Tuesday, November 13, 2018

LOVE CAN BE~ A Literary Collection About Our Animals


 Love can be, and sure enough is, moving in all things, in all places, in all forms of life at the same snap of your finger.”—Woody Guthrie



Oklahoma native Woody Guthrie said it first and best. This new anthology of poems and prose, Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals, is proof of what love can be, as thirty acclaimed authors join together to champion life in all its forms. This is their gift to the world, not just the artistry of their words, but their vision of an extended community that includes cats, birds, frogs, butterflies, bears, dogs, raccoons, horses—a full-out menagerie of being that enriches us all.

This broad-hearted vision comes with responsibility, and that responsibility speaks to the mission of the Kirkpatrick Foundation, publisher of the book. The Kirkpatrick Foundation will donate all net proceeds of sales of this volume to animal charities in Oklahoma as well as honoraria donated to the contributors’ selected animal charities.

Authors featured in the collection are Julia Alvarez, Blake Bailey, Rick Bass, P. C. Cast, Wayne Coyne, Kim Doner, Delia Ephron, Reyna Grande, Joy Harjo, Amy Hempel, Juan Felipe Herrera, S. E. Hinton, Brandon Hobson, Dean Koontz, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jill McCorkle, Teresa Miller, N. Scott Momaday, Joyce Carol Oates, Susan Orlean, Ron Padgett, Elise Paschen, Diane Rehm, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Wade Rouse, Alexander McCall Smith, Lalita Tademy, Clifton Taulbert, Michael Wallis, and Mary Logan Wolf.

Special contributions include:
* “The Cat,” one of the final original poems by the legendary Ursula K. Le Guin.
* A memorial tribute to Sudan, the last male white rhino, by former U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
* An essay by noted novelist Alexander McCall Smith, who celebrates the whimsical link between baboons and opera.
* An essay on love, grief, and resilience by Peabody Award–winning journalist Diane Rehm.
* A classic, “Jubilate,” by Joyce Carol Oates. (synopsis from Amazon)



My thoughts, 4 stars

Love Can Be: A Literary Collection about Our Animals is a limited edition that consists of poetry, stories, memorials, and reminiscences by a wide ranging group of authors about animals. All net proceeds go to various animal charities. 

There's a lot to enjoy in this collection. Most are bite sized and one or more could be read during a lunch hour, or while waiting on/for whatever or whomever.
The stories that stood out for me, and yes-made me smile through tears (which isn't ideal at work) were:
Dogly Prayers and Wishes by Jill McCorkle. Yep, made me cry while remembering my own past special dogs who came at just the right time, like lil angels.
Dog Memory by Susan Orlean really made me cry as it reminded me of my most recent loss, Tommy.
And last, but certainly not least, The Emperor Maxie by Diane Rehm. Who hasn't loved an ornery cantakerous pet?

Whether you buy to help out the charities, because you love animal stories or know someone who does, or any combination thereof, one or more of the offerings is sure to touch your heart.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Heather VanFleet's RECKLESSLY EVER AFTER excerpt & giveaway




