Monday, May 2, 2016

Virtual Tour w/Giveaway: House of the Hanging Jade by Amy M. Reade


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HOUSE OF THE HANGING JADE
Amy M. Reade
Releasing April 26th, 2016
Lyrical Press


Tired of the cold winters in Washington, D.C. and disturbed by her increasingly obsessive boyfriend, Kailani Kanaka savors her move back to her native Big Island of Hawaii. She also finds a new job as personal chef for the Jorgensen family. The gentle caress of the Hawaiian trade winds, the soft sigh of the swaying palm trees, and the stunning blue waters of the Pacific lull her into a sense of calm at the House of Hanging Jade--an idyll that quickly fades as it becomes apparent that dark secrets lurk within her new home. Furtive whispers in the night, a terrifying shark attack, and the discovery of a dead body leave Kailani shaken and afraid. But it's the unexpected appearance of her ex-boyfriend, tracking her every move and demanding she return to him, that has her fearing for her life . . .

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I knew I should have stayed home.

I bent my head as the wind whipped down Massachusetts Avenue, hurling snowflakes at my face, stinging my cheeks with hard, frosty pellets. The icy sidewalks were treacherous, making my walk to work precarious and slow. There were very few others brave or foolish enough to be out in this weather. I passed one man out walking his dog and silently praised him for being so devoted.

I finally arrived at the restaurant. I stamped on the snow that had piled up against the front door and slipped my key into the lock with fingers stiff and clumsy from the cold. Once inside, it only took me a second to realize that no one else was there. On a normal day, one without a blizzard, my assistant Nunzio would already have come in through the back and flipped on the kitchen lights before I arrived. I groaned. Even Nunzio, whom I could always count on, had stayed home. I moved through the darkened dining room and turned on the lights in the kitchen. As they blinked to life, I heard a heavy knock at the front door.

Hurrying to open it, I recognized the face of Geoffrey, the restaurant’s owner and my current boyfriend, bundled up in a thick scarf and hat.

“Kailani, what are you doing here?” he exclaimed, brushing snow off his boots in the vestibule.

“Someone has to be here to get things started,” I answered testily. “I don’t think we can open today,” Geoffrey said. “There’s no way the delivery trucks can get through, and I don’t think we’d have any customers even if they could.”

“You mean I came all this way for nothing?” I whined. Geoffrey smiled down at me. “Sorry. I just assumed you’d know not to come in on a day like this.”

“Why did you come in, then?”

“To catch up on paperwork. Plus, snowstorms don’t bother me.” “Ugh. They bother me. Well, I guess if you don’t need me here, I’ll head back home.”

“Want me to stop by later?”

I didn’t, but I nodded. Geoffrey and I hadn’t been dating for long. He was already becoming a little too clingy.

He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. “Be safe getting home. I’d call you a cab, but there isn’t a single one on the streets.” “Believe me, I know.”

I trudged home the same way I had come, the snow falling even harder now and blowing sideways, making it difficult for me to see. When I finally made it to my apartment building, I clumped up the stairs in my heavy boots and stood inside my apartment, leaning against the door for several moments to catch my breath. It took me a while to peel off all my layers. I left them lying on the floor while I heated up milk on the stove for hot chocolate. As the milk warmed, I gazed at a canvas photo that hung in my front hall. It was a faraway view of the beach, taken from my parents’ backyard, overlooking the black sand and the curling waves of the azure Pacific Ocean.


“We’ve got to go home,” I said aloud to my cat, Meli, as she stepped daintily around me. This wasn’t the first time I had expressed this sentiment to Meli, but this time she stopped and looked up at me. She blinked and twitched her ears.

It was the sign I needed.

I watched the snow continue to fall for several hours from the warmth and safety of my apartment. Meli and I curled up on the couch while I tried to read a book, but I couldn’t concentrate. My thoughts returned again and again to palm trees and warm, caressing trade winds, to the faces of my mother and father, of my sister and her little girl. Geoffrey eventually stopped by, bringing with him an icy blast of air as I opened the door to the hallway.

He laughed. “Looks like this storm may never end.”

I invited him into the warmth of the apartment. “Take off your stuff. Want some hot chocolate?” I called over my shoulder as I walked into the kitchen.

“Sure,” he answered, struggling with one of his boots. I joined him in the living room a few minutes later. He was trying to stroke Meli’s chin, but she apparently wanted none of that. Her ears flattened back and she squirmed out of his reach.

I handed him the mug of hot chocolate and sat down opposite him. “Geoffrey, I have news,” I told him warily, knowing he probably wouldn’t be as happy as I was.

