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Blog Blast, Review & Giveaway: Naturally Yours by Adele Downs

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BOOK INFORMATION

Title – Naturally Yours
Author – Adele Downs
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Publication Date – October 7th, 2014
Length (Pages/# Words) – 26,000 Words
Publisher – Boroughs Publishing Group

Naturally Yours

BOOK BLURB

Who will save the man that saves the world?

Paramedic Mickey Kendall hasn’t slept a full night since his return from Iraq. He rescues victims by day and protects the innocent after dark. Mickey doesn’t do it for glory; he wants absolution, not admiration. He lives by the rule: No personal contact after a rescue. That code meets the ultimate test when Mickey saves a child’s life on a roadside and declines the parents’ invitation to dinner at their upscale restaurant.

Master chef Amanda Greer lives by the principle that delicious food and good company build bridges. When she learns Mickey has refused her partners’ hospitality, she persuades him to change his mind. On the night the handsome paramedic visits her restaurant, Amanda joins him at his table, and their unexpected chemistry leads to a passionate kiss.

In Amanda’s arms, Mickey finds relief from the stressors that haunt him, but resists falling in love. When Amanda challenges him to confront his demons and accept the love she offers, Mickey arrives at a crossroad. The war-weary paramedic must face a different kind of battle to claim the woman who reignites his passion for living and revives his wounded heart.

BUY & TBR LINKS

Amazon Kindle LinkGoodreads Link

EXCERPT

(Book is rated PG-13. Sensual, but not explicit.)
“They called you a hero in the press.” Her dark lashes lowered and lifted and she smiled at him with admiration shining in her eyes. “They were right, of course. What you did for Jack can never be repaid.”

Mickey winced at the hero reference. “I hate to disappoint you, but I only did what I’m trained to do.”

Amanda made sounds of disagreement low in her throat. “Elena told me at least a hundred and fifty cars passed her on the highway. Every one of them ignored her cries for help. Of all those people, don’t you think one might have been medically trained? Or at least cared enough to respond? No. You stopped. Only you.”

Oh. He hadn’t thought of that.

She pointed a finger at his chest. “There’s a difference between you and other people. There’s no other way to explain what happened on that roadway. Elena is convinced you’re special, and I never doubt her perceptions. That’s another reason why I wanted to meet you.”

Mickey stared into Amanda’s eyes and her pupils dilated. Her lips parted, ever so slightly, as if to welcome a kiss. Her tongue touched the inside of her bottom lip and disappeared. Mickey knew then, she felt it too. Synergy. Chemistry. An attraction so powerful it turned kinetic on contact.
Some called it love at first sight.

Amanda. Even her name was beautiful.

She took a sip of her drink and he watched her mouth and throat work the liquid. When she set down the tumbler, she wiped a droplet from the corner of her mouth with a trimmed, unpolished fingertip. Mickey wished he could have swiped the bead away with his tongue.

Amanda leaned closer and pressed a hand to his wrist. “Trained or not, you were the only stranger on that highway who had a heart.”

Mickey laid his hand over hers and she let him keep it there. Until now, he wasn’t sure he still had a heart. His had been chipped away, piece by piece, like a block of ice since the war. He’d considered it long gone, with his soul. In mere minutes, what was left had thawed in the center, leaving him raw and exposed.

Amanda continued to speak; clearly unaware she’d stripped away another layer. “I love Jack like he’s my own son. He’s a terrific kid. I’ve helped take care of him since the day the Martins and I started this restaurant. When you saved him, you saved us all.” Amanda leaned in and pressed a quick, sweet kiss against Mickey’s jaw.

Their gazes locked when she sat back in her chair. The gravity of her words and her straightforward kiss humbled him into speechlessness. He’d been thanked many times before, but this woman had gotten to him like no one else. He squeezed her hand and then downed the rest of his drink. Amanda took another sip of hers and set the glass on the table before retreating into silence. She turned the tumbler slowly in her hands.

