Release Blitz + 2017 Favorite + 5+-Star Review: Ruthless King by Meghan March

 

 

Get ready for the darker and dirtier side of New Orleans with a brand new alpha romance from USA Today bestselling author Meghan March.

 

New Orleans belongs to me.

You don’t know my name, but I control everything you see—and all the things you don’t.

My reach knows no bounds, and my demands are always met.

I didn’t need to loan money to a failing family distillery, but it amuses me to have them in my debt.

To have her in my debt.

She doesn’t know she caught my attention.

She should’ve been more careful.

I’m going to own her. Consume her. Maybe even keep her.

It’s time to collect what I’m owed.

Keira Kilgore, you’re now the property of Lachlan Mount.

*Ruthless King is book one of the Mount Trilogy*

 

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

BUY NOW

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | BN | Kobo

 

Tracey’s Review

Good Lord, what did I just read?! I’m still looking at my e-reader, peering over the cliff that author Meghan March left us all hanging onto, wondering how in the HECK I’m supposed to wait for the second book in her Mount trilogy.

Fans of Meghan’s Beneath series have met Lachlan Mount. He’s legend, and certainly no one to cross. So how in the world did Keira Kilgore find herself on the wrong side of this man? The more she resists him, the more he insists on her submission, intrigued despite himself, and determined that she bow to his will.

RUTHLESS KING had me flipping pages like my e-reader was on fire. I mean, I was hooked, and there was no way that I was stopping until I reached THE END, for all the good that it did me. Why, you ask? Because, oh, my freaking goodness, how in the world could the story end there?! What do you mean, Meghan, that I have to wait for DEFIANT QUEEN, the next book in the trilogy? This is what makes a book better than good, book junkies, and puts it firmly into the ‘Best of 2017’ for this girl. It’s enthralling, it’s suspenseful, it’s sexier than all get-out, and I didn’t.want.it.to.end.

I cannot wait to see what’s coming for Lachlan and Keira, and, knowing Meghan, it’ll be not only worth waiting for, but better than I could possibly anticipate. 5+ stars for the King of New Orleans and his unwilling queen. Grab this one now, y’all, and get ready to be dazzled, because Lachlan Mount will not be denied.

 

 

 

 

 

meghanmarchpic

Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | TWITTER | PINTEREST

New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: In Pieces by Danielle Pearl

SBPRBanner-InPieces-BT.jpg

In Pieces, an all-new brother’s-best-friend standalone from Danielle Pearl is availanow NOW!

In Pieces Cover.JPG

In Pieces by Danielle Pearl

Genre: New Adult Romance

Publishing Date: October 10th, 2017

 

Three years ago she was left in pieces . . . Most college freshmen love the newfound freedom of living on campus, but none of them craves it like Beth Caplan. One ill-fated night when she was fifteen left her locked in a posh prison of private tutors. It’s for the best, everyone said, and maybe it was. But after years of hard work and healing, the one person who never thought of her as broken could be the one to break her all over again. And Beth can’t seem to stay away now any more than she could all those years ago.

As soon as David March learned his best friend’s little sister was enrolling at his school, he promised to look after her, and promised himself he’d keep a safe distance. But the sweet little girl he’d grown up with has transformed into a gorgeous young woman, and she’s attracting attention from people she shouldn’t-like the ex who nearly destroyed her and a strange new student with a disturbing habit of showing up wherever Beth goes. But for David, the most troubling discovery is realizing that he doesn’t just want Beth to be safe. He wants her to be his.

 

Excerpt:

