Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: CONFESS by Colleen Hoover

 
Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies.

At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

The excitement when I heard about Confess was undeniable. Colleen has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I don’t even think twice when pre-ordering a new title as soon as it's announced.
The only reason I’m giving Confess 4 1/2 stars is because Losing Hope remains my favorite CoHo book and that was a 5 star review.

Confess is  powerful from the very beginning, and when I say very beginning I mean that I wasn’t in 10 pages and I was already bawling. The circumstances surrounding Auburn and the magnitude of her loss is really more than any 15 year old should bear.

 Let me start by saying that I did Confess on Audible because Elizabeth Louise and Sebastian York narrate it and they are my absolute favorites! If you have already read Confess and ever feel like re-reading I would highly recommend doing it in audio version.

I have to say that I was intrigued by Confess from the moment I read the synopsis and within the first few pages I just knew I wouldn’t be able to put this book down. The whole idea of people having submitted anonymous confessions to Colleen was very interesting to me. 
Just the confessions alone gave this book depth others don't have, some of these came from what you could tell were tortured consciences, but they were powerful truths that would not otherwise be spoken out loud.

http://store.colleenhoover.com/catalog/Merchandise/Confess-Prints/Woman-%28black%26white%29/40

"Sometimes I wonder if being dead would be easier than being his mother."

 Confess was so much more than I was expecting it to be, I was able to connect with Auburn in a level that blindsided me and I’m sure many, like me, will find this to be the case. I can’t elaborate on exactly what were the circumstances that made me identify with her because it truly was an unexpected turn of events, and I would like to keep this review spoiler free :D

Auburn just moved to Texas to start a new life and is struggling to make ends meet. One night coming back from work she stumbles upon this building and this boy, and little did she know it would be more trouble than she needed to find yet at the same time he would be exactly what she needed.
Owen is an artist, but what he paints is unusual, his inspiration comes from other people’s deepest secrets, left as anonymous confessions in a small mailbox outside his door. The night Auburn shows up at his door, Owen desperately needs help with a gallery showing and he convinces Auburn to stay and work the register for him. What Owen doesn't tell her is that he already knows who she is. 

 “She would be shocked if she knew how much of her past has affected my present, which is why I won’t be sharing the truth with her. Some secrets should never turn into confessions.”

Auburn is immediately drawn to Owen, because let’s face it, who wouldn’t be attracted to a young, hot talented artist? They both walk into this knowing the attraction is strong and that they would fall for each other yet they are both hiding big secrets and as secrets often do, they will surface later, and bring everything crumbling down. 

 “I’m losing track of the lies I’m telling her, and lying to someone like her isn’t normally something I would do. But I don’t know how to tell her the truth…

 Colleen never seizes to surprise me, Confess is unique in the story, in the depth of the characters yet always true to her style they are also very relatable, you feel for both Auburn and Owen. There were times I was swooning, others were the anxiety level was through the roof and a few others where I was just plain pissed, because the circumstances were just so unfair, but I guess life isn’t fair sometimes, and Colleen didn’t have any problems reminding us of that.
As I mentioned earlier, there is one more element in the story that’s a major game changer and I hope it catches you as off guard as it caught me. 

http://store.colleenhoover.com/catalog/Merchandise/Confess-Prints/Auburn/42
  
" I’ve never felt stronger than I feel when I’m with her. I’ve never felt like I had a purpose like I feel when I’m with her. I think about the first words I said to her when she showed up at my door. “Are you here to save me?”


Confess is not just a love story, there is love for sure more than one kind of love actually. Confess is  about the sacrifices one makes for those you love unconditionally, and the way life makes you grow in a hurry when you face it alone. Confess is about survival. Confess is about choices. Confess is about truth. Confess is about loving someone forever even when you can't. 

http://store.colleenhoover.com/catalog/Merchandise/Confess-Prints/Hands/44




Collen most definitely hit this one out of the ballpark. A book I will always recommend as meaningful reading with a lesson to be learned. By the time I finished reading Confess my book looked like a rainbow of colored tags because you could find a quote to want to remember pretty much in every other page. 

