Tag Archives: romance

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:


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GIVEAWAY!

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

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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: Chapter Three of Hunted (Sinners #2) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing Chapter 3 of

Hunted (Sinners #2) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

presented by Month9Books!

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

Hunted

HUNTED is the electrifying sequel to the bestselling debut BRANDED, A Sinners Series, by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki.

It’s been three months since the revolt against the Commander’s fifty-year-old regime failed.

Under a new ruler, things were supposed to change. Get better.

But can anyone really be trusted?

Lexi and Cole soon find out, as life takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

In this ever-changing world, you must hunt or be hunted.

Lives will be lost.

Dreams will be crushed.

Fears will be realized.

Secrets will be exposed.

When Cole is once again faced with losing Lexi at the hands of a monster, one encounter will change everything.

Forever.

Connect with BRANDED fans on Instagram at:

#abiandmissy
#Sinnersfandom
#Sinnersseries
#Colexi
#Sinnersseriesbranded
#Brandedofficialfanpage
#Brandedfandom
#Lexihamilton

add to goodreadsTitle: Hunted (Sinners #2)
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Available for Pre-order:
amazonB&N

excerpt

You can read Chapter Three HERE!

Happy Reading and Enjoy!

About-the-Author

Abi and Missy 2

Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

 

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumbler

Giveaway

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The Calm After the Storm Book Blast and Giveaway!

Calm after the storm

The Calm After the Storm by Mya O’Malley

Can true love shine through the darkest storm?

The storm of the century raged through the northeast, causing destruction and despair, millions were left without power and hope. Weeks later, countless people were still devastated by the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, Emma Riley among them.

Determined she didn’t need the help of a man, Emma was convinced that she could brave the aftermath of the storm on her own. That is, until Jake came into her life.

After having suffered heartbreak and embarrassment, Jake Mack, a utility foreman, volunteered to travel north from small town, Georgia to assist with the aftermath of the storm. Jake was decidedly done with women. But he didn’t count on meeting Emma or falling in love so quickly. Can he trust this woman or will his past get in the way and ruin the relationship with the one woman he truly loves?

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Excerpt from The Calm After the Storm:

Jake and his crew had now been in the suburbs of New York for a few days. His first thought upon entering this area was his surprise at the devastation. Sure, he had heard about the destruction on the news and had seen footage of the aftermath of Sandy, but it still hadn’t prepared him for the actual sight of Sandy’s rage. Telephone poles were down, trees were snapped in two, and houses were completed destroyed by the storm. Seeing all the destruction only strengthened Jake’s resolve that it had been the right thing to come. He felt proud to be able to help out and be a part of the solution to the horrible aftermath of this disaster.

As the day was wrapping up. Jake and Chris met up with some of their crew in the next town to finish one more area before calling it quits. The chill in the air was something that Jake had prepared for, but was not accustomed to. Clutching the new flannel he had purchased right before his trip, he put it on over his thermal shirt. Thankful for his thermos filled with hot coffee, Jake grabbed it but quickly tossed it aside.

“Come on, Chris! I asked you to stop drinking my coffee. Now there’s none left,” he said as he shook his head, irritated at his friend.

Chris looked up at his boss sheepishly. “Sorry, man. I didn’t sleep well last night. I needed some caffeine.”

“Well, that makes two of us.”

They rode until they approached the utility pole that needed attention. Jake and Chris were among the first to arrive and got busy setting up for the job. Within minutes, the rest of the assigned crew trickled in. The workers were now familiar with the details and routine of this job, so for the most part they worked in silence, focused on getting this last job done so that they could grab some dinner and hit the sheets. It was cold and dark, the night chill settling in upon them. Jake supervised and helped his crew perform their individual duties as quickly as possible. As they were just about wrapping things up, Jake headed over to Steve, one of the older guys directing traffic. He looked frail and tired.

“Hey, Steve. I got this. Why don’t you call it a night, huh? We’ll meet you at the hotel for some dinner.”

