Category Archives: Guest Post

RELEASE BLITZ with GUEST POST – Risky Play (Red Card #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

Why Sports Heroes Make the Best Book Boyfriends by Rachel Van Dyken

Hey everyone! I’m Rachel Van Dyken, author of over eighty (holy crap) books in multiple genres, one of my favorites being, sports romance! My latest book, Risky Play, is about two broken main characters who find themselves on a last minute holiday to Puerto Vallarta.

Pro Soccer player Slade Rodriguez is trying to lay low after finding out his girlfriend and his ex teammate hooked up behind his back, for over a year. Licking his wounds he changes teams and moves to Seattle, but isn’t ready to settle down yet. Needing time to himself, he gets on the first jet out. He sits next to Mackenzie Dupont on a plane and is immediately intrigued, especially since a few hours into the plane ride, they have single engine failure. She asks him what one thing he would do different. And they kiss. Once the plane safely lands, to protect his own identity, he gives her a fake name, Hugo. What he doesn’t realize is she’s famous in her own right, so she does the same thing. After all, she’s running away from a broken engagement. What follows is a whole lot of steaminess and taking chances with a complete stranger assuming that it’s just that, a one night stand, a two night stand. Whatever it is, Mackenzie’s obsessed with “Hugo’s” intense golden gaze, the eight pack helps, and the fact that he seems genuinely interested in everything she says. He promises the universe he’s going to keep her, but sometimes the universe is against us. Tragedy strikes and they go their separate ways only to meet again in Seattle, this time, sparks fly and not the good kind The “I want to kiss you, then strangle you, then kiss you again” kind.

I love writing sports romances because I think it adds this extra layer of pressure from the press to act a certain way. Not only does Slade have to deal with paparazzi but he has pressure to perform, to lead his team to the championships after training with another team. I think it brings in so many details from behind the scenes that we never think about when watching sports on TV. I’m fully dedicated to interviewing real athletes (and my last sports romance I interviewed NFL players). This time I wanted to focus on a sport that isn’t as huge here as it is internationally and really do it justice. These athletes eat, sleep, and breathe their sport, there isn’t a lot of time for a personal life and if you do have one, the balance is always going to be a struggle (not to mention the fact that Slade is still mourning). In this book, I wanted to introduce a really strong female character that wouldn’t let Slade project all those feelings and basically Mackenzie is the type of girl that doesn’t put up with his crap. I think it’s important to have strong female characters that women can look up to. I love that during the entire journey my heroine doesn’t give up. She knows her worth and demands that Slade recognize it too.

All in all it was such a fun book to write, I can’t wait for everyone to read it!


Excerpt: Risky Play by Rachel Van Dyken

I was kissing her again.

Maybe it was because it had been months since I’d had a decent kiss, since I’d jumped into the arms of anyone who didn’t know me by name.

I could be Hugo for a few days.

Hugo seemed spontaneous.

Hugo seemed relaxed.

Hugo seemed fun.

I sure as hell needed some fun.

I broke away from her kiss and trailed my fingertips down her chin. “So, now that we’ve established the plane didn’t crash and we’re here side by side, what did you have in mind?”

Ashley grinned up at me, her eyes a bit hesitant as she looked from me to the ocean. “Well, I’ve never gone cliff diving, I heard there’s a great place close by.”

My eyebrows shot up. “No offense, but you don’t seem like a thrill seeker.”

She laughed. I decided I liked the way her laugh relaxed me, made me respond with a smile and a need to kiss her again. “I’m not, trust me.” She sobered a bit. Her lips turned down.

I wanted nothing more than to press a soft kiss to the corner of her mouth just to see if it would it make it decide to smile in my direction again.

“But it would be fun, I need fun.”

I sighed heavily and looked at my feet. When the hell had I ever looked away like that? “That makes both of us.”

“Great!” She walked ahead of me into her penthouse suite, which matched mine even in color. I suddenly wondered what she did for a living. I mean I could afford it because I had been the highest paid soccer star in Europe for the last ten years.

The place was around three grand a day.

