Review + Excerpt: Another 4.0 by Denise Leora Madre

 

 

SUMMARY:

Daria Nelson’s life seems perfect. She’s the apple of her father’s eye, the love of Maurice’s life, and a straight-A sophomore at Howard University.
But all is not as it seems.

Daria is angry with her father…because her father is angry with her. After four years, Adrian Nelson still doesn’t like Maurice, which makes no sense to his daughter. Maurice is the handsome owner of a successful West Philly barbershop and the kind of guy any girl would be lucky to have. So what’s not to like.

Well, no, Maurice hasn’t exactly supported Daria’s decision to matriculate some 150 miles away. He expected her to attend the University of Pennsylvania like she promised and hasn’t quite forgiven the drastic change in venue. But Daria understands his frustration because college hasn’t been everything she expected either. Though confident in her choice of English as a major, she feels constant pressure to decide who she wants to be when she grows up…and maintain the level of excellence expected of a student at the premiere HBCU in the world to boot.
And with all these issues jockeying for her attention, all Daria wants is peace and another 4.0.

 

MY REVIEW:

I’m so proud to bring this book to your attention during Black History Month. It’s the work of my dear friend Denise Leora Madre. We’re writing partners. We edit for each other when the stories are still raw, and so this book has been in my life for a significant time. The characters are old friends.

Daria Nelson is a good girl from Philly who has a touch of sass and a strong wit, which makes her easy to like. Some of her relationships are a challenge. She has an overprotective dad who doesn’t want to let her grow up and disapproves of her choices, and a boyfriend who puts a ton of pressure on her by disparaging her decisions and values. I love every scene with Daria’s mom, Corina, who tends to steal the show whenever she’s around. Daria has a strong group of established friends who couldn’t be more different from one another, and the conversations and situations faced by students their age will take you right onto the campus of Howard U.

My favourite character, next to Daria, is Mordecai. You’ll see why when you read it.

This is a terrific coming-of-age story–especially for girls–with a touch of romance. It will ring true to young people and bring nostalgic remembrances to adults. I recommend it not just to lovers of Young Adult fiction, but for inclusion in high school classrooms and libraries. The novel includes a list of discussion-oriented questions at the back that will be useful to teachers and book clubs.

Denise Leora Madre has an impressive voice and a strong message for today’s youth. This book deserves to become a classic. Five stars.

 

EXCERPT:

