New Release/Excerpt/Giveaway

Title: Her Perfect 10
Series: Stars in the Sand #1
Author: Brianna Cash
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2020
For the online writing course I’m enrolled in, I’m assigned a partner for the entire semester. The syllabus says we’re to remain anonymous. While I never learn her name, she breaks every other rule there is. She’s dragging my grade down with hers, even after I’ve repeatedly asked her not to.
 
As our conversations turn personal—another broken rule—she encourages me to push my boundaries, and I learn why she has none: she doesn’t believe in love. Instead of looking for a guy who’ll sweep her off her feet, she rates them in different categories in an equation she created to find someone that’s supposedly perfect for her.
 
I have no idea what she looks like, how old she is, or where she lives. But I know I can change her mind about love.
 
Too bad I’d never measure up.

According to her equation, there’s no way I’m her perfect ten.
 
I’ve never played these games before, but they’re kind of childish. I like to have a say in who I kiss. Not that the two girls I kissed during that first game were bad kissers, but I don’t even know their names. Maybe Rob and Alena should’ve had everyone go around and introduce themselves first. That would’ve made me a little more comfortable.

This whole thing was probably Rob’s idea. He’s always making fun of me, talking about how inexperienced I am. Just because I don’t sleep with anyone who gives me a second glance doesn’t mean I have no idea what I’m doing.

Alena locks us in some kind of housekeeping closet, yelling through the door. “Seven minutes, starting now!”

The girl I followed in spins around to find me watching her. She steps closer, swallowing the distance between us in two quick strides. She’s almost pressed against me, she’s so close. I step back, creating some space, reaching for her hand, ready to introduce myself. But she grabs my waist instead, tipping her head back and pushing up on her toes to press her lips to mine.

Her lips are soft and sure, melting instantly beneath mine as I kiss her back, and I quickly forget that she was making out with two other guys before me, a short time ago.

She pulls away, her eyes wide as she stares at me. There’s something familiar about them, the color, or the shape, or the incredibly long eyelashes that are framing a shade of green that matches not only her mask, but also her dress. There’s something about those eyes I can’t quite put my finger on.

I reach for her again. My hands slide around her hips and pull her closer, right up against me. She’s short, but with her heels, she’s just tall enough. Her eyes flutter closed as her head leans back, her lips parted in a silent invitation that my body is very intent on accepting, with or without my brain’s permission.

I’ve never been this close to anyone without knowing their name.

The thin silk of her dress caresses my fingers as I lower my face to hers. The warm cavern of her mouth teases me as her lips move under mine. Her body leans on me more fully—a silent protest as I pull away. I’m only changing the angle, though. I don’t hesitate to come back in for more.

And more.

And more…

Her lips part farther, wordlessly asking me to deepen the kiss. But I’m content to keep kissing her like this, with open mouths and soft lips merging together repeatedly. Her hands, which are still around my waist, pull my shirt out of the way, and then her fingertips are on my skin, trailing confidently over my back, right along the edge of my pants.

She smells like honeysuckle, like early summer nights spent catching fireflies in the backyard. There’s something else mixed in with that sweet memory. Something that’s probably all hers, whoever she is. Her eyes fly open when I take a second to breathe her in. I want to keep the memory of her scent forever, so I can relive this moment later, when I’m lying in my bed remembering how good she feels. When I need some fascinating moment to focus on. Something good. Something happy. Something…perfect.

“Kiss me,” she whispers, her breath warm on my cheek.

“Pretty sure we were kissing,” I whisper right back. No one can hear us. We’re totally alone, but it feels like we’re under some kind of spell, and we’ll break it if we’re too loud.

“No, really kiss me. Like you mean it.”

“I did mean it.” My voice rumbles in my chest as I try to keep quiet. I don’t know anything about this girl except she’s good friends with my future sister-in-law. But I also don’t know if I could stop myself from kissing her again if my life depended on it.

“That’s not what I meant.”

There’s a frown on those delicious lips, and all I want to do is change it into a smile. I clear my throat and keep whispering. “Kiss you like I know you?”

She gives a quick nod. “Kiss me like I’m the person you’ve been waiting for your entire life.”

Her eyes move back and forth between mine, her hands still on my skin under my shirt, making me want her in ways I never would’ve imagined possible at this point. She flexes her fingers on my sides before pushing both my shirt and her hands up, up, up.

