Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blog tour: Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell + excerpt, review & giveaway


Good day to all and welcome to our stop on the Nightingale blog tour. Reader Girls has an excerpt from this alluring historical romance, our review, and a giveaway. Enjoy!

Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell
Historical romance
eBook, 96 pages
Publisher: Avon: Impulse (August 26th, 2014)

Fate has brought them together -again.

At one time, Jemma had meant the world to Dane Pendleton, but then she betrayed their young love by marrying another for his title and fortune.

Now Time has turned the tables. Dane is wealthy, respected, knighted and the widowed Jemma has nothing but her pride.

His honor for hers . . .
Dane’s name is on the lips of every beauty in London. They whisper he learned “tricks” while he was in the Orient. But has he forgotten Jemma, now Lady Mosby, and what they had once meant to each other? And will he accept her devil’s bargain?

In every woman’s life, there is that one love who slipped away. The man who makes her wonder “what if?”

But is this a momentary madness or a chance to rekindle a love that could last a lifetime?

Originally appeared in the print anthology THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY



Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Excerpt

He spoke. “You wish me to call back the challenge?”
She hesitated, then confessed, “I do.”
Dane made a soft, self-derisive sound and shook his head. “Will you always be his dupe?”
“He’s my brother,” she answered tightly.
“More’s the pity,” he returned without expression, and Jemma knew her fears had been well grounded. If Dane and Cris met, her brother would die.
She spread her hands, her palms open, aware that she was asking much—she was asking for his honor. “Dane, I know I am the last person you would want to please or even help, but I beg of you to withdraw your challenge. I’m the one you are angry at, the one on whom you want vengeance. Do not make Cris pay for my sins.”
“You flatter yourself, my lady,” Dane said, rising to his feet, his eyes angry glints. “I have no need for revenge. In fact, you did me a favor years ago when you discarded me for something as insignificant and hollow as a title.”
The words No, that wasn’t how it was were on the tip of Jemma’s tongue, but she swallowed them back.
Because, in truth, she had chosen another over Dane. She had betrayed their love and the promises that had been between them. Promises that still, after all this time, seemed etched in her soul.


I always find reviewing shorter works difficult simply because my initial reaction most of the time concerns the length. I really enjoyed Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell. The characters grew on me, their chemistry was intense, their banter believable, the setting realistic for the time period, but I did find myself wanting more. 

Dane has returned as a successful businessman to the town where his heart was broken. Jemma has returned to the man she jilted, now begging him to spare the life of her alcoholic brother. From their very first look, the tension between them is palpable. Old hurts quickly resurface and raw emotions dampen the air. Their backstory is revealed through their dialogue and yet I knew there had to be more to their childhood, to their growing up, their relationship and his subsequent marriage proposal than what is given to the reader. 

These two characters already had an established relationship, they shared a past, and these parts would have helped given Jemma and Dane more depth and cemented my connection to them. As a short work, I felt robbed of knowing but not really seeing that connection (flashbacks, while effective, don't fill the void). My frustration is a testament to the ability of Cathy Maxwell's talent to spin a tale and hook readers in. The romantic aspect of Nightingale is just about perfect. Each look, each movement, every touch has a reason and the tension between these two is profound. They are so hard on themselves and don't believe they are worthy of the true love they felt for each other as teens. Their reunion is something else.

I admit I loved the spin the author gave the story. Jemma's reason for marrying someone else was surprising but actually made a lot of sense and said a lot about her character (too bad her scene with her mother wasn't longer). When Dane thinks about it, his consensus is welcome since the reader reaches the same decision when he does. Very cool! I zoomed through Nightingale. As a short story, it is tight, grabs the reader and leaves them wanting more. I know I did.

Rating: 4

Cover comment:
I don't think Dane and Jemma stopped on the stairs for their 'moment' but the cover is reminiscent of typical historical romance cover art.

Book source:
Edelweiss. 

