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Monday, June 23, 2014

Blog Tour - Caught in the Storm - M. Stratton


Synopsis

What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted?

Kat Snyder has spent years chasing after the man who attacked her and left her for dead. It is her one obsession and she won’t let anyone stand in her way. Now that they are getting closer to finding him she begins to doubt herself and her need for revenge.

Jackson “Jack” Taylor lost the only woman he truly loved. Now that he’s found her again he’s not letting go and will do everything in his power to make her see they can have a life together.

Together they search for the monster who has hurt so many women. The closer they get, the closer they become, until they are both Caught in the Storm.


Prologue 

Jeremy Ellison sat on a dirty bed in an even dirtier motel room with his head in his hands, wondering how he ended up here. He’d had her; he was almost able to take the one thing Anthony currently wanted. After pulling himself from the water, he didn’t know what to do or where to go. This was a first for him. He’d lost everything. Everything. He had no laptop, no pictures, nowhere to go, and most importantly, no money.
Sighing, he reached over for the newspapers he had purchased, somewhere in there he’d find what he was looking for. Some old lady from the society pages who had more money than brains. Some way to make a quick buck so that he’d be able to move on to bigger and better things. It was a scam he had perfected over the years. Money and items that he could quickly sell would be his. It was what had afforded him the lifestyle he loved so much, and giving the old ladies a thrill, well, it was the least he could do.
He wanted to scream when he saw his picture and the story about him, staring back. A smaller photo of Anthony and Evie mocked him. They were coming for him; they were all coming for him. Pounding his fists on the bed, his head shook back and forth, his mouth opened in a silent scream.
~*~
She sat in the grimy motel room clutching her wig in her trembling hands, staring at the room across the parking lot where she saw him enter a while ago. She never expected to come across him after all this time. It took everything she had not to knock on the door and send the bastard straight to hell. She knew he deserved more pain and putting a bullet in him would be too quick. Now that she knew where he was, she could plan. She had to have a plan. Everything had to be in order. The ending would have to be perfect, exactly what he deserved.
Her hands shook as she thought of what she’d have to do to him, but she hadn’t come this far to back out now.
Glancing at her watch, she knew she had to hurry, she wanted to get back to her files on Jeremy. Now that she knew exactly where he was she needed to make sure everything was up to date and she had all the information on him. Slowly she put the wig back on and walked out of the room into the sunlight. She casually dropped her purse near his car where she attached a tracking device. Picking up her things, she put them back in her purse, then stood up and walked away, never looking back.



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The Storm Series


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Currently $.99

About the Author

M. Stratton is an International Amazon bestselling author in the romantic suspense and mystery suspense categories for her debut novel After the Storm. She is a self-proclaimed dork that loves to make people laugh and can trip over nothing. Her inner rock star is always on stage performing to a sold out crowd but is quiet and shy on the outside.

She lives with her husband and son in Arizona, which is a big difference from where she grew up north of Chicago Illinois. As an only child she learned to tell herself stories to make the long winters go by quicker while dreaming of summer vacations. Now as an adult she still makes up stories to pass the time, but now she writes them down to share with other people.

When not writing you can find M. watching football (Go Bears!), NASCAR, or classic movies, watching her husband and father restore classic cars, and seeing who can be sillier, her or her son, and of course reading.


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

Twitter: mstratton70

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Cover Reveal - Spirited Legacy: A Lost Library Novel by Kate Baray


Synopsis
Lizzie receives an offer she can't refuse—an internship at the Lost Library, home to hundreds of magical books. And to make the deal even sweeter, her prospective boss has offered to act as her magic mentor. What’s a girl to say, but yes? Except…there are the questions of her unresolved love affair, her recently acquired arch enemy, and a haunting past.

Can Lizzie tackle a new job, learn the magical ropes of spell casting, and save her relationship with an amazing man—all while eluding her nemesis? She’ll sure as hell try.

