9 October 2015

Blog Tour: Sing Your Heart Out by Crystal Kaswell | Excerpt + Giveaway

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Sing Your Heart Out
Crystal Kaswell

Sinful Serenade #1

Published Fall 2015

Purchase: Amazon
Good girls don’t date rockstars.

They certainly don’t take rock stars as fuck buddies.

Still a virgin at 21, Meg Smart walks a straight and narrow path. She aces her classes, excels at her part time job, and carefully avoids the black hole that is mourning her sister. There’s no room in her life for trouble–no drinks, no drugs, and especially no boyfriends.

Fine with Miles.

Rock star Miles Webb doesn’t do boyfriend. He doesn’t do intimacy, or love, or anything that isn’t effortless and casual. The only time the singer reveals himself is on stage. His gorgeous, tortured voice hints at the kind of unspeakable pain Meg understands all too well. Only the second he steps off stage he transforms into a cocky, know-it-all player.

Their chemistry is red-hot. He’s tattooed, tall, and totally irresistible. She can’t handle a one-night stand, and a relationship is totally out of the question.

That only leaves one option:
Friends with benefits.
Just sex. Just fun.
No secrets, no feelings, no falling in love.

Only neither one of them can quite abide by the terms.

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Twitter
Crystal Kaswell writes steamy new adult and erotic romance books. She loves when flawed characters fall head over heels for each other. Especially if they fall into bed first. She loves police procedurals, tea, and The Hunger Games series. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.


I try to make small talk, but nothing comes to me. Instead, I press my back into the seat and watch the city fly by the windows. "You want the Wilshire exit of the 405."

"That all?"

"Yes. That's all."

"Nothing else you'd like to discuss?"

I play with the seatbelt. "We're friends by association, so how about we agree never to discuss this again? I am sorry, and it was an accident."

A smug smile spreads across his face. "I can't agree to that."

"Why not?"

"You're too cute when you blush."

"I'm not cute." I bite my tongue so I don't snap. "Let's pretend it never happened."

"If it bothers you that much." He stops at a red light. "But it's not a big deal. Nothing you haven't done before."

Right. Because I'm a twenty-one-year-old college senior. And no normal college senior is quite so sexually inexperienced.

"Of course," I say.

Miles looks at me. That smug smile gets wider. He says nothing, but he's practically screaming with his eyes.

I try my most confident voice. "I'm very experienced. I had a boyfriend last year."

"There's no shame in being a virgin."

"I know, but I'm not."

He raises his eyebrow.

"It's not really any of your business."

The light turns green. Miles steps on the gas. Changes gears until he's going way over the speed limit. "What's your favorite sexual position?"

"I'd rather not discuss that with a stranger."

"What happened to us being friends by association?"

A compelling point. I shrug like I'm as unaffected as he is. "Missionary."

He turns to me for a second, shaking his head. "Now, I know you're lying. I've never met a girl who wanted to do missionary."

"Out of the ten thousand girls you've screwed, none wanted to do missionary?"

"Not one." He stops short at a yellow light. "If you want your first time to be good, I'm happy to throw you a bone."

"Excuse me?"

His eyes find mine. His expression is the epitome of cocky. "You do want to fuck me."

"I do not."

He shakes his head. "You do. The way you were staring at me in the living room--you were picturing me naked."

"Because I saw you naked. I couldn't help it."

"Mhmm." The light turns green and he slams on the gas. He turns the corner and speeds onto the freeway onramp. "And now you're thinking about it."

"I'm not."

"I'm better than whatever you're imagining."

"Did you even know that girl's name?"


"What was it?"

"Stephanie. Pretty sure it was Stephanie." He shrugs. "It's just sex. You'd know if you ever--"

"Whatever." I cross my legs. "I don't need your pity sex offer."

"There'd be no pity about it," he says.

That same blush spreads across my cheeks. "What do you mean?"

His eyes turn towards me. "I want to fuck you, too."

"There's no ‘too.’ I do not want to have sex with you."

He smirks.

I bite my tongue. It's only getting me into trouble.

We drive in silence for a few minutes. It's too much, so I turn the car radio on. It's tuned to KROQ and, God help me, the station is playing a Sinful Serenade song. The vocals are a low moan, a sound meant to express an extreme outpouring of emotion. I can't get past the moan. Is that what Miles sounds like when he's mid orgasm?

My cheeks are still scalding. They've been hot for the last fifteen minutes. I scramble to change the station. The next preset is another rock station. That won't do. There. The oldies station is sure to be free of Miles's voice.

He laughs. "You're cute when you're nervous."

"I'm not nervous." I fold my arms over my chest. "Just not in the mood to listen to rock music."


Whatever. I watch the sky whiz by outside the windows. The rest of the drive, I only open my mouth to give Miles directions. It feels like an eternity passes, but, finally, we arrive at Kara's apartment.

I help her out of the car and up the stairs. I fish through her purse for her keys.

She looks at me with concern. "Thanks for coming out, but Meg--"


Her gaze drifts to Miles. "Be careful. I know Miles is cute, but he's a heart breaker."

"Drink some water."

"Seriously. Not worth the trouble. Okay?"

"Since when have I found any guy worth the trouble?" I ask.

She steps into her apartment. "You're looking at him like he's way worth it."

"You're imagining things."

She shakes her head, certain she has the right idea about things.

I shrug, attempting an effortlessly cool expression. It does nothing to convince her.

"Goodnight." She shuts the door.

I turn around and rush down the steps. Now it's not just this Miles guy who's certain of my attraction. My best friend is in on it, too.

I set my foot on the last step, only it's not the last step. It's the ground. I try to steady myself, but it's not good. I go down, landing on all fours.

Ow. I inspect my wrists and knees. Nothing serious except for some scraped skin. Nothing a washcloth and a Band-Aid won't fix.

Someone offers his hand. Must be Miles. Fine. I take it, allowing him to help me to my feet.

He stares at me. "You went down hard."

He said it that way on purpose. He must have.

"I'm fine," I say. "I can walk home from here. It's close."

"Uh-huh. Drew will kill me."

"He won't kill you for offering to take my virginity?"

"Some things are worth dying for."

Miles kneels, expecting my knees. But I'm more concerned with how short my skirt is and how close his head is to the hem.

"That's a bad scrape," he says. "You have a first-aid kit?"

"Yeah. At home."

"I'll bandage it."

"It's nothing."

"I bruised plenty of knuckles in my day. I'm bandaging that." He rises to his feet. His eyes meet mine. "Either we do it at your apartment, or we go to a twenty-four hour pharmacy."

"I don't need your help."

"Consider it a perk of our mutual friendship."

"Fine." I get back in the car. My knee doesn't hurt at all. And what the hell could he possible know about scrapes that I don't? I'm an ER scribe. He's a rock star. It's clear which of us has the experience.

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7 October 2015

Book Blitz: Wrong by Jana Aston | Excerpt + Giveaway

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Jana Aston

Published October 7th 2015

Purchase: Amazon | B&N
I have a history of picking the wrong guy. Gay? Player? Momma’s boy? Check, check and check.

Now I can’t stop fantasizing about one of the customers at the coffee shop I work at between classes. It’s just a harmless crush, right? It’s not like I ever see this guy outside of the coffee shop. It’s not like I’m going to see him while attempting to get birth control at the student clinic. While wearing a paper gown. While sitting on an exam table. Because he’s the doctor.

