with you on the sofa, but I had a feeling your neck was going to kill you tomorrow.” He walked through to the bedroom and carefully held her close as he pulled back the comforter and gently placed Selena down. Without a word, he walked back out to the living room and locked the door and turned out the lights before returning to her.

He didn’t ask permission.

She didn’t extend an invitation.

Neither seemed necessary.

About the Author: 2_24 Samantha ChaseNew York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.

When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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A Stolen Season by Tamara Gill – Spotlight and Giveaway

MBB_TourBanner_AStolenSeason copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_AStolenSeasonTime-traveling archaeologist Sarah Baxter just left a piece of 21st-century equipment in 19th century Regency England. Unfortunately, when she goes back to retrieve it, she makes an even bigger mess of things—resulting in the death of an English earl. Now his brother is not only out for revenge, but he also has Sarah’s device. Now Sarah must find a way to steal back her device, hide the truth about the earl’s brother and—most importantly—to not fall in love…

Enjoy an excerpt:

How did you tell a man of this era you would sleep with him, but marriage was certainly not a possibility? She was being cruel, leading him on. Who was she kidding? She felt the connection between them, too. It was like riding an out-of-control freight train that would eventually crash. And Eric would hate her if he ever found out why she was really here and what she’d done. She cleared her throat, unable to form the lie.

“Allow me to try and win your hand?” Eric asked, his eyes full of hope.

Sarah swallowed the lump in her throat. “You may try, Eric.” But you will fail.

About the Author: Tamara is an Australian author who grew up in an old mining town in country South Australia, where her love of history was founded. So much so, she made her darling husband travel to the UK for their honeymoon, where she dragged him from one historical monument and castle to another.

A mother of three, her two little gentleman’s in the making, a future Lady (she hopes) and a part-time job keep her busy in the real world, but whenever she gets a moment’s peace she loves to write romance novels in an array of genres, including regency, medieval and paranormal.

Tamara loves hearing from readers and writers alike. You can contact her through her website, and sign up to follow her blog or newsletter.

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Other retailers: Amazon UK, Kobo, or iBooks

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Kiss Me Hello by Grace Burrowes – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a Sourcebooks Contemporary Romance Bundle including THE SWEETEST KISSES series by Grace Burrowes. Kiss Me Hello, the third book in The Sweetest Kisses series releases on March 3. Read our review here.

2_23 grace Kiss Me Hello

He loves her, she loves him not…?

In the third novel of The Sweetest Kisses series, single mom Sidonie Lindstrom has her hands full with a troubled foster son, an abrupt adjustment to country living, and an unforeseen lack of funds. When her taciturn neighbor, MacKenzie Knightley, repeatedly offers practical help, Sid reminds herself she’s not interested in the neighbor-despite his kindness, pragmatism and quiet charm. MacKenzie sees the vulnerability beneath her pride, and he’s determined to change her mind…

Enjoy an excerpt:

“This is a nice spot,” Mac said. “The horses will loaf here in the hotter months because the trees make for good shade, but the canopy isn’t quite done leafing out yet, so we’ll be able to see the moon come over the ridge.” He spread the blanket on a patch of grass up the slope from the pond.

Sid settled on the blanket, running her hand over what felt like soft flannel, while Mac lowered himself beside her.

“Give me your foot.” Mac didn’t wait for her to comply. He took Sid by the foot, and drew her running shoe off. “Other one.”

He peeled her socks down and tucked them into her shoes, then unlaced his boots and set them beside the blanket, stuffing a sock in each one. “Moonrise is always best appreciated barefoot.”

The sentiment was poetical; the words were not. “Is that a rule?”

“Suppose it is.” He took off his jacket, balled it up, and lay back to rest his head on it. “Come here and let me hold you, Sidonie. I haven’t watched the moon come up with a lovely woman in my arms for years.”

She settled against him, resting her head on the slope of his shoulder. “We’re going to talk about rules like this?” He thought she was lovely.

“We’ll come to some understandings.” His arm came around her shoulders, and his hand stroked over her hair. “I’ll undo this braid while we’re at it.”

“Don’t lose my elastic.”

His fingers were soon winnowing through her hair, drawing the length of it over her shoulder.

“How am I supposed to think about rules when you’re touching me like this, MacKenzie?”

“You don’t need to think. You just tell me what’s true for you.”

“True about what?”

He went quiet again, while Sid repositioned herself against him. She could hear his heart beat, feel the slow, steady thud of his life’s blood beneath her cheek.

“What do you want from me, Sidonie Lindstrom? What do you need?”

“Nobody has asked me that before.” She considered her answer, while Mac’s hand drifted through her hair, across her back, down her arm. “I want a friend, I guess. You’ve been a friend to me, and I wasn’t expecting to find that here.”

“Is that all you want? I can be a good friend. My brothers would vouch for me in that regard.”

She could not tell from his voice if he was disappointed with her answer, or pleased. “No, that isn’t all I want, but I’ll settle for it, and be grateful if that’s where you want to draw the line. A friend, a real friend, is nothing to scoff at.”

Another silence, while Mac got his hand on her nape and started massaging the tension there. His idea of friendship would soon leave Sid witless and boneless.

“I can’t expect you to put yourself out there without showing I’m willing to do likewise: I want you.” Mac’s voice was quiet in the gathering darkness. “I want you at least for a friend, an intimate friend, Sidonie, but I don’t share something that precious. If you allow me the privileges of a lover, then I will expect that for whatever time I enjoy that status, those privileges are exclusively mine. You will agree to this, or our friendship keeps its clothes on.”

Sid shivered, though the night wasn’t uncomfortably cool, and Mac gave off heat like a woodstove. He was so serious about this, when they could have shared a casual romp in the moonlight.

She would have settled for that—and settling would have been a mistake.

She traced his facial features. Beyond serious, he was solemn, as if these understandings he sought could be the foundation for something even greater than friendship.

“If you agree to my terms,” he said, his hand slowing in her hair, “you agree because it’s what you want too, not because I need to hear the words and you have a private agenda that’s different from what you’ll say to me.”

He was asking for honesty, the most basic tenet of a real friendship. Friends were kind to each other, considerate, patient, reliable, but above all, a friend was somebody who told the truth.

“I don’t have much practice with relationships, MacKenzie.”

He rolled slowly, like the earth heaving up, until Sid was on her back with Mac blanketing her. “There’s more to say.” He rested his forehead against hers. “A lot more, but right now, Sidonie, I have to kiss you. Have to.”

About the Author: 2_23 GraceBurrowesNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. The Heir was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish won Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 from RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was a PW Best Book of 2012. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

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