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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Wings of Arian (Solus #1) by Devri Walls

REVIEW

Being ... somehow ... lost in Urban Fantasy, The Wings of Arian helped me rediscover the beauty and fragrance of the High Fantasy genre.

The eternal and inexhaustible theme of the struggle between good and evil is taken up and transformed by Devri Walls in a story that I'm glad I read it. The fact that the distinction between good and evil is clear and only some grays shadows seem gradually to occur didn’t diminish my enjoyment. The story is well built, the author taking care to provide the necessary details so that I couldn’t say about the future development that she's cheating or abusing of the freedom that the fantasy genre offers or of her role as a writer to bring unexpected and dramatic twists, as other authors of the moment do. This preparation of the steps that we will make together with the characters and given the fact that "history repeats itself", brought for me also a dose of frustration because it is possible that one of my favorite characters and one that will surely attract many supporters, may not have a happy ending.

Even though at first, I found out that The Wings of Arian is the first book of the author, I felt a certain awkwardness of the author by providing some details or repetitions that seem to interrupt the rhythm of the story, very quickly it is definitively replaced by the cursive and attractive writing style that made pages fly as fast as a pegasus. Yes, pegasus in lowercase because we are dealing with a "real" species and not just the famous mythological character. And, since I remembered the fantastic creatures, I should mention that all these: pegasus, dragons, humans, shapeshifters, fairies (term that I use only for you to get an idea of what I speak about because they do not considered themselves fairies and they hate to be called so) dwell together in a "natural" way, so nothing seems exaggerated or inappropriate.

The Wings of Arian gains also by the fact that Devri Walls brings realism through the events and their aftermaths. The sorrow is intertwined wonderful with moments that make you smile, with the ones that attract attention about human (or non-human) nature and with well-managed frays while different types of relationships are successfully exploited and personal old and new stories of the protagonists will determine them to change or break the present rules of the "game".

There is not the case for you to wonder what a fantasy story would be without a dash of romance. The relationship between the main characters will spice and influence the course of events without seize them. However, love is known by more other characters and each of them will add an extra to the general atmosphere created with serious and diverting moments, with feelings of courage, fear, hate and some hopes.

With a pictural, attractive world that is very easy to imagine, even if you are not fans of High/Epic Fantasy, there are all premises for you to find this series a very enjoyable one.

Wings of Arian is free for limited time
About the author:
Devri Walls lives in Kuna Idaho with her husband and two kids. She has worked as a music teacher and currently, a preschool teacher. She majored in theater and her love of a story still drives her today. Thankfully, she has finally found an outlet for all the voices in her head.

Cover Reveal: Last Chance (DarkWorld #3) by T.G. Ayer

Publication Date: September 30th 2014 

Description:

With the loss of her sister still weighing down both her conscience and her heart, Kailin Odel must take on the next part of her mission - find her mother and Anjelo and bring them back from Wrythiin.

Kailin uses her mother's portal key and enters the Wraith world intent on saving the ones she loves, but from the moment she arrives her mission is fraught with peril.
Arriving in Wrythiin, Kai steps right into the middle of a Wraith rebellion. And only to find that though Anjelo is safe, her mother is held captive by a subversive faction of Wraiths once led by the Wraithlord that Kai had killed.

From Wraiths to Shapeshifters, rebel causes to fraying family ties, to inexplicable new powers, Kai must fight her darkest demons while entering the blackest pits of Wrythiin to save her mother. 

About the author:
I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognize that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practice given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each others loves – it works wonderfully…

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.


Cover reveal organized by Book Chatter

The Winter King (Weathermages of Mystral #1) by C.L. Wilson

Description:

Wynter Atrialan, the Winter King, once lived in peace with his southern, Summerlander neighbors, but when Falcon, the prince of Summerlea, stole Wynter’s bride and murdered his young brother, Wynter vows vengeance. Calling upon a dangerous Wintercraig magic called the Ice Heart, he gathers his armies and marches against Summerlea, crushing their armies and spreading icy winter in his wake. 

After three long, bitter years of battle, Summerlea is defeated and Wynter comes to the heart of the kingdom to issue his terms for their surrender. The prince of Summerlea stole Wynter’s bride and slew Wynter’s Heir. He wants the loss replaced. The Ice Heart is consuming him. Wynter hopes holding his own child in his arms will rekindle the warmth of love and melt the Ice Heart before he becomes the monster of Wintercraig legend, the Ice King.

The Summer King has three very precious daughters whom he loves dearly. Wynter will take one of them to wife. She will have one year to provide him with an Heir. If she fails, he will turn her out in the ice and snow of the mountains and claim another princess for his wife. And so it will continue until Wynter has his Heir or the Summer King is out of daughters. All the while, Wynter will enjoy the vengeance of knowing the Summer King will suffer each day without his beloved daughter(s), as Wynter suffers each day without his own beloved brother. 

