SUPERNATURAL PET QUIZ
Today bestselling author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! All the previously published books in the Spellbound series have been rewritten and republished with more epic romance and suspenseful thrills. The new versions also include exclusive bonus material and brand new scenes. Even additional scenes from charming, bad-boy, Trent Donovan’s point-of-view! To help promote the new editions, she is doing this awesome book tour to share the update with fellow booklovers.
This giveaway is open internationally! So let’s tell the blogging world!
Sherry has a treat for all my followers today. Take this super fun quiz to see which supernatural pet BEST suits YOU and score an eBook version of the first book in her unforgettable YA series, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN!
Most heroes need a sidekick, and if fate smiles upon you, then you’ll have a paranormal pet watching your back. But which one best suits YOU?
Take this quiz and be sure to check the bottom of the post for the details regarding this random giveaway.
What size pet would you prefer?
Do you mind a pet that might shed?
a) Loose fur? I’m cool with that
b) Rough scales are acceptable
c) Transparent coat? No biggie
d) Shedding pelt—ain’t a problem
How would you like your pet to greet people at the door?
a) Rub their ankles and purr
b) Spitting and growling
c) Bark and sniff hand
d) Snarling and howling
How much protection would you like to have?
a) Minimum – docile and fluffy
b) Moderate – Vicious yet cuddly
c) Extreme – Invisible but deadly
d) Tremendous – Bite anyone who messes with me
What would you like to feed your new pet?
a) Tuna and bowl of milk
b) Human emotions—fear, anger, lust, vengeance
d) Chew on skeleton bones—they make a tasty snack
Where will your pet sleep?
a) On my lap
b) Hiding in the shadows
c) Never sleeps
d) Curled up in a cozy cave
What type of toys would your pet like most?
a) Mice and squeaky toys
b) Stuffed dinosaurs or dragons
c) Chase balls and fetch newspapers
d) None. Does not play well with others
If you answered…
Mostly a’s: Your pet is a magical cat! Witches have used familiars for years to help increase the power of their spells. Cute and helpful!
Mostly b’s: Your pet would be a Shade! These affectionate demonic creatures are a cross between a puppy and a dragon. Small but fierce!
Mostly c’s: Your supernatural pet is a ghost dog! These creatures are often dubbed hellhounds, too, and they are vicious animals. Muscular and opaque!
Mostly d’s: Your pet is a ferocious lycan! These were-creatures make impressive guard dogs. Clever and scary!
Random winner with the most points will be picked on December 21st.
Those who enter must have an eReader to redeem this prize. All prizes will be electronically delivered. Please review all terms & conditions before entering.
Mandatory giveaway details:
1.) You must comment with your quiz results
2.) Be a follower of the Spellbound Series Universe Blog
3) Follow us both on Twitter – @WriterSherry & @ebookobsessed
4.) Tweet about this giveaway and include link in the comment
Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:
Official Website: http://sherrysoule.com
Official Blog: http://www.sherrysoule.blogspot.com
Official Spellbound Series Universe: http://thespellboundseries.blogspot.com
Twitter @WriterSherry: http://twitter.com/writersherry
Deadly Witchcraft. Ghostly Threats. Doomed Romance.
They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Fallen Oaks. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse.
When sixteen-year-old Shiloh Trudell takes a summer job at Craven Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan, and immediately becomes enchanted by his charms.
Finally, Shiloh’s met someone who is supercute and totally into her, but Trent is immersed in the cunning deception that surrounds the mysterious Craven Manor. So much so that he may lose sight of what is truly important to him. And she can’t decide whether she wants to shake him or kiss him. Yet neither one of them can deny the immediate, passionate connection growing between them.
But underlying everything is the fear that Trent may be the next victim on a supernatural hit list, and Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him…
With cryptic messages from a pesky wraith, Shiloh will finally begin to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist and decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.
Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.
Ready for some thrills and chills?
BUY BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN (Part One):
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/18NB8CG
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/14edSHU
Check out the reviews in the November BTS Book Reviews magazine. Here’s a tasty morsel of Tarah Scott’s Knight of Passion.
See full review in the issue.
Title: A Knight of Passion
Author: Tarah Scott
Genre: Historical Erotica
As whore for the Duchess of Arundel, Lady Riana Ellis keeps her sister safe from the duke’s lascivious desires. Now the duchess demands that Riana murder the man already sent to her bed.
Sir Bryant Cullen determines to have the duchess’ whore. Her land is a prize, but it’s her secrets he wants. Once he knows what she knows, he will control the powerful houses of Arundel. And she will be his.
Certainly had that! And in droves. When Lady Rihanna first meets Sir Bryant it’s a case of mistaken identity. She was forced into trying to kill a man in order to protect her younger sister. The man was supposed to show up. Her Benefactress the Duchess of Arundel was to watch and the devilish deed was to be done. Luckily for the intended target, it wasn’t carried out and Bryant had an interesting time even if there was unwanted company hidden away and watching everything unfold.
Forever Romance wants you to enjoy some historical romance this holiday season. Enter to win a tote bag which includes these wonderful new romances.
This giveaway is open November 19th through December 10th. Good luck!
Publishing Date: November 19, 2013
eBook: 309 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Lucy Sadler Caldwell is a successful true-crime writer. But the one story she’s never been able to come to terms with is the murder of her own mother–until now. She’s returned to Dobbs Hollow, Texas, the hometown she fled seventeen years ago, to finally expose the real killer.
After a bullet took out his knee in Houston, Detective Ethan Donovan found himself without a lot of options, which is how he ended up as Chief of Police in Dobbs Hollow. Lucy sure isn’t asking for his help–she’s not big on trust–but he can’t help feeling a strong desire to come to her aid.
And though Lucy is armed to the teeth, she will need all the help she can get. When she starts digging into the past, she unearths a psychotic killer who will stop at nothing to silence her forever.
