Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Blitz with Giveaway: Monsters Among Us (Monsters Among Us #3) by Amanda Strong


Book info:
Title:  Monsters Among Us
Author:  Amanda Strong
Series:  Monsters Among Us #3
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: June 26th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
What if the fate of the world lies with the monster—not the hero?
The world is shifting, and Sammy has complete control. But as hidden truths surface, she starts to doubt everyone who is close to her. The Ancients and Kory have been harboring dark secrets, and it could mean war between the Dragon Fae and the Irukas. With the Defenders as her devoted soldiers, Sam must make some difficult decisions. Should she save the world… or save herself?
Blake won’t give up on Sam. He knows he can’t trust Tonbo anymore, or the web of lies he’s been thrown into. If he hopes to save Sam, he must find the real reason Kory created the bug army. Turns out there could be something far worse than bloodthirsty bugs buriedon the islands, and Blake will have to fight his own inner demons if he wants to save those he loves—including Sam.
In a world filled with mistrust and lies, Blake and Sam must unearth the truth and face their own fears and weaknesses. If they don’t, their lives—and the fate of all humanity—will hang in the balance.

The complete series:

EXCERPT:

Rounding a corner, I flew right into a pair of bright aqua eyes. I knew those eyes, and the recognition felt like a slap to my face. I halted, not just to avoid collision but because of absolute shock.
Impossible. How’s he here?
“Blake,” Mack gasped.
I remained stunned, still hovering inches from his face. Where were all the Defenders? How did he just waltz in? Why wasn’t he bound? I couldn’t process what I was seeing.
Trying to recompose myself in those milliseconds we both remained in a locked gaze, it dawned on me that Jaxon had not rushed his brother. I only heard heavy breathing behind me, and I wanted desperately to turn around to see what Jaxon was doing. Was he preparing for an attack, or was he awaiting my command?
Yet, I couldn’t peel my eyes away from Blake. Those aqua pools pulled me closer, beckoned me nearer even though our faces were mere inches apart. Frustrated, I commanded myself to move. Show some strength. Straighten your back, for heaven’s sake. I’m like a freaking hunchback, practically bowing to him. What’s wrong with me? Back up… now.
I didn’t move. I couldn’t. It was like my bedroom all over again, when I’d found myself moving toward him, longing to be near him against my will. Only this time, it was worse. He was too close, the magnetic pull reinforced by his nearness. I felt helpless against it, which panicked me more.
He didn’t say anything, his eyes raking my face, searching for Sam. But I’m not Sam, I wanted to shout, though I didn’t. I just kept on gazing into his eyes like a dunce.
You’ve got to be joking, Sam. I heard and felt nothing. I know you’re here. You must be, because I’m freaking stuck in place.
Again, there was nothing to betray her presence until I did the unthinkable. I closed the gap and kissed Blake.
I kissed him like my life depended on it, like I couldn’t get enough of his mouth, like he was the only person in the room, never mind the others’ audible gasps. I wrapped my hands around the back of his neck, pulling him to me. Blake seemed just as shocked as I was by my actions. He stiffened at my touch, groaned under my lips, and then, before I could feel remorse, pulled back from me as fast as I’d come at him, untangling himself from my embrace.
There were those eyes again, probing my face, questions forming but not spoken.



Author Bio:
Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia, and now New Mexico home. She has loved to spin tales since childhood. It was not uncommon to find her hiding in some random corner, scribbling away in her spiral-bound notebook, with her bright pink glasses. You could say some things have not changed.
Amanda signed with Clean Teen Publishing in the fall of 2013. She is the author of two paranormal, YA series: The Watchers of Men and Monsters Among Us.
The first novel in The Watchers of Men series, The Awakener, debuted in October of 2013. It has been an Amazon number one best seller in three Young Adult categories. Book two, The Holy and The Fallen, released May 12th of 2015. She is currently working on book three, The Watcher’s Mark, releasing spring of 2016.
Hidden Monster released November 4th of 2014, and it finished as a Finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book Award: Young Adult Category. It is book one of a brand-new young adult, sci-fi thriller series called Monsters Among Us.
When Amanda isn't writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions, you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream. See more at:
www.authoramandastrong.com

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Cover Reveal: A Soldier's Song by Irene Onorato


A SOLDIER'S SONG
by Irene Onorato
Genre: Inspirational Romance
Pub. Date: 2/13/2018



Can love conquer all? . . .

