What we have been reading!!

Monday, March 27, 2017

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His to Seduce by Stacey Lynn Publication Date: March 21st, 2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance Publisher: Loveswept

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Synopsis:

An honorable man who’s lost his way . . . A career woman who hides behind her button-up suits . . . Unexpected romance is the specialty at the Fireside Grill as Stacey Lynn’s captivating series comes full circle.

Becoming an ER doctor had been David McGregor’s mission ever since he could remember. But after tragedy strikes at his hospital in Chicago, David runs away from the guilt—all the way back to Latham Hills, Michigan, where he takes a job tending bar at his childhood friend’s restaurant. That’s how he meets Camden Reed, and the way Camden refuses to give him the time of day should be a turnoff. Instead, he’s drawn to her tough, tightly wound exterior, and soon David realizes that he has a new mission: to see her tightly wound beneath him. Camden’s fighting tooth and nail to resist the desire she feels for David. Growing up dirt-poor, raised by a single mother, she worked twice as hard to get where she is today, and she doesn’t have any patience for the kind of guy who’d give up a decent paycheck to sling drinks. But when the sexual tension finally combusts between the sheets, Camden discovers that people aren’t always what they seem. As David pushes her past her limits, Camden begins to loosen up—and to trust that, when she falls, there will be someone waiting to catch her.

Excerpt:

“Please,” I whispered, and leaned into his palm now cupping my cheek. His hands were strong. Long, tanned fingers that had made me think of naughty things like this for months.

In the darkness, I saw a flash of his white teeth. “I like it when you beg. When you need me.”

Tonight’s need was selfish. A moment to forget the loneliness. A moment to take what I’d been too chicken to go after for months even though it was right in front of me.

He’d been right before my eyes, flirting relentlessly and trying to break me down. Tonight, I was tired of fighting the pull I’d felt for him despite how wrong I knew he was for me. This was one night. A moment of wildness I didn’t usually indulge in, but who didn’t enjoy getting laid at a friend’s wedding? It was almost a requirement.

His hands dropped to my knees, spreading them wide so he could step in between them.

His fingers teased my thighs, running up and down my bare flesh until I shivered from the softness of his touch.

My eyes were half-lidded when I forced myself to look at him. I saw only his lust for me, and my heart rioted against my rib cage.

Damn . . . he wanted me. It was as thrilling as it was terrifying.

One of his hands left my leg and cupped the back of my neck. He pulled me to him until our foreheads touched.

“I want this,” he said, his voice thick and gruff. “Tell me you want this.”

“I want it.”

“Tell me you want me.”

I couldn’t. A long time ago I swore to myself I’d never be vulnerable again. I certainly wasn’t about to make that admission when all I currently wanted was a night of pretending and forgetting.

“Camden, I want you to know that when I sink into you, when I push your panties to the side and run my fingers through your wetness, this isn’t a one-time thing for us. This is the beginning.”

I shivered again. From his words, his promise—something I so desperately craved but was too terrified to take hold of.

I shifted my hips, pulling him to me until his erection brushed against my center.

“Tonight.” I gasped as he rubbed against me in the perfect spot. “It’s all I can promise.”

He chuckled, moving his mouth against my cheek, down to my jaw and my throat. “We’ll see about that.”

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Check out the other books in the series:

His to Cherish, Book 3:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ebU5mL Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2f88Ivz iBooks: http://apple.co/2ffw4Me Nook: http://bit.ly/2fbYRD6 Kobo: http://bit.ly/2elq8nm Google Play: http://bit.ly/2eSLERd Books A Million: http://bit.ly/2ey05Hl

His to Protect, Book 2:

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His to Love, Book 1:

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About the Author

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Stacey Lynn currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and four children. When she’s not conquering mountains of laundry and fighting a war against dust bunnies and cracker crumbs, you can find her playing with her children, curled up on the couch with a good book, or on the boat with her family enjoying Minnesota’s beautiful, yet too short, summer.

She lives off her daily pot of coffee, can only write with a bowlful of Skittles nearby, and has been in love with romance novels since before she could drive herself to the library.

