Category: Book Excerpt

Hot Pursuit by Kay Marie Book Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Posted August 29, 2018 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway / 2 Comments

Hot Pursuit by Kay Marie Book Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop along the blog tour for Kay Marie’s Hot Pursuit, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! I’m excited to share an excerpt of the book with you today to get you even more excited to read Hot Pursuit, which has been marketed as “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days meets White Collar”. Read more about the book below and make sure you enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card!


Excerpt of Hot Pursuit by Kay Marie

He didn’t want to notice the perfect O her plush lips made as she said her name, but he couldn’t control it…or the immediate reaction his body had at the sight. Nate froze, jaw clenching as he fought to control the blood rush coursing to a very distinct place.

Jo leaned closer, tightening her grip.

His gaze darted to those jade eyes staring up at him, vibrant and sparkling with hidden mirth. He’d always had a weakness for green eyes. And women in barely there red bikinis…

He jerked back, shaking free of her hold.

Jo folded her lips together for a moment, holding back a smile, then licked them slowly. A single brow arched. “You have a name?”

Nate frowned, cleared his tight throat, and nudged his chin in the direction of her jet ski. “I said good day, Miss Carter.”

“No fun,” she sighed with a pout, then smirked. “You know I can find out if I want to, right?”

She can’t seriously be… Nate shook off the thought and pushed his brows together in question. “You wouldn’t be implying what I think you’re implying, would you?”

Her smile widened with an unspoken challenge. “What if I am?”

Nate straightened his spine and crossed his arms over his chest, funneling his disbelief into a stern, scolding expression instead. “Breaking into a government database is a federal crime,” he said calmly, the edge of a threat laced through his tone. “Class B felony, punishable by up to twenty years in prison.”

The flames in the centers of her eyes brightened. “Only if you get caught.”

Unbelievable…she’s unbelievable.

No shame.

No remorse.

No…no…

“Can I tell you a secret, Miss Carter?” Nate murmured, not really sure why he was playing along, but the words tumbled from his lips before he could stop them. Her eager expression intensified. An almost childlike sense of wonder was etched into the grooves of her face as she nodded. He leaned in, just to prove to himself that he could, and forced his rebellious pulse to remain even. Her auburn hair tickled his face as he pressed his lips close enough to feel the heat of her sun-kissed skin. Something in his chest hitched, but he didn’t back down. “Eventually, you always get caught.”

She sucked in a breath. He leaned back just enough to stare into her eyes, not at all liking the defiant golden sparkles dancing at the centers of her irises, flickering like sunshine through a dark forest, brilliant and burning.

The air between them was tense.

A silent battle of wills.

Neither backing down.

Both fighting for the win.

She opened her mouth to speak, drawing his gaze, and—

Static cracked loudly over the two-way radio.

“Parker, Alvarez, do you copy? Are you there? Satellite feed says Carter should be in sight momentarily.”

Nate snapped upright.

Jo didn’t move except to perk one corner of her plush lips, watching him unflinchingly, victory simmering in her eyes.

“Parker, are you there? Do you copy?”

She turned her head toward the sound and shrugged. “You going to get that?”

Nate took a slow step back, eyes never leaving her for a second. His gun was four feet behind, resting next to Leo’s on the control panel. But his phone was on the table, along with his notes. All within reach of her thieving hands.

A pulse of static coursed through the radio again.

Nate lunged for it. Pressing the button to speak, he kept a laser focus on Jolene Carter, trouble personified. “Here, Boss.”

“Parker, do you see Carter?”

A small smile danced across her lips as she mouthed, Parker.


Hot Pursuit by Kay Marie
Series: To Catch a Thief #1
Self-published on August 27, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Add to Goodreads • Amazon

All Jolene Carter has ever wanted is to own a bakery of her own. There’s only one problem. Her father, Robert Carter, is a world-renowned art thief and she’s, well, sort of his protégé. But he’s promised her that this next job in New York will be their last, and she won’t let anyone get in the way of her dreams…especially not the distractingly delicious FBI agent hot on her tail.

Agent Nate Parker has been on the Robert Carter case for years, and if the rumors of the aging criminal’s retirement are true, this might be his last chance to nail him. With the legacy of his late father in the back of his mind, the stakes are more personal than anyone realizes. He won’t let anything stand in the way of justice…especially not the red-headed vixen who keeps giving him the slip.

He’s a cop who’d never bend. She’s a con who’ll never break. But all’s fair in love and larceny…


About Kay Marie

Kaitlyn Davis, a bestselling author with over a quarter of a million books sold, writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publishers Weekly has said, “Davis writes with confidence and poise,” while USA Today has recommended her work as “must-read romance.”

Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found playing fetch with her puppy, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com

Sign up for Kaitlyn’s newsletter to stay up-to-date with all of her new releases, to receive exclusive subscriber bonus content, and more!