With a couple of nineties rom-coms tucked inside my purse, and a fresh carton of Ben & Jerry’s  in a bag hanging off my forearm, buried in the bottom of my purse, I was determined to make up for lost time.
I knocked twice, like always. Once to make my presence known, and the next to make sure Max wasn’t in there screwing one of his many flavors—though I didn’t see his car either. Unlike every other time I’d stopped by, nobody answered…at least at first. But then I heard it—a grunt, followed by a, fuck me and then an, I’m coming, hold on.
“Oh, God.” I took a step back, looking over my shoulder toward the driveway, more than ready to run.
No, no, no. I knew that voice.
There was no time to escape, though, because a second later he was there. And quite frankly, my legs weren’t capable of moving, either. Because the moment that door whipped open and I saw him standing there, I was screwed with a capital S.
“McKenna…” He said my name on an exhale, while his hypnotic green eyes raked over me in one long, agonizing swoop. His cheeks grew bright red—making him look bashful and, adorable, not the tough- guy like his friends tried to be. When he bowed his head, I took a second to look him over too, frowning when I noted a clump of black sticky, gooey stuff clinging to the ends of his lashes, and a smearing of something shiny and red on the corners of his lips and clinging to his beard.
“H-hi.” I cleared my throat, attempting to remember why I was there in the first place. The intensity emitting from this man tended to make me forget pretty much everything.
“What are you doing here?” He folded his arms over his massive chest. The same chest I’d touched… The same chest I’d kissed…
I blinked. “W-where’s Addie?”
He frowned and that beard of his shifted, conforming with the movements of his jaw. “Grocery store. She asked me to watch Chloe for half an hour.”
“You? Watch Chloe?” I snorted.
“Yeah. Me.” His eyebrows drew together as he propped one hand against the door frame, a dare in his words that said, challenge me and you will lose.
Except I highly doubted this man could ever beat me in a match of wits. Regardless, he did have me mesmerized, like as always. His hotness, his coyness, the vulnerability I knew he embodied… Total. Human. Catnip.
I swallowed, watching his forearm flex. Gavin was humongous in every sense of the word. I may might have been a little tipsy when we’d had sex, but the delicious soreness between my legs the next morning proved that big was so very worth it.
My face grew hot at the memory, my mouth opening and closing like a dunce’s. Who was I? Where was I? And why the hell did I have an unexplainable urge to drop to my knees before him?
Because you like him.
I frowned and held my chin up high. “Mind if I come in and make sure you didn’t tie the tyke up?” Without waiting for a response, I ducked under his outstretched arm, holding my breath as I did. Unfortunately, the air in my lungs did little to block the heavenly, masculine smell he emitted. Spice, pine, soap… The combination made my lady parts tingle and my head spin in remembrance.
I didn’t do men for more than a night. Not anymore. Not since Penis-Head Paul. So, what was my issue? One and done, that’s the way it was supposed to be. Not third time’s a charm, damn it.
Ignoring his are-you-kidding-me expression, I headed into the living room, finding the coffee table filled with all things princess. Crowns, feather boas, fake earrings, and… “Is that makeup?”
He cleared his throat. “Yeah, um, give me a second, would ya?”
I grinned at him, watching, yet again, as he bowed his head—this time rubbing at the clingy black goo on his eyes and, yes, the red lipstick on his beard.
Oh. My. God.
He’d let the kid put it on him?
Be still, my beating heart.


Gavin St. James 
After the hell I’ve been through in the Marines—in life—there’s nothing I crave more than routine, stability, peace. Until McKenna Brewer walks into my life.
She’s impulsive, fiery, tempting as hell, and everything I dGavinon’t need. But when she offers me a night of no-strings-attached passion, I can’t resist.
When our night together has unexpected consequences, I can’t help but think this might be the perfect opportunity to show McKenna just how much I want her.
The only problem? She doesn’t do forevers. But forever is exactly what I need with her.
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Monday, October 29, 2018

Isla Turner's Top Ten Reasons To Stay Away From Jessie "Freakin" Beckett *DANGEROUS EXES & giveaway w/ Rachel Van Dyken




I like control. 

And I think arrogant cheating men are the devil. 

Its why I cofounded Dirty Exes PI, to pin down scoundrels with the tip of my stiletto heel. 

My names Isla and I have a confession to make. 

I think football players are sexy. 

This poses a problem since enemy number one just happens to want to take down my entire company with his massive quarterback hands. Did I mention he has massive hands already? Stupid, who likes big hands anyways? Not this girl! 

He wants to destroy me. 

I want to end him. 

I never lose. 

Besides, I've come up with a fool proof plan, I'm a woman on a mission, a woman who likes order, and lists, so I've conjured up a list of ten reasons Jessie Beckett is the absolute worse (I may have been drinking wine, but it was the only way to power through). 

10. His eyes crinkle when he smiles. I hate it. It's distracting and I think he does it on purpose just to appear friendly to the elderly. He's satan in sheeps clothing. 

9. He has too many abs. I know it seems an unusual thing to be upset about, but theres just too much muscle? It's...disgusting. When he's shirtless I look away and I pray. You know, for his digestive system, theres only one way you get that much muscle, protein shakes, gross. 

8. He helps orphaned children. I think it's a ploy for attention, theres no way it's genuine. 

7. He's too competitive, which means you always have to have your A game. 

6. His kisses are too, passionate (trust me I hate that I even know) it's like you're the sole focus of his entire world which would be fine if you weren't getting kissed on camera in front of hundreds of thousands of Patriots fans! 

5. He's arrogant. So. Arrogant. The guy doesn't even need words, he just gives off this smug look and sea's of people part or just pass out completely. 

