Saturday, February 25, 2017

Blog Tour ~ Flight Less by L. Duarte










Title: Flightless


By: L. Duarte


Publication Date: January 23, 2017


Publisher: LD Publishing LLC


Genre: Romance


Cover Designer: Okay Creations


#flightlesstour
















Everyone has a story.



Mine went like this: Once upon a time, I met a boy. He was the most handsome fella in the land. I fell in love. Together, we had cosmic chemistry. I believed I would live a life of unending bliss. Until he broke my heart. Shattered it to pieces. And I lived unhappily ever after instead. The end.



Or so I thought.



Life found a way to reunite us. But to change that unhappy ending, I had to learn how to forgive. And my heart seemed unable to do so.



This is a love story. But it is also, much more. It’s the story of how I coped with my shortcomings, my fears and rewrote my destiny. Everyone has a story. This is mine.





















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Chapter One


I stepped back. Not literally, just figuratively. I did that with every concert. I allowed my mind’s eyes to hover over me and my fans while I analyzed and dissected the unique relationship between us.


As I watched the multitude of people—a beautiful kaleidoscope of different races and social statuses—my heart, in utter bliss, roared.


The audience held their hands upwards as if in an offering or a request. I never knew which. In perfect synchrony, their arms rolled in waves like the swaying of a stormy sea. Their voices cried out my name, and the smell of their sweat and the heat of their mingled bodies emanated from them, unfurling to me like the sweet perfume of incense.


I held the mic near my motionless lips and stared at them. At that moment, I became one with thousands. At that moment, I took back from the crowd all the energy I had fed them. And their vibe made me high and drunk. It was my personal Nirvana. The kind of rapture that can only be attained through uttermost intimacy. A oneness I had only felt with one other person. A person who had severed that connection and shattered my heart into a million shards of pain.


I worshiped them as they adored me. The exchange of atomic energy contained nuclear power. I was drained from giving. They were wasted from receiving. But we were both impossibly happy and satisfied.


My motionless lips finally moved, uttering the final words for the night. The parting words. “Good night, Sydney!” I waved a hand back at them. “You looked beautiful tonight. All forty thousand of you.”


I bowed. They deserved my reverence. People had spent their time camped outside the venue waiting for a closer glance at me. They had spent their precious earned money to see my performance. They were worthy of my respect and gratitude.


Another wave of a hand. A kiss. Another bow. And I was out. Another show was done. Eight more to go.


I jogged backstage and gave the mic to Jeremy, my makeup artist, in exchange for a bottled water. He opened a portable case containing all the potions that would quickly improve my appearance for the meet and greet. 


Before I took a swig from the bottle, Clara, my assistant, brusquely interrupted my post-concert ritual. She snatched the bottle from my hand and returned it to a confused Jeremy. “Gray. With me,” she demanded, grabbing my elbow and urging me toward my changing room.


I glanced back at the stunned face of Jeremy. It was time for meet and greet with the VIP’s. I needed to freshen up. My makeup had all but melted under the stage lights.


Once inside the privacy of the room, I demanded, “What’s going on?”


She raised a finger and said, “Wait.”


I opened my mouth to protest. Instead, I swallowed the words. Clara was usually a chatterbox; her clipped words quickly clued me in that something was seriously wrong.


As I waited, Clara dialed a number on her phone. Her silence became as unnerving as the red glare of an alarm light.


“Betty, I have Gray,” Clara said. Wordlessly, she shoved the device in my hand. The door closed with a thud after she exited in a flurry of silent drama. 


“Mama?” I asked holding the phone to my ear.


“Hey, Puppy,” Mama said in a soft, almost regretful tone.


“What’s going on?” I asked. Silence filled the other end of the line, only increasing my concern. Mama knew I had just left the stage. She followed my tour from home. Minute by minute. It was unusual for her to call me so soon following a show.


“How was, um, the, um, concert?” she asked.


“Mama, did you call me to ask how the show went?” I furrowed my brows and every hair on my body stood at attention. Mama knew my routine during a tour. After a performance, I had a brief meet with fans and then I would go on hours of silence to rest my vocal cords. Although she knew she could call me at any time, she never called until at least ten hours following a show.


