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Love, Music, Madness Blitz

 

Love, Music, Madness
Tabitha Rhys
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Songwriting partners Lawson Harper and Jessa Warlow’s musical ambitions are derailed when their so-called relationship ends disastrously. However, neither Lawson nor Jessa are willing to give up on the album’s worth of soul-searing songs they wrote together—songs they’re sure are good enough to change both their lives.

Will the chemistry that fuels their creativity drive them to make the record of a lifetime, or only to absolute madness?

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BOOK TRAILER:

EXCERPT:

I opened up the program Tim favored and selected a file I had created in the days since our meeting at Musso. A slamming four-on-the-floor beat filled the room. It was a simple starter beat I’d created for the first song Jessa and I had written together, from scratch.

Jessa turned to me, chin cocked, guitar at the ready. “What do I do?”

“Play Estrella. Jump in whenever you’re comfortable.”

Jesse took a deep breath and began to strum. In no time, she was locked into the beat. Clearly, she hadn’t abandoned our songs the way I had. She wasn’t rusty in the least.

When Jessa added her vocals, I shivered. I’d forgotten how full and warm her voice was. How it rattled with just a touch of gravel on the high notes. I had also forgotten just how good our songs were. All through the cold Gunther winter, Jessa and I had altered them and played them back over and over, making sure the flow was just right. The arc. The mood.

While Jessa strummed and sang, I made adjustments to the beat. I switched up the bass tone so it was even more thudding and added a ghostly echo to the snare. At first, I wasn’t sure how to approach the toms, but I ended up dialing them back by removing a few hits from the loop.

By the time Jessa hit the bridge, I was just listening. Layered over the beat, her voice took on a haunting quality. The result really was just as I’d imagined. A strange, but synergistic juxtaposition.

After Jessa’s last note, I hit the spacebar and halted the beat.

In the sudden silence, Jessa’s eyes widened. “Lawson. I can hardly believe it. That was our song. But it was so much more.” She shook her head.

“Should we try out a few more options? You know, keep searching for our sound?”

“Searching for our sound? Lawson, we just found it . . .”


 

Author Bio:

Tabitha Rhys is a writer and mom with a passion for music, misfits, and subculture. She grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and now resides in Riverside, CA with her husband and son.

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  • A signed copy of Love, Music, Madness and a $25 iTunes gift card

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Snowed in for Christmas Blog Tour

We are so excited to be bringing you the release of the SNOWED IN FOR CHRISTMAS boxset. This holiday boxset features three all-new stories from New York Times bestselling authors Noelle Adams, Zoe York & Samantha Chase. Get this boxset today to get yourself in the holiday mood!

 

About SNOWED IN FOR CHRISTMAS

STRANDED IN THE SNOW (Holiday Acres, Book 2) by Noelle Adams
Olivia Holiday doesn’t expect to spend the weekend stranded in a romantic cottage during a snowstorm with the one man she dislikes the most. Scott is a player and holds a grudge against her family, and she’s determined not to give in to the deep feelings for him she’s been hiding.

A CHRISTMAS RESCUE (Silver Bell Falls, Book 4) by Samantha Chase
Saving a litter of puppies right before Christmas was incredibly rewarding for Bailey Walsh. But getting snowed in with her sexy-yet-grinchy veterinarian boss turns out to be rewarding in a whole other way.

LOVE ON THE EDGE OF REASON (Pine Harbour, Book 8) by Zoe York
Tom Minelli doesn’t know why Chloe Davis has fled Pine Harbour, but she’s pregnant with his baby and he wants her back. But a winter storm rolls in just as he finds her, trapping them together in a cabin on the lake.

Add the SNOWED IN FOR CHRISTMAS boxset to your Goodreads TBR!

Get your copy of the SNOWED IN FOR CHRISTMAS boxset today!
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About NOELLE ADAMS

Noelle hand wrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

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About ZOE YORK

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Zoe York is a busy working mom of two young boys, wife to a very understanding soldier, and creator of modern, sexy, small town contemporary romances. Her debut novel, What Once Was Perfect, started the popular Wardham series, and her first military romance, Fall Out, was released as part of the international bestselling SEALs of Summer super bundle.

Zoe is also author of the Hate F**k and Frisky Beavers erotic romance series (with Sadie Haller) under the name Ainsley Booth.