If you would like to know more about Stacey Lynn, follow her here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/staceylynnbooks Twitter: @staceylynnbooks Website: http://www.staceylynnbooks.com Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2g3Wiqp

Title: All I Ask
Author: Elizabeth York
Genre: Contemporary/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 23, 2017 Photographer: MHPhotography Designer: MGBookcover & Design
My name is Devan Anderson and I am a photographer and the by product of a cheating father and a childhood evaporated by illness. I'm stubborn, protective, but I care more than I let on. What does a girl like me do when I taste life for the first time? 
I'll give you a hint. It isn't what you think.
My name is Ian Jensen and I am a Pediatric Oncologist that works day and night with kids that prove to be braver than I. I am open to Nerf gun fights, having fun, and taking control. What's a doctor who lives life by the book do when given a new chapter to live in? 
Ask me again tomorrow?
What happens when a photographer set to live in the dark meets the doctor that lives in the light? What happens when our world collide?
“Put your hands up,” a little voice yelled. Ian and I put our hands up. I turned my head to see a little boy wearing a mask and a cape holding a Nerf bow. I smiled as Ian reached into his coat and snagged a little Nerf gun. 
“Who are you?” I asked to distract the kid avenger from Ian’s movements. 
“I am-,” his voice froze as I saw a woman stepped out of a room with her arms crossed. She cleared her throat as I looked at Ian and he winked. 
In one swift, move Ian turned with his Nerf gun and shot a toy bullet as he moved in front of me. The boy fired and his bullet hit the wall as he pulled back the arm on the bow and was ready to fire again. Ian pulled the trigger on the little boy and fired again intentionally hitting the wall as the masked child fired again. 
Ian groaned as he took a toy arrow in the leg, and fell to the floor. I immediately wanted to play along so I grabbed his gun and fired at the boy who was faster than the foam bullet I launched.
I went to step forward over Ian when I got really dizzy and lost my balance. I fell back and hit the floor with a thud. 
“Doctor Ian, is she okay?” a little voice asked as a bright light was intensely in my eyes. 
“What’s your name?” Ian asked as he looked me over. 
“You know my name.” 
“What day is it?” Ian asked as I had to follow his finger. 
“Ass hole day?” I asked and snickered when Ian scoffed because there were virgin ears around.
Author Elizabeth York has been writing for about seven years. Located in the southeast, she spends her days drinking sweet tea on the porch with her laptop in hand. She has devoted her life to her family and her books. With the loss of her Father to cancer in 2010 she makes "Dear Daddy" dedication pages in each book and donates 10% royalties to cancer research.
Elizabeth was given a 2015 Author of the Year award sponsored by 31 blogs for her role in helping her fellow authors and her writing. She was also accepted into the Romance Writers of America organization in May of 2015.
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Dirty Filthy Rich Men, an all-new sexy, contemporary romance from NYT Bestseller Laurelin Paige is LIVE!!!

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Dirty Filthy Rich Men by Laurelin Paige Publication Date: March 27th, 2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance

From NYT Bestselling author Laurelin Paige, discover a whole new world filled with sex, love, power, romance and dirty, filthy rich men.

When I met Donovan Kincaid, I knew he was rich. I didn’t know he was filthy. Truth be told, I was only trying to get his best friend to notice me.

I knew poor scholarship girls like me didn't stand a chance against guys like Weston King and Donovan Kincaid, but I was in love with his world, their world, of parties and sex and power. I knew what I wanted—I knew who I wanted—until one night, their world tried to bite me back and Donovan saved me. He saved me, and then Weston finally noticed me, and I finally learned what it was to be in their world.

And then what it was like to lose it.

Ten years later, I’ve found my way back. Back to their world. Back to him.

This time, I’m ready. I've been down this road before, and I know all the dirty, filthy ways Donovan will try and wreck me.

But it’s hard to resist. Especially when I know how much I’ll like it.

DFRM Available now

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About the Author:

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

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  SIY Available Now     SayYours AmazonFrom New York Times Bestseller, Corinne Michaels, comes a new second chance standalone romance. I spent twenty years waiting for Trent Hennington to open his eyes and see me. But it was all for nothing. He chose to keep himself guarded and let me walk away, proving that my time and efforts were wasted. I'm done being invisible. It's time to move on. A single dance sets my new reality into motion, and I welcome it. After all, Cooper Townsend is perfect. He's kind, sexy, and attentive--everything a girl could want. I thought I got it right this time. That my heart could mend, and I would be happy. Apparently, some things really are just too hard to walk away from.  

