Bookend Tour: Sign of the Throne

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Melissa’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Sign of the Throne **Buy links will be forwarded as soon as they become available**
Tag Line: Dreams do come true…and so do nightmares.
Publication Date: September 14, 2013
Published by Castle Garden Publications

Author Picture - Melissa Eskue Ousley

About Melissa Eskue Ousley

Melissa Eskue Ousley is the author of The Solas Beir Trilogy. “Sign of theThrone,” the first book of this young adult fantasy series, will be released onSeptember 14. She is currently working on the second and third novels in thetrilogy, “The Rabbit and the Raven” and “The Sower Comes.”

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found swimming, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.

Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping roadkill off a molten desert highway to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona.

About Sign of the Throne

perf5.500x8.500.inddAbby is an ordinary girl haunted by dreams of an ivory castle, blood-thirsty monsters, and a striking stranger. Working as a babysitter for a family of mythology lovers in wealthy Newcastle Beach, California, she struggles to define herself among the elite class while trying to make sense of her strange visions. Upon meeting David, the doppelgänger of the mysterious young man in her dreams, Abby’s life is changed forever.

Encountering the queen of Cai Terenmare, a magical kingdom in a parallel world, Abby learns of an evil lord hell-bent on usurping the throne, the murder of Cai Terenmare’s king, the Solas Beir, and the kidnapping of the Solas Beir’s infant son.

As the kingdom struggles to endure, the queen shows Abby the full extent of her destiny. She must convince her mysterious crush, David, that he is the lost heir. While braving attacks from the dark lord’s sadistic minions, David must realize his true identity and return to Cai Terenmare to claim his throne before time runs out, lest the evil that was temporarily locked away be unleashed, threatening to destroy both the kingdom and all of humanity.

The Excerpt

Abby spent the next evening babysitting for Cassandra and Riordan. She putthe kids to bed and laid out her homework on the coffee table downstairs. She was immersed in her work when she realized—the house was quiet. Eerily quiet.

She was used to the familiar creaks and groans of the old house, and night ushered in the occasional chirp of a cricket or flutter of moth wings around theantique sconces lighting the room. Tonight she heard nothing—there was only dead silence. She felt a prickle at the back of her neck and realized she was shivering. The room had gone unnaturally cold, and she had the distinct sense that she was not alone.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a shadowy presence, someone standing still, watching her. She turned to look, but there was no one there. She felt a terrible unease twisting in her gut. Something was wrong.

Responding to her intuition, she got up and climbed the stairs to check on thechildren. Ciaran was snoring, perfectly at peace. He had wriggled out of his covers in his sleep. Abby tucked him back in.

Leaving his room, she walked down the hall to the twins’ room. The nightlight inthe hallway began blinking erratically. She entered the room and froze. Perched monkey-like on the corner of Rowan’s crib was a shadowed figure thesize of a small boy, leaning over the sleeping child. Sensing Abby, it turned its head, blood-red eyes meeting hers.

Abby gasped with horror as the creature leapt with unnatural agility from thecrib and crouched like a spider high on the wall, staring down at her. Slowly, it smiled, revealing rows of pointed narrow teeth, sharp as razors. And then…it pounced.

Abby raised her arms to shield herself, scrunched her eyes shut, and screamed. But there was nothing. She heard a low chuckle behind her and saw the creature near the door. The shadow boy laughed and ran out. Thesmoky form changed into a large black housecat before disappearing throughthe hallway wall.

Abby ran to the twins’ light switch and turned on the lights. She checked to make sure Rowan and Siobhan were unharmed, and then hurried to Ciaran’s room, flicking on lights as she ran. Ciaran was still fast asleep—her scream had not disturbed him at all.

She jerked open his closet door and found his aluminum baseball bat. Then, scooping him and the quilt up from his bed, she ran back to Rowan and Siobhan’s room. She shut the door and nestled the five year old into a make-shift bed on the floor. Sitting against the dresser next to him, she hummed, trying to reassure herself. Armed with the bat and the adrenaline coursing through her body, she waited.

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Bookshelf Tour: Bachelor’s Special

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Christine’s  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Bachelor’s Special on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance e-Books | Kobo Books | iTunes
Publication Date: June 10, 2013
Published by Entangled Publishing - Indulgence Imprint

Author Pic

About Christine Warner

Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her husband, three children, one laptop and a much loved assortment of furry friends. Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines. A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

About Bachelor’s Special

Bachelor's Special CoverSaute, simmer, and flambé…

Jill Adgate wants three things from life: a successful catering business, the devoted love of an exceptional man, and a family. What she has is no job, a mounting pile of bills, and her outspoken best friend—who sets her up on a blind date with the man who inadvertently ruined Jill’s life.