Shoot. Me.

But what if, for once, the man I’ve had the dirtiest, most scandalous fantasies about turned out to be everything but wrong?

About the Author

Newsletter | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Jana Aston works a really boring day job. Really. Boring. In her spare time she loves to read sexy romance novels, especially if they involve an alpha CEO. Wrong is her first novel.


Note: This excerpt contains crude language.

"Sophie, he's going to be back for more. Trust me."

I load a tray of cupcakes and slide them into the bakery case. "I don't know, Everly. He's really sophisticated and clearly lives a lifestyle a long ways from Cowbell Lane," I say, referencing my grandparents' home in Willow Grove.

"Bitch, please. The guy is pushing forty and you're a hot co-ed with a brand-new tight, shiny pussy. He'll be back."

My eyes widen. "Everly, Jesus!"

"Just saying." She holds her hands up in mock defense before breaking into a huge grin.

"You don't really think he's forty, do you?"

"He just turned thirty-six in August."

"How do you know that?"


"You Googled him?"

"You didn't?" Everly looks aghast.

"Uh, no." Truthfully I thought about it, but I didn't want to get any more invested in him than I already am.

"Well, look what the pussy dragged in." Everly is smirking.

"Everly, that's not the saying. It's 'cat.' 'Look what the cat dragged in.'"

"Oh, I think I've got the saying right. He's here."

My stomach explodes in nerves as I glance towards the door. Luke is here. I wondered if he'd stick to his normal Tuesday routine and stop here for coffee. I've figured out this Grind Me location is between his Rittenhouse Square condo and the student clinic, but it's hardly the only route he could take or stop he could make.

My heart is beating so fast as I take him in. Is he going to speak to me or go back to just ordering coffee and leaving like he has the last several weeks?

He's in a navy suit today, crisp white shirt and a silvery blue tie. And then my heart stops beating so fast. There's a hand on his arm. I follow that hand to the redhead from Saturday night.

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Cover Reveal: Nashville Nights Boxed Set by Stacey Mosteller

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Nashville Nights Boxed Set
Stacey Mosteller

Nashville Nights #1-4

Coming November 27th 2015

Save Me From Myself (Book 1)
Tragedy and betrayal sent her running…
And now she’s starting over far away from the person she used to be.
Lyric Hayes tried to be the perfect daughter and the perfect girlfriend, but those days are over. She’s ready to begin again with a vow to herself: no relationships, no complications, and no turning back.
Easier said than done…
Confident, successful, and charming David Pearson makes her vow nearly impossible. He has it all, and David knows better than anyone not to judge someone by what’s on the surface. Wanting to own her heart, he’ll do anything to gain her trust and save her from herself. But David’s family could have secrets and baggage of their own, which could send Lyric packing and on the run once again. Is his past just another version of a song Lyric has heard before?

Never Wanted More (Book 1.5)
Originally part of the Southern Seduction Box Set
Peyton Williams is spoiled, entitled and a little too stuck up. The daughter of an influential Mayor and a socialite mother, she’s trying to get through college and make her own path. She’s perfectly happy being a loner until Spring semester when she gets not only a roommate, but a math tutor.
Wyatt Parker is the boy from the wrong side of town. Known as the son of the town tramp, he jumps at the scholarship to play basketball in Nashville where no one knows his roots. Spending this semester tutoring a friend’s snobby roommate wasn’t what he envisioned, but Peyton quickly gets under his skin.
Peyton never wanted more until she met Wyatt, but is she willing to be what he needs?

Everything I Shouldn’t: Jeremy & SarahBeth #1 (Book 2)
It’s been eight days, sixteen hours and forty-seven minutes since life as I know it ended. I know, it sounds so melodramatic and teen-soap worthy, but it’s the truth. Eight days, sixteen hours and forty-seven minutes since David found out. Since he kicked Jeremy out, ended their friendship and told me I could never see him again.
I didn’t plan on David getting suspicious, and I definitely didn’t plan on getting caught. My selfishness has cost Jeremy everything, my brother won’t even look at me, Lyric must hate me for practically blackmailing her to keep silent and my best friend is barely speaking to me.
Now my life is full of secrets and lies. The people around me have been affected by the choices I’ve made and the lies I’ve told. But what will they do when they discover the biggest secret of them all?
Jeremy is everything I shouldn’t want, and the person I can’t live without.

Everything I Need: Jeremy & SarahBeth #2 (Book 3)
SarahBeth Pearson has made mistakes, and I might just be the biggest one of them all. After spending months keeping secrets and lying to everyone close to us, it’s all fallen apart and we are each left alone to pick up the pieces.
I’ve loved SarahBeth in one form or another her entire life. The steps that brought us closer together weren’t easy for me to take. After letting her dictate our relationship, I’ve found myself practically homeless and estranged from my closest friends.
Now I’m left trying to move on, finding a new place to live and getting everything I need in order, while she’s trying to mend her broken heart. There’s just one problem…SarahBeth’s still keeping secrets – and her secret just might change everything.

Pretending He’s You (Book 4)
Part One of Two
Olivia Barrett’s always had a weakness for bad boys and Tyler Chamberlain is no exception. His tattoos, his piercings, and even the fact that he has a girlfriend doesn’t keep her away.
Interested in Tyler since she first saw him pick up a guitar, she’s been trying to find ways to be with him for years. He’s the one Livvie runs to when she needs a friend, the one who makes her laugh and holds her when she needs to cry. Unfortunately, they are never single at the same time and sneaking around is getting old.
Now, tired of making bad decisions, Livvie’s making changes. Her friends are all starting to grow up and she doesn’t want to be left behind. Terrified her friends are moving on without her, she’s determined to make things work with Emmett, her on-again off-again boyfriend since high school.
The only problem? Tyler isn’t ready to let her go. Despite her boyfriend and his girlfriend, these two are drawn together like magnets. When she’s with Emmett she wishes she was with Tyler and vice versa.
Will Livvie ever get tired of pretending and pick one guy? Or will she keep bouncing back and forth between the two of them indefinitely?

Note: This book contains themes of infidelity which may be a trigger for some readers

*This book contains adult situations and is recommended for 18+

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Stacey is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author of Second Chances and Shadows of the Past (co-authored with H.M. Ward), the Nashville Nights, Two Sisters and Nashville U series (coming late 2015 from Swoon Romance).

She is also a wife, mother, writer and self-professed bookwhore – not necessarily in that order! As the mother of three growing boys, her Kindle has become her temporary escape from the insanity of boys, dogs and her husband. Stacey can usually be found curled up with her iPad when she’s supposed to be writing or creating endless Spotify playlists!


6 October 2015

Cover Reveal: #<3 by Cambria Hebert

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Cambria Hebert

Hashtag #6

Coming November 6th 2015

Lovers Gonna Love…

Family isn’t always defined by blood.

Sometimes family is born of love…


And choice.

Sometimes the bond that comes from someone having your back through the shittiest of times is stronger than anything you get from genetics.

And sometimes you find that piece of your soul you didn’t even know was missing

I’m a lucky guy like that.

I found a love that will never fade. I found a group of people who aren’t just my friends.

They’ve become my family.

There’s only one place to go from here.

I’m gonna bind myself to Rimmel in every possible way.

