Wednesday, November 22, 2017

#Excerpt: MARRYING AN ALIEN POP STAR by Kendra L Saunders


Marrying an Alien Pop Star
Kendra L. Saunders
(Alien Pop Star #3)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: November 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance, Science Fiction

Daisy and her alien fiancé Griffin are planning a big wedding, but not just any big wedding – the biggest wedding the universe has ever seen. Daisy has been settling into life on Griffin’s home world of Kalesstria, running her own intergalactic music shop and planning for the big day. But things hit a road bump when there’s a problem with Griffin’s father – and it’s a little more complicated than the usual disapproving dad drama.
Looks like “save the date” is going to have to take a backseat to saving the universe…
Marrying an Alien Pop Star is the perfect laugh-out-loud romantic finale to the beloved Alien Pop Star series.


EXCERPT:
Somehow, every time I return to Earth, the awful smells that make up New York City seem even more welcome to my nose. A woman can only be without the olfactory cocktail of garbage, cheap coffee, morning cigarettes, and desperate hangovers for so long.
Finally, finally, here Griffin, Dev and I are, setting foot in the East Village with nothing but our clothes, one bag, and a bunch of semi-counterfeited money. Okay, not semi-counterfeited. Completely counterfeited. Griffin and Dev can create stacks of fake Earth currencies with almost no effort, which is disconcerting if I think about it for too long. I try not think about it at all, actually.
Griffin tips himself over a filthy looking garbage can and throws up for all he’s worth. I wander away a little and stare at taxis rolling by, willing my own stomach to calm down.
I’ve ‘traveled’ through space several times with Griffin, but it really doesn’t make it any easier, evidenced by my stomach’s gleeful attempt to empty everything inside it as soon as we land at our destination. Usually, I can bully my stomach into calming down before anything actually manages to come up, but the same can’t be said for Griffin. Somehow, he’s a million times worse at traveling through space than I am, despite his people’s advanced capabilities.
And see, I love him, and aspire to comfort him when he’s feeling sad or sick, but I know better than to get too close at a time like this. Besides, that’s exactly what Griffin’s best friend Dev is for.
Aforementioned best friend makes a beeline for Griffin, sidling up to him and patting him on the back. “It’s alright,” he says, in the special soothing voice he uses for Griffin in times of stomach disaster. “Just breathe through your nose, Griff. Pretend you’re on a horizon. Everything is still. Nothing moves. You’re weightless and blissful.”
Griffin raises his head and grumbles something about not feeling very blissful, and then lurches forward to vomit again.
Where Griffin is dark haired and pale and pointy, Dev’s handsomely golden in every respect. His skin always looks freshly sun-kissed, and his big gray eyes seem rested even when he hasn’t slept. He’s a calming force on everyone he comes into contact with, even his manic best friend. “Find your calm, Griff. You’re alright. You’re weightless and–”
“I’m not alright!” Griffin replies, flailing his hands around while still leaned fully over the bin.
Dev pats Griffin on the back. “I’m proud of you, Griff. You programmed our trip this time, and you didn’t kill any of us.”
His praise is justified, because this is actually kind of a big deal. Griffin is infamously terrible at travel, and has sent himself to a few dangerous places by accident over the years. Of course, reminding him of this fact never goes over well, and today is no exception. He raises his head again to pin Dev with a nasty look.
“I happen to be…” he starts to say, and then takes a long pause, “somewhat better at traveling than I used to be, thank you very much.” With that, he pukes again, and Dev bites his lower lip to keep from smiling.


Author Bio:
Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on.
She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can't learn karate (or ballroom dancing). She's the author of the Alien Pop Star series, The Unlove Spell, magic realism novel Inanimate Objects, the dark comedy Death and Mr. Right, and the poetry collection Geminis and Past Lives.


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#Excerpt: HINDER by Kristin Ping


Before Sentinels it was just earth Wielders. That was how powerful they were and Ethan was the lucky boy that was going to be part of that. He was going to become the next earth Wielder’s protector in every way possible.