August 1999
I scowled at the bug on my windshield.
The fat, ugly, freeloading bug on an otherwise pristine windshield.
It was a hair’s breadth outside the arc of my left wiper, artfully dodging the blue mist and squeaky blade. I knew that after trying and failing six times to dislodge it.
Stupid, fat, ugly, freeloading, useless…
“Ignore the bug,” came the soft nudge from the passenger seat. “Focus on the road.”
“I am.”
“You’re drifting.” Corina Nelson gazed out the window, eyeballing the distance between our dusty rental and the dotted white line. “Not much, but you’re drifting.”
“I am not. I’m right behind this Lexus.”
“Then the Lexus is drifting, too. I just want you to be safe.”
“I know, Mom.”
“I also reiterate my offer to drive. You’ve had your license only a month….”
“Five weeks and three days, thank you very much.”
“…and you have nothing to prove to me.”
I ignored the subtle emphasis on the last two words. The person to whom I felt obligated to prove myself lately wasn’t here, citing an unmissable meeting at work. I snorted under my breath, refusing to let him ruin a trip he hadn’t bothered to take.Corina mistook my snort for an allergic reaction. “Where’s your medicine?”
“In my bag, and I don’t need it. That was a snort of derision.”
“Is there a pill for that?” I cut my eyes at her, and she laughed. “You have to admit that was good.”
“You should have been a comedienne.”
“Nah, I like being a craftswoman.” She checked her watch. “But I hate being late.”
“It doesn’t matter.” I changed lanes to escape the octogenarian in the Lexus. “Only upperclassmen move in today, and most of them defected to the Towers.”
“Why didn’t you and Cherrie do that? Private suite with a real kitchen and bathroom instead of those broom closets Meridian calls showers.”
“Because she’s an RA, and I didn’t want to risk getting some wacky roommate.”
“Pity. I send delightful care packages.”
The sleek black cell phone in the center console rang, its cheery ringtone identifying the caller. “Great. Now I’m going to get in trouble.”
“I’ll handle Cherrie. You watch that classic pickup on your left. The driver is too busy singing to pay attention.”
“Because that song rocks.” I snapped my fingers. “Gotta love Trisha Yearwood.”
“Never change, Daria.” Corina smiled and answered my phone. “Hi, Cherrie! Yes, we’re finally on our way…. Well, we got a late start because someone pulled a fast one last night.” My cheeks flamed as she glanced at me. “She’ll tell you all about it…. We’ll be there as soon as I-95 lets us…. Oh, I’ll ask her.” She pulled the phone from her ear. “Cherrie can hold an ‘80s room’ for you, whatever that means.”
“The rooms numbered 79-92 are huge, big enough for Bernie to do a cartwheel.”
“Fabulous,” Corina said. “Fourth or fifth floor?”
“Where is she?”
She waited a beat. “Seventh.”
Cherrie was beside the kitchen, so I needed dibs on laundry. “Fourth.”
I crossed “proper room assignment” off my mental to-do list. Sophomore year needed to be seamless, and securing the right room was an encouraging first step.
“Do you need to use the bathroom?” Corina asked after ending the call. “We could stop in the Maryland House.”
“What am I, a toddler? Besides, don’t be using me to feed your habit.”
“Habit?” She batted her ridiculously long lashes. “Whatever do you mean?”
I honked at the bumper sticker-laden SUV in front of us. “Anytime you spend more than an hour in the car, you need a Cinnabon. And we left Philly two hours ago.”
“That means I’m due for two.”
“No time.” I glanced at the clock on the dashboard, one of few working items in the car. “At this pace, we can get to Meridian by three o’clock.”
“Just because you came into six months of Peanut Chews last night doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t need snacks.” I smothered another smile, and she pouted. “I cannot believe you won’t make a quick stop so your poor mother can have a treat. I gave you life, nursed you through chickenpox, and let you sleep in our bed for a week after A Thief in the Night gave you nightmares.”
“First, there is nothing poor about Corina Davenport Nelson. Second, I didn’t ask to be born. Third, it wasn’t my fault I got sick, and fourth…” I shuddered. “That movie gave me nightmares and kept me from youth group forever.”
“And now you’re a heathen who deprives her mother of sustenance.” She crossed her arms, and I deducted fifteen minutes from our travel time. “Fine.”
Then my phone rang again, this ringtone of a decidedly different flavor.
“Too bad.” Corina tsked. “You can’t drive and talk at the same time, so you can’t answer his call until we arrive in DC … in another hour at the earliest.” Her sigh was full of romantic regret. “If only there were a place to stop for a few minutes without detouring completely…”
I wanted to stick to my guns and try to salvage my fading timeline. But each ring of the phone chipped away at my resolve, and I switched to the left lane after passing the second sign for the Maryland House.
“Should I tell him you’ll call him back?” She gave full voice to her laughter, sobering at my glare. “I mean, uh, watch the road.”

BUY LINK:

Amazon.com

 

BIO:

Denise Leora Madre is not naïve…at least, not as much as yesterday. A lifelong Philadelphian, her idyllic childhood was filled with her love of God and family and weekly trips to the Joseph C. Coleman Library. After graduating from Masterman High School, Denise carried her unfocused dreams of singing stardom through four colleges over the next ten years. Though Temple University eventually supplied her cap and gown, Howard University owns her heart and inspired her debut novel, Another 4.0.
As a mother of seven—long story—she primarily uses her English degree to campaign for the Oxford comma and bemoan the pervasiveness of text-speak. When not binge-watching Chopped or Friends, Denise can be found overthinking things and harassing her handsome husband for hugs…or his incredible lasagna.
Denise is a published essayist whose work appears in Color Him Father (Kinship Press, 2006) and The Motherhood Diaries 2 (Brown Girls Publishing, 2014). She is also an avid writer of Twilight fanfiction and has won awards in assorted contests. Though she has yet to learn how to drive or swim—don’t judge her—she is the proud owner of an organized junk drawer.

