Saturday, April 21, 2018

Pre-Order Alert + Giveaway: Her Two Men in London by Dana Delamar and Kristine Cayne

Her Two Men in London Tour Graphic
HER TWO MEN IN LONDON
Dana Delamar and Kristine Cayne
Series: Total Indulgence Book 1
Genre: Erotic Romance, Menage Romance (MMF)
Publisher: Three Orcas Press LLC
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
When three isn’t a crowd…
Her Two Men in London
I’m an uptight and responsible single mom who’s almost forgotten the last time I had sex. He’s famous for sticking his dick where it doesn’t belong. Not to mention that he’s eight years younger. And he’s got a boyfriend.
It was only supposed to be a vacation fling during a writers’ retreat to England and Scotland. So why does being with him—with them—feel so right?
PAIGE
My work and my daughter are my life. I agreed to a vacation fling with one man—and now there are two! Things are getting far too complicated…
RILEY
I lost hard at the game of love, and now I don’t even want to play. I just want to have fun, but there’s something about him—and her—that’s calling to me...
CARTER
My relationship with my ex-wife gave me PTSD. I’ve found the man I want—but he wants us to have a girlfriend too. I’m not sure I can do that, even for him…
Her Two Men in London Teaser 1
Her Two Men in London Teaser 2
Her Two Men in London Teaser 3

About the Authors

Dana Delamar
Dana Delamar is the author of erotic romance, LGBTQ romance, and the “Blood and Honor” romantic suspense series, which is set in Italy among the Calabrian Mafia. Her first book, Revenge, received 4 stars from RT Book Reviews, was a Top Pick at The Romance Reviews, and was a double-finalist for Best First Book and Best Romantic Suspense in the 2013 Booksellers Best Awards. Her second book, Retribution, received 4 stars from RT Book Reviews and was a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards. Her book Malavita was a quarter-finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, and her book Redemption was a finalist in the 2014 Maggie Awards and a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s 2014 Best Kindle Book Awards.
Dana's social media links: Facebook | Twitter
Kristine Cayne
Kristine Cayne is the author of erotic romance, LGBTQ romance, and romantic suspense,. Her books have won numerous awards and acclaim. Her first book, Deadly Obsession, was an RT Book Reviews Top Pick and won Best Romance in the 2012 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards. Her second book, Deadly Addiction, won two awards at the 2014 eFestival of Words and 1st place in the INDIE Awards, Romantic Suspense Category (a division of Chanticleer Book Reviews Blue Ribbon Writing Contests).
Her book Under His Command won Best BDSM Romance at the 2012 Sizzling Awards and was a finalist in the 2013 eFestival of Words and 2013 RONE (Reward of Novel Excellence) Awards, and her book Everything Bared was a finalist in the Erotic category of the I Heart Indie awards.
Kristine's website: http://www.kristinecayne.com
Kristine's social media link: Facebook | Twitter
Check out the official sites of the Total Indulgence series:

Giveaway

WIN $10 STARBUCKS GIFT CARD
Her Two Men in London Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from April 20 - 26, 2018.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

New Release + Giveaway: Bound to Submit by BJ Wane

Bound to Submit Tour Graphic
BOUND TO SUBMIT
BJ Wane
Bound to Submit
Series: Miami Masters Book 4
Genre: Erotic Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Blushing Books
Publication Date: April 13, 2018
He was determined to protect her, but will holding back the secrets of their pasts jeopardize their future and her safety?
Hope Wallace left Atlanta after being betrayed by her family and friends in the worst way. Now, running a homeless shelter in downtown Miami, she was finally doing what she wanted with her life and working at putting the past behind her. The only thing marring her happiness was the constant desire to explore the BDSM lifestyle her new friends enjoyed so much. She had tried that once, and it led to disaster and losing everything, but the urges kept pulling at her until she finally succumbed and braved going to a club.
Miles Cavenaugh fell for Hope the minute he saw her bruised face and determination to protect a friend and resident at her shelter. His violent childhood kept him from forming relationships, his fear of losing his temper if he came across someone harming an innocent woman or child made him anti-social and preferring to stick with his close friends for companionship. But when he hears Hope is at a local BDSM club while there is a serial abuser of submissives making the rounds in Florida, he rushes to ensure she stays safe.
Unable to continue keeping each other at arm’s length, Miles and Hope agree to a short-term affair where he’ll introduce her to the lifestyle she craved until she got her interest out of her system. But an unknown person is determined that Hope not find the happiness that has eluded her for so long and both Miles and her may have waited too long to come clean with each other about their pasts.