4. His megawatt smile makes my face hurt. No botox in that forehead, it's all huge and ready for the next picture op. 

3. He's secretive. Which makes him sketchy, he doesn't want people prying and he thinks I'm the biggest one of them all! 

2. His pantry is pathetic, no color, nothing exciting, or fun, and his cereal is all, well dont get me started on his cereal. I actually took care of this point, but it still makes my eye twitch. 

1. He had the best fake proposal I will probably hear. Ever. Which just makes him the ultimate bad guy, who does that to a girls heart? When she knows full well it's not real? He's a horrible, horrible human being and I can't wait for everyone to see what I'm talking about when they read Dangerous Exes! 



Isla made one teeny little mistake. Now she and her PI company, Dirty Exes, are being targeted by one seriously angry and furiously sexy ex-quarterback. Jessie freakin’ Beckett. But there’s no way some NFL superhunk is going to take her business away. If only he didn’t make her so hot—and bothered.
Jessie wants payback for a ruined reputation. His plan? Top secret. His hard-to-hide arousal for Isla? Not so much. Especially when they let down their guards and sneak a kiss. Like any juicy scandal, it goes so viral, so fast, that only a good lie can combat the bad press. Mortal enemies in a fling? No way. Um…this is love!
Actually…could it be?
Isla’s not faking it. Jessie can’t. As the game of let’s pretend gets real, Jessie forgets all about revenge. That’s the problem. His plan is already out of his control. Now it could undo everything they’ve been trying to build. Coming clean may be the only thing that can save it.

Rachel Van Dyken is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and #1 New York Times bestselling author known for regency romances, contemporary romances, and her love of coffee and Swedish fish. Rachel’s also recently inked a deal for her Wingmen Inc. series—The Matchmaker’s Playbook and The Matchmaker’s Replacement—to be made into movies.
A fan of The Bachelor and the Seattle Seahawks (not necessarily in that order), Rachel lives in Idaho with her husband, a super cute toddler son who keeps her on her toes, and two boxers. Make sure you check out her site, www.RachelVanDykenauthor.com, and follow her on Twitter (@RachVD).

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Meet Steffi Lockwood the Heroine from Jamie Beck’s The Memory of You w/ giveaway



Thank you so much for inviting me to talk about Sanctuary Sound, I'm Steffi Lockwood. I admit, it is strange to be back in my sleepy hometown after spending so much of my youth wanting to escape to something bigger and, in my mind, better. But life in Hartford didn’t live up to my dreams. I wouldn’t say I left because I got attacked, but it was a wake-up call for all the ways that life wasn’t really making me happy. One night while watching my favorite HGTV show, I got inspired to quit my construction job and return home to start my own home renovation business with my childhood friend, Claire, a designer.
While I enjoy the quiet beauty of our small coastal Connecticut town and am happy to reconnect with Claire, my dad, and my brother Ben, my homecoming isn’t all roses and sunshine. Although my mom died long ago, I can’t help but miss her when I’m at my dad’s house on Lilac Lane. I’m also dealing with some kind of brain fog, most likely from the many concussions I’ve suffered, including the last one I got when attacked. Then there’s the rift between Claire and our other dear friend, Peyton. We used to call ourselves the Lilac Lane League and were the closest of friends. I really relied on that sisterhood (having only brothers, myself). Now I’m trying to remain neutral, but that’s not easy when I have to live and work with Claire, and she’s still brokenhearted because her ex ran off with Peyton. But the biggest regret that follows me around town has to do with memories of Ryan Quinn, my high school sweetheart—the greatest guy in the world that I was dumb enough to ghost in college.
Like I mentioned, when I was younger, I thought I wanted a bigger life. I didn’t want to be like my mom, who married and died young without ever seeing anything of the world. I wanted adventure, and to get that, I had to break free from town and from Ryan. Fast- forward to now, when his mom just hired me to convert her porch to a family room. I didn’t know she needed to expand her house because Ryan’s marriage imploded and he’s just returned from Boston with his young daughter, Emmy. Let me tell you, ours was not a pleasant reunion. I did my best to apologize and be polite, but there’s only so much shaming I can take before I push back. Still, I’m not the same young girl I was back then and I’d love a chance to make amends with Ryan. His daughter is a real spitfire who makes me laugh, too.
Whatever happens with Ryan, I know I can take care of myself and make a success of this business, especially once this stuff with my memory heals. If I can also help my friends repair their relationship and win Ryan’s forgiveness, too, I’m going to try. At the very least, I can be the kind of friend to his daughter, Emmy, that his mom was to me when I needed one. Wish me luck!




