Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Release Tour: Any Given Snow Day by Marie Harte

Title: Any Given Snow Day
Author: Marie Harte
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Ex-NFL star + snarky single mom = a touchdown of a holiday romance

After two Super Bowl rings, MVP status, and retiring from the NFL while still on top, Mitch “Flash” Flashman’s millions should make life at the ripe old age of thirty-five a blessing. Yet he’s restless, rudderless, and can’t tell up from down. Roped into helping his brother coach a bunch of teenagers, Mitch finds himself playing defense against the many women in town wanting his attention. Except for one particular woman who doesn’t seem to like him much. Becca Bragg is mouthy, vulnerable, and sexy, and she captivates Mitch despite himself. But Mitch has no time for a sexy single mom when he’s still trying to figure out who he really is. With the playoffs, a boy’s future, and his own heart on the line, he’ll need to figure out how to pull the ultimate victory—winning Becca’s heart and keeping it. For good.

Mitch stared at a feminine version of Simon Bragg. A few inches shorter than her behemoth son, she had long, dark-brown hair, greenish-brown eyes, and a frown that would do Simon proud.

A subtle glance and he catalogued her feminine assets. Check, check, and check. A stunner if not for the scowl on her face. Her assistant, the other pretty brunette he’d seen with Simon at the game, just grinned at him before hustling away.

“Hello. Mrs. Bragg?”

“Yes?” Cool and collected.

Funny, but his heart was racing. Mitch had been with supermodels, actresses, professional athletes. Some had possessed the same qualities Rebecca Bragg did, that essence of attraction that sparked something in his brain…and in other places. But Mitch didn’t do married chicks. Ever. Best to remember that.

He cleared his throat. “I’d like to talk to you about Simon.”

Her frown deepened. “Is he okay? What happened?”

Mitch had debated how to broach the subject. After talking to Deacon, they’d decided Mitch should be the one to talk to her. He still wasn’t sure how they’d come up with that, other than that his brother was a scum-sucking wimp who’d rather face a firing squad than an irate mother.

“As far as I know, Simon is fine. I wanted to talk to you about his attitude though.”

She snorted.

Just like her son.

“And before you say this is somehow about me not understanding him because I’m the new guy, you need to know that Simon has been acting out and is pretty much annoying most of the team.”

She studied him in silence.

He wondered what she saw. Did she see the regular guy who’d rather be running down a field or hiding out in his home, reading history books and watching movies? Or did she see the confident, laughing playboy everyone thought him to be?

“Come with me.” She turned and walked into the back of her teahouse.

He followed her toward the sweet smells coming from a small kitchen. Entranced by the scent of vanilla and cinnamon, he took a big sniff. “What are you making?”

“Sticky buns, my version of cinnamon rolls. Hold on.” She took a few steps toward the doorway and shouted, “Nora, can you watch the front? I’m in a meeting.”

Nora laughed and said something he couldn’t make out but apparently Rebecca could.

She flushed and returned, putting the center island between them. He wondered if her husband had a hard time dealing with her moods, then thought the lucky guy probably didn’t much care. A woman who could bake and looked like her? A win-win…until she opened her mouth.

“Well?” She waited.

He just stared.


“I’m trying to figure out how to say this without you getting offended. I would have called your husband, but Simon wouldn’t give me his number.”

Something that looked like pain flashed across her face. “My husband is dead. Now what did you want to talk about?”

Wow. Talk about stepping right into it. Might have been nice if the kid had explained his father was no longer alive when Mitch had mentioned the guy. “Sorry. Simon didn’t tell me.”

She sighed. “So what has my son done that brings the ‘Amazing Flash’ to my lowly shop?”

He ignored the heat on his face. “You know, if you’d heard the whole conversation, you might not be so quick to judge.”

“You’re here to talk about Simon?”

Fine. He wouldn’t explain himself to this sexy, stuck-up viper. Wait. Where had sexy come from? Rebecca Bragg was more girl-next-door…with a side of sexy. Damn her full mouth.

Author Bio:
Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte has over 100 books published with more constantly on the way. She’s a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after.



