New York Dolls by Catherine L. Hensley [BookBlitz]

new york dollsCatherine L. Hensley will be on tour January 5-12 with her novel New York Dolls

It’s Fashion Week in New York, and Denton Hodges just got her first big assignment for Glitter magazine.

Denton’s assignment: Get in the show at the posh Regency Viscount Hotel, and find a story. But a chance encounter with hard-partying starlet Amber Donovan forever changes the course of the night—and Denton’s life. After a night of being chased by the paparazzi, swimming in swag bags, and falling heart over heels for Hollywood hunk Chris West, Denton’s not just on the story. She is the story.

Suddenly, Denton’s no longer merely a low-level assistant. Amber’s latching on like a BFF from hell, Chris is flirting and cooking her dinner, and as Denton falls for the real people behind the tabloid screen, neither knows about her ties to Glitter. Only Denton holds the secret—or so she thinks. Is Anna Creel, Glitter’s icy beauty editor, on to her? Will Denton be able to write a story exposing her new friends? And is Chris more than just a friend, or did Glitter get the headline right—“Chris and Amber: Hot Nights!”?

Step into the spotlight, and peek beyond the red carpet in New York Dolls.

Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops!


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Excerpt

I took Josie’s hand so as not to lose her to another bouncer this time. We made it onto the dance floor, weaving through the bumpers and grinders getting low, low, low. I spotted the doorway opening to the patio, finally, up ahead past the edge of the dance floor and to the side of the roped-off VIP area. Josie and I joined the line for the patio. Almost done, I kept thinking, like passing through this one final portal would be my rite of passage out of the tornado I’d gotten myself twisted up in. I wouldn’t have to lie that I’d been to the after-party. I could describe the scene, maybe see someone I recognized from the RV and get a quote. Or maybe Liz would buy an investigative journalism angle on this whole thing—“A Glitter World Exclusive: Reporter Denton Hodges Reveals Amber Donovan’s Hair Secret.” Play it like I was onto it all along.

And think of the material I could use—a puking Amber Donovan, needy, desperate, confused, not sure where she is or where she’s going, and Prince Charming Chris West, concerned, involved, pissed about having to make an appearance somewhere but willing to stay with you and make sure you’re all right, even giving you the shirt off his back. Who cares about what happened in between? I could take what I needed. This could be my exit—the patio outside and then a few slights of the pen. Waiting in that line, plotting so many ways to cover my ass and make it all neat and tidy, I felt dirty, and something more…something like…devious. For the first time since Liz had given me this assignment, I really felt like Anna Creel. Like I got the story, I did what I had to, and that’s all that matters, so go have a freaking fashionable night, because I’m…

“Denny!” MD was coming down the stairs from a VIP booth. “Oh my G!”

“Dee-Dee!” Amber pushed past the rope from the patio, tripping on her way toward me. Her purple wig had been replaced with a cherry-colored red one. “Oh my God, Dee-Dee! Where have you been? I neeeeeed you!”

“Anna?” That voice. I hope I’ll see you around.

I remembered his voice. He came up behind me and put his hand on my lower back. “Do you want to get out of here?” Why yes, Chris West, yes, actually I do. I don’t think I have the scoop on the story anymore. I am the story.


catherine hensleyBio:
Catherine L. Hensley is a professional freelance editor and writer. From fiction and nonfiction manuscripts to academic pieces, she provides an extensive range of copyediting, proofreading, content editing, and writing services to a wide variety of clients located around the United States and abroad.

A native of south Louisiana, Catherine received her master of arts degree in creative writing and media studies from New York University and her bachelor of arts degree in English from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, with minors in history and mass communication. Her writing has appeared in The Advocate (Louisiana’s largest newspaper), OT Practice magazine, Quiet Mountain: New Feminist Essays, and Mused, the BellaOnline Literary Review. For more, visit www.catherinehensley.com.

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The Curvy Girls Club by Michelle Gorman [BookBlitz}

 

The Curvy Girls Club US

Chick Lit

 

Imagine a world where looks don’t matter

Pixie, Ellie, Katie and Jane have been best friends since meeting at Slimming Zone. Tired of being judged by the number of calories they consume, they decide to form a different kind of club. The fun evenings they spend together, not worrying about their size, make them happier than they’ve been for years.

But the club doesn’t stop real life from getting in the way and together the girls have to address some much bigger issues than just their weight…

“This is a delightful book of friendship, acceptance, and belonging for anyone who has ever wondered: “What if?”” Publishers Weekly

Gorman is an advocate of helping women to learn to be happy in their own skin and hopes that this book will lend itself to engaging audiences and start the New Year feeling less obsessed by their weight and more focused on learning to love themselves.

 

Book Trailer

Author Bio

Michele Gorman is the USA Today best-selling author of eight books, including Bella Summer Takes a Chance and The Expat Diaries (Single in the City) series. Her first book, Single in the City, debuted at number 8 in The Bookseller’s Fiction Heatseekers bestseller chart. She is also a founding member of the publishing collective, Notting Hill Press, and has published upmarket commercial fiction under the pen name Jamie Scott. Born and raised in the US, Michele has lived in London for 16 years. She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films but objects to spiders and the word “portion”.

UK Covers for The Curvy Girls Club

Curvy Girls Club UK eBook cover

 

The Curvy Girls Club UK paperback cover

 

Email: MicheleGormanPR@NottingHillPress.co.uk

Twitter: @MicheleGormanUK

 

One Last Song by S.K. Falls [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

One-Last-Song-Release-Week-Blitz

 

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I was seven when I swallowed my first needle.

My mom freaked out and rushed me to the emergency room.

She stayed by my side all night.

I never wanted it to end.

When you spend your whole life feeling invisible-when your parents care more about deals and deadlines than they do about you-you find ways of making people take notice. Little things at first. Then bigger. It’s scary how fast it grows. Then one day something happens that makes you want to stop. To get better. To be better. And for the first time, you understand what it’s like to feel whole, happy . . . loved. For the first time, you love someone back.

For me, that someone was Drew.

 

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Author Bio

2014 IPPY award-winning author S.K. Falls believes a degree in psychology qualifies her to emotionally torture her characters in an authentic fashion. When she isn’t writing her twisted love stories, she can be found gallivanting around Charleston, SC with her family.

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Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

BKOB-Launch-Day-Blitz

 

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BEST KIND OF BROKEN by Chelsea Fine

(January 13, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; $12.00)

 

Contemporary

SOMETIMES MOVING ON MEANS MOVING IN

Pixie Marshall wishes every day she could turn back time and fix the past. But she can’t. And the damage is done. She’s hoping that a summer of free room and board working with her aunt at the Willow Inn will help her forget. Except there’s a problem: the resident handyman is none other than Levi Andrews. The handsome quarterback was once her friend-and maybe more-until everything changed in a life-shattering instant. She was hoping to avoid him, possibly forever. Now he’s right down the hall and stirring up feelings Pixie thought she’d long buried . . .

Levi can’t believe he’s living with the one person who holds all his painful memories. More than anything he wants to make things right, but a simple “sorry” won’t suffice-not when the tragedy that scarred them was his fault. Levi knows Pixie’s better off without him, but every part of him screams to touch her, protect her, wrap her in his arms, and kiss away the pain. Yet even though she’s so close, Pixie’s heart seems more unreachable than ever. Seeing those stunning green eyes again has made one thing perfectly clear-he can’t live without her.

Excerpt

It’s late, and most of the inn guests are already asleep.

I wait until I hear the TV click on in Levi’s room before I start plugging everything I own into the wall.

We argued today. We avoided each other. And aside from the weird look we exchanged in the hallway this morning and our little spat in front of Zack, everything is back to normal.

Which means I owe Levi for the cold shower I had to take.

I turn everything on and the lights go out. I hear the TV die in the next room and crawl onto my bed with a smile.

“Pixie!” Levi’s irritated voice rings through the walls and I’m feeling happier than a mature person should.

I hear stomping, and then he opens my bedroom door. Just opens it. Like he has the right to just waltz into my room. I could be naked in here; he doesn’t know.

“You’re going out to the fuse box this time.” He steps inside, and now he’s standing just a few feet away, pointing his finger at me.

I’m on the bed, trying to look casual, like lying in the dark playing games on my phone is perfectly normal. The only light in the room is coming from the glow of my phone and the half-moon outside, so we both look blue and soft. And in the blue softness, I see he’s shirtless.

I see Levi without a shirt on almost every morning, but I’ve never seen him half-naked in the dark, and something about it makes my body feel electric.