“Mama?” I prodded after a long silence.


“I have cancer,” she said bluntly.


The phone connection was perfect. No static. But Mama’s words hummed in my ear with a tunnel-like quality. Distorted, altered, garbled. My mind, however, had remained sharp and alert. Without much thought and after a brief pause, I uttered the words, “I’m coming home.” I hadn't said those words in over a decade. Somehow, they didn't taste as foreign as I had imagined they would.








  ***






“Gray,” I said. The word hovered on my tongue, saturating my taste buds with an acrid taste. “Gray,” I repeated, letting it roll off my tongue. I did that a lot. It was my name.


Often, I mused about my name. It hadn’t been given to me because it was fashionable. Nevertheless, it had a history. My history.


When I was little, I liked to fancy its origin. The sky, I would think, was painted gray the day I was born. I loved the theory. The unattainability of the infinite mass of gray made it a great namesake. Whenever gray clouds hovered in the sky, I would lay on my back and stare at them, dreaming that when I grew up, I would build an enormous ladder, climb it, and touch the gray painted dome. It was all, of course, a foolish child’s dream, born out of vain imagination. I wasn’t born during the day, nor was the sky gray. And it was most definitely not the inspiration behind the choosing of my name.


I was born in a graveyard. Serene Hills Cemetery, it was called, though its surface was flat. It was a fall night, October 20th, approximately 11 pm.


They found me covered in vernix. I used the term ‘they’ loosely. A dog found me. A female German Shepherd mix that went by the name of Sunshine. Her fur was golden. Shiny like sun rays. I had a newspaper cut-out of her. It’s black and white, but it described her that way. In the shot, she looked straight at the camera, two vivid round eyes dotting a long and alert face. She had the knowing stare of someone who was aware she had done a good deed.


Obviously, I don’t recall the details surrounding my birth. I was an infant. But I had Mama tell me the story so many times, which after a while, the images ingrained in my brain like the roots of a tree embedded in the fertile soil. They became so real in my imagination that it felt as if they were my recollections.


I was a born a preemie. Weak, small, and blotchy-faced. I was skin and bones with a mop of black spiky hair, and a bad case of a cold.   


A miracle, they called me. But I knew I was no wonder. I happened to have the perfect concoction of healthy lungs and a loud cry. These, and the sharp canine sense of hearing and smelling had saved me. I didn’t believe in miracles. Not anymore.


When they found me, decay from the trees covered the ground on a fascinating palette of colors—an array of red, yellow, purple, brown, orange, golden, bronze.


I used to question why the leaves change colors and fall off the branches. According to a scientific explanation, leaves are a weak and feeble part of a plant. So, before the weather gets severely cold, the trees should toughen up to protect themselves. Or simply dispose of the leaves, the weak part.


Personally, I believe they turn colors before falling as revenge. A personal vendetta. And for that I applaud them. They turn their death into a poetic and alluring sight. That line of thought made me believe death was beautiful. It fascinated me. It’s more interesting than birth, although similar.


I had been abandoned under a pile of dead foliage. According to the police investigation, it appeared my birth mother had buried me under the leaves. Hid me. Like a criminal attempting to cover its tracks. Supposedly, I spent the night under a cocoon of leaves. The tree’s decay was soaked with blood and amniotic fluid.


According to Sunshine’s owner, they were walking on the sidewalk by the cemetery when she heard a whizzing sound. Sunshine’s owner discarded the noise as being the cry of squirrels.


Sunshine didn’t. At odds with her sweet nature, she became agitated and broke loose. She squeezed through a small gap in the fence and disappeared between the gravestones, leaving her owner in a frenzy.


Less than a minute later, Sunshine returned. Her mouth muzzled around my small waist, my umbilical cord dragging, rattling the decayed leaves.


I found my story fascinating, unique. Or so I told myself whenever I got teased at school.


The hospital staff called me the Graveyard Miracle. Soon after, Gray for short. It stuck.


