[Book Blitz] Counting on You by Laura Chapman

Counting on You banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Counting on You by Laura Chapman. Read on for more information about this book and there’s an US only giveaway. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 27 August till 2 September. See the tour schedule here.

Counting on YouCounting on You (Amarillo Sour #1)
By Laura Chapman
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 28 August 2018

Blurb:
Is love worth the risk?

Math teacher Haleigh Parde has no desire to change her single status until she receives an invitation to her high school reunion. With her ex spreading rumors she needs a date and fast. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Haleigh finds herself meeting a blind date at a neighborhood bar called Amarillo Sour . . .

After watching Haleigh crash and burn, app developer Ian Henning makes her a proposition. If she’ll provide honest feedback on his new dating app, he’ll guarantee her a date to knock the socks off her former classmates. Even better, he—and the other Amarillo Sour regulars—will help her navigate the rocky road of dating.

Through setups ranging from awkward to absurd, Haleigh discovers her matchmaker might just be better than the matches. And Ian wonders if she’s the answer to everything he’s worked for professionally. Or is she something much, much more . . .

 


Excerpt

 

In an effort to mask her embarrassment, she raised the glass to her lips.

“Wait.” He held out his glass to hers. “Here’s to taking chances.”

She could drink to that. She toasted his glass and sipped, appreciating the way the wine both chilled her throat and warmed her chest on the way down.

He drank his beer and set it down. “So, you know I couldn’t help overhearing your date with Patrick.”

“Yeah, we covered that.”

“And I know we only officially met a few minutes ago, but I feel like—what with the eavesdropping and all—we’ve gotten to know each other a little.”

“Or you’ve learned my most embarrassing secret. I only know you develop software and—based on how well you know the lay of the land—you apparently spend a lot of your time hanging out at a bar.”

“Which is pretty much all there is to know about me. Except that I like watching both sports and nerdy TV shows, and that I wish I could have a dog, but my apartment won’t let me.”

“You’re right,” she said. “We’re practically married. Should we spend Christmas with your family or mine?”

He snorted. “Now that we’re friends, and I know that you need a date to your reunion and you’re on a deadline, I wanted to run something by you.”

Her heart fluttered. Was this guy she just met going to help her get a date? No, that was crazy. But maybe he had some advice. She’d been sarcastic when she’d asked for it earlier, but it really couldn’t hurt.

In fact, it might be better coming from a stranger than any of her work friends. It would certainly keep Nina from spreading the details through the rumor mill.

“I’m listening. Not that I know if you have the credentials to give lectures on—”

“It’s not a lecture. And I’m not a dating expert. Well, not exactly. I’m not an expert,” he repeated and cleared his throat. “But I have done a lot of research on dating. Or at least my company has, and I’ve used it for my job.”

“I thought you build apps.”

“We do. Our new app—one that’s coming out next month—is a dating app.”

“Like Tinder?”

“Kind of, but not really.” He launched into an explanation about how the app was part game, part matchmaker. That it helped connect people who’d really get along without making the process cumbersome. So far, it sounded good.

But how did she fit into this?

“We’re actually trying to find one more person to try it out.”

Oh. He needed a guinea pig. “Why?”

“We’re close to the launch date. While our feedback has been good, it hasn’t been personal. We haven’t been able to see it from the inside.”

“Why doesn’t one of your employees try it?”

He shook his head. “That’s not objective enough. We need someone who can give us an inside look, while not influencing the outcome. Someone local. Someone who can find a good match that we can brag about to our investors. Someone with a good story.”

Someone desperate enough to give it a try with an audience. Someone like her.

She could see the logic. That didn’t mean she liked where this was going. “So, you want me to try your app and report back.”


You can find Counting on You on Goodreads

You can buy Counting on You here:
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iTunes


Laura ChapmanAbout the Author:
Laura Chapman is the author of sweet and sexy romantic comedies. A born and raised Nebraska girl, she loves watching football, traveling, crafting, and baking. When she isn’t writing her next story, she is probably working at a museum by day and binge-watching Netflix with her cats Jane and Bingley at night. So, basically, she’s living large.