Join Lizzie as she muddles through another magical adventure, with old friends and new, making the most of what life—and the afterlife—throw at her.

   
Excerpt

Suddenly, the fight shifted. She hadn’t realized that John had been fighting defensively, until he wasn’t. The seething mass of tawny, silver, and reddish fur seemed to heave. Before Lizzie could properly process what had happened, the body of a red wolf—much smaller than John—was lying in a pile next to the tapestry wall. Her ears were ringing from the sound of the two shots Max had fired almost immediately, hitting first the torso then the head of the prone wolf. She couldn’t imagine he had survived his impact with the wall. Whether a broken neck or a bullet killed him, the result was the same. Even from across the large entryway, Lizzie could clearly see the open, staring eyes and the motionless body heaped into a pile of unnatural angles, loose skin, and bloodied fur. 

Her stomach roiled and her mouth started to water in a way that predicted the very real possibility she’d lose the contents of her stomach. She inhaled cautiously. Then exhaled very slowly, fearful a fast breath might push her nausea into vomiting. She’d seen a Lycan killed before—but she hadn’t been this close to the corpse. She took another slow breath.

As she struggled to stay calm, she couldn’t help but see John. His body intertwined with pale patches of fur. With just the two, she could see more detail as the fight continued. The paler wolf’s dangling and useless foreleg. The blood—definitely not John’s—splashed across his rib cage. The increasingly sluggish movements as both wolves tired. Wrapped up in the push and pull, the clawing and grabbing, Lizzie could feel her nausea recede. John would be fine. John would be fine. Almost a chant in her head.

This excerpt is unedited and subject to change.



MeetTheAuthor

 


Kate Baray is a paranormal romance and urban fantasy writer. She writes and lives in Austin, Texas with her pack of pointers and a bloodhound. Kate has worked as an attorney, a manager, a tractor sales person, and a dog trainer, but writing is her passion. When she’s not writing, she volunteers with a search and rescue team, sweeps up hairy dust bunnies, and watches British mysteries. Sign up for Kate’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/WD6UD


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Blog Tour - So Much More - Taryn Plendl


Synopsis
Avery Moore writes about romance, but she sure as hell doesn’t live it. Blake Patterson has no trouble getting women, in fact as the owner of a popular club, women are practically throwing themselves at him.

They couldn’t be further from each other’s type, but when a solid friendship is formed, little by little the lines become blurred.

In this struggle between friendship and love, the desire between them becomes too much to resist.

What happens when your friend suddenly becomes So Much More?



