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Book Tour: Tales From The Hollow by Fae Harlow and Cecile Tellier

Tales From the Hollow
by Cecile Teller and Fae Harlow
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Tales from the Hollow is a collection of two novellas that take place in the town of Fey Hollow.

Blood Falls by Fae Harlow
Vampire Christopher Brandon keeps mortal Hazel Abbot at a comfortable distance. The accident-prone human is an unlikely potential, and while he can’t allow her to come to harm, he’s desperate to maintain the space between them. When danger begins to stalk Fey Hollow and Hazel appears to be at its center, they must trust in the bond they share or risk losing more than their lives.

Blood, Skin, and Bones by Cecile Tellier
Crow shifter Odoacer has spent the last twenty five years working and living in Fey Hollow. Despite the usual Vampire presence he has had no excitement other than collecting his valuable treasures. That is until he meets Sive during the Hollow’s supernatural holiday gathering. Part Witch, Part Vampire, and all trouble she has come to town to celebrate and inadvertently may have brought chaos down on all Odoacer holds dear. Together they will work together to combat a darkness that is threatening to take over the town, and possibly find more than they bargained for in each other, if they can survive.

 

 Book links here:

Goodreads | Amazon

 

“A slow, sensual nuzzle, a barely discernible nip, her scent filling his head, stealing his careful control. Lips parted, so near the air escaping her lungs brushed over and into him.

“May I kiss you?”

The words didn’t penetrate the sensuous fog for a moment before distrust flooded the connection muddying the sterling color.

“Why?”
“Are you not the least bit curious?”
“About kissing you?” she asked, “oddly no.”
“You are my potential.”
“I’m the woman you’ve avoided except when absolutely necessary for four years. What

changed?”
Her words, the easy denial of desire surprised Christopher. What changed? Nothing, he

still wanted no part of the potential bond between them, had no intention of completing it in truth, but the taste of her lips, the sweetness of her kiss he desperately wanted. A bond could be held in stasis, left incomplete, fed a meager diet nearly but never enough.

“Nothing has changed, but I am tired of running, tired of denying, and what harm is there in a kiss?”

Hazel’s eyes slid closed, and she pressed back into the tree. The long elegant line of her throat drew his gaze. The choice was hers, and Hazel lifted her chin, lips parted in invitation. Christopher closed the distance.

Warm breath dusted across his lips as he coaxed with the lightest of touches. Heat spiraled from the point of contact landing in the pit of his stomach. Hazel’s lips parted beneath his, the hot wet interior begged for exploration. Her hands tightened on his arms as he deepened the kiss.”

Excerpt from Blood, Skin, and Bones:

“Well that’s good, I don’t want to have raccoon breath after I break my rule.” She couldn’t resist any longer, the draw she felt to him was strong. Sliding her legs over his she sat on his lap straddling him.

His cheeks warmed slightly and she could have sworn he blushed. “Which rule are you breaking? Not that I’m complaining.” His hands slid to her hips and squeezed gently.

“My kissing on the first date rule, I’m going to grandfather this date in as the second date since I spent the night already.” Leaning forward she touched her lips to his softly and shivered at how something so simple could light up her senses.

Acer’s mouth was instantly devouring hers. She felt his fingers tighten on her hips and moaned into his mouth. Acer took that opportunity to slide his tongue between her lips and swirl it against hers. The urge to press down against him was high and his encouraging groan as she did only increased the need. Acer broke the kiss and rested his forehead against hers. “I don’t know how many rules you are willing to break tonight, but if it is only the one I do not know that continuing this path is wise.”

“You’re right, I’m sorry if I’m being a tease. I didn’t mean for things to go that far…though I don’t regret a moment.” She was seconds away from breaking every rule she had when it came to him. Sive knew that she had those rules in place for a reason though and didn’t want to deviate too much even if he was heat on two legs.

“I do not regret, I can be patient.” He ran his nose against hers and kissed her lips gently, sipping at her bottom lip and nipping it lightly.

The whimper that left her lips was neither dignified nor her usual controlled response. “I’m worried that I won’t be able to be. You’re too good at this, you ought to come with a warning label.”


Cecile Tellier holds Masters degrees in Special Education as well as Criminal Justice: Law. She lives in upstate NY with her husband and two children. She got her start in writing as early as high school and has been published in poetry anthologies and freelance erotica . Cecile is part of a wonderfully supportive critique group lovingly referred to as the Round Robbins. Cecile believes that everything in life that can be accomplished should and has endeavored to live up to this whether it was starting a flat track Roller Derby league or writing the next great romance novel.

Book links here:
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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Book Tour: Mental Damnation Dream by Konn Lavery

Dream
Mental Damnation Part 2
by Konn Lavery
Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy

Thought to be banished to the underworld by the humans, Krista mysteriously finds herself as the first of her kind to walk on the surface in centuries. This was caused by one of the underworld’s corrupt leaders, Danil, who uses her in an unholy ritual to set their people free. Danil’s infectious touch gives Krista the nightmarish disease known as Mental Damnation.

She becomes the key interest of two men, Paladin and Dr. Alsroc, who struggle to make sense of her sudden appearance and how it relates to Mental Damnation. Her friend back in the underworld, Darkwing, abandons his gang to begin his search for her.

Krista finds herself torn between two worlds, gaining acceptance among the humans while experiencing inner turmoil from hallucinations caused by her disease. These visions paint a hellish dream world known as Dreadweave Pass where the realm’s ruler, a corrupt god known as the Weaver, is on the hunt for her. Krista’s blood is believed to be a key component for the Weaver’s retribution against the Heavenly Kingdoms that once banished him!

Book links here:
The strange male and Krista paused simultaneously, listening to the noise. Once the roar faded, the Corrupt continued to squirm. Krista suddenly realized that he was trying to crawl off of her, but his hands and feet had been cut off. Blood oozed from his limbs and smeared onto Krista. The Corrupt was essentially defenseless, so she calmed down – a little bit – and tried to work with him to get him off her.

Krista managed to roll the Corrupt to the side and he attempted to scurry away, but without hands and feet, he stumbled back to the ground whining, moving like a newborn calf.

A second male leaped from the higher rocks and landed with a heavy thud, raising dust. He threw a spear at the bleeding Corrupt. The weapon soared into the air, piercing through his victim’s skull and pinning the Corrupt to the ground.

Krista looked at the newcomer, mesmerized by his physical appearance. Muscles bulged on his shirtless torso. His skin was peach-toned, something Krista had never seen before.

What is he? she wondered, eyeing the male from his feet to his head.

The male’s five-toed feet were clad in sandals, with leather wrapped around his ankles. He wore a green kilt and several sheathed weapons strapped to his bare chest, which was marred by numerous jagged scars. His right hand had a cloth wrapped around it, and a ring flashed on his left.

He had a tail similar to Krista’s but with no scales. His brown scalp-feathers were plucked on the sides, leaving the remaining long feathers tied into a ponytail running down to his shoulder blades. Like hers, his eyes glowed, but they were bright white, not nearly as vibrant, and had green irises.

The male’s light skin and unusually flat facial structure called up flashbacks to the human raiders of Krista’s childhood.

He’s like a cross of humans and my people. I’ve never seen anything like it before!

The male walked over to the dead Corrupt and pulled his spear free from the body, then kicked it over the rocky edge. He kept his gaze on the rocks, watching the corpse fall into the fog.

Krista could hear the body tumble down the mountain, until the sound faded. Now that his back was facing her, she could see his spine was covered in light grey scales that came up to his neck. Krista was frightened by the peach-skinned male and kept motionless. She was uncertain whether he was a friend or a foe, or what she should do.

He’s going to notice me eventually. She waved nervously. “Hi.”