The plan is perfect—except for one small detail. The Summer King has a fourth daughter. One of which he is not so fond.

Blamed as a child for the death of her beloved mother, Khamsin Coruscate, the forgotten princess of Summerlea, has spent her life hidden from the world like an embarrassing secret. Dressed in cast-off gowns and left to her own devices, with only the determination of her loyal nursemaid to ensure she receives the education befitting an Heir to the Summer Throne, Khamsin haunts the abandoned towers and gardens of Summerlea’s royal palace, close to her beloved late mother’s treasures, and waits for the day her father will recognize her as a Princess of the Rose. But though she dreams of the valor and sacrifices of ancient Summerlea heroes and pines for paternal love that will never come, Khamsin is no sweet, gentle, helpless princess-in-a-tower. She is a fiercely passionate creature with a volatile, rebellious temper that is often as reckless and destructive as the dangerous forces of her weathergift, the power of storms. 

Together will their stormy personalities be able to meld or will their powers destroy not only their love but the whole world?

GUEST POST
The Symbolism of Seasons in Fantasy 


As someone who holds a BA in English (concentration in Creative Writing), I have long studied the tools authors employ in their creative works, including theme, symbolism, imagery, etc. As an author, I employ those tools on a regular basis in my own works. Because of the setting and plot of my current novel, THE WINTER KING, one of the predominant symbolic devices in the story revolves around weather and the seasons. 

Brimming with imagery and movement, the seasons are a powerful symbol of change in any capacity, of emotion, of ideas, of life itself. In fantasy literature, that symbolism can be employed in new and interesting ways simply because fantasy worlds can operate under different rules than our own Earth. Individual seasons, for instance, could last for the earth equivalent of years. You could write a story in which generations pass never knowing summer, for instance, and play with all the social, political, and simple survival challenges associated with global climates that only truly change every few centuries—but then change significantly. The possibilities are endless. 

One of the most famous current uses of seasons as symbols in fantasy literature is George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. In GoT’s Westeros, summer and winter are long seasons, lasting years at a time, with the years of summer referred to as “sweet summer” (times of plenty, of innocence, of warmth). The motto of the family Stark, guardians of the north, is “Winter is coming”, and when winter comes, so too comes hardship, danger, and the threat of the White Walkers (and considering all the hardship faced by the people of Westeros to date, that’s saying something). For all the ferocious battles that have been fought between the people of Westeros thusfar in the series, we haven’t yet seen the true threat from the north. Martin himself says that the symbolism of summer and winter goes deeper, to the heart of pretty much every conflict in the book (and in RL), that there are “always dark periods in each of our lives, and even if things are good now (“summer”), we must always be ready for a dark period when events turn against us (“winter”).” On a side note, I will be very interested to see if, when winter does truly come (and go), if the Stark family will find its strength reborn. (Fingers crossed.) 

In his book, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis’s titular witch has cast the world of Narnia into an endless frozen winter where “Christmas never comes”. Here, the symbolism of winter is more religious in nature, alluding to the frozen heart of those who have not accepted the love of God into their heart. The coming of the lion Aslan (the Christ figure of the book) thaws the witch’s winter and ultimately restores summer to Narnia. 

In my novel, The Winter King, the contrast of the seasons (in particular summer and winter) play a huge role. The two main kingdoms of the story are Wintercraig (a wild, cold, icy land in the north) and Summerlea (full of fertile, rolling fields, abundance, and self-indulgences). I’ve also actually embodied the seasons in characters in the books, most notably Wynter (the hard, ruthless, king from the north), and the Seasons, the heroine Khamsin’s famous three sisters, Spring, Summer, and Autumn. Khamsin isn’t a Season, but she is definitely a powerhouse and a force for change, as evidenced by her weathergift, the power of storms. 

In the story, contrary to the belief of the Summerlanders who have grown overly accustomed to an easy life, winter itself isn’t a dangerous threat. The folk of Wintercraig appreciate the snow and ice of their country for all the beauty and abundance it breeds in the spring. They respect the harshness of their land: it makes them stronger, binds them more closely because they must rely upon one another to survive. The real threat in Wintercraig isn’t winter (or even Wynter). The real threat is the return of Rorjak the Ice King (a dread god who wishes to cast the world into endless winter). King Wynter, who drank the Ice Heart—Rorjak’s immortal essence—to avenge his brother’s death, is slowly freezing from the inside out. He is losing his humanity, losing the ability to feel compassion or love, and, in fact, losing his own soul. Only love has the power to thaw Wynter’s increasingly icy heart and save the world from the threat of Rorjak’s return. 

Question: What are some of your favorite stories where seasons play a significant part?

