Category Archives: contemporary

Review – Summer’s Lease – Carrie Elks

Synopsis:

Meet the Shakespeare family: four sisters, four stories . . . four ways to find true love

Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. Six years after the play she wrote bombed at the box office, she’s unable to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and worst of all her family have no idea how far she’s fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her the use of his friend’s Italian villa for the summer, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That’s before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.

When Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton sees his name splashed across a gossip rag, all he wants to do is hide. That’s how he finds himself traveling to Italy, deciding to spend the summer in his family’s empty villa on Lake Como. Except when he arrives it isn’t as empty as he’d hoped.

Over the course of the hot Italian summer, Cesca and Sam have to come to terms with their pasts. What begins as a tentative friendship quickly grows into an intense attraction – and then a scorching fling. But they can’t hide from reality forever . . . as their different worlds collide, Sam and Cesca face a choice: is this just a summer romance, or could their love weather even the coldest winds?

A brand new series from the bestselling author of Fix You and the Love in London series.

 

 

Review:

 

I ADORE Carrie Elks’ books. They’re feel good, easy reads that make you care about the characters. Her writing style is very fluid and whisks you away into the lives of imaginary people.

Summer’s Lease is no different. I honestly felt so much pity and sorrow for Cesca in the beginning, I wanted her to succeed, to get a happy ever after.

When she goes to Italy, through the descriptions, I felt as if I was there beside her, breathing in the fresh air of Lake Como and soaking in the rays of the sun.

Cesca is stuck in a rut. She bounces from job to job, and can barely afford to pay her rent. All because of one person – that’s how she sees it anyway. She goes to Italy to not only make some money without having to worry about all her other bills, but also to remind herself who she is and what she wants out of life.

It’s all going well until Sam Carlton turns up, hiding from the trappings of fame, fortune, and Hollywood.

Told through a dual POV, I never once got confused between the character’s voices, and all included are well rounded, individual, and realistic. They were’nt perfect and had flaws like everyone. They were relateable and had me rooting for them – except Foster. I didn’t root for him in any way, shape, or form. But I won’t say any more about that. You need to read the book!

As enemies to lovers books go, this is one of the best I have read. A mixture of soft scenes, steamy scenes, and angsty drama, it’s got everything.

I can’t wait to read the rest in the series.

 

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Filed under British, contemporary, Favourites, Promo, Review, Romance, Series, Upcoming Release

Release day – Girls and Boys – M. B. Feeney

It’s LIVE!!!

 

 

 

Girls and Boys, the 90s based coming of age New Adult novel by M. B. Feeney is now live on Amazon and in KU.

 

Grab your copy now!

 

 

 

 

Jack Robinson and Andy Stone are best friends, navigating their way through life in 90s London with a soundtrack of Britpop. Jack’s in his final year at university and still has no idea about what he wants to do with his life, while Andy’s a mechanic by day, a bit of a man-whore the rest of the time.

Adapting to a new place to live in a big city isn’t easy, especially when girls, alcohol, and hard work get in the way, but having your best friend with you every step of the way makes it that much easier… well, when you’re not ignoring each other.

Filled with laughter and heartache, Jack and Andy’s story is for everyone. A hint of romance, a solid friendship, and plenty of stupid mistakes. But, will they learn from them?

 

Check out the Britpop playlist on Spotify

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Filed under Book Blitz, British, contemporary, NA, New Release, Promo, Release Day, Romance

Review – Lives Collide – Kristina Beck

Synopsis:

You can plan your life, but sometimes life has a mind of its own…

Following Lisa’s near-death experience as a teenager, she is haunted by the emerald-green eyes of the stranger who saved her life. Her only connection to him is the leather jacket he left behind. Years later, she’s still reeling from the aftereffects of her injuries, convinced that no man will love her once he uncovers her secret. She lives a life of solitude and hides behind her days of monotony. And then James storms into her life.

After James helps a young girl in a car accident, he sets his life course—determined that nothing will stand in his way. Once he accomplishes his dreams, one unforeseen event changes his orderly existence into one of chaos. He spirals downward and can’t summon the strength to pull himself from the edge of despair. Until Lisa becomes a beautiful distraction.

Familiarity and a sense of peace draw them to one another. They soon discover they lived parallel lives that intertwined at the most crucial points. Can their revelations help them face their fears and move forward, or will history repeat itself?

Review:

 

3.5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

The entire idea of this book is wonderful. I absolutely loved the idea of two people fated to meet and be together, and Lives Collide didn’t disappoint in that respect.

I must admit, I wasn’t keen on the 1st person narrative. At times it was a little jarring to read, and both characters had a lot of internal thoughts and worries. Sometimes, these came across as a little juvenile for their ages, but on the whole I enjoyed reading their thought processes.

While I devoured this story in pretty much one sitting – kudos to Beck for keeping me turning pages, needing to know what happens next, the writing style felt a little off. I think it was because of the slight immaturity at times of both Lisa and James. I can’t put my finger on what exactly bugged me, but it was there.

I will read more of this series as I loved and cared about all of the characters who were all very well rounded and never blurred into one another. Each character had their own personality, and apart from Bryant, I wanted to see them all get their happy endings.

If you’re after an easy read that deals with sensitive issues in a wonderful and delicate way, then I do recommend Lives Collide.

