Release Blitz + 5 Star Review: Big Shot by Kim Karr

SEXY JERK FREE WITH DOWNLOAD UNTIL JULY 30

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Big Shot - Release

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Big Shot - About book

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Big Shot

Sexy Jerk World – Book 2

By Kim Karr

Synopsis

Ten years ago I had no idea what I wanted out of life, until I met Hannah Michaels. She was a computer-engineering student ready to conquer the social media world, and I was smitten. Even though I knew she was taken, I had to have her.

Being the big shot that I was, I didn’t let her status stand in my way. It wasn’t long before my hands were on her thighs and my name a whisper on her lips. This smart, sexy girl inspired me to greatness, helped me grow into the kind of man I never knew I wanted to be. The man I am today.

Too bad I hadn’t grown fast enough to keep her.

Moving on wasn’t easy, but I knew I had to let her go. Eventually, I found someone to share my days and nights with, and together we had a daughter. My life was nearly perfect until my world turned upside down.

A single father has challenges, and one of those is learning how to calmly deal with your child coming home in tears. I had no idea the day I pounded on my daughter’s classmate’s door, Hannah would be the one standing on the other side.

The wild, burning desire that rushed through my veins was unwanted, and yet impossible to ignore. Letting her in meant so much more this time around. Guilt hit me like a hammer. I hated myself. I hated her. The problem was I really didn’t hate her—I wanted her more than ever.

But this time around, I can’t have her.

This time it’s my status that stands in our way—and going up against myself just might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

 

 

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PURCHASE Big Shot through 7/30 and get Sexy Jerk included in your download for FREE!

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Big Shot -Teasers

RELEASE DAY 1 Big Shot Kim Karr Teaser 1

JULY 18 Big Shot Kim Karr Teaser 3

Michel’s Review

It’s no secret that I am a huge Kim Karr fan.  I love her writing.  She has the unique ability to think outside of the box and take predictable plots to another level.  She also gives her characters complex personalities that come as a surprise as their character develops in a book.  I can honestly say that Big Shot is one of my favorite books by her so far.

Readers were introduced to Jace in Sexy Jerk.  Besides being a successful businessman, he is a single father and widower.  Readers were able to get a glimpse of him while he was bogged down with his grief and maneuvering parenthood.  We also got to see a bit of his kinky side as well, when he becomes the third in his best friend’s bedroom.  The impressions readers were left with were intriguing.  We knew there had to be more to this man than what was initially presented.  It all goes back to ten years ago when he was a college student and fell hopelessly in love with his best friend’s girl.  The twisted love triangle ended badly and none of them got their happily ever after.  They all moved on in life and found their special someone to build a future with.  Unfortunately for Jace, his happily ever after was ended abruptly and he was left alone with his darling daughter. His main focus in life is raising her.  When a bully from school upsets his daughter he does what any good parent does, he takes control of the situation.  When he confronts the bully’s parent he’s in for a complete surprise.  It was the girl he fell hopelessly in love with and lost ten years ago.  He doesn’t want to want her and he can’t stay away.  This time around he has life experience, maturity, and better coping mechanisms in his arsenal.  He’s not going to let Hannah get away this time but first he has to let go of his grief.

Hannah never thought she would see Jace again after college.  When he turns up on her doorstep angry and defensive, she’s shocked.  Dealing with him on a daily basis through their children’s school functions is manageable.  What makes it worse is she was hired to work for his company.  Now she has to deal with him at work.  She’s not the same girl she once was.  Her future took a very different path and now her priorities are making a good life for her and her son.

Hannah and Jace can’t stay away from one another.  This time there isn’t a third person in the bedroom to hold back their insatiable passion for one another.  The only thing standing in their way is themselves.  They will have to choose how they want to mold their futures.  The choice may be what fate intended for them all along.

The only thing I can say is I LOVED THIS BOOK!  Kim Karr explored all the emotions that most authors don’t touch upon in menage type romances.  She showed the other side of the passion and the realities of the emotional repercussions.

I would highly recommend this book!

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Big Shot - Giveaway

Click HERE to enter the Release Day Giveaway from Author Kim Karr!

