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I review young adult books by new and upcoming authors.
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By: Laura Benson,
#Emeralds is coming #Nov16th #TrihnsStory #AStormIsBrewing #IsWalkingAwayEasy #AllThatGlitters @authorkalinde
Author KA Linde is also giving away a $10 gift card on her Facebook
page! Go there
Also, don't forget to add EMERALDS to your Goodreads account!
By: Laura Benson,
Name: The Ground Rules Rewritten
Author; Roya Carmen
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Genre: Erotic Romantic Contemporary
Series: This is book two of a series
Five simple rules. And it was very simple…until it wasn’t.
It could have been much worse. We weren’t thinking straight and had put everything on the line – risking our marriages. So when Weston ended the arrangement, it was for the best – for all of us. But I was still heartbroken. I thought I’d shatter into a million pieces. I didn’t, I survived. Not only did I survive, I came out stronger and ready to move on with my life.
Weston reaches out to me. With a few soft words, a gentle touch and a lingering gaze, he crumbles all my efforts.
Neither Gabe nor I want to start this again, and we are determined to fight the temptation. But Weston and Bridget are not taking no for an answer, and the pull between all of us is still so strong.
I tell myself I can handle it this time. This time, I am in the driver’s seat. This time, I am rewriting the ground rules.
“The things I would do to you,” he whispers.
My breath hitches. Butterflies skitter across my belly, so swiftly it stuns me.
Damn you, Weston.
I turn to him. Suddenly there’s just the two of us. “Tell me.”
He smiles a wicked smile. “I’ll tell you,” he starts, his words impossibly slow, “the PG version. I’m sure you’ve noticed we’re surrounded by children,” he adds with a wink.
I smile up at him. “Sure. Tell me.” I want him to tell me all the exquisite details. If I can’t live it, I want to at least imagine it.
“Well,” he starts, a wicked grin plastered on his face. “First, I would take you to my room.”
I am all ears, glued to him.
“My room is quite nice. There’s a very charming old washroom.”
“Me too. Me too,” I blurt out. “It’s so cute.’
“Yes, well, as I was saying, I would take you to my room and draw you a bath. There’s a tempting claw-footed tub you would appreciate.” I close my eyes, imagining it. “I would pour in some of that nice bubble bath,” he goes on.
“Oh, it smells so good, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, it does,” he says with a smile. “You keep interrupting me, Mirella.”
“Yes, I’m sorry. Go on. I really want to know what you’d do to me,” I add in hushed tones.
“I would pull you to me, sweep my hands across your torso, peel your t-shirt off.”
I listen intently, no more interruptions.
He buries his hands in his pockets, a playful smile plastered on his face. He’s having fun. “I would twirl you around and kiss the back of your neck softly as I undid your bra. I would bring my mouth to the inside of your wrist and lick the soft skin there.”
I smile and close my eyes for a second, anticipating more.
“Then I would slide my hands down your hips and peel your jeans off,” he adds, his words soft. He’s not touching me, but his words do things to me.
“I’m naked now, aren’t I?”
“Yes. And in the bath you go.”
“Do you join me?” I ask playfully.
“No. I can’t. This is PG, remember?”
He grins. His smile is deliciously huge and wicked. And for a second, I hope no one is watching us. And I decide I don’t really care if they are.
“Once you got out of the bath, I would wrap you in one of those big fluffy bathrobes. And kiss you. My tongue would tease yours, but just for just a split second. You’d want more, of course, but I couldn’t give you more, because, like I said, this is PG.”
I laugh, completely caught up in him.
God, I am so into him.
“Then you would close your eyes, and I would kiss each one of your eyelids softly. Then I would kiss the freckle in the middle of your nose. The one I love.”
The butterflies in my stomach are flying in a frenzy now. “Then what?”
He smiles again. “Then I would tuck you into bed, nice and cozy, and put on a movie for you.”
“Ugh, but I don’t want a movie,” I almost scream. “You know what I want,” I tell him, a sly grin on my face.
He laughs. “Sorry. Like I said…PG.”
I smile up at him again. “I really want to punch you right now.”
He laughs again, that contagious laugh.
I take a deep breath.
And I know I’m getting too caught up in him again.
But I just can’t help myself.
BUY LINKS FOR BOOK ONE: THE GROUND RULE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Romance writer, mom, book junkie. I have been writing for over ten years, finding my passion for romance in 2008. When I'm not spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, painting, and of course, writing - there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down at my laptop and making up my own stories - and if those stories should include beautiful men, a little romance, and a few steamy scenes, all the better!
By: Laura Benson,
Check out the GORGEOUS cover for K.A. Linde's next book in the All that Glitters Series - EMERALDS! This is Trihn's book releasing on November 16th. You can pre-order below and there is also a chance to win an eARC copy of this book below! And don't forget to check out a sneak peek too! Enjoy!!!!
Walking away from him was easy.
The first time at least.
Then he shows up late one night at Trihn’s ballet company, and all bets are off. Trihn knows that she should be careful. But when it comes to Preston Whitehall, she throws all her carefully constructed reasons for not dating out the window.
He’s cunning, charming, and hot as sin. And he knows exactly how to use those qualities to get what he wants. Soon, Trihn is dragged deeper and deeper into his rapidly intensifying whirlwind.
But where a storm is brewing…destruction and devastation follow.
Find out how Trihn goes from prodigy to party girl in this sexy full-length prequel to Platinum
in the USA Today
bestselling author K.A. Linde's All That Glitters series.
Release Date: November 16, 2015
Cover designed by: Okay Creations
Trihn sighed and sank back into her seat just as the first ballerina floated on stage. As she reveled in the performance, Preston ran his hand up her arm and to her shoulder, sending shivers down her spine. She glanced over and him and he had this dirty smirk on his face. He wasn’t even watching the ballet. His eyes were solely trained on her.
She swallowed and stared back at the ballet in front of her, but her attention was torn. His fingers brushed her long tresses off her neck. The palm of his hand pushed flat against her skin and up into hair. He pulled it gently, and as her head dipped backward, her eyes closed of their own accord.
With his other hand, he laced their fingers together, bringing her hand to his lips. He tenderly kissed each knuckle before drawing her thumb gently between his teeth. She inhaled deeply.
He seemed to be enjoying himself as he kneaded the muscles in her neck. He leaned forward toward her and planted a soft kiss on the sensitive skin.
“Keep your eyes open. You don’t want to miss a second of this,” he breathed softly.
Dear God! He was teasing her. This was sweet blissful torture.
She could hardly concentrate. Keeping up with two things at once, when one was tempting her with everything she wanted, was harder than it seemed. She was glad that as the ballet drew to a close that she had seen it before or else she would have been entirely lost to what was happening much of the performance.
His touch was captivating, and she found she was a lost cause when it came to this man. She hadn’t just forgotten the ballet that was in front of her face; the world had disappeared all around her. In a sea of people, there was just him.
The curtain dropped unexpectedly, bright lights flooded the auditorium, and Trihn jolted upright. Preston sat up straight as if he hadn’t just been working her into a frenzy with the lightest touches imaginable. The smirk on his face was the only indication that anything was amiss.
As the curtain was raised and the dancers began to take their bows, Trihn rose on shaky legs to give the ballet that she couldn’t remember a standing ovation. Preston stood by her side, applauding. They clapped until everyone left the stage and people started filing out.
She exited into the aisle, and Preston grabbed her hand again.
“Hey, we’re not done,” he said. The words were suggestive and were accented by his hand squeezing around her waist.
“Oh?” she managed to get out.
“Come on. I think you’ll like this surprise better.”
“Why is that?” she asked.
“Because I like to finish the things that I start.”
USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde has written the Avoiding series and the Record series as well as the new adult novels Following Me and Take Me for Granted. She grew up as a military brat traveling the United States and Australia. While studying political science and philosophy at the University of Georgia, she founded the Georgia Dance Team, which she still coaches. Post-graduation, she served as the campus campaign director for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An avid traveler, reader, and bargain hunter, K.A. lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband and two puppies, Riker and Lucy.
♥READ THE SERIES♥
*Gold is on SALE for a week for $.99!*
By: Laura Benson,
It’s release day for Ruthless by Michelle St. James. We’re so excited for this sexy mafia romance! Michelle is sharing an excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so be sure to check out all the festivities!