“What is it?”

“I’m going back to Hawaii.” I waited for his reaction.

“That’s nice. It’ll do you good to get out of this weather for a while.”

He obviously wasn’t getting it. “No, not for a while. I’m moving back. For good.”

I was right. He was not happy. In fact, he looked stricken, his eyes wide and his mouth agape. “What do you mean, for good?” he asked, choking on his hot chocolate.

“I mean, I just can’t stand it here any longer. I’m never going to get used to the weather, I miss my parents, and my niece is growing up without her auntie. It’s time to go back. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’ll miss you, Geoffrey, but this is what’s best for me,” I added, trying to soften the blow.

He looked like he was struggling for words.

“But . . . but . . . what will you do?”

“I’ll do the same thing I do here, Geoffrey. Sous-chefs are not unique to DC.”

“Okay, but what will I do? Without you, I mean?”
I felt sorry for him. He looked crestfallen.

“Geoffrey,” I said gently, “there are lots of women in Washington who are looking for someone as wonderful and kind and handsome and successful as you are. I have to do what my heart is telling me to do, and that’s to go back to Hawaii.”

He nodded slowly, his eyes downcast. “Is there anything I can say to keep you here?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“When are you leaving?”

“I don’t know. I just made the decision this morning.”

He sighed and leaned back against the couch cushions, holding his mug on his lap and staring into space.

“Geoffrey? You okay?” I asked.

He set his mug on the coffee table and pushed himself up from the sofa. “I guess I should get going, then. Will you keep working at the restaurant until you leave?”

I was surprised that he wanted to leave already, but I didn’t mention it.

“Of course. I’ll give you plenty of time to find another fabulous sous-chef.”

I watched Geoffrey as he walked down the hallway of my apartment building. His shoulders were stooped and his gait slow. He looked like a forlorn little boy. Poor Geoffrey. At the end of the hallway, right by the elevator, he turned around and made a pleading motion with his hands and walked back toward me.

Uh-oh.

“Kailani, how can you just throw away all the time we’ve spent together?”

I was a little taken aback, but I suppose I shouldn’t have been. Such dramatic statements were normal with him. “Geoffrey, we haven’t really spent too much time together. We haven’t been dating very long.”

“But doesn’t that time mean something to you?”

“Yes, of course it does. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and we’ve had fun together. But it’s time for me to go home. And I’m afraid a long-distance relationship just isn’t possible. It’s too far away.”

“There’s got to be a way, Kailani. I just can’t stand the thought of losing you.”

“I’m sorry, Geoffrey. I’ve got to go. I’ll see you at work tomorrow.” I closed the door gently and stood there until I heard the ding of the elevator.

I waited a few hours before calling my mother since there was a five-hour time difference between DC and Hawaii.

She and my father were both thrilled by my news, as I knew they would be. They had a million questions for me, like when I would be coming home, where I would be looking for a new job, and whether I could live with them for a while.

“I don’t know!” I laughed. “I’m going to start putting out some feelers right away for jobs in restaurants and resorts along the Kohala Coast. Someone must need a sous-chef. Or even a head chef. But I’ll be home soon, don’t worry. I can’t stand another day of this winter weather.”

I hung up, promising to keep them posted about my job hunt. Suddenly, the winter seemed a little warmer.





USA Today bestselling author Amy M. Reade is also the author of Secrets of Hallstead House and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor. She grew up in northern New York, just south of the Canadian border, and spent her weekends and summers on the St. Lawrence River. She graduated from Cornell University and then went on to law school at Indiana University in Bloomington. She practiced law in New York City before moving to southern New Jersey, where, in addition to writing, she is a wife, a full-time mom and a volunteer in school, church and community groups. She lives just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean with her husband and three children as well as a dog and two cats. She loves cooking and all things Hawaii and is currently at work on her next novel. Visit her website at or at her blog.


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Virtual Tour w/Giveaway: Behind the Marquess's Mask by Kristen McLean


Enter to Win a $15.00 Amazon eGift Card


BEHIND THE MARQUESS'S MASK
The Lords of Whitehall #1
Kristen McLean
Released April 30th, 2016
Young Ink Press


Even the mask of an expert spy is no defense against his own heart.

With a reputation as dark as his appearance, Greydon Sharpe, the Marquess of Ainsley, ought to have been the last agent assigned to the daughter of a well-respected Member of Parliament. However, when she is brutally attacked and left for dead, it becomes clear he is the only one with the skills to keep her alive. All it will take are a few lies to keep her breathing long enough to capture the villain. Then he can send her on her way. If she would only behave herself, he might be able to complete his mission before she turns his contentedly miserable life into a chaotic mess.

