ANALIESE RISING by Brenda Drake New Release BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – WIN A $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD – Open Internationally

Title: Analiese Rising

Author: Brenda Drake

Published by: Entangled Teen

Publication date: January 8th 2019

Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

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Half-Blood meets Antigoddess in a thrilling, romantic new series from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Drake.

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.

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EXCERPT:

The classroom smells like a funeral home.

Hushed voices pulse over the pairs of students hunching over trays spaced across the counters. The odor of bodies fresh out of gym class mingles with the scent of formaldehyde.

Hair dampens at my temples. A crematory would be cooler.

Not many have finished their assignments. Only a few overachievers sit in the rows of empty desks on the other side of the room, their tasks completed, proud smiles on their faces.

Mrs. Cryer shuffles around the tables watching over us—a reaper waiting for lost souls, her bony finger pointing out errors. She shuffles around with purpose. She shuffles around without direction. Then she stops at our table, her eyes peering over reading glasses.

“Mr. Bove and Miss Jordan, you two are falling behind,” she says, a disapproving tsk in her voice. She only uses last names when she wants to emphasize her warning. “Best hurry before class ends.”

She continues shuffling around.

Biology is my least favorite class. Mrs. Cryer’s assignments are outdated. It’s her last year teaching, her retirement long overdue. Stern and direct, she’s not the sort of teacher I usually like, but I do. There’s an underlying kindness to Mrs. Cryer. A kindness hiding in her eyes, evident in her actions.

One of the things I like about my school: my brother, Dalton, is in the same grade. We’re not twins or anything. Actually, we’re cousins. His parents adopted me when mine were killed in a boating accident on Lake Como in Italy. I don’t remember them. I was two when that all went down.

The thing I hate about school: Dalton’s in my biology class.

“Come on, Ana.” Dalton slides the dissection tray closer to me. “I did all the setup. Just make the first cut.”

The little green body looks rubbery—almost fake—crucified to the tray with pins as it is. I push strands of dark hair from my face with a latex-gloved hand. I could’ve opted out of this barbaric ritual of separating body parts from an innocent frog.

Why did I even agree to this?

Author Bio:

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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DUTY COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY – WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

Title: DUTY

Author: BETHANY-KRIS

Andino + Haven, #1
Publication Date: October 8, 2018
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance

Cover Credits: Mykel Mignon at Oh So Novel

SYNOPSIS

They say heavy is the head that wears the crown …

Andino Marcello’s world is turned upside down when he becomes the next heir apparent to the Marcello empire. He was comfortable in his place as a Capo, but comfort is for the weak in the world of mafioso. The boss’s seat is waiting. It takes meeting a tattooed beauty who has no idea who Andino is or the criminal legacy he now carries beneath his three-piece suits, and charming smile for him to finally bend the rules set out for him. That doesn’t mean he can keep her.

They say things that never challenge you won’t change you …

Haven Murphy is doing her own thing, and she does it well. The owner of a successful Brooklyn strip club, she makes it her only goal to never fail. She’s just trying to live her life when a morning jog puts her face to face with a man that will change the direction of her life with a single conversation. She knows there’s a dark side to him beyond his good looks, and three-piece suits, but it’s hard for her to care when she wants him. That doesn’t mean he can be hers.

He’s going to break her heart; she’s going to keep his.

Because duty waits on no one.

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: DUTY

“Bad things happen to people who aren’t paying attention,” the woman said.

Andino nodded. “That’s true.”

She gave him another look, adding, “I guess the bad guys probably don’t wear three-piece suits, or walk their dogs in the middle of broad daylight.”

Funny.

Hadn’t he just killed a man a couple of days ago? Didn’t he have a gun hidden at his back? Wasn’t he just told he would be the heir to a criminal empire?

That all spelled bad guy to him.

Just in different ways.

“Life is busy,” Andino said, whistling after for Snaps to come back. Unquestioningly, the dog left the woman’s side, and came back to his master to sit patiently at Andino’s leather loafers. “Too busy for me, maybe. I don’t like change, but someone decided something recently that changed everything for me. Walking Snaps clears my head.”