 

 

You can find and contact Laura Chapman here:
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Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Counting on You. One winner will win a Amarillo Sour Starter Kit, that includes two shot glasses, two coasters, a bottle opener and pens with the bar’s logo on them plus a $10 Amazon card. US Only.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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[Blog Tour] Finders, Not Keepers by D.E Haggerty

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Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Date Published: August 20, 2018
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What do you do with a diamond no one wants? You can’t keep it. Or can you?
While cleaning her ex-husband’s effects out of the attic, Terri finds an exquisite diamond pendant necklace. She’s determined to return the necklace to its proper owner, but the owner was brutally killed, a murder which remains unsolved, and her heirs want nothing to do with the diamond. Terri embarks upon a journey researching charities to which she can donate the diamond. When her research becomes dangerous, Terri contemplates solving the murder herself. Her best friend, Melanie, jumps feet first into investigating the murder, but her neighbor, Ryder, doesn’t want Terri exposed to any danger. Ryder, to Terri’s surprise, also wants to be more than neighbors with Terri. Luckily, he’s prepared to take any measure necessary to keep her safe because someone is determined to stop her inquiries.  
Join Terri on her quest to find a home for the diamond, which may result in the unveiling of a murderer – if she survives long enough.

 

 


 

Interview

#1 – Do You See Writing as a Career?

Oh definitely, I work full-time on my writing career. I don’t make full-time wages, but that’s a different story.

#2 – What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?

Staring at a blank page, ready to start a new manuscript, is one of the hardpest parts of the writing process. Every time I start over with a blank page, I’m nearly convinced I can’t do it all over again. Can I finish a complete manuscript? Will it all fit together? What if the characters refuse to speak to me? The doubts will take over if you let them. Cheeky buggers.

#3 – Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?

Hmmmm…. There’s not really one person who helped with my writing outside of the family. There are a whole bunch of people from reviewers who have stuck with me through ups and downs, my editor who has put up with me and my deadlines from the near beginning, bloggers who support my books, and a whole bunch of strangers on social media who have given me advice in way or another.

#4 – What is next for your writing?

Finders, Not Keepers is the first book in the Not So Reluctant Detective Series. There are two more books in this series – or at least that’s the current plan. I’m also working on a historical fiction novel set in Holland.

#5 – Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?

I would say my addiction to reading is actually worse than my addiction to writing. I’m currently reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tarrt and The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson.

DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet:

Join Terri on her quest to find a home for a lost diamond, which may result in the unveiling of a murderer – if she survives long enough

This or That?

#1 – iPd or Mp3? iPod

#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla? CHOCOLATE!!!

#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries? Fries

#4 – Comedy or Drama? Comedy

#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks? Nicholas Sparks

#6 – Fantasy or Reality? Fantasy

#7 – Call or Text? TEXT. Don’t call me, I’ll call you

#8 – Public School or Home School? Public School

#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate Coooooofffffeeee!!!

#10 – eBook or Paperback? eBook


About the Author

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I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Finders, Not Keepers is my thirteenth book.
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[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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[Promo Blitz] Aldo by Betty Jean Craige

 

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Suspense
Date Published: March 2018
Publisher: Black Opal Books
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Aldo is a mystery/thriller/love story in which a brilliant and dangerous ideologue attempts to eliminate a university’s genetics institute by holding the university’s president hostage.
On the same day that Isabel Canto, associate director of Pembrook Atlantic University’s Institute for Genome Modification, discovers she is pregnant with IGM post-doc Frank Marks’s baby, Pembrook’s president Mary Ellen Mackin receives a letter from “Aldo” threatening harm if she does not dissolve the institute and fire its director. Aldo claims to represent “ethical people across the world concerned with the detrimental consequences of germline genetic modification in humans” who fear not only “designer babies” but also the unintended consequences of changing human DNA for future generations.
The institute’s director, Linus Winter, conducts research into germline gene modification, which is the controversial modification of a gene in reproductive cells to affect descendants. Linus hopes to use genetic therapy to eliminate Huntington’s Disease, for which he has tested positive, and other horrific hereditary disorders.
Isabel suspects that Frank, who has disclosed his opposition to germline genetic therapy, is willing to sabotage Linus’s project. She finds her loyalties divided between Frank and Linus.
President Mackin refuses to dissolve IGM. The next evening Aldo kidnaps her.
This story is embedded in a letter Isabel writes to her son Lino on his sixteenth birthday.
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About the Author

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Since graduating from Pomona College in 1968, Betty Jean Craige has been a teacher, scholar, translator, columnist, and mystery writer. She retired from the University of Georgia in 2011 as University Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. After retiring she published a Sunday column in the local paper about animal behavior titled “Cosmo Talks” and a book titled Conversations with Cosmo: At Home with an African Gray Parrot. Then she began writing fiction. Her Witherston Murder Mystery series, set in north Georgia, includes Downstream, Fairfield’s Auction (First Place in Chanticleer Book Awards’ category of Mystery and Mayhem), Dam Witherston (Honorable Mention in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for Mystery, and Distinguished Favorite in 2018 Independent Press Awards), and Chieftains in Witherston (scheduled to be published in 2019). A suspense novel, Aldo, came out in 2018.

