Tag Archives: New Adult

Valentine’s Day FB party with Swoon Romance authors! @SwoonRomance

swoon-fb-party

https://www.facebook.com/events/1334329459952777/?active_tab=discussion

 

♥ Hey everybody! ♥

Since Swoon Romance is all about romance, we’re hosting a

Facebook party for Valentine’s Day on February 14.

I’ll be there along with other romance writers to talk about books,

writing, and the good, bad, and ugly of Valentine’s Day.

So many swoon worthy books.

What’s your favorite romance title?

 

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Here’s the scheduled line up of author times:

10 am EST: Natalie Decker
11 am EST: Jennifer DiGiovanni
12 am EST: Julie Reece

5 pm EST: Elizabeth Miceli
6 pm EST: Linda Budzinski
7 pm EST: Stacey Mosteller

Link to join in!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1334329459952777/?active_tab=discussion

♥♥♥

I’ll be answering questions about my latest romance ONE SUMMER WITH AUTUMN

I love this book quote done by lovely book reviewer @MoriahChavis

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29151440-one-summer-with-autumn

I hope you will drop by and see us.

♥ We’re going to have a good time! ♥

 


Release Day Celebration and Giveaway: Consumed (Barren 2) by Elizabeth Miceli #Consumed @chapterxchapter @xoMissLizzi @SwoonRomance

ConsumedRDC

 

Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for

Consumed (Barren 2)
by Elizabeth Miceli

presented by Swoon Romance!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Happy Book Birthday, Elizabeth!

 

Consumed Cover

 

Stacey Lorenzo has finished treatment, but is still devastated by her past as she enters college. With drugs and alcohol so readily available, so much freedom, and barely any supervision, Stacey falls back into old habits. Soon it’s a daily dose of partying, self-medicating, and having sex with lots of different guys. As her relationship with Eli destructs, she falls for Jesse, who just so happens to be a drug dealer. Every time she starts to fall back into the memories of her past, Jesse makes it easy to snort away the pain.

But she snorts too much one night; it forces her to question the man she loves and acknowledge her mental and emotional instability. In the second installment of The Barren Series, Stacey must overcome her addiction and make peace with her past if she is ever to be truly happy again.

add to goodreads

Consumed (Barren 2) by Elizabeth Miceli
Publication Date: August 31, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Amazon

 

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

Barren-Cover

 

*** PUBLISHER’S ALERT: MATURE CONTENT WARNING ***

Recommended for ages 16+. Includes scenes that depict drug use, teen sex, and sexual assault.

This book contains mature content and depiction of a seventeen-year-old girl’s rape at the hands of another student. It is a chilling first person point of view account of something that occurs across the country at parties just like the one depicted in this story, and we wanted the fictional account to feel raw and as devastating. We also understand that these scenes may be difficult and uncomfortable for some. We recommend this novel for readers ages sixteen and older.

“I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Caitlin and me baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper, and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was a damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.”

Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless and with an eating disorder, she turns to partying to cope. Things go from bad ot worse when she is raped, a crushing blow to her psyche from which she may not recover. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to dull the pain. But if Stacey doesn’t find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won’t be able to pull her out.

Barren is written by debut author Elizabeth Miceli. It is a devastating and dark account of one girl’s plummet to the very bottom of the human experience and the horrific and petrifying road to recovery and self-worth.

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BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | TBD

 

About-the-Author2

Elizabeth Miceli

 

Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Psychology. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

 

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Yay!! Cover Reveal: This is Me by C.E. Wilson with Giveaway @chapterxchapter

cxc Cover Reveal

 

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

This Is Me by C.E. Wilson!

 

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A-SIST
Anthropomorphic Sentient Individualized Servile uniT

Rogan is a robot. More specifically, he is an Asist – a personalized humanoid servant that provides protection, assistance, and companionship for a lonely young woman living on her own in the city. Chloe is trying to get her big break, singing at bars and clubs all over the city at night while she pays the bills as a substitute teacher during the day. Ever since she activated him many months ago, Rogan has been her beautiful, dependable, obedient, dead-eyed security blanket.

One morning she is shocked when he disobeys a direct command in an attempt to please her and his dull artificial eyes flash a hint of something new. Is this the result of the adaptive Asist servility programming or is Rogan actually thinking? Can a robot think? Can a robot feel?

As Chloe struggles with these thoughts she is blindsided by the singular Niven Adams, a handsome, confident man with the voice of an angel who is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for her, except for one problem. Niven doesn’t approve of Asists and takes an immediate dislike to Rogan. As Niven charms his way deeper and deeper into Chloe’s heart, Rogan tries to convince her that he is more than a mass-produced disposable servant.

