Monday, April 24, 2017

The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White & EXCERPT


Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Expected publication: April 11th 2017 by Berkley


From the New York Times bestselling author of Flight Patterns comes a stunning new novel about a young single mother who discovers that the nature of friendship is never what it seems....

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.

Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.

Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather's world.

In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women....

My Thoughts…

Every person should have a Sugar in their life.    The stories she told were better than any history lesson I have ever had.    They were stories of the world while she was growing up.    The attitudes of people against blacks, the men going off to war, and the family dynamics are stories I have heard before but never tire of heading over and over again.       I have also noticed that many people don’t really like to share their history as Sugar feels.    She pretends to be closed off and not in need of friends but the truth is she just needs the right friends, which is what Merilee becomes. 

The storyline is of Merilee getting a divorce and moving to a new house with her two children where the landlord is Sugar.       The children go to a new school and Merilee gets pulled into the mom’s group and pushed to participate in the fundraiser gala.     The mom’s are all led by Heather, who is beyond obnoxious.     From the very first time Heather was introduced I didn’t like her.   She is that mom in the school that has the perfect life and wants everyone know acknowledge how amazing she is.      I could predict how Merilee and Heather’s friendship would be but I couldn’t see how it would end up.     

The friendships are what really stuck with me during this book.   Sugar and Merilee both have histories that they prefer not to talk about but with each other they find themselves opening up and trusting.     Wade, the handy man, is a good friend to both Sugar and Merilee.   He is willing to lend a helping hand, push for information when needed, and protect them without question.   There are other friendships that Merilee forms that show that there are good people in the world and that everyone needs to have that friend they can trust without any doubts.  

I recommend picking up your own copy of The Night the Lights Went Out.