“Not going to happen,” I say.

He steps closer. “Well, I sure as hell am not marching outside to turn the power back on.”

I shrug. “Fine with me. I don’t need electricity tonight. I can watch TV on my fully charged phone.” I wiggle said phone at him.

He sighs. “You don’t understand. I was looking up the contact information for an alarm company I found so I can call and schedule the installation tomorrow. I need the Internet, Pix.”

“Then use your phone.”

“My phone is dead.”

The boy never charges anything. He almost makes the whole fuse-blowing thing too easy.

“Well, that’s too bad. I guess you’re going to have to turn the electricity back on after all.” I pretend to be very interested in my game.

“Let me use your phone. Just for a minute.”

“No.”

“Come on. It’s for Ellen.” He implores me with a pouty face I’ve seen him use on his mom a dozen times.

I scoff. “Please.”

“Dammit, Pixie.” The pout is gone.

“Maybe tomorrow you’ll remember to charge your own phone. Or hey, better yet, maybe you’ll let me have a hot shower.” I make a big production of pressing random buttons on my phone.

He slumps his shoulders like he’s accepting defeat, then whips out his arm and tries to swipe the phone from my hands. Sneaky bastard.

I pull my phone back and kick at him with my foot, but he grabs my ankle—because I’m not exactly a ninja with my kicking skills—and then we both freeze.

Because now I’m leaning back on the bed with my legs spread apart, and he’s got one hand on my ankle and the other on the bed next to my hip where he was reaching for my phone, and his body is in between my legs, which are completely bare except for the tiny gym shorts I have on, and my right arm is raised over my head with my cell phone still out of his reach, but my back is arched and my shirt has come up so my stomach is completely exposed and I’m hot all over.

Hot. Heat. Everywhere.

I mean, really. We look like we’re in the middle of having sex, but with clothes on. My body knows this. His body knows this. And our bodies are really, really happy about this.

He’s looking at me with nothing in his eyes except want. And I like it. No, I love it.

This must show on my face because his hand—still wrapped around my ankle—moves up my leg an inch, and he watches my reaction.

I try not to react because, hell, he can’t win. He can’t just be asshole Levi all day long and then climb into my bed at night and touch me wherever he pleases.

Ugh. Yes he can.

I part my lips and he slowly, slowly slides his warm hand up my calf and, holy hell, I could orgasm right here. I might, actually.

My calf.

My calf.

He’s touching my calf and I’m more turned on than I’ve ever been in my life.

His hand shifts again, and the only thought in my head is, Go higher, go higher.

Please, dear God, go higher.

 

Author Bio

Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She Chelsea Fine Headshot 2lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

 

 

 

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Blue Mountain by Cardeno C. [Audiobook Review + Giveaway]

Blue Mountain Audio Banner copy
Blue Mountain

by Cardeno C

Audio Book Tour

Blue Mountain: Pack Collection, Book 1

AUDIBLE | GOODREADS

WLK synopsis

Exiled by his pack as a teen, Omega wolf Simon Moorehead learns to bury his gentle nature in the interest of survival. When a hulking, rough-faced Alpha catches Simon on pack territory, he tries to escape what he’s sure will be imminent death. But instead of killing him, the Alpha takes Simon home.

A man of action, Mitch Grant uproots his life to support his brother in leading the Blue Mountain pack. Mitch lives on the periphery, quietly protecting everyone, but always alone. A mate is a dream come true for Mitch, and he won’t let little things like Simon’s rejections, attacks, and insults get in their way. With patience, seduction, and genuine care, Mitch will ride out the storm while Simon slays his own ghosts and Mitch’s loneliness.

©2014 Cardeno C. (P)2014 Cardeno C.

REVIEW

God really gifted Cardeno C with an extraordinary imagination that allows all of us loyal and devoted fans to enjoy the magnificent stories we all have come to love, and Blue Mountain is not the exception. Now, add (once again) the also talented Sean Crisden in the mix bringing to life these characters with his incomparable voice, and BOOM!, –another kick ass combo for another KICK ASS STORY-

When it comes to PNR there are only a few handful of authors who I really trust to make my reading experience a unique one, and Cardeno C is one of them. Since I was already acquainted with the ‘Mates’ Series, I had no doubts whatsoever about giving a chance to this new ‘Pack’ series’ first installment: ‘Blue Mountain’.

Although quite a bit short for my own taste, Blue Mountain gives us the story of Mitch Grant and Simon Moorhead. We learn based on events described that Mitch arrived with his brother Frederick to Blue Mountain 4 years earlier and took over the entire pack that was lead by a very evil character named Kristoff. We also learn that though Freddy and Mitch are twins and alphas, the one leading the pack is Freddy, who found his mate in Donia a female Omega; we know that Mitch wasn’t interested in being any type of leader, but, his twin loyalty makes him stick by his brother and support him with pack duties.

On Halloween night, after learning that a ‘male’ Omega (seems to be those are not that common but mostly are women) has been captured by pack members, he senses that finally, after waiting for so long, he found his mate.

From here, we see a series of events unravel for Mitch, as he nurtures and brings Simon back to health, taking him into his home and patiently caring for him. Simon, wounded, with a very tragic past, of course distrusts Mitch, but soon (and after Mitch’s affections) Simon realizes there is more to his caring and that love can manifest in the most unexpected ways. After that, the love story we expect just turns up a notch, but I won’t get into too many details and spoil your fun.

What I will tell you is that without a doubt, once again the team of Cardeno c + Sean Crisden delivered a magnificent story + audio experience that will definitely bring a huge smile to your face.

Book Trailer

WLK Author Bio
Cardeno C - Logo
Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.

Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”

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Year Faves Part II [Drool-Worthy Book Covers]

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The following selection of covers blew my mind. Like seriously BLEW.MY.MIND.

I’m no graphic designer, illustrator, cartoonist or anything close to that. Heck, I don’t even draw straight lines, I barely can draw connected circles AND I failed all my coloring tests in kindergarten. Up to this day I can’t color.

And I’m almost 34 years old.

No joke.

So this list, with no particular order whatsoever, was chosen by me, with no influence by anybody, just because I like the covers. They are pretty, and to me a pretty cover basically sells 90% of the book at first impression.

You may not agree, but to each it’s own. I think all of these covers ROCK TO THE MOON AND BACK.

I must add though, that this list was not easy to put together either, however I did take into consideration a few aspects before picking them:

  • Book to which they belong was released in 2014
  • I not necessarily READ said book, but have purchased it and it’s currently sitting in my TBR pile.

Did I mention they are SPECTACULAR?

Yes?

Well, here they are:

 

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The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen

Cliff Nielsen, mastermind behind all the covers for the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, made this list by default. There hasn’t been one cover I have not loved from him, and I am crossing my fingers so he can also be the mastermind behind the upcoming Dark Artifices, third Shadowhunter series by Clare. One thing is to see these covers in digital, which hold true colors and instantly catch your attention, but another one is to see them live, on the book, (a hardback) and see that not only the true colors remain as beautiful as they look in digital, but the dust jacket also has slight patterns. Pretty cool, I might add. 🙂

 

 

 

My Fave Covers

The Kraken King: Parts 1 to 8 by Meljean Brook

Cover: Berkley Publishing*

Berkley Publishing did Meljean Brook all possible justice. The Kraken King, split in an 8 part serial throughout the Spring turned out to be a fantastic experiment and all eight covers are possibly the most colorful and creative ones I have seen in THE LONGEST TIME. Of course, you have to be a little bit familiar with the entire story, and some have nothing to do with it, but in reality, the whole ‘Steampunk’ movement is well portrayed in these unbelievably beautiful pieces of art making them the icing on top of the fantastic adventure / love story of Zenobia Fox and the Kraken King.

 

 

 

 

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Walk with Me by Cardeno C.

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

What haven’t I said about this book already to finally convince you this is a GREAT read? Well, the main reason I discovered this book in the first place was because of the cover. Just by looking at it, I KNEW this was another Paul Richmond creation. Pure BEAUTY. And see, I insist that covers sell stories, and this one with no doubt whatsoever was the one story that I knew absolutely NOTHING about, no blurb, nothing about the author, no reviews read, NOTHING. It was the blessed creative mind of Paul Richmond who brought to life this cover that instantly bought my curiosity. The rest is history. And just as a side note, every single person I have shared this book with, loved both the story AND the cover.

