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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Heart of a Thief

 

Heart of a Thief
Ella Miles
Publication date: June 26th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

I’m the villain in most romances.

I’m a thief that steals happily ever afters.

Except unlike most romances love doesn’t conquer me, I conquer it.

I’ve stolen countless women from unsuspecting men.

Gotten my one night with them.

And then watched the heartbreak that occurs in my wake.

Love doesn’t survive once I enter the picture, if it ever existed at all.

Although, stealing Sloane might be my greatest challenge of all.

Asher is a villain trying to a put a horrible life behind him by doing the only two things he knows to do: surf and steal. Sloane is an angel that runs a charity helping children needing a fresh start. Asher will do anything to have her. There is just one problem…she’s about to marry another man.

Goodreads / Amazon

CHAPTER ONE:

I grab a beer out of the mini fridge while I wait to see if Danielle is coming up or not. I pop the cap off against the counter in my hotel room and then bring the cold liquid to my lips as I stare at the door.

I met Danielle three weeks ago. It was a lucky happenstance really. Well, lucky for me, not so lucky for her. I met her like I meet most of my targets—in a bar. She was with her fiancé, minding her own business, just having a drink at the bar, when he was called away for work. That was when I stepped in and gave her the attention that she was so desperate for.

That’s all it took. One night of being nice to her, and I knew I could steal her from her fiancé. I knew it wouldn’t take long. I probably could have had her that night if I really wanted. But that’s not my game. Cheating isn’t enough. Many a men take back fiancées or wives who have cheated on them. No, I don’t entice the women so that they will cheat on their husbands. I hit on the women to steal them and make them mine—at least, until I get bored with them.

I’m not looking for anything long-term. I’ve never dated a woman for longer than a few weeks after claiming her as mine. Others, I get bored with much faster. I’m not really after the women. I’m after the chase that comes with stealing them away, and that satisfies the rush I used to get when I stole objects instead of people.

I don’t know which makes me a worse person. Stealing things like cars, money, or jewelry. Or stealing women and their hearts. But, this way, at least I don’t have to worry about going to jail.

I sit on the edge of the bed as I take another sip of my beer. I thought tonight was the night I would claim her. I thought tonight was the night I would steal her away. But, as every second passes, I become less sure of myself.

Maybe Danielle loves her fiancé, Wade, more than I thought she did.

I hear a soft knock on my door. Once, twice, and then a pause before the third knock. I grin before I down the rest of my beer and toss it into the trash can as I walk to the door. I open it and widen my eyes when I see Danielle standing outside my door, like I’m surprised that she is standing here even though I’m not the least bit surprised.

“What are you doing here, Danielle? Shouldn’t you be in bed, dreaming about that fiancé you are going to marry tomorrow?” I ask.

I haven’t stolen her yet. Not fully. I don’t win until she’s broken up with him, and I’ve had her in my bed.

Danielle wraps her arms across her chest, covering her cleavage that was sticking out from beneath her sparkly white dress that she wore to the rehearsal tonight.

I didn’t have to do much to get Danielle here. At least, not tonight. All I did was show up at the rehearsal. I made an appearance in the background, and it was enough to convince Danielle that she might be making a huge mistake.

“I’m not getting married tomorrow,” Danielle says.

“Oh,” I say, my voice dripping with sadness that isn’t the least bit real. “Would you like to come in?”

She nods, and I hold the door open for her. She walks over to the edge of my bed and sits down. I walk over to the mini fridge and pull two beers out. I open the caps on both and then hand one to her. She takes it, loosely holding it in her hand. She stares at it for a while, not able to look at me.

I keep my distance until she is ready to talk. Leaning against the counter next to the mini fridge, I sip on my beer.

“I broke up with Wade tonight,” Danielle finally says.

“I gathered that. Why though?”

She looks up at me with puppy-dog eyes. “Because I don’t love Wade anymore. I love you.”

I look at her seriously and say, “I want you.”

She hears I love you though. It’s clear from the goofy smile and blushed cheeks.

But that’s the one thing I won’t ever do. I won’t lie to these women. I can’t help it if they hear what they want to hear.

I put my beer down and walk over to her until I’m standing between her legs. I take the beer out of her hand and place it on the counter. Her eyes follow me.

I push her back on the bed, and then I take the off the T-shirt I’m wearing… She bites her lip as she stares at my abs that have formed from surfing every day.

“Tell me you want me to fuck you,” I say.

Danielle sits up and unzips the back of her dress, letting it fall to her waist, revealing her white lacy bra that holds her perky breasts in, away from me.

“Fuck me, Asher.”

I grin as I grab ahold of her dress and roughly pull it off her body. She lets out a gasp.

She grabs at my neck, trying to pull me in so that she can kiss me. I let her pull me into her. I let her kiss me, and then I turn the kiss into rough kisses that show her what I really want.

“You like it rough,” she says.

“Don’t you?” I ask.

“I like anything with you.”

I flip her over on the bed, and she lets out another surprised gasp.

I slap her ass. “I’m going to fuck this later, but first, I have to claim your pussy.”

“God, just fuck me already. I can’t wait,” she cries into the pillow that she is now face down on.

I sigh. “They never have patience,” I mutter to myself, annoyed that I can’t take my time to properly enjoy her body.

“What?” she asks.