About the author:
C. L. WILSON grew up camping and waterskiing across America, from Cherry Creek reservoir in Denver, CO, to Lake Gaston on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, to Georgia’s Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona. When she wasn’t waterskiing and camping on family vacations, you could usually find her with a book in one hand and a sketch pad in the other—either reading, writing stories, or drawing. Sometime around the ninth grade, she decided she was better at drawing her pictures with words than paints and charcoals, and she set aside her sketchpad to focus entirely on writing. 

Wilson is active in Tampa Area Romance Authors (TARA), her local chapter of Romance Writers of America. When not engaged in writerly pursuits, she enjoys golfing, swimming, reading, playing video games with her children, and spending time with her friends and family. She is also an avid collector (her husband says pack rat!), and she’s the proud owner of an extensive collection of Dept. 56 Dickens and North Pole villages, unicorns, Lladro figurines, and mint condition comic books. 

Wilson currently resides with her husband, their three wonderful children, and their little black cat, Oreo, in a secluded ranch community less than thirty miles away from the crystalline waters and sugar-sand beaches of Anna Maria Island and Siesta Key on Florida’s gulf coast. 


Giveaway: Echoes of Memories (Nepherium Series #2) by Samantha LaFantasie

Description:

Traitor. Liar. That’s what they call me. No one believes me. Not even my team. I know it’s up to me to get the answers. To stop the corruption and unlock my memories. I’ll do anything to get them back. Even if my hands will be covered in blood.

Elsa's every move is scrutinized. She’s labeled a traitor by those she sought for protection, and kept from her family and team. Regaining memories has been a slow process. Too slow for the Council's liking, taking matters into their own hands.

The new captain has history with Elsa and operates with a hidden agenda. Even Elsa’s team reacts differently toward her. If only she could unlock her memories. Everything is playing right into Alexander's hand, even amassing an army with unconventional methods, designed to annihilate the Nepherium—starting with Noah. Elsa will do anything to stop Alexander ... even kill.

The cast of characters that we met along the way are both wonderfully heartening and deceptively evil. - Goodreads

There’s something that lies within my memory. Hidden in the dark. Something that can kill me and those that I love. But I was in an accident, covered in mystery and deception. And my memory…was lost. There are those who want me to remember. I don’t trust them. And those I do trust…are fighting for me to forget.

Elsabetha Ellery wants to get her memory back, even if it kills her.

After waking up in a hospital with no memory, Elsabetha quickly learns those who claim to be her friend are anything but. And those who are her true friends keep themselves unseen.

Stuck with piecing together her broken memories alone, Elsa struggles with having faith in those she trusts and heeding the warnings of the dangers in recovering her memory. Ignoring them, she faces heavy consequences. Ones she doesn’t see until it’s too late, and a life is lost.

About the author:
A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her husband and three kids. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession, even though she often finds herself arguing with her characters through much of the process. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.

Among her writing credentials, a member of the Kansas Writer’s Association and has authored works such as Heart Song (her debut novel) and Made to Forget.

Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.

Want more from Samantha? Keep up with her at any of her digital hangouts.


Excerpt and Giveaway: Forever Sheltered (The Forever Series #3) by Deanna Roy

Description:

Tina would rather sew up her girl parts with dental floss than go on a second date with a man. She’s been dumped enough to know not to get attached.

But when Dr. Darion Marks comes into her art therapy room to ask a favor for a special patient, Tina recognizes the haunted look he buries beneath his stoic professionalism. So rather than be forced to ditch the handsome doctor after a single night, she decides not to date him at all.

So how exactly DO they end up half-naked in Surgical Suite B?

Dr. Darion has a lot to hide. His baby sister is the only family he has left, and he’s not leaving her treatment to some incompetent hack.

But now he’s breaking every hospital rule imaginable. He lied about his sister so he can manage her care, and now he’s banging the art therapy teacher between patient rounds like a fraternity boy at a keg party.

Nobody believes this can end well, not Tina’s friend Corabelle, who is overcoming a tragic history much like Tina’s, or even pink-haired Jenny, who thinks sex with strangers is good for your metabolism.

But Dr. Darion and Tina have one thing going for them – a fierce passion for each other that just might obliterate all their doubts, and solve all their problems.

Forever Sheltered includes many favorite characters from Forever Innocent and Forever Loved, as well as the much-anticipated wedding of Gavin and Corabelle.

It is a standalone HEA that does not require reading any other parts of the Forever series.

EXCERPT



“Now you tell me about your ultimate dream. Do you still see yourself as a famous artist living out of a penthouse in Paris? Or is it Rome now?”

Carter couldn’t take his eyes from Toni’s. He wished she could hear his thoughts, know his feelings. “My dreams aren’t too different from yours. I’d love to settle down with a wife, be a dad, have kids.” He gazed into her eyes.