The woman crossed her arms over her chest, and it drew Andino’s attention to the colorful artwork tattooed up her arms. Full sleeves on both arms, ink covering her throat, and traveling down to where the baggy tank top dipped low on her chest.

Damn.

He wondered what kind of stories her ink told.

Something amazing, probably.

“You should take a break, then, stranger who wears a three-piece suit to walk his dog.” Her tone was half-amused, and half-teasing. “You looked happy right before I interrupted—I bet Snaps would like you to take a break, too.”

“I—”

Andino’s phone buzzed with a call—he cursed as he shoved his hand into his pocket, and pulled the offensive device out to check the call.

Dante.

The boss.

No shunning a boss.

It was a rule.

He turned slightly to make his shoulder face the woman as he picked up the call. “Yeah, boss, what can I do for you?”

“Nothing you can’t handle, I am sure.”

The last thing Andino wanted to do was handle business. Any kind of business. He thought of the woman, and her words. Maybe she had a fucking point.

“Actually, I need a couple of weeks,” Andino said.

“Excuse me?” Dante asked.

“Yeah, I need a break.”

“For …?”

“At this point, whatever the hell I want. And anything that is not in this city.”

He needed to get away, and just … relax. Maybe then he wouldn’t get so snappy when his mother asked about women in his life, or whatever. Maybe then he might start to feel better about this whole fucking boss thing.

“Is this about the business, and la famiglia again, Andi?”

“Do you really need me to answer that?”

“You’re the right choice,” Dante said quietly. “The best choice. And you know it.”

“Fact remains. You’ve upended what I thought was my life. I need time to adjust.”

Dante sighed harshly, and Andino knew then he was going to get what he wanted. After all, Dante would want to keep him happy.

This was a two-way street.

A give and take.

“Fine, but—”

“No buts,” Andino interjected. “A break is a fucking break.”

“Has your father ever told you that you’re a demanding little shit?”

“Yes, and also that it suits me.”

Dante grumbled under his breath, but Andino was pretty sure his uncle said, “He’s not wrong.”

“Yeah, well—”

“Take your break.”

Dante hung up the phone without a goodbye. Andino wished he could say he was surprised. Turning on his heel to apologize and say goodbye to the woman who had been at the mouth of the connecting trail, he found the spot empty.

And the woman gone.

Fuck.

He hadn’t even gotten her name.

Snaps looked up at Andino with his big, dark eyes—ready and willing to find yet another stick to be thrown for him, probably.

“Where did she go?” Andino asked his dog.

Snaps simply wagged his stubby tail.

Thanks for the help, buddy.

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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RIBBON OF LIGHT – COVER REVEAL AND GIVEAWAY – Win an Amazon Gift Card

Ribbon of Light

Begin Again Series, Book 3

by Claire Yezbak Fadden

Publication Date: September 13, 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords

Julie Rafferty’s life-long dream is within her grasp. But just as the toy company she founded verges on becoming a multi-million-dollar enterprise, her husband abandons their marriage.

Trevor had no choice but to walk away from Julie. How else could he show his wife that the business was her priority, not him and their three children? His drastic stunt backfires though, jeopardizing the family business and seemingly pushes Julie into the arms of a younger man.

Just when Julie and Trevor find their way back to each other, a ruthless competitor escalates a bogus lawsuit. Together they plot to reclaim control of the toy company, only to uncover a shattering betrayal that puts them in unimaginable danger.

Can they overcome their dreadful mistake and reclaim the passion, trust and commitment that once drew them together? Or will the greed of an evil man irreparably destroy everything they hold dear?

About Claire Yezbek Fadden

When she’s not playing with her granddaughters, Pennsylvania native Claire Yezbak Fadden is writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature strong women who overcome life’s challenges, always putting their families first. There’s a special spot in Claire’s heart for carousel horses – quite possibly the result of watching “Mary Poppins” 13 times as a young girl. She loves butterflies, ladybugs and confetti! Just ask anyone who’s received a birthday card from her. The mother of three lives in Orange County, California with her husband, Nick and three spoiled dogs. Claire’s work as an award-winning journalist, humor columnist and editor has appeared in more than 100 publications across the United States, Canada and Australia. Ribbon of Light is the third novel in her Begin Again series.