Steffi Lockwood has survived more than most. Recovering from an assault, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how: with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one longtime friend puts her in the middle of a rift with another. Worse, being hired by her ex-boyfriend’s mother forces her to confront old regrets.

Public defender Ryan Quinn wasn’t shocked when his wife left him, but he was floored when she abandoned their daughter. With his finances up in the air, the newly single dad returns to his childhood home in Sanctuary Sound. The last person he expects, or wants, to see working on his family house is Steffi Lockwood—his first love who shattered his heart.

Although Steffi and Ryan are different people now, dormant feelings rekindle. But when Steffi’s secrets begins to surface, will it bring them together…or tear them apart for good?



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National bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than one million copies. She’s a 2017 Booksellers’ Best Award finalist, and critics at Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing novels, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking as well as hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family. Fans can learn more about her on her website, www.jamiebeck.com, which includes a fun “Extras” page with photos, videos, and playlists. She also loves interacting with everyone on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks.

Friday, October 26, 2018

LADY HELENA INVESTIGATES Review


 
Step into Lady Helena Whitcombe’s world with the first novel in a series that will blend family saga and mystery-driven action with a slow-burn romance in seven unputdownable investigations.


1881, Sussex. Lady Helena Scott-De Quincy’s marriage to Sir Justin Whitcombe, three years before, gave new purpose to a life almost destroyed by the death of Lady Helena’s first love. After all, shouldn’t the preoccupations of a wife and hostess be sufficient to fulfill any aristocratic female’s dreams? Such a shame their union wasn’t blessed by children . . . but Lady Helena is content with her quiet country life until Sir Justin is found dead in the river overlooked by their grand baroque mansion.

The intrusion of attractive, mysterious French physician Armand Fortier, with his meddling theory of murder, into Lady Helena’s first weeks of mourning is bad enough. But with her initial ineffective efforts at investigation and her attempts to revive her long-abandoned interest in herbalism comes the realization that she may have been mistaken about her own family’s past. Every family has its secrets—but as this absorbing series will reveal, the Scott-De Quincy family has more than most.

Can Lady Helena survive bereavement the second time around? Can she stand up to her six siblings’ assumption of the right to control her new life as a widow? And what role will Fortier—who, as a physician, is a most unsuitable companion for an earl’s daughter—play in her investigations? (synopsis from Amazon



My thoughts...4.5 stars
Gentle may be an odd word to use when describing a mystery, but it fits LADY HELENA INVESTIGATES to a tee for me. Despite the ugliness she unearths, and there's quite a bit of ugly, Helena manages to keep her head and decorum while solving more than one mystery.
Our story opens with Lady Helena grieving the loss of her husband, Justin. 
While more than one mystery is introduced and solved, LADY HELENA INVESTIGATES is very much character driven.  And what a cast of characters we meet. 
Lady Helena,aka Baby to most of her siblings. She grows into her role as a widow in charge of her life and the estate left to her by her husband. She fast became a favorite for me.
Michael, Earl of Broadmere & head of the Scott-De Quincy family - the brother closest in age to Helena. Haven't quite figured him out, Asperger's perhaps?
O aka Odelia- the unmarried Bohemian artist sister who lives in the family's London home. Bit partial to O.
Alice and Annette-the twins Like many twins they have the ability to communicate silently and can be off putting.
Geraldine aka Gerry, the oldest sister. Considering the 22 yr age gap between them, Helena & Gerry get on surprisingly well. Helena relies on Gerry's husband, Ned, Sir Edward Freestone,, the mayor of Littleberry.
Blanch the widowed Marchioness of Hastings- Snotty and envious of what others have. to her mind, she subsists on  a meager amount and receives any additional at her son's pleasure or from family and friends.
These are rounded out by spouses, assorted nieces, nephews, and villagers. Not the least of which is the French doctor, Fortier.
Their lack of perfection and diverse personalities make them all the more appealing. A lot of my reads lately, with the odd exception, have characters that are hard to connect with or like. The fact that I looked forward to spending time with Helena and crew and missed them after finishing the book speaks volumes. Truly interested in how relationships and events progress in the future. Littleberry has the makings of a place I'd enjoy visiting often.

