Tag Archive | Contemporary

The Kiss Thief By L.J. Shen

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Title: The Kiss Thief
Author: L.J. Shen
Release Date: January 7th
Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser at RBA Designs.

 
the kiss thief coverThey say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

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Excerpt:

“Are you sure you’re on my card?” I turned to the man with a polite yet distant smile. I was still disoriented from the exchange with Angelo when the stranger pulled me against his hard body and pressed a possessive hand lower than socially acceptable on my back, a second from groping my butt.

“Answer me,” I hissed.

“My bid on your card was the highest,” he replied dryly.

“The bids are undisclosed. You don’t know how much other people have paid,” I kept my lips pursed to keep myself from yelling.

“I know it’s nowhere near the realm of what this dance is worth.”

Un-freaking-believable.

We began to waltz around the room as other couples were not only spinning and mingling but also stealing envious glances at us. Naked, raw ogles that told me that whomever the blonde he’d come to the masquerade with was, she wasn’t his wife. And that I might have been all the rage in The Outfit, but the rude man was in high demand, too.

I was stiff and cold in his arms, but he didn’t seem to notice—or mind. He knew how to waltz better than most men, but he was technical, and lacked warmth and Angelo’s playfulness.

“Nemesis.” He took me by surprise, his rapacious gaze stripping me bare. “Distributing glee and dealing misery. Seems at odds with the submissive girl who entertained Bishop and his horsey wife at the table.”

I choked on my own saliva. Did he just call the governor’s wife horsey? And me submissive? I looked away, ignoring the addictive scent of his cologne, and the way his marble body felt against mine.

“Nemesis is my spirit animal. She was the one to lure Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection and died of vanity. Pride is a terrible illness.” I flashed him a taunting smirk.

“Some of us could use catching it.” He bared his straight white teeth.

“Arrogance is a disease. Compassion is the cure. Most gods didn’t like Nemesis, but that’s because she had a backbone.”

“Do you?” He arched a dark eyebrow.

“Do I…?” I blinked, the courteous grin on my face crumpling. He was even ruder when we were alone.

“Have a backbone,” he provided. He stared at me so boldly and intimately, it felt like he breathed fire into my soul. I wanted to step out of his touch and jump into a pool full of ice.

“Of course, I do,” I responded, my spine stiffening. “What’s with the manners? Were you raised by wild coyotes?”

“Give me an example,” he said, ignoring my quip. I was beginning to draw away from him, but he jerked me back into his arms. The glitzy ballroom distorted into a backdrop, and even though I was starting to notice that the man behind the demi-mask was unusually beautiful, the ugliness of his behavior was the only thing that stood out.

I am a warrior and a lady…and a sane person who can deal with this horrid man.

“I really like Angelo Bandini.” I dropped my voice, slicing my gaze from his eyes and toward the table where Angelo’s family had been seated. My father was sitting a few seats away, staring at us coldly, surrounded by Made Men who chatted away.

“And see, in my family, we have a tradition dating back ten generations. Prior to her wedding, a Rossi bride is to open a wooden chest—carved and made by a witch who lived in my ancestors’ Italian village—and read three notes written to her by the last Rossi girl to marry. It’s kind of a good luck charm mixed with a talisman and a bit of fortunetelling. I stole the chest tonight and opened one of the notes, all so I could rush fate. It said that tonight I was going to be kissed by the love of my life, and well…” I drew my lower lip into my mouth and sucked it, peering under my eyelashes at Angelo’s empty seat. The man stared at me stoically, as though I was a foreign film he couldn’t understand. “I’m going to kiss him tonight.”

“That’s your backbone?”

“When I have an ambition, I go for it.”

A conceited frown crinkled his mask, as if to say I was a complete and utter moron. I looked him straight in the eye. My father taught me that the best way to deal with men like him was to confront, not run. Because, this man? He’d chase.
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About the Author:

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 14

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Love On A Limb by Laurie Lewis

 
day 14 coverMatthew Grayken is young, successful, and dying, which is why he’s about to propose to a total stranger. He isn’t interested in love. He needs a caregiver, a companion, and someone to be his legal voice when he can no longer speak for himself.

