Sneak Peek: Untamable by Jamie Schlosser

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UNTAMABLE by Jamie Schlosser
Romantic Comedy
A Standalone Novel
Emery Matheson knows p*ssies. Cats, that is. As the star of a reality show called The P*ssy Tamer, it’s his job to fix extreme feline behavioral issues.
When he hears about his next project—a lonely cat hoarder named Estelle—he expects a little old widow, not the blond bombshell who opens the door.
With a 100 percent success rate, Emery has never had trouble finishing a job. But just a few hours into the first day of filming and one thing is clear—Estelle and her band of misfit p*ssies will give him a run for his money… and his heart.

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:

Red spots began soaking through Emery’s gray T-shirt.

“Oh my God. You’re bleeding.” I pointed at his chest. “I’m so sorry.”

He just laughed. “Occupational hazard. We have a medic on hand for that very reason. Besides, it’s not like you didn’t warn me.”

His words summoned a brunette carrying a first aid kit.

“You know the drill,” she said, grinning at him while she opened the case and started lining up her supplies on the kitchen table.

Emery grabbed the back of his T-shirt and pulled it over his head, being careful not to disrupt the wires from his mic.

Suddenly, it felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. The thin material had done little to hide the muscle definition underneath, but at least then I couldn’t see his smooth skin.

His nipples.

The ridges of his abs and that highly coveted V by his hips.

A thin smattering of hair covered his chest, traveling down the center of his abs and below his belly button. The light brown trail disappeared into the waist of his jeans.

I wanted to run my fingers over it. All of it. Even the parts I couldn’t see.

I was looking at the most magnificent torso ever—not just in real life—in the entire damn universe. He had movie stars and models beat. I remembered watching a video of Charlie Hunnam training for an upcoming role, and I’d been in awe of the amount of work it took to look that good.

Regular people didn’t just go walking around in that kind of shape. Apparently, Emery didn’t fall into the category of ‘regular people.’

And God bless him for it.

Feeling weak in the knees, I leaned my hip against the counter and wondered if I was the only one affected. Everyone else went about their tasks as usual. Well, everyone except for the medic.

After taking a seat, Emery said something to her about not using bandages this time, and her response was a nervous giggle. She quickly cleaned the area with disinfectant, then put cream over the scratches.

Red-faced, she slowly backed away as Emery slipped a new shirt on.

A different kind of heat flared through me, but this one was familiar and much more unpleasant than the virus I was fighting off.

Jealousy.

I was jealous that she got to touch him.

I made a face, because that was ridiculous. Emery was here to work, not get eye-fucked by the crazy cat lady.

The hot-and-bothered medic taped a sign to the wall by the door. In big letters, it said, ‘Do not leave door open. Mike will run.’ It made my sudden desire to claw her eyes out diminish.

She was just doing her job.

Psycho much, Estelle?

Opening my cabinet, I grabbed the bottle of Tylenol and choked down a couple pills along with my sweet tea.

I extended the medicine toward Emery. “Want some?”

“Nah,” he replied. “It doesn’t hurt that bad.”

“That happens a lot, doesn’t it?” I lightly accused.

“Getting mauled by cats?” He laughed. “More times than I can count.”

“No.” I tipped my head toward the flushed woman retreating from my apartment. “People losing their shit every time you take your shirt off.”

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Jamie Schlosser grew up on a farm in Illinois surrounded by cornfields. Although she no longer lives in the country, her dream is to return to rural living someday. As a stay-at-home mom, she spends most of her days running back and forth between her two wonderful kids and her laptop. She loves her family, iced coffee, and happily-ever-afters.

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It’s a Cover Reveal: Ruthless King (Mount Trilogy) by Meghan March

 

 

Get ready for the darker and dirtier side of New Orleans with a brand new alpha romance from USA Today bestselling author Meghan March.

New Orleans belongs to me.
You don’t know my name, but I control everything you see—and all the things you don’t.
My reach knows no bounds, and my demands are always met.
I didn’t need to loan money to a failing family distillery, but it amuses me to have them in my debt.
To have her in my debt.
She doesn’t know she caught my attention.
She should’ve been more careful.
I’m going to own her. Consume her. Maybe even keep her.
It’s time to collect what I’m owed.
Keira Kilgore, you’re now the property of Lachlan Mount.

