AuThursday – Rosanna Leo

Rosanna Leo author photoWelcome Rosanna!  Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thanks so much for having me here, Tina!

I’m Rosanna Leo and I write contemporary and paranormal romance. When not writing, I work at my local public library in an Acquisitions role, so I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to see all the new books when they first arrive. I come from Toronto, Canada, and I try hard to insert a bit of Canadian flavour into my books. I’ve been writing for over ten years now and am fortunate to be part of the romance community, as a writer, blogger, and reader.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

With the subgenres of romance that I write, I really do get the best of both worlds. With my contemporary romances, I get to explore the conflicts of “real” people, and I love showing how they can grow and learn to love. In the case of my paranormal romances, the characters and situations might be a bit more outrageous, but it’s fun for me to be able to push those envelopes. Each type of writing compels me to think differently, so it’s a great exercise. The one commonality, of course, is that in those stories, the protagonists have to fall in love and be committed to one another by the end of the book. However, that journey to love is the whole point, and it’s the reason I love this genre so much. It carries a powerful sense of hope. 

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

For me, the part I dread is the initial brainstorming. I know of writers who can just shoot out fresh ideas on the spot, but I’ve never been good at that, not even in non-writing situations. I have to let my thoughts marinate for a while, and I second-guess a lot of my ideas. Nevertheless, as much as it sometimes pains me, I do try to get some ideas down. It’s the first step, after all, so it has to be done.

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

I do believe in writer’s block, and I know I’ve experienced it before. It tends to affect me at particular times, however. I had it after losing a loved one, during moments of stress in my career and family life, and I’ve experienced when I’ve written myself into a hole (when I haven’t thought out a story properly and I begin to flounder.) It happens. I won’t call myself an expert in dealing with it. For the most part, I just try to either write through it, or I take a break from writing altogether. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

My recent release is A Good Man, Handymen 1, a contemporary romance. It released on June 9, 2020. It’s been published traditionally with Totally Bound Publishing. I’ve been working directly with publishers for a few years now and have worked with some great people. I appreciate that my publisher handles a lot of the details that I don’t feel confident handling (i.e. covers, formatting.) So, for me, it’s a good fit.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I haven’t ruled out self-publishing and may attempt it down the road. I have many author friends who prefer that method, and they have it down to a fine art. Not having done it myself, I probably can’t speak to its disadvantages, and I think a writer should always do their research before committing to either path. 

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I like to think my writing is more polished now, more pared down. When I started writing, I used some overly-descriptive language and made some interesting style choices. It’s all part of learning, and it was definitely part of my process. Now, I try to take a lot of care with my word choices, and if I can simplify a statement, I will.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

I don’t have a favorite motivational phrase, but I do believe in the power of positive affirmations. For the most part, I try to express gratitude for where I am in life, and I try to be grateful for something each day. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Blog: https://rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeoRosanna

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rleoauthor1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rleoauthor/

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rosanna-leo

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Sure! I’d love to share an excerpt from A Good Man, Handymen1:

AGoodManCover_1500x2400Emily threw herself at him and wrapped her arms around his torso, cutting off his words and his breath. Only when he hugged her back did he realize how hard she was quivering.

She wasn’t just crying about the old photos.

“It’s okay, Em. Let it out, sweetheart.”

The collar of his shirt grew wet but he didn’t care. Wardrobe had tons of shirts. Besides, she felt good in his arms, all soft and warm. He rubbed her shoulders and the back of her waist, exploring and familiarizing himself with her luscious body. He breathed, drinking in her scent. His nasal cavities had never known such bliss. It was like that first clear breath after a long period of congestion. His fingers were pretty happy too, enjoying the give of her body. It was all he could do not to slide them down, cup her sweet ass, and pull her up against him.

Just not while she was crying over another man.

She lingered in his arms and he did nothing to push her away. In fact, it surprised him how badly he wanted to keep her there, so much so that when Emily finally extricated herself, he wanted to pull her back into his embrace. Instead, he wiped her cheeks clean of the remaining tears.

“The makeup ladies are going to kill me for making you cry.”

It might have been his imagination, but her tears made her eyes appear even greener. In fact, her entire face seemed a riot of tempting color. Each shade called to him. The crushed roses in her cheeks. Her strawberry lips, so plump and moist. Even the doeskin brown of her freckles fascinated him to no end. He wanted to count them, to kiss and mark them all.

Kissing her made a whole lot of sense right now. Kissing her senseless seemed even better.

Emily’s eyes widened. Her lips parted in invitation. Michael paused, knowing it was wrong, even though every raised hair on his arms told him it was right.

As he debated with himself for a split second, she brushed her lips against his. It was quick and soft, hunger masquerading as something platonic. Even though a spectator might have called it a friendly kiss, he knew the truth. As brief as it may have been, he felt her yield to him, even if just a little.

From the startled look in her eyes, Emily knew it too.