About the Author:

CATHY MAXWELL spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. She lives in beautiful Virginia with children, horses, dogs, and cats.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway
Avon is giving away Two Digital Copies of NIGHTINGALE. Enter below.
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Blog tour: Five Weeks by Dannika Dark + excerpt and giveaway


Five Weeks
(Seven Series, Bk #3)
By Dannika Dark 

Blurb:
Izzy has always loved the freedom and adventure of life on the road, but she’s recently decided to settle down—as much as a rogue wolf can. When her boyfriend gets her a job working at a hot Shifter bar, she runs into the last person on earth she expected to see again.

Jericho isn't the famous rock star he once was, though he still plays in a local band and loves to party. Beautiful women come and go, but music is his only passion—until a sassy redhead named Isabelle Monroe shows up unexpectedly.

Fate reunites two former friends living with one foot in the present and the other in the past. But will they have a future when one of them is forced to choose between life and death? Old habits die hard, and sometimes the toughest addictions to shake are the ones that control our hearts.


Available for purchase at 

      

Excerpt

Book Blitz: Breathless Anthology

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BREATHLESS BUY LINKS

Kindles: Amazon
iBooks: ITUNES


Friday, August 29, 2014

ONE FAVORITE MOMENT from K.A. Tucker’s Ten Tiny Breaths Series @InkSlingerPR @KathleenATucker


I could not wait to be a part of the One Favorite Moment: Your favorite moments from the Ten Tiny Breaths series tour. This series has easily become one of my favorite New Adult series and each title has found its own place in my heart. For my tour post I first thought I'd choose ONE moment from each book, but that would be too hard since I've highlighted sooo many on my ereader. Then I decided to choose the book which made the most impact on me, the one I will never forget. I love them all and Ten Tiny Breaths will always hold a special place for me.

Why? Two words. Kacey. Trent. They drew me into their story and I couldn't let go. Such tragedy, such pain, such attraction and chemistry. Here are some of my favorite moments.

     "Stay." I hear the desperation in my voice.
     "Of course, Kacey," he whispers. He kicks off his shoes and climbs into bed next to me.
     I close my eyes and nuzzle in his chest, reveling in the warmth of his body, the pound of his heartbeat, the smell of him. "You hate me, don't you? You must hate me. I can't help it. I'm broken."
     Trent squeezes me close to him. "I don't hate you. I could never hate you. Give me your heart, Kacey. I'll take everything that comes with it."

&

     I freeze, my cheeks flaming, acutely aware that I am standing completely naked in front of a guy that can make me climax with the right look. I hear the bed creak and footsteps approach slowly, but I don't move. Trent edges up behind me and the air in the room grows thicker. I can't turn around. I can't face him and I don't know why.
     I can feel his very existence as if it's wrapping its hand around my soul, cradling it, trying to protect it from harm and I'm terrified. Terrified becasue I don't ever want the feeling to end.


&


     "Breathe, Kacey." Livie tightens her grip on me, crawling in to lie down beside me and I realize I'm hyperventilating.
     "I can't, Livie." I cry out, tears burning my cheeks. "I'm drowning."


&


     With a slow, cautious movement, he lifts a shaky hand and presses it against the glass. He holds it there.
     And I can't help myself.
     I match his fingers perfectly to his, imagining what it would be like to feel his skin again, to have those fingers curl over mine, pull me into him, into his warmth. Into his life.
     We stay like that, hand against hand, tears rolling down my cheeks, for a long moment. 

&

     "Oh, Kace." Trent's lips curve and he flashes me the deepest set of dimples I've ever seen, buckling my knees. "Nothing's ever been more right."

I cannot wait to read In Her Wake and have pre-ordered my copy.

TEN TINY BREATHS:

Just breathe, Kacey. Ten tiny breaths. Seize them. Feel them. Love them.

