MJ TSLOS Collage with magic quote



THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is a stunning historical gothic romantic suspense published by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, being released on July 19th. This is the second title in M.J. Rose’s The Daughters of La Lune Series and absolutely not to be missed! Check out the first chapter below then pre-order your copy today!




The Secret Language of Stones

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As World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

Nestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. Full of romance, seduction, and a love so powerful it reaches beyond the grave, The Secret Language of Stones is yet another “spellbindingly haunting” (Suspense magazine), “entrancing read that will long be savored” (Library Journal, starred review).



Chapter 1

July 19, 1918

“Are you Opaline?” the woman asked before she even stepped all the way into the workshop. From the anxious and distraught tone of her voice, I guessed she hadn’t come to talk about commissioning a bracelet for her aunt or having her daughter’s pearls restrung.

Though not a soldier, this woman was one of the Great War’s wounded, here to engage in the dark arts in the hopes of finding solace. Was it her son or her brother, husband, or lover’s fate that drove her to seek me out?

France had lost more than one million men, and there were battles yet to be fought. We’d suffered the second largest loss of any country in any war in history. No one in Paris remained untouched by tragedy.

What a terrible four years we’d endured. The Germans had placed La Grosse Bertha, a huge cannon, on the border between Picardy and Champagne. More powerful than any weapon ever built, she proved able to send shells 120 kilometers and reach us in Paris.

Since the war began, Bertha had shot more than 325 shells into our city. By the summer of 1918, two hundred civilians had died, and almost a thousand more were hurt. We lived in a state of anticipation and readiness. We were on the front too, as much at risk as our soldiers.

The last four months had been devastating. On March 11, the Vincennes Cemetery in the eastern inner suburbs was hit and hundreds of families lost their dead all over again when marble tombs and granite gravestones shattered. Bombs continued falling into the night. Buildings all over the city were demolished; craters appeared in the streets.

Three weeks later, more devastation. The worst Paris had suffered yet. On Good Friday, during a mass at the Saint-Gervais and Saint-Protais Church, a shell hit and the whole roof collapsed on the congregation. Eighty-eight people were killed; another sixtyeight were wounded. And all over Paris many, many more suffered psychological damage. We became more worried, ever more afraid. What was next? When would it happen? We couldn’t know. All we could do was wait.

In April there were more shellings. And again in May. One hit a hotel in the 13th arrondissement, and because Bertha’s visits were silent, without warning, sleeping guests were killed in their beds.

By the middle of July, there was still no end in sight.

That warm afternoon, while the rain drizzled down, I steeled myself for the expression of grief to match what I’d heard in the customer’s voice. I shut off my soldering machine and put my work aside before I looked up.

Turning soldiers’ wristwatches into trench watches is how I have been contributing to the war effort since arriving in Paris three years ago. History repeats itself, they say, and in my case it’s true. In 1894, my mother ran away from her first husband in New York City and came to Paris. And twenty-one years later, I ran away from my mother in Cannes and came to Paris.

In trying to protect me from the encroaching war and to distract me from the malaise I’d been suffering since my closest friend had been killed, my parents decided to send me to America. No amount of protest, tantrums, bargaining, or begging would change their minds. They were shipping me off to live with family in Boston and to study at Radcliffe, where my uncle taught history.

At ten AM on Wednesday, February 11, 1915 my parents and I arrived at the dock in Cherbourg. French ocean liners had all been acquisitioned for the war, so I was booked on the USMS New York to travel across the sea. A frenetic scene greeted me. Most of the travelers were leaving France out of fear, and the atmosphere was thick with sadness and worry. Faces were drawn, eyes red with crying, as we prepared to board the big hulking ship waiting to transport us away from the terrible war that claimed more and more lives every day.

While my father arranged for a porter to carry my trunk, my mother handed me a last-minute gift, a book from the feel of it, then took me in her arms to kiss me good-bye. I breathed in her familiar scent, knowing it might be a long time until I smelled that particular mixture of L’Etoile’sRouge perfume and the Roger etGalletpoudre de riz she always used to dust her face and décolletage. As she held me and pressed her crimson-stained lips to my cheek, I reached up behind her and carefully unhooked one of the half dozen ropes of cabochon ruby beads slung around her neck.

I let the necklace slip inside my glove, the stones warm as they slid down and settled into my cupped palm.

My mother often told me the story about how, in Paris in 1894, soon after she’d arrived and they’d met, my father helped her secretly pawn some of her grandmother’s treasures to buy art supplies so she could attend École des Beaux-Arts.

Knowing I too might need extra money, I decided to avail myself of some insurance. My mother owned so many strands of those blood-red beads, certainly my transgression would go unnoticed for a long time.

Disentangling herself, my mother dabbed at her eyes with a black handkerchief trimmed in red lace. Like the rubies she always wore, her handkerchiefs were one of her trademarks. Her many eccentricities exacerbated the legends swirling around “La Belle Lune,” as the press called her.

Mon chou, I will miss you. Write often and don’t get into trouble. It’s one thing to break my rules, but listen to your aunt Laura. All right?”

When my father’s turn came, he took me in his arms and exacted another kind of promise. “You will stay safe, yes?” He let go, but only for a moment before pulling me back to plant another kiss on the top of my head and add a coda to his good-bye. “Stay safe,” he repeated, “and please, forgive yourself for what happened with Timur. You couldn’t know what the future would bring. Enjoy your adventure, chérie.”

I nodded as tears tickled my eyes. Always sensitive to me, my father knew how much my guilt weighed on me. My charming and handsome papa always found just the right words to say to me to make me feel special. I didn’t care that I was about to deceive my mother, but I hated that I was going to disappoint my father.

During the winters of 1913 and 1914, my parents’ friends’ son TimurOrloff lived with us in Cannes. He ran a small boutique inside the Carlton Hotel, where, in high season, the hotel rented out space to a select few high-end retailers in order to cater to the celebrities, royalty, and nobility who flocked to the Riviera.

Our families first met when Anna Orloff bought one of my mother’s paintings, and Monsieur Orloff hired my father to design his jewelry store in Paris. A friendship developed that eventually led to my parents offering to house Timur. We quickly became the best of friends, sharing a passion for art and a love of design.

Creating jewelry had been my obsession ever since I’d found my first piece of emerald sea glass at the beach and tried to use string and glue to fashion it into a ring. My father declared jewelry design the perfect profession for the child of a painter and an architect—an ideal way to marry the sense of color and light I’d inherited from my mother and the ability to visualize and design in three dimensions that I’d inherited from him.

My mother was disappointed I wasn’t following in her footsteps and studying painting but agreed jewelry design offered a fine alternative. I knew my choice appealed to the rebel in her. The field hadn’t yet welcomed women, and my mother, who had broken down quite a few barriers as a female artist and eschewed convention as much as plain white handkerchiefs, was pleased that, like her, I would be challenging the status quo.

When I’d graduated lycée, I convinced my parents to let me apprentice with a local jeweler, and Timur often stopped by Roucher’s shop at the end of the day to collect me and walk me home.

Given our ages, his twenty to my seventeen, it wasn’t surprising our closeness turned physical, and we spent many hours hiding in the shadows of the rocks on the beach as twilight deepened, kissing and exploring each other’s body. The heady intimacy was exciting. The passion, transforming. My sense of taste became exaggerated. My sense of smell became more attenuated. The stones I worked with in the shop began to shimmer with a deeper intensity, and my ability to hear their music became fine-tuned.

