Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tasty Book Tours ~ Where I Need to Be by Jamie Hollins

How can their relationship survive when it’s built on half-truths? 

McKenna Series #3
Jamie Hollins
Releasing July 18, 2017

When heroin stole James Foley’s wife and destroyed his marriage, he poured all his energy into raising his young son and running his auto garage. There’s no room in his life for anything else until Megan McKenna walks into his shop. He finds it impossible to resist the sexy school teacher.

After an ugly divorce, Megan lost her home, her job, and a big chunk of her self-respect. With her posh lifestyle now a memory, she starts over by indulging in an unexpected fling with a hard-bodied mechanic.

What begins as something casual turns into something meaningful. But how can their relationship survive when it’s built on half-truths? 

James and Megan soon discover that being honest with themselves is just as important as being honest with each other. Only then will their relationship fire on all cylinders.


Megan handed her overused credit card to the woman. Spending money on her shitty car was like spending money on dental work. She’d pretty much rather spend it on anything else.
As Janie ran the card, Megan glanced through the large windows that separated the office from the garage. Her breath caught when she spotted James talking with two other guys. She hoped she didn’t sigh out loud so his office manager could hear her, but she almost melted into the counter she was leaning against. He looked just as gorgeous as she remembered.
He was holding a grimy black piece of metal and pointing to something attached to it. It must have been heavy because his bicep bulged, and she could see the thick cords of muscles strain in his forearm. The two guys he was talking to were nodding in agreement with whatever he was saying. She stopped herself from nodding too.
Boy, did she have it bad for James Foley.
“Alrighty,” Janie said, bringing Megan’s attention back to the present. “Just your John Hancock on this work form and on this receipt please.”
Megan scribbled her signature where Janie indicated and returned her credit card to her wallet. “Anything else you need from me?”
Janie shook her head and handed over the car keys. “Nope, you’re all set. I think James brought your car around front.” The woman looked beyond Megan and pointed out the door. “Yep, she’s right there.”
“You refer to cars as girls too, I see,” Megan joked.
“Yeah, these guys rub off on me. Some of them even name their cars.”
Janie’s smirk made Megan laugh. She was just about ready to ask Janie to let James know that she needed a word with him when the man himself walked into the front office.
“Hey,” he said, his smooth voice rumbling as he finished wiping his hands with a rag.
He sounded slightly rushed, like he’d run over to catch her before she left. Maybe he was just as anxious to see her as she was to see him.
“Hi,” Megan replied.
She was glad to hear her voice didn’t shake like the rest of her. Not more than five days ago, she’d added this man to her very short list of sexual partners, and being in the same room as him now was causing all sorts of abnormalities in her body. Primarily, weak knees and a racing heart rate.
“I’m glad I caught you,” he said. “Do you have a minute for me to show you something on your car?”
“Yeah, sure.”
She hoped this was just a ploy for the two of them to have some privacy. He pushed open the door and ushered her through.
As they walked side by side to her car, he asked, “How have you been?”
She looked over at him, hoping to catch that sparkle in his eye that warmed her from the inside out. But instead of making eye contact, he just nodded and looked straight ahead.
When they reached her car, he rounded to the opposite side and bent down next to her front right tire. “See this?” he asked, pointing to her tire.
She shuffled closer and bent forward, thinking he wanted to get out of view of his gawking co-workers. She watched his face, which lacked any sort of readable emotion.
He looked up at her and frowned. “Megan, you’re not looking. Look here.”
Her eyes moved to where his finger was pointing. He actually wanted her to look at her tire. Dear Lord. Suddenly embarrassed, she bit her lip and nodded.
“The tread on these tires is worn down to the point where they’re not safe for winter conditions. You’ll slip and slide all over the street with even a trace of ice or snow.”
Bristling with embarrassment, she stood up. “It seems like every time I come here you’re telling me something else is wrong with my car.”
He rose from his crouch and turned toward her, crossing his arms over his chest. “That’s because there is always something wrong with your car.”
James’s tone was one she recognized easily. It was the same tone she used every day in her classroom when she was talking to a student who wasn’t paying attention. Her earlier embarrassment quickly turned to irritation.
Her car was becoming—had become—a money pit. It wasn’t worth all these repairs she was making. She needed to get from her apartment to school. That’s it. She’d only bought a car because it would be more convenient in winter. Maybe she should rethink taking the bus.
On top of that, it was pricking her pride that James was acting like they hadn’t fucked each other five days ago. His words, not hers. Megan didn’t know what she’d been expecting, but it sure as hell wasn’t a matter-of-fact conversation about the tread on her tires.