(My Review will be up soon! So come back! Make sure you read to bottom, awesome giveaway!!!-Laura)
Two years out of college, Angelica Bondesan spends her time working as a barista, keeping in touch with her prodigal brother, and trying to figure out how to bridge the gap with her father, a wealthy real estate developer.
But all of that changes the night she’s kidnapped. Thrown into a windowless room, Angelica is positive there’s been some kind of mistake —until she meets Nico Vitale.
Gorgeous and frightening, Nico became the boss of New York City’s Vitale crime family after the execution style murder of his parents two years earlier. Since then he’s turned the old-school mob into a sleek, modern army of ruthless men who understand that physical violence —while always an option —isn’t the only way to get what you want.
Now Angel is forced to face the truth;
Her father is not the man she believed him to be.
Nico Vitale is dangerous, possibly lethal.
She is falling in love with Nico Vitale.
"From page one you're hooked and sucked into this corrupt thrilling world. A masterful romance of deep dark suspense, complicated emotions, and exciting action."
- New York Times bestseller, M.J. Rose
Barnes and Noble
Nico Vitale was kneeling in one of the pews at St. Monica’s, praying for his mother and father. They’d been gone two years, but the pain of losing them still lingered. He had only been twenty-eight when they’d been killed, and he’d expected to have them for many more years, to give them the daughter-in-law and grandchildren they had wanted.
Their future had been stolen. From all of them.
He forced down the fury that had become all too familiar. Anger was good. Productive. It’s what drove him to seek justice, to right the wrong perpetrated against his family, against the honor code that had survived decades under the rule of some of history’s most violent men.
But this wasn’t the place for anger. This was the place for peace. Repentance. He took a deep breath and tired to calm himself.
His mother had always gone to St. Patrick’s, but Nico made a point of moving around the city, sitting in any church with an open door. He liked the anonymity of it. Liked knowing that no one would know him or remember his parents.
His faith was only a shadow of the belief that had sustained them. Nico didn’t believe in the edicts of the Church. It had been organized by man to benefit man. He worshipped his own god, and his god didn’t turn the other cheek. He might forgive, but that forgiveness didn’t preclude a punishment justly earned. Still, he liked to sit in silence and remember, to send love to his parents, wherever they were, and to stand on the side of any god who believed in vengeance.
He was reciting the Lord’s Prayer when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He instinctively shook off the hand. When he turned to see who had interrupted him, he was even less pleased.
“What is it, Dante?”He forced his voice even as he took in the leather jacket and jeans worn by the man in front of him. A dress code was part of Nico’s organizational reboot, but keeping cool was a point of pride, part of his mission to remake his father’s business for the twenty-first century. And having a reputation for being calm only made him more formidable when the situation called for his wrath.
Dante shifted in his seat, his face flushed, eyes feverish with excitement. “We got her,”he said. “We got the girl.”
Nico looked around before tipping his head at the church’s massive double doors. “Not here.”
Dante stood, hurrying down the aisle. Nico followed slowly, letting the peace of the church wash over him as he made his way out the door.
He took his time following Dante down the steps of the church. When they reached the sidewalk, they stepped back to stand near an adjacent building.
“Any trouble?”Nico asked.
Dante shook his head. “She didn’t see it coming.”
Nico didn’t like the note of excitement in Dante’s voice. Nico’s father had ingrained old-fashioned chivalry in his bones, and Nico never sanctioned hurting women. These kinds of things were a necessary part of doing business, not something he enjoyed.
“You didn’t hurt her.”It wasn’t a question.
Dante sighed, and Nico caught a hint of annoyance in the other man’s face before he could hide it. “We did it just like you said. Knocked her out, put her in the van, took her to the basement. She’s fine.”
Nico nodded. “Good. Make sure she’s comfortable.”
“Comfortable?”Dante’s laugh was bitter. “Why do we care if that bitch is comfortable?”
Nico clamped a hand on Dante’s shoulder and squeezed until he flinched. “We don’t call women bitches in this organization. Ever. Understand?”
Dante nodded, his eyes lit with the fire of indignation.
“Good.”Nico released his grip. “Now go make the pick-up.”
“Will do.”Dante rolled his shoulders, like doing so would free him of Nico’s grip when they both knew only death or dishonor would do that. “Want a ride back to the office?”
“No.”He didn’t owe Dante an explanation.
Dante nodded and headed for the car double parked at the curb. Nico watched him get in and drive away. He waited for the car to disappear into traffic before he started walking.
Dante was a problem. Nico understood it, but he was still trying to settle on a strategy for dealing with it. He knew Dante resented him. That Dante believed his father, Gabriel Santoro, should have been Underboss to Nico’s father before his death. If that had been the case, Dante’s father would be Boss now, and Dante himself would be the crown prince of the New York territory.
Instead, a year before his death Nico’s father had inexplicably turned to Nico, pleading with him to step in as Underboss. Only twenty-seven at the time, Nico wasn’t ready to take on the mantel of responsibility held by his father. He didn’t even believe in the mob. Not the way it was then; stealing and killing and raping in the name of money. In the name of power.
But his father had been unsettled. Even Nico, as young and wrapped up in himself as he’d been at the time, could see that. And his father -- his family -- meant everything to him. So he’d gotten his act together and joined the business, learning it from the inside out. He was just beginning to feel like he had a handle on the basic operations when his parents were murdered, execution style, outside the restaurant where they’d met over three decades ago. They had been celebrating their thirty-second anniversary.
Nico had spent the two years since remaking his father’s legacy. Raneiro Donati, head of the Syndicate that acted as governing body to criminal organizations all over the world, had stepped in as a mentor and father figure, guiding Nico through the early stages of grief and the rage that threatened to undo him. Gradually, Nico had found a focus for his fury, and he’d poured every ounce of his energy into targeting that focus and reimagining his father’s legacy.
Some of Nico’s soldiers embraced the change. Others, like Dante, clung to the old ways. Nico understood, but the reorganization wasn’t optional. They would comply or they would be gone.
Nico didn’t like taking the girl. A decade ago, something like that would be off the table, a blatant breaking of rules that had been in place since before the Syndicate formally existed. But nothing could be rebuilt without first dismantling the rotting foundation of what had come before.
And unfortunately, the girl was part of that foundation.
He checked for traffic on 2nd Avenue and crossed just before a taxi barreled through the intersection. He felt liberated by his time at the church. Lighter on his feet. Maybe he would call one of the women who acted as a physical companion when he felt the urge.
After all, he wasn’t a saint.
Michelle St. James Bio:
Michelle St. James aka Michelle Zink is the author of seven published books and six novellas. Her first series, Prophecy of the Sisters (YA), was one of Booklist's Top Ten Debut novels. Her work has also been an Indie Next selection and has appeared on prestigious lists such as the Lonestar List, New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age, and Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best. Her character, Alice, won the Teen Read Awards for Best Villain against Harry Potter's Lord Voldemort.
Enter Michelle’s Giveaway!
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By: Laura Benson,
Today we’re revealing the cover of Kyla Linde’s The Affiliate! I am so excited about this fantastic YA fantasy!!
Title: The Affiliate (Ascension, 1)
Author: K. A. Linde
Release Day: September 15th
Genre: YA Fantasy
About The Affiliate:
On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm's lifelong plans come to fruition when she's chosen as an Affiliate to the Queen.
Or so she thinks. When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene's position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have...
King Edric himself.
Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.
Add on Goodreads
Pre-Order Now: Amazon
“Do you enjoy the view?” King Edric asked.
“The rains have made the gardens bloom, and it warms my heart to see it so.”
“It is good to know that the gardener approves of the work.”
Cyrene laughed lightly. “I have not gardened in a month’s time. I fear I can no longer call myself a gardener.”
She remembered when she had told the king of her interest in gardening at the last feast day almost a week ago. After that dance, Queen Kaliana added a list of plants to her assignment, forcing her to reread every page she had already dredged through for information. It had wasted two entire days.
“Perhaps I could change that,” he offered.
He directed her down the staircase and into the courtyard below lit solely by the setting sun in the distance.
Her stomach churned at the thought of him offering assistance to any of her needs. It was like what she had read in her children’s books of the tales of Leifs, and how one request would be necessitated by a much larger sacrifice. Her biggest sacrifice at the present moment was time. She wanted nothing more than to finish her work on agriculture and prove that she could get moved somewhere that involved traveling…and adventure.
