Rule Breaker by @KatBastion @StoneBastion is live! #Giveaway #ReleaseDay @InkslingerPR

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We are thrilled to celebrate the release of Kat & Stone Bastion’s sexy new adult/sports romance RULE BREAKER!

PLUS visit their Facebook page today for a $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway. Further details below.

Read for yourself what RULE BREAKER reviewers are buzzing about…

Rule Breaker cover

1-click your copy…
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Heartbreaker on Goodreads


Early Praise for RULE BREAKER:

“A beautifully written novel, that left me philosophical and touched my heart…that resonated with me deeply. My FAVORITE novel by the Bastions so far.”
~ Closet Geek Books

“Oh wow, what an outstanding read. I didn’t just enjoy, I LOVED it! I feel for the books I read after it because after reading Rule Breaker I felt as though every book should be measured against this one.”
~ TJLovesToRead

“I have recommended this series to everyone in my office. I can’t stop talking about it…this one will stay with me.”
~ Blagica, Goodreads early reviewer

“What a great read! Filled with powerful writing…an enchanting, romantic, steamy-hot story with amazing characters who find it in themselves to risk it all for love! I very much enjoyed this book!”
~ Craves the Angst Reviews

“This book is perfection!
~ Coyote Ugly Swagger Book Blog

“I tend to avoid books that are set in Hawaii like the plague, it’s a little quirk of mine and has to do with the fact that I am a born and raised Hawaii girl and am a little picky with how my islands are portrayed…as I kept turning the pages my wariness faded away and I before I knew it I felt like I was home. The sights, smells, tastes and sounds were right there in front of me…”
~ Books-n-Wine

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Racial Tensions Flare as Hot as the Passion in RULE BREAKER,
a Modern-day Romeo and Juliet Story

Leilani Kealoha wants to be set free. Of family expectations. Of generations of prejudice.

Chafing at rules made by the proud Hawaiian men in her family, she yearns to discover herself and hungers to explore the world. Her adventuresome heart? Longs for something even greater, deeper.

The last thing she expects is an East Coast haole surfer to hold the key to everything.

Mason Price is done walking his parents’ path. Done with social acceptance—with cold politics.

On a surfing quest to reinvent himself, Mase finds an exotic beauty standing on his towel. But it’s her feisty bargaining that catches him off guard. When he challenges her with a “Truth or Shots” drinking game, she unwittingly reveals more than she’d intended about herself…and him.

The raw truth stuns him: She’s suffered like he has, is lost like he is—keeps secrets like he does.

But will young love and shared situations be enough to conquer racial and cultural divides?

Lines in the sand…were meant to be crossed.

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1-click your copy…
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iBooks | B&N | Kobo


Remember to visit, like and comment on Mase’s Facebook page:
Mase on Maui for fun posts on surfing, Maui, and a chance to win a $10 gift card each week just by commenting.


RULE BREAKER Release Day $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
Be sure to visit Kat & Stone on their Facebook page today to enter:
Kat & Stone Bastion’s Facebook


Have You Joined Their Email Notification List?
Keep informed of new releases by signing up:
Kat & Stone Bastion’s Email Subscription

One lucky subscriber wins an eBook of their choice from the backlist AND a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card with each announcement.


About Kat & Stone Bastion:

Shoe and Boot Photo

Kat Bastion won several awards for her bestselling debut novel Forged in Dreams and Magick.

Kat and Stone Bastion’s bestselling first novel No Weddings and the No Weddings series were named Best of 2014 by multiple romance review blogs.

When not defining love and redemption through scribed words, they enjoy spending their time mountain biking and hiking in the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Arizona.

Stay in touch with them on their social media pages…
Blog * Facebook * Kat’s Twitter * Stone’s Twitter * Website

Virtual Blog Tour – Dog Tags for Christmas by @lindsaymckenna @authorjmmadden @KaLynCooperbook @TastyBookTours

 

Three heartwarming military homecoming stories. 

 

DOG TAGS FOR CHRISTMAS

Holiday Anthology

Lindsay McKenna, J.M. Madden 

& KaLyn Cooper

Released Oct 6th, 2016

Men and women in the armed forces are often away from

home, family and their beloved pets for the holidays. But this year, three

service members will be home for Christmas in heartwarming military homecoming

stories by New York Times Bestselling Authors Lindsay McKenna, KaLyn Cooper and

J.M. Madden.