Chet Castle is a prosperous businessman who has everything, except the ability to trust. Burned by a money-hungry fiancée, he refuses to get involved with any relationship that has a shelf life longer than a head of lettuce.

Intrigued by her ambition—and determined to get her in bed—Chet offers Jill the chance of a lifetime: Work for him for the next eight weeks as his live-in chef and he’ll help her get her catering business off the ground. When sparks fly in the kitchen, Jill realizes what’s cooking with her commitment-phobic employer is a recipe for disaster…but it’s just too tasty to not take a bite.

The Excerpt

Her body hummed as his smile wavered. Although he wore sunglasses, she’d bet her last dollar his gaze swept across her chest, lingering on the betrayal of her pert nipples pushing against the fabric of her suit.

Until this moment, shyness had never been a trait she possessed. Air stalled in her lungs, her palms grew sweaty, and she itched to cover herself with a towel. Even though her replica vintage swimsuit hid more than most sets of women’s underwear, she felt too exposed. She turned to the side slightly and folded her legs up. Not that it helped, but it made her feel a bit less exposed. Chet slid his feet from his sandals, brushing a hand through his hair. The heat from the sun wasn’t the only thing scorching her skin. She trickled several droplets of water over her arms, but she couldn’t drag her focus from his toned flesh.

Jill soaked in his ripped abs and the obvious package of goodies covered by his brown swimsuit—the same sexy brown as his hair. Damn, did a man have a right to fill out a pair of swimming trunks like that? Flecks of hair, just enough to give him a manly appeal, covered the etched muscles of his long, tan legs. She licked her lips, hoping she could still speak.

“Do you want some privacy?” Yes, say yes. She needed an excuse to make an escape without coming off like someone desperate to be making an exit.

* * * * *

Hell no, he didn’t want privacy. Through the shield of his sunglasses, he inspected her body from the tips of her pink-painted toenails to the top of her brightly flowered swimming cap. Did people still actually wear those things?

“No, you look comfortable. Stay and enjoy the day.”

“Oh…are you sure?”

“Sure.”

Amazed at his own ability to talk without his tongue hitting the cement, Chet turned to throw his towel and sunglasses on a nearby lounge chair. Damn.

The red and white polka-dot halter-style suit featured a tight bodice, but her slender hips and shapely thighs hiding beneath a matching skirt grabbed his attention until all oxygen left his blood. Even showing less skin than the average girl on the beach, she far exceeded sexy and alluring.

Get a grip, Castle. She’s off limits, no matter how delectable. He turned and stepped onto the diving board. He bounced along the surface as he made his way over the water. When he looked at Jill’s bathing cap covering her head, he held back his grin. The neon rubber flowers reminded him of something his grandmother would’ve worn, but there the similarity ended. Everything beneath that cap was far from making him think of Grandma.

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Guest Post with Christine Warner

Today I’d like to talk about dedications. I think it’s one of the little features in almost every book that is often overlooked. I always check out the dedication page when I sit down with a new book.

 

Why?

 

Because I love reading those passages, and I marvel at how a few well chosen words can say so much about the author and the people they dedicate their work to.

 

After my first book—Some Like it in Handcuffs—was accepted for publication I didn’t have to think twice about who would get the coveted dedication page. The hard part was deciding what to say without getting to wordy or to sappy. (Both bad habits of mineJ) My sister was the tank of strength in the bumpy journey I jumped on in the pursuit of becoming a writer and then taking the final plunge into publication. I couldn’t have done any of it without her encouragement and support.

 

My second book—Two-Timing theBoss—I had no other option but to dedicate my work to my awesome daughter. As a baby she was my pride and joy, as she grew to a pre-teen and then a teenager we had our share of battles. She’s now a young adult, making her way out in the world. Through all the changes we’ve held one steady constant—our love for each other that has carried us through trying times and into a strong friendship.

 

Now with my third book—Bachelor’s Special—released this past June with the Indulgence line at Entangled Publishing I knew again who I’d tribute on my dedication page and I really worried about getting the words right. I dedicated this book to my mom and dad who never got the chance to see me realize a dream I’d always held. Since the time I an essay contest and then a young author’s award I’d always dreamed of writing a book. As I reached my teen years I wanted to write romance. Even though it was my sister who gave me that final push I know that my mom and dad were a silent support in my hopes.