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Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Posted April 27, 2016 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway / 2 Comments

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Published by Swoon Reads on April 19, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Pages: 368
Amazon Barnes & Noble Add to Goodreads
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

Welcome to my spot along the blog tour for Love, Lies, and Spies hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! Cindy Antsey is a 2016 debut author (yay Debut Author Challenge books!), and I have an excerpt that is sure to get you excited to grab a copy soon. Make sure you enter to win a print copy of the book as well!

“Oh my, this is embarrassing,” Miss Juliana Telford said aloud. There was no reason to keep her thoughts to herself, as she was alone, completely alone. In fact, that was half of the problem. The other half was, of course, that she was hanging off the side of a cliff with the inability to climb either up or down and in dire need of rescue.

“Another scrape. This will definitely give Aunt apoplexy.”

Juliana hugged the cliff ever closer and tipped her head slightly so that she could glance over her shoulder. Her high-waisted ivory dress was deeply soiled across her right hip, where she had slid across the earth as she dropped over the edge.

Juliana shifted slowly and glanced over her other shoulder. Fortunately, the left side showed no signs of distress, and her lilac sarcenet spencer could be brushed off easily. She would do it now were it not for the fact that her hands were engaged, holding tightly to the tangle of roots that kept her from falling off the tiny ledge.

Juliana continued to scrutinize the damage to her wardrobe with regret, not for herself so much as for her aunt, who seemed to deem such matters of great importance. Unfortunately, her eyes wandered down to her shoes. Just beyond them yawned an abyss. It was all too apparent how far above the crashing waves of the English Channel she was—and how very small the ledge.

Despite squishing her toes into the rock face as tightly as possible, Juliana’s heels were only just barely accommodated by the jutting amalgamate. The occasional skitter and plop of eroding rocks diving into the depths of the brackish water did nothing to calm her racing heart.

Juliana swallowed convulsively. “Most embarrassing.” She shivered despite a warm April breeze. “I shall be considered completely beyond the pale if I am dashed upon the rocks. Aunt will be so uncomfortable. Most inconsiderate of me.”

A small shower of sandy pebbles rained down on Juliana’s flowery bonnet. She shook the dust from her eyes and listened. She thought she had heard a voice.

Please, she prayed, let it be a farmer or a tradesman, some-one not of the gentry. No one who would feel obligated to report back to Grays Hill Park. No gentlemen, please.

“Hello?” she called out. Juliana craned her neck upward, trying to see beyond the roots and accumulated thatch at the cliff’s edge.

A head appeared. A rather handsome head. He had dark, almost black, hair and clear blue eyes and, if one were to notice such things at a time like this, a friendly, lopsided smile.

“Need some assistance?” the head asked with a hint of sarcasm and the tone of a . . .

“Are you a gentleman?” Juliana inquired politely.

The head looked startled, frowned slightly, and then raised an eyebrow before answering. “Yes, indeed, I am—”

“Please, I do not wish to be rescued by a gentleman. Could you find a farmer or a shopkeep— anyone not of the gentry—and then do me the great favor of forgetting you saw me?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“I do not want to be rude, but this is a most embarrassing predicament—”

“I would probably use the word dangerous instead.”

“Yes, well, you would, being a man. But I, on the other hand, being a young woman doing her best not to call attention to herself and bring shame upon her family, would call it otherwise.”


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Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis-Graves Chapter Reveal

Posted June 17, 2015 by Jana in Book Excerpt / 0 Comments

It’s no secret here that I love Tracey Garvis-Graves and every book she’s ever written and all her future books as well because reasons. So when I found out about her newest book, Heart-Shaped Hack (coming on August 25, 2015), I was excited before I even read the synopsis! But I was even MORE excited when I read it because this book has me written all over it! I am going to LOVE it! Read about the book, read the first chapter, and then click the links at the bottom of this post to read four more chapters and enter a giveaway for your very own copy of the book!


Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis-Graves
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Add to Goodreads

When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian—a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.

Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.

But Ian has enemies, and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBooks


Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis-Graves
Chapter 1

“The babies are going to starve,” Helena said.

“Don’t be so dramatic,” Kate replied. “No one is going to starve, least of all the babies.” But her pinched expression and the way she was jabbing at the keyboard as she refreshed the donations page on their website said otherwise. For the first time in the sixteen months since Kate had left her position as a corporate attorney to open the food pantry, she faced the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away. She couldn’t stand the thought of letting down her regulars, especially the young mother of three who relied on the pantry to feed them.

The problem was that Kate’s nonprofit organization was not the only one in Minneapolis that needed help. Tomorrow was the first of September, and everyone was trying to stockpile whatever resources they could before they headed into the colder months.

“Let’s see,” Helena said. “We could rob a bank. We could pawn our valuables. You could sell your body on a street corner.”

