May Your Heart Be Light by Sandy Lender – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

After graduation from business school and escape from engagement, Jennifer DeVision wants peace on earth for the holidays. Joining friends at the Rose Chateau seems like the calm answer to a question she hasn’t asked.

When the mysterious owner of the bed-and-breakfast begins to bring out more than the Christmas spirit in Jennifer, the forces that have been holding her in check get angry. Caleb Odan and his enabling staff of merrymakers might turn this vacation back into the romantic and magical time it’s supposed to be, if they can figure out what they’ve invited into their midst before it threatens both Jennifer and Caleb’s existence.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Date Scene Excerpt

Roger paced. Niles brushed a lint-roller down the arm of Caleb’s modern tuxedo jacket as if there was anything on it. Lisa frowned. “I don’t get it. You’ve had three bottles of your wine. Why isn’t the color coming into your cheeks?”

“Nerves?” Niles suggested.

“Because it’s not the real deal,” Caleb muttered. “But I can’t very well hop out of the limousine and drain some stray innocent on the way to the theatre, can I? Pardon me, but sit here just a moment, Jenna, my darling, I have to kill someone before we go in.”

Niles grimaced. “At least he has his sharp wit about him for the evening.”

“It would help if Roger wasn’t singing ‘it’s a mistake’ in his mind over and over and over…and what does ‘men at work’ have to do with this situation? I don’t understand it.”

Roger threw his hands up in frustration. “I can’t help it. It is a mistake. You’re going on a date? In public? With a guest? To sit in the mayor’s private box at the theatre? This couldn’t be any more cliché unless one of your past vampire friends shows up and starts ripping people apart on stage like it’s French theatrics!”

Caleb sighed.

“Roger,” Lisa said. “Really?”

“Well, come on. Doesn’t anyone else feel it in their gut that this is going to end up on the five o’clock news?”

“Relax,” Caleb droned. “The five o’clock news is over. Best we can do now is ten o’clock or some sort of late-breaking story that interrupts the regularly scheduled programming.”

Roger stared at Caleb a moment. “Did you just make a joke? A modern-day—”

“All right, both of you, settle down,” Lisa said. “Roger, stop antagonizing the vampire before he decides to bite you to get his color in his cheeks. Caleb, stop tormenting the man who’s just looking out for your best inte

rests. Now, Dahling, you look mahvelous.”

About the Author:Sandy Lender has a 23-year career in journalism and public relations. She teaches media training to university officials and corporate CEOs, but also has a keen understanding of online marketing. She taught how to use social media for one’s business at the 2011 CONEXPO/CON-AGG, which is the largest tradeshow in the United States. She also presents workshops on writing, editing and the surprising topic of reptile husbandry. Lender is a sea turtle conservationist and published fantasy author anticipating the release of her final Choices novel this winter. While we await Choices Meant for All, she’s offered the spine-tingling yet amusing paranormal holiday romance May Your Heart Be Light. Check her out at Facebook. Buy the book at Amazon.

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Unbuttoning the CEO by Mia Sosa – Spotlight

12_1 sosa Unbuttoning-the-CEO-Launch-Day-Blitz

This post is part of a virtual book blast to celebrate the release of Mia Sosa’s newest book Unbuttoning the CEO.

12_1 Sosa_Unbuttoning the CEO_E-BookAs the CEO of a large tech company and a semi-reformed bad boy, Ethan Hill is used to calling the shots. But when he’s sentenced to work two hundred hours of community service-for reckless driving, of all things-this chief executive needs to keep his real identity under wraps. Which gets increasingly difficult when he can’t stop thinking about his sexy new (temporary) boss.

The moment Graciela Ramirez meets Ethan, she’s tempted to throw all professionalism out the window. She can’t afford to get emotionally involved, but after a steamy session behind office doors, a no-strings-attached fling might be exactly what they need. He’ll protect his secret. She’ll protect her heart. What could possibly go wrong?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“We have a dinner reservation at eight. I figure we could go bowling before then. It’s a family favorite. I used to play a lot when I was a kid. Are you game?”

Gracie loved the idea, but she downplayed her excitement. Maybe this date wouldn’t be as terrifying as she’d imagined. “Sounds like fun. You’ll have to be patient with me, though. I haven’t played in a long time.”

He pushed off the wall and sidled up to her. “I was hoping you’d say that.” Then he took her jacket from her hands and stood behind her. As she slipped her arms through the jacket’s sleeves, he caged her in his arms. His warm breath drifted near her ear and she jumped. “Are you nervous?”

“What gave it away? The sweat on my upper lip?”

“Yes,” he said.

She whipped around and stared him down.

He took a step back with his hands in the air. “I’m kidding.” Then he grabbed the ends of the scarf she’d just draped around her neck and tugged her flush against him. “Why don’t we get the kiss out of the way? From there, everything should go smoothly.”

Oh, yes, please. She reached into his jacket and threaded her hands together at his waist. “I should say no just to spite you.”

“Ah, Gracie, but you’d only be punishing yourself.”

She couldn’t help but to grin at his conceit. “Wow. Someone’s cocky this evening.”

“Hold that thought for a couple of hours. Trust me. It’ll come in handy later.”

She lifted her chin. “Are you stalling?”