The changes were as frightening as they were exhilarating. As the passions increased my powers, I worried I was becoming like my mother. And yet my fear didn’t make me turn from Timur. The pleasure was too great. My attraction was fueled by curiosity rather than love. Not so for him. And even though I knew Timur was a romantic, I never guessed at the depths of what he felt.

War broke out during the summer of 1914, and in October, Timur wrote he was leaving for the front to fight for France. Just two weeks after he’d left, I received a poetic letter filled with longing.

Dearest Opaline,

We never talked about what we mean to each other before I left and I find myself in this miserable place, with so little comfort and so much uncertainty. Not the least of which is how you feel about me. I close my eyes and you are there. I think of the past two years and all my important memories include you. I imagine tomorrow’s memories and want to share those with you as well. Here where it’s bleak and barren, thoughts of you keep my heart warm. Do you love me the way I love you? No, I don’t think so, not yet . . . but might you? All I ask is please, don’t fall in love with anyone else while I am gone. Tell me you will wait for me, at least just to give me a chance?

I’d been made uncomfortable by his admission. Handsome and talented, he’d treated me as if I were one of the fine gems he sold. I’d enjoyed his attention and affection, but I didn’t think I was in love. Not the way I imagined love.

And so I wrote a flippant response. Teasing him the way I always did, I accused him of allowing the war to turn him into even more of a romantic. I shouldn’t have. Instead, I should have given him the promise he asked for. Once he came back, I could have set him straight. Then at least, while he remained away, he would have had hope.

Instead, he’d died with only my mockery ringing in his head.

My father was right: I couldn’t have known the future. But I still couldn’t excuse myself for my thoughtless past.

The USMS New York’s sonorous horn blasted three times, and all around us people said their last good-byes. Reluctantly, my father let go of me.

“I’d like you to leave once I’m on board,” I told my parents. “Otherwise, I’ll stand there watching you and I’ll start to cry.”

“Agreed,” my father said. “It would be too hard for us as well.”

Once I’d walked up the gangplank and joined the other passengers at the railing, I searched the crowd, found my parents, and waved.

My mother fluttered her handkerchief. My father blew me a kiss. Then, as promised, they turned and began to walk away. The moment their backs were to me, I ran from the railing, found a porter, pressed some francs into his hand, and asked him to take my luggage from the hold and see me to a taxi.

I would not be sailing to America. I was traveling on a train to Paris. Once ensconced in the cab, I told the driver to transport me to the station. After maneuvering out of the parking space, he joined the crush of cars leaving the port. Moving at a snail’s pace, we drove right past my parents, who were strolling back to the hotel where we’d stayed the night before.

Sliding down in my seat, I hoped they wouldn’t see me, but I’d underestimated my mother’s keen eye.

“Opaline? Opaline?”

Hearing her shout, I rose and peeked out the window. For a moment, they just stood frozen, shocked expressions on their faces. Then my father broke into a run.

“Hurry!” I called out to the driver. “Please.”

At first I thought my father might catch up to the car, but the traffic cleared and my driver accelerated. As we sped away, I saw my father come to a stop and just stand in the road, cars zigzagging all around him as he tried to catch his breath and make sense of what he’d just seen.

Just as we turned the corner, my mother reached his side. He took her arm. I saw an expression of resignation settle on his face. Anger animated hers. I think she knew exactly where I was going. Not because she was clairvoyant, which she was, of course, but because we were alike in so many ways, and if history was about to repeat itself, she wanted me to learn about my powers from her.

I’d been ambivalent about exploring my ability to receive messages that were inaudible and invisible to others—messages that came to me through stones—but I knew if the day came that I was ready, I’d need someone other than her to guide me.

Years ago, when she was closer to my age, my mother’s journey to Paris had begun with her meeting La Lune, a spirit who’d kept herself alive for almost three centuries while waiting for a descendant strong enough to host her. My mother embraced La Lune’s spirit and allowed the witch to take over. But because Sandrine was my mother, I hadn’t been given an option. I’d been born with the witch’s powers running through my veins.

Once my mother made her choice to let La Lune in, she never questioned how she used her abilities. She justified her actions as long as they were for good. Or what she believed was good. But I’d seen her make decisions I thought were morally wrong. So when I was ready to learn about my own talents, I knew it had to be without my mother’s influence. My journey needed to be my own.

“I’m sorry, but I plan to stay in Paris and work for the war effort,” I told my mother when I telephoned home the following day to tell my parents I’d arrived at my great-grandmother’s house.

When my mother first moved to Paris, my great-grandmother tried but failed to hide the La Lune heritage from her. Once my mother discovered it, Grand-mère tried to convince my mother that learning the dark arts would be her undoing. My mother rejected her advice. When Grand-mère’s horror at Sandrine’s possession by La Lune was mistaken for madness, she was put in a sanatorium. Eventually my mother used magick to help restore Grand-mère to health. Part of her healing spell slowed down my great-grandmother’s aging process so in 1918, more than two decades later, she looked and acted like a woman in her sixties, not one approaching ninety.

Grand-mère was one of Paris’s great courtesans. A leftover from the Belle Époque, she remained ensconced in her splendid mansion, still entertaining, still running her salon. Only now she employed women younger than herself to provide the services she once had performed.

“But I don’t want you in Paris,” my mother argued. “Of all places, Opaline, Paris is the most dangerous for you to be on your own and . . .”

The rest of her sentence was swallowed by a burst of crackling. In 1905, we’d been one of the first families to have a telephone. A decade later almost all businesses and half the households in France had one, but transmission could still be spotty.

“What did you say?” I asked.

“It’s too dangerous for you in Paris.”

I didn’t ask what she meant, assuming she referred to how often the Germans were bombarding Paris. But now I know she wasn’t thinking of the war at all but rather of my untrained talents and the temptations and dangers awaiting me in the city where she’d faced her own demons.

I didn’t listen to her entreaties. No, out of a combination of guilt over Timur’s death and patriotism, my mind was set. I was committed to living in Paris and working for the war effort. Only cowards went to America.

I’d known I couldn’t drive ambulances like other girls; I was disastrous behind the wheel. And from having three younger siblings, I knew nursing wasn’t a possibility—I couldn’t abide the sight of blood whenever Delphine, Sebastian, or Jadine got a cut.

Two months after Timur died, his mother, Anna Orloff, who had been like an aunt to me since I’d turned thirteen, wrote to say that, like so many French businesses, her husband’s jewelry shop had lost most of its jewelers to the army. With her stepson, Grigori, and her youngest son, Leo, fighting for France, she and Monsieur needed help in the shop.

Later, Anna told me she’d sensed I needed to be with her in Paris. She had always known things about me no one else had. Like my mother, Anna was involved in the occult, one reason she had been attracted to my mother’s artwork in the first place. For that alone, I should have eschewed her interest in me. After all, my mother’s use of magick to cure or cause ills, attract or repel people, as well as read minds and sometimes change them, still disturbed me. Too often I’d seen her blur the line between dark and light, pure and corrupt, with ease and without regret. That her choices disturbed me angered her.

Between her paintings, which took her away from my brother and sisters and me, and her involvement with the dark arts, I’d developed two minds about living in the occult world my mother inhabited with such ease.

Yet I was drawn to Anna for her warmth and sensitive nature— so different from my mother’s elaborate and eccentric one. Because I’d seen Anna be so patient with her sons’ and my siblings’ fears, I thought she’d be just as patient with mine. I imagined she could be the lamp to shine a light on the darkness I’d inherited and teach me control so I wouldn’t accidentally traverse the lines my mother crossed so boldly.

