Book Blitz: Heart and Seek by Luna Joya #paranormalromance @lunajoyawriter @XpressoTours

Heart and Seek
Luna Joya
(Legacy Series, #4)
Publication date: March 23rd 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Is their chance encounter a witchy second shot at love? Or just another score?

Ruby Donovan is a lot of things—paramedic, single mom, Legacy witch. The one title she never wanted? Senate heir. But that’s exactly what she’ll become unless she can find a loophole fast. It’s just her luck that the man who steps in to help her is the one who crushed her heart so many years ago. There’s no way she’ll give him a second chance to do that.

Treasure hunter Diego Benitas has no interest in witch politics. But he does have a significant interest in Ruby. He always has. Keeping her safe and helping her find what she’s looking for shouldn’t be too hard. Convincing her to let him into her heart again? That might be the toughest assignment he’s ever faced.

It’s not long before Ruby and Diego realize how much danger their search has stirred up—and just how much they need each other. With enemies closing in from all sides, can they survive long enough to find their way to happily ever after? Or will the odds keep them apart forever?

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SNEAK PEEKS:

“This store is right over a fault line,” she said.

“It is?” Because he couldn’t think of a damn thing to add to a geology discussion right now.

She bit her lip. “It sings to me.”

As her simply being did to him. He made a non- committal noise.

“We managed to kiss without a single tremble.” She trailed her hand along his jaw, tapping the divot in his chin beneath the facial hair. “Not even a rumble.”

Totally untrue. She had cracked his resolve and his heart all over again.

He pushed overgrown black curls out of his face to reveal familiar brown eyes, blood along one cheek to mirror a scar on the other, and a beard covering the cleft on his chin. The one deep enough to nestle the tip of her little finger. Like the dimple had been cut for her. Crash.

Or at least she’d called him Crash when she’d been a lovestruck teenager with a crush as dizzying as these staggering cliffs on a boy from East Los Angeles. Of the millions of people in this city, why did it have to be Diego Benitas, war hero and heartbreaker?

Author Bio:

Luna Joya writes sexy hexy romances in the award-winning Legacy Series.

Fluent in sarcasm and penal code, Luna prosecutes by day and writes at night. She loves history, especially Los Angeles and Hollywood lore.

A survivor of traumatic brain injury with steel body parts, she lives in SoCal with her combat veteran husband and their two-pound terror of a rescue pup.

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Book Blitz: She Feels Like Home by Lisa Hughey #ContemporaryRomance @LisaHughey @XpressoTours

She Feels Like Home
Lisa Hughey
Publication date: March 1st 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

He’s a billionaire.

Peter Nguyen has achieved everything he ever wanted. So why isn’t he happier? He goes to his high school reunion to show up all the people who didn’t give the time of day to the skinny, nerdy boy he’d been. But then he runs into his old friend Britt.

She can barely pay her bills.

Brittanica Jones watched her future evaporate when she had to leave college after a brutal attack left her mother incapacitated. She hasn’t done anything she set out to do, and the only reason she even goes to her high school reunion is to reconnect with her old friend Peter . . . even though he ghosted her back when she needed him most.

They’ve got nothing in common…except each other.

When Peter sees Britt again, he realizes how much he misses her. Her acerbic quick wit and “take no shit” attitude are a welcome change from people who fawn all over him. When he realizes that he’s got the means to help her out, he offers her a temporary job.

However, grown-up Britt inspires sexy thoughts, not friendship thoughts. Their relationship deepens into a romance. Britt’s downtrodden heart blossoms with the opportunity to work with Peter and explore their changed relationship. But this interlude has an end date, and when disaster strikes, she’s got no choice but to leave.

Can these old high school friends overcome the hurts from th

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EXCERPT:

“Your assistant buys your groceries?” Britt countered.

“Yes,” he said defensively.

“You’re too good to hit the local Safeway?” She shook her head. “Man, we live in different worlds.”

That didn’t sound like a compliment.

“It frees up my time.” He felt compelled to defend the practice.

Britt tugged open his fridge, making herself at home. “Whatever.”

He loved that about her. No hesitation. The birds rippled in response as her muscles moved. He desperately wanted to lick his way along the path of those swallows.

Then he noticed her stillness.

“You have Dom Perignon in here.”

“Ah, I guess.” Pete couldn’t decipher the note in her voice. “Is that a problem?”

“It’s insanely expensive.”

“Okay?”

“I could feed my mother and myself for a week on what that bottle costs,” she said wistfully.

“Well, then, let’s open it.”

“You’re supposed to drink it to celebrate something momentous.”

He didn’t give a rat’s ass about momentous. Besides, she was looking at the bottle longingly. “You like champagne?”

“I love it, but I don’t have it very often.” She laughed but it was a sad sound. “That’s a lie. I never have it.”

Then he was going to change that. He pulled the green bottle out of the fridge.

She gripped his arm, the touch burning through his shirt. “You can’t open that,” she cried.

“Yes, I can.” He popped the cork before she could object.