“On the contrary, My King, I am fully enthralled in my Affiliate duties, and believe that gardening would only distract me from my work.”
“You cannot spare one afternoon to spend in my gardens?” His blue-gray eyes searched her face. “If you have half the green thumb you suggest, then it would be delightful to have you on the grounds.”
She swallowed. “I really have much work to accomplish before we go on Processional.”
“I could speak to the Queen and request it be lessened,” he whispered into the evening air.
“No!” It was the first time he had ever admitted to discussing her with the Queen. Hearing him admit it aloud made her voice come out strangled.
Cyrene missed her footing on the pebble path and stumbled forward a pace. Edric steadied her. He turned his body to face her in the middle of the garden, and her breath caught at the sight of him in the setting sun.
“You do not wish me to speak to the Queen?”
“I spoke out of turn. Please forgive me.”
“I cannot forgive that which I do not understand. Did the Queen somehow offend you?”
Cyrene shook her head. “I fear that the Queen does not…like me.”
Edric laughed softly, taking one of her hands in his own. “Oh Cyrene, I believe that the Queen likes no one but herself.”
Cyrene found that she, too, could laugh at his comment.
“Now, tell me what the Queen has done to make you believe that she dislikes you.”
“It’s nothing, my King.” She turned her face away from his. She couldn’t possibly tell him the real reason.
“Enough to infuriate you, which is enough for me.”
When she looked back up into his blue-gray eyes she felt that same magnetic pull between them. Somehow she had not realized how close they were standing. His hand felt warm against her bare skin. His body only a few inches away from her. His breath hot on her face. Her heart contracted in her chest, and she forced herself to respond.
“She speaks of…of your interference, as if…as if you…”
Time stretched between them, and she thought for a split second he might move even closer to her. She was rooted in place, captivated by his gaze.
“Yes?” His other hand drifted to her waist, and she was suddenly on fire.
Their breath mingled together as she murmured, “As if you favor me.”
“And do you think that?”
“Yes?” he asked, stepping closer.
“I think you have your queen,” she breathed.
About K. A. Linde:
USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde is the author of The Affiliate, the first book in the Ascension Series. As a military brat, she traveled the world with her family, imaginary friends, and ever-increasing supply of books. She has spent much of her life dreaming up new worlds and characters and forcing them into uncomfortable, usually life-threatening scenarios. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a masters degree in political science, she began spending every waking hour putting those characters onto paper.
When not writing, she spends her time dancing, collecting paperbacks in the hopes of filling a Beauty and the Beast style library one day, traveling to visit her friends who live all over the country, and still reading anything she can get her hands on. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and two puppies, Lucy and Riker, where she is hard at work on her next novel.
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Enter KA’s fantastic giveaway!!
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By: Laura Benson,
Nikki Lynn Barrett will be on tour June 15-22 with her novel Fallen Idol
What goes up must come down...
Kyra Sanders had a promising career in country music in her teen years. She gained popularity and fame, riding high atop the the charts. Then one deadly accident changed things, sending her spiraling downward to the point she went into a hiatus from music.
Six years later, Kyra's making her return to the music scene. With an album in the works and a new song on the radio, her career is back on track, until a call from Texas with news of an accident forces her to halt her plans.
Matt Greer is working through the aftermath of his ex-wife's abandonment when she chose to leave him and their fourteen year old son to pursue her own musical dreams. He's had enough of troubled musicians and the havoc they bring to his life. Kyra surprises him in a good way, but it doesn't mean he wants anything to do with a singer who comes to town with trouble on her trail.
It's hard to avoid each other in a small town, especially when their families are close. Matt should stay away from the woman who could lead danger right to their town, and it's possible she already has, but he can't help how drawn he becomes to her.
The sparks ignite, but danger lurks in the distance, only getting closer as time goes on. For two people who want different things out of life, it's possible to find healing together...
Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops!
I'm an avid lover of books. I've been writing as far back as I can remember, completing my first "book" by fifth grade in one of those one subject spiral notebooks. I have a passion for music, photography, jewelry and all things creative. I live in Arizona with my husband and son, but dream of being somewhere much colder and stormier. For now, I'll have to live that life through my characters and stick it out with the summer heat.
Places to find me on the web:
Website: where you can subscribe to my newsletter.
Facebook Chat group: Nikki's Book Nook:
Nikki's Book Stormers:
I love to hear from readers!
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Enter to win a signed copy of the Love & Music in Texas Collection from Nikki Lynn Barrett - US only! Fill out this form to enter:
By: Laura Benson,
I'm a day late because I thought my tour day was June 4. BEA (Book Expo) completely turned me around. But I'm so excited to present Mia Storm's book to the world. Her first book, GETTING DIRTY, was amazing. I just love the whole teacher/student relationships. I know in the real world they're frowned upon, but in fiction, there is just something completely magical about them.
Now with the second book it's a similar idea with Marcus as our main character. He's not exactly a teacher, he's the coach of the high school water polo team. For which he was the star player in college and back at the same high school he's coaching at. What he doesn't expect is to find quiet Addaline (Addie) to be exactly what he is looking for.
Marcus is gorgeous and all the girls on the water polo team just have a bit of a crush on him, but it's Addie's quiet and quite brilliant play that attracts him. Even while the other girls (teens) hit on him, he blows them off. He remembers what his sister went thru a few years earlier and how his now brother-in-law Caiden ended up in jail. So Marcus knows that any type of relationship with Addie is a) taboo and b) illegal as she's not quite legal in California (18 is the age of consent)
What I love about Mia's stories is that you fall in love with both characters equally. I adore the dual point of views because we can get into the head of each character. We have our villains and there is definitely enough romance to go around. I'm definitely looking forward to more Mia Storm books
By: Laura Benson,
The author of I See London sets her sights on Washington, D. C., with a sexy new series about three sisters, the secrets they keep, and a powerful blog with a knack for exposing scandals...
Jackie Gardner knows all about dirty little secrets. The illegitimate daughter of one of the most influential senators in Washington, D.C., she grew up surrounded by the scandals and shadows of politics. Now that she's landed an internship with a powerful political consulting firm, she's determined to launch her career and take this city by storm.
William Andrew Clayton was born for politics. He knows the drill: work hard, play discreetly, and at all costs, avoid scandal. At twenty-six, his campaign for the Virginia State Senate is the first step to cementing his future. It's time for him to settle down, to find the perfect political spouse. He needs a Jackie Kennedy, not a Marilyn...
When Jackie meets Will in the bar of the Hay-Adams Hotel, sparks fly. But the last thing Will needs is to be caught in a compromising position, and an affair with a political candidate could cost Jackie her career. When what began as one steamy night, becomes a passion neither one of them can walk way from, they must decide if what they have is really love, or just another dirty little secret...
He moved forward, just an inch, but enough that his hand reached out, circling my wrist. We both froze the instant he touched me. His eyes widened, almost as if he were surprised by his own actions.
We both looked down at the same time, our gazes glued to the spot where our flesh met.
His hand was tanner than mine. It was easy to imagine him outdoors—sailing, maybe. Maybe he still played lacrosse. He looked so masculine, and physical, and something about the sight of his hand—long, tapered fingers, neatly trimmed nails—was enough to make my breath catch. His hands, like everything else about his body, were big. With him arched over my chair, it was impossible to not feel like he dominated me.
We didn’t look at each other, instead we both watched as he turned my hand over, palm up. For a second I forgot to breathe. Everything around us, the sounds of glasses clinking and deals being made, fell away. I forgot that I was at the Hay-Adams, forgot everything but the image of his hand, so male, so strong, so capable, encircling mine.
I waited. It must have been only seconds, and yet it felt like an eternity. Waited until I felt it, the brush of his finger, featherlight, on the inside of my wrist—stroking, teasing, tempting—unraveling me with the slightest touch.
I went completely still, my body anchored by his. The fire alarm could have gone off and I wouldn’t have moved an inch. My eyes closed, savoring the feel of his hand on my bare skin.
It was the kind of touch that was nothing and everything at the same time. It was an invitation, a proposition, a claiming, possession. With one finger, the power completely shifted.
My eyes fluttered open, unable to resist the urge to watch. His fingers stroked the inside of my wrist, lazy patterns and swirls that somehow looked like art. Each touch sent a shiver through me, my nipples tightening, heat flooding my body. I’d never been so turned on in my life, and all he’d touched was the inside of my wrist.