Book Links
Goodreads    |    Amazon   |   Barnes and Noble


Excerpt 

A cluster of moms stood in the parking lot surrounded by high-end SUVs following first day drop-off at Windwood Academy.  The women appeared to be listening with rapt attention to the tall blond woman in the center of their semi-circle, her hair arranged perfectly beneath her white tennis visor, her long and lean limbs brown and glowy.  Merilee noticed this last part only because her ex-mother-in-law had given her a bottle of glowy lotion for her last birthday and Lily had told her it made her look sparkly like Katy Perry in one of her videos.  Merilee had thrown out the remainder of the bottle, realizing she wasn’t the type anymore to look glowy much less sparkly.
But the blonde definitely was.  Her whole body glowed.  Her face glowed.  Even the hair visible beneath the visor appeared to be lit from within.  The woman looked vaguely familiar, and Merilee realized she’d probably been one of the mothers she’d met at the open house the previous week.  She’d only been to the one let’s-get-acquainted event, her work schedule precluding any of the various parties that were held almost exclusively on weekdays when she worked. 
Merilee was terrible with names, had been ever since she started dating Michael.  He was so good at it, always reminding her who everyone was when they were at a party, that she’d simply stopped trying.  She hoped she was only out of practice instead of permanently disabled.  Her children’s futures probably depended on it since Michael wouldn’t be there to make sure Merilee remembered the names of Lily’s friends who were or were not speaking to each other.  And which of Colin’s teachers appreciated his dreamy attitude and those who didn’t.  It had always been a game with them—her recalling every detail about a friend or teacher, details always overlooked by Michael—and then he’d fill in the missing part—the name.  But now she had to do it all on her own.
She smiled vaguely in the direction of the blond woman and her entourage and had almost made it to her van when she heard her name being called.
“Merilee?  Merilee Dunlap?”
Great.  The woman not only remembered her first name, but her last as well.  Forcing a warm smile on her face, Merilee turned.  “Oh, hello.  It’s good to see you again.”
The other women parted like the Red Sea as the tall blond walked toward Merilee and she remembered that the woman had been wearing a Lily Pulitzer sundress and two-carat diamond stud earrings when they’d met before.  But she didn’t remember her name.  “I thought that was you.  I looked for you in Mrs. Marshall’s homeroom.  I’m the room mother and wanted to welcome Lily myself.”
Merilee remembered the voice.  It was very Southern, heavily laced with dropped consonants and elongated vowels.  The most memorable part about it was that it sounded exactly like Merilee’s mother.
“We were running a bit late this morning.”  Feeling suddenly short and frumpy in her dark skirt and blazer, Merilee had the strong urge to explain.  “My son couldn’t find his new uniform shoes.  They somehow managed to find their way back into the box they came in and then got shoved so far under his bed that it took nearly twenty minutes to locate them.  And then Lily spilled her bowl of cereal and milk down the front of her skirt, and I had to quickly iron one of her other ones so she could wear it.”
The woman gave her a warm smile from behind dark Chanel sunglasses as if she knew exactly what it was like to be a frazzled single mother.  “Bless your heart.  And on the first day at a new school.  You’ll get used to the routine, I promise.  It took me a whole month to realize that I should have a skirt and blouse for every school day plus one, and have Patricia have them cleaned and ironed as soon as my girls dropped them on the floor.”
Not exactly sure how to reslake, Merilee picked out the first confusing part of the sentence.  “Patricia?”
“My house manager.  I couldn’t live without her.  You know how crazy busy it is with all of the kids’ schedules.”  She reached into her large handbag that was more briefcase than purse, with a designer’s logo sprouting over its surface like kudzu.  “I was going to stick this in the mail to you, but since you’re here I’ll give it to you now.  It’s a sign-up sheet for parties and field trips—it lists everything for the year.  Just let me know your availabilities and ask Lily to bring it in to school and give to Bailey as soon as you can.  Bailey is very responsible and will make sure it gets to me.”  The woman smiled, her teeth perfect.  “Only sign up for four—every mother wants to be at every single event, but then it just gets crowded—plus there won’t be room on the bus for the kids.”
“Only four…” Merilee took the list and looked at it, almost letting out an audible sigh when she saw the woman’s name at the top of the page, Heather Blackford, Class Mother, followed by three different phone numbers.  Now she remembered.  Heather had a daughter in Colin’s class, too, both girls’ names starting with ‘B’. 
“Yes.  And if you could turn it back in tomorrow that would be terrific.  I’ll have Claire put it all in a spreadsheet and I’ll email it to all the mothers.  Please write neatly—Claire has a way of butchering your name if she can’t read it.”
“Claire?”
“My personal assistant.  She’s only part time but I would simply die of exhaustion without her.”
The ladies behind her all nodded in understanding.
“Yes, well, I’ll take a look at it and get it back to you tomorrow.”  Merilee was already wondering how she was going to approach her boss to ask him for more time off.  The divorce and move had already eaten up all of her vacation time, and although Max was kind and understanding, everyone had their limits.
“And don’t forget the ‘I survived my first week of fourth grade’ party at my lake house this Saturday.  I’ll be handing out disposable cameras to all the moms and dads to take pictures throughout the year at our various events—I like to do little photo albums for all the kids and the teachers at the end of the year.”  She beamed, like it was just a small thing.  “Oh, and I took the liberty of signing you up for a dessert because we’re overrun with vegetables and dip and pimiento cheese.  I figured you’d know how to make something sweet.”
“Oh…”  Merilee simply blinked her eyes for a moment, wondering if Heather had meant to be insulting.
“Because you’re from South Georgia.  You mentioned that when we met.  You said I had the same accent as your mother.”
Feeing oddly relieved, Merilee said, “Yes, of course.  Where did you say you were from?”
“Here and there—but mostly Georgia.  I can always tell a native Georgian.  Hard to hide it, isn’t it?  It’s almost like no matter how far you go in life, all you have to do is open your mouth and somebody knows exactly where you’re from.”
There was something in the way Heather said it that made Merilee pause.  “Yes, well, I’ll call my mother today and ask her what she might recommend.”
“Wonderful.”  Heather beamed.  She pointed a key fob toward a black Porsche SUV with vanity plates that read YERSERV, and the rear door slowly raised.  As the other mothers oohed and ahhed appropriately, Merilee stared into the trunk where fourteen metallic gift bags with blue or pink tissue paper expertly pleated at the tops were arranged in neat rows.
Heather moved toward the car.  “A little lagniappe—that’s Cajun for ‘a little extra’ to all of my Yankee friends—for the first day of school.  My treat.  I thought we could each give our children a bag at pickup today and then head over to Scoops for ice cream afterwards.  I’ve already reserved the party room at the back of the store.  Claire is picking up the helium balloons this morning and will have it all decorated in Windwood colors.”
“You are just too much,” one of the mothers said as the other women eagerly stepped toward the car and took a bag.












Check out Flight Patterns by Karen White.    Newly available in paperback for $15 on March 28th.     My thoughts on Flight Patterns can be seen HERE








Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ghost in his Eyes by Carrie Aarons RELEASE BLITZ




Title: Ghost in His Eyes
Author: Carrie Aarons
Genre: Contemporary Second Chance Romance
Release Date: April 23, 2017

Blurb

He was as magnetic as a deadly hurricane to the shore.

Carson Cole was my first love. The boy I'd shared my whole self with.

He was the man who'd taken the other part of my soul and drowned it in the sea we'd grown up in.

And now he's back. Ten years later, and the demons of our past are still haunting every breath trapped between us.

She was as wild as the horses who owned the beach highways we drove down.

Blake Sayer was the beautiful daredevil who had me wrapped around her finger from the time we were seven.

Until a horrible accident stole every piece of joy from her life.

