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Thursday, July 31, 2014

♦ ♦ Acts of Desperation by Emerson Shaw - Blog Tour ♦ ♦


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Synopsis:

**This highly anticipated debut novel was inspired by actual events.**

Sember is a strong-willed attorney who’s got it all: the budding career, the condo, and a marriage proposal right around the corner.

When her sister, Sarah, needs a new attorney, Sember is torn. She wants to help Sarah, but she is terrified her emotions could compromise the case. With so much at stake, failure isn't an option.

In walks Jax Alexander, a brilliant legal mind from New York who excites Sember’s body and mind. When he offers to take on Sarah’s case, he provides hope in a hopeless situation. Sember and Jax are thrust together as their passion ignites.

As a web of lies is exposed, Jax works tirelessly to reveal the truth behind Sarah’s case. But, he has a dark secret shadowing his past that threatens to destroy everything.
In the midst of so many lies, can Jax really be trusted? His secret could put Sarah’s case in jeopardy and could cost Sember her life. Will he risk it all to save them, or will he cut and run, leaving destruction in his wake?

Sometimes, desperate acts call for desperate measures.


REVIEW

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

You have Sember, who is an attorney and dealing with the break up from her fiance. Then you have Sarah, her sister, who is dealing with a divorce from a crazy, egotistical husband. Add in Jax Alexander, who is the hot, new attorney at the firm Sember works for. The problem is, Jax has his own 'skeletons in the closet' that he is dealing with. Sember and Jax start seeing each other, but will their pasts hinder a future together?

Let me start by saying, there is A LOT going on in this book. It's a romantic thriller that is 'inspired' by actual events.

Once you got past the first few chapters, the book was very fast paced. It touches on cheating, jealousy and revenge... just to name a few. Sember's sister, Sarah, is the middle of a very messy divorce from the most conniving man ever. Sember, herself, is dealing with the breakup of her own fiance, when she catches the eye of the new attorney, Jax, in her law firm. It's an instant attraction, but it isn't all it seems. Jax has his own dark secrets that eventually surface and bring Sember down with them.

There is one part of the book where I wished the author went into a little deeper. The part with Dylan. It was a pretty important part of the story and I just wish there was more. There was A LOT about Sarah and her husband.

That being said, I would give this book 4.25 stars.

reviewed by Lisa  





About The Author


Emerson Shaw (1977-present) was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the third born of three girls and had a very happy childhood. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1999 with a Bachelors of Business Administration. After graduating, she built a career in the wine industry. She married her husband in 2004 and had their first son two years later. She sold and studied wine for nearly ten years, but the birth of her second child in 2008 led her to put a hold on her professional life. She quit her job to stay home to raise her children. Her sister had always encouraged her to write, but she thought the publishing industry was nearly impossible to break into. Then, the self-publishing industry began to explode. Emerson's children had gotten older and less dependent just as her sister started going through a difficult family situation. The idea to write a fictional story inspired by her sister's experiences was born. Acts of Desperation is her debut novel.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

♦ ♦ Little Things by Madison Street - Blog Tour ♦ ♦

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Title: Little Things
Author: Madison Street
Release Date: June 2, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Synopsis
Everything in Duke Grayson’s life was all he could ever ask for: A loving family, loyal friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and a scholarship to his top choice college. It’s his senior year of high school, and all he needs is to focus on his grades, lacrosse, and keeping his girlfriend happy. That is until Raya walks into his life. From the moment they meet, Duke is drawn to her, not only for her natural beauty and her stunning crystal blue eyes, but because he’s aware there’s more to this girl than just his alluring pull to her. He senses secrecy and fear. Throughout the year, their bond grows stronger, and his feelings for her become undeniable. Just when he is about to express his love, tragedy strikes and Raya disappears. For six years, Duke is tortured by his struggles, as he’s unable to find her and blames himself for failing to protect her. Until the day, she’s found, and he’s given a second chance. Will Duke become her beacon of hope and make her see that it’s the little things that make life worthwhile? Can Raya overcome her fears and fight against the terrors that haunt her? Or will her dark and torturous past be too much for her to battle against? *Warning: This book contains some disturbing situations, strong language and sexual content. Suited for 18 years and over.
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Excerpt
With a quick pace, I give Mrs. Robinson my test and race out of the class only to crash into Duke. “Whoa!! Slow down!” He steadies me with his arms. I chuckle, “Sorry, I’m just happy to get away from Jose. I’m happy this is the last class with him.” “Me, too. He’s gotten in the way of a lot of things and I can’t fucking stand him. It’ll be alright, Raya. He won’t bother you anymore.” He caresses my arm for a few seconds and then pulls away, clearing his throat. “So, uhh, what did Taylor want?” I glance away to avoid his eyes, “He asked me out on a date.” “He finally did it, huh? Took him forever.” My head snaps to look at him, “Wait. What do you mean?” He laughs and shakes his head, “After the Halloween party, he asked me if he should ask you out and I told him to go for it. Honestly, I thought he would have asked you out weeks ago. I don’t know what took him so long.” My heart drops and an unbearable sadness falls over me. “Oh, is that right?” “You know he’s crazy about you. You should give him a chance. He’s a really good guy.” I close my eyes and try to force back the tears that are threatening to escape. My heart aches at the loss of Duke’s affection. All I want is him and I know I won’t ever get it. “I’m not so sure. I like him, but not as much as he likes me. I don’t want to rush anything. Besides, I told him that I can’t make any promises. I’ll be very busy with work during the break and won’t have much free time.” “Ehh, he’ll wait. He doesn’t have a lot going on anyway.” He glances at his phone and responds to a text message. “Okay, well I’m going to catch Melanie before she heads off to her next class. I’ll talk to you later, okay?” “Okay. Tell her I’ll see her in English.” “I will.” He waves at me as he heads off to go get his girlfriend. At that moment, I realize that my feelings for Duke are purely one-sided and I need to get a grip on them. A single tear escapes and I quickly wipe it away. I promised myself that I wouldn’t stand in the way of Duke and Melanie. I’m not like that and I refuse to be the reason for a breakup. Their friendship means so much to me and I won’t ruin it. Maybe I should go out with Taylor, but how can I with Craig being home? Hopefully, he has a conference coming up soon and will have to go out of town. I’m going to have to find a way to explain this to Taylor. I hope he’ll understand. I grab my cell phone and send a quick text to him. Me: Meet me at work tomorrow. I head down the hallway, making my way to endure the next final in line. A few minutes later, I hear my phone beep with an incoming text notification. I grab my cell to read the message sent from Taylor. Taylor: So, is that a yes? I laugh to myself. He always gets a head of himself. Me: It’s a maybe. I’d like to take things slow so if you want come visit me at work. Taylor: Of course! What time is your shift? Me: From 11-7 Taylor: Okay, I’ll see you there. Maybe we can do lunch? Me: Yeah, that sounds good. See ya tomorrow. J Taylor: See ya then sweetie ;) I smile at his text and think about seeing him tomorrow. He really is a nice guy and maybe I should listen to Duke and give him a chance. My hopes and wishes are slowly diminishing and I can use any bit of happiness I can get right now. Maybe Taylor is just what I need.
About the Author
Madison Street
Madison Street was born in New York City and was raised in the Bronx, where she resided until she was 17 years old. After 9/11, Madison joined the United States Navy to serve her country. During the deployments, Madison constantly wrote short stories and she discovered her passion for writing. You will find Madison always on the computer, whether she's on Facebook, designing websites, messing with Photoshop, or writing for her blog. Besides writing, her second passion is music and dance. Even though she's a terrible singer, she’ll still belt it out in the shower, especially if the song is her jam! She currently resides in Virginia with her husband of 8 years, 2 children, a dog, and a cat. She is so excited to start this amazing journey and is honored to be part of such a compassionate and loving community.
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Giveaway
2 Signed Paperbacks of Little Things (US ONLY), 2 Signed Little Things Bookmarks (US ONLY), 5 ecopies of Little Things
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Monday, July 28, 2014