It gets caught on my damn mask, but I reach up and untangle it. She then drapes my shirt over a shelf beside us. The mask stays on my face.

Her eyes are on mine as her fingers trail down my chest and stomach, lightly brushing over the dusting of hair that will lead her directly to something she has no right to discover. Not like this. Not in a closet. Not when I know so little about her. Not when she knows nothing about me.

When I inhale, the pressure of her touch lingering on the button of my slacks has my heartbeat pounding in my ears. She tilts her head to the side.

She’s daring me.

Kiss her the way she wants, or she’s going to do her best to get me out of the rest of my clothes.

I want to kiss her again. The simple kiss we shared was by far the best I’ve ever had.

But I also want to see how far she’s willing to take this.

Her gaze dips down, to where her hand is about to undo my pants, and then back at my face.

Which direction am I going to take us?

Cupping her cheek with one hand, I raise her face. With my other hand on her hip, I make sure she stays as close to me as is physically possible. And then I kiss her like she’s the person I’ve been waiting my entire life for.
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Book Tour/Excerpt

Titles: Astraeus & Retaliation
Series: The Oceanstone Initiative
Author: Haley Cavanagh
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi Romance
Release Date: 10.12.18 & 12.27.19
Publisher: Covey Publishing, LLC
One pre-apocalyptic Earth. One desperate space mission to find a solution. One unexpected alien. 
When Dr. Sakota Thorell signed onto the mission to scout out a new, habitable planet, she knew discovering extraterrestrial life was always a possibility. But she never expected to find an alien adrift in space, nor for that alien to be so intriguing. Sakota feels an instant and undeniable attraction to Astraeus, but he represents a million possibilities, and just as many threats. 
There are others hunting Astraeus, and his rescue may cost Earth its last hope.

 

 

One doctor, one alien lover, one botanist, and one engineer on a desperate mission to save earth from human destruction. 
Sakota saved Astraeus and her friends from certain death, but in doing so, she gained the attention of the Oreck, who will stop at nothing to destroy everything in their path. 
With their ship severely damaged, Sakota and her crew land on a nearby planet and seek sanctuary while they make repairs to return home. But nothing on this perfect planet is as it appears, and Sakota soon learns they’ve traded one danger for another. 
Hunted and targeted, will Sakota be able to carry out her mission, or will everyone she cares about be destroyed?

Sakota took a deep breath. “Okay. Let’s do it. We’re not going to survive if we don’t.” Hisoka and Tatiana turned around to man their consoles. She ate the last of her ration piece and slipped her hand into Astraeus’s. The escape pod reached the mouth of the black hole, then without warning, surged forward.

When Sakota was a child, long before Alistair rescued her from the orphanage in the squalid wasteland of London, the other children liked to play a game called Lights Out. In the main room where she bunked with fifteen other girls, a shaft of light streamed in from the hallway, in the same spot every night, like clockwork. The adult on night duty would check in once an hour and perform a headcount as they slept.

A few nights a week, a handful of the girls awakened and killed the hallway lights so they could scare and torture whomever they didn’t like among them. It was a powerful systematic lesson, however cruel. Sakota grew up knowing her place at the bottom rung of life. She’d never fit into the cookie-cutter type molding the upper-class girls had been bred for. She’d proved early on that she’d fight back with a vengeance when provoked, but she wasn’t certain which was worse; being preyed upon or listening to other girls’ pleas for help as she lay in the pitch-black room. The memory had stayed with her well into adulthood, as well as the countless times she could and should have stepped in to help instead of being crippled by primal fear and self-preservation. Children could be cruel. But the fear she’d experienced then was nothing, nothing, compared to being sucked into a black hole.

The escape pod whirled inside the conduit and pitched them around in a circle. They spun, at the mercy of inexhaustible energy along the black hole’s trajectory. Though she’d experienced raw fear when the Oreck had taken over the Sleipnir science vessel and killed everyone, this was different. Before, she at least had an idea what she was up against. Three razor-sharp talons emerging from claws didn’t lie. Being sucked into the black hole was like being an ant in a cyclone.

Astraeus squeezed her palm reassuringly. She turned and looked at him. They were both strapped in, tight.

Astraeus squeezed her hand. “Don’t be afraid.”

The speed of the escape pod amplified. Ribbons of light streamed past the windows like gossamer silk as the ship darted into unknown darkness. Sakota gritted her teeth. Oh, screw not acting afraid. She was terrified.