 

Snowflake’s

Gift by Lindsay McKenna

 

Two veterans—one human, one canine—have returned to

Montana to recover from the traumas of war. Former Army Ranger Nick Conway

depended on his WMD dog Snowflake to help him navigate IEDs on the battlefield.

Now he needs his best friend to help him cope with his PTSD and acclimate to

civilian life. When he meets Holly McGuire and agrees to help her deliver meals

to the elderly, her inner light calls to him, but his demons hold him back from

giving in to his attraction. But Snowflake takes an immediate shine to the

kindhearted Holly—and he has never led Nick down the wrong path.

 

 

SEAL’s

Christmas Dream by J.M. Madden

 

When Veterinarian Willow James’ office is broken into, it’s natural that she

turn to her soul mate, former Navy SEAL K9 handler Joe Flynn, to track down the

culprits. The trail leads to a notorious Pit-Bull fighting ring. It may take a

Christmas miracle and a helpful nudge from an old partner to get everyone home

safely.

 

 

Noel’s Puppy Power by KaLyn Cooper

 

Tanner Hill is better at communicating with animals than women. That might be

why he hasn’t had a second date in over two years. He’s also been extremely

busy with his kennel that has become the premier training facility,

specializing in supplying dogs to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress

Disorder. Then again, there is this psychologist he can’t get out of his head,

or his heart.

Dr. Bailey Conrad would never allow the loss of half her right leg to an IED in

Iraq to stop her. Every day at the VA hospital, she sees patients who have lost

so much more to the war effort. It’s her goal in life to help as many vets as

possible to find a ‘new normal’, because she knows firsthand, it’s the internal

scars that can be the most difficult to heal.

 

BUY NOW

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& N | iTunes | Kobo

 

Lindsay McKenna lives her life as a risk taker, and it shines through the books she loves to write:

romance, adventure and suspense. She started writing at age thirteen and

continues to hone her writing skills to this day. She sold her first romance

novel in 1981. The rest is history. Because she went into the military, this experience became the backbone of her writing—she is credited with writing the first military romance novel (Captive

of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special Edition) and has created a thriving sub-genre

within the romance field! As a New York Times Best Selling author, she has sold

23 million books and in 32 foreign languages in her career thus far. Her many

experiences in the U.S. Navy are backdrop for her understanding of the military

in general, and also her very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an

ongoing series in Silhouette to this day! Forty-five books strong!

 

Lindsay has gone Indie in 2015 and has created a new family saga on par with

Morgan’s Mercenaries It is known as the DELOS SERIES. There will be paperback

and eBooks created under Blue Turtle Publishing, her company for her fans.

Readers who love Morgan and his family are bound to fall in love with the

Culver family. Delos is romantic suspense, which Lindsay is well known for. It

took her five years to create and bring DELOS to her readers. It was worth the

wait, but we’ll let you decide that.

Lindsay loves to hear from her readers and loves to know what they’d like to

see her write next. Stay up with the latest on the Delos Series here.

Please visit her Web site at www.lindsaymckenna.com. And be sure to sign up for her free quarterly

newsletter. It contains exclusive content found nowhere else on the Net. Plus,

giveaways and other surprises, to her loyal and faithful subscribers!

 

NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author J.M. Madden writes compelling romances between ‘combat modified’ military men and the women who love them. J.M. (the J stands for

Jennifer, not Jim as she’s been asked MANY times!) loves any and all good love

stories, most particularly her own. She has two beautiful children and a husband

who always keeps her on her toes.

J.M. was a Deputy Sheriff in Ohio for nine years, until hubby moved the clan to

Kentucky. When not chasing the family around, she’s at the computer, reading

and writing, perfecting her craft. She occasionally takes breaks to feed her

animal horde and is trying to control her office-supply addiction, but both

tasks are uphill battles. Happily, she is writing full-time and always has

several projects in the works. She also dearly loves to hear from readers!

 

KaLyn Cooper’s romances blend fact and fiction with blazing heat and heart-pounding suspense.

Twenty-two years as a military wife has shown KaLyn the world, and thirty years in PR taught her that fact can be stranger than fiction. She leaves it up to the reader to separate truth from imagination.

She, her husband, and bird dog live in Eastern Tennessee on a micro-plantation

filled with gardens, cattle, and quail. When she’s not writing, she’s at the

shooting range or paddling on the river.

