Giveaway and Q&A with author LINDA LAEL MILLER

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THE MARRIAGE CHARM by Linda Lael Miller

Published: February 1st 2015

Purchase: Amazon

Add to Goodreads

It’s Melody Nolan’s turn to find love. Melody has recently found success as a jewelry designer, and her work is the focus of her life. She’s not exactly unhappy, but she wants more. She’s always been attracted to Spence Hogan, the local chief of police, but she’s convinced that Spence, a notorious charmer, isn’t what you’d call husband material.

Spence is a good cop who isn’t scared of anything—except love. And he’s done everything he can to preserve his reputation as a womanizer—a reputation that keeps marriage-minded women, including Melody, at bay. And yet…there’s something about Melody he can’t forget, something his heart can’t ignore…

Q&A with LINDA LAEL MILLER

I am so thrilled to have author Linda Lael Miller stop by today!

Q: In THE MARRIAGE CHARM, Melody Nolan falls in love with Chief of Police, Spence Hogan. Spence has a reputation that he’ll never settle down. Is his reputation deserved? And just what is it about Melody that has grabbed the attention of womanizer Spence Hogan?

A: Spence has actually cultivated his reputation as a player, in order to avoid settling down, and it’s served him well—until now.  He and Melody were in love, years before, but the time wasn’t right for marriage; Spence knew that, but Melody didn’t.  Now, following their mutual friends’ romantic wedding, the old attraction is back.

Q: Female friendships play an important role in THE MARRIAGE CHARM. Do you have female friends that support you the way Hadleigh and Bex support Melody?

A: Oh, yes.  I have a number of very close female friends, people I can confide in, and most of them go way back.  I wouldn’t know what to do without these strong, smart, funny women.  Through all the ups and downs, we’ve always been there for each other.

Q: Melody is a talented jewelry designer and her pieces sound absolutely gorgeous in the book! Did you do research on jewelry design and jewelry making before writing the scenes where she’s working on some of her creations?

A: Some research, yes.  I’m an artist myself, and I love beautiful jewelry, so this career made sense for Melody.

Q: There’s some real danger—and mystery—in THE MARRIAGE CHARM. How did you decide to work suspense into this story? Was it always a natural part of the plot or did you want there to be some mystery involved?

A: Sometimes an element of suspense fits the story and characters, and I decide to go with it. 

 

About the Author:

As the daughter of a town marshal, Linda has come home to the western lifestyle that gave birth to one of today’s most successful authors. She left Washington years ago and pursued her wanderlust, living in Arizona and London and traveling the world. Now the author of more than 100 novels, the “First Lady of the West” is glad to be back home, writing contemporary and historical stories that have earned her awards and placements on all the national bestsellers lists.
Linda traces the birth of her writing career to the day when a Northport teacher told her that the stories she was writing were good, that she just might have a future in writing. Later, when she decided to write novels, she endured her share of rejection before she sold FLETCHER’S WOMAN in 1983 to Pocket Books. Since then, Linda has successfully published historicals, contemporaries, paranormals, and thrillers before coming home, in a literal sense, and concentrating on novels with a Western flavor. For her devotion to her craft, the Romance Writers of America awarded her their prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

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Review and Giveaway: THE MARRIAGE CHARM by Linda Lael Miller

9780373778928.indd

THE MARRIAGE CHARM by Linda Lael Miller

Published: February 1st 2015

Purchase: Amazon

Add to Goodreads

It’s Melody Nolan’s turn to find love. Melody has recently found success as a jewelry designer, and her work is the focus of her life. She’s not exactly unhappy, but she wants more. She’s always been attracted to Spence Hogan, the local chief of police, but she’s convinced that Spence, a notorious charmer, isn’t what you’d call husband material.

Spence is a good cop who isn’t scared of anything—except love. And he’s done everything he can to preserve his reputation as a womanizer—a reputation that keeps marriage-minded women, including Melody, at bay. And yet…there’s something about Melody he can’t forget, something his heart can’t ignore…

Review:

I started reading The Marriage Charm when I was in a reading slump. For the past several weeks I have just not been interested in reading. This is awful, I always want to read. It is a joke around my house that my Kindle is attached to me because I am never without it. Yet here is am, having no desire to read.

I started reading and the next thing I know I was heavily involved in the story. I became interested in Melody and her jewelry business and in her relationship with Spence. I couldn’t wait to see how everything played out.

By the time I had finished reading my reading slump was over and I was once again myself! I am really thankful that this sweet and enjoyable romance helped me become myself again.

The Marriage Charm is the second book in the The Brides of Bliss County series. I highly recommend it; it is a good book to snuggle with. I am so very much looking forward to the next book, The Marriage Season, when it comes out May 2015.

