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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New Release: The Queen by Skye Warren + Excerpt




Title: The Queen
Series: The Masterpiece Duet #2
Author: Skye Warren
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 19, 2017



Blurb

I have one chance at a new life. A college education. A future outside of Tanglewood's dark walls. For a breathless moment it seems like I might actually escape.

Then I get a phone call from home.

Damon Scott is my own personal dragon, the fight I've always lost, the secret hope of my heart. And he needs my help right now. Only my mind can solve the puzzle. Only my presence can keep him sane as the city fights against him.

Only my heart can unlock a man with such a tragic past.

This is my final gamble, with everything at stake. One last game to win a future for both of us.

And a love strong enough to break the city apart.

THE QUEEN is the final novel in the bestselling Masterpiece duet, about a game of lies and loyalty, of betrayal and power, and ascension to the city's throne.







Purchase Links

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Trailer



Excerpt

I flinch, glad he can’t see me across two thousand miles. Even working in the kitchens most nights only covers my food, my textbooks. Not the tuition bill. “You’re the one who wanted him to work for you. You’re the one who made him the stake in our last game.”

“And you’re the one who lost,” he says lightly.

“Do you know where he is?”

“Of course. Like you said, he works for me. I would be a careless employer if I let my men go wandering off, gambling and racking up debt and questioning their loyalty to me.”

A shiver runs through me. “Then where is he?”

“He’s a grown-up, Penny. Like you are now. He’s responsible for himself. You only need to worry about your studies. I’m sure Algebraic Topology is taking up plenty of your focus.”

It’s one of my courses this semester. How does he know that?

“Stop playing with me.”

“Why should I?” he says with a soft laugh. “It’s so much fun.”

Frustration stings my eyes, hot and damp. I look up at the wide-open sky, willing myself not to cry. There are a million stars visible here, most of the land owned by Smith College or one of the other campuses. So much land, so much pride. There aren’t buildings climbing on top of other buildings, as if they might sink into the concrete ground if they don’t. There aren’t glass towers reaching to an endless black sky.

“I’m never coming back,” I say abruptly.

His laugh falls silent. “I know.”

“I hate it there. I hate Tanglewood and being powerless. And most of all I hate you.”

The last part is a lie, because I don’t hate him. I’m drawn to him; I’m repelled by him. It’s far too complex a relationship, an equation I’ve never been able to write. It makes me wonder if I’m lying about the other parts—if maybe some twisted part of me misses home.

If some twisted part of me misses being powerless, too.

“Ah, Penny,” he says, sounding infinitely weary. “I hate you too.”

The words shock me, but the hurt inside shocks me more. He shouldn’t be able to wound me. Three years away from home, growing up, growing strong. It should have been enough armor to protect against anything he could say to me. But the arrow sinks deep, proving that I’ll never be able to escape him.

“What did I do to you?” I ask, quiet, in a voice like I’m six years old again. Like I’m speaking to the wild boy I found by the lake, one I lured into my trailer like a wolf.

He answers the same way, a surly teenage boy, fierce and vulnerable at once. “You made me care. You made me want, when I needed to leave. You made me feel, when I would have preferred to die. You brought me back to life.”

And I condemned him to torture. That’s what happened when he sacrificed himself so that I could stay safe. Two children with so few choices. “I’m sorry,” I whisper.

“Don’t worry. I got my revenge, after all.”

My blood runs cold, almost subzero at the words. There’s only one person left in my sad little family. One person he could hurt. “Did you hurt him?”

“By giving him a job when he couldn’t hold one down? By paying him enough that his daughter could escape the city, could go to a fancy college instead of becoming a corner-store whore? Yes, I’ve been horrible to him. A monster.”

“Then why isn’t he answering his phone?”

In the pause I can picture him in a three-piece suit, reclining in one of his ridiculously expensive leather chairs. Some amber liquid in a crystal-cut glass. “Don’t come back,” he says, his voice grim. “You made it out of here. Let that be enough.”