Tears formed in Ethan’s eyes, but he refused to let them roll down his cheek. He tried so hard to live up to his element, to be strong and special.

Sad that the boy didn’t know how strong or special he already was. Maybe it was my fault as a father, as a parent.

I wanted to tell Natalie that she should stop making him feel so terrible. He was just exploring. But what good would that do? We would just end up fighting again. I was so tired of our fights. Shoulders slumped, I turned to go inside. That was when I heard the roar of engines.

The hair on my arms and neck stood straight. Adrenaline poured into my blood like jet fuel and my heartbeat skyrocketed as I turned to see Natalie running toward me across the yard, jerking little Ethan along by the hand.

“Get rid of them. Now.” She shouldered past me into the house.

No one had seen what Ethan had done, right? No, it wasn’t possible. Was it?

Three black Jeeps and a silver one careened into the driveway, spitting gravel behind their shiny black tires. I leaped off the steps but then composed myself. With great effort, I slowed to a sedate walk. I had to try to make this farmhouse seem like any other sleepy home on this continent—even though it was far from it.

Who are these people? What are they doing here?

They weren’t Necrocretors. Necrocretors didn’t use Jeeps or SUVs to make their entrances. Whoever they were, they were driving fast. Too fast.

As they pulled closer, the sun glinted off the tinted windows and blinded me. Then when they turned an angle, I saw it. It was the outline of a barrel.

I dove for the willow. Bullets shredded bark above my head. Splinters and sawdust flew everywhere.

My back was firmly against the tree, safe from the bullets, or so I hoped. Thank goodness he grew a fully mature tree, I marveled. Otherwise I’d be dead.

I recited words that hadn’t touched my tongue in years. I carried them in my skin on my tattoo, across my chest, close to my heart. A phrase scribbled in Latin that I’ve learned at a very young age: Estque vel me vel.

Its meaning was simple: It is either them or me.

If someone had to die, it wasn’t going to be me.

I took out the Zippo in my back pocket, closed my eyes, and used my diaphragmatic breathing exercises to calm my heart.

More gunshots sizzled overhead. Bits of the porch railing and the willow bar exploded. The air filled with the scent of sulfur and singed wood.

I took a deep breath.

Then I flicked the flint.



BLURB:

Ethan SUTCLIFF is no normal seventeen-year-old, but he tries to be really hard. He is what witches call a Guardian, or a the easier term will be a Bender. Benders are crucial to elemental witches as they have the ability to bend their witches’ gifts. In Alex's case he is one of the rarest, an Earth Bender, but his witch is either dead or deep in hiding and Ethan needs to find whoever they are otherwise the witching race might be in danger.

PRE ORDER HINDER FOR 99c. Yes, you’ve heard right. The pre order special is 99c only. The price will go up to 2.99 in its first month, think of it as a release day blitz, and from the second month it will go up to its normal price of 4.99c. So it’s a major deal of getting the pre-order for just 99c. GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!!!

When you purchase Hinder, you can claim your free gift through the subscriber link. Don't miss out on this amazing Pre-Order deal 'Even Witches needs saving now and then.'  Use the link below:

Pre Order Landing Page

http://www.subscribepage.com/u4n4w1

Reminder: "The book is available for pre-order for only $0.99!"

BUY LINKS:  https://www.amazon.com/Hinder-Benders-Novel-Guardian-Monsters-ebook/dp/B074RM3QKD/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hinder-kristin-ping/1126974045


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kristin resides in South Africa with her husband, two beautiful girls and two bulldogs that tries to eat her house. She has been writing for the past eight years and her first debut novel, Hinder: A Bender's novel will be published 2018 by Fire Quill Publishing.

When she isn't writing, she is spending her time with her family, or trying to teach her two bulldogs to not eat her house. You can find more about Kristin at www.authorkristinping.com


A CHANCE TO WIN

Follow the steps and you can stand a chance to win a Macintosh laptop. It's easy. Please note that your entry will not count if you haven't followed all the steps.

