Friday, January 20, 2017

#Hater Review...




It started with unspoken animosity. The bitter bite of jealousy. And now its full blown hate.


It was during my first football game that I first felt the first chill of hate. I looked it right in the eyes and felt its sticky tentacles reach out for me. I’d never experienced something so cold and empty before.

The effect of that look lingered, like an unspoken promise, long after it was gone. 

Becoming a couple – becoming the other half of a campus celebrity wasn’t easy. I let down walls guarding my heart and he looked past my glasses and accident prone tendencies. Romeo and I are an unlikely match, a #nerd and a jock. But we made it. 

And we’re happy. 

Zach doesn’t want us to be happy. He wants Romeo to pay for getting him kicked out of Omega and for the night he spent in jail. He’s going to use anything and everything he can to get his revenge. Including me. 

As the weather on campus grows cold and the days become dark, revenge becomes the center of someone’s life and the happiness Romeo and I worked so hard for is threatened. 

I can’t help but worry that our love is going to be overshadowed by hate.

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REVIEW!!!

OMG this book gave me the feels so bad.  It's not even funny.  I laughed, I cried, I threw the book across my bed in frustration and I wanted to punch on of the characters so bad.

Okay so this book is a continuation to Romeo and Rimmel's story.  In the first book they had issues with a guy named Zach and that continues in this book.  In order to get back at Romeo for what he did in #Nerd Zach goes after Rimmel knowing it will hurt Romeo the most.  We also get to meet Romeo's parents and find out what they really think about Rimmel being in their sons lives.  In the end does Zach destroy them as a couple or can they stick it out together?  Will their dreams survive what they are going through?  

I can honestly say I am even further in love with these characters and absolutely can't wait to continue this series.  Watching Rimmel grow and become more comfortable around others has been fun.  I loved watching the fight come out in her throughout this book.  I loved watching her interact not only with Romeo but also with Braeden.  I enjoyed how both of these guys would do absolutely anything to protect Rimmel and each other and Rimmel would do the same for them.  Now we get into Romeo's parents...absolutely LOVED his father, however, his mother I am still not all that keen on.  I felt like his mother was way to wishy washy and controlling.  Zach is just a #Hater and I couldn't stand him.

I love Cambria's writing style.  She has a way of making you feel like part of the story.  I felt like I had a front row seat into the characters lives.  She is an author that makes it hard to predict what will happen next.  That is hard to find in a book now days as they all seem a little predictable to me anymore.  I look forward to reading the next book as soon as I possibly can.  I look forward to finding out what happens to their families, lives, goals and well everything.  If you haven't read the series I highly recommend it because wow.  Just WOW!!!

5 Hate filled stars!!!!!

Potus...

 POTUS RDL ban

Today is release day for POTUS by Selena Laurence, a sexy political romance! Grab your copy today and snuggle up wit a great new love story! And be sure to enter Selena’s giveaway!!


About POTUS:

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A President beloved by her nation.


Jessica Hampton is the heir to a political dynasty. For nearly ten years she has given up everything in order to fulfill her late husband's legacy. But now, as her first, and she hopes only, presidential term draws to a close, she wants nothing more than to finish with the dignity her family demands. But when Jessica begins to negotiate an important Middle East accord with the sexy Egyptian Ambassador, being President takes a back seat to being a woman, and she will be forced to choose between the Ambassador she might love, the nation she's sworn to serve, and the family who's given her everything.

A son trapped by his father.

Kamal Masri knows all about being an heir. He's not only Egypt's Ambassador to the U.S., he's the first-born son of one of the world's wealthiest men. His father has controlled his fortune, his career, and now possibly his life. Because when the Egyptian parliament instructs Kamal to negotiate an accord that threatens his father's illegal business dealings, all hell is about to break loose, and Kamal will be forced to choose between the American President he might love, the nation he's sworn to serve, and the father who's given him everything.

Get Your Copy Today:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks


About Selena Laurence:


Cover Photo




Selena Laurence is a USA Today Bestselling author who loves Putting the Heat in Happily Ever After. In 2014 she was awarded the Reader’s Crown Award for Contemporary Romance of the Year. In 2015 her rock star romance A Lush Betrayal was a finalist in three national contests.

Selena lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with her kids, Mr. L, “Goldendoodle” and “Demon Cat.” When she’s not writing she can be found at soccer games and tennis matches, or one of her favorite coffee shops.




Connect with Selena:

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram |Goodreads | Website

 

Enter Selena’s Giveaway:


Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Wright Brother Cover Reveal...

We are very excited to reveal the upcoming standalone from K.A. Linde!

THE WRIGHT BROTHER will be releasing on FEBRUARY 28, 2017.


TWB Amazon

I'd dated his brother.

He didn’t remember and I wish I could forget.

I may have sworn off the Wright family a long time ago. But when I returned home, Jensen Wright crashed into my life with the confidence of a billionaire CEO and the sex appeal of a god. Even I couldn’t resist our charged chemistry, or the way he fit into my life like a missing puzzle piece.

