Cover Reveal: Ultimate Kill by Kristine Mason

Title: Ultimate Kill
Author: Kristine Mason 
Series: CORE Series or Book 1 Ultimate CORE Trilogy
Genre: Romantic Suspense 
Publisher:  Self Published 
Release Date: Mid April 2014
Edition/Formats It Will Be Available In: eBook
Blurb/Synopsis: 
When the past collides with the present, the only way to ensure the future lies in the ultimate kill…
Naomi McCall is a woman of many secrets. Her family has been murdered and she’s been forced into hiding. No one knows her past or her real name, not even the man she loves. 
Jake Tyler, former Marine and the newest recruit to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, has been in love with a woman who never existed. When he learns about the lies Naomi has weaved, he’s ready to leave her—until an obsessed madman begins sending her explosive messages every hour on the hour.
Innocent people are dying. With their deaths, Naomi’s secrets are revealed and the truth is thrust into the open. All but one. Naomi’s not sure if Jake can handle a truth that will change their lives. But she is certain of one thing—the only way to stop the killer before he takes more lives is to make herself his next victim. 

I
didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties.
Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my
own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from
turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book
will never see the light of day, something good came from writing it. I
realized my passion and found a career I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark,
romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and
two neurotic dogs.

Author Links

Spotlight On: Aubrie Dionne’s ALLIANCE

Title: Alliance

Author: Aubrie Dionne

Series: Paradise Reclaimed #3

Genre: Young Adult fantasy

Release Date: January 31, 2014

“Saving him meant saving her colony…”

Lyra Bryan has been saving people her whole life from a chick in the ventilation pipes to her mentally ill brother when his mind drifts back to Old Earth. She meets her match when she finds a gorgeous alien man aboard the arachnid ship. Captured after a failed attempt to save his people, his spirit is broken, craving only vengeance. To save her colony, Lyra must save his body and soul.

Lyra’s lifemate, Tauren, is jealous of her obsession with the alien man and will do anything in his power to break them apart. While they travel to the arachnid’s home world to defeat the mother brain once and for all, they must set aside their differences and work as a team. But, can Tauren be trusted?

Other books in the series:

 

Colonization, book #1


Reconnaissance, book #2

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EXCERPT

Chapter

One

Empty

Bed

The scar burned between

my breasts. Would I ever feel whole again? I smoothed my fingers over the

fabric of my uniform, where the sunburst blossomed red and pink on my skin. My

other hand traced the exotic, inky patterns on the alien man’s face lying on

the examination bed beside me. Only he could understand my pain. We’d both been

cocooned on that wretched alien ship, waiting to die.

“Lyra, you have to

leave him. The ceremony’s in twenty minutes.” Tauren stood with his arms

crossed over his broad chest. A forehead worthy of an Old Earth cave man hung

over his little, beady eyes as he stared with suspicion. “Don’t you want your

medal?”

Behind me, monitors

beeped with a steady, abnormally slow heart rate. A line fluctuating on a graph

showed unprecedented brain activity. My ward dreamed. What of, I wasn’t sure:  star systems I’d never seen, or maybe his

home planet. My fingers traced his shimmery golden skin, soft and smooth except

for the calluses on the underside of his palm and the hard ripped abs

underneath the sheets–not that I’d peeked. For an alien, he looked more like a

demigod or one of those statues of roman warriors from Old Earth.

I brushed back a strand

of cobalt hair from his eyes and tucked in the bed sheets. “I don’t care about

medals.”

Tauren lurched toward

me and grabbed my wrist like I was his toy kite that had drifted too far on the

wind. His fingernails dug into my skin. “What do you care about?” His voice was

hoarse, his smudge-brown eyes desperate.

My thoughts wandered to

the alien man. I hadn’t even spoken to him or learned his name. When I first

saw him, wrapped in the arachnids’ cocoon aboard their metallic ship, my

emotions ignited. Far from his home, he lay in stasis, trapped until the

arachnids drained his body of life. I’d been in the same position until Nova

saved me.

I had to save him. 


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About the Author


Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over again until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation-favorite character was Data by far-, and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.

Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be “A concert flutist” when she grew up. When she made that happen, she decided one career was not enough and embarked as a fantasy, sci fi author. Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.

 Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

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Giveaway

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The Useful Review ~ A Guest Post by KC Sprayberry

The Useful Review
by K.C. Sprayberry

I’ve been reading books all my life. A couple of years ago, I started reviewing those books and posting the reviews to Amazon and Goodreads. During blog tours, I’ve also had the reviews on my blog. The system I use is my own; I never looked for a special way to write a review.

