Book Blitz – BLAMED by Edie Harris

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Blamed

 

 

Blamed by Edie Harris
(Blood Money #1)
Published by: Carina Press (HQN)
Publication date: November 3rd 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

abouthebook

Born into a long line of spies, sanctioned killers and covert weapons developers, Beth Faraday carried out her first hit-for-hire when she was still a teenager.

That part of her life—the American spy royalty part—ended one year ago, with a job gone wrong in Afghanistan. The collateral damage she caused with a single shot was unfathomable and, for Beth, unforgivable. She’s worked hard to build a new life for herself, far away from the family business.

But someone, somewhere, hasn’t forgotten what Beth did in Kabul. And they want revenge.

As the Faraday clan bands together to defend Beth and protect their legacy, Beth is forced to flee her new home with the unlikeliest of allies—MI6 agent Raleigh Vick, the only man she’s ever loved. And the one she thought she’d killed in the desert

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excerpt

Crap, but she hated when he went all bossy-britches on her. She’d worked under his command for a decade, back when her role in the family business had been her reason for breathing, and old habits died hard. Stalking through her unlit living room to the front windows, she peeked through a slat in the teakwood blinds at the night outside, dark and cold. No sign of life on the street below…or in the window across the way. “If you guys are so concerned about me, why isn’t one of you here yet?”

“Tobias is on his way to you.”

“What?” Her other older brother—the fussy lawyer—was probably the last family member she’d expect to show up on her doorstep in Chicago. “Why?”

“That’s what I’m trying to tell you. We’ve got trouble.”

“Then why…why didn’t you call my cell?” Her cell was secure, but anything they said on the landline could be overheard, and likely was, given her storied past. It was why Casey had demanded she get a landline in the first place, so anyone listening would witness Beth being a normal—capital “N” normal—civilian when she spoke to the cable company or one of her coworkers at the Institute.

“Because I want them to know we know.” Casey’s voice was brutal and as cold as the weather outside her apartment. “A hit’s been put on you.”

She froze, her stomach cramping. “You really are in Belfast, aren’t you?” she whispered as everything clicked into place. Tobias flying to see her. Human footprints on Bob and Keith’s balcony. The dark window across the street.

Wait. Not so dark, not anymore. Flashes of light, the kind that signaled discharge by a firearm, lit up the bay window that hadn’t shown any sign of life in nearly forty-eight hours. His window. “Shit.”

The Beretta was back in her hand before she took her next breath, dropping the cordless phone to the rug on her brother’s concerned shouts. Not bothering to find shoes, she dashed down the stairs and out into the street—an empty street that held new menace, every shifting shadow a possible threat—in nothing but her socks. The freezing winter air cut through her thin blouse, sharpening her senses as she sprinted up the shoveled sidewalk.

She had to save her friendly neighborhood spy.

 

 

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aboutheauthor
EdieEdie Harris studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa and Grinnell College. She fills her days with writing and editing contract proposals, but her nights belong to the world of romance fiction. Edie lives and works in Chicago and is represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency.
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Book Blitz – SWEPT AWAY by J. Haymore

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SweptAway

 

Swept Away by J. Haymore
Publication date: October 20th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
abouthebook

He is everywhere. He surrounds me, permeates the air, wends his way under my skin. I can’t escape his strength, his intensity, his presence.

I’m trapped.

There’s nowhere to run.

Nowhere to hide.

But even if I could escape…would I be strong enough to leave?

I needed something—something big—to get myself out of the rut I’d fallen into after the car accident that killed my sister. This sailing trip was meant only to mark a new chapter in my life. Until Ethan Williams stepped on board.

Ethan radiated confidence. His darkly handsome good looks and ocean-blue eyes mesmerized me. But it was the way he looked at me that drew me in. He wasn’t looking at my past or at my scars, but the real me behind all that baggage I was trying so hard to leave behind.

But Ethan had secrets—dark, dangerous secrets. I was trapped in the middle of the ocean in a tangle of lies, sex, and violence. The problem was, I was happy to be trapped forever…if it meant I could have him.

Warning: Swept Away is a 4-part serial. This story is messy and twisted and very, very sexy. It is not for people under 18.

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excerpt

Ethan gets up, and it looks like shutters are closing over his eyes. The heat in them fades to a simmer and then flattens until his gaze is completely unreadable. Impenetrable. It’s the expression he had on the phone with Donna. It’s the expression he uses on me when he’s digging that chasm between us. I already know that expression too well.