Four years ago Kacey Cleary’s life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, holding her boyfriend’s lifeless hand and listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, twenty year old Kacey and her fifteen year old sister Livie escape Grand Rapids, Michigan to start over in Miami. Struggling to make ends meet, Kacey needs to figure out how to get by. But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle anything—anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.

Trent Emerson has smoldering blue eyes, deep dimples, and perfectly skates that irresistible line between nice guy and bad boy. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey is determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their mutual attraction is undeniable and Trent is determined to find a way into Kacey’s guarded heart—even if it means that an explosive secret could shatter both their worlds.

***Caution: Mature content! Not suitable for younger readers. Contains reference to drugs, swearing, and sexual content ***

ONE TINY LIE:

Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents' tragic death and Kacey's self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would...and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.

Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fit Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?

As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows. 
FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE:

I believe you don’t have years, or months, or weeks to impact a person’s life. You have seconds. Seconds to win them over, and seconds to lose them.

Owning a strip club isn’t the fantasy most guys expect it to be. With long hours, a staff with enough issues to keep a psych ward in business, and the police regularly on his case, twenty-nine-year-old Cain is starting to second-guess his unspoken mission to save the women he employs. And then blond, brown-eyed Charlie Rourke walks through his door, and things get really complicated. Cain abides by a strict “no sleeping with his staff” rule. But being around Charlie challenges Cain’s self-control . . . and it’s been a long time since any woman has done that.

Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Rourke needs a lot of money, really fast, in order to vanish before it’s too late. Taking her clothes off for men makes her stomach curl, but Charlie tells herself that at least she’s putting her acting and dancing skills to good use. And though her fellow dancers seem eager to nab their sexy, sophisticated, and genuinely caring boss, she’s not interested. After all, Charlie Rourke doesn’t really exist—and the girl pretending to be her can’t get distracted by romance.

Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, and that those feelings may not be unrequited—but losing him when he finds out what she’s involved with will be more painful than any other sentence awaiting her.
FIVE WAYS TO FALL:

Sometimes you can’t change—and sometimes you just don’t want to. Discover Ben’s side of the story in this fourth novel by the beloved, top-selling indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths, One Tiny Lie, and Four Seconds to Lose.

Purple-haired, sharp-tongued Reese MacKay knows all about making the wrong choice; she’s made plenty of them in her twenty-odd-years. So when her impulsive, short-lived marriage ends in heartbreak, she decides it’s time for a change. She moves to Miami with the intention of hitting reset on her irresponsible life, and she does quite well…aside from an epically humiliating one-night stand in Cancun with a hot blond bouncer named Ben. Thank God she can get on a plane and leave that mistake behind her.

Football scholarship and frat parties with hot chicks? Part of charmer Ben Morris’s plan. Blown knee that kills any hope of a professional football career? So not part of the plan. Luckily Ben has brains to go with his knockout looks and magnetism. After three long years of balancing law school with his job as a bouncer at Penny’s Palace, he’s ready to lead a more mature life—until his first day of work, when he finds himself in the office of that crazy, hot chick he met in Cancun. The one he hasn’t stopped thinking about.

If Ben truly were a smart guy, he’d stay clear of Reese. She’s the boss’s stepdaughter and it’s been made very clear that office romances are grounds for dismissal. Plus, rumor has it she’s trouble. The only problem is, he likes trouble, especially when it’s so good-looking…

Amazon | B&N | iBookstore | BAM | Bookish | Other


IN HER WAKE: A Ten Tiny Breaths Novella:

Author’s Note: Although it is a prequel, In Her Wake is best read after completing Ten Tiny Breaths.

Before you knew him as Trent in Ten Tiny Breaths, he was Cole Reynolds—and he had it all. Until one night when he makes a fatal, wrong decision…and loses everything.

When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends—the ones who have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.

Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional, and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. Nor can he shake the all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip on what once was important—college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.

And there’s only one person who can give that to him…



About K.A. Tucker:

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Links:
Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** YouTube **Pinterest ** Instagram


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