Saturday, February 25, 2017

Daily Grind by Anna Zabo - Blog Tour with Excerpt and Review



Blurb:

A man discovers that love can show up when you least expect it—and in a much different form—in this piping-hot romance from the author of Due Diligence and Just Business.

Brian Keppler, owner of Ground N’At, the coffee shop beneath SR Anderson Consulting, doesn’t have time for a relationship. His most recent girlfriend broke up with him because he’d become married to his shop, which is falling apart without his favorite barista, Justin.

As he struggles to stay afloat, the arrival of handsome British high-tech whiz Robert Ancroft becomes another complication. Rob quickly becomes a fixture at the shop with his sharp wit and easy charm, and Brian soon finds himself looking forward more and more to Rob’s visits—to the point where his heart skips a beat when he walks in.

But will Brian be able to come to terms with his previously unexplored sexual identity and find happiness now that he has a chance?

Buy Links:

Ebook available at:
Audio Book (Read by Iggy Toma) available at:
Excerpt:

Another fine Saturday. Rob locked his bike up and headed down the street to Grounds N’at. The past week, the weather had been a mix of rain, wind, and chill, but the skies had finally cleared and spring warmth had returned. Perfect day for a bike ride.

He needed the exercise after the week he’d had in the office. Juggling customers, prospective customers, and releases during the same week never mixed well. Sales wanted one thing—or, rather, everything—and engineering knew they could deliver only a fraction. You had to be on your best behavior, meanwhile everyone was stressed trying to get the product out on time.

Made for some tense meetings at times.

But it was Saturday and all of that was hours behind him. He’d biked off all his stress climbing to Squirrel Hill from his house in Bloomfield. The “hill” part of the name was very very apt.

Right now, he wanted a cup of coffee, a glass of water, and another shot at flirting with Brian. Hopefully that lovely man was working today. He ought to have texted, but he enjoyed the element of surprise.

He pushed open the door, stripped off his sunglasses, and Brian was there, thank goodness. He wasn’t behind the counter though, but sitting at one of the tables, opposite a nervous-looking young man who had a balled-up napkin in front of him.

Brian’s arms were crossed and his expression was shuttered—though it opened a fraction when he met Rob’s gaze.

Brian raised his eyebrows, then focused on the young man.

A strange flare of heat rose in Rob’s chest before the situation made sense. He knew that look, in both the young man and in Brian. This was an interview. Despite the surroundings, grilling a candidate was a universal thing.

Rather than bother Brian any more than he had by walking in the door, Rob strode to the counter and ordered a latte from the barista—a black man with tribal tattoos around his arms. He found a table about as far from Brian as he could get, but from where he could watch Brian’s back—and waited for him to finish.

A tiny regret for not texting, but he’d wanted to see what Brian did with his number. 
Couldn’t quite put his finger on the cause of the hesitations embedded in Brian’s flirtations. It was curious.

He liked a challenge, though.

Even though Rob couldn’t see Brian’s face, he knew from his tension and the posture that this particular candidate wasn’t impressing him. Rob studied the kid—couldn’t be much older than nineteen—and wondered what Brian saw that Rob didn’t.

Sure, he was young, but this was a coffee shop. Didn’t young people thrive in jobs like this? A supplemental income for college? Goodness knows, he’d done some odd jobs while at university. Working in a coffee shop would’ve been a blessing.

After ten minutes or so, Brian rose and shook the kid’s hand in a friendly way. The kid nodded, said something in response, then took off through the front door, the bell ringing in his wake.

Brian deflated once the kid was out of sight. For a few moments, he stared out the window, his hands on his hips, t-shirt stretching over those shoulders and across his trim back. The pose framed his arse beautifully.

So very nice. Rob shifted in his seat.

Brian swung around, scanning the shop until he found Rob. The smile that lit up Brian’s face was warm and inviting and tightened Rob’s chest, along with his dick.

Seemed he’d made an impression after all.

Determined strides brought Brian to Rob’s table. “You came back.”

“I said I would.” Rob waved a hand at the other seat. “If you’re not busy.”

He pulled it out and sat. “I am, but I can take a breather.”

For him. The words weren’t there, but they hung in the air. Rob smiled across his latte. “You were right about Silk Elephant. Plenty to nibble.” He took a sip.

That earned him a blush from Brian. “Were you satisfied?”