Figure it out!

“Hey, here’s an idea,” Toni said with a laugh. “In another ten years if we’re both single, let’s get married. What do you say?” She put out her hand as if to seal the deal, but Carter just laughed sardonically. Great. She was making a mockery of the one thing he hoped for.

She lowered her hand. “What, am I that repulsive?”

“Of course not.” Carter’s mind was spinning. What could he say that was both true and hid the truth at the same time? “I can’t see either of us marrying without—‌” He cut off, but Toni smiled, seeming to know what he meant.

“Without what, romance? Falling madly in love? All that stuff is highly overrated. Trust me, I’ve been there.” She shook her head derisively.

All that stuff was hard to deal with when the object of your feelings didn’t return them. He’d been there. “Do the math, Toni. In ten years, you’ll be thirty-seven. You may not be able to get in two or three kids.”

“Then I’ll settle for one.” She punched his shoulder. “We could even adopt kids to avoid the whole ‘we’re not in love’ issue.”

“Oh, right,” he said, rolling his eyes.

She raised her eyebrows provocatively. “Fine. We can be married… with benefits.” She laughed.

His face went hot; he had to turn around so she wouldn’t see his reaction. No way did he want her guessing how much he wanted to hold her, wake up beside her — ‌make children together.

He leaned against the car and laughed along. With any luck, it sounded natural. Instead of shaking on the deal or giving her a direct answer, he opened her car door so she could get in. And so he could escape.

She sat down and put her purse on the passenger seat. “Thanks for inviting me.”

“You bet. Talk to you later.”

Carter watched her drive off. When she waved, he lifted one hand and did the same.

You’re killing me, Toni.



About the author:
Deanna Roy is a passionate advocate for women who have lost babies. She founded PregnancyLoss.Info in 1998 and runs many online and in-person support groups. She is the author of several two-hankie reads, including Forever Innocent, Stella & Dane, and Baby Dust.

Happy New Release! Captured Rapture (Spaceport #22; Mercy #3) by Lexxie Couper

Description: 18+

Galactic Union Enforcer Raina Mynn never knew what hit her. One minute she’s busting bad guys across the galaxy with the help of her scary and scarily reliable partner Fraz, the next she’s being attacked by an insane man who thinks he’s part of an extinct species. Attacked in the best way, mind you. Attacked by his hands and mouth and more southerly body parts. Torr is as fascinating as he is infuriating. He won’t stop until Raina is mated…sated…

Captured.

But her gorgeous hunk of nutjob isn’t what he appears to be. And much to her surprise—neither is Raina.

Do yourself a favor and buy this book. It is so fun, sexy, and strikingly poignant in places. It stays with you. - Goodreads

This story has it all. Mystery, action, destiny, sex, drugs and dragons! This was a fun, erotic story. Goodreads

EXCERPT - Chapter 1

I never knew what hit me. One moment I’m skimming over the surface of Mercy’s beta moon, its dull red ground a blurred carpet below me, its dry, cold air filling my lungs…

The next I’m flat on my back, wrists pinned to the powdery grit, legs spread, with a man roughly six-foot-seven pressing down on me. [...] with a brutal force that should have pissed me off but instead made my pulse leap and my mouth turn dry.

I stared up at whoever the fuck held me down, glaring into eyes the color of an angry Earth sky. A lone female on a jet cycle probably looked like an easy target, but for fuck’s sake, I wore the uniform of a Galactic Union Enforcer. What type of idiot, no matter how desperate to claim a woman, jumped a cop? Especially one flying across a moon at almost twice the safe propulsion speed with an Aglaian disruptor on her right hip?

“This kind,” the hulking man who felt like granite murmured, jerking my wrists above my head. He locked them in one large fist and yanked my disruptor from its thigh harness before I could blink.

Or digest the fact he’d answered a question I hadn’t asked aloud.

About the author:
Lexxie Couper started writing when she was six and hasn’t stopped since. She’s not a deviant, but she does have a deviant’s imagination and a desire to entertain readers with her words. Add the two together and you get erotic romances that can make you laugh, cry, shake with fear or tremble with desire. Sometimes all at once.

When she’s not submerged in the worlds she creates, Lexxie’s life revolves around her family, a husband who thinks she’s insane, an indoor cat who likes to stalk shadows, and her daughters, who both utterly captured her heart and changed her life forever.

Having no idea how old she really is, Lexxie decided to go with 27 and has been that age for quite some time now. It’s the best of both worlds – old enough to act mature, young enough to be silly.

Lexxie lives by two simple rules – measure your success not by how much money you have, but by how often you laugh, and always try everything at least once. As a consequence, she’s laughed her way through many an eyebrow raising adventure.

