Friday, March 23, 2018

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from In Gray by Sara J. Bernhardt #NA #PNR

Today's excerpt is from In Gray by Sara J. Bernhardt.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!


The dream was in color, but it looked as if I‘d been transported into a pastel portrait. Everything seemed light and chalky. I looked around the little grass field with the white wild flowers billowing in the breeze. I felt something brush my leg and jumped, backing away. I looked at a little gray kitten staring up at me.
“Oh, hi,” I cooed, kneeling down to pet it.
“Hello,” the cat sang back.
I shrieked, jumping back again. “Did—did you just talk?”
“Don’t be frightened of me,” he said.
I kept my distance, but the cat crept closer, closing the space between us.
“What are you?”
He laughed in a deep, husky voice. “I’m a cat,” he said.
“I can see that,” I said. “That’s not what I mean.”
“It’s just me, Daisy. I won’t hurt you.”
When I heard him say my name, my memory assaulted me with the crash, and I felt almost sick from dizziness. “You,” I said. “It’s you.”
He chuckled again. “It’s me.”
“How—how can this be?”
“It’s a dream,” he said.
“I’m dreaming?”
The cat didn’t answer, just stared into my face. He had hazel eyes that didn’t look like the eyes of a cat, but very human. “It is you,” I said. “Why are you here?”
“I wanted to see you,” he said.
“As a cat?”
He chuckled. “Yes.”
“Because I wanted to be a cat. Is that so strange?”
“Yes,” I replied immediately. “People don’t just decide to be cats one day and then become them.”
“I do,” he cooed.
“Then your dreams are even weirder than mine,” I said.
He purred, rubbing against my leg.
“That’s weird.” I said, shaking him off.
He laughed again and pranced away. He turned back to face me. “Keep your loved ones close,” he said.
I meant to ask him what he meant—but I was already awake, with that odd feeling of panic racing through my limbs. I couldn’t decide why I was so alarmed and frightened by a talking cat. Even though this dream was in color, I knew it wouldn’t come true. I tried focusing on that to keep my mind at ease long enough to make it to Jess’s. I raced to her house and started pounding on the door.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Guest Post: The Inspiration behind EYE ON THE BALL by Francine Beaton #WritersLife

The inspiration behind the title Eye on the Ball 

by Francine Beaton 

When I first started writing this book, it was supposed to be a sports romance with a Christmassy theme called Under the Mistletoe. I still don’t know where that idea came from, because when I first got that creative light-bulb moment, it had nothing to do with Christmas. I wrote that first scene, which is still the first scene in the book—and has nothing to do with Christmas—when the scene popped up in my head while watching a rugby match on television. I immediately typed it up, but I didn’t have much to go on apart from the scene and the names of the two characters, Jakes and Ange. The next few days it became clear that I needed to tell Jakes’ story, but I had no idea where the story was going. I didn’t plan his story originally. He was only a number in the team although I knew his initials, surname, and position and how he looked.

A few days after I’ve written that scene, the rugby world was shocked by the passing away of the Wallaby Dan Vickerman. I’ve read many articles and watched panel discussions in which Dan’s death was discussed. One of those panel discussions happened on a New Zealand show, dealing specifically about the struggles of professional sportsmen and women. One panellist used the phrase that it was not uncommon for men in a macho environment not to talk about their emotions and fears as they don’t want to appear weak. It caught my attention and it stuck.

I’ve done minimal research on the book beforehand, apart from the reasons why men in macho environments might fear that they were weak—or any man for that matter. The following morning I woke up at four and started writing. It was amazing. It just flowed and somehow the new title and the storyline unfolded. The rest of the research I had to do along the way. I finished the first draft a week and 130000 words later.

After writing Eye on the Ball, I realized that this was not going to be the typical sports romance I envisioned when I planned the series. Jakes was the catalyst, I guess. Although Jakes had the looks, the physicality, macho male image, the intelligence and other attributes to make him an alpha male, Jakes wanted to highlight important issues that had nothing to do with his looks. I had no choice other than to comply.

The phrase to keep your eye on the ball, originates from baseball, implying that a player needs to watch where the ball is at all times. It’s about being attentive and keeping their focus on what’s important. In rugby, it’s the same. If you don’t keep your eye on the ball, you may knock it forward, which would result in losing the ball and the advantage to the opposition. No player and no team wants that.

Eye on the Ball is about a man who struggles to keep his focus on what he felt was important—his teammates, his team and their end goal.


