Second Chance in Laguna

Second Chance in Laguna

by Claire Marti

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Genre

Contemporary Romance

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Blurb

When Sophie Barnes’s fiancé jilts her at the altar, her carefully planned life implodes. Considering her ex’s betrayal to be a rude wake-up call, she leaves everything she knows in San Diego and flees to Laguna Beach. She vows to transform her life by avoiding men for a year and by fulfilling her dream of writing a wildly successful novel.

Sophie’s new landlord, Nicholas Morgan, is a gorgeous, successful architect with a player reputation. He makes it tough for Sophie to remember that she’s sworn to be single. Nick’s avoided the intimacy of a long-term relationship–until Sophie’s independence, courage, and beauty touch his guarded heart. Both Sophie and Nick are terrified of being hurt again, but can they resist the pull of true love?

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Excerpt

He poured the wine and offered the glass to her. When his fingers brushed hers, flames shot straight to her belly. Her heartbeat accelerated as she imagined those hands running down her body. Focus, girl, focus.

Flings were in her future, just not yet. She resolved to keep her mind above the table. One problem. Her body wasn’t quite cooperating with her mind.

“So, what brought you to Laguna from San Diego?”

“It’s a long story, I don’t want to bore you with the details.” Sophie stiffened, refusing to allow memories of Doug to ruin her appetite.

“You couldn’t bore me.” He reached across the table and squeezed her hand.

She jolted as once again her nipples pebbled.  She yanked her hand back into her lap. What was going on?

“I was going to take a sabbatical, oh hell. I realized I never wanted to go back, so I guess I quit my job at Healthy Woman. I was an editor.” She guzzled down half her glass of wine.

“I’ve seen that magazine. What happened?” Nick leaned closer, heat darkening his eyes.

“The job was fine…” She polished off the rest of her wine. At this rate, I’ll be sloshed by the time our entrees arrive. Slow down Sophie.

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Author Bio and Links

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_SecondChanceinLagunaClaire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. Her debut releases from The Wild Rose Press on March 31, 2017 and is the first in the Finding Forever in Laguna series.

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Giveaway

Claire Marti will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Review

KTFourStars

Second Chance in Laguna is a fun, light, sexy romance by Claire Marti. It isn’t a book that deals with second chances alone, but also with betrayal, insecurities, sabotage and trust.

“Is it better to regret the things you’ve done instead of those you haven’t?”

Sophie, the main character, is a woman who has decided to reinvent herself, to start fresh, right after her fiancé breaks up with her. Regardless of what her friends and family expect from her, she decides to move to another city and start a career that he loves, writing. Not giving a second thought and fully decided to place love and relationships in the back burner as she reaches her main goal: write her first novel.

Because she planned on chaining herself to her computer for the foreseeable future, she crammed the cart with colorful produce, basic supplies, and enough chocolate to repair any crisis.

However, life has other plans for her.

Right now, Nick signaled danger. Too kind. Too handsome. Too everything.

She ends up having a very hot and handsome landlord, Nick. He is the definition of sexappeal, he’s not only physically attractive, but fun. His sense of humor makes you fall in love with him immediately. On his part, Nick has gained a player reputation, even if he’s unaware. He also has ambitious goals in his architectural career that have him concentrated in work and nothing much.

His sole focus for the last fifteen years, besides taking care of his baby sister, was to become one of the top architects in the country, just like his father.

The attraction between them is palpable since the beginning of the story. The dynamic between them has the reader wanting them to understand that they’re meant for each other even if both of them resist to let their relationship to become serious and exclusive. These characters are complex and insecure, but most of all they’re likable, especially the little furry pets that make the story more entertaining and realistic.

“You’d be better off not getting involved with me.” Bullshit. We’re already involved.

Second Chance in Laguna is the kind of book that light, enjoyable and easy to read. It’s romantic and funny, the perfect summer read!

 

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Before you go…

Scoll down to read the post that Claire wrote for my blog exclusively!

Don’t forget to participate in the giveaway and get your copy of Second Chance in Laguna.

Buy Links

Amazon ♦ The Wild Rose Press, Inc. ♦ Barnes and Noble ♦ Kobo ♦ iBooks

Giveaway

Claire Marti will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

RAFFLECOPTER

 

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Guest Post by Claire Marti

I’m very excited to have you meet Claire Marti, author of Second Chance in Laguna. When I learned about her story I knew she was someone I wanted you to meet. She had a story to tell, as we all do, but in her case she refused to let herself down to a terrible desease and achieve wellness through the storm.

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surviving how to

Surviving the Unthinkable

How to achieve wellness through the storm

 

Seven years ago, I received a dramatic reminder that now is the time to live life to its fullest. Not tomorrow. Today. All we really have is the present moment. Here’s my story.

In January 2010, I was living my dream. I had exited corporate America the year prior and was happily balancing teaching yoga full-time with a blossoming writing career. I was in a relationship with the man of my dreams, living close to the ocean. To put it simply, I was happy. Out of the blue, I found a lump in my breast. I was shocked and devastated, especially because I had a clear mammogram three months earlier. I was healthy, fit and felt invincible

Over the course of that year, I endured three surgeries, six rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, and almost two months of daily radiation. I balanced out this assault on my body with a primarily plant-based diet filled with anti-oxidants, daily exercise, acupuncture, and most importantly, yoga. My doctors often commented that I was their “Superwoman Patient” because I never got really nauseous through chemo and seemed to maintain a comparatively high level of energy during treatment.