 

Excerpt

Excerpt from Snowflakes Gift by Lindsay McKenna

Snow was coming down hard in town as Nick drove the van toward the shut-in area at four p.m. The smell of spaghetti and buttered, garlic toast filled the vehicle. Myra had made sweet potato cupcakes for dessert, and he stole one before they left the charity facility. It was nearly Thanksgiving and he was looking forward to taking Holly to his folks place for the afternoon and evening. The wipers were rhythmically swinging back and forth, throwing off the heavy, wet flakes. The roads were salted, but still Nick was wary of invisible black ice. In the late afternoon the heat of the day was gone and things got slick real fast.

“Oh dear,” Holly called, sitting up, pointing out her passenger-side window. “Look, Nick!”

Snowflake, who stood between them, heard the pitch of her voice change, and whined.

Nick slowed and pulled over to the curb, then looked to where she was pointing. There was a yellow Labrador moving awkwardly through the belly deep snow between two brick buildings. Her ribs were prominent even though she had a short, thick winter coat on. “She’s starving,” he muttered, scowling. “It looks like a female Lab. She’s too dainty looking to be a male.”

“She’s terribly thin,” Holly said, worried. “I wonder if someone dumped her—they do that all the time around here. I hate it.”

“No collar on her, either,” Nick agreed. The Lab was about a hundred-feet down the alley between the two buildings, slugging it out with the snow. Nick heard Holly make a little sound of urgency. She had such a big heart, and she hated to see animals or humans suffer.

Nick knew she wanted to get out and try to call the dog over to her. From the looks of the animal, her light-brown eyes wild looking, tongue lolling out of her mouth, her fur matted, he intuitively knew this was a dog that had been left behind a long time ago to fend for herself.

“She’s feral,” he warned Holly. She turned, her huge, blue eyes filled with tears. “She won’t let us near her. I’m sorry.” And he was. It wouldn’t be the first dog dumped here that Nick had found, or that Holly had come upon around the building of one of her shut-ins. They had a no-kill shelter here, and this Lab would have had a warm place to stay, food, and care if they could befriend her.

“Can’t we do something for her, Nick?”

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Virtual Blog Tour #Review & Giveaway – Embrace Me by @AnnMarie_Walker & @Amy_KRogers @TastyBookTours

Embrace Me

by Ann Marie Walker &

Amy K. Rogers

It’s finally here!

More Hudson and Allie for your reading pleasure.

Enjoy!

Return to the dangerous and seductive romance 
that got pulses racing in the Chasing Fire trilogy…
EMBRACE ME
A Chasing Fire Novella (#3.5)
Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers
Releasing September 20th, 2016
Berkley Intermix

Hudson Chase and Alessandra Sinclair’s heartracing romance continues in this hot, new novella in the Chasing Fire series.

Return to the dangerous and seductive romance that got pulses racing in the Chasing Fire trilogy…

It took ten years for Hudson Chase and Alessandra Sinclair to find their happily ever after, and they’re not about to let anything get in their way…

Nothing could stop the passion between Allie and Hudson—not time or distance. Not even tragedy, betrayal, and blackmail. But now they’re facing a new challenge: wedding planning. And while Allie’s social status demands she put on the event of the century, her well-intentioned family and friends have her doubting her walk down the aisle…

Hudson knows tensions are pushing Allie to the brink, but he’s not letting her throw everything away over some flowers and cake. He has plans for his new bride, and unlike their last adventure, he’s determined that this time there will be no unwelcome surprises. But for all his determination and control, there’s one element Hudson Chase has never been able to predict—and she has some adventurous ideas of her own…

Praise for the Chasing Fire trilogy



“Exceptional…Seriously sexy and
sinfully steamy. Can’t wait for more from this writing duo!”–New York
Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me

“Walker and Rogers strike the
perfect balance between blistering physical desire and heartfelt
connections…”–RT Book Review  
 
Buy Now

Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

My Review

Let me start off by saying I’m thrilled to have Hudson and Allie back in between the digital pages of my iPad.

I truly enjoyed this continuation of such a fun, sexy and romantic series. Hot scenes, humor and more alpha Hudson always work for me.

Ann Marie and Amy have done it again. This novella was a pleasant addition to this series.  Embrace Me takes readers further into Hudson and Allie’s future. This married couple gets to properly celebrate their marriage with my two favorite supporting characters and side kicks, Harper and Nick.  Readers will enjoy the humorous and witty moments shared by this sexy couple while also enjoying plenty of hot and sexy moments. Hudson never disappoints when it comes to pleasing his wife. You’ll discover a softer side of Hudson shining through in this novella as well.  But don’t fret, the alpha male we all love stays true to character.
I for one am thrilled to read about this happy couple enjoying their married life.  Reading about Harper and Nick in this novella was great too and I feel they need their own book. I’m sure their story will be a fun and exciting one. After all, Nick is a Chase.
I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to these characters quite yet and hope that another novella or full book is in the works.
I gave this novella 4 sexy stars!
I look forward to reading more books by this dynamic writing duo.

