The Extra Shot – May 17, 2018

The Extra Shot – May 17, 2018

Welcome to The Extra Shot where we bring you EXCLUSIVE content from Authors who have books releasing in the near future.  

Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits. 

Today you’ll find an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Chef Sugarlips by USA Today Bestselling Author Tawna Fenske to jump start your weekend along with a fabulous giveaway too! This book releases tomorrow so one-click your copy now and get ready for a great new book adventure tomorrow! 

Be sure to stop by the blog later today for my review on Chef Sugarlips, you don’t want to miss the first book in the Ponderosa Resort Romantic Comedy series! If you read Studmuffin Santa you will recognize a few familiar characters who have their own standalone read! Haven’t read Studmuffin Santa? Be sure to check out the giveaway below!

I watch her exit my office in the corner of the barn and make her way to the side door and out into the crisp spring afternoon. The second the barn door closes, I yank my sweater off one shoulder and sniff my bra strap.

Nothing. It just smells like the lilac body lotion I’ve been wearing lately.

But I know I smell something, and I’m pretty sure I’m on the right track. I pull both arms inside my shirt sleeves and contort my hands behind me to unhook my bra. Mission accomplished, I snake it through the left sleeve of my sweater and pull it out at the wrist cuff like a deranged magician.

I hold up the bra for inspection, but it looks fine. Lavender and lacy, it’s one of my nicest pieces of lingerie. But when did I last wash it?

I hold it to my nose and have just started to inhale when the barn door flies open.

“Amber, hey—oh.” Sean freezes halfway to my office, blinking against the dim light of the barn. And at the sight of me smelling my bra.

Slowly, I lower my cupped hands to the desk and lay the lacy scrap there like a dead pet. “Sean.”

He looks at me, then at the bra, then back to my face, detouring only a little at my unsupported assets hidden beneath magenta cashmere. “I—uh—” He steps forward, hesitating at the door of my office. “Your sister said you were out here. I came by to grab my coolers?”

A quicker-thinking woman might shove the bra in a desk drawer or try to pass it of as a hanky.

I’ve never been that quick.

“So—I—right.” I take a deep breath and gesture toward the lavender lace laid out on my desk with the cups pointing jauntily at the ceiling. “I suppose you’re wondering why I’m smelling my bra.”

“The thought did occur to me.” He leans against the doorframe, and I can tell he’s trying not to smile.

I drop into my desk chair with a little more bounce than expected. Sean’s eyes flicker, but he keeps them on my face.

“Right, see, there are certain things no one really tells you when you’re a girl.”

He hesitates, then settles into Beth’s vacated seat. “Okay.”

“Like everyone knows you wash your panties every day, right?”

“One can assume.” He’s having a harder time holding back laughter, I can tell.

“But no one ever sits you down and says, ‘here’s how often you should wash your bras.’ Like is it once a week? Every few days? Monthly? I honestly don’t know, and then how do you remember which ones you washed when and whether there’s this one random bra in the back of the drawer that got skipped the last time you did delicates, and now you’re pretty sure it’s been years since the damn thing saw soap and water?”

My voice has risen to the pitch of a crazy person, to say nothing about my actual words. My God, he must think I’m insane.

Slowly, the smile spreads over his face. He folds his hands on the desk, and I’m conscious of the fact that his knuckles are scant inches from my favorite bra. Is it wrong that I’m wishing my boobs were still in it?

“You remember what I said in the chapel?” he asks. “About how you’re way different from Ethereal Mermaid Amber I used to imagine?”

I nod, not trusting myself not to say another damn word.

“I like this Amber better,” he says. “The quirky one who says stuff other people are probably thinking, but don’t actually say? I’m digging that about you.”

 

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Authors Dish

Tawna Fenske: When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA-nominated, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”

Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. To find out more about Tawna and her books, visit www.tawnafenske.com.

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The Extra Shot April 22, 2018

The Extra Shot April 22, 2018

Welcome to The Extra Shot, a weekly Sunday post featuring EXCLUSIVE content from Authors who have books releasing in the near future.  

Books I Love A Latte is a book review blog focusing primarily on the romance genre, fiction, and women’s fiction. In addition, we periodically review products to keep you organized and more productive as writers and readers.  

Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits. 

Today you’ll find an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from The Blood Reaver by USA Today Bestselling Author Barbara Devlin to jump start your week along with a fabulous giveaway too! This is the sixth book in the Pirates of the Britannia series where the Pirates of the Coast crossover into The Pirates of the Britannia. Discover a whole lot of goodness in this new adventure.

One quick note, the pre-order price of The Blood Reaver releases is $2.99 so be sure to one-click your copy now readers, release day is April 24th!

Be sure to stop by the blog tomorrow for my review on The Blood Reaver, you don’t want to miss this exciting installment in the Pirates of the Britannia series!

Official Back Blurb:

After her father and her older brother die of an infectious fever, and an unscrupulous sea captain abandons Rose Armistead in Port Royal, Jamaica, she must find safe passage home.  When she meets a handsome mariner with his own ship, in an establishment of ill repute, she pays him to carry her, her mother, and her younger brother to Charles Town.  But the man she considers her savior hides a dark secret, and it may destroy her.  Can Rose accept her man’s true identity and find love?

 

When a beautiful woman walks into the most notorious brothel in Port Royal, Turner Reyson, a cunning pirate known as the Blood Reaver, offers his assistance, because he wants her in his bunk, but he conceals the nature of his business, as he casts off.  At sea, Rose displays a peculiar ability to spot prize and booty, and his suspicious crew declares her the Lady of Fortune, which places her in a perilous position, when they insist on keeping her aboard ship.  Playing two sides of the same coin, Turner must win his woman or risk mutiny, which would endanger her and her family.  Can the Blood Reaver save Rose?