He didn’t answer. Instead, his mouth swept over hers as his hands rubbed her back. Gracie opened her mouth and welcomed him inside. His lips danced across hers like silk, and then he followed his careful ministrations with a gentle tug of her bottom lip. Gracie was startled by the attention Nic paid to her mouth. The kiss was not a means to an end. It was the end itself. And Gracie enjoyed every minute of it.

Pressed against him, Gracie knew Nic was as affected by the kiss as she was. She reached between them, seeking his hard length. Once again, though, he stopped her. “Bowling,” he said in a rough voice. “We’re going bowling. And we need sustenance. Then you’ll see how cocky I can be.”

Gracie laughed and pushed him away. He seemed to know exactly what to say to ease her jitters. “If you don’t stop talking yourself up, I’m going to start to think you’re all hype. Let’s go.”

About the Author: Mia Sosa was born and raised in New York. She attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications and met her own romantic hero, her husband. Mia once dreamed of being a professional singer, but practical considerations (read: the need to pay bills) led her to take the law school admissions test instead.

A graduate of Yale Law School, Mia practiced First Amendment and media law in the nation’s capital for ten years before returning to her creative roots. Now, she spends most of her days writing contemporary romances about smart women and the complicated men who love them.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters and will forever be on the hunt for the perfect karaoke bar.

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What Maxi Needs by Calista Fox – Spotlight

12_1 fox What-Maxi-Needs-Launch-Day-Blitz

This post is part of a virtual book blast to celebrate the release of What Maxi Needs by Calista Fox.

12_1 Fox_What Maxi Needs_E-BookMaxi Shayne needs to be on her toes as the new vice president of operations for Staci Kay Shoes. With a production crisis looming, she can’t afford distractions – but every tall, chiseled, dangerously handsome inch of Ryan Donovan is exactly that. What’s worse, the gorgeous Aussie is a numbers nerd hired to get the company back on track and Maxi is his new boss. Which means no matter how wildly tempted she is, he’s strictly off-limits.

Ryan hadn’t factored blue eyes, long legs, and a sexy smile into his equations for success, but after meeting Maxi, he’s definitely ready to recalculate. Keeping his mind on business isn’t easy though, because whenever she’s near, all he can think about is what else she’s got going on above her six-inch black stilettos. Before he can get the job done, Ryan will have to convince Maxi that the office doesn’t have to be all work and no play.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Ryan pushed at the bridge of his glasses to hitch them up his nose a notch. Not dismissing the fact that he was muddying waters by bringing intimacy into their exchange, yet unable to stop himself. Maxi easily ignited his inquisitive nature. Stimulated it beyond all belief, to be exact.

“We’re discussing people, of course.”

“Huh,” she mused with a playful smile. “’Cause you’re making me think in scientific terms here, Doc.”

“Hilarious,” he deadpanned at the moniker she’d used. “Point being, at the intervals I’m utilizing for this hypothesis, you might end up spending approximately twenty-six hours a week with someone you’re romantically interested in—not married to, living with, or seriously dating, mind you—versus the fifty hours you spend with someone you’re not romantically involved with. Which would conclusively indicate that you are more attuned in a more in-depth capacity at concentrated levels to the person you work with versus the person you have dinner and occasional sexual relations with—correct?”

Her eyes squeezed shut for a moment. Then flew open. Her mouth worked vigorously like a fish attempting to dislodge a hook stuck in its throat—or maybe she thought she had a rebuttal, but couldn’t quite form the full concept in her head.

Ryan waited patiently as she grappled with her internal ruminations.

“I’m sorry,” she finally repeated, pinning him with an intent look. “I’ve completely forgotten what we were originally discussing.”

“The theory of platonic friendship.” His gaze swept her office, landing on the framed whiteboard mounted to a portion of one wall. He stood. “Let me diagram it out for you—”

“No!” she blurted.

His body jolted at her forcefulness. Jolted in a good way. “No?”

“No.” She set her sandwich aside and got to her feet, gazing deep into his eyes. “No diagramming, extrapolating, analyzing. No low-hanging fruit here, Doc.”

She rounded the desk. Planted her hands on her hips. “Carnal compatibility isn’t about studies and measurements and quantum-fucking-physics. When two people are hot for each other, Ryan, they’re just that—hot for each other!”

Gripping his lapels in her slender fists, she insisted, “It’s sexual chemistry, Einstein. Raw, insane, vibrant, explosive! In its very purest, utterly basic, most fantastic form, it makes you completely irrational and urges you to tear off clothing and give in to every raging desire clawing at you. Clawing at you!”

Ryan’s pulse skyrocketed. Lust flashed through him.

Maxi wasn’t done. “And there is no Gantt chart in the world that can predict it, graph it, keep it on track, or promise that it won’t wreck you to the core of your being. But when it happens? Holy hell! Just let the firestorm burn you through and through!”

She tugged him roughly to her and kissed him deeply, madly, passionately.

Ryan let her. Responded vehemently, in fact, all physical restraint fleeing. In a heartbeat.

About the Author: Calista is a former PR professional, now writing fast-paced, steamy books to set your pulse racing! She is an Amazon bestseller and has won many Reviewer’s and Reader’s Choice Awards, as well as Best Book Awards and other competitions with publication as first prize. Calista is a college graduate and teaches online writing classes. She is also Past President/Advisor of the Phoenix Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

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The Wild Irish Heart by Tricia O’Malley – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tricia O’Malley will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It is time…

An ancient book, a power untouched, and a heart unloved lead Keelin O’Brien from her graduate studies in Boston to a small village on the coast of Southern Ireland. Determined to unearth the secrets lying hidden in the enchanted waters of the cove, Keelin has little time for a surly Irishman who infuriates her during the day and haunts her fantasies at night.

