Friday, January 19, 2018

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from Umbra's Shadow by Andrea Stanet




Today's excerpt is from Umbra's Shadow by Andrea Stanet.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!


~~~oOo~~~


The guard fell into his chair and plopped his boots up onto the desk. His bulk made the chair legs creak. He closed his eyes and crossed his arms across a paunchy gut that was barely contained by a bulletproof vest. That’s new. When did they start wearing Kevlar? Who needed human weapons and armor when they had magic? Who did they think would be shooting?

Donny owned this building too. Under the fluorescent lights, I had noticed a few other new improvements. He had seriously upped his game in the past month since I’d last been here. Where had he gotten the resources for these renovations?

The walls had a new layer of steel over the old concrete. A ring of blue light glowed around the ceiling seams, and a new camera had been installed in the corner diagonal to where I stood, leaning against narrowly spaced cage bars.

I had seen the boy in the adjacent cell a few times around the Fringe. He was barely into his teens. The vampire blood they had drugged him with was probably wearing off. Thankfully, he had stopped crying. As far as I knew, he was the latest guinea pig sold to a vampire prince in the city who was looking to synthesize a fey-blood version of VampX—Ecstasy mixed with vampire blood.

A few paces beyond the guard desk, a shadowy stone stairway led up to a hall where I knew two apartments had been converted into Donny’s offices. Between those offices, another set of steps led to the second floor.

He owned several of these buildings and never stayed in any of them for too long. His thugs never knew where or when to expect him. I knew he’d be along soon to inspect the kid.

He’d also probably have one of his goons work me over, just for kicks. Good thing I’m a fast healer.

To try to intimidate me into working for him, Donny, who could freeze whatever he touched by concentrating on it, occasionally enjoyed chilling parts of my body just before the point of frostbite. I pitied his wife being married to such a douche. The Boss and I did this same pointless dance every few weeks. But I had no interest in the changeling mafia, so he was wasting his time and mine.

I continued to scan the room, taking in every new detail until a plan jelled.

Now I could get to work.

Friday, January 12, 2018

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from The Crimson Curse by Melissa J. Crispin #Fantasy #Romance


Today's excerpt is from The Crimson Curse by Melissa J. Crispin.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!

~~~oOo~~~


Calliope returned her attention to Bastian, grasping his shoulder with a gentle hand and giving him a small shake. When he didn’t stir, she considered how she could clean the wound without undressing him as he slept. She had never taken off a man’s clothing before, and she hardly wanted her first time to be when he wasn’t even aware of her actions. But, no other options seemed available. She started at the bottom button of his shirt, working her way up with trembling fingers, and spreading the fabric apart when the last of the buttons slipped free.

Her eyes roamed his upper body. While she was supposed to be assessing the extent of his injuries, she couldn’t deny the flash of heat that blasted through her at the sight of his bare skin.

She dipped a washcloth in the basin that Mrs. Widdleworth left on the night table, wringing out the excess water. As she dabbed at the gash near his naval, his vulnerability in that moment struck her in a way she had not expected. After their first encounter, she would have predicted his ego to get in the way, choosing to bleed to death in the cold rather than accept anything from her.

Although he suffered a serious injury, his daughter seemed to remain his utmost concern. Could his earlier ill-temper have been an unusual display? A behavior born out of fear for his daughter’s safety?

Maybe she had been wrong about him.

She pressed her lips together, allowing the notion to sink in as she dropped the bloody fabric off to the side, and proceeded to stitch the wound with shaky fingers. When the task was complete, she picked up a fresh cloth to use as a dressing. Relief washed over her as she inspected the area before covering it up. The slice in his flesh went deep, but not nearly as deep as she initially feared. She positioned the bandage and fixed it in place, her gaze catching a thin trail of hair that started under the center of his chest, following the way it continued lower down his body, and even further yet where it dipped beneath his trousers.

“It’s been a long time since a woman has laid her hands on me,” Bastian said, his voice rough.

Calliope jumped, heat infusing her cheeks. “My apologies if this offends. Marcus doesn’t fare well with blood. I had to care for your injury myself.” Her eyes met his, and to her surprise, no anger seemed to stir there.

“I was only teasing.” He swallowed hard, appearing to bite back the immense discomfort he had to be feeling. “Thank you.”

She inclined her head. “You’re welcome.”

“I shouldn’t have been so terse with you earlier. Yareena is my life, and when I couldn’t find her, well…” He reached for his face, pressing the heel of his hand against his jaw. “I lost my sense for a short while. I apologize.”