Lucy Caldwell has written several books about true crimes. She has learned much over the years from working with the police and the FBI. Now it is time for her to write the most important story of all. The one about her own mother’s murder seventeen years ago. To do this, she is going to have to go back to the small town of Dobbs Hollow, Texas. The same Town where she grabbed her little brother and ran from after walking into the grizzly discovery in her living room.
No one wept for the death of the small town’s local prostitute, and no one broke a sweat investigating her death. Lucy is going to use all the investigation skills that she learned to try to find her mother’s killer. Her mother might not have been a good woman in the eyes of the Town’s people, but she tried to give Lucy and her brother a good life and tried to keep that part of her life away from her children. But since everyone in small towns knows everyone else’s business, the kids in school made sure Lucy knew what they thought of the daughter of the local whole. She doesn’t know what will be harder, looking through her mother’s murder file or facing the locals who still look at her with hatred in their eyes.
What she doesn’t count on in the cooperation of the new Chief of Police, Ethan Donovan. Ethan isn’t local. He was from Houston PD until he was let go on disability. Lucy doesn’t know if she can trust him or why the all powerful Mayor Dobbs would appoint an outsider to the position unless he had some control over Ethan. Can she trust him or is he is a pawn of the Mayor?
While Lucy and Ethan work together to solve an almost twenty-year old murder, they start to notice a pattern of more recent raped and missing women in the outlying counties and when bodies start showing up, they have to try and figure out if Cecile’s murder and the missing women are connected and why.
But someone isn’t going to wait for Lucy to figure this out and if they can’t scare her away before she does, it just might be time to take Lucy out of the equation forever.
There was a lot going on in this thriller so there was plenty of action and killing, and it was quite twisted, but there was so much going on that the ending was pretty complex for a small town.
I was left a little confused about why Lucy herself was so hated and why so many people were so desperate to get Lucy out of town. I understand why her mother’s killer wants her gone, but why were so many others so focused on her? Maybe it is small town life, but most of the town seemed to judge Lucy on what her mother did. There was a reference to how many boys in high school used Lucy as leverage to get their girlfriends into bed, in a “I can go to the daughter of the local whore for sex if you don’t give it up” threat, but Lucy wasn’t portrayed as acting like someone with loose morals. She wasn’t overly flirty or dressed provocatively. She seemed like the type to keep to herself. So why would everyone assume she too was fast and loose?
As far as the romance aspect, you watched Ethan and Lucy work together and build trust and finally confess all their hidden secrets, but all-in-all the romance wasn’t built up enough to make it a really passionate love affair.
As far as a thriller it certainly kept me guessing and I certainly didn’t catch the killer before they did, but in the end there was just too much going on and too many bad guys for one small town.
Received an ARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“Hey, boss,” she said when he picked up. “I’m parked outside the Sadler place. I stopped by to bring them muffins this morning. Thing is, someone beat me here.”
Ethan paused, unable to speak as he pulled his T-shirt over his head. “What happened?”
“A couple hours ago, someone tossed a couple bricks through the front window, wrapped in paper with explicit instructions to get out of town.”
“Yeah. Pissed off, but not hurt. According to Lucy, she swept up the glass, reboarded the window and went back to bed.”
“Why the hell didn’t they call it in?”
TJ’s silence answered for her, and he blew out a deep breath to ease his frustration. Okay, so Lucy’s distrust of the Dobbs Hollow residents included him. He’d led plenty of investigations where suspects, witnesses and even victims didn’t trust him. “Fine. Ill be there in a couple minutes.”
Ethan elected to forgo the lights and siren, not wanting to draw attention, but he drove as if using them, ignoring most of the stops signs, as he was alone on the road.
When he skidded to a stop, he saw Lucy–standing on the porch with TJ, surveying the damage–jump. TJ put her arm over her friend’s shoulders, and Lucy relaxed a bit.
Ethan, on the other hand, found every muscle in his body frozen into place. He’d seen Lucy in a business suit, and he’d seen her in shorts, but this morning she appeared to be wearing nothing but an oversized Cowboys football jersey. Her hair fell about her shoulders in a golden tangle, shimmering in the morning sun. Christ on a crutch. How as he supposed to concentrate on a crime scene with her looking like she’d just crawled out of bed? Which, come to think of it, she probably had. He hadn’t had such an immediate physical reaction to the sight of a woman since…well…since Betty Ramsey had invited him into her room while her parents were away when they were in high school.
Just then, Lucy noticed his gaze. She glanced down, and a hot blush swept up from her ankles all the way up to her face. In a flash, she disappeared inside the house, freeing Ethan to climb from his car.
The front window, from which Lucy and Tim had removed the plywood only the day before, was once again boarded up. In addition, two red paint bombs had been tossed at the house, exploding against the wall and dripping down the white siding like blood. Lucy couldn’t have missed the similarity.
Ethan walked over to check out the source of the paint, expecting paintball shells or balloons. Instead, two broken condoms rested below the red streaks. Lucy couldn’t have missed that either.
“I’m sure it was just kids,” she said, coming back out to the porch. She’d donned jeans along with a T-shirt, and pulled her thick, honey-colored hair up into a high ponytail. Her feet were still bare, however, her toenails polished a pale pink.
Ethan dragged his gaze form the fascinating glimpse of feminine softness provided by those touches of pink back up to her face. “No, ma’am, I don’t think so. Kids, they might TP you house, or spray random slogans, or even go for the shock value of an inverted pentagram or two, but he kids around here don’t know you. They’ve got no reason to bust out your windows and sent notes telling you to go home.”
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Publisher: Thea Harrison
Publishing Date: November 28, 2013
Ebook: ?? novella
Rating: 5 stars
The Bermuda Triangle. Pirates. The Peanut. What could possibly go wrong?
Dragos Cuelebre needs a vacation. So does Pia, his mate. When the First Family of the Wyr head to Bermuda for some much needed R&R, it’s no ordinary undertaking – and no ordinary weekend in the sun. Between hunting for ancient treasure buried beneath the waves and keeping track of their son, Liam—a.k.a. Peanut, whose Wyr abilities are manifesting far ahead of schedule—it’s a miracle that Pia and Dragos can get any time together.
