Daily Archives: 15/03/2019

PRE-ORDER & TEASER BLITZ – From Breath and Ruin (Element of Five #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan

FROM BREATH & RUIN by Carrie Ann Ryan is coming in just ONE WEEK!
Are you ready for an amazing new YA fantasy series? Find out more below and preorder your copy today!

 

About FROM BREATH AND RUIN

Available March 19, 2019

In her YA debut, New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan dives into a world with magic and sacrifice with the Elements of Five.

Five hundred years ago, the Maison Realm was shattered, divided into warring kingdoms of elemental Wielders with fate and truth shadowed and uncertain. Now, factions of both the light and dark venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to Wield the Elements of Five and bring the two fractured kingdoms together.

Lyric has no idea that there’s a realm outside the human one she lives in. When fate and circumstances are pulled from her hands after an accident, and she finds out that nothing is at it seems.

There is a war surrounding her and when Lyric realizes that they are searching for her, she must rely on those she once trusted: a boy who isn’t who she thought, and a new realm of warriors who have come to protect her as she trains.

For the darkness is coming, and the Queen of Obscurité wants to ensure that the King of Lumière can’t get his hands on Lyric. And the only way to ensure that is if Lyric herself is no more…no matter the cost to prophecy.


Preorder your copy of FROM BREATH AND RUIN now!

✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2CQOMda
✦Apple Books https://apple.co/2PyXmjb
✦B&N http://bit.ly/2CQma3Q
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2ylrnN9
✦Google Play http://bit.ly/2EvwL5F
✦Amazon Paperback https://amzn.to/2q4vcBL

Audio (Read by Bailey Carr):

✦Audible https://adbl.co/2OjccxI
✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2A3fJrw
✦B&N http://bit.ly/2CQma3Q
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2QLISgr
✦Downpour http://bit.ly/2EuUq6q
✦iTunes Coming Soon

Add FROM BREATH AND RUIN to your Goodreads shelves!



About the ELEMENTS OF FIVE series

One thousand years ago, there was one realm of magic. The Maison Realm. It held five kingdoms with five kings or queens, who worked together to keep the Maison people safe and ensure the balance of magic. Over the last five hundred years following the Fall, the great war that began the fracture, many of the kingdoms’ inhabitants intermated, and the magics soon became tied to one another in pairs. Except for the Spirit Wielders. The two remaining kingdoms are now converging, and the veil between the two is fading. Only the human realm lies between the two, and no one there knows there is a war surrounding them.

Over time, certain children of the Fall began to leave their respective kingdoms to venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to wield the Elements of Five and bring the two fractured kingdoms together. For the realms are dying without their sister magics. And soon, there will be no more power left to rule the kingdoms, for there will be no more kingdoms left to rule.


About the Author

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 3.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest


BLOG TOUR – The Soccer Player and the Single Mom by Kyra Jacobs

About the Book:
For most women, working for a sexy soccer star would be a dream come true. All except single mom Felicity Shaw. She has no interest in playing personal assistant for a stubborn, injured playboy—no matter how nice his abs are. But with bills piling up and mouths to feed, she can’t say no to the job.
That’s when it gets interesting.
The last thing Scott Gillie wants or needs is a persistent and entirely too distracting PA while he’s recuperating in his small hometown. Unfortunately, it’s not up to him. Then Felicity and her son end up temporarily moving in—all thanks to his meddlesome grandmother. Now temptation is right across the hall and it’s driving Scott crazy.
His only option is to fight fire with fire.
He never expects Felicity to do the same.

Add to Goodreads



Excerpt:

Standing here toe-to-toe with Felicity, he found his resolve wavering.

Not that it would matter. Another verbal joust or two, he sensed, and she’d be on her way. As much as he hated the idea of upsetting her, her staying bothered him far more.

Across the room, a perky mambo-style song began to play. Felicity’s features quickly shifted from irate to worried. She spun from him to retrieve a phone from her purse.

“Hey, Laur, what’s up? Wait, slow down. My duplex is what?”

Felicity turned and hurried toward the foyer, her voice a quiet rush. As she did, Edna rose from her chair and came over to smack him upside the head.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” she said in a hiss.

“What? You always said honesty should come above all else.”

That earned him a second wallop. “You can be honest and still use tact, you nincompoop. I expect you to apologize when she comes back.”

“But—”

“No buts. If she’s been hired to be your personal assistant, then you let her. Heaven knows the poor girl and her son need all the help they can get right now.”

Scott hung his head. Saying it like that, Edna made him sound like some evil villain out to swindle a fair maiden. Not used to playing the bad guy, he tried to come up with a new plan.

Maybe they could work together to trick J.B. into thinking she was doing the PA thing. Because, aside from giving him a ride to his weekly doctor visits, there really wasn’t any other reason for her to be around. All he had to do was convince her to fib to his agent, and they’d both be better off. For the first time since this crazy arrangement had been sprung on him, Scott actually looked forward to his next conversation with her.

“Besides, that one’s a keeper.”

Oh no. He needed to put a stop to that kind of thinking, ASAP.

Scott threw his grandmother a warning look. “She’s not a date, Grandma. She’s my assistant.”

“Mm-hmm.” Her cotton-ball brows waggled. “Wanna put a wager on it?”