Too bad he’d forgotten the one thing that could destroy us.

Because Jensen Wright doesn’t share. Not with anyone. And if his brother finds out, this could all go down in flames.

When it all was said and done, was he the Wright brother?


PRE-ORDER

iBooks


editkyla
K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

Forever Beautiful Cover Reveal...

We have the cover today for the upcoming sequel to the highly anticipated YA novel FOREVER BEAUTIFUL by Ella Bordeaux releasing on March 14, 2017!


Forever Beautiful- Front Cover (1)

How could he do this to me?

I believed him.

I trusted him.

When Skylar is faced with her biggest fear, old insecurities cause her to do what she did best.

Hide from the truth.

Wyatt was determined not to let the only woman he loved run from him. He only had one choice.

He would fight for her.

Both would be tested.

Each would experience pain.

Will truth conquer all?

Time would test their love.

Fate would decide their future.

PRE-ORDER

iBooks


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BEAUTIFULFront150dpi
Skylar Woods unknowingly drew Wyatt Smith toward her. He wanted…needed to learn everything about her. Though he sensed her beauty was more than just skin deep, Wyatt struggled to understand the sadness she attempted to make with an amazing smile.
When Skylar’s eyes met Wyatt’s for the first time, her breath caught and she couldn’t look away from the new guy standing in the school office smiling at her. The connection only get when Wyatt sat next to her in English class, allowing Skylar to dare to believe he might actually be interested in getting to know her.
For the first time in months, she felt alive.
The moment Wyatt expressed an interest, the notes started again…the ones that reminded her of a past she could never move beyond—the event that changed her life forever and robber her of any change of happiness.
Never believing the rumors being spread around school about Skylar, Wyatt made sure he went out of his way to prove how much he cared about her.
But when the past resurfaces, will Wyatt stand by her side? Or will he turn against her like everyone else?

AMAZON / iBOOKS / KOBO / B&N


Forever Beautiful- Full cover cropped (1)

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Writing young adult fiction under the pen name of Ella Bordeaux, Kelly Elliott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author.


Finding her way back to one of her favorite genres, Ella will be publishing her first young adult fiction book, Beautiful, June 7, 2016.

Ella lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter and two puppies. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK

Dragonfly in Amber Review...


For nearly twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones . . . about a love that transcends the boundaries of time . . . and about Jamie Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart . . . in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising . . . and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

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REVIEW!!!

I am falling deeper and deeper in love with both the characters and the story line of this series.

I must say that I did watch the first two seasons of the TV show before reading the first two books because well I couldn't get my hands on the books right away but could grab the DVD's.  I am extremely happy about the fact that the show seems to have followed the books ALMOST exactly.

Now in this book Claire and her daughter are visiting Scotland where the truth finally comes out.  As the present story unfolds Claire retells the stories of the past.  But does Claire find out what happened to Jamie after the battle or did he die in battle like she has thought for the last twenty years.

While the plot of this book can be kind of confusing as it jumps back and forth from present to past, it is well worth the read.  I read this as an audio book because otherwise I would have never made it through the book or series.  I absolutely adore the narrator she brought the book alive for me.

I look forward to continuing the series with Voyager next month (I already downloaded the ebook and audible book).  I can't imagine what could possibly happen next and I look forward to finding out really soon.

5 FANTASTIC STARS!!!!

Sexiest Dad Alive Cover Reveal...


Title: Sexiest Dad Alive
Author: M Clarke
Genre: New Adult
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design & Photography
Photographer: Shauna Kruse
Models: Josh McCann & Daughter
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR


Blurb:
Life isn’t a fairytale. Sometimes you have to fight for happily ever after. And sometimes you just have to let go.

Josh Bennett

It was a simple offer.

I invited Isla to rent a room in my five thousand square foot home. Plenty of rooms and plenty of space. But the second she moved in, I knew I was in trouble. I could handle wanting her when there was distance between us, but once we started to play house, all my pent up desire started knocking down walls.

That was my first mistake of many.

The private investigator I hired to track down my ex found her not far from where I live. I should have locked my past behind me, but something urged me to find her. I’m glad I did. But our union left me with a situation to be reckoned with.

When a new fire is lit and old flames rekindle, one will have to burn out.
The decisions I’ll have to make won’t be easy.
No matter what I choose, my heart will break.


Buy Links:
Sexiest Man Alive: http://amzn.to/1STGSSp
Sexiest Couple Alive: http://amzn.to/2iJT07C


Sexiest Dad Alive (Pre-Order): http://amzn.to/2jLJItJ




International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.


Author Links:
Join Mary’s Fan Group http://on.fb.me/15zyQXu
Tweet: @MaryTing   https://twitter.com/MaryTing

Wrecking Ball...

Wrecking ball RDL Ban

Today is the release day of WRECKING BALL by P. Dangelico! Check out this fantastic new romance, and grab it before the price goes up!!