With Rogan doing everything in his power to prove that his thoughts and feelings are real and Niven trying to persuade her to abandon her robot and have a normal human relationship, Chloe is trapped between the two things that mean the most to her. Does she embrace her relationship with the blond newcomer, or face that her Asist’s feelings may be more than features of his programming?

What really makes a person a person?
Is it a ticking muscle inside their chest, or is it something more?

 

add to goodreads

This Is Me by C.E. Wilson
August 11, 2016
Live and Love the Fantasy Publications

 

About-the-Author2

C.E. Wilson

 

C.E. Wilson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, grew up in Millersville, Pennsylvania, and has been living in Pittsburgh since 2009. For the first few years living in Pittsburgh, she was an English teacher. Her first book, “Oath of Servitude,” was published in 2012. In 2013, she quit teaching to be a full time author and hasn’t looked back since. She loves spending time with her daughter and husband.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

 

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Hope you enjoyed the reveal and thanks for stopping by!

 


Cover Reveal: Beyond Your Touch by @patesden @RoxanneRhoads @KensingtonBooks

It’s Cover Reveal Day!

 



Here’s the lowdown …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Your Touch (Dark Heart Series Book Two)

Genre: new adult paranormal

Publisher: Kensington
Date of Publication: August 30, 2016           
ASIN:  B0190HGU52
ISBN: 9781496700070
ISBN-10: 1496700074
Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 85k
Book Description:
She wants more than he can promise.
His desires could lead to betrayal.
But without each other, neither can survive the dangers ahead.
Annie Freemont knows this isn’t the right time to get involved with a man like Chase. After years of distrust, she’s finally drawing close to her estranged family, and he’s an employee on their estate in Maine. Though she never intended to stay on the estate for long, her father’s illness and the mysteries surrounding her family made leaving impossible. And now with the new-found hope of rescuing her long-missing mother, Annie’s determined to be involved with the family’s plans one way or another.
If only she could keep her mind off Chase and focus on the impending rescue. But there’s something about the enigmatic Chase that she can’t resist. And she’s not the only woman. Annie fears a seductive stranger who is key to safely freeing her mother is also obsessed with him. As plans transform into action and time for a treacherous journey into a strange world draws near, every move Annie makes will test the one bond she’s trusted with her secrets, her desires—and her heart.
Amazon     BN     BAM     Indiebound
About the Author:
PAT ESDEN is an antique-dealing florist by trade. She’s also a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.
Her new adult paranormal novel, A HOLD ON ME (book #1 in the Dark Heart series) is available from Kensington Books. BEYOND YOUR TOUCH (book #2 Dark Heart series) will be released August 30th.

Blog Tour: Forever Dusk by @JocelynAdams @EPEmbrace @entangledpub

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Hi everyone!

I’m so happy to be featuring Jocelyn Adam’s newest and final book in the Mortal Machine

series on my blog today!! If you haven’t read any of these books yet, they’re fantastic

and you can scroll down and find the first book is on sale to get you started for only .99!

Forever Dusk (Mortal Machine, #3)

Blurb:

Since their last battle, life for the Mortal Machine—the secret-society that protects Earth and its inhabitants from dark outside forces—has become almost…normal. For everyone but Addison. The evil she’s imprisoned in her soul has begun eating away at her sanity, and despite her soul mate Asher’s efforts to hold her together, it’s causing painful and terrifying delusions.
Consequently, nobody believes Addison’s warnings that Marcus, their old enemy, has returned. When Marcus threatens Asher and the Machine, she agrees to find what he seeks—a treasure that, in his hands, could be deadly.
If she relies too much on Asher, she knows he’ll likely imprison her, if only to preserve what’s left of her deteriorating mind. But if she fails this final test, Earth will fall. So Addison is forced to distance herself from her love, to prevent the life she wants with Asher from being over before it truly begins.

Book Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Forever-Mortal-Machine-Jocelyn-Adams-ebook/dp/B01ARRWQ52
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forever-dusk-jocelyn-adams/1123271885
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/forever-dusk/id1076291654
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/forever-dusk-1
Entangled: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/forever-dusk/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28669871-forever-dusk
EXCERPT:

 

Quick breaths drew Memory-Asher’s gaze left. A form huddled in the midst of torn skirts, her brown hair hanging in messy ringlets around her shoulders, one of which was bare and covered in goose bumps where the sleeve had been torn away. It wasn’t the same Adaline I’d seen in the mirror.
This one was somehow softer, daintier.