You can order Confess in paperback, ebook and audio.

Prints by Danny O'Connor inspired by Confess available for purchase here
I'm proud owner of three of these and they are absolutely beautiful, and once you read Confess you will definitely want to own them as well.

http://ursula-uriarte.tumblr.com/



Reader Appreciation + Excerpt: CALL SIGN KARMA by Jamie Rae

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Today we are having a Reader Appreciation Blitz to spotlight the fabulous readers who have read CALL SIGN KARMA, and celebrate the fact that the book now has over 100 *5 star reviews! This is a huge milestone and Jamie Rae has a note below for the readers who helped the book get there. Some readers who were kind enough to share their favorite lines from the book are spotlighted below, and you can read an exclusive excerpt.

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Click here to ADD THE BOOK TO GOODREADS

 

BOOK BLURB:

Love in the no-fly zone… Distraught over the loss of her brother in a fighter jet accident, Tinklee Pinkerton decides to follow in his footsteps and prove the tragedy wasn’t his fault. But when she’s chosen as the first woman to fly the Air Force’s F-35, her plan for a life that revolves around work is thrown off course by a handsome, mysterious stranger… Thanks to Locke’s seductive British accent, sweet nature, and one too many beers, Tink is soon inspired to throw caution to the wind and herself into his arms. She thinks maybe love can heal after all—until she discovers Locke is her superior officer. Tink has no problem risking her life in the air, but with everything on the line, is she brave enough to risk her heart on the ground?

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Jamie Rae's Message to Readers

As a military spouse and Air Force veteran, I wanted my debut to not only be about something that I knew and loved but to also be a story that delivered a powerful message. Your reviews and feedback have meant the world to me and I can’t thank you enough for taking a chance on my feisty, female fighter pilot. Your words have made me laugh, smile, ugly cry, happy dance, fist bump, and cheer. Most importantly they have given me the encouragement to keep writing. I love and adore each of you! In the words of Tink, “Holy hell, you rock!”
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Review Blurbs:

"Mark my words, 'Tink' is going to be in the hall of fame-badass character edition" -Ana (Owl Always Be Reading)

"This book had it all for me. It had heartache, romance, forbidden love and action! I had every single feel throughout the book" -Debi (Mean Girls Luv Books)

 

This is an Infinite Star Book!! One the Best Debut Novels of All-Time & Best Books of the Year! Call Sign Karma is without a doubt one the best debut novels I have ever read in my life! The Synopsis leads you to a good and even great book. However, this novel is the very definition of a masterpiece. -Mia's Point Of View

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PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon

B&N

iTunes

Kobo

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EXCERPT:


I put the key in the ignition and started the Jeep when the door opened. My pulse quickened and I locked eyes with my monumental mistake. 
I shifted the Jeep into gear and reversed. I did not want to see him and I definitely didn’t want to be alone with him. He held a motorcycle helmet in his hand and started toward me. 
“Lieutenant,” he yelled. 
I put the Jeep into drive as he continued rushing toward me. 
“Wait!” 
Not a chance in hell. Accelerating way too fast, I peeled out of the parking lot without looking back. Adrenaline pumped through my veins. I turned the corner a lot faster than I should have and a security forces policeman flashed his patrol lights as a warning. 
I slowed and drove the twenty-five mile an hour speed limit. The way my blood pumped, I could have gotten out and ran faster than I drove. I heard the motorbike’s buzz before I saw it. Locke was behind me. I wanted to slam on my brakes and see how far I could launch him into the air. He’d need his own jet to get down. 
Once I got off the military base, I threw it in fifth. The motorbike had no problem keeping up with me. I pulled into my driveway, cut the engine, jumped over the door, and stormed to my walkway. He was off his bike and at my side before I made it to the porch. 
“Wait!” 
I ignored him and trotted up the first few stairs to the porch. His footsteps followed. 
“We need to talk.” 
My key sank into the lock. 
“Tinklee,” he said with a thickened accent. 
I swung around, resisting the urge to push his ass off my property.
“So you do realize I have an actual name.” 
“What did you want me to do?” he asked with a deep-set crease between his brows. He was visibly upset. “You shocked the bloody hell out of me. Why didn’t you tell me you were a JSF student?” 
“I don’t know, why didn’t you tell me you were a JSF instructor?” I questioned and threw my hands in the air. 
“You didn’t tell me your name, which by the way, might have been good to know. I read the student roster. That would have saved us both from this mistake.” 
I jerked my head like his words slapped me across the face. It was too late. It was out there. I knew it was a mistake, but saying it out loud cut deep. 
I turned back toward the door. 
“That was a daft thing to say,” he said in a gentle, caring voice. “I didn’t mean it like that. Listen, last night was incredible.” 
“Just go,” I replied. I turned the key and I tried to swallow the lump wedged in my throat. 
He grabbed my hand and sparked that fire that made me want to forget who he was and what it meant. My perfect stranger was back with all his tenderness. I wanted to kiss him, hold him, and not have any of the rules matter. But I knew it was impossible. He knew it, too. 