Want to win a Mac? Every two to three months, Kristin Ping is giving away a mac, all you have to do is subscribe to her newsletter, confirm to the confirmation email that will either be in your inbox or spam, and open the letter. Find the secret facebook group, join and enter the giveaway. It’s as easy as that. We even give you extra entries by inviting your friends to subscribe too. We already gave away the fist laptop.

INTRODUCING THE PING CRATE

The Ping Crate is a crate filled with goodies for readers. It’s built around the theme of the Guardian of Monster Series. The first few boxes will be built around witches. Think journals, cups, books, novelty jewelry, swag and something electronic that will push the worth of the crate up to $700 and more.

All you have to do is stay subscribed to the subscription list and open the monthly newsletter that Kristin will send out to find the rafflecopter for you to enter in this lovely giveaway.
It’s a box full of reader goodies and a surprise. Sometimes it will be a gift card if there isn’t any electronics.

Believe me it will be worth your time.

PRE ORDER HINDER FOR 99c. Yes, you’ve heard right. The pre order special is 99c only. The price will go up to 2.99 in its first month, think of it as a release day blitz, and from the second month it will go up to its normal price of 4.99c. So it’s a major deal of getting the pre-order for just 99c. GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!!!

When you purchase Hinder, you can claim your free gift through the subscriber link. Don't miss out on this amazing Pre-Order deal 'Even Witches needs saving now and then.'  Use the link below:

Pre Order Landing Page



Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better the chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 






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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

#Review: THE CHASE by Sara Portman



  4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoy Ms. Portman's books and "The Chase" does not disappoint. Michael Rosevear was born on the wrong side of the blanket and even though he is a recognized son, he is not close to his father. He manages a distant estate in Yorkshire, but must make his way to London when he is summoned by his father who has found a bride for him. If Michael wants the estate to finally be his, he must do as he is told. Juliana Crawford is running away from an abusive father and begs a ride to London from Michael even though it is most inappropriate for a young woman to do so. The mystery surrounding the young woman is more than Michael can let go.

Ms. Portman has a flair for teasing out the backgrounds for both Michael and Juliana. The growing attraction between these two was well-done and their romance was believable. The twists and turns in the book kept me turning the pages to the end. I only have a slight criticism in that I would have liked more of Michael and Juliana in the epilogue instead of Beadwell women. That chapter seemed a bit out of place in the story, but it was still a satisfying ending to the story.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Amazon buy link:

Monday, November 20, 2017

#Preorder SALE: FINDING FIONA by Donna Fasano

New Release! Save 60%! Pre-order Now!
 

If her husband turns up alive—she'll kill him!
Explaining to the seriously sexy cop why she hasn't noticed her husband has been missing for three days is both embarrassing and sobering. But the day Fiona Rowland lifts her head above the churning chaos of kids, carpools, and a million things to do, annoyance turns to fury... then to worry. Where is Stanley?

Having one of those wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee moments changes the way a woman looks at things: marriage, money, family, and friends. And when her best pal from high school arrives (packing her own secrets) to lend support, it turns out even the past isn't quite what it seems. Scrambling to make sense of the drama unfolding, Fiona discovers there's an upside to having your whole world turned upside down. It's easier to grab the good stuff.


A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romantic comedy, and mystery, Finding Fiona has something for every reader. The discussion questions included at the back of the book make this the perfect novel for book clubs and reader groups.

SAVE 60% BY PRE-ORDERING! Get Finding Fiona for $1.99 – After Dec 1, the price jumps to $4.99.


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Friday, November 17, 2017

Interview with G D Penman, THE YEAR OF THE KNIFE



 Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?

The Year of the Knife is a hardboiled detective novel set in an alternate America where magic exists and the British Empire never left. It follows Sully, an Agent of the Empire, as she tries to track down a body-hopping serial killer, manage her undead love-life and deal with her boss being turned into a parrot. And yes, it will absolutely be a series if enough people buy the first book.

Do you have a favorite character?
I have a soft spot for Raavi. Here is a person with no magic, in a world filled with monsters and mysteries, and his first response is to dive in face first and try to work out how everything works.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
The Year of the Knife is my second novel, with the first; Call Your Steel, coming out a short while ago. I have sold every novel that I have written so far, which is apparently some sort of miracle in publishing. Although I will be the first to admit that there was a long time between the book being finished and a publisher accepting it.