Marriage is not an option … until it is.

Lady Kathryn Bryant, the adventure-seeking socialite, has no plans to behave. Kathryn would much rather spend her time in subterfuge, nabbing villains and finding clues. However, when her memory is lost in an attack, she has little choice but to trust the handsome Marquess. Though she is almost certain he is hiding something, she is helpless against his disarming smile and warm touch. Eventually, his lies will come to the surface, leaving only one question: Is England’s deadliest spy equipped to save a broken heart?

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Grey didn’t bat an eyelash as he stared down the barrel twenty feet ahead of him. Surely, Bexley couldn’t be that good of a shot. The man’s hand shook something awful. Perhaps he might get an arm or even a shoulder at this range if he were lucky. There was only a small chance he would get a fatal shot off. Still, there was a chance, and the last thing Kathryn needed was someone else shot and killed in front of her.
“Kathryn, you need to leave,” Grey ordered softly.
“Absolutely not!” she protested.
“Kathryn,” Grey said patiently with a slight tremble. “For once in your life, listen to me.”
For the first time in a long time, he had no desire to die, but if he did die, he could not allow her to witness it.
“No!” Kathryn spat out defiantly, stepping out into the middle of the room between the two adversaries.
Grey blanched of all color as he stared at her, crippled with fear before torrid fury took over.
“Kathryn, what the bloody hell do you think you are doing?”
Kathryn frowned at him as if she was the one who ought to be angry. Then she turned to face Bexley, who looked more than a little annoyed.
The voice of reason piped up from behind Grey.
“Kathryn, you really should not see this,” Nick advised.
“I am not leaving.” Her simple, quiet refusal only seemed to unnerve Bexley, who was still aiming straight at Grey’s heart, the heart Kathryn was standing in front of.
“You don’t want me to waste my bullet on you, now, do you?” Bexley spat out as his hand flexed over the gun anxiously. “Move aside!” Bexley stomped his foot to emphasize his point, and a small explosion rent the air.

Q & A with Kristen McLean
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
Loretta chase, Christine Wells, and Sophie Jordan inspired me to begin writing in the first place. Their books taught me the basics of how to write romance.

Tell us something you hate doing. Why?
Dusting, because it's awful. Since I'm barely 5’2”, I'm guessing anyone over 6’ who comes to my house can see dust in places I didn't even know existed.

Share a funny incident in your life.
Sometimes I would listen to opera in the car on the way home from work, and every so often I'd sing along—occasionally with great feeling. One time I got a funny look from someone stopped beside me in traffic, so I acted normal, like I totally wasn't just belting out Phantom of the Opera. Then I noticed my sunroof was open… I no longer listen to opera in the car.

What's your pet peeve?

Flying bugs getting stuck between the blinds and the window drive me nuts. Bink! Bink, bink! Bink, bink, bink, bink!

When you are in writer mode, music or no music? If music do you have a playlist ?
I usually can't do both. I love music, and tend to pay more attention to that instead of what I'm writing. If I do put on some music while I write it's an instrumental playlist I put together with everything from Beethoven to Disney tunes.

Who was your favorite hero/heroine.
Oh no, I can only pick one each? Yikes. I guess my favorite hero was Rupert Carsington in Loretta Chase’s novel Mr. Impossible, but I love all of Loretta's heroes and heroines. Rupert in particular because he was an intelligent and happy alpha who acted stupid, and it was just adorable. My favorite heroine was Madelyn in Olivia Parker’s At the Bride Hunt Ball. She was disaster-prone, and it was hilarious, but she was also fiercely protective and loyal.

Have you ever had one character you wanted to go one way with but after the book was done the character was totally different.

Yes. One of my villains was meant to be an evil brute, but he ended up more like a big child throwing a fit—with a gun.






Kristen has always had a love of novels, with a special place in her heart for historical romance. After reading enough of them to fill a rather impressive library, she decided to write her own. Now she has the pleasure of writing at home, tucked away in a forest with her husband, two children and her cat. Her husband is loving, and impressively patient, her two beautiful children strive to embarrass and exhaust her, and her cat hates everyone, but tolerates—well, she tolerates whoever will feed her.



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Sale Blitz: Twisted Series by L.L. Collins

TWISTED_Sale

Today we are having a blitz event to celebrate the TWISTED Series by L.L. Collins being on sale! There will be a feature blog tour going on all this week, to help spread the word about this sale. Check out the excerpt, feature tour stops, and the buy links for each book below.