LADY HELENA INVESTIGATES should easily win a large following among historical cozy fans. With it's wonderfully flawed characters, the family dynamics, village life and relationships, and the history and detail woven so seamlessly into the story, how could you not enjoy it and want more?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Mary Wine's BETWEEN A HIGHLANDER & A HARD PLACE excerpt & giveaway



May Day was something every man near him was looking forward to. Now that dawn had broken, they were creeping off to peek at the girls. Symon sat up, but his member wasn’t stirring at the idea.
And it damned well should have been.
Which meant he was going toward the woods because he was damned tired of the way his blood felt like it was frozen in his veins.
It was May Day. The girls washed their faces with morning dew with their hair flowing free and naught on but chemises. The only men not stirred by the idea of it all were the ones wearing sackcloth in the monastery.
At last he grinned.
He’d done too many things to be considered for a life of piety.
Too many stolen kisses on summer days.
Ah, but Tara’s had been the sweetest of them all. Shy little kisses that their wedding vows dictated she owed him, and yet he’d enjoyed coaxing them from her.
He moved through the woods, using skills he’d learned to stay alive during raids. Today was an anomaly. A day when McPherson, McTavish, Grants, Robertson, and others dispensed with their feuds in order to indulge in spring festival.
Today, he kept low to the ground and moved carefully in order not to be heard by the women. The game would last only until full light, when skirts and dresses would go back on, but the hair would be left down until sunset.
Of course the fun was catching glimpses of the girls in their chemises.
At last Symon felt his enthusiasm growing. He wasn’t sure if it was the promise of seeing a few well-turned calves or maybe just the idea of being able to sneak closer without being heard.
Not that it mattered. He crouched low, staying in the shadows close to the trees and making sure he was near enough to the river to allow the sound of the water to mask his motions. He pulled his plaid up to cover his head, the muted color of the wool allowing him to blend better with the surroundings.
Other men passed by, drawn by the soft sound of whispers farther away from the river. Symon decided to wait, leaning in so he was pressed against a thick tree trunk.
At first, he thought he imagined her.
While the other women moved deeper into the woods, this one hung back, content by herself.
Her hair was a golden cloud. Like a crown, and she wore it proudly. She was graceful but tall. It drew his attention because he was accustomed to dwarfing the women around him. She reached up, finding new spring leaves that the other girls hadn’t been able to touch, and tipped them so that the dew dripped down on her face. The wind carried her husky laughter to his ears as he felt his lips being split by a grin wider than any he’d felt in a long time.
She was magnificent.
The first rays of the sun showed him the outline of the mounds of her breasts.
Handfuls.
Ones that would fit his hands.
His member stirred. She lowered her head, and their gazes met. Her eyes widened as her lips rounded in surprise. It might have been an hour that they stood there, staring at one another; Symon honestly couldn’t have said. Her eyelids lowered, fluttering against her smooth cheeks.
He reached up and tugged on the corner of his bonnet.
Something flickered in her eyes as he performed the common courtesy gesture. A hint of trust perhaps. He fought the urge to move closer to her, caught between the need to close the distance between them and the fear that she’d take flight if he moved.
Fear…
He hadn’t worried about a woman’s opinion of him in a very long time.
Something rustled behind them, gaining her attention, and then she took flight. Her long legs carried her swiftly, right out of his sight, as he cursed.
The lad who had startled her stood gap-jawed while she disappeared.
“Was she real?” he asked as he stopped beside Symon.
“I’d no’ be surprised to discover her a forest sprite.” He patted the younger lad on the shoulder. “But ye can be sure I’ll do me best to prove her a mortal woman before the day ends.”
And that was a promise he was going to enjoy making good on.



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A fierce Englishwoman on the run.
A Highland Laird who needs a proper wife.
And a desire neither can resist.

Athena Trappes thinks she’s in love…until she discovers the scoundrel only wanted her as his bit on the side. Enraged, she does what any spirited Englishwoman would do: set fire to his belongings, incur his dangerous wrath, and flee—immediately. With nowhere else to turn, she seeks freedom in the wilds of Scotland.

Highland Laird Symon Grant lost his wife years ago, and it’s his duty to find another. Athena is not exactly what the clan has in mind for him, but Symon’s heart burns with unexpected passion for the woman who would risk everything to be free.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Kyle’s Top 5 Memories With Ophelia from A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst with Giveaway




