Book Blitz – Anything But Broken by Joelle Knox @authorjknox @NinaBocci

Book Blitz

Anything But Broken

by Joelle Knox

I just added this baby to my TBR.  Check it out!  Add it to your TBR today.
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Summary

After five years, tragedy brings Hannah Casey back to Hurricane Creek to bury what’s left of her family. She’s flunking out of college, haunted by scandal, and the only person who cares is Sean Whitlow, an irresistible bad boy with a soft spot for her. The problem? He’s her dead sister’s ex.Sean doesn’t bleed red, he bleeds motor oil. During the week, he struggles to turn his auto repair shop into a profitable business. But when Saturday night rolls around, he’s the reigning stock-car king of the local race track. He doesn’t know how to lose–or how to walk away and leave Hannah alone with her grief.Between her grades and her wealthy family’s dark secrets, Hannah’s barely holding her life together. And the last thing Sean needs is to get tangled up with another Casey girl. As the attraction between them spins out of control, they’ll either find a love with no limits–or go up in flames.anything but broken 2

About the Authors

http://joelleknox.com/

https://twitter.com/authorjknox

​or you can find their alter egos

https://twitter.com/@​kitrocha

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Release Day Blitz – Finding Us by Debra Presley @Debra_Presley_

Congrats to Debra on her debut, Finding Us!

 

Finding Us RELEASE DAY

Release Day Blitz

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Book Title: Finding Us (A Nucci Securities Novel)
Author: Debra Presley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 31, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

Pop star Abby Murphy is living every girl’s dream. She has fame, fortune, and a handsome boyfriend, a guitar player named Sean. That changes the night she finds him in the arms of another woman. Hurt and betrayed, Abby ends their relationship. But Sean won’t accept the breakup, and she soon learns that he’s had a hidden agenda all along. Overnight, Sean transforms from loving boyfriend to dangerous adversary, and Abby no longer knows who she can trust among her friends and family.

Abby turns to her bodyguard, Danny Nucci, a man who will do everything in his power to keep her safe. But when Abby realizes her feelings for Danny run much deeper than she thought, she refuses to give in to her attraction in order to preserve her new found independence as well as protect Danny from Sean’s machinations.

When Abby finally finds the strength to reclaim her life and acknowledge her growing love for Danny, will she be able to let him in? And will Danny be able to overcome his own demons to be the man she needs him to be? Or will she be forced to let him go forever?

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Teasers

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Meet the Author

DebraPresleyButton.4Debra is a native New Yorker who made her escape to the suburbs. She often returns to her hometown to visit her favorite deli for a bagel with butter, because there’s no better bagel than a New York bagel. When not in search of bagels, Debra spends her time running Book Enthusiast Promotions, an online promotions company that helps indie authors spread the word about their books. She’s also the owner of The Book Enthusiast blog.

She started writing lyrics in her wall-to-wall NKOTB bedroom at the tender age of thirteen while dreaming of the day she’d become Mrs. Jordan Knight. That dream never came to fruition, but she has continued to write. Now she’s working on her first novel.

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A Taste of Summer by Beverly Preston Book Tour @BeverlyPreston @RSofRomance

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Laugh, cry and fall in love in the newest  standalone within the

Mathews Family Series.  Meet Ryan and Carrie Ann in

A Taste of Summer. #SummerNeverTastedGood

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NOW AVAILABLE

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1OgoKLx

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1gJ1MCi

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Blurb

Most people know Hollywood heartthrob, Ryan Summer, as Ryan, no last name required. But once upon a time, he was just Summer to Carrie Ann—before a decade of blockbuster hits skyrocketed his success into superstardom.

Summer was smart, gorgeous, and cocky as hell. Nothing was out of his reach. Not even Carrie Ann Lowell. He was the love of her life—until he shattered her heart. Their breakup left more than a profound rift in her soul. It crushed her.

When Carrie Ann’s college flame forces his way back into her life, his dirty-talking, bold self-assurance re-ignites a passion she thought had long since been extinguished. Carrie Ann didn’t believe in second chances.