“Mostly.” The coffee was warm and smooth in Rob’s mouth. No whipped cream to play with, though. “I would’ve enjoyed company.”

A calculating look from Brian. “There are other days to the week besides Saturday, you know.”

“True. But I’m a workaholic, as well.” He put the cup down. “Were you free any of them, anyway?”

That wince spoke volumes.

“I’m guessing you’re interviewing to fix that?” Rob took another swallow of coffee.

Brian ran a hand through his hair and leaned back in his chair. “Trying to, anyway.”

“That kid not the right person?”

“That kid is a kid.”

“So?” Kids. Coffee shop. Rob didn’t see the issue at all.

“I need someone for weekends and mornings. Most college students have classes during the hours I’d want them here during the week—and they want their weekends free.”

That made sense. Of course there would be scheduling conflicts in a business like this. “So why interview him?”

“Because they often say they can work those hours in e-mail—then let me know they can’t during the interview.” He huffed a laugh. “I need an older grad student or someone who wants a part-time job. But grad students have a tendency to be busy and . . .” He shook his head. “It’s been rough, finding the right people.”

“You have some good staff already.” He gestured at the barista behind the counter.

Brian gave the man a nod. “Mark’s great, but he usually can’t work weekends. He’s doing me a favor so I could interview. I should take over so he can go home to his kids.”

Mark watched them from the counter, and his smile was interesting. So was the way his gaze flicked between the two of them.

Someone had put one and one together.

“He makes a mean latte,” Rob said, letting his gaze linger on Mark, before focusing on Brian.
Brian eyed him, a nervousness pouring tension back into his frame. “Better than my spicy mocha?”

“No.” A simple answer.

Brian took a breath. “Your latte’s almost gone.”

Rob deliberately drank the rest before setting the cup down. “I guess I’ll have to order something from you, won’t I?”

Brian swallowed, and rose. “I guess you will.”

He stood and they both headed to the counter. Rob stuck his cup in the dirty dish bin. Brian ducked behind and conversed while Mark untied his apron. A hit of red touched Brian’s cheeks when Mark chuckled and said something Rob couldn’t catch in a low, deep voice.

On the way out from behind the counter, Mark clapped Rob on the shoulder once—then he headed for the door.

Brian eyed Mark’s back—then stared at Rob when the bell rang. “He knows.”

“Knows what?” Rob took a seat and laced his fingers in front of him on the counter.
Brian didn’t answer that, though his eyebrows rose into his sandy hair. He rotated to the sink and washed his hands. “So, what are you in the mood for today?”

“Whatever you want to give me.”

Brian damn near jumped out of his skin. “What are you . . . why are you . . . what is this?”

Ah, so he was conflicted. “You tell me.”

Narrowed eyes.

Time to dig. “What do you think it is that Mark knows?”

Brian shook his head and headed for the coffee grinder. The next several minutes, Rob watched Brian craft some kind of drink, his movements sharp and precise. Chocolate—dark, from the looks of it—and some kind of syrup. Cinnamon. Other spices. Frothed milk. 
Whipped cream with little chocolate shavings on top.

Brian slid it in front of Rob, his face a mask.

It was almost too pretty to drink and he had no idea what to expect. Only one way to find out.

When the coffee hit his tongue Rob closed his eyes. A mocha—a very dark, bitter one with a hint of spice and orange. Exquisite. Tantalizing. He licked the cream off his lips and opened his eyes.

An extraordinarily satisfied look greeted him.

Rob put down the mug. “What is this?”

“You tell me.” Brian lowered himself to his stool.

Well, he deserved that. “This,” he said, “is two men seeing how the other reacts.”

Brian swallowed a chuckle. “That’s what I thought.”

Maybe he’d misjudged Brian’s intentions. “Does it bother you?”

That question seemed to catch Brian off guard. “No, I just—” The fucking bell on the door rang and Brian started. “Hang on.”

One customer seemed to bring a flood of more and kept Brian moving around behind the counter. How he managed to keep everyone’s orders straight, especially the more complex ones, Rob didn’t know. Brian didn’t write anything down, and yet he managed to turn out beautiful drinks either in ceramic or paper cups.

When he finally served the last of the customers, he came back and plopped down. “Look, I’m not used to this.” He gestured between the two of them. “I don’t know what to expect—or what’s expected.”

