Thursday, May 23, 2019

Shadows You Left

The white picket fence.
The happily-ever-after.
That life was never meant for him.
For years he's been bouncing from city to city—from one cage fight to another.
That's his outlet. That's pain Erik can control.
But in Seattle, everything changed.
River's an artist.
He's a pretty boy.
He does yoga.
Someone so soft shouldn't be intrigued by Erik's rough edges.


His life was quiet. He had a simple routine.
Designing tattoos, avoiding drama. Well, mostly.
Then Erik comes along—scarred and dangerous, shrouded in mystery.
A mystery River can't resist trying to solve.
Maybe a secret as dark as his own.
Neither of them expected a relationship so complicated, so intense.
Neither of them expected...each other.
Erik and River are both trying to escape a shadowed past.
But the thing about shadows is: the faster you run, the faster they chase you.


Jude and I are thrilled to share a piece of our newest book, an incredibly personal dark romance called Shadows you Left today! Shadows You Left is a gritty read that pulls on heartstrings, unpacks sensitive topics—addiction, grief, regret and trauma—and is set in Seattle’s beautiful, rainy streets.

They went to separate trucks and ordered their food. Erik thought about everything he’d said at the bar and as they walked. What he should’ve said instead. What he had the opportunity to say now.
You’re stunning. Call me tough guy again. I like your laugh. Fair warning, I ruin everything.
Erik dipped between customers and carried his slice of pizza to where River stood at the bottom of a cement porch outside a boutique shopfront. The nightclub behind the food trucks thrummed. Heavy bass leaked through the walls, and a few wobbly club-goers crawled into a taxi.
The time after midnight was strange and upended. Its honesty crept in, and Erik had to remind himself to look away from River’s lips.
“Pepperoni,” River purred. He snatched a piece off Erik’s pizza and popped it into his mouth.
Erik grabbed a couple of fries and did the same. “They put sour cream on your hot dog?”
“Cream cheese,” River corrected, laughing at Erik’s horror. “Don’t look at me like that, Hollywood. It’s good. You just haven’t been here long enough to know it.”
“I’ve been on this planet long enough to know that cream cheese does not go on hot dogs. That is…” Erik followed in River’s footsteps and let laughter bubble over his lips. “Fucking gross, River.”
“Not gross,” he assured. “Want a bite?”
“Absolutely not.”
“Come on,” River teased.
“No way. I’ll eat your fries, though.” Erik stole another fry and grinned when River yanked his cardboard bowl away.
They managed to stop playing for long enough to eat. Erik’s cheeks were hot. As soon as they threw away their trash and he didn’t have a plate to fidget with, he started picking at the sleeves of his coat. He glanced at his hands, exposed and ugly, marred by scars. The knuckles on his right hand were still healing, but they were far enough along to go without tape. Erik wished he would’ve covered them anyway.
“What do you like about it?” River asked.
When Erik looked up, River was studying his tattooed knuckles. “About what?”
“Fighting.” River’s fingertips twitched toward Erik’s hand but stopped abruptly.
Erik didn’t know. Maybe it was the power, the risk, the control. Maybe it was the money. Maybe it was none of those things or all those things. “The cage is a state of lawlessness,” Erik said. “I get to scream without screaming when I’m in it.”
“There’s an actual cage… You’re not just…” River’s eyes swept to Erik’s face. “Like… Those underground fights people gossip about? You’re a cage fighter?”
Erik leaned against the cement wall that connected the shopfront’s awning to the steps. “Yeah,” he bit out. “Does it matter?”
“No, I just—”
A crack of thunder split the sky. Mist hung heavy in the air as rain hit the buildings and sidewalk and them. Quarter-sized drops splattered windshields and windows, drove smokers back inside, and tore a breathy curse from Erik.
“Shit. C’mon,” Erik said. He grabbed River’s jacket sleeve and yanked him up the steps, onto the porch. The rain kept coming down. Erik kept replaying the way River said cage fighter—with disbelief that might’ve been curiosity, curiosity that could’ve been aversion.
Water clung to the top of River’s mouth. “I just assumed otherwise,” he blurted. “Do you wanna tell me how long you’ve been fighting?”
“Do you really wanna know?” Erik turned toward him and realized they were much closer than he anticipated. River’s hand bumped against his. Erik’s boot touched the side of River’s shoe.
River’s tongue darted over his lip. Erik tracked the movement. He stopped breathing when River’s breath hit his cheek. Bravery took shape in the shadows. He found the top of River’s hand and let his fingers stay there, tracing smooth bronze skin. They were in the place between night and morning, the tempered kind of awake that made this easy.
This. Them.
Erik couldn’t decide which was more attractive, River’s hesitation or his eagerness.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Baths, Baking, and Binge-Watching: Self-Care, Elia-Style

