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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dreams Collide

Title: Dreams Collide
Series: Collide Series #2
Author: Kristina Beck
Genre: Contemporary Romance (Standalone)
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Tina craves adventure, food, and her new client, restaurant owner Gerry. At sixteen, Tina was full of energy, fearless, and desperate to get out of New Jersey. But her dreams shattered when her mother died tragically. She was thrust into the role of mothering her family while hiding the horrible truth of that day.
Now that Tina feels she’s paid her penance, she wants to rediscover the ambitious girl she used to be. With her new dream job and a move to Hoboken, it’s her time to spread her wings. Tina’s first client is a restaurant owner who tempts her—not only with food but with himself. She’d felt this kind of attraction only once before in college and is flooded with memories of an unforgettable kiss. One of her biggest regrets.
Gerry desires anonymity, a new life, and the beautiful website designer Tina. 
Gerry fled Germany to escape the destruction of his reputation. After months of staying under the radar, he opens a restaurant in New York City. When he hires a website design firm, Gerry finds himself working closely with Tina—whom he had a taste of years ago and now finds a sweet indulgence.
Even as they admit their attraction to each other, an unexpected circumstance threatens to separate them again. Will their love be strong enough to give up their dreams? Or will someone be left behind?
     “No complaints from me. You look good, but I don’t know how you stay fit when you’re surrounded by food all day.” I gesture with my hand toward his body.

     “You love food and have a great body.”
     “Excuse me.” I point my finger back and forth between us. “Just friends, remember?”
     “What? You just said the same to me. Friends can’t say that?”
     A boat passes us a little too closely, and I say to the couple, “We’re just friends.”
     “It doesn’t look like it to me,” the woman says. She winks at Gerry.
     He stops rowing. “Oh. I’m sorry. Should I have said you’re as hot as the chili in the ├ęclair you ate? Or as hot as the Sahara Desert? Or so hot that I’m counting the days on the calendar until my hands and lips can burn on your bare skin.” He clenches his jaw.
     I can’t see his eyes through his sunglasses, but I can feel them.
     Holy shit. He’s serious. My hormones are screaming let him.
     “You’re thinking about it too. Admit it.”
     I remain silent and look out at the water. No way am I admitting that. Hide your emotions.
     “I guess it’s going to be a long night. I’m not moving this boat until you admit it.” He lets go of the oars.
     I jump up and step closer to him to grab them.
     “Don’t jump up like that. The oars are attached. We’re fine,” he says as he tries to stabilize the boat.
     It wobbles enough that I lose my balance, falling face first into his lap. Your face is in his lap. Get up! But what if I like it? Get up!
     I push off him to escape the awkwardness. His arms wrap around my waist, preventing me from moving away. We’re face to face as I rest on my knees. I take his sunglasses off to reveal his heated eyes.
     “Why couldn’t you just admit it?” he says with a low voice, his eyes glancing at my lips. “Now look what happened. Not that I mind.”
     I whisper, “I think about it all the time. You all the time.”
Copyright ©2017 Kristina Beck
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A Jersey girl herself, Kristina was born and raised in New Jersey, USA, for thirty years. She later moved to Germany and has lived there for over thirteen years with her German husband and three children. She lives in the farthest southwest tip of Germany, surrounded by beautiful vineyards and a perfect view of the Black Forest. She is an avid reader of different genres, but romance always takes precedence. She loves coffee, dark chocolate, power naps and 80’s movies. Her hobbies include writing, reading, fitness, wine tasting, and forever trying to improve her German-language skills. 

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Beyond the Book: Flood


If you're enjoying these excerpts, please tell a friend about Flood. If you read the book, please be sure to review it on Amazon and Goodreads.

Now for a blurb and excerpt:

Blurb:
Drawn together by their love of animals, Aria De Luca and Caleb Hawkins burn for each other. They never suspected that malignant forces around them were successfully plotting Caleb’s ruin from the moment he entered her life. When the flood of a century strikes Aria’s hometown, an alienated Caleb is all that stands between her and catastrophic loss.

Last Week:
“Yeah, I’d like that. Thanks.” 

Caleb followed her into the clinic, noting with approval that it seeme d clean and well kept. A big yellow cat lay in the sun on a deep windowsill. The staff smiled at him with friendliness too. Warmth spread throughout his veins. After a dreadful start in life, Peaches had gotten lucky. 

The doctor took him into her office an d removed two soft drinks from the small refrigerator behind her desk. “What do you think of Peaches?” 

At the sound of her name, Peaches gave the doctor one of those soulful looks that she used to give him, but her head still rested on his knee. “I think s he looks wonderful. You’ve done everything that needed doing for her.” 

The doctor smiled as if his compliment really did please her. “Thank you. We tried. It took a while for her to heal, but with the groundwork you laid we thought we could help her, and w e did.” She took a sip of her drink. “Have you decided what you want to do now that you have your freedom?” 

Caleb shrugged. “I don’t know yet. I just got out of prison yesterday.”


This week

The doctor’s eyes widened just a touch. “You must have come straight here.”

“I did. Like I said, it was important to me to see that she was okay.”

Dr. De Luca took a big pull on her soft drink. “The receptionist at the Pine City shelter told me that the director had offered you a job when your sentence was over.”

He nodded. “That’ s right. She did, but…” How could he make her see? What words could describe his despair over the loss of every single freedom he had? Someone else had told him when to go to bed and when to get up. Meals consisted of something someone else said you should eat. His gaze fell to the blue denim shirt he wore. It was the first thing he’d had to wear in over three years that wasn’t regulation prison issue. Unless you’d been in the same situation, you’d never understand why he didn’t want to work there.