I eyed the large master suite as she ran around and then held up her hand. “One sec, I’m going to change into a suit, alright?”

“Great.” I smiled reassuringly. It would give me time to look around, not that I was stalking her, but I could never be too careful. I was still surprised she didn’t recognize me. And I knew when she did, this little facade, this freedom I felt in my chest, the easy way she let me breathe around her? It would go to hell, and I’d need another escape.

I thumbed through a few of the magazines on the table, and dropped the last one down just in time to hear the sliding bathroom door open and see a goddess emerge.

A one-piece swimsuit covered her body. It had a plunging neckline that showed off two generously sized breasts, and I immediately regretted not telling her who I was.

Because clothing tended to get pulled off, not put on, when I was in the room.

I eyed the scrap of material she called a swimsuit, my eyes raking over her muscular legs, her curvy body.

“Unless you’re jumping naked, you should change too,” she pointed out, then cleared her throat and looked away like she was insecure. Damn, the woman could make a man cut his own heart out for a taste of her special brand of sin.

I peeled my shirt off over my body and shrugged. “Ready.”

Her eyes went so wide I had to fight not to laugh.

I knew what she saw.

I had Instagram pages dedicated to my eyes alone, don’t even get me started on my abs.

Eight.

Tight, packed abs, all tanned and golden like I was the sun god himself.

“Uh, right.” Her cheeks brightened as she clasped her hands together. “Let’s go!”

I checked her out the entire time she walked ahead of me, and when she caught me staring I just shrugged and said, “Next time wear more clothes if you don’t want me to look.”

“You should talk,” she fired back.

“Misunderstanding.” I grinned. “I wanted you to look.”

She slapped a hand against my bare chest.

I laughed, and then grabbed her hand and kissed her fingertips. “You ready to jump off a cliff with a stranger you’ve kissed twice?”

“Once,” she corrected with a whisper. “I kissed you, you kissed me, we’re even.”

The doors to the elevator opened as I whispered under my breath. “Not for long.”


About the Book

Title: Risky Play
Series: Red Card, Book 1
Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Release Date: March 19, 2019
Publisher: Skyscape

Summary

What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.


About the Author

Rachel Van Dyken is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and #1 New York Times bestselling author known for regency romances, contemporary romances, and her love of coffee and Swedish fish. Rachel’s also recently inked a deal for her Wingmen Inc. series—The Matchmaker’s Playbook and The Matchmaker’s Replacement—to be made into movies.

A fan of The Bachelor and the Seattle Seahawks (not necessarily in that order), Rachel lives in Idaho with her husband, a super cute toddler son who keeps her on her toes, and two boxers. Make sure you check out her site, http://www.RachelVanDykenauthor.com, and follow her on Twitter (@RachVD).

Social Media Links

Website: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com/home
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4882127.Rachel_Van_Dyken


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GUEST POST – Tumble (A Dogwood Lane novel) by Adriana Locke

Guest Post: Spend a Morning with Dane Madden, The Hero of TUMBLE

I looked in the mirror this morning to shave. As I lifted the razor to my cheek, I saw a little scar that sits just to the side of my right eye. It’s not something most people would ever notice. Hell, I don’t notice it every day. But the light caught it just right and suddenly it was all I could see.

I’m Dane Madden, the carpenter, not Dane Madden the philosopher, so why I stood there for a good five minutes remembering the night I got that scar is beyond me. But I did. I thought about how the barbed wire caught my skin and ripped the flesh and how Neely Kimber’s face filled with so much concern I was kind of glad I was bleeding.

She and I were inseparable back then. From the moment she opened the door and our eyes locked, there was a bond between us that grew stronger. We went from finding ways to bump into each other, to hanging out with a group of friends, to dating in the sincerest way. She wasn’t just a girl. Neely wasn’t a pretty face I wanted on my arm, or in my bed as things evolved, like many of the guys I knew back then labeled their girlfriends. She was more than that to me—my best friend. My confidant when things with Dad went sour. My trusty right hand that bailed my ass out of more trouble than I was worth.

