Spotlight On: Lucky, by Renee Miller

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Book Information

lucky cover

Title: Lucky

Author: Renee Miller

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Everything Caerus Thornton touches turns to gold… or dies.

Thanatos, god of death, has an almost flawless record until he encounters Caerus. For some reason, he can’t fulfill the simple task of delivering death to the tiny blonde fated to die in the delivery room.

Furious at his failure, the Fates exile Thanatos on Earth, where he must remain until he redeems himself in the eyes of his fellow gods.

Somewhere along the way Thanatos finds himself falling for the woman he’s spent more than two decades trying to kill.

 

 

Buy Link

http://www.amazon.com/Lucky-Renee-Miller-ebook/dp/B00PJBSXL8/

 

Author Bio

lucky author

Renee Miller has been a waitress, a bartender, a gas station attendant, a social worker, a daycare provider, coffee-slinging drive-thru professional, and an office administrator, before finally deciding writing could be more than just a hobby. She’s published novels in the crime/suspense genres (IN THE BONES, THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY), as well as romantic suspense (DIRTY TRUTHS) and paranormal romance (LUCKY).

 

 

Links

Twitter – @ReneeMJ Blogs – www.deadpixelpublications.com www.authorreneemiller.com Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Renee-Miller/548882035137022 Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2836709.Renee_Miller

 

Excerpt

The sound of a transport rumbled in the distance. Seeing his opportunity, Thanatos reached for her hand and nudged it so the wheel moved to the left. Lost in her dreams of a beach vacation, she didn’t even shiver at the contact. Every human felt the brush of Death, except Caerus Thornton. She should be dead. His touch was Death. Her immunity to his touch caused him the most distress, because no matter how exceptional, a human couldn’t survive his touch—not without divine intervention.

Thanatos pushed with more force than was necessary. No matter what got in his way the woman would die. She and her tiny silver sports car wouldn’t survive a collision with the massive vehicle approaching. The car moved into the oncoming traffic lane as Caerus focused on finding another station on the radio, oblivious to the horror looming ahead.

His breath caught. Would he finally rid himself of his epic nightmare? The stain that left an eternal black mark on an otherwise spotless record would finally vanish in a mess of twisted metal and gore. The very idea sent an almost orgasmic chill through his body.

The elation vanished as something else, something strangely familiar, crept into the small car with them.

Failure.

Thanatos gritted his teeth. As the truck came into view, he willed the car to keep its course. The Mercedes shook as it ran over a bump in the road and the cell phone flew off the console to clatter on the floor near her feet.

It must happen.

Cover Reveal: Hollowed Humusara, by J. L. Bond and Val Richards

Hollowed Humusara (Primortus
Chronicles #2)
Coming Soon!!
Summary from Goodreads:It begins again! Skylee Porter thinks the
worst is over. She has faced her greatest fear, the monstrous black-eyed
Brinfrost and survived with the help of Chrism, her shape-shifting sister. Sky
even had the courage to finally admit her true feelings to Will.

But something has changed. The three people she trusts the most are acting
strange. Will seems distant. Her talkative sister has clammed up. Even Airon is
keeping secrets.

Soon, Sky discovers the leaders of the Primortus have plans for her. Then, to
her dismay, they threaten to take away her magical book. The Humusara, the very
thing that tethers her to the world she so desperately wants to protect. And
now, the earth is trembling again. Could there be another Day of Disaster?


Dark powers are at work. Two prophecies loom on the horizon. One declares she’s
the hope of humankind. While the other proclaims she’ll destroy us all.

 

Sky’s destiny awaits her…

 

Book One:(linked to Goodreads)

Buy Links:

 

About the AuthorsJ.L. Bond and Val Richards met in college in Clarksville Tennessee, where Val excelled in Math and J.L excelled in creative ways to talk Val out of going to class. A few years later…okay, more than a few, they found themselves living about an hour away from one another in Florida and joined forces to write the Primortus Chronicles, YA fantasy- adventure series.  Nowadays, J.L. likes to remind Val that Math isn’t necessary for writing.

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Cover Reveal: Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance, by Danielle Younge-Ullman

Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance
Release Date: 05/05/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of
sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend Sydney calls to rave
about the fun she’s having at a luxurious Malibu rehab (it’s basically a spa!)
and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, Lola
knows what she has to do. Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf
cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.



Lola fakes her way into Sunrise Rehab, only to discover she’s actually expected
to be an addict. And get treatment. And she has insane roommates, and an
irritatingly attractive intake advisor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at
every turn. Worst of all is the strictly enforced NO ROMANCE rule.



Oh, and Sydney? Is gone.



