Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lyonesse McKenna, was dreaming or was she? From the instant Lyn saw Deacon McClain across a black jack table in a crowed Las Vegas casino the unmistakable attraction sent Lyn’s senses flying into overdrive. SWEET TALKIN' SUGAR BY CHRISTINE YOUNG FREE ON KU



Title: Sweet Talkin' Sugar
Author: Christine Young
ISBN: 978-1-62420-243-8
Email: achristay@aol.com

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Barnes & Noble, All Romance ebooks

Lyonesse McKenna, was dreaming or was she? From the instant Lyn saw Deacon McClain across a black jack table in a crowed Las Vegas casino the unmistakable attraction sent Lyn’s senses flying into overdrive. Her family of shapeshiters believed in soul mates. She’d always been sceptical yet she couldn’t help but question the way her heart sped when he looked at her.

When Deacon appeared in Las Vegas he knew his first job was to save Lyn from a Sea Demon, but the next order of business was to convince her he would someday mean more to her than she’d ever expected. But her stubborn nature and unbendable spirit consumed Deacon...and he had to chase away all the demons real and imagined in order to win her heart.


EXCERPT

In observation mode, he walked through the casino, hands in his pockets, listening and watching, his heart racing. Before the blackjack table at the end of the row, he paused to reflect and decide on a course of action. The air inside was sultry, hot and smoke-filled. He swept one hand through his damp hair, fresh from a summer rain. He forced his mind from the heat and the rancid smell of cigarettes, and with single-minded focus, stared at the table and the cards lying innocuously on the green felt.
The picture of cool calmness, she sat on a bar stool, a drink in hand and cards in the other, her legs crossed provocatively. Her daringly cut emerald V-neck dress didn't leave much to the imagination, but he forced his gaze to the man beyond who stared at her as if he owned her. Every hair on the back of his neck stood on end and a chill slivered down his spine, nerves on edge, muscles tensed. His brows furrowed when the man turned his attention, for one brief moment, his way.
The dealer gave her another card and she tipped one corner up to look at it then let it go. Her body language spoke volumes to him and he wondered if the dealer noticed too. The poker face she so obviously tried for was something she'd never possess.
Deacon McClain paused before settling on a bar stool across the table from her. He waited for the last hand to finish before placing his chips in front of him and nodding to the dealer he was ready to play. His fingers closed around his glass of whiskey as his heart thundered in his chest. She glanced his way, inquisitively cocking her head to one side before slanting him a sexy-as-hell-grin.
The grin sent a message that nearly catapulted him from his seat. Inhaling a deep breath to calm his splintering nerves, he turned his attention back to the cards he'd just been dealt. Not good, not good at all, he motioned for another, then sat back and gazed at Lyonesse. Lyn McKenna, the woman he'd been sent to find and bring home. He'd never believed this gig to be an easy one, but now he felt sure this might be his most difficult assignment of all. Her easy grin sent his heart into a tailspin and her long shapely legs were hard to ignore. What would happen if she gave him her full attention?
He'd lose all sense of perspective and balance.





Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Presenting: Hippie Mafia by Jessica Evans

Please welcome Jessica Evans author of Hippie Mafia.
Jessica will give away one digital copy of her book Hippie Mafia

Hippie Mafia

Title: Hippie Mafia
ISBN: 978-1-62420-308-4
Author: Jessica Evans

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2

Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

TAGLINE

Hippie Mafia is a story of urban redemption, examining how greed and loyalty influence decisions in a sub-culture that is generally accepted as being peaceful and without strife.

BLURB

Hippie Mafia is a multi-voice narrative that examines gender roles within the constructs of urban identity. The antagonist of the work, Mason, is the antithesis of the female archetype, both in her decision making skills and in the progression of her character through her stand-alone agency. The female protagonist, Amy, is one who responds to the situations she finds herself in as one might expect of a standard female character. It is the hope of the work that these two conflicting female identities will help the reader to begin to understand and examine ways in which female characters do not need a male counterpoint to advance their own stores.