Brought to you by:

Book Blitz: Holidays Ever After Box Set

Title: Holidays Ever After
Authors: Colleen Charles, Monica Corwin, Amy L. Gale, Becca Fanning
Victoria Pinder, Alexa Padgett, Tuesday Embers, Khardine Gray
Holly Dodd, Liz Gavin, Jillian Quinn, Courtney Hunt
Vivi Holt, Kristen Luciani, Astrid Arditi, Rebekah R. Ganiere
Jessica Gray, Ja’Nese Dixon, Teresa Roman, Angela Corbett
Genre: Adult Romance
Release Date: December 5, 2017

Which holiday hottie will you unwrap first?

No matter the time of the year, it’s always the season for seduction!

From Spicy to Sweet and everything in between, this sizzling boxed set of TWENTY contemporary romances from today’s New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors will give you tons of holiday hunks to fall in love with.

Inside these pages you’ll find everything from sexy strangers and brooding billionaires to marines, firefighters, and the guy next door.

Whether you’re in the mood for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, or a New Year’s celebration, this limited edition Holiday Ever After anthology is packed with exclusive, full-length titles to lift your spirits. From Halloween to Kwanzaa, Valentines Day, Norooz, and the Fourth of July, these stories will give your holiday season extra spark and will be the best romantic holiday bundle to hit your ereader this year!

Get ready to heat up your holidays when you treat yourself to Holidays Ever After!

Including stories from…
Colleen Charles
Monica Corwin
Amy L. Gale
Becca Fanning
Victoria Pinder
Alexa Padgett
Tuesday Embers
Khardine Gray
Holly Dodd
Liz Gavin
Jillian Quinn
Courtney Hunt
Vivi Holt
Kristen Luciani
Astrid Arditi
Rebekah R. Ganiere
Jessica Gray
Ja’Nese Dixon
Teresa Roman
Angela Corbett

Candles and You by Ja’Nese Dixon
"Stop staring at the man and say something?"

Imani found working with Adrianna at the bar was worse than working at the studio. At least at the studio she could pull rank and kick her out the office.

"What man?" She let out a long audible breath.

"The man that has you spilling drinks and stepping on my toes."

“Ouch!” She stomped on Imani’s foot and wiggled out of reach.

Imani had been preoccupied with trying to see the features of his face. The booth he selected was tucked away off to the side. The overhead lights barely illuminated the table top. It was the table repeat customers chose when they wanted to partake of the live music and robust menu and have privacy.

It was public yet private. So private they'd witnessed more than one heated exchange going on in that booth over the length of her employment. It wasn't called the make-out booth for nothing.

Imani stole glances at him for most of the afternoon. She could see the top of his arm covered in a white dress shirt and the swirled tattoo on his forearm. That must be his girlfriend. She reasoned as the olive-skinned brunette took her seat across from him.

"You think that's his girlfriend?" Imani whispered. Adrianna topped off the customer's soft drink and walked over to stand beside her.

"If she's not, she wanna be." She dried her hands on her apron.

Imani faced her, "What makes you say that?"

"That man is a sexual magnet, paid with a Titanium Card, and his eyes," she shook her head and raised her hand in the truth, "panty droppers."

"For real?" Imani hissed. The forced air behind panty made curiosity dance through her veins.

"For. Real." She glanced over at the table as if validating her statement. Her face twisting in agony and she nodded.

Imani glanced back over there. The last thing she needed was to stare into his panty-dropper eyes. She wanted to ask Adrianna more but a warning voice in her head warned her to leave it alone.

There was no room in her life for men. Life was hectic enough without adding sexy, magnetic, panty-dropping men to the equation and her panties needed to stay in place. The last man she'd given her heart passed her up for a bigger fish and left her without so much as a blink of an eye. Her time was better spent trying to find another job.

"Have you heard from your landlord?"

"I got a letter about a new owner. But they didn't mention the balance and I didn't either. I sent what I could, hoping it will hold me over."

$1250 a month times six months left her owing the new landlord at least $7,500. It might as well have been a cool million because she didn't have a hundred dollars to her name. She hated owing people.

She was ashamed to admit what she sent barely covered the late fees but she still had to pay the utilities at the studio on top of her own household expenses.