 

Saturday Spotlight – Risk by Juliette Mousseau

Title: RISK

Series: Brothers on Ink and Steel
Author: Allie Juliette Mousseau
Genre: Enemies to Lovers/2nd Chance Romance
Release Date: June 23, 2020
Cover Design: Allusion Graphics
USA Today Bestselling Author Allie Juliette Mousseau delivers a sexy, quick-witted and sassy enemies-to-lovers second-chance romance featuring one smoldering alpha attorney; a feisty, determined social worker; and three young orphans in trouble… 

Saint Sophia the Mother of Orphans, help us!

 

Connor Callahan, once a North House teen who shed his own blood to become a Brother of Ink and Steel, is now a powerful attorney and the Twin Cities’ most eligible bachelor. He challenges stereotypes and melts panties with his rugged good-looks, colorful tattoos, and brazen piercings. When he’s handed the case of a lifetime with the promise of partnership in the firm he’s dedicated his career to, he knows his destiny is close.
Then he gets a glimpse of the familiar Saint Sophia pendant his opposing council wears, and he finds himself wondering… could it really be her, the girl he met as a teenager? He never thought he’d see the blond whirlwind again after she blew in and out of his life, but she was wholly unforgettable. Like a tattoo over his heart. If only he could get close enough to be sure it’s really her… but she’s never going to let that happen.
Elle Hayes despises the formidable Mr. Callahan and everything he stands for. Though he puts on an immensely charming act—and is hotter than the desert sun—she knows he’s a fake. There’s no way she’s going to let Callahan interfere with her objective: finding a home for the vulnerable orphans his client has torn apart.
Then an unexpected set-up has Connor and Elle playing house together for a week…
As the tension—and heat—revs up between them, they discover that they each have a whole lot more to lose than just a court case. Their hearts are on the line—and so much more.
But to experience the greatest things in life, we have to take the greatest risks.
RISK Brother of Ink and Steel (Book 4) is a standalone novel. There’s no need to read the earlier titles beforehand, but this book features charming cameos by title characters from the Brothers of Ink and Steel and True North Series. You’ll want to go back and read them all.

 

I’ve been watching my favorite distraction ever since I first discovered him working with the kids in the ring—teaching them how to box and better their mixed martial arts abilities—shortly after I started working at The Core. He’s here with them three days a week like clockwork. I’ve also seen him sparring with some of the other guys who seem to be regulars here too. You can tell they’re all friends by the way they hang out, laugh and mess with each other. They’re all gorgeous, but I’m drawn to my mystery… errr… distraction.His body is cut and sculpted with lean long muscles, while every inch of his exposed skin is etched with ink that ripples and moves with him like he’s an exotic tiger. His movements make the tattoo artist’s canvas come alive. The tats adorn every line and ridge, precisely cut against the muscle.
I want to get closer! I want to touch them! I want to touch him.My favorite tattoo is the black scrawling letters over his left ribcage that read, “I AM MY BROTHERS’ KEEPER.” What a beautiful mantra to live by.
I wonder if it’s his religion.Good God, he’s the definition of sex appeal. Any kind of day I’m having, everything starts looking up when I get a chance to watch him move.I’ve actually never seen his face. His nose and cheekbones are always hidden behind a padded, grilled face guard. So I’ve just had to imagine the face that goes with that amazing body.
He looks like an experienced fighter. His skin is stretched drum tight over taut muscles. Every inch of him is iron.
Christ, he’s hard all over.I shake my head to dissipate the musing of how hard that body could get under his shorts.
Back to G-rated fantasies! There are kids around, I scold myself. At least… PG-13.He shows the kid how to move, what muscles to put behind the punch. His side ripples in waves as he arches and stretches his ribs and shoulders, twisting to the side.
My eyes trail his movements, mesmerized.
It’s been so long since I’ve felt desire.
I’ve wanted to get close enough to see into his eyes, but I haven’t had the guts. He’d totally know I was checking him out if I did. So, I keep my distance.The thin boy sends a right hook against the man’s face—the puffy glove connecting to his equally padded face mask. I can’t help but laugh when he pretends the hit is hard enough to knock him off balance, as he stumbles over his feet dramatically, then acts as if he’s shaking it off.
The young boy jumps up and down and raises his arms in triumph.
This guy could be the man of my dreams.

 

USA Today Bestselling Author Allie Juliette writes sexy, emotionally-charged New Adult Romance and can usually be found daydreaming and writing about heroic, alpha males; and strong-willed, intelligent women, and plotting ways to make them fall in love! 

Fall in love again! Read all of Allie Juliette’s books.

 

 

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Cover Reveal – Finding Peace by Adelyn Zara

Title: Finding Peace

Series: Tales of Resilience #1
Author: Adelyn Zara
Genre: Romance
Release Date: July 9, 2020

 

Struggling after the death of her husband and hindered by her inability to recover from cancer treatment, Lynn isn’t expecting to find anything other than entertainment at an awards show. When she meets music exec Donovan Rue, there’s instant chemistry – and instant chaos.

 

 

 

Donovan faces lawsuits and complaints from disgruntled employees. Lynn’s fragile self-esteem and her recent personal tragedy make her leery of Donovan’s interest. As things heat up between them, their chemistry threatens to implode.
As outside tensions and pressures mount, Lynn breaks away, but Donovan refuses to give up on the strong, resilient woman he sees beneath the damage. Can these two people find peace?