They’re determined to make the most of each moment, no matter who tries to get in their way.
And did we mention pirates?
For Dragos Cuelebre, this has been one of the greatest, but craziest years in his millenia of existence. He was met and mated Pia, he lost two of his friends and sentinels to their own matings, he saved the Elven domain, he held the first Sentinel Games, and his mate gave him the greatest treasure that he has even had—his son, Liam. After a year like this, the Cuelebre family are in need of a quiet vacation.
At least that is what Pia is trying to convince Dragos to do with some subtle hints. She even gets out some books from the library on lost treasures knowing full well that an acquisitive dragon like Dragos won’t be able to resist a treasure hunting adventure and a family vacation in the Caribbean is just what Pia needs.
But you can’t expect a treasure hunt with the Lord of the Wyrs to be without complications. Especially since there are several parties already looking for the lost treasure of the Light Fae.
It doesn’t take long for a Wyr as powerful as Dragos to locate the treasure especially when it contains magical items and since the pirates can’t take the treasure from him, they take something much more valuable than gold—his newborn son.
Peanut is now my favorite character of all time! I absolutely love him! We have this story told not only from Pia and Drago’s POV, but we also have several chapters told by their son, Liam, affectionately known as Peanut. He is absolutely adorable!! He even won over the harpy, Aryal, in Kinked, he’s that cute.
I loved that Thea went back to Dragos and Pia in Lord’s Fall and we were able to once again enjoy time with them and their new son. It was an interesting and lighthearted novella. We have become complacent with Dragos. He is a devoted husband and now father. But this story shows just what happens when you cross someone as powerful and deadly as a Wyr-dragon. He isn’t Lord of the Wyr for nothing.
And did I mention how cute Peanut is??
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Mommy carried him into his room. He thought things were going quite well until she set him down on the thick, soft rug in the middle of the floor.
No, that wasn’t what he wanted. That was very much not what he wanted.
He was tired again, and his mouth hurt, and he was hungry all of the time. Hungry for what, he didn’t know. Hungry, hungry.
So he scowled and concentrated mightily on something that he wanted.
And the world shifted.
He felt better. Quite a bit better, actually. His new mouth didn’t hurt at all, but he was still very hungry.
Mommy kept talking as she moved around his room. She pulled diapers out of drawers, set them on the changing table and turned to the closet. “…I want to take you to the beach and play in the sand with you, except I don’t know that we should. Are you too young to play in sand, or to go into salt water? Peanut, you are such a statistical outlier, half the time I have no idea what we should do with you.”
She turned away from the closet, her arms full of clothes. When she looked at him, she shrieked and dropped everything.
It startled him so badly he felt a burst of anxiety. He turned around to scoot backward toward her as fast as he could, but something flopped along his back, and his arms and legs weren’t working quite the way they had been earlier. He stopped, confused, and looked down at himself.
Slender white forelegs stretched to the floor. He picked up a front paw, staring at the talons. Then he looked over his shoulder and flexed sleek, graceful wings. A tail trailed the floor behind him. He reached for it with one forepaw and picked up the end. When he tugged at it, his butt wagged. The tail was attached to him.
Mommy knelt in front of him and cupped his face. He looked up into her eyes. She was teary and yet smiling. “You are the cleverest baby ever,” she said. “You’re so beautiful, and exactly how I first dreamed of you.”
Pleasure sleeked him down, and he smiled at her.
Her eyes went very round. Then she beamed at him. “That’s quite a mouthful of toofers you’ve got there, too.”
She gathered him up in her arms. He tucked his snout into the crook of her neck, and it was so good. It was almost everything he wanted, except….
He was so hungry.
He fussed and whined, and she sat on the floor and rocked him, while she dug her cell phone out of her pocket and moved her thumb rapidly over the keypad. “Dragos, you have to come home right now.”
Daddy’s sharp voice came over the phone. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong exactly, but Liam has changed and he’s upset.”
“What do you mean, he’s changed?”
“I mean he’s changed! He’s in his dragon form, and I can’t even tell you how beautiful he is. He’s also upset for some reason. Maybe it scared him? And you’re missing all of it. You need to come see this.”
“I’ll be right there.”
Mommy set the phone aside as Liam whined and plucked at her shirt. “Are you hungry?” she asked gently. He nodded. “I can’t nurse you when you’re like this, sweetheart, not with all of those razor sharp teeth.”
That was the saddest thing he had ever heard in his whole life. He lifted his head and looked at her, grief bleeding from his eyes.
“Oh Peanut, I’m so sorry. Please don’t look at me that way.” They considered each other desperately. Mommy’s expression turned firm. He folded his wings back and clung to her, as she rolled to her feet and carried him to the kitchen.
She opened the fridge door and pulled out a pan that had the something he was craving. It smelled oh, so good. He arched toward the pan, reaching with both front paws.
“Hold on—let me get the plastic wrap off first.”
She slid to the floor as he struggled to get to the contents in the pan. She snatched off the plastic wrap, set the pan on the kitchen tile, and he fell on the leftover sirloin roast. Eyes closed, his whole body tense, he focused on gorging on the meat.
Running footsteps sounded in the background, but it was only Daddy, so he ignored it. A moment later, Daddy said in a quiet voice, “Well, damn. Look at that. Hello, little man.”
A large, gentle hand came down on Liam’s back, between his wings, and contentment filled him.
“I didn’t know what else to do,” Pia said. “He acted like he was starving, and he has all those teeth. Then I remembered what you said about how he was going to need a lot of meat.”
“You did exactly what you should have,” said Daddy.
Liam finished off the roast. The hungriness had gone away, and his belly felt comfortably stretched and full. Sleepiness descended. Eyes drooping, he looked over his shoulder. Daddy and Mommy knelt on either side of him, both smiling.
He scooted backward toward Mommy. When she gathered him up, he turned to climb up her body until he lay draped along her shoulders.