 

 

 

 

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Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Cover Artist: Joel Tippie

I must admit that dystopian fantasy is not my reading preference, but there is something in this series that caught my attention right off the bat. And guess what? IT’S FANTASTIC! (have you seen the movie? no? what are you waiting for then?) Now, if you mix a kick ass story with a very clever book cover, you know you will have the greatest of reading experiences. Joel Tippie had already scored with the previous three covers (for Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant) and once again delivered with the cover of Four.

 

 

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Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Cover Artist: Olga Grlic

Sometimes simple is just the way to go. Something simple, with not a lot of fuzz, couple of colors and voila! You have the book recipe for PERFECTION. Just as with the covers for Fangirl and Eleanor and Park, Olga Grlic delivered a very clever, basic and beautiful cover that says it all; just as Rainbow Rowell delivered to all her fans another knock out story worth a million smiles.

 

 

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Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Cover: Little, Brown & Company*

Little, Brown & Company scored another favorite of mine, with this gorgeous cover for Gail Carriger’s ‘Finishing School’ series. There is just something about a black and white image on a very colorful background that attracts you instantly. It’s simple, clean, DEFINETELY not too busy, and the thing is, you kind of have an idea about the story just by looking at this cover. Back in Curtsies and Conspiracies I knew NOTHING about this new series, and it was that exact cover that attracted me to buy the book. Three stories later, I am (as since The Parasol Protectorate) an avid fan of Mrs. Carriger and her Steampunk world.

 

 

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Deacon by Kristen Ashley

Cover Artist: Unknown*

 There is always something meaningful behind K.A.’s book covers. They all have to do with a very significant scene, or moment, or phrase or chapter in her books, and believe me, you need to READ and understand these to find the beauty behind it. I did, and never looked back since the first book I read from her, Raid, also from her ‘Unfinished Hero’ series. I wish I could give kudos to the cover artist properly, but, in the meantime I share with all of you how much I LOVE this cover that to the untrained eye is nothing but two leaves, but to me hold a very deep meaning behind an even more mind blowing story.

 

 

 

 

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The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

And once again, Paul Richmond created a masterpiece to be admired for years to come. If you ask me, I WANT THIS COVER IN A 60 X 60 portrait for my bedroom wall.

Is that too big?

Nah!

Any of Paul Richmond’s creations would never be too big to admire. I wish there was some sort of edict in his native Columbus to cover all front house entrances with one of his paintings. Seriously beautiful stuff he creates, trust me. And of course, TJ Klune knocked it out of the ballpark AGAIN, with a superb storytelling that deserved no less than this colossally beautiful cover to go with it. Match made in book heaven.

 

 

 

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Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Cover Artist: Unknown*

I think you can pretty much agree with me, that Tahereh Mafi is by far one of THE most fashionable authors ever. I can’t think of another author alive who has her sense of fashion / hip / chic / pop coolness who could rock stripes, plaid, and circles in the same outfit and still look impeccable. Just as her unquestionable excellent taste in clothing, her covers for the entire ‘Shatter Me’ series rocked a lot of people’s socks off. Her final installment in the trilogy, ‘Ignite Me’ is possibly my favorite of all. As I have mentioned, dystopian is still new to me, but I met Tahereh last year at the L.A. Times Festival of Books and fell under the spell. She is simply PHENOMENAL, and these stories deserved such beautiful artwork like the ones re -designed for them. Totally freakin’ cool.

 

 

 

*Covers marked as ‘unknown’ either I have not been able to identify the artist, or have been created by the publishing company / self published author not crediting an artist in particular. If you know who did them, feel free to comment and help me give them credit for such phenomenal work 🙂

Year Faves Part I: [Audio Books that Rocked my World]

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This has been a VERY hard task to accomplish.

Just so you know, I have listened to a total of 84 audiobooks between 11/30/13 and 11/30/14. You might think that’s a sh*tload of money (and yes, it might be), but I discovered late 2013 this crazy yet extraordinary gift from Amazon called Whyspersync for Voice (which if you haven’t tried I REALLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO). It saves you an even bigger sh*tload of money if you compare it to an Audible membership, and based on the possible fact that you’ve had those books sitting in your ever growing TBR pile since the beginning of the electronic age, this is actually an INVESTMENT rather than an expense.

At least that’s how I see it (totally my opinion) since it already knocked out those 84 books I had waiting to be read hopefully before the next solar eclipse.

So because audiobooks literally saved my life to the point where that’s all I’ve played in my car on my way to work since my first purchase, I decided to share with you my TOP 5, or in better terms the 5 audiobooks I mostly enjoyed this year and the ones I think deserve to win a freakin’ Grammy Award or something similar.

I have to point out that this list doesn’t reflect ONLY my love for the book. Of course, the story needed to be great, but that didn’t determine my love for the audio. The audiobook narrator did all the trick. In the Audiobook world, THE VOICE you put in the story is what will make it a KICK ASS STORY. And trust me, I’ve listened to several of my all time FAVORITE books being narrated by people who don’t make the cut, which has DISAPPOINTED me to the extreme, but hey, my love for the book won’t die because of it, they simply did not make this list.

Points I took in consideration to choose these:

  • I listened to this audiobook between December 1, 2013 – November 30, 2014.
  • I didn’t get to listen to a sample (surprise factor blew me away)
  • I have listened to this TWICE cause it’s THAT good.
  • I loved the audio regardless of whatever I thought about the book
  • The narrator is OFF THE CHARTS great. Mind blowing GREAT.

And without further ado, I give you my BEST audio experiences of 2014:

 

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5# Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley [Narrated by Susannah Jones]

Oh, GOD BLESS the extraordinary talented Susannah Jones for taking this task to THE MAX and making ALL 8 ROCK CHICKS THE MASTERPIECES THEY ARE in audio. See, I am a devoted Kristen Ashley fan, I know for a fact that anything I pick from her I will like and the entire Rock Chick journey was PHENOMENAL to say the least, now mix that with the absolutely hilarious and catchy voice of Susannah Jones and you have a time bomb ready to explode once people figure out the whole audio trick. Listening to a story you love, narrated with such professionalism and humor is a treat only few will enjoy though everybody SHOULD. I particularly loved them all, but above all, Rock Chick Revolution was THE BEST. All the voices she makes are fantastic, but there is something in Ally’s character that turns it up a notch. I think her best ones are Tex, Lee and Mr. Kumar.

Kudos to both of you ladies: KA, for being the FREAKIN’ QUEEN OF EVERYTHING, and Susannah, for bringing the gang to life with such easiness it will make you think you are witnessing everything from first row at the theater.

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#4 Reaper’s Stand by Joanna Wylde [Narrated by Tatiana Sokolov]

This book had it ALL, hands down. And Tatiana Sokolov, contributed to turn it into a wild ride.

Literally.

Joanna Wylde delighted us with Preacher’s story, and Tatiana Sokolov (with a small collabo from no other than Sean Crisden narrating Preacher’s POV) knocked it out of the ballpark AGAIN. Reaper’s Stand is one of the best books I’ve heard her narrate (and I’ve heard quite a few) and since I hold Tatiana close to my heart (she’s the first narrator I ever listened to since I got myself an audible account) I just knew she would makes us enjoy another kick ass story. The author / narrator combo in this audio book made it reach another level of awesomeness to the point that I listened to it TWICE IN ONE WEEK. Tatiana has this way with characters and male voices that seriously sound so realistic you could hardly tell she’s the one behind them, and not every narrator has that gift. Trust me. To say it was a catchy and fun, and wild and explosive and IMPRESSIVE, is just not enough. It was AMAZING.

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#3 The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune [Narrated by Sean Crisden]

Lord Almighty, where do I start?

TJ Klune is with no doubt one of the most gifted storytellers to have ever lived.

Seriously.

See, there is something so special in the way he writes, and how he involves the reader with such ease, you just KNOW there is a magnificent and beautiful story waiting to be read. And when you mix the added bonus of a SUPERB narration from an equality gifted narrator like Sean Crisden, you are officially entering the big leagues.

If you ever read Bear, Otter & The Kid you know what the story is about. So much so, that if you loved it like me, you cried (a river, for real). Well, Tyson and the gang were brought to life (again) in the extraordinary voice of Sean Crisden who nailed it with every single character interpretation. There is no mistake on anybody’s voice, which makes the audio experience a really fun and happy one. If I have anything to say about this, is that it was TOO SHORT! 15 Hours were not enough of this man’s marvelous voice.

