Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Release Day Launch: Three Broken Promises by Monica Murphy

Breakout New Adult sensation Monica Murphy returns with a hot new contemporary romance—a heartfelt story of second chances, forgiveness, and redemption.



That’s what I really want from Colin. Ever since my brother, Danny, died in Iraq, Colin’s done so much to help me, including giving me a job at his popular restaurant so I can leave my crappy waitressing job at the strip joint. But lying in bed with him every night to comfort him from his horrible nightmares isn’t enough anymore. I know he feels guilty about Danny’s death, about not going to Iraq, but I can’t keep living this double life.

I love him desperately, but he’s got so many demons, and if he can’t open up to me now, then he’ll never be the real partner I need him to be. I gave him a month, and now I’m out of here. If he truly loves me like he says, he knows where to find me.

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“You’re going to turn me away yet again, aren’t you?” she asks when I don’t say anything. The irritation in her voice rings clear as her entire body goes tense. “I can’t believe it. I offer myself up to you with no strings attached and you’re trying to figure out how to let me down easy. God, I am such a moron.”
Unable to hold myself back, I rush toward her, angry that she would insult herself. Panicked that she really is going to walk away and I’m going to lose my chance. Thinking too much sucks. I need to just let it happen. Take this opportunity that she’s presenting me.
And let her go when our time is up.
“You’re not a moron,” I murmur, reaching for her. I cup her face in my hands and position her so she has no choice but to meet my gaze. I skim my thumbs across her cheeks, feel her shudder at my touch. “You make an offer like that and a man needs to process it first.”
The unshed tears still glimmer in her eyes and one escapes, leaving a damp trail across her skin. Leaning in, I stop its descent with my lips, tasting the salt, hearing the catch in her breath. “We do this and it’s not going to be some half-assed thing, you know,” I whisper.
She closes her eyes, her tears tangled in her long, thick lashes. “What’s it going to be, then?”
“A discovery.” I nuzzle her nose with my own, breathing in her scent, her very essence. God, I could devour her! It’s taking everything within me to keep calm and not unleash all over her. “An exploration.”
“That sounds like . . . research.” Her breath hitches in her throat when I drop a tender kiss on the tip of her nose.
Chuckling, I shake my head. “It’s the farthest thing from research.” I drift my lips across her cheek, blazing a hot path on her petal-soft skin. “You’re right when you said I don’t do commitment. The closest thing I’ve ever been to commitment is . . . what I share with you.”
She tentatively places her hands on my hips, her fingers curling into the waistband of my jeans. Having her hands on me sends little darts of fire throughout my insides, making me harden in an instant. She has no idea what sort of effect she has on me. How much restraint I’m using at this very moment not to throw her over my shoulder like an oversexed caveman and cart her off to my bedroom.
“But it can be no more than friendship with added . . . benefits.” I lift my head so I can look into her troubled gaze. She doesn’t like what I have to say and I don’t like it either, but I have to be honest. Stringing her along and making her believe this is something more is a mistake.
The two of us together would never work. I’m too damn selfish. I’d disappoint her. I’d hold her back when she needs her freedom. I’m not worthy of her. She’s everything sweet and good in my life, where there’s little sweet and good remaining.
I’ve kept her—and our relationship—as pure as possible even after all of these years. With the realization that she’s leaving me, that we’ll never be together again, I need to take my opportunities where I can.
Jen bites her lip and drops her gaze. “I can handle that.”
Her body language is more than telling me she doesn’t really want to handle that, but I can’t worry about it now.
I want her too damn much.

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

December Covet Release Day Blast Materials

Covets have all the sexiness, emotion, and happily ever after that readers have come to expect and love from Entangled. They are firmly grounded in the contemporary world, but each novel brings in supernatural twists, breaking the contemporary and paranormal rules, alike. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books you’ll be coveting next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, LIKE their Facebook page, and join the Book Club.

Today I'm happy to be featuring Covet's December releases:

Beg Me to Slay by Lisa Kessler

He’ll slay her demons, but it may cost her heart…

Four years ago Tegan Ashton was attacked. Determined never to be a victim again, she devotes her life to martial arts and self-defense. When her assailant returns to finish what he started, only one person can help her.

Gabe is a private investigator by day and demon slayer by night. After losing loved ones, he vows to defend people from a threat they don’t realize exists.

The relationship is supposed to be strictly business, but fighting demons together stirs up emotions they never expected. Turns out demon slaying is a breeze compared to facing their scarred pasts and even worse - hearts.

