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: Absolute Silence by Jill Ramsower #ContemporaryRomance @XpressoTours

Absolute Silence
Jill Ramsower
(The Five Families, #5)
Publication date: March 10th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The Lion’s Den club was better than I ever imagined and my worst nightmares, all combined.

I thought I was going to explore my darkest fantasies.
Gain a better understanding of myself and discover what I’d been missing in life.

Instead, I made a deal with the devil.

I had hoped I wouldn’t see anyone I knew at the club.
Coming face-to-face with Filip De Luca was a worst-case scenario.

Filip was effortless power seething beneath a playboy exterior.
A host of sharp edges disguised behind a cavalier grin.
Inescapably alluring and devastatingly dangerous.

He promised he wouldn’t tell my father about seeing me at the club.
I had his blessing to dip my toes into the dark waters of deviancy.

The catch?
Filip would guide me on this journey.
He would control every aspect of my exploration.
Set every boundary and command my obedience to his rules.

I thought I could live with his terms.
Gain the experience I wanted from a partner I could trust.

What a naïve fool I’d been to think our bargain could ever be so simple.

**Absolute Silence is the fifth book in The Five Families series but can be read as a standalone novel. This book is a mafia romance containing adult themes and may not be suitable for sensitive readers.

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Get your copy today for only $2.99 through March (Reg $4.99)!
PLUS! Book 1 is FREE for a limited time!

EXCERPT:

“We need to talk. Privately,” I told him.

He nodded and motioned to the elevator. When his hand grazed my lower back, I stiffened. His touch was too seductive to be allowed. Not when I had more pressing matters to delve into. I would not allow lust to break down my resolve. Nothing would come between me and what I had to say.

I charged past the main room, not taking notice of the activities within. I had one purpose, one directive, and I wasn’t interested in distractions. When the door to his room closed behind us, a swell of words and emotions wedged a knot in my throat. I wasn’t the crying type. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d shed a tear, yet my nose began to sting with the telltale signs.

I took a deep, steadying breath before meeting Filip’s wary gaze. “How dare you blacklist me from another club.” My words were unsteady but still laced with venom. “You had no right.”

His eyes narrowed to angry slits. “You went to another club without even trying to talk through this with me first?”

“I don’t owe you anything. If I want to join another club, that’s my choice. My life.” I jabbed a finger at my chest, my voice growing stronger.

“I was trying to keep you safe, Camilla.”

“You were trying to control me!” I shouted back.

Filip charged, pinning me against the wall. His shallow breaths came unevenly through parted lips. The jagged flint in his eyes sparked as his gaze bore relentlessly deep into my soul. “I’ve always been perfectly honest with you about my need for control. I never pretended to be a saint, and I certainly didn’t give you the impression I was some kind of fucking Boy Scout. I do whatever is needed to protect what I value. My family. My home. You. Not to mention the fact that we made an agreement, and under the terms of our agreement, every inch of this body is mine. I’m not letting another man anywhere near you.”

“You don’t own me,” I hissed back, shoving my hands hard against his chest.

Filip clamped his hands around my wrists and subdued my assault with ease. “No, I don’t own you, but I do have a responsibility to protect you. You won’t always like my methods, but at least I know I’ve done my job.”

“It was a simple arrangement! It wasn’t like we signed in blood or something, which was evident since you’ve changed the terms. And besides, it sounds like this is more about you than me. It’s your duty that’s important to you, your ability to control those around you, and not my actual safety that’s so critical.”

His nostrils flared, and I got the sense I’d struck a nerve.

He took in three even breaths before delivering a devastating defense. “My mother was killed when I was only five,” he deadpanned in a hollow voice. “I spent the next half a decade being tossed from one relative to the next with zero stability in my life or control over what happened to me. I don’t just have a need for control; I can’t survive without it. When I feel the things that mean the most to me slipping from my control, I become crazed, and I can’t think straight. You, more than anything else, cause me to lose my fucking mind.”

Author Bio:

Award-winning author of contemporary and fantasy romance. With Jill’s books, you can count on confident heroines, plenty of steamy tension, and deliciously assertive leading men. There are no guarantees in life, but with her books, you know everything will work out in the end. However, a perfect ending would not be nearly as satisfying without a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Jill loves to add plenty of adversity in her stories, creating unforgettably dynamic characters and sneaky plot twists you will never see coming.

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Book Blitz: Something Wicked by Emery Nicolson #UrbanFantasy @EmmyNicolson

Something Wicked
Emery Nicolson
(Lockhart Legacy, #1)
Publication date: March 1st 2021
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Something wicked this way comes…

You’d think being the descendant of powerful witches would grant me the power to sort out my life, right? But you’d be wrong. I’m stuck in a rut, disdained by my family, and my romantic life is a disaster. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I have no magic?