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      1 SAVE HIM FINAL     SIY_Teaser1       Corinne Close Medium   Corinne Michaels is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of The Salvation Series (Beloved, Beholden, Consolation, Conviction & Defenseless), Say You'll Stay, Say You Want Me, and Say I'm Yours. She's an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn't ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha heroes are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.     Newsletter | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page | Corinne Michaels Facebook Group    
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A Special Obsession by A.M. Hargrove Release Date: March 23rd Genre: Contemporary Romance

A Special Obsession an all new contemporary romance from A.M. Hargrove is available now!!

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Rule Number One: Never let anyone get too close…

Weston Wyndham has more money on his tattooed wrist than I’ll ever have in my bank account.

Drunk, he was gorgeous, wicked, sexy, an inked god.

Sober, he is the most arrogant man ever.

If he thinks I’m going to let him order me around like one of his servants, he’s wrong. If he wants me to date him after all this, he’s out of his mind. I don’t care how rich he is, or that he drives a Ferrari and a fancy truck. Those walls I put up are there for a reason … and they were built to last.

But he’s relentless, and hot, and it turns out he likes his girls a little fiery. Giving in doesn’t have to mean disaster—unless I break my number one rule.

Special O’Malley is a handful. With a name like that, she ought to be. Sassy as hell, bossing me around, but damn if I don’t deserve it.

I’m used to getting my way, dealing with difficult people, only she’s not buying any of it. Usually my money attracts women. Not Special. She doesn’t give a damn about it … or me.

There’s more than one stubborn player in this game. I have a few tricks up my sleeve and I’m not planning on giving up any time soon … at least not until I’m between her thighs, making her moan. And those concrete walls she has … I have news for her. Concrete crumbles if you strike at the right place.

Excerpt:

“Good morning.” “Who are you?” he asks. “I’m the owner of the bar you passed out in last night, Mr. Wyndham. You should be more responsible about how much you drink when you go out.” His jaws click together, and he squints. Without saying a word, he flops back down onto the couch and rolls over like he’s going back to sleep. “What do you think you’re doing?” “Sleeping. Now be a nice little girl and hush. I’m tired and my head is pounding like a bass drum.” Seriously? “What do you think this is? The Holiday Inn?” “No. The Holiday Inn would’ve given me a bed.” My mouth sags open. Of all the … “Hey, if it hadn’t been for me and this couch, your ass would’ve been sleeping on the street.” “Whatever. Now, please be quiet.” “I will not. You need to leave. I have things to do.” “Fine.” He slowly stands, and I look up. He’s tall. Much, much taller than I thought last night. Probably because he was all slouched over and could barely walk. As I stare at him, he moves around me and I figure he’s going to the bathroom. Boy am I wrong. The man barely has his eyes opens as he walks down the hall, finds my bedroom, takes off his pants revealing the most perfect naked ass created, and climbs into my bed. Of all the nerve! Now what the hell am I supposed to do? This is ridiculous. I have errands to run, things to do. It’s Sunday—the day I visit my Mimi. She cooks Sunday dinner, and I spend the afternoon with her and—shit. Laundry … I need to wash clothes. All my panties are dirty, and my laundry hamper is in the closet in my bedroom. Fuck it. I’m going in anyway. Stomping into my room—my room—I go to the closet and grab my hamper, making sure I’ve collected all the dirty clothes. Then I drag it out of the room, intentionally making as much noise as possible. “Can you please keep it down? My head is splitting wide the fuck open.” “So sorry you decided to drink a truckload of liquor last night. And no, I can’t keep it down. I have work to do. Go home and sleep it off there if you want quiet.” He groans out a response I can’t understand and don’t bother asking him to repeat. What kind of person does this sort of thing? After I stuff a load of darks in, I run down to the bar to check my restaurant inventory for the food service rep who’ll be stopping by in the morning. But I do a half-ass job of it because I don’t want to leave the asshole up there alone, although I don’t know what he’d steal. A guy with a watch like that and a black American Express wouldn’t want any of the crap I own. When I get back home, the washer is finished, so I move that load into the dryer and start the next. Then I get everything out for breakfast. Before turning on the stove, I pull out my beat-up laptop and check out that watch of his. When I try to price it, I only find pre-owned ones and they go for up to fifty grand. What the hell does this dude do for a living? Rob banks? Who spends fifty grand on a fucking watch when you can get a Timex for fifty bucks? And that wasn’t even a brand new one. Maybe he stole it. Maybe he’s a professional high-end thief. Or one of those art thieves, like in that movie where the guy steals all the original pieces and replaces them with fakes. What if he killed someone and stole it off him? Calm down, Spesh. You’re just acting crazy now. He can’t have a black AMEX if he’s not a bona fide rich dude. After a few deep, calming breaths, I start to feel a bit better. Time to cook some eggs. Everything’s ready to go—butter sizzling in the pan and eggs whipped—when my guest walks into the kitchen. “Oh, good, you’re making breakfast. I’m starving.” He stretches his arms in the air and then rubs his stomach like a little kid. I’m happy to note he’s wearing his pants again. “Excuse me?” “Yeah. Three eggs, toast with butter, no jelly, and I’ll have some sausage. No links, only patties. And grits. With butter and salt. No pepper.” He plops down into a chair at my tiny bistro table for two. “Hey, can you bring me a cup of coffee?” He points to the coffeepot on the counter. “And some ice water. I’m dying of thirst. You wouldn’t by any chance have any Gatorade, would you?” No please, thank you, kiss my ass, nothing. Holding the whisk in my hand, I think about throwing it at him instead of the sink where I’m placing it. I walk back to the stove, pick up the spatula, take a deep breath, and say, “I’m sorry. This is not a restaurant, and I’m not your waitress nor am I your maid. If you want coffee or water, get up off your ass and get it yourself. Oh, and FYI, no Gatorade.” The man looks appalled. “I just thought since—” “I know what you thought.” “What am I supposed to eat?” Slanting my head, I point the spatula at him. “Cook the eggs, sausage patties, toast with butter, and grits your own damn self. Look, mister, there’s something you keep forgetting. You passed out in my bar. We carried you to my apartment. You slept on my couch. But by damn, I will not be following your orders. I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but I believe it’s time you leave.” He stares and says nothing for a long moment. Then he extends his hand. “I’m Weston, and you are?” Oh brother, here we go. Get ready for the name game. I can’t believe I’m going to do this. Holding out my hand, I say, “I’m Special.” There go the brows, straight on up to the hairline, and then he lets out a raspy chuckle. “Well, I like an honest woman. You sure have a high opinion of yourself.” I should’ve expected this. “Not