 

Though thousands of miles apart, Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers are in constant contact, plotting story lines and chatting about their love of alpha males, lemon drop martinis and British
supermodel, David Gandy. You can find them on twitter as @AnnMarie_Walker and @Amy_KRogers. 
 
 
Amy K. Rogers

 

Ann Marie Walker
Start the Chasing Fire Series Now
 

 

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | GooglePlay
 

 


 

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#TuesdayTeaser & #Giveaway – EmbraceMe by @AnnMarie_Walker & @Amy_KRogers @TastyBookTours

Happy Tuesday!  Here’s another teaser for Embrace Me

by Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers.  Enjoy!

EMBRACE ME
A Chasing Fire Novella (#3.5)
Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers
Releasing September 20th, 2016
Berkley Intermix

Hudson Chase and Alessandra Sinclair’s heartracing romance continues in this hot, new novella in the Chasing Fire series.

Return to the dangerous and seductive romance that got pulses racing in the Chasing Fire trilogy…

It took ten years for Hudson Chase and Alessandra Sinclair to find their happily ever after, and they’re not about to let anything get in their way…

Nothing could stop the passion between Allie and Hudson—not time or distance. Not even tragedy, betrayal, and blackmail. But now they’re facing a new challenge: wedding planning. And while Allie’s social status demands she put on the event of the century, her well-intentioned family and friends have her doubting her walk down the aisle…

Hudson knows tensions are pushing Allie to the brink, but he’s not letting her throw everything away over some flowers and cake. He has plans for his new bride, and unlike their last adventure, he’s determined that this time there will be no unwelcome surprises. But for all his determination and control, there’s one element Hudson Chase has never been able to predict—and she has some adventurous ideas of her own…

Praise for the Chasing Fire trilogy



“Exceptional…Seriously sexy and
sinfully steamy. Can’t wait for more from this writing duo!”–New York
Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me

“Walker and Rogers strike the
perfect balance between blistering physical desire and heartfelt
connections…”–RT Book Review  
 
Pre-Order Now

Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo


Hudson emerged from the water and caught Allie around the waist as she popped up. He took her mouth and thrust his tongue between her lips, their kiss flavored with the salt of the sea. Her arms looped behind his neck and her fingers teased the hair at his nape. He pulled her closer and she made a soft moan as she went lax against his body. She was his wife, his best friend, his lover, and his most valued treasure. She was the one who gave him strength in his most vulnerable of times, and who silenced the memories that haunted his mind. She had, in a sense, freed him from the darkness. They had freed each other.

Though thousands of miles apart, Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers are in constant contact, plotting story lines
and chatting about their love of alpha males, lemon drop martinis and British supermodel, David Gandy.
You can find them on twitter as @AnnMarie_Walker and@Amy_KRogers. 
 
 
Amy K. Rogers

 

Ann Marie Walker
Start the Chasing Fire Series Now
 

 

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | GooglePlay
 

 


 

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#TuesdayTeaser – Embrace Me by @AnnMarie_Walker & @Amy_KRogers @TastyBookTours

Here’s a Tuesday Teaser to get you excited about the upcoming release of

Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Roger’s latest Novella,

Embrace Me.

The story of Hudson and Allie continues!

Scroll down for a giveaway too!
EMBRACE ME
A Chasing Fire Novella (#3.5)
Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers
Releasing September 20th, 2016
Berkley Intermix

Hudson Chase and Alessandra Sinclair’s heartracing romance continues in this hot, new novella in the Chasing Fire series.

Return to the dangerous and seductive romance that got pulses racing in the Chasing Fire trilogy…

It took ten years for Hudson Chase and Alessandra Sinclair to find their happily ever after, and they’re not about to let anything get in their way…

Nothing could stop the passion between Allie and Hudson—not time or distance. Not even tragedy, betrayal, and blackmail. But now they’re facing a new challenge: wedding planning. And while Allie’s social status demands she put on the event of the century, her well-intentioned family and friends have her doubting her walk down the aisle…

Hudson knows tensions are pushing Allie to the brink, but he’s not letting her throw everything away over some flowers and cake. He has plans for his new bride, and unlike their last adventure, he’s determined that this time there will be no unwelcome surprises. But for all his determination and control, there’s one element Hudson Chase has never been able to predict—and she has some adventurous ideas of her own…