I’m gonna bring our family even closer together.

The past has taught me it won’t be easy.

Especially when faced with repercussions from a night that ended in death.

But that’s okay.

Family doesn’t quit each other.

Love like ours never dies.

Happily ever after isn’t just for storybooks.

About the Author

Pinterest | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Email
Cambria Hebert is a bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently resides in North Carolina with her children (human and furry) and her husband, who is a United States Marine.

Beside’s writing Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (because her dog runs her house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: Text, Torch, Tryst, Masquerade and Recalled.

You can find out more about Cambria and her titles by visiting her website: http://www.cambriahebert.com

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC


5 October 2015

Book Blitz: Cat Love by Sunniva Dee | Excerpt + Giveaway

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Cat Love
Sunniva Dee

Published October 5th 2015

Purchase: Amazon
A sexy thriller about the animal in all of us.

Aidan uses his superpower to stabilize minds at the Hollyreed Specialist Hospital. Ulani uses hers to chase rats on rooftops. Until she’s caught and deposited in Aidan’s care.

At the hospital, Aidan finds Ulani’s room empty—save for a cat, whose fur retracts in favor of silky skin and a vamp-gorgeous femme fatale.

Aidan’s obsession with Ulani grows—

While patients at the hospital go missing.

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pintreset | Instagram
Originally from Norway, I moved to the United States twelve years ago. I hold a Master’s degree in languages and taught Spanish at college level before settling in at the Savannah College of Art and Design as an adviser.

I write New Adult fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist—like in “Shattering Halos,” published by The Wild Rose Press in February 24th 2014 and in “Stargazer,” released November 2014. The first book I’ve self-published was the New Adult Contemporary novel “Pandora Wild Child,” which made me a proud indie author in October 28th 2014.

I specialize in impulsive heroines, bad-boys, and good-boys running amok. Then, there’s the intense love, physical and emotional attraction beyond reason—sensory overload for the reader as well as for the characters. Like in real life, I hope you’re unable to predict what comes next in my stories.

Yes, so I write what I love to read, and depending on the reader, you’ll find my books to be a fast-paced emotional rollercoaster—or disturbing because the struggles of love aren’t your thing. Here’s to hoping you have the same reading vice as me!


As we press down into the bowels of old Hollyreed Mental Hospital, I’m glad I brought flashlights. Like a good Boy Scout, I even brought my Swiss army knife, which boasts the customary array of miniature tools.

I’m not going to lie. The basement is eerie. It’s my version of Hell, the old-fashioned way, dank with humidity, scurrying animals—rats, I’m sure—and at one point I could have sworn I heard rattling chains. I chuckle, even as the hairs stand on end at the back of my neck.

“Ha. You’re so scared,” Ulani says, amusement the only feeling emitting from her. The beams of our flashlights illuminate the way up iron-cast stairs that make me think of boats. As I walk into a piece of cobweb, I let out a small, horrified grunt, confirming Ulani’s statement. Awesome.

Seconds later, a rodent darts in front of me, and I suck in a girly breath. “Not everyone’s used to chasing critters,” I say, causing her to giggle.

I fumble with the door handle at the top. It’s not giving.

“Here,” Ulani whispers low, maybe in order to not disturb the rats. Higher up on the door, there’s a bolt I don’t see until she slides it open—without even targeting it with her flashlight.

“You see in the dark?” I feel less and less super around this girl.

She shrugs. “Well, yeah—it’s not that dark.”

“Right, because it’s just pitch-black. I’d say your vision’s another gift from your cat family.” She nuh-huhs, and I don’t insist.

For the next fifteen minutes we walk in silence. Thankfully, they spent a lot of money on this hospital back in the day, which means the wide stairways are still sturdy, and the floors don’t give under our feet. I suspect a grand portion of the building is pure cement.

The whole place is silent. So silent there’s no creaking of old wood or rustling from tattered curtains in the windows.

“Wow, this is amazing,” Ulani says, awed.

“I know. Can’t believe I haven’t checked it out before. It is creepy here though, so I understand if you’d rather go back home.”

Ulani’s big on shrugging tonight and does it again while we take the stairs up to the third floor. “Nah. Maybe I’ll find a sweet little room to set up camp in if you become too much to handle.”

“Me hard to handle? That’s what I call projecting. And what’s wrong with your own apartment if you wanted to leave mine behind?” I add, sounding like we’re actually discussing her moving out. Which she’ll do over my dead body unless she learns how to control her inner cat.

“Meh, this place is cool. And you’re full of it,” she quips. “I speak on behalf of all women when I tell you that men are sexy but super-obnoxious. You included.”

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3 October 2015

Book Blitz: Shopping for a CEO by Julia Kent | Excerpt + Giveaway

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Shopping for a CEO
Julia Kent

Shopping for a Billionaire #7

Published September 29th 2015

Purchase: Amazon | B&N
I’m thrilled to be the maid of honor in my friend’s wedding, but the best man, Andrew McCormick, is a chauvinistic pig with a God complex.

And I can’t stop kissing him in closets.

(Don’t ask.)

He’s the brother of the groom and the CEO of my biggest mystery shopping account, but suddenly he’s refusing to be in the wedding. He won’t talk about it. Won’t see reason.

He’s such a man.

And he still won’t stop kissing me in random closets.

(Thank goodness.)

I’m a fixer. That’s what I do. I can fix anything if given the chance. But when the game is fixed there’s only so much I can do.

The ball’s in his court now.

Game on.

* * *

Shopping for a CEO is the 7th book in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shopping series. When CEO Andrew McCormick and mystery shopper Amanda Harrington find themselves in the unlikely position as maid of honor and best man in the Boston society wedding of the year, an undeniable attraction and dual stubborn streaks add fuel to the fire in this romantic comedy from Julia Kent.

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent turned to writing contemporary romance after deciding that life is too short not to have fun. She writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken.

She loves to hear from her readers by email at jkentauthor@gmail.com, on Twitter @jkentauthor, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/julia.kent.100. Visit my blog at http://jkentauthor.blogspot.com


"Amanda!' Greg bellows as I walk into the office. He's sitting in the reception area with Josh, who looks like someone made him stick his tongue in an electric socket. "You're pregnant!"

"I'm what?" That's news to me, and I think I'd know long before Greg.

He thumbs toward Josh. "And he's the father."

I laugh. "That's not possible, Greg. Josh is gay."

"Gay men can sleep with women," Greg insists. "My Uncle Angus did for fifty-seven years while he was married to Aunt Joy."

"I'm Gold Star Gay," Josh whispers.

"They give out gold stars for it?" Greg asks, incredulous. "Like, a secret society?"

"Yeah," I say. "It's like the AARP. One day the card just comes in the mail and you wonder how they know you qualify."

Greg frowns. “We don’t get gold stars for being straight. I don’t understand.”

Josh rolls his eyes and rallies, the shade of green in his face replaced by a healthy glow. “Gold star gay men are men who’ve never slept with a woman.”

“Never?” Greg asks. I can tell he’s trying to keep his incredulity out of his voice. He accomplishes this by grabbing a donut from the box Carol brought in yesterday and shoving the entire thing in his mouth.

Josh shakes his head.

“Mmmmf evermmmmf?” Greg says. Or tries to say. I’m not sure what he actually says, because I’m dodging the spray of rainbow sprinkles coming out of him.

