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Excerpt Reveal: ROAR by Cora Cormack

From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Releasing June 13, 2017, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below!

About ROAR (Stormheart #1):

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

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EXCERPT:

There was a hole in her chest, an awful, gaping hole that screamed like she wanted to. Like a cyclone, it seemed to suck up everything in its path until her knees were curled into her chest and her body hunched, and she just kept collapsing in and in and in. Suddenly unable to breathe, she clawed at the beaded fastenings that connected her headdress and necklace. One of her fingernails bent and splintered as she scrabbled for the hooks; when she could not find them, she took hold of the beaded cord and pulled until it broke, beads scattering across the stone floor around her.

The headdress tipped sideways, tugging painfully on her hair. Again and again, she pulled at the ties until her palms felt raw and beads littered the floor around her. The headdress began to sag, and she was nearly done, nearly free when someone stepped through the archway, and she froze.

Novaya.

Thank the skies. The dark-haired servant held an urn full of steaming water in her hands, and she stared in horror as if she had stumbled upon a monster rather than a crying girl. Nova had been Rora’s closest friend before she cut herself off from everyone at her mother’s command. Girls with secrets the size of Rora’s could not have friends. Nova took a step forward, paused, then knelt down, her large brown eyes carefully blank.

“Should I call for your guards? The queen?” Nova asked.

“No!” Softer, Aurora said, “No. Please don’t tell anyone.”

Once upon a time, Nova had kept all her secrets. Now the two rarely even looked at each other in the eye when their paths crossed, and it was all Aurora’s fault.

“Your Highness? What happened?”

Rora shook her head and returned to tugging at the headdress still tangled in her hair. She couldn’t say the words aloud, couldn’t let anyone see how much of a fool she was. Aurora had become accustomed to her shortcomings as a Stormling, as an heir. But she’d thought she had her mother’s strength, tenacity, and intelligence. But maybe that was wishful thinking. Maybe she was altogether…inadequate.

“Stop, Princess. You’re hurting yourself.” Nova put the water aside, crawled forward, and grabbed Rora’s wrists. “Aurora, stop.”

All the years spent missing their friendship came rushing back, and she froze at the sound of her name. Not Princess. Not Your Highness. Aurora. But the moment she stopped moving, it all came crashing down on her. Her naïve plan to kiss him, to experience something real. She should have known that her future would hold only more lies. As if she knew anything about real life, real anything. She lived in this palace, protected and pampered and put away like a doll on a shelf, too fragile for anything but appearances. And it seemed that’s all she would ever be.

Cassius wanted control of the city for himself. He thought he’d have to fool her to do it, but the moment the world found out that Rora had no magic, he’d become the ruler in truth, and she’d be the puppet at his side. He wouldn’t have to feign interest in her then. He wouldn’t need her at all.

She wound her arms about her legs and rested her forehead on her knees. Nova moved closer, and Rora sat still and silent as the girl worked to remove the headdress. Her old friend had grown into a beautiful young woman—flawless bronze skin, shiny black hair, stunning features. She’d recently begun assisting the royal seamstress in addition to her position as a maid. She probably had more friends than she could count. Aurora could not help imagining how different her life would be now fi she had never become heir.

The headdress finally gave way, and Nova slipped it off and laid it on the stone floor beside them.

“Tell me what happened.”

Rora leaned back against the wall. It was cool against her abused scalp, and she muttered, “Nothing happened.”

At least she had that much. She hadn’t kissed that beast. But what she had done felt worse. She had hoped. And hope broke more hearts than any man ever could.

“Should I get someone? A friend?”

Rora let out a bleak, cold laugh. As if she had any of those. Softer, she said, “I don’t want to see anyone. I just need this dress off. The makeup too. I need to breathe, and I can’t do it through all this mess.”

“I can do that. I came to help remove the headdress and gown. Stand up and we’ll go to your room. Everything will be fine, Your Highness.”