Brian’s hands shook a bit, which was intriguing. Worried? Turned on? Hard for Rob to tell. 
“Right now? Coffee. Chatting. I’d like to pick your brain about this city.” He sipped the dark chocolate–orange creation. “I also wouldn’t mind your company, but that’s entirely up to you.”

Brian was exactly the kind of man Rob wanted as a friend. More would be exquisite, but he knew better than to expect it.

He’d been wrong about men and their desires before.

The tension in Brian melted. “Okay.” He drummed his fingers on the counter. “My schedule sucks, though. It’s—well. There are a lot of shifts I’m covering at the moment.”

“Hence the interview.”

Brian nodded, his focus on the door.

Rob rolled the coffee in his cup to gather the bits of froth clinging to the sides. “You know, I have some background in business. Maybe I can help you?” He had no idea how. “At least be a sounding board?”

Brian stared at him. “I thought you were an engineer?”

Yes, and no. Guilt pricked at his pride. “I am, but I’ve been involved in a few startups. You learn the business side of things.”

A thin smile graced those lush lips. “Pretty sure running a coffee shop isn’t anything like a high-tech whatever.”

No, but business was business. He gave a light shrug. “An offer, nothing more.”

“Thanks.” There was honest warmth in that. “I’ve been through this before, though.”

“What, the flirting or the business issues?”

Brian’s laugh and his ruddy cheeks were things of joy. He rocked on the stool, his whole body shaking. “The business issues.”

Not the flirting. “How’d you fix it last time?”

“I hired a non-traditional MBA student named Justin White.”

Right. Sam Anderson’s assistant. Married to the CFO of the company. Todd had mentioned the name a few times. “He created a hole you can’t fill.”

Brian’s smile slipped away. “Something like that.”

There was so much more Rob wanted to ask about the business. His brain itched to solve this problem, find the perfect solution, and make the company work—but Brian was right. This wasn’t like CirroBot or any of the other tech firms he’d help start.

Brian was tensing again, too. Time to change the subject. “So, if you had Easter Sunday free and the option of going kayaking on the rivers downtown or hiking out at Settler’s Cabin, which would you do?”

That was all Rob needed to say to make the stress vanish from Brian. “Your camera waterproof?”

Good god, no. “I don’t need to take photographs.”

Brian rested his forearms on the counter. “But you want to.”

They were close. He only needed to lean in to shorten the distance between them to mere inches. He did just that and murmured, “There are many things I want.”

Brian parted his lips, shock reddening his skin, but he didn’t move back. “Kayaking’s better with a friend.”

“So’s hiking.” And more private, because the things he wanted to do to Brian’s lips would be very difficult in a kayak.

A quirk at the corner of Brian’s mouth. “But I have to work tomorrow.”

Both disappointment and elation twined through Rob and goosebumps rose on his skin. Brian wanted to go with him. “You work on Easter?”

Brian laughed. “People want their coffee fix. Especially those who gave it up for Lent.”

That made sense, from a business perspective. Still, it stung. “So, you’re saying I should go hiking.”

Brian nodded. “Then come back and show me what you shot.”

Definite interest. “Then that’s what I’ll do.” He opened a bit of space. “Assuming you’ll tell me your schedule.”

“I will.” Brian pushed off the counter and straightened. “That’s one of the bits of paperwork I need to do today.”

“Don’t let me keep you from your work.” Though what he wanted was Brian away from the shop and in his bed. Or Brian’s. Didn’t matter.

“You’re not.” Brian tugged his shirt down, stretching the material over his shoulders and pecs. “Mind me working next to you?”

Never. Not in a million years. He shook his head. Brian vanished into the back of the shop, and reappeared with a laptop and paperwork.

“You never did tell me what you call this drink.” Rob tapped the saucer.

“Doesn’t have a name. I made it just for you.” Brian’s grin and the sound of the shop door’s bell zipped through Rob, making him shiver.


Brian was a fucking delight. He might not know how this would end, but he was going to have so much fun finding out.


5 out of 5 stars 

Daily Grind is the 4th book in Anna Zabo's Takeover series. While each book can be read as standalones for a fuller reading experience I suggest reading them in order since the characters make appearances in the other books. 