The night my eye was cut, she remembered to go back and get my hat so it wouldn’t be found the next day. Had she not done picked up the evidence, the farmer whose cows my friends and I had been trying to tip (terrible idea, if you’re wondering) would’ve been able to track the mess in his field to me and my friends. Dogwood Lane is a small town. Word gets around easy enough without trying.

Then there was the night my brother Matt, our friend Penn, and I went corning around Halloween. That’s another terrible idea, if you’re wondering, and involves throwing shucked corn at cars passing by. Let’s just say a certain driver in an oversized pick-up truck didn’t appreciate the sentiment. After being chased on foot to the outskirts of town, we had to hide in a chicken coop until Neely could come get us.

Despite my antics, she was there. She might’ve laughed at me or pointed out how stupid we were, but she took my worst right along with my best.

Our lives were entwined by shenanigans, stories, and so much love. Damn, I loved her. I didn’t know where she stopped and I started. I didn’t want to know. She was the best thing in my life. She made me better. And that was the ruination of us because I couldn’t bear to think I would make her life worse.

Seeing her again after all these years lit a fire inside me that I didn’t think was possible. I haven’t felt this burn since the day I walked off her porch having broken her heart. I want to talk to her, touch her, hold her and I can’t do any of it. Even though so much of our lives were built together, our memories from the easiest time of our lives shared, we aren’t those people anymore.

And it’s all my fault.


Tumble Excerpt:

Splat!

The sound of the hammer crushing my thumb—swung with more force than was necessary, to boot—ricochets across the front lawn. The tool falls from my hand, striking against the sawhorse, and flips into the soft grass with a gentle thud.

“Son of a…!” My hand shakes, the top of my thumb threatening to explode. I tilt my head to the sky and try to find some peace in the clouds.

I come up empty. “Matt!” I call to my younger brother. “I’m taking ten.”

He nods from halfway up the ladder leaned against the side of the house.

Wrapping my good hand around my thumb, I head toward my truck. Sounds of construction ring out behind me. It’s usually music to my ears, the lifeblood of the Madden name. But each cut of a sawblade, buzz of a power drill, and swing of a hammer feels like a distraction this morning. I have a throbbing thumb to show for it.

Beads of sweat cluster along my forehead. I remove my hat with my good hand and run the back of my forearm along my brow.

“Damn it.” Everything feels sticky. Mildly irritating. And the progress on the project that usually energizes me has failed me epically this morning. I just don’t want to be here. Not that I have a better place to be. Quite frankly, I have a lot of places I shouldn’t be, and with Neely, or thinking about Neely, is one of them.

I would’ve recognized her anywhere. Same gray eyes that glimmer like she’s about to tell you a secret. Full lips that spread into a smile so infectious you can’t help but feel your own mouth following suit. The hint of floral perfume, the golden hair that may as well be silk, and the aura about her that’s just as strong as the day she left Dogwood Lane and me—it’s all the same. It’s like time forgot to age her. She somehow has become more beautiful, sexier, stronger.

The world hates me. I’ve postulated this for a long time, but it’s obvious today.

The tailgate of my truck lowers. Scooping a handful of ice from the cooler in the bed into a bandanna, I wrap it around my injured digit. The relief lasts only a few moments.

“What are you doing down here?” Penn rests his forearms over the side of the truck, the tattoos carved in his skin like mini masterpieces on full display. He eyes my makeshift bandage. “What happened to you?”

“Hammer,” I groan, adjusting the ice.

“That’s interesting.”

“How you figure?”

“Never knew you to hit yourself with a hammer before. I find that interesting.”

“If that’s interesting, you need a hobby. Or you could work like I’m paying you to do . . .”

“I have a hobby, thank you, and you should’ve seen her last night,” he says, smacking his lips together. “Lord Almighty, she’s a—”

“Penn.”

“Yeah?”

The tip of my finger sticks out of the bandanna. It’s bright red and hot to the touch despite the ice packed around it. “All your escapades really sound the same at this point.”

“Is that jealousy I hear?” He cups his hand to his ear. “I thought so. Not my fault you’re in a dry spell.”

Leaning against the truck, I look at him. “Jealousy isn’t how I’d describe it. But if that makes ya feel good, go for it.”