Purchase Links

Bound to Submit Teaser

Book Excerpt

With the wall at her back, Hope Wallace tried to tamp down her fear while refusing to back down from the aggressive crowding by this irate ex-boyfriend of a shelter guest. His belligerence wasn’t anything she hadn’t been subjected to before, but her heart never failed to lodge in her throat when she stood face to face with a large, angry man intent on causing trouble, and her harm.
“Back off, Davidson, before I have you arrested for violating your restraining order,” she demanded, wishing her voice hadn’t emerged as a trembling whisper instead of the controlled strength she’d been striving for. Traci, her receptionist, already called the cops, who were always quick to respond to a 911 from the shelter.
Davidson got in her face and snapped, “You and what army, bitch?”
“No army, just me. Back off, like the lady said.”
Hope saw Miles’ hand clamp down on Davidson’s shoulder before she noticed his presence or heard his deep voice, the one that never failed to send a shiver of awareness dancing down her spine. Even in the midst of a nasty scene, her body responded to his black eyes drilling her with an intent, probing look that worried her on several levels.
Davidson spun around, whether with help from Miles’ grip or all on his own, she couldn’t tell. “Mind your own fucking business,” he sneered. “This is between me and my old lady.”
“Not anymore.” Sidling around Davidson, Hope glared at Miles before placing herself between him and her unwelcome guest. She couldn’t afford any more trouble. Ignoring the low growl rumbling from Miles’ throat, and the way her nipples pulsed in response, she placed her hands on her hips. Sirens grew louder as a police car pulled up out front, lending her even more bravado to get in this man’s face, just to see how he liked it. “She’s done with you. Get used to it and stay away from her, and my place.”
Two cops rushed inside and wasted no time hauling him off in handcuffs. Hope breathed a sigh of relief, her heart rate slowing down until she faced Miles’ wrath. Funny how his anger induced a whole different response than the instant fear Davidson’s had. The threat he posed wasn’t one of physical harm, but she had other reasons for keeping her distance from him.

Other Books by BJ Wane

Check out the other books in the Miami Masters series.
Seven men from troubled childhoods bond as teens at a summer camp for juvenile delinquents, a bond that carries through to adulthood and adds a penchant for BDSM. Each of these dominant, over-protective men meet their match in the Miami Masters series, filled with emotional trauma and heart-pounding suspense.
Bound and Saved
BOUND AND SAVED
Master Me, Please
MASTER ME, PLEASE
Mastering Her Fear
MASTERING HER FEAR

About BJ Wane

I live in the Midwest with my husband and our two dogs. I love dogs, enjoy spending time with my daughter, babysitting dogs and kids, reading and working puzzles. We have traveled extensively throughout the states, Canada and just once overseas, but I now much prefer being homebody. I worked for a while writing articles for a local magazine but soon found my interest in writing for myself peaking. My first book was strictly spanking erotica, but I slowly evolved to writing erotic spanking romance with a touch of suspense. My favorite genre to read is suspense.
BJ Wane's Email: bjwane@cox.net
Official website: http://bjwane.blogspot.com/
Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

WIN $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD
Bound to Submit Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from April 19 - 25, 2018.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Release + Giveaway: Managing Blake by Debra Elise

What happens when the right person shows up at the wrong time?
Managing Blake Tour Graphic
MANAGING BLAKE
Debra Elise
Managing Blake
Series: The Outlaws of Baseball Book 5
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Publisher: HEA Productions, LLC
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
Opposites attract, but do they last?
Former all-star player, Blake Anderson manages the Idaho Outlaws. He has one goal--win the league championship by the time he's forty. A wife and kids? He can wait. He's lived his life under the motto, 'one night is enough'. Then the woman who he's been lusting after from afar is available and one kiss is not going to be enough.
What happens when the right person shows up at the wrong time?
Caris Sloane needs to have a baby-now. Her well laid plans of career, marriage, and baby become flipped. Her ex, who she thought was finally Mr. Right turned into Mr. Wrong--six months ago. A lab failure destroys her frozen eggs--six days ago. She crashes a bachelor party and kisses Blake--six hours ago. Definitely wrong time. She needs a vacation and a new plan.