I’m a busy person. I don’t say this as a complaint; I actually enjoy being busy, and after a lifetime treating busyness as something that happens to me, I eventually came to terms with the fact that I deliberately choose busyness. I like having many hobbies alongside my full-time teaching job and writing career. In the last few years, I’ve focused on being more selective about what I choose to say “yes” to, forgoing tasks that bring me no joy and focusing instead on those I love and/or that serve the community. But that doesn’t mean my plate got emptier: it stayed full, but with a more appetizing selection.

As a busy person, I have learned to prioritize self-care. Keeping my emotional well full, instead of depleted, gives me the resources to work when it’s time to work and play when it’s time to play. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and even the tasks I enjoy take time and energy. Here’s how I take care of myself in the middle of my busy schedule.

I take baths almost every day during the winter, and throughout most of the fall and spring as well. Lush should name a bath bomb after me, since I buy enough of them. Here’s my preferred bath setup: very, very hot water; a dark bathroom, lit only by a jar candle or two; a glass of ice wine; a face mask, maybe by Toly Moly or Skin Food; and a bath bomb. My favorite bath bombs are actually from a tiny shop called Zeb’s in New Hampshire, but I am partial to Lush, and I’ve also bought bulk bath bombs from Amazon as well as made my own. Sitting in the dark, with lush scents surrounding me, I don’t have anything to do but relax.

When I began watching The Great British Baking Show last year, I got the urge to start baking again. I used to bake all the time, but slowly drifted away from it. Pulling out the stand mixer again reminded me that baking isn’t just a fun hobby: for me, it’s also self-care. I like the meditative action of kneading bread, the specificity of exact measurements, the satisfaction of creating something delicious from raw ingredients. I recently started making croissants, and the precision required for a full puff pastry has inspired me to make even more complicated baked goods in the future. Plus, I get to eat them afterward.

It’s the era of Netflix, and while I don’t watch a lot of TV, I like the mindless relaxation of binge-watching a show. I don’t want to add anxiety to my life, so I avoid intense shows -- except Game of Thrones, since I’ve been committed to that for years. Instead, I binge lighter fare: the aforementioned Great British Baking Show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and Queer Eye are frequently on in this house, even when we’ve finished a series and started circling back. I’ve also been ravenously devouring Schitt’s Creek, which has some of the best writing on television. In a pinch, though, I’ll return to an old classic like The Office or That 70s Show. It’s comfort media, and I’m all here for comfort media.

We’re all busy. In our go-go-go world, making time to fill your soul is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. I love being busy, and I love taking time to relax with simple indulgences.


Nothing is forbidden…

Abby Burke put her wild days behind her, determined to be the adult she thought she needed to be. It was just a phase, right? But when her college reunion reveals her…adventurous…past to her straitlaced gentleman of a husband, Abby is terrified he’ll reject her.

But Sam is more than intrigued by what has his normally bold wife flushing with embarrassment…and desire. So when he and Abby stumble onto an especially hot scene that takes them over the edge, he proposes a challenge: confess their deepest fantasies and fulfill them together.

As their playful explorations escalate, their forays into exhibitionism and kink shift the way they see each other and their relationship—for the better. But when Sam finds himself longing to see her pleasured by other men, and Abby’s all in, they wonder if this will make their marriage stronger or end up tearing them apart.


Monday, May 20, 2019

Love Under Construction

Congratulations to "Laney4", the winner in Aubree's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!

Waves hi! Super excited for the chance to be here today and sharing my latest release - Love Under Construction. Love Under Construction is part of the 425 Madison Romance Series. When Lauren came to me with this concept, I was all in. I loved the idea of a series based around the tenents 425 Madison Ave - a NY High-rise apartment complex. I was even more excited about the concept of including small cameos of some the other residences from the other books in this series.