Don’t get me wrong: many days I was exhausted and despondent. Despite the fluctuations in my energy levels, I continued to teach most of my yoga classes and got certified to teach Yoga for Cancer Recovery while undergoing chemotherapy myself.

cancer attacks your bodyCancer attacks your body, but it also attacks your mind and heart as well. Feeling physically sick often isn’t the biggest challenge of a serious illness. Mental perspective and emotional balance are vital to navigating through the tough challenges. Were my values and emotions aligned with my daily life?

Before cancer, I had learned at a young age to live in the here and now. I know first-hand that your loved ones can be snatched from you too soon. I’ve lost three brothers and my older sister is also a breast cancer survivor. I understand loss. I understand grief. So, I have never hesitated to take risks, to make changes, to shift gears, careers, you name it. I’ve always wanted to squeeze all that I could out of every day. It is easy to lose sight of that in our busy lives. Cancer can be a wake-up call.

 

You’d think I wouldn’t need a reminder, especially not one in the form of cancer. After all, in sixth grade I’d won a contest for writing the best essay entitled “The Time is Now.” Seriously. The dubious reward for this honor was reading the essay over the morning announcements to the entire school. Let’s just say I was embarrassed for the rest of the day.  

yoga kept me sane

So, how did I choose wellness through that terrible year? After a great deal of crying, screaming, anger, and self-pity, I decided that I would do my best to live in the present through my cancer journey. Teaching and practicing yoga kept me sane. Being able to lose myself in the joy of stepping onto the mat or guiding my students through practice was a blessed escape from my own story, which at times was very dark. Yoga is about becoming present. Yoga is about living in the now and experiencing ease and the discomfort of each day.

Practicing yoga and/or exercising empowers you. It helps to handle side-effects of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Taking some time to boost energy, improve mood, and learn relaxation techniques helps combat fatigue, stress, and pain.

Blogging my experience was another way I coped. Sharing my experiences: the good, the bad, and the ugly helped me and many people told me it helped them and their loved ones as well. I was real. I was raw. I was actually quite entertaining, but I definitely didn’t sugarcoat anything. It was quite a rollercoaster ride. I compiled those blogs into a memoir, Come Ride with Me Along the Big C, in the hopes that I would help and inspire others.

Treatment stinks. Being forced into inactivity and weakness drove me crazy. I hated feeling stagnant. One day, I was happy Claire, thrilled with yoga and love and friends and the sun setting over the ocean and the next, a bitter bald lady curled in a ball, hiding under the covers for hours or even days at a time feeling like the only person on earth.

To counteract the myriad of emotions, I scheduled positive experiences to balance out the dark ones. For the last three rounds of chemo, my husband and I went on some great trips. I didn’t want to postpone vacations until I was done; I wanted to live in the moment, despite the baldness and weakness.

accept love and supportWhat was the biggest gift of cancer? It varies for most people, but usually there are silver linings in the difficult times. For me? I learned an incredible lesson: I learned how to accept love and support.

I’ve always been independent, always taken care of myself, and always prided myself on keeping it together. I prided myself on my strength. Well, I got to the point where I couldn’t keep it together, where I couldn’t take care of myself, and something profound happened.

When I relinquished the tight leash of control, a huge groundswell of support, love, and

 

generosity enveloped me. Not just my wonderful husband, not just my family and close circle of friends. No–acquaintances, strangers, blog followers, you name it. Letting go of control allowed me the biggest gift: learning to truly receive.

So, was 2010 the toughest year of my life? Absolutely. Was it also a year of incredible growth and gifts? Definitely.

Most of all, traversing through cancer was a reminder that the time is now to live your life to the fullest.

 

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I’m sure she’ll be happy to hear from you, please leave a comment before you go. Here are her social media pages, make sure to visit her there too.

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Rock Star

 

Today we have the release day blitz for Rock Star by Stacey Kennedy! Check it out and grab your copy now!

Rock Star

by Stacey Kennedy

Contemporary Romance

About Rock Star

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy.

Veterinarian, Rae Evans expects to attend a dreadful ten-year high school reunion. Instead, she’s confronted by a past she’s never gotten over. The love of her life, Travis Walker, has returned to Catfish Creek, and the now-famous rock star wants only three things: Her. Naked. And screaming his name.

Fresh off his last world tour, Travis has returned to town to get a dose of reality. With fame casting a superficial cloud over Travis’s life, he’s scrambling to stay afloat. He needs an anchor, and Rae is that for him. But as he finds himself, he’s determined to remind Rae of the heat that once burned between them.

Before they know it, their one hot night is three, and soon, just like ten years ago, Travis holds the strings to Rae’s heart. But Rae’s not that young girl who watched her high school sweetheart race off to become famous. She’s a woman who knows what she wants and realizes when a man needs her. She just has to decide if she should put the past on repeat, or walk away from it forever.

Get ROCK STAR today!

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Exclusive Excerpt

Travis Walker made women’s panties disappear.

On most nights, anyway.