 About Wrecking Ball:

Wrecking Ball Cover
Cam DeSantis’ life is a hot, steaming pile. How else would you describe losing your husband, your job, and your money all at once? Desperate times call for desperate measures, so when salvation comes in the form of one intolerable a-hole, who just happens to be the starting quarterback for the vaunted NY Titans, she has no choice but to accept his offer as a live-in nanny slash teacher for his eight year old nephew. Now all she has to do is find a safe place in her mind to hide whenever she feels the need to throat punch him into tomorrow…which is often.


Calvin Shaw has zero interest in women. Wait, wait––let me rephrase that. He loves women, he just doesn’t want anything to do with ‘um. Not since his wife, presently ex-wife, got knocked up by the guy she was cheating on him with. Problem is––there’s one living in his house. And he doesn’t know what’s worse, that he promised to be civil, or that he’s attracted to her.



Get Your Copy Today:


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Exclusive Excerpt:

He’s removed his ball cap and his black hair is back up in that ridiculous bun again. I can feel a frown developing on my face as I stare at it. Everything about this guy is a total turn off.

“What do you want?” I do nothing to hide my exasperation. “It’s two a.m. I’ve been running around all night, and I’m tired.”

“I apologized three times,” he says, through a clenched jaw. Yeah, real genuine. Somebody needs to tell this guy he’s not the injured party in this scenario.

“Because you want me to work for you, because you’ve already run off every other qualified applicant in the Tristate area, and now I’m your last hope. Well tough noogies, Mr. Shaw, this time you don’t win. I win and you lose.” And I realize I’m beginning to shout. His eyebrows, two black slashes making his eyes look even paler, rise up. Then the most unexpected thing happens. Those cold, unforgiving eyes turn into crescents and a burst of laughter explodes out of him.

“Tough noogies?” His laughter is deep and rich and it bothers the hell out of me, one more insult to my already bruised ego that I refuse to tolerate. My patience has officially run out.

Through clenched teeth, I grind out, “I don’t mean to be critical––but you’re an insufferable a-hole!” and walk away. I take three steps and feel a huge, warm hand grip my upper arm. In reflex, I wheel around and whisper-hiss, “Don’t you dare touch me.” He instantly releases his grip and holds up his hands up in surrender. Then he stuffs them in the front pocket of his jeans, and shrugs up his massive shoulders in a posture I’ve seen him assume when he’s uncomfortable.

Despite that it’s past midnight and colder than a witch’s tit, the streets of the city are teeming with people. As they walk past us, they curiously turn to watch without breaking stride. It takes a lot more that a mountain of a man, famous or not, and a woman with smoke coming out her ears to get their full attention. One lingers longer than necessary.

“Nothing to see here,” I growl. My glare convinces the onlooker to skedaddle.

“I’m sorry,” he says. His voice is soft, his tone earnest. My attention immediately returns to him. I almost can’t believe my ears. “I’m really, really sorry––I was havin’ a bad day,” he continues, rubbing the back of his neck. A light southern twang hangs on the last few words. “I’m in a real bind…my nephew…” His voice trails off and his eyes are suddenly warm and searching, and for the first time since we’ve met, I may not hate his guts.

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About P. Dangelico:

Dangelico loves romance in all forms, shapes, and sizes, cuddly creatures (four legged and two), brick oven pizza, the NY Jets (although she may rethink that after this season), and to while away the day at the barn. What she’s not enamored with is referring to herself in the third person and social media.

Connect with P. Dangelico:


 teaser 2

Enter P. Dangelico’s Giveaway:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Perfect Scoundrel Audio Book Review...


Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it's that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want.

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REVIEW!!

This is currently the last book in the series but I am really excited to see that there is supposed to be one more book at least.

I felt like this book was similar to the first book but oh so different.  If you recall in the first book Kat is trying to clear her fathers name.  In this book Kat's job is to figure out who is conning the Hale family and trying to keep Hale from finding out.  Can she figure out a way to con the conner?  Can her and Hale make it through this unscathed?

I loved finally meeting the entire family in this book as well as Hale's family.  I am really hoping that we learn what the W. W. stands for in Hale's name in the future.

Anyways, I love characters as usual.  The plot was so much fun.  As usual there were tons of twists and unexpected things that happened in this book.  The narrator is great and so much fun to listen to.  I am intrigued to find out what happens next for these characters.  What a fantastic book!!!

4.5 stars!!!

Riveted Excerpt Reveal...

RIVETED - header banner

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.



Riveted - cover

Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael’s life has made falling in love look easy, and now she is ready for her own chance at some of that happily ever after. Which means she’s done pining for the moody, silent former soldier who works with her at the bar that’s become her home away from home. Nope. No more chasing the hot as heck thundercloud of a man and no more waiting for Mr. Right to find her; she’s going hunting for him...even if she knows her heart is stuck on its stupid infatuation with Dash Churchill.

Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way back to rural Mississippi. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy redhead with doe eyes and endless curves. Now he knows it’s time to get out of Denver, fast. For a man used to living in the shadows, the idea of spending his days in the sun is nothing short of terrifying.
When Dixie and Church find themselves caught up in a homecoming overshadowed with lies and danger, Dixie realizes that while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work…especially when Mr. Right thinks he’s all wrong for you.