“Do we need to have another talk about your gambling problem?”

“Bah, Ohio’s taken the fun out of you.”

Felicity rushed back into the room, worry etched across her beautiful face.

Wait, beautiful?

“As much fun as it was arguing with you, Scott, I’m afraid I need to go. My penny-pinching landlord finally cut one too many corners, and the apartment connected to mine caught fire earlier. Our half is in the process of being condemned.”

Scott could hardly believe his ears. She was leaving? And not because of him?

He felt badly for her, truly he did. But silently? He did a mental fist pump.

“Condemned?” Edna cursed, and not under her breath. “I always knew that Harvey Gregory was a no-good miser. But honey, where will you go?”

“To my cousin’s, to see if she knows anyone who can spare us a room for the next few days. Or maybe she’ll just shoehorn us into her basement. I don’t know.”

Guilt ate at Scott as Felicity’s voice wavered. As much as he wanted her gone, his heart went out to the woman and her smiley, shaggy-haired son. How much of their world had just been destroyed by the fire? “Is there anything we can do to help?”

“No.” Felicity raised her chin, trying for bravado, but the sound was more of a hurt whisper. “My home, my routine. I’ll figure something out. I always do.”

“Nonsense,” said Edna.

She wouldn’t.

His grandmother’s gaze cut to his.

She couldn’t.

“You can stay here with us.”

She did.



BLP Review – Tracy

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Giveaway:

  • $15 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Meet the Author:

Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who has always called Indiana home. That means she’s well versed in fickle weather, pork tenderloin patties that don’t fit on a bun, and sarcasm. Putting her Indiana University degrees in Public Management to good use by day means Kyra does the bulk of her writing late into the night. Fueled by caffeine and funny memes, she weaves tales of love and relationships, including the humor and/or chaos both can bring. Kyra’s published novels range from sweet contemporary romance to chick lit and paranormal/fantasy.

When this Hoosier native isn’t at a keyboard, daydreaming through her fingertips, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or on a sideline somewhere cheering (loudly) for her sporty sons. Kyra also loves to go bowling, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan.

Connect: 


RELEASE BLITZ – The Reality of Wright and Wrong by Leddy Harper

Title: The Reality of Wright and Wrong
Author: Leddy Harper
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 15, 2019
Blurb
“Save me and have me, fix me and I’m yours.”
What do you do when you catch your fiancé grinding on another woman? Well, if you’re me, you run off with a sexy, ink-covered tattoo artist who goes by the name Wrong.
Then you marry him after a week.
This isn’t a story of love at first sight—love didn’t come into play until after I had ruined it all. It’s the reality of what is right and what is wrong when it comes to soulmates.

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited



Excerpt
Brogan had intentionally given me a glimpse into himself by expressing his feelings in
words he’d never shared with another living soul. But in that moment, when his eyes met mine, he offered me something else. 
Likely unaware he’d even done so. 
He gave me a piece of his vulnerability. His pain. A sliver of the hidden humiliation that
he kept buried beneath a painted canvas. Covered in graffiti. Locked behind years of loss and doubt. It crossed his brow in shallow valleys of hesitation and colored his cheeks in raw insecurity.
He was open. Closed off. Pushing me away while desperately trying to hold me close.
It was too much to process at once, leaving me immobile, grounded in place. The only thing
I could do was open my mouth and give him honesty. “Your words…they make my chest hurt. As I read them, I breathed them in, and they burrowed themselves next to my heart. Took up residence within my lungs. They’re powerful enough to keep me safe, yet just as capable of destroying me.”
“Mercy…”
“They make my eyes burn. Every vowel, every period. Every syllable you wrote and verse you formed did something to me that I’ve never experienced. I’ve never read something so beautiful, something that literally brought tears to my eyes.”
“Mercy, that’s enough.” Beneath the stern tone and harsh shell lay a boy who couldn’t accept my praise. “I didn’t do it for compliments. You said you didn’t know me, so I’m showing you who I am. You think I’m using you to kill time until Jessica comes back, and I’m trying to prove to you that I’m not. I don’t need your
approval. I need 
you.”
Under his intense scrutiny, I became fully aware of my state of undress.
“I’m, uh… I’m going to put on some pants.” I took a few steps backward, holding my shirt
down in the front.
“Hey, Mercy? Could you do me a favor?”
I stopped and held his stare.
“Next time you hang out with your ex, can you tell him that if he ever contacts me again, he’ll wish he’d never learned how to type? Thanks.”
“He did what? He texted you?”
He went right back to browning the meat, continuing as if he hadn’t just dropped a bomb at my feet. “Email, but yeah. Same thing. I think he got off on telling me that
I’m runner-up. I guess you told him that you’re waiting to see if he lied about where he was that night? And if he was telling the truth, you plan to get our marriage annulled?”
“He twisted what I said.”
“Then I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t give a shit what he had to say.” He moved the pan off the burner. “Although, I don’t think he liked it too much when I told him I hoped he enjoyed the taste of my cum, because I fucked your pussy so hard and so deep it’ll be a while before it’s all out.”
I was shocked. And mortified. And incredibly turned on by his possessiveness.
“Did you really?”
His smile became visible in his eyes first, but half a second later, it was drawn across his face. 



Author Bio
Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl in a house full of boys. At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped.