Excerpt

Morgan pulled me toward the bar where she ordered us a couple of drinks before leading us to one of the booths. As soon as we sat down, Morgan waved at a guy dressed in a pair of black jeans and a gray button-down shirt. He was very nice looking and smiled as he politely excused himself from the person he was talking to before heading our way.
“Hey, I’m glad you made it.” The guy leaned down and kissed Morgan on the cheek and slid into the booth next to her. “Hi, I’m Sean Benson.” He held his hand out to me.
“Avery Moore.” I shook his hand. “Nice place you have here,” I said, motioning around us.
Sean leaned back and smiled at me. “Thanks. We like it.”
“We?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.
“My friend, Blake, and I own Chrome,” he explained. “Speaking of Blake, here he comes.”
I turned just in time to see a familiar face and groaned. “Blake, this is Morgan and Avery.” Blake nodded at Morgan, then held out his hand to me. “Nice to see you again, Avery. My friends call me Blake, but you can call me ‘Hero’.” He grinned, and I was tempted to slap that cocky smirk off his face.
“Don’t hold your breath,” I scoffed, rolling my eyes. What were the odds of running into this gym egomaniac again? Especially outside of the gym. Good Lord, luck was not on my side.
I glared at Morgan when she started to giggle. “What did I miss?” Sean looked confused as he looked between all of us.
“Well, your friend saved my girl’s ass today at the gym,” Morgan explained, completely ignoring the dirty looks I was throwing in her direction.
“This was your damsel in distress?” Sean asked Blake, chuckling. Great, it was obvious that Blake had told his buddy about my altercation with the machine. I bet they had a huge laugh about it.
“I was not a damsel in distress. I would have gotten the weight off eventually.” I refused to look at either Morgan or Blake as I spoke. “I just knew your boy here wouldn’t leave me alone until he flexed his muscles and strutted around like a male peacock.” Taking a drink from my glass, I continued. “Basically, I did him a favor, if you really think about it. I helped him impress the sports bra bimbos. I took one for the team, more like a wing-man.” I nodded, pleased with my explanation. I was pretty sure they all bought it … well, until they all busted out laughing at the same time. It had sounded good anyway.
“Avery, you crack me up. Move over.” Blake shoved in next to me. Apparently my evil looks had no effect on this man either. I was going to need to practice in the mirror at home. When he pushed my legs to scoot me over, I squeaked. Even the smallest tap hurt my sore muscles more than I thought possible.
“Are you okay?” Blake looked genuinely concerned for just a minute.
“No. Thanks to my best friend over there, I can barely move anything below the waist. I’m pretty sure I should be in some sort of body cast and not in these frickin’ boots in a bar, even if it is a nice one like this.” I groaned, trying to scoot over to give Blake some more room.
“When was the last time you worked out?” Sean asked, eyeing me suspiciously.
“You mean on purpose?” I asked. Sean laughed and nodded.
I sat back and thought for a minute. “I’m pretty sure that was my senior year gym class—about seven years ago.” I nodded.
“Shit, and you started her with Mitzi’s class?” Blake asked Morgan, exchanging looks with Sean and laughing loudly.
Morgan waved her hand. “She did fine. She was pedaling faster than anyone in the class.”
“That’s because I thought someone was chasing me, the way that spawn of Satan was screaming at me.” Morgan rolled her eyes as the guys laughed.
“She is tough, I’ll give you that,” Blake confirmed. At least we agreed on this much.
Sean stood up. “We better go help Tony. He looks like he’s busting his ass.” He motioned to the tall man covered in tattoos behind the bar. Sean ran his hand over Morgan’s shoulder as he turned to leave.
Blake nodded and stood. “You ladies enjoy yourselves. Let us know if you need anything.”
We watched the guys walk away, and Morgan turned and smiled. “What a coincidence. I had no idea Sean was friends with the guy who pried you out from under the leg press.” She winked, dodging the piece of ice I tossed at her.
“Should we go dance?” Morgan looked out at the full dance floor, bouncing in her seat. Normally I would be jumping at the chance to let loose. I loved dancing, but I couldn’t imagine doing so with the way my body was protesting while sitting.
“Have you even been listening to anything I’ve said? Does it not occur to you that if I can’t walk without looking like I have something shoved up my ass, I just might not be able to handle the dance floor?” I tried to look pissed, but the truth was that it really was funny. Of course I wasn’t about to admit that to Morgan, or she would have me at the gym again in the morning.
“Oh please … it might actually improve your dancing.” This time my ice hit its mark. 


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About the Author 

Taryn discovered her love for books at an early age, spending many hours lost in someone else's story.
It wasn't until well into adult hood that she discovered, late at night while the house was quiet, that she had just as many stories inside her just waiting to be let out. Writing has been a way for her to step away from reality and live a bit through her fun and sometimes damaged characters. You will almost always find a Happy Ever After at the end of her stories. She can't help it, it's an addiction.
She's a Southwestern girl living a Mid-Atlantic life with her husband of seventeen years and two incredible daughters who inspire her daily. She is proud to be an advocate for her child with autism, and feels incredibly blessed to be able to see the world through her eyes. Her daughters teach her more than she could ever teach them.
She enjoys reading, writing and spending time with her family, but cherishes those quiet nights after everyone is asleep when she can curl up on the couch with her sixteen year old dog. (Shh, don't tell...He's not supposed to be on the couch.)
Keep an eye out for more from her!
If you like what you read, please leave a review


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Release Dat Blitz - Fly Like You've Never Been Grounded - S.J. McCoy


Synopsis
Laura Benson has her life together, thank you very much. Her jewelry store in San Francisco is doing wonderfully. Her design skills will soon have her traveling to London, designing a new line that should build her reputation world wide.

