Monthly Archives: March 2014
Recent graduate Becca Stine’s all too perfect and predictable life went spiraling out of control when her supposed childhood friend committed the ultimate betrayal. Following college, Becca attempts to bury the pain by retreating into a dangerous lifestyle with her best friend, Jamie Rae. She decides it’s time to grow up after being irresponsible, broken, and out of control. To Becca’s horror, her only option is to return to her hometown of Grand Rapids. Worried she will forever live in the shadow of her prominent family’s notability, Becca decides moving is her only opportunity to get her feet back on the ground. With her best friend in tow, Becca reluctantly heads home to attempt to live her ideal life.
Little does Becca know the owner of the architecture firm she lands a job with has an intriguingly mysterious son. Tyler Conklin is infatuated with Becca, yet is apprehensive about a public relationship because of his hidden baggage. Not wanting anyone to know about his slight obsession with her, their potential relationship must be kept a secret. Will Becca put up with Tyler’s untold story for long? Will she tolerate being his secret?
Find the Book
This book was recommended to me by one of my friends. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I opened it up but have to say I loved it. This is a great book. Lots of things going on keeping you on your toes. I never knew what would happen next. It was different which was refreshing. I loved Tyler to pieces. He just needs to grow some balls and stand up for himself. As for Becca, I loved her but all the insecurities got to be a bit much after awhile. Low self-esteem or just over thinking things way to much. They are an extremely cute couple and I loved the dinner with the ex. That was entertaining but nothing like the Christmas party. That had me rooting for Becca and thinking you go girl. All in all a great book. I look forward to reading the next one.
About the Author
Mother of two, wonder wife, after school art/pottery instructor, self proclaimed runner, and Indie Romance Novel junkie!
Find the Author
Title: Uncovering You
Author: Scarlett Edwards
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: March 17th, 2014
Series (Y/N) – Yes, first book in series. Second will be out April 20th, 2014
Tour Host: Lady Amber’s Tours
When I wake up in a dark, unfamiliar room, I have no idea what’s waiting for me in the shadows. My imagination conjures up demons of the worst kind.
Reality is much worse:
A collar with no leash. A prison with no walls. And a life stripped of meaning.
I am presented with a vile contract and asked to sign. It outlines the terms of my servitude. The only information I have about my captor are the two small letters inked at the bottom:
Armed with only my memories, I must do everything I can to avoid becoming ensnared in his twisted mind games. But in the end, it all comes down to one choice:
Resist and die.
Or submit, and sign my life away
Oh God. It’s him. There’s no mistaking that rich, masculine treble.
What’s he doing down here?
“M-Mr. Stonehart,” I stutter, turning. I curse my inability to hide my surprise. He totally caught me off-guard. I have to look up to meet his eyes. Then up some more.
The face that I find is so striking it should belong to a Greek god.
He’s younger than I expected. Late thirties, maybe early forties.
That means he started his company when he was younger than me!
Dark scruff lines his angular cheeks. His jet-black hair is styled in long, natural waves. My fingers itch to run through it.
He has a prominent nose that might be too big on a less imposing man, but on him, it’s perfect.
In short, he’s a package of the purest masculinity I’ve ever seen.
And then there are his eyes. Oh my God. His eyes. They pierce into me like honing missiles. They are the deepest black I have ever seen. They would be frightening if they weren’t so beautiful. When the light reflects a certain way, you catch a glimpse of the purple underneath.
They are like midnight sapphires. His eyes reveal a cunning intellect. Those eyes do not miss a thing.
Add all that to his towering height, his wide shoulders, his confident-yet-at-ease posture… and Stonehart cuts an intimidating figure.
My gaze darts to his left hand before I can stop it. No ring. He’s unmarried.
He looks down at me, expectantly. His eyes narrow ever so slightly, and I feel like I’m being dissected, measured up, and tucked away in some small corner of his brain. I imagine this is what a gemstone feels like under the magnifying class of the most critical appraiser.
Stonehart clears his throat. I come to with a start, realizing I haven’t said anything in ages. I open my mouth, but the capacity for speech seems like a foreign concept to my brain. “I—”
Somebody bumps into me from behind. I stagger forward. I’m not used to these shoes, so my heel steps the wrong way. My ankle twists under me, and I start to fall.
I don’t fall far. The hand still on my elbow tightens, and Stonehart pulls me into him.
I plaster myself onto the solid steel wall the man has for a body. I catch a scent of his cologne. It’s a deep, musky smell with a hint of charred spruce that is all male. It scrambles my thoughts even more.
“Sorry!” a rushed voice calls out. From the corner of my eye, I see the postman giving a hurried, apologetic wave.
Although the sequence lasts less than a second, it feels like an eternity. Pressed up against him like that, I don’t want to move. I know that I couldn’t have made a worse first impression.
Stonehart eases me off him with a firm yet gentle grip. Our eyes meet. I flush the most vibrant red. His fingers graze my forehead as he brushes a lock of hair out of my face.
Any tenderness I may have imagined vanishes when Stonehart takes out his cell. He long dials a key and growls an order. “Steven. See the delivery boy leaving right now? Have his building pass revoked.”
I gape. Stonehart keeps speaking. “Wait. I thought of one better. Bar his company from accessing the building.” There’s a pause. “For how long? Indefinitely. FedEx can talk to me when they have an improved employee selection program in place.”
The phone call gives me just enough time to compose myself. My heart’s still beating out of my chest. But nobody has to know that.
I speak without thinking. “You’re going to restrict the entire company from serving this building because of that?”
Stonehart humors me with an answer. “A company’s employees are its most important asset. Their behavior reflects the organization as a whole. If FedEx decided that clown is good enough for them, it tells me they’re sloppy. I do not do business with sloppy organizations.”