Turns out Sunrise is more jail-like than spa-like, and it’s going to take more
than Lola bargained for just to get through the program.

About the Author
Danielle Younge-Ullman is a novelist, playwright and
freelance writer. She studied English and Theater at  McGill University,
then returned to her hometown of Toronto to work as professional actor for ten
years. Danielle’s short story, Reconciliation, was published in MODERN
MORSELS—a McGraw-Hill  Anthology for young adults—in 2012, her one-act
play, 7 Acts of Intercourse, debuted at Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival in 2005,
and her adult novel, FALLING UNDER, was published by Penguin in 2008.
Danielle lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

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Spotlight On: The Reluctant Prince, by Dani-Lyn Alexander

 Excerpt

Oh, man. He was in trouble. He pushed away from the wall.

Images of his target taunted him.

He shoved a chair aside and tore through the pictures scattered across the table in a desperate search for salvation. There. He pulled the shot from the mess but found only condemnation. The long blond hair flowing behind her in the snapshot had not been visible to him, but there was no mistaking the deep blue of her eyes.

The pounding of a fist against the heavy wood door released him from whatever spell she’d cast.

“Jackson.” Another loud thud punctuated his name.

He struggled to get his bearings, tried to slow the racing of his heart. “Yeah, one minute.”

“Now. Your father wants to see you, immediately.”

Kai, his father’s most trusted warrior. He was in more trouble than he’d originally thought. Was it possible the king would sentence him to death for ignoring a direct order? Surely not without offering him a fair trial, or at least granting him the opportunity to explain. But what could he say? What explanation could there be for failing to deliver the girl? None.

“I won’t knock again.” The warrior would soon break down the door and drag him before the throne.

He crumpled the offending photo, the evidence of his disgrace, into a ball. Instead of tossing it in the trash as he’d intended, he shoved it into the small leather satchel he wore at his waist. With a deep breath, he released the latch and pulled open the door.

“Come.” Kai turned his back on him and strode purposefully down the corridor, their footfalls echoing through the silence of accusation.

Reluctant Prince (Kingdom of  Cymmera #1)
Release Date: 11/03/14

Kensington Books/Lyrical Press

Summary from Goodreads:

Betrayal lies cloaked in shadow. 

Seventeen year old Ryleigh Donnovan is certain her life is cursed. Nothing ever  goes smoothly, and her first job interview is no exception. An earthquake rocks the building, sending Ryleigh on a frantic search for her younger sister, a search which lands her in the hospital. Terrified they’ll push her for answers
she can’t afford to give, Ryleigh flees with a mysterious stranger.

Jackson Maynard is about to be ordained as a Death Dealer, a warrior for the
Kingdom of Cymmera, but first he must pass one more test. When he fails to
acquire the human girl the prophet has chosen, he’s forced to stand trial for treason. Banished from his realm, he seeks out the girl from the vision,  Ryleigh Donnovan, and together they embark on a journey to save his dying  kingdom.

Available from:

About the Author

Dani-Lyn
Alexander lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She
loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just
about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and
shopping–especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include;
Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an
incurable insomniac and has an addiction to chocolate.

 
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Spotlight On: Kissing Frogs, by Alisha Sevigny

Kissing Frogs
Release Date: 11/18/14
Swoon Romance
Summary from Goodreads:
Popular party girl and high school senior Jessica Scott has a secret: she used to be a nerd — a big one; a goody two-shoes, grade-skipping, all-state spelling bee champ. But she lost the braces, put on some contacts, and applied all her academic genius to studying and imitating the social elite. Now she rules the school from the upper echelon of the high school realm. With her cool new friends and hottest-guy-in-school boyfriend, life’s a beach — and that’s where she’s headed for Spring Break. That is, until her teacher breaks the bad news that she’s failing Biology — and her only chance to make up the grade is to throw away the culminating trip of her hard-earned popularity and join the Conservation Club in Panama to save the Golden Frog.
 
Unable to let go of her faded college dreams, Jess finds herself in a foreign country with a new social crew, and one handsome face that stands out as a blast from the past, threatening to ruin her queen bee reputation. Travis Henley may have grown up, but he still likes to play childish games and as payment for retrieving Jess’ lost ring from the bottom of a jungle pool, he wants three dates. While Jess does battle with spiders, snakes, wildfires and smart mean girls, she desperately tries to hang on to the last vestiges of her popular existence like the Golden Frog from its webbed toe. But as she starts to care about something more than tanning and texting – a species on the verge of disappearing forever – she may realize the worth of her inner nerd, and the one frog in particular that could be her prince in disguise.
 
