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Socrates

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Guest Post: Shannon's Gift by Nate Bennett

Published: June 1st, 2014

Description:

In this raw, emotional memoir, Nate Bennett shares the blog he maintained to work through his grief over the sudden loss of his wife Shannon. He is surprised and comforted to discover a vast virtual community of support. His blog posts—alternately poignant and of dry wit—eventually attracted tens of thousands of hits and a following from readers who hadn’t known the couple. 
This unique book gives the reader a window into the starkness of a widower’s grieving experience in real time. 

What comes through in virtually every post is his love for Shannon as he weaves in vignettes from their life together, chronicling their love story and his efforts to recover. 

And in the end, with the support of his virtual community and the strength he was able to draw from remembering Shannon’s wishes for him, he finds love again.

GUEST POST
What is the one thing you want readers to know about your book? 

I think the most important thing for me when it comes to what readers should know about the book is that the book is honest. I read a lot both for work and for fun and most all of what I read isn’t real – instead, it has been carefully sculpted from something real. It isn’t that the content isn’t honest – it’s that the author has manipulated the content so that it is smoother, sleeker, and prettier than what is real. 

Shortly after Shannon died and the blogging began, I looked up an old acquaintance from high school that I knew (thanks, LinkedIn) worked in the publishing business. I told her about my blog and my hope that it might one day become a book that would help people through grief. She had a great piece of advice to me – she told me that I had to be very clear about what I was promising the reader and that then I had to keep that promise. I received very similar advice from my psychiatrist, although his reasoning was different. He reminded me that if I wasn't able to stay true to the facts of the situation, I effectively cheating in my effort to get well. 

So from the beginning, I have made certain that I was honest. During the effort to get the blog in to print I resisted editors who wanted me to change the book – the most ridiculous admonition being to turn it in to “Widowerhood for Dummies.” Readers need to know that if they can handle the book, they will truly know what it is like to be crushed, to have no choice but to find a way to get better, and to begin to do just that.

About the author:
In the fall of 2011, Nate lost his wife of 26 years in a shocking turn of events. She’d just had an outpatient procedure on her shoulder and the doctor sent Nate to get the car to bring her home. In the next few minutes, things went terribly wrong. Shannon collapsed, never to recover. After more than a week in a critical care unit in pursuit of a cure, Nate honored Shannon’s wishes and had her life support discontinued and she died shortly later. Nate’s book, Shannon’s Gift, is the result of the blog Nate kept during Shannon’s hospitalization and after her death. Initially, the purpose of the blog was to keep friends and family informed of Shannon’s condition. Quickly, though, the blog became Nate’s catharsis and a way to stay connected to a web of supporters. 

After the sudden loss of his wife, Nate was surprised and comforted to discover a vast virtual community of support. His blog posts – alternately expressing poignancy and dry wit – eventually attracted tens of thousands of readers and a following from people around the world that didn’t even know Nate or his wife. The unique book gives the reader a window into the starkness of a widower’s grief in real time and a look at how social media has changed grieving in today’s world. In the end, with the support of his virtual community and the strength he was able to draw from remembering Shannon’s wishes for him, he finds love again. 

While Nate is new to the personal memoir genre, he is co-author of two management books, "Riding Shotgun: The Role of the COO" and “Your Career Game: How Game Theory Can Help You Achieve Your Professional Goals.” Both are books published by Stanford University Press. Additionally, his research has been published in respected scholarly journals such as the Academy of Management Review, the Academy of Management Journal, Psychological Bulletin, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. He has also published in many widely read resources for managers including the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek.com and Forbes.com. 

Nate Bennett is a professor of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in the summer of 2012. From 1999 to 2012, he was on the faculty of the business school at Georgia Tech, where he most recently held the position of the Catherine W. and Edwin A. Wahlen Professor of Management. From 1999 until 2010, he served as associate dean and then as senior associate dean. Prior to Georgia Tech, he served on the faculty at Louisiana State University. While at LSU, he served at times as the management department’s Ph.D. program coordinator, department chair, MBA program director, and associate dean. 

Nate holds a BA in sociology, as well as a MA in Social Research from Tulane University. He earned his Ph.D. in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He resides in Atlanta, GA. 

Excerpt: Jolted (Conflicted Encounters #1) by Alyne Roberts

Description:

Sometimes, something jolts you out of everything you have ever known, and it isn’t possible to go back to the way things were.

Kallie Adam’s life is turned upside down when she loses her first love. When she can’t handle the pressure of her overbearing life anymore, she runs away. Kallie has always been forced to live up to everyone’s expectations. When Kallie meets Ryder, she sees an opportunity to break out of the good girl life she always led.