Lonely, compassionate nurse Mikaela Compton is intrigued by Matt Grayken’s tender request, but when their friendly marriage turns into love, she rejects the inevitability of Matt’s death and prays for a miracle instead.

Mikaela succeeds in reigniting Matt’s will to fight, but his body is losing the battle, and her determination to save him causes her to betray the fundamental promise she made him–to help him die peaceably.

Their last hope at saving Matt’s life will require a sacrifice from each of them, and force them to decide how far out on a limb they’re willing to go for love.

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day 14 authorLaurie (L.C.) Lewis will always be a Marylander at heart—a weather-whining lover of crabs, American history, and the sea. She admits to being craft-challenged, particularly lethal with a glue gun, and a devotee of sappy movies. Her ninth published novel, her first romance novella, Sweet Water, was inspired by a visit to Oregon’s magnificent coastline, and time spent with Mother Eugenie, upon whom the character Mother Thomasine is based.

Laurie’s women’s fiction novels include The Dragons of Alsace Farm (2016), Awakening Avery (2010), and Unspoken (2004), written as Laurie Lewis.

Using the pen name L.C. Lewis, she wrote the five volumes of her award-winning FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical fiction series, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812: Dark Sky at Dawn (2007), Twilight’s Last Gleaming (2008), Dawn’s Early Light (2009), Oh, Say Can You See? (2010), and In God is Our Trust, (2011).

She is currently completing a political suspense novel planned for a summer 2017 release, a re -release of a romantic comedy, and she’s working on another historical fiction novel for a 2018 release. She loves to hear from readers.

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Q&A With Laurie Lewis:

1.  What is your favorite book that is not yours?

From  Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. It’s a difficult, brilliant book.

2. Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?

Yes. I love the challenge of writing emotional but clean romance but I do love the research of historical fiction.

3. How young were you when you started writing?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. When I was a kid, I wrote episodes of my favorite TV shows, casting me playing opposite my favorite teen idols like Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy.

4. If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?

I’d love to sit down with Nicholas Sparks. Anyone with that many bestsellers would make a great mentor.

5. How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?

I’m slow. I usually plan for two novels a year, but historical fiction novels take a full year at least because of the research. I’ve been working on a WWII novel for over a year because the research requires live interviews with the main character–an 88-year-old French WWII survivor who survived the Nazi invasion of her small town.

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 10

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Christmas on a Mission by Hannah R. Conway

Day 10 CCB CoverAudria Rylatt is the school system’s liaison for homeless students. She strives to make Christmas bright for hundreds, while the season brings only heartache after her fiancé was killed in combat nearly two years ago. So when her family decides to play matchmaker, she is less than thrilled. To make matters worse, they’ve invited a soldier friend of her deceased fiancé to the family cabin for the holiday.

But she’s surprised to find this soldier, Quinton Nolan, standing at the door of heart. Faced with painful memories, the despair Christmas brings her, and the fear to love again, Audria is in desperate need of a Christmas miracle. Or at least some of the hope Christmas seems to offer so many. Can she embrace a new mission? If so, Christmas may stand to deliver a lifetime of magical memories.
  
“Christmas on a Mission” is a delightful story of hope, life, love, and second chances, filled with all the joy and cheer Christmas brings.”

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Day 10 CCB AuthorHannah Conway is a military wife, mother of two, middle school teacher, best-selling author, and popular speaker.

Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists.

Hannah is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My book Therapy. 

She and her family live in Tennessee.

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Q&A With Hannah R. Conway:

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I’m high energy. A go-getter, a dreamer. Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew, but have learned to ask others for help and trust in their abilities. Definitely optimistic, loyal almost to a fault, and have this irritating need to understand everything, and see things from all aspects.

2. What do you love most in the world?

My initial response is my family. As I think on it, it’s more like I love being in their presence. When we’re sitting at dinner, or playing a board game. I love watching their faces, their smiles, hearing their voice and listening to them share about their day.

