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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Book Spotlight: Stars Fall by Louis J Harris #MMromance #Giveaway




Today the spotlight is on Stars Fall by Louis J Harris. I love this genre, and the beautiful cover, and intriguing blurb hooked me. 

Louis is celebrating this release with a giveaway. Leave a comment or a question for a chance to win an ebook copy of Stars Fall. The contest will run until next Sunday – December 7, 2014 midnight EST.
I know you're anxious to hear more about the book, but first let's meet Louis.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello Everyone!

My POD novel “Revival” was published by the South African Short Story Publishing Association in 2006 and in 2009 I won the Marion Scher Floating Trophy for pushing the boundaries of writing.  I have several stories showcased around the world, in Skive Magazine, Australia, and 34th Parallel in California. A short Story has been published in a compendium of stories by South African authors entitled, Tales from Africa.  I have had several pieces published in the magazine of Writers 2000 in South Africa. 

I live with my husband in Germiston, not too far from Johannesburg. We have been married for two years but we’ve known each other for 17 years.  Both our names are Louis, and his son’s name is Louis; that’s just something quirky in my life.  Brings a smile.  That’s what I want from my stories. The lean; where less is more.

Author Web site:


Stars Fall FB page:



BLURB

Keegan Mansfield is a loner.

A bilateral amputee athlete.

With only one goal; to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.  Every move he makes is towards this dream, and even though there are forces trying to stop him, he moves forward because there's too much at stake.  Although he has the determination and the will to succeed,  he is dependent on others  and there are ingredients missing from his life that he so desperately needs.

Truth, love and happiness. 

When team mate Conrad Smith saves him from a violent incident, both embark on a journey of love that would lead to the truth about Keegan's past and a happiness that will last for only a moment, and a tragedy that will bring them closer, as one, for neither can live without the other.  And, just as things seemed as bad as they could get, Keegan learns an important lesson, that trust is not a game, trust is as real as day and night, as real as the wind. He learns, through tragedy, that Rio comes with the sacrifice of his dependency on others. He learns that true love thrives on togetherness. 


EXCERPT


Not many people invited Keegan out.  There was the time that Patrick invited him to play ten pin bowling and the time that he and Jean went to movies at Sandton City.  It was difficult for him to get around.  Not having a car inhibited his movements.  He would dearly love to go out more often but it was no fault of his that he did not have transport.  He couldn’t afford it on his bursary.  

Having to rely on others for transport meant that he would have to schedule lifts to and from varsity, to and from practice, to and from competitions.  It wasn’t easy.  It felt as if he owed the whole world favours.

The first thing that surprised him was that Conrad opened the car door for him.  Nice touch.  Gentlemanly.  From that moment Keegan held a new respect for him.  It felt like he was being courted.

‘Hey handsome, you're looking good. How’s the elbow?’ Conrad said.

‘I washed it properly in the bath and applied more disinfectant.  Hurts a little but otherwise it’s just fine. You look different.’

‘Must be the hair.’

'Actually, brush-cut suits you.  Brings out your brown eyes.  You look like an American Marine.’

‘My hairdresser was surprised when I told her I wanted a brush cut.  You know what she said?’

‘Tell me.’

‘She said that such a change means that something drastic had happened in my life.’

‘She said that?’

‘Yup.  I told her I don’t really think the word is drastic as much as fantastic.’
‘You said that?  So what did you mean?’

 ‘I meant you.  I never once thought you and I would be friends.  I think that’s fantastic.’

Keegan’s face burned from the compliment. ‘Well, that’s…that’s…thank you.  The feeling is mutual,’ he said.

Conrad shut the passenger door and climbed into the driver's side of the vehicle. ‘Your chest still hurting?’

“A little.  Not much.’

‘I wish it was me that Marx beat on.’

That statement was enough to send Keegan’s mind into overdrive.  Guy friends didn’t say that to each other.  Well, they did, especially if there’s caring involved.  And then Conrad said something even stranger.

‘It hurts me to see you in pain, bro.’

‘Believe me, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of Marx’s punches.  Not cool.  So where are we going?  What do you have in mind?’

‘A quiet supper.  Just the two of us.’

‘Sounds cool.’

‘You don’t mind me taking you out for supper?’

‘It’s not like we’re on a date, right?  I mean, we’re just two guys enjoying supper, right?’

‘Yes.  On both counts.  Just two guys enjoying good food.  Guy bonding.  

Bronding. Nothing more.’ Conrad laughed at the word he had just coined.