“Nah, Jake, we’re almost done here. I’m good,” Steve said as he looked up at Jake with glaring dark circles under his eyes.

“Steve, go. I’m serious. Get in a hot shower and we’ll meet up for dinner. Boss’ orders. Now go and take Andy with you,” Jake gestured toward another man on the crew who looked like he was ready for bed.

Shrugging his shoulders, Steve made his way to one of the smaller utility trucks, calling for his co-worker to join him. Jake took over the responsibility of directing traffic, slowing people down and stopping cars when necessary. Yawning, he waved a small SUV along, noticing that the approaching driver was slowing down, much more than necessary. Jake squinted his eyes to get a better look. The car came to a stop when Jake stepped up to it and its window rolled down. Looking back at Jake was a woman who appeared pretty, even in the diminished light. Wait, scratch that—she was stunning, with long, wavy hair and piercing eyes. His heart faltered just a bit.

“Hi. I wanted to thank you guys for all of the hard work that you’ve been doing. We really appreciate you guys coming up here. I think I speak for everyone,” she said as she smiled widely. Her smile hitched his breath ever so slightly. Jake smiled back. This was certainly a change. Since he had been in this area, some people waved, some people smiled, others remained with their eyes straight ahead, but nobody had yet offered any thanks verbally. So different from the Southern hospitality way of life where he grew up, Jake mused.

Here it was different, the pace of life was much faster. People always seemed to be in a rush, and they minded their own business for the most part. Sure, being so close to the big city must be nice and the landscape was quite beautiful at times, but he didn’t think this lifestyle was something he could ever get used to. It seemed too stressful, too impersonal. He would be glad to be back home when his job was finished.

The woman leaned over and offered Jake a box of donuts, disposable coffee cups, and a box of hot coffee. Jake was impressed.

“Thank you, that was very thoughtful!” Jake gushed, thrilled at the idea of hot coffee. He thought he felt warmth spread across his cheeks despite the chill in the air.

The woman stared back and smiled at Jake for a minute and then set her eyes on the road ahead. She waved as she pulled away.

“Wait!” Jake called out. “Wait, what was your name?” But the words were lost. The mysterious woman with the coffee and donuts was long gone.

“Guys!” he called out as his crew worked on cleaning up for the night. “Guys! Our guardian angel just appeared, and she brought coffee!”

The coffee and donuts were gladly received, but the idea that someone would go out of their way to show a random act of kindness truly touched Jake. He felt the warm liquid slide down his throat and knew that he would always remember the woman’s thoughtfulness. Who was he kidding? That woman’s beautiful face was what he would most remember. He just wished that he had gotten her name.

 

 

Mya Omalley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Mya O’Malley
Mya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of two boxers, named Destiny and Dolce, and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.

Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. She spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel and has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and Costa Rica. She is currently working on her sixth novel.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Blog * Pinterest

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$50 Blast Giveaway

Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/16/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Excerpt and YA Giveaway! Pride by Rosie Somers

Pride2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pride by Rosie Somers

Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.

Gabby is the steward of PRIDE

To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords * iTunes

* Don’t forget the giveaway at the end of the post!!!

 

 

Praise for the Book:

Iola’s Christian Reads: “Pride is aimed at the YA market, and is the first in a planned series (presumably one for each of the seven deadly sins). It incorporates elements of other well-known YA series such as Harry Potter and Divergent, (an orphan who is the ‘chosen one’ fighting the forces of evil). It has that fast pace and addictive quality which makes it hard to put down.”

“…it was thrilling enough to grab my attention and I can’t wait to continue Gabby’s story in the next installment. Rosie Somers has made it to my Author’s to watch for list!”

 

 

Excerpt:

Gabby

The man didn’t make a sound. He stood stock still for the span of one sharp, inhaled breath, then he crumpled to the floor. After assuring herself there was no one behind him, Gabby flipped her flashlight on and knelt to give the unconscious heap at her feet her full attention. Oh God, she’d killed him. She just knew it.