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Big Shot - About author

 

About the Author:

kim karr bio

Reader * Writer * Coffeelover * Romantic

Kim is a daydreamer. So much so that if daydreaming could be a hobby it would be her favorite. It’s how her stories are born and how they take root. An imagination that runs wild is something to be thankful for, and she is very thankful. 🙂

She grew up in New York and now lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She’s always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, she wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. She went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise her family. Kim currently works part-time with her husband and with the rest of her time embraces one of her biggest passions–writing.

Kim wears a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of her family. However, she always finds time to read.

She likes to believe in soul mates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. She loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.
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Release Blitz + Excerpt + Review : Illicit by M. N. Forgy – Sin City Outlaws Series – Book 4

Illicit

Sin City Outlaws Series – Book 4

By M. N. Forgy

Release Date: July 27, 2017

Buy: Amazon  / Amazon UK

Synopsis

I’m an animal, a member of the Sin City Outlaws motorcycle club that isn’t capable of human compassion. So I’ve been told anyway.

Raven is my club’s prisoner. I’ve been ordered to break her. It should be easy given my violent history. But being this close to a woman—this woman—for the first time in a long time, is like sharing company with the demon Lilith herself.

She’s my perfect toy. Filled with a dark rage. Blessed with perfected beauty. Sinfully sweet and wickedly divine. Everything about her solicits the demons inside me

I want to hear her screams. I want those big, dark eyes looking up at me—silently begging me for mercy. I want to be her heaven…and her hell.

My desire for her is forbidden. My infatuation is illicit. I’m betraying my club.

And if the wage of my sin is death, then this woman is going to get me killed.

 

Excerpt

“Kill me?” she whispers, her fingertips caressing my cheek. I want to push my body onto her, and feel her warmth against my skin one more time before I take her life and her body cools. I’m going to enjoy her. She’s dark and twisted.
I smile and bend down to get closer to her. Running my hand through her soft black hair I pet her, brushing her loose hairs away from her face. Fuck, I’m excited to play with her, hear her scream and watch her fear me. To quickly kill someone as pretty and smart as her would be a goddamn waste. Like breaking a toy before you got a chance to play with it, this needs to be done slowly.

“Oh no sweetheart, the fun is just about to start,” I threaten in a low whisper.

Something dark passes over her face, but she doesn’t break eye contact. It’s almost as if she sobers completely.

Suddenly a foot strikes me in the chest and I sail into the side of the van.

Michel’s Review

Illicit by M. N. Forgy is the fourth book in the Sin City Outlaws series.  Although this book is  a follow up of the aftermath of Retaliate, it can be read as a stand alone. I must warn readers there are graphic violent scenes and the author doesn’t sugar coat the outlaw biker life style.

The Sin City Outlaws are at war with the mafia, both factions want to rule Vegas.  Cross has betrayed the Sin City Outlaws and the mafia .  They both want to take him down.  One woman holds the key to getting to Cross and they have taken her prisoner after she tried to kill Alessandra.  Raven is their prisoner and they have put their most brutal enforcer in charge of getting answers.  Machete has no conscience and a deep need to hurt others.  He’s going to take great pleasure in breaking his beautiful prisoner.  What he didn’t count on was she was just as twisted and bent as he was.  She thrived on pain.  Together they are the perfect pair, a little bit crazy and a little bit sane.

The lines have been drawn and war has been waged.  Machete has to break Raven fast because time is running out.  The club whores are dying, the mafia wants their due, and Sin City Outlaws wants their city back.

M. N. Forgy once again wrote a very intense romance and proved that every person is capable of loving.  I can’t wait to see where this series leads.

Sin City Outlaws

reign cover

Reign

Sin City Outlaws – Book1

Buy: AmazonB & N / ITunes / Kobo

Synopsis

As the president of the Sin City Outlaw Motorcycle Club, l I fuck as hard as I ride and rarely go to bed alone.

The women are fast and the violence is intense.

I excel in both.

People either respect me or fear me. I’m not arrogant. It’s just the truth.

I was a king, reigning over Vegas without complication, until one gorgeous sheriff made everything fall apart.

When I saw her, I became a Neanderthal, wanting nothing more than to be between those legs.

I guess that’s where I went wrong, because my reality was shot to hell real

fucking fast.

One kiss caused her to step over that blue line.

