Spotlight and Excerpt: The Year of the Great Seventh – Teresa Orts

Teresa Orts dropped by the virtual offices this morning to share an excerpt of The Year of the Great Seventh.  Check it out, and if you enjoy it, please use the Amazon link to purchase a copy. (I receive a small commission if you do so)

EXCERPT – The Year of the great Seventh by Teresa Orts

Admitting I wasn’t going to fall asleep, I emerged from under the bed covers, went over to the windows, and sat on the floor. They say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Well, if the city lights were going to keep me awake, I might as well enjoy the view.

Crossing my legs in the lotus position, I admired the city skyline. The other glass tower across from us seemed to be private apartments. Most of the floors had their lights on. The energy of this city was captivating. Life continued on through the night in the city that never slept.

It was starting to snow. The frosty flakes resembled white cotton candy. They seemed to be defying the laws of gravity as they were suspended on the air and then swirled up into the sky. It was probably due to the air current caused by the tall buildings. But as things stood in my life at the moment, anything seemed possible.

The traffic was as dense as rush hour in downtown L.A. Cars jammed around Columbus Circle, and no one thought twice about leaning on the horn, even though it was past midnight.

In one of the apartments opposite, a man was sitting by the window, typing on a laptop. The room was dark, but the reflection of the computer screen lit up his face. I could see him clearly. It was as though we were sitting across from each other. I was sure he could see me, too. We were so close, but at the same time, so far. This must be the big city syndrome where you can feel so alone amongst so many people. And knowing that Nate was just across the wall only enhanced the feeling.

I had to start blocking any thoughts of Nate. I had to give myself a break or I was going to start losing my mind. Unfortunately, I was aware that ignoring a problem wasn’t likely to make it go away. I couldn’t believe Nate had planned to hide the stain on his back from me. How long did he think he could pretend everything was going to be fine?

Dad taught me to only believe what could be proved by science, but this lulled me into a state of denial. Nate was vanishing with the tick of the clock, and I had to help him. I wasn’t sure how yet, but I couldn’t fail him. I wanted to slap myself to throw myself into action. How could I be so passive when I was losing the only thing I wanted?

The man in the apartment across from me was drinking from a cup and flicking through the pages of a book that he had next to the laptop. After scanning a few more pages, he continued to type. I wondered what he was doing. I wanted to think he was writing a detective novel based in 1950s Manhattan.

The man stopped typing and stared openly at me, as if he also needed to share his secrets with a stranger. It was snowing hard, and thousands of snowflakes playfully spiraled up into the sky, proving reality had many dimensions. The simple stare from a distant stranger was appeasing that loneliness that was taking hold of me.

I couldn’t stop staring back. Here, sitting on the floor of this grandiose room, in the epicenter of the madness of this city, I just felt so small. How was I, this tiny, fragile girl, going to make the world change its course?

The man with the computer—as if he could hear my thoughts—smiled at me and nodded. Without uttering a word, and with the power of our surroundings, this stranger confirmed that, yes, I could do whatever I gave myself to. It was probably a coincidence, but there were moments like this when the universe conspired to prove that life was full of magic moments. You just needed to learn to see past what was in front of you.

The man went back to typing on his computer, unconscious that with just one stare he’d provided me with the courage I lacked. I was beginning to fall in love, but in this case, with New York City. There was something about the anonymity of this city that brought us closer as humans.

Purchase link:

About the book:

Sophie has always felt out of step—an outsider, even amongst friends in her high school with all the hype about celebrity culture. Her life in L.A. seems to have been already written for her, but when her junior year starts, it all takes a drastic turn. When she crosses paths with the school’s heartthrob, Nate Werner, they fall for each other in a way neither can understand. What they don’t know is that by giving in to their desires, they are unlocking an ancient Egyptian prophecy that threatens to return Earth to the dark ages.

To undo the curse, Nate and Sophie embark on an adventure that takes them across the country. But their quest is not only to save the world as they know it. It is also a fight for their very survival. Behind the scenes, there are those that are counting on them to fail.

 

Teresa Orts – MY BIO

Unlike most authors, I didn’t start writing books when I was five years old. In fact, I’d never been too interested in reading or writing. Hanging out with friends in the small Spanish town where I grew up always seemed more appealing than anything a book could offer. It took about twenty-seven years and a global financial meltdown for me to discover the magic world of writing.

At the time, I was living in New York City, and one morning I discovered I was no longer expected at my sixty-hour-a-week investment banking job. Most of my friends had very demanding jobs, so I spent my days wandering around on my own.

Like other unemployed people, I started living through the nights and sleeping through the days. New York is known as the city that never sleeps for a good reason! One night, tired of surfing the web and watching TV, I opened a Word document and started typing a short story, which I saved in my computer with little interest. That was the day Nate and Sophie were born.

Days later, since the financial industry seemed to be going into a downward spiral, I decided to spend three months traveling through Southeast Asia and New Zealand. I thought, naïve me, that by the time I returned, the financial crisis would have come to an end.

Something really strange happened to me during that trip. No matter where I went, I couldn’t stop thinking about the story. Nate and Sophie followed me everywhere. No matter how hard I tried to forget about them, they just wouldn’t go away. At the beginning, I thought I was losing my mind, but soon after, I realized I had to continue writing the story.