The useful review is one that points out what makes the book good or bad. The person writing the review should keep a few things in mind when composing their thoughts on the book.

1. Be honest. Above all, be honest in your review. That’s not to say you should say this book is absolute crap, but don’t sugar coat problems you saw in it, such as the need for editing or that the story just didn’t work for you. If you are going to give a review lower than 4 stars, try and contact the author before posting the review. This contact isn’t to change your opinion but rather to explain why you feel the way you do. One of my policies is never to review a book lower than 3 stars, because the author has gone to a lot of work to produce their work. No matter how awful a book has been, I’ve always found something good to say about it.

2. Don’t rely on the blurb to set the tone for your review. I write my own blurbs of what I think the book was about. Sometimes they are close to what the author did, but mostly they’re different, presenting the book in a way that might attract other readers.

3. Open with what you think of the author’s strong points are for this story. Give the person a chance. They’re a person who has poured a part of their life into this book. I like to mention how the sentences and paragraphs flow from one to another first. Then I concentrate on the characters.

4. If there are major problems with the book, now is the time to concentrate on them. Point out how you believe the author could have done better in transitioning from one situation to another, or how the characters seemed a little too over the top. Character growth throughout a book is important to me. I always ask myself if the characters have learned from their experiences, and then I point out why I found this had failed.

5. End with a positive note, explaining why you can or cannot recommend the book. If this book is outside your comfort zone, this is the time to mention that. Often, a book outside our comfort zone never quite breaks through. For this reason, your review might not reflect what a person who likes that type of book might feel.

6. Finally, if you received a free copy for review, use a statement to that effect. A lot of people believe those who are paid, whether in money or a copy of a book, only give raving reviews of the book. That can’t be further from the truth, if you stick with rule one.

How useful are good reviews? The theory is a good review will garner more sales for the author. That has proven to be wrong sometimes. A bad review can also intrigue people, driving them to pick up the book to find out just why someone was so against it. This tends to have a domino effect, driving up sales when the purpose might have been to kill sales.

One thing to remember: The review process for books is a way for authors to gauge their work. A review designed to rip apart a book, to trash it, for any reason other than the reviewer didn’t like the book for whatever reason, will hurt a person. This is why I keep my reviews honest, but I always look for good points.

___________________________
Check out KC’s new book, Evil Eyes

EvilEyes300 cover

Blurb:
Lisa is so ready for a break from the grueling first semester of college. Along with five other friends, she returns to Landry, and hopes to have nothing but fun. Within days, one of the group is the victim of a vindictive stalker, and Lisa herself is now in the man’s sights. No matter what she does, she can’t shake this person.

Fred has a little problem, but he figures he can take care of it himself, if he achieves fame with his folk rock band, Olney-Oak Lane Sounds. Then he happens to see this beautiful woman, who turns out to be just like every other woman he’s met. He takes care of her, and is immediately drawn to Lisa. No one will get between Fred and Lisa, absolutely no one.

On Christmas Eve, Lisa has to fight for her life and sanity after Fred kidnaps her. She turns out to be very different from the other women, in a way he never figured.

___________________________
Excerpt:

The wind picks up, intensifying into a howl. Snow swirls in circles everywhere. Lisa hears John calling for her again. She turns around to tell him that they need the police, but stops when a strange voice echoes all around her.

“Lisa,” the man says. “I love you, Lisa. You’re mine forever.”

Lisa opens her mouth. All that comes out is a completely terrorized scream.

___________________________
Book Links:

Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00J1QC3V8
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21472973-evil-eyes

___________________________

Author Bio:
KC Sprayberry started writing young, first as a diarist, and later through an interest in English and creative writing. Her first experience with publication came when she placed third in The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now in his senior year of high school.

Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short stories. She has three books that are Amazon best sellers: Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice. Her other novels available are: Take Chances, The Ghost Catcher, Family Curse … Times Two, Secret From The Flames, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, and Grace. Her adult romantic suspense novel, Starlight, will release on May 5, 2014.

___________________________
Social Media Links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kcsowriter
Blog: http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.kcsprayberry.com

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Unleashed by Emily Kimelman – Book Blitz & Contest

 

Choose the Voice of Sydney Rye

Sydney Rye is coming to Audio and we need your help picking the narrator!