"How long you think that's going to last? You can't keep doing this to yourself. This dance studio is like a leech draining you dry."

“Why would you say that? What’s wrong with giving my students culture?” Imani stiffened at her harsh analogy.

"Ain't nobody got time for that!" She turned to Imani tossing a towel in the sink. "Culture won't feed you and pay your bills."

Tears stung her eyes. But she didn't have time to cry or feel sorry for herself. She needed a plan.

"Is he cute?" It was better to talk about the panty dropper than her landlord.
It was Adrianna's turn to shrug, "He's alright for a white boy. You know I like my papi chulo sun kissed, bilingual, and Spanish in his blood. Can't have my momma passing out on me."

"Indeed, your mom would pass out if you brought anything but a Hispanic man home." Imani laughed.

"That's why I keep my business my business." She tossed her blonde hair and headed to the other end of the bar to check on a customer.

Adrianna talked a good game but she had a man. Her traditional ways went to her core from cooking authentic Mexican food to Salsa dancing every Thursday night. Imani looked back at his exposed skin, it didn't look white but not brown either. More like a warm beige. His head turned in her direction and she felt trapped. Unable to look away, but unable to see his face either.

The young lady returned to the table and Imani spun around, facing the mirrored wall behind the bar. She glanced up into the reflection and watched him lean forward. The light caught his profile with his thick wavy dark brown hair. He smiled up at his companion.

Imani's stomach clinched. He had a deep dimple.

She watched the young lady leave the table carrying her purse and shoulder bag. They must be done for the afternoon. She wanted to see this mystery man for herself.

Violet’s Bucket List by Tuesday Embers
I slid into my sleeping bag on my belly, my fists stacked atop my mother’s memorial plaque, and my chin resting on my hands. The air was cold in the graveyard that night, but I was too fixated on my mother’s name to shiver. I stared down at the scripted font, recalling how many years we’d camped out in this very graveyard. I never guessed I’d be sleeping here without her – or with her in the ground like this.

My mother’s relatives were all in Mexico, so we’d scoured the graveyard for another Rodriquez we could pretend we were related to. Ana Concepcion Rodriquez didn’t have anyone else with the same last name around her, so we adopted her into our little circle, making her our own. We pretended she’d been stolen away from her wealthy parents at a young age, grew in poverty with nothing but gruel sandwiches, her morals and can-do attitude. Then when Ana was a teenager, she went in search of her family.

It was a tearful reunion when fake Ana was welcomed into the family she’d always known was out there. They showered her with love, kisses, presents, and an elephant because, well, Caty had a healthy imagination. Love, kisses and presents hadn’t seemed like enough to her.

In our rendition of Ana’s life, she’d died peacefully in her sleep as an old woman, surrounded by her family, and the gardener. Julio had admired her from afar as he’d pruned the roses at her family’s estate, but only ever got up the courage to kiss the back of her hand. We always brought flowers for Ana’s grave from fake Julio, swooning at the romance of their unrequited love.

We’d slept on Ana’s grave every year. Now that I had my mother in the ground, I knew where I would be spending every November 1st for the rest of my life.

Brady and Caty came back forty-five minutes later, their eyes wide as they rejoined me. “What’s up with you two? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.” I let out a perfunctory laugh and clapped my hands at my terrible joke. The spirits of the dead were supposed to walk around on the Dia de Los Muertos, searching for treats and their loved ones. They were granted one night a year to rise from their graves and go bonkers, reuniting with family and friends who camped out on their graves to greet them.

“Nothing happened!” they both exclaimed, looking guilty. Then Caty folded herself into the sleeping bag and set a few pieces of my mom’s least favorite candy on her plaque, next to our row of sugar skulls. “How’s Mama?”

“I think she’d be glad her traditions didn’t die with her. I’m glad you guys came tonight. It wouldn’t be the same without you. Thanks for pushing me to get out of bed. I needed this.”

“Anytime,” Caty smiled, situating the lantern next to the gravestone, so we could see each other a little better.

I smoothed away a leaf that had fallen onto my mother’s no-frills plaque, studying her name and timeline as Brady tucked in between us. It was such a simple thing, the dash between her birth year and her death. “That’s all we get,” I mused in my shifting melancholy, tracing the line that summed up her entire life. “Just a dash to the end.”