Undaunted, I’d fled from the dock in Cherbourg to Paris, and for more than three years I’d been ensconced in Orloff’s gem of a store, learning from a master jeweler.

To teach me his craft, Monsieur had me work on a variety of pieces, but my main job involved soldering thin bars of gold or silver to create cages that would guard the glass on soldiers’ watch faces.

To some, what I did might have seemed a paltry effort, but in the field, at the front, men didn’t have the luxury of stopping to pull out a pocket watch, open it, and study the hour or the minute. They needed immediate information and had to wear watches on their wrists. And war isn’t kind to wristwatches. A sliver of shrapnel can crack the crystal. A whack on a rock as you crawl through a dugout can shatter the face. Soldiers required timepieces they could count on to be efficient and sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of combat.

Monsieur Orloff taught me how to execute the open crosshatched grates that fit over the watch crystal through which the soldiers could read the hour and the minute. While I worked, I liked to think I projected time for them. But the thought did little to lift my spirits. It was their lives that needed protecting. France had lost so many, and still the war dragged on. So as I fused the cages, I attempted to imbue the metal with an armor of protective magick. Something helpful to do with my inheritance. Something I should have known how to do. After all, I am one of the Daughters of La Lune.

But as I discovered, the magick seemed to only make its way into the lockets I designed for the wives and mothers, sisters and lovers of soldiers already killed in battle. The very word “locket” contains everything one needs to know about my pieces. It stems from old French “loquet,” which means “miniature lock.” Since the 1670s, “locket” has been used to describe a keepsake charm or brooch with a personal memento, such as a portrait or a curl of hair, sealed inside, sometimes concealed by a false front.

My lockets always contained secrets. They were made of crystal, engraved with phrases and numbers, and filled with objects that had once belonged to the deceased soldiers. Encased in gold, these talismans hung on chains or leather. Of all the work I did, I found that it wasn’t the watches but the solace my lockets gave that proved to be my greatest gift to the war effort.


old letters, french post cards and empty open book. nostalgic vintage background




 A dazzling mix of history, mystery and mystical arts . . . Rose’s paranormal historical bewitches from start to finish. Her amazing ability to make her story line believable and her extraordinary protagonist relatable result in an unforgettable psychic thriller.” (Library Journal (Starred review))

“An exciting mix of adventure, intrigue, and romance in this thrilling historical tale.” (Booklist)

“Haunting, spellbinding, captivating; Rose’s story of the power of love and redemption is masterful. More than a romance or ghost story, this is a tale of a young woman learning to embrace her unique qualities…So carefully crafted and beautifully written, readers will believe in the magical possibilities of love transcending time.”  (RT Magazine (Top Pick))

“Rose follows up The Witch of Painted Sorrows (2015) with Sandrine’s daughter’s story, set against the tragic yet exquisite canvases of Paris, the Great War, and the Russian Revolution, and offers fascinating historical tidbits in the midst of bright, imaginative storytelling and complex, supernatural worldbuilding. A compelling, heart-wrenching, creative, and intricate read.”  (Kirkus Reviews)



MJ Rose - HeadshotAbout M.J. Rose:

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.


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Brooks by Chelsea M. Cameron – Excerpt Reveal


Today we are revealing an excerpt from BROOKS by Chelsea M. Cameron. This book is a new adult, contemporary romance novel. It kicks off the new standalone series, Benson Brothers. It is currently up for exclusive pre-order on iBooks.


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BROOKS by Chelsea M. Cameron
Benson Brothers #1 / Releasing June 28th

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

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Brooks Benson is bored, stuck and miserable. When both his parents were unable to continue running the variety store, he dropped out of college and came back home to help. It’s been almost two years and he’s tired of making pizzas and selling scratch tickets to the locals of Hope Harbor, Maine. But as the second oldest Benson brother, he’s the one that stepped up. Now all he can see is a gray future in front of him.

Remington “Remi” Tate is disappointed, frustrated and out of options. After dropping out of college and trying to make a go of it in New York, she’s forced to come back home to live with her parents in Hope Harbor. Totally humiliating. Things are looking pretty grim until she starts baking again and runs into Brooks when she visits Benson Variety to ask if they’ll sell her whoopie pies, cakes, and cookies.

What was once a high school crush is now something much more mature that hits both of them like a ton of bricks. Brooks is game, as long as they keep things physical. which is just fine with Remi. She’s not planning on sticking around Hope Harbor forever and Brooks is definitely a lifer. They’re just two different to ever build something that could last.

Life rarely goes according to plan and what starts as just sex soon turns into something that splashes color into their once-drab lives. For the first time, they find peace and security in one another. But will it last? Or will everything crumble into pieces, leaving them with nothing?



The screen inner door banged open and I looked up, hoping no one was staring at the girl with the purple hair and the Tupperware container she had balanced in her hands.

Fortunately, the place was empty.

Except for one person.

Brooks Goddamn Benson. Goddamn wasn’t his middle name, but it might as well have been. We’d graduated the same year, but we’d never been friends. Not even close. What was he doing here, anyway? Last I heard he was off earning a master’s degree, in a land far, far away from Hope Harbor.

He looked up and I locked eyes with him. Mine narrowed and he just sort of… kept staring. Brooks was one of those guys who looked at you like he might be picturing you naked.

He cleared his throat. Not my type. Not at all

He scratched his ear. “What can I do for you?” I thought about just turning around and walking out, but I’d already come this far and if he was back in town too, I was probably going to keep running into him.

“I was just wondering if you’d be willing to sell some of my baked goods here on commission. But I haven’t had any luck, so I’ll just leave,” I said, but he was looking down at the container.

“Did you bring some samples?” he asked. I set the container down, crossed my arms and nodded. I didn’t want this dude eating anything I’d put effort into, but if it would help me get away from my parents’ house, fuck it. I’d do it.

“Yeah. So you can judge their quality.” I didn’t mean to sound so sarcastic. I was really blowing this. I needed better people skills.

“Do you mind?” Hey, at least he asked. I nodded again and he opened the container. I stood there as he tried each item.

“Wow,” he said when he got to the cupcake. “That’s amazing. Where did you learn how to bake?” I was not making small talk with him.

“My mom,” I said. He finished the whole thing in three bites. There was some frosting on his nose. I wanted to wipe it off for some reason. Thankfully I caught myself and forced myself to stop looking at his face.



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Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car, tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman) and playing fetch with her cat, Sassenach. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

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A Promise Kept by Anissa Garcia

Today is the release day launch of A PROMISE KEPT by Anissa Garcia. I am so excited about this fantastic new contemporary romance! Check out the excerpt and enter her giveaway today!



About A Promise Kept:

a Promise Kept_FINALhigh

Closing her heart a long time ago, Grace Clark made a promise she’s vowed to keep. Having Hollywood heartthrob Evan Matthews move in next door with his alluring good looks, charisma, wit, and sexy smile is a temptation that runs the risk of compromising the importance of that promise.


Evan is drawn to his new neighbor. Grace is the exact opposite of the women he normally encounters. Enticing, down-to-earth, and confident, she captivates him. She has no problems facing off with Evan, and he soon realizes Grace is much more than just a challenge. He wants to prove himself to her.


Grace can see the man beyond the actor, and with more than just her pride at stake, she needs to hold tight to her promise before Evan breaks through all her walls, exposing her heart.

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A Promise Kept - Anissa Garcia - thirsty teaser - Inkslinger

Exclusive Excerpt:

“How many homes do you manage?”