 
David
Present Day

Beth slams the door of the Uber and runs barefoot into the building, her heels dangling from her hand by their straps. I give her a thirty-second head start, clenching my jaw shut to resist calling after her with something I might regret, knowing my temper and the still-potent buzz of alcohol have the potential to create the perfect storm right now.
Beth bypasses the small elevator bank and veers left toward the stairwell, heaving the door open and making sure to slam it loudly behind her.
I shake my head in disapproval, wanting to berate her for even that—taking the stairs alone at night when she knows the elevators are safer. Even if the small part of my brain that’s still somewhat rational admits that my building is relatively safe in general. But it’s her mentality that’s making me crazy. With everything going on right now, and everything she knows about this fucked- up world, why would she take risks with her safety at all?
I shove my hand through my hair and slam my foot into the doorjamb. I just can’t fucking believe her right now! And she has the balls to stomp away from me as if I’m the fucking bad guy?
I haven’t had much occasion for indignation in my life, but right now it’s making me grind my teeth into fucking dust. Because the reality is Beth could get hurt again. She could get hurt worse.
My brain gets caught on that last thought, and I can’t get past it no matter how hard I try. It rages through me until my blood boils over, the buzz of alcohol feeding the flames like gasoline as they fire me back into motion. I crush what’s left of my cigarette under my shoe, and march up the rest of the steps and down our hallway. I’m already reaching for the door with my keys when I realize it’s fucking ajar, and the sight of it incenses me even more.
Could she possibly be any more cavalier with her goddamned safety?
It’s after one in the motherfucking morning! Who the hell leaves their front door open in the middle of the night like an invitation for trouble? Especially someone who, on top of everything else, just spent the entire fucking night drinking. She once told me she thought I was trouble. She has no fucking idea what trouble even is.
I barge through the door, all out of patience and ready to tell her off, but the apartment is dark, the only light glowing from the crack beneath the bedroom door. Beth’s presence would be impossible to miss, though, what with the sound of her tramping around the room, violently yanking and slamming drawers like she wants the whole damned building to feel her wrath.
Well, at least that’s one feeling that is definitely fucking mutual.
I throw the bedroom door open with more force than I intend, and Beth jumps at the reverberating bang as it smacks against the opposite wall. But she catches herself without even glancing my way, continuing about her business like I don’t even fucking exist.
My outrage dissipates as I take her in. Her long blonde hair is haphazardly piled on top of her head, and she’s already changed into a T-shirt and yoga pants. My eyes get stuck on her ass for several seconds before I even process the fact that she’s shoving her shit into her duffle bag.
She yanks open another drawer—the one I’d cleared for her bras and underwear—and panic rolls through me. It doesn’t mix well with the indignation. Or the booze.
Somehow I manage to force enough patience to keep from unloading my every grievance on her at once, and I just stand here glowering, biting back every word I couldn’t wait to get out just moments ago—those words now lodged uncomfortably in my throat, held hostage by that fucking duffel. And suddenly I resent that, too. The fact that Beth has the nerve to vilify me for looking out for her. For taking her out to do something she fucking loves. But more than anything, I resent that I fucking care. That the sight of her packing her things affects me. Not just my feelings—my motherfucking feelings—but my actions, too.
It gives her a kind of control—power. It’s not a dynamic I’m used to with women, and it’s left me a little lost and a lot confused. And even more pissed the fuck off. It’s enough to demolish even my pretense of patience, my composure shattering in one fell swoop, and I spring into action, thrusting myself in front of her in challenge.
“’The fuck are you doing?” I demand.
Beth’s jaw locks, but she just sidesteps around me.
“Beth,” I warn.
She snatches handfuls of panties from her drawer—my drawer—with enough hostility that I worry for the integrity of the delicate lace, and my inebriated mind actually pities them until I remember it’s me she’s fucking pissed at. The appearance of her underwear doesn’t help my focus, either. But watching her shove them purposefully into her bag snaps me back to reality. Or it snaps me the fuck out of my Beth-panty-coma, at least.
“What the fucking hell are you doing?” I repeat as calmly as I can manage—which, it turns out, isn’t calm at all. But where the hell does she think she’s going in the middle of the goddamned night?
“Taking my stuff and going back to my dorm,” Beth deadpans, and it takes me a second to realize she’s not actually kidding.
I shake my head and grab her upper arms. “The fuck you are!”
Beth wrenches from my grip, and I have to release her or risk hurting her, which is not a fucking option. “The fuck I am, is right!” she shouts, skirting back around me to stuff more clothes into her bag.
And, finally, I lose it.
I grab the offending fucking duffle and flop it upside-down, shaking it violently until all of her shit falls onto my bed in an unceremonious pile of all things Beth.
“What the hell are you doing!” she hisses, climbing onto the bed to regather her clothes.
I don’t even think. I take hold of her calves and jerk her knees straight, and she squeals with surprise, falling facedown onto the bed, right atop the heap of clothing. But I don’t back off. I grab her hips and flip her onto her back in one not-so-smooth movement, bending over her and planting my palms on either side of her face in a makeshift cage. Beth’s lips part in a small o of shock, but she can’t escape my gaze, trapped beneath me like she is.
But that goes both ways, and I force myself to close my eyes, and inhale a choppy rush of air before meeting hers.
Something changes when I reopen my eyes. Beth’s temper seems to have dissipated, her dark blonde brows pulled together in helpless bemusement. Her eyes are deep blue oceans, and they draw me in like an undertow, luring me into their shallows before drowning me in their depths.
But, somehow, they calm me, and the anger is drained right out of me as something tugs inside my chest. For a moment I forget how we even got here. All I register are her sharp, shallow breaths as they whisper against my lips in soft gusts.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I know this is dangerous—her lying beneath me like this. It calls to that reckless part of me. The same part that risked dancing with her tonight…that wants to just say fuck it, again and again and again. The part that can’t remember the reasons to stay away.
Beth’s tongue darts out to lick her bottom lip, and my dick jumps in my jeans, still swollen and aching, which it has been all night on some level or another. I suck in an uneven breath, the air hissing between my teeth, and I know I need to either get off of her or inside her in the next sixty seconds

InPieces-AN.jpg

Read Today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2xswLL1

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2m891Hp

iBooks: http://apple.co/29QG8M2

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2lqOQ7M

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2a5Uafh

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/29TYZHf

image1

About the Author:

Danielle Pearl is the Amazon and iBooks international best selling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children. She is a life long book enthusiast who has been writing ever since she could hold a pencil.

Danielle went to Boston University and worked in marketing before she published her first novel, Normal in 2014. She writes mature Mature Young Adult and New Adult Contemporary Romance.

