Sunday, May 6, 2018

Week at a Glance: 4/30/18 - 5/6/18


































Sunday's Short Stack: Secrets by RJ Scott


Summary:
Benji is the skater in the league who brings down the height average. Coming in at five eight, he's used to players chirping at him all night about his height.

Including the sexy defenseman for the Carlisle Rush, Avery Lester, the defenseman with the stunning eyes and cute smile.

When Benji makes a single inappropriate comment about Avery's ass, everything goes to hell. Add in Avery’s heroics during a hate crime, and things just go from bad to worse.

Abruptly it's not his height Benji has to worry about, but the chance that his closely guarded secret is shared all over the Internet.

Can love find a way, or will keeping secrets tear Benji and Avery apart?

NB: This short story was originally part of the anthology "Changing on the fly".. Now available separately with its own cover art.


Once again not only does RJ Scott give us a fun and dramatically enticing romance that I loved but she sets it in the hockey world, a sport I don't follow and yet I still found myself getting engulfed in Benji and Avery's journey, on the ice and off.  Secrets may be short in quantity but its long on quality.  Would I have liked to seen more of their story? Sure, I never want an RJ Scott tale to end but truth is I loved it just as is.  It takes talent for an author to pack a full-length novel level of emotion into a short story and that's what Secrets holds: heart.

RATING: 

Author Bio:
RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


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Release Tour: Riding Blind by JL Sheppard

Title: Riding Blind
Author: JL Sheppard
Series: Hell Ryders Motorcycle Club #3
Genre: Contemporary Motorcycle Romance
Release Date: May 2, 2018
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Summary:
Hell Ryders MC officer Bryce “Ripper” Knight never knew love until he met Em. Then she disappeared and he was lost. Now, years later, her cousin—a rival club leader—needs him to find her before his enemies do. Ripper has no choice but to protect her, but he’ll be damned if he lets her under his skin again. One look, though, and he can’t deny she still sets him aflame.

Leaving Ripper almost destroyed Emelia “Em” Kenna, but in the midst of a bloody club war, she couldn’t choose between the two men she loved most or raise the child growing inside her with a man who didn’t want to be a father. Suddenly, Ripper is back in her life, and she’s riddled with guilt over the secrets she’s kept. Everything’s changed except two things—the reason she left and the fire he ignites.


His gaze locked with hers, and because a part of him swore she’d be gone, he held it for longer than he cared to admit. Finally, he tore his eyes away. He couldn’t help it, so he trailed them from top to bottom. She wore a black tee with the word “Harley” written in freehand cursive across the chest.

He knew that tee. Not much different than most of his tees, black and it read, “Harley,” but it’d been his favorite because all those years ago, she wore it to bed.

The first time he had her, she found it on the floor and put it on. From that night on, she slept with him in that tee. The only nights she didn’t wear it to bed, the nights he dealt with club business, and she went to bed without him. On those nights, he stole it back and wore it laced with her scent, so with every breath he took, he’d smell her. After she left, he realized he did it because she wasn’t around and he wanted her to be.

When she left, she took everything with her, like she’d been trying to erase the memory of her from him. She was gone, and he didn’t know why, and he didn’t want her to be. He needed something, anything. He thought he had at least that shirt, so he looked everywhere, tearing his room apart, but he never found it, and now he knew why.

She took his favorite tee. She stole it and left...


Running Wild #1
Summary:
When the perfect life Alyssa Holden planned turns out to be a life of lies, she runs to her brother, the only person she can trust. She has no idea she’s running straight into a world of badass bikers who live and ride by their own rules. One tatted rebel in particular calls to her wilder side, and while everything in her draws her toward him, every experience she’s had with men warns her away.

Jace Warren is doing what he’s done his whole life—trying to survive, making the best with what he’d been given. The only life that makes sense after the military is Hell Ryder’s Motorcycle Club, but the sweet innocence of his army buddy's sister promises a different life, one a man like him can only dream of. Problem is, being his MC brother’s sister puts her off limits. Hard as it is, he keeps his distance. Then she kisses him, and all bets are off.