He gazes into my eyes, cool and distant. “As I said, I don’t do relationships. And that’s what you need. Someone who’ll be there for you. That’s not me.”

Kyle told me about how Ethan hasn’t been photographed with a woman for eight years. Has he not had a girlfriend for eight years? “But why?”

He doesn’t answer. The most he’ll give me is a shake of his head.

I want to pull out my hair in frustration. It seems simple: I want him. He knows it. He said he wanted me too. Then why not act on it? All this “I don’t do relationships” crap—who cares? This isn’t a happily ever after. This is just being together.

He’s being presumptuous to think he knows what’s best for me, anyway. There’s no way he could possibly know what I need.

A thought slams into me. While my nature is to care about people I’m physically close to, maybe I can switch that part of myself off. I want to be with Ethan, and if I enter into a physical relationship with my eyes wide open, then there will be no concern of bringing emotions and thoughts of “relationships” into it.

Our time together is limited anyway. There’s no reason this needs to go beyond the time parameters of this trip.

I can do it. I can control this. I want to do it.

“You’re wrong about me.” The steel hardens in my own eyes. “In a few weeks, I’m going to be starting a new job, and I want to focus on that. But we’re out in the middle of the ocean, and this isn’t the real world. We can do whatever we want out here—be whatever we want to be.”

The shutters over his eyes fly open suddenly, and there’s a storm raging behind them.

“Do you think I haven’t thought about that?” he grits out, taking a step closer to me. Energy bristles from him. “But what happens when we go home? We go our separate ways, back to our lives? It’s not going to be that easy, Tara, and you know it. I don’t want to hurt you, damn it.”

I want this—want him—so badly, I’m going to fight for a chance. I’ll wash my hands of him and go on with my life when we get back to LA. I can do that—I know I can.

“You’re not going to hurt me, because I understand what you’re saying. I understand that this can’t continue once we’re home, and that you don’t want a relationship. I get it. I don’t need or want a relationship either. I have a life to go back to in LA, too. But for now, I want you, Ethan.”

He closes his eyes and makes a low noise that sounds like a groan.

“Give me two weeks.” In two weeks’ time, we’ll be in Hawaii, and he’ll probably be heading home.

I remember that night at the convenience store a year ago—how leaving home and walking down the block was the bravest thing I’d done since the accident. But it doesn’t even hold a candle to this.

This is the bravest thing I’ve ever done—before or after the accident. I’ve thrown myself out there, laid myself out as some kind of a temporary offering. But that’s exactly what I want, and I’m going after it.

Where did this assertive Tara come from? I like her.

My face is blazing hot. Tiny shudders skitter over my skin from my toes to my hair.

But I know he wants me. And judging by the look on his face, my offer has tempted him. He stares at me, his expression torn.

Then his lips tighten, the shutters over his eyes slam shut once again, and pain stabs at me, bitter and cold, in my chest. I know what his next words are going to be.

“I can’t. I’m sorry.”

He turns and walks away.

 

 

aboutheauthor

JenniferUSA Today bestselling author Jennifer Haymore is the author of sexy historical and contemporary romance.
You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.
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Book Blitz – BRANDON by Marata Eros

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Brandon by Marata Eros
(Siren #3)
Publication date: October 17th 2014
Genres: Adult, Erotica, Paranormal
abouthebook

BRANDON is the sequel to CONSTANTINE of The SIREN Series.

Brandon, a Druid male warrior, has sought the call of the Mother, the sea’s endless summons something he can no longer ignore.

Leaving the Reaper vampire stronghold, he seeks those females who share his blood and unique calling. Brandon enters a battle between the mixed-blood Constantine, Kane of demon descent and Madden—a Mer who has the answers to the mystery of his lineage.

Left with more questions than answers, Brandon is shocked when he discovers a female that is mixed as he.

Can Brandon find answers to the questions that plague him? Or will his protection for the one female who calls to him circumvent the resolution he craves? When males from the opposing sects hunt him for what he possesses—can he call on his Druid counterparts to save everything he cares most about …

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excerpt

Ember steps around Con, and Con sees Madden’s nostrils flare. Hard.

“You have fucked the Faction,” Madden accuses her.

Constantine sighs. Grabbing Ember’s elbow, he jerks her closer to him. “You imbecile, I am no longer Faction. Do you see yonder Faction present? Them, oaf, not I.”

Madden’s brows dump, his eyes narrowing to slits. “A mongrel is what I see,” he says, dismissing the Faction who used to battle alongside Con.