Mickey looked back at her and tapped two fingers against the menu’s leather cover. “Nothing here is what I expected.”

Amanda returned a quiet smile, either assuming he meant food choices, or pretending he had. She tucked her arms beneath her breasts and leaned forward against the edge of the table, lifting perfect white swells above the neckline of her red blouse. “Organic means untouched by artificiality. Grown and consumed in its natural state. We eat only healthy foods unspoiled by chemicals, preservatives, hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and genetically modified seeds or cells. Pure.”

Pure. Mickey gazed at the stunning woman by his side and sensed that was true for her, too. The texture of her skin looked smooth as cream and welcoming to the touch. He longed to run his hands along her thighs, imagining sleek roads leading to heaven at their apex. “I like the sound of that.” The way she looked back at him while he studied her face made him wonder if she’d read his mind.

The one that had gone dirty.

Review

The cover and blurb are both amazing and suck you into wanting to read one of the best contemporary romances I have read in months.  Maybe up in the list of my top 20 romances this year so far.  Seriously, seriously good.  So let the beautiful cover and awesome blurb work on you to snatch up a copy.  No way will you regret it.

There isn’t much to say about Mickey and Amanda except wow.  The roller-coaster ride of emotions you go through with this amazing couple was brilliantly done and served to make the reader feel and empathize with the characters in a way few writers can accomplish.  In fact, the only thing I can say negatively about any of the characters is I am not a fan of the name Mickey.  Yeah, it’s a petty small issue, but seriously.  My nephew loved Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for the past 2 years and every time I watched him (which was every weekend), I got to watch over 8 hours of that show.  Over, and over, and over again.  So yeah, Mickey makes me cringe now.  Ahem, but the story was so good, by the end I wasn’t exactly cringing anymore!  I was at least used to it.

It’s a beautiful love that sprung up between Amanda and Mickey.  Not just filled with heat, but filled with emotion and depth.  It was honestly one of the more beautiful loves I’ve read in a long time.  Adele Downs is a master at evoking emotions from her characters.

The story was nicely done as well, although honestly, I was so absorbed in the book, I didn’t make as many notes for the review as normal.  So maybe that’s a sign.  It enveloped me and didn’t let go until the story was over.  I loved it!

5 stars!

Author’s This or That

Coffee or Tea?
Coffeeeeeeee!

Scarier: Spiders or Snakes?
Snakes (Can’t stomp those.)

Heroes or Lost? (TV Shows)
Lost

Damon or Stefan? (Vampire Diaries – TV or books)
Neither, sorry.

TV or Books?
Books

Home or Out on the Town?
Homebody

Sleep or No Time for Sleep?
Sleep

Chocolate or Carrot Sticks?
Chocolate, of course!

Paranormal or Mundane?
Mundane with a touch of magic.

Dresses or Jeans?
Jeans

Top 10 Authors

Lisa Unger
Lisa Gardner
Stephen King
Arthur Golden
Susan Wiggs
Diana Gabaldon
Laurell K. Hamilton
J.K. Rowling
Gillian Flynn
Tami Hoag

AUTHOR BIO

Adele Downs writes contemporary romance inside the office of her rural Pennsylvania home. She is a former journalist, published in newspapers and magazines inside the USA, UK, and Caribbean.

Adele is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter where she serves as a past-president. She has written several articles for RWR magazine (Romance Writers Report), the trade journal of Romance Writers of America, and has presented workshops for writers.

When Adele isn’t working on her current project, she can be found riding in her convertible or reading a book on the nearest beach.

FOLLOW LINKS

Amazon Author Page – Website/Blog – Facebook
Twitter – Pinterest

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GIVEAWAY PRIZES

USA Residents Only Please

Firefighters Kick Ash! — Hanging ornament and Swag (1)
Fire & Rescue Refrigerator Magnet and Swag (1)
Amazon Kindle Gift Copy of NATURALLY YOURS (1)

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Release Day Blitz & Review: High Strung by T. Gephart

 

BOOKHigh Strung 

SERIES: Book One of Power Station Series.