A soft click ends the connection, leaving me bereft.

And more worried than before.


Something is happening in Tanglewood, something bad enough for my father not to call, something horrible enough that even Damon Scott has warned me away. I look up at the infinite stars, but they’re dimmer than before. The whole world muted. It wasn’t a new life that I found so far from home. It was a long dream, and now I’m painfully awake.




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The Endgame Series


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 Author Bio

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat. 



 Author Links

New Release: Alphas of Danger Charity Anthology



** 2016's Alphas of Sin Anthology we've raised $5,000 to 4 Paws for Ability! We've been able to sponsor a puppy pen and not one but TWO puppies named Vixen & Frenzy. We will be following the journey of these two puppies to hopefully graduate and become service dogs to a family in need. You can come join our journey on our Facebook page Once Upon An Alpha. We are now BACK with Alphas of Danger, available NOW for a LIMITED TIME with ten bestselling authors and we hope you join us on the journey for 2017's Alphas of Danger with ten never-been-told stories by ten bestselling authors**

COVER DESIGNER: COVER ME DARLING – MARISA-ROSE SHOR
PHOTOGRAPHER – WOODEN GATE PRODUCTIONS
MODEL – JASE DEAN

ALL NET PROCEEDS OF SALES DONATED TO 4 PAWS FOR ABILITY


Synopsis

Happy-Ever-After has never been so intoxicating
Danger…
When a man has beaten it, he becomes a hero.
Lust...
When a woman tastes it, she is helpless to resist his pull.
Love…
It won’t come easily, especially between alpha men and their headstrong women. Threats lurk in the shadows, and the price for passion is often exacted with a bullet or a blade…but the sacrifice is worth it when devotion is the reward. Ten bestselling authors, masters of spine-tingling romantic suspense, bring you brand-new stories that will yank you to the edge of your seat and have your heart pounding as you turn the pages. Best of all, the proceeds will benefit 4 Paws for Ability, a worldwide agency that enriches the lives of children and veterans with disabilities by training and placing quality, task-trained service dogs.


Stories Contributed to Alphas of Danger:



For more information about this nonprofit organization: http://4pawsforability.org/










AboutTheAuthor


SHAYLA BLACK

ShaylaBlack high res Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty novels. For nearly twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages. Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years. Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her teenage daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.



LEXI BLAKE

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.



MARI CARR

Writing a book was number one on Mari Carr’s bucket list and on her thirty-fourth birthday, she set out to see that goal achieved. Too many years later, her computer is jammed full of stories — novels, novellas, short stories and dead-ends and she has nearly eighty published works.
Virginia native, Mari Carr is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller of contemporary erotic romance novels. With over one million copies of her books sold, Mari was the winner of the Romance Writers of America’s Passionate Plume award for her novella, Erotic Research.



KRIS COOK

  Though starting in straight erotic romance, Kris's total focus now is on gay romance. When asked why recently, his answer was "My muse finally came out of the closet. Isn't it about time? I've been out since I was twenty-five."
A voracious reader, Kris loves many genres of fiction, but this writer's favorite books are romances that are edgy, sexy, with rich characters and unique challenges. Kris's influences include Anne Rice, JR Ward, Lexi Blake and Shayla Black. Kris is also the co-host of Romance OUT Loud, an audio podcast that features some of the best voices in gay romance fiction like, Andrew Grey, Damon Suede, Kindle Alexander, Felice Stevens, L.A. Witt, Sarina Bowen, and more. Kris is married to the love of his life - Stephen.



ANISSA GARCIA

anissa-garciaAnissa Garcia earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications and English. She held an array of jobs including Public Relations Manager for Barnes and Noble. Wanting a change of pace, she attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and trained full-time in theatre for two years. After working in Hollywood as an actress and casting assistant, she relocated to Austin, Texas and began writing freelance for Cosmopolitan and other publications. Her first book, A Promise Kept, is available now. A Promise Made will be available November 2016. When not writing stories, watching movies, or drinking a latte, she loves to daydream about romantic fictional men.