Reality
Mental Damnation Part 1

Having her family murdered by the humans during her people’s banishment from the surface world, Krista and her only friend, Darkwing, struggle to remain alive. The pair of reptilian street scum live in their newfound home, the City of Renasence, dictated by a fascist military known as the Renasence Guard. The two find themselves at odds when Krista puts her faith in the Five Guardians’ goal of unification, while Darkwing chooses to stand with a notorious gang, the Blood Hounds, who are known for their anarchist views.

This divide in their friendship forces Krista to persist on her own as the Five Guardians become crazed from an unknown disease – Mental Damnation. After their infection, the Guardians develop a bizarre interest in her, claiming they must reap her innocence for their newfound master, the Weaver.

With a military dictatorship, politically-driven gangs and their guardians infected and on a hunt for her, Krista has limited options for survival: Does she fend for her life in the City of Renascence, against menacing forces, or risk leaving everything behind and enter the uncharted realm of the underworld?

Book links here:

Konn Lavery is a Canadian horror and dark fantasy writer who is known for his Mental Damnation series. The second book, Dream, reached the Edmonton Journal’s top five selling fictional books list. He started writing fantasy stories at a very young age while being home schooled. It wasn’t until graduating college that he began professionally pursuing his work with his first release, Reality. Since then he has continued to write works of fiction ranging from fantasy to horror.

His literary work is done in the long hours of the night. By day, Konn runs his own graphic design and website development business under the title Reveal Design. These skills have been transcribed into the formatting and artwork found within his publications supporting his fascination of transmedia storytelling.

Connect with Konn here:
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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Book Tour: Defending Hannah by Jennifer Becker

Defending Hannah
Delta Force Defenders Book 1
by Jennifer Becker
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Ben “Midas” Gates is the leader of his Delta Force team and is leading a mission to shut down a known terrorist working out of Panama and rescue hostages. When he arrives he discovers the mission is anything but easy and becomes even more complicated because he knows one of the hostages. It was a woman he had been in love with growing up and ran away from thirteen years ago.
The mission isn’t a complete failure but the team discovers someone set them up to fail and they don’t take failure as an option. With the aid of Hannah who has inside information on their terrorist and who may know who set them up, Ben does all in his power not to fall for the only woman he has ever loved.

 

Book links here:

I grew up with a love of reading and writing. I wrote my first story at the age of 12 and my first book at 16. I love reading anything romance and I have a deep love for history. All my stories are about people who come from all different walks of life but all want to love and be loved.

 

Connect with Jennifer here:
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
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Book Tour + Review: Demon Rising by Deanna Browne

Demon Rising
by DeAnna Browne
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Some sacrifices cost more than death…

Thirty years ago, dark magicians unleashed new power on the earth fueled by demons. Governments toppled, millions died and magicians ended up on top of the food chain.

Twenty-four-year-old Becca survives these dangerous times by relying on her wits, her fists, and the limited goodwill of her boss, a local crime lord. When news comes of a fire back home and the family she left behind dead, she realizes her dark past has finally caught up to her.

On the hunt for her missing sister, she must rely on Darion, a treacherous ex-boyfriend with ties to the local coven for back-up. Problem is he’s a pyromancer that can’t be trusted, especially with her heart. Will she escape the sticky web of treachery and deceit with her sister and her heart, or will she sacrifice it all to save another?

Becca’s forced to navigate a dangerous web of deceit and must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save her sister.

 

“An enthralling new voice gives us a magical world where love leads to dark decisions.” ~ Jami Gray, award winning author

 

“…extremely well written, filled with wonderful characters, strange happenings, and face paced action. I, for one, found it very hard to put down. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.”

~Taylor Jones, reviewer 

Book links here:

The tattoo on Becca’s neck prickled as she walked the crowded path to work. Searching for the possible source of magic, she continued forward, with coffee in one hand and the other resting by the knife at her waist.

She moved amid a throng of people, shuffling along the worn walkways. Heavy clouds were scattered across the sky, while dilapidated buildings surrounded them, a haunting reminder of what once was. A young man pushed past Becca, dressed in blue coveralls. He must be heading to the line. The tattoo on Becca’s neck prickled as she walked the crowded path to work. Searching for the possible source of magic, she continued forward, with coffee in one hand and the other resting by the knife at her waist.

The warehouse traveled up twenty stories high, the tallest building in town with a large fountain in front. It must have once been a beauty. Now the fountain, covered in graffiti, ran dry and the boarded up windows could barely keep the wind out.

A familiar, lanky guard stood watch on the side of the road. Could he have been the source of the magic warming her tattoo? He scanned the crowd with a demon dog at his side, a German shepherd with unnaturally large black eyes.

Turning forward, she let her dark hair fall into her face, not wanting to draw his attention. She stepped past the guard undisturbed. She could handle herself with the guards, but her boss, Nikko, constantly nagged her about keeping a low profile.

The crowds pressed together, and a large man knocked into Becca’s side, tripping her. She stumbled, spilling the remains of her coffee all over her black jeans. Someone swore as the crowd surged forward, and she stepped to the side.

At five-foot-five, she was on the small side, but strong enough to cause pain and scrappy enough to avoid it when she could. The crowds weren’t her problem, though. That would be the presence behind her, causing her tattoo to burn.

 

Becca ignored his questions, wanting to avoid the fight, and reached for the bag on the floor. It had taken Darion some time to unlock the spell on the statuesque cat. Once he did, the pillow opened, full of gems and coins, and the cat returned to normal. “Will it be enough?” she adked. The backpack didn’t feel heavy enough to hold the worth of a man, especially Caleb. “Should be.” He walked to the window and peered outside. “A couple thousand dollars. You could start a new life with that. Far from here.” He pulled the curtain closed, and the fabric tore in his hand. He cursed a steady stream that spoke of more than torn cloth. He paced the room, agitation evident in his tight shoulders.

Let’s pretend that your life is ruled by a coven, not by the government. This coven can do whatever they want to whoever they want at anytime that they want. If someone looks at a member of the coven wrong, depending on how powerful they are, they can stick their demon or what they call a Soultorn on you and it will feed off of you until you are on death’s door step. Browne has a very entertaining and powerfully riveting novel that will have readers wanting more.

When Becca was young, she ran away from her family and more specifically, her Uncle Jeremiah. She was supposed to be married off, but something didn’t feel right, especially after her uncle walked in on her and a boy making out. After running away, she started doing jobs for a man named Nikko, a crime lord after the Rising. The Rising is where the governments fell and magicians started to rule over cities. On her last run for Nikko, she is tasked with making a delivery to a witch named Mariah, but is provided with some information that turns her world upside down. The witch relays to Becca that some houses were burned down around the vicinity where her parents lived. Too shocked to just let the information go, she investigates the claim and finds that her parents’ house has been burned to the ground intentionally and her parents are dead. Now Becca is on a mission to find her sister, the remains not found in the rubble. How did her sister escape and where did she go? Her long-time friend, Caleb, is also at the site in a complete wreck from losing his parents as well. Now, with Becca and Caleb on a mission to find her sister, Elizabeth, they know that they cannot wade in on the magician’s world themselves. They need help…the help that comes in the form of an ex-boyfriend who is a liar… and another magician.

Browne has a superb story-line with fantastic character development and original content. The descriptiveness and paranormal elements within the story are still highly entertaining and mesmerizing. The pace of this novel is fast, making it easy to read; however, there are some spelling errors throughout the story. Since this is an advanced reader copy, these may have been cleaned up upon further proofreading, but if not, this should not hinder enjoyment of the novel at all. If you are a reader of paranormal fiction and dark fantasy, this may be perfect for you.

An advanced reader copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written. We provide a five-star rating for Demon Rising by DeAnna Browne.

