Posted in #Book, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Contemporary, Fantasy, Tour, Writer

TheDragon’s Playlist by Laura Bickle – Book Tour


The Dragon’s Playlist
Laura Bickle
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
ISBN: 9781537891965
From the author of THE HALLOWED ONES and NINE OF STARS comes a new novel blending the magical and the real…
“This is war,” the dragon said. And she believed him.
Di fled rural West Virginia to study music and pursue a bright future as a violinist. But when a mining accident nearly kills her father, she is summoned back home to support her family. Old ghosts and an old flame emerge from the past. When Di gets a job as a bookkeeper at the same mine where her father worked, she is drawn into a conflict pitting neighbor against neighbor as the mine plans an expansion to an untouched mountain.
If the mining company’s operation goes forward, there will be more at stake than livelihoods or the pollution of the land: Di has discovered a dragon lives deep within Sawtooth Mountain, and he is not happy with this encroachment upon his lair. When catastrophe strikes, Di must choose between her family’s best interests and protecting the dragon – the last surviving bit of magic in Di’s shrinking world.
In every fight, sides are chosen. And there can be no yearning for what has been left behind.
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About the Author:
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.
More information about Laura’s work can be found at 


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A Queen from the North by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese -Re;ease Tour + #Giveaway


A Queen From the North
A Royal Roses Book
by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese
Genre: Contemporary Romance
It may be the 21st century, but in a not-so-united kingdom the wounds of
the Wars of the Roses have never healed. The rivalry between the
Yorkish north and Lancastrian south has threatened to pull the nation
apart for over 500 years.

While the modern world struggles with fractures born of ancient conflict,
Lady Amelia Brockett faces far more mundane problems. Known to her
family as Meels, this youngest daughter of a Northern earl is having
the Worst. Christmas. Ever. Dumped by her boyfriend and rejected from
graduate school, her parents deem her the failure of the
But when her older brother tries to cheer her with a trip to the races, a
chance meeting with Arthur, the widowed, playboy Prince of Wales,
offers Amelia the chance to change her life — and Britain’s fortunes
— forever. Hunted by the press — and haunted by Arthur’s niece who
fancies herself the kingdom’s court witch — Amelia finds herself
adrift in a sea of paparazzi, politics, and prophecy.
With few allies beyond her allergic-to-horses sister-in-law, her best
friend who has a giant crush on the prince, and the cute young
receptionist at Buckingham Palace that calls himself her Royalty
Customer Service Representative, Amelia must navigate a perilous and
peculiar course to secure Arthur’s love and become A Queen from the
qn- excerpt

“The genealogists put together a list,” the Prince said. “All unmarried women of the peerage, in a certain age demographic, who do not have children and have not been divorced. As you might imagine, it’s not particularly extensive.”

“Why not include commoners?” Amelia asked faintly.

“By what criteria? There’s a nation of those. If someone is going to be subjected to this life, they may as well go in as prepared as possible.”

“Wouldn’t it have been easier to hold a ball?”

Prince Arthur laughed. His whole face brightened, almost like it had at the races. “The treasury’s already girding its loins for the inevitable royal wedding. Best not to run up an even bigger bill in the process of finding a bride.”

“Are you…proposing to me?” She asked hesitantly. And then, more hysterically, “After five minutes? After talking about genealogy?”

“Hardly.” Arthur sounded offended. “This is me asking if you’d agree to meet with me again to discuss the matter of marriage further.”

Amelia stared at him. This couldn’t possibly be happening.

“Your genealogy, though, is hardly irrelevant.” Prince Arthur removed a piece of paper from the folio, spun it around on the table and pushed it at her.

“This is my family tree.”

“Yes. We do our homework here,” Prince Arthur flipped through his folio again. “You’re attractive, well-born, and intelligent. Pursuing a graduate degree in the earth sciences, I believe.”

“I graduate in the spring. I’m applying to PhD programs. I want to study climate change,” Amelia managed to say, as if any of those words could be a defense against what was happening.

“All of which is excellent. You also happen to be the only eligible daughter of one of the oldest families of York. Both the city and the ancient house.”

“How is that a plus?” Amelia was wary. Little good ever came of the rare times London mentioned York.

“Political marriages — at least of this form — are rather out of style these days. But the rift between the north and the rest of the country only grows.”

“That’s the Prime Minister’s fault. And Parliament’s.” It was Amelia’s turn to be offended now. “The most recent jobs bill—”

The Prince sighed. “Yes. I know. I agree with you. Yet as a member of the royal house I can hardly engage in politics. At least not on a parliamentarian’s terms. But symbolism is mine. And what I can do is unite York and London — York and Lancaster — in a way they haven’t been in centuries. I know this proposition is awkward, but we could make history, you and I.”

“Awkward?!” Amelia exclaimed. “This conversation is insane.”

Prince Arthur blinked mildly at her. “I’m merely trying to apply the available resources to a set of problems. Before you judge, I suggest you consider the resources that could be applied to your problems were you to choose to help me with mine.”

“You don’t even know what my problems are!”

“I don’t have to, to know we could help each other.”

Amelia wanted to turn away from the intensity of his stare, but she couldn’t. He was magnetic, and there was a sharpness, even a shrewdness, to him that hadn’t been present at the races. His eyes may have been brown, but he was no prey animal. She couldn’t help but lean in ever so slightly. In her mind she cursed both the table between them and this proposed conspiracy.

“Lady Amelia,” Prince Arthur said, “do you want to be Queen Consort of England, Scotland, and Wales, Her Royal Majesty of Britain?”

“No!” Amelia pressed her feet firmly against the floor as the word came out of her mouth unbidden. The Prince was fascinating, but the question so baldly put was terrifying. Not to mention treasonous for her to answer in anything but the negative. She wondered, fleetingly, if this were a trap.

“Shall I call to have you shown out then?” His words were without rancor, but there was a coldness to them she did not prefer.

She shook her head. “No,” she repeated more softly.

He smiled.


