Archive | September 2016

This Love by Lea Darragh #BlogTour 9/20/16

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Book Title: This Love
Author: Lea Darragh
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction
Release Date: September 15, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Forgiveness can be hard—even when it’s the only way to save your life.

When Emmy’s fiancé, Ethan, is killed by a speeding driver on the way to their wedding, she is devastated beyond words. Numb and confused, she withdraws from the world.

Eighteen months later, Emmy has settled herself into the coastal town of Cobbler’s Cove. With satisfying work in a new restaurant, a quiet home by the sea, and friends who pick her up when grief comes back to haunt her, she’s finally daring to dream of a bright future.

That is, until she meets Jack Archer—a worldly chef who draws people to the restaurant. Emmy and Jack have mutual friends and a common goal, but their history could tear them both apart.

When Emmy finds herself falling for Jack, she begins to question her love for Ethan. She’s tortured by the past and scared of the future. Does she have the strength to forgive and move on?

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meet the author

Lea Darragh is a married mother of three who has lived in the Gippsland area for her entire life, blessed with family and friends who during cold and stormy nights introduced her to the breathtaking world of fiction, of romance and of the uplifting sense of pleasure left only by a great book. She began to write…and hasn’t looked back.

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Rider Lanning’s Leap By Kathi S Barton Release Blitz 9/19/16

Graham was just trying to make her father happy. She didn’t know what his obsession with the Lanning family was, but she would go with him to visit the Lannings to appease him. The last thing she expected to find there was a mate, and it seemed her father knew all along. Graham was beyond pissed–she was set up.


Rider just wanted her to go away before he could claim her. It had been foretold that when he found his mate, that the one hunting them would find them and many of the Lanning family could die as a result. He didn’t want to lose anyone, especially his mate. He would die himself before he let that happen.

Their nemesis Sonya’s reach was long, even from the grave. But even her death won’t stop what’s coming. She started the wheels of fate turning centuries ago, and they’re picking up speed. Can all the Lannings come together to stop it before it’s too late? Find out in the conclusion to the Lanning’s Leap Series–Rider.