DeAnna Browne graduated from Arizona State University with her BS in Psychology. She finds it helps to corral those voices in her mind and put them to paper. Her debut novel, A DEMON RISING, came out in August 2017 with Black Opal Books and book two in the series, UNHOLY SUNDERING, is due out 2018. An avid reader and writer, she has a soft spot for fantasy with a touch of romance. Despite her love for food and traveling, she always finds her way back to Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, children, and pet dog.

 

Connect with DeAnna here:
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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Book Tour: The Magic of Solendrea by Martin F Hengst

The Last Swordmage
Magic of Solendrea Book 1
by Martin F. Hengst
Genre: Epic Fantasy

After being sold into slavery by her father and accused of a murder she didn’t commit, Tiadaria finds herself facing the executioner’s axe. The only thing standing in the way is the village Constable.

After thirty years of loyal service to the Imperium, Royce retired to King’s Reach as the village’s Constable. He thought it would be the perfect place to rest, relax, and die in peace. He was wrong. In an unexpected complication, the slave with her neck on the block seems to possess the same magic Royce has hidden all his life.

Paying off Tiadaria’s bond, Royce takes possession the slave. Now he must teach her to trust him, teach her to fight, and teach her about her unique abilities before they both run out of time. An ancient menace, the Xarundi, have returned. They are the most dangerous enemy humanity has ever faced, and they have a thousand years of bloodthirsty vengeance to exact.

Book links here:
The Darkest Hour
Magic of Solendrea Book 2

 

When an agent from the Imperium Intelligence Service shows up on Tiadaria’s doorstep, he leaves her with unwelcome news. Recovering from their brutal defeat at Dragonfell, the Xarundi are seeking out an ancient and incredibly powerful relic buried in the snow and ice of the Frozen Frontier.

Tiadaria travels to the city of Ethergate to seek out an apprentice skilled in magical research. Even with his reluctant help, unearthing information on the relic proves to be almost impossible until a savage turn of events puts them on the right path.

Now it’s a race against time through some of the most unforgiving territory on Solendrea to beat the Xarundi to the relic and stop them from unleashing its devastating power on the unsuspecting masses.

 Book links here:
The Pegasus’s Lament
Magic of Solendrea Book 3

 

A desecrated tomb, a missing relic, and cold-blooded murder. The streets of Dragonfell are awash in blood and the King has called on Tiadaria, the last swordmage, and Wynn, her quintessentialist companion, to uncover the nature of the darkness.

What they find is more dangerous than they could ever imagine and from a source they’d have never expected. Now Tiadaria must defeat an enemy that knows her almost as well as she knows herself.

The survival of the Human Imperium is on the line and time is running out for the last swordmage and everyone she holds dear.

Book links here:
Volinette’s Song
Magic of Solendrea Book 4

 

Volinette Terris has everything most girls could want: a famous family, plenty of money, and a career as a talented musician. No one would expect her to risk losing it all to try and become a mage, but when the School of Sorcery opens for the Trial of Admission, that’s exactly what she does.

If only she’d known that winning a place in the Academy of Arcane Arts and Sciences would be the least of her problems. Now she finds herself accused of murder, tormented by her fellow students, and implicated in the theft of a mystical artifact that could bring about the end of the world.

And that’s just the first semester!

Book links here:
Quintessential Tales
Magic of Solendrea Book 5

Four Quintessential Novelettes Featuring the Heroes and Villains of Solendrea

Quintessential Tales, a Magic of Solendrea Anthology, brings together four new novelettes featuring the heroes and villains of Solendrea. Also included is the Adventurer’s Guide to Solendrea, which includes background information on famous faces and places, as well as some mythology and folklore.

Included in Quintessential Tales:

  • Warhorse – Being shipwrecked on a strange island is just the start of the dangers facing Royce and Torus.
  • If Wishes Were Horses – Twins stumble across an ancient temple in the middle of the wildlands that may not be what it seems.
  • Troubled Waters – Faxon and Gunter face off against new enemies and a treacherous old foe.
  • All Souls – Tiadaria and Adamon travel to Havenhedge to investigate a mysterious occurrence.
  • Adventurer’s Guide to Solendrea (Bonus) – Background information on famous faces and interesting places.

˃˃˃ Note from the Author

Please be aware that All Souls contains spoilers if you haven’t read the Swordmage Trilogy, particularly The Pegasus’s Lament. If you haven’t, I highly recommend that you read the original trilogy before reading All Souls.

 Book links here:
Pirates of the Siren’s Sea
Magic of Solendrea Book 6

What do you do when the people you trust the most betray you?

Tiadaria, the last Swordmage, was once one of the King’s most trusted advisers. Now she’s fallen out of favour and has been cast out of the realm she helped save from demons and dragons. When pirates start sinking ships off the coast of Dragonfell, Tiadaria offers her services to the realm, but the pride of Kings is not easily put aside.

Unwilling to let the Imperium fall, Tiadaria approaches the King’s only daughter, a reclusive Princess unseen by the people for almost two decades. What happens next is a race against time as Tiadaria and her allies commit an act of treason to stop a corrupt sorceress from endangering the fate of the world.

Only a Swordmage can turn an act of sedition into salvation for the Imperium in this rousing fantasy tale of swords and sorcery.

Book links here:

Martin F. Hengst is an American science-fiction and fantasy author. His bestselling Magic of Solendrea series has delighted more than a quarter of a million readers worldwide.

He writes the same type of books he loves to read: tales of science fiction and fantasy where anything can, and frequently does, happen. There’s nothing better than a rollicking good adventure and his number one priority as a writer is to be an amazing travelling companion for those intrepid explorers who pick up any of his books.

He lives in South Central Pennsylvania with his wife and two children. When he’s not working on the next book or story, he enjoys music, reading, and playing games.
He really like hearing from people who have enjoyed his books. Please don’t hesitate to connect with him on Twitter or Facebook. For the latest news and information about Martin and his  books, check out his  website at: http://martinfhengst.com.


Connect with Martin here:
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!
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Book Tour: Surrender Games Series by Lydia Michaels

Sacrifice of the Pawn
Surrender Games Book 1
by Lydia Michaels
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Surrender Games follows the emotionally charged and highly erotic contemporary romance saga, The Surrender Trilogy.

Isadora Patras has sacrificed years raising her younger siblings, Lucian and Antoinette. As her brother and sister grow more independent, she feels her purpose is lost. Aching to do something selfish and hungry for a taste of the forbidden, she takes a lover—her father’s protégé and trusted family friend, Sawyer Bishop.

In a secret affair trust is tested, respect is bartered, and reputations are on the line. Sawyer has always been Isadora’s mentor, but now it’s her move. She’s through being a pawn and ready to demand the respect of a Queen.

The Surrender Games Series should be read after The Surrender Trilogy.

 

 Book links here:
Queen of the Knight
Surrender Games Book 2

The game has changed and no player’s position is safe…

In a world of power, money, deceit, and lust, no player is exactly how they seem. Love and trust are at stake when the game is changed and old enemies come out of hiding, disguised as friends.

Isadora Patras must proceed wisely. After thirteen years of heartbreak and denial, she no longer trusts her instincts. One man embodies her past, the other could be her future, but which one holds her heart? Isadora must choose between her family and two very different men. Either way, her choice could cost her everything.

In a game of kings, bishops, rooks, and knights there are no guarantees. But if Isadora wants to be a Queen, someone will have to lose.

The Surrender Games Series should be read after The Surrender Trilogy.

 Book links here:
 

Unsure what to make of the shift in energy, she collected her glass from the bar to buy time, but something was definitely different, and she didn’t understand why.

“Is something wrong, Sawyer?”