Inexplicably drawn to the woman who has stepped from his dreams and into his world, Flynn fights a stubborn battle against his increasing attraction for Keelin. Forces unknown have better plans for the two.

Only the secrets of the cove can show Keelin who she really is, the beauty of her mysterious power, and a love that will break the bounds of what she knows.

From New York Times Bestselling author, Tricia O’Malley, comes a new romance series set on the rocky shores of Ireland.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I suppose I should thank you,” Keelin stuttered. She tried to regain her composure as she lifted her chin at him.

“Of all the…how do I end up with the woman that is stubborn as all get-out?”

Flynn said to himself as he started the motor and whipped towards shore. Keelin pulled the towel that he had handed around her and tried to get warm.

“You know, most women would have thrown themselves on me in gratitude. You know, promising anything I wanted? Offers of undying devotion? Baked goods? No. You can barely thank me.” Flynn glared at her.

Keelin stared regally at him from across the boat.

“I am sure I would have been fine. I just needed to cut across the current is all, and I was a bit disoriented.”
“A bit? You were a quarter mile out! You were shark bait. A goner! What were you even thinking? Are you insane?” Flynn lost it as they motored quietly into the cove. His shouts echoed off the walls of the empty cove and Ronan went silent on the beach.

“Hey! You aren’t the boss of me! I’ll have you know that I am a trained diver. I study this. This is what I do.”

“Trained? Hardly! If you were trained you would know not to go diving alone and perhaps maybe to study the waters ahead of time and know that there is a nine-knot current that runs outside the cove. Had I not been out fishing today and heard your cry for help you would have been gone in minutes!” Flynn cut the motor and raged at her.

Keelin stood up on shaky legs and yelled at him.

“I’ll have you know that I am a professional!”

“A professional pain in the ass!”

They were nose to nose in the rocking boat. Keelin’s breath huffed out and her chest heaved.

Flynn sighed and laid his forehead against hers, surprising her.

“Just. Just don’t ever do that again. Please.”

About the Author:

A New York Times Bestselling author, Tricia O’Malley lives in Milwaukee with her husband Josh, and their much doted-upon dogs, Briggs and Blue. On a typical day you will find her lost in the worlds of her making or working with up-and-coming authors. She loves the entrepreneurial life, is strongly resistant to the cubicle-world, and thrives on creating the life that she’s always wanted to live.

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The book will be free during the tour.

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In Her Blood by Janice Jones – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Janice Jones will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Alex Stone, an ex vampire hunting assassin, is the owner of a hot new clothing company. The only thing she’s killing is her competition – until she gets a phone call from her past.



Enjoy an excerpt:

She enjoyed seeing those chains of pure silver wrapped around the vampire’s scrawny arms like tattoos. He barely resembled the picture of the old parish priest the Cardinal sent them two weeks ago. His brown skin hung from his bones like an ill-fitting suit. His paunch bounced up and down as he struggled to get loose. It took longer to catch him, much longer than it should have, but all’s well that ends well.

Alex Stone, call-sign Dagger, ran her fingers through her dark hair. Flakes of dried blood and sand fell as she pulled the dirty mess into a ponytail. Benjamin Palmer, Team Commander, snatched her wounded hand back down and tightened the field dressing as he griped at her about how dumb it was to try to catch the sharp end of a knife with her hand. She knew that . . . now.

“Who do you think you are,” he said as he gave the knot one last yank, “Superman?” Ben checked her busted lip with a shake of his head. “That’s gonna hurt like hell till morning.”

Alex just nodded, taking the pills in her good hand and swallowing them with a quick sip of warm water from his canteen.

Under normal circumstances, Alex would be pulled from the field, evaluated and possibly scrubbed from the next assignment for that stunt. But time was running out and this wasn’t normal, not even for the top vampire hunting team in the country.

About the Author:

Being an introvert doesn’t mean you have no voice. It just means you have the ability to communicate in different ways. For new author and champion introvert, Janice Jones, that way is writing. She began by reading anything she could get her hands on, but after college, she found herself in roles that required more business-focused writing than fiction. This didn’t stop her – she continued to create her own stories to feed her passion for the written word.

Honing her skills as a paralegal for several years, Janice continued to feed the beast by spending every spare minute she could creating the world of her first fictional character Alexa Stone. In Her Blood, the first book in the Dagger Chronicles series, will introduce New Adult Fiction readers to the adventures of an ex-assassin and vampire hunter as she returns to the fight after many years of hiding in plain sight.

The idea for In Her Blood came during a rough time in Janice’s life. Overcoming loss can be tough for anyone. For Janice, writing helped her focus and heal. As a tribute to her late sister, she had the opportunity to release a short story entitled “Dancing on a Sunday Afternoon” in 2009. Receiving positive feedback, she continued to write and focus on improving every way she could. Earning a Master’s in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University, Janice was encouraged to finish the Dagger Chronicles series and pursue publication. Rejections came, but she never quit. Now, her debut novel will soon have a place next to some of her favorite fiction.

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Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Amberjack Publishing.

