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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 18:
The Last Princess by Jewel Allen

summer 17

 

1768, Philippines

2 - The Last PrincessSpanish Captain Raúl Calderón has accepted a daring mission in the Philippine colonies – to negotiate docking rights in hostile waters for the Manila Galleon. If successful, he can return from exile to be with those he loves. But when he is captured by slave raiders and delivered to the Last Princess, a woman known for killing those who cross her, he is thrust into the center of royal intrigue. The Last Princess is not what she seems, however, and Raúl must stay alive long enough to warn her of the danger in trusting those close to her.

Juliza Alimuddin, The Last Princess, hides behind a cutthroat reputation to protect her beloved islands. But when a mysterious Spaniard, Raúl Calderón, falls into her hands, she decides to go against her allies’ wishes and nurse him back to health. Her heart has been bruised in the past, yet Raúl brings out feelings she never thought she’d have again. Just when Juliza starts to believe in the possibility of love, however, she is betrayed and her family and sultanate put in a deadly situation. Will The Last Princess live up to her reputation when forced to choose between her people and the man she loves?

This is book 2 of a series, but can be read as a standalone.

Amazon ~

 

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Raúl had never felt more alone. Suddenly, he saw his life ahead of him in this colony, full of nights like this where he was among people but without anyone caring if he stepped off the harbor into the ocean. He wondered if he would fit in. When he had left Spain, he had been running from heartache. He had been running from pain. But if he thought he could find its antidote here, among the pretty little ladies who beckoned at him with their eyes and lips from the doorways of the thinly-veiled brothels on this Philippine street, he felt hopeless. Each of the ladies’ faces reminded him of a beauty at home. A beauty who had repudiated him for worldly and political ambition.

 
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Jewel Allen. 2016 by Tina Tate color - cropped

 

 
Jewel Allen is an award-winning journalist and author of the historical series Islands of the Crown.

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 17:
Breathe In by Michelle Bellon

summer 17

 

Breathe in, breathe out.

 
Breathe In ebookThis mantra gets Tessa Benson through the day.

The man she loves walks all over her, and she just wants to get by without her heart shattering to pieces. If she could find her voice, she’d scream.

Everything changes in one night, when she’s snatched from the streets and tied to a bed, a camera set up to capture her dying moment. And the person who paid to watch her die…is still out there somewhere.

Tessa prowls dark neighborhoods in a quest for justice, but she doesn’t find the killer. Not until they strike again…in the place Tessa is least expecting, and where it hurts worst.

Amazon ~

 

 
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      “That’s true and further proves my point,” Terin says. “It’s time you started sticking up for yourself. So, back to the Tom thing…you’re over him then? You’re doing okay?”
      I bite my lip and stare at the ceiling fan overhead. Mostly shadows in the dark room, its blades are still and my clock light reflects off it oddly in the center so that it almost appears to have eyes. It looks like a starfish clinging to my roof.
      Should I lie or tell her that I’m miserable and praying he’ll call me? I don’t even know why. Like she said, he’d told me he couldn’t see me anymore. Not that he didn’t want to see me. Just that he couldn’t. That thought makes me sick to my stomach. How could I want a man who no longer wants me? I bet Gerald would be more than happy if I called him tonight. Ugh, I’m such a stupid girl sometimes.
      “Yeah, yeah, Terin, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I, uh…”
      My phone buzzes as a text comes in. Without thinking, I pull the phone from my ear to take a peek. It’s Tom. My heart thuds against my ribcage. Hit the text. Read it silently, holding my breath while my friend rambles on.
      Tom: Stop. Texting. Me.
      That’s it. That’s all he has to say to me. Tears well up and I feel like I might choke on them. Swallow down the shame. Terin was right about him. I never meant anything to him. I’m probably one of many.       Insignificant. I place the phone to my ear and listen to the last bit of whatever Terin prattles on about. I can’t focus. When she pauses, I take the chance to escape. “Hey, I hate to cut it short, but my stomach is killing me. I think I might have eaten something bad. Do you mind if we hang up for the night?”
      “No, no, sure. Sorry you’re not feeling so good. Hope you’re not on the toilet all night long. Remember that time I ate the bad clam chowder and nearly died from projectile diarrhea?”
      No answer.
      “Okay, I’ll let you go then, Tess. Just call me in the morning to let me know you’re alive.”
      Hoping I still sound cheerful, I say goodnight, hang up, and toss the phone to the foot of the bed.
      I’m not even going to try to breathe through this. I stare up at the ceiling and let the tears run down my cheeks, into my hair, and onto my pillow. The starfish on the ceiling stares back at the sad, pathetic girl and laughs.

