Wednesday, December 1, 2021

A Handful of Joy by Pat Henshaw - Release Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Release Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
A Handful of Joy
By Pat Henshaw

ahandfulofjoy

When does never turn into happily ever after in the search for love?

Top accountant of Manzanita Imports in Sacramento, Ted Abbott stopped participating in the love game after he turned thirty quite a few years ago. He’s not tempted by the cute young new hires or the product reps his loyal staff suggest he ask out on a date.

Chicago contractor Matt Patterson is on the verge of giving up too. He’s worked his way up from apprentice carpenter to co-owner of a thriving business. At forty-something, he’s considered a lucky catch for anybody looking for a sugar daddy, which he knows only too well.

The chance of them meeting is nil until Matt’s uncle who lived in Sacramento dies and leaves his estate to his nephew.

After they meet in a dilapidated bar called The Roost, could their paths actually merge and become one?

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AHOJ Teaser 1

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Excerpt:

“Where to next?” I asked Matt after shooting off a text to Josie.

“Somewhere I can think.” He turned and looked at me. “Thank you for the assist back there. It takes me a minute when something unexpected happens. A lot of people call me slow and others call me plain old stupid.”

He shook his head.

“A few of my friends at work call me ‘Give-me-a-minute-Matt’. I gotta step back and assess the situation and go over all my options before I come to a decision.” His mouth turned up in a rueful grimace. “Often people get annoyed when I do it.”

Not me. I was impressed. I liked a guy who took his time and didn’t just blunder ahead like his first thought always had to be the best. Careful thought beat impetuous action as far as I was concerned.

“Okay. All right.” I couldn’t leave it at that, though. “You didn’t hesitate the other night. Seemed pretty quick and direct to me. I was surprised.”

It took him a second, but he smiled a dreamy kind of grin.

“Yeah. The dance. The kiss.” He winked at me. “Not typical, so don’t get used to it.”

While we laughed softly together, I realized the easing of tension after our visit to Calvin was just what we needed.

“So, beef, chicken, fish, or other?” I asked.

“I don’t care as long as it’s somewhere quiet and we can talk without getting interrupted.”

His request wasn’t as impossible as it sounded. I took him to my favorite noontime Sudoku and tea spot, a tiny café I’d dubbed The Café That Time Forgot.

When it was built six generations back, Grumpy Gramp’s had been situated on one of the up-and-coming arterials in and out of San Francisco. Then highways had been built, with freeways not long afterward, followed by Interstate 80. The arterial receded into being a rural road, and instead of blossoming into the first of a flourishing chain of roadside cafés, Grumps, as it was affectionately called around here, became an anomaly, a family owned and operated East Bay institution.

Matt glanced at the sign over the brick building and laughed.

“Why’s he grumpy?”

“The café’s claim to fame is locally sourced ingredients for its soups, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. The story goes that back in the early 1900s when Gramps built the café on the edge of the fields, he always helped the workers pick the produce. One day a farmer brought in a box of greens and vegetables he’d picked the night before, so they weren’t in the best shape in the morning. Grampa reamed him out, calling the guy a ‘limp asparagus’. Everyone in the café at the time thought it was hilarious. They said the place’s name should be changed. Gramma wasn’t amused but said from now on her café would be called Grumpy Grampa, not Limp Asparagus. The name stuck.”

Matt was full-out belly laughing.

“Oh, God. The image. Limp asparagus.”

“Yeah, I know. Not a place where any self-respecting man would want to eat. Ever.”

AHOJ Teaser 2


Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of A Handful of Joy, Pat is giving away a $10 voucher for JMS Books (Open Internationally)

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57359/?

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About the Author:

Pat Henshaw, born and raised in Nebraska, has lived on the U S’s three coasts, in Texas, Virginia, and now California. Before she retired, she held a number of jobs, including theatrical costumer, newspaper features reporter and movie reviewer, librarian, junior college English instructor, and publicist. She also loves to travel and has visited Canada, Mexico, Europe, Egypt, and Central America as well as almost all fifty US states.

Now retired, she enjoys reading and writing as well as visiting her older daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren on the East Coast and playing havoc with her younger daughter’s life in NorCal. She thanks you for reading her books and wants you to remember that every day is a good day for romance.

