Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tasty Book Tours ~ Book Blast for Fugly by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff


Enter to Win a 
FUGLY Prize Pack
5 Winners!


FUGLY
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Released Sept 15th, 2015

 

From New York Times Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff Comes a New Stand-Alone Story.

UGLY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER...

My name is Lily Snow. I am twenty-five years old, and despite being born with an unattractive face, I have never doubted who I am: smart, driven, and beautiful on the inside.

Until I met Maxwell Cole.

He's handsome, excessively wealthy, and the owner of Cole Cosmetics. It's been my dream to work for this man for as long as I can remember. The good news is he wants to hire me. The bad news is he wants me for all the wrong reasons. Ugly reasons.

In exchange, he's offered me my dreams on a silver platter. The job. The title. A beautiful future. But this man is as messed up and ugly as they come on the inside. I'm not sure anyone can help him, and he just might take my heart down with him.

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“So I just ran without a shirt for a quarter mile and would’ve gotten to go anyway?”

“Not really. But I wanted to make you feel bad. By the way, has anyone ever told you you’re completely mad?”

I laughed and turned around to unravel my tank top and slip it over my head, a huge smile on my face. “So, what time do we leave for the air—”

I suddenly felt his hot sweaty body pressed up against my back, his one hand on my bare waist, the other sweeping my long hair to one side. “No need to put that back on.”

My breath caught in my throat. “Wha-wha-what are you doing?” I whispered, feeling his hands slide up the front of my body and begin touching my breasts over my bra. He was hard. Really, really hard, and straining against my lower back.

“I think that’s fairly obvious; keeping our deal,” he said, his hot breath tickling my neck.

I was about to say something to explain how I didn’t really want him to do what he was doing, but it would’ve been a lie. The heat of his skin on my back, his hard cock pressing into me while his hands massaged my breasts felt better than anything I’d ever experienced.

His lips trailed down the side of my neck and stopped right on the little spot where my shoulder started.

How was this happening? Because wasn’t he…didn’t he have that problem with…?


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New York Times and USA Today bestselling Romance author, host of the radio talk show, Man Candy, on Radioslot.com.

When San Francisco native Mimi Jean went on an adventure as an exchange student to Mexico City, she never imagined the journey would lead to writing Romance. But one MBA, one sexy husband, and two rowdy kids later, Mimi would trade in corporate life for vampires, deities, and snarky humor.

She continues to hope that her books will inspire a leather pants comeback (for men) and that she might make you laugh when you need it most.

She also enjoys interacting with her fans (especially if they're batshit crazy). You can always find her chatting away on Facebook, Twitter, or saying many naughty words on her show MAN CANDY on Radioslot.com !

Find out more about Mimi and upcoming books at www.mimijean.net




GHBT ~ Cover Reveal for Thizz, a Love Story by Nicole Loufas


Thizz, A Love Story
Genre- Contemporary YA with mature content
By- Nicole Loufas
Expected Publication Date- November 1st

In 2006, while the San Francisco Bay Area was immersed in the Hyphy Movement – Dani was fleeing the city for the small coastal town of Eureka. With a past she wants to forget and a future that may be out of reach – Dani finds Thizz and her world turns inside out.
Dani has a plan.  Get into CAL Berkeley.  All she has to do is survive six months in Eureka, California.  Her plan seems to be working until Matt, the boy she’s secretly crushing on, sets her up with his best friend.
Nick Marino is the star of the basketball team, grandson to the wealthiest woman in the county, and the town drug dealer. Nick introduces Dani to Thizz on their first date and suddenly smiling becomes easy, conversations are comfortable. Now if she can just figure out if the tingles she’s feeling are caused by Nick or Thizz. After a few weeks of both – she doesn’t care.
With Nick by her side, thizz flowing through her veins, and Matt keeping all her secrets – Dani settles into her new life; forgetting about the tragedy that drove her there, and the plan she had to escape.
Matt fell in love with Dani the first time he saw her.   He also knew whatever drove her from San Francisco to Eureka in her last semester of high school wasn’t something she wanted to share.  When she finally started to open up, Matt hesitated just long enough for his best friend Nick to swoop in. Forced to sit and watch their relationship grow, Matt also learns of Dani’s obsession with Thizz.  He secretly feeds her addiction in a desperate attempt to win her heart.