Purchase Links

Managing Blake Teaser

Excerpt

Wolf whistles and cat calls filled the room. Caris began to laugh and lost herself in the moment. She’d never crashed any party, let alone a bachelor party. She scanned the pub to make sure there weren’t any strippers hiding among the packed room of the best-looking group of men she’d ever seen in person. But it was the man standing in the entryway who captured her immediate attention.
The manager of the Outlaws, Blake Anderson, was looking her up and down. His ocean-blue gaze captured hers. He’d caught her looking, which she didn’t have a problem with. Any woman she knew who enjoyed a finely sculpted man would have done the same thing. She appreciated his wide shoulders and long legs encased in jeans that fit him in all the right places. His dark hair brushed the collar of his white button-down shirt. His sleeves were rolled up, exposing his sun-kissed skin and muscled forearms.
She was a sucker for a man with well-defined shoulders and arms. And a muscled back. But she had no way of knowing if his back matched his front; she could only guess and dream. Because the dream she had of him the last time she saw him came rushing back and warmed her cheeks. They may have never spoken more than polite hellos, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t thought about him a time or two. Well, maybe more than that, but it was a fantasy she’d never thought would happen. She never thought their paths would cross again. Tonight, it had. He was looking at her similar to how he did in her dreams.
But she didn’t appreciate the knowing grin on his face. She gave herself a shake and broke eye contact. She was not here to hook up. Not with Blake or anyone else Lara had plans to put in her path. She had enough drama going on in her life, thank you very much. She just wanted to have another drink and have a good time with her friends. And maybe window shop the group of well put together baseball players who dominated the room.
Maverick and Kelsey had ended their epic kiss, and she was helping him remove the cornucopia of bras he’d acquired. She found Noel at a table sipping a drink while Lara and Luke seemed to be in deep discussion. Their wedding was next month, but at the moment neither one was putting off the vibes Kelsey and Mav were transmitting. Caris walked over to the table and sat down.
“So, what’s everyone drinking?”
Noel waved her off and mouthed, ‘not good’. Caris looked back at the arguing couple and cringed. Dammit. She hated seeing people she cared about argue. It brought back too many memories of her own parents and the constant turmoil they seemed to thrive on.
A glass of wine appeared in front of her on the table. It was attached to the arm she had just been ogling moments ago. Without asking, Blake pulled out a chair, sat and ignored her.

Other Books by Debra Elise

THE OUTLAWS OF BASEBALL -
A baseball team full of bad boys find the women who give them what they never thought they wanted; a happily ever after.
Saving Maverick
BOOK ONE
Catching Luke
BOOK TWO
Claiming Connor
BOOK THREE
Mistletoe and Scrooge
BOOK FOUR

About Debra Elise

Debra Elise
Debra Elise lives with her husband and their two sons in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She is an Autism advocate, stay-at-home-mom, full time writer, and is always on the lookout for inspiration in all its forms. The final book in the Outlaws of Baseball series, CHASING NOEL, will release in 2018. She is also writing in the paranormal romance genre. Stay tuned for more book info on this project.
Sharing what motivates her is a life passion (a close second to writing romance of course). A self-proclaimed extroverted introvert, when not writing or procrastinating, she enjoys hanging out with other author-type individuals and teasing her three 'boys' into displaying their killer smiles. Visit Debra at http://www.debraelise.com
Official Website: http://www.debraelise.com
Debra Elise's FB Reader & Review Group: http://bit.ly/2z5lp4A

Giveaway

WIN $25 GIFT CARD
Managing Blake Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
Winner's Choice of $25 Amazon, Barnes & Noble or iTunes Gift Card
Contest runs from April 18 - 24, 2018.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New Release + Giveaway: The Wedding Quilt Bride by Marta Perry

The Wedding Quilt Bride Tour Graphic
THE WEDDING QUILT BRIDE
Marta Perry
The Wedding Quilt Bride
Series: The Brides of Lost Creek Book 2
Genre: Inspirational, Amish
Publisher: Love Inspired
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
The single mom's second chance...to become one of the Brides of Lost Creek.
Widow Rebecca Mast returns to her Amish community with her son and a dream--to own a quilt shop. Carpenter Daniel King is determined to help Rebecca and revive their childhood friendship. But as he bonds with her son, Rebecca fears the secrets she's hidden will be revealed. Can Daniel convince her he's a man she can trust--and love?