 

Chapter One

 

March, 1680

 

It was not the most ideal introduction, to meet a beautiful young woman at the wrong end of a three-barrel flintlock pistol, which she stole from an unoccupied table, while the owner got his nutmegs sucked.  Garbed in a fancy blue dress, with a matching ruffled contraption on her head, she did not belong in one of the most violent brothels in Port Royal.  Biting her bottom lip, she adjusted the gun in her grip, belying the fact that she possessed little if any experience with weapons, and crept further into the whorehouse.

“Hello.”  Her hand shook, as she took aim at the crowd, in general.  “I do not wish to be rude or cause trouble, but someone stole my trunk, which was sitting in front of this fine establishment, while I asked for directions, and I would like the return of my belongings, please.”

A fiddler screeched a bawdy tune, as several cup-shots took a flyer with a rough collection of three-penny uprights, in the back.  At the bar, Turner Reyson, a pirate known on the high seas as the Blood Reaver, studied the pretty bit o’ fluff, while everyone else ignored her, downed his rum, dragged his sleeve across his mouth, and navigated the tables, to get a closer look at his potential prey, given he had yet to fill his bed.  Just as he drew near, she cocked the pistol, pointed toward the ceiling, closed her eyes, scrunched her face, and pulled the trigger.

The shot echoed, and she started and shrieked, as quiet fell on the bordello.

Halting in his tracks, he snickered and waited to see what she did for an encore, but if she were half as spirited between the sheets, he would be a happy man.

“I beg your pardon.”  She cleared her throat, as he moved behind her, for close inspection.  From beneath her bonnet, he spied sweet little brown curls at the nape of her neck, and his fingertips itched to toy with a thick lock.  “I am so sorry to disturb you, but I must have my things.”  She stepped forward, and Turner splayed his arms to part his fellow buccaneers.  “Now, my mother and my brother wait for me, outside, and I cannot leave without recovering my property.”

“Watch out, men.”  Turner chuckled, given the chit’s moxie.  “I would rather set sail on a Friday, with a Jonah, than tangle with an armed, angry woman.”  To hoots and hollers, he raised his hands.  “Come on, swabs, humor the little lady.”

In unison, the motely crew of raiders and whores parodied his stance and howled with laughter.

“But, I am serious.”  She peered over her shoulder, and he glimpsed glorious blue eyes and lush red lips he could not wait to sample.  “I must recover my trunk.”  She waved the pistol in the air.  “Whoever took it should be ashamed, because it is wrong to steal.”

“Can you describe the item in question?” a grey-haired salt asked, in a mocking timbre.

“Yes.”  The pistol fired, and she screamed, when a lantern shattered above the bar, and Red Doyle, the bartender, ducked for cover, along with everyone else.  In that moment, she glanced at Turner.  “Did I do that?”

“Aye.”  He nodded and bit his tongue against a guffaw, as she struggled with the weight of the weapon, and he did not want her angry with him.  “Be careful, before you hurt yourself or someone else.”

“Oh, dear.”  With a lethal pout, which he wagered could bring the most ornery pirate to his knees, she addressed Doyle.  “I hope you are all right, but I seek my trunk, which is made of camphor wood, with red painted leather, featuring floral motifs, and the initials RA on the top.”

“Lady, Skip Peterson has it, and he’s over there.”  Doyle pointed to the offending party, and she marched forth, with Turner in her wake.  “He’s the one in the floppy black hat.”

“Aw, come on, Doyle.”  Perched atop the trunk in question, Skip pounded his fist on the table.  “Finders, keepers.”

“How dare you take my things.”  The fascinating creature stomped a foot.  “You could at least display a modicum of contrition, because you stole my trunk, and I insist you give it back, this instant.”

“Oh?”  Skip stood and rotated to face her.  “Who is going to make me?”  He surveyed her from top to toe, and Turner could almost read the thief’s thoughts.  “You?”

“Peterson, carry the trunk outside, and put it where you found it.”  Turner folded his arms.  “Now.”

“I didn’t know she was with you, Reyson.”  Peterson scratched his temple and shuffled his feet.  Then he smacked another tar.  “Here, now.  Give me a hand with the lady’s trunk.”

“You swiped it.”  The burley swab chuckled.  “So, you may ask my arse, because it is not worth the fight.”

“Oh, all right.”  With a grimace, Peterson hefted the fancy coffer.  “Where do you want it?”

“Where I left it.”  Despite her frippery, the wench showed courage, as she tapped her foot.  “And have care with my property, as the trunk was a gift from my father.”

“My lady, I am your most humble servant.”  Of course, Peterson taunted her, but she appeared oblivious.  “What else do you require?  Shall I wipe your—”

“Please, do not be crude, as I would conclude this most irksome business, posthaste.”  At the entrance, Peterson continued outside, but she paused, set the weapon on the table, from where she claimed it, faced the crowd, and smiled.  “Thank you, so much, for your cooperation.  You have been very kind.”

To Turner’s disgust, a couple of buccaneers actually stood and saluted her.  As she stepped into the sunlight, a cheer erupted from the brothel, and he cursed under his breath.

At the roadside, a portly woman withered beneath a frilly parasol and fanned herself, while a young lad lingered at her side, and both eyed Turner with a healthy dose of scrutiny absent in their fetching relation, to her detriment, because he presented a very real threat to her.

Without acknowledgement, Peterson dumped the chest and brushed past Turner, and he gave his attention to the skirt.

“I see you found your things.”  The scamp scowled at Turner.  “Who is this gentleman?”

“I am no gentleman.”  Turner actually took offense to the mere suggestion, as it left a foul taste in his mouth.  “And you should not insult me, when I extended my support to the lady.”

“Oh, I almost forgot about you.”  She blinked.  Now that hurt, because he had no trouble filling his bunk.  “Clinton, mind your manners, because this gentle—nice man supported my cause, and I owe him a debt of gratitude, which we are honor-bound to discharge.”