Brady’s features grew tense, his eyebrows pulling together, and his mouth in a tight line. “We need to make our dashes count, then. Vi, you’ve only got four things on the bucket list. It’s time we started crossing them off.”

“Hello, we can’t afford France yet.”

Brady shook his head. “We can’t afford not to go. We can’t afford cancer. We can’t afford getting older. Now’s the time, Vi. We’re putting something on the calendar. By this time next year, I want France crossed off Violet’s bucket list.”
I shot him an appreciative smile. “But that list belongs to all of us.”

Brady smirked at me. “Then I guess we’ll all have to go.”

Brady’s finger traced the small engraved line with mine, and then Caty added her finger to the mix. We scooted closer to each other, knowing that we might not know what our respective dashes would hold, but certain we would go through it all together.

The Virgin and the Kingpin by Allyson Lindt
The December cold bit into Andrew’s face when he stepped into the evening. It was a nice change from the hot air blowing inside. The salt on the sidewalk crunched beneath his shoes, sounding louder than it should in the still night. He wandered the frozen path, past iced-over bushes and pine trees. 

Susan stood near a balcony overlooking the mountainside. She didn’t look up as he approached, but when he reached her, she spun in the other direction and brushed past him. “I’ll leave you alone.”

He grabbed her arm harder than he intended, and she let out a half-groan, half-hiss. It wasn’t an irritated noise. She liked it? He dropped his hand away quickly. “You wanted to talk?”

“Don’t worry about it.” Her tone was dismissive. “You’ll enjoy your evening more if you find someone who doesn’t rattle whatever skeletons you and Mercy have, to keep you company.”

He rolled his eyes. “It’s not what you think—I almost guarantee it—but you don’t want to hang out with a guy like me.”


“I’m a bad influence.” That was as close to the truth as he cared to get. He didn’t mind weaving a tale, but he wasn’t fond of the one where he almost lost Mercy’s friendship.

“‘Kay. ’Cause I’ve never heard that before. I wanted to talk for a few minutes. It wasn’t like I was proposing we set up our gift registry.” A gust sliced through the night, and she shivered and rubbed her arms.

He shrugged out of his jacket and draped it over her shoulders. And now she was a petite miss in an oversized coat, and that was more tempting. Damn it. He needed to remind himself why this fascination was unhealthy, prove to her she should be disgusted by him, and abide by Mercy’s request. “You’re not offering the kind of company I prefer.”

“And yet, you haven’t left.” 

Good point. Why didn’t he let her walk away? Better question—why were they having this conversation outside? “You’ve got me curious as to what this is about.” 

“You said you’ve helped people deal with performance issues.” She cringed and bit her bottom lip. “You know what I mean.”

Because sometimes he didn’t know when to shut his mouth and walk away. This time he’d do it consciously, though. He’d deter her once and for all. “I do know. And I was talking specifically about fucking on camera.”

She didn’t flinch. “You also said there was more to it. How does it work?”

“You don’t want details, Suzie-Q. It’s all about debauchery and fetish and getting off in public.” This way he could convince himself he’d warned her. It was hard to tell if the pink on her cheeks was embarrassment or from the cold. Either way, she’d ask for more information, then realize her mistake, and the discussion would be over.

“And there’s got to be a universal principal in there somewhere. Something I can use. I’ll filter out the screwing and process the rest,” she said.



Brought to you by:

Release Tour: Magick's Pathway by Lauren Marie

Title: Magick's Pathway
Author: Lauren Marie
Series: Haller Lake #2
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 12, 2017
Kris Bennett-Lake’s world, after a year, isn’t what she’d have thought it would be. She’s married, with a three month old baby and magical powers wanted by evil demons, a ghost and an Oracle.

Garda, the puppet master, has watched Kris for the right time to take her abilities and turn her to the dark side. He has a plan for her and brings his son, Guillermo, into the mix.

Kris is thrown into a maelstrom, from being chained in a dungeon for eight years to making an illegal poison, White Dagger and after a vision that matches her with Guillermo is desperate to keep her husband, Roman, and son, Otter, safe. Will she accept her power and take her place in fighting evil or will she turn her back on the magick’s and take another offer sending her to a different realm and another life? Will she be strong enough to save her family and the world where she exists?