One night in her bed made me a traitor.

And now… we’re both screwed.

***

Mercy

Sin City Outlaws Series – Book 2

Buy: Amazon / Amazon UK / ITunes / Kobo

Synopsis

I’m an outlaw. I don’t fall in love and I sure as fuck don’t run… Until Jillian McAdams.

I fell for a law abiding Sheriff, breaking my vows to my own club, and turning her against her family of blue.An outlaw and a sheriff, it can only end in one way… Mayhem.

Now we both have to pay the ultimate price for betraying our families.

I swore to kill my brother, his allegiance sworn to another club, if I ever saw him again.

Yet here I am running to him in hopes to save Jillian’s life…

We both will have to rewrite the rules we know to stay alive.

Even if it means we lose everything we had in doing so…

Retaliate

Sin City Outlaws Series – Book 3

Buy: Amazon / Amazon UK / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

***

Blurb

Being the Vice President of the Sin City Outlaws Motorcycle Club comes with its perks.

Respect, power, and easy women whenever I want. I have control in everything I do.

Because of that, I wasn’t expecting my president to put me on babysitting duty, and on a female cop of all fucking people. I kill law enforcement, not protect them.

Alessandra pretends to be the good-guy hiding behind that shiny badge. But I see the darkness dancing in her eyes, and it draws me to her in the worst way. I want to devour that act of innocence, pull her over the line of justice, and into my bed.

I just wasn’t expecting the handful of secrets I got behind that badge of honor I ripped from her chest. Because now, we’re retaliating against a common enemy together.

 

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About M. N. Forgy

m-n-forgyM.N. Forgy was raised in Missouri where she still lives with her family. She’s a soccer mom by day and a saucy writer by night. M.N. Forgy started writing at a young age but never took it seriously until years later, as a stay-at-home mom, she opened her laptop and started writing again. As a role model for her children, she felt she couldn’t live with the “what if” anymore and finally took a chance on her character’s story. So, with her glass of wine in hand and a stray Barbie sharing her seat, she continues to create and please her fans.

 

 

Stalk Her: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Release Blitz: The Brightest Sunset by Aly Martinez – The Darkest Sunrise Duet – Book 2

Today we are sharing the release for The Brightest Sunset by Aly Martinez. This is the conclusion of a must-read contemporary romance duet, and is it available to read for FREE on KindleUnlimited!

Be sure to follow Aly’s newsletter for exclusive news about the duet.

 

 

The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise Duet, #2)

Purchase it Now

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis:

 

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Bullshit.

Words destroyed me.

“I’m sorry. She didn’t make it.”

“Daddy, he can’t breathe!”

“There’s nothing more we can do for your son.”

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Lies.

Those syllables and letters became my executioner. I told myself that, if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and the fear, they would have no power over me. But, as the years passed, the hate and the anger left behind began to control me.

Two words—that was all it took to plunge my life into darkness.

“He’s gone.”

In the end, it was four soft, silky words that gave me hope of another sunrise.

“Hi. I’m Charlotte Mills.”

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The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise Duet, #1)

Buy it Now

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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You won’t want to miss this amazing series!

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

 

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

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Release Blitz: Star Struck by Laurelin Paige

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Star Struck, a sexy, standalone from New York Times Bestseller Laurelin Paige is live!

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She uses her fame as a wall around her heart, and only he can tear it down.

Seth Rafferty knows Heather Wainwright’s type.

Demanding. Check.

Self-important. Check.

Leggy and blonde. Yeah, he knows the drill.

He’s been a Hollywood production designer far too long to have patience for A-listers with a superior attitude. Beautiful women with a chip on their shoulder are a dime a dozen.

Which is why his obsession with Heather makes no sense. Nothing about her is attractive.

Except the vulnerability under the sass. The honesty under the attitude.

So when wrap-party flirting gets carried away, Seth doesn’t stop it from turning into a sizzling night of passion. Too late, he realizes, one night isn’t going to get her out of his system.

On to plan B: uncover the real woman under the diva.

Soon Heather will find out that Seth isn’t just a simple carpenter she can use and lose without consequences. He’ll play the part of the builder, but it’s her walls he intends to break down.