Emily Kimelman’s Sydney Rye series of mysteries feature a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

Haven’t read Sydney Rye yet? Download the first book, UNLEASHED, for free on Amazon, iTunes, B&N, or Kobo and see how she sounds in your head then vote for the best narrator.

Voting enters you to win all sorts of great prizes including Amazon gift cards, signed books, and the finished Audio book! Add to your chances of winning by joining Emily’s email list, liking her Facebook page, or telling your friends about the contest.

Here are your choices:



Emily:

Bio:

Emily Strong is an actor, voiceover talent, and first time filmmaker. As a native of Michigan, she is a nature-lover at heart but has the mind of a city girl and moved to Chicago nearly three years ago because she wasn’t smart enough to go somewhere warmer. She takes full advantage of what the city has to offer by training at legendary places like The Second City and eating lots and lots of ethnic food (will travel all the way across the city to Pilsen for the best tacos!). Her love of reading was the catalyst for her adventurous spirit and the reason why she is always stoked to tell stories in their many different forms.

You can visit her at www.emilystrong.net




Erin:

 

Bio:

Erin has narrated over 500 audio books including “The Hunger Games” trilogy for The National Library Services/Library Of Congress, “A State Of Wonder,” The Garden Of The Beasts,” “Anna Karenina,” “Ferdinand The Bull, and “Madeline.”





Sonja:







Bio:

Sonja has two loves: acting and reading. Narrating audiobooks is her absolute passion. She has logged over 600 hours recording textbooks with an organization called Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, and is currently in the process of recording a kids’ action-fantasy-adventure novel, a steamy and mysterious paranormal romance, and a non-fiction about writing. She loves nothing more than bringing vivid worlds and unique characters to life. When she’s not recording, Sonja can be found onstage, traipsing around Brooklyn, or entertaining children with a variety of dubious accents.



Erica:




Bio:

Erica Newhouse is a film, televesion and theater actor living in New York City. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School.


Prize Details

Every vote, like, share, or sign up is an entry for the “grand prizes”

One person will win Signed copies of all 5 books

One person will win a $30 Amazon or B&N gift card

Four other winners will win paperback copies of UNLEASHED

 

Anyone who votes + signs up for Emily’s email list + likes Emily’s FaceBook page gets a copy of the audio book when it’s completed!

More about UNLEASHED:

UNLEASHED is the first book in Emily Kimelman’s best selling Sydney Rye series of mysteries.

 

When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller’s dog-walking business on Manhattan’s exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.

 

 

 

But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim–and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.

 

 

 

When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit–cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan’s elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.

 

The Rest of The Sydney Rye Series:

DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novella, #2)

INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)

STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)

THE DEVIL’S BREATH (A Sydney Rye Novel, #5) Coming April 2014

 

Emily Kimelman Biography

Emily Kimelman is the author of the best selling “Sydney Rye” series of mystery novels including UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, INSATIABLE, STRINGS OF GLASS and the forthcoming THE DEVIL’S BREATH. Emily lives with her husband, Sean Gilvey, and their dog, Kinsey Millhone “Pup Detective”, on a trawler docked in the Hudson Valley during the summer. She spends her winters traveling to where ever the next Sydney Rye Novel takes place. Right now she is in Costa Rica working on Sydney Rye #6.

 

If you’ve read Emily’s work and liked it please contact her. She loves hearing from readers. You can reach Emily via email ejkimelman@gmail.com or on twitter @ejkimelman. Follow her on Instagram to see pictures from Emily’s latest adventures. Visit www.emilykimelman.com to learn more about Emily and the Sydney Rye series.

 

Spotlight On: Sexual Appetites of Vampires by Donna Fletcher

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Sexual Appetites of Vampires – PROMO Blitz
By Donna Fletcher
Paranormal Romance
Date Published: February 25, 2014

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Lara Bennett intends to only take a few minutes of Michael Valaine’s time. But then she only has a few minutes since a snowstorm is about to hit the area. She’ll interview him, ask him a few questions about his family’s strange heritage and be on her way before the first snowflake falls.
Things don’t go as planned for Lara. First, Michael Valaine is a drop-dead gorgeous man and second, and most importantly, he claims to be a vampire. She assumes he’s either annoyed with her for her impromptu interview or he’s crazy, either way she wants out of his home and away from him.
A blinding snowstorm stops her from leaving and she’s faced with the prospect of riding it out with either a crazy man or a vampire. That is until Michael’s eyes begin to glow red, his lips draw back in a snarl, and his fangs descend.
Lara’s about to find out, firsthand, the information she came looking for…exactly what is the sexual appetites of vampires?