 

About the Author:

As the daughter of a town marshal, Linda has come home to the western lifestyle that gave birth to one of today’s most successful authors. She left Washington years ago and pursued her wanderlust, living in Arizona and London and traveling the world. Now the author of more than 100 novels, the “First Lady of the West” is glad to be back home, writing contemporary and historical stories that have earned her awards and placements on all the national bestsellers lists.
Linda traces the birth of her writing career to the day when a Northport teacher told her that the stories she was writing were good, that she just might have a future in writing. Later, when she decided to write novels, she endured her share of rejection before she sold FLETCHER’S WOMAN in 1983 to Pocket Books. Since then, Linda has successfully published historicals, contemporaries, paranormals, and thrillers before coming home, in a literal sense, and concentrating on novels with a Western flavor. For her devotion to her craft, the Romance Writers of America awarded her their prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

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Giveaway: Stupid Boy by Cindy Miles

 

Title: Stupid Boy
Author: Cindy Miles
Series: Stupid in Love #2
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

From Cindy Miles, bestselling new adult author of STUPID GIRL, comes the next installment of her blockbuster Stupid in Love series – STUPID BOY.

Brax Jenkins and Olivia Beaumont are the most envied couple at Winston University—but the so-called “virginity dare,” orchestrated by Brax’s old fraternity, almost tore them apart. Now, a new dare is taking shape, and it’s sure to set emotions ablaze–more than ever before.

Winston’s “It Girl” Harper Belle isn’t just president of the Deltas–she’s also a master at keeping her ugly past a secret. So, when the Kappas’ dare hits closer to home for her more than anyone realizes, she devises a competition of her own as payback. Three sorority sisters will seek out a notorious womanizer on campus and–unbeknownst their “mark”–secretly train him to be the perfect boyfriend. Always up for a challenge, Harper targets the biggest player she can find: Brax’s wickedly handsome foster brother Kane McCarthy.

But, Harper discovers there’s much more to Kane than girls, games, and partying. His easy smile belies the quiet, old soul reflected in his deep brown eyes. All it takes is one night, one secret laid bare, and one kiss from Kane to shift Harper’s world on its axis. Suddenly, the girl who’s always walked a straight and narrow path can’t think of anything else except losing control.

 
 
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Excerpt

By the time I’d finished a very poor attempt at studying for an Art test and exited the library, the tell-tale signs of pending dusk had crept onto Winston’s manicured campus. The early November air felt crisp against my cheeks as it whisked through, rustling the leaves and sending several pirouetting to the ground to land in scattered colors on the grass like some strange abstract stained glass. Knowing darkness would soon swallow everything, I hurried to the campus coffee house and café that stayed open until midnight. Inside, students sat at tables studying, their laptops open, the light illuminating their faces and coffee cups by their sides. As I took my place in line I selected my usual pre-packaged turkey sandwich and a bottle of lemonade and stood, waiting to pay.
 
    “That’s all you’re eating?”
 
    I jumped at the voice behind me and turned to find Kane there. Instantly, my insides froze. He gazed down at me, his hands shoved into his pockets, those broad shoulders sort of hunching toward me, almost…cornering me; his eyes as worn and soft as the leather jacket he wore.
 
    “Um, yes,” I answered. I gave a hesitant smile. “Not very hungry, I guess.” What was he doing here? Suddenly I felt closed in—a feeling I avoided at all costs.
 
    “So what’s good here?” he asked. His Boston accent was heavy and void of the letter r, just like Brax’s, only…softer. Quiet. The kind of voice that you had to pay close attention to or else you’d miss what they were saying completely.
 
    I couldn’t believe he was talking to me. I shrugged, pretended he didn’t bother me, and held up my sandwich. “Turkey?”
 
    He said nothing as he lifted three turkey sandwiches from the cooler; his smoky gaze remained riveted to mine. Then, he bent his head close. “Kane McCarthy.”
 
    I looked at him then, taken back by how his voice washed over me and made my skin tingle. I forced myself to breathe; I wasn’t used to being in this kind of situation. Guys just didn’t go out of their way to talk to me. I made sure of it. But I didn’t balk. I mean, after all—Kane was my potential reformation Dare. Right? Murphy’s words rushed back to me. Reform the barmy beast! I breathed. Smiled. Pretended. “Harper Belle.”
 
    Again, his eyes softened, and as we stepped up to the cashier he gave her a nod and inclined his head toward me. Before I could say a word, the cashier had rung our orders up together, and Kane handed her a twenty.
 
    I looked at him, embarrassed. “Oh no, really, that’s okay, you don’t have to—”
 
    Kane’s eyes moved over me. “Yeah,” he said quietly. “I do.”
 
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About Cindy
National bestselling author Cindy Miles writes edgy romance, ranging from contemporary love stories to sexy paranormals. A native of southern coastal Georgia, she loves reading (naturally), baking swoon-worthy desserts, traveling abroad, yoga, and classic rock. The cover for her upcoming New Adult romance, STUPID GIRL, was featured on USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog. In the novel, a volatile mix of bad boys, sassy smart girls, dark secrets, and red-hot romance add up to one wild ride through college.
Hang out with Cindy on her Facebook fan page at: https://www.facebook.com/officialcindymilesfanpage
Or check out her website: http://www.cindy-miles.com/
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Excerpt: More Heated Pleasures by Candy Caine

 
 
 
More Heated Pleasures from popular author, Candy Caine. This collection of red-hot interracial romances features brand new stories…
 
Forever on My Mind—Feeling betrayed by her best friend and the love of her life, Tim, Brianna strives to overcome her heartbreak with nothing but casual sexual relationships. But when Tim comes back into her life years later, can she deny the heat, the passion, the tenderness she experiences at the sinfully skillful hands of the only man she’s ever loved?
 