 

Haley Cavanagh is a military veteran, wife, and mother. She is an alumna of Columbia College, a musical theater nut, and she loves to dive into any book that crosses her path. Haley resides with her family in the United States and enjoys spending time with her husband and children when she’s not writing. She loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.

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New Release/Giveaway/Excerpt

Title: Professor Richter’s Rules
Series: Learning to Love
Author: Jessa York
Genre: Contemporary/NA/Student Teacher Romance
Release Date: March 26, 2020
Professor Jake Richter’s Rules for hookups:
 
1. Never date a student.
2. Never use my real name.
3. Never stay the night.
 
After a hot, one night stand with Paige, I’m breaking all my rules.
 
And now—as she sits in my lecture hall—I’m completely distracted by the memories of her writhing beneath me, moaning my name.
 
This is going to be one hell of a long semester.
 
Paige Flores’ rules for school:
 
1. Complete my degree in record time.
2. Don’t get distracted by anyone or anything.
3. Above all else, do not end up knocked up and alone—like my mother did.
 
Finally giving up my V-card to the funny, hot, one night stand I met at the club last week was the best time I’ve ever had.
 
But I have goals and dreams in my sights. The last thing I need is to be sidetracked by a hot guy.
 
And now—as he stands at the front of the lecture hall as the professor for a class I’ll do anything to pass—Professor Jake Richter has me breaking all my rules.
 
PROFESSOR RICHTER’S RULES is a student/teacher romance, and the second book in the LEARNING TO LOVE SERIES.
 
 
Chapter One
Paige

“This is seriously the lamest,” Alex said, rolling his eyes as he sipped on a martini. He bumped my arm with his elbow. “Let’s give it five more minutes then we can take off.”

Giving him my best smile, I made a different suggestion. “Or we could leave now and go home to watch a movie?”

His head tipped to the side, eyes narrowing. “You’re not getting out of this. You promised Holly you’d come out with us and that,” he said, pointing his finger into my bare shoulder, “Is exactly what you’re doing. We’ll find you a man even if I have to go to extreme measures.”

My eyes widened. Alex’s extreme measures were to be avoided at all costs. They were sometimes loud and always—guaranteed—embarrassing. “No, no, no, that’s not necessary at all,” I said, shaking my head, grabbing onto his hands. “Five minutes it is.” I prayed that my smile was believable enough.

The truth was—I liked being out. Way more than I should. If I didn’t keep a tight handle on myself I knew I could end up like my mom. A young, single mother, working her fingers to the bone for a family of rich people. My grandmother had gotten pregnant with my mom before grandpa had married her and made an honest woman out of her like he always joked.

To me it was no joke.

No way was I winding up in trouble with no husband and most importantly no education.

As soon as I was old enough to cogitate, I promised myself I’d never follow in their footsteps. So far, so good. I’d never even had a boyfriend.

“Time to play ‘Who Would You’,” Alex announced, setting his martini glass down then slapping his hands on his lap.

I laughed out loud, nearly spilling my drink. Playing this game with Alex was always hilarious. He’d bring it up in the most inappropriate places—school retreats, his cousin’s bar mitzvah or my personal favorite—a homeowners meeting his mom made him (us) go to once when she was out of town.

The full name of the game should be, ‘Who Would You Sleep With’. It was a funny way to pass the time especially in mandatory boring situations.

“Hmm, I think that guy over there with the really tight pants is just perfect for me,” he said, raising his eyebrows as he wiggled his body on the stool. “Your turn.” His head snapped to me waiting for an answer.

Scoping out the place, my gaze traveled along until they stopped suddenly on a pair of bright blue eyes aimed directly at me. His stare was so intense, I spun around on my seat, leaning on the bar, my heart beating like crazy.

“Good, great God up in heaven, please let that hunk of perfection whisk our good girl—Paige—up in his very muscular, very strong arms and carry her away.”

Glaring over at Alex, his hands pressed together in prayer, eyes shut tight, I punched him in the arm. “Would you stop? Someone might hear you.” My vision searched for the man who’d been staring. A shock went through me when our eyes met again. The side of his handsome mouth quirked up, sending a warmth down to my lower belly.

He looked like trouble.

The kind I knew better than to get involved with.

Also the kind I was very much attracted to.