AUTHOR LINKS:

http://www.deniseleoramadre.com/

@ladylibre on Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/deniseLeoramadre

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16004279.Denise_Leora_Madre

https://plus.google.com/106222116114565974965

 

OTHER PUBLISHED WORKS:

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Review + Giveaway: Pucked Off by Helena Hunting

 

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Pucked Off, an all-new emotional and sexy STANDALONE from Helena Hunting is LIVE!!

Pucked Off by Helena Hunting

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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***A Standalone novel in The Pucked Series***

I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”

I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.

Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.

I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.

At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

I should leave her alone.

But I won’t.

Excerpt:

Armed with my clipboard, I walk down the hall to the waiting room. Lance is impossible to miss. Despite the fact that he’s wearing a sweatshirt and the hood is covering half of his face, he’s more than six feet of broad, hockey-playing man.

He’s so wide his shoulders encroach on the chairs on either side, which would explain why no one is sitting next to him. He’s slouched down so his head rests on the back of the chair, and his hands are clasped in his lap, a baseball cap hanging off one knee. His lips, plush and soft—I know since I’ve had them on mine; it might have been a decade ago, but I remember it clearly—are parted. He looks like he’s asleep.

I clear my throat. “Lance Romero?”

He doesn’t move.

Bernadette, the receptionist, gives me a meaningful look.

I clear my throat again and call his name a second time. He jolts awake and the hood falls back, exposing his face. It’s not in good shape. He has a black eye and bruises on his left cheek. There’s a fly bandage across one eyebrow.

Sadly, he’s still hot.

He blinks a few times, yawns, and smacks his lips, his tongue touching the split in the bottom one. His gaze sweeps the room and finally lands on me. Heat explodes in my cheeks and courses through my limbs, warming me from the inside out as he starts at my sneaker-clad feet and roams up over my yoga pants to my company-issued T-shirt before stopping at my face. I can’t look directly at him for more than a couple of seconds. I sincerely hope he doesn’t remember me. I cannot go there and also be professional.

I’m sure the smile he gives me has melted many a panty off a slutty bunny. Mine stay right where they’re supposed to, wedged up my ass.

I force a polite, professional veneer. “I’m ready for you now.”

My Review:

Every time I think one of the books in the Pucked Series is going to be my favourite, Helena tops her own achievements.

Lance Romero has a reputation for being a player on and off the ice, but not everything is as it seems. I honestly was worried that I wouldn’t like this character but he surprised me. He was nothing like I expected and I fell for him. Hard.

Lance has had a hard life and bears some scars. When he meets Poppy, he doesn’t remember her. But she remembers him. He occupies a place in her heart that can’t be overlooked. Poppy is a wonderfully nurturing, kind and patient woman; just what Lance needs.

The content of this book is darker than that of the rest of the series, but there’s something wonderfully healing in the growth of these characters. This book touched my heart in unexpected ways. Five stars.

poan

Read Today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2iWXrAJ

Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/zs5ltao

Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/znznqfc

Amazon AU: http://tinyurl.com/hboua56

iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/jpcq5fy

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Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/jx62v3a

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2i91aXl

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Enter the Giveaway for a Complete Signed Set of the Pucked Series!

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About the Author:

NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Connect with Helena:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/helenahunting Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenaHunting

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Zt1xm5

Facebook Fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/385795934890523/

Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/

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New Release + Giveaway: Beast by Debra Anastasia

 

Debra Anastasia is issuing two covers for BEAST! The first was the inspiration (with all the abs), and the second (with the hood) was implemented when it became apparent that the novella was a romantic comedy but with a huge heart. Think a merge of Poughkeepsie and Booty Camp Dating Service. I can’t wait to read this one!

 

Synopsis:

I knew who he was before he introduced himself. Jeans and a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head. The hem of the material hid his face like he was the grim reaper. Or a Dementor.  Legend has it that he’s a serial killer. And that he is covered in abs. Ribbed for a lady’s pleasure.