“Do you hear that?” she asked in a voice that sounded similar to mine, only the cadence sounded more old-world. She turned to him. Moonlight highlighted her pale face, her eyes showing too much white. She had my eyes, only…they weren’t. It was Adaline, the original, before Izan had set her on the path to becoming me.

Old-World Asher sat up and picked a twig from her hair, using it as an excuse to touch her as he’d been tempted to do all day. It was the first time she had shown an ounce of fright since she’d freed him from the soldiers, her brave face faltering soon after the sun had set that night. It was the first they’d spent out in the open, free of the briar patch.

Desperately needing to give comfort, he said, “Do not fear what you hear, Adaline. That is only the night song. It can only harm you if you listen.”

“But I can hear nothing else. I could see the soldiers, and I do not fear them, but I cannot see where the wolves are. They could be in the shadow of that tree, or there, or there, and we would not know it until it is too late.”

He took hold of her hand, and she resisted. “There is another song I wish for you to hear. Will you trust me?”

Slowly relaxing her arm, she smiled tentatively. “Always.”

My throat locked. That was what he said to me every time I’d asked him that question.

Asher drew her hand to him and placed her palm beneath the loose once-white shirt he wore. “This heart beats because of you, and now it beats for you. Will you listen?” Although he trembled inside, his voice had taken on that smooth cadence that could have me out of my pants in two seconds flat.

Oh, you are smooth, Asher Green. Even in the days of petticoats and leather armor, he’d figured out how to push my buttons.

“Just watch,” he said, his voice echoing all around me. Not amused, but deadly serious.

After eyeing him with suspicion, Adaline leaned in and let him guide her ear against his chest. He tangled his fingers in her hair and held her to him, mesmerized by the softness of her. “This song is for you,” he said. “One touch, and the tempo speeds up.”

Taking the bait, she slipped her fingers inside his shirt and around his side. Even I could hear his pulse take off, and Adaline giggled. “What other tricks does this heart of yours do?”

“For you, many things. If you would let me hold you in my arms so that I might protect you through this night, you will find my heart slows into a contented rhythm. If you should allow me a good-night kiss upon your lips, then it might swell up until it breaks through my chest. Since the moment your vision filled my eyes, you have held me spellbound with your sharp tongue and fierce heart. If it would please you, I would keep you through every night from now until the long road of time comes to an end.”

 

Previous Books in the Mortal Machine Series:
DS_sale

 

Blurb:

Addison Beckett tries hard to pretend she’s normal, but she’s far from it. Since she was six years old, she’s seen the world around her unraveling, as if someone is pulling a thread from a sweater and it’s all slowly coming undone. When she ignores it, it goes away, so that’s what she does.

Enter her arrogant-but-hot professor Asher Green. He knows all about her special brand of crazy. In fact, he might be just as nuts as she is. Asher insists that the dead from a parallel dimension are trying to possess the living in this one. And since Addison seems to be the only one who can see these “wraiths,” she just might be the key to saving the world.

Addison wants nothing to do with Asher or his secret society, The Mortal Machine. But as their animosity grows, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between them. And when she discovers that Machine laws forbid her from touching him, she realizes that’s all she wants to do.

Stop the wraiths. Break the rules. Save the world. All in a day’s work.
Normal was overrated, anyway.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Darkside-Entangled-Embrace-Jocelyn-Adams-ebook/dp/B00IHCC5JC
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/darkside-sun-jocelyn-adams/1118635139
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/darkside-sun/id823296065
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/darkside-sun
Entangled: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/darkside-sun/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20806102-darkside-sun

9781633750197

Blurb:

With only three days until the wraith king turns the earth into an all-you-can-eat buffet, Addison Beckett is forced to enlist brooding sentinel Asher Green’s help to unlock the Mortal Machine. According to the founder, all she has to do is find the sanctuary—the same sanctuary she can’t remember because Asher erased her memories.

Trying to save humanity while navigating Asher’s lies is a royal pain. But the more time she and Asher spend together, the harder her soul tries to remind her what else he’s made her forget—that he loves her, wants her, needs her.

When she’s trapped by the wraith king and forced to pick who will stand by her in the coming battle, Addison is faced with an impossible choice: the sentinel she loves who refuses to love her back, or a powerful stranger who insists they’re meant to be together. Her decision will determine the fate of humanity, and once decided, can’t be undone.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Entangled-Embrace-Jocelyn-Adams-ebook/dp/B00LRXJC8U
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/midnight-dawn-jocelyn-adams/1119949127
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/midnight-dawn/id898691420
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/midnight-dawn
Entangled: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/midnight-dawn/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22890340-midnight-dawn

 

JoceAdamsheadshot

Author Bio:

Jocelyn is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories that remained untold until 2010.