“Knock me down and call me Susan,” Alex said, grasping my arm. “Not once in four years have I ever seen you blush.”

Turning around again, I grabbed my barely touched drink. “I’m not blushing,” I said, shaking my head at him. “It’s the alcohol.” Picking up my glass, I glanced at the mood ring on my finger. Solid red. I’d had that ring for years and never seen it turn that shade before.

Alex snorted so loud I glared at him. “You’ve barely had anything.” He rolled his eyes as he straightened his shirt. “You’ve got a thing for Mr. Hotstuff over there. Admit it.”

I would do no such thing—to him or to myself. “Whatever.”

“Alright, girlie. Part deux of Who Would You commences now.” He fake shook out his hair like he was some kind of diva—which he was. “Watch and learn, my dear. Watch and learn.” Then he strode off as though walking down some kind of imaginary red carpet only he could see.

That made me laugh again so hard I had to put down my drink or risk spilling it. The second half of Who Would You consisted of making some kind of contact with your chosen one. Be it touch or talk it didn’t matter. Fail to complete this part of the game and you’d lose.

We didn’t play for money or anything. But losing your pride was worse.

As he neared his intended victim, I kept my eyes glued on his progress. A few more yards and he’d be there. My stomach gave a small twist wondering what stunt he was going to pull this time. With Alex you just never knew.

Two more steps and then the show really started. He pretended to trip then both his hands reached for Mr. Tight Pants’ arm. Alex ended up on his knees, pulling so hard on the guy’s arm that he was nearly bent in half attempting to assist.

The look on Alex’s face made me chuckle out loud. He was quite enamored. I had to admit that Mr. Tight Pants was a hottie.

The piece de resistance was yet to come. Struggling to get up, Alex took full advantage by leaning on his new friend, wiping his brow in an exaggerated manner and trying to get as close as he could to him. When Alex finally moved to leave, the tablecloth had other ideas. Like staying attached to Alex’s watch.

As he swung his arm up to wave goodbye the drinks on the table went crashing to the floor as though Alex were some kind of mock magician. He looked genuinely shocked—I don’t think that was part of his act.

Wait staff from all around zeroed in on the crisis, moving to pick up, clean and make sure no one was hurt.

The commotion he created made me laugh so hard I doubled over, nearly unable to breathe. My stomach hurt and tears streamed down my face. A few minutes later, the man of the hour glided up to me.

“Your turn now, missy.”

That set me off again. “How am I supposed to follow that?” I raised my hands in the air and pretended to bow multiple times. “You win, dude. There’s no way I can beat you. You’re the master.”

Yanking on his collar with his thumbs and index fingers he said, “True. I am the best at this game but it’s not truly finished until all participants participate. Now, off you go. Get.” His hands pushed me off my stool forcing me forward.

I’d been friends with Alex for years. He would never give up until I at least tried. “Fine, but I don’t know who to pick.”

Alex shouted, “Ha, yeah right. The guy you’re making googly eyes with. Now scoot.” One more push and I was on my way. No fooling him.

The rules were pretty simple. Contact could mean anything. Even just a polite, hello. I could say hi to someone. It wouldn’t be the showstopper Alex embarked on. That was okay. One quick greeting then we could leave.

My heart drummed a steady beat as I approached my Who Would You target. I could see the back of him now. His hair wasn’t unkempt so much as a few weeks past needing a cut. Which made it just the perfect length for me to run my fingers through. Peeking down at my ring I noticed it was still red. So odd.

That thought jarred me out of my daydream. I needed to stay focused. Get this done then get home. Wiping my clammy palms on the sides of my dress, I inhaled a deep breath. A few more seconds and this would be over.

My pace slowed now that I was directly behind him. Lollygagging there for a bit I waited in the hope that he’d turn around, halting any further need for me to grab his attention.

Watching the curve of his neck move as he tossed back the amber remnants in his glass caused my skin to heat. Something in me wanted to reach out and stroke the skin there. I bet it was hot—maybe even a bit sweaty.

If I touched my lips—just so—I wondered if—

Just then someone bumped up behind me with so much force I couldn’t help but be propelled into the very neck I had been daydreaming about. “Oooff, I’m sorry,” I said, genuinely shocked to now be pressed up fully to my target’s back.

His skin felt almost scalding through his shirt into my clumsy body. The heat from his back sizzled against my breasts causing my nipples to harden at the contact.