“Oh my God. Don’t let it spill.” She grabbed the bottle and caught the bubbles cascading out the top with her tongue. “Mmm.” She closed her eyes and pursed her lips, making sure none of it was wasted.

The look of bliss on her face propelled him forward, unable to stop the impulses clanging through him.

He kissed her.

The moment her mouth met his, angels began to sing. She tasted of the tartness of white grapes and fermentation. He wanted to delve further into her mouth and taste her. He cupped her jaw in his hand, his fingers tunneling into the loose collection of curls at her nape, and he brushed his thumb over her cheekbone.

Britt’s eyes drifted closed.

He rubbed his nose along hers and plundered her mouth, holding her in place as she wrapped her arm around his shoulders. The champagne bottle thumped against his back, and a little of the cool liquid spilled between his shoulder blades.

He slid his arm around her waist and tugged her closer, her breasts snug against his chest. The full skirt of her dress pouffed around him as he tested and tasted, trying to figure out what she liked.

What made her moan. What made her soften against him. She’d gone all-in on the kiss.

He didn’t want to pressure her. But the kiss was off-the-charts hot. His brain had definitely moved from wanting the kiss to wanting more.

He pulled away to give her a moment.

And maybe him too. To assess the attraction. After all, this was Britt. His old friend. And yet…not.

“What was that for?” she asked breathlessly.

“I wanted to capture that treasure.”

“Very pirate-like of you,” she teased.

He took the bottle from her hand.

“Open your mouth,” he commanded. “Tilt your head.”

She blinked at his authoritarian tone, but she complied.

He poured a shot of champagne into her mouth.

She swallowed and moaned. “So good.”

The look of bliss on her face made him want to be the one who caused that reaction rather than the champagne.

Then she said, “But it’s meant to be sipped.”

“Life is meant to be swallowed whole and gorged upon.”

“Good point.” She took the bottle from him, took another swig, and then placed it on his quartz countertop. Then she hoisted herself onto the counter and spread her legs. The move put her breasts level with his mouth. Her fancy ballgown flared out as she grabbed him by the waist and pulled him to her.

“What are you doing?”

She cupped his face in her hands and kissed him again. “Gorging.”

His smooth fingertips traced the line of her dress over her breasts, dipping his finger into her cleavage. His fingertips sizzled at the sensual contact.

Britt arched her back.

Pete pulled away from her mouth and trailed a line of kisses over her chin and down her neck until he buried his face in the plump valley of her breasts. She clutched his head to her.

“You taste amazing.”

“It’s the Dom.”

He licked a path over her skin. She shivered at the light caress. His arms reached around to unzip her dress. “It’s you.”

Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling Author Lisa Hughey has been writing romance since the fourth grade, which was also about the time she began her love affair with spies. Harriet and Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys later gave way to James Bond and Lara Croft and Jason Bourne.

Exploring the complex nature of a profession that requires subterfuge and lies fascinates her. She loves combining her two passions into fiction. As evidenced by her Black Cipher Files series.

Archangel Rafe was her first foray into the paranormal but after spending time in the Angelic Realm, it won’t be her last. At their heart, the Seven novels are about the dynamics of family relationships. But the really hot Archangels don’t hurt.

And recently she’s been immersed in the Stone Family novellas, four stories about a blended family of brothers and sister who have a lot more in common than they realize. But of course she couldn’t just write about family and romance. There are complex plots, bad guys, and suspense too.

Lisa loves to hear from readers and has various places you can connect with her, although, shh, Twitter is her favorite.

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Book Blitz: The Long Road Home by Sapna Bhog #ContemporaryRomance @sapnawrites @BookReviewTours

Losing the boy she loved nearly destroyed MEHAK KHANNA. But letting him in a second time can be more dangerous for her. Rishi Sehgal has left a steady stream of broken hearts in his wake and if Mehak is not careful then she may just end up becoming the next victim of his dashing charisma. But Rishi is everywhere with his charm, his wit, and that devastating smile. Now Mehak has to fight a daily battle to not fall for him again.
RISHI SEHGAL has never forgotten Mehak, the girl who broke his heart when he was very young. Thanks to her, he has his rules—no relationships, no staying the night, and no promises. But all his hard rules fly right out of the window when Mehak returns into his life. Now Rishi has to decide if he can open his heart to Mehak a second time.
Some things, however, are written in the stars and sometimes you have to move beyond the past and choose to believe in love.
However, what destroyed their relationship the first time will once again test their love. Will they survive a second test, especially with Mehak’s life on the line? Will Rishi and Mehak learn that true love is worth fighting for?
Find out more in this tale of young love and second chances.
Book Links:
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Book Trailer:

Meet Mehak Khanna from The Long Road Home

Calm, poised, a woman of few words and a complete introvert, MEHAK KHANNA, works as the Director of Graphic Design in QubeCore. Her corkscrew curls are a cause of dissent between her mother and her, but Mehak is done with going for hair straightening treatments ever again in life. Her one experience was a disaster which she’s happy never repeating.
At 29, Mehak has only one aim in life which is to succeed at her job. Her work is her religion and her life is set on the right path or so she thinks, until a chance meeting at her workplace with Rishi Sehgal changes everything. He’s the first boy she ever loved and who crushed her heart so many years ago.
But this time around being with him feels different. He seems changed and the more she meets him, the more she realizes that maybe she ought to forget and forgive.
About the Author:
Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers. So do give her a shout on
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Book Blitz: Dead and Gone by Annie Anderson #UrbanFantasy @annieande

Dead and Gone
Annie Anderson
(Grave Talker #2)
Publication date: February 23rd 2021
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

There are few things worse than being on the Arcane Bureau of Investigation’s naughty list.

To keep myself out of hot water, I’ve made a deal with the devil—using my skills as a grave talker to help the ABI solve some very cold cases.

But there is something mighty amiss in this task—especially when quite a few of these cases lead me right back to my home town of Haunted Peak and the secrets buried there.

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EXCERPT:

“Out less than a minute and already talking to spirits and punching ghosts. Way to go, Adler.”

That smooth voice did not belong to my best friend, J. Oh, no. I wasn’t that lucky. The big hunk of man-meat Siobhan had been talking about was not my partner, but the death mage ABI agent who’d simultaneously saved my bacon and torched it.

I swung my head to face Bishop La Roux, straightening my shoulders like I was going to have to punch him, too.

Dressed in a criminally hot pair of jeans and a T-shirt that should be illegal in at least five states, Bishop held out a bag with a very familiar logo on it like he was warding off a lion. Ignoring his messy hair and scruffy beard, I met his coal-dark eyes with suspicion. But instead of punching him like I had Hildy, I snatched the Si Señor bag from his hands, opened it, and dug in. The prison fare was a step above cat food, in my opinion, and just the thought of that yummy bit of heaven made my mouth water.

“Good to see tacos still work,” he said, chuckling. “You need a ride home?”

The last time he’d needed to bribe me, he’d done it with these tacos. Good god in heaven, I was a pushover. I ignored the ridiculously hot man in favor of unwrapping a taco one-handed and shoving an end in my mouth. My teeth crunched into the blissfully crispy half-steak, half-pork taco, and my eyes rolled back in my head.

“Maybe,” I said around a mouthful of food. If he were any other man, I might have felt weird about my rudeness, but just like Hildy, Bishop was on thin ice. Though, tacos were an excellent way to strengthen his footing.

That taco was gone in another two bites, and I swallowed the yumminess before continuing, “How’d you hear about me getting out? Even I didn’t know until today.”

Bishop gave me a sly smile. “A little birdy told me.”

“I suppose you could give me a ride if you don’t have anything better to do,” I conceded, my tone only mildly petulant.

“No, Adler,” Bishop said, his voice a hell of a lot closer than it had been a few seconds ago. I whipped my head back to find him solidly in my space. “I don’t have anywhere else I want to be.”

Well, okay then.

Author Bio:

Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life… interesting.

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Book Blitz: A Shot at Normal by Marisa Reichardt #YoungAdult @youngadultish

A Shot at Normal
Marisa Reichardt
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: February 16th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Marisa Reichardt’s A Shot at Normal is a powerful and timely novel about justice, agency, family, and taking your shot, even when it seems impossible.

Dr. Villapando told me to get a good attorney. He wasn’t serious. But I am. I’m going to sue my parents.

Juniper Jade’s parents are hippies. They didn’t attend the first Woodstock, but they were there for the second one. The Jade family lives an all-organic homeschool lifestyle that means no plastics, no cell phones, and no vaccines. It isn’t exactly normal, but it’s the only thing Juniper has ever known. She doesn’t agree with her parents on everything, but she knows that to be in this family, you’ve got to stick to the rules. That is, until the unthinkable happens.

Juniper contracts the measles and unknowingly passes the disease along, with tragic consequences. She is shell-shocked. Juniper knows she is responsible and feels simultaneously helpless and furious at her parents, and herself.

Now, with the help of Nico, the boy who works at the library and loves movies and may just be more than a friend, Juniper comes to a decision: she is going to get vaccinated. Her parents refuse so Juniper arms herself with a lawyer and prepares for battle. But is waging war for her autonomy worth losing her family? How much is Juniper willing to risk for a shot at normal?

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EXCERPT:

Now that the new school year has started and my parents have reached out to other local homeschoolers to plan field trips, I’m hoping I’ll make some new friends.

Until then, I’ll remain on the outside looking in.

Like this morning, in my room, where I spent from seven forty-fi ve to eight a.m. watching through the window as bright yellow buses pulled up to the curb in front of Playa Bonita High School. The bus doors opened and students spilled onto the sidewalk. Others rode up on bikes and skateboards. The older ones, the juniors and seniors, arrived in cars crammed with passengers, two in the front seat and three in the back. Everyone wore shorts or sundresses, because it’s still the last week of August and the heat of summer hasn’t let go of this town yet.