Tonight, sitting on a wooden stool set upon the stage at Catfish Creek High School’s conference center, only one woman was on his mind. His fingers strummed over the strings of the guitar, mouth rested near the microphone, and after he sang the final two lines of the chorus—I wanna kiss you under the moonlight. And love you ‘til the sun comes up—the applause from the crowd reopened his eyes.

Sparkling string lights and masquerade masks hung from the ceiling above him, reminding him that he wasn’t surrounded by thousands of his typical screaming and wild fans. In his Texas hometown, he stared out at teachers, old friends, and classmates, all dressed in formal wear and masquerade masks.

From his seat in the spotlight, he recalled playing for smaller crowds on this very stage back in high school. Those had been some of the happiest days of his life. Now, fresh off his last world tour, he realized he loved that scene, too. The energy of a smaller crowd, who knew him personally, and a larger crowd, who thought they were in love with him, was so different he couldn’t compare the two, but admittedly, he missed the intimacy that came from a smaller venue.

Done with his song, and with the crowd quieting, he slid the guitar strap over his head and handed the instrument back to a member of the band that’d been hired to play at Catfish Creek High School’s ten-year reunion. When he jumped off the stage, he sighed in relief, finding that all the cell phones pointed in his direction were now put away, and the flashing lights were gone.

That’s when he set his focus on what mattered tonight: finding her. Rae Evans—the muse behind the song he sang tonight, Moonlight.

He scanned the crowd overtop the decorated tables with their gold chairs, but the beauty had escaped him somehow. He recognized Annie Flowers, the librarian, who gave him a little wave, and Christopher Christianson, the principal, who was grabbing a drink from the bar. Travis could have sworn he spotted Rae entering the masquerade ball when he began his song. Desperation now clawed at his chest.

Determined to find her, he moved farther into the crowd, just as his cell vibrated in his pocket.
Knowing exactly who it’d be, and that he couldn’t ignore the call, he reached for his phone and then frowned at the text from his manager, Scott Price.

Awesome job. The video is already up on YouTube. Fans are loving it. The mask was a nice touch. Don’t miss your flight in the a.m.

Travis shifted the black masquerade mask around his eyes, and the muscles along his shoulders tightened with the reminder of the weight they carried; of the need for him to always be on point, and the fact that nothing, not even his high school reunion, was sacred anymore.

Life had changed dramatically since the last time Travis stepped foot in the conference center. But he didn’t want to think about the shit weighing on him, so he fired off a response—I’ll be on it—then tucked his cell phone back into his pocket.

He had tonight to fix everything that was wrong with his life, and he wouldn’t waste it.

In the eyes of his manager, Travis had come to the reunion to put on a show and to look real to his fans. But Travis hadn’t come for the publicity; he had come for one very good reason: to find his anchor—the woman who stopped his world from spinning wildly out of control.

Lately, in a sea of chaos, he’d finally stopped drowning and saw a way back to the happiness he once had. That happiness had started with Rae, and surely, she was his way to find himself again.

One touch. One taste. He wanted to remember what that happiness felt like.

Again, he searched the crowd, ignoring the way some men glowered at him, and some women batted their lashes. Rae. That’s whom he’d come here to see tonight. Only her.

The band behind him started playing another ballad, and that’s when he found her, staring right at him from across the room. She wore a sleek, black, strapless gown around her slender figure with matching long, black gloves.

His muscles surged with adrenaline, and he went to move toward her when a hard voice came from behind him.

“Karly wants you to play another song.”

Travis slowly glanced over his shoulder to find the biggest asshole in Catfish Creek High School history, Jason, a blond-haired, slender, one-time big shot. Rae was best friends with Kate, and Kate had loved—and later married and divorced—the dipshit behind him.

Times had changed.

Travis didn’t owe Jason anything now, and he certainly didn’t owe the reunion’s event planner, Karly, shit. “You can tell Karly that I told her I’d play one song, and that’s exactly what I did. Bother me again, and we’ll have a problem.”

Jason didn’t make a move or say a word in rebuttal. Once a coward, always a coward.

Refocused on the only person who mattered tonight, and pulled by the energy only Rae conjured, Travis stretched out his fingers, shedding his frustrations as he moved with purpose through the crowd. Her pretty, hazel eyes surrounded by dark makeup followed his every move, and she yanked him forward with a simple look.

She’d always been a pretty girl, but she’d grown into a blindingly beautiful and stunning woman. Her gown fit her like a glove. A gold filigree mask somehow made the creaminess of her skin appear richer. She wore her shoulder-length, brown hair in big waves framing her round face.

Tonight, she didn’t look so fresh-faced and innocent. She looked sexy as hell, and just the sight of her again caused Travis’s cock to swell eagerly.

While he’d talked to her through email, text, and the occasional late-night, drunk phone call every birthday and Christmas over the last ten years, he hadn’t seen her. Not since that day on his parents’ porch. Sure, he’d kept an eye on her through the Catfish Creek Chronicle when they featured her for her charity work, and also on the website for the vet clinic she owned. But after he’d walked the path that led away from her, he’d never found his way back. Life got busy. New friends were found. Fame overtook him.

Now, he was…home.

When he finally reached her, the air between them felt charged. “Rae,” he said.

Her eyes warmed. Dark, red-painted lips curved. “Travis.”

Christ, he remembered how those lips tasted. How she tasted—every goddamn inch of her.