Not that the other Faction’s stance as current potential enemy ruffled Con’s feathers. Con has found independence, and it suits him quite well.

Con doesn’t have time for usurpation. “Well, bravo, my fishy enemy. But this mongrel will end you.”

The Mer open their mouths to call the Mother.

Constantine would like to bitch about their methods. However, he has always been a dirty fighter, and he approves of using everything at his disposal.

On that note. Con whips Ember around, gripping her arms. Her blood-red eyes and blond hair contrast in the strangled moonlight seeping through the trees like pale blood.

“Derail their siren’s call, Ember.”

Her eyes grow round. “I do not know if I am able.”

He gives her a teeth-rattling shake. “Try—before I inspire you to do so. You can take the Faction out of the male, but the violence remains.”

Constantine draws her close as the Mer call the aid of the sea.

He feels the Mother as his lips take Ember’s in a brutal press of flesh that leaves her gasping.

He bites her lip just hard enough to draw blood, and it fills their mouths.

He pulls away. “Do it. Do it now!”

Ember’s tongue swipes at the wound. He watches her pupils dilate, the black eating the red. When her eyes are glossy ink marbles in the ivory of her face, her mouth opens, and Ember’s song fills the stillness.

The demonic and Druid cover their ears against it.

But Con does not. He has enough blood of the Mer to tolerate her high-toned wail, though it causes as much pain as it does pleasure.

A common theme for what Constantine enjoys best.

A wall of seawater rises like a hand from a watery grave. It hovers over Ember and Constantine.

The Druid’s arms drop to his sides, an expression of wonder filling his face as he approaches them.

Ember’s wailing isn’t interrupted when she gives a cautionary shake of her head. Con doesn’t shred the cock and balls off the young male, as his impulse would normally be, because when the Druid sets his hands on both their shoulders, Ember’s song rises in pitch—strengthening the call. The water that threatens them swings around and crashes into the five Mer and Faction who sidle closer to gain the advantage of proximity.

Fierce satisfaction fills Con when the Mers’ siren call is cut short, water stealing the sound.

Ember’s final note carries on the now-still air. Her trembling music crushes the silence as it ends.

Their breathing is all Constantine hears.

 

aboutheauthor

MarataMarata Eros (a pen name for Tamara Rose Blodgett), is the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author of A Terrible Love. Marata has more than thirty-five titles in multiple genres including Dark Fantasy, Dark Romance as well as her highly successful Dark Erotica series.

Marata lives in South Dakota with her husband, children and fur kids. She is an ardent reader of many genres. Tamara enjoys interacting with her readers via Twitter, blog and newsletter as often as possible. Please stop by and say hi 🙂

Website: http://marataeroseroticaauthor.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @MarataEros
FaceBook: http://tinyurl.com/MarataErosFB

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Book Blitz – CRUSHED by Gina Robinson

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Crushed

 

Crushed by Gina Robinson
(The Rushed New Adult and College Romance Series, #2)
Publication date: October 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

 

 

abouthebook

Some loves can’t be… Crushed

Morgan
Have you ever done something stupid? Like get drunk and hookup with a guy because your heart was broken by someone else? Like his best friend. And then done something really dumb, like fall in love with your hookup? Hookups aren’t stick-around guys. I’m hoping Dakota will be different. But hoping has gotten me in trouble before.

Dakota
The absolute last girl I want to see in my court-ordered alcohol and drug information school, the girl who landed me here in the first place, walks in. After we hooked up, I thought I’d gotten Morgan out of my system. So why is my pulse racing? I can’t afford to screw up right now. I know I should avoid her. Morgan has a way of messing up my life. But she’s the only one who understands.

 

excerpt

Dakota

I got to school early, registered, paid my fee, and took a seat in the back of the class. My dad had chewed my ass off when I told him about the fine. He lectured me for half an hour on my stupidity. It had cost him real money. Dad hated paying for shit that could have been avoided.

My buddies at the frat were preparing for a night of first-class partying. Most of them hoping to get laid. And I was in school to learn all about the dangers of drinking. It was a joke. Until she walked in.

My pulse raced. My palms sweated. My dick went involuntarily hard. An absolutely stunning girl stood silhouetted in the doorway—blond, slim but with the kind of figure I found sexy as hell. Fresh-faced, no makeup. Her cheeks pink from the cold. Her eyes warm and bright with exercise and expectation. Her hair curled into the faux fur that rimmed the hood of her coat. She wore flat boots and yoga pants that left just enough to my imagination.