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
Meerkat Press are an independent publisher, but they have behaved like professionals from the first moment that I got in touch with them. I can’t lavish enough praise on Tricia and her amazing team.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
Any future Sully books will be coming out through Meerkat Press, but I have a short story collection that I plan to self-publish in the near future, once all the rights have reverted to me.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
Once again, the team at Meerkat Press were absolutely fantastic. We had several brainstorming sessions and went back and forth on the design for a while until we settled on one that we all agreed on.


What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I can’t listen to anything with lyrics while I am writing or I just end up typing them out. My brain has a short circuit somewhere. If I need to block out the sounds of my wailing children then I have to rely on instrumental music.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
Nowadays, I outline everything, but that is because I ghostwrite for a living and I do not have the luxury of dithering off topic for a month at a time.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
The full list of retailers should be here: http://meerkatpress.com/books/the-year-of-the-knife/
 
The book has worldwide distribution, so in theory you can just pop into any book store and ask for it.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I try to schedule time to handle the marketing work, just as I try to schedule writing time, but there aren’t enough hours in the day.

What’s next for you?
Hopefully dinner and a nap, but probably more writing.


The Year of the Knife
G.D. Penman
Published by: Meerkat Press
Publication date: November 28, 2017
Genres: Adult, Thriller, Urban Fantasy

Agent -Sully- Sullivan is one of the top cops in the Imperial Bureau of Investigation. A veteran witch of the British Empire who isn’t afraid to use her magical skills to crack a case. But Sully might need more than a good education and raw power to stop the string of grisly murders that have been springing up across the American Colonies. Every one of them marked by the same chilling calling card, a warning in the form of a legion of voices screaming out through the killers’ mouths: -It IS tHe YEAr oF the KNife.
Sully’s investigation will drag her away from the comforts of home in New Amsterdam, the beautiful but useless hyacinth macaw that used to be her boss, and the loving arms of her undead girlfriend, in a thrilling race against time, demonic forces and a shadowy conspiracy that will do anything to keep its hold on power and ensure that Sully takes their secrets to her grave, as soon as possible.
G.D. Penman’s imaginative The Year of the Knife is a fun, fast-paced urban fantasy mystery with an engaging set of characters, most notably Agent Sully of the Imperial Bureau of Investigation.




Author Bio:
G D Penman writes Speculative Fiction. He lives in Scotland with his partner and children, some of whom are human. He is a firm believer in the axiom that any story is made better by dragons. His beard has won an award. If you have ever read a story with Kaiju and queer people, it was probably one of his. In those few precious moments that he isn’t parenting or writing he likes to watch cartoons, play video and tabletop games, read more books than are entirely feasible and continue his quest to eat the flesh of every living species.



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Thursday, November 16, 2017

#Review: TWELFTH NIGHT WITH THE EARL by Anna Bradley



  4 of 5 stars

I've very much enjoy Ms. Bradley's stories and this one is no different.  Ethan Fortescue, Earl of Devon, is a man haunted by his past. Cleves Court, the family home in Cornwall, is nothing to him now. Tragedy there has erased every fond memory he'd ever had of the place and he's determined to close it down and never set foot in it again. That's it until he arrives to find Theodosia Sheridan, his childhood friend Thea, is now housekeeper of the grand home and she's determined to keep the place open while helping Ethan to remember the good times they had here.

Ms. Bradley has a way of letting the reader into the painful memories of his brother's Andrew death and his mother's passing of a broken heart. Ethan suffers from nightmares and they only intensify the longer he's at Cleves Court. Thea is a wonderful character, although I would have liked to see her get angry at Ethan's horrendous behavior once in a while. They both witnessed the horrific deaths, but Thea worked through her grief and Ethan has not. Even though this wasn't a very long book, Ms. Bradley skillfully weaves a intense and wonderful story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

#Excerpt: DIRTY MORALS by Lexi Adams


Dirty Morals
Lexi Adams
Publication date: November 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Good girls work hard. Good girls keep their noses clean and don’t do anything that would be considered morally questionable. I’m a good girl… Or at least that’s what I used to think.
With my mom sick and health care bills mounting, who has time to do things right anymore? I have to take care of things, and fast. So what if being paid for sex is a bad idea? It’s only once or twice—until Caleb Robertson, with his bright blue eyes and propensity for saying and doing everything right, books me for the night. Suddenly there’s no longer a right or wrong. There’s just my heart, and it’s about to be broken.