“What about the other tenants in the building?” I ask. “Won’t that piss them off?”
When I hear myself and realize how improper my question is, my cheeks flame red again.
Stonehart’s eyes darken, as if he cannot believe I asked that question. I open my mouth to apologize for my imprudence, hating the way my professional skills have evaporated into thin air. I’m cut off by a short, barked laugh.
“Miss Ryder.” He sounds amused. “I believe that is the most direct and honest question anybody has dared ask me in weeks.” He takes my elbow again and leads me to the elevators. I have to take two quick steps to match one of his long strides.
“Yes,” he continues. “They will be ‘pissed off.’ But the perk of owning a building—” he hits the elevator call button, “—is that you get to make executive decisions.” He gives me an unreadable glance as the doors open. “That is, at the risk of being questioned by inexperienced interns.”
If that isn’t a loaded remark, I don’t know what is. I flush scarlet red for the third time since I’ve met him. I’ve never had a man throw me so off balance.
The elevator is packed, for which I’m infinitely thankful. The trip up will give me some time to properlycompose myself.
Gratitude turns to panic when the crowd files out, meek as mice, when Stonehart steps in. None of the people waiting in the lobby follow us.
The doors close. I’m alone in here with him. My heart’s beating as fast as a hummingbird’s wings.
He catches me staring. “Impressed?” he asks.
“They know you,” I manage.
His dark eyes flash with amusement. “Astute.”
October 2013. Date unknown.
A faint hiss, like the sound of an angry cat, jars me from my sleep.
I open my eyes to pure blackness. I blink, trying to get my bearings. A vague memory forms in the back of my mind, too far away to reach.
Why can’t I see anything?
My breath hitches. Panic rips through my body as the horrifying answer comes to me:
I scramble onto hands and knees and desperately claw at the dark, searching for something, anything, for my senses to latch onto.
A dim overhead light comes on.
Relief swells inside.
I plop back on my butt and close my eyes, taking deep breaths to dispel the rush of adrenaline released by my body. When my heart’s not beating quite so fast, I open my eyes again.
The light’s gotten brighter. I look up at the source. It’s far above me, like a dull, miniature sun. It spreads a little sphere around me, maybe ten feet in diameter. Past that, everything is swallowed by darkness.
An irksome memory keeps gnawing at me. But my head is too heavy to remember. I feel… strange. Kind of like I’m hung over, but without the telltale pounding between my ears.
Cautiously, I try to stand. My limbs are slow to react. They feel heavy, too, like they’ve been dipped in wet clay. I steady myself. Only when I’m satisfied that my knees won’t give out, do I strain my ears for that hissing sound again.
It’s coming from somewhere behind me. I turn back—and nearly smash my head on a gleaming white pillar.
What the hell?
The sound is forgotten as I reach out and brush tentative fingers against the pillar’s surface. It’s cool to the touch. Smooth, too. I put my other hand on it. If I had to guess, I’d say it was made of marble. But what is a lone, white marble pillar doing in the middle of this room?
The memory is like a gong going off inside my head. But trying to reach it is like grasping at a smooth, slippery stone at the bottom of an aquarium. Just when I think I have it, it slips through my fingers and falls even farther out of reach.
I walk a slow, measured circle around the pillar. If I tried wrapping my arms around it, I doubt if I could even span half the circumference. Something far in the back of my mind tells me I should be alarmed. I look behind me and frown. By what? A dark room?
No, you idiot. By the reason you’re here!
My eyes widen. The reason I’m here? I don’t… I don’t remember.
I wince and bring one hand to my temple. Why am I having so much trouble remembering?
I gasp as a second gruesome thought hits me. Did I lose my memory? Do I have… amnesia?
I sink down with my back to the pillar. Desperation starts to take over. I hold my head between my knees and close my eyes to focus.
My name is Lilly Ryder. I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 17th, 1990.
My eyes pop open. Joyous tears form in the corners. I do remember! I take a deep breath and try to keep going.
I was raised by my mom. I do not know my dad…
Suddenly, all my childhood memories come streaming back. Moving around as a kid. Never staying in one place longer than six months. All the cities I’ve lived in. All the apartments my mom and I called home. Even the revolving door of her boyfriends. There was Dave, and Matthew. Tom, and Steve. There was…
I shake my head to stop myself. I don’t doubt my memory anymore. But that still does not explain why I have absolutely no recollection of this place, or how I got here.
I push myself back up. The spotlight above me has gotten progressively brighter. The little enclosure of light doesn’t feel quite so tight anymore. I trail my eyes up the length of the pillar. I can’t see where it ends because of the light. But I can tell it’s tall, at least twenty, maybe twenty-five feet…
There’s also something about its surface that calls out to me. My hands itch to run over the smooth stone. A giggle bubbles up as I picture myself stroking it. The column is quite phallic.
I waver at the unfamiliar thought and have to catch my balance against the beam.
Focus, Lilly! I chide myself.
I have no idea where that thought came from. I have never been overtly sexual.
Nothing feels right. The fog that’s heavy on my mind is starting to lift, but not yet enough for me to understand—or remember—where the hell I am. This place is unfamiliar. I know that much. But right now, I feel almost like a surgery patient whose anesthetic kinked out: fully awake mentally, but completely impaired physically.
I go back to my memories. I can remember high school. I remember college. That’s where I spent the last three years of my life, isn’t it? Yes. Yes, it is.
“Hello?” I call out. My voice echoes into the surrounding gloom. “Is anybody there?”
I wait for an answer. All I get is the hollow repetition of my own voice.