What originally started out as what I thought would be a fun and flirty story, turned into so much more. Love Under Construction is a story that I will always hold close to my heart because it reflects some of what I was going through at the time that I was writing it. It became cathartic and healing for me to put these words on paper. That said - there as some light-hearted and laughable moments throughout. I hope that you'll grab a copy and find out more about this enemies to lovers romance!


Olivia Pierce is fighting to stay above water and the boy next door, the thorn in her side, won’t leave her alone. Jameson Phoenix only wants to protector, but it’s hard to do when she hates him. Things start to shift after a kiss that should have never happened, and now they find themselves questioning everything. The sixth book in the beloved 425 Madison Avenue, is now live. Read Love Under Construction by Aubree Valentine today!

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

She hates me.
I can’t say I blame her, in fact, I thought it was best this way.
That was until I realized just how much I really cared for her.
Now all I want to do is protect her.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

I hate him.
He's always been a thorn in my side.
When my life is flipped upside down, and I'm fighting to stay above water, things between us shift, and I begin to question everything I thought I knew about the boy next door.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I never should have kissed him. It was only a matter of time.

After all, 425 Madison Avenue is the perfect place to fall in love.

*Each story is completely standalone.

Aubree is giving away a $5 Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of one of her backlist titles. (winner’s choice)

Author Info
Aubree Valentine is a wife, mom and avid reader. Her love of books goes far behind weaving her own stories to tell. She realized her dream of becoming a published author by the time she was in high school and knew she'd stop at nothing to make that happen.

When she's not writing, she can be found chasing after her twins or her dogs, curled up with a good book or still working with some of her favorite authors.

About the 425 Madison Series

Welcome to 425 Madison Ave the perfect place to fall in love. Nine delicious romances set in fast-paced & sexy NYC just waiting for you to read.

The series features stories from some of your favorite romance authors: Leigh Lennon, MK Moore, Allie York, Aubree Valentine, Kay Gordon, Lauren Helms, Sylvia Kane, Katy Ames, and C. Lesbirel.

Join these authors as they come together, each with a standalone romance for you to enjoy.

Featuring some of readers' favorite tropes: second-chance romance, best friends sibling romance to a good ol' enemies to lovers romance. We've got you covered with a sports romance, a fake relationship and even an ugly duckling or two. Don't forget a brother's best friend and falling for your soul mate. Maybe a little love triangle as well. Each tale offers you something new, something different. After all, 425

For more information, visit the series website ➝

Follow the series on Facebook ➝

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST May 21st. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Summer Countdown!

With: CJ Miller

The countdown to summer break has started in our house.

Every summer, my family makes a list of the things we want to do together. My children’s list includes roasting s'mores, creating sidewalk chalk art, and swimming whenever possible.

This year, I've made a list for myself, an Adult Summer To Do List.


1. Make a door wreath with the shells we collect at the beach.

2. Read a book, then see the movie. (I'm thinking the Hunger Games. I feel like the last person who's NOT read it and I hear it's awesome.)

3. Grow something new in my garden. We grow herbs, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins and cucumbers, but I want to try carrots, corn, and radishes.

4. Create some KINDNESS ROCKS and leave them around town at my favorite places.
5. Backyard bonfire - adults only!

6. Attend an outdoor concert.

7. Go Geocaching – worldwide scavenger hunt.

8. Go to the farmers market at least once to stock up on fruits, vegetables and honey.
9. Make homemade ice cream.

10. Try a new author and read ALL her books*.

*If you're looking for an author to try, I'd love for you to give my latest book - The Maestro - a read.


Falling for her hot Irish boss was never her plan...

Rae Davis moved to New York City for the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to work as an assistant to the virtuoso music conductor Kieran Gallagher. But Rae's dream job becomes a nightmare when she falls hopelessly in love with the Maestro.

Having eyes and ears only for his music, he’s oblivious to her feelings.

Unable to stand being so close to someone so untouchable, Rae throws away her dream and walks away.

When Rae leaves, Kieran first considers it merely a nuisance to find a new assistant. But he soon realizes that he’s lost more than just a person to fetch him coffee and manage his paperwork. He’s lost the very muse for his music, the soul of his composition. Without Rae in his life, the Maestro's music is barren and empty, lacking the beauty and wonder that brought it to life.

Will the Maestro risk his own heart to win Rae back, or will his music go silent forever?