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A Billionaire Between the Sheets by Katie Lane – Spotlight and Giveaway

11_27 Billionaire-Between-the-Sheets-Release-Week-Blitz

This post is part of a virtual book tour celebrating the release of Katie Lane’s newest release A Billionaire Between the Sheets. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of the book.

11_27 Lane_A Billionaire Between the Sheets_MMA commanding presence in the boardroom and the bedroom, Deacon Beaumont has come to save the failing company French Kiss. He was born to be boss in this glamorous new world of lacy lingerie and stunning supermodels. But one bold and beautiful woman dares to question his authority.

Olivia Harrington has dedicated her life to the company’s success. Just because Deacon is sexy as hell doesn’t mean he’ll make a better CEO. With a limitless supply of push-up bras and garter belts, Olivia turns her considerable feminine charms on Deacon to discover what makes him tick . . . and reveals instead the billion reasons why she wants him to stay.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The words were out of Deacon’s mouth before he could stop them. Not that he didn’t know where they came from. The moment Olivia had started clicking through Grayson’s drawings, Deacon’s mind had stripped off Olivia’s gray power suit and dressed her in each article of lingerie. From the sheer, sexy nightgowns to the hot, leather corsets. And it didn’t help that Grayson had put Olivia’s features on the model in each drawing. It didn’t help at all.

Olivia blinked. “Excuse me?”

He could’ve teased his way out of it, but he discovered he didn’t want to. “Your panties,” he repeated. “I want to see them.” He watched a blush stain her cheeks, and her breasts lift in a quick inhalation of breath.

“B-but why?”

“Let’s just say that your designs intrigued me, and I’ve been wondering what style you chose as your own.”

Her breath released, and the moist heat brushed over his face and relocated beneath the fly of his jeans. She glanced at the door, and then whispered. “Someone could walk in.”

The fact that she was even considering it excited him even more. He smoothed back the wisp of hair that had come loose from the clip at the back of her head. “Don’t tell me you’re too bashful. Not when you’ve showed me your panties before.”

“I was fourteen.”

“It was still hot.”

Her eyes widened. “You thought I was hot?”

“Yes. So are you going to show them to me or make me guess?” When she only stared back at him with those pretty green eyes, he continued. “Let’s see. You have on a gray suit so I’m going to go with the purple satin panties with the little ribbon bows.”

She shook her head.

“The white see-through thong with the lace?”

Another shake, and her hair came unclipped, falling around her face in golden waves.

He lifted a strand and held it to his nose. It smelled like he thought sunshine would. Clean, fresh, and hot. “Please don’t disappoint me and tell me you’ve got on a pair of panties that are big enough to dry my two-ton truck after the carwash,” he teased.

There was a moment’s hesitation before she spoke so softly that he had to tip his head closer just to hear. “What with everything, I haven’t had a chance to do laundry.” She swallowed and blushed even brighter. “So . . .”

Her words trailed off taking all the oxygen in the air with them. He felt lightheaded and woozy. Or maybe his condition had more to do with all the blood rushing to his dick. Whatever the cause, he couldn’t think past one thing . . . Olivia wasn’t wearing any panties. And hadn’t been wearing panties the entire time she’d been doing the Power Point presentation.

About the Author: Katie Lane is the USA Today bestselling author of the Deep in the Heart of Texas and Hunk for the Holiday series. Katie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and when she isn’t writing, enjoys reading, going to the gym, golfing, traveling, or just snuggling next to her high school sweetheart and cairn terrier Roo.

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Dragon Storm by Katie MacAlister – Spotlight and Giveaway

11_25 Katie Dragon-Storm-Release-Week-Blitz

This post is part of a virtual book tour orgainized by the publisher for the release of Katie MacAlister’s latest release, Dragon Storm. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win a copy of the book.

11_25 Katie MacAlister_Dragon Storm_MMTURN ON THE CHARM

According to some (including himself), Constantine is one of the greatest heroes of dragonkin who ever lived. Too bad he’s now lonelier than ever and his biggest adventure involves a blow-up sheep-until he has an opportunity to save his kind once again. All Constantine has to do is break into a demon’s dungeon, steal an ancient artifact, and reverse a deadly curse. The plan certainly does not involve rescuing a woman . . .


Bee isn’t sure whether to be infuriated or relieved when Constantine pops up in her prison. The broody, brawny shifter lights her fire in a way no one ever has before, yet how far can she really trust him? Their chemistry may be off the charts, but when push comes to shove, Constantine will have to make a crucial choice: to save the dragons or the woman he’s grown to love with fierce intensity.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Well, I don’t like to be touched,” Bee said, walking forward purposely until she reached the limit of the chain. “Not by women, disembodied Knockers, or even dragons with dreamy knuckles.”

“My knuckles are not dreamy,” Constantine said quickly, and waited for her to turn back to him before he moved forward, once again taking her hand. “They are simply hands, nothing more. Functional in a manly sort of way, but just hands. They are certainly not worth commenting about.”

“For pity’s sake, will you stop trying to paw me!” Bee stopped and whirled around to face Constantine, banging the birdcage against his hand in an attempt to loosen the grip. “I’m not interested in you, OK? Talk about arrogance—will you get it through your thick head that just because you’re handsome, and have eyes that are the color of an old piece of amber, and hair that you think at first glance is just brown, but then you realize is shot through with dark honey, doesn’t mean that I’m going to swoon at your feet just because you keep touching me.”