His gaze followed her as she came to sit on the empty side of the settee. “When did you stop calling me Mr. Bishop?”

The soft, cajoling rumble of his voice was more soothing than probing. Voices like that could make audio instructions sound like Shakespeare.

Thinking over his question, her brow tightened. “I’m not sure. I suppose I was a teenager when you invited me to call you by your first name. Should I go back to calling you Mr. Bishop?” she teased. It seemed silly to think of him as anything other than Sawyer.

Turning his wrist, the ice in his glass shifted. “The boys … they’ve be friends for a long time.”

“And hopefully they will be forever.”

“And I’ve been your father’s friend for as long as I can recall. He gave me a job when I was fresh out of college.”

“And now you run one of his companies. What is it you’re trying to say, Sawyer?”

“You’re very young, Isadora. Too young to have a boy in college and a ten-year-old in your care, but you do it with the maturity of an experienced woman.”

“Thank you, but Lucian’s my brother, not my son. And Toni… I may act like her mother, but I’m not. I take no joy in erasing our mother’s memory.”

He glanced at his empty glass, the filtered moonlight reflecting in the crystal as he placed it on the table. “I should go.”

Tipping her glass over his, she filled it with a finger of scotch. “Not before you finish your drink.”

Peering through thick, black lashes, he gave her a questioning look that made her feel immediately foolish. Why had she done that?

He twisted to face her. “What are you doing, Isadora?”

“I don’t know. I’ve had a lot to drink.” Her voice dropped to a rasp as her gaze latched onto his, holding so tight she could hardly spare a blink.

“Is that it then?”

Her lashes fluttered, breaking the spell, and she laughed nervously. Those eyes were hypnotic, especially when he looked directly into hers. She shook her head, shaking off the affect. “Is that what?”

Lifting his glass, he finished her offering in one swallow, placed the tumbler on the table, and stood. She rose as well, the camaraderie they’d shared earlier rapidly evaporating. Perhaps thirty-seven wasn’t such a good year.

Tension closed in on her, its impending heaviness puncturing the inebriated haze cocooning her mind. The unfamiliar imbalance was more than the effect of alcohol. Maybe she was coming down with something.

She didn’t want him to go and his proximity to the door filled her with panic and heat. Stay, she wanted to say, but something kept her quiet. She wanted him to make the decision without her prompting his response.

It became a game of guessing what he might do or say next and she liked the uncertainty, found it unsteadily thrilling. Her heart beat too fast as she tried to identify a time she’d ever felt so nervous in such a fulfilling way. She didn’t typically favor anxiety, yet she coveted the feeling now, a dark anticipation for every motion, every word. So much to lose in such a simple decision, yet she hadn’t a clue what she’d gain if he chose to stay.

“I apologize for intruding on your evening,” he said, stepping around the table.

Her heart jerked. Her disappointment was a physical jolt that convinced her something else was happening here—something she shouldn’t feel.

She stepped around the other side of the coffee table and met him on the carpet, frantic to keep him there a while longer. She didn’t want to be alone, but maybe he was feeling this strange energy too and figured it best to leave.

“Sawyer, what changed?”

“The fact that you don’t know is a testament to your young age.”

Affronted, she drew back. Perhaps she was a bad drunk, because his words hurt more than they probably should.

She wasn’t an idiot and though she didn’t have much experience with men like Sawyer—or any men for that matter—she wasn’t a prude. Something changed between them tonight. A sort of chemistry had evolved.

She never felt this kind of attraction around him before and maybe he felt it too and that was why he was trying to escape. But she was drunk, so perhaps her perception was off.

Rather than further embarrass herself, she stepped aside. “I’m sorry if I did something to offend you.”

Gah! She always said the worst things. What was she trying to get, a sympathy stay? That was not what she was after.

“You did nothing offensive. It’s just … not appropriate for me to be here—alone with you. It’s late.”

Embarrassed that her eagerness reeked of inexperience, she looked away. She shouldn’t let him see her like this. She’d have to see him again and it was utterly humiliating to think he might assume she was some sad, desperate woman trying to seduce her father’s colleague when she just wanted a little company. Oh, God, she was desperate.

Her gaze dropped to the carpet as a dark sense of inadequacy swallowed her. “I understand. I didn’t mean to…” …whatever I’ve done.

“Goodnight, Isadora.”

She didn’t look up to see if he was staring at her. She didn’t need to. She could feel his stare measuring her. He hesitated as he approached the door.

“You’ll call if you need anything?” he asked softly.

Never. “Of course.”

With nothing more to say, he left, his leather-soled footfalls drifting almost silently as he made his way to the foyer.

Humiliated, she turned to the bar and lifted the expensive bottle. No matter how much her life resembled that of an adult, she never stopped feeling apart from the actual authority figures. A little girl with a license to leave the kiddie table for one meal before an early bedtime.

Rethinking the last couple hours and degrading herself for every unflattering impression she might have left, she wished desperately to erase the entire evening. She was not on his level and he saw her as his colleague’s pathetic kid who was astoundingly short on friends.

Collecting the glasses filled with watered down ice, she decided not to return to her father’s study anymore. Every time she left this room she felt like half a person—tonight more so than usual.

She dumped the ice in the sink at the wet bar and sat the glasses on the counter. “What a waste.”

The door to the office creaked and she pivoted, gasping as she found him still there and staring at her from the threshold.

“My…” He shook his head, brow tense with lines of tension. “I forgot my jacket.”

Her chest tightened as she blinked at him in question. His jacket was behind her, yet she lacked the will to move.

Was he really back for his jacket? Had he left it there on purpose? He watched her, keeping his distance, like she was some sort of black widow. She mentally laughed. She was about as threatening as a baby bunny.

Putting her back to the bar, she gave him room to get his belongings and go. Reaching past her, he slid the jacket off the back of the chair and stilled, close enough for her to see the contrast of silver threaded in the dark hair at his temples.

Her skin tingled as breath locked in her lungs, his scent crawling into her. A million moments she shouldhave had collided in her mind, borrowed memories from novels and cinematic romances and what she knew most girls experienced years before approaching her actual age.

His arm brushed the front of her blouse and his eyes shut on a whispered curse. Every breath she took tightened her clothing. She was winded, yet standing perfectly still.

“Tell me to go. Tell me to forget the jacket,” he whispered, voice low as it scratched along her every tender nerve.

She said nothing and he let the jacket slide down the chair and onto the floor. She couldn’t blink and she began to tremble subtly as he turned to fully face her, staring into her eyes.

Each inhalation lifted her breasts higher. Her lips parted, the scent of expensive scotch, rich cologne, and sin clouding her mind. She wasn’t a small woman. Thin, yes, but too tall. Yet, looking up at him now, she found her height perfect, and his stature arrestingly right. Strong.

“Tell me to go, Isadora,” he repeated, voice rasping in a way that prickled the back of her neck, seeming to lift the fine hairs along her collar.

There was something more than drunken secrets here. She edged closer, never one to act audaciously, but maybe this was the self-indulgent moment she’d been waiting for. Brazen seemed right.

Drawing in a shaky breath, she softly whispered, “I didn’t want you to leave in the first place.”

Uttering another curse, he reached for her so fast she took a startled step back, only to be blocked by the bar. His hand swept into her hair, fingers terrorizing her sensible bun, as he jerked her body to his on a gasp. His aggression was as unexpected as his intensity. The shocking press of his lips was a welcome delight. Warm. Unquestioning. Experienced.

His other hand surged low on her back, pulling her body flush to his as their heads tilted and his mouth opened against hers. Heat swirled low in her belly as her hands sought a place to rest.

A fever took hold, burning hot, as her knuckles flexed and her fingers dug into his broad shoulders. The distant thud of the bottle hitting the carpet only vaguely registered, as he spun her and backed her toward the desk.