REVIEW:

Hippie Mafia
The Granola Gang Book One
By Jessica Evans
4.5 stars (out of 5)
Review by Nancy Dafoe
Refuting the claim that Hippie Mafia is strictly a Southern California cultural phenomenon, propelled by drug users and dealers, Jessica Evans takes readers deep into a group within the counterculture of Cincinnati, Ohio in her new novel Hippie Mafia: The Granola Gang. As benign and healthy as the subtitle sounds, Evans’ gang is anything but hearty or harmless to each other. Betrayal ultimately strains and unravels the bonds found in what was once a tight-knit “family” of drug users chasing Phish on the circuit.
Propelled by the rawness, as well as naturalness of dialogue, the narrative moves with agility and acceleration until the denouement:
“‘Hello,’ I offer. She looks around the room like she's seeing it for the first time, too.
‘Like these kinds of accommodations,’ she snickers.
‘Excuse me?
‘You know, a room like this,’ she says, waving her hand, ‘with four blank walls and nothing to do or anyone to see.’
‘I've been in worse places.’”

This is a subculture the author appears to know intimately, with knowledge of “moving weight,” yet Evans’ narrative is empathetic. At the center of this group of friends, who grow, cook, sell, and use, are the slightly unusual best friends Mason Williams and Dugan Reeves, and brother and sister Amy and Ghost Barnes. Mason is a lesbian with a tough outer shell and a soft inner core. Dugan is half in love with Mason, as well as in love with Amy. Their lives of casual and serious sex, love affairs, fighting, stealing, drug use and selling, parallel their individual and collective search for redemption on the less-than-prosperous streets of Middle America in Cincinnati.
We come to know Amy, Angela, Beata, Mason, Ghost, Dugan, Nola, Ian, Julian, and Theseus intimately, these characters who took communion in drugs on tours. Their sacrament, however, comes with an end date. Almost from the opening pages, we know it will be Mason who betrays the family, but Evans’ story examines people, not caricatures, the how and why, as much as taking us inside the limits of loyalty and love within this counterculture.
Brother and sister Amy and Ghost may be the heart of the Granola Gang, and Ghost quite possibly dispenses the wisest words, even from his tentative stance: “‘All I'm saying is you're too narrow. Your focus is too pinpointed. It's always Dugan. Dugan can't just be your whole world. Let this be it, man. Get your ass out of there while you can still remember who you are.’”

Mason and Dugan spur the action, but it is Theseus and Julian who symbolically orient this novel that is as much about love and fumbling attempts at redemption as drugs, violence, and betrayal.