She didn’t tell her old friend how wrong she was, not as she peeled the dress off her and unlaced the corset. Not as she wiped away the powder that was smudged and striped on Rora’s face, thanks to falling tears. Another maid came in with more steaming water for a bath and Rora let them clean her up, wishing it was as easy to wipe away the last few hours.

She sat in the bath until the water grew cold and her skin shriveled like dying fruit. She had to face the facts. The Rage season was coming, as was this sham of a wedding. And she didn’t know how to fight it any more than she knew how to stop a storm.

But she would not give Cassius any more opportunities to see her vulnerable. Nor was she giving up. If there were no other way, she would marry Cassius.

But she had six days. Wars had been won, empires toppled, and cities leveled in less time. If there was a way out of this, Rora would find it.

About Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Since she was a teenager, her favorite genre to read has been fantasy, and now she’s thrilled to bring her usual compelling characters and swoon-worthy romance into worlds of magic and intrigue with her debut YA fantasy, Roar. Her previous adult romance titles include the Losing It, Rusk University, and Muse series. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website www.coracarmack.com.

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Review and Excerpt Tour: Arranged (Masters and Mercenaries #13.5) by Lexi Blake

ARRANGED - Tour banner

arrangedKash Kamdar is the king of a peaceful but powerful island nation. As Loa Mali’s sovereign, he is always in control, the final authority. Until his mother uses an ancient law to force her son into marriage. His prospective queen is a buttoned-up intellectual, nothing like Kash’s usual party girl. Still, from the moment of their forced engagement, he can’t stop thinking about her.

Dayita Samar comes from one of Loa Mali’s most respected families. The Oxford-educated scientist has dedicated her life to her country’s future. But under her staid and calm exterior, Day hides a few sexy secrets of her own. She is willing to marry her king, but also agrees that they can circumvent the law. Just because they’re married doesn’t mean they have to change their lives. It certainly doesn’t mean they have to fall in love.

After one wild weekend in Dallas, Kash discovers his bride-to-be is more than she seems. Engulfed in a changing world, Kash finds exciting new possibilities for himself. Could Day help him find respite from the crushing responsibility he’s carried all his life? This fairy tale could have a happy ending, if only they can escape Kash’s past…

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My Review

“She could be his secret. She would never have to know how weak he was, how dark his wants were. He could pretend to indulge her and steal something for himself.”

“If this was what love felt like, Kash didn’t want it. This was a terrible ache in his gut, a pendulum swinging between anger and insane grief.”

Told from dual points of view, Arranged follows the story of Kash and Day. Kash never wanted to be king, but fate had other plans in mind for him. Now as ruler of Loa Mali, Kash is living the life and enjoying the fruits of being king. He is on top of the world until his mother decides that he must marry. His prospective queen is non other than Day. He knew Day before he was king and now she is nothing like the women he is used to. However, Day is good at putting on a facade. Beneath her buttoned up exterior lies an unbelievable and sexy past. When Kash learns of Day’s previous indiscretions, will he jump at the all the new possibilities or will he ruin everything he never knew he wanted? You’ll just have to pick up Arranged and find out for yourself.

Overall, I really enjoyed Arranged. I thought the story-line was refreshing and unique. I loved the characters and couldn’t help but be intrigued by them. This book covers a lot of themes from royal duties and honor to an unexpected BDSM twist. I will say that the BDSM themes in this particular book were a bit out of the box for me. That being said, I thought they were done really well and didn’t take me too far out of my comfort zone.

Arranged is a fast paced and sexy read. It has just the right mix of secrets, lies, unexpected truths and some super sexy good times. This is a great novella to spend the afternoon getting wrapped up in. Overall, a very enjoyable read.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

EXCERPT

“Are we a happy couple?”

“I don’t think we’ve had time enough to be sure of that yet, but I know we were once.” She’d thought it through in a way she never had before. She had a much different view of those months with Kash in England. “You were courting me back then, weren’t you? You wanted me to be your girlfriend.”