“I have no interest in your gratitude or your honor.”  At the end of his tether, Turner folded his arms, planted his feet, and wondered how long it would take him to get between her thighs.  “Well, are you going to tell me your name, or am I to guess?”

“Forgive my impudence, sir, but it has been a rather taxing day, and I am a tad out of sorts.”  She squared her shoulders.  “I am Rose Armistead, this is my mother, Bettine Armistead, and this is my brother, Clinton Armistead.  We are pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“I am not.”  Clinton narrowed his stare.  “And I shall be hanged before I claim otherwise.”

Clinton.”  As her cheeks shaded red, Rose compressed her lips and then met Turner’s gaze.  “My apologies, as my brother has been unwell and is still recovering.  To whom do I owe my thanks, good sir?”

“I am neither good nor a sir, and you would do well to remember that.”  Just as he prepared to inform her of his true occupation, he reconsidered his tack, given his pirate name would inspire more fear than confidence.  “I am Captain Turner Reyson.”

“A captain?”  Rose clasped her hands beneath her chin and bounced on her toes.  “Can it be possible that fortune smiles upon us, after our difficulties, of late?  Are you by chance master of a ship, Captain Reyson?”

“Aye.”  He nodded once, more than a little confused by her expression, as he revisited the niceties and the proper address she would expect from a regular seaman.  “I command the Malevolent, Miss Armistead.”

“Mama, our prayers are answered.”  To his surprise, Rose briefly clasped his forearm and then withdrew.  “Captain Reyson, might I hire you to take us home, to Charles Town, in His Majesty’s Province of Carolina?  I can pay you well.”

“I am not a transport service, Miss Armistead, though I might be persuaded.”  In truth, the idea appealed to him, because a lot could happen in the close confines of his brigantine, and he needed the money, but there was another reason that swayed his position.  If he sailed north, he could launch a surprise attack, given most pirates embarked from the south, on a galleon loaded with gold, bearing east from the Spanish Main.  “First, I would know how you arrived in Port Royal, because you do not belong here.  And if I were to deliver you home, what would you pay me?”

“Ours is a sad tale, Captain Reyson.”  With her hand, she shielded her face, and he admired her flawless skin of pure ivory.  “My family journeyed to Alicante, so my father could open new trade relationships for Charles Town.  During our stay, he became ill with an infectious fever, which later struck my elder brother, and both perished.”

“I am sorry to hear that.”  Given the vast markets exchanged in the Spanish port city, he concluded her family must possess great wealth, which further stimulated his interest.  “So, what brought you here?”

“Although my father arranged return passage, we missed the departure, due to his failing condition, and I was left to secure alternative travel for myself, my mother, and my younger brother, after burying our loved ones, in Spain.  On the recommendation of an acquaintance, we hired Captain Donat.”  With a trembling chin, and a furrowed brow, she frowned.  “After paying full fare, for three passengers, we set sail aboard the Sea Serpent.  A sennight into the voyage, we discovered the captain carried human cargo, which we do not support, so he put us off in Port Royal, while he conducted business, and refused to refund any portion of our money.  Thus, we are at your mercy, and I beg you to consider my request.”

“What did Donat charge to deliver you from Alicante to Charles Town?”  Turner mulled the possibilities and associated cost.  Since he missed his last mark, due to foul weather, he had to find something to satisfy his crew’s thirst for booty.  “And what sort of accommodations do you require, because options are limited aboard the Malevolent.”

“We will take whatever you provide and be glad of it, Captain Reyson.”  Rose reached for her mother’s hand.  “And we paid five pounds sterling, each, for myself and for my mother, and two pounds and ten shillings for Clinton, as is the usual rate, or so I am told.  However, I am unwilling to pay more than half, up front, given Captain Donat took advantage of us, so I shall remit the remainder of our fare upon our arrival in Charles Town.”

“You are a shrewd negotiator, Miss Armistead.”  As much as he hated to admit it, she gained a measure of respect, because she did not cower in the face of adversity.  Where most women would cry and yield to hysterics, in similar circumstances, Rose simply sought another course of action, which included the none-too-smart but audacious invasion of a whorehouse rife with cutthroats and pirates.  “Allow me to suggest the Port Royal Inn, where you can take rooms for the night and enjoy a decent meal.  In the morning, meet me at the docks.”

“Does that mean you will help us?”  Given her smile, there was little he would not do for her, and he promised to weigh anchor in her, no doubt, uncharted territory, before the journey’s end.  “You will take us home?”

Inclining his head, he winked.  “Miss Armistead, you got yourself a ship.”

 

 

Starting April 24th for a limited time you can one-click

the Brethren of the Coast and set sail on a fabulous adventure.

Hurry, the offer won’t last long!

 

 

 

 

Coffee With

Authors Dish

 

 

USA Today bestselling, Amazon All-Star author Barbara Devlin was born a storyteller, but it was a weeklong vacation to Bethany Beach, Delaware that forever changed her life. The little house her parents rented had a collection of books by Kathleen Woodiwiss, which exposed Barbara to the world of romance, and Shanna remains a personal favorite.

Barbara writes heartfelt historical romances that feature not so perfect heroes who may know how to seduce a woman but know nothing of marriage. And she prefers feisty but smart heroines who sometimes save the hero before they find their happily ever after.

Barbara is a disabled-in-the-line-of-duty retired police officer, and she earned an MA in English and continued a course of study for a Doctorate in Literature and Rhetoric. She happily considered herself an exceedingly eccentric English professor, until success in Indie publishing lured her into writing, full-time, featuring her fictional knighthood, the Brethren of the Coast.

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The Extra Shot – April 15, 2018 Taryn Leigh Taylor

The Extra Shot – April 15, 2018 Taryn Leigh Taylor

Welcome to The Extra Shot, a weekly Sunday post featuring EXCLUSIVE content from Authors who have books releasing in the near future.  