exactly. Special is my name.” “Is that so? And what precisely is your game?” He winks. I huff out a lung full of exasperation. “No, you don’t get it. That is the legal name I was given at birth.” With brows drawn together, he asks, “Who the hell names their kid Special?” “A seventeen-year-old girl who had no business having a kid in the first place. That’s who.” He clamps his mouth shut, and I can see his tongue poking the inside of his cheek. “Hmm. Okay, Special. Do you have a last name?” “O'Malley.” “Special O'Malley,” he repeats my name, and for some reason, I like the way it sounds rolling off his tongue. That’s a first. High school was a bitch having a name like Special. The girls were nasty and didn’t bother with snide comments behind my back. They did it straight up to my face. The guys, on the other hand, were a little less obvious, but only because they wanted something from me. Dumbass me didn’t figure that out until it was too late. “That’s right.” My hands rest on my hips, a non-verbal challenge for him to make some smart-ass comment. He doesn’t. He tilts his head and stares. I’m not sure what’s going through that wealthy mind of his, but he’s making me damned uncomfortable. I stare back at him. His hair is straightened. More to the point, he’s pulled the top part into a ponytail, so the one side, which is cut super short, can be seen. Unfortunately, I am very attracted to this man. And why does he have to be so damn hot? He is a contradiction to what I’ve always assumed the rich to appear. He doesn’t have that stodgy, starchy look. In fact, he looks to be quite the opposite, almost rebellious, which draws me in. I’ve always identified with that, never conforming or fitting into mainstream. Parts of him scream wealth, but other parts are rough and defiant. It’s the sort of look I’m attracted to. He finally dips his head in a single nod, and the corners of his mouth turn up. Fuck. Me. That should not be allowed. My knees want to buckle from the sheer beauty of it, but I stand strong. “So, Special O'Malley, how about we make a deal? I will pay you if you fix me breakfast. I’m not picky. Just starving and extremely thirsty.” “It won’t be cheap.” He still smiles and says, “I’m pretty sure I can afford it.” “Okay, but just so you know, I don’t have sausage patties. Only bacon.” “I love bacon.” “All right, then,” I say, and turn back to my chore of cooking. Once I get everything going, I tell him he should shower. “You think I need one?” he asks. “You smell like you swam in a barrel of Jack.” He lifts his arm and takes a whiff. “I’ll be back.” “Towels are under the sink,” I holler to his retreating form. Jesus, that guy. I should be heading to Mimi’s any minute instead of cooking him breakfast. How did I get hooked into doing this? Because I’m an idiot, who’s drooling over him, that’s how. The food is almost ready by the time he emerges from his shower. He’s fresh smelling, wearing his black jeans, and holy shit, shirtless. Not only does he have the one tat I spied earlier, but multiple pieces of art etched into his tawny skin. Saliva nearly runs down my chin, but I wipe my mouth with the back of my hand before it has a chance. “I borrowed your toothbrush.” He says it so nonchalantly, like it’s something he does every day. My spatula stops in midair. “You what?” “I needed to brush my teeth, so I figured, yeah. You know—good dental hygiene and all. Besides, you said I smelled bad.” My hand flies up in the air, nearly knocking the pan off the burner. “Are you crazy? That’s my toothbrush!” “Calm down there, Spike. It’s only what, three bucks’ worth of plastic? I’ll leave you much more than that in a tip, if you’re extra nice to me.” He grins at me. If I weren’t so pissed, I would’ve spent more time looking at how perfect his teeth are. Spike? “That’s not the point. You should’ve asked first.” He casts a sour look in my direction. “Right. I’m glad I didn’t. Because it’s not like you would’ve said it was okay. Besides, I needed to brush my teeth.” “So, what am I gonna use?” “Hey, it’s not like I have any contagious diseases or anything. I’m not a walker.” Then he starts acting like a zombie. “Stop it. Are you always this annoying?” He stops and thinks about it for a moment. “No, I’m worse. Or my parents seem to think so.” “Can’t say that I blame them. I can’t believe you used my toothbrush.” “Christ, if you don’t shut up about it already, I’ll really regret it.” “You should. That’s just gross.” “Why? It’s no different than if we kiss.” “But we haven’t kissed and won’t be anytime in the next century.” “You sure about that?” Suddenly, his arm whips around my waist, he spins me, and I’m staring into smoky gray eyes, only inches from mine. Before I can push him off me, his delicious lips find my own, and he kisses me. His tongue pushes through the O of my lips, and he does a lazy exploration of all the secret places inside. He knows his way around a girl’s mouth. This is no sloppy kiss. When he releases me, I’m gasping for air as I smell the beginnings of breakfast burning. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?” he asks. I shove him off me, saying, “It was awful. Absolutely the worst.” I focus on the bacon, eggs, and grits so he doesn’t see the flush that’s heated my neck and cheeks. “Just so you know, that toothbrush you used? It isn’t my regular toothbrush. I keep that one in the medicine cabinet. The one you used I scrub the shower tiles with.” ASO-AN