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ADD RIVETED TO YOUR GOODREADS


EXCERPT:

Church

“You’ve been awfully quiet tonight.”

The southern drawl was lighter than mine, more lyrical and smooth. The Blue Hills of Kentucky rolled thick and unmistakable in Asa Cross’s twang as he looked at me steadily from behind the massive oak bar he was currently in the middle of wiping down.

“I talk when I have something to say.” No one would ever accuse me of being the chatty type. When I did choose to speak the Mississippi Delta was deep and locked thickly around all my words. My drawl was much slower than the blond bartender’s and far less practiced. Asa used his inflection and his southern charm to work whoever was sitting on the other side of the bar like they were one of his marks in a long con. He turned up the south in his voice to make hearts flutter and to fool drunks into thinking he was far less sharp than he was. His Kentucky-flavored tone was nothing more than a tool he used to his advantage whenever he needed it, while my unhurried inflection reminded me of a home I hadn’t seen in far too long. That was one of the reasons I never had much to say. Every time I opened my mouth the sound of my voice, like molasses over gravel and deep as the Mississippi River, took me back to a place I had been actively avoiding for over a decade.

I’d spent a little over ten years serving my country in various capacities while enlisted in the army. I’d been around different types of men from a million different walks of life. In all that time I’d never met anyone as hard to unravel as the man standing across from me. He had eyes the exact same color as the aged whiskey on the shelf behind him, and they were picking me apart with a perceptiveness that made me uneasy. I wasn’t used to being so transparent. Whatever shield I had up, whatever ironclad curtains I had pulled around me, Asa Cross saw right through them.

“You are usually quiet, but tonight you didn’t say a single word. You look like you have something on your mind.” His eyebrows lifted and that smirk on his face turned into a grin that I wanted to put my fist in. He wouldn’t be half as pretty as he was with missing teeth and a bloody nose. “Dixie had a date tonight. I figure you were worried about her since she’s been spending time with those internet guys over the last few months, and the bar is never the same on her nights off.”

My back teeth clicked together in aggravation and a low growl escaped my throat. My hands curled into fists at my sides without me being aware they were doing it and I could feel a furious heat climb up the back of my neck.

The idea of Dixie, sweet, sunny Dixie, out there with God only knew what kind of troll she was going to find on the internet made me want to destroy everything. I wanted to break the bar top in half. I wanted to throw chairs through windows. I wanted to smash all the meticulously placed bottles displayed behind Asa into smithereens. I wanted to dropkick the remaining few stragglers nursing their last-call drinks out the door and I wanted to get my hands on whoever had taken Dixie out tonight and throttle him within an inch of his life.

Logically, I knew there were decent, normal individuals using the internet to find love and sex . . . the sex being more likely. There were millions of people online dating and while I thought that was okay for them I refused to think it was an option Dixie should be utilizing. I hated the idea of her dating at all, but there was something about her meeting strangers, meeting men that hadn’t had the opportunity to see her in person before taking her out, that really rubbed me the wrong way.

Dixie Carmichael was the nicest girl I had ever met. She didn’t have a mean bone in her perfectly curvy and petite body. She was always smiling, always laughing, and there wasn’t a moment spent in her company where it didn’t feel like the sun was shining directly on you. She embodied warmth and care. Someone behind a computer monitor would never understand that. They would never feel the way her innate ability to make everything seem like it would be okay made the world seem like it was worth saving. There was a lot of bad shoved at us all on a day-to-day basis but somehow Dixie was a filter for it, and when you were around her it seemed like the only thing you could focus on was the good she let through.

She needed someone that could appreciate that. She needed a man that shined as bright as she did and that would hold her above the shit that was always trying to drag everyone else down. I doubted that guy was on Tinder or Bumble. In fact, I doubted that guy existed at all.

“I don’t keep track of her comings and goings.” I rubbed a hand over my mouth and watched as Asa’s eyebrows shot up and his lips twitched. I was a damn good liar. I lied to myself for years and years about the kind of man I was in order to convince myself that the choices I made were the right ones. But I was currently trying to lie to a man that was a professional liar, so it was no surprise that he saw right through the bullshit I was laying down.

“Ahh . . . I see. You have no interest in the fact she might be out there with a serial killer that wants to turn her pretty hair into a coat for his pet hamster?”

I glowered at him and crossed my arms over my chest. I was a big guy. Years of doing PT and boredom in the desert had led to a strenuous fitness routine I still maintained, partly out of habit and partly because when my muscles burned and I made myself sweat I could shut off all the other stuff that was crowding my head. Some of it nagging, niggling regret from the past, a whole lot of it new nightmares and realizations from my present. I had a couple inches in height on the Kentucky charmer and a whole lot more brute strength. Yet none of that or the glower that I was sure was stamped across my face kept Asa from keeping his stupid, sound advice to himself.