“I’m telling you, this is just like my dreams,” Mommy said. She reached up to stroke his leg. He stopped listening to their conversation, tucked his snout in the neckline of her shirt and fell fast asleep.
Title: Mended (Connections #3)
Release date: June 3, 2014
MUSIC HAS THE POWER TO HEAL ALL…BUT NOT ALL BROKEN HEARTS CAN BE MENDED.
Always in control, Xander Wilde considered life on the road to be a perfect fit for him. But when disaster strikes on the Wilde Ones’ latest tour, fate intervenes…and a newly single Ivy Taylor, the only girl he has ever loved, steps back into his life.
After moving past her painful breakup with Xander years ago, Ivy was poised to become the next big name in pop music…when suddenly she withdrew from the limelight—the same day she announced her engagement to her controlling agent, Damon Wolf.
Xander knows he should keep his distance. But once they’re on the road, he can’t resist pursuing her for a second chance. Yet a jealous Damon can’t let her go—and he’s keeping dangerous secrets that could destroy them all.
When the three of them come together, everything falls apart. But if Xander and Ivy can hold tight to the bond that connects them, they just might have a chance at reclaiming the powerful love they thought they had lost forever….
The magic of rock and roll—it casts a spell on you. I’m no exception. I’m a band manager and I’m living the dream, touring with The Wilde Ones, helping them secure their well-deserved place in the music industry. I love being a part of it all, especially watching the band perform live—the crowds, the cheers, the music. It’s a high and a low all at once and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Every step of the way with this band has been fun, exciting, stressful—every possible emotion. Obviously we’ve had some breaks but mostly we all put in a lot of hard work—myself, Garrett Flynn, Phoenix Harper, River Wilde, and now Zane Perry.
“Can you hear me now?” he bellows.
I nod my head as my heart pounds in my chest. My hands feel cold and clammy and a nervousness that makes me weak and shaky takes over. Doubts race through my head and I’m questioning if he’s going to make it through this. A vague awareness that something bad could happen kicks around in my mind and I can’t shake it. The Wilde Ones are doing a sound check on stage and Zane’s not on his game.
It’s July and the weather has been brutally hot. But today it seems cooler. Maybe it’s the California weather maybe it’s the excitement of being home. The Beautiful Lies Tour bus finally rolled back into our home state of California after six months away. When we pulled into the amphitheater, we could see tanned kids in board shorts and bikini tops already lined up at the will call window. Security guards in polo shirts directed us to the artist parking lot, and we were officially home. Tonight we’ll be headlining our biggest show to date. We’re on tour without my brother, River, and still more than half of the shows are sold out, including tonight’s. River quit the band—touring just wasn’t for him but even so the album is on its way up the charts. Who knows it may even hit gold status.
The songs on the album were written and sung by River but are performed in concert by Zane. Having him as my brother’s replacement has been the key to our successful transition in a world where replacing leads is normally unsuccessful—simply put, we’re lucky as hell to have him. River promised to make a surprise appearance at our next stop.
It’s going to be epic.
But tonight is all about the arena—Mountain View and the Shoreline. “That’s enough,” I yell to the band and call rehearsal. This place is the biggest outdoor venue we’ve played and I couldn’t be more stoked—or more nervous. A sold out show and a rocking opening band—what a combination. But a lead singer with another cold and a weakened voice that can’t be heard throughout an amphitheater scares the shit out of me.
I head straight for the bus and spend the next few hours hashing out a song with Nix that he calls a jumbled mess of muscular sense and big-riff sunshine—whatever the hell that means. All I know is that it needs help and that’s why he’s turning to me. I hadn’t played guitar since I was eighteen but for some reason over the course of this tour I’ve picked it back up. At first I used whatever was lying around but last month I had my mother mail my old one to me and it feels like home. It’s a light blue and brown Gibson and I had to have it because it was the guitar that Slash played on. Playing again seems to help pass the time and brings a calm over me that I haven’t felt in awhile.
Hours pass and before I know it, it’s almost show time. We make our way over to the Amphitheater, do the typical festival schmooze fest, and then settle back to wait. Waiting for them to take the stage is always the most nerve-racking time. I’m sitting in the practically vacant makeshift meet and greet area back stage and sipping a beer in a worthless effort to calm my nerves when a voice travels through the sound system. It’s a powerful and emotive mezzo-soprano range that is nothing short of explosive. She sounds unlike any singer I’ve ever heard before—with only one exception, Ivy Taylor. I push back the memory of her name and the emotions it evokes—the memories are just too painful. I can’t see her on stage but I know that the voice belongs to Jane Mommsen.
Her band Breathless is playing right before The Wilde Ones.
A hand on my shoulder startles me. I twist and glance up as Amy sits down beside me, crossing her legs. “Hi, Xander. I thought I saw you earlier at the hotel.”
She’s a beautiful woman—long, wavy dark hair, petite figure, very natural looking.
She’s wearing jeans, a blue shirt with some kind of foil design, and silver sandals. Grinning at her I say, “Finally we catch up. Can I get you a drink?”
“I’d love that. How’s life on the road been?”
“You know, it has its ups and downs but actually not bad. You?”
“Jane’s been going full-force for a while now. But the tour ends with the summer.
I’ll be glad to be back in LA.”
Standing up, I laugh. “I know the feeling. I’ll be right back, let me grab us that drink.” Tossing my empty bottle, I make my way to the coolers lined up under the tent and grab two beers. I know she’d rather have a glass of Chardonnay but beer it is. Amy is Jane’s assistant and I’ve taken her out more than a few times. We went to high school together and Amy and I know most of the same people so whenever I need a date, I ask her. Last time I saw her was almost nine months ago when I took her to River and Dahlia’s wedding.
Heading back to the table I hear Jane yell out to the crowd, “Are you ready for three of the hottest guys in music?” The audience starts screaming and the stage lights dim cuing the guys that it’s the fifteen-minute countdown until they take the stage. The band huddles together in their typical pre-performance stance. I’ll have a quick drink with Amy and then join them. As I hand her the bottle my fingers touch hers and we both grin, knowing that we will end up alone by the end of the night. “You sticking around for the whole show?”