“Nope. Never.” Apparently, Josh can understand the universal language of Donut.

Greg swallows in one giant gulp, like a snake eating a mouse. He sniffs, then looks at me. “Does that make me Gold Star Straight?”

“Huh?” Josh and I ask in unison.

“If I’ve never slept with a man,” Greg says slowly, contemplating the issue while picking crumbs off his tie and licking them off his fingers, “then I’m Gold Star Straight.”

“He’s got a point,” I admit, giving Josh a look that says, They don’t pay us enough for conversations like this.

“That’s not how it works,” Josh says in a grumpy voice.

“Why not?” Now Greg is indignant. “You get gay marriage now. We should get our own gold stars. I want a gold star.”

Josh is speechless. I am struggling to decide whether I would rather go on another date with Mr. Anal Gland Hands or spend one more minute hearing Greg talk about his sex life.

Anal glands for the win.

“You want a gold star for what?” Carol asks, walking in with what looks like a bag full of chocolate foil tractors, scarecrow lollipops, and hard candies shaped like ears of corn. She’s wearing denim overalls, a red and white checkered shirt, and her blonde hair is pulled back in a ponytail. If Hee Haw were still on, I’d think she was an extra on the show.
I cock one eyebrow and look at her goodies.

“Farming trade show,” she sighs. “You get the wedding trade shows, I get the cranky old farmers who want to talk about bursitis and soybean futures.”

“Well,” I say magnanimously, stepping behind her and putting one hand on her shoulder, “you can take my place in this work conversation.”

“Talking about gold stars?” she asks, a bit befuddled. “Is there a special reward system I don’t know about?”
“Something like that,” Josh mumbles. “Let’s stop talking about my sex life.”

“Sex life?” Carol snorts, really confused now. She grabs a foil-covered tractor and begins peeling it, taking a bite. The tire snaps off in her mouth. “What do gold stars have to do with sex lives? Now we have sticker charts for sex?”

“That’s what I’m wondering!” Greg bellows, reaching for one of the chocolates. “How come Josh gets a gold star for not sleeping with women but I can’t get a gold star for not sleeping with men?”

“I’m not sleeping with men or women,” Carol says sadly, eating the tractor’s engine now. “What do I get for that?”

I reach across my desk and grab a sheaf of papers, sliding them to her. “You get the sex toy shops I took.”

She looks at the chocolate in her hand. Glances at the papers. Then the pile of chocolate.

“Why are you giving me those?”

“Because Amanda’s pregnant,” Greg explains helpfully, his mouth full of a tractor.

Work pregnant or pregnant pregnant?” Carol asks casually. These conversations have become alarmingly normal to me.

“Work pregnant, I assume,” I reply. “Because if I’m pregnant pregnant, then my vibrator has some explaining to do.”

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2 October 2015

Blog Tour: Ready to Reach by Inglath Cooper | Review + Giveaway

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Ready to Reach
Inglath Cooper

Nashville #1

Published October 4th 2012

Purchase: Amazon
Ever thought a dream might pass you by?

Nineteen-year old CeCe Mackenzie is determined to make her dreams come true. She heads for Nashville with not much more to her name than a guitar, a Walker Hound named Hank Junior and an old car she’d inherited from her grandma called Gertrude. But when Gertrude ends up on the side of I-40 in flames, Nashville has never seemed farther away. Help arrives in the form of two Georgia football players headed for the Nashville dream as well. When Holden Ashford and Thomas Franklin stop to offer CeCe and Hank Junior a ride, fate may just give a nod to serendipity and meant to be. Because while CeCe is chasing after her dream, she might find love as well.

New Adult Romance where “the characters are so alive you can almost hear them next to you.”

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
RITA AWARD WINNING AUTHOR INGLATH COOPER writes books that aim to give her readers a mini-vacation. A stretch of time during which they can visit other places and other people’s lives. Her books have reached the top 100 Amazon Kindle Bestseller list, with Truths and Roses hitting #11.

Inglath Cooper’s Nashville series became a reality after she spent time in Music City, writing lyrics with other songwriters. She fell in love with the community and gets to revisit regularly through her characters.

My Review

Ready to Reach follows the adventures of CeCe as she embarks on on her dream to become a singer in Nashville. Toss in a couple of singing, hunky football players to the mix, and we're in for a good time!

Cooper presents the first installment in her Nashville series with a engaging and comical tone. I really loved the banter that goes on between CeCe, Thomas, and Holden, and there is some pretty great dialog there. But as a whole, something just didn't sit quite right with me about the character's voices... something about their interactions just didn't feel natural, and it's bothering me that I can't quite put my finger on it.

This book is more of a novella when you consider the story's length. It only took me 2 hours to read, and story spans a total of 3 days. So much happens in that time, it feels like a lifetime, which it is how the characters felt, so props to Cooper for pulling that feeling through the pages and into me.

I'm sorry, but the one thing that really bugged me about this book is Holden's name. I mean, seriously? Holden Ashford. It's like Cooper hadn't named him until it got to a scene where she was required to, panicked like a 6 year-old caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Well there are two cars here, lets pick two car brands; Holden, Ford. Oh look, one just spontaneously combusted. Behold! Holden Ashford. *rolls eyes*

Ready to Reach is a cute and super quick read that'll have you laughing and wondering if dog really need to pee that much (seriously, do they?). So if you have a couple of hours you need to kill, look no further that this book.

3 out of 5

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30 September 2015

Book Blitz: Get Real by Tellulah Darling | Excerpt + Giveaway

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Get Real
Tellulah Darling

Get Real #1

Published September 26th 2015

Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Magic and Mayhem in Manhattan

Francesca Bellafiore comes from a nice Jewish family — one that happens to have magical powers. Underneath her good-girl exterior, though, she’s a wannabe badass with dreams of becoming a paranormal detective.

Party boy Rafael Muñoz does everything possible to publicly disappoint his high profile father. Privately, it’s a different story. His carefully crafted bad boy reputation masks the fact he’s a master illusionist, forced into solo covert ops. The role is wearing thin and Rafael longs to be part of a team.

When Francesca and Rafael meet, it’s love at first sight… For about five minutes. Rafael is spectacularly attractive—and, Francesca discovers, fully aware of the fact. Rafael knows from experience that girls like Francesca are more trouble than they’re worth.

So it sucks big time when they’re caught in a web of magic, minions, secrets, and enough sexual tension to power NYC. Their only chance to save the city and survive is to team up, trust each other–and maybe even fall in love.

Provided they don’t kill each other first.

Get Real is a romantic comedy, urban fantasy whirlwind with sass, sex, and swoon.

About the Author

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Tellulah Darling

Sassy girls. Swoony boys. What could go wrong?

1) YA & New Adult romantic comedy author because her first kiss sucked and she’s compensating.
2) Firm believer that some of the best stories happen when love meets comedy and awkwardness ensues.
3) Sassy minx.

Both a hopeless romantic and total cynic, Tellulah Darling is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way. Her romcoms come in a variety of flavours and heat levels.


POV: Rafael

I shoved my hands into my pockets, jiggling the loose change and wanting some kind of confrontation. I stepped outside. That girl with Byron who’d been staring and laughing earlier was candidate numero uno. Want to diss me? Do it to my face, chica.