“My hobby makes me feel good.” He moves his lips around, like he’s fighting the next words trying to pop out. He does this when he knows he shouldn’t say something but can’t quite convince himself not to. “From the looks of you, I’d say you’re more than jealous. I’d say you’re . . . tempted.”

My tongue presses on the roof of my mouth. “Tempted to what?”

He leans against the truck, too, the gold St. Christopher’s medal he’s worn since elementary school clamoring against the side. The corners of his lips nearly touch the corners of his eyes. He knows.

“Word travels fast, huh?” I say, prodding around to see if my guess is right.

He slow blinks. Twice.

“What?” I ask.

“That’s all you have to say about Neely being back in town? ‘Word travels fast.’ What’s wrong with you?”

We don’t have time for that conversation.

I sigh. “What do you want me to say?”

“I’d love to have been a fly on the wall for that little run-in.” Penn snickers. “Did you stutter around like I imagine? Or did you not manage to say an entire sentence?”

Working my jaw back and forth, I point a finger his way. “You better stop while you’re ahead.”

He reads me correctly, and his animation drops a notch. “Really, though. How’d it go? But before you answer that, let me toss out there that I heard sparks were flying all over the diner so hot Claire had to call the fire department.”

I shake my head. “Shut up.”

“Just telling you what I heard.”

“The firemen were there to order food, you idiot.”

He thinks he’s onto something. There’s a glee in his face that means only one thing: it’s going to be a long day around here.

“So, what happened?” he asks, resting his arms over the truck bed.

“You know, sometimes I think you should’ve been a girl with all the gossiping you do.”

“This isn’t gossip,” he contends. “This is Neely-freaking-Kimber, man. Every memory I have of my entire adolescence has her in it. She bailed me out of jail when I was too scared to call my dad and you and Matt were passed out on moonshine. Remember that?”

My chuckle is so hard, it causes my thumb to throb. “I forgot about that. She was pissed.”

“Neely came through, though. God, I miss her.”

Those last words echo through my mind.

I have shoved her out of my head for the last few years. Took over Dad’s business, took care of my business. Trudged forward without her because that was the only choice I had. I hardly even think about her anymore unless someone brings her up in conversation.

So why do I itch to crawl into the truck and hunt her down?


About the Book

Title: Tumble
Author: Adriana Locke

Release Date: February 26, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Summary

After being burned by her dream job in New York City, sports journalist Neely Kimber suddenly finds herself jobless and paying a long-overdue visit to her hometown in Tennessee. Her plan? Relax, reset, and head back up the corporate ladder. There’s just one unexpected step. Neely’s back in Dogwood Lane for barely a day when she sees the man she ran from nine years ago: the bad boy next door who was her first kiss, her first love, and her first heartbreak.

Devoted single dad Dane Madden knows he hurt Neely in the worst way. He’s got a lot to make up for. And as passionate as their reconnection is, it’s a lot to hope for. Having her back in his arms feels so right. But falling in love all over again with a woman who wants to live a world away is bound to go so wrong.

What’s it going to take for Neely to give him—and Dogwood Lane—just one more chance?


Author Biography.

USA Today bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys dreamed up by other authors, she decided to create her own. She is the author of Tumble, the first novel in her Dogwood Lane series; the Exception series; the Gibson Brothers series; and the Landry Family series.
She resides in the Midwest with her husband, her sons, two dogs, two cats, and a bird. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice, and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket. Besides cinnamon gummy bears, boxing, and random quotes, her next favorite thing is chatting with readers. She’d love to hear from you! Look for her at http://www.adrianalocke.com.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.adrianalocke.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoradrianalocke
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoralocke
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8379774.Adriana_Locke


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NEW RELEASE – Guest Post – The (Half) Truth by Leddy Harper

Guest Post: How To Properly Create a Fake Relationship with the Heroine from THE (HALF) TRUTH

My name is Tatum Alexander, and I’m a liar. There…I’ve said it. Now, before you judge me, hear me out. While I understand this might sound preposterous (if it hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t believe it, either), trust me when I say it’s 100% true.