Pressured into joining Nick’s crew, Matt finds himself in the middle of Eureka’s own hyphy movement and the hit list of a local biker gang. When a school project uncovers a disturbing link between Dani’s parents and Nick’s uncle, Matt is torn between his loyalty to Nick and his feelings for Dani as he tries to convince Dani that her life is in real danger; while persuading Nick to turn on his uncle to save the girl they love.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Reading Addiction ~ Last Light Falling by J.E. Plemons



YA Dystopian / Post Apocalyptic Thriller
Date Published: July 2015

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Arena has left the nation’s administration with a dead president and a weakened military, and while the tragic memories continue to scar her, the government struggles to regroup without its leader. For the people who still remain in hiding, it’s evident the country is all but lost, and with Russian operatives taking over, the nation’s hope of recovering is grim.

After months in hiding, Arena and her brother, Gabriel, fight to survive the aftermath while they trudge through unkindly terrain across the country to rejoin their friends, but what they soon discover may staunch their journey. The government’s failed attempt to rebirth a broken nation has caused civil unrest like no other.

After reuniting with their friends, Arena’s decision to stay changes when she discovers the secrets of a refugee camp behind a clandestine group of rebels, known as the Southern Resistance. With an opportunity to escape to a permanent safe haven, Arena risks her life to lead the new fellowship. But the darkest days are upon them, and with a new war brewing, Arena’s path will take a dark turn as her survival is in jeopardy.

Into The Darkness captures the cruel truth behind our darkest secrets which may often cause us to question our faith. In this graphic second installment of the LAST LIGHT FALLING series, J.E. Plemons continues the grim story of Arena Power’s fate, testing her faith while she and her brother search for an answer to their survival in a brooding world filled with chaos.


EXCERPT

CHAPTER 1


In the midst of tragic suffering, we all have fallen by death in one way or another, but because of His suffering, we are given hope and a gift of eternal life. I’m still hopeful for those who still remain in this wicked world, regardless of the unleashed hell that awaits us all.

The light draws dim, and Gabe and I are forced to set camp as the sun sets behind the horizon. We find a small spot beyond a brushy field where a clump of trees stands out in the middle of nowhere. The trees are packed fairly tightly, but there is very little underbrush where we can start a fire without burning everything in sight.

“How many more days you think?” Gabe asks as he clears the ground. I brush the sweat from my eyes and gaze wearily to the east. I’m afraid Carrington won’t be the same as we left it.

“Hard to say,” I simply answer. Fact is I haven’t the slightest clue. Nothing from this landscape looks familiar to home. I lay my pack on the cool soil and rest my swords peacefully against a gnarled tree trunk.

“You hungry?” I ask.

“Is the Pope Catholic?” he caustically answers. The sun quickly sets well behind the trees, leaving the horizon to glow.

“Why don’t you get a fire started and I’ll fetch us some-thing to eat.”

While Gabe dresses the ground with kindling, I venture west, anxious to hunt. Night hunting is not my forte. With-out ample light, there’s no telling what’s lurking in the high grass that surrounds us. Although the land here offers abundant species of game birds, I fear the coyotes and bobcats

will scare them away. I kneel down in the brush and wait for something appetizing to cross my path.

It’s been long since Gabe and I have had a decent meal we haven’t had to kill ourselves—not since before all this shit happened. Myra, our foster mom, was the chef of the household. Her roasted duck, a staple on special occasions, would have your taste buds hypnotized for days. And not many people know how to cook duck properly, but she sure did. Though she is dead along with my real mom, not a day goes by without some memory of her.