*Ruthless King is book one of the Mount Trilogy*

 

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Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

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Excerpt Reveal: The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas 

                          The Forbidden 

                    By: Jodi Ellen Malpas 


                               SYNOPSIS

The one night she can’t forget… The temptation she can’t escape…

The new novel from the #1 bestselling author of the this man trilogy and one night trilogy!

Annie has never experienced the “spark” with a guy – the kind of instant chemistry that steals your breath and blindsides you completely. Until a night out with friends brings her face to face with the wickedly sexy and mysterious Jack.

It’s not just a spark that ignites between them. It’s an explosion.

Jack promises to consume Annie. And he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her and who could bend her to his will so easily, must be dangerous.
But she’s already in too deep.

And Jack isn’t only dangerous.

He is THE FORBIDDEN

                                EXCERPT

Keeping his eyes on mine, he calls to the barman. “Two tequilas, please.”

“Tequila,” I muse, looking over my shoulder when the salt and lemon land behind me. “Is that my challenge?”

“Crying off?” he goads, reaching into his pocket and pulling out some notes.

“Never,” I scoff, turning into the bar. I don’t know what his game is, but I want to play. With him. “You’re asking me to prove I’m sober by doing a shot?” I narrow my eyes on him, teasing. “Or is your plan to get me drunk and take advantage of me?”

He smiles to himself as he pays the barman. “You don’t look like the kind of woman who could be taken advantage of.”

“What kind of woman do I look like, then?” I challenge quietly.

He turns into me, watching me for a few moments. “I don’t know, but I think I’d like to find out.”

I hold his gaze for a few seconds, no retort coming to me. I think I want him to find out, too, just as much as I want to find out what kind of man he is. My eyes drop from his sparkling greys, down his tall, lean frame to his feet.

Oh…fuck…

“Let’s play,” he says, moving in closer and pulling one of the glasses forward. I don’t mean to, but I yank my arm away abruptly when he brushes against me, startled by the tiny stabs of pleasure that pitter-patter all over my skin. The fleeting touch tells me he would feel as good as he looks, and—give me strength—he smells divine, all manly and earthy and fucking edible.

The sudden lapse in movement and talking from both of us becomes slightly awkward. I can feel him looking down at me.

“What do I have to do?” I ask again quietly, almost on a breathy gasp.

He clears his throat. “You’re not drunk?”

“Not even the slightest bit.” I raise my nose in the air.

“Good. Then you’ll smash this challenge first time.” He places a finger on the brim of one of the shot glasses. “Brace your palms on the edge of the bar,” he orders, firm but softly. I look at him, finding a serious face. “Go on.”

Frowning, I place my hands on the edge of the bar. “Okay?”

He takes my hips. He takes my fucking hips! I freeze from top to toe and swallow hard, waiting. My insides are quickly furling, my mind in chaos. “Move back a bit,” he says, pulling at them a little until I step back.

Oh, Jesus. I’m on fire. I have a strange man bending me over a bar in public, and me, Annie I’m-immune-to-men Ryan, isn’t fighting him off. It’s like he has me under a spell. What gives? I dare not look behind me. I’m not stupid enough to think Lizzy isn’t currently watching a man manipulate my body to where he wants it.

“You feel tense,” he observes, releasing me and moving back to my side.

I don’t deny it; neither do I confirm it. His big hands felt so good resting on my hips, so much so I have to resist not claiming them and putting them back where they were. “What now?” I ask, evidently struggling for air, damn me.

“Now.” He picks up his beer and grins. “I get to gloat that I had you bent over a bar within five minutes of meeting you.” He takes a swig, still grinning, and I hear the roar of a man down the bar laughing his head off.

Oh, the fucker! Part of me has admiration. Another part of me wants to slap him stupid; I don’t care how beautiful he is. And another part of me wants to rip his clothes from his body and ravish the sly bastard.

I cannot believe I fell for it! How many women has he played like a fiddle? I drop my head, shaking it to myself.