Not even for him.

No matter how deliciously tempting.

With sparks flying and hidden truths unraveling, will Carrie Anne be able to deny her desires to save herself from another heart break?

 

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EXCERPT

Carrie Ann tugged the earbud free from her ear, tossing the handsome young man a small smile. “Sorry, I couldn’t hear you. What did you say?”

He crossed a lanky somewhat defined arm in front of her, casually gripping the handlebar of her bike. “I said, you must be exhausted—” Before she could reply he continued, “—from running through my mind all day.”

Surely she must’ve heard him incorrectly. He was probably fifteen at most sporting a baby face and a patch of ten whiskers on his chin. Her brows tucked into a furrow. “Excuse me?”

A dose of youthful overconfidence drifted over his mouth in a sharp grin. “I seem to have forgotten my number. Can I have yours?”

“My phone number?” Carrie Ann scanned the near vicinity, row after row of workout equipment, for the practical jokester responsible for the madness. “Ha ha. Very funny. Who put you up to this?”

Her amusement only encouraged the boy’s macho bravado. “No one put me up to anything. I need a date. I just got into LA and I’ve got this Red Carpet event—”

“A date?” she scoffed at the ludicrous suggestion. Though she looked young for her age, Carrie Ann was still all of thirty-four years old.

“Yeah, you know. A date. You, me, hundreds of fans screaming as we stroll down the Red Carpet.” His voice cracked emphasizing the words Red Carpet…for the second time. A self-absorbed twinkle gleamed in his brown eyes as if he expected her to melt and drop to her knees right there in the gym.

“Kid, you’re barking up the wrong tree.”

“I’m totally serious. My uncle has this movie premier and I can’t just bring anyone.” A chunk of blond hair fell on his forehead and he flipped his head to the side. My date needs to be…hot, and well, you’re the hottest girl I’ve seen since I got to LA.”

She sneered at the absurdity. Silliness turned to annoyance. Carrie Ann switched gyms a few months back, paying out the nose to invest in her fitness and more importantly her privacy. Her last gym was more crowded than a cattle call casting session.

Carrie Ann rolled her eyes. She moved around him, gathering her workout towel and reaching for her bag. “Look kid, you seem real sweet, but—“

“You’re right about one thing.” A familiar voice, deep and perfectly modulated, approached from behind. “She is the most beautiful woman you’ll ever lay eyes on. But, you’re reaching for the stars with this one, Drew. She’s a heartbreaker.”

An ice cold tickle ascended up her spine raising the hair on the back of her neck. Her head snapped, glancing over her shoulder, colliding with a pair of rich amber eyes from her past. Without breaking eye contact, Ryan Summer strolled right into her personal space sporting athletic shorts, a fitted muscle shirt and a killer smile.

Nowadays, most people knew the Hollywood heartthrob as Ryan. Just Ryan. No last name needed. But after nearly a decade of blockbuster hits and infamous relationships that skyrocketed his success into superstardom, to Carrie Ann, he was still just Summer. Her old college flame.

“Funny, I could say the same about you,” she countered his jab, marshalling a bit of annoyance in her tone to combat the rush of heat spreading to her already pink cheeks.

A sexy smile caught the curve of his wide firm mouth. “Hello, Red.”

“Hello, Summer.” Carrie Ann tossed a trivial nod toward the teenager. “Who’s this? Your new apprentice?”

“Apprentice?” Moving a step closer, he dragged his fingers through the short cropped layers of sandy blond hair. “This is Mark’s boy. Do you remember my nephew, Drew?”

“Your brother’s boy?” she questioned in surprise. Avoiding the view of his bicep curling into the size of a softball, Carrie Ann ran a quick scan over the young man at his side. “Whoa, you had to be four or five years old the last time I saw you.”

“I don’t remember meeting you.” Drew’s eyes flickered with bemusement and optimism.