I found her healing a gash on some guy’s cheek, holding a vase in her free hand while berating him for his choice in headwear. “Va bene. Go,” she ordered.

He slunk away with a sheepish look and I stepped up, my shadow falling over her.

“If you need medical services it better not be alcohol poisoning because I will not let you enjoy it.” She turned. Her fingers tightened on the rim of the vase at the sight of me.

“Hi,” I said.

She raised her chin, regarding me levelly with these amazing dark brown eyes. “It’s you.” Her sexy Italian accent hooked into me.


She fumbled the vase.

We both grabbed the same edge before it could hit the ground, my hand landing on hers. Her skin was cool and smooth. The rest of her was twitchy and flustered. It cheered me up in a petty way. “Rafael. Call me Rafa. Official friend of the Byron–Jones hook up.” I patted my shirt down with my free hand. “I had a badge but I lost it.”

“Next time ask for a lanyard.” She tugged the vase away with a slight smile, tucking it under her arm like a football. What a mouth. ¡Dios mío! “I didn’t buy tickets to the event,” she said.

I pretended to look stern, mostly because I wanted to check her out some more. “You boycotting the games?”

That got me a full–on grin, which hit me in the gut. Who was this girl and how had I never seen her before?

“Seen one game, seen them all,” she said. She walked briskly past me back to the swing she’d been sitting on earlier and set the vase on the table.

I followed, sinking into the chair beside her. “You know my name. It seems unfair I don’t know yours.”

She hesitated for long enough that I wasn’t sure she was going to answer with anything other than ‘get lost.’ “Francesca,” she said at last. She flicked her bangs off her forehead. “My mom works for your dad. You’re Javier’s son, right?”

Those words were like a douse of cold water. “Yeah.” I waited for her next words. Her next look. Her obvious disdain. I stiffened, reminded of why I had come out here in the first place and ready to rip into her.

“She’s a Liaison.” Even for the simplest of sentences, her hands gestured madly. Cute. “Mirella Bellafiore.”

My heart sunk. Now I knew exactly who she was. And wished I didn’t. Francesca Bellafiore, golden girl. Latest pride and joy of the Bellafiore clan and totally off–limits to me. Javier would freak, which would be fun, but honestly? Good girls weren’t my thing.

“Yeah, sure. I’ve met her. Guess you’re ex- cited to start all that healing stuff.”

Disappointment and contempt? flickered in her eyes. Apparently hot girl and I were natural enemies. Figures. I wasn’t about to be an asshole to her though. It would ruin my façade.

I was about to make my excuses and go, but I noticed her twisting this hideous bracelet tighter and tighter into her arm. “You okay?”

Her hand stilled. “Are you reading me?”

“No,” I said with exaggerated patience. “I don’t go around reading everyone I meet. Don’t need to most of the time. People telegraph enough on their own.” I nodded at her reddened skin. She jutted her chin out. “People shouldn’t take everything at face value.”

Like me.

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23 September 2015

Cover Reveal: Naked and Far from Home by J.P. Grider


Naked and Far from Home
J.P. Grider

Coming October 18th 2015

Tia Mercury was a freshman in high school and had her first serious crush – on a senior who wouldn’t touch her. At least not until she turned eighteen.

Clinton Daniels was not your everyday teenage boy, and because his tougher-than-nails father wouldn’t let him forget it, Clinton became a loner. And learned to distrust everyone.

Until he met Tia.

She was sweet, she was funny, and she knew nothing about good music. It was the nineteen-eighties for goodness sake – time to turn off that AM radio crap. So, while Tia drooled over Clinton, he was busy making her mix-tapes.

She was falling in love. He was ignoring his heart.

See, Clinton had a secret. But sharing it could cost him their friendship, and he was not willing to risk losing the only person he ever loved.

Naked and Far From Home is a serious story that spans a decade. A tale about unconditional love and what two people are willing to look past to prove that love.

About the Author

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J.P. Grider is a New Adult and Young Adult author. She is the author of eight novels. Her young adult series The Honor Trilogy consists of A Touch of Honor, A Man of Honor, and A Heart of Honor, while her first two novels - Unplugged (A Portrait of a Rock Star) and Maybe This Life - are standalone adult contemporary novels. Her most recent release is the new adult romance Reaching Rose, which is the third in her Hunter Hill University series. All the books in the Hunter Hill University series are standalone books and can be read in any order. Currently, J.P. is working on two standalone novels that are not related to the Hunter Hill University series. They will be released in February, 2016.

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Cover Reveal: Wrong by Jana Aston | Plus Giveaway!

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Jana Aston

Coming October 7th 2015

I have a history of picking the wrong guy. Gay? Player? Momma’s boy? Check, check and check.

Now I can’t stop fantasizing about one of the customers at the coffee shop I work at between classes. It’s just a harmless crush, right? It’s not like I ever see this guy outside of the coffee shop. It’s not like I’m going to see him while attempting to get birth control at the student clinic. While wearing a paper gown. While sitting on an exam table. Because he’s the doctor.

Shoot. Me.

But what if, for once, the man I’ve had the dirtiest, most scandalous fantasies about turned out to be everything but wrong?

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22 September 2015

Book Blitz: Picture Imperfect by Jelsa Mepsey | Excerpt + Giveaway

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Picture Imperfect
Jelsa Mepsey

Published September 22nd 2015

Purchase: Amazon
Sixteen-year-old Max Prescott knows all too well the joys of cheating girlfriends and traitorous friends. He’s not eager to have his heart trampled again, but money and a fresh start can mean the difference between happiness and a dark path with his name on it.

So when Melly Hewson, a perky and enigmatic classmate, asks him to be her model for a year-long photography project, Max agrees. Melly Hewson is everything Max isn’t. She’s outgoing, witty and always knows the right words to say. And despite his best efforts, Max finds himself drawn to her.

Still, he isn’t stupid. He knows a girl like Melly will only use him and then never speak to him again. Besides, he’s been to that rodeo. As long as he keeps his feelings off the market, he won’t make the same mistakes as last time.

Yet underneath Melly’s sweet smiles lies a secret she’d rather kept hidden. And as the year goes on and the photos pile up, Max and Melly will find themselves developing through the negatives, a story that when told could push them to opposite ends of their world. But the only thing worst than the truth is, the facade that surrounds them.

About the Author

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Jelsa Mepsey writes young adult contemporary romance fiction, drawing inspiration from daily life. With her work, she is dedicated to spurring people to think about what they have taken for granted and to shed light on the issues people avoid talking about. As an Asian-American in her 20s, she is excited to explore more of the human experience as she herself journeys through life. Writing, rock climbing 5.12 routes, and playing various instruments have resulted in the formation of many calluses on her hands over the years. When not engaging in her previously mentioned hobbies, Jelsa can be found at her local library with a stack of at least ten books, naming her various pens, or staring at her dog Waffles for inspiration.


Chapter 1

I prop myself up on my elbows and peer into the toilet bowl. Bloodshot brown eyes glare back at me between chunks of floating vomit, light glinting off the metal toilet seat. Bile runs down my chin, stuck in my stubble. When I reach for the toilet paper roll, I find it empty. I wipe my face on my crusty sleeve. Flies guard the toilet, flanked by a million tiny ants. So much for using the park bathroom to puke and take a piss. I don’t need anything on my dick or up my ass.