And he just programed his number in my phone.


Debra has a major giveaway on her site!

Click here for the GIVEAWAY
💪🏼Signed and personalized copy of BEAST
💪🏼Signed and personalized copy of For All The Evers
💪A For All The Evers canvas Pouch
💪🏼Signed and personalized copy of Booty Camp
💪🏼 $20 Amazon Gift Card

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2miUHfj

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06WWQBPFB/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_bx6RybFDKAAN3

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34384644-beast
Print: http://amzn.to/2lfioEn

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Cover Reveal: Buns by Alice Clayton

 

The third in the hilarious yet sizzling hot Hudson Valley series from New York Time and USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton.

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

 

 

S&S:  http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Buns/Alice-Clayton/The-Hudson-Valley-Series/9781501118173

AMAZON:  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/150111817X?tag=simonsayscom

B&N:  http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-7567305-11819508?SID=simonsayscom&url=http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/?ean=9781501118173

BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781501118173

INDIEBOUND:  http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781501118173?aff=simonsayscom

IBOOKSTORE:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781501118197?at=101rBC&ct=buns_9781501118197_sscom

KINDLE:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MPZNNVO?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B01MPZNNVO&linkCode=xm2&tag=sscom-ebooks1-20

NOOK:  http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-7567305-11819508?SID=simonsayscom&url=http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/?ean=9781501118197

GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Alice_Clayton_Buns?id=WCppDQAAQBAJ&PAffiliateId=110l3H&PCamRefID=buns_9781501118197_sscom

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Talisman Tuesday: Prison by T.M. Franklin

 

 

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It’s the final #TalismanTuesday – and release day for PRISON – The Talisman Chronicles, Episode 6, by T.M. Franklin. (If you haven’t read WINDOW yet, be sure an start there!)

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Chloe Blake knows a battle is coming. She’s seen it—over and over—in her living room’s mystical picture window.

But she’s also seen something worse.

Chloe and her friends are The Order, gifted with powers to fight the dark chaos that’s descended on Lamsden and is bent on wreaking havoc not only there, but around the world. They’re prepared to fight, but fighting may not be enough.

And if Chloe’s visions are right, they might not all emerge from the battle unscathed.

Or even alive.

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Grab PRISON today on AMAZON!

And if you haven’t started The Talisman Chronicles yet, what are you waiting for? You can download them all to your Kindle right now!






Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for a Kindle Fire, Signed Paperbacks, or an Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

T.M. Franklin writes stories of adventure, romance, & a little magic. A former TV news producer, she decided making stuff up was more fun than reporting the facts. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards. She’s since written three additional novels and several best-selling short stories…and there’s always more on the way.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Web Site |Facebook |Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ | YouTube |Email

 

Review: Forbidden + Interview with F. Stone + Huge Giveaway

 

Welcome to Forbidden’s book launch celebration

Better Wear Your Flak Jacket

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FORBIDDEN eBOOK IS FREE

February 14th to 18th at AMAZON

My Review:

I always love a book with a different premise. A complex plot and characters with complicated lives are of course very attractive. And that’s what we have here.

My own neighborhood is a real cultural mosaic. We have a lot of new immigrants, many of whom are Muslim. I know a lot of Muslim kids because I used to work in our public school. These are kids who learn English at school and then go home to teach it to their parents. They are–almost always–fantastic kids. And of course I meet their parents and grandparents up at the corner plaza. So phobias and prejudices against average people grieve me. Allah, God and Jehovah are the same God and so how could I hate someone who worships Him?

Of course, I’ve never understood people who hate others.

Here’s an interesting novel: a love story between a white woman and a Muslim man who’d give Jason Bourne a run for his money. Wow, the action and suspense are gripping. Ms. Stone has put a ton of research into this so the setting and mindset of the characters are credible. As well, they’re extremely likeable and heroic. Impressive work. I look forward to reading more of this author’s books. Five stars.

 

Feather Stone: Consequences of Writing a Novel About Islam

When the impulse to write Forbidden began, I resisted. Bartholomew’s (my muse) urging to write the thriller continued with greater intensity. I knew so little about the religion and the culture. DSCN0547

“So what,” he croaked. “You got a brain. Learn. Study.” My muse thumped his froggy flippers.