“I think I might,” she smiles. “How about we ride back to the hotel together and grab a real drink at the bar?”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“Great. Time for me to get back to work.”
She rises from the table, I do the same. She stands up on her toes and kisses me quickly on the lips. “See you tonight,” she smiles.
“Catch you later,” I say and then cross the room to join the band.
“You’re late,” Nix snickers. “What’s with you two anyway?” he asks.
I shrug my shoulders. “Nothing. We casually see each other once in a while.”
Garrett raises an eyebrow. “Chicks are never cool with casual.”
Shaking my head at him, I don’t bother to disagree. Amy and I have been doing this for years. It works for her and for me. We like each other’s company but only see each other sporadically. I’ll call her once in a while and we’ll go out but we are in no way exclusive. I don’t ask her about other men and she doesn’t ask me about other women. I grab the bottle and pour the amber liquid into the shot glasses stacked on the cap. It’s our pre-show routine. A shot and a prayer, so to say. It’s Garrett’s turn tonight to ‘pray’ so this should be good.
He raises his glass. “Here’s to hoping Xander gets laid so he’ll get off our backs.”
Tipping my glass back, I quickly down the amber liquid. It burns as it makes its way down my throat. Once we’ve all drank our two shot maximum before a show Garrett follows his toast up with, “Seriously man, you need to get laid.”
The guys laugh and I actually join in. Jerking off in the small bathroom on the bus is definitely one of the downsides of touring. I’ve slept with a few girls at some of our stops but screwing groupies isn’t really my thing. I’m not one to have time for a girlfriend but I’m also not about to pull my dick out backstage, so it’s been a long six months.
Zane coughs after he slings back the shot and I look at him with concern. “You’re going to a doctor tomorrow.”
He shakes his head. “Yes, Mom, if you say so.”
“I’m not kidding. Your voice sounds like shit.”
“It’s a fucking cold. I took some medicine. I’ll be fine.”
“Doctor. Tomorrow. I mean it. I’ll have Ena set it up.”
“I can always sing,” Garrett chimes in and I smack the back of his head.
“Hey. I can.”
The lights start to flicker and I look at Zane with that feeling of uneasiness again.
Second time this tour he’s coughing and hacking. We’re screwed if he really gets sick. He nods at me as I pat him on the back. Slinging his guitar over his shoulder, he heads out first raising his arm in the air. The crowd goes crazy. The six foot guy is a chick magnet and no one misses my brother tonight. Garrett heads out next yelling, “Great to be here Mountain View!” and Nix follows with his trademark nod. Zane skips his normal charming banter and I know he must be saving his voice. Again, I think about how we’re fucked if he gets sick.
I stand at the edge of the stage all night until they finally come to their last song. “It Wasn’t Days Ago,” is a simple but crowd affecting ballad and Zane belts it out. Shouts from nearly thirty thousand fans call for an encore. Turning away from the microphone Zane coughs again. Biting his thumbnail he looks over at me and I slice my finger across my neck.
“One more song for tonight,” he tells the screaming fans and my blood pressure rises. “This one is a cover, an ‘ode to’ I’ll call it. It’s for Xander Wilde, the band’s manager and it’s his favorite song. Everyone ready?” As he starts to sing Linkin Park’s “Iridescent,” I close my eyes and listen. When he hits the chorus his voice gets so low my eyes snap open. Zane turns to grab a bottle of water while the guys continue to play but I can tell something isn’t right.
Last night definitely didn’t go as planned—a visit to the ER, then sleeping in a chair next to Zane all night on the bus because the steroids he was given freaked him out. It’s noon and Amy and I are just arriving at the Pelican Hill Resort. Breathless was leaving right after the show last night so Amy had already planned to ride with us and meet up with them in Irvine. She invited me to some party being thrown by her band’s label that I would have rather not gone to but Ellie, the tour manager, insisted we all go for the good PR.
I’m exhausted and really need some sleep before dealing with the press and tomorrow night’s show. The paparazzi have been everywhere—by the bus as we exited to the waiting car in LA, outside the doctor’s office, at the gates of Zane’s father’s house, and now they’re here in Irvine at the hotel.
To avoid the chaos awaiting us in the lobby, I call Ellie, who is already here, and ask her to check me in and meet me at the pool bar with the key. Draping my arm around Amy, we head that way. I’ve been here a few times so I know my way around. Cutting through the grotto and over to the pool and cabanas, I steer Amy to the right and stop in my tracks as all the air rushes from my lungs.
My body floods with adrenaline and my gut twists. I don’t even have to do a double take because I’d know her anywhere. There’s no mistaking her. She’s just so beautiful— the elegant planes of her face, those high cheekbones, red lipstick, her platinum blonde hair shorter than it used to be tucked behind her ear, that face of an angel. She looks the same. No, she looks better. Her skin glistens in the sun and my gaze automatically follows the shape of her long legs. They look smooth and tan against her white bathing suit. An ache forms in my chest as I think about running my fingers up them. She’s still that eighteen-year-old girl I once knew but now she has the body of a woman—lean and toned and full of curves. When she moves it’s so familiar it doesn’t seem like a day has passed—and everything I ever felt for her, it’s all still inside me.
My pulse races at the mere sight of her. She’s lounging in the cushioned chair reading a magazine just outside a cabana. My heart slams harder in my chest when she sticks her earphones in her ears like she always used to do and it transports me back to the last time I saw her do the very same thing. We’d skipped school and were at my grandparents’ house—their pool. She was lying on the lounge chair listening to music and singing along—her voice so full of soul. I’d moved to sit with her under the guise of putting lotion of her back. She sat up and smiled that shy smile she didn’t need to have when she was with me. I squeezed the tube into my hand and after rubbing them together I slowly applied it to her back kneading my way up and down, touching every inch of her that I could.