She often calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters.
She is now a mother of three girls, leaving her husband as the only man in a house full of females.

The decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to go after whatever it is they want to. Love what you do and do it well. Most importantly Leddy wanted to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.

Author Links
FACEBOOK

BLOG TOUR – Contract Signed (Triggerman Inc. #1) by Marie Harte

Today we are celebrating the release of CONTRACT SIGNED by Marie Harte. CONTRACT SIGNED is a romantic suspense title, and it is the first book in the Triggerman, Inc. series!

Be sure to follow Marie for exclusive news and giveaways!

Available Now!

Amazon | Nook | Apple | Kobo | GooglePlay

Join Marie’s Reader Group for Exclusive News!

Contract Signed by Marie Harte

Available Now!

Amazon | Nook | Apple | Kobo | GooglePlay

Blurb:

Three assassins and a… baby? Don’t miss the first in this sexy, fast-paced romantic suspense series–TRIGGERMAN INC.–from New York Times bestseller Marie Harte.

Noel “Ice” Cavanaugh’s method is foolproof. Get in, do the job, get out, melt away without a trace. Neat. Tidy. No mistakes.

This time, though, something isn’t right. Two somethings. First, a random attack that feels not-so-random. Then he discovers a baby on his doorstep with a note claiming it’s his. Unfortunately, the sexy neighbor who found the boy first has too many questions in her eyes to ignore.

When her handsome, mysterious neighbor suddenly asks her out on a date, Adeline Rose has suspicions he’s fishing for help with his bundle of…joy? By the date’s end, she’s convinced Noel’s just as distant as he seems–until a scorching goodnight kiss burns away all thoughts of being careful.

Now Noel has more than one problem on his hands. Splitting baby duty between three badass assassins, figuring out how to fit in more time with Addy…and keeping both of them safe from the danger that’s followed him home.

This book has been previously released.

Warning: Beware a killer with a heart of gold, a baby who needs constant changing, and unrequited love that’s actually quite…requited.

 

Add the book to Goodreads




BLP REVIEW – Tracy

I’ve been a reader and fan of Marie Harte’s books for a long time now and I was delighted when the lady herself announced another new series was being released…

Contract Signed was a great start to the Triggerman, Inc. series!
3 badass assassins, an unexpected baby, a sexy neighbour, intrigue, mystery, action and secret & spies, along with a series of things that keep getting in the way of our main couple getting it together all lead to a really great, engaging story!

Noel Cavanaugh was nothing like Adeline Rose expected – not that she knew much about her sexy neighbour, even though she’s been lusting over him for the last couple of years.
Noel comes across as cold and uninterested whenever Addy has come into contact with him in the past… turns out there’s more to the man than meets the eye. He had been keeping tabs on his nosey little neighbour for a while and was more interested in her than she could ever imagine! I really liked him. He was protective of Addy, as well as the baby (whether it’s his or not) and would do anything to keep her safe.

Addy was funny and likable. Outgoing and openly friendly, she was the complete opposite of the well named ‘Ice’, but they were great together!

Add in Solene, who is Addy’s best friend, and Deacon and Hammer, who are 2 associates/friends of Noel, and you have some craziness and laugh out loud moments as well as a nice introduction to the second book in this series!

There was the expected elements of humour, heat and romance that I’ve come to expect (and look forward to) in Marie’s books. I loved this read and I can’t wait to find out what happens next with the sexy assassins….

I’ve giving Contract Signed 5 well deserved stars.



AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte has over 100 books published with more constantly on the way. She’s a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit http://marieharte.com and fall in love.

FIND MARIE:

Join Marie’s Reader Group

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Instagram | Bookbub | Goodreads


InkSlinger Blogger Final


NEW RELEASE – Bayside Escape (Love in Bloom – Bayside Summers) by Melissa Foster

Today we have the blog tour for Melissa Foster’s BAYSIDE ESCAPE!
Check out this fantastic new contemporary romance and be sure to grab your copy today!


Title: BAYSIDE ESCAPE

Love in Bloom – Bayside Summers

Author: Melissa Foster

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Bayside Escape:

Fall in love at Bayside, where sandy beaches, good friends, and true love come together in the sweet small towns of Cape Cod. Bayside Summers is a series of standalone steamy romance novels featuring alpha male heroes and sexy, empowered women. They’re fun, flirty, flawed, deeply emotional, always passionate, and easy to relate to.

Hold on to your hat for Violet’s wildly hot love story! Lizza is up to her old tricks again, and Violet is in for the surprise of a lifetime!

Two years ago Violet Vancroft was a nomadic artist who never wanted to put down roots and Andre Shaw was a prominent Boston physician whose roots ran too deep to unearth. Their love didn’t stand a chance-or at least that’s what Violet believed when she received a plea for help from the sister she’d never really known-so she snuck away like a thief in the night.

Now Andre travels the world setting up new medical clinics, and Violet has finally found the family she’d always craved and the roots she’d never known she wanted. When their paths cross unexpectedly, it’s not the reunion either one imagined. But they’ve never stopped loving each other, and after the dust of anger and hurt settles, passion ignites even hotter than before. As the end to Andre’s time at the Cape nears, reality sets in, leaving them no closer to a future than they were before. Violet and Andre are forced to dig deep to discover if they’re destined to live apart forever or if true love really can conquer all.