She extended her hand. “I’m Carrie Ann. I knew you when you were—“

“You’re Carrie Ann? The Carrie Ann?” The boy spun toward his uncle, his blue eyes broadened in disbelief. “The One?”

Her stomach twisted hearing the title. A flash of perspiration instantaneously flooded her palms. Before she had time to renege on the clammy greeting, Drew clasped her hand, giving it a polite shake.

A low rumble of laughter simmered in Summer’s chest and a rosy shade of red burnished high on the bridge of his nose. He nodded, “This is The Carrie Ann. The One who got away.”

No matter how many years had passed, it never got any easier to see him. Each time she did, she suddenly found it harder to breath.

The pounding of her heart quickened as her gaze slipped over his rugged well-defined features. A three day scruff accentuated the slight dimple at the bottom of his chin.  The disheveled layers of hair were wet from exertion near his temple and nape. Time had been very good to him.

She felt the warmth of his hand close around the back of her bare arm. The early morning stubble of his beard brushed against her cheek as he leaned closer pressing a small kiss near her temple. Carrie Ann squirmed at his nearness, ducking to the side attempting to put some space between them.

“I’m…I’m all sweaty,” she insisted breathily.

“It’s okay,” he murmured softly in her ear. The heat of his breath brought chill bumps to the damp skin near her neck. “I remember enjoying you all sweaty.”

Ryan’s golden eyes locked onto hers, anchoring her feet to the floor. The penetration of his stare momentarily tied her tongue in a knot, turning the awkward moment even more difficult. Carrie Ann hadn’t bumped into Ryan in at least three years and she hadn’t seen him covered in sweat in ten. An image of him, gloriously naked, flashed in her mind and her thighs. Frustration mounted as her body willingly betrayed her.

Carrie Ann’s jaw set rigid contemplating the idea of flipping off her hooha for its insubordination.

“That was a long time ago,” she snipped abruptly.

“Seems like only yesterday to me.”

a taste of summer teaser

 

Haven’t read this series yet?

Fall in love with the Mathews Family for ONLY $3.99

(Four Books for one low, low price)

The Mathews Family Box Set

 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/17GDsw5

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1G4wNuk

Nook: http://bit.ly/1LlwcHA

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1G58AEc

iBooks: http://apple.co/1zOMY83

 

 

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About the Author:

#1 Bestselling Author, Beverly Preston has been a stay at home mom for 21 years, although she prefers the title Domestic Engineer. Along the way, Beverly worked side by side with her husband Don, the love of her life, designing, building and selling custom homes. As her children begin to venture out on their own, she’s left to shed a tear—for a minute—wonder what’s next in life, and embrace the feeling of empowerment that surely must’ve been wrapped in a present she received on her fortieth birthday.

 

If Beverly isn’t at home riding her spin bike, you’ll find her spinning richly emotional and sinfully sexy romance stories.

 

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Blog Tour – Sweet on Wilde by Fabiola Francisco @AuthorFabiola

I’m excited to share Fabiola Francisco’s new release, Sweet on Wilde.  Add it to your TBR.  

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Eight months ago, I made a deal with my best friend. This wasn’t your typical pact. No, we had to take a different route. The deal was that if we were still single by fall, we would join online dating. Yes…now I am that girl. Just me, though, because she met a guy and saved herself from the awkwardness of dating people you meet via the Internet.

Cheesy pick up lines.
Inappropriate messages.
Disaster dates.

I don’t want to be “Savannah, profile 8713,” but a pinky promise is a promise you keep. What I wasn’t counting on was meeting a guy at the local bar.

So what happens when you decide to open yourself up to new opportunities? You might just cross paths with someone who makes you believe in love. Parker Wilde brought out the best in me and understood the worst, but when an amazing opportunity presents itself and our lives take different directions, is being sweet on Wilde enough for us?

Sweet on Wilde

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The music blasting from the speakers draws me, and I move my body to the beat as I sit by the bar facing the dance floor. Although Southern is a more laid back bar, it has a small area designated for the patrons that want to dance without feeling like they’re disrupting the flow of the service.