…anybody there, there, there…
I spent the last three years in college… but that’s not where I think I am right now. No. I shake my head. I knowthat’s not where I am. My memories are fuzzier the closer I bring them to today. Time feels… skewed. Freshman year’s easy to remember. So is sophomore, and most of junior… but things get weird toward the end.
I… finished junior year, didn’t I? Yes. Yes, I did. And then…
And then I took an internship in distant California for the summer, I remember with another gasp.
Suddenly, my mind is crystal clear. That pressing memory hurtles into view. It’s from yesterday. The last thing I recall, I was alone in a booth at an upscale restaurant. The waiter brought me a glass of wine. I took a few sips, contemplating my future….
Oh, God! Fear wraps a stranglehold around my neck.
The restaurant. The wine.
I’ve been drugged!
I can’t breathe. A suppressing tightness constricts my throat. I feel dizzy, and terrified, and most of all… ashamed.
Holy shit, Lilly, way to look out for yourself! My semi-mad inner dialogue pans with a generous dollop of sarcasm.
I’ve always known about the dangers of sick men preying on unsuspecting girls. I just never thought I’d fall victim to it.
I’ve been on my own since I turned eighteen, after the final falling out with my mother. I’ve always been proud of how well I managed. Even the shabby holes I’ve lived in while saving up college tuition were an improvement over living with her and all her low-life boyfriends. At least there, I had autonomy.
I’ve dealt with landlords selling crack on the side and the junkies they attract. Always, I’ve been known as independent, and strong—maybe offputtingly so. But, those were the character traits I had to develop to have any chance of getting ahead.
And all that lead to what? To this? To letting my guard down for one night and ending up… here?
Wherever “here” is, I think to myself.
The shock of the revelation has subsided a bit. I push off from the pillar. I can figure this out. I take a deep breath and look at my hands and feet. I am not bound. I pick at my clothes. They are the same ones I wore last night.
Do you know what might be lurking in the darkness?
I shove the meddlesome voice down. I don’t need more worries. Not now.
Carefully, I place one foot in front of the other and edge to the outer reaches of the light. The strange hissing noise has gone away. I don’t know when that happened. Maybe it was in my head the entire time.
I strain my eyes, trying to pierce the surrounding darkness. It’s impossible. I reach out with one hand and find nothing but air. This far from the pillar, I can barely see my outstretched hand.
“Hello?” I try again. “Who’s there?”
There’s no answer.
What kind of madman would do something like this? I wonder. What is hidden in the shadows?
Without warning, my imagination starts to run wild. Torture devices? Bondage equipment? Something… worse?
Snap out of it! I tell myself firmly.
I refuse to give in to despair, even if my entire self-preservation mechanism is on high alert. Despair is what whoever brought me here wants me to feel.
I will not succumb to that.
I look down at the floor. It is made of some expensive stone. I kneel down and brush my hand over the large, square tiles. They feel solid. Sturdy. They don’t belong in a dingy basement or a dirty warehouse.
Somehow, that thought strengthens me. Things aren’t quite as bad as they could be.
I stand up and peer into the black. I glance back at the safety of my pillar. If I venture past the light, I can always find my way back.
Go slow, I warn myself. Who knows what might be waiting for me out there?
I’ve seen the horror movies. Just because I don’t get the dungeon vibes here does not mean I’m not in one.
Haltingly, my foot reaches past the edge.
A thousand bright lights flood the room. I gasp and shy back, shielding my eyes on instinct.
After a few seconds, I lower my arm, blinking through the sharp pain that shoots through my head. I can almost groan. Light sensitivity, too?
Then I see the room.
It’s huge. Massive. It must be at least five thousand square feet of pristine, flat space. I’m smack dab in the middle of it all.
The lights come from embedded ceiling lamps high overhead. Three of the walls, far away from me, are decorated with black and white abstract paintings created in bold brush strokes. The fourth wall is shielded by a heavy red curtain. The entire floor is made of rich, creamy white tiles reminiscent of steamed milk.
The ceiling is so high above me I almost feel like I’m in a cathedral. It’s made of exquisite dark oak beams.
But this is no church.
I do a slow turn. Something about this is all wrong.
Why am I here? What is behind the curtain? Other than the massive pillar and the paintings, there is nothing in the room.
If I’m being kept prisoner, why am I unbound? Why waste so much space on me?
I cup my hands around my mouth and yell.
“HEY! Anybody? Where am I?”
As before, I’m greeted with silence.
I take one more careful look around. If I got in, there must be a way out.
My eyes dart to the curtain.
I start toward it, my bare feet making determined slaps against the cold floor. I’ve not even gone ten paces toward it when I feel a small tug on my ankle.
I stop and look down. I discover a thread, so thin it’s almost translucent, tied loosely around my foot. The other end is attached to the base of the pillar.
I bend down and finger it.
What on earth is this?
The thread looks like it should snap with the smallest amount of force. I wrap my hands around it and tug.
It doesn’t give.
I frown, and apply a little more effort.
This time, it breaks in a clean cut.
I shake my head as I straighten.
I half-expected something to happen when I did that. Alarms to blare, the lights to go off, something.
That’s when I notice a small white envelope leaning against the pillar. It’s right where the thread connects. In fact, it blends so well with the marble that I’m sure I would have missed it were it not for the string.
Exploration forgotten for now, I pick up the envelope. Maybe it will give some clue about what the fuck is going on.
It’s made of heavy paper. A wax stamp seals it, imprinted with a two-faced drama mask that I would find unnerving no matter where I saw it.
The only time I saw a wax-sealed envelope was when my ex got tapped by the Spade and Grave at Yale. I can understand the need for antiquity in New Haven. It makes no sense here.