Flirting with Scandal by Chanel Cleeton has it all. A sexy hero, strong heroine, delicious romance, sizzling tension, and plenty of breathtaking scandal.
- New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy
Scorching hot and wicked smart, Flirting with Scandal had me hooked from page one! Sizzling with sexual tension and political intrigue, Cleeton weaves a story that is as complex as it is sexy. Thank God this is a series because I need more!!
- New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris
Sexy, intelligent, and intriguing. Chanel Cleeton makes politics scandal-icious.
- USA Today bestselling author Tiffany King
Chanel Cleeton knocked it out of the park with Flirting with Scandal. The banter was refreshing, the political storyline captivating, and the sexual tension was through the roof. Smart, emotional, romantic, and sizzling hot--this book is fantastic!
- Christina Lee, author of the Between Breaths series
Chanel Cleeton delivers again! Featuring a strong heroine, a steamy romance, and juicy dose of political scandal, Flirting with Scandal is completely engrossing. Clear your calendars--you won't be able to put this one down!
- Brenda St. John Brown, author of Swimming to Tokyo
An emotionally satisfying page turner, deliciously steamy and set against a complex political backdrop that yields satisfying plot twists and a hefty dose of scandal.
- Lia Riley, author of Upside Down
By: Laura Benson,
I recently read GETTING DIRTY, by Mia Storm and flipping fell in love. So when I had the opportunity to reveal the cover to the second book in the series, I was like, SIGN ME THE HELL UP!
This cover is absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait until May 28!!!
Rules of the game:
1) Never underestimate your opponent
Coach Marcus Leon has always played by the rules…until he
meets Addaline Grace, the seventeen-year-old senior transfer on his Oak Crest High water polo team. Addie changes all the rules, mostly because she doesn’t play any games. But as off limits as she is, the more Marcus discovers about Addie, the more he finds himself…and the more he questions whether Addie might just be worth risking everything for.
For Addie, water polo is anger management. She’s driven and focused because it keeps her mind off other things…like the fact she destroyed her family. Her game plan is to keep her head down and graduate so she can leave her father and the crappy town he dragged her to in her wake. But when what starts as friendly completion with Marcus turns into more than a game, Addie has to decide if she’s willing to face down her demons…and possibly ruin the man she may or may not be falling in love with in the process.
What happens when the only thing you need is the one thing you can’t have?
** This is a standalone
A poem by Blaire Leon
If sex is dirty, why would I do it with someone
If sex is dirty, then didn’t we all come from
What if I want to get dirty?
What if I want to roll in the mud until I’m so
fucking filthy that I’ll never be clean again?
When twenty-five-year-old graduate assistant Caiden Brenner
asked Blaire Leon how old she was, she said she was a senior. He chose to believe she meant in college. They connect over Lord Byron’s Don Juan and, as their conversations become increasingly thicker with sexual innuendo, Caiden finds himself obsessing over a totally off-limits undergrad who’s bold, beautiful, brilliant, and one of the most passionate poets he’s ever met.
But it turns out Blaire hasn't been totally honest. She's the seventeen-year-old valedictorian of her high school class, taking courses at Sierra State while awaiting her acceptance to Stanford.
Will Caiden get too deeply into Blaire to back away before he finds out the truth? Or will their connection be enough to seduce him into risking his entire future on Jail Bait?
Mia Storm is a hopeless romantic who is always searching for her happy ending. Sometimes she’s forced to make one up. When that happens, she’s thrilled to be able to share those stories with her readers. She lives in California and spends much of her time in the sun with a book in one hand and a mug of black coffee in the other, or hiking the trails in Yosemite. Connect with her online at MiaStormAuthor.blogspot.com , on Twitter at @MiaStormAuthor, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MiaStormAuthor
LIKE MIA STORM on FACEBOOK
By: Laura Benson,
WRITING LOVING DALLAS, by Caisey Quinn
One of the absolute craziest things about writing Loving Dallas was the fact that it was like having two male leads. Dallas himself says it best in the chapter where he explains to Robyn about "Person Dallas" and "Performer Dallas." The recording label he is hired onto quickly turns charming Dallas Lark from Amarillo (think: country cutie Easton Corbin) into the sexy, sharp-tongued Dallas Walker, a drifter with a shady past (think: country music outlaw Eric Church). I thought it might be fun to compare the two sides of my guy side by side!
First up, even though he's really just one man, Dallas has a completely different style when he's on stage. If you were to see the laid back crooner around town, he'd be clad in a well worn-in flannel button down and his favorite pair of jeans and cowboy boots. There will likely be trucker hat providing some shade over his baby blues. However, stop in to see a show and you might not recognize him! On stage Dallas Walker rocks an edgier look including Aviators, leather jackets, and biker boots. Vintage rock band tees are a staple in the wardrobe of this version of Dallas!
Dallas Lark is a caring and somewhat overprotective big brother to his little sister, Dixie. He believes women should be treated like the ladies that they are with the respect they deserve. He says Grace and he says ma'am, y'all!
Dallas Walker on the other hand is a little rougher around the edge and if you get too close you might enter a danger zone where you end up in scandalous tabloid photos alongside country music's newest bad boy!
Dallas Lark will forever carry a torch for his high school sweetheart, Robyn Breeland. She is and will always be his muse.
Dallas Walker can't be tamed or tied down and women traipse in and out of his life quicker than Billboard chart toppers change places! He does certainly pay a lot of attention to one special lady that has yet to be identified by media sources. Rumor has it she's the one that got away!
Which version of Dallas would be your favorite kind of book boyfriend? Decide for yourself on 6.16.15 when LOVING DALLAS GOES LIVE!
LOVING DALLAS EXCERPT 2
“I’m still me,” he’d said before falling asleep.
I’d been about to snuggle down into that blissful murkiness of sleepy time when he’d said it.
No matter how much he’d changed, Dallas was still Dallas. And maybe I had a college degree and a big-girl job, but I was still the same girl he couldn’t forgive. I’d been an idiot, pushed him away so that he wouldn’t let my mom’s illness stop him from chasing his dreams. By the time I realized how unfair it was and how much I needed him, the damage was done and Dallas Lark had moved on.
I was the one who’d needed space, but Dallas ended up being the one to walk away for good.
Forget being on the same page; Dallas and I had been reading entirely different books when it came to our relationship. In mine, there was a happily ever after that involved making a life together. He wasn’t just in my story—he was my story. In his I was merely a chapter.
I’m still me.
I wanted to smack myself. Hard. Of course he was still him. And he’d still walk away, dragging my battered heart behind him while I watched him leave. I’d hurt him, deeply. And I’d live with that regret for the rest of my life. He’d still be the guy who chose music over me, over us. He had even more reason to now that he was on this tour.
I waited there in his arms, forcing my steel walls back up between us while he drifted into unconsciousness. Once his breathing was deep and the light rumble of a snore settled into a steady rhythm, I slipped out of his bed and gathered my things as quietly as I could. Dressing quickly, I watched him, memorizing that peaceful look on his handsome face and promising myself this was a one-time thing. I wasn’t going to obsess over it. It was a life experience, one I didn’t regret but knew I’d be crazy to repeat.
I chanced one last look as I left, before I shut the door completely. The light from the hotel hallway sliced across him and he looked so . . . alone.
I closed the door and told myself this was for the best. What would having breakfast together or sharing a cab to the airport change? Nothing, that’s what.
This time, I’d been the one to leave. For the sake of my sanity and my heart, I could never fall into bed with Dallas Lark again.
BUY LINKS and AUTHOR LINKS:
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By: Laura Benson,
Dove Glitch is embarrassed about everything above her knees and below her belly button. When she has to fill a delicate, embarrassing prescription the last thing she needs is a sexy-as-hell (and brand spanking new) pharmacist behind the counter.
Johnson Fitzwell’s first day of his dream career also happens to coincide with the exact moment Dove needs her feminine meds filled. His glorious voice is way too loud–as in, he should be counting down the hits with Ryan Seacrest kind of loud. Thanks to Johnson’s handsome face and gorgeous jaw line, Dove dives headlong into her waking nightmare and asks for a vagina-scented cream.
