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Book Blitz ~ Beyond the Mist by Casi McLean: Excerpt + Giveaway!


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Beyond the Mist by Casi McLean

(Lake Lanier Mysteries, #2)

Published by: The Wild Rose Press

Publication date: September 15th 2017

Genres: Adult, Romance, Time-Travel

Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes.

The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams.

Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond The Mist?

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You can request a review copy here!

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~Excerpt~

A soft mist hovered over the moonlit lake, beckoning, luring him forward with the seductive enticement of a mermaid’s song. Rhythmic clatter of a distant train moaned in harmony with a symphony of cricket chirps and croaking frogs. Spellbound, Nick Cramer took a long breath and waded deeper into the murky cove. Dank air, laden with a scent of soggy earth and pine, crawled across his bare arms. The hairs on the back of his neck bristled, shooting a prickle down his spine that slithered into an icy pool coiled in the pit of his stomach. He clenched his fingers into a tight fist, determined to fight through the emotion consuming him. Fear sliced through his belly like icy shards until he finally heaved, forcing rancid bile to choke into his throat.

I have to do this––he inched forward––only a few more steps and––

A sudden surge swirled around him, yanking him into a whirling vortex, where a violent blue streak dragged him deeper, deeper beneath the lake into the shadowy depths. Heart pounding, he battled against the force, twisting, thrusting toward the surface with all of his strength but, despite his muscular build, he spun like a feather in wind into oblivion. When the mist dissolved, Nick Cramer had vanished.

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~Author Bio~

Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense. WATCH THE TRAILER https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwOqm8DUUfA

Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.

Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

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~Giveaway~

Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)

Signed copies of both books in the Lake Lanier Mysteries series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cover Reveal ~ Riske and Revenge by Natalie E. Wrye: Giveaway!


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Riske and Revenge by Natalie E. Wrye

(Lies and Lust, #1)

Publication date: October 17th 2017

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

World…next to hate.

I knew hate. Had known it since I was seventeen. For me, it was love turned on its head, a product of hurt and fear—twisted, tied up…and placed on the sculpted shoulders of Ethan Riske.

***

Dayton, Tennessee.

Home to the best cow-tipping in the world, the biggest hot dogs, and the lousiest sex.

Or so I’d heard…

They were right about the first two. Ethan Riske proved them wrong about the third and at seventeen, he and I spent a summer under the stars, squeezing our way out of trouble, sweating and panting among the haystacks.

Until he left.

Nine years later, when a huge publishing house tries to buy my small press, I storm into the office of the CEO to find him.

Same cocky grin. Different name.

And suddenly all I can think about is exacting revenge on Ethan Riske for breaking his contract…and my heart.

But there’s someone who wants revenge even more than I do. As I begin to fall for the new Ethan, will the sins of the old one come back to haunt us?

Goodreads

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~Author Bio~

Natalie Wrye is a tequila connoisseur, Game of Thrones addict and author best known for writing page-turning Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense.

A fan of the beautifully polarizing anti-hero, she crafts sexy stories about hard-bodied, complex men and the strong-willed women who crave them.

She provides an inappropriate laugh (or ten) and a FREE book here: http://eepurl.com/b4A6_r

She loves it when people get weird with her on Facebook, NatalieWrye.com or NatalieWrites@NatalieWrye.com.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook

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~Giveaway~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz ~ The Dark Mermaid by Christina L. Barr


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The Dark Mermaid by Christina L. Barr

Publication date: September 5th 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

“True love is not a myth. It’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or complete chaos.”

On the day Luna proves that she is powerful enough to be her father’s heir, she is banished for saving the life of an enchanting human boy. Her father, the king, gives her two options: kill Ian and regain her honor by the time she comes of age, or be destroyed.

Luna finds shelter in forbidden waters and comes under the protection of her father’s greatest enemy, the Sea Witch. As her ward, Luna becomes a fearsome warrior, but struggles with the fear of turning her powerful magic dark.

With only days remaining before her seventeenth birthday, Luna finds Ian sailing the seas in search of answers. Luna is determined to escape her father’s wrath, and the Sea Witch’s plot of revenge, but dark forces won’t allow her to live a human life without making an impossible sacrifice.