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[Teaser Tuesday] Violet Souls by Abbey MacMunn

 

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Fantasy Romance
Release Date: 5th September 2018
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While searching for clues to her past, shy single mum, Bree Mills discovers a subculture of aliens with supernatural abilities living on Earth.
And she’s one of them.
Finding herself hurled into a world of possibilities, it’s made more alluring by Quinn Taylor, the violet-eyed Evoxian from her childhood dreams.
324-year-old Quinn knows his destiny is entwined with Bree’s, but before he can confess his love, he must wait for her to sense the Akui, a mysterious force tied with ancient Evoxian law.
At a Cotswolds country manor, passions awaken and ignite a love more magical than the once-Utopian planet, Evox. Then Fate delivers a cruel and heart-breaking blow when Bree is kidnapped by a malicious alien who wants her and her power.
Will Quinn still love her when she’s faced with protecting her half-human daughter… whatever the cost?
Excerpt

 

“I know it must seem impossible to believe, but please give me a chance to explain.” Quinn’s amethyst gaze never left hers. “Haven’t you always felt different to everyone else? Did you ever wonder why your eyes are an unusual colour?”
Bree blinked like a stupid airhead.
“I know you sensed the connection to your talisman; surely you can’t deny that?”
Something tugged inside. Despite her fear, her confusion, and the craziness of what he’d told her, she controlled the impulse to run.
She could answer yes to every question, hell yes, but it didn’t mean she came from another planet…did it?
Her head spun. Erratic thoughts swirled like dust motes caught in a breeze. She was a single mum, slightly odd maybe, but living an ordinary, uneventful life, or at least trying to. How could this be happening? Beads of sweat dampened her brow, her neck. Could it be true?
“Let me show you something, then you can decide. Would you give me your talisman, please?”
With no idea why, Bree took off the pendant and handed it to him, flicking her tongue across lips that were drier than the Sahara.
He tilted his head in the direction of the small table. “Sit down and I’ll prove it to you.”
With her legs buckling at the knees, she had no choice but to do as he asked.
Quinn closed the curtains, blocking the bright shaft of sunlight, then sat in the seat opposite. His intoxicating scent, sandalwood, soap and the faintest whiff of zesty orange shampoo filled her senses, made her insides fizz with anticipation. “Hold both hands out, please, palms upwards on the table.”
Bree wiped her clammy palms on her jeans. Yep, I’m the crazy one here.
“Okay, try to relax.”
Un-bloody-believable. How the hell was she supposed to relax? Not to mention the touch of his hot, dry hand was playing havoc with her pulse rate.
***
About the Author

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Abbey MacMunn writes paranormal and fantasy romance. She lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband and their four children.
When she’s not writing, she likes to watch films and TV shows – anything from rom-coms to superheroes to science fiction movies.
She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
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[Blog Tour] Scintillate by Karen Tjebben

 

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Young Adult, supernatural romantic thriller
Date Published: November 2013
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Kate Archer is instantly drawn to Nick. He’s handsome, smart, and interested in her – perhaps a little too interested according to Kate’s brother. It’s a good thing Nick is interested, or Kate would have died the night of the football game. Nick may have rescued Kate, but he can’t stop the inevitable. Kate is changing; she just doesn’t know it. She can’t explain the visions and sensations affecting her body, but she can enjoy the pleasure of Nick’s kiss – that is, until she learns the real reason he is with her. Betrayed by her genetics, Kate begins a metamorphosis that forces her to confront an unseen reality and claim her true destiny.

Excerpts

My world was upside-down. Twenty-four hours ago I wouldn’t have believed any of this. I believed in right and wrong. I believed in redemption and grace, mercy and forgiveness. But this… this creature… was there forgiveness for a creature like him?

Can you forgive someone who kills so randomly and on such a massive scale? He was the ultimate serial killer, killing for decades, centuries or perhaps millennia. What do you do with someone like that? What is a just punishment for a monster like him?


About the Author

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Storytime always captivated Karen.  As a child, she fell in love with books that transported her to different worlds and introduced her to new creatures. As a teacher, she encouraged her students to explore different times and new worlds through literature.  Now, when Karen isn’t living in reality with her husband and daughters, she can be found creating an alternate reality filled with creatures and worlds that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers.
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[Blog Tour] The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo

The Gathering
Bernadette Giacomazzo
(The Uprising, #1)
Publication date: March 31st 2018
Genres: Adult, Dystopian

The Uprising Series tells the story of three freedom fighters and their friends in high — and low — places that come together to overthrow a vainglorious Emperor and his militaristic Cabal to restore the city, and the way of life, they once knew and loved.