Praise for the Chasing Fire trilogy



“Exceptional…Seriously sexy and
sinfully steamy. Can’t wait for more from this writing duo!”–New York
Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me

“Walker and Rogers strike the
perfect balance between blistering physical desire and heartfelt
connections…”–RT Book Review  
 
Pre-Order Now

Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo


Every nerve in Allie’s body sprang to life, responding to Hudson as though he was right in front of her, not miles away. Even from that distance she could feel the attraction that pulsed between them, a magnetic pull drawing her to him. This was the power he had over her, one she was helpless to resist even if she’d wanted to. A hum of anticipation built inside her as the plane swooped low over the tranquil water, and by the time they landed she was more than ready for whatever Hudson had in store for her.

 
Though thousands of miles apart,
Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers are in constant contact, plotting story lines
and chatting about their love of alpha males, lemon drop martinis and British
supermodel, David Gandy. You can find them on twitter as @AnnMarie_Walker and @Amy_KRogers. 
 
 
Amy K. Rogers

 

Ann Marie Walker
Start the Chasing Fire Series Now
 

 

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | GooglePlay
 

 


 

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#BlogTour #NewRelease #Excerpt #Giveaway – You Before Anyone Else by @Juliecross1980 @MarkTPerini @TastyBookTours

Be a #ModelCitizen and Enter to Win!

YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE
Julie Cross & Mark Perini
Releasing August 2nd, 2016
Sourcebooks Fire
Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with international model Mark Perini to create You Before Anyone Else, a poignant and authentic contemporary YA novel and companion to Halfway Perfect.
The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone
together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high-paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.
Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she
wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her
responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once in a while?
Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love
for each other and everything else… 
 
BUY NOW
Amazon | B& N | Google | iTunes 
Julie Cross and Mark Perini, along with Tasty Book Tours, are celebrating those who have taken the steps in Breaking the Mold on society’sexpectations, like Finley, the heroine from YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE!  We are looking for anyone who would like to share their story and be entered to win a 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner!
 
Head over to fb.me/TastyBookTours and leave a comment with your story.  Feel free to share picture of your journey and use #breakingthemold at the end of your comment!
 
Entries must be in by 11:59pm, Aug 15th, 2016.  No purchase necessary to enter.  If under 12 years old, you must have approval by a guardian to enter.   

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Excerpt

FINLEY

 

“What are you so afraid of?” Summer asks.

I take a sip of the beer Dima brought me a few minutes ago. “Oh, I don’t know, addiction, overdose, puking on some innocent victim’s shoes, random drug testing by the agency…”

Summer laughs. “Drug testing on models? Yeah, that’ll be the day.”

Okay, so maybe I just don’t want to do it. Even if I should be in my so-called experimental phase.

I wouldn’t exactly label myself a rule follower, but I guess I’m just cautious. I haven’t always been this way. Not that I’ve done drugs, but before high school, I was all about ballet. Let’s just say I had a rep for being the sassy troublemaker. My mom being my ballet teacher may have had something to do with my behavior. My fingers immediately move to the cross dangling from my neck—I’ve only removed it a couple times over the last four years. Somehow, it’s always warmer than my hands.

I debate texting my dad to ask him if he’s done coke or molly. He’d probably tell me. But I wouldn’t want to freak him out. Seems like a conversation better reserved for a weekend visit instead of late on a Friday night when I could be too far gone to help, for all he knows.

I glance around the room and finally spot someone I know: my friend Alex and his girlfriend Eve. Alex and I did a big Calvin Klein shoot last year, and Eve was the photographer’s assistant. Actually, Eve used to be a model too, another preteen/teen phenom like Elana, who headlined that CK shoot along with Alex. My part had been fairly small, and still, that was my biggest job ever.

“Have you met Alex?”

Summer shrugs, grabs two more shots of vodka, and hands me one. “Like I would remember.”

I down the shot quickly and prepare to talk to Alex and Eve. Maybe they’ve done drugs and can advise me. But my buzzing phone distracts me. I pull it out of my purse and glance at the new text.

 

JASON: Yeah, it’s so weird to be home again. But I missed it.

 

My stomach flip-flops. He replied to my text. Hours later, but still…this could mean—

“Oh lord, you’re pathetic.” Summer is leaned toward me, reading over my shoulder. “That’s probably enough for you to live off of for another six months or so, right?”

I glare at her and shove the phone back into my purse.