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Want to receive a free song inspired by the book that Christina sang herself?
Fill out this form here before Sept 9th!

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~Excerpt~

True Love

When I returned to the lair, the Sea Witch was much too distracted gutting her catch of shark to care much about my adventures. She had no idea that I had found Ian and kissed him. I wanted to keep it that way. For all she knew, I spent my day with Napa, and I most certainly didn’t fight my sister to the almost death. I made sure to heal my wounds before she saw me.

I hid the pendent, dagger, and lock of hair in a satchel and hoped the Sea Witch wouldn’t be able to sense the magic. I also had to hope that she wouldn’t sense any special magic in me. It was odd that I wasn’t fatigued from my battle. Instead, I felt energized. My magic was leaking out of my body. I tried to keep my movements limited and to remain completely calm.

Unfortunately, somewhere between the chewing of our dinner, the Sea Witch cocked her brow at me in suspicion. “Did Napa bring you a new gift?”

“Why do you ask?”

“I sense new magic.”

I panicked on the inside, but I would not allow that panic to the surface of my thoughts. Of course, she would have been able to sense the pendent. I reached into my satchel and handed it to her without any fuss, and I hoped she didn’t ask any questions about the other item of interest. “Napa didn’t know any better.”

“Interesting.” It only took a moment for the Sea Witch to analyze what it could do. I don’t know why I was so surprised when she disappeared. “This would be more useful on the surface world.” She tossed it back to me and became visible once more. “Quite interesting.”

“Very.” I grinned hard and continued feasting, but I had the sense that she knew I was hiding many details from her. It’s not that I didn’t trust her. I just wanted to make sure she would take the news well, so I didn’t have to worry about her killing everyone outside of our immediate sphere.

It wasn’t easy. I wanted to tell her about Ian’s infatuation with me. It was flattering after my father threw me away. I wanted to tell my mother how his smile enchanted me, and now, I was under his spell. I tried to get him out of my head, so the Sea Witch wouldn’t find out, but while I brushed my hair and stared into the broken mirror Napa gave me, I began to imagine that I was staring at myself from his point of view, and I knew I was truly as beautiful as he made me feel. The thought of never seeing him again was crushing my heart and suffocating my insides. There had to be a way to see him again beyond tricks, smokes, and mirrors.

“Luna, what’s wrong?”

I saw Ian’s face too clearly in my mind. She must have known that I was thinking about him, but that wasn’t so strange. I could still hide the truth for a little while. “Why would something be wrong?”

She floated in front of me with a furrowed and curious brow. “Because you never sing.”

I hadn’t even noticed. I was singing the same song I sang to Ian when I first said goodbye. If he had his hooks in me that deeply, was there truly any escaping him? “You’ll think I’m being a fool.”

The Sea Witch surprised me and held me by my shoulders from behind. “Out of the two of us, I’m the one that made a blood oath with your father. You could be foolish for a thousand lifetimes and not end up as foolish as I once was.”

Perhaps I was being unfair to her. If she were trying to be a real mother, she deserved a chance. As my elder, she might have sound advice to put my mind at ease. “Napa told me that humans believe in true love. I know it sounds childish, but I think I’m experiencing it. I’ve found true love.”

I was so embarrassed that I kept my eyes focused on the teeth of the comb in my hands. I was responsible for ruining Ian’s childhood, and I delayed his life afterward. I didn’t deserve to feel such a consuming joy, especially if Ian were the root cause.

“I’ve heard of true love.” The Sea Witch nicked my chin up with her finger to force her eyes into mine. “The humans teach it like a fairytale, but true love is not a myth; it’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or chaos.”

“Chaos?” I laughed. Frankly, it was difficult to believe that there was an actual explanation to how I felt. Napa referred to love as “irrational logic”. I wasn’t sure if having a legitimate reason was worse or better. “How can what I feel ever lead to destruction?”

“I’m not saying that it will, but true love is a dangerous magic.” The Sea Witch got uncomfortably close to my face. I tried to back away, but she swam around to observe me fully. Nothing about me had changed physically, but I’m sure she wasn’t seeing with her natural eye. “I can sense it on you. Your magic is stronger.”