It brings me back to the here and now when she suddenly sits up and looks over at me. Her eyes pin me in place. She looks at me as if she remembers me for who I was, what we were, not what I did to her. With my chest pounding, memories of us keep flashing through my mind. Fighting a smile, I wonder if she’s thinking the same thing— remembering what we were, what we shared, how we loved.
She quickly breaks our connection when she averts her eyes over to the man handing her a drink. I suck in a deep breath trying not to feel sick at the sight. He’s nearing fifty, wearing a terrycloth robe. He’s about my height, dark brown hair, meticulously groomed facial hair, and not exactly ripped but fit. He’s Damon Wolf, a man I’ve never actually met but hate all the same. I’ve seen their picture on TV and in magazines. He’s her agent, her fiancé, and I’m sure he’s the reason she’s not singing anymore.
She looks up at him with that same forced smile she used to give people she just wanted to appease and mouths “thank you.” I have a sudden urge to go over and deck him when her gaze shifts back to mine and he pulls her chin back to look at him. I can sense a discomfort between them. We could sense each other’s feelings even when we weren’t near each other.
Amy’s hand slides down my face and I have to blink a few times before I can hear what she’s saying. Glancing one last time at Ivy I see that she’s staring at me again. Then suddenly her mouth forms a scowl and she flicks her attention toward him. Hooking her arm around his neck, she pulls him down for a kiss and I think I might throw up.
“Are you okay?”
I nod. Not able to say a word.
“Isn’t that Ivy Taylor over there? The girl you used to date in high school?” Amy asks. There’s an irritated tone to her voice I’m not used to hearing and it makes me agitated.
“Yeah, it is,” is all I say. She’s not just a girl I used to date…she’s the only girl I ever really loved. She’s also the girl whose heart I broke. Seeing her now brings back all those feelings I blocked, ignored, tucked aside. So many times over the years I wanted to go after her and tell her the truth—but I never did. Why I don’t know. Then one day it was too late—she had gotten engaged.
Amy chatters on. “I think that’s Damon Wolf with her. We should go say hi.”
My body goes cold and my face blank at the thought. I straighten and just as I’m about to say, “No fucking way,” my phone vibrates in my pocket. Squinting at the screen, I see that it’s my brother. I look over to Amy and motion toward the bar. “Hey, this is River. I need to take it. I’ll meet you over there in a minute.”
“That’s fine. We can catch up with them later. I’ll go order us a drink.” She smiles and starts toward the bar.
Turning around to avoid staring at Ivy, I answer the phone. “It took you long enough to call me back.”
“I was in a meeting and stepped out as soon as I could, so don’t start. What did the doctor say about Zane?”
“He’s out for the rest of the tour and we’re fucked.”
“You sure? You’re back in LA for almost two weeks after tomorrow night right? Isn’t that enough time for him to heal?”
“Technically yes. But his old man wants him out. The doctor said that he couldn’t be sure how long the blood that accumulated under his vocal cords had been there but obviously last night, the amount of ruptured vessels was enough to cause his voice to change. He advised at least two weeks of rest before another evaluation to see if surgery is necessary. Zeak wants his son to take a longer period of time off. He’s just afraid that if Zane keeps singing and it keeps happening, scar tissue will build up and cause his voice to change forever.”
“Do you blame him?”
“No I don’t,” I tell River and I feel like shit that I have to put him in a position to do what he didn’t want to do in the first place. But I also know that if I don’t, the band won’t survive. If I have to cancel this tour—the Wilde Ones are done. So I ask, “Did you talk to Dahlia?”
He sighs. “Yeah, I did. She’s cool with it, Xander. I’m just trying to figure it all out.”
“You know I’ll do whatever you need me to do, right?”
“Shit why can’t you just be an ass and make it easy for me to say no?”
“Because you have no idea what this means to me.”
“Actually I do, and that’s why I’m going to make it happen. But Xander, remember I can’t play a twelve string.”
Laughter and relief take hold of me. I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
“Right now I wouldn’t care if you only played the violin,” I joke. He laughs and I add, “You’ll be here tonight?”
Now he sounds slightly annoyed. “I said I would. We might be a little late so don’t get your panties in a wad.”
“That’s cool. Thanks for everything. Hey, one more thing.”
“Ivy Taylor’s here.”
“No way. Have you talked to her?”
“Fuck no. You know she won’t talk to me. And besides she’s with that asshole.”
“You should talk to her. Tell her the truth.”
“What’s that going to do now? She’ll just think I’m lying.”
“You want me to talk to her? I can explain everything.”
“No. I don’t need my little brother to fight my battles. I’ll talk to her if I feel the time is right. Do you hear me?”
“Whatever you say. Look, I have to run but I want to discuss this later. And Xander…you don’t know he’s an asshole. Just because Dad said his name once doesn’t mean shit.”
“Right. Okay, see you tonight,” I say and end the call. My head is spinning knowing that after all these years I’m actually in the same place she is. I want to talk to her, tell her everything but what would it matter now anyway. Glancing behind me, I catch another glimpse of her with him that turns my stomach. He’s such a slime ball. Since his father was hospitalized and he took over the business, he’s been scooping up labels, tearing them apart, and rebuilding them with bands he thinks are better fits. My guess is he picked up Jane’s label—that’s why he’s here. I heard they were having some financial difficulty and he’s just the kind of bottom feeder that would want to capitalize on not only being her agent but now also her producer. The sight of him touching Ivy makes my skin crawl.
Damon Wolf—two of the last words my father ever spoke to me before killing himself, and I never knew why. Of all the guys in the world Ivy had to end up with him— why him? I look up and they’re gone. But I’m anything but relieved. Rubbing my chin, I’m antsy, agitated, pissed as hell, but feel more alive than I have in years.
- Website: http://www.authorkimkarr.com/
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Incredible news! Simon and Caroline will be back for more wallbanging in 2014!
Gallery Keeps Clayton At Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books imprint, Micki Nuding signed a new four-title deal to keep bestseller Alice Clayton at the house. The world-rights MAJOR deal, which Karen Solem at Spencerhill Associates negotiated, is for three full-length books and a novella. The first book, Rusty Nailed, will launch a new series called Cocktail, featuring characters from Clayton’s popular Wallbanger (Gallery, Feb. 2013); it is scheduled for June 2014. Rounding out the series next year will be Screwdrivered and Mai Tai’d Up, set for September and December, respectively.
