[Book Blitz] Undisclosed by A.M. Salinger

Undisclosed
A.M. Salinger
(Nights, #7)
Publication date: August 21st 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

I have a problem. His name is Lincoln “Asshole” Hudson. He’s the bastard who wants to run me out of town. I should hate him. Trouble is, Lincoln is my type. Like one hundred and ten percent. And, ladies, he has the biggest, er, package I’ve ever seen on a man — Eveline

I have an itch I want to scratch. Her name is Eveline “Sassy Mouth” Claude. She’s the woman standing in the way of what could be my most lucrative project yet. Eveline is my enemy. There’s one hitch: she’s the hottest thing on legs my dick has ever seen — Lincoln

When Eveline Claude discovers she doesn’t actually own the land on which her most successful club stands, she is determined to get it back from the man who has now laid claim to it. Unfortunately, Lincoln Hudson, the new landlord and über successful billionaire behind the Hudson Group, doesn’t want to play ball.

Lincoln Hudson is in Tokyo for a landmark deal that could help secure his company’s foothold in the Far East and expand his hotel business in a new and exciting direction. The only hiccup is, someone else thinks they own the prime piece of land he’s just bought. And that someone is a woman he very much wants to bed.

After Lincoln convinces Eveline into becoming his personal escort for the duration of his stay in Tokyo in exchange for considering leasing her the land, the two of them come to a mutual agreement; they will enjoy each other—socially and carnally—until such a time that their arrangement comes to an end.

But as their time together draws to a close, Eveline and Lincoln discover that they have more in common than just great sex. Will they let their business affairs sour what is growing between them? Or will they put aside their differences and accept that enemies they may have started as, but lovers is what they’re meant to become?

Discover Eveline and Lincoln’s story in this sexy and wickedly funny addition to the hot, contemporary romance series Nights by A.M. Salinger. Note from the author: although each book in Nights can be read as a standalone, you will enjoy this series even more if you read the books in order!

This is a novella length MF romance with a HEA.

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EXCERPT:

Eveline Claude blinked slowly. “Come again?”

A muscle jumped in the jawline of the man seated on the other side of the conference room table.

“You don’t own the freehold to the Tokyo branch of Le Secret,” Malcolm Brooks repeated stiffly.

Eveline’s pulse started to race as she stared from Brooks to his poker-faced partner, Victor Kline.

“I’m sorry, did I just hear you say that I don’t own the tenure of one of my most successful business enterprises?” Silence greeted her stunned question. “Are you guys yanking my chain right now?” Eveline chuckled in disbelief. “You are, aren’t you? Because there’s no way my one-thousand-dollar-per-hour, top-notch city lawyers just informed me that they fucked up.”

Brooks glanced at Kline. “Told you she’d bring up the hourly fee,” he muttered.

Kline ignored his partner and studied Eveline with an impassive expression. “Of course, we’ll be working to resolve this matter pro bono. The mistake is ours and we cannot apologize enough on behalf of the firm.”

Eveline’s mouth went dry as she looked between the two men and realized they were serious. The first inkling that her day was going to turn out to be gloriously shitty began at six a.m., when the fire alarm in her apartment building went off. Having left Le Secret at two, Eveline wasn’t pleased that her much needed beauty sleep had been interrupted by some asshole who hadn’t figured out how to use his new waffle maker. Her ire rose tenfold when she went to collect her car from the underground garage and noticed the fresh scratch on her midnight blue Maserati. She’d made a note to ask the security guards to check the cameras covering the parking lot and had barreled out of the building and into the early morning Tokyo traffic at twice the allowed speed limit; she hated being late for an appointment and her nine o’clock meeting with Brooks & Kline was taking place on the other side of town. She’d made it to their office on the twelfth floor of the glass and steel high-rise housing their law firm with four minutes to spare and had waited impatiently in the conference room, curious as to why they’d requested the urgent face to face.

It was Brooks who’d called her the day before to set up the meeting.

“Something’s come up. We need to talk,” the lawyer said cryptically after Eveline’s assistant put his call through.

Eveline paused and lowered her cup of coffee, her gaze shifting from the busy dual computer screens on the desk before her, to the glorious views beyond the panoramic windows to her right. Her office was located next to a small, private flat she kept above Le Secret and overlooked Ginza, the most famous and exclusive district in Tokyo.

Eveline frowned as she studied the busy intersection outside, the first seed of unease stirring inside her.

“What’s this about, Malcolm? It’s rare for you to call me yourself.”

“I know. It would be best if we had this conversation face to face,” Brooks replied.