I thought of how quickly I defeated my sister, but then, I quickly pushed that out of my mind. “How is that possible? Is it just because I have feelings for Ian?”

“No. That would be ridiculous, but it is possible that you’re drawn to each other for a reason.” She, once again, became agonizingly uncomfortable. I didn’t back away or cower from her glaring and curious eyes. I tried to be firm while I blanketed my mind with thoughts of training battles, meditation, and the past few lonely years of my life. I would not think of Ian, and I certainly wouldn’t think of the kisses we shared!

Except, I completely did.

I don’t know if my sudden memory of Ian’s kiss was vivid enough to burrow into her brain, but she certainly seemed more suspicious after I indulged in it. “You must have seen him again!” I covered my face. I would have hidden in my clam, but she was already inside of it with me. She grew impatient and pulled my hands away from my flustered face. “I did. Napa found Ian, and I went to see him. He gave me the dagger I had been searching for, and we spoke.”

“That’s not the only thing you did.”

I straightened out my body and tried to look a little taller and mature than I had been acting a moment ago. “We did share a kiss, yes.”

Instead of lecturing me, she twirled around the cavern, shrieking in delight. I hadn’t seen her genuinely happy or excited over anything, so I was a little terrified. “Did he have magic?”

“He didn’t seem to have knowledge of having magic.” “Perhaps he’s an amplifier,” she suggested with much intrigue. “What do you mean?”

“They are extremely rare, but an amplifier can increase your magic, even without being able to use it.” She swam to me and clasped onto both my hands and smiled. “If you were to mate, you could create new magic for your offspring and leave your own power intact. If that’s true, you should definitely mate him.”

“Uh…” My mouth opened in shock. The desire to feel and be more of an adult was ripped away from me. “I’m not ready for this conversation.”

“Why? Do you love him?” “It’s preposterous that I love him!”

“But you do!” She chuckled. “I see it in your eyes. I feel it through your magic. He’s made you more powerful. If Fate is pulling you to love this man, don’t push back. There’s no sense in fighting what will be.”

Was it truly possible that Ian made me feel stronger? Was he the reason why I could use my magic to fight my sister so effortlessly? Even if it were true, what did it matter? I only wanted to control my magic so it wouldn’t accidentally go dark. I had no desire to be the greatest sorcerous in the world.

It was silly to think that I could take human form and live with Ian. I hardly knew him. But, for some reason, the thought of leaving to discover the world with him began to fill my chest and gut with a ticklish light that turned into a glorious rumbling. I clutched onto my chest as I felt it vibrating. My entire body was radiating heat. I tried to convince myself that I was merely embarrassed, but my hands were tingling.

“The thought of escaping with that human is causing your magic to burst from you,” the Sea Witch said. “You can’t deny what you want or may very well need.”

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~Author Bio~

As the daughter of sci-fi enthusiasts and a pastor, Christina L. Barr has been taught to believe that anything is possible. She’s been a serious composer as far back as twelve-years-old, and has had the opportunity to sing her songs around the world.

In 2007, she graduated from Holly High School number nine in her class and attended College for Creative Studies. She started a pop culture website called The Gorgeous Geeks with her two older sisters, and was even featured on Times Magazine.

Her addiction to writing emerged when she was eighteen and started her first novel. To date, she has nine novels published, fourteen completed, and her goal is to finish thirty books by her thirtieth birthday.

She is currently a Creative Director and spends her days making graphics and videos.

Website | Goodreads | FacebookTwitter

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~Giveaway~

Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)

~ A signed copy of The Dark Mermaid, a starfish necklace and earring set, a signed poster, bookmark, and pin ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz ~ Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin


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Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin

Published by: Blaze Publishing

Publication date: July 11th 2017

Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren’t particularly close–at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.

But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support – and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is – and if it can survive their very different plans for the future.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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~Sneak Peeks~:

Mitchell

They look like a family, huddled in a group, the fading sunlight from the window casting them in a dusty glow. And here I am, close enough but still a few steps back. Enjoying the moment, but not quite part of the group. It’s always this way with me at Paintbrush. I hang around the fringes of every moment. Not because I’m not included or not welcome, but because, sometimes, I’m afraid I’ll get in too deep here. And then I’ll never be able to leave.