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#2 Chronicles of Nick: Infinity [Narrated by Holter Graham]

Mr. HBO himself has a legion of fans worldwide. I’m pretty sure the opinion of a random blogger is one of the things he can care less about; but OH-EM-GEE if there is one person I simply WORSHIP when it comes to voice off’s is Holter Graham. From the minute I heard the first sentence of the book, I knew who he was. I knew it would be a MIND BLOWING experience and sure enough, I finished all 5 books in a month. CRAZY! Think about it: approximately 50 + hours of Holter Graham giving a voice to Southern / Cajun Cherise Gautier, mighty Acheron, the winey Heifer Goddess and the rest of the Dark Hunters!

PARANORMAL PARADISE IN NEW ORLEANS!

To me, Holter Graham is one of the greatest narrators on the planet, and to have the HONOR and privilege of narrating a book by none else than mastermind genius Sherrilyn Kenyon….I kid you not, if it was me, I couldn’t sleep.

Infinity is possibly the best one of all 5 narrated by Graham. The voice he gives to Nick Gautier will only make you love him all over again (yes, before he turned all crazy and allied with Artemis)…

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#1 Dirty Kiss by Rhys Ford [Narrated by Greg Tremblay]

My audio book experience would have never been the same this year if not for the TALENTED AND BLESSED VOICE OF THIS MAN. Actually, it would have never been the same without the GENIUS STORY of Cole McGinnis and Kim Jae Min. Rhys Ford brought a little bit of light to my life with this series and when I discovered the EXTREMELY WELL NARRATED AUDIOBOOKS, it was like opening a door to a totally new world.

Of all the many, many, audio books I have listened to this year; this is the best one. Hands down.

Greg Tremblay has a GLORIOUS gift. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the smoothness of his voice and the way how he juggles accents with such a natural way. The easiness he finds in switching characters leaves you speechless. His voice alone is a gift from heaven I wish I had (I seriously sound like a hyena laughing…) so yes, to say his narration talent is brilliant is just not enough.

IT’S EPIC.

 

Blood & Rain by Shira Anthony [Guest Post + Giveaway]

Cover

Book Name: Blood and Rain (Blood #1)

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23261044-blood-and-rain

Author Name: Shira Anthony

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

  Paranormal

 

Male-Male

 

Adrien Gilbert has spent several lifetimes searching for the love he lost. Born in the 1800s into a clan of fabled vampire hunters, Adrien once wanted nothing more than to tend his family’s vineyard in southern France or read a good book. But Adrien’s peaceful existence ends abruptly when his older brother, François, is murdered. Bound by his hunter’s oath, Adrien sets out on a path that will forever change his life when he agrees to execute his brother’s killer, the vampire Charles Duvalier.

After months chasing the elusive Charles, Adrien reluctantly makes a bargain with Nicolas Lambert, an ancient vampire. Adrien will escort Nicolas to Paris for his marriage to a rival clanswoman, and Nicolas will help Adrien find Charles. Nicolas’s quiet strength and gentle heart soon convince Adrien that Nicolas is nothing like the vampires he has sworn to destroy. As the wedding date draws nearer, a force intent on destroying the fragile peace between the vampire clans threatens to tear apart both the vampire realm and the world of the hunters. To secure both past and future for those he loves, Adrien must find a way to stop the looming war between hunters and vampires. But first he’ll have to let Nicolas go.

 Guest Post

Thanks, Sophie, for inviting me to blog about my new Blood Series and my brand new release, Blood and Rain!

Sophie asked me to speak about the challenges and rewards of creating my own supernatural universe, something I love to talk about. After you’re done reading, be sure to enter the Blood and Rain Blog Tour giveaway for an amazing unisex pendant by artist Martin Brodour and a Dreamspinner Press gift certificate! The contest ends at midnight on New Year’s! Details are below.

Creating any universe in a story, regardless of genre, always presents both challenges and rewards. When you think about it, you’ll realize even contemporary stories require some world creation, or what writers call “world building” so that readers can understand why the characters do what they do. Because in the end, it’s really all about characters!

I’ve written fantasy before. In my Mermen of Ea Series, I really did create a brand-new, Earth-like universe where shifter mermen exist. But writing the Blood Series, and in particular Blood and Rain (Blood #1), I faced some particular challenges that seem to be part and parcel of writing vampires.

Why is it challenging and rewarding to create a vampire universe? Two reasons, in particular. First, readers are familiar with vampires and vampire lore. Second, readers are familiar with vampires and vampire lore. No, I didn’t make a mistake in writing that last bit! The challenges are the same as the benefits. Let me explain….

Readers know vampires. Or at least, they know them from the books they’ve read in the past. Which means they may expect vampire books to have certain elements. There are so many vampire myths in existing vampire lore: blood as food, immortality, sensitivity to light, undead/living creatures, sexuality, power. I could go on, but you get what I’m saying.

When someone says “vampires,” chances are you think of one or more of these things. Those familiar themes make readers like vampires (or hate them, I suppose). And to some extent, readers want familiar themes because they’re comfortable. But the flip side of this is that if you write a new vampire story with all of the familiar elements, your readers may get bored. Readers are looking for more than just the old vampires they’ve been reading.

It’s all about the balance. Truly. Each author needs to work to strike the balance of familiar and new/original in their vampire stories. And that’s where both the challenge and reward to me as a writer come in.

In Blood and Rain, you’ll learn that vampires are essentially immortal because they live extraordinarily long lives. On the other hand, my vampires are not “undead.” They are very much living, breathing creatures. And they don’t have any issues with sunlight. Yes, they crave human blood and they struggle with control of their urge for blood. My vampires can mate and have children. Vampires can be born or created. Born vampires, or “ancient” vampires, are the most powerful and are a sort of vampire royalty. Some of the ancient vampires intermarried with humans, and created quasi-humans who become vampire hunters. The hunters are long-lived, but not immortal. Hunters can become immortal, however, with the help of an ancient vampire. Hunters can also become vampires in the same way a normal human would.

Building upon old vampire lore and creating my own new lore makes for such a fun universe to play in! I love mixing old and new, and the interplay between the hunters and the hunter makes this series so much for me to write. There are old dilemmas, such as whether to drink human blood or abstain. There are new dilemmas to be discovered in the interplay between the hunters and the vampires.

I hope you’ll enjoy the universe in Blood and Rain! I sure enjoyed writing it. -Shira

 

 

Excerpt

Adrien licked the skin of Cole’s neck, feeling the blood pulse there, hearing it call to him. Cole tilted his head in anticipation, opening himself to Adrien Adrien buried his teeth in Cole’s skin. Blood flooded his mouth and danced on his tongue, sweet and salty. Too long. His body was far more vampire-like in its craving for blood than when he’d first been given the gift of an ancient vampire’s soul. He wondered if it was the same for other immortals.

Adrien tried to ignore the images that flashed through his mind—the sound of silvery laughter, a mother’s loving caress. Cole’s memories. Adrien despised this forced intimacy, but he’d come to see it as the price of blood. Something to be tolerated.

It hadn’t always been that way. When he’d shared Nicolas’s blood, Adrien had experienced great joy. He’d seen himself through Nicolas’s eyes and felt the depth of Nicolas’s love. Each drop of that precious liquid had opened new doors. Each taste offered insight into Nicolas’s heart and soul. A beloved memory. A mystery—the mystery of Nicolas—unfolding with every swallow.

Adrien drank his fill, then claimed Cole’s mouth. This kind of contact he could stomach. He didn’t need sex to survive, but he enjoyed the release. Cole unbuttoned Adrien’s black silk shirt and his cock swelled against Adrien’s thigh. Adrien moaned as Cole skated his fingertips over his chest.

“I have never known a hunter to crave blood,” Cole whispered in his ear. “I thought only we experienced the bloodlust.”

“You were wrong,” Adrien said as he pulled Cole’s shirt over his head and mouthed a pretty pink nipple. Sex was always better after he fed, and Adrien’s cock was already hard at the thought of fucking such a lovely ass. He drew Cole’s body against his, walked backward into the living room, and pulled Cole with him onto the rug. Soon they were naked and he was no longer a hunter or an immortal, he was simply a man, seeking release, seeking pleasure.

For at least an hour after, Adrien lay on the floor and allowed the night air to caress his bare skin. He closed his eyes and dozed.

“Adrien.”

The voice awakened him. Nicolas’s voice again. Why sleep if it only served to reawaken the pain he sought to suppress?

He stood and pulled on his jeans. He walked onto the balcony in his bare feet, then climbed to the roof of the penthouse.

Pathetic.

Having reached the edge, he spread his arms. He leaned forward and fell unimpeded, riding the wind like a sigh. The glass of the building sailed by him, the breeze buffeting his face. He hit the water and sank into the cold blackness. He wished he could die.