It’s been twenty minutes now and not a single creature has stirred. I’ve impatiently waited too long to stay here. I trek further out toward a small thicket of live oak trees about a half-mile to the west.

About halfway to the coppice a small hare hops past my boots. I lunge to grab it, but catch a handful of dirt instead. I can’t see a damn thing out here in this nest of weeds. My only hope is to nab something in that cluster of trees up ahead. I wade through the thick brush until the sound of heavy breathing halts my pace. I rest still and for a moment the labored wheezing stops. The sounds in the dark can be misleading, but this certainly doesn’t sound friendly. The tall grass suddenly rustles, but I can’t tell in what direction it’s coming from. Whatever it is, it seems to be scurrying frantically all around. I know it’s not a coyote, because he wouldn’t be moving this much; he would cowardly wait until I made the first move. A small tree limb snaps on the ground to my left about fifteen paces. I quickly bend down and hide within the scratchy underwood. I slowly draw one of my weathered arrows and carefully place it in the string of my bow, waiting for this animal to show itself. The rustling stops and the deep croaking sound of a bullfrog echoes in the distance. That is a pleasing sound, because I know there must be water nearby and I desperately could use a drink. No frog in its right mind would hop around in this barren land without water.

It’s been too long for whatever is hiding out there not to move. Just then, my stomach decides to harmonize with that old bullfrog, growling with starvation. I’m so hungry right now, I’d eat a hot dog from a gas station, but I’m not leaving this spot until I find out what’s hiding out there.

I slowly stand up and walk toward where the raspy panting first started. The rustling in the grass continues when two pheasants fly out in front of me, trying to flee. I must have stepped near their guarded nest. A devilish squeal pierces the air, and two glowing eyes stare at me. In an instant, the tall grass begins to move toward me like a wave in the ocean. I raise my bow and pull the string back, but the arrow nock splits and falls from my hands. I quickly turn and run, hoping I won’t be mauled by what-ever is chasing me. The grass gets thicker and thicker, slowing me down, and that monstrous squeal pierces my ears.

I dart through the weeds as they slash against my thighs like stinging whips. The persisting beast moans with a hellish roar, closing in on my pace, until I finally exit the brushy pasture into a small clearing. There’s not a safe enough distance between this creature and me to look back. It’s fast whatever it is.

I alter my course toward an old oak tree in hopes I will climb far enough up its gnarled limbs for safe harbor. My sides ache from the exhausted running, and the muscle in my lower left calf gives in as I stumble hard to the ground beneath the old tree.

I quickly roll over, pull my dagger from its sheath, and unexpectedly recognize the beast’s twisted tusks driving rapidly toward me. The moonlight shines through the clouded skies and reveals an infuriated feral hog ready to tear into my flesh with vengeance. If I falter, or lose my grip on my knife, I will be at the mercy of its sharp, bristling tusks. The savage pig bows back its hairy ears and leaps, its jowls open wide exposing its razor-sharp teeth. I swing my arm forward and thrust the end of my blade into the back-side of his thick, hairy-coated neck. The hog violently flops about, squealing, not going down without a fight. I stab him again and again until the shrieking finally stops.

I lie there on the ground panting, the two-hundred-pound dead, bloody boar resting on my legs. I’m too tired to move, but the stench emitting from this fowl beast persuades me to do otherwise. Not what I was expecting to find for food, but it’s all we have, and unless a nice pheasant or squirrel decides to pleasantly drop in my lap surrendering to be eaten, it’s pork for dinner.

I push the hairy hog off my legs and pull out my knife. Before I slice into its belly, a small wooden cross near the tree catches my eye. It leans to the side, sitting atop a pile of rocks. It reminds me too much of my uncle Finnegan’s burial that I can’t seem to peel my eyes from it.