Mitchell

“Hi.” I tighten my grip on her waist, and she moves her hand from my shoulder, sliding her fingertips slowly, until they rest on the back of my neck. I close my eyes.

When I open them again, she’s staring at me, her face so close I can see the flecks of brown in her green eyes. It would be so easy to kiss her. Just a few inches. It would be the easiest thing in the world.

Josie

“We’re a mess, aren’t we?” He grins at me.

I can’t help it—I lean into him, pressing my shoulder into his, wanting to feel his warmth and his soft sweatshirt, wanting to be a part of that smile.

I shrug. “All the best people are messy.”

Josie

Just when I’ve decided to sneak back to my cabin, I see him. Mitchell. He steps right in front of me, a few feet away. I meet his gaze and hold it. And then he jerks his head slightly toward the side and strides off into the night, slipping out into the dark, off into the field behind the Sanctuary.

I wait one minute and then follow him.

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~Author Bio~

Hannah has spent her life falling in love with beautiful places, both real and fictional. She grew up in charming Bethlehem, PA, went to college in sunny Chapel Hill, NC, spent a summer studying wildlife in Tanzania, volunteered on organic farms across New Zealand, and hiked all over Acadia National Park in Maine. When not writing, reading, or adventuring, she likes to daydream about the dog she’ll adopt someday, listen to music from the sixties, and exchange ridiculous texts with her parents and siblings. Paintbrush is her first novel.

Website |Goodreads | FacebookInstagram

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~Giveaway~

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

$5 Amazon giftcard and a copy of The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz ~ Grind by Sybil Bartel: Excerpt + Giveaway!


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Grind by Sybil Bartel

(Thrust, #3)

Publication date: June 27th 2017

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Dane

I’m silent. I’m trained. I’m lethal.

My hand skimming down your thigh, my gaze a weapon—I know more ways to kill you than please you.

But you’re not paying for my aim. You’re paying for my control. Bringing you a breath away from ecstasy, watching you beg as I hold back your release, I’ll show you exactly what you’ve been missing. Your hunger is my currency and five thousand is my price. I only have one rule—no repeats, because I’m not for keeps. I’m for sale.

One slow grind and I’ll give you exactly what you paid for.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

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~Excerpt~

“I don’t have any money to pay you.” He knew I didn’t, but I wasn’t saying it just to remind him.

“I don’t want you to pay me.” He held his hand out. “Come on.”

My heart raced and the whisper of his scent through the rainwater drenching his body filled my head. I ached to touch him. “Where?”

“To bed.”

“I can’t… with you.” I had reasons, but I was rapidly forgetting them.

His hand never wavered. “I need sleep. You need sleep. I’ll rest better if I know where you are. Come.”

Knowing I shouldn’t, knowing I was crossing an invisible line I would never return from, I gave him my hand.

He didn’t hesitate. He pulled me to my feet and took a step.

I panicked. “Wait.” Oh God, don’t say it, don’t say it. “I can’t do this. This will mean something to me that it doesn’t to you.”

Cool gray-brown eyes stared down at me without mercy. “Do not speak for me.”

“I just meant—”

“I know what you meant.”

I gave him the truth because it was all I had left. “You’re taking what I don’t have to give.”

His shoulders dropped, his frame leaned toward me, and he lowered his voice to a barely audible whisper. “Trust me.” Rain dripped from his cheek and landed on my arm. “This is what I ask of you, only this. Nothing else.”

If you could fall in love in a single moment with a perfect stranger, I fell in love. “You will break me, Dane Marek,” I whispered.