With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. She now has eight published novels and has recently signed a 3-book deal with Entangled Publishing.

When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her shooting her bow or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.

Author Links
Website: http://www.joceadams.com/
Blog: https://joceadams.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jocelyn-Adams/204748756204572
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JocelynAdams
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4828608.Jocelyn_Adams


Daring Hearts Boxed Set for just 99 cents! #Romance #YA #NA

DON’T MISS THIS SALE! On Sunday it’s gone.

**More than 2000 adventurous and romantic pages.

CLEAN ROMANCE AT ITS FINEST– Let’s propel it to the NY Times Bestseller list. To see clean make it to the top would be Awesome.

daring hearts

Daring Hearts: Fearless Fourteen Boxed Set ~ Nine All New Novels Plus Five Bonus Books for the Adventurous and the Romantic

ALL For One Low Price of .99Cents!

From gorgeous heroes that make us swoon to the super sleuths and feisty heroines that make us cheer, this exclusive collection has something for everyone. Nine clean, sassy and BRAND NEW novels–a delicious mixture of fun, addictively romantic, action-adventure stories — each handpicked by an award-winning gathering of some of today’s most popular YA/NA authors. PLUS five bonus books from Elana Johnson, Leigh Talbert Moore, Rachel Morgan, Katrina Abbott, and C.L. Stone!


Over 98% off retail for the individual books sold separately (a thirty dollar savings!)

Hurry! Only available until September (so get your copy today).

REBECCA ETHINGTON ~ Monsters are real… Through Glass

RASHELLE WORKMAN ~ Alice is half demon and totally kick ass! Blood and Snow 10.1 ~ The Dark Moth Society

CINDY M. HOGAN ~ Some secrets are better left dead and buried. Kate Unmasked

ELLE STRAUSS ~ Time traveling is wonky enough… and this time it’s worse than ever. Counter Clockwise

CHRISTINE KERSEY ~ College is murder… Witness

JULI ALEXANDER ~ Solving mysteries is in her blood, but it might just get her killed. Paxton Private Investigations

AMBER ARGYLE ~ A storm is raging and not everyone will survive. Of Ice And Snow

WENDY KNIGHT ~ Her army of lost souls stand between us. The Soul’s Agent

LILA FELIX ~ Fasta is an artist, not by choice, but by force. Sketchy Love

  • PLUS FIVE BONUS NOVELS…
C.L. STONE ~ Meet Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North in a story about differences and loyalty, truth and mystery, friendships and heart-throbbing intimacy. The Academy, ever vigilant. Introductions
ELANA JOHNSON ~ If a picture is worth a thousand words then Olivia’s captured Trevor’s whole story. Something About Love

LEIGH TALBERT MOORE ~ She did not expect to be kidnapped walking to work. And she never expected to be a hero. Behind the Stars

RACHEL MORGAN ~ Stolen magical object? Check. Villainous faerie bad guys? Check. Complicated feelings for super hot, pain-in-the-ass assignment partner? Check. Not winding up dead? Working on that one. The Faerie Prince

KATRINA ABBOTT ~ Brooklyn’s new celebutante boarding school is missing one thing: boys! Taking the Reins

IF YOU BLINK TOO LONG, IT WILL BE GONE. GET YOUR COPY NOW.



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Spotlight: Skydreamer by Sheryl Winters @RoanePublishing @WintersSheryl

Skydreamer

Skydreamer by Sheryl Winters
Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy (Romance)
Release Date: March 30, 2015
Keywords: Urban Fantasy, Romance, New Adult, Dragons, Twins

For fire talent, Jaden Zarie, life is far from a fairy tale. Blisters from any contact with water, check. Sleeping in a shed behind your greedy Uncle’s house, check. Ex-boyfriend scouting the bar where you work for one-night stands every night, double check.

When Jaden sets off to secure a new life with her two sisters, winning a contest with a huge pile of gold on the line seems like a quick fix. Getting hitched to Draven Winterbourne, King of the Dragon-changers, and finding true love was beyond anything she could have hoped for.

But a friend turned enemy threatens to take it all away. When Jaden is thrust into an alternate universe and separated from her new husband and her sisters, she must summon up the courage to start over, alone, knowing she may never see any of them again.

 

What people are saying:

“The book offers a lot of original elements, and solid world building. Basically, if you like fantasy and paranormal romance, I’d highly recommend this book.”  ~Majanka,  I Heart Reading

 

“I am hoping that there is another book in this world as one just simply wasn’t enough. Absolutely brilliant and highly recommended.” ~ Merissa, Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!  