“Dixie is a good girl, she deserves someone who can give her that kind of good back.” I could see the surprise on Asa’s face as I finally gave him something that was wholeheartedly true.

He pushed off the bar and hollered that it was time for the last few customers to finish up. There were some grumbles but everyone left was a regular and as soon as the clock hit one thirty they would move towards the door without any hassle. I liked nights like this, where there were no fights to break up, no crying girls to console, no puke to clean off the floor, no amorous couples to shoo out of the bathrooms. Typically on a night like this I would watch Dixie scamper around shutting the bar down while pretending I wasn’t looking at her. I couldn’t help myself. My eyes were pulled to her and when she laughed or smiled I felt it in my gut like a punch. She did things to me that no woman had ever done to me before.

She made me want to smile and that alone was enough to have my feet itching to hit the road before I did something stupid, like fall in love or take her up on her blatant invitation into her bed. I wanted to fuck her, but I knew if I did it would fuck us both. She was nothing but good and when I got good in my life it always went bad, so I didn’t allow myself, or her, to go there. She shone as bright as the sun every single day but I was a man that knew all too well that too much time in the sun could lead to some serious burns.

I’d spent the last few months biting my tongue until it bled while she dated men that weren’t me and I went to bed alone each night wondering why I didn’t just pick up one of the barflies that hung around making it known they were ripe for the picking.

I’d never been the kind of guy that burned through women. My mother, and subsequently the women that stepped in to raise me after my mom was gone, Elma Mae and Caroline, taught me to understand that women’s hearts were fragile and you had to be careful with them. They tried to teach me how to take care of the good when you had it, how to respect it and earn it. I kept the lessons close because they were some of the only things I had left of the women that shared them with me. I never played with a woman’s body if I didn’t know for sure her heart was kept in a separate box somewhere. I liked my hands on soft tits and full hips, and silky legs wrapped around my back as much as any other guy. What I didn’t like was wiping away tears, explaining myself, and dramatic good-byes when I didn’t stick around after a good time. I was picky about who I went to bed with and I made sure they understood all my hard and fast rules about not committing or sticking around before I ever put my hands on them.

“Denver was just a pit stop.” I rubbed my hand over the top of my buzzed head and looked down at the wooden floor under my boots. “With everything that happened with Brite and Avett a few weeks ago I think it’s about time I put some space between me and the Mile High.” A friend and his daughter had recently run afoul of some really nasty people. My old commanding officer and current boss and I had moved in to help in any way we could, which ended with bullets and blood and some seriously pissed-off drug dealers. Holding a weapon in my hand and kicking in doors was second nature to me. I missed the fire of combat in my blood and the adrenaline coursing through my veins. I was made to fight, not to rest on my laurels. “Well past time I made my way home and tried to mend some fences.”

This was why Asa was such a good bartender. He pulled your story out of you whether you were planning on telling it or not, and he listened like he cared even if my story was told in fewer words than he was used to.

He nodded at me and pushed a rocks glass filled with amber liquor towards me. He typically drank Scotch at the end of the night, but I was a bourbon guy through and through. “I know all about mending fences, brother. Not a day goes by that I don’t have to dig a hole for a new post and string up some new wire.” He took a swig of his own drink and plastered that arrogant smirk back on his face. “Plus you might as well run before that girl you’ve been watching when she isn’t watching you fall in love with someone who ain’t you.”

I was going to hit him. My intent must have been clear because he put his glass down on the bar and lifted his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “My girlfriend is armed and she likes my pretty face the way it is. Keep that in mind, soldier.”

I slammed back the rest of the bourbon and let it burn its way down my throat. “Fuck you, Opie.”

He chuckled at me and turned to cash out the register behind him. “That’s why they say the truth hurts, Church.”

Before I had been Church I’d been Dash. And before I had been Dash I’d been Dashel. It was already hard enough being a kid with less than white skin and with parents in an interracial relationship, but having a name that was as uncommon as mine down in the Deep South was fuel on an already burning fire. I’d hated it growing up and even with shortening it to Dash I’d still struggled with it. But now I’d been Church for a long time, and he was a man that didn’t give any kind of shit what anyone else thought of his name. I’d earned that nickname through service and blood. It wasn’t a name that was given to me. It was one I had taken and made my own. Elma Mae was going to hate it and she was still going to call me Dashel even when I begged her not to but there was a part of me that couldn’t wait to hear the stubborn old woman tell me, I’ll call you by the name your mother picked out for you, son. That’s the name she wanted for you and you should respect it. I should, but there were a lot of things I should have done to make my mom proud that I didn’t do.

The truth Asa was laying down did hurt, because there was no hiding from him that part of the reason I was ready to bolt was because I really couldn’t stomach the idea of watching someone else take Dixie’s heart.

“Didn’t ask you for the truth.” I stuck my head out the front door and watched as the last two bar patrons climbed into their Uber. I locked the front door and shut off most of the lights and made my way back to the bar.