Despite their dire circumstances, Kate cracked a smile. Helena had walked through the front door of the food pantry shortly after Kate opened and said, “I’m sixty-five, and they’re forcing me to retire from my job at the insurance company. My husband retired two years ago, and now he’s home all day. That’s too much togetherness for us. I have to find something to do outside the house, and you wouldn’t have to pay me much.” Kate hired her on the spot and had never regretted it.

She swiveled her chair toward Helena. “Why am I always the one who has to sell her body? Why can’t you sell yours?”

“Who do you think is going to bring in more money? A gray-haired grandmother of seven, or a willowy twenty-nine-year-old beauty? It’s a no-brainer.”

It was hard to argue with logic like that.

Kate had been so determined not to let down their clients that she’d resorted to begging her ex-boyfriend Stuart—who worked as the executive producer on an hour-long talk show on the local ABC station—to let her appeal to the public during the afternoon broadcast.

“Do you know how hard it is for me to be around you, Kate?” Stuart said when he received her call. “Do you ever think of that?”

“Of course I do. But this is really important to me.”

“I used to be really important to you.”

Kate remained silent. They’d been through this before.

He sighed in defeat. “Come in tomorrow. I’ll squeeze you in after the cooking segment.”

“Thanks, Stuart.”

The skirt had been Helena’s idea. “We need to do whatever we can to grab viewers’ attention.”

“You mean I need to do whatever I can.”

“Of course I mean you. You have great legs.”

 

On the day of the broadcast when Helena arrived at the food pantry, Kate said, “I don’t remember this skirt being quite so short. I’m actually a little worried about the type of viewer I might attract with it.” She tugged on the hem, pulled out her desk chair, sat down, and crossed her legs. “Can you see anything?”

“You’ll be fine unless you decide to recross your legs in the middle of the segment like Sharon Stone did in that one movie.”

“I can assure you I will not be doing that. The skirt is as far as I’m willing to go. I draw the line at flashing people, not even for the babies.”

Kate had paired the black-and-white houndstooth skirt with a black short-sleeve top and her favorite black heels. When she arrived at the TV studio, she ducked into the bathroom to check her teeth for wandering lipstick. Before she left the food pantry she’d applied a raspberry lip stain that Helena claimed looked stunning on her. That morning she’d curled her long dark hair and then brushed through the curls with her fingers so they draped across her shoulders and down her back in loose waves. She’d used plenty of mascara to play up her brown eyes. The extra primping made her feel a little like she was standing on a street corner, but she banished those thoughts. At this point, they needed all the help they could get.

After Stuart snaked the mic up the back of her top, his hands lingering on her skin in a way that made Kate feel sad, he positioned her on a stool and told her to wait for his signal. She kept her legs tightly crossed, and when the light on the camera turned red, he pointed at her and she began to speak.

“Good afternoon. My name is Kate Watts, and I’m the executive director of the Main Street Food Pantry. As we head into the winter months, our needs—and those of all local food pantries—will be greater than ever.” Kate stared into the camera, imagining she was speaking directly to anyone who might have the means to help them.

“No child should ever have to go hungry, and many of our local residents depend on the food pantry to feed their families. I’m here today to personally appeal to you should you have the ability to help us in any way. The families we assist, and especially the children, depend on your generosity more than you could ever imagine. Thank you.” She ended the short segment with the food pantry’s telephone number and street address, and when Stuart gave her the all clear, she reached under her shirt for the microphone and handed it back to him.

“Thanks, Stuart,” she said, giving him a quick hug. “I really appreciate this.”

“Sure,” he said, looking over her shoulder as if there was something very interesting across the room. “Take care, Kate.”

 

That was yesterday, and so far only a few additional donations had trickled in. She and Helena spent the rest of the afternoon making calls to local churches and schools to set up additional food drives while continuing to monitor the donations page. Finally, at a little before three, Kate went into the back room to recount their inventory. It was the end of the month and they were down to their last cases of infant formula and baby food. Almost all of the canned vegetables had been depleted, and they were completely out of peanut butter and soup. If it was this bad now, Kate didn’t want to think about what might happen when budgets were stretched even thinner by holiday spending. Dejected, she was sitting on the floor, clipboard in hand, when Helena burst into the back room.

“I ran after him,” she said, gasping for breath. “But he was too fast. Boy am I out of shape.”

“Who did you run after?”

Helena tossed a brown paper bag to Kate and leaned over, resting her hands on her knees as she took in giant gulps of air.

“The man who dropped off the money. Seriously, I may need supplemental oxygen over here.”
Money?

Kate looked into the bag and blinked several times. “Did you lock the front door?”

“Yes.”

She turned the bag upside down and watched in disbelief as hundred-dollar bills rained down on the concrete floor. She counted it quickly. “There’s a thousand dollars here.”