RELEASE DATE: October 10, 2014

HOSTED BY: Book Empire Promotions

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SYNOPSIS

Ashlyn Murphy was not living the dream. Twenty-seven years old, college educated, up to her eyeballs in debt and yet she’d been relegated to pouring beers at a local bar. She desperately needed an out and was willing to do anything to get back into the corporate world. Well, almost anything. Dan Evans, Rock Star was NOT one of those things. In fact she despised him. Apparently he didn’t get the memo.
Dan Evans, bass player of international rock band Power Station had it all. He was rich, travelled the world, played to millions of adoring fans and had no shortage of beautiful women willing to share his bed. He didn’t need a moody redheaded knockout with a superiority complex complicating his life. Or did he?
When two people who couldn’t be more opposite cross paths, it’s bound to be explosive; sometimes all you can do is sit back and enjoy the show.

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PURCHASE LINKS
 
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Review

OMG!!  I really don’t need a review other than that, do I?  I mean… an ass-kicking rock star romance that is hilarious?  What more needs said?  Oh, you probably already saw the nifty cover and read the niftier blurb.  But let me tell you neither did this novel justice.

The two main characters, Ash and Dan, are so completely opposite and yet so incredible suited to each other, it is absolute fireworks, earthquakes, supernova explosions when they come together.  I can’t rave enough about them.  It might be that I absolutely adore the rock star type of man with tattoos and attitude, or it might be that I like independent women in my novels.  Whatever it is that T. Gephart figured out to write such ass-kicking chemistry, she needs to bottle it and sell it.  It’s so rare to see a romance that has such perfect chemistry.  I have to admit to being in love with Dan though.  I’d steal him.  Yummy.

As for the actual plot – although, who needs plot after the simple words ‘ass-kicking rock star romance’?  Seriously, do any of you care after I just drooled over the main man?  Who IS the one that is a rock star?  Oh, okay, there probably IS one person who cares.   Honestly, I do too.  Even if the rest of my review were politely worded negatives, the amazing characterization and chemistry between the couples would give this book a solid 3 stars.

However!!  This author can write!  This is my first novel from this author and I’m going to get the rest of her books put on my TBR list and try to get to it ASAP.  Admittedly, I can’t actually FINISH my TBR list in this lifetime it is sooooo big.  But I did snatch up Lexi – the first prequel novel of her Lexi series.  It IS free right now.  Link is somewhere in this post!

Okay, I kind of got the topic, didn’t I?  Ahem.  Storyline.  Check.  I mean, this is a rock star romance, so yeah, admittedly some plot points WERE a tad predictible.  It didn’t bother me, but it might bother someone.  Being as when I read MC romances, or sports romances, or rock star romances, there will always be that predictable element as that is why we read those books.  BUT the rest of the story had me laughing out loud and seriously made those around me think I was nuts.  I was also pleasantly surprised in places, and even had a sniffle or two for other spots in the novel.  The writing was good enough to evoke emotional responses in me, and THAT is something.  I’m pretty stoic, so seriously?  This woman can freaking write!

So to summarize, if you don’t read this book, I think you should have your rock star romance card revoked.

4.5 stars!  EXCELLENT!

OTHER BOOKS BY T.GEPHART
 
Book #0.5: Lexi (FREE) AMAZON  I ITUNES
Book #1: A Twist of Fate: AMAZON  I ITUNES
Book 1.5: Twisted Views:  AMAZON  I ITUNES
Book #2: A Leap of Faith: AMAZON  I ITUNES
Book #3: A Time for Hope: AMAZON  I ITUNES
 
ABOUT T.GEPHART

T Gephart is an indie author from Melbourne, Australia.

T’s approach to life has been somewhat unconventional. Rather than going to University, she jumped on a plane to Los Angeles, USA in search of adventure. While this first trip left her somewhat underwhelmed and largely depleted of funds it fueled her appetite for travel and life experience.