EXCERPT

Amy shakes her head and looks at Ghost. He wonders just what his sister is thinking, and why he can't see the same kind of rage he's feeling in her.
"So, what? We need to go get you packed?" Ghost's mind is thinking ahead to the logistics of getting Amy out of the apartment in Norwood. He knows Julian has an extra room at his spot in Mount Auburn he would gladly offer up to Amy.
"Your girls know? Beata? Who did you tell?"
"I couldn't," Amy starts, shaking her head, "I couldn't call anyone. The only one who knows is you. Beata would've come last night."
"So would I if you would have called me right after it happened. You shouldn't have waited. I would have been right there."
"But I know you. Your temper. Really, I was worried about what you would do."
"You mean you were worried I'd force you to make the right choice is more like it."
"Something like that," Amy says into her palms. "Like I don't think he set out to do it. I'm sure he was stressed, and whatever he was on didn't help. Probably, I should have just left when he started yelling like that."
"So what, now you're justifying his behavior? You sure this is the first time?" Ghost squints his eyes at Amy, trying to read into her.
She nods her head but doesn't say anything, confirming Ghost's suspicions.
"Right, well. We still need to get you out. Since no one knows, I'll just tell Julian your spot has ants or something. I don't know, I'll figure it out. We need to get back over there and get you a bag of whatever you need. I'll handle getting the rest of your stuff out later."
His mind in overdrive, Ghost sees him helping his sister move out of the apartment. He's never disliked Dugan, but he's never been a big fan either. There's something to be said about a dude who has a chick for a best friend. Something about that has never sat well with Ghost, and looking at his sister's face, he wonders if he's known something like this would happen all along.
"Ghost, I can't do that."
"Why are you arguing this with me, homie? I don't get it."
"It was an accident, man. I can't just get up and leave over something Dugan didn't mean to do."
"Yes, you can. You should. You will." Ghost lets the words sit between he and his sister before going on. "When we were little, there were a million times I wanted to be able to do something to save you. To save us. To get us out of that bullshit we had to deal with. I couldn't then. Had no money, no heat, and no options. Now I can. You need to listen to me, Amy. Listen hard. You say this was the first time, we both know that's probably not true. But this was probably the worst so far. You think he's just going to stop? That all of a sudden a chump ass dude like Dugan is going to realize he shouldn't go around hitting females? You have to see it's just going to keep getting worse. I mean, you have to. Until the next time you call me, it's not going to be about a black eye, but a broken arm, or getting shoved down the stairs, or a slug in the chest. I get that you want to be solo and indie and all that. Cool, I dig. You can't do this on your own, and you can't go back to him."
"I don't know what to do." Amy reaches for her cheek. "I hear you, brother. I really do. Promise this was the first time, but I can see how you might think otherwise. Thing is, I know you're right. I can't just leave. I can't abandon him like that. I know he didn't mean it. I called you because I was scared. Looking in the mirror and seeing this is not the way to start a morning. Shit freaked me out, and I didn't know what to do. Just running away isn't going to solve this problem either."
Ghost shakes his head. "Amy, you realize how you sound right now?" he asks. "I mean really. I've watched you over the last few years let yourself get so wrapped up in this dude, you've lost all your drive. Remember when you were a person outside of Dugan? There was this whole other life you always talked about, the one where you're getting out of the city, doing something with yourself. Now what? Dude's clocking you in the jaw and you're growing boomers in your spot? How is that any different from the shit we saw growing up? Thank god you're not pregnant at least."
Ghost's voice has been steadily rising. A few of the early morning coffee sippers are cutting sideways glances at their table. Ghost realizes they're being observed and tries to dial it back in a bit.
"All I'm saying is you're too narrow. Your focus is too pinpointed. It's always Dugan. Dugan can't just be your whole world. Let this be it, man. Get your ass out of there while you can still remember who you are."
Amy stares at her brother, unflinching. Her eyes move in a pattern from the table to the sugar canister to Ghost's eyes and back, a constant revolving circle, as if she's running on a wheel. She sits like that for a while, and Ghost doesn't say anything, hoping his words are sinking in and will have some effect. He's already cleared his schedule for the day so for the first time in a while, he has nowhere else to be, nothing more important to do than to sit and vibe with his sister, to protect her the ways that she protected him for so many years. He finishes his coffee and stands up.
"I'm getting another one. You need an answer by the time I get back."
Amy looks at the line, four people deep, and then down at the ground. She doesn't say anything to Ghost, but nods her head. Her mouth forms into a flat line and she starts chewing her cheek.
"You're going to chew a hole in your cheek, kid," Ghost says lightly, putting his hand on her shoulder. It's a throwback to something their mother used to say before she went off the deep end and landed herself in prison. Amy smiles wanly and pats Ghost's hand.
"Sounds like something Mom used to say," she replies.
"I'll get you another cup," Ghost says as he walks off.
Jessica Evans photo
Jessica Evans Bio

Jessica Evans is a Cincinnati native. Her work examines the ways in which personal experiences shape perspectives. She has earned an MFA from Spalding University. Currently, she lives at the base of the Wichita Mountain Range, where she’s falling in love with wide open spaces.

Website: http:// www.jessicarevans.com
Blog: None
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jevans624

TELL TALE TUESDAY: Allura McClellan is horrified by her father’s decision to take out an ad in the Times awarding her to the man strong enough and smart enough to win her hand and uncover her secrets. ALLURA BY CHRISTINE YOUNG FREE ON KU



Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Buy at Amazon:
Buy at Barnes & Noble:


REVIEW: 
Title: Allura Genre: Historical Author: Christine Young 
Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne Reviewer Email: RJChrissyDionne@yahoo.com 

Christine Young’s ALLURA is a delightful historical novel full of suspense, lovable characters, humor and a budding romance between two characters determined not to fall in love. Allura and Hunter’s stubborn, determined natures allowed for some interesting scenes as they attempted to get one up on each other. As a modern day woman I felt bad for Allura because technically her husband would dictate every aspect of her life and the freedom she loves would be a thing of the past. Hunter is unbending as far as to how he believes a wife should behave but falling in love changes him and his perception of Allura. Hunter and Allura are the main focus of this story but there are secondary characters whom I absolutely adored and would love to revisit in future novels (hint, hint). Especially the youngest sister Aiden and Hunter’s trusted friend Blade. He doesn’t believe in love and she’s determined to do whatever’s necessary to get him to notice her. SNIPPET— Allura has come to treasure her freedom and the adventures she shares with her sisters and her cousins but her father’s decision to find her a husband threatens that freedom. He’s placed an ad in the times in search of a man strong and smart enough to discover where exactly it is that the girls venture when they leave the safety of the castle.