He sat down in the plush chair that dominated the sitting area portion of his bedroom. Normally they stayed in the living room, but he’d wanted more privacy. This was the only place in his suite that wasn’t covered by CCTV, the only place where they could truly be alone. Everything about the space was masculine and decadent, including the man himself. With his hair disheveled and his chest on display, it wasn’t hard at all to see him as a primal male.

One she’d dearly enjoy taming.

“I don’t think you realized it at the time.”
She was willing to admit her faults. “I didn’t. I had my nose in a book most of the time back then and I had little experience with men. No, I had no idea you were interested in me beyond copying my notes from class when you slept in.”

“It would surprise you to know that I often thought about sleeping in with you.” His voice had gone low and gentle. “I was crazy about you back then, Day. I find myself in the same position today, but I don’t want to scare you. I know you think we should take this slow and I will honor your wishes, but I want this marriage to work. You see me as a playboy, but I don’t want to be some forty-plus player who trades on his money to keep young girls around him. I think it might be time for me to find out if I can be the king my father would have wanted me to be.”

It was all she needed to hear. If he wanted to try, she was ready. Despite his reputation, she’d fallen right back into a peaceful friendship with him. He’d been the old Kash, supporting her when she needed it. He’d asked her questions about her work with the education department and then gave her ideas on how to handle the parliament. He hadn’t told her what she should do. He’d suggested, debated.

“I think you’ll find me less averse to giving this marriage a real try than you think. I was planning on talking to you about using the Palm Ceremony to begin to explore what we could be as a couple.”

He frowned. “I’m not sure what that means. You want to talk? Or have counseling? Because that sounds terrible.”

“I was talking about sex, Kashmir. I thought we could use this time to see if we’re sexually compatible.”
He popped up out of his chair like an eager puppy. “Yes. I think that is a brilliant idea. We should start now. Don’t worry. I intend to be gentle with you.”

She didn’t move at all. “Like you are with your lovely flowers?”

“Women deserve a man’s care,” he said quietly. “Day, I can’t erase my past.”

“I don’t want you to.” He misunderstood her problems with his statement. “But I do need you to understand that I’m not one of those flowers. I’m not here to sit at your side and bat my eyelashes in the hopes that you’ll buy something for me. I don’t work like that. I don’t care about your money.”

“That is easy for you to say. You’re about to have access to all of it, aren’t you?”

He had a point. “Even if I wasn’t, that wouldn’t be why I would want you, Kash. Sit down. We have some things to talk about before we get started. Come here close to me.”

He moved to the chaise she was sitting on, lowering himself down with a sullen frown. “I knew there would be talking.”
She was fairly certain his lovely flowers did very little talking, but he would get used to it. “Why did you want me back then?”

“I liked you. I liked talking to you. I liked being around you. I rather liked who I was when I was around you.” His expression softened. “I don’t think you knew how alluring you were to someone like me. You didn’t understand how beautiful you were, so you didn’t use it against me. Most women do.”

“Well, that happens when you surround yourself with women who are mostly valued for their looks. I don’t blame them. They’ve been told their beauty is the only thing worthy about them. If you want to meet women who don’t feel that way, you should probably expand out of models and actresses.”

“Well, you would be surprised how many gorgeous, sexy physicists turn me down because I’m not smart enough for them.”

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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Release Blitz: The One That Got Away by Magan Vernon

 

Title: The One That Got Away
Series: Friendship, Texas #4
Author: Magan Vernon
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: April 24, 2017
Blurb
A brand new standalone from Friendship, Texas featuring everyone’s favorite awkward baker and the one that got away.I looked up and standing there was my ex-boyfriend, Jordan Webber. Maybe ex-boyfriend wasn’t the right word. Maybe the boy who I dated for almost two years. Then he graduated early, leaving for art school in New York. He wanted me to come with him, but what future did I have in New York? My parents weren’t paying for me to go to school unless it was a state school with a real degree and all I ever wanted was to do photography. So the portrait studio worked for the time being until I realized I really needed to get out of the house and took the part-time job at the bakery. Between my parents’ divorce, work, and trying to get over my break up, I was basically a hot mess the first two years after high school. Joey came in at the right time as a distraction then the job at the bakery. But I still never forgot about the one that got away.