You see, what had happened was…my fiancé dumped me in the most epically humiliating way—while sitting at a table in a fancy restaurant, waiting for my friends and family to join us for my birthday dinner. But, he wasn’t just my fiancé (well, technically, my ex-fiancé), he was also the owner of the posh restaurant I worked at. And rather than quit my job after he dumped me, I stayed because it would’ve been career suicide to leave after I’d gotten so close to being a sous-chef (my dream job). The one thing I hadn’t expected was that a few months later, my ex-fiancé would hire his new girlfriend—who happens to work in the kitchen, one station away from me. Needless to say, I was unable to escape the embarrassment and devastation that surrounded my breakup…especially since the kitchen was full of nosy-bodies.

And since my ex has the heart of a corpse, he decided to schedule me and his new girlfriend to work side by side at the town’s annual foodie festival. She’s not a bad person—kind of sweet, really, aside from the whole dating my ex thing—so it wouldn’t have been that bad had she not spent the whole time discussing how “wonderful” her relationship was. Before I knew it, I was telling them all about the new guy I was dating. (I’ll let you in on a little secret…I wasn’t dating anyone. Didn’t really even know the guy, but that’s what I get for trying to sound like I wasn’t bothered by her stories of her “amazing” boyfriend.) I guess you can say that was the beginning of the train wreck. And boy, what a train wreck it was!

Looking back on it now, I can see where I went wrong. Then again, hindsight’s twenty-twenty. If I had to make a list of all the mistakes I made while forming this “half” truth of sorts (AKA my new boyfriend), I’d probably start with the boyfriend himself. You see…I had recently met my best friend’s older, extremely hot, sexy, and single cousin. And somehow, while describing my faux-beau, I ended up giving a very detailed description of said older, extremely hot, sexy, and single cousin of my best friend. The very next mistake happened about five seconds later when I was asked what his name was. Jay. Sounded simple enough. Except my bestie’s cousin’s name is Jason. Technically not the same name. But still, it would’ve been smarter to have gone with Ricardo…or Thor. Anything other than the first syllable of his real name. And the very next mistake happened five seconds after that…when I stupidly showed the girls his picture. It could be argued that that had been the biggest mistake of them all, considering the real Jason showed up to the very same foodie festival I was working. Although, with as well as I’d detailed his entire body, they could’ve very well picked him out of a crowd without a picture.

My story doesn’t end there, but I don’t want to bore you with the details of how my “lie” became somewhat of a “truth”…right after everyone I worked with witnessed him cheating on me (in his defense, he had no idea we were dating. In my defense, I had no idea he’d become interested in me after all my co-workers thought him to be a lying, cheating scumbag. But I digress.) All of that could’ve easily been avoided if I was a better liar, if I wasn’t such an awkward person—especially around a certain extremely hot, sexy, single guy—if I hadn’t kept it all from my best friend, or if that same best friend hadn’t “forbidden” me to see him in the first place. So all in all, it wasn’t entirely my fault.

But at least I now know what not to do when creating a fake relationship. So, if any of you find yourselves in a situation like I did (oh, who am I kidding? I’m literally the only person on the planet who could manage that) or in any situation where one might need an imaginary boyfriend, I have a few tips to keep in mind. One—never use a real person. Especially his name. It would be best if you take eleven or twelve different men and describe their physical traits as if they were one person. That way, the chances of anyone “finding” him will be slim to none. And if he is found…I’d say that’s as good as any sign I can think of that he’s your soul mate—which might behoove you to pick some pretty delicious-looking men, if you ask me. Two—and this one’s important, so pay very close attention…never, and I mean never show anyone a picture of this guy. If anyone asks why you don’t have any photos, make sure you have a realistic list of excuses. Such as: he’s camera shy; you lost all your pictures in the last software update on your phone; he’s a celebrity and doesn’t want to risk putting you in the public eye. Okay, that last one might be a bit too much. I never claimed to be a good liar. And three—which might very well be the most important tip I could ever give…do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with him (especially if you’ve made him up…because then you’d have a few additional problems to deal with rather than just getting caught in a lie).