I knew that smile was dangerous. A man who can bend a woman to his will so easily and so soon couldn’t be anything less than lethal. And the fact that he got me with his wicked game means hats off to him. I can’t possibly take that away from him, and since I’m lacking in the dignity department right now, I decide not to slap him. Nor will I chuck a drink over his head, or fire a load of verbal abuse at him.

I’ll do what he least expects.

I push myself up and turn to face him, unable to stop myself from smiling at his half-grin. Holding his gaze, I slowly lick the back of my hand, blindly take the salt off the bar, sprinkle a bit, and take one of the shots of tequila. But as I’m taking my hand to my mouth to lick the salt up, he seizes my wrist and takes the shot from my other hand. My heartbeat accelerates, our eyes glued to each other as he moves into me and slowly brings my hand to his mouth. I watch, gripped, as he lazily licks up the salt from the back of my hand, eyes on mine, and then knocks the tequila back. Kill me now, for I will certainly die a happy woman. His tongue on my skin. His eyes boring into mine. His hold of my wrist. I must look like a statue—unable to talk, move, or think clearly.

“There’s one more tequila,” he says, cocking his head toward the bar but keeping me in his sights. “And it’s yours.”

Oh good lord. My heart is speeding up by the second as I watch him lick the back of his hand and sprinkle some salt. Then he offers it to me. I stare at his hand, and then slowly look up at him. I could get lost in those grey glittery eyes.

“I taste good,” he whispers.

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It’s a Cover Reveal: The Bars Between Us by A.S. Teague

Today we have the gorgeous cover reveal for The Bars Between Us by A.S. Teague!! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy July 20th!!

Title: The Bars Between Us

Author: A.S. Teague

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 20th

About The Bars Between Us:

I don’t have a damn thing in common with the beautiful rich girl who walks in to my bar. She’s southern class, fancy cars, and designer shoes.

I’ve got a drunk for a mother, a cheater for a father, and a reputation for trouble I’ve more than earned.

I look the other way, pretending I don’t notice how perfect she is. She wouldn’t give me the time of day anyway. Until she shatters that first impression and shows me she’s so much more––everything I never thought I deserved.

After a lifetime of being a disappointment, I want to prove to her that I’m better than my past.

We have one tragic thing in common, and the thread that binds us together will tear us apart as it unravels.

Are we strong enough to break through the Bars Between Us?

Add to your Goodreads TBR!

Exclusive Excerpt:

Parked beside my car is a truck that’s got to be twice as old as I am and looks like it should have been buried long ago.

Bronn hooks a thumb in the rust bucket’s direction and tells me, “Bessie’s seen better days, but I just can’t bring myself to put her out to pasture.”

I pull my door open and toss my purse inside, before turning to face him. “Bessie, huh?”

He props a hip on her front fender. “Belonged to my dad. When he died, Dani’s mom kept her. Gave her to me.”

His face is relaxed, but the pain of his loss is still in his eyes, and I’ve come to notice that it’s a look that’s always there. Even when he’s laughing, it doesn’t erase the perpetual sadness that he carries with him. It’s a sadness that I carry with me as well.

“When I was a kid, my dad took me to the beach once.”

Bronn’s brows knit and I hurry to continue my story. “It was cold that morning, early spring, the breeze causing goosebumps to take up permanent residence on my arms. I remember Daddy taking his sweat shirt off and putting it on me. The thing swamped me.” I pause and laugh, remembering how the arms of the hoodie had drug the ground and how daddy had belly laughed at the sight before rolling them up. “Anyway, we searched for shark’s teeth that morning. It was too cold to swim, too cold to play in the sand. But I’d had a fascination with the predators of the sea, a newfound one, and Daddy had been determined that we were going to find a great white’s full jaw, I think.” I’d been staring up at the sky, but I glanced at Bronn to see his face rapt with attention, his expression intense. “We looked and looked until my eyes went cross. But, we didn’t have any luck.”

I can’t tear my gaze away from Bronn’s, even though the way he’s studying me is a little unnerving.

“We found all kinds of amazing shells, rocks that were smooth from being tumbled by the waves, crab shells that must have been eaten by gulls. But nothing that came from Jaw’s mouth.” I shrug, and smile. Bronn smiles back. His face finally relaxes, but his eyes are still full of emotion.