EXCERPT

Lara had met plenty of people who believed themselves a creature of the night. Some were just plain nuts while others played at it. She wasn’t sure if Michael Valaine fell into either category. And that was even more frightening.
            “The need for sex can border on complete madness when a vampire is in need of it.”
            Madness. Now there was something she could agree with. Michael Valaine was stark raving mad.
            “But that type of aching hunger, a need to devour, is what vampires try to keep at bay for it comes with consequences. So we keep ourselves well satisfied with sex with willing human women of which there is an abundant supply.”
            Lara finally had it. “You’ve got to be kidding me. You really expect me to believe this bullshit. I get it. You’re annoyed with me for showing up unexpected, and so you decide to play a little game with me. See if I frighten easily. Well, you chose the wrong woman, buddy. But I do have to thank you for giving me some great material for the book. Now I’m leaving and will never darken your already dark doorstep again.”
            “What were you expecting to find when you came here?” he asked accusingly.
            His dark eyes grew so intense that Lara thought they glowed black. “Certainly not a grown man who claims he’s a vampire.”
            “So you’re upset because you meet a vampire who can answer your questions about sex?”
            Lara rolled her eyes. “Really? You’re going to continue to claim that you’re a vampire. A blood-sucking, unearthly creature that is ravenous when it comes to sex.”
            “I thought you came for the truth.”
            “The truth would be nice, but it seems that you are intent on continuing your little game. I, however, do not wish to play.”
            That sly smile of his surfaced again. “I guarantee that you would enjoy playing with me, Lara.”
            “That’s it, I’m leaving.”
            Michael stood. “I’ll see you to the door.”
            “Not necessary, I know the way out,” she said, buttoning up her jacket.
            “Just because I am a vampire doesn’t mean I’m not a gentleman,” he said and stepped aside for her to pass.             
“A gentlemen vampire, now there’s an oxymoron if ever I heard one,” Lara said as she scooted past him, eager to get out of the house and as far away from Michael Alexandru Valaine that she could get.
A phone’s jarring ring startled Lara as she entered the foyer and made her way to the front door.
Michael picked up the phone on the side table behind the vase of a beautiful winter flora arrangement. “Michael Valaine. I see. No, not to worry I will see to the matter. Thank you for calling and see that you take care in this storm. I hear that it is to last at least two days. Good. I’m glad to hear that. My regards to your family.”
He sounded so civilized and so normal that Lara grew more annoyed. Why had he treated her in such a ridiculous fashion? Why hadn’t he simply told her that he wasn’t interested in speaking with her and send her on her way?
 He approached her slowly, almost predatorily. And she was damn glad she was leaving.
 He stopped next to the door, taking hold of the handle. “That was Martha. She has calls for her bed & breakfast forwarded to her sister’s place when she’s not there. Your car service called and cancelled. The snow has already started and with predictions worse than they first thought, they won’t endanger their driver or you. It looks like you’ll be my guest for the duration.”
“Hell no! I’ll find someplace to stay, but it won’t be with you,” she said and shoved his hand off the door to swing it open. Her heart dropped along with her mouth at the sight of the blizzard-like conditions. She could barely make out what was in front of her, since the snow was falling so heavily.
Michael pulled the door closed and turned the lock. The click sounded so final, as if a jailer was locking her in and there would be no escape. She was trapped with a sexy hunk of a man who thought himself a vampire. It sounded more like the setting of a romance novel than real life. But she was no swooning heroine.
She looked Michael Valaine straight in those dark eyes of his and felt like a fool saying, “Tell me you’ve been playing me and that you’re no vampire.”
“Oh, sweetheart, if only I could.”
His eyes began to glow red, his lips curled back, fangs dropped down, and Lara fainted.
 Donna Fletcher:
Donna Fletcher is a USA Today Best Selling author of over thirty romance novels.
Buy Links

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Sneak Peek Sunday: First Kisses – Josh and Laney in Fairy, Texas

It’s Sneak Peek Sunday! Check out the excerpt below from Fairy, Texas, then HOP for more sneak peeks into great romances!

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I held myself completely still. “Like pheromones?”

“More like a moth to the flame,” he muttered. He leaned closer so that we stood less than an inch apart. He bent down and touched his lips to mine.