STARSTRUCK-AN99

Read Today!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eGumc2

Amazon International: myBook.to/StarStruckLP

iBooks: https://goo.gl/SQiLdD

Nook: https://goo.gl/M7L39Q

Kobo: https://goo.gl/3bh1pE

Google Play: http://bit.ly/StarStruckGP

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

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About Laurelin Paige:

USA Today and New York Times Bestselling Author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman.

Laurelin Paige

Connect with Laurelin:

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

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

Twitter: @LaurelinPaige

Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HudsonPierce/

Never miss an update! Subscribe to Laurelin’s mailing list: http://www.subscribepage.com/StarStruck

Website: www.laurelinpaige.com

Release Blitz + Giveaway : Can’t Stop Lovin’ You by Lynnette Austin

Brawley
must find a way to convince Maggie 
that their one true home is with each other.
CAN’T STOP LOVIN’ YOU
Maverick Junction #3
Lynnette Austin
Forever

 

THERE’S
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
 
Maggie
Sullivan can’t wait to get out of Texas. Luckily, she just got the break she
needed to make her big-city dreams a reality. But then Brawley Odell swaggers
back into Maverick Junction, looking hotter than ever in his dusty cowboy boots
and well-worn jeans. He’s the guy she still dreams of at night. The guy who
broke her heart when he left her behind.
Fed up with
city life, Brawley jumps at the chance to return home and take over the local
vet’s practice—and get back to the smart, sassy woman he’s never been able
forget. He couldn’t be prouder of Maggie’s new wedding-dress business . . .
until he realizes it may mean losing her all over again. Determined to win her
back, Brawley must find a way to convince Maggie that their one true home is
with each other.


NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT!!

 

Lynnette
Austin,
a
recovering middle school teacher, loves long rides with the top down and the
music cranked up, the Gulf of Mexico when a storm is brewing, chocolate frozen
custard, anything by Blake Shelton, Chris Young, and Thomas Rhett, and sitting
in her local coffee shop reading and enjoying an iced coffee. She and her
husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Georgia’s
Blue Ridge Mountains. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart
takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all
their business, for better or worse. Writing for Grand Central and Sourcebooks,
she’s published twelve novels and is at work on a new series.
 

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Release Blitz + 6 Star Review + 2017 Favorite: Savaged Vows by Jennifer Lyon – Savaged Illusions Trilogy – Book 2

Savaged Vows
Savaged Illusions Series – Book 2
Release Date: July 24, 2017
Buy: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

Synopsis:

How much will she risk for love?

Despite her dark past with a rock icon, Liza Glasner can’t walk away from the man she loves with a fiery passion—sexy rock star Justice Cade. A surprise pregnancy and marriage give Liza the family she’s craved since she was fourteen. But her love is tested when Liza’s worst nightmare—Gene Hayes—bursts onto the scene, spreading lies and smears to tear her and Justice apart. Can Liza trust Justice to choose her over fame?

How far will he go for fame?

Justice fiercely loves his beautiful and resilient wife Liza, and he’s determined to protect her from Gene Hayes. At the same time, he’s loyal to his band. The four other men in Savaged Illusions are his brothers, and together, they are battling hard to come back from a humiliating defeat. But just as the pinnacle of success is within their reach, Justice discovers a truth that will either decimate his band or destroy his wife.

Can their love survive?

Secrets and betrayals explode in a heartbreaking twist that threatens to rip Justice and Liza apart forever.

Savaged Vows is book 2 in the Savaged Illusions Trilogy, and ends in a cliffhanger. Book 3, Savaged Devotion, will be released in September 2017.

__________________________________________________________

The Savaged Illusions Trilogy by Jennifer Lyon has become my favorite rock star romance series!  This is not the typical rock star romance with a brooding rock star and sweet ordinary girl but rather a complex collection of different romance genres blended together in perfect harmony to make a thrilling, emotional story that will hold the readers captive.

Savaged Dreams – book one ended on a huge cliffhanger.  I had no idea where the aftermath of that cliffhanger would lead.  I can honestly say it wasn’t anything predictable. Savaged  Vows – book two took on a different life in itself that ended on an emotional irreparable cliffhanger and left me wanting more right now!