About Francine Beaton

FRANCINE BEATON is a romance writer who lives in South Africa with her Scottish husband and teenage daughter. When she’s not reading or writing about love and Happily Ever After, she’s most likely busy painting or taking photos of everything that catches her eye. During rugby season, you’ll either find her next to the pitch or in front of the television, following her favorite teams. It’s probably not difficult to figure out why her debut novel, Eye on the Ball, as well as the series, Playing for Glory, has rugby as a theme.
Whenever she gets the opportunity, she loves traveling to faraway places and considers Scotland her second home. Eye on the Ball will be released in March 2018 and will be followed by Making the Right Call, the first book in the Prequel Series Kick-Off.

Francine is a member of the Romance Writers Organisation of South Africa (ROSA).
Click on image for more information 

Monday, March 19, 2018

New Release: Eye on the Ball by Francine Beaton #Contemporary #Romance #Rugby

New from Francine Beaton!

Eye on the Ball
Playing for Glory #1
Publisher: Roane Publishing
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.



She took the envelope from uncle Bob in silence. She would not grovel for this job. She had to make another plan. She grimaced, “I guess you want me to leave now?” she asked.

Bob nodded, “Yes, I’m sorry Ange.”

Ange didn’t reply. She turned around to walk to the room next to the kitchen where she stored her jacket and bag. On the way to the door, she picked up a pitcher with ice water and walked towards the table where Jakes now sat with her brother, her fiancé, and a couple of their teammates.

Ange did not even glance at her brother or Chris when she stopped next to their table. She heard Jesse’s voice when he asked the others if they wanted more beer, and they all turned to her expectantly. Even Jakes lifted his head to look at her. Did he look guilty, or embarrassed, Ange wondered. Well, it didn’t matter anymore. He got what he wanted, she guessed.

His voice was gentle when he asked for another beer, so much different from his angry tone of voice when he spoke to her every other time. Her mouth almost dropped open, but he was not going to fool her. Her face was set when she spoke.

“You can fetch your own beer.”

She saw his frown and confused face, but she did not care. He caused her to lose her job and her only way to help Clara. She glared at him again, “I’ve got something else for you.”

Ange lifted the jug and poured the ice-cold water over his head. She heard his sudden indrawn breath, and her brother and his friends’ shocked protests, but she didn’t wait. She turned around and walked out of the clubhouse, suddenly calm. She was aware the place was quiet, apart from the South African’s soft muttering. She heard her brother’s voice, but she did not care. She felt so much better for it.

While she walked back to her car, Ange realized it was not fair to Jakes. Maybe she should have saved some of the water for Chris. He might need it to cool down in a place where he needed it most.

* * * *

When Jakes managed to cool down…, no not cool down. That ice water cooled him enough…but when he felt calm again, he’d had more than enough for one night. He did not know what he’d done to make the woman so angry, but he didn’t care anymore. She’d caused him enough damage already.

“What did you do to my sister to make her so angry?” Jesse asked him.

Jakes stared uncomprehendingly at Jesse, and shook his head, “Your sister?” he asked, confused.

“Ange?” Jesse asked patiently. “The one who poured a jug of water over your head?”

Jakes stared at Jesse. “She’s your sister?” He was shocked. Jakes noticed Jesse’s nod, then he sighed, “Hell, I hadn’t done anything. I should be angry. She was the one who damaged my leg again last week. The first time I saw her she spilled water on me. Why she’s angry, I don’t know.”

The other men at the table glanced at each other. To Jakes’ surprise, they burst out laughing.

“What the hell?” he exclaimed, standing up. “I can’t see what’s so funny,” he grunted while he threw money on the table. “Just keep your sister away from me,” he said to Jesse before he stalked away as fast as he could. This was becoming a total frustration, he thought, while he walked the couple of blocks to the apartment.

It was freezing cold, he was away from home, and somehow he’d managed to get on the wrong side of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The fact she was apparently engaged to the biggest asshole on the team should have given Jakes enough signals to make sure he stayed away. Without making too much noise, he let himself into the apartment he shared with Michael, with the realization that his own pep talk did not help. He still thought she was beautiful that she had a fiancé was enough warning for Jakes to stay away. That reason, together with the rest of the list why he should not even think about her, was as long as his forearm.



Born and brought up in Pretoria, South Africa, Francine had no choice but to fall in love with rugby at a young age. With three older, rugby-playing brothers and a father who was a fanatic supporter of the local team and the Springboks, Francine adopted the motto, If you can’t beat them, join them. After trying to play one game, Francine gave up the idea to play rugby. She opted to watch the boys from the side.

At the tender age of ten, she discovered the romance section in the local library and that was it. She was a fan. By fourteen, she had read all the ones in the Afrikaans section and switched to the English section. There was a time when Francine briefly abandoned her favourite genre to lose herself in crime novels, but as they say: you never forget your first love.