“Nothing,” I say, hitting her hard on the ass, causing her to cry out.

I shove my shorts and briefs down and pull out a condom from the nightstand. I quickly slip it on before she finds a way to get herself off without me.

“Ready?” I ask, pulling her panties down and positioning myself at her entrance.

“Just fuck me already.”

I do. I push inside her tight pussy that I know is anything but ready for me. I’ve barely spent any time turning her on, but if this is what she wants, I won’t object.

She moans loudly and then quickly starts screaming, “Yes…yes,” over and over.

I keep thrusting until I come, not concerned at all if she comes or not. I’m an asshole after all. Although most have called me worse than that.

She must have come because she screams loudly, followed by nothing.

I pull out of her and go to the bathroom to clean myself off. When I’m done, I stay in the bathroom with my hands clenching either side of the sink as I look at myself in the mirror. I can’t handle this woman much longer. It was hard enough to pretend to like her to get her to want me, but now that I’ve had her once, I don’t think I can keep up the act to fuck her more than that. I’m ready for the implosion to happen.

I walk back out and dig through my suitcase to find a fresh pair of briefs to put on. After I do, I glance over at Danielle, who is now under the covers of the bed. Her cheeks are flushed, her brown eyes heavy, and her long brown hair is a mess on top of her head.

“That was amazing,” she says.

I nod and force my lips to curl up into something that resembles a smile.

“I’m ready to go again if you are. Or if you want to sleep some first…”

I take a deep breath, ready to tell her that I’m through with her, that she can’t stay here, when I hear a loud pounding at my door.

I hold up a finger and then walk to the door in just my briefs, not caring who is on the other side. I throw the door open, and before I can register who is standing there, a fist flies at my face and hits me square in the nose. My body jolts backward with the hit, and I put my hands up to my nose as another hit rains down on my face, followed by another. My nose is pouring blood now, and I’m sure it’s broken. My eyesight is blurry, but I think I make Wade out through the haze. Or, at least, my prior experiences with ex-fiancés verify that he is most likely on the other end of the fist that keeps coming at my face.

“Wade, stop!” Danielle screams, running to my aide.

I hear Wade breathing heavily.

“I’m done. I’m done with both of you. You’re a rotten scumbag who deserves to be locked up in prison. And you’re a lying, cheating slut. I’m done with both of you.”

The blurriness finally leaves my eyes long enough for me to see Wade stumbling out of my room, clearly drunk. It’s a wonder he was even able to aim for my face. The door slams shut, and then I see Danielle standing naked in front of me.

“I’m sorry about Wade. He’s just upset that I broke off the wedding, that I no longer love him. He’ll get over it.”

I walk into the bathroom without saying a word and see that I was right about my nose. It’s most definitely broken as blood pours down my face. I grab one of the towels and hold it up to my nose to try and stop the bleeding, but I know it is going to take a while to stop.

“Here,” Danielle says, holding up a bag of ice.

I take the bag from her and hold it up to my face.

“It stings,” I say, wanting to pull it away from my face.

She laughs. “It will help with the swelling and stop the bleeding.”

I keep it on my face and walk back to the bedroom. Danielle follows me.

“I think you should go,” I say.

“What? Why?”

“I don’t want to worry about Wade coming back and beating me up.”

“He won’t.”

“And I don’t think you and I are going to work out. You’re not worth my trouble.”

Danielle’s jaw drops. “I broke up with Wade for you though. I called off my wedding tomorrow for you. I want to be with you. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“You made a mistake then. You should have stayed with Wade, or you should find someone else. I’m not the man for you, Danielle.”

“He’s not going to take me back now,” she says, her voice shaking.

I smirk. “No, I don’t think he will take you back.”

“You fucking bastard! You asshole!” Danielle shouts, raising her hand to no doubt slap or punch me.

At least, this time, I’m ready for the attack. I grab her wrist midair, stopping her from hitting me.

“You are an evil, vile person,” she says through tears.

I nod. “I am.”

She jerks her hand out of my grasp. “Why would you do this?”

I open my mouth to speak, and she holds a hand up to stop me.

“Never mind. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to spend another second listening to this crap.” She grabs her crumpled dress from the floor and quickly puts it back on, not bothering with her underwear. She cries the whole time.

Occasionally, the women recover after this. They are able to convince their fiancés to take them back. But I don’t think Danielle will. And I’m not sure she is strong enough to fully recover from it either.

She hesitates a second, like she is trying to decide if she should say anything or if I’m going to. When I don’t, she storms out the door without another word.

I take a deep breath as I go over to the bed and lie down, ensuring the ice pack is still on my face.

Shit, I curse to myself when the ice stings my face again.

If I’m going to keep this up, I need to be better prepared. I can’t keep getting hit like this. Next time, I might get a concussion, and then I won’t be able to surf. I won’t let that happen. Next time, I’ll be ready for a hit.

Maybe I should take some boxing classes or something.

I grin. Despite the pain I’m feeling now, I’ll sleep like a baby for the first time in weeks. I stole her heart and then tore it to pieces. It feels good.

 

Author Bio:

Ella Miles writes sexy romance with strong females that could kick your butt if you piss them off, which they often do to the men that fall for them. She’s currently living her own happily ever after near the Rocky Mountains with her high school sweetheart husband. Her heart is also taken by her goofy two year old black lab that is scared of everything, including her own shadow. Ella is the author of the Aligned series. Get a free book by visiting her website. Or by stalking her on Twitter or Facebook.