She lives in London, Ontario, and is currently chugging Americanos, wiping sticky fingers, and dreaming of heroes in and out of uniform.

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About SAMANTHA CHASE

Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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Say A Sweet Prayer by Jennifer Rebecca Release Blitz

Today we have the release blitz for Say A Sweet Prayer by Jennifer Rebecca! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today:

Title: Say A Sweet Prayer

Author: Jennifer Rebecca

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover by Alyssa Garcia at Uplifting Designs.

About Say A Sweet Prayer:

The sleepy little New Jersey township has been relatively quiet as plans for the wedding of Claire Goodnite and Wesley O’Connell are in full swing. But when the patrons of the church’s singles group are being picked off one by one and branded with a scarlet letter in blood, Claire and the team put their festivities on hold to track down a killer.

It’s just another case, another day in the life of a police officer until tragedy strikes their small circle of friends. When one of their own becomes one of the victims, how will the group go on? Or more importantly, can Claire survive it?

It’s probably best you say your prayers . . .

 

Get your copy today!

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Present day . . .

“So, what do you say gorgeous? You wanna get out of here?” Wes smiles at me as the music changes again but I know that we won’t segway into another dance at our engagement party. I place my hand in his outstretched one and answer him from my heart.

“Yes.”

Wes leans in and kisses me hard and fast before walking me through the room, the skirt of my pretty black cocktail dress swishing around my thighs. As we make our way to the door, someone shouts, “Looks like this party just became a private one.”

We push through the side door of the country club with a quiet clank as it shuts behind us. Wes and I, hand in hand, turn our heads to look at each other and laugh.

“That’s my favorite sound,” he whispers into the night.

“What?” I ask feeling a little confused and a lot of expensive wine.

“When you laugh.”

“Wes—” I start but I’m cut off by his shrill whistle as he hails a cab to take us home.

“Let’s go home,” he says softly as he pulls the yellow door open for me and I bunch up my skirt to slide all the way across the cracked vinyl seat to make room for the only guy to ever hold my heart. He slides in beside me and pulls the door closed.

“827 Adolphia, and step on it,” he says to the driver.

“If my wife looked like her, I’d be in a hurry too,” he mumbles before pulling out into traffic. I smile at my lap while pulling my skirt flat nervously and my cheeks heat.

Wes leans into me and slides his nose down the skin behind my ear, whispering, “I love you.”

“And I love you.”

Through break neck twists and turns and a couple very yellow lights, Wes holds me tight in his arms. He skates his hands over all very appropriate places. But still, when we finally pull up to the front of his house in the suburb we grew up in, I’m still a little drunk and more than a little on fire.

Wes tosses some bills and a heavy tip to the driver before flinging open the door and pulling me out with him. He slams the door to the tune of the cabbie’s laughter ringing in my ears and as I look at Wes, I can’t help but let the smile grow wider across my face.

There is a twinkle in his eyes that I know now, after all that we have been through, is so much more than wine and lust. This is a lifetime of love. This is everything.

I have to practically run to keep up with Wes as his long, muscular legs eat up the ground of the walkway to the front of his—soon to be our—house. He stops in front of the door and punches in the code on the deadbolt before swinging the heavy piece of wood and steel open and pulling us through.

Wes has gone a little crazy with home security ever since my near miss a few months ago.

But I don’t have time to think of that now as the door slams closed and the lock tumbles over. Wes leans back against the door and slides his whiskey gaze over my body as I stand in the entryway. The laugh that threatens to burst free from me dies on my lips as my body heats like a fever rolling over my skin. I bite down on my bottom lip to quell the shudder that rolls through my body but there’s no stopping it.

“You’re so damn beautiful,” Wes says, his voice rough.

“Wes—” I start but I barely get the words out. Wes stalks towards me with sure, even steps. When he reaches me, he pulls my body to his, crashing his lips down on mine.

“I love you, Claire,” he whispers against my mouth. He tangles his fingers in my long hair. “So fucking much.”

“And I love you.” My words light him up from the inside out. His tongue swipes into my mouth and he groans at the taste.

“You’re mine, Claire,” Wes rumbles as he lifts me up so that his lips don’t have to leave mine as he stalks down the hallway and up the stairs toward the master bedroom. I wrap my legs around his waist and we both groan as his hard length comes in contact with my center.

“Always.”

“Damn-fucking-right,” he growls as he slides my body down his, lowering my feet to the floor. “Turn around.”