Cover Reveal, Excerpt and Giveaway: Without You Here by Carter Ashby

Release Date: September 9th, 2014 

Description:

After fighting with her boyfriend, Ettie’s only goal is to drown her sorrows in some Jack Daniels. But when she walks into a country tavern, her attention is immediately redirected to the sexy, older man at the bar. He looks lonely, and sad, and absolutely mouth-watering. Ettie can’t wait to put a smile on his face.

For the first time in two years, Wyatt finds himself jolted out of his grief—and by a spunky, vivacious young woman who somehow sees right into his soul. What follows is a passionate weekend full of more life, laughter, and pure joy than he experienced in twenty years of marriage. 

Wyatt thought one weekend was all he had to give, yet in the days that follow, he can’t help dreaming up a future with Ettie. And then a chance meeting shatters his hopes, leaving him more lost than ever. Now Ettie must decide whether to walk away, or to fight for the love she knows they both deserve. 

Without You Here is the sexy, heartwarming story of overcoming grief, embracing love, and learning to live in the moment.

EXCERPT


He didn't look up at me when he spoke. He was sopping up hollandaise sauce with a biscuit. "We should do this again, Ettie. Next weekend. How about it?"

My heart was suddenly thundering in my ears. I watched him as he pointedly focused on cleaning his plate. "Are you asking me to be your girlfriend?" I asked.

He finally looked up. Those blue eyes were hypnotic. And heartbreaking. "I'm asking you to have another fun weekend with me. That's what I'm asking."

My eyes fluttered as they started to sting. "Do you need to get to know me better before asking me to be your girlfriend?"

His jaw muscles tensed. "Ettie, I..."

"Look, Wyatt. I have had just the absolute best time of my life with you this weekend. I have all the information I need to know I want to be in a relationship with you."

He snorted and leaned back in his chair. "You don't know shit about me, Ettie. This was fun. But it was superficial and you know it."

My chest constricted. I had to take a moment to swallow back the pain. "It wasn't superficial. I'm sorry it didn't mean as much to you as it did to me..."

"It meant plenty and that's why I want to see you again. So let's do it, Ettie. Next weekend. We'll meet at the bar Friday and maybe we could road trip down to Gulf Shores or something. Or we could go zip-lining up at Cave City. All kinds of fun shit we could do together. That's what I want."

"I want to go home with you."

He looked away and shook his head in frustration.


About the author:

Carter Ashby was born and raised in Missouri. She is wife to a supportive, hard-working geek; homeschooling mother to three, future social miscreants; and caregiver to a high-strung, epileptic chihuahua and a severely accident-prone hound dog. Carter writes country romances and reads anything that sounds interesting.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cover Reveal: Guardian by Courtney Cole

Description:

Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real. 
My name is Whitney Lane. I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy. 

I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there. 

Until one day, there was. 
Our world isn’t what we think. There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things. 
Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are. 

They’re very real, and they’re terrifying. 
I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t. I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true. 
There’s only one thing I know for sure. 
Nothing is what it seems.
About the author:
Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

Music Time

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Perfect Boyfriend (Boyfriend #2) by R.S. Novelle

Description:

The Perfect Boyfriend picks up right where we left Reagan and Ian in The Boyfriend List.

As their friendship blossoms quickly into a steamy romance, Reagan and Ian have to learn to navigate their shifting relationship…and everything that entails. But their newfound bliss doesn’t come without a few unexpected challenges.

In the midst of realizing just how sweet the romance can be between them, and all the benefits of their new dynamic, Reagan is informed that her ideal situation has changed. Not only will she need to begin taking on more classes to speed up her graduation date, but she’ll also have to start looking for a job to supplement her fading income. Meanwhile, Ian has chosen to pull out of school once his father is diagnosed with a terminal illness in order to help manage the family business and spend time with him while he still can. But he wrestles with the guilt of leaving Reagan behind, and the pressure of his new responsibilities.

As the two meet their new challenges head-on, they’ll be forced to discover whether or not they’re as compatible as lovers as they were as friends. With their focus pulled in so many directions, will they have what it takes to keep a long distance relationship alive? Can Ian prove that he’s still be the perfect boyfriend, or will they fold to statistics under the growing tensions of their lives? Throw in some manipulative exes, a new boss with an inflated ego, and a co-worker from hell and the two have a recipe for either a fairy tale ending, or a complete disaster.

The Perfect Boyfriend is a New Adult Romance about trust, love, and discovering the true depths of personal strength.

[I] think that love can be found anywhere, even in someone who has been your best friend for years. I hope that readers will walk away satisfied with the story, thinking it was a sweet continuation of the first book. It isn’t mean to be over the top dramatic, or erotic or anything like that. Just a sweet, realistic love story with a positive happy ending.

The Boyfriend List follows twenty-year-old Reagan in her quest for the perfect relationship after a somewhat tragic spring break breakup leaves her disillusioned about love... again.