A very big thank you to Micki, Jen, Louise and Kristin at Simon & Schuster Gallery and to Karen Solem at Spencer Hill!
Pre-Order Links!! 2014 is going to be a great year!!
Mai Tai’d Up (Coming Soon)
Share one of these messages and Alice Clayton choose a five winners to receive signed copies of Wallbanger, and all three Redhead books.
“You got Banged, now it’s time to get NAILED!” Pre-Order #Rustynailed by @alice_clayton http://www.amazon.com/Rusty-Nailed-Alice-Clayton/dp/1476766665
or on Facebook
“You got Banged, now it’s time to get NAILED!” Pre-Order #Rustynailed by Alice Clayton http://www.amazon.com/Rusty-Nailed-Alice-Clayton/dp/1476766665
A little taste of the entertaining and informative columns in November BTS Book Reviews magazine.
See all 6 sexy books covered in Nikki’s column.
Sizzling It Up Indie Style
By Nikki McCarver
Many people are on the fence when it comes to indie publishing. I can’t help but ask them why. The indie explosion is quite fascinating and has opened so many doors for so many incredibly talented people to share their work. I say don’t knock until you try it . . . and the Diva has quite a few naughty nibbles for you to sink your teeth in. The great thing about indie publishing is that the rules don’t apply. You end up having a literal smorgasbord of raw sex scenes that will make your toes and other areas . . . curl . . .
Heat Level: 3 Flames
Hot, Hot, Hot Indie Paranormals.
Dead Sexy by Paige Tyler (Indie Book— available now)
My vote is that this lovely lady should go from Paige Tyler to Paige Turner . . . such is the way of her books. This unique and incredibly hot partial-zombie wonder is a masterpiece of love, suspense, and panty-drenching sex scenes. If paranormals are not your forte, but contemporary BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, masochism) scenes are? Please take a look at some of her other books. They will absolutely make your nights more memorable.
Discover great tips on promotions from author Mary Manners. Read the full column for full details on “getting twitterpated”.
By Mary Manners
So, you’ve just signed a contract for your first book or perhaps even published as an indie author. Or, maybe you’re
on the journey to publication and looking for a great editor or agent while you’re hashing out the final edits. Whether a
seasoned author, a newbie author, or a wannabe author, how does one connect with other writers and readers who
share the same interests without losing an abundance of precious writing time?
One of the answers is Twitter. With a little practice and a bit of patience, navigating Twitter is fairly easy. Here are
Set Up an Account
Choose a username that is as close to yours as possible, so others can easily find you. Avoid using underscores if
possible. If someone shares your name, you can add a numeral after yours. For example, my username is
marymanners1. Add a short bio that’s catchy and gives viewers a snapshot of who you are. Be sure to include both a
touch of professionalism and a tidbit of personal. Do you love dark chocolate? Consider flavored coffee a food group?
Hike the Himalayas for kicks and giggles? Let viewers know. A bit of humor goes a long way.
Find Friends and Colleagues
One way to do this is to start with people from your writing circle and see whom they follow and who follows them.
By checking out profiles, you should begin to easily build your follow group. Most people will acknowledge new
followers with a thank-you and are happy to follow back. Another way to do this is to search hashtags that highlight
your interests, such as #writing, #inspyromance, etc. This type of search will bring up others who share your
interests. You can subgroup your followers into lists so each may be located quickly and easily.
Compose Your Tweets
Today our blog has been taken over by my daughter. Come meet her favorite author, Nick Bruel, author and illustrator of the Bad Kitty series.
Congratulations to our giveaway winner – Jessie L.
Congratulations to our giveaway winner – Mary Jo.
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Publishing Date: October 29, 2013
Paperback: 384 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green’s favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.
Jackson O’Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family’s resort—it’s in his blood, and he can’t let it fail. Now that he’s got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.
Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she’s out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it’s terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?
Jackson O’Neil left home and opened Snowdrift Leisure, specializing in luxury hotels for winter sports. But after his father’s sudden death, he returned home to Vermont to take care of the family business. Snow Crystal has been a family owned vacation resort for four generations, but his father’s bad business decisions have left the company in ruins and Jackson will use all his hard earned knowledge to keep the family from losing everything.
He has sunk a great deal of money into building new cabins, adding a spa, and a world-class restaurant and creating the Snow Crystal Report and Spa. But what good are all the improvements on top of the classic features of their amazing ski slopes, horse drawn sleigh rides and skating on a lake, if no one knows about it. They still don’t have rooms booked and they are still in jeopardy of losing everything.
So Jackson contacts a big New York public relations firm. He wants Kayla Green to work the same PR magic on Snow Crystal that she brought to Adventure Travel to make them a household name. In order to convince his family, he needs Kayla to come to Vermont to explain to his family what Kayla and her company can do to bring in the paying guests.
Kayla is willing to do anything to get away from the Christmas crazies which takes over this time of year. Christmas memories bring about nothing but pain to Kayla and the sound of spending Christmas week in a secluded cabin away from the holiday cheer sounds like her own Christmas miracle.
Yet her hopes of isolation away from Christmas and family is an unfulfilled fantasy. Kayla never expected to walk into the O’Neil family’s home and be engulfed by such a loving family atmosphere full of happy Christmas memories. Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire. This might just be one client that Kayla loses when her own family traumas surface and fails to impress.
Jackson won’t let Kayla walk away so easily. He has pinned all his hope on her working her magic to save Snow Crystal. He just needs to show her that Snow Crystal has a magic all its own and how much it is worth saving.
This was a truly enjoyable story. There is a definite set up for the other brothers already and I am excited to see where their stories will go. Heck, if Snow Crystal was real, I would be booking my own vacation there and I hate the snow.
