Predestined Hearts by Kelly Elliott and Kristin Mayer has a BRAND NEW COVER

Front Cover image (1)

Love has existed since the beginning of time. For Ashlin Thomas, love was an illusion that she desperately wanted to make a reality.

Returning home to Savannah, after her aunt’s death, Ashlin must deal with the harsh realities life has dealt her.

As Ashlin begins sorting through her aunt’s personal effects, she stumbles upon a journal. Not just any journal, but the words of her great great great grandmother, Sophia.

Two love stories intertwine with each other as Ashlin reads the beautiful words, written over a hundred years ago.

The intense connection Ashlin feels with Sophia begins to allow her to find herself. Never thinking love was possible for her, Ashlin now sees it is within her grasp.

But, life is never perfect. Life is never fair.

When faced with the decision that could change Ashlin’s future … will she sacrifice one love for another, or will her predestined heart lead her home?


 
Amazon     iBooks    Barnes & Noble   Kobo
A light rap on the counter brought my attention to the man
in front of me. He had dark-brown hair that was tousled about in disarray. His
warm brown eyes melted through me. The five o’clock shadow from the stubble on
his face showcased his strong jaw line. He was sinfully gorgeous and I could
feel my insides turn all gooey from the sight of him in front of me.
My mouth was dry as he looked at me expectantly. In that
moment, it was as if something within me altered and changed. I couldn’t
explain it.
Get it together,
Ashlin.
“I’m sorry. It’s been a long day. Can you repeat what you said?”
My voice came out fairly normal, which I was proud of, versus the crazy energy
I felt pulsating within me.
He gave a gentle look; it wasn’t cocky or knowing, but only
sweet. “Is there anything I can get you?”
Smiling back, I responded, “I’ll have the beef stew and a
water.”
“Good choice. Coming right up.” He rapped his knuckles on
the counter as he walked off to the left.
I wasn’t paying attention to how his white shirt was rolled
up to his elbows. Nope. And I wasn’t paying attention to how his khaki pants
hugged him in all the right places. Nope. And I for sure wasn’t staring at him
as if he would be sex on a stick. Nope.
Seriously get it
together, Ashlin. My life has turned inside out and the last thing I need to be
thinking about is sex.
The man turned back toward me and I looked up at the
television screen that was above, hoping I wasn’t caught ogling the bartender. I need a life, seriously. Time passed
and before I knew it, a steaming bowl of beef stew with a little plate of bread
was set in front of me.
It smelled delicious. “Thank you.”
The bartender smiled. I glanced back to my stew as I ate.
He responded, “You’re welcome.”
Taking a bite, it was one of the most delicious stews I had
ever tasted. I moaned in appreciation.
“It’s that good, eh?”
I licked my lips and felt heat creep up on my face. Not
realizing I had closed my eyes, I tentatively opened them and glanced at the
bartender, who was looking at me more intensely than before. “Oh, I did not
mean to do that out loud.” Picking up my napkin, I dabbed the corner of my
mouth. “Give my complements to the chef. It’s incredible. I’d love to get the
recipe.”
He leaned on the counter. “I’ll let the chef know. I know
him pretty well, and I’d say if he could get that type of reaction out of every
beautiful woman who ate the stew, he’d serve it all the time versus only on
special occasions.”
The bartender moved a little closer to me and I smiled at
his playful face while wanting to reach out and trace that devastatingly
handsome jaw line. Conspiringly, he whispered, “I’ve heard that the recipe is a
family secret. You’d have to marry the chef in order to get it.”
I giggled as he winked at me. “Okay, if I get that desperate
to have it, I’ll know to bring a ring and my bended knee.”
He chuckled and stood. “So, what brings you to Savannah?”
“Is this where I lay all my troubles on the line for the
bartender to listen and give advice?” I teased with him as I cocked my head.
He shrugged as he mixed a drink. The bar was otherwise
vacated except one person at the end who nursed a beer. “I happen to listen and
give advice for free on Wednesday’s.”
My smile was wide. There was something magnetic about this
man and I didn’t want our conversation to end. “Well, it’s a good thing it’s
Wednesday.”
“Yes, it is.”
Gazing around the room, I searched for Daniel. My father and
mother were busy talking to Mr. and Mrs. Stowe along with two other couples,
whom I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing. A young gentleman had been talking
my ear off and I was in desperate need of fresh air.
Turning to him, I asked, “Will you please excuse me? I am
in need of some fresh air.”
“Shall I join you?” he asked.
I quickly shook my head. “No. No, that will not be
necessary. I have a slight headache and need some time alone.”
Nodding his head, he smiled and took a step back, giving me
a quick bow. Returning the polite gesture, I began toward the kitchen. One look
over my shoulder showed my mother watching me intently. I’m sure she was
distressed at the idea of me wandering off and being late to sit down for
dinner.
Somehow managing to find my way to the back gardens, I
smiled and inhaled a deep breath. All I smelled were azaleas. I walked along
the cobblestone pathway that intertwined among Magnolia trees and some of the
most amazing flowers I’d ever seen. My mother would be green with envy were she
to lay her eyes upon this colorful garden.
“It goes on forever,” I whispered.
“One can easily get lost back here.”
I stopped the moment I heard his voice. Closing my eyes, I
placed my gloved hands on my stomach to calm the butterflies. Inhaling a deep
breath through my nose, I slowly blew it out as I turned to face him.
Daniel. His eyes
widened and he licked his lips. I raised the corner of my mouth and bowed
slightly. Daniel walked up to me and smiled, causing my knees to shake. For a
moment, it felt as if the earth was moving and I fought to stand upright.
He took a step closer to me as his eyes moved about my
face. When they landed on my lips, I instinctively licked them. His eyes were
ablaze with fire. I took a step back as he took another step forward. My
breathing increased as I felt something I’d never felt before.
Desire.
Want.
Need. 

 
Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has
a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and
dreams for some unknown reason…he claims it’s because he loves her!
She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly
asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone
sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.
In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner
overlooking the Texas hill country and write.

 

One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her
property with Gus….her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose,
her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush,
move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find
her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.
 
 
 
Kristin Mayer is a wife, a proud mother, and a full-time Analyst and Import Manager.
Since an early age, she has always enjoyed reading and writing. While visiting
her father one weekend, he suggested that she should take up writing again.
With family and a career, she didn’t give it a lot of thought, until a story
entered her mind and wouldn’t leave. It just kept forming and developing over a
couple of months.
 
At the beginning of 2013, she decided to sit down and write it all down, but she kept
it to herself. One sentence developed into two, and before she knew it, she had
the makings of a novel.
Kristin tries to live life to the fullest during every moment. She loves to travel and
meet new people. She holds a degree in International Business and uses it daily
in her job. Kristin now adds “author” on her list of jobs, and feels very
blessed and thankful.

FACEBOOK   WEBSITE  GOODREADS

 

Brought To You by:

 

Binge by Jennifer Foor Chapter 1 Reveal

 

bingebannerRELEASE

Bingeborder

Flynn & Aria Roberts have had plenty of ups and downs during their seven year marriage. Everyone warned them not to wed so young – that they’d be missing out on the key years when people grow from young adults to mature individuals.