♦ ♦ Letting Go of You by JM Witt - Release Day Blitz ♦ ♦


Synopsis 

James,

Letting Go of You will be the hardest decision of my life.

We were devoted and committed to one another. Secret clubs, family, friends, careers and undeniable chemistry filled our lives. Previous troubles seemed nonexistent. We were ready and willing for whatever life had to offer. Life was perfect. If only ‘perfect’ really existed.

What I didn’t expect was that one tragic event would trigger the demons you kept hidden from me. I had to decide if I could live with not knowing your secrets. And just when I thought we would make it through, another hurdle was placed in front of us. Tragedy, murder, first loves, old enemies, and death lingered at every turn.

Will your demons be the death of us? Or will my anchored heart be strong enough to hold on?

Only You
~Cassidy



Review


After reading Hiding Away, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book to see how everything turned out. This book doesn't pick up exactly where HA ended, it back tracks a little to bring you up to speed with James and Cassidy.

I have to say that JM Witt has this way of pulling you in to her books. Jane and Cal's story was very sweet, but James and Cassidy's is just so much more. It's full of raw emotion that tugs at your heartstrings. There's no fluff in this book. Be prepared to go all in, right from the first page. I even found myself talking out loud while reading this (a few times I said WTF and OMG), so I suggest not reading this in public... unless you're ok with strange looks from others around you. I also have to add... the sex scenes... woah!

One of my favorite sayings is 'Go big or go home', well she definitely went BIG with this book. I'll be counting down the days until the next book!!  

reviewed by lisa




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Anchored Hearts Series 

Currently Only $.99!!!


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Letting Go Book #1






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Hiding Away Book #1.5 







About the Author

I’m a stay-at-home mom with four young children and one extremely supportive husband. We’ve been married for nine years and reside in Metro Detroit, Michigan.

I've dreamed of writing romance novels since I was little. After having baby #4, who may or may not have been fathered by Christian Grey, I decided it was time to pursue my dreams.

When I'm not volunteering at the schools of my children, running to various appointments, enjoying time with my friends and my book club, dating my husband, or avoiding cleaning my house, I'm writing!

I love music and believe that books and music can't exist without the other. My goal is for you to read more than a good book, but for you to have an experience!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

♦ ♦ Tortured by Kate Givans - Blog Tour ♦ ♦








Title: Tortured
Author: Kate Givans
Series: Tortured #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Drama

A contemporary romantic drama about loss, healing, and love's ability to reach beyond scars and secrets, no matter how deep or hidden.

WARNING: This book is intended for 18+ readers ONLY. Potentially triggering content and concepts in books to follow.


More than a year after the death of his best friend, Josh is still tormented by the past. Everything changes when free-spirited Willow barges into his life. She challenges him, helps him feel something other than the overwhelming pain, sadness, and anger.

There’s just one problem.

Underneath that carefree spirit, Willow is elusive and secretive. Josh believes she may be fighting a few demons of her own, but he harder he tries to uncover the truth, the more she pushes him away.

Can Josh get her to open up before it’s too late? Or will he discover that some secrets are better left untold?