Savaged Illusions is trying regain their momentum after losing the tv reality battle of the bands competition.  They are trying not to let Liza become their Yoko Ono.  The band has hired a progressive manager that knows the business.  They are in the studio recording their album on their own dime.  The upcoming release and promotion of their album is draining them financially but they are willing to sacrifice the time, effort, and funds to make their future a success.  There is no room for anything else in their lives.  Their goal is to make the top 100 on the charts and secure a place on the World Rock Stage concert in Paris.  This concert will launch their band and give them world wide recognition and secure them a tour contract. Gaining this is going to cost more than money and hard work, they may have to sell their souls and compromise everything they hold dear. It’s a sacrifice their willing to make because the outcome is worth it all.  They naively believe they can control the circumstances without any repercussions. Little did they know it could cost them everything and make Liza a Yoko Ono.  Not only will affect the band, it will give the devil more than his due.

Liza survived the brutal attack after the final band competition.  Savaged Illusions lost the competition and they blamed her even though she was the real party targeted.  It left her on the outskirts of the band even though her boyfriend Justice was the lead singer.  Her past involvement with mega rockstar Gene Hayes has put Savaged Illusions in a negative light with the fans.  The band doesn’t want her involved with their next steps to fame.  She’s okay with that because she’s trying to finish school, graduate, and secure a job.  Things start going in positive directions for the band as well as herself even though she and Justice are juggling a long distance relationship.  They are secure enough in their relationship to make this work.  And it does until a surprise pregnancy enters the picture. Liza and Justice decide to get married before his schedule gets too busy. Not only is she supporting their household, building her career, managing Justice father’s stability, she is also experiencing the upcoming birth of their child alone.  Every occasional moment she has with Justice ends up in a negative mess with the press, which in turn alienates her more with the band members. Through unanimous vote, the band decides she cannot be near their album tour until they secure a spot on the World Rock Stage in Paris.  Justice promises to bring Liza to Paris with them so they can have their belated honeymoon and precious time together before the baby is born.  Liza is taking it all in stride even though she feels isolated and lonely.

Paris is exactly what their relationship needed to reconnect and jumpstart their future.  Paris was exactly what the band needed to claim the future they worked so hard for.  Paris is the city of love and everything was perfect. Paris is also the city of betrayal and destruction.  Savage Illusions gained their fame but lost their souls.  Liza paid the price.  The devil, Gene  Hayes, got his due and more.  Cliffhanger!

OMG… this book took the series to a whole new emotional level that left me devastated. It’s impossible to contemplate which direction it will go next because it seems so hopeless. The writing was brilliant because it added so many layers to the story. The suspense escalated and the ulitimate showdown was heartbreaking. This book touched on many issues in life such as PTSD, homelessness, pregnancy, rape, relationship issues, friendship issues, greed, and notoriety. In spite of it all, the best part is there is a beautiful romance and unquestionable love that shines brightly.

September can’t get here fast enough! I need Savaged Devotion now!

___________________________________________________

Savaged Illusions Trilogy

Savaged Dreams

Savaged Illusions Series – Book 1

By Jennifer Lyon

Buy: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo


Synopsis:

How much will she risk for love?

Going away to college gives LIZA GLASNER a chance to escape her painful and dangerous past…or so she thinks. At fourteen years old, she survived an attack by a famous musician. After that, the media, groupies and crazies hounded her with a merciless cruelty that ruined her life. But now she’s thriving–until an internship brings her face to face with the sizzling hot lead singer of a rock band, and she finds herself drawn to the very thing that once destroyed her. Justice is a temptation she can’t resist…and one that could get her killed.

How far will he go for fame?

Sexy rock star JUSTICE CADE is determined to take his band, Savaged Illusions, to the top by winning the Court of Rock T.V. show. Tortured by guilt for failing his family, he believes fame is his only path to redemption. But when the fiery college-intern hiding her beauty beneath baggy sweaters and a snarky attitude bursts into his life, Justice is forced to choose between the woman he loves and the stardom he craves. The wrong choice will cost him more than he can bear.

**This is book one in a trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger. However the next two books are being released in July and September so readers won’t be stranded on the cliff for long!

*****

Savaged Vows
Savaged Illusions Series – Book 2
Release Date: July 24, 2017
Buy: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

Synopsis:

How much will she risk for love?