3. What inspired you to become an Author?

The thrill of creating is compelling, and I felt that tug from a very young age. First grade…so around the age of six or seven. I began drawing and writing, telling and making up stories for fun.

4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?

Our family really enjoys going to our Church’s Christmas Eve Candle Light Service every year. It’s a beautiful experience.

5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

Writer’s block is no fun, but I find if I sit down and just begin typing what’s on my mind, soon the words start flowing. My advice: sit and write what’s on your mind.

6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

I’ll share a sweet memory.
            I grew up in Kentucky on a handful of acres outside of the quaintest and most charming little town. When our barn wasn’t filled with tobacco, my brother and I transformed it into the most magical of playing places. It became a mansion, a racetrack, arena, jungle, Gotham city, and on some occasions, a theater.
            When the light was just right, streaming rays of sunshine would shine through the barn slats and create a lovely ambiance fit for any theater performer—such as I. My child voice was lovely—or so I thought. The equivalent of any Disney Princess. So I danced and twirled, my bare feet pounding on the dirt floor of the barn. My voice was loud, hands raised, eyes closed, and I would sing until my throat gave out. When my songs had finished, I’d bow to my make-believe crowd and hurry back to the house for supper.
            Now I’m grown and a mother to a singing, twirling, dancing little girl. She captures my attention, and I’m in awe of her innocence, and purity—how she truly is this wonderful creation, and how lucky I am to be her mother.
 

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 8

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Angel For Christmas by Caroline Clemmons

Day 8 CCB CoverWhen a dot com billionaire crashes his sports car into a tree, he wakes up in heaven facing angels Gabriel and Michael. He’s given a chance to redeem his carefree ways by helping an orphanage avoid foreclosure and regain a sound financial picture by midnight on Christmas Eve—or else. To do so, he is sent back to earth as orphanage janitor, Jacob Porter.

After her father died four months ago, child psychologist Suzi Stephens was shocked to learn Serenity Springs Children’s Home and Elementary School faced foreclosure unless she met a balloon note due January 1. She can’t understand why her late father broke the trust her grandfather had carefully constructed to protect the private home. She is afraid the annual gala won’t raise enough money to pay the note much less the needed year’s operating funds. Trying to do her job plus step into her late father’s shoes has stretched her to her limits.

She’s suspicious of the handsome new janitor, who appears more like he’d be at home as a CEO. Could he be a spy for the developer who covets the children’s home property? Suzi overcomes her distrust enough to allow Jacob’s help raising funds. Working together, their attraction escalates but Jacob has nothing to offer the beautiful redhead. He is scheduled for earthly removal at midnight on December 24. 

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Day 8 CCB AuthorThrough a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a small office her family calls her pink cave. 

She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards.

  

Sign up for her newsletter and receive a FREE copy of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a western historical romance. 

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Q&A With Caroline Clemmons:

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

A fluffy, hard-working, friendly, introvert who loves writing

2. What do you love most in the world?

My family

3. What inspired you to become an Author?

First, my dad. Second, my mother-in-law. Third, my husband’s encouragement and technical help. My dad encouraged my writing even when I was young. My husband’s mom loved reading romances and told me I should write them based on the long letters I wrote each week. My husband is always supportive and provides the help I need as well as encouragement.

4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?

Opening gifts on Christmas Eve after my husband reads the Christmas story from the Bible. Then, depending on the weather and our health, we may go to the Christmas Eve service at church.

5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

When you don’t know what to write there are two tricks that help. One, simply write in all caps THE GIANT METOR HIT HERE and move on to come back later. Two, begin writing as if you are explaining the story to a friend. Soon you will be writing the story and can edit later.

6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

When our youngest learned who was Santa, she said that wasn’t fair because I had known what was in my stocking every year. That year, she had wrapped a tiny gift she’d gotten using her allowance and hidden it in my stocking so I’d have a surprise. She’s done that each year since. Soon other members of our immediate family picked up on this and do the same. These are just small, inexpensive gifts, but they’re nice surprises for us on Christmas morning. It’s our own special family tradition.
 