My finger slips under the flap. I carefully ease it open. A foreboding sense of doom swirls around me as I pull the folded letter out.
I stare at it for a long minute. This is all so surreal. It feels like being caught in a bad dream. Once, I play myself right into my captor’s hands.
My natural inclination to resist, to fight back, tells me to tear the paper up without another glance. But that would be madness. The only clue I have to my whereabouts might be contained inside.
My thirst for information gets the better of me. I sit on the floor, cross my legs, and slowly unfold the paper.
It’s handwritten in swift, flowing blue ink. The rows of words make perfect strides across the page. Precision is the first word that comes to mind to describe the owner of the handwriting.
I set the sheet on the floor in front of me, lean forward and begin to read:
Two items require your immediate attention.
1. You may spuriously assume you are being held here against your will. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You are a guest. As a guest, you retain full ability to leave my home at any time. The door behind the drapes shall remain open for the duration of your stay. There are no physical barriers to speak of—though I would advise you to read to the end of this letter before making decisions based on a flawed understanding of your situation.
2. You may have already noted the new adornment around your neck. If so, well done! I applaud—
Adornment? I stop reading. What adornment?
I bring my hands to my neck. I feel the unfamiliar shape against my skin. Why hadn’t I noticed it before?
I scamper closer to the marble pillar to try to make out my reflection. I can’t see much, but I can make out the “adornment”. There’s a black collar around my throat. I touch it with one hand.
It’s smooth and flat. It’s made of some kind of matted plastic, like the edges of a computer screen. It’s not tight or uncomfortable.
It frightens me. If it warranted a place in the letter, there must be something to it. I need to get it off.
My fingers dart around the edges, seeking the clasp that opens it.
I don’t find one.
The collar is smooth inside and out. It feels like a single piece of plastic. I trail one finger around the rim on the inside, and, finding no discrepancies, do the same on the outside. Again, I feel nothing.
There’s no crack, no edge, nothing to indicate how it was put around my neck.
I jam all my fingers between my skin and the plastic and pull with all my might. The collar flexes ever-so-slightly but doesn’t give.
Dammit! I cry out and try again.
I pull with all the strength God gave me. It’s not enough. I try again, and again, and again.
I realize I’m panting at this point. The exertion has me almost hyperventilating.
I drop my hands. It’s just a stupid, harmless little piece of plastic. Why do I want it off so much?
Because the idea of having anything foreign touch your skin is repulsive.
The voice is right, as always. But what can I do? The collar is bound to be part of the mind game in which I’m an unwitting participant. Reacting the way I just did is probably exactly what my captor wants. He—and I am certain it’s a “he” now, from the wording of the letter—wants me to feel terrified.
I will not give him the pleasure. I return to the letter and continue to read:
…applaud your perspicacity! You should know, however, that it is not an ordinary collar. Contained inside is a small positioning chip and two electrodes. They become activated the moment you stray outside your designated safe zone.
The string around your foot offers a conservative estimation of the distance you may roam past the marble column. Stay close, and you will remain untroubled. I am told that the electric shock the collar provides, while not lethal, can be quite unpleasant.
My spine goes absolutely straight and I forget to breathe. Now the collar has meaning. It feels like a live serpent wrapped around my neck.
My eyes are wide as I look down to my foot. The piece of string is still there, but it’s not connected to the one linked to the pillar.
I’d ripped it like a moron.
How far do I dare go? I’ll have to retie the string—unless I find a way to get the collar off my neck, first.
Another thought occurs to me:
Maybe this is a bluff? Does the collar really have an electrode in it? It’s so thin. Where would it draw power from?
I stand up. Assuming the collar is rigged, and the pillar is the center point… but that’s just what he wants me to believe, isn’t it? The letter claims there’s a door behind the drapes. It could be my path to freedom. I would have to be an idiot to stay here without testing the boundary myself.
I can’t trust anything the letter says. But, I can’t give in to despair, either. My only choice is to contest everything that’s thrown at me. If this is supposed to be a battle of the wills, the guy chose the wrong girl to mess with.
I pick up the remainder of the string and hold it in my fist. I square my shoulders to the long, drawn curtain. I hold my head high. My free hand itches to tug at the collar, but I keep it still. If my captor is watching me—which I’m sure he is, because I’m positive there are cameras hidden all around me—I will not give him the satisfaction of seeing me hesitate.
I take a deep breath and start toward the curtained wall. My strides are strong and purposeful. I will not waver. I will not turn back. Fear of a little shock will not keep me from testing the true limits of this prison.
The string goes taut, and I stop.
So far, so good.
It’s the next few steps that will determine everything.
I glance at the floor to mark my position. So, he expects to keep me in an invisible cage, does he? A cage of my own imagination?
Yeah, tough luck.
I drop the string and take one solid step forward.
I risk one more.
The corner of my lip twitches up in a hint of a smile. I called his bluff. But, I’m not home free yet. The veiled wall is another thirty-odd paces away from me.
I take two more steps forward, and, when nothing happens, start to walk more briskly.
My stroll is cut short by a sharp little zap beneath my left ear.
I tense and wait for more.
Well, color me surprised.
It looks like the collar does have bite, after all. When a second jolt doesn’t come, I can’t stop my smile from becoming a satisfied smirk. I knew the collar couldn’t possible have enough juice to hurt me. Where would the battery go?
Extremely pleased with myself, I venture onward, toward the curtain and its promise of freedom.
The violent torrent of electricity blindsides me. One second I’m on my feet, the next I’m writhing on the floor.
The current pours into me. I thrash about like a grounded fish. Fierce convulsions rock my body. And all I know is pain, pain, pain.