Purchase Links

Excerpt

Two days after Rebecca Mast's return to her childhood home in Lost Creek, she walked down the lane of the family farm toward her future. Her black widow's dress contrasted starkly with the pale greens and bright yellows of a sunny spring day in the Pennsylvania countryside. Her son, six-year-old Elijah, trudged next to her, holding tight to her hand rather than skipping and hopping ahead down the lane like one of his cousins would.
It was early yet, she assured herself. Surely soon he'd forget the darkness of the past few years and be like any other Amish child his age. That was the heartfelt prayer of her heart for her son. As for her…well, the return to normal would take longer, if it ever happened.
But at least she was home, with her family around her, and today she would take the first step toward a new life for her son and herself. That alone was something to make her heart thankful.
The frame two-story house came into view ahead of them, standing at the point where the farm lane met the country road. When her mammi had written that old Mr. Evans had gone to live with his daughter and put the house up for sale, she'd known exactly what she wanted to do with the money she'd receive for selling the farm she and James had owned in Ohio.
The down payment James's brother John had given her had been enough to cover the cost of the house. John's continuing monthly payments would pay to remodel the old place into a secure, peaceful home for her and Elijah, and the quilt shop she'd have in the downstairs rooms would support them. That was the extent of her dreams for the future, and it was enough.
Daniel Mast stood waiting by the back porch, leaning against one of the posts as if he could wait there all day for her, if need be. As they came closer, her stomach tightened as she searched the tall, broad figure for a glimpse of the neighbor boy who'd been her childhood playmate. She didn't find him, nor did she see the gangly teenager who'd told her all about his crushes on the girls in their rumspringa group.
Daniel had grown into a strong, sturdy-looking man. It was her own uncertainty that made her long to find something in him that was familiar. The rich, glossy brown of his hair was a bit darker now, and the fact that he didn't have the traditional Amish beard allowed her to see his stubborn jaw.
He'd always had that stubbornness. His golden brown eyes had a glint of kindness that she felt sure reflected his kind heart, and his lips curled in a familiar grin. Her tension evaporated, and she smiled.

About Marta Perry

Marta Perry
Marta Perry is the author of over sixty books, many of them Amish romance and romantic suspense. She lives in rural Pennsylvania, where she and her husband enjoy gardening, church and civic activities, travel, and visits with their six amazing grandkids.
Marta's website: http://www.martaperry.com
Social media: Facebook

Giveaway

WIN FREE COPIES OF THE WEDDING QUILT BRIDE
The Wedding Quilt Bride Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
Five (5) copies of The Wedding Quilt Bride by Marta Perry
Contest runs from April 17 - 23, 2018.

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Featured Book + Dream Cast and Giveaway: Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts

A gripping psychological thriller with chilling twists, from a unique new voice
Hiding Tour Graphic
HIDING
Jenny Morton Potts
Hiding
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Cahoots Publishing
Publication Date: February 1, 2018
Ready or not. The truth will come
Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.
This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?
Grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until the very last page
- Bestselling Author Marius Gabriel
"Hiding is an exceptional book that hooked me from the start and kept me riveted throughout."
- Michelle Ryles at The Book Magnet
"A very well written novel with twists and turns that when unravelled will leave you wide eyed and feeling slightly breathless."
- Ms Ling, Top 1000 Amazon reviewer

Dream Cast

Here's the author's dream team if HIDING were to be depicted in a movie:

The Grands (that is to say, the grandparents)
Primrose Anctillious Brown ..... Eileen Atkins 
Ralph Brown ..... Derek Jacobi
(you will know her as Dame and him as Sir but I can’t stand that kind of thing so I don’t include titles)

The Brown children
Austen .... James Norton
Colette ..... Saorsie Ronan
Rebecca ..... Olivia Cooke

The Bayes
Keller ..... Grey Damon
Othaniel ..... Christian Bale
Joya ..... Frances McDormand

Billy Ray Masters ..... Idris Elba
Murdo Hendry ..... Tom Hardy
Mrs Scattergood ..... Doon McKichan
Jane Rourke ..... Alison Janney
Angelo Peralta ..... Luke Pasqualino
Lemi Kowalski ..... Kodi Smitt McPhee
Thomas Quindt ..... Laurence Fishburne

About Jenny Morton Potts

Jenny Morton Potts
Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer and playwright. After a series of 'proper jobs', she realised she was living someone else's life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.
Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with family.
She tries not to take herself too seriously.
Social media links: Facebook | Twitter

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from April 16 - 28, 2018.
Visit each tour stop daily and discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more! To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Hiding Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Giveaway

WIN $10 GIFT CARD AND MORE
Hiding Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
1. $10 Amazon Gift Card
2. 5 eBook copies of Hiding
Contest runs from April 16 - 28, 2018.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