In A Brand New Ending, Kyle Kimpton and Ophelia Bishop are only eighteen years old when they decide to run away together to pursue their dreams. Leaving the family farm behind, they escape to Hollywood to get married and chase their careers. Kyle plans on being a famous writer, and Ophelia longs to be a singer as great as Adele. Unfortunately, their paths diverge and rip apart their relationship. As Kyle thrives in Hollwyood as the new hotshot screenwriter in town, Ophelia falters when she realizes in order to be famous in the music industry, she needs to change who she is. Choices are made that rip them apart, and Ophelia returns to the family farm with her heart shattered and dreams destroyed. Kyle realizes he’s made a big mistake letting go of the only woman he’s ever loved. His memories haunt him. Here are the top five he thinks about constantly: He remembers the first time they kissed when they were sixteen years old. Riding on horseback through the meadow, Ophelia falls off her horse, and when he frantically checks on her, they gaze into each other’s eyes and he realizes at that moment, he is in love with his best friend. They share their first kiss, and when they walk away hand in hand out of the meadow, everything has changed. When Kyle’s abusive father blames him for his mother’s death, he runs to the only place he’s ever felt safe: the Bishop family farm. Ophelia opens the door and instantly senses his pain. She holds him tight and for the very first time, Kyle cries in her arms. When they were young, they hung out with Ophelia’s brother, Ethan, and were called the Three Musketeers. They’d run around the small town of Gardiner, raising hell, and ending up at Bea’s Diner for her famous burgers and pies, detailing the glory of their future. Ophelia would sneak out at night to meet him at the barns. They kept their relationship secret from Ethan and Harper (Opehlia’s siblings) and spend nights lying on a blanket, under the stars, holding hands and talking about their dreams and future. Kyle vowed to wait until they were married to claim Ophelia as his. They get married in Vegas in a tiny chapel, by Elvis, and when they return home to their tiny apartment, they make love for the very first time. After a decade, Kyle returns to his hometown and back to Ophelia. He intends to create many new memories with the woman he loves. He dreams of running the Inn with her side by side as he writes his new books on his terms. He wants to raise a family with her in their childhood town, and be surrounded by the people and animals he’s always loved. He wants to watch her sing again, making people happy, finally owning her special gift without fear. And this is where A Brand New Ending begins


Ophelia Bishop was a lovestruck teenage girl when she and Kyle Kimpton chased their dreams to Hollywood. Kyle’s dreams came true. Ophelia’s did not. When Kyle chose his career over their relationship, Ophelia returned home to rural New York to run the family’s B & B—wiser, and more guarded against foolish fantasies. Now Kyle has come crashing back into her life, and all her defenses are down.
Kyle can’t think of a better place to write his latest screenplay than his hometown. After all, that was where he met the heart of his inspiration—his first love. He knows the damage he’s caused Ophelia, and he wants a chance to mend their relationship. If anyone can prove to Ophelia that happy ever afters aren’t only for the movies, it should be him.
As much as Ophelia’s changed, she still has feelings for Kyle. But her heart has been broken before, and she knows that Kyle could run back to Hollywood at any time. She gave up her dreams once, but maybe she can dare to change her own love story…one last time.

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Jennifer Probst is the New York Times bestselling author of the Billionaire Builders series, the Searching For series, The Marriage series, the Steele Brothers series, and The Start of Something Good, which is the first book in the Stay series. Like some of her characters, Probst, along with her husband and two sons, calls New York’s Hudson Valley home. When she isn’t traveling to meet readers, she enjoys reading, watching “shameful reality television,” and visiting a local Hudson Valley animal shelter.








Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A COWBOY CHRISTMAS JUBILEE excerpt & giveaway w/ Dylann Crush

Merry Christmas from your new friends in Holiday, Texas:
The most celebratory town in the South!

When Jinx Jacobs's motorcycle breaks down outside Holiday, Texas, the last thing she wants is to get stuck in the cheery little town, especially during the holidays. The whole place has gone Christmas crazy, but all she has to do is stay out from under the mistletoe—and do her best to keep that unnervingly attractive cop off her back.

Single dad and sheriff’s deputy Cash Walker doesn’t have time for romance, and yet something about the tempting loner twists his stomach up tighter than a tangle of tinsel. He may have finally found the missing piece in his life…but with Jinx so determined to avoid putting down roots, convincing her to stay may just take a Christmas miracle.