Danielle Pearl.jpg

Connect with the Author:

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

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2yshWx7

Twitter: @DaniPearlAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daniellepearlauthor/

Website: http://www.daniellepearl.com/

New Release + Blog Tour + 4.5-Star Review: Dirty Little Promise by Kendall Ryan

 

 

Conflicted in the depth of her feelings for bad boy Gavin Kingsley, lonely librarian Emma Bell knows he’s all wrong for her—yet the heart wants what it wants.

But if she gives into his dark, erotic desires will she lose herself completely?

Passion, drama and suspense combine in the highly-anticipated conclusion to Emma Bell’s love affair with the alpha and enigmatic Kingsley brothers. Secrets will be exposed, sides will be chosen, and nothing will ever be the same.

This is book two in the series, following Dirty Little Secret.

 

Amazon | Nook | ibooks | Kobo

 

Tracey’s Review

So, we thought that we knew what happened at the end of DIRTY LITTLE SECRET, didn’t we, friends? Ms. Kendall Ryan dropped a bomb, then left us hanging, just sure that we knew what was what with that sexy but no-good alpha Gavin Kingsley. Now, along comes the explanation in DIRTY LITTLE PROMISE, and we’re left loving Gavin more than we did before. Is he bossy? Yes. Can he be distant? Yes. Is he still one of the sexiest alpha guys with more heart than we knew to come along? Yes, yes, yes. And then there’s Cooper and Quinn, the other Kingsley brothers. What’s a girl to do?

DIRTY LITTLE PROMISE picks right back up where DLS ended, taking us along for the ride as Emma discovers who truly holds her heart. There’s suspense, passion, and angst aplenty, making this just the kind of book that I like to read, and, yes, priming the pump, as it were, for more Kingsley brothers adventures in the future.

DIRTY LITTLE PROMISE is another 4.5 star read for me. Engaging, entertaining, and seriously steamy, Kendall has done a great job of carrying the story through to this book. The twists and turns that happen along the way keep things interesting, and just make for a more satisfying ending, and the characters continue to delight (who knew Little Miss Emma could bring a Kinglsey to his knees?!). A definite must-read for Kendall’s fans, and anyone looking for some sizzle and pop, DLP is a keeper.

 

 

The start to a sexy new series from New York Times bestselling author, Kendall Ryan…

 

She’s much too innocent for me, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting the sweet, young librarian. I’m dominating and possessive, and my control streak runs a mile wide.

The way she looks at me—like I’m one of the heroes in the books she loves, like I’m broken, and she wants to be the one to piece me back together—it only complicates things further. I’m nobody’s hero.

But there’s no denying my tragic past reads like one of her favorite literary classics. It’s raw. Visceral. Captivating. And together, we’re a perfect mess.

How am I expected to resist when the sexual sparks zap between us and set me on fire? The need to control, and claim her force my walls to come tumbling down, but when she learns my dirty little secret, will my world come crashing down with it?

 

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

 

 

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras.

Subscribe to Newletter

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

 

Blog Tour + Excerpt: Sick Fux by Tillie Cole

Sick Fux

By Tillie Cole

Buy: Amazon

Synopsis

When Ellis Earnshaw and Heathan James met as children, they couldn’t have been more different. Ellis was loud and beautiful – all blond hair, bright laughs and smiles. Heathan was dark and brooding, and obsessed with watching things die.
The pair forged an unlikely friendship, unique and strange. Until they were ripped apart by the sick cruelty of others, separated for years, both locked in a perpetual hell.
Eleven years later, Heathan is back for his girl. Back from a place from which he thought there was no return. Back to seek revenge on those who wronged them.
Time has made Heathan’s soul darker, polluted with hatred and the thirst for blood.
Time has made Ellis a shell of her former self, a little girl lost in the vastness of her pain.
As Heathan pulls Ellis out of her mental prison, reviving the essence of who she once was, down the rabbit hole they will go.
With malice in their hearts and vengeance in their veins, they will seek out the ones who hurt and destroyed them.
One at a time.
Each one more deadly than the last.
Tick Tock.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for ages 18 and over.