Their website listed four levels for donations with amounts ranging from ten to one hundred dollars. There were higher amounts for corporations, but this was the largest donation they’d ever received from one person, and it was more than enough to replenish their shelves. Kate was already picturing herself pushing a giant cart through Costco. “Did he leave his name?”

“No. He walked up to my desk and said, “Give this to Katie. He must have seen you on TV yesterday.”

“Young? Old?” Rich?

“Young. Early thirties, maybe? Tall. Blondish-brown hair. He was in a real hurry to leave. I chased him out the door, but he jumped into the driver’s seat of an old blue car.”

“An old car? Are you sure?”

“I think it was old. It didn’t look like any car I’ve ever seen. It had stripes on the hood. And then he burned rubber.”

“Why would someone who drives an old car drop off a bag full of money?”

“I have no idea. But whatever the reason, he just saved us.”

Continue reading the next four chapters here!

And enter to win a copy of Heart-Shaped Hack here!


Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish.

Tracey is on Facebook and Twitter.


It’s a New Adult Christmas with Megan Erickson! (+ Giveaway)

Posted December 8, 2014 by Jana in Book Excerpt, Giveaway / 1 Comment

NAChristmasbanner

 

It’s a new adult Christmas! This holiday season we’re celebrating with thirteen new adult authors. There’s bunches of stops along this tour starting today and going all the way up to Christmas Eve! Today I’m hosting Megan Erickson, author of the Bowler University Series: Make It Count, Make It Right, and Make It Last (coming January 6, 2015). She has a brand new Christmas scene for us that takes place shortly after Make It Right ended.

Max Payton spat out his half-chewed bite of pecan pie onto his plate. “Why the f—- does that taste like fire?”

Lea Travers dipped her finger into the gelatinous middle of Max’s slice of pie and stuck the tip of her finger in her mouth. Max was not wrong. She could feel the searing warmth down her throat and into her stomach. Her eyes watered and she coughed. Max leaned into her shoulder. “You all right, doll?”

“Water,” she gasped.

He reached for her glass on the coffee table in front of the couch they sat on in the Payton living room. He handed it to her and then turned to his brothers. Brent stood beside the recliner where their father was drinking a beer, and Cal leaned against the fireplace.

Brent looked pleased, chomping merrily on his pie. “I think it’s delicious.”

“What’d you do to the pie, Brent?” Cal asked.

“I made it delicious.”

“You made it burn the lining of my esophagus,” Max shot back.

Brent rolled his eyes. “You guys just can’t appreciate good Bourbon.”

“How much bourbon did you put in it?” Cal asked.

Brent didn’t answer.

Lea assumed if she checked the recycling, there’d be an empty bottle. That pie was drunk.

And seeing as Christmas Eve in the Payton household wasn’t going too hot, a hangover tomorrow was the last thing they all needed. Lea could tell her boyfriend, Max, and his brothers and Dad were trying, but they didn’t quite seem to have the holiday cheer. She wondered how the hell they got through previous holidays. Or if what she was witnessing right now was as merry as they got.

Which was sad. They were good guys. They just lacked a little finesse. A feminine touch. Their mom had left when Max was a kid.

Cal brooded by the fireplace, Jack drank in silence, and Max picked at his pie with a disgusted look on his face. Lea began to think that her plans for this evening might have been a bad idea.

Her plans that would be here in approximately five minutes.

She began to sweat and fanned her thin sweater off of her chest. Max frowned at her. “You okay?”

She wiped her forehead, like she was sweating. “Yeah, it’s just hot in here, you know? Maybe we can all go out in the backyard?”

Brent looked up from devouring his alcoholic pie. “Outside? Lea, it’s thirty degrees and dark.”

Why couldn’t they all just go with it? She had about – she glanced at the clock on the wall – T minus two minutes to get them out of the house before they heard the doorbell.

“It’s a family tradition of mine to look for shooting stars on Christmas Eve.” She was pretty proud of herself for that lie. It was a damn good one, and she’d made it up on the spot.

Max just stared at her. “What are you talking about?”

She tugged on his sleeve and stood up, bustling around to get their coats together. “Christmas Eve. Stars. Wishes. You know.” She clapped her hands together. “Round up, boys!”

Jack didn’t lower the footrest recliner. Cal was looking at her like she was crazy. Brent was picking a piece of pie off of his shirt…

And then the doorbell rang.

Cal’s head went up and he frowned. “Who the hell is ringing the doorbell on Christmas Eve?”

Lea laughed nervously. “I’m sure it’s just a solicitor or something. Okay, so backyard?”

But Cal ignored her and strode toward the front door. Max followed him and when they swung the door open, she squeezed her eyes shut. And waited.

There was a pause.

A long pause.

And when she cracked an eye open, she saw Cal scowling at the group of carolers Lea had asked to come from the local church. They were staring back at Cal like he was an axe murderer, and Max slowly turned his head to pin Lea with his gaze.