For more information, please visit pathenshaw.com.

Connect with Pat:
Website: www.pathenshaw.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pat.henshaw.10/
Twitter: @HenshawAuthor
Instagram: phenshaw2018
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pathenshaw/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6998437.Pat_Henshaw
TikTok: @pathenshaw1


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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

True Order by Patricia Logan - Blog Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
True Order
By Patricia Logan

04_TrueOrder for Amazon 1867-x-2800

Prosper Woods Chronicles, Book 4

Bloodthirsty vamps. Dire Wolf royalty. The Prince of unicorns. What's next? All out war of course.

When I came to Prosper Woods, the last thing I expected was to be walking into a world of magic. Horror movies at the theater hadn’t prepared me for the realization that vampires, werewolves, witches, shifters, and ghosts were real. After six months, I’ve learned to live with it and I count many odd creatures as friends, not to mention my soulmate, a vampire who makes me tremble when he kisses me.

I’m hopelessly, helplessly in love.

When I came to Prosper Woods, my expectations were low. I brought Robert’s bones, numerous possessions, and regret for my role in my maker’s sheer bloodlust. I also brought Robert’s ancient tomes. When Sergio showed up demanding I give him the books, I banished him with the help of a spell and a friendly witch. I never expected those books to be the source of danger to my man and our life together.

I’m hopelessly, helplessly in love.

When the vampire came to town, I knew things were going to change. What I didn’t expect was to become alpha of my pack and fall in love with my best friend. Werewolf royalty moved into town, bad vampires were about to go to war with us, and the biggest surprise of all…the unicorns had a king of their own. I don’t know what’s about to happen, but I want to avoid war. With Sam by my side, I’m pretty sure I can face anything.

Because I’m hopelessly, helplessly in love.

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Goodreads

TO Teaser 1


Excerpt:

When Mrs. Mendez had gone, I caught Sid’s eye. The old man walked over to the counter and lifted a hinged area, beckoning me to come behind it with him.

“He’s in the root cellar. Go out the backdoor. As soon as you step outside, you’ll see the double doors leading down to it,” Sid said. He glanced out through the storefront window before looking back at me. “It’s just now sundown, so it should be safe.” He didn’t elaborate but I knew he meant Vincent could come out, now there was no danger from the sun.

“Thanks, Sid,” I said, patting the old man on the forearm as I passed by him and headed to the back of his store. I took a deep breath as I stood at the entrance to the root cellar out in the back alley. I don’t know why I was nervous. I suppose I was afraid of being rejected. Just as I was reaching out to grab the door handle, the double doors suddenly opened, and I was looking into the bright topaz eyes of the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. Vincent smiled shyly, stepped forward, and pulled me into his arms, burying his face in the side of my neck.

“I’ve been an utter fool, Romeo. I’m so sorry for worrying you, love.” He kissed my neck, holding his nose against a throbbing vein there, and I hugged him tightly, unbelievably relieved to have him in my arms again.

“You know you can tell me anything, don’t you?” I asked, breathing in the apple scent of his shampoo and adoring the silky feeling of his hair against my lips. “I know you’ve been out of sorts ever since getting the email a week ago.”

He loosened his grip but didn’t let me go as he leaned back and stared into my eyes. “I thought…” He shook his head slowly. “Well, it doesn’t matter. I was wrong in any case.”

“It matters, Vincent. Whatever it is, it matters. Tell me,” I beseeched. “I’m your mate. You know you’re safe with me as long as you’re honest, Vincent.” 

He nodded slowly. “Can we head home now? I’ll tell you all about it later. Right now, all I want to do is spend some time with you.”

I sighed. He was right. I really didn’t want to open a long discussion when all I could think of was getting him naked and under me.

TO Teaser 2


Catch up on the series:

PWC Series Image 1

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Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of True Order, Patricia is giving away 2 Audible Codes for True Order or an e-set of the series AND e-set of Prosper Woods Chronicles (4.5 eBooks)!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57351/?