Erin McRae is a queer writer based in New York and Washington, DC. She is a
researcher, statistician, and novelist.
She has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the
University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada) and a master’s degree in
International Affairs from American University (Washington, DC).
Together with Racheline Maltese she founded Avian30, a literary collective
dedicated to stories with magical and sexual realism. She is a hybrid
author. She and Racheline Maltese have self-published titles (A Queen
From the North, 2017; The Art of Three, 2017, and the Love in Los
Angeles series, which was originally published by Torquere Press in
2014 and is being re-released in 2017). They have also published work
with Cleis Press (Best Gay Romance, 2015), Dreamspinner (The Love’s
Labours series, 2015), Supposed Crimes (Young Love Old Hearts, 2015).
She lives with her spouse and their two cats.
Racheline Maltese
can fly a plane, sail a boat, and ride a horse, but has no idea how
to drive a car. With Erin McRae she writes romance about fame and
public life. She is also a producer and writer on Tremontaine, Serial
Box Publishing’s adventure of manners, swordplay, and chocolate
that’s a prequel to Ellen Kushner’s gay lit classic, Swordspoint.
Racheline’s training includes a journalism degree from The George Washington
University, as well as acting and directing coursework at the
Atlantic Theater Company Acting School (New York City) and the
National Institute of Dramatic Art (Sydney, Australia).
Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry has appeared in numerous outlets, and
she is a regular speaker on pop-culture topics at fan and academic
conferences. Racheline also voiced Desire and Delirium in a benefit
performance of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman for the CBLDF.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Writer

Texas Fire by Gerry Bartlett – Book Tour + #Giveaway


by Gerry Bartlett
Pub. Date: 5/2/2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Her father’s dream. Her crossroads. And a man
who sees just her . . .

Megan Calhoun doesn’t stick with anything
long. She’s the daughter of a billionaire—why pretend to be
somebody else? Until she finds out her father’s will says she has
to. She has to last a year in the oil patch, in the dust and heat of
West Texas, working for her daddy’s company. Otherwise she’s cut
off without a cent—and no way to earn one.

The only upside is her new pal Rowdy Baker,
ex-football star, Calhoun engineer, and grade-A stud. If she has to
live in a trailer, his doesn’t sound so bad. Rowdy knows the
roughnecks running the rigs won’t take kindly to a smartass blonde
rookie whose last name matches their paychecks. He can’t control
his attraction to her. And with everyone from the foremen to the
stockholders spitting mad at the Calhouns, he expects trouble ahead.

But Megan has never been scared in her life.
And with Rowdy to help her plot, she has the chance of a lifetime: to
find her calling, to fix her company, and, if she doesn’t screw it
up—to capture a heart . . .


Gerry Bartlett is a native Texan who lives halfway between Houston and Galveston. Her
antique business is on the historic Strand on the island. When she’s
not treasure hunting, she loves heading to the Texas capitol of
Austin where she imagines her vampire Glory St.Clair of the Real
Vampire series has her own vintage clothing shop. She also loves
writing about the big city of Houston and the oil business in her new
contemporary series, Texas Heat.

Gerry has over a hundred cookbooks but would rather read them than cook
these days. She also has way too many purses and posts pictures of
her latest finds on Pinterest. This former elementary school teacher
is working on her twentieth published novel. Her first three were
written as Lynn McKay and can be found on Amazon for a penny. Now
she’s out of the classroom and happy to write under her real name.

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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Tour, Writer

Chasing Love by Mellissa West – Book Tour + #Giveaway


by Melissa West
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 5/30/17
Farming family land on sunny
Crestler’s Key, the sweet, sexy Littleton brothers are notorious
bachelors. But all that will change when the right woman comes along…
There aren’t many things Charlie
Littleton values more than his lifelong friendship with his buddy
Lucas, currently home from a tour in Iraq. But when he discovers that
Lucas’s younger sister, Lila, is back to assist the town’s
overburdened veterinarian, Charlie is torn. She’s no longer the
skinny, awkward kid he remembers, but a gorgeous woman—one Lucas
would never approve of him dating. When Lucas asks him to watch out
for Lila when he’s called to duty again, Charlie can’t say no—but
he can’t pretend it’s easy to ignore his feelings either.As
a teen, Lila crushed on Charlie—hard—and the man he’s grown up
to be is even more wonderful than she dreamed. Relationships are a
tricky business, though, and too much history is at stake to risk one
now. But every moment they’re together is heated by their simmering
attraction—and one day an impulsive kiss leads to much more. What’s
tangled in a matter of loyalty soon becomes a question of the kind of
love worth chasing…
cl- excerpt

                “Nah-ah, boy, you better take that dog on out of here.”Charlie Littleton tightened his hold on Henry’s leash and shot

Patty a look. “You know he doesn’t bark.”The bakery owner placed a hand on her hip and cocked it for ef- fect. Like always, she wore an apron with the AJ&P Bakery yellow- and-blue logo on it, though you could scarcely see it through the flour and spices smeared across the apron.

“Right,” Patty said now. “A dog that don’t bark. Is that sort of like a man who don’t eat? Because as far as I’m concerned that’s a fic- tional being. Like the dog. But if you do find a man who will share his sandwich, you be sure to point him in my direction, okay? But seeing as how that man don’t exist, kind of like that nonbarking dog don’t exist, I don’t expect you to be introducing me to him anytime soon.” She winked at him and clucked her tongue. “Now, you take that cute bottom of yours out of here, leave the dog in your truck, then come back and I’ll make you a roast beef with extra au jus.”

Charlie peered around the bakery, the smells of fresh baked bread and toasted hot sandwiches hitting his nose. His stomach grumbled. Of course, the small bakery and sandwich shop was packed today, half the town there to witness Charlie getting put in his place. A part of him wanted to remind Patty that his family’s farm supplied most of her produce and could just as easily refuse to deliver, but he’d learned long ago to retreat slowly and carefully when dealing with the bakery owner.

“Fine, but I’m holding you to that extra au jus.”

Patty flashed him a grin. “It’ll be waiting for you, honey.” Then she waved her hand through the air in a sign that he better get mov- ing, and then she went to greet someone else. Someone without a dog.