“Let’s go dance.” Parker is eyeing me mischievously, obviously enjoying as I move to the music. The stress he came in with has now totally eased out of his body. He is back to his relaxed, confident self.

“It’s okay. I’m fine here, not much of a dancer,” I lie because the thought of dancing with him throws me off.

“Really? You haven’t stopped moving. Come on,” he reaches his hand out to me. Taking a moment to watch him as he stands before me with his hand out, I can appreciate how good-looking he is. I take his hand and let him lead me towards the small crowd dancing in the center of the venue.

“Sweet Home Alabama” begins to come through the speakers, and as soon as everyone hears the familiar introduction, they get in position, ready to dance the steps taught to us from a young age. In perfect unison, we all begin the line dance, looking like something out of Footloose. As I’m turning with the beat, I notice Parker beside me, following along without missing a step. I look down at his feet, and smile, shaking my head.

Two more songs come on, each with its own line dance to accompany the music, and we all dance. The next song that comes on is a slower one, so I head back to the bar in need of a cold beer to cool down. Line dancing always gets me excited but it can be tiring. Before I make it out of the crowd, an arm jerks me back and turns me. I’m facing Parker, his smile causing my heart rate to speed out of control. “One more,” he says, beginning the two-step to Billy Currington’s lyrics. Leading me around the dance floor, Parker is confident, his grip on me firm as we move through the other people dancing.

“You know, for someone who mocks my boots, yours look quite worn and broken in.”

He chuckles, his grip tightening around my waist. “I may not be from Tuscaloosa, but I am a southern boy, Savannah.” His drawl heavier, making his point.

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Fabiola Francisco is a contemporary romance author from Miami, FL. She has always enjoyed writing. When she was young she began writing creatively. It was always a therapeutic way for her to express herself. She began with poetry, and throughout the years went expanding to short narratives until she finally decided to write a novel.

Her love for books has inspired her to write her own stories. Her books range from emotional to lighthearted humor. She is a firm believer in happily ever afters and the sometimes jagged path to achieving it. She hopes to continue writing more stories to reach readers individually.

When she’s not writing, Fabiola loves expressing herself through art and being out in nature. She loves to cuddle with a good book and a glass of wine.

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On My Knees by J. Kenner Release Day Blitz @juliekenner @InkSlingerPR

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The next part in Jackson and Sylvia’s story is available now – grab ON MY KNEES by J. Kenner today to get your hands on more of Jackson Steele!

 

onmykneesAbout ON MY KNEES

Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks continue to thrill in the second novel of a scintillating, emotionally charged new trilogy that returns to the world of J. Kenner’s beloved Stark novels:Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me.

I never thought I’d lose control, but his desire took me right to the edge.

Powerful, ambitious, and devastatingly sexy, Jackson Steele was unlike any other man I’d ever known. He went after what he wanted with his whole mind, body, and soul—and I was the woman in his sights. One touch and I surrendered, one night together and I was undone.

Jackson and I had secrets, dark pieces of our pasts that threatened to swallow us both. We couldn’t outrun our demons, or the people trying to tear us apart. But in our passion we found salvation, and in each other’s arms we found release.

I was scared to trust Jackson fully, to finally let go. Yet no matter the dangers that lay ahead, I knew I was his—and now that we’ve laid claim, there’s no more holding back.

On My Knees is intended for mature audiences.

Read the first chapter of ON MY KNEES here!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

Find out more about the first book, SAY MY NAME: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

EXCERPT

“I need you to tell me, baby. How should I touch you to get you there? Tell me what you want. Tell me what turns you on.”

My cheeks burn, which is ridiculous considering how open I am to him at this moment. But I can’t help it.

“Tell me,” he says, stepping closer. “Or have none of it.”
My eyes cut to him. “Cruel, Mr. Steele?”
“I can be. Or I can be very, very kind.” As he speaks, he moves his fingertip over my body. Literally over it, by about two inches. So that while I can imagine his touch, I do not get to experience it. Even so, it seems to me like he is leaving a trail of heat in his wake.