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About the Author:

International bestselling author Patricia Logan, resides in Los Angeles, California. The author of several #1 bestselling erotic romances in English, Italian, French, and Spanish lives in a small house with a large family. When she’s not writing her next thriller romance, she’s watching her grandchildren grow up way too soon, and raising kids who make her proud every day. One of her favorite tasks is coaxing nose kisses from cats who insist on flopping on her keyboard while she tries to type. She counts herself lucky to be surrounded by people who love her and give her stories to tell every day.

Become a fan of Patricia at http://authorpatricialogan.com

Email her at patricialogan.author@yahoo.com. She loves to hear from readers more than anything and will respond to all emails.

Connect with Patricia:
Website: http://www.authorpatricialogan.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ploganauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatriciaLogan1
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorpatricialogan/
Email: patricialogan.author@yahoo.com


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Monday, November 22, 2021

Merr Elf-ing Christmas by Beth Bolden - Release Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

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Release Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Merry Elf-ing Christmas
By Beth Bolden

merry elfing christmas - ebook-1600x2400

Aidan might be a bad elf, but he’s never been naughty.

Aidan has always landed on Santa’s nice list, thank you very much. But that doesn’t mean he’s cut out to be a North Pole elf; instead of worrying about the dwindling magic of Christmas, he’d much rather be back in Tir na Nog, calculating where the next end of the rainbow is going to land.

Instead he’s freezing his butt off in Santa’s sleigh.

His situation seems grim despite all the decking the halls, until on Christmas Eve, during a milk and cookies run, he meets Dexter, an engineering student.

They couldn’t be more different, and Dexter couldn’t be more forbidden, but Aidan is drawn to the handsome human anyway. Over the next year, their emails start out as a entertaining way to pass the time in all his interminable elf meetings, but soon, hearing from Dex becomes the very best part of his day.

And when they meet up on the next Christmas Eve? Aidan and Dex discover that their infatuation is so much more than just attraction. If they believe in each other and in the love they share, together their magic might be powerful enough to save Christmas.

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Excerpt:

Aidan was supposed to be in Ireland.

He was supposed to be counting golden coins, buffing cauldrons and helping his boss, the vice president of Leprechaun Operations, triangulate where the end of the next rainbow would land.

Instead, he was in Santa’s sleigh.

Currently freezing his balls off.

His friend Ronan had said that “weirder things had happened,” but Aidan wasn’t sure that there was much weirder than at the young age of sixty-seven discovering that he wasn’t meant to be at Tír na nÓg, but instead that he’d apparently been born under a unique northern star, under a particular set of circumstances—the same circumstances that a North Pole elf had once foretold would produce the Elf Who Would Save Christmas.

AKA the Christmas Savior.

Aidan was flattered, but the truth was, he didn’t want to save Christmas.

He wanted to find the end of the next rainbow.

Santa—no, Aidan reminded himself, Sam, as he’d introduced himself a few weeks back, with twinkling blue eyes and a welcoming smile—turned to him. “Want to stop for a snack?” he asked.

Aidan actually didn’t. He wanted to finish this interminable night and get off this sleigh and stop shivering, finally.

The magic of Christmas blah blah blah had lasted just about as long as it took for that first blast of arctic air to sneak up the back of his fur-lined cloak.

“Sure, we could get a snack,” Aidan said instead, because he was supposed to be assisting, and as Edmund, head of the North Pole elves, had told him when he’d pulled him aside for one last hissed, hurried set of instructions, that meant Santa got whatever he wanted.

“This night,” Edmund said in that annoyingly stentorian voice of his, “is for Santa. It’s Santa’s night.”

“Sam,” Aidan had responded impudently, earning him one of Edmund’s trademark frosty glares. “He told me to call him Sam.”

Edmund had sniffed, clearly unamused. “If that is what Santa said, then so be it.”

He’d learned that much during his last six weeks in the North Pole; Santa’s word was freaking law.

Even the leprechauns hadn’t wielded quite so much power.

But then with Sam, it wasn’t really power. He ruled with good old-fashioned love, inspiring an adoring crowd who would gladly trample anyone who didn’t feel the same.

The good news was that up til now, Aidan had managed to keep his apathy under wraps.