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Review – Mind Guerilla – Martin Tracey

Synopsis:

When a high-end escort is discovered murdered in her plush waterside apartment, so begins the hunt for a serial killer known as The Crucifier due to the unusual slaying and positioning of his victims.
In parallel there remains the need to locate a dangerous and elusive doomsday cult.

DCI William Chamberlain and DI Judd Stone have an acute thirst for justice on both accounts.

Stone is an ex-football hooligan turned cop. Riddled with guilt and anger, he is used to getting results – albeit somewhat unconventionally.

Chamberlain suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, but curiously, as his health deteriorates, his ability to perform acts of telekinesis increases. When faced with life or death, Chamberlain progresses from manipulating physical matter to controlling minds and sets in motion a dramatic chain of events. But why do things spiral out of control, placing an unknown high-profile target in danger?

Assistance comes from the most unlikely of sources but who is also working against the wheels of justice?

And just what is the connection between The Crucifier, the cult and the high-profile target?

With Spaghetti Western overtones, the chase from Liverpool to London and through both Birmingham UK and Alabama, finds both detectives having to confront their darkest demons in pursuit of the sweet taste of revenge.

 

Review:

3.5 stars

This is an excellently written crime novel, but for me it was a little too over detailed (police procedure, so that was expected to a certain degree) and some points are explained more than once.

My main issue is that there are too many story arcs happening within the novel. We have the serial killer, a cult, and then the story with Marlon Howell. I understand why all are included, but at times the book felt a little too cluttered.

The characterisation is excellent and although there’s a large cast, I never once got any of them confused with one another. This is a testament to Tracey’s writing ability and I will certainly read more books by this author.

This injection of paranormal felt a little displaced for me, and I often found it jarring to read. However, all loose ends were tied up very well at the end of the book.

It was an excellent read, but at just over 500 pages, it felt like, at times, I had been reading for forever. Yet, I never once wanted to put it to one side. It was just a little too ‘busy’ to be able to read in one or two sittings.

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Filed under British, contemporary, Detective, Mystery, Paranormal, Review, Suspense

Cover reveal – Girls and Boys – M. B. Feeney

 

Jack Robinson and Andy Stone are best friends, navigating their way through life in 90s London with a soundtrack of Britpop. Jack’s in his final year at university and still has no idea about what he wants to do with his life, while Andy’s a mechanic by day, a bit of a man-whore the rest of the time.

Adapting to a new place to live in a big city isn’t easy, especially when girls, alcohol, and hard work get in the way, but having your best friend with you every step of the way makes it that much easier… well, when you’re not ignoring each other.

Filled with laughter and heartache, Jack and Andy’s story is for everyone. A hint of romance, a solid friendship, and plenty of stupid mistakes. But, will they learn from them?

 

 

Designed by The Graphics Shed

Add to your Goodreads TBR list now!

Release Date:

4 July 2017 – Amazon/KU only for a while

Pre Order will be going live soon

 

 

 

 

Arriving at my parking space, I stopped short when I saw my car. It was absolutely trashed; glass littered the ground around me from the shattered windows and the bricks that held it up off the ground seemed to mock me with their newness. It started to rain, lightly.

“Absolutely…  Unfucking…  Believable.” My words came out through clenched teeth as I once again rooted around in my pockets, this time for change for the phone box I could see across the road. “I can’t believe this,” I grumbled away to myself as I dialled Andy’s work number. “Hey, man, I really need your towing thing,” I said the second he answered.

“It’s called an ‘A frame’, you idiot, and what bit fell off this time, mate?” Andy was laughing at me. He always laughed at me and my car, taking the piss when bits happened to fall off her.

“Nothing fell off, you prick? Someone killed my car. They actually killed her, wheels and all! Can you come rescue what’s left of her?” I told him where I was, put the phone down to end the call, and walked back over to my car.

Despite the cold and wet, I sat on the damp curb; my parka coat pulled under my backside, and looked at my beat up old car. It wasn’t much, just a mangy old Ford Capri, but she was mine.The shitty stereo chewed up more tapes than it played and the seats weren’t too comfortable, but it was my car, my pride and joy. I just hoped Andy would be able to work his mechanical magic. Hearing a rumble, I turned to see the man himself turn the corner in his large 4×4. It was just as old as my car, but built like a damn tank.

“Fucking hell, Jack, that car has been well and truly violated, mate. I feel for you.” He clapped his huge hand down onto my shoulder. I cringed as pain radiated across my back. Andy was enormous, both in height and build. I was considered tall, at six feet one, but he dwarfed me. His work as a mechanic, coupled with his gym sessions created muscles out of his muscles, something he was quick to use to his advantage when chatting up the ladies, one of his favourite pastimes. Coupled with his dark hair, olive skin, and brown eyes, all the girl fell at his feet. Some even came back for seconds.

“Will you be able-,” His eyes were roaming against every broken, scratched and dented part of my beloved girl.

“I’m insulted, Jack. Once I’m done with her, she’ll be purring.” Andy’s shit eating grin was wide. As usual, he managed to make a simple sentence sound sexual.

“Let’s get started, but I can tell you now, this won’t be cheap, mate. You sure you’re up for it? It might just be worth finally weighing it in for scrap and getting something else.”

I just glared at him as we hooked the car up to the towing frame and headed back to the garage.

“Okay, maybe not then.”

 

Check out the playlist for the book on Spotify

 

 

 

 

 

M. B. Feeney is an army brat who finally settled down in Birmingham, UK with her other half, two kids and a dog. She often procrastinates by listening to music of all genres and trying to get ‘just one more paragraph’ written on whichever WIP is open; she is also a serious doodler and chocoholic. Writing has been her one true love ever since she could spell, and publishing is the final culmination of her hard work and ambition.