All that does, though, is drive home how much I will be missing if he doesn’t touch me for real.

About J. Kenner

Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.

Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries.

J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.

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Release Day Blitz – Review – Excerpt & Giveaway – There You Stand by Christina Lee @Christina_Lee04

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There You Stand

by Christina Lee
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Tattoo artist Cory Easton has worked long enough at Raw Ink to know, just by looking at a dude, what his body art reveals, what makes him tick, what even makes him scared. Until he meets the quiet and remote Jude York—so unreadable, so unreachable, and so unlike anyone else, he can’t help but arouse Cory’s curiosity.

As captivating and complex as his ink, Jude is a mystery—and Cory’s falling fast and hard under his spell. Against his better judgment to steer clear.

The rumors of Jude’s past overshadow him—whispers of prison and an unmentionable secret that’s kept him in the protective shadows of a local motorcycle club. As Cory probes deeper, he wonders how much he really wants to know. Especially since Jude has awakened something inside him that has been buried too long—and has him feeling completely alive for the first time in forever…

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Excerpt

Chopper, get your ass back here!”

While he was distracted, I silently moved toward him, hoping to grab hold of that leash. But just as I approached, he took off again, following that same squirrel who’d taken a leap to the next large maple.

I was out of breath and now beyond frustrated. I shoved my hand in my hoodie, my fingers closing on a sturdy dog cookie.

When I looked up again, Chopper was headed straight for the skate park. Shit.

“Chopper, goddamn it,” I called in some last-ditch effort. “You don’t listen for shit.”

Unexpectedly, Jude York neared the cement barrier at the entrance to the bowl. His board clenched in his fist, he seemed to be assessing the situation as the large dog charged nearer.

He left his skateboard on the concrete walkway and stepped into the lawn. He squatted down in the grass, made eye contact with Chopper, and the dog changed course to sail directly toward him. What the hell was that about?

Some type of deep whistle emitted from Jude’s lips and instead of slamming into his chest, Chopper came to a sudden halt beside him. Like Jude was a damn dog whisperer or something. His strong fingers grabbed hold of his collar and he reached down to mutter something in the dog’s ear. Chopper sat down in the grass. Actually fucking sat down—I had never been able to get him to do that.

I became motionless as I watched them, even though Ace was eager to inch closer. At least one animal heeded my command. I wondered what it was about Jude that compelled Chopper to run toward him. I mean, I got the appeal, so maybe it was just pure animal instinct.

The muscles in Jude’s forearm flexed as he stroked Chopper’s head and the dog’s tongue hung out in a happy pant. The little fucker.

As I walked closer to Chopper, Jude’s eyes lifted to mine. And for the first time I saw an array of other emotions alight in them. The most blatant being amusement, as if his irises contained a flicker of light. His lips tilted at the corners in an almost imperceptible smile and he looked so dazzling right then. As he held my gaze for the first time ever, something tightened like a fist inside my chest.

Shit, he was stunning. In that exotic kind of way. His hair was a mass of short blond dreadlocks, his skin inked mainly in black, and his eyes were the most gorgeous light green I’d ever seen—almost like cellophane. And now those same eyes locked on mine and held steady.

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 Susi’s Review

 

First of all I would like to begin my review with a congratulations to Christina Lee for writing this book.  It is wonderful to read stories about the real world around us.  Your m/m story brings out the real love that is shared by two people no matter what their gender is.  I began reading this book and wasn’t sure how the story would unfold but quickly realized that your story drew me in and hooked me in the same way that a heterosexual romance story would.  I truly loved your characters and watching them get to know each other was both tender and special.

Cory and Jude are truly a fantastic couple and you brought them to life in a well written story that not only made me smile, but cry happy tears for them. You also included dogs! 🙂 I am a dog lover and I enjoyed how they had special roles in this heartwarming story.

