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.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Embrace Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway In Bloom and Full Measures

Published: February 10th, 2014


My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Free.
I left for LA with everything I owned piled into my old Volkswagen and dreams of becoming a costume designer. Little did I know I’d wind up designing for a lingerie company—yeah, not sure how I landed this gig—and taken under the wing of two young Hollywood insiders. The fashion shows and parties were great, but life really got exciting when the seriously hottest lead singer of my favorite band started to fall for me. 
How does someone like me, an ordinary girl from Pittsburgh, wind up in the arms of the world’s sexiest rock star—surrounded by celebrities, fashion, and music—and not be eaten alive? Berkeley is everything I've ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, but the paparazzi, the tabloids, the rumors, it's all getting a bit too crazy. My life has become every girl’s dream come true, if only I don’t blink and lose it all…

Published: February 10th, 2014


Three knocks can change everything…

"She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead."

Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart. 

Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.

Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.


The movie plays on and the pizza arrives, but I can’t eat. My jaw is locked. As everyone helps themselves and chats between scenes, I steal the occasional peek at Berkeley. He is always preoccupied. It is as though our kitchen conversation never happened, like I don’t exist. Perfect. Maybe it didn’t happen. Could I have slipped into an alternate reality? I must have. I’ll have to consult Mom on the possibilities.

As the final credits roll, Kim leaps up from her chair. She stumbles, seeming intoxicated as she announces, “Enough watching TV. Let’s play Celebrity!”

My heart catches in my throat. Celebrity is a charade-like game where everyone submits celebrity names into a drawing and then acts them out for their teammates. We used to play all the time in college so I’m familiar with the rules, but as far as I’m concerned playing Celebrity with actual celebrities is my worst nightmare. I picture having to act out “Berkeley Dalton” and clam up in fear. “Blair.” I moan, squeezing her arm. “Please, my night has been weird enough—we need to go.” She doesn’t know what I’m talking about, but I hope she will sense my urgency.

With a sigh she leans toward Mark. “We actually have to go—we both have big days tomorrow.”

I knew I could count on her.

In a loud voice, Mark responds, “Of course, don’t worry about it. I’m glad you could make it,” and I can’t help but notice he looks to Berkeley for confirmation, like he’s asking permission for us to be dismissed. Berkeley’s eyes connect with Mark’s, and then for the first time since we spoke in the kitchen, he looks at me.

I develop a fascination with the rug.

“Yeah, I have a big pitch meeting in the morning,” Blair explains, looking at me sideways. I can tell she doesn’t want to leave, but whatever. I blame her for putting me in this situation, and now she has to get me out of it.

We rise to leave, and Blair begins her good-byes. She’s taking her time as I uncomfortably stand by. Remembering seeing a restroom near the front door, I decide it might make sense to visit it. With a whisper to Blair that I’ll meet her there, I make a grand gesture to the room, saying a bulk “good-bye” and “nice meeting you” to everyone as I exit.

I make it to the bathroom without incident, and realizing I don’t need to go, I fidget for a few minutes, fixing my hair and washing my hands. The bathroom’s decor is sparse and it seems unused. Without much to look at time passes slowly, and hoping I’ve been inside long enough for Blair to be ready to go, I head back out into the hallway. As I close the bathroom door behind me, I turn and am startled to see Berkeley leaning in the hallway’s doorframe.

My stomach drops, and I don’t think before I blurt, “We have to stop meeting like this.”

He laughs, and a little thrill shoots through me. I just made Berkeley Dalton laugh.

Taking me in, he steps forward. “Well, I don’t know where the Vicente is,” he says. “And maybe I was too presumptuous before—I’ll only come over if you want me to.”

I feel those eyes on me, and I struggle to hold it together. If I want him to? Does he think I have a choice? For a second I imagine saying no, but it’s not in me. It’s my nature to try to make him feel comfortable even when I’m so uncomfortable. “Of course you should come over if you want to. It’ll be fun,” I lie. If by fun you mean us staring at each other in painful silence while we both wonder why the heck you came over in the first place and maybe alternate between electrocution and water boarding. Sounds great.

“Okay, let me give you my number, then. Text me your address, and then I’ll have your number, too,” he says.

“Sure,” I say. Right. As I fumble for my phone and add a new contact, Blair comes around the corner and halts upon seeing us.

I punch in our address. “I’m texting you right now,” I say. “Friday at eight?” I confirm, looking up at him.

“See you then,” he says with a half smile before turning down the hall.

Blair, having regained her wits, is headed toward us.

I stand still, nodding after him as he retreats, my mind a jumble as Blair reaches me. She stares, eyes wide.

With a glare, I drag her out the front door. We are silent for the walk back up Berkeley’s driveway in an unspoken pact that explanations can wait until we are sure there are no excess ears to hear them. The cool air sobers us as we struggle to open the gate. My head is spinning, and I can’t think, so I leave it to Blair to produce the correct equation that will facilitate our escape. She prevails, and as soon as we are safely in the car, she pounces.

“What was that about?”

“Apparently it’s impossible for me to be in a building with Berkeley Dalton and not end up alone with him,” I answer. “That was the worst! My jaw hurts so bad from not being able to relax for the last few hours. My entire body is in rigor mortis.”

She doesn’t take pity. “Aside from that. Friday at eight?”

“He wants to come to dinner.”

“Berkeley Dalton is coming to the Vicente?”

“Yes.” I briefly recount the guacamole-making episode as Blair hangs on my every word.

“He remembered you from the fashion show and he’s coming down from the Hills to the Vicente. Unbelievable.”

About the authors:
Katie Delahanty is a fashion designer turned novelist. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Professional Designation in Fashion Design from FIDM. It never occurred to her that she was a writer until an economic-crisis-induced career shift from lingerie designer to e-commerce webmistress led her to start the company blog. Not being an expert in lingerie, she decided to write the blog as a fictional serial starring a girl named Olivia Bloom who worked for the lingerie line. And that’s when Katie fell in love with storytelling. She hasn’t looked back since. Katie lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She's a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores.

When she's not writing, she's tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years, and they're currently stationed in Upstate NY with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog, but she would always rather be home in Colorado.

Authors' US/INT Giveaway
$75 gift certificate to www.InBloomIntimates.com
$25 Amazon gift card
The Remainers Formal Fridays CD
Pink Champagne Cupcake Bath Bomb from www.soapybliss.com
Peach & Coconut Milk Push Up Lotion Pop from www.soapybliss.com
Berry Buttercream Soy Candle from www.JaquaBathandBody.com
Sees milk chocolate foil hearts
Autographed copies of STARSTRUCK and LOVE ME from author Rachel Shukert
Plus, $25 international gift certificate to either Amazon or B&N
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Karen H said...

What a wonderful prize package. Thanks for the giveaway.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for hosting us on the blog today!

KatieDelahanty said...

Thanks for having us! :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for the post and the giveaway, it looks amazing!

Fayth97 said...

Soooo...I have a question on the leave a blog post comment entry . You ask us to "leave a comment on any of our tour dates for an automatic entry," but I don't see any tour dates for this particular blog post. Are you referring to THIS particular blog post, or any of the other blog posts that you have going on? ie... Ungifted (Supernaturals #2) by Kelly Oram Thanks for your help!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway! :D

collenga said...

Sounds like some great books! Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the giveaway!