All Special Forces sergeant Jason Dexter ever wanted was to serve his country—with his father’s blessing. Although the elder Dexter has yet to make his peace with his son’s decision, Jason has no regrets. Still, he has mixed feelings about returning to his upstate New York town. But his perspective changes at a friend’s wedding, where he meets a lovely, gifted musician. Now Jason has a new mission: to get to know Aria Greco better.

The daughter of Jason’s commanding officer, Aria dreams of becoming a concert pianist. Meeting the handsome soldier transforms both their lives. But Aria’s ambition, Jason’s unresolved family conflicts, and jealousy over rivals on both sides soon threatens their blossoming relationship. As Jason prepares for a dangerous deployment, will the mounting tensions tear them apart, or is their love—and the faith they share—powerful enough to heal the past and embrace the future?



Irene Onorato was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Her father, a first-generation American whose parents were born in Italy, was an Army veteran who had served with the 178th combat engineers during WWII. He told numerous stories of battles, hardships, tragedies and triumphs. The glimpses he gave into the hearts of many American warriors would later become the inspiration for much of Irene’s writings.

In 1972, a few months after graduating high school, Irene met James Onorato, a soldier who had just returned from Vietnam. After dating two weeks, they married, raised three children, and are still happily married today.

Irene and James, both radiation protection technicians, retired from the nuclear power industry in 2014 and now reside in Louisiana. Readers can visit Irene’s website at ireneonorato.com, and find her on Facebook.






Sunday, June 25, 2017

Book Blitz with Giveaway: Something Beautiful by Amanda Gernentz Hanson


Book info:
Title:  Something Beautiful
Author:  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.


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.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Book Tour with Review and Giveaway: Chasing Love (Littleton Brothers #2) by Melissa West



CHASING LOVE
by Melissa West
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Pub Date: 5/30/17


Farming family land on sunny Crestler’s Key, the sweet, sexy Littleton brothers are notorious bachelors. But all that will change when the right woman comes along…

There aren’t many things Charlie Littleton values more than his lifelong friendship with his buddy Lucas, currently home from a tour in Iraq. But when he discovers that Lucas’s younger sister, Lila, is back to assist the town’s overburdened veterinarian, Charlie is torn. She’s no longer the skinny, awkward kid he remembers, but a gorgeous woman—one Lucas would never approve of him dating. When Lucas asks him to watch out for Lila when he’s called to duty again, Charlie can’t say no—but he can’t pretend it’s easy to ignore his feelings either.

As a teen, Lila crushed on Charlie—hard—and the man he’s grown up to be is even more wonderful than she dreamed. Relationships are a tricky business, though, and too much history is at stake to risk one now. But every moment they’re together is heated by their simmering attraction—and one day an impulsive kiss leads to much more. What’s tangled in a matter of loyalty soon becomes a question of the kind of love worth chasing…


My rating:  3.5 stars

This was a very sweet read.  It had a lot of different things going on in the story, and sometimes that had me turning back a few pages to see what was going on, but nothing that took me way too much out of the story.  The whole thing with Charlie going back and forth within like seconds about whether he was going to flirt with Lila or not got to be a bit annoying as well. But you had the usual fun friends, as well as the ones that just knew the two should be together and would be together.  The connection between Charlie and Lila was definitely there, and maybe I need to go back and read the book before this to quite understand why Lila's brother Lucas was so against the two of them at the beginning.  And I loved the vet and animal parts of the story as well. 

Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA, with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.


Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!






Audiobook Blog Tour with Author Interview and Giveaway: Solitude by Dean M. Cole

Author: Dean M. Cole

Narrators: R.C. Bray, Julia Whelan

Length: 8h 50m

Publisher: CANDTOR Press

Genre: Sci-Fi

Release date: April 3, 2017

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Synopsis:
Earth's last man discovers that the last woman is stranded alone aboard the International Space Station. If you like action-packed novels, you'll love the electrifying action in this apocalyptic thriller. Can humanity's last two unite? Separated by the gulf of space, the last man and woman of the human race struggle against astronomical odds to survive and unite. Army Aviator Vaughn Singleton is a highly intelligent, lazy man. After a last-ditch effort to reignite his failing military career ends horribly, Vaughn becomes the only human left on Earth. Stranded alone on the International Space Station, Commander Angela Brown watches an odd wave of light sweep across the planet. Over the next weeks and then months, Angela struggles to contact someone on the surface, but as she fights to survive aboard a deteriorating space station, the commander glimpses the dark underpinnings of humanity's demise. After months alone, Vaughn discovers there is another. Racing against time, he must cross a land ravaged by the consequences of humankind's sudden departure. Can Vaughn find a path to space and back? Can Angela - the only person with clues to the mystery behind humanity's disappearance - survive until he does?
Buy on AudibleAmazon
 