Ten years later, she's a shell of the girl she once was, and it's all my fault. The whispers of our history shackle her to the island I left behind.

Just like lost years and unspoken words, love had slipped from our fingers like grains of sand. We’d barely made it out alive last time, was it even possible to reconstruct the shattered pieces of us?







Purchase Links

99c for release day only

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited






Author Bio
  
Author of romance novels such as Red Card and the Captive Heart Duet, Carrie Aarons writes sexy, swoony and sarcastic characters who won't get out of her head until she puts them down on a page.

Carrie has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book. She loves spinning tales that include dapper men, women with attitude, and the occasional hunky athlete.

When she isn't in what her husband calls a "writing coma", Carrie is freeing up her jam-packed DVR, starting her latest DIY project, or planning her next travel adventure. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, who is more than happy to watch sports while his wife plots love stories.



Author Links




Friday, April 21, 2017

Truly, Madly, Whiskey by Melissa Foster with a GIVEAWAY

NEW RELEASE........

A new, emotionally riveting, sexy standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Watch mysteriously sexy Bear Whiskey claw his way to his happily ever after with sassy, rebellious Crystal Moon.

In TRULY, MADLY, WHISKEY…
Eight months is a long damn time to have the hots for a woman who keeps a guy at arm’s length. But Crystal Moon is no ordinary woman. She’s a sinfully sexy, sass-mouthed badass, and the subject of Bear Whiskey’s midnight fantasies. She’s also one of his closest friends. 

Just when Crystal thinks she has her life under control, scorching-hot, possessive, aggressive, and fiercely loyal Bear pushes all her sexual buttons, relentless in his pursuit to make her his.

The more Bear pushes, the hotter their passion burns, unearthing memories for Crystal that are best kept buried. But there’s no stopping the collision of her past and present, catapulting the two lovers down an emotionally charged road that has them questioning all they thought they knew about themselves.

 My Thoughts…

Bearded, tattooed, biker Bear is not my style, usually.    Bear in Truly, Madly, Whiskey is entirely my style.      This is a good reminder to not judge a person by their looks because looks can be deceiving.     Bear is a tough, alpha male but he has the absolute biggest heart EVER!    When it is decided that you are important to him there is nothing you can do to stop him from taking care of you, loving you, and protecting you. 

Melissa Foster takes her readers on a rollercoaster of emotions with Bear and Crystal.    Crystal can deny her feelings all she wants but there is no doubt to anyone else that these two belong together and nothing will keep them apart.      Crystal has a ton of issues to work through but Bear has no fear that nothing that she is dealing with can turn him off of her.     Bear has a few things happening in his life also.    He has to decide what his future will hold and how he will get to where he wants to be in his career.     

There are so many other amazing characters that I am anxious to know more about.  Bones, Bullet, and Dixie are all siblings of Bear that I am sure will have their own stories to tell.    I am excited for this set of characters to continue.    


I definitely recommend picking up your own copy ASAP.



**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from ...

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About the author

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on Facebook or her personal website.

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

Find Melissa on the following sites....

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I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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Win River of Love (Love in Bloom: The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor) ebook
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Heat by C.A. Harms & GIVEAWAY

Title: Heat
Series: Montgomery Men #2
Author: C.A. Harms
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 10, 2017 Kindle Unlimited
Beckett Montgomery is a well-known detective in the New York area. He takes his job seriously and has little time for anything else.
During an investigation in to a series of break-ins of an apartment building on 32nd St., he finds himself getting a little too involved. What had always in the past been his job, now felt as if it was so much more.
He can’t seem to let go of the image of the beautiful, scared blonder face. He found that protecting her became all he could think of. Whatever it took, not matter the cost, he would provide her the security she needed. 
He assured himself he would remain professional, he would dedicate himself fully to the task at hand and never would he mix business with pleasure.
Yet with each passing second Beckett spent in the presence of Shanelle Kramer, he found that the need for her only grew. Her beauty alone made him weak in the knees and that was only the beginning.
He had never desired a woman more.
Never felt the need to conquer, or claim, but she was different.
Maybe just one taste would end his addiction for Shanelle?
But one taste was just a tease….
And he needed more, so much more.

 My Thoughts...

A man who knows what he wants and doesn’t give up until he gets it describes all the Montgomery Men.   Beckett is just the next on to bite the dust.      He sees Elle at a night club, doesn’t approach her but can’t get her out of his mind.     When he sees her at a later date while doing his job and knows that he has to get her out of his mind.  Yet, that seems impossible.    
Beckett is not perfect, he makes so many errors while trying to woo Elle, yet he owns up to those mistakes.   He apologizes and does his best not to make the same ones again.    I loved that he owned up to those mistakes and recognized that he was the one that was putting strain on their relationship.   Elle is amazing.    She pushes, pulls, and doesn’t give in to the heat between Beckett and herself.     She makes him tow the line and treat her the way she deserves to be treated.    Yet, she doesn’t hold a grudge.   She recognizes that he is putting a HUGE effort into their relationship and accepts that mistakes will happen but that he will always have her in mind. 

