Tuesday, August 22, 2017

PTSD is a thing!


PTSD is a thing! With a few of the novellas in the Directions of the Heart collection, that became abundantly clear. As Jack, the hero in ‘A Touch of Dawn’ says, “Pretending that it didn’t happen just puts a Band-Aid on the real issue. PTSD [is] not just for soldiers, Caitlyn.”

So, yeah, it’s very real and very scary for the two trauma survivors in the story. But, I promise their journey is one you’ll never forget…

EXCERPT
“If it helps, I’d have an officer placed outside the door for security. But please believe me…you’re not in any danger now. Still, I promise we won’t take any chances with your safety.”
She shuddered. One thing she knew instinctively was she shouldn’t be left to her own devices. After what she’d been through, her grip on herself was tenuous. She had struggled to stay sane in the cellar. But if she had the opportunity, she might try to kill herself. Part of her wanted the release from life. Another portion was terrified of death. It was a bit odd, considering what she just went through. “I should probably go home.”
Home. Wasn’t that a strange word?
He nodded. “Okay. Sounds like a plan. I already called your mother after we found you. She’s expecting you. She would’ve gone to the hospital, of course, but I told her you should be treated before you had visitors.”
Her stomach clenched a little. So her mother knew she was coming. What would the woman expect from her? How could Caitlyn live a normal life?
She glanced over at Jack. He had an olive tone to his skin, with dark brown hair and pleasant blue eyes. His face was a bit scruffy as if he hadn’t shaved in a couple days. Somehow, he was more attractive for it. Mysterious.
Did it matter what the man looked like, though? She had too many issues to worry about her reaction to him. She had been kidnapped, kept in a cellar to serve as a sex slave for two men. How in the world was she supposed to deal with it, and somehow move on?
She cleared her throat. “How far away is she from here?” Caitlyn managed, trying to give her mind a decent distraction.
“A good twenty minutes.”
“Oh. Okay.” She sighed. “How long has it been? I mean…how long was I gone?”
He sucked in a breath. “Three months.”
Was that all? It was unfathomable. She shook her head, unable to wrap her mind around the seed of information.

DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART

Embark on a remarkable journey of drama, romance, and passion...
​In all of these amazing stories, there's one burning question...is love worth the risk?

Without You
Reece and Jenna are two childhood friends separated by time and distance. Can they find a way to heal their bond, or perhaps forge a new one?

Strange Heat
Spurred by her friend’s close call, Victoria decides to take a risk and prove the lifestyle she led was her downfall. But as Tory sinks deeper into the tumultuous abyss of desire with the mysterious Rick, can she climb back out before it’s too late? Or does she even want to?

Memories
Struggling to run her family’s farm on her own, Sadie takes on a hired hand, Matt. As they grow closer, so does the danger. Someone wants her legacy. Can they combat this new threat, as well as the demons of the past, before Sadie loses everything, including her life?

A Touch of Dawn
Caitlyn thought she’d be in the dark forever. But with the light came Jack, the police consultant who found her. Can they take a journey of healing together, or will Caitlyn retreat into the darkness of her mind, where she lived for so long?

(CONTENT WARNING: With an abuse awareness theme in this collection, there may be triggers here for past trauma sufferers. However, HEAs are guaranteed.)

Buy links:
Amazon Universal link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071WVZZPV

About the author:
Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title - winner of the "Broken Heart" themed contest and the "I Love You" themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers' Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers' Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Connect:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Finding Someplace New



Wine is like the drink of romance, right? When you go to a romantic dinner, you drink wine. When you want to impress someone, you have wine. When you write romance, you create a vineyard.

Most people think of Napa or Sonoma Valleys when they think of wine. Or Italy. Germany. Australia. So many amazing places that make incredible wine. Where I live, near Buffalo, New York, I think of ice wine in the Niagara region, and Riesling in the Finger Lakes. The Finger Lakes is at the same latitude as Germany, and because of that, they make world-class Riesling. It grows like weeds and is delicious.

It was also perfect for my series.

I write small town romance and love to showcase areas of New York, and maybe other parts of the country, that rarely get page time. A lot of people write about New York City, but other areas of New York are frequently left out. The Finger Lakes was definitely one of those places. I don’t understand because it’s a beautiful place.