I can feel the source of it, snug around my neck. I’m helpless to fight the onslaught. My head flails about on the ground, throwing hair into my face. A high-pitched squeal sounds in my ears and I desperately hope that pathetic sound is not me.
My eyes roll up and all goes black.
About the Author
I live near beautiful Seattle, Washington. I grew up reading all types of fantasy books before discovering the wonderful world of romances in high school. Now, I spend most of my time writing about sexy men and the women who love them.
One exotic location, one sex-filled week, one secret to hide …
Bad luck. Emma’s life has been full of it lately. Abandoned by her best friend. Stranded in a foreign country without cash or a passport. She’s ready to give up her dreams of an exotic adventure and head home. But when a sexy stranger offers to help how can she say no?
A challenge. Alec Hawthorne is handsome, charismatic, and used to getting what he wants. So when he spots Emma, alone and in trouble, he can’t resist pursuing her. But meeting Emma threatens to undo all his carefully laid plans.
Consuming desire. Emma didn’t plan on finding romance while studying abroad, but that doesn’t stop her from from being seduced by Alec’s intense, demanding charms. When he asks her to spend the week with him how can she refuse?
Difficult choices. Little do they know their instant attraction spells trouble. When Emma finds out the secret Alec’s been keeping can she learn to trust him again? Is Alec willing to give up everything he’s been working for to be with Emma?
I make it back to my dorm without any further mishaps. Shutting the door behind me, I kick off my heels and pad barefoot over to my bed. I throw my bag onto Freya’s bare mattress and lie back, my head hitting the pillow with a soft thump. I’m exhausted. I close my eyes for a second and take a couple of calming breaths, in and out. I need a few minutes to get my head together.
As soon as my eyes close, flashes of seductive golden-green eyes and broad muscular shoulders invade my brain. Alec Hawthorne. Holy hell. I let my mind wander for a couple of minutes, imagining the feel of those strong hands exploring my body, sliding slowly up my inner thighs. That big, hard body pressing into me, pinning me to the mattress. My skin flushes as one hand reaches below my waist, the other making slow circles around my nipples.
Just when the tension begins to build, my phone rings. I jump, startled out of my daydream, and sit up clumsily to reach for my phone. I don’t recognize the number.
“Emma.” The deep, sexy voice washes over me and I have to bite my lip to stop from crying out. Did he know what I’d been doing? I shake my head to try and clear it. Of course not, how could he know?
“Yes?” I try to sound normal but my heart is suddenly racing.
“I just wanted to make sure you made it back safely.” In the background I can hear traffic noises, like he might be in the back of a taxi.
“Yeah, thanks, no more problems.” I smile into the phone. It feels good to have someone worry about me.
“Let me take you to dinner.”
The offer is tempting. My stomach is empty and the only thing I have are some stale peanut butter crackers from the vending machine. But . . . the effect he had on me was a little intimidating. Do I trust myself around him? I don’t want any romantic complications.
“Say yes, Emma. I’ll pick you up at seven.” His tone is confident, commanding even. It didn’t leave a lot of room for debate.
“Sure, okay. Where are we . . .” The phone clicks before I can finish my question. He cut me off! But I can’t stay annoyed; I’m going to see Alec again.
Julia Danes loves to read and write romantic stories about smart women and sexy men.
With a degree in English literature from Boston University and a master’s in library science, she has spent the last decade working in publishing as a freelance editor before turning to her childhood dream of being a novelist.
Raised in the Boston area, she now lives in Florida with her husband and three children.
Faltering is her debut novel.
“You’re afraid you are becoming unfaithful, aren’t you?”
Scott and Rachel’s marriage is on the brink of disaster. Scott, a businessman with a high-pressure job, just wants Rachel to understand him and accept his flaws. Rachel is a lonely housewife, desperate for attention and friendship. So she decides to create a virtual friend online, unaware that Scott is doing the exact same thing. But neither realizes that there’s a much larger problem looming. . . .
Behind both of their online creations is Melissa, a woman who is brilliant— and totally insane. Masquerading as both friend and lover, Melissa programmed a search parameter into the Virtual Friend Me software to find her perfect man, but along the way she forgot to specify his marriage status. And Scott is her ideal match. Now Melissa is determined to have it all—Scott, his family, and Rachel’s life.
As Melissa grows bolder and her online manipulations transition into the real world, Scott and Rachel figure out they are being played. Now it’s a race against time as Scott and Rachel fight to save their marriage, and their lives, before it’s too late.
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Who is John Faubion?
John Faubion has spent many years in Asia as a missionary with his family. Since returning to the United States, John has worked as a senior software developer for a large appliance chain. He teaches an adult Sunday school class and enjoys writing and driving his 1949 Packard automobile. John lives near Indianapolis with his wife, Beth, and their daughter.
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Brought to you by the Release Day Diva
Title: Truth or Dare
Author: A.J. Bennett
Release: February 2014
Luna Alexander has always been a ‘free spirit’ and lived by her own rules, consequences be damned. With the approach of an anniversary she’d rather forget, Luna starts to wonder if there’s more to life than partying and hooking up with hot guys.
A chance meeting with a dark knight knocks her off kilter and has her emotions spinning out of control.
Will she finally overcome her past for a chance at happiness, or will she hide behind the walls she’s built around her?
Find the Book
Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/l2ald5k
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/kazt2yc
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/kftrhqm
Too her surprise he strode over to her table reaching her in several long strides. She couldn’t take her eyes off his tall powerful body.
“Didn’t I already tell you once to buzz off?” Luna glared at him.
Rather than getting pissed off, he seemed amused. The smug look on his face irritated her. Even if it was a face that looked as though it was a masterpiece carved in stone. She noticed a jagged scar above his left eyebrow. It only added to his perfection.