 

 
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AuthorShoot-close up_078BWMichelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her four quirky and beautiful children. She loves coffee, Superman, rollercoasters, and has an addiction to chapstick.

She works as a registered nurse and in her spare time writes novels. As a multi-genre author, she has written in the categories of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon ~

 

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 16:
Such a Secret Place by Cortney Pearson

summer 17

 

She is their protector.

 
SuchASecretPlace-Final-SmallIn an emotionless world, tears are a precious commodity, valued for their magic and sold on the black market. When Ambry stumbles across a vial of these enchanted tears, she finds herself the target of not only the tyrannical Arcaian army, who is stealing her people’s magic left and right, but of handsome, battle-scarred Talon Haraway, who seeks the tears for his own personal vengeance.

Ambry soon realizes the reason for their interference: these tears are the most powerful ever shed. They are the key to saving her people and rescuing her brother and others who’ve been taken by the Arcaians.With the Arcaian army threatening her every move, and Talon attempting to take the tears from her, Ambry must keep the tears safe at all costs. Her people need them. Her brother needs them. She needs them.
And they need her.

With bold twists, a riveting world of magic-powered technology, and a slow-sizzle romance, find out why readers are calling Such a Secret Place “totally original!”

Amazon ~

 

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      The jar illuminates her face with its pale hue, bouncing blue light into the gleam in her eyes. From across the room, the glow also points out another pair of eyes, and I know Gwynn and I aren’t the only ones admiring the jar filled with glistening, blue-tinted tears.
      “Can you at least tell me what our immediate plans are?” I ask. We’ve been heading toward the tears, but that can’t be all there is to this whacked-out journey we’re on.
      “That’s in your hands, actually,” he says, sliding me a husky look.
      “Mine? Why?”
      The tears pang at my back, reminding me of their direction. Right. I’m leading him to them.
      Talon sighs and frowns into the heat of the fire. “There’s also someone I need to find. I want to know who shed those tears, and I think he has a way of determining that.”
      Now we’re getting somewhere. “And you think it’s important, to know whose they are?”
      His fire-gleamed eyes hold me still. “Very.”

 

 
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IMG_0874ps2Cortney Pearson is a mother, a musician, and a lover of all things pink and sparkly. She is the author of Phobic, about doors that shouldn’t be opened, and the Stolen Tears series, about an enchanted vial of tears and the girl chosen to wield them.

Cortney lives with her husband and three sons in a small Idaho farm town. She loves chocolate, romantic books, and classical music, and believes anything can be made better with a book tucked away for those just-in-case times.

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 15:
Once Upon a Wish by Danyelle Ferguson

summer 17

 

“Be careful what you wish for . . .

 
OnceUponWish_CVRDelphine Baudry wished to be a best-selling author, and now instead of celebrating and jumping into her next novel, she’s frozen with fear. What if she turns out to be a one-hit-wonder? What if all her new fans hate the next book? To top it all off, she can’t even discuss the situation with her favorite brainstorming partner, her mother, who is losing her memory to Alzheimer’s. Taking a cue from some teens tossing Euros into a fountain, Delphine gives into some whimsy and wishes for her next book plot.

Jean-Paul Chassériau wished to start an online marketing company in La Rochelle. Now the real work begins. Feeling pressure to live up to his father’s name in traditional marketing and far enough away to be out of his shadow, he has a million ideas but no clients. When he finds a funky old Franc lodged between cobblestones near a fountain, there was only one thing to do. Make a wish.

When their coins collide, Delphine and Jean-Paul’s wishes become intertwined, changing the course of their futures and teaching them that wishes are sometimes fulfilled in unexpected ways.”