I spent three months in the hospital. That’s where Mama worked. The graveyard shift. She fed me. She bathed me. She caressed my skin. “My heart had not a chance. It fell madly in love with you,” she said, whenever she told me my story. Her pale hand, dotted with freckles, caressing my black, straight hair.


 When I became her child officially, she quit the night job. “I had brought home my very own Graveyard Miracle.”


She found a day job at a pediatric clinic, occasionally helping at the hospital for extra income. She continued working at the clinic throughout my childhood, adolescence, and after I left home. She remained there until cancer said, “No more.” Until cancer said, “I want your time. From now on, you are going to dedicate every waking hour to me. I’m egocentric. I want it all. I want your flesh and the total sum of your soul.”


That’s why I was there, sitting in the back of a limousine Clara had rented to pick me up from JFK airport and take me home.


“When should I schedule your flight to LA?” she had asked. “Only a one-way ticket for now,” I responded.


32 Lorelai Lane, my childhood home. It was a small Victorian-style house, built in 1929. The colorful foliage of a maple tree and an oak tree framed the dwelling as if it was extracted from the pages of a fairy tale book. When I was little, I used to fancy my house was lovely. The most enchanting place in all realms. Staring at the house, I discovered that I still thought that. It was the most magical place in the world because it was the place that humans refer to it as ‘home’. And home is a thing of fairy tales. Rare and pure.


The car door was wide open, awaiting me. I climbed out. The driver stood straight as a pole. His hands perfectly folded in front of him, his face impassive. I wondered how long he had stood there, waiting for me, questioning my sanity. The luggage was lined up at the front porch. His face remained expressionless when I pulled a generous tip from my purse and handed it to him. “Thank you,” I murmured.


He drove off, the sound of the engine trailing off into the quiet street. It was late at night. The crisp air smelled of burnt wood and autumn, reminiscent of bonfires and fireplaces.


I crossed the stone path leading to the front steps.


The hinges of the front door squeaked, and Mama slowly appeared as light spilled out from inside the house. She leaned against the doorframe, cocked her head, her eyes fixed on me. She knew me so well. She knew I needed the time.


I peered up, carefully examining Mama’s face. It had been only two months since I had last seen her, but she appeared decades older. Even under the porch’s pale yellowed light, I could detect the lines circling her mouth. Small bags sagged under her eyes, and her plump skin appeared loose, dripping like melting wax. Her hair showed inches of gray and her usual square and proud shoulders were smaller, fragile. But what got my attention the most were her eyes. Their vivid green had turned opaque.


The grief and sorrow in her stare set my feet in motion, and I climbed the steps.


When mama stepped forward, the old wooden floor groaned and creaked under her feet. She came to a halt at the top of the stairs. Her lips curved into a small smile, and her arms spread open in an inviting hug.


As I stepped forward, my legs felt wobbly with the weight of so many years of absence.













I have found that there is only one thing better than reading, and that is writing. I am always torn between the two. I am also frequently torn between chocolate and coffee. However, I emphatically do not like the month of February, lies, and flies. For me, bravery is defined by the courage to do what we fear the most. I live in Connecticut with my husband and two children. Drop a few lines. I would love to hear from you.








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Cover Reveal & Series Sale ~ The Callaway Series by Kaithlin Shepherd

Book 3 Cover Reveal

Catch Up With The Callaway Series Today!

 SERIES SALE! 

Title:  Fight For Me
Author:  Kaithlin Shepherd
Release Date:  April 22, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Cowboy Romance
Series:  Callaway Series #3

Cover Designer:  Claire Smith 
Publisher:  Hot Tree Publishing


The responsible brother, John Callaway, spends most of his days locked away in his office, crunching numbers and placing orders. When a mysterious brunette rolls into town, he is immediately drawn to her. For a year, John has worked hard at earning her trust, hoping one day she’ll lower her walls enough to let him in.
Finally finding a home in Montana, Abby Johnson is the happiest she’s ever been working at the diner and spending time with the one person who’s shown her that good men exist. When her past catches up with her, Abby will have to trust the man she’s grown to care for to keep her safe, or she’ll risk losing everything.
Will her secret push John away or will Abby realize that love is always worth fighting for?
Half-Price Preorder Sale!
SERIES SALE
80% OFF - 99c  
All buy links HERE
40% OFF - $2.99