Ashes by Sarah Gilman

Journalist Ambrosia Pellerin accepts an assignment involving the legendary phoenix, expecting, if nothing else, a little entertainment. Instead, she winds up pregnant—by a surprisingly human-looking firebird, Reece Bennu.

As the Phoenix prince, Reece is next in line to the throne and expected to marry a purebred royal. A common human such as Ambrosia is not in the cards. He swears, though, he’ll never be an absentee father.

As Ambrosia’s due date grows closer, so do the soon-to-be parents. But will their tentative love survive the prejudice of Reece’s grandmother, who will stop at nothing to tear the two apart?

***Lisa is going to be hosting a release day FB party on 12/30 from 4-8PST make sure to stop by***

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Spotlight: Summertime Dream by Babette James


The Fourth of July is over, but for these summer lovers the fireworks have just begun.

An unexpected inheritance brings business consultant Christopher Gordon from Los Angeles to quaint Falk’s Bend. He’s carved a week from his demanding schedule to list his great-grandparents’ house for sale and explore his roots. However, disturbing family secrets and the sweet temptation of writer Margie Olsson derail his plans, challenging him to seize the elusive dream missing from his hectic life— love.

A recent brush with death shook Margie’s life, but not her dreams and she’s ready to move forward. Only, standing up to her loving, over-protective family isn’t easy. Helping Christopher explore the derelict mansion and unravel his grandmother’s mysterious past should be a harmless fun taste of independence. But when her experimental summer fling ignites into unexpected love, how can her small town dreams work with his big city life?

Authors Bio: Babette James writes sweetly scorching contemporary romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. Babette is a member of New Jersey Romance Writers, where she has served on the Board. She is also a Pro member of Romance Writers of America, and the Celtic Hearts, and Contemporary Romance Chapters of RWA, and Liberty States Fiction Writers. As a teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! Born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California, she’s had a life-long love of the desert and going down the shore. Babette now lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.


Beautiful, isn’t it? I fell so in love with this place when I was little and dreamed I’d live in a house like this someday.” Margie laughed. “Of course, in my dreams it was a bit less rundown.”

“I’d imagine so. Interested in buying?”

“Oh, if only I could, I would in an instant. I’m sure the property alone is worth far more than I can afford.  It’s a huge piece of land. And the repairs and restoration...” Longing swelled. She sighed. Someone else would buy and live in her dream home.

Quiet fell between them for a while. Bees buzzed in the clover. Birds sang, chirped, and flitted. A hummingbird whizzed past. Two more ducks joined the first amid quiet bickering quacks. Dandelion fluff drifted by on an unfelt breeze.

A truck rattled down the lane, breaking the moment.

“Suppose we ought to head back...” Christopher turned, so close their arms brushed, but instead of retreating, he hesitated. Their eyes locked. Where dismay and frustration had filled his green eyes, want simmered. The heavy air electrified.

You need a change.

On a surge of bewildering crazy courage, she stretched up and kissed him. The brief brush of lips to lips left her shaken and her heart pounding, like she had  just come up for air.
His eyes widened in his serious, craggy face.

No, oh, no. Blowing out an unsteady breath, she pressed a hand to her stomach. She’d carried her day’s adventure one impetuous step too far. Her heroines were the daring part of her. She’d never even kissed on a first date before, and this wasn’t even a date.

Before the apology fluttering in her mind could break free, he cupped her cheek and touched his mouth down on hers.

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About the Author:

Author of Sweetly Scorching Contemporary Romance

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Spotlight: Dangerous Pursuit by Margaret Daley


Reading about danger never prepared Samantha Prince for the desperate phone call from her brother in Brazil that sent her from the safety of her New Orleans bookstore into the rugged, inhospitable Amazon in search of him and a hidden treasure. And reading about romance never prepared Samantha to resist the mysterious appeal of Brock Slader, a guide she hired to help her in her quest.

Alone with Brock in an alien world of orchids and anacondas, primitive headhunters and very up-to-date gunmen, she struggles to keep their relationship strictly business. Will Samantha survive the dangers in the jungle only to have her heart broken by a man who lives on the edge—no strings attached?

