Highland Burn by Victoria Zak | Book Tour and Giveaway – ONE eBook copy of ‘Highland Burn’

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BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Highland Burn
SERIES – Book one Guardians of Scotland
AUTHOR – Victoria Zak
GENRE – Scottish medieval paranormal romance (shifters)
PUBLICATION DATE – July 22 2014
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 186
PUBLISHER – Victoria Zak
COVER ARTIST – Z creations

 

Highland Burn - Book Cover

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Will Love’s Flame Quench the Dragon’s Fire? …

The past never stays in the past, it rears its ugly head eventually. James the Black Douglas knows this all too well. With a past that has left him vengeful and his dragon blood thirsty, his reputation as a ruthless warrior haunts his enemies in their sleep. As his allegiance stands with Robert Bruce, the King of Scotland, he must now repay a debt to the king and agrees to marry his daughter, Abigale Bruce. The problem is he doesn’t want a wife. When flames start to burn out of control between him and the auburn-haired lass, he must decide to either kindle the flames of passion or shelter her from the truth and set her free.

It’s What Shines in the Dark That Brings Forth Your True Light…

Determined to keep his daughter safe and out of the hands of the English, Robert hides Abigale behind the safe walls of a nunnery. After eight long years of living her life in seclusion, Abigale is finally set free. But her new found freedom comes to an abrupt halt when she learns of her betrothal to the infamous Bogeyman – James the Black Douglas. She soon finds herself falling in love with the uncontainable and haunted man. Is her love enough to soften his hardened heart?

