Category Archives: Pre-order links

FIRST LOOK – Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan

“Combining sweet nostalgia with the important issues Kennedy never shies away from, Queen Move is nothing less than wonderful. I couldn’t put it down and never wanted it to end!”

— Alexa Martin, Author of Intercepted

Queen Move, an all-new powerful second chance standalone from Wall Street Journal bestselling and RITA® Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan, is coming May 26th and we have your FIRST LOOK!

Queen Move_FNL_sized copy

Make sure to enter on Kennedy’s site to win a QUEEN BOX, stuffed with a signed paperback and all the things you’ll need to treat yourself like a queen!

Prologue

Kimba

Two Years Before Present

Is there anything sadder than a daddy’s girl at her father’s funeral?

My mother’s quiet sniffs a few seats down give me the answer.

A grieving widow.

“He was a good man,” someone in the long line of mourners offering condolences whispers to her.

Mama’s head bobs with a tearful nod. In this day and age, she still wears a pillbox hat and veil. It’s black and chic like Mama, channeling tragic Jackie Kennedy or Coretta Scott King. My father was not just a good man. He was a great man, and everyone should know he leaves behind a widow, grieving deeply, but ever-fly. I squeeze the funeral program between my fingers, glaring at the printed words.

Joseph Allen leaves behind a wife, Janetta, three children, Kayla, Keith and Kimba, and six grandchildren.

He leaves behind.

Daddy’s gone, and I don’t know how to live in a world my father does not inhabit. The casket is draped with sweet-smelling flowers in the center of the funeral tent. When we leave the cemetery, it…he will be lowered into the ground with unfathomable finality, separated from us by white satin lining, six feet of dirt and eternity.

Kayla, my older sister, sobs softly at the end of our family’s row. Her four children watch her carefully, probably unused to seeing their unshakeable mother shaken and reduced to tears. Even I’d forgotten how she looks when she cries—like she’s mad at the wetness streaking her cheeks, resentful of any sign of weakness.

It’s not weak to cry, Daddy used to say. It’s human.

“But doesn’t the Bible say even the rocks will cry out?” I’d challenged him when I was young, loving that something from Sunday school took. “So maybe tears aren’t just for humans.”

“You’re getting too smart for your britches, little girl,” he’d said, but the deep affection in his eyes when he kissed me told me he was pleased. He liked that I asked questions and taught me to never accept bullshit at face value.

I miss you, Daddy.

Not even a week since his heart attack, and I already miss him so much.

Humanity blurs my vision, wet and hot and stinging my eyes. I want this to be over. The flowers, the well-dressed mourners, the news cameras stationed at a distance they probably deem respectful. I just want to go to the house where my parents raised us, retreat to Daddy’s study and find the stash of cigars that only he and I knew about.

Don’t tell your mother, he used to whisper conspiratorially. This will be our little secret.

Mama hated the smell of cigars in the house.

“Tru.”

Who would call me by that name? Now, when the only people who use it, my family, are all preoccupied with their own pain? A tall man stands in front of me, his thick, dark brows bunched with sympathy. I don’t know him. I would remember a man like this, who stands strong like an oak tree. A well-tailored suit molds his powerful shoulders. Dark brown, not quite black, hair is cut ruthlessly short, but hints at waves if given the chance to grow. His prominent nose makes itself known above the full, finely sculpted lips below. His eyes are shockingly vivid—so deep a blue they’re almost the color of African violets against skin like bronze bathed in sunlight. No, a man like him you’d never forget. Something niggles at my memory, tugs at my senses. I’d never forget a man who looked like this, a man with eyes like that…but what about a boy?

“Ezra?” I croak, disbelief and uncertainty mingling in the name I haven’t uttered in years.

It can’t be.

But it is.

QUEEN MOVE FIRST LOOK

Keep Going!

Read the REST of the prologue and enter the QUEEN BOX giveaway on Kennedy’s website:→ https://bit.ly/35U65FL

**QUEEN MOVE will have the special pre-order and release week price of $3.99. After that, the price will increase.**


Pre-order your copy today!


Amazon: https://amzn.to/2V4HLvZ

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2JGiqD7

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/queenmove

Nook: https://bit.ly/2UIueeE

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2JFJ7YM

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2yrPZ9E

Add QUEEN MOVE to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3apG1E1

Be notified FIRST when Queen Move is live: http://bit.ly/2oRuDhf


Synopsis

The boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have…

Dig a little and you’ll find photos of me in the bathtub with Ezra Stern.

Get your mind out of the gutter. We were six months old.

Pry and one of us might confess we saved our first kiss for each other.

The most clumsy, wet, sloppy . . . spectacular thirty seconds of my adolescence.

Get into our business and you’ll see two families, closer than blood, torn apart in an instant.

Twenty years later, my “awkward duckling” best friend from childhood,

the boy no one noticed, is a man no one can ignore.

Finer. Fiercer. Smarter.

Taken.

Tell me it’s wrong.

Tell me the boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have.

When we find each other again, everything stands in our way–secrets, lies, promises.

But we didn’t come this far to give up now.

And I know just the move to make if I want to make him mine.


About the Author

KR W Bckg Verti

A RITA® Award Winner, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.

Kennedy and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour and many others. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but has a special passion for raising Autism awareness.The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has appeared on Headline News, The Montel Williams Show, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for ASD families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.