Review
Josh is dealing with the lost of his best friend, he believes that the accident is his fault. He tries passing through life, but he is not really living. He has chosen not to allow anyone inside because he feels this is for the best. Josh has nothing in this world that is until there is...
Willow...
Willow loves to have fun in life. Once she sets her eyes on Josh she is determined to include him in her life. Josh at the time does not want any part of this, but Willow doesn't take no for an answer that well. When he tries to run she pulls him in more.
Eventually, Josh can' t get her off his mind.
Only problem is Willow has such deep rooted secrets of her own...Will Josh be able to mend his past and help Willow in the process?
Kate Givans debut novel titled Tortured. Kate gives an amazing story and leaves you obsessing about more. I enjoyed this novel, it satisfied my criteria of a good story. First, Kate gave you just enough information to keep you interested. If was fun and impulsive from the beginning. In my opinion, she totally knew how to suck the reader right in. Second, Kate has a talented skill of writing. Her story flowed and was easy to read. I enjoy a book that is not all over the place. I love her descriptions and her matter of fact statements. Lastly, I loved how much I connected to the characters. I feel that a novel must have a connection or it's just words on paper. I love how much you felt inside what Josh and Willow felt. I consider this an amazing skill that the author has mastered. I will definitely be waiting for book 2 in this series. I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars and say its a must read. I will like to say to the author, thank you for allowing your readers into your mind. Keep it going!
Reviewed by Yolanda


Author Bio:

Quirky, clumsy, and always a little off-key, Kate Givans has always loved books and the words contained within. Now that she’s writing the stories, she’s filling them with broken characters, angst, and even a few of those happily-ever-afters that seem to evade us in real life.

When not writing, this gypsy-hearted wife and mother of five can be found guzzling coffee, day-dreaming, dancing for no reason at all, playing with the voices in her head, watching her favorite shows (Originals, Grey’s, OUAT, The Following), listening to music, and reminding herself to “breathe.”


Connect with Kate Givans:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8304451.Kate_Givans
Blog: http://authorkategivans.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkategivans?ref_type=bookmark
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KateGivans EXCERPT 1

Excerpt

     I first met Willow out on Old Mill Road. Standing on the ledge of the arched concrete bridge, her arms spread wide, she looked like a bird about to take flight. I probably would have taken more time to admire the absolute freedom she embodied in that moment, the auburn curls whipping around her upturned face, the way the moonlight made her porcelain skin shimmer…but it looked like she was about to jump.

     I remember my hesitation, how desperately I wanted to turn back the way I’d come and pretend I’d never seen her. I know it makes me sound like an insensitive prick, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled at having the life or death of some crazy chick thrown in my lap. Not that I didn’t understand, at least on some level, what might be going through her head. Hell, I knew, better than most, what it meant to feel like life would never get better.

     It’d only been six weeks since my release from Shady Oak’s mental facility. I wasn’t the person to talk her down; I didn’t know the first thing about helping someone find the light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, I still had days that I’d much rather jump right along with her than try and brave another day.

     Thankfully, that particular day hadn’t been one of them.

     I stood there a few moments longer, considering my options. I could turn around and go back the way I came, but I wasn’t exactly up for that. I could go past her and risk spooking her, but the last thing I needed was the aftermath of watching her plummet to her death – calling the police, filing a report, explaining what had happened. It wouldn’t hurt to at least try and talk her off the ledge, right?

     Having made my decision, I edged cautiously along the gravel path, taking slow and calculated steps towards bird-girl. Stopping just feet away from her, I weighed the risk of grabbing ahold of the oversized sweater jacket she was wearing. My luck, the damn thing would come clean off and she’d end up in the water anyway, so I decided against it.

     I was still trying to decide how to go about helping her when she spoke, voice confident as she kept her face upturned towards the night sky. “I’m not going to jump.”

     I cleared my throat and hoped to God the irritation didn’t seep through. “No offense, miss, but that’s not what it looks like from here.”

     Her head tilted slightly, as if she were trying to shrug, but the movement came up short. I waited for some other response, but the uncomfortable silence stretched on, giving me the impression that my presence was both unwanted and unnecessary.

     “Well, you…uh, have a nice night,” I finally said, taking a couple backward steps towards town.

     “You could join me.” Her words, prying and inquisitive, stopped me dead in my tracks.

     “Yeeaaah….Thanks, but I prefer to keep my feet on the ground.”

     She chuckled. The light, carefree sound intrigued and, for some unknown reason, annoyed me all at once. Maybe because I’d never laughed like that. Hell, I didn’t know anyone that had. It left me questioning what the hell she was doing up there in the first place.

     Crazy. Definitely crazy.

     Determined to get as far away from her as possible, I started backing away. I didn’t make it but a few steps when she glanced over her shoulder at me. The wide-eyed conviction in her sparkling, crystal blue eyes ensnared me, rooted me to the ground beneath my feet.

     “How will you ever learn to fly if you don’t take time to spread your wings?” she asked.

     And just like that, the pull I’d felt just seconds before shook free, floating away with the cold, bitter wind. I’d taken enough rides on the crazy train to last a lifetime. “Well, anyway. It was, uh, nice meeting you.” EXCERPT 2

Excerpt


     I made my way out into the store, taking my time as I browed the narrow aisles. I flipped through the small music collection. I’d never been a fan of Country Classics, but it was about the only thing you could find in hole-in-the-wall fill stations out here. I moved to the maps of Kansas, Texas, Arkansas and Missouri. Thumbing through them, I wondered just how different one Midwest state really is from the next. After that, I made my way down the aisle of strange gas station knick knacks, hats, knives and t-shirts. I took my time to look at everything, but wasn’t really looking for anything in particular. I just needed to pass some time.