‘Then why would you ask if I mind?’

Keegan found out very quickly why Conrad had asked him that question
The restaurant, settled in a neat suburb just off the main highway, was dressed in warmth and the smell of Italian cooking from the kitchen.  Their small booth had been set with a candle lit table and a violinist played Moon River for them as they entered.  Keegan smiled at the maître d’ as he invited them to be seated.

'I’ll leave you for a few moments, Conrad,’ the maître d’ said.

‘Thank you, Simon.’

As Keegan sat down, he said, ‘You’ve been here before?’

‘My favourite restaurant would you guess?’

‘Never have guessed.’ Keegan laughed.

‘Simon is my aunt's husband.  They own this place.’

‘I guess it’s always better to have a connection in the restaurant business.  This is nice, Conrad.  Too nice.  I can’t afford to eat in a place like this.’

‘Who said anything about paying?’

‘I can’t expect you to pay for this, bro.’

‘I asked you out.  It’s on me.  All I want is for you to enjoy.’

Keegan smiled at him with a softness in his eyes.  An appreciation. ‘Next time it’s on me.’

‘Yup.  And I don’t mind KFC.’

Both of them laughed and from that moment the evening turned into one filled with music, wine and good Italian cuisine.

Getting to know a person is always like finding a new product.  That may sound beaten and clichéd but it’s true.  As the evening wore on, they spoke about life and the universe, and special friends and what friendship meant to them.

‘Do you have a special lady?’ Keegan asked.

‘A special lady, you mean as in girlfriend?’

‘Yes.'

‘No.  Nothing like that. I can’t afford a girl.  That’s not to say that I haven’t ever had a girlfriend.  I have.  Didn’t turn out well at all.’

‘Sorry.  I’m prying here.’

‘Not at all.  We had a so-so relationship right from the start.  My brother asked us to babysit for him once.  That night we had sex.  Embarrassing for me, but not for her apparently.  I was a virgin.  Had no idea what to do.  I know I didn’t cum inside her.  So when she told my family that she was pregnant, I almost married her.  She didn’t tell me first.  She ran to my mom and told her instead and before I knew it I was hauled over the coals by everyone.  But my mom insisted that she be tested before I committed.  Thankfully the test came back negative.  I wasn’t ready for a family.  Damn, at 18, who is?  Anyway, we went on a last date.  It was then I told her that we weren’t ready for each other.  She asked why and I told her the truth.’

‘What did you tell her?’

‘I told her I had feelings for guys.  I simply wanted to sleep with her to see if I could sleep with a woman.’

‘You said that? Selfish, don’t you think.’

‘No.  I knew I would never marry her.  But at the same time I felt as though she tried to trap me.’

‘What did she say when you told her you're gay?’

‘She cried, she said all of her boyfriends had told her that they were gay.’
‘You’re not serious.’

‘In a way it was so funny.  In another it was damned sad, but that ended our relationship.  Now, what about you?  Tell me about Jean.’

‘She looks after me, there’s no doubt about that.  Helps me whenever she can.  Transport that kind of thing.’

'You have any special feelings for her?'

'You mean is she my girlfriend?'

'I could have asked if you sleep with her.'

'I do not sleep with Jean.  We don't have that kind of relationship. It's platonic.  All platonic.'

'Maybe from your side, but from what I've seen, I think she wants more than just a friendship.'

'It's not going to happen.'

‘And what do you think of me?’

Keegan sipped at his wine. ‘I think you’re amazing. And this….all this…is very special. You care. You’re a fine guy, Mr Smith, and I’m happy that you and I are friends.’

 Conrad responded by turning away from Keegan's gaze.  The sadness in his face caught in the light.

‘Wanna tell me about what you’re thinking?’ Keegan asked.

‘I…I was kind of hoping that….I don’t know, I’m being very unreasonable…’
‘Hoping what?’

‘That you…that you were attracted to me in some way.  I’ve watched you since you were a freshman and always been too scared to approach you.  Now that we’re finally friends, I’ve gone and fucked it up.’

Keegan held his glass to his lips for a moment while Conrad's brown eyes searched for an honest answer.  Keegan had observed his directness earlier that day; he had displayed humility, subtlety and tact.  Coming to Keegan's rescue earlier required an impulsive, positive and self-confident nature.  Keegan was attracted to that.

Keegan reached for Conrad's hand and held it gently. ‘No…no… don’t think like that Conrad.  I just have to discover what it is that’s stopping me from having a relationship. It’s bugged me for years.’