I mean, really, does it get better than vineyards every half mile or so?

My husband and I booked a three day trip to the Finger Lakes so I could get a good feel for it. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid and wanted to make sure my stories were authentic. We toured vineyards, went on wine tastings, checked out local landmarks, and drank lots and lots of wine.

Okay, I drank. He doesn’t like wine.

When I wasn’t drinking wine, I knew I found the perfect place to set my series.

The Finger Lakes has a perfect small town feel. Tiny towns dotted the shores of Cayuga Lake. All the people were kind and welcoming. It was quintessential small town. It was my fictional town of Bereton, New York. I told my husband I want to live there.
And even better, my readers want to go there, too!

An excerpt

You know,” she finally said, small town life isn’t wrong. It’s perfect for some people. My mom. You. Your family. I’d never say that people who want to live in a small town are wrong.”

I didn’t say you did. You love being in the city. I don’t see it, but I’m not going to try to convince you that you’re wrong. That’s suicide.

I wouldn’t get mad at you.”

Henry nodded, grinning. Oh, yes you would. And you know it. No one can tell Cynthia Hill that her opinion is wrong.”

Well, it’s an opinion. By definition-”

It can’t be wrong. Because it’s what I think and feel and it might be different than yours, but it’s not wrong,” Henry finished with her.

Cynthia tried to show that she was angry at him, but they both started laughing. She’d given the same speech in high school so many times that Henry memorized it.

Of course, he memorized a lot of things about her.

Okay, fine,” she huffed. But it’s true.”

It is true,” Henry agreed. That’s why I’d never try to tell you that your opinion is wrong. It’s not. It’s just different from mine. And that’s okay.”

Cynthia was quiet as they turned and headed back to his Jeep. It was getting colder without the sun to warm them. Stores were closing and the street was getting darker. Streetlights dotted the road, but the sidewalk was cast in barely enough light to ensure they didn’t turn an ankle.

There are things I like about being here, you know,” Cynthia said, surprising him.
Oh, yeah?”

She nodded.

Like what?”

She shrugged. Being with you.”

Everything She Never Wanted

When tragedy strikes…

Henry Wilson has been a strong and steady force for his family for years. When death steals one of them, Henry’s ability to keep himself together is tested. Even surrounded by people, he’s never had anyone to lean on. Not since he made the biggest mistake of his life and told his best friend he was in love with her.

Right before she disappeared from his life for good.

And the chips are down…

Cynthia Hill is inching closer and closer to the life she always feared. Still single, and now jobless, she’s living back at home with her mom. It isn’t as bad as she thought it would be, which scares her more than the way she thinks about her former best friend.

All they have is each other…

Henry knows getting involved with Cynthia won’t lead to anything but pain. She’ll go back to her life, and he’ll be left to deal with one more heartbreak. One he isn’t sure he’ll survive.

Available August 22 at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble.

About the author
Mary E. Thompson grew up loving to read, like a good little girl. Many nights she would fall asleep with the flashlight still turned on as she hid under the covers trying to finish the last few pages of a book. As an adult, the light from her ereader means she doesn't need a flashlight, but she still stays up way too late to finish a book.

When Mary's not reading, she's playing with her two kids or living out her own real life romance novel with her hubby. She has a weakness for chocolate, especially when it's paired with peanut butter, and has been known to have a bad day just because there's no chocolate in the house. Unless there’s wine. Then everything is okay.

Mary grew up in Buffalo, New York and swears she's the only local to never ski or snowboard. Soccer was always her sport, with a couple adventures white water rafting and skydiving to keep things interesting. Mary moved to South Carolina for college but missed Buffalo every day. Yeah, she thinks she's crazy, too. She somehow convinced her South Carolina born and bred hubby to return to Buffalo to raise their kids and live out their lives. He’s still not sure what he was thinking.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