Resigned, Charlie pushed out of the glass door and eyed his old Husky. “Sorry, boy. I’ll bring you some leftovers, though.” He un- locked his Silverado, cranked the truck, and rolled down the win- dows. It was a mild sixty out in Crestler’s Key, Kentucky, a perfect early spring day, but Henry meant more to him than most of the peo- ple in the town, and if he was going to be forced to stay in Charlie’s truck, then he’d do it with a nice breeze.

With a long glance down Main Street at the row of shops— Southern Dive, his family’s sports and outdoors shop at the very end—Charlie couldn’t help wondering if he was making the right de- cisions in his life.

He’d moved back to Crestler’s Key after living in the Florida Keys for five years. There, he’d operated a small scuba diving busi- ness, his life as much under water as above it. And he loved every moment of it. Then there were the women, too many to count, al- ways around, always eager to occupy a little bit of his time. He’d been content with that life, never asking for more and never wanting it. He was a typical twenty-something and enjoyed every bit of his young age.

Then he met Jade, and hell if he didn’t fall hook, line, and sinker. Still to this day, years later, he remembered with painful clarity her walking down the dock at the marina and stopping outside his houseboat, long sun-bleached blond hair and even longer legs. She was beautiful in that natural, God-made way—his kryptonite,  when

it came to women, so all it took was one look and he was gone.

It took mere days, maybe even hours, for her to rope him into her world. She had innocence behind that beauty that he couldn’t refuse, and weeks passed with them tangled in each other’s arms, a new kind of happiness swirling in Charlie’s chest. She would never fill the spot someone else had once filled, someone he was never allowed to care for, someone he told himself he could—would—forget, but Jade made him feel good. They meshed together perfectly, peanut butter and freaking jelly.

Until that fateful day when he woke to discover she’d taken every- thing he owned. His dog. His wallet, which she used to drain his checking account. His prized possessions. Even the coin collection his grandfather had left him. Every. Single. Thing. Hell, if he hadn’t been on the houseboat, he felt sure she’d have sailed off with it, too.

And while, yeah, the money thing sucked, and the coin collection sucked even more, what really dropped him into the depression bucket was losing his old dog, Rocky.

He’d rescued Rocky as a puppy from the pound, more mutt than anything, and with a broken left leg. Thousands of dollars in vet bills later, and that dog was his only friend down there. And his idiotic self had let some vixen walk in and steal him.

The thought brought on a fresh wave of guilt, and he contem- plated going to talk to Patty again, convince her that they could sit out on the back patio, but then he’d been through this argument with her before. Besides, this was Crestler’s Key, not Florida, and he knew everyone in town. No one would take his dog.

Still, just to be safe, he hit the locks on his truck twice, before heading back into AJ&P, determined to rehash this with Patty before he left if she hoped to continue to get discounted produce from the farm.

“There you are, cute bottom.”

Ah, crap.

Grimacing, Charlie pivoted to find his best friend, Lucas, already seated at one of the white-washed wooden tables, a giant smirk on his face. “Funny,” Charlie said. “You know, I was excited to see you and then you had to go and open that big mouth.” The men laughed, then hugged, because it’d been too damn long.

They took their seats and Lucas joked, “Thought you were going to cry there when she said you couldn’t bring Henry in here.”

Charlie peeked out the window at his truck before returning his gaze to his friend. “Well, she ought to remember who’s supplying all her produce.”

“So you’re going to hold her produce ransom until she lets you bring in your dog? Dude, you need a chick in your life. Stat.”

Charlie laughed, until he glanced around and noticed several of the women he’d dated off and on eating at the bakery, half of them glaring at him. “Yeah . . . think I’ll pass on that one. Thanks, though.” “What’s the deal with your insane overprotectiveness of Henry

anyway? He’s a giant dog. He can take care of himself.”

Yeah, well, Rocky had been a big dog, too, and that didn’t save him from that thieving witch of a woman. Charlie had searched for the dog for nearly a year, all to no avail. Jade was probably halfway across the world now, with his money and his coin collection and his dog. Damn woman. No, damn women. They were more trouble than they would ever be worth.

Lucas continued to stare at him with a questioning look, but all Charlie could say was the same excuse he always said. Because no one, not Lucas, not his brothers Zac or Brady, no one knew about Jade or what she’d done to him. The humiliation would be too much.

“Henry had a rough childhood. Gotta protect the boy now.” “Right . . .”

MaryAnn, one of AJ&P’s waitresses, came over then to get their order, and Lucas smiled a little too wide at his former high-school flame before clearing his throat and trying for mock-cool. Charlie suppressed a grin. MaryAnn, with her wavy blond hair and deep brown eyes, still looked exactly as she did in high school. And just like in high school, she was still 100 percent in love with Lucas. “Hey, there,” MaryAnn said, matching his smile. “I didn’t know you were home.”

Lucas shrugged. “Three-day leave before going back.”

“When is your tour over?” she asked, her eyes filling with a bit of hope that she probably wished wasn’t there. She and Lucas had mu- tually ended their relationship when she realized he intended to be a career soldier, and having lost her brother in Iraq, she said she couldn’t live that life. It was a mature decision, they had both said, but now ten years later, they both still looked like they regretted it. And come to think of it, Charlie couldn’t remember a single woman Lucas had dated seriously since ending things with MaryAnn.

With another careful glance at his old girlfriend, Lucas relaxed into his chair, the single thing between them now back front and center. “Three months, then I’ll have a few weeks off, before another one.”

MaryAnn nodded slowly, and then flipped her attention over to Charlie for the first time, like she couldn’t bear to look at Lucas an- other second. “Your regular?”

“Yeah, though Patty promised extra au jus if I left Henry in the truck.”

“What’s up with you and that dog?”

Lucas laughed. “Didn’t you know? He’s married to that dog. Pa- pers and all.”

“Again, funny.”

Both MaryAnn and Lucas laughed, until they made eye contact with each other and both went mum. She took their order and saun- tered off, her shoulders drooped a little, and Charlie couldn’t stand it anymore.


“What?” Lucas asked.