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EXCERPT

Chapter one

“Fergus, the water is verra refreshing. Why don’t ye join me?”
The white stallion inhaled deeply then snorted, as he ate from a patch of lush green grass.
“Well, ye dinnae have to be rude about it.”
Long white hair with streaks of gray fell over his muscled neck as the fine steed shook his head and stomped his hoof. He pulled on a blade of grass, indicating that he was perfectly content grazing near the loch’s edge.
A slight giggle escaped her mouth as she splashed at her horse.
Abigale Bruce had ridden hard and fast through the glen most of the morn. Since her father’s recent successful victory over the English at the battle of Bannockburn, Abigale had been freed from the nunnery. Her excitement of finally being able to explore her new-found freedom was too much to hold back as she charged through the forest. Now she rewarded Fergus with a patch of grass while she cooled off in the loch. Oh how she cherished these moments; they were few and far between.
Eight long years at Dunfermline Abbey wasn’t the ideal place to grow up, but she had no choice in the matter. Her father, Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, had placed her there in order to keep her safe from his enemy, the English. Throughout her time at the Abbey, King Edward, the King of England, had gotten close to capturing her a few times, but the small secretive community of nuns had held true to their oath and kept her hidden well.
Unhappy about the newly crowned King of Scotland, the English had captured Abigale’s step-mother, half-sister, and her two aunts, and had also beheaded three of her uncles. Humiliated, held prisoner behind iron bars of a bird cage, and hung from the Tower of London had been the women’s fate. Even though her freedom was taken away, Abigale knew it was nothing compared to what they had endured.
Abigale’s trouble had started as soon as she walked through the gates of the abbey. Robert Bruce had given Dunfermline Abbey a generous contribution to repair part of the church that had been attacked by King Edward. In return he requested that Abbot Benard take his daughter in and protect her. With such a gracious amount of coin given, the Abbot could not refuse. Therefore Abigale, at the wee age of ten, had been left at the abbey and placed in the cruel hands of Abbess Margaret.
Since Abbess Margaret was in charge of twelve nuns, she declared she had not the time to look after the wee brat, so she left Sister Kate in charge of Abigale. Abbess Margaret was a beautiful middle-aged woman with short, raven hair, and possessed the ability to inflict the cruelest of punishments. She watched and waited for Abigale to slip up so she could take pleasure in punishing her. Abigale knew why the woman hated her; she was jealous and thought it unfair that she had special treatment just because she was the king’s daughter.
Abigale was afforded a few exceptions to the rules. Because of her lack of interest in taking the vow to become a nun, she didn’t have to cut her hair like the other sisters. Furthermore, she could marry, and own property. Although there was one rule that had to be followed; she had to be obedient. And Abbess Margaret took great pride in punishing a disobedient Abigale. Sending Abigale on a daily pee pot cleaning always seemed to make the corners of her thin lips twitch. “Ye’re no princess, a bastart child who her own father has abandoned.”
After a few missed visits from her father and daily tongue lashings from Abbess Margaret, Abigale started to feel pushed aside and abandoned, yet her spirit held firm.
Sister Kate had kept a watchful eye on Abigale, keeping her work-load full so she would stay out of trouble, but trouble seemed to follow her wherever she went as if she was born into it. Abbey life wasn’t the life for her. She grew to hate the prayer bells, for they rang eight times during the day starting at the wee hours of night. The blasted bell would ring either when she was sound asleep or assisting a monk in surgery. More times than not she was late to prayer and being tardy was frowned upon. The consequences were harsh, in fact they were harsher than falling asleep during worship. Abigale knew this all too well; she had fallen asleep in a choir stall one night. Sister Kate had been the circator that night, pacing up and down the aisle as she shined her bright cresset lamp into the stalls checking if anyone had fallen asleep. A sharp point with a stick to her ribcage had woken Abigale up quickly. Of course she got a rap on the legs for that one. Thank God it was Sister Kate, for she showed her mercy.
Now that she was home, her father was more than ever adamant about keeping his family safe. He vowed to never allow another Bruce woman to be captured by the filthy Sassenach. Just as Abigale thought she’d regained her freedom, here she was once again with it ripped away from her by an arranged marriage to her father’s first in command. Who better to protect her than the Bogeyman himself?
Trepidation crept over her, sending a shiver through her body as she thought about the man her father had arranged for her betrothal. “The Black Douglas,” she thought. A man with a reputation that would make the Devil himself shudder with fear. A ruthless warrior who had fought in many battles with her father. The English feared him terribly, making up nursery rhymes warning their wee bairns to “hush before the Black Douglas will get ye”. She’d never met the man before, but the deal was done. Her father had arranged the marriage and Abigale was to abide by his orders.
Abigale turned to Fergus who was chewing on a blade of grass. “At least ye don’t have to marry the Bogeyman.” She shuddered. Saying it out loud made it all too real.
For a moment she wondered just what the Black Douglas would look like. Could her father be so cruel as to wed her to an evil, battle-worn old man? Nay, who could possibly be scared of an old man? Then again, a warrior’s reputation lived on even after death. Or mayhap he really was a monster of some sort, a mythical creature of the night that lurked under your bed waiting to nip at your heels. Abigale was letting her imagination get the best of her. Shaking those thoughts from her head she dipped down into the coolness of the loch, washing away every bit of worry. Today was her day and she was going to enjoy the peace that the loch gave her before it was taken away from her.
Coming back up she lay her body out flat to float on top of the water’s surface. Her light linen shift clung to her petite body, long dark auburn hair spread out and floated with the ripples of the water. Closing her eyes, she opened her arms out wide allowing her fears to fall from her body and sink to the bottom of the loch.
A snapping of twigs alerted Abigale that she wasn’t alone. Quickly she dipped her body down into the water to hide from what was lurking in the woods. Panic pricked up her spine as she searched the glen’s wooded edge for some kind of movement. Nothing… no movement at all. It must be a small animal frolicking through the thicket. Another snap. This time it sounded too close and too loud to be a small animal.
Abigale turned and faced Fergus.
Ears pointing in the direction of the snapping sound, Fergus let out a gut deep neigh.
“Ye heard that too?” she whispered, trying not to draw attention to herself. Abigale slowly moved toward the water’s edge, not making a sound. The last thing she needed was to be attacked by a wild animal or worst yet… a rogue Highlander.
Dripping wet and cold, Abigale stepped out of the water and headed straight for the huge boulder covered in green moss where her dress and her dirk lay. If instincts had taught her anything, it was to never let your guard down and never leave home without your dirk.
A third snap sounded like it came from behind her and way too close. Taking a steady breath, she grabbed her dirk and spun around to meet her attacker face to face. Lunging the blade forward she pointed it at his throat, the tip inches away from piercing it.