He walked with her across the yard and to her door.  “Mine, plus four more.  It’s an easy job most of the time.  Stephen is a friend of my father’s.  He’s always traveling and needed someone to look after all the small things he can’t.”

“Gives you time to write?”

“Yes, definitely.  And I get discount on my rent.  He and my dad are close, so he didn’t hesitate to help me out.”

“Well, I’m glad I rented this place.  And that my pipe leaked.”  He watched her body tense up as she turned to unlock her door.  “The cast party is on Friday night.  I’m renting a small shuttle to come pick us up.”

“A shuttle?”  She stepped partially inside before turning.

“Yeah, so everyone can party recklessly but get home reliably.  Besides, who wants to find parking and drive in downtown traffic, right?”

“Smart move.”

“Be sure to wear a sexy costume, Grace.”

“I don’t do sexy.”  Grace placed her bag on the hall tree and turned back toward him.  “And one date down, one to go.”

“You are sexy.  And today was not a date.”

“Says who?”


“See?  If this was in the old days, we’d define this as a date.”

He laughed and stuffed his hands in his pockets. “It’s not the old days, honey buns.”

She crossed her arms and continued.  “So what, in your opinion, defines a date, Mr. Matthews?”

Evan grasped her arm and tugged her forward.  Their bodies were so close, and he could feel himself stir as he breathed in her scent.  His hand brushed her cheek, and his lips drifted near hers.  She didn’t push him away, but he knew if he got any closer she would.  “When I get to kiss you at the end of it, Gracie.  And I will eventually kiss you, doll.”  He winked at her and walked away, letting her settle with that notion and knowing he was getting closer to winning her over.

 A Promise Kept - Anissa Garcia - lips teaser - Inkslinger

About Anissa:

Author Anissa Garcia

Anissa Garcia resides in Austin, Texas and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications and English. She held an array of jobs including Public Relations Manager for Barnes and Noble. Wanting a change of pace, she moved to Los Angeles where she attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and trained full-time in theatre. After working in Hollywood, she returned to Texas where she has written articles for Cosmopolitan and Lady Couture. When not writing stories, watching movies, or drinking a latte, she loves to daydream about romantic fictional men.


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Karma By Nadine Nightingale–Release Day Launch

It’s release day for Karma by Nadine Nightingale! I am so excited to share this fantastic new paranormal romance!

Karma RDL Ban


Title: Karma

Author: Nadine Nightingale

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Karma Cover

About Karma:

People call me all sorts of names—bad girl, black sheep, and my all-time favorite…Satan’s bride. I could blame the fact I’m a witch for my behavior, but the truth is I’m infuriating, arrogant, and stab-worthy.

Alex Remington is a hunter and everything I’m not—righteous, honest, caring. We used to have a thing, but that was before he learned I’m a witch and tried to kill me.

Eighteen months later, he’s back in my life and we have a deal; I’ll help him save his brother and he’ll disappear from my life for good. But karma can be a real bitch…


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Chapter Reveal t2

Exclusive Excerpt:

“Alex?” My voice echoes through the electrified air, as the clock above the sliding door blinks into existence. The watch hands move way too slowly. Shivers roll down my spine. “Dr. DaSilva?” I croak.

White noise pulsates in my ears. From the corner of my eye, I see shadows dancing through the fey room. “Alex, where the fuck are you?” I don’t mean to sound hysterical, but I do.

The static sound decomposes into terrifying voices. “Who are you?”

“Can you help us?”
“I need to pick up my daughter.”
“Where are we?”
“D is going to kill me.”
They all speak at once.
That’s it! I’m outta here. Pressing my hands against my ears, I head for the door. Out of nowhere, white mist appears. What the—

Like a mad swarm of bees, it rushes toward me, knocking the standing scale over and sending the organ on it flying.

“Where do you think you’re going?” a bloodcurdling voice thunders.

I look from the mist to the heart. If this is a nightmare, I should write this shit down and send it to Stephen King. If not, well, then I’m totally screwed. “Who the fuck are you?” I shout, heart leaping inside my chest.

The autopsy saw on the metal table springs to life, and shrill laughter penetrates the dull air. Carried by an invisible hand, the lethal saw flies at me, stopping only inches from my neck. “I,” the white mist says, “am the spirit you called.”

Awesome. Just awesome. A crazy-ass, Goethe- quoting spirit points a saw at my neck. Shadows lurk in every corner, and Alex is freaking gone. Could this day get any better?

Actually, it could. Look around. Don’t you know what this place is?

The morgue?

Really? Then where the hell is Alex? Think, Amanda.

I hold my breath and scan the room. Distinctive echoes, ghostly lightning, and clocks that count seconds as minutes. Ring a bell?

No way. This is crazy.

Crazier than white mist that holds you at saw- point?

“Shut the fuck up,” I order the voice in my head.

This can’t be happening. I mean, there’s no freaking way I’m in—

Limbo? Hate to break the bad news, but that’s exactly where you are.

But you have to be—

Dead? Congratulations, Amanda. You’ve just won a ticket to Disney World. Too bad you won’t need it anymore.

I know spells can backfire, but this is madness. I’m twenty for Christ’s sake. There’s no way I’m dead.

Fear corrupts my voice. “What the fuck did you do to me?”

The air sizzles as the mist takes on human form, and not just any human form but Isobelle’s. Her otherwise blue eyes are charcoal, and she looks furious. “This is your fault,” she screams, bringing the saw closer to my neck. “You should have left me alone.”




Chapter Reveal t1


About the Author:

Author Photo

Nadine aka Dini is a traveler at heart. She considers the world her home and practically lives out of her suitcases. When she’s not glaring at a blank page or abusing her poor keyboard, she spends her time reading, watching movies (preferably horror), pretends to work out, and hangs out with friends and family. Poor girl also suffers from a serious Marvel superhero addiction. So, if you run into her at night, wearing black, know she’s secretly dreaming of being the infamous Black Widow.

Her love for writing started in the sixth grade where she annoyed her classmates with a short story featuring Sailor Moon characters, a cemetery, and creepy ghosts. Yes, she’s always been addicted to the dark side. Nadine writes paranormal romance. Her debut novel “Karma” the first book in her paranormal romance series Drag.Me.To.Hell. is published by the Wild Rose Press and will be out in May 2016. She has a serious girl crush on her protagonist Amanda Bishop.

Nadine has a BA in Comparative Religions and studied Creative Writing at the University of Oxford.



Connect with Nadine:







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River of Love by Melissa Foster

Today is the release da for River of Love by Melissa Foster! We ae so excited to share this fantastic new contemporary romance with you! Check out the excerpt and the giveaway and grab your copy today!!

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River of Love Synopsis:

river of love

River rafting and adventure company owner Sam Braden works hard and plays harder. He’s fast, focused, and determined—and never at a loss for a willing woman to share his time with. The trouble is, the only woman he wants refuses him at every turn.


Physician assistant Faith Hayes escaped her painful past and built a safe, happy life in Peaceful Harbor. She’s also put what she’s learned to good use helping others by founding Women Against Cheaters, an online support group. When her boss’s sinfully sexy brother sets his sights on sweet Faith, she knows the self-professed player is everything she shouldn’t want, and she’s determined to resist him.