REVIEW:



ALLURA
CHRISTINE YOUNG
ISBN # 978-1-58749-722-3
April 10, 2009
Rogue Phoenix Press
Ebook
$4.99 US
239 Pages
Historical Romance
Rating: 4 Cups

Allura McClellan’s father wants to see his daughters married before he passes on and has decided to run a contest to see who can reveal Allura’s secret and, if correct, the prize is her hand in marriage as well as her land and titles. She fights her father every step of the way, clinging to the reasoning that she does not want to submit to a man and give up who she is because she takes pride in all she has learned and who she has become without a husband.
All Hunter Gray's life, he has been treated horribly for being an English earl’s bastard son and as an adult, fought for his country and became a mighty warrior. Now, he sees a chance to get everything he feels he deserves, money and land, and all he has to do is seduce Allura into marrying him.
Even though a crackling fire rears itself every time Hunter and Allura are together, they truly try to fight the attraction, but for different reasons. As time goes by, feelings start to change and as they are in danger of losing themselves and more, can Allura and Hunter both get what they want?
I really enjoyed this book by Christine Young. It has mystery, humor and, whew, steamy love scenes! An awesome group of characters make this read very entertaining, from the tough as nails Allura to her meddlesome younger sister, Aiden. There is never a dull moment throughout this book and you will surely not be disappointed. I can only hope that some of my favorites get a story of their own. Well done Ms. Young.
Matilda
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
-        

BLURB: 

Allura McClellan is horrified by her father’s decision to take out an ad in the Times awarding her to the man strong enough and smart enough to win her hand and uncover her secrets. She’s an intelligent young woman who takes great delight in the freedom allotted to her by her father. She’s well aware that marriage would effectively curtail the adventures she’s shared with her sisters and cousins.

Hunter Gray is nothing like the other men who’ve arrived to vie for Allura’s hand in marriage and everything that goes along with it. However, he is the first to refuse to concede defeat and pursue her despite her attempts to disguise her true appearance. It’s her temperament that is of more concern to him than her looks. Hunter has worked all his life with the hope of someday owning his own land. Now that it looks like there’s a very real possibility that everything he’s ever wanted is within reach nothing is going to deter him – including Miss Allura’s disagreeable disposition.


Eddington, Scotland 1815

"You can’t plan to wed me to that--that man down there!" Allura McClellan’s heart thundered and lodged in her throat. Balled into fists her hands trembled. "You promised I could marry for love. I thought when the last man failed to discover this imaginary secret you think I have, you would stop this craziness. I thought you would take the ad out of the Times and the other papers."

From the boxing ring below, fist met flesh, the sound echoing throughout. Hunter Gray whirled and ducked. He guarded his face to block the stinging blows his opponent rained down upon him. He spun and ducked again. The man he fought countered the attack, but he did not move fast enough. Hunter’s next jab was so fast and so hard the other man didn’t block the punch. The man staggered backwards, blood running from his eye. Men yelled and cheered for the two combatants. Hunter paused and spoke to the man he practiced with before the match continued once more.

Allura saw her life as she had planned it slip away as if it was grains of sand in an hour glass. She stopped pacing and watched the men below. She turned on her father. "The ad in the Times--giving me away to any man--you have gone too far. A marriage of convenience is barbaric. You promised." For a moment, she closed her eyes. She did not want to acknowledge anything that went on here. It was not her fault she could not find a man she loved. What horrific bit of bad luck had found her?

The laird cleared his throat. "Perhaps I have not gone far enough or soon enough. And the ad did not promise you to just any man. He must be strong enough and smart enough to win your hand."

It was not Allura’s nature to allow others to rule her fate. “These men,” she waved her hand in the air, frustration sweeping recklessly within. "They don’t want me. They come for one reason only. They are greedy and hungry for power. You have taught me everything I need to know. I can run your estate and all of your holdings. I’ve studied endless hours. I know the men who work for you. I swear I’ll defy your wishes. At the altar I will say no."

The McClellan’s grin faded as quickly as it had appeared and without further thought, he said, "Perhaps not, you are beautiful lass--one with rare promise. And," he stroked his chin, "no matter how much book learning a woman has she cannot dictate her own life. It is up to the men in her life to make sure she is happy and provided for."