I do as he says, slowly turning around so that my back is to his front. I hear his rumble of approval and I let my eyelids drift lower as a happy glow settles over me. Wes uses his free hand to brush the heavy length of my hair over my shoulder to hang over my right breast.

I hold my breath as his unhurried hands lower the zipper on my little black dress. When the sides of the dark fabric slip apart, Wes slides his hands underneath the edges, his rough palms electrifying the skin of my back and shoulders as he guides my dress off my body, letting it pool around my heels on the floor.

I release a heavy breath just before he lets a fingertip trail down my spine, stopping at the clasp of my black lace bra, unhooking it in the process. It floats to the floor, joining my dress. We reaches around me and holds a heavy breast in each hand. His thumbs graze my nipples ever so slightly and I arch against his hard body behind me. Wes lowers his lips to my shoulder placing the softest of kisses there before straightening and ordering me in a rough voice, “Take off your panties.”

Keeping my legs straight, I hook my fingers into the black lace of my panties and bending at the waist lower them to the floor. As I do, my uncovered flesh slides against Wes’s hard cock behind the wool and zipper of his slacks. My breath catches in my throat when I feel his heat and strength exactly where I need him. There’s something to be said about being naked, vulnerable, and bent over in front of a fully clothed man. I give this to Wes freely, not because he demands it, but because he deserves it.

“Go lay down on the bed,” he rumbles after I stand back up, kicking my discarded clothing aside and stepping free from the bulk of it.

Wearing nothing but my tall, strappy heels, I make my way over to the big bed and pull the bedding back before lowering myself down to the cool sheets. I turn to my back, propping myself up against the mountain of pillows.

Wes stands there fully clothed, radiating suppressed energy. Slowly, oh so slowly, he pops open the buttons on his collared shirt before parting the soft material and slowly sliding it down his body. The buckle of his belt clanks as he pulls it free from his slacks, letting it drop to the floor before toeing out of his shoes and pulling his socks from his feet. And I lay there in rapt attention as each piece of skin is uncovered.

I hold my breath as he reaches for the clasp on his slacks. I breathe again when he lowers the zipper and pushes his pants and underwear wear down his strong legs as one. His hard length springs free and I watch—fascinated as he grips it in his fist. He lets his head tip back on his shoulders

“Spread your legs,” he rumbles as he slides his fist up and down his length. “Show me what’s mine because this is all yours, baby.”

Wes watches me through narrowed lids as I let my knees drop to the sides. My body burns from the inside out as I watch him watch me put myself on display for him. Only for him. My body burns hot from the wine and from Wes. He has always had this effect on me.

Slowly Wes stalks towards me before lowering himself to sit on the edge of the bed beside me. I lay perfectly still, holding my breath, waiting to see what his first move will be. Tonight, Wes will lead. Luckily for me, I don’t have to wait long.

Wes watches the movements of his hand as he caresses my cheek with the back of his fingers before placing his palm flat between my breasts. He leans down and softly places his mouth on mine, soft and sweet to start before sliding his tongue into my mouth and taking it deeper. There is no hurry to his movements or frantic pace. To Wes, it seems as if he has all the time in the world, and we’re getting married so he does, but I’m a little drunk and I want more. I want so much more.

I press my body to his as I nip at his bottom lip before soothing the hurt with my tongue. Wes smiles against my mouth and I know that he can see right through me. But then again, he’s known me since forever.

“I want slow,” he rumbles against my mouth.

“Uh-unh,” I mumble as I wrap a leg around his hips trying to entice him to my way of thinking.

“But slow can be so . . . rewarding,” he says as he circles my nipple with his fingertips before finally scraping his nail over the tip making me arch into him.

“I want fast while the champagne bubbles are still in my head,” I say as I dig a heel into the mattress and roll taking Wes with me. We land with him on his back, diagonally across the middle of the bed and me gracelessly sprawled across his body. He grips my hips tight in his hands.

“Is this what you had in mind?” he asks as he smiles up at me.

“Yes.” I smile triumphantly as I wiggle my hips to straddle Wes as he lies beneath me.

I lean forward to kiss him. I open my mouth to him, letting him control the kiss. I lose my head as I rock my body against his. When I break my mouth away to catch my breath, I push back, impaling myself on his hard length. We both let out a groan as we hold eat other tight, adjusting to the way that we fit together.