Trust me…getting caught in what I call a “domino-effect” lie (once one falls apart, the entire thing comes crashing down) is not fun. So, if you’ve learned anything from me today, I hope that it’s the importance of a well-crafted lie. But in the event you get caught, always remember…it’s not a lie; it’s a “half” truth.



The (Half) Truth Excerpt

“You do know Michael used to be engaged to Tatum, right?”

“Yeah, he told me. But that was a while ago. Does it bother you, Tatum? You’ve never said anything about it.”

I thought about pointing out that six months wasn’t really a while ago, but I decided to let that go. And the idea of admitting how it felt to see him smile at her or whisper into her ear, let alone hear about all the things I didn’t have to witness, made me want to disappear. “Oh, no. I’m so over it. So, so over it.” And since stopping while I was ahead had never been my strong suit, I added, “In fact, I’ve been dating someone.”

“You have?” Both Rebecca and Amanda asked the same question at the same time, but while Rebecca’s voice was filled with excitement—which matched her bright eyes and ridiculous hand clap—Amanda’s was more cynical.

“Yup. And he’s amazing.”

“What’s his name?” Again with the doubtful tone from Amanda. She’d been part of my postbreakup support system, so I couldn’t exactly blame her for questioning my sudden confession. After everything Michael had put me through, this was something I definitely would’ve told her … had it been true.

“Uh … Jay. His name’s Jay.”

“Where’d you meet him?” This time, it was Rebecca asking, as if we were girlfriends sharing juicy gossip over mimosas at a spa.

I had no idea why I’d even started this. I should’ve known they’d jump all over it like rabid dogs on a T-bone. Yet I couldn’t back out now.

“We met at a barbecue.” Short and sweet, not many details I’d have to remember. Perfect.

“When?” Dammit, Amanda. She was no longer on my Christmas card list—not that I’d ever sent any out, but that didn’t mean I didn’t have a list in case one year I felt ambitious. And if that year ever came, this heifer wouldn’t get one.

“Two weeks ago.”

“What’s he look like?” Rebecca’s blue eyes shimmered.

“Yeah, tell us what he looks like, Tatum.” And now she could forget getting a birthday present from me. It also helped that I had no idea when her birthday was.

“He’s tall. Hot. A man’s man.” That could’ve been anyone. I was still safe.

“How very nondescript of you.”

“Well, you know how it is, Amanda.” I glared at her, hoping she’d get the hint and go with it. “It’s still new, and I wouldn’t want anyone to get jealous of how perfect he is.”

“No need to worry about me. I’m very secure in my relationship with Michael.”

I wanted to ask Rebecca how secure she could possibly be with a man who, six months ago, had broken up with his fiancée on her birthday because he said he wasn’t sure if he was ready for something so serious. But I held back the wicked comments that longed to slip off my tongue.

The next words out of my mouth were Michael’s fault. Had he not forced me to spend the day with his new girlfriend, listening to every detail of their relationship, I never would’ve been in this position.

“He has dark hair that’s trimmed short on the sides and a little longer on top, just enough to look messy if he runs his fingers through it. His eyes are this amazing shade of green—sometimes they’re light, like blades of grass at the beginning of spring, and other times they’re darker, similar to the color of a Christmas tree. And he’s gotta be over six feet tall. When I stand next to him, I’m eye level with his chest.” I glanced at my phone in my hand, noticing that the photo still filled the screen, and realized I had described Jason to a T.

“Go on,” Rebecca prodded. “Is he fit like Michael?”

By this point, I was in it to win it.

“He makes Michael look like a wimp. And I’m not just saying that because Michael’s my ex, either. I could wash my clothes on his abs.” Well, that was taking it a little too far. I had to rein it in some if I wanted her to actually believe me. “He works out all the time, so he’s totally in shape. Not an inch of fat on him.”

“He sounds dreamy,” Rebecca said with a sigh.

“Yeah, he does. Almost too good to be true … like you made him up. You probably don’t have any pictures of him, do you?” As only a friend would, Amanda loved watching me dig my own grave.