Staying Focused—Darla’s photography profession exposes her to some of the hunkiest  male models in Manhattan. And when one hazel-eyed sex magnet begins to haunt her dreams, she can’t resist living out her fantasy when he boards the same deserted subway car she takes home late one evening…
 
Afternoon Delight—What the postman sees Mabel do every afternoon on his delivery route makes him decide to deliver more than letters to her…
 
Sleeping With the Boss—Fantasizing about her boss leads Bethany to a mind-blowing interlude with the tall, handsome man. Imagine her shock when her gorgeous, blue-eyed husband later whispers, “I know what you did today,” and begins to make passionate love to her… 

The Dinner Party—Trapped in an elevator for two hours with a sexy stranger, makes this Ann’s most unforgettable ride….
 
“…Candy Caine once again hits the right erotic sweet spots…” Cynthia White, author of Awakened Desire.

 
Excerpt from Afternoon Delight        
 
As Mabel’s computer booted, she gloried in the beautiful spring day. A squirrel dropped from a tree and scurried away. Her attention swung back to her computer screen. She reread the beginning of the chapter where she’d stopped writing the day before and thought for several minutes about where she wanted to go with the story. Her threesome had been getting it on and she needed to finish the scene.
          In her fertile mind, she choreographed her characters having one woman ride the man’s hard dick, as the other woman lowered her body so that her pussy was over his face. She pictured them doing this for several minutes before one or both of them climaxed and then they shifted position. She felt as if she was some kind of benevolent goddess who bestowed pleasurable favors on her characters. Like Matthew said: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them…” Then she grinned like a Cheshire Cat.
          Mabel stories were so hot that she became horny. After all, how could she not get involved, especially when her characters were scorching their sheets? She always tried to write at least a thousand words a day, but usually stopped when she realized her concentration was wavering. That’s when she usually rewarded herself with her own little fuck fest.
          She rose and took off her robe. Gathering her sex toys, which consisted of vibrators and rubber cocks, she made herself comfortable on her day bed. What she was about to do could also be listed under the term research, for she had the mirror set strategically across from the bed so she could watch herself.
          Already creaming, Mabel knew she’d come quickly, but wanted to keep her orgasm at bay as long as she could. Picturing her characters in her mind, she walked her fingers through her ample black bush. With two fingers she spread her pussy lips apart, noting how wet and lubricated it was. Slowly, she began to stroke her already engorged clit. “Oh, yees,” she said, closing her eyes. She fanned and gently twisted each of her nipples as she began to rub her pleasure nub.
          Pushing one of her rubber cocks inside of her steaming opening, she felt herself being consumed by the pleasure and knew she was close. Taking her vibrator, she pressed it up against the base of her clit as she continued to pump herself with the cock. Within seconds, pleasure radiated from her pussy to all parts of her body as she came and kept on coming.
          While Mabel was enjoying herself, the postman came to deliver a registered letter, which required her signature. After knocking on the front door without getting an answer, he walked around to the back door and stopped dead in his tracks.
          Through the glass-enclosed sunroom he saw Mabel pleasuring herself. She couldn’t see him from where he was standing, but he could surely see her in all her glory. With a twitching
prick pushing hard against the confines of his pants, he looked around realizing how secluded they were. His broad face broke into a huge smile.
          He freed his tool and slid his fingers around its thickened shaft. Precum glistened on his fleshy head as he began to stroke, never taking his eyes off of Mabel. The excitement of masturbating in the open like that caused his breath to quicken as he beat his meat faster. He turned and shot his wad into the bushes. Then he left, having to come back for her signature the following day.
          The following day started out just like the day before. Mabel rose, took her leisurely shower, had breakfast and went to write in her sunroom. Again, she reviewed what she had written the day before and made a few corrections before continuing on. And just like yesterday, when she became horny, she stopped writing and took out her toys.
          It was about that time when the mail truck pulled to the curb in front of Mabel’s house. The postman took the registered letter from his mail sack and got out of his truck. He went up her front walk and knocked on her door. He smiled when she didn’t answer. Was it possible for a replay of yesterday? He pondered this thought with a great deal of anticipation as he strolled to the back of her house.,,
 
 
PRAISE FOR CANDY CAINE

For Your Love ★★★★★
“What would you do and how far would you go for love? With great wit, twists and turns, a cast of well-crafted characters you’ll want to cheer for, (and some you won’t), Candy Caine’s delightful story asksand answers this age-old question.” —Niambi Brown Davis, Author of Sanctuary

For Your Love ★★★★★
A sexy, fabulous read. I couldn’t put it down. I was disappointed that the book ended when it did. I could have read on.” —Bertrice Small, Best-selling author of Skye O’Malley



Whether she’s writing a short story or novel, Candy Caine will make her interracial romances hot and spicy. Always striving to entertain her readers, Candy tries to breathe life into her characters, making life often interesting for her husband, Robert back in their home on Long Island, NY. And both are trying to teach their fifteen-year old yellow Lab, Sammy, new tricks.
 