Dangerous Pursuit is the first book in The Protectors Series
Coming Soon Dangerous Interlude and Dangerous Paradise

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Chapter One from Dangerous Pursuit by Margaret Daley
As Samantha Prince leaned forward to straighten the books on a lower shelf, her long braid fell across her shoulder. Impatiently she flipped it back, considering again whether she should cut it short. Some people called her hair-color auburn; she called it red. Fiery-haired auburns were the heroines in the romance books she read. The color did not describe her.
“Samantha, what do you think of this book? I’m going out of town again and need something to keep me warm at night,” a stylish businesswoman in her forties said.
“A very good mystery, Mrs. Carson, but I wasn’t impressed with the main character. Not enough backbone to get out of all the scrapes he and the heroine got into.”
“It sounds like more adventure than mystery. Once I start a good adventure I can’t put it down and end up reading through the night. All those cliff-hangers, you know.” Mrs. Carson scanned another book from a display near the checkout counter.
Samantha smiled to herself. Mrs. Carson always came into her bookstore right before a business trip and went through almost every book on the shelves, looking for just the right one that was a great story but wouldn’t keep her up past midnight. Samantha had never found a novel with both ingredients, and she read at least half the books that came through her store. It was her favorite pastime, to lose herself in the lives of the characters and imagine herself doing things that she would never do in her real life.
“Maybe I should try a romance this time,” Mrs. Carson continued, shifting her attention to another section. “The last mystery I read had me waking up every time I heard anything. And you know in a hotel how many sounds you can hear.”
Actually, she didn’t. She had never been anywhere, unless she counted visiting Aunt Lou. She had planned a trip to Europe two summers before but had to cancel it. She was beginning to believe her lack of travel experience was a crime at the age of thirty.
“A good love story,” Samantha said, indicating the book Mrs. Carson picked up. “That ought to keep you warm at night. It’s very hot.”
She waved her hand to show just how hot the book was. While Mrs. Carson examined both books again, Samantha glanced around at the rows of bookshelves. After three years her business was doing very well—at least well enough for her to afford a vacation. Maybe she’d go to some exotic place, she thought as Mrs. Carson decided to buy both the romance and the mystery.
When Mrs. Carson left the Purple Ink, the noise of New Orleans traffic and a blast of cold air rushed into the shop. Samantha shivered and pulled the front of her brown sweater more securely across her chest. Somewhere exotic and warm, she amended. In her mind the only good thing to come from cold weather was curling up in bed under layers of wool blankets with a great book to read while sipping a steaming cup of hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows in it.
Tonight, she vowed as she began to finish restocking the shelves of the adventure section. Pausing to examine a cover on one book, she was instantly reminded of her younger brother, Mark, who traveled the world, going from one adventure to the next while she remained in New Orleans, working day after day to make Purple Ink a success. The biggest adventure Samantha ever encountered was the rush hour traffic on Interstate 10.
Sighing heavily, she completed her task and noted it was time to close up for the day. Standing, she stretched to ease the ache in her lower back. It was time to start exercising again. The holiday season had been busy, and she got out of the routine once Thanksgiving had passed. Now it was the first of February, and she had ignored her better sense and found excuse after excuse not to get back to it. Though exercising would never head her list of favorite things to do, she promised herself to sign up for a new aerobics class. Soon. Maybe in a month or so.
“Samantha, I’m going. I’ll see you tomorrow morning at nine thirty,” Nell, Samantha’s assistant, said as she gathered up her purse and coat.
“Don’t forget we have to start the inventory tomorrow. Can you stay late?”
“I have everything lined up, so it shouldn’t take as long as last year.”
Nell shook her head. “You are the most organized human being I’ve ever met. If I know you, you’ll have devised a way to cut our time nearly in half.”
“Oh, at least. Why else invest in a computer?” Samantha laughed and waved her friend on.
Nell was always teasing Samantha about how neat and orderly she was. But she had practically raised her younger brother while her mother had worked to support them. As a teenager she had juggled school, part-time work, and housework. It hadn’t been easy, but her mother and younger brother had depended on her, so she had learned to be organized the hard way.
Samantha went through the same routine to close her shop as she had done ever since she had bought it. After one final survey of her store, she went out the back door to her car.
Mark always laughed about her and her routines, but they gave her a sense of security and stability that was important to her. Neither she nor Mark, as children, nor their mother, had had much of either. It didn’t seem to bother her brother, but it did bother her.