Conrad held his hand tighter. ‘I'm hitting on you and I don't want to scare you and if you think I'm coming on too strong, just say so and I'll back off.  Can I be perfectly honest with you?'

'I wouldn't expect it any other way.'

'I looked at you today in the locker room when I helped you fit your prosthetics, and I noticed that…'

'What did you notice?'

'I could have sworn you had a semi hard-on.'

A moment of silence followed.

'I did?' Keegan knew he had had a semi hard on.  He played it coy.

'I would like to think that I can make you feel that way again.'

'I need time for this to register, I had no idea you felt this way about me.'

'Then time I will give you. But, I'm not going to stop thinking about you, and I'm not going to stop touching you.' Conrad said, his hand slid over Keegan's gently, and when Simon approached to take their order, he didn't remove it.

'I think I can handle that.' Keegan said breathlessly, his heart throbbing.  The fullness of his cock wanting escape.


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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Release Blitz: Little Boxes @celiaanderson1 #Contemporary #Romance Out Now!



Little Boxes by Celia J Anderson 

Blurb:

Suddenly bereaved, Molly White realises that she has never really known her feisty husband Jake when random boxes begin to appear through the post, each one containing a tantalising clue to the secrets of Jake and Molly’s past. Someone who knows them both well, for reasons of their own, has planned a trail of discovery. The clues seem to be designed to change Molly’s life completely, leading her around Britain and then onwards to rural France and deepest Bavaria.

Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is Tom, a charismatic artist who runs a gallery in the same town. Strong, independent and wheelchair-bound from the age of fifteen, he leads a solitary life and has no idea how devastatingly attractive he is to women. When Tom meets curvy, beautiful and funny Molly, he knows that she is his dream woman, but she seems way out of his orbit until the boxes start to weave their spell and the two of them are thrown right out of their comfort zones.




Excerpt:

Tom sat on the beach in the spring sunshine, eating cockles out of a tub and gazing rather grimly at the incoming tide. If it came much closer he’d have to abandon his painting for the day – it took a good twenty minutes to pack up and get back to his car on the promenade.

As he licked his fingers and screwed up the seafood carton, there was a scrunch of pebbles and a whoosh of air as a small boy thundered past, whooping at the top of his voice. He was followed at speed by the most desirable woman that Tom could ever remember seeing in this small seaside town. It was his Lady in Red; the one who had been cropping up in his dreams far too often since he’d first seen her on the beach. Her hair was an explosion of dark curls, and she wore tight orange jeans with a wildly clashing crimson sweater that came almost to her knees. Tom took a deep breath to say hello but he was too late.

‘Max... MAX... don’t go near the sea. I mean it!’ she bellowed, skidding straight into Tom as she chased the boy across the pebbles. ‘Sorry, sorry… have I hurt you?
Is your painting wrecked? Oh – wow; it’s good, isn’t it? You can tell it’s meant to be the pier. I’m really, really sorry…’

Tom picked himself up and put his painting chair the right way up again. ‘Hey, it’s okay – you can fall over me any time,’ he said, grinning into her startlingly green eyes.

She blinked and looked away, her lovely face matching the colour of her sweater. Shielding her eyes with a hand, she scanned the beach for the boy.

‘Where’s he gone, the little toad? Ah, there he is, he’s making something out of a heap of stones – at least he’s not paddling fully dressed like last time. Oh hell, you don’t even know me and I’ve already wrecked your work. I’m Molly. I think I’ve seen you here before, haven’t I? Let me fix your painting.’

She bent down to see if she could repair the damage and Tom held out a hand to stop her trying to brush bits of stone off his picture. ‘No, honestly, it’s fine, I’ll sort it out. I’m Tom, and I’ve seen you, too. You’re easy to remember.’

‘Am I? Why?’

‘Lots of reasons – you often seem to be in a hurry, you always wear something red, you’ve got lots of kids, you’re gorgeous…’ Tom stopped in confusion.
‘Gorgeous? Me? Do you need your eyes testing or something?’ Molly blushed again and looked at him properly for the first time. ‘I’m sorry, that was really rude,’ she said. ‘My mum’s always telling me I don’t know how to take a compliment.’

‘Don’t worry, maybe you just need a bit more practice.’ Tom bent to carry on sorting his painting kit out. He couldn’t help noticing how her eyes rested on his forearms as he finished tidying up and, clearly aware of his scrutiny, she reddened even more.