Ryder Brooks has his own secrets and knows he is no good for the girl that showed up out of nowhere. He will only ruin her, like he ruins everything, but he can’t help wondering what she is running from. Ryder makes Kallie feel things she thought she would never feel again. Will he help Kallie heal or be her undoing? They will soon realize they have more in common than they knew, enough to keep them apart.


EXCERPT



The one story building was brick and had no windows. A neon open sign hung in the glass door. This must be a bar, but I had no other options and was not about to start driving aimlessly looking for a more family-friendly place to eat alone. I parked and entered the building.

The smell of smoke and beer met me. A long bar lined the wall with bottles of liquor filling the shelves behind it. Low hung lights with green shades gave the place little lighting. Several guys played pool in the back corner. Several other men stopped to look at me from the tables scattered around the room.

I took a deep breath and made my way to the bartender, who was watching me from the bar. The older man had graying hair and looked slightly overweight. I tried to ignore the fact that I looked like an alien in here, with my stark white dress, expensive purse, jewelry and high heels clicking on the weathered tile. I took the barstool directly in front of the bartender, feeling eyes watch me the whole way there.

“Lost?” he asked bluntly.

“And very hungry sir,” I said meekly and embarrassed.

He gave me a sad smile and handed me a sheet of laminated paper they called a menu. After quickly scanning through, I ordered a burger and fries. I anxiously played with the charms of my bracelet while waiting for my food to come. I could feel the eyes burning into my back, but the voices picked back up as I no longer was the center of attention.

I couldn’t tell if it was dark out yet from inside the dark and dingy bar. I almost laughed when I thought of my mother’s reaction if she knew where I was, instead of her well-planned party. I never went out to bars and partied like my classmates did. I stayed in, concentrated on my studies and watched as Chloe and the girls got ready to head out for nights of fun and drinking. I didn’t imagine this would be the kind of bar they would go to, though.

My food arrived and I slowly ate the burger to stall from having to start the drive home. Driving in the dark on the winding country roads was the last thing I wanted to do. After all, I know how dangerous that could be. Maybe Carter would be sitting on my patio with me right now if it had been daylight for his drive home. Maybe I wouldn’t be in this smokey bar alone.

I slid my card to the bartender when he took my empty plate. “Do you want to start a tab?” he asked me.

“For drinks?” I asked, like I have never been in a bar before. “Yes,” I answered quickly to cover my embarrassment. I could at least try to look like I know what I am doing and remotely blend in. I grabbed my ID from my purse and slid it across the bar.

“What can I get you then, sweetie?” He tucked my card under the register.

“Scotch. On the rocks,” rolled off my tongue before even thinking. I had no idea what I was thinking. I saw it in so many movies and commercials, it seemed like the right thing to say.

The bartender tried to hide his laugh and shook his head. Taking a bottle from the shelves behind him, he filled a glass and slid it in front of me. The smell burned my nose as I lifted it to my lips. He watched me curiously as I inhaled a deep breath. I took a long drink from the glass to keep up my rouse.

The liquid burned my throat like I swallowed flames. I instantly started coughing and shaking my head to clear the burn. I kept my eyes down on the ice cubes in my glass to avoid looking at the bartender. Surely, he must know how deep over my head I am by now.

“Hey, Hank,” came from a voice from next to me, drawing the worried man away from me.

“Ryder,” he said back to the voice while popping the top off a beer bottle and sliding it across the bar. I didn’t even hear him ask for one.

I rolled the glass around in my hands and kept my gaze down. I just wanted to crawl up in a hole and hide from here, this bar, and home and my family. But, I currently have no where to hide that’s not any of those places.

“You’re not from around here, are you?” I heard in a deep voice near my ear.

I looked up quickly to see the guy, named Ryder, sliding over to the stool next to me. His eyes traveled from my high heels, up my bare legs and the rest of my body before landing on my face. I wanted to cringe away from his look, but my body made no moves. I could almost feel his eyes moving up my skin.

Even with an empty and broken heart, my mind could not ignore that the face in front of mine was striking. Black hair spiked in every direction. His pointed jaw and high cheekbones brought all your attention to piercing, dark brown eyes. Some stubble on his chin made him look older, but his broad shoulders and wide chest showed a body of someone younger. He raised one eyebrow at me, reminding me he asked a question.

“Um…no. I’m not,” I stuttered, turning away from his handsome face. He was opposite of Carter in almost every way. I could see him still watching me from the corner of my eye, so I took another drink to break the tension. My body shuddered as the Scotch burned it’s way down.

“Hank, Mojito,” he called out, slamming his hand on the bar.

Hank slid a tall glass with mint leaves and a clear liquid inside. I turned to look at Ryder in shock as he slid the Scotch away from me and downed the rest.