“As a matter of fact, I do.” I thought about sticking my tongue out at Amanda in an immature “shows what you know” kind of way, but then I realized what I’d just done. In my need to prove her wrong—even though she wasn’t—I’d inadvertently dug my hole even deeper.

“Well, let’s see it.”

I had no choice but to show them the photo on my phone. I had to admit, though, the surprise on Amanda’s face when she saw it gave me a sense of victory—like winning Monopoly only because I cheated. Rebecca’s approval was simply the icing on the cake.

A cake that came crashing to the ground about thirty minutes later.

Rebecca stared at something over my shoulder and asked, “Hey, Tatum, isn’t that Jay?”

“Huh? Jay who?”

“Uh … your boyfriend,” Amanda reminded me with a quirked brow.

I craned my neck so fast it gave me a cramp. There was no way it was him. Okay, so that was wishful thinking on my part. Not only was there a chance he was here, but he was, in fact, here. At Taste of the Town. Standing a few tents away next to another guy.

My life was over.

Having Amanda believe I had lied about a boyfriend was one thing—having multiple people catch me in said lie was another. Add in the probability of Jason being one of those people, and … shoot me now.


About the Book

Title: The (Half) Truth
Author: Leddy Harper

Release Date: February 19, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Summary

Tatum Alexander is so close to realizing her dream of becoming a sous chef she can taste it, but working at her ex-fiancé’s restaurant with his new girlfriend was never in her career plan. To save face and prove she’s moved on, Tatum cooks up a lie that she’s in a relationship with her best friend’s superhot cousin. There’s just one problem: Jason only recently moved to town, and he has no idea they’re already “dating.”

Jason’s a recovering ladies’ man who shouldn’t be on the menu, but that doesn’t mean he’s immune to Tatum’s quirky charm. Giving her lie a kernel of truth, they decide some no-strings-attached fun between the sheets can’t hurt. But as Tatum’s forced to keep making up stories to cover her original fib, she has a hard time separating what’s real and what’s fake—including her feelings for Jason.

With too many tales spun, Tatum can only watch in horror as her collection of yarns begins to unravel, leaving everyone she cares about feeling betrayed. After so many lies, will it be too late to set the record straight? And more importantly, will she be able to convince Jason there’s truth in their love?


Author Biography

Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child: she grew up the only girl in a family full of boys. At fourteen, she decided to use that imagination to write her first book, and she never stopped. She often calls writing her therapy, using it to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters.

Harper is now a mother of three girls, making her husband the only man in a house full of females. She published her first book to encourage her children to go after whatever they want, to inspire them to love what they do and do it well, and to teach them what it means to overcome their fears. You can learn more about Harper at http://www.leddyharper.com or find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Leddy.Harper.

Social Media Links

Website: https://www.leddyharper.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLeddyHarper
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeddyHarper
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8573706.Leddy_Harper


NEW RELEASE & GUEST POST ~ Semper Fi Cowboy (Lone Star Leathernecks #1) by Heather Long

  
Semper Fi Cowboy
Lone Star Leathernecks #1
by Heather Long

SYNOPSIS 

A Leatherneck by any other name can still kick ass, which is just what retired United States Marine Corps Captain Tanner Wilks plans to do when he returns to his Texas family ranch to care for his ailing father. And nothing will stop him from achieving his mission—not even a lithe, brown-eyed town veterinarian who seems hell-bent on driving him wild.

Captain Tanner Wilks, honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps, returns home to find his father struggling after his latest heart attack. Worse yet, Julia Heller—the sexy new girl in town that he once spent a hot night with—is the resident veterinarian who’s made a home for herself at Round Top ranch, and doesn’t seem to be in a rush to repeat their time together.

It falls on Tanner’s shoulders to take on the ranch and keep an eye on his father before he falls victim to another heart attack. But Julia doesn’t appreciate Tanner coming in or pursuing her. Even if he’s hot as hell and can make her quiver with just a look. Ousting her may give Tanner the leverage he needs to corral his father, but first he has to wrestle with his own heart.