Daily Grind is the story of Brian, the owner of Grounds N'At, and Rob, the sexy ginger Brit who is a part of CirroBot. You may have previously met Brian in Eli and Justin's book, Just Business, as Justin's former boss. Since Justin left him to work for Sam's company, Brian pretty much eats, sleeps, and breathes the coffee shop. While he likes his other employees, he takes too much upon himself because he doesn't easily trust that others will do what needs to be done. 

We start out the book with Brian working the counter at the coffee shop, during a lull in the business he's thinking over everything that's got to be done until this sexy ginger haired man wanders in for a cup of coffee. See Brian recently has acknowledged, at least to himself, that he's bisexual. He's thought about it for years but kind of shoved those thoughts in the closet and dated women.  So back to the sexy ginger man... He also notices Brian and while he sits and has a coffee at the counter, they flirt back and forth with each other. There is an instant connection, along with some serious attraction, and a lot of common interests between them. Rob, the sexy ginger, is intrigued enough with Brian that he wants to date him and works on Brian to go out with him. 

Their first introduction is a bit of a meet cute between Rob and Brian, at least to me ...and it's a perfect introduction to both men and who they are. It also sets the tone of the story, because Brian is very tied to Grounds N'At and this is where he spends 90% of his time. The coffee shop also plays a large part into their relationship because of everything that Brian is dealing with through out the story. So having their first meeting there is also a touch ironic. 

So the time that Brian and Rob get to spend with each other as they're dating may not be much but it's enough because they are just perfect for each other. The both love being outdoors, love photography, love to explore the area, and are really into spending time with each other. Unfortunately Brian's shop eventually comes between them, mostly because Brian's so wrapped up in the shop and it's problems that it overwhelms him and kind of makes him crazy. 

There are times that I wanted to throttle Brian for how wrapped into his own head he is, especially in relation to Grounds N'At. When people offer him help he can't accept it and will take on whatever task it is on his own shoulders because he can't easily trust that they'll do it how it should be done. The walls close in on Brian and he starts lashing out in detrimental ways to both the business and himself. Rob, has been around this block of stress on his own before so while he's mostly laid back about Brian being a workaholic, he also tries to help lessen the stress for him. 

I thoroughly loved both of these characters, again only wanting to throttle Brian occasionally because he doesn't reach out. He and Rob together was just about as perfect as you could get because they were honestly the other's ideal match. This story felt like something that would happen in real life and that's something I enjoy reading. From the descriptions of the characters, the pace of the story, the content of the story, well it all added up to a excellent read and probably my favorite book in the series so far. 

I highly recommend Daily Grind as one of my top reads for 2017 so far and encourage you to pick up this entire series if you haven't read it yet. 


About the Author: 
Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow and believes passionately that happy ever afters are for everyone. Anna lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Friday, February 24, 2017

After The Fire by Felice Stevens - Release Day Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway


Now Available at Kindle Unlimited! After The Fire by Felice Stevens


About the Book

A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With his lover dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of self-destruction that nearly costs him his friends, his career, and his life. When Jordan finds himself working closely with the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks him back into a life and emotions he’d thought lost forever.

The betrayal by the foster brother he’d worshiped taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life couldn’t free him of the nightmare of his former life; it reinforced his belief that he would never fall in love. When the death of one of his clients forces him to work closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson, he meets a person whose suffering exceeds his own. Though Jordan rejects his effort to help, something within Luke pushes him discover more about the first man to ever get under his skin.


As Luke lets down his guard and Jordan lets go of his pain, desire takes control. Each man must come to terms with past struggles if they are to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain may be the only thing that saves them in the end.

Buy Link:

http://getbook.at/AftertheFire


Excerpt

“It’s only been nine months. God almighty, did you expect me to forget him already?” Horrified, Jordan swept his hand across the table, sending the empty bottles and food containers crashing to the floor. “Keith and I were together for almost four years. You haven’t even been with Ash a year; could you forget him so easily? Stop pressuring me to move on with my life. It’s over for me. There will never be anyone else.”

“So you plan on drinking yourself into an early grave, losing your job and quite possibly your friends along the way?” Drew placed a hand on his arm. “I don’t think Keith would expect you to mourn him forever.”

“I didn’t expect to have to mourn him at all. He was supposed to be here, with me.” The tears, always threatening below the surface, spilled over, coursing hot and fierce down his cheeks. It seemed he hadn’t stopped crying since Keith had been murdered. “I can’t get past it. No matter what I do, he’s always there with me, and I can’t let him go.” All the fight and anger left him deflated like a balloon several days after a party. An ineffable weariness stole through him, and he laid his head on his arms on top of the table. “Go home, you two. Leave me alone.”