Set in the lush and tropical El Valle de Anton, this modern fairytale re-imagining of “The Frog Prince” is toe-curling contemporary romance with an environmentalist heartbeat, in the tradition of Stephanie Perkins.
Available from:

Excerpt

“Whatever you say, Princess.” He grins and ruffles my hair. I glare at him, smooth my hair back into a ponytail, and stare straight ahead. I must be hallucinating. That’s the only explanation why Travis’s leg is pressed against mine. Travis, who’d known me before my phoenix-like rise from the ashes of uncoolness. In fact, I’m clinging to the faint hope that everything since that day in Mr. A.’s class has been some kind of extended hallucination: Miles, Panama, and now Travis? Maybe there was a chemical leak in lab and I’m in a coma right now.

“You will all love the place, I am sure,” Hector yells over his shoulder as Latin music blares from the stereo. We zoom along the waterfront. Tall buildings swirl up into the sky and construction looms everywhere as Panama hurries to catch up to its reputation as a thriving metropolis.

Trying to get a grip on my shock, I turn to the girl on my left who’s reading a book on Panama. “Do you know how much longer it is?” I ask. Travis leans over the seat to talk to a guy with shaggy brown hair who managed to escape being spit on. What’s he telling him? My chest tightens.

“Around an hour, I think,” she says in a soft voice, looking up from the guidebook. The dark French braids are vaguely familiar and I place them from biology class, front row. Her name’s some sort of musical instrument. Harp, maybe?

My “thanks” is drowned out by an enormous truck rocketing past, inches from side swiping us. Hector honks and gestures wildly. “Que te pasa! Ove!” Horns blare and fists shake. Panama traffic makes driving back home in Seattle look like meditation practice. I grab the seat in front to keep from falling into Travis as we swerve to avoid another large truck.

The phone shifts in my back pocket, jabbing me in the butt. Discreetly, I pull it out to see if Ky’s texted yet. All electronics are forbidden. Mr. A. has peculiar ideas about doing most of

our research the old-fashioned way. Personally, I don’t think he wants to be responsible if anything gets lost or stolen. Only cameras allowed. Which I, of course, didn’t bring, since there’s nothing I want to remember about this trip.

No new messages.

My stomach clenches. It’s fine. I reassure myself. They’re all travelling today as well; I probably won’t hear from anyone until tomorrow. Ky and Alyssa were horrified when they heard the news and vowed to keep tabs on Miles. We made up after our fight, getting back together, but things are still kinda shaky. Even though he’d acted like a major D-bag, somepart ofme is reluctant to let go after all the work I’ve put into that relationship. Into all of the relationships with my new friends and new life.

I cast a sidelong look at Travis. And now this. He could ruin everything.

About the Author

Alisha Sevigny holds a degree in Sociology and Professional Writing from the University of Victoria, is a film school graduate, former literary agent and current Social Media and Communications Director for an award-winning English school. A shameless romantic, Alisha and her husband have travelled the world together. On a recent trip to Panama with their new daughter, Alisha fell in love with the country, culture, and their national emblem, the Golden Frog. She was inspired to write her first Young Adult novel, Kissing Frogs. Born and raised in Kitimat, British Columbia, Alisha has always had a strong connection to the environment and conservationist spirit. She now lives in Toronto with her family.

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Book Blitz: Gauge, by Cara Nelson

Gauge
Release Date: November 2014
New Adult/ 17+
Summary fron Goodreads:
Gauge Bronson has a simple rule:
never mix business with pleasure. As the lead singer and guitarist of
Provocative, he has his fair share of girls throwing themselves at him, but he
refuses to get involved with clingy groupies or women he works with. When
beautiful, beguiling Brynn joins the tour, though, he can’t deny there’s
something about her he finds irresistible. It’s been a long time since a woman
didn’t fawn over him. He’ll have to keep his appetite in check and keep her at
a distance if he’s going to remember that she’s off limits.


Aspiring journalist Brynn Morgan has been given the chance of a lifetime to
interview a rock band for a new magazine and launch her career. When she learns
her assignment is the band Provocative, whose music she’s never liked, any
disappointment is overshadowed by her excitement and determination to write a
killer story. Plus, the fact that she’s not a fan will make it that much easier
to keep things professional. One look at Gauge, though, and she feels an
instant attraction to the cocky, tattooed rocker. But despite the sparks flying
between them, she’s got a job to do.



As Brynn heads out on a world tour with the band and tries to get them to spill
their secrets, the sizzling chemistry between her and Gauge becomes harder and
harder to ignore…

Buy Links:AmazonAmazon
UK

 

Excerpt

I followed the woman to a table in the back of the room and saw four people sitting there: one middle-aged man with spiked hair, graying sides, and a business suit on, and three younger guys—the ProVokaTiv guys.