I could feel that heat in my armpits and the sweat marks collecting along the edges of my tank top when I woke up. I slathered on deodorant from the half- empty mason jar on my dresser like I do every morning. It’s sticky and lumpy and leaves behind a white, oily residue that stains my shirts. I’ve asked my mom for real deodorant. Or at least something from the natural health section at Whole Foods.

“Tapioca starch and coconut oil take care of things fine,” she says. I’m sure that’s not true, because if I notice the stink of my mom’s BO, then surely I have it, too.

The girls at PBHS probably smell like strawberries and freedom. I bet they spent all morning soaking themselves in those scented body washes from that store at the mall that always smells like a fruit stand. I also bet my mom can recite the exact paraben levels in each bottle. Because that store, like the mall itself, is not a place my parents would ever let me spend money.

That’s why those girls across the street are there and I’m here. The chemicals and the toxins and the mercury levels and the melting ozone layer made my parents take a big step back from the real world. Everything from our deodorant to our food to our cleaning products to our furniture is organic. Important things, I know. But there’s such a thing as too much. My parents are rabid in their beliefs.

“Organic isn’t what’s new. It’s what’s old,” my mom says proudly. “We’re original.”

She operates in a rose- colored version of history, which is also why my sister, my brother, and I don’t get vaccinated. This makes us ineligible to enroll in schools in California. Not that I haven’t tried. When we moved, I thought maybe this was finally it. The public high school was right across the street. I’d practically still be at home. I begged to go. But couple the strict California vaccination requirements with the fact that my parents think homeschooling creates lifelong learners as opposed to kids who simply regurgitate multiple- choice information for state tests, and it was easy for them to say no. “We decide what goes into our children’s bodies and minds,” they said. So here I sit at the kitchen table, digging into my putrid pancakes, trying to figure out if selling baled herbs and essential oils this summer made me a better person.

My guess is no.

Author Bio:

Marisa Reichardt is the critically acclaimed author of the YA novels UNDERWATER, AFTERSHOCKS (2020), and A SHOT AT NORMAL (2021). She has a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California and dual degrees in English & American Literature and Creative Writing from UC San Diego. Before becoming a published author, Marisa worked in academic publications, tutored high school students in writing, and shucked oysters. These days, you can probably find her huddled over her laptop in a coffeehouse or swimming in the ocean.

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Book Blitz: Tough Love by Melanie A. Smith #ContemporaryRomance @MelASmithAuthor

Tough Love
Melanie A. Smith
Publication date: February 8th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

From award-winning and international best-selling author Melanie A. Smith comes a standalone steamy contemporary romance about life choices, love, and finding yourself in between.

Sometimes you need a bit of tough love to get where you’re supposed to be …

Mia Anderson has been living a life that was chosen for her. But her impending thirtieth birthday is the wake-up call she needed to stop wasting time on all the wrong pursuits. Just as she’s figuring out what she wants to do about it, her beloved grandmother falls ill and Mia drops everything to be with her. What she didn’t expect to find in her grandmother’s tiny mountain town is the courage to quit working for her father, supplied by a little tough love from her Gran. Now faced with an uncertain future, the last thing on her mind is finding love.

Nate Edwards is living a solitary life deep in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. He’s content, or at least he thinks he is — until the granddaughter of a good friend shows up and he starts having feelings he thought he’d never have again. But Mia’s future isn’t in Alpine Ridge, so acting on it would lead to nothing but heartbreak. Still, their connection is undeniable and circumstances continue to push them together, despite their resistance. Will Mia stick to her decision to carve her own path? And if she does, will it be with Nate? Or is he doomed to an isolated life?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“I need to know what it’s like to kiss you,” she whispers.

My chest tightens with longing, but I press her away far enough to look into her eyes. “Mia, you’ve had a lot to drink, and —”

“No, I think I’ve had just enough,” she interrupts, and then she breaks free of my hold and kisses me.

I’m so startled I don’t react until her arms are around the back of my neck and she slides into my lap.

Her lips are hot and supple, and she definitely tastes like the wine. But I can only fight it so much when she’s warm and willing and sitting on top of me, and I wrap my arms around her. I open my mouth and slide my tongue over her bottom lip to allow myself a real taste.

It nearly undoes me as she accepts it, as our tongues tangle while her hands wind into my hair. I slide my hands to her face, tilting her head to give me better access to her delicious mouth.

It’s heaven and hell at the same time, as all the fantasies I didn’t even let myself have come to life. Fantasies I knew I shouldn’t want. Couldn’t want. But right now, I don’t care.

I’ve kissed a lot of women in my day, but it’s never been so good. I’m burning with desire on every possible level. The fire I’ve seen in her eyes has become a raging passion between us that continues to build to an inferno as she grinds into me, as I slip a hand under her shirt, the soft skin under my fingertips causing me to moan into her mouth.