Excerpt

Rabbit turned off the country road we were on and pulled onto a dirt path. Bushy tree branches curled above us to create a tunnel. I leaned my head back and caught the last rays of sun slicing through the leaves. When I lifted my head I saw a building up ahead. A house made from wood stood before us.
Rabbit pulled the car to a halt. There were no sounds coming from this house. No screams or crying. Everything was just . . . silent.
Rabbit’s hands slid from the wheel, and without looking at me, he said, “This is where we’ll be staying for the next several days.”
I leaned forward and looked out of the window. “Your home?”
He shook his head. “The first stop on our adventure.” I looked at him and found his silver eyes were already on me. “We have many stops to go.”
My heart fluttered in nervous excitement. “And this is number one . . .” I whispered, more to myself than Rabbit.
Rabbit opened his door. I was still staring at the woods surrounding this place when my car door opened too. Rabbit stood, rabbit-headed cane in hand, waiting for me to leave the car. I swallowed back the nerves that were creeping up my throat and stepped out. The ground crunched beneath my shoes.
“This way.” Rabbit held his arm out toward the house. I fell into step beside him. I glanced all around us, searching for any sign of people. As if reading my mind, Rabbit said, “There is just you and I here for now. We will meet more people when our journey truly begins.”
“It has not begun?”
Rabbit led us to a wooden door and paused. Gripping the head of his cane tighter, he faced me and said, “Soon, darlin’. Before we go, we must prepare.” He opened the door. “But first . . . tea.”
My breath caught in my throat. Beyond the threshold lay the most perfect tea-party spread one ever did see. “Rabbit!” I gasped. My hands flew to my mouth. I took a step forward into the house and onward into the magical room just beyond. As I passed Rabbit I looked up to see him watching me. I moved swiftly to the long table in the center of the wooden-paneled room, and my eyes widened as I beheld the spread. A white tablecloth lay over the table. Tall seats were positioned around it—eight to be exact—and at each seat was set a plate, a teacup and a saucer. I ran my hand over the cloth and smiled at the silver-domed dishes in the center of the table. I looked behind me to find Rabbit, but he was nowhere in sight. Turning back to the table, I lifted the first silver dome to peek at what was underneath. My mouth watered when I saw strawberry tarts. Smiling in excitement, I skipped to the next. Victoria sponge. Desperate to see them all, I removed each cover—cucumber sandwiches, Bakewell tarts, Battenberg cake, carrot cake . . . so much cake! All of England’s finest delicacies.
My favorites.
A floorboard creaked behind me, and I turned to see Rabbit walking back into the room. I opened my mouth to ask him where everything came from, but then I spotted what he held in his hands.
“Tea?” I asked as Rabbit placed the silver tray, which held a teapot, a jug of milk and a bowl of sugar, on the table. I walked closer and closed my eyes as I inhaled deeply. “Earl Grey,” I whispered, smelling my absolute favorite tea in the entire world.
“Only ever Earl Grey for my little Dolly,” Rabbit confirmed and pulled out a chair for me. I sat down, and Rabbit tucked me in. He took the seat a few places down and gestured to the food. “Help yourself. After all, this tea party is in your honor.”
A giddy laugh escaped my throat as I reached forward and carefully selected a variety of cakes and sandwiches. When I had filled my plate, I took the teapot and poured myself a cup. Rabbit watched me with a peculiar look on his face. His lip was hooked at the corner, and his eyes were . . . soft. His eyes were never soft, always hard and focused, but as he looked at me now, they were almost gentle.
I swallowed, unsure what this strange feeling in my stomach was. I pressed my free hand to my stomach as a comfort against the strange tingling sensations inside. “Tea?” I offered, my voice barely above a whisper.
Rabbit nodded; not a word escaped his mouth. His gaze became more intense as I moved beside him and poured the steaming liquid into his cup. As my arm neared him, I felt him stiffen in his seat. Only a sliver of air prevented our limbs touching. His breathing grew labored as he watched me pour.
But we didn’t touch.
Clearing my throat, I placed the teapot back on the tray and moved to take my seat once again. Just as I took a step, an image floated into my head. Of me and Rabbit. Lips touching. My entire body tensed.
I heard Rabbit’s ragged breathing behind me. Goosebumps broke out along my body, chasing one another up my arms and up to the back of my neck. Shaking my head clear of the image, I sat back down.
I raised my eyes and found Rabbit watching me intensely. I lifted my teacup toward my lips. Rabbit did the same, but just as the lip of the teacup almost reached his mouth, I shouted, “Rabbit!” He froze. “Your little finger!” I scolded. I lowered my cup and shook my head. “You cannot drink tea without raising your little finger, silly!”
Rabbit exhaled, then bowed his head. “You’re right, darlin’. How could I forget?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________

 

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

Author Links

 

 

Chapter Reveal: EXP1RE by Erin Noelle

 

 EXP1RE

EXP1RE DUET – BOOK 1

BY ERIN NOELLE

RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 26, 2017

 

Exp1re

Numbers.
They haunt me.
I can’t look into a person’s eyes without seeing the six-digit date of their death.
I’m helpless to change it, no matter how hard I try.
I’ve trained myself to look down. Away. Anywhere but at their eyes.
My camera is my escape. My salvation. Through its lens, I see only beauty and life—not death and despair.
Disconnected from all those around me, I’m content being alone, simply existing.
Until I meet him.
Tavian.
The man beyond the numbers.
How can I stay away, when everything about him draws me in?
But how can I fall in love, knowing exactly when it will expire?

 