Six months have passed since Gabe and I left Finnegan’s grave, and yet I still haven’t forgiven myself for his careless death. If he hadn’t shielded me from the soldier’s bullet at the training facility, I would be the one lying in that grave right now. But my raging hatred for General Iakov caused more pain and misery to our fellowship, and it got Finnegan killed. Though Iakov has fallen with his sol-diers in the facility, leaving a heavy stain on this new administration, it has broken a part of me I can’t get back.

I feel less convinced of the path God has led me on with every step I take in this dark depraved place. If it is my des-tiny to help wipe evil from this world, it’s tearing me apart, because I can feel the fragility in my faith growing now. While I wish I could go back and change things, my fate has brought me here. . . hunting in the dark for survival.

I quickly cut into the hog before the meat spoils and the blood taints our meal. There is just too much to carry back to camp, so I cut and skin what I can for the night and leave the stinky carcass for the vultures. The smell is just too repulsive to continue butchering this nasty beast, anyway. It’s beyond the depths of foul. I tie up what meat I can carry with me and wander toward the small coppice where that bullfrog was bellowing. I’m sure to find water somewhere nearby.

The exposed roots twisting along the ground like a snake suggest an underground spring feeding these lonely trees. There stands a soaring cypress tree hovering over the bank of a small running creek that effortlessly meanders with twists and turns. I follow the brook until I reach the end where it pours into a clear spring. My weary eyes widen, and my dry, parched mouth salivates over this aquatic nectar.

I dunk the canteens into the cold spring water in a less-stagnate area away from the growing moss and algae. I’m so thirsty, I couldn’t care less what’s floating in this sweet, quenching pool of goodness. As long as I don’t have to see what I’m drinking, I’m just fine. Bottoms up, I say.

The unbearable frigid temperatures of winter have finally subdued and surrendered to the fresh blooming beginnings of spring, just like this water. Unfortunately, summer has found a way to creep in, because these long hot days have been murderous. It’s nearing May, I think, but I can’t be for sure. I lost track of time long ago.

For six long miserable months, our weary legs have ambled through snowy drifts of white expanding as far as the eye can see. We have traveled through lifeless towns, abandoned farms, and fields of emptiness, but traveling by foot is our only way now. The roads are no longer safe. Our nation has changed into an ever-growing evil, and those who see it for what it really is have become a liability under harsh scrutiny.

The hundreds of miles we’ve traveled from the East Coast have worn us thin, but I feel our journey to reunite with our friends is not too far away. Texas is the only thing on my mind, and I won’t be discouraged by another day of swollen feet. We haven’t come this far just to give up.

There’s a glowing ember in the distance and I realize just how far away I am from Gabe’s warm fire. The air is starting to get a little chilly and I shiver. I make my way back to camp and find Gabe asleep on the ground in a fetal position. The egregious smell of pork smoking above the fire should wake his stomach up. Gabe has already built a spit-fire high enough above the flames to cook our meal. He’s a Boy Scout after my own heart.

I’m too hungry to wait for this meat slab to hang over the fire the next eight hours. I slice off small manageable pieces to cook, skewer them on a couple of sticks, and lay them on a rock next to the fire. I wrap the rest of meat around the long piece of hickory Gabe had used for a walking stick, and secure it with some left over wire from my pack. I carefully rest the meat above the fire to slow-cook overnight. Hell, maybe the stench will evaporate from the pores, leaving us with some nice tenderloin for breakfast.

I sit next to the crackling fire and dangle the small pieces on the wooden skewers right above the flames. The rendering fat drips from the pork causing the fire to flare up. The sizzling of the fat and crackling of the tissue begins to rouse Gabe, but I don’t think it’s the sound that has awakened him.

“Holy mother of God, what’s that smell, Arena?” Gabe says with his nosed pinched. It’s quite an uninviting smell, but I’ve been smelling and breathing it in for a while, so I guess I have gotten used to it.

“It’s our dinner,” I say.

“You’re kidding me. What are you feeding me, the inside of a pig’s ass?”

Not quite, but damn near close, I think, trying hard not to smile. Okay, I admit the smell is objectionable, but this is all I have to offer.

“Unless you have anything better to proposition, this is our meal. I suggest you take it and fill that empty stomach of yours.”

This salty meat may taste gamey, but when you are as hungry as we are, you’ll eat just about anything, and my stomach can’t wait until the morning to find something bet-ter. Sure I would like to have a nice juicy steak and baked potato, but this will just have to do. We both hold our noses from breathing in the smell of this wretched swine. I stomach what I can and try to dilute the taste with the fresh spring water.

Gabe eagerly falls back to sleep. I try to stay awake as long as I can to keep watch for any unwanted wild creature that may wander uninvited to our malodorous campsite. I’m pretty sure we have unintentionally attracted every wild beast for miles with the smoky scent of ass.

I watch Gabe sleep comfortably below the canvased trees while my stomach churns. The world seems so lonely. Gabe is all I have left right now, and I don’t think I could bear the thought of losing him too. There were times in my life when I detested my twin brother, but I never stopped loving him, and right now, I need him more than ever.

The harsh conditions we’ve experience in the last six months has forced us to both grow up, but none more than Gabe. He’s become a man before my eyes. His dirty blond hair drapes dingily below his ears and eyes. He’s still the same brother at heart, but he’s grown into something much different. Behind those skinny limbs and that frail body he used to carry, breathes courage now. We can never go back to what we were—time and history have changed, and so have we.

I want to believe there is purpose in all of this, but I’m not sure anymore what I’m supposed to do. I feel lost with-out Finnegan by my side. He was the only family Gabe and I had left, and now he too is gone. But his bravery will never be forgotten, and because it was his choice to follow my divine path, we’ve weakened a dying nation at its heart. My enemy may be dead, but my nightmares are still much alive.

I realize there is a reason for every event that happens to us, but I’m still having a difficult time accepting it. I may never fully understand my part in this world, but I will continue until I can no more. Many people left on this earth will accept their fate as meaningless acts of randomness. I believe now there is more to this world than just chaos and ruin. We were born with a plan, a purpose, and a choice. I choose to believe Finnegan saved my life to extend my fate, and I’m eternally grateful, but I wish not to endure any more hum-bling experiences through death.

Instead of sleeping on the padded dirt next to the fire, I nestle in between the roots of an old oak tree. I prop myself up against rough ridges of splitting bark and stretch out my legs. I grab Jacob’s necklace around my neck and stare down at the worn silver cross like I do every night. I rub the edges with my fingers as if it were a nervous tick. I’m afraid I will never let go. The only boy I truly loved is gone, but his death will remain very alive in my nightmares. I fight to stay awake, but my body isn’t willing to compromise. Sleep wins the battle.






About the Author


Jay Plemons’ life is nothing short of ordinary. From an aspiring chef, carpenter, educator, musician, husband, and father, nothing ever seems too busy when adding yet another hat into the mix as a fiction novelist. With a degree in music business, and a minor in English from Middle Tennessee State University, the aspirations to continue his journey in the arts, has followed Jay to write the Last Light Falling series, which has not only touched on some of his personal experiences, but has also helped him further explore the heightened convictions of faith.



Contact Links


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Xpresso Book Tours ~ Cover Reveal for Angel of Redemption by J.A. Little

Angel of Redemption by J.A. Little
Published by: Full Fathom Five Digital
Publication date: November 11th 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Seasoned social worker Kayla Brooks has dealt with her fair share of difficult situations, but nothing could have prepared her for the likes of Dean Wyatt, head of Wyatt House Group Home for Boys. When a case unexpectedly brings Kayla to his door in the middle of the night, sparks fly. With a piercing gaze and heavily inked skin, Dean looks like a walking wet dream.

Until he turns out to be an asshole.
Dean Wyatt has always kept those around him at arm’s length. Secrets lurk beneath his tattoos—a traumatic past known to very few.