Rugby, romance and writing is not all that keep Francine busy. If she does not spent time with her Scottish husband and teenage daughter either at home or travelling, Francine loves to read, or dabbles in photography and painting.

She is a member of the Romance Writers Association of South Africa (ROSA).


Friday, March 16, 2018

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from The Wolf Prince by Jaye Raymee

Today's excerpt is from The Wolf Prince by Jaye Raymee.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!


She was back in the dim night, in the moonlight, in the dream. Similar to her dreams as a child, but shot through with feelings and sensations she’d learned as an adult. She ran through the deserted streets outside her hotel, clothing torn, breathing hard, too frightened to look behind herself to see if she had outdistanced her pursuers. When a low growl sounded from somewhere behind her, she knew she hadn’t lost them. When she ran out of streets and into the grass and trees of a large park, she desperately wondered if she could lose herself in the woods, or if she would only hinder herself while running into the territory her pursuers would handle better than she could.

Suddenly, in the full moon light that illuminated the clearing ahead of her as well as day, she saw him. Connor, his golden eyes catching her in their gaze and drawing her in to him. Afraid of him, but more afraid of the claws she could now hear scrabbling on the rock strewn path behind her, she chose the possible safety of his presence and burst into the clearing herself. Without quite realizing how, she found herself in his arms, enveloped in his scent, and his coat whipping around her as if to offer her refuge within its folds. She buried her head in his chest as a child might, to keep out a nightmare.

Abruptly, a howl sounded from outside the clearing, answered by another from the opposite side. They were surrounded!

Still hiding her head, Claire felt Connor’s arms tighten around her and press her closer, and she could feel a rumbling coming from the man, a sound that grew into a low growl. The sound vibrated inside her very skin, and, unable to help herself, she melted even more deeply into his embrace.

Warned away, her pursuers retreated back into the blackness beyond the clearing, and Connor gently raised Claire’s face to his own. Almost glowing in the moonlight, his eyes pierced her deeply, and she was completely unresisting as he lowered his lips to hers, heat pouring from him into her like a flame as his mouth found hers, opening her and exploring her with his first kiss. She found herself responding, her hands reaching up to tangle themselves in his unruly hair, her tongue darting out to taste his, feeling the sharp points of his teeth.

Suddenly, she was the aggressor, rolling on top of him even as she wondered at her wanton behavior. His hands, helped by hers, slid along her trembling thighs, up and under her skirt, while their mouths never lost contact, sharing the same breath and moving as one under the gently glow of the moon.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Roane Publishing Contracts Francine Beaton and MAKING THE RIGHT CALL #Contemporary #Romance

Roane Publishing is pleased to announce that we have contracted MAKING THE RIGHT CALL by Francine Beaton. This is a prequel to her Playing for Glory series and is slated for release in October 2018.

More information regarding the release, including the Cover Reveal and Release Blitz will be made available shortly.

If you are a book blogger or reviewer interested in participating in the marketing events surrounding the release of MAKING THE RIGHT CALL, please take a moment to join our Blogger Reviewer team by visiting our website ( and completing the interest form.

~The Roane Publishing Team

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Cover Reveal: ONE SULTRY DAY, a Sweet Romance Anthology

One Sultry Day
A Sweet Romance Anthology
by Various Authors
Release Date: August 6, 2018

Keywords: Sweet, Romance, Contemporary, Anthology, Second Chances, Beach Read, Ghosts, Summer, New Adult, Cancer Survivor

Escorts for Hire - Heartaches for Free by Deryn Pittar

University drop-out and current barista, Sandi Fletcher-Bain is offered a position as a quality controller for a new agency, established by her friend Jess and designed to provide escorts for discerning women.

Anything has to be better than driving an espresso machine and despite her shattered ego after a disastrous romance Sandi accepts the position providing she can trial it for a month. 

Sandi’s first assessment subject is Jeremy Miller, tall, blonde and rather dishy. She takes him home for the day under the pretence of viewing the estate’s gardens, pretending she’s never been there before. Aunt Freda dispels that lie and after an evening meal Sandi manages to offend Jeremy to the extent that instead of staying the night he leaves to catch the last train back to the city. While their relationship fizzed and cooled during the day she has to admit he has all the qualities required to be an escort. It were her faults that caused the problems.

With Nicholas, her second assessment, she is honest from the beginning and their visit to her parent’s home is an enjoyable day out, ruined only by an accidental meeting with her ex-fiancé Simon. This destroys her confidence and she gives up being a quality controller, it’s no fun at all, and returns to cafe work.