With a rather eclectic resume, which reads more like the fiction she writes than an actual employment history, T struggled to find her niche in the world.

While on a subsequent trip the United States in 1999, T met and married her husband. Their whirlwind courtship and interesting impromptu convenience store wedding set the tone for their life together, which is anything but ordinary. They have lived in Louisiana, Guam and Australia and have travelled extensively throughout the US. T has two beautiful young children and one four legged child, Woodley the wonder dog.

An avid reader, T became increasingly frustrated by the lack of strong female characters in the books she was reading. She wanted to read about a woman she could identify with, someone strong, independent and confident who didn’t lack femininity. Out of this need, she decided to pen her first book, A Twist of Fate. She enjoyed the process so much that when it was over she couldn’t let it go. T loves to travel, laugh and surround herself with colourful characters. This inevitably spills into her writing and makes for an interesting journey – she is well and truly enjoying the ride!

Based on her life experiences, T has plenty of material for her books and has a wealth of ideas to keep you all enthralled.

CONNECT WITH T. GEPHART
WEBSITE:  www.tgephart.com
(SJ’s Comment:  For the record, sometimes with formatting you can NOT get a line to obey.  So I’m so sorry about the format up there.  I could not get that line to go back to where it is supposed to be.  *sigh*)

Review & Giveaway: Secondhand Heart by Kristen Strassel

Title: Secondhand Heart

Author: Kristen Strassel

Age: NA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 10/7/14

Daisy Mangold thought she had her life figured out until a roadside bomb in Afghanistan changed everything. Now a twenty-one-year-old military widow, Daisy moves back home to start over.

Cam Hunter won the reality show The Spotlight, and thought he was on his way to becoming the next big country star. But when whispers of how he won begin to surface, Nashville is less than welcoming. After he loses his record deal, Cam heads back home to open a country bar. When Daisy meets Cam, she isn’t sure she’s ready to let go of the ghosts from her past. Cam’s ex-wife isn’t ready to move on either, and the tragedy she causes will expose Cam’s secrets and shatter Daisy’s family.

Will Daisy be able to follow her heart into a future with Cam, or will her grief keep her trapped in a past that no longer exists?

Review

Before I get into the actual review, I’d like to say, the model and actual cover of this book is amazing!  The female model is so beautiful and she fits just perfectly for this book.  Heck, the title is perfectly suited as well!  So bravo whoever designed the art and such to grab our attention.  it definitely worked!  The cover was the entire reason I joined the review tour of this book!

As for the characters, I want to first lay claim to Cam.  Seriously.  He’s mine.  No one else get him.  He’s my current book boyfriend.  I don’t even LIKE country music, but even I have to admit some male country artists are seriously hot.  Ahem, I’m a little off topic here.  It’s not just that he’s a country artist.  It’s the way he was written in Secondhand Heart.  I absolutely fell in love with him in this novel and I nearly cried when it was over because that meant, no more Cam!  OMG!

As for Daisy, I did like her but I wasn’t as emotional invested in her as I was in Cam.  However, the fact she meshed so well with Cam and the chemistry between them that you could actually feel made up for that, I think.  The romance and heat between the main characters was very well done and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about their growing relationship.

The overall story was also nicely done.  It kept me entertained and hooked as any good story does.  There were a few parts that were a tad awkward, but overall, also nicely done.  NA isn’t my normal genre (and if I do read it, it’s usually paranormal romance based) but I do enjoy it and I can happily say this novel is worth the read.  Seriously.  (Yes, seriously is my word today).  Pick it up, NA readers!  You won’t regret it.

4 stars!

Purchase Links

SHH Teaser 1

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Kristen Strassel
 

Kristen shares a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross. She spends each day striving to be half as fabulous as they are. She’s worn many hats, none as flattering as her cowboy hat: banker, retail manager, fledgling web designer, world’s worst cocktail waitress, panty slinger, now makeup artist and author. She loves sunshine, live music, the middle of nowhere, and finding new things to put in her house.