Reagan had always prided herself on making levelheaded, practical, analytical decisions about everything. Everything, that is, except where guys are concerned. Which was proven to her, once again, when her “boyfriend” opts to take another girl on their oh-so-romantic trip to his lake house. In order to prevent future heartbreak, she creates a checklist of all the qualities she wants in a man, and vows not to give her heart away again until she can determine if they fit every last criteria. 

After scouring campus with her two best friends in her tricky journey, her detective work returns a pile of unworthy rejects, and it seems as though her choices are narrowed down to only two options: the hot stranger who’s inspired her new project, and her best guy friend Ian, who she’s always kept at bay due to his perceived playboy reputation. 

Reagan gets more than she bargained for with her new set of rules, however, and is surprised to find that love, and the perfect boyfriend, may have been within reach the entire time. But will Ian’s reputation ruin his chances to prove his worth? And can Reagan let go of her insecurities long enough to even give him a chance? 

The Boyfriend List is a light, New Adult romance about friendship, trust, and learning to let go in order to embrace what real love can offer.

EXCERPT



Reagan’s time with Ian was never long enough. Not really. Not when she was still used to having him in her life every day – man she’d really taken that for granted, hadn’t she? But her moments with him now were sweeter, more complete. And the remainder of the weekend had passed without any other dramatic events. It would hold her over until the next time they could steal some time together. At least, she hoped it would.
But now it was over. And she was back to her regular schedule. Except this week was a little different. This week she’d throw her new internship into the mix and learn just how good of a juggler she could be – her class schedule, new assignments, friendships, her relationship, the internship and anything else that the universe cared to throw at her. It was no joke, that was for sure, and Reagan was beginning to feel all of the pressures that the outside world held for her once she graduated. But she could manage it, she remind herself as she changed clothes for her new role. She didn’t have any other choice but to make it all work somehow.
After having picked up a few new outfits to compliment her new important role – using some of the money she’d kept from the club, of course - Petra had helped her coordinate the rest of her wardrobe to expand her options. And the result was at least a couple weeks worth of choices that had left her feeling confident, appropriate, and ready to impress. Every little detail counted, and her poise when she stepped through the large glass doors that first day spoke volumes toward her ambitions. Reagan had set herself up to succeed in every possible way.
Having no real instruction with which to work from on how to approach her first day, she strode up to the receptionist, who this time greeted her with a friendly smile. Success already, she thought to herself, and her smile widened that much more. “Welcome back Reagan.” The woman began. “You’re all going to be starting in the conference room today. Around that corner and through the second door.”
“All?” Reagan had known she wasn’t the only intern, but the phrase made it seem like there was an army in attendance, and the thought sent a little shiver of nerves up her spine.
“There’s three of you. You have a quick orientation together, then it’s all smooth sailing from there.”
Reagan nodded as she contemplated this answer. Nothing was ever exactly smooth sailing when you threw a bunch of competitive girls together and told them to battle it out to impress the new boss. But one could always hope for the best...
The heels she’d chosen tapped lightly as she clipped down the slick hall and toward the door marked, Conference, #2. She noticed her hand trembling as she lifted it to turn the handle. Taking a deep breath, she tried to let go of all her anxious energy – just be yourself, she lectured – then she forced a huge smile over her face.
But when she stepped through the door, her face immediately fell. All the calm composure she’d just summoned drained from her body and left her face as white as the stark walls. The shaking returned, only it wasn’t from nerves now. Her body was riddled with anger, contempt and yes, even a little humor as she considered the universe’s latest irony.
Because the first person to turn around when she stepped into the room was Isabella. The Isabella. The Isabella who had stolen her boyfriend. Who had tried to seduce Ian. And had otherwise made her existence miserable. The Isabella who had ruined spring break, nearly ruined Petra’s party, and had caused Reagan to question almost everything she knew about people. That Isabella was nearly three feet away from her, dressed in a fitted color-block dress she’d probably picked up at Bebe just to show off her flawless figure. Apparently, whatever dislike Reagan had for her was a mutual feeling, since she was smirking in recognition as she gave Reagan a long, lingering, stare meant to intimidate and demean without saying a single word.
 “You’ve got to be kidding me.” The words slipped from Reagan’s lips before she could stop them, and she found herself regretting the thought the moment she’d heard it.



The Boyfriend List - is on sale during the blitz for only 99c 
About the author:
Renee’ Novelle is Preceded by a long line of published family members, including Pulitzer Prize nominated author and Poet Laureate of Kentucky Jesse Stuart.

As a child, Novelle was already gaining recognition for several of her works, and in her formative years, she continued this trend by earning local awards for her short stories and poems. 

Inspired to cultivate her talent, Novelle pursued freelance journalism and has found placement of 75 of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her savvy, effective writing style to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention. 