Her publishing career began with two novellas, and she currently has multiple projects under way, in the hopes that her portfolio of what have been described as “everyday love stories for everyday people” will continue to grow. Always having something on the go can often lead to block which eventually gets dissolved by good music and an even better book.

Her main reason for writing is to not only give her readers enjoyment, but also to create a story and characters that stay with readers long after the book is finished, and possibly make someone stop and think “what if . . . ”

 

 

 

Links:

Find M. B. Feeney at the following . . .

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mbfeeneyauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mbfeeneyauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6578767.M_B_Feeney
Amazon: http://viewauthor.at/MBFeeney
Blog: https://mbfeeney.wordpress.com/
Tumblr: http://mbfeeneyauthor.tumblr.com/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/MBFeeney

 

 

 

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Release Blast & Giveaway – Food & Romance Go Together: Vol 1 – Various Authors

FOOD & ROMANCE GO TOGETHER
VOL 1: AN ANTHOLOGY



Genre: Romance, short stories
6 short, sweet stories perfectly pairing food and romance. Each include a yummy recipe.
Pumpkin Blossoms by Sue Stewart Ade
Jillian yearns for love and falls for a dog and her sister’s former boyfriend. But the dog bolts and the boyfriend seems to still have feelings for her sister. Can she find love with a man who can’t see who she really is?
Coffee Cake Chaos by Ryan Jo Summers
Avianna Goodman needs cash. That’s why she agreed to cater her ex-boyfriend’s engagement party. Seeing Sawyer again confirms Avianna still isn’t over him. The biggest mistake Sawyer Steele ever did was walk away from the one girl he was crazy about. Now Avianna’s back in his life–and he can’t have her.
Apple Pie Delight by Sonja Gunter
Lost loves reunite after forty years of deceptions. Can a Sun-Kissed Apple Pie bring Toril Swanson and Erik Sutton together again?
Peanut Butter Kisses by Jody Vitek
Beth Canton attends her ten-year class reunion to catch a glimpse of her long-time, school-girl crush, Hank McGrath, but doesn’t hope or even dream of anything more. She leaves with more than a glimpse, while Hank can’t get enough of her peanut butter kisses.
Boston Crème Breakdown by Randi Perrin
Kestin just wants to return to life as normal after returning home from the war, but there’s no way his life will be the same again. Looking for easy money to make bills, he stumbles over an ad to teach perpetually-single Erica to cook, and can’t resist answering it. He never expected to actually get the job—or to be attracted to her.
The Chocolate Queen by April & Holly Marcom
In a world sprinkled with superheroes, you never know when the person beside you is one of these few elite. When Clarissa begins to fall for a guy who harbors a super secret, it feels like she’s not good enough. But he may just help her discover a super sweet secret of her own.

From “Coffeecake Chaos” by Ryan Jo Summers


Sawyer blinked, drawing back. “What makes you think you didn’t get the catering job?”
“Isn’t that what you came here to tell me? Why you went to such extremes to find me to deliver your mother’s decision in person? She gave the job to another caterer.” She knew her voice was rising but she didn’t care. “I wasn’t good enough back then to date you and I’m not good enough now to cater your party.” She crossed her arms over her chest, ending with a sigh.
Sawyer held out his hands to her. “Wait a minute. Back up a second, Aviana.”
“Why did you come here?” Never in her wildest dreams did she think she would ever ask such a question of him, like this, but her pride demanded it.
He lowered his hands. “To tell you that you’re hired. You have the catering job.”
She blinked. “I do?”
“Yes, you can get that roof for your aunt and uncle now.”
“Your mother picked me to cater your event?”
He nodded. “With some heavy prompting from me. It’s my celebration after all. I think the coffee cake was a strong convincer.”
Aviana could only imagine how that conversation had gone between them. She had the job? “At my asking price?”
“Of course.”
“So why didn’t she just call me with her decision? Like she said she would?”
Sawyer leaned back, head tilted to one side. “Aren’t you glad to see me? Or did the light dancing in your eyes when we met yesterday lie?”
Her eyes danced?
“Even now, upset with me as you are, your face tells me you still yearn for me .Does your face lie to me?”
“No, but what does it matter? How can you want me and still pledge yourself to another? It isn’t fair to any of us.”
He scrubbed his face and then pulled her to him. “Aviana, I need to know. Do you love me?”
“Yes, I do.” The admission tumbled out before she could reconsider.
He exhaled a heavy sigh. “Good.” He wrapped his hand behind her neck and drew her close, kissing her.
He tasted of fresh mint and cinnamon. He felt solid and warm. Her fingers reached out to explore, lifting his sweater and going under it to find the matured, toned muscles.
His fingers twined in her hair. Bolts of white heat rippled over her and a moan escaped her. Her eyes slid closed as his fingertips moved to slowly drag along her back.
Pulling breathlessly apart, she gasped for air. “Wow.” She ran her tongue over her lips. He’d grown into a great kisser.
“You taste like chocolate.”
She smiled. “Guilty pleasure.” She was pleased he was just as winded as her. It felt just like when they had made out years ago.
Then that contemplative, serious look returned to his eyes, sobering her. “Do you trust me? Completely?”