She waggled her fingers in weak wave.

Max sighed and turned back around.

There were five carolers, and the older woman in front was wearing a huge red coat over an ugly Christmas sweater and a massive fur hat. She seemed to gather herself together, and Lea had to hand it to her, because that was a bright smile in response to Cal’s frown.

“Merry Christmas, I’m Theresa and we’re from First Presbyterian over on Oakmont,” the woman said. “Would you like to hear some carols?”

Lea stepped up before Cal could answer. “Yes, please. Yes, yes we would.”

She felt a presence at her back and looked over her shoulder to see Brent, a grin on his face, his eyes on the cute young female caroler in the back. Who was blushing.

Lea rolled her eyes.

“Okay, ready?” Theresa said. “One…two…three.”

They began to sing a somewhat tentative version of “Jingle Bells.” Even so, Lea had to admit they sounded absolutely lovely, with a young guy in the back accompanying with a set of bells.
When that was over, Cal looked like he was going to close the door. But Lea could see Max beginning to smile, Brent bobbing his head, and Jack had even risen from his statue-like state on his recliner to listen to the carolers.

“Another please?” Lea asked.

Theresa nodded and turned to her group. Lea swore she saw a twinkle in Theresa’s eye as she communicated silently with her group.

Then Theresa turned around, and the carolers launched into a rousing rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

And it was lovely. And fun. Brent began clapping and even placed his fingers in his mouth and whistled. Max grabbed Lea’s hand and swayed to beat. Even Cal was smiling, leaning back against the open door, his lips moving as he sang silently along with the carolers. Lea swore she caught Jack tapping his toe.

Lea threw back her head and laughed as Max picked her up and twirled her. He leaned his forehead against hers. “You already made me the happiest guy in the world, and now you’re trying to work your magic on my family?”

“I have no idea what you mean,” she said with fake innocence as she gripped his dark hair tightly.

He lowered her to the ground. “Yeah ya do. And we all appreciate it.”

She ran her fingers along the stubble on his jaw. “Merry Christmas, Max.”

He leaned in and pressed a tender kiss to her lips. “Merry Christmas, doll.”

Sweet, huh? Makes you even more excited to read the series, huh? You have the opportunity to win the first book by entering the giveaway at the end of this post! First, I’m going to introduce you to Megan and her final book, Make It Last, which comes out in the new year and can be read as a standalone!

 

About Megan:

Megan Erickson worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she’s probably listening to the characters in her head who won’t stop talking.

Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and at her website!

 

Make It Last by Megan Erickson
Series: Bowler University #3
Published by William Morrow Impulse
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Buy the BookAdd to Goodreads

After graduating from Bowler University, the last place Cam Ruiz ever expected to find himself is his hometown. A bad job as a bouncer and worry over his mom’s health make living in Paradise anything but. There’s only one thing that can make his return any harder—running into the only girl he’s ever loved.

Tate Ellison made a mistake when she was eighteen, one that cost her the best thing she’s ever had. She’s always hoped the regret of losing Cam would fade over time. Too bad it’s only grown. She took comfort in the fact she’d never have to face him again, so his presence in Paradise throws her for a loop.

The pull between them is instant and when the truth of what happened years ago tumbles out, they share a mind-blowing kiss…which leads to more. But the past has a way of repeating itself. When all the cards are on the table, Cam and Tate must decide what they are willing to do to make it last.

 

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My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Posted September 27, 2013 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway / 6 Comments

My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling (Excerpt + Giveaway)My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling
Published by Te Da Media on April 1, 2013
Genres: Mythology
Amazon Add to Goodreads
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following:
a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile.)
b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame.

Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy teen yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world.

Literally.

This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed.

Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her.

Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe …

… and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

My Ex From Hell Excerpt

When the going gets desperate, the desperate send email

To: ????
From: bloomingoddess@gmail.com
Subject: Seriously?

Dear Your Royal Imperialness Demeter, Goddess of Grain and Fertility, Preserver of Marriage, and Bringer of Seasons,

Or can I just call you Mom?

Bet you never thought you’d be hearing from me. Sorry for not having written sooner, but until about twelve hours ago, I didn’t know you existed. Nothing personal.

See, yesterday, I was plain old Sophie Bloom. My life sucked in your typical 16-year-old ways. I was stuck here at Hope Park Progressive School on probation again (“mouthy behavior”), dealing with cliquish poseurs, rampant hormones, blah blah blah.

Then I met a guy. I know that’s the worst cliché ever. But sadly, it’s true. And of course, me being me, he couldn’t be just any bad boy. No. He had to be Kai, son of Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Anyway, he was really hot and there was this bone-melting kiss and … whatever. The point is, before he showed up, I thought I was human. Afterward, well, let’s just say everything changed. Who knew when I was cramming Greek mythology for my English final, I was studying the family tree?