She hesitated at the door, like she was uncertain and nervous. My hero instincts kicked in. I liked her sweet vulnerability. Just as I was about to get out of my chair and play gentleman, introduce myself and see where things led, I stopped cold, recognizing her with a start.

Morgan Peterson? Without makeup. Shit.

You’d think my dick would have gone soft at the sight of her. The damn thing didn’t. My pulse involuntarily sped up. What was it about Morgan Peterson that turned me on even when I was furious with her?

 

 

aboutheauthor

Gina_ Gina Robinson is the award-winning author of the contemporary new adult romances Reckless Longing, Reckless Secrets, and Reckless Together, and the Agent Ex series of humorous romantic suspense novels. Rushed, the first book in her new college-set new adult series will be released on July 3, 2014. She’s currently working on Crushed, the second book of this series featuring a surprising couple from Rushed. Look for Crushed in early fall 2014.
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Book Blitz – DEPTHS OF LAKE by Keary Taylor

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Depths of Lake by Keary Taylor
(The McCain Saga #3)
Publication date: October 14th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

 

Synopsis:

It was another day at the ranch, training horses and working fifteen hour days. And then the last person I ever expected showed up. Lake McCain: a Marine, tall, ripped—and the best friend of my dead fiancé. Cal died to save Lake, and now Lake claims that he carries a debt to me that he can never repay.

I wanted to brush him off. But then my mom, the manager of the ranch, went and hired him. We spend hours working together with the horses. Lake doesn’t say much. He’s layered and dark and he tries to seem shallow and simple. But he isn’t. There are things under his surface that matter. He works, quiet and strong, and never once lets me down.

Until he confesses that he may be falling in love with me. I can’t deny that there is something between us. But a relationship? I just can’t. I’ve used up all my chances at love. My past relationships have ended in death or disaster, and now I have to live with all of that.

I’m Riley James, and there are depths to Lake—depths to myself—that I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand.

Excerpt

“Lake?” I call quietly.  No reply.

I push the door open a bit more and step inside.  I look back toward the bedroom.  As far as I can see, it’s empty.  And the door to the bathroom is open and the light off.

“Lake?” I call once more.

A soft snore pulls my eyes to the couch, and there I find him.

He’s changed into a pair of dry jeans, but that’s all he’s wearing.  A thickly muscled arm is lying across his eyes, his other arm hanging down toward the floor.  Bare feet hang over the arm of the couch.

His perfectly sculpted chest bears seven stars tattooed over his left breast.

His brows are furrowed, his expression concerned.

He’s a soldier who’s engaged in combat and he’s seen some horrible things.  He saw Cal blown to pieces.  I can only imagine the hell he must be seeing behind those lids right now.

I’m torn.  I want to wake him from whatever nightmare I know he’s having.  But I also know about PTSD and how dangerous it can to be to wake a soldier in this state.

His left shoulder twitches violently.  His face winces.

“Lake,” I say, soft and gentle.

He gives a little twitch, like me calling his name entered his dream, but he doesn’t wake.

“Lake,” I say, this time louder.  I keep my distance, standing by the door.

He jerks up from the couch, half sitting up.  His right hand reaches for his hip, as if he’s searching for a sidearm.  His eyes sweep the room and fix on me.  They’re bloodshot and wide.

“It’s okay,” I say, keeping my tone even and calm.  “It’s just me.”

His breathing is hard and fast and it takes a minute for him to calm down and realize he isn’t out on the battlefield, in the middle of a warzone.

“What do you want?” he asks.  His voice is hard and flat.

Soldiers don’t like admitting when they’re dealing with post-field issues.  I’ve caught him in a moment of trauma, and he doesn’t like it.

“Mom’s just about got dinner ready and asked me to come get you,” I say.  I’m not offended by his hard tone.  I understand.  “I’m sorry to wake you, but you looked like you were in a place you needed extraction from.”

He looks at me for another really long minute.  Lake has the most impassive eyes.  I can’t tell what’s going on behind them.  Is he angry?  Is he embarrassed?  Indifferent?  It’s impossible to tell.

“Yeah,” he finally replies.  He climbs off the couch and walks to the bedroom.  He looks over his shoulder at me just before he disappears behind the door.  My eyes drop away from him, embarrassed to realize he’s just caught me staring and embarrassed for the fact that I was.

But who couldn’t admire a body like that?