“I remember Daddy was so disappointed. But I wasn’t. I’d spent the morning with my favorite person in the world. I may have been freezing the whole time, my face chapped from with wind and sand whipping in it, my hair a tangled mess that took mama an hour to brush, but it was the best day.”

The half-smile that I’d been sporting while lost in the memory fades. “That was my last happy memory with him. He died not long after that.” I swallow hard, determined not to cry.

The memory is bittersweet, but it’s still sweet. That’s the thing about memories. The same exact memory can be happy or sad, depending on how you choose to remember it. And I choose to remember the sheer joy I’d felt that day, not the crushing sadness that it was the last time I’d felt that way.

I clear the emotion from my throat. “Anyway, I don’t know why I shared that. Just, maybe, to tell you, that I understand holding on to something because it has sentimental value.” I nod at his truck, “Bessie may not be worth any money, but she’s worth her weight in gold if she makes you happy.”

My lips quiver as I offer a smile. Bronn may think that we come from different worlds, and maybe we do. Nana would have killed me dead if I had ever come home from a date in a truck like his. But there’s sadness and loss everywhere, no matter how much money you have. And that common thread binds us together, whether Bronn realizes it or not.

 

About the Author:

A.S. Teague enjoys the warmth of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. The stereotypes about peach cobbler and sweet tea are not overstated. After years in the medical field, she is now enjoying every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. She loves wine, the beach, wine on the beach, and crying at Disney movies. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, she can be found pestering her husband with pictures of animals she wants to rescue, as well as debating whether to exercise or take a nap.

 

Follow A.S. Teague on social media:

www.facebook.com/authorasteague

on twitter: @authorasteague

on Instagram: @authorasteague

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/A.S.-Teague/e/B01JDW56X6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Join her mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/crfehH

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Pre Order Alert: A Life Less Beautiful by Elle Brooks

A Life Less Beautiful by Elle Brooks

Cover Design by Elle Brooks

Release Date: June 8, 2017

 

Synopsis

Ellis Hughes has loved the girl next door since he was ten-years-old. She was his sun, moon, and every visible star in a clear night sky. She was also his biggest regret.

 

When a terrible accident rips Ellis and Harlow apart, it shatters both their hearts beyond repair. More than a decade later, Ellis has paid his penance, but his regret still lingers, and the love he once harbored for his childhood sweetheart has never faded.

 

What Ellis believes has been destroyed forever, slowly comes back to life, only for a cruel twist of fate to intervene. Knowing he cannot live his life without Harlow in it, he faces the ultimate test of selflessness.

 

He must sacrifice his own heart to mend hers.

 

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Pre-Order Links

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2smjTVk

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2rsGDmu

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2rsFhIC

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2smnl2o

 

 

Excerpt

I lean over the edge of the balcony and peer down at the garden below. I’d take a moment to enjoy the cool Wilmington wind against my flushed face if I could breathe. For a solid minute my vision swims as I struggle to suck in enough air to keep from passing out. The sound of my pulse rushing in my ears begins to ebb as everything starts to calm and I thank my lucky stars. Soft strains of music slowly drift free and steal the silence I rushed up here to find, as the patio doors beneath me open. I can hear fractured snippets of people regaling fond stories of Mrs. Adkins. I move slowly backward into the shadows and watch as he steps out onto the deck, running his hands through his hair. I should take the opportunity to leave while he’s out here, but I can’t seem to make my legs work.

 

I watch as he links his hands behind his neck and stares out at the sky. My heart rate begins to accelerate again when I remember idly how I used to love running my hands through his messy blonde locks. He looks exactly the same and yet somehow completely different. The natural, infectious energy that used to surround him has disappeared, but I guess prison will do that to you. The boy I last laid eyes on has long disappeared, but the man that’s taken his place bears all the resemblances to my first love.

 

I wish I’d known he was going to be here—I could have avoided him. I’m not ready to see him, and as he stands looking out into the night, I can’t pull my eyes away. I’ve practiced every day for ten years what I would do in this situation. I’d ask him why he didn’t come clean. Why he lied. Why he shut me out and ruined what was left of my already broken heart. I was positive I’d be able to deliver it spurred on by anger alone. I was wrong. I assumed I’d be furious, but now that it’s actually happening I’m not.