They say when you die, your whole life supposedly flashes before your eyes. When Kai and I kissed, here’s what flashed before mine—Mount Olympus, Zeus, the Underworld, Hades, and you. But that wasn’t my life. Or was it?

Here’s the Wiki version. (Do you have Wi-Fi on Mt. Olympus?) Turns out I’m Persephone. Me, Goddess of Spring and Embodiment of Earth’s Fertility? Ew! Which makes me your kid, Hades’ target, and totally screwed. In the myth version, I’m the innocent maiden, you’re the grieving mother, and we’re reunited with great joy. Guess that’s why they call it a myth.

I know I sound like a nut bar. And maybe I’ll wake up in a padded room restrained for my own safety. But in that moment with Kai, it felt real. Like I knew who I was. Or used to be. Those were my memories flashing before my eyes—not some fantasy or hallucination. Part of me remembered those moments. But where do I go from here? And is there an online tutorial I can take?

I don’t exactly have your email. But if you’re a goddess, maybe you’ll know I’m writing. That I really need my mom right now. And if not—well, I guess I’ll save this for my obituary. Which I’ll probably need pretty soon because of the gods-wanting-me-dead thing.

Take care.
Sophie

a.k.a. Persephone
a.k.a. Goddess of Spring
a.k.a. Your Daughter

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Owlet by Emma Michaels (Excerpt, Guest Post, & Giveaway)

Posted October 3, 2012 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post / 4 Comments

Hello! Welcome to my stop along the Owlet tour, hosted by Tribute Books! If you’re here for the readlong, say no more. Your excerpt is right here! Also, it’s my pleasure to have Emma on my blog today. After the excerpt, read on to find her thoughts on Elena’s garden. Finally, make sure to enter the giveaway to win your own copy of Owlet, the first book in the Society of Feathers series.

Title: Owlet
Author: Emma Michaels
Publisher: Tribute Books
Release Date: October 13, 2012
Buy It: Kindle | Nook | iBookstore | Smashwords | PDF
Add It: Goodreads

Summary: Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.
Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.

Owlet Excerpt
She started to land and closed her eyes, not wanting to spoil that very first glimpse. She was so familiar with this dream that she didn’t need to see the ground to be able to land properly; she could just let herself drift and the wind would set her down. She waited until her feet were planted firmly in the snow and as it melted between her toes she opened her eyes. It was like magic each time she saw it. The snow falling like white feathers of all shapes and sizes before turning into the cold semi-liquid beneath her feet. It was perfect. The trees parted to reveal a road that would lead to the rest of her Never-Never, and revealed the view she knew so well.

A plain white house with many quirks sat before her; shingles from the roof were missing, black shutters framed the windows making them look like wide-open eyes, and empty planter boxes were attached to every window. When she saw the house she ran, placing her hand flat against the dark red door.

“Let me in. You are MY Never-Never—this is MY dream! Let me IN!” Iris gave the doorknob a sharp turn but it wouldn’t budge. She felt like a child throwing a fit and willed herself to calm down. She closed her eyes and when she opened them again she spoke.

The Author: Emma Michaels

Emma Michaels is the author of the ‘A Sense of Truth’ and ‘Society of Feathers’ series. Her goal with her latest YA novel ‘Owlet’ is to give others what she did not have growing up; a strong female protagonist with asthma.  While her previous aspiration was to be a lady knight she realized that not being able to run more than a few feet might become a hindrance so turned to writing instead. Her day jobs include being a cover artist, marketing consultant and silk screen designer.

Find Emma: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Elena’s Garden from Emma Michaels

While I don’t bring a focus point on Elena’s garden in the novel, it is one of the clearest settings in the novel in terms of how I imagine it in my mind. The island was Elena’s favorite place in the world because of her bedroom, her garden and the privacy/safety that is offered. The garden was her ‘special place’. You know when you are a child and you go somewhere and every time you leave you feel like you are leaving a part of you there because you belong there? Somewhere that feels more like magic than reality to you? That is what her garden is for her.

So while the book doesn’t give an in-depth description, if you want to know more about Elena that is the one place that could show you. The island is naturally covered in trees, especially alders, maple and pine but she had that section that had once been her mother’s garden cleared away and created from scratch. She knew she wanted her mother’s favorite birds, humming birds to visit so started by adding nectar plants like red sage and birds of paradise.

From there she realized why she wanted to create the garden anew, because it could be a paradise for birds. So keeping track of what birds could live in harmony she started compiling a list of what she wanted and found Joseph to help her out. She ended up with wild strawberry plants creeping along the sides of the path, manzanitas, dogwood and hemlock trees, madrone, holly, lilacs, sugar bushes, butterfly bushes, sunflowers, carnations, lavender and Irises. The one thing she had left untouched were the apple trees, she didn’t mind having them in her sanctuary because they fed the deer and were great for birds to nest in.