“This is better. Trust me,” he said, sliding the glass closer to me.

In utter curiosity, I took a small sniff. The smell of citrus and mint was a delightful contrast to the previous drink.

“Thank you,” I said, bringing the drink to my lips. The drink burned when swallowed, but then was washed away with the freshness of mint, lime and bubbles.

“Ryder,” the stranger said, sticking out his hand. His eyes shined bright with amusement and something that looked almost daring, like he was challenging me.

“Kallie,” I answered, putting my hand in his. His large hand covered mine. It was rough and instantly warmed my whole body.I have an obsession with owls.




Goodreads ** Smashwords ** Amazon ** Barnes&Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo 
About the author:
Alyne lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. Working full time in an office all day, she spends her nights reading, writing or watching TV marathons. She loves coffee, animals and country music.

Fun Facts
I make homemade wine, and drink it. ** I love watermelon and anything flavored or scented watermelon. ** I have a dog and a cat. They are my kids. ** I have 5 tattoos and need more. ** I’m a Mac person, I have no idea how to use anything Windows. ** If I could live in any state it would be Georgia. ** I am scared of spiders and big fish. ** On the first day of sixth grade, I walked into the boys bathroom. Most embarrassing moment. ** My favorite candy is skittles. ** I never eat breakfast in the morning, but can eat if for dinner everyday of the week. ** I have ridiculously naturally long nails. ** I collected clowns when I was a kid. I have over 100 in my bedroom. No one wanted to come over for sleepovers. ** My sister and my husband are my best friends. ** If I won the lottery, I would own every Mustang model ever made. ** I have never had stiches or broken a bone in my life [knock on wood] ** Unless you count the time I knocked out both my front teeth. [They are fixed now] ** I am a famous singer, in my shower. ** I used to have a motorcycle until I dropped it. I traded it in for a 4-wheeler. I guess I’m too small to hold up a bike. ** I choose Coke over Pepsi and Miller Light over Bud Light.

Happy Release Day! Special Offer: A Dangerous Season (For Love of Fae Book Three) by Olivia Hardin

Description:

Pain, joy, death, life, magic: All of it fits. Or does it…

The faery realm is in a frenzy now that the Women on the Hill are no longer united in power. The fabric of life as the fae know it is changing, and with it the dynamics of friends, lovers and neighbors.

Devan will risk both her life and Kent’s love to locate her missing father. Nicky must follow Gerry headfirst into danger as she runs from the new demons within herself. Doc and Jill choose an ally in the cold war between faery factions as Robin struggles to help McKenna recover from a loss that could cripple her forever. Kristana and Langston seek answers and follow a ghost into enemy territory, while Rooney confronts the challenges of Belle’s growing powers and the path revealed for their lives.

A collision of forces could create a new order between the faery and human realms, but will everyone survive the fallout of the cataclysm?

The characters of Bend-Bite-Shift and For Love of Fae all converge in A Dangerous Season (For Love of Fae Trilogy Book Three). 

JUST 99CENTS RELEASE DAY SPECIAL - ONLY GUARANTEED TODAY!!!
(check the seller's price/geographical policy)
About the author:
When Olivia Hardin began having movie-like dreams in her teens, she had no choice but to begin putting them to paper. Before long, the writing bug had her and she knew she wanted to be a published author. Several rejections plus a little bit of life later, and she was temporarily “cured” of the urge to write. That is until she met a group of talented and fabulous writers who gave her the direction and encouragement she needed to get lost in the words again.

Olivia’s attended three different universities over the years and toyed with majors in Computer Technology, English, History and Geology. Then one day she heard the term road scholar and she knew that was what she wanted to be. Now she “studies” anything and everything just for the joy of learning. She’s also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and she’s sometimes accused of being artistic.

A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband, Danny and their puppy, Bonnie.

Event organized by Promotional Book Tours

Guest Post and Giveaway: Echoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler

Cover photo by Steven Jon Horner

Description: 

Connor’s dead. But she can still feel him. Is it just her imagination or something more? Celeste wants to know. And she’ll stop at nothing to find out. 

A once-aspiring artist, Celeste is going through the motions of life. She’s stuck – in a job she doesn’t love, with a man who isn’t right for her, in a web of painful memories from the past. Adding to her despair is the sudden and unexpected death of Connor, her true love. As she struggles to make sense of the world around her, strange coincidences and mysterious events lead her to question her sanity. When the happenings persist, she wonders if Connor’s spirit is trying to tell her something. Her jealous husband Dave insists it’s all just her imagination. But when Celeste’s young son has an experience of his own, she is determined to uncover the truth.