If Edmund or any of the other North Pole elves ever found out about it, he was screwed.

Sam pulled the sleigh, powered by its flying doohicky—Edmund had forwarded him the complicated plans that he’d glanced over and understood exactly zero of—down through the clouds of Chicago, snow thick on the ground.

Somehow, eventually he’d have to actually be able to take the sleigh apart and put it back together, or so Edmund had told him, but he’d been given a pass since it was just his first year. Aidan wasn’t particularly looking forward to it.

Invisibility was one of the elves’ greatest strengths, and their camouflaging magic helped keep the sleigh under wraps. It was the one thing the North Pole and the Tír na nÓg elves had in common: they were really good at making things disappear.

Still, you had to be careful, as Edmund had lectured Aidan about a dozen times. The sleigh might be invisible, but if they landed in a snowbank, the tracks would show. And if anyone ever bumped into it, the invisibility would fade, abruptly, exposing their secrets to humans.

AKA The Worst Thing Ever.

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Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of Merry Elf-ing Christmas, Beth's giving you a chance to win:

  • a $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • A signed paperback of Merry Elf-ing Christmas (US Winner)
  • e-copy of Merry Elf-ing Christmas (International Winner)!

Enter through the rafflecopter below!

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57352/?

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 About the Author:

A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty-three novels and seven novellas.

Connect with Beth:

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub

Instagram | Newsletter Sign-up


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Friday, November 19, 2021

A No-Strings Noel by Annabelle Jacobs - Release Blitz with Giveaway

 





Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Length: 54,000 words approx.

A week of no-strings fun in a winter wonderland setting. No consequences, no expectations, no hurt feelings. Right?

Henry:

Finding his boyfriend in a compromising position leaves him with a week off work and no holiday to go on.
A night of vodka, ice cream, and his sister’s sympathetic ear is the only way to deal with it.
It’s also how he finds himself on holiday alone a few weeks later, at an English holiday village in the countryside, surrounded by Christmas cheer and happy families.

He’s expecting a week of relaxing days and early nights, doing his own thing, and taking some time for himself. And hopefully finding some festive spirit along the way, because it’s sorely lacking at the moment.

What he’s not expecting is Dom.

Dom:

Coming to somewhere so familiar soothes his broken heart after yet another failed attempt at finding someone to settle down with. He’s ready. They never are.

Seeing a lost-looking stranger on the first day of his holiday triggers his protective instincts, so he steps in to give him some helpful advice.
Who knew that advice would mean they end up spending the day and then the whole week together? But he figures a holiday fling is exactly what he needs to get through this slump: no expectations, no misunderstandings, no heartbreak.
Or that was the plan.
He knows Henry wants more, but he doesn’t trust himself where his heart’s concerned.
He doesn’t trust Henry not to break it.

A Christmas MM romance featuring a meet-cute, a sexy holiday fling, a meddling but awesome sister, a teeny bit of angst, and a festive HEA.


Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website – www.annabellejacobs.com
Email – ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction 


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The Fires of Daytime by Drea Roman - Release Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
The Fires of Daytime
by Drea Roman
 

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A Valewood Novel, Book 10

Worlds collide, sparks fly, and these new mates will have to use all the wits the gods gave them to survive the fires of daytime.

Just because Calvin Carter plays an omega on the long-running soap opera, The Blazing Inferno, doesn't mean he is one in real life. Right?

Daytime drama spills from the sound stage into Calvin's life when he is rescued by a hunky fireman who claims, in his deep, sexy voice, that the human is his mate. And that was just on Monday!

Having arrived in Valleywood the day before, Xander hasn't even explored the magical movie making city, when a fire on the set of a studio lot leads him to the rescue of his fated mate.

When Calvin's precocious costar is kidnapped for real, he and Xander are going to need some magical help to save the day.

Join Xander, the hunky fireman with the deep voice, and Calvin, the plucky soap star, as their lives turn into the sweeps week from hell. Will they crash and burn? Or light up the Valleywood skies in a blaze of glory and soap opera magic?

The Fires of Daytime is book ten of the brand new Valleywood series, where magic and the silver screen unite.