His mouth opened wider, his tongue spearing between her lips, greedily taking as he dipped her over the surface, arching her backwards and exposing her neck. The five o’clock shadow covering his jaw scraped over her delicate skin, making her toes curl.

He lifted her and objects moved along the desk, the lamp light jostling in the shadows. Her knees drew up as a chair skidded out of the way. He towered over her, kissing, licking, biting. And her body was on fire.

Objects clattered to the ground as his touch dragged up her leg, hiking her simple pencil skirt higher. The bunched material gave way, sliding as high as her hips when he fit his legs between hers.

The weight of his arousal pressed against her core. She gasped and everything stilled.

His heavy breathing mingled with hers as his stormy eyes flashed in the light shining from the desk lamp. She’d never been in such a tangle. They were so close it was difficult to determine whose parts were whose.

“Shit.” He made to rise, but her grip on his shirt tightened. “Isadora,” he rasped, almost pleadingly.

Hating the regret she recognized in his gaze, she almost let him go. Almost.

She could do this—they could do this. Who would know? They were both adults.

Lifting her head, she gently brushed her lips against his. Shockingly, it seemed enough to hold him there. His mouth tilted over hers, pulling, slowly taunting, until everything inside of her seemed to stretch like warm taffy and melt her body into his. The tension left his shoulders as his weight sank into her.

His hand followed the curve of her hip, tracing the nip of her waist and un-tucking her blouse one ripple of fabric at a time. His warm fingertips scorched the hidden skin of her belly, skimming over her ribs with practiced ease. Her body arched as the swell of her breast filled his palm and her lips parted on a sigh.

“We shouldn’t do this,” he whispered, his thumb tracing delicate swirls over the hardening tip of her nipple.

There was no way she was letting him leave now. The press of his arousal was leaving her panties slick and his hand was working some sort of magic under her blouse.

“Yell at me, Isadora. Tell me to stop, to take my hands off you.”

“Stop fighting it, Sawyer.” She loosened the top button of her blouse. And another. And then another.

He eased back as the silk parted. He looked at her as no man ever had. “Jesus. You’re beautiful.”

Blinking, he stood and gently pulled her with him. Leaving her shirt open she quickly straightened her skirt.

His attention drifted around the room and he grimaced. “Your bed—”

“Is upstairs. Too close to my sister’s room. Here’s fine.”

His mouth pursed. He didn’t seem pleased with the options.

Releasing her hand, he shut the door tightly and turned the antique key sitting in the lock.

To read on, please download your copy of Sacrifice of the Pawn here.

The Surrender Trilogy was released in 2013. It was an Apple iBooks Bestseller. Surrender Games is a spin-off of The Surrender Trilogy. It is a series that features the side characters of the trilogy and will eventually deliver each hero and heroine’s HEA.

It is highly recommended that readers read The Surrender Trilogy BEFORE reading Surrender Games.

 

Falling In The Surrender Trilogy Book 1: Goodreads | Amazon
Breaking Out The Surrender Games Trilogy Book 2: Goodreads | Amazon
Coming Home The Surrender Games Trilogy Book 3: Goodreads | Amazon
Lydia Michaels is an award winning author of over 30 contemporary romance novels. She lives in Pennsylvania with her wonderfully supportive husband, beautiful daughter, and many crazy fur babies. If she is not off spending time with her family you can usually find Lydia at her computer working on her next story or hiding somewhere quiet with a great book. She loves taking a romantic plot with steamy chemistry and pressing the bounds of love. Her books are intellectual, erotic, haunting, always centered on love.

Lydia Michaels’ darkly compelling Surrender Trilogy was an Apple iBooks bestseller and she has been featured in USA Today. In 2015 she was the winner of The Best of Bucks Award and she has been nominated as Best Author in the Bucks Happening Magazine three years running [2015, 2016, and 2017]. She is a four time nominee for the prestigious RONE Award.

Connect with Lydia here:
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and two giveaways!

Goodreads Giveaway

Lydia Michaels is giving away 3 autographed copies of Falling In (The Surrender Trilogy 1) to celebrate the release of the first book in the SURRENDER GAMES series!
Link to Goodreads Giveaway:
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Book Tour: Weed and Water by Ian Dexter Palmer, Ph.D.

Weed and Water
by Ian Dexter Palmer, Ph. D.
Genre: Christian/Inspiration

A mysterious stranger helps a teenage boy called Ethan rescue his mentor, an elderly father-figure, from drowning when their canoe capsizes in a flooding river. A star athlete, Ethan later gets involved in unsafe sex, which leads to drugs, and gets him blackballed by jealous and gossiping team-mates. The boy is going down, and at times hates himself for it and for hurting his mom who is a caring, loving, and beautiful woman.

After another disastrous episode, where Ethan might have died, the river-stranger turns up again to confront him about his life choices. However, even after rehab, the boy’s condition is marked by a yo-yo attitude which causes massive emotional heartache for his mom.

The river-stranger, after sharing his own amazing history, suggests taking the fight to another level which draws on the resources of God. This begins a new and fascinating sequence of events, including a tornado, which get Ethan’s attention.

This book is a captivating story, packed with adventure in the desert Southwest and in the rivers and lakes of the Midwest USA.  But it is also a goldmine of spiritual wisdom for teenagers. The mystery that permeates the story is compelling, and the thrilling ending may call for a tissue or two.

 

Book links here:

Originally from Australia, Ian lives in the high desert in his beloved Southwest USA. As a petroleum engineer, recently retired, he consulted all over the world.

When he hikes with them or watches them play sports, Ian’s grandchildren are a particular source of happiness.

His main interests are hiking, dancing, writing, and stimulating conversation.

Ian regularly writes a new blog on various topics relating to Christian faith, and has also written a book called Hiking Toward Heaven. 

You can find out more about Ian and his books at http://www.iandexterpalmer.com/

Connect with Ian here:
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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Book Tour: Leave the Pieces Behind by Shirley Anne Edwards

Leave the Pieces Behind
by Shirley Anne Edwards
Genre: YA Romance

Bree Apollo is an average fifteen-year-old girl: she loves chocolate, baking cupcakes, and her neighbor, the hunky and all around popular seventeen-year-old Foster Quinn. Except Foster is clueless about her feelings for him, instead treating her like a kid sister and begging for her homemade desserts. As a fellow chocolate lover, he should be Bree’s for the taking, if it weren’t for his oh-so-perfect girlfriend.

After she overhears Foster making fun of her to his friends, she’s devastated. And not even chocolate can take away the pain. She intends to wallow in grief for a boy that was never hers to begin with, but Austen, her eccentric new neighbor has other ideas.

The strange boy down the street always wears a black fedora, walks barefoot, and focuses all his energy on building a treehouse in his backyard. For some reason, he’s elected Bree to help him. At first, she turns him down because he acts too awkward and takes everything she says literally. But after learning of his autism, she decides to help with his construction (forgiving him for not being a chocolate fan), even though she doesn’t know a think about power tools.

As Bree and Austen grow closer, Foster notices Bree no longer worships the ground he walks on. He wants her to go back to that doting version of Bree, but Austen has become more important to her than she’s ready to admit.

Austen may just be the one to help her move on from Foster.

Like two pieces of a puzzle, they fit together perfectly.

 Book links:

I’d become paranoid, not just because my black lab, Hunter, watched me pace my living room, but I swore the chocolate mousse cake I had baked this morning at five a.m. stared at me, too. Sure, a cake doesn’t have eyes, but I baked this one for my neighbor, Foster, and decorated it with white chocolate truffles that could double as them.