Charlie deadpanned. “What? Are you freaking kidding me? The whole town could feel that tension. Why not try?”

Lucas took a drink of his sweet tea, set it down, then did it  again, like he wasn’t ready to speak yet. Or maybe he didn’t know what to say. “She made her intentions clear years ago. Her mind’s not changing.”

“She’s older now. Y’all were teenagers then. Maybe she wants you to make the first move.”

“Says the dude who hasn’t been on a real date since . . .” Lucas cocked his head. “Come to think of it, I don’t think you’ve ever been on a real date.”

“Whatever. I date.”

“Sure you do,” Lucas said, relaxing now that the spotlight wasn’t on him. “You sound just like Lila, always deflecting.”

And just like that, just the mention of her name, and Charlie sat up taller, eager to hear anything that might have to do with Lucas’s little sister. “What’s up with Lila these days? Still in vet school?” He thought of Lucas’s only sister, two years younger and forever tag- ging along with the two boys when they were kids. She’d always been pretty in a sweet, natural way, her smile and laugh infectious. Charlie looked after her when Lucas left for basic, but then Charlie moved to the Keys and Lila moved away to college, and he hadn’t seen her since.

“Actually she finished school. Went to work in Charlotte for a while, but she moved back to town a week ago.” He took another drink of his tea, his look distant now, and Charlie got the distinct im- pression that Lucas was keeping something from him.

“Why’d she move back to town?” Charlie asked. He wondered what Lila looked like now, if she’d kept her black hair cropped short like she had when she was little. But then most women changed their hair all the time, so it could be long now—beautiful. She probably had men waiting in lines to get her attention, that bright smile of hers forever turning the eye of everyone she passed. It had certainly caught his eye.

Lucas shrugged. “Work stuff.”

MaryAnn returned then with their food, saving Lucas from ex- plaining, but something was definitely going on. Still, it wasn’t Char- lie’s business, and he was never one to pry.

“She ever marry?” All right, so maybe he was one to pry. “Nah, not her thing.”

Charlie perked up at the thought, his heart light—happy. Wow, Lila wasn’t married. He’d expected her to be—

But before he could finish the thought, Lucas pointed at him. “Don’t even think about it.”

Charlie threw up his hands. “Think about what?” “Lila. And you. You and Lila.”

A sarcastic laugh broke from his lips, despite the uneasiness in his chest. “You go insane again? This is me. She’s like a little sister     to me.”

Lucas settled in his chair again, but his face was still tense. “Right . . . just like the last time. My thoughts on this haven’t changed.” Cringing, Charlie thought of that fateful day in high school when he’d asked Lucas about his sister. It was a simple question—Is Lila around? Three words, nothing more. He and Lucas had always been best friends, but somewhere along the way, Charlie started noticing Lila more and more. Curious where she was, how she was doing. But needless to say, the conversation with his friend didn’t go well.

Lucas went ballistic, shouting all the reasons Charlie wasn’t to touch his sister, and their friendship meant enough to him that he didn’t.

“Relax, man. I’m not going after your sister.”

Besides, Lila was the furthest thing from Charlie’s type now. He wasn’t into doctors or the professional type. Lucas had nothing to worry about. Nothing. But still, he couldn’t deny that he was curious what adult Lila looked like and whether she would remember the time they’d almost . . .

No, surely not.

Even if he would never forget.


Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern
romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because
who doesn’t like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA, with her
husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing,
reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.
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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Contemporary, Romance, RomCom, Tour, Writer

It Had to be You by Melissa Kate – Book Tour + #Giveaway



It Had To Be You
Crystal Valley

Book Two
Melissa Kate

Genre: Contemporary Romance , RomCom

Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing

Date of Publication: 25 April 2017

ISBN:  978-0-9984714-1-9

Number of pages: 200 pages
Word Count: 50 k

Cover Artist: Amy from Q Design

Book Description:

Emma Wyatt has had enough of her ex best friend and his lady killer ways. Gone was the sweet boy of her youth and in rides the womaniser. But this time he has ready gone and done it!Oliver didn’t expect to be coupled with Emma. She was in an awkward situation and he couldn’t help the words that came out. She should be grateful, he saved her.

Now the whole town knows. And Emma is pissed! She’s going to kill him.

But a heated argument leads to a fiery moment of passion and suddenly the two are fighting an unlikely attraction that neither saw coming. But Oliver has a secret that could tear them apart…

Amazon     BN     Kobo


Emma walked into the Community
Center Grand Hall and took in the scene before her. Women of all shapes, sizes,
and generations milled around, cocktails in hand. Their hair was perfectly
coifed and their makeup impeccable. The pheromones in the air were practically