 

 

RYAN JO SUMMERS I was born in Michigan and grew up surrounded by books, pretty much all piled and stacked in my room. I had bookshelves to hold them since I could remember. Christmas and birthdays were easy, just buy me books.
My tastes in subject matter and genres grew as I matured.
It seemed only natural to write as well as read. The first book I wrote was at age ten and was about a twelve page story that I also illustrated and stapled together into book format. I was so proud! If only I still had that about somewhere.
Since then, I never stopped writing. Some articles made it into magazines, some stories made honorable mention in contests, my journal has grown thicker. Writing poetry also serves as therapy to life’s hurts, a trait apparently inherited from my dad’s aunt. Writers, poets and songwriters run through my lineage. I guess you could say I come from a line of wordsmiths.
In 2012, selling “Whispers in her Heart” for publication has been not only a dream come true of becoming a novelist, but also a pinnacle of thirty odd years of writing. With each new story, novel or novella that comes out, I grow as a writer and take another step on this incredible journey called life.
SUE STEWART-ADE lives in Pana, Illinois, with her husband, Larry. When Sue was growing up, she lived right across the street from one of the greenhouses which made Pana famous as the City of Roses. Her grandfather worked in the coal mines. Some of her memories are as beautiful as Pana’s prized roses; others are as dark as the coal mined beneath the town. She chose to include her maiden name “Stewart” because she never wanted to forget where she came from and the people who helped her.
For thirty years Sue taught English in Pana and presently teaches for Lake Land College.
Her favorite part of teaching has always been creative writing. She loves words, their passion and their healing power.
In her writing, Sue explores mother/daughter relationship and has worked with Hope Edelman author of MOTHERLESS DAUGHTERS.
Her book FRIENDS FOREVER is a suspenseful read about friendships and mothers. How far will a mother and friend go to protect a child?
Born and raised in Minnesota, JODY VITEK has remained close to home. She has traveled throughout the United States and to the Bahamas. Although her family never moved during her childhood, she attended six different schools and made many friends over the years.
Growing up, Jody enjoyed reading V.C. Andrews’ the Dollanganger series, starting with Flowers in the Attic, S.E. Hinton, and Stephen King to name a few. As an adult her author’s list and choice in genres has broadened. You could say Nora Roberts has been her favorite romance author. Jody has shelves of books read, yet to be read, and those she plans to keep.
After graduating high school, unsure of what she wanted to do, Jody decided against going to college and became a nanny. During her two years of caring for the two children, Jody was fortunate enough to travel with the family across country to Montana to a guest ranch and another vacation to Cancun, Mexico.
Jody met her future husband before she was to leave the state for another job. Unable to move away, she contacted and informed the employer of her decision. Three months later Jody was engaged. A year later she became Mrs. Jody Vitek. They have survived over twenty years of marriage and plan on spending many more together.
Jody and her real-life law enforcement hero have been lucky enough to travel to the Bahamas, Florida, and drove through many states on their way to Quantico, Virgina. Most recently they took their three children on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas.
If there is one thing Jody has learned during her lifetime – there is a higher power and the higher power has plans for us we don’t even know about.
As a full-time administrative assistant, mother of one (two if you want to include her hero) and another child on the way, Jody never dreamed she would be a writer. She was going back to work after the birth of their second child. She returned for only six months before leaving to become a stay at home mother.
Jody began writing her first manuscript, which is now filed away in a box, and has started others only to be shelved for another writing project. Jody wouldn’t have the opportunity to write if she were still a working mother (the higher power).
After being home for four years, Jody and her family were blessed with a higher power miracle. Another child was on the way. A four-year post-vasectomy baby! Imagine their surprise.
Writing was postponed for a year and was slow to pick back up. Now back in the chair with fingers tapping on the keyboard, Jody is moving full steam ahead in her writing career.
RANDI PERRIN has spent her entire life writing in one form or another. In fact, if she wasn’t writing, she’d likely go completely and utterly insane. Her husband has learned to recognize when the voices are talking in her head and she needs some quality time with an empty Word file (the key to a successful marriage with a writer).
A pop-culture junkie, she has been known to have entire conversations in movie quotes and/or song lyrics. (You’ll see this come up in her writing as well.)
She is the author of Virtue of Death, Promises of Virtue, Wreck You, and a story included in the anthology Unintentional.
SONJA GUNTER Born and raised in the cold and beautiful Minnesota, she escaped to Illinois for seventeen years to raise two boys, and now calls Florida home. She and her husband, whose always her hero, have a new family to worry about; Cookie, an Assui-Po dog, Oreo, a black and white cat who thinks he is a dog, and Chip, a ragdoll cat, who their sons compare to Eeyore.
She loves to travel, read, and bowl. You can catch her writing her next novel at the lanes.
Sonja encourages you to check out her web site, sonjagunter.com, for more into and don’t be surprised if she lets her Norwegian heritage come through in her stories. You betcha!
During the day, APRIL MARCOM works as a substitute teacher for grades K-12. But in the evening, the alluring world of romance takes over as she pours it out on paper. Her favorite thing to do, though, is to spend time with her sports-car-loving husband and three incredibly energetic children. She also loves chocolate, her five very rowdy dogs, and livin’ the simple life out in the country. April grew up a southern bell in Mississippi, but is now a proud Oklahoman.

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Filed under Book Blitz, Boxset, Compilation, contemporary, excerpts, giveaway, New Release, Novella, Promo, Romance, Short Story

Review – Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

Summary:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

 

29844228

Review:

 

 

This is a book that will stay with me for a long time, yet I didn’t love it.