New Release + Giveaway: It's Complicated by Nikki Prince

It's Complicated Tour Graphic
IT'S COMPLICATED
International Bestselling Author Nikki Prince
It's Complicated
Series: Undeniable Series Book 1
Genre: Erotic Romance, Interracial Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Tule Publishing Group
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Some promises are meant to be broken and some lines are meant to be crossed.
Ashton Locke has had a thing for Keiko Jarrett since college. So when she proposes adding friends with benefits to the mix, he's intrigued, but wary. Sure, he’s always wanted her, and is definitely not ready to settle down with anyone, but what happens if one of them crosses the line?
Keiko is ready to take her flirty friendship with Ashton to the next level of hot. But she never bargained for feelings to intrude and cause complications. She laughed at Ashton's hesitation and promised she'd remain heart-whole.
Some promises are meant to be broken and as Keiko and Ashton's "benefits bleed in all aspects of their lives, Keiko needs to convince Ashton that love is worth the risk.

Excerpt

“Repeat that again?” Ashton was sure he hadn’t heard what Keiko had said to him.
He looked at the dark-haired beauty with the stunning mocha-colored skin, who was also his friend, and wondered if she was daft.
She’d taken him from the group and asked him to go inside to help her with the hors d’oeuvres and, while he was arranging the veggies and fruit onto a tray she’d given him, she’d dropped this bombshell on him. He’d almost let go of the grapes but managed to catch them when he turned to look at her.
“I want us to take our relationship to a different level. I want to be your fuck buddy.”
“Okay, who are you and where have you taken Keiko?”
She giggled softly as she continued to fix the tray with cheese, meat, and crackers as if she hadn’t just told him she wanted them to fuck. Not that the thought of fucking her hadn’t passed through his mind a time or two since knowing her. But this was Keiko, his friend and not some random girl.
“Hear me out, Ashton, before you say no, please?” She stopped messing with the tray and looked into his eyes.
Leaning back against the counter in the cozy kitchen, he waved his hand for her to continue. God, he hoped he wasn’t going to regret letting her continue. He probably should have stopped her and walked away. “Go ahead Kei.”
“Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I’m tired of the games that dating brings. So, I thought what better way to still have the benefits of a relationship and none of the drama than to date my best male friend. That best friend being you. Besides, you want me, you’ve said so yourself.”
She had hit the nail squarely on the head with the comment about him wanting her and having stated it before. He wasn’t about to deny that, but to actually have sex with her and keep their friendship intact? How would they manage that? It didn’t seem to be possible to have sex with her and not have it run into the emotional issues.
“How in the world do you expect us to have sex and remain friends, Kei?” They had a strong friendship. If this turned into anything but lust there would be problems. His parents proved that to him repeatedly. He saw a wicked glint hit her eyes and he was in for it. She put down the cucumber she’d been cutting, wiped her hands, and came around the counter to stand directly in front of him.
She pressed her lush body to his and wrapped her arms around his neck as she looked up at him with her beautiful chocolate-brown-colored doe eyes.
“Easy. I’ll show you. Kiss me, Ash. You and I’ve been doing this dance way too long.”

About Nikki Prince

Nikki Prince
Nikki Prince is a mother of two, who’s always had a dream to be a published author in the romance genre. Her passion lies in raising her children as readers, gaming, cooking, reading and her writing.
Nikki’s a multi-published author with several epublishing houses. She loves to write Interracial romances in all genres, but wants to let everyone know to not box her in, because there is always room for growth.
Nikki’s also a member of Romance Writers of America, CIMRWA, PIRWA, FFandP RWA, RRW RWA and DARA RWA

Giveaway

WIN $10 GIFT CARD AND MORE
It's Complicated Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
1. $10 Amazon Gift Card
2. Winner's choice of eBook from Nikki Prince's backlist (excluding anthologies)
Contest runs from April 10 - 16, 2018.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Pre-Order Blitz + Giveaway: The Redemption of Lillie Rourke by Loree Lough

The Redemption of Lillie Rourke Tour Graphic
THE REDEMPTION OF LILLIE ROURKE
Bestselling Author Loree Lough
The Redemption of Lillie Rourke
Series: By Way of the Lighthouse Series Book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Publication Date: April 1, 2018
She'd worked for that second chance, but will he believe she has changed?
When she fled Baltimore after a near-fatal accident that left her dependent on painkillers, Lillie Rourke lost everything. Now, physically and emotionally healed, she’s ready to make amends and start over. But Jase Yeager has moved on, and who can blame him? Yet Lillie isn’t giving up—on her--or them. Earning back Jase’s trust won’t be easy, but Lillie’s no stranger to challenges…