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Meet A.M. Hargrove:

One day on her way home from work as a sales manager, USA Today bestselling author, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast-forward. If she didn't do something soon, it would be too late to write that novel she had dreamt of her whole life. She slammed on the brakes, made a crazy decision, and quit her job. Then she reinvented herself as a Naughty and Nice Romance Author. She fancies herself all of the following: Reader, Writer, Dark Chocolate Lover, Ice Cream Worshipper, Coffee Drinker, Grey Goose Aficionado, and #WalterThePuppy Lover. If you’re around her for more than five minutes, you’ll soon notice she has a tendency to talk you ear off.

Connect with A.M. Hargrove:

Website: http://www.amhargrove.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Amhargrove1

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Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A.M.-Hargrove/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5338829.A_M_Hargrove

Book: Twisted in You
Author: Fabiola Francisco
Release Date: 13th April
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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Synopsis
Mikayla 
Depressed, crazy, violent, angry, suicidal. Those are the adjectives most people would use to describe me. Ironically, the one that upsets me is violent. I’m not a violent person. 
Am I depressed? Yes. Life’s a bitch, and she’s taken me for a fucking ride. 
Crazy? I wouldn’t say so, although I can see why people would describe me as such. 
Angry? Fuck yeah. I’ve got some twisted stories to explain my anger. 
Suicidal? Well, maybe this one time. And that one time is the reason I’m here, telling you my story, from room 113 of the Chasing Freedom Recovery Center. Isn’t the name fucking peachy? Sit tight folks, you’re in for a dark ride.
Tyler
I don’t have a problem. Drinking is something I do to relax after a long day of work, or a long day on stage. I’m not an alcoholic. I know what alcoholics are like, and that’s not me. (Not yet.) 
Regardless, they send me to Chasing Freedom. (Again). They’re determined to heal something that isn’t broken. (Liar.) And I’m stuck with Red, hearing her lose her shit and tell me off in the process. However, one look into her eyes shows me her demons. Some I am familiar with, others I can’t fathom. I know darkness, but she’s pitch black, and I want to hold the torch and lead her out. 
Excerpt
I hear the heavy movement of boots, and I shudder at the thought of that darkness reentering my life. He slumps on the chair next to me. God, this can’t be happening again. I hate being here in this fucking prison, but it’s the only place I know evil can’t get to me. Now, there is the permanent memory of it sitting next to me.
“So, what poison got you locked up in here?”
I look at him blankly. “I don’t do drugs.”
“Then why the fuck are you here?” He spits at me, and I get a whiff of alcohol laced with mint on his breath.
I shrug, hoping he goes away. Hoping he takes the darkness back where it came from.
“What? You don’t talk?”
“I’m talking.” Leave me alone.
He looks over at my canvas. “That’s some warped shit.”
“Life is warped.” If he only knew how fucked up life is.
He’s an asshole brat.
“Only if you want it to be. So, you don’t have anything to share. Don’t lie. You’re in here for a reason. You look like you know some good stuff. I won’t tell anyone,” he smiles, feigning his good intentions.
“Fuck off,” I say looking at him dead in the eyes. I will not go through this again.
I catch a glimpse of his eyes, it’s hard to tell under the shadow of his cap if they’re green or hazel, but they look sad and angry. I can’t see the rest of him, besides a light beard that covers his face.
Nope, he doesn’t look like the devil, but I see the darkness that surrounds him. I try to ignore him and go back to the mindless painting I’m doing. I have no idea what is on the canvas, so I look up to see what’s so scary about it.
Shit. I never focus on what I’m painting with the brush; I move it along so no one bothers me as I get lost in my mind.
It’s him. He’s staring back at me, fury and hatred painted in his eyes, horns adorning the crown of his head and a malevolent smile plastered on his shattered face.
I drop the paintbrush quickly and stare in disbelief. How many times have I painted this? What the fuck has come out of me through that brush when I wasn’t paying attention? I stand up and throw it away. My scars begin to itch. I need something. I need a way to escape this. It’s too much for me to handle. I pierce my nails into my scars. The skin there is thinner, more breakable, fragile like me. Maybe I can gush them open and let myself bleed out of this misery.
“Mikayla, we’re not done yet. You know you can’t throw away your art. It’s part of therapy.” Here we go again with the same damn speech that painting will help me understand the reasons why I feel the way I do.
“You can take your art and shove it up your ass.” I storm out of the art room, desperately wanting to escape my own mind and memories. I thought life as an eighteen-year-old was supposed to be good. Time to be living your life, not escaping demons and living in a judgmental purgatory with other lost souls. 
Author Bio
Fabiola Francisco is a contemporary romance author from South Florida. Writing as been a part of her life since she was a teenager. Even at that age, she dreamed of happy endings with emotional twists. Her novels include Perfectly Imperfect, The Restoring Series, Sweet on You Duet, and Red Lights, Black Hearts.  
Her passion for books and writing has inspired her to write her own stories. She writes novels readers could relate to and grow with. She’s currently working on writing more stories that connect with readers on a deeper.
Fabiola also loves expressing herself through art and spending time in nature. In her spare time, she loves to cuddle with a good book and a glass of wine.
Instagram & Twitter: @authorfabiola 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bruise

Kennedy Ryan shares a special post on the inspiration behind "Bruise," the original piece written for her latest release Grip.