Website / Goodreads / Facebok / Twitter

 

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Cover Reveal: Twenty-Four Hours

 

Twenty-Four Hours
(A Shattered Boundaries Novel)

Carolyn Anthony
Publication date: July 3rd 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The second chance that might never happen…

Eve Luccio waited years for her first love, but somehow their lives were never quite in sync. Now, at thirty-six, her only focus is completing the final year of her PhD. The last thing on her mind is the honor-driven former Navy SEAL who stole her heart as a teen and left her unable to love any other man since.

When Jake Theron walks back into Eve’s life, his presence shatters her walls of self preservation. He unleashes a dark sexuality that Eve never imagined she would experience, much less come to crave. All he wants from her is a day of her trust—twenty-four uninterrupted hours before she crosses the country for her Post Doctorate position in New York. But letting down her guard for even twenty-four hours with Jake might just destroy her.

For Jake Theron, Eve was always “the one that got away,” except even after two decades, she’s still under his skin. When Eve finally agrees to see him, Jake vows he won’t let her slip through his fingers again.

But nobody knows better than Jake what a vicious bitch fate can be. When his life gets in the way, he realizes he may have to let Eve go once again—this time for her own good.

All he has left are the next twenty-four hours. One day and night in a seaside hotel, after which he has no choice but to let her walk out of his life with no guarantee he’ll ever see her again. The problem is, now that he’s had a real taste of the woman who should have been his twenty years ago, he’s not sure he’ll have the strength to let her go.

Add to Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

Carolyn Anthony is a sucker for a dark romance with a dominant, tattooed, alpha badass man at the helm.

Her characters deal with real life issues: the painful, the tragic, the damaging sort of life events that leave both external and internal scars, because she’s been there.

Her heroines are strong women at the core who will always find what’s been lost, taken or exploited: their strength, their self-worth, their identity, their innocence or their love. She writes about women exploring their sexuality, owning that sexuality and enjoying it. Along for the ride, the hot-ass men who prove worthy enough to be on that journey with them.

Book one in the Shattered Boundaries Series, Twenty-Four Hours, will be available to buy on July, 3, 2017. Each book is a stand alone with a well earned HEA. Book two coming soon as well as Phoenix, the first book in a Contemporary second chances trilogy.

Feel free to stalk me everywhere!

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Google+

 

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Hart of Mine

 

Hart of Mine
(Cale & Mickey #4)

Annie Arcane
Publication date: June 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

God, this woman drives me insane.

In all of the good, most of the bad, and some of the ugliest ways imaginable. But it doesn’t matter because she’s mine. My little sadist. My crazy girl. My beautiful wife.

And you don’t ever f*ck with what’s mine.

Warning: Strong language, mature content, drama, and angst included. Shirt sold separately.

This novella is an adult contemporary romance featuring a disabled hero who (still) happens to be a rich and sexy alpha male with a potty mouth.

Cale and Mickey: Book 4 of 4

Goodreads / Amazon

Hart of Hers TeaserHart of His Teaser

EXCERPT:

Fate could be a bastard and fuck with me all day long, but I would never be caught off-guard again. I would leave nothing to chance.

Liabilities were mine.

Assets were hers.

It was simple.

There were no ifs, ands, or buts.

“Doesn’t matter what you want, Mickey. It’s yours regardless.”

“Seriously?” She was staring at me as if I’d sprouted horns and was in desperate need of an exorcism. “Can you even hear yourself?”

I didn’t bother answering. Of course, I could hear myself. I was making perfect sense.

She gave a loud sigh, “I hate it when you act like this.”

“Like what?” The pussy-whipped husband who spoils his wife rotten? The pathetic bastard who empties his bank account at her feet?

“Like this. Like a dumb idiot. Like a controlling jerk. Like…like…” Another sigh. Louder. Far more exasperated. “You. You’re acting like you.”

My fists clenched.

Great. Now I’m jealous of my hypothetical competition. Keeps on getting better and better.

“And who would you rather I act like?”

“Hmm, I don’t know,” she countered sweetly. “How about a reasonable human being?”

Oh, fuck, no.

“How the hell am I not reasonable? I do anything you ask me to. I do everything you ask me to. Even when it’s a blow to my ego, I swallow my damn pride and do whatever you want. For Christ’s sake, we just got married at a drive-thru because that’s what you wanted,” the reminder was bitter on my tongue. “You think that’s what I wanted? You think I spent months learning to stand on my own goddamn feet again because a fucking drive-thru wedding was my end goal?

“But you say jump, I say how high, right? So, by all means, let me know what else you need me to do, Mickey. Tell me how else to prove I trust you because I’ve literally given you every single thing in my possession and it still isn’t good enough. Because I’ve placed my entire life in your hands and…shit!”

It happened so fast.

The crazy girl tackled me.

I didn’t even see it coming. Which was fortunate since I probably would’ve broken something had I braced for impact. She tipped my chair over backward, knocking me right out of the damn seat. And landed hard on top of me, knocking the wind right out of my lungs.

As the room swirled, her panicked voice clawed through the fog, “Oh, my God, Cale. Are you okay?”

Crazy fucking girl.