Her garden ended up attracting a wide variety of birds, though some of them she had imported to the island from rescue bird sanctuaries with her father’s help. Now in her garden you can find flickers, sparrows, waxwings, buntings, thrush, finch, thrasher, hermit thrush, wrens, hummingbirds, the amazing Lyre birds and more.

At the end of all of her hard work you have the garden that Iris got to see a portion of. Over time Elena had decided to add a pond with rose water lilies and koi (since koi go dormant in the winter but stay alive even with the cold temperatures) creating the garden you can read the description of in Owlet. I hope you enjoyed reading this little behind the scenes peak at Elena’s garden! If you haven’t read the novel yet, just wait and see what other wonders await!

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On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Posted July 20, 2012 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway / 5 Comments

Hello! Welcome to my stop along the On the Island virtual blog tour, hosted by AToMR Tours.

You might remember back in March when I participated in another blog tour for this book (also with AToMR). Of course, I adored it, and have been shouting its praises from the rooftops for months now.

Since then, On the Island has taken the world by storm. 5-Star reviews went up all over the Internet, and the book gained a lot of publicity. Plume (an imprint of Penguin) snatched this book up, gave it a new cover, and re-published it! MGM has even bought the movie rights! During all of this, Tracey has become a great friend of mine, and I am SO excited for her. When I saw the opportunity to participate in another blog event for her book, I jumped at it immediately.

Make sure you read the book excerpt (haha. I was assigned one of my favorites!), and enter the giveaway to win one of ten signed copies of On the Island after this event announcement!

Here’s what you can expect throughout the tour. It sounds like so much fun!

  • In addition to reviews and promotional/celebratory posts, keep an eye out for key words in a special scavenger hunt! Select blogs will be hosting one word from two of Tracey’s favorite book quotes (one from each of the main characters in the book: Anna and TJ). Visit each stop and collect the words (they will be numbered, and I have Anna’s quote, word #6 at the end of the excerpt!). After July 22nd, submit your answers here. Random entrants will be selected to win books and swag. Those winners will be chosen and notified by July 29th.
  • On Monday, July 23rd, at 8:00 PM come join us as we live chat with the author on Savor Chat. You can sign in there with your Twitter or Facebook information.
  • Be sure to follow the Twitter hashtag, #ontheisland, to see random shout-outs to win books and swag. (@Tale_of_Reviews)
  • On the Island has been available in bookstores, both brick and mortar and online, since July 10th. If you happen to see it “in the wild”, take a picture and tweet it using the event hashtag (#ontheisland), or post it to Facebook). Make sure you also submit those tweets/posts here.

On the Island Book Excerpt

We were eating lunch when a chicken walked out of the woods.
“Anna, look behind you.”
She turned around. “What the heck?”
We watched as the chicken came closer. It pecked the ground, not in any kind of hurry.
“There was one more after all,” I said.
“Yeah, the stupid one,” Anna pointed out. “Although it’s the last one standing, so it’s done something right.” It came right up to Anna and she said, “Oh, hi. Do you not know what we did to the rest of your kind?” It tilted its head and looked up at her as if it were trying to figure out what she said. My mouth watered. I thought about the chicken dinner Anna and I would have. But then she said, “Let’s not kill this one, T.J. Let’s see if it lays eggs.”
I built a small pen. Anna picked the chicken up and put it inside. It sat down and looked at both of us like it was happy with its new house. Anna put some water in an empty coconut shell. “What do chickens eat?” she asked.
“I don’t know. You’re the teacher. You tell me.”
“I taught English. In a major metropolitan area.”
That cracked me up. “Well, I don’t know what it eats.” I bent down by the pen and said, “You better lay eggs because right now you’re just another mouth to feed, and if you don’t like coconut, breadfruit, and fish, you may not like it here.” I swear to God that chicken nodded its head. It laid an egg the next day. Anna cracked it into an empty coconut shell and scrambled it with her finger. She put the coconut shell near the flames and waited for the egg to cook. When it looked done, she divided it between us.
“This is fantastic,” Anna said.
“I know.” I finished my share in two bites. “I haven’t had a scrambled egg in so long. It tastes just like I remember.”
The chicken laid another egg two days later. “That was a good idea you had, Anna.”
“Chicken probably thinks so, too,” she said.
“You named the chicken, Chicken?”
She looked embarrassed. “When we decided not to kill it, I got attached.”
“That’s okay,” I said. “Something tells me Chicken probably likes you, too.”