_________________________________________
Chapter One 

PROLOGUE
Lyra

10.18.02
The intercom crackles loudly throughout the classroom, interrupting Ms. Sherman’s rather uninspiring Friday afternoon lesson on the life cycle of a star. Even though most of the students around me are furiously jotting down notes about nebulas, red giants, and supernovas, I’m half listening while I doodle caricatures of me and my friends in the margin of my notebook. It’s not that I’m not interested in the material she’s talking about. No, that’s not the case at all. It’s quite the opposite actually; science is my favorite subject, especially anything that deals with astronomy and the unknowns in our universe.
But with a dad who is a super-smart astronomer at Johnson Space Center—or NASA, as most people here in Houston call it—I learned about this stuff she’s teaching before I ever started kindergarten. Heck, just this past summer before fifth grade, Mama and I went to visit him at a planetarium in Hawaii, where he was part of a team that discovered eleven new moons orbiting Jupiter! If I don’t ace this test next week, I better not even go home. I definitely wouldn’t be able to be an astronaut then.
“Ms. Sherman, can you please have Lyra Jennings gather her things and come down to the office? She’s leaving for the day,” the office lady who reminds me of Paula Deen—Mama’s favorite chef—announces through the ancient intercom system.
At the sound of my name, my chin jerks upward from my pencil sketches to the standard black-and-white classroom clock mounted above the projection screen. The hands read 12:45 p.m., nearly three hours before the end of the school day, when my parents are supposed to pick me up as we head out to Dallas for the weekend to celebrate my eleventh birthday. Ooh, maybe getting out of school early was my surprise they mentioned!
I’ve been looking forward to this day since we came home from this same trip last year, and I know my parents planned something special for this year. Every birthday, instead of having one of those silly kids’ parties with pointy hats and piñatas, they take me to the Texas State Fair. There, we spend the weekend riding as many rides as possible, stuffing our mouths with sausage-on-a-stick and fried Twinkies, playing games until we win the biggest of the stuffed animals, and laughing until our faces hurt and happy tears stream down our cheeks. Hands down, it’s my favorite three days of the year, even better than Christmas. And I really, really like Christmas.
Excitement jets through me as I stand up from my desk and hurriedly cram my spiral notebook and textbook into my purple paisley backpack. If we make it there early, I’ll be able to go swimming at the fancy hotel’s indoor pool before dinner.
“Sure thing,” my teacher calls out in response. “She’ll be right down.”
Hoisting the strap of the bag up on my shoulder, I turn to leave the room and my gaze meets Ms. Sherman’s. Her warmth shines in her bright amber-colored eyes, highlighting the numbers 051123 that I see imprinted in her pupils. The same six white numbers I see every time we make eye contact. The numbers I’m not allowed to talk about. The ones everyone thinks are all a part of my healthy imagination.
But they’re wrong. They’re all wrong.
The numbers are real, and they never change or go away. I only wish I knew what they meant. Mama and Daddy—who, by the way, are the only two people I know that have the same numbers—call it my special superpower, but I know they just pretend to believe me. I see the looks they share when they think I’m not watching. They don’t want me to think about all those things the doctors say about me. I may only be ten years old, but I’m 100% sure I’m not crazy, nor do I lie for attention. I’m an only child, for Pete’s sake; my parents are overly interested in my life. Though I do appreciate their support, even if they don’t understand.
“Have a nice weekend, Lyra. Don’t forget we have a test over CHAPTERs six through eight on Monday. Make sure you’ve read all the material,” she reminds me.
“Yes, ma’am. I’ll be ready,” I reply modestly, not sharing with her or the rest of the class I’ve already read through CHAPTER thirteen in the text, including answering the study guide questions at the end of each section. I may be an overachiever, but I’m not a brown-noser.
Luckily, school just comes easy for me, and my parents get over-Jupiter’s-moons proud when I bring home straight A’s on my report card. It reassures them that I’m normal and well adjusted. At least that’s what I heard Mama whispering to Daddy on the phone one night when she thought I wasn’t listening.
I mouth a quick goodbye to my best friend, Beth, who I pass by as I scuttle toward the exit. With her last name being Blackmon and mine being Jennings, we rarely get to sit near each other, as most of our teachers put us in alphabetical order. Beth’s numbers are 022754, and like Ms. Sherman’s, they light up vibrantly when she looks up at me and mouths the words Have fun before I slip out the door.
I never want to break the rules or get in trouble, so I somehow fight the urge to sprint down the deserted hallway and force myself to walk as fast as my long, skinny legs will let me. The swishing sound from my denim shorts rubbing together fills my ears, creating a soundtrack for my excitement. My cheeks ache from smiling so big while I drop off my folders and books in my locker then make a beeline to the front of the school, where my parents are waiting for me. This is going to be the best of the best weekends ever, one that none of us will ever forget. I just know it.
Only, when I swing open the glass door to the main office, expecting to see my favorite two people in the world, I’m surprised to find my Aunt Kathy standing there, her face puffy and pink, the corners of her mouth pointing due south. Our eyes meet, and I can barely see her numbers—123148—because of how swollen the lids are around them.
The fluffy white cloud of elation I floated in on disappears instantly as a dark fog of dread takes its place. Engulfing me. Swallowing me whole. She doesn’t have to say a word—I already know. Not how or when or where it happened, but deep in my bones, I know.
I was right. This will definitely be a weekend I’ll never forget, only it will be for reasons I’ll never want to remember.
“I’m so sorry, Lyra baby girl,” she cries. “I’m so sorry. They’re… they’re gone.”
gone.
Gone.
GONE.
The word bounces around between my ears, getting louder each time it echoes. The first time, it freezes my movements. The second steals all the air from my lungs. By the third time, I’m pretty sure I have no pulse. I want to go, too.
Go.
Going.
GONE.
With my feet stuck to the floor and my body stiff as a statue, Aunt Kathy rushes over to me and wraps her arms around my shoulders. Pulling me up against her chest as uncontainable sobs shake her body, she breaks down in front of the receptionist and attendance clerk, neither of who bother to hide their open staring. Numb, I stand completely still while she wails for several minutes, and I never once make a single sound or try to break free from the death grip she has on me. My thoughts race so fast they’re standing still.
I’m just… here. And my parents just… aren’t. And they won’t ever be again.
They’re… gone.
Climbing into the passenger seat of Aunt Kathy’s fancy sports car—a car I usually beg to ride in because there’s no backseat—I fasten my safety belt and then close my eyes as I lean my head back on the black leather, warm from the hot southern Texas sun. Even though it’s mid-October, I’m still wearing shorts and sandals, and just last weekend I went swimming at Beth’s house. But as I sit here and wait for my aunt to start the car, my teeth chatter loudly and my entire body trembles uncontrollably. My heart is frozen solid, but I’ve yet to shed a tear.
The phone rings and I jump, automatically looking at the caller ID on the screen, thinking… hoping… praying it’s someone calling to let us know this has all been a big mistake, that my parents are really okay.
“Hey, Mom,” Aunt Kathy answers after just one ring. We still haven’t pulled out of the parking space. “Yeah, I have her now. She’s safe and sound.”