I nodded, attempting to catch my breath while the fancy-ass ceiling tiles came into focus. Guess I must’ve cracked my skull on the floor too.

“I can’t believe that actually happened.”

A sixteen-pound titanium wheelchair with no brakes vs. a stunningly gorgeous human torpedo with no fear.

Physics 101.

What the fuck did she expect would happen?

“I was only trying to distract you.”

More like trying to kill me. Closing my arms around her, I managed a hoarse chuckle. It was more of a cough. I took a ragged breath and murmured, “You don’t have to try.”

She relaxed into my chest and whispered, “Sorry.”

“No harm done.” Minus the splitting headache.

“Are you sure you’re not hurt?”

“Yeah, except…”

Her head snapped up. “What?”

I curbed a smile, knowing full well this was going to cost me dearly. There was no doubt she’d make me pay for it later.

She scrambled to alleviate her weight, hovering inches above. “What?

Worth any punishment, “I can’t feel my legs.”

God, that laugh.

Who cares about the consequences?

I’d sell my soul to hear that laugh.

Hart Broken Teaser

Author Bio:

Romance with wounded heroes, disabled characters, alpha males, and angst.

Annie doesn’t like long walks on the beach, getting dolled up, or HEA endings with a boringly perfect hero. She’d much rather be rock climbing, shooting guns, or ending on cliffhangers with a deliciously imperfect hero. And hugs. She likes hugs.

She also has a B.Sc. in Biology and feels kinda sorta weird referring to herself in 3rd person. Just saying.

Website / Goodreads / Facebok / Twitter

 

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Stacking the Shelves (#61)

stackingtheshelves

Stacking the Shelves
Hosted by:  Tynga’s Reviews
Description: Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Find their latest post here!

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I feel like it’s been ages upon ages upon FOREVER that I did a Stacking the Shelves post last.

LEGASP!  OH WAIT, that’s because it HAS been ages upon ages upon forever!  How silly of me.  What, did I think I suddenly inherited pocketfuls of free time?!  Who am I even kidding with that nonsense?!?!?!

So.  Life lately.  Uhm.  The man and I are doing okay.  We’re sort of on this “save bunch of money!” kick because we’re taking a week off in August to go on vacation (oh my penguins, what even IS that word anymore?!?!?!) and, yah know…bills don’t go on vacation with us.  So we’re not really buying a whole lot, and I sit around after work still AT WORK for like 2.5 hours waiting for him to pick me up, annnnnd… I basically have even less life now than I did before!?

One of my employees is currently missing.  She told her aunt she was headed to work Thursday evening (she was supposed to work that night) annnnd…she never showed up at work.  And she never went home.  The aunt has filed a missing persons report; we’re all hoping that the girl is found safe and sound.  This is so very stressful and scary–she’s a minor still, and it’s not like her to just up and disappear.

Apparently a water main broke in our apartment complex, so our water pressure has been going in and out since last night (Thursday–because, you know, I’m writing this a day ahead of posting)

I put up a discussion post asking for tips and tricks on how to DO ALL TEH THINGS for the Book Block world without, you know, losing my beak.  You can find that post right HERE, if you’re interested.  I’d also LOVE it if you Penguins could, once again, link me to stuff and things you think I should check out that I’ve probably missed in recent weeks past–I really AM trying to do better at this blog hopping thing, I promise!  I just…I think I need to get a set schedule, or something.  Like, such and such days I spend working on blog posts, such and such on reading, such and such on blog hopping.  A set schedule might help me get better organized at this point.

And now, FOR THE BOOKS!  because I know you all didn’t come here just to hear me yak.

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fishbreakrecentreceived

from publishers/authors/edelweiss/netgalley
(for blog tours/reviews)

One Broken Day
LEARNING MY WORDS A-Z: Children's Picture Book (Basic Word Learning Skills) Book 4 (Learning My...)
LEARNING MY ABCs: ANIMALS: Children's Picture Book (Learning the Alphabet) Book 2 (Learning My...)
LEARNING MY DRAWING: STEP-BY-STEP DRAWING TUTORIALS FOR CHILDREN (Learning My... Book 1)
LEARNING MY LETTERS: Children's Picture Book (Basic Writing Skills A-Z) Book 3 (Learning My...)
Sunshine Is Forever
Sparked
Dark Designs
Friend (With Benefits) Zone
Freak

from LitCube
(June theme —  Modern Day Cinderella)

LitCube June

recentlydownloaded

freebies from around the net

The Dystopia Spell (Multiverse Mashup Book 1)
I Wish I Weren't a Djinni (The Cotton Candy Quintet Book 0)
A Dude Reads Romance - Tempting Sydney
The Bejeweled Bottle (The Curious Collectibles Series #3)
Stealer (Stealer, #1)
Minor Gods (Summoners #1)
Lost Gods (Summoners #2)
Shield and the Shadow (The Horizon Cycle, #1)
The Jaguar King (The Wild Rites Saga - Book 1)
Taken by the Beast (The Conduit #1)
The Forever Girl (The Forever Girl #1)

recentpurchased

curse you, book deals! 
(no, no, I don’t really mean this)

Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone, #1)
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

fishbreak

What are some of the books YOU picked up/added to your shelves (either real or virtual?)  Let me know below, or link me to your own Stacking the Shelves!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

 

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Book Blitz, Chapter Teaser, and Giveaway: Something Beautiful

 

Something Beautiful
Amanda Gernentz Hanson
Published by: Pen Name Publishing
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Cordelia and Declan have been best friends since they were three years old. By the time they hit middle school, Cordelia—Cord, to Declan—is already feeling the blackness in her life as depression takes hold. Their mutual attraction to each other leads to a serious high school relationship, one with their foundation of friendship at the forefront. Cordelia seems to have her mental health under control. All appears to be well.