Scavenger Hunt: Anna’s Quote, Word #6:
Underwear

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Invisible by Jeanne Bannon (Book Excerpt and Giveaway)

Posted February 13, 2012 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway, Young Adult / 8 Comments

Title: Invisible
Author: Jeanne Bannon
Release Date: September 7, 2011
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Format: PDF e-book
Source: Free from the author for the blog tour.
Buy It: Amazon
Add It: Goodreads

Lola’s not pretty. Lola’s not popular. Lola wishes she could disappear … and then one day she does just that…

For seventeen-year-old Lola Savullo, life is a struggle. Born to funky parents who are more in than she could ever be, Lola’s dream of becoming a writer makes her an outsider even in her own home. Bullied and despised, Lola still has the support of her best pal Charlie and Grandma Rose.

Not only is she freakishly tall, Lola’s a big girl and when forced to wear a bathing suit at her summer job as a camp counselor, Lola’s only escape from deep embarrassment seems to be to literally vanish. Soon after, she discovers the roots of her new “ability”.

Slowly, with Charlie’s help, Lola learns to control the new super power. The possibilities are endless. Yet power can be abused, too…

Then, when tragedy strikes, Lola must summon her inner strength, both at home and at school. She has to stand up for herself, despite the temptations and possibilities of her newfound super power. 

Book Excerpt (Taken from the first chapter, so it’s spoiler free!):

Not only am I fat, I’m freakishly tall. God only knows why, since Mom is petite and Dad is on the short side. My older sister Eva is the spitting image of Mom, fair and fine boned. I take after Dad’s side, bulky, dark and thick. Dad says I must have gotten some of Uncle Sammy’s genes, the giant of the Savullo family, who tops out at 6ft 4 inches. Anyway, I’m sure you‘re getting a good mental picture right about now. 
My insides drop as if I placed a foot on a step that wasn’t there when I peer down at the coarse dark hair creeping from my calves to just past my knees, where it gradually peters out. Then I run a hand across the tops of my thighs. The triple bulge of my belly prevents me from a good look at my sorely neglected bikini area. Even in the blazing August sun, I wear baggy cotton Capri pants, never exposing more than an ankle. There’s never been a reason to shave. My eyes mist with tears, but I pinch them away. It’ll be hard enough to go out in public like this, but I won’t give them the satisfaction of seeing me cry. I lift my chin in resolve and open the door. 

The whistle blows, signalling the beginning of the session. Screams of delight fill the air, as the kids jump into the pool to find relief from the 90-degree heat. 

I fasten a towel around my waist as best I can. Towels never seem large enough to wrap completely and comfortably around the bulge of my stomach. To the pool I go, treading silently so as not to draw attention. 

“Where’s Lola?” Sonia, a fellow counselor, asks. 

At first I think she’s joking because I‘m right in front of her. I toss her an annoyed look and don’t bother to answer as I trudge past to the edge of the pool, where I pull off my towel and slip into the water.

 
“She’s probably taken off,” Jerod replies. He’s a year younger than I am, but looks older with his muscular build and chiseled jaw line. The girls love him. “I hope she doesn’t show,” he continues. “Who wants to see a hippo in a bathing suit anyway?”

Sonia laughs, a little too hard and places a hand on Jerod’s shoulder. 

Puzzlement and anger compete on my face. I’m standing no more than three feet away from them. I’m used to rude comments and I know what everyone thinks of me, but this is way beyond mean. The tears in my eyes spill down my cheeks and I slip under the water, hoping to wash away the evidence of my pain. Not that anyone would care, but crying could give them more ammunition; just another reason to taunt me. 

Kids bounce around me, laughing and playing. Justine stands like a sentinel, looking like a Bay Watch babe in her red suit, one hand gripping an emergency flotation device. Her steel blue eyes are focused on the activity in the pool. 

Jerod jumps in, nearly landing on my back. I barely have time to leap out of the way. My anger boils; blood rushes to my temples and pounds there, giving me an instant headache. I hurl myself at him, pushing with all my might, elbows aimed at his chest. I hit nothing but air and fly into the rough concrete wall of the pool, scraping a hole in my one piece and rubbing raw a patch of skin. Small blood pinpricks rise to the surface. 

“Hey!” I scream, bewildered. How’d he maneuver out of the way so fast? 

Jerod slips under the water and emerges at the other end of the pool in one long, slick glide. 

The steel in me comes up, anger replacing humiliation. I pull my bulk out of the water and march over to Justine. 

“Did you see what that asshole just did?” I bellow.

Justine brings the whistle that hangs from her neck to her lips and blows two sharp blasts, making my ears ring.

 
“Stop horsing around,” she calls to a group of boys, who offer sheepish grins and stop instantly. 

I step forward so she can see me. “Justine?” I reach to touch her shoulder but, impossibly, my hand falls through her. 

“Justine?” I call again, louder, my voice panic-laced. With both hands, I grab her, or try to. Again, it’s as if she’s not there. 

My mind is swept along in a current of anxiety. What’s happening? 

Then it hits me… it’s me who’s not there. 

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