The Right Kind of Rogue Blog Tour

The Right Kind of Rogue Blog Tour

The amusing but not fluffy stories of Valerie Bowman are always a favorite around here. Her newest book in Playful Brides series is released today and we have an excerpt to share with you. Read the excerpt here.

You can read our review of THE RIGHT KIND OF ROGUE here.

Can two star-crossed lovers come together—until death do they part?

Viscount Hart Highgate has decided to put his rakish ways behind him and finally get married. He may adore a good brandy or a high-speed carriage race, but he takes his duties as heir to the earldom seriously. Now all he has to do is find the right kind of woman to be his bride—ideally, one who’s also well-connected and well-funded. . .

Meg Timmons has loved Hart, the brother of her best friend, ever since she was an awkward, blushing schoolgirl. If only she had a large dowry—or anything to her name at all. Instead, she’s from a family that’s been locked in a bitter feud with Hart’s for years. And now she’s approaching her third London season, Meg’s chances with him are slim to none. Unless a surprise encounter on a deep, dark night could be enough to spark a rebellious romance. . .for all time?

Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides novels are:

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today
“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews “Smoldering.” —Booklist 

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Indie Bound

Powells

 

VALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides and Playful Brides series.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @Valeriegbowman

Facebook @ValerieBowmanAuthor

Pinterest

St. Martin’s Press Holiday Romance Titles

It’s time for the holiday romances! Even if the weather is still warm and closer to Halloween, there are some fabulous new winter holiday books coming your way.

St. Martin’s Press has a bunch of holiday books and novellas and short stories coming out for your consideration. I’ve read two and they were both very good.

DECK THE HALLS

Already out is Donna Alward’s novella from her Darling, VT series, DECK THE HALLS which might be one of my favorite Christmas romance stories. You can read my review here. I gave it 4.5 stars.

With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

Author Bio:

A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody’s Baby, and Someone to Love.

Buy link:

Deck the Halls

Donna Alward Questions and Answers

When do the holidays official start for you?

December 1 – or the weekend just preceding it. That’s when we get out the decorations and go crazy.

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?

THE MOVIES. I love sitting with my kids (who are of the nearly-adult variety) and watching holiday movies with a glass of wine or hot cocoa.

Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?

Tons! There are certain things we bake. We have a whole bunch of Christmas Eve traditions, including a barbecue (steak!), putting presents under the tree, going for a drive to see the lights, and watching The Polar Express. And even at their age, they still ask me to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

What’s your favorite holiday movie?

I have too many – my fave depends on my mood. Top contenders: Christmas Vacation, Christmas with the Kranks, White Christmas, Love Actually, The Polar Express.

Do you have a favorite holiday book?

Hmmm. I don’t tend to re-read holiday themed books, but I’ll confess that I have a soft spot for any (all) of the Christmas books in the Chesapeake Shores series. Those O’Briens… 🙂

What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?

Nat King Cole’s version of The Christmas Song. Simplicity and nostalgia all rolled into one smooth voice.

What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?

Cozy nights with a glass of wine and a book. LOL! Seriously though, I miss living near the Rockies, because the skiing there spoiled me for anywhere else.

What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?

One year my sister put together a recipe book with our mom’s fave recipes over the years. She added some of her own, too, but if I want something that Mom used to make back in the eighties? It’s in that book!

Do you have any items on your wish list this year?

Yes! Yoga socks, books, and a kindle.

Any resolutions or goals for next year?

Do better. 🙂

CHRISTMAS IN KILTS

The second book I’ve been fortunate to read is out at the end of the month. This is a collection of stories all with a Scottish connection. My review is here. I gave the entire collection 4 stars.

Tis the season to fall in love! These five bestselling authors bring you great tiding of highlanders and romances this holiday season!

A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin
A village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander who visits for the holidays and brings with him an offer and hope.

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia Cornwall
When a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart.

A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen Evans
She’s ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he’s trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family’s wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.

LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia Kent
What happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas… maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.

SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrick
An encounter between an English officer and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.

 

Buy Link:

Christmas in Kilts

One of my favorite stories in the collection is by Bronwen Evans. We are fortunate to also have a holiday question and answer from Bronwen.

Bronwen Evans Question and Answers

When do the holidays official start for you?

Mid December

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?

Guilt free reading and being with my family. Even an author needs down time.

Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?

Besides putting up my Christmas tree? I always make a pavlova with kiwi fruit for our Christmas day dessert. Remember it’s summer in New Zealand.

What’s your favorite holiday movie?

I have three – Love Actually (one of my favourite movies of all time) and Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. I love action movies.

Do you have a favorite holiday book?

No, but I will say one Christmas a friend kept telling me to read JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood as I had never read it. So I decided to read book 1. Well, over the Christmas break I read all 12 in a row!

What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?

Mary’s Boy Child by Boney M

What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?

Well, it’s summer in New Zealand at Christmas, and I love simply getting out my Kindle, pulling up my lounger, and lying by my pool reading a great romance book.

What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?

I love giving, who doesn’t. So I usually give anonymous gifts to my friends children. I knew one child was saving for a present but would be short, so I sent him a card with money in it from Santa. Seeing his joy was priceless. My most memorable gift was when I was 7 and I got my first puppy. I’ll never forget seeing his little nose poking over the edge of the box and hearing his little barks.

Do you have any items on your wish list this year?

Not really. I have a book wish list and at least everyone knows I’m easy to buy for.

Any resolutions or goals for next year?

I haven’t thought about it yet, but I usually just wish for my family to be happy and healthy.

 

 

Release Day for the Newest Victorian Rebels Book – The Scot Beds His Wife

Release Day for the Newest Victorian Rebels Book – The Scot Beds His Wife

Genres: Historical

October is a good month this year. Two of my all-time favorite series get new additions. First up is The Scot Beds His Wife, the newest book in the fabulous Victorian Rebels series. The newest book doesn’t disappoint and you can read my review here.

I also have some special extras for readers including a excerpt and a Rafflecopter giveaway. Follow the instructions below to enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of The Scot Beds His Wife. (U.S. Addresses only).

The Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books a Million

Indie Bound

Powells

Author Bio:

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter – @kerrigan_byrne

Facebook – @Kerriganbyrneauthor

Pinterest

Instagram – @kerriganbyrne

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Release Day for The Playboy Prince and the Nanny

Today is release day for the first book in Donna Alward’s new series THE PLAYBOY PRINCE AND THE NANNY.  In celebration for release day, we have some special extras for you!

First, we have an excerpt from Chapter 1 of the book to give you a feel for the characters.  Read it here!

We also have some information from author Donna Alward about the book and her new series.  Read more here.

Our review can be read here.

Summary:

Prince Diego Navarro is the “spare” to his brother’s “heir”. While Raoul performs his crown prince duties with the appropriate sense of nobility and poise, Diego’s garnered a bit of a reputation as a playboy – despite the good he does behind the scenes with his favorite charities.

But when tragedy strikes and his sister-in-law is killed in a car accident, Diego knows it’s time for the playboy to step up. If not for his brother, then for his niece and nephew, who now find themselves without a mother.

Which is where Rose Walters comes in.

Rose isn’t intimidated by money or glitz. The veteran nanny has worked for the rich and minimally famous, but a manor house is no comparison to a castle… or the handsome princes who live there. However, the worst thing she could possibly do is fall for the gorgeous playboy with a surprising heart of gold. He’s a prince; she’s the help. He lives in the tabloids; she loves her privacy. But when her two darling charges start to play matchmaker, Diego and Rose don’t stand a chance.

The Playboy Prince and the Nanny is the first book in Donna Alward’s royal duology.

Author Bio:

A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody’s Baby, and Someone to Love.

Buy Links:

B&N Nook

Google Play

Kindle

Kobo

eBooks.com

iBooks

 

Social Links:

 

Twitter, @DonnaAlward

Author Website

Facebook

Author Blog

Pinterest

GoodReads

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The Highland Commander Release Day

The Highland Commander Release Day

Today is the release day for a new author favorite of mine Amy Jarecki.  I just started reading her books with her new Lords of the Highlands series and I can’t resist her Scottish men embedded deep in the historical period.

Today Top 10 Romance Books also have some extras for our readers.  The review for THE HIGHLAND COMMANDER is here.  You can also read an excerpt of the book.  At the end of this post is also a link to the Rafflecoper giveaway.

Enjoy!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: THE HIGHLAND COMMANDER

Author: Amy Jarecki

Series: Lords of the Highlands, #2

On Sale: June 27, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $3.99 USD

Audio: $22.98 USD

Add to Goodreads

She cannot resist the man behind the mask…

As the illegitimate daughter of a Scottish earl, Lady Magdalen Keith is not one to partake in lavish balls or other frivolities. Yet at her father’s urging, she agrees to dance with the battle-weary officers at this year’s holiday masquerade. It’s practically her civic duty! But when one such officer—whose dashing good looks cannot be disguised by a mere mask—sweeps her off her feet and into his arms, the innocent lass can’t help herself. Her lips are his for the taking.

But will he betray his country for a kiss?

Navy lieutenant Aiden Murray has spent too many months at sea to be immune to the charms of this lovely beauty. Even after he returns to his ship, she lives in his dreams. But when he discovers Maddie’s true identity—and learns that her father is accused of treason—will the brawny Scot risk his life to follow his heart?

WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER

YouTube

ORDER THE BOOK HERE

Amazon

Audible

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Google Play

iBooks

IndieBound

Kobo

THE LORDS OF THE HIGHLANDS SERIES

THE HIGHLAND DUKE, #1

THE HIGHLAND COMMANDER, #2

THE HIGHLAND GUARDIAN, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Jarecki is a descendant of an ancient Lowland clan and adores Scotland. Though she now resides in southwest Utah, she received her MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Winning multiple writing awards, she found her niche in the genre of Scottish historical romance. Amy writes steamy edge-of-your-seat action adventures with rugged men and fascinating women who weave their paths through the brutal eras of centuries past.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

FOLLOW FOREVER ONLINE

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Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

 

RAFFLECOPTER

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Release Day: Silver Silence with an Excerpt

Release Day: Silver Silence with an Excerpt

Today is the release of Nalini Singh’s SILVER SILENCE, the kick-off to a new “season” of the Psy-Changeling series.  Called Trinity, this series builds on the original fifteen book series but introduces readers to new characters and situations (while not forgetting about old ones).  The tri-racial world of Psy, Changelings and humans have entered a new phase.  Various groups have made attempts to reconstitute a united world after the fall of Silence, but various terrorist groups are plotting against them.  In this new world, there should be no limits on a Psy and a Changeling falling in love (as others have done before them) but Silver and Valentin face their own set of challenges.

 

Read our 5 star review of SILVER SILENCE here.

We have also been given an excerpt of the new book to share with our readers.  Enjoy!!

SILVER SILENCE by Nalini Singh

Excerpt

Laughing at the cubs’ antics, Valentin jogged down the slight incline and waded into what had to be ice-cold water after kicking off his boots and socks. He splashed the cubs, laughed when they splashed him back. Running so they could chase him, he turned abruptly and chased them back, to their unhidden joy.

Silver took a seat on the grass. When the female bear looked her way, she inclined her head in a silent greeting. The bear did the same, then they both watched an alpha bear play with two energetic cubs, his hands holding rough care for their small bodies.

By the time Valentin made his way back to her, he was drenched and his eyes weren’t human in any way. When he spoke, his already deep voice was so low it felt like thunder against her skin. “Couldn’t resist,” he said, pushing back his wet hair with one big hand. “If you weren’t in recovery and if I wasn’t in terror of Nova’s wrath, I’d have invited you. The small monsters wanted to play with you.”

Silver didn’t get to her feet. “Can we stay here a little longer?” It was patent that Valentin had an extremely high tolerance for the cold, but he might want to dry off.

“Sure,” he said, and, moving away several feet, shook off the wet.

Fine droplets settled on the skin of her cheek, but she didn’t flinch at the unintentional tactile contact. She also controlled her urge to reach up and touch the water where it lay against her skin. There was no reason to do that, and Silver was alive because she only did things that were rational.

Settling beside her, Valentin waved at the cubs as their guardian led their tired forms toward a path in the trees that was at the same level as the stream. “Gentler climb,” Valentin told her.

“They seem too exhausted to make it to Denhome.”

“It’s all an act—they’re hoping for a ride on their aunt’s back.” His tone held the same fond affection she’d heard when he spoke of Dima. “It’d take more than a few minutes’ play in the water to wipe out those two.”

The cubs had played with Valentin for almost a half hour. “They’re hyperactive?”

“They’re baby bears.”

Silver watched as those baby bears turned toward her and rose up on their back paws, as if in challenge. A stern sound from their caretaker, and they dropped down and scrambled to catch up with her. Their bodies disappeared into the trees as dusk began to turn from orange to shadowy gray.

Beside her, Valentin sprawled out, bracing himself on his elbows. His drenched T-shirt clung to the ridged muscles of his abdomen, pulled tight across his pectoral muscles, shaped itself over his shoulders. His jeans weren’t much better, outlining the raw muscle of his thighs.

Valentin Nikolaev was a man of violent physical strength even in human form. Yet he clearly had iron control over it; when he’d played with the children, they’d displayed zero fear of their alpha.

“You thought about where you’re going to live when you escape the bears who’ve kidnapped you?”

When she raised an eyebrow at him, he grinned. “Fringe netter with his own Internet channel sent out a breaking report last night. Pasha—who obviously needs more work duties—made up a fake account and posted a comment swearing to have seen you being pulled into a black van by six burly bears in bear form.”

“You don’t seem too concerned.” Amber eyes and deep voice, he remained very much a bear in human form.

“Well, according to this ‘eyewitness,’ the getaway driver was in bear form, too. Must’ve been tough for him to steer with one paw since he was drinking a beer at the same time.”

“Bears,” Silver said, making Valentin throw his head back and laugh that huge laugh that wrapped around her.

 

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2017.

Twist Release Day Blitz

Twist Release Day Blitz

TWIST

By Kylie Scott

A Dive Bar Novel

From New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott comes the second sizzling stand-alone novel in the Dive Bar series!

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot bearded bartender Joe Collins only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, fascinating, and pretty much everything he’s been looking for in a woman—except that she lives across the country. Soon they’re emailing up a storm and telling each other their deepest, darkest secrets…except the one that really matters.

When Alex pays Joe a surprise visit, however, they both discover that when it comes to love, it’s always better with a twist.


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS | Amazon CA | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

Links:

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/kyliescottwriter/

FACEBOOK FAN GROUP:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/599197093487040/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/KylieScottbooks

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/kylie_scott_books/

GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6476625.Kylie_Scott

The Billionaires Blog Tour

The Billionaires Blog Tour

100 Shades of Sin…

In The Billionaires, Calista Fox delivers a sexy and sensuous friends-to-lovers tale with a delicious love triangle twist.

Jewel Catalano, Rogen Angelini, and Vin D’Angelo had been childhood best friends, spending every possible moment with one another. Rogen became her first love, the first one to show her what pleasure could be. Until a volatile feud erupted between their powerful California wine country families and she and Rogen were torn apart from each other. What she didn’t expect was to find comfort and passion like she had never known in Vin’s arms and bed. But when that too ended in disaster, Jewel moved to San Francisco to work for the Catalano empire. Years later, a series of daring acquisitions brings Jewel back to River Cross, the hometown where Rogen and Vin have recently returned as well. Jewel has the curves, the smarts, and the success to bring any man to his knees—especially the two men who remained best friends and still burn to possess her.

Mixing family business with erotic pleasure ignites a smoldering love triangle. But in order to pull off the bold deal that will build the trios’ own legacy and to stay in their heady, sensual paradise, they must discover what true love really is—or lose everything their hearts’ desire.

 

Author Bio:

Calista Fox is a former PR professional, now writing fast-paced, steamy books to set readers’ pulses racing. She has won many Reviewer’s and Reader’s Choice Awards, as well as Best Book Awards. Calista has crossed the country many times over by corporate jet and travels internationally, always with her laptop in tow to capture intriguing story elements and exotic locales! She is also a member of Romance Writers of America and a Past President/Advisor of the Phoenix chapter. Her books include the Lovers Triangle and the Burned Deep series.

The Highland Duke Release Day Blitz

The Highland Duke Release Day Blitz

Today we are part of the Release Day Blitz for the first book in Amy Jarecki’s new series.  The Highland Duke releases today and we gave it 4 stars in our latest review.  For all of you who love Scottish romances and wild adventures, this book is for you.

Continue reading to find out more, read an excerpt and enter a giveaway for one of 10 copies of the book!

Title: THE HIGHLAND DUKE
Author: Amy Jarecki
Series: Lords of the Highlands, #1
On Sale: March 28, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $3.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

 

Indie author Amy Jarecki makes her print debut with a brand-new series about rugged Highland lords.

She’ll put her life on the line for him . . .

When Akira Ayres finds the brawny Scot with a musket ball in his thigh, the healer has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to save his life. Even if it means fleeing with him across the Highlands to tend to his wounds while English redcoats are closing in. Though Akira is as fierce and brave as any of her clansmen, even she’s intimidated by the fearsome, brutally handsome Highlander who refuses to reveal his name.

Yet she can never learn his true identity.

Geordie knows if Akira ever discovers he’s the Duke of Gordon, both her life and his will be forfeit in a heartbeat. The only way to keep the lass safe is to ensure she’s by his side day and night. But the longer he’s with her, the harder it becomes to think of letting her go. Despite all their differences, despite the danger-he will face death itself to make her his . . .

Read an excerpt here!

BUY THE BOOK HERE

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Google Play

iBooks

Kobo

Target

Walmart

THE LORDS OF THE HIGHLANDS SERIES

THE HIGHLAND DUKE, #1

THE HIGHLAND COMMANDER, #2

Series Page on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Jarecki is a descendant of an ancient Lowland clan and adores Scotland. Though she now resides in southwest Utah, she received her MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Winning multiple writing awards, she found her niche in the genre of Scottish historical romance. Amy writes steamy edge-of-your-seat action adventures with rugged men and fascinating women who weave their paths through the brutal eras of centuries past.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

FOLLOW FOREVER ONLINE

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

RAFFLECOPTER

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

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Blog Tour Excerpt: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days

How To Tame a Beast in Seven Days
The Embraced Series
By Kerrelyn Sparks

Kerrelyn Spark’s previous series, Love at Stake, constantly hit the New York Times bestseller list and created a massive fan following for her witty vampires. With the end of her vampire series, comes the start of an extraordinary new fantasy romance series called The Embraced beginning with HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; March 7, 2017). Set in a medieval mythical world, the series explores a special group of people with powers born when the two moons of the world form an eclipse. In the start of the series we meet Luciana, who can speak to the dead, and the Beast of Benwick who can controlling lightening.

Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy – and her father’s life.

Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage…until he discovers she’s vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?

If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?

Filled with romance, humor, and a beautifully imagined new world, HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS is a fantasy in the vein of Game of Thrones with all the fun of The Princess Bride. Luciana is a vibrant leading lady that will have readers rooting for her spunk and devotion to her family while the Beast is a swoon worthy hero worth taming.

About the Author

KERRELYN SPARKS is the New York Times bestselling author of the Love at Stake series. Visit her online at www.kerrelynsparks.com.

And Now an Excerpt from the new book:

As Leo and his companions rode north, the rain began, and the rolling green landscape gave way to increasingly taller hills. Their horses went at full gallop, eating up the miles before the rain could turn the dirt road into a sea of mud.

By the time they passed the second beacon, the rain was pounding on them. Their uniforms were drenched, their hair plastered to their heads. The hills had become mountains, and flocks of sheep huddled in the narrow glens where a few trees could give them shelter.

Thunder clapped overhead, and Leo spotted the first flash of lightning to the west. Good. He was going to need all the power he could get. Normal people didn’t stand a chance against the winged creatures that breathed fire. People like his father.

Leo had heard the story many times over a campfire. His father’s last battle had been against the Norveshki. Cedric had plowed through a dozen of their fierce warriors, but when a dragon had attacked, all his bravery and expertise had been in vain.

Another flash of lightning, this one a little closer. Leo would need to break off from the group soon. As they neared the village, a mountain loomed to the right, topped with craggy cliffs and a beacon tower. It was Mount Baedan, which the village was named after. He spotted a cliff that overlooked the village. That was the perfect place.

“My lord.” Nevis drew his attention to a horseman charging toward them. A scout.

Leo and his companions slowed to a stop. “Report,” he said, loud enough to be heard over the pouring rain.

The scout bowed his head, causing a puddle of rain to slosh off the brim of his cap onto his chest. “Four dragons from Norveshka have attacked the village of Mount Baedan.”

“No warriors?” Leo asked.

“None, my lord. Just the dragons. They swooped into the valley and set the village ablaze to force the people from their homes. While the villagers ran to a nearby cave, two of the dragons captured two small children and flew away.”

Leo stiffened, his hands tightening on the reins, as the men around him cursed under their breaths. Ten years ago, the dragons had started snatching sheep. Now they were nabbing small children.

He glanced westward, hoping to see another flash of lightning streak across the sky. He needed the power now. “The rain put out the fires,” the scout continued. “The villagers are starting to leave the cave. A group of men

rode out, hoping to rescue the two children.”

Leo swallowed hard as bile rose up his throat. The rescue attempt would be in vain. Men on horseback could not cross the mountains as fast as a dragon could fly.

Thunder cracked overhead so loud, the men flinched. “Ride on to the village,” Leo shouted at them. “The last

two dragons could still be close by. I’ll take care of them. You protect the people.” He turned his horse and started up the slope of Mount Baedan.

Higher and higher his horse climbed, but eventually the path became too muddy. Leo dismounted and patted the horse, the quilted material now drenched through.

“Go join the others.” He gave the horse a slap on the rump, and it started down the mountain.

Leo abandoned the muddy path that snaked back and forth up the mountainside. Instead, he scrambled straight up the rocky slope. He was halfway up when a bolt of lightning shot from the sky and struck the ground thirty yards away, blasting a boulder into bits.

Yes! The lightning had found him and was zeroing in. Energy from the blast rolled toward him, seeking him out in waves he couldn’t see, but could feel. His skin tingled. His hair, which had been plastered to his head, now crack- led as it lifted into the air.

Thunder boomed overhead, sending another wave of energy toward him. It slithered under his damp clothes, giving him a slight shock. Then an increase in power. And speed. He charged up the mountainside faster than any human could go.

Anticipation swelled inside him as he reached the first set of cliffs. Another lightning bolt ripped through the sky, this one hitting only fifteen yards away. It blasted through the rocks, causing the cliff to crumble away. As the ledge beneath his feet trembled, he ran and leaped.

He landed on the next cliff six feet away as thunder cracked and the first cliff tumbled down the mountainside. More energy surged into him, and he scrambled higher up the mountain. Faster. In a race against the next strike.

He reached the highest cliff. Nearby on the mountain summit, the beacon tower stood, deserted in the storm, its flame long smothered by the rain. The village lay nestled in the valley far below. He spotted houses built of stone with their thatched roofs burned away. The chapel of Enlightenment partially destroyed. The village lookout tower stood as high as the chapel bell tower and was manned by a lone villager. No doubt, he was keeping an eye out for the last two dragons.

Nevis and his troop arrived, and the villagers poured from their homes to welcome them. Leo winced at the sight of small children running about. Dammit, Nevis, get them back into the cave.

A rumbling noise echoed through the valley, sounding much like thunder, but Leo knew better. It was the beat- ing of dragon wings. The last two dragons had waited for the people to reappear.

Leo ripped off his gloves and threw them down, along with his bow and quiver. Then he drew his sword and pointed it to the sky. “Now!

Lightning broke through the dark clouds, racing toward him. He widened his stance and braced for impact. It struck his sword, fracturing so that a dozen smaller streaks shot off in a circle around him.

The major portion of the lightning sizzled down his sword, eager to reach his flesh. It hit his bare hand and jolted him so hard he fell to his knees and dropped the sword. The dozen fractured shards rebounded, drawn to him like a magnet. They pounded into him, jerking him back and forth. Thunder cracked over him so loud his ears rang.

Power surged through him, so fierce and scorching he thought his skin would melt, his guts would boil, and his head burst like a kernel of corn dropped into a fire. Pain and power, power and pain, he could no longer tell the difference. He only knew he wanted it, wanted to drink it in, soak it up, and claim it all.

The fiery torture eased to a warm, buzzing sensation, and he found himself on all fours, gasping for air. How many times had he endured this? And it still hurt like hell. He rested back on his knees and splayed his hands in front of him. Sparks skittered around his fingers like a host of fireflies.

Good, but not enough. The Beast wanted more.

He grabbed his sword and hefted himself to his feet. “More, dammit!” He lifted his sword in the air.

Lightning struck again, driving him to his knees and knocking the sword from his grip. He cried out as both pain and power ripped through him. Nevis was right. Someday he would explode.

Thunder cracked around him as if he’d become the center of the storm. His ears grew numb, only hearing the buzz of energy pulsing around him. This time, when he examined his hands, streaks shot out a few yards. Not enough to kill a dragon.

He fumbled for his sword once again. Nevis’s question reverberated in his head, bouncing off the inside of his skull. Do you enjoy courting death? Over the years, he’d found he could take in more power each time, but what was the limit? How would he know when it was too much?

He stumbled to his feet and slowly lifted the sword. When he had the weapon only waist-high, the lightning streaked toward him. Like a desperate lover, it pounced, not even waiting till he was fully cocked. It struck hard, flinging him through the air into the wall behind him. His head cracked against stone, and he crumpled into a heap.

Rain splattered on his face, keeping him conscious. The pain was merely the price he paid for the ability to protect his people. The pain would be fleeting.

The power he could keep for months.

He rose to his feet. If he were normal, he’d have suffered a concussion and some broken bones. Hell, if he were normal, he’d be dead. But instead, he swelled with strength and power. Tiny streaks of lightning swirled around him so fast, he appeared to glow.

He strode to the edge of the cliff to see what was happening. The dragons were flying low, probably to avoid the lightning. They swooped down at the screaming villagers, herding them away from the cave. Making them easy to prey upon.

With the superfast speed he now possessed, Leo pulled a length of coiled rope from his sword belt and tied one end loosely to a tree deeply rooted in the rock wall of the cliff. The other end, he tied to one of his metal arrows. He grabbed his metal bow, nocked the arrow, and imbued them with some of his energy. Now, when he shot the arrow, it would fly faster and farther.

He aimed for the lookout tower and let the arrow fly. It whistled through the air and struck the top wooden beam of the tower, embedded deep. Continuing at his fast speed, Leo tightened the rope, tossed his bow and quiver over his shoulder, sheathed his sword, then looped the sword belt over the rope. He ran to the cliff’s edge and pushed off.

Hanging on to the belt, he careened down the length of the rope. Just before crashing into the tower, he swung his legs up and over the top beam and landed on the top plat- form. The lone villager gaped at him.

“Go!” he shouted. With lightning sizzling around him like a golden nimbus, he didn’t need to speak twice.

The villager scrambled down the ladder, yelling that the Beast had arrived.

After dropping his sword belt on the platform, Leo quickly readied another arrow and pivoted, searching for the dragons. Even though it was possible for him to simply shoot a lightning bolt from his hand, he’d learned from experience that raw power didn’t always go exactly where he wanted it to go. Since there was a chance of hitting innocent bystanders or setting their homes on fire, he preferred to use a metal arrow imbued with his power so he could control the force and trajectory.

There, through a steady sheet of rain, a pair of red, glowing eyes was glaring at him. The dragon was perched on the bell tower of the chapel. It sat up, expanding its chest, a sure sign it was about to breathe fire.

Leo released enough energy to make sparks pop and crackle around the metal arrow. When he shot it, the arrow would fly with enough speed and power that it would actually pierce the dragon’s scaly skin and release an electric shock wave through the creature’s body.

He aimed for the dragon’s chest, but just as he let the arrow fly, the dragon pushed off, flying straight at him. Fire erupted from the dragon’s mouth, forcing him to drop flat onto the platform. Flames shot over him, missing him by a few inches. Meanwhile, the arrow hit the dragon’s hip.

Sparks spread from the arrow, jerking the dragon around in midair. It shrieked, then shot up into the sky and turned north toward Norveshka. Leo notched an arrow to shoot again, but screams below made him look down.

The second dragon had grabbed a child. “Nevis!” Leo shouted. “Catch it!”

Nevis spurred his horse and galloped after the dragon. It was gaining altitude, now higher than the rooftops of the houses.

Leo sent a surge of energy into his bow and arrow and aimed, trying to keep a safe distance from the child. The arrow zipped through the air. Direct hit to the dragon’s tail. Sparks exploded around the wound, racing up the dragon’s body, and it jolted, bellowing in pain and dropping the child. A dress flapped in the wind. It was a little girl.

Nevis charged onward as she tumbled from the sky. Villagers screamed, then let loose a round of cheers as Nevis managed to catch her.

The dragon flew away, filling the sky with an angry roar.

Leo lowered his bow and arrow and watched through the rain as the villagers crowded around Nevis. The little girl was safely deposited in the arms of her crying mother. Nevis glanced back at Leo and gave him a thumbs- up before being dragged off his horse by a swarm of happy villagers.

With a cheer, the villagers led Nevis and his men into the cave. Boys led the horses, including Leo’s horse, to the stables. Women dashed into their homes to gather cups and jugs of beer and wine. A few men rushed into a nearby pen to slaughter a lamb. Leo wasn’t sure if the village was celebrating the rescue of one child or drowning their sorrows for the two who were lost, but clearly they intended to partake of food and drink. And even more clearly, it was a celebration he could not attend.

He glanced at his hands. Sparks still shimmered around his fingers. One false move, and lightning would streak from his fingertips, possibly killing someone. He’d been in such a hurry he’d left his gloves on the cliff. With a sigh, he picked up his sword belt, then buckled it on.

The rain was still pelting him, so he climbed down the ladder to a second platform just below. Drops of rain leaked between the wooden planks overhead, and the wind blew more rain at him, but it was an improvement. He sat in the driest corner and rested his back against a wooden pillar. For a short while, because he had released so much energy, he would feel all right. But soon the pain would start again.

He spotted two men rolling a cask toward the cave. The villagers must have run out of beer. Sounds of laughter emanated from the cave. Soon he could smell the scent of a lamb roasting over a fire. His stomach grumbled. A quick search of his pockets came up empty.

With a sigh, he leaned his head against the pillar. Alone again. It was always this way. He was too damned dangerous to be near anyone. Even Nevis had learned to stay away from him when he had this much power.

He closed his eyes as a memory flitted across his mind. The first time lightning had found him, he’d been only five years old. One strike had sent him flying, and he’d crumpled onto the ground, twitching uncontrollably. His nanny had run to him. Calling out to him, she’d touched his face. Then a surge of energy had shot through her, and she’d col- lapsed beside him dead.

His first victim. Someone he’d dearly loved.

“I didn’t mean to . . .” Leo whispered, the sound whisked away with the wind. “Forgive me.”

Since then, everyone had known to keep their distance. And if a stranger didn’t know, he soon learned when he heard the new name Leo had been given.

Never touch the Beast.

Never let the Beast touch you.

The rain continued to fall. The energy inside him spread throughout his body, expanding, rebelling against the narrow confines of his human shell, demanding to be released and used. Not now. He had to keep as much power as possible so it would be available whenever he needed it.

The sun lowered in the sky, and the wind became more chilled against his wet clothes. He welcomed the cold. It made it easier to deal with the energy boiling inside him, threatening to escape like steam from a kettle.

The strains of a pipe and fiddle came from the cave. The people were dancing, their music accentuating the thud- ding rhythm in his head. The energy kept expanding, pushing against the inner walls of his skull, pushing so hard he expected to hear the sound of bone cracking. He squeezed his eyes shut, gritting his teeth against the pain.

Sometimes he thought this was the worst part about his gift. The headaches would torture him until either he released some power or it managed to escape on its own.

“My lord?” a female voice spoke below.

He opened his eyes

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