“No comeback? Wonder why…” She pretends to be in deep thought. “He said he missed it. Not you. Cut the fucking cord already. It’s not healthy.”

If only it were that easy. When you’re in a relationship with someone for four years, you get so comfortable with that person. It’s daunting to start all over again.

I make my way across the room to see Alex and Eve, who are leaning against the back of the couch, more absorbed in each other than anything else.

“I heard Elana’s back from France?” Alex asks me, keeping his voice low.

“Yep, her and her mom. I think her mom is driving her crazy, but that’s to be expected. French Mama is driving me crazy too.”

They both laugh at the mention of French Mama, but I can’t take credit for that title. Summer made it up.

“I can’t believe her parents let her come back to New York,” Eve says.

Alex smiles at her. “You’re just upset that they’re here and not in France where we can hit them up for lodging.”

My gaze travels back and forth between the two of them. “You guys are going to France? Are you going for Fashion Week?”

Eve shakes her head. “Nope. I did the Prada shoot, and I’m done for good. Got tuition for next year covered.”

Even though Eve had supposedly quit modeling a few years ago, she pulled a one-last-job stunt last spring to cover her tuition at Columbia. She’s a photography student with a lot of experience under her belt.

“We’re doing the cheap travel, backpacking in Europe but without actual backpacks thing,” Alex explains.

Across the room, another beer pong player is being requested. This could possibly be the most adventurous thing I’m willing to do here. I turn to Alex and Eve again. “Well, good luck in Europe. I’m gonna go play beer pong.”

“Hey.” I grab Dima’s shirt sleeve. “You need another player?”

He looks me over, deliberating. “Sure. Be the new guy’s partner.”

“The new guy?” I glance around. What does that even mean? New to the party, like he just walked in? I’ve been here fifteen minutes.

“He’s new to the agency,” Dima says. “First casting, and he books some big job.”

“So we hate him then, right?” I joke. I turn around to head toward the game table and run right into a guy about my age with wild, dark curly hair and designer jeans.

“This guy,” Dima says to me and then turns to the new guy. “Got you a partner. Finley. She lives in the agency apartment downstairs.”

They exchange a look that says I’ve been mentioned before. I’m not liking that too much, but usually, I don’t come to these parties. Instead, I bang on the door at two in the morning to tell them to

stop thumping around like elephants. Maybe I got a bad rep.

While we wait for Dima to find a partner, I snatch two beers from a nearby cooler and offer one up to New Guy. “So, Dima said you’re new, but he didn’t say where you’re from.”

“Uh…the Midwest.”

“The Midwest.” Okay. Someone doesn’t want to get personal. “Like Wisconsin or like Chicago?”

“Chicago…well, not in Chicago, but around it, you know?” he says.

“Right.” I pop open my can and take a drink. “What’s your name? I’m sorry, I don’t think Dima said…”

“Eddie.” He lifts his gaze again. “Eddie Wells. And you’re Finley Belton, the girl who lives downstairs.”

Summer breezes past me but stops when she spots me holding the beer pong ball. “Beer pong? Oh, you wild animal…grrrr.” She holds up her tiger paws and growls at me.

I give her the finger and then turn back to Eddie. “I’m one of the girls who live downstairs.”

“One is too bitchy, one is too underage, and one is nice,” he recites, most likely quoting Dima.

This is exactly what I’m trying to escape tonight. “Dima called me the baby bear?” I’m secretly hoping he catches my reference to Goldilocks.

“No,” Eddie says. “He called you Finley Belton, but I added the nice part, because you brought me a beer. And it is just right, not to mention you’re talking to me instead of staring and whispering to other people about me.”

Points for his fairy tale knowledge, and I’m sure the whispering is the result of whatever big job he’s landed. Too many models at this party.

Eve tries to be Dima’s partner, but he refuses and tells Alex to play with him. Eve opens her mouth to protest, but Dima holds up a hand. “Don’t even. I know your type. You’ll engineer some fancy trick shots. No Ivy League players showing me up. I got a rep to protect.”

“Fine,” Eve snaps. “I’ll just stand here and look pretty. And I’m definitely rooting for Fin and…” She gestures toward the new guy.

“Eddie,” I fill in for her. “Eddie from Chicago.”

“Eddie from Chicago,” Eve repeats. “Good luck.”

Summer returns and stands beside Eve, both leaning against the back of the love seat.

“Fin makes a great partner,” Summer says to Eddie. “She knits. Lots of finger dexterity.”

I shoot her a glare and will my face not to heat up. So not cool.