 

Are you like me and look forward to that sneak peek into an author’s thoughts by reading their dedication? Or do you skip the dedication page altogether?

 

I bet after reading this, you’ll check out a few if you haven’t before.

Book Blitz Tour: Last Chance Reunion

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Linda’s  Website | Twitter  | Facebook | Goodreads
Last Chance Reunion on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Harlequin
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Published by Harlequin Romance

 

Author Picture - Linda Conrad

About Linda Conrad

Best selling author Linda Conrad writes for Harlequin-Silhouette Books. Her novels have been translated into sixteen languages and are sold in over twenty-two countries!

Linda’s sensual characters and passionate stories have brought her numerous awards and raves! Over the years her workshops for RWA chapters and conferences have helped many writers learn new skills and techniques.

Growing up in south Florida, Linda made up stories and read everything she could get her hands on. After college, she taught first grade in Miami and tried to give the children as much love for the written word as she’d always felt. When her own true-life hero came along and whisked her away to five cities in seven years, Linda became a sales assistant, a quality control supervisor, a ninety-unit apartment manager and finally a stockbroker and Certified Financial Planner in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

When her mother suffered a disabling stroke, Linda moved to southern California to be close. “Mom couldn’t focus well enough to read anymore. So I began reading to her,” Linda recalls. “Eventually, my sister and I started making up stories to keep her entertained. Mom remembered my high school writing attempts. Before her death, she asked me to stick with story telling.”

Today Linda is back in south Florida, living with her husband by the sea and telling the stories in her heart.

About Last Chance Reunion

Last Chance ReunionTwo Lone Star stories from bestselling author Linda Conrad!

TEXAS COLD CASE

Determined to solve the cold case of his mother’s murder,  Colt Chance returns home to Texas. Turns out the new deputy sheriff is the woman who broke his heart. But when someone targets Lacie, Colt’ll have to decide between the vengeance  he seeks and protecting the one he still loves….

TEXAS LOST AND FOUND

After witnessing a murder, firefighter Nina Martinez finds an ally  in medic Josh White. On the run, they discover that Nina is the long-missing Chance sister, Cami. Will Cami embrace the love  from Josh and her real family before it’s too late?

The Excerpt

Fire exploded up the forty-foot cedar, snapping and cracking like a whip as it raced to chew off every living thing in its path.

Hotshot fire-fighter Nina Martinez struggled with the urge to hold still and ogle the magnificent flames—a   firefighter’s worst nightmare.  Dropping your guard during a blaze, for any reason, could get you killed.

A little while ago she’d gotten caught behind the fire-lines while stamping out hot spots on orders from her superintendent.  But when they’d first arrived on site in Texas, her super gave his crew the coordinates to safety zones and added tricks to finding natural escape routes.  No need for her to be overly concerned yet.

Tearing past dry cactus and mesquite not yet aflame but heating fast, she had to shift direction to miss a huge rattler in her path.  After that scare, she hesitated at the top of a mesa, checking coordinates for the best course for rejoining her crew.  But as she gazed to the east, she spotted a ranch house directly below her that lay in the current route of the now reigniting blaze.

Giving the house a thorough once-over with her binoculars, she tried to determine if the place had been evacuated.  Thankfully it looked deserted.  But as she slowly swiveled her head to find a different heading, two people standing close to a barn came into view.  The male and female appeared to be having an argument and not paying any attention to the spreading smoke and flames.

Keeping them in her sights, she started downhill, prepared to give them a lecture about evacuating when told to do so.  When she reached their position, there wouldn’t be a lot of time left to move them out of harm’s way.

She used her radio to raise her team, asking for ground evacuation support for the civilians.  Her super was not happy about her situation and said to keep moving, in and out of those coordinates as fast as possible.  The fire was spreading from the west toward her position.  But he agreed to spare someone to help with the evacuation if it came soon.  The fire was moving fast.

Crackling fire echoed at her back, while swirling winds showered her with stinging embers.  It was difficult not pausing to dig at hot spots.  Her training wanted to overrule her conscious mind.  But the two civilians had to be first priority.

She closed in while continuing to keep watch on the couple, but all of a sudden a shovel appeared in the man’s hand.  Before Nina could yell, he used it to bash at the woman’s head.  The female dropped to her knees.

“Hey!” Nina screamed at the top of her lungs.  “Stop.”