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JamieRae

JAMIE RAE is a New Adult and Young Adult author. She writes with one goal in mind--create stories with a positive message that will stay with the reader long after they've finished reading. Jamie is an avid reader and loves discovering stories with a great hook, though she will not eat, sleep, or speak until she reaches the end. The Harry Potter years weren't pretty!! Convinced that her Hogwarts letter was lost in the mail, she keeps a watchful eye for owls hoping her children will have better luck! In her other life, Jamie Rae is an orthodontist, and literary agent. She keeps her heart overflowing with love as a mother of three and has perfected the art of nomadic living as a military spouse and Air Force veteran. Jamie has a passion for critters of all shapes and sizes and you can often find her sneaking them into her own home or volunteering for rescues. AUTHOR LINKS: Website || Facebook || Twitter ||  Goodreads
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

UNDER THE INFLUENCE by L.B. Simmons Pre Release Excerpt






Dalton,
I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naïve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me. 

Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again. 
I loved you.
I raged for you.
I wept for you.
And now, I’m letting you go.



Author’s Note:  Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.









Chapter 1
Dalton
I am not a good person.
And I don’t pretend to be.
There may have been hope for me at one point but now, as I stare back at the hardened face and vacant eyes in front of me, there’s no denying the truth. All hope for me was lost years ago, stripped clean from my mind as they broke me. The life I’m indebted to now is one packed with corruption and polluted with lies.
I try to breathe in deeply as I rinse the freshly spilled blood from my hands, but the bitter pang of disappointment begins to compress my entire chest. It seeps along the previously etched grooves that line it, burning the hollow channels that were created with each punch to my stomach and blow to my ribs.
I rarely have these moments of weakness, when I wish I hadn’t allowed myself to be drawn into the darkened path that is this life. But right now, I find myself wishing that I had been strong enough to brave my childhood on my own. That I had been able to fend off the monsters that lurked in dark rooms and reeked of alcohol, able to protect myself from the multitude of broken bones and black eyes inflicted by the hands of those who were supposed to fucking protect me.
But I wasn’t. And now I’m stuck, hopelessly adhered to a life in which I have chosen to forgo conscience for security.
Little did I know the day I met Darius Roe, I would be making a deal with the devil. That I would be forever bound to a life from which there is no escape.
Although I started out as his lackey, I grew quicklyboth physically and within the hierarchy of his organizationto become his weapon. Not only his muscle, but a tool which has many uses. His most prized possession.
And now here I am at eighteen years of age, long since graduated from errand-boy. I watch the familiar streaks of someone elses blood swirling around yet another porcelain sink. Someone who also made a deal with the devil but didnt deliver on his end.
I always deliver.
After drying my hands, I curl my fingers over the lip of the sink and place my palms flat on the cool ceramic surface, silently watching the reflection in the mirror. Cold, dead eyes stare back at me. Not a spark of life left in them.
Not anymore.
In fact, the only bit of humanity I permit myself is that of Spencer Locke. Shes the one thing, the one person whose mere presence provides some sort of sense of relief from the constant feeling of asphyxiation that encompasses me. 
She is my reprieve.
My air.
Spencer Locke is the one slice of happy I have in this shit pie I call life. Darius Roe is a ruthless motherfucker.
The two will never cross paths.
I would, with absolutely no hesitation, lay down my life to make sure that never happens. Spencers safety has been and will always be my concernno, my priority. And in order to assure that safety remains, she must never know the real me. The cold, calculated, hardened criminal that I am. She will only know the Dalton Greer I permit her to know.