As Hunter inched closer to the cake on the coffee table, complete with drool sliding from the corner of his mouth, I may have snarled at him. A first for me. I never snarled at anyone, humans or dogs. But with my nerves jangling like crazy, I decided to blame my hormones. At fifteen, I may have been a few years past puberty, but I, Breanna Charlotte Apollo, had the worst crush on the just-turned seventeen-year-old hunk, Foster Quinn, president of the senior class of Musgrove High and one of the hottest guys I knew.

My longtime crush beginning in the seventh grade had grown into full-blown lust—which, of course, explained why I woke up before dawn on a Saturday morning to bake a chocolate mousse with graham cracker crust cake from scratch. Foster had a bad chocolate addiction, like me. This cake would be my birthday gift for him, a few days late. His birthday had landed in the middle of the week, and I had given him a silver keychain with his initial on it for his keys to the new silver Jeep Renegade his parents bought him.

A way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. Once I gave him the cake, he would invite me to the lake—where he’d planned to go with his group of friends, aka his crew.

Hopefully, he would notice I’d dressed for the lake, in my bathing suit, board shorts and tank top. Even though it was the last weekend of September, the Indian summer still lasted, which I didn’t mind because it meant having more time to hang out with Foster.

His parents owned a house near Devon Lake. Foster and his crew had hung out there most of the summer. I’d never been asked to join, but, now, I had the power of my homemade chocolate cake to convince him this time. People raved about my ooey-gooey, sin-in-the mouth desserts, especially Foster. When I presented him his birthday cake I had made just for him in the pre-dawn hours, maybe then he would finally understand how much he meant to me.

Hunter nudged his nose in the plastic Saran wrapped cake. I swooped it up then inhaled to calm down. I had to leave before Foster left without me.

After wiggling my toes in my flip-flops and then cracking my neck from side to side, I stepped outside to near-perfect weather for swimming. Foster’s Jeep sat across the street, including the man himself with his dad.

Mr. Quinn did most of the talking while Foster listened. Not wanting to intrude, I waited impatiently. Eh, screw it.

“Hey, Foster!” I yelled loud enough for the entire street to hear.

Startled, he turned in my direction. I took a second to soak him in, mainly his face, which had a perfect tan from him spending most of the summer outdoors.

Mr. Q didn’t a wave or a smile. He didn’t seem pleased with my interrupting, but I ignored it as I walked toward them, clutching the pan of chocolatey goodness.

“Hiya, B.A.” Foster used my initials as his nickname for me. He kept his eyes on the cake instead of on me. When I reached him, he ruffled my hair. Instead of giving me a hug or a nudge like he did with his other friends, he always tapped the top of my head—an ongoing thing for years.

My face warmed. Hopefully, he or his dad wouldn’t notice.

“I bought you another gift for your birthday, even though it’s a few days late.” I presented the cake to Foster, who licked his bottom lip.

“It’s chocolate cake,” he said in appreciation.

Mr. Q. dropped the stern act and inspected the cake with approval. “Is this cake from The Tasty Darling?”

My Aunt Crystal and Uncle Ron owned The Tasty Darling, which reviewers and patrons alike had considered the top bakery on the East Coast for the last ten years.

“It’s my Aunt Crystal’s recipe, but I baked it from scratch.” I held it out to Foster. “In honor of your seventeenth birthday. I woke extra early today to bake it, so it’s still fresh.” I wanted him to know how much work I had put into his present. He knew my baking skills very well because he volunteered as my guinea pig when it came to baking new creations.

“Bree, you didn’t have to go through the trouble.” He took the cake and moved to give me a hug.

I embraced him around the waist because I couldn’t reach his shoulders unless I lifted up on my toes. Foster stood over six feet. But I didn’t mind. It allowed me to rest my cheek on the middle of his chest and subtly inhale his woodsy scent I wish I could spray on my clothes.

He patted my shoulder then shifted away. His dad, in his typical weekend wear of khakis and some light-colored polo shirt, complete with leather loafers, took out his cell. “I have a client calling in ten minutes. You’ll remember what we talked about before we were interrupted.”

“Yes, sir.” Foster’s smile dimmed, but his voice still held respect. Mr. Q. demanded respect from everyone, including his son.

Mr. Q clapped Foster on the back, and then nodded at me. “Tell your parents I say hello, and give my regards to your aunt. I’ll have to stop in The Tasty Darling next week to buy her banana bread doughnuts for my office.”

“Sure.” I saluted him, which actually made him wink at me. My cheeks warmed again. Mr. Q was pretty cute for an older man. Foster definitely took after his dad more than his mom. He had the tall, dark, and handsome thing going on.

Mr. Q walked toward the house, his cell to his ear. Foster watched him go, swinging his key chain around, including the one I gave him for his birthday. Seeing him with my gift gave me the major warm fuzzies.

“I think my dad has a thing for your aunt,” Foster announced.

“What?” My jaw dropped in shock. Why would he think—?

He leaned toward me, close enough his chest bumped my nose. “Are you wearing makeup?”

Yes! He noticed! I’d started wearing some makeup since Mom gave me permission to when I turned fifteen in June. I usually wore the basics, such as lipstick and concealer and mascara, but not much on the weekends. This morning, I made sure I looked like the older girls in Foster’s crew who would be at the lake. I wanted him to see me as more mature and not like an annoying little sister.

I thrust out my chest, along with flipping my hair over my shoulders like I’d seen many of the girls in my school do to get Foster’s attention, especially Tori—

All of a sudden, loud booming music blared around the corner, and two cars drove up behind Foster’s car. One of the backdoors opened before the rest, and a girl with a head of bouncing red-and-blond curls jumped out and bolted toward Foster.

He set the cake on the ground and held out his arms. “Tori!”

She jumped on him and wrapped her legs around his waist. I ducked away to stop from getting hit as he swung her around in a circle.

Tori Greeley, who should be my nemesis, blocked me from Foster’s attentions. Not only the most popular girl at my school, she was also his girlfriend of one year.

She exemplified what a popular mean girl should be, much like you would find in some stereotypical teen movie. But instead, she was very sweet, almost as sweet as the chocolate Foster loved. I guess it made sense why he adored her.

While they kissed, I concentrated on the sidewalk. Behind me, the rest of the group emerged from the cars. A beefy arm swung around my shoulder, and Sam, Foster’s best friend, rocked side to side.

“B.A. Baracus, how’s it shaking?” His big hand caused destruction to my hair, messing it up more than Foster had.

I exhaled through my mouth since he had a bad sweating habit. His black Pac-Man T-shirt already had sweat stains under his arms. He loved wearing vintage T-shirts from the 1980s, especially anything to do with old TV shows. He got such a kick calling me B.A. Baracus, even though I never gave him permission, and had only allowed Foster the right to call me by any nickname.

I swallowed a snarky response. He was a harmless goof. We actually had some good conversations, mainly about food since he loved eating. I usually let him be my guinea pig number two for anything I cooked.

“Hey, Sam. You’re going to the lake with Foster?” I played dumb. The rest of the group of three girls and two guys nodded or waved at me. We all recognized one another because went to the same school.

“Yup. Got to get as much sun and swimming in before the summer disappears.” He lifted his sunglasses over his head as he spotted my edible masterpiece on the sidewalk. “Cake?”

I smothered a laugh as his eyes widened and his bottom lip trembled. “Yeah, it’s Foster’s for his birth—”

He lunged for the cake and tore off the wrap, taking a chunk from the side and popping it in his mouth.

I gasped in horror as he licked his fingers free of chocolate and tried to tear off another piece. A sob tumbled from my mouth and everything seemed to slow down. Before he destroyed all my hard work, Foster snatched the plate from him and shoved him away.

“Dude, Bree baked this for me.” He clutched the lopsided cake to his chest and glared at his friend.