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FOD Teaser 2

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Excerpt:

Xander: A Fireman to the Rescue

            “So that’s pretty much it for the station tour, Xander.  Got any questions?”

            I shake my head and smile, holding out my hand to shake Ronald’s.  The outgoing station chief has made my transition into my new position as painless as possible.  “Not that I can think of right now, Captain.”

            The older Irishman winks at me and slaps me on the back instead of taking my head.  “None of that formality crap around here, son.  Anyway, I’m not the captain or the fire chief here anymore.  You are.”

            I nod, my horse prancing proudly inside my mind.  It was his idea, after all, so he ought to be proud of himself.  Without his insistence that we needed to change to our perfectly organized life, I would still be back at the Vale Valley Fire Station with my friends and family.  My human heart pangs at the distance from home, but my stallion shakes it off with a snort that comes out of my human mouth as a laugh.

            “Quite right.  That’s going to take some getting used to, I’m sure.”

            Ronald chuckles and gives me another hearty slap on the back.  Before he can say another word, the station siren screams, the initial blast followed by three short peals. 

            The old chief snaps into motion and I follow him as he jumps on the pole in the middle of the second floor and slides down to the first.  As soon as my feet hit the floor, Ronald throws a jacket at me.  “Nothing like a rager to break you in on your first day.”

            “What do the three extra bells mean?” I ask as I shove on fire pants, kick off my cowboy boots, and jam my socked feet into a random pair of fire boots I am pleasantly surprised to find actually fit.   

            “All hands on-deck.”

FOD Teaser 3

FOD Teaser 1


Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of The Fires of Daytime, Drea is giving away a $5 Amazon Voucher!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57354/?

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About Drea:

Drea Roman is an overeducated lady with cats, a ferret, lizards, a fiancé, a sister, and a wonderful village of likeminded friends, authors, and artists. All of this coupled with too many day jobs makes Drea a ridiculously busy woman.

Connect with Drea:
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Thursday, November 18, 2021

It's Complicated by Kindle Alexander - Cover Reveal

 



Kindle Alexander has revealed
the cover for It's Complicated!




Releasing December 7, 2021

Nightclub manager Julian Cullen runs Reservations with impeccable precision and a deep sense of pride. But repressed memories from his abduction two years ago surface, leaving him struggling emotionally. Julian vows to reclaim his previous life but doesn't factor in the biggest distraction of all: the handsome cowboy hanging around the club intent on gaining his attention.
 
Entrepreneur Beckett St. Clair built an industry-leading survivalist training company through hard work and dedication. The tough as nails outdoorsman can navigate any situation or so he thinks...A chance encounter with a guarded night club manager leaves him tumbling head over heels into uncharted territory.
 
One man is lost to his past, the other dreams of a future.
Both men will soon find out love is never easy...it's complicated.



Cover Designer: Reese Dante

Preorder your copy today on Amazon! 
http://mybook.to/ickindle

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3EBlWcl








Meet Kindle Alexander



Amazon international number one bestselling and award-winning author, Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer who writes contemporary gay romance. Happily married with too many children and dogs, living in the suburbs of Dallas.

Usually I try for funny. Humor is an important part of my life - I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations - regardless of the situation, but jokes can be a tricky deal. I don't want to offend anyone, and humor tends to offend. So instead, I'm going to tell you about Kindle.

I tragically lost my sixteen-year-old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been home. It was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I'll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died - weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn't have to be alone.

That time in my life was terrible. It's everything you imagine times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have her ripped away so suddenly broke me.

Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness - it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon announced their brand new ereader. She had no idea the Kindle was coming and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it...Never happened.

Through the course of that crippling event, I was lucky enough to know my writing partner. I would have never gotten through those dark days without her unwavering support and guidance. There wasn't a time she wasn't there for me. For the first time, I used the hand offered. I know without question I wouldn't be here today without her. It takes a special person to stand beside someone at a time like that. I will love her forever. I could go on and on about the both of them, but I won't and now you know a little more About Us.
 
Connect with Kindle
Website | www.kindlealexander.com
Goodreads | https://bit.ly/3ojhrgn
Amazon | https://amzn.to/2ZRq0pY
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Facebook Group | https://bit.ly/3EOnkZr
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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Best Gift by Eli Easton - Release Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

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Release Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
The Best Gift
By Eli Easton

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With help from a Christmas miracle, two bruised hearts find joy again.