I’d been meaning to read this book for a long time, but just never got round to it, then the show came on netflix.

The show broke me. As a parent, I am petrified of my kids (one of whom is 12 and in secondary school) not being open and honest with me about both the good and bad things in their lives. How can I help them if I don’t know what’s happening? In the show, Hannah’s parents (and Clay’s to a certain extent) are completely oblivious to what is going on with their kids beyond the small snippets they are fed, so Hannah’s suicide is a huge shock for all of them.

Watching Clay listen to the taps and slowly begin to lose his mind in guilt and uncertainty is heart breaking, almost as much as what Hannah suffered – in a weird way. This is a kid who never really did anything to anyone, got along with most people, and seemed to be a pretty likeable guy; yet here he is on a list of people Hannah blames.

In the book, Clay only takes a night to list to the tapes and the reader isn’t privvy to what is happening with parents or the others mentioned on the tapes. If I had read the book before the show, I don’t think that would have bothered me, but having seen how well the show rounded out these other characters mentioned in the book, reading felt a little 2 dimensional to me.

While Asher has dealt with such a touchy subject in a wonderfully sensitive way, he could have easily explored the repercussions more – the way the show did.

There are so many questions left to be answered it may leave the reader frustrated, but isn’t that the case when someone makes the choice of suicide? Aren’t those left behind plagued with questions, even if they know ‘why’?

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Filed under contemporary, Promo, Review, Suspense, YA

Release Tour & Giveaway – Behind the Door – P.C. Zick

 

 

BEHIND THE DOOR

Behind the Love series, book 4
by P.C. Zick

Genre: Contemporary Romance
A VOLUPTUOUS WOMAN UNLUCKY IN LOVE. A WOUNDED PSYCHOLOGIST ON A MISSION. AN UNDENIABLE ATTRACTION WITH AN ETHICAL DILEMMA.
Sally Jean Compton is in love. And this time it’s with a man who isn’t in love with someone else. Dr.Brett Gorman arrives in Victory to help the veterans of Deer River with PTSD symptoms. When tragedy strikes, neither Sally Jean nor Brett are prepared for what happens next.
The shocking aftermath of the terror of PTSD untreated leaves the entire town of Victory reeling. But none are more affected than Sally Jean and Brett who must deal with their own pasts and the trauma left behind. When Sally Jean seeks out the expertise of Dr.Brett, the psychologist of the river folks, they discover an intense attraction that leads them both to learn about themselves.
But before anything happens, Sally Jean must learn she deserves to be loved, and Brett must forgive himself for the death of his friend and his sister, his wife. It’s a rocky journey to love.
Behind the Curtain is the fourth novel in the Behind the Love contemporary romance series that features sizzling attractions, dramatic confrontations, and intertwined and complicated lives. Set in the fictional small town of Victory, Florida, friends fight and love and form families of their own choosing. 

“GET READY, SALLY JEAN.” Lisa looked directly at one of her bridesmaids and held her wedding bouquet aloft. “This one is for you.”
The other single women who had gathered in the large yard on the banks of the river to catch the bride’s bouquet made way for the tall and buxom Sally Jean Compton. None of the other women felt slighted that Lisa had called out Sally Jean. It was her turn.
Her red bridesmaid’s dress, cut in a deep V, showed off her voluptuous body. She’d kicked off her heels, and now she stood barefoot—toenails painted the same red as her dress peeked out from under the hem. Her blonde hair was drawn up with a red ribbon to one side of her head. Curled tendrils framed the small features of her face.
On her best friend’s wedding day, Sally Jean had reached one of the high points of her life. She never had felt so treasured and accepted by everyone, including the women. The small crowd of folks gathered at the groom’s family home cheered when Sally Jean stepped forward. Lisa let go of the bouquet and threw it over her head. The beribboned vessel flew right into Sally Jean’s waiting hands.
“You’re next, Sally Jean,” the bride declared. The other women standing with Sally Jean cheered, and the men clapped Jimmy on the back. Her date beamed at her, and then blew her a kiss.
Today, it all seemed possible, and the black cloud that had hovered over Sally Jean’s head for her entire life lifted. Love had found its way to her heart, and this time it was real. It made all the difference in the world when the love was returned.
Lisa hugged her. “I better be in your wedding.”
“You better be my matron of honor.” Sally Jean returned the embrace with gratitude. “I’m so grateful we’re still friends after all these years.”
“We’ve been through almost everything together.” Lisa held Sally Jean by the arms. “And we survived.”
“Amazingly, we did.”
“You caught the bouquet!” Jimmy came up behind Sally Jean and put his arms around her waist. He kissed her neck. “Everyone says we’re going to be next.”
“Someone has to ask her very sweetly first.” Lisa touched Jimmy’s face. “Now or never, Jimmy. Better get down on your knee.”
Jimmy looked confused for a second before his eyes widened. He grinned and went down on one knee. The folks standing nearby stomped their feet.
He grabbed Sally Jean’s hand. “Would you please do me the honor of becoming my wife?” Sally Jean nodded, and he kissed her hand. “I don’t have a ring yet, but I will. Real soon, real soon.”
Tommy, the groom, walked over and handed Jimmy the garter he’d removed from Lisa’s leg earlier. He had yet to toss it out to the single men in the crowd.
“Here you go, Jimmy,” Tommy said. “We all know I would throw it to you, anyway. Use this as a promise for a ring.”
Jimmy grabbed the garter. “It’s even red. Your favorite color, Sally Jean.”
“It’s a conspiracy,” Tommy said. “You didn’t stand a chance, man.”
“It’s a great conspiracy.” Jimmy stood and kissed Sally Jean on the lips. “You’ve made me a very happy man today.”
“You have no idea what you’ve done for me, James Luther.” Sally Jean’s eyes filled with tears. Maybe for once she’d have what she’d always wanted. Love and a family who cared about one another.