Just like everyone else that I come into contact with.
To Rat, I’m the entertaining best friend. To Spencer, I’m the overprotective big brother. And to Darius, I’m the lethal weapon. 
None of them truly know me.
Because the truth is, theres nothing more frightening in my world than those who know youwho really know you. The ones who know your deepest, darkest secrets. The ones who know what youre going to do before you do it. The ones who know not only what buttons to push when they seek your attention, but also the ones that can be used to completely incapacitate you.
They can be your strength.
But they can also be your weakness. 
And just as a chameleon changes color to blend for protection, I’ve learned to evolve into the person I need to be in order to survive the situation at hand, all while keeping people at arm’s length.
Yet sometimes I cant help but wonder what my true colors would have been had I not been subjected to this life. I question what it would be like to just let someone in, to tell them all of your unforgivable truths and discover they still love you in return.
I find myself utterly fascinated, awe-struck even, that there are people actually capable of truly loving someone without wondering when and how they will be betrayed. However, the knowledge of their existence also saddens me because the cold reality is, I will never know that type of love. I will never know the freedom to just be with someone, without pretense or fabrication, without the endless lies and untruths.
Maybe that’s why I keep holding onto Spencer when I know I shouldn’t. When all my instincts scream for me to let her go, to cut those ties and just let her be.
I cant.
I’m too selfish.
Therefore, I will plaster on my over-protective, big-brother face so that I can see her again, just to get my fix on the relief she provides. And in turn, I will continue the lies.
I will continue telling myself the only reason I insist on my frequent visitation is because I want to see to her protection.
I will continue convincing myself the things I say to her are merely pretenses which accompany my façade.
But in this rare moment, I will also concede that like a moth to a flame, I’m drawn to her.
To her innocence.
To her kindness.
To her ability to love…
To all the things I wish I was capable of but have sacrificed in order to survive.
Because just seeing her demonstrate those capabilities with me and willingly share them with others, the knowledge that the ability to do so actually exists in a world outside of mine somehow frees meno matter how temporarilyfrom the chains that bind me here, in this suffocating place.
Yes, Spencer Locke is indeed my air.
I just hope the immorality I’ve chosen to bury deep within my soul doesn’t one day pollute her very essence.








Make sure to sign-up HERE for L. B Simmons newsletter for exclusive teasers. 



L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science.  She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years.  She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.








Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cover Reveal, Excerpt, and Giveaway: THE MAGNOLIA AFFAIR by TA Foster

Today we’re having the cover reveal for The Magnolia Affair by TA Foster!! Check out this sexy new romantic thriller, and be sure to enter T.A.’s giveaway!!
  Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00033] 
 Title: The Magnolia Affair 
 Author: TA Foster 
 Genre: Romantic Thriller 
 Release Day: May 21st 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00033]
    About The Magnolia Affair: Audrey Kingston has the perfect life she always wanted. An adoring husband, a beautiful house, book club nights with friends. It was idyllic. It was serene. Until Paxton Tanner, candidate for state senator, moved in next door. Seduced by his undeniable charm, Audrey’s life becomes unrecognizable as she gives in to her impulses. The affair becomes deadly, and she gets tossed into a political scandal that leads all the way to the governor’s office. When love becomes lethal, there’s only one way out.   Goodreads          

   