When she finally arrived at her house after grocery shopping, exhaustion from a long day gripped her. She picked up the bag of food and was planning her dinner as she stepped into her house. The phone was ringing, and she nearly dropped the bag as she rushed to pick up the receiver.
“Hello, Samantha Prince speaking.”
“Sam! You’re home finally. Why isn’t your cell working?” Her brother’s voice was faint, but he sounded frantic.
“Mark, what’s wrong? Where in the world are you?” Samantha set the grocery bag on the kitchen table and dug in her purse for her cell phone. She’d left it on silent, something she did often.
The long distance connection wasn’t a good one, and Samantha had to strain to hear his answer. “The Amazon?”
“The last I heard you were in Rio. Why are you there?” She had read plenty of books set in the jungle and couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to go there.
“It’s a long story. I don’t have the time to go into it.”
The tone of her brother’s voice, laced with impatience, alarmed Samantha. Tiny prickles of fear rose on the nape of her neck. “Why did you call?” She forced her voice to remain calm while her grip tightened on the receiver. He was her only close relative, their mother having died four years before. Though they didn’t see each other a lot, she loved him very much and their relationship was a good one.
“I need a thousand dollars to get out of here. I needed it yesterday. Can you send me the money?” Mark’s voice faded in and out.
“You said you need a thousand dollars?”
“Yes, Sis. Fast.”
There was no mistaking the desperation in his answer. The tingles of fear quickly spread down her body. “Are you in some kind of trouble?” As a child she had rescued her brother from a few situations. He had always been daring; there was a bold recklessness about him that was very appealing, yet dangerous too. They were like night and day.
He laughed, but there was no amusement in the sound. “You could say that. I have someone who would like to get his hands on me. Can you wire it, Sis?”
  “Yes, of course. But I can’t do anything until tomorrow morning. Everything is closed.” 
He mumbled something she couldn’t understand, then said in a clear voice, "I’ll try to make—wait for it.” 
“Where are you staying?”
“The Grand Hotel. It doesn’t live up to its name, but it’s all I could afford.”
“Can I send it to you there?”
“No! I’ll have to pick it up at the bank. It’s safer. I can’t trust anyone.”
Samantha shuddered. “Safer? Mark, please tell me what’s going on.”
Static crackled over the line, and Samantha placed her hand over her other ear as if that would help her hear him better.
“If anything happens to me, Sam, there’s something of great value under the altar of the Para Mission church. Got that?”
“Yes, but—”
There was the sound of male voices in the background, then Mark said quickly, “Got to go. Love you.”
The phone went dead.
Samantha collapsed into a chair, her whole body trembling. She thought about pinching herself; surely she had dreamed the telephone conversation. But the fear and sense of urgency reminded her of the reality of the phone call, and she was chilled with dread.
Something of great value under the altar of the Para Mission church?
What? How was Mark involved? Was it something illegal? Why was he running scared? And from whom? Her mind felt as if it would explode from all the unanswered questions bombarding her.
A thousand dollars! That would wipe out most of her savings for her vacation, but if Mark was in trouble, Samantha would sell her house and her bookstore if she had to.
If Mark was in trouble. From the sound of his voice he was in trouble. She knew she would be at the bank first thing in the morning.
* * *
Samantha stood frozen, holding her check for one thousand dollars in both hands. Mark hadn’t picked it up. It was hard for her to believe that her money had been returned that morning. But if he was going to pick it up, Mark would have in a week’s time.
Her hands began to shake, and she almost dropped the check. What or who had prevented her brother from getting the money?
The questions she had been avoiding all morning invaded her thoughts, and she sank into her desk chair in the back of her bookstore.
“What should I do?” she asked the silent walls.
Call! She’d call him at the Grand Hotel in Manaus. Maybe he was still there and didn’t need the money anymore and that was why he hadn’t picked it up. Maybe everything was fine now. Maybe the moon really was made of cheese.
Apprehensive about what she would find out, Samantha placed an international call to Brazil. When the man who answered at the hotel couldn’t speak English, she was at a loss.
“May I speak with Senor Prince?” Samantha spoke very slowly and in a loud voice, as if that would make things clear. She had never been good at learning foreign languages and envied her brother, who knew five fluently.
The stream of words that followed was unintelligible. Frustrated, Samantha finally hung up, concluding there was no Senor Prince at the Grand Hotel. Next she put a call through to Mark’s apartment in Rio and prayed that her brother would answer. On the twentieth ring she gave up and slammed the phone down, even more frustrated than before. Her fear returned in full force.
For five minutes she stared at the check, her mind churning with possible courses of action. Suddenly she turned to her laptop and punched in an address. Five minutes later she’d booked a flight to Rio.
She would go to Mark’s place in Rio and find out what she could about his whereabouts. Since he was no longer at the hotel in Manaus, maybe he had returned to Rio and wasn’t in his apartment at the moment. She would keep calling until she had to leave the next morning. She prayed she was panicking for no reason.