Amazon ~

 
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“So, did I ruin your wish?” Delphine asked.
Jean-Paul smiled. She liked to jump right to the point, no tiptoeing around. “No, not at all. I’ve never seen two coins collide like that.”
“Ah, but just because you haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. Statistically, anyway,” Delphine said, picking up the cup and saucer.
“I’m willing to admit the probability is non-zero, but I can’t imagine it would be very high,” Jean-Paul shot back, interested to see her response to his geeky comment.
“Tell me,” Delphine said, leaning forward, intrigue glinting in her eyes. “How many coins have you seen thrown into that fountain?”
He folded his arms and brought up one finger to tap his chin, going for a deep-in-thought pose. “You’re right. Maybe we should perform an experiment. How about we meet here again on Thursday?”
His pulse sped up, wondering if she’d accept his invitation.

 

 
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41.jpgDanyelle Ferguson discovered her love for the written word in elementary school. Her first article was published when she was in 6th grade. Since then, she’s won several awards and has been published world-wide in newspapers, magazines and books. She’s grateful every day to work in her dream jobs – author, editor, and nurturing her readaholic tendencies.

She grew up surrounded by Pennsylvania’s beautiful Allegheny Mountains. Then lived for ten years among the majestic Wasatch Mountains. She is currently experiencing mountain-withdrawal while living in Kansas with her husband and four angels-in-training. She enjoys reading, writing, dancing & singing in the kitchen, and the occasional long bubble bath to relax from the everyday stress of being “Mommy.”

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~

 

 
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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 14:
Ascension by C. Michelle Jefferies

summer 17

 

A PROPHET’S REDEMPTION

 
coverLiving an unassuming life as a teacher for the Academy, the former assassin, Antony Danic, turned Speaker for the Devoted, would love to let the past stay there. However, as hard as he tries, his new identity, Noble Standing, can’t escape who Antony was. The widower, turned self-avowed bachelor doesn’t mean to fall for the red-headed sword instructor, Lyris Jaimes. Noble insists he’s better off single, but he is drawn to her in spite of his memories of Elite. Noble finds that courting her, however, isn’t easy. His interest in Lyris sets into motion a rivalry between him and a dangerous sociopath who wants her for himself.
Regardless of the vow he made to never shed human blood again, Noble must reconcile his past with his present, and use his assassin skills and knowledge to keep himself and those he loves alive.

Amazon ~

 

 

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      For the first time since seeing the monster triangles rise from the desert floor and beginning his ascent, he was able to look around from his vantage point. All around him, the city of Cairo spread like a blanket. At three in the morning, it was dark. The only lights in the area were the floodlights mounted on the ground to illuminate the pyramids. With a final look across the complex, he stepped to the edge of the weathered stone.
      “Hey! You there—don’t move!” A mechanical police orb hovered near the bottom of the side nearest him. It started to rise toward the top where he stood. Antony stepped back and turned to the opposite side of the pyramid. He touched the “on” switch for his phone.
      “MAT, can you change my appearance by remote? Right now?” he asked the artificial intelligence program designed by his best friend.
      “Right now?” the female voice asked. The New Zealand accent caused a pang of homesickness that he had to ignore.
      “Unless Gage wants to bail Antony Danic out of jail.”
      “You’re not supposed to climb the pyramids. It’s illegal.” MAT must have triangulated his position from his phone signal.
      “I know that, MAT. Work with me here.” He could hear the orb repeating the stop orders.
      “Are you ready to become him?” she asked.
      Antony grimaced. He hated the feeling of the appearance chip as it worked its genetic change but not more than the idea of becoming someone else for the rest of his life.
      Antony Danic didn’t exist anymore, and if he was arrested, he was going to have a hard time explaining why—after five years of being dead—he had suddenly re-appeared. The empty casket buried next to Elite’s was supposed to be his final resting place. Through lots of fake paperwork and falsified documentation, Antony Danic was declared dead. Now, it needed to stay that way. Still, he’d felt strongly that he needed to cross out that last line on the paper as his old self.
      Now he was going to pay for being sentimental.

 

 
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authorC. Michelle Jefferies is a writer who believes that the way to examine our souls is to explore the deep and dark as well as the shallow. To manipulate words in a way that makes a person think and maybe even second guess. Her worlds include suspense, urban fantasy, and an occasional twist of steampunk. When she is not writing, she can be found on the yoga mat, hand binding journals, dyeing cloth, and serving ginger tea. The author and creator divides her time between stories, projects, and mothering four of her seven children on the wild and windy plains of Wyoming.