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 7

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Christmas Future by Valerie Ipson

Day 7 CCB Cover
Scarlett’s fiancé and the warm weather of Arizona will have to wait while she works her PR magic to put Alaska on the nice Christmas Spirit list. 

But when the wait’s too long will a warm-hearted doctor be just the one to lift her Scrooge-like spirits?

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Day 7 CCB AuthorValerie Ipson loves reading, writing, family history, and Hershey Milk Chocolate Almond & Toffee Nuggets. 

She lives in Mesa, Arizona, and Christmas Future is her first Christmas Romance. She is also the author of Ideal High, a YA novel. 

She hopes she can give readers the same experience she has enjoyed through the years while being curled up with a good book!

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Welcome to the books of
Christmas PastPresent and Future

 
Q&A With Valerie Ipson:

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I love reading, writing, family history, and Hershey’s Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate With Toffee and Almonds Nuggets (can the name be any longer?). I lives in Mesa, Arizona and have 15 grandkids. One of my fondest memory growing up is being curled up with a good book!

2. What do you love most in the world?

Books and music are life! That’s not what I love MOST, but they are very, very, very near the top.

3. What inspired you to become an Author?

A good creative writing teacher who encouraged me. And good books.

4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?

Gathering as a family at Christmas and getting new games to play. And eating fudge, of course.

5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

Outline. Read Story Genius by Lisa Cron. 

6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

Last year, my dad saw, for the very first time ever in his life, a picture of his biological father, and my dad is 85 years old! I flew to Colorado last weekend to go with him and a few siblings to meet his DNA brothers for the first time. It was such a blessed time to share in old photos and stories, and feel such warmth from strangers who are family.  

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 6

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Eleanor and The Christmas Carol Fudge by Tamara Passey

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Eleanor is saving her grandmother’s fudge business but is becoming like Scrooge in the process. 

The consultant she hires to help is a friend from high school who hasn’t given up his secret crush for her. 

Will the Christmas spirit melt her heart or will she miss out on the love of her life?

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Tamara Passey, author of the The Christmas Tree Keeper: A Novel, was born and raised in Massachusetts around a large family, one that has served as inspiration for most of her writing. She loves most creative endeavors and when she isn’t writing or re-writing, you can find her baking or cross-stitching or walking–though not all at the same time. She lives with her husband and children in Arizona.

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Welcome to the books of
Christmas PastPresent and Future

 
10 top favorite things:

  1.    A call from a friend
  2.    Homemade chocolate chip cookies
  3.    Daughter’s smiles and laughter
  4.    Book Club
  5.    Clean sheets
  6.    Sunrises
  7.    Sunsets
  8.    Rain
  9.    A full house
  10.    A quiet house

 

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Ridge by S.L. Scott

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Title: Ridge
Author: S.L. Scott
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 20th
Cover Design: RBA Designs

Cover & Synopsis Reveal

The One didn’t exist.

Then I met Meadow.

The band’s honorary little sister was off-limits. Too late for that. She says we’re “nothing serious,” but she’s gotten under my skin and I can’t stop thinking about her. And when I touch her, I know we’re meant to be.

Happy Endings don’t exist.

Not even with Ridge.

My big plans never included falling for a rock star. Too soon for that. He wants to make us a “thing,” and I can’t deny our chemistry is combustible. His persistence is wearing me down, making his proposition hard to resist.

If true love only exists in fairy tales, why am I beginning to believe that Ridge just might be my happily ever after?

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About S.L. Scott:

S.L. SCOTT
Living in the capital of Texas with her family, Scott loves traveling and avocados, beaches, and cooking with her kids. She’s obsessed with epic romances and loves a good plot twist. Her favorite color is blue, but she likens it more toward the sky than the emotion. Her home is filled with the welcoming symbol of the pineapple and finds surfing a challenge though she likes to think she’s a pro.

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