She inhales sharply and tilts her head up, and my lips finds the soft skin of her neck, licking, sucking, and biting as she makes the most erotic noises. It makes me want to strip her bare, slip inside of her, and see what other noises I can get her to make. My cock swells at the thought and she clearly feels it, grinding harder toward the spot where it meets her thigh.

It’s been too long since I’ve let myself go, and as she tugs at my shirt, my good sense rallies a cry from underneath the mind-numbing need Mia just drew out of me.

“Stop,” I breathe out, gathering myself and pressing her back. “We can’t do this.”

She looks at me, clearly bewildered. “I think your erection disagrees with you,” she sasses me.

Author Bio:

Melanie A. Smith is an award-winning and international best-selling author of steamy contemporary romance fiction. Originally from upstate New York, she spent most of her childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Los Angeles for college. After that, she spent almost fifteen years in the Seattle Area, and now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas with her family.

A voracious reader and lifelong writer, Melanie’s writing began at a young age with short stories and poetry. Having completed a bachelor of science in electrical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master’s in business administration at the University of Washington, her writing abilities were mainly utilized for technical documents as a lead engineer for the Boeing Company, where she worked for ten years.

After shifting careers to domestic engineering and property management in 2015, she eventually found a balance where she was able to return to writing fiction.

Melanie is also a Mensan and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and driving with the windows down and the stereo cranked up loud.

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Book Blitz: Stop Me by Michelle Jester #ContemporaryRomance @michelle_jester

Stop Me
Michelle Jester
(Rue the Day Series, #1)
Publication date: February 1st 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

After moving to a new city with her parents, Jeselle Parsons quickly found friends and a life full of money, power, and privilege. Even though her parents weren’t wealthy like the other kids’ parents, Jeselle felt lucky to be welcomed into the circle of friends, until she learned how costly that type of life could be. A life that would cost her everything.

For fifteen years, Jeselle, with the help of her friend Dennis, worked to ensure nothing would stand in the way of her revenge on the people who played a part in ruining her life.

All the years of planning, all the years of working, have all come down to this.

Her enemies will learn that revenge has never been so cold.

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EXCERPT:

“What the hell is she wearing?” Dennis said with horror. Jeselle looked up to see Rose and Karli approaching the table. Rose had on a flouncy, overly stated, hot pink dress. The sleeves stood much taller than her shoulders in a fog of pink netting and the material jumped as she walked, which delighted Jeselle immensely.

Camilla openly choked on her gulp of wine, “That is awful.”

Dennis patted Camilla on her back, “Sister dear, if you are going to die, please go sit by someone else.”

“This is incredible,” Rose hurried the rest of the way to the table and took a seat.

“I love coming to them, too,” Karli said, leaning toward Rose as she seated herself. “I remember my first time, I thought it was a dream. But Jeselle actually has a purpose for it. They know she wouldn’t invite you if you weren’t important.”

“That’s true,” an older woman sitting next to Jeselle agreed, “but it does make me feel important too.” The woman giggled.

“I am really nervous, like what if I put my fork back in the wrong place or something?” Rose said as she lightly touched the fork on the table in front of her, and it made Jeselle smile.

“Here is a quick lesson for you,” Jeselle said, “My mother–”

“God rest her soul,” the woman sitting next to Jeselle said.

Jeselle looked at the woman and smiled again. Then she lifted a fork and shifted her attention back to Rose, “My mother told me something growing up that I have never forgotten. You won’t either.”

“Dear heavens, couldn’t you have given her this lesson at the office?” Dennis said condescendingly which, Jeselle noticed, caused Rose’s head to fall in embarrassment.

“Pick your head up, Rose,” Jeselle barked. Rose lifted her head. “Do not listen to him,” Jeselle used her calm voice, “He doesn’t know about real people, he’s been spoon fed his entire life. Don’t let people like Dennis, here,” she put a hand on his leg under the table and squeezed, “make you feel any less important than they are. Matter of fact, I’d say you are more important than those people.” Jeselle squeezed harder.

Rose’s eyes widened and she looked from Jeselle to Dennis and back again.

The lady sitting next to Jeselle laughed under her breath. Rose looked over at Karli, who wore a big smile on her face.

“Now, as I was saying, here is a basic lesson you’ll never forget. How many letters in the word left?”

“Fo- four,” Rose replied hesitantly.

“How many letters in fork?” Jeselle lifted the hand that held the fork slightly higher in the air.

“Four,” Rose replied more confidently.

“So, your fork goes to the left of the plate.” Jeselle placed the fork back to the left of her plate. “Now, how many letters in the word right?” Again, she lifted her hand, this time her right one.

“Five.”

“And how many in the word knife?” she lifted the spoon and knife together.

“Five.”

“And how many in spoon?”

“Five.”

Then your knife and spoon go to the right side of the plate. Jeselle set them back down. “In alphabetical order. Fork, knife, spoon.” Jeselle touched each one slightly as she named it. She perceived the moment that Rose grasped the information and she relaxed.

“That’s it? It’s that easy?”