“Do you dislike men?” Constantine asked.

“No! At least, not in the sense you mean.” She tugged down her shirt in an irritated manner. “I just don’t like being manhandled, OK? Not even by handsome dragons. Especially by handsome dragons.”

“You say the word dragon like we are some sort of beast. We are not human, but we are an ancient race, and have adopted human mores. We are polite, we are considerate—when it behooves us to be—and we have very nice manners.”

“Ha! I knew a dragon once, and he was anything but nice. He was always grabbing me, and teasing me with his fire, which hurt like the dickens if you want to know the truth.”

“You don’t like dragons?” Constantine couldn’t believe his ears. He’d met women who hadn’t desired him personally, but never one who was prepared to damn all of the dragonkin.

“Let’s just say that given past experience, I don’t seek out your company.”

Constantine stared at her in confusion, then did the only thing he could think of. He kissed her.

She started when his mouth claimed hers, but despite his guess that she’d push him away, or slap him for such a brash move, her mouth opened under his and welcomed him into her sweetness.

About the Author: For as long as she can remember Katie MacAlister has loved reading, and grew up with her nose buried in a book. It wasn’t until many years later that she thought about writing her own books, but once she had a taste of the fun to be had building worlds, tormenting characters, and falling madly in love with all her heroes, she was hooked.

With more than fifty books under her belt, Katie’s novels have been translated into numerous languages, been recorded as audiobooks, received several awards, and are regulars on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. A self-proclaimed gamer girl, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with her dogs, and frequently can be found hanging around online.

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Steal Me by Lauren Layne – Spotlight and Giveaway

11_25 Steal-Me-Release-Week-Blitz

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 Steal Me.

11_25 Layne_Steal Me_MMBeing a cop might be in Anthony Moretti’s blood, but protecting and serving the city of New York has always been more than just the family business. If that means his love life stays locked up, well then that’s just another sacrifice made in the line of duty. That is, until he sets eyes on the gorgeous new waitress at The Darby Diner and suddenly Anthony’s morning coffee is leaving him a whole lot more hot and bothered than usual.

Though waitressing at The Darby isn’t exactly Maggie Walker’s dream job, it pays the bills and gives her time to work on her novel. Now if only she could stop fantasizing about gorgeous Anthony Moretti every time he sits down at her table, she’d really be in great shape. But when he needs her help identifying a criminal threatening The Darby-and Maggie recognizes her ex-husband-she fears her fresh start might be a pipe dream. Faster than a New York minute, Maggie and Anthony find themselves in one perilous pursuit that only gets hotter with each and every rule-breaking kiss.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Men,” Elena muttered. “Communicating in food.”
“So?” Vincent said. “You women communicate in shoes and chocolate and—“
“And wine,” came a soft female voice from the edge of the table. “Don’t forget wine.”
He knew his brothers would never let him forget it if he said it aloud, he very nearly did, just to hear her name on his lips. But somehow he knew this woman, not by her voice, or her look, or even her smell, but just by her presence.
He felt her. Felt when she was near. Felt when she was afraid. And felt when her eyes were on him.

Like now.

“You’re a wine-o, Mags?” Luc said, forcing her to shift her gaze from Anth to his brother, and causing Anth to want to relieve Luca of all of his teeth.

Maggie gave a small smile. “Let’s just say that sometimes a glass of wine is just exactly the thing.”

“Or a bottle,” Ava chimed in. “Sometimes a bottle is just the thing.”

Maggie grinned down Luc’s girlfriend. “Or a bottle,” she agreed. “Although the hangover is rarely worth it.”

She flicked a gaze at Anthony, and he gave her the smallest of winks, reassuring her that he did in fact remember that her last hangover involved him and a series of texts …

Too late, he realized that his siblings would be watching him like a hawk, and no way were the Morettis the type to let one of their own off the hook.

“Did you just wink?” Elena asked.

Anth gave her his best scowl, but his sister merely shrugged. “Glare all you want. I know what I saw.”

“Then why did you ask?”

“What Sister Dearest meant to ask,” Luc chimed in, “was not did you wink, because obviously you did, but why did you wink, Anth?”

“I didn’t wink.”

“You totally winked,” Ava chimed in. He transferred his glare to the pretty brunette who merely beamed and stole a piece of never-ending supply bacon.

“You did wink,” Maggie said, a smile lighting up her face as she looked at him.

And though Anthony knew it was insane … knew that his family would see right through him, he couldn’t stop himself from smiling back.

Vincent cleared his throat. “Hey, Mags, baby … I think there was maybe some mistake, but um, Anthony seemed to get all the bacon in the restaurant.”

“Seriously, there are like, twenty pieces,” Elena chimed in.

Anth leaned back in his chair and watched as Maggie’s pretty features formed the picture of confusion. “I’m not sure what you mean.”

Nonna pointed a long spindling finger at Anthony’s plate. “Sure you do. You made sure he got half of a hog all because you two had relations.”

Maggie gave one of those slow, secret smiles that only women seemed familiar with and leaned down so her lips were close to his grandmother’s ear. “Mrs. Moretti, with all due respect … if I were to have relations with a man, he’d have all the reward he needs. You get me?”

Maggie stood up slowly, grinning a little when Nonna let out a delighted whoop and smacked her palm against Maggie’s backside as Ava and Elena gave Maggie high fives. Even his mother looked strangely approving.