He draped his arm across the chair next to her. His causal poster only ticked her off more. He could act a little bit apprehensive.
His cool gaze dropped from her eyes to her mouth, she saw his lips twitch and she wondered what he was thinking. Of course he didn’t stop there his gaze continued downward and blatantly stared at the tops of her breast that skimmed over her tank top.
“Like what you see?”
He glanced up his eyes locking on hers. “Me and every other asshole in this bar with a pulse.”
Luna shrugged. Guys liked chicks, period. She wasn’t the only one in the bar and most of the jackasses could care less which one they took home. She doubted anyone in the joint was looking for a life partner.
Why did she allow herself to get inebriated? She couldn’t even think of a smartass comeback.
“Do you have a ride home?”
“Yep. What are you like a black knight in shining armor?”
Another half-smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. Apparently, it would kill him to give a full blown smile.
“I don’t rate a white knight?”
Luna shook her head. “Nope, you’re like me. All darkness.”
About the Author
A.J. Bennett lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and bulldog. She’s addicted to coffee, popcorn and books. Becoming an author has been a lifelong dream, and she’s extremely excited about her debut novel Now or Never.
Release Date: April 26, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Formats: All ebook formats and Paperback.
And here is the cover for Deadly Mates (Deadly Trilogy, #2).
Jade never thought she’d embrace being a werewolf, but after having accepted her new role as alpha female of Dog Mountain’s pack, she finds herself doing just that. She’s training with the enforcers and learning to use the alpha within her to her advantage. And for the most part, Jade is content, well at least with her training she is.
International: 2 winner
Prize: Swag pack including a Deadly Mates necklace, keychain and bookmark made by Stone Soup Designs, and an Ashley Stoyanoff Books tote bag and aluminum wallet.
This giveaway is international. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond, otherwise new winners will be chosen.
About the Author
Ashley Stoyanoff is an author of paranormal romance books for young adults, including The Soul’s Mark series and the Deadly Trilogy. She lives in Southern Ontario with her husband, Jordan, and two cats: Tanzy and Trinity.
In July 2012, Ashley published her first novel, The Soul’s Mark: FOUND, and shortly thereafter, she was honored with The Royal Dragonfly Book Award for both young adult and newbie fiction categories.
An avid reader, Ashley enjoys anything with a bit of romance and a paranormal twist. When she’s not writing or devouring her latest read, she can be found spending time with her family, watching cheesy chick flicks or buying far too many clothes.
Ashley loves hearing from her readers, so feel free to connect with her online.
Life has never been easy for Dr. Samantha Malone especially since the day all those years ago that her only family were taken in a car accident. Now at almost twenty-nine years of age, with only one year of residency left, she is faced with putting her life back together once again after being kidnapped and left for dead. Had it not been for six feet two inches of walking muscle in ripped jeans and worn cowboy boots with crystal blue eyes and a cheeky grin that made her wonder what he was up to, she might never have seen the light of day. All these months later she knows he is protecting her from the shadows, never far but never seen. Why? What does he know that she does not?
There are no coincidences.
He protects her from afar, making sure the ones that dared to hurt her do not come back while he waits for the time when he can claim her as his own. Fear is not something the fierce Dragon Guardsman is used to feeling but it is something he has become accustomed to over the last seven months. Fear that he will not catch the traitor and his cohorts before they hurt those he cares most deeply for. Fear that he will not be able to protect the one the Universe made especially for him. Fear that he is not what Samantha needs but then…
Lance has spent his long life cracking jokes and making fun of his brethren as each succumbed to the sappiness of everlasting love with the one that completes them like no other. Now the Universe is the one laughing and his fellow Guardsmen are the ones badgering him with the jokes as the mating call and his dragon push him headlong towards the one that will bring light to his soul in this life and the next. He can no longer deny that he is meant to spend the rest of his many years with Sam but his obligation to eliminate any threats to her life must come first…right? For the Guardsman who has hot-dogged his way through one hundred and twelve years, one brown-eyed curly-headed doctor will make him rethink everything he ever knew.
Fate will not be denied.
I am a sarcastic,sometimes foul-mouthed, not afraid to drink a beer, always southern woman with 2 of the most amazing teenage daughters,
a menagerie of animals and a voracious appetite for reading who recently decided to write the storied running through her brain. I read my first book, Dr Suess’ Cat in The Hat by myself at 4 and was hooked.
I believe a good book along with shoes, makeup and purses will never let a girl down and that all heroes of all the books
I have ever read or will ever write pale in comparison to my daddy! I am a sucker for a happy ending and love some hot sweaty sex with a healthy dose of romance.
I am still working on my story but believe it will contain all of the above with as much SPICE as I can work into it. CHEERS!
BUY LINKS BOOKS #1 & 2
Her Dragon to Slay (Dragon Guards #1)
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Dragon-Slay-Guard-Series-ebook/dp/B00GR781FG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384884039&sr=1-1&keywords=her+dragon+to+slay
Her Dragon’s Fire (Dragon Guards #2)
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Her-Dragons-Fire-Dragon-Guard-ebook/dp/B00HYDSJFE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394410519&sr=1-1&keywords=her+dragon%27s+fire
Title: Orange Blossom
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover Design: Shoutlines Design
18+ New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 4, 2014
“I’ve never understood a year. A year was always a measurement of something bad for me. A year in my father’s prison sentence, a year since my mom’s death, a year left of school before I could get far, far away from here. Now, as I look down the end of my college career, with only a little more than a semester to go, a year seems like something magical. It has been a year since Lily chose me, since she sat with me on the old swing set and made a decision that I was worthy of her. And every minute of the entire year has been better than the last.”