When I came back to New York, I went right back into it, and that’s how The Year of the Great Seventh was created. Unfortunately, halfway through the novel, I received a letter from the immigration department informing me that, with no job, I was no longer welcome in the United States. Without much of a choice, my boyfriend and I decided to pack our lives, along with my half-drafted manuscript, and begin another exciting adventure in London, where we now live.

About the author:

Teresa Orts studied economics and went on to work in the financial industry. She lives in London with her husband and son and this is her first novel. If you want to know more about her, please visit her website www.teresaorts.com

Excerpt and Giveaway! Suddenly Beautiful by Boone Brux

I have a special treat this morning! Boone Brux wanted to share an excerpt from her latest Covet release, Suddenly Beautiful.  If you enjoy it, please use the links below to order a copy for yourself.  Be sure to enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, too!

Excerpt: Suddenly Beautiful by Boone Brux

“I can’t give up my sources.” The man’s gaze tracked to Nikki’s belly. “You don’t look pregnant.”

“Because I’m not, you idiot.” She knew exactly who the paparazzo’s informant was. It looked like she’d be commencing Operation Butt Sweat-Unibrow after all.

“But you two are in a relationship—right?” He pointed a stubby finger at her and Tor. “I know what I saw when I walked in.”

“What you saw was me and my assistant talking about today’s schedule.” Tor shoved the camera into Herbert’s stomach and moved forward, crowding the man back into the elevator. “Leave.”

Nikki picked up the phone and dialed security’s extension. “A short man with a camera and an ugly yellow jacket will be getting off the elevator in a minute. Please escort him from the premises and make sure he doesn’t return.”

She pressed the phone back onto its cradle, not waiting to hear the guard’s answer. Tor reached in the elevator and punched one of the buttons. As the doors slid shut, he released the camera and stepped back, sealing Herbert inside.

“Can you believe the nerve of some people?” Nikki plopped back down in her chair.

Tor turned and stared at her. “You’re not, are you?”

She furrowed her brow. “Not what?”

“Pregnant.” He approached her desk. “You’d tell me, wouldn’t you?”

“No, I’m not pregnant.” Though now that he said it, she supposed she could be. They’d used protection in the elevator, but the rest of the night had been free loving. “This is one of Demetria’s tricks.”

“But—” He shoved his hands in his pockets. “You’d tell me if you were, right?”

Would she tell him? The thought of having Tor’s child sent a thrill through her, but a child wasn’t the reason she wanted him to be in a relationship with her. In an effort to avoid directly lying to him, she answered his question with a question. “It would be a little difficult to hide, don’t you think?”

GIVEAWAY!!

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for Amazon gift card worth $25. This giveaway is open to US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the book:

Being the son of Aphrodite isn’t a walk in the clouds. Rebelling against his demi-god status, billionaire make-up mogul Toraos Stephanos fights to separate his personal life and the immortal world by swearing off demi-god girlfriends forever. Too bad his newest employee can’t take the hint.

Though Nikki secretly pines for her smoking hot boss, no way will she jeopardize her job and independence professing her love to a guy so clearly out of her league. Too bad that leaves her with only imagining him naked and thinking evil thoughts about the new girl.

After a single bottle of Ambrosia and one night of passion… Nikki finally thinks she has a chance with the man of her dreams. But the next morning, Tor pretends like nothing happened, leaving Nikki with an emerging drive for combat—after all, turns out she is the daughter of Ares and she’s about to make her mama proud.

All is fair in love and war… and Nikki’s not about to let anyone forget it.

Buy Links:

Amazon:

Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17834438-suddenly-beautiful

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/suddenly-beautiful-boone-brux/1115161577?ean=9781622661169&itm=1&usri=9781622661169

Author Bio:

As a multi-published and an award winning author, Boone’s writing drips with experiences from real life.

Addicted to anything that might make a good story, she weaves tales that range from dark fantasy to humorous romance. Settled in the icy regions of Alaska with the love of her life and twin daughters, it’s not uncommon to find her tapping away on her iPad on a windy beach or the barren tundra.

Be warned, anyone and everything is fodder for one of Boone’s novels.

Link To Find Boone Online:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4420439.Boone_Brux

Website: http://boonebrux.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/boonebrux

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boonebrux

Excerpt and Giveaway! Shadow Hunter by Kait Ballenger

Debut author Kait Ballenger has generously offered a peek at Shadow Hunter, the kick-off to her Execution Underground series.  Shadow Hunter is part of the After Dark anthology, which also contains  Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Angel.  In addition to letting us enjoy this teaser, Kait has a copy of After Dark for one of you to win!  Check out this exciting scene from Shadow Hunter, and enter below for your chance to win a copy!

Shadow Hunter by Kait Ballenger (Execution Underground 0.5)

Numb, Tiffany stepped out of the shadows and slowly walked over to stand near the corpse, a young guy of around thirty-five who looked as if he’d been healthy and fit before the vamp got him. Now the man’s arm was detached from his body, gnawed to shreds. Exactly the way the young girl’s face had been. His eyes were wide open, staring toward the night sky, the stars drowned by the lights of the city. Bending down, she carefully brushed her hand over his eyelids, closing them for the final time. She stood.

“Tiffany!” Damon roared.