“Och lass, I will no hurt ye.” A massive six-foot-four man with vibrant amber eyes stood before her with his hands up in surrender.
Abigale arched a dark brow over deep blue eyes. “How do I know I can trust ye?”
“I have no weapons on me… frisk me if ye dinnae believe me.” With a sly grin he turned around with his arms in the air inviting her eyes to gaze upon every inch of his muscular body.
Abigale took him up on his offer, for she could not will her eyes off him if she tried. Following his every move, her body became alive. Her hands began to itch as she thought about running them down the corded muscles that lined his abdomen. Hulking arms shimmered in the sunrays as if they had been kissed by the sun and she wondered how his arms would feel wrapped around her body. As he turned around, long black hair hung over his big broad shoulders and stopped at his shoulder blades. His lower back tapered in to a firm backside which was covered in a black and gray plaid. Funny… she had a sudden urge to squeeze his buttocks. God could not have forged a more perfect man, she thought.
Being ten-and-eight, innocent, and sheltered behind the walls of the nunnery, she hadn’t had much of a chance to explore the ways of men. In fact if she wasn’t praying, she was in the infirmary mending men severely wounded from battle, or ill. Sister Kate’s nagging voice reminded her that “Ye only have room for one man in yer heart and He would never steer ye wrong.” Only if Sister Kate could see this man standing before her now, even she would blush.
“Ye should no be sneaking up on me like that.” Abigale lowered the dirk, but still kept her grip tight.
The alluring man crossed his massive arms in front of his bare chest. “I was taking a rest while out riding when I saw ye over here. Ye know a bonny young lass like yerself should no be oot alone without an escort.”
“I can take care of myself just fine.”
“Aye, I can see that.” He rubbed his throat.
She stood shivering from the cold or mayhap from the intensity of his gaze; she needed to retrieve her clothes before she caught her death. Then she remembered that she was wearing a thin shift. Surely he could see right through to her naked body? Quickly with her free hand she tried to cover her breasts and still have some dignity. “Would ye kindly turn around now so I can dress?” She motioned with the dirk for him to turn around.
He turned, giving her privacy to dress. “That’s a fine horse ye have there,” he said over his shoulder.
Abigale finished dressing and began to smooth the wrinkles out from her dress with her hands. “That’s Fergus, he’s a gift from my da. A true warhorse.”
Of the few times her father had come to visit her at the abbey, and there were only a few, she remembered the day when he had brought Fergus to her as a gift. A gift perhaps but more like a peace offering for being absent for over a year. Abigale forgave her father, and the white charger quickly became more than a horse, he was a friend.
“Ye may turn around now.” As Abigale glanced up, her heart skipped a beat as amber eyes pierced her, sending a rush of heat through her body. She licked her lips and struggled to swallow past a dry throat. How could this man, who she had never met before, make her hunger for something that she had not yet had? Feeling uneasy, she broke their stare and quickly searched for her shoes.
“Are ye a Highlander?” What kind of a question was that? Of course he was a Highlander… that was a plaid he wore. Way to go, Abigale Bruce, he must think I’m a real dunderhead.
“Why do ye ask?”
“That is a plaid ye wear? “Abigale leaned against the boulder and bent down to slip her shoes on.”
“Aye.”
“Then ye must be a Highlander.”
Indeed the ways of Highlanders were much different from the English-influenced ways of lowland men like her father. Still both parties had fought for Scotland until the crown and riches were in their grasp. Some would say that greed was the root of all evil. Abigale thought differently. The crown was the root of all evil. Men fought for it, killed for it, and sold their souls for a taste of the crown and the power it held. The crown grew evil in men and she knew that all too well because it was her father’s own greed for the crown that left her abandoned at the abbey.
The unsettled nature of Scotland had left Abigale hardened. She’d seen firsthand the aftermath of battles fought; mended wounds, prayed over dead bodies, and even buried the dead. The nunnery where she grew up would set up tents to aid those wounded in battle. Abigale would assist in surgery and her passion grew for healing the sick and mending wounds. Life was to be valued, not destroyed.
In a way she blamed Lady Scotland for her misfortunes. Her father’s growing need to fight for Scotland had caused her to stay hidden, conceal her true identity, and grow up without a family. Her whole family had been affected by the battles fought for Scotland and the greed of claiming the crown. Though it was true she had long forgiven the Lady; she could not forget.
The Highlander seemed far away in thought, because he took a while to answer. “Some would say I’m a Highlander.” He approached Abigale. “May I?” The beautiful stranger reached for a piece of hair that was stuck to her face and tucked it behind her ear. He brushed a callused finger down her cheek to her slender neck leaving a fiery path trailing behind.
He held her stare and captivated her to the point that she could not form a coherent thought. Her body was no longer hers to control, her heart dropped, and desire pooled in her core setting her body on fire. This Highlander was so close to her she could feel his breath on her skin, she could smell his masculine scent and soon she wanted to taste his lips.
The mysterious man lowered his head, cupped his hand behind her neck, and pulled her close to him to claim her lips. Abigale drew in a deep breath in anticipation when suddenly a nudge from behind broke her trance. She turned to find Fergus.
“Fergus!” she scolded. “What’s gotten into ye?”
Another nudge by a wet gray muzzle almost sent Abigale to the ground until strong arms caught her around the waist. “I got ye lass,” he whispered in her ear.
For some odd reason the deep rich tone of his voice soothed her. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and leaned back against the warmth of his body. Wait… what was she doing? Abigale Bruce, you are to be married.
Quickly she slipped away from his hold and began to gather up the leather reins. “I should be getting back.” Observing the stallion’s actions, it was clear to Abigale that Fergus did not approve of the stranger.
Jumping up on the back of Fergus, she turned to face the Highlander. The man rubbed the back of his neck as if he was thanking the white horse for saving his arse from making a huge mistake.
She dared one last look at him before she rode off into the glen back to her father’s castle where she would prepare for travel to Castle Douglas and marry the Bogeyman. Her eyes roamed his massive body sketching everything about him to memory; his striking amber eyes, strong masculine jaw line, and the way his eyes strayed over her body. She did not want to forget this man.
If only she did not have to go. Mayhap she could run away with this beautiful man and avoid being married to a monster. Deep down, she was drawn to this mysteriously intriguing, charming and pure male Highlander. He made her think that for once she could be in control of her life and make her own decisions. In a way she envied his freedom. It did not seem fair that she had to marry a man who her father wanted her to marry. Shouldnae one marry for love? But then again, he was a stranger… a mystery. Before she ran away with fantasies she knew better than to think of, she squeezed her legs, sending Fergus into a run. She had to marry the Bogeyman.