Roman went to the door and opened it. Lorrie smiled up at him. “Hello, Lakeman.”

“Roman, it’s not Lorrie.” Kris moved toward the crib, picked up Otter and held him tight.

“Rochelle?” Roman said and closed the door a little.

“How’d you guess?” she asked.

“You have no aura or light of any kind.”

“Very good, you’re smarter than I thought. Because of your protection spell, I cannot enter. I’m here to give you a warning.” She smiled again, and looked at Kris and the baby. “Cute kid, sorry we missed the birth.” She looked back up at Roman. “Since you saved me from Meshach last year, I believe I owe you. This will make us even.”‘

“I didn’t save you, Rochelle. Kris did all the talking,” Roman corrected her.


“Well, what have you to say?” Roman asked.

“There is an evil heading this way,” she stated.

“We’ve been told this from our own sources.”

“It’s Pelonus. He’s very dangerous and will be more difficult to overcome than the last three. He has a multitude of minions and you are being watched. His spies are everywhere.”

A Demon Scheme #1
KRIS BENNETT is an art consultant and lives by Haller Lake. On an evening after an opening for a new artist, she drinks a glass of Brael Mist wine. The peach chardonnay is tainted with cyanide, other poisons and an evil enchantment spell. It opens her mind to a spiritual world she never believed existed.

ROMAN is a guardian of Haller Lake. He is told by the Lakeman's Oracle he must watch over Kris and keep her safe from an evil interested in her abilities. When she drinks the wine she is able to see Roman and the other lake guardians. His love for Kris comes on quickly and helps her understand the new world she is experiencing.

ABEDNEGO BRAEL is a low level demon who wants Kris body and soul to be possessed by the ghost of his long dead love ROCHELLE. He's done it before, but that body aged and died, releasing Rochelle back into the world. SHADRACH AND MESHACH are Abednego's brother demons who are also after Kris, but for different reasons. They realize she has a great power and if they are able to turn her, they could take the power for their own uses.

When the wine opens Kris's mind, she learns about her own magical powers from her alter ego, ELZABETH, who has long lived deep inside her mind and guided other women in Kris's family, who also had magical abilities.

With the help of the Haller Lake guardians, Kris fights to retain her very soul and her growing powers.

Author Bio:
Lauren Marie’s first published series - The Men of Haller Lake - originally came out in 2010. She’s learned so much over the last seven years and it’s been a dream to get the stories re-edited and problems with point of view corrected. With Books to Go, Now’s help the dream has become a reality with the release of A Demon’s Scheme - Book 1 of the Haller Lake series.

She is also the author of Big Mike-Little, Golden Ribbons - story 4 of the Miss Demeanor Private Detective Agency series, I’m Not What You Think, Love’s Embers - book 1 of the Canon City Series, Love on Ice - book 2 of the Canon City Series, One Touch at Cob’s Bar and Grill - story 3 of the Montana Ranch Series, Love’s Touch - Then and Now, Going to Another Place.

She lives in Western Washington State with four cats, Agamemnon, Tazmania, Jericho and Jasper.

Lauren likes to receive feedback. If you want to send her likes and dislikes, you can go to the contact us page on the website or write to her at themenofhallerlake@hotmail.com. or friend her at Facebook. She does respond to feedback.

EMAIL: themenofhallerlake@hotmail.com

Magick's Pathway #2

A Demon Scheme #1

Brought to you by:

Pre-Order Blitz: The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane

Title: The Upside of Falling Down
Author: Rebekah Crane
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Expected Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Skyscape
For Clementine Haas, finding herself is more than a nice idea. Ever since she woke up in an Irish hospital with complete amnesia, self-discovery has become her mission.

They tell her she’s the lone survivor of a plane crash. They tell her she’s lucky to be alive. But she doesn’t feel lucky. She feels…lost.

With the relentless Irish press bearing down on her, and a father she may not even recognize on his way from America to take her home, Clementine assumes a new identity and enlists a blue-eyed Irish stranger, Kieran O’Connell, to help her escape her forgotten life…and start a new one.