 

An exhausted puppy was asleep in his crate near Lynn’s bedroom fireplace. Lynn and Donovan snuggled together, leaving the young people downstairs.“I hate when Christmas day ends,” Lynn declared as she stared into the fire. “It was such a nice Christmas. I’m glad that you and Dara could share it with us.”

“Thank you for having us,” Donovan answered. He smiled softly and asked, “Are you ready for your present, Peace?”

A small thrill ran through Lynn followed by guilt.

“You’ve given me so much, Donovan! Fancy clothes, jewelry, a chair …”

“But today is Christmas!”

Donovan stood up, found new music on his playlist. He motioned for Lynn to join him in another dance. Ben Harper’s Forever played as they swayed gently in place. Lynn’s body grew warm, her heartbeat increased at an idea of what Donovan’s present might be.

“Donovan,” she whispered as his lips grazed her cheek, their feet barely moving as he swayed her back and forth. His dark eyes sparkled, but he looked intense, needy.

“Just let me talk, please,” he pleaded.

He quit dancing. Taking a deep breath, Donovan took both of Lynn’s hands into his own.

“Lynn, you totally captivate me.”

His hand swiped through that raven hair again.

“I can’t imagine being without you. I love you so much.”

Donovan looked upward, closing his eyes tightly for a minute.

“Shit! I can’t even put this into coherent words.”

Lynn’s eyes widened in amazement. She was tongue-tied, too. Before she could find words to encourage or comfort him, Donovan was on one knee, still holding her hands. Lynn gasped, breaking her right hand loose from his hold, covering her mouth in surprise.

“Lynn, would you marry me?”

Now Lynn took back her left hand, bringing it up to join the other on her face. Tears sprung into her bright blue eyes; she still could not communicate.

Donovan wasn’t sure what to make of a subdued Lynn.

“I know we haven’t known each other long, but I know what I want when I see it.”

Again, he ran his hand through his hair.

“You see me for who I am, not the celebrity that the media makes up. You bring peace, happiness … shit, Lynn! I don’t care if I get sixty years with you or six minutes. I can’t live without you! I don’t know how to …”

“Yes.”

Lynn sucked in a breath after she said the one word. Looking down at the man she loved, she saw a mixture of surprise, then relief, then complete love.

“Yes?” he whispered.

“Yes!” Lynn repeated, then grabbed his hands, intending to help him off the floor. Instead, Donovan pulled her down, wrapped his arms around her, and kissed her as if he was afraid the answer would change.

“I was afraid you would say no, say it’s still too soon,” he said when he broke the kiss.

“What’s too soon?” Lynn asked. “I’ve been thinking a lot about this since your first proposal. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that time does go quickly, and you’d better grab what you want when the opportunity presents itself. And enjoy every second you have.”

Donovan pulled Lynn to him, surrounding her with strong arms.

“Absolutely!” he agreed, then continued. “I mean it when I said the time thing. I need to enjoy every minute with you, whether it’s ten minutes or one hundred years.”

Lynn leaned over to give Donovan another big kiss.

Adelyn Zara knew she wanted to be a writer after creating a paragraph about a snowman in 4th grade.
 
She taught herself to type when her grandfather brought home an old typewriter from his job in Chicago.
 
She loved working with international students but hated the pressure cooker of work. So, she retired! But she continues to belong to NAFSA, National Association of International Educators.
 
She has compassion for the mentally ill because of her daughter, joined NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness), taught Family to Family classes for them, and keeps learning more about it.
 
She has an ongoing battle with breast cancer and considers herself earning a Ph.D. in it, something she never wanted to do.
 
She’s been told she’s RESILIENT, and by God, those are the woman she admires most! Her stories feature men and women who are encountering problems in life and figuring out how to overcome them.
 
Curious? Give her a read.

HOSTED BY:

 

AuThursday – Idabelle Aylor

idabelle transparent logoPlease welcome Author Idabelle Aylor to the Clog Blog.  Idabelle, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I’m a wife. I’m a mom of teens and a 6-year-old. I have loved writing my entire life. I am a US Navy veteran. I am a business owner and a licensed massage therapist. 

How do you make time to write? 

Funny this question is here. We used to own a tire shop but it has pretty much gone under. So, now my husband is my agent and I get to write! 

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Yep.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I am currently writing in sweet romance but also want to write women’s fiction/chick-lit. I like sweet romance because I like happy endings. I like happy stories even if there is some drama. There’s enough sadness in life, if I’m going to escape in a story I want it to be a happy/funny one or at least one where love always wins. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or something else) 

Indie. I co-write in a different genre under a different pen name and have gotten a dozen rejections and after learning that you still need to promote yourself, I figured I’d publish myself and keep more of my hard-earned money. 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work? 

A bit of both. I don’t like promoting myself so I’m glad my husband does. But I do love talking to people and learning about them. I use what I learn and people’s personalities and some life experiences in my stories as well. A good thing about being a little introverted is that it doesn’t hurt my feelings to stay in and write instead of going out. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

Success is not so much achievement as achieving. Refuse to join the cautious crowd that plays not to lose; play to win. – David J Mahoney 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Keep writing. Keep talking about your work. Keep writing. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

http://www.idabelleaylor.com/

Amazon 

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us? 