Books I Love A Latte is a book review blog focusing primarily on the romance genre, fiction, and women’s fiction. In addition, we periodically review products to keep you organized and more productive as writers and readers.  

Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits. 

Today we’ve got an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Playing for Keeps by Taryn Leigh Taylor to jump start your week along with a fabulous giveaway too! 

One quick note, the pre-order price of Playing for Keeps is $3.49 so be sure to one-click your copy now readers!

Official Back Blurb:

The stakes are high when you’re playing for keeps…

Pro hockey player Eric Jacobs should be focused on rehabbing his knee and getting back on the ice where he belongs. Then his grandmother sells the family bakery without telling him, and the gloves come off. He’s not losing his childhood home without a fight—but the new owner is proving as stubborn as she is gorgeous, and it’s throwing him off his game.

Rebecca Callahan is searching for her passion, and she’s determined not to let her lack of baking experience stand in the way of making her new business a success. Especially not with the former owner’s handsome grandson just waiting for her to fail. If she’s going to make him eat his words, she needs to keep her mind on the bakery and stop imagining Eric’s sexy abs as dessert.

Now Rebecca and Eric are facing off in a battle of wills, but will giving into the heat between them be a recipe for disaster, or the icing on the cupcake?

 

 

“Can I try?”

He turned to face her fully, resting an elbow on the top of the stick. She didn’t want to notice the snug fit of his grey t-shirt over his incredible chest, but she couldn’t help herself.

“Why?” Suspicion made his voice flat.

“You said this is your passion.” She shrugged. “Maybe hockey is my passion, too.”

Rebecca didn’t suppose he meant his skeptical face to look cute, but it kind of was.

“Besides,” she went in for the kill, “you wouldn’t have any pucks if I hadn’t burned those cupcakes.”

“Well, personally I don’t understand how hitting things with a piece of wood could be your passion,” he chided, “but help yourself.”

She followed his head tip to find an old garbage can full of hockey sticks to her right, tucked beside the building. Grabbing one, she marched over to join him in the center of the tarmac.

“Whoa there, slugger.” Eric grabbed the stick from her and walked back to the garbage can. “As a rule,” he said over his shoulder, shoving the stick back in and picking a new one, “you don’t want the stick to be taller than you.”

He came back and held his selection in front of her. His knuckles brushed her arm as he measured, and she stiffened at the contact. It came just a bit above her armpit.

“That one’s close. Since your shoes are kind of like being on skates.”

She accepted the new stick. It felt awkward in her hands. “Okay, coach. What do I do?”

“Well, first of all, this isn’t golf. You’re going to want to spread your hands apart and choke up on the shaft.”

Her inner teen boy snort-laughed at the instructions. “Say what?”

He rolled his eyes at her childishness, but the corner of his mouth tugged up as he stick-handled a cupcake into place in front of her.

“Now you want the puck, or in our case, the cupcake, more in the center of the blade,” he instructed.

“That’s the curvy part?” she clarified, waggling her hips a little as she got set to take her shot. The sudden weight of his hand on her lower back made her freeze in place.

“Still not golf,” he reminded her, and his deep voice unleashed a shiver down her spine.

Had she been standing this close to him the whole time?

Eric removed his hand and took a step back, readjusting his grip on his hockey stick. “So now you just shift your weight, flick your wrists, and follow through by pointing the toe of your blade at whatever you’re aiming for.”

His demonstration ended with another snipe to the top left-hand corner. Hers…rolled harmlessly on the pavement, stopping two feet in front of her stick.

She expected a joke then, but instead his face was earnest and encouraging. “Not bad.” He stick-handled another cupcake in front of her. She forced herself to focus on the task at hand, instead of wondering how his hockey skills might transfer into…other areas. Rebecca had always been a sucker for a man who was good with his hands.

“This time, stand a little closer, put your weight on your back foot to start.”

She followed his instructions, and her cupcake rolled all the way to the wall this time.

“Yeah! Yes. That’s what I’m talking about!”

Rebecca returned his high-five. She was a little surprised at the pride tingling through her limbs. It was such a silly little accomplishment—flinging a cupcake at a wall with a stick. And yet, Eric’s patient tutelage and genuine joy in her triumph made it feel like a big deal. It was the same way she always felt when tackling something new, only…more somehow. It was kind of nice celebrating an accomplishment with someone else. Dangerous. But nice.

Kind of like his smile, she decided, as her eyes dropped to his mouth. He seemed really close again. Or was she the one moving forward? His shoulders were very broad, and she had to tip her head back to meet his eyes. Even in her three-and-a-half inch heels she wasn’t tall enough to kiss him. He’d have to lean forward a bit and—

A loud crash broke into the moment, and Rebecca whirled around to face the big dumpster in the far corner, heart jack-hammering at the weird scrambling sound emanating from behind it. Eric barely glanced over at the source of the noise, although he seemed to be breathing heavier than normal, too.

“Probably just Mario.”

“Who?”

“Our alley cat.”

“You have a cat?”

“Not really. I mean, we’ve never seen him. Just hear him out here foraging sometimes. He likes cake.”

She watched in fascination as he scooped up a cupcake with his stick, bounced it on the curve—the blade, she corrected herself—a few times, and then lobbed it gently in the direction of the dumpster. It fell neatly between the wall and the big bin. There was a scuffling sound—a big hungry cat who wasn’t overly picky about whether or not his dinner had baking powder in it, she surmised.

Rebecca flushed a little at the show of skill. It was kind of…hot, the way he wielded his stick. She cleared her throat and shoved her mind back to more innocuous things. “So why did your grandma name him Mario?”