Cory is the talker and a tattoo artist. Jude is the skater and is more reserved.   It was wonderful to see each one of them coming out of their shells for each other.  Cory’s past is both emotionally and physically painful.  In contrast,  Jude’s past is mysterious just like him.  Their pasts make their day to day more difficult but ultimately not impossible.

Now as far as romance and sexually intimacy is concerned, Christina did a phenomenal job writing those scenes. Their lust and love was real and you described every emotion perfectly.

There You Stand is a book I have been recommending to my friends since I read it via NetGalley.  It it one of those books I know I will read again because Cory and Judes’s story is so special.

Around the time I read the ARC, a video emerged on social media and I thought this picture from that video was perfect to go along with this review.

“Two humans sharing love and that is all that should ever matter.”

 

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I gave this book 5 stars!

I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

5 stars

 

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All of You (bk1) Between Breaths

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Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1EYEbqc

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Nook: http://bit.ly/1EeYlxu

iBooks: http://apple.co/1O6Ad4D

Before You Break (bk 2) Between Breaths

Amazon US:http://amzn.to/1Jh8IhZ

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1D0gide

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1O3DT7c

Nook: http://bit.ly/1IXkS2Y

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Whisper To Me (bk 3) Between Breaths

Amazon US:http://amzn.to/1zvhJ1R

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1G7cr4c

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1IqZorV

Nook:  http://bit.ly/1FWfSoY

iBooks: http://apple.co/1D4cK8A

Promise Me This (bk 4) Between Breaths

Amazon US:http://amzn.to/1zvhNyK

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1D0gsRW

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There You Stand (bk 5) Between Breaths

Amazon US:http://amzn.to/1Dm4CAL

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1DULv5B

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1HkFZtP

Nook:  http://bit.ly/1b9iTu4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1bilFO8

 


 Christina Lee, Authorchristina lee pic

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.

She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK, WHISPER TO ME and PROMISE ME THIS available now. Book five in the series, THERE YOU STAND, coming in April, 2015.

Also, her Adult Contemporary Romance, TWO OF HEARTS is releasing on May 5th, 2015.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY

One Winner to receive the following:  $10 gift card to the book retailer of their choice = An ARC of my adult romance releasing May 5th, TWO OF HEARTS, and some Between Breaths swag mailed.

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TAG by Shari J. Ryan – Book Blitz – Excerpt & Giveaway

Today we have a book blast for Shari Ryan’s Tag!!! And to celebrate the sale she’s running, Shari is sharing an exclusive excerpt and a fantastic giveaway.

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About Tag:

Tag_(Final_ebook)What if your family had a big secret . . . a life changing secret. My dad, the bigwig CIA agent, was always on the run, whether he was being chased or doing the chasing. I missed him. Then my mom passed away, and my sister was murdered. I turned my solitude to strength because the alternative was too bleak.

But my luck seemed to turn: I met Tango. And while I want him more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my twenty-two years, danger lurks around every corner and I simply can’t take the chance of it finding me. But his tattoos, his smell, his darkness, and his body— that marine has taken over my every thought. But, what if he too isn’t what I think? A ticking time bomb isn’t going to leave me much time to waver. Even the bravest person can be in need of a miracle.

Before she was gone, my mom warned me to know everyone and trust no one. But what was I supposed to do when I found out I am the one not to be trusted? Turns out, I was always the bait in this conspiracy.

In author Shari J. Ryan’s gripping novel, TAG, the canyons hold secrets, the waterfalls provide safety, and romance has a pesky way of showing up when you are sweaty and dirty and least expect it.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

I’ve been seated among the dozens of other passengers for the past two hours, watching the gate times change a number of times before I see the plane actually arrive. Just as I’m powering my phone down, preparing to board, an awful stench burns my nose from a few inches away. A middle-aged man with greasy black hair and a thick lip-covering mustache who smells exactly like the inside of a port-a-potty has found a reason to sit directly beside me in a row of empty seats. When my eyes unfortunately meet his, he takes the opportunity to speak to me. “Heading to Boston?” he asks. I raise my eyebrows and force a tightlipped smile. I simply follow that with a nod and give him a no shit look. “I heard winter’s coming early this year,” he continues.