 

The McCain Saga
EVER AFTER DRAKE
MOMENTS OF JULIAN
DEPTHS OF LAKE
PLAYING IT KALE (January 20, 2014)

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KearyAUTHOR BIO:

Keary Taylor grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now resides on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two young children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night. She is the author of THE EDEN TRILOGY, the FALL OF ANGELS trilogy, and WHAT I DIDN’T SAY. To learn more about Keary and her writing process, please visit www.KearyTaylor.com.
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STEALING THIRD by Marta Brown – book blitz

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Stealing Third by Marta Brown
Publication date: July 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:

For Emily, going to camp, the summer before college starts, means leaving her feuding parents alone for the next eight weeks, and coming back to divorce papers is a risk she can’t take.

But no matter how many meddling phone calls, questionable hair decisions, and possibly illegal hookups she plans, her parents still march her off to Camp Champ totally against her will.

No matter. A few broken rules, and Em will be home free. That is, until she learns Tyler Ford, her baseball coach father’s star player and her drunken party hookup, is at camp, too.

For Tyler, summer is the onramp to the biggest decision of his life: med school or major leagues. Mega hot, possibly underage Emily? A complication he does not need.

But as the summer heats up with strikeouts and stolen bases will Tyler and Emily hit a home run and get what they’re after? Or will they both be thrown a curveball…in the game of love?

Excerpt:

Emily

“Emily, there you are,” Jenny says, walking into the cabin, the screen door banging closed behind her. I fold the letter to Kat and slip it back in the box before shoving it under my bed again. “What are you up to?”

“Just got back from the batting cages. You?”

Jenny smiles. “I went up to the baseball field with some of the girls after getting done with crew.”

“Watching the boys?” I ask, despite already knowing the answer. It’s her favorite daily activity.

“Just one in particular,” she squeals, causing me to wince as she bounces across the room, still in her spandex from practice, and sits down at the end of my bed.

I push further back against my pillows to put some distance between us and roll my eyes. This isn’t a hard one to guess either. If ogling Todd were a sport, she could have earned a first place ribbon last summer.

“Let me guess, you were checking out T—”

“Tyler,” she finishes, cutting me off.

My breath catches. My Tyler?

She must read confusion on my face because she clarifies. “You know, the counselor from cabin four—the one with the crazy kissable lips.”

Yep. That’s the one.

A nerve in my neck pinches. “Yeah…I know exactly who you mean.” Considering his crazy kissable lips is all I’ve thought about for days.

“Anyway, I came to grab a blanket and some sunscreen and I’m headed back up to the field. Some of the guys are about to have a pickup game.” Jenny pushes off my bed, grabs her beach bag and starts to head out the back door before stopping and tossing me a look over her shoulder. “Btw—you can come if you want.”

A pickup game? With Tyler?

I smile, knowing the invitation is superficial, but I could care less.

I hop off my bed, throw on my tennis shoes and grab a hair tie. I’ve avoided him for long enough. If it’s games Tyler wants to play, at least this one I know the rules to.

“Oh, great,” she deadpans. “You’re coming.”

I sweep my hair into a ponytail and grab my lucky baseball hat.

“Nope. I’m playing.”

 

Tyler

The baseball field is dusty and hot, and it’s exactly where I want to be.

Between job shadowing Doc, thinking about Emily in that teeny tiny bikini—which I completely shouldn’t be—and the pressure of choosing between medicine and baseball bearing down on me like the mid-afternoon sun, I’d almost forgotten how excited I was to spend the summer at a camp dedicated to sports.

“All right, guys, I know it’s just a pickup game, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to play like it’s the bottom of the ninth in the seventh game of the World Series.” Mark, one of the other counselors who plays ball claps his hands. The whistle hanging around his neck and the clipboard tucked under his arm reminds me of Coach. “Am I right?”

“Right,” the team echoes in unison before scattering to our various positions.

Grabbing the rim of my baseball hat and tugging it down low to block the sun from my eyes, I pump my fist into the hollow cup of my well worn glove and settle in at shortstop.

“Let’s do this,” I call, and then proceed to choke on the cheek full of sunflower seeds in my mouth at the sight of Emily walking out of the other team’s dugout—in something way hotter than a tiny bikini.

A baseball jersey.

Shooting me a wink, she bends down, grabs a helmet, and slips it on before approaching homeplate. She kicks in her toes, drawing up dust as she grips the bat and readies herself for the pitch.