Last night’s chunky dinner rises up my sore throat. The chunks stick, choking me. I cough and cough, but only greasy spit dribbles out. I grip the empty toilet paper holder for support, accidentally yanking it out of the wall. When I uncurl my fingers, it drops into the toilet, splashing water onto my shirt. I stagger into the sink and twist the rusty faucet. Nothing comes out. Of course. A place to shit would be a shitty place.

The pressure in my bladder increases. Flies buzz around the toilet. Screw them. I unzip, only for them to fly closer. Little fuckers! I zip back up and shove the door open, stumbling into some bushes. I unzip again and piss on them. Once I finish, I zip my pants up, my teeth chattering. Goosebumps pop up on my skin, and I rub my arms.

Click! A flash blinds me, and I shield my eyes. Someone’s walking closer to me. After heavy blinking, I’m able to see the culprit’s wide gray eyes. Brown-haired ponytail swishing and lips twitching in amusement, she pockets her bright orange digital camera. I don’t know her. Why is she taking a picture of me?

“What was that?” I step out from behind the bush.

The girl blinks twice. “I was getting blackmail.”

Blackmail? She doesn’t even know me! “Delete that. Now!” My stomach riots, my vision still blinded from the flash. Who takes pictures of random strangers? Who takes pictures of random strangers peeing?

The girl ignores me and hops in place, her smile so wide it should fall off her face. “This is perfect!”

“I told you to delete it!” I reach out and try to snatch the camera from her, but she lowers her arm at the last second. My arm drops as she finally looks up.

“Calm down, Max.” She smiles and pockets her camera in her coat. “What’s up?”

Did she just say my name? “Do I know you?”

She frowns. “Yeah. We’re in the same chemistry class.”

Chemistry. Cassy’s in my chemistry class. I’d nudge her with my knee under the table while the teacher droned on. But I can’t do that anymore. She belongs to him now. Asshole girlfriend stealer.

The girl’s stare is still on me.

“I’m Melly.” She holds her hand out. I don’t shake it. She lowers her hand, continuing to stare. This is really awkward. A quick glance is normal. Staring is just creepy.

I narrow my eyes. “Do you need something from me?”

“Actually, yes.” She grins, revealing braces. What’s a high school sophomore doing still wearing those? Braces are so middle school. “I need you to be my photo model for the next three hundred and sixty-five days. Well, three hundred and sixty-four now, since I’ve already taken a picture of you today.”

I stare back at her. When the smile doesn’t fall from her face, I laugh, breaking the silence. “Model? For you? For an entire year?”

“I’m serious!” She looks at the ground. “Your hair is really awesome, since you change it so much. That’s why I’d like to photograph you.”

My hair definitely isn’t “awesome” today. It’s still oily because I didn’t take a shower this morning and the wind’s blowing it everywhere. Sometimes, girls pet my hair after I changed it even though it pissed Cassy off.

Is that why Cassy broke up with me? Or is it just because Jaxon is so much better for her?

She looks up. I shake my head. “No.”

“Aw, come on.” She frowns. “It’s not like you have to do a lot of work.”

“Maybe, maybe not. But we’re not friends.” I shrug. “I don’t see why I should do this for you.”

Melly rolls her eyes. “This is why I didn’t ask for permission before taking your picture. I expected this from you.”

“Then why’d you take it anyway?” And how does she know so much about me?

The smile never leaves her face. “Here’s the deal. I’ll pay you. That photo is for a scholarship. I have to photograph something that’ll change over the course of a year.”

I scoff. “And you thought of me?”

“Well, no.” She scratches her head. “I mean, I was wandering around the park trying to come up with some ideas, and then I saw you.” She exhales. “So … yeah! Come on, Max! Please? I’ll pay you! Even if I don’t win, it’ll be a fun project.”

“Fun?” I groan. “Maybe for you.”

She steps a little closer. “Don’t you want to know how much I’ll pay you?”

A little money never hurt. “Hmm. How much?”

“A dollar a day.”

I snort. “Two.”

She grins. “Sure. So, you’ll do it?”

Way to jump to conclusions. “I never agreed to anything.”

“True.” She raises an eyebrow. “Still. Seven hundred and thirty dollars. Not bad, if you ask me.”

“I guess not.” She must be hoping for a lot of money if she’s willing to pay me so much. “What do you get if you win the scholarship?”

She scoffs. “Like you care. Focus on what you’re going to get. Seriously. It’s not bad.”

“I guess it’s not.” Just one more thing. “What about the picture?”

“Oh, right.” She adjusts the camera around her neck. “I won’t show it to anyone but the scholarship people.”

“And if I say no?”

“Then I guess your lovely ex-girlfriend Cassy Carlson would love to see it.”

How does she know about me and Cassy already? “You can’t be serious.”

“I am.” She folds her arms across her chest. “So? Will you do it?”

If she puts it that way, I really don’t have a choice. Besides, money is nice. “This isn’t gonna take a lot of time, is it?”

She shakes her head. “It shouldn’t. So, it’s a deal, right?”

I hesitate; the frogs in my stomach seem to have died for now. My throat, however, continues torturing me. I cough. “Seven hundred thirty dollars?”

She shrugs. “If you want. I think it’s worth it. I’d do it if I were you.”

“Mm-hmm.” Should I? It’s not like I have anything better to do. But do I really want some chick taking pictures of me every day? I should tell her to get lost and suck a dick. That might knock the smile off her face. But if I take her up on it, I’ll have some money for a drum set.

“Max?” She waves a hand in front of my face. “Yes or no?”

This is gonna be a long year. “Fine. I’ll do it. But only because you’re paying me.” And Cassy doesn’t need to see a picture of me hung-over and pissing in bushes.

Her forehead creases. “Are you sure? Don’t commit if you’re not going to cooperate.”

“I said yes, okay?” Great. I’m already regretting this. “Just stop bothering me.”

Melly grins as if she’s just been declared homecoming queen. “Awesome! Thanks, Max!”

“Yeah, whatever.” I stand. The frogs resurrect their leaping contest, and I steady myself on a nearby bench. Cassy and I used to come here and make out a lot: a private world in a public place. “Have fun with your project. Use me as little as possible.”

“Of course.” She twirls some hair around her finger. “So, when are we meeting tomorrow?”

She can’t be serious. “Huh?”

“Well, I need a picture for every day of the year. That means I need you tomorrow too.”

What have I gotten myself into? “Can we just come here tomorrow?”

She nods. “Sounds good to me. I’ll see you here at ten. Don’t forget to come.”

Hmph. “And if I do?”

“Your loss.” She shoves her hands into her pockets. “I’m not paying you until this time next year.”

“Fine.” This has been enough perkiness for a day. She smiles enough for both of us. “Well, I’m gonna go now. Guess I’ll see you here tomorrow.”

She smirks. “You better.” She steps even closer, smile widening. “Try to be a little nicer though, okay? Also, I’d appreciate it if you were sober tomorrow. Just saying.” She tilts her head and narrows her eyes. “Looks like you had fun last night. Nice shirt.”

“Fun?” I chuckle without humor. “Sure, if that’s what you want to think.”

She frowns. “What happened last night?”

What did happen? “Shit.”

“Oh.” She raises an eyebrow. “What kind?”