Beneath her mask, those pretty eyes now turned a little suspicious. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming to the reunion?”

Perhaps he should have called, but… “I wanted to surprise you.” Because there were important reasons he returned to his hometown, ones that he didn’t want her to know about. Yet.

It all began with an article in the Catfish Creek Chronicle.

Dr. Rae Evans feels she’s done what was needed to help the animals in Catfish Creek, and she’s ready to begin a new journey. She’s looking to open another clinic in one of the neighboring towns.

At twenty-eight years old, she’d achieved what she hoped to do by thirty, and that article reminded him of the guy he used to be when she’d first made those plans. He wasn’t the same man who left Catfish Creek all those years ago, and he didn’t know when exactly he lost himself. While Rae had likely found all the happiness she wanted in her success, he simply wanted to find his way back to the carefree guy he once was.

To do that, he had to come back to the place where he was the happiest. He had to come back to her. “But to tell you why I wanted to surprise you, I need to tell you a story.” He offered his hand. “How about we dance, and I’ll share it.”

For a second, he thought she might refuse him. She simply stared at his hand.

When her eyes met his again, and she slowly slid her palm into his, the tightening in his chest eased. He closed his fingers around hers and sensed her soften, making him smile.

Reliving that infectious energy she carried, he led her into the middle of the dance floor, then he spun her around and pulled her to him, nice and close, sliding his hand across her lower back.

She laughed softly, eyes twinkling behind her mask. “You’ve still got the moves, I see.”

“My moves will never fail me.” He grinned.

The band played the perfect song. Something a little sexy and slow, keeping her hips swaying perfectly with his. He did nothing to shield his erection, but one look into her eyes told him that was all right. With her breasts pressed against his chest, her cheeks a little pink now, he noticed the heat in the depths of her gaze. He’d recognize it anywhere. That fire felt like it belonged to him—always had, always would. Yet in the past, she’d shy away from that desire. Now, he noted how she firmly held his gaze, telling him she wasn’t the young lover he once had.

“How long are you staying in town?” she asked, in an obvious attempt to divert their attention away from his cock.

“Just tonight.” He stroked his thumb over the back of her hand, keeping her as close as he could, inhaling her flowery scent that had faded from his memory. “I fly out bright and early in the morning.”

“Only tonight?” She shot him a questioning glance. “You came all the way here from New York just for the reunion?”

“You seem surprised.”

She shrugged, seemingly unaffected when another couple bumped into her, her interest obviously centered on him. “Seems like a long way to come for only a few hours.”

A very good point, indeed. “Well, you see, that brings us to my story.” He sent her out, twirling her around before bringing her in close again and returning the smile she gave him. “But I think we need to go back even further for you to truly understand.”

“Go on,” she said, watching him closely.

He paused, collecting his thoughts, then he began. “You’ll never hear me complain about my life. I have far more than I probably deserve.”

“That’s a good thing,” she said firmly, even as a playful grin teased her lips. “You have a pretty amazing life, and you’d better not complain to me about all the fabulous trips you get to take around the world, or you might lose a tooth.”

He chuckled but leaned in, calling her out. “And how do you know so much about my life? Reading up on me?”

“A little,” she admitted.

That’s what he liked most about Rae. She was honest, through and through. The fact that she followed his life could bite him in the ass later, but at this point, there was no going back, so he pushed the conversation along. “So, then you know that I have a very good life. I travel. I stay in fancy hotels. I eat at amazing restaurants. I never have to lift a finger. I have everything that anyone should want.”

Her eyes searched his. “But it’s not the life you want?”

Of course, she caught on. He didn’t expect otherwise. That’s why he’d come to the reunion—to be with someone who truly knew him. “It’s not that I don’t want the life I live,” he explained gently. “It’s that something is missing. Something very important.”

“Which is?”

“The guy I used to be.”

She began nibbling her lip like she used to do in high school when she became confused. “What do you mean?”

“I can have anything I want, Rae. There is nothing that’s not available to me.” He slid his hand along her spine, pulling her in closer, leaving no room between them. “But the guy I was when we were together…I don’t know him anymore.”

Her eyes softened, and her voice grew quiet. “That’s really kinda sad, Travis.”

“It is what it is.” He shrugged, not wanting to get stuck on the things he couldn’t change. “My manager told me that I’d been invited to the reunion and saw it as a business opportunity. But I saw it as a personal one.”

The song shifted to something faster, and the crowd began to fill the dance floor, bumping into his back. He refused to let her go, holding her tightly against him. “Do you want to know the real reason I came to the reunion tonight?”

“Yes,” she said, a little breathlessly.

“I came to relive the past, Rae.” He released her hand, wrapping his other arm around her and bringing his mouth close to hers. “That’s the only reason I’m here. I want to remember what it’s like to be with a woman who knows the real me.” He was encouraged by her shiver. An involuntary movement that spoke of her willingness to give him all that he wanted and more.

Hot and hard, he dropped his head into her neck, inhaled the subtle hints of her flowery perfume, and said into her ear, “We have a chance that many people don’t get. To go back and feel what we felt before.” He dragged his nose across her neck in the way he knew she liked, feeling her quiver under his hands. “Tomorrow, our lives will return to normal. Nothing will have changed. You’ll live here, entirely focused on your clinic and your life, and I’ll live mine in New York. Tonight’s our one free pass to dip into the past, and I want to take it. Because tonight, Rae”—he brushed his lips across her neck, and a soft moan escaped her mouth as he murmured—“I want one more taste of you.”