“Cool,” I mumble with a sigh. I pull a magazine out of my bag and open it in front of my face, hoping to block my vision of the man’s blackened-stained grin. But it’s only seconds before I’m taken back when his finger sweeps down the bare skin of my collarbone.

“What does that mean?” he asks, pointing to my tattoo.

With a smooth motion, I lay my magazine down onto my lap and place my hand over his, giving him the false notion that I’m a gentle person. I take the opportunity to offer him a slight smile before I twist his forefinger backwards as far as it will go before the expectant snap. “I’m sorry,” I say sweetly. “Did I tell you it was okay to touch me?” I pull down a little harder, and he smiles in response to the pain. But as I hold my hand there, I see the smile begin to fade.

“It’s a free country, chicky,” he sputters as his tongue knocks around between his bare gums.

“Why would you think it’s okay to touch me?” I ask again, keeping my voice calm, yet stern. He licks his lips and looks me up and down, responding with only a look. “Do you go around touching girls half your age because you feel it’s okay?”

He clears his throat and looks around to see who’s watching or listening, but I don’t move my eyes from his. “Why not?” he says, shrugging his bony shoulders. “Besides, you’re definitely asking for it.”

He thinks I’m asking for it? I’m wearing a fucking scoop neck, black long sleeve shirt, jeans, and combat boots. “The only reason it’s okay, is because no one has ever probably told you no. But it occurs to me that after I snap your finger off your hand, you won’t be able to touch people inappropriately anymore, will you?”

He hoots with laughter, dragging in attention he probably shouldn’t want. “You think you could break my finger, little chicklette?”

I pull his finger a little further, and his smile grows. “Ow, stop. You’re hurting me,” he puckers his lips and winks at me.

“Oh, look, it’s your right hand. You a righty?” I turn his hand over and see deep callouses bubbling on his palm. “Yes, you are. So, if I rip this thing off, you wouldn’t miss it, right?” I turn his hand back over and glare into his beady eyes. He’s questioning my words. He’s unsure of my capabilities. And that’s fine. “Sound okay to you? Or are you going to leave and stop touching people?” His smile fades and his eyes widen. I release his hand and offer him a smart-ass smile. “Oh, and the tattoo means death. It’s a Maori Warrior symbol. They used to eat their enemies once they slaughtered them. Cool, huh?”

I see his Adam’s apple struggle to move. He lifts his bag from the ground and nearly trips over his own feet, darting away.

I reopen my magazine to the page I was reading and refocus my attention on an article as I hear a soft chuckle coming from the other side of me. I turn to see who was enjoying the free entertainment and I’m faced with a man who looks to be either a wrestler or in the military–black shaven hair, stiff jaw and bulging muscles on every inch of his arms. His eyes are currently focused on a book, and I suppose he could have been laughing at that, rather than me. But as I question it, his large shamrock green eyes lift and look right at me. A slight grin tugs on the corner of his lips, and he winks so quickly I’m questioning whether it was me who might have blinked. Before I can react, he stands up and walks away.

I swallow hard and refocus my attention on the magazine once more. Stupid attractive man causing a moment of feebleness. I didn’t react, though. He winked at me. I think. And I didn’t make a snide comment or scowl. Weakness.

I let out a few short breaths, regaining my composure. He’s gone. It’s fine.

 

About Shari Ryan:

ShariProfilePicBestselling author, Shari J. Ryan, hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her hubby and two lively little boys. Ryan has published the 3-book Schasm Series for Romantic Suspense/Thriller fans. TAG is her first book written solely for the Romantic Suspense audience, and she is hard at work on Red Nights, a standalone coming this spring. To learn more, visit her at: http://www.sharijryan.com

 

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