If you read it, let me know what you think -
I'm also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What's a summer must-do for you?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Wrong Bed, Right Girl

With: Rebecca Brooks

Congratulations to "Fedora", the winner in Rebecca's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!

Thanks so much for having me on Just Contemporary Romance! Special Agent Reed Bishop never expects to fall head-first into the wrong woman’s bed. But when he goes looking for his key informant—and instead finds a gorgeous, half-naked ballet dancer—his whole life turns upside down. Reed can’t let Talia stay in her unsafe apartment. But bringing her home with him will only lead to problems…

In this excerpt, Talia has been living in Reed’s room while he sleeps on the couch. It’s hard enough to keep her head screwed on in such close quarters with this giant slab of man muscle always around. It’s going to be downright impossible when she sees how deliciously sweaty he is after a run. Talia’s sworn of dating while she prepares for the role of a lifetime. But maybe a tiny distraction won’t hurt her?


“Hi,” she said, because she couldn’t think of anything else, and because Holy. F**king. Sh*tballs seemed mildly inappropriate.

“Hi,” he said, casual as could be. “Mind if I grab some things before I shower?”

“Not at all!” She said it way too fast. Climbed off his bed way too fast. His enormous, solid body took up the whole doorway, and she almost collided with him in her effort to get out.
She hadn’t heard him leave the apartment. Hadn’t known he’d finally changed out of those sweats. But it wasn’t like what he’d changed into was any better. Shorts. A T-shirt damp with sweat and clinging to his pecs.

He’d clearly gone to the gym, or for a run—whatever guys like him did to wind up looking like guys like him. Something she suddenly very much wanted to find out. His chest rose and fell, his face visibly flushed, his muscles outlined in the V of sweat down his shirt.

And his legs—oh, mercy. The cut of his calves. The cut of his thighs. She spent all her time around dancers’ bodies. She knew plenty about men and their thighs.

But she’d never seen him in shorts before, and his legs were something else altogether. Not the lean muscle of the men she danced with but thick and solid, graspable and strong. All she could think about were her hands wrapping around them while she was on her knees.

Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.

“Whoa. Everything okay?” Reed asked as she catapulted herself out the door.

“Yep!” she practically squeaked. “I’ll wait out here, take your time.”

“You don’t have to go anywhere, I’m just getting a change of clothes.”

Breathe, breathe, breathe.

She sat on the couch, her back to the bathroom so she couldn’t be tempted to stare at him as he headed into the shower. It wasn’t until she heard the door close and the water come on that she finally let her spine relax.

But only a little. There was still the thought of him in there, totally naked now, soaping his body, water running over his head and down his shoulders and his back and his ass and those thighs...

She clutched her phone so tightly her knuckles turned white.

She should text her friends, see if they were free again tonight. So what if it made her look desperate and relationship-less? She was desperate and relationship-less. Desperate not to imagine Reed’s sweaty shoulders every time she blinked.

What she needed was a distraction. A real one. Not from her choreography, but from him.

Falling head-first into the wrong woman’s bed was not how Reed Bishop’s night was supposed to go. Now a gorgeous, half-naked ballet dancer was threatening his manhood…with a book. He can’t blame her. 

It wasn’t how it seemed—he was just doing his job, tracking down his lead informant, who, unfortunately, took off, leaving him to figure out what to do with her friend. Staying in her apartment was no longer safe.

And that’s how he got himself into this mess.
Now she’s sleeping in his bed while he tosses and turns on the couch.

There are pink tights in his bathroom.

Pointe shoes next to his boots.

He swears he won’t touch her like that…but he can’t ignore his fantasies.
As a tattooed, muscled DEA Agent, Reed’s seen some things. Drug dealers, murderers…He can’t let Talia get close. Even though she’s made it clear they’re both fighting the same hunger. And he definitely can’t use his handcuffs on her…no matter how much she begs.

Each book in the Accidental Love series is STANDALONE:
* Wrong Bed, Right Roommate
* Wrong Bed, Right Girl

An e-copy of Wrong Bed, Right Roommate (Accidental Love Book 1), a best-friend’s-brother romance about Talia’s brother and her BFF.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST May 15th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


With: Jennifer DiGiovanni and T.H. Hernandez

Congratulations to "Kim", the winner in Jennifer and T.H.'s giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!