A bachelor auction.
How the hell did I get roped into this? she mused.
“Isn’t this exciting?” Her best friend, Audrey, sipped a
pink drink with a twirly straw, her eyes wide.
That’s how.
“If you call a bunch of horny women paying for a date with
an equally horny man exciting, then no, it’s not particularly thrilling.”
“Oh, stop being Old Mother Hubbard. Besides, it’s for a good
Emma knew this, of course. The Crystal Valley Homeless
Center was an up-and-coming organization that rehabilitated homeless people and
helped them get their lives back on track. It wasn’t merely a halfway house. It
was a place of refuge that offered people in need a hand up—not just a handout.
Emma tried to volunteer at the Center as much as she could, and she knew
firsthand how rewarding the experience was. The auction couldn’t have benefited
a better cause.
“You and I both know it’s not the auction that’s got your
knickers in a twist.” Audrey grinned devilishly as she tossed her dark hair
over her shoulder. “It’s that hot hunk of junk over there.”
Emma followed her friend’s gaze to Oliver Kyle—the six-foot-two,
sandy-haired Adonis… and the bane of her existence. Emma rolled her eyes, the
familiar irritation settling in. “Now why would I let anything Oliver-related
have anything to do with my panties?”
“Did I hear my name and your panties in the same sentence?”
His deep voice reverberated over her shoulder and sent an unwelcome shiver up
her spine.
“Speak of the devil and the demon appears.” She turned to
face him and nearly slammed into the rock-solid mass of his chest. When did he
get so close to her? Her eyes landed on those firm pecs and traveled up the
thick column of his neck, past the deep dimple of his left cheek and into those
smug honey-colored eyes.
She squinted at him, hackles raising like an old friend.
“Personal space much?”
He leaned in, that overpowering male musk unique to Oliver
surrounding her. “Just trying to get closer to those panties, sweetheart.”
The damn jerk had the audacity to wink at her. An actual
“You, Oliver Kyle, are a man-whore and will never get within
an inch of my panties.”
“Now, now, Emma, did you just issue a challenge? You know
that feistiness just makes me want you more? I like your attitude problem.”
“I don’t have an attitude problem. You have a problem with
my attitude. That’s not my problem.”
He gave an arrogant little chuckle.
Emma opened her mouth to unleash some choice words when
Audrey stepped between them. “Okay, children, play nice now.”
Oliver reached out and twirled a strand of Emma’s hair
around his finger, as though testing its texture. “This isn’t over, Goldilocks.
I like a challenge.”
Emma was left to ogle his broad shoulders in his Boss suit
before she could formulate a comeback. She fought the urge to stamp her foot
like a petulant child.
“Wow, the sexual tension between you two is hot.”
“The only thing hot between us is my palm getting ready to
slap his smug face.” Emma grabbed Audrey’s glass and downed her colorful drink.
“Uh huh. And denial is a river in Egypt. What happened
between you two anyway?”
“He’s a jackass. A womanizing jackass who is always trying
to make a pass at me, but I won’t become a prospect of his.”
“Oh honey, ten minutes with that man and I’m sure he would
ruin you for any other man.”
Emma swatted her as they made their way toward a seat near
the stage. The cloying smell of cheap perfume of overzealous women lingered in
the air, giving Emma an instant headache. Or maybe that was compliments of Mr.
Kyle. Audrey didn’t realize how close to home she had hit. Emma and Oliver had
been friends during their youth. They had grown up in the same neighborhood
and, despite the two-year age gap, had been practically joined at the hip. Till
one day, soon after she turned thirteen, he had morphed into someone else and
just stopped being her bestie. At first, he had pulled away and Emma had passed
it off as part of growing up, but then he stopped being a sweet boy and became
a hell-raiser.
Now, at age thirty-two, he was the quintessential bachelor.
She wondered if he was up for auction tonight. Not that she would bid on him.
No, she had her eye on that sexy fireman, Mike. Besides, she was sure half of
Crystal Valley would outbid her even if she did. He was very popular with the
The lights dimmed suddenly and a hush of anticipation filled
the auditorium as hordes of women scrambled to find vacant seats. She could
practically feel Audrey bouncing in her chair beside her and although she
wouldn’t admit it out loud, it was kind of thrilling. Emma might have a grudge
against Oliver Kyle, but she sure did appreciate some of the other fine specimens
on display.
The opening beats to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” started and
the crowd went wild as each bachelor walked on stage, decked in suits and
looking mouth-watering. The song was fitting; most of the singles were from the
police or fire department. The hotness kept coming. How did Crystal Valley have
so many hot, single men? Emma caught herself using her auction paddle to fan
herself. The men did a few steps in sync to the beat, which greatly amused the
audience, before standing single file, hands behind their backs, which only
emphasized the chiseled chests and lean hips.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the announcer’s deep voice rang out.
“Give it up for the bachelors of Crystal Valleeeey!”
The applause was deafening. Emma found herself adding to the
roar. The last time she checked, she was still a warm-blooded female.
“Thank you all for coming tonight and supporting this great
cause. These gracious bachelors have volunteered their time and… um, services,
to raise funds tonight.” A smattering of nervous giggles peppered the hall. He
went on to talk more about the cause as the gents backed offstage.
“Without further ado, ladies, let’s get the ball rolling!”
An upbeat track sounded and one of Oliver’s police buddies
strolled on stage, all muscle and sex appeal.
“Ooh la la,” Audrey cooed beside her, barely audible over
the roar.
The bachelor walked down the ramp. Every woman alongside it
tried to get her hands on some part of him, and he was soaking it up. He
grinned devilishly as he swung his hips a few times before strutting back to
center stage.
“We will start the bidding at one hundred dollars.”
Dozens of paddles went up. And kept going up as the price
“Why don’t you bid on him?” Audrey nudged, her brown eyes
“He’s not my type.”
“What? Hot and delicious is everyone’s type. Plus, he has
She did have a point there. Emma was ready to raise her
paddle and place a bid when the announcer called a winner. She swung around in
her seat to face the blonde mama who was going to enjoy officer sexy pants. She
looked drunk off her ass and horny to boot. They were going to have one hell of
a night.
The next beat was the ever-popular and brain-grinding
“Gangnam Style.” Emma recognized the bachelor as one of the new kids at the
fire department. He couldn’t be more than twenty-two, but he was filling out
nicely. He slid out in nothing but his tighty-whities and a shirt. Very Tom
Cruise–like. Till he started the “Gangnam Style” dance.
Emma threw her head back and howled. His moves were perfectly
in sync and the crowd was lapping it up. Despite the ridiculousness of his act,
he sold for nearly three thousand dollars. That date was going to be
interesting, to say the least.
The strains of Nelly’s “Hot in Here” blared from the
speakers and none other than sexy fireman Mike came strolling out in his
fireproof suit—sans shirt.
“Hot tamale.” Emma swallowed. “He’s Hercules.” Mike had a
golden tan accentuated by glistening oil slathered on his bare torso. His blond
hair was messy and his blue eyes mischievous as he played right into crowd,
taking off his shoulder straps and wiggling to the beat, teasing and taunting
the ladies with overt sexuality.
Emma had to tear her eyes away when she realized that the
bidding war had begun and were already a grand up. She raised her paddle but
was immediately challenged by a brunette two rows down. Emma needed this. It
had been two years since she had a decent date, and small-town gossip had it
that Mike was a decent guy. He was stable, honest, faithful, and unbelievably
sexy to boot. Emma was a traditional girl and wasn’t comfortable making the
first move on a guy, but with the veil of the auction for charity, it was the
perfect excuse to match herself up with Mike. She needed to pick up her life
after the drama with the mayor’s son.
“We have one thousand five hundred dollars. Do we have one
thousand six hundred?”
Emma raised her paddle. And so it continued till the bidding
went up to two grand. Fireman Mike was sure noticing her now.
“Going once…”
Emma felt a grin spreading on her face. She was going to
“Going twice…”
“Three thousand dollars!” The brunette outbid her. How the
Before Emma could recover, the announcer slammed his gavel
and fireman Mike was gone, snatched from her clutches.
Audrey giggled beside her. “Well, that was entertaining.”
Emma huffed. “How embarrassing! Now everyone knows I got a
thing for the fireman god.”
“Trust me. Nobody is noticing anything except the male
hotness here tonight.”
“I hope so.” She signaled the waiter for another cocktail.
She needed a drink to overcome the mortification.
The evening passed with suitor after suitor gracing the
stage, and each time the adoration never dimmed. From scantily clad to suave,
funny to serious, the men were different in their own right. Yet none of the
others appealed to her enough to raise her paddle again.
She was about to call it a night when the emcee announced
the last bid for the night. A fun tune sounded and Emma sat up, wondering who
would be gracing the stage. She felt her jaw go slack when the thorn in her
side came out on stage, still in his Boss suit. His shirt was unbuttoned
beneath his suit jacket, and the peekaboo of his bronze torso flirted with
every woman in the auditorium. His mirrored aviators sat on the bridge of his
nose, shielding what she was sure was a sex-promised gaze. His sandy hair was
mussed up like he had run his hands through it, or more likely some woman had.
His pants curved his strong buttocks, emphasizing the muscle and strength. Emma
felt her throat go dry. The music played a sexy tune and, almost in slow
motion, Oliver put his hand in his pants pocket, moving aside his coat and
shirt and revealing an honest-to-God eight-pack.
The crowd went wild. Emma coughed. When the hell did he get
those? She didn’t even know eight-packs existed, and here he was baring those
washboard abs like he was born with them. His lips tilted in a sexy grin,
revealing that naughty dimple.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let’s start the bidding at one
hundred dollars!”
Paddles went up all around the room. Emma took a sweep
through at the faces that could potentially be sharing Oliver’s bed tonight.
Just about everyone bid, including the more vibrant male variety of Crystal
Valley. Emma smiled at that, knowing that would throw the smug playboy for a
The response was loud. The bidding was fast and quick, and
already up to three thousand dollars. Mr. Kyle was clearly in demand. It looked
like Malibu Barbie was going to win him after all.
“Five thousand dollars!”
The crowd was stunned into silence at the sudden bid. The
announcer called it. And looked right at Emma.
She turned to Audrey, then noticed that she had grabbed
Emma’s arm, paddle in hand, and bid. Audrey grinned widely and shrugged
Emma turned back to the stage, her face draining of color as
she stared at Oliver, who looked like the Cheshire cat.