He’d refused to answer Eveline’s questions and gave her the details of their appointment before disconnecting. Though she’d been troubled by her enigmatic conversation with the lawyer, Eveline soon forgot about the exchange, the daily demands of running her internationally renowned and incredibly successful chain of upscale escort clubs consuming all her attention and focus. Business was booming, especially since she’d opened the latest branch of Le Secret in Singapore.

Eveline swallowed presently and leaned back in the sleek metal and leather chair of the conference room, her knuckles whitening where she gripped the arm rests. Maybe I should have thrown salt over my left shoulder before I left my apartment this morning. Or burned some incense or do whatever it is people do to ward off bad luck.

She studied the two lawyers with narrowed eyes. “Explain to me exactly how this happened.”

Brooks sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose while Kline slid a file across the table.

“It seems Mr. Nagato forged the documents his lawyers provided to us five years ago, when he sold you the plot in Ginza as a freehold,” Brooks said bitterly. “What you actually bought off him was the right to lease. His son-in-law works for the local land registry office and we suspect he made the counterfeit papers. According to one of our contacts in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, the Nagatos have connections with an organized crime syndicate that specializes in land rights grabs.”

Eveline tensed, her gaze skimming the folder before her distractedly. “You mean, they’re part of the Yakuza?”

Kline grimaced. “They are linked to them in a distant, convoluted fashion, yes.”

Eveline’s heart pounded as she digested the implication of the lawyers’ words. The Yakuza were the Japanese equivalent of the Italian Mafia. Having witnessed secondhand what the mob did to their business rivals in New York, Eveline had no desire to associate with the local criminal organizations here in Japan, even if she suspected several of the clients who had visited the Tokyo branch of Le Secret over the last five years had some kind of connection to them.

Eveline clenched her jaw. “What can we do about this? I paid Nagato a hefty sum of money for that land. We’re talking seven figures here, as you both well know.” She paused, an unwelcome thought bringing a bitter taste to her mouth. “Wait. Did he even own that plot? Don’t tell me the asshole sold me someone else’s—”

“He does,” Kline said. “Or he did.”

“We’ve already lodged an appeal in court to contest the new owner’s claim to the freehold,” Brooks said. He ran a hand through his hair. “It’s going to take some time to—”

“New owner?” Eveline scowled. “What the hell do you mean, new owner?” She jumped to her feet and leaned her hands on the table. “Are you telling me that conniving bastard sold my land to someone else?!”

“Yes,” Brooks said quietly. “And this time, the documents he provided were the legitimate ones.”

Eveline took a shuddering breath and closed her eyes briefly, her nails biting into her palms where she’d fisted her fingers.

“I’m gonna kill him,” she hissed. Eveline grabbed her bag and stormed toward the conference room exit. “I’m gonna strangle that lowlife with my bare hands and dump his body in Tokyo Bay! What’s his address?”

“Sit down, Eveline,” Kline said with a sigh.

Eveline stopped by the door and whirled around. “I’m not kidding, Victor! I hope you guys know a good criminal lawyer ‘cause I’m going to need—”

“Nagato is dead,” Brooks said.

Eveline froze. She opened and closed her mouth soundlessly, her eyes rounding as she gaped at the two lawyers.

What?!” she shrieked.

“Nagato died three weeks ago,” Kline stated. “It was a heart attack, apparently.”

A light-headed feeling swept over Eveline. She made her way back to the table on unsteady legs and flopped down in the chair she had just vacated.

“He completed the sale of the freehold a few days before his death,” Brooks added.

Kline leaned across the table and opened the file in front of Eveline. “This is the letter we received yesterday from the new owner’s law firm.”

Eveline blinked before focusing on the top sheet of the paperwork before her.

“The land in Ginza is now the property of Lincoln Hudson, the President and CEO of the Hudson Group,” Kline continued. “His lawyers have given us formal notice that Le Secret’s leasehold rights will be revoked in thirty days.”

Eveline’s hands trembled as she picked up the letter and read it over, the words blurring in front of her eyes. Her heart sank as she finally absorbed its content.

It was just as Kline had said.

The new owner of the plot on which Le Secret stood had given her thirty days to dissolve her business and vacate his land.

“Wouldn’t a leasehold be for fifty years?” Eveline mumbled. “Can he even do this?”

“The new leasehold law that came into effect twenty-five years ago gives the landowner the right to refuse the leaseholder permission to run a business on his property,” Kline said. “Hudson is completely within his rights to issue a revocation order.”

Blood thundered in Eveline’s ears, the sound matching the emotions storming through her as she stared blindly at the printed text. She put the letter down, inhaled shakily, and stared at the men opposite her.

When it rains, it fucking pours.