Release Day Blast & Giveaway: Secondhand Heart by Kristen Strassel

We’re celebrating the release of Secondhand Heart by Kristen Strassel! Check out the excerpt and giveaway below!
Title: Secondhand Heart
Author: Kristen Strassel
Age: NA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 10/7/14

Goodreads

Amazon

Blurb:
Daisy Mangold thought she had her life figured out until a roadside bomb in Afghanistan changed everything. Now a twenty-one-year-old military widow, Daisy moves back home to start over.
Cam Hunter won the reality show The Spotlight, and thought he was on his way to becoming the next big country star. But when whispers of how he won begin to surface, Nashville is less than welcoming. After he loses his record deal, Cam heads back home to open a country bar.
When Daisy meets Cam, she isn’t sure she’s ready to let go of the ghosts from her past. Cam’s ex-wife isn’t ready to move on either, and the tragedy she causes will expose Cam’s secrets and shatter Daisy’s family.
Will Daisy be able to follow her heart into a future with Cam, or will her grief keep her trapped in a past that no longer exists?
EXCERPT

Cam came out on stage to the hoots and hollers of the crowd, of course, the loudest from the table of old broads. He motioned with his hands for everyone to shut the fuck up. “Thanks for coming out tonight.” His eyes scanned the crowd, but then locked on mine. I sat up straighter, the memory of how he looked at me last night when there was no audience burning me everywhere his mark lingered on my body. “Tell your friends, let’s support local music and make this a thing.”

Another roar of the crowd before the lights darkened just enough for Cam to jog off the stage, and a scruffy duo with blazers and harmonicas took his place. He pulled out the chair next to mine and put his head down on the table. I could hear the gasp rise out of the audience, even over the acoustic guitars from the stage.

I raked my fingers through his hair, then pulled his head up playfully.

“I’m dying,” Cam said when he looked up at me.

“Yeah, me too.” The waitress delivered a fresh beer. By the time I got to the bottom of it, I was going to feel like I was having an out of body experience. “But I love every minute of it.”

Crooked smile. Dead. “Me too.” His hand landed on my thigh, caressing my skin and working his way upward. Wait until he realized I was wearing a skirt. “I had a great time last night, Daisy.”

My skin was on fire, and I just looked at him with a dopey smile on my face. If I even tried to say anything, I’d just giggle like an idiot. So I just fixed his hair from where I messed it up before.

“I was wondering,” he looked down, tracing the outline of his drink coaster, shy. It was adorable. “If you actually wanted to see the bedroom tonight.”

“Tonight?” So this was an actual thing? He didn’t think last night was some mistake? Oh my god. Talk about jumping off of a cliff into shark infested waters.

He looked up at me, eyes sparkling. “Why not?”

He posed an excellent question. Although I could think of a million reasons why not, right now it was all just blah, blah, blah in my brain. Fear and excitement numbed my body, I felt like I was floating in the middle of the bar room.

“Okay,” I said, and he visibly relaxed. Holy shit, was he nervous about asking me to stay? This was not the position I ever expected to be in. “But I can’t stay all night.”

His jaw dropped. “Why?”

“Because I ran smack into my dad this morning. Horrifying.”

He closed his eyes and groaned. “Yeah, that’s so bad. You’re going to have to move out.”

What was he saying? Don’t read too much into this, Daisy. He wasn’t saying anything. He was just pointing out what I already knew, what my mother was so delicately hinting at earlier today. Time to move on. “Tell me about it.”

Anyway, I was just the rebound chick. I knew that.

We didn’t even make it out of his truck this time. I don’t know what it said about his neighborhood that no one called the police. We thrashed around on that tiny backseat, holding nothing back, even as cars came in and out of the lot. Hands sliding down steamed up glass, Titantic style. Loud, aggressive, and just the thing I needed to remind me why I was alive.