Get Your Copy Today!

Kindle | Kobo | iBooks | Nook | GPlay | Paperback



Excerpt:

As Violet neared, Andre’s jaw clenched as he drank in her sexy curves, her long black hair lifting in the breeze with each determined step. He didn’t trust himself not to give her hell for the way she’d left him without a trace. He had to get out of there before he said something he’d regret, but her green catlike eyes pierced his barriers, pinning him in place. Sweet Jesus, you still hold all the strings.

Violet stopped beside Chloe, her jaw tight, her eyes a mix of determination and vulnerability.

“Vi, have you met—”

Violet put her hand up. “Stop talking.” Her eyes narrowed, still locked on Andre as she said, “Tell me you’re not fucking my mother.”

“Whoa,” Gavin said. “Okay, ladies, that’s our cue to get out of here.”

“Are you kidding?” Emery complained.

“No.” Gavin mumbled, “Good luck, dude.” Then he dragged the girls away.

Andre wasn’t about to satisfy the plea in Violet’s eyes. He glanced at Gavin and the girls, who had joined the rest of their friends but still had their eyes on him and Violet.

“Are you screwing Lizza?” Violet demanded.

He slid his hands into the pockets of his slacks as if his heart weren’t hammering against his ribs and said, “Patience was never your strong suit.”

She huffed out a breath and crossed her arms. “Are you?”

He stepped closer, catching a whiff of jasmine. How many times had he smelled that scent in the last two years and caught himself looking around for her?

Too damn many.

“Maybe you’d like to start over with something like, ‘Hello, Andre. I’m sorry I disappeared in the middle of the night and never thought to let you know I was still alive, much less why I left.’”

She pressed her lips together, sadness washing over her face for the briefest of seconds, softening his resolve a little. She lifted her chin as she said, “I asked you a question. Are you screwing my mother?”


About Melissa Foster:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Readers adore Melissa’s fun, flirty, and sinfully sexy, award-winning big family romance collection, LOVE IN BLOOM featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, Seaside Summer, Harborside Nights, and the Wild Boys After Dark. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented.

Melissa also writes sweet and clean romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website.

Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.

 

Connect with Melissa:

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CHAPTER REVEAL – From Breath and Ruin by Carrie Ann Ryan

We’re less than a week away from the release of FROM BREATH AND RUIN by Carrie Ann, but you can read the first two chapters now!

 

About FROM BREATH AND RUIN

Available March 19, 2019

In her YA debut, New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan dives into a world with magic and sacrifice with the Elements of Five.

Five hundred years ago, the Maison Realm was shattered, divided into warring kingdoms of elemental Wielders with fate and truth shadowed and uncertain. Now, factions of both the light and dark venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to Wield the Elements of Five and bring the two fractured kingdoms together.

Lyric has no idea that there’s a realm outside the human one she lives in. When fate and circumstances are pulled from her hands after an accident, and she finds out that nothing is at it seems.

There is a war surrounding her and when Lyric realizes that they are searching for her, she must rely on those she once trusted: a boy who isn’t who she thought, and a new realm of warriors who have come to protect her as she trains.

For the darkness is coming, and the Queen of Obscurité wants to ensure that the King of Lumière can’t get his hands on Lyric. And the only way to ensure that is if Lyric herself is no more…no matter the cost to prophecy.


Preorder your copy of FROM BREATH AND RUIN now!

✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2CQOMda
✦Apple Books https://apple.co/2PyXmjb
✦B&N http://bit.ly/2CQma3Q
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2ylrnN9
✦Google Play http://bit.ly/2EvwL5F
✦Amazon Paperback https://amzn.to/2q4vcBL

Audio (Read by Bailey Carr):

✦Audible https://adbl.co/2OjccxI
✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2A3fJrw
✦B&N http://bit.ly/2CQma3Q
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2QLISgr
✦Downpour http://bit.ly/2EuUq6q
✦iTunes Coming Soon

Add FROM BREATH AND RUIN to your Goodreads shelves!

 



Read the first two chapters of FROM BREATH AND RUIN:

Chapter 1

The dreams didn’t come often, but when they did, it usually took me far too long to realize I could find my way out of them. At least, most of the time, I could make my way out. Other times, no matter how hard I tried to shake myself awake or tear at the seams of what the dream could be, I was forced to live within them, in the nightmares that felt far too real.

My heartbeat thudded in my ears as I tried to get my bearings once again. The dreams were never the same in what happened or even where I was when they occurred, but there was a thread that seemed familiar, as if it were calling to me in a way I could never understand.

Sometimes, I was on the fringe, watching the court of royals dance and hide their daggers of both wit and steel. Then they’d bow and turn to smoke, the ashes of their lies and hidden admissions blowing away like dust in the wind.

Other times, I was in the middle of the action, hurtling from side to side as towers fell, and water rushed by. Air blew through my hair, whipping it into my face, the earth below me trembling as fire rained down on all of us.

Tonight, however, the visions weren’t either of those. Yes, I was in the present, the dream happening to me rather than me being a witness to an absolution I would never understand.

But I stood in a clearing, winter on my back, summer facing me down with wicked heat. Spring danced along my right side with a cool warmth that didn’t make sense, while fall brushed my left, its warming coolness confusing me even further.