How could she not fall for him? Dove's only active goal now is to get Johnson to kiss her right on the lips. Either set. However, his horrible girlfriend is one of many obstacles preventing her from making that fantasy a reality. When Dove defends Johnson in the most unhygienic, unconventionally gross way in the middle of a crowded restaurant, their tender, slightly tantric relationship is off to a galloping, farting start.
Each print copy of this book will be dipped in holy water by my mom, and glared at by my father as he purses his lips. Neither will help. So, drop your pants and turn to the left and cough. I hope you're not allergic to latex, because it’s time to fill your prescription. Anally.
Oh God. We’re talking about me being naked, in the shower with cooter cream. Please world, end. Kill me.
“I know it’s not soap. I just… if it’s scented… I can’t do scented. Flowers and stuff
like that. Fruit-flavored soaps make… things… burnish.” She could tell from the
peeks at his face Mr. Fitzwell had never stepped foot in bath and lotion store,
wanting to try the array of fun fragrances. Nor had he purchased Peppermint
Candy shower gel, foamed up his nether regions, and felt like he had dipped
them in lava. Dove crossed and uncrossed her legs at the memory.
Mr. Fitzwell seemed concerned. “Okay, just a heads-up. It’s definitely not good to
put any fruits or plant life near your genitals.” He made a V with his hands
and formed his own pretend vagina in front of his pants.
Dove covered her eyes and tried to defend herself because now she could hear the
sickly older woman beating her supporters with a purse.
Dove’s mumbling got louder with her embarrassment. “I don’t put weird things down…
there. Just make sure that the cream’s vagina-scented. Just plain. For vaginas.” She kept her eyes on the counter.
There are a lot of eyes in Debra Anastasia’s house in Maryland. First, her own creepy peepers are there, staring at her computer screen. She’s made two more sets of eyes with her body, and the kids they belong to are amazing. The poor husband is still looking at her after 17 years of marriage. At least he likes to laugh. Then the freaking dogs are looking at her—six eyeballs altogether though the old dog is blind. And the cat watches her too, mostly while knocking stuff off the counter and doing that internal kitty laugh when Deb can’t catch the items fast enough.
Debra has a smattering of books in a few genres. There are two in the Seraphim Series and three in the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series with a prequel, Poughkeepsie Begins in the near future. Fire Down Below is the first in the comedic Gynzaule Series. The second, Fire in the Hole, will be published in late 2015. The Revenger, a dark paranormal romance will debut this summer. And last, a novella called Late Night with Andres is special because 100% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. (So go get it right now, please!) You can find her at DebraAnastasia.com and on Twitter @Debra_Anastasia. But be prepared...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is one of the giveaways for US residents ONLY!
By: Laura Benson,
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey, comes the next fun and sexy novel in her Broke and Beautiful trilogy!
On Sale 4/21/15
“How did this tweed-wearing English professor turn out to be my dirtiest hero ever? Cause he really is.”--Tessa Bailey
When Honey Perribow traded in her cowboy boots for stilettos and left her small Kentucky town to attend Columbia University, she never expected to find a dirt-cheap apartment or two new best friends. No stranger to hard work, Honey’s sole focus is a medical degree...until she sees newly-minted Professor, Ben Dawson, and her concentration is hijacked. Honey is fascinated by her gorgeous, young English professor and vows to find a crack his tweed-wearing, glasses-clad exterior.
While at an off campus party, an accident lands Ben in a dark, locked closet with a sexy-sounding southern belle...and their chemistry is explosive. But when he discovers that the girl in his arms is the same beautiful student he can’t stop thinking about, he is stunned. Student-teacher relationships are strictly forbidden…yet no matter how hard he tries, Ben can’t stay away from Honey.
And when his attempts to fight their attraction nearly ruin the best thing that ever happened to him, Ben will do anything to prove how much he needs her.
About Tessa Bailey
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.
By: Laura Benson,
I am so excited for this book. Griffin is such a character in the THOUGHTLESS series that his getting his own story is simply amazing. This cover is EXACTLY how I pictured him too! Longish hair, medium build, and gorgeous in a wet t-shirt!
Book will be released
Nov. 3, 2015
Griffin Hancock is tired of being stuck behind Kellan Kyle's spotlight. He's the best, the main event, and everyone should know it. He has Anna, and his beautiful daughter Gibson, and to hell with the rest of them. A new venture presents itself, and Griffin decides this is his chance. When he tells the band about his new side gig, they are less than supportive. Undaunted by their criticism, Griffin decides to take matters into his own hands. Packing up his family, he leaves Seattle behind and returns to L.A. to break out on his own. But success isn't as easy as Griffin thought it would be, and he soon finds that the phrase 'You don't know what you've got until it's gone', is all too true.
S. C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who enjoys creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she likes spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.
Connect with S.C. online!
Soon to be at retailers everywhere including Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, iTunes, Kobo, and IndieBound too!
By: Laura Benson,
I originally wanted to interview Kiera Allen for my blog tour; unfortunately, she was too busy. I'm sorry guys, I thought it would've been a great interview to find out how she felt about Kellan writing his side of the story. But alas, it's not to be. However, her biographer S.C. Stephen graciously answered some stock answers (not mine) and here they are. Below will be my review of THOUGHTFUL. (Quotations are mine and mine alone)
1. Why set your books in Seattle?
I know the city, so I felt comfortable writing about it.
2. Were Kellan and the D-Bags inspired by a specific band?
Not one in particular. I was listening to a lot of OneRepublic, The Fray, and Linkin’ Park at the time, so they are sort of a mixture of all three bands. How did you come up with the name? It came about while I was writing it. I was doing the scene where Griffin is talking about the T-shirts, and once he said Douchebags, I knew that was it. (One Direction???)
3. Many readers say Kellan was the first/favorite book boyfriend. What do you think appeals to readers about him?
I think it’s a mixture of his job, his past, his looks, his pain, and the fact that he is so incredibly devoted to the people he cares about. (He seemed like a real character and not overly fake like some book boyfriends out there. How many billionaires do we need?)
4. Do you have any favorite book boyfriends of your own?
Edward Cullen will always be my favorite book boyfriend. Sigh. I love him. (Mr. Darcy, anyone?)
5. What are five books on your night stand?
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Love, in English by Karina Halle. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken. (All decent in their own right.)
Determined to stop thinking, to just go with whatever happened, I dipped my finger into my drink and wet the backs of our hands. Kiera watched every move I made as I shook some salt over our hands. When she made no move to drink her shot, I broke the ice and took mine so she’d feel more comfortable about doing this with me. My throat was numb from doing Jäger shots all night, so it didn’t even burn. It burned for Kiera though.
Her tongue came out to lick the salt off her hand, her mouth opened to receive her drink, and her lips curled around the lime, squeezing its juices. It was an erotic thing to watch. Then her face twisted into a grimace. I chuckled at her reaction, then poured us another round.
The second shot went down easier for her. The third was even easier. We didn’t talk, just drank. And the more alcohol she consumed, the hungrier her eyes became. She was staring at me as tenaciously as the women in the bar did. I did my best to ignore it, but it was difficult to do…I wanted her to look at me like that. I wanted to look at her like that. But I wasn’t about to make any assumptions on what was going to happen tonight. We were just two friends sharing a drink. Two single friends who had almost shared a lot more recently…
By the fourth shot, the alcohol was getting to me. I spilled the tequila trying to pour it in those tiny little glasses. I laughed as I almost dropped the lime from my mouth. I was way beyond buzzing now.
On the fifth shot, everything changed. Just as I was bending down to lick the salt from my skin, Kiera took my hand and ran her tongue over the back of it. She was soft, wet, warm, and felt amazing on my sensitive body. I wanted her to keep doing it, but she pulled back to drink her tequila shot. When she placed her wedge of lime between my lips, my heart sped up. Was she…?
She was. Her mouth reached up to connect with mine. Our lips pressed together as she sucked on the lime. All I could taste was lime and her. It was an intoxicating combination. But it wasn’t nearly satisfying enough. I needed more.
My breath felt strained when Kiera pulled away. Ragged. She teasingly removed the lime from her mouth and set it on the counter. When she seductively licked her fingers, my resolve evaporated. I suddenly didn’t give a shit what we’d been before, or who we’d been with. I didn’t care if she’d dated Denny—that seemed like a long-past memory at the moment. I didn’t care about Evan’s warnings, my regrettable experience with bedding roommates, my promise to Denny to stay away, or my own decision to not cross that uncrossable line. Kiera kissed me. She wanted me. And fuck, I wanted her too.