My eyes fluttered closed and I leaned closer so that we were pressed against each other. His kiss was slow, like his smile, and seeped into me until I could feel myself glowing along with him. When he broke away from me, I looked down and was oddly unsurprised to see my arm shining gently in the dark next to his.

“So you can all do that?” I asked breathlessly.

“Um.” Josh took a deep breath himself, shaking his head as if to clear it. “I don’t know. It’s not usually . . . like that.” He looked down at his own arm, which had wrapped itself around my waist. “It’s never been quite like that,” he whispered, as if to himself.

I started to ask him what he meant, but at that moment I heard the outer door to the classroom open. I spun away from Josh and stared at the darkroom door.

FairyTexasCover

Fairy, Texas. A small town like any other.

Laney Harris didn’t want to live there. When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that “boring” would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.

She was right. Boring took on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.

_____________________________________________

Buy Fairy, Texas

E-Book:
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/Fairy-Texas-Margo-Bond-Collins-ebook/dp/B00I7BTMJ4/

Paperback:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fairy-Texas-Margo-Bond-Collins/dp/1495419800/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fairy-texas-margo-bond-collins/1118584512
Books a Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Fairy-Texas/Margo-Bond-Collins/9781495419805
Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Fairy-Texas-Margo-Bond-Collins/9781495419805

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About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming in 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

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Connect with Margo
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins
Facebook Novel Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Waking-Up-Dead/502076076537575
Tumblr: http://vampirarchybooks.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/
Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/MargoBondCollins/

Be sure to add Fairy, Texas to your Goodreads bookshelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19502285-fairy-texas

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Check out the rest of the sneak peeks in today’s hop: http://sneak-peek-sunday.blogspot.com/2014/03/march-23.html

Spotlight On: UNCONDITIO​NAL by MELODY GRACE

We are extremely excited that Melody Grace’s UNCONDITIONAL is now available!!

UNCONDITIONAL is a contemporary romance, and it is the most heart-wrenching and latest novel in The Beachwood Bay Series.

Unconditional Cover

UNCONDITIONAL Synopsis:

Fall in love with Beachwood Bay in Melody Grace’s USA Today and internationally bestselling series!

“I’ve spent my whole life chasing perfection: perfect looks, perfect man, perfect home. But in one brutal moment, I realized it was all just a beautiful lie…”

Carina MacKenzie is fleeing from her past. Picking up the wreckage of her shattered dreams, she seeks comfort in the only place she’s ever felt safe: Beachwood Bay.

Garrett Sawyer isn’t looking to be anyone’s savior. Scarred by old betrayals, he’s sworn never to put his heart on the line again — especially not for a damaged, high-maintenance girl like Carina. But passion knows no logic, and soon, their reckless chemistry is making him forget his bitter vows.

Two damaged hearts. The hope of true love. As their passion blazes out of control, Carina and Garrett struggle to escape their legacies of hurt. But can you ever outrun the past? And when everything is on the line, can they trust enough to build a love that’s unconditional?

*This book contains adult situations and explicit content. 17+*

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Unconditional RDL Teaser2



EXCERPT:

A noise comes. A shadow rears up in the dark. I scream.

“What the hell?”

Panic claws my chest and I scream again, reaching blindly for something to fight him off. Squatters and junkies and all kinds of dangerous men fill my mind as my hand closes around something solid on the hall table and I swing with everything I’ve got.

“Goddamn!” The figure reels back, stumbling against the wall.

“Get away from me!” I cry, shaking. My heart is racing so fast I think it might beat right out of my chest. I grip the object in my hand tighter. “Don’t touch me!”

“I’m not trying to touch you!” The man roars, angry. “I just want to know what you’re doing breaking into my goddamn house!”

The light flips on. I reel back, blinded by the sudden glare, but as the daze clears and my eyes flick back into focus, I see the man in front of me for the first time.

I stop breathing.

He’s half-naked, that’s the first thing I notice. Jesus, his body is like nothing I’ve ever seen before: tanned bronze and chiselled like a Greek god, but not like the guys I’ve dated, all waxed and pumped from hours at a fancy gym. This guy is real, raw, all muscle and power, with web of dark tattoos snaking over the bicep of his right arm. I feel a flush roll through me, hot with prickling awareness, but I can’t look away as I take in his tight, sculpted six-pack abs, and the trail of dark hair leading down to the waistband of his navy briefs…

“Don’t mind me, darlin’.” his voice comes. “Any time you’re done looking…”

I snap my eyes up to his face, blushing. Then I look at him for real and it all clicks into place.