Damn, she looks hot. And by the slack jawed faces of my teammates, and frankly, her team, too, I’m not alone in my thinking. Maybe that’s why Mark gives her a nice easy pitch right down the middle.

She hits a hard and fast line drive right between me and the second baseman, and before I can even scramble for the ball, she’s on first and smiling at me.

I shake my head. Of course she plays baseball—why wouldn’t she? She is the coach’s daughter after all.

But staring at Emily standing on first base, tying her jersey into a high knot and revealing her toned stomach, I’m starting to get the feeling she’s playing with a whole different set of rules. Ones I’m pretty sure her dad didn’t teach her.

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AUTHOR BIO

Marta Brown grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was a teenager when Doc Martens, Pearl Jam and flannel were the norm and Dylan loved Kelly forever. (Beverly Hills 90210 shout out)

She still lives just outside Seattle, now with her husband and cat, and loves the rain.

When she’s not writing about cute boys, first kisses and the magic and wonder of being seventeen, she’s watching The CW. And she sleeps in. Late.

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RUINED by Marian Cheatham – Book Blitz

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Ruined
Ruined by Marian Cheatham
Publication date: Summer 2014
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis:

When your life has been ruined by lies, do you seek justice … or revenge?

Blythe Messina spends her senior year focused on her studies and college, and not on her ex, Stratford High’s lacrosse star, DB Whitmore. At least, that’s what Blythe keeps telling herself. But her younger cousin, Bonni, knows otherwise. Same goes for DB, who professes to be over Blythe and their breakup, but his teammates aren’t fooled.

When scandalous photos of Bonni and the lacrosse captain are texted around Stratford, Bonni’s virtuous reputation is ruined. She pleads innocence, but no one believes her. No one, except Blythe and DB, who come together to uncover the truth. But, will they stay together?

Ruined is a modern twist on a classic Shakespearean romance.

“Deceit, loyalty, honor, and romance–Ruined has it all! A teen version of Much Ado  About Nothing that Shakespeare aficionados are sure to savor!”
Kym Brunner, Author of Wanted: Dead or in Love & One Smart Cookie

Excerpt:

DB WHITMORE

1

It looked like a fire drill, the way students came streaming into the gym. Loud, and stoked, and all sporting our school colors of black and gold, the entire student body was here today to pay homage to Stratford High’s winningest team. My teammates and I had nailed the state

championship in lacrosse. We deserved to be celebrated and admired. Besides, we all looked damn good in these new jerseys.

I scanned the crowd for a Hugo Boss suit. Our wealthy sponsor, Leo Messina, had three folding chairs reserved for him in the front row right beneath this makeshift stage. One for him, one for his daughter, Bonni, and one for his niece …

“Gonna get a cramp in your neck.” Cory Rash, left-wing attacker and one of my best buds, checked me in the ribs. “Keep staring around for Blythe Messina like that and you’ll strain something.”

“Who said anything about her? We’re history. You know that, man. I’m a free agent now. Means I can have my choice of any tail here.”

“Or any chick that Paolo throws our way.”

We both looked at our captain and center attacker, Paolo Prince, reigning “king” of Stratford who at this moment was preoccupied with all his adoring fans in the bleachers.

“Paolo! Text me! Call me!” Every female at this pep rally vied for his attention.

“Think he ever gets tired of that?” Cory asked.

I stared at him for a moment, and then we both cracked up.

“Hey, DB.” Cory nudged me. “Messina’s here. That his daughter?” He motioned toward the sophomore taking a seat in the front row next to our sponsor.

“Bonni, yeah.”

Cory’s mouth hung open. “She’s hot.”

“Bonni’s two years younger and millions richer than you, so close your trap.”

“Hey! I can handle young and rich, Douche Bag.”

“You so can’t, Diaper Rash. You can barely manage your own equipment.” I nodded at his jock.

“Watch it! I always know where my stick is. If you know what I mean.”

Our principal, Dr. Bard, stepped up to the podium. This show was about to begin.

“Well, good for you,” I whispered to Cory. “’Cause you’ll have to take care of your stick if you date that girl. Bonni’s VP of the Pro Abstinence Club.”

“For real?”

Dr. Bard tapped the mic. “Testing. Uno, dos, tres.”

“Real as that trophy.” I motioned toward the four-foot-tall loving cup on display beside the podium. “You’re not even in the same dimension as that girl.”

Cory crossed his arms, slumping in his seat. “You should talk. Looks like your ex is a no-show.”