EXCERPT:
The next day finds me feeling a bit more cheerful… hell, who am I kidding? As soon as I left my Mom alone in her room for the day, I was miserable again. At the very least, it’s my day off and I can take some small comfort in that. I make the short trek to the coffee shop down the street from my apartment to meet with my friend, Kara Rogers. As usual, she’s sitting in a booth waiting with my coffee already ordered. I slip into the booth, taking the paper cup in my hands. It is steaming hot but it keeps me grounded as I try to focus on what my best friend is going off on a tangent about. Kara is one of the few people who knows about my rather grim living situation and she’s always looking for some weird new ways for me to make some extra cash.
“– and you don’t even have to have sex with them, at least, not always! Girls are making thousands,” she rambles and I blink my eyes in confusion as I try to make some sense of what she’s talking about.
“Wait. Kara, what the hell? Are you talking about prostitution? Seriously?” I hiss, able to piece the story together somewhat judging from what I’d heard. Kara rolls her eyes, sipping from her iced coffee.
“It’s an escort website. Really high profile. If you were listening, you’d realize that it’s not prostitution. Well… not really,” she says defensively. I roll my eyes, feeling my phone suddenly vibrate in my pocket. I grab it, swiping it unlocked only to see a message from Kara. It’s the URL of the website she’s telling me about. My thumb immediately moves to the delete button but something gives me pause. I stare at the message for a long moment before closing out of it, notably not deleting the stupid thing. Kara seems to notice, lips curled into a sly smile.
“I’ll look at it later, just for laughs,” I say defensively. She submissively throws her hands up and goes off on some other tangent that I scarcely pay any mind to,. In spite of my scorn for her suggestion, I can’t deny that there’s something interesting about the concept.
“Shit,” Kara blurts suddenly and I focus in just in time to see her packing up to leave.
“You’re gone, then?” I sigh, standing from the booth and tossing my empty cup into the garbage bin.
“The boss just texted, apparently someone called in today and I need to cover for them. Rain check, alright? It’s not like you were paying me any attention, anyway,” she teases, though there’s no malice in her words. I smile, feeling somewhat abashed at how obvious I’d been.
“Sorry, Kara. You know how it is,” I explain weakly. She smiles, leaning in to kiss me on the cheek before quickly shuffling out of the coffee shop.
“See you next time, Maggie. Think about what I told you,” she calls back as she steps through the door. I’m sure there’s no way in hell I’d consider selling my body for pay, though I suppose she did say it was for companionship as well. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad… No! I’m not even going to think about it. I’m going to go home, look for a new job and forget this entire conversation.
That idea works until much later that evening, after I’ve had about two glasses of wine. I’m a lightweight, what can I say? The way I saw it, there was little harm in checking out this little escort website. Like I’d told Kara, I’ll just look at it for a few good laughs. I clumsily type in the link, propping my chin up in my hand as I scroll through the page. The profiles of the female members look relatively innocuous and some have their earnings listed on their profile sidebars. My eyes widen at some of the large numbers I see and for a moment I’m tempted.
Much longer than a moment, truthfully. I’m tempted long enough to go through the process of making a profile, taking a few drunk selfies before deciding to use a photo from my cousin’s wedding. I keep telling myself it’s just so I can see some of the private features; just for fun, no harm can come of it. In spite of myself, with the booze fogging my mind a bit, I kind of hope to get a message. It’d be flattering, at the very least.
With a single click, I save my profile and push away from the computer. I stumble a bit as I head to my bedroom, my mother having gone to bed hours previously. Hitting the mattress, I’m as good as dead to the world. For once, I get some decent rest, but I know it’s likely just a fluke.
The sound of my phone vibrating the next morning jolts me awake and I glance around blearily before managing to snag it off of the nightstand. I swipe it unlocked, blinking as I try to make out the words on the screen. It’s a notification from some website that I’d drunkenly signed up for. Nothing new, I tend to get download crazy when I’m drunk. Much to my surprise, however, it’s a notification from that escort site I’d joined.
“Hello, I’d like to meet up with you for a night,” I read aloud, snorting in disbelief. It’s not as flattering as I’d have thought, especially considering that the male profiles have more features for anonymity. I type back two letters, a simple ‘NO’. Hitting send, I expect the conversation to be over and done with. Moments later, as if this guy had been anticipating my response, my phone lights up again. “There’s five grand with your name on it, if you agree to meet me,” the message reads. My eyes widen in disbelief as I read over it again, unable to believe that some crazy guy would offer five grand just to spend the night with me.
There’s no way I’m willing to sacrifice my dignity for this… even if five grand is incredibly tempting. Swallowing a lump that I’m surprised has formed in my throat, I shakingly type out another rejection. There’s no telling what this guy looks like, or what on Earth he plans to do to me. It’s a matter of safety at this point; admittedly I’ve already given up on the idea of keeping my dignity intact.
“If you’re worried about my intentions, I assure you that you will be well taken care of. I wouldn’t dare see harm befall such a beautiful young woman, especially if you were under my… care,” the next message reads and I’m startled by how relentless this guy is. Before I can formulate a response, he sends me a winking emoticon. Suddenly wondering what he means by ‘care’, I can’t deny that my interest is piqued.
In all likelihood, this guy probably looks like he got hit in the face with a shovel as a kid. No good looking or actually self-respecting guy would join one of these sleazy websites. Then again, I never would have expected that I’d join either.
“Fuck it,” I mumble, fingers darting across the on screen keyboard. I agree to meet him, under the condition that there be no expectations on this first meeting. I’ll check him out, but nothing more than that. He sends a smiling emoticon and then one with a kissing face. Inexplicably tickled by how goofily charming this man seems to be, I hesitate before tossing my phone aside.
Ugh. I can’t believe I’m doing this. What happened to the Maggie Stroud who carried herself with pride? I suppose she died long ago. The new Maggie would do almost anything if presented with the opportunity to earn five grand.
Almost anything…