413XYrwZY-LSofey smiled, the backyard condo for June’s pet squirrel and magpie had been quite the project. 

“I remember when we built that condo. That was fun.” Sofey wiped the condensation from her bottle, “I miss Barney.” 

“Me too, Dolly.” June finished her drink and stood up. 

“Hey, why don’t you come over tonight and watch the finale of Jury of Love with me. I didn’t even know the dadgum show had started a season!” June pursed her lips and took a sip of her pop. 

“They say there’s a local guy on there this season. Well, local like a Caraway.” 

“Caraway? Really? Huh, that’s only like 15 miles away.” 

“I know, I’m sure he’s a celebrity now around these parts but I doubt I’d know a celebrity from Adam, if I ran into one.” June set her empty pop bottle on the table and stood up.

 “Well, I’m ordering pizza. You bring the refreshments.” She was already at the front door when she added, “See you in an hour!” 

 

AuThursday – Lainee Cole

Lainee Cole author picTell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a born and bred Midwestern girl who escaped to Southern California for one year during my early 20’s but came home when I missed the change of seasons. Growing up in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois will do that to you! On cold winter days, my older bones talk to me, as in “What the heck were you thinking?” Now I live in Central Illinois with my husband, who always wants to talk when I’m trying to write. My two kids and one grandchild live nearby, and we see them often.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember! I wrote horse stories as a child, then poetry in junior high and high school. My friends and I traded romances starting in high school, and it didn’t take me long to decide I wanted to write them. It took me a lot longer to actually do it, but here I am! My goal is to give readers the same escape I discovered in books.

How do you make time to write? 

I’ve learned it’s important to write every day. My muse is happier that way! I don’t have set writing hours, but usually spend a chunk of afternoons and evenings writing, or doing writing-related tasks. In some respects, it’s easier since I retired from my day job last summer. While my husband is doing outdoor chores or golfing with his buddies, I can write uninterrupted. When I was working, I sometimes struggled to make time to write because it took away family time. But writing has always been important to me. Laptops were a great invention! My laptop allowed me to be on the computer as much as possible, even when my kids were sprawled around the family room watching TV or playing video games.

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Definitely. If my creative well is low, I struggle to put ideas together, to make words flow the way they should. Self-care is important as well. I try to walk every day for at least an hour. But sometimes the words just aren’t there. In that case, I read, have more conversations with friends, and go for longer walks. Ideas tend to spark for me when I do those things.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I write sweet contemporary romance. I love it because I can explore characters and their relationships without being explicit. My characters can have all the feels without restricting their actions to MY imagination. Readers can use their own imaginations for what happens with my characters behind closed doors.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

I just Indie published my most recent book in January via Amazon. To be honest, I’ve always wanted to be a traditionally published author, and I haven’t given up on that, but the publishing landscape is open now. I discovered the Common Elements Romance Project (https://commonelementsromanceproject.wordpress.com/) and wanted to be a part of it. All books for the project were required to be self-published, so that’s what I did!

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work? 

I’m an Extrovert, very much a people person. I can talk to almost anyone. Being an extrovert is a blessing and a curse as an author. It’s a blessing because, well, people! Everybody has a story and you never know when someone will trigger an idea, whether from something they say, their behavior, or even just their appearance. People-watching can be interesting! Being an extrovert is also a curse because when I’m working on a book, it’s hard to stay isolated and focused. I crave contact with other people. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” 

— Louis L’Amour

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If you are passionate about writing, don’t just take courses or read books – you have to WRITE. The more you actually write, the more you will learn. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Please follow me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LaineeColeAuthor/), Twitter (@LaineeCole), and Amazon (https://amzn.to/2VuobuD). I’d love to hear from you!

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

STORMS OF THE HEART excerpt

Storms of the Heart high resHome. She blinked several times. She’d finally grown up and realized people made a place home, not buildings. Her heart climbed into her throat, but she refused to cry. Breathe in, breathe out, she coached herself. You can do this! Despite Uncle Wayne’s pleas and assurances, it had taken a long time to find the courage to return. Now that she was home, she couldn’t wait to feel his firm bear hug.

She straightened her shoulders and pushed away from the house. Yes, she could do this! At twenty-five, she could finally take control of her own life. She could put her past to rest and look forward to her future.

Emerson flinched when another crack of lightning split the air and forked through the sky, illuminating two cars parked at the side of the house. She hadn’t noticed them before. One was a distinctive black and white car with SHERIFF in gold lettering on the side. 

Her breath hitched as she peered through the downpour. Wait. What is the Sheriff doing here? She’d already lost her parents and her aunt. She couldn’t lose Uncle Wayne, too. Not now.

 Swallowing her panicked thoughts, she hurried toward the front door. Her shoes squished cold water between her toes with every step. She stripped off her wet jacket and dropped it in the corner. The dim yellow porch light flickered and went out. 

With her heart beating faster in the darkness, Emerson scrubbed her hands over her wet face. Add cops and power outages to what else could go wrong.