 


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Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest
series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).
She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.

She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach
vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

 

Mark Perini is a New York City based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect.
Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.
Mark began his career as an international fashion model when he was 18 years old, while simultaneously obtaining a
business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven ancient wonders of the world before he’s thirty. Four down three to go.
 
Don’t miss the companion novel
HALFWAY PERFECT

Release Day Blast #Excerpt & #Giveaway – Sweet Carolina Morning by @susan_schild @TastyBookTours

Life down South just got a whole lot sweeter…

 

SWEET CAROLINA MORNING
Willow Hill #2
Susan Schild
Releasing Aug 2nd, 2016
Lyrical Press

Life down South just got a whole lot sweeter in Susan Schild’s new novel about a woman whose happily-ever-after is about to begin…whether she’s ready for it or not. 

Finally, just shy of forty years old, Linny Taylor is living the life of her dreams in her charming hometown of Willow Hill, North Carolina. The past few years have been anything but a fairy tale: Left broke by her con man late-husband, Linny has struggled to rebuild her life from scratch. Then she met Jack Avery, the town’s much-adored veterinarian. And she’s marrying him.

Everything should be coming up roses for Linny. So why does she have such a serious case of pre-wedding jitters? It could be because Jack’s prosperous family doesn’t approve of her rough-and-tumble background. Or that his ex-wife is suddenly back on the scene. Or that Linny has yet to win over his son’s heart. All these obstacles—not to mention what she should wear when she walks down the aisle—are taking the joy out of planning her wedding. Linny better find a way to trust love again, or she might risk losing the one man she wants to be with—forever…

 
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Start the Willow Hill Series at the beginning!

Excerpt

from Chapter 1: Trouble in the Stepmother Hood

Though it was February, the galley kitchen at her future husband’s old farmhouse was steamy and hot, but Linny hardly noticed. Peering at the pages on the counter, she pushed back up her nose the reading glasses she’d had to borrow from Jack and double-checked to make sure she’d not left out any key ingredients. Why had she printed the recipe in ten-point font?

Tonight’s menu came from a website she’d found called Recipes for Picky Eaters, and she hoped it was a winner. She shook her head, chagrined at Jack’s reaction to the first possible menu she’d suggested. He’d kept that pleasant smile on his handsome face, but his eyebrows had shot up. Once they’d come back down to normal, his veto had been so diplomatic. “Darlin’, the mountain trout, braised Brussels sprouts, and beet salad sounds tasty, and I hope you cook them for me real soon, but eleven-year-old boys’ tastes tend to be more… well, mainstream.”

Blowing back a stray lock of hair, she turned on the oven light and peeked inside. The neat rows of crusted chicken breasts were browning nicely in their casserole dish home. The side dishes—creamy-looking mac and cheese and green bean casserole topped with onion rings—were both bubbling gently. She breathed in cooking smells and was transported back to Sunday suppers at the farm when Nana and Paw-Paw were still alive. Sighing, she felt a wash of safety, contentment, belonging. Those were just the feelings she wanted to infuse in this new little family.

Sliding into the chair, Linny admired the old kitchen table and touched the swirls of the tiger oak. It felt warm, solid. How many other families had sat around it and shared their lives over meals? She pictured her and her two men gathered around like in a scene from the Hallmark Channel, talking and laughing about their day. Jack and Neal would lavishly compliment her on her cooking, she’d blush, wave them off, and act as though it was no big deal. “I just threw the meal together,” she’d trill.

Trouble was, it was a big deal, and not just because Linny was just learning to cook. She rubbed her chin and thought about it. This morning, Jack had sat his son down after they’d cleaned up from their pancake breakfast and told him that he and Linny were marrying in the summer. Linny had just sat beside Jack and let him do the talking but felt a stab of sadness as she saw Neal’s face fall. Forlorn. He looked forlorn. When he asked in a trembling voice, “So, you and Mom aren’t ever getting back together?” she thought her heart might break. He still held out hope for his family to be whole again, the way it used to be. Never mind that Neal’s mother, Vera, had already remarried the year before. Though Linny and Jack had been dating officially since October, she’d only just started spending a lot of time with the two of them. Jack hadn’t wanted to introduce her to his son until they knew they were serious, so Linny was only just getting to know the young man.

Linny got a nervous flip in her stomach when she thought about becoming a stepmother. She’d gone thirty-eight years without children, and in a few short months, she’d be slipping into this new role without even a course or certificate. Linny got up and made herself a mug of Chamomile tea. Calming, the label said.  She sat back down and blew on the tea to cool it and tried to quell the thrum of the squadron of butterflies that was revving up in the pit of her stomach.