However, when Declan starts to accept his own fluid sexuality, it sets something in motion in their lives that is both beautiful and tragic as they learn to love each other for who they are.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1—Now

October 2014

“Fresh off of her book tour, I have here an advocate who is actively involved in fighting inequality in her daily life. I give you, Cordelia Quinn!” The rally organizer steps aside, and I can finally see the crowd. I wave, and the rally organizer gives me a dazzling smile before she continues. “Cordelia Quinn is the bestselling author of The Yellow Wood, a coming-of-age story about a boy and a girl who are best friends as children but choose different paths as adults and then come together later in life. She is also an award-winning screenwriter and one of the most outspoken LGBTQ allies in publishing. Please join me in welcoming her to the podium!” The crowd

breaks into thunderous applause that echoes through the cold air, and a smile pulls at the corners of my mouth.

I can’t lie—I’m nervous. I’m not good at hiding my emotions, so I’m afraid that people might be able to tell. I hate crowds, and I hate public speaking. I’ve managed to avoid it ever since I spoke at high school graduation.

“Hello, Topeka,” I begin. My voice is shaking. God, I hope no one notices.

The crowd is rumbling below me, waiting for me to say something good. I’m not even sure I have anything good to say. I’m so bad at this. But I’ve learned that being honest is usually the best way to go, so I decide to veer away from my prepared speech and try for candor.

“I’m going to admit something to you,” I say, gripping the sides of the podium to keep my hands from trembling. I can’t be trusted to hold papers or they’ll be shaking so much that I can’t read them. “I’m not a fan of public speaking, and I don’t usually speak at rallies like this one. But this issue… it’s really important to me. Those of you who have read my book know that. So, when my publicist asked me to come here and talk to you, I couldn’t really turn her down.”

The crowd cheers, and I smile and take a deep breath. With each breath, I feel more at ease, more comfortable speaking up here in front of everyone. I close my eyes for a second, trying to center myself. I see my children’s faces, and my grin widens.

“Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say,” I continue, gaining confidence. “I believe in equality. I believe in love. And I believe that the government should not tell us who we are allowed to love and marry.” At this, all I can think about are the people I left at home—the people who I love, the person I married. I’m lucky. I’ve never had to fight for those rights. “The politicians who are fighting against marriage equality are all active in their conservative churches—well, ladies and gentlemen, I find two issues with that. First, this country was founded on the separation of church and state—it’s in the First Amendment of the Constitution. What ever happened to that?”

I’m on a roll now. My hands have stopped shaking and everything.

“And second, marriage isn’t just about love. Anyone who has made that kind of commitment to someone can tell you that. There are legal rights that come with marriage that should be available to everyone, no matter who they love!”

I can’t help it. I start looking for him. He’s here. I can feel it.

And then I see him, and my face breaks open into the giddy sort of smile I wish I could contain. I knew he’d come. We’ve been apart for weeks now while I’ve been on my book tour, and I’ve missed him so much. Almost as much as I’ve missed the kids. God, I wish they were here with me.

As I make eye contact with him, an idea strikes. I decide to roll with it. “I’m very pleased to tell you that the person who inspired my book is with us tonight. I’d like to call him up here, so that you can meet the first man I ever loved—Declan MacLeod. Come up here, Dec!”

People turn to look at him as he shakes his head and starts moving toward me. I can nearly feel my body vibrating. I can’t wait to be next to him again, to feel his warm hand in mine. My smile is so big it feels like it’s going to split my face in two.

“I’m going to kill you,” he whispers in my ear as he wraps his arms around me. I want him to hold me forever, to never let go of me, to keep me safe and warm wrapped in his strong arms. But we’re in front of all of these people. He has to let go.

“No, you’re not,” I murmur back. “You’re better at this stuff than I am. Tell them something. Anything.” He starts chewing on his bottom lip as he thinks, and I throw him a sharp look. I’ve been on him about that since high school, but he always slips back into the old habit when we’re apart.

He makes his way to the podium and clears his throat. “Hello,” he starts as he waves at the crowd. “I had no idea that I was going to be speaking here tonight, so I apologize if what I say doesn’t make any sense.” He takes a deep breath and glances back at me. “As Cordelia mentioned, I’m Declan MacLeod. I grew up across the street from her in Hamden, Connecticut. Now, I spend most of my time in New York, performing on Broadway.”

The crowd is hypnotized, and I don’t blame them. I’ve been told that, together, Dec and I are hypnotic. We have an energy. I’m not sure I agree—I think he’s the one who radiates energy and charisma, whose skin feels electrifying, no matter how many times I touch it.

As I watch him look out into the crowd, I know one thing—he’s everything. He’s my reason, my why. He’s it for me. I’d be nothing without him.