 

“I absolutely loved it. I wanted to cheer for the characters as well as kill a few along the way. It’s an amazing book. This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I hope to read more.” ~ Theresa, Julie’s Book Review

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1511470615/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1511470615&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

 Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8279983.Sheryl_Winters

 

About the Author

Sheryl Winters lives in a small town in Alaska. She grew up in the midst of old country story tellers, so you might say writing comes naturally to her. She is known for writing paranormal romances with a twist. Her writing inspiration often comes from the great outdoors of Alaska and she enfolds bits of it into her stories. For further inspiration, she has raised a menagerie of cats and dogs to the aged spirits they have become.

“I never set out to be an author. Only a story teller. Some days I succeed better than others.” ~ Sheryl Winters

Website: http://sherylwinters.weebly.com/

Blog:  http://sherylwinters.wordpress.com/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Sheryl-Winters/684816784908158

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/WintersSheryl


M9B Friday Reveal: Chapter One of Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the first chapter of

Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Summer-of-the-Oak-Moon-Cover

Rejected by the exclusive women’s college she has her heart set on, Tess Seibert dreads the hot, aimless summer ahead. But when a chance encounter with a snake introduces her to Jacob Lane, a black college student home on his summer break, a relationship blooms that challenges the prejudices of her small, north Florida town.

When Jacob confesses that Tess’s uncle is trying to steal his family’s land, Tess comes face to face with the hatred that simmers just below the surface of the bay and marshes she’s loved since birth. With the help of her mentor Lulu, an herbal healer, Tess pieces together clues to the mysterious disappearance of Jacob’s father twenty-two years earlier and uncovers family secrets that shatter her connection to the land she loves.

Tess and Jacob’s bond puts them both in peril, and discontent eventually erupts into violence. Tess is forced to make a decision. Can she right old wrongs and salvage their love? Or will prejudice and hatred kill any chance she and Jacob might have had?

add to goodreadsTitle: Summer of the Oak Moon
Publication date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Swoon Romance/Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Laura Templeton

Available for pre-order:
amazon

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

Chapter 1
1982
Port Saint Clare, Florida

Two days after graduation, I saw the panther.
Drifting down a shallow creek, I’d cut the motor on
my boat and trailed my hand in the water, worrying about my
lack of a plan for the rest of my life. Being a girl, local custom
didn’t demand too much of me, but Mother had her own ideas
about what I should strive for. And those ideas, adhered to with
the same fervor as Brother Franklin’s sermons, meant going
away to college and leaving this backwater town for a vague,
but much-touted, “something better.” It was my life, though,
and I’d refused to leave, choosing instead to spend the summer
wandering the seemingly endless saltwater marshes and tidal
creeks that spread away from our house like a gift unfurling in
the hot sunlight.

I spotted the panther crouched on a rock, facing away from
me and stalking something in the grass. Growing up on the
Apalachee Bay, I’d seen a lot of wildlife. More than once, I’d
watched a black bear walk down the wooded coastline. But
panthers were secretive and scarce, and I’d never seen one.

The cat was smaller than I expected, and the slight
quivering of its hindquarter reminded me of Oliver, my gray
tabby, when he stalked butterflies in the garden. I must have
made some small sound because it turned to look at me and
all resemblance to Oliver vanished. As I stared into its wild,
unblinking eyes for a few seconds before the panther leapt
away, something broke and swirled inside of me, like when
Lulu cracked a fresh egg into a bowl of water and read the
white patterns she saw there.

If I’d seen my future in that brief encounter with the panther,
I don’t know if I would’ve had the courage to live it. Port
Saint Clare was my home, but the summer I turned eighteen I
realized that what I knew of it was deceptive as gentle waves
rippling the surface of the bay, hiding the dangerous undertow
that moves below.

Violence and hatred existed in my world. That summer, I
ran headlong into them.

***
A little after noon a few days later, I slammed the screen
door and yelled back through it at Mother. “I swear I hate
you!” I stomped off the porch, wiping a tear that hung like an
accusation on my chin. How could she fail to see that I was
just as upset as she was about the unplanned turn of events?
As if constantly reminding me that I had no place to go come
August would get me any closer to college.

I shoved aside tendrils of wisteria as I walked through
the arbor that covered the path to the dock behind my house.
Breathing in the sweet scent of its summer blooms, I closed
my eyes to the hot sun on my upturned face. I wished its heat
could burn away the ugly words I already regretted.
I carried a large Mason jar filled with rose petals and
lavender blossoms I’d picked from the garden that morning.