When a cursed heirloom is stolen, I should stay out of it and leave the retrieval to those better equipped but everything seems to lead back to me…

With the help of an enigmatic bounty hunter, I may be able to clear my name and retrieve the artefact before death and chaos are unleashed upon my beloved city but doing so could cost me everything — including my life.

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EXCERPT:

It feels like I have just fallen asleep when I’m awoken by someone obnoxiously ringing my doorbell, over and over and over again.

Blinking sticky eyes open, I roll over and check the time on my phone screen. Seven o clock! Who in their right bloody mind goes knocking on someone’s door at that time on a Saturday? It is cruel! It is unnatural! But whomever it is they are not buggering off like I hoped they would, leaving me no choice but to get out of bed and answer the door.

“Alright, alright! I’m coming!” I yell, stomping down the hall. I flick on a light switch and peek through the peephole. “Bitch!” I shout through the door as I start releasing the locks.

There are quite a few, so it’s a bit of a slow process, but when you live in a basement apartment, I feel you can’t be too careful.

“Stop your whining Lockhart! I’ve got to be at work in an hour and details can’t wait!”

Pulling the door open, I am faced with the happy smiling face of my BFF Sarah. I have a strong dislike for morning people but at least this pre-dawn menace has the decency to come bearing gifts.

“Do I smell bacon?” I ask, as she marches past me with a brown bag of goodness and a cup holder with two coffees.

“Hell yes, it’s bacon. You think I’d be stupid enough to wake the bear without bringing a sacrifice?” She calls as she makes her way to the front room. “Bring plates in won’t you!”

“Yes dear,” I mumble, more to myself than to her as I yawn and do exactly as I’m told.

Author Bio:

Emery Nicolson is a wife, mother and mad cat-lady living in the South West of England. When she’s not writing, she’s probably reading, baking or out walking through a forest.

Emmy (or Nics, as she’s more often referred to) loves hearing from readers and you can find her online via Twitter (@EmmyNicolson), Facebook (@EmeryNicolsonAuthor) or her website (emerynicolson.co.uk).

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Book Blitz: The Wise One by K.T. Anglehart #YoungAdult #Fantasy @kt_anglehart



The Wise One
K.T. Anglehart
(The Scottish Scrolls, #1)
Publication date: October 28th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Mckenna’s never thought much of her nightmares, but on her seventeenth birthday, a vivid dream of burning at the stake awakens her dormant abilities, thrusting her into a world where faeries are real, spirits hold a grudge, and a High Priestess obsessed with a 16th-century prophecy is tracking her every move.

Now, her overprotective dads, Seán and Andre, are forced to tell her the truth—they know who her birth mother is, and her life is not the surrogate story she’s always been told. Abigail, Mckenna’s mom, is some sort of mystic, and Mckenna a Wise One.

Whatever the hell that means.

With the help of a persistent little wren and company of a newfound friend, Mckenna journeys to Ireland in search of her mother and real answers. Along the way, she learns to harness her innate magic and trust her intuition, as best she can anyway—Cillian, a kind and passionate delegate who crosses her path, is proving much harder to read.

Only her mother could truly help her halt her ill fate and prepare her for what’s to come . . . before she gives in to the darkness she knows is buried deep within.

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EXCERPT:

Bruised and battered, the young woman was dragged through the screaming, unruly mob. Her wrists were bound behind her by a rope as thick as the noose she now faced.

“Buidseach! Buidseach!” Witch. Witch.

“Bàsachadh!”

Die.

She halted in front of the noose, unperturbed, for she knew her death would end swiftly. The man who held the end of her rope looked from her calm expression to the noose, and let out a shrill laugh.

“A quick snap of the neck, aye, Bessie girl? You don’t think you’re getting off that easy, do you? Nah, that there isn’t for your kind.”

The ugly man, towering and troll-like, hauled her further on like a rag doll, finally leading her to a pit loaded with broken wood fragments, branches, and logs.

She was going to be burned alive.

In that instant, her body trembled with the fear she had been trying so desperately to conceal. Of dying, no—she knew this life would not be her last, and she was ready to part ways with this physical body. But she would be lying to herself if she said she hadn’t been hoping for a less painful demise.

He tightened the rope from her wrists around the wood banister that stood erect in the centre of the pit, then secured more rope round her ankles. “Spill your guts, now or never, buidseach,” he spat.

The woman scanned the crowd. Foolish, blind, she thought. They had no idea what would become of their Earth. No, she did not regret her actions. And if she had to burn for them, then so be it.