Author Bio:
Author Lexi Adams loves to write quick, hot and steamy romances! All of Lexi Adams books are stand-alone romances with happily ever after endings and no cheating or cliffhangers!
Sign up for Lexi Adams newsletter and readers will be the first to receive exclusive information about upcoming books and discounts, giveaways, and free review copies!


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#Excerpt: THE UNSEDUCIBLE EARL by Sheri Humphreys





The vicar cleared his throat. “Your point is well taken, my lord. But it sounds as if Miss Thorne was insulated in her prior situations, surrounded by a small number of accepting, perhaps even misguided, people who regarded her as an exception.” He directed his gaze to Miss Thorne. “As happy as I am to hear of the captain’s improvement, I feel I’d be remiss in my duty if I didn’t warn you to guard your conduct, ma’am.”

“She doesn’t need to guard her conduct,” Robb said. “If there’s gossip, you need to do your best to quell it. You wield a great deal of influence.”

“It’s difficult to dispute the fact she’s an unmarried woman and may have been performing acts of an intimate nature with an unmarried man.”

Miss Thorne set down her teacup and folded her hands. By turns looked each of them in the eye. “Every life I touch, I feel immensely privileged.” Her voice seemed at once measured, calm, and grave. “I’ve held the hands and looked in the eyes of the sick as they died, heard their last words, and been the last face they’ve seen. Vicar, I’m sure you know how sacred such moments feel. Sometimes I think that the gravely sick I care for, and I, somehow exchange little pieces of our souls.” She looked down for a moment, then lifted her head and a soft smile curved her lips. “Wherever they are, they each carry a little piece of me.”