Greg Cabot is the third generation to run Cabot’s Christmas Wonderland and tree farm in rural Vermont. But this year will be his last. Since the death of his son, Sam, in Afghanistan, Greg no longer has the heart to run a business based on holiday cheer. When he picks up a hitchhiking soldier on a snowy night, he finds the help he needs to get his farm through the holidays—and maybe much more.

Sergeant Robbie Sparks doesn’t have much to be thankful for this holiday season. Badly wounded in Afghanistan, he’s spent the last eight months in recovery and was discharged after ten years of service. When fate lands him at Cabot’s tree farm, he feels like he’s fallen into a snow globe reality. Friendly people, gorgeous trees, lots of Christmas kitsch… and Greg Cabot.

Greg believes he’s too heartbroken for romance, but those we love never truly leave us. A little nudge from heaven may help build a bridge for these two men trying to heal. If only they are willing to take that first step.

This stand-alone, long novella is a small town, Christmas cornucopia, May-December, hurt/comfort , ex-military romance stuffed full of family and holiday feels.

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Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

December 1, 2017

Greg

“Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” the one with the glorious trumpets, was playing over the PA system when I looked around for the next customer. There wasn't one. I couldn't believe it at first, walking from the baler, where I netted Christmas trees, down a row of Scotch pine, Douglas fir, and Norway spruce, and back around to the central clearing and the Cabot's Christmas Wonderland store. But the crowds had cleared out. Only a few customers lingered among the rows.

Something wet landed on my cheek. They were numb from being outdoors all day, but I felt the damp. I glanced up. Fat flakes floated down from the late afternoon sky like a million tiny parachutes.

I smiled at the sight and, for just a moment, indulged myself, continuing to stare up at the leaden pink sky and the descending slow-motion avalanche.

"It wasn't supposed to snow."

I looked down to see Tori standing next to me, hands on her hips, face tilted up. Her shiny black hair, which fell straight to her shoulders, collected snowflakes like the fur of a black cat. Her short, plump figure was clad in a black puffer coat and, over it, a red and green Cabot's apron.

"Sure wasn't in the forecast," I agreed.

"And this ain't no light stuff. These goose feathers'll pile up fast."

"Yup." A thought occurred to me. "Damn it. I was gonna make a trip to the bank today."

"Well you'd best go and do it before the roads get bad."

"I can't leave you and Roscoe and Lucy here alone. What if there's another rush?"

Tori gave me a look. "It's a Friday, and it's only December first. No one's desperate enough to come out in this weather. It's already cleared out, in case you haven't noticed."

I looked around again. She was right. The parking lot only had a few cars in it. How long had it been snowing, and I'd not even noticed? I glanced down. The ground under my feet had a good inch already.

Since Sam's death, last February, I lost things sometimes. Long minutes. Whole hours. I'd been netting trees and carrying them out to cars on autopilot for God knew how long. A wave of guilt swamped me. Had I even said two words to my customers? They didn't come all the way to Cabot's, home of holiday cheer, to be served by a morose robot.

Tori laid a hand on my arm and spoke gently. "Do the bank run, boss. Me and Roscoe and Lucy'll be fine."

"Okay," I said, because my chest was tight, and I suddenly wanted to get out of there so I could breathe. But the thing about escaping was, I always had to come back. All roads led to Cabot's for me. At least for now. "Hey, if it's still snowing like this by the time I get back, we'll close early so you guys can get home."

"Sure, boss. I'll start tidying up."

I went into the store. There were only two customers browsing the ornaments, lights, wreaths, and other assorted Christmas paraphernalia. I greeted Roscoe, a good man in his 40s who’d worked for Cabot’s for twenty years. His sweet smile and eagerness to please more than made up for his intellectual disability. He ran the till in the store every day we were open and loved to tell customers about the different ornaments we carried.

"Did you see it's snowing, Greg?" Roscoe asked me, looking between me and windows at the front of the store.