“Well, for the basics, but before long I’ll have you able to set an eighteen-course dinner with ease.” Jeselle looked pointedly at Rose, “Anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, or feel like you don’t fit in, is simply information and that you can learn. The more information you learn, the more you will be tempted to be like Dennis here. Don’t, it’s a trap. If someone is deliberately trying to make you feel like you don’t fit in,” she looked over at Dennis, “Well, that is simply arrogance.” Jeselle turned to Rose again, “And arrogance can be taken down, with only one piece of information. Do you understand, Rose?”

“I do. Thank you.”

The best part of the evening, Jeselle thought, was detecting that Rose really did understand.

Author Bio:

Michelle Jester lives in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana with her husband, high school sweetheart and retired Master Sergeant. Together they have a son and daughter. She is a hopeless romantic and has been writing poems and stories for as long as she can remember.
One of her prize possessions is a bracelet with only a yellow, Rubber Duckie charm on it; which she wears every day to remind her to enjoy the fun and happy things of life!

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Book Blitz: Secrets That We Keep by Linda Kage #ContemporaryRomance @lindakage

Secrets That We Keep
Linda Kage
Publication date: January 28th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Gracen Lowe has a new life theory:
What you don’t know can’t hurt you.

Which is exactly why he decides not to tell his twin sister, Bella, that he’s accidentally falling for the woman she hates most, the very woman who allegedly cheated with Bella’s last boyfriend and broke them apart.

Bella might be his best friend and ultimate confidante, but she’d legit cut off his favorite body part if she knew which woman he’d been craving. So even if his theory’s totally whack, staying quiet will definitely keep him safer.

Except he feels so guilty about it all.

Meanwhile, Bella’s heating up the sheets with one of Gracen’s best friends, and she can’t seem to reveal that little detail to her brother either, due to—you know—reasons.

When the truth is exposed, all bets are off. Shattered secrets will either set everyone free or wreck their relationships forever.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Pointing, I growled, “You…” and I stepped into her house, slamming the door behind me. “Liar.”

Eyebrows lifting, she set her hands on her hips and glared back. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me,” I charged. “I called you a liar.”

“I –”

“You said you wouldn’t freak out and start avoiding me. Well, where were you tonight?”

“I didn’t feel like—”

“Bullahit!”

“Oh my God. Will you stop interrupting me.”

“Sure. When you stop avoiding me.”

“I’m not—” This time, she cut herself off to glance skyward for assistance as she mumbled curses about me. Once she was calmer, she looked me in the eye. “I’m not avoiding you. The reason I didn’t go tonight had nothing to do with you whatsoever.”

I stepped closer to her, my eyes flaring. “Oh yeah? Prove it.”

She gulped unsteadily—totally freaked out by my proximity—and then she jerked a step back.

I think that broke something inside me. She should never be too scared of getting close to me. It felt like the beginning of the end. I was going to lose her.

But once she had her space, she shot fire at me with her eyes, totally not intimidated at all. “Prove what?” she cried with a disbelieving snort. “That I didn’t go tonight because of—”

“Prove that you aren’t avoiding me,” I clarified.

She gurgled out an incredulous laugh. “How the hell does someone prove something like that?”

I shrugged. “Not my problem. Just get it done. Right now.”

Her eyes widened. “Right—”
“Now. Yes.”

“Right now?” she repeated, blinking at me as if I’d lost my mind.

I put my hand to my ear. “Is there an echo in here?” Then I glanced at the face of my watch. “Time’s ticking, baby doll.”

“Oh my God,” she exploded. She gave another dubious laugh. I couldn’t tell if she was getting a kick out of my stubbornness or if she was seriously annoyed by it. “You are such a pain in the ass.”

“Yeah,” I countered. “A pain in the ass that you’re avoiding.”

Her eyes narrowed. “This is getting ridiculous.” Darting her gaze around the room, probably looking for something heavy to hit me with, she groused, “I can’t believe you’re really making me do this.”

I yawned and reported, “Not convinced yet.”

“Oh, that’s it,” she snarled, fed up with my antics. Stepping close, she grabbed the front of my shirt. “You want to be convinced that I liked being with you, fine! I’ll convince you.”

I opened my mouth to tell her, no, I hadn’t mentioned anything about needing performance feedback. I just didn’t want her to hate me now. But she pulled me into her before I could say anything, and she plastered her mouth to mine.

Author Bio:

Linda writes romance fiction from YA to adult, contemporary to fantasy. Most Kage stories lean more toward the lighter, sillier side with a couple meaningful moments thrown in. Focuses more on entertainment value and emotional impact.
Published since 2010. Went through a 2-year writing correspondence class in children’s literature from The Institute of Children’s Literature. Then graduated with a Bachelors in Arts, English with an emphasis in creative fiction writing from Pittsburg State University.

Now she lives with hubby, two daughters, cat Holly, and nine cuckoo clocks in southeast Kansas, USA. Farm girl. Parents were dairy farmers. Was youngest of eight. Big family. Day job as a cataloging library assistant.