She held her chin up and addressed the spectators. Her voice was steady, knowing. “There will come a day when your fate shall depend upon a witch such as me—and you will beg for mercy.” The crowd cackled and spat back, simultaneously enraged and amused. But no one laughed louder than the troll-man. “Devil-worshipping hag.”

He lowered his torch to the base of the pit, and the flames caught quickly. She watched them crawl towards her boots, but her eyes were forced shut by the rising smoke. In an instant, beads of sweat leaked like rain on her forehead, and her lungs swelled to twice their size.

Just when she hoped she might pass out from the heat, the flames grew larger, now licking the base of her legs. What followed was an acute, unfathomable pain. The flames travelled higher, higher, until they enveloped the lower half of her body—and she could no longer bear the sheer agony of her skin melting away.

 

Author Bio:

Katrina Tortorici Anglehart is a born and bred Italian-Canadian from Montreal. A devoted academic, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism; a graduate certificate in Scriptwriting; and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. After dabbling in TV writing and working as a digital marketing content manager, she left the nine to five to launch her freelance editing and coaching career. Today, she relishes in helping aspiring authors to develop and refine their stories.

Besides English, Katrina speaks French, Italian, and Spanglish. When she’s not writing, diving into magical reads, or Netflixing, she’s travelling with her favourite human–her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, Andy–and obsessing over her pet bunny, Magic, and newly rescued pup, Nessie. Katrina currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Book Blitz: Broken Beginnings by J.L. Beck and C. Hallman #darkromance @AuthorJLBeck @CassyHallman

Broken Beginnings
C. Hallman & J.L. Beck
(The Moretti Crime Family, #2)
Publication date: February 19th 2021
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance, Romance

The night I saved her eight years ago I knew a choice had been made.

Years later and I can’t manage to let her go.

She’s barely eighteen, virginal, and kind.

Touching her would be a sin, but letting another man have her would destroy me.

Every time I close my eyes I see her, standing there, afraid, scared out of her mind because of that one fateful night.

She doesn’t know the lengths I’ve gone to protect her.

The blood spilled, the words said.

Nothing deters my obsession… it’s wrong, immoral, to follow her, and watch her at every turn but I can’t help myself.

Her safety, her life. It’s the only thing of importance to me.

When an enemy lurking in the shadows challenges that I’ll do whatever I can to protect her, even make a deal with a devil, knowing the only way out is death.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Lucca tosses the broken plate into the sink. The sound makes me jump but doesn’t scare me as much as when I look away from the sink and find Lucca advancing toward me. I take a hesitant step back.

Instantly, I’m the prey, and he’s the hunter.

Lucca’s chest brushes against mine, and sparks of desire form low in my belly. I lick my bottom lip, wondering what it would be like to kiss him or if he would kiss me back? I’m so caught up in him, in his scent, his body, what I want him to do to me, that I lose focus for a moment. I can’t let the lust drive me alone.

Dark blue eyes pierce my own, and I break the connection taking a step back, putting a breath of space between us. It’s hard to show him my anger when he’s this close.

“I will not be your prisoner here. I will not be trapped in that bedroom. I’m an adult, but more than that, I’m a human being, not an animal you can keep in a cage.”

“I don’t care how old you are and what you think is best for you…” His voice is deep and soft, causing me to look up from his chest and directly into his eyes. His gaze has softened to a dull knife, and for once, in all the time I’ve known him, I feel like I’m seeing him, the real him, for the first time. His thumb brushes against the apple of my cheek, his touch making my skin heat. “Your age doesn’t stop me from protecting you, nor does it stop me from locking you up in that bedroom and keeping you there until you learn to listen to me.”

Author Bio:

J.L. Beck is a USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, she has written over fifty different romance novels. She started her journey of writing back in 2014 and hasn’t slowed down a second since then.

She’s captivated by real romance, and loves reading about strong “ALPHA” males, as well as sassy heroines that know or may not know what they want. She is best known for delivering a happily ever after but has ended things on a cliffhanger a time or two.

When she’s not typing away at her next book you can find her being a mom to her two adorable kiddos and wife to her high school sweetheart.

She’s obsessed with Starbucks, social media, and is definitely more of a dog person than cat.

Author links:
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Born and raised in Germany, Cassandra moved to the United States when she was eighteen. She always had a love for reading, that love slowly transpired into writing. She put fingers to the keyboard and started writing about the dark side of romance.

Cassandra is one half of the international bestselling author duo Beck & Hallman, who are most knows for the writing the Northwood University series.
The pair also write under the pen name Jenna Reed.

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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.

Goodreads / Amazon / Kobo / Google Play

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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