 

Author Bio:

Amanda Gernentz Hanson has been writing stories since the third grade, when she entered a five-page story about talking dogs into a local youth arts contest. She is an instructional designer by day and an everything else by night. Amanda is a proud Latina who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Hope College and her Master’s degree in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University. You can find her on the internet at browneyedtwentysomething.com, diverseladybookproject.tumblr.com, and on Twitter and Instagram @amandamariegh. If you see her in the wild, she probably has a book in her purse.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Beakish Discussions — Navigating the Book Block and the ARCs

BeakishDiscussions

And no, ARC does not mean like that thing Noah put all the animals on two-by-two to traverse the flood.  Although honestly, sometimes I feel this might be the case in my life–I put ARCs two by two by a million on my Kindle, and then keep my fingers crossed I can get to them all in time!

In this instance, ARC means Advanced Reader Copies.  If you’ve been around the Book Block for a while, you’ll know that ARCs are the Penguin Pebbles to DIE for — because it means you might get to read your most anticipated reads EARLIER than the rest of the Penguin world!  EXCITING, right?!  ARCs might also come in the form of review requests, so these are pretty much like the tuna in a sandwich for us bookish Penguins.  I mean, we flip our flappers for ARCs, am I right?!  Of course I am, I’m the Royal Beakiness around here–I’m always right. (unless you ask me about life, or boys, or work, oooor…basically anything not bookish.)

What I want to know, on this stormiest of stormy Fridays, is how YOU keep up with all your ARC-ish needs!  I try my best to prioritize by keeping a handy dandy calendar.  All books that need reviews to go live by certain dates get put on the calendar and are the FIRST PRIORITY….even if this means that some weeks, I find myself reading 9 books (yes, I did just do this recently.  I survived!  I’m alive!  It’s definitely doable, but I don’t recommend it either unless you have BUCKET AMOUNTS of time on your hands.  I, unfortunately, do not these days–GMing takes up pretty much aaaaaall of my time!)

So I mean…. while I’ve managed to keep up on reading ARCs (mostly)…I also have a SLEW of backlogged review requests I haven’t been able to even touch yet, pushed to the back burner every time I receive a new one with a set GO LIVE OR GO HOME date.  How do you Penguins handle the madness?!  Do you stop taking review requests (I don’t wanna, you can’t make me)?  Do you stop requesting a spot on book tours, or requesting ARCs from book tour companies (NONONONONO say it ain’t so!)?  Is there some other secret method of awesome you use?!

(Someone, PURLEEEEEASE tell me you’ve found Hermione’s Time Turner!)

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So, how do you do it?!  How do you keep up on the ARC brigade, maintain your online presence in an awesome and fulfilling way, respond to comments, snap pretty frilly instagram pictures, have a life, read, etc etc etc?!  HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?!  Please, someone, tell me some tricks and things, because while I’ve managed to keep up on my reading, instagramming, and posting (in terms of reviews, reveals, blitzes, etc…) the rest of this poor Penguin’s blog has somehow dwindled into nothing, and I need to change that.

HELP ME, PLEASE?!?!?!  There are so many buckets of tuna in it for everyone who does, you’ll never go hungry again.

(which….once again, puts THAT song in my head.  seriously, this song has been stuck in my head for something like two weeks–it just won’t leave!)

 

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The Duchess’s Descendants: I am Head Over BEAK for Jordinia!

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The Duchess's Descendants (Jordinia #3)The Duchess’s Descendants
(Jordinia:  Book 3)
by C.K. Brooke

Fantasy / Romance / Historical
285 Pages
48fourteen Publishing
Publication Date:  June 19th, 2017
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

The next generation. A new adventure…

Over three decades have passed since the Ducelle Empire reclaimed the land, and Jordinia has never prospered more. When the Emperor negotiates a treaty among neighboring nations, Jordinia is awarded an archipelago of islands in the north. With intentions to colonize, His Majesty enlists his two underachieving nephews on an expedition to chart the wilderness.

Reclusive Ludwig has his violin and no desire to travel, while his charismatic brother Drew is seduced by the grandeur of making history…and money. Desperate to flee a secret scandal of her own, their sister Johanna insists upon accompanying them. With a team of soldiers – including longtime friend and royal guardsman, Bram Visigoth – the Cosmith siblings set off to conquer their uncle’s newly-acquired territory.

From an icy shipwreck to precarious encounters with the native inhabitants, almost nothing goes as planned in this fast-paced comedy of errors teeming with humor, fantasy and plenty of romance. Prepare to fall in love with Jordinia all over again!

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See my reviews for the previous books in this series:

The Duchess Quest (Jordinia #1)  The Duchess Inheritance (Jordinia #2)

4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: aaaaaaah, I adore this series!; a new cast of unique, complex, well-rounded characters to love; political intrigue and subtle morals; awesome, entertaining action; I love the way C.K. Brooke writes about love (scratch that. I love the way C.K. Brooke writes, period)

Huge thanks to C.K. Brooke and 48fourteen Publishing for sending me an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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C.K. Brooke has knocked it out of the park for me again with this return to Jordinia. I swear, each time I hear there’ll be a new book in this series, my penguin heart flutters a little bit harder–it sounds unhealthy, sure, but oh my goodness, I ADORE everything about this series, and can honestly admit this is my favorite fantasy series to date. Seriously, the world of Jordinia is ripe with adventure, political intrigue, and humongous personalities–and I love rediscovering every nook and cranny with each book!