Kaithlin Shepherd was born and raised in Canada where she learned to figure skate and crafted a love affair with coffee. Growing up in a household filled by strong-headed women, she learned early on that life is what you make it. You’ve probably never met a bigger country music fan and in the words of Brooks and Dunn, she’s a die-hard ‘George Strait junkie.’ Constructing a world away from her real life, Kaithlin loves the feeling of creating a universe where her fans can forget about everything in their life. She loves writing about hot alphas and doesn’t shy away from turning up the heat with scorching hot sex scenes.

 Hot Tree Promotions

Cover Reveal ~ Black Hat Hacker - Chicago Syndicate Series by Soraya Naomi

black-hat-hacker-reveal


Cover Reveal
Title: Black Hat Hacker
Series: Chicago Syndicate #6
Author: Soraya Naomi
Cover Designer: The Final Wrap
Release Date: March 28 2017
Add to Goodreads
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jompsynopsis
You don’t know me.

But that’s only because I don’t want you to.

I have the most lucrative job in the country as a hacker in the notorious underworld. I’ve built entire systems and destroyed evidence for career advancement while stealing and exploiting data for personal gain.

I’m the black hat hacker for the Chicago Syndicate and hold all the dirty secrets of the most powerful men in the U.S. in the palm of my hands, just a keystroke away from mass ruination.

However, no one knows my dirty secret, a decision from my past that’s just aching to blow up in my face and shatter my future. Especially when a certain wavy haired brunette begins to demand my attention with her odd ways and her carefree attitude.

She’s a woman who makes me go against everything I’ve ever believed.

A woman whom I’m forbidden from having my usual one-night stand with, even if she was available.

A woman whom I have to keep from getting herself killed, whether she likes it or not.

You don’t know me, but neither does she…yet.

A standalone novel from the Chicago Syndicate world.

From Soraya Naomi, International Bestselling Author of For Fallon and For Luca.

Novel Grounds Semi Annual Literary Awards 2014 winner of Best Breakout Novel For Fallon (Chicago Syndicate, #1).
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PRE-ORDER
jompauthorbio
author-soraya-naomiI read many genres but favor intense, seductive, and provocative novels where the male character loves fiercely, without remorse or boundaries. I also adore forbidden love tales and have an odd fascination with kidnapping romances. No, I don't secretly want to be kidnapped, though!

I have a passionate obsession with the written word and indulge in chocolate pastries much too often.

My debut novel For Fallon (Chicago Syndicate, #1) was released on July 26, 2014. I’m honored that For Fallon won “Best Breakout Novel 2014” in the Novel Grounds Semi Annual Literary Awards.

Sign up to Soraya’s newsletter to keep up to date with release dates: http://eepurl.com/b0MS85
For more information about the novels and author:
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Friday, February 24, 2017

Release Day Blitz ~ The Rebound List by Hedonist Six


The Rebound List

by Hedonist Six
Publication Date: February 24, 2017
Genres: Adult, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

BUY:


SYNOPSIS:

After nearly four years with Jeff, everything fell apart. I found myself single, scared, but somehow liberated as well. Rather than stumble into another ill advised relationship, my best friend Sally helped me find focus. I would spend the next few months “finding myself” sexually. That’s how The Rebound List was born.

My journey begins with the first item on my list – a virgin. But it’s not easy to go from squeaky-clean committed girlfriend to wanton sex goddess. Hopefully I’ll have the guts to follow through!

What (or whom) would you do to celebrate your freedom after your first serious relationship breaks down?

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ABOUT HEDONIST SIX

Call me “H.” or Hedonist if you prefer. I’m a Romance writer based in London and I’ve always been a dreamer, though it didn’t occur to me to write down the stories I kept dreaming up until 2012. You’ll not find flowery language and poetry in my work. What you will find though is believable characters, none of whom perfect, going through life and trying to find happiness. Just like the rest of us.