She gasped and stepped back, blinking rapidly. “I…sorry, excuse me. I need to get some air.” Then those pretty pink cheeks and wide, excited eyes were gone, her dress trailing behind her as she ran for the door.

Travis shoved his hands into the pockets of his suit and grinned. He didn’t mind hunting her, it sweetened his reward.

 

 

Don’t miss the other books of Bad Boy Homecoming.

Dropout by Carrie Ann Ryan

Trouble by Avery Flynn

Prom Queen by Katee Robert

Honor by Kennedy Layne

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy has written more than 30 romances, including titles in her wildly hot Club Sin, Dirty Little Secrets, and Filthy Dirty Love series. Her books are about real people with real-life problems, searching for that special thing we call love…in a very sexy way. When she’s not burning up the pages and setting e-readers ablaze, she’s living her happily ever after with her husband and two young children in southwestern Ontario. She’s a firm believer that wine, chocolate, and sinfully sexy books can cure all of life’s problems. To keep in touch with Stacey, get updates right to your inbox at staceykennedy.com/newsletter/.

 

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Roar

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Now available, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Grab your copy today!

About ROAR (Stormheart #1):

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to
spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

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EXCERPT

“This life is not glamorous,” Duke told her. “We travel constantly. We sleep on the ground most nights. When we’re not in danger from storms, we’re in danger in cities where we are considered criminals. This life is not for the faint of heart.”

“There are things I do not know, things I will have to learn. But I am capable. I am familiar with sacrifice. I know what it is to make hard choices.”

“Tell me you’re not considering this,” Locke said to Duke.

The old man was silent for a long moment, both Locke and Roar looking to him for support. Duke rubbed at his mustache, a habit of his when he was thinking deeply. “Let’s think about this, Locke. She’s smart. And determined.”

“She’s a child.”

Roar’s shoulders hunched in Locke’s peripheral vision, and he swallowed back the guilt. He could apologize later. For now, it was imperative that he won this argument.

You were a child when I brought you into the fold,” Duke said. “She’s a young woman with a good head on her shoulders. And if this is what she wants, I’m inclined to at least hear her out.”

Just like that, Roar’s shoulders straightened, and Locke turned to watch a devastating smile bloom across her mouth. His weakness when it came to her only made him more cross.

“What skills do you have?” he snapped at Roar.

“Skills?”

“Yes, skills. What can you do? Or do you just plan to tag along for the ride?”

A flush spread over her cheeks, and her voice was tentative when she answered, “I’m good on a horse. Very good.”

Where in the world would she have learned to ride? He quickly hardened his expression. “Horses are fine for travel, but they don’t do well in storms. They, unlike you, have good survival instincts.”

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Locke could have sworn he felt an updraft—the first sign that bad weather could occur—and he knew that this time he had pushed too far.

Roar marched toward him, spearing a finger into his chest and said, “I can read and write. I can speak Taraanese, Finlaghi, and Odilarian. I can read maps. I know enough about grassland vegetation and wildlife to survive without a market to buy food and drink. I’m good with knives and a bow. I learn quickly, and I’m not afraid of hard work. And I’ve spent my entire life reading as much about storms as I could get my hands on.” For a moment, her voice cracked under the weight of her anger, but she took a huffing breath and continued: “I’m good with numbers. It’s been a while, but I think I can probably still draw the constellations from memory, which should make me decent at navigation. I can—“

“Enough.” Locke’s voice came out in a deep rasp. He captured her long, delicate finger in his fist before she could continue poking him. He felt short of breath at the sight of her—livid and lovely. “Enough.”

The old Locke might have kept arguing, and Roar would have met him toe-to-toe. But if becoming a storm hunter had taught him anything, it was that fighting head-on wasn’t always the way to win. Sometimes strategy was required. He met Duke’s eyes over her shoulder, and if he had thought Roar looked smug before, she had nothing on his mentor. The man raised his eyebrows in a challenge and asked, “You?”

He hated the idea of bringing someone into this dangerous life, but if it was going to happen regardless, he sure as hell wouldn’t hand her safety over to anyone else, not even Ransom. And at the very least, it would give him the opportunity to change her mind. He gritted his teeth and nodded his acceptance.

 


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Cora Carmack - author picAbout Cora Carmack

Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Since she was a teenager, her favorite genre to read has been fantasy, and now she’s thrilled to bring her usual compelling characters and swoon-worthy romance into worlds of magic and intrigue with her debut YA fantasy, Roar. Her previous adult romance titles include the Losing It, Rusk University, and Muse series. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website www.coracarmack.com.

 

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EskieMama and Dragon Lady Celebration

Good morning amazing people out there,

I’m super excited that today I was invited to celebrate with Melissa and Jara their first aniversary. To celebrate, they organized several spotlights and giveaways… there’s a Facebook Hop, a Facebook Party and a Big Giveaway.

Honestly, you can’t miss it!

Visit their Facebook Celebration Event Page to learn all about the celebration, fun and prizes. It all starts today.