(Scroll to the end for the full poem & a signed paperback giveaway.)

Am I all of your fears, wrapped in black skin?” The cursor flashed a warning at the end of the line I’d just typed. Read on its own, the words seared the page, an incendiary challenge. A jagged line in the sand that could shove half my readers to one side, and half to the other. I needed to be careful. I wanted to be fearless. I had to be honest. The hero of Grip, my latest release, Marlon James (Grip to his fans), is a rising hip-hop star, but he’s more than that. He’s a lyricist and a poet. He’s a black man, concerned about black men vulnerable to cops who should be protecting them. He admires officers who run toward danger when most of us run away. He wonders what he can do to bridge the gap between the two. I took several risks writing Grip, confronting, in the context of a love story, prejudices that are often blatant, but sometimes remain hidden even from ourselves. No issue weighed heavier on my mind than that of black v. blue. In the story, Grip gets stopped DWB. Driving While Black, for those unfamiliar. Probably somewhere else in mainstream romance, readers have sat behind the wheel in a black hero’s perspective, glanced in the rearview mirror, seen those blue lights flashing, and wrestled with the fear, frustration and anger born from years of being stopped for no reason...but I haven’t read it. And as I wrote it, I remembered my own husband’s accounts of being stopped most of his life; of him and his friends lying on their stomachs on the ground while their cars were searched. I recalled the first-hand accounts I’d read of black and Hispanic men, even in the last few months in LA, Grip’s hometown, stopped and searched so much more than their counterparts. But I also thought of my friend’s husband, a good cop, a good man who faced down fear every day to protect people like me. Of her anxiety when tragedy strikes, when travesties happen. Incidents that I watch on television from the safety of my couch while her husband wades knee-deep into danger. I wanted to tell both sides of this story. I didn’t want to debate or persuade. I wanted readers to listen; to hear the other perspective. To consider. To understand. To empathize. These are the building blocks of resolution. Our country is more divided than we’ve been in a long time, and many of those divisions still, sadly still, fall along the lines of race. I don’t know how we resolve anything in this current climate. I don’t think we do unless we exchange perspectives; manage to communicate with one another in lower decibels, in reasonable thoughts, in something besides shouty caps on Facebook and Twitter. In Flow, the prequel to Grip, Bristol, the heroine says, “...before we say our words, they’re ammunition. After we’ve said them, they’re smoking bullets. There seems to be no middle ground and too little common ground for dialogue to be productive. We just tiptoe around things, afraid we’ll offend or look ignorant, be misunderstood. Honesty is a risk few are willing to take.” And yet it requires honesty, and giving each other grace to speak with candor and respect, even if sometimes ineloquently. It requires that we step into the other’s shoes. Usually, we are not all right or all wrong. We are more nuanced than that; the issues more complex than black and white. Or in this case, black and blue. This story models that, I hope. In my small corner of the world, with the only tools at my disposal, my pen and my voice, I hope I demonstrated that. I hope someone on one side of that jagged line in the sand understood the person across from them a little better after reading GRIP. This wasn’t about my personal outrage; my indignation as I watched black men gunned down this summer during traffic stops. It wasn’t about my horrified grief as I watched cops in Dallas ambushed, killed. It wasn’t just about either, and it was completely about both. One of my favorite communicators says sometimes we choose between making a point and making a difference. I really hope, in some small way, the words to “Bruise,” the original piece I co-wrote with a spoken word artist for this book, volley right past just making a point, and manage to make a small difference, even if the only difference is that one person chooses to listen and tries to understand. There are so many other things I could say; so many statistics I could cite to sway you to one side or the other. But instead, I’ll let “Bruise” speak for itself. And for those on both sides of that jagged line in the sand. For more on the role of race in Grip, check out Mara White's piece in The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58b96fd5e4b0fa65b844b200

Signed paperbacks of GRIP & FLOW, the prequel, are up for grabs on Kennedy's Facebook page!