Jamie Hollins was born and raised in rural Northeast Ohio.  After graduate school, she embarked on a perilous career in Human Resources where she met plenty of real life characters.  When she’s not writing or chasing after her toddler, she enjoys reading and golfing.  Jamie lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and their dog, Winston.

Tasty Book Tours ~ Excerpt Reveal for Ready to Run by Lauren Layne

A reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: 
a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

I Do, I Don't #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing Aug 22, 2017

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.


Damn. Charlie hadn’t been lying about the hot blonde.
The woman walking straight toward him was all tight jeans, high heels, and confi-dence. And hot. Very, very hot.
Charlie muttered something admiring under his breath, and Luke’s gaze flicked to the man beside the woman. Tried to place him. Couldn’t.
Not too many guys around here who wore light-purple shirts and white pants with the same easy comfort that Lucky Hollow residents wore jeans and flannel.
No doubt about it—neither was from around here. Not by a long shot.
The man was a half step behind the woman, and Luke assessed that the woman was calling the shots.
His eyes narrowed as he realized that she hadn’t once wavered in her approach.
She knew what she was after:
She got closer and Luke saw that the face matched the body. Wide blue eyes, full lips, sassy shoulder-length blond hair that was just tousled enough to make a man wonder how it had gotten that way—to want to be the one to muss it.
Her gaze flicked over him, and Charlie whistled and muttered under his breath. “She just checked you out, man.”
She had indeed, but Luke was far from flattered. It hadn’t been the assessment of a woman checking out a man so much as a predator evaluating its prey.
As though she was evaluating him for . . . something.
Blondie stopped in front of him, and the second her blue eyes locked on his, Luke felt a little jolt of awareness and was irrationally annoyed. It had been a long time since he’d been quite so aware of a woman.
Once, he’d enjoyed the feeling—sexual chemistry was almost the perfect combination of pain and pleasure. A subtle punch in the gut that you wanted to experience again and again.
These days, though, he was having a hard time getting past the pain part. The shitty parts had outweighed the good parts just one time too many. Now he mostly settled for casual hookups with a divorcée a few towns over who was even less interested in com-mitment than Luke was.
He had zero use for attraction to a pretty, bold woman in high heels.
Luke noticed that for a sheer moment she had a slightly off-balance look, as though she too had felt the annoying zip of arousal when their eyes met, but she recovered quick-ly.
Pasting a sunny, generic smile on her face, she stuck out her right hand. “Luke Elliott. I’m Jordan Carpenter. This is my colleague, Simon Nash.”
Good manners had him setting down his equipment and extending his own right hand toward hers even as his brain caught on her name. Familiar, and . . .
Shit. Shit!
He managed to stop from jerking his hand back, but just barely. Instead, he gritted his teeth, gave her hand a perfunctory shake, and then fixed her with a glare. “You’re wasting your time, Ms. Carpenter. And mine.”
Blue eyes narrowed. “Aha. So you did get my emails.”
Those. The voicemails. The letters.
“Sure,” he said with a nod, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Just like I suspect you got the message that I didn’t want to be a part of your show.”
Charlie looked from the woman to Luke and back again. “Show?”
Ryan ambled over, his shit-eating grin telling Luke that this damn woman had already spilled the beans on why she was here. “Luke’s gonna be a national heartthrob.”
“International,” said the blond guy in the purple shirt.
Jordan Carpenter didn’t look at her companion, but all three firefighters did.
The other man gave the sort of easy smile that probably had him making friends easily. Luke didn’t want a new friend.

Silver Dagger Tours ~ Under the Parisian Sky by Alli Sinclair

by Alli Sinclair

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Pub Date: 7/25/2017

In the City of Light, one dancer must confront her fears about love and loss before she can step into a brighter future…
Lily Johannson has returned to Paris, the city that broke her heart and destroyed her ballet career, with two goals in mind: to overcome the grief surrounding her fiancé’s death, and to make amends with her estranged sister, Natalie, also a ballerina. But when Lily meets charming composer Yves Rousseau, he is convinced she has a third mission—as his muse…
Struggling to finish a score about an infamous Ballets Russes dancer from 1917, Yves believes Lily is meant to help him. Despite her resistance, she is swept once more into the exhilarating arms of the dance—and into Yves’ passionate embrace. But when her sister is cast as the infamous dancer and begins to imitate her tragic life, she soon goes missing. Now Lily and Yves must set out to find her—and along the way face their own demons, while also discovering that art, like love, should not be abandoned so easily…

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Making her way to the stage door, Lily’s heart bashed against her chest when she realized the doorman was the same one from when she was last here. She doubted he’d remember her as she’d only been with the ballet three weeks, but seeing someone from her ballet days brought all the painful memories back to the surface. Determined to keep it together, she put on her best smile and said in cruddy French, “Hello. I am Natalie Johansson’s sister. Could I please see her?”
He studied her from under a veranda of gray brows. “Lily? Welcome back! It is nice to see you. The last time you were here I didn’t get the chance to say I’m sorry for—”
“Thank you, Bernard,” she said. His English had improved dramatically since the last time they’d met while her school-girl French had deteriorated rapidly. “How is Maryanne? Fabien?”
His wide smile lit up his face. “They are very good, thank you. Maryanne’s clothing business is doing well. Maybe I retire soon.  Fabien is engaged.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful!” Although they had only known each other a short time, she loved hearing about his wife and son. A tinge of sadness fell on her, realizing the burgeoning friendship with Bernard had been a casualty of the accident. “I am so happy for them. For you.” She fiddled with the strap of her backpack, her lips pursed. “So, I was wondering if—”

“Your sister is in rehearsal room one if they have not finished already.”
He opened the heavy metal door with an ominous creak. She stepped across the threshold, then stopped, her nose tingling with heady scents from the past. When she’d fled Paris, she’d thrown out everything that reminded her of ballet, including makeup and hair products. Yet here she stood, voluntarily immersing herself in the aromas of a world she’d tried so hard to escape.
Forcing herself to move, Lily kept her head down as she navigated the narrow passageways she knew too well. Finally, she reached the rehearsal room and halted out front. Ballet dancers sauntered up and down the hallway, oblivious to the turmoil swelling inside Lily’s stomach. Classical music drifted through the thin wooden door and her fingers hovered over the handle. Could she deal with more rejection? Was it really worth all this trouble?
Of course it was. Even though Natalie had cast her aside like a broken doll, Lily missed her sister. They’d lived, breathed, and loved ballet together since they could walk. How many hours a week had they traveled with their mother to attend ballet classes in the next district? How many nights had they stayed up late, snuggled together in bed, talking about ballet, dreaming, rehearsing? Lily had thought that special bond would never break. How wrong she’d been.
Lily rapped on the door and it swung open. A tall, lean gentleman with salt and pepper hair raised an eyebrow. “Yes?”
“Hello. I’m looking for—”
“Tell her I’m not here!” Natalie screamed from a hidden corner.
Lily tried to edge her way through the door but the man blocked her path. “Please, I’m her sister.”
“You are the Lily?” He stared down his nose. “She does not wish to speak with you.”
“Listen, I’ve come all the way from Australia and—”
The door yanked open and Natalie stood in her mauve ballet practice gear, a heavy scowl marring her delicate features, her blond hair sticking to her olive skin. “I told you I don’t want to talk. Now go away!”
The door slammed with a resounding thud. Lily stared at the wood that separated her from Natalie. The tiny ball of anger and frustration swelled in her belly.
A couple of young dancers covered their mouths as they giggled and scurried down the hallway. She didn’t blame the dancers for finding amusement in the goings on, after all, temper tantrums from principal dancers weren’t uncommon. In fact, Lily had been considered an anomaly due to her lack of screaming and demands. That was one of the reasons the Bohème Ballet had pursued her so intently. That, and her partnership on and off stage with Aiden. It had been a coup for the ballet company to sign them together, especially as Bohème had been competing against more famous and affluent companies. But the allure of Paris, the City of Love, had been enough to convince her and Aiden to fly halfway around the world and start a new life—a life that had only been in existence for a moment in time until it was savagely ripped away in one stupid, painful instant. And it appeared life hadn’t finished doling out more difficulties.
After wiping her hands on her jeans, she adjusted her backpack and negotiated the passageways one more time. There was no point in hanging around. Natalie had made herself clear, yet again, and no amount of stalking would get her to listen. Lily needed time to plan how to approach this sister who felt like a stranger. Over the past couple years, Natalie had grown bitter, selfish, and accusatory, so unlike the sweet girl who had once adored her older sister. Now spite raced through Natalie’s veins and the pièce de résistance had been when she’d joined the Bohème Ballet Company. Natalie had deliberately pursued her sister’s dream, an act  that sliced through Lily’s heart. There had to be a reason for her sister’s insane change of attitude and blatant disregard for Lily’s feelings. What had snapped in Natalie? Lily needed to find out, no matter how painful or difficult it would be. If she didn’t, she’d remain caught in the past, unable to move into the future, whatever that may be.
Fighting back tears of frustration, she smiled at Bernard, who  opened the door.
“I hope we will see you again soon, Mademoiselle Johansson.”
“We will see, Bernard, we will see.” She squinted in the bright sunlight, pulled out her sunglasses, and waved to the doorman as she took off down the street.
Lily hurried back across Pont au Change, happy the theater was behind her. Reaching the other side of the river, she kept her head down, her feet pounding the pavement even though her lower back ached. Her legs and arms pumped and she reveled in the free movement of her limbs, something she’d once feared was lost.
The sun had dipped behind the tall buildings and Lily shivered, the perspiration on her body multiplying the effect of the cool evening air. With one rapid footstep after another, she powered on, barely glancing at the crowds exiting their workplaces and closing up shop. It wasn’t until she reached the neighborhood of Vanves, that she realized how far she’d walked. With all the twisting and turning down avenues and alleys, she’d walked for at least an hour. Sure, her back ached, but the rest of her body felt so much better. Standing on the corner of Rue Jean Bleuzen and Rue Danton, staring at the headlights of gridlocked cars, she realized where her feet had led her. She sucked in her breath. Why had she allowed her body to dictate her actions? Once, it had been a tool she’d used to express feelings, especially joy, but this time, just like it had since the accident, her body had betrayed her.