Hiding out in the sleepy town of Waterville, Ireland, Clementine discovers there’s an upside to a life that’s fallen apart. But as her lies grow, so does her affection for Kieran, and the truth about her identity becomes harder and harder to reveal, forcing Clementine to decide: Can she leave her past behind for a new love she’ll never forget?

My composure cracks when I’m safely tucked in a stall in the bathroom. Everything shifts, my real need coming into focus, like a caged bird that knows it doesn’t want to live behind bars anymore.

I need to get out of here.

How can I see my dad and not love him? What is wrong with me? Everything I thought would happen hasn’t.

I press my sweaty head against the cool stall door. I wish I could be who Stephen wants me to be, a fearless girl willing to fight through this. More importantly, I wish I could be who my dad wants me to be. Clementine Haas. But I can’t. To go home with him like this would mean that every day he’ll wake up and want Clementine there, and instead, every day it will be me—whoever I am. We’ll both live in a constant state of disappointment.

I can save him from that.

I come out of the stall, focusing on myself in the mirror.

“Jane,” I say to my reflection. “I’m Jane.”

Stephen surely won’t help me get out of here. He wants to keep me safe in the hospital, which is still surrounded by camera crews and reporters. But there’s another way.

The hallway is clear of my dad and Stephen when I poke my head out from the bathroom. My heart races as I walk swiftly away from my room and toward the staircase at the other end of the hall. Once the door closes behind me, and I’m safely tucked out of sight in the stairwell, a moment of relief comes, but it’s brief.

The railing keeps me steady as I make my way down the steps and onto the first floor. My legs are weak, slow, but it’s not an option to stop at this point. Stop and I get caught. Move and I might find freedom.

In the courtyard, Kieran sits at the table where I left him, his feet up on the bench, a book in his hands. I check out the cover. It’s clearly a romance novel.

“You like romance novels, too,” I say. “We have something in common. Though I wouldn’t peg you as a romantic.”

“I’m full of surprises.” He squints in the sunlight. “I’ve never understood why guys go for fast cars and guns when these books have fast women and sex.”

“Honesty again. That’s a good thing.”

Kieran dog-ears the page he’s on and closes the book, setting it down on the table. “You ran away from the dare.”

“I didn’t run away.” I take back my seat. “I had to do something.”

“What was that?”

“It doesn’t matter. I’m ready now.”

“Are you sure, Jane?”

Kieran is just full of good questions, but debating the answer with myself would take too much time.

“Jane Middleton,” I say, holding out my hand. “That’s my last name.”

“Very royal sounding.” He places his warm hand in mine and says, “Kieran O’Connell. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Very Irish sounding, Kieran O’Connell.”

“Half-Irish, on my mother’s side.”

“And your dad?” I ask.

“Technically, he’s British, but he’s more asshole than anything.”

“Honesty again.” I reach for the last container of Jell-O on his tray. “I’m ready for my dare. Spoon, please.”

Kieran holds one up but doesn’t hand it over. “Are you sure you want to do this, Jane? It’s pig and cow parts.”

This is so much more than Jell-O. This is my life he’s holding in front of me.

“Where’s Waterville?” I ask, pointing to his hat.

“South of here a few hours.”

“Is it by Cork?” I ask, remembering the map and trying to sound like I know a thing or two.

“Not exactly. A bit more west.”

“Is that where you live?”

“For the summer months.”

I point to his T-shirt. “Then you go back to Trinity College?”


“And where is that?”

“It’s in Dublin.” Kieran looks at me oddly. “Have you not heard of Trinity College?”

“Of course, I have. I just forgot for a second. It’s in Dublin. Right.”

“What about you?” he asks. “Are you on break from college as well?”

The question throws me. I have no idea if Clementine is in college. But I’m also not sure it matters. The part of me that keeps searching for Clementine needs a break. Jane can be whoever she wants. “Yeah, sure,” I say.

“What are you studying?”

“Undecided,” I say quickly. “You?”

Kieran rolls his eyes. “Business.”

“You don’t sound happy about that.”

“Not everything in life can be happy, Jane.”