“Brynn?” the middle-aged guy said.

“Yes, hi. And you must be Dave Gregors,” I said, extending my hand.

“Yes,” he said, shaking my hand. “Did you find the restaurant okay?”

“I did,” I said, as he pulled out a chair and had me sit down.

Up until this point, I hadn’t looked any of them in the eye yet.

“So, let me introduce you to everyone, and then we can order our food and get down to business, Brynn.”

“Great,” I said. Now I looked up at everyone and saw two sets of eyes on me. The third guy was looking down at the small screen of his phone and licking his lip like he was staring at a piece of candy that made his mouth water. That one was Hunter Martinez.

“Okay, guys, this is Brynn Morgan from The Rift. She’s going to be your shadow this summer while she works on the main piece for the magazine. I can only hope that you’ll all give her your best side, or better than what you sometimes give,” Dave said with a slight chuckle. His eyes said he was serious.

I looked at everyone and smiled. Hunter looked up briefly and paused, scanning me up and down, fixing his eyes on my chest.

“Brynn, this is Simon Jefferson, Gauge Bronson, and Hunter Martinez.”

“Nice to meet you all,” I said.

They smiled at me and didn’t say a word. Oh God, was I supposed to say something, like a speech?

“I’m excited to work with you all this summer and write a great piece about you,” I said.

“And what would make it great?” Gauge asked.

I looked over at him. He was so much better looking than in his videos or pictures. With his full lips, short brown hair, and perfect body, he reminded me of a tattooed version of Theo James, the gorgeous guy from Divergent.

“Well, learning about the real side of you and sharing that with all your fans,” I said. I’d never felt so unsure of myself and I feared that I was ready to start rambling on like a crazy woman. I bit my lip and shut up.

“Oh, all you need to know about us is on YouTube,” Hunter said.

“There has to be more to you than that,” I blurted.

Hunter’s face broke out into a cheeky grin and Gauge busted out laughing.

“You’ve got spunk, “Simon said. “Probably a good thing, because you’re going to need it.”

“Before long, you’ll forget I’m even around,” I said, smiling at them coyly.

“Enough trash-talking Brynn, guys,” Dave said, stepping in.

“That’s okay, Dave, I can handle it. I figure that if I’m going to be hanging out with these guys, I’d better be able to hold my own, right?”

Dave nodded. Everyone else looked at me casually, making me feel like I had to take the lead of the conversation.

That does make sense, I thought. After all, I’ll be interviewing them and creating the story.

“I’ll give you a lay-out of how we’ll approach everything this summer. At any time, feel free to ask me whatever questions you may have, as well,” I said.

“I have a question,” Hunter asked, finally looking up and raising his hand. I wasn’t sure if he was mocking me, but he had my attention.

“Sure, what is it?”

“Are all your friends beautiful, ambitious journalists like you?”

“I…uh…what?” I sputtered. “My friends do happen to be brilliant and beautiful, but I’m the only one who’s a journalist,” I said. There, take that!

“So, compared to your research, what do you think of us right now?”Simon asked, staring at me with his serious intense blue eyes. They were almost hypnotic.

I knew that question was it: the chance to show that I was honest and also gain some control of these three guys. All of them were worldlier than me, a few years older, and definitely were used to getting their way.

“Who should I start with, then?”

“Me,” Hunter said. He leaned forward and looked every bit the arrogant cock that he was said to be.

“Sure. You, Mr. Martinez, love the spotlight more than anyone else in the band. ”

“That’s for sure,” Dave said. I looked at him, almost forgetting he was there. I was just competitive enough to get wrapped up in the odd meeting. It was hard to imagine that many business meetings started out like this. It was kind of thrilling.

“You’re trying to break away from the logical part of your mind, becoming everything you thought you’d want to be when you were younger. If I recall correctly, accounting was in your future. Since that’s no longer likely to happen, you are trying to break boundaries and be everything but predictable. That comes out through all your sexual trysts, flamboyant statements—ones you probably only care about half the time—and constant demand for attention. If I was going to give you a nickname, it would be Temper Tantrum, because you just keep going until people’s defenses wear down, regardless of what it is. Oh, and as far as the DUIs you’ve had, I’m guessing you were a sucky driver even before them. ”

“Harsh,” Hunter said. Oddly enough, I saw admiration in his eyes.

“Am I close?” I asked.

“About 50/50,” he replied mockingly. “I can try to make you 100% correct, though, if you like.”