I hadn’t seen Jordan in over four years and there he was, standing there with a hand on one of the boxes and his blue eyes wide open like he’d just seen a ghost.

“Abbey Dillinger?” he asked, it wasn’t so much of a question as it was a breathless statement.

I hated him for leaving me. He could have gone to art school in Dallas. He could have stayed if he really did love me. I should have hated him. But seeing him, standing in front of me, I couldn’t hate him. The past four years had been very good to him.

**This book is a standalone in a series of standalones taking place in the fictional town of Friendship, Texas. You don’t need to read any of the previous books to understand this one***

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
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Author Bio

Magan Vernon has been living off of reader tears since she wrote her first short
story in 2004. She now spends her time killing off fictional characters,
pretending to plot while she really just watches Netflix, and she tries to do this
all while her two young children run amok around her Texas ranch.

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Release Blitz: Paper Fools by Staci Hart

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In the game of love, she never loses.

Paper Fools by Staci Hart is now LIVE!!

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Title: Paper Fools

Author: Staci Hart

Cover Designer: Quirkybird Designs

Photographer: Lauren Watson Perry

Aphrodite knows love — just don’t ask her to figure out her own mess.

Rather than deal with her sticky love life, she toys with the hearts of unwitting humans. It’s a little game she plays, and the stakes are high. Lucky for her, she’s just found the perfect match.

Lex is everything Dean needs, but he can’t have her.

It doesn’t matter that her eyes speak to a long forgotten part of him, or that her art and poetry touch his shredded heart. She’s off limits — crossing that line would implode his band and everything he’s ever cared about. There’s only one option: stay away from her, no matter the cost. Even if the price is his heart.

Dean is everything Lex wants, but she can’t take the risk.

The second she meets him, she knows her heart is in danger. She’s convinced it’s only attraction that has her hung up on the dark, quiet lead singer, but with every day that passes, she knows it’s more. It’s just that she can’t put her heart on the line. She won’t — love has never been worth the sacrifice.

If only they knew they were just pawns in a much bigger game. And in the game of love, Aphrodite never loses.

*Formerly titled Deer in Headlights, Paper Fools has been rewritten and reedited just for you.*

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Read Today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2pBid8h

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/m5ST2M

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/SggznE

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About the Author

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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Connect with Staci:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hv5OA5

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/imaquirkybird

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/imaquirkybird/

Website: http://stacihartnovels.com

Newsletter: http://stacihartnovels.com/get-the-newsletter/

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Release Day Blitz: Paper Fools by Staci Hart

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Today we have the release blitz of Paper Fools by Staci Hart! I am so excited about this first in a new series from Staci. Check it out and grab your copy today!

Hearts & Arrows

Title: Paper Fools

Author: Staci Hart

Release Day: April 17th

About Paper Fools:

Aphrodite knows love — just don’t ask her to figure out her own mess.

Rather than deal with her sticky love life, she toys with the hearts of unwitting humans. It’s a little game she plays, and the stakes are high. Lucky for her, she’s just found the perfect match.

Lex is everything Dean needs, but he can’t have her.

It doesn’t matter that her eyes speak to a long forgotten part of him, or that her art and poetry touch his shredded heart. She’s off limits — crossing that line would implode his band and everything he’s ever cared about. There’s only one option: stay away from her, no matter the cost. Even if the price is his heart.

Dean is everything Lex wants, but she can’t take the risk.

The second she meets him, she knows her heart is in danger. She’s convinced it’s only attraction that has her hung up on the dark, quiet lead singer, but with every day that passes, she knows it’s more. It’s just that she can’t put her heart on the line. She won’t — love has never been worth the sacrifice.