Join Celeste as she risks her marriage, her career, and her own safety to escape the demons from her past and unravel the mysteries of life and death. With so much uncertainty, there’s only one thing Celeste knows: her world will never be the same.

GUEST POST
Writing: The Forgotten Artistry 

When you think of the word “artist,” images of paintings, drawings and sculptures come to mind. But there is another type of artist that is often overlooked: the writer. 

A writer doesn’t use crayons, paints or clay to create a work of art. Our masterpieces are crafted with words. What we say and how we say it can paint a beautiful picture in the reader’s mind. A good writer can help the reader visualize the scenes and characters to bring the story to life. We can evoke emotions, inspire others, give readers a look into our souls and even cause people to roll their eyes or drop their jaws. Some will gasp in horror at the ugliness of our words, just like those who are appalled by controversial sculptures or violent paintings. Others will be wowed by what we show them and spend a great deal of time thinking about the messages in our books, similar to how people stare at a piece of art to figure out what the artist intended to convey. 

While you cannot physically see our artistry with your eyes like you can when viewing a painting or sculpture, all you have to do is pick up a book and start reading. Before you know it, you mind will be full of images — those that we created for your enjoyment, education or enlightenment. We can do everything a painter or sculptor can do. The only difference is the medium. 

Yes, writers are artists too, which proves the point: You don’t have to see something with your eyes for it to be genuine.

About the author: 
Deanna Kahler is an accomplished writer and proud mom. Her work has been published in numerous corporate newsletters and magazines across the country. She began writing as a young child and enjoys the opportunity to reach others and make a difference in their lives. 

Echoes of Paradise is her second book. The story is close to her heart because it was inspired by some of her own experiences. Deanna is now working on a follow-up novel, Visions of Mortality, scheduled for release in 2015. The book will feature some of the same characters and also have a paranormal/afterlife theme. 

Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where she graduated with departmental honors. She lives with her husband and daughter in a Metro Detroit suburb and enjoys writing, dancing, walking, and visiting parks in her spare time. 


Author's Giveaway

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Lycan Hunter (Gardinian World #1) by Kelsey Jordan

Cover Artist: Greg Simanson

Description: 

When Alexis James arrives at her first assignment in months, she anticipates the danger and violence rife in her calling as a Lycan Hunter. What she doesn’t expect is a handsome, blue-eyed wolf saving her life and kidnapping her. Surrounded by the enemy, Alexis must not only survive her prisoners but the bonds of a different sort that begin to form against her will.

Mikko Kyran was chosen by the gods to lead his pack, and he has made it his mission to end the eight thousand years of war plaguing his people. The Alpha never suspected that the key to the prophecy ending the Forever War would be held by a smart-mouthed, sexy Hunter determined to kill him.

Can two people from different worlds set aside everything they know about one another long enough to survive retribution from the Hunters, the pack, and the gods? Or will their differences start a war that neither can win?

Written with intensity and depth, The Lycan Hunter is the first in a thrilling new series.


GUEST POST
Paranormal Romance Musts

Any romance genre is expected to have romance. That’s a given. The “heat” of that romance will depend on the author, but the romance and expected happy ever after or happy for now should be in the story. However, in order for a paranormal romance to be more than a regular romance it needs more than the “average” human.

The genre of paranormal romance is full of a various takes on the same group of supernatural beings. Their creation may vary from book to book, but essentially, those of us who write in the paranormal genre are drawing from the same pool of creatures. In order to create something unique, authors have to put in some work, some of which readers never get to see.

Personally, it is important to me that I understand the how and the why of the creation of my characters within my universe. This results in a ton of world building. For me, this is where the fun begins.

World building is something that really excites me and is one of the things I like most about writing. It’s my first act of creation, the first chance I have to shine light into the darkness and put the world dancing in my head down on paper.

To me, paranormal romance needs good world building in order to make the world the author is trying to create more plausible. Books based in the contemporary world are not exempt from needing thorough world building. If the paranormal world is a secret from “normal” humans, it may require even more work to make it plausible.

Part of world building is the inclusion of rules. When I write the rules of my universe, they typically cover things like procreation, food habits, religion, if there is any, and all aspects surrounding creating and distributing powers among my book’s characters. The rules create a balanced (as much as possible) world and keeps me from going off the rails in later books.

Keep in mind that the rules shouldn't be ones that can be easily broken. This means an author may end up lightly plotting the (likely) future books in order to avoid backing themselves into a corner, or they may write themselves a plausible out in the event that the rule needs to change in the future.

Truthfully, I don’t think it is possible to create a believable paranormal world without a good sense of the rules. I honestly believe this background work translates into a more immersive novel and makes it easier for the reader to buy into the created world. Which is the point, right?

Tell a lie so real that it’s easy for the reader to fall in and forget the world around them.