Before she could comprehend what was going on, he tackled her full force and knocked her to the ground. A loud hiss pierced the darkness, and her mind snapped to attention. A fierce, red-eyed vampire stepped forward from the shadows, its fangs already extended and blood ringing its mouth.

Damon crouched in front of her, blocking her from the vampire’s attack. As the creature lunged, Damon ripped the Desert Eagle from his waistband and fired a round into the bloodsucker’s gut. With such a high caliber bullet, the vamp’s midsection blew to pieces. Blood and guts splattered over the alleyway, but that wasn’t enough to kill it. Only a severed spine, decapitation or a stake straight through the heart would destroy a bloodsucker for good. The vampire screeched and staggered. It held its internal organs in as the damaged flesh knitted over, healing the bullet wound. It lifted its head. Glowing red eyes pierced through the darkness.

“You will die, hunter.” It crouched in front of the body, guarding the corpse as a lion guards its prey.

Suddenly it ran at Damon, barely visible thanks to its intense speed. It clawed at Damon’s throat, but he kicked his steel-toed boot straight into its still-healing wound. A feral growl escaped the monster’s throat. Damon fought the vampire blow for blow, matching its supernatural strength with a power she’d never seen in a human being before.

For several seconds she stared, completely frozen. She watched their killing dance as the vampire’s blood spilled in all directions, yet each time it lunged, Damon emerged unscathed.

Holy hell. She couldn’t sit there. She had to help. She ripped her own stake from her belt and rushed into the fight.

She lunged at the vampire from behind and stabbed the meaty flesh of his shoulder. Not enough to kill, but enough to injure. In an angry fury, the vampire spun and grabbed at her. She dropped to her knees and sucker punched the bloodsucker straight in the groin.

Take that, sucker.

Human or vampire, getting hit in the crotch hurt like hell.

The creature doubled over in pain, falling on top of her. They rolled across the pavement, each trying to gain the upper hand. Though she was stronger than the average man, the vampire’s supernatural strength overpowered hers. With all its weight it pinned her to the ground. If it sank its fangs into her neck she would be done for. Like a snake, it hissed and threw back its head to attack. A growl, deep and full of anger, sounded in her ears.

It wasn’t the vampire.


Wow!! Pretty awesome, huh?  Ready for your chance to win Shadow Hunter? Fill out the widget below to enter the After Dark giveaway. Earn extra entries for following. US mailing addresses only

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Shadow Hunter, which is part of the After Dark anthology, from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

A timeless seduction A unique temptation And a whole world of dark desires…

From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter

The Darkest Angel

Winged warrior Lysander has been alive for centuries, and yet he’s never known desire-until he meets Bianka. Spawned from the bloodline of his enemy, the beautiful but deadly Harpy is determined to lead the untouched Lysander into temptation. He may try to evade her attempts, but even the most iron-willed demon assassin can resist for only so long….

And from debut author Kait Ballenger

Shadow Hunter

Vampire hunter Damon Brock’s first assignment with the Execution Underground is Rochester, New York, a city crawling with the undead. But he isn’t the only hunter in town gunning for vamp blood. Tiffany Solow is fierce and ruthless when it comes to slaying the monsters that destroyed her family-and she works solo. But being alone is no longer so desirable when she meets the mysterious hunter who wants more than just her turf. As they work to massacre the local covens, the line between good and evil blurs when they are forced to decide between their lifelong beliefs… and their newfound hearts

Guest Post and Spotlight: Sinfully Summer by Aimee Duffy

 

Aimee Duffy has a special treat to share today.  She’s got a character introduction for Enrique Castillo, the hunky hero of her new release Sinfully Summer, and she’s got an excerpt for you to enjoy.

Meet Enrique Castillo… by Aimee Duffy

The delectable Spanish hunk runs an exclusive hotel on the beach in the city all the celebrities flock to, Marbella.

Enrique, or Ric, wasn’t born into the world with a silver spoon in his mouth like the notoriously wild heiress, Alexa Green. Ditched on the streets of Madrid as a child, he’s had to fight to survive. It wasn’t until his mid-teens when the billionaires, Maria and Antonio Castillo, adopted him.

But Ric was angry at the world, and refused their help. He almost went off the rails, chasing adrenaline highs and beautiful supermodels, but he managed to pull himself together and win over the respect of those in Spain’s high society circle.

Only trouble is, will teaming up with the renowned party girl, Alexa Green, turn the tables on him, or make his charity ball all the more successful?

Ric always liked a challenge…

Sinfully Summer Blurb

Sun, Sea and Scandal

Notorious heiress Alexa Green has certainly been enjoying her most recent girls-holiday in Marbella. Just as we thought, she’s been knocking back the cocktails and showing off her fabulous bikini body on the beach… but rumour has it she’s also been spotted sneaking out of Enrique Castillo’s penthouse in the early hours of this morning – in nothing but her underwear! Our question is, doesn’t this fiercely private billionaire know what he’s letting himself in for?

He’s got the millions… and she knows how to spend them! So lie back on your sun lounger and get comfortable, because this summer fling is going to be a sizzler!

Sinfully Summer Excerpt

Adrenaline roared through her veins. This was her only chance. Pushing away from the wall, she rounded the lift, desperately seeking an escape. She barely noticed the plush furnishings, soft-looking leather sofas and floor to ceiling window which showcased the most spectacular view she’d ever seen. Instead she focused on the walls surrounding the elevator.