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STRATUS BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY

Stratus
Fallen Skies Book 1
by Miranda Brock
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Lily Calhoun wants nothing more than some excitement on her quiet,

small-town life. When she gets caught in a storm one afternoon she

gets more than she bargained for. Excitement suddenly falls into her

life, literally.

Stratus is mysterious, fun, and has a danger to him that Lily finds herself

drawn to. Learning that he is either a demon or an angel only makes

him more irresistible. But when strangers start turning up dead in

her town, Lily begins to fear her new found flame may be the cause.

Caught in a tempest of lies, secrets, and betrayals, Lily must discover who

Stratus really is behind his stormy eyes. Is it an angel who will win

her heart, or will it be a demon who stakes his claim?

**Only .99 cents!**
From an early age Miranda Brock has always loved fantasy and adventure everything. Since she doesn’t live in a world of enchanting powers, mythical beasts, and things unbelievable she has decided to write about them.

Born in southern Illinois, where she still resides with her husband and two children, she grew up running through the woods,

playing in creeks, and riding horses. What started out as writing poetry grew into short stories and eventually led to her first novel, Souls Discovered.

Miranda lives in the country where she finds inspiration in the simplicity and beauty around her. With the help of a ridiculous amount of coffee and some good music she writes whenever she gets a chance.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:
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VIBRANT AWAKENING BLOG BLITZ and AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!

Title: Vibrant Awakening

Series: The Prismatic Order, #1

Author: Tiffany Ransier

Publication Date: April 30, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

I’m Rose, the quiet loner girl.
I’ve lived a normal life.
Moving from private school to public school was never supposed to change my life this much.

Being the president of a new club, finding the boy of my dreams – Trevor, making more friends than I’ve ever had in my whole life, and unfortunately my own personal bully
Life was pretty ordinary until…

My body starts to change.
And I’m not the only one.
Strange things happen to all of us.

People are going missing and then their bodies appear.

Someone is watching my friends.

Someone is watching me.

Waiting for the perfect moment to strike…

Life can never go back to being normal.

About Tiffany Ransier

Tiffany Ransier is a multi genre author.

She loves diving into different worlds and making theories about books and shows. You will find her work incorporates that.

She lives in SoCal with her parents and younger brother. Her boyfriend is James Ransier, another author. They are the parents of an adorable Siberian Husky/Shiba Inu named Peg.

When she’s not writing stories or reading, she’s going to school to become a doctor – an ob/gyn.

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ISAN BOOK BLITZ and GIVEAWAY

ISAN
Mary Ting
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.

SCIENTISTS WARNED IT WOULD HAPPEN.

Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into our quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.

Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her “better.” To receive the serum, Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.

While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.

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EXCERPT:

When the bodyguard with the gun directed the weapon at Roxy, something dangerous ignited in me knowing my team would be next. This foreign existence in my core wanted blood. It wanted death. It wanted destruction. I became a monster. Helix transformed me into a shallow shell to servitude—a perfect model of ISAN assassin.

I pulled my gun from the side of my boot and took aim. The bodyguard who had shot Roxy’s team went down first, followed by the others.

Don’t look at their faces. Don’t make eye contact. But I did look at their faces, and I did make eye contact.

Each guard held my foster father’s cruel face, his steel malevolent eyes. I saw the man who ripped the happiness out of my soul, who towered over me into submission, and molded me into a terrified little girl. For a heartbeat I froze, knees buckling, heart palpitating with trepidation and regret. I became that little girl. A rat, he had called me, and beat me until I stopped crying from missing my mother.

No more. No more. I am no longer that petrified girl.

Then, one after the other, as hunger for revenge drove me, as if each of the men was him, I shot them until they were all down.

 

Author Bio:

International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

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GOLDEN GREMLIN BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY

Book Details:

Book Title: Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers

Author: Rod A. Walters

Category: Adult Non-Fiction

Length: 228 pages

Genre: Humor

Publisher: Omega Man Press

Release date: November 2016

Tour dates: Feb 12 to 23, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Mild and indirect innuendo to both sex genitalia, a short essay about the fictional “AssBook,” an essay on current health-care talk, a teaser “is his cord long enough?” to get readers to choose a short piece on electric cars next, etc.)