Running Hot #2
Summary:
Thomas “Cuss” Layne has never wanted for anything, except the beautiful girl he saved so long ago. But she’s a rich girl, and he’s a biker. For years, he hasn’t had a glimpse of her. Still, he's never been able to get her out of his mind. When her life’s in danger, he rides to her rescue once again. This time, he’s determined to do what he should’ve done long ago—make her his, in every possible way.

Tiffany Hamilton has never gotten over the bad boy with the sapphire eyes and midnight hair, the boy who once saved her. She wants him—a touch, a taste—but he’s never wanted anything to do with her. It’s past time to move on. When the sexy biker barges back into her life, saving her yet again and making demands, he makes it impossible to say no to his raw magnetism. She’ll finally have everything she’s dreamed of…but will it be enough?

Author Bio:
J.L. Sheppard was born and raised in Miami, Florida where she still lives with her husband and son.

As a child, her greatest aspiration was to become a writer. She read often, kept a journal and wrote countless poems. She attended Florida International University and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelors in Communications. During her senior year, she interned at NBC Miami, WTVJ. Following the internship, she was hired and worked in the News Department for three years.

It wasn’t until 2011 that she set her heart and mind into writing her first completed novel, Demon King’s Desire, which was published in January of 2013.

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Running Hot #2
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Promo Tour: Once Upon a Time . . . by AL Simpson

Title: Once Upon a Time . . .
Author: AL Simpson
Genre: New Adult, Military Romance
Release Date: March 24, 2018
Summary:
A high school graduate.
A Special Forces Operative.
Friends their whole lives.
Or, were they?

PIPER
Once upon a time…… 
It’s how every fairy-tale begins or, almost every fairy-tale.
My tale begins on the night of my prom, but would I capture my prince? 
Would I have the happily ever after?


Chapter One
PIPER 
Once upon a time…… 
It’s how every fairy-tale begins or, almost every fairy-tale.
My tale begins on the night of my prom, but would I capture my prince? 
Would I have the happily ever after?

*****

Everyone expected us to attend my prom together. As a couple. Dalton and I have shared everything in our lives. The good times and the bad—the cuts, scrapes, bruises and broken hearts. Throughout everything, we’ve been there for each other. But no, we are not attending the prom as a couple. We will be there, hand in hand, as best friends. 

We’ve known each other since I was born – Dalton was four years old. Our parents are best friends, both of our fathers serve in the Navy and have been posted to the same places together. So, we’ve always been neighbors. Dalton and his older brother, Mitchell, my protectors. Where Mitchell is my knight in shining armor, Dalton is my prince.

I can’t wait to see him. Much to our father’s dismay, Dalton joined the Army – Special Forces and has been posted out of Fort Bragg for the past three years. It’s been almost a year since he was last home. He promised to take leave for my prom and he kept his word, like he always does. He flew in late last night. 

Turning to the mirror, I check myself one final time. My gorgeous dress was carefully selected because the deep blue matches my eyes. The strapless bodice is lacy and dotted with sequins. The plain silk skirt flares ever so slightly over my hips and falls to my knees. My stiletto-heeled shoes afford me some much-needed height and I pray I can manage to stay upright in the damn things. My cornsilk blonde hair is swept up at the sides with sparkly clips while tendrils of loose curls have been left to dance over my face. 

I twist from one side to the other in an effort to capture every angle. Does my ass look enormous? Why don’t I have more than bee stings for breasts? I sigh deeply. There is nothing more I can do; Dalton will be here in ten minutes. There is no time to change into anything else. Not to mention, I have nothing else suitable. 

My mother’s voice floats up the stairs. “Piper, Dalton has arrived.” 

“Coming.” I swipe on a final lick of lipstick, gather a wrap in case it becomes cool and leave my room. My descent down the stairs is calculated and slow. The last thing I need is to faceplant at Dalton’s feet. 

Dalton whistles and I feel my face heat. He’s never seen me dressed so formally before, I was ill on the day of his prom and like the good friend he is, he’d refused to attend without me. On occasion, I’ve worn dresses, but mostly jeans and a shirt fit the bill. I guess you would say I’m a tomboy. 

My date offers his hand as I reach the bottom and I slip mine into his. I laugh as he twirls me around. “You’re absolutely gorgeous. Where have you been hiding?” He kisses my cheek—a chaste, brotherly kiss. 