I took my shot of tequila straight, slammed the glass on the counter, then pulled her back to my mouth, where she belonged.
Our lips moving together felt better than I had imagined. There was so much eager, pent-up passion, I felt like we were both going to burst into flames. I couldn’t get enough of her. My hand on the back of her neck tightened, drawing her in even closer. My other hand found the small of her back. Perfection.
|Reading Level:||Contemporary Romance/New Adult|
Forever (Grand Central) 2/24/2015
Kellan Kyle decides to tell his side of the story. We know from Kiera's side in Thoughtless that many emotions were running rampant when she realized that she was falling in love with her roommate and boyfriend's best friend. Because said boyfriend decided to take a job in another state (Arizona) leaving Kiera with a manwhore, Kellan.
Kellan is complex and we see that in Thoughtful but it wasn't necessary. We didn't learn anything different and everything that we did learn, we knew from the first book. Yes, we got to see a bit of Kellan with his parents (horrible), but we knew that from his telling Kiera. We saw some interaction with the rest of the D-Bags. But I wanted more there! I know it was Kellan's story to tell us about his romance with Kiera, but we've been there, done that. THREE TIMES!!!
The thing with his side of the story is that we're not learning anything new. I'm done with them. Write something new and fresh. Yes, the readers hound and hound you to tell us what he was thinking during this scene, but you know what? You wrote the original book in the way you did for a reason.
Do I recommend the book? Sure, why not. People are gonna get it, read it, devour it and consider it the best book ever. It's mindless fun and yeah, it's Kellan. Oh yeah, the cover... Kick Ass!
Interview with D-Bags HERE
By: Laura Benson,
ReedPOP, the world's largest producer of pop culture events and the creators of BookCon
, today announced that New York Times bestselling author of Landline
and Eleanor and Park
, Rainbow Rowell
will be appearing at this year's second annual BookCon on May 30 for a conversation discussing her forthcoming book, CARRY ON.
Available this October, CARRY ON
is an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from Rowell's beloved bestseller Fangirl.
Coming on the heels of the recent announcement that notable YA authors Tavi Gevinson
, Sophia Rossi
, Gayle Forman
, Sarah Dessen
, Marie Lu
and Richelle Mead
will be at BookCon, Rowell's addition brings another superstar name to the lineup, giving the YA genre a huge presence at this year’s event.
ReedPOP's second annual BookCon
be at the Javits Center May 30-31. As
an original consumer extension of BookExpo America (May 27-29 at the
Javits Center), BookCon has unprecedented access to the world's most
accomplished authors and most influential publishing houses. BookCon is
designed to appeal to the modern-day book lover
with an appreciation for broader pop-culture and where these worlds
intersect. BookCon will feature a vibrant Show Floor with the world's
most influential publishers including ABRAMS, Chronicle Books, Hachette
Book Group, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,
Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and
many more. In addition to over 250 exhibitors, the Show Floor will
house the Downtown Stage, home to innovative content like Q&As,
Trivia and Illustrator events.
By: Laura Benson,
TRYST by S.L. Jennings
Heidi DuCane is a tough-as-nails publicist with a passion for success and her husband Tucker. While they’re polar opposites, what they do have in common is a fierce love and commitment to each other. But their relationship-in and out of the bedroom-will be put to the ultimate test.
Rock superstar Ransom Reed is every woman’s fantasy, including Heidi’s. When she meets Ransom, she shares a wild night with him where Heidi gets to play-and Tucker watches, and enjoys, the pleasure Ransom gives Heidi. Though Tucker was a willing participant, Heidi still can’t help reeling with guilt. There’s no doubt that she loves her husband. While Tucker is the perfect lover-generous, attentive and gentle-she needs much more. He needs the mind-blowing ecstasy Ransom offers.
Tucker isn’t blind to the fact that Heidi has unconventional needs which he can’t satisfy. He loves his wife and will do anything to please her The night he watched her and Ransom was so scorching hot amnd Tucker can’t stop thinking about it. He decides he wants to join Ransom in pleasing Heidi. But as Tucker and Heidi soon realize, it’s not just the sex that is enticing. Heidi felt something within her awaken, and she felt so deliciously sated and loved by both men. Tucker felt it too, and he finds it impossible not to want that feeling again.
Ransom and Tucker satisfy a need within Heidi. And now that she’s had them, she can never go back to the way things were before.
By: Laura Benson,
One of my favorite authors is releasing a book just in time for my birthday!!!! I cannot wait to get my hands on this one. It's right up my alley and well with my team just winning the SUPER BOWL, I'm doubly excited.
“Professional athletes are the pillars of their respective communities. They heroes in the eyes of boys and girls and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that positively represents their community.”
So without further ado...
Below is the synopsis
The public loves a good scandal. Seeing someone fall from the pinnacle of success makes a great headline. No one knows better than I do. What started out as a promising career in college football, spiraled into scandal and shame.
But being a hero is easier said than done. Especially when there are those who expected see the great Brody Madden fail. I craved nothing except being the best—willing to do anything to prove them wrong. But I went too far, and I tried too hard and it broke me.
“At the time of going to print, Jordan Elliott was unavailable for comment.”
I met Brody Madden in my senior year of college. An Australian native on an international, I was the female soccer sensation with stars in her eyes and no room for a hotshot wide receiver with a chip on his shoulder.
But with a heart bursting with ambition and a driving fire to succeed isn’t made of stone. I became his strength, his obsession, and the greatest love of his life. Only I wasn’t there when he needed me most.
This is a story of about love and a game that takes everything. Where the path to glory is paved with sacrifice. Where pressure makes you, breaks you and triumph is born in the ashes of failure. Where two people’s end game will change everything.
By: Laura Benson,
Title: Halfway Perfect
Authors: Julie Cross and Mark Perini
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult
Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with Ford model Mark Perini to pen a poignant and gritty YA novel about love and the dark side of modeling and the fashion industry
Eve's time as a fashion model nearly destroyed her-now she's determined to build a career behind the camera lens. But landing a coveted photography internship brings her face to face with her dark past-and her ex.
While Eve is snapping pictures, up-and-coming male model Alex is launching his career-which, for him, involves maintaining a fake relationship with his (secretly) underage co-star, Elana.
But Alex is falling for Eve, and Eve won't let herself get hurt again. If Alex can pull off a fake love with Elana, can he convince Eve to risk a secret affair with him?
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1wU2rC4
About the Authors
Julie Cross is the international bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy. Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. Her knowledge of the modeling and fashion world comes from viewings of the movies The Devil Wears Prada, and Zoolander, and her unwavering devotion to the first three seasons of Ugly Betty. On a recent trip to NYC, she also took the time to walk past both the Gucci and Prada stores, spending at least 15 seconds viewing items through the windows.
Mark Perini is a New York City-based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect. Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.
Mark began his career as an international fashion model ten years ago, while simultaneously obtaining a business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven wonders of the ancient world before he's thirty. Four down, three to go.
Julie Cross’ Social Networking Links
Mark Perini’s Social Networking Links
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By: Laura Benson,
I'm giving away a copy of JAMES MADISON: A Life Reconsidered.
As a political science major and one who focused on THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. Specifically the ones written by Madison and Hamilton. This book should be a good one! For those of you who have husbands that love history or dads who just like to read, ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY!
I will need to pick a winner by JUNE 10, for you to receive book by Dad's Day. Just Enter in the Rafflecopter linked. Easy Peasy.
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JAMES MADISON: A Life Reconsidered
By Lynne Cheney
(Viking / On-sale: May 6, 2014; $36.00; ISBN: 9780670025190)
“Lucidly written… this is probably the best single volume bio of Madison that we now have.”
—Gordon Wood, New York Times Book Review
“The book is a lovingly researched tribute to an often-underestimated man. It does not explicitly refer to modern controversies. But present-day politics intrudes.”
“Cheney might have written a book that made Madison a prop in today’s political battles. She did not, which is greatly to her credit and true to the life of the man.”
“Meticulously researched, richly detailed look at the life and times of Madison, former Second Lady Cheney fleshes out the achievements and struggles of this American founding father…authoritative, conversational, certainly confident in its analysis.”
“A proficiently argued account for Madison’s greatness.”
"With this compelling, elegant, original biography, Lynne Cheney brings the great, elusive James Madison back to life, reminding us of how powerfully this brilliant Founder’s political and intellectual leadership has shaped the course of American history. In this era in which Madison is too often eclipsed by more histrionic Founders, Cheney shows us his crucial, fascinating relationships with Dolley, Thomas Jefferson and an all-star cast, and lets us witness the growth of a world-changing political philosopher. Her book demonstrates why Madison deserves to stand near the center of our early American firmament.”
—Michael Beschloss, author of The Conquerors and Presidential Courage
“James Madison did as much to put his stamp on the nation as any of the founders, yet too rarely is he given his due in the pantheon of America’s statesman. In this stunning, brilliant work, Lynne Cheney rectifies this glaring oversight, and brings Madison to life as never before. Written with subtlety and grace, the book is as groundbreaking as it is fresh, as enthralling as it is compulsively readable. It is nothing short of a masterpiece that deserves to be in the bookshelf of every history buff!”
—Jay Winik, author of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval
"After more than 25 years working on the Madison Papers, it's not often that I read something about him that is fresh and engaging, and discovers new aspects of his life and character. Cheney's exploration of Madison's health issues, not only as a young man, but throughout his career, is imaginative and groundbreaking. Her writing is both fluid and polished; the tone is measured and judicious; there isn't a strident note in the whole book. And, an added plus, her treatment of Madison as a political actor is informed by a sophisticated knowledge of politics, without in any way being presentist.”
—David B. Mattern, Research Professor and Senior Associate Editor, Papers of James Madison, University of Virginia
WHO: Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. She is the author or co-author of twelve books, includes six bestsellers about American history for children and their families. Cheney’s most recent book is We the People: The Story of Our Constitution (2008).
WHAT: Cheney, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, has been studying Madison since 1987, when she was a member of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution. She has spent the last five years immersed in Madison archival materials, and the result is a lively, intimate, and compelling narrative that takes the reader through the history-altering events in which Madison played key roles. He was not only the Father of the Constitution, but the leader of the first Congress and President Washington’s most influential advisor. He used both positions and a political savvy unmatched since to secure passage of the Bill of Rights. In 1812, he became the first president to lead the nation in war under the Constitution, and he was not only as steady a commander-in-chief as the nation has ever known, he was a friend of liberty, refusing to silence those opposed to war, although many pressed him to do so.
WHY: Father of the Constitution, principle author of the Bill of Rights, founder of the first opposition party, secretary of state, and fourth president, Madison was both a far-seeing theorist and a masterful politician, who despite all he accomplished has been overshadowed by other Founders. Mrs. Cheney covers the sweep of Madison’s significant life, exploring his deeds, his mind, and his character to reveal the brilliance and determination that enabled this seemingly modest man to change the world. Debunking the myths that have burdened his reputation, she shows us the Madison lauded by his famous contemporaries—Washington, Adams, Jefferson—and loved by his glamorous wife, Dolley.
By: Laura Benson,
|Reading Level:||Contemporary Romance/New Adult|
Atria (Simon & Schuster) 7/1/2014
I had pretty high expectations for this book. It's been highly touted on Goodreads, several blogs, EW, etc. Jamie McGuire hit a high note with BEAUTIFUL DISASTER (see my review here
). But she falls flat with this Maddox Brothers continuation.
I liked Trent in BD. He seemed like the obvious choice for a book. What went wrong for me was the time period which was during the BD storyline. Couldn't she have made it separate? Does it always have to go back to Travis? Why not let Trent star in his own story?
However that wasn't the main problem. The writing just wasn't there. It didn't keep me glued to my e-reader like BD did. I'm not going to mention WALKING DISASTER because that was a mess. (Um, guess I just mentioned it.)
I like Jamie's style of writing, I do. But she can't try to replicate the success she had with BD with every book she writes. With the exception of not nearly enough F words in this outing, Trent and Travis were interchangeable. There was no difference between the two. Okay, they're brothers, but they're not the same person. I wanted to love Trent, but I think I only just liked his character.
Cami Camlin. She was wishy washy and the 'secret' romance she had going on was too predictable and the glaring hints really didn't make it a surprise at all. If you read Travis' book, you know what Tom is. That's all I have to say on that one.
The roommate, Brazil and the bouncer. Annoying. I really didn't give too much to them and found it slowed the story down a bit. It's pretty bad when you can't remember their names either.
A big disappointment, will I read the next book in the series? Most likely. I hope the typos are not quite as prominent as they were in this one.
By: Laura Benson,
|Reading Level:||Contemporary Romance/New Adult|
Onigiri Press 4/25/14
This book is "what happens when ELEANOR AND PARK grow up and move away." As much as I liked E&P, I liked this one a bit better. The characters Laura (Caucasian) and Lee (Korean American) are likable characters. Extremely so. I had a hard time getting a feel for how Laura looked. I know that she was toned, she had brownish/reddish hair and was 5'7. But Lee gets more descriptors and I honestly kinda inserted Daniel Dae-Kim in that role (Jin from LOST).
There is a bit of a cute-meet in the book, but it adds to the flavor of the book. Laura shows up at the Blue Room at the Alqonquin Hotel (gorgeous hotel btw) to meet up with single co-workers after work. Unfortunately she's been stood up and isn't in the best of moods. So when this guy starts insinuating himself into her conversation with the bartender, she gets a bit snippy. Fortunately for her, she's snippy with the gorgeous Lee. To apologize she buys him a drink. From there they talk pretty much for the evening and a connection is made.
Unfortunately, Lee is only in the States for a day and half. Lee, not one to let something good go past. Asks Laura out to dinner for the next night. Laura questions her sanity going out with someone who lives in Korea. We find out that Lee is originally from Seattle. So he's American born and bred, but took a job in Korea with a high-powered law firm. Laura works for HBO.
The book is told in alternating POVs and I loved that because we got inside both of their heads. Once Lee leaves for Korea is when the romance really heats up. They talk over Face Time when they can and when Lee's schedule allows them too. He travels all over Asia for his job and Laura is stuck in NYC with a crazy mom. Being a third party to the growing romance might seem a bit voyeuristic, but I found myself smiling.
As we learn more about Laura and Lee, we see into their former home life and how different it was, but in some ways similar. Laura was treated horribly by her parents after a brief time of rebellion. Lee's mother wants him to marry a Korean woman. He wants to marry for love and not acceptance and standing.
My only issue with the book was the abrupt ending. It could've gone on forever for me. Hurry up and purchase this book. You'll fall in love with it just as much as I did.
By: Laura Benson,
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Title: The Hook Up
Author: Kristen Callihan
Release Date: September 8, 2014
Genre: New Adult
The rules: no kissing on
the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling
Anna Jones just wants to
finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew
Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in
the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could
ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with
him. Easy right?
Too bad he’s committed
to making her break every rule…
Football has been good
to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the
Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting
humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But
there’s one problem: she's shut him down. Completely.
That is until a chance
encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility
of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s
up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with
him. Until she’s truly hooked. It's a good thing Drew knows all about winning.
All’s fair in love and
My mother once told me
that the most important moment in my life wouldn’t be when I won the National
Championship or even the Super Bowl. It would be when I fell in love.
Life, she insisted, is
how you live it and who you live it with, not what you do to make a living.
Given that she told me this when I was sixteen, I basically rolled my eyes and
worked on practicing my pass fakes.
But my mother was
“You’ll see, Drew. One
day, love will creep up and smack you upside the head. Then you’ll understand.”
My mom, it turns out,
was wrong in one regard. Love, when it came for me, did not creep. No, it
walked up to me, bold as you please, you know, just in case I wasn’t paying
attention. It did, however, slap me upside my head.
And while I’d be happy
to tell my mom that she was right about that, she’s dead. A fact that hurts
even more now that I’ve been struck down. More like shot down. Cut off at the
knees. Totally fucked. Whatever you want to call this disaster. Because the
object of my affection hates me.
I am man enough to
acknowledge that the cluster fuck that is my current love life is entirely my
fault. I wasn’t prepared for Anna Jones.