“How long will the court appeal take?” she said, her voice growing steely as cogwheels started turning in her brain. She had not come this far in life without learning how to roll with some punches. Eveline frowned. Or how to get back up and knock the enemy right out of the ring.

“Six weeks,” Brooks said.

Eveline drummed the fingers of her right hand on the table, her polished, red-lacquered nails rapping an impatient tempo.

“Can we do anything to expedite it?”

“We’ve got a meeting with one of the judges this afternoon,” Kline said. “As to whether he will be willing to bring the case forward is not something I’d want to bet money on.”

Eveline gritted her teeth. “Do the Hudson Group President and his lawyers know the details of this affair? As in Nagato swindling me out of—”

“They know,” Brooks said. “We spoke to Lincoln Hudson’s lawyers and his secretary yesterday after we received the letter. Hudson’s secretary got back to us thirty minutes ago.”

Eveline leaned forward in her chair, her heart pounding against her ribs. “And? Is he willing to negotiate something?”

“Hudson said that it ain’t his problem,” Kline muttered.

Eveline stilled. “What?”

Brooks rubbed his eyes tiredly. “According to his secretary, Lincoln Hudson’s exact words were ‘I don’t give a flying fuck’.”

 

Author Bio:

Ava Marie Salinger is the pen name of an Amazon bestselling author who has always wanted to write scorching hot contemporary and erotic romance. In 2018, she finally decided to venture to the steamy side. NIGHTS is the first of several sizzling series featuring sweet, sexy men and women with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to fight for their hearts. When she’s not dreaming up hotties to write about, you’ll find Ava creating kickass music playlists to write to, spying on the wildlife in her garden, drooling over gadgets, and eating Chinese.

Want to be the first to know about Ava’s new releases and get access to exclusive content, sneak previews, sales, and giveaways ? Then sign up to her Reader Group here and join her VIP Facebook Fan Group here.

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[Cover Reveal] Wrecked by Shana Vanderpool

Wrecked
Shana Vanterpool
(Charming Knights #1)
Publication date: August 2nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Welcome to Charming High.

Sorry, we’re fresh out of charm …

Hallie:

I am a star.

I’m not famous, before you make that mistake.

Although, I guess I kind of am. Or I will be anyway. My future was planned long before I was born.

The definition of a star is a fixed luminous point in the night sky that is an incandescent body like the sun.

I am a star. I am fixed. I am luminous only when no one is looking. I was stuck to repeat the same night every single day.

Until I met Wreck. And he showed me how alive I could feel within my cage.

Wreck:

I am a knight.

I’m not a knight in shining armor, before you start thinking I’ll save you.

I am a knight in raging darkness.

Until I met Hallie. And she showed me how to break free of my battle-torn armor.

Wrecked is the first book in the Charming Knights series by Shana Vanterpool. An exhilarating upper YA contemporary romance series set deep in the lives of Charming High’s most beloved football team. Where the limits of good and evil are pushed, desires and dreams are twisted, and readers are immersed into the lives of people who have it all. Except their freedom…

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Author Bio:

When I walk into a book store I feel at home. When I smell the pages of a brand new book things make sense. When I read I am who I always wanted to be. I read to escape and I write so others can as well. My family, my actress dog Bella, coffee, and a steamy love story are a few of my most precious things.

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[Book Blitz] Strong Hold by Sarah Castille

Strong Hold
Sarah Castille
(Redemption #5)
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: July 3rd 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

“Shayla?”

For the longest moment Zack’s brain couldn’t process the sight in front of him.

Seven years, ten months and twenty-seven days. That was how long it had been since he’d seen her. That was how long it had been since he’d lived a life without regret.

Fight promoter Zack Grayson is on the prowl for a rising star. As the top recruiter of a prestigious MMA promotion company, he wants to take someone where he was never able to go: the top of the professional league. He didn’t expect that someone to be the woman he loved…and left.

Top-ranked MMA amateur fighter Shayla “Shilla the Killa” Tyler built walls around her heart when Zack left her seven years ago–and again when her husband turned violent. Now, seeing Zack is nearly enough to send those walls crumbling. But she can’t risk the exposure of the limelight, and she definitely can’t risk another heartbreak.

As Shayla and Zack grow closer, though, business turns personal. And once their passion unleashes, there’s no going back…

Redemption Series:

Against the Ropes (Book 1)

In Your Corner (Book 2)

Full Contact (Book 3)

Fighting Attraction (Book 4)

Strong Hold (Book 5)

What People Are Saying About Sarah Castille’s Redemption series:

“Powerful. Gritty. And sexy beyond belief. Sarah is a true master!”–Opal Carew, New York Times bestselling author of His to Claim

“Emotionally charged, amazingly sexy, and flat out fantastic.” —Fresh Fiction for Full Contact

“Castille continues to introduce characters who are both intense and vulnerable. The females are more than a match for the men in their lives, and these guys are worth their efforts.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars for Full Contact

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EXCERPT:

“That kiss,” he whispers, his breath hot against my ear. “In Torment’s office. That was nothing?”