“Oh,” My heart clenches in my chest as I recognize him for the first time. “It’s you.”

Unshaven face. Messy mahogany bed-head hair. And a pair of stormy ocean-blue eyes scowling at me like I’m the last person on earth he wants to see.

And I can say, the feeling is entirely mutual.

“It’s me.” Garrett Sawyer agrees in a low, Southern drawl. He strides over and snatches the vase from my hand, setting it down on the table with a thud. “Now, you want to tell me what the hell you’re doing creeping around my house at three in the goddamn morning?”

Unconditional RDL Banner2

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ABOUT MELODY GRACE:

Melody Grace is the USA Today bestselling author of UNBROKEN and UNTOUCHED. A small-town girl turned SoCal beach-lover, she spent years with her nose in a book before deciding it was time to write them for herself. She loves bad boys, good books, and pistachio-flavored ice-cream.

LINKS:

Website: http://melodygracebooks.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melody-Grace/329573187160227
Twitter: http://twitter.com/melody_grace_
UNCONDITIONAL Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18773628-unconditional
Melody Grace Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6926290.Melody_Grace

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Spotlight On: The Heartless by James Ticknor

The Heartless by James Ticknor

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Eighteen-year-old Menar Redfield, a gifted Healer apprentice, plans to settle in the city of Cajoi with his pregnant fiancée. However, his unexplained visions show him a secret war masked by the king’s political regime, placing them both in danger. When his visions come true, his fiancée is killed in the attack on Cajoi by the Heartless, a malicious raider cult.

In his body-strewn path of vengeance, Menar intercepts intelligence revealing the location of Crual, the Heartless’ sadistic combat commander and the one responsible for the death of his fiancée and unborn child. Menar vows to slaughter Crual and sabotage the Heartless’ insurrection. Yet the more blood he spills, the more a dark power grows within him.

If he can use this power to overcome Crual, end the war, and disband the Heartless, their increasing control over the debilitated country will be stopped. But he must hurry, because the dark power Menar possesses threatens to consume him.




Interview

Will Green: Tell us about your books that you have available.

James Ticknor: The Heartless is my debut novel, and it is the first in a trilogy. It is about a young man preparing to begin his life with his fiancée, but she is killed by a malicious raider cult. This atrocity makes him catapult himself into a clandestine war hidden by a political regime. As the story progresses through the book and the trilogy, his internal struggle fans the flames surrounding a corrupt political hierarchy and incites chaos among factions vying for control of the country. In this trilogy, I kept the action/pace intrigue of Game of Thrones in mind, and I also drew inspiration from the Eragon Cycle in the sense of magic. (Though, there are no dragons in this trilogy. It is light fantasy.)

Will Green: What can you tell us about your next project?

James Ticknor: Quite simply, my next project is going to be working on the second installment of this trilogy. This second novel should come much faster than The Heartless. For my audience, I promise that I will write it in six months. For myself, I promise to write it in three months. That way, I can surprise my readers if I finish early, but I can give myself some slack if I need to. In this second book, the political spectrum and factions are given a bigger spotlight, but I really wanted the first book to be focused on introducing and developing the characters. I know how to execute intrigue while still taking my time, something I admire George RR Martin for very much, and he’s played quite an influence in this trilogy.

Will Green: Where do you get the information for your book(s)?

James Ticknor: Well, at first it was Wikipedia. Then I realized researching was turning into an excuse. It also kind of sucked because I would read something about the era I’m writing in that I found astounding (such as impressing seals as signatures), and I would want to write all about how it’s done. Now, I only research on the edits, and skimp over what I don’t fully know in the first draft.

Will Green: What was the most surprising thing you’ve learned since you started writing?

James Ticknor: Without any shadow of uncertainty, I was immensely surprised that writing something could make me gasp and sting my eyes with tears. I am not an emotional man. I didn’t cry at The Notebook, Titanic, or even Forrest Gump. What I find amazing is that for most things, I kinda already knew what was going to happen. However, I remember when I was writing one part of the story and a character said something totally shocking and out-of-character for himself, and I didn’t gasp until after I had typed it- after he said it. I hold that as proof that characters act for themselves, and they can surprise you.

Will Green: How long does it take you to write a book?