Connect with Kennedy

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Website: http://kennedyryanwrites.com

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Connect with Blue Box Press

https://theblueboxpress.com/


EXCERPT REVEAL – The Sugar Queen (of Emerson Pass) by Tess Thompson

Keep reading for a super sweet excerpt from The Sugar Queen by Tess Thompson.
It releases May 19th!

PREORDER ON YOUR FAVORITE PLATFORM
Universal: https://books2read.com/thesugarqueenofep

A portion of the proceeds will benefit The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation!

#TheSugarQueen #EmersonPass #ContemporaryRomance #ComingSoon
#Charity #GivingBack #Philanthropy #Donate #GreatCauses #NationalFallenFirefightersFoundation

Blurb:

True love requires commitment, and many times unending sacrifice. . .

At the tender age of eighteen, Brandi Vargas watched the love of her life drive out of Emerson Pass, presumably for good. Though she and Trapper Barnes dreamed of attending college and starting their lives together, she was sure she would only get in the way of Trapper’s future as a hockey star. Breaking his heart, and her own in the process, was the only way to ensure he pursued his destiny. Her fate was the small town life she’d always known, her own bakery, and an endless stream of regret.

After a decade of playing hockey, a single injury ended Trapper Barnes’ career. And while the past he left behind always haunted him, he still returns to Emerson Pass to start the next chapter of his life in the place his ancestors built more than a century before. But when he discovers that the woman who owns the local bakery is the girl who once shattered his dreams, the painful secret she’s been harboring all these years threatens to turn Trapper’s idyllic small town future into a disaster. Will it take a forest fire threatening the mountain village to force Trapper and Brandi to confront their history? And in the wake of such a significant loss, will the process of rebuilding their beloved town help them find each other, and true happiness, once again?

Fast forward to the present day and enjoy this contemporary second chance romance set in the small town of Emerson Pass, featuring the descendants of the characters you loved from USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson’s The School Mistress.



TRAPPER

She blinked as she looked up at me. “I forgot how tall you are. How big.”

“I didn’t forget anything about you.”

“Is that true?” she asked.

“I never lie to you.” I wrapped one arm around her waist, searching her eyes for any hesitation before I kissed her. She responded immediately, wrapping her free arm around my neck and pressing close. The kiss deepened. I drew her close and ran my fingers down her back. God, she felt good. So right. I pulled away. “I have to stop before I throw you down in the grass.”

She grinned and tossed her hair behind her shoulders. “That would be like the old days.”

I held out my hand. “Let’s keep walking before we end up in trouble.”

Her face clouded, and she dropped her gaze downward. What had I said wrong? I didn’t ask. Instead, I took her free hand and led her across the meadow.

“The whole town knows about last night,” she said after a minute or so.

“I know. Does it bother you?”

She shrugged. “Not really. I don’t care what anyone thinks.”

We headed down the slope toward the creek bed. This time of year, the water was shallow and warm from the sun. Still, there was a nice pool between two narrowed sections of the creek where we used to fish and swim.

“Give me your glass,” I said. To get to the water’s edge, we had to climb over a few rocks, and I didn’t want her to slip.

She did so, and I watched as she made her way over the uneven rocks to a section of sand. Years ago, I’d dragged a log over as a makeshift bench. She sat, and I handed over her wineglass.

I eased my long body onto the log, wincing when pain shot through my knee.

“Does it hurt?” she asked.

“Every once in a while. I’m going to be one of those old men who can predict the weather by the pain in my knee.”

We both slipped off our sandals and put our feet in the creek. After the water settled, minnows drew near, cautiously at first until their curiosity got the better of them. I sipped my beer, conscious of Brandi’s body heat and wishing I could take her in my arms and make love to her as I had when we were young.

She giggled as minnows nibbled at her toes.

“You always had the most ticklish feet,” I said.

“It’s embarrassing when I get my toes done at the salon,” she said. “I can’t stop laughing.”

“I’ve missed your laugh.”

“I missed yours, too,” she said. “We might’ve gotten a little carried away last night.”

“How so?”

“I don’t know. Maybe dancing in the middle of the street was a little over-the-top?” She smiled, then leaned her head against my shoulder. “You’re such a romantic.”

“I know it’s a little much. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. You’ve said you’re sorry too much in the last twenty-four hours. You shouldn’t have to say that to me. Not now. Not after all the ways I hurt you.”

“How about if we just start fresh? Forgive whatever happened in the past and see what’s here?”

She didn’t answer for a long moment. “There’s something I have to tell you.”

“Go ahead.”

She didn’t speak for a long moment. More minnows came, swarming around our ankles and feet.

“I’m afraid,” she whispered. “I don’t know if I can tell you.”



About Tess

Tess Thompson is a USA Today bestselling author of small-town romance and historical fiction, with nearly 20 titles across multiple series that focus on heartwarming journeys of triumph and humanity for colorful characters you’d love to be friends with in real life.

Tess holds a degree in theater from the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), and can be found most days at her desk in suburban Seattle, where she also makes her home with the hero of her own love story and their blended family of two sons, two daughters, and five cats.

Tess loves music, dancing, books, bubble baths, cooking, wine, movies, snuggling, Seahawks football, and hearing from her readers. Drop her a line at tess@tthompsonwrites.com.

Find Tess Online!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2x9Ng26
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Website: https://www.tesswrites.com


COVER REVEAL – Sandy (Vested Interest #7) by Melanie Moreland

Sandy
Series: Vested Interest; Book 7
by Melanie Moreland

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available on Kindle Unlimited 6/14
Apple, B&N and Kobo until 6/13
Behind every successful man there is a woman.
What happens when you’re the woman behind an entire team?
Sandy Preston has been den mother, friend, confidante, and the guiding force behind the men of BAM for years.
Now they have new lives, and hers has drastically changed.
Can she move on and find love a second time around? 
Will the men she considers family accept the change?


About the Author

NYT/WSJ International bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them. 
While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip. 
Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever-afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story. 

Melanie is represented by Flavia Viotti at Bookcase Literary Agency. For any questions regarding subsidiary or translation rights please contact her at flavia@bookcaseagency.com

Follow the Author


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RELEASE BLITZ – On the Rox (DTF (Dirty. Tough. Female.) #1) by Kat Addams

Title: On the Rox
Series: DTF (Dirty. Tough. Female.) #1
Author: Kat Addams
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Blurb
DTF. Support your local girl gang!
Me and my dirty, tough female besties were hell—and tacos on wheels.
Who knew that my homemade Shizzle Sauce would be the key ingredient to my happily ever after?
Destiny had a wicked sense of humor—that was for sure.
After surviving a toxic relationship, I vowed to never let myself be controlled by a man again.
With the help of my girl gang, I was rebuilding my life—one taco at a time. My trusty snack wagon—The Pink Taco Truck—hadn’t steered me wrong yet.
This time, it led me straight to a hottie restaurant owner with a sexy Australian accent, who just so happened to love my secret sauce.
He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. But that wasn’t the only thing I was unable to turn down.
Jay was everything I could ever want in a man, but he wasn’t without heartache of his own. In fact, he’d been around the world, and he had the baggage to prove it.
Good thing I was always up for an adventure!

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



Coming Soon
Releasing June 16
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU


Author Bio
Kat Addams is a forever twenty-nine-year-old fashionista following her lifelong dream of writing contemporary romance inspired by the exotic men she meets in her worldly travels. At least, that’s what she would like for you to think. She’s certainly not a stay-at-home mom indulging in excessive daydreaming, frozen pizzas, an unhealthy addiction to purchasing pajamas, and one too many cocktails on the regular. That’s some other romance author. The poor thing probably has to sneak away upstairs to write her dirty stories! What would her family think? Thankfully, that’s not Kat!
Author Links

RELEASE BLITZ – A Date For Midnight by Heidi McLaughlin & LP Dover


 

Title: A Date For Midnight
Author: Heidi McLaughlin & LP Dover

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Dates: April 28, 2020
Cover Designer: MadHat Studios
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

 

It’s New Year’s Eve and Natalie has a rare night off from her shifts at the hospital. Determined to have fun with friends, she stops at a local store for provisions.
There, amongst the craft beer and pork rinds, she comes face to face with her high school boyfriend, Brennan McLean. He’s a rockstar. She’s a nurse. To say life led them in different directions would be putting it mildly. Still, time hasn’t lessened the electric chemistry between them. By the end of the night more was dropping than just the ball.
Convincing herself she could have fun without getting attached, Natalie treats herself to a weekend tangled in the sheets with him. But that lie she told herself pops faster than champagne bubbles.
With media rumors swirling around Brennan, can the pair find a way to make their unlikely relationship work? Or will Natalie’s resolution not to get her heart broken meet a painful end?

AMAZON

Tweet: #ReleaseBlitz A Date for Midnight By @HeidiJoVT & @LPDover #BuyNow https://ctt.ec/8P8js+ #PreOrder the next Five Books in the series https://ctt.ec/Wdefl+ #KindleUnlimited #ContemporaryRomance #BAPpr #ReadingList2020


About Heidi:

Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.
Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL and her brother, Racicot.
When she’s isn’t writing one of the many stories planned for release, you’ll find her sitting court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.
Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Roth, in theaters January 19, 2018.

To stay connected with Heidi visit www.facebook.com/authorheidimclaughlin or heidimclaughlin.com

GOODREADS GROUP | BOOKBUB

GETHEIDISBOOKS to (833) 926-1009

About L.P. Dover:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L. P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Everything’s sweeter in the South has always been her mantra and she lives by it, whether it’s with her writing or in her everyday life. Maybe that’s why she’s seriously addicted to chocolate.

Dover has written countless novels in several different genres, including a children’s book with her daughter. Her favorite to write is romantic suspense, but she’s also found a passion in romantic comedy. She loves to make people laugh which is why you’ll never see her without a smile on her face.

| BOOKBUB |


Pre-Order the Rest of the Series Today!!

 

AMAZON


 

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TEASER REVEAL – THE SUMMER OF US (Mission Cove #1) by Melanie Moreland

 

THE SUMMER OF US

Mission Cove Book 1

by Melanie Moreland

Release Date: April 30th
Genre: Contemporary/Small Town/Second Chance Romance

 

Add to Goodreads:
http://bit.ly/TheSummerofUs

 

Check out a BITE here!!

Book +Main Bite: https://bookandmainbites.com/story/44335

 

Preorder for 99¢ today! Price goes up after release!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/39WqJ9z
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3b7kq3f
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2TYK30p
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2x1xZlQ

 

 

Blurb:
She was the light in my dark life. The sunshine that warmed me and made me smile.
We had one summer. One perfect summer, until the day it ended.
Years later, she walked back into my life. Older. Sadder. More beautiful than ever.

How can I prove to her that summer was real?
How do I make her see that boy that loved her then, still loves her now?
How do we get back to the summer when we were us?

 


 


Excerpt:

I pulled into the garage, wondering if Sunny was still asleep in my bed. Part of me hoped she was. She worked too hard, and I wanted to spoil her today.

But entering the house, I had my answer. All I could smell was biscuits. I found Sunny, not in my bed, but in the kitchen, wearing one of my dress shirts, the tails hanging down to her knees, and a pair of my heavy socks. Her hair was pulled into a ponytail, her face free from makeup, and she looked adorable.

She looked up as I came around the corner, her welcoming smile bright. I headed straight for her, catching her in my arms and lifting her off the ground. I crashed my mouth to hers and kissed her long, hard, and passionately. She plunged her hand into the hair at the nape of my neck, kissing me back with equal fervor. I eased back, dropping my face to her neck with a groan.

“You have no idea what seeing you in my kitchen is doing to me right now.”

She wrapped her legs around my waist, laughing low in her throat. “I think I can, um, feel your reaction.” She rubbed against me. “I think you’re happy to see me. Or your cell phone is in your pocket,” she deadpanned.

“Baby, my cell phone doesn’t take up that sort of real estate.”

She giggled, the sound lilting and strange in my house. I liked it. I was about to kiss her again when the timer on the oven went off and she pushed away.

“Cockblocked by biscuits,” I muttered and set her on her feet.


About the Author:

New York Times/Wall Street Journal/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.

Melanie is represented by Flavia Viotti at Bookcase Literary Agency. For any questions regarding subsidiary or translation rights please contact her at  flavia@bookcaseagency.com

 

Connect w/Melanie:
Facebook: http://bit.ly/MMAuthorFacebook
Melanie’s Minions (FB reader group) http://bit.ly/MMReaderGroupFB
Newsletter https://www.subscribepage.com/melaniemoreland
Website: http://bit.ly/MMorelandWebsite
Twitter: http://bit.ly/MMorelandTwitter
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ql5R95
Instagram: http://bit.ly/MMorelandIG
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YouTube: http://bit.ly/MMorelandYouTube
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Tumblr: http://bit.ly/MMorelandTumblr
Book + Main: http://bit.ly/MMorelandBM
United By Romance Goodreads Group: http://bit.ly/UBRGoodreads


 

EXCERPT REVEAL – MY FAVORITE SOUVENIR by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

My Favorite Souvenir

A Contemporary Romance Novel

New York Times Bestselling Authors Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Release date: 4/27/2020

EXCERPT REVEAL:

“Good afternoon. You’ve reached the Four Seasons Resort, Vail, Colorado. How may I direct your call?”

I took a deep breath. “Hi. I checked out early this morning. My reservation was for ten days, but I only wound up staying two nights. Is there any chance you might still have my room available? Or any room, for that matter? My flight was canceled because of the storm.”

“Let me take a look. What’s your last name?”

“Appleton.” I shook my head. “Actually, the reservation was under Ellis. My fiancé’s last name.” Or ex-fiancé. But I’d let her call me Mrs. Ellis at this point if it meant I could have a place to sleep tonight.

“Give me one moment and I’ll check.”

“Thank you.”

I sat down in the lobby of the Best Western, the third hotel I’d been to in the last two hours. It was dumb of me to check out this morning. Though, at least I was consistent. After making the bad decision to go on my previously planned honeymoon alone, I’d brilliantly decided to check out only two days into the trip…without looking at the weather report for Vail. When I arrived at the airport, I had no idea that a blizzard was on the way. But the airline had assured me my flight was still scheduled as planned. And they’d kept their word right up until five minutes before we were supposed to board, when they announced a two-hour delay. Two hours turned into three, and three turned into five, and when we hit six hours of sitting on uncomfortable plastic seats outside the gate, they finally admitted it wasn’t going to happen. Every other flight had been canceled by then. And now, every hotel seemed to be full.

“Hi, Mrs. Ellis?”

I cringed at being called that, but answered anyway. “Yes?”

“I’m sorry. After you checked out, your room was rebooked. We’re actually sold out for the night because of the storm.”

I sighed. Of course you are. “Okay. Thank you.”

This was just my luck lately. I called four more hotels, until one said they might have a few rooms available. Apparently they had guests that hadn’t checked in yet and were in the process of making calls to confirm whether they would still be arriving today.

Rooms would be freed up on a first-come, first-served basis. So I decided to take a chance and head on over. It was already seven o’clock at night, and there was no point in sitting here anymore. Surprisingly, Uber was still running, even though the airport had called it quits hours ago.

Out front, the snow was coming down hard. A giant SUV with snow chains on the tires pulled up in front of the door. I couldn’t check the license plate or get a look at the make and model of the vehicle since it was covered in snow, so I walked over to the car and motioned for the driver to roll down the window.

“Are you Hazel?” the older woman behind the wheel asked.

I smiled. “Yes.”

“Heading over to the Snow Eagle Lodge?”

“Yes, please.”

Even though the next hotel was only two miles away, it took fifteen minutes to get there. By the time we pulled up, the conditions were almost white-out. It couldn’t be safe driving in this anymore.

“God, it’s really terrible out here,” I said as I pulled up the hood of my jacket. “Be careful driving tonight.”

“Oh, I will, honey. The next place I’m driving is home. I only picked you up because you were on my way. Good thing you’re at your hotel now. No one is going to be on the roads tonight anymore.”

Great. This place really better have a room for me.

As I climbed out of the SUV, a gust of snow smacked me in the face, despite the fact that we were parked under the building’s overhang. The wind made it look like someone had shaken a snow globe, hard. Inside the hotel, I wiped flakes from my eyelashes and glanced around the lobby.

Oh no.

This didn’t look good. A line of at least thirty or forty people snaked five rows deep, waiting to get to the reception desk. I sighed and wheeled my luggage to behind the last person. More than half an hour later, I finally reached the front.

“Hi. I called earlier, and the person I spoke to said some rooms might become available, that you were going to contact guests who hadn’t showed and see if they were still coming?”

The woman nodded with a frown. “Yeah. I can put you on our waitlist. But we’re still making calls, and to be honest, it’s not looking too good.”

My shoulders slumped. “Okay. Well, I guess please add me to your wait list.”

The woman lifted a clipboard and set it down on the counter. She thumbed through a few pages and turned it to face me, pointing at the next available line, which was two from the bottom of the page. “Just add your name and cell phone number.”

I scribbled both and let the pages above the one I’d been writing on fan back into place. Noticing the sheet at the top looked just like the one I’d signed, five or six pages down, I glanced through all the papers. There had to be at least a hundred names and telephone numbers.

“Are these all on your waiting list?”

The hotel clerk nodded.

“How many people haven’t checked in?”

“I think about a dozen.”

Oh God. This really wasn’t good. But maybe people had just added their names and left, like in a packed restaurant. Maybe the bulk of people ahead of me on the list had found other hotels.

Turning around, whatever hope I’d talked myself into immediately deflated.

Every seat in the lobby area behind me was taken. Some were even sitting on the floor, leaning against their luggage. With very few options, I wandered over and found an empty space on a carpeted area of the floor, not too far from the concierge desk. Though I knew it was futile, I took out my iPad and continued to search for a hotel with availability. Even if I found one, getting there would be a miracle on its own at this point.

The nearby concierge desk had been empty while I scrolled and made calls, but now two women walked over. One I recognized as the manager, since I’d spent a half hour staring at the people behind the front desk while I’d waited in line. The other had on a nametag and held a clipboard. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation from where I sat.

“These seven we still haven’t reached,” the manager said. “All of the other rooms have been checked in, or we’ve reallocated them to people from the waiting list.”

The employee flipped through the pages and looked around the full hotel lobby.

“Jeez. And this storm is supposed to stick around for days.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a guy standing on the other side of the concierge desk. His back was to the ladies talking, but he craned his neck, and I thought he, too, might be eavesdropping. Figuring he was probably just as bored as me, I went back to my iPad search—until a few minutes later when I noticed him scribbling something with a pen on the inside of his hand.

What the hell is he doing?

He wrote for a few seconds and then seemed to go back to eavesdropping. The manager had walked away, leaving the employee to make her phone calls. She hung up from one call and dialed again.

“Hi. This is Catherine from the Snow Eagle Lodge. I’m trying to reach Milo or Madeline Hooker.”

The minute she said the names, the eavesdropper scribbled on his hand again.

Catherine continued leaving her message. “I just wanted to confirm whether you’d still be arriving this evening. Your reservation is guaranteed, so we’ll hold it as long as you need. However, if the storm has perhaps caused a change in your travel plans, we do have a long wait list of guests who could use the two rooms you have booked. My number here is 970-555-4000, if you could please return my call at your earliest convenience. Thank you.”

The same thing went on with the next two calls. Catherine left a message and the eavesdropper scribbled. Curious about what he was up to, I kept my eye on him. After the hotel clerk finished making her calls, she went back to the front desk. Eavesdropper picked up his backpack and casually strolled down a nearby hallway. I leaned to watch where he was going, and he eventually pulled up his hood and exited out a side door I hadn’t even noticed was there.

I thought it was odd, but I figured the show was over.

But a few minutes later, a guy with the same ski jacket walked through the front lobby door. He pulled his hood down, and I got a look at his face for the very first time.

Damn, he was handsome. Medium brown hair that was kind of shaggy and needed a cut, full lips, hazel eyes, and tanned skin. His warm skin tone really stood out against the pasty color of most people in Colorado this time of the year, including me. It was a shame I loathed men right now, because he was seriously gorgeous. He dusted some of the snow from the shoulders of his jacket and went to wait in line. It was much shorter now, with only two men in front of him, mostly because people weren’t braving the storm anymore. I had no idea what possessed me to do it, but I decided to get up and wait behind the guy. Maybe I was imagining things to keep myself entertained, but I had the distinct feeling he was up to something.

When it was his turn at the front desk, I moved as close as I could to listen without seeming like a stalker.

“Hi. I’m checking in,” the man said.

“Great. What’s your last name, sir?”

He cleared his throat. “Hooker. Milo Hooker.”

I squinted. The guy was totally full of shit. I knew it!

The unsuspecting hotel clerk punched a bunch of keys on her keyboard and smiled. “I have your reservation right here. Two rooms for two nights, breakfast included. Is that right?”

“Uhhh…” The guy nodded. “Yeah. I booked two rooms. But it turns out I’m only going to need the one.” He looked over his shoulder. “Looks like you won’t have a problem filling the other one, though.”

She smiled. “No, we definitely won’t. I’ll just need a credit card and a picture ID please, Mr. Hooker.”

I waited. This was the moment of truth. If he wasn’t actually Milo Hooker, he was going to have to make up some excuse.

The guy reached into his front pocket like he was going to pull out his wallet. For a second, I thought I might’ve been wrong, but then he pulled out a wad of cash.

“I lost my wallet on the slopes today. Luckily, I had some cash sent over through Western Union before the storm got too bad. Can I just pay cash?”

The young woman hesitated. “You don’t have any ID at all? I’m not supposed to check people in without photo identification.”

Fake Milo poured on the charm. He leaned forward and showed off a set of cavernous dimples. “We could take a selfie together?”

The woman giggled. She actually giggled. “Let me just check with my manager.”

She disappeared into the back and returned with the manager a few minutes later.

A crazy idea popped into my head. She said there were two rooms… I made a spur-of-the-moment decision and approached the counter.

“There you are, Milo.” I rested my hand on the guy’s shoulder. “My flight was canceled. I hope they still have our rooms.”

Fake Milo turned and looked at me with his brows furrowed.

He was going to blow it if I didn’t do something, so I turned my attention to the two hotel employees. “My brother and I booked rooms here for two nights, but I was trying to get out before the storm. Obviously I had no luck. I spent the entire day in the airport. Please tell me you still have my room? I’m dying for a hot bath.”

Milo looked at me, then the hotel employees, then back at me. I smiled and arched a brow. For a second, I almost felt bad for the guy. He looked so bewildered. Since he still seemed to be at a loss for words, I figured I should continue talking. “We went skiing early this morning and had our backpacks stolen. Between that and the storm coming, I figured it was a sign that I should get back home early. Apparently Mother Nature had other plans. We should have two rooms—Milo and Madeline Hooker. Someone actually just left me a message on my cell asking us to confirm. Her name was Catherine, I believe.”

The desk clerk nodded. “That was me. The storm has a lot of people stranded here unexpectedly without rooms, so we were checking in with guests that hadn’t arrived yet.”

The manager looked back and forth between Fake Milo and me. “We’ll have to take a hundred-dollar deposit for incidentals on each room since you don’t have a credit card.”

I smiled. “Of course.”

She nodded to her employee. “Check them in. It’s fine.”

The man next to me still had his mouth hanging open. So I dug into my purse, being careful not to show my wallet, which was supposed to have been stolen, and scooped out all of the cash.

“How much are the rooms?” I asked the clerk.

“Let’s see. With tax, they come to three-hundred-and-forty-two dollars each, for the two nights, and then we have to collect the hundred-dollar deposit.”

I didn’t think I had that much cash. I counted the money in my hand and slid it over in front of Fake Milo. “Can you spot me forty dollars? You know I’m good for it, bro.”

“Uh, yeah. Sure.”

After we paid and got the room keys, we walked side by side to the elevator bank in silence. It wasn’t until we were alone and the elevator doors slid shut that Milo turned to me. “What the hell just happened?”

I laughed. “We just got rooms, that’s what happened.”

He shook his head. “But who are you?”

“I noticed you standing near the concierge desk and eavesdropping while she called the guests who hadn’t arrived yet.” I reached forward and took the man’s hand, opening it to display blue ink. “You wrote down the names of the guests. I thought it was odd, so I followed you to the front desk to see what you were up to. When you made up that bogus story about losing your wallet so you could justify not having any ID, I knew you were full of shit.” I shrugged. “When the woman said there were two rooms on the reservation, I saw an opening and took it.”

“How did you know I’d go along with it?”

I smiled. “I didn’t. But that’s what made it so much fun!” I covered my chest with my hand. “My heart feels like it’s trying to ricochet out of my ribcage at this moment. It’s been a long time since I did anything risky like that.”

His eyes roamed my face. I got the feeling he still wasn’t sure what to make of me, even though I’d just explained what I’d done. He looked down at my lips, which were still curved in an excited smile.

“Why is that?”

My forehead wrinkled. “Why is what?”

“Why’s it been a long time since you’ve done anything risky? It looks to me like you enjoyed it.”

I blinked a few times, not having expected a question that would tug at my heartstrings, and my smile fell. “I don’t know. I guess I kind of turned into a different person over the last few years.”

Fake Milo’s eyes locked with mine. We’d gone from pulling off a crazy stunt and laughing, to an odd seriousness. His eyes flickered to my lips and back once again.

“That’s a shame. You have a great smile.”

Warmth spread through me, and I couldn’t seem to unlock my eyes from the stranger’s—at least until the elevator dinged and the doors opened on the third floor.

“This is us,” he said. “Rooms 320 and 321.”

“Oh. Right. Okay.” I stepped out and followed the signs to our rooms. Since we were, of course, family, they’d put us right next to each other. We stood a few feet apart as we opened our respective doors. As my lock unlatched and I turned the handle to go inside, something dawned on me.

“I almost forgot! I owe you forty dollars for the room.”

He smiled. “Don’t worry about it.”

“No, don’t be silly. I just didn’t have enough cash and didn’t want to hand the woman a credit card when we weren’t supposed to have ID. I’ll just throw my bag in the room and go downstairs to find an ATM. They must have one somewhere.”

“I thought you couldn’t wait to take a hot bath, or was that part of the act?”

I laughed. “No, it actually wasn’t. I wasn’t lying when I said I spent the entire day at the airport. A hot bath sounds pretty amazing right about now. But I can grab your cash first. It won’t take me long.”

Fake Milo scratched at the stubble on his chin. “I’ll tell you what. I’m going to take a quick shower and then go downstairs to the bar for a drink. Take your bath. You can find me there afterward to give me the money.”

“Okay.”

We looked at each other for a moment.

“Alright, well, enjoy your soak, sis.”

I smiled. “Thanks, Milo. I’ll see you later.”


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BLURB

My planned trip for two unexpectedly turned into a trip for one. Rather than let my breakup get me down, I packed my bags and decided a week at a luxury resort was just what I needed.

But one calamity after the next, and suddenly I was stuck without a hotel room, along with a few hundred other people.

It looked like my fancy vacation was about to turn into me sleeping on the hotel lobby floor.

Until I overheard a gorgeous man pretending to be someone he wasn’t in order to steal a reservation from a guest who hadn’t shown up yet.

When I realized there were two rooms, instead of calling him out, I pretended to be his sister. That’s how the story of “Milo and Maddie Hooker” began.

We were the Hookers.

My depressing trip quickly made a U-turn into an adventure.

My fake brother spent the next few days showing me around his hometown.

When it was time to leave, neither of us really wanted to go yet.

So, instead of flying back to our respective homes, we ventured on a road trip.

At every stop, we’d pick up souvenirs.

But as hot as our chemistry was, we never crossed the line.

Milo knew I’d just come out of a tough relationship and didn’t want to mess with a vulnerable woman.

So instead, at the end of our trip, we made a pact to meet again in three months.

It was always my intention to meet him.

But when I got back home, reality hit in a big way.

And I worried I may have lost my handsome stranger forever.

Was there a place for him in my future?

Or had the memory of him just become my favorite souvenir?


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

PENELOPE WARD:

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

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VI KEELAND:

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

VI’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

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TEASER REVEAL – THE SUMMER OF US (Mission Cove #1) by Melanie Moreland

 

THE SUMMER OF US

Mission Cove Book 1

by Melanie Moreland

Release Date: April 30th
Genre: Contemporary/Small Town/Second Chance Romance

 

Add to Goodreads:
http://bit.ly/TheSummerofUs

 

Check out a BITE here!!

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Preorder for 99¢ today! Price goes up after release!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/39WqJ9z
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3b7kq3f
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2TYK30p
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2x1xZlQ

 

 

Blurb:

She was the light in my dark life. The sunshine that warmed me and made me smile.
We had one summer. One perfect summer, until the day it ended.
Years later, she walked back into my life. Older. Sadder. More beautiful than ever.

How can I prove to her that summer was real?
How do I make her see that boy that loved her then, still loves her now?
How do we get back to the summer when we were us?



About the Author:

New York Times/Wall Street Journal/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.

Melanie is represented by Flavia Viotti at Bookcase Literary Agency. For any questions regarding subsidiary or translation rights please contact her at  flavia@bookcaseagency.com

Connect w/Melanie:

Facebook: http://bit.ly/MMAuthorFacebook
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TEASER REVEAL – The Summer of Us (Mission Cove #1) by Melanie Moreland



The Summer of Us
Series: Mission Cove; Book 1
by Melanie Moreland


Genre: Contemporary Romance

Available for Pre-Order!

She was the light in my dark life. The sunshine that warmed me and made me smile.
We had one summer. One perfect summer, until the day it ended.
Years later, she walked back into my life. Older. Sadder. More beautiful than ever. 

How can I prove to her that summer was real?
How do I make her see that boy that loved her then, still loves her now?
How do we get back to the summer when we were us?


*Based on the short story from One Hot Summer.




Follow the Author


Cover Design: Karen Hulseman of Moreland Books, Inc




EXCERPT REVEAL – The Best Man by WInter Renshaw



I didn’t know her name, but I heard her laugh, tasted her lips, felt her warm skin as I held her in my arms. Together we watched our young children playing in the sand, the warm ocean lapping the shore behind them as the setting sun painted the sky. She was my soulmate and this was our life, our beautiful forever … 
Then I woke up—alone in a hospital room, connected to wires and machines. 
There was no wife. No kids. Not a single soul waiting for me. That life I dreamt of … never existed.
I’d been in a devastating wreck, a nurse told me when she rushed in. Comatose for weeks. I’d have a long road to recovery, but I was going to make it. 
From that moment on, the dream haunted me. I saw that woman’s face every time I closed my eyes, searched for her in every crowd, ached to be with a stranger I felt I’d known my entire life … and I swore that if I ever found her, I’d do anything to make her mine. 
Anything.
Then I found her.
And it was both the best and worst day of my life because the woman of my dreams … was about to marry my best friend.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: No cheating, no love triangles. That’s all I’m going to say … 😉

Cainan

Beep … beep … beep … beep …

I wake to a steady sound, slamming into an unfamiliar shell of a body, which as it turns out is mine. A dreamlike haze envelopes me, and when my surroundings come into focus, I’m met with white walls, white blankets, white machines connected to white wires leading to a strip of white tape on my wrist holding an IV in place.

I’m in a hospital.

I try to remember how I got here, but it’s like trying to recall someone else’s dream—an impossible task. And it only makes the throbbing inside my head intensify.

“My wife …” My words are more air than sound, and it’s painful to speak with a bone-dry mouth and burning throat.

“Mr. James?” A woman with hair the color of driven snow leans over me. So much fucking white. “Don’t move. Please.”

She’s a calm kind of rushed, hurried but not frenetic as she makes her way around the room, pressing buttons, paging for assistance and adjusting machine settings.

The room fades in and out, murky gray to pitch black, and then crystal clear before disappearing completely. The next time I open my eyes, I’m fenced by three more women and one white-coat-wearing man, all of them gazing down on me with squinted, skeptical expressions, as if they’re witnessing a verifiable miracle in the making.

I’m certain this is nothing more than a bad dream—until my head pulsates with an iron-clad throb once again, accented by a searing poker-hot pain too real to be a delusion.