Save for green streaks coursing through his thick, black hair, and a spot of blood near his temple, there wasn’t any color on him. His clothes were black, his skin winter-pale. Everything about his appearance was smooth, lean, handsome—no feature out of place. Full lips, chiseled jaw, and strikingly thick eyelashes. He was pretty, for a boy. It all fit, even the green hair. And he was still breathing. She wasn’t a murderer.

Suddenly, a strong hand gripped her forearm, and the heavy flashlight was ripped from her grasp. Wrenching free from the iron grip, she tried to turn around as she stood. Instead, she fell backward over Pretty Boy, landing hard on her butt with her legs draped over his torso.

Gabby scrambled to her feet. The moment she was steady, she broke into a run, but only made it as far as the back door before arms like steel bands wrapped around her from behind, pinning her to a rock-solid chest. She couldn’t breathe.

“We’re not here to hurt you, Gabriella,” a deep voice murmured into her ear. As if to prove the honesty of his words, the man relaxed his hold just enough for her to breathe normally.

“Yeah, right.” And her foster dad had only wanted to give her a kiss goodnight—with his tongue. Gabby knew what men were like, and she was not about to be fooled by this one. “How do you know my name?”

“It’s a long story, but we’ve been lookin’ for ya for some time now.” He had an Irish accent.

“Who are you?”

He turned their bodies back toward the unconscious man across the room. Now another guy stood over Pretty Boy. He wasseveral years older, thirty maybe. His pale blond hair was short and, even from across the room, it was clear he was much taller than her.

As Vice Guy half-carried her to the other men, a muffled moan floated up to meet them, and the guy on the floor took great care disentangling lanky limbs to pull himself to a kneeling position. He rubbed the side of his head with one hand while he used the other to brace himself against the wall. The look Pretty Boy raked over Gabby as he got up made her cringe.

The guy still holding her spoke. “If I let ya go, will ya promise not to run? We’re not goin’ to hurt ya. We’re here because we need your help.”

She believed him. Maybe because, even though she’d just clobbered his friend, he hadn’t hurt her. She nodded and was immediately released.

She turned, but the guy behind her wasn’t the giant with superhuman strength she’d imagined. Her captor was probably only a couple of years older than her, with dark auburn hair and a hint of a dimple on his right cheek. Despite the seriousness of the situation, his bright blue eyes sparkled with interest, and the corners of his lips were turned up in an amused smile.

He didn’t take his gaze off her, even when he took several steps away. Instead, he stood arms crossed, feet planted apart. Poised to give chase if she fled. Running had crossed her mind, but something compelled her to stay at least long enough to hear what they had to say.

“Well …?” She prompted with a wave of her hand that clearly said, get on with it.

The blond man cleared his throat. “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Andrew. This is Lucas.” He motioned toward the man who’d grabbed her, then to the one she’d knocked out. “And Grant.”

Grant’s eyes were narrowed. She shifted under his scrutiny and diverted her gaze.

Andrew whispered something in his ear, and Grant looked down at his feet. Andrew continued, “We need to go.”

They were there to abduct her. At the realization, panic rose in Gabby’s chest, choking her breath into shallow threads. She threw her hands up defensively and backed away with slow, shaky steps. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Andrew sighed. “You may not want to now, but you will when you find out why.”

“Then tell me.”

He checked his watch, then squared his shoulders in determination. “Have you ever heard of the seven deadly sins?”

Gabby snorted. “Who hasn’t?”

“I assume you don’t realize how serious they are. We’ve spent our lives protecting humanity from the temptations and you laugh at the mention of them?” Grant’s voice was deep and forceful.

He looked as though he would have continued scolding her, but Lucas uttered a soft “Dude” and shook his head. Grant snapped his mouth shut and raised a hand to rub the back of his neck.

Lucas picked up where Andrew left off. “Do ya know much abou’ the history of the sins?”

She’d only ever heard an Irish brogue on TV. His lilting tone was soothing.

He raised an eyebrow.

Oh, he’d asked a question. What was it? Ah yes, history of the sins. Gabby shook her head.