Damn those negative thoughts! She inhaled deeply and shoved them out of her mind. She knocked on the door. The cop car didn’t mean anything. Uncle Wayne was expecting her. Soon she would be warm and cozy inside.

She knocked again, harder this time.

Still no answer. Maybe Uncle Wayne couldn’t hear her over Mother Nature’s cries, but he wouldn’t expect her to stay out in the rain. She tried the knob and found it unlocked.

Another deafening crack of lightning shattered the air. Something hit Emerson’s knee from the side. The momentum tore the doorknob from her hand. Her backpack fell to the ground as the thing brushed by and sent her stumbling through the doorway.

Ooof!

Strong arms caught and cradled her. She froze as earthy cologne with just a hint of citrus filled her nose. A long, whimpering whine sounded before a voice from somewhere above her head ground out, “Get back out there, dog.”

Snug against his chest, her body absorbed the rumble of the man’s words, while her mind struggled to place the oddly familiar scent of his cologne.

“Oh, let him be,” twittered a high, excited voice nearby. “He doesn’t like storms.”

Welcome to the club. It was too dark to see the woman, but she must be the live-in housekeeper Uncle Wayne had mentioned. Mrs. Beresford. This man, though. She inhaled his scent again. His embrace warmed her chilled body as he steadied her, but didn’t let go. She felt strangely safe in his arms.

“I’m sorry. The lightning startled me,” she offered into the darkness as she pushed against the man’s chest. He released her and she shivered.

“It’s not the dog’s fault.”

The man sighed, and then she heard the front door close heavily against the wind. The dog pressed against the back of her legs. Her jeans soaked up his dampness. He whimpered and her heart went out to him. I’m with you, buddy.

The strong odor of sulfur wafted through the air, followed by a welcome glow lighting the room.

“You must be Emerson.” A woman with a short, layered bob of red hair held a lantern as she came forward, reaching out a thin hand. She smiled, and her touch was gentle on Emerson’s arm. “Wayne told me all about you.”

She squeezed the woman’s hand and smiled. “You must be Mrs. Beresford.”

The older woman glowed with pleasure. “Please, call me Irene.” She gestured toward the door and her smile faded. “This is Sheriff Lomax.”

Emerson’s pulse jumped, but she pasted on a smile and turned. 

Max. His hair was darker than the last time she’d seen him, but even in the shadowy light, she knew those grayish-blue eyes, that straight nose, and that little cleft in his chin. It had been seven years, and yet she’d never forgotten the heat between their bodies as she’d pressed against him down by the creek. The tenderness of his kiss had surprised her, had made her feel when she didn’t want to feel anything. 

She’d tried to seduce her crush and failed miserably. What had she been thinking? Oh yeah. That was the problem. She hadn’t been.

“Hello, Emerson.”

 

 

Cover Reveal – A date with an Admirer by Heidi McLaughlin & LP Dover

Title: A Date with an Admirer
Series: The Dating Series
Authors: Heidi McLaughlin & LP Dover 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2020
February is the month of love, but not for Sophie. One week before Valentine’s Day, she learns her boyfriend of two years has been cheating on her with one of his dental hygienists.


As much as she wants to erase any trace of him from her life, she has no choice but to face him and his new squeeze at a huge Valentine’s Day bash that has fast become the social event of the season. No way is she going alone. What she needs is a beautiful hunk of arm candy… STAT.

Sophie’s best friend, Ellie, proposes the perfect solution to her dilemma. Her brother Tanner, the smokin’ hot surfer, just got back into town and is more than happy to help Sophie prove she’s over her scumbag ex.

What starts as an act between Sophie and Tanner quickly swells into more. It doesn’t take long before Sophie finds herself wanting to ride more than just waves with the toned and tanned hottie. But when passion crashes over the pair, Sophie fears she’s putting her friendship with Ellie at risk.

Can Tanner convince her to give their love a chance? Or will the bonds of friendship repel Cupid’s arrow?