About Kristen Strassel

Kristen shares a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross. She spends each day striving to be half as fabulous as they are. She’s worn many hats, none as flattering as her cowboy hat: banker, retail manager, fledgling web designer, world’s worst cocktail waitress, panty slinger, now makeup artist and author. She loves sunshine, live music, the middle of nowhere, and finding new things to put in her house.

Release Blitz: Sinful Desires Vol. II

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Synopsis

I wasn’t entirely sure why I’d accepted Brock’s invitation to be his date for his sister’s wedding. A wedding to a man who’d confessed that he didn’t love his wife-to-be. All I knew was that I didn’t belong in that world.

When Piper Black returned to Philadelphia to attend the wedding of the man who’d broken her heart, she never imagined that she’d end up falling for her date…who just happened to be Reed Stirling’s new brother-in-law.

Will Brock Michaels be able to heal Piper’s heart or will her connection to Reed tear apart more than one relationship?

The second volume in M.S. Parker’s sizzling Sinful Desires series isn’t to be missed

Buy Links

* AMAZON

Teaser

Sensual pose of an attractive young couple

close up of heterosexual couple having sex

* Start the series off with Sinful Desires Vol. I if you haven’t! *

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* AMAZON *

About Author

M. S. Parker is a USA Today Bestselling author and the author of the Erotic Romance series, Club Privè and Chasing Perfection.

Living in Southern California, she enjoys sitting by the pool with her laptop writing on her next spicy romance.

Growing up all she wanted to be was a dancer, actor or author. So far only the latter has come true but M. S. Parker hasn’t retired her dancing shoes just yet. She is still waiting for the call for her to appear on Dancing With The Stars.

When M. S. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading- oops, scratch that! She is always writing.

Author Links

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Release Day Blast: Apolonia


We would love for you to join us in celebrating the release of   APOLONIA by New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie McGuire!
TitleAPOLONIA
Author: Jamie McGuire
Age: NA
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Publisher: Jamie McGuire LLC (October 6, 2014)
Cover Design: Okay Creations, Sarah Hansen
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Blurb:

“They killed me, but I survived.”

Three years after Rory Riordan foiled her own murder, she still trusts no one. Not Dr. Z, the eccentric college professor who has taken her under his wing, not Benji, the endearing, attractive classmate who insists on following her around, and certainly not Cy, the beautifully dark and mysterious boy who sits on the first row in Dr. Z’s Astrobiology class and asks far too many questions.

When Rory witnesses Cy being abducted by soldiers in the middle of the night, she finds herself submersed in a world that holds even more secrets than she could imagine–even darker secrets than her own.

From #1 New York Times Bestseller Jamie McGuire, experience the perfect combination of her bestselling books Providence & Beautiful Disaster. This New Adult Sci-Fi Romance is an action-packed, whiplash-inducing roller coaster ride. Page after page, this unpredictable, dark and sexy nail biter will keep readers guessing until the very end!

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EXCERPT

“Welcome!” Dr. Z began. “I am Dr. A. Byron Zorba, and you’ve
arrived at Geobiology and Astrobiology . . . uh . . . with lab. That’s a
separate class. Uh . . . later,” he added. “You should also be enrolled in the
lab, separately from lecture. If not, see administration. So! Here, and in the
partnering lab, you will study organic matter from microbes, rocks, and environmental
samples. In lab, you’ll extract and, more importantly, interpret these samples.
Beyond that, we will reconstruct ancient environments to understand how life
evolved within the samples.”

“Yeesh,” Benji whispered.

“It’s really not that bad. Don’t be a baby,” I said, keeping my
voice low as the professor went over the rules and syllabi.

“I’m still running in the mornings,” Benji said. “You should come
with me sometime.”

“I don’t run.”

“It’s good for you. You should try it.”

“I’m not getting up at the crack of dawn to run until I stop
freezing. That’s not healthy. It’s stupid.”

Benji just smiled, clearly amused.