KYM GROSSO

Kym Grosso is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the erotic paranormal series, The Immortals of New Orleans, and the contemporary erotic suspense series, Club Altura. In addition to romance novels, Kym has written and published several articles about autism, and is passionate about autism advocacy. She is also a contributing essay author in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum. She lives in suburban Pennsylvania but has a not-so-secret desire to move to a beach in southern California where she can write while listening to the roar of the ocean. She holds a bachelor’s degree from West Chester University and a MBA from Widener University. In a previous life, she was employed as a speech therapist, a health care consultant, and a product manager for a software company. In 2012, Kym published her first novel and today, is a full time indie romance author.




JENNA JACOB

JennaJacobUSA Today Bestselling author Jenna Jacob paints a canvas of passion, romance, and humor as her Alpha men and the feisty women who love them unravel their souls and heal their scars to find their happily-ever-after kind of love. Heart-tugging, captivating, and steamy, Jenna’s books will surely leave you breathless and craving more.
A mom of four grown children, Jenna and her Alpha-Hunk husband live in Kansas. Jenna loves books, Harleys, music, and camping. Jenna’s zany sense of humor and lack of filter exemplify her motto: Live. Laugh. Love. Meet the wild and wicked family in her sultry series: The Doms of Genesis. Or become spellbound by the searing love connection between Raine, Hammer, and Liam in her continuing saga: The Doms of Her Life (co-written with the amazing Shayla Black and Isabella La Pearl). Journey with couples struggling to resolve their pasts to discover unbridled love and devotion in Jenna’s new contemporary series: Passionate Hearts.



KENNEDY LAYNE

Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace.



ISABELLA LAPEARL

isabellalapearl Isabella LaPearl is a USA Today bestselling author known for her collaboration with Shayla Black & Jenna Jacob for the Doms of Her Life Series. She enjoys writing sexy, erotic romance. A wife, mother, writer, reader and a love for riding motorcycles. To say it's been an extraordinary journey thus far would be an understatement... what a rush! What a thrill to realize dreams and see them go from a seed to fruition. So for all you aspiring Authors, who like me, have a fire inside that burns brightly and demands to be sated by writing... Never give up.




CARRIE ANN RYAN

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.


New Release: Drawn to Him Anthology + Review & Excerpt!












Drawn to Him website

http://www.drawntohimcollection.com










There are some men who make you helpless.

You know the kind.  They steal the breath from your lungs and make your heart beat a little faster with a single look.  You can’t stop staring, but the moment they pin those gorgeous eyes on you, you’re done for.

The kind that’s too hard to resist.

This is a collection of men just like that.

Handsome, confident and all for you.


These are the other authors involved with this collection, M. Never, L.J. Shen, K. Webster, Jade West, Isabella Starling, A. Zavarelli and K.L Kreig.



Excerpt from Infatuation by Willow Winters

“You’re very handsome, Mr. Kulls.”  I finally give in to a bit of my desire, and pick up the glass of wine, holding on to it for support in this decision.

His grin widens and he leans forward just slightly to say, “Alec, Lila.  My name is Alec to you.”  He pauses for a moment, then flashes me a smirk and adds, “Unless of course you’d like to scream 'Mr. Kulls' in bed?”

My face heats instantly as he rises from his seat to attend to the beeping oven and he's quick to say, “I do believe Alec may be easier.”

The sweet wine touches my lips and the taste is delicious, but I can’t think of anything other than this man on top of me, making me scream as he thrusts inside of me repeatedly.

“I think you’ve maybe thought a little too far ahead, Mr.- Alec,” I’m quick to correct myself.  I watch as he works in the oven, turning the chicken breasts and then setting the tongs back down on the counter before coming back to his seat.

“Mmm, that could be,” he says picking up his glass, but not sitting.  I cross my ankles and turn in my seat to face him.