Harry Potter House Gryffindor, Patronus White Stallion, character match Hagrid. Supernatural Team Dean. Game of Thrones Team Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister. The Walking Dead Team Daryl. Outlander Team Jamie Fraser. Teen Wolf Team Stiles. Avenger Team Thor…or Hulk (can’t decide). Justice League Team Flash. Arrow Team Stephen Amell. Stranger Things obsessed. Heard Laurel, not Yanny.

Started out reading with the Baby-Sitters Club. Then moved to Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, and LaVyrle Spencer in high school. Now all over the place with her romance reading tastes.

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Book Blitz: Takakush by Raine Reiter #UrbanFantasy @rainereiter

“A fantastic tale that weaves a spell of ancient mysticism and modern charm.” –Tim Marquitz, Author of the Demon Squad series, The Enemy of My Enemy series, and more.

When Professor Elena Lukas returns to her cozy Pacific Northwest hometown with a broken heart, she’s plunged back into the fate she tried to escape. Like her mother and grandmother before her, Elena must now dedicate her life to a powerful ancient Lithuanian goddess. Although she is prepared to live as a priestess hiding in a contemporary tourist town, she arrives to find that a series of so-called animal attacks have terrorized her forest.With the help of a handsome detective from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elena uses her expertise in invasive and endangered species to identify that these are no normal animal attacks. The woods are stalked by a dark, mystical creature bent on ravaging the area in an attempt to quell its insatiable hunger. When her little sister goes missing, Elena realizes that the beast can only be vanquished if she is brave enough to face it in-person, embrace her identity as a high priestess, and expose her powers to the man she is growing feelings for.Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.

Book Links:

 

The World of Takakush – Genus Magica Book One

 
Takakush, the dark contemporary fantasy is the story of Elena Lukas and her family of powerful hereditary priestesses. All four human women manifest a powerful Goddess and practice the old ways of pagan Lithuania. The great powers they possess come with costs.
Mina Lukas, the family matriarch, is the priestess of Zemyna, the Lithuanian Earth Goddess, representing birth, rebirth and renewal. She became a consecrated servant to the deity in her twenties. A world traveler, Mina speaks many languages. Her major gift is healing.
The proprietor of the Swan House Inn and Retreat in the Pacific Northwest, Mina pays bills, raises her teenage daughter, an emerging fire goddess, and cares for her aging mother, Regana, priestess to the goddess of the occult, fate and death.
The goddess gifted Regana with great powers, including transformation and prophecy. She seldom leaves her bedroom, preferring to wander the “Penumbra”, a magical dimension where she is young, powerful and vital. No-one knows the human woman’s actual age, but she appears to be well over one hundred. The old woman’s mental capacity is declining as her individuality merges with her goddess.
Fifteen-year-old Gabby Lukas is a postulate of Gabija, the Lithuanian goddess of the fire. Gabija’s gifted her novitiate with pyrokinesis, the ability to start fires at will. This dangerous gift is emerging and will take practice to control. Goddess Gabija’s nature is assertive, volatile and fiery. She has a temper. Gabby Lukas shares these traits.
Professor Elena Lukas believes she turned her back on her destiny until her fiance cancels their wedding. Broken-hearted, Elena retreats home to her eccentric family. At her birth, her family dedicated her to the Lithuanian Forest Goddess Mediena, but she hadn’t committed to the bond. Elena must decide if she will serve as a priestess and avatar, sealing her powers. Or turn her back and live a normal life. The goddess gifted Elena with a spiritual connection to nature and a raven familiar.
When Elena discovers a series of so-called animal attacks terrorizing her forest. With the help of a handsome detective from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elena uses her expertise in invasive and endangered species to identify that these are no normal animal attacks. The woods are stalked by a dark, mystical creature bent on ravaging the area to quell its insatiable hunger. 
Author Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.

 
Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.
 
A fifth generation Washingtonian, Raine lives in the gloomy Pacific Northwest and wanders the rainforest with her silly spaniel, Luke.
 
 
Raine Reiter on the Web:
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Giveaway:
1st Prize – $10 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize – Paperback Copy of Takakush & a T-shirt
3rd Prize – An eBook Copy of Takakush
 
Entry Rules:
Enter your answers to the following questions in the Rafflecopter below:

Where did the Lukas family originally come from?

  • Zimbabwe
  • Jupiter
  • Lithuania
  • Antarctica

What is our hero, Elena Lukas’ occupation?

  • Butcher
  • Baker
  • Candlestick Maker
  • College Professor
 

The novel Takakush takes place in what region of the US?

  • The Pacific Northwest
  • The South
  • The Midwest
  • The Northeast
 

Book Blitz: The Winter Heals by Marie McGrath #YoungAdult #ContemporaryRomance @Marie_McGrath_ @XpressoTours

The Winter Heals
Marie McGrath
(Honey Cove, #2)
Publication date: January 12th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

It was almost impossible to heal when everyone was out to get you.