There were two shadows in front of me, their arms outstretched, each calling my name in whispers. I could only hear their breaths, not their voices, so I had no idea who they were or what they represented in this dream that I knew would linger long after I woke.

“Lyric,” they called in unison.

“Lyric.”

And though that was my name, it still didn’t sound as if they were truly calling to me. Instead, it was as if they called to the person they needed me to be. I wasn’t that person, though. Wasn’t what they needed, and I knew I may not ever be.

And while I still had the same body shape as I did when I was awake—my slightly larger-than-average curves filling out my dress, and my height just below average so the bottom of my hem slid along the mud—I wasn’t truly me in the dream.

My blond hair blew in the wind, catching the light and making it look white at times, gold at others. The shade was always changing depending on how much sun I took in during the season, but in this dream, it changed with the direction I turned.

It isn’t truly me, I told myself again. This wasn’t my dress, this wasn’t my life.

Those shadows couldn’t actually call to me because I wasn’t me.

“Lyric,” the shadows called again.

“Wake up,” the one nearest the spring side demanded.

“It’s time,” the one closest to fall whispered.

And though they were both whispers, they sounded like screams in my ear.

I jolted awake, my sweat-slick skin clammy as I tried to catch my breath. My tank was soaked, sticking to my body, and my shorts had ridden up as if I’d thrashed in my sleep. Considering my comforter was on the floor, and my sheet was currently a knot at the end of my bed, I would say that was probably exactly what had happened.

I swallowed hard, narrowing my eyes at the clock, trying to see what time it was. The sun was already up, even though it wasn’t quite seven in the morning, but it was summer in Denver, Colorado, and that meant blue skies, bright sun, and the occasional rain that came out of nowhere.

I had my white curtains drawn, but they didn’t really block out the light, so I’d learned to sleep through the rays on my face long ago. I had to if I ever wanted to sleep in. And since I was also a teenager, sleeping in was part of life—especially during the summer.

I might be eighteen, out of high school and ready to start college in the fall, but I still felt like the teenager who wanted to sleep in and not have to wake up early for classes. It didn’t help that my walls were still a light lilac from when I’d been in my purple phase, and there was still lace on my curtains and the skirt of my bed.

My family made a decent income, but we were firmly in the middle of middle class, and these days, that meant there wasn’t money to update my bedroom to something a little less tween girl and a little more college-bound woman. I didn’t care too much, however. I wasn’t staying here long. Soon, I’d be in a dorm at the local university, an offshoot of the University of Colorado since there was no way I could afford Boulder’s campus. Plus, this way, I could still be close to home.

Because as much as I might think I was ready to start my new life and be an adult, the nightmares that had plagued me for as long as I could remember told me that I wasn’t as grown-up as I thought.

Honestly, what kind of teenager still needed a nightlight because she was scared of the shadows?

Me, apparently. Lyric Camaron, the walking embodiment of indecision and someone not quite ready for anything.

I ran a hand over my face, holding back a gag at how sweaty I was, and let out a sigh. The dreams hadn’t happened so often before, but now they came almost every other night, and I had no idea what they meant. I’d always had a vivid imagination, but my dreams took that to a whole new level.

I wasn’t a little girl anymore, and yet I still dreamed of princes and princesses, of magic and might. I dreamed of courts and pretty dresses, and flowers and rain. Still, I thought that was probably all just a front for what the dreams actually carried. A veil across the hate and lies and mystery of everything that came with them.

I’d always secretly wanted to write them down, to make them into a book or just a few stories, but for some reason, I’d held myself back. There was no use documenting what never made sense. The dreams scared me even when they shouldn’t, and writing them down would only make them more real.

And it wasn’t like writing would help me in my real life outside of the dreams. I needed to grow up, stop thinking about fairy tales that weren’t bright and shiny, and figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Because I wasn’t a little kid anymore and, sadly, the time to make those choices had already started to pass me by, and I was struggling to keep up.

“Shut up, Lyric,” I mumbled to myself. It was far too early, and I still wasn’t awake enough for my mind to be going down that path. I’d likely be getting a very similar lecture from my parents over breakfast—and perhaps lunch and dinner—as it was.

They loved me, and I loved them.

And that meant I needed to be a better daughter.

The first step to doing that was getting out of bed and washing off the sweat that coated my skin. Then, I’d wash my sheets, air out my comforter, and maybe even go for a run so I could get the cobwebs out of my mind. I wasn’t a coffee fan since I tended to need far too much sugar to even like it, so I couldn’t have a cup of that to help. So, that meant chores and fresh air so I could get out of my funk, let the dreams lie where they needed to be—far from my reality—and get on with my day.

I could do that. Totally. If only I could get the images from the dream out of my mind.

Those two shadows had been in more than one of my nightmares, and I couldn’t help but think that they meant something. Who or what did they represent? Why were they important? I didn’t know if they were male or female or if they were truly people at all. If they were supposed to be love interests, then having them be either a man or a woman would only mean that my dream-self represented my real-self since I was attracted to both and had dated both in real life. But I still didn’t know what the dreams or the shadows in them really meant.

In a few, the apparitions had moved, and I could almost imagine them wanting to be even closer. They always held out their hands, as if I had to make a decision between them, to go to one or the other.