Tanner slowly lets me go. “So, tell me about this party. What all do you need me to do?”
My cheeks burn. There are things I’d love for him to do, but I’m not about to mention them. Closing my eyes, I sigh and open them back up. “Okay, it’s a Valentine’s Day ball, put together by a girl I knew in college. Everyone I graduated with will be there. It’s like one of the biggest events of the year.”
Tanner smirks. “Your ex will be there, right?”
I nod. “Yes. Along with the woman he cheated on me with. I’m sure everyone there knows what happened. I can’t not go.”
“Do you still have feelings for your him?” Tanner asks, furrowing his brows.
“No,” I gasp, knowing it’s the God honest truth. I stare right into Tanner’s eyes, hoping he can see it as well. “I don’t love him anymore. Here recently, I keep thinking I never did. We didn’t have that connection.”
Tanner moves closer, his eyes searching mine. “What exactly do you want from me? Do you want it to look like we’re together?”
My stomach flutters and the nerves make me shiver. “Would that be okay with you?”
His eyes focus on my lips for a few seconds before meeting my gaze again. “If you want this to be believable, we might have to practice. I don’t want to be at the party trying to kiss you, only to have you recoil or look surprised.”
Everything inside of me trembles. Just the sound of his voice and hearing those words turn me on. “That’s not going to be a problem,” I say, whispering the words.
Tanner smiles. “You sure? I’m right here if you want to practice.”
Dammit to hell, I want to kiss him more than anything, but that’s the sexual tension talking. I can’t be acting rash like that, not with Ellie’s brother. Then again, he has a point. We can’t go into the party pretending to be together and not looking like we’re together.
Taking a deep breath, I get to my feet. By the mischievous grin on Tanner’s face, it’s obvious he can tell I’m contemplating it. “Okay,” I give in, “maybe we should practice a couple of things, but not today. I think we should get to know each other a little better first. We have a week before the party.”
He agrees with a nod and stands. “Sounds good to me. I’ll pick you up tomorrow morning. We’ll spend the day together.”
I like the sound of that, maybe too much. “See you tomorrow,” I say. I walk him to the door and he opens it. He glances down at my lips again and I really just want to say fuck it and kiss him just to see what it’s like, but I totally chicken out.
Something tells me he’s not afraid though. Tanner starts out the door and looks at me over his shoulder. “Sweet dreams tonight, Soph. I’m sure I will.”
Mouth gaping, I watch him get in a black Jeep and drive away. Sweet dreams aren’t exactly what will be happening in my sleep. All that’s roaming through my mind is naughty. Groaning, I shut the door and lean against it.

 

“What the hell have I gotten myself in to?” I can still smell Tanner’s cologne and it’s intoxicating. “I’m going to be making out with my best friend’s brother. If that doesn’t spell disaster, I don’t know what does,” I mutter out loud. What’s bad is that I know I’m going to like it.
Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.
 
Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband, two daughters, and their three dogs.
 
In 2012, Heidi turned her passion for reading into a full-fledged literary career, writing over twenty novels, including the acclaimed Forever My Girl.
 
When writing isn’t occupying her time, you can find her sitting courtside at either of her daughters’ basketball games.
 
Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe, and opened in theaters on January 19, 2018.

 


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L. P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Everything’s sweeter in the South has always been her mantra and she lives by it, whether it’s with her writing or in her everyday life. Maybe that’s why she’s seriously addicted to chocolate.
 
Dover has written countless novels in several different genres, including a children’s book with her daughter. Her favorite to write is romantic suspense, but she’s also found a passion in romantic comedy. She loves to make people laugh which is why you’ll never see her without a smile on her face.

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AuThursday – Nadine Miller

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m an Irish romance writer who writes historical and will be releasing my first contemporaries this year. I write mostly clean with a little heat 🙂 I have a law degree but gave up working in law to write romance! I live in a rural area of Ireland with my husband and three children. 

How do you make time to write? 

I usually write when the children are in school or when I’m sitting in the car at one is their extracurriculars (of which there are a lot!) 

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

I do! And unfortunately, I’ve experienced it. For me, the more I worry about it the worse it gets. So when it happens I need to just take some time away and read, or binge watch Netflix, or bake! Sooner or later, the words come back! 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I used to sneakily read my mum’s historical romances and I’ve been a bona fide Janeite for as long as I can remember. There’s something about the regency era, the clothes, the balls, the manners – if you ignore things like lack of plumbing (very easy to do in historical romance) you can just lose yourself in the glamour and romance of the time! And that just makes my heart happy. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

I’ve published The Royals Of Aldonia as an indie! It’s been exciting. Protecting The Princess is book two although they can be read as standalones. 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work? 

I like to think of myself as a hybrid! I enjoy my own company just as much as I enjoy being out and about socialising. I think every writer needs to be a bit of an introvert because you really have to be happy with just your fictional characters for company! 

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

It might not always be perfect, but it’s always worth doing. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write! Just write. Everything else can be dealt with later – covers, marketing reviews. But just keep writing! 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.nadinemillard.com 

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

“So even though it means you hate me, your safety means more to me than your love. I can live with your hatred as long as it means you’re safe. I’d rather have you out there despising me but alive than live in this world knowing you’re not in it.”

Protecting the Princess

Cover Reveal – Z and the Firewolf

Title: Z and the Firewolf 

Series:  Dealing with the Dead Book Three

Author: Tina Holland

Genre: SFFP, Post-Apocalyptic, Erotic Romance

Release Date: May 12, 2020

Publisher: Book Boutiques

Cover Design: Valerie Tibbs, Tibbs Design

Z-and-the-Firewolf-Mockup1

Blurb:

When the Phoenix Lunar Coven hires Maximillian Z to retrieve their most valued treasure from an evil skin-walker, they expect results. As a hardened mercenary hunted by his own clan, Z expects trouble but not the feelings evoked by Princess Tierra. Tierra is no ordinary witch, she’s a werewolf and a phoenix.

Tierra has gone into heat as with every cycle of the Lunar Eclipse. Even though she’s mated, she must fulfill her duty. Z refuses to return Tierra and has every intention of keeping her for himself.

It’s a race against the moon – for whoever kills the Firewolf on the Lunar Eclipse will inherit the powers of the Coven. With the skin-walker searching for Tierra and Z’s clan chasing him, will they make it before the eclipse? Or will everything go up in flames for Z and the Firewolf?