“Aside from the fact that we risked both our lives, and you have to pay a heavy price, and I maybe got a little hot from all the activity…nothing.”

“And when we touched…” He slides one arm around my waist and pulls me close as if we were alone and not in the Redemption parking lot where, no doubt, we are fueling the overactive gossip mill. “When I held you…nothing?”

My cheeks burn at the memory. “A friendly hug.”

“And back there in class…” His hips press up against mine, and his voice drops to a sensual growl. “When I had you underneath me with your hands pinned above your head totally at my mercy…nothing?”

I open my mouth, but nothing is exactly what comes out.

Zack responds with a satisfied grunt. “Something.”

“Don’t let it go to your head.” I grit my teeth and look away. “It was a natural physiological response. I’m genetically programmed to be attracted to handsome, sexy men in peak physical condition. Survival of the species and that sort of thing.”

He laughs, and oh God, I missed that deep, rich rumble that rolls right through me. “What about this?” He taps my head. “I’ve heard the brain can overcome basic instinct and genetic programming. Free will and that sort of thing.”

“Yeah, well, it’s not working right now. I think it’s the gi.” Unable to stop myself, I run my hand along the edge of his gi, my fingers trailing over the hard muscles of his chest. “It’s…distracting.”

His muscles tense under my touch, and a growl vibrates in his chest. “You’re distracting.”

“We’re supposed to be keeping it professional,” I remind him, pulling my hand away. I watched his body change from boyhood through his gangly teen years and then fill out when he reached his early twenties. He was ripped back then in a way that made heads turn, but his muscles now are thick and hard, ripened by age and hundreds of fights. When I last saw him, there was still some boy left in the way he held himself, a slight unease with his body. But now, he is all confidence and power. Pure solid man.

Zack grabs my hand and presses it against his bare chest, right over his heart. “You’re not making it easy. Your jealousy…knowing you care…feeling that connection… You don’t know what that does to me.” He is on me before I can part my lips, one hand firm around my neck, his lean, powerful body caging me against the car. His mouth claims mine, stealing my breath away with a kiss that sends a scorching wave of heat through my veins.

“Professional means no kissing,” I say when he lets me up for air. Without thinking, I trace the edges of the scar on his forehead, a bitter reminder of Matt’s misdirected anger when Zack brought home his mangled bike.

Zack covers my hand with his, trapping it against my cheek. “No kissing,” he agrees. “Unless you touch me, and then I can’t be held responsible for my actions.”

“Fine. No touching.” I pull my hand away, pleased that we are setting out some ground rules so I don’t have to worry about wanting to tear his clothes off in the gym.

His naughty hand skims the side of my face, his thumb stroking over the apple of my cheek as he tips my head back, forcing me to look at him. “I can’t train you if I don’t touch you, especially when we’re rolling on the mats like we just did in class.”

“Okay. Professional touching. Nothing else.”

He licks his lips like a predator about to feast. “Unless you want something else.”

I press my lips together and scowl. “Stop qualifying everything. I know exactly what you’re trying to do, and it’s not going to work. You can’t seduce me, Zachary Grayson. You know exactly what professional means. Now let’s shake on it.”

He cups my face between his hands and tilts my head back. “Kiss.”

“You had your kiss—”

Without warning, his hands drop to my hips, and he yanks me against him. His mouth crushes mine, and his tongue slides between my lips, touching, tasting, claiming. I startle at the urgency of his kiss, the raw heat, the fierce desire. I shouldn’t kiss him back, but I can’t resist the dark temptation, the firm hand that has found its way to my nape, holding me in place as he coaxes me open for the slow, relentless possession of my mouth.

Blood pounds in my temples, my hunger for him raw and wild. My hand slides up his chest and over his shoulder. I pull him closer, my fingers clutching the soft, silken strands of his hair. My heart pounds in my chest, and the world shatters around me.

 

Author Bio:

Sarah Castille is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Redemption Series, Ruin & Revenge Series, Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club series, and Legal Heat series. A recovering lawyer with a fondness for dirty-talking alpha males, she now is a full-time writer, who lives on Vancouver Island. Sarah’s books have been listed as Publisher’s Weekly’s Top Ten Picks and Best Summer Reads, and Amazon’s Best Romance Books of the Year, and have won numerous reader’s choice awards including the Holt Medallion.