"I sure did. Heavy too. I'm gonna run to the bank, and then maybe we'll close early."

"'Cause the roads get bad when it snows a lot. And it's not good to drive on 'em."

"That's right. I'll be back as soon as I can."

"Okay! Watch out for the snow."

"You know to call me if you need any help, right?" I reminded him.

"Your number is in my phone. But you shouldn't talk on the phone when you're driving, Greg."

I gave Roscoe a little smile. "I promise I'll pull over. Just let me know if you run into any problems."

I knew they wouldn't. Tori and Roscoe were both as dependable as the sunrise in Vermont, the leaves in the fall, or the snow in the wintertime. But, like my father and grandfather before me, it was in my nature to worry about Cabot's. Though soon, it wouldn't be any longer.

The thought sent icy prickles through my blood as I took off my Cabot's apron and hung it up in the employee's kitchen, grabbed the past few days receipts from the small office safe, then left through the side door.

Fresh snow, marred only by my boots, was already thick on the long sidewalk that went around a stand of American Holly to the house, and on the cement steps to the side entry. The way was so familiar—trodden a million times in the course of my forty-three years—that I knew every crack and bump even when it was buried in white.

Inside the house, I turned up the heat. It would be nice to come back to a warm house. I thought about changing from my sheepskin-lined wool work coat, which was always dotted with pine needles and tree sap, but decided against it. I didn't care how I looked, hadn't bothered to cut my shoulder-length dark hair in over a year, and the beard I'd let grow rampant was more about depression than fashion. I just brushed sawdust off my jeans in the mud room and stomped snow off my boots as best I could. Then I went through the kitchen, grabbing my keys, and down the hall to the front door.

I opened it and froze. On the braided doormat, safe under the porch overhang, was a package. The postman must have dropped it off, but I couldn't think of anything I'd ordered. I bent to pick it up, then sucked in a sharp breath. The package was the size of a large book, wrapped in plain brown paper. My name and address was written on the front in a familiar hand.

The pain struck so hard I bent all the way over and laid a hand on the porch floor to keep from falling. I squeezed my eyes shut and took deep breaths. I was still learning the contours of this grief for Sam. I'd grieved when my grandparents died, and then my parents. But the grief of losing my only child was a monstrous thing. Even ten months on, it lurked like a malevolent bird, never far away, and swooped in to tear into my guts or heart when I least expected it.

Pull it together. Sam wouldn't want this.

A low moan sounded from somewhere, probably me, and I steeled myself. I opened my eyes and picked up the package. It was from Sam. Why had it taken so long to arrive? But mail was strange, especially when it involved the military. Maybe it had gotten lost. Maybe Sam had addressed it, and it had been mislaid and never mailed until someone found it recently and sent it. Anything was possible.

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Enter the Giveaway:

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About the Author:

Coming from a background in computer game design, Eli has written over 50 books in m/m romance since 2013. The Mating of Michael (2014) and A Second Harvest (2016) both won The William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance, and Eli’s books have won many awards from the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Reader’s Choice Awards. She is best known for her Christmas romances, the Howl at the Moon series of rom coms featuring dog shifters, and the Nerds Vs Jocks series, co-written with Tara Lain.

Connect with Eli:
www.elieaston.com
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Twitter: @elieaston


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Monday, November 15, 2021

Breath of Life by Jocelynn Drake - Release Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Breath Of Life
By Jocelynn Drake

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The Godstone Saga, Book 2

Caelan wants his throne back.

The bargain has been struck, and it’s time to return home.

But the situation is worse in Erya than he previously suspected.

Now he has to fight for his birthright, and maybe get a little revenge in the process.

Breath of Life is the second book in the six-book Godstone Saga fantasy series and is not a standalone. The story contains explosions, gods with secret plans, hidden romance, a prince set on revenge, magic, and lots of delicious angst.

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Special Release Excerpt:

“Rayne, does it ever stop being exhausting?” Caelan asked quietly.

His advisor kept his eyes moving around the area, searching for attackers, but he tilted his head at Caelan to indicate that he was listening. “What’s that?”

“Wondering if you can trust someone.”