Candy loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at candy@candycaine.com.
 
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Excerpt: Sophia’s Secret by Julie Ryan

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Sophia’s Secret by Julie Ryan

Sophia’s Secret  www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LFJGCWA

jenna’s Journey  www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EXDPZD2

Synopsis:

This is the second book in the Greek Island Mystery series. Although each book is intended to be read as a standalone, some of the characters from the first book, ‘Jennas’s Journey’, do make an appearance.

Kat has never understood why she was sent at the age of seven from Greece to live in England with her Aunt Tigi. When she receives an email from her grandmother, the first contact in over twenty years, informing her of her mother’s death, she knows this could be her last chance to find out the truth. Little by little she finds out the shocking facts as her grandmother opens her heart. It seems everyone has a secret to tell, not only her grandmother, as Manoli, her school friend, also harbours a guilty secret. Then there’s a twenty year old mystery to solve as well as a murder and what happened to the missing Church treasure?

Excerpt:

The boy knew he shouldn’t be out so late on his own but a dare was a dare! His best friend, Vasilli, had dared him to meet up at midnight in their den in the woods. He’d been so excited he could barely sleep. His mother had come to tuck him in—not that a boy of nearly eight needed tucking in he’d reminded her as they went through the usual nightly ritual.

“Night night.”

“Sleep tight, mind the bugs don’t bite.”

Then when she’d gone, he forced himself to stay awake until he heard his parents come back up the stairs to their room. He waited for the light to go out and gave it a few more minutes to be on the safe side. The luminous watch that he’d asked for on last birthday was showing nearly 11.30. There would be plenty of time to get there. He peered out of his bedroom window. It was dark out. There were no streetlights in his village. It was lucky that he’d remembered to pack a torch. He crept silently down the stairs, careful not to wake either his parents or the sleeping twins, put a jacket on over his pyjamas, slipped his trainers on and spying the fruit bowl on the table, put a couple of apples in his pocket in case he got hungry.

The gang had built the den during the long summer holidays when they were allowed to play out until late provided that they told an adult where they were. This was different. The summer had given way to autumn and there was a chill in the night air. He wrapped his arms round himself for extra warmth or maybe just to give himself courage. He thought fleetingly of turning back but he knew he wouldn’t be able to stand Vasilli’s taunts of ‘chicken’ the next day. All he had to do, he reminded himself, was cut through the woods at the back of his house and meet his friend in the den. Just then, as if giving him a signal, the moon came out from behind the clouds illuminating the woodland path. He set off at a run, not wanting to be late. Once he reached the safety of the den, they’d have a good laugh about what a great game it had been.

An owl hooted in the branches above him almost scaring him silly. It felt so different at night. Every sound was magnified a thousand times, making him alert to every eerie sound. Little creatures scurrying around made the leaves underfoot rustle. Twice now he’d thought he heard someone following him but when he stopped there was no one. Only a few more metres to go and he’d be safe.

Not wanting to cut through the churchyard, he kept to the wall until he reached the woods. The moonlight showed him the den, just as he’d left it. He rushed inside, breathing heavily, surprised to see that Vasilli hadn’t arrived yet. He glanced at his watch. It was only 11.54. He decided to wait no more than ten minutes and then he was going home. His father would give him a right talking to if he got caught. He’d probably be grounded for weeks. It never crossed his mind that his friend wasn’t coming. He settled himself into the snugness of the den to wait. At least it was warmer in here, out of the wind.