I smooth my palms over Wes’s chest and scrape my nails down his abs before slowly rising up and then sliding back down his cock. He lets a hiss out between his teeth as I rise up on my knees and slowly slide back down again and again.

I brace myself on my hands, my palms pressing against Wes’s tight abs as I slide up and down his length, faster and faster. There is a heat that spreads out over my body as I get closer and closer. I drop my head back letting my hair brush over his strong thighs. Wes arches his back to meet me.

He pushes his hands to glide up my sides from my hips before gripping one of my breasts in each hand. I place my own over his, encouraging him to squeeze me tighter, to pinch and pull my nipples as I ride him.

I bow backwards and feel the muscles of his legs tense behind me. My movements become more frantic as I try and get closer and closer before bending back forward and bracing myself against his chest again.

“Get there, baby,” Wes says through gritted teeth.

“I-I’m trying,” I cry out in almost a whine, but I can’t care. I’m so close and yet . . . not. I keep pushing harder and harder but I’m not getting any closer to the edge and it’s making me panicky.

“You gotta get there, baby,” he growls as his hips rise up to meet me as I sink back down over him.

“I can’t!” I cry out.

Before I know it, Wes is gripping me by the hips and pulling me up and up and up off his cock. He lifts me up and over, so that my upper body is hanging off the side of the bed, my fingertips barely brushing the carpet, and my most secret places right over his face.

Wes pulls me down to meet his mouth and presses his tongue over my clit hard and fast, not letting up for even a moment. I grip the edge of the comforter in my left-hand and the nails of my right-hand rake over the carpet. Panting, I’m not sure if I’m trying to get away from his sexual onslaught or if I’m trying to get even closer. I roll my hips and receive a masculine groan and a nip to my clit for my reward, sending me spiraling out of control as I come.

Wes knifes upward, taking me with him in one fluid move. I land on my back with Wes moving over me, sliding in deep. He hooks my left leg over his right arm lifting it higher, taking him deeper, while I wrap my right leg around his hip as he plunges hard and deep.

Before I know it, my body is heating up again. I rake my nails down Wes’s back and he rolls his hips causing me to clench tight around him. I’m building again.

“Yes,” he growls as he powers into my heat over and over again. “Give it to me. Again.”

I’m helpless to stop it so I do, and Wes follows me over the edge, roaring out my name as he does. He tucks his face into the crook of my neck as our breathing slows and he lowers my leg.

“You’re right,” he rumbles in my ear after a minute or two of silence. “Fast was fun.”

“I told you so,” I purr as I stretch like a cat underneath him.

“We’ll do slow next,” he tells me seriously.

“Okay,” I whisper and then we do just that, we go slow before drifting off to sleep in each other’s arms with the world at our fingertips . . . or so it had seemed at the time. If only we had known we were on the cusp of losing everything, we might have played things a little differently.

 

 

Catch up on the series:

Tell Me A Story:

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

Tuck Me In Tight:

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

About the Author:

Jennifer is a thirty something lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.

Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also an Alpha Xi Delta.

10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 8 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found in East Texas on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.

 

http://www.JenniferRebeccaAuthor.com

JenniferRebeccaAuthor@gmail.com

facebook.com/JenniferRebeccaAuthor

Twitter: @JenniRLreads

Instagram: @JenniRLreads

 

 

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Excerpt Reveal: Tattered by Devney Perry

TATTERED (Lark Cove Book 1) By Devney Perry
Release Day – June 19
Standalone

Thea Landry has always known her place in modern-day society. It’s somewhere just above the trash can her mother dumped her in as a newborn but below the class where much comes easy. With her tattered shoes and bargain-bin clothes, her life has never been full of glamour.

So when a rich and charismatic man takes interest, she doesn’t fool herself into thinking their encounter is anything more than a one-night stand. Months later, she’s kicking herself for not getting his phone number. Or his last name. She’s given up hope of seeing him ever again.

Until one day, years later, Logan Kendrick waltzes into her life once more and turns everything she’s built upside down. This time around, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s going to fight to keep him in her life—not for herself.

But for their daughter.

PRE-ORDER NOW

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Excerpt:

“Yes!” My arms shot in the air. I punched the air a couple of times before clapping and shouting, “Way to go, Charlie! Nice save!”

I was so damn proud. I hoped she could hear me yelling. Her success felt better than any I’d ever had personally, and I’d known her for just a couple days.