You already know their stories: Lily, the perfect princess, always living someone else’s life. And Jack, the broken boy, who had stopped believing in hope. Somehow, though, they found each other and what was one night blossomed into a love story.
Now, a year later, Jack and Lily are dreaming of the future. Despite all of his promises to himself that he would never be indebted to anyone, Jack makes a new promise – this time to Lily – that he will be there for her forever. But when life unravels for them, he starts to pull away, and Lily worries he’s out of reach for good.
When Jack does the unthinkable, Lily is left destroyed. Is it possible to have a happily ever after? Does love ever really save anyone?
Series Reading Order: Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, and Blue Rose can be read in any order. There is some crossover in scenes between the titles, but each stands alone as one character’s story. Star of Bethlehem is a direct continuation from Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley. Orange Blossom and Ambrosia (releasing June 6, 2014) assume readers have read the other four titles and read as sequels. In essence, the first three are #1, Star of Bethlehem is #1.5, Orange Blossom is #2, and Ambrosia is #3.
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover: Shoutlines Design
18+ New Adult contemporary romance
This is a coming of age story, but it isn’t always sweet and innocent. If dirty talk, bedroom toys, and threesomes offend you… this is not your book.
“No one tells you when you start school just how homesick you will be, or how hard it will be to start life over with no direction and no friends or family. No one says that becoming your own person is terrifying.”
I never wanted anything but Derek, my brother’s best friend. When I chose a college, it didn’t seem to matter that he would be an hour away. We could survive it. After all, we were in love. But almost immediately, things change between us. I blame myself. Maybe I’m just not sure how to be a girlfriend and independent.
Life seems to be getting away from me – and then there’s Jack, the guy down the hall. He’s rude and vulgar and my parents would be shocked by him, yet every single time I see him, I feel like I’m being pulled toward him. It’s physical, sure, but there’s something in Jack’s eyes – and I want to know him.
I know I don’t always make the right choices, and I’m the only person at fault when everything falls apart. How do I tell Derek, the guy who was supposed to be everything, that I don’t feel like fighting for him anymore? And do I run to Jack, when I know his past is way too much for me to handle when I’ve just turned 19? Finally, where do I end up in all of this? Can I be more than just someone else’s idea of what I should be?
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover: Shoutlines Design
18+ New Adult contemporary romance
Jack’s story isn’t pretty. He’s suicidal, depressed, and he uses meaningless sex and alcohol to survive. However, the story is about finding light in the darkness, but sometimes the road there isn’t always easy to walk.
“No one tells you about pain. They tell you that it hurts, that sometimes it’s consuming. What they don’t tell you is that it’s not the pain that can kill you. It’s the uncomfortable numbness that follows, the weakness in your body when you realize your lungs may stop taking in air and you just can’t exert enough energy to care. It’s the way taste and color and smell fade from the world and all you’re left with is a sepia print of misery. That’s when the shift starts – the movement from passive to active. I fall asleep, hoping that the morning will bring back the pain. At least the pain is a thing.”
I’m a plague, a cancer. My mom is dead – and my father is in prison for it. I survived high school because college was my way out. I needed to escape, to get away from my family and the people who tortured me, but it hasn’t grown any easier.
I don’t pretend that I’m a good person. I drink far more than I should, and I use my best friend, Alana, because together, we thrive on destroying each other – as well as the parts of us we hate. I don’t believe in love, but sex is fun and it also makes me feel something.
The morning I see Lily, the beautiful princess who smells inexplicably like strawberries every time I see her, I realize I’m in trouble. I should hate her. I want to hate her, because the alternative terrifies me. However, as she continues to crash into my life (often literally), I can’t avoid feeling something that is the one thing I swore I would never feel. I can’t fall in love, because people like me don’t live in a world where love saves anyone.
She just won’t go away, though, and I don’t know if I can keep running. The voices and the darkness hover over me and they threaten to bring me back to the safety of my hate, but the stupid scent of strawberries lingers on the horizon, as something like hope.
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover Design: Shoutlines Design
Warning: This book deals with topics of abuse and may trigger reactions in people who have experienced those things in their own lives. It remains a story about healing, but it’s not always an easy journey.
“Four. My life has been shaped by four people. Four men, to be more specific. My father, my stepfather, my best friend, and my boyfriend. The first two shaped it in horrible ways, but what I am, who I am, is all because of four men.”
Over the last twenty years, I’ve learned how to keep secrets. It doesn’t really matter, since everyone already seems to think they know everything about me. So I hide. I avoid confrontation, I treat Xanax like a magic pill that will make it all go away, and I become everything they think I am. A slut. A whore. Nothing but trash.
I can only name two guys who have ever made me feel like I was more than that. Jack is my best friend and I’ve loved him since I met him. Now, though, he’s in love… with someone else, and I guess I need to get over him. Somehow.
And then there’s Dave. The guy I never gave a chance. The guy I used almost as much as people used me, because I wanted to pretend I was someone worth loving. Two years have passed since we last spoke, but I don’t know how to stop thinking about him.
My new therapist is making me face my past, and she tells me that life inevitably changes without our permission. I believe it, but I know what I am. I hear what she’s saying to me, and I want to try again with Dave, to help Jack find joy, to love myself, and to move on. I just wonder if anyone can do that, really.
Author: Sarah Daltry
Cover: Shoutlines Design
18+ NA contemporary romance
This is a holiday novella-length story that follows Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley.
“With you, Jack, it was the first time I ever felt real. It was the first time anyone looked at me and saw substance. It was the first time I wanted to make someone see me.”