Book Description:

Written to make Dave Barry, Lily Tomlin, and Ben Stein laugh, Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers delivers the experience of a balanced life, and the wisdom to like most of it, and then laugh at the rest of it. What the heck, Barry lives in Miami, habitat of geezers, and Ben Stein is one. The world really needs that push, vigorous or gentle, from misanthropes & geezers, the world’s most valuable golden gremlins. Misanthropes pretend to not like or need other people, but in reality, they merely prefer their own company much of the time. Geezers, aside from that silly name, also like their own company quite well. Both share the virtue of seeing the world calmly. You get pointy bite-sized life pointers from these experienced gremlins, told in easy bite-size chunks. Laughter included in the price! Two out of three wouldn’t be bad either.

Life is good! So laugh a little at yourself on the way through these pointy essays, and that will buy your laughing at the world’s simpler parts, guilt-free.

Golden Gremlin comprises about 70 short essays bundled into six topic areas:

NATURE: boys, ugly drivers, and coffee cups in the ‘fridge.

WORDS: the real meaning of Caucasian and Genre.

BUSINESS: deafness at the economics conference, and getting on AssBook.

KITCHENS: sushi chefs, and truth about manna.

HISTORY: when Hell froze, and Attila the Honey.

Golden boy gets to be GOLDEN GREMLIN: experience overcomes certainty.

What things could possibly be more important!

To read reviews, please visit Rod A Walters’ page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

MY REVIEW:

Firstly I would like to thank both the author and iRead Blog Tours for providing me with a copy of this book.

I enjoyed reading the humourous opinion pieces in this book. GOLDEN GREMLIN: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers made me laugh out loud numerous times while reading and nothing is better for the soul than a good laugh.

This book was written with the silver-haired set in mind. Author Rod A. Walters has taken the wisdom he has learned through his long life and turned that into essays, stories, poetry and even songs. My favorite piece is a short poem about dog poop which you will need to buy the book to read.

This book will both inform and entertain readers and is a fun and funny read.

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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About the Author:
Rod Walters lives and writes in upstate New York to prove he can be an all-season writer. Since he wants everybody to be all-season persons no matter her or his circumstance, his writing aims sharply toward the practical—without turning into one of those godawful do it ma’ way authors. Life, after all, is practical hour by hour. Self-described as “old enough to know better, and he probably is,” his former life as Army officer, engineer, and administrative assistant could not have better prepared him to write both light and more serious short pieces pointing to creating a balanced life. Chuckling at yourself usually makes a good takeoff, he says. Giving up having to be certain makes for a good landing, especially for one’s friends! Then again, who the heck wants to live a balanced life? Mostly everybody does. That’s why he now writes. Although many friends nudge and badger him to be a Facebook and Twitter butterfly, he tries not to spend many numbing hours a day with circular keyboard tapping. Writing works better.Connect with the Author: Website
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Giveaway:

Prizes: Win a paperback copy of Golden Gremlin. One winner will also receive a $25 Amazon GC. 5 winners total / open to wherever Amazon ships

(Ends March 3, 2018)

STEEL by J.L. Lora COVER REVEAL and GIVEAWAY – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an eBook

STEEL

by J.L. Lora
The Trinity, #3
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Cartel, Organized Crime

#PREORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

SYNOPSIS:

Only the Devil you know has the power to really hurt you.

Strong, daring, and loyal to a fault, Amelia Solis is the soul of The Trinity. Yet, this leader of New York’s top cartel has become a pawn in the game of revenge. All to hurt Leandro, the man she wants more than life but cannot be with.

The enemy’s always watching, biding his time.

Leandro Masseur, Lieutenant in the McLean crime family, earned his position through loyalty, shrewd business, and ruthlessness. His enemies never see the bullet until it’s ready to lodge between their eyes. When a dead woman is found in Amelia’s bed, his world is flipped off its axis.

Their Devil knows what buttons to push.