     “Can I help ya’ find somethin’, sugar?” Loletta called from behind the counter.

     That was my cue.
    
     I headed over to the coffee station, grabbed a cup, and filled it with half dark roast and half hot chocolate. As I made my way to the register, I snagged a bag of peanuts and a couple cans of ravioli, taking care to not spill hot liquid down my front. As she rang up my purchase, I did my best to avoid staring at the mid-40’s cashier. I doubted anyone had ever told her that all that blue and red makeup made her look like a clown, but I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to break the news.

     “That’ll be $6.85, sugar,” she said with a loud snap of her gum.

     Not bothering with the small chat, I pulled out a ten dollar bill. I was just about to hand it over when I heard a familiar voice. I couldn’t tell what it had said, but the breezy, tinkling sound registered instantly. Only, it sounded like something was wrong.

     Craning my neck towards the exit, I tried to see what all the commotion was about, but the backside of a police officer obstructed my view. I found myself being pulled in the direction of the doorway, but I wasn’t sure why.

     “Hey!” Loletta called from behind me. “Ain’t ya gonna pay for your stuff?”

     “I...uh...forgot something,” I answered over my shoulder, dismissing her with a distracted wave of my hand as I made my way closer to the last aisle of the store. When I rounded the large display of magazines, my suspicions were confirmed. It was her, the girl that had tormented my thoughts for days.

     Willow.

     Grabbing a magazine from the display rack, I opened it and pretended to read while eavesdropping on the conversation happening just a few feet away from me. At first, I was worried that she’d notice me, but her watery blue eyes were fixed on the officer in front of her as she gnawed at her bottom lip, strands of hair clinging to her tear-stained cheeks.

     She looked like a little girl standing next to the six-odd food Officer Warren. She even sounded a little like one when she spoke. “I wasn’t stealing, I swear.”

     But Officer Warren didn’t seem convinced. “Look, Miss, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. The easy way, you come with me quietly. The hard way…” He uncrossed his arms, brushing the shiny metal handcuffs attached to his side.

     I didn’t think. I just reacted. “Excuse me, Officer?”

     He hesitated for just a moment, as if afraid Willow might flee if he took her eyes off of her – not that she could with his massive frame blocking the doorway. He was so tall that even I cowered a bit when he finally turned his head in my direction, a strained smile plastered on his face.

     “Josh?”

     “Sorry to interrupt, but um…she’s with me.”

     Turning the rest of his body towards me, he cocked a suspecting eyebrow and returned his chubby arms to their former location – his massive chest. “You know this girl?” He jutted a thumb in Willow’s direction.

     “Yes, sir. I do,” I responded without hesitation, hoping he couldn’t see how hard I was working at swallowing the massive lump of fear in my throat.

     He gave a low grunt. “Well, maybe you can tell me why she felt the need to lift a box of tampons.”

     I shot Willow a quick glance over the officer’s shoulder, looking for the validity of his statement. Pleading blue eyes, guilt-ridden face, and a pink box of feminine products tucked under her arm said it all.What had I gotten myself into? EXCERPT 3

Excerpt

     I was still trying to sort out the opening when a knock came at my door. My heart flipped for a few rapid beats. The only person it could be would be appalled by how bad I’d let the mess get.

     “Hold on, Mom!” I yelled at the door.

     Completely abandoning the trash bag, I started stuffing pizza boxes, empty chip bags, snack cake wrappers, and soda cans into the cabinets and drawers, under the couch, into the entertainment center – basically anywhere they would fit. The pounding was getting louder, most likely because my mom both worried and annoyed about being left out in the cold to wait. “Coming!” I hollered, making my way to the door, glancing around the apartment quickly. I still had a sink full of dishes, but at least the mess was contained t just one area. “I’m okay, Mo---“

     The rest of my sentence fell flat when I pulled the door open. If it had been summer, a fly probably would have flown in my mouth. Standing there on my doorstep was the last person I ever would have expected to see.

     “Willow?”

     “Expecting someone else?” Annoyance plagued her furrowed features, but I could tell she was trying to suppress a smile. Satisfaction at surprising me, maybe?

     “Uh, no. Not really. I just…”

     “Didn’t expect to see me?”

     Heat rising in my neck and spreading through my cheeks, I stumbled through my words, racking my brain for any excuse that sounded at least somewhat plausible. “No…I mean, uh—I did, just. I—“

     “Forgot?” She lifted one perfectly shaped eyebrow at me.

     “Yeah. Forgot.” A lie, but it was better than trying to explain the truth.

     Her lips scrunched together and moved back and forth for a second as she chewed it over. Apparently, she’d decided it was sufficient enough; that grin that she’d been suppressing went on full display. I couldn’t help but notice how much her smile magnified the intense sparkling of her eyes.

     “Well, no worries! I’m here now!” she exclaimed, stepping through the doorway, not even waiting for me to invite her in. She stopped in the middle of my living/dining area to face me. “You ready?” Still holding the door open, letting the cold air in, I stood there, staring at her like my brain had taken a vacation.

     Besides being dumbfounded as to how she’d found me, I was extremely uncomfortable about having her in my apartment. I hadn’t had a girl there in…well, never, unless you counted my mom and Brad’s girlfriend, which I didn’t. And I didn’t even know this girl, which made the entire thing awkward and wrong on so many levels. But somewhere else, somewhere deep inside, it almost felt right, like she somehow belonged there.

     Shaking the ridiculous thought from my head, I found my voice. “Uh-sure…just...give me a sec.” She nodded her silent response and then took to looking at the various posters hanging on my walls.