Sam pulls out all the stops, proving to Faith that his past doesn’t have to define his future. As she lets down her guard and begins to trust Sam, intense conversations turn to intimate pleasures. But when real life steps in and their pasts collide, it’s Faith who’s left with something to prove.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

A MAN COULD take a wedding for only so long before he drank too much booze or left with a warm, willing woman to wash away all that purity. Sam Braden stood with a drink in one hand and a greedy itch in the other, debating doing both.

“I’ll take the redhead if you want the brunette.” Ty, his youngest brother, lifted his chin in the direction of the bar. In addition to being a world-renowned mountain climber and photographer, Ty was also Sam’s carousing partner. “Unless you’re double-dipping tonight, in which case I’ll go for one of the Staley sisters.”

Sam scoffed. Been there, done them.

He spotted two blondes slinking across the dance floor toward them. He’d hooked up with the one who was currently eye-fucking him last month, and the redhead Ty had been ogling moments ago had joined them in their hot, sweaty romp. His gaze shifted to the sexy brunette standing by the bar looking like she wanted to jump over it and hide behind it but she couldn’t quite figure out how. Faith Hayes. He’d been trying not to look at Faith all night, but he was losing that battle. Faith worked in Sam’s brother Cole’s medical practice. She was sweet, and good, and smart, and… Sam should not be thinking about laying her on the bar and doing dirty things to her gorgeous body.

No. He definitely should not.

Every time he looked at her, every time he thought of her—which was every damn day—that feeling of wanting more than a few quick hookups resurfaced. He not only wanted to lay her down on the bar, but he wanted to take her home. That was bizarre, too, since as a rule Sam never took any woman to his cabin. But half his visits with Cole at his office were merely made-up opportunities to get a glimpse of Faith. He didn’t fully understand his fascination with her, considering he usually preferred the kind of woman who wanted to jump him and damn well knew how, but there was no denying the stirring inside him every time she was near. He forced himself to look away and focused on the dance floor, where Cole, their eldest brother, danced with his new wife, Leesa, and just beyond, their younger brother Nate and his fiancée, Jewel, were gazing into each other’s eyes. Weren’t they always? Sam used to get hives just thinking about being tied down—unless, of course, it was to a bed. But he couldn’t deny how happy his brothers seemed since they’d fallen in love, and lately he’d begun feeling as if he were missing out on something.

The tall blonde sidled up to Sam, blocking his view of Faith and blinking flirtatiously, while her friend joined Ty. “You boys look lonely.”

“Ladies,” Sam said smoothly, bringing his attention back to the pretty girls who definitely knew how to use their bodies for the good of mankind.

“Care to dance?” she asked, and like a puppy with a bone, Sam followed her out to the dance floor.

Music and dancing ranked right up there with white-water rafting in Sam’s book. As the owner of Rough Riders, a rafting and adventure company, he rarely slowed down, but a strong beat calmed his internal restlessness. And Sam was always a little restless.

The blonde moved sensuously in his arms, reminding him of all the reasons a woman should win out over booze tonight. On that thought, his eyes drifted back to Faith, still standing by the bar, holding a drink he’d bet was soda, and nervously running her finger up the side of the glass as she…watched him? Sam’s lips curved up and Faith’s gaze skittered away. She became adorably flustered whenever he visited Cole at the office, and though he probably shouldn’t, Sam got a kick out of flirting with her.

Cole stepped into his line of sight, blocking his view of Faith and casting a threatening look at Sam, sending the message, Don’t even think about it.

There were no two ways about it, Sam loved women and everyone around him knew it. He loved the way they smelled, the feel of their soft bodies against his hard muscles, their delicate features, the sounds they made in the throes of passion. But his mind refused to play the any woman game these days. It was drenched in thoughts of Faith, and he wanted to experience all those things about her firsthand.

“Sam!” Cole chided.

He shook his head to clear his mind, laughing under his breath, as he turned his attention back to the woman he was dancing with. His hands sank to the base of her spine. Mm. She felt good. His eyes were drawn to Faith again, who was staring into her drink. Bet you’d feel even better, was his first thought, but it was the second—I wonder what you’re thinking—that took him by surprise.




Melissa Foster Bio:

melissa foster

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the  World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.


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Excerpt Reveal: Karma by Nadine Nightingale

Today we’re having an excerpt reveal for Karma by Nadine Nightingale! I am so excited to share this fantastic new paranormal romance!

Karma Excerpt Reveal Ban

Title: Karma

Author: Nadine Nightingale

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Day Date: May 4th

Karma Cover

About Karma:

People call me all sorts of names—bad girl, black sheep, and my all-time favorite…Satan’s bride. I could blame the fact I’m a witch for my behavior, but the truth is I’m infuriating, arrogant, and stab-worthy.

Alex Remington is a hunter and everything I’m not—righteous, honest, caring. We used to have a thing, but that was before he learned I’m a witch and tried to kill me.

Eighteen months later, he’s back in my life and we have a deal; I’ll help him save his brother and he’ll disappear from my life for good. But karma can be a real bitch…


Pre-Order Now:

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | Barnes&Nobles | KOBO | Goodreads


Excerpt Reveal Teaser

Exclusive Excerpt:

For the longest time, I just stared at him. His perfect abs, the mesmerizing face, the fatal eyes—fuck, the guy was perfection. But this—us—was wrong. He was a hunter. I was a witch. He was gentle, good, and caring. I was a selfish, evil witch resented by my own mother .

“Amanda?” He stepped forward until we were eye to eye. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” I barked. “Just go back to bed, all right?”

He moved forward until we were chest to chest. “Sure about that?” His hands trailed down my arms. “The wall is so much more fun,” he said, kissing the edge of my lip.

My senses reeled. All I had to do was tell him we were over, but one touch, and I was a wet mess that hungered for more. “Alex,” I moaned as he reached for the hem of my shirt. “Please.”

Kissing the other side of my lip, he smiled. “Please touch me? Please leave me alone? Gotta be a bit more specific, Manda.”

When I didn’t reply, he pulled my shirt over my head and pushed me against the wall. Cupping my ass with rough hands, he trailed kisses down my neck.

I pressed my palms against his chest and wrapped my legs around his waist. Tension built in my belly as I felt his hard-on against my black lace panties. What in God’s name was wrong with me? One second I wanted to get as far away from him as possible, and the next I wanted him buried inside me. “Alex,” I choked out. “This is a bad idea.”

He carried me to the table. When he set me down, his eyes locked with mine. “With you, everything seems to be a bad idea.” His gaze dropped to my lips, and before I could say anything, his mouth covered mine.

He kissed me so hard, my head bent back. Desire spread through my body like a blazing fire, and no matter how hard I tried to fight it, I needed him.

Running my hands through his thick hair, I pressed my legs against his rock-hard ass and pulled him closer. “Alex,” I whispered against his lips. “I want you.” My chest rose and fell with excitement and nervousness.

“Say that again,” he ordered in a husky voice.

I pulled his boxers down. “I. Want. You.”



About the Author:

 Author Photo

Nadine aka Dini is a traveler at heart. She considers the world her home and practically lives out of her suitcases. When she’s not glaring at a blank page or abusing her poor keyboard, she spends her time reading, watching movies (preferably horror), pretends to work out, and hangs out with friends and family. Poor girl also suffers from a serious Marvel superhero addiction. So, if you run into her at night, wearing black, know she’s secretly dreaming of being the infamous Black Widow.

Her love for writing started in the sixth grade where she annoyed her classmates with a short story featuring Sailor Moon characters, a cemetery, and creepy ghosts. Yes, she’s always been addicted to the dark side. Nadine writes paranormal romance. Her debut novel “Karma” the first book in her paranormal romance series Drag.Me.To.Hell. is published by the Wild Rose Press and will be out in May 2016. She has a serious girl crush on her protagonist Amanda Bishop.