In The Gathering, Jamie Ryan has defected from the Cabal and has joined his former brothers-in-arms — Basile Perrinault and Kanoa Shinomura — to form a collective known as The Uprising. When an explosion leads to him crossing paths with Evanora Cunningham — a product of Jamie’s past — he discovers that The Uprising is bigger, and more important, than he thought.

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Excerpt

 

Introduction

Jamie

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be the center of attention.

I had it before. And I have it again, now.

But for entirely different reasons.

My name is James Randall Ryan IV.

My nearest and dearest call me Jamie.

My father, who is (well, now, was) not amongst my nearest and dearest, called me Jimmy. I hate that nickname, and when he died, I thanked every God in Heaven that I never had to hear it again. I wish I could say I otherwise missed the old man, but, unfortunately, I would be lying to you.

And I wouldn’t lie to you.

Not these days. And not about that.

But when I was onstage, I was known as Ivan Sapphire – glam rock god, sex symbol, pussy connoisseur, Dionysus in leather pants, Jesus Christ in sunglasses, High Priest of the Bacchanalia, Son of a Bitch of a Preacher Man.

I was all those things, and more.

I was the lead singer of a band called Faust.

We – myself, William Lynn on guitar, Jordan Barker on bass, and the Reverend Tom Newman (yes, he really was an ordained minister – granted, he got ordained online, but that’s just as valid of an ordainment as any other) on drums – played a balls-to-the-wall, blistering brand of rock’n’roll that earned us accolades, fans, fame, and a lot of money.

New York City was, at first, just our home. When Faust first started playing together, it became our playground. And by the time our careers were in full swing, New York City was ours for the taking.

Like any other band, we paid our dues in the beginning: playing Tuesday night open mics in dive bars with no name, getting tossed a $20 to split four ways at the end of the night, having to slog it out at a job the next day while nursing a Pabst Blue Ribbon-induced hangover – a job that we didn’t want to be in, in the first place, because we were on the fast track to rock stardom, even if only in our own minds.

I remember the night that all changed, though. I see it clearly in my mind, as though it all happened last night.

It was a Friday night at the legendary CBGB. We were opening for a pretentious, shoe-gazing hipster rock band. I wish I could remember their name…Ars Poetica, I think it was.

But it doesn’t really matter now.

At that time in New York City rock’n’roll history, our brand of music had gone out of fashion. Gone were the days of leather-clad lesser rock gods and their songs of hedonistic excess – in our place were unshaven, unkempt navel-gazers who sang music to slit your wrists by. This was the soundtrack to your Prozac-induced manic-depressive state, kids – 50% less pussy, 100% more bitching and moaning!

Brooklyn hipster pieces of shit.

We opened for Ars Poetica because Hilly – the legendary owner of CBGB – wanted to give us a fair shot, but knew that most people were there for Ars Poetica. He figured, with all things being equal, he’d be able to earn us a few extra fans if we had a chance to get in front of their crowd.

He told us that, of the hundreds that paid the $25, with a two-drink minimum, we’d be able to get a few new converts.

Ten, maybe.

If we got lucky.

He kept insisting that we should remain optimistic, but realistic.

And if we did well, he promised, we would be able to have a headlining show on a Friday night; prime real estate for a New York City rock band to obtain, at that time.

And take home $100 to split between the four of us as a consolation prize.

Hilly.

May he forever rock’n’roll in the afterlife.

The night came, and we stood before the crowd – wall-to-wall people, as far as the eye could see. The faces all seemed to blend into one another – men and women, black and white and every shade of tan in between, long hair and short hair in every color of the rainbow.

It was the finest representation of the old New York that so many people had come to know and love. The great American melting pot. The rock’n’roll dream come true – the music serving as the great unifier of people from the world over, and our performance, a communion of souls. Take, and eat – for it is my body of work, and it will be given up for you.

I remember feeling so nervous. I remember standing up on that stage – that filthy, piss-ridden stage that felt like it would collapse under my feet any minute – with Willie, Jordan, and Tom – my three brothers-in-arms – and looking out into the crowd to find a friendly face.

Although it didn’t happen often, if I ever got onstage and found myself feeling nervous at the prospect of performing for a maddening crowd, I would often look out into the audience and find a friendly face to sing to for most of the night. Sometimes it worked – just as many times, it didn’t – but either way, it would end with me ending up with Mrs. Right Now, with her pretty little skirt – often two sizes too tight – torn off and tossed in the back of our van and her shirt around her ears, followed by proclamations of eternal (or, at least until one or both of us got off) love, heavy panting and sweating, and various bodily fluids splattered to the walls, the floor, the seat cushions…anything that was within arm’s reach, really.