About the author: 
Kelsey Jordan is the author of The Lycan Hunter, the first book in her Gardinian World series. Though she has a preference for all things paranormal and romantic, Kelsey admits she just writes what her muse demands of her. It’s less painful that way. When she isn’t enjoying the momentary benefits of playing god to the many characters that live in her head, she can usually be found curled up with a book, killing something in a video game, or spending time with her family. At some point in the day she is probably drinking more than her recommended dose of coffee, but don’t tell her that. She doesn’t care about recommended servings.

As a Texas native and self-described Air Force brat, Kelsey now lives in Georgia with her husband and their tutu-wearing minion. Book 2 and 3 of the series will be published by Booktrope Editions late Summer/Fall 2014. 


Author's Giveaway

If Ever I Would Leave You: Arthurian Stories For A New Generation by Jenny Trout, Bronwyn Green, Jessica Jarman, Abigail Barnette

Description:

Surfacing by Bronwyn Green
A year after Tabby Nolan’s sister vanished from the Lake Michigan shore with her boyfriend, Liam, Tabby visits the spot where the two were last seen– and finds herself pulled into the crumbling world of Avalon.

Since his disappearance, Liam has been trapped in the mythical land, with no link to the world he knew. Now, their shared memories of Tabby’s missing sister are all they can cling to as Avalon dies around them.

But Tabby doesn’t want to be a replacement for her sister, and her growing attachment to Liam feels like a betrayal. As Avalon fades around them, Liam and Tabby must rely on each other– or be lost with the ancient kingdom forever.

Website ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter

Albion’s Circle: The Deepest Cut by Jessica Jarman
For nineteen years, Anna has been plagued by dreams of lives lived only in legend. Finally free from the family that believed her hopeless and worthless, she’s ready to start her life over—alone.

When Anna meets an enigmatic stranger claiming to be the legendary wizard Merlin, she is forced to question the very reality she’s struggled to accept. With the mythic figures from her dreams intruding on her waking life, Anna learns that she’s been reborn to fight an ancient evil alongside King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Caught in an ages old conflict, Anna is the key to stopping a dark magic that will destroy the world—and Merlin wants to make sure that this time, Anna isn’t alone.


A Choice Fit For A Queen by Jenny Trout writing as Abigail Barnette
For perpetual overachiever Madison Lane, a summer studying Arthurian mythology in the Welsh countryside with professor Thomas Evans is a dream come true, and the adventure of a lifetime.

Of course, the enormous crush Madison developed on the professor after a semester of his lectures at U of M has absolutely nothing to do with her desire to learn more about the enduring legend of Camelot. At least, that’s what she’s telling her parents.

When Madison meets fellow student Rhys Crewe, sparks fly, throwing her plans for wild fling with Professor Evans completely out of whack—as do her unexpectedly complicated feelings for Thomas. With tales of Arthur and Lancelot haunting her every waking moment, Madison has to make the most difficult choice of her life.

EXCERPT


Surfacing
by Bronwyn Green
Mustering up the small amount of strength I had left, I wrenched away from her and ran into the woods. Branches slapped at my face, and brambles scratched my bare legs while small, sharp rocks dug into the bottoms of my feet. I had no idea if Nimue was following me or not, but I wasn’t going to shorten my lead by turning around and looking. What I really needed was somewhere to hide. If this was like the rest of the islands around here, there would be a cave to hole up in or maybe some decent rock formations to use for shelter.
Unfortunately, this looked like nothing but trees. I saw a few other paths as I ran, but I couldn’t make myself choose one. Instead, I just moved heedlessly through the woods, dodging branches as best I could and hoping Nimue wasn’t behind me.
I couldn’t believe I hadn’t come across any other people—or even campsites. These islands were never crowded, but they were popular with the camping and hiking types. I wondered if this island had a ranger station on it. At the very least, there would be a satellite phone there and hopefully an actual ranger. I wanted to call out for help, but if I’d lost Nimue, I didn’t want to give away my location.
Thinking I heard a noise behind me, I put on a burst of speed. At the very last second, I turned right, heading back toward the shore. I thought I remembered seeing rock formations that would make a good hiding spot. I ran into a clearing and skidded to a complete stop. There was a shirtless guy with an ax. A ripped, at least from the back, shirtless guy with an ax. I’d been so focused on getting away from the creepy castle and what might be inside that I’d forgotten I’d heard someone chopping wood, and I managed to run right into him.
I opened my mouth to call out to him, but worry that he was one of the people Nimue had mentioned niggled at me, and I shut it. In those few short seconds, paranoia won out, and I desperately hoped I hadn’t made enough noise for him to hear me. Carefully, I began backing out of the clearing, but he turned. And I froze. He stared at me, eyes widening and mouth open. The ax fell from his hand and hit the forest floor with a dull thud that seemed to echo in my chest. My gaze crept upward from his slack hand to his corded forearm, over his tightly muscled stomach and chest to his face. There was something disturbingly familiar about him. My heart stumbled as I realized what it was. With the heavy stubble covering his cheeks and chin, he looked like a slightly older version of Liam.
He took a step toward me, and I tensed, getting ready to run.
“Tabby?”
I looked at him again. Really looked at him, this time. As he drew closer, I could make out impossibly green eyes—the soft green of new leaves. There was only one person I knew who had eyes like that.