I shivered at the thought of intense research required, searching for contacts and support. “It’ll take years,” I moaned.

“Ya, so what!” Bart jumped onto my shoulder. “No one can tell this story like you. You’re without bias, a clean slate, a virgin, a – .”

“Now just a minute, Croak.” I call him Croak when he’s gone too far. “What the hell do you mean by virgin?”

Bartholomew blushes as much as a green frog can – kind of an ugly puce. “Don’t get all twisted, sister. You’re unbroken, untainted by hate and fear. Not card carrying religious zealot, or have need for ancient dogma. Your vision is deeper. Unspoiled. Pure.”

Now I’m blushing. “I’m not that pure, Bart. I’ve done things, you know.”

It took Bart almost a year to convince me I had been selected to tell Forbidden’s story. And so the research began. My first task was to approach our local Muslim community. Imam Mustafa Khattab met me at his mosque. I could see he had serious doubts about my ability to tell any story about Islam. He was not alone on that count. However, he handed me an armful of books and videos, advised me to have a Muslim read / edit my work, and gave one final piece of advice – take the middle road.

Over the next many months I studied, including reading the Koran. Gradually, a fascinating world began to take shape. History, music, academics, geography, and weather, social and religious practices, faith in God / Allah, allegiances and warfare, shifting borders and tribal lands, customs and culture merged into a dynamic and complex segment we know as the Middle East. What I learned is that unless you are born in that region, most of us cannot fully understand the depth of devotion, nor the passion for the lands once tread by Mohammad, the prophet.

shutterstock_57827968To ensure Forbidden was an unbiased and ‘middle of the road’ reflection of Islam, I needed support. It’s amazing how when you put out the intention to the universe, things happen. Lots of things. I am now so blessed with several amazing friends who are Muslim. The are from Canada, United States, and the Middle East. In particular, Dr. Albakkal read each chapter of Forbidden and provided feedback and information. Although I did pay her for this service, she in turn forwarded those funds to charity. She continues to volunteer her time with medical support to the Canadian Syrian refugee children.

In the beginning, I feared a back lash from the Muslim communities. After all, why should a non-Muslim person be writing a novel about Islam? Absolutely, a valid concern. No doubt, Forbidden’s account of the thoughts and behaviors of a Muslim cop in the Middle East may have missed the mark. The local expressions, the body language, etc. – I would loved to have been able to paint a far more true to form image. My most fervent hope, however, has been to not insult or misinterpret the basics of Islam and the Koran.

What I didn’t expect when I started writing Forbidden was resistance, even some hostility from members within my culture. And though I had gained enough knowledge to appease their fears, they dug in their heals resisting the idea they could be wrong, misled, or misunderstood the average moderate Muslim. Pointing out that the media have focused on one small segment of militant Muslims and, thus, giving the impression Islam is a religion of hate and terrorists did nothing to persuade some of my friends and associates to reconsider their opinion. So entrenched is their fear. Fear makes us blind and impotent.

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The consequences?

I sacrificed a lot to write Forbidden. Four years was devoted to research and writing. I threw all my energy into creating a story that cannot be compared to another novel. I gave up my love of water color painting and my social calendar was trashed. There were three complete rewrites. Just ask my editor, Leigh Carter, who had to deal with changing character personalities, shifting plots, and an ending that eluded me until the final year. I put my relationships at risk, may have lost a few friends. There may be Muslim and non-Muslim who will want to thrasdownloadh me and trash my book.

But, through it all, the sleepless night of searching for that perfect word, the plot twist, infusing my passion into the characters – I regret nothing.

Giving Bartholomew a big froggy kiss 🙂

Zowie!

book-cover-three-dimensional-finalSynopsis:

Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories

Fifteen American travelers have vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir’s demands, Captain Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay. The devout Muslim is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his family will suffer dire consequences.

The CIA has the lying Sharif in their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country’s government is free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages, backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the targets of a ruthless killer.