About the Author
Cara Nelson is the author of the bestselling ‘Men of
the Capital’ series. Her books hit the Amazon store in the summer of 2014 and have
since been enjoyed by over 50,000 readers! She is known for her bold
characters, hilariously witty dialogue and touching romances.
Interested in a fun, light and breezy read? Her readers recommend you start
with ‘The Billionaire’s Hotline’.
Author Links:
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Book Blitz: Because You Exist

Because You Exist (Light in the Dark Series, #1)
Release Date: 11/11/14
Limitless Publishing
Summary from Goodreads:
Life is good for LOGAN MIDDLETON.
He’s quarterback of the Shepherd High football team, nephew of the town’s most
successful lawyer, and boyfriend of Jenna Maples, a girl who has finally agreed
to take their relationship to the next level. But nothing good lasts forever.
With only a few minutes of last period English left between him and a weekend
alone with Jenna, Logan blacks out. When he awakens, he finds himself in a
future where Shepherd High lies in ruins, nothing is what it seems, and
everyone he loves is dead. Logan is a shifter. Chosen to travel through time,
it’s up to him to figure out how to stop the terrible events that claimed his
once perfect life.

Of course, all of this might be easier if he wasn’t paired with the one girl
who’d rather see him dead than help him, JOSEPHINE. A girl he tormented during
childhood. Strong-willed with biting wit, who lives in the shadows. Tough and
dark, Jo is Shepherd High’s most notorious outcast and Logan’s opposite in
every way. Together the two must overcome their many differences to figure out
why they’ve been selected for such an overwhelming task, and who selected them
in the first place.

Before it’s too late…

 

 

Excerpt:

“How long did it take you to find me?” Carrie asked, pulling out one of her earplugs.

“What are you listening to?” I countered. I didn’t want to answer her question. I didn’t want to explain how it took me four hours to find someone who knew anything about Scary Carrie besides the fact that she loved hoodies and had zero friends. It involved one of those things where you call a friend who knows a friend who knows a friend whose mom also works at the public library. I used the JV football team as my slew of detectives. They were always eager to please me.

Carrie laughed quietly to herself, no doubt fully aware of the fact that I was avoiding her question. She turned her iPod so I could read the screen.

“Sia. Hmmm. Jenna likes her.”

“Wow,” she said shaking her head. “Why do you sound so surprised there, QB1? What were you expecting to see?”

Um. I don’t know. Maybe some screamo, emo band singing songs about death or how the world sucks, or maybe how conforming to nonconformity is rad. I mean if she was going to wear the hoodie and play out the loner routine, she might as well really commit to the performance. Soundtrack and all.

It was then I noticed how her hood was off her head. Her curly, red hair was pulled into a ponytail that lay in front of her shoulder. Her face was flushed. She almost looked like breathing wasn’t the most painful thing asked of her. She was almost…

Gross.

Don’t go there.

“Listen. Um. Can we talk?”

She laughed again. “Sort of late to ask me that, Mr. All-American. Since you know…we’re already talking.”

“Right.”

Carrie didn’t wait for me to continue. Instead, she pushed her cart of books further down the aisle and began to place the books on the self.

“So, I was thinking we could talk about…you know…that thing…that happened to us.”

“You want to talk about that thing that happened to us!” Carried exclaimed in a louder than needed voice, waggling her eyebrows.

I felt the blood rush to my cheeks. “Very funny,” I muttered.

“Oh, calm down, Die Hard. It’s not like any of your friends spend their Saturday afternoons at the public library.”

“Loving the nicknames,” I replied dryly.

She didn’t respond.

“So. Um. How long have you been working here at the library?”

Why was I so nervous?

I had talked to like a million girls before. Granted, never about the end of the world though.

“Don’t,” she warned.

“Don’t what?”

“Play the I want to get to know you act.”

“I wasn’t—”

“You were.”

Count to ten.

One.

Two.

Three.

Four.

Why does she have to be such a bit…

She lifted a book from the cart, but I grabbed it out of her hand. “Enough.”

 

 

About the Author
Tiffany Truitt received her MA in literature from Old Dominion University. Her debut Chosen Ones, first in the Lost Souls trilogy, is a searing look at what it means to be other and how we define humanity, as well as a celebration of the dangerously wonderful feeling of falling in love.
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Review ~ Chronicles of Steele: Raven (The Complete Story), by Pauline Creeden

ravenblogtour
Series: Chronicles of Steele #1
Release date: October 2014
Publisher: AltWit Press
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Raven_ebooklg
 
Synopsis via Goodreads:
This is the complete Steampunk Fantasy novel – all four parts of the serial in one volume! Also includes bonus features found in the episodes.
 
Human life has value.
The poor living in the gutter is as valuable as the rich living in a manor.
The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint.
Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed.
 
Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.
Review
Although the serial version of this book has been coming out for a while, I have resisted picking it up until I could have the complete story. Now I almost wish I hadn’t waited–although I would have had to deal with the time between releases, I would have been reading an amazing story all along! I picked up my copy the other day and started reading, planning to get in an hour or so before bed. Instead, I finally went to sleep only when I could no longer hold my eyes open to read. This is an excellent story!
Pauline Creeden is incredibly active in the indie publishing world, and is a kind, caring mentor to any number of newbie authors–willing to share information and ideas freely and openly. It should therefore, perhaps, come as no surprise that she has created a protagonist with a deeply held sense of honor and duty. Raven is fascinating precisely because that sense of honor doesn’t always fit in with the rest of her culture (or ours), and yet it guides everything she does.
Don’t miss this one. (It’s only $.99 right now!)
And put Pauline Creeden on your auto-buy list–I just did!
5 shiny, happy stars!
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
paulinecreeden
In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. 

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Book Highlight: Priya by Ayesha Patel

Title: Priya in Heels

Author: Ayesha Patel

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Multi-cultural

Publication: August 28th, 2014

A new adult title from Entangled’s Embrace imprint…

Love doesn’t conquer all…does it?

Priyanka Patel is the epitome of an obedient daughter. She’s finishing up her medical residency at one of Houston’s busiest emergency departments, and has agreed—albeit reluctantly—to marry the man her family has chosen for her. The only thing that can derail the “perfect” life laid out before her is the sexy musician down the hall who wants into her life…and into her bed.

Tyler O’Connor has been infatuated with Priya since she treated his sprained ankle in the ER, and after saving her from a brutal attack, he can’t get her out of his head. When Priya puts her family’s wishes before their relationship, agreeing to an arranged marriage with another man, Tyler is devastated.

But love is fierce and unreasonable and clashes with the carefully sculpted life her parents want for her. Is going after her heart such a big deal, or will it truly unravel Priya’s world?

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“Priya in Heels is an exquisite mix of culture, romance, and humor all brought together by two characters you can’t help but love from the get-go. It’s a must read!” ~NYT Bestselling Author Anna Banks
 
“Sweet and sexy with a dash of spice.” ~USA Today Bestselling Author Nicola Marsh
 
“Chemistry jumps off the pages in this sexy-fun tale of family, “firsts,” and doing anything for true love. I swooned over Ty right along with Pree!” ~USA Today Bestselling Author Ophelia London
 
A moving story about a girl at a crossroads between her Indian culture and what’s expected of her, and the American boy who’s stolen her heart.” ~USA Today Bestselling Author Cindi Madsen