Back Banner Blood Rain

 

Author Bio

Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 35’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

 

Links

Shira can be found on

 

 

Purchase Links

 

 

 

 

 GIVEAWAY

 

 Handmade “Blood and Rain” unisex pendant from artist Martin Brodour. & $10 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate

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WillPride

Mc Farland’s Farm by Cardeno C [Audiobook Review + Giveaway]

McFarlands Farm Audio - banner McFarland’s Farm

by Cardeno C

Audio Book Tour

McFarland's Farm

McFarland’s Farm: Hope, Book 1

AUDIBLE | GOODREADS

WLK synopsis

Wealthy, attractive Lucas Reika treats life like a party, moving from bar to bar and man to man. Thumbing his nose at his restaurateur father’s demand that he earn his keep, Lucas instead seduces a valued employee in the kitchen of their flagship restaurant, earning himself an ultimatum: lose access to his father’s money or stay in the middle of nowhere with a man he has secretly lusted over from afar.

Quiet, hard-working Jared McFarland loves his farm on the outskirts of Hope, Arizona, but he aches to have someone to come home to at the end of the day. Jared agrees to take in his longtime crush as a favor. But when Lucas invades his heart in addition to his space, Jared has to decide how much of himself he’s willing to risk and figure out if he can offer Lucas enough to keep him after his father’s punishment is over.

WLK excerpt

REVIEW

The BRILLIANT MIND of Cardeno C has gifted us with yet another beautiful and heartfelt love story.

And see, here’s the real deal:

There are many different love stories

Some are short.

Some are fun.

Some make you cry.

Some make you smile.

Some make you bang your head against the wall.

And some are undeniably so, so, so! good you end up with a book hangover the size of the empire state building.

McFarland’s Farm did that to me.

You know what the cherry on top was? Paul Morey’s SUPERB audio narration! (Again!) (But of course, he is THAT talented, and if you have heard any of his previous narrations you also know this firsthand.)

I had already had the privilege of reading this story, but the audio version just blew my socks off. Paul Morey is a blessed beyond words narrator. His character interpretation once again just proved to me that he was BORN to do this. And see, this is the beauty of an audio book: the narrator’s versatility and smooth interpretation making each character come to life in such a unique and creative way that all you really feel enthralled with the story.

And the combination of Cardeno C’s magnificent writing style and Paul Morey’s delightful narration skills turned this into a very epic love story. I would actually call this the PERFECT dose of romance and heartbreaking revelations that one as a bookworm deserves. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

You may be asking yourself what is so sweet and mushy and perfect about it. I WON’T SPOIL IT FOR YOU, but I will tell you this: Jared McFarland is one lucky guy.

On another personal note: I really wouldn’t live in AZ.

Have you ever been there? I don’t even like to go to Palm Springs cause it’s too hot, now image Palm Springs + 30 degrees. THAT’s the 411 of the state of Arizona. Jared McFarland seems to love it and has made a wonderful living in his farm, and that’s exactly where he falls for bad boy rebel Lucas Reika.

Nope. No Arizona for me. Apparently Lucas is not too fond of the heat and farmland either, but he copes, and against all odds he ends up liking the little town of Hope, AZ so much that he changes his L.A city life for the peace and quietness of Jared’s farm, as a mandatory request from his dad. He doesn’t want to be there, but he has no choice.

Many things happen and it’s not really easy for Lucas to get to that point where he actually WANTS to stay and give Hope a try. Neither it was for Jared, who really finds himself in the greatest predicament of his life when Lucas (unexpectedly and really last minute) arrives on that afternoon bus from Los Angeles sent as a punishment by his father.

What I loved most about this story was how each character acted and reacted. Straightforward. To the point. No BS. I think short stories like this (though not my first choice in reading) saves us a lot of possible hiccups on our way to find the ultimate HEA.

As I said, I’m not spoiling it. I can tell you though without a doubt that both the audio and e-book have been more than a welcome treat 🙂

 

 

 

WLK Author Bio
Cardeno C - Logo
Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.

Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”

Website | Facebook! | Twitter

Cafe Risqué ~ Shared Blog

Pintrest | Google+ | Youtube

 

WLK Giveaway

Enter to win an Audio Copy (from Audible) of McFarland’s Farm!

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Bold Tricks by Karina Halle [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

 

Bold-Tricks-Release-Blitz

 

halle.BoldTricksNew.mm

 

 

The Faster They Live, the Harder They Fall . . .

Raised by con artists, Ellie Watt has a lot of crazy childhood memories-but none crazier than being scarred with acid by the demented crime boss Travis Raines. Now Ellie is a full-grown woman who lives for revenge, and Travis is a full-blown drug lord who kills for pleasure. The sadistic bastard has kidnapped her good friend Gus as well as her mother, whom he’s been holding as prized possessions in his heavily guarded lair. And Ellie has only one chance in hell of getting them out alive-using two dangerous men who love her to death . . . One is Camden McQueen, a talented tattoo artist who’s made a permanent mark on Ellie’s heart. The other is Javier Bernal, her fiery ex-lover who’s busted more than a few heads in his time. From the crime-ridden streets of Mexico City to the predatory jungles of Honduras, this unlikely trio forms an uneasy alliance in the deadliest game of all-a gun-blazing battle to the finish that will pit enemy against enemy and lover against lover. And Ellie must choose the right man to trust . . . or die.

 

Excerpt

The motel room was a lot nicer than the one we stayed at before. Sort of a Best Western, middle-ground quality of place. No roaches on the floors, no geckos on the wall. Shit mattresses, I discovered as I pounded my fist on the bed, but I didn’t care.

Camden had just put the final box on my bed, Violetta sprawled out on hers in a state of drug-induced euphoria, when I noticed Javier lingering at the doorway.

“I’m going to be meeting Dom in about twenty minutes,” Javier said to me. “Is that enough time for you to get ready?”

I frowned and he quickly added, “You know he’ll want you there, if this is going to get anywhere. I figured you might want to shower and look nice.”

He rapped his fingers along the doorframe, his mouth opening as if to say something else, then he turned and walked off.

Camden eyed me. “I’m going with you.”

“You might be kind of drunk, Camden,” I told him, though the determination in his voice warmed me like the finest cognac.

“I’ve never felt better,” he said, enunciating each word. His eyes, my god they were still such a clear fucking blue, even in the pallid light of the hotel room. They bore into me with such startling clarity, sending shivers down my back like trailing fingertips. He would be coming with me.

I wished he’d be coming in me. A vision of us in this hotel room, alone, him nailing me to the bed, the headboard banging, slammed into my head.

“Are you okay with that?” he asked.

I suppressed the thought, the flare of heat between my legs, and smiled quickly. “Yes, of course.”

Meanwhile Violetta’s head flopped to the side, her arm still bound to her stiffly in the sling, and started snoring lightly. I motioned to her. “Do you think it’s safe to leave her here?”

He watched her for a few moments, blinking a few times, before saying, “I think she needs to sleep it off.” He went and sat down on my bed. “I’ll be here when you get out.”

I grabbed my bag of clothes I had brought out of the car and brought it into the bathroom. I had a quick shower, trying to rub off all the grim – both real and imagined – with the flimsy hotel soap, then picked through my clothes. Everything that had been in my trunk was musty and wrinkled, some even dirty. I had a packet of unopened (and decidedly unsexy) Hanes underwear, a bra, another pair of jeans, a pair of gladiator sandals that I thought were dressy enough, a pair of Timberland hiking boots, a plain white tee shirt, a couple of wife-beaters, a coral-colored blouse, a plaid shirt, and a light blue tank dress that went to the ground. I wasn’t exactly known for my fashion sense and even with the cherry blossoms covering the scars on my leg, bringing me beauty that I didn’t have before, I didn’t see myself branching out anytime soon. Dressing up in my old clothes for Javier hadn’t exactly helped either.

I slipped on the tank dress, opting to go commando for the evening, and put on the sandals. I looked at myself in the mirror. Once again, I felt like a different person was staring back at me. This me, this Ellie, was tired and hardened. I rubbed the residue mascara away from under my eyes and applied a new coat. My skin was brown from the sun now and I didn’t need much else.

When I came out of the bathroom, Camden straightened up on the bed. I felt strangely shy in front of him, especially as his eyes trailed up and down the length of me.

“Do I look okay?” I asked him, feeling the need to say something. “I mean, if you can see me, that is.”

He bit his lip and stared, a multitude of emotions flashing through his eyes, too fast for me to pick up on each individual one. I thought I saw lust in there – maybe that’s what I wanted to see.