“I’m honored,” he said, twisting around placing his hands on my waist. “Thought for a minute I was wrong. But I’m never wrong.” That smirk emerged again holding my attention as well as my breath hostage.

I felt almost dizzy being so close to him. My stomach clenched, filling with butterflies. “You’re honored for what exactly?” I asked, squinting at him, not comprehending his meaning.

His smile grew. “You and your friend,” he said, nodding in Alex’s direction. “You’re playing, Who Would You. Correct?”

My stomach dropped. How did he— “I’ve played it many times before. Hell, I practically invented that game,” he chuckled, his fingers tightening into my skin.

A blush rose on my cheeks, my legs desperately wanting to give out. “Umm,” was all I could say.

“You are the cutest thing I’ve seen in a very long time.” His eyes raked me from head to toe, spending a bit more time on my cleavage than he should. “By the way, I’m Jake. And you are?” he asked, sticking his hand into mine. His large, warm grasp engulfed my tiny one.

“Umm—Mindy,” I replied, not wanting to give him my real name for some reason. Like if I did, maybe it would make this—real. And it couldn’t be real.

“Can I tell you a secret?” he asked, lowering his voice a bit, pulling me closer to whisper in my ear, creating waves of goosebumps. “I already picked you out as my, Who Would You.”
 
 
Jessa lives in a very non-descript, unassuming town filled with the best kind of people. Most days, she can be found in the stands of various soccer fields, cheering her on Youngest, or discussing books with her Oldest (who is an English Honors student).
At night, if she’s not up burning the midnight oil, Jessa enjoys snuggling up to her hubby and watching his latest pick for a cheesy romance movie. He always chooses the best ones. (after he cooks supper, of course).
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Submit

New Release/Excerpt

Title: Roque
Series: Salvatore Syndicate Book 1
Author: Jax Hart
Genre: Dark Mafia Romance
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Cover Design: Mayhem Cover Creations

Once upon a time…I held her life in my hands. Felt her heart beat like the wings of a hummingbird; fast and light. I’m not the prince riding on a white horse. I’m the villain wearing black Armani.
 
Our destiny was always dark even from the very beginning.
Two twisted souls, brought into the world with the stain of sin marking us more than the rest.
We make Romeo and Juliet look like a Disney Film.
Our dark love skates on the edge of insanity.
How far will she go to avenge her family?
How far will I go to bring my twisted Cinderella to her knees?
I’ve done many things.
Bad things.
Evil things.
Necessary things…but one thing I’ve never done is fall in love. Love makes a man weak. Love is an enemy. When she made my black heart bleed I knew I had no choice but to go to war. 
**This is the first in a three book series**
“What kind of game is this?” Tati asks trying to sound confident.
One by one the guys move chairs into a circle. Rafe drops an empty bottle in the middle of the wood floor points to me and says, “spin.”
“Are you kidding me? Frat boys playing spin the bottle? So lame.” But the laugh I try to force out is dry and fake.
The guys pin their hard gazes on me. “You came to our party. Broke our rules,” Johnny crosses his arms looking almost bored as he states our punishment. “Now you must pay to play.”
“This is so stupid…juvenile….,” I mutter. Huffily, I try to ignore the seat on my palms as I reach out and flick my middle finger up before hitting the bottle in protest. Everyone watches it spin and spin, rolling across the floor like a car spinning on black ice… out of control and careening as gravity forces its course of direction.
Fate is cruel and twisted. Just as it always was meant to be for us. The bottle finally halts its momentum and of course can only point in one direction.
His eyes gleam in the dim light. Giving away the truth he tried to hide earlier. He wanted it to be him. He was affected by my mask. Carefully, we assess each other, mentally sizing one another up in this new game of play.
“Ten minutes.” Johnny announces, taking a long, old-fashioned key out of his pocket. Obviously one that fits into the keyhole lock on the solid wood door that I was curious about from the minute I stepped inside.
“Ten? Can he even last that long?”  My wit draws quick howls of laughter. But my bravado is all faked. Roque straighten and points to the arched wooden door on the opposite side of the room. “Get in and wait for me.”
I lift my chin. “I wait for no man. You get in and wait for me.”
Tension runs thick and hot between us. I feel it just as strong as I did that day in the woods a lifetime ago and yet it rushes back as if the two of us never left that moment.
His lips thin, his jaw clenches and his eyes promise payback. His left cheek tics and he stares me down. Wordlessly, he strides through the circle yanking me into his arms. My chin tips despite every effort not to gaze into the handsome face of that man I loathe. His breath is light but full of mint with a hint of the gin and tonic he had put down after walking in. “You shouldn’t have come into the lion’s den, high school sweetheart.” His fingers circle my wrists.
I want to fight. Take out the blade in my back pocket and feel it slide between his ribs, cutting him deep. So deep the pain will never go away.
But I can’t.
Not yet.
The pain I want him to feel won’t be quick. I want my slow burning vengeance to come on slow and build until this man begs for mercy that I’ll never give.
I lower my head and play submissive. Desperate to hide the fury simmering under the surface. It’s a good thing the closet will be dark because I know my eyes would give me away.
“Good girl,” he mutters huskily as he leads me toward the door of doom.
“Tame her!”
“Make sure she has something left for me! I want a taste!” My cheeks heat at the hoots and crude remarks flying at us from all directions.
Does he really think I’m going to fuck him? In a closet? I heard these parties could get crazy, but I never really thought I’d ever get myself into a situation like this.
He opens the door. Up close, my hands trail over the thick wood, grabbing it as if I can stop the inevitable. The heavy oak is at least five inches thick. It swings shut behind me. The heavy key is inserted into the lock, the sound of it clicking seals my fate.
Jax Hart: Singer, a songwriter, living creatively through art. Dirty Romance author from the great state of Washington. Duke is his first full-length novel. He generally hates most people, plays the bass guitar, and enjoys camping trips with his son. 