 

The only thing holding them

together now is their

love for each other,

and even that is becoming questionable.

To save the marriage, and the family they’ve already started, Flynn and Aria come up with an unconventional solution to help them find what’s missing in their relationship.

 

The only problem is doing so involves rediscovering themselves completely, even if it requires them to be unfaithful.

Can a marriage survive

when vows are broken, or will chance encounters prove they’ve been missing out all-along?

 

Fulfill your

deepest Desires

Give in to

Temptation

 

 

I hated the idea of spending the next hour with a therapist, bearing all of my concerns as if she could somehow relate enough to help me. What I loathed more was knowing that it was the first sunny day in two weeks, and the woman was relentless about closing the blinds during her sessions.  It was as if she wanted her patients to be depressed so that they’d keep coming.

I’d gotten into a habit of nitpicking lately. I suppose it came from being so miserable. They say it loves company, misery that is, not that I was asking for friends to hang out with and compare notes on our failed experiences.

I peered down at my jeans and Chucks, feeling as if I should have cared more about my appearance, especially since this woman clearly went all out. It didn’t matter what the temperature was,  Dr. Ellis was always in a skirt-suit. With her auburn hair full of curls, she sat with crossed legs and my file strewn over her lap. While the friendly doctor flicked her pen, pretending to listen to me, I stared effortlessly at the rapid speed it repelled. I wondered if it made little dots on the paper each time. Then I imagined it falling apart from being handled so roughly. I imagined the tiny spring shooting into her hair and becoming tangled the instant it made contact. Anything was better than admitting where I was and why I was there.

“How would you say your relationship with your husband has been in the past week?”

I rubbed my hands on the thighs of my jeans while proceeding to come up with a lie to make it seem as if we were making progress. “Fine, I guess. We haven’t killed each other.” I found my answer to be amusing, while she kept the same resting-bitch face.

“Since last week, how many times have you had intercourse?” She would ask me this. It was the reason I hated coming to these meetings. Every week she asked the same questions. I guess she assumed that one time I’d provide her with a different answer. This wasn’t going to be the epic appointment where I made progress, not after the week I’d had. Besides, who would want to know that I had frequent sex in bed alone, while imagining being tied up by a stranger, or blindfolded and seduced by someone who only set out to please me. Flynn was always there in my dreams, watching and envying what I wouldn’t let him have. It was like I was punishing him in my mind, while getting off to my little bullet vibrator in the bed we should be sharing together.

Flynn and I were supposed to be working on things. Instead, we were still in the same place as when we started this – headed for divorce.

“That would be a big fat zero.”

“I see,” she said while jotting down something. “Have either of you put forth an effort?”

I leaned forward, putting my elbows on my knees while rubbing my hands together. I suppose I should have held my posture like a proper lady, but my give-a-damn had been busted for years. “It’s kind of hard to try something when being in the same room together makes me want to strangle him, hypothetically of course. It’s also impossible when your husband sleeps on the couch, and trust me, you’d be the first to know if I was getting it from someone else, because I wouldn’t need to keep up this charade.”

“Charade? I would hardly call these sessions that. I’m here to get to the bottom of your problems and help you overcome them. You came to me for help. I know at times it seems worthless, but in order to change you’ll have to put forth an effort, which I’m not seeing from either of you. I’d hate for you to waste your time if this isn’t what you want, Aria.”

I hated the way this woman looked at me. She wasn’t fooling me with her professionalism. I knew she found Flynn attractive. She probably went home at night and turned on her vibrator to get off on pretending to fuck my husband, and apparently she wasn’t the only one. The older we got, the better looking he became. I wondered if she was waiting for me to admit we were through so she could make her move.

I grinded my teeth together to keep from spatting out something I’d regret later. Had we not promised each other that we’d try, I didn’t know where I’d be. With a daughter, it wasn’t feasible to go out and prey on single men for attention. Sure, I missed being touched. I longed to feel desired again, but I didn’t see it happening, so I kept my deepest thoughts buried where not even this doctor would be able to pry them out of me. If she only knew what I fantasized about when I was all alone she’d think I was a crazy voyeur nymphomaniac who didn’t deserve to be in a loving commitment to just one person. In my defense it wasn’t like I’d always dreamed of being with multiple partners, but when I had little experience aside from my husband, my curiosity got the best of me. Maybe if I didn’t feel like my body was scarred from stretch marks, I would be open to exploring different things with Flynn. I just felt ugly – ALL. THE. TIME. It was as if he was becoming more attractive while I was constantly aging. Why would he ever want to try to be turned on by me after seeing my vagina doubled in size during labor? I think he referred to it as the Cumberland Gap. And yes, that is exactly how he described it. “I want to feel beautiful about myself. I want to be appreciated. I want to know without a doubt that Flynn is making love to me and not imagining someone else. I want HIM to be the person who can fulfill my needs, leaving me feeling completely and utterly satisfied.” The last part wasn’t supposed to come out, but now I was becoming overemotional, letting my fears and frustrations dictate what flew out of my mouth.

“I think you’re not giving Flynn enough credit. It’s obvious your husband desires you. He’s said as much during our sessions. Perhaps your self-esteem struggles are keeping you from seeing that.”

Of course she’d blame me. If she only knew what it was like to see Flynn looking at other women, or to talk until I was blue in the face with no response from him. If she could prepare all of his meals only to have him refuse to come to the table to eat because he was watching something on television. If she could be on the end of the phone call when he was out with his friends instead of being at home with his daughter. Flynn was terrible with priorities. He came first in his mind, and we were just leftovers, hoping to have a millisecond of his precious time. They say marriage is a two-way commitment. What is it called when only one person gives one-hundred percent of their time and energy? That was my marriage. I gave, and he took. That was the gist of it. Flynn could construe his stories to this doctor as many times as he wanted, but the truth would never change.

The moment he left her office he went back to being a douche, a part time father, and a shitty excuse for a husband. “I agree that my body issues prevent me from feeling sexy enough to want to be intimate, but that’s not our only problem. Just because I’m not willing to seduce my husband, doesn’t mean I’m ready to throw in the towel.”

“Intimacy is an important factor in any marriage. I’m afraid if you’re unwilling to be physical with each other there’s nothing more I can do for you. It may sound absurd to someone in your situation, but you have to be willing to at least try to be with your husband. Part of being a marriage counselor is to help you get through this. I’ve met with both of you together, and now separately. While your husband shows empathy for your marriage, I get the sense that you no longer feel the same.”

If she only knew that he was full of shit when he met with her. Of course he’d lead her to believe he was this great guy who was suffering because his wife wouldn’t screw him. It only made me want to choke him more.

I played with my hands. This was our eighth session. Once a month we met with her separately. I was supposed to be making an effort, but it’s impossible when you don’t feel good enough about yourself. “It’s not that I don’t love Flynn. I do – that’s the only thing I’m sure of right now. We just can’t find a common ground. It’s hopeless. He doesn’t make me feel wanted, even when he’s trying to get laid. Why should I give in when I know it’s all an act. I want to feel needed. I want to see his eyes light up when I walk in the room. It’s the little things that are missing in our relationship. It’s like he’s gotten comfortable and forgotten that I also have desires. We’re not in this together anymore. I feel alone even when he’s near.”