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Cover Reveal: ONE SWEET MORNING a #Sweet #Romance #Anthology @RoanePublishing


One Sweet Morning
A Sweet Romance Anthology
by Various Authors
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: April 9 2018

Spring Water

When Riley finds a way to meet the cute swan boat driver she has been admiring on the banks of a pond in the Boston Common she does it knowing it would be temporary. Her plans had always been to leave the city at the end of the summer and even the cutest guy she has seen in forever wasn’t going to derail that. However she quickly finds that Graham calls to her as no other guy has ever done. She also finds that that he has a secret just as she does—he’s afraid of water.

Riley, a lifelong rower, is shocked by the revelation but it does not dim her attraction. After all, she is leaving so what difference does it make? However, as they get closer she finds it harder and harder to imagine leaving both the city and the man at the end of the summer. What seemed so far away at the beginning of spring now looms in front of her and the reality of leaving everything she loves tears at her. When near tragedy forces both of them to face their deepest secret will the truth pull them together or tear them apart once and for all?


Sparkage

Chris and Kirk have always had chemistry, but he was with someone, and then Chris moved across the country for a better position in the company they both work for. Five years later, she's happy in her job and recently single, having broken up with someone rather than be in a relationship without any kind of spark. She's resigned to waiting for the right guy rather than settling.

Enter Kirk, recently transferred and also recently broken up with his girlfriend. He's interested in Chris, and she's interested back, but his break with his girlfriend was sudden and his move across the country even more so. He may say it's over, but his ex didn't get the memo, and Chris suspects Kirk may need closure before he can move on.

She wants to believe in him—he's always been honest with Chris and faithful to his girlfriend—and in what they could have together. Their chemistry is still there but it's not just desire: she really likes this guy. But is she a fool to wait for something that may never be? Especially when her big sister is urging her to give the man she broke up with another chance before he finds someone else.


Only the Heart Knows

One dark spring morning, the man that Maddie loved was swept away in a tragic accident that left her alone and pregnant on their wedding day. 

Exactly three years later she has built a new life with Troy, her best friend from childhood, and the sun is shining as she sets off down the aisle for a second chance at happiness.

But before she reaches the altar her plans and her heart are thrown into disarray by Jack’s well-timed return, re-igniting all the feelings she thought were dead and gone. Like him.

Can she forgive Jack for the lies that left her broken three years before? Or should she trust Troy and his promises, when he may not have been entirely honest with her either?

Only her heart knows the truth.


Spring into Action
by Theresa Kemble


Tamara Goode lives a privileged life, always trying to please others. Her fiancĂ© is like her father—well-meaning but controlling, and Tamara soon realizes she needs her independence. Escaping to a new life, she becomes a personal assistant to the handsome TV reality show star, Joe Campo. Fighting her attraction for him is a losing battle, for how could such a man possibly fall in love with a Rubenesque woman when model-types fall at his feet?

As a celebrity, Joe Campo has money and beautiful women clamoring for his attention, but he secretly fears losing himself to a shallow existence. Enter his new, competent assistant who seems to read his soul and nderstand his struggle to become a better person. 