I threw a casual glance toward the empty folding chair next to Mr. Messina. Bonni stood near her seat, facing the back of the gym. Kind of a short-stuff for a sixteen-year-old, Bonni bobbed up and down on her toes, struggling to see over all the heads.

Dr. Bard raised his arms, signaling for quiet.

“Too bad Blythe’s not here to witness your glory,” Cory whispered.

Yeah, too bad. Blythe used to love to come to our games. Never missed a match all junior year. But this season, our best season, she’d never shown. Guess she really had no reason to come after our break-up. It wasn’t like she’d a true fan of lacrosse. Just a true fan of me. I snuck another peek at those folding chairs.

Bonni was waving. “Here! Over here, cuz!”

I searched through the late-comers straggling into the gym until I spied Blythe—all five-foot-one of her, with her dark hair pulled back in that tight-ass braid. I liked it better when she wore her hair loose and long, but I could overlook anything when she dressed like she had today in those skin-tight jeans that hugged every sweet curve. Blythe looked mighty fine in that snug pink tee—Hey! Where was her black and gold? A growl escaped my lips.

“Something wrong, man?” Paolo asked, as the clamor in the gym died down.

“Nothing.” Nothing I couldn’t handle. Or ignore.

“Welcome, Stratford!” Dr. Bard said. “What an exciting day! Our heroes hath returned victorious.” Everyone cheered. The band paraded up the center aisle of the folding chairs, trumpets blasting our school song. Students tried to sing along, but no one really knew the words.

I made a feeble attempt at joining in, but it was hard to concentrate with Blythe and Bonni arguing, well—more like gesturing—in disagreement. No one and nothing could be heard over the brain-damaging blare of the mighty Falcons marching band. Bonni waved to Blythe, pointing like mad to the vacant chair beside her. Blythe stood against the back wall, shaking her head, and irritating the crap out of me.

Why wouldn’t she sit down?

Because. She couldn’t stand to be near me.

What was Blythe’s problem? The breakup had been almost a year ago. She needed to get over it already. I had. Besides, I had her to thank for being up here today. I’d played better than ever without her around. Chicks only messed with your head. My mind had been free and clear of chick-drama all season, and look where that had taken us. To state!

Thank you, Blythe, I wanted to scream … as she trudged up the center aisle.

“Looks like she made it after all.” Paolo leaned forward to catch Cory’s attention. The two busted out laughing as the band came to a halt.

I flipped them both off.

“That was superb!” Dr. Bard clapped, revealing those strange pleather patches on the elbows of his tweed jacket. Who wore tweed anymore? And in April? The guy was unique, I’d grant him that. But he was also fair and enthusiastic, especially about sports, and the theater, and well, just about any activity at Stratford. “Excitement is high today for our returning champions! Nineteen wins and only one loss! A new state record!”

The place went berserk. This was my moment of glory just like Cory had said. So how come I didn’t feel so victorious? I shot a quick look at that front row.

Blythe was filing her nails.

“And so without further ado, I give you the man who led the charge. Our own fearless Falcon, Coach Francis!” Dr. Bard stepped back, flicking at his shoulder-length ponytail which had gotten caught under the button-down collar of his shirt.

Coach approached the mic, looking more imposing than usual in a new black and gold tracksuit. The whole team rocketed to their feet. I stood with deliberation, stretching and flexing the muscles of my well-toned abs.

Was she looking? I checked out the corner of my eye.

Blythe was messing with her cell.

“Thank you. Thank you.” Coach motioned for us to sit down. “This has been the most exciting year of my life. And one of the best teams I’ve ever had the privilege to coach. Thanks to the incredible leadership of our captain and this state’s lead scorer, Paolo Prince.”

Crazy doesn’t even begin to describe the bedlam in the gym. Girls and guys alike chanted, Paol-o, Paol-o, as he hefted our first-place cup and swaggered from one end of the platform to the other.

“We need to acknowledge the generosity of Mr. Leo Messina of Messina Motors.” Coach waved Mr. Messina forward. “Leo and I go way back to our college days playing lacrosse for State U.”

Mr. Messina squeezed Bonni’s shoulder and then rushed up onto the stage. “It was my pleasure to sponsor this team,” he said into the mic. “I enjoyed every exciting minute of this season.” He and Coach shared an enthusiastic handshake. Mr. Messina patted Paolo on the back. “Coach, I know you have an awards banquet planned for Saturday. But I’d like Dr. Bard’s permission to move the festivities to my house.”

Blythe shot up. Her chair went flying backward.