Kayla was an only child of divorced parents who went on to start new families after their divorce, neither one interested in the child created during their failed marriage. Kayla was well aware that she was the outsider in both her mother’s and her father’s new lives. Even to this day, Kayla is an unwelcome reminder of their past failure. So she spends her holidays alone. She also protects her heart by now allowing anyone to be close to her. All she has is her work which she is very good at.
But a close family like the O’Neils shakes her to her core. The loving family who hug and argue and stand by each other is absolutely foreign to her and she is overwhelmed by it so much so that she fails to make a decent first impression. But Jackson and his family break down her walls and she grows to accept the love and friendship that they offer her.
The O’Neils have a great family dynamic and every character is unique and lovable from grumpy Grandpa Walter to Tyler’s young daughter, Jess, who unlike Kayla was send away by her mother into the loving arms of her father.
Personally, the last few days have been very bad for me and this story was enjoyable enough to draw me away from my troubles and into the world of the O’Neils and Snow Crystal, and give me a few hours of peace.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Enter to win a copy of Sleigh Bells in the Snow, these adorable snowflake earrings and some Harlequin gift tags for your holiday gifts.
Congratulations to our winner – Mary Jo.
Her feet crunched on the surface of packed snow and soon they were enveloped by the silence of the forest. Jackson was slightly ahead and she was gazing at the width of his shoulders when he stopped suddenly. She crashed right into those shoulders and would have fallen again had he not grabbed her hand and hauled her against him.
“Look.” It came as naturally to him to touch as it did to her to keep herself at a distance, but she didn’t have long to dwell on that because they’d reached a break in the trees and there, towering above them was a cascade of ice, a frozen sculpture formed by nature and cutting between the rocks.
“That’s a waterfall?” She tried to imagine how such a force of nature could ever freeze.
“During the summer the water tumbles down here, but in exceptionally cold winters it freezes over.”
“It’s astonishing.” And it was. Not just the spectacle of an entire waterfall frozen in front of her eyes but the detail, the colours and textures, from opaque to translucent, silver threaded through bright white with shimmers of green and blue as the sun hit the surface.
“Sometimes we climb here.”
“You climb the ice?”
“It’s fun. And challenging because the conditions change constantly as the outer surface of the ice melts.” His gaze shifted from her face to something behind her and his expression changed. “Kayla—”
“What?” Turning her head, she saw a large moose watching them through the trees. “Oh, crappity crap. That is big.“
His fingers tightened on hers, his hand warm and strong. “Don’t panic. He isn’t going to be interested in you.”
“That isn’t flattering.” Heart pumping, she stared at the moose. “The design is wrong. The legs are too long for the body, the body is too short for the face, and the antlers are the wrong size and shape for anything, but I’m willing to bet they’d hurt if he chose to drive them into someone.” She hoped that someone wasn’t her.
“The long legs enable him to walk through deep snow. Moose are fine as long as you don’t get too close.”
“Do I look like I intend to get close? I’m trying to run, but you’re holding me. Let’s go.”
“No. This is all part of the Snow Crystal experience.” His voice warm with laughter, he slid his arm around her waist, locking her against him. “Lots of tourists come here hoping to see what you’re seeing now.”
What she was seeing was a strong jaw shadowed by dark stubble and a firm mouth that was too close for comfort.
Suddenly the moose didn’t feel as threatening as the chemistry. “With the benefit of many years of experience I can tell you that the moose is not going to be what gets you on the cover of Time Magazine. Let’s go—”
“The important thing to remember is that there is no safe way to approach a moose.” He tightened his grip, holding her easily. She was pressed against the hard muscle of his thighs and it wasn’t the moose she was thinking about, but him.
“I can assure you I won’t be approaching it. In fact this might be a good time to show me your love of speed.”
“They’re not usually aggressive unless they’re frightened. It’s one of the reasons we tell people to keep their dogs on leads around here. during the mating season, in the fall, the bulls can become aggressive.”
“Note to self–never visit in October.” She tugged at her hand. “Now can we—”
“Kayla–” he tugged her back to him “–he’s not going to hurt you.”
The chemistry was suffocating. The knot in her tummy wound tighter and tighter.
“You don’t know what his intentions are toward me. He might sense I’m a city dweller and decide to send me back to New York with one kick.” She tried to joke. Tried to do anything she could to cut through the tension that was like a steel wire pulling her toward him. “I presume they kick?”
“Yes. Despite their size, moose are flexible. They can kick in all directions, including sideways.”
“Sounds like my yoga instructor. Can we go now?”
He smiled that slow, dangerous smile, his mouth just a breath away from hers. “Don’t you trust me to protect you?” He was all hard muscle and masculinity, and she no longer knew where the threat lay, but she had a feeling it wasn’t behind her.
“I’ve always preferred to be in charge of my own protection.” She felt weird, and she had no idea whether it was the proximity to the moose or the proximity to Jackson O’Neil. “I guard myself.”
“Yeah, I got that.” His voice was husky, his eyes on her mouth. “And what happens when you let your guard down, Kayla?”
“I don’t let my guard down. I don’t let people close.”
But he was close.
And then his mouth wasn’t just close to hers it was on hers, sure and demanding, and his kiss felt as good as she’d known it would. Hunger ripped through her, the sexual chemistry so intense the heat threatened to burn right through them. It was the most erotic, sexually explicit kiss she’d ever experienced, and she wrapped her arms around his neck, lost in it.
I’m so excited about the launch of Sleigh Bells in the Snow, my first full length contemporary romance for HQN. After writing 65 books for Harlequin Presents and Medical Romance, it’s been so much fun to write a longer book, to explore the characters in greater depth and widen the scope of the story. I really hope readers will enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy contemporary romance and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as ‘a magician with words’ by RT Book Reviews, she has sold over 11 million copies of her books. She has been nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award twice; in 2012 for her book ‘Doukakis’s Apprentice’ and 2013 for ‘A Night of No Return’. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their ‘Top Pick’ slot.
As a child Sarah dreamed of being a writer and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream.
Sarah lives near London with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.