James Ticknor: Oh, God. You know, Stephen King once said that writing a book should never take more than three months. This book took me…oh….nearly 5 years to write. I was writing on and off, because I joined the military and for about 2 years my writing suffered immensely with deployments overseas and training. During that time (before the military) I also experienced homeless and extreme poverty (I’m talking $5 a week to eat off of and nothing else). There were several other personal issues that I would never discuss, but the 5 years it took me to write this is poured with every emotion and influence of going through all this. I will never take so long to write a book again. 3-6 months is ideal, 1 year max. The thing that made it take so long aside from these is I was 16 at the time, and I’m 21 now. My writing style changed very much during that time, and the book was written by a different person in the beginning, middle, and end.

Will Green: Who or What inspires you to write?

James Ticknor: Sad songs inspire me. Seeing a couple kiss. Seeing a leaf fall. Squashing a spider in my house. Anything inspires me to write, because I will craft the craziest shit from the dumbest stuff. It’s easy to be inspired to write, but it’s practically impossible to maintain that inspiration. Inspiration is like an adrenaline shot, but it takes an Olympian writer to keep working after that boost.

Will Green: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

James Ticknor: You know, I had to think for a second before I answered this, and I actually have a good one for you. I’ve always treated my characters as if they were real. Occasionally, I will have them randomly engage in erotic behavior with one another, kill each other for no good reason, etc. Of course, I know I am going to delete this, but the characters are real, and I think they need a little release sometimes. If you’ve ever seen Monster In Law, you know what I mean.

Will Green: What book are you reading right now?

James Ticknor: I am reading two, actually. I am reading Under the Dome by Stephen King, and I am also reading A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin.

Will Green: Who is your favorite author and why?

James Ticknor: Stephen King! Oh God Stephen King! The guy is a freaking literary master, and he has proven it over and over again. He takes the most ordinary things and makes them outrageous, yet still believable. I love hearing how he comes up with stories. However, the main reason I am so enthusiastic about him is because of his interviews. A multi-million dollar entrepreneur, he walks into TV spotlight with blue jeans and a pocket T shirt that only my grandfather would wear. He cusses and engages with the population vocally in the same style of his writing. If I find out he voiced an audiobook of one of his books, I’d buy it and ask him to autograph it. I know it makes no sense, but I’m using “shut up and take my money” logic here.

Will Green: What kind of music do you listen to and why?

James Ticknor: Quite frequently, Evanescence. Although she said in an interview she doesn’t consider herself dark, I think she is. Nearly everything that I write is dark. I’ll otherwise listen to classical music. Songs can sometimes distract me.

Will Green: What do you watch on TV and why?

James Ticknor: I watch Netflix, not cable. On Netflix, I watch Futurama, Family Guy, American Dad, and American Horror Story. I love Disney movies too. I watch these comedy shows because comedy, in my firm belief, is the element of surprise, to get you to look at something in a new way that sparks sudden emotion and physical reaction. For American Horror Story, it’s because I like a long story, but still want to move on to other things at one point. For Disney, it’s just a good story. Also I like understanding the fucked up plots I didn’t understand before. My favorite Disney movie is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I love looking back at it because I didn’t understand the religious intolerance, lust, and ethnic persecution when I watched it at 5 years old.

Will Green: What kind of advice could you give an aspiring writer?

James Ticknor: Get the fuck off the internet. That doesn’t mean go and watch TV or check your phone for “just one more text”. Electronic recreational devices or social media is the death of inspiration and writing. How many times have you been inspired from something you read on Facebook? Exactly. No, I’m serious. Don’t argue with me. Get. Off. It.

On another note, live in doubt, but don’t let it cage you. Doubt makes us question all aspects of our writing, which is good. There’s going to be people who hate your writing. Listen to criticism, but be aware of who is speaking (Stephen King quote). I remember when I was in high school I wrote the worst, most profane literary piece to no one in particular. However, it got to the principal somehow. There was no violence, no threats or anything- just cuss words. In this public school where assault warranted 1-2 day suspension, I was initially suspended 10 days with recommendation for expulsion based on that writing piece. That is when the biggest critic of my life made me believe (from the amount of controversy and trouble it caused) that I was damned good writer. The message from that is even if someone hates your work, it can be because you are a very powerful writer.

Connect with James Ticknor

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Top Ten Things to Do to Begin Branding Yourself as an Author

Last week the amazing Katie Hayoz nominated me for the Awesome Blog Content Award and wrote the funniest blog post I’ve read in ages: “Ten Things (I’ve experienced) That are Less Painful than Writing a Novel Synopsis.” I’ve returned to that post several times because I’m in the agonizing throes of synopsis-writing myself.