The silence that followed filled Robb’s heart with something very sweet and good.

She’d brought tears to his mother’s eyes. Mother pressed a handkerchief to her eyes before asking the Newcome’s to go to the chapel and pray with her before they left. Newcome’s jaw looked capable of cracking walnuts. The conversation moved on a bit stiffly, turning to community news, but Robb barely heard their voices. He couldn’t take his eyes off Victoria Thorne. A woman who opened herself to the people in her care, who didn’t concern herself with the opinions others formed of her. The very opposite of himself.

“You’re in need of sunshine and fresh air, Miss Thorne,” he said. “Come riding with me this afternoon.”

“Oh.” Her cheeks flushed. “I should stay with your brother.”

“He’s been resting, hasn’t he? We won’t be gone that long. You do ride?”

Her grin nearly knocked him off his chair.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sheri Humphreys used to be an Emergency Room nurse, but today applies bandages, splints, and slings to the characters of her Victorian romance novels. She loves to ignore yardwork and housework and read—usually a book every one to three days. Having conjured stories in her mind her entire life, she wondered if she were normal. Then she began putting stories to paper and became a two-time Golden Heart® finalist. She lives with a Jack Russell mix rescue, Lucy, in a small town on the central California coast.

A Hero to Hold received a prized Kirkus Star and was named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016.





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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

#Review: ENCHANTED BY THE HIGHLANDER by Lecia Cornwall


  
  4 of 5 stars

I've read the other books in the series and this story was about Gillian MacLeod, the shy one, or so her family thinks. Being surrounded by 11 other boisterous sisters, Gillian finds it easier to keep quiet than to try and compete against their voices. When her father arranges a marriage for her with an older Scotsman, he thinks he's doing what she wants, but he never consults her about it. Gillian has her own ideas about the man she wants to marry and it's Englishman John Erly who she kissed during a masquerade ball. He's to accompany her to Edinburgh for her wedding and it gives them more time to get to know each other. Can they prevail against all odds or will Gillian's opinionated family decide her fate?

This was a sweet story although I would have liked to have Gillian speak up a few times during the story and not just at the end. Ms. Cornwall gave the reader a glimpse into both Gillian's and John's thoughts and witness their growing attachment to each other. I did enjoy seeing Gillian finally asserting herself and was eagerly turning the pages to see how it ended. Fans of Scottish romances will certainly enjoy this book.

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#Excerpt: ROMANCING THE SCOT by May McGoldrick