HER SEXY CHALLENGE

With: Sarah Ballance

HER SEXY CHALLENGE

She might be the one fire he can’t put out…
Caitlin Tyler doesn’t do bridges—she just doesn’t know it until she lands her dream job and freezes halfway across her new town’s towering death span. Cue the cocky, infuriating fireman who goads her off the bridge. He’s hot, but he’s also exactly the kind of guy she wants to avoid…which she manages to do for a whole four hours.
Lt. Shane Hendricks is only two weeks away from leaving Dry Rock. He sure as hell doesn’t need to get involved with a woman he has to rescue twice in one day. The fact that she’s clearly annoyed by him doesn’t deter him from throwing down a challenge—one that proves hard to resist for all the wrong reasons.
They’re moving in different directions. Leaving should be easy, but falling for Caitlin might be the one fire he can’t put out…


Excerpt:
“Private Sex Advice to Women,” Shane said, making Caitlin jump. 

This was ridiculous. It was her store. Maybe it hadn’t burned down because of him, or at least the rest of his shift had handled it while he goaded her, but that didn’t give him an unlimited open-door policy. 

“I’m not interested in your advice,” she muttered. 

“It’s a book,” he said. “So far you’ve given me childbirth, feminism, and sex. Is there a message here?” 

Yes, yes there was. A message not to hang out in her store. 

“An ABZ of Love.” The sound of flipping pages cracked the silence. “Hey, did you know alcohol can provide a form of substitute for a reasonably harmonious sex life?” 

“You’re not getting me drunk,” she said, though she made a note to research if that might be true. As if a bottle of anything could compare to the smallest touch from a guy like him.

“I don’t recall offering,” he told her. His tone could have been teasing, though she didn’t know him well enough to make that call. All she knew was that her face was on fire, and it would just have to burn because there was no way she was putting in another call to the fire department, even if he clearly wasn’t on duty at the moment. “But,” he added, “if it’s a substitute for sex, and you’re refusing it, does that mean you’ve found other forms of self-plea—” 

“Stop. Enough.” God, she hoped he was only there until she gave in, because otherwise she was about to make a huge fool of herself. Again. “I’ll do one thing. One. One nonsexual, non-alcoholic thing on what is absolutely not going to be a date, and then we’re done.” 

She’d managed to emerge from the stacks before spitting out the entire sentence, which meant she had an unobstructed view of his infuriatingly cocky grin when he closed the book. 

“I thought you’d never ask.”


About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Ballance and her husband of what he calls "many long, long years" live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they're asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren't much better than the kids). When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.

As an author, she loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture--a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) While she entertains a love of all genres, you're most likely to find her immersed in the utter deliciousness that is sexy contemporary romance. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Supporting Characters


In Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief, Mari has some people who are very important to her. Her mother is one (and is loosely based on a combination of my own mother and my uncle). Will Campbell becomes important to Mari, too, as the story progresses. She also has an uncle who isn't around a whole lot, but is still an important part of who Mari is.

In real life, I have a small cast of characters who are super important to me as well. My best friend, Tee, is like my sister in crime. We've known each other almost as long as we can remember, and I can't remember a time when I didn't love her. She's an incredibly important part of me, of who I am. Mari doesn't have a Tee in the book. I wanted her to, but I felt like it was truer to Mari's experiences if she didn't. So she has her mom. When I was writing Jewel Thief, I pictured Mari and her mother a little bit like the Gilmore Girls. But since this is Mari's story (not Mari and her mother's) we don't see a lot of that in the actual book. It's there though, that deep love and trust between mother and daughter. I guess Mari's mother is kind of her Tee.

And my SO is a lot like Will, strong and quiet and sweet. Respectful and kind, and just a little bit oblivious at times. I definitely based Will on my guy. Every girl should have a partner who respects them and cares about them and wants to protect them—even when they're perfectly capable of protecting themselves. You can be a total kick-ass chick and completely capable of taking care of yourself. But your partner should want to take care of you too. Just because you can kick butt, doesn't mean it isn't nice to have butt kicked on your behalf. 😊


Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief 

Most sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t know where museums keep their rarest jewels (the basement) and they really shouldn’t know that vans make the worst getaway cars. But for Marisol Flores, a life of jewel thievery is a birthright handed down from generation to generation, even if she didn’t ask for it. So when a rival thief targets Mari and her mother, Mari’s more than happy to flee to the anonymity of bustling New York City.