“A thoroughly entertaining romance that deftly captures the enduring conflict between conservative Indian traditions and contemporary American culture.” ~Shobhan Bantwal, Award-Winning Author of the Dowry Brid
Chapter One
Priya
Women who wore heels all day belonged in a mental institution for heinous self harm. Residency taught us to always look professional, and I envied the female docs who rocked nice shoes every day, but I drew the line with heels. Hello, plantar fasciitis, anyone?
Even in sneakers, pain bubbled around my ankles and prickled up my calves. One month of fifteen-hour days in one of Houston’s busiest emergency departments had turned my ankles into dainty twigs ready to snap in half.
I tried not to wobble to room twenty-three, and the wheelchair in the corner called my name. Maybe the ED tech could wheel me to the next patient?
The nurses giggled as I hobbled past station two.
“Oh, honey, try doing this for a living,” Mara said.
“You’ll get used to it,” David encouraged.
Right.
I skimmed over the file I’d been using to fan myself with. It belonged to a man who lived in epic STDville. Eww. Thank goodness his numerous venereal diseases couldn’t attach to his folder and fly off onto my mouth.
“Oh, wait, this one.” Dr. Lemur snatched that folder from me and replaced it with a thinner one.
This man thought he had a broken ankle. Much better! On my last day in ED rotation, I wasn’t in the mood to deal with another nasty sexaholic. I had already had one last week, and the guy had persistently hit on me. He had been lucky that he’d walked out with his genitals intact.
More times than not, the reality of a person’s illness paled in comparison to what they thought they had. This broken ankle was more likely a sprained one, and that was an easy fix.
Still attached to my notes, I opened and closed the glass door to room twenty-three, then closed the curtain behind me before looking up. What a mistake! I almost stumbled over my aching feet. Okay, I had to close my mouth now before the patient slapped a piece of tape across my forehead that read, “Idiotic Buffoon.”
The patient straightened and gave me a lazy smile. Yeah, he knew he had the looks. Shimmering green eyes like emeralds. Auburn hair, a little wavy, wisped across his forehead, curled over his ears, and flirted with his shirt collar. Kissable lips curved upward, set above a firm, square jaw. He almost had me stuttering like a boy-crazy teenager, the way his intense eyes held my attention.
Icy air puffed down from the ceiling vent and tickled the back of my neck, jolting me back to my senses. It was one of those weird moments when time stopped and all of a sudden you couldn’t remember what you were doing or how long you’d been mentally gone. It was a moment that made me think, Damn!
“Tyler O’Connor?” I managed to say, playing off my unprofessional reaction to the stunningly handsome man and quelling any interest.
“Yep,” he replied in a thick, low voice. Either too dreamy to be real or sleepy from pain medicine.
“Think you sprained your ankle or broke it?”
“Yep.”
“Okay, let’s take a look.” I snapped on a pair of white gloves from the triage cart, pulled up a rolling stool, and sat down. All the while, I surreptitiously noticed that Tyler was focused on my face, so meeting his eyes again was impossible.
With shoe off, sock on, Tyler rested the injured foot on a chair. The butcher paper crinkled underneath him as he shifted on the gurney while I lifted his foot onto my lap. At six-foot-one and a muscular two hundred pounds, according to his chart, his leg felt like dead weight.
I pulled down his sock to check for bruising and wounds, then pressed and felt for swelling. He hissed.
“Hurts?”
“Yep,” he responded in his amazing verbal repertoire.
“What were you doing when you injured yourself?”
“Walked off stage and buckled on a step.”
The image of this tall, brawny man stumbling down a few steps tickled me. I stifled a giggle. When I looked up, he rested his forearms on his thighs and leaned in, his face way too close for comfort.
“Oh, sorry.” Apparently, the giggle had escaped.
He flashed an insanely swoon-worthy smile. “Do I need an X-ray?”
“Only if you want to spend a bunch of time in our lovely hospital.”
“Do I get a meal and you at my bedside?”
I responded dryly to subdue his flirting, “You get a hit of high-energy electrons and an hour of sitting alone.”
“It’s not even broken, is it?”
“No.” I couldn’t help myself. I thumped his ankle. He jerked forward. “A broken ankle would hurt much worse.” I returned his foot to the chair and rolled away.
“Yeah, I figured. Bar owner demanded I get it checked.”
“Guess he thought you’d sue?”
He shrugged and I wrote a few notes as he craned his neck to look over the folder’s edge. “Thought you guys had electronic notes.”
“We do. This is for my personal notes to take to clinic. I’m a resident, so…” I responded as if that explained anything because, of course, everyone knew residents made their own notes to study and report back to their attending doctors.
“Cool.”
“Are you in pain? I can prescribe something.” This tactic tended to flush out drug abusers, those who went straight to narcotics.
“Nah. Rest, ice, compress, elevate. Right?”
“You got it.”
“Guess I wasted two hours and a hundred bucks for nothing. I should make the bar owner pay.”
“Look on the bright side, Mr. O’Connor, at least you have good insurance.”
“Better than that, I have a good doctor. Are you working late?”
“No. You’re my last patient.”
“Are you doing anything after work?”
I peered up and tried very hard to hide an impending grin. My lips quivered in the futile effort, and the boy-crazy teenager inside of me giggled with excitement. “I’m not allowed to date patients, Mr. O’Connor.”
“Ah. Well, in half an hour I won’t be your patient, right?”
“You know what I mean. We would have had to meet a different way.”
“Well, how about you come by The Harmon’s where my band’s playing? We could meet there.”
“The bar? Your bar? Where you tripped?” An image of him falling crossed my thoughts.
“You think it’s funny?”
I frowned. “Sorry. Of course it’s not funny, Mr. O’Connor.”
He chuckled. “Anyway, check us out. We’ll be going back on at eleven.”
Standing, I handed him a piece of paper to end the conversation before it traveled down personal roads. “Here’s a prescription for pain medicine, in case you need it. Eight hundred milligrams of Tylenol.”
“I could just inhale four over-the-counter Tylenol, right?”
“Yes.”
“I didn’t catch your name.”
“I’m sorry. I failed to introduce myself. I’m Dr. Patel.”
“And your first name?”
“Irrelevant.”
He lowered his eyes to my chest and slowly dragged them back up. “Pry-anne-kah?”
I flipped the name badge and slapped it against my chest. “Observant, aren’t you?” I said curtly, hating that the residents had both first and last names on our badges.
“Did I pronounce it wrong?” He grinned again.
“Yes. It’s pronounced Pree-ahn-ka. Priyanka.”
“That’s kinda hard. Think I’ll call you Pree.”
“You can call me Dr. Patel.” I gritted my teeth.
“Is that offensive?”
“Houston only has a million Indians, and a million other ethnic people. You should try harder to properly pronounce names instead of being lazy and assigning unwanted and unwarranted nicknames.”
“Ouch!”
I shook my head and forced a smile. “Don’t overdo it tonight. Have a good one, and take care of that ankle.”
“Bye, Dr. Patel,” he said in a somewhat amused tone.
There were many things I couldn’t tolerate, including people who judged, those who expected doctors and nurses to be at their beck and call, and people who thought they couldn’t pronounce a three-syllable name. “Priyanka” wasn’t that difficult, especially in comparison to some names. Snapping at a cocky patient wasn’t acceptable, but Tyler would walk out of here unscathed by my anger. Mostly.
Like the rest of the patients who wandered in and out of the ED, Mr. Tyler O’Connor faded from memory soon enough. Despite his remarkable good looks, perhaps the hottest Irishman ever, only patients with interesting reasons to visit stayed with me. Like the STD guy, and the woman who had lacerated her vulva because she had decided to crawl over a bathroom partition to get out of her locked stall…as opposed to crawling under on a dirty floor in her pretty dress. The partition had broken beneath her weight, and well, the rest had been a painful, tear-filled adventure. I tingled with sympathy for her.
My shift officially ended, and hell month in ED would soon be a haunting memory. Another hour of electronic charting and handwritten notes for myself and I was ready to skip right on out. Well, I would’ve stayed if a car accident came in, a stroke victim, or the always emotional pediatric case—for the experience—but nothing of the sort happened.
I changed out of my hospital-assigned blue scrubs and into jeans and a snug, black top. I slipped on my favorite plaid pink and purple backpack because, of course, I intended to bring plaid back, and hurried out to my car just as my cell rang.
“Hey, Vicki. What’s going on?”
“Are you coming to dinner, or what?” my roommate asked in a high-pitched voice above the clamor of what sounded like a party in the background.
“I’m just leaving work. Where are you?”
“The Harmon’s.”
“Oh, uh, sure.”
“We just got here, waiting for a table. We should be seated by the time you get here, but you can still grab some food from the bar menu.”
The thought of running into a patient outside of work, particularly to a place he had invited me to, caused me to hesitate. “It’s late.”
“Have you eaten?”
“No.”
“Not all day, right? Get some food, hang with us, come out once in a while!”
“Ugh, sure. Be there in twenty minutes.”
Though I dreaded being seen by Tyler O’Connor, because he would assume I went there for him, The Harmon’s Brewery & Restaurant had the best food, a rocking vibe, and was centrally located for my friends. We ate there at least once a month. The only problem with the place was its downtown location, which meant a ton of one-way streets, horrible parking, outrageous parking fees, and weekend crowds half drunk and wholly pushy. But I was starved because I hadn’t had time for lunch or dinner again, and the fridge at the apartment was a little sad.
Vicki cooked more than I did. She had a nine-to-five job, Monday through Friday, and loved the Food Network. But she never cooked on Fridays, which were knighted “leftover day.” She never cooked on Saturdays, either, because it was girls’ night out. Sometimes I believed Vicki didn’t cook on those days to dwindle down our food supply so I had no choice but to meet her someplace if I wanted to eat.
It worked.