 

Buy on Audible/AmazoniTunes

 Click on the image below to hear an excerpt:

https://soundcloud.com/dean-m-cole/solitude-sample-chapter-7/s-Nz8py


Author Interview:

1.  What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start?  Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)?  If you plan it out, how do you do that?  Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
  • I’ve written books as a pantser and as a plotter. Lately, I am plotting my work. I tend to fall down fewer rabbit holes when I’ve outlined the entire plot. However, this is not a rigid process. The outline is a living document that helps me stay focused, but if I run into a snag or unforeseen problem as the story develops, it’s easy enough to go back and edit the outline.
2.  How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
  • I come up with a “what if” idea and then try to see where it goes. For instance, with Solitude, I asked myself, “What if I woke up tomorrow to discover every living being on the planet had disappeared? Once I came to terms with the loss—if that’s possible—what would I do? With all of the tools and toys of humanity left lying around, what trouble could I get into?”
3.  How long have you been writing?
  • I began toying with writing while I was in the Army. During Desert Shield and Desert Storm, I would send handwritten snail mail to my family members back in the States. After the war, I returned home and was amazed to hear my family members raving about the narrative of my writing. Up to that point, I had never considered myself as having that skill set. I had been an avid reader my entire life, so I decided that, if I could be an Apache attack helicopter pilot, surely I could write a book. I mean, how hard could it be? Well, after 20 years of toiling—and not finishing anything—I realized it was extremely hard. However, I kept working at it and finally finished one. It wasn’t very good, but it was the best writing lesson of my life.
4.  What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
  • When working on your final draft, before moving on to the next scene, have your computer read the text out loud. It will highlight clunky sentences and expose repeated head words, and unlike your lying eyes, it won’t supply missing words or overlook duplicated ones.
  • Use a developmental editor. They are expensive but worth it. The lessons you learn will give you a great start and improve your writing.
  • Spend the money for a proofreader and a professional cover.
5.  Some favorites:
Books/authors/genres
  • The Expeditionary Force series by Craig Alanson
  • Wool by Hugh Howey
  • Hell Divers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Movies/TV Shows
  • Mr. Robot
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Stranger Things
  • Rogue One
Music
  • Metallica
  • Willie Nelson
  • Waylon Jennings
  • Static X
Food/Writing snack
  • Beer… Because beer!
Social Media Site
 

About the author:
Author, world traveler, and combat pilot turned commercial helicopter pilot Dean M. Cole writes from locales as remote as Equatorial Guinea and as romantic as Paris's Champs-Elysées with his trusty sidekick and beautiful wife, Donna. A combat veteran, he flew Apache Attack Helicopters in the US Army's First Cavalry Division. License to kill revoked by the government, he traded in his attack helicopter for one of the transport ilk. When not weaving tales of alien apocalypse and redemption, he spends his days flying terrestrial aliens in IFOs (Identified Flying Objects) known as helicopters. No longer authorized to dispatch aliens he settles for dropping them off at oil rigs around the globe. On the six months of time off his paying job affords, author, biker, and fellow Sci-Fi geek Dean M. Cole travels with his wife, builds airplanes and custom choppers, and writes his next tale of the apocalypse.
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About the Narrators:
From an early age Audie, Earphones, and SOVAS Voice Arts Award-winning audiobook narrator R.C. Bray despised reading. Truly hated it with a passion. And audiobooks? Even worse. Those were for people too lazy to read (not to be confused with those like himself who didn’t want to read to begin with). R.C. eventually got older and wiser (he was always good-looking) and eschewing his capricious convictions fell head-over-heels with reading. Not just to learn words like “eschew” and “capricious” so he could use them in a bio line, but because someone was actually going to give him money to do it. Note: R.C.’s gorgeous wife and three beautiful children begged him not to make this his official bio. Clearly he misunderstood
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Julia Whelan is an actor, writer, and audiobook narrator. She is perhaps most well known for her acting work on ABC’s Once and Again and her award-winning narration of over 200 audiobooks (including Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl). Her debut novel is forthcoming. After a healthy career as a child actor, Whelan attended Middlebury College and Oxford University, graduating with a degree in English and Creative Writing.
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Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card