 

The floorboard creaks when I jerk as a cold shiver races to the base of my spine. I quickly step behind the curtain, worried he might have heard me jump, but when I peer out he hasn’t moved a muscle. My body temperature suddenly feels as though it’s dipped to ten below zero and I’m trembling, despite the mild night. He’s so still it doesn’t look like he’s breathing. I can’t see his face; I should at least thank the universe for that small mercy. I shiver violently again and fold my arms tightly under my chest, trying to get a hold of myself. The sight of him has knocked out the little air I’d managed to suck in clear from my lungs, and my body’s decided to betray me yet again. I shouldn’t be surprised; it’s nothing new. I’m trembling uncontrollably now, and I try to relax and take some deep breaths like I’m supposed to. I’ve seen people shake violently with anger before, but I know that’s not what this is. This isn’t rage or hatred—it’s an acute realization.

 

I’ve missed him. I’ve missed the one person in this world I should hate.

 

 

 

 

Giveaway

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About the Author

I’m a little neurotic; I function on a tiny amount of sleep, and a huge amount of caffeine. I love old movies, green skittles, and have a slightly strange, and irrational fear of stormy weather.

 

When I’m not locked away scribbling down the crazy stories that occupy my mind, I can be found at home in East Yorkshire with my husband and two children.

 

I’m unashamedly fickle and can be persuaded to do just about anything with the promise of a good book, new shoes, or a bottle of bubbles.

Oh, and did I mention I also love to write?

 

 

Connect with Elle

Website: https://www.ellebrooksauthor.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/elle.brooks.author

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ellebrooksautho

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2rA5Mvb

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8192108.Elle_Brooks

 

It’s a Cover Reveal: A Life Less Beautiful by Elle Brooks

A Life Less Beautiful by Elle Brooks

Cover Design by Elle Brooks

Release Date: June 8, 2017

 

Synopsis

Ellis Hughes has loved the girl next door since he was ten-years-old. She was his sun, moon, and every visible star in a clear night sky. She was also his biggest regret.

 

When a terrible accident rips Ellis and Harlow apart, it shatters both their hearts beyond repair. More than a decade later, Ellis has paid his penance, but his regret still lingers, and the love he once harbored for his childhood sweetheart has never faded.

 

What Ellis believes has been destroyed forever, slowly comes back to life, only for a cruel twist of fate to intervene. Knowing he cannot live his life without Harlow in it, he faces the ultimate test of selflessness.

 

He must sacrifice his own heart to mend hers.

 

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Giveaway

One of Five ARCs of A Life Less Beautiful

 

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About the Author

I’m a little neurotic; I function on a tiny amount of sleep, and a huge amount of caffeine. I love old movies, green skittles, and have a slightly strange, and irrational fear of stormy weather.

 

When I’m not locked away scribbling down the crazy stories that occupy my mind, I can be found at home in East Yorkshire with my husband and two children.

 

I’m unashamedly fickle and can be persuaded to do just about anything with the promise of a good book, new shoes, or a bottle of bubbles.

Oh, and did I mention I also love to write?

 

 

Connect with Elle

Website: https://www.ellebrooksauthor.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/elle.brooks.author

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ellebrooksautho

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2rA5Mvb

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8192108.Elle_Brooks

 

It’s a Cover Reveal: Singe (Guardian Protection #1) by Aly Martinez

singe-for-web

SINGE is the first book in an ALL NEW smokin-hot standalone series by Aly Martinez releasing February 6th!

Add to your TBR:http://bit.ly/2izUumt

Synopsis2

She was my nightmare. Every time I closed my eyes, I watched her fall into that inferno. Over and over, I failed to save her.

I hadn’t been able to reach her, and the guilt only burned hotter over time. Four years later, I was the unreachable one.

Heroes aren’t always saints. Sometimes, we’re nothing more than jaded sinners driven by sleepless nights and hearts full of darkness.

And then I met her. She was a dreamer who managed to soothe my scars and heal my wounds.