Four women will die before a killer finishes a macabre target list, with Amelia as his crown piece. Leandro and Amelia must dodge the barrage of bullets and bombs to keep her safe. Tragedy has left them scarred and broken. But love won’t be denied, won’t wait, and Leandro won’t stop fighting for a chance. The only woman he’s ever loved has been marked for death. Leandro won’t let that happen.

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EXCERPT

I never needed a drink to sleep before. Not the day I shot my first guy right through the eyes. Not during the years Sebastian tried to turn me into his little bitch. Not after I got shot, and it’d hurt like a motherfucker. I hadn’t needed a drink to sleep then.

Until Amelia Solis stormed into my life. It was bye-bye Leandro Masseur.

One fucking day, an elevator door opened and her laughter pealed out. God witnesses daily how much I wish I had never turned around to see her step out of that elevator. Every fucking thing in my life went to shit, dragged and smeared around at her will. One look at her and I’d fallen through a hole full of obsessions, eating all my player promises.

Never-love-them-Leo would never fall in love with a woman, let a woman call the shots, or spend hours thinking about a woman.

So how the hell do I, of all the fools in the world, find myself here? Waking up feeling like shit and worshiping at the altar of a woman determined not to be with me. The answer is simple and complicated.

Yes, it was the painted-on-her-skin, black dress that spotlighted her curves. And yes, it was the way she walked to a sexy beat like a Maxwell song. And yes, it was her Coke-can-red lips, weapons more dangerous than the knife she carried in her leather boot strap or purse or in a sheath under her skirts.

Last night, again, she’d driven me to the understanding, comforting arms of whiskey. Noah married Gia, but Amelia tells me we cannot be. We cannot be, but she eye-fucks me as our friends take their vows. I don’t blame her. I feasted on her, like a homeless man looking through the glass of a bakery. The things I did to her with my eyes and mind…me, her, the priest, the tent, the flowers, the chairs, all should have been on fire.

But no, the wedding’s over and she hightails it back to New York with some bullshit excuse about checking on her friend Byanca.

My phone beeps again. I snatch it and almost fall off the bed when I see her name. My heart jabs at my chest and I turn into a boy again. That’s what she does to me.

I’m sorry, her text says. I want to slam my phone against the wall, over and over until it shreds into plastic and wiry ribbons. I flip the cell on the bed away from me like it offends me. I lay back down, contemplating texting her back, telling her not to worry about me. I won’t be bothering her with my attention anymore. Leandro Masseur will go back to not begging her. She can have all the space she wants. As a matter of fact, I’ll give her more. I’ll be so distant that it’ll make all the states between New York and California seem like a stroll down the block.

A scream bounces off the walls and my heart punches through my chest. My hand palms the Glock under my pillow, my head already calculating where it came from, how to get there, if the hallway’s clear.

Everyone in the house scrolls through my mind at once. Alec, the twins, but my mind settles on Carissa. I don’t know when I left the bed. My next breath, I’m at the door, securing the hallway and making my way to the home office. Carissa wails, prickling every pore in my body and I know it’s bad. Bad enough to make my stomach clench because I don’t know what it is, or who.

Who, because someone’s dead.

ABOUT J.L. LORA

J. L. Lora is a Dominican-American author. Her stories explore the dark side of good characters, people living in the gray areas of life while playing the cards life has dealt them. She loves strong heroines and their equally powerful Men. She currently lives in Maryland, pursuing her dream of writing compelling, sexy, can’t-put-down stories about empowered, badass alpha heroines and take-your-breath-away alpha heroes

If you wish to know more information about J. L. Lora, you can visit her website: www.JLLora.com.

You can also sign up for J. L. Lora’s newsletter for news, releases, events, more information, and extras related to Boss, Made, and The Trinity Series. Visit www.JLLora.com/newsletter to sign up and never miss a thing!

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DARE TO BREATHE by S.B. Alexander BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – WIN A $100 AMAZON GIFT CARD

Dare to Breathe

The Maxwell Series
by S.B. Alexander
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read for FREE in KindleUnlimited: Amazon

Eternal love is worth waiting for.

Since Lacey Robinson trekked off to college four years ago, Kade Maxwell has worried non-stop that her blackouts and panic attacks would destroy her independence. But with her graduation on the horizon, he begins to relax, knowing she’ll soon be back in his arms. He’s excited to do the one thing he’s been longing to do-propose. But when he surprises her the day before graduation, he may be walking away instead.