Book Excerpt

The kid who’d offered to help him earlier now pecked keys on the register. “This sheet music is on sale,” he said, running the book across the scanner screen. “Are you a kindergarten teacher or something?”
Lillie grinned. “No, nothing like that. I volunteer at Hopkins Children’s Oncology every couple of weeks, and my material is getting stale. Those kids are going through enough without me, adding boredom to their list of complaints. Not that they complain. They’re the bravest little souls I’ve ever met.”
Lillie tended to ramble when nervous, and he felt bad that his nearness made her feel that way.
“My cousin was in there a few years ago,” the kid said, sliding another songbook over the screen. “Leukemia won.”
Jase watched as Lillie, ever the caring comforter, lay a hand atop his.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “How old was he?”
“Fourteen.”
Her shoulders rose, then fell with a sympathetic sigh. How many times had he told her that her heart was bigger than her head? Too many times to count.
The cashier bagged her music, hit the register button to ring up her total. “It’s really nice, what you’re doing,” he said, handing her the receipt. “The thing Lance hated most about that place was how long the days were with nothing to do but watch TV and listen to his monitor beep.”
Jase had to agree…it was a nice thing she’d been doing.
She thanked the kid and turned to face Jase. “Well, it was a nice surprise, seeing you again.”
“Can you hang around a minute, just until I pay for this stuff?”
She looked surprised by his invitation. In truth, he’d surprised himself, extending it. But he couldn’t just let her leave.
“Okay,” she said. “I’ll wait for you over by the door.”
There was a time when, as she looked up at him that way, his heart had beat doubletime. But who was he kidding? It was happening, right now.
The kid made smalltalk with him, too, but Jase barely heard a word as he watched her from the corner of his eye. Silhouetted against the bright sunshine on the other side of the window, he couldn’t help but notice the way her chin-length hair curved and curled above her shoulders. She used to dress like a tomboy. Sneakers and jeans with comfy t-shirts, like she’d worn to plant flowers that day in her parents’ yard. But that little dress—
“All set,” the kid said, holding up Jase’s bag.
He thanked the boy and wasted no time, joining Lillie.
“You want to grab a cup of coffee?” He held open the door, hoping that slight frown didn’t mean she’d say no. “It’s only a short walk to Café Latte’da…”
“On Aliceanna Street. I remember.”
Of course she did, because before her addiction destroyed them they used to go there at least once a week to decide the order of the songs they’d sing at Three-Eyed Joe’s.
“So what do you say? I’ll treat you to a sandwich. Or pie. Or both.” Recalling her penchant for eating small portions, he added, “We could share…”
Her sweet, sad smile told him she, too, remembered all the meals they’d shared. And again, it made his heart beat a bit harder.
“I don’t have to be at work until six, so okay, pie and coffee it is.”
They were waiting for the light to change at Fleet and Aliceanna when she said, “This won’t upset Whitney, will it?”
“Why would it upset her?”
“I, well, that day at The Flower Basket, I got the impression she knows that we were a couple.”
“I haven’t been seeing her long, so I doubt she cares enough to be jealous.”
The image of that candlelit table flashed in his mind, proof that she cared. Clamping his jaw against a twinge of guilt, Jase said, “So how long have you had this Hopkins gig?”
“Couple months now.”
The light changed, and he pressed a hand to her back to guide her across the street. Not that she needed his assistance. Lillie had been walking to and from her folks’ inn to the restaurant and hotel for months. Still, it felt good, felt right, being this close to her again.
Inside Café Latte Da, Jase admitted that he’d skipped breakfast.
“The guy who’s forever reminding people it’s the most important meal of the day?” Lillie laughed. “Why!”
“Just got back from Florida, and didn’t have time to make a grocery run. My cupboards are as bare as Mother Hubbard’s.”
“I caught the last few minutes of the casserole demonstration. You were born to be a TV host.”
“Yeah, well… So I think I’ll get the chicken wrap. What about you? In the mood for something more substantial than pie?”
“Coffee’s plenty.”
“Thought I heard your belly growl earlier…”
Instinct made her press a palm to her stomach. “An espresso is plenty for now. I’ll whip up a sandwich or something before I clock in at the hotel.”
When she’d paid for the sheet music, Jase saw a lone ten dollar bill in her wallet. He knew her well enough to explain why she’d said no: Lillie had decided that until he could deposit every dime she’d borrowed, she wouldn’t take anything more from him. Unnecessary as that was, Jase respected her decision.
The sat at an empty table near the door—a rare occurrence on a Saturday afternoon—and settled in.
“Tell me about this volunteer work. When did you sign on for that?”
“A week or so after I got home, I gave in to a moment of self-pity.” She stared out the window. “It was time to stop focusing on me, and start focusing on others.” Eyes locked to his, she added, “Best—and worst—thing I have ever done.”
He didn’t get it, and said so.
“Life has put those kids through the wringer. Some of them are barely hanging on, but they’re hanging on. A person can’t help but admire the fight in them.” She sipped her espresso. “Hard to feel sorry for yourself after spending time with them.”
It made sense, considering how she’d always said that self-pity was the most dangerous of all human emotions.