When he still didn’t say anything, I walked over to the dresser where I had my clutch purse left over from the other night at Travis’s and rifled through it for my lip stuff. His silence at my back was a heavy weight, laden with too many uncertainties between us. It was eating at me, burning through me, rendering me with a lead heart. There were so many things I had to focus on, to worry about, fucking impossible things, and yet I needed him to tell me I looked beautiful. I needed him to tell me I was something to him.

I heard him get off the bed and walk toward me, that heaviness, that warmth that he brought with his bones, teased at my back. He stopped, close enough to touch me, and I was about to turn around, perhaps to do something foolish, when he crouched down.

“How is my art?”

His hands found my leg, one of them lifting the hem of my dress, the other slowly moving over the cherry blossom tattoo. I sucked in my breath, holding completely still, trying to contain my nerves that were firing wildly as his fingers ran along the ridges of the ink. He touched me gently over every vine, leaf and petal, until I had to supress a shaky moan that that tried to escape from my lips.

“It feels fine,” I said softly when I found my voice.

“It looks beautiful,” he said.

“I had a beautiful artist,” I told him. I turned at the waist and look down at him, my blue dress glowing in his tanned hand, his other one placed firmly around my calf, his strong fingers imparting heat that sunk deep. He was looking up at me, lips parted slightly.

I couldn’t take a second more of this.

I turned and dropped to the ground, my knees rubbing against his.

I grabbed his face, his rough stubble pressing into my palms, and kissed him.

Hard.

There was surprise for a second, a hesitation, a pulse that refused to beat on. Then Camden kissed me back, his soft lips enveloping mine, his mouth opening to give me life. He put his hand behind my head, holding it there with power and control.

My heart was an elevator car, the cable suddenly snapped, and I was freefalling and falling and falling as his lips and tongue and hot, wet mouth took away every inch of my resolve. The more he kissed me, the deeper and longer we found each other, the thirstier I got for him. I felt like if we stopped, I would die, empty on the inside and forever longing.

 

About Karina Halle:

 

Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and the USA Today Bestselling author of Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, and other wild and romantic reads. She lives in a 1920s farmhouse on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

 

Karina’s SM:

 

Buy links:

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1wInERo

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1z30DuP

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Kaleidoscope by Kristen Ashley [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

Kaleidoscope-Launch-Day-Blitz

 

Ashley_Kaleidoscope_MM

When old friends become new lovers…anything can happen.

Sexy, gifted, and loyal, PI Jacob Decker is a tall, cool drink of perfection who had Emmanuelle Holmes at “hello.” His relationship with Emme’s best friend kept them apart for years, but things have changed. Now that a case has brought him to Gnaw Bone, Colorado, the road is wide open for Emme and Deck to explore something hotter and deeper than Emme dreamed possible. So why is she sabotaging the best thing that’s ever happened to her?

It isn’t easy to catch Deck off guard, but Emme does just that when she walks back into his life after nine long years. The curvy brunette had her charms back in the day, but now she’s a bona fide knockout . . . and she wants to rekindle their friendship. Deck, however, wants more. Emme’s always been the one; she excites Deck’s body and mind like no other woman can. But a dark chapter from Emme’s past overshadows their future together. Now only Deck can help her turn the page-if she’ll let him . . .

 

Excerpt

I looked out my office window, down to the yard, my eyes to the bustling activity, and I did this tapping my phone on my desk.

I should be working but I wasn’t thinking about work.

I was thinking about Jacob.

More precisely, I was thinking about calling Jacob, had an overwhelming urge to do so.

I was also trying not to do so because I had a boyfriend, even though he was a boyfriend I wasn’t all that sure about. He was sweet, he was into me, but he was just… off.

Then again, I didn’t have a lot of experience so what did I know?

Additionally, after my dinner with Jacob last night, within an hour, I’d called him after ten at night and now it was only eleven thirty the next day.

I didn’t want him to think I was psycho, and calling him would imply psycho behavior. Further, when I called him last night, I’d asked him to dinner, which was dinner two nights in a row with a woman he hadn’t seen in nine years, a woman with a boyfriend, and that was semi-psycho.

Okay, maybe it was totally psycho.

I didn’t want Jacob to think I was psycho.

Ever.

But I wanted to hear his voice. I wanted to connect with him on the phone. I’d missed him and I liked having him back. I liked it a great deal.

I also missed him a great deal.

And I needed to ask him something. Further, he was the only one I could ask.

I looked from the yard to my phone. My mind telling my thumb not to do it, my thumb not listening, I found Jacob’s contact and hit go.

I put it to my ear.

“I’m a psycho,” I whispered and luckily finished whispering two seconds before Jacob’s voice sounded.

“You okay?” he answered.

He kept asking that mostly, I figured, because I kept calling when I didn’t need to so he probably thought something was wrong.

Or that I was a psycho.

“I need to know if you don’t eat anything,” I lied.

Actually, it wasn’t a lie. Although I remembered a lot about Jacob (most everything, in all honesty), I couldn’t recall if there was something specific he didn’t like to eat.

I could recall how beautiful he was, how tall he was, how strong he was. I could recall how smart he was and how funny he was. I could recall how cool he was with me. I could also recall how much I missed him. But I couldn’t recall if he didn’t like chicken.

But that wasn’t the only thing I needed to know. I needed to know something else too.

Much like last night, when he didn’t make me feel like a psycho, in fact, the opposite and sounded like he was happy to hear from me and would be willing to talk all night, he again sounded like me psychotically calling him yet again in a precursor to stalker way was no big deal.

“I don’t eat it, I’ll pick it off.”

“You can’t pick it off if I cook with it in it or if the mainstay of dinner on the whole is what you don’t eat,” I informed him.

“You makin’ Indian food?” he asked.

“No. Don’t you like Indian food?” I asked back.

“Love it,” he answered.

“Then why’d you ask if I was making Indian food?”

“ ’Cause I hoped you were.”

I burst out laughing.

No, Jacob definitely didn’t make me feel like I was being a psycho.

When I quit laughing, I told him, “Sorry, honey, I don’t know how to make Indian food.”

“Shame,” he muttered, a smile in his deep, attractive voice, and if I was on an infrared scanner, specific parts of me would have shown up hotter.

You have a boyfriend, Emme! I told myself.

For a while, I answered myself.

Jacob is also your ex–best friend’s ex-boyfriend, Emme! I reminded myself.

So? I asked myself.

I shoved those thought aside, thoughts that, if anyone knew I was talking to myself in my head might prove I was indeed a psycho, and pointed out to Jacob, “You haven’t actually answered the question.”

“I’ll eat what you cook, Emme. Cook what you like.”

He was such a nice guy.

He always was.

Nice. Tall (very tall). Handsome (unbelievably handsome). Smart (so damned smart). Funny. Interesting. Gentlemanly. And a repeat of nice because it was worth a repeat since he was just that nice.

I liked all that about him. I liked that he wore his dark hair way too long. I liked that sometimes a thick hank of it fell over his forehead and into his eye. I liked that he was who he was and didn’t wear designer jeans or put gel in his hair. I liked that, even considering he was extortionately intelligent, in fact, a genius, he never made anyone feel less than him because they weren’t as smart. I liked that he never acted superior or arrogant and with all that was him, looks, body, brains, he was one person who could. And I liked that he liked to do what he liked to do, he did what he liked to do and wouldn’t get pushed into doing something he didn’t want.

Like Elsbeth tried to do.

He’d lost her to that and he’d accepted it. I knew it killed. He’d loved her to distraction. But he refused to be the man she wanted him to be and instead was the man he was.

She should have seen she had it all even if he didn’t make bucketloads of money and thus couldn’t give her the life she was used to getting from her daddy. Country clubs, tennis lessons, vacations in villas in Italy and beaches in Thailand, fabulous homes kept by maids and fabulous meals cooked by cooks.

She didn’t see all she had.

Stupid.

About Kristen Ashley

 

Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake. Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.  And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

 

Social Media Links:

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Tangled [a Moreno Brothers Novella] by Elizabeth Reyes [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

Title: Tangled  (The Moreno Brothers, #5.5)
Author: Elizabeth Reyes
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 7, 2014
Synopsis
 
Just when Romero thought he’d conquered his
anger issues…
Now that Izzy has
earned her credentials to teach at a college level, Romero is doing his best to
be supportive. Even after she informs him she won’t be teaching.

She’ll be assisting a professor—a recently divorced professor
whom she’ll work with side by side.