Anthony, meanwhile, was torn between grinning with the rest of his family and wanting to drag Maggie out of the back door of the diner, press her up against the brick wall and show her that when it came to relations, he was no slouch either.

About the Author: A long-time romance reader, Lauren Layne thinks the only thing better than reading about happy endings is writing them. She now pursues a full-time career in Happily Ever After, a job she’s naturally suited for after marrying her high school sweetheart. A bit of a nomad, Lauren’s lived everywhere from Orange County to Manhattan, and currently lives in the Seattle-area. Her hobbies include coffee by day, wine by night, and lots of writing in between. She’s also a total website nerd and insists you check out!

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Hidden by Amy McKinley – Q&A and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. One randomly chosen commenter will receive a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome Amy McKinley to Long and Short Reviews as she stops by to answer a few random questions. Amy, what would we find under your bed?

Dust? (hopefully not) :-)

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

Yes, I definitely listen to music while I write. It fades into the background and aids in creativity. I can write without it but prefer to have it playing.

I have several playlists and I change them depending on what scene I’m writing. If it’s an action scene with lots of fighting then I may have something heavy with a lot of angst. For some of the love scenes, I was listening to “Where Have You Been” by Rhianna, or “Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez. I feel like Rhianna’s song really encompasses Jade and Roen.

It truly varies: Fall Out Boy, Bastille, Imagine Dragons, Meghan Trainor, Maroon 5, Muse, Eminem, among others.

What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

I’d definitely like to finish another book or two in the Five Fates Series. I have a few more that have been percolating that are not in the series. That’s tough because I want to dive into them all, but I find it hard to pull myself away from the next books in the Fates series.

How long did it take you to write this book?

I feel like I’ve been writing this book for years! But really, I think I’ve been revising it for a very long time. It probably took me close to a year to write it as it’s my first novel, but I’m not entirely sure. Now revisions…that’s another story!

MediaKit_BookCover_HiddenCursed since birth, hunted by gods, and desperate for love—Jade never stood a chance.

Half-demon, half-goddess, Jade’s fate makes her a pawn in an epic battle among the gods. Hidden on Earth with her sisters, she successfully avoids the Oneiroi—the dream gods—bent on her destruction until the prophecy, long dormant, awakens a dark shadow within her.

Roen, a reclusive Worr demon known for his battles against the Oneiroi, is called to protect Jade. Together they must unlock their mysterious connection and find a way to beat back destiny. Can she outsmart the prophecy, change her fate, and find love—even when she learns who is connected to her destruction?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jade froze, her paintbrush hanging mid-air above her palette. An eerie, surreal frame was cast as light streamed diagonally through the bay window.

Whispers seduced and coerced.

She scanned the entire painting. The buildings cast long, ominous shadows, stalking the pedestrians as they made their way to and fro, huddled against the misery of the evening. A man lay sprawled, his lifeblood staining the sidewalk crimson. Half in a deserted alley, he was yet to be discovered. This was the detail Jade concentrated on. She blended a burnt red and used careful brush strokes to complete the scene as the portrait fell prey to the darkness that burned inside her.

Without meaning to, her gaze was once again drawn to the slain man. She reached up and touched the blood seeping from his body, coming away wet. Bringing her hand to her nose she closed her eyes and inhaled.

Instead of the cloying scent of her oils, she inhaled the coppery smell of blood.

Stunned, her mouth parted on a silent scream. No! Darkness bubbled to the surface, invading her senses with a roar. Unable to fight the invasion, her heart beat an increasing crescendo. Part of her didn’t want to struggle, not with the temptation of death on her hand.

Deep inside, a macabre shadow stretched. Hungry for more, its long arms clawed for purchase with each breath. Changing her, as part of her argued for the better. The other part—the one that gloried in her fire-kissed hair and shimmering eyes—cried against this crime and screamed for redemption.

She crouched to welcome the demonic strength as the parasitic monster grew inside her. Evolving into a fierce predator, she was able to taste, weigh, and measure the souls who sifted through her fingers.

Still, she fought for space in her own body. For control.

But with the scent of blood, of death, of prey—she was losing fast. It’s happening. Unshed tears burned her eyes. Finally. The curse of the three Fates had begun. With her.

Slowly Jade stood and bit down on her lip and welcomed the pain. The distraction would help fight the transformation. Dipping the brush into the Caribbean blue, she swirled then began to paint a shimmering cove. The vision soothed the beast that lurked just beneath, but it was temporary, and Jade knew its evil would soon rebel. The Fates’ curse would change her over time, unleashing an unstoppable power within her, annihilating the gods who created her and anyone who got in her path.

Including her family.

Dropping the blue-tipped brush, Jade’s back snapped straight and her mouth opened on silent scream. Succumbing to a surge of menace, she lost control. Every cell stretched to accommodate the new presence. Shivering from the effects of her altered state, she briefly shut her eyes, adjusting. When she opened them, her painting was before her, and she viewed the scene anew. Cocking her head, she closely observed a woman who tightly clutched her rain slicker about her body.

This one will not make it home tonight.

About the Author: Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. Her debut novel, Hidden is the first in the Five Fates Series.

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Dukes Are Forever by Anna Harrington – Q&A 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 to win a copy of the book.

What would readers be surprised to find out about you?