“Nothing.” Who cares that my girlfriend dumped me less than a day before our anniversary? Who cares that I caught her making out with my supposed best friend only five minutes later? No one. No one’s ever cared. And no one ever will.

“Fine. Don’t tell me. See you tomorrow.”

With that, she walks away. Finally. I shake my head and check my phone. It’s about noon. Time to go home. I don’t want to be there either. But it beats being photographed by random strangers, even if I’m getting paid.

I still need a drink. There’s a fountain across the street. Even from here, it looks rusty. I’m about halfway across when a horn blares and brakes screech. I dive forward, glancing behind me to see a car’s bumper. One of the front wheels is inches from my shoe, another almost planting into a tree. I crawl across the street, peering at the window. A middle-aged driver flips me off. The horn’s blare is like a dozen hammers slamming into my skull. I laugh, almost wishing he’d hit me. Almost. He shakes his head and drives off. My stomach churns again. For a moment, I think vomit will burst out of my throat, but I force it back. I pant as I glance around me, then brace my hands on the ground and stand slowly.

Blood roars in my ears as my heart pounds. That was close. Okay. It’s official. My New Year’s resolution is to not let that happen a second time. For now, I’m getting my ass home. 

Chapter 2

So much for sleeping. Screw hangovers. I roll onto my side and shut my eyes tighter. Someone knocks on the door. I jerk backwards into the headboard. Shit. My skull throbs.

Knock. Knock. Who’s there? If it’s him, he’s not supposed to be here until after school starts. Besides, he usually just barges in. Is that really him?

The door rattles as the pounding becomes louder, shaking the room. I bury my face into the pillow. “Go away.” The door creaks open anyway. Thanks for listening to me, asshole. My brother would’ve slammed it open, so it can’t be him. I poke my head out of the covers. The figure has long, dark hair. Cassy? I blink, rubbing dust out of my eyes. “Cassy,” I croak. She steps into the room, and my heart speeds up. “Please, listen to me. I’ll be a better boyfriend, I prom—”

Click. Light sears my eyes. I blink and shield them with a hand. The girl has brown hair, not black, and is holding a camera. That’s not Cassy. My cheeks burn as Melly puts her camera away. This girl really can’t leave me alone, can she?

“What was that for?” I block my face from the light.

She scoffs. “What do you mean? You didn’t show up! What happened?”

“What happened to manners?” I blink as my eyes adjust. Why did she have to wake me up? I should’ve just ignored her.

“Hey, I knocked.” She leans against a wall. “That should be good enough.”

I groan. “And I told you to go away. Did you? No.”

She crosses her arms. “Do you have any idea how hard it was to find your address? There’s at least thirty Prescotts in Paradise!”

She stalked me and found my address for a project? Nerd. “Whatever.” Did I ever get that chunk out of my throat? I hack, spit in the general direction of my trash can without checking to see if I made it in, and drag my arm across my mouth. “Why are you so obsessed with photography anyway?”

She shifts her feet. “None of your business.”

“You’re using me as your model and it’s none of my business?” I scratch my chin. I should shave. “Are you ever gonna show me those pictures?”

“Probably not.” She pulls a cell phone out of her pocket and starts texting. Is she even listening to me?

I sit up. “Why not? Give me one good reason.”

“Shut up!” She bites her lower lip. Her hair falls around her face, hiding her eyes. Fine, then. Be a bitch. She sniffles. Oh shit.

I rub my eyes and squint at her. She presses a shaking hand to her mouth. My gut clenches. Did I say something I shouldn’t have?

“Melly? Everything okay?”

She slides the phone shut, clenching it in her fist. Then she throws her phone on the floor, covering her face with her hands as she bolts out of the room, bright red jacket whipping around the corner. What’s her problem? Groaning, I stumble out of bed. Once on my feet, I grab the phone and run downstairs.

“Melly!” Dammit. “Melly!

The front door slams. What did I do? Maybe not having friends actually is a good idea. I scratch the back of my neck. What do I do now? The hand holding the phone clenches. I don’t want to hold on to this. I have to find her.

I fling the door open and sprint down the street. Cold air bites my skin. I shiver but keep running. Two blocks over, I find her leaning against a light post covering her face with her hands. I walk over to her. Should I hold her phone out to her? Tap her shoulder? I don’t want to touch girls right now.

Her head snaps up. “Why did you follow me? Go away!” Her puffy eyes well with tears again.

I hold my arm out, palm open. “Isn’t this yours?”

She snatches her phone from me and takes off running again. Crazy bitch. I groan and start walking back home. Is every single day going be like this? Is this really worth what she’s paying me? Maybe I should back out while I can.


It’s only been two days and Melly is already wearing me out. Why all the drama? Maybe something’s going on with her and her friends? That would require her to have some in the first place, but I haven’t seen her around. Maybe she got bad news of some sort? I wince. At least Cassy broke up with me to my face.

I scribble “Cassy is a bitch” in several different handwritings, poking holes through the paper. Next thing I know, it’s dark outside and my head is on the table, a page of my sketchbook stuck to my face. Prying it off, I squint at the kitchen clock. It’s just past six. My pencil has rolled onto the floor, and I bend down to pick it up. After tapping my pencil on the sketchbook, I draw an oval.

A few hours later, crumpled sketches litter the floor. Cassy’s face, which looks more like an ugly dog, is everywhere. My stomach rumbles. I ball up yet another sheet of paper. As I pick my pencil up again, my phone buzzes. One new message.

From: Tina at 9:24 a.m.
You coming today?

I grin. At least I still have her.

Of course.

From: Tina at 9:26 a.m.
Cool. See ya.

Hold on. It’s 9:26 a.m., not p.m., of January third. Not having school really messes up my sleeping pattern. Was ten o’clock supposed to mean something? I think Melly told me to meet her at ten. But that was for yesterday. She didn’t tell me where to go today. Should I assume she wants me at the park?

If she really cared about her project, wouldn’t she be here by now? But she also ran out crying yesterday. Maybe I should head over there before she comes barging into my house again.

Putting my pencil down, I run upstairs and head to my closet. I pull out the first shirt I see and sniff. After determining that it’s clean enough, I yank it over my head. After pulling basketball shorts on too, I check my phone. Nine thirty. I can still make it.

In the fridge, I find pizza. I made it for Cassy last week, but she just threw it back at me. I kept it, thinking it was probably edible. It’s all I have, so I throw it in the microwave and set it for a minute. Just before I can turn around to use the bathroom, sparks light up inside. Dammit! I left the foil underneath! I stop the microwave and clench my fists. When I think about Cassy, I can’t do anything right.

Screw it. I can’t eat like this. Grabbing the pizza, I toss it in the trash can, then bolt out the door, sprinting to the park for exercise. Melly’s probably not even there. I shouldn’t actually be worried about being late. But since I’m out, I might as well sketch something decent outside my hellhole of a house.

When I get to the park bench, Melly’s already sitting there. She looks up and waves. Guess I might as well sit next to her. She smiles, takes her camera out, and places it in her lap. Looks like she’s okay, apart from dark circles underneath her eyes. No need to ask about yesterday.

“Let’s get this over with,” I grumble.

“Come on. There’s no rush.” She fiddles with a leaf, shredding it with both hands. She smiles too wide, eyes still red. “I didn’t expect you to show up.”

Nice to see you too. “Oh yeah? Well, here I am.”