 “Uh. Actually I named him.” Eric’s blush spread up his neck and reddened his ears. “Mario LeMeow. You know, like Mario Lemieux…played center for Pittsburgh? Hockey legend?” he added, when Rebecca shrugged uncomprehendingly at the name. “But, you know, with meow. Because cat.”

Rebecca couldn’t fight the smile that dawned. “That’s pretty much the most adorable thing I’ve ever heard.”

Eric frowned, and the disgruntled look on his face knocked cat names down to second place on the adorable list. “Just shoot, wouldja?”

Playing for Keeps releases on digital retailers everywhere on April 24th.

BUY LINKS:

USA: http://bit.ly/pfkcom

Canada: http://bit.ly/pfkazca

UK: http://bit.ly/pfkcouk

Australia: http://bit.ly/pfkau

 

 

THREE copies of PLAYING TO WIN 

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Coffee With Taryn Leigh Taylor

Authors Dish


Taryn Leigh Taylor: 
Taryn Leigh Taylor likes dinosaurs, bridges, and space, both personal and of the final frontier variety. She shamelessly indulges in cliches, most notably her Starbucks addiction (grande-six-pump-whole-milk-no-water chai tea latte, aka: the usual), her shoe hoard (I can stop anytime I…ooh! These are pretty!), and her penchant for falling in lust with fictional men with great abs (yum!)

She also really loves books, which is what sent her down the crazy path of writing one in the first place.

Website: http://www.tarynleightaylor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tarynltaylor1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tarynltaylor

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13696147.Taryn_Leigh_Taylor

 

 

 

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The Extra Shot – April 8, 2018

The Extra Shot – April 8, 2018

Welcome to The Extra Shot, a weekly Sunday post featuring EXCLUSIVE content from Authors who have books releasing in the near future.  

Books I Love A Latte is a book review blog focusing primarily on the romance genre, fiction, and women’s fiction. In addition, we periodically review products to keep you organized and more productive as writers and readers.  

Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits. 

Today we’ve got an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Until there was Us by Samantha Chase to jump start your week along with a fabulous giveaway too! 

One quick note, the pre-order price of Until there was Us has been REDUCED to $5.99 so be sure to one-click your copy here before it goes up!

 

Okay, so maybe hanging out with Alex wasn’t the smartest choice for the day, Megan thought as soon as Alex walked out the door.

She already felt emotional and overwhelmed from thinking she’d lost the dog, and it wouldn’t take much more for her to do something ridiculous—like throw herself at him.

Yeah, she was already teetering on the edge.

With a sigh, she paced the small living room and tried to force herself to think about something else—like how she should have opted to go out with him rather than staying in. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the guesthouse. She did. The place was cute, and Summer had impeccable taste. All in all, she was happy here, but it was one thing to be hanging out there alone and another to do so with Alex.

Alex.

So many things were swirling in her mind where he was concerned. The obvious was how the attraction not only was still there but felt even stronger than it had before. Keeping her distance when he was near was a total act of self-control. But she wasn’t stupid. There were issues that had to be dealt, with and confrontation was something she tended to avoid at all costs.

It was one of the most un-Montgomery things about her.

Her family was known for going after what they wanted and not being afraid to get in people’s faces. Megan preferred to fly under the radar and blend in.

Normally that wasn’t an issue. Honestly, she didn’t ruffle feathers at home or at work. Her relationships with men tended to end amicably.

Except with Alex.

Yeah, she’d really screwed that one up, and she knew it was time to deal with it.

Or distract him with seduction. That could work, right?

“No, no, no,” she sighed as she walked over to the kitchen table and began clearing away the decorative placemats and napkins to make room for their food. As appealing as seducing Alex was—really, truly was—this was something that had to be dealt with first.

Then she could seduce him.

Or hope he’d seduce her.

A small grin crossed her face at the thought of how thoroughly he’d seduced her the day of Zach and Gabriella’s wedding.

Tugging at the hem of her dress for the hundredth time, Megan silently cursed the fact that she’d let her mother talk her into it. The navy-blue fabric clung to every ample curve and was shorter than the dresses she normally wore, and all in all, she was feeling very self-conscious about the whole thing.

She was surrounded by family and knew she shouldn’t be feeling anything but happy to be here, but old insecurities still lingered. Okay, maybe they had resurfaced thanks to her ex constantly harping on her about losing weight. Megan wasn’t fat—she knew that—but she was definitely not slim. She envied her cousin Summer. She had the kind of body Megan had always wished she had—slim—and she looked good in everything. Whereas Megan had to worry about how every article of clothing she had would fit or if it would be too clingy.

Another tug at the hem of her dress as she looked around to see where Summer was. They didn’t get to see each other nearly enough and maybe…

“Excuse me?”

Megan turned and saw the most attractive man she had ever seen in her life. He was tall with sandy-brown hair and a smile that seemed almost too perfect. She swallowed hard, convinced he couldn’t possibly want to talk to her.

“Would you like to dance?” he asked, and Megan’s heart beat wildly in her chest.

She looked around and wondered whether someone had put him up to this. But he didn’t look the least bit insincere. If anything, he seemed slightly amused by her confusion.

She cleared her throat and nodded. “Um…yes. Thank you.”

His smile broadened, and it was almost lethal. He had dimples too. She had to stifle a sigh when she noticed them.

“I’m Alex Rebat,” he said, extending his hand to her. “I’m a friend of Zach’s. And you are?”

Blushing because his voice was as magnificent as the rest of him, she replied, “I’m Megan Montgomery. Zach’s cousin.”

She shook his hand, but he didn’t release hers. Instead, he led her onto the dance floor where a slow song was playing. At first, Megan felt a little self-conscious about dancing with a stranger, but as soon as Alex gently wrapped his arm around her waist, all negative thoughts disappeared.

They swayed together to the music as if they’d danced together for years.

They talked as if they’d known each other forever.