He woke up suddenly, surprised that he’d fallen asleep. There were footsteps just outside the den: Vasilli must have been held up. He was about to shout to him but thought he’d surprise him instead by shouting ‘boo’ as he crawled through the entrance. The footsteps stopped and he heard a scraping noise. He peered into the darkness but couldn’t make out what his friend was doing. Then the moonlight clearly showed him that whoever it was, he was far too tall for his friend. It was a man with a spade. He could hear the soft earth plop onto the ground as he dug a hole. Suddenly the den smelt of fresh earth and vegetation. He hoped the man wasn’t going to be long. He was in enough trouble already. The moon disappeared and it was dark again, totally silent now except for the sound of the spade on the damp earth. He’d wanted an adventure but suddenly an adventure on your own wasn’t nearly so much fun. He wondered what the man was doing. Maybe he was burying treasure. They could come back tomorrow and dig it up. That would be fun. He knew though that he shouldn’t be here and was afraid. What if the man caught him and told his parents? His heart was thumping so loudly he was sure the man could hear him but the spade just continued to thwack as the soil was lifted. It seemed like hours but his watch showed it was 1.10am. When the moon came out again he saw the man lift something big and heavy into the hole and start to cover it up. Now he knew he had to remain totally silent or else he’d end up in the hole too no doubt! He had a horrible thought that perhaps instead of treasure, the man was burying a body. At any rate it certainly didn’t look like treasure. Why was he out here in the woods at this time? He couldn’t be up to any good? Just then the man trampled down the earth so that it wouldn’t leave a trace just as the moon slid out from the shadows. The boy realized with a jolt that he knew the man. Fear trickled through his body, just as he lost control and wet himself. Hot urine trickled down his leg, turning cold seconds later. He didn’t consider the trouble he’d be in for wetting his pajamas, right now he just wanted to be anywhere else but in the middle of the woods with a murderer for company. He was tired, cold and wet. He watched the man leave and when he was sure it was safe, he ran all the way home. He was relieved that his parents hadn’t missed him. He half expected all the lights to be on and his father standing in the middle of the living room asking him where the hell he’d been. Instead there was a gentle snoring noise coming from the bedroom. Luckily the twins hadn’t woken his parents up while he’d been out. He quickly changed into clean pjs. He’d admit to wetting himself in the morning but that was all. He crept into bed and fell asleep straight away but somehow his mother’s words kept playing on his mind over and over again. ‘Mind the bugs don’t bite.’ He dreamt of bugs covering him but instead of a bug’s face, he saw the man in the woods. He was to dream the same dream time and time again.

PART ONE

Chapter 1

They say you should never go back to a place where you were once happy, not unless you are prepared to be disappointed. As she surveyed the all too familiar island from the deck, Kat wished she’d heeded that advice. The beautiful cove where they’d played as children was now home to a luxury hotel—the azure blue waters of the infinity pool glinting in the sun. ‘Why on earth had she come back?’ she asked herself. She knew that it would only lead to more heartbreak, yet after all this time she had finally been unable to resist the pull of her homeland.

“Is that it?” Asked an excited voice next to her.

“Yes darling, that’s where mama grew up. If you look carefully, you can just make out the house where I used to live when I was your age. It’s at the top of the hill. Can you see it yet? The little house painted yellow. It’s called ‘To spiti lemoni.’”

“I see it, I see it,” replied Izzy jumping up and down.

Looking at her daughter’s face flushed with youthful exuberance, Kat felt a tug of nostalgia for that innocent time. She put her arms round her daughter and hugged her close, wanting to protect her from anything that might harm her.

“When’s daddy coming?” Izzy asked out of the blue.

“You know he has to work, sweetie. This is going to be our little adventure, okay?”

“But I’m going to miss him sooooo much.”

Luckily before Kat could think of anything else to say, they were caught up in the swell of passengers disembarking. Pushing their way past dithering tourists trying to get their bearings, they set off up the hill towards the lemon house. Luckily they hadn’t brought much luggage, just a bag with a couple of changes of clothes each, swimming things, underwear and a few toiletries. Anything else that they needed she figured they could buy on the island. They wouldn’t need much as she didn’t intend to stay for long. She’d planned on being away for a week, two at the most depending on how long the formalities were going to take. Izzy had her own backpack with her DS in it. She’d virtually refused to come away without it and Kat could empathize with that because she felt the same about her Kindle, which went everywhere with her. She knew she gave into her daughter far too much but she could honestly say she wasn’t a spoilt brat like some of the other kids in her class and that was down to her. She could hardly give Robert any credit for his daughter’s upbringing, as he was never there.

The email had pinged into her ‘in’ box just as she and Robert hit a really bad patch. They’d been arguing more and more recently. She knew he worked hard but he didn’t appreciate that she worked too as well as looking after their daughter and the house. It seemed that lately more and more was left to her and when they did speak it was just to complain about each other. She was fed up with his long hours and lack of family time; he complained that she was never satisfied. Then the email from Greece had arrived informing her of her mother’s death. For the rest of the day, she’d put it to the back of her mind. After all, she hadn’t seen her in years so she could hardly play the grief-stricken daughter. Then that evening over dinner she’d mentioned it to Rob and his sense of duty had insisted that she go and pay her respects. Of course, his work responsibilities didn’t extend to him accompanying her and with nobody to look after Izzy she’d almost turned it into a holiday, pushing the real reason why she was here to the back of her mind.

The sun was blazing and already she could feel a trickle of sweat run down her neck into the crevices of her shoulders. They stopped at the periptero, which had expanded from the tiny kiosk that she remembered into what looked almost like a shop with awnings and freezers taking up most of the outside space. She had to face up to the villagers at some point she reasoned and this seemed as good a place as any. Achilles had barely changed at all. As a child she’d thought he was old but back then he couldn’t have been more than forty-five. Now, he must be nearly seventy but she recognized the weather beaten features and the kind eyes. Steeling herself, she spoke to him in Greek remembered from years past.

“Two ice-creams please.”

Achilles looked up from the newspaper he was reading,

“You’re back then? We weren’t sure if you’d come or not.” He said.