A strained silence followed. She sagged against the stone wall. As if sensing her vulnerable position, she stiffened. Outraged and furious she looked upon her father. "They are money grubbers and want your land--our land. They have no right to any of your estate."

The McClellan held back for a moment, seemingly aware there was more than just a little truth in what Allura said. "How indeed?" he questioned her. Yet his smile was tight, forced. "I grow old. I only want this land secured and my daughters happy before I die. You are twenty-two. I have given you ample opportunity to fall in love. I thought it time to bring new blood to this land, a new man. I thought perhaps one would take your fancy."

"That man," she began. Her hand shook when she pointed at the man who danced and whirled avoiding each blow as if he dallied in child's play. She trembled so violently she could not speak. “Is an Englishman.”


Monday, March 27, 2017

MYSTERY MONDAY: Shattered by family tragedy, Lucy Carter, 15, is sent away to a prestigious performing arts boarding school where she meets a mysterious musician. A PART TO PLAY BY JENNIFER L. FRY



A Part to Play
Jennifer Fry

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

Buy at Amazon: 
Buy at All Romance ebooks

Shattered by family tragedy, Lucy Carter, 15, is sent away to a prestigious performing arts boarding school where she meets a mysterious musician whose talent and insecurities teach her to rediscover her love of acting and to believe in herself.

EXCERPT

She stood on a sidewalk near a busy intersection in her hometown. Cars zipped by through a layer of heavy fog that made visibility difficult. It was dark outside, but the orange street lights illuminated the cars as they drove by. Lucy saw familiar headlights. Her mother's car approached.

Despite the fog and the darkness, she could just make out her sister, Kate, sitting tensely in the driver's seat. Headlights flashed from the other direction, distracting Lucy from her sister for a moment. An erratic vehicle headed towards her sister. It veered into Kate's path for a moment, and Lucy screamed, but eerie silence hung over the scene. She tried to run out into the street to wave her sister down, but it was as though her feet were stuck in cement.

When Kate saw the driver in her path, she stomped on the brakes and spun the steering wheel sharply to the right shoulder, causing the little sedan to skid, which rotated it around ninety degrees. Now Kate's car blocked the entire street.

The larger vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, slammed into the driver's side door at full speed, as if the driver hadn't even seen Kate's car. Lucy screamed again, but there was no sound, not even of the cars colliding. She couldn't tear her eyes away as she watched the sedan's side section crumple into itself. Kate's body tossed back from the force of impact. Suddenly, across the street on the opposite sidewalk, Lucy saw both of her parents watching the same scene. Once again, she waved her arms, this time to get their attention. But they acted as though they couldn't see her.

When she blinked, she found herself hanging upside down in a car, strapped in with a seat belt. It took her a moment to realize she was in the backseat of the car Kate was driving. Lucy looked around desperately for her sister and saw Kate climbing out of the passenger side door, unhurt.

Her parents embraced Kate, holding her and crying over the close call. Lucy felt a searing pain in her chest; she looked down to see a piece of metal from the destroyed vehicle piercing her. Blood gushed from the wound. She cried out for her parents, her shrill scream now the only sound in the violent scene. But her parents and Kate, with arms around each other, walked away from the accident, leaving her there. She heard her mom's voice, "This family does not work without you. Thank God you are safe."

"What about me?" Lucy cried. What about me!

Darkness enveloped the quiet dorm room when Lucy's eyes snapped open. She shook so hard from the nightmare that at first she wondered if she was having a seizure. This was by far the worst dream she'd had of Kate's death. It was the first where Kate actually walked away from the accident and she, Lucy, died in her place. Or at least she had been left for dead, with her parents and sister happy together.

The true impact of what it meant to be sent to ESPA hit her with the impact of a freight train. She simply was not good enough for her parents; they had always loved Kate more. And now, she would never have that life again--the one with laughter and games--it was gone. All of it. Kate was dead and her parent's marriage was dead. There was no home for her anymore. The security she drew from her sister's unfailing support, from her parents love and affection--it was all gone. She had nothing; she had less than nothing.

Her breath coming in short gasps, Lucy crawled towards her backpack to dig out her iPod. The room spun around her as she pushed play. She made her way to the small space between the bed and the wall and curled into a ball with her music turned up full volume. Who was she without her sister? Who was she without her family? Nothing, absolutely nothing. She cried harder than she ever had, wishing a giant earthquake would split the ground open and swallow her. And when the tears dried up, everything became numb.