 

 

 

 

BEHIND THE ALTER
Leah Bryant lives a quiet life helping others. When her future mother-in-law, Geraldine, threatens her causes, she’s left confused by the hypocrisy and befuddled by a stranger who roars into town on a Harley.Dean Davis never wanted to return to his hometown. But when his father dies, he knows he must return and faced his mother, Geraldine, and his ugly past. When Leah discovers the stranger is the brother of her fiancé that she’d been told was dead, she’s drawn to him and furious about the deception. Both are bowled over by an intense attraction to one another. The magnetic pull draws them into a passionate embrace within minutes of meeting.
Leah’s controlled life and Dean’s emotional barriers both shatter and force them to examine their lives. Leah must choose between her safe engagement to Dean’s estranged brother, Jacob, and a dangerously passionate affair with Dean. And Dean must confront the demon from his childhood, his mother. Dean’s fear of loving and Leah’s need for security pull them together, rather than apart.
But none of it will matter if they can’t stop Geraldine, an unhinged woman on a destructive course to abolish everyone who opposes her thirst for power. When Dean and Leah, along with Jacob, threaten her, she goes on a rampage to destroy them all.
Behind the Altar is the first novel in the Behind the Love contemporary romance series that features sizzling attractions, dramatic confrontations, and intertwined and complicated lives. Set in the fictional small town of Victory, Florida, friends fight and love and form families of their own choosing.
BEHIND THE BAR
Susie Williams yearns for a romantic wedding with her boyfriend of five years. Reggie Barker runs from demands to marry any woman, including Susie. After the wedding of their best friends, Reggie resists Susie’s hints about marrying. He suggests they take a break. An angry and heartbroken Susie kicks him down the road and into the arms of the voluptuous Sally Jean. After Susie is mugged, she discovers Reggie’s gambling debt brought the thugs to Victory to scare him into paying. With her love for Reggie in doubt, she is tempted by a rich publisher and reconsiders her options. Meanwhile, Reggie starts to realize Susie means more to him than the tavern he owns, more than the gambling he’s hidden, and more than any other woman he knows.
But it all might be too late for Susie, who begins to unravel a mystery from a night long ago when Reggie and all the other characters played a pivotal role in her life. And before Reggie can commit to marriage, he must come to terms with a father who abandoned marriage many years earlier Both Reggie and Susie must learn to trust each other before love can ever survive a second chance.
Behind the Bar is the second novel in the Behind the Love contemporary romance series, but it is also a stand-alone romance. Once you read one novel in this series, you’ll want to learn more about the romances that feature sizzling attractions, dramatic confrontations, and intertwined and complicated lives. Set in the fictional small town of Victory, Florida, friends fight and love and form families of their own choosing.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN

Lisa Williams has discovered a way to achieve her life-long goal of becoming a famous actress by bringing a reality television show to her hometown. Tommy Jackson despises the idea of exploiting the town and hates it even more when his editor assigns him to cover the show for a Tampa newspaper. Lisa and Tommy have known each other all their lives. Tommy even dated her baby sister, Susie back in high school. But he’s not her type, and her values disturb him. Besides, when she returns to town, she comes with her boyfriend, Jet, who will also star in the television show. When Sally Jean makes an appearance on the show, the producer falls in lust with her, and Lisa worries that Sally Jean will be made the star of the show. Tommy is disgusted by Lisa who seems intent on dragging her family and friends through painful memories in her pursuit of stardom.

When Tommy’s mom is diagnosed with cancer, Lisa shows a different side to her character. Sitting with Mrs. Jackson during her final days gives Lisa a perspective on her own life she’s never had before. Tommy and Lisa are drawn to one another through the real-life tragedy unfolding. But first they must deal with an out of control Jet and reality show producer who want to exploit the small town even more as they see the potential of showcasing some of the more famous of Victory’s citizens, such as the fallen football star, the criminal publisher, and a tattoo artist turned farmer. Mrs. Jackson and Lisa’s sister Susie share in the circle of life to bring this dramatic romance to a bittersweet end.
Behind the Curtain is the third novel in the Behind the Love contemporary romance series, but it is also a stand-alone romance. Once you read one novel in this series, you’ll want to learn more about the rest of the romances that feature sizzling attractions, dramatic confrontations, and intertwined and complicated lives. Set in the fictional small town of Victory, Florida, friends fight and love and form families of their own choosing.

Bestselling author P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”
Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love series are also set in Florida. The novels in her most recent series, Smoky Mountain Romances, are set in in Murphy, North Carolina. She is currently working on a new romance series, Rivals in Love. Join the Crandall family of Chicago as the siblings find love despite their focus on successful careers. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.
Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.
You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter by clicking here. For more immediate information, sign up for P.C. Zick’s Lovers of Romantic Tales on Facebook by clicking here.

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Review – The Talisman Chronicles – T. M. Franklin

Summary:

A mysterious house. An old journal. A dusty chest holding more than secrets.