Parental pride was incredible.

And I wasn’t alone in my feelings. When I stopped cheering for my daughter, I looked to my side to see that Thea had gotten off the blanket and was cheering too. Her smile was beaming, brighter than any I’d seen before.

“Couldn’t stay seated?” I nudged her elbow with mine.

“Quiet, gorgeous.”

Gorgeous.

I’d been given nicknames in the past by women. My girlfriend in high school had called me Lo-Lo. Emmeline used to call me darling. Alice had annoyed the fuck out of me by whispering stud in my ear. I hadn’t really liked any of them, not even Emmeline’s.

But Thea’s gorgeous was hot as hell.

Mostly because she said it with that smile.

She could call me an asshole or a douchebag with that smile and I wouldn’t care.

08

About The Author:

Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.

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COLD BLOODED by Toni Anderson Teaser Blitz

COLD BLOODED by Toni Anderson releases June 12th – we cannot wait! See a teaser and check out the awesome trailer below, then be sure to preorder your copy now.

Romantic suspense lovers – this is the series for you!

 

About COLD BLOODED

Available June 12th

Searching for the truth…

Disgraced investigative journalist Pip West is devastated when she discovers her best friend’s body face-down in a tranquil lake. When cops and federal agents determine that her friend overdosed then drowned, Pip knows they’re mistaken and intends to prove it.

Special Agent Hunt Kincaid doesn’t trust journalists and has no patience for Pip’s delusions, especially since her meddling could reveal why the FBI is interested in her friend’s last days. The dead scientist worked at the cutting edge of vaccine research and might have a connection to a new, weaponized, vaccine-resistant anthrax strain that just hit the black market.

…just turned deadly.

Pip is thrown off her game by grief and her unexpected attraction to the handsome federal agent. Hunt battles the same unwelcome pull, determined to resist the heat that threatens to consume them both. But the more Pip digs, the closer she gets to both the sexy FBI agent, and to a bioweapons terrorist who’s more than capable of cold-bloodedly sacrificing anyone who gets in his way.

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COLD BLOODED releases June 12th – preorder your copy of COLD BLOODED now!

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✦Google Play http://bit.ly/2IK5j1n

 

 

See the COLD BLOODED trailer now:

 

About Toni Anderson

New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.

Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She’s addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.

If you want to know when Toni’s next book will be out, visit her website (http://www.toniandersonauthor.com) and sign up for her newsletter. If you want to read other fascinating stories about life in a city that, during winter, is sometimes colder than Mars, friend her on Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/toniannanderson).

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Teaser Reveal: THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD by Jennifer Probst

Today we are sharing a teaser reveal for THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD by Jennifer Probst. This book kicks off a brand new series, Stay, and it releases on June 5th. Check out the pre-order links below to reserve your copy now.

———-

PRE-ORDER THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD

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Pre-order it in PRINT | AUDIO

THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD (Stay, #1) by Jennifer Probst

Releasing June 5

Synopsis:

An enriching story of family ties, broken hearts, and second chances from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

When Ethan Bishop returns to the Hudson Valley, his body and spirit are a little worse for wear. As a former Special Forces paratrooper, he saw his fair share of conflict, and he came home with wounds, inside and out. At his sisters’ B & B and farm, he can keep all his pain at a safe distance. But quiet time isn’t easy when a fiery woman explodes into his life…

It’s business—not pleasure—that brings Manhattan PR agent Mia Thrush reluctantly to the farm. Tightly wound and quick tempered, Mia clashes immediately with the brooding Ethan. Everything about him is irritating—from his lean muscles and piercing blue eyes to his scent of sweat and musk.

But as the summer unfolds and temperatures rise, Ethan and Mia discover how much they have in common: their guarded histories, an uncontrollable desire, and a passion for the future that could heal two broken hearts. But will their pasts threaten their fragile chance at a brand-new future?

Add the book to Goodreads

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Pre-order it in PRINT | AUDIO

—————

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst – Bio:
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at http://www.jenniferprobst.com.

CONTACT LINKS:

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The Roots Of Us By Candace Knoebel Blog Tour: Excerpt Reveal

We are so excited to be bringing out the release of THE ROOTS OF US by Candace Knoebel. Fans of contemporary romance won’t want to miss this new emotional story. Be sure to grab your copy today!