Sitting carefully on the hot planks of the dock, I pulled my
canoe toward me with my legs and then set the jar in a holder
I’d made from an old tackle box. My backpack held the
essentials—water, bug repellent, and my pistol. I tossed the
bag in the canoe and climbed in after it, lugging with me the
doubt I’d carried around like a suitcase ever since I’d received
the rejection letter from Mother’s alma mater.

The paddle made soft splashing sounds as I moved it from
one side of the boat to the other, and the water dripping off it
cooled my bare legs. The weather had stayed nice long enough
for our outdoor graduation ceremony and then turned hot
and muggy right afterward. Now the heat clung like a sweatdrenched
shirt and wouldn’t let up until October, about the
time the monarch butterflies stopped over in the marshes on
their way to Mexico.

I used my trolling motor to maneuver the canoe down the
clear, fresh water of Sugar Creek toward the Saint Clare River
a short distance away. About a mile downstream, the river
spread out into saltmarsh before it reached the shallow water
of the Apalachee Bay.

A lighthouse stood in the estuary, and I used the whitewashed
brick tower to navigate a labyrinth of narrow creeks, each of
which looked pretty much like the next. I can’t really say how
many times I’ve gotten lost in the marshes. Physically lost,
that is. I don’t think I’ve ever felt really lost there. The marshes
are in my blood like the grandmothers I never knew—they
rock me, ground me, and teach me that many things existed
before I was born.

The sun was high, and in the distance, south toward Dog
Island, I saw oyster boats—white flags pinned to the gray
water. I hugged the marshy shoreline and then turned down a
series of side creeks. As the water grew shallow, I killed the
motor and paddled. Around a bend, a big bull alligator sunned
on a partially submerged tree, his knobbed back the color of
the rotting tree bark and his nose hidden in cattails. He was
there more often than not, and neither of us was alarmed. He
didn’t move as I paddled within a few feet of him.

Right after I passed the gator, I glanced down a side creek
and saw a black man fishing from a skiff. It was rare to see
anyone out fishing on a weekday, and I looked to see if it was
someone I knew. He saw me and raised his hand in greeting.
He was a good distance away, but close enough that I knew he
was a guy I’d seen in town a few times. I wondered why he
was fishing on a Thursday afternoon when most people were
working. I waved back, but seeing him there made me uneasy.
In Emmettsville, about fifty miles away, a black man had
recently attacked and killed a white girl who was out hiking, a
terrible crime that Mother was fond of calling to my attention
whenever I left in my canoe. That she’d forgotten today was
a sign of how angry she was. The incident had sparked riots
in Emmettsville and a flurry of heated op eds in the Port Saint
Clare newspaper. Race, it seemed, was still a hot button issue.
I always preferred to be alone on my “expeditions,” as
Daddy called them. I never even took my best friend Karen
with me, though she and I had done pretty much everything
together since third grade.

“Tess, I swear you’re the reincarnation of Sacagawea,”
Daddy liked to say.

I always rolled my eyes, but secretly I liked the image. Me,
wild and savage in my canoe, leading Lewis and Clark through
the wilderness I knew like the lines in the palm of my hand.
I was twelve when I started roaming the woods, most of
which belonged to the wildlife refuge. At first, Daddy forbade
me to go. But no punishment he and Mother thought up could
keep me from the bay.

On my fourteenth birthday, just after we’d finished my
cake, Daddy handed me a package wrapped in brown kraft
paper with no ribbon. When I pulled back the paper to reveal a
gun, Mother gasped so hard I thought she’d swallowed a gnat.
Her face was as red as I’d ever seen it. I knew Daddy would
catch heck later.

“It’s a Smith & Wesson .38 Special. It’s got a four-inch
barrel, so you can actually hit something with it.” Daddy
smiled at me.

“Damn!” Karen said without thinking. I kicked her under
the table.

I smelled a hint of oil as I lifted the pistol out of the box,
admiring its knurled wood grip.

“Walnut,” Daddy explained before I could ask.
I hugged Daddy then. I knew he was turning me loose. He
knew it too, and looked like he might cry, which scared me a
little.

Daddy spent hours teaching me to shoot the pistol. I was
a good shot, which surprised me, and I almost always hit the
cardboard torso he nailed to a tree out in the woods. That
seemed to satisfy him. But in the four years I’d owned the
gun, I’d never used it for anything other than target practice. I
supposed that was a good thing, though it also pointed to the
fact that my life had been pretty uneventful.

After seeing the man fishing, I set the paddle aside and
reached into my backpack, checking to make sure the gun was
loaded. It never occurred to me to question why I was doing it.
I just figured—better safe than sorry.