C.A. Harms has found an amazing set of brothers and I can’t wait to meet the rest of them.    This is a series that does not have to be read in order, start the series with whichever brother you want and enjoy.   These Montgomery Men are amazing!   I am devouring each one of them.



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A little about me. Let’s see where to start.
I love HEA stories, as long as they come packing a little heat. I need some excitement, some angst, and moments that make me fan my face are always good too. I am an Illinois girl, born and raised. Simple and true, it honestly doesn’t take much to make me happy. I love the little things; they truly mean the most. I may have a slight addiction to my new Keurig—oh my, that thing is a godsend. And so fast too. I have two children who truly are my very best friends, and their faces never fail to put a smile on my face. I have been married to my husband for sixteen years, and even though at times I want to beat him with a stick, I would never change the years we have had. We have learned and fallen, only to pick each other up, dust off the ache, and help each other make it right.
I am one of those authors that adore my fans. I love to hear from you. After all, it is because of each one of you that I continue to write. I look forward to your feedback.
Be sure to follow me to stay up-to-date on all my upcoming releases.


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

One Last Risk by Nancy Stopper

Projected Release Date: April 18th, 2017
Editor: Theresa Cole
Proofreader: Lynn Mullan

A guilt-drive firefighter, a widowed mother, neither is ready for love, but love has other plans.
Firefighter Lucas Bennett had the carefree life he’d always wanted until a deadly blaze took the life of his company mate and best friend. Blaming himself was easy but pulling himself from the tailspin of guilt proved to be much harder. The fog of sadness and guilt pushed him down a dangerous path until he nearly died fighting the beast. Forced to stop and reevaluate his life, he decided to make a change before it was too late.

A fire took almost everything from Sarah Robinson—her husband and her home—leaving her to raise their precious daughter alone. Everywhere she looked held memories of her husband, pouring salt on her ever-present wound. Unable to live any longer around the memories of her husband, she and her daughter moved to Oak Grove, far away from the grief of the past. All Sarah needed was the chance to start a new life for her and her daughter.

A car accident on a dark, rainy night put Lucas and Sarah on a collision course neither of them expected… with questions they’re not ready to answer. Can a single mother open her broken heart for a second chance at love? Will a broken firefighter risk his heart for what might be his only chance at forever? Are each of them willing to take one last risk to be together? His risk. Her reward. Together, they’ll mend each other's broken hearts.

If you like small-town romance where the heroes are sexy and the women are strong, unlock One Last Risk to start your visit to Oak Grove, Pennsylvania and fall in love with Lucas and Sarah!

My Thoughts…

Two people who have both lost almost everything in a fire have a chance meeting at the local bakery.    The attraction was immediate, the sparks were obvious, yet they were both cautious.   Neither were looking for a relationship and both had demons to fight.   

I really liked that they didn’t just fall into bed.   They worked up to it, they dated, they got to know each other, and they included Sarah’s daughter into their relationship.    It was interesting to see them circle each other, sneak around a little, and figure out how to make a relationship with a child involved work.  

The little town of Oak Grove was amazing.   The cobblestone walks, the cottages, the one truck fire stations are all parts of a small town.   Nancy Stopper did a wonderful job of portraying this cute town.   Oak Grove is a place where everyone knows everyone and there are no secrets.   I could picture living here with Lucas and Sarah.

Thank you Nancy Stopper for a copy of the book in exchange for a honest review.

Book Links
Goodreads    |   Amazon   |   Barnes and Noble   |   Kobo



About the Author:
Nancy Stopper is an award-winning debut author. She writes contemporary romance with strong women and sexy heroes that tug at your emotional heartstrings and leave you with a warm feeling that lingers long after the last page. Her favorite escape is small-town romance and even when set in a larger location, her books have that small-town feel.

Her first novel, One Last Risk, won first place in the Short Contemporary Romance category of the Fool for Love Contest and was a Maggie Finalist in the unpublished Single-Title Contemporary Category.

Dreams Come True in Laguna, Nancy's first novella, was published in the Laguna Beach Kindle World in 2016. Her first full-length contemporary romance novel will be published in 2017.
Nancy lives in Virginia with her husband, two of her three kids that are still at home, and one cat who regards her with disdain daily. When she's not behind her laptop, you can find her at a ballfield, cheering on her favorite team (Washington Nationals) or her favorite player (her son, who pitches for his local high school), or at a dance performance with her daughter.

Website: http://www.nancystopper.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NancyStopperAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16070692.Nancy_Stopper