“This isn’t very professional,” I tell him with a serious look, or at least the most serious I can manage.  He shrugs his shoulders and then takes a sip from his glass.

“Do you want it to be?” he asks and then adds, “That’s fine if you do.  I understand the attraction may only be on my end.”

My heart thumps hard in my chest.  I don’t think this man knows how to be subtle.  He’s honest and to the point.  But I admire that.

“It’s definitely not just one-sided,” I admit, and then bite my tongue.  I'm thinking I should add that this is dangerous for me.  I could lose my job.  More than that though, this man could crush me.  I’ve never had a one-night stand because I know I don’t really do casual.  I’ve been wined and dined and then thrown away before.  It hurts too much.

I don’t recover easily, and I prefer to avoid relationships.  But it’s been so long since I’ve been touched.

Alec’s deep voice rumbles, “That’s good to know.”  I don’t think a man has ever looked at me with the same level of desire.  It’s tempting and frightening all the same.

“So, tomorrow?” he asks me, and my brow furrows with confusion.

“Tomorrow?” I repeat.

He smiles at me, and the smell of his cologne, or maybe his natural scent hits me with a powerful force that makes me lean in closer to him.

“Would you like to go out with me tomorrow?” he asks.

His gray eyes swirl with a mixture of desire and something else--a desperate need.  I nod my head slowly and say, “I’d love to.”














My Review:

3.5 stars
***

This was a really good collection of stories! Some of these were new-to-me authors some of them were authors I've read and enjoyed before. Here are my thoughts:

Infatuation by Willow Winters - 3.75 stars. This was a really interesting story. Suspenseful and a little eerie feeling. I wasn't sure exactly what was going on, but I was intrigued. It felt like this could be the a prequel or beginning of a new series. I wanted more. There was so much more to going on and I had lots of questions! Still, I enjoyed this story, even with all it's mystery.

The Billionaire's Beginning by M. Never - 3.5 stars. This was a really good, sweet and sexy story. Simone and Ty were good characters and a great couple. 

Doctor Dreamy by L.J. Shen - 3.5 stars. This was another good story. This is Rhys and Savannah's story. Savannah just got a new job as a secretary at a pediatrician's office. Rhys is the pediatrician. He is older than she is and a little cold and cruel at first. I was unsure about him for a while and unsure about their chemistry, but I liked it by the end. This story was sexy, funny and a little unbelievable, but still enjoyable.

Fifth Avenue Blues by Jade West - 4 stars. This one was my favorite. It was really good! A second chance romance between two former high school friends. It was the perfect HEA for a small town boy turned famous actor and his sexy librarian girl. This story was sexy, sweet and dirty in Jade West's style! 

Date Night by Isabella Starling - 3 stars. This story started off good and was intriguing, but I felt like it fizzled out. I found it weird and creepy, but not sexy. I didn't really feel any emotion or like either character. Overall, it wasn't bad but it wasn't my fave.

Bad Cop by A. Zavarelli - 2-2.5 stars. This is a second chance love story between a town cop and a returned bad girl who the whole town hates. I didn't really like either Justice or Ginger. They both acted petty and childish, doing stupid things to hurt each other. There were also a lot of plot holes. I didn't really enjoy this one.

One Night by KL Kreig - 3.25-3.5 stars. This story was not bad. This was a second chance love story between a couple that met at a wedding 4 years ago and had a one night stand. It was a little too angsty for my personal taste. The character name of Saine was not my favorite. The story started off messy and I thought there might be 3 possible love interests. It was a lot going on for a short story. The H/h were just okay for me. I didn't love either of them and felt they both acted immaturely and pushed each other's buttons to be mean. They both slept with many other people over a 4 year separation even though they later claim they fell in love the night they met. I especially didn't think it was necessary that the h slept with her best guy friend/bandmate. The writing was good, but this story had too many of my pet peeves to totally love it. Still, I did enjoy it. 

Overall, this is a good collection of stories! Some sexy, suspenseful, funny and sweet moments!