Each talisman found in the chest grants the chosen a gift, a unique ability.But with that power comes a burden–the duty of The Order.

Something is coming.

Something evil.

And it’s up to The Order to stop it.

The Talisman Chronicles – All Six Episodes Available for the First Time in a Single Volume

 

Image result for the talisman chronicles tm franklin

 

Review:

Six short stories, all centred around a house and a mysterious chest. This is T. M. Franklin at her YA Paranormal/romance best!

Window:

I originally read this when it was first released, and this is my review from back then (I will edit at the end)

The touch of paranormal to what is a seemingly normal house makes for an interesting story. Chloe has always been linked to the house and the picture window in the living room. It shows her things. Thinks of the past, the present, and what could be.

Chloe, apart from her gift, is your average teenage girl who isn’t part of the ‘in crowd’ at school, preferring to spend her time with her best friend Miranda. Ethan, the boy who lives across the road whom she has a crush on, used to be their friend, but became big man on campus and decided to hang with the popular crowd. Chloe and Miranda are fine about this, until the house shows Ethan in danger.

What follows is a very sweet story about friendship and caring for others and hilarious Twitter conversations. Without spoiling the story, I will say it took me about an hour to read it and I loved every minute. The characters are likeable and relateable, even with the gift Chloe has, and the reader cares about them just as much as the house does.

I want a house like that, that makes me feel warm and fuzzy

*EDIT*

The way Franklin has extended and adapted this story to make it the beginning of a series is fantastic as she hasn’t lost the soul of the original story. It smoothly leads into the next without any hitches!

Timepiece:

Following on from the first book, Wren is new into town. After Chloe and Miranda become friends with her, and she’s having weird dreams about Chloe’s house, she begins to embrace her destiny – afterall, that is what it is.

By the end of this book, it’s still not completely clear why these things are happening to the teens in their town, but Franklin’s effortless writing style makes you want to keep reading until the very end so you have all the answers.

Gauntlet:

I think Beck, the main in this episode of The Talisman Chronicles, is my favourite character. He’s focussed on doing well at school and with his swimming, but there’s something about him, a serious side that is so endearing. What we don’t know, until this episode, is about his sister, and the crap he and his dad are going through with her and Beck’s mother.

While all that is going on, Beck is brought into the fold with the others and the prophecy. His destiny is explained to him, and it takes him a while to get used to it and his relationship with Wren. He’s a strong character with flaws that make him all the more relateable.

Mantle:

I have to admit. This episode was my last favourite (which I still enjoyed), but I can’t work out why. It still had the action and a lot more resistance from Maia to everything happening. She was the first to not just blindly accept what was happening to them all. I liked that about her as it made it feel that little more realistic, but there was something a little… off about her episode.

While a lot of questions left open by the previous episodes are answered in this book, more are created by the end of it which is frustrating in such a good way!

Shield:

Dylan has been a character readers have met a couple of times due to his knowing Chloe and Miranda at school, and then his dad becoming involved with the Order. When Dylan is given his gift, his dad wants nothing more to do with them, and orders Dylan not to either, but the draw is far too strong, for them both.

Dylan defies his dad and puts himself in danger, but eventually his dad realises he needs to do this, they ALL do.

Prison:

Once again, Chloe is the main in this episode, but by the time this one comes around, we can see how much stress she’s under and how tired she is by everything. All she wants to do is protect Ethan and others not in The Order while The Order prepare for the big fight.

Sadly, it seems that not everyone will survive the battle and this is weighing on Chloe and her friends worry about her.

Are The Order strong enough to band together and do battle?

 

All in all, this series is fabulous, and I couldn’t put it down. Not one episode slowed the flow of the entire story, and there were a couple of moments that shocked me as I hadn’t seen them coming. I’ve miss T. M. Franklin’s writing, and as ever, I need more!

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Filed under Action, contemporary, Favourites, NA, Novella, Paranormal, Promo, Review, Romance, Series, Short Story, Supernatural, YA

Release Blitz – Adamanta Excelsior: Season 1, Episode 3 – T. Y. Carew & Jess Mountfield

 

ADAMANTA

Season 1, Episode 3: Excelsior
by T. Y. Carew & Jess Mountfield

Genre: Science Fiction
Xander’s new mission puts his crew into the path of a Beltine hive ship. No one has survived such an encounter before.
But then, no one else has highly skilled Adamanta-equipped fighters on board, either. Even so, choosing to pick a fight with the Beltine is not a clever idea. Will the humans make it out alive once they enter the lion’s lair?
Join Xander, Mattie and her friends on this fast-paced adventure to find out. 