And they were both more than ready to move off the dance floor and find someplace quiet to talk after their fourth dance.

Alex kept her hand in his as he led her from the banquet room to the lobby and finally out to the garden. The sun had gone down, and the entire area was lit with hundreds of soft-white twinkly lights. To Megan it looked like something out of a fairy tale while she felt like she was living in the middle of one.

Hand in hand they walked along the paths as Alex told her about his job as a physical therapist, and the more he spoke, the more she wanted to know about him. He had confidence and passion as he spoke about his work and his life, and she found herself hanging on his every word. And when he asked about her—her job, her life—she felt inferior in comparison.

So she’d given him a brief overview of her IT career and her life in Albany before turning the conversation over to him. The smile he gave her told her he knew what she was doing.

“Not big on talking about yourself, huh?” he asked with a knowing smile.

Megan blushed as she shook her head. “There isn’t much to tell. My job is fairly boring compared to yours. What you do really makes a difference in people’s lives—and after seeing all you did for Zach, I’m in total awe of you.”

They stopped walking, and Alex moved so he was standing in front of her. “Don’t,” he said, his voice a little gruff. “Zach did all the hard work. I was merely there to help. Not every case is as successful as his. He had the drive to do it, and he worked hard to make it happen.”

Both his words and his voice were so intense that Megan was overwhelmed with the urge to reach out and touch him—not just hold his hand but…soothe him. Comfort him.

And she did.

Reaching up with her free hand, she gently caressed his face and heard his sharp intake of breath. This wasn’t her—she didn’t do things like this, wasn’t this forward—and yet she couldn’t help herself.

“Megan,” he said softly as his head lowered toward hers.

She wasn’t an overly romantic person and didn’t believe in things like this actually happening, and yet the instant Alex’s lips touched hers, Megan swore she saw fireworks. Normally she was a little more timid, inhibited, but something about Alex changed that. Wrapping her arms around him, she melted against him—reveling in the heat of his body, the feel of his lean frame against hers. The feeling must have been mutual because she heard a low growl come from him as he pulled her even closer.

Never before had she been kissed like this—it was the kind of kiss that started slowly, and they both sank into it until it kept going and neither wanted it to end. Megan’s hands raked up into his hair, and when they were finally forced to break apart for breath, in only a matter of seconds they dove in for another taste.

For a few glorious moments, they had been cocooned in their own little world out in the garden, but it didn’t take long for other wedding guests to start coming out and walking around, and the mood was broken. Alex never stopped touching her though—everywhere they went her hand was in his, and she found she was thankful for the constant connection.

Over the course of the wedding reception, they danced again and talked and laughed, and Megan was nearly bristling with anticipation by the time Gabriella threw the bouquet. At that point, she knew she and Alex could leave. When she noticed other guests getting up to go, she looked over at Alex and said, “So…”

He was sitting beside her, and the expression on his face told her everything she needed to know.

He wanted to leave.

And he wanted to leave with her.

Casually they walked around and said their goodbyes separately. Out in the lobby, Alex took her by the hand—or maybe that time she took his—and they made their way down the massive hallway that connected the banquet hall to the hotel. Several times Megan had looked around to make sure no one saw them—and not because she was embarrassed but because she didn’t want the interruption. If she didn’t get Alex alone soon, she swore she’d spontaneously combust!

The ride in the elevator seemed to take forever, and she swore the walk to her room was a mile long. But once they were inside and the door was closed?

Perfect. 

ONE signed copy of I’LL BE THERE – which is readers first meet Alex!

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Coffee With Samantha Chase

In case you missed any Montgomery Series goodness

Wait for Me and Trust in Me
More of Me and Stay With Me
Return to You and Meant for You
Meet Zach Montgomery in I’ll Be There

 

Author Info:

Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / BookBub

 

 

 

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The Extra Shot – March 18, 2018

The Extra Shot – March 18, 2018

Welcome to The Extra Shot, a weekly Sunday post featuring EXCLUSIVE content from Authors who have books releasing in the near future.  

Books I Love A Latte is a book review blog focusing primarily on the romance genre, fiction, and women’s fiction. In addition, we periodically review products to keep you organized and more productive as writers and readers.  

Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits. 

Today we’ve got an EXCLUSIVE excerpt to jump start your week along with a fabulous giveaway too! 

 

 

 

 

 

She was across the room in seconds. It was like watching a racquetball game where she was the ball. Esme never stopped moving. She tugged at her shirt collar as she crossed to another wall and whirled. “Damn it; I hate wearing other people’s clothes. They never fit right. I swear they’re going to choke me . . . Whi-iip! Damn it. There has to be something I can do to keep myself busy until he comes back.

“It’s staying in this house.” There was a sudden cunning edge to her voice. “That’s what’s wrong. I’ve just been cooped up too long. How about if I go for a nice long walk . . . jog . . . run. I could run for a while. Just keep running . . .”

“Esme, honey, you’re not going out. Not like this.” Ripper took the brunt of her irritation as she whirled on him, asking who gave him the right to tell her what she could and couldn’t do. Natalie and Ripper had gotten home a half hour earlier. Dr. Ryan had been out of the office indefinitely. The staff wasn’t giving explanations, and there were enough annoyed women there in various degrees of pregnancy trying to reschedule or get referred to another doctor that the Forester couple had given up.

Bay tuned out the argument and walked over to Serena, notepad in hand. “How long has she been like this?”

“It started about an hour after you guys—well, no, after Whip left—let’s be honest. It was just pacing at first; like she’d had two too many cups of coffee or something. It’s been getting steadily worse. Where is Whip?”

“I asked Steel to tell him to wait outside until he called. I wanted to see if Esme was doing the same thing . . .”

“Whip’s like this too?” Appalled, Serena looked from one male to the other.

“Can you do anything?” Steel asked his friend.