Albion’s Circle: The Deepest Cut
by Jessica Jarman
I don’t know how long I sat there, shaking, trying to pull myself together. And failing miserably. Behind my closed lids, images flipped rapidly, almost too fast to distinguish one from another. Almost. But they were as familiar to me as my own reflection. I knew each and every one. Not just faces this time—though, they were there—but places, buildings, events all clouded my mind, tried to burrow in and refused to be shoved aside. It was fierce and brutal, as if these imaginings were fighting back for all times I’d tried to bury them or cut them out of my life.
It didn’t make sense. I shook my head and moaned as the movement sent a wave of pain through my body. God, why was this happening to me? Why was it getting worse? I knew what my mother would say. I’d stopped taking all the medications she and her army of doctors shoved at me my entire life. Well, I’d stopped years ago, so that wasn’t the reason. And those medications… I’d rather be dead than take them again. I felt dead when I was under their influence. That was the reason I’d stopped. I wanted to feel, to live, and they made that impossible. So, as soon as I’d left home, I threw out the pills and never looked back. Things had gotten bad then, but I learned how to deal with it and function normally—without killing everything that made me me.
At first, on my own, I did a lot of stupid things. Stupid, stupid things. All I wanted to do was feel—so I partied hard, drank more than my fair share, and took just about every drug I came across. Not my finest moments. I got over that real quick. Waking up every morning in a different bed with a different person, with no idea what I’d done… Not how I wanted to go through life.
After a time, I realized some sleeping pills to help me get a solid night’s sleep—a solid, dreamless night’s sleep—was all I really needed.
Until now apparently.
I fumbled with the zipper on my purse and started digging through the contents. My fingers closed around a bottle, and I looked at it resting in my palm. That was the problem. The pills weren’t working. Fucking Nate. I threw the unlabeled bottle back into the bag as anger joined the constant pain.
Nate was who I got the sleeping pills from. It was easier than trying to get a doctor to prescribe them—they always wanted to talk about why I wasn’t sleeping, and the hell if I was going there with anyone—and cheaper than paying for office visits and all that shit.
My breathing hitched as I felt solid steel at the bottom of my bag. I pulled out the pocketknife with trembling fingers.
The pills I’d gotten from Nate the other night were bad. They had to be. Because the alternative—that I was as crazy as my mother thought I was—couldn’t be. Could it? I wasn’t crazy. I pulled the blade of the knife open and fought against the bile surging up my throat.
I wasn’t crazy. Hitching up my skirt, I stared at my thighs, and the pale thin marks I kept hidden from the world. My vision blurred until I couldn’t see clearly, and I was biting back sob after sob. I couldn’t let Henry hear me. I needed to get control, so I could deal with Nate and his fucking shit-batch of pills.
I wasn’t crazy. I pressed the blade against my inner thigh. I still couldn’t see, but that was okay. I knew just how hard to push, how to drag the sharp tool slowly along my skin. My lids fluttered shut, and my breathing evened out as I felt the initial prick then the soothing sting.
I wasn’t crazy. I just needed to focus. And this…this brought me focus. This made things clear. I opened my eyes and watched crimson well up in thin lines, getting thicker and thicker until it began sliding down, down, down. A few beads dripped onto the floor, and in that moment, everything quieted inside me.
Five. It’d only taken five stripes to come back together again this time.