     Even in an alternate universe, no good could come from having this mess of a girl in my apartment. But I was going to go with her, it seemed, despite my own best advice to steer clear of all things Willow. I guess it got her out of my place, at least. After that…I’d find a way to get her out of my head and out of my life.

     That’s what I told myself, anyway.

     “No rush,” she called over her shoulder as I made my way to the bedroom.

     Sorting through the pile of clothes on my bed, I tossed half of them on the floor again. They would have ended up there eventually anyway. I eventually decided on a white and navy blue striped long-sleeve polo. After pulling my t-shirt over my head, I tossed it on the floor and then pulled on the polo. I was just fixing the hem when I had the distinct feeling of being watched.

     I turned to look at the door, which I’d stupidly left open. Leaning against the frame, Willow stood there, looking at me, a stupid smirk on her face. “Don’t you ever knock?” I asked, heat warming my ears.

     “The door was open. I was just going to ask you if you had any water.” She pointed in the direction of the kitchen before crossing her arms over her chest. “I wasn’t expecting a show.” Her eyes swept over me, head to toe, giving me the sense that she’d been trying to undress me with her eyes. I didn’t know if I should be flattered or embarrassed.

     This wasn’t a new conflict. Even though I’d only just met her, I always felt this internal struggle when she was around. It was worse when she focused those eyes on me, giving me the sense that she could see right through me. Maybe that was what she wanted me to think. Or maybe I was going crazy. Or maybe two years of not getting laid was starting to really wear on me.

     Willow didn’t really seem like my kind of girl – trailer park, too comfortable around guys, always into trouble. And I wasn’t the kind of guy to just use women for sex. In fact, I could count the women I’d been with on one hand – two in high school and one in college, all three former girlfriends that I’d dated for no less than six months. But I couldn’t deny that there was something there with her. I thought about her when she wasn’t around, and whenever she landed in my path, I found myself agreeing to spend time with her, even though I was sure I didn’t want to.

     “Um, earth to Josh!”

     Great, now I was getting lost in my own head. “Sorry, what?”

     “Water?”

     “Oh, yeah. In the fridge.”

     She disappeared from the doorway. A few seconds later, I heard the fridge door open. In just a few more, she was leaning in the doorway of my bedroom again. At least my body wasn’t on display this time.

     “So…just wondering…how did you know where I live?” I asked, shoving my feet into a pair of Doc Martins.

     Willow took a big swig of water before answering. “A stalker never reveals her secrets.” EXCERPT 4

Excerpt


     “Fourteen into the six, into the fifteen, corner pocket,” Willow said, lining up for the shot, her gathered fans silent as she moved the cue stick back and forth. No one made combination shots like that, but I had no doubt in my mind she’d make her mark.

     I was toast.

     A few gasps came from behind me when the loud smack of her stick hitting the cue ball came. Fourteen sped right into the six and then veered off to the left, just a little before hitting fifteen. Then came the thunk of fifteen hitting the pocket.

     Like I said, toast.

     Exhaling as I ran a hand through my hair, I looked over the remaining balls. If I could land the six and the two in one shot, I might be able to save my dignity. Unfortunately, because they were each at opposite ends of the table, my odds weren’t looking very good.

     “Wanna call game?” she asked with a wink.

     Oh, now she was getting cocky.

     I gritted my teeth as the flush spread through my cheeks. “Nah, I got this.” If I could just line up right…

     I squatted down, trying to find the right angle. Whispers erupted around me, giving what had started out as a friendly game more of a competitive edge. It might sound silly, being so embarrassed, but these were people I’d known my whole life. And in towns like this, stories never died – especially ones that included getting your ass kicked by your girlfriend at pool.

     The shot seemed impossible, but I wasn’t backing out of game early. I stood, lined up, reared my cue stick back a couple of times and hoped for the best. I held my breath as the cue ball made its way to the six, landing it in the corner pocket. It looked like it just might clear the eight ball for a second, but I’d cut too far to the right. The game ended with one last thunk – eight ball in the side pocket.

     I blew out the breath I’d been holding and put my cue back in the holder. When I turned around, Willow was standing right in front of me. “Good game, Pennington. Do I get a prize for winning?”

     “No,” I responded, crossing my arms over my chest. I was feigning for annoyed – which I kind of was – but mostly, I was still a little surprised by her mad pool skills.

     She gave me the most adorable pout. I couldn’t fight the grin spreading on my face, no matter how made I wanted to be. “Oh, alright. If you insist,” I said, taking her cue stick to place it against the wall. With every ounce of heat I could muster, I wrapped my arms around her waist, and in one swift move, I dipped her and gave her a kiss that pulled hoots and hollers from the crowd.

     “Wow,” she panted, hand on her chest, when I placed her upright again. “I should kick your ass more often.”

     I closed my eyes and leaned my forehead against hers, taking a moment to just enjoy her sugary sent. “Now, now. Don’t go wounding a man’s pride all the time,” I whispered, the heat of her hands against the back of my neck doing unimaginable things to me.