She started aggressively writing something down on a separate pad of paper then ripped it, and reached across the wooden coffee table to hand it to me.

I looked down at it. “What’s this?” I half expected it to be the number of a furniture company where Flynn could purchase a new comfortable couch for his lazy ass to sleep better on. It was obvious she enjoyed his private sessions more than mine. All I did was complain about Flynn. It wasn’t getting me anywhere. My sessions were a joke. Flynn’s last two private appointments he’d come out acting all happy, as if he’d gotten head or possibly more. Ever since then, I’d been reluctant to even continue my sessions. At this point I couldn’t figure out what were misconceptions in my head, or actual reality. I was so messed up and didn’t know where to turn. Behind closed doors my husband was someone who never tried, yet when he spoke to other people everything was honky-dory. It made me resent him all the more.

Dr. Ellis’ reply wasn’t what I’d expected. It actually made me question if she’d been listening to me at all. “That is the address of a bed and breakfast near the beach. It’s run by a young couple. This time of year is pretty slow. If any part of you wants to save your marriage, I suggest you spend some one-on-one time together, out of your normal routine. You don’t have to go there, but go somewhere. Spend time communicating. The two of you need to get know one another again. You need to remember why you fell in love, and how to figure out how get it back. I can’t make the decision for you, or tell you what you should be feeling. I can only suggest a solution I think you’d both benefit from.”

“I’ve known him for years. In fact, I know him better than anyone,” I corrected her. I didn’t need a life lesson on Flynn. I also didn’t need to take a trip with him to get to know him better. What I needed was to go away alone and get my head on straight. What I wanted was to be desired by someone who didn’t ignore me on a daily basis.

She shook her head with a smirk across her face. It made me feel as if she were questioning my statement. The jealous side of me wanted to slap it right off. Then I had to rationalize about how I could be assuming things that weren’t even happening.

“That’s not what I’m referring to. Couples change. You can grow together, or in your case, because you were so young, apart. The only way to fix things is to start over, as if it were your first date.”

“What if I don’t want to date my husband?” I began to count how many times, while during a heated argument, I’d told Flynn if I had to do it all over again I’d never look in his direction.

“Just give my advice some thought. We’ll meet again next week, if you’re still interested in making this work. I have hopes that some quality time together could start repairing what’s been lost. You both need to relearn how to communicate with one another again. I know it seems tedious, but I can promise it’s not. You can never know too much about the person you’re married to. An open line of communication could do wonders for your self esteem issues as well.”

So what if I had problems with feeling beautiful. Didn’t every woman stand in the check-out line at the grocery and wish she could look like the model on the magazines? I was envious they could keep their figures after having children.

It wasn’t until I reached my car that I took in what Dr. Ellis suggested, and then I wondered if I was even willing to give it a go. If I had a choice, would I do it all over again? This question was something I thought I’d known the answer to, yet the idea of giving up on Flynn was painful. As much as I couldn’t stand how he was, a part of me assumed that without him I’d have nothing. Then there was the lingering fact that I still loved the man, even with all his flaws.

My drive home brought everything back into perspective. I started imagining our failures. Yes, we’d made a beautiful little girl, but was it worth it to stay together for her? I knew some couples did, though I couldn’t fathom it myself. I was at a point where I hated Flynn. My love for him still existed, but I despised the person he’d become; the one that popped open a beer after work every night leaving his dirty boots on and track mud all over the floor I’d just vacuumed. The same man who didn’t care about his actions or how they affected other people.  The person who stopped caring about me and everything else that mattered, because he was too consumed in himself to notice.

Everyone told us we were fools. They said no two people should marry as young as we were; that it was doomed to fail, because we were kids ourselves. In so many ways I wished we would have listened. Had I known then what an up road battle into a clusterfuck of a life it would turn out to be, perhaps we could have saved a lot of people grief, and probably money.

It’s amazing how as little girls we dream of finding our Prince Charming and to live happily ever after.

It doesn’t take a genius to see the disappointment in my parent’s eyes when I call them upset, or even in some cases show up at their door with bags full of my things, swearing I’m done playing Flynn’s head games.

I suppose they’re used to the fighting since we’ve been doing it from day one. At seventeen I thought I was lucky. He wasn’t only handsome, but smart, and brave as well. Flynn Roberts was the good boy with the bad reputation. He was able to have any girl he wanted back then, and probably still could to this day. For all I know he could have been screwing around on me this whole time. Maybe that’s why we’ve never been able to really communicate. Maybe he hides behind a wall of secrets.

It’s easy to sit back and point fingers at someone else, rather than admit I’m the one at fault. I can’t help it. When that alarm goes off in the morning I cringe, not because he’s going to try and touch me, God forbid that happen, but rather that I know I’m going to have a repeat of the day before it.

He’ll expect me to help him out the door. If he’s sick I’ll have to call into his job, and nurse him back to health, because let’s face it, he’s a freaking child when he doesn’t feel good. Give him a runny nose and he can’t get out of bed. How pathetic is that? Is it all men, or just the one I’m married to?

I’ve asked my therapist- she claims that I’m nitpicking. To be honest I don’t even know if I care anymore. I look forward to the moment he leaves, and try to avoid him when he steps back in the door.

You’re probably wondering why we married, or how we got this way. I asked the same question each time he turns to walk away from me. I question what I saw in him back then. Apparently love is blind. I married a man who’s only ever put himself first. If he doesn’t get his way I’m a bitch, or a terrible wife. For seven years I’ve listened to this, and for those seven years, I’ve let it happen.

I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve cried myself to sleep at night, praying, pleading for God to help me. I asked why I couldn’t be a better person. Why couldn’t he love me more?

I honestly let him brainwash me into thinking I was the whole problem in our marriage. I felt as if I wasn’t what he wanted in a woman, and eventually a mother.

We had our first child when I turned nineteen. At the time he’d gone off to college, leaving me behind to live with his parents. He’d come home on weekends to his knocked up wife, which I honestly believed he’d hid from most all of his classmates.

At first his parents were in charge of our relationship. Since he’d gotten a scholarship, they weren’t going to allow him to give it up for me or a new baby. Yes, I’m dead serious. This really happened. My mom and dad wanted me to have an abortion, but I refused. They begged me to reconsider being with Flynn. They told me it would never work.

I ran away, well just to his parent’s home. When they found out about the pregnancy they questioned our relationship, and then pretty much forced us to marry. God forbid they have an illegitimate grandchild.

From the get-go, their animosity toward me was pretty well-known. Nothing I did was good enough for Flynn’s mother. She’d pick at the littlest of things, making sure to put me down until I felt incapable. She caused so many fights between us, especially when Flynn wasn’t home. I couldn’t even begin to count how many nights I called him at school, bawling my eyes and begging for some sort of resolution.