I have a pilot’s license. I took flying lessons at Chicago Midway and eventually earned both my private license and instrument rating in Chicago Center and my complex/high-performance sign-off at Gary Regional Airport. (And I deeply apologize to Southwest Airlines and to the tower controllers for any problems I might have caused.)

Tell us about your writing process. Do you start with an idea or a character? Do you know what’s going to happen from the beginning or do you figure it out as you write?

I usually start with a problem and work out from there, creating the characters, places, and conflicts that radiate from that central problem. For DUKES ARE FOREVER, the problem was simple: what if a new duke was forced to take a ward who wasn’t a child but a full-grown woman? Then, the ideas just ripple out from that like circles in a pond. The first thing I do is sketch out the external and internal conflicts, then I write out the basic plot and backgrounds for the two main characters, which is usually about 2 – 3 pages long. I then start filling in details. When I’m finished, I’ll have what I consider the “outline draft”—about 20 single-spaced pages. Then, I start writing. And 95K words later, I’m finished and dive into a big bowl of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!

Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?

Dr. John Stratton, my college writing instructor, who told us repeatedly, “Writing isn’t about you. You’re just the author. What matters is the reader. If you’re not giving the reader what he or she wants, then you’re not writing.”

Is there one thing you have to have when writing?

COFFEE!!! And during the season, I keep a vase of cut flowers from my garden on the table where I write. It’s in my sunroom, so I have wonderful views of the yard, the wooded hill behind the house, and the creek.

How did you choose the names of your characters?

For DUKES ARE FOREVER, I picked Katherine because I’ve always loved that name. It’s feminine and classic but also strong, and the nicknames for it are perfect for reflecting different parts of her personality: the nickname Kate sounds so fiery and no-nonsense, but when the servants call her Katie, there’s affection and love in it. As for Edward…well, when I pictured him in my mind, he just LOOKED like an Edward. Aunt Augusta because she could ONLY be an Augusta. Edward’s brother Stephen was named after King Stephen.

How has music played a role in your life and in your writing?

I love all kinds of jazz and symphonic music, and I always have music playing in the background while I’m writing. What I listen when I write, however, depends on the type of writing task I’m working on that day…music to set the mood.

When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?

I was in third grade, and we were supposed to write a paragraph about an everyday item. I don’t know why, but I wrote about a hammer owned by President Jimmy Carter and the story of that hammer’s life…from the hammer’s first-person POV! My teacher read it to the entire class and gave it a place of honor on the board for the upcoming parent-teacher conferences. At that point, I was hooked. I had a talent for writing, and the praise was addictive. I started writing then, filling spiral Mead notebooks by the dozen, and in my early teens I had my first publications, contest wins, and two one-act plays staged by a local drama club. I was hooked. I haven’t stopped writing since, although the genres have certainly changed over the years.

Do you have any favorite book boyfriends of your own?

Well, of course Mr. Knightly from Emma! But other favorites include Sullivan Waring from Suzanne Enoch’s After the Kiss and Sebastian Carlisle from the book I’m currently writing (and brother of Josie Carlisle in HOW I MARRIED A MARQUESS). And although he’s a based-on-a-book-TV boyfriend, I’m desperately in love with Ross Poldark from Masterpiece’s Poldark series.

What are five books on your night stand/bookshelf?

Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester, The Groucho Letters by Groucho Marx, Cottage Living, Catch-22, and a book by whatever Regency romance writer I’m currently reading.

What’s your favorite quote or scene from your book?

My favorite bit occurs when Kate tries to explain to Edward why he’s the type of man not used to being told No, only to dig herself deeper into embarrassment. The attraction between them sizzles, so do the back-and-forth barbs and Edward’s cool as he rakishly lets out just enough rope for to hang herself. (But I also like the running joke about the boy’s breeches she wears.)

If your couple’s relationship had a theme song, what would it be?

“Good Things” by the Bodeans

Tell us about the cover process. Is this what you had in mind?

I love that she’s holding a rose in her hand! I have a rose bush in my garden that exact same shade. It’s a David Austin rose called Grace, and it’s the pride of my garden.

If your book was being made into a movie, who would you include in your dream cast?

For Kate, I’d pick Amy Adams—she has the red hair and the feistiness but can still portray a feminine vulnerability that Kate has. For Edward, Aidan Turner. For Aunt Augusta I always picture the stepmother from Walt Disney’s Cinderella—Augusta isn’t evil, of course, but she had that same regal, imperial bearing as the stepmother…but I’d settle for Dame Judi Dench. :-)

Where do you find inspiration for you writing? Do you use real people/places as a foundation?

Creating atmosphere is important, so I try to I use real places where I’ve been for the settings. Because my novels are set in Regency England, and I lived in London during college, I’m fortunate to have first-hand experience with the atmosphere of the city, the look of the countryside, and the wonderful people who live there. I’ll often find a house or building which strikes me, and then the story might take off from there. I don’t use real people as models for the characters, but the characters seen to evolve organically from the places.

Do you have any hobbies or activities that you enjoy outside of writing?

During the past two years, since I’ve moved into my new house, I’ve taken up gardening, and I love working outside in the beds, especially with the roses. I’ve planted all kinds of trees, azaleas, hydrangeas, roses, and even blueberries and strawberries. I also love to travel and visit every museum and tourist trap I can, and I like dreaming that someday I might also take a photography class or two so I can take better pictures. I also love to hike and go trekking by all kinds of means—I’ve been pony trekking in Wales and elephant trekking in Thailand, and I’ve love to go camel trekking in Morocco. I love history and archeology, and I love visiting ancient ruins and new cultures all over the world.