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                                                                     Happy Reading ,
Prologue
“Once you have put the magic in the safe, I wish for you to come to me. And no messing around either. I have things to do.” Allister nodded but said nothing. He knew the woman to be mad as a hatter, and he did not wish to make her angered again. She had a tendency to kill what made her mad, no matter how much she might need them later. “You screw this up for me, Allister, and I swear to you I will rain a blood bath on you that you’ll feel for decades. Once we have all the Lannings dead, then you will be paid for what you’ve done here.”
He had no idea how that would work. If she killed him, which was what she had implied, then there would be no feeling for decades. Not to mention she’d never get the safe to open if she did kill him, bloodily or not. He smiled to himself when he thought of that little clause he’d put on it.
“As you wish, my lady.” He moved slowly, but his body wasn’t nearly as old and frail as he let her think that it was. The less she knew of him, the better. Sadly, she knew too much as it was. Sonya, a hard taskmaster on her best days, had not been happy when he’d told her that his only child had died. “Once the safe is open the magic will go to the one that deserves it, just as you have ordered.”
“Yes, when the Lannings are no more and I am queen, the person who opens the door here will be my right hand man. We will rule the kingdom as one. I’m sick to death of those upstarts. From the beginning they were trouble to me. Imagine, not wanting to help me take over the kingdom. We all know that I would make a better queen than Kendra. Her being picked over me is just not right.” Allister nodded again. “And when you come to me, I will expect you to bring me her head, do you hear me? I wish for proof of what you have said to me.”
“There is no head, my lady. As I have told you, my child was burned at the stake some days ago. Her death, it has taken a great deal out of me. But there is no body left to bring you even a small portion of it.” Sonya looked as if she didn’t believe him, so Allister changed the subject. “The monies that you told me to make for you, they’re all from different time periods. There are instructions on what can be spent and what cannot. The person who opens this, they will be warned. I hope you realize that should they spend the money that is there before the dates it was in use, there will be hell to pay. You know this, I’m sure.”
“Never you mind about what I know or not.” He knew she had no idea. The women could barely think her way out of any trouble, much less know the way cash would work in the future. He did, but he wasn’t going to tell her that. “As I have said to you, I have all the power in the world, both worlds. When this is completed, and the Lannings are all dead and cold in their graves, I will rule both worlds.”
“As you wish, my lady.” She eyed him hard. “I wish only for you to get what you deserve. And as surely as I am standing here, I’m sure that you will.”
“Thank you.” Allister watched her carefully. “When you’ve finished, come to me. I will be at my home. Then we will discuss what happened to your daughter. I’m glad that
she’s dead, if you want to know the truth of it. Her being alive, it was going to mess up my carefully laid plans. And that has happened enough of late.”
Allister knew just what part his daughter had played in Sonya’s game. It was why he’d taken care that the woman never touched his only child. But right now, he wanted nothing more than for Sonya to go away and leave him to his task. It didn’t differ much from the one that she had set upon him, but he hoped for a better outcome. The money had come from the future. Allister hadn’t manufactured it as he’d told her, but had gone to the twenty-first century and had traded some of his furniture and other items that fetched him a grand price for the cash. The future was so different than the time he now lived in that Allister had been tempted to stay there and never to return here. But there were things afoot, things that he had to see to the end so that his daughter could live. And live she would.
Graham was his child, and even though he’d told the upstart that she was dead, she was as alive as him. Hidden away so that no one, not one person, could harm her the way he knew Sonya would. Allister had sent her away, far away into the future so that she’d be safe from this monster here. He’d also taken it upon himself to make sure that no matter what, the Lannings would live. At least he hoped that he had.
When the last of the magic had been put in the large safe that he’d brought from the future with him, he closed it up and leaned heavily upon it. It was time, past time really, for him to finish what he needed to do for all mankind. Especially those that were of the magical nature such as him. Going to the mirror, he spoke to the woman that he knew would someday open the safe with a man he’d never met in person. Nildale, the king of the genjar, would help a great deal, this he was sure of. He summoned the woman there and smiled when her face appeared for him.
“I shall be dead soon. Much sooner than I had hoped. But I have left you something. It’s there in the safe for you to use should you…you will need it. There is a man that will come to you. He will offer you so much but ask for nothing in return. Take his knowledge. You will need it. You are the soul of my magic. And when you are able to understand all, you will also understand the reasons behind the things that have been set in motion for you.” He thought of the woman he’d met briefly while there making the arrangements that would save so many. She was going to be stronger than any he’d ever encountered. And she’d keep his child safe. “Laci Lanning, you are going to save a great many people. And Nildale, the king, he will help you understand.”
Going back to his bed after putting a spell on the mirror to keep it safe as well, he closed his eyes. Allister hurt in more places than he’d thought there were names for; the lifting and toting were hard on an old man like him. Reaching for his child, their connection so strong that there was no need for his mirror, he smiled when she appeared before him as a shadow of herself.
“You do know that I know nothing of this world. And that there are things that go fast here that scare me, Father.” He nodded and smiled bigger. “She has been there then? This monster you are saving me from?”
“Yes. She has come and gone. You will be safe where you are. Do not go to the Lannings until you feel the safe is opened. They will need your knowledge of magic and
a bit more.” She nodded and looked away. The pain of their parting hurt him even more than he could say. “Graham, you will be safe for me?”
“Yes. I will be. So will you.” He said that he would be gone soon enough. “Nay, Father, you will not. I have decided that you will come to me.”
And just like that, he stood in the little house that he’d purchased for his child to keep her safe. Sitting down, he looked at his daughter and wondered, not for the first time, how she’d become so strong.
“She will find you with me here.” Graham simply told him she would not. “Yes, she will. Her magic is powerful, or so she says. You must return me to my time so that she does not find us together and destroy all that I have set up for you.”
“Sonya will not only not find you, but she will fail at her attempts to follow you here. Her mind does not work as ours does. It is full of her own self, and she will think you have done something to yourself and will almost forget you by tomorrow.” Allister didn’t think so. Sonya wasn’t strong, no, but she was evil. “I will protect you, Father. Trust me.”
“I do.” After he was shown to his room, a room that would only be found if he allowed it, he laid down on the big bed. There were many luxuries here, more than he’d imagined when he first arrived. When he was alone again, he thought of the precautions that he’d made for his child, and wondered briefly if him being there now would make a difference.
The Lannings were…. He willed himself to their home, a shadow of himself, so that he could watch them. He had no doubt that they’d survive this time of strife, but who he feared for most was the man called Rider.
Allister knew that the man was a good one. A bit of a worrier, but that was all right too. Allister knew that his own child would be tempered by this man, his level head and strong will would keep her safe. He watched the man now with his family, and hoped with all that he was that he’d be a good match for his only child. And that he’d keep her safe from the one that wished her dead. As surely as he stood there watching, knowing that Sonya was now dead in the time that Rider lived in, he also knew that the monster that lurked in the darkness would come for his child.

Claim by Janet Nissenson #PreorderBlitz & Rafflecopter giveaway 6/19/16

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Book Title: Claiim (The Splendor Series, #3)
Author: Janet Nissenson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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The final book of the Splendor trilogy – the conclusion, but never the ending, to a love story for the ages

All of luxury hotel heir Ian Gregson’s dreams are finally coming true. Soon he will be able to claim the beautiful woman he longed for from afar for more than two years, and she will belong to him for all time.