“Must be tough, though, working that closely with them.”
“Only during the drive home.”
“Why?”
Her eyes shimmered with unshed tears. “Because I never know which of them won’t be there when I go back.”
And not because they’d gone home, healthy, he surmised.
She started talking about individual kids, the conditions that put them into Hopkins, the parents and siblings that supported them, and the staff that cared for and comforted them. Hands folded on the table, Lillie said, “And then there’s Jason, the sweetest, cutest ten year old boy you’ll ever meet. He told me the other day that he wants to marry one of the girls—Sally—because his mom’s biggest regret is that she’ll never see him walk down the aisle with the girl of his dreams.”
Wiping away a wayward tear, she added, “Then he asked me if I’d sing at their wedding, and help him make arrangements. Flowers. Streamers. Punch and a cake.”
And he knew that she’d agreed to everything. Jase wanted nothing more at that moment than to take her in his arms, tell her what a terrific person she was. But he sat back, instead, and said, “How can I help?”
“Help? You?”
“Hey. Quit looking so shocked. I do nice stuff once in a while, you know.”
“I know that better than almost anyone,” was her quiet reply.
“Maybe we can work up a couple of tunes, two or three of the things we’d sing at Three-Eyed Joe’s when people were celebrating anniversaries…”
It meant spending time with her, alone, and Jase hoped the offer hadn’t been a big mistake.
“I think the kids might like that.”
She thought the kids might like it? Why the hesitation? And then it hit him: She was as afraid of being so close, of reliving warm and wonderful moments as he was.
“Then let’s put our heads together, figure out… When is this ceremony, anyway?”
“In two weeks.” There wasn’t a trace of a smile on her face when she added, “If he makes it that long.”
“Keep a good thought, Lill. If the kid is half as determined to do this for his mom, he’ll make it. And who knows? Maybe it’s just what he needs to push him closer to a cure.”
She brought the espresso cup to her lips and, nodding, met his eyes.
His high school Lit teacher had made the class memorize what she’d termed “love poems.” It surprised him that, after all this time, he was able to zero in on a line from Sir Walter Scott’s “Lochinvar”: She’d look’d down to blush, and she’d look’d up to sigh, with a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye…”
Yet again, Jase had to fight the urge to draw her into a comforting hug.
He cleared his throat. Sat up straighter. Downed a gulp of his iced tea. “So where do you think we should get together? My place? We’d have plenty of quiet and privacy there.”
Too much, too soon, he realized when her eyes grew big and round.
“The acoustics are great in the inn’s turret. I’m sure Mom and Dad won’t mind. In fact, they were just asking about you the other day. I’m sure they’d love seeing you.”
“Sounds good. I’ll be home for a month, so my schedule is pretty flexible. You’re the one who’s clocking a hundred hours a week, so…”
“I’m happy to see you haven’t changed much,” she said, laughing. “Still exaggerating like crazy…one of the things that made me crazy about you.”
She gasped a little when that last line came out and, hands over her mouth, Lillie said, “Good grief. I’m sorry, Jase. That was really inappropriate. And bad timing.”
“It’s neither, and it’s okay. Nothing wrong with concentrating on the good times. We had plenty of those before…”
If he’d been standing, Jase might have kicked himself, because things had been going really well until he put his big foot in his mouth. Lillie shoved the espresso cup into the center of the table, her way of saying their meeting was over. She’d gathered her things and stood, and he did, too.
“So should I call you? Or would you rather call me? About a time when we can get together. To rehearse, I mean.”
Rambling again. And again, he felt bad for raising her stress level. “Do you have a pen?”
Like magic, she produced one from her purse.
Leaning over the table, he scribbled three phone numbers on a napkin. “Home, cell, and office,” he said, “in that order. You can always get me on my cell. Call any time.” Call soon, he thought. As he pressed the napkin into her hand, their fingers touched. Not for long—a blink in time, if that—but long enough to send a current of longing straight to his heart.
He’d been behaving like some guilt-ridden goofball who’d dumped his best girl, when in reality, Lillie had ended them by choosing booze and pills over their relationship.
It hit him like a punch to the gut: Suggesting that they get together, for any reason, had been a bad idea. But maybe luck was on his side, and she’d hesitated earlier because she felt the same way. Jase hoped she wouldn’t call. And he hoped she would. Why had she come back, just when he’d gotten himself back on track, and turn order into chaos again?
Feeling miserable and confused, Jase held open the café door.
A tiny frown furrowed her brow. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah. Just remembered something I forgot to do.” Like…staying the heck away from her.
“Oh. Because you look…different.”
“Don’t mind me,” he said, leading the way across the street. “I’m a little annoyed with myself, is all, for forgetting…” He let his sentence trail off.
“I remember what a perfectionist you are, and how frustrated you get with yourself when you let something, no matter how trivial, slip through the cracks.”
Yeah, she knew him, all right. Their closeness is what allowed her to use him, time and again, to suit her I love drugs more than you needs.