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Book Blurb:

What if your soul is so intertwined with someone else's that it's impossible to imagine yourself without them?

Blake McIntyre and Liane Kelly’s families have spent their vacations together on Sanibel Island their entire lives, and the two have always been the best of friends. But as they get ready to go to college, they admit that friendship isn’t enough for them anymore and spend a whirlwind two weeks daring to dream of their future together.

But building sandcastles and lazy beach walks filled with moonlight kisses isn't the same as real life, and soon they are faced with a new reality. Can their hope of forever survive past their summer, or does fate have its own twisted plan?

 

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Book Blurb:

Life is a series of choices, and every one we make sends us down a different path…

It is easy to look back at your life and see the mistakes you’ve made and wonder how it all could’ve been different. But when the path you thought would last forever comes to an end and you have to choose a new one, do you follow the route that looks the straightest and easiest? Or do you follow your heart and choose the one that might have more twists and turns but could lead you to the happiest tomorrows?

Twisted Paths is not a standalone. This is meant to be read after book one in the Twisted series, Twisted Souls.

 

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TWISTED SOULS - EXCERPT

Prologue 13 years ago 1984

Liane watched Blake as he dug a hole in the sand next to her. She looked over her shoulder to make sure her mommy was still there. She was, talking to Blake’s mommy, known to Liane as Aunt Cathy, though she knew she wasn’t really her aunt. Her big sister was walking down the beach with a friend. Beth was nine and Liane loved her, though Beth didn’t like her little sister much. Digging her toes in the sand, she laughed at the feeling between her toes. Liane loved the beach, and it was so fun that they got to come see Blake and his family every summer here at Sanibel Island, Florida. It was far away from her house, and it was always warm here. Unlike her, Blake was the big brother. He had two little sisters, and his mommy had a baby boy in her tummy. Liane was jealous about that. She wanted to have a baby in her mommy’s tummy, but Mommy said no. She said Liane was her baby and it was going to stay that way. “LiLi,” Blake said, using his nickname for her. She knew that she’d known Blake her entire life, but she was only five years old. They were both starting kindergarten when summer was over, and she was scared. “Yeah?” Liane leaned over, looking into the deep hole that Blake had made on the beach. “What are you doing?” Blake sat back, his dark eyes looking at her. She loved his eyes; they reminded her of chocolate, her favorite candy. His blonde hair stuck out everywhere, and sand was all over his face, making Liane laugh. “What’s so funny, LiLi?” Blake crossed his little arms, a pout forming on his face. “Don’t laugh at me.” “I’m not,” Liane stopped, her tummy hurting at the thought of making Blake upset with her. “I’m sorry. You just have sand on your face, and you look like a snowman in the sand.” Blake laughed too, making Liane’s tummy feel better. He was her best friend. She had lots of friends at home in Kentucky, in her neighborhood and at her preschool, but none of them were like Blake. Even if he was a boy, which would make her best friend at home, Gretchen, wrinkle up her nose. She hated boys. “So maybe you need some sand on you, too, LiLi.” With that, he reached over and wiped some of the wet sand on her face, making her squeal. They stood up, running after each other into the water, their mother’s watching with amused smiles on their faces. “Wouldn’t it be great,” Liane’s mother, Margaret, said to her best friend Cathy, “if someday they got married.” Cathy laughed, her hand on her protruding stomach. “They’re five years old, Margaret. Let’s not rush things.” She watched her son and Margaret’s daughter splashing and hugging each other, wondering what the future held for all of them.

Twisted_TOUR

Feature blog tour stops for this week.

Monday, May 2

With Love for Books - REVIEW STOP SBB Reviews - REVIEW STOP Maari Loves Her Indies - REVIEW STOP oh the book feels - Excerpt My Girlfriends Couch - Excerpt

Tuesday, May 3

Wednesday, May 4

Thursday, May 5

Friday, May 6

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Edit 6 soft L.L. Collins loves spending her days in the Florida sun with her husband and two boys. LL has been writing since she was old enough to write. Always a story in her head, she finally decided to let the characters out made her lifelong dream of becoming an author come true in the self-publishing world. She's the author of the Living Again Series and the Twisted Series, plus standalones, Back to the Drawing Board, SENTENCED, and Snared: A Jaded Regret Novel. Visit LL on her website, www.llcollinsauthor.com and on all social media. Look for more of her emotionally charged novels soon!      

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Wattpad | Amazon | Instagram | Goodreads

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