Without a word, Ash found the broom and dustpan and began to clean up the broken glass while Drew remained seated next to Jordan at the table.

“Look, I understand what you’re feeling. But destroying yourself isn’t going to bring him back. We know you miss him.”

“You don’t understand.” Jordan shook off Drew’s attempt to comfort him. “I’m beginning to forget him. Not only his voice but also the way his arms held me. The way the sound of his breathing calmed me so I could fall asleep every night.” His breath caught in his throat, and a shudder racked his body.


Jordan couldn’t reveal the worst—that he could no longer recall the press of Keith’s lips on his or the sweet sweep of Keith’s tongue in his mouth. The warmth and smoothness of Keith’s skin, once as familiar as Jordan’s own, had begun fading to a cold and distant memory. Sometimes he’d sit in bed late at night and play his voicemail messages simply to hear Keith’s voice. How fucking disloyal a love was he? It had only been nine months, yet Keith’s touch, something he’d longed for every day of his life and sworn he’d never forget, had slipped away like fog in the summer wind. Gentle and swift, leaving no trace behind that it had ever existed.




About The Author
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy. I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Amazon Page / Facebook / Newsletter / Twitter

Bear With Me by Jennifer Blackstream - Cover Reveal Blitz





Bear With Me
(The Blood Realm Series, #4)
by Jennifer Blackstream

Blurb:

Betrayal. Redemption. True love.

A beautiful bard looking for her voice

After witnessing her mother’s murder left her blind, Leta had to put away her sword and her dreams of becoming a bard. Now she is resigned to a calm life where the best she can hope for is a good marriage that will take the burden of her care from her father’s shoulders. When her father claims the gods have sent a man to be not just her husband, but perhaps her savior, Leta has to take a leap of faith…and hope she falls in love.

A handsome prince trapped in the body of a bear

Torben is a bear shifter struggling to pass a test laid on him by his power-hungry stepmother. Bound into his beast form during the day, able to be human only at night when the darkness hides him, he must find a wife. She can know him only as a bear and a bodiless voice in the night. For one year, she must let him keep his secrets, trust him as a wife should trust her husband. But what woman will climb into bed with a bear and trust it is a man waiting for her?
Even a blind woman can see when something is worth fighting for…



Release Date:

April 4, 2017

Available for pre-order at 




Excerpt

It was on the tip of Leta’s tongue to argue, to tell her father what he could do with his suitor who thought he could fix the poor little blind girl. But she bit it back. This was what they’d hoped for, what they’d thought would be impossible. This was no time for her battered pride to make a stand.

“I’ll meet with him.” She took a deep breath and straightened her spine. “Perhaps you could invite him to dinner this week?”

Her father cleared his throat. “He’s here. Now.”

She slumped, hands going limp in her lap. “What? What do you mean he’s here now?”

“He’s here…for you.”

“He’s…” Her voice was a pathetic squeak, and now it was her turn to clear her throat. “Father…are you telling me you’ve already given him my hand?”

“I signed the marriage contract five minutes ago.”

His voice was a whisper, so quiet she might not have heard it two months ago, before she’d lost her vision, when her other senses had not been quite so keen. She swayed and put a hand on the floor to steady herself. She’d agreed to an arranged marriage, had given him her blessing to find her a suitor. But…

“I don’t understand. Why so quickly?”

“Leta, it’s been two months. I’d hoped you would come through this on your own. I prayed you would come through this on your own. But you haven’t. I don’t know how to help you. I…” His voice broke and he groped for her hands, took them in his trembling fingers. “Leta, you need someone who will make you feel safe, who might be able to bring you through—”

“And what if there is no through this? What if this is who I am now, what I am now?” Her muscles tingled with the urge to stand, to stalk away from him, storm off in a healthy fit of justified indignation. “You couldn’t let me have any dignity? Couldn’t let me go into this arranged marriage like any other woman? You had to send me off to be fixed, as though I were a table with a wobbly leg?”

Experience kept her kneeling on the floor. If she tried to fly off in a rage, she would succeed only in humiliating herself. High emotions flustered her, made it harder to remember where all the furniture was, how far the wall was. A broken nose or bruised shins wouldn’t help anyone, and it certainly wouldn’t do her wounded pride any good. And so she sat there, a prisoner. Locked in a dark world.