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[Cover Reveal] Reckless Attraction by JJ Knight

Reckless Attraction
J.J. Knight
Publication date: July 9th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

I wish this were the usual love story.

Boy meets girl.

Boy falls in love.

They live happily ever after.

But it’s not.

In this one, I find the most awesome girl. Chloe. Smart. Funny. Sexy as sin. With convictions. She takes risks for what she believes in.

We connect. Completely. Awesomely. It’s literally the best feeling.

But then she screws me over in the worst possible way.

__

Hudson, shut up.

You’re the one who calls yourself “Reckless.”

You’re the one who pummels people’s faces just to get your rocks off.

It’s not my fault that your ambition in MMA runs up against my need for action. I protect the innocent. You fight them.

And I can’t help that we had this instant chemistry, a powerful explosive connection I didn’t even know could exist.

But you are who you are.

And I am who I am.

I just wish you weren’t the perfect man for me.

____

Fans of Uncaged Love and Fight for Her will see their favorite characters Colt & Jo and Parker & Maddie as they try to help this MMA fighter and his new love untangle their destiny.

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Author Bio:

JJ Knight is the author of multiple bestselling series and serials.

Reading order:

Single Dad on Top (standalone, but fans asked for a sequel!)

Single Dad Plus One

Morris Music with rock star Dylan and music label intern Jessie

Revenge #1

Revenge #2

Revenge #3

Revenge #4

Revenge #5

Blue Shoes #1

Blue Shoes #2

Blue Shoes #3

Uncaged Love with the MMA fighters Colt “Gunner” Mcclure & Jo “Hurricane” Jones

Uncaged Love #1

Uncaged Love #2

Uncaged Love #3

Uncaged Love #4

Uncaged Love #5

Uncaged Love #6

Fight for Her with MMA fighter Parker “Power Play” & Maddie (and wee Lily)

Fight for Her #1

Fight for Her #2

Fight for Her #3

Fight for Her #4

New reader? You can start with any book labeled #1!

Come chat with JJ and other fans on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jjknightauthor

Sign up for emails from JJ: http://www.jjknight.com

Get a text when JJ has a new book: text the word “knight” to 77948

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[Book Review] Naughty Desires by Sarah Castille

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Title: Naughty Desires
By: Sarah Castille
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Description:

I’ll do anything to get her back.

Fifteen years ago she crashed into me at a bus stop. It was love at first stumble.

We fell in love quickly and wildly. It was everything that neither of us had experienced before and we got married as soon as possible.

But what happens when life changes everything? When you start feeling unworthy of your brilliant wife?

I’ve shared almost everything about myself with Lily – except my dark desires.

I can feel her slipping away from me, but I won’t let her go.

I’ve got one chance to show her who I really am, what I really want, and all the games I like to play.


Warning: This NAUGHTY SHORTS book contains a little naughty, a lot of heart, and a happily ever after.

Naughty Shorts from New York Times bestselling author, Sarah Castille, are quick delicious bites of dirty and sweet romance that will give you all the feels. Set in a small town, and inspired by stories about everyday couples, these sexy novellas are about hope, passion and second chances.

 


The Review:

This book was really short but was everything Castille.

Literally, everything I’ve come to love about The Sinner’s Tribe MC series is embodied in this sweet and sexy love story featuring dark desire, failing hope re-ignited and love once thought to be snuffed out by time reborn.

Lily and Chris fell in love with each other almost immediately. They get married and stay together but as the years roll by, when the harshness of life rears its ugly head and communication grows dry, the two soon find themselves on opposite ends of the the bed. That’s until Lily receives a special delivery from a rather unexpected source.

Hot and steamy with a hint of the kinky and this book rolls into a gorgeous literary masterpiece. I am definitely going to continue these novellas for sure.

My rating:

four-stars
4 out of 5 stars!

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About the author:

6920675New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them. A recovering lawyer and caffeine addict, she worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies.

[Cover Reveal/Excerpt] Professor’s Kiss by Sienna Blake

EXCERPT & COVER REVEAL Professor’s Kiss By Sienna Blake Releasing May 28, 2018 Synopsis Danny O’Donaghue. Indie rock god. Ladykiller. The devil with midnight hair and blue-flame eyes. After six years I thought the pain of what he’d done to me had faded. Guess not. Because I’m standing […]

via Cover Reveal w/Excerpt: Professor’s Kiss by Sienna Blake —

[Blog Tour] Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks

Phi Alpha Pi banner
This is my stop during the blog tour for Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 14 till 28 May. See the tour schedule here.