 

Connect with him online.
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New Release/ Giveaway/Excerpt

Title: After All
Series: Cape Harbor
Author: Heidi McLaughlin
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 24, 2020
From New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin comes a heartfelt story about overcoming great loss and forgiving past sins to find happiness again.
 
Brooklyn Hewett hasn’t stepped foot in Cape Harbor for fifteen years—not since an accident claimed the love of her life, Austin Woods. Desperate to move forward, Brooklyn has focused on raising her daughter for the past fourteen years. But when the opportunity comes along to renovate, and possibly buy, the old Driftwood Inn, Brooklyn knows it’s time to go home.
 
But it won’t be easy. For one, Austin’s best friend, Bowie Holmes, still lives in Cape Harbor. Brooklyn hasn’t quite been able to forget him: not since the night they spent together—the same night they both lost Austin. Separated by tragedy and guilt, they’re brought together by the Driftwood project. And as they rebuild the inn, they discover they’re also rebuilding something else.
 
Brooklyn’s always been desperate to move on, not knowing that she first needs to reconcile past transgressions. She can’t forget, but she can forgive—Austin, Bowie, and herself—on her way toward long-awaited happiness.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Instead of heading straight to the Driftwood Inn, Brooklyn detoured and drove down Third Street. This was the only town she had ever lived in or visited that hadn’t had a Main Street. It was such a random thing she picked up on when she and her parents moved here years ago. She never understood why until she learned that when the town incorporated, the people counted the streets up from the harbor, numbering instead of naming, with First Street being the closest to the water.
Curiosity filled her. For years she had not asked questions about her favorite spots, mostly to avoid the feeling of being homesick, but also so she could forget. The less she knew, the better. The less she longed to return, the easier it would be to create a new life. That was what she needed to do: start over, put the past behind her, and move on.
At the red light, she closed her eyes. It only took her seconds to tell Carly she would come back, even though, deep down, it wasn’t what she wanted to do. Yet, she owed the woman and could never tell her no. Brooklyn was content with the life she was living. She was one of the most sought-after home renovators, with homeowners paying her top dollar to come to them, to transform their visions into their dream homes. Her job afforded her many luxuries, except roots. She didn’t rent a home, let alone own one. Each town became her stomping ground, until the next job came in. She traveled thousands of miles, back and forth across the country, leaving her mark everywhere she went.

 

 

Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.
 
Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband, two daughters, and their three dogs.
 
In 2012, Heidi turned her passion for reading into a full-fledged literary career, writing over twenty novels, including the acclaimed Forever My Girl.
 
When writing isn’t occupying her time, you can find her sitting courtside at either of her daughters’ basketball games.
 
Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe, and opened in theaters on January 19, 2018.