I liked the operation Rome had set up here. I liked the people, both the ones who worked for him and the ones he served, and I liked that the atmosphere was usually festive but pretty mellow. On the nights that heads needed to be cracked and tempers needed to be tamed I enjoyed the exertion and physicality of that as well, but I wasn’t meant to be a bouncer. I had too much training, too much experience, and frankly too many demons that needed an outlet, to babysit drunks and party girls for the long haul. It was time for me to stop drifting.

Asa finished up with the money and shot a glance at his phone. I could tell by the genuine smile that crossed his face and the way his gaze sparked that his gorgeous redheaded girlfriend was the one behind the message. Royal Hastings, the pretty Denver policewoman had recently moved in with the annoying southerner and it wouldn’t surprise me if she ended up with a ring on her finger before the year was out. The cop and the con had something special going on even if I firmly believed it was doomed to fail.

“Most folks don’t ask for the truth but that doesn’t stop me from giving it to them.” He gave me a look that told me if I was any kind of man I would take that truth he was so fond of and do something smart with it. I didn’t bother to tell him good and


I didn’t really see eye to eye. We made our way to the back door after a quick stop at the office to lock the money up in the safe. Asa scribbled a note to Rome and then quickly checked the security cameras. He typed out a message on his phone and by the time we hit the parking lot at the back of the bar a brand-new Toyota 4Runner was pulling in with a smiling redhead behind the wheel.

Asa clapped a hand on my shoulder and gave me a look that burned with understanding and seriousness. I felt like he was speaking directly into my soul when he told me quietly, “The real truth is, I let something good go, so I know how that feels. Got it back and would move heaven and earth to keep it by my side, so I know exactly what you’re walking away from, soldier. Be smarter than I was and don’t let all that goodness slip through your fingers.” He turned around and walked backwards for a second while flashing me that shit-eating grin of his. “It’s always better to be warm than it is to suffer the cold, Church.”

He moved towards the SUV and I had to look away when he leaned into the driver’s side window to kiss his girl. There was so much intimacy there, so much passion that it made everything I swore I knew about love and togetherness pull against the reins that held it tight.

I gave a halfhearted wave as Royal honked the horn at me and pulled out of the parking lot, then made my way over to my Harley. It was still nice enough weather to ride, another reason I needed to get my ass in gear and head south. In a few weeks it was going to be too cold to have the bike on the road and I wasn’t interested in putting the beauty on a trailer and driving her like some expensive piece of luggage back to Mississippi.

I was swinging my leg over the chrome-and-leather beast when my phone vibrated in my back pocket. It was after two in the morning so I knew anything buzzing through at this time of night couldn’t be good. Considering I’d recently shot Denver’s top drug supplier’s right-hand man and put down another one of his henchmen for good, I was dreading seeing what was waiting for me on the display.

It was almost as bad as I expected it to be. The number was one I’d been ignoring since I landed in Denver months ago. It was a number that belonged to a man that I owed more than some simple conversation or a handful of words. It was a call I would have continued to ignore if it hadn’t come in the middle of the night and on the heels of three other calls throughout the day that I had turned a blind eye to.

It was time to stop running from my past. It was time to man up.

It was time to be a better man, the man the person calling had tried his best to raise me to be.

“Hey, Julian.” I rested the Harley back on the kickstand and ran a hand over my face. I could practically feel the shock wafting across the phone line. He hadn’t expected me to answer and that made me a special kind of asshole.

“Dash.” His voice was even deeper and coarser than mine. People often told me I sounded like Johnny Cash but Julian Churchill really had the Man in Black’s rough growl embedded throughout his tone. “I didn’t think you were going to answer.” I sighed and felt like the wild five-year-old he had tried to wrangle all over again. “Been busy. Took a while to settle in and get used to sleeping without bombs going off overhead.”

He didn’t say anything for a long minute and when he spoke I could tell he was trying really hard to keep the hurt and censure out of his deep voice. “You have a perfectly good bed here and last I heard there weren’t any bombs in Lowry.” Lowry was the small town where I had been born and raised, just outside of Tupelo, Mississippi. There weren’t bombs there but there was a bucket load of memories that blasted me with emotional shrapnel that hurt worse than the kind I’d had surgically removed from my skin.

“I needed time, Jules.”

“Had more than enough time, son. You need to come home.” I bristled just like I always did when he tried to tell me what to do. I thought I’d squashed that urge after we stood side by side and lowered my mom into the ground but there was something about him talking to me like I should know better that always made me feel like an unruly kid.

“Planning on it. Have to tie up a few loose ends around here, and I have to make sure I don’t leave my friend that helped me out in a lurch.” Rome would send me on my way with a pat on the back and a foot in my ass if he knew the real reason I was hiding in Colorado instead of hightailing it home. He was understanding, but the man was all about family first and he wouldn’t abide the way I’d been avoiding mine for the last decade or so. I was a coward and I didn’t want a man I’d been in the trenches with, a man I would die for and knew would die for me, to know just how deeply that weakness ran.

“Dash.” There was a sigh and then Julian cleared his throat, so I knew he was struggling to keep his emotions in check. “Elma Mae had an accident.”