Phi Alpha PiPhi Alpha Pi (21st Century Austen #2)
by Sara Marks
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult, Adult
Release Date: May 28, 2018

Blurb:
Phi Alpha Pi is the oldest and largest sorority on campus and new president Lizbeth has a busy senior year ahead of her. She’s determined to keep her sorority in good standing on campus after a year on academic probation. She’s trying to manage the new sorority house manager, Mrs. C, who has her own ideas about how to support the sorority sisters. All while trying to find balance with her own academic goals to complete an honors thesis, graduate, and decide her future plans.

The last thing Lizbeth expects is her anger when Wil, a new member of the Alpha Pi fraternity, pushes every one of her buttons. Lizbeth finds Wil, a new transfer to the university with his best friend, to be rude, snobby, and judgmental. Even though she tries to avoid him, he seems to be everywhere, scowling with displeasure when he sees her. That is, until his Thanksgiving proclamation of love. That causes Lizbeth to reconsider how she sees the world.


Excerpts:

Excerpt #1:

As one of the largest and oldest sororities on campus, there was usually someone in the Phi Alpha Pi two-story Greek revival style mansion. Members were eating, studying, or simply enjoying each other’s company. Today there were twenty women moving into their rooms and unpacking for the start of the school year. Lizbeth, as chapter president, had been one of the first sisters to arrive, but still hadn’t unpacked. She and the other officers were too busy helping their sisters move in. Lizbeth had already put out a small, literal fire from a fallen candle. Then she put out figurative fires of roommate mix-ups and fights about who got which bed. Now Lizbeth sat alone in her room, exhausted and anxious to get out of the house, if only for a few hours.

Lizbeth had never been this involved in the sorority. She had agreed to the position, for her senior year, to help keep the sorority off academic probation for low grades. This had been a looming threat in the past. Lizbeth had helped by teaching the sorority sisters ways to get organized, creating study schedules, and helping create an atmosphere that turned studying into social events. She was glad her best friend Jane, who was Membership VP, was helping with the move in. There were sisters that Lizbeth didn’t know and relationships she didn’t understand. Jane was good at soothing hurt feelings and mediating fights. She had to run a membership meeting later in the day. Rush Week, the week before classes started so potential new members could attend all events, launched tomorrow.

“Lizbeth, did you see the shirts she got the board members?” Marie said, entering her room.

Marie, the sorority treasurer, was holding a hot pink T-shirt up to her body. At twenty years old, she was petite and wore her black hair long with bangs that nearly covered her eyes. When she pulled them back she revealed bright hazel eyes and a nose just a bit too big for her face. Marie was Lizbeth’s “little sister,” a bond between sorority sisters that often lasted the rest of their lives. As their resident gadget geek, she always had the latest technology toy. She had the first Fitbit, the first GoPro, was also the first to adopt new social media, and had happily taken over the sorority’s web presence.

Lizbeth had seen the shirt Marie was holding in the gift basket their housemother had given each officer as they moved in. Mrs. C, as they were instructed to call her, was brand new this year and a bit over-eager. She had welcomed each of the officers with a huge hug and said basket, which had also included tons of candy, candles, and school supplies. She gave each sister a candle as she moved in. It was one of these very candles that Lizbeth had put out when it fell and burned the carpet. Their previous housemother had never been this excited to see them.

“Yes, I saw it,” Lizbeth said with a sigh.

“Lizbeth, it says, ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.'”

“Well, she is up on her Austen,” Lizbeth said with a shrug.

Lizbeth sat down on her bed and let herself fall back on the bare mattress.

Marie put her hands on her hips and sighed before responding.

“You know that’s not the point. Some of us aren’t here to find rich husbands.”

“I believe it was the goal for many sisters in her day. She is new and excited. She will learn some of us aren’t like this anymore.”

“She asked me to wear it tonight.”

“No, you’ll wear an official sorority shirt; it’s tradition.”

Marie huffed irritably.

“Are we paying for this stuff? She hasn’t handed me receipts, but I’m worried she will.”

“Let me know if she does. I think this is her gift to us. She made these herself. I mean, the font is comic sans.”

Marie left the room and Lizbeth heard her door bang. All the bedrooms were on the second floor of the house, but the two officer bedrooms were adjacent, so they could all work together. Lizbeth lay back on her bed wishing she wasn’t living this close to Marie and her roommate Lydia. She closed her eyes for a few moments, hoping to catch a quick nap.

“I think we have everyone settled and don’t need to worry about anything until the meeting starts.”