That means, of course, life has gotten insane, so I’m only just now getting around to writing my own post leading up to passing on the award. So check out my post for authors just starting out on this branding-oneself business, then hop over to my nominees’ blogs to check out the great stuff they’re doing!

Top Ten Things to Do to Begin Branding Yourself as an Author

So you’ve sold your first book or decided to self-publish. As you move out into the world as an author for the first time, you will find that you are going to need to work on marketing your book—this is true even for those authors who are publishing with big publishing houses; you’re expected to have a “platform” these days!

What can you do to get started? Having recently been in this exact same position, I would suggest that any author do these top ten things (in any order, after #1):

1. Pick a pen name. Your name will be your brand, so go with what you like best.

2. Set up a web site. Have a basic paragraph about you, a photo when you’re ready.

3. Set up a blog connected to your website (I have my blog as the main page of my website). Begin blogging about writing-connected stuff. I do a full-on book blog, with lots of posts about other people’s books. Many of those I get from book-tour companies; that means I can have a new post just about every day. And I post my own stuff (reviews, lists of top-five-favorites, character interviews, and so on) about once a week.

4. Set up a Facebook author page.

5. Set up an official Twitter account.

6. Set up any other social media accounts you want to use (Pinterest, Instagram, and the like).

7. Hook all of these accounts together by using something like Hootsuite.com (there are others, but that’s what I use) so that everything gets cross-posted everywhere. Once you start doing marketing (much of which will be up to you by necessity–you are more invested in your work than anyone else!), you will find that this saves you time, which will become increasingly precious.

8. Begin practicing using all of these before you actually publish a book. You’re going to want to say something other than “buy my book!” so it’s a good idea to start using the accounts before that’s all you want to say. 🙂

9. If you are self-publishing (or publishing with someone who will let you have input on this), begin looking at Amazon for category keywords for your book. You will probably sell the book on other sites, too, of course, but Amazon is still the biggest seller of books, so it makes sense categorize it according to Amazon’s lists. Start looking at similar-ish books and seeing what categories they’re in. (You’ll see something like this: Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal )

10. Keep working on writing; remember, none of this is any good without books to go with it!

Some of my favorite bloggers are also people who have helped me figure out this whole being-an-author business as I go (either by directly offering help or just being great role-models), so I nominate Wendy of Fabulosity Reads, author Melanie Karsak, and book blogger Toni of My Book Addiction.

Final Stand by Rose Garcia: Book Blast and Kindle Giveaway

RELEASE: MARCH 24th 2014
YOUNG ADULT PARANORMAL ROMANCE

Dominique is still alive after killing Tavion, the Tainted who’s hunted her for lifetimes. Yet her protectors still fear for her life. They force her to flee Houston and abandon the friends she loves. But they can’t protect her from herself. When Dominique starts hearing Tavion’s voice in her head, she realizes that her personal connection to the Tainted still exists. And when her car is ambushed, she discovers another frightening truth—someone close to her is a traitor.

Desperate for answers, Dominique seeks the aid of first lifers Trent and Infiniti. With their help, she hopes to find her new enemy. But things get complicated with Trent when she finally accepts her eternal love for Farrell, and even more complicated when the whispers in her head threaten her loved ones. Determined to live, Dominique decides to make a final stand against the forces that want to end her. For good.

GET THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES FOR ONLY 99¢ starting Monday! 




Praise for Final Life…

“Rose Garcia will explode your mind with action packed scenes and emotional turmoil.” – Moonlight Book Reviews 

“The whole transhuman concept had the whole Sci-Fi/Fantasy element going on, yet Rose Garcia has written it in a way that is both fresh and believable, with the classic good versus evil theme incorporated.” – Always YA at Heart 


“Final Life is filled with magical moments, heart aching moments, action, and suspense. I look forward to the next chapter of Dominique’s story.” – WinterHaven Books 
















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Rose Garcia is a lawyer turned writer who’s always been fascinated by science fiction and fantasy. From a very young age, she often had her nose buried in books about other-worlds, fantastical creatures, and life and death situations. More recently she’s been intrigued by a blend of science fiction and reality, and the idea that some supernatural events are, indeed, very real. Fueled by her imagination, she created The Transhuman Chronicles–a series of books about people who have overcome human limitations.
Rose lives in Houston with her husband and two kids. You can visit Rose at www.rosegarciabooks.com