‘You’re very strong, aren’t you?’ she blurted out.

Tom laughed. ‘I guess I have to be, don’t I? If you’ve seen me before, you’ll know why.’

‘I don’t want you to think I’ve been staring at you, Tom. It’s just that you’re… um… different to most of the men round here.’

‘Tell me about it.’ Tom slung his bag over one shoulder and heaved himself out of his folding chair.

‘Can I help you at all?’ Molly asked, standing on tiptoes to get a better view of the shoreline. ‘Oh look, here are the other two Musketeers. They can carry something for you, if you like.’

‘I don’t need any help, thanks.’ Tom bit back the familiar feeling of irritation and smiled up at a pair of girls, dressed entirely in black, who had stopped next to him. The taller one had multiple piercings. Both girls were scowling.

‘Mum, what are you like?’ said the pierced one. ‘We saw you knock the paints all over the place. You’re so clumsy. Have you seen what Max is doing now?’

Molly looked again. The small boy had been jumping off his pile of stones and had landed awkwardly the last time. He began to wail. ‘Max! I told you last time not to do that. Hang on, I’m coming,’ Molly shouted.

The girls sighed and rolled their eyes at Tom as they watched their mum slither off over the stones to the sandy stretch by the sea, where Max was now hurling the biggest rocks he could find into the waves. The pierced girl turned to the smaller one. 
‘Bloody hell, why doesn’t she just leave him alone for a bit? The only place he
can go is into the sea.’

‘But he’s only little – he can’t swim.’

‘Exactly.’ The older girl smirked as they wandered off down the beach.

Tom sighed. Another opportunity lost; still no nearer to finding out more about his dream woman. Oh well, at least he knew her name now. On the other hand, it didn’t take a genius to work out that she was already taken. The wedding ring gave it away, even if the children didn’t.

Author Bio:

Celia J Anderson spends most of her spare time writing in as many different genres as possible, including children’s fiction. In her other life, she’s Assistant Headteacher at a small Catholic primary school in the Midlands and loves teaching literature (now comfortingly called English again but still the best subject in the world.)

She tried a variety of random jobs before discovering that the careers advisor at secondary school was right, including running crèches, childminding, teaching children to ride bikes (having omitted to mention she couldn’t do it herself) and a stint in mental health care. All these were ideal preparation for the classroom and provided huge amounts of copy for the books that were to come.

Celia enjoys cooking and eating in equal measures, and thinks life without wine would be a sad thing indeed. She is married, with two grown up daughters who have defected to the seaside. One day she plans to scoop up husband and cats and join them there.

Links:



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Friday, November 28, 2014

Book Blast: Portrait of Passion by Lynne Barron #HistoricalRomance #Erotica @GoddessFish #Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn winner will receive a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What’s a Viscount to do when a mysterious lady with a secret past and a reputation frayed around the edges suddenly appears in London in hot pursuit of his naive young cousin, setting the gossips’ tongues wagging, stirring his family into pandemonium, and driving him mad with her irreverent ways?



If the Viscount in question is Simon Easton, the answer is quite simple. Seduce the beguiling lady. But Miss Beatrice Morgan isn’t your average tarnished lady. She’s lived a slapdash life wandering the globe like a gypsy, painting fantastical portraits of Duchesses as Sirens and landscapes featuring a crumbling old fountain, all the while harboring a secret desire to return to Idyllwild, the only home she’s ever known.



What Simon does not know is that Beatrice just might be willing to sacrifice her honor, her virtue, her very heart to reclaim Idyllwild.


Enjoy an excerpt:


“Easton, are you all right?” Beatrice asked quietly. “You haven’t said a word, well apart from that bit about the butler.”


“And the part about you just rising from your bed,” he reminded her just as quietly and watched her eyes widen before she laughed—a dark and husky laugh that rolled over him like a wave.


“I thought I should be proper and ignore that part,” she said. She turned and walked across the room as she added, “After all, one of us should be. And today it seems it shall be me.”


Simon swallowed a bite of lemon muffin quickly before he could choke on the chuckle that tried to escape.


“You? Proper?” he teased. Mabel’s head swung around and she glared at him.


“I can be, you know.” She had stopped in front of the sink and he saw that she was pouring milk into a glass. She turned and started back across the kitchen before continuing. “I know how. I simply choose not to be. Much more fun that way.” She handed the glass to him and stood watching while he took a sip before handing it back to her.


He stood in absolute awe as she proceeded to take a long swallow from the glass he had just handed back to her.