     Even though I hadn’t known her but a few months, I’d never dated anyone that seemed to know the full depths of my heart and soul. Corny as it sounded, I couldn’t shake this sense that I’d found my other half – the piece that fit into the jagged edges that no one else had ever been able to fill. And I didn’t even know her last name. PLAYLIST

Playlist:

Shinedown, Save Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8dyxGiBx3g
The Fray, You Found Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFg_8u87zT0
Get Scared, Built for Blame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k82La8Lkra8
3 Doors Down, So Far Down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDK5qGlLT8s
Bush, Greedy Fly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FExyoAh6Ng
Nickleback, Savin’ Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JQiEs32SqQ
Stone Sour, Bother: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-pXD0FXLQ8
Papa Roach, Scars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHbNU9WuVgw
The Fray, How to Save a Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjVQ36NhbMk
Coldplay, Fix You: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbJuEFs7-kU
Imagine Dragons, Demons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWRsgZuwf_8&feature=kp
Jasmine Thomspon, Everybody Hurts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWGL3SbhLDQ
Seether, Fade Away: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNgQr_FdZvE
Goo Goo Dolls, Before It’s Too Late: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtSAIhP1-5s
Sick Puppies, All the Same: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs72v-2zjsg
John Legend, All of Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=450p7goxZqg
Hoobastank, Lucky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0M1lhBLbeU
Adelitas Way, Alive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRs-1QVo4_M&feature=kp
Evanescence, Bring Me to Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YxaaGgTQYM
Little Green Cars, The John Wayne: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJEVkuNsEi0
Breaking Benjamin, Diary of Jane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWaB4PXCwFU
Fireflight, Desperate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQctVDvIFWg
Lynard Skynard, Free Bird: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np0solnL1XY
Goo Goo Dolls, Here is Gone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNtN83-vQmw
3 Doors Down, Let Me Go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thc1MtNagC8
The Fray, Never Say Never: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aihu16RyYp8Art of Dying, Die Trying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFlVi9MHpDc AUTHOR Q&A
Author Q &A:
What made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Deep down, I think I’ve always known. I started reading at four. When I was seven, I wrote my first book. It was a short, adorable little thing that I wrote for my mom. Along the way, I lost sight of that – maybe it was the responsibility of being a mom, or the idea that I was supposed to grow up and do the responsibility thing. Whatever the case, it kind of got buried in day to day life. Then, after my mother passed away, I found my book in her things. It all came flooding back, but again, I tossed it aside, figuring it was just too late. It wasn’t until I met my best friend that all that changed. I learned about Indie publishing and fell in love instantly.

How would you describe your books, in a nutshell?

Dark, twisty, angsty, with a lot of heart and a peppering of romance. That may change as I go along, but it definitely fits most of my current writing.

What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to writing and publishing?

I have to say my biggest struggle has been believing in myself enough to actually do it. At first, I wasn’t really sure I could tell a story that anyone else would enjoy. Plus, I’ve always been oversensitive, so the fear of rejection kind of kept me frozen for a few years. Thankfully, I’ve had some pretty amazing people in my life that believed in me until I could do it for myself.

Where do you draw your writing inspiration from?

Honestly, there’s not any one place that I find inspiration. It’s more of a conglomeration of personal experience, music, cinema, pop culture, books, and random ideas that seem to come out of nowhere. Each piece of the puzzle seems to play its own little role in the writing process for me.

Do you share any traits, characteristics, or traits with any of your characters?

Admittedly, I do. While each and every one of them is different, I find that I share certain struggles, personality traits, or nuances with most of my characters. And in so many ways, they teach me lessons about myself. I learn from them - the things they endure and somehow manage to overcome, the truths that they come to see and believe about the world around them or themselves. It’s a very interesting process, to say the least.

Do you have any favorite authors?

I do! But I have entirely too many to mention! Not just because I don’t want to exclude anyone, but also because I don’t read just one particular genre of book. I have my dark and twisty, contemporary, my guilty erotica reads, romance, zombies…needless to say, I’m extremely eclectic in my reading tastes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