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Highland Burn - Author Photo

AUTHOR BIO

Victoria Zak lives in the sunshine state with her husband, two beautiful children, and three furry friends. Before having kids, Victoria spent fifteen years in the veterinary business and volunteered in pet rescue.

“One of my most rewarding jobs was finding unwanted animals their forever homes.”
A writing career was the last item listed on her bucket list, until she discovered that she wanted to put her stories on paper and breathe life into her characters. Her love for Scotland, curiosity of history, and passion for romance has inspired her to write her first book, Highland Burn.

“Fourteenth century Scotland was a fascinating time in history. Not only was Scotland fighting for their freedom from the English king, their own people fought each other; clan vs clan. Though being a woman of the twenty-first century, I wouldn’t want to live in those unsettled times. But writing historical fiction paranormal romance allows me to escape into their world and breathe a fresh air of romance and magic into that era, which I love to do.”

Victoria loves to hear from her readers. You can connect with her through FB, Twitter, G+, and her website

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Trust Me by Lacey Black | Blog Tour and Giveaway – $5 Amazon Gift Card, 1 of 2 e-copies of Trust Me by Lacey Black

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Synopsis

Rivers Edge Series – Book 1

After all of the devastating betrayals by the one she loved, Twenty-two year old Avery Stevens has spent three years raising her daughter alone, with her family and best friend as a support system, never leaving her small hometown of Rivers Edge, Missouri. Though Rivers Edge holds the pain of her past, it also holds the one person she wants but can’t have – her brother’s best friend, Maddox Jackson. When she learns the attraction might not be one-sided, will Avery be able to trust Maddox with the one thing she’s held onto tightly for the past few years?

Police officer Maddox Jackson is a ladies’ man with one foot out the door. Never planning to settle down, Maddox fights the attraction he feels for his best friend’s little sister, Avery. But can he continue to fight it when his body and his heart are leading him to the one woman he shouldn’t want?

When secrets are finally exposed, can Avery and Maddox trust each other enough to overcome the past, handle the present, and preserve their future? Can Avery trust Maddox with her heart? Will Maddox be able to convince Avery to take the chance?

**This book is intended for an audience of 18 or older due to graphic sex scenes and language.

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Excerpt

Maddox

I drive home in comfortable silence. I don’t think I’ve ever been content with comfortable silence with a woman before which is just another reminder of how Avery is different from everyone else. She doesn’t feel the need to talk all the time for the sake of talking.

As we start to approach the city limits of Rivers Edge, I start to wonder what I should do next. If this was any other girl, I’d drive back to her house with no hesitation whatsoever and take her inside. But this is Avery, and like I said, she’s different.

So, I thought maybe we’d stop by my house for a bit if that’s okay with you. This way, someone like Jake doesn’t see my truck parked in your drive and make trouble.” Even to my own ears, I sounded a little nervous as I said it. What the hell? It’s not like it’s my first time taking a girl home. Then it hits me. It is the first time I’m taking a girl home; to my house. I always go to their place. But the thought of Avery in my house, my bed, just feels right.

That sounds good,” she says with another shy smile. I love that smile; it’s filled with happiness and innocence. I turn off Main Street and head down Lincoln towards my house. When I reach my house, I pull into the drive and kill the engine. I hop out and walk around to her door. When I open it, she seems slightly hesitant, maybe even nervous.

I can take you home if you want.”