Excerpt:

Maximilian Z gripped the binoculars tighter as the skin-walker caressed the beautiful and unconscious Tierra. 

Z had watched the deteriorating Casablanca hotel for two days before realizing his best bet was to grab the princess after a pain session with Limikkin. He was relieved Tierra healed at a rapid rate. When her coven hired him, he assumed she was a witch like her mother. He wondered if she was an immortal to heal so fast. The first time he saw her endure such torture, Z thought he’d be bringing a body back to the coven, but she returned unmarked the following morning, and again today. Z planned to move north toward the mountains outside of Sin Vegas as soon as Tierra was retrieved. They could make good time if he didn’t have to wait for her to recover from the damage inflicted during sessions with the skinwalker.

Soon Limikkin would call for her transfer. Z leaped toward the stairwell, rushing to the opposite building. He needed to arrive at the lobby before the coyotes took her to the lower level safe. Once she was locked in there, a significant amount of patience–or serious explosives–would be required to get her out. Z had neither, and he dared not risk a confrontation with Limikkin. The skin-walker had existed for at least a millennia, and his dark magic was best avoided. Z’s best course was to take on the three coyotes transferring her. Not the best odds, but he never liked good odds anyway; it seemed unfair.

Z continued down the stairs two at a time, knowing he wasn’t going to make it. He reached the eighth floor, then leaped down the abandoned elevator shaft.  Z barely noticed the impact on his aging joints as he hit the bottom and dashed across the desolate street. He arrived in the once-opulent lobby before the shifters reached the foyer. He heard them coming; the animals’ movements were noisier than hell.

“She smells good,” he heard one dog say.

Z had no idea. His sense of smell was severely damaged, and he could only register the most pungent odors. He took a double-edged boomerang out of his pocket and tossed it, slicing the cables to the cameras in the lobby before the sharp disc returned to his Kevlar-gloved hand. 

“Put her on the sofa, over here. Let’s have a taste,” another coyote suggested. 

“But Limikkin?” the third finally spoke. 

“He won’t know. She’ll be healed by tomorrow. We can’t eat her flesh. I’m sure he would notice.” The second voice was almost shaking in anticipation. 

Z watched as they moved the princess to the nearest leather couch. They stopped, dropping her on the cracked leather. Their inattention to the task assigned was the break he needed. He’d be able to sneak up on them. 

“Let’s take her!”It was the first who spoke, tufts of fur sticking out of his scalp in patches. 

Z didn’t like this at all. If they raped her, they could change, and full shifters were a lot harder to fight off. Damn it all to Hell.
Buy Links: Amazon| Google | KOBO | iBooks | Nook

Cover Reveal –

Title: The Beast of Boston
Author: J.L. Mac
Genre: Mob Romance (Dark)
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Cover Design: Robin Harper, Wicked by Design

 

 

“This is Beast. Beast is the size of a Volkswagen and has an impossible amount of buds and blooms. Beast also has thorns. But if you can sneak close enough to catch a whiff, and avoid the gnarly thorns, you’ll be ruined for all the other roses for the rest of your life. The sweetest, most addictive scent amongst the thorns.”
That’s what mom told my little sister and I once. She led us close enough to look but no further as she spoke of her favorite rosebush that she had affectionately named Beast.
That was a long time ago.
These days I know another Beast. A different kind of wild, untamed thing. He too is dangerous to get too close to. It’s unfortunate that I can’t afford to care, not when he’s the key to finding my sister.
They called him The Beast of Boston when he was a professional boxer. Now he rules over a bunch of criminals—the same criminals I hope will lead to my sister. I won’t stop until she’s found. I’ll get as close to Beast as it takes, gnarly thorns and all.
The problem is I’m so busy worrying for my own physical safety that I never considered how my heart would behave. Mom was right about one thing: I am ruined for all the roses for the rest of my life and it’s much too late to change it now.
***

 

My eyes find the printout of Carrick ‘The Beast of Boston’ Ferguson’s picture sitting in the passenger seat. It’s a newspaper article from a few years ago before he retired from professional boxing.

He’s in his iconic deep green, satin boxing shorts and has the coldest, most aloof stare. A shiver wracks my bones at the sight of those strange, dark eyes. My attention goes to his body. He’s big and has various tattoos here and there. The one inked in the center of his chest catches my attention and I wrinkle my brows trying to figure this one out. It’s odd to see a large tattoo across his chest of a fully bloomed red rose. The blood red petals are splayed wide showcasing the intricacies of the velvety blossom. The stem is thick and thorny with the little beasties that resemble shark teeth more than anything else. It’s a weird tattoo for a menacing man like him to sport. An unladylike snort slips out as I realize the paradox in front of me.

Mom used to have a rose bush that really was more like a tree. The damned thing was gargantuan. It flooded with vivid, deep, red blooms every spring and she personified the thing by naming it Beast. She originally gave it that name as homage to Lan’s favorite Disney movie. Lan used to beg Mom for a rose from Beast so she could put it under Mom’s upturned tea pitcher, pretending she was Belle in Beast’s castle attempting to see the man beneath the monster. Mom always carefully chose a long stem with a perfect bloom at its end and gave Lan the rose but forbade her from trying to touch it herself.