“Mr. James, I’m Dr. Shapiro. Four weeks ago, you were involved in a car accident.” The doctor at the foot of the bed studies me. “You’re at Hoboken University Medical Center, and you’re in excellent hands.”

They all study me.

I try to sit up, only for a nurse to place her hand on my shoulder. “Take it easy, Mr. James.”

Another nurse hands me water. I take a sip. The clear, cold liquid that glides down my throat both soothes and stings. I swallow the razor-blade sensation and try to sit up again, but my arms shake in protest, muscles threatening to give out.

“Where’s my wife?” Each word is excruciating, physically and otherwise.

She should be here.

Why isn’t she here?

“Your wife?” The nurse with the water cup repeats my question as she exchanges glances with the dark-haired nurse on the opposite side of my bed. “Mr. James … you don’t have a wife.”

I try to respond, which only causes me to cough. I’m handed the water once more, and when I get the coughing under control, I ask for my wife once more.

“Has anyone called her?” I hand the cup back. If I’ve been out of it for weeks, I imagine she’s beside herself. And our kids. I can’t begin to imagine what they’ve been going through. “Does she know I’m awake? Have my children seen me like this?”

“Sir …” The nurse with the dark hair frowns.

“My wife,” I say, harder this time.

“Mr. James.” Dr. Shapiro comes closer, and a nurse steps out of the way. “You suffered extensive injuries in your accident …”

The man rambles on, but I only catch fragments of what he’s saying. Shattered pelvis. Spleen removal. Internal bleeding. Brain swelling. Medically-induced coma.

“It’s not uncommon to be confused or disoriented upon awaking,” he says.

But she was just here …

She was just with me …

Only we weren’t in this room, we were at the beach—the little strip of sand beyond our summer home. She was in my arms as we lay warm under a hot sun, watching our children run from the rolling waves that rolled over the coastline, leaving tiny footprints up and down the shore.

A boy and a girl.

My wife smelled of sunscreen, and she wore an oversized straw hat with a black ribbon and thick-framed cat-eye sunglasses with red rims that matched her red sarong. I can picture it clearer than anything in this damn room.

I can hear her laugh, bubbly and contagious.

If I close my eyes, I can see her heart-shaped smile—the one that takes up half her face and can turn the worst of days completely upside down.

“We’re going to let you rest, Mr. James, and then we’ll order a few tests.” The doctor digs in a deep pocket of his jacket, and then he sneaks a glance at his phone. “I’ll be here for the next eight hours, if you have any additional questions. The nurses will ensure you’re comfortable in the meantime. We’ll discuss your treatment plan as soon as you’re feeling up to it.”

He tells the nurse with the dark hair to order a CT scan, mumbles something else I can’t discern, and then he’s gone. A moment later, the room clears save for myself and the third nurse—the one who’s done nothing but stare at me with despondent eyes this entire time.

“There must be a mistake. Someone needs to call my wife immediately.” I try to sit up, but an electric intensity unlike anything I’ve ever experienced shoots up my arm and settles along my back and shoulders.

The thought of her not knowing where I am sends a squeeze to my chest. What if she thinks I left her? What if she thinks I disappeared? What if she has no idea what happened? And what was I doing in Hoboken when our life is in Manhattan?

“What’s her name?” Her question comes soft and low, almost like she’s trying to ensure no one hears her. “Your wife?”

I open my mouth to speak … only nothing comes out.

I can picture her as vivid as still blue waters on a windless day—but it’s the strangest thing because her name escapes me.

Nothing but blank after infuriating blank.

“I … I can’t remember.” I lean back, staring into the reflective void of a black TV screen on the opposite wall.

The nurse’s gaze grows sadder, if that’s possible. “It’s okay. You’ve been through quite an ordeal.”

She doesn’t believe me.

“Would you like me to call your sister?” she asks.

My sister … Claire.

If I can remember my sister’s name, why can’t I remember my own wife’s?

“Yes,” I say. “Call Claire. Immediately.”

She’ll be able to sort this out, I’m sure of it.

“Would you like me to adjust your bed?” The nurse straightens the covers over my legs. “I’m Miranda, by the way. I’ve been assigned to you since you arrived. I can tell you just about anything you need to know.”

“Just … call my sister.”

“Of course, Mr. James. Can I grab you anything while I make that call?”

I lift my hand—the one without the IV—to my forehead. “Head’s pounding like a goddamned jackhammer. Got anything for that?”

“Absolutely. Be right back …”

Miranda hurries out the door, and I’m alone.

If I close my eyes, the room spins, but I can picture my wife with impeccable lucidity—the square line of her jaw, her heart-shaped lips that flip up in the corners, the candy-apple green of her eyes.

My heart aches, though it isn’t a physical pain, it’s deeper.

More profound.

Like the drowning of a human soul.

I remind myself that the doctor’s said it’s normal to be disoriented, and I promise myself everything will come back to me once I get my bearings.

The clock on the wall reads eight minutes past seven. The sky beyond the windows is half-lit. I haven’t the slightest clue if it’s AM or PM. I couldn’t tell you what day it is or what month it is for that matter.

“Mr. James, your sister is on her way,” the nurse says when she returns.

She hands me a white paper cup with two white pills.

So much fucking white.

If I never see white again after this, I’ll die a happy man.




Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi. 
And if you’d like to be the first to know when a new book is coming out, please sign up for her private mailing list here —> http://eepurl.com/bfQU2j


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