A Magnolia taken in the afternoon sun in Summerville SC
    Exclusive Excerpt: I am having an affair. I know what you’re thinking. There has to be a reason. There needs to be a reason. Something acceptable like after five years of marriage I had spent too many nights alone with a glass of wine. Or when my workaholic husband was home we slept back to back, as if he had forgotten how to touch me. You would understand that. You’d probably pity me and say, “Bless her heart. How could a husband treat his wife that way? What else could you do?” You’d want me to tell you that the only thing we exchanged was conversations about the weather and updates on what needed to be added to the grocery list. It would probably calm the judgment bubbling to the surface if I described how we ate dinner in front of the television, commenting occasionally on a drastic cliffhanger to be continued next week. You’d give me a look of pity if I told you he stopped noticing when I got my hair cut or if I walked into the room in a new dress. The story would start to come together in your mind if I painted a picture of how we went to bed at separate times out of habit, forgetting that we once scheduled everything around the other. You could see it happening. You would almost feel it slipping away like water through your fingertips. It might create doubt about your own marriage, even though you’d shake your head, knowing that couldn’t happen to you. Little pieces of your own truth filtering in between the images you have of us. It wasn’t my fault. That’s what you’d tell yourself. You’d probably want to hug me and console me with soothing words, “It’s understandable. No one can blame you.” But I have a confession. Something you won’t want to hear. Words that will haunt you more than the excuses. None of it is true. My husband didn’t do those things. There isn’t a single thing that led me to another man. I am having an affair for the worst possible reason. Because I can.          




  About T.A. Foster: T.A. Foster grew up catching rays and waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her husband, three children and canine kiddo. She has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Happy Release Day: The Consequence of Loving Colton - by Rachel Van Dyken


It’s all fun and games…until someone’s heart is broken.

They’re not kids anymore, but Milo Caro is certain that Colton Mathews will only see her as his best friend’s little sister for the rest of their lives. After all, he made that clear the night before she left for college. But four years later, her brother is getting married and Colt’s the best man—and guess who is the best man’s last-minute date?

Milo vows to use the wedding to either claim the smoldering firefighter’s heart or douse this torch for good. When Max—her best friend from college, who may be carrying a torch of his own—crashes the party, they devise a plan to make Colt see what he’s missing. But after Colt catches on, he decides to cook up his own revenge.


Now it’s personal. Colt and Milo are at war, and between Max’s questionable acting methods, an unfortunate trip to jail, and a maniacal fiancée, what could possibly go right?





 “What the hell is wrong with you?” Max gave me a tender shove. “We were fine until you started stepping on my foot and elbowing me!”
“You were hitting on my mom!”
“She’s a beautiful lady!” he argued.
“Oh, my gosh.” I fell into one of the chairs and moaned. “This is a catastrophe.”
“Not true.” Max shook his head. “You just have to be more believable. I mean, would it kill you to find me screw-worthy?”
“Screw-worthy? What does that even mean?”
“That’s it.” Max grabbed my hand and pulled me down the hall. “Where’s the bathroom?”
“Uh . . .” I pointed.
With a jerk he had me in the bathroom under the stairs and closed the door. Words and sounds were coming out of his mouth but I couldn’t make anything out. Max pushed me against the door and pointed his finger in my face. “I’m going to kiss you, damn it, and you’re going to like it. And I’m going to take off my shirt and you’re going to manhandle me, and you’re going to stop being so damn nervous or so help me God I’m going to bend you over that sofa in the living room and spank your sexy ass.”
Shocked, I was paralyzed in place. “Where did that come from?”
“Inside.” Max looked at me and smirked. “I have lots of feelings and I’m sick and tired of you looking at me like I don’t have a penis. I may be used to your innocence but for my own pride at least try to be attracted to me. Now close your damn eyes.”
“Stop cursing at me.”
“Stop being difficult! I’m trying to help you. And stop squirming. Shit, take a Xanax or something.”
“Max.” I closed my eyes and huffed. “This isn’t going to—”
My hand was on something hard.
I blinked my eyes open.
Since when did he have a six-pack?
I tilted my head, you know, to get a better look. His skin was really smooth but bumpy, each muscle defined so much that there was enough of a ridge for my hands to play with.
“Oh, look, he’s a man after all,” Max said, sounding bored. “I’m not your sexless friend. I’m not your damn brother. I’m not your gay friend. And I sure as hell am not thinking about anything right now except that your hands feel really good against my skin. So I’m going to kiss you, and you’re going to respond like the idea of my mouth on yours doesn’t make you want to cry—and you’ll like it.”
“I’ll like it,” I repeated.
“There’s my girl.” His eyes flashed, and then he was kissing me again, only this time his body was on fire as it pressed against me. I felt every ridge of his abs; the length of his body was beyond devastating.





Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.


She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at 
www.rachelvandykenauthor.com











Release Day Excerpt and Giveaway: ASA by Jay Crownover

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Holy smokes!! We are so excited to bring you the Release Week Blitz for Jay Crownover's ASA! ASA is a New Adult Contemporary Romance novel being published by HarperCollins, and it is the 6th book in The Marked Men Series. We sure hope you're ready for this amazing book!

  ASA

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo ** IndieBound ** Other

About ASA:

Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

 


  EXCERPT: 

Asa Teaser 2
I pulled the Nova to a stop in front of a duplex that had clearly seen better days. It wasn’t a rusted-out trailer in Kentucky, but it might as well have been. I turned off the ignition and sat back in the seat so I could turn to look at Ayden. She was watching me carefully and I could see how frustrated she was with the entire conversation in the way her shoulders were tensed up and the way her hands had curled into tight balls on her lap. It was the way she used to look whenever I got into trouble and she had to do something desperate and drastic to get me out of it. I reached out a hand and put it on top of her fists.

“I died in that hospital, Ayd. There were no angels playing harps. There was no redemption and repentance. I died and it was very clear that I was going to get exactly the kind of fate I had been courting with all the messed-up shit I had been doing to other people. All I could see was every wrong I had ever committed and every bad decision I had ever made exploding all around me. For once I could see how all of that affected you. I was dying, and I knew what was waiting for me on the other side, yet I couldn’t go knowing that was all you were going to have to remember me by. I had to come back and give you something else to hold on to, some kind of good memory to go with the endless miles of bad I laid at your feet. I wanted to have the chance to show you I could be the kind of brother you deserved all along, so no, I didn’t save myself—you saved me. Just like you’ve always done for my entire life.”
I saw her bottom lip tremble until she snapped her teeth around it to keep it still. Her fists unclenched below my palm and she curled her shaking fingers around my hand and her already husky voice rasped with even more emotion when she told me what I think I had needed to hear from her all along.
“I have always been proud that you’re my brother, Asa. Yes, there have been times in the past I would have gladly fed you to the wolves, and it’s no secret that I had to leave home because I didn’t know what to do to help you anymore, but we both made it out alive and are better people for it. I know you’re sorry for the way things went down when we were younger, but I need you to open your eyes and take some credit for the way you have turned it around to make things the way they are now. I’ve long since come to terms with the Asa from my childhood. What I want to do is love the Asa that’s here with me now. You need to let go of those boulders weighted with all the bad things from past that are dragging you down before you get crushed under them.”
It was eerily similar to what Royal had been telling me the deeper and deeper I sank in with her. I don’t think I was ready to let any part of those stones go just yet, but a sexy redhead was slowly and surely eroding bits and pieces of the rock the more and more time I spent with her. By the time she was done, maybe she would be able to carve out something that was worthwhile, something that didn’t eviscerate me to look at.
I leaned over enough that I could kiss Ayden right on the center of her forehead between her midnight eyebrows and I felt her let out a shuddering sigh.
“I’m never going to let you down again, Ayd. That is the one and only thing in the entire world that I can promise and know it’s a promise I will keep.”
We stared at each other for a long and silent moment. The seriousness of the words I had said to her and the fact that I could see that she understood that I really, truly meant them finally worked to absolve me of some of the guilt that seemed to suffocate me whenever I thought about the things she had done to keep me safe. 
Passionate lovers are having sex in the bathroom


And don’t miss the previous books in The Marked Men Series!

 
Rule

RULE

 
Jet

JET

 
Rome

ROME

 
Nash

NASH

 
Rowdy

ROWDY

 

Jay Crownover
About Jay Crownover: Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She will also be introducing the dark and sexy world of The Point in a new series this summer starting with Better When He’s Bad. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.         