“You are already broken, Irina Tsarko.”

~~~

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~Author Bio~

Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.

Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.

She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.

To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

Website | Goodreads | Facebok | Book Boyfriend Heroes | Twitter | Bookbub | Amazon | Newsletter

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~Giveaway~

One (1) ebook copy of Thrust by Sybil Bartel (gifted via Amazon). Open internationally

Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway  (Giveaway will run from June 29 – July 10)

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

$25 Amazon gift card

Enter Here:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz ~ The Future of Sex by Aubrey Parker


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The Future of Sex by Aubrey Parker

(The Future of Sex, #1)

Publication date: May 16th 2017

Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

Love doesn’t matter. Romance doesn’t exist.

In the year 2060, sex is a game of extremes. No desire is unexplored and even the unimaginable is possible.

Alexa Mathis, head of the monolithic O Corporation, has found a prodigy she believes will drive her sex empire to rapturous new limits: Chloe Shaw, a common girl with uncanny gifts that make her a powerful escort.

Chloe doesn’t believe in love. She believes in ecstasy, and her employer’s newest tool to usher “the future of sex”: an intelligent network known as The Beam.

And so it is until she meets Andrew … and the whole world changes.

The Future of Sex is a 12-part romance/sci-fi series exploring the line between today’s conception of love and the sensations that await us in the future.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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~Excerpt~

“Close your eyes.”

Andrew was startled. He’d been listening to music when Chloe entered, and hadn’t heard her approach. His door was unlatched, without a digital lock. He hadn’t been kidding about being poor. His connection was isolated to the terminal playing the music. He lived like a bohemian, and his apartment was little more than masonry and glass. She felt guilty about using her Beam connection to ferret out Andrew’s address, but once her hands were on his hips, her chest pressing into his back, Chloe no longer cared.

“You surprised me.”

She reached toward the terminal — a simple, no-frills model — and touched his screen to change the music, choosing something soft and lyrical to replace it. Something sappy and lovelorn that her mother would mock.

“Close your eyes,” she repeated.

He hesitated. She couldn’t see his eyes because she was behind him, but Andrew’s body language betrayed a man at attention. His moment of reluctance gave her pause until she realized his doubt was about himself rather than her.

“Chloe …”

“Just do it.”

She sensed his eyes closing. Then she rested her hands on his chest, palm flat. The movement was sensual, but not sexual. Her default would have been to go below the belt, so she kept her hands high.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Feeling.”

“I wish I worked out more.”

“Not feeling you. I meant that I’m attempting to feel. To emote.”

“How is it going?”

“I don’t know.”

And she didn’t. Chloe was feeling just fine, but it was like an ingrained response to Andrew’s presence. If he were feeling doubtful or down, her chameleon nature would want her to adapt, to touch him in just the right ways and say just the right things. She wasn’t sure if her genuine reaction — if she’d ever felt such a thing — was the same.

“You don’t know?”

“What do you want me to say, Andrew?”

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

“What do you want from me? How would you have me feel?”

Andrew hesitated. “Is this a test?”

He sounded concerned, or even more doubtful than before — the opposite of his usual carefree, playful self. Something had been wrong at the park, and it had occupied Chloe’s mind, heavy like an anchor, ever since. That same thing was still wrong, but had matured into something else.

“No,” she said. “It’s not a test.”

“I don’t want you to feel anything. You feel what you feel.”

It was such a simple thing to say, yet Chloe didn’t know if her body and mind understood.

“How do you feel?” he asked.

“Nervous.” It was the truth, but she wasn’t sure if it was her base or something more meta. Was she nervous for her own reasons, or because she wasn’t sure how she truly felt?

“Me too,” he said.

With her flat palms, Chloe could feel his heart. “I can tell.”

“I don’t know what to make of you, Chloe.” His words were rushed as if he’d been dying to say them.

“Nobody seems to.”

“I don’t know if I like you for you, or if I like the person you’re becoming so that I will like you.”

Chloe turned Andrew around. She didn’t have to tell him to open his eyes. He did so automatically, those usually-playful orbs suddenly so serious.

“So,” she said, “you can tell.”

“I don’t know what I can tell.”

“You’re conflicted. There’s something wrong.”

“Conflicted,” he echoed. “But nothing’s wrong.” Then: “At least, I hope not.”

“But you don’t know.”

“Honestly? I don’t.”

“My whole life is about feeling, but it’s always as a response.” Chloe swallowed, hesitant to voice what was coming. “But I know how I feel about that — about your hesitation.”

“I think I love you, Chloe.”

“But you don’t know.”

He shook his head.

A tear tickled the corner of her eye.

“And I know how I feel about that, too.” He moved to kiss her.

“Don’t.”

“I want to.”

“Because I want you to?” Chloe asked. “And I want you to because you want to?”

Andrew tipped his head a little; he didn’t have to say that Chloe’s double-talk was confusing them both. He pressed his lips to hers, felt her lack of response, then pulled back. “Does it matter?”