“I know.” She rolls her eyes. “Give me a moment. I need to decide what picture to take of you today. You know, since you’re probably going to change your hair later.”

She knows I change my hair on the third of every month? “Whatever.”

She snaps her fingers. “I have an idea! Can I get a picture of you from the back?”

“I guess.” She stands and turns on her camera, but I don’t move. I clear my throat. “Do you want me to stay here?”

Melly bites her lip. “How about you pretend to walk away?”

“Whatever gets this over with faster.” I turn. There’s a familiar figure on the other side of the park. I freeze, my heart racing. It’s Cassy. Only she would leave her stomach exposed to show off her belly button ring in the middle of winter, even if it’s a warm one. It glints in the sunlight. She’s not alone. Jaxon runs up behind her and grabs her waist. She squeals. So much for thinking Cassy and I were “cute” together, huh, Jaxon? My fists clench. Melly chooses that moment to snap the picture. I turn to face her again. She doesn’t need to know I was watching them. She laughs as I walk back to the bench.

“What were you staring at?”

“Nothing.” I keep walking. “I’m gonna leave now.”

Melly chuckles. “Okay. When are we meeting tomorrow?”

Good question. I turn back around. “I have work from seven to ten.”

“Where do you work?”

At least she didn’t know that. “I’m a lifeguard at the recreation center.”

“I see.” She tilts her head. “Can I visit while you’re working?”

“No.” Visitors could get me in trouble. No need to risk being fired, especially over someone I barely know.

She sighs. “Fine. I’ll just take pictures of you at school. Is that cool?”

I grit my teeth. “Sure.”

She stuffs her camera back into her purse. “If I don’t get a picture, I’ll call you. And we’ll have to work out something for the weekends, so … yeah. Can we figure that out now?”

I frown. “You don’t have my number.”

“The directory does.” She shakes her head. “Don’t you ever learn?”

A spasm leaps down my back. My shoulders stiffen. She has my number too? Why would she stalk me, of all people? If she’s going to keep doing this, there are some things she doesn’t need to know. “Wait!” She stops, turning to face me again. Maybe Cassy’s right. Maybe I’m just desperate. “Don’t call that number.”

“Okay, really?” She folds her arms across her chest, narrowing her eyes. One hand plays with a button on her shirt, which isn’t in a hole. I’d mention it, but she seems pissed, so I don’t say anything. “What’s your problem? What did I do to make you hate me?”

Hate her? Maybe she pisses me off, but I don’t hate her. At least, I don’t think I do. “I have my reasons! What do you not get about that?”

“Well, excuse me for trying to be nice!” She takes a few steps closer to me, raising her hand. I flinch as she moves some hair out of her face. “Fine,” she says. “You have your reasons. Tell me some of them, and I’ll leave you alone.”

Why does she need a reason? I kick a rock. “Just don’t call that number, dammit!”

“Would that make you happy?” She juts out her lower lip as if to taunt me, holding up her camera with her thumb and forefinger.

I throw my hands up in the air. “Let’s just get this over with!”

She sighs. “Fine. But this is actually important to me, Max. How am I going to contact you if I don’t get your picture? Sneak into your house?”

“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t do that again.” I rip a piece of paper out of the back of my sketchbook, scribble my cell phone number on it, and hand it to her. “Don’t call unless you have to.”

“Fine.” She exhales. “I’m leaving now. Bye.”

I don’t watch her leave. Instead, I shove my hands in my pockets and glance over my shoulder for a second. Jaxon has turned towards Cassy; their lips are connected. With Jaxon always third-wheeling us, it was hard for me and Cassy to get much alone time. With me out of the picture, that’s no longer an issue for them. I shake my head and walk away, hoping they haven’t spotted me spying. I already looked pathetic enough at the party. There’s no need to throw the rest of my pride down the drain as well.

Why was I even with her? Her looks? Because she was the one who asked me out last New Year’s Day after our supposedly only friendly midnight kiss? Or was I just bored?

It’s not like I know how to love anyway. Isn’t that what they say? “It’s impossible to love someone if no one loves you?”

They’re heading my way. I should definitely leave. As Melly mentioned, it’s the third, so I head off to the local hairstylist, kicking a small rock as I walk. It doesn’t take long to get to Tina’s Trims. When I push the door open, a bell chimes. Tina Hawthorne, who always does my hair, grins at me behind a magazine. She puts it down, revealing long hair that is now brown with blond streaks. I sit down in a chair as she heads to the back for supplies. She returns a few seconds later.

“Good to see you!” She places her hands on my shoulders. “Where have you been? I was getting worried.”

I grin even though she’s probably exaggerating. “You had nothing to worry about. I’m right here.” I try not to breathe in too much; the shop has a floral scent I hope doesn’t cling to my clothes later. “Did you get my message?”

“Of course I did!” She pats my back. “What happened? You sounded stoned over the phone.”

Huh? “I didn’t call you.”

She smirks. “Just making sure you really aren’t stoned. Wouldn’t want you to get into more trouble at school.”

Fuck. I have school tomorrow. At least I still have today to dick around. I laugh as she gets ready. “My life’s gotten shittier, if you can believe that.”

“Well, then tell me about it. Tilt your head back for me, will you?”

I grin to myself and follow directions. She’s the only person who actually listens to me ramble about my life and my family, the only one I’m willing to share my thoughts with. And now, I have Cassy to complain about too.

Of course, I wonder about Tina’s life too, but she refuses to talk about it. Instead, I spew out some word vomit, knowing I’ll be walking out soon with newly bleached hair and, hopefully, feeling much better.

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13 September 2015

Cover Reveal: Uncovering Desire by Kacey Shea

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Uncovering Desire
Kacey Shea

Uncovering Love #2

Coming October 27th 2015

Purchase: Amazon US / UK / CA / AUS
Jonathan Beltran is adjusting to life as a civilian after an eight year military career. With a booming private investigation business and good friends to count on, life is headed in a positive direction. Coupled with his fierce will and strength, Jon will learn if his training has prepared him for this next journey.

Life is never boring for the ever-positive, smart-mouthed, fearless Kate Bryant. When unexpected events leave her temporarily homeless, she accepts an offer of a free place to stay with Jonathan. The challenges of working with rock stars, living with Jon, and finally confronting ghosts of her past may prove to be too much.

Uncovering Desire, book two in the Uncovering Love series, is a full length, contemporary romance, and can be read as a standalone.

About the Author

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon
Kacey Shea is a mom of three, wife, and part-time bookkeeper who resides in sunny Arizona. She enjoys reading and writing romance novels as much as her son loves unicorns, which is a lot.

When she's not writing you will find her playing taxi cab to her children while belting out her favorite tunes, meeting friends or family for food and to share some laughs, or sweating it out in the gym. Kacey finds that picking up heavy weights repeatedly is good for her mental health as much as it is for the physical.

She has an unhealthy obsession with firefighters. It could be the pants. It could be the fire. It's just hot. On occasion she has been known to include them, without their knowledge, in her selfies outside the grocery store.

Kacey one day aspires be a woman hand model in a sexy photo shoot. You know, the woman's hand raking across the muscular back or six pack stomach of the male fitness model. Yep, that hand.

Until that day comes she will continue writing sexy, flirty romance novels in hopes to bring others joy!

Kacey enjoys interacting with her fans so please feel free to stalk her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


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