I paddled alongside a large rock that jutted out into the
creek at a shallow spot and secured the canoe with a rope that
I long ago had tied to a nearby tree. Then, I climbed the bank
and carried the jar of petals a short distance down a dirt path.
The undergrowth beside the trail was thick with palmettos,
pine trees, and oaks veiled with Spanish moss. Wild lantana
ran rampant, its yellow blooms attracting scores of bees.
The path ended at a clear pond that reflected the sunlight
in brilliant turquoise. A freshwater spring bubbled up through
vents in the sandy bottom. The grassy shoreline held few
trees, though some cypresses grew along one side, their wide,
wet knees sending root tentacles into the clear water. As I
approached, a pair of wild ducks half ran, half flew, to the
far side, their wings flapping like someone shaking out wet
laundry.

I filled the jar of petals with water from the spring, screwed
on the lid, and set it on a partly submerged rock. I would leave
it there overnight to steep in the light of the full moon. Lulu
taught me that. “The full moon gives them power,” she said.
I removed my shoes and sat in my favorite spot, my back
against a large rock. My feet touched the edge of the pond,
cooling my whole body. After emptying my canvas backpack
on the ground beside me, I crushed it into a pillow and put it
behind my head. The heat rising from the rock lulled me to
sleep.

Some time later, I jerked as if something urgent had
wakened me. At a movement to my right, I turned to see a
water moccasin coiled inches from my leg. Its thick, black
body, easily as big around as my arm, glistened in the sunlight.
The snake lay close enough that I could make out individual
scales, little tiles of shiny, violet-black granite.

Instantly, I froze. Moving only my eyes, I glanced at the
pistol, which lay a short distance away. I weighed my options.
I was afraid to make a grab for the gun. If I didn’t move, the
snake might just go away.

For what must have been several minutes, I sat so still I felt
my heart pulsing in the pads of my fingers where they rested
on the hot rock beside me. Water lapped at the edges of the
pond, its gentle sloshing sounds a sharp contrast to the terror
that gripped me. But still I waited, as sweat trickled down my
forehead and stung my eyes.

Then, suddenly, a bird or a squirrel rummaged through
the underbrush. Sensing the movement, the snake tensed and
opened its jaws wide. I saw its fangs and the cotton-white
lining of its mouth and lunged sideways for the gun. At the
same time, I rolled my lower body to the left and drew my legs
up under me, away from the snake.

But I wasn’t quick enough. Just as I grabbed the gun, the
snake hit my leg hard. The needle-like fangs pierced my skin
like bee stings, only much worse. I gasped in pain but rolled
quickly back to the right so I could aim the pistol straight on. It
would be just like target practice, I thought. I pointed the gun
and fired as the snake raised its head to strike again.

But my first and second shots missed. Fear and nerves
affected my aim. I screamed out of sheer frustration, the sound
seeming to come from someone else. The snake stretched out
almost the length of its body and struck a second time, biting
my shin just below the knee. Again the sharp pain tore through
my leg. I got a third shot off and finally hit the snake, throwing
it backward.

I stood as quickly as I could, wobbling as I tried to put
weight on the bitten leg, and fired two more shots into the
snake just to make sure it was dead. I felt a little woozy as I
watched its body twitch and jump with each shot. I didn’t like
the idea of killing something—not even a venomous snake
that had just bitten me. Twice.

I sat on the rock and examined the two puncture wounds
that oozed blood. Already they were beginning to swell. Pain
seared through my leg when I tried to stand, and a wave of
nausea hit me, forcing me to sit down quickly. I decided to
wait a bit for the pain to let up.

But while I drank from the thermos of water I’d brought,
the seriousness of the situation dawned on me. The pain wasn’t
going to get any better. A snake bite typically wasn’t as big a
deal as people made of it. But I’d been bitten twice, and the tenminute
paddle out to the deeper water of the bay was the worst
thing I could do. The exertion would set my heart pumping
and spread the venom more quickly through my body.
As my leg stung out away from the impact points, up along
the veins, I mentally prepared myself to get moving toward
home before the pain got any worse. I sat up and splashed
some cold water from the spring on my face.

As I struggled to stand, I heard a boat approaching.
Remembering the guy I’d seen fishing, I began to shake,
though whether in fear or because of the bites, I wasn’t sure.
The sound of the outboard motor came closer then stopped.
He’d seen my canoe. Nausea caused me to clasp my hand to
my mouth and double over.

“Hello?” he called out as he ran down the path toward me.
By the time he reached the clearing, I was on my feet with
the gun pointed right at him. I had only one shot left, which
he probably knew as well as I did. My aim had to be good this
time. But the nausea and the pain in my leg made it difficult to
hold the gun steady.
“Stop right there!” I meant to sound authoritative. Instead,
my voice wavered, and I knew I sounded pathetic.