Nadine has a BA in Comparative Religions and studied Creative Writing at the University of Oxford.



Connect with Nadine:







Enter Nadine’s Giveaway:

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Lexington and 42nd by Kim Carmody

Today we have Lexington and 42nd by Kim Carmody! I’m so excited about this sexy new debut about set in the exciting world of the NFL. Check out the giveaway Kim is sharing and make sure to grab you copy today!


 Lexington and 42 RDL Banner

About Lexington and 42nd:


It was meant to be the job opportunity of a life time.

It turned out to be so much more…

At the age of twenty five, Emma Lexington takes off to New York on a once in a life time twelve-month job exchange with the New York Warriors. Determined to make the most of the opportunity, she prepares herself for life in the big apple—fast paced, exciting and a whole lot of fun. What she hasn’t prepare for though, is meeting him.

The charming Will Jensen is in the prime of his playing career. As the star quarterback for the Warriors, his carefree, football centric life is thrown into disarray when he meets Emma, the beautiful, easy going Australian girl who joins the Warriors staff.

Unwilling to throw her professional reputation away on a fling with the playboy quarterback, Emma turns down Will’s advances, even though she can’t deny the attraction she feels for him. Their pull toward one another grows, but it takes a near disaster for Emma to finally give Will a chance.

Getting together might have been hard, but figuring out how to stay together will prove even more challenging as Emma must decide between conflicting loyalties.

Lexington and 42nd is a fun, sexy romance, set in the exciting world of the NFL in the fabulous city of New York.

But it now!

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Exclusive Excerpt:

I jumped as Will’s hand brushed across my back.

“Hey, calm down. I’m not planning on groping you in here.” He shrugged, frowning. “I just wanted you to relax…you seem nervous.”

My shoulders fell, tension seeping from them as I shook my head. “I’m sorry, I am a little nervous. Today’s a big day for me.” I took a deep breath. If I wanted to clear the air, it was now or never. “And I’m sorry about last weekend. Things got a bit out of hand.”

Will leaned back against the desk, crossing his ankles. “No, you’re not the one who should be apologizing. I was out of line, and what I said wasn’t fair.” He shrugged. “I’m not saying I don’t find your reasoning frustrating, but if that’s how you really feel, I’ll back off.”

I nodded, finding it hard to meet his eyes. I hated the idea of him backing off but that was the very thing I’d asked him, no yelled at him, to do.

“I like you Em. We should be able to be friends. We get along well.”

I smiled, thinking how right he was. We did get along well. “Friends would be nice.”

He nodded. “Good, friends it is.”

“Yes, friends who refrain from dancing with each other.”

Will frowned. “We should still be able to dance together.”

I laughed. “Not the way you dance.” I felt my face go red just thinking about it. “I’m sorry, I’m just a little embarrassed about…you know…” my voice trailed off, unable to even consider verbalizing our last encounter. Innocent phrases like Texas or nightclub or dance floor felt like they should exist alongside other dirty words in some adults-only dictionary.

Will bent his head to meet my eyes. “If it helps, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about…you know…” His eyes ran down the length of my body and back up before widening deviously, and I had to lean against the desk to stop from sliding to the floor.

This man was going to destroy me and the worst thing was I was powerless to stop him.


About Kim Carmody:

Kim Carmody Headshot 1Kim Carmody lives in Australia with her husband, in a sunny little part of Melbourne that she never wants to leave. Except for frequent trips to New York, she is happy to leave at least once a year for those.

She holds a Masters in Commerce Marketing and while she spent her younger years training to become a professional dancer, she somehow ended up working in the sports industry, where she met her now husband.  Never a participant or spectator of sport growing up (she was too busy flitting around in a tutu), she has grown to appreciate, if not love many sports and eventually found herself writing about them too.

As an avid book lover from the moment she was introduced to The Babysitters Club as a seven year-old, Kim never expected to be able to call herself an author, but is beyond excited that she now can.

Lexington and 42nd is her first novel.


 Website  | Facebook  |Goodreads | Instagram: @kimmycarmody  | Email | Newsletter link




Enter Kim’s Giveaway:
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Blog Tour Schedule:

March 9th                         

LucyLicious Reads           Review

What Is That Book About            Excerpt

Aaly and The Books        Review

March 10th                      

Reviews from the Heart                              Review

An Aussie Girls WILD Book Addiction!    Excerpt

Adventures in Writing    Excerpt

March 11th                      

Collector of book boyfriends      Dreamcast

Wild Wordy Women      Excerpt

Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous                            Review

March 12th                      

Triple B’s Badass Book Boyfriends           Excerpt

Alpha Fangirl Book Blog                              Excerpt

Vagabonda Reads           Interview

March 13th                      

Garden of REden             Review

A Brit & A Yank                Review

Jen’s Reading Obsession                             Excerpt

March 14th                      

Have Words Will Scribble            Review

Ellesea Loves Reading    Excerpt

Reading Addict                Excerpt

March 15th                      

Kimmy Loves to Read    Excerpt

Liz’s Reading Life             Playlist

She’s a Lip Biter                Review

Southern Belle Book Blog            Excerpt

March 16th                      

Boundless Minds             Guest Post

SnoopyDoo’s Book Review          Excerpt

Delish, Devine and All Mine        Review

March 17th                      

Books Over Sleep            Review

Naomi’s Reading Palace               Review

March 18th                      

Silly, Sexy, Sassy and Occasionally Classy                            Review

mignon mykel : reviews                               Review

March 19th                      

Curled Up and Cozy        Review

StarAngels Reviews         Review

March 20th                      

Majorly Delicious             Review

Shelf_Life            Review

March 21st                       

Alpha Book Club              Review

Chelles Life In Books      Review

shawna shauntia             Excerpt

March 22nd                     

The Phantom Paragrapher          Review

The Power of Three Readers       Review

Crawling Over the Pages              Review

book review virginia lee                              Review

HEARTBREAKER InkSlinger PR Exclusive Excerpt Reveal & Pre-order Links

Heartbreaker Banner Pre-order

We’re thrilled to bring you an InkSlinger PR Exclusive Excerpt and pre-order links of Kat & Stone Bastion’s exciting new adult romance HEARTBREAKER. And be sure to check out the sexy BuzzFeed article!

HEARTBREAKER is set to release March 22, 2016!

Heartbreaker on Amazon US

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Amazon AU
iBooks | B&N US | B&N UK | Kobo

Heartbreaker on Goodreads

Release Date: March 22, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance / Sports Romance

Cover Designer: Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations
Image provided by: Love N. Books
Photographer: Scott Hoover
Model: Hollis W. Chambers


Kiki Michaelson wants one wild night to forget her starving-artist worries. Simple.

Only instead of Darren Cole becoming her one-night stand, he taunts her with a challenge. Then while she’s trying to best him at his own game, he turns out to be the last thing she’s prepared for: someone she wants to keep.

Which means all he can ever be…is a friend.

Darren Cole never allows a girl to get close—not close enough to matter.

Then storms in Kiki Michaelson, a beautiful, fearless temptation that rocks his world off-balance. But he fights their attraction, unwilling to gamble something physical with their close ties. Until the passionate sculptor exposes her heart and breaks his wide open.

In that moment it becomes clear: she could never be just a friend.

Sometimes what you run from…is exactly what you need.

Kiki & Darren in HEARTBREAKER - Image provided by Gel with Tempting Illustrations

Exclusive HEARTBREAKER Excerpt:

I watched his prone body lower, then lift.



My breath caught and my stride slowed as I drew closer. My mouth gradually fell open. My eyes widened.

Shirtless, baseball hat spun backward, hands sunk into silver metal pails of sand, he performed the most unique pushups I’d ever seen. His skin glistened with a sheen of perspiration under the section’s brighter lights. Taut muscles along his back, shoulders, and arms flexed under the strain of every measured drop and rise.

The world around me seemed to stop—except for him. Art in motion. Beauty in action. Every woman’s fantasy-come-to-life coalesced into one surreal moment where my mind fabricated my body beneath that incredible male form, under all that raw muscle and energy.

On the next downstroke, he paused. Then he glanced up. His gaze locked with mine.


Yet powerless to stop myself, I studied the rigid contours of muscle as he held that position. The artist in me flared to life, imagining those lines sketched in charcoal. His tattoo. My gaze lingered on three thick curving tribal-style crescents. The largest began at the base of his neck, where its tip fanned into multiple points. Two smaller crescents overlapped tips with the first, each arcing a different direction, one toward his back, the other curving beneath his arm.

My skin began to heat under the spotlight of his attention, and I burned the image into my memory for when I had a quiet moment, later.

My mouth had gone dry.

I swallowed hard.

Then I found my voice as my brain cells finally began to fire again. “Really? You invite me here and do that” —I gestured toward him with a wild wave of my fingers— “and I’m supposed to think only friendly thoughts?”

His lips twisted into a smirk. “Try.”

I forced my attention back to his face and held his stare. “All I see is sex on a stick.”

Oh, shit. I blurted that out loud.

His knees lowered to the floor, then he pulled his hands from the sand. “Try harder.”


Darren in HEARTBREAKER - Image provided by Gel with Tempting Illustrations

Kiki in HEARTBREAKER - Image provided by Gel with Tempting Illustrations

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Check Out the Fun BuzzFeed Article…
10 Best Drag Rhythm Songs for Sex:
A Playlist for Every Heartbreaker

Have You Joined Their Email Notification List?
Keep informed of new releases by signing up:
Kat & Stone Bastion’s Email Subscription

One lucky subscriber wins an eBook of their choice from the backlist AND a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card with each announcement.

About Kat & Stone Bastion:

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Kat Bastion won several awards for her bestselling debut novel Forged in Dreams and Magick.

Kat and Stone Bastion’s bestselling first novel No Weddings and the No Weddings series were named Best of 2014 by multiple romance review blogs.

When not defining love and redemption through scribed words, they enjoy spending their time mountain biking and hiking in the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Arizona.

Stay in touch with them on their social media pages…
Blog * Facebook * Kat’s Twitter * Stone’s Twitter * Website

J. Kenner’s IGNITED – Excerpt

J. Kenner has been revealing the first three chapters of IGNITED this past week and we’re so excited to share the sixth part of this reveal with you guys! IGNITED releases September 9th and we can’t wait for you to get your hands on!

If you missed the previous parts, you can catch up on J. Kenner’s blog or check out Read Love Blog for part one, Scandalicious Book Reviews for part two, Kelsey’s Corner Time for part three, About That Story for part four, and Under the Covers Book Blog for part five!

Be sure to check out Book Reviews and More by Kathy for the final part tomorrow!



He promised to take me as far as I could go—and I wanted to go to the edge.
My whole life has been a cover, a con, a lie. I was born into the grift, raised on the thrill of playing someone I’m not. As a rule, I never let anyone get too close—until Cole August makes it impossible for me to stay away.
Cole is tough, sexy, and intensely loyal, yet his secrets are dark and his scars run deep. Not many women can handle his past, or the truth behind his fierce demands. But something about him beckons me—and our desire is a game I must play.
I know he’s dangerous, that even his touch is trouble, but what is passion without a little risk?

Add it to your Goodreads list here!

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Excerpt – Part Six:

I watched as Sloane brushed her hand possessively over Tyler’s arm, then whispered something to him. He laughed, then kissed her cheek. She moved away from him to enter the party, and he stood for a moment, his gaze lingering on her as he watched her go.

Since I was watching Tyler, I didn’t realize that Sloane had been coming my way until she eased up beside me. “Any news on the house?”

“We close next week,”I said. “I’m suffering from mild terror that it’s all going to get ripped out from under me. Like we’ll find out that something is horribly wrong with the foundation. Or the sellers will back out. Or the loan will fall through.”

The house had started as a whim. My natural state is to be in constant motion, everything from my habit of fidgeting to my general tendency to uproot myself every few years and move to a new city.

Over the last six years, though, I’d eased off that last trait. Instead of bouncing out of Chicago, I’d just bounced between apartments.

A few months ago, I decided that living in a house could be fun. I’d started out looking solely at rentals, but once I saw the tiny two bedroom frame house, I knew it was like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. All it needed was a little love. More important, I knew it had to be mine.

I hadn’t even realized I’d been contemplating ownership until I’d picked up the real estate agent’s flyer, but I was tired of feeling uprooted. I wanted to settle. I wanted . . . more.

And now I was on the verge of having it.

Honestly, I liked the way that felt.

Sloane’s brow was furrowed as she pondered my words. “You’ve had the inspections, the tenants have already moved out and the sellers live—where? New Mexico, right? And I think you would have heard by now if there was something wrong with the loan.”She narrowed her eyes. “The employment stuff checked out okay, right?”

“Yeah, but talk about a snafu. The call must have come when Liz wasn’t here.”I’d hit Liz up before I told my little fib on the loan application, and she’d promised to back me if the underwriters called.

“Shit. What happened? Tyler didn’t say a thing to me.”

“Apparently Cole got the call.”

Her eyes widened. “Oh, really? When?”

“It’s been over a week.”

“And he didn’t say anything?”

“Not until just a few minutes ago,”I said.

She held her hands out, gesturing for me to continue. “Hello? What did he say?”

“That I owed him,”I admitted.

Her laugh was filled with pure delight. “Well, that’s convenient, isn’t it?”

“Excuse me?”

“If he said you owed him, you just need to ask him how he wants to get paid.”

I crossed my arms over my chest. “And what exactly are we talking about?”

“Oh, please, Kat. Don’t play coy. I’m a cop, remember? I know how to read people. And that goes for you, too, Katrina Laron, even though you think you’re impenetrable.”

I did think that, and it was a little disconcerting to know that I was wrong. This was why I’d spent most of my life avoiding making close friends. They got into the cracks of your life, knew you too well, and made you vulnerable. But Sloane was right—as a former cop, she was used to watching people and noting the details. More than that, it wasn’t that long ago that she’d been in a similar position, plotting out a way to seduce Tyler Sharp. Considering she and Tyler were now desperately in love and deliriously happy, I had to figure she understood the game.

She looked me up and down, the movement very deliberate. “Nice dress.”Her mouth curved in a wicked grin. “Seems like the kind of thing Cole would appreciate.”

“Bitch,”I said, but I was laughing.

“So other than the dress, what have you got in your repertoire?”

“Isn’t that the question of the day? You’re right about the intentions,”I admitted. “But I’m doing a piss-poor job on the execution.”I ran my fingers through my hair, remembered the clip too late, and cursed.

I gave her the rundown of what had happened in the gallery while I freed my hair and fluffed it with my fingers. “But I’m not sure if he was really interested, or if it’s just me being hopeful.”