I looked at her and this time, she looked back, her intense, brown eyes scrutinizing me from the inside out. For one instant, I couldn’t breathe or move or think. And then she turned and stormed down the aisle and out the gym doors.

What should I do now? Go to the banquet or stay away?

Damn women! They wrecked everything. Especially that infuriating one.

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AUTHOR BIO

Marian Cheatham was born in Chicago, Illinois. A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Marian taught special education in Cicero, Illinois for several years before becoming a full-time writer.

Currently, I’m writing a new young adult novel series, Stratford High; contemporary retellings of Shakespeare’s plays set in the fictional high school. Ruined, book one in the series, due out spring 2014, is inspired by Much Ado About Nothing. Book two, due out fall 2014, is based on The Merchant of Venice. Book three is due out winter 2015.

On my Facebook author page, wwww.facebook.com/mariancheatham.author, I write a weekly post called the Everyday Eastland with facts and stories, both historical and current, about Chicago’s greatest loss-of-life disaster. I lecture on the Eastland at schools, libraries, and on Haunted Chicago coach tours. I’m an active member of a Barnes & Noble critique group. I blog at www.mariancheatham.com.

I live in a suburb of Chicago with my family and our menagerie of pets.

 

FOUND IN US by Layla Hagen – Book Blitz

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Found in Us by Layla Hagen
(Lost #2)
Publication date: July 24th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:

**This can be read as a STANDALONE. The second book in the Lost series tells Jessica and Parker’s story.**

All Jessica wants -as a college graduate — is to be a good girl. She landed the job of her dreams at a museum and is trying to eliminate temptations. No more short skirts (when she can help it). No wild parties. And no men.

She particularly excels at that last thing. . .

Until her path crosses Parker’s. Again. Jessica remembers the last time their paths crossed very well. She was left with a seriously bruised ego. She knows it would be best to avoid him altogether. But the charming Brit makes it hard for her to elude his electrifying pull. He is as irresistible as he is captivating.

And enigmatic.

Because underneath the sleek Armani suit and the sweet British accent that makes her crave his touch, Parker isn’t the perfect gentleman everyone thinks he is.

He’s exactly what Jessica doesn’t want, but desperately needs.
A bad, bad boy.

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AUTHOR BIO
My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough
Author Links:

FOREVER SHELTERED by Deanna Roy – Book Blitz

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Forever Sheltered by Deanna Roy
(The Forever Series #3)
Publication date: July 23rd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:

Tina would rather sew up her girl parts with dental floss than go on a second date with a man. She’s been dumped enough to know not to get attached.

But when Dr. Darion Marks comes into her art therapy room to ask a favor for a special patient, Tina recognizes the haunted look he buries beneath his stoic professionalism. So rather than be forced to ditch the handsome doctor after a single night, she decides not to date him at all.

So how exactly DO they end up half-naked in Surgical Suite B?

Dr. Darion has a lot to hide. His baby sister is the only family he has left, and he’s not leaving her treatment to some incompetent hack.

But now he’s breaking every hospital rule imaginable. He lied about his sister so he can manage her care, and now he’s banging the art therapy teacher between patient rounds like a fraternity boy at a keg party.

Nobody believes this can end well, not Tina’s friend Corabelle, who is overcoming a tragic history much like Tina’s, or even pink-haired Jenny, who thinks sex with strangers is good for your metabolism.

But Dr. Darion and Tina have one thing going for them – a fierce passion for each other that just might obliterate all their doubts, and solve all their problems.

Forever Sheltered includes many favorite characters from Forever Innocent and Forever Loved, as well as the much-anticipated wedding of Gavin and Corabelle.

It is a standalone HEA that does not require reading any other parts of the Forever series.

 
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 Deanna
AUTHOR BIO
Deanna Roy is a passionate advocate for women who have lost babies. She founded PregnancyLoss.Info in 1998 and runs many online and in-person support groups. She is the author of several two-hankie reads, including Forever Innocent, Stella & Dane, and Baby Dust.
Author links:

 

Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West

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PiecesofOlivia
Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West
(Charleston Haven #1)
Published by: Intermix (Penguin)
Publication date: July 15th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:
Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future.

But on one fated night, everything changed.

Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life.

She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal… that is, until she meets Preston.

Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars.

Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for…

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18827239-pieces-of-olivia?ac=1

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AUTHOR BIO:

Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/Intermix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West. And for sneak peeks at upcoming works, prizes, and more, join The RES Spies at Mel’s Madhouse: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheRESspies.

 

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