2 Winners⎮Runs June 14th-July 5th⎮Open internationally



Blog Tour:
  Jun. 14th: Spunky-n-Sassy  
Jun. 15th: Avid Book Collector  
Jun. 16th: Brian's Book Blog  
Jun. 17th: CGB Blog Tours  
Jun. 19th: The Bookworm Lodge  
Jun. 20th: Read Day and Night  
Jun. 21st: Shh I Am Reading  
 Jun. 23rd: Book Reviews By Jasmine  
Jun. 24th: Lisa Loves Literature  
Jun. 25th: Buried Under Books  
Jun. 26th: Lomeraniel  
Jun. 27th: Lilly's Book World  
Jun. 29th: Joshua Gayou  
Jun. 30th: Book Lover's Life  
Jul. 3rd: Ronelle Antoinette  
Jul. 4th: Dab of Darkness

  
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Friday, June 23, 2017

Blog Tour: Tycoon by Katy Evans

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Tycoon by Katy Evans 

Publication Date: June 20th, 2017 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tycoon, an all-new standalone from Katy Evans is available now!!!


He wasn’t always this rich. This hot. This difficult.
Aaric Christos was a guy who protected me. Wanted me. Maybe even loved me.
That man is gone.
In his place is the most powerful real estate tycoon in the city.
He’s a cold, ruthless, aggressive businessman.
The only one who can save me and my startup from ruin.
It takes every ounce of courage to put my pride aside and ask for his help.
I didn’t expect him to offer it easily.
And he doesn’t.
Instead, he vets me harder than he’s vetted anyone.
Don’t invest in what you don’t know, he says.
He's assessing every piece of me, to the point I've never felt so bare.
I yearn for the boy I once knew, whose touch once craved me.
Putting it all on the line will be worth it, I tell myself.
Until I realize—too late—that some risks are not worth taking.

Excerpt:

I hop off the train and walk several walks to his building.

It’s a brownstone in Park Avenue, one of the most elite of the elite spaces in town.

My lungs feel a little bit overworked from awe as I head up the steps to the double doors, grateful that I came dressed to kill in a little black dress, a jacket, and pumps. Simple, but effective.

See, I may be feeling a little awkward, but at least I don’t look it. I’m greeted by his maid. She’s dressed in black and white, her hair drawn back in a neat bun, her expression stoic and formal as she leads me down the hall to a gorgeous study. I catch my breath when I notice all the books and shelves.

It’s like a reader’s paradise in here. There’s a sleek chrome bar, a modern mahogany glass-topped desk, and two huge whiskey-colored leather chairs that almost swallow me up when I’m instructed to wait in one.

I drum my fingers, inhaling the scent of leather and wine, remembering a guy I knew with his mechanic navy-blue uniform, black streaks on his jaw, his big nose always the first thing you’d see, which was a pity because he had beautiful eyes and a really sinful pair of lips. He’s living in luxury now. Wow. Good for him.

I hear footsteps approaching and the little hair on my arms prick at attention. My head turns as a tall, dark figure steps into the room, and the most intimidating guy I’ve ever seen enters and crosses the room toward the desk. He walks like he’s the shit…his strides proud and composed, elegant and powerful.  

Christos, I hear myself breathe in surprise.

He’s so tall now…six three, at least. Dirty-blonde hair, gold-green eyes, chiseled jaw, and a gorgeous profile.

All in black, he looks very much a New Yorker.

He’s wearing a black jacket, black pants, and a black turtleneck beneath the jacket... I stare at him, my jaw hanging a little bit open. The man is….all man. Testosterone. Muscles. Height. Width. My chest hurts all of a sudden because I realize… The boy you knew is gone.

I force myself to stand. “Thank you for seeing me.”

He heads to the bar to pour two drinks, then he prowls over, takes the whiskey leather chair across from mine and leans forward, pushing a glass of cognac with one finger across a small table, toward me.

And he waits.

In silence.

But my stomach dips as if he’d said something ultra-sexy and decadent.

“You might not remember me, I’m sorry to be reaching out like this,” I say, nervous.

“What do you want?”

There’s a pleasant shiver as he speaks. Recognition of his voice, even though it’s far deeper than I remember.

“I was told you sometimes invest in startups.”

“I’d say more than sometimes.” He raises his eyebrows as if I should’ve done my homework better.