“Get that door open, now!” Matt launched into action, not waiting for the Beltine to react to her presence. Using four of her swords as deflectors for the laser fire, she charged at the Elite Dairos. Less than a second later, she heard a pulsing alarm start up. There would be no more sneaking aboard this hive.
Two of the Dairos were dead, leaving Matt to fight six more. Thankfully, she’d closed enough of the distance between her and them that they all focused on her, and four of them backed up to try and shelter the other side of the doorway. Laser blasts flew everywhere, bouncing off her swords and the Dairos’ shields.
Matt grunted as a shot caught the side of her left arm. As the pain spread, she almost dropped the sword she carried on that side.
“Hurry up, Drew,” she yelled, not daring to take her focus off the Beltine to check his progress. She needed help. Drawing the fire in her direction and standing out in the open reduced her to defense only.
Gun blasts from behind her let Matt know she was finally not alone. Drew had let Xander and Trey onto the hive ship. The two Elite Dairos this side of the door soon lost their lives. Matt advanced on both with her body and her swords, pushing towards the door and pressuring the remaining Dairos to make a mistake.
She was less than ten meters away, still deflecting laser shots and forcing the Dairos back, when a shot from Drew went wide. It struck the panel of buttons, sending electricity crackling across the surface. The door slipped down half a foot and stuck in place before jerking down another few inches.
With all her swords on the other side of the door, Matt knew there was only one response that made sense. She pushed herself into a full sprint and dived through the gap. From her prone position on the floor, she heard the door snap shut.
Leaping up, she brought her swords in close. The remaining Dairos hesitated, whichever Kyraos controlled them evidently not having expected her reckless act. She seized the few seconds it bought her and used her mind to remove another head with the nearest floating sword. Before she could deal with the last three, they opened fire again, forcing her to defend herself.
She rolled to one side, towards the nearest Beltine, and pulled another sword from the sheaths on her back. At the same time as slicing the gun-wielding arm off the Dairos, she managed to deflect a shot back into the chest of another. The third Dairos hesitated again, giving her plenty of time to run her sword through its torso and finish off the Dairos already bleeding out beside her. She found herself hoping the Kyraos in control had felt the pain of each of them dying.
A team of humans is willing to face almost insurmountable odds to save the human race from annihilation. But quite how safe from discovery and attack is the planet the research team has been secluded on?
Matt has spent her whole life helping her parents with research that could change the fate of the entire human race. She believes it’s time to take it to the next stage and use it in active combat, but is she really ready to join the war and fight for mankind?
Xander has dedicated his whole life to the military, keeping humans throughout the galaxy alive, no matter the risks. He’s struggling not to become disillusioned when, time and again, running away is the only option. Can he find the one thing humanity needs to turn the tide, and can he cope with that thing being a person?

The mining shafts on Kudos have been producing increasingly smaller quantities of the mind-controllable Adamanta, but when you’re fighting an undefeatable enemy you have to use every advantage you can gain.

Colonel Xander and his crew are there to secure as much of it as possible for the human military force. When an explosion traps three of the crew in the mine, the race is on to save them as well as ascertain whether the small operation is under attack from the formidable Beltine.
The explosion might have been written off as an accident if Marx, the Kudos safety engineer, hadn’t found evidence of Xander’s own transport pod having been rigged with enough explosive to destroy the whole mine and every breathing being in its vicinity.
Who would want Xander and his crew dead? And what deadly secrets does Marx harbor?
Coming July 15th 2017
Anathema is hailed as humankind’s salvation. But is it?
A team of investors insists Anathema is the safest planet for our race. And Dr. Lake’s team regularly sends reports from the surface of the planet, highlighting all the ways in which humans would thrive there. Even better, the almost invincible Beltine never go near it.
In the dog house for losing the Excelsior, Xander and his team are sent ahead to prepare the planet for human colonization. With trust at an all time low, they have only themselves to rely on, but is that enough?
What will happen to Xander and his team when even their faith in each other is put to the test?
Episode 5 – Coming September 15th 2017
Episode 6 – Coming November 15th 2017
If you want to make sure you don’t miss out, you can sign up for our newsletter here.
T. Y. Carew is the pen name for an entire group of authors. They’ve come together to write the Adamanta series and other works in the same universe. So far, they consist of Stephen P. Scott, Andrew Bellingham, Ella Medler and Jess Mountifield. They’re a quirky bunch of writers, with a variety of genres under their belt and different elements to their styles we’ll hope you agree make an interesting blend. One thing they definitely have in common is the love of diving into a book and going on an adventure, be that reading or writing one!
This episode was written by Jess Mountifield.
Jess was born in the quaint village of Woodbridge in the UK, has spent some of her childhood in the States and now resides near the beautiful Roman city of Bath. She lives with her husband, Phil, and her very dapsy cat, Pleaides.
During her still relatively short life Jess has displayed an innate curiosity for learning new things and has therefore studied many subjects, from maths and the sciences, to history and drama. Jess now works full time as a writer, incorporating many of the subjects she has an interest in within her plots and characters.
When she’s not working she can often be found with friends, enjoying a vast array of films, ice skating or trekking all over the English countryside.
You can find out more about the author and her upcoming projects by following her on twitter or facebook, or at her blog.
Facebook ✯ Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Goodreads ✯ Amazon
***WRITING OPPORTUNITY***
Would you like to write an Episode?
The Adamanta project is all go now. The third episode is out on pre-order, and episodes 4 and 5 are almost ready. We’re going for 6 episodes a year, and we have one slot left for this year, and of course, spaces from next year onward.
We have collated an Author Info Pack, which you can look through if you are considering contributing to this ongoing series. Genre: sci-fi. Length of episode: 20k words approx. Stay in the Adamanta world, but write your story. You have a core of ready characters, but can write your own and use as many or few of the original ones as you like. We’ll need to keep the series consistent, but other than that you have space to play.
What we’re looking for: good story, good writing, adherence to deadlines and a willingness to help promote the whole series.
Ask EllaMedler@papergoldpublishing.com for the link to the Info Pack if you’d like to have a look.

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Filed under Book Blitz, contemporary, excerpts, New Release, Promo, Release Day, SciFi, Series