Lacey was practically born with a baseball in one hand and a mitt on the other. The only time she hasn’t played was after the death of her mom and sister. The uphill climb to get back to pitching was painful, and if it weren’t for Kade, she might not have made it. Now, a major league team is interested in her, but she knows that her sexy bad boy wants to get married.

Fate is throwing curveballs at Kade and Lacey. Will they be brave enough to swing for love’s homerun?

This is the final installment of Kade and Lacey’s story. It’s highly recommended that Dare to Kiss and Dare to Dream be read before reading Dare to Breathe.

Intended for audiences 18+ Strong language and sexual content.

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Dare to Kiss (#1) | Dare to Dream (#2) | Dare to Love (#3) | Dare to Dance (#4)

About S.B. Alexander

S.B. Alexander is a bestselling romance author. Her books are filled with stories that tug at your heart, and are filled with romance, drama, action and suspense. As much as she loves to write, she also loves to read. Some of her favorite authors growing up were Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe. She stills enjoy reading Stephen King. In fact, she loves most genres, although in the past three years she has gravitated toward the romance genre, which is when she started her journey to write her first book. Her motto: write what you love to read.

Aside from writing, she’s a huge sports fan, in particular, baseball. Since she hails from New England, she is a diehard Red Sox fan. She’s also a navy veteran and former math teacher, loves white powdered donuts, and handbags. Her husband calls her the bag lady. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing golf and hanging out with friends and family.

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VALENTINE’S DAY ROMANCE – 12 Days of Clean Romance Books – Blog Tour & Giveaway

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s
in your Heart, Only A Kiss, When Sparks Fly, All That Glitters, and Someday
With You. She has also written several short stories. Among them are “Plain
Vanilla,” “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica:
Love Notes from a Festival, “Things I’ll Never Say,” part of the Summit Books
anthology Coming of Age, and “Before the Sun Rises,” part of the Ateneo
University Press anthology Friend Zones.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone
magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher.
She is also a wife and mom who lives in the Philippines with her husband and
two little girls. Her books are available digitally on Amazon and Buqo.ph.

Connect with the Author here:

Twenty-four-year-old photographer’s
apprentice Regina has always felt like the plain, dull orange next to the shiny
red apple that is her best friend Lana. But then she meets Ben—the first guy to
ever break Lana’s heart, and the first guy to ever make Regina feel that he
only has eyes for her.

As Regina finds herself falling hard for Ben, she also
finds herself breaking all the rules of best-friendship. Will she give up the
love of her life for Lana, or will she finally realize that she deserves her
share of the spotlight, too?

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Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Regina Salvador wasn’t too sure what she
was doing at El Tomador on a work night. She had to be up and on location early
the next morning, which was going to be in, oh, maybe three hours—the Philippine
sun did have a habit of rising before six a.m. But she had promised her best
friend Lana Lucero she’d be there to support her. To support her as she drank
three boys under the table in a freaking drinking contest. Which just so
happened to take place in a dark bar, hidden along one of the shadier streets
of Makati, reeking of smoke and blasting grunge. What was this? A throwback to
their college days?

Through narrowed
eyes, she watched Lana chug down another tumbler of beer, the frothy amber liquid
dribbling down the sides of her mouth, running down her neck, and soaking
through the neckline of her white tank top, probably staining it forever. Why
her friend thought she had to do these things, she would never know. When Lana
triumphantly held the tumbler up and turned it face down to the whoops and
cheers of the thickening crowd, Regina felt someone jostle her arm, causing her
to lose her balance.

“Watch it!” she
snapped, feeling the beginnings of a tirade gathering in the middle of her
chest, just waiting to be released. She was tired and worried about Lana. She
didn’t want to acknowledge it, but she thought she knew why her best friend was
there. Regina didn’t even want to admit it to herself because that would mean
her best friend had it really bad, but at the back of her mind, there was a
nagging voice whining for attention, chanting one name: Ben. Ben. Ben. Ben
Marquez who didn’t call her back after turning her world upside down and making
her believe that she was the one—the one who was going to change him, the one
who was going to make him forget about all the other girls in his life, the one
he was finally going to settle down with—at their ripe old age of twenty-four.
Right.