 

About THE ROOTS OF US

The first time I saw Hudson Jameson, he was saving someone’s life.
The second time, he was ruining mine.

It was only supposed to be a vacation. A chance to let the Florida sun burn away the residue left behind from my failed relationships. I wasn’t searching for love. I was on a hiatus from men, especially ones with secrets.

Except Hudson had the gaze of a man drowning in his own miseries, and I was a sucker for the damaged souls. How could I deny him? How could I resist when his lips claimed mine?

I knew I couldn’t stay.
He told me he couldn’t bear to leave.

But some roots intertwine and refuse to let go, no matter how far you run.

Add THE ROOTS OF US to your Goodreads TBR here!

Grab your copy of THE ROOTS OF US today!

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Read an excerpt from THE ROOTS OF US

Heightened voices rose from somewhere in the kitchen. I lifted my head when I heard a low, guttural growl. Assuming it was Hudson, I closed my laptop, curiosity picking at me once again. If there was a chance I could discover why Hudson had such a cloud hanging over his head, I had to take it.

I stood. Tip-toed forward, trying to peer through the serving window without being noticed.

“She won’t bite,” I heard the elderly woman say. “She’s just a woman, and it would do you some good to have no choice but to talk to someone. Especially someone of the opposite sex.”

She was giving him a run for his money. I already liked her.

“Martha—” Hudson said, his voice dipped in octaves that suggested she was nearing his limit for the day.

“Don’t Martha me,” she bit back at him. A lioness swatting at her cub. I inched forward, stopping just in front of the door as I tried to peek past the window to get a good look at the woman who reminded me so much of my Nona. “It’s been nearly a year since you rid yourself of that awful woman. It’s time for you to dip your feet back into the pool. You’re too young and good looking to be single. Now, get out there before she leaves.”

This was the part where my curiosity bit me in the ass. Or rather, shoved me on my ass.

With one, hard push, Hudson came barreling through the double doors, only, I was in the way. Trying to rush back to my table, I turned when the door caught the back of me.

Down I went.

I landed on my side, catching myself with my elbow as Hudson cursed behind me. When I turned, he was rubbing his forehead. I noted the bright red horizontal line across his forehead and the glaring look he threw over his shoulder, and put together that his forehead had collided with the frame due to his height. He grimaced when he noticed Martha shooing him forward with a brisk wave of her hands.

I was about to get to my feet when he turned back around and saw me on the ground. For a moment, he stood stone-still, eyebrows pressed together in a menacing furrow.

“I have a talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I laughed, but the sound was offbeat and kind of delirious as embarrassment painted my skin in bright shades of red.

“How did you—are you all right?” he asked as he offered a hand to help me up while holding a basket of bread. Gone was his rough demeanor, replaced by concern. Rocky and rough, yet serene and calm… Hudson. I liked the softness his features took when his guard was down. The round shape of worry circling the golden rings around his pupils.

I took his hand. Rough and marred with calluses. But that wasn’t what I noticed first. What I noticed first was how my skin seemed to ignite, like a tripwire set off, the sparks traveling through my veins until they filled my heart, bursting like fireworks.

I retracted. Insta-love wasn’t my thing.

“Yeah,” I managed as I brushed my hands against my shorts. I knew I shouldn’t have listened to that heady beating of my heart, but I had a weakness for men with rough edges and soft eyes and he was charging past the barricade I’d placed. I marked the acute details of his face. The faint lines in the corners of his eyes, probably from squinting in the sun too much.

And then there were those baby blues. Something familiar and slightly terrifying swimming inside them, sort of like staring at a white water rapid, wanting to dive in but knowing you’d be swept under in a heartbeat.

Nona had always said a man would come into my life one day and replace everything I thought I knew about love. He’d erase the hurt left behind from my dad. Teach me that not all men are monsters, and take every romantic cliché and multiply them by a thousand. The palms sweating, knees weak, skin tingling kind of clichés you read about.

I never believed her. Not until that moment.

 

About CANDACE KNOEBEL

Candace Knoebel is a hopeless romantic with an affinity for whiskey and good music. Her love of words began when she met the boy who lived in the cupboard under the stairs. She’s a self-proclaimed Lost Girl. Words are her mirror.

With two completed series, her work ranges from paranormal to contemporary, all centered heavily around romance. Currently she lives in Florida with her husband and two children, and has just completed her thirteenth novel, The Taste of Her Words.

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