 


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New Release/Excerpt/Giveaway

Title: Pivotal Decisions
Series: Moonlight and Murder
Author: Reily Garrett
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Release Date: March 22, 2020

She carries a gun for a living… 

yet never expected to become a target.
 
Sabine’s early morning hike ends with discovering her friend sitting in a chair by the canal and gazing at the sunrise. Peace and serenity pervade. 
 
Except, he’s dead.
 
To discover the how and why of his murder, she must first survive the shrewd killer intent on removing human collateral and obtaining unique technology that could change the course of mankind.
 
Coyote Waylin hasn’t set foot in the Everglades for six years, not since the night he broke his brother’s jaw and saved their sister’s life. After receiving a desperate call from his sibling, he rushes south to untangle a web of murder and intrigue.
 
Together, Coyote and Sabine sort the snarled web of lies and deceit while struggling to maintain their personal space. Failure to thwart the ingenious killer could result in untraceable mass murders spanning the continents.
 


Prologue
Death, like reality, comes in layers.He was a scientist. Confidence and conviction in facts with distinct slices of possibilities for future endeavors kept him focused and thinking forward.

To delve into the mind and alter the truth as one knew it, everything they touched, heard, saw, and perceived, was his bailiwick. The realm he’d perfected.

Yet at the moment, confusion submersed him in a world he didn’t recognize. Scenes flashed not just before his eyes, but encompassed his entire existence and touched every sense. How could he discern reality from illusion?

He remembered sitting at his desk in his home away from home. Then a noise. A flash of pain in his head. Someone laughed as they threatened him, demanding his precious work. They spoke with ruthless assurance as they penned a note and stuck it to his chest.

Yet he wasn’t dying, nor did he feel the impending doom of a gun to his head.

What he did feel was the briefest flicker of pain flashing through both lower legs before dissolving into thousands of pins-and-needles sensations. Warmth flooded his brain, followed by a tranquilizing calm soothing his anxiety. Wasn’t that his area of expertise?

Muddled and conflicting sensations diminished with the tingling heat spreading throughout his chest and permitted a deep breath. Phantom shadows of panic receded to the periphery of his thoughts, pushed out by increasing perceptions of rightness that shouldn’t exist in his world.

His mind struggled to remember what he’d intended to do. He’d intended to remove his VR goggles to make an adjustment, hadn’t he? Then why did the softness of his mattress beneath his thighs feel so right? He didn’t have a bedroom in his satellite office.

His feet weren’t chilled from the cool tile floor, nor did he recognize the setting from his bedroom window.

He lived in a modest contemporary rancher with his wife, newlyweds of less than a year. Their cozy structure was surrounded by two acres of St. Augustine Grass. The closest neighbor enjoyed a Spanish Revival house with a low-pitched tile roof, half-round arched doors, and windows with adobe brick.

He saw none of it.

Instead, miles of beautiful flowerbeds with blooms that shouldn’t appear in December sprawled over lush hills, another topographical feature absent from southern Florida. Despite conflicting perceptions, he couldn’t muster the energy to tear his gaze away. Inability to turn his head soon lost meaning in the wake of the bouquet of scents wafting through the open window.

He knew the soft, sweet taste of each blossom as if they rested on his tongue, sweet with a tinge of some exotic spice. Bird song encouraged him to linger and ignore unpleasant sensations of forced immobility. There existed no obvious reason to move or feel concern.

A slight breeze ruffled his hair, its warmth another source of soothing calm. He hadn’t been wearing his glasses, yet could see flowers glistening with morning dew in crystal clarity, the fine stamens stark against the velvety texture of each petal. The pad of each fingertip tingled with their softness despite the distance that lay between him and the outdoors.

Every cell of his body felt cocooned in a warm fuzzy blanket.

Nirvana was confirmed as his mind flashed to a different landscape, yet it didn’t appear to be a dream. Everything felt so vivid, so real.

Before him, the soft ocean surf lapped at his feet, the sand warm between his toes and the gentle susurration a colorful melody. Pungent scents of salt and copper filled his nostrils and he briefly held his breath until it passed. Calm, balmy breezes whispered through nearby feathery palms and whisked the unpleasant aromas away.

If he died and was lucky enough to see pearly gates, this was where he wanted to stay. Life’s concerns drifted on a sea of contented bliss.