Despite her dark past with a rock icon, Liza Glasner can’t walk away from the man she loves with a fiery passion—sexy rock star Justice Cade. A surprise pregnancy and marriage give Liza the family she’s craved since she was fourteen. But her love is tested when Liza’s worst nightmare—Gene Hayes—bursts onto the scene, spreading lies and smears to tear her and Justice apart. Can Liza trust Justice to choose her over fame?

How far will he go for fame?

Justice fiercely loves his beautiful and resilient wife Liza, and he’s determined to protect her from Gene Hayes. At the same time, he’s loyal to his band. The four other men in Savaged Illusions are his brothers, and together, they are battling hard to come back from a humiliating defeat. But just as the pinnacle of success is within their reach, Justice discovers a truth that will either decimate his band or destroy his wife.

Can their love survive?

Secrets and betrayals explode in a heartbreaking twist that threatens to rip Justice and Liza apart forever.

Savaged Vows is book 2 in the Savaged Illusions Trilogy, and ends in a cliffhanger. Book 3, Savaged Devotion, will be released in September 2017.

*****

Savaged Devotion

Savaged Illusions Trilogy – Book 3

Coming September 2017


 _________________________________________________
Jennifer Lyon is the pseudonym for USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Apodaca. Jen lives in Southern California where she continually plots ways to convince her husband that they should get a dog. After all, they met at the dog pound, fell in love, married and had three wonderful sons. So far, however, she has failed in her doggy endeavor. She consoles herself by pouring her passion into writing books. To date, Jen has published more than fifteen books and novellas, including a fun and sexy mystery series and a variety of contemporary romances under the name Jennifer Apodaca. As Jennifer Lyon she created a dark, sizzling paranormal series, and The Plus Once Chronicles, an emotionally sensual adult contemporary series. Jen’s won numerous.

Release Blitz + Excerpt + Giveaway: Monster Among Roses by Linda Kage

Will you dare to gaze upon the monster among the roses?
MONSTER AMONG THE ROSES
Fairy Tale Quartet #1
Linda Kage
Releasing July 24, 2017

 

“Do you know how to
get to the rose garden?”
“No, you can’t go
there. A monster lives there.”
 
Shaw Hollander is desperate.
 
Broke, unemployed, and determined to help his ailing mother, he falls on the good
graces of a wealthy benefactor who is willing to give Shaw a job at his mansion
in order to pay off his mother’s debts. Suddenly finding himself surrounded by
lavish riches, he has no idea what his duties truly entail until he’s sent to
the rose garden and meets the tragically mutilated Isobel.
This Beauty and the Beast story holds true to the core of the fable while shaking off the
element of fantasy and dragging it into present day reality. Shaw and Isobel
are ready to let you climb into their four-wheel-drive pickup and take a ride
with them into their version of happily ever after, but only if you first dare
to gaze upon the monster among the roses.
******

Great. I was lost. Shading my hand over my eyes, I decided the far right should take me in the general direction I wanted to go. So I went that way, only to end up at the edge of the house, but not where I’d started, and not close enough to the rose garden to get me inside.

Strangely enough, however, a boy played outside, using sidewalk chalk to color a picture of…what the hell was he drawing? Maybe some kind of dying animal with blood gushing from its side and an arrow sticking out of its back.

It didn’t look right, whatever it was.

I shook my head and jerked my gaze from the disturbingly morbid sketch. “Hey, kid.”

The boy jumped and looked up, hopping to his feet and backing away from me as I were the scary one.

No idea who he was; he looked too young to be Mr. Nash’s son from the photos I’d seen, plus he had white blond hair, the complete opposite shade of the young man in all the pictures in Mr. Nash’s office. But he was here, so he’d have to do.

Wanting to appear as non-threatening as possible, I smile and waved. “Hey. Sorry for bothering you, but do you know how to get to the rose garden?”

That must’ve been the wrong question to ask. His face drained of color. “No,” he said, shaking his head. “You can’t go there.”

What? “Why not?”

“A monster lives in there. Half her face is melted off. She eats the thorns from the roses so she can spit them at people, stabbing them in the neck to slice their throat open until they bleed out and die.”

O…kay.