I first started writing because I craved to see more of “my kind of books” on the shelves. In any scenario, you’ll find me rooting for the underdog. The (emotionally) scarred hero who hasn’t really had much (or any) luck in love. The shy office worker who wants to pursue the man of her dreams, but hasn’t quite mustered the courage yet. All my characters are beautifully flawed and messed up, in a way that makes them perfect for one another.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Blog Tour ~ To the Studs - A Bound by Design Romance by Roxanne Smith


Duke
has always made it clear she’s not his type. 


Yet the simmering tension between
them says otherwise….




TO THE STUDS
Bound by Design #1
Roxanne Smith
Releasing Feb 21, 2017
Lyrical Shine



No one says
no to fiery but talented home designer Neve Harper—which is how she convinces
her elusive neighbor, Duke Kennicot, to help out with her latest renovation
job. Not only is Duke a design aficionado, he’s got the inside scoop on the
cabin’s owner. And since Neve’s ulterior motive is a romance with the boss,
Duke is her ideal wingman. Except from the moment they’re alone in the remote
Ozark mountain location, Neve discovers Duke is just as headstrong—and a whole
lot sexier—than she ever realized. Duke has always made it clear she’s not his
type. Yet the simmering tension between them says otherwise….



Duke had been warned to steer clear of hot-tempered Neve, but his resolve is
lessening with every heated exchange—and every smoldering touch. By the time
Neve unearths a dangerous, age-old mystery buried on the property, Duke is
ready to do just about anything to keep the brazen beauty safe…. 




Duke waited until Angel Face shuffled into the elevator before rapping his knuckles across Neve’s door. He avoided men around Neve at all costs. Being gay was harder than he’d thought it would be. Was Angel Face superhot? Should he make a smutty comment or smile coyly at his butt as he walked past?

I need gay lessons. Hell of a thing to come to terms with, especially after two years of pulling it off.

Pajama-clad and curled into a ball on her ultrachic sofa, a beige monstrosity set square in the center of the high-ceilinged room atop a thick white rug, Neve didn’t pause in shoving yogurt-covered pretzels down her gullet to bother with a greeting. The scenery didn’t differ—sofa, pajamas, snacks, bad television—but she seemed more subdued than usual.

He sat next to her and snatched the remote from the coffee table. “Just because you renovate and design for a living doesn’t mean there aren’t channels besides HGTV. Why can’t I live next door to a chef? Or a chiropractor. Someone useful.”

“I’m assuming it’s because you were a real asshole in a previous life.”

“Can we watch Survivor, maybe try a movie once in a while?” He swept a lock of his hair over his shoulder and grinned as Neve rolled her eyes.

She’d never hidden her envious love of his hair. “Do you do that on purpose? Play with your hair and wear tight black jeans and T-shirts to torture straight females?” She turned her attention to the flipping channels on the television. “Because I would.”

“Really? If you were a hot lesbian, you’d deliberately entice straight men? That’s brutal.”
“That’s me. Brutal.” Normally, she made proclamations like that with a little more pride.
Duke chewed his lip and looked her over. She had her glossy, coffeecolored hair pulled into a rakish bun on the top of her head, wore her favorite plush robe over plaid pajamas, and one hand steadily ferried pretzels from the bag to her face.

Pretzel crumbs and all, he’d still get hard if he stared too long. Neve joked about converting him, but if she ever made an honest effort, he wouldn’t hesitate to wrap her killer legs around his waist like a bow, wind a lock of her silken hair through his fist, and make good on every vulgar fantasy he’d concocted over the last two years.


Duke shifted to find a more comfortable position in his awkwardly tight jeans, jeans growing tighter with each vivid image popping into his cranium—Neve on her back with her hair fanned out like a dark halo, Neve’s haughty mouth humbled by a moan of ecstasy, his palms on the inside of her thighs, spreading— Jesus Christ, man. I need to get laid.







A Florida native, Roxanne
Smith
 has called everywhere from Houston to Cheyenne home. Currently
residing in Roswell, New Mexico, she’s an avid reader of every genre, a cat
lover, pit bull advocate, and semi-geek. She loves video games, Doctor
Who
, and her dashing husband. Her two kids are the light of her life and
provide ample material for her writing.