Lizbeth opened her eyes to see Jane come into their room. The only good thing about having to live at the sorority house, as far as Lizbeth was concerned, was rooming with Jane. She had only joined Phi Alpha Pi so she and Jane could be together their freshman year. Last year, when the sorority had just come off an academic probation for low grades, Jane and a few graduates had begged Lizzie to run for president. The year had been difficult for some of the sisters, but Lizbeth had emerged as a leader. There was only one other candidate for president: Lydia. Lydia was the de-facto leader of the un-academic sisters and the worst of the lot. In the end, Lydia had taken on the Programming VP role, something she was very good at. Lydia had already planned so many mixers that Lizbeth had forced her to cancel some.

“Is it true there is a party tonight after the meeting?” Lizbeth asked Jane.

“Yes, Lydia planned with the guys at Alpha Pi. They have a few new brothers who transferred from another school and they want to make them feel welcome before Rush Week starts. Do you remember Caroline? Her older brother Charlie is one of those members,” Jane added.

Lizbeth nodded, vaguely recalling the woman who had transferred to the university and wanted to get involved at this chapter of Phi Alpha Pi.

“Mrs. C is all abuzz about them because they are so rich.”

“Exactly. She thinks Caroline’s brother could be a boyfriend for one of us. It is so sweet of her to want to help us.”

Lizbeth wished that Jane was being sarcastic, but she knew otherwise. Jane was the kindest person in the world. Jane liked almost everyone, so Lizbeth knew there was something wrong with you if you were the rare person Jane didn’t like (and vice versa).

“You’re too sweet,” Lizbeth said.

“Lizbeth, she’s recently widowed. Her children are all off living their own lives. She wants to take care of someone and we need someone looking out for us.”

Lizbeth rolled her eyes.

“I understand, and I feel horrible for her. I mean, you saw the shirts. God forbid we learn to take care of ourselves rather than hunt for rich men to marry.”

“Some members actually want to meet their future husband. Let her get used to us and learn what we need. I’m sure she’ll calm down. If not, well… you’ll certainly be a good balance for her. That is one of the strengths we value in you.”

Lizbeth tossed a stuffed bear at her best friend before getting up and organizing her half of the room.


Excerpt #2:

The more they walked around the museum, the more Lizbeth realized they liked a lot of the same pieces and artists for very similar reasons. They didn’t draw while in the Matisse exhibit, but Lizbeth would periodically sit and doodle while listening to tour guides who led groups through the space. Her paper was quickly filled with little triangle butterflies and poorly drawn horses.

“Suddenly I expect you to love unicorns and rainbows,” Wil said, sitting next to her on a bench and looking over her shoulder.

“I do!”

“I was joking.”

“I’m not. I also love mermaids. Ask Becca. For years I was going to turn into one when I grew up. It was my career goal for quite a while.”

“Are you a good swimmer?”

“Fantastic! I’m a much better swimmer than I am an artist.”

Wil laughed at her.

“You are great at riding horses and swimming? Did you want to become a unicorn later?”

“No, I was going to be a mermaid princess who came on land to ride her unicorns. That’s why my grandparents bought me Windfola.”

Wil blushed, probably remembering his plan to buy her horse.

“Then your income would be princess-based.”

“Obviously, a great plan.”

This time they both laughed. Wil wouldn’t let her see what was on his paper. They left the exhibit and headed for a cafe in the museum to grab lunch. As they left the exhibits, Lizbeth saw him fold his paper and slip it into his back pocket. As they made their way to the cafe, they got distracted by a collection about roosters across cultures. They stood before a painting of a rooster called “The Cock.” Neither recognized the artist, but Lizbeth felt inspired.

“The thing that catches my eye about this cock is the color and shape. Notice the left curvature of the cock. The shape is of an average cock. What are your thoughts about the cock, Wil?” Lizbeth said.

She turned to face Wil and found him trying to stifle a laugh.

“Do you find cocks funny, Wil? A cock is nothing to laugh at. If you had a cock as grand as this would you want people laughing at it?” Lizbeth said.

She would have continued, but she started laughing herself. She let Wil take her hand and pull her out of the room.

“You’ve seen my terrible drawings. Let me see what you did,” Lizbeth said once they were seated with lunch from the cafe.

“No, it’s nothing.”

“Wil, don’t worry. I won’t tell your aunt how you aren’t a well-rounded young lady.”

Wil laughed at the joke, but refused to let her see what he had drawn.

“This isn’t over. The more you refuse, the more I want to see what you drew,” Lizbeth said as she got up to throw away their trash.

Excerpt #3:

The party was in a penthouse apartment only a few blocks from their house. They could easily have walked over, but instead they took a car. Since all three women were wearing new high-heeled shoes, the less walking on icy sidewalks, the better. Lizbeth had found an amazing black, sleeveless dress on a clearance rack. It looked fantastic on her. This was the extent of Lizbeth’s excitement for the party. She suspected she and her two siblings would be the youngest people there.