“I learned long ago to work under the assumption that no one is trustworthy until you understand exactly what they want most in life.” He paused and the hint of a smile lightened his expression. “However, the exhaustion fades when you surround yourself with the few people you can trust without question. Lean on them and let them protect you.”

“We’ve got you, Cael,” Drayce added.

The next breath was easier, and so was the one after that. They had his back both figuratively and literally. Their goal was the same—the protection and salvation of Erya.

Eno turned toward them and nodded. Drayce started first, a gun in one hand. As they reached Tomas, the Royal Guard nodded briefly and led them down another street and through the side entrance of a small warehouse. Caelan thought he caught a glimpse of some armed men on the rooftops, watching the street, but they were past them too fast to get a good count.

Stepping inside, Caelan nearly tripped at the sight of at least fifty men and women spread around the open space. Their clothes were worn, dirty, and ragged. Too many of them looked painfully thin, their faces too gaunt. Soldiers and citizens left to fight for their homes on too little food. Caelan needed to fix this now.

“Your Majesty,” Tomas said, jerking Caelan’s gaze to him. The old soldier had dropped to one knee, his right hand pressed to his chest over his heart, and his head bowed. “My life for Erya. My blood for the crown. My soul for the Godstone.”

A wave crashed through the room as every man and woman dropped to a knee and repeated the vow. It was the same vow every soldier gave when they entered the Royal Guard. They lived it. As long as they were a Royal Guard, they were expected to give everything to the protection of Erya, the crown, and the Godstone. It was why none of them dared to marry until after they retired from service. They allowed nothing to come between them and the vow.

Caelan was left shaken to his very core. It was as if all the air had been sucked from the room and a thousand-pound weight had settled on his shoulders. This was what it meant to be king. Their lives were in his hands. From this day forward, his every decision would impact whether these people lived or died. He vowed that he would never take that responsibility lightly.

Placing a hand on Tomas’s shoulder, Caelan squeezed it and fought for air so he could finally say, “Rise, Captain Tomas Soto. Erya accepts your life. The crown cherishes your blood. The Goddess blesses your soul.”

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Catch up with Book 1: Steal The Wind

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The Godstone Saga, Book 1

Everything Caelan knows about his world is a lie.

A war is brewing. As the crown prince of Erya, it’s only natural that Caelan is sent on a secret diplomatic mission to support one of the kingdom’s allies. With his advisor, his bodyguard, and his best friend as traveling companions, what could go wrong?

Everything.

Everything goes wrong.

Now they are on the run, dodging assassins, setting secret meetings, and even making deals with a sleeping god.

So, this is probably a really bad time to cave to feelings he’s been fighting for his best friend. But Drayce has owned his heart for more years than he can count and if he’s going to die, shouldn’t he have just one kiss?

The fate of the world is on the line, and only Caelan holds the power to save them all.

Steal the Wind is the first book in the six-book Godstone Saga fantasy series and is not a standalone. The story contains explosions, secrets, cranky gods, hidden romance, a prince on the run, a possessive ex-boyfriend, magic, and lots of delicious angst.

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Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of Breath Of Life, Jocelynn is giving away 5 Signed Paperback Copies of Breath Of Life and the giveaway is open internationally!!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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Jocelynn Drake

About the Author:

New York Times Bestselling author Jocelynn Drake loves a good story, whether she is reading it or writing one of her own. Over the years, her stories have allowed her to explore space, talk to dragons, dodge bullets with assassins, hang with vampires, and fall in love again and again.

This former Kentucky girl has moved up, down, and across the U.S. with her husband. Recently, they’ve settled near the Rockies.

When she is not hammering away at her keyboard, she can be found walking her dog Ace or playing video games. She loves Bruce Wayne, Ezio Auditore, travel, tattoos, explosions, and fast cars.

She is the author of the urban fantasy series: The Dark Days series and the Asylum Tales. She recently completed a gay romantic suspense series called The Exit Strategy about two assassins falling in love and trying to create a life together as well as a paranormal romance series following a family of vampires called the Lords of Discord.

Connect with Jocelynn:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jocelynn.drake/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jocelynndrakedarlings
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JocelynnDrake
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jocelynn.drake/
Website: jocelynndrake.com


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