If only they knew they were just pawns in a much bigger game. And in the game of love, Aphrodite never loses.

*Formerly titled Deer in Headlights, Paper Fools has been rewritten and reedited for your enjoyment.*

Amazon

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About Staci Hart:

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.

Connect with Staci:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/stacihartnovels.com

Twitter: @imaquirkybird

Instagram: @quirkybird

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/imaquirkybird

Website: http://stacihartnovels.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Staci-Hart/e/B00BFCANRW/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

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Available Now: Getting His by Emily Minton & Shelley Springfield

 
Title: Getting His
Author: Emily Minton and Shelley Springfield
Genre: Romance/Erotica
Release Date: March 30, 2017
Cover Artist: Designs by Dana
He has never met a woman he wanted to keep, until she walks into his life. 

Tucker Brady doesn’t expect to find the woman of his dreams while eating lunch at the local Dairy Dip. It takes only a quick look at Hadley Walsh, and he is like a man possessed. He has one goal: sliding between her legs and staying there. 

Getting His woman is the only thing that matters. 

Now that Tucker has her by his side, his life is nearly perfect. His days are filled with laughter, and his nights are full of hot sex. There’s only one little problem; his mother and Hadley hate each other. Playing referee between the two women is driving him fucking nuts! 

How can Tucker fix this without having to choose between the woman in his bed and the woman who gave him life?

USA Today Bestselling author, Emily Minton is a Kentucky native. She is proud to call the Bluegrass State her home. She claims she bleeds blue–Wildcat Blue! She has been married to her husband, David, for over twenty years. They share two wonderful children.


Shelley was born and raised in Kentucky and doesn’t see herself leaving the bluegrass state anytime soon. Shelley and her husband have been together for sixteen years, and they share three beautiful daughters and one handsome son.

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Review: Surviving Harley by K. Webster

Taylor Cunningham is a diva talk show host who’s signed on for ninety days of marriage to a stranger.
All in the name of skyrocketing her career.
Harley Harrison is a bearded survivalist who’ll do anything to move past a broken heart.
Even if that means letting millions of people choose his perfect match and letting them televise his every move.
Opposites don’t always attract. Two people can’t be forced to be happy. And after nearly three months in marriage hell, they are counting down to the moment they can throw in the towel and divorce, without breaching contract.
But then everything changes in the blink of an eye.
One hot drunken night.  A national scandal. Terrorists.  Bombs.  And total anarchy.  This unlikely couple will be forced to work together…even if it kills them.
Will they survive and find love along the way?

Or is this marriage over in more ways than one?


My Review

“She needs me to be her strength so she doesn’t have to. I’ll carry her through hell’s flames if that’s what she wants.”
 “You’re my wife.” “Their stupid contract means nothing to me. But our marriage certificate means everything to me.”
Once again, K. Webster proves just how versatile of a writer she is. Surviving Harley is all that and then some. While this book is a novella, I gotta tell you, K. Webster is the queen of writing novellas. She manages to give you a whole story in just a few pages and always manages to blow your mind.
Surviving Harley pulled me in instantly. I’m not gonna lie, when I picked up this book, I wasn’t 100% sure what kind of adventure would lie ahead, but knowing K. Webster as I do, I knew that the journey and ride would be totally worth it….and boy was I right. Surviving Harley starts off as your typical married for the wrong reasons type romance, but quickly transforms into something more. Harley and Taylor have amazing chemistry and while their romance might be insta-love, with these two it totally works. Their romance and relationship will be put to the test in the most unexpected ways. Will these two be able to survive a world gone mad? Can their love withstand the obstacles the life is about to throw at them? There is only one way to find out.
Surviving Harley is a fantastic read. It might be short, but I am telling you, it is going to take you on one wild and thrilling ride. I hope, hope, hope that this won’t be the last we see of Harley and Taylor!!
*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*