But as their wedding day approaches, long hidden secrets from Tessa’s past will surface and stir up all of her old fears and doubts. And Ian will once again need to convince her that their love is more than strong enough to conquer all – a love that’s destined to last for all time.

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meet the author

Janet is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently resides on the northern California coast with her husband Steve and Golden Retriever Max. She worked for more than two decades in the financial services industry before turning her focus to producing running events. She is a former long-distance runner, current avid yoga practitioner, is addicted to Pinterest, likes to travel and read. She has been writing for more than three decades, with her first book in the Inevitable Series – Serendipity – published in December 2013.

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Stadium of Lights by Tia Lewis Book Blitz & Rafflecopter giveaway 9/19/16

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Stadium of Lights

by Tia Lewis
A Sports Romance
Publication Date: September 19, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance

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He can’t help claiming her. But can he love her?

Max Anderson enjoys all the perks of being a star NFL quarterback?including the women. He has no intention of changing his carefree, hard-loving lifestyle … until a twist of fate reunites him with the girl he knew growing up.

Abby Morrison has worked hard to become a physical therapist. She knows she needs to keep things professional with Max — but the truth is, she’s always loved him. Back then, she hid it. Now, it’s not so easy.

As they rekindle their friendship, the heat between them is impossible to ignore. Soon it flares out of control, and the fallout threatens to ruin everything. Can they salvage a future together … or will the consequences wreck their lives?

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About Tia Lewis

Tia Lewis is a romance author from the Midwest who writes about smart, sexy, sassy women and hot, possessive alpha males. Her favorite bad boys to write about include sports players, mafia, bikers, billionaires and the bad-ass next door. You can find her cooking, reading, or traveling when she’s not busy working on her next release.

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text LEWIS to 31996 or go to:www.NextBookRelease.com

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From This Fae Forward by A.E. Jones Cover Reveal & Pre Order & Rafflecopter giveaway 9/19/16

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From This Fae Forward

by A.E. Jones
Paranormal Wedding Planners #2
Publication Date: October 31, 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Romance

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Second book in the paranormal wedding planner series by award-winning author and RITA® Finalist, AE Jones

Sheila Hampton knows how to take care of herself. After being banished from her close-knit woodland nymph clan for defying her father, she has made her way in the human world on her own.

Now she works as an exercise instructor for stressed-out paranormal brides. If she can tell a vampire that no exercise plan in the world will help her lose weight, she can handle anything. Until her father lifts her banishment and tries to force her to marry as part of a political power play, and an unlikely hero steps forward.

Charlie Tucker is used to being on his own. A sea nymph with no ties to his clan, he joined the Navy and became a SEAL. He’s been in war zones. Eaten bugs to survive. So posing as Sheila’s fiancé should be a simple protection detail. No problem.

Except there is a problem—several, actually. Their clans are mortal enemies. They have to pretend to be in love when they can’t stand each other. Plus, they have to plan the biggest fake nymph wedding of the century. And when Sheila’s life is threatened, these two loners must put aside their differences and rely on each other.

Can this paranormal Romeo and Juliet find a way to change their tragic ending to a happily ever after?

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About A.E. Jones

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Paranormal romance and urban fantasy author AE Jones spends her nights weaving stories about all variation of supernatural—their angst and their humor. After all, life is about both…whether you sport fangs or not.

AE has won several writing awards including RWA’s 2013 Golden Heart ® Award and the Booksellers Best Award. Her book Mind Sweeper was also a 2015 RWA RITA® finalist for both Best First Book and Best Paranormal Romance.

AE lives in Ohio surrounded by her eclectic family and friends who in no way resemble any characters in her books. Honest. Now her two cats are another story altogether.

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Camp Fling by Naomi Niles Release Blitz 9/17/16

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Synopsis

Danica is spending part of her summer as a camp counselor at Camp Woodtree where she meets Rhett. On her first day, she is paired with Rhett for the duration of camp. The two of them work together to inspire their campers while also getting to know each other. As the days pass, they fall in love, but on the last day of camp, Rhett allows his emotions to get in the way.

As fate would have it, the two of them were destined to meet again—at their parents’ wedding. And discovering they are now stepsiblings is hardly the only complication to arise, as Danica realizes something even worse. Can love conquer all though?

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The Satyr’s Curse III: Redemption By Alexandrea Weis Cover Reveal & Pre Order 9/16/16

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Since returning from Fairview Plantation, Jazzmyn Livaudais has noticed strange occurrences in her Garden District home. She attributes the ghostly happenings to Julian Devereau.

Trapped in a world between death and life, Julian waits. Jazzmyn is torn between her feelings for him, and her impending nuptials to her temperamental chef, Kyle Baker.

But before she can consider Julian’s fate, she must deal with a detective eager to solve the horrific murders of women that have plagued New Orleans for decades. The detective suspects Julian is the killer, and his frequent visits to The Sweet Note are putting everyone on edge.

With Julian’s time running out, Jazzmyn discovers there may be another spirit hanging around her home. One who is out to settle an old score.

Will Jazzmyn rescue Julian from his self-imposed limbo? And what will happen if he returns?

When one curse ends, another can begin. Beware The Satyr’s Curse.

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                                                                       Author’s Bio

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.
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Stark Shadows by CD Bradley Cover Reveal 9/15/16

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Synopsis

The butterfly effect: The theory in which one small action, seemingly innocent, can set in motion an entire chain of events with catastrophic results. When Kira Riley first collided with Owen Stark she never dreamed the path it would set her on. Separating herself from Stark, she was determined to achieve her mission. No more distractions. But the wheels of fate had already begun to turn. Ghosts of the past had been awakened.

Before meeting Kira, Owen Stark had been dead inside. He had forgotten how to live and love. He tried to fill the void with anything and everything until he was just numb. From the first moment he crashed into Kira, the flesh and blood man knew there was no going back. She was the drug he must have. He knew he should have walked away. Now that he has crossed the line, he would stop at nothing to have her again.

A relentless journey but one that has started the dominoes falling in a way they could have never predicted. Sometimes the danger in the shadows is the darkness of your own desire.

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I’m just a girl who likes to daydream. Sometimes I write them down to share. Even as a little girl teachers would tell my parents I live in a world of my own. The literary world was my safe haven. Then we grow up. I practiced medicine in the ER and urgent care for the last 15 years. I started writing again while still working in the ER but put it aside when we opened our own clinic. Until last year my husband and I owned our own practice, we had two children and lived a somewhat normal life. Then in the span of a year we sold our practice, bought a 96 acre farm in the hills of West Virginia and adopted 3 of our patients ( ages 2,3,4) bringing our kid count up to five. It has been a crazy year full of ups and downs and learning to laugh at ourselves. Being mostly brought up in the city, managing a working farm with real farm creatures and ever lurking bears has been an adventure. Not to mention adjusting to being a mom of FIVE. But when things are rough I just laugh and tell stories. Because at the end of the day sometime laughter and love is all you have. Somewhere in the midst of kids and chickens, I managed to finish my first novel and dive deeply into the second. Writing at night or early in the morning while all the littles are asleep lets me escape into another world. I hope that you will enjoy the journey of the story as much as I have writing it. Pursue your dreams as if limits to your abilities do not exist.

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Pirate Heiress, a Pirates & Petticoats Novel by Chloe Flowers Release Blitz & Rafflecopter giveaway 9/15/16

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Pirate Heiress

by Chloe Flowers
A Pirates & Petticoats Novel
Publication Date: September 15, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Action & Adventure

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Synopsis: A beautiful pirate, a vengeful sea captain and a secret treasure…will love save them or destroy them?A high seas, nautical, historical, pirate romance filled with action and adventure, mystery and intrigue, and a quest for hidden treasure!

Reluctant pirate Stevie Savauge is on a quest with her family to find a secret treasure hidden by her great-great-grandparents, the two notorious pirates Anne Bonny and Calico Jack Rackham. When her eight-year-old twin siblings are kidnapped and the ransom demand is a merchant ship called the Seeker, Stevie must find the courage to conquer her fears and fight for those she loves.

Italian-born, French privateer Drago Viteri Gamponetti (Gampo to his men) has coveted the Ahern merchant fleet for years. He knows if he takes one, the others will come to its aid. He sets a trap in Jamaica, determined to capture the fleet.

When Captain Conal O’Brien discovers that the pirates work for his sworn enemy, he doesn’t resist capture. What better way to locate Gampo’s secret stronghold than to sail right into it? But these brigands aren’t who they seem to be, and if Conal’s not careful, he’s going to lose his heart as well as his ship to the woman determined to possess both.

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EXCERPT

PIRATE HEIRESS by Chloe Flowers

CHAPTER ONE

Letter from Anne Bonny to her father William Cormac:

3 March, 1718

Dear Father,

I bid you farewell. I know you disapprove of my choice for a husband. True, he is but a simple sailor. However, I refuse to marry any of those milksops or fortune hunters who continue to darken our door. I love James Bonny and he has sworn his life to me. I ask nothing more from you than your prayers for my health and well-being.

Your daughter,

Anne 

July 1811

What the hell. His sister was about to marry his best friend this evening, so he could deal with a cold bath. 

Conal dragged the copper tub from the pantry closet and poured in several buckets of tepid water. He’d located a piece of lye soap, so at least now the bath would be well worth the effort.

The galley stove had been allowed to wane to the lowest of coals, and he, Conal O’Brien, the captain of this vessel, had neither the time nor inclination (or rather patience) to heat the water for his bath.

Better to just duck the head down and get it over with. Like pulling out a tooth or a wood splinter, cold water plunges were best done quickly.

As he expected, the water was brisk, the soap elusive, the suds painful to his eyes, and the whole notion of soaking in a cold tub remained annoying, to say the least. Yet as always, Conal’s stubborn tendency to fight being bested by anything, including the temperature of his bath, won out in the end. He had to hold his breath longer than he’d have liked, but there were areas that needed extra attention, thanks to Gampo and his damned crew of pirates.

If he were honest with himself, it really wasn’t entirely the attack by Gampo that had spurred the extra scrubbing, although his coat had been torn and his breeches stained with grime from helping a mate adjust a ship’s gun. Rather it was the thought of his mother’s look of disappointment that made it necessary to repair his appearance before attending his sister’s wedding.

Although they weren’t here, his parents would expect him to see his sister married properly while representing the O’Brien family proudly. 

He scrubbed a little harder. 

If anyone had asked him a few months ago if his best friend would marry again, he’d have laughed. 

Women were too hard a concept to understand, for one. They were weak, silly, helpless and emotional, making them more of a burden than anything else. Aside from the women in his family, females in general weren’t to be trusted, at least not the ones he usually ran across while anchored at port. Suffice it to say that the less he trusted women, the better off he remained.

No, the notion of marriage didn’t appeal to Conal in the least, unless…he thought for a moment. If he found a woman more like his sister Keelan, he might consider it. She was as good or better with a blade than any man on his ship. She was quick-minded and independent. He’d never met another woman, save his Aunt Risa, who belonged on the deck of a ship more.

Conal’s vessel, the Seeker, had to drop anchor farther out in the harbor due to a thick cloud of fog obscuring everything beyond a couple hundred paces. He’d had to row a canoe back to his ship to bathe and change. His cousin Brendan’s ship, theReward, was docked at the pier, providing a more convenient access to the town’s offerings. In fact, Brendan was probably already back at the tavern and looking like the handsome devil he was, boots polished and collar starched.

He would be damned if his cousin would find fault in his mien this day. Brendan always seemed to find a loose chain in Conal’s armor where appearances were concerned. 

But not today. 

He’d already trimmed his beard and polished his boots to a glowing shine. Even now, propped against the chair, they reflected the low glow of the lantern swinging overhead in time with the active motion of the water. 

He leaned over and grabbed for the linen cloth draped over the edge of the tub. After wiping his face, he braced his hands on the rim and pushed himself to his feet. 

When he raised his head, his nose nearly clipped the barrel of a pistol. A faint acrid smell of gun powder assailed his nostrils.

Eyes focused on the cold, grey metal, he was careful to avoid any sudden movement. He raised his gaze to peruse the person holding the weapon, a brigand wearing a wide-brimmed hat pulled low. Beneath the hat, a brightly colored scarf covered his hair. Behind the gun bearer stood a second figure, armed as well.

“You have my attention,” Conal said evenly. The one holding the pistol stood between him and the lantern, but from what he could see, the intruder was tall but slight in build. If it weren’t for the pistols, he wouldn’t have hesitated to lunge for both of them. 

The closer man must have been thinking along a similar line of thought, because the pistol shook slightly. “This ship has been taken,” he said. “If you value your life and the lives of the crew that remain, you will yield.”

Conal’s stomach twisted. How had he missed the sound of battle aboard? Granted, all but the watch and a handful of men still making repairs to the damaged sails and yard arms had been allowed to go ashore to attend the wedding celebration, but he should have heard a shout or a pistol shot even down here in the galley. How many of his men had lost their lives? 

“Do you yield?” The intruder tightened his hold on the pistol. 

Conal cursed under his breath. “I yield. What are your demands?” He tilted his head and narrowed his eyes. The voice sounded too…soft. A woman, perhaps?

【⚓】

Stevie swallowed and gripped the pistol handle more firmly. Her arm was beginning to tire from holding it for so long, but she didn’t dare lower it. The mountain of a man in the tub looked as if he could crush her head like a grape with one hand, and her younger brother’s with the other one. More often than not, she could look an average man straight in the eye. However, with this one, her head would barely reach his nose.

He cocked his head, still awaiting her answer. His eyes narrowed before sliding down to her soft doeskin boots and back up again. She should have stayed more in the shadows; she would have been a bit more intimidating that way.

“Stevie,” Remi whispered from behind her, bringing her attention back in line. What was the question? Oh, yes. Demands.

“You’ll relinquish the ship and all its cargo,” she said, barely able to keep the tremor from her voice. Her gaze paused at the gold ring on the man’s finger. If they were going to become pirates, she might as well start acting like one. She took a deep breath and drew her shoulders back a little.

“Let’s start with your ring,” she said, holding out her hand. The man’s jaw clenched and the knuckles gripping the tub’s edge whitened. What thoughts were flying around in his head? He was contemplating his chances of overpowering her and taking her pistol; she could see that in the way his gaze shifted back and forth between her and her younger brother. If he had a weapon, and if it had been a one-on-one situation instead of one against two (with guns), he likely wouldn’t have paused to contemplate it this long. He would have defended himself.

She eased a step back, careful to keep her pistol well within a lethal range. “Please don’t try it,” she said. “I’d prefer to save my shot.”

His eyes widened and his brows raised in surprise. She’d been right in her assumptions, then. She usually was. Her intuition annoyed her brothers no small amount, and they always avoided her when they wished their thoughts to remain…theirs. Only one of them could hide from her, but he was a gambler and so it was expected, otherwise he wouldn’t be a very good gambler, would he?

The man twisted the ring from his finger and tossed it to her. She placed it on the only finger it would fit—her thumb. 

Keeping her focus on their hostage, she moved behind him to the stack of clothes on the galley table and removed the dagger and pistol next to them. She’d have to keep a close watch on him; he looked like the type of man who’d rather fight against the odds than give himself over. They needed to get him up on deck with her other brothers before she fainted from the trauma of this whole episode. 

She was far from her cozy little room off the kitchens of her brother’s gaming house. Before they’d boarded the ship, Uncle Bernard had given her a brief lesson on managing a pistol, but it still terrified her to hold it.

“Get dressed,” she said, with as much authority as she could muster.

He reached for the linen rag. Stevie felt her eyes widen. She was wrong. Very wrong. The top of her head would barely reach his chin, let alone his nose. Wide, thick shoulders took up most of the space in the galley. His muscles rippled as he moved. A long scar trailed from the top of his shoulder to the middle of his ribcage. A fighting man. A very strong, very muscular, very handsome, very naked man.

She should shut her eyes, avert her gaze, something…but to do so would be foolish right now. She’d never seen a naked man as perfectly proportioned as this one. To be honest, she’d only seen one other naked man (other than her terribly immodest brothers while growing up).

Remi’s mortified expression from the doorway prompted her to roll her eyes and give him a pointed look he interpreted perfectly. She’d changed his diapers when she was eight. 

She’d also lost her virginity after falling foolishly in love with a gambler who’d promised her a life of travel and luxury. The next day, after losing everything he had as well as several hundred dollars in credits to the house, he disappeared and never returned. Lesson learned. Men would tell a woman anything to sway her attentions to the bedroom. 

Their captive turned toward her and reached for his clothes. Her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth and she could barely swallow. He had a chiseled chest with a faint layer of fine, light brown hair that darkened to a burnished auburn as it trailed past his navel to his…his…

Oh, my.

When she turned her attention back to his face, his expression was rather mocking. 

“Satisfied, little rabbit?” he asked.

So he’d already guessed she was a woman in men’s clothing. She assumed he was talking about her perusal, which she wasn’t about to address. No need to give him a burst of confidence right now. Her mouth was still dry. Instead, she asked a question. “Little rabbit?” She looked nothing at all like a rabbit. Her ears, along with her hair, were covered.

“You look as if you’re ready to jump out of your skin. Perhaps you’re afraid of me?” He leaned toward her.

Yes. 

“No.” She barely managed a response. Her attempt at laughter was pathetic at best. 

“Well…little rabbit…you should be.” He jerked on his clothes. A pair of shiny cordovan boots stood next to the tub, and he pulled them on while he muttering obscenities about someone named Brendan. That task complete, he stood up straight, crossed his arms over his very impressive chest and glowered at her. His eyes were a grey-green with a golden band around the pupil, reminding her of a tiger she’d once seen in a traveling show. She wanted to swallow, but she was paralyzed. Was this how a tiger’s prey felt just before it became dinner?

He’d already figured out she was female. Now he was studying her, calculating the odds on a successful confrontation. If he charged her right now, she’d probably squeal and tumble into a terrified heap on the floor. She pulled back the hammer of her pistol until it clicked to help him with his decision-making process, and hopefully to fortify hers. Still, terror gripped her heart, forcing it to pulse and throb in uneven beats. Until a short time ago, she ran the kitchens in her family’s hotel and gaming house. Pirating was not on her short list of talents. In fact, she was rather pleased she’d pulled back the hammer without accidentally discharging the gun. 

“Remi,” she called to her brother over her shoulder, inwardly cursing at the way her voice trembled. “If he makes a move toward either of us, shoot him.” Remi’s hammer clicked back. Good. 

Pointing toward the door with the pistol, she gestured for her prisoner to go topside. 

Almost soundlessly, he moved in long, sinuous strides through the passageway and up the ladder. He smelled of soap, new leather boots, and a musky scent she knew was all him. The vision of that tiger from long ago crept into her thoughts again as she eyed his movements. 

Her thoughts jumped to her family up on the main deck. They’d sent her to the galley to see what kind of stores the ship held. No one expected she’d find a man down here, which was a stupid assumption, apparently. The Sauvage family wasn’t used to this kind of life. Sure, her brothers and cousins could recognize a cheat and a thief when they saw one, but that was the limit of their skills when it came to interacting with the more nefarious slice of humanity.

They’d spied on the ship for a couple of hours; their chance came when most of the crew departed for shore. The rest stayed topside. Her uncle said the men were probably told to keep watch, but perhaps assuming the dense fog would cloak them in safety, the crew gathered around an upturned crate and played cards, enabling Stevie and the rest of the band to surround them. 

The crew had surrendered with barely a word.

It had been a foolhardy plan. 

Ridiculous. 

Dangerous. 

Crazy. 

And absolutely imperative they succeed.

【⚓】

              Of all the damned, rotten luck.

Conal heaved himself up the last two steps and perused the deck. Remus and his watch were all tied to the mizzen mast in the center of the animal pen amidst a couple of pigs, two goats and the cow. The first mate was busy cursing at the goat currently munching on his hat. 

So much for rallying a rebellion anytime soon.

To resist now would be foolish. It was best to wait until a more opportune moment, after they had time to evaluate their captors’ strengths and weaknesses. He glanced at the woman called “Stevie.” 

She was taller than most women. Her long, slender limbs moved fluidly, like a dancer he’d encountered once when he was in Arabia. It was hard to draw his gaze from her face. Dark, exotic lashes framed the grey eyes beneath delicately arched brows, and her curves were in all the right places. Even the long vest she wore couldn’t hide her form. She had a French heritage. Her English was flawless; so she was probably American. Women weren’t usually wanted, needed or appreciated aboard a ship. There were always exceptions, like his sister and aunt, but in general, having a woman aboard brought bad luck. Chances were that she was important to at least one other person in their group, or else she wouldn’t be here. Taking her hostage would be his first move when the time was right. 

Surrounding the pen was a group of well-armed men. From what Conal could discern based their mannerisms and stance, they were landlubbers. A couple of members with greenish tints to their faces hugged the rail on the larboard side. Only old two salts stood with their legs braced wide and confident. Those two were definitely seamen.

Without waiting for a pistol to poke him in the back, he strolled over to the pen. Stevie and Remi followed, keeping a wary distance. 

“Is your watch unharmed, Remus?” he asked the first mate. 

Remus looked up and his cheeks reddened. “Yes, sir. Sorry, Captain.” He added in a chagrined tone, “We just didn’t expect…”

The man didn’t need to finish the sentence, really. Even Conal wouldn’t have expected anyone to do something this audacious so close to Harbour Town in the late afternoon, fog or no fog. 

Conal scanned their captors. He’d earlier assumed they were pirates, but that seemed incorrect now. There were four other full-grown men, two of which were obviously twins, and all most certainly had to be related in some way. Along with light eyes and hair the color of black coffee, there were similarities in build and stature, as well as in certain facial features. The only exception was one of the grizzled sailors, who looked to be about sixty. 

Remi stood next to Stevie, and in the light of day, it was more obvious he was still a boy, maybe thirteen or fourteen. Conal was an idiot for allowing those two to take him without a fight. Pistols notwithstanding.

A tall, trim man about Conal’s age strode forward, a scowl on his face. “What’s this?”

“Remi and I found him in the galley,” Stevie said.

“Hiding?”

“Bathing.”

The man’s eyes widened and he spun to face the two. Stevie just shrugged. 

“Why didn’t you call for help?”

“Quite honestly, Victor, there wasn’t time,” Stevie said. “We found him in a vulnerable situation and easily handled it on our own.”

Victor rubbed his forehead before brushing a dark lock of hair from his eyes. “Adrian, toss him over with the rest.”

Adrian strode toward him and Conal swallowed. He was normally the tallest in the room, but this one had him by almost a head.

Stevie touched Victor’s arm. “Wait, we might need him. He’s their captain.”

A quick flicker of relief crossed Victor’s stern features before he turned his attention back to Adrian. “Never mind. Make a sweep of the lower decks instead.”

Adrian gave Conal a shrug followed by a humorless grin, then headed toward the ladder. 

An angry shout came from the water below on the port side of the Seeker

“At least toss over the oars, you sons of bitches!”

Conal started to walk toward the voice, but at Stevie’s raised pistol he stopped. “What have you done with the rest of my men?”

Victor answered. “We sent them off in longboats.” He grabbed two oars, walked to the starboard side of the ship and heaved them overboard.

“You half-masted, verminous dawcock!” came the reply from the water below.

At least the men had oars available to row them to shore, although there was no guessing how long it would take to get to them. Conal doubted there were any swimmers among the crew on the longboat. It would take some time to paddle with their hands to where the oars floated on the opposite side of the ship.

 Meanwhile, Victor moved Conal near the mizzen close to the other men then bound his hands and hobbled his legs in irons, effectively depleting his mobility.

The pirates gathered together and the two old seamen began assigning tasks, and it wasn’t long before they were in an argument.

“The anchor has to be brought up before ye can do that, ye dim-witted dog.”

“I know that! But we need feet on the yards and arms on the sheets if we’re going to get underway, you vermin-ridden old goat.”

Not only did their captors walk the deck like lubbers, they didn’t even look like pirates. There were no missing appendages except for two fingers gone on the oldest salt’s left hand. There were no visible scars, and for the most part, none of the younger men showed the effects of sun-darkened skin or scurvy. 

Curious indeed.

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Synopsis: An independent young lady meets a bold merchant captain pursued by a band of Caribbean pirates…what could possibly go wrong?

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Captain Landon Hart’s plan to elope with Keelan immediately goes awry when she’s kidnapped by pirates. As usual, the red-haired vixen ends up neck deep in trouble, and it’s not long before she has the pirate captain demanding her head. When they target Landon’s merchant fleet, the only way to keep her safe is to send her away, then lure the pirates into a final confrontation.

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Keelan is determined to discover her true identity, but after that run-in with pirates, she’s forced to put her postpone her plans. With a price on her head and an old enemy out for revenge, Keelan can no longer allow the man she loves to risk his life for her.

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ABOUT CHLOE FLOWERS

Chloe Flowers

A Parrothead at heart, Chloe’s love for pirates began with Peter Pan and continued with Pirates of the Caribbean and ghost stories about pirates from the Outer Banks. She listens to Celtic music while she writes. When life gets too serious, she reads Calvin and Hobbes comics. She lives in Ohio with her tall, dark and handsome husband, three children and two rambunctious dogs, Indiana and Luke, who are named after her two favorite action heroes.

Descended from a family of cooks and gourmet chefs, Chloe is a true foodie and along with working for fortune 500 companies in marketing and teaching MBA students strategic marketing, she also ran a gourmet cookie company. Cooking for a crowd runs in the blood, so her fridge is always full. She deals with stress by baking pies (just ask her college roommates what it was like for them around exam time).

Her idea of a perfect day? Sailing on the caribbean with her family, sun in her face and wind at her back, and finishing the day in the kitchen making a fab gourmet meal and sipping a glass of wine.

The Pirates & Petticoats Series is about spunky heroines and the scoundrels who love them.

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Take Me With You by Nina G. Jones Cover Reveal 9/15/16

COVER REVEAL

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Book Title: Take Me With You
Author: Nina G. Jones
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: October 17, 2016
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book blurb

I watch.
I study.
I prowl.
I hunt.

I always go in with a plan. A set of rules for myself. I don’t take unnecessary risks. That’s how I’ve been able to evade capture all these years.

But there’s something about this girl that is different than the others. When I finally meet her, the rules become a blur. And I break the most important one of all—I take her with me.

——-

It’s just my imagination—that feeling of being watched. That those icy eyes— a vivid turquoise with a distinct golden fleck—aren’t watching me.

It’s just stress. I am the person everyone relies on. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been feeling so content with my life lately. Why I dream those eyes belong to someone who can tear me away from all of my responsibilities.

But these are just shameful fantasies, never meant to breach reality.

Then one night, the dream comes true, only it’s a horrific nightmare.

Now, I only have one task: survival.

excerpt

Patience. It’s the most important tool in my arsenal. I plan every hunt from start to finish. I watch their lives through windows. I learn their routines. I enter their homes and go through their keepsakes and take a small token here or there. Something they won’t notice or assume they have misplaced. I may move a picture. Eat something. Just enough so that somewhere in their subconscious they feel my presence long before I am standing in front of them. That used to be enough. Just being there, surrounded by their things, the vestiges of their daily lives. It used to be enough to look at the tokens I kept and remember the rush I felt being inside the walls I had watched from afar. But that rush faded a long time ago, vanishing in a spectacular eruption the day the one person who understood me died. Without her, the loneliness became unbearable and the rage swelled. It filled me until I could feel it creeping out of my skin, until I was so full of rage and pain that I had to put it on someone else to make it disappear. Watching wasn’t enough. I had to hear their voices. See their faces. Steal their lives. So instead of just taking, I began to leave things behind: tape, rope, gloves, lube.

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meet the authorNina G. Jones is the author of seven full-length novels of various romance and erotica sub-genres. Her latest novel, Take Me With You, releases on October 17th.

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