“In the latter half of the fourth century, a monk fled Constantinople to a small monastery in Egypt. There, he penned a list of eight sins which he referred to as the Temptations of Man: Pride, Avarice, Acedia, Gluttony, Impurity, Anger, Sadness, and Vainglory.”

He took a few steps back and leaned against the wall, then continued, “For two centuries, almost all of those not involved with that particular monastery thought the list of Temptations was nothing more than the opinion of one monk, a suggestion of how to lead a good Christian life. Then, sometime around five-ninety A.D., Pope Gregory the First came across a collection of rings tha’ had been housed by this monastic order in utter secrecy. They considered them so powerful only the handler was permitted near them, just one specific monk who devoted his life to ensurin’ no one else came into contact with the Temptations.”

“Listen guys, much as I appreciate the history lesson, I’ve got work in …”she made a show of checking her non-existent watch, “a few hours, so I really hope you’re getting to a point.” This earned her a leveling glare from Grant.

“Pope Gregory had the rings studied and discovered they were in fact imbued with special properties. It seemed they had the power to influence people toward certain … well … temptations,” Andrew replied.

What asylum had these guys broken out of? Did they actually believe this nonsense they were spouting? “Seriously, jewelry that makes people sin? Right.” Gabby moved to her bag and gathered her clothing, making sure to keep the men in her line of sight.

Lucas reached into his shirt and pulled out a chain. He slipped it free of his neck and dangled it from the tips of two fingers. Swinging like a pendulum at the bottom of that chain was a brilliant, red ring.

“What is that?” She already knew the answer.

Lucas took several slow steps in her direction and extended his arm toward her. She clenched her fists and bit down on her tongue to keep from yelling at the men. How dare they sneak into her makeshift home, intruding into her life, practically scaring her to death. Now, they were feeding her this absurd story about sin-possessed rings and crazy monks.

The closer he got, her anger went from muted seething to barely-contained rage. The more she thought about it, the more she wished she was still in possession of her Maglite so she could hit him with it, and maybe again after that. When Lucas was little more than five feet from her, he winked and reversed direction. With each step he took away from her, the violent feelings receded.

“Anger,” Gabby answered her own question.

“Anger,” Andrew affirmed. “Lucas is the steward. I’m the steward of Pride, Grant of Envy.”

Grant’s eyes narrowed at her, while Andrew pulled a matching chain from beneath his own T-shirt and let the attached orange ring fall to rest against his chest. Something about Andrew’s ring was different though. Sure, power emanated from it, too, but she wasn’t experiencing pride. This power was different. It tingled—almost like static electricity.

After slipping the chain back over his head and tucking it under his neckline, Lucas picked up his story from where he’d left off. “Each of the rings has the ability to influence people toward a particular sin. Pope Gregory discovered which ones led to which temptation and labeled them accordingly. As a result, the original list of temptations was amended. It came to be known as the seven deadly sins.”

That was why the list Lucas spouted earlier didn’t sound right.

“The rings didn’t create the sins, of course. They just have the power to promote that particular feeling or action. Each sin has two rings and two custodians.” Lucas was matter-of-fact.

“What, like a janitor?”

He shook his head, but didn’t otherwise acknowledge her interruption. “The stewards are bound to their particular ring, can sense it, can control its influence over others.”

“How come I’ve never heard of these … stewards?”

“We exist in secret. If the world knew about us and the sins, all hell would break loose. We are not equipped to deal with that,” Grant answered in a tone that clearly said she should already know the answer.

“I still don’t understand what any of this has to do with me.” Were they ever going to get to the point?

Lucas took a tentative step toward her. “You’re the other steward of Pride, Gabriella.”

 

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Author Rosie Somers

Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/13/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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House Divided Blog Tour Giveaway and Excerpt!

House Divided (1)

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House Divided

There is a law irrevocably decreed in the state of Alabama that you must choose a team. You’re either an Auburn fan or an Alabama Fan. There is no fence sitting or waffling. It’s one or the other. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t fall in love with someone from the opposing side. They even have a name for it … House Divided.