Thirty minutes later she was on her way home to pack for Brazil, having left a stunned Nell behind to run the bookstore. When she had thought about a vacation in a warm, exotic place last week, this wasn’t how she had envisioned planning it. Samantha had imagined herself going to a travel agent and getting plenty of brochures on different tropical locales. Then she would have gone home, spread them all out on her kitchen table, and slowly read through each one until she had narrowed her selection down to one. Everything would have been done in an orderly, slow fashion. Wasn’t part of the joy of a vacation the anticipation beforehand?
While sitting at a stoplight, her conversation with Nell returned to Samantha’s mind.
“I can’t believe you’re dropping everything to go to Brazil to look for your brother! This isn’t you. You don’t do things like this,” Nell had said.
“My brother doesn’t disappear like this either. I can’t sit here and wonder what’s happened to him. I’ve got to find out. I can’t get any answers over the phone.”
“So you’re flying thousands of miles to get some answers?”
“Do you know of a better way?”
Nell had shaken her head. “Don’t worry about the shop. I’ll take care of it. If your brother calls, what should I tell him?”
“Find out where he is and tell him to stay put. I’ll check in with you every few days.” Horns blared behind Samantha, and she realized she was sitting at a green light with angry motorists waiting on her. Embarrassed, she gunned her engine and sped forward.
She welcomed the familiarity of her small house, and before attempting to pack, she fixed herself a cup of hot tea and sat down at the kitchen table to organize what she had to do in the next twelve hours before she left for Rio.
Passport. Thank goodness she had one from that aborted trip to Europe.
Clothes? What kind of clothes should she take to Rio? Wasn’t it summer there? Clothing for a hot, humid environment. A couple of sundresses. Maybe a pair or two of shorts. A bathing suit. Sandals.
The last thing Samantha put on her list of necessities was the latest book she was reading, Jungle Fever. It was part of a shipment that had arrived at the store the previous day. Samantha had been drawn to the title because of Mark, but now she could hardly put it down. It was an engrossing tale of adventure and intrigue by a new author whom Samantha thought would go far. She had gotten to the part where the hero had just rescued the heroine from a tribe of headhunters and they were fleeing for their lives.
With her list completed, she began packing and finished at eleven. After showering and getting ready for bed, she tried to sleep, but her mind danced with images of her brother, herself, and his unknown enemy. She sat up in bed, switched on the light, and started reading the next chapter of her book.
Harper swung the machete, striking the thick undergrowth over and over. The swish of the blade filled the jungle stillness with the urgency of their escape. Diana clung to Harper’s hand, glancing constantly over her shoulders as they raced through the jungle. She could hear the Indians behind her. She could imagine their savage faces as the headhunters followed, so sure she and Harper would be caught. This was the headhunters’ territory. They ruled it as they had for hundreds of years: by fear.
Samantha was immediately whisked into another world and didn’t put the novel down until she couldn’t keep her eyelids open another minute. She glanced at her bedside clock and gasped. It was three in the morning. She had to leave at seven!
Sleep finally descended, but it was a restless sleep, saturated with pictures of painted Indians with lip discs and spears tipped in poison. Samantha tossed and turned, visualizing herself as Diana as she last read about her: standing at the top of a waterfall with a rushing river in front of her and the headhunters in back. Either way Diana went appeared to be instant death.
Cold reality returned the next morning as Samantha hurried to make her flight to Rio via Miami. She wasn’t able to catch her breath until the plane was in the air and the meal was being served.
Then the idea of what she was doing struck her with a powerful impact. She was flying down to Rio with one day’s notice, trying to locate her brother in one of the largest countries in the world. She wasn’t a detective and really knew nothing, other than what she had read, about what a detective did to find a missing person.
What was happening to the sensible, logical woman she was?
That question returned to plague her in Rio as she waited while her brother’s neighbor, whom Mark had said always had his spare key, let her into Mark’s place. Before her lay the wreckage of a once presentable bachelor’s apartment.
Everything was torn or shattered, nothing left untouched. Someone had searched this place very thoroughly, and she knew it was connected with Mark’s mysterious phone call the week before.
Samantha moved slowly into her brother’s apartment. Suddenly she knew the fear Diana felt looking down at the rushing river. And Samantha knew what she had to do next: go to the Amazon to Manaus.

About the Author:

Margaret Daley, an award-winning author of eighty-five books, has been married for over forty years and is
a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website, Twitter at and Facebook.

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