In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. She writes psychological and paranormal thrillers, as well as contemporary fiction and new adult fiction. For a complete schedule of upcoming releases, please visit www.RSNovelle.com

Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, Summa Cum Laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you're meant to be.


Stray by Natasha Stories

Description: 18+

Erin Timms took a new job as a veterinarian in Sunshine, Colorado for two important reasons: to get away from her ex, and to give herself a chance at a new life. But when devastating news of her ex follows her there, she begins to think she has made a terrible mistake.

Tall, stunning-looking Jon Miles had only one goal: to save the mountain canyon where Sunshine is located from businessmen who want to exploit it. But how can he do that when he is already an outcast?

There was nothing to suggest they’d ever meet, much less strike a spark of red-hot romance. Except that Erin can never turn away a stray. . .

I ended up enjoying "Stray" more than I thought I would. Not only did I love the story, I ended up loving both Erin and Jon, two well-developed characters. All throughout I couldn't help but root for them both just hoping they would have their HEA. What really stood out about the characters was how realistic they came across. - Goodreads
About the author:
Natasha is the author of romance and erotic romance novels and occasionally short stories. She loves reading as well as writing, and some of my favourite novels are books like Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James, the Fade series by Kate Dawes, as well as anything by Nikki Sex. When she's not reading or writing, Natasha can be found playing with her two puppies and having a glass of red.

Excerpt and Giveaway: Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4) by Christine Amsden

Cover Artist: Ural Akyutz

Description: 

Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? 

Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

EXCERPT



“I–” My cell phone rang, saving me the challenge of coming up with a plausible lie. I answered without checking the caller ID. “Hello?”

“Cassie, dear, how are you and my grandson getting along?” It was Abigail. I had the volume turned up loud enough that Evan could hear. His eyes widened, and he stepped closer. Too close, but I pretended the proximity didn’t affect me in the slightest.

“Abigail, where are you? What are you doing?”

“You know the answer to that question, Cassie. And as much as I’d love to give you and Evan a chance to work through more of your issues, I find I have a selfish last request.”

My heart squeezed. “What?”

“I don’t want to die alone.” The words were a bare whisper, but both Evan and I heard.

“Where are you?”

“At the overlook around back. Hurry.” The call ended.

“What did she mean?” Evan asked. “What do you know?”

I was already on my way out the front door, Evan right on my heals. To simplify matters, and to get to her as soon as possible, I decided to give him as much of the truth as I could. “She says someone has to die, and if it’s not her, then it’s going to be your parents.”

“What? When did she say that?”

“In snatches for a week, but most of it earlier tonight, right before I came over.” I was out the door now, heading around back up the paved path wide enough for Abigail’s wheelchair to navigate.

To my immense relief, Evan didn’t question me further. He followed me for a few paces, then rushed ahead, moving too quickly for me to keep up even when I broke into a run.

She had her chair parked at the top of the hill, overlooking the lake below and a spectacular sunset above. Either I had never seen colors so vibrant before, or I had never paid proper attention. It was as if the heavens were saying farewell.

My father was nowhere in sight. I had half expected to see him there, and managed a sigh of relief when I didn’t. It was short lived, though.

Evan knelt in front of his grandmother, holding her right hand in his. When I arrived, I sank to the paved earth at her other side, taking her left hand in mine. The skin was papery thin and so frail I feared it would flake away.

“Thank you.” She didn’t look at either one of us, and her voice was whisper-thin.

“You don’t have to die,” Evan said. “There has to be another way out. How are you going to die?”

“I-I don’t know. I can’t see past my own death. It’s made things... difficult these past few months.”

“Then how do you know you’re doing the right thing?” I asked. Demanded might be a better word. “How do you know your death will prevent anything?”

“I didn’t have long to live anyway. My heart is weak, and.... I don’t want to talk about it. Please. I don’t have long. Talk to me about something nice.” There was a hitch in her voice that told me no matter how she had prepared for this moment, she wasn’t ready to die. That realization, more than anything else, brought the first tears to my eyes.

“Don’t cry for me. I’ll be all right. My husband’s been gone these many years now, and I’ve been alone.”

I felt Evan’s free hand take mine, and I didn’t even think about yanking it away. For once, his touch didn’t feel anything except comforting. He needed it. I needed it. And so it was.

“Did you like my invitations?” Abigail asked.

“Why did you send them?” Evan asked.

“I don’t suppose you two would consider it a dying woman’s last request?” she asked.

“Nice try,” I said.

Evan didn’t say anything, although I became more aware of his hand holding mine.

“Seriously,” Abigail said, “will you at least talk to one another? Really talk?”

I closed my eyes, swallowed hard, and nodded. The request was at least as manipulative as the first because she knew I couldn’t deny this one. It was too reasonable.

“Good.” She squeezed my hand.