“We’re going to play a game,” Becca said on the elevator ride up to the party. “Each of us must find something interesting about the apartment. Lizbeth, a measly library does not count. Nor, Josh, does the food or kitchen. I want mermaid statues in the bathroom, rooftop sex rooms, or, if you’re desperate, famous socialites puking over the balcony.”

“Becca!” Layla said as the elevator door opened right into the apartment.

To say the apartment was big would be insufficient. There were at least two floors, and probably something on the rooftop. The space was large and open with a grand staircase leading up to the second floor. Lizbeth could see the walls of windows, many leading out to the balcony that overlooked the city. The main room was devoid of furniture other than high-end folding chairs. It was full of people with food and drinks in hand. Waitresses walked around the room with trays of food. Lizbeth saw a buffet against a far wall and a bartender serving drinks. Two walls were just floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city skyline. She could see a few people chatting out on a balcony outside. Inside the decor was primarily white and metal.

“I will also accept stolen Nazi art,” Becca whispered in Lizbeth’s ear.

There was a great deal of art in the large front room. Everywhere people chatted amongst themselves. Someone came and took their coats. Another person came over to Jack and Layla and started talking to them.

“Kids,” Layla said, turning to her children, “you’re on your own. Don’t get drunk, don’t steal anything, don’t cook anything, and don’t get lost in the library.”

Layla knew her children well. Each of them grabbed a glass of wine and went on their own way to play Becca’s game. Lizbeth walked through various rooms. Other than some great art, there wasn’t anything of interest for her to tell Becca about. She did enjoy looking at the art, but without Charlotte, she didn’t know anyone but the masters. She eventually put her wineglass down and made her way upstairs. There were people talking on the landing and on the stairs, so it didn’t seem out of bounds. Some of the doors were open. She saw someone come out of a bathroom. She peeked in the door and saw no marble mermaid statue.

She walked into the poorly lit room next to it. It smelled of furniture polish and something familiar. She realized, as her eyes adjusted to the light, that she was in a library. It wasn’t a for-show library either. This was wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, bookshelves full of books. The books were a mix of beautiful leather bound books, worn paperbacks, spiral bound books, and folios of loose documents. A sofa faced a large window that looked out over the city. The view was breathtaking and made her remember what she loved about New York City.

Lizbeth was more interested in the books than the view. She made her way over to a shelf and pulled one out. It was about the navy during the Napoleonic era. The whole shelf was full of similar books. She didn’t care about her mother’s instructions; this was her dream room. Her grandparents’ library in Gardner had been built and filled with books over generations. It was her favorite room in their house. Her mother had built a library in both their homes. She put the book back, and pulled out another one. accidentally snagging another. It fell to the floor with a loud thump.

“Fuck,” she said under her breath and bent down to pick it up.

“Lizbeth?”

She stood up and turned to the sound of the voice. There, next to the sofa, was Wil Darcy.

“You certainly have a thing for wandering into my bedrooms,” Wil said softly.


You can find Phi Alpha Pi on Goodreads

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Check out the first book in this series!
Modern Persuasion
“Tension builds as they each learn about the current version of the person they once loved and resolve the ramifications of their choices.”Links:
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Sara MarksAbout the Author:
Born in Boston, MA and raised in Miami, FL, Sara Marks has two masters degrees and plans to never stop getting over educated. She likes the idea of having all the academic regalia she can ever possess and winning with the most degrees in her family. By day she’s an academic librarian. In what little free time she has, she also knits and plays with her dog Cedric Doggory.

You can find and contact Sara Marks here:
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Giveaways
There are two tour wide giveaways during the blog tour of Phi Alpha Pi! There is a US Only Giveaway for a prize pack and an international giveaway for 14 e-copies and a print copy of Phi Alpha Pi!US Only Giveaway
One winner will win a Prize Pack containing:
– Mrs. C’s homemade officers shirt in Comic Sans (you pick XL or XXL)
– A Phi Alpha Pi sorority sticker, candle, and bracelet (some of the items mentioned in the story).
– An illustration by cover designer Risa Rodil
– A rooster dishtowel (so you can make cock jokes with Lizbeth and Wil)
– Autographed printed copies of Modern Persuasion, A Little More Modern Persuasion, and Phi Alpha Pi (not pictured)
Phi Alpha Pi Prize Pack GiveawayFor a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Open for all Giveaway These are the prizes you can win: – 14 winners will each win an e-copy of Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks – 1 winner will win a print copy of Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway


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