Ellie Eaton and Brady Jackson were just such a couple, but unfortunately they were separated by more than just their loyalty to a university. Against the odds and against the rules, Ellie and Brady dove right into the forbidden current of friendship and then love. Their sweet, innocent romance was one for the storybooks, but old rules and family prejudices ultimately tore them apart, just as they were each ready to depart to their beloved universities, Ellie to Auburn and Brady to Alabama. But years later, when near tragedy strikes, they’re brought together again and given a second chance at love, this time with help from some very unlikely sources.

House Divided is a sweet romance filled with southern charm, a dash of humor and, for good measure, a pinch of lies and intrigue.

AMAZON

 

 

Praise for the Book

“House Divided was one of those books that made me want to ignore my children, my to-do list, my need for food, and pretty much anything else that would keep me from reading. Jennifer Peel has a real gift for depicting first love, heartbreak, and hope.”

“A tender, soft, story that truly is a gem to read.”

“Ms. Peel has created a story that stands as a tribute to true southern gentility, it’s foibles and strengths. Truly a beautiful read that gives heart and meaning to true devotion. She truly knows how to weave a story that has beauty and true southern charm.”

 

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EXCERPT:

I was so thrilled that Brady was in my home that I didn’t notice he wasn’t acting like himself. I pulled him into our drawing room where the fireplace was lit and the twelve-foot high Christmas tree sparkled in the dimly illuminated room. Under the tree sat my wrapped present for Brady. I retrieved the present and sat in front of the fireplace on the floor. Brady sat next to me, and before I could say a word, he pulled me to him and kissed me like he never had before. It was like a man kissing a woman, not a boy kissing a girl. I could barely breathe when he was done. His breathing was ragged too.

“Well, Merry Christmas,” I said. That was present enough for me.

He smiled that country boy smile I loved so much, but it was then I noticed it didn’t touch his eyes like his smile always had.

“What’s wrong, Brady?”

He pulled on my hair, like he always had. “Ellie …”

“Brady?”

He took a deep breath and looked at me with his baby blues. “We can’t be together anymore,” he quickly blurted out.

I just shook my head. Surely I had heard him wrong, but I knew I hadn’t.

I backed up, and he scooted closer. The tears welled up in my eyes and in his. “Please, Ellie, just listen to me.”

“My name is Ella,” I replied bitingly.

“Ok … Ella. I’m so sorry, but being with you is tearing my family apart, and with my daddy so sick … I … I have to … I have to do this for my family. Can you please understand that?”

I was speechless. I loved him. I had broken my aunt’s rules and heart for him. And he, he was the one who pursued me and who had to shout it to the world that we were together. How could he just end it like that? I didn’t understand. The tears began to flow. He tried to wipe them away, but I wouldn’t let him. I didn’t want him to touch me.

He stood up, but before he left, he looked down at me. “I love you, Miss Ellie.”

How could he? I just stared up at him blankly.

“Don’t worry, Ellie, you don’t have to say it back. I love us enough for the both of us.”

 

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Author Jennifer Peel

I’m a Colorado native who currently calls Alabama home. I’m the mother of three amazing children who have grown up way too fast. I enjoy the mountains, vacations at the beach, date night with my husband, late night talks with my kiddos, touring model homes, and pink bubblegum ice cream.

I grew up on the Western Slope in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I learned to love the beauty of the outdoors, but not camping–unless staying overnight at the Marriott counts. I met my husband while living in Denver and then several years later we traded the beauty and majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains for the art and culture of Chicago, Illinois. My family and I enjoyed living near this world class city, despite the crazy cold winters, but new adventures awaited in Northern Alabama–just six hours away from Orange Beach, Alabama. These three magical places (the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Chicago, and Orange Beach) are the inspired locations used in several of my books.

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Jennifer Peel

 

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$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/12/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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

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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!

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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.

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

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

Link:

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Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

The book will be sent upon the titles release.

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