“Well then,” she said, her voice tight, “I suppose I’d better go meet the man who will be my nursemaid from now on.”

“Leta—”

“Are you going to escort me out, or would you like me to feel my way there, give him a good idea of what he’s getting himself into?”

“Leta, please—”

“Very well.” She was being childish now, but she didn’t care. She surged to her feet and stuck her arms out in front of her, swinging them side to side as she took small steps toward where she thought the doorway was. Her nerves screamed with heightened awareness, bracing to be struck by something, as if the room were suddenly full of stalactites. Ignoring her father’s protests, she shuffled forward, feeling in front of her with the toes of each foot and the tips of her fingers.

Her father tried to take her arm when she reached the door, but she shrugged him off. Composing herself as best she could, she groped along the wall of the hallway, inching closer and closer to the main room of the house. She was grateful there were no stairs, and she was able to make it to the sitting room attached to the foyer without falling or striking anything.

It was hard to describe how she knew someone was in the room, even though she couldn’t see. Something about the hairs on the back of her neck, a tingle down her spine that screamed at her she was being watched. She always knew when someone else was in the room with her, but this time there was something more. A thrill that brushed her fight-or-flight reflex, filled her with a strange, warbling anxiety. Someone was watching her. Someone…big.

Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t possibly feel size, her mind chastised her. Still, her senses stubbornly refused to admit any doubt. Whoever was watching her had a weight to his presence, and she could feel it. She blinked and moved her eyes around, trying to see something, anything, a slice of shadow or light that would give her a clue. But the darkness remained as thick as it always was, silent and impenetrable.

A strange scent wafted past her nose. Musk and the crisp scent of the wind off the mountains to the north. The faintest hint of sea air. The floor creaked as someone shifted their weight. Her heart skipped a beat and her instincts crowed in vindication. There was definite weight to that sound.

If that was her husband, he was not a small man.

“Are you really going to let the blind woman stand here wondering if she’s alone in the room?”

“You seem very aware that you are not alone.”

The voice was masculine, and so deep that it vibrated things low in her body, quickened the pulse in her neck. She angled her ear toward that voice, forming a mental picture of the room and her visitor’s location based on where his voice had come from. It was lower than she’d expected, as though he were sitting down.

“Leta, this is Torben Biorna. Torben, this is my daughter Leta.”

“I understand I’m your wife now.”

She threw the words down like a gauntlet, using her tone to make it clear what she thought of such things being settled without her presence, let alone input. The floor creaked again, and somewhere underneath that was a different sound that she wasn’t familiar with. Something hard sliding against the wood. It was brief, too brief for her to consider it closely. She frowned and tilted her head a little more, waiting to hear if it would happen again.

“Yes, you are my wife.”

Again his voice did strange and wonderful things to her body, teasing sensations from her with that hint of promise, that faint brush of heat. Warmth washed over her cheeks, and she was horrified to realize she was blushing.

If he noticed her embarrassing reaction, he kept it from his voice. “Things progressed quickly, and I don’t blame you for being displeased at your lack of participation. It is not how I would have liked to begin our relationship, but I hope you’ll give me a chance to make it up to you.”

She groped for her temper, needing it to bolster her defenses against that voice. “My father says you think you can fix me.”

“Leta,” her father warned.

“No, it’s all right. I would be offended too, were I in her place.”

Another creak of the floorboards, followed by that same sound. Leta leaned forward, and it stopped immediately.

“You do not need to be fixed, Leta. You are not broken.”

Her father had spoken those same words to her, more times than she could count. But they were different coming from this man. He spoke with a definite authority, an unwavering confidence that said he knew he was right. It touched something inside her, something frightened. A tiny knot of tension she hadn’t been aware of relaxed.

“Torben was a solider.” Her father’s voice was gentle now, encouraging. “He’s known a lot of men who had very strong reactions after witnessing horrible things. He’s helped them.”

“Your father told me what happened to your mother,” Torben said quietly. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Echoes of her mother’s screams filled Leta’s ears. Her chest rose and fell more rapidly, her breaths sharper, painful. Ice water trickled through her veins, chasing away the warm feeling Torben had summoned with his words, his voice. The knot of tension returned, trailing a string of others until she stood hunched in on herself, falling into an all-too-familiar nightmare.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Her voice was weak, strangled by the memory peeking out at her like a monster from the mouth of a cave. She held her hands out, feeling around herself for orientation.