Isabel loves being
home with her kids, but she’s ready to get back to her career—back to a world
where she can enjoy some in-depth political conversations with someone who
really gets it. The brilliant Political Science professor she’s assigned to assist
seems to be the perfect fit.

But when those conversations get a little personal, Isabel
isn’t sure if she’s just being silly or if the professor is sending insidiously
veiled messages.

Romero’s knack for
picking up on her unease only complicates things, especially because Isabel
also has a big Christmas surprise for him. With suspicions awakened, Romero’s
interpretation of Isabel’s sneakiness stirs that dormant rage he hasn’t had to
deal with in years, and emotions become furiously Tangled.

 
Buy Tangled 
 
✸ Tangled – Excerpt 
 
First
excerpt set up:
Isabel has been talking to the professor she works side with now and
she just explained how she met her security investigator husband at a wedding.

He smiled, bringing the tip of his reading
glasses to his lips. “I thought maybe you two met by way of his job: something
interesting like he fell in love with the beautiful woman he was supposed to be
investigating.”
 
Feeling her face flush instantly, she shook her
head too quickly. “No, nothing like that,” she said, swallowing hard.
 
“I’m sorry if that was inappropriate.” He sat
up. “I didn’t mean to embarrass you.”
 
Calling attention to the fact that she was
probably beet red now wasn’t helping. “No, don’t worry. I blush really easily,”
she said, laughing nervously. “It’s a curse and one of the first things my
husband said he’d noticed about me. He’s, uh,” she added, bringing her hand to
her face and touching her warm cheek, “still highly entertained by it,
actually.”
 
He stared at her for a moment without saying
anything then smiled. “I can see why.”
 
Their eyes met for a moment too long, and
without thinking, she began blurting things out: how her former roommate was
dating Romero’s friend at the time and then about meeting him at Alex’s
brother’s wedding shower. She even told him how at first she’d been afraid they
might be too different. “But I guess it’s true what they say about opposites
attracting, because here we are years later, happily married with two kids.”
 
The moment she said that last part she felt
utterly ridiculous. For some stupid reason, she’d felt it necessary to throw
that in, but he already knew this! Her face began to warm again as the
mortification set in. Did he possibly
pick up on the fact that, for an instant there, she thought he needed to be
reminded?
 
Each day there were dozens and dozens of young,
pretty, and very likely single girls who sat in awe of their brilliant and very
attractive professor. He had to know this—had to know that while it went
against school policy to date his students, he still could have his pick of any
single girls on campus. 
 
Why in the world would he need to be reminded that his
assistant was happily married? Just because of his beautiful comment?
 
Jesus, she was an idiot.
 
“And they’re probably right,” he said, still
staring at her in that way he always had, but somehow it felt different now.
“It’s probably why my ex-wife and I couldn’t work things out. We were too much alike. Yet my stubborn heart
keeps getting drawn to women like her, women I can talk to for hours on end and
never get bored.” He smiled, and again the moment went on a bit too long, but
mercifully, he continued before she had to think of a response to that—she had
nothing. “My ex-wife is also a professor at a university, only she teaches
Women Studies.”He laughed softly now. “You can imagine the discussions she and
I had. While some of those discussions could often get heated, it’s what I miss
most. Any woman can offer physical pleasure. To me, it’s always been about how
a woman can pleasure my mind.”
 
For the first time since they’d been sitting
there talking, there was too long of a moment when neither said anything
because she suddenly felt speechless.
 
✸ About Elizabeth 
 
USA Today Bestselling Author, Elizabeth Reyes continues to answer
to her calling on a daily basis. Since releasing her debut novel Forever Mine
(Moreno Brothers #1) in 2010 she has now published 9 full length novels total
and fast at work on the next. The excitement her Moreno Brothers, 5th Street,
and Fate series have garnered has far exceeded her wildest dreams. It is with
as much excitement that she’ll continue to put out books related to these
series as well as introduce brand new ones very soon.
 
In 2014 she will take her next step in the
exciting world of writing and publish her first traditionally published book
with Simon & Schuster/Atria. But she will continue putting out self
published books as well.
 
 
✸ Giveaway 

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One Day This Will All Make Sense by Katie Jansson Shahin [BookBlitz]

One Day This Will All Make Sense - Book Cover

One Day This Will All Make Sense
by Katie Jansson Shahin

 

Chick Lit

In the three years since Emma, Human Resource professional by trade and writer at heart, moved to Los Angeles from Sweden it has been anything but smooth sailing. When she was offered a new job Emma thought she had finally found the security she’d been looking for since moving to the city of her dreams.

The bliss is short-lived as Emma struggles to adjust in her new role and environment. She fails to learn how to play by the unwritten rules and office politics of corporate America, leaving her defenseless against a new boss who soon makes it clear that he wants her gone. After having put her writing before her HR career for so long, Emma knows it was just a fluke when she was hired and is determined not to let it slip away. But she cracks under the pressure and is ultimately fired. Will she be able to dig herself out again? Or has she peaked at 27? More importantly, will she survive in the city that represents everything she has dreamt of becoming?

 

 

Excerpt

 

Not one day had passed since I had moved to LA two and half years earlier when I wasn’t grateful and aware of what city I was in. Not one morning had passed that I had driven to work, which was usually around six forty-five a.m., when my mind hadn’t gone completely quiet and at ease at the sight of Vine Street, coming off of the 101 South. I knew I was fortunate. Many young people in Sweden dreamed of moving to LA and tried so hard to find ways to stay once they made it here on a student visa. For the most part, people either got married or never found a way to stay. I, on the other hand, had gotten a green card through my dad since he’d become a naturalized citizen before I turned twenty-one. I continued down Vine Street and saw the W Hotel sign up in the sky, and a few blocks farther down I passed the bright red building that housed The Redbury hotel, with the world famous Capitol Records Building on my right side.

As I got on to the 101 North, driving ten miles an hour in Friday traffic, I wondered to myself what it was about LA that had me so wrapped around its finger. The first time I fell in love with California was when I watched The O.C. Shortly thereafter my dad moved here from Wisconsin, and I was able to go visit the place I had only seen on TV. Of course, the entire show was filmed in LA, but I didn’t know that back then. I then discovered the show Entourage, and that’s when real things started to happen inside me. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was. Was it the beautiful weather and the smell of freshly-cut grass all year round? Was it the wide streets you could barely cross in time before the streetlight turned red for the pedestrians again? Was it the buildings that on the outside looked like nothing more than a chunk of cement, but on the inside were beautifully decorated lounges? Was it the powerful rush I had gotten the first time I went ninety on the empty freeway at three a.m.? Or was it simply the fact that I knew I was in the same city where all the Hollywood movies came from?

While I saw all the beauty that L.A had to offer, I wasn’t oblivious to all the things that other people usually saw as the downside of moving to LA: the constant sound of traffic and honking; the fuel-filled air and the fog; the enormous city where everything was separated by insane distances; the huge freeways; the above-ground electrical lines; the cracks in the pavement left by earthquakes. I saw all those things too. But my love for this city was an unconditional kind of love—I didn’t love LA despite its flaws. I loved it even more for them. We could be flawed together.

 

Author Bio

Katie’s love for writing is versatile. Before taking the big leap into novel writing she focused mostly on screen writing. In addition to that, she has a blog where she writes book reviews and articles on writing: An Authorista’s Blog.Katie Jansson Shahin - Picture

Katie is originally from Sweden but moved to California four years ago and currently resides in the North Bay area just outside of San Francisco. When she’s not working on her writing, she is an HR and recruiting professional. Although her debut novel is not a biography, as you may have guessed One Day This Will All Make Sense is heavily inspired by her own experience moving from Sweden to Los Angeles and her life there.

 

Links

  • Blog: http://anauthoristasblog.blogspot.comAmazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QLFKLRA

    Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00QLFKLRA?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

  • Twitter: @KJanSha

Our Time is Now by Chlore Douglas [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

Our-Time-is-Now-Launch-Day-Blitz - Copy

 

Douglas_Our Time is Now_E-book - Copy

 

Blurb  

When her controlling husband refuses to grant a divorce, Jessica Bragg doesn’t get mad – she gets even. Taking a hidden stash of cash from his desk, she starts a new life as a reporter in West Virginia. Covering Civil War reenactments isn’t exactly headline-making until an eerie flash of light brings her face-to-face with a living, breathing, strapping hunk of a Confederate soldier . . . Colonel Thaddeus MacAllister can’t explain how he ended up in his old homestead after 150 years-or why its beautiful new occupant reminds him of his own beloved wife. But when Thaddeus takes Jessica into his arms, it’s as if he’s known and loved her forever. Soon these star-crossed soulmates must fight for every moment together . . . before time runs out again.