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Jinx breathed in the scent of pine trees. She’d expected Texas to be full of tumbleweeds and cactus, not beautiful rows and rows of pines. She raised her gaze to enjoy the view of Cash riding a few feet in front of her. Unlike her, he was an absolute natural on a horse. He swayed back and forth in the saddle, instinctively matching the horse’s gait with the movements of his body. He must have felt her gaze on his back; he twisted in the saddle to shoot a smile her way.
Her breath hitched. She’d never been this happy before. Never thought she deserved it. He brought out feelings in her that she didn’t know she was even capable of.
“Kenzie thinks she found a tree.” He pulled up, stopping his horse until she caught up. “Do we have enough ornaments for that?”
Jinx followed the line of his arm, her gaze resting on a giant pine that towered over its neighbors. “You’ve got to be kidding. That’s got to be at least, what, twelve feet tall?”
He shrugged and climbed out of the saddle. “Let’s measure. If we put it in the front room, we’ve got the height.”
“Yeah, but how in the world are you going to get that home?” She swung her leg over the saddle, trying to find the ground. Cash slung an arm around her waist, catching her before she tumbled into a heap.
“Need a hand there?” He slid her foot out of the stirrup and set her upright, both feet finally firmly planted on the ground.
“Thanks.” The tree appeared even taller now that she wasn’t sitting six feet off the ground.
“It’s perfect!” Kenzie trotted in circles around it on the back of her pony. “It’s the most perfectest Christmas tree ever.”
“You sure you don’t want to look at one of these?” Cash gestured around them to the sea of five- to six- foot trees.
“Nope.”
He smiled an apology at Jinx, a dad clearly wrapped around his little girl’s finger. “Let me get the saw.” He passed both sets of reins to Jinx. “Can you tie them up to a tree or something? They shouldn’t run, but they might not like the sound of the saw when I get it going.”
Jinx took the leather leads and loosely draped them around a branch of a tree. “Yeah, we’re going to need more ornaments.”
By the time Cash had sawed through the thick trunk of the tree, the sun sat directly overhead. “Y’all want to take a break for lunch before we head back?”
“Lunch?” Jinx wondered where they’d be able to grab a sandwich with nothing but trees and fields around them.
“Daddy and I packed a picnic.” Kenzie pulled something out of a pocket on the side of her saddle.
“When did you have time to do that?” She helped Kenzie spread out the blanket. 
Kenzie beamed. “Are you surprised?”
“I sure am. You’re definitely making this a day to remember.”
Cash joined them on the blanket, spreading out the picnic feast. “PB&J, grapes, and Rice Krispies squares.”
“Perfect.” She meant it. The sun overhead, the man she’d been waiting for all her life next to her, and the promise of many tomorrows between them filled her heart with a joy she didn’t know she had the capacity for. “I think this is going to be my new very favorite best day.”
Kenzie giggled. “What’s a very favorite best day?”
It was a game she had played with her dad. She hadn’t thought about it in years. Hadn’t had a reason to. “Every time you have a really good day, you have to think to yourself…is this the very best day? Better than all the others? If so, then you can declare it as your new very favorite best day.”
“How many new very favorite best days can you have?” Kenzie picked a few grapes off of the bunch.
“As many as you want. But you can only have one at a time. That’s why it has to be the most very favorite best day ever.”
“And today is yours?” Cash asked.
“Yep.”
“Well then, it’s mine too.” He leaned across the blanket and kissed her on the lips. 
“I want it to be my new very favorite best day too,” Kenzie whined.
Jinx laughed. “I already called it. You two have to find your own days. This one’s mine.”
“That’s not fair.” Cash nudged Kenzie. “What do we do when someone’s not being fair?”
Kenzie didn’t say anything, just sat there like she was thinking too hard. “We tell a grown- up?”
Jinx laughed again while Cash shook his head. “Not that kind of not fair. Jinx isn’t being fair because she won’t share her day. What do you say we tickle her?”
Kenzie’s eyes lit up, and she attacked, her fingers ready to deliver some serious tickles. Jinx tumbled over to the blanket, laughing so hard she snorted. This was the first. The first of her new very favorite best days. Her decision to stay with Cash and Kenzie meant she had an unlimited number ahead of her.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

J.S. Scott's ENSNARED excerpt & giveaway

I slowed down as I turned off the main highway.

I pulled onto the rough road to the small cabin on the property. There were enough bunk beds in the rustic structure for everybody, but students had the option of pitching tents or building their own shelters if they chose.

After I parked my Jeep, I unloaded some supplies and checked out the cabin. Although I encouraged foraging and trapping, I always made sure to have enough basic food so students didn’t starve.

I sat on the wooden steps and took a deep breath, relaxing to the sounds of the birds and the feel of a light breeze that caressed my skin.

I opened the book I’d brought along, the latest from my favorite erotic romance writer. The reading material was one of my secret pleasures, maybe because I’d never been overwhelmed by lust for any man, but I loved to read about the possibility.