~~~

~Book Trailer~

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~Author Bio~

I love to write stories with characters that feel real enough to friend on Facebook, or slap across the face. I write to make you feel, think, and burn with the thrill that can only come from getting lost in the pages. I love to write unforgettable characters who wrestle with life’s largest problems. My books may always end with a Happily Ever After, but there will always be drama on the way there.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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~Giveaway~

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

Kindle fire & 3 signed paperbacks of the complete Future of Sex Omnibus

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz ~ Breaker & the Sun by Lauren Nicolle Taylor


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Breaker & the Sun by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

(Paper Stars #2)

Published by: Clean Teen Publishing

Publication date: May 8th, 2017

Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Times means nothing. It’s just the sun and moon changing places.

New from Lauren Nicolle Taylor, the best-selling author of Nora and Kettle, comes a fresh take on a classic tale.

Breaker Van Winkle is a recently returned Vietnam vet, struggling with PTSD and the difficulties of readjusting to civilian life with his mother. Sunny is a high-achieving eighteen-year-old Chinese-French immigrant who fled Vietnam during the war. Sunny is usually as cheerful as her name implies, but she has her struggles too. Haunted by violent memories of the bombing that killed her parents, and chafing under the rule of her eccentric grandmother, she finds solace deep in the Catskills, at a place she calls the Ugly Tree.

When Breaker stumbles upon Sunny and the Ugly Tree, things start to change. They are drawn to each other, and feel called to the tree. As they spend more time together and their relationship deepens, they notice that their time at the tree is becoming twisted somehow. Sunny’s mind yawns and her ambitions begin to slip away. Breaker feels safe and carefree, his memories finally burying themselves in the distant past. They are being lulled toward a tempting, peaceful sleep—but there is a cost to this magical serenity, and it may be more than either of them can bear…

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~Excerpt~

Two Days

BREAKER

I walk a trail up the mountain for a couple of hours and then head home, figuring Red’s playdate will be over.

When I hit the town, I’m surprised by how much traffic there is. A school bus rolls past, loaded with little faces, and I stop.

Nervously, I fumble for a smoke and then give up. My eyes follow the bus around the corner until it disappears.

It’s Sunday, I say to myself. It’s Sunday, I try to convince myself.

I pick up the pace, almost jogging to my neighborhood, watching the houses become more dilapidated as I go. I thunder up the stairs, tension in my chest and fear in my heart. I open the screen door to find Mom straightening the lounge. She looks up from rearranging the cushions and stares at me, hard and cold. “Where the hell have you been?” she asks. If there’s concern in her voice, it’s buried under months of disappointment.

I step over the threshold and smile awkwardly. It feels slapped on my face, fake and plastic. “You shouldn’t curse on a Sunday.”

She looks at me like I’m nuts, a look I’m very used to, and then bites her lip, her eyes darting around the room. “Are you high right now?” she whispers. Then she comes closer, shaking her finger at me. “Don’t bring that shit into my house, Breaker. I’m warning you. Seriously, after everything we went through with your dad, how could you?” She is agitated but sadly unsurprised.

“What are you talking about, Mom? You always tell me off for cursing, especially on the Lord’s day.”

She quirks an eyebrow and says, low and frightened, “Breaker, it’s Tuesday.”

I think I already knew, but hearing her say it forces a hard shudder through me. I look to her and say through my teeth, “I’m not high, Mom. I’m sorry I didn’t call, but I crashed at a friend’s place for a couple of days. I should have called.”

She shrugs, and I can feel her distancing herself from me more and more. “Yes, you should have.”

Something like excitement rushes through me. A wavy line of electricity. I feel that pull again. Back to the woods. It must be the tree, right? I stare at my feet, desperate to turn them around and walk out again. Whatever it is, I wonder if it happened to Sunny too. My fingers itch with sap and the last little shreds of bark. I wipe them on my pants.