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

ASA Goodreads ** Jay Crownover Goodreads

 



Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Release Day: The Phoenix Campaign by Heidi Joy + GIVEAWAY

Today we have the release day launch of Heidi Joy Tretheway’s The Phoenix Campaign! To celebrate the release, Heidi is sharing with us a behind the scenes look at the photo shoot and creation of her sexy covers, as well as a fantastic giveaway!! Be sure to check it all out!!

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The Phoenix Campaign: Ambition. Lust. Sacrifice. Politics just got a whole lot sexier. 
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Grace Colton’s life is a blur—security, appearances, and a desperately fast ramp-up to Election Day. Political consultant Jared Rankin is pulling the strings to win the White House with the Conover-Colton ticket. But the fragile relationship Grace and Jared forged could be ruined by secrets traded for political leverage. She’s hiding her new relationship with Jared from the public, and concealing a deeper secret from everyone. When Grace reveals the explosive truth to her running mate, squeaky-clean Senator Conover must confront his own haunted past. Grace’s future—and their campaign—could be ruined by the lies meant to protect what they love most. Peek behind the curtain and under the covers in this sexy political drama that exposes the true cost of ambition, lust and sacrifice. 

The Phoenix Campaign is an erotic romance set in the world of presidential election politics. Recommended for mature readers due to sharp dialogue, wickedly hot sex, and a few delicious taboos. This full-length novel is second in a series but can be read as a standalone. 
  Amazon | iBooks | BN | Kobo 

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 The Phoenix Candidate: 
  Amazon | iBooks | BN | Kobo 

RELEASE DAY EXCLUSIVE:

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Behind the scenes at a sexy photo shoot !

 Have you ever seen a book cover and thought, huh, I think I’ve read that before? Maybe you’re just seeing the same stock photo. It’s no secret in author circles that the best stock photos make the rounds … a lot. That’s why I decided to do a custom photo shoot. Thanks to my massively talented friend Adrian Hale, a hair and makeup artist who works with photographer Josh Baker of AzulOx Photography, we arranged a shoot featuring the gorgeous Callisto and David:

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The setup: Adrian’s house. The girl let us totally mess up the place, bless her heart.

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While David and Callisto were total pros, I was in the corner accidentally making inappropriate comments (oohs and aahs and that’s hot and I’m going to need a moment alone). We saw the shots pop up on a tablet in real time. In most cases, the last shot was the best. Josh said, “I know when we’ve got it right. That’s when we stop shooting.”

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  We took inspiration from Pinterest and from the idea of a push-pull dynamic in Grace and Jared’s relationship throughout the series. The models were actually pushing and pulling on each other during the shoot, which makes their muscles flex and makes the pose more dynamic. My favorite shot is pure improv. She’s a trained ballerina and he’s an acrobat, so they know how to move their bodies in amazingly beautiful ways. Callisto was imitating Kate Winslet’s moment on the bow of the Titanic, played by David.








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They were preparing for a pose like this. What a difference lighting and perspective makes (comparing my shot from the side vs. Josh’s professionally lit photo, shown here on his camera).

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Now for the hard part: choosing a favorite image. I loved this photo for David’s amazing abs in this pic, but some readers felt that it didn’t show enough connection for the characters. TPC 2.9 
 In the end, I chose the photos that felt right. Here’s the before and after for The Phoenix Candidate, the first book in the series: 
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 And here’s the before-and-after for The Phoenix Campaign, book 2 in the series: TPC1 

 I hope you enjoy the series!       


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Heidi Joy is a sucker for campfires, craft cocktails, and steamy romance in books and real life. She sings along with musicals (badly), craves French carbs, and buys plane tickets the way some women buy shoes. Her first career as a journalist took Heidi behind the scenes with politicians, rock stars, chefs, and detectives, all of whom inspire her stories. Heidi Joy is currently working on her eighth book from her home in Portland, Oregon. She adores hearing from readers at author.heidi@gmail.com.


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      Enter Heidi's giveaway!!  

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