“Please tell me you aren’t really that naive,”she said. “The guy’s completely gone on you.”

“You are such a liar,”I said. Frankly, I couldn’t imagine Cole being gone on anyone. He was too damn good at keeping everything in check. As far as I’d seen over the years, that temper was the only thing that managed to escape his walls—and even that burst out like a rocket and was quickly snuffed.

“I’ve seen his face when he looks at you,”she said. “Or, more accurately, I’ve seen his face when he looks at you and you’re not looking back.”Her mouth quirked up. “You know as well as I do that Cole doesn’t give anything away that he doesn’t have to.”

“There’s one of the century’s biggest understatements.”

“I’m serious,”she said. “When Tyler looks at me the way I’ve seen Cole look at you, I know to expect a very long night, with very little sleep.”

“Oh.”I drew in a breath, then licked suddenly dry lips. “That’s something,”I added, unable to keep the smile out of my voice. “Thanks.”

“Sure,”she said. “But, listen. Are you—”She cut herself off with a shrug. “Never mind.”

“Oh, no,”I said. “No way are you pulling that with me. You’ve got something to say, and it’s about me or it’s about Cole. And I want to know.”

“It’s just—are you sure about this? And why now?”

“Yes,”I said, because despite my nervous moments and hesitations, I’d never been more sure about anything. I took her arm and steered her to a far corner, where there were no paintings displayed on the walls and therefore no guests to overhear us. “And as for now, I don’t think I have a choice anymore. I can’t get him out of my head,”I admitted. “He’s getting into my dreams. I’ve never had a guy get this far under my skin, and it’s driving me a little bit crazy.”

“So this is an exorcism?”

“Maybe. Hell, I don’t know. Why?”

“Because we’re friends, Kat. All of us. Me and Tyler, Angie and Evan. And even you and Cole. I don’t want it to get weird, and I don’t want—”She shook her head. “Sorry, that’s none of my business. Shouldn’t go there.”

No way was I letting her get away with that. “Go where?”

“I just don’t want you to get hurt,”she said.

“What are you talking about?”

She dragged her fingers through her hair. “I just happen to know that Cole doesn’t date. I don’t want you disappointed. And—to be perfectly selfish—I don’t want to lose the dynamic between the six of us.”

“I don’t, either,”I said truthfully. “But I need to do this.”I didn’t try to explain that if I didn’t, the dynamic between us would change anyway. I’d crossed a mental line, and no matter what, I couldn’t go back to being Friendly Kat, the girl with the secret crush on Cole. Because this wasn’t a crush. This was a need. This was a hunger. I’d opened Pandora’s box, and even if I’d wanted to, I couldn’t shove everything back inside.

“What do you mean he doesn’t date?”I pressed.

“That’s what Tyler told me. He fucks,”she said with a quirk of her brow. “But he doesn’t date.”

“That’s part of what makes him perfect,”I admitted, because although I had no way of knowing for sure, I’d watched him long enough and intently enough to guess that Cole was at least as fucked up as I was. “I just want to scratch this itch. And if you’re right, then Cole has the same itch, and this should work out just fine.”

“So you’re just looking for a fuck buddy?”She narrowed her eyes, obviously dubious.

“Yeah,”I said, though I hadn’t really put it in those terms before. “Yeah, I guess I am.”

“Kat . . . ”She trailed off, and there was no way to miss the censure in her voice.


“That’s a load of total bullshit.”

“No,”I said firmly, “it’s not.”And it wasn’t. I’d admit—at least to myself—that the attraction I felt for Cole pulsed hard and drove deep. But that didn’t mean I wanted to date the man—or, more specifically, it didn’t mean that I would date him, no matter how much I might want it.

Not that I could explain all of that to Sloane. We might have become friends since she’d rolled into town late last summer, but no way was I opening my closet so she could see all of my skeletons.

I didn’t need a degree in psychology to know I was fucked up, and I didn’t need a degree in human sexuality to know that I wanted Cole’s hands on me. The second one I could do something about. The first one I just had to live with.

“Trust me, Sloane,”I said, hoping that I wasn’t about to screw up royally. “I know what I’m doing.”

For a second she didn’t answer, then she nodded. “It’s your life. Go get him.”

I laughed, then signaled to a passing waiter. He paused in front of me, and I grabbed a glass of chardonnay.

I held up my finger as I downed it, silently signaling the waiter to stay. Then I exchanged my empty glass for a full one. “Liquid courage,”I said, more to Sloane than the waiter, though his lips twitched as well.

He tilted his head in both acknowledgement and farewell, then slid off into the crowd. I watched him go, knowing that my turn was next. Because Cole was somewhere in that throng, too.

I caught Sloane’s eye, and took strength from her encouraging grin. “Here goes nothing,”I said, then moved away from her and back toward the throng, determined to see this through.

It took a moment, but I finally found Cole surrounded by a group of well-heeled guests, all of whom were gazing with rapturous expressions at a canvas that seemed to be in motion, it was so full of color and life. I couldn’t hear Cole, but I saw the animation in his face, the way he got when he spoke of art.

He used his hands, his body, and with every word and motion he captured the crowd. Hell, he captured me, too, and I moved closer and closer, until finally I could hear his words and I just stood there, letting his smooth voice roll over me and give me courage.

After a moment, he wrapped up his spiel and left the guests to contemplate the painting on their own. When he did, he turned and saw me, and I felt the impact of that connection all the way to my toes.

There’d been heat between us earlier tonight—of that I no longer had any doubt. But Cole had been in control then. This time, I’d caught him unaware, and I could plainly see the pulsing hunger that raged through him as he took in the sight of me.

About J. Kenner

Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York TimesUSA TodayPublishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures. 

Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries. 

J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.

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Denise Grover Swank’s BUSINESS AS USUAL – Prologue Reveal!!

We are extremely excited to share the Cover and Prologue Reveal for BUSINESS AS USUAL by Denise Grover Swank! BUSINESS AS USUAL is the third book in her Off The Subject Series.  BUSINESS AS USUAL releases April 10th! Add it to your TBR pile ASAP!

Business As Usual Cover



Business as Usual Prologue by Denise Grover Swank


Lexi Pendergraft has given up on finding love after a disastrous encounter with her last boyfriend. Instead, she focuses on two things: One, setting up a summer program for underprivileged middle-school aged students. And the second, getting to the bottom of her brother Reed’s recent strange behavior. His secret is destroying his relationship with his fiancée Caroline, and Lexi will do anything to help him save it. Especially after he gave up his dream to give Lexi a chance at a semi-normal college experience, something her parents threatened to steal from her after her rape a year ago.
Ben Masterson is determined to make it through his final semester of his senior year at Southern University. After recently losing his full ride scholarship, he’s suffering from sleep deprivation while trying to keep up with his mechanical engineering courses and working three part time jobs. He thinks he’s lucked out getting a job in the university math lab. The only problem is his boss—Reed Pendergraft.

As part of a role in a community theater play, Lexi wears a black wig and feels a confidence she hasn’t experienced in over a year. When she wears it to a bar close to the theater, she doesn’t think Ben, a bartender there, recognizes her. While Ben’s intrigued about what she’s up to, he’s smart enough to stay far away from his overprotective boss’s sister. Until fate forces him to help her, but why won’t she tell him her real identity?

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Cathryn Farley PhotographyAbout Denise Grover Swank:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period.  Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.)  Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks.  She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

You can find out more about Denise and her other books at: www.denisegroverswank.com.



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