BUY LINKS

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Amazon UK

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GUEST POST


Mamas Please Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys

I remember playing cowboys when I was a kid, I grew up in and around Dallas. Not a block away from my apartment was a riding farm, and I used to escape to where they had the horses and visited them daily. I learned to ride young, and even went to a horse camp as a kid. I fell in love with the idea of cowboys thanks to the Cartwrights (Bonanza) and the Barkleys (Big Valley) when I was a kid. Then there were the John Wayne movies and flash forward to the most recent version of The Magnificent Seven and you can see why my life long affair with cowboys has me rooting for mamas to let their babies grow up to be cowboys.

Why do I love them so much?

  1. They love long walks or rides through the country, over hills and streams and through the woods. Weather doesn’t bother them, as long as their horses are all right.
  2. To be a cowboy is to be passionate and devoted to the land and animals. They don’t quit.
  3. Their word means something. In an age where we can’t always take people at face value, you can with a real cowboy. When they say something, they mean it and when they give you a promise, they keep it.
  4. They aren’t afraid of hard work whether it involves fixing fences, feeding horses, or spending long hours tending an animal in need.
  5. They know how to treat those around them with integrity and respect, men and women alike.

Really, what’s not to love?


EXCERPT

Whoever the group was they had talent, and as Tanner studied the newcomers, he focused on a woman who slid over to the bar and drained a glass of water while the musicians found their rhythm. A minute later, she glided back onto the dance floor.

For the next three songs, she traded partners. The woman could move. Tall, long-legged, and beautifully curved, she also had a gorgeous face, from her generous mouth—which pulled into an easy smile—to her sweet, dark eyes. Dark hair clung to her cheeks, and her sleeveless white top gave Tan- ner a good look at her toned arms.

He didn’t know her. She didn’t even ring a familiar bell, but she sure as hell looked fun. When she waved off a fourth man swooping in for a dance and headed to the bar, Tanner enjoyed the light, strutting cadence to her walk. Someone had taken her spot, so she sidled up to the bar next to him.

Fanning her face with one hand, she gave him a cool, quick grin, then waved at Sully. The bartender slid a glass of water over to her. “You ready for a glass of wine yet, darlin’?”

“In a bit.” She took a long drink of the water. The slender column of her throat convulsed with each swallow, and a fresh wave of lust crashed through Tanner. Damn, what he wouldn’t give to trade places with the glass.

“Put her wine on my tab, Sully,” Tanner called. The number of dance partners and lack of a ring gave him hope she was free. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

“No, thank you,” the country goddess declined in a smooth, polite tone. “I’ll take care of my own drinks.”

Sully hid a smirk, but he had other customers.

“No need to be testy, ma’am.” He lifted his beer. “Just offering to buy you a drink.”

“Not being testy at all.” She turned sideways and gave him a once-over. “And you didn’t offer—you just decided to do it, sir.” The cool dismissal didn’t possess an ounce of malice or disrespect. “I simply like to pay my own way, and I never accept offers from strangers.”

“Hard to make an acquaintance if you don’t.” Though he couldn’t fault her. Even the women in his unit or those he’d met on assignment at various bases around the world maintained a sense of control over their environment, both in what they would tolerate from others and what they would accept. “My apologies for overstepping. I’m Tanner, by the way.”

Offering his hand, he waited as she took a beat before wiping her palm against her jeans and then accepting the handshake. “My friends call me Jules.”

“Jules.” Was it short for Julianna? Or Julie? Something else entirely? He liked the sound of it. Maybe it was the beer mellowing him out. Maybe it was being home. Or maybe it was simply watching her, but he wanted to spend some time with Miss Jules.

“Is it all right if I call you Jules?”

“I said my friends call me Jules, you can call me ma’am.” She chuckled, then drained her glass of water and started watching the band. They’d switched to a slow song. Shaking her head, she lifted the hair from the back of her neck. From her ushed cheeks to the gleam in her dark eyes, she was stunning.

“I’d be happy to call you ma’am.” The sentence worked, and Jules returned her attention to him and her eyebrows raised.

“Tell me, ma’am, may I have the next dance?”


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today best-selling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

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