Forced to work together in order to help two vulnerable boys, Kayla slowly penetrates Dean’s tough exterior. Along the way the two discover something they’ve each been missing—but only time will tell if they can overcome the painful past that’s kept anyone from bringing true happiness into Dean’s world.
This book contains adult situations and sexual content. For mature audiences only.





Tasty Book Tours ~ Release Blast for Keeping What's His by Jamie Begley


Enter to Win a 
Porter Brothers Mug & $5.00 Amazon eGift Card


KEEPING WHAT'S HIS
Porter Brothers Trilogy #1
Jamie Begley
Releasing September 29th, 2015
Young Ink Press


The Porter Brother's were raised to live and die by Three Rules 
One, a Porter stands his ground 
Two, a Porter leaves no enemy standing
Three...

Sutton Creech was a cheat and a liar. Tate Porter had found that out when he was eighteen, and he had no intention of letting her make a fool out of him again. He didn’t care how much pain he saw in her eyes or how old memories tugged at his unforgiving heart until, the night a hidden secret is revealed and everything Tate had believed about their past is shattered, proving he had let the woman he loved get away.

Between trying to protect his family and running their pot growing business, Tate doesn't have time to play the "Nice Guy". He'd just have to remember the most important rule his father had given them: A Porter always keeps what's his.


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Excerpt
“He’s old enough that we don’t need her anymore.”
“You going to drag your ass out of bed to take him to school in the mornings? Wash his dirty clothes? Fix his dinner? I don’t notice you putting up a fight when Holly washes your dirty clothes, and you sure as fuck don’t have a problem wolfing down those meals she cooks.”
Greer shrugged. “She’s earning her keep.”
Tate snorted. “What keep? That small bedroom she sleeps in or the house where you refuse to remodel the kitchen? The floorboards are so thin one of our feet is going to go through it one day.”
“It’s fine.” Greer crossed his arms against his chest stubbornly.
“It’s a shithole, and you know it, but you’re hoping to run Holly off. I thought you were smarter than that. Holly won’t leave Logan. She’d die for that boy, which is more than I can say about you.”
“What in the fuck does that mean?”
“It means, after we sell the pot, we’re getting a new kitchen,” Tate stated firmly.
“You’ll be using your share, then. I have better uses for my money.”
“What? Drinking or whoring?”
“Both.”
Tate’s hands tightened on the steering wheel, controlling the impulse to punch his brother in the face. Bringing the truck to a stop in front of their house, he turned to stare coldly at Greer.
“We’re getting the fucking kitchen.”
Greer opened his mouth then closed it, smart enough to realize Tate’s mind was made up.
“Fine, but there better not be any fancy shit in it.”
Confused, Tate stared at his brother. “Like what?”
“No dishwasher nor any of that frosted glass. If I want anyone to see what’s in my cabinets, I’ll leave the doors open.”
Tate laid his head on the steering wheel instead of banging it against it the way he wanted to. “Do you have to be such a hillbilly?”
Greer got out of the truck without answering the obvious.
Tate climbed out after taking a deep breath. Greer would try the patience of a saint, and he sure as fuck wasn’t one of those. He lowered the tailgate, pulling the box that held the groceries toward him, and then each brother lifted several bags into their arms.
“You think she’ll stay around a while?”
“Holly?”
“No! The woman we saw at the hotel.”

His brother had the attention span of a gnat.

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"I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.
Taking after my mother, I've always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.
For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.
Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.
All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”

Tasty Book Tours ~ Release Blast for The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Ann Long


Enter to Win a
$50.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller
or, 
Complete Print Set of the Pennyroyal Green Series


THE LEGEND OF LYON REDMOND
Pennyroyal Green #11
Julie Anne Long
Releasing Sept 29th, 2015
Avon Books


Bound by centuries of bad blood, England’s two most powerful families maintain a veneer of civility...until the heir to the staggering Redmond fortune disappears, reviving rumors of an ancient curse: a Redmond and an Eversea are destined to fall disastrously in love once per generation.

An enduring legend

Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond’s heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount’s proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade…and wagers on the return of an heir.

An eternal love

It was instant and irresistible, forbidden...and unforgettable. And Lyon—now a driven, dangerous, infinitely devastating man—decides it’s time for a reckoning. As the day of her wedding races toward them, Lyon and Olivia will decide whether their love is a curse destined to tear their families part...or the stuff of which legends are made.

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Excerpt 

She was the last of the Eversea children to be married, and she was going to be the wife of a viscount. Her brothers had all married unusual women, not one of whom possessed a title. Genevieve had married a duke—to the quietly gleeful satisfaction of her father, for they had trumped the Redmonds, who acquired a mere earl by marriage—but she and Falconbridge had wed by special license. Olivia was the family’s last chance for pomp.
And she knew everyone who loved her would exhale only when she was waving merrily good-bye from Landsdowne’s carriage as they went off on their wedding journey.
No one had said as much, of course.
And this was the unspoken source of all the tension.
They had nothing to worry about. Olivia was definitely going to marry him.
The betting books at White’s, of course, had it otherwise.
God, but she was infinitely weary of being a sport for the wager-happy wastrels at White’s. She did not want to be an event.
But if she’d learned anything over the years, wanting something and getting it were not always sequential events. Even for Everseas.
She pressed her head back against the plump seat, which smelled vaguely and soothingly of her father’s tobacco, then gave a start and fished about in her reticule.
“Blast!” Only two shillings were in there, along with her hussif, her tortoiseshell card case, and, of course, a square of linen folded in sixteenths that she always pretended not to see but that traveled with her everywhere.
It had become a personal ritual, her way of tithing, to say a few kind words and drop a few coins into the cups of the beggars who had appeared weeks ago and lingered near Madame Marceau’s shop, and who reappeared no matter how often Madame Marceau tried to shoo them away. They were as intrepid as ants. They knew where to find sustenance, and that was from the affluent women who frequented the modiste.
But Olivia, as usual, always wished she had more to give.
At last “Madame Marceau, Modiste,” a gaudy sign gilded swinging on chains, came into view, Olivia sat up alertly. The Strand was even livelier than usual today, apparently: she could hear a choir, of all things.
She didn’t know the tune, but it was certainly infectious, lilting and lively. Her foot was already tapping before the footman pulled open the door of the carriage, and she was smiling when he handed her down.
A half-dozen men were arrayed before Madame Marceau’s, arms slung about each other, swaying rhythmically, their heads tipped back in full-throated song. Another man seemed to be presiding as a conductor, strutting to and fro before them and holding a sheaf of papers in one hand.
He waved one in the air. “Get yer flash ballad here! Two pence! Be the first to teach your friends the song all of London will be singing for centuries to come!”
This was quite a claim, given that one of London’s other favorite songs was all about Olivia’s brother Colin, and it, like Colin, who had survived the gallows, refused to die.
Years of distributing and accepting pamphlets for the causes nearest her heart—the eradication of slavery and the protection of the poor—had Olivia reflexively stretching out her hand for it.
The man hesitated, then saw the outstretched hand was encased in an expensive blue kid glove and decided to let her hold it.
“Two pence, madame, if ye’d like to take it with you.” He beamed persuasively at her.
She didn’t hear him.
She was transfixed in horror by the first words on the page.


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Julie Anne Long originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up, and she has the guitars and the questionable wardrobe stuffed in the back of her closet t prove it. When playing to indifferent crowds at midnight in dank clubs lost its, ahem, charm, she realized she could incorporate all of the best things about being in a band—namely, drama, passion and men with unruly hair—into novels, while at the same time indulging her love of history and research. So she made the move from guitar to keyboard (the computer variety) and embarked on a considerably more civilized, if not much more peaceful, career as a novelist.
Julie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with a fat orange cat. (Little known fact: they issue you a cat the minute you become a romance novelist.)