“Thank you. You look pretty hot yourself.” Dalton is mind-blowingly sexy in his tux. Tall at more than six and a half feet, he dwarfs me even in my stilettos. Without them, I don’t reach his shoulders. Our height difference is hilarious. 

As I take him in, I notice his shoulders have become broader in the past couple of years. His waist is narrow, hips are slim. His body is a testament to his daily workouts and sensible diet; he carries not one ounce of extra fat. He says he has to be fit and strong to be part of the Special Forces. 

He tugs at his tie. “I’m glad you approve. I have something for you.” 

Dalton holds a clear box toward me. A gorgeous purple orchid with glossy green leaves is inside. I open the top and remove it at the same moment mother and father step into the foyer. My mother leans over my shoulder as Dad shakes Dalton’s hand. “It’s beautiful, sweetheart. Would you like me to pin it on?” 

I glance at Dalton and see the disappointment in his eyes, but I don’t understand why. I turn back to Mom. “Dalton will pin it on. After all, it’s his gift to me.” 

My dad glares at me and I try not to giggle. I know exactly what he’s thinking. No man is going to put his hands anywhere near my eighteen-year-old daughter’s breasts. The fact Dalton and I are only best friends means nothing to my dad. 

Dalton takes the orchid from my hand and moves closer. His hand trembles slightly as he positions the flower and reaches inside the top of my dress to secure it. His hand brushes my breast and my body responds with a powerful tingling sensation. Our eyes lock and I search for any sign that he felt it too. 

“It looks beautiful, sweetheart.” Mom kisses my cheek and then kisses Dalton. “Have fun.” 

“Not too much fun,” my dad growls. He moves to peer through the glass at the side of the front door. “The car is here.” 

I stand on tiptoe and kiss my father’s cheek as we leave. “I’ll be fine, daddy. Dalton will take care of me like he always does.” 

“Peter, stop fussing. Dalton isn’t one of your sailor’s you can order about. Let them leave.” Mom takes dad’s hand and they stand in the doorway watching as we descend the steps and head for the stretch limousine which is parked out in front. 

Dalton manoeuvres the driver out of the way and holds onto the door. “Your carriage awaits, m’lady.” He kisses my cheek before I slip onto the soft leather seat. As he closes the door, I fasten my seatbelt and within seconds, the other door opens and he climbs in beside me. After fastening his seatbelt, he gathers my hand into his. 

“Excited? This will be our last school function. Probably our last function together with me in the Army and you joining the Navy.” 

I tense at Dalton’s words, I’ve been avoiding telling him my plans. “When we arrive, can we find somewhere quiet so we can talk? I have something I need to tell you. Something I’ve been keeping from you.” 

Dalton swivels on his seat. I can barely see his face in the darkness, but I know if I could, disappointment would be clear. 

“You’ve been hiding something? We never keep secrets from each other. It sounds serious.” 

“It is. It’s time you knew and I didn’t want to tell you over the phone.”

Author Bio:
I have always loved to write and have a vivid and overactive imagination.

In my spare time, when I’m not writing, I love to walk, read and shop.

I believe no mountain is too hard to climb, no river is too wide to span and no journey is too difficult to complete. I follow my dreams and I urge and encourage others to do the same.

With a positive attitude, the impossible can become possible.


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Promo Tour: Sublime Karma by Peyton Garver

Title: Sublime Karma
Author: Peyton Garver
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: November 30, 2016

⏰πŸ’Έ⏳May 5-11 only 99cents⏳πŸ’Έ⏰

Summary:
When Brie's stepfather moves the family for what he calls a new beginning, it's not the new beginning she would have hoped for. Brie is targeted by a group of popular girls at her new school, and the only available seat on her bus is next to the school’s star wide receiver, Jake, who for some reason, finds her offensive. After a humiliating article and picture of Brie is posted in the online school journal, a demon she thought she'd overcome resurfaces, and her life unravels. A newly compassionate Jake has finally taken an interest in her, but can Brie learn to trust her heart, or will she miss out on the best thing that ever happened to her?