He briefly closed his eyes in ecstasy. The sudden spray of salt water against his cheek snapped them open to look over the deck of a large ship. The rolling motion forced him to grab the railing to either side of him and clutch tight. Knowledge that there should only be one rail before him didn’t prevent his grasp for dear life.

Something tugged against his legs and belly. He thought to rub it then decided it unnecessary as his spirit drifted above the beauty of roiling seas below him.

A peculiar numbness infiltrated his lower legs, followed by a lightheadedness not overcome by the pleasant tingling at the base of his skull. He rarely felt the bite of cold under his skin in southern Florida.

Perhaps he’d take a nap and let the strange sensations pass.

 

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New Release/Giveaway/99Cents/Excerpt

Title: Curtain Call
Series: A Driven Dance Theater Series #1
Author: Brianna Stark
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Women’s Fiction
Release Date: March 15, 2020

I am just one more dancer on a mission in New York City, sleeping on a studio couch.

 

I’ve spent my last five dollars.
My bag is gone.
There’s no one left to call.
 
Until he gives me a break.
 
He’s the Kent Morgan.
Intimidating.
Famous.
Gorgeous.
 
I call him my director.
My dance partner calls him the God.
And like all gods, he’s terrifying, mysterious, and the greatest thing to ever happen to the art form.
 
I came back to this city to give the performance of my life—before it’s too late.
Kent Morgan is my best shot.
But the world is turning against us.
And when the God sets his sights on me, I don’t know how to resist.
 
Turns out the performance of my life might just happen behind the curtain.

I am not sure where to start because I would like to shake the words out of him and his whole mysterious persona. That or absorb him whole.
“So what did you want to talk about?” I ask, but all he does is look at me like he wants to avoid telling me what he wanted in the first place. Not that it matters anymore. He’s in my bedroom, and it seems we are both adjusting to that. After a moment, I become self-conscious about how I look, and I shift around trying to create that perfect pose. It’s an old habit—when I realize what I am doing, I place my hands in my lap and look down at my twiddling thumbs.
He lets out a breath and adjusts himself to face me. I have no idea what to say. I sense his hesitation as the tops of our heads sink closer together until they are almost touching. His cheek moves in next to my cheek. We pause, and I close my eyes. His breath is warm, while mine is tight, and we slowly exhale. We release a little more, and his rough jaw grazes mine, then his smooth nose and lashes. I imagine this is how blind people see each other. We get lost in the touching, maybe because we don’t have the words, as we respond to each other’s signals. Before I know it, we are lying on the bed. He looks unsure about this development, but it’s happening so naturally.
Then, finally, he brushes his lips against mine and we gradually open and join inside, and he is seeing me through his lips and touching every detail of my soul. I feel so utterly visible as his fingers trace the outside of my sweater. It doesn’t take much longer for the kiss to become heavy, desperate, as though we are trying to consume one another and can’t get enough. Ever.
Kent pulls back. He rubs his hands quickly over his face and looks at me. “Is this a good idea?” His gaze pleads with mine.
“What? Sleeping together?” I’m dozy. Weak.
The muscle in his jaw clenches.
He stands up from the end of my bed and starts pacing in my tiny room, his hand scrubbing that worn spot on his neck. “I don’t know what my problem is,” he smirks. “This isn’t something I do.”
I reach for him and rest my hands flat on his hard, warm chest. “It’s okay,” I whisper, and he looks at me in a way that is disapproving, or maybe questioning. “Maybe you put too much pressure on yourself. We are human.” I’m not sure if I know what I am talking about, but it seems like something he needs to hear.
But my fingers have a mind of their own as they travel the cool cotton draped over his shoulders and curl over the collar of his shirt. I study his sharp eyes where his focus slices into me.
He inhales through his nose, my fingers tremble as they pull him closer by the collar, and our noses brush as our eyelids graze together.
“If I sleep with you…” His voice is coarse breath.
If you sleep with me…

 

The rest is said in our eyes as our focus falls away and our heads drop. We both fall onto our backs with a heavy sigh. 

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Brianna Stark writes romance with an edge. She spends her summers with her BF in a log cabin in the Pacific Northwest, where she is happiest writing. In her spare time she practices yoga, craves coffee more than she would like, and goes for walks with her three-pound Pomchi, who stops to kiss everyone. She is the author of the Driven Dance Theater series.

 

 
LIGHTS UP is available now. CURTAIN CALL is coming soon!
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