Thorns and all.

We used to walk out to the small garden behind our house with mom and watch her prune Beast while she’d tell us all about the looming presence. She used to say the same thing every year. She’d gather us close at her side and kneel down in front of Beast and get animated as she said, “This is Beast. Beast is the size of a Volkswagen and has an impossible amount of buds, and blooms a thousand or more. Beast also has thorns. Big ones. But if you can sneak close enough to catch a whiff, and avoid the gnarly thorns, you’ll be ruined for all the other roses for the rest of your life. The sweetest scent amongst the thorns.”

How funny that this monster—this Beast of Boston—is also gargantuan and happens to sport one lifelike red rose of his own. He too has thorns, just not the type you can see. His are hidden, and they’re that much more dangerous for it.

He’s a pretty monster. 

That’s not quite accurate though. He’s not pretty. He’s beautiful. Well, if you can look past his thorns, that is. There isn’t a female on the planet that would deny him. I’m no fool. May as well call a spade a spade. The Beast of Boston is a hell of a man to look at. Being in the heavy weight division, he’s a mammoth of a man. The specs for his last prizefight—a fight he won, pocketing a substantial purse—says he weighed in at 218 pounds and towered at 6 feet 4 inches. He’s a solid foot taller than me and almost one hundred pounds heavier. The photo shows him at the weigh-in before the fight. Despite being a fighter, his face is enchanting, with sharp features and striking eyes. It’s only too bad that he’s rumored to be a fucking murderer and happens to be one of the leaders of the criminals who I suspect took my sister.

 

 

 

USA Today Best Selling Author, JL Mac, is the author of the bestselling Wrecked series, and several other romance titles. JL resides in El Paso, Texas, with her husband and four children. She is a native Texan having been born and raised in Galveston. JL admittedly has had a long and sordid love affair with the written word and has loved every minute of it. She drinks too many glasses of wine on occasion, and says way too many swear words to be considered “lady-like.” JL spends her free time reading, writing, playing with her children and living her happily ever after with her very own Prince Charming who she affectionately calls Tight Buns McHotness.

 

 

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Cover Reveal -Three Strikes by Allana Walker

Title: Three Strikes
Series: Demon Disciples Series Book One
Author: Allana Walker
Genre: MC Romance/Suspense
Release Date: June 1, 2020
Cover Design: The Pretty Little Design Co.

From the moment I turned fifteen, my life was planned out right down to the man I was to marry one day.


Until one night changed my life for good.

Welcome to the screwed up world of Daria Denver.

Strike One; She walks into my Clubhouse uninvited.

Strike Two; She steals from me.

Strike Three; She keeps a nine-year-old secret from me.

Daria Denver will learn never to piss off a Demons Disciples.

Especially me, Striker Xanders.

“What the hell have you done?” Dad looks between me and Daria lying on my bed. “Please tell me you haven’t…”

He doesn’t finish the sentence. I sit on my chair in the corner of my room, holding the knife, twisting the pointed end on the tip of my finger until blood drips off the edge. I stare at Daria as Dad walks over to check on her. His hand goes to her neck to check her pulse.

“She’s not dead,” I mutter.

“She barely has a pulse, Striker!” he snarls, popping his head out of the door. “Doc, get your ass in here, NOW!”

I hear a stampede of footsteps. Noisy bastards. Doc pushes through the brothers.

“Help this young girl. I don’t need another dead girl on my hands!” I don’t look away from Daria, the mother of my kid.

The lying bitch, lying there, barely breathing. Her words come back to me; You’ll never be Emily’s father. Bitch thinks she can keep my daughter away from me, she can think again. I’ll finish the job the next time she tries. My hand grips the handle of my knife so hard my knuckles turn white, my breathing becoming ragged. Before I know what I’m doing, I’m on my feet, marching towards my bed, towards Daria’s body, pushing Doc and Dad out of the way. Just as I lean down to whisper in her ear, her eyes open staring into mine, blue to brown. I expected to see fear when she sees me, but I see defiance, anger, and desire. I still have the knife in my hand, and I bring it up towards her neck. She swallows, but still no fear shows in her eyes. Pressing the blade into her neck, I lean down to her ear.

“You try to keep my kid from me again, I will slit your pretty little neck.”

“Do it. I dare you.”
 

 

 

 

Allana lives in Dundee, Scotland with her husband and two daughters.
She has always had a passion for reading and until a few years ago, started secretly writing. She had always debated sharing it but never had the confidence to do so, until now. In her words; ‘Life is too short to regret things we could have done and wishing the should’ve, would’ve, could’ve’s.’
She wants to show, not only her daughters but to everyone else, that you can do whatever you want when you put your mind to it.
She loves reading a range of genres, particularly MC, Mafia, and romance.
Other than reading and writing, Allana loves to help out other authors, watching WWE, dancing around the room with her daughters, or at the cinema with her husband. She also loves to bake, it’s her stress reliever.

 

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