Jen: I love this scene because it shows how Jordon manages to get Catherine to talk through the issues she likes to keep bottle up inside her. He finds a way to connect with her and she finally admits to him what she truly wants—to pursue a role in Wicked. Could this new development in their relationship lead to something more romantic? You'll have to read on to find out!

Theresa: This was one of my favorite scenes from Catherine’s view because it shows her being herself with someone who isn’t Hunter or Owen. Jordon is the first person she allows to see underneath the façade she creates for the world to see.

Catherine’s POV:
His mouth goes slack. “Where did you learn to sing like that?”
I shrug. “Watching tons of YouTube videos, practicing in my shower, and with this software program I read about in the Theater Dreamers forum.”
“I don’t get it.” He shakes his head. “How have you not been chosen for more roles? Hell, for the lead?”
“I didn’t audition for more.”
“Now I really don’t get it. You’re good, and it’s clear you love it. Your face was glowing when you were singing. The only time I’ve ever seen you like that is when you’re performing.”
“You really can’t figure it out?” I take a seat on the floor and cross my legs. “We’re meeting in your treehouse at night, and I had to make an excuse to get out tonight.”
He sits beside me, leaning his head back against the wall. “No, I can’t figure it out. Unless…”
“Unless? Keep going, you’re getting there.”
“Your family doesn’t approve?”
“My dad’s cool with it, but my mom, not so much. She expects me to go into corporate law like she did. She made partner in her law firm, but she’s always wanted to start her own firm and thinks the two of us would work well together.”
“Other than watching you argue over current events in U.S. History better than anyone else in class, I don’t see it. You being a lawyer, I mean.”
I sigh and glance up at him, really noticing his eyes for the first time, wondering if they’ve always been the color of the richest bittersweet chocolate and fringed by lashes that are a couple shades darker than his dirty blond hair. “It’s expected, whether or not anyone can see it, least of all me.”
“I’m sure I’m not the first to say this to you, but it’s your life.”
“No, you’re not, and I know it is, but you don’t understand.”
“You’re right, I don’t.”
I push myself up, but before I can leave, he stands and gently takes my arm, turning me to face him.
“So make me understand.”
“I doubt I can. I mean, look at this place.” I spin to indicate the inside of his treehouse. “You said you wanted to go into drama, and your parents built you a freaking playhouse. I mentioned I wanted to try out for the spring musical freshman year, and my mom told me it was a complete waste of time.”
“Okay, but you did it anyway.”
I nod. “I did. And I loved it. Did my mom come to even one of my performances?”
“I’m gonna guess that’s a no.”
“Nope. Not one. My dad came to all of them, though.”
Jordon runs a hand through his styled hair, leaving it a delightful mess that looks even better somehow. “Look, I get your mom doesn’t support you, but I still don’t understand why you’re letting someone else choose how you live your life.”
“Because…if I don’t do what she wants, I do it on my own. No college tuition, no living at home, I’m out in the world by myself. Untethered. I’m not sure I’m ready for that.”
“Your dad doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who’d let that happen.”
I snort. “You’d think. But she’s got him so whipped, whatever she says, goes.”
“Well, you’re going for Wicked, right?”
I nod. “I am. That’s why I’m here.”
“Well, that’s something.”
“Yeah, but my parents don’t know, and, as you so brutally reminded me, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ll be the least experienced person there.”
“Then we’ll just have to practice. A lot.”


Their prom night ended in a jail cell with forty of their closest friends. But that’s hardly the worst thing that happened to them…
When the principal announces prom is canceled this year, senior Riley Hart is determined to save it. Armed with little more than her own enthusiasm, she ends up working closely with Owen Locklear, who is more than completely off-limits. Because he’s the boyfriend of her ex-BFF, Catherine Reed. Still, Owen knows Riley better than almost anyone, and his charming ideas for turning the prom upside-down and backward win Riley over.
Catherine is willing to join Owen and Riley on the prom committee, but only because her legacy as prom queen is at stake. She’s already suffocating under the weight of her parents’ expectations for after senior year, and compared to that, ensuring prom happens should be easy. At least until everything starts to go wrong.
First they lose their deposit. Then they book a band full of octogenarians. And lose their venue... Twice.
Riley will have an unforgettable teenage experience, damn it, if it’s the last thing she does…

One lucky person leaving a comment or email entry will win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST May 8th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Guarded Dreams

With: LJ Evans

Giveaway Alert!