I couldn’t miss the chance to party with EskieMama and Dragon Lady, so you’ll find my name around. But first, let me share with you the Facebook Hop links.

Facebook Hop

Celebration FB Hop

Andy Peloquin
Ani Bishop
Autumns and Author
Cajun Heat Book Blog
Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott
Clare’s Mad About Books
Dahlia Donovan
Irish Daisy Loves Romance
Dena Garson
Elizabetta Holcomb
Ember-Raine Winters
Eva Charles
Izzy Szyn
Jadyn Lucas
Janet Nissenson
Jennifer Sivec
Joanne Rock
K. Reese
K.T. Castle
K.M. Lowe
Kristen Collins
Kristine Dugger
L.V. Lewis
Lucy Belle
Lucy Farago
M. Eror
Marie Landry
MM Billiter
Megan Lowe
MK Meredith
Mustang Prairie
Natalie Rios
Once Upon An Alpha
Randi Perrin
Roisin Black
Sandra R Neeley
S.E. Redd
Sexy Sirens Book Blog
Escape Reality
Victoria Monroe
WS Carmichael
Zeia Jameson
Karen Raines
EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads

Make sure to follow the hop, there’s different prices that each stop is giving away!

Facebook Party

EskieMama &

As part of the celebration there will be a FB Party where many authors will be talking about their work, answering questions and, of course, many prizes. I posted it on my facebook page, but if you missed it, here’s the link.

Here!

You don’t want to miss this one! Here are some of the people that will participate in the Spotlight: Virginia Carey, Mary Billiter, Victoria Monroe, Dahlia Donovan, Ember-Raine Winters, LJ Shen, K.M. LoweNatalie-Nicole BatesKaren RainesBrittany CrowleyJanet NissensonDavid Kummer, Lucy FaragoKristine DuggerMegan LoweElizabetta HolcombK. Reese, Joanne Rock, Genevieve Ryan, N.D. Jackson, Liv Moore, Lucy Belle, Bre Meli, Ani BishopCari Quinn & Taryn ElliottAndy PeloquinEva CharlesRandi PerrinIzzy SzynZeia JamesonKristen CollinsRoisinJennifer SivecScarlett Redd and many others!

Big Giveaway

Like I mentioned before, there’s a huge giveaway that many people contribuited on.

YOU HAVE TO PARTICIPATE!

To do so, click here: GIVEAWAY

EskieMama and Dragon Lady have friends lots of friends that pitched in to creat an amazing prize. One so big, that it was divided into three. Here’s how they broke it down:

GRAND Prize #1

$25.00 GC by Cajun Heat Book Blog; $10 by GC Bre Meli; $5 GC by Ani Bishop; Paperback of Mister Moneybags by Virginia Carey; Paperback of The Bridesmaid’s Checklist: Laura’s Wedding, 1 pin, a thermos, a bookmark & $5 GC by K.T. Castle (ME!); Paperback by WS Carmichael; Jewelry pouch, earrings & swag by Dena Garson; $5 GC / ebook copy of The Wanderer by Dahlia Donovan; ebook of winner’s choice valued at $7.99 or less by Janet Nissenson; ebook of Savannah’s Legacy by Scarlett Redd; ebooks 1 & 2 of Pride and Honor Series by Ember-Raine Winters, any Amazon Book 7.99 & less EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads.

Grand Prize #2

$25 GC by Rockstar PR; $10 GC / ebook by Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott; ebook & swag by Kristen Collins; Paperback of Burning Hearts by Author KM Lowe; a keyring and a ribbon book marker plus an ebook by LUCY FARAGO; ebook by L.V. Lewis; ebook The Magnate’s Mail-Order Bride by Joanne Rock; ebook My Abigail: A Psychological Thriller by David Kummer; any Amazon Book of 5.99 & less by EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads; Two ebooks of choice by Sandra R. Neeley; The Eva Series Collection (two books) by Jennifer Sivec.

Grand Prize #3

$10.00 Amazon GC / swag by Shelley Springfield; $5 GC / ebooks of Holding on Forever and Falling Forever by Victoria Monroe;  $5 GC by Natalie-Nicole Bates, Swag by Mary Billiter; ebook by Randi Perrin; ebook Blade of the Destroyer by Andy Peloquin; ebooks of three novellas and the full length novel by Roisin; ebook by Elise Faber; ebook Waiting for the Storm by Marie Landry; ebook by Once Upon An Alpha, any Amazon book 3.99 or less by EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads, Paperback by Sawyer & Fin Zeia Jameson, ebook by Kristine Dugger.

I sincerely can’t tell which prize is better. So good luck to everyone!!

The giveaway will run from Monday June 12th – Friday June 16th. Winners will be drawn on Saturday June 17th.

Thank you, Melissa and Jara, to make this Spotlight and inviting us to participate!

Kind regards,

K.T.

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Spooning Daisy

Spooning Daisy

by Maggie McConnell

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Genre

Contemporary romance (romantic comedy)

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Blurb

 

Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce to die for. But Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen after a “bit of trouble” at her last job. Now blacklisted from Seattle to San Francisco, Daisy’s sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge in Otter Bite, Alaska, where the end of the road is just her beginning.

 

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Excerpt

Max cocked his head at her. No siree, Bob. Daisy Moon was not easy. She was like a 1500 piece puzzle, where all the pieces are really tiny, and similar in shape and color, but are nonetheless different, and it would take weeks, maybe even months, just to get the edges put together.

“Don’t look so surprised,” she said. “I know I’m not exactly laid back. Okay, maybe that’s being kind,” she responded to Max’s smile. “But I’m an incredible cook. And a really good speller. Not to mention having a humongous vocabulary. I came in fourth in the national spelling bee championship when I was fourteen.”

Without meaning to, Max pictured Daisy at fourteen, in a prim white blouse and a demure plaid skirt with her hair tied back in a ribbon, triumphantly spelling words like…concupiscence.

“Do I know what men want, or what?” Now Daisy smiled…at herself.

Taking the cue, Max leaned into her and spoke sincerely, but resisted the urge to cup her hand.

“Somewhere there is a man who wants a pretty redhead who’s difficult and a great cook with a really humongous vocabulary who can spell…and next time it won’t be a cross-dressing felon.”

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Author Bio and Links

 

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_SpooningDaisyGolden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.

WEBSITE FACEBOOK 

BUY SPOONING DAISY

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Giveaway

 

Maggie McConnell will be offering 1) Nordstrom “Daisy” vegan leather clutch, 2) Nordstrom turtle pin, or 3) Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace to 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC).

 

ENTER HERE

 

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My Interview with Maggie McConnell

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Hello, everyone!!

I’m very excited to have Maggie McConnel visiting today. She was kind enough to let me interview her, and I’m thrilled to publish my very first author interview ever. 

Maggie is not only a great author, but an amazing human being with the biggest heart. She has travelled and lived all around the world. I personally love that she’s funny and witty, specially really down to earth… not only do we share love for animals but we both like sitcoms. There’s so much to learn from an author, it is always exciting to find similar tastes and activities. 

So, please, take a moment to read the interview and leave a comment. Be bold and brave and ask your own question. I’d love to hear what you have to say 😉

Hello, Maggie! Before I start asking you about everything there is to know about Spooning Daisy, I would love it if you share with us something unique that distinguishes you as an author.

Nothing like starting with a tough question! I think everyone is unique (in his/her perspective) and, at the same time, no one’s unique (we have many shared experiences). If I’m unique, it’s because of my combination of experiences, from my childhood spent overseas in countries like Vietnam and Ecuador, my extensive world travel, my life in Alaska, and now in Arizona, and all that goes with that. I’m not the only one who’s lived in Alaska and can fly a plane. I’m not alone in my love for animals, or even my ability to relocate rattlesnakes. There are others who have Art degrees and still others who have MBAs, and certainly, I’m not the only one who’s had to pick herself up after a divorce late in life. But it’s the combination of those experiences that color my writing (and plotting) and create a different (if not unique) reading experience. And I’m NOT mushy, so neither are my characters. No confessions of undying love or sentimentality. That might make me unique in the romance genre!

I really enjoyed your book and so did many other readers, but, what do you think about you book? What would be your review of Spooning Daisy (or could you describe it in five words)?

I’m humbled by the great reviews. I’m also humbled by the occasional bad review! Fortunately, more good than bad. I’m probably harder on Spooning Daisy than most readers—it’s not The Mists of Avalon—but it’s a happy book, and won’t give anyone nightmares; it’s something I would read in bed before turning out the light.  The writing is smart, dialogue witty, and plot unpredictable. The cast of characters, including Otter Bite, is quirky. 

The main character in your book, Daisy, was forced to rewrite almost her entire life. Would you share with us a moment in your own life that you’ve had to, or chose to, rewrite your own script?

I’ve started over a few times, by choice and not. When I was 26, I moved from Illinois to Alaska, by choice, but I did it without a job or a support group waiting for me. I sold my 280Z, bought a Ford truck, packed my clothes, art, dog and cat and drove the Alcan. (I’ll put some photos of that time on my author Facebook page.) More change when I moved from Alaska to Arizona, not really by choice, because my hubby wanted a ranch, and once again, I had to adjust to a different life. And then, 7 years later, after 24 years of marriage, we divorced, not my choice, and I felt really isolated and alone, and at age 55, I began a new life. So I understand what Daisy is going through, and I relate to her (sometimes) tough shell.

Even if Max is all kinds of man candy, he isn’t exactly the most lovable character at first read. He takes his time growing on and conquering Daisy’s heart. In your opinion, what’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Dialogue. Fortunately, I have a critique partner who catches dialogue that isn’t “manly” enough! But my career in business, where most of my colleagues were men, and having several very good male friends, plus two stepsons, two sons-in-law, and seven grandsons, gives me an advantage in “knowing” men. And I married later in life, so I had ten years of adult dating to get to know a variety of men. I feel confident in writing a believable character, even if he’s not instantly loveable. (Not every man is.)

Your characters go through a series of events that are challenging, even if they can come out as hilarious and entertaining. Worrying about these isn’t easy. What was Daisy’s hardest scene to write? Where did you get the inspiration to write it?

The hardest scene was probably when Daisy and Max were in the woods at night along with the bear and Daisy kept hearing “Yogigo” thinking it was Japanese, and the ensuing action. It can be hard to get comedy right, keeping it believable, without turning my characters into caricatures. My inspiration comes from watching sitcoms like Modern Family and Big Bang Theory and Life in Pieces (naming a few of my favorites). I gravitate toward the crazy and absurd and can often find it in my own life, then use it for my books.