No,” she quickly throws out there. “I want to be here…with you.” There’s that damn smile again. I extend my hand to her and help her down from the truck and head inside.

When we step inside the dark recesses of my living room, I start to walk towards the lamp but she catches me by the arm, stopping me. I turn to look at her. The only light in the room is what moonlight is filtering through the window. Standing there in my darkened living room, light glowing off her blond hair, she looks stunning. She extends her hand up to cradle my cheek, her other hand runs up my abdomen from my stomach to rest on my chest. I step closer to her, looking deep into her eyes. She must have realized she was holding her breath because she lets out a big breath which comes out a little shaky. I look deep into her crystal blue eyes, and that’s when I see it. Lust. Desire. Trust.

My resolve shatters like a glass vase with that one look as I push her back against my front door. Our lips are urging each other on as our desire for each other completely takes over. She runs her tongue down my neck, and I almost come completely undone in my pants like a teenage boy by that one simple move. I cradle her ass in my hands and lift her up. She threads her legs around my waist, her hands diving into my hair. I lean against her, pushing her back into the door, and she moans. It’s the sexiest fucking sound I’ve ever heard and all I can think about is being deep inside her, making her moan over and over and over again.

I press hot kisses along her chin, down her delectable neck and lick the spot where her pulse is rapidly beating. “Tell me to stop, Avery. Tell me to stop right now and I will. But if you say nothing, I’m taking you back to my room and burying myself deep inside you. I’m going to make you come and scream my name. All. Night. Long. Tell me you want this as much as I do.”

I want this,” she whispers without hesitation and that’s all I need to hear.

Author Bio:

Lacey Black is a Midwestern girl with a passion for reading, writing, and shopping. She carries her e-reader with her everywhere she goes so she never misses an opportunity to read a few pages. Always looking for a happily ever after, Lacey is passionate about contemporary romance novels and enjoys it further when you mix in a little suspense. She resides in a small town in Illinois with her husband, two children, and a chocolate lab. Lacey loves watching NASCAR races and should only consume one mixed drink because she’s a lightweight.

Lacey welcomes the opportunity to chat with her fans.

Email: laceyblackwrites@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlaceyblack

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthLaceyBlack

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/laceyblackwrite/

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Her Highland Hero by Terry Spear | Blog Tour with Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway – 1 of 5 eCopies of ‘Highland Rake’

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Her Highland Hero
by Terry Spear
The Highlanders #6
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Genres: Historical, Romance
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Tour: Her Highland Hero by Terry Spear

Synopsis: Lady Isobel is a Norman laird’s daughter, living near the Scots border where her father, Lord Pembroke, is trying to keep the peace. But her mother was a Highlander and the man Isobel loves most of all is Laird Marcus McEwan, who has been bringing news of her mother’s people for years. But now Isobel’s father wishes her wed to an English nobleman, who will carry on his title. Isobel will wed no other man but her heart’s desire—and that is one braw Highlander from her mother’s homeland.

Laird Marcus McEwan has loved the feisty lass forever. For years, Marcus has tried to convince Lord Pembroke to allow him to wed his daughter. But the Norman lord will not allow it. Then ambushes and murders make it too dangerous for Marcus to reach a peaceful resolution.

Nothing goes as planned and keeping the lass for his own is fraught with danger, as they try to determine who was behind the killings. Isobel and Marcus will do everything in their power to ensure they are together as they have always vowed they would be.

EXCERPT

– For days, Isobel had plotted and planned a way to escape the confines of the castle to find a way to see Marcus. She had given Mary coins to pay a servant to slip across the border and visit the tavern where it was reported that Marcus was staying. But they could not learn how badly injured he was, only that his cousins were staying close at hand, and several more of his clansmen had arrived to protect him. That meant he had to be injured enough that he could not fight, and she worried even more that he could be dying. She was furious with her father and everyone else who might have had a hand in this.

She wanted desperately to be with Marcus, to see for herself that he was all right and that Cantrell had not said so only to protect her feelings.

Mary slipped into Isobel’s chamber and whispered, “I know what you are thinking of doing, my lady.”

Mary would. She always knew what Isobel planned to do, sometimes even before she thought of it.

“You will help me?”

“You will leave whether I help you or no’.”

Isobel frowned at her. “Then what do you wish to tell me.”

About Terry Spear

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USA Today Bestseller, TERRY SPEAR writes urban fantasy and Highland medieval romance: hot wolves, jaguar shifters, medieval Highlanders and lots more. She also pens young adult paranormal romance. She has over fifty paranormal books to her name, earned Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of the Year, and has been featured in The International Wolf Magazine, Woman’s World and BGS Book Review Magazine. She creates award-winning teddy bears in the heart of Texas and gardens. She retired from USAR after rappelling, mountain climbing, learning water survival, qualifying with a number of firearms, survived the obstacle courses, leadership reaction courses and confidences courses – and knows if she can do it, her characters can overcome any obstacle she puts in their path.