Joe’s attraction for Tamara grows and he hopes love will spring into action, but will her shyness and insecurity keep her from recognizing the connection between them?


~~~oOo~~~




Sign ups for One Sweet Morning release blitz are now open!

If you're interested in hosting, please click on the image above or fill in the form.



Monday, January 8, 2018

NEW RELEASE: ONE SNOWY NIGHT #Sweet #Romance #Anthology @RoanePublishing #Giveaway


HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO

ONE SNOWY NIGHT!



One Snowy Night
A Sweet Romance Anthology 
By Various Authors
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: Jan 8, 2018


All the Things I Should Have Told You

One snowy night, in an Accident and Emergency ward, a life hangs in the balance, and your best friend is going to tell you everything you don't know about him, about your life, and what you both might be about to lose.


Unforeseen Circumstances

Marlene Martin wants to start over, to escape the sad past she can’t seem to leave behind. Between her marriage falling apart and her brother passing away, she has no reason left to stay in Mistport, New York. Her pending move across the country is exactly what she needs—or so she thinks.

Brady Miller doesn’t want to love Marlene, not after their agonizing divorce. His constant travel for work keeps his mind off of where they went wrong. But when he moves back to his small hometown to help with his brother’s business, seeing her again awakens the feelings he had long pushed aside. Each time they bump into each other, his interest in her only deepens.

When Marlene wakes up in the hospital after a terrible accident, she turns to the first person who enters her mind: Brady. Her world is shattered when he reveals that they’re divorced and her brother is gone. Brady helps her sort through the pain of memories she’s forgotten while he tries to avoid complicating her life even further.

Is Marlene’s memory loss a second chance for their love, or will history repeat itself?


Somewhere Between Falling

Recent college graduate Danielle Haviland had her future planned as a bride, band PR manager, and world traveler. Her dreams are ruined when her fiancĂ©e dumps her. On top of her heartbreak, Dani’s demanding mother issues an ultimatum: choose a viable life plan by the New Year, or assume a position picked out for her in the family real estate business. Dani runs away to the beloved town of her childhood summers to heal, refocus, and decide her future.

Still reeling from a family tragedy, Quinn Martin has been hoping for a second chance at happiness. His old friend Dani’s return might provide the opportunity he needs. When he offers Dani a job, the two grow closer and see that time hasn’t diminished their bond. Their chemistry sparks and broken hearts begin to heal. Will the plotting of a devious ex separate the couple before they can explore the relationship both desperately crave?

Somewhere between falling snowflakes, a chance kiss on a city sidewalk might offer childhood friends a new beginning. 


One Snowy Day

When tragedy strikes again, Aunt Evvie once more steps to the rescue. Her sister attempts to poison her daughter even after her own suicide, leaving behind chocolates tainted with arsenic in her daughter's drawer and urging her to eat them in a note. Calling Molly's beloved aunt for help, Phillip sees her convince her niece that she is both good and lovable. Evvie surrenders her job to stay home with Molly and in in the process comes to realize her brother-in-law no longer feels like a brother. Phillip convinces Evvie to enter into a psudo-marriage to provide stability for the hurting child. After rejection and betrayal, can Phillip trust romance again? Can the Evvie, the plain, older sister, compete with her beauty-queen sister? 



GIVEAWAY!

A $10 ROANE PUBLISHING GIFT CARD!



Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

Friday, January 5, 2018

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from Reality Meets its Match by Sharon Hughson #Contemporary #Romance


Today's excerpt is from Reality Meets its Match by Sharon Hughson.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!

~~~oOo~~~


Later that night, Ronnie stroked her deep red and gray comforter. The brushed microfiber smoothed along her freshly shaved legs. Time for the best bedtime routine she had ever known. A pathetic admission?

Major hopped up, rubbing his cheek along her big toe. Flaking polish reminded her that next Sunday’s schedule should include a pedicure. She fingered the phone before her thumbs tapped out her message: Stretched out on the most wonderful comforter in the world.

MBOND: A challenge?

The thundering in her ears drowned out Major’s purrs. Was it completely wrong that her breath hitched? Michael’s words made her body respond in strange and wonderful ways.

RONNIE: Just a fact. Week ahead looking good?

MBOND: Don’t want to talk about work. What R U wearing?

Ronnie’s heart leapt toward her throat. She covered it with a palm, letting her eyes slide over the spaghetti straps, silky camisole, and boy short bottoms. The burnished bronze of the silk glittered against the dark red backdrop of her quilt.

RONNIE: PJs

MBOND: Granny gown with polka dots?

What? Because she needed an online service to find her a boyfriend meant she dressed like an old lady? He was about to discover how wrong he was to make assumptions. Her fingers tapped out a reply. LOL. No. Shorts and camisole.

MBOND: Lacy?

RONNIE: Not really.

MBOND: Sheer? Slinky? Sexy?

Would he find her sexy? She swallowed to add moisture to her suddenly dry mouth. Did she want that?

RONNIE: If I told, you might have a heart attack.

MBOND: Goal achieved. Imagine see-through everything. Very nice.

The thumping in her chest migrated to her abdomen. Heat licked lower still. Her face exploded into flames. These sensations were more foreign than traveling to Europe. Nothing and no one had caused fluttering and fire. Why now?

RONNIE: Pretty long text from a man who just had a heart attack.

MBOND: I’m in pain & you joke?

Her heartbeat revved at the thought of Michael wanting her like she wanted him. She closed her eyes and took several shuddering breaths.

RONNIE: Stop that overactive imagination. Problem solved.

She needed to take her own advice. The responding text chime came before she could cool the flush from her cheeks.

MBOND: Hardly. You’re beautiful. A man can dream.

Ronnie let the phone slip to her lap. What was this man doing to her? Was it right to have fantasies about someone she’d made up on a whim? Or was she starting to feel something for the man behind her fictional boyfriend?

No. She shook her head. That was not part of her plan.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Guest Post: An Author's Writing Resolutions by Sharon Hughson

An Author’s Writing Resolutions
by Sharon Hughson

Another new year is here, and millions of people have made resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, save money or eat more healthily. Statistics say that by mid-February, a large percentage of those resolutions will already be broken.

As an author, what sort of resolutions should I make for the new year?

Goals, Not Resolutions


First off, I don’t make resolutions. Not personal ones and definitely not ones for my writing career.