During my pregnancy I focused on our future, promising my unborn child a good life. It was evident how important it was to provide our child with a stable home. In order to do that, I needed to respect how a college education could give us that opportunity.

I’d like to say I tried my best to be patient and understanding, but as the months passed I saw Flynn less and less. He started staying on campus, attending parties, and doing other activities that didn’t involve me.

Not only was I jealous, but over-emotional as well. Combine the two of those together and I was a mess.

I’d call his phone until he either picked up or turned it off. He’d call me every name in the book, and I’d return the same language right back. Then, when I felt as if nothing could repair the damage, he’d show up. The makeup sex was always the best, and for a while I was content.

One night, on a Friday he wasn’t due to come home, I awoke from a terrible nightmare. It upset me so much that I knew I wouldn’t calm down unless I spoke to him to be sure he was okay.

When a female voice answered the phone, I felt like my whole future had ended. Being sick wasn’t even the half of it. In the background I could hear him talking, calling her baby, and asking who she was talking to. At the time I didn’t know he’d been drinking, though I also didn’t give him a chance to explain.

In a pair of pajamas, with a huge belly, I took his mother’s keys to her vehicle and drove to the college, determined to look him in the eyes and let him know we were over.

To this day I still don’t know what happened in that dorm room. After someone let me inside, I climbed the stairs and knocked on the door until he opened it. Sitting in a chair off to the side was a blonde female. She was in a bra and a pair of jeans. At first she looked at me like I was in the wrong place, but when Flynn acknowledged me she quickly exited the room.

That was the night that could have changed our future. Maybe I was wrong to give him an ultimatum. Perhaps I didn’t have a right to control his life, but I did it anyway. I made Flynn choose me over going to the university, because I knew I’d never trust him if he stayed. At the time I didn’t see it as being selfish. Now, seven years later, I feel as if it was the biggest mistake of my life. I almost wish he would have found the love of his life at that school, because it was quite clear it wasn’t me.

While sitting in front of our small ranch style home, I peered down at the address of the bed and breakfast the therapist had given me. Did I want to even bring it up to Flynn? Could the two of us be alone for a whole weekend without wanting to strangle one another? Did I want to know what it felt like to have him touch me without cringing? Was there any kind of sexual chemistry even left between us? Could Flynn ever learn how to please a woman first instead of being so damn selfish?

I hated even considering how bad it could turn out, but I was tired of living like this. I knew there was so much neither of us had ever experienced. We were naïve and curious, so much that we couldn’t find a happy medium. Was it so wrong to want to experience hot, unadulterated sex with someone who could appreciate me the way I was? I hated the idea of being with someone else. I didn’t want my family to break up, but this wasn’t healthy.

Before exiting my vehicle, I crumpled the small note and shoved it in my pocket. My marriage was over, and the sooner I came to grips with it the faster I could plan the divorce.

ADD BINGE (a 7 Year Itch Novel) to GOODREADS






 

Jennifer Foor is an award winning Contemporary Romance Author. She’s best known for the Mitchell Family Series, which includes ten books.

She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, writing stories that come from her heart. 
 



Getting Played by Mia Storm Cover Reveal

 

 

 

 

 

Rules of the game:

1) Never underestimate your opponent

2) Avoid personal fouls

3) Score early and often

4) Play or get played

 

Coach Marcus Leon has always played by the rules…until he meets Addaline Grace, the seventeen-year-old senior transfer on his Oak Crest High water polo team. Addie changes all the rules, mostly because she doesn’t play any games. But as off limits as she is, the more Marcus discovers about Addie, the more he finds himself…and the more he questions whether Addie might just be worth risking everything for.

For Addie, water polo is anger management. She’s driven and focused because it keeps her mind off other things…like the fact she destroyed her family. Her game plan is to keep her head down and graduate so she can leave her father and the crappy town he dragged her to in her wake. But when what starts as friendly completion with Marcus turns into more than a game, Addie has to decide if she’s willing to face down her demons…and possibly ruin the man she may or may not be falling in love with in the process.

What happens when the only thing you need is the one thing you can’t have?

** This is a standalone

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

 

Dirty
A poem by Blaire Leon
If sex is dirty, why would I do it with someone
I love?
If sex is dirty, then didn’t we all come from
the dirt?
What if I like the dirt?
What if I want to get dirty?
What if I want to roll in the mud until I’m so
fucking filthy that I’ll never be clean again?
When twenty-five-year-old graduate assistant Caiden Brenner
asked Blaire Leon how old she was, she said she was a senior. He chose to
believe she meant in college. They connect over Lord Byron’s Don
Juan
 and, as their conversations become increasingly thicker with
sexual innuendo, Caiden finds himself obsessing over a totally off-limits
undergrad who’s bold, beautiful, brilliant, and one of the most passionate
poets he’s ever met.
But it turns out Blaire hasn’t been totally honest. She’s the
seventeen-year-old valedictorian of her high school class, taking courses at
Sierra State while awaiting her acceptance to Stanford.
Will Caiden get too deeply into Blaire to back away before he
finds out the truth? Or will their connection be enough to seduce him into
risking his entire future on Jail Bait?
 
 
ABOUT MIA STORM:
Mia Storm is a hopeless romantic who is always searching for
her happy ending. Sometimes she’s forced to make one up. When that happens,
she’s thrilled to be able to share those stories with her readers. She lives in
California and spends much of her time in the sun with a book in one hand and a
mug of black coffee in the other, or hiking the trails in Yosemite. Connect
with her online at MiaStormAuthor.blogspot.com , on Twitter at @MiaStormAuthor,
and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MiaStormAuthor.LIKE MIA STORM on FACEBOOK

Intercepted by Emma Hart Release Day

EMMA-HART-INTERCEPTED-FACEBOOK-AUTHOR-BANNER

 

 
 
Four people. Four goals. Four endings.
 
In the third and final book of the USA Today bestselling By
His Game series, the rules of the game no one knew they’d have to play are
blurring, and when the past becomes the opposing team, hearts aren’t the only
thing at stake of being lost…
Finding naked pictures of her best friend on her boyfriend’s
phone wasn’t in Everleigh White’s five year plan. Neither was moving back to
Los Angeles, the city of dreams that never managed to make hers come true.
There’s only so many years you can be in love with your best friend before you
realize he’s never going to love you back, after all. If only her ex would stop
showing up at the gym where she works, she’d be much happier.
Being a father at nineteen wasn’t how Reid North, the
Vipers’ wide receiver, imagined his life going, but when his ex-girlfriend
tricked him into parenthood, he accepted it. Eventually. Now, with his ex on
the verge of being released from prison, he’s holding onto full custody of his
seven year old son, Leo. Football and Leo have left Reid no time for dating…
Until Everleigh comes back.
His best friend his whole life, Everleigh never knew Reid
loved her. She left before he could tell her. Now she’s back in front of him,
and he’s not letting go. Even if all he gets is her friendship again. But in a
city like L.A., dreams come true when you’re least expecting it.
So do nightmares.
With their exes beating down their doors with demands and
explanations, their hesitant and building relationship is threatened at every
corner. They’re at serious risk of being intercepted by the past, and that’s a
ball Reid is determined to catch.
Except desperation can lead to stupidity—and Reid soon
realizes he can’t catch every ball, no matter how perfectly it’s thrown to him.
This time a fumble could cost more than a few points.
It could cost him everything.
(INTERCEPTED is the third and final book in the By His Game
series and can be read as a standalone, although it is advised to read
BLINDSIDED and SIDELINED before, in this order.)
EXCERPT

“Why’d you leave, Ev?” I ask her quietly, sitting forward. “Why didn’t you tell me? Why’d you ignore me?”