That’s when her house exploded.





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About the author:
Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.



Distraction (Distraction #1) by Angela McPherson

Description: 18+

Aside from the normal changes in her life, college junior, Elle Richards, can always count on her friendship with Tristan. The longing for him to love her back is something she keeps well hidden, even from herself. No matter how many miles apart they are, regular phone calls and texts keep them close…until the day everything changes.

Wide Receiver Tristan Daniels has a good thing going. Much to his, and every single woman’s surprise, he’s in a committed relationship. The possibility of going pro looks more than promising…until his spur of the moment transfer to a rival college is approved. Now, Tristan will be forced to be in the presence of the woman he’s secretly loved for as long as he can remember. Elle.

Being away from one another was enough to keep Tristan and Elle distracted, but angst, confusion, and troubled secrets launches them into a breathless, heart pumping story you won’t want to miss!

About the author:
Born and currently residing in Midland, Texas, Angela shuffles three busy children (not including her husband) all over the place. She works in a busy pediatric doctor's office as a nurse during the day, and writes at night. She is addicted to coffee——who isn’t? And firmly believes chocolate can fix all——especially chocolate ice cream. She laughs a lot, often at herself and is willing to try anything once (she thinks). When Angela isn’t rushing kids around, working or writing, she’s reading. Other than life experience, Angela turns to a wide variety of music to help spark her creative juices. She loves to dance and sing, though her kids often beg her not to. 


Excerpt and Giveaway: Found in Us (Lost #2) by Layla Hagen

Published: July 24th, 2014

Description: 18+

This can be read as a STANDALONE. The second book in the Lost series tells Jessica and Parker's story. 

All Jessica wants—as a college graduate — is to be a good girl. She landed the job of her dreams at a museum and is trying to eliminate temptations. No more short skirts (when she can help it). No wild parties. And no men.

She particularly excels at that last thing. . .

Until her path crosses Parker’s. Again. Jessica remembers the last time their paths crossed very well. She was left with a seriously bruised ego. She knows it would be best to avoid him altogether. But the charming Brit makes it hard for her to elude his electrifying pull. He is as irresistible as he is captivating.
And enigmatic. 

Because underneath the sleek Armani suit and the sweet British accent that makes her crave his touch, Parker isn’t the perfect gentleman everyone thinks he is.
He’s exactly what Jessica doesn’t want, but desperately needs.
A bad, bad boy.

EXCERPT



I decide to use the dress as an excuse to leave early. To my dismay, Parker is leaning against the wall farther down the corridor, one or two turns away from the entrance to the bar. His eyes rest on the stain on my dress for a few seconds and my cheeks flare up instantly. I'm sure he can see the redness in them even in the dim light.

"I have to go," I say. "My dress is soaked."

"I'll drive you home," he says, walking toward me.

"No, you just got here. I'm sure you and Dani have lots to talk about." I actually take a step back, only to hit the wall behind me.

"I'd just drop you off and return. Are you afraid of being alone with me, Jessica?"

"No . . . it's just not necessary. I can take a cab."

"What are you afraid of?" he insists, stepping right in front of me. "That I'll try to seduce you and take you to bed? Do I really strike you like that kind of guy?"

Every inch of my body commands me to say yes. In my experience, men who don't look even half as godlike as he does are after one thing only. But his humiliating rejection all those months ago proves he isn't one of them. And nothing I've seen or heard about him indicated he’s a womanizer. But being so close to him makes it impossible to think rationally.

I push him away, but with one swing he grabs both my hands and pins them against the wall above me. His lips are inches away from mine, the fingers of his free hand tracing the contour of my lips, leaving a trail of fire behind them. He's so close to me that I can feel every single hot breath against my lips. He locks eyes with me, and it's the sight of his blue eyes boring into mine—more than his proximity and his touch—that sets me on fire, causing an almost unbearable pressure between my thighs.

He trails his fingers from my lips down to my chin and then slowly over my neck. I bite my lip when he presses gently with his thumb on the hollow of my neck, then proceeds with his torture farther down. His fingers peruse the hem of my neckline, at the exact point where the soaked fabric of the dress meets my skin, then slip under the fabric. Just a fraction of an inch.

Not enough to actually touch my breast.

But more than enough to send me over the edge.

"Damn you, Parker, kiss me," I whisper. He doesn't answer, the corner of his lips lifting in a delicious smile as he removes his hand from my neckline, letting it fall by his side. His eyes never leave mine. I wait, sucking in my breath, for him to lean forward and kiss me. After what feels like hours, he finally leans forward and kisses me.



On my goddamn forehead.
Lost (Lost #0.5) is free at the moment
Found in Us is $0.99 for a limited time for release
About the author:
My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.

I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough.


Cover Reveal organized by Xpresso Book Tours