Staring out the window, she thought of the other scenarios she’d been imagining, in living color and the minutest detail. If she messed up in this new job, he’d be that troubled teen with the shaved head who sold pot and lived in their basement after he dropped out of school in tenth grade. Neal would end up being the inebriated driver of a speeding car full of kids who drove them into a tree after leaving an unchaperoned party. Her heart banged as she tried to obliterate the image she’d seen in this morning’s News and Clarion -the mangled wreckage of a barely recognizable car driven by a teen going the wrong way on I-40. He’d killed himself and badly injured a whole vanload of kids on the way home late from a church youth group retreat. Pulling out her phone, she scrolled through her emails as the good smells wafted from the oven and felt her shoulders relax as she reread Mary Catherine’s note. Nice to have a best friend who practiced family law.

Under the subject line, Impending Stepmother Hood, her friend wrote:

You asked for advice on your new parenting gig. Remember, a lot of divorced couples and blended families don’t talk civilly and don’t act in the best interests of children. In my practice, we serve more of the send-the-kids-home-dirty and talk-trash-about-the-stepmother crowd. What not to do may be more useful than what to do.

Another disclaimer: I’m no expert on teenage boys just because I had one. Remember just a few months back, my nineteen-year-old almost got a DUI on a bike. Boys are knuckleheads between the ages of eleven and twenty-four. Your nerves will fray no matter how hard you try to be a good mother—or, harder yet, stepmother—but I will tell you what I know.

 Meet me for a quick breakfast 7:00 a.m. Wednesday at Jumpin’ Joe’s Bean House?

Blowing out a sigh of relief, Linny replied, Perfect. She let herself sink back into the chair for a moment. Thank goodness for Mary Catherine.

Glancing at the clock, she rose and fretted as she checked the timer. Last weekend’s cookout at her place had been a bust. Neal had picked at his food, claiming he “’just wasn’t hungry.”’ What American boy didn’t like grilled hamburgers and French fries made from scratch—from the actual potato? Could it be that he didn’t like her? She tried to dismiss the thought. How could he not like her when she was already so fond of him? He was whip smart, mostly well mannered, sensitive, and had an offbeat sense of humor that would catch her when she wasn’t expecting it and make her burst out laughing.

Tonight would be different, she decided, setting flatware firmly at the three places at the table. After grilling Jack extensively about his son’s food likes and dislikes, she’d scoured the internet for the perfect menu. If she was finally going to embark on this mother thing, she sure as heck was going to excel at it. She’d do the whole shebang: soccer weekends, volunteering on field trips, deep talks about life. She’d waited long enough for this little family, and now that she’d got it, dang it, she was going to do it right. The water glasses spilled over as she set them too firmly down on the table.

Jack and Neal were still at the barn with the mare that was about to foal. She picked up the walkie-talkie and pressed the button. “Supper’s ready, men.”

The line crackled. “Be right up,” Jack said cheerfully. “I’m hungry as a bear.”

She’d just finished putting on a slick of lip gloss as they clattered into the room, bringing with them a wash of fresh February air. Her heart still skipped a beat when Jack gave her a boyish grin, and she longed for a kiss, but there was sweet-faced Neal, right on his heels. She felt a pang of regret. She and Jack had talked about it and agreed on the rule of no smooching or PDAs in front of the boy right on the brink of becoming a man. She felt wistful. Leaning against the stove, she smiled as she took them in, amazed at how much commotion the two could make just walking into a room, with their thudding boots, unzippering coats, biceps punching, and easy laughter. Linny raked back her hair with her fingers. Man, her too quiet life had sure changed.


Susan Schild writes wholesome and sunny Southern fiction. She likes stories about charming men,
missing money, adventuresome women, sweet dogs, and happily ever afters at any age. 
Susan is a wife and a stepmother. She enjoys rummaging through thrift store for treasures like four dollar cashmere sweaters and amateur watercolor paintings. She likes taking walks with her Lab mix, Tucker, and his buddies. She and her family live in North Carolina.Susan has used her professional background as a psychotherapist and a management consultant to add authenticity to her characters.

SWEET SOUTHERN HEARTS, the final book in the Willow Hill series, will be released in January of 2017.
Readers can look forward to more adventures, new beaus, sinister ministers, lovebirds over fifty, a road trip for Mama and her pals, and maybe even an “I Do”…or two.

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