My heart plummets even lower into my stomach than it was before as she pauses to listen to Granny Gina on the other end. Granny Gina is my dad and Kathy’s mom who lives in New Orleans, where she moved about five years ago after my grandpa passed away from lung cancer. Since my mom’s parents both died before I was born, she’s the only living grandparent I have, and luckily for me, she’s a pretty awesome one. But today, nothing is awesome. Not even close.
“I don’t know. She hasn’t said a word. I’m sure she’s in shock.” My aunt talks about me like I’m not sitting right here, as I finally feel the car jerk back in reverse.
Another pause. The car lurches forward into drive then we bounce hard as Aunt Kathy flies over a speed bump. I think I’m going to throw up.
“Okay, I’ll take her home so she can pack a suitcase of whatever she wants to bring, and then we’ll go to my place until you get here. You should be in about 5:00?”
Pack a suitcase of what I want to bring where? Where am I going? Why is this happening to me? I’m a good kid. I make good grades and I’m nice to people, even those people who everyone else makes fun of, and I listen to my parents and my teachers. What did I do to deserve this? Why me?
“Yeah, Mom, I know,” Aunt Kathy hiccups. She’s crying hard again. “I’ll take good care of her, and we’ll see you later. I love you.”
I keep my eyes screwed shut as she disconnects the call, scared she’ll want to talk if I open them. I don’t want to talk to her or Granny Gina or anyone but my parents. I want my mom and dad!
Thankfully, Aunt Kathy doesn’t try to talk to me as we drive, but when I feel the car come to a stop and hear the engine turn off, she gently taps my arm. “Lyra, sweetheart, we’re at your house. We’re going to go inside, and I need you to pack up a suitcase or two of the clothes and things you want to take to New Orleans. Whatever you need.”
“New Orleans?” My lids snap open and I whip my chin in her direction. I don’t even recognize my harsh, scratchy voice. “I’m going to New Orleans?”
“Yeah”—she nods sadly as she swipes at the black mascara streaks on her face with her thumbs—“with Granny Gina. After we take care of, uh, of everything here, you’ll go live with her there.”
Scowling, I cross my arms over my chest and grunt. “I don’t want to leave Houston, or my friends, or my school. Why can’t I stay here with you?”
“You know I travel with my job, Lyra. Sometimes I’m gone a week or two at a time, and there won’t be anybody here to stay with you. Granny Gina’s house has an extra bedroom, and since she doesn’t work, she’ll be able to better give you everything you need.”
What I need and will be better for me is my mom and dad. And my perfect birthday weekend at the fair.
She reaches out to attempt to soothe me with her touch, but I wrench away, banging my elbow on the car door in the process. The whack is loud, and the place I hit immediately turns red, but my brain doesn’t register the pain. I feel nothing. I’m broken.
I glance over at my aunt, and the tears spilling down her cheeks make me feel bad for acting the way I just did to her. What happened to my parents isn’t her fault, but I’m angry and this is all moving too fast. How am I supposed to pack up what I need in a couple of bags? I want to stay in my room, in my house, living with my parents.
“I know this is all unfair, baby,” she says through her sniffles, “and I can’t even to begin to understand what you’re thinking or feeling. I mean, I’m freaking the hell out and I’m a grownup who’s supposed to know how to handle these kinds of situations. All we can do is cling to each other as family and try to get through this together. Between me and Granny, we’ll do the best we can for you, and right now, we think the best thing is if you get your things and go stay with her.”
“How did they die?” I blurt out, completely off topic from what she’s talking about. My mind can’t stay focused on any one thing, but this is the question that keeps popping up. “I need to know how it happened.”
Swallowing hard, Aunt Kathy inhales a shaky breath through her nose and blows it out through her mouth, visibly trying to collect herself before she answers me. “It was a car accident,” she whispers after forever, barely loud enough for me to hear. “I don’t know why they were together in your mom’s car this morning or where they were going, but an eighteen-wheeler lost control and hit them. They were already gone by the time the first responders arrived.”
I nod, still unable to cry. I hear the words she’s saying, but they aren’t really registering. They make sense, but I don’t understand. It’s as if I’ve been swallowed up by one of the black holes Daddy taught me about and the darkness is sucking away my ability to think, to feel. All I hear is the word “gone” still replaying over and over and over.
“Okay. I’ll get my stuff,” I say flatly, finally opening the door and stepping out of the car.
My movements are robotic, and I can barely even feel the key in my hand as I unlock the front door to my house. Stepping inside, I’m overwhelmed by a combination of the sweet smell of my mom’s favorite vanilla cookie candle and the sight of my dad’s fuzzy slippers waiting by the coatrack—the slippers he puts on the minute he walks in the door from work every night. When I realize he’ll never wear those slippers again, nor will my mom ever be able to forget if she blew out the candle when we’re about to pull out of the driveway, an acute pain shoots through my chest and I stumble over to the staircase, grabbing the banister to keep my balance.
“I’m right here, Lyra,” Aunt Kathy murmurs from behind me as she slips her arm around my waist. “Let’s just get your things and head over to my place. Later, once we’ve had some time to deal with everything, we can come back to go through the house and all the stuff… if you want.”
Another nod and I let her guide me up the stairs to my room. I want to scream at her that there will never be enough time to deal with losing my parents, that I’ll never be able to go through their things, but I keep my lips pressed together and do as I’m told.
“Where do you guys keep your suitcases?” she asks, glancing around my room as if she’s doing an inventory of what I have. “I’ll go grab a couple while you start pulling out what you want to take. If you forget something, it’s no big deal, because you and Granny are going to be staying at my place for the next few days. I can just bring you back to get it, or I can even ship it to Louisiana if you remember once you’re there.”
“They’re in the storage cabinets in the garage,” I answer while walking over to my desk, my eyes locked in on a framed photo of me and my parents that sits next to my laptop.
“Okay, I’ll be right back.”
The thud of her heels on the hardwood floor grows quiet as she makes her way back down to the first floor, and just as I grab the picture and plop down on the chair, I hear her open the door to the garage. A few much-needed minutes by myself.
I gaze down at the photograph of the three of us from a day at the beach, me sandwiched between their cheerful, carefree expressions, and the first tear finally escapes. Once the dam breaks, I can’t stop the flow, and as I trace my finger over the outline of each of my parents’ faces, I cry for everything I’ll never have again. A supernova of tears.
Faces I’ll never see smile again.
Voices I’ll never hear say my name again.
Arms I’ll never be hugged by again.
A never-ending galaxy of love that I’ll never feel again.
It’s all just… gone.
After several minutes of vision-blurring bawling, I set the picture frame back upright on my desk. A hot pink heart drawn on my calendar with the words Birthday Weekend Begins written over today’s box catches my attention. I then notice the printed numbers next to my bubbly handwriting that read 10-18-02.
Snatching the picture up again, I stare directly into first my dad’s eyes, and then my mom’s. The numbers I see when I look people directly in the eyes only happens when I’m face-to-face with someone, never in photographs or through a screen or mirror. But even though I can’t actually see the numbers right now in the picture of my parents’ pupils, their numbers are forever etched in my brain from looking at them every day of my life. I used to think the reason they had the same numbers meant they were true soul mates, like God made them to match perfectly together, but now….
My gaze flicks over to today’s date of 10-18-02, then back to my parents’ faces, where I envision their numbers—101802.
My plummeting heart collides with my lurching stomach in an explosion of realization.
It’s my Big Bang Momen