I still cringe at the
memory of when I first laid eyes on her at the beginning of the semester. Being
late for class, I’d rushed to a seat in the back row, and was trying to remain
unnoticed. I can’t go anywhere on campus without getting attention. And though
it sounds like an awesome thing, it gets tiring.
When the roll call
reached the back row, a soft voice, rich and thick as maple syrup, slid over
Just her name. That was
all she’d said. It was like a hot finger stroking down my spine. My head
snapped up. And there she was, so fucking pretty that I couldn’t think
straight. I might as well have been sacked.
Breathless, my head
ringing, I could only gape. I’m not going to say it was love at first sight.
No, it was more like oh, hell-yes-please, I’ll have that. With a helping of
right-the-fuck-now on the side.
Thinking maybe I was
overtired and simply overreacting to something that wasn’t really there, I
stared at Anna Jones and tried to make sense of my extreme reaction.
As if feeling my gaze,
she’d turned, and fucking hell… Her eyes were wide, almost cat-like, with the
corners tilting up just a bit. At first, those eyes appeared brown, but they
were really bottle green. And so clear. And annoyed. She glared at me. I didn’t
care. One word was playing a loop in my head: mine.
I don’t remember the
rest of the class. I watched Anna Jones like a condemned man getting his last
view of the setting sun. While she tried to ignore me. Admirably.
The second class ended I
shot up, and so did she. We nearly collided in the middle of the aisle. And
then it all fell to shit.
Kristen Callihan is an
author because there is nothing else she’d rather do. She is a three-time RITA
nominee, and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have
garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as
well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT
received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by
Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named
the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is
Social Networking Links
By: Laura Benson,
|Reading Level:||Contemporary Romance|
Self Published (Clampett Studio Collection)
Nov. 4. 2014
One thing most people don't know about me is my love of art. There's something magical going to a museum and seeing the masterpieces that were created hundreds of years ago. The colors, the light, the sheer artistry of it all. I'm lucky if I can draw stick figures and even then, I suck at it.
So when this story sorta fell into my lap, I had to read it. Art had a renaissance in the 70s, but I don't think we've seen one since then. I mean there's Banksy, but I really haven't heard a name that has inspired me quiet like Basquiat or even Warhol. Although I tend to prefer the Masters (Renoir, Monet, Caravaggio, Van Gogh, et al.) I can appreciate good art even in the 21st century.
Which brings us to this story. Maxfield Caswell is your traditional emo-bi-polar, narcissistic artist. He's young so he's volatile. He's difficult, but brilliant. Yet he manages to piss people off. He's a typical artiste
. But things change when he meets Ava Jacobs at a gallery in NYC. Ava works for another gallery in LA and the connection is immediate. She's immediately warned against him, and he's warned to leave her alone. Rule number 1: Never tell two somewhat soul mates to stay away from each other. It never works that way.
When either a serendipitious or fortuitous opportunity arises for Ava, she jumps on it. Basically she's asked to write the text to Max's coffee table art book. Which means spending time with Max. Throughout the experience, she's made aware of all of Max's, well I'll call them, faults. He's a womanizer, he's depressed, and basically a mess. But the chemistry between them is palpable. She's in over her head and he's keeping her at arms length. She thinks he's not interested.
Throughout this story I was waiting for something, anything. I liked the story enough, but I felt like it could've gone a bit further in the relationship. There's a side story going on with Ava's publisher that is pushing to have a relationship with her, but she's keeping him at arms length. It's Max that has her heart. But he's too volatile, she retreats.
I enjoyed this a lot. I love stories where the main character is so fucked up you're not sure if he can be redeemed. I had a hard time getting a bead on Ava. She came across as wishy washy and her back story isn't very fleshed out. The secondary characters help make the story work. As a spoiler, it ends on a cliffhanger, but I believe the next book will be out fairly soon.
A good story and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
In a life driven by passion, famed artist Maxfield Caswell lives in a world of brilliant color and drama, pushing his art and affairs to his emotional edge. He’s stunning, charismatic and celebrated in the art world, but are the trappings of fame also destroying him?
For years intelligent and bright-eyed Ava Jacobs has worked diligently toward a career in the art world. Ava is swept off her feet when she meets the passionate artist. She soon realizes, however, that he’s on a destructive path—one she doesn’t intend to join him on.
In the decadent world of patrons, art groupies, and predators, feisty and beautiful Ava knocks Max off his pedestal. A stunned Max sees something special in Ava and offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse. As their lives and passions collide, will he realize that she alone has the power to heal him? Can their hearts come together to create their own work of art?
AMAZON US http://amzn.to/1wXiEaB
AMAZON UK http://amzn.to/10hea47
AMAZON CA http://amzn.to/1wVYMYX
BARNS AND NOBLE http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/work-of-art-book-1-the-inspiration-ruth-clampett/1120672807?ean=2940150694187
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Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director, Bob Clampett, has spent a lifetime surrounded by art and animation. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, her careers have included graphic design, photography, VP of Design for WB Stores and teaching photography at UCLA. She now runs her own studio as the fine art publisher for Warner Bros. where she’s had the opportunity to know and work with many of the greatest artists in the world of animation and comics.
The Work of Art Trilogy is Ruth’s third publishing endeavor, following Animate Me and Mr. 365. She lives in Los Angeles and is heavily supervised by her teenage daughter, lovingly referred to as Snarky, who loves art and visiting museums as much as her mom.
By: Laura Benson,
|Reading Level:||Contemporary Romance/New Adult|
Self Pubbed 12/1/14
"How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways"
I probably should've reviewed the first two books in the series (I SEE LONDON and LONDON CALLING aka International School series). As much as I loved the first two books, the third one, to me was amazing. I absolutely adored Fleur and Max.
When you first meet Fleur in the first two books, she's a bitch. However, she is one that grows on you, quickly. Yes, she's an entitled mess, just breaking up with a long-term boyfriend who basically screwed her over. When she starts dating the nice and shy, quiet George, well it's a surprise. Especially for George's American roommate, Max. Who for the past two years has pined away quietly for the beautiful, yet untouchable French girl.
Watching those two get together after a series of missteps is comical. Fleur hates Max because he gave her the nickname of Ice Queen and it's stuck-- for four years. But when fate intercepts in the guise of a project planning class, they are thrust together on a project. With Max's brains and Fleur's beauty, the project becomes a bit of a nightmare in the beginning. But once the Ice Queen thaws and Max starts to see the real
Fleur, do pheromones start to flare.
I would suggest reading the first two book so you know all the background information that is mentioned in this book, and I highly recommend
those two books. I devoured them this past summer and loved, loved, loved them.
This third book is the cream on top and a very satisfying one at that!
On the surface, Fleur Marceaux has it all.
If only the facade matched reality. With one year left at the International
School in London, Fleur’s struggling to graduate, her love life is a mess, and
she can’t stop thinking about Max, her ex-boyfriend’s best friend. But all that
pales compared to the blackmailer determined to destroy her.
There’s a social hierarchy at the
International School and Max Tucker is outside the velvet ropes. After watching
Fleur break his friend’s heart, Max knows to stay away from trouble, despite
the crush he’s had on her since freshman year. But when they’re partnered on a
project, Max learns there’s more to Fleur than meets the eye, and she just
might be worth the wild ride.
The more time they spend together, the further
Max falls. And when a kiss awakens a passion Fleur never imagined, she’s unable
to resist Max, who she had thought was all wrong for her but might be the only
thing that’s right. But will he stand by her when her secrets are revealed?
Don’t miss the final book in the
International School series. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers
17 and up.
(International School Book #3)
I SEE LONDON (International
School Book #1)
(International School Book #2):
Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON
moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The
American International University in London and a master’s degree from the
London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with
London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean
cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now,
a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in Asia.
Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather
spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked
back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with
a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her fighter pilot
She is the author of I SEE LONDON and
LONDON FALLING, published by Harlequin HQN, the upcoming FRENCH KISSED, and
FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL, the first book in a new three-book series to be released
by Penguin/Berkley in 2015.
By: Laura Benson,
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We are so excited about the cover reveal for Jay Crownover's ASA! ASA is the sixth and final book in Jay's Marked Men Series, published by HarperCollins. Check out the hot cover and don't forget to pre-order your copy today!
Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one stunning arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.
Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.
A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.
And don’t miss the previous books in The Marked Men Series!
About Jay Crownover:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point that started with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD and is currently working on her newest series The Saint of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.