Regina had no
idea who this Ben Marquez was. She had been out of town on another shoot when
it apparently had all taken place. She was training to be a photographer under
Paulo Javellana, one of the most sought-after lensmen in Manila. When she had
gotten back from a beach shoot in Boracay, a gorgeous island of powdery white
sand and clear blue water that was gaining popularity, Lana was already in
tears. She had fallen in love, she said. She had finally found him. The one.
The guy she was going to give up her wild, carefree days and take up an apron
and a spatula for. Regina was sure Lana didn’t even know what a spatula was.

Lana had met him
at this very bar, El Tomador, where their college friends hung out every
Wednesday night after work. He was someone’s friend from high school and had
wanted a change of scene. They’d had a drinking contest and he’d won. Lana was
smitten. No one had ever beaten her before. That was all it took. She was his.
But a few days later (“Days? How can you know you’ve found forever in a few
days?” Regina was incensed. Her irresponsible best friend had always been
flighty but this was the worst she’d seen her), he was gone. Not a call, not a
text message, not an email. She actually began stalking him, driving by his
apartment and dropping by places she thought she’d find him in. This was one of
those places. And when Regina heard what she was planning to do, she insisted
on coming along. No way was Lana going to make an utter fool of herself without
backup, without someone to take her home at the very least.

So here she was,
ready to snap someone’s head off just because he had bumped into her. “I’m so
sorry. Did I hurt you?” He had puppy dog eyes. Round, dark brown, and piercing.
Regina blinked, imagining herself getting lost in those warm pools, the angry
words fizzling out on her tongue.

“Uh, no, I…” she
stammered, unable to tear her gaze away. Well, he didn’t seem to be looking
anywhere else either.

When he broke
into a relieved grin, she found herself smiling too, the tirade all but a
distant memory. What was wrong with her? She’d seen cute guys before, kissed a
few of them too. But this one’s eyes made her feel as if she weren’t in a noisy
bar worrying about her best friend drowning her brain cells in alcohol.

“Did you want
another drink?” He gestured toward her empty glass. Which had been filled with
water earlier.

Regina twisted
her lips in a grimace. “No, I can’t. I have to be at the bus terminal at five.”

“Five this
morning?” His eyebrows shot up. “That’s like three hours away.”

“Yeah. I like
living dangerously.” She felt her lips twitch.

He laughed. And
she felt as if she had hit all three cherries on a slot machine. She usually
didn’t talk to strange guys in a bar, especially those with eyes that pulled
you in like magnets. But then again.

“I think a cup of
coffee is your best bet.” He didn’t even wait for her to agree. He wove his way
through the heated bodies cheering someone else on and asked the bartender for
the unexpected drink.

Regina watched
him walk away. He was in a long-sleeved blue shirt and dark pants. He probably
worked in an office or something boring like that. She rebelled against what
she called the corporate life. She hated dressing in clothes people wore to an
office. She had no idea what they consisted of anyway, unless Paulo had to
shoot them for a magazine spread. But otherwise, she lived in jeans, oversized
t-shirts, and Doc Martens. With the ease in his movements, this guy looked like
he lived in office clothes. She could easily picture him in jeans and a tee
though. And that made her smile.

“Reg! What are you
smiling at? Why weren’t you watching me?” a slightly slurry Lana yelled in her
ear.

Regina’s smile
dropped from her face and she grabbed her best friend’s upper arms, shaking her
slightly. “Are you okay?”

“God, Reg, what’s
wrong with you? Of course, I’m okay!” Lana swung herself free from Regina’s
grasp. “I won! And you didn’t even see!”

That’s right. She
didn’t. She was too busy being charmed by… where was he anyway? She looked
behind her, convinced that Lana would understand once she met him. But he
seemed to have disappeared. Was she that exhausted that she had imagined him?

“You!”

“Hi, Lana.
Congratulations.”

Regina spun
around to see who Lana was shooting daggers at with her wide, flaming eyes. Her
heart sank to her stomach when she saw who it was. He was smiling at her best
friend, holding coffee in a paper cup.