The seasons coming at me all at once seemed like another symbol for choice and change, as well. The same with the instances where I was covered in earth or water, air or flame. All of it indicated choice.

So maybe the dreams didn’t mean anything beyond what I already knew.

It was time for me to make a choice.

A choice regarding who I could be—who Lyric Camaron would be as an adult.

That choice seemed the hardest of all, and yet I knew it was important. All teenagers went through this, they all had to make decisions, no matter what course outside forces wanted them to take.

I knew there was a path laid out before me, one that would lead to a life not unlike the one I held now, one made of decisions that made practical sense. That was the one I knew I should take, the one that would be easier and yet far more thought-out.

And yet part of me wanted something different. I wanted to be a Lyric who wasn’t so middle-of-the-road as I currently was as a bisexual teenager living in Denver, Colorado.

There were choices I had to make. Clear-cut ones that had nothing to do with royals and elements, nothing to do with seasons and change.

I would make the right choice.

I had to.

And I would ignore the dreams and the idea that there could be something more for me. There hadn’t been before, and I wasn’t going to lie in wait for answers that scared me, translations of dreams that challenged me.

I would make my own way, make my own choices.

And they would be the right ones because they would be mine.

The dreams would go away eventually.

They would fade just like the young girl I used to be. In its place would be the future I needed, the one I craved.

I told myself I wouldn’t dream again. I couldn’t.

Because I didn’t want to know what those shadows meant. I didn’t want to know why they knew my name.

I didn’t want to know why it all felt so real. And, above all else, I didn’t want to know why I saw those same shadows when I was awake. Because those were the ones that scared me. The ones that were far too real.

I was Lyric, the girl with everything to look forward to. I wasn’t the girl who saw shadows, who had dreams.

I couldn’t be.

 

Chapter 2

After I’d put my sheets into the washer, I set the load, took a quick shower to rinse off, and headed out for my jog. I’d decided to go with long, black leggings, a hot pink sports bra under two black tanks, and a black jacket that had air holes all through it and thumb holes in the sleeves. It was my favorite jacket of all time, and I was seriously disappointed when I went to buy another one and found out that they were no longer making them. There were already frayed edges on the cuffs and, sometimes, the metal on my purse got caught in the mesh of the body, making me wince.

The fact that I had such an emotional attachment to my running gear told me I needed to get out of the house more—and not just for jogging around the neighborhood. I huffed a breath as I slowly ran up the steep hill at one of the entrances to the sub-division, cursing the fact that I lived in a mountainous city. Sure, once you got outside city lines to the east, it was all flat planes and easy walking, but within the city limits and west toward the Rockies? Hills galore that did nothing but make my side ache as I ran.

I’d always been a runner, but never in an organized way when it came to school. I hadn’t played sports or joined the cross-country team. While I played soccer and T-ball as a kid, I hadn’t been particularly good at it, not enough to focus so much of my time on it. I’d even tried gymnastics and ballet as a little girl like most kids did, but it wasn’t my thing. And while I enjoyed running—still do—doing it to compete took the fun out of it for me. I was always a little jealous of people who could put in that effort and still have fun, but for me, sports wasn’t where it was at. I did well in school, knowing I’d need any academic scholarship I could get so I could go to college, but I’d had to work at anything not English-related. Writing I could do. Writing, I loved to do.

Differentials? Not so much.

I held back a shiver at that thought and pushed myself into my second mile. I wasn’t going to do any more than that today since I wanted breakfast, and I figured that most of the strain from my dreams was now gone. But I thought I might go out again later in the day after the hottest part of the afternoon for another run. Increments worked best for me and my attention span.

I thought I caught a shadow out of the corner of my eye, but as I whipped my head to look at it, nearly tripping over my own feet as I did, I figured it was just my hair and a trick of the light. I wasn’t seeing shadows outside of dreams. I wasn’t.

I just needed to get those weird thoughts and remnants out of my head and start my day off better.

My parents hadn’t been awake when I left for my jog, but thanks to the note I placed by the coffee machine, they’d know I was out of the house. I might be an adult, but I was still their child and living under their roof. There were rules to be followed, a curfew to be kept, and manners to be upheld. I didn’t know how I was going to handle living outside of their rules when I went to the dorms, but I also didn’t think I’d be the type to go crazy like so many of the stories I’d heard growing up. I didn’t want to flunk out of college when I hadn’t even chosen my major yet. And I sure as heck didn’t want to end up drinking the whole time and wind up with a minor in possession misdemeanor or something that would forever stain my record.

No, thank you, evil temptation and all.

By the time I got home, my parents were off to work, but I knew I’d see them for dinner. My best friend Braelynn, and my ex-girlfriend/friend Emory were coming over to eat with us, and I knew my parents were excited to see what the other two ladies planned for college. In Mom’s and Dad’s way of thinking, if I knew what others were doing, it would push me to make a decision. The problem was, the more they pressured me, the more I wanted to hide in my shell like a turtle and not make a choice at all.

The dream came back to me, and I tried not to frown as I poured myself some juice and put two slices of bread into the toaster. Just because I was once again having weird dreams that I tried to make sense of, didn’t mean they actually meant anything.

I had more to do today than think about nightmares that didn’t mean anything more than I needed to watch what I ate before bed. Sure, it was summer, and I was between jobs since the coffee shop I had been working at shut down unexpectedly, but I had other things in my life. Like that whole deciding what I wanted to do with my life thing.