At least Sam had the decency to look ashamed. “Sorry. Chocolate is my weakness.”

Tori gave me a one arm hug. “Don’t be upset. Foster will cherish it even if Sam ends up eating the entire thing.”

I wanted to lash out at him, and her, but she sounded so sympathetic. She had always been nice to me, even if I tagged along with her and Foster when I shouldn’t have.

“Foster will probably share his cake with everyone.” I hid my frustration behind a smile.

“Chocolate makes me break out. As for cake.…” She grimaced. “Too fattening.”

I’d never seen her eat anything dessert or the least fattening. It showed because of her flat stomach and slender arms and legs. I enjoyed my share of sweets, and I always tasted the food I cooked. I had a normal build for my age and height, but I had a curved tummy and solid hips no one wanted.

“I guess my cake is a winner based on Sam’s reaction.” I hoped he didn’t snatch more chunks before Foster ate some.

“I’ll make sure Foster gets the next piece.” Tori rubbed my arm as he talked with the rest of his boys, while the three girls chatted among themselves. “Even if he didn’t like it, Foster will tell you he does since he loves you like a little sister.”

From anyone else, her comment would have been cruel. She may have meant it like that, but I really didn’t think she did because of how she generally treated me. I had yet to witness one unkind action from her. But it still stung. She had unwittingly put me in my place as a side piece in Foster’s affection. Tori was his equal, while I stood on the lower scale in the role of a relative to him.

A rumble came out of nowhere. Not from the sky to show a storm brewing but from a moving van driving by, followed by a white SUV pulling into the driveway of a house two down from my own across the street. The loud sound seemed to snap those around me into action, and they scrambled to the cars to pull out their beach gear.

Foster tossed his keys to Tori. “Warm up the car for me, babe.”

Tori swung the keychain around her finger and strolled past him. When he smacked her butt, she giggled and blew him a kiss.

I gagged, and gagged again when Foster handed Sam the cake. It took everything I had not to stomp over and snatch it from his hands. But this time, he didn’t rip off a chunk. He bowed to Foster and then turned to me. “I’ll protect this cake with my life.”

“You better!” I pointed at him, wondering if I could sit next to him in the car to keep an eye on him.

Foster came to me and set his hands on my shoulders, giving them a soft squeeze. My stomach jumped in response. But I played it cool, waiting for him to tell me to grab a bag for the lake.

“Again, thanks for the cake. I guess I should put it in my house so it doesn’t melt, but I want to eat it at the lake.” He leaned down and kissed my cheek.

My fingers twitched to grip the side of his shirt, but I kept my arms at my sides. “Instead of by the ocean, cake by the lake?”

“I can’t wait to lick your frosting off my fingers as I enjoy the beauty of the lake, surrounded by my friends.” He sent me a beaming smile.

“Sounds like a great plan. Give me a minute to—”

“I’ll catch ya later, B.A.” He then got in the driver’s seat of his new car, revved the engine, and drove away with a car full of his other friends behind him while they left me behind.

Shirley Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who first found her love for books when she read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found her love for writing at a very young age, and since then has let her imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head. Shirley is also a brownie addict who loves to bake when she’s not busy writing. Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York City.

Connect with Shirley here:

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
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Book Tour: Choices Trilogy by Sandy Lender

Choices Meant For Gods
The Choices Trilogy Book 1
by Sandy Lender
Genre: Fantasy

Not even the gods noticed when Chariss was born with the mark of The Protector. Now she and her wizard guardian seek shelter from a mad sorcerer in a household not just full of secrets and false hope, but watched by the god who will unwittingly reveal her role in an impending war.

When an orphan sets aside a lifetime of running and fear to accept the responsibilities of guarding an arrogant deity, can she face the trials in the prophecies she uncovers? Will Nigel Taiman of her latest refuge dare to use his dragon heritage to bind her to his estate or to help her in her duty?

“Choices Meant for Gods is without a doubt the freshest most engaging high fantasy novel to come out in years and breathes new life into a tired genre. The characters leap off the page and the plot is lightning quick and deftly written with many layers that tease the mind and imagination. Choices Meant for Gods is not a mere novel; it is a gorgeous piece of written art. I can hardly wait for the second book!”
Jamieson Wolf, Linear Reflections Author of Hope Falls, Electric Pink, Electric Blue, and Garden City

“In Choices Meant for Gods, Sandy Lender takes her readers of fantasy fiction by the hand and leads them through an exciting world filled with sorcerers, gods, goddesses, dragons, and other mythical creatures. Through the use of interesting characters and clever dialogue (“Try not to think, Nicolas. You look so much more handsome when you’re bewildered.”), she weaves a spell of magic and fantasy. The only problem for the reader may occur at the end of the book when they find themselves wanting more and discover they will have to wait for book two!”
Gary R. Hoffman, Author for Short Story Anthologies including Seven By Seven and Never Safe

Book links here:
Choices Meant For Kings
The Choices Trilogy Book 2

There’s no doubt: Chariss is in danger. Her geasa is hampered by the effects of a friend’s marriage. The dashing Nigel Taiman hides something from her, yet demands she stay at his family’s estate where he and her wizard guardian intend to keep her safe. But the sorcerer Lord Drake and Julette The Betrayer know she’s there, and their monstrous army marches that way.

When prophecies stack up to threaten an arrogant deity, Chariss must choose between the dragon that courts her and the ostracized kings of the Southlands for help. Evil stalks her at every turn and madness creeps over the goddess who guides her. Can an orphan-turned-Protector resist the dark side of her heritage? Or will she sacrifice all to keep her god-charge safe?

Book links here:
Choices Meant For All
The Choices Trilogy Book 3

From the foothills of the Freotho Mountains to the marble halls of Mahriket, factions of deities rise to threaten not just Master Rothahn’s crown, but all of Onweald’s people. The battles fan the gates of the dark spirit world releasing demons of every species to aid the enemy, but Emperor Nigel Taiman brings Malachi’s power to the Arcanan Army’s camp in hopes of tipping the balance in his bride’s favor. Dangerous times call for strange allies from all quarters. To restore the geasa that will save the god she’s sworn to protect, Amanda Chariss must escape the very Betrayer’s grasp and make choices for the good of all. Does she have the will to sacrifice all that she holds dear in the process? Dive into the action-packed conclusion of the Choices trilogy to discover how prophecy works with and against those who would heed it.

 Book links here:

Readers will recognize Sandy Lender as the author of the 2007 fantasy novel “Choices Meant for Gods” from ArcheBooks Publishing, but the South Florida resident has been writing since she was knee high to a grasshopper. At the early age of about six, Sandy entertained the folks in her great grandmother’s apartment building in Southern Illinois with ghost stories of squeaky spiders. Sandy won a first-place award with that imagination when she wrote a sequel to Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” during her school days in the St. Louis area before earning a degree in English from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. That led to a career in journalism where she’s worked for a variety of publications the past 23 years.

Today she’s the editorial director of two construction magazines and publisher of an avian publication. ArcheBooks has released the final of the “Choices” trilogy, and a number of her YA novels will get star treatment in 2016 and beyond. Sandy is also a sea turtle conservationist. She has companion parrots and turtles in her home who keep her hopping. It takes one ring on her cell phone to discover she’s remained obsessed with Duran Duran since 1984. She’s beaten cancer twice, but still battles the IRS. To begin 2016 properly, she welcomes readers to share in the conclusion of Chariss’s epic story in “Choices Meant for All.”