But, as the flames closed in around us, I feared I wasn’t the right man to save her. That is until I realized she was the one woman I’d burn the world down to protect.

author

aly martineez

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five- including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

STALK HER: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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It’s a Cover Reveal: Keep Us by Faith Andrews

keepus-ebook

Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs

Release Date: December 5, 2016

 

Synopsis2

For the Grayson family the holidays have always been a time of togetherness.

Eat, drink, and be merry is their motto, but not this year . . .

With Marcus and Riley knee deep in their flourishing careers, their spouses, Tessa and Beck, have been decking the halls and dashing through the snow without support from the busy Grayson duo. A new baby is on the way for one of these ladies and she hasn’t even had the chance to tell the daddy; plans for a huge holiday feast are up in the air because priorities are out of whack; unexpected visitors and a bomb of a surprise from Mr. Grayson—it’s safe to say this holiday will be far from jolly.

Tempers are high, feelings are bruised, and it’s not something spiked eggnog can cure. Will Marcus and Riley make it home for the holidays or will Tessa and Beck be forced to ring in the New Year alone?

Goodreads

Helmet on a motorcycle of Santa Claus

 

Giveaway

One of Five ARC’s of Keep Us

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Other Books in the Grayson Book Series:

 

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Keep Me (Book 1) – on sale for .99 until 11/27

Amazon ~ http://amzn.to/2gdXyYh

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Keep Her (Book 2)

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Kobo ~ http://bit.ly/2eY42UX

 

 

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author

Faith Andrews is living out her dream right outside the greatest city in the world, New York City. Happily married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two beautiful and wild daughters, and a furry Yorkie son named Rocco Giovanni. When she’s not tapping her toes to a Mumford & Sons tune or busy being a dance mom, her nose is stuck in a book or she’s sitting behind the laptop, creating her next swoon worthy book boyfriend. Coffee addict, lover of wine and cheese, and sucker for concerts and Netflix, Faith believes in love at first sight and happily ever after.

 

Connect with Faith

Newsletter Sign Up: http://bit.ly/2gdQZUI

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Goodreads Reader Group: http://bit.ly/1rAaVCU

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2fT1bh0

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2gcQzib

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2fUBAYT

 

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Excerpt Reveal: Hell and Back by Natasha Madison

BLURB
 
Meeting him was a fluke. Dating him was a mistake. Watching him become a drug addict put me through hell. Running was my only option.

***

I’m running from my demons and when I find out she’s trying to escape her past, I know what I have to do.

One broken cop. One woman fighting for her life. A fragile love.

Sinister secrets that threaten to tear them apart.

They’ve been to hell. The hard part will be finding their way back together.

Releasing October 31, 2016

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EXCERPT

 
I pull up in my driveway looking over at the house.  What I see pisses me off. 
Here she is in a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, hat and glasses pushing a brand new  lawn mower.
I make sure I check my temper before I walk over.  Right before I cross the street the little girl on the front porch stops me mid step.
She looks like just like her mother, just a smaller version.  She is sitting on a plastic little table, that they probably just bought, coloring.
I make my way over to her right when the lawn mower goes off
“I told you I would cut the grass.”  I try to sound casual, but the blood in me is boiling, it must be ninety-five degrees outside, and she’s wearing enough clothes for a trek across the frozen tundra.
She looks up “I also said I got it, and I would be doing it myself.” The little girl from the porch makes it to her mother and hides behind her, yanking on her pant leg. 
The fearful look that she gives me is just like her mother’s.  I crouch down, getting eye-to-eye with her and say “Hey there, beautiful. What’s your name?” She doesn’t reply, and instead she lowers her gaze so she is looking at her feet. “I’m Jackson,” I reach out my hand, but drop it when I know she won’t take it.  I gesture behind me, as I say “I live in that house right over there.  I used to know  your great grandma.”  I’m trying to draw her into a conversation with me, but nothing I say engages her.
“It’s ok baby, you can tell him your name.  Nan used to make him cookies, so you know what that means, she must have really  liked him.”  She rubs her daughters shoulder.
“I’m Lilah,” she says in barely a whisper.
“That is the most beautiful name in the whole wide world.  You’re lucky to have such a beautiful name.”  She smiles at me, right as a car
back fires. She yells and puts her hands to her ears.
  