“I didn’t want to,” she whispers. “But I had to. It was easier for me.”

“Not for me!”

“I know!” Her eyes snap to mine and she twists her whole body to face me. “But I couldn’t say goodbye to you, Reid. It would have hurt me too much to do that. And it was pathetic and childish, but there. It was easier to run without thinking of you as long as it meant I didn’t hurt even more.”

Stupid, stupid girl.

I reach over and rest my hand against the side of her face. Tears are shining in her bright-blue eyes, making them gleam even more brightly. When one drips over her lower lid and onto her cheek, I catch it with my thumb and wipe it away.

I move along the sofa, closing the distance between our bodies, and pull her face toward me. “Don’t cry, Ev,” I whisper just before I lean in and cover her mouth with mine.

She draws a breath in through her nose, but she doesn’t push me away. She wraps her hand around my wrist at the side of her face and moves in toward the kiss.

Her lips are soft and sweet, and if the way I’m kissing her is half as tender as she feels, then dammit, I’m fucking screwed.

“I didn’t hate you for leaving,” I say in a low voice, threading my fingers into her long hair. “I didn’t hate you at all. I was fucking mad because you left before I could do that.”

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
   

 

 

 

From Emma Hart, the New York Times bestselling author of the Game series, comes a brand new series where the game is realer, the tension is tighter, the sex is hotter, and the stakes are the highest of all…

 

 

Two people. Two agendas. Two games.

 

What happens when the out-there It-Boy of football meets the secret It-Girl of fashion?

 

As the daughter of Hollywood’s sweetheart, Leah Veronica can’t even buy a coffee without finding her face on a magazine stand, so it’s no wonder she’s launching her first fashion line in secret. With it debuting at New York Fashion Week in just under a month, extra time in the spotlight is the last thing she needs.

 

The son of the best quarterback the league has ever seen, filling legendary shoes as the L.A. Vipers’ quarterback was inevitable for Corey Jackson. So was meeting Leah Veronica—the first girl to hand him his ass without putting a hair out of place.

 

Getting the handsome, prickly blonde into his bed becomes his number one goal. But getting the sexy, over-confident footballer the hell away from her becomes Leah’s—at least until she realizes the best way to do that is to give him what he wants.

 

If only it was that simple.

 

When Corey discovers who she is, and private photos of Hollywood’s finest find their way online, everything they thought they knew is thrown into disarray.

 

And when secrets are exposed and hearts are shattered, they have to figure out if they’ve been blindsided by love or reality, and if it’s worth running the extra yard to win the game they never meant to play.

 

 

 

 

Three people. Three motives. Three reasons.
When the game leaves the field in the second book in the USA Today bestselling BY HIS GAME series and mixes with sex, lies, and betrayal, the future isn’t the only thing on the line…
Macey Kelly has sworn off men. Unless they’re going to zip in and out of her apartment—and her vagina—quicker than they can give her an orgasm, she’s not interested. Finding out her boyfriend of three years got her cousin pregnant was a total confidence knock. Luckily for Macey, confidence is
something she has in abundance, so all Mitch’s asshole move did was make her pretty cynical toward men.
The last thing Jack Carr needs at the start of the season is for a dark-haired, sexy as sin, gyspyesque beauty to be consuming his thoughts. Football is his life, which leaves no time for girls. Unless they’re the love ‘em and leave ‘em girls. Becoming one of the best running backs the league has ever seen by racking up the yards is his top priority… not bedding Macey Kelly, despite her affinity for blow jobs and total sexual abandon.
Avoiding each other is the perfect solution, but when your best friends are in a serious living together kind of relationship, that isn’t always an option. Sometimes, sex on tap is the easiest option. And the sweetest.
Until Mitch shows up with a bombshell that could shatter Macey’s perfectly carved out life. It’s been a year, but he isn’t giving her up, not now he has a chance at winning her back. And he knows her buttons. Every single one of them.
Unfortunately for him, Jack Carr isn’t a loser. The star running back has his eye on the Vince Lombardi—and on Macey. But seeing her hanging between them both isn’t something he’s down with, not when he discovers why she’s so against anything more-ish, as she puts it.Macey quickly realizes she’s the ball being passed between two desperate yet opposing teams, and that only one of them can score the touchdown. But will the winner be the guy she lived with and loved for three years, or will the winner be the guy who understands her and makes her body come alive?
In this game, someone will be sidelined, and calling the play isn’t always as easy as it seems.
(SIDELINED is a full-length, standalone novel. It’s not necessary to read BLINDSIDED before this book, but it is advised.)







 
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.
 

Kelly Elliott Special Announcement

 

 
Kelly Elliott is wanting you the reader to pick her next cover for, Unforgettable Love. 

 

 

 

 

Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has
a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and
dreams for some unknown reason…he claims it’s because he loves her!
She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly
asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone
sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.
In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner
overlooking the Texas hill country and write.
One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her
property with Gus….her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose,
her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush,
move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find
her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.
 
 
 

Kin Series by Jennifer Foor Release Launch

The Full Kin Series including an exclusive Novella, Renew Me.
Following this family of cousins while they struggle through life and each find love.

 

 

Sky’s POV
“Do you mind?”
“I’ve seen a naked chick before. It ain’t like you’re hidin’
yourself.” He didn’t take his eyes off of me.
“Please get out?” I was beet red, waiting for him to leave,
looking for something to cover up my nakedness.
“I really need to get a shower.” He leaned over and turned
on the water. “It is my place, you know.”
I gathered my things, while still wrapped in the towel and
started to run out of the bathroom, until I caught a glimpse of him taking off
his pants. Once I saw his perfectly sculpted bare ass, I just froze. He grabbed
the shower curtain and took a step in, then looked back at me. “Now we’re even,
I reckon.” With a quick smile he disappeared behind the curtain.
I didn’t know if I was more embarrassed or pissed. The longer
I stewed, the more I began to have flashes of his naked body. I wondered if he
was in the shower thinking of mine.
This was hardly the kind of guy that I would ever think of
hooking up with. He lived in the middle of nowhere. His father gave me the creeps
and he thought he was hot shit.
Okay, maybe he was fun to look at.
That’s beside the point.
He was a stranger, and I was naked in his house.
Can you say stupid?
Shayne’s POV
I closed my eyes and pictured what her tongue was doing
while I continued to pound into her. Leesa sat up and massaged Amber’s head as
she looked right at me. “Smack her ass, Shayne.” She bit her lip. “Make it
hurt!”
I smacked her friend’s ass and heard her moan.
“Again. Fucking smack her!”
I smacked her ass again, this time trying my hardest to keep
from exploding inside of this girl, but it was too difficult. With one last
smack I leaned into her and let myself go. It felt too good to be able to
control it any longer.