A Choice Fit For A Queen
by Jenny Trout writing as Abigail Barnette
To say that the Rose and Pig was off the beaten path would have been an understatement. There were no streetlights. The street wasn’t even paved. It was barely more than a dirt two-track leading past the low stone fence that surrounded the field. At the end, a two-story wattle-and-daub house stood, chimney smoking. The light spilling from its windows promised warmth and a place to get dry. Though my feet ached and stung with raw blisters from jogging around airports all day, I practically sprinted the last leg of my journey. Mud splattered onto the legs of my jeans, and I didn’t care. All I wanted was to get inside, away from the hellish downpour. I reached the door, prepared to fling it open and launch myself into the warm embrace of a charming Welsh pub.
It was locked.
No. Visions of sleeping in the cold, shivering in the dark, wet, pneumonia-encouraging night put urgency into my arm as I pounded on the door. “Hello! Hey, is anybody inside? Can anyone help—“
A guy opened the door. A hot guy. An annoyed hot guy. One look at him and my heart jolted. I froze in shock, but managed to stutter out, “m-me?”
He was absolutely gorgeous. Flawless dark brown skin stretched over a face that made the words “aesthetically pleasing” an understatement. His cheeks were full, like he’d retained baby fat in the exact right places, and his lush lips spread in a smile that was half “let’s be friends” and half “let’s be friends with benefits” as he looked me over.
Unfortunately, the longer I stared at him, the more his smile faded. He leaned his shoulder against the door and slung a white bar towel over the other to cross his arms over his chest. “Let me guess. American white girl, thinking, ‘What do you mean, they have black people in Wales?’” He held up his hands in mock apology. “Sorry, we’re everywhere. Hope you’re not too disappointed.”
“N-no, I wasn’t—“ Explaining was not going to work if I couldn’t talk like a normal human. I had to glance down and push my wet hair from my face to concentrate and steel myself against his good looks when I raised my head again. When I did, I managed a smile. I hoped I didn’t look goofy. “I was actually thinking, ‘wow, the guys are a lot hotter here than at home.’”
His smile returned slowly. “Yeah, all right. You’re forgiven. Come on inside.”
His accent. Oh god.

Author's Giveaway
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New Cover for Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider (Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider, #1 - #3) by Barbara Silkstone

Description:

Until last year Wendy Darlin was a full-time real estate agent for Miami Beach millionaires. Then she met Roger Jolley, world famous archaeologist, Johnny Depp look-alike, and at times the most irritating person on the planet. Join her as she travels the globe in search of lost treasures and antiquities. She’s been told her life is like the movie Romancing the Stone but at times she feels more like Indiana Jones with boobs.

WENDY AND THE LOST BOYS ~ Book One
Real estate agent for Miami Beach millionaires, Wendy Darlin, clashes with “SEC Investigator” and world famous archaeologist, Roger Jolley. He follows her out to sea on a mega-yacht owned by Charlie Hook, a Ponzi swindler on the run from federal agents and angry investors. Despite her fear of water, she finds herself a tomb raider on the Caribbean one step ahead of modern day pirates. Will she find the Lost Boys? Will she escape Hook’s clutches? And whom will she find on Nevis Island? Oh… and is Roger a good kisser?

LONDON BROIL ~ Book Two
When we last saw Wendy Darling and Roger Jolley in WENDY AND THE LOST BOYS, they were hot on the trail of Egyptian icons stolen from the British Museum. Wendy is now in a frantic race against time and a murderer as she searches for the last Lost Boy hidden somewhere in London while a killer heat wave invades the city. Wendy is held captive over a fish ‘n’ chips shop while Roger’s life is threatened. Can Wendy escape her captors, rescue Roger, and find the missing Lost Boy before the murderer strikes again?

CAIRO CAPER ~ Book Three
Part-time tomb raider and full-time real estate broker, Wendy Darlin joins her lover, archaeologist Roger Jolley, in a quest for Cleopatra’s tomb. All they have to do is get from Cairo to the Temple of Taporisi Magna alive. Armed only with a couple of hijacked ashtrays and faced with a trek across the blazing Sahara desert can Wendy out-maneuver Russian oligarchs, a dozen Dark Force mercenaries, and Roger’s chubby ex-girlfriend in time to find the tomb and seal it before chaos erupts in Egypt?

About the author:
Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series that includes: Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, Cairo Caper, Miami Mummies, Vulgarian Vamp, Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set. Her Romantic Suspense Fairy Tales series includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs. For a squirt of paranormal comedy try: Cold Case Morphs. True fiction fan? Try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator.

Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

Cover Reveal organized by Book Partners In Crime Promotions

Cover Reveal: Beneath the Scars by Melanie Moreland

Release Date: October 14th, 2014

Description:

The sound of the ocean, the crash of the waves as they kick up against the sand and rocks—these are the only sounds Megan Greene wants to hear. She wants to leave the rest of the world behind, and find some peace. The offer of a private house on the beach, set in a small town in Maine, is perfect. Time to think—to be by herself. It’s all she wants. It’s the escape she needs. Until she stumbles across the painting that seems to echo her own chaotic mindset. Until she meets the unfriendly artist behind the stormy painting and discovers his secrets.

All Zachary Adams wants is to be left alone. His canvases, and the unending scope of the ocean and sand, are his life. They direct him—fill his hours. Bring him focus. Until she enters his life. She dredges up memories of the past—the haunting images he has hidden for years; the fears he has never shared. A story he keeps buried below the surface.