I learned the hard way that breaking resolutions is easier than keeping them.
Does this mean I let a “new” opportunity to make changes leave me in the dust? Nope. I decided to set goals instead.

You’re wondering, “What’s the big difference?”

The difference is in mindset and planning.

Goals are written down (or should be if you’re serious about meeting them). More intentional thought goes into forming goals because we WANT to meet them.

No one wants to say, “I set these goals, but I didn’t reach them.” It sounds like failure and it feels like failure.

Failure is no fun.


Some writers make a resolution to:

1.                  write every day
2.                finish their novel,
3.                submit their novel
or other reasonable sounding things.

But do they have a plan?

If their GOAL is to write every day, they might get out their appointment calendar and block out time each day for writing. Since they want to meet that goal, they form a plan to do it.

Resolutions are generally vague and abstract which is why they’re hard to keep but simple to break.

Goals need to be finite and measurable.



Maybe an author is going to finish a novel. They need to pull out their calendar and block out time to work on the novel. Maybe they’ll do a little math to figure out how many words they’re going to write so they can set a FINISH LINE.

Who wants to run a race when they don’t know where it ends?

Not me. I don’t like running that much.

So, how do I meet my goals?

Tracking My Baby Steps


I’d love to say that I have met every goal on time with finesse and verve. But that would be false.

However, in the past five years since I’ve being “doing this writing thing for real,” I’ve learned what helps me meet goals. And what doesn’t work for me.

First, I lay out a plan. It includes a step-by-step list of what it will take to meet my goal. And I track the markers I meet along the way.

This is like watching the mile posts go by on that run I mentioned earlier. It lets me know I’m making progress, and it reminds me that there is an end in sight.

I also like to reward myself for meeting these markers. It’s an incentive plan, which is something writers probably need more than the average non-author.

Why? Because you get a regular paycheck from your job (one that probably meets your expenses) but many authors get sporadic and often anemic paydays. Not that I’m complaining. I write for the joy not the money.

But it’s human nature to produce better results when an incentive is involved.

For example:

I know I can write 1,000 words per hour once I get in the groove. I’ve been known to write up to 1,700 in an inspired hour dedicated solely to writing. I give myself a word-count goal every day I write. Then I plan the “reward” for when I finish. It might be, “You get to read that awesome fantasy novel you checked out from the library.” Or it could be, “You can sit outside in the sun.” It varies depending on WHAT I WANT THE MOST that day.

I’ve also started keeping checklists on a free site called Workflowy. You can mark things off your lists there (which feels pretty amazing) and you can lay out every step in the writing process. Such as first draft, rewrite, first edits, submission deadlines, editing deadlines and publication dates.

This same strategy works for me if my goal is to lose (or maintain) weight or save money for a vacation.

Why not try these simple steps for your “resolutions”:

1.      Make the plan.
2.    Work the plan.
3.    Reward yourself for the baby steps along the way.



What about you? What resolutions have you made for 2018? What plans do you have in place to help you KEEP those “best intentions”?

About the Author:

Since adventuring in Narnia as a trouble youth, Sharon Hughson has embraced the magical portal of reading. As a child, she wrote her first story and discovered a passion for creating new worlds. These days, with help from three cats, Sharon pens romance, young adult fantasy, women’s fiction, and nonfiction (too many story ideas for a single genre).

When summer turns to autumn, she picks up her substitute teacher satchel and ventures into the real world for new inspiration. She and her high school sweetheart (and husband) live near the Columbia River in Oregon, not too far from their adult sons. When she isn’t writing or reading, Sharon enjoys walking, hiking, crocheting, playing the piano and scrapbooking family memories.

Sharon has multiple short stories and three novellas published with Roane. She gladly credits them for launching her fiction writing career. For more information about any of her books visit sharonleehughson.com.



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cover Reveal: Eye on the Ball by Francine Beaton #Contemporary #Romance


Eye on the Ball
Playing for Glory #1
by Francine Beaton
Contemporary Romance Novel
Release Date: March 19, 2018

What would prove stronger? Love or Loyalty?

Top professional rugby player Jakes du Plessis desperately wants to keep his team's vow of celibacy in order to win the new International Rugby Club Competition, but he didn’t count on meeting ethereal artist Angie Summers.  Even a promise to his friends and teammates, demons from his past, and a distance of more than 9000 miles, could not stop Jakes from falling in love with Ange.  In the end, it took teamwork, perseverance and a whole lot of grovelling from Jakes’ side for them to overcome these obstacles, and find their Happily Ever After.

~~~oOo~~~



Sign ups for Eye on the Ball release blitz are now open!
If you're interested in hosting, please click on the image above or fill in the form.