 

Joey’s POV
She pulled away from my mouth and sat up straight. I caught
a giggle before she climbed up and teased my face with her pussy. With it only
being about six inches away, I could smell her natural essence and my dick began
to throb. “You want this  pussy, don’t
you?”
I grabbed her ass and shoved her cunt into my face. My lips
quickly sucked in her labia and continued doing so. She tried to adjust to
prepare for how good it felt to her, but I wasn’t even halfway finished with
what I was doing. She tasted musky and her essence alone could probably get me
off. I loved watching as I licked at her little clit and witnessed her reacting
to it.
Shayne’s POV
This woman had me by the balls and she didn’t even realize it.
For Ash, she was waiting for me to leave her, to move on to someone else like I
had in my past. For me, I couldn’t get enough.
Now topless, she sat up and faced me, allowing my palms to
brush over her hardened brown nipples. My mouth watered as my hands coasted
over the coarse buds. A simple moan escaped her lips as she watched me touching
her. With one gasp she was biting down on it, tightening her face as the
fulfillment started to take effect.
Peyton
I climbed on top of him without struggle. Jamey got off on
me becoming angry with him. I swear sometimes he picked a fight just to get me
into his bed, the backseat of his car, or wherever we were for that matter.
“Don’t treat me like I mean nothin’ to you, Jamey.” I
straddled his body with my own, waiting for him to reply. The shit-eating grin
across his face was about to be slapped off if it didn’t fade away. His next
snarky comment was the last straw for my tolerance.
“Like I said before. I do what I want. Get over it, or get
the fuck out.”
I went to smack him, so hurt and distraught that he could
play games with my emotions that easily.
He caught my hand before it made contact, and laughed harder. I hated
that he knew me so well. “Fuck you. You say that, but I’m still here, lyin’ in
your bed at night. Don’t play head games with me, Jamey. It’s not goin’ to work
in your favor this time.”
Jamey pinned both of my hands at my sides. I turned away,
unable to look into those light brown eyes and not think about where I was
sitting, or that beneath me was probably his growing stiff cock. “You’re here
because we both like to fuck. We’re friends, and you belong to me. Those are
the rules and you know it. You only complain when you don’t get your way. Ain’t
no woman goin’ to tell me what to do. You got that? I will go where I want. I
will talk to who I want, and I will fuck -.” I couldn’t let him finish.
“No. That’s not right and you know it. It’s just me or I’m
out of here.”
He let go of my hands and cocked a half-smile across his
lips. “I know just what to say to get you all worked up, don’t I?” His hand
brushed over one of my breasts and I turned my head away from his gaze. “Are
you pissed?”
“Yeah, I’m pissed. Why do you say things that hurt me? All I
wanted was for you to come to the cookout with me, eat a meal with me, and be
by my side. You turned it into this; sayin’ you can fuck who you want. You’re
right, Jamey. I suppose you can. I guess that if you wanted to you could tell
me to go to hell and have someone in your bed by the end of the night. If
that’s what you want than obviously I can’t stop you, but I can at least leave
with my dignity. Don’t treat me like a pet. I’m either your girlfriend, or I’m
nothin’ at all.” For once I was standing up for myself. He wasn’t going to
belittle me, not this time.
Jamey flipped us around so that he was on top of me on the
bed. He stared into my eyes and wiped off my tears. “Are you afraid of losin’
me, Pey?” I felt his hand reach between my legs and cupped my pussy over the
fabric of my jean shorts. “You think I’d give up this perfect pussy so easily?
You’re in my bed, because I want you there. Just because I don’t make promises
don’t mean I don’t want you. Baby, there ain’t no woman around that makes my
dick as hard as you do.”
 Parker
I dialed again, and just before the forth ring I heard her
voice. “Hello?”
“Cam, it’s me. Are you alright? I went to your room and a
note says you’re gone for the weekend.”
“I’m in the Poconos. Why? What’s wrong?”
“What are you there for?” I had to ask, since the last time
we’d gone it had been for a romantic getaway.
“I came here to forget about you, Parker.” In the background
I heard someone calling her name. The voice was male, and it wasn’t her father.
“So that’s how it’s goin’ to be? You’re just goin’ to move
on?”
“Apparently so.”
The line went silent for a moment, but I knew she was still on the other end of the call. “Good luck with that.”

 
 

Jennifer Foor is an award winning Contemporary Romance Author. She’s best known for the Mitchell Family Series, which includes ten books.

She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, writing stories that come from her heart. 
 



Predestined Hearts by Kelly Elliott & Kristen Mayer Release Day

Love has existed since the beginning of time. For Ashlin Thomas, love was an illusion that she desperately wanted to make a reality.

Returning home to Savannah, after her aunt’s death, Ashlin must deal with the harsh realities life has dealt her.

As Ashlin begins sorting through her aunt’s personal effects, she stumbles upon a journal. Not just any journal, but the words of her great great great grandmother, Sophia.

Two love stories intertwine with each other as Ashlin reads the beautiful words, written over a hundred years ago.

The intense connection Ashlin feels with Sophia begins to allow her to find herself. Never thinking love was possible for her, Ashlin now sees it is within her grasp.

But, life is never perfect. Life is never fair.

When faced with the decision that could change Ashlin’s future … will she sacrifice one love for another, or will her predestined heart lead her home?

 

 
Amazon     iBooks    Barnes & Noble   Kobo

A light rap on the counter brought my attention to the man in front of me. He had dark-brown hair that was tousled about in disarray. His warm brown eyes melted through me. The five o’clock shadow from the stubble on his face showcased his strong jaw line. He was sinfully gorgeous and I could feel my insides turn all gooey from the sight of him in front of me.

My mouth was dry as he looked at me expectantly. In that moment, it was as if something within me altered and changed. I couldn’t explain it.

Get it together, Ashlin.

“I’m sorry. It’s been a long day. Can you repeat what you said?” My voice came out fairly normal, which I was proud of, versus the crazy energy I felt pulsating within me.

He gave a gentle look; it wasn’t cocky or knowing, but only sweet. “Is there anything I can get you?”

Smiling back, I responded, “I’ll have the beef stew and a water.”

“Good choice. Coming right up.” He rapped his knuckles on the counter as he walked off to the left.

I wasn’t paying attention to how his white shirt was rolled up to his elbows. Nope. And I wasn’t paying attention to how his khaki pants hugged him in all the right places. Nope. And I for sure wasn’t staring at him as if he would be sex on a stick. Nope.

Seriously get it together, Ashlin. My life has turned inside out and the last thing I need to be thinking about is sex.

The man turned back toward me and I looked up at the television screen that was above, hoping I wasn’t caught ogling the bartender. I need a life, seriously. Time passed and before I knew it, a steaming bowl of beef stew with a little plate of bread was set in front of me.

It smelled delicious. “Thank you.”

The bartender smiled. I glanced back to my stew as I ate.

He responded, “You’re welcome.”