Looking the shipping crate over for damage and seeing none, he retrieved an iron crow from a workbench. Jo was standing inside the doors, eyeing the box doubtfully from a safe distance.
“Come closer. It won’t bite.”
“Not a chance. From the smell of that thing, a person would think you’re importing cadavers. Have you also taken up being a Resurrectionist as a hobby?”
He patted the crate affectionately. “This sweet thing has been sitting in the bowels of a ship from Antwerp. You know what the hold of a ship smells like?”
“Actually, I don’t.” She held a handkerchief to her nose and drew closer. “But I think you’re correct with the reference to ‘bowels.’”
Hugh took the first nail out. “Well, stand back, since you’ve become so prissy. Though I recall a younger version of you leading the rest of us through bogs and marshes that smelled no better.”
“Of course! But as I recall, we had frogs and turtles and the occasional dragon that needed hunting,” she replied with a smile. “Very well. Open it and let’s see this treasure of yours.”
Prying off the top took him only a moment. Throwing it to the side, he pulled back the tarp that covered the basket and then stared curiously at the dark green rags bundled at the bottom.
Leaning in, Hugh’s enthusiasm evaporated as a horrid realization settled in. This was no pile of old clothing. A shock of blond hair. A shoe. A hand. The body of a dead woman lay curled up in the gondola.
“Bloody hell.”
“What is it?” Immediately, Jo was at his side. “Good God!”
Hugh climbed in and crouched beside the body. He took her hand. She was cold to the touch. His heart sank. The crate had been shipped from Antwerp. To be trapped for so many days with no water, no food, in the cold and damp of the ship’s hold. He had no idea who this woman was or how she came to be in here.
The thought struck him. Perhaps it wasn’t an inadvertent act. Perhaps she was murdered and her body had been dumped into the crate.
Dismay and alarm clawed at him as he pushed away the matted ringlets of golden hair. She was young. He lifted her chin. The body had none of the stiffness of postmortem. He stared at her lips. He may have imagined it but they seemed to have moved.
“Bright . . .” The whisper was a mere rustle of leaves in a breeze.
The fingers jerked and came to life, clutching at his hand.
“She’s not dead,” he called to Jo, relieved. “Send for the doctor. I’ll take her to the house.”
His sister ran out, calling for help, and he lifted the woman. She emitted a low groan. Her limbs had been locked in the same cramped position for so many days. Hugh propped her over the side of the gondola.
“Stay with me,” he encouraged. “Talk to me.”
Holding the woman in place, he clambered from the basket and then gently lifted her out, cradling her in his arms. She weighed next to nothing.
As they went out into the rain, he feared she was about to die. The exertion of trying to breathe showed on her face. He’d seen this on the battlefield. The final effort before death.
Starting up the path, he stumbled, not realizing the woman’s skirts were dragging on the ground. He staggered but caught himself before they went down. Her head lolled against his chest, her face gray and mask-like. She appeared to be slipping away. It would be a shame that she’d survived the crossing only to perish now.
A dagger point of anger pierced Hugh’s brain as he recalled another dismal day when he’d lifted two other bodies, wrapped in burial shrouds, from a wooden box.
“Talk to me,” he ordered. “Say something.”
As he made his way up the hill toward the house, a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky above Baronsford. Thunder shook the ground and the sky opened, unleashing fierce torrents of rain on them.
His wife. His son. Hugh hadn’t been there for them. They’d died as he and the British army were being chased by the French across Spain. He’d been trying to save his men’s lives, not knowing that those most precious to him were suffering.
“You’ve survived a horrifying ordeal. Give me the chance to save you.”
The woman struggled weakly in Hugh’s arms, and her head tipped back. He watched as her lips parted, welcoming the wetness of the falling rain.
“We’re almost there.”
“Bright . . .” she murmured.
He looked into her face and saw she was trying hard to open her eyes.
“Yes, brighter than that crate,” he said, encouraged by her effort. Any movement, however small, gave him hope. “And you’ve been in there for Lord knows how long.”



Blurb:

Hugh Pennington—Viscount Greysteil, Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts, hero of the Napoleonic wars—is a grieving widower with a death wish. When he receives an expected crate from the continent, he is shocked to find a nearly dead woman inside. Her identity is unknown, and the handful of American coins and the precious diamond sown into her dress only deepen the mystery.

Grace Ware is an enemy to the English crown. Her father, an Irish military commander of Napoleon’s defeated army. Her mother, an exiled Scottish Jacobite. When Grace took shelter in a warehouse, running from her father’s murderers through the harbor alleyways of Antwerp, she never anticipated bad luck to deposit her at the home of an aristocrat in the Scottish Borders. Baronsford is the last place she could expect to find safety, and Grace feigns a loss of memory to buy herself time while she recovers.

Hugh is taken by her beauty, passion, and courage to challenge his beliefs and open his mind. Grace finds in him a wounded man of honor, proud but compassionate. When their duel of wits quickly turns to passion and romance, Grace’s fears begin to dissolve…until danger follows her to the very doors of Baronsford. For, unknown to either of them, Grace has in her possession a secret that will wreak havoc within the British government. Friend and foe are indistinguishable as lethal forces converge to tear the two lovers apart or destroy them both.

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https://www.amazon.com/Romancing-Scot-Pennington-Family-McGoldrick-ebook/dp/B0746MLYFZ/ref=twoen-20 

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Author Bio
Authors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Publishing under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written more than thirty novels and works of nonfiction for Penguin Random House, Mira, HarperCollins, Entangled, and Heinemann. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a Resident Author. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut. They are the authors of Much Ado About Highlanders, Taming the Highlander, and Tempest in the Highlands with SMP Swerve.

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