I almost dropped the phone as I bolted up from my lounging position on the bike. “What do you mean she had an accident?” My fingers tightened around the phone to the point that my knuckles hurt and the blood rushing furiously between my ears made hearing his response difficult.

“She was carrying her laundry in off the line and tripped going up the stairs. She fell backwards and busted her hip. A neighbor heard the commotion and ran to help. They had to airlift her to the hospital in Tupelo. She’s also got a dislocated shoulder and a sprained wrist. She’s back in the Lowry hospital now recovering and she should be going home at the end of the week.”

“Jesus.” Elma Mae was chasing down eighty if she was a day. None of us knew her exact age and she refused to tell. She would just smile at us and tell us we kept her young. Those kinds of injuries were serious for someone in their prime. In a woman Elma’s age they were life threatening. “She gonna be all right?”

“Elma is a tough old bird. It’ll take more than a tumble to keep her down. She’s been asking about you.”

Well, if that wasn’t just a fucking red-hot poker right through the guts. It was also a slap across the face with the reality of everything I’d purposely been avoiding and denying for way too long.

“I bought a Harley. Gonna have to ride it home, so I’ll be there in a couple days.” My homecoming was happening sooner than I’d planned, but there was no way I couldn’t be there for the woman that had always been my true north. When nothing else in my life made sense there was Elma Mae. She was the only safe place I had ever known and if she needed me I was going to be there to return the favor. I owed the woman everything and the fact I’d waited so long to see her after years of deployment was a startlingly clear reminder of why I was correct and considerate in staying the hell away from Dixie.

She lived in the light and I was far more comfortable hiding in the dark.

“I’ll let her know. That will make her day.” He paused for a second, which made me brace for whatever was coming next. “She mentioned a girl. Elma told me the reason you weren’t in any hurry to come home from Denver was because of a girl. That true?”

Son of a bitch. The truth might hurt but the lies I told, and they were more gray than white, were going to outright kill me. “There’s a girl.” And there was, but she wasn’t entirely the reason I wasn’t ready to face Julian or anyone else back in Lowry. She had been one of my reasons for sticking around Denver longer than I’d planned. She was an excuse that would buy me time and one that wasn’t entirely untrue.

“Do me a favor and see if you can bring her with you. Elma would love nothing more than to see you happy, to know you’re finally settling down and moving past the things that happened with your mom and with Caroline. You bring your girl home with you and give all of us some peace of mind. Make an old woman happy, Dash. You owe Elma a few years where she doesn’t have to worry about you catching bullets or ending up alone.”

Shit. I rubbed my temples and kicked at the loose gravel under the soles of my boots. “I’ll see what I can do.” That was bullshit. Dixie would drop everything and come with me if I explained the situation. She was too nice and too sweet to tell me no. Elma Mae was going to goddamn love her after she gave her a ration of hell in order to make sure she was the right girl for her boy.

“If the girl cares about you then she’ll figure out a way to be here. If she can’t figure it out, she isn’t worth your time. Come home, son, we miss you.”

I missed home, too, but I could do without the memories and reminders that had kept me away since the day I signed my life away to my country.

It was my turn to sigh. “I’ll see you soon, Jules.” He hung up and I wanted to kick myself because after all these years and all the time and effort he put into raising me I still couldn’t call the man Dad. He deserved the title, after all it was his last name I carried around with me, not that of the man who had knocked my mom up and run. He had earned it much like I had earned my name, but whenever I tried to say it the word got stuck and I fell back on something that seemed less important. It felt like I was fooling God and everyone under the sun about just how important Julian was to me if I refused to call him the only thing he had ever been to me. I was trying to trick fate so Jules didn’t end up the way so many others I loved had.

I was also going home, and I was going to put some sunshine in my pocket and take it with me.

RIVETED - Preorder graphic

Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with Riveted, available February 14th, 2017

Give yourself a Valentine's Day gift in advance...Preorder and fill out the form herehttps://a.pgtb.me/t0JkQX 

Pre-order Riveted today and on February 14th, you'll also receive a glossy Saints of Denver poster and an exclusive first-look at Chapters 1 and 2 of Avenged, her forthcoming Mackenzie Family novella.

Avenged combines the grit of Saints of Denver series with the all-out heat of The Point series with a mind-blowing, mystery, yet-to-be-revealed, couple combining both of these worlds. Be one of the first to find out who it is, pre-order Riveted today. 

Posters will be mailed the week of February 14th and Avenged chapters will arrive via email.


About Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover - headshot


Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.




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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Radius of Us Review...

Marie Marquardt’s first novel for young adults, Dream Things True, resonated with readers of all ages for its engrossing characters and compelling storyline. At the same time, the novel presented an unwavering critical view of the stigmas and difficulties plaguing undocumented youth in U.S. schools. It’s a plight Marquardt knows intimately and a cause she’s passionate about, as for the last two decades she has dedicated herself to assisting Latin American immigrant families as they adjust to living in the South. 