Jack: New Year’s Eve. I’ve somehow managed to get here, and now I’m wearing a hideous and unreasonably itchy sweater, because I want to impress Lily’s family. I want to do anything for this girl who has made me believe in second chances.
Lily: The house is beautiful and shining with light, but it feels empty. At least until Jack gets here. I know how desperately he wants this – a family, love, a home. If I can be the person who can give it to him, it’s all I need, but I hope I can keep him from seeing how hollow it all really is.
Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She’s written works in various genres – romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn’t as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she’s been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships – romantic, familial, friendly – because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn’t matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future – human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah’s stories.
Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.
When Sarah isn’t writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.
Author Social Media Links:
Title: “Exiled” (Starwalkers Serial, #3) Release date: March 16 Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20948287-exiled
Exiled on the unfamiliar planet of Earth, Tyana must learn to blend in with normal Earthlings and bide her time until she finds a way back to Lemuria and her sister Cyena.
She can’t escape the instinct that something is off about the elite Lemurrian colony where she and the others refugees are hiding. She learns more of the prophecy from elite elders but begins to suspect she can’t trust those who are claiming to be her allies – especially after she discovers that they know how to get back to Lemuria but won’t let her go.
To make matters worse, she’s drawn to an Earthling named Collin, a man who makes her heart race with every look. Still reeling over the loss of Ryker, she can’t explain why she’s compelled to Collin and struggles to reconcile his death and her attraction to Collin with her guilt.
Rebellion members from Lemuria soon track down the colony of elite hiding out on Earth with orders to kill any survivors. If they succeed in reaching the elders, any chance Tyana has of returning to Lemuria will be destroyed.
With little time and the danger around her growing, Tyana must stay alive long enough to unravel the elders’ secrets and find her way home.
Find the Book
After living the past six years of her life as a shadow of her former self Stella Morgan’s twin sister Sloan takes matters into her own hands. Setting her quiet, reserved sister up with her friend and boss Brayden Brooks.
But after the trauma of her past, can Stella ever trust another man? Can she overcome her demons to find her happily ever after?
*Saving Stella is a novella.
“Well, that was unexpected. I sat on my couch with my feet tucked under my backside, sipping my glass of wine wondering what had happened this afternoon. Had Brayden really asked me out? Surely it was just because he felt bad about our initial introduction? He had said as much. But he continued to ask even though I assured him he had nothing to feel bad about. I think I insulted him. I hope not, but his reaction to my words was unmistakable.
Why couldn’t I just take a chance and do something out of my comfort zone for once? Oh yea, because ever since that night six years ago, I’m scared of my own damn shadow! Play it safe, be invisible. Stay under the radar. Blend into the crowd. I’ve been doing just fine in my little unassuming bubble.”
There is something sexy and hot when a bad boy falls in love HARD and it rocks his world. Especially when he turns into a soft, gooey mess with her and still kicks major butt with everyone else. I really liked this book, although it is short. There were a few times I had to read a part again because the author is from Australia so she uses different words than we do in the U.S.
Stella survived a brutal attack, saved by her twin sister Sloan. Now years later, Stella is alive but not living. Trying to save Stella again, Sloan convinces Bray to go to Stella for accounting help and wants to set them up. Sparks fly and Bray is willing to do anything to convince Stella to take a chance and trust him. I love Stella’s hidden spunk. She is hesitant and cautious, but it’s not overdone. You don’t feel like Stella is a victim, waiting for a man to save her. Bray comes across as a bad boy with a big heart and charming smile. I found myself rooting for their relationship to work, for Stella to open up and trust him. Here is one of my favorite parts of the book that won’t give away any spoilers. 🙂
“Your lady” “Yes, my lady. I’ll have you know right here, right now Stella, I’m not going anywhere. I know what I want and it’s you. I’ll go as slow as you want baby, but you’re as good as mine”.
Find the Book
What do you do when you find yourself falling for the kind of man you never in a million years imagined yourself with? How do you keep your distance when everything inside of you is craving the one thing you don’t deserve? When someone is as broken as I am, they don’t get the happily ever after. That kind of thing is reserved for people like my sister Stella, people who deserve it.
He thinks I’m worth loving, he thinks I’m special. But he doesn’t know the demons in my past. He doesn’t know the things I’ve done, to protect my family, to protect myself.
Sloan + Dex are HOT!
After reading Saving Stella (book 1), I knew I had to read Sloan’s story ASAP! I was so thankful that it was out & I jumped in immediately. Thankfully, Sloan’s story is a full length novel that I was able to read in one sitting. There is lots of licking and other adult situations that makes this an ADULT book vs YA.
Sloan watched as her best friend was able to save her twin, Stella. Bray pulled Stella out of her funk, gave her back some life. When Bray’s best friend Dex needs his first tattoo, he sends her to Sloan. Dex is everything Sloan is not. He is clean cut, rich and innocent. Looks are deceiving and Dex has lots of secrets and demons in his closets. Sloan is the strength of her family, willing to do everything necessary to protect and keep others safe. Unfortunately, she feels like it has left her unlovable, undesirable. Once Dex has convinced her to try to trust him, Sloan is dealt a blow that will tear open wounds she thought were buried forever.
About the Author
Mummy to three crazy cute lil minions.
Wife to a sexy tree lopper.
Little sister to a Nutbag, a Fireman and a Linesman.
Owner of a Big Ass Great Dane and a Slightly Psychotic Cat.
Writer of what i like to think are Fan-Freaking-Tastic books.
I discovered books can help you heal, give you motivation to go after what you really want in life and sooth the soul.
I had a strong desire to write a book of my own for quite sometime. So one day, I decided to do it. Simple as that. I had stories running around in my head and it was time to set them free.
I hope you will follow my journey as I discover myself as an author.