“Hell, I don’t even know what’s wrong with her. It could be she’s coming off the drug, whatever it was. This could be the equivalent of withdrawal.”

“After one dose? And what about my nephew? How the hell did it get in his system?”

“Who knows? That’s the problem. We just don’t know. It could be a side effect . . . it could be anything.” Bay’s concern sharpened his tone.

“I want Whip. NOW!”

The front door slammed open, making everyone jump as Whip stalked into the room as if summoned by her words. His face was tight and sheened with sweat as his head turned from side to side, searching, tracking. His gaze was dangerous as he prowled into the room. His attention locked on Esme. Even as he took in her pale, sweaty complexion, she launched herself across the room at him with a moaning noise that was a cross between a whimper and an exclamation.

The other Foresters looked on as the couple tried to devour each other. Wild kisses deepened. Esme’s legs were locked around Whip’s waist, but she was equally sealed into place by his arms locked around her back. His large hand cupped her skull, fingers splayed to cover as much as he could, as if he expected her to try to break free of his ravenous mouth.

There was no chance of that. Even the spectators could see that she was doing her best to crawl inside him.

“Where have you—?”

“Damn, I missed you—”

“God, how could I—?”

“. . . long, too long . . .”

Whip’s shirt fell to the floor.

“Uh, guys.” Serena grabbed her uncle’s arm. “We need to get out of here. NOW.”

The two men looked at her, their faces blank.

“Damn. Natalie! Pheromone alert! Help me out here!”

Instantly, Natalie grabbed Bay by the hand while she used a full-body bump to rouse Ripper from his stupor.

“Come on. They are not going to stop. We are not going to watch. We need to get out of here. Now.”

Steel swore softly as he shook his head to clear it. He glanced over his shoulder at the oblivious, now half-clad couple in the living room. “Bay, should we try to stop—?”

“No.” His voice thick, the doctor steered them through the kitchen and outside. “The state they’re in—I don’t want to be responsible for what would happen if we tried to take her away from him right now. Whether it’s the drug affecting him somehow or ‘just’ her, at this point he’d go wolf on us. And we know it’s the drugs with her; we just don’t know what it would do if we, uh, interrupted. Her heart was racing and her blood pressure was doing weird things before he showed up. Frankly, I’m hoping this acts like another dose and actually stabilizes her.”

“And we need to find out what the hell she was drugged with. If it can affect us third-hand, two days later, halfway across a room, we have to stop it.”

“Or build those two an igloo,” Ripper muttered, even as he tugged at Natalie’s hand and pulled her up the back stairs toward their room.

 



ONE e-book of Past Imperfect by Rowan Worth is up for grabs.

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In case you missed it, my Coffee With Rowan Worth

Author Info:

Rowan Worth lives in Virginia where she writes both contemporary and paranormal romantic suspense and adventure. Romance…Suspense…and a Touch of Paranormal Heat…you’ll find all of that and more in The Foresters, an ongoing series featuring a family of shapeshifters trying to stop an enemy intent on destroying their small pack. The first book, PAST IMPERFECT, is available now!

Rowan is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), and its Washington (D.C.) Romance Writers (WRW) and Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal (FF&P) chapters. She currently serves as President of the WRW board. Her manuscript LACY’S GIFT (now TOUCH OF LIES) placed second in the esteemed Georgia Romance Writers “Maggie” contest for unpublished authors and recently finaled in the Wisconsin “Fab 5” contest. She is represented by Miriam Kriss, Vice President, at the Irene Goodman Agency.

Find out more about Rowan at her website and subscribe to her newsletter Worth Reading! for all the latest release information, fun shapeshifter trivia, and a peek at some delicious upcoming covers:  http://rowanworth.com

Newsletter subscription form: http://eepurl.com/bpwPFj

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The Extra Shot – March 11, 2018

The Extra Shot – March 11, 2018

Welcome to The Extra Shot, a weekly Sunday post featuring EXCLUSIVE content from Authors who have books releasing in the near future.  

Books I Love A Latte is a book review blog focusing primarily on the romance genre, fiction, and women’s fiction. In addition, we periodically review products to keep you organized and more productive as writers and readers.  

Stay connected with Rae Latte and Books I Love A Latte for Book Reviews, Excerpts, Teasers, Coffee With (Interviews), Giveaways, Authors Dish, Book Sales, and other Tasty Tidbits. 

Today we’ve got TWO EXCLUSIVE excerpts and a few giveaways to jump start your week. Each author has brought there own giveaways so be sure to read for details within each feature!

 

 

Meaningful Detail: the little things that tell a tale by Damon Suede

I want to thank Rae for letting me come talk with y’all about the ways characters drive a story. Next week Verbalize comes out, aka my new craft book on characterization and story-planning, and we thought you might dig splashing around in some of its ideas. If you’d like to enter to win a story consult or a copy of Verbalize (print or digital), check out the contest here.

Specificity is critical in genre fiction. Over and over we’re told to keep things precise if we expect readers to care, but I often wonder if that advice goes far enough. Paying attention is always the answer to creative problems, but what needs our attention. Authors absolutely need to focus, but they need to focus on things that matter.

On that tip, I’d like to include a brief excerpt from Chapter 1 of Verbalize, about the power of significant specifics.

*    *    *

When we care about something, we pay attention, and by the same token, when we pay attention to something, we start to care about it.

You can only pay attention to specificity, so canny authors go out of their way to provide juicy detail that supports the story. Vagueness connotes laziness, sloppiness, or apathy in the writer, which is why pablum is general and generalized. Consequently, specificity is the core of solid craft and superior art. Precision makes us focus and remember.

By the same token, specifics are critical, but only in service to the tale you’re telling. Plunking random specifics into a story without any awareness of their impact serves nothing. Paying attention to your story’s details makes your readers follow suit. When you stop paying attention, likewise.