Can she make him see what he is missing? Can he trust her enough to believe?

Together they embark on a journey where their pasts collide and threaten to tear them apart. Will their fragile bond hold or wash away with the ebbing tide?

About the author:
Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her husband and four children. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works for the sporting teams of a local university. Her (box) office job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and somewhat challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties and socialize, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip. 

Melanie delights in writing a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative story lines to her even more inspired tales, for all to enjoy.


Cover Reveal organized by MaE Book Tours Tribe

Cover Reveal: Hurt By Love (Love, Lies & Hurt Trilogy #2) by T.L. Messruther

Release Date: August 4th, 2014

Description:

The journey of Isabella Jacobs and Donte Mills continues in the second installment of the Love, Lies, and Hurt Trilogy. Things are looking up for Isabella as she launches a new business with Donte's help. That is, until stories of infidelity surface in the press. The couple has made several enemies they suspect of the outing, one being an ex-lover.

Just how far will this person go for revenge? Are Isabella and Donte strong enough to withstand the attack, or will it prove to be too much for this new couple?

Can true love really conquer all, or will they both be hurt by love?

Book #1
Isabella Jacobs was a stunning runway model, who was in a terrible accident. After months of rehab, she was finally ready to go back to work. 

When she went for her first interview after her car wreck, her boss, Donte Mills, was everything she wanted in a man; rich, powerful, sexy. The only problem was that Donte was engaged to be married. After a fateful fashion show weekend, the feelings between Donte and Isabella are undeniable. 

But will this just confuse Isabella even more, or will this be the love she's been waiting her whole life for?
About the author:
T.L. Messruther was born in 1991 in Hull, United Kingdom. She moved to Scarborough, United Kingdom at just weeks old where she was raised. She attended school until 2005, when at just age 15 she fell pregnant with her son, who was born in 2006. Once pregnant, she chose to move back to her birth place to raise her son. In 2009, she gave birth to her daughter. While raising her children, reading became one of her passions.

In 2012, she met a lady who was just on her journey of becoming a self published author. She gave her the courage to pursue her own dream to write her own book, thus relighting her passion for writing. T.L. is currently in the process of writing her debut novel in the trilogy, which will be the first book of the Love, Lies and Hurt Trilogy. It is expected to be released in 2013.
T.L. Messruther and her family continue to live in Hull, United Kingdom. She is also in the process of enrolling in a course to become a midwife at her local college.


Cover Reveal organized by Hooked Books

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy Release Day! Darkness Unleashed (Mystic Wolves #6) by Belinda Boring

Description:

Nothing is as it seems. Alliances will be forged and broken. Friendships will be tested. The bitter sting of betrayal cuts the deepest ... prepare your hearts for the DARKNESS UNLEASHED.

As the startling truth behind Darcy's strange behavior is revealed, the race begins as time runs out for Mason to save his beloved mate. Fighting against an unknown enemy, he must rely on instinct and powerful magic to uncover the devious plot to destroy the woman he loves. Just when Mason thinks he understands and has everything under control, the true mastermind behind recent attacks steps forward to claim authority over the Supernatural community. As the Master releases his cruelty and malice on those who dare to defy him, it will take everything the Mystic Wolves Alpha has to protect those he's pledged to serve.

"Wow! Just WOW! Savage Possession had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.
This jaw-dropping, eye-popping latest installment in the Mystic Wolves series is simply epic." ~ Raquel Auriemma, Roc n' Read

Book #1 is FREE Grab it now to start the series!
FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY

Already impatient for Book #7!? It's available for Pre-Order! Here or Here
The Mystic Wolves #7 - Last Wolf Standing
Release Day: November 2nd, 2014

War has come to the Mystic Wolves Pack--one the will bring old enemies together in the desperate fight to destroy the Master. Things have never been so dire for Mason and Darcy as their love for each other and their friends fuel their determination to win at any cost.

Lives are on the line, heartache inevitable. Who will be THE LAST WOLF STANDING?

About the author:
A homesick Aussie living amongst the cactus and mountains of Arizona, Belinda Boring is a self proclaimed addict of romance and all things swoon worthy. When she's not devouring her latest read, you can find her celebrating her passion for books on her blog The Bookish Snob.

With all that excitement, it wasn’t long before she began writing, pouring her imagination and creativity into the stories she dreams. Whether urban fantasy, paranormal romance or romance in general, Belinda strives to share great plots with heart and characters that you can’t help but connect with. Of course, she wouldn’t be Belinda without adding heroes she hopes will curl your toes.

Surrounded by a supportive cast of family, friends and the man she gives her heart and soul to, Belinda is living the good life.