Blending in is a dream come true for Mari, but keeping her former thieving ways a secret gets way more complicated when handsome Will Campbell sets his sights on her. She can’t help but like his terrible puns and charming grin…but when her past catches up with her, it’s not only her life—and her anonymity—that’s at stake.

Will could be the next target.


About the author:
Rosie Somers is a beach-going book addict who's been crafting stories since before she learned her ABCs. When she's not busy trying to bring the characters in her head to life on paper, she can be found volunteering with local animal rescues, crocheting funky hats for her friends, or eating herself into the poorhouse at Chipotle. Her fondest dream is to one day own a goat.

Connect:
Author Twitter: @prosyrosie

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Wicked Takeover


Wicked Takeover (Wicked Brand, #1) 

She’s just inherited a tattoo parlor…and the hunk who comes with it.

Lauren’s in a helluva mess. Not only has she lost her corporate HR job, she’s just inherited Wicked Brand, a struggling West Palm Beach tattoo parlor…along with the virile dude who runs it. Lauren’s full-figured, sorta pretty, and wanting him badly. Dream on. She’s here to sell the place as quickly as possible for some much-needed cash and score a new position in the corporate world.

Dante’s sinfully hot with a killer smile and beautifully inked biceps. He sees the heat in Lauren’s eyes despite her conservative appearance, recognizing the dynamite woman she could be if she’d just loosen up and have some wicked fun. Dominance and submission. Making love in a public place. Having her lush body always accessible to and ready for his.

Unwilling and unable to keep their hands to themselves, Lauren and Dante turn to carnal games and seduction. Until lust turns to surprising need and friendship to something deeper that might just change their futures.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35695816

Excerpt:

He smiled easily and confidently. “Hey.”
Lauren’s belly fluttered at his deep, rich baritone.
Noting her office wear, he put the clipboard on the front counter and approached, his stride smooth and assured.
His fragrance surrounded her. Something clean and citrusy, reminiscent of summer days, an ocean breeze, and sun baking naked skin.
She locked her knees to keep her balance and tried not to stare at his impressive Adam’s apple, luscious mouth, and full, kissable lips.
He hooked his thumbs in his front pockets. “Did you lose your way?”
With him, any woman would. Not only was he beautiful but intelligence burned in his eyes and reflected in his surprisingly educated speech. “I’m sorry, what?”
He regarded her suit and heels. “Are you looking for another shop?”
“No.”
Surprise registered on his face. “You’re here for a tat?”
The ones on his biceps fascinated her. They were beyond hot, straight into epic. “Not exactly.”
He nodded. His hair swayed over his broad shoulders. “A piercing?”
“What?”
“Are you here for a piercing?” He gestured to another wall filled with pictures. His biceps flexed.
Lauren wanted to touch them, feel their strength and heat.
“You can see what we offer in those photos. We also have binders of what we’ve done for past clients to give you an idea of what you might like.”
For someone who prided herself on her no-nonsense professionalism, she was having a hard time not drooling over his freaking arms. What was wrong with her? She knew better than to lust after a guy like him. That path only led to her nursing a humiliating rejection at best and a broken heart at worst. She tore her gaze from his biceps and looked at the photos he was showing her.  “Do people really get their tongues tattooed?”
He grinned, showing perfect teeth. “You bet.”
“Why?”
He shrugged good-naturedly. “Why not?”
He wasn’t the least bit uptight. How Lauren envied that. “Have you?”
“Have I what?”
“Had your tongue tattooed? Or are the ones on your arms the only ones you have?”
His smile broadened. He spoke conspiratorially. “I have another, though not on my tongue.”
She hoped he hadn’t inked anything below his belt. His equipment had to be as awesome as the rest of him. No way could anyone improve on nature’s perfection.
He regarded her thoughtfully, his gaze warming her in places she hadn’t thought about in far too long. Easily, he took in her short blond hair, her clothes, and her features, including the small mole near her mouth. There, he lingered. A faint smile touched his lips.
Lauren’s throat and cheeks grew hot. With his approving gaze, too much desire rushed through her, making it difficult to breathe.
He flushed, too. “Let me get those binders so you can look through them.”
“No, don’t. Please. That’s not why I’m here.”
His dark eyebrows lifted. “You’re selling something?” He glanced at her purse and looked around her, possibly for an organization caddy stuffed with her product line.
“Uh no. I’m here to take over.”
“Take over?”
“Uh-huh.”
He looked lost. “As in what?”
“This place.” She gestured to the parlor. “I own this business and everything in it, including you.” 