Editing a book isn’t always fun.  Some scenes are difficult to let go of. What did you edit out of Spooning Daisy? Are you willing to share with us one of those rough draft scenes that didn’t make the cut?

I’d share one if I could, but Daisy didn’t require much editing. Ask me this question about Embracing Felicity—book 2 in the Otter Bite series. I got halfway through, started whacking, and took it in a different direction.

I believe that good writers love reading, but that doesn’t mean that authors necessarily follow avid readers’ trends. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I love Illusions by Richard Bach. I have it in a drawer of my nightstand, and periodically read it again. I’m also a fan of Dorothy Cannell who writes fun and funny mysteries. (Is there such a thing as mys-com?) A favorite book is How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams.

Are there any “Easter Eggs” in your books? Did you hide any secrets in Spooning Daisy that only a few people will find?

I’m not sure if this is an egg, but I do use a phrase in each book, which since I have only one published, no one would notice yet. But if you read book 2 (or any future book) you will find “like a red neon vacancy sign on a midnight highway.”

Authors are constantly under the microscope. People have great expectations about them and nothing less than perfect is always expected. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

During my freshman year at college, I had to write about “anything” for an English Composition course. I could think of nothing and time was running out. It was Sunday, and the piece was due Monday. I sat down at the typewriter and cranked out a couple of pages on “time.” The Professor loved it, likened it to Kafka, and I got an A on the paper and for the course. I mean, seriously, I was just trying to complete the assignment. Yet that experience has stayed with me forty years.

Would you give us a piece of advice? What are common traps for aspiring writers? And how do you recommend authors to avoid them?

I feel unqualified to give advice. I’m not trying to dodge the question, I simply don’t think I’m a writer to emulate. However, if you want good advice on how to do this writing/publishing thing?  ASK NORA!

 I’m sure taking some time to read this interview was worth your time. I’m really greatful for anyone visiting and encourage you to give me a like and leave a comment. 

It was super fun to create this interview for Maggie McConnell.

Thank you for visiting, Maggie! It was a wonderful experience to have you visit.

If you haven’t read Spooning Daisy I encourage you to do so. As Maggie described it you’ll find it fun, smart, witty, unpredicable and quirky. I honestly recommend it!

You can buy it here:

AMAZON BARNES AND NOBLE ⟡ KOBO

Before you go make sure to participate in the givaway that she prepare for you.

A Nordstrom “Daisy” vegan leather clutch, Nordstrom turtle pin, or Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace for 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC).

ENTER HERE

Again, don’t be shy. Take a minute to ask her your own questions. I’m sure she’ll be happy to meet you. 

Thanks, everyone!

Have the best day, 

KT

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Love in Transit

Today we have the release day blitz for Love in Transit, a sexy new project from Jana Aston, Ainsley Booth, Kitty French, BJ Harvey, Raine Miller, and Liv Morris!

Love in Transit

Contemporary Romance

About Love In Transit

You know those people that have a house full of motivational slogans? Embrace Every Moment, stamped on their coffee mugs. Always Kiss Me Goodnight painted above their perfectly made beds.

I’m not one of those people.

This morning I overslept, then slipped on a stray sock and banged my toe into the nightstand. The elevator in my building broke and I had to run down six flights of stairs. And then my local coffee shop was closed. For health code violations.

What’s that? Not the end of the world? You want me to suck it up?

Did I mention I’m wearing a wedding dress… on the subway?

It’s a Good Day for a Hot Mess. Someone embroider that on a pillow.

Get your copy today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads

Connect with the Authors

Jana Aston

Ainsley Booth

Kitty French

BJ Harvey

Raine Miller

Liv Morris

Enter the Fantastic Giveaway

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Salvage

Hi, you all!!!

I’m very excited to share a pre-order incentive for Salvage, the last book in the Saints of Denver series by Jay Crownover.

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You can preorder the book here:

AMAZON  *  BARNES AND NOBLE  *  KOBO  *  GOOGLE  *  iBOOKS

AMAZON UK  *  AMAZON CANADA

If (and that’s a big if) you don’t know her as an author, let me tell you that she’s AMAZING! I wish there was a better adjective to describe her. She’s my go-to author when I’m in the mood for something sexy, sassy and intense. Her books have great characters, with interesting plots. I really like and admire her as an author and human being.

Here are the links to her series:

The Breaking Point

The Marked Men (my personal favorite)

Saints of Denver

Welcome to the Point

The Getaway Series

Visit her website and join her newsletter to learn all about her writing. Even better, join her Facebook group (you’ll be seeing me there, too) to get instant information about it all.

If you haven’t already preorder Salvaged, here’s a little incentive:

coloring salvage

Saints of Denver Doodle &

Chapter of Dignity (Welcome to the Point series)

After you made your preorder fill out the form. It is very important that you do so.

PLEASE, FILL OUT THE FORM 🙂

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Salvaged Blurb

Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

You can preorder the book here:

AMAZON  *  BARNES AND NOBLE  *  KOBO  *  GOOGLE  *  iBOOKS

AMAZON UK  *  AMAZON CANADA