Somehow, I’d stumbled across one of the children of the corn. Nice.

Lifting my eyebrows, I drew my own step in reverse. Time to retreat. “Dude, that’s gruesome.”

Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me.

He gave a serious nod. “It’s true. My mom’ll tell you she’s real too.”

“Oh yeah?” Relieved he wasn’t claiming he’d sprouted from Satan’s cabbage patch but actually had a mother, I glanced around for this wise, all-knowing parent of his. Maybe she could tell me how to get to the conservatory. “Who’s your mom?”

“The cook,” he said, puffing up his chest as if that were the most important title in the house. “She’s worked here for fifteen years. She knows everything about this place there is to know. So…don’t go into the roses. You won’t come out alive. Lewis, the groundskeeper, doesn’t even go in there.”

Aha! So this place did have a gardener. I knew it.

I took a second to ponder why I was being sent to garden then, when Mr. Nash already paid someone to maintain the place. But if Lewis refused to go into the roses, as the kid had said, maybe it was rumored to be haunted or something, and that was where I came in. Then again, why wouldn’t Mr. Nash just hire a new groundskeeper who wasn’t so scared and superstitious? Then I stopped pondering the whys. It wasn’t my place to question strange, rich people and their strange, oddball orders. I was just here to do what I was told and save my mom.

Nodding gravely to the boy, I said, “Thanks for the warning, kid. But I think I’ll take my chances. Which way?”

He looked at me as if he’d never see me again because I was headed forth to my death, then he lifted his hand and quietly pointed toward another opening in the path of bushes.

“Thanks.” I nodded and got out of there before some of his creepiness started rubbing off.

Fortunately, he’d steered me in the right direction. I landed right at the outdoor entrance into the glass gazebo. Propping the door open, I carted my supplies inside and then paused to breathe deeply.

But fuck me, it smelled good in here. You didn’t have to be a flower enthusiast for this garden to amaze you. It was like the holy shrine of roses. A hallowed kind of reverence filled my chest. Haunted or not, I liked it. It felt peaceful and yet revitalizing.

Suddenly intimidated because I didn’t want to mess anything up in such a perfect place, my hands shook as I flipped back to the pages about rose care. The more I skimmed, however, the more confused I became.

These roses didn’t need a lick of my attention. They were all in excellent condition as if someone already tended to them. Maybe creepy kid had been wrong, and Lewis the groundskeeper came in here hourly to care for them.

Still…What the hell?

I frowned and slid my finger along the silken petals of a blood red rose. Perfectly pruned, weeded, and watered. It was as flawless as a thing could get.

But I couldn’t go tell Mr. Nash they didn’t need anything, could I? What if he fired me for lack of work to do, or because he thought I was lazy and lying about the roses not needing care?

I looked around again, searching for anything to water, or clip, or re-soil. It was crazy how thriving every single flower looked.

Maybe this was some kind of test, and Mr. Nash wanted me to fail. What if he’d never intended for me to work for him and the contract I’d signed to save my mom was being burned in the fireplace in this office as I stood here like a dumbass with nothing to weed.

Confused and worried, and growing a little angry, I scowled at a wall full of pink vine roses growing to my right. But they were honestly too pretty to be glared at, so my mood settled.

I bet Mom would love them. She was a fan of pink. And flowers. Plus, these were the good-smelling kind. I’d be a good son if I brought home such a flower to her. And it seemed as if they grew in abundance, not as if they were one of the rare breeds Mr. Nash had spoken of. So I reached for a bloom to pluck it from the vine without even thinking beyond how much it’d make my mother smile.

Behind me, a voice growled, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Jumping half out of my skin because I’d been certain no one had been in here with me, I whirled around only to gasp, “Shit!”

The creepy cook’s son hadn’t been lying.

In front of me stood an irate woman with half her face melted off.

 

Author Bio:

I grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now I live in Kansas with my husband, two daughters, nine cuckoo clocks, and a cat named Holly. My life’s been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing’s always been a major part my world, and I’m so happy to finally share some of my stories with other romance lovers.

I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, and I’ve been through a writing correspondence class in children’s literature from The Institute of Children’s Literarture, and then I continued my writing lessons by majoring in English with an emphasis in creative fiction writing from Pittsburg State University.

 

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