For a second she wondered how he could possibly recognize her after all this time. Then she looked down at her daughter who was the spitting image of her at the same age. She knew that whatever she said would be all round the village in a matter of minutes. Achilles would take great pleasure in passing the news on to all his customers and soon everyone would know that Pelagia’s daughter was back for the funeral. There was a pause as neither knew what else to say until finally, remembering the circumstances under which she’d returned, Achilles waved away her offer of a ten euro note and said the ice-creams were on the house. Before he could ask any more questions they moved up the hill and sat on a low-whitewashed wall to eat their ice creams. Looking around her, Kat thought that this part of the village had changed very little. She still recognized most of the houses although some had evidently been sold and tarted up as holiday homes. Where the roofs had once held spare water tanks in case of drought and solar panels for the hot water, now they were proper roof terraces with sun loungers and patio furniture catering to the needs of tourists. The traditional donkeys that she remembered from her childhood had long gone, as the islanders’ wealth had improved. Now you had to be wary of young men riding mopeds and scooters instead. It felt strange to be in a place that was so familiar, yet to always be the outsider. It was strange too how she never quite felt English in England yet she’d been away so long she no longer felt Greek either. Even her name was neither one thing nor the other. She’d changed it from her birth name of Ekaterina to Kat when she’d realized that nobody in her class could pronounce such a mouthful. It wasn’t quite English either as she hadn’t liked to be called Katie. Perhaps she really should have trusted her instincts though and stayed at home. She’d only come because Robert insisted. It was almost as if he had an ulterior motive. She pushed that thought to the back of her mind too. Now she really was becoming paranoid. Maybe that’s what returning to the island did to you?

Soon they reached the top of the hill and the lemon house, pausing only to take in the tremendous view that she recalled so vividly. On a clear day you could see all the way across to the mainland. It was a view that no camera could quite capture. Its exquisite beauty refused to be pinned down. Maybe it wasn’t so bad to be back, after all?

Out of a childhood habit she automatically felt under the terracotta pot where her mother had always hidden the door key. Nothing! She couldn’t believe she’d come all this way to be refused entry to her own childhood home. Her emotions were running high but she knew she couldn’t let the tears fall, especially not in front of Izzy. She thought that if she started crying, she would probably never stop. Then the door opened and her grandmother said.

“I heard you were back. You’d better come in.”

Achilles’ early warning system had worked faster than even she could have anticipated.

“I got a text from Achilles in case you were wondering.”

Kat marvelled inwardly at how well her grandmother could read her mind but then that was something she’d always been good at. Somehow though she hadn’t associated mobile phones with her grandmother and wondered if she was being unreasonably ageist or if it was because the way she remembered the island was before the advance of technology.

About the Author:

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Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and two cats, a rescue cat and a dippy cat with half a tail. She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance, as she can’t bear to get rid of any! They have been attempting to renovate their home for the last ten years.

She is the author of two novels set in Greece, “Jenna’s Journey” and “Sophia’s Secret” both part of the Greek Island Mystery series. She is currently working on a third book, ‘Pandora’s Prophecy.” She considers Greece to be her spiritual home and visits as often as she can. This series was inspired by her desire to return to Crete although there is a strong pull to revisit the Cyclades too.

 

Twitter  @julieryan18

Facebook  www.facebook.com/Julieryanauthor

Blog  www.allthingsbookie.com

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Release Day: Dare to Love Kindle Worlds

release day

Carly Phillips – Dare to Love Kindle Worlds Release

New York Times bestselling author, Carly Phillips has licensed her Dare to Love world to Amazon so that other authors can bring you stories that are extensions of her DARE TO LOVE world. You’ll see familiar faces, maybe even characters you met on my pages and wondered what happened to them.

As the world is licensed to Amazon, the books are available on Amazon only. If you aren’t a Kindle user, no worries! You can still read the stories on the FREE Kindle APP that you can download on your computer, smart phone or tablet. Check out the 9 books releasing today below!

Hot Dare – Avery Flynn

He shows some of his best moves off the field.

Hell is a Miami Thunder fan cruise to the Bahamas—at least, that’s how Colt “45” Butler sees it. But with his job as the team’s starting linebacker in question, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to prove he’s a team player. Plus, the prospect of having his one-night Vegas fling, Angie Diaz, as his VIP liaison for the cruise just might make the whole ordeal tolerable. All he needs it to get her back in his bed for some Vegas-rules fun on the high seas. 

Cheap wine and expensive ice cream, that’s how anyone fool enough to get involved with a Thunder football player always drowns their sorrows after getting dumped. Angie Diaz isn’t about to become one of the many—no matter how close she got to the look-but-don’t-touch line with the hot linebacker. Mixing business and pleasure with Colt is one dare her heart can’t afford to take…but being with him day and night is making is a dare she can’t resist.