Would the 10 year-old version of yourself kick your butt or praise you for what you’ve accomplished in life?

The 10 year-old version of me would say, “Well, this life is exactly what we planned, teaching and writing and experiencing adventures all over the world…minus the pony.”

11_24 anna Harrington_Dukes are Forever_MMALL’S FAIR IN LOVE
Battlefields and barrooms hold much more interest for Edward Westover, Duke of Strathmore, than a little girl’s fondness for dolls and lace. When he takes possession of his enemy’s estate, everything that villain held dear-including his daughter-belongs to Edward. Hire a governess, arrange a dowry, give a few reassurances, and be off on his way-that’s Edward’s plan. But he’s in for the shock of his life. For his new ward is a beautiful, impetuous, and utterly irresistible woman . . .

. . . AND WAR
Kate Benton is stunned. Who is this arrogant, infuriating man who’s invited himself into her home and taken over her life? Her vow: to do everything in her power to convince him to leave her-and Brambly House-alone. Yet as chilly days melt into sultry nights, Kate sees glimpses of kindness underneath Edward’s cool façade . . . and a passionate nature that takes her breath away. There’s so much she doesn’t know about this man. But does she dare trust this devilish duke with her heart?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“If she isn’t downstairs in five minutes,” Edward warned Mrs. Elston through gritted teeth, “I will go up to her room and drag her down myself!”

The old governess bristled. “As I told you, Miss Kate is feeling unwell—”

A sharp curse exploded from him, telling her exactly what he thought of Miss Kate’s sudden illness.

“Your Grace,” her brows shot up, offended, “with all due respect—”

He rolled his eyes, knowing that whatever she was about to say would lack all respect.

“—you have swept into our home without warning, upset both my little Katie and the entire household, and are now making demands as if you own the place.”

“I do own it,” he drawled.

“Brambly House is entailed,” she informed him pointedly. “It is owned solely by Miss Kate to be relinquished only to the gentleman she marries.” Her emphasis clearly implied that despite his title, she found him to be no gentleman. “If she wishes to forgo your company, you should have the decency to give her peace!”

She stood squarely in front of him and blocked the stairs like a bulldog guarding its dinner. While ordinarily he would have found that loyalty admirable, tonight he was ready to throttle her for it.

“Mrs. Elston,” he growled, tired from a long day of traveling and now hungry since dinner was an hour late, “if Miss Benton doesn’t come downstairs, I swear I’ll—”

“You will do what, your Grace?” a soft voice challenged from the landing.

He glanced up, and when he saw her, the rest of the threat vanished from his lips. Sweet Lucifer, she was a vision. Although a decade out of fashion, the ice-blue silk gown she wore was cut just carefully enough to tantalize without being improper, with its fitted bodice accentuating her slender waist and its neckline revealing a hint of firm breasts beneath. As she descended toward him, her upswept red hair shining like fire, the dress shimmered enticingly over her curves with each move.

She stopped two steps from the bottom, her eyes level with his and just the hint of a self-assured smile at her lips. The sweet scent of honeysuckle wafted down to him like a cloud, and his gut clenched with unbidden arousal.

The disheveled woman who greeted him earlier had transformed into a beautiful woman, like a caterpillar into a butterfly. She left him speechless.

“You’ll do what?” she pressed.

His lips twisted impishly at his now-empty threat. “Throw you over my knee and spank you.”

“Your Grace!” Mrs. Elston swung her gaze at him, appalled that he would even suggest such a thing.

Kate raised her head defiantly, her green eyes blazing. “I’d like to see you try.”

Good God. His cock twitched at the temptation.

“Miss Kate!” Mrs. Elston blurted out, aghast at her charge’s scandalous behavior.

Ignoring the old governess and fighting back an amused chuckle, Edward held out his hand. “Truce?”

She hesitated.

“Until dessert at least?”

She placed her gloved hand into his and allowed him to help her down the last two steps and toward the dining room as she conceded, “Until dessert, your Grace.”

“Edward, please,” he corrected.

“Then you must call me Kate,” she insisted, a mischievous glint in her eyes. “All my guardians do.”

“You have a lot of guardians, do you?” he asked dryly.

“Oh, yes.” She gave a flippant wave of her hand, the mocking gesture indicating how ludicrous she found their situation and her desire to be free of it. “Lately, it seems there’s a new one dropping by every day.”

He paused in mid-step, then slid her an irritated sideways glance as she continued walking, slipping her hand away from his arm to proceed him into the room. As his gaze roamed down her backside, the curves beneath the gown and the soft sashay of her hips once again reminded him that this was no child in need of a guardian. This was a woman.

Worse, he thought grimly as the man now responsible for guarding her reputation, she was beautiful. The moment she debuted, every man would set his sights on her. And it wouldn’t be with the intention of marrying her.

Heaven help him, he was in serious trouble.

About the Author: Anna is an English professor in Chattanooga Tennessee and a lover of all things chocolate and coffee. She’s a member of RWA and when she’s not hard at work writing her next book or planning her next series, she’s watching BBC and piloting her own aircrafts.

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