The spoon rests in Kieran’s hand. No, sometimes life beats you down. Sometimes life deserts you, and your only choice is to find another path. “Are you going to give me that spoon or what?”

“You know, you don’t have to do this,” he says. His blue eyes hold mine. He knows this is more than just Jell-O, too. That’s what a dare does. It taunts you to take a different direction, to do something you never thought you could do, to jump, knowing that a million consequences could be on the other side of that dare, but that if you don’t do it, you’ll always wonder. And sometimes wondering is worse than consequences.

“I’m doing it,” I say. And I shovel a spoonful of pig and cow parts into my mouth.

Kieran sits back, a broad grin growing on his face. When I’ve eaten the container clean, he claps.

“I wasn’t sure you had it in you.”

I have to choke down the last bits of Jell-O, then I put my empty container on the tray with his, only partly satisfied.

“Why are you here?” I ask. “It can’t possibly be for pig and cow parts.”

“I come up to volunteer. Help out my fellow man and all. The food is just an added bonus.”

“That’s nice of you.”

“People need help,” Kieran says coolly. “It’s the least I can do.”

“People do need help,” I agree. “And now it’s my turn.”

“For what?”

“Truth or dare?” I say.

A glimmer comes to Kieran’s eyes. “That’s my line of questioning.”

“It’s not fair that I answer the question and you don’t.”

“Life isn’t fair, Jane. It’s all Jell-O, remember.”

I lean across the table. “Are you chicken or something?”

My confidence is surprising. Kieran seems to bring out something natural in me, or maybe he brings out more faith that the girl I was is still with me, just waiting to come out. Our eyes are fixed on each other’s. Kieran crosses his arms over his chest.

The clucking starts first. Then I start to flap my arms like chicken wings. Kieran glances around at all the other tables, and then he starts to laugh.

“OK. OK.” He holds up his hands in surrender.

But as soon as the clucking stops, someone drops an entire tray of dishes onto the concrete sidewalk. They break with a loud crash. I startle, freezing in my seat. It chokes the breath right out of me. A head rush comes on so suddenly that I’m worried I’ll faint right in front of him. Blood sinks to my feet. My hands go clammy. I start to sweat.

“Are you OK, Jane?”

Kieran talks, but I can’t see him. My head rests in my hands. Sound reverberates through me, and an intense pain creeps up behind my eyes. For a second, I swear I feel someone grab my hand. I expect to see fingers intertwined with mine, but they’re gone, and I’m left with a horrible empty feeling inside my chest.

“Are you OK?” Kieran asks again.

“I’m fine.” If I faint, this is over. With ragged breath and shaking hands that he can’t see under the table, I say, “Truth or dare, Kieran?”

“We don’t have to do this.”

“Truth or dare?” I say again more forcefully.

Kieran shakes his head. “It’s a Catch-22. Neither is easy. They both have consequences.”

“Do I have to start clucking again?”

He pauses for too long, and then he says, “Fine. Dare.”

The blood returns to my hands and head. The sweat dries on my forehead. This time, my voice doesn’t shake as I speak.

“I dare you to get me the hell out of here.”

Author Bio:
Rebekah Crane is the author of three young-adult novels—Playing Nice, Aspen, and The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland. She found a passion for young-adult literature while studying secondary English education at Ohio University. After having two kids and living and teaching in six different cities, Rebekah finally settled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to write novels and work on screenplays. She now spends her day carpooling kids or tucked behind a laptop at 7,500 feet, where the altitude only enhances the writing experience.


Brought to you by: 

Book Blitz: The Fourth Element Trilogy Box Set by Kat Ross

Title: The Fourth Element Trilogy: Box Set 
Author: Kat Ross
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Release Date: September 22, 2017

⏳💸⏳99cents for a limited time⏳💸⏳
Gladiator meets Romeo and Juliet in this “spellbinding fantasy” trilogy (Kirkus Reviews) set in ancient Persia!

They are the light against the darkness.
The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.
And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they leash wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

So begins an epic story of adventure, romance and betrayal that leads to undiscovered magical realms and a final confrontation with a demon queen bent on destroying them all.

Author Bio:
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She's the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The  Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. For more information about Kat's books, come visit her at katrossbooks.com.



Brought to you by: