Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Raising the Stake by Karen Rock





Hiding from the world… 


Tucking herself away in the Adirondack woods was supposed to keep Vivienne Harris safe. From dark memories of the Bronx, from danger, from entanglements. But when an orphaned bear cub raids her pantry and conservation officer Liam Walsh appears with news of poachers nearby, her private, peaceful world is turned upside down!

Suddenly two forces are drawing her out—Button, the cub who needs her help, and Liam, the man who's dead set against her rehabilitating the bear. If she can just win Liam's support, Vivie knows she can give Button a good life. And maybe find the courage to embrace a future with Liam…


“What about the cub?”
His gaze swerved to hers. “I’ll have to put it down if I can’t find the mother.”
Vivie clutched the back of a chair, lightheaded and nauseous. “What? No!” How could he say that so casually? 
“I’ve called around and our wildlife rehabilitators are overloaded. Since the cub is too young to fend for itself, the humane thing to do is—”
“Kill it?” she stormed, interrupting. “How is that humane?” The cub’s frightened eyes came to mind and she backed up against the pantry door. Officer or not, he wouldn’t take the bear. Stop her from helping. It’d come to her home. Had sought refuge here.
He pulled off his hat and rubbed his forehead. “Ma’am, I don’t expect you to understand. But you need to trust me and move aside so that I can do my job.”
“Not a chance,” she ground out, wishing her pepper spray wasn’t across the room.
“Please be reasonable.” He raised his eyebrows, looking harmless. His holstered weapon told a different story.
Maybe she could reason with him, though she’d failed before. There had to be a way to save the cub. “How do you become a wildlife rehabilitator?”
He drew in a long breath and crossed his arms over his chest. “Pass a certification test then work under the supervision of a rehabilitator for six months.”
Tests. She hated them. Had only ever done well on presentation-style exams in culinary school. Still, for the baby bear...anything. “And when is the next one?”
“In a week.” He made a vague motion in the air with his hand. “Look. I’d be happy to discuss that with you another time, but the cub might be suffering. Please step aside so that I can take it.”
She raised her voice over her drumming heartbeat. “I’ll pass the test. Get certified.”
He ran a hand through his hair, making the curl-tipped ends stand up. “You’d have to study hundreds of pages of online material. It’s not easy. Trust me. I took it and barely finished my apprenticeship before my academy training started.”
“So you’re a certified wildlife rehabilitator? You could care for it.”
His chin jerked. “I already have a job.”
Her mind shifted into overdrive, churning up possibilities. “Not next week. You said you’re on vacation. You could take her while I study for the test.”
He blew out a long breath. “I don’t have an enclosure—something you’ll need along with someone to supervise you.”
She tried to come across as commanding, though at five-foot-three inches that was always a challenge. “You could help with both.”
He shook his head, his earnest expression replaced with a wash of annoyance. “Out of the question. There are too many ifs in that idea.”
She tried keeping the heat out of her voice. The DEC. Always so difficult. Especially Walsh. “Why? I’m sure you could call in a favor. Ask one of the rehabilitators to find temporary space for the cub. Then I’ll pass the test and, with your help, be approved to care for it. Don’t you want to do the right thing?”
Wasn’t that his job?
“I do. Which is why I’m taking the bear. Now.”
“Not a chance. You’ll have to go through me first.” She hated to sound dramatic, use a cheesy line from bad TV, but there was no other way to say it.
A crease appeared between his brows, his eyes scanning hers. Finally, he released a long breath.
“How about this—I’ll take her to the vet where they’ll check her jaw, give her some food and a safe place to stay, temporarily, while I continue investigating.”
She considered, wishing she could trust him. But after her dealings with him before, her faith was on the short side.
“Let’s try this,” she countered. “I’ll go with you and stay with the bear until you come back. Then we’ll talk about what happens next.”
He settled his hat back on, pinching the indented top. “There’s no reason to get more involved, ma’am.”
She pulled out her cell and tapped in Maggie’s number. Someone could come by and pick up the pies. Another worker would be called in for an extra shift. The Homestead would manage without her today. She wasn’t leaving the cub’s side until she knew it’d be safe—from nature and the DEC.
“It’s much too late for that, Officer Walsh.”
She studied him for a long, heavy moment, then moved aside. If the cub’s mother was dead, then she’d take on the role.
And nothing was more ferocious than a mama bear…


Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer.  Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and has published five novels with them. Her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and was a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.

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Learning to Move Forward


LEARNING TO MOVE FORWARD
Author: Cynthia P. O'Neill
Series: A Learning Series #3.5
Genre: Contemporary | Erotic Romance
- SYNOPSIS -
Grace Hart was a force to be reckoned with. She’d fought hard in her life to overcome hurt, rejection, and humiliation and won. Her only fear was opening her heart to love. She put up a persona of dominance and kept people at a distance, in order to avoid emotion. But, secretly she craved someone to take control and move her forward in a life she seemed to be stuck in.

Jonathan Waters never believed in love at first site, even scoffed at his brother Garrett, having fallen in love with his wife Laurel at first glance. But, when Grace entered his restaurant, he knew he had to make her his, no matter what it took.

Fate would force them together, but could they overcome issues in the past to secure a future together? They say love can conquer anything, but can it help them Learn to Move Forward?


~ PURCHASE ~


~ A LEARNING SERIES ~
- #oneclick -
Learning to Trust #1 - http://bit.ly/LearningToTrust
Learning to Let Go #2 - http://bit.ly/LearningToLetGoAmzn
Learning to Love Again #3 - http://bit.ly/LearningToLoveAgain

~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~
Cynthia P. O'Neill 

I grew up in a small town in South Florida called Clewiston and moved to Central Florida to attend college. I married my friend, love, and soul mate and still reside in the area with our amazing son, and a feisty, four-legged little doggie boy.

In my books, I draw on my background in healthcare, business, and science, along with my husband's engineering and wireless technology knowledge.
I currently write on all levels of Romance. The Learning Series is for those who like a little more steam with their books, falling into the categories of Contemporary and verging on Erotica, with a hint of Suspense. The Remembrance Series encompasses Young Adult, with a touch of Paranormal activity and a hint of Historical romance. A new contemporary romance series is underway, called Need. It will be different than the others, because each book will focus on a new couple, while all of the characters will still have a large presence throughout the series.

I try to make my writing very personal and close to her heart. Regular life is the inspiration for my books, but I'm only limited by imagination taking ideas to new heights, opening up possibilities that would normally not exist.

On a more personal note...I love to cook and create in the kitchen and on the bbq grill. I sometimes lose myself in a song at the piano. I often sing with my son while we are driving or making dinner together. I enjoy crafts (flower arranging, making wreaths, painting pottery, needle point and drawing in pencil and charcoals). My music tastes are eclectic at best, ranging from classical piano to hard rock/heavy metal. It all depends on the song, group, and if it has a good beat or is a soulful ballad.

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Ava has watched her parents, Caleb and Maggie, live the perfect fairy tale, the perfect love story, played out in front of her eyes her entire life. Her family is love, life, and happiness. The Jacobsons are everything a family should be and Ava is loved and well taken care of. But the one thing that’s missing from her life is the one thing she’s waited for every day, the one thing her kind knows will make them complete, the one thing they thought was gone and lost forever.

Her significant.

Seth has lived with the Watsons his entire life. They’re the only family he knows, but he knows that there are things they keep from him. He knows that they lie and they do unspeakable evil, things from when he was a child that he can barely remember that cling to the edges of his memory. He barely remembers his real mother and all he knows is what he’s told. He doesn’t know what to trust. He wants to believe that the Watsons love and care for him, have his best interest at heart, but isn’t so sure of that anymore when he finally—after a lifetime of waiting for her—meets his soulmate, and the Watson’s first act is to try to take her away from him.

The Virtuoso worlds collide, hearts are exposed, humans are endangered, and the lives of Seth and Ava are changed forever. They’ll have to love without judgment or reservation, they’ll have to be wise and accepting beyond their years, they’ll have to forgive for things before they’ve even happened, they’ll have to trust without seeing, have faith without knowing, and they’ll have to light their own way in the dark when everyone else is blind to show them the way. And more than anything else…

… they’ll fight like hell to keep each other.



Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1EuNz42






When I entered the kitchen where the breakfast nook was, everyone stopped eating and talking, which made me feel so uncomfortable until Seth stood up so fast that his chair almost tipped over behind him.
He let his out in a slow, low noise before… “Wow.”
Mom chuckled and leaned back with a smile, clapping twice. “And that, ladies and gentleman, is how it’s done.”
My neck was so pink I could feel it, and Seth—realizing he’d just practically fallen at my feet in front of everyone—smiled that smile that tore through me like tissue paper and then turned it on my mother. She sat up straighter and looked at me with wide eyes.
‘I know’, I mouthed as I moved toward him.
“Eat, Ave,” Dad said, knowing what I was doing.
“I’m going to be late. And it’s the last day of school before winter break.”
“Gee, I wonder why you’re late—” Rodney began. I punched his arm.
“I’ll just take this.” I grabbed a biscuit, stuck a piece of sausage in it, and wrapped it in a napkin. “I’ll eat it,” I promised.
“I’ll make sure she eats,” Seth told them. Mom came and hugged him, telling him something in his ear and he nodded. “Thanks, Mrs. Jacobson. I will. I promise.”
Dad patted his shoulder and told him to make sure to stop by anytime, no invitation needed. Dad went to the counter and started making me a coffee in a to-go cup. I knew he was doing it, because I saw him pull the Hazelnut creamer from the fridge. But I saw him pull out a second to-go cup…and he made it black. How did he already know that Seth took his coffee black?!
“What is going on here?” I muttered under my breath.
Seth took both of the cups from my dad and guided me with an arm around my back. “Thanks for the coffee and breakfast. Bye, guys.”
“Bye, Seth!” Mom called cheerily.
I looked at the snow and the porch as we came outside to make sure that everything was the same, that I hadn’t entered an episode of a TV show of some alternate reality or something.
I looked at Seth. “If you tell me your name is The Doctor, I’m outta here.”
He laughed loudly. “And now you’re a “Doctor Who” fan? Freaking adorable,” he mumbled under his breath. “Your parents are awesome, Ava.” He was so sincere.
“I was worried I was going to have to save you.”
“No need.” He used his elbow to swipe the snow off of a spot and then set the coffees on his hood. The truck was already cranked so he must have the kind where you do it from the key fob because there were no footprints in the snow. He opened the door, helped me in, and then got the coffees, handing mine to me. “They were awesome about not making me feel weird. Even Rodney wasn’t too bad.”
He laughed before shutting my door.
My dress wasn’t too short, but I did notice how it rose up mid-thigh when I sat down. But the leggings kept the ensemble decent. And warm.
The truck was so warm, but I still slid over as soon as he shut my door. When he got in and saw how close I was, his grin was adorable. He got in and turned the heat on even more, looking at my legs and shutting his eyes for a few seconds too long. “You’re not too cold with those on?”
“Leggings?” I laughed.
“Is that what they’re called?” he half-growled as he backed out and got on the road. “They should be called evil.”
“They’re just like pants, just thinner. Jeans, just not made of quite the same thing. Jeggings.”
He laughed and shook his head. “As long as you’re warm, sweetheart, call ‘em whatever you want.” He looked at my legs again and then away with a little groan. “I’ll just call them evil because I can see every inch of your legs in those things.”
My heart practically did the Tennessee Waltz behind my ribs. “And that’s evil?” I squeaked.
“Evil,” he reiterated and smiled.








Shelly is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a fantastical husband and stay-at-home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. She hoards paperbacks, devours sweet tea, searches year-round for candy corn, and loves to spend time with her family and friends, go out to eat at new restaurants, site-see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music, and, of course, loves to read, but doesn't have much time to these days with all the characters filling her head begging to come out. She is author to over twenty books and counting!


Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn’t go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.
















Rundown by Teresa Michaels Cover Reveal

Rundown
Curveball Series #2
by Teresa Michaels
Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations

Synopsis

Breanne Sullivan never expected to find love again. Allowing herself to move on wasn’t easy, and now it may be too late. Determined to give herself a second chance, she will go to any lengths to prove her love to Drew. If only she could find him. Desperate to numb his heartache in the wake of Breanne’s rejection, with something other than women and booze, Drew Scott packs his bags for the West Coast. Distance and a fresh start are just what he needs to heal the wounds caused by the only woman to ever captivate his heart. But when the past and present collide in an unexpected way, Breanne and Drew quickly learn that things aren’t always what they seem. Caught between solving the mysteries that haunt them and getting the happily ever after they deserve, the two once again find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that could destroy them both. Answers come at a dangerous price. Sacrifices must be made in order to protect the ones they love. Can Breanne prove her love to Drew before its too late? Or will opposing forces interfere and destroy any chance of them having a future together?

Meet the Author

Teresa Michaels lives in the New England area with her husband and children.  Curveball is her debut novel.

Giveaway

Rachel M Raithby's Release Day for Holocaust



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Holocaust-SYNOPSIS
She's been named Lexia, 'man's defender', by the one who raised her and died for her, the man she called her father.
She's been named Maura, 'for darkness', by the woman who created her, a mother who sees her as a weapon, and tool for power.
She has battled for her freedom, for the revenge of her father’s death, and then given it all up to save the man she loves.
She's given up her soul, her humanity, and now, there is only one question left. Can she create her own destiny or is she bound to follow the fate set for her before she was born?
Maura?
Lexia?
Only one thing is certain; war is coming.

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4 Stars

Stuck between being Lexia and Maura, she has to find a way to come to terms with everything shes done and find a way to free herself from her mother. Everyone is looking to her as a leader to find a way to help everyone free of the hell they are in and she has more people now than ever she must protect.

It started with doing what was necessary to protect her love and mate Lincoln, now she has so many more who require her protection from Lucy and her evil ways.

Lexia is breaking apart from the inside being Maura allowed her to do what was necessary to keep those she loved safe, but if she ever goes back to being Lexia she'll have to find a way to deal with the terrible things she has had to do.
Everything comes to a head in this one and we see several POV's as we find out how this story ends. It's not an easy journey and while she has had to be strong for everyone else you see her cracking and it's a journey you don't wanna miss to see how she comes out of everything that has happened to her. Intense and crazy the conclusion to the series still has a few surprises up its sleeve you never see coming!Holocaust-TRAILER