Shelby Rowe was stuck between two worlds—the one she wanted and the one everyone else wanted for her. As the daughter of a prominent family in Honey Cove, Shelby’s life was out of her control. Her friends, interests, and even her love life was controlled by others.

When a new girl moves to town, Shelby’s life was turned upside down as she gets a glimpse of what life could be like—no obligations, no pressure. As the Christmas break begins, Shelby is left stuck between what is expected and what she feels is right. Split in half, Shelby has to make decisions to correct her life and heal her spirit.

Will she allow others to control who she is? Or will she finally go out on her own?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Luke watched me as I eyed Priscilla and Tabitha from across the room. “Don’t panic, Shelby. You’re by far the most beautiful one in this ballroom tonight.”
“Thanks, Luke, but I’m not worried about what anyone else looks like.”

He nodded and smiled, but it didn’t quite make it to his eyes.

I probably wouldn’t have believed me either. I wasn’t fully lying, just wasn’t the entire truth. Priscilla had a chance to outdo me; it was just her insecurities that came back for her. If she had more confidence, people wouldn’t hate her as much for the nasty things she always inflicted on others. Although, I supposed someone else could say similar things to me. I certainly hadn’t always been the nicest one around. I had done plenty of cruel things, things I still was ashamed of, but I tried to change. That had to account for something, right?

Priscilla and Tabitha spotted me and strutted my way.

Luke tightened his grip around my arm and into his chest. Did he think I needed protecting?

Tabitha leaned forward to air-kiss my cheek. “Shelby, darling. You look fabulous.”

I reciprocated the gesture. “As do you. This color is stunning on you.”

She smiled and swished her dress against her ankles.

Priscilla’s eyebrow arched as she came closer for a hug. “Beautiful accessories, Shelby. It all really makes your eyes pop.”

I strained to smile, knowing anything they uttered about my appearance was merely a nod to social etiquette. It wasn’t genuine, at least not in the way I longed for a true compliment.

“Your mother outdid herself this year, Shelby,” Tabitha said.

“I’ll let her know you think so.”

Luke cleared his throat and nudged my side with his elbow.

“Sorry, ladies, how rude of me. You know Luke, obviously, but he’s my date.”

Luke grinned from ear to ear. “Ladies, you both look radiant this evening.”

They both curtsied.

“Well, we would love to stay and chat all night, but we must socialize with the guests. I’ll see you two later.”

I pulled Luke to stand at the second Christmas tree halfway between both exits.

Luke’s eyebrow rose. “Why did we walk away from them? We should be mingling with everyone.”

I snorted. “Please, Luke. I will mingle with the people who matter. Those two don’t matter. They will just gossip about anything they hear anyway, not worth our time.”

“Then who should we talk to, in your opinion? I think they matter to everyone else. If you aren’t flaunting me to your friends, what will people say?”

“They will have plenty to say, and we can discuss things with them when we are stuck at a table for dinner.”

“I suppose.” Luke moved his arm around me and hovered his right hand on the small of my back.

I bit the corner of my lip to avoid from shivering—or worse, cringing at his touch. It wasn’t awful, but it was more than I wish I had to endure.

“You know, you never told me if I looked dashing or not,” Luke said with a devilish grin.

I smiled. “You and I both know you do, especially with all of your matchy-matchy to my dress color.”

Luke feigned shock. “Is that a compliment from Shelby Rowe. Oh man. Alert Santa we’ll have a blizzard.”

I rolled my eyes. “Dramatic much?”

“Not at all. I only seem to get snarkiness from you.”

I shrugged. “Not always.”

“I apologize. You’re correct. I get snarky Shelby unless we’re pretending to be together. In which case, I get hushed-tone snarky Shelby.”

I giggled. “Is that so? How does one emanate snark in a hushed-tone kind of way?”

“I think you know how.”

I smiled and looked into his hazel eyes. Okay, so he could be charming when he wanted to.

“There it is.”

“There’s what?”

“A genuine smile.”

My father, with my mother in tow, strutted toward us. “Shelby and Luke, how splendid. You both look exquisite,” my father said. “Are you ready to meet a few people, Shelby?”

I followed my parents as Luke accompanied me. I straightened my frame and plastered a smile on my face. It was showtime.

An older couple stood to the side of the ballroom.

My father shook the older man’s hand and clapped his back. “Mr. Wyatt, this is my daughter Shelby and her date, Luke Warrington. Shelby, Mr. Wyatt is the head of sales at Rowe Industries.”

I curtsied as Luke shook the man’s hand.

“It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Wyatt,” I said.

“Hello again, sir,” Luke added.

My mother looked between us all but stayed silent. Her voice echoed in my head, “A true Rowe woman is seen but not heard. She makes her presence known but never overshadows the man she is with.”

Author Bio:

Marie McGrath lives in a small rural town in Maryland. She hopes to inspire others with her stories. Her favorite genres to read are YA Romance and Contemporary Fiction. She loves the color turquoise, tigers, and listening to music.

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