ENTER HERE:

https://www.facebook.com/KennedyRyanAuthor/photos/a.502447269864442.1073741828.438681796240990/1186068878168941/?type=3&theater

“BRUISE”

Copyright (c) Kennedy Ryan, 2017

Am I all of your fears, wrapped in black skin,

Driving something foreign, windows with black tint

Handcuffed on the side of the road, second home for black men

Like we don’t have a home that we trying to get back to when

PoPo pulls me over with no infractions,

Under the speed limit, seat belt even fastened,

Turned on Rosecrans when two cruisers collapsed in

Barking orders, yeah, this that Cali harassment

Guns drawn, neighbors looking from front lawns and windows

I know cops got it hard, don’t wanna make a wife a widow

But they act like I ain’t paying taxes, like your boy ain’t a citizen

They think I’m riding filthy, like I’m guilty pleading innocence.

They say it's ‘Protect & Serve’, but check my word

Sunny skies, ghetto birds overhead stress your nerves,

They say if you ain’t doin’ wrong, you got nothin’ to fear,

But the people sayin’ that, they can’t be livin’ here . . .

We all BRUISE,

It’s that black and blue

A dream deferred,

Nightmare come true

In another man’s shoes,

Walk a mile or two

Might learn a couple things

I’m no different than you!

You call for the good guys when you meet the bad men,

I’m wearing a blue shield and I still feel the reactions

When I patrol the block, I can sense dissatisfaction

There’s distrust, resentment in every interaction,

Whether the beat cop, lieutenant, sergeant or the captain

We roll our sleeves up and we dig our hands in

I joined the force in order to make a difference,

Swore to uphold the law, protect men, women and children,

These life and death situations, we make split-second decisions

All for low pay, budget cutbacks and restrictions

We’re ambushed in Dallas, now where’s all the chatter

Gunned down in Baton Rouge, don’t blue lives need to matter?

Not just a job—it's a calling, a vocation,

My wife’s up late pacin’, for my safety—she’s praying,

And yet you call me racist? You wanna trap me with your phone?

I’m just a man with a badge trying my best to make it home.

We all BRUISE,

It’s that black and blue

A dream deferred,

Nightmare come true

In another man’s shoes,

Walk a mile or two

Might learn a couple things

I’m no different than you!

Buy GRIP

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

Amazon Universal: myBook.to/GetAGrip

Free in KU!

Join the Discussion Group once you’re done: http://bit.ly/2m8xEqf Check out the TEESPRING Campaign: https://teespring.com/GetGripped Listen to the playlist on iTunes: http://apple.co/2lWI9ur Listen to the playlist on Spotify: http://bit.ly/2lWrHdS  

"The story reads like a movie . . powerful and intoxicating ... and sinfully sexy. GRIP has everything—dynamic characters, soulful plot, and a lesson at the end that will change the way you look at life. One of my favorite reads this year. Maybe ever. 5 massive, gripping stars from me!" -- Adriana Lock, USA Today Bestselling Author

 

About GRIP:

Resisting an irresistible force wears you down and turns you out.

I know.

I’ve been doing it for years.

I may not have a musical gift of my own, but I’ve got a nose for talent and an eye for the extraordinary.

And Marlon James – Grip to his fans – is nothing short of extraordinary.

Years ago, we strung together a few magical nights, but I keep those memories in a locked drawer and I’ve thrown away the key.

All that’s left is friendship and work.

He’s on the verge of unimaginable fame, all his dreams poised to come true.

I manage his career, but I can’t seem to manage my heart.

It’s wild, reckless, disobedient.

And it remembers all the things I want to forget.

Download Flow, the prequel to GRIP, TOTALLY FREE!

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

Read on WATTPAD: http://w.tt/2kUo8Yk

About FLOW: In 8 years, Marlon James will be one of the brightest rising stars in the music industry. Bristol Gray will be his tough, no-nonsense manager. But when they first meet, she’s a college student finding her way in the world, and he’s an artist determined to make his way in it. From completely different worlds, all the things that should separate them only draw them closer. It’s a beautiful beginning, but where will the story end?   FLOW is the prequel chronicling the week of magical days and nights that will haunt Grip & Bristol for years to come. Add STILL (Grip #2) to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34642932-still  

About the Author:

Kennedy loves to write about herself in third person. She loves Diet Coke…though she’s always trying to quit. She adores her husband…who she’ll never quit. She loves her son, who is the most special boy on the planet. And she’s devoted to supporting and serving families living with Autism.

And she writes love stories!

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