About Loree Lough

Loree Lough
Bestselling author LOREE LOUGH once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and "Readers' Choice" awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. Her 115th book, 50 Hours, is her most personal to date, and released in June. More recently, The Man She Knew, book #1 in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series (Harlequin Heartwarming) and Bringing Rosie Home. Next, #3 in the series, The Redemption of Lillie Rourke…and additional surprises for 2018, 2019, and beyond….
Official website: http://www.loreelough.com
Connect with Loree Lough on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Book Review: The Spitting Post by Jason R. Barden

Note: This is my review on the book The Spitting Post. I have posted more details about the book here.

Review

Rating: 5 Stars
"Find me at the spitting post. The Purple Swan knows the way."
This cryptic instruction probably sums up the mysterious and intriguing nature on everything about The Spitting Post - from the title itself to each of the sections in the book. Yet thru it all this, I find the book quite an entertaining read. I can't help but wonder if ever The Spitting Post were to be made into a movie, it may even turn out to be a blockbuster!
The story focuses on Vincent who, after getting into an accident, starts an incredulous adventure through the blue forest into what seems to be a magical world. It certainly doesn't feel real, though it was very much the reality for Vincent. He meets quite a number of people -- Vincent the Original, Vincent Number 2, Vincent Number 3 and so on. Apparently, he's Vincent Number 5, and he must figure out a way out of this magical realm or be trapped forever. His adventure also takes him to The Green Maiden and with the magical quote above, he sets out on a few missions to rescue the damsel in distress and claim his prize.
As incredulous as the story sounded, I actually had an enjoyable afternoon reading this story. The original and unique storyline was definitely refreshing. I also find the author's writing style clean and easy to follow. The use of the first person point of view makes what's happening to Vincent more immediate and as we can see when we come to the end, it's a stroke of genius. I love the twists and turns in this story and the surprising revelation at the end is worth every penny.
Overall, I highly recommend this. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Book Review + Giveaway: Immortal Reckoning by Tara Fox Hall

Note: This is my review on the book Immortal Reckoning. I have posted more details about the book here.

Review

Rating: 5 Stars
I have been fascinated with Tara Fox Hall's books ever since I read and posted her fun facts a few days ago. I'm so pleased to be able to subsequently read and review her latest tile, Immortal Reckoning.
For starters, Immortal Reckoning is Book 18 in the Promise Me series, but it's perfectly okay to start reading here. Believe me, it's my first book in this series, but I wasn't lost or anything at all. In fact, I found myself immersed in Danial's life and his journey to becoming a vampire. Though he's born a bastard, Danial didn't waste time feeling sorry for himself, and I like that. He did what he could to survive and I cheered for him when breaks came his way. It's really too bad that life had both ups and downs, but perhaps it's because of the downs that we're able to appreciate and treasure the ups.
The author's writing style didn't disappoint for me either. I find the story easy to read and follow, and Danial's narrative voice is engaging and sucked me into the story right from the first page. I'll certainly be on reading more works by the author.
Overall, Danial's story is intriguing enough to go in search of the other books in the series. Though I haven't read the first books in the series, I believe Immortal Reckoning is a great addition to the series, and supports Danial's character.

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