 Connect with Sandy here:
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!
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Book Tour: Breaking the Cowboy’s Rules by Leslie North

Breaking the Cowboy’s Rules
Wildhorse Ranch Brothers Book 1
by Leslie North
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Ranch owner, Trevor Wild, loves nothing more than spending his day in the saddle riding in the Texas sun. He’s passionate about being the latest generation of Wild man to breed quarter horses on Wildhorse Ranch. But in the aftermath of inheriting a bad business deal the Ranch is in serious financial trouble, and this serious cowboy needs to look outside the box to save his family’s pride and joy.

Glamping guru, Sabrina Hearthstone, is the best of the best at what she does, and she could very well be Trevor’s saving grace. The blonde beauty arrives at Wildhorse Ranch ready to get the job done. She’s all business when it comes to bringing a little luxury to the leather and dirt clad Ranch. But soon she’ll realize that to renovate the Ranch for Glamping she may have to renovate it’s cowboy too.

Sabrina is tempting on a whole lot of levels for Trevor—when he gives into both her touch, and the 1,000 thread count bed sheets, he finds that she soothes his soul. However, Sabrina’s world is a difficult thing for the hardened cowboy to accept. Trevor will have to learn to accept Sabrina and her changes to his world, not only to save Wildhorse Ranch, but to save a love he never expected to find.

 Book links here:

“Huh?” Sabrina glanced up to take him in again, and dropped the side of the log she was holding. Trevor grimaced and set his end down, also. The way his mouth tended to frown naturally—and only deepen when he was annoyed or working—distinguished him from his more approachable twin brother.

“No…I mean, wow. You really aren’t, are you?” Now that Sabrina had halted operations, Trevor straightened to regard her in turn. The way she looked him over, with eyes as wide and summer-blue as the Texas sky, made him acutely aware of just how closely they stood.

“No. I really am not,” he agreed. He wondered how much Trent let her get away with while he was gone. Sabrina Hearthstone had a face as pretty as an angel’s—pair that with her ridiculously tight, stone-washed designer jeans, and he doubted his brother had been willing to deny her much. She was the living, breathing lyric of a country song standing before him—the worshipped, vaunted city girl—and for the first time, Trevor contemplated how much trouble he might be in having her on his property.

At least they had managed to agree on one important detail so far: he wasn’t his brother Trent. While the Sheriff of Lockhart Bend might be willing to let certain behaviors slide, Trevor expected a rigid adherence to his rules. If she already found him more serious, more commanding, than his twin brother, then it might make his job a hell of a lot easier.

“So, you must be Trevor,” Sabrina deduced. “The owner. Unless you’re triplets I wasn’t aware of,” she appeared to mutter to herself. She extended a slender hand to him, and Trevor removed one of his gloves before taking it in his own. He wondered what his callouses must feel like rubbing against her soft skin. She didn’t draw back immediately, which he also found curious. They held the handshake a few seconds longer than strictly necessary before Sabrina withdrew and flushed a little.

“Sorry I mistook you for your brother,” she apologized. “I guess I didn’t realize you’d be back today.”

“I keep to a schedule,” Trevor stated. “Which is something you’re throwing off already, Miss Hearthstone.” He nodded toward the scraps she had accumulated on the porch. “I’m tossing that wood out in the quarterly clear-out.” She stared at him blankly. “That’s tomorrow. You want to keep any of it for arts and crafts, I expect you to go through it all today.”

“Excuse me, Mr. Wild, but this isn’t for arts and crafts,” Sabrina protested. She gestured toward her woodpile selections. “This is upcycling! I’m going to make good use of this stuff. If we want to attract customers and garner favorable reviews, then we’re going to need to liven up the living spaces with a few rustic decorations.”

Upcycling. Great. Another made-up word. Trevor hooked his thumbs in his belt and didn’t budge an inch, predicting his silence would be enough to settle the matter. Generally speaking, it was. Today, however, his natural powers of intimidation appeared to be diminished after the long drive. Sabrina had her hands on her hips, her dark pink lips pursed in challenge. For the life of him he couldn’t decide if her expression was meant to convey a fight or invite a kiss.

“And it’s going to take me longer than a day to figure out what I can and can’t use here,” she clarified.

“You signed a contract,” he said. “And part of that contract clearly states you agree to adhere to the ranch’s schedule.” And my rules, he was going to add, before Sabrina interrupted him unexpectedly.

“How about time for coffee?” she said. She turned away from him to start up the front steps to the porch, before throwing offhand over her shoulder: “I assume there’s room in the ranch’s schedule for that?”

The offer sounded like a tactical maneuver rather than a true invitation, but he followed her up the steps to the bunkhouse despite his suspicion. He couldn’t help noticing the sequins studded around the back pockets of her jeans. The detail—and only that detail—drew his attention to Sabrina’s pert hindquarters. She sure could fill a pair of impractical pants. The denim might as well have been painted onto those shapely, athletic legs of hers. He doubted she could fully bend over in them but would have been willing to be proved wrong.

“You were at a conference, right? How did it go?” Sabrina smiled perkily as she took the bunkhouse pot off the burner and poured them each a mug of coffee. Trevor hovered in the doorway, studying her change in expression and still wondering if he was being taken for a ride. He would have thought then that she certainly had the cheerful demeanor to be successful in her chosen profession…if he didn’t still have doubts that her chosen profession actually existed.

“It went fine.” The impromptu conference had given him a lot to chew on, and he felt cautiously optimistic about the future of Wildhorse’s breeding program for the first time since he had taken a chance and hired an adventure coordinator. If he was being honest with himself, he didn’t like the fact that he had to call on Trent to help Sabrina move in. Trevor was the ranch owner, and he would have rather seen to the matter himself—but his meeting with the other breeders in the area couldn’t be put on hold.

He accepted the mug of coffee Sabrina handed him and settled back against the porch railing. The blonde leaned against the outside of the bunkhouse, crossing her legs and folding her arms, pursing her kissable lips and blowing steam off her own mug.

“I got in touch with your company originally because the ranch needs another source of income,” he began.

“Obviously.” She flexed a grin to let him know she was on the same page.

“But I’m not giving up the quarter horse breeding program. It’s what we’ve done here for three generations, since my grandad’s day. It’s the heart and soul of this ranch, and it’s what Wildhorse is known for.” Trevor scowled, hoping to stamp his next point home. “So, I don’t want our programs intersecting, Miss Hearthstone. You see to coordinating the campers and keep them out of my hair, and I go about my business as usual, including paying your company’s fee.”

“Fine, Mr. Wild. Just so long as you understand what I most certainly won’t be doing is keeping our campers out of the stables,” Sabrina fired back. “You can’t expect anyone to have even a half-baked glamping experience—nor can you expect them to spread positive word-of-mouth and leave us glowing reviews—if our customers aren’t even allowed to experience the horses. You tell me what barns to stay out of, and I will—but judging by the tour Trent gave me, there’s plenty of stable space for all of us. Besides,” Sabrina continued as she smiled once more, “contrary to what you may think, I’ve been around horses before. I happen to know that most ranch animals enjoy the extra attention and go on to live happy, more fulfilled lives as a result. You wouldn’t deny your horses that, would you?”

Trevor didn’t like that she was pushing for such a huge compromise already, but now seemed like the perfect time to segue into what he really wanted to talk about: rules. He withdrew a folded set of documents from the inner pocket of his jacket and passed them to her.

“Then you stick to the schedule I’ve laid out for you,” he said. He allowed himself a moment to privately relish the look of horror that crossed her face. He had guessed from the start that she was the type of woman to flout the rules, but he intended to put an end to that behavior before it had even begun. He sipped his coffee and watched as Sabrina riffled through the multi-page document.

“This is…why are there checklists?” she asked incredulously. She rattled the pages at him. “Do you actually expect me to fill these out and turn them back in to you?”

Leslie North is the USA Today Bestselling pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don’t hesitate to contact her!

 

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