Paradise by the dashboard light, as the old song goes.

That poor, stinking van.

It wasn’t that I was a man-whore, so much that I was ready and amenable to whatever was nearby that was equally ready and amenable.

And who wouldn’t be, really, in the same circumstances? You mean to tell me that any straight, red-blooded American man who has been granted access to every size, shape, and flavor of pussy on the island of Manhattan will think of being a monk?

I think not.

And if there’s one universal truth about musicians in general – and lead singers in particular – it’s that we get into the business of music for one reason: pussy. The fame is nice, if you can get it – the money is definitely nice, if you can get it – but we get it all because, at the end of the day, we want prime-cut tenderloin pussy, and that, you can definitely get.

But that night, the friendly face I locked onto would rock my world in a way no one had ever done before.

Angelique.

I knew, from the minute I laid eyes on her, that I would never want anyone else ever again.

And I never did.

Seeing her inspired me to play like I’d never played before.

Oh, we were never terrible – in fact, left to our own devices, we were incendiary – but that night, we played as though the world was burning down around us. We sang the soundtrack to the apocalypse, caterwauling and squealing and throbbing and pounding our way through the lyrics and music as if it was our last night on Earth.

New York City was a big, beautiful bitch, and she was ours for the fucking.

And we fucked her but good – hard, long, slow, all night long, and we were all left panting and sweating thereafter.

We tried to set the night on fire.

And we succeeded by orders of magnitude.

And by the end of our set, we not only had the audience leaving CBGB with us – leaving barely anyone behind for Ars Poetica, those poor, navel-gazing, wrist-slitting fucking Brooklyn hipster pieces of shit – but I had Angelique’s number in my phone.

Hilly gave us the Friday night headlining slot the following week.

Angelique gave me her virginity after that show.

And thus, began our rocket ride to the top.

The press started to come out in droves to our shows after that first fateful headlining show. Article after article, and photo after photo, came out to tell all of New York City about us. We played every envied stage on the island of Manhattan: CBGB, The Continental, Arlene Grocery, The Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, Joe’s Pub, and The Bitter End.

Once, twice, three times around the island, and back again for more.

The Pirates of Happenstance. The High Priests of Chaos. The Lords of Misrule.

We sold our souls to rock’n’roll, and our bodies to the New York City rock scene.

It was amazing.

They lavished us with every accolade they could imagine, and even some we’d never heard before: Willie and I were the New Millennial Glimmer Twins – Batman and Robin with Les Pauls – Genghis Khans on a savage panty raid. As a collective, we were known as the four horsemen of the rock apocalypse, effectively rendering every other genre of music in New York City completely redundant. We were the best rock band in captivity – the buck-skinned prophets of a dying brand of cock-rock, fueled by illegal drugs and cheap beer and late nights and early mornings and starving ourselves for days on end (sometimes because we weren’t hungry, other times because there was nothing to eat, and still other times because illicit drugs are a hell of an appetite suppressant…).

We were equal parts savages, sinners, saviors and saints.

We were all those things, and more.

It was all said, written, blogged about and photographed, documented for all of prosperity and placed in a time capsule for history to be the judge.

Let history be the judge of us, and condemn us to a life of Hell, because we experienced Heaven on Earth.

The whole thing started with rock’n’roll, and then it was all out of control.

And it was all true.


 

Author Bio:

With an impressive list of credentials earned over the course of two decades, Bernadette R. Giacomazzo is a multi-hyphenate in the truest sense of the word: an editor, writer, photographer, publicist, and digital marketing specialist who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to thrive in each industry with equal aplomb. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and many, many more. She served as the news editor of Go! NYC Magazine for nearly a decade, the executive editor of LatinTRENDS Magazine for five years, the eye candy editor of XXL Magazine for two years, and the editor-at-large at iOne/Zona de Sabor for two years. As a publicist, she has worked with the likes of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit record label, rapper Kool G. Rap, and various photographers, artists, and models. As a digital marketing specialist, Bernadette is Google Adwords certified, has an advanced knowledge of SEO, PPC, link-building, and other digital marketing techniques, and has worked for a variety of clients in the legal, medical, and real estate industries.

Based in New York City, Bernadette is the co-author of Swimming with Sharks: A Real World, How-To Guide to Success (and Failure) in the Business of Music (for the 21st Century), and the author of the forthcoming dystopian fiction series, The Uprising. She also contributed a story to the upcoming Beyonce Knowles tribute anthology, The King Bey Bible, which will be available in bookstores nationwide in the summer of 2018.

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