“Excuse me, professor,” Cyrus said, holding his pen in the air.
“Whom shall I contact . . .?”

I blocked out the rest of his question. The trace of a British
accent in his voice and his perfect grammar would have never piqued my
attention before, but on that day it was annoying and snooty.

Not only was Cyrus tall, dark, and handsome but, as class
progressed, he also proved to be Dr. Z’s most adept and eager student.

“That would be Dr. Rosen,” Dr. Z said. “May I ask . . . from
where do you hail?”

“Excuse me?” Cyrus responded.

“I was curious to know if you happen to be Egyptian?” the
professor asked.

I don’t know what expression was on Cyrus’s face, but he must
have smiled, because Dr. Z clapped his hands once, and a wide grin made his
already full cheeks puff out.

Dr. Z patted Cy’s shoulder and shook his finger a few times.
“We’ll have much to talk about. See me after class.”

“Oh, Christ, get a room,” I snarled under my breath.

The professor’s hobby was trying his hardest to be an Egyptian
scholar. I thought maybe Cyrus’s origin was the reason for Dr. Z’s fascination,
but that didn’t turn out to be it at all. Cyrus never answered the questions
that Dr. Z presented to the class, but he asked at least a dozen of his own. He
was curious, and I couldn’t deny that his questions were a work of art.

Dr. Z answered a few questions before lecturing for just ten
minutes, giving us a reading assignment, and then waving us away, twenty
minutes earlier than expected.

Everyone looked around, unsure what to do until I began packing
my things. That started a chain reaction, and noise filled the room as students
crammed their laptops into their bags and moved to leave.

After our dismissal, Cyrus stood next to Dr. Z’s podium, and they
spoke in low voices with a lot of nodding and a few smiles. Oh, hell no. I
stood up, grabbed my bag, and walked down the steps, standing in the space next
to Cyrus.

“Cyrus has just returned from a summer in Mali,” Dr. Z said,
smiling.

“Oh?” I said, with cold eyes. “You have family there?”

“No,” Cyrus said flatly. He didn’t offer further explanation, so
I stared at him until he became uncomfortable and looked away. That was my very
favorite thing to do to everyone.

“Cyrus is researching the Dogon tribe. Very interesting,” Dr. Z
said. “He’s the third member of our team.”

“What?” I said the word louder than I’d meant and high enough to
be embarrassing.

Cyrus nodded once to us both, and then he was gone.

“Are you replacing me?” I asked, my heart pounding. My assistant
job was connected to my scholarship. If Cyrus stole it from me, I could be in
real danger of losing that money. It was too late to find a student position
that wasn’t already taken.

“Of course not. You saw the data I sent. You’ll never have time
for anything else if I don’t add someone to the team.”

“I can do it,” I said, only feeling a tiny bit relieved. “You
know I don’t go home for the holidays. I don’t mind working weekends.”

Dr. Z smiled. “Rory, I know you don’t mind working weekends, but
you should.”

He walked out of the classroom, leaving me among his weird
sculptures and artifacts. None of it made sense. Dr. Z had always been careful.
I couldn’t imagine he would invite someone he didn’t trust into his precious
laboratory. Something about Cyrus felt off, but he didn’t seem dangerous or
untrustworthy. If the professor had been considering Cyrus as just a third team
member, he would have mentioned it before today. The only explanation for my
exclusion from this news was that he was planning to replace me. What’s more, hastily
inviting a new student into his lab wasn’t just uncharacteristic; it was
troubling.

My eyes were all over the place, looking at a different inanimate
object with every thought. I couldn’t lose my position as Dr. Zorba’s
assistant. Everything was riding on it.

The room grew darker, bringing my attention to the large windows.
The clouds outside were gray. At this time of year, the weather was more likely
to bring in a cold front than a storm. The wind began to blow the few leaves
that had just started to fall from the huge oak trees. I pulled one of several
tubes of lip balm from my jacket pocket and ran it over my lips. I loved winter
up until the night I died. Now it just seemed ominous.