“Leta, here, come sit down.”

Her father took her arm, and she wilted with relief and let him lead her to a chair. Sitting calmed her, took away the awful feeling of disorientation that struck her when her emotions overwhelmed her spatial sense. She fought her way out of the panic, tried to reorient herself, remember where her husband was.

“We don’t have to talk about it.” He spoke as if he’d sensed her discomfort, her need to know where he was. “Know only that I am here to listen if you change your mind.”

She bobbed her head, grateful for his willingness to let it go. “You’re going to stay with us for a while, then?”

Awkward silence billowed into the room like dense fog.

“Leta…he’s your husband.” Her father shifted on his chair, his discomfort announced by every squeak of the wood. “You’re leaving with him.”



The Blood Realm Series



About The Author


Jennifer Blackstream is a USA Today bestselling author of fantasy/paranormal romance. Urban Fantasy will soon be joining her repertoire, and if she doesn’t get hold of the insidious roving gang of plot bunnies, there’s going to be steampunk sprinkled in there too…

To date, Jennifer has two series:



BLOOD PRINCE SERIES (COMPLETE):
Book 1 – Before Midnight
Book 2 – One Bite
Book 3 – Golden Stair
Book 4 – Divine Scales
Book 5 – Beautiful Salvation

Bonus Adventures in the Blood Prince World:
Book 2.5 – What Big Teeth You Have (free when you sign up for mailing list mentioned below)
Book 4.5 – The Pirate’s Witch
Book 5.5 – Dead to Begin With (available only between Thanksgiving and whenever Jennifer takes her Christmas tree down)

BLOOD REALM SERIES (IN PROGRESS SPIN-OFF OF BLOOD PRINCE SERIES):
Book 1 – All for a Rose
Book 2 – Blue Voodoo
Book 3 – The Archer

For news, new releases, and a free copy of What Big Teeth You Have, sign up for Jennifer’s mailing list.

Jennifer has unfailing affection for the authors who have influenced her, including Laurell K. Hamilton, Jim Butcher, and the sorely missed Sir Terry Pratchett. Her books include humor, romance, and action, with enough darkness to keep things very interesting.

When Jennifer isn’t writing, she can be found re-watching Boondock Saints, Noises Off, or Gross Pointe Blank. With one of those classics in the background, she might also be searching Amazon for something she wants, but doesn’t need (Is there any such thing as a kitchen gadget that isn’t an absolute necessity? And don’t even get me started on office supplies…).

You can find Jennifer at 

      




Presented By

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk - Blog Tour with Giveaway



Greetings! I'm J.E. Birk, and right now I'm traversing the internets to discuss my new romantic comedy, DATING RYAN ALBACK. Follow along to learn more about an insecure movie star, a klutzy teacher, and the neurotic dog who loves them. Leave comments for a chance to win a $10 Riptide giftcard and copy of any book from my backlist! 


About Dating Ryan Alback

Ryan Alback has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a successful acting career, a dog who adores him, great family and friends, and a life outside the closet. The only thing missing is a boyfriend—but Ryan’s been burned by Hollywood relationships before, and he’s not eager to try one again. 

Jason Santos has almost everything he's ever wanted: a fulfilling career teaching middle school, a house in a city he loves, and parents who support him in every way. Too bad he can't seem to forget the ex-boyfriend who rejected his marriage proposal.

When a talk show host launches a dating contest to find Ryan a boyfriend and Jason accidentally wins, neither of them expect anything to come from it. Yet somewhere between a disastrous massage and a mud sinkhole, they both start to wonder if this date could be more than just a public relations stunt. But before they can move into the future, they'll both have to learn to let go of the past. 

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/dating-ryan-alback


About J.E. Birk

J.E. Birk has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them since she was introduced to the alphabet. She hails from Colorado, where you can usually find her skiing, training for a 5K she won’t end up running, or watching people run into each other on football fields and in hockey rinks. You can follow her ramblings on Twitter by looking for @jebirkwrites. She’s also been known to ramble on Facebook as J Elisabeth Birk.

Connect with J.E. Birk:


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Dating Ryan Alback, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide Publishing credit and their choice of ebook from J.E.’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 25, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!