Excerpt

Alarmingly, Gideon’s eyelids suddenly began to flutter. Moaning softly, he moved his head from side-to-side, as if he was trying to rouse himself from a deep slumber. A split-second later, Jessica found herself gazing into a pair of mesmerizing, blue eyes.

In those super-charged moments, a spark of recognition flashed between them, Jessica absolutely certain that she knew Gideon MacAllister from somewhere.

Without so much as moving a muscle, Gideon stared at her with what could only be called a look of profound longing.

Continuing to hold her in that steadfast gaze, Gideon secured a hand around each of her upper arms as he pulled her toward him. There was nothing rough or forceful in his manner; he was merely determined. Inexplicably excited, Jessica drew in a serrated breath. Having lost the ability to think clearly, she instinctively anchored her hands against Gideon’s shoulders. As though she’d just stuck a wet finger in a light socket, all ten fingers began to tingle.

In a slow, unhurried fashion, Gideon appraised her flushed face before his gaze slid down her neck, finally coming to a rest on her visibly heaving chest. Glancing downward, Jessica saw that her nipples were indecently outlined against her cotton T-shirt.

Breathlessly attuned to the impassioned silence that vibrated between them, Jessica knew that she had to pull away from him. Now. Before it was too late.

And though that was what she intended to do, her body simply refused to comply with her brain’s “retreat” order. If anything, her heart contrarily demanded that she stay put, certain that if she remained there long enough, Gideon would—

Yes. Just as her rebellious heart had hoped, Gideon raised his head to kiss her.

The instant that his lips touched hers, Jessica insanely thought that she may very well have been waiting for this moment her entire life. Even crazier than that, she was hit with a jolt of all-encompassing familiarity, too enthralled to ponder how such a thing could even be possible.

What began as a sweetly tender kiss snowballed into something else entirely, Gideon deepening the kiss, one intimate degree at time. As he suckled on her lower lip, a muffled whimper of pleasure lodged in Jessica’s throat. Welcoming his ardent exploration, she opened her mouth, reveling in the twining of lips and tongues.

And, boy, did it feel good. The kind of good that made her heart pound and her hips twitch. Eager for more, she brazenly smashed her breasts against Gideon’s torso. When he shuddered against her, Jessica deduced that he was as deeply affected by the kiss as she was.

Needing to pull air into her lungs, Jessica had no choice but to break the connection between their two mouths. His eyes closed shut, Gideon moved a hand to the back of her neck, his lips blazing a trail along the column of her neck.

 

 

Author Bio

Chloe Palov, writing romance as Chloe Douglas, was born in Washington, D.C., and graduated from George Mason University with a degree in art history. Although she began her writing career in the romance genre, Chloe switched gears several years ago, making theChloe_Douglas_author photo - Copy leap to thrillers, written under the name C.M. Palov. Chloe is excited now to be returning to her romance roots. Chloe lives and writes with a menagerie of furry family members from her home in Virginia.

 

 

 

 

 

Links

 

Author Links : Chloe’s social media:

Buy Links:

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Milked by Lisa Doyle [BookBlitz]

milked lisa doyle

By and large, Amanda Keane makes pretty good decisions. Okay, she might not have the best taste in men, but she’s got great friends, a good job, and an independent spirit. That is, until her 30th birthday ushers in a whirlwind romance with a sexy Irish musician who leaves her, not at the altar as she imagined, but accidentally pregnant. And when he disappears, she’s downsized out of a job, her apartment is robbed, and lapsed health insurance coverage leaves her with a C-section to pay for, Amanda is launched headfirst into the life of a broke single mom. But her friend and uber successful ob-gyn, Joy, clues her in to an unlikely temp position with one of Chicago’s celebrity elite that just may be the answer to all her woes. Or could it be just the beginning?

It’s with serious trepidation that Amanda embarks on her surprisingly lucrative new career: underground wet nurse to the offspring of Chi-town’s rich and famous. Amanda must quickly understand how to live at the whims and mercy of the one percent as she deals with the irony of nursing – and loving – someone else’s child, while still making ends meet for her own daughter. And then there’s Cute Daycare Dad (aka Dan), who’s obviously interested in her. But can she afford to tell him what she really does for a living? Is her new job (something she thought went out with the 19th century) a shameful thing? Just another way of selling her body? Or does it have something to teach her after all?

A novel of motherhood, its many demands, and all the little triumphs along the way, MILKED is a warm and witty debut about making tough choices and traveling the roundabout road to happiness.

 

Excerpt

 

“Can you hear me?” said a slight, wiry man with glasses and an authentic Irish brogue. I hadn’t even noticed as a full band of six—no, seven—guys had assembled in the corner of the bar. And oh God, Eamonn was standing there holding a violin. (Is there an Irish word for violin? Would they call it a fiddle?) This was possibly better than a guitar.

“Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Failte,” said the older man, and we all applauded. The band started out with a lively piece and some of the presumably regular patrons started clapping and cheering.

Over the next hour, I sat transfixed watching them (okay, him) as the rest of my group kept chattering away. It wasn’t just his looks that made him sexy; it was the way his hands moved on the violin, how he put his whole body into the song, how he was so in tune with the rest of the group. There were so many more of them than you’d see in a typical bar band, and they all had to play off of each other, producing these amazing harmonies. There was another violinist (fiddler?) playing as well, but I could pick out Eamonn’s the entire night. It sounded sweeter. I had never appreciated Irish music at all before that night. In fact, I had thought it was kind of cheesy. There was nothing cheesy about the way Eamonn looked playing it.

Anthony, good sport that he had been, begged off at ten, citing an early call schedule starting the next day.

“Thank you for the wine,” I said, giving him a pat on the hand as he left. He nodded and left. Meg and Henry soon followed, giving me quick hugs goodbye.

Just then, Eamonn took the microphone from its stand. “We’ve got time for just one more song tonight. I understand there’s a lass here celebrating a birthday?” His eyes scanned the room for about half a second before landing on mine.

Oh, God. I managed a small wave as my friends started to clap and hoot in my direction.

“Any requests, love?” he asked, wiping a little sweat from his brow.

Crap. I didn’t know any Irish songs.

“Er. Something by U2, maybe?” I squeaked out.

He conferred with his bandmates for a moment. They all then left the stage except for Eamonn. He pulled a stool up closer to the microphone and set it back in its stand, then adjusted it for height. He sat down, wiped his brow again, then smiled at me and started to play.

A hush fell over the bar as he alone proceeded to play the most extraordinary version of “All I Want Is You.” Everyone was enraptured at this point, not just me. It was so melodious, so hauntingly beautiful and unlike anything I’d ever heard. I’d never been hugely into violin music before, but I knew I’d never listen to one the same way again.

When he played the last lines, it was like the end of a massage. I felt so refreshed, so relaxed, but damned if I didn’t wish it was longer. The bar erupted in applause, and Eamonn stood up to take a small bow. The wiry man returned to the stage and said, “How ’bout my nephew?” and gave Eamonn a large pat on the back.

Leigh turned to me after the cheers had died down.

“Seriously. If you don’t sleep with that guy tonight, I will,” Leigh whispered.

Let me just tell you that thirty-year-old me had never had a one-night stand before. And by definition, thirty-two-year-old me hasn’t either, thank you very much. I just wanted to make that clear. Leigh, on the other hand, she was kind of slutty. A great friend, sure, but she would be the first to admit she had lost track of her magic number halfway through her twenties.

“I’m not sleeping with anyone tonight, all right?” I said. But that’s not to say I was going to walk out that door and never see that guy again. Hell, no. I grabbed a coaster from the center of the table, and scribbled the words “Birthday Girl” and my cell phone number on it.

 

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lisa doyle

 

Author Bio:

Lisa Doyle is a communications manager and freelance writer based in the Chicago area. A native of Hinsdale, Illinois and a graduate of Miami University, she spent several years editing business-to-business publications for the personal care industry before moving to the nonprofit sector, and currently works in advocacy for homeless families at Bridge Communities in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She has written for major beauty trade publications (Global Cosmetic Industry, Skin Inc, Salon Today, Modern Salon, Renew, Suburban Life) and is a contributor to WOMEN REINVENTED: TRUE STORIES OF EMPOWERMENT AND CHANGE (LaChance Publishing, 2010). Doyle is represented by Claire Anderson-Wheeler of Regal Literary, Inc., a full-service agency based in New York. For more about Lisa, please visit herwebsite.

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

Twitter: @bylisadoyle

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