If she walked a few blocks from where her traitorous feet stood,  she’d be at Avenue Victor Hugo, the site where she lost the man she’d planned to marry and share a bright and starry future. Even Victor Hugo’s name made her shudder. Aiden had adored Hugo’s works, especially  The Hunchback of Notre Dame and he’d insisted, in his charming and convincing way, that they should go and check out the avenue named after one of his favorite authors. After a long day of rehearsals, she hadn’t been in the mood but decided to go just to humor Aiden. Perhaps if she’d dug her heels in more they wouldn’t have gone and he wouldn’t …

A cacophony of horns drew her back to the present as stationary drivers rolled down their windows and screamed at each other. Grateful she’d halted her own progress on foot, Lily turned and started the long trek back to the apartment. Even though she’d had plenty of time on her flight from Melbourne to Paris, she hadn’t given any thought as to how a visit to Aiden’s site would play out. She certainly hadn’t envisioned an impromptu visit during Parisian peak hour but really, what would be the perfect way to visit the place where she’d lost a piece of her heart forever? Her clammy skin and thudding heart told her she was far from ready to go to the avenue, and with nausea swelling in her belly, she suspected the timing was not right and most likely never would be.

Alli Sinclair is a multi award-winning author who spent her early adult years travelling the globe, intent on becoming an Indiana Jones in heels. She scaled mountains in Nepal, Argentina, and Peru, rafted the Ganges, and rode a camel in the Sahara. Argentina and Peru became her home for a few years and when she wasn’t working as a mountain or tour guide, Alli could be found in the dance halls dancing the tango, salsa, merengue, and samba.
All of these adventures made for fun storytelling and this is when she discovered her love of writing. Alli’s stories capture the romance and thrill of exploring new destinations and cultures that also take readers on a journey of discovery.

Alli volunteers as an author role model with Books in Homes, promoting literacy and reading amongst young people.

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