Jake has his own secrets and has built his own walls, but eventually his curiosity about the new girl gets the best of him. Unfortunately, now there is competition: the captain of her cross-country team. Jake's romantic histories with the girl next door and the school's queen bee, adds tension to a simmering tempest when all he wants is Brie. Is he strong enough to help the one he loves weave sense into her crumbling new reality while overcoming his own tainted past?

Content Warning: profanity and violence, contemporary adolescent themes are prevalent and confronted such as bullying, suicide, cutting.


The bus snaked its way through the country roads, and then to the lavish development that backed up to the woods behind his house. Upperclassmen from this neighborhood had their own cars. This bus collected the underclassmen: those few who weren’t chauffeured, as minions of the privileged.

Jake leaned back in his seat and folded his arms across his chest, not looking at the kids coming down the aisle. None dared to ask if they could sit in the empty space next to him. They’d sit three to a seat rather than make that request. Just the way he wanted it.

The over-filled bus pulled to a stop midway down Belmont Circle. New stop? Jake looked out his window at the estate with a circular drive. Huh. It finally sold. He watched as a single figure headed toward the bus. What, so now they get door-to-door service? He rolled his eyes.

Seconds later, she stood in the aisle waiting. From his seat, his eyes skimmed up passed her faded jeans and plain, loose sweater, and his breath caught in his throat. Her long blond hair was pulled to the side in a loose braid. Her face? Ethereal. But then, his flustered gaze became an annoyed glare.

Her bleak gray eyes seemed to look right through him before they darted to the space next to him. Did she even register his indignation? She must have. Yet, she stood there in the aisle twisting the loose adjustment strap on her backpack tightly around her fingers.

“May I sit here?” her meek voice broke the silence that had fallen around them.

Noticing the hush of conversation, Jake’s eyes skimmed the crowded bus. There was no doubt he and this new girl had an audience. Not something he relished.

His eyes swept back to her. He could tell she was nervous. He heard it in her quavering voice and saw it in the way she avoided his eyes. He could just say no. But, as long as she was standing, the bus wouldn’t budge. Becca looked at him from her seat across the aisle then whipped her phone out and started her eager texting. He narrowed his eyes at her, and then with a smirk, he stood.

“Really?” he bit out at her under his breath, leaning close so only she could hear. He grabbed his backpack from the seat and football bag off the wheel well and then moved his six-foot-one frame into the aisle. With a jerk of his head, he directed her to the space by the window.

She slipped by him with lithesome poise, maneuvering in the small space without so much as brushing against him. He watched her settle into the seat with perfect posture, even though her feet were raised up on the wheel well. Her vacant eyes never returned to his. So, why was his heart suddenly beating faster? Was it because of his rudeness and the fact that she ignored it? Could it be remorse? She didn’t seem to have that presumptuous, stuck-up attitude that so annoyed him. She looked almost . . . empty.




Author Bio:
As a child, Peyton called places like Livorno, Italy; OrlΓ©ans, France; and Augsburg, Germany home. She has since settled in Maryland, where she earned her degree in education at Towson State University, married her sweetheart of two years, and became an instant mother to three spirited young boys before adding another son to the brood. And, with their yellow lab George, it's no stretch to say she's outnumbered.

When not writing, Peyton is a full time teacher. Inspired by the individual spirits, heartaches, and triumphs of her students, Peyton has developed characters who resemble real world teens dealing with real issues: relationships, jealousy, bullying, and depression. Her newest novel, Sublime Karma, is a contemporary story filled with emotion, depth, wit, and suspense.

When asked if she actually involves her students in her stories, Peyton answered that her stories are completely fictional, but then admitted to an activity in which she does involve them. "One quirky, fun thing I like to do with students who have read my book is develop a dream cast for my characters. That all started when a group of girls were arguing over which actor they thought best fit the character Four in Veronica Roth's novel Divergent. They then turned their efforts to my manuscript. I've since added those dream casts to my website."

When she's not teaching or writing, Peyton enjoys traveling. The Caribbean Islands have become a favorite vacation getaway for Peyton and her husband. "Nothing is better than sitting on a beach, in front of the crystal clear sea, enveloped in the warmth of the tropical sun with a frosty piΓ±a colada and a good book that I just can't put down."


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