The screen door creaks and Red crashes through the entryway, throwing his school bag on the floor and colliding into me. “Where’ve you been, Break?” he asks, worry in his tone as he wraps his arms around my middle and squeezes. I pause. I can’t run out on him. Even if Mom doesn’t care where I’ve been, he does.

“I’m sorry, bro,” I say, patting his head and pulling his arms away from me before I start to feel caged and want to fight my way out of his grasp. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Red shrugs unconvincingly. “Yeah, well, you missed my playdate. You didn’t get to meet Jake.”

Mom snorts in the kitchen. “Go put your things away and wash up, hon.”

Tuesday. Two days. Two days gone. Two days I didn’t have to think about them or the past or wherever the hell I’m heading. Two days without nightmares. A few hours with Sunny took two days I don’t need or want back.

As soon as Red exits the room, the atmosphere changes. Mom slams a cup on the bench like a summons, and I go to talk to her in the kitchen.

I pull up one of the frayed vinyl barstools and sit facing her. “I’m really sorry.”

She frowns, cranes her neck to check if Red’s still in the bathroom, and whispers tersely, “So you should be. You didn’t warn me about his friend Jacob.” She says the word friend like it’s dirty. Like it should be scrubbed raw and clean.

Oh.

“It was so embarrassing. His mom came right up to the door and knocked, calling out to me in that accent. Meesus. Van Weeenkeell.” She does a horrible impersonation of the mother’s accent. “God!” She slaps a palm over her forehead and drags it down her face. “The neighbors probably saw her. They probably think I’m friends with one of them now.”

I narrow my eyes. “What do you mean by one of them?” I challenge.

She shakes her head, wisps of blonde hair floating around her face. “You know…them. Them! Yeesh, Breaker, I thought you of all people would know what I’m getting at.”

Thankfully, Red comes back in the room, so I’m saved from trying to work out and explain my very complicated feelings on them.

“Jake really wants to meet you,” he says, climbing up on the stool next to me, his pale hands barely a contrast to the white tile counter. I nod, eyeing Mom curiously. Her back stiffens as she pretends to wash dishes.

“Sure,” I say, surprising myself.

Two days, two days, two days, echoes in my mind. The pull so easy to grab a hold of. The need to go back so strong. I’d agree to anything if it meant I could get out of here quicker.

He leans his head on my shoulder and I tense, but I don’t jerk away like I normally do. “Yes!” he shouts. “So cool!” Mom squeezes the water out of the sponge in her hands until it’s bone dry.

I decide to save Red from her bullshit. “How about we meet in the park? Play some ball or something?”

Red seems so excited by this, which makes me feel instantly guilty. “Really? Really, really? That would be so great, Breaker.”

I pat his head and ease myself from the stool. My weariness is starting to return. Whatever energy I had is slowly being sapped after that encounter with Mom. I grimace.

Mom makes a small gesture. An almost grudging one. “Will you be staying for dinner?” she calls after me in a weakened voice.

Red pleads. “We’re having hot dog casserole.”

My stomach gurgles. If I’ve been gone for two days, I haven’t eaten in two days either. I feel hungry but not starving. I did my survival training. Two days without food. More importantly, without water, should have a much more significant effect on me than it has. I scratch my head, still standing in the short hall while Mom awaits an answer. “Okay. Sure. Dinner,” I grunt.

Red runs to me and gives me another squeeze, and I try not to squirm. “I’m glad you’re home.” Then he steps back and gives me a toothy, chipmunk grin. “Don’t you go disappearin’ like that again, ya hear?” He waggles his finger at me, and I laugh. Just one short little laugh, but enough to push some light into an otherwise dark and dusty cavity.

“I promise,” I say, half-intending to keep it.

*****

Finally alone, I collapse on my generally untouched bed. My head sags into my hands. I wonder how Sunny is feeling. I can’t find out since I don’t even have her phone number.

I want to come up with a rational explanation for what just happened, but I’ve got nothing. I want to run back there, but I don’t want to upset Red again.

Two days.

Two. Days.

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~Author Bio~

Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

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~Giveaway~

Blitz-wide giveaway

Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box (Intl winner would get eBook prizes)

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