Ignoring the steep decline, she picked up her speed and raced toward the couple.  “Put it down!”

The man hit the woman once again and the force of his blow laid her out on the ground.  Only then did he look up toward the noises Nina was making.  By that time she’d closed the distance to where he stood to a few yards.  His gaze locked with hers and the deep anger in the man’s eyes nearly caused her steps to falter.

But concern for the woman kept her going.  Without pausing, Nina reached into her pack for a fusee, preparing to use it if necessary in her own defense against the man. But after she fisted her hand and took a few more steps in his direction, he finally turned and disappeared around the side of the barn.

Closing in on where the woman lay, still and unmoving, it was apparent to Nina that the female was already beyond help.  The pool of blood surrounding her head seemed like more than any human could lose and still survive.

Nina’s stomach rolled as she swiveled and made an effort to chase the man down.  After turning the corner of the barn, she expected to see a car or truck pulling away.  Instead, she found an open field full of boulders and mesquite.

She spent a moment wondering what direction the murderer had gone when a bellowing roar, sounding just like a freight train, captured her attention.  The winds howled, switching direction, and at that moment a sight she’d only heard about greeted her disbelieving eyes.

fire tornado developed within half a mile of her current position and headed straight at her.

Too late to get out of its way.  Within seconds the whirl was fifty feet tall and moving fast.

After dragging her face shroud across her nose and mouth, she grabbed her portable fire shelter by its handles and shook it out.  Protecting her lungs and airways was the most important lesson to remember.  Another lesson that could keep her alive was to strip off her pack.  She pitched her gear as far away as possible, relying on years of training to do things by rote.

She tried to put as much distance between herself and the fire devil as possible in the few seconds remaining. How she prayed to find a good spot to hunker down as she leapt a few more yards away from the barn and into the boulder field.  But the intensive heat soon became unbearable.  No time left.

Diving for an indentation next to a huge boulder, Nina pulled the shelter over her body and curled up in a fetal position inside it.  Face down, she buried her nose and mouth in the air pocket at the base of the rock.

The ferocious shriek from above roared in her ears as the whole world narrowed down to her tiny space between the shelter’s walls.  The tiny space that might just save her life.

She should have known something like this would happen in Texas.  For years she’d stayed away, only thinking about the God-forsaken place in her nightmares.  If her team hadn’t been called in to give the Texas firefighters added backup during the worst firestorms in the state’s history, she never would have set foot inside the Texas state lines.

But wherever the team was sent, she went too.

Mind pictures of the little bit she remembered of Texas from her early childhood came unbidden as she closed her ears to the wailing firestorm outside her shelter.  Horses and saddles.  The smell of hay.  Kind eyes and soft hands. A woman calling her “Cami, love.”  A male voice cooing: “Easy, little girl.

That was always as far into the dream as she ever got before the memories disintegrated and turned to ash.  Warm eyes turned cold as ice.  Soft hands turned hard as steel.

Pulling herself out of that particular pit of depression, she tried turning her thoughts to something far more pleasant.  Her Hotshot unit team.  The only reason she’d agreed to this temporary deployment in Texas in the first place.

Her crew: Superintendent Ralston, the strongest man she’d ever met; her fellow firefighters Mad Mike; Geek; and Alabama.  And Doc, real name Josh White, the crew’s medic with the sensual bedroom eyes.

As the walls of her shelter overheated, she allowed herself the luxury of concentrating on mind pictures of Doc and his sexy eyes—something she usually wanted to stop.   Lustful thoughts of him had already invaded far too many of her daydreams during fire season.  But she would never have let him get an inkling of how often she thought of him.

Simply picturing those eyes, green as spring grass and so full of expression, could make her melt with unfulfilled longing.  Even in the middle of heavy training.  Luckily, thoughts of his rip-cord lean body, all muscle and strength, usually came into her mind during slow times and instead of the nightmares, despite the fact that their relationship was nothing more than a nodding acquaintance.

Her imaginative thoughts now brought a frisson of awareness shooting through her.  Being in the middle of a fire tornado was anything but normal, but those feelings for Josh were as familiar as breathing.  She gave up trying to get him out of her mind now and focused on the memory of his eyes, ignoring as best she could the extreme heat and gas-filled haze filtering in through her fire shelter’s walls.

Tightening her grip on the shelter’s handles, she refused to consider her situation dire. Don’t think about it.  Thoughts of the sexy doctor Josh White were as good a way as any to spend her last seconds on earth.

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