Two things happen at the same time, her mother grabs her and runs toward the house,  and I vow to protect them.
“Wait,” I rush after them and make it right to the door before it’s closed in my face.  I stand there inside the house and watch them rushing to the corner and hide.
Two  broken girls protecting each other against some monster of the outside world.  I walk up to them “It’s ok, it’s just a car, it was nothing but a car.”
“Lilah, baby it’s ok, it’s ok.  I’m here.  It’s ok baby girl, were safe.” She is trying to comfort the little girl who is sobbing quietly in her mother arms.  “No one is here baby.”
She looks over at me, our eyes meeting for one minute before she lowers them again.
“Look it’s ok, it’s just Jackson.  There is no one here, baby.”  She rocks Lilah back and forth. Her back against the wall while she soothes her baby girl whose sobs are slowly stopping, her eyes closing.
“What can I do?”  I’m now sitting in front of her not sure how to even start to dissect this.
“Nothing, you can’t do anything for us,” she kisses Lilah’s head. “No one can.”
I ignore that last part not sure how to talk about this now. 
“I’m going to go outside and finish cutting the grass, then I’m going to go pick up some food for us.  Does she like pizza?”
“Jackson, I don’t know what relationship you had with my grandmother, but I don’t need your help.  We will be fine.  Please, it’s ok, you can leave.” She rests her head on the the wall closing her eyes, the defeat of the day leaving her body.
“I’m going to go outside and finish mowing the lawn so Lilah doesn’t have to go outside anymore today.  Then I’m going to pick up pizza for myself.  You won’t have time to cook, so I’m going to pick one up for you.  I want to eat with you guys, but I’m not pushing myself on you either after today.  Now I don’t want to fight with you or even discuss this, so just nod that you understand?”
She looks into my eyes, but nods yes.
“I can pay you for the pizza?  I have money. I don’t need a hand out,” she says while trying to push herself up to go get fucking money. 
If she weren’t so scared of things I would punch the fuck out of something right now.  “I don’t want your money, now or ever.  I have no doubt you can take care of yourself.  Consider this a housewarming present.” I get up going to the door not even giving her a chance to say anything else.
“She’s never had pizza before, so can you just get us plain cheese.”
I don’t say anything afraid of what will come out of my mouth.  I nod and walk out the door, closing it quietly so as not to wake Lilah.
I close my eyes exhaling the breath that I didn’t even realize I was holding.
“She’s barely holding on while fighting for her life.  She has demons, they both do.  Whatever happened to them, it’s in there deep.  The
both of them are so scared, you can practically see the fear coming off of them.”
  I look over at Brenda who is on her porch watering her plants. “Tread lightly, Jackson, or better yet walk away if you aren’t going to do anything about it.”
I don’t have a chance to respond she walks into her house closing her front door softly, leaving me fighting my own demons.
 
 
About Natasha Madsion
 
When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
 

It’s a Cover Reveal: More Than Money by Allison Michaels

mtm-am-e-cover

More Than Money

By: Allison Michaels

Releasing: November 7th

Synopsis2

Ryan McMillan believes hard work and perseverance are the keys to success, not games of

chance. When he receives an instant lottery ticket, he never expects to win a dime, much less

walk away with the grand prize.

Collette Russo is no stranger to hardship. Loss has taught her valuable lessons in grace and

modesty, traits Ryan can’t help but notice on the winner’s cruise. Collette is the only other

passenger not obsessed with material things, and their mutual humility sparks an attraction

neither of them anticipates.

As good fortune continues to favor Ryan, his relationship with Collette turns into a romance

filled with affection and laughter, and his career begins to take off. Yet when his loyalty is

tested, an old friendship turns sour.

Ryan chalks it up to greed and arrogance and finds comfort in Collette’s experience with both.

But an unthinkable event reveals that nothing is as simple as it seems. Envy and greed threaten

to ruin everything.

Has Ryan’s luck finally run out? Can he take back control? Will Collette stand by him in the

aftermath?

Only time will tell if love is worth more than money.

mtm-teaser-one

Buy The Book

https://amzn.com/B01LWZUHJZ

author

Be sure to check out Allison Michaels at the following links:

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