Every specific in a story requires a purpose, a function. Instead of pointless detail, what you should aim for is significance: meaningful patterns start with resonant focus. When weighing the effect of any detail, you should be able to answer the question “How does this help tell the story and improve the emotional ride?” Under that lens you’ll quickly pinpoint facts that actually characterize and dramatize the tale you’re telling.

Significant specifics don’t just attract attention, they reward it so that the patterns of the story begin to connect to patterns already hardwired in your reader’s mind. Rather than providing conclusions, show your audience respect and engage them directly by allowing them to reach conclusions on their own. Significance jacks into their consciousness directly for more potent and efficient narrative results.

A detail only becomes significant when it helps you tell the tale.

Show your readers significant specifics and you don’t need to tell them anything, but try to tell them something, and their craving for pattern will send them looking for specifics that might contradict it. Better to have your audience as an enthusiastic ally than a dubious witness.

The great power of significance is that it forces all your words to do the heavy lifting—sometimes several jobs at once—so you can pack more of a punch into less space by showing and not telling. As Elizabeth Bowen put it, “Irrelevance, in any part, is a cloud and a drag on, a weakener of, the novel. It dilutes meaning. Relevance crystallizes meaning.”[i]

Here’s the great secret of writing popular fiction: your audience helps you tell the best story, but only if you give them the right materials.

What matters most is why characters pursue what they pursue and how they pursue it despite terrible odds. Instead of bogging down in minutiae, you can anchor every project in the raw, emotional power that engages readers and inspires creativity by focusing on the energy of the story. What matters to your audience and your process is the driving force behind the story, the spring in the clock, the emotional core, the choices of the characters. The actions they embody. The risks they take.

The rest is parsley on the plate.

_________________________________________________________________________

Excerpted from Verbalize by Damon Suede.

© Damon Suede 2018. All rights reserved.

_________________________________________________________________________

BIO:

Damon grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen almost three decades and just released his first craft book: Verbalize, a practical guide to characterization and story craft. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him on Twitter, Facebook, or at DamonSuede.com.

__________________________________________________________________________

[i] Elizabeth Bowen, “Notes on Writing a Novel” included in Collected Impressions, (1950).

 

Only a few more hours till you can discover for yourself how to Verbalize! Get your copy here –

In case you missed my review, you can read it here.  

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:

Miranda:

The solid wood door swung out easily when I pulled, and my heart began beating a quicker rhythm as Chance’s distinctive low voice rolled out the open door of an office adjacent to the lobby.

“If it gets any worse, let me know, John. We’ll lend a hand.” I could see Chance’s back as he stood looking out the window behind his desk, the phone to his ear.

“Miranda. What’s up?” There was an office on each side of the small reception space, and Sam appeared from the side opposite Chance’s office, no doubt summoned by the bell above the front door.

“Hey Sam.” My eyes were locked on Chance’s broad back, a dark flannel pulled tightly across the muscles just below the curls that were beginning to form at the top of his tanned neck. I pulled my gaze away to land on Sam instead. His familiar face was hardly a comfort. Chance and Sam’s eyes were almost identical, and the angular cut of their cheekbones and jaws were similar too. Both Palmer brothers could have been carved from stone—they were that good looking.

Despite their similar faces, I swooned when Chance looked at me, and I definitely felt something when my eyes met Sam’s—only I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. He made me nervous. Not in a good way, but in a way that kept me on my toes. And the way he was staring at me now made me uncomfortable. Like he was trying to figure something out. I was suddenly regretting wearing my hair down.

Best get to the point. “I came in to ask about that job. The administrative one?” My fingers found the tassel on my purse and began pulling at it.

Sam stepped out of his office and squinted at me as one side of his mouth lifted in a half-smile. He looked confused, his face crinkling up. “Why?”

Annoyance flooded me. This was the problem with Sam. Nothing was straightforward. I sighed, turning to see if Chance might be done with his call and come out so I could speak to him instead. Of course then I’d be nervous instead of annoyed. “I thought I might be able to help out with that.”

“It’s not a ‘help out’ type of thing. It’s a job. And you already have a job. And you’re in school.” Sam leaned his tall body against the door jam of his office and crossed his big arms over his broad chest. He gave off an air of judgment that put me on edge. And of course he was being difficult about something that could be simple.

“But Chance said it was part time?”

“What part of the time do you see yourself being here?” He was smiling now and I got the distinct impression he was toying with me. I shifted my weight uncomfortably as I stood there, in Maddie’s khaki pants and flowered blouse. The clothes had me feeling a bit unlike myself, and now I was standing here like an idiot in the middle of the room and Sam was being difficult. I had no doubt Chance would have offered me a seat. He was the polite brother. Sam was just watching me, like I was put there to amuse him.

“The part of the time when you guys need me, I guess.” My voice didn’t carry the confident edge I wanted it to, so I cleared my throat and continued. “I can rearrange my diner shifts if I need to, and college is online. I do most of my work at night anyway.”

“Right.” Sam chewed on his bottom lip for a second and then something about his fingernails caught his attention. He brought his hand to his face and rubbed his thumb against his index finger, looking intently at it. Finally he tucked his hand back under the opposite elbow and looked back up at me. “Okay.” He stood upright again and turned around to head back into his office, leaving me standing in the middle of the room.

Okay? What did that mean?

Love Reimagined © Delancey Stewart 2018. All rights reserved.

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My review of Love Reimagined.

Author Info:
Delancey Stewart is an award-winning author who writes romantic fiction with humor and heart.

Stewart has lived on both coasts, in big cities and small towns. She’s been a pharmaceutical rep, a personal trainer and a wineseller.

A wife and the mother of two small boys, her current job titles include pirate captain, monster hunter, Lego assembler and story reader. She tackles all these efforts at her current home outside Washington D.C.

Find her at www.delanceystewart.com

 

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