Clenching my teeth with determination, I lifted my bag and swung it over my
shoulder. I refused to lose my assistant position with Dr. Z. Cyrus could take
his thought-provoking, eloquently worded questions and shove them up his ass.

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GIVEAWAY:
3 Prints, 5 APOLONIA ebooks
 
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About the Author:

Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, OK. She attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with international bestseller, Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel Walking Disaster debuted at #1 on the New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. She has also written apocalyptic thriller Red Hill, a novella titled A Beautiful Wedding, and the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy.

Jamie lives on a ranch just outside Enid, OK with husband Jeff and their three children. They share their 30 acres with cattle, six horses, three dogs, and Rooster the cat.

Find Jamie at http://www.jamiemcguire.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Release Day Blitz: Shutter Vol. 2

Shutter: Volume Two

by Eli Chastain

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Synopsis:

Nikolas Gallo has been my obsession – my only connection to life – for the past five years. I’ve watched his every step, seen the good along with the bad, and documented it through the lens of my camera. I thought I was the only one that knew what I was doing, I was wrong.

The truth has a way of turning the tables. The hunter becomes the hunted. And the spotlight is shining brightly on me.

There’s no denying my guilt and I don’t plan to. All I want to do is pay my penance and move on with my life.

But Niko…

Well, he has other plans for me.

Shutter: Volume Two Links

Amazon: http://goo.gl/95R6QA

iBooks: http://goo.gl/lKs6qA

Shutter: Volume One Links

Amazon: myBook.to/shuttervolumeone

Barnes and Noble: http://goo.gl/64P6vG

iTunes: http://goo.gl/5MTuhp

Kobo: http://goo.gl/5LFmDU

Excerpt:

The clang of the door opening is followed closely by blinding sunshine that my eyes have only seen in small doses over the last couple weeks. I stop just outside the door and search in my purse for my sunglasses and oversized hat, hoping to disguise myself.

“The car isn’t here yet, the road is blocked just around the corner.” I hear a familiar voice say. The second my brain recognizes the sound tears well in my eyes.

I’m almost afraid to look up, afraid that he isn’t real and that my mind is playing tricks on me.

“Are you okay?” He asks and my brain continues to absorb the sound of his voice, slowly becoming more confident that it’s actually him. “I’m so sorry that I waited until today to see you.”

I drop the hat that I’ve been holding and watch as it falls slowly to the dirty ground below. The broken pieces of my heart slowly begin to fuse and a tiny spring of hope breaks free.

“Brook?” He whispers my name but I still refuse to look upon his face.

I still don’t speak as the tears slowly spill over and trail down my cheeks. I see the form of his body appear as he kneels down to grasp my hat. His eyes turn to mine and in them I see love, not disappointment at all the lies that have marred me. And the speed of the wetness streaming from my eyes increases at the feeling of pure relief.

“Brooke. Are you okay?” His hands lightly brush across both of my cheeks in an attempt to clear the salty tears. “I should have come sooner, I knew I should but I didn’t.”

As he stands my arms desperately wrap around his strong body and he pulls me in tight. His hands go to the back of my head and smooth down my hair while my tears continue to flow, soaking the front of his suit.

“I didn’t realize how alone you’d felt. Please forgive me.” He says as he kisses the top of my head.

I pull back and look up into his emerald eyes. His hair is long and unruly with blonde curls circling around the bottom of his ears.

“Stephen,” I breathe out his name, “How I’ve been doesn’t matter…anymore. Right now I’m much better.”

About the Author:

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Eli Chastain is a super-secret ninja set on conquering the world one reader at a time. In reality, she’s an alter ego of a struggling author that needs a secondary route to reveal her inner most demons. Follow along to see if you are haunted by some of the same.

Chastain’s contemporary serial, Shutter, is set for publication starting in August 2014 with all subsequent volumes to be released before the end of the year.

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http://authorelichastain.com/