“What have you done?” she whispered.

About the Author:


Melissa Kate is a self-confessed book-a-holic who lives in a small town along the coast in sunny South Africa. She writes contemporary romance with quirky characters and witty banter; a true romantic at heart, she loves the moment of falling in love. Her pet Beagle and maniacal lovebird keep her company while writing and often inspire senseless moments in her stories.

When she’s not furiously tapping away on her laptop, Melissa can be found laughing away with her husband (who happens to be her pre-school sweetheart… you just know there’s a story there) or scouring online stores for additions to her ever growing stiletto collection (ehm addiction).

She balances her day job and conjuring up new romantic tales with a local personal blog with arb ramblings about her life in Durban.

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Tracking You by Kelly Moran – Bood Tour + #Giveaway


by Kelly Moran
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 5/23/17
Love isn’t always loud. Sometimes it’s silent.
Gabby Cosette has always been dubbed
the good girl of quaint Redwood Ridge, Oregon, and being permanently
put in the friend zone has left her dating life stagnant. With no
prospects in sight, she clings to her friends and resolves to not let
loneliness drag her under. So when the town Battleaxes set their
matchmaking sights on her, she figures it can’t hurt. Yet the guy
they think is perfect for her just happens to be not only her boss at
the veterinarian clinic, but her best friend. Sure, Flynn O’Grady is
attractive and the nicest guy around, but going there with him would
topple both of their carefully constructed worlds and there would be
no going back. Even if he is starting to make her girly parts zing.
Having been born deaf, Flynn has
already felt like an outsider most of his life. Aside from his
brothers, Gabby is about the only person who’s gone out of her way to
treat him as more than a handicap. Which is exactly why he’s banked
his secret attraction for his sweet, beautiful vet tech. Except his
meddling family is trying to play Cupid and ruin the best thing to
ever happen to him. Without Gabby, his work as a veterinarian, never
mind his personal life, wouldn’t flow. Determined to ignore the
antics, he’s secure in the knowledge she’s not interested in him
romantically. But then a kiss changes everything . . . and he’s
wondering if taking the ultimate shot at love might be worth the
ty- excerpt

Gabby Cosette smoothed her hand down the simple baby blue sundress she meticulously picked out for this evening and tried not to look too eager. Or throw up. That wouldn’t do either.

From a back booth, she glanced around the only Italian restaurant in Redwood Ridge, comforted by the fact it was still early yet for the dinner rush. The place was a good choice. Right? Not as casual as Shooters—the bar she and her friends frequented—but not as formal as one of the seafood restaurants that dotted their Oregon coastal town. A step above grabbing coffee or a beer, yet it didn’t scream desperation.

Was a booth in the back too obvious? Had she overdone it with her makeup? Maybe she should’ve put her hair up instead of down?

No, no. She went for light and natural on purpose. The patrons of Redwood Ridge had known her all her life. It wasn’t far out of the realm of ordinary for her to wear a dress and light cosmetics. She was being a basket case.

It’s just… Well, she hadn’t had a date in a year. A year!