She's on top, which is where she likes to be - especially when it comes to men. Since giving her fiance his ring back a year ago, Laura has kept her relationships light, and short. Sexy pilot Smoke Hamilton might be hot, but she doesn't need a Mr Right, just Mr Right Now. She doesn't need a man holding her down.

From the moment he first saw her, Smoke knew Laura was his kind of sexy. What he hadn't banked on was her being his kind of smart, with a sassy mouth too. He usually prefers his women 'nice and easy', but Laura is a challenge. Smoke has always been a sucker for a challenge, he just can't leave them alone til he's conquered them.

Conquering Laura is a risk, she's Jack's cousin, Jack is not only his friend, but his employer too. Still she's a risk he has to take. As a pilot, his career comes first, and always gives him the option to fly away. He'll never let a woman tie him down again.

The chemistry between them definitely has the sparks flying, but will the scars of the past only lead them to crash and burn?




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About the Author
Hi, I'm SJ. A coffee addict, lover of chocolate and drinker of good red wines. I'm a lost soul and a hopeless romantic. Reading and writing are necessary parts of who I am. Though perhaps not as necessary as coffee! I can drink coffee without writing, but I can't write without coffee.

I grew up loving romance novels, my first boyfriends were book boyfriends, but life intervened, as it tends to do, and I wandered down the paths of non fiction for many years. My life changed completely a couple of years ago and I returned to Romance to find my escape.

I write 'Sweet N Steamy' stories because to me there is enough angst and darkness in real life. My favorite romances are happy escapes with a focus on fun, friendships and happily-ever-afters, just like the ones I write.

These days I live in beautiful Montana, the last best place. If I'm not reading or writing you'll find me just down the road in the park - Yellowstone. I have deer, eagles and the occasional bear for company, and I like it that way :0)

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Hope Over Fear Cover Reveal



Releasing July 28, 2014

Synopsis
Today is the day – the day that the man I love marries someone else. I don’t deserve pity or sympathy. I’ve made my bed. I left Mason and ripped his heart to pieces as I ran away. The guilt and sorrow consume me, threatening to choke me everyday.

But today is a new beginning. Today is the day I will wake up with a renewed resolve and determination to do better … to be better … to be worthy. My name is Sara Preston, and this is my story about what happens after.

Hope Over Fear can be read as a stand alone novel.

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Excerpt

Prologue


“You Know Where I’m At” by Gavin DeGraw

“Sober” by Kelly Clarkson


I can’t steady the trembling of my hands. My insides shiver uncontrollably, and my heart hammers in my chest. A firing squad may be easier to face than what’s waiting for me behind my front door.

Walking slowly, I rub my sweaty palms on the legs of my skinny jeans. Taking a deep, cleansing breath, I try unsuccessfully to calm myself. “You can do this. He deserves an apology. You’ve made your bed, and now you must lay in it,” I whisper to myself.

I skittishly jump as he knocks on the door again. Out of time, I swing the door open before I have a chance to change my mind and pretend no one’s home. I’m done acting like a coward.

At first sight, Mason brings back old feelings that I have yet to deal with. His perfectly mussed blond hair and golden tan scream hot surfer boy. His navy blue shirt stretches tightly over his broad chest, and his worn blue jeans hang deliciously low on his hips. He still looks like my Mason, the beautiful man I’ve come to know and love.

Until I reach his eyes. The deep chocolate brown eyes that used to look at me with such love, hope for the future, and admiration have vanished. They’ve been replaced with cold, almost black eyes. Upon closer examination, there is one emotion apparent behind his icy stare … pain. Pain that is of my doing. Pain for which I must atone.