But first, I would focus on my friends and the certain impending doom from the conversation that would surely happen over mashed potatoes and roasted chicken tonight.

 

Oddly enough, I wasn’t lulled into a sense of security once my parents came home and didn’t once mention school or my future. I knew the talk was coming, but they were giving me time to drop my defenses so they could pounce.

I didn’t know why I kept floundering whenever it came to making a decision about majors and life choices, but the enormity of it just seemed overwhelming. I was eighteen, an adult who could fight and die in wars, but I couldn’t drink. I could buy cigarettes and vote, but I was still technically a teenager.

Having to make a huge life choice when all I really wanted to do was explore and learn and find out what suited me felt so far out of my depth, it wasn’t funny. I knew thousands upon thousands of people did it every year, and many of them even went in not knowing exactly what they wanted to do—but they still had an idea.

Me? I knew what I loved, but I also knew that love wouldn’t pay the bills. At least that’s what I’d been told. And, frankly, I sort of believed it.

My mind had always been full of dreams and layers upon layers of vivid imagery my imagination would tumble over and over. I loved putting those visions into work, at least in my mind. Picking a major that worked with that, wasn’t something my parents were going to go for. The idea of doing it all on my own, or choosing a major and finding out that I wasn’t really good at it or didn’t like it anymore was just too much.

It was all too much.

I saw another shadow out of the corner of my eye, and I turned, trying to catch it, only to see my father staring at me instead. His eyes were wide since I’d moved so fast, clearly startled.

“Whoa there, Lyric. Didn’t mean to scare you.” I looked like a perfect mix of my parents, something that I’d never truly noticed until I got older. I had my mom’s blond hair and height, but my dad’s light brown eyes. Everything else was a complete mix of the two, and I’d always loved that I knew where I came from, despite not knowing where I was going.

Dad continued. “I was just wondering when Braelynn and Emory would be here.” Dad didn’t particularly like Emory. Not because she was gay, and I was bisexual—that part he was totally on board with, and I knew I had the best parents for that part of my life—no, he didn’t like her because she was my ex. He didn’t get how we could still be friends after she’d dumped me. Frankly, I didn’t understand it either. Sometimes, I felt like our friendship was fraying on the edges, but I didn’t think that had to do with our breakup. We were just finding out we were two different people, and everyone was moving on to college anyway. It sucked, and I didn’t know how I felt about it. I never did, really, when it came to Emory.

That explanation hadn’t been good enough for Dad. I still didn’t know how my mother felt about it since she was so good at hiding it, but she at least put on a better face.

“They’ll be here soon.” The doorbell rang, and I grinned. “And there they are.”

Dad nodded and moved out of the way so I could make it to the door before Mom did. My parents were great, but they were parents and liked to know exactly what my friends were doing at all times, even if it wasn’t their business. I was pretty sure all parents were wired that way, and I’d learned to deal with it.

Braelynn smiled widely at me, her shoulder-length black hair up in a ponytail so I could see the honey highlights she’d put in on the lower layers. Her moms hated it, and Emory called her a skunk, but I loved them.

“Yay for dinner. I brought rolls.” Braelynn held up a basket, and I moved back to let her in, knowing that Emory was right behind my friend.

“Yay rolls! I know Mom will be happy since you and your moms make like the best bread ever.”

“Totally true. I do have the best moms.” Braelynn winked and handed over the basket as Emory sauntered in. Why she had to saunter, I didn’t know, but whatever worked for her.

“I’m starving,” Emory said in way of greeting before leaning down to buss a kiss on my cheek. She’d done that before we began dating and hadn’t stopped. Since I didn’t care either way, I didn’t push her off. Once I started to care and put up those boundaries, she’d stop. That was who she was.

“I’m hungry, too,” I said. “Hi, Emory.”

Emory studied my face and frowned. “You didn’t sleep.”

I tried to school my features, but I knew I wasn’t good at it. “I’m fine. Let’s go finish setting the table.”

“Hmm.” That was all she said as she made her way into the dining room, saying hello to my parents as if she hadn’t broken part of my heart and left me wondering what I’d done.

And…I had no idea where that thought had come from. Maybe I really needed more sleep and fewer dreams about random shadows, seasons, and elements messing with my head.

By the time we were all seated at the table, Braelynn’s rolls like manna to us all, I was on edge since Emory kept studying me. I didn’t know why, and it bugged me because I knew this dinner would only get worse when my parents brought up the dreaded subject of majors.

They always did, and I knew there was nothing I could do about it other than choose a freaking major. But I didn’t want to make the wrong choice.

I couldn’t make the wrong choice.

“So, Emory, what did you decide to study again?” Mom asked, not even trying to be subtle.

Here we go.

Emory shrugged. “Photography with a minor in history. I want to work for the AP or something, going around the world, taking photos of the people left behind in war and strife.”

My parents nodded as if they totally understood and not just because they were happy Emory had chosen a direction for her life. It didn’t matter that it was dangerous and could end up being a career that didn’t keep her financially set, Emory wasn’t their daughter.

“And, Braelynn?”

My best friend smiled sweetly. She was always so sweet, so gentle. I loved her to the end of the world and back and knew I’d chosen well on that first day of preschool when we shared our blocks.