♦ ♦ LA COSA NOSTRA BY AMIE NICHOLS - Blog Tour ♦ ♦

la cosa nostra blog tourThis is a standalone book meant for mature readers.
Harper Troy, like most students, was working her way through college barely making it by. She hears about an opening at a well known gentleman’s club, The Guardian, ran by a very well known Chicago Family, the Tarseta’s. Even though the uniform is very revealing and the other waitresses are catty bitches, the money is worth it. Until she meets the youngest Tarseta, Liam. He’s Chicago’s most eligible bachelor and drop dead gorgeous. She feels an instant attraction. Being a known playboy, Harper fights the attraction and his advances. Liam has his eyes on Harper the moment he sees her. Being different and not falling for his charms, he is determined to break her down. But Harper refuses to be another notch on his bed post. Just when Liam is breaking down Harper’s barriers, he learns some shocking news that changes everything. Can he make her see they are meant to be together, or will he lose her forever?
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I had just popped the tab of my Diet Coke when the door opens. Like déjà vu, Liam enters the locker room, except this time I am sitting with my legs crossed and fully clothed. "I just wanted to make sure you were all right," Liam says in his ridiculously sexy voice. Jesus, what is with this guy? "Yes, why wouldn't I be?" I ask, sounding maybe a little harsher than I had planned. "My father was very rude. I wanted to apologize for his candor," he says, all debonair and provocatively. "I think my uncle Matty has a huge crush on you." He chuckles. "He's old enough to be my father," I say bluntly, with a little disgust. "Ouch! I won't tell him you said that." He winces. "You're really not interested, though?" he asks and I just shrug. "Yeah, really." "It's just that most of the girls who work here would be jumping at the chance to land my Uncle." Liam just exudes sex in everything he says. I want to yell at him, "You have got to be kidding me, stop talking and fuck me already!" I feel my face turn hot at my thoughts and turn my head away from him. "Well, Mr. Tarseta, I am not like most girls," I say, not looking at his black lust filled eyes. "I am seeing that." "What is that supposed to mean?" I shoot back. "It's that you flirt just enough with patrons, but not enough that you are advertising something is for sale." He steps further into the room and sits next to me on the bench. He's close, close enough I can smell his expensive cologne, and holy fuck does he smell good. My breath hitches and I let out a gasp as I feel the heat radiating between us. "Mr. Tarseta, I'm not for sale," I say, taking a drink of my Diet Coke, my mouth suddenly very dry. "Ms. Troy, everything is for sale for the right price," he says low, almost in a whisper. I stand, feeling the need to put some distance between us. "That is your opinion, but I assure you that there is no number large enough that can buy me," I tell him still avoiding those black eyes. "So you are saying that nothing can buy you, nothing at all." He stands, inching his way closer. I feel the electric sparks bouncing off of me. I swallow hard as the smell of him fills my nostrils, I feel him watching the hollow of my neck. "I am not a possession to be bought, Mr. Tarseta. Besides, why would you want me anyway, you have tons of girls just itching for you to own them." "Well, first off..." He lets out one of his low sexy chuckles, "I don't ever remember saying I wanted you." Ouch, now that hurt. I feel about two feet tall. He stands there cool as a cucumber, while I'm a hot mess of nerves and lust. "I didn't mean to insinuate that you did..." I stutter, trying desperately to repair this very embarrassing moment. I turn to my locker to look for something, anything to distract me. I find my phone and pretend to read a text, also trying to pretend he is no longer in the room. "Second, Ms. Troy, if I did want you, I would have you." He leans down close to my ear, so close I can feel his hot breath. Okay, that's it, I am not a toy for you to play with. "Well, I guess it's a good thing you don't want me, because I assure you, Mr. Tarseta, you would not have me if you did," I snap, slamming my locker door. With a huff, I walk around the bench to avoid having to touch Liam as I exit the locker room. What nerve, what an arrogant asshole.
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review
lcnteaser2lcnteaser3about amie
amie nicholsI live in Iowa with my amazing, supportive husband. He is my rock and my king, and treats me like all woman should be treated. (Like a spoiled Queen) I have two miniature dachshund's that are my babies, and they love to keep me company when I am writing away on my next WIP. I'm about to publish my 6th book, and can hardly believe how my life has changed. I'm called an author, and still can't believe it. I've have met some amazing woman on my journey so far, and have learned so much. (Sometimes the hard way.) I've been like a sponge soaking up all the information I can on how the publishing world works. It's been a rollercoaster ride so far with its ups and its downs. No matter what, I will never regret anything I've done. You can't succeed if you don't try, and if you don't try you won't succeed. One of my favorite quotes "If the dream is big enough the facts don't matter". Some other info about me, I love my family, friends, wine and anything caffeinated. I also love writing HEA. For the same reason I won't watch a movie that I know will make me cry, (with the exception of Steel Magnolias) I will never write a book without a HEA. There might be a few twists and turns, a cliffhanger or two. But ultimately my stories will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. For me, reading is entertainment, a way to escape this crazy insane world. If a book leaves me feeling sad, mad or gut wrenched, it is not for me. There is enough gut-wrenching sadness in this world, I don't need to read about it too. I started writing 3 years ago, and have no plans on stopping. So keep your eye on me because with the help of some amazing people and my wonderful fans, this girl is going to be on the New York Times best selling list someday.
giveaway
US ONLY
1 Signed Copy of La Cosa Nostra, This Thing of Ours
2 Winners: Custom made La Cosa Nostra keychain made by the Word Wenches
1 Winner: Custom made La Cosa Nostra ribbon book thong made by the Word Wenches
1 Winner: Custom Made La Cosa Nostra purse charm made by the Word Wenches
US & INTERNATIONAL
1 ecopy of La Cosa Nostra, This Thing of Ours
$10 Amazon Gift card
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Amie and us Word Wenches would like to thank all of the bloggers who helped to make this blog tour a HUGE success and for all of their hard work and the reviews that will be posted over this next week. You can see the tour schedule here for the entire week and check out all the reviews. Like their blogs and follow them while you are there.
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

♦ ♦ Heart of Light by TK Leigh - Cover Reveal ♦ ♦

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Title: Heart of Light

Author: T.K. Leigh

Anticipated Release Date: August 26, 2014

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

RECOMMENDED FOR AGES EIGHTEEN AND UP DUE TO EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS, STRONG LANGUAGE, AND GRAPHIC VIOLENCE. Twelve years ago, Jolene’s adoptive mother died. Twelve years ago, a man showed up at Jolene’s door and promised to take care of her. Twelve years ago, Jolene was happy. Then it all changed… Jolene Bergio has spent the last twelve years of her life asking one question… Why? Why was she left in the custody of a man who would sell her each and every night to the highest bidder? After a few years, she shut off, giving up hope that anyone would ever find her. Until her luck changed one night and she escaped. Twelve years later, she finally feels something she hasn’t felt in a long time… Free. Scared that her past will find her unexpectedly, she hides away in a rented beach house, trying to distance herself from everyone… Until Dr. Cameron Bowen enters her world and slowly tears down the walls that she has built up over the past twelve years of her captivity. Jolene begins to learn to love again. And trust again. But when a man from Jolene’s past emerges, will she be able to keep her identity hidden? When lies are told and hearts are broken, will the truth surface in time to bring Jolene back from the shadows that threaten to expose who she really is? Heart of Light is a captivating story of love, strength, and survival.

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About the Author

T.K. Leigh

T.K. Leigh, otherwise known as Tracy Leigh Kellam, is the USA Today Best Selling author of the Beautiful Mess series. Originally from New England, she now resides in sunny Southern California with her husband, dog and three cats, all of which she has rescued (including the husband). She always had a knack for writing, but mostly in the legal field. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to try her hand at creative writing and is now addicted to creating different characters and new and unique story lines in the Contemporary Romantic Suspense genre. When she’s not planted in front of her computer, writing away, she can be found running and training for her next marathon (of which she has run over fifteen fulls and far too many halfs to recall). Unlike Olivia, the main character in her Beautiful Mess series, she has yet to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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Amazon Author Page ~ Goodreads

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Purchase Her Other Books Today

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

♦ ♦ Sinfully by Leighton Riley - Blog Tour ♦ ♦

Title: Sinfully
Author: Leighton Riley
Release Date: June 8, 2014
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She played the game by her own rules...until he changed them...
 