HOLOCAUST


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HolocaustEXCERPT

Her breath gasped out of her in a sudden hiss, dying off to a gargled cry as the cage inside of her burst open. Every kill, every emotion she’d locked away, burst out.
Her foot hit the break before he’d even jumped in her path – because she knew he was here. There was only one person in the world who could strip away every shield she’d wrapped around herself. Only one person who could reach her soul, her heart through the mountain of pain and torment inside of her.
“Linc,” she cried breathlessly, her eyes searching the dark night.
Finding the glow of his eyes first, Lexia stared as the black panther loped out of the trees, flashing his eyes at her.
He’d found her. After all this time, he’d found her. Stepping out of the vehicle in a daze, the torrential rain soaked her clothes instantly. Her feet struggled to find footing in the sodden earth.  She walked toward the majestic cat. Standing in the beam of the headlights, overcome with emotions, she was stripped of words, lost in the chaos of her mind.
“Linc,” Lexia whispered, afraid her dream may shatter into a million pieces, but Lincoln wasn’t a dream. He’d found her – just like she always knew he would. Her past had been galloping toward her and had finally collided.
“Lexia?” Derrick murmured softly, placing his hand on her shoulder. The caring gesture snapped her out the daze.
“Take your hand from my mate, hunter,” Lincoln growled as he suddenly shifted.
“Lincoln, leave him,” she said, taking a tentative step toward him. “What are you doing here?” She sighed longingly.
“I promised you I’d never let the darkness take you. You are mine, Lex. The hunters can’t have you.”
Sucked back to a memory, Lexia dropped to her knees screaming, the skull-cracking pain in her head too much to bear. She could hear Lincoln and Derrick shouting at her, but she’d lost all control of her body. Falling forward, her hands gripped the ground as they were swallowed by thick mud.
She sat in Lincoln’s arms. His warmth seeped into her bones, warming her down to her very soul.
“Killing is never easy, Lex, but sometimes it’s necessary. Sometimes we have no choice. You have to find balance, find a way to deal with it before it destroys you.”
“No, Linc, you’re wrong. The killing, that’s easy. To me it’s as natural as breathing. Admitting deep down inside to enjoying it, to relish in the power I have over people, that’s the hard part. That part will destroy me, because one day, I might stop being disgusted with myself. One day, I might truly be lost and every kill – every life I take – will give me pleasure, make me smile. I hope that day never comes.”
“Lexia,” he whispered.
“Just give me space, Linc, please?” She rose from his lap, feeling like she didn’t deserve his love.
“Lexia, that will never happen. Are you listening? I will never let that happen.”
The memory broke free the feelings she’d hidden inside of her. Gripping her head, she rocked as she remembered faces of the dead, their screams, their pleas, and her joy.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered to them. “I’m so sorry.” Dragging in a deep breath in hopes of calming herself, she concentrated to the frantic beating of her heart. Each pump whooshed in her ears, drowning out the memories.
Her eyes found Lincoln. Remembering how he’d smiled, how his eyes would burn with desire…she remembered every sweet smile, every caress. Oh, how she missed his touch, missed feeling like the most treasured person in the world.
It didn’t matter how much it hurt to feel as she did around him. It didn’t matter how many people Maura had killed with her hands. Lincoln had the power to reach through every layer of darkness. There was no power equal to his love.
The words slipped from her mouth before she could stop them. “My pretty panther,” she said on a broken sob. Sitting back on her heels, she looked up at him as he took a step toward her. Rain mixed with the tears running down her face as she remained powerless to move.
Lincoln dropped to his knees with a pained cry, his eyes looking vulnerably human. Unable to speak, she smiled through her sobs, tilting her head ever so slightly before giving in and falling into his arms. Pulling back, she stared into his eyes, her fingers touching his face, as he touched hers, lips crashing together in desperation. They kissed, rain dripping from their hair, mingling with their tears.
The rain blinded them and froze their tortured souls. It was tragic and divine, and as they pulled apart, Lexia felt herself fracture. Every broken, patched back together piece of her fell apart. Her power left her in a broken cry as her eyes turned blue. She fell onto her hands, resting her head against his chest.
“Linc, you should have never come. Why did you come? You’ve put yourself in danger,” she said against his chest, taking every effort to keep the tremble from her words, yet failing.
“How could I just leave you? Come with me, Lex,” he begged.
“I can’t. It’s not that simple.” She wished there was some other way. Wished she had somehow ended up in a universe where her ledger was clean.
© Rachel M Raithby 2015
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Holocaust-TRAILER

Lexia




Whispers Of Darkness

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Holocaust-SYNOPSIS
Drawn into a world she thought impossible, Lexia’s innocent night of partying leaves her dazed, confused and asking questions she’s not sure she wishes to know the answers to.
Attacked by vampires, Lexia’s ability to defend herself triggers events she can't escape. Before long, she struggles to keep up a façade around her friends and family.
Then, there is Lincoln. Finding herself irresistibly drawn to him, Lexia senses he desires something more dangerous than a simple romance. Lincoln has secrets and what she learns changes her life forever.
A story of love, loss, and, betrayal, Lexia and Lincoln’s lives will never be the same again.

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Holocaust-SYNOPSIS
All Lexia ever wanted was to graduate from high school and leave Deadwood.  Now she would give anything to have her quiet life back.  With her Father murdered and her best friend, Alice kidnapped. Life is anything but Simple.
Despite the odds, Lexia and Lincoln, the panther shifter she has fallen in Love with, rescue Alice.  On their journey, Lexia meets the one person she least expected to see again, her mother.
Seemingly abandoned as a baby, secrets unravel and lexia learns who she really is.  Her Mother created her and she was created for one purpose only...
Darkness.
Only one thing is certain, sacrifices will be made and lives will be lost.Holocaust-BOOKLINKS

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© Rachel M Raithby 2015
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Born and raised in N.E.England before moving to New Zealand in 2008. She now lives in Queensland, Austraila with her Husband, three Children and a Golden Lab. Paranormal Romance Author of The Deadwood Hunter Series and YA Paranormal Author of Winter Wolf. A New Dawn Novel She hopes you love her characters as much as she does :)

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