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Shadow Cursed by N.L. Hoffmann | Blog Tour and Giveaway – eBook Set of ‘Blood Slaves’ & ‘Shadow Cursed’

U.S. Marshal, Jacey Noble, has just taken a well-deserved vacation when one of her fugitives ends up murdered. Detective Trent Vinolva is less than enthusiastic to take on a new partner, especially the hot-blooded Jacey. When they encounter a werewolf at the scene, Jacey is thrust into a new world of supernatural beings and high-stakes encounters with no one else to turn to but Trent.

Jacey discovers that she’s a Shadow, one of an order of powerful beings that are able to manipulate darkness. Amidst the whirlwind of discovering her newly activated powers, Jacey must solve the murder while battling sexual tension with Detective Vinolva. Things get interesting when the pair is led to Jacey’s demon father and her flame throwing sister. Finding herself in a new world on the brink of supernatural war, Jacey doesn’t know who to trust. She must rely on instinct to traverse the unknown.

With the Supernatural Council and Trent, Jacey attempts to accomplish the impossible: evade the Shadows who are on her tail and solve a murder. The only assurance in Shadow Cursed is uncertainty. Jacey must journey down a trail of mystery, destruction, and romance.

Shadow Cursed

N.L. Hoffmann

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Excerpt #1

My house looked the same as when I left it, but when I got up to the door, I could feel there was a change in the atmosphere. The feeling was unexplainable, but I knew there was someone in the house. My gun was in my harness, so I pulled it out. Slowly, I unlocked the door, kicking it open to startle whoever was waiting inside. Nothing happened. I moved in, looking in all directions. Frowning when I didn’t see anything, I pointed the gun over toward my sofa, where two people sat, looking comfortable. One was a good-looking guy with sandy blond hair and green eyes that appeared to be amused with my entrance.

“Hey! That’s my vacation popcorn, jerk!” I glared at him as he munched from the bowl I just had the night before. Did he pick that shit up off the floor?

The guy grinned and slowly popped another piece in his mouth. “Never had it with chocolate before. It’s not bad.”

Next to him was a woman that was clearly not amused with how we were interacting. She wore her blond hair back in a high ponytail, her makeup done in a way that screamed dominatrix or psycho bitch. She snatched the popcorn bowl away from the man and set it on the table. Her nails were long and sharp, painted blood red. What stood out the most about her was that she was dressed in all black leather. Not something I would do, but since she had a great body, the woman was able to pull it off. With me, I’d be walking funny as I made noises from the leather.

“Put the gun down, Jacey.” She looked down at her nails like she was bored with me already. Hello, I have a gun!

“I don’t follow orders.” I say, shrugging. Damn Trent for not following me home. Men were such assholes sometimes. It was ridiculous!

Nodding, the guy put his feet up on my coffee table, his shit kickers not even close to clean. “Hey, I bought that off a military guy who got it from Germany.” I went over and kicked his boots off. “Respect my shit. You’re worse than a kid.”

The woman looked over at her partner. “Knock it off, you can flirt later.”

“This is flirting? Crap, I am totally doing it wrong. Breaking into homes and eating their food is a much better idea!” I acted like I was impressed with the technique.

“My name is Luca Taborn. This bitch is my partner, Casey Banks, and we are here to bring you in for violating the Shadow code.”

 

Excerpt #2

After rubbing my eyes, I focus in on a figure standing in the corner of the bedroom. It was Trent, and his gaze on me seemed suspicious. He looks even better in the light! His tanned skin fit perfectly with his eyes so blue that they seemed unnatural. They were practically electric and I found that both beautiful and creepy at the same time. We could get passed that. After we get married, they will become normal to me. Then there was his bad boy, rock star haircut, which pointed out in several directions to finally swoop out a little in the front. His hair was dark like I thought it was, almost like a dark brown, but closer to black. He looked every bit of the bad boy that I thought him to be. The man always seemed to have an intense look about him, and the shadowy beard he now sported only enhanced it.

Smiling what I considered my sexy smile, I said, “So did we um-“ I did the hand motions of what kids learned in school meant humping.

His eyes widened, either in shock or disgust.

I frowned. “What? Am I the ugly coyote?”

Trent shook his head, wiping a hand over his face that was clearly showing signs of stubble. My head tilted to the side as I heard his hand move over the scruff. It made my stomach flip, in a good way. “We did not have sex.” He grumbled.