I was mostly a realist, but I loved the fantasy of some hot guy sweeping me off my feet.

Other than a boyfriend in college who had used me to help him get his degree and then disappeared after graduation without a word, I’d never been in a sexual relationship.

Honestly, my ex hadn’t exactly rocked my world. But I liked to think that love and lust existed.

Brooke had always accused me of being a closet romantic. And maybe she was right. As a scientist, believing in soulmates, love, and unbridled lust didn’t make much sense. But I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to believe it was real anyway.

It had happened for my twin, and Brooke deserved the love she had with Liam. Her capacity to care about other people was endless.

A sigh escaped from my mouth as I started reading the scene I’d left off on the last time I’d picked up the book.

It was hot.

It was sensual.

And even though the male hero was an obnoxious alpha sometimes, I adored the way he wanted to give his woman everything and protect her from anything bad in the world, and how incredibly devoted he was to the woman he loved.

“Hello, Jade,” a smooth baritone said from above me, the deep voice startling me so much I instinctively slammed the book closed.

Even though I loved steamy romance, I didn’t exactly broadcast it, except to my friends who read the same type of books.

Unfortunately, I’d gotten so lost in the hot fairy tale that I obviously hadn’t heard my first student arrive.

I shaded my eyes and looked up, curious because the voice was familiar, but I was pretty sure that since I lusted after Eli Stone, I was hearing that whiskey-smooth baritone voice only in my imagination.

My heart skittered as I focused in on the face belonging to the sexy male voice.

It was Eli Stone, and I gaped at him like an idiot because I couldn’t seem to reconcile him and being out in the middle of nowhere.

I scrambled to my feet, feeling at a disadvantage because I was so far below him. But the position change didn’t help all that much. I was average height, and Eli Stone was all muscle—broad, tall, and pretty damn intimidating, even though he was casually dressed in jeans, a T-shirt that only showed how ripped he was, and a pair of hiking boots.

For just a moment, my eyes were drawn to the dark scrolls and sharp angles of the tribal tattoo that covered his left arm, ending at his wrist. The markings were a stark black against his tanned skin, and the ferociousness of the design left me speechless.

I wasn’t into tats, and I’d seen Eli’s in images many times, but there was something about those markings that made my heart lodge in my throat. They were fierce, but for some reason they only made me feel . . . sadness.

“What are you doing here?” I finally asked hesitantly as my gaze went back to his face.

He folded his muscular arms in front of him as he answered, “You didn’t seem to want to come to me, so I’m coming to you. I’m your student for the next thirty-two hours or so, Jade.”

I might not have been fond of Eli Stone, but his presence was still a little bit overwhelming.

Okay, maybe more than a little bit.

It had been so long since I’d seen Eli in person that I’d started to tell myself that I’d overestimated the tension that had flowed between us in his office.

But I really hadn’t.

My body was taut just from being in close proximity to him, and the hypervigilant awareness I felt when I looked at him was very, very real.

The feelings were so powerful that I couldn’t focus on anything else but him.

I didn’t understand it.

But I was truly experiencing it.

The same awkward, potent attraction I’d fought in his office months ago.

I swallowed hard, my brain working to figure out exactly how I could get rid of Eli Stone before I made a complete and total fool of myself.


***




Wildlife conservationist Jade Sinclair isn’t used to having money. But when she and her siblings learned they were part of the mega-rich Sinclair dynasty, they became billionaires overnight. Jade doesn’t even know how to act rich, especially when she’s dealing with an arrogant, privileged, unreasonably sexy snob like Eli Stone.

Unlike Jade, Eli grew up rich, and he just keeps getting richer. Eli is always looking for an adventure, and he’s found an inviting one in Jade—as resistant as she is irresistible. His less-than-honorable plan? Get her alone in the wilderness by buying out all the spots in her survival class.

Calling a truce, they strike a bargain: Jade will teach Eli basic survival skills, and he’ll teach her how to navigate the world of the wealthy elite. Jade has only one condition—she will not let herself be seduced by him. But some things are easier said than done . . .



J.S. “Jan” Scott is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous contemporary and paranormal romances, including The Sinclairs series. She’s an avid reader of all types of books and literature, but romance has always been her genre of choice—so she writes what she loves to read: stories that are almost always steamy, generally feature an alpha male, and have a happily ever after, because she just can’t seem to write them any other way! Jan loves to connect with readers. Visit her website at www.authorjsscott.com.

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