Sharif is tortured by his attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD, he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves. In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.

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Enter your name in my rafflecopter for a chance to win:

GRAND PRIZE: AMAZON coupon valued at $100 USD,

Second prize: Amazon coupon $50,

PLUS five ten dollar amazon coupons.

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LAUNCH SCHEDULE

February 13:

Review by Lily Eva Blake

February 14:

Guest Post with Pat Garcia

Review and Guest Post with Juneta Key

February 15:

Featured in OPAL Magazine

Guest Post with Lily Eva Blake

February 16:

Review and Showcase with Nicki Elson

Showcase with Jennifer Lane

February 17:

Showcase with Nancee Cain

Interview with Tyler Wiegmann

February 18:

Review and Showcase with Yolanda Renee

Showcase with Michelle Willms

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Romance Under Fire
Author Feather Stone / F. Stone / Judy Weir:

1-b078f2221d6ec0463539f01708b9e727On our cattle ranch, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services.The Guardian's Wildchild

For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.

My first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild, was published by Omnific Publishing in 2011. The setting is on a naval ship, under the command of a surely man who is under suspicion of treason. When a battered woman is brought to his ship for execution, he has no idea that she is about to turn his disciplined life into chaos – and that she is no ordinary woman. The Guardian’s Wildchild has a rating of 4.1 at Amazon.

Social Media Links: Stop by and say hello at:

Romance Under Fire Blog

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Twitter: Featherwrites

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Excerpt: Pucked Off by Helena Hunting

 

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Pucked Off, an all-new STANDALONE from Helena Hunting is coming February 21st!

Pucked Off by Helena Hunting
Publication Date: February 21st, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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***A Standalone novel in The Pucked Series***

I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”

I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.

Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.

I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.

At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

I should leave her alone.

But I won’t.

Excerpt:

I’ve agreed to go out with Lance. On a date. Two actually. I don’t even know what to think. I grab my purse and slip into my jacket. As fall settles in and the temperature drops, layers are becoming necessary.

When I return, Lance is standing at the desk, checking his phone. He’s smiling.

“Ready to go,” I say.

He hits a couple of buttons, pockets his phone, and turns that grin on me. “Cool.”

I lock up the clinic, and Lance walks me across the lot. This time he doesn’t leave the usual space between us, and the back of his hand grazes my hip.

I’m nervous when we reach my car. His Hummer is parked right behind my Mini this time. I adjust the strap of my purse and look up at him. Strangely, he looks as nervous as me.

He scans my face and takes a small step closer. I can see his hand lifting in my peripheral vision. My hair is in a ponytail, which is sitting on my shoulder. He fingers the end of it.

“Why do I always want to pull this?”

I don’t have the opportunity to answer, because he drops his head and his lips skim my cheek.

“I want to kiss you.”

“You just did,” I whisper.

“I want do it again, but here.” His thumb touches my bottom lip.

“Oh.”

He’s so close. His lips almost touching mine as he asks, “Can I do that?”

“Yes, please.”

His lids grow heavy, and he kisses the corner of my mouth. Lance strokes my cheek and rests his palm on the side of my neck. The other hand skims the length of my arm until he reaches my fingertips.

He leans back a little, and for a second I think it’s over before it’s even begun, but he takes my hand in his. Uncurling my fingers, he lifts it and presses my palm against his cheek. A full-body tremor runs through him, and his eyes drift closed. He turns his head toward my palm, and I smooth my thumb along the contour of his bottom lip. A deep sound comes from the back of his throat, making my skin prickle and heat blossom in my belly.

When he opens his eyes again, the fire in them matches the heat flooding my entire body. “Can you keep yer hand right here?”

“If you want me to, yes.”

“I definitely do.”

He leans in and brushes his lips over mine again. It’s soft and warm. The next time he takes my bottom lip between his, he releases it slowly, and then does the same with the top one. When his tongue flicks out, I might whimper. Light fingers cup my head, and I tilt it back farther.

I part my lips, and his tongue sweeps my mouth. His groan is low, sending a shiver down my spine. He drops the hand that’s keeping mine pressed against his cheek. His arm winds around my waist, and he pulls me in tight against him.