_______________________________________________

About Erin Noelle USA Today Bestselling Author

Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two
young daughters. While earning her degree in History, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child. A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current,Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels.

Most nights you can find her cuddled up in bed with her husband, her Kindle in hand and a sporting event of some sorts on television.

Release Blitz: Last Words by Shari J. Ryan

 

Title: Last Words
Author: Shari J. Ryan
Genre: Literary Romance
Release Date: October 9, 2017



Blurb
Last Words, where
Non-Fiction meets Fiction, and the lines in between are blurred by forbidden
love.
Amelia – 1942:
The inside of my
closet held the last bit of my freedom before I was torn from my home and
shoved onto a dark train.
Our destination
was even darker. “Women and children to the right. Men to the left,” they
shouted at us.
Everything was
taken from me, leaving only the smoke filled air, piercing screams, and
soul-burning cries.
I was slowly
starved and weakened to the bone, but there was a man—a Nazi—who brought me
extra food. He called himself a prisoner too, but he scared me, and I wondered
if he was the enemy I should fear the most.
Emma – Current
Day:
My grandmother
hid her past in an old diary under her bed. The tattered, brown leather book
sat there for years until she asked me to find it and read her unspoken words.
Now, her stories and secrets are consuming every moment of my life.
She’s dying …
and asking for a man no one in our family has ever heard of.
I never imagined
a hand-written book could change my entire life, but it has. It opened my eyes
to a new beginning, and I learned that love is not the unsaid word my
grandmother has refused to speak. It’s an action—it’s longevity, taboo and
sometimes forbidden. Do we fight for what’s wrong, or do we spend our lives
searching for what’s right?
Last words were
never spoken because love doesn’t stop until a heart is no longer beating.