Throwing my hands up in the air, I glared. “Seriously? You can’t do this when we get married. I have to get laid at least twice a day. Sometimes more. We can use the breastfeeding room at my office.”

“We aren’t going to get married.”  He made a face. “And the breastfeeding room? That is just wrong.”

Winking, I smiled. “It’s just a room. It has a cot. It will work.”

 

Excerpt #3 

Shrugging, I eyed him as he continued to circle me. Was he the tiger and I, his prey? “I am also a Shadow, your enemy.”

“There is that.” He stopped in front of me, a hand coming up to touch my face. I let him. I should have flipped out and tried to bite his hand or something, but I wanted to be touched. By someone. Anyone. “I can tell you are different, though.”

The way he said it made me feel like someone actually believed in me.  No one in my life ever took me seriously, yet here was this beautiful man standing in front of me, saying all the right things. His eyes were a brilliant blue, and reminded me of one of those summer days without a cloud in the sky. “How do you know?”

Evander leaned forward, his lips brushing over mine. My whole body shivered, causing my knees to go weak. He put an arm around my waist. “I can tell because the power I feel rolling off of you is unlike anything I have felt before. There have been stories about a beautiful woman who would lead the hunters-”

That could be anyone,” I whisper, his lips hardly an inch away.

“No, I am pretty sure that you are the one.” Finally, his lips connect with mine, his arms wrapping me against him. I respond instantly to him, my desire building. All I wanted to do was rip his clothes off. It was like prom night all over again, when I tried to make Daniel Hawkins lose his virginity to me. I know that usually happens the other way around with the guy trying to get the girl to put out. But hey, girls have needs, too.

My mind went blank when his fingers lightly grazed the small of my back, making heat rise in me so fast I was having a hard time standing up. He felt me responding, so he went for my shirt. I helped him, letting it drop to the floor. As his eyes traveled my body, I didn’t feel as insecure as I usually did. I actually felt beautiful to him. Powerful in my own way. Then his eyes landed on my tattoos. He used a gentle finger to touch them, going around to my back. He kissed my neck. “My Queen. You have the markings.”

I was too into the feeling of him touching me to respond intelligently. He came back around and kissed my neck on the opposite side, then lowered to my collar bone. “Have dinner with me.” He said.

I laughed, breathlessly. “Didn’t we just do that?”

Evander flashed me another smile. “Not properly. I want to show you that I am more than a man who wants sex.” He took a deep breath as if trying to control himself, his hands rubbing up my sides. “It will be hard, but I will stop myself, for now.”

Smiling back at him, I touch the skin on his stomach by putting my hands under his shirt. “As long as we can come back to your place afterwards.”

Ten Fun Facts about N.L. Hoffmann

1.       Love nail polish… I have over 100 right now

2.       I am random. I will talk about one thing but suddenly bring up another

3.       I enjoy pranking people

4.       I love my car and treat it like my other child

5.       My kids have inherited my creepiness

6.       I am a quiet person

7.       I draw tattoos, several of them have been put on bodies including the one that covers my husband’s entire back.

8.       I wish I was ninja

9.       I like to travel

10.   Is an Army brat

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About the Author

N.L Hoffmann is a new paranormal romance author who is currently working on a series called The Daughters of Darkness. Her first book, Blood Slaves, released in January 2014 and just recently on August 1, 2014 she released book two of the series, Shadow Cursed.

Hoffmann was born in Germany to her German native mother and her American soldier father. The family moved home to the states, where she grew up in a rural farm town in Michigan with her parents and two younger brothers. There, in her pre-teens, is when she began writing and developed her love for literature.

Today, Hoffmann resides in a small town in Missouri with her husband and three children. When Hoffmann isn’t busy putting words on the page she enjoys reading, drawing, playing loving pranks on her husband (such as, painting his toenails hot pink while he sleeping), and spending time with her family.

Contact the Author

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It’s In His Kiss by Jill Shalvis | Book Review

 It’s In His Kiss by Jill Shalvis

SYNOPSIS

Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now’s her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam’s eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.

Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can’t resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca’s heart?

*** 3 STARS ***

I have a love and hate relationship with this book.

Let’s discuss with the former. I love Lucky Harbor! That’s one of the reasons why I keep reading this series. I adore the quintessential, laid back feel the small town offers. The fact that its situated in the Pacific Northwest (Washington — my favorite state) is a plus for me. As a reader, I value the atmosphere where the story flourishes. My mind would reel in images, and it fascinates me how vivid everything is in my head. For a story to be engaging, it should capture the readers imagination just from the locale itself. And that’s what I love about Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series. The people in the community are all so welcoming! They know everybody, and that makes living in Lucky Harbor a safe place to live in. I also admire the support and love Sam receives from his close friends Cole and Tanner. They may not be brothers by blood, but their bond is as strong as real families have.