“Mason, thank you for stopping by. You look good,” I whisper, barely audible, even to myself.

“Hey Sara. I’d really appreciate it if we could make this quick. I have somewhere to be. You wanted to see me about …” Mason prompts, almost robotically.

I loathe myself for what we have become. This is the man who could finish my sentences; this is the man who I could have an entire conversation with and never utter a word. We were that couple.

Mason and I had been best friends for two years before our romantic relationship began, and we enjoyed the comfort those years of friendship afforded us. Most people begin relationships letting the other person meet their “representative.” You know what I mean—the perfect version of you. The “I don’t fart, I don’t burp, I’ll have the salad” version of you. Mason and I were the real deal from the jump.

Now, though, the ease and familiarity of our relationship has been reduced to uncomfortable murmurs and vacant eyes. I open the door wider and step aside to allow Mason entry, and he follows me into the living room. His familiar smell invades my senses as he brushes past. I have to swallow the lump in my throat at the memories it invokes. After sitting down on the sofa and protectively drawing a pillow into my stomach, my gaze shifts up to Mason shifting awkwardly across the room.

“Please, sit down, Mase. I promise, I just want to talk.”

He reluctantly strides over to the recliner and slumps into the seat. I have a speech all planned out in my head for this very conversation. I’ve recited it to myself hundreds of times over the past few months. Now that I have my chance to speak to Mason, my mind is completely blank.

“Well, I really, uh, want to clear the air … I mean apologize …” I stammer, almost incoherently. 

Mason sighs loudly, grips the back of his neck, and shakes his head. “I really can’t imagine what could be left to say after what happened in Dallas. I don’t believe you left any room for confusion. Everything was crystal clear, Sara.”

“I would give anything to change that day, to go back in time and make a different choice. I’d give anything to take away the pain I’ve caused you. You were the center of my life for so long. You were my rock for so many years. And I feel like my actions have thrown poison on everything about us that was good and right, and I’m so… sorry, Mason,” I plead, a sob escaping.

Taking deep breaths, I try to steady myself. This is more difficult than I thought. I look into Mason’s eyes, and I’ll be damned if I don’t see sympathy radiating back at me. Guilt washes through my body as I register how kind and loving this man is. How dare I even ask for his forgiveness? I know I don’t deserve it, but I need it. To move forward with my life, his forgiveness is essential.

Mason leans forward in the recliner, placing his elbows on his knees, giving me a searching glance. “Look, Sara, I was angry at you for a long time after Dallas. Fuck, angry doesn’t even seem to come close to describing how I felt. I raged. I hated. And then things slowly began to change. Circumstances … changed. With time, I was able to gain a new perspective. I was able to lay that hate to rest. To look forward to the future. I needed to free myself from our past. You need to free yourself of it, too, Sara. I can finally forgive you. I can’t promise to forget, but I can forgive.”

After his words, Mason appears lighter … happier … free. I hope to feel the same someday, and I feel certain that today, this moment, is a positive step in that direction.

As relief washes through me, I can’t stop the words from pouring out of me, “Mason, I can’t tell you how much that means to me. My mom, our friends, your family—they can think whatever they want about me. But I can’t bear the thought of you hating me. It paralyzes me. I want so much for you to be happy. You deserve to—”

“Sara, please stop. I need to tell you something.”

Mason pauses, seeming unsure how to continue. His eyes cast downward, then he slowly lifts his gaze and meets my eyes. “I’ve been seeing someone. I hate to just blurt something like this out, but I thought it was important that you know …”

I do my best to play the gracious ex-girlfriend and plaster a smile on my face. “That’s so great, Mason. I hope she realizes—”

“I’m proposing to her this weekend. Please understand I’m not trying to hurt you, Sara. I’d rather you hear this from me. I feel like I owe you that,” Mason admits calmly. 