About the author:
Tina Donahue is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary, and historical romance for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times, and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, RWA awards - Holt Medallion and NEC, and won a Book of the Year award. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.
Connect:
Author Twitter: http://bit.ly/1ziy4IU
Author Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1Dl8DHy
Author Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1wFmIu6
Newsletter: http://tinadonahuebooks.blogspot.com/p/newsletter.html<!--

Sunday, August 6, 2017

CROSSING THE LINE


“Here's one of my favorite scenes from CROSSING THE LINE. I love it because it not only contains some of the hero/heroine banter that made this book such fun to write, but it also lets the small town and the farm food have guest appearances. In this scene, our hero, Eli, has really made a mess of things with heroine Scarlett. He's got a unique way of apologizing. After all, the way to our hearts is sometimes through our bellies!”

--

“Morning.” Eli extended the bag, looking hotter than anyone had a right to. Seriously, who made a hoodie and a pair of banged-up jeans sexy? At five o’clock in the morning? It just wasn’t right.

“What’s this?” Scarlett blurted as she took the bag from his outstretched hand, and God, could she be any more graceless?

If Eli was bothered by her distinct lack of a filter, though, he sure didn’t show it. “This is a vegan breakfast burrito.” He paused, tipping his blond head slightly as he added, “And we can add that to the list of things I never thought I’d say.”

Scarlett blinked, trying to piece the words together in a way that made sense. “You bought me a vegan breakfast burrito?”

“No. I made you a vegan breakfast burrito.”

The shock pumping through her veins must’ve taken a detour over her face, because Eli took one look at her and backpedaled. “Okay, sort of. I went up to the main house an hour ago to get a bunch of crates that didn’t fit in the box truck, and Owen was making breakfast burritos. I helped him come up with one for you that fits the bill.”

“Why?”

Scarlett clamped down on her lip just a second too late to bite down on the overly bold question, but to her surprise, Eli just laughed.

“What, is breakfast some sort of sacrilege once you cross the Mason-Dixon Line or something?”

Seriously, she needed to build some sort of immunity to that here-comes-trouble smile of his. “No! Nope, mmm-mmm,” she barked, chasing the burn from her cheeks with a sweep of her fingertips. Sure, Eli was good-looking (Fine. He was sex on a stick. Potato-potahto). But they needed to stay professional. That’s what he’d said he wanted.

Only from the look of the cocky, come-and-get-it smile on his face right now, Scarlett wasn’t so sure he’d meant a single word.
--

Don’t miss Crossing the Line!

Title: Crossing the Line
Author: Kimberly Kincaid
Series: Cross Creek #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Format: Digital and Paperback
ISBN: 978-1542046503

Cocky farmer Eli Cross plays twice as hard as he works. When his latest stunt drums up a heap of negative PR for the family farm, he grudgingly agrees to play host to an ambitious New York City photographer. Her feature on Cross Creek could be just the ticket to show the country what the Cross brothers do best…which is more problem than solution for Eli.
Scarlett Edwards-Stewart has photographed everything from end zones to war zones. She’s confident she can ace this one little story to help her best friend’s failing magazine. At least, she would be if her super-sexy host wasn’t so tight lipped. But the more Scarlett works with Eli, the more she discovers that he’s not who he seems. Can his secret bring them closer together? Or will it be the very thing that tears them apart?


Author bio:
Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and
sweet and hot and edgy romantic suspense. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts ofyoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and a 2016 and 2015 RWA RITA® finalist and 2014 Bookseller’s Best nominee who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.

Visit her anytime at www.kimberlykincaid.com or come check her out on Facebook

(www.facebook.com/kimberly.kincaid1) and Twitter (@kimberlykincaid).

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