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 13:
Sweet Water by Laurie Lewis

summer 17

 

 

SweetWater_CVR (2)Love and money don’t mix when three college friends launch a fledgling business, and two impulsively elope. When Hudson Bauer hears the wedding news he leaves town, stealing the company’s first big contract and Olivia and Jeff’s dreams.

Olivia McAllister has spent eight years blaming Hudson for all her losses, including her anemic marriage to Jeff and a recent, tragic accident that leaves her body battered and her dreams of a family shattered.

Widowed, and in desperate straits, she is forced to accept Hudson’s offer to recuperate at his parents’ empty house on Oregon’s Cannon Beach, but her return to the place where the three friends once summered casts new light on her hasty marriage and on the enemy she once called friend.

When Hudson offers Olivia a job doing humanitarian work, something hopeful and familiar awakens in Olivia, giving rise to long-denied feelings for Hudson. Stuck between grief and the promise of new love, Olivia must make peace with her confusing past, and forgive the man she once hated, before Hudson walks away again, closing the door on their possibilities forever.

Amazon ~

 
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It was true. Hudson regretted introducing the awkward University of Washington coed to Jeff almost immediately. Jeff had no interest in Liv beyond what tutoring help she could give him, but Hudson clearly remembered how quickly she morphed from a geeky scholar who was more comfortable writing HTML code than love letters to a shy beauty soon after he inserted her into the odd friendship he enjoyed with his high school jock friend, Jeff. He felt like a harness over the next four years, stabilizing two very different members of the trio while maintaining a healthy separation between Liv and Jeff. He told himself it was for the good of the work, but he knew it was more. Even though the pair showed an outward indifference to one another, Hudson knew Liv turned herself inside out to impress Jeff.

 

 
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Headshot largeLaurie (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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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 12:
Water So Deep by Nichole Giles

 
summer 17

 

Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.

 
Water So Deep coverNo one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps.

Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can’t have.

When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it’s only a matter of time before she’s forced to surrender forever.

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      Lieutenant Peters made another note, then pocketed his notebook and stood, frowning. “What are you planning to do about this broken window? It’s unlikely you’ll get a glass company out here to replace it until morning. Is there somewhere you and Keith can go for the night?”
      “Keith’s staying at the neighbor’s.” Emma took in the glass all over the floor, the cool breeze blowing in, and had to swallow a lump in her throat. “I don’t know what to do about the window.”
      “I’ll help her take care of it.” James reached across the arms of their chairs and took her hand, palm-to-palm, an offer of solid support—friendship. “Do you know if your dad has any plywood lying around?”
      “Probably.” Her head spun as the initial adrenaline rush wore off, but she squeezed James’s hand, grateful. “Thanks.”
      He shook his head. “Don’t worry about it.”
      Peters leveled his gaze on James. “You planning to stick around for a while?”
      James hesitated, his eyes searching hers for approval. “As long as Emma needs. I’ll help her clean up, make sure she’s not alone if the vandal comes back.”
      Something stirred, fluttered, in Emma’s chest, soft, like the tentacles of a jellyfish in motion. She tried to push the feeling away, but James held tight, and the warm sensation traveled up her arm and spread through the rest of her body.
      
 Tread carefully, Emma. Go slow. Don’t dive in just because it feels good to be touched, to have someone worry about you. James moved her in foreign ways, from places no one else had managed to reach. By all accounts, he should be forbidden territory. She couldn’t ask him to stay, but tonight, she didn’t relish the idea of being alone, either.
      Another officer poked his head in the door. “Lieutenant, we’re clear out here.”
      “Thanks, Brown.” Peters handed Emma a business card. “Here’s my number. I’m on duty until two a.m., but you can call anytime.”
      “Thanks.” She ran her fingers over the card as Peters strode from the house, closing the door behind him. Outside, the cops got in their cars, turned off the flashing lights, and one by one, drove away.

 

 
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1smaller head shotNichole Giles, the author of The DESCENDANT series, and The WATER SO DEEP series, has lived in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Texas. She is a fan of all things paranormal and magical, and her dreams include owning a garden full of fairies, riding a unicorn, and taming the pet dragon she adopted at a recent local ComiCon. She loves to spend time with her family, travel to tropical and exotic destinations, drive in the rain with the convertible top down, and play music at full volume so she can sing along.

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