Dare Me – Kelly Jamieson

Love hurts…even when you don’t believe in it…
Interior designer Micki Arnott is anticipating her boyfriend’s marriage proposal with excitement. She and prominent businessman Garrett Caulfield have been seeing each other for over a year and they’re in love. Okay, maybe Garrett hasn’t actually said those three little words, but Micki knows he feels them. But instead of a diamond ring, Garrett hands her a contract…
Garrett wants Micki to move in with him, to commit to him and only him, but he doesn’t believe in love and marriage. After watching his parents cheat and hurt each other all while proclaiming their love, that’s not what he wants his life to be. A contract seems like the perfect way to make sure he and Micki both understand the parameters of their relationship.
When Micki throws Garrett’s contract in his face and tells him to never call her again, he’s shocked and confused. He’s not a quitter, but he’s not going to fight with Micki like his parents did. Micki knows she’s doing the right thing—she deserves to be loved and isn’t going to waste her life on a man who doesn’t even believe in love. Garrett blames his misery on too much scotch…but what if that pain isn’t really the mother of all hangovers…what if it’s…love?

Truth or Dare – Allie K Adams

From the USA Today bestselling author of the Roadhouse series…

He truthfully believes he’s better off alone. She challenges him to live up to the Dare family name.

Adam Dare has never asked for anything from his biological father. Robert Dare lives in Florida with not one but two families. While the rest of his half brothers and sisters grew up surrounded by family and eating from a silver spoon, Adam was an only child in Montana, living off the land and struggling to survive. Now a respected vet with his own practice, he’s facing an insurmountable task, one where he needs all the help he can get. Discovering a pretty, yet troublesome stowaway in the bed of his truck only adds to the mounting chaos. Adam doesn’t have time to deal with her during branding season, yet can’t deny the overwhelming draw to her. A litter of Dares are on their way to the luxury ranch he’s working at, and he can’t afford any distractions—especially one with golden blonde hair and pretty cornflower blue eyes.

Amber Bigsby has lived on her own since the day after graduating from high school. After a disastrous date takes a dangerous turn, she hides in a pile of hay in the back of a truck, only to awaken to find herself at a ranch in Montana, searching for the cowboy who saved her. When she spots Adam, she’s drawn to him to like a moth to a flame. Discovering he’s a Dare has her torn between running away and giving in to temptation. Maybe it’s time to play a little truth or dare…

If she wins, he’s forced to face what it means to be a Dare. If he wins, the truth comes out. The two may not be exclusive. All bets are off when love is on the line, especially when playing…

TRUTH OR DARE

This story can be enjoyed without prior knowledge of the “Dare to Love” world created by Carly Phillips. However, it’s best served with a healthy dose of the other Dare stories on sale now. 

I Dare You – Leslie Kelly

A Leslie Kelly story set in New York Times Bestselling Author Carly Phillips’ “Dare To Love” Kindle World!
Marcus “Big” Bigsby is retiring after a successful NFL career, ready for a quiet, simple life on a ranch in Oklahoma. But his plan to forget the past is rocked when he comes face-to-face with his high school dreamgirl, the one who got away…the one he never forgot.
Blair Tremaine has heard Marcus is living in tiny little Caribou, but she’s done her best to avoid him. She’d been crazy about him in high school, but they’d always seemed miles apart–her the bookish rich girl, him the football-playing farmboy.
Now they’re thrown together again, and this time nothing will stop them from finally getting what they’ve always wanted: each other!

Daring Masquerade – Alannah Lynne

When a hired heartbreaker falls for her target, both their hearts are at risk…
For the past five years, Becca Irving (aka Carmella Jones, aka Karma) has worked as a
hired heartbreaker, seeking revenge and justice against men who thoughtlessly hurt the
women who love them. She expects her next mark to be just as callous, but Jon isn’t
her typical target. He’s a good man with a loving nature and dominant streak that
crushes her walls and tempts her into believing love can be real and lasting.
From the moment he lays eyes on the beguiling redhead, Jonathon Ridgeway is
hooked. When a sensuous dance leads to an erotic weekend aboard his boat, he
realizes he needs more than a brief affair with the complex and tantalizing woman.
But neither Jon nor Becca are who—or what—they seem. Will he be able to forgive her
past actions? Can she overlook his? Or will they both be left brokenhearted by the
secrets of their past?

Daring Attraction – Melanie Shawn

When it came to star athletes, it didn’t get any hotter than Cole Carson. The starting quarterback for the Miami Thunder had game both on and off the field. But when he met Julianna, he knew that he’d have to bring more than just the status quo to the stunning, single mom’s already-hectic life if he had a chance of winning her heart.

Life had tackled Julianna Perez with some pretty harsh hits, but she’d take them and more if it meant providing her ten-year-old with a safe and stable environment. Living by her to-do lists and focusing on Anthony’s needs, the breathtakingly beautiful single mother never acknowledged her own until they were brought to the surface by a sexy football player.

A commanding captain on the football field, Cole knew how to take the lead in every situation and he wanted to be the solution and more for his newfound love. But will he be able to navigate through the complexities and realities of being with a single mom, no matter how badly he wants to right her world? Will Julianna trust Cole enough to let him into the stable life she created and protected for Anthony and for herself?