Now, St. Martin’s Press will release her second YA novel, a love story about two star-crossed teenagers who overcome their debilitating fears together: THE RADIUS OF US (publication date: January 17, 2017/ hardcover, $18.99). Inspired by Marquardt’s research, friendship, and advocacy with Latin American teenagers fleeing gang violence and seeking asylum in the United States, the novel takes an unflinching look at the terrible hardships these young people face by exploring the emotional landscape of their experiences. At a time when the issues surrounding undocumented immigration and deportation have reached a fever pitch, THE RADIUS OF US offers its readers a happy and uplifting outcome for a scenario that so often ends in tragedy in the real world.

Gretchen Ashland is a sheltered and privileged white girl living in a posh Atlanta suburb. Phoenix Flores Flores is an El Salvadoran teenager who’s fled his country to save his twelve-year-old brother Ari—and himself— from being forced into a life of gangs. After a disastrous journey through Mexico that landed him in detention and separated him from Ari (who has lost his ability to speak because of the traumatic experience), Phoenix has found temporary shelter with a couple he describes as“sweet churchy lesbians” in Gretchen’s neighborhood. With a monitoring bracelet around his ankle to keep him within a twenty mile radius, he manages a community garden project and tries to keep a low profile. On the surface the two teens have nothing in common, yet they find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other. They discover that they both have been victims of gang violence and as a result, fear rules their lives. As they fall in love with each other, Gretchen and Phoenix learn to face the terrors that are holding them back and imagine a future together. 

Told in alternating first person points of view, THE RADIUS OF US celebrates the magic of a first kiss, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and the possibilities inherent in forgiveness, redemption and reinvention. The book also offers an intimate glimpse into the causes and devastating impact of Latino gang violence, both in the United States and in Central America, and shows the risks that victims take when they seek new beginnings. Most importantly, Marie Marquardt’s novel shows how people struggling to overcome trauma can find healing in love.

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REVIEW!!!

Phoenix is in Georgia waiting to find out if he will be sent back to El Savador and worrying about his brother who is currently in Texas.  Gretchen is working past a traumatic experience she had a while back.  She was struggling until with being in public and panic attacks until the day she meets Phoenix.  Can these two heal each other?  Can they feel comfortable with each other?  Can they make something work and stay together?  Will Phoenix get to stay and get his brother back?
I absolutely loved this book.  This is a great story about something that you wouldn’t normally see in a book, especially a YA book.  I loved the characters and fell in love with them quickly.  The plot was intense and deep but really good.  Even the flow and pace were good and worked well with the characters.  The authors writing style was fun and dynamic.
If you are looking for an intense book then look no further.  However, it isn’t just intense though.  It is fun and deep and sweet.  There were so many emotions floating through me as I read this book.  I laughed, I cried and wanted to throw my kindle across the office…lol.  Such a great book with some good lessons to teach/learn.  Thank you for an amazing book!
5 stars!

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Marie Marquardt is an author of young adult novels, a college professor, and an immigration advocate. Her debut novel, Dream Things True (St. Martin’s Press), was a 2015 YA BEA Buzz Panel choice praised in Kirkus as a “worthy examination of undocumented immigration in the American South through the lens of young love.” 

Her second novel, THE RADIUS OF US, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in January 2017. Uplifting and hopeful, THE RADIUS OF US reflects the experience of Latin American teenagers fleeing gang violence and seeking asylum in the United States and the possibilities for change. It’s an issue that Marie Marquardt cares about profoundly, and she believes that connecting to it emotionally it can be a powerful antidote to the hate, fear, and misunderstanding that plagues our society. 

“When I speak to groups about immigration and the need for immigration reform, I can offer clear, rational explanations and data on why our immigration system needs to be repaired,” Marquardt says. “But they only begin to care when they meet and get to know someone who is stuck in between. Writing a fictional (but very real) story brings readers into intimate, personal engagement with a messy, complicated, political situation.” 

Dr. Marquardt is a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and has been an advocate for social justice for Latin American immigrants in the South for two decades. She has published many articles and co-authored two non-fiction books on the issues involved and has been interviewed on National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and BBC America, among many other media outlets. She is also the co-chair of El Refugio, a Georgia non-profit that serves detained immigrants and their families. 

Marie Marquardt is a proud member of the We Need Diverse Books team and lives in a busy household in Decatur, Georgia with her spouse, four children, a dog and a bearded dragon. 

For more information, visit: www.mariemarquardt.com 
http://candler.emory.edu/faculty/profiles/marquardt-marie.html 
Follow her on Twitter: @MarieFMarquardt 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariemarquardtauthor

LAUNCH EVENTS FOR THE RADIUS OF US 

LITTLE SHOP OF STORIES 
Saturday, January 14th 2017 at 7:00 PM 
133A East Court Square, Decatur, Georgia 300030 

BARNES & NOBLE AT EMORY UNIVERSITY 
Thursday, January 19 th 2017 at 7:00 PM 
1390 Oxford Road, Atlanta, GA 30322