I expect the kiss to grow in intensity. It doesn’t, though I can feel the heat building inside me. That feeling I’ve been searching for all these years is finally back.

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About the Author:

NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Review: Fake Fiancee by Ilsa Madden-Mills

 

Pretending never felt so good….

 

Fake Fiancée by Ilsa Madden-Mills is NOW LIVE!

ONLY $0.99 & Free on Kindle Unlimited.

 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2laEuMc

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2lfrSjw

Amazon Paperback:  http://amzn.to/2ldp4TS

 

 

 

Blurb

 

A new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills…

 

They say nothing compares to your first kiss,

But our first kiss was orchestrated for an audience.

Our second kiss…that one was REAL.

He cradled my face like he was terrified he’d f*ck it up.

He stared into my eyes until the air buzzed.

Soft and slow, full of sighs and little laughs,

He inhaled me like I was the finest Belgian chocolate,

And he’d never get another piece.

A nip of his teeth, his hand at my waist…

And I was lost.

I forgot he was paying me to be his fake fiancée.

I forgot we weren’t REAL.

Our kiss was pure magic, and before you laugh and say those kinds of kisses don’t exist…

Then you’ve never touched lips with Max Kent, the hottest quarterback in college history.

 

Get ready for breathtaking kisses and dreamy football players…

EXCERPT

 

Max stalked over to the barrier that divided the stands from the football field and jumped it. The fans went nuts as he brushed past them, some not even realizing it until he was down the aisle. The Jumbotron followed him.

“Good Lordy, what’s he doing?” Mimi asked, clutching at her chest.

“I don’t know,” I said rather weakly, taking the chance to study him the closer he came. He was beautiful, his shoulders impossibly broad. To add to the distraction, his helmet was in his hand and all that dark brown hair was flowing around his chiseled features as if he had a fan in his face. My Viking.

“He’s coming over here,” Mimi commented.

He was. But why?

I stopped breathing . . .right when he came to a halt in front of me and knelt down on one knee.

Eyes the color of a wild ocean gazed at me.

He took my left hand in his right one.

“Max,” I breathed, my heart fluttering.

He gazed up at me. “Sunny Blaine, will you marry me?”

The stadium went wild. In a daze, I looked up at the Jumbotron and felt like I was watching this happen to someone else. Camera phones flashed all around us.

My first clear thought was I’ll kill him.

Aloud, nothing came out but a faint wheeze. Clearly someone had stuffed a giant wad of cotton in my mouth. Clearly I needed something a lot stiffer to drink than this Diet Coke. Clearly my fake boyfriend was a freaking raving lunatic.

He sat his helmet on the ground next to my feet, reached inside it and pulled out a small black box.

No, no, no!

The box opened, and my stomach churned at the sight of the large round solitaire diamond ring that was nestled on the black silk. I blinked repeatedly to clear my vision.

With deft fingers, Max eased it out of the lining and slipped it on my left hand.

I stared down at it. Then back at him.

I was going to murder the hottest quarterback in the country.

Kiss her, Kiss her, the crowd chanted.

We were the focal point of the entire world.

Max stood and tugged me up with him until we were standing. He slid his hand around my neck and pulled his face to mine. The sky was blotted out as he kissed me.

But I hadn’t said yes!

I wouldn’t say yes.

Not to a fake engagement.

The applause of the stadium was deafening. And his kiss—it was deadly. Despite my rage, my body craved him. His lips were hot, so hot, and my tongue met his with a vengeance. We kissed hard, and I nipped at him, my teeth scraping across his lips. But the only one who’d end up bleeding in this scenario was me.

He eased back to take me in, and with a final look at my face he gave a thumbs-up sign to the entire stadium. They went nuts, chanting his name.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered in my ear, letting his hand trail down my arm as he stepped back from me. He walked away backward, eyes on me the entire time. The announcers for the game told everyone who might have missed it that Max Kent had just asked his girlfriend to marry him, and she’d said yes. More cheers came as they replayed him on his knee in front of me with a giant YES written across the top.