Payton wrote a self-published book regaling her encounters with men while visiting Las Vegas. To her horror, life changes in more ways than one when someone finds out her true identity.
 
Ryder, a successful publisher, is determined to find and sign Reece Edwards. Using what little information he can find on her, he sets out to find her, feeling it will definitely be worth the chase.
 
While on his search for Reece, Ryder meets Payton and the chemistry is explosive. Payton has done well with not allowing anyone to get close to her, but something is different with Ryder. Ryder can’t get Payton out of his head, but he is still on his mission to locate Reece.
 
With two tragic pasts, Payton and Ryder each have demons to overcome. Will they be able to put those demons to rest or will it be all for nothing?

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          I hadn’t felt so alone in a while. Vegas was usually the place where I felt at peace and didn’t have to deal with any of the bullshit that had occurred over past twenty-four hours. I took the hottest shower I could stand to wipe myself clean of the day, followed by a luxurious bubble bath while I drank the bottle of Moscato I had bought to be shared with someone other than myself. I submerged myself under the water, holding my breath for as long as I could while I floated back to the top. It felt liberating being able to only hear the roar of the water, without noises from the real world getting through. I must have repeated the process six or seven times until it lost its fun. I didn’t want to go home and I didn’t want to stay there. Both places reminded me of Ryder. I can’t believe he ruined Vegas for me. I had no idea where I would go the next day.

          After the water started to turn lukewarm, I hopped out and air dried as I packed my bags. It felt nice to walk around my room, feeling the air against my cool skin. I was high enough that no one would see me when I walked close to the windows and the feeling of possibly being seen was highly erotic. I was packing my heels in my bag when there was a weak knock at the door. Turning suddenly, I had to wonder if it was meant for my door or maybe I was hearing someone knock next door.

          I threw on a t-shirt and thong and stepped closer to the door. Just as I got on my tippy toes to see through the peep hole, I heard and felt another knock. Looking through the hole, I saw Tate walking away from my door. I opened the door without another thought and followed him, tapping on his shoulder.

          Tate stopped, turned toward me, and then looked back at my door. “Were you planning on going back out like that?” He had a hint of amusement in his eyes.

          “No, I heard you knock and threw the first thing I saw on to see who it was.”

          “So you weren’t dressed?” His smile was full force.

          “I was just packing to leave and hadn’t decided what to wear for the rest of the night. Why aren’t you with whore-face?” I didn’t need to tell him I wasn’t sure when I was leaving or where I was going. I hadn’t quite figured it out.

          “Ahh, the more important question is how you’re going to get back in your room, doll. Seeing you strut downstairs to the front desk with your tight little ass peeking out from under your very thin t-shirt might gather even more looks than you and Tyler got on the casino floor earlier. You do know he’s getting married tomorrow, right?”

1. I’m 24 and Texas born and raised (not fun per se, but mandatory, right?)

2. I will see any movie with Adam Sandler or Channing Tatum in them

3. I can’t drive with shoes on (I’ve had 8 ankle surgeries on my driving foot)

4. I plan out my books while I drive to work normally

5. I have the most random taste in music ranging from Alanis Morissette to Rob Zombie to Luke Bryan to Metric

6. I’ve been on over 600 flights in my lifetime

7. I’m scared of fire and have never ever lit a match or lighter

8. Apparently, I talk really fast

9. My favorite drink is Sweet Tea (not bottled, the real stuff)

10. I love chocolate and peanut butter

11. I don’t snore, but I talk in my sleep

12. I always bake cookies for road trips... a lot of them

13. I HATE beer

14. Brisket tacos are the shit

15. I’m tempted to move to Austin just so I can go to Gourdoughs whenever I want

16. I get excited when hurricanes form (I know, it’s horrible and feel for everyone who lives on the coastlines, but ever since I was little, I was always cheering them on to get bigger)

17. I would be an awesome getaway driver if you were to rob a bank or egg your boyfriends car

18. I say “y’all” and am proud of it

19. Bailey in Sinfully is modeled after my niece who still asks for the “Talk Dirty Tummy” song

20. I have the best PA in the world ;)

Texas born and raised, I found my love for dirty books rather recently. I work in real estate for my normal job and I write contemporary romance. I love sweet tea (made right!), cookie cake, and anything with chocolate and peanut butter.

I have a few guys at my gym that are my TDF’s (tall, dark, and fuckable) but also have a HSB (Hot Sauna Boy), because let’s be honest, they’re my motivation while I’m there! I go to Las Vegas often but I swear I don’t have as much fun as Payton does. Although, if I found myself a Tate there, I might change my opinion!

Authors such as Katy Evans, SE Hall, Angela Graham, Jasinda Wilder, and Jillian Dodd have been a large influence on me and I’m forever grateful. I decided to write Sinfully on Black Friday in November 2013, on a whim. I thought I’d get bored after a few pages but was captivated by the characters and it developed into something I am truly proud of. Sinfully will be the first of three in its series, but they will be able to be read separately if desired.

When it comes to book boyfriends, I love those who are strong but with a little imperfection or tragedy in their past (Remy, Kellan, Q, Twitch are just a few of my favorites). I LOVE talking to my readers so feel free to message me on Facebook. ♥

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