“Is that for me?”
The anger in Lana’s face was receding, as if she was willing to accept a peace
offering from him. Any peace offering.

But he didn’t
take the hint. Or maybe, wouldn’t.

“No, this is
for…” He turned to Regina and smiled again. “I’m sorry, we never introduced
ourselves. I’m Ben.”

Holy Crap.

“Regina.” She
felt her face closing, her heart shutting its doors. It was just as well. She
didn’t have time or space in her life for a guy. Much less Lana’s one true
love.

Lana was looking
at her as if she’d all of a sudden announced she was going to move to the
far-flung island of Tawi-Tawi. “You know him?” she demanded, her hands on her
hips.

“I just met him
two seconds ago.” But Regina didn’t even try to defend herself. She kept her
voice calm and steady, knowing that none of this mattered. What did matter was
that Lana would now be angry, stop talking to her, and accuse her of stealing
her future husband. It was time to get her home and in bed. No amount of reason
or caffeine was going to fix this. She thanked Ben for the coffee and took Lana
by the arm, dragging her out of the bar.

“Reg! What the—”
Lana tried in vain to yank her arm free but months of hauling heavy camera
equipment gave Regina a strength she didn’t know she had until now.

“We are going
home. I have a five a.m. call time and you don’t need this stress in your
life.” Regina hauled her a few cars away from the busy bar entrance and dug her
keys out of her pocket. She shoved her best friend into the passenger’s seat
and slammed the door. Taking a few deep breaths, she looked up to see a tall,
masculine form waving, walking toward her.

“She forgot
this.” Ben handed her a small, studded black bag. “And this is yours.” Before
Regina could say she didn’t bring anything into the bar but her car keys, he
gently placed the thick paper cup in her hand. Her coffee. “Have a safe trip.”
Then he smiled again. That smile that seemed to reach in and tug at the doors
she had shut on her heart earlier.

As she felt
herself turn toward the car to see if Lana was about to jump out and attack
him, Ben said, “She’s asleep. Too much partying tonight.”

Finally finding
her tongue, Regina blurted out, “Why didn’t you call her?”

His brow furrowed
and he took half a step back. “Call her? When?”

Regina was
confused now too. “When? You just swept her off her feet and then disappeared.
Who does that?”

“Oh, boy.” He ran
a hand through his thick, straight hair, looking away from her. Regina took
this as a sign of guilt and pressed further.

“Why did you make
her believe there was more to your relationship when you didn’t have any plans
of seeing her again? That’s not just despicable, it’s cowardly.” She was on a
roll.

“There was no
talk of a relationship.” Was that a
shudder he gave when he said the word? “That’s the last thing I want.” He
laughed. But this time, Regina didn’t feel as if she’d won a prize. She shook
her head, raised her cup of coffee, and decided she had had enough of him.
“Thanks again for this. Goodbye, Ben.”

“Wait! Can we
just talk a little longer? Hang for a while?” He reached for her free hand.

Regina yanked it
free when she felt a jolt of energy pass through. It wasn’t static electricity
nor was it anything she’d ever felt before. And she could still feel his hand
on hers even if he had already let go. Warm, soft, inviting. Was this how he
reeled girls in? Was this how he had won Lana’s heart? Persistent bugger,
wasn’t he?

“Ben,” she said
with a frustrated sigh, trying to keep her voice level. “I don’t want to talk
to you. I don’t want to hang for a while.
I want to get my best friend home and show up on time for work.”

He nodded,
chastised. “All right. I’m sorry. I thought you felt the connection between us
too.”

What a line.

And she said it
out loud.

His eyes widened
in what looked like slight panic. “No, it’s not, I swear.”

“Well it sounds
like one. And besides,” she threw a glance at her car, “your reputation doesn’t
exactly do you any favors now, does it?” Before her bravado could crumble
against those disappointed dark brown eyes, she spun on her rubber-soled heel
and entered her car.

She stuck the
coffee in the car’s cup holder and pressed down on the gas before she could
change her mind. After a few seconds of staring straight ahead, she allowed
herself to sneak a glance at her side mirror and wasn’t surprised to see him
still standing there, watching her drive away.

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