Taking a bite, it was one of the most delicious stews I had ever tasted. I moaned in appreciation.

“It’s that good, eh?”

I licked my lips and felt heat creep up on my face. Not realizing I had closed my eyes, I tentatively opened them and glanced at the bartender, who was looking at me more intensely than before. “Oh, I did not mean to do that out loud.” Picking up my napkin, I dabbed the corner of my mouth. “Give my complements to the chef. It’s incredible. I’d love to get the recipe.”

He leaned on the counter. “I’ll let the chef know. I know him pretty well, and I’d say if he could get that type of reaction out of every beautiful woman who ate the stew, he’d serve it all the time versus only on special occasions.”

The bartender moved a little closer to me and I smiled at his playful face while wanting to reach out and trace that devastatingly handsome jaw line. Conspiringly, he whispered, “I’ve heard that the recipe is a family secret. You’d have to marry the chef in order to get it.”

I giggled as he winked at me. “Okay, if I get that desperate to have it, I’ll know to bring a ring and my bended knee.”

He chuckled and stood. “So, what brings you to Savannah?”

“Is this where I lay all my troubles on the line for the bartender to listen and give advice?” I teased with him as I cocked my head.

He shrugged as he mixed a drink. The bar was otherwise vacated except one person at the end who nursed a beer. “I happen to listen and give advice for free on Wednesday’s.”

My smile was wide. There was something magnetic about this man and I didn’t want our conversation to end. “Well, it’s a good thing it’s Wednesday.”

“Yes, it is.”

Gazing around the room, I searched for Daniel. My father and mother were busy talking to Mr. and Mrs. Stowe along with two other couples, whom I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing. A young gentleman had been talking my ear off and I was in desperate need of fresh air.

Turning to him, I asked, “Will you please excuse me? I am in need of some fresh air.”

“Shall I join you?” he asked.

I quickly shook my head. “No. No, that will not be necessary. I have a slight headache and need some time alone.”

Nodding his head, he smiled and took a step back, giving me a quick bow. Returning the polite gesture, I began toward the kitchen. One look over my shoulder showed my mother watching me intently. I’m sure she was distressed at the idea of me wandering off and being late to sit down for dinner.

Somehow managing to find my way to the back gardens, I smiled and inhaled a deep breath. All I smelled were azaleas. I walked along the cobblestone pathway that intertwined among Magnolia trees and some of the most amazing flowers I’d ever seen. My mother would be green with envy were she to lay her eyes upon this colorful garden.

“It goes on forever,” I whispered.

“One can easily get lost back here.”

I stopped the moment I heard his voice. Closing my eyes, I placed my gloved hands on my stomach to calm the butterflies. Inhaling a deep breath through my nose, I slowly blew it out as I turned to face him.

  1. His eyes widened and he licked his lips. I raised the corner of my mouth and bowed slightly. Daniel walked up to me and smiled, causing my knees to shake. For a moment, it felt as if the earth was moving and I fought to stand upright.

He took a step closer to me as his eyes moved about my face. When they landed on my lips, I instinctively licked them. His eyes were ablaze with fire. I took a step back as he took another step forward. My breathing increased as I felt something I’d never felt before.

 
Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and dreams for some unknown reason…he claims it’s because he loves her! She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone sending out what is sure to be another very important text message. In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner overlooking the Texas hill country and write. One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her property with Gus….her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose, her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush, move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.
 
 
Kristin Mayer is a wife, a proud mother, and a full-time Analyst and Import Manager. Since an early age, she has always enjoyed reading and writing. While visiting her father one weekend, he suggested that she should take up writing again. With family and a career, she didn’t give it a lot of thought, until a story entered her mind and wouldn’t leave. It just kept forming and developing over a couple of months.
 
At the beginning of 2013, she decided to sit down and write it all down, but she kept it to herself. One sentence developed into two, and before she knew it, she had the makings of a novel.
Kristin tries to live life to the fullest during every moment. She loves to travel and meet new people. She holds a degree in International Business and uses it daily in her job. Kristin now adds “author” on her list of jobs, and feels very blessed and thankful.

FACEBOOK   WEBSITE  GOODREADS

 

Brought To You by:

 

Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle

WHERE SEA MEETS SKY
KARINA HALLE
A new adult novel that perfectly captures the existential angst of your early twenties with raw wit, fresh insight, and true
feeling from a critically adored USA TODAY bestselling author.
image001
Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at
home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his
passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner
from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point
for Josh. He can’t get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home,
and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life.

 

It’s not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some
cash, and Gemma’s name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds
his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a
whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust,
love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you
somewhere, it might never let go—even when you know you have to say goodbye.

 

 
 
BUY NOW!
 
 
UK LINKS:
 Waterstones      Foyles     Amazon    Google Play       Kobo     Nook      iTunes
AUS/NZ LINKS:
iBookstore      Amazon     Bookworld




EXCERPT
 

We motor away from the mountains and toward the cloud-filtered sunshine and rolling brown hills of the east. Lake Tekapo seems to be a popular stop, and as we get closer I can see why. The lake is even bluer than Pukaki was and the town along the banks is a pleasing slice of civilization.

But we don’t stop there like I thought we would. Gemma keeps driving until we come to a turn-off and then she’s gunning it toward the lake. On one side of us the road curves along pine trees and holiday homes; on the other there is a stream and a picturesque stone church surrounded by snap-happy tour bus groups.

At a gravel lot at the very end, not far from the shore, she angrily slams Mr. Orange into park and jumps out of the bus. Instinctively I do the same, jumping out after her.

As I stand there watching, I know the memory is being ingrained into my head. The van is still running and “Comfortably Numb” is blaring from the speakers as Gemma strips down to her underwear and runs to the edge of the lake. She’s barefoot and she doesn’t even slip on the rocks as she goes. She’s running from something, she’s running to something. The water will be ice cold.

It’s just what she wants. She wants to be numb.

I’ve listened to this album enough damn times now to know that “Run Like Hell” will play soon. So I do. I run like hell toward her. I leave Amber in the back of Mr. Orange, puttering on Lake Tekapo’s shore, and I’m sprinting toward the water, unwilling to let her out of my sight.

She’s already splashing into the water, like a mermaid returning to a kingdom of blue milk. If the cold is shocking her, she doesn’t show it, it doesn’t slow her down. The lake splashes around her in Technicolor brilliance, her darkly tanned skin shimmering from the reflection.

In seconds she is diving under and I hold my breath as my legs and blood pump me forward. I’m bizarrely, acutely, aware that she might not come up again. I think about what she told me, huddled in my rain jacket. I think I ache for things I may never get. I long for purpose, for life and yet sometimes I think I’m too afraid to live.

My fear is in not living.

We need to meet in the middle.

So I go into the lake after her. I’m stripped down to my boxers and T-shirt, my dusty jeans and flip-flops discarded somewhere between me and the bus, in a patch of purple and pink foxgloves.

It’s so cold I think I’m going to die. My lips open to yell, “Fuck me!” but my mouth is more intent on chattering my teeth together. Each step stabs stones into the soles of my feet and jagged knives of ice water into my legs until the feeling—all feeling—subsides.