“Whoa!” He stopped with his palms facing me as if he
could hold off a bullet with them. “Hey, I’m just trying to help
here. You can put that thing down.”

He has big hands. The thought flashed through my mind
and left me wondering about my mental condition.

“Not until you leave.” I swayed a little with the effort it
took to remain standing. I needed help, I knew. But Mother’s
warnings sounded in my head. I didn’t intend to be the next
victim found in the woods.

His gaze moved from the dead snake to my injured leg.

“You’ve been bitten. Cottonmouth, huh?” He could have been
commenting on the weather.

I nodded and chewed my bottom lip to curb the nausea. His
voice was warm like the rock I’d been sitting on. And he was
younger than I’d realized, probably just a few years older than
I was. Flushed and dizzy, I let the gun droop until it pointed
more toward his legs than his chest. He noticed, but he didn’t
step forward to take it from me.

“It’s okay.” He sounded exasperated. “Put that thing away.

You screamed, and I heard gunshots. I came to help.” He
watched me closely. I didn’t put the gun down, though by now
it was pointed at his feet.

“I’m Jacob Hampton.” He walked deliberately toward me.
At the time, that struck me as incredibly brave, but thinking
back on it I doubt I was much of a threat. He seemed blurry
around the edges, like waves of heat were rising off his brown
skin. He stopped right in front of me and, before I could react,
offered me his hand. It was clean with trimmed nails—not
bitten, like mine.

“Tess Seibert …” my voice trailed off to a whisper. I
dropped the gun and fainted in a decidedly un-Sacagawean
way.

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Laura Templeton

Laura Templeton lives near Athens, Georgia, with her husband, son, and a menagerie of animals. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gardening, learning to figure skate, and taking long walks on the quiet country roads near her home. Something Yellow is her debut novel, and her creative nonfiction has appeared in various publications.


Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
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Title will be sent upon its release.

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Release Day Blitz and Giveaway! Skydreamer by @WintersSheryl @RoanePublishing #NAlit #UF #Romance

Happy Book Birthday to Skydreamer!

Skydreamer
by Sheryl Winters

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy (Romance)

Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: March 30, 2015
Keywords: Urban Fantasy, Romance, New Adult, Dragons, Twins


Description:

For fire talent, Jaden Zarie, life is far from a fairy tale. Blisters from any contact with water, check. Sleeping in a shed behind your greedy Uncle’s house, check. Ex-boyfriend scouting the bar where you work for one-night stands every night, double check.

When Jaden sets off to secure a new life with her two sisters, winning a contest with a huge pile of gold on the line seems like a quick fix. Getting hitched to Draven Winterbourne, King of the Dragon-changers, and finding true love, was beyond anything she could have hoped for.

But a friend turned enemy threatens to take it all away. Jaden is thrust into an alternate universe and separated from her new husband and her sisters, she must summon up the courage to start over, alone, knowing she may never see any of them again.


Purchase Links:


Tour Schedule
 
GIVEAWAY!

A paperback copy of Skydreamer and a 
$10 Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.


M9B Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight with Julie Reece with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are spotlighting Julie Reece,

(pretty exciting because this week, you know, it’s me!)

author of

The Artisans

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Julie_Reece_Image_3-253x300

Get to Know silly stuff about me in 10 Questions or Less!

 

Twitter or Facebook? -Both

Favorite Superhero? –One hero to rule them all: Thor

Favorite TV show? -Sherlock (British)

Sweet or Salty? -Ice cream is a food group.

Coke or Pepsi? -Tea (I’m a rebel)

Any Phobias? –Sharks and, ew, spiders … oh and drowning.

Song you can’t get enough of right now? –Caroline (or anything) by Kill It Kid *dies*

Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend? ‘Weaver’ from Mary Webb’s, Precious Bane *swoons*

What are you reading right now or what’s on your TBR? -Saving Francesca , by Melina Marchetta

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to? –OMG! Crimson Peak and Mad Max:Fury Road

Bio:

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

 

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The Artisans updated cover

Blurb:

They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old RAVEN WEATHERSBY gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad’s drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven’s stepdad’s drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she’s ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries’ clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can’t imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

The Artisans is a delectably rich, layered and dark YA Southern Gothic inspired by Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s classic Beauty and the Beast.

The Artisans has all the elements I love – spooky intrigue, strong friendships, and a romantic tension to be savored.” ~ Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy.

add to goodreads

Title: The Artisans
Publication date: May 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Julie Reece

Yay!!! The Artisans is up for pre-order!

Link:

amazon

Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

The book will be sent upon the titles release.

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