 

 
 
Purchase Links
 
99c for a limited time
 
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Author Bio
Shari J. Ryan is an International Bestselling Author of
heartbreakers and mind-benders. Shari was once told she tends to exaggerate
often and sometimes talks too much, which would make a great foundation for
fictional books. Four years later, Shari has written eleven novels that often
leave readers either in tears from laughing, or crying.
With her loud Boston girl attitude, Shari isn’t shy about her love for writing
or the publishing industry. Along with writing several International
bestsellers, Shari has split her time between writing and her longstanding
passion for graphic design. In 2014, she started an indie-publishing resource
company, MadHat Books, to help fellow authors with their book cover designs, as
well as assistance in the self-publishing process.

While Shari may not find many hours to sleep, she still manages to make time
for her family. She is a devoted wife to a great guy, and a mother to two
little boys who remind her daily why she was put on this earth.

Author Links
 

Excerpt Reveal: Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan – The Coming Home Series – Book 3

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Harper Sloan returns with a passionate and breathless romance about the sparks that ignite when a cautious cowboy and a once-scorned woman open up to each other in the third installment of the Coming Home series.

As the eldest Davis, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. He takes his job as head of the family businesses seriously, making sure the farm and auto shop are running smoothly—along with keeping an eye on his brother and sister. For him, there’s a time and place to let go of the control he holds with an iron grip. And with the way he grew up, coupled with a disastrous end to his last relationship, he’s just fine with his quiet, solitary life.

Most of the time.

What he hadn’t counted on was the cute, quirky, shy bookstore owner, Caroline Michaels. She’s the proverbial woman next door—well, the next town over, that is. Caroline hasn’t lived an easy life, but after escaping a verbally abusive ex, she’s finally living it for herself. The last thing she ever expected was a one-night stand with Clay Davis she can’t stop thinking about.

So when she falls on hard times and Clay comes out of nowhere to her rescue, she realizes just how impossible it’ll be to stay away from him. Now all she has to do is convince him to live a little…. Will Clay be able to give up the reins and finally settle down? And, more importantly, will Caroline muster enough courage to lasso him up?

 

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

 

PRE-ORDER NOW

Amazon US | Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | BN | Kobo | iBooks

 

AN EXCERPT FROM COWBOY UP

 

I push my hands from his shoulders and palm his jaw as his stubble prickles against my fingers while my hands wander up to his hair. His hat falls to the ground with a thud and I know he’s just as lost in me as I am in him, because he doesn’t even make a move to pick it up. He lets out a deep grunt when I mold myself against his body, seeking some sort of friction. The next thing I know, my back is against the door and he’s gripping my bottom. His mouth hits my jaw with a bite of his teeth, making a squeak of pleasure shoot up my throat, and his deep rumble of laughter reaches my ears as he presses me harder into the door with his hips. The heavy bulge of his erection against that spot makes me so desperate for him that I whimper in relief when his mouth finally closes over mine in a wet tangle of tongues.

I’ve never been kissed so thoroughly.

This is the kind of kiss that sets the bar for any that might follow.

The kind that shows you everything you’ve been missing and everything you never knew you wanted. I’m going to be comparing every kiss I ever have to my dark cowboy’s, even though I know there’s a good chance no one will ever compare. The sounds coming from my mouth, the ones being swallowed by his, are nothing short of needy. My hips move in tandem with the thrusts of his, and even though we’re both fully clothed, I know it won’t take much more of this for me to go off like the town’s fireworks on the Fourth of July.

“Fuck, you taste just like apple pie,” he whispers against my lips, breaking away with a gasp.

“Huh?”

“Goddamn, I love apple pie,” he says before his mouth is back on mine, this time with a whole new kind of hunger deepening his kisses.

I’m held captive, enraptured. Then his hands move from my bottom to glide up my torso. He lifts his hard chest off mine and suddenly those delicious fingers are at my breasts. Even if I had big boobs his hands would dwarf them, I’m sure, but as it is he covers both with a firm grasp before adjusting his hold with a deft twist of the wrists. His mouth continues to feast on mine while his huge hands learn my body with slow movements. I tear my mouth from his with a breathy moan when he pushes my shirt up and slips his fingers into the cups of my bra to tweak my nipples.

“Oh, God,” I moan when he does it again.

“I can’t get enough of you,” he rumbles.

“Please,” I beg, not with the slightest clue as to what I’m begging for.

His hips dig even harder into mine as he leans back, supporting me against the door with that connection alone as he pulls my shirt off. The darkness makes me feel more confident than I normally would be, almost half naked with a man—no, a stranger.

“Yours too,” I tell him as his fingers move to unclasp my bra. “I want to feel your skin on mine,” I breathe, taking over the task so he’ll hopefully give me what I want.

I fumble in my haste to feel more of this dangerous arousal he’s creating in my body, but the second my bra is free and dangling toward the floor, his naked chest collides against mine, pushing me into the door with a force that sends the air rushing out of my lungs.

His mouth hits my collarbone at the same time his hands grasp my bottom, sliding me up the door until I feel the wet heat of his breath against my breast.

Then he stops.

 

 

 

 

Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn’t writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page