‘Are you lost?’

The heavily accented voice froze her to the spot. She darted a glance toward the sound. Dark brows furrowed over the richest coloured eyes she’d seen. His gaze swept over the length of her body, then up, lingering on her rear for a beat too long. Her skin tingled under his scrutiny.

Turning her whole body to face him, she slapped a hand on her hip. ‘Had a good enough look?’

His lips quirked in a sexy, lopsided grin. The jitters were back and Alexa swore the temperature in the room shot up ten degrees. Her gaze dropped to his broad shoulders, covered in a thin white t-shirt, then down to a well filled chest. She could see a dark pattern beneath the t-shirt. She longed to find out what kind of tattoo he had. Usually, tats didn’t do it for her. But on that body…

‘I could ask you the same thing.’

She snapped her attention back to his face. He stepped toward her, his jaw set, his eyes dancing with humour and something darker…something that made her blood heat and her mouth water.

Alexa raised her arm, palm out. ‘Hold it there, Mr. Any closer and I’ll scream.’

He paused by the sofa. Propping his hip against the cream leather, he folded his arms across his chest, causing the muscles to bulge. The moisture drained from her mouth and flooded in her belly.

‘No one’s here to hear you.’ He cocked a brow. ‘You seem to be forgetting where you are and,’ his gaze dipped down to her breasts causing the nipples to peak against the lacy fabric ‘how underdressed.’

Alexa thought this moment would have topped the blush scale. She planted her other hand on her hip and glared at him, unwilling to show any weakness. ‘I’m just leaving.’

She turned and strode back to the lift, keeping her back straight and trying not to wiggle her hips too much. The predatory sheen in his eyes made her body more jittery than the idea of sprinting around the lower floor in her underwear. She reached out to hit the button, but a large hand circled her wrist before she made it.

Alexa squeaked and darted back a step. He was so close, and his chest was right in her face. She could see the dark outline of the tattoo beneath the thin cotton. The outline of a burning sun, she thought, or something that looked like a sun. Her hands itched to lift the material and see for herself.

‘I’m up here.’

She snapped her gaze back up to his smirking face and took another step back. His lips kicked up at the corners and his eyes darkened. She swallowed against the urge to step closer, to feel his hard body pressed against hers. But she realised she was in little more than her bra and knickers in a stranger’s home. Unease skittered down her spine.

Alexa squared her shoulders, trying to quash the fear turning her heated blood into cold sludge. ‘I’m leaving now.’

‘After you explain what you’re doing in my home in your undergarments.’

Undergarments?’ Alexa pressed her lips together to keep a giggle at bay. ‘Seriously?’

About the Author

All my life I’ve been dreaming up stories. My mum said when I was little I used to make all the My Little Pony figurines talk to each other, and even fall in love. Later, it was Barbie and Ken. In my teens, I played matchmaker with my friends at school.

When I wasn’t creating imaginary scenarios, I had my nose stuck in books, reading across genres and there was one thing I loved more than the escapism—the fact a story can touch me so deeply, like I was experiencing everything along with my characters. I knew from early on this was something I wanted to do for others.

Fast forward a few years, and the dream almost got lost in real life, but I still couldn’t shake it completely. Now I write sizzling romance with the hope of making my readers’ hearts race like they are falling in love for the first time.

You can find me here:

Website/Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest / Google +

Spotlight: Once Upon a Twist by Aimee Duffy and Michelle Smart Part Two

Thanks to Aimee Duffy and Michelle Smart, I have some excerpts to share from their Once Upon a Twist Anthology. If you enjoy the excerpts, please use the order link to purchase a copy.

 

Excerpt: Glass Slippers and Combat Boots by Michelle Smart

Ella pulled the last of the rollers from Izzy’s thick auburn hair and scrutinized her work. She had not succumbed to the temptation of turning Izzy’s hair into a frizz-ball. That particular temptation had been tempered by Christell’s pet cat Domino, the ugliest, nastiest feline to have ever walked the land, guarding Izzy like a sentry. If Ella had made the slightest error, Domino would have gone tearing off to his mistress.

In any case, she didn’t want to sabotage Izzy’s night. Izzy might treat her as if she was a bad smell but she didn’t have the innate viciousness of her mother or sister. Somehow, her beatings were gentler too, rarely marking Ella’s skin. There were times, when it was just the two of them, that relations between them were almost friendly.

“What do you think?” Izzy asked.

Ella smiled. “I think you look beautiful. Prince Charming won’t be able to resist you.”

Izzy sniffed. “Rumour has it the prince has already found a bride.”

“Really? Then why go ahead with the Ball?”

“Who knows? It might be only a rumour. Still,” she added, suddenly cheering up, “I’ve heard that his Knights are very pleasing to the eye and there will be plenty of them in attendance. There is nothing more attractive than a man with an air of danger about him.”

So long as you keep your mitts of James, you can do what you like. Or do who you like.

An unexpected wave of compassion for her stepsister suddenly swept through her. She clenched her hands into fists to stop herself from squeezing Izzy’s shoulders and telling her she didn’t need to be the bike of the land; that true love was waiting for her.

The moment was lost when Ana came bursting into Izzy’s bedroom. “Are you ready? Mother says the carriage will be with us in five minutes.”

Unlike her sister, Ana had not trusted Ella with her hair or makeup, having not forgiven or forgotten the time when Ella had deliberately made her look like a clown.

Compared to Izzy’s willowy beauty, Ana looked like a man in drag. Of course, in Ana’s eyes she looked like the Belle of the Ball.

“Come, Cinderella,” said Ana, smiling malevolently, “We can’t have you missing any of the fun. I insist you wave us off.”

In a whirl of sickly perfume, Ella followed them downstairs to where Christell was waiting.

“Girls, girls, you look beautiful.” Her cruel pale-blue eyes then fixed on Ella. “Just think, by the time we return, one of your stepsisters may be betrothed to the Prince. I suggest you spend the evening practicing your curtseys. Now get in your cellar.”

The cellar door was soon locked shut, leaving Ella trapped alone in the bottom of the huge house.

When her father had been alive, a fleet of staff had catered to their every need. Christell had fired each and every one, unwilling to risk Ella blabbing to any of them.

Sinking onto the cold, stone floor, Ella hugged her knees.

Despite all her fears about the imminent arrival of the undead, she was feminine enough to feel a large dose of envy that the people of the land were gathering together for the party of the century.

More than anything, she longed to see James. She hated the idea of all those beautiful women at the Ball who were bound to spend the evening flirting and making eyes at him.

It had been only three days since she had seen him but she missed him dreadfully. She closed her eyes. She had known him barely a fortnight and already it felt as if he were a part of her. If she had been free she would be at the Ball with him, dancing with him, his hard body pressed tight against hers…

A wave of fury suffused her at all she was being forced to miss out on. Getting back to her feet she kicked the solid wood door.

“Damn you, Christell,” she howled. “Damn you to hell for killing my father. And damn you too, fairy godmother, for leaving me to cope with all this on my own. Where the hell are you?”

As if by magic – which of course it was – a puff of light appeared in the room. Seconds later, a plump, fluffy white haired elderly lady materialized before her.

Chapter Three

It took Ella a few moments to comprehend what had just happened. She blinked to make sure her febrile mind hadn’t just conjured up her fairy godmother.

“Hello, dear,” Linda beamed. “You called for me?”

“I’ve been calling you for a year and a half,” Ella said, her initial joy quickly turning into petulance.

“Have you, dear? Did you shout? My hearing-aid’s been on the blink.”

“It’s what?” She shook her head in disbelief. “You said you’d be calling in to see me.”

Linda bristled. “Well, dear,” she said, an edge creeping into her voice, “I did have the small matter of ensuring Princess Rosamund didn’t actually die when she pricked her finger on that spindle – I did warn her father it was pointless banishing all spindles from the land but would he listen to me…?”

“You’ve got a suntan,” Ella accused, taking in the golden hue of Linda’s skin.

“Well, yes dear. After making sure your stepmother couldn’t kill you and then sorting out Rosamund, I was knackered so I took a nice little cruise.” Before Ella could voice her outrage, Linda hurried on, “Still, I’m here now. No harm done. What can I do for you, dear?”

Ella threw her hands in the air. “I’m sorry for sounding like a brat but Christell has put an enchantment around the cottage that keeps me trapped here. She’s sacked all the staff so I can’t blab about what she did to my father, she’s making me live down here in this horrid cellar and treating me like a slave, and tonight there’s a Ball in the palace and, and…” Her voice thickened. Before she could prevent it, a large tear fell down her cheek, landing with a loud plop on the concrete floor.

“I’m sorry for being such a drip,” Ella muttered, furiously wiping the ensuing tears away, “But there’s an invading army of undead heading for this land and I don’t particularly fancy being trapped and defenseless when they arrive.”

Purchase Link:

Blurb:

Glass Slippers and Combat Boots

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, the creatures are coming…

In a land run by misogynists, where fair maidens are deemed liable to fall in a dead faint at the sight of blood, Prince Charming is worried – the creatures that have destroyed their neighboring kingdoms are coming for them. He judges it imperative to get all the females to safety, but first he needs to break the enchantment enslaving his One True Love to her hateful home. Oh, and there’s the small matter of the Ball to get through too.

But when the creatures reach them ahead of their expected time, all plans are foregone. Can Ella break her wicked stepmother’s enchantment? Can she save her handsome Prince and the kingdom before midnight strikes? And can she show his soldiers what it really means to kick  a monster’s butt? The clock is ticking…

Reunited With Red

Many, many years later…

When Ruby visits her grandmother in the deep, dark forest, she stumbles into a nightmare. Her grandma’s been attacked by a wolf-like creature, and an ancient disease that turned people into monsters is back… and so is the cold-hearted ex she walked out on a year ago.

Now she has to either accept Jeremy’s help or face becoming a monster herself. Fighting alongside the man she once loved isn’t easy, especially when she discovers there’s more to Jeremy than the cheating bastard she took him for.

As they fight to survive the disease and save those they love, can they keep from falling for each other all over again?

Michelle’s Links:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Aimee’s Links:

Website/Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest / Google +

Spotlight! Once Upon a Twist by Aimee Duffy and Michelle Smart Part One

Thanks to Aimee Duffy and Michelle Smart, I have some excerpts to share from their Once Upon a Twist Anthology.  If you enjoy the excerpts, please use the order link to purchase a copy.  Check back tomorrow for an excerpt by Michelle.

Excerpt: Reunited with Red by Aimee Duffy

A shot sounded just as the door behind her groaned in protest at the force of the creature’s attack. She could give in. Best case scenario, the thing would kill her, but she knew if the man-like creatures got anywhere near her she’d become one of them.

Another shot echoed in her ears. The men were close and the bullet took them both out. She closed her eyes against the sight of brain and blood and yuck. Once had been enough.

“Now!” he demanded.

Without thinking, she took off down Grandma’s garden path, ignoring the bodies on the floor. The sound of the wood splitting made her push her legs faster as she headed for the forest.

A muffled curse sounded to her left. She turned in time to see him running toward her, a shot gun aimed directly at her head. Her heart missed a few beats. She stopped immediately.

“I’m not…I’ve not been bitten. I—”

“Behind you!”

She spun around. Another few of the infected were at the edge of the forest. He let off another shot and her ears rang with the sound. It didn’t muffle the crack of more wood splintering, or the snarl that came from the creature which had managed to make a hole in the door big enough for its head to get through. Snapping jaws gnawed at the gap, trying to create a way out.

He caught her around the waist and picked her off the ground with one arm, pressing her close to every hard, unrelenting muscle of his body. His scent engulfed her, and his rough skin comforted her.

Anger and gratitude rippled through her, as well as something she didn’t want to think about. She bit her tongue to distract herself, but the tears streaming down her face reminded her that Grandma was gone. Her breath choked out on a sob. His arms squeezed tighter around her.

Ruby pushed at his chest. “Don’t touch me, put me down!”

He lowered her to the ground, his jaw tense, his sharp features so severe she probably imagined the flash of hurt in his black eyes. Eyes she’d once happily fallen into. Eyes that had once made her forget everything else in the world. Eyes she’d wanted to gouge out for betraying her in the worst way possible.

“We need to get out of here.” His voice tore her back to the present. She heard the creature tear another chunk of wood from the door. “Now.”

She reached for his outstretched hand, but hesitated. “Grandma.” Her voice broke around the word.

They had to go back, what if there was still a… Ruby stopped the thought dead. Even she knew hoping was ridiculous. Still if they could get her to a hospital… She snatched her hand away and turned back to the house.

His strong, constricting arms banded around her waist and he picked her up again. She kicked and screamed, unwilling to go easy, her mind a haze of grief. The bastard didn’t even flinch, didn’t loosen his hold. And then they were moving. She tried another kick, aiming for his knees.

“Red, quit it.”

Her limbs froze, but her chest ripped out sobs with every breath. “Stop…calling…me…that.” Her hair was more blonde than red, especially now she’d had it highlighted, and the nickname took her back to a time she wanted to forget.

The ground met her feet and suddenly he was in front of her, wiping her eyes, her cheeks. The severe expression on his face had been replaced with wide eyes and a frown.

“She’s…” He cleared his throat. “We can’t save her. It’s too late.”

Rage boiled through her veins, wiping away rational thought. After all, what was the point? She had nothing left. No family. Not even him. “No.”

His teeth snapped together and he grabbed her hand. She tried to pull it away but he was too strong; his grip almost crushed her bones. He turned and tugged her hard. It was either fall or follow, though she was sure if she fell he’d drag her along anyway. Any man who could lug around trees didn’t worry about the weight of a hundred and thirty pound woman. The bastard broke into a sprint, leading them into the thick of the forest in the opposite direction of his home. She tried to push the grief down, concentrate on following him through the darkness.

“Where are we going?” she asked, pushing her legs faster to keep up with him.

She couldn’t see a foot in front of her. Darker shadows than the night around them gave no indication of where they were. The moon hid beneath clouds above, somewhere through the trees. If he crashed into something she was going down with him.

“We need to mask your scent.”

If stranger words had come out of his mouth, she hadn’t heard them. But then it clicked. “The thing can smell me.”

And it did get a good whiff at the house. She swallowed against the tears in her throat. It wasn’t the time to grieve. Now she could think rationally and, although she grudged it, she was grateful he’d come when he did or she’d either be an infected monster by now or the thing would have eaten her.

He didn’t answer, just ran faster. She kept up, but her calf muscles burned and her lungs heaved with the effort. Over her ragged panting, she heard the sound of the river, but she knew they were too high up. He must be taking her to…

Ruby slowed, tried to yank her hand free. “You’ve lost your mind!”

His grip didn’t ease up as he dragged her closer to the ledge. “There’s no other way.”

“It’s at least a ten foot drop. You know I can’t swim!”

He stopped at the ledge and launched the gun into the darkness. She thought for a second he’d thrown it into the river, but it landed in the distance with a thud. The moonlight broke through the clouds, illuminating the scary jump and rushing water below. Her heart sped.

“You’ll be fine. I won’t let you drown.” His lips quirked, like he found her terror entertaining.

All the pent up anger, grief, and fear fought for supremacy inside. She couldn’t control what came out of her mouth. “And I’m supposed to trust you? Are you kidding me?”

His arms banded around her, holding her arms down by her sides in a steely grip. “You could always trust me, Red. I told you everything I was allowed to.”

Before she could argue, or before she could wonder what he meant by allowed, he picked her up and jumped off the ledge.

Purchase Link:

Blurb:

Glass Slippers and Combat Boots

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, the creatures are coming…

In a land run by misogynists, where fair maidens are deemed liable to fall in a dead faint at the sight of blood, Prince Charming is worried – the creatures that have destroyed their neighboring kingdoms are coming for them. He judges it imperative to get all the females to safety, but first he needs to break the enchantment enslaving his One True Love to her hateful home. Oh, and there’s the small matter of the Ball to get through too.

But when the creatures reach them ahead of their expected time, all plans are foregone. Can Ella break her wicked stepmother’s enchantment? Can she save her handsome Prince and the kingdom before midnight strikes? And can she show his soldiers what it really means to kick  a monster’s butt? The clock is ticking…

Reunited With Red

Many, many years later…

When Ruby visits her grandmother in the deep, dark forest, she stumbles into a nightmare. Her grandma’s been attacked by a wolf-like creature, and an ancient disease that turned people into monsters is back… and so is the cold-hearted ex she walked out on a year ago.

Now she has to either accept Jeremy’s help or face becoming a monster herself. Fighting alongside the man she once loved isn’t easy, especially when she discovers there’s more to Jeremy than the cheating bastard she took him for.

As they fight to survive the disease and save those they love, can they keep from falling for each other all over again?

Michelle’s Links:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Aimee’s Links:

Website/Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest / Google +

Spotlight! See by Jamie Magee!

Jamie Magee dropped by the virtual offices to share an excerpt from her novel, SEE.  Since it’s a long weekend for most of us in the States, it’s the perfect time to discover new authors and books. Please enjoy Jamie’s excerpt!  Purchase links are below.

 

About the book:

Forgetting who you are, your ambitions, your love is crippling….but remembering – embracing your purpose with a new sense of determination is more than empowering….its life altering.

Charlie Myers is on a life altering path that will cause the damned to humble in silence…

One night…just a few friends how could it go so wrong? That was the question seventeen year old Charlie Myers was asking when she found herself in the ER. Outwardly nothing was wrong with Charlie, she was a vision of perfect heath, internally she was battling a raging headache…one the doctor told her she would overcome shortly, but Charlie knew something else was wrong …very wrong.

Part of her had been stolen….she was missing memories. Those memories were sacred. They held the key to her sanity. They told her that the sinister whispers, the shadows that came to life before her were not as ominous as she felt they were. They held the bond with her late father, a famed musician. They caused her to forget the one talent that allowed her to face the darkness that haunted her every waking hour. They also masked a much deeper bond, the face of the one that had stolen her heart, long before the age of seventeen.

Charlie wanted to stay in NY, figure out what she was missing, why, and who was behind it all, but her mother had other plans. Against her will, Charlie was sent to Salem to live with her sister….within that small town Charlie found her memories….and so much more.

Her story begins now.

 

SEE Excerpt:

I glanced up and noticed that a new band had begun to play. I turned down the song that was playing in my headphones and listened through my open window. I could hear a nervous anxiety in the lead vocalist, but his audience was forgiving as they screamed and danced to the music. By the time he reached the chorus, his anxieties were gone and he took over the stage he was on. It always made me smile when I witnessed someone take ownership of their talent. They played their set, then three more bands played. I liked what I heard and made a mental note to find their music.

Madison came back to my car all alone. She was literally dancing as she walked – I guess all the caffeine in her system was starting to take effect. I got out and slid on my hood, careful not to let my boots make a mark. Madison crawled up beside me.

“Having fun?” I asked half-heartedly.
“Not yet,” she said, lying against my windshield.
“What were you doing?”
“Looking for backup – it’s kinda exhausting being around you.”
“What are you talking about – you need energy drinks to be around me?” I said in an amused tone.

She didn’t answer me. She sat up and looked at the stage. We both clapped as the band that was playing finished their set and left the stage.

“I think we should go closer for the next band,” she said, sliding down off the hood. “I like this spot,” I said, refusing to move. “Who’s playing anyway?”
“They don’t really have a name – the lead singer’s name is…Draven.”
My eyes grew wide as I looked at her in utter shock – could there be two? Was the Draven I saw today about to sing? My heart started to race, and my ears began to burn. I pulled my hood up and tried to find a calm expression, but it was useless.

“Know the name?” she asked, raising her eyebrows.

“No – yeah – I saw him earlier, if that’s the same guy. I think my mom knows his dad.”

“Same one. Draven Michaels.”

“Do you remember him from when we were little?” I asked as I tried to find the air to breathe. He wasn’t even on stage, and I couldn’t control myself. Why did he do that to me?

“I don’t think my memory is the one that should be in question,” she answered, looking anxiously at the stage.

I followed her stare. The lights were out, but the screen behind the stage was white and was blinking on and off rapidly. Throughout almost all of the other bands, the crowd had lingered by their cars or were having conversations over the music. They still moved to the music and cheered, making them a good crowd to perform in front of – but to say the least, their attention was divided. As if on cue, everyone in the field and the cars around us moved to the stage. The crowd, including Madison, screamed as the shadowed images of Draven and his band came to the stage. My heart pounded against my chest as I studied his perfect silhouette holding a guitar and adjusting his mic. He was just too perfect. The stage enhanced every part of his tall, lean body.

Purchase Links:

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/See-ebook/dp/B0080K8HHA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1368375718&sr=1-1&keywords=See+Jamie+Magee

Barns &Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/see-jamie-magee/1110613701

FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Insight.Jamie.Magee?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jamie_Magee_

Spotlight: Heating Up Hawaii by Carmen Falcone

I have a special treat for you! Carmen Falcone has a smokin’ new romance hitting store shelves, and she wanted to share an excerpt with you!  If you enjoy this taste of Heating Up Hawaii, please use the purchase link below to grab a copy!

Heating Up Hawaii by Carmen Falcone

After a long separation, will Penny and Luc’s sizzling attraction be enough to surpass their startling secrets?

There is just one person standing between Penny Ashbrook’s dream of opening her own PR business or being stuck at her job: the formidable Luc Leoni – her first lover, and the man who lets nothing and no-one get in his way. Seeing him after so long brings all the hidden emotions after a life altering break-up to surface. Pain, denial…and lust.

Luc has made many sacrifices for his career, including Penny Ashbrook, the woman who set his aspirations back a year. But now she has returned and is more alluring than ever. After all these years, he thought a self-made billionaire like himself could master everything, but to resist the strong pull toward the one woman he can’t have is an impossible task.

When this unlikely pair is reunited they will have to face the many challenges set in their way, especially an attraction that has only heightened with time and a deadline quickly approaching. Can their new bond surpass old—and new—fears?

Publisher: Breathless Press

ISBN: 978-1-77101-962-0

By Carmen Falcone

Heat Rating: 3

Word Count: 38240

Release Date: May 3, 2013

Bio:

Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She’d always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing – this time, unwilling to give it up. She lives in Austin and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.

Author Website ? Goodreads ? Twitter ? Facebook Blog

Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Only a few more months. Penny Ashbrook pressed her folded arms on the metal rail of the rooftop bar. She looked at the pallet of orange, yellow, and pink colors dipping into the background as the sun set behind the Dallas skyline. A few more months, and she’d be debt free–and not just monetarily.

Although each day would stretch into the length of a decade, she knew she could handle it. Hell, hadn’t she done just that for the past six months? She’d kept her head high and chin up even though her boss’s passive aggressiveness often drove her crazy. She’d pretended not to listen when small-minded coworkers whispered behind her back. At thirty, wasn’t she too old to be the talk of the office?

With a sigh, she stood straight and squared her shoulders. The much-awaited networking happy hour was not the place for a therapy session. She glanced around her. A sea of people occupied the large outdoor area. Elegantly attired men and women sought new contacts and hot leads while munching on caviar hors d’oeuvres and overpriced liquor.

She decided to stare at the blinding sun one more time, in hopes of extracting enough energy to walk around and get moving. After all, her client list wouldn’t just materialize in front of her, would it? She’d had to fight hard and strong to get where she wanted to be.

"Penny, I’ve just run into an old friend of yours," her boss, Charles Dawn, told her while his fingers lightly touched her elbow. He prompted her to turn toward him and the tall, broad-shouldered man standing next to him.

Penny flashed her signature smile and squinted to get a sharper view of the man in front of her. An oversized palm tree shadowed him.

She guessed he was at least six feet two, which put her at a disadvantage at only five feet six. His dark gray designer suit looked tailor-made to fit the planes of his large chest, and good God, legs that went on and on.

Old friend? She couldn’t remember having friends that looked this intimidating—old, or current. If she was honest with herself, the few friends she had, all vanished like dust after she’d called off her wedding.

But this man… He took a step in her direction, the setting sun illuminating his face as he moved out of the shade. She glanced at him like her eyes were old-fashioned camera lenses, capturing his features in slow motion and adjusting to his figure. His lips, sensual and rich like his clothes, twitched. As soon as her gaze collided with his, her heart skipped a beat for a few seconds only to resume and pound its way out of her beige linen dress.

Luc Leoni.

It couldn’t be, could it? To see him again after all these years.

Oh, but it was…

Penny stared into his two-colored eyes—one lighter than a clear blue sky, and the other reminiscent of murky seas. Yes, even they were ambiguous.

"Luc." She cleared her throat, and noticed a couple of fine lines around his mismatched pair.

"Penelope." Luc’s velvety voice was like a warm caress. His French accent alone lured women to drop their underwear by his bedside. His deep pronunciation of her name hadn’t changed… Pen-ay-looh-paay.

Penny stiffened her back, offered him a professional handshake under Charles Dawn’s ambitious grin. Although she wished she could kick Luc Leoni where he deserved, she had to swallow her resentment and go along with it.

Luc took her hand in his larger one, and heat coiled low in her stomach. But instead of a professional handshake, he pulled her closer with a swift movement and leaned down. He kissed her on one cheek, his warm lips brushing gently on her skin. The whisper of a touch between his stubbled chin and her other cheek belted a wire of electricity into her system.

Penny smelled his earthy masculine cologne, where rich woodsy notes blended with a light citrus. Luc Leoni was a fantastic gift wrapping for an unworthy product.

He stepped back.

This can’t be my imagination… The hot breeze ruffled a few lustrous black strands of his hair, warning her that it was all too real.

"What a small world," Charles said. "I did fail to ask where you two know each other from."

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