I can’t quiet the humming in my ears. I can’t still the shaking in my gut. I can’t rid myself of the nausea that is threatening to engulf me. Is he still talking? As I digest his declaration, I’m not even aware of his presence.

You’ve got to get it together. This is what you want for him. This is what he deserves.

“How long have you been dating her?” I ask, attempting to hide my hurt and stunned expression.

Mason looks over at me with a goofy, lovesick smile on his face. “About six months. Her name is Natalie, and she works with me at the investment firm. We’ve been casual friends for a while now, but things just kind of progressed, and—” 

“You’ve only been dating her for six months, Mase? Don’t you think that’s a little soon to be talking about marriage?” I blurt out before I can stop myself.

Mason is wearing an incredulous expression, and realization settles in my stomach. Who the fuck do I think I am to ask him those questions?

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked that. It was totally out of line. You don’t owe me any explanation. I’m so sorry …” I can’t seem to stop with the stammering.

“You’re right, I don’t owe you an explanation. But I’ll give you one anyway, just to alleviate any and all confusion,” Mason explains with a kind, but firm, expression on his face. “No, it’s not too soon. I knew within the first month of being with Natalie where we were headed. I didn’t have to convince her to love me. She just did. Do you know how fucking refreshing that was? To know that there’s someone in this world that adores me, to know that her day is better just because I’m part of it? Come to think of it, I guess you do know that feeling, don’t you, Sara?”

“This is happening. I don’t want to waste another minute of my life not being her husband to appease other people’s ideas on appropriate timelines. I hope that clears up the confusion and ends that line of questioning.”

Yep, I think I would like to take that firing squad right about now. His words cut right through me, because so much truth lies in them.

“You’re right, Mason. I didn’t mean to question your decisions. I’m so happy for you. You deserve great things … you deserve everything. You love with your whole heart, and I hope she knows how lucky she is,” I say, quickly correcting my error in judgment. “So how are you going to propose? Wait, no, please don’t tell me. That’s not something I need or want to hear.”

Mason gives me a sympathetic smile. He reaches over and gently squeezes my hand that is grasping my knee so tightly my knuckles are white.

“Thanks, Sara. When it comes to Nat, I have to admit that I’m the lucky one.” Mason begins to shift uncomfortably. “Look, I really need to get going. She’s meeting me for dinner downtown …”

“Of course, of course. I didn’t mean to keep you …”

I look into Mason’s now gentle brown eyes, and he smiles at me, standing to leave. “No worries … you know you deserve great things, too, right?”

The tears I have been fighting back are threatening to spill over, and I’m not sure how much more I can take. I nod and quietly walk Mason to the door, fighting for composure the entire way. I try my hardest to give Mason a winning smile. “Take care, Mason, and congratulations again …”

“You, too, Sara,” Mason says as he crosses the threshold. He hesitates for a brief moment, then turns to face me, “And by the way, we were gonna play Hangman.”

“Huh?”

“That’s how I planned to propose to you … you know, before. Games and puzzles were kind of our thing.” Mason smirks, completely oblivious to the pain I feel at that statement.

“You know, no matter where we are or what we’re doing, you’ll always be my girl, Sara Marie Preston. You may not have turned out to be my forever, but you’re my girl just the same. Nothing changes that, okay?”

“Mason,” I whisper, completely lost for words.

Oh. My. God.

And with those parting words, he turns and walks to his car. He walks out of my life. I slowly, gently, close my front door. I lock the chain. I lock the deadbolt. I lock the doorknob. Then I slide down the wall, into a heap and allow the tears to overtake me. I allow myself to drown.


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MeetTheAuthor
 
J.A. Derouen resides in South Louisiana where she lives with her husband, son (aptly nicknamed "The Professor"), and her furry friend, Scout. She has earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and nursing. When she's not writing or inhaling romance novels by the stack, she works as a women's health nurse. She’s been an avid reader and daydreamer since childhood, and she's never stopped turning the page to get to the next happily ever after.







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