Jeremy finds her and asks to begin their friendship afresh; admitting that the good wine had something to do with his previous reactions.

Meanwhile Jess says Simon has applied to be an escort and Sandi is forced to explain why she broke off their engagement and why Jess shouldn’t hire him.

And why is Jeremy no longer available Jess wants to know?

Ghosts of Summers Past by T.E. Hodden

For five years Bunny has never once felt alone. He has been haunted by the tragedy that stole Hanna, his first true love from him, and has always felt her presence on one shoulder, and blame on the other.

Now Alice, a minor star from the show he writes, is on the verge of becoming more than just a friend, and the sun baked palm beaches are almost feeling like home.

Can Bunny face the ghosts of his past? Or is history about to repeat itself in the most terrible of ways?

Love Unexpected by Sharon Hughson

Grad student Ivory Konner relishes a summer of guiding rafts on the Wenatchee River for from the expectations of her parents and the reminders of her recent dumping. She isn’t looking for romance when a thin guy and his dog nearly send her plummeting off the trail.

Cancer survivor Prescott Colyer drops out of college, escapes to his uncle’s photo gallery in Leavenworth, WA, and quietly pursues his art. But when his collision on a hiking trail exposes him to physical contact without pain, he risks everything for a girl who’s not interested in romance, not even for the summer.

Once Ivory connects with Prescott’s art, she offers to help him build a business. As they spend time together, her heart takes on its own mission.

Can their unexpected encounter urge Prescott out of isolation? Will Ivory include love in her long-term plan?

Second Chance Summer by Lily Carlyle

Twenty years ago, Summer and Jason’s summer romance seemed destined to last. Until Summer abruptly broke it off, with little explanation. Heartbroken, Jason leaves the Outer Banks—indeed, the entire East Coast—waiting two decades to return. When he comes home to settle his great-aunt’s estate, one of the first people he sees is Summer.

She’s ready to tell him the truth about that summer. But is he ready to listen?

 One Sultry Day Release Blitz sign ups are now open!

If you're interested in hosting, please click on the image or fill out the form below.
Thank you!

Friday, March 9, 2018

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from RETROUVAILLES by Bill Chastain #WomensFiction #Romance

Today's excerpt is from Retrouvailles by Bill Chastain.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!


Alex sipped a Presidente while sitting on the deck outside “The Parched Pelican.”

Indian Rocks Beach had fancier places than the open-air tavern facing the Gulf of Mexico. Alex just preferred the dive with the dowdy name. The hand-painted sign showing a cartoon pelican with muscles and tattoos cracked him up—Florida tacky at its finest. Plus, no steel drum bands, no Tiki torches and, best of all, few patrons at that time of day. You could drink a cold beer and just be. Alex preferred to blend in with the scenery, be invisible, thus, serenity.
A salty breeze grazed his face and the rhythm of the gentle surf performed the duty of a fairy-tale sandman, making heavy his eyelids. Giving in to such an urge would be his normal inclination. Take a few steps down to the beach, stretch out in the sand underneath the azure sky, and suddenly he’d be blowing Z’s like Dagwood Bumstead.
Not today.

Beads of sweat formed on his upper lip while his thumb picked off the label from the bottle of Dominican beer. He stared at the naked green bottle, hoping a state of nothingness would come to him. If he studied the inanimate object long enough he might forget the troublesome reality weighing heavy on his mind.

Maybe they’d waltz around the subject of her pending doom, tiptoeing like one of those Russian gymnasts on the balance beam, tension…tension…tension, but cool. Dying was an extremely personal matter and something she might not want to share with him. If she did, he couldn’t show pity and pity was hard to disguise. The slightest sign of it would piss her off. Taking a direct approach suited India.

Alex undid the top buttons of the light cotton shirt he wore loose at the waist and ordered another Presidente. Several months had passed since he awoke wearing socks and a monster hangover, unable to remember where he’d parked the car. The moment frightened him into an abstinence pledge.
Feeling too good for too long had brought him to the conclusion that his initial solution felt too much like Alcoholics Anonymous. He rationalized the step lacking from the guiding twelve steps was moderation; and all that guilt if you fell off the wagon for a couple of drinks. Besides, he enjoyed alcohol too much to quit. Common sense told him that all the alcohol in the world would not change his life. Thus, hoping to avoid self-destruction, he imposed a three-beer limit, installed like a father does a governor to his son’s go-cart to prevent him from driving too fast.

Alex’s eyes closed and he rocked back in his chair, evoking a sad moan from the deck constructed of rough-hewn two-by-fours. Balancing his body with one leg resting on an adjacent chair, he heard steps approach. A cold palm touched his face, then two moist lips met his for a lingering moment.