“What do you think?” she asked, licking the foam from her upper lip.


Think? How could he possibly think? How could he think when he was standing in the kitchen with her looking up at him while she licked her lips? How could he be expected to think when she was wearing what had to be her nightgown with her hair still in its braid from the night before? How was he to think with her bare shoulders and bare toes on display?



About the Author:Write About What You Know.


Every Creative Writing Teacher and College Professor said these words to Lynne Barron in one form or another. But what did she know?


She knew she enjoyed the guilty pleasure of reading romance novels whenever she could find time between studying, working and raising her son as a single mother.


She knew quite a bit about women's lives in the Regency and Victorian era from years spent bouncing back and forth between European History and English Literature as a major in college.


She knew precious little about romance except to know that it was more than the cliché card and a dozen red roses on Valentine's Day.


Then she met her wonderfully romantic husband and finally she knew.


Passion, Love and Romance.


And she began to write.


If you would like to learn more about Lynne Barron and the Idyllwild Series, please visit her website at LynneBarron.com or follow her at Facebook or Twitter.

PORTRAIT OF PASSION is on sale!

It's only 99¢ at Ellora's Cave: http://www.ellorascave.com/portrait-of-passion.html

If you prefer Kindle or Nook, it's only $1.99!


Nook:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/portrait-of-passion-lynne-barron/1116814135?ean=9781419942112



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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Book Blast: The Academy: Thief by C.L. Stone #RomanticSuspense @GoddessFish #Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Kayli Winchester is a dirt-poor girl living out of a hotel, forced to be the parent for a drunken father and teenage brother who she’s desperate to keep in school. The only way she scrapes by is to utilize her one skill: pickpocketing. But even though she’s a thief she has a moral code: no kids or old ladies, only targets who can defend themselves. Not that they see her coming…



Thinking she’s been working under the radar, Kayli has no idea The Academy has been watching and taking notice. Now a team that needs her skill has offered her a way out of her predicament and it’s her last chance: work with them, or face jail time. Kayli resists at first, but slowly the boys reveal they can be trusted. With Marc, the straight man, Raven, the bad-boy Russian, Corey and Brandon the twins as different as night and day, and Axel their stoic leader, there’s a lot Kayli can learn from these Academy guys about living on the edge of the law. If only she can stay on the good side instead of the bad.



Especially when the job they offer her is more than any of them bargained for. After it’s done, the hunters have become the hunted and their target is now after Kayli. The Academy boys do their best to keep her hidden, but a thief like Kayli will never sit still for long.



Meet an all-new Academy team in Thief, the beginning of the Scarab Beetle series.


Enjoy an excerpt:



“I don’t know what you want me to do,” I said, but my voice was nearly gone, thick with the fear that he was way too close and seemed to think he knew what I wanted. I didn’t want him to know he was right. I don’t know why. My pride was too strong. I’d been this way for so long, I didn’t know how to give in. I didn’t know how to trust.



He opened his mouth, like he wanted to say something else but stopped, and his eyes drifted down to my mouth and held. My breath caught in my throat.



Before I could think to even push him off, his mouth claimed me. He kissed me hard enough that my head pressed back into the wall. His hands slid back to cup around my jaw to keep me from pulling away. His lips pressed down, mouth parted.



I kissed him back. I don’t know what came over me, but I wanted to feel those promises. I wanted to believe, for the moment, that maybe I could just let go, like he said, and trust that I could be accepted for who I was. Was I just like him? Could I be like that? Could I find a place just for me among these guys and waltz in and be with them? I opened my mouth, inviting him in, just a little.



Like opening the gates, his mouth claimed me again. In every possible place I could think to hide, he found me. My mind blanked out. I didn’t have room for anything else other than him and his kiss that told me everything would be all right. His kiss sank into me over and over again. Lips pressed against mine, tugging at my skin, at heart strings, at my core.



When he finally released my mouth so I could breathe, his lips trailed over my face, across my eyes and my brows.



“Why did it have to be you?” He breathed out as he whispered against my face. “I was hunting a thief, and I found a beautiful wreck.”



About the Author: C. L. Stone once lived in Charleston, SC, and currently lives among Cajuns. She writes about cute boys and uncomfortable situations, usually mixed together. You can email her at clstone@arcatopublishing.com. Sign up for email updates, get exclusive info on upcoming release dates, get notified when freebies are offered, and sometimes sneak peeks!



http://clstonebooks.com/

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