Now, what I don’t like about this book is the main and supporting characters. Becca Thorpe grew up in New Orleans, what brought her to lucky harbor is a mystery. She’s sweet and has a soft spot for kids, and is crazy for ranch (dressing?) popcorn. Just like any fictional heroine, she has life issues: (1) family, and (2) relationships. One thing I don’t like about Becca is her lack of confidence. She’s a talented pianist but had experience an unfortunate event that made her shy away from playing in front of an audience. Her reason for having panic attacks are so vague that by the time she finally revealed her secret to Sam, the suspense isn’t there anymore.

Sam Brody’s life isn’t at all perfect. He has a dad who constantly mooch from him, he witnessed the death of a dear friend who died in the rig during an operation gone wrong, and like most guys, he doesn’t do relationships. Until he meets, Becca. One thing I don’t like about Sam is he’s a TEASE! I want to smack him! If I were Becca I would think that he’s not into women or just not interested in HER at all! There were instances that he would try to seduce her but backs out, because he thinks Becca is not ready for that sort of commitment. But when Becca tells him that she loves him, he freaks out and disappears! Wtf?! I swear, I want to kick his balls!

Oh, and did I mention that I dislike Becca’s brother and her parents? They just took advantage of her kindness! Her parents favors her brother more because he has ‘problems’, and Becca is the only one who can make those ‘problems’ go away. I am actually quite impressed of Becca, some people would feel guilty leaving their family, and that guilt hinders them to make something for themselves. Although Becca feels guilty, she knows that she needs to move on and start a life of her own. Hats off, Becca!

Overall, the book is good. Not my favorite amongst the Lucky Harbor novels, but still made me feel emotions that only a wonderfully written book can.

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Someone Like You by Karen Rock | Book Blitz and Giveaway – $50 Amazon Gift Card PLUS signed copies of ‘Wish You Tomorrow’, ‘Someone Like You’ & ‘His Hometown Girl’

 







You can’t program love…or can you?



Kayleigh Renshaw has come up with the idea for a brilliant “compatibility app,” a new kind of matchmaking software. All she needs is a programmer to help her bring the idea to market…and she knows exactly who she wants. But Niall Walsh—a code whiz and her former best friend—has been avoiding her since he returned from Afghanistan. In spite of their history, and some sparks that go beyond friendship, he’s proving reluctant…. Is it her, or is something darker holding him back?

 

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a283d-excerpt

The cool air on her wet shoulders made her shiver, and Niall wrapped his towel around her. “Here. I don’t need it.”

She handed it back. “No, Niall. You don’t get it. I don’t want you to come to my rescue. I’m not looking for a knight in shining armor. If I were a princess, I’d save myself.”

Niall’s leg circled in the water, making a mini whirlpool. “So tell me what a non-princess needs,” he said at last.

“Someone who brings out the best in me, supports me, values my opinion and, most of all, is honest with me.”

“I’ll do that, Kay.” He looked sincere, and his insistent tone undid the wall she’d placed between them. “As much as I can. Let’s set up our base of operations in my apartment, and we’ll meet there tomorrow. I’ve got some things for us to go over, and nothing’s final until we both approve.” He pulled off her swim goggles, then trailed the backs of his fingers down the side of her face until they fell away.

Her breath hitched. That didn’t feel like a “friendly” touch. And it definitely crossed pro- fessional boundaries. So why did she want him to do it again? To let his hand linger so she could press her cheek into his palm.

“We’ll disagree at times. But I won’t let anyone, like Major Carlton, act like you don’t exist again.”

She shook her head, trying to get her thoughts back on track. “I didn’t think you’d noticed.”

He studied his wrinkled fingertips, then lifted his eyes to hers, their tortured depths doing something funny to her heart.

“I notice you, Kayleigh,” he said quietly, almost to himself. “More than I should.”

a7746-theauthor

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time author.  With her co-author, Joanne Rock, she’s penned the CAMP BOYFRIEND series with Spencer Hill Press under the pseudonym J.K. Rock. She also writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Enterprises. Her wholesome romance, Heartwarming novels have won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the 2014 Golden Quill Contest. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes and hiking. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. To find out about her upcoming releases, appearance and latest news, visit http://www.karenrock.com or follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites or Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5!

She’d love to connect with you!

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