With love on the line, Cole and Julianna will both be forced out of their comfort zones in…Daring Attraction

Dare Me Once – Marquita Valentine

All police detective, Bryce Sinclair, wants is two weeks away from it all, and his grandparents’ cottage on the Chesapeake Bay shore fits the bill. A fridge full of beer and blue crabs is all he needs. Though, the hot, little waitress at the pier would be a welcome addition. He’s not looking for forever, just a good time.

Kayla White doesn’t have time for tourists who try to buy her personal time instead of her award winning crab cakes. She’s too busy trying to start over after the last man stole her heart…and cleaned out her bank account. But, when a sexy, smooth talking stranger catches her attention, will she dare take a chance on him?

The Billionaire’s Dare – Lauren Hawkeye

THIS IS A NEW STORY FROM CARLY PHILLIPS’ DARE TO LOVE SERIES VIA KINDLE WORLDS.

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren Hawkeye/ Lauren Jameson…

What happens in New York…
Evangeline Wyatt, the brand new “team behaviour manager” for Miami Thunder, doesn’t have time for a relationship. At least, that’s what she’s told herself since being burned by one of the Thunder’s biggest playboys. It’s the height of humiliation when she finds herself stuck accompanying said ex to a New York kink club to keep him out of the tabloids. But when she meets a sexy, slightly familiar looking stranger with whom chemistry instantly sparks, she finds herself letting go… only to be reminded why her rules were there in the first place.
Nick Aitken is the star rookie of the New York Vikings, a team with a longstanding rivalry against Miami Thunder. At first he approaches the admittedly delectable woman only because she’s with one of his biggest opponents. But what ignites between them is more than he can resist…
Evangeline is certain that they’re all wrong for one another. Nick’s not so sure. But he’ll do anything for a second taste…
Anything. “Evangeline, I dare you…”

Daring the Player – Robin Covington

Raised by a pro football legend, Miami Thunder wide receiver Rep Grissom has a career most would envy.  A toxic marriage with a party girl almost put him on the sidelines, but now he keeps his head down and makes the moves on the field that leave younger players in his dust. Now all he has to do is maintain the status quo and he’s guaranteed a lucrative new contract at an age when most guys are retiring.

Lola Corbin is used to leaving all the big boys in her rearview mirror. The lead singer in the worlds biggest rock band she fills up arenas and closes down the clubs but with the group on the brink of breaking apart her future is uncertain. Years spent on the road has left her with nothing at home except platinum records on the walls, an empty fridge and a cold bed. For the first time, she’s looking for something and someone beyond the spotlight.

When Lola’s first night in her condo ends with Rep breaking up a fight he realizes that temptation has moved in next door. Lola doesn’t usually go for the strong and serious type, but the more she sees of her neighbor, the more she wants. When a thank you dinner turns into dancing and a hot tryst in the back of the club their attraction cannot be denied. But when Lola-induced trouble results in a front-page-career-ending spectacle the player must decide if he’s going to be as daring with his heart as he is on the field.

Buy links:

 

Kelly Jamieson

Dare Me

http://amzn.to/1ul5ojR

 

Avery Flynn

Hot Dare

http://amzn.to/1xrcjDA

 

Allie K Adams

Truth or Dare

http://amzn.to/1CISwDo

 

Melanie Shawn

Daring Attraction

http://amzn.to/1CISBXx

 

Robin Covington

Daring the Player

http://amzn.to/1KWJGHP

 

Alannah Lynne

Daring Masquerade

http://amzn.to/1ul5W9r

 

Leslie Kelly

I Dare You

http://amzn.to/1CuyuvS

 

Marquita Valentine

Dare Me Once

http://amzn.to/1yCrZtz

 

Lauren Hawkeye

The Billionaire’s Dare

COMING SOON!*

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Review: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost

First Frost (Waverley Family #2) by Sarah Addison Allen

Published: January 20th 2015

Purchase: Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis:

A magical new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Lost Lake, featuring characters from her beloved novel Garden Spells.

Autumn has finally arrived in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina, heralded by a strange old man appearing with a beat-up suitcase. He has stories to tell, stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever…

Review:

Several years ago I came across a book in my favorite used book store called Garden Spells. It was on clearance and since the title intrigued me I picked it up and read the back cover. What I read there sealed the deal and I purchased it that day. When I finally sat down and read I was immediately taken into a special world that left me with such wonderful feelings and instantly I became a fan of the author.

First Frost is the second book in the Waverley Family series. It immediately brought me back to those wonderful feeling I had when I read Garden Spells. I was able to snuggle on the couch and ignore the world around me as I became involved in Claire, Sydney and Bay’s lives. I really wish I could slip into their world and see the apple tree for myself.

This series is a must read series for anyone I know. I have recommended Garden Spells to so many people and I now happily add First Frost to that very short list of well-loved books.

(This book was received as an ARC from the author/publisher in exchanged for an honest review.)

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