“Vet school, eventually. I know it’s going to be hard, but it’s my passion.”

I winced at that word. Passion.

I didn’t have that, not that I could tell anyway. How was I supposed to know what to do when I still had so much to learn? I tried not to let any of those thoughts cross my face, however, because my parents turned to me, expectant looks on their faces.

They loved me. They truly did.

But they didn’t understand me.

And the thing was, I wasn’t so sure I understood myself.


About the ELEMENTS OF FIVE series

One thousand years ago, there was one realm of magic. The Maison Realm. It held five kingdoms with five kings or queens, who worked together to keep the Maison people safe and ensure the balance of magic. Over the last five hundred years following the Fall, the great war that began the fracture, many of the kingdoms’ inhabitants intermated, and the magics soon became tied to one another in pairs. Except for the Spirit Wielders. The two remaining kingdoms are now converging, and the veil between the two is fading. Only the human realm lies between the two, and no one there knows there is a war surrounding them.

Over time, certain children of the Fall began to leave their respective kingdoms to venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to wield the Elements of Five and bring the two fractured kingdoms together. For the realms are dying without their sister magics. And soon, there will be no more power left to rule the kingdoms, for there will be no more kingdoms left to rule.


About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 3.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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NEW RELEASE – The Reality of Wright and Wrong by Leddy Harper

 

The Reality of Wright and Wrong, an all-new standalone romance
that defies the odds by Leddy Harper is NOW LIVE!

 

“Save me and have me, fix me and I’m yours.”
What do you do when you catch your fiancé grinding on another woman?
Well, if you’re me, you run off with a sexy, ink-covered tattoo artist who goes by the name Wrong.
Then you marry him after a week.
This isn’t a story of love at first sight—love didn’t come into play until after I had ruined it all.
It’s the reality of what is right and what is wrong when it comes to soulmates.

Grab your copy Today!

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon Worldwide


Add it to your TBR



Giveaway

Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

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About the Author

Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl in a house full of boys.
At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped.

She often calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters.

She is now a mother of three girls, leaving her husband as the only man in a house full of females.

The decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to go after whatever it is they want to.
Love what you do and do it well. Most importantly Leddy wanted to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.


Stalk Leddy Harper

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Website: http://www.leddyharper.com/

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RELEASE BLITZ – Tie Me Down (Arizona Heat #1) by Katie Douglas

Will Lawson be the one to keep Alana safe?
Find out in Tie Me Down by Katie Douglas … OUT NOW!

Get it ONLY on Amazon!!
Amazon US https://amzn.to/2TEO7Ug
Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2SNHdHD
Amazon CA →
https://amzn.to/2TjuFNk
Amazon AU →
https://amzn.to/2Tx8xhS

Or read for #FREE in KindleUnlimited!!!

BLURB:

“Maybe it’s just pregnancy hormones but I really want to lick him.”

I’ve ended up in a huge mess… my ex-boyfriend Jimbo wasn’t the dark soul with a heart of gold I thought he was. He knocked me up and then knocked me about. And when he tells me that I can’t keep the baby, it’s time to get out of Seattle.
A fainting episode in a gas station in the Arizona desert leads me to Lawson. A real life cowboy who runs his own ranch, Lawson is easy on the eyes. Muscles… everywhere. Huge package. Those little diagonal indentations that make a big arrow straight to his… toolbox.
But I’m not safe… it seems that Jimbo is still looking for me. Is Lawson the one who can protect me? And more importantly, can he convince me that he’s the man to tie me down?

ADD TO YOUR TBR http://bit.ly/2SC86mG


 


BLP REVIEW – Tracy

For the most part I enjoyed this read. It was a really quick read that I got through in less than an evening.

Lawson was a sweetheart – hardworking, considerate and, lets face it, hot as the Arizona sun, he was a man who wanted to fix things for people and protect those he cared about.

Alana was in self-preservation mode literally running for her life – following some less than perfect for her life choices – when she first encountered a sexy cowboy at an Arizona gas station, but even though he was a stranger, Lawson made her feel safe for the first time in who knows how long.

This pair sparked. Their attraction was pretty much instant and I like that the fact Alana was expecting didn’t put our leading man off. I enjoyed meeting Lawson’s brothers and am looking forward to their own books.

My biggest issue with the story was the speed of everything. The main events all took place in less than two weeks and while it made for entertaining reading, some back story for the leading characters or some more build up of their relationship would have made this a more substantial read.

All of that said, I will be checking out the rest of the Arizona Heat series from Katie Douglas

I’m giving Tie Me Down 3*



About the Author

USA Today and worldwide number 1 bestselling author Katie Douglas is the sort of incorrigible British girl you’d find at St Trinian’s. She recently quit her job as a school librarian in China to write steamy romance full-time, and loves reading and writing books filled with steamy alphas with hearts of gold. She prefers cozy diners to fancy restaurants, coffee or whisky to champagne, and sometimes she adults.

Follow Katie Online!
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Katie-Douglas/e/B01GXOBJ24/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/katie-douglas
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatieDouglasRomance/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KatieAndAriasWildcats/
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Newsletter: www.freeromanticbook.com
Instagram: @KatieDouglas21
Twitter: @KatieDouglas21


 

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