 

I really enjoyed that we were given more glimpse into the family dynamics for this particular read. The focus on their relationships, their interactions and reactions, made this read pure gold for me. While they separated throughout and chapters were interspersed with alternating POVs, a large chunk of the story remained on the siblings and their “growth”–both together and apart–throughout this journey into the unknown.

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As always, C.K. Brooke has written a series of complex, realistic, and believable romances–and I adored every single one of them! I was a bit worried near the 90% mark that one of the couples I’d been rooting for from the start wasn’t destined to work out…but was, pleasantly, wrong. The ending is adorable, and while I feel this read might have been a smidge shorter than the other books in this series, it’s just as beautifully written and just as entertaining as the others.

I am head-over-beak in LOVE with Jordinia and every character we’ve been introduced to! The romances are realistic and butterfly-inducing, if not a little bit roMESSy at times. The plot is fast-paced and filled with delicious political intrigue/moral conflicts. All-in-all, I devour every book C.K. Brooke puts in front of me…and feel more readers should do the same! I’d recommend this series to lovers of fantasy, flawed but redeemable characters, and snark (because there’s a lot of that in C.K. Brooke’s novels). Set sail for Jordinia with me, penguins; it’s a wild ride, but I promise you’ll love every minute!

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Stonetree Trilogy

 

Stonetree Trilogy
(Black Mountain Bears #1-3)

Ophelia Bell
Publication date: August 29th 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Gaia save the Queen…

Emma Stonetree’s father is missing. Worse yet, her uncle’s gone too, leaving her and her two cousins, Jasper and Jade, floundering for an explanation.

All Emma can think of are their fathers’ stories—tall tales of magic, mystery, and a whole host of shifter races. Stories she might not have believed, if not for her own research into the matter—research that hardly prepares her for the trials of magic she and her cousins will endure as they set off that Midwinter’s night to discover their roots.

Nor does it prepare the three for what they find on the other side of the mystical portal their fathers disappeared into: the ursa, a fertility-focused race of bear shifters, with customs that defy their human sensibilities. Except the trio swiftly learn they aren’t really human either, and once inside the ursa Sanctuary, they are just as bound by ursa laws as the earth is bound by the seasons.

Emma and her cousins must make a choice: accept their legacies as ursa royalty, accept the love they find inside the sanctuary, or reject their passions and retreat to their safe, mundane lives, never to return to the realm they were meant to inherit.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks / GooglePlay

99¢ for a limited time only!

EXCERPT:

“Where am I now?”

“In the Sanctuary, Princess,” Green-Eyes said.

She sat up, scrubbing her hands over her face, then raked her fingers through her tangled hair. A warm breeze blew through, tickling across her skin, the sensation way too pleasant and intimate. She shivered, glancing down her body and realizing she wasn’t wearing a stitch of clothing. Her stomach lurched, her entire body growing intensely warm at the realization she was buck naked. She immediately clutched her knees to her chest and looked wildly around.

“Where the fuck are my clothes?”

Brown-Eyes chuckled. “You left quite the trail of breadcrumbs. It was fun watching the striptease you gave us on the way in.” He let out a pleased sigh. “Gorgeous, really.”

Emma stared at him, shocked at the appraising look he gave her and uncertain whether she should be offended or flattered. At least until she gave him a once-over and realized he was just as au naturel as she was. She raised an eyebrow, then turned to look at her other new companion. Yep. Green-Eyes was as bare as a newborn. He was also definitely all hard-bodied man and not the least bit shy about it.

Seeing his naked body made her forget about her own. How in the world could a man so perfect actually exist? So perfectly messy, really. His brown hair was short, but a little shaggy, sticking out in all directions like he’d worried it over and over. He was well-muscled without being bulky, with a long, lean torso, his chest covered in a luxuriant layer of hair. Just enough to make her want to run her fingers down his chest and stomach, but not so thick that she’d think of him as actually furry. The hair tapered past his navel, the natural growth a kind of arrow pointing southward, and her eyes followed.

A throat cleared, but Emma found it difficult to tear her eyes away from the slumbering beast that was nestled between the man’s legs. Jesus, he wasn’t even hard and he was that big?

“See something you like, Princess?”

Um, everything?

 

Author Bio:

Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren’t apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don’t mind being with a woman who’s in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.

Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles with her own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.

If you’d like to receive regular updates on Ophelia’s publications, freebies, and discounts, please subscribe to her mailing list: http://opheliabell.com/subscribe/

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: The Lunam Deception

 

The Lunam Deception
(The Lunam Series #2)

Nicole Loufas
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Kalysia has lived her life according to others – a fate she will not pass on to her child. When a conspiracy to bring down the pack threatens to uncover her darkest secrets; Kalysia must fight to protect the truth about the man she wants, at the expense of the man she was fated to love.

Jase has fought his entire life. For his honor, his freedom, and his family. Nothing in his past could’ve prepare him for her. Kalyisa is everything he never knew he always wanted. Is he willing to risk his life, her honor, and Dillan’s pride to win her heart?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“In here,” I call to him and try not to laugh. I don’t know why I always get giggly when I’m trying to be sexy.

Dillan appears in the doorway.

“Oh baby, you have no idea how hot you look right now.”

He steps into the room and pulls his shirt off. “I’m one lucky bastard.”

“Yes, you are,” I agree.