I plopped back down in my seat. Frozen.

“. . . did you see her face? Shocked . . .”

“. . . most romantic thing in football . . .”

“. . . luckiest girl in the world . . .”

My face went hot. Even my ears burned. I wanted to crawl under a seat.

God.

What a lie.

The half ended and our offense came out to the field, snapped the ball, and Max threw it straight to Tate who ran it in for another touchdown. My chest constricted and anger churned in my gut.

I didn’t care who won.

I hated football right now.

Most of all, I hated Max Kent, and I was going to make him pay.

 

MY REVIEW:

I always enjoy books by Ilsa Madden-Mills. You can count on a nice meaty plot, a hot, masculine lead, some angst and some humor. I absolutely loved this book. Max is not only a sweetheart, he’s a very smart guy.

There’s a subplot to this book concerning a prior connection between the leads, and it’s worth swooning over. I’d have enjoyed reading more of the back story, but I like angst. As it is, there’s just the right amount of salt to cut the sweet. Five stars.

 

 

About the Author

Wall Street Journal best selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

 

She’s addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Ian Somerhalder, astronomy (she’s a Gemini), and tattoos. She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education. When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and fuzzy pajamas.

 

She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors. Email her at ilsamaddenmills@gmail.com.

 

 

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THANK YOU!

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Talisman Tuesday: Shield by T.M. Franklin

 

 photo SHIELD reduced_zpsgm6buecz.jpg

It’s #TalismanTuesday and today, SHIELD, The Talisman Chronicles, Episode 5 is now available!

When Dylan Kennedy finds himself standing in the rain on Chloe Blake’s doorstep, with no memory of how he got there, he has no idea that the weirdness in his life is just beginning. He opens the old wooden chest in Chloe’s attic and, with a flash of blinding light, he’s endowed with a unique gift—and made part of The Order.

But Dylan and the others face a growing threat—a darkness that feeds on pain and thrives on chaos. It’s getting stronger every day, and soon, they’ll have to fight it head-on, whether they’re ready or not.

 photo SHIELD promo FIRE_zpstukw2h6l.jpg
 

Wow! Things are getting crazy in Lamsden, WA!

Grab your copy of SHIELD today on AMAZON. And if you’ve missed any of The Talisman Chronicles, you’ll want to make sure you’ve read WINDOW, TIMEPIECE< GAUNTLET and MANTLE first!







Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for a Kindle Fire, Signed Paperbacks, or an Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

T.M. Franklin writes stories of adventure, romance, & a little magic. A former TV news producer, she decided making stuff up was more fun than reporting the facts. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards. She’s since written three additional novels and several best-selling short stories…and there’s always more on the way.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Web Site |Facebook |Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ | YouTube |Email

 

Talisman Tuesday: Mantle by TM Franklin

 

 

 photo Review Quote 4_zpsuvywbiri.jpg

It’s #TalismanTuesday and time to check out Episode 4 in The Talisman Chronicles by T.M. Franklin – MANTLE.

 photo MANTLE reduced_zpsf9p5lfnh.jpg

Maia Sheridan isn’t sure why her cousin and her friends are so interested in an ancient journal found buried in the library archives, but she suspects they have a hidden motive. The journal tells of a secret group called The Order—powerful warriors tasked with protecting humanity.

Maia knows it’s a legend, an interesting bit of mythology passed down through generations. But the more she translates the journal, the more she begins to wonder if there’s more to the myth than meets the eye.

Maybe The Order is real. And maybe Maia’s destined to be a part of it.

 photo MANTLE promo PEN_zpsggvjajsb.jpg

Get MANTLE Today on AMAZON!

And if you’ve missed any of the episodes so far, you can grab them below – and pre-order the rest of the serial so the books will show up in your Kindle as soon as they’re available!







Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for a Kindle Fire, Signed Paperbacks, or an Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

T.M. Franklin writes stories of adventure, romance, & a little magic. A former TV news producer, she decided making stuff up was more fun than reporting the facts. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards. She’s since written three additional novels and several best-selling short stories…and there’s always more on the way.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Web Site |Facebook |Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ | YouTube |Email

 

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