The doctor’s next words blew him out of the water. “You still feel like a prisoner there, don’t you?”

He laughed at himself. "And here I was thinking nobody could understand that."


Review: Power Struggle


POWER STRUGGLE
by Carolyn Arnold

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GENRE: Suspense/Mystery

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BLURB:

One hit man who’s back for revenge.
One detective who’s not going down without a fight.

It’s been ten months since Detective Madison Knight almost died at the hands of Russian Mafia hit man Constantine Romanov. She hasn’t seen hide nor hair of him since he escaped police custody and fled to Russia soon after his arrest, except now her latest murder investigation gives her reason to believe he’s back in town. Seeing as the victim is the man who killed her grandfather, her perspective may be a little skewed, but with the MO smacking of Constantine and the victim’s connections to the mob, she finds it hard to be objective. Still, she’s doing her best to consider all the evidence.

When she receives a threatening letter from Constantine, however, her suspicions are confirmed. And he’s made it abundantly clear that not only does he plan to finish what he started but he has her family and loved ones in the crosshairs, too. Madison vows to do whatever it takes to save them, but as the hours race by, the body count rises. And the stakes only get higher when Madison’s sister, Chelsea, goes missing.

Now, Madison’s only play is to take Chelsea’s disappearance for what it really means: Constantine is calling Madison out for one final showdown. And they won’t both survive…



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EXCERPT:

Yasmine was set up in interrogation room one. There was something about questioning a potential murder suspect in this formal setting that gave law enforcement the edge. Even an innocent person could find themselves unravelling under the pressure, and the mind is good at playing games. It can make one feel guilty when they’re not, and that’s why it was crucial to ask the right questions and be able to read people accurately.

Madison and Terry were about to go in. She had one hand on the doorknob and she was carrying a water bottle for Yasmine in the other when Sergeant Winston called out to her.

“Knight, wait!” Winston sounded winded, and when she turned around, his face was red and his brow was sweaty, and he was panting. “Is it too much to ask for you to come to me? No, I have to go chasing you around the station. What is the update on the Deer Glen homicide?”

“There’s not a lot to say yet.” Madison slid a sideways glance to Terry. 

Winston glanced at Terry, too, then back at Madison. He drew a pointed finger between them. “I saw that look. What aren’t you telling me?”

“The victim was Jimmy Bates,” Madison said nonchalantly.

Winston screwed up his brow. “Why does that name sound familiar?”

“He’s the man who served twenty-five years for killing my grandfather.” There, she’d delivered the facts with cool detachment.

Winston’s eyes snapped into alignment with Madison’s. “You should probably be taken off the case.”

“No.” She stood firm, peacocking her stance. “There’s no reason for that.”

He squared his shoulders. “Last I knew, I was the one to call the shots, Detective.”

“Listen, there’s no reason to take me off this case. I didn’t even know my grandfather.”

“He was still your grandfather,” the sarge said. “That makes this case personal.”

She wanted to counter with the fact that her grandfather had died nine years before she was born, but the defense fell flat even in her head. Instead, she locked her jaw and tilted up her chin. It was probably best that she remain quiet, but the sergeant seemed to be expecting her to say something.

“The man served his time,” she said.

Winston turned to Terry. “What are your thoughts on the matter?”

“If Madison says she has things under control, then she does.”

“But she didn’t say she has things under control.” Winston studied Madison. “Do you?”

She flashed him a cocky grin. “I like to think so.”

“I’m sure you do,” Winston stated sourly and pointed to the closed door. “Who’s in there? A suspect?”

“It’s Yasmine Stone, a woman who Bates was sleeping with,” Madison began. “She’s the one who found his body.”

Winston nodded. “Does she look good for the murder?”

Madison’s heart pounded. The similarities between Lillian Norton’s and Jimmy Bates’s murders crashed together in her mind. Her legs began to buckle thinking about Constantine being back in town, but she managed to muster her strength without warranting the men’s attention. “It’s too early to say.”


My Review:

Madison Knight almost died ten months ago at the hands of Constantine Romanov, a hitman for the Russian mafia. She's had flashbacks that sent her into therapy, but she's getting her life together. She's in love with a great guy too, and he feels the same about her. Things are going well, but then Constantine returns for one more go around with Madison.

I like Madison and the other characters, and I wanted everything to work out for her. At times I wondered about that because the book is filled with suspense, mystery, and twists. It culminates with a hugely tense scene that's a nail bitter for sure. If you like mystery/suspense novels I'd recommend this one to you. Bet you won't guess what was really going on. 5 stars



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:
Website - http://carolynarnold.net/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Carolyn Arnold will award a print copy of IN THE LINE OF DUTY to a randomly drawn commenter. (US, Canada, UK only)





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You've Got Fail

Title: You've Got Fail
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Photographer: Wander Aguiar

Model: Allen C

Designer: Perfect Pear


I single-handedly built the hottest website for dating and relationship advice. Got a question? Scarlet Rocket can answer it for you. I was your modern day agony aunt with the solutions to all your pesky personal problems. The only issue? I was actually a man named Willis Halloran, not the female Scarlet Rocket. I thought my secret was safe. But then a sexy con artist calling herself Scarlet Rocket began showing up at society events, pretending to be me. I couldn’t let it go, so I tracked her down and confronted her. It went well … except for the part where she stole my wallet. Oh, and the part where she conned my agent into having us work together. And after that? Let’s just say she wound up stealing something much more valuable than my wallet or my [fake] name.
Celia Aaron is a recovering attorney who loves romance and erotic fiction. Dark to light, angsty to funny, real to fantasy—if it’s hot and strikes her fancy, she writes it. Want a free bestselling book? 
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