I’m breathless, surrounded by ice blue, a color I’ve created myself when I’ve touched too much eggshell into too little cerulean. The shores are granite, a soft warm grey, peppered by the unimaginable greens and pinks of foxglove and whatever plants happen to spring up in this country. I’m swimming in a painting, numb, and I’m going for her, the bronze mermaid who wants to swim forever.

But she’s not mythical. She’s very real. It seems to take forever and eventually she breaks the surface, shrieking out in surprise and agony from the cold. It doesn’t numb her after all. Perhaps in this case, the number you are, the closer you are to death.

Though she swam for a while under, it doesn’t take me long to catch up with her. I used to be an avid swimmer for years.

“What the hell?” I say to her between chattering teeth, spitting out lake water.

She stares at me, wide-eyed, her head above the surface as she treads water. Her wet, dark hair is slicked back from her forehead, an inky wave between her shoulders, her cheekbones highlighted by sun and water.

“I told you I wanted to come here,” she says, as if suddenly abandoning your van and stripping to your underwear in public is the norm.

I can’t help but smile at how blasé she tries to be about it. “A little warning would be nice.”

“Don’t worry about me, Josh,” she says.

I pause because something in my heart has swelled. “But I do.”

Oh god, how I fucking ever.

She holds my gaze and my fingers itch to reach through the water and touch her. A few days ago I wouldn’t have, not in public like this. But I want to see just how numb she is.

My hand glides forward, sluicing through the water in slow motion until it rests on her light and silky waist.

She stares at me, her eyes glowing white against her brown irises, and her brows thread together in contemplation, as if she’s trying to unravel me, uncover some truth. I know something is bothering her and I know it’s about me more than anything else. It should be a good thing that it bothers her because it means she cares.

I want to tell her that she’s all I’ve ever wanted. I want to show her.

She relaxes into my touch for one sweet moment of victory before she slowly ducks her head under the water. I’m not sure what she’s doing so I take in a breath and submerge my head.

The cold shocks my face and when I open my eyes under water they seem to immediately freeze. Gemma is a hazy vision of pale blue, her hair swirling around her. She is so beautiful it makes my chest ache more than the cold does.

Her eyes hold mine and I see that yearning in them again. She reaches forward, grabbing my face and pulls my head toward her. She kisses me, full on the lips. It is so warm against the cold and I’m afraid I’m about to drown from happiness. I want this and I want more than this.

I don’t know how long the kiss lasts – we seem to float through time and space – but our bodies foolishly decide oxygen is equally as important. She breaks away and I am left sucking in ice water before I break through the surface.

I gasp in the dry air, fingers touching my lips as if I can’t believe it, but she’s back to the way she was before. Impassive. Immovable. Numb.

 

Don’t miss Karina’s next book, RACING THE SUN, on sale July 28th!

 
 
 
 
 
With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiancé and rescue pup.

LINKS:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

GOODREADS

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle Release Day

WHERE SEA MEETS SKY
KARINA HALLE
A new adult novel that perfectly captures the  existential angst of your early twenties with raw wit, fresh insight, and true
feeling from a critically adored USA TODAY bestselling author.
image001
Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at
home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his
passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner
from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point
for Josh. He can’t get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home,
and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life.

It’s not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some
cash, and Gemma’s name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds
his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a
whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust,
love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you
somewhere, it might never let go—even when you know you have to say goodbye.

 

 
 
BUY NOW!
 
 
UK LINKS:
 Waterstones      Foyles     Amazon    Google Play       Kobo     Nook      iTunes
AUS/NZ LINKS:
iBookstore      Amazon     Bookworld




EXCERPT

“Gemma,” I whisper softly. Before I know what I’m doing, I’m raising her palm to my lips and kissing along her scar. She smells so good, feels even better.

She lets me do it for a moment then she awkwardly clears her throat.

Don’t make me let go, I think. Please don’t make me let go.

The rustle in the bushes is back again. Gemma jerks her hand away, as if we’re about to be caught by Nick the Peeping Tom, as if we’re doing something wrong.

Are we doing something wrong?

Suddenly the air around us fills with squeals, and the rustling increases. The nearest bush to us at the base of the yard, near the fence, starts to move back and forth.

I stand up out of my chair to get a better look and see what looks to be little creatures waddling out of the bushes and heading for the side of the house. Once they hit a patch of light coming from the house, I can see what they are.

Little blue penguins.

“What the fuck?” I say softly, feeling like my mind has just imploded. “What the hell are those?”

“Little blue penguins,” she says proudly.

I turn to her in disbelief. “Are you serious?” I thought I was making that up. In my head.

She nods. “Yup. Little blue penguins.”

And she’s right. They’re about a foot high, miniature versions of the ones I’ve seen on TV, and they’re entirely blue in color. I thought it was just the darkness playing tricks on me but no, once they hit the light, you can see the color on their oily feathers.

“I don’t get it,” I say, watching as the last of their group quickly scampers out of sight. That might have been the cutest and weirdest thing I have ever seen.

“You never head of them?” she asks. “They probably have a burrow under the house. It’s actually quite common for beach houses.”

“Look, I wasn’t lying when I said I didn’t do a whole lot of research about the country.”

“I can see that,” she says. “Well, how about that, then.”

“How about that,” I say, sitting back down. The penguins’ magical appearance has somehow taken Gemma’s heartbreaking story to another place, and she’s quick to jump on the transition. She tells me all about the interesting birdlife in New Zealand, from yellow-eyed penguins on the Otago Peninsula down south, to the Kea—cheeky green parrots that live in the snow-covered Alps. She’s animated as she tells me all she knows, and I absorb it like a sponge.

I drink my beer and she goes back to drinking hers, and before Nick, Amber, and the Irish show up all sloshed, she’s painted a beautiful picture of what’s to come. I can only hope I’ll continue to be part of the picture.

 

 

 

Don’t miss Karina’s next book, RACING THE SUN, on sale July 28th!

 
 
 
 
 
With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiancé and rescue pup.

LINKS:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

GOODREADS

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Binge by Jennifer Foor Cover Reveal

 
A BRAND NEW STANDALONE NOVEL FROM JENNIFER FOOR!

 

Flynn & Aria Roberts have had plenty of ups and downs during their seven year marriage. Everyone warned them not to wed so young – that they’d be missing out on the key years when people grow from young adults to mature individuals.

The only thing holding them

together now is their

love for each other,

and even that is becoming questionable.

To save the marriage, and the family they’ve already started, Flynn and Aria come up with an unconventional solution to help them find what’s missing in their relationship.

The only problem is doing so involves rediscovering themselves completely, even if it requires them to be unfaithful.

Can a marriage survive

when vows are broken, or will chance encounters prove they’ve been missing out all-along?

Fulfill your

deepest Desires

Give in to

Temptation

 
RELEASE DATE APRIL 27
 
 
 
 
 

Jennifer Foor is an award winning Contemporary Romance Author. She’s best known for the Mitchell
Family Series, which includes ten books.

She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, writing
stories that come from her heart.