Hello everyone!

After our wildly long winter, I’m thinking that most people are dying for a bit of beach weather. I know I am. How about having a summer beach read to go right along with it? I couldn’t agree more!

My new release, GUARDED DREAMS , is exactly that! An easy, summer feels good beach read. It’s all about how we chase, lose, and remake our dreams as we go through this crazy thing called life.

Here’s a little bit about the book, but don’t miss the giveaway chance below as well.

FREE on KindleUnlimited

It was inspired by Luke Bryan’s “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” as well as Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s relationship. I read an article about how Mila never saw Ashton as the guy of her dreams when they were filming That 70’s Show together, but then, later on in life, he became exactly the man she needed. Plus, he’s posted some cute things about her on social media. After all that, I just knew that these two were going to drive my characters in this story.


Of course! I write contemporary fiction that is all about family, love, & living life resiliently. All of my books have music entwined into every chapter. The tone, the feel, and even the words of the song have meaning to me and my characters.

GUARDED DREAMS has 35 heart grabbing songs that make this novel everything it is. Here’s the playlist!

• 𝘊𝘰𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘎𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘥
𝘊𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘚𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳
𝘉𝘳𝘰𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘋𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮𝘴
𝘚𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥 𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴

“𝘕𝘰 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴.”

Once upon a summer, a boy unexpectedly meets a girl at the beach. Their bodies and souls know what their brains do not. They are meant to be one. But…

𝓔𝐋𝐈 dreams about being a US Coast Guard.

𝓐𝐕𝓐 dreams about being a country music star.

Those dreams send them careening in different directions, and their summer love story is left as a wish that never came true.

Four years later, Eli's Coast Guard career is threatened, and Ava's dreams are shadowed by her past, just as fate brings them together once more in New York City.

As their lives start to crumble, they find the possibility of a second chance in each other. If they’ll only listen to what their souls are whispering and realize that, sometimes, the best dream to come true is simply to have loved.

Free on Kindle Unlimited:

I’m running a giveaway right now:
·      One Grand Prize: a signed paperback copy of GUARDED DREAMS + a $50 Amazon gift card
·      Three Runner Ups: a eBook copy of GUARDED DREAMS + a $10 Amazon gift card
Giveaway end 5/4/19 at 11:59 p.m. PST

I opened the door in time to see a blur of dark hair and tan skin jump off the coffee table, guitar in hand, strumming and screaming along to the lyrics.

Except it wasn’t really screaming. It was the huskiest, sexiest female voice I’d ever heard. Her hair was a tumble of dark curls and waves that flung out about her as she continued to move, swaying with the guitar and the lyrics. Her frame was all lean muscle with small curves in all the right places.

Her shorts barely covered those curves on her rear end, and a striped shirt was tied so that it bared her midriff, showing off more bronzed skin and muscles.

She was dancer and singer and girl all rolled into one. She hit me to my core and wouldn’t let me move. The guys were equally stunned, standing behind me, watching her perform for an audience she hadn’t even registered was there yet.

When she finally turned, mid-strum and mid-word, I was hit once more. This time by the intensity of her eyes that stared at me beneath dark lashes. One eye was as blue-green as a Caribbean island bay, while the other was almost muddy green like a Louisiana swamp. They didn’t match. And yet, they fit her perfectly.

The joy that radiated across her face from her performance slid off, just as her hand slid off her guitar at the sight of us.

“What the hell?” Her husky voice, full of surprise, washed over me in a wave that told of unsteady seas. Of beauty and desire and storms. And I knew I was in trouble.

Award winning author, LJ Evans, lives in the California Central Valley with her husband, daughter, and the three terrors called cats. She's been writing, almost as a compulsion, since she was a little girl and will often pull the car over to write when a song lyric strikes her. While she currently spends her days teaching 1st grade in a local public school, she spends her free time reading and writing, as well as binge watching original shows like The Crown, Victoria, and Stranger Things.

If you ask her the one thing she won’t do, it’s pretty much anything that involves dirt—sports, gardening, or otherwise. But she loves to write about all of those things, and her first published heroine was pretty much involved with dirt on a daily basis. Which is exactly what LJ loves about fiction novels—the characters can be everything you’re not and still make their way into your heart.

Find out more about LJ and her books at

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