To calm her nerves, she drew in a deep breath and focused on the red checkered tablecloth. A votive candle flickered on the windowsill to her right, the flame reflecting off the tinted glass. The parking lot stretched beyond, where her date’s car was not in one of the available spots.

It was silly to get this worked up over a first date, especially with Tom.

She’d gone to elementary and high school with him. His parents still lived down the street from hers. Strange how he’d never shown any interest in her romantically, yet out of the blue, he’d asked her out this week.

Then again, most everyone in town viewed her as the sweet Cosette girl, everyone’s friend. Thus the no date in a year. It was hard to get a guy to think about kissing her, never mind imagining her naked, when she had platonic all but tattooed on her forehead.

The waitress strolled over in her apron, holding a notepad in her hand.

“Are you waiting on someone, sweetie pie?”

“Yes.” She smiled and grabbed her cell on the table. Tom was five minutes late. “He should be here any minute.”

“Ooh. Is it a date?” Mavis planted a hand on her plump waist and grinned, the wrinkles around her eyes growing to crevices. Gabby wasn’t sure how old Mavis was, no one really knew, but she never seemed to age past the state from when Gabby was a child.

Gabby opened her mouth to answer, but Tom strode toward her, weaving around tables and plopping in the seat across the booth.

“Couldn’t find ya at the bar. I wasn’t expecting a table.”

It was still early, and Le Italy didn’t get that crowded even on a Friday night. How hard could it possibly have been to locate her? “Give us a sec,”she told Mavis and waited for her to step away.

Tom had blond hair too short for her preference and a thin mouth. His unremarkable brown eyes darted around the restaurant and back to her. He made no attempt to apologize for being late, and it appeared as if he’d just come from work. His jeans and T-shirt were paint-splattered. The hazard of working for his dad’s commercial painting and roofing company.

“Thanks for meeting me.” He took off his ball cap and scratched his head.

Why did that sound un-date-like? “Um…sure thing. How’s work going?”

Her gaze dipped to his hands, no better off than his clothes. Maybe she should’ve picked Shooters after all.

Something felt very, very off as her belly twisted. Not with nerves this time. Confused, Gabby’s mind scrolled through their conversation from earlier in the week when he’d brought his dog into the vet clinic where she worked. As he was checking out, he’d anxiously spun around to face

her and asked if she could meet him.

“Good. Work’s good.” He put his hat back on and glanced outside.

“Getting to be warmer out, so the jobs are picking up.” Perhaps he was just nervous, too. Her tension drained a degree.

Mavis returned and asked for a drink order.

Tom lifted his hand to wave her off. “Nothing for me, thanks. I can’t stay long. Got a poker game with the guys tonight. I need to shower before they show up.”

The forced smile Gabby had plastered on her face began to wilt like her mom’s petunias in August. What did he mean he couldn’t stay long? And why would he ask her out and schedule a card game on the same night?

Plus, he could shower for his friends, but not her?

Mavis divided her gaze between them, a mix of bewilderment and irritation lifting her brows. She tapped her pen to her pad as the silence hung. “Can I get you something?” She focused on Gabby, her tone indicating she should order something.

“I’ll have a sweet tea. Thank you.” When the waitress walked away, Gabby looked at Tom. He’d thrown his arm over the back of the booth and had stretched his legs out. The aroma of Eau de Paint Thinner wafted across the table. “So…?”

“Right, right.” Tom leaned forward and crossed his arms. “I appreciate you letting me do this in person.”

She stilled. “Do what?” Because she was definitely getting the this-is-not-a-date vibe now.

A warring shift in contradiction took over her body. Everything inside grew rapidly chilly while her skin heated in what she hoped wasn’t a blush. Her pale complexion always gave away her emotions and she hated that more than she’d hated freshman algebra. Math was evil.

He let out a tense laugh, which sounded more like a guffaw, and drew several heads from other diners. “Not exactly a conversation you want to have over the phone or somethin’, ya know?”

No. She didn’t know. “Maybe if you just tell me?”

He played with the parmesan shaker, not meeting her gaze. “Well, the whole town’s buzzing about Rachel and Jeff’s split.”

She frowned, not connecting the dots on his crazy pattern. Her older sister had only dated Jeff for a few weeks which, per Rachel standards, might as well have been marriage. Rachel liked to keep her options—and legs—open.

Guilt immediately consumed her for the crass thought, but it didn’t make it any less true. She and Rachel couldn’t be any more different. Rachel was aloof and sexy. Gabby was the girl next door. Men desired Rachel. The only thing they desired from Gabby was a shoulder to cry on after her sister shot them down.

She twirled a strand of hair around her finger to keep from fidgeting. “I don’t understand what Rachel and Jeff have to do with…” Unable to finish the sentence—because she had no idea anymore what “this” was—she waved her hand between them.

“Well,” he said in an aw-shucks kind of way that made her want to grind her teeth, “now that Rachel’s available, I thought maybe you could put in a good word for me?”


Bestselling author Kelly Moran says she gets her ideas from everyone and
everything around her and there’s always a book playing out in her
head. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself,
and no one is safe from becoming her next fictional character. She is
a Catherine Award-Winner, Readers Choice Finalist, Holt Medallion
Finalist, and earned one of the 10 Best Reads by USA Today’s HEA. She
is also a Romance Writers of America member. Her interests include:
sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she
can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don’t tell
anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, three sons, and
two dogs. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a
lot of time there as well.
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Eight Days in the Sun by MK Schiller – Book Tour + #Giveaway


by MK Schiller
Pub. Date: 5/2/2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Love needs only one chance to shine . . .
He followed in his family’s footsteps and just graduated Marine boot camp. Now
Mason Cutler’s personal mission is to get plenty of sun, surf, and
no-strings romance in his favorite laid-back Florida beach town
before shipping out. But a chance encounter with reserved Kiran
Shenoy becomes a golden day of conversation, connection—and an
intense attraction Mason can’t walk away from. They make an
agreement—eight sensuous days together without regrets or promises.
Yet soon Mason is longing to convince the spirited woman behind
Kiran’s sad beautiful eyes to take a chance on even more . . .
All Kiran dared hope for was a chance to heal after a tragic accident and a
devastating loss. Mason’s freewheeling energy and head-on courage
warms her scarred body and soul—and ignites her heart. But with
their lives going in different directions, the only commitment they
can make is a pact to meet again. Can what they feel survive Mason’s
military duty, and Kiran’s second chance to restart her life? And
can a desire sparked one summer night be enough for forever?
ed- excerpt

Swinging my suitcase, I speed walk toward the elevator bank.