Ayesha Patel was born in the rich and colorful state of Gujarat in western India before moving to Texas. She quickly found her footing in languages and creative writing and weaves her diverse background into her stories. She currently lives in the beautiful, though rainy, state of Washington with her husband. With a splendid view of Mt. Ranier behind her, a cup of coffee in her hand, and a ridiculously fast laptop at her fingertips, Ayesha is thrilled to explore the literary world.

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Bound by Blood by Margo Bond Collins ~ Blog Tour

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Sometimes the monsters in the dark are real…

As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother’s cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.

Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city’s children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure.

But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected….

 

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Excerpt

Sitting straight up in bed, I gasped and threw myself back against the headboard, the thud dying away along with the remaining shreds of my dream.

But the word still ricocheted through my mind.

Aswang.

Until yesterday, I hadn’t thought of the term in years—not since I’d left Houston for med school in Maine, determined to get as far away from home as I could.

But this resurgence of the same, odd illness that had swept my city years before was apparently also dredging up the old stories from deep in my subconscious: the aswang, a vampiric woman who lived a quiet life by day and fed on children in the night, flying back home on bat-wings just before dawn.

My unconscious mind had clearly also expanded on the idea, casting me in the role of aswang and adding schizoid conversations with a chorus of internal voices.

Great. I’m insane in my dreams.

And I’m a monster.

Shuddering, I wiped my hand across my gritty, raw eyelids.

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About the Author 

MargoBondCollinsMargo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.

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