He unhooks his belt with one hand and kneels on the bed. He bends down, and kisses my knee as his hand rubs up my leg; then stops short. He crawls up the bed toward my face.

“My hands are dirty.”

I run my fingers through his hair.

“Really? Where have your hands been?” I tease.

“I drove the Jeep from the brew-house. Who knows what kind of germs are on that steering wheel.”

He kisses my neck and presses his hips against me. The thin material of his boxers can’t contain his excitement.

“Thank you for not contaminating my lady parts.”

I pull his mouth to mine and taste today’s batch on his tongue.

“I care deeply about your lady parts.”

He licks my breast, and chills cover every inch of my body.

“My kid is cooking in there.”

He moves his hand to my belly as his tongue circles my nipple.

“I want his environment to be as germ-free as possible.”

“His?” I tease.

“Did I say his?” Dillan gives me a coy smile.

I know he’s hoping for a boy. All the guys are.

Dillan rolls me over, so I’m on top of him in all my naked and bloated glory. My swollen belly doesn’t affect his arousal. I moan so loud when he slips inside me; I’m sure Leah will comment on it later. I’m never more certain of my feelings for Dillan than when we’re having sex.

I look at him from across the lodge and sometimes as he sleeps. My heart still stammers when he kisses me or takes my hand when we’re walking. But there is always a sliver of doubt that crosses my mind. A certain way he smiles at Cassie or the sadness that creeps into his eyes when he thinks nobody is looking. I wonder if he feels it too. The only moments of peace come when we’re tangled up naked in our bed. Only then does the world feel right.

Dillan and I lie in bed afterward, watching the light in the room fade into night.

He kisses my head. “I needed that.”

“Hard day at the brew-house, dear?”

Dillan tightens his grip on me. “I got a call from my father.”

“It wasn’t good news, I assume.”

It never is where Lowell is concerned.

“He called to congratulate me on becoming a father.” He smirks. “I asked him which baby he was congratulating me on.”

“What did he say?” I try to sit up so I can see his face, but he won’t let me.

“He’s honoring his promise to Conall.” Dillan pauses. “I’m sorry, babe. I tried to reason with him, but he wouldn’t listen.”

“It isn’t your fault.” I don’t sound very convincing.

If we both just accepted our roles, none of this would be happening. Dillan sits up and turns on the lamp beside the bed. He runs his hands over his face and groans.

“What am I supposed to do?”

I assume his question is rhetorical.

If Dillan supports Lowell and claims Cassie’s child as his trueborn heir, he maintains his place in the pack, inherits Sierra-Duke, and his family’s fortune. Sometimes I believe this is a good thing; our child won’t be obligated to the pack the same way we were. Call it ego or pride, but the thought of Cassie’s child ruling over mine, makes me want to break things. When I say things, I mean Cassie.

“Do what’s right,” I tell him.

Unlike Lowell, I refuse to bully Dillan to my side. I don’t have to. Dillan loves me; therefore, he loves our child. He would never dishonor either of us.

“I will lose everything when I claim our child as my heir.” He turns around to look at me. “I’ll just be another employee of Sierra-Duke. I get nothing.”

Dillan doesn’t just lose his inheritance; he also loses status. Each leader must have a Lunam child that is accepted by the council. If Lowell gives his support to Cassie’s child, the council will honor his request. It isn’t a matter of screwing me over—these things have been done for hundreds of years.

Dillan may lose his title as future leader, but I’ll still maintain power. As long as we’re together, nothing else matters.

“You get me.” I reach up and touch his face. “Forever.”

Dillan climbs on top of me and pulls the sheets from between us. He examines my naked body and says, “I think I can live with this for the next fifty years.”

We miss the dinner bell.

We miss breakfast too.

 

Author Bio:

Nicole was born and raised in California. She claims to be a San Francisco native, however she’s lived in both Northern and Southern California. She credits her creativity to the fact that she attended 12 schools between kindergarten and her senior year in high school. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to reinvent herself often. Some might say she was a liar. While others see the stories she told as a coping mechanism. Twelve schools, in six cities, in twelve years – give her a break. Today she channels her storytelling ability into writing novels. Long story short – kids that lie become writers.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Cover Reveal: Carry Me Home

 

Carry Me Home
Jessica Therrien
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult

“A riveting page-turner… Jessica Therrien broke my heart into a million pieces — and then put it back together again. This book will haunt and uplift readers long after they turn the last page.”

-KAT ROSS, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea

CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her, Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.

* * *

Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.

They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.

But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world.

Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.

Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.

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Author Bio:

Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release.

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica’s work can also be found in a published collection of flash fiction stories called Campaigner Challenges 2011. Out of over 350 submissions her story, The Soulless, won first place for people’s choice and fourth place in the judging round of Rachael Harrie’s Writing Campaign Challenge. Her story, Saved, is also available as part of the anthology.

Jessica spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no street lights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language.

In 2003, Jessica attended California State University Long Beach where her passion for language found her studying Chinese, and in 2005 she moved to Taiwan to study abroad. From 2005 to 2006 Jessica was fully immersed in the Chinese language as she attended National Taiwan University, and in 2008 she graduated from San Diego State University magna cum laude.

Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two sons. She is working on an adult novel and a children’s picture book.

Website / Goodreads / Facebok / Twitter

 

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