One of the cars is out of service. The other one is incredibly slow. By the time the doors finally open, I’ve silently sung the whole soundtrack of Rent, all five hundred twenty-five minutes and six hundred seconds of it.


“Hold it, please,” says the guy behind me as the doors begin to close.


I press the open button, but the doors keep closing. I jab it. The metal doors don’t stop.


“Sorry,” I say. “Can’t get it to open.” I throw my hand in the gap between the doors. Nope. Still moving shut. Guess it doesn’t have a safety. I pull my hand back before the doors slam.


He rushes toward me, a duffle bag slung across his shoulder. It’s too late, dude. They close. Well almost close. I gasp as a very large sneaker wedges between the doors.


“Ouch,” he says as the doors part.


“Are you all right?”


He smiles. “I’ll live.”


He presses the button for the tenth floor. The air in the elevator suddenly becomes heavier. It’s the same guy who held the front door for me, the one with the smoky southern flare in his voice.


“I swear I was trying to hold it open.”


“You were?” He looks straight into my eyes.


For some reason, I don’t shift my head down like I normally do. I’m not sure if this makes it worse or better. He’s a nice looking boy…man. Who the hell am I kidding? He’s hot, like you-might-mistake-me-for-anunderwear- model hot. He’s tall with defined, but not over-the-top, muscles.


His jeans are ripped in all the right places and his faded gray T-shirt reads free shrugs in all caps. He’s got a strong square jaw that’s a day or two past a shave. His eyes are an intense light blue, my favorite color. The T-shirt might as well say my superpower is being beautiful.


The doors close, trapping us in a space that seems to get exponentially smaller now that he’s sharing it with me. He runs his fingers through brownish hair. Umm…not exactly brown. I’d call the color milk chocolate spiced with threads of cinnamon and honey.


Get a grip. So what if he’s good-looking? This is freaking Beach Town, Florida. Next to seashells and citrus, cute boys are the largest produced crop. Wait. He asked me something, didn’t he? Oh yeah, it was about the stupid elevator. “I pushed the open door button.”


“It just closed anyway, huh?” He quirks an eyebrow, an amused expression on his face.


“It did. I swear. It isn’t working,” I say, pointing to the button with the picture of the triangles next to it.


“That’s the button you pushed?”




“You realize it’s the close door button, right?”


I stare at it and the one next to it. The placement seems wrong, but the pictures don’t lie. “I do now.”


The elevator jolts before the car stops completely. I stumble back.


“You all right?” he asks.


“What happened?”


“Looks like we’re stuck.”


I press the button for my floor. Nothing happens. So I start pressing the other buttons. Still nothing. No… This can’t be real. Getting stuck in an elevator with a super hot guy? This is the stuff of corny rom-coms.


“There’s no need to panic.”


“Not panicking,” I say as I hit a few more buttons.


“Are you claustrophobic?”


“No.” I sigh and lean back against the railing. I can still feel his gaze on me. “A little.”


“Heard it helps to think about something else.”


“Like what?” I curl my fingers around the steel railing at the back of the elevator.


He tilts his head, studying me. “Have we met?” he asks.


I replay the question in my head wondering if I heard correctly. When I laugh, the sound bounces off the walls and echoes inside the small elevator car. “Seriously?”


He does a face palm. “Crap, that sounds like a pick-up line. I swear it’s not.”


As if I’d think he was trying to pick me up. “I’m sure you’d remember if you knew me.”


“That’s true. How could I forget?”


For a second, I thought he might be making fun of me on some level. But there isn’t anything malicious in his voice. Taking a deep breath, I force myself to relax.


“Kiran Shenoy, right?”


I lift my head, wondering if I did know him. I think back to all the boys I went to high school with, but his face doesn’t register at all. It’s the kind of face that would register in triplicate. “How do we know each other?”


“No idea. I overheard the lady behind the front desk say your name.”


He holds out his hand…his very large hand. “Mason Cutler.”


I’ve been curling my fingers around the railing so tightly that I have to shake out my hand before taking his. His handshake is firm. I’m about to let go when he flips my wrist over. He presses his thumb against the ruby red mark there. Very few people notice it against my brown skin. His thumb slides back and forth in a short caress. The stain disappears against the pressure. It comes back slowly, deepening in color for a moment. My pulse spikes ten notches…maybe twenty. After an eternity, he finally lets go. It’s really only been two seconds, but it feels much longer, or maybe not long enough.


“It’s not a tattoo?”


“It’s a birthmark. They call it a port wine stain.”


“A fire stain.”




“I thought this was inked on since it’s shaped like a heart.”


The car starts up with a jolt. He gestures to the screen that signals we are moving. “See? No reason to panic.”


The doors open, ending the weirdest elevator ride in the history of the world.


“This is me,” I say, my fingers clutching the handle of my suitcase.


He holds one of the doors by leaning against it while I get out. I catch a hint of spicy, manly cologne and delicious boy. “Thank you.”


“We made it unscathed.”


“So we did.” I nod, accepting what happened. He was just being nice and trying to distract me with an introduction.


“Maybe I’ll see you around, Shenoy,” he says.




I turn just in time to see the doors close.


MK Schiller is a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. In the dark of
night, she sits by the warm glow of her computer monitor, reading or
writing, usually with some tasty Italian…the food that is! She
started imagining stories in her head at a very young age. In fact,
she got so good at it that friends asked her to create plots
featuring them as the heroine and the object of their affection as
the hero. She hopes you enjoy her stories and find The Happily Ever
After in every endeavor. M.K. Schiller loves hearing from readers.
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