Ugh, Bryn! Focus! Be SMART! Make yourself and your business irresistible! A silence settles as he eyes me, slowly setting his drink down as he leans forward and finally, unexpectedly, smiles. At me.

It’s just a smile.

But the world tilts under its impact.

“Hello, little bit.” Amusement touches his gaze as he tilts his head and watches me. “You know, I’d think you’d have grown up the ten-plus years since I last saw you. At least an inch.” He leans back in his seat, seemingly displeased. Wow, this guy is not the lanky kid I knew once. This guy oozes danger.

Every ounce of “boy” is gone. Oh God. For a moment I wish that we could go back in time and I could discuss my startup with the guy I knew before.

But time travel is not really my talent, and it seems like I have yet to see if I even have any special talents at all—depending on what this guy thinks.

“I grew two in width,” I shock myself saying.

He laughs then, his eyes drinking me in openly.

“Shame on you, you’re not trying to see if it’s true?” I ask him, frowning now.

He shrugs casually, his lips curved at the corners. “I can’t help it. Something has to have changed.”

“Why?”

“Because nothing good ever lasts. Even you, little bit.” A smile touches those unforgettable gold-green eyes.

A shiver runs through me. Because…

Christos recognized me.

“I can tell you’re as incorrigible as ever.” I shake my head, but I’m smiling, truly just relieved that he recognized me.

“I try to be,” he purrs dangerously.

I’m feeling warm all of a sudden. I can’t believe I’m staring at him so much, but it’s like I cannot take my eyes away. He looks achingly familiar, but at the same time, so different I cannot help but stare and track the differences in his features. The way his jaw squared out even more, the way his body filled out with hard, lean muscles that shift and ripple beneath his expensive designer clothes. I cannot believe that this is a guy I knew once.

He seems to silently be taking in my changes too, his keen stare allowing me to see that he seems to approve of it all. Even the dress I’m wearing. “You changed enough for the both of us,” I blurt.

“Really. How so?” he asks.

“You grew into your nose.”

“Really?” He chuckles as if despite himself.

“Width and height too. Quite a bit,” I add.

“Anything else,” he prods, one eyebrow rising.

“You learned how to dress.”

He looks down at his black suit. “This old thing?” He grins, then shifts forward, sobering up. “What can I do for you, Bryn? Considering I’m rather surprised to see you here, I’m eager for you to satiate my curiosity.” His stare becomes keen.

“So am I. I didn’t expect to be here,” I admit, and for a moment when I look into his eyes, all I see is someone I’ve seen before. Someone who belonged in my life long ago. “You know when you had that misplaced crush on me and told me one day I’d know what it felt like to throw pebbles at someone’s window wanting them to open? I’m sort of throwing rocks here.”

“Not to sing me a love song,” he says flatly, his eyes shuttering.

“No. Well, you know that was never....I mean...” Don’t bring up your rejection of him, Bryn! “It’s for something better. Business.”

 “Go on.”

“I knew that’d get you.” I smile privately. “So it’s true your love is money now.”

“She gives back what I put in. Though her ass isn’t as juicy as I like,” he says nonchalantly.

“Wow. No matter how polished you look, your mouth is still as crude as ever.”

“Thank you,” he purrs, his eyes grinning at me.

I laugh. Then I sober up and realize he’s waiting for me to speak. “I’m looking for money for my startup,” I say.

“How much.”

“One hundred thousand.”

“I don’t invest less than a million.” He twirls his whiskey in his glass, eyeing the liquid.

“Well then, I’ll ask for a million.”

He raises his brows, setting his glass down. “It’s not how much you want to ask for, it’s how much the company’s worth.” Eyebrows up, he skewers me with a cold, intimidating look.

“It’ll be worth more than a million, trust me,” I bluff.

“Good for you. Except…” he leans back with a rustle of clothes, every athletic inch of his black-clad body flowing sinuously like a feline with the move, “considering that has yet to happen and I’ll need to trust you on that, my trust needs to be earned.”

This version of Christos is even more intimidating than the old one, unfortunately. I try to hide it, keeping my voice as level as possible. “How does one earn your trust?”

“I’d tell you if I were interested, but I’m not exactly sure that I am.” He eyes me as if debating in silence.

This guy is the only guy in the world that unnerves me in this way, and I can’t seem to slow the fast pounding of my heart in my chest as I try to remember what I came here to say.

“I have a full presentation for you. I’m not taking no for an answer.” I reach into my briefcase.

“Darling. Are you ready?”

I start at the female voice and glance at a gorgeous woman striding into the study. Christos continues looking at me as he stands and reaches for the cell phone the woman extends out.

“We’re done here,” he answers her as he pockets the phone, his gaze remaining on me.

“I’ll wait for you in the car.” She leans up and kisses his jaw, her hands proprietary on his chest, then sends me a woman-to-woman claiming look, before she swishes away, all glittering jewels and lean body.

There’s a silence as he approaches, and for a second all I can hear is the sound of a toilet flushing, taking my only opportunity with a possible investor away.

“I’ll think about it,” he says.

“Christos.”

“I said I’ll think about it,” he says from the door.

“Please do,” I say as he exits the room. I cup the sides of my mouth, “I’ll be back tomorrow. Same time?” I say jokingly.

I’m surprised when I hear footsteps returning. He pauses when our eyes meet. “I’ll make contact,” he says, raising his eyebrows meaningfully, “If I’m interested in hearing more.” He nods. “Nice to see you, Bryn.”

“Nice to see you. Christos.”

Well, that went sort of awful. Tycoon-ANLOGOS

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About the Author:

Katy Evans is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her debut REAL shot to the top of the bestselling lists in 2013 and since then 9 of her titles have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages across the world.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Release Blitz with Giveaway: Love Wasted by Shirl Rickman


Title: Love Wasted
Author: Shirl Rickman
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: June 22, 2017

 
 

She loves him. She loves him not. 
When Cassandra Porter was seven years old, she fell in love with her next door neighbor and her best friends brother. Cass loved that boy every single day…until he broke her heart and all that remained were the pieces.
Ten years and what feels like a lifetime apart, that boy—now a grown and sexy, warm blooded man—is thrust back into her life. He might make her temper flair and blood boil, but a few unresolved feelings are no match for the way her heart races when he is near…

She drives him the good kind of crazy. 
Paxton Luke led his life with one thing on his mind: success. Friends and family come first, with no room for emotional attachments—not even with the neighbor girl, who's turned into a complete knockout. His sister's best friend. Emotions only lead to love, and love was trouble.
They’re determined to fight this undeniable attraction to the bitter end. It’s too damn bad their hearts are about to get love drunk-- wasted on love.
 
Several questions are swirling through my mind at this hour of the night. For example, when I try to stand, is this little paper toilet seat cover going to stick to my ass? Are my feet numb from the champagne or the magenta stilettoes I'm wearing? Or why am I sitting in the bathroom stall of a bar, staring at the sticky, alcohol laden floor? Not to mention the most important question of the night, one I will never admit out loud, why I can't get the picture of the brunette, hanging on Paxton all night, plunging to her death from a cliff out of my head? Oh, hell. I need to stop. There's only one person who can distract me from my dumb, girl emotions. Laney. Taking my phone from my clutch, I tap Laney's name under my favorites. When it begins to ring, I stand up, wobbling a little while shimmying my panties up my legs and pulling the bottom of my gold mini dress back down from around my waist. A giggle slips past my lips when I think of the hot mess I am tonight. As Laney's voicemail echoes in my ear, I fall against the wall of the bathroom stall. "Dammit, Laney! I really wish you would've answered,' I hollered into the phone unnecessarily. The sounds of feminine chatter drifting from two stalls down from girls making one last dash to the ladies room before the countdown. I lower my voice, "Happy New Year. God, I wish you were here." I sigh. "You'd tell me like it is...you'd stop me from doing something stupid. But, you're not here, and when I do that stupid thing, I'm going to blame you. Just a friendly warning." Pausing, I stare at the writing on the side of the stall and admire the use of the words love and forever written in twirly letters full of hope. I'm sure the voicemail is going to shut off any moment, so I say my goodbye. "Anyway, I love you, Laney...like whoa and don't you forget it." Ending the call, I glance at the time before opening my clutch and dropping it in. I have five minutes until midnight. Pushing the door open, I wobble my way out, slowly making it over to the sink. I wash my hands, drying them before I freshen up with a touch of hot pink gloss and a fluff of my hair. One final look and I approve.
Shirl Rickman is a writer, a dreamer, and an optimist. A small town Texas girl currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Shirl adores her husband, daughter, and two crazy dogs. When she's not dreaming up new love stories, Shirl can be found reading, drinking her favorite coffee, Kona Blend with coconut milk. She loves kindness, laughing and meeting her readers. 

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