It’s My Birthday–and I’m (Over)Sharing the Love

Hi there! Gosh! I never thought I’d see this day. But here it is I’m 40.
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Doesn’t seem momentous?

I’ve suffered depression more years than I can count. Seems odd, for a gal like me perhaps. I’m educated–in science and medicine no less–and I have a great family, and a solid job in a good career, I’ve never done drugs (ever) and I’m a seldom drinker–but that’s the thing about depression. It’s an equal opportunity destroyer.

I never thought I’d BE 40, because I didn’t figure I’d live that long. It’s hard to see down the tunnel of depression. Everything feels so hard to manage, such a trial. Even breathing. There were days and weeks when the depression was overcoming me and it FELT like there was a 250 pound weight on my chest. Each breath hurt, crushing tears from my eyes at any moment.

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I’d like to say those days are over. But, they aren’t. They just don’t come as frequently anymore. Mostly, because I won’t let them. I have survived the darkest days in my life, and I take courage from that. I decide that my days will be more positive than negative, and I find faith in that. I look for the beauty that surrounds me, and I find joy in that. It helps. A lot, actually. Reading is escapism in it’s purest form, so reading has been a big part of my daily depression management. Maybe it’s that way for you, too. If so, I hope some of the books I’ve suggested were winners.

Okay–so most depressing birthday post ever, huh? Well, I got a silver lining. Or, a gift card lining anywho.

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In honor of my birthday I am sharing some of the love I’ve received in my 40 years. I’m giving away a $40 USD gift card to ONE winner–you choose the e-retailer. This is international. I can’t convert currency if the winner is outside the US, however so there’s that. 40 USD–whatever that amounts to in the country where you live.

And, to a second winner, a box o’ books off my shelf. Whatever I can stuff into one of those flat-rate USPS mailers–so this one’s US/Canada only.

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So, thanks for being here. Thanks for indulging me. I hope I entertain and bring new books to your mind and heart.
Best wishes to all of you, and thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Happy Book Birthday to FALLING FOR FATE by Caisey Quinn

FFF_BlitzBannerFALLING FOR FATE by Caisey Quinn is LIVE!

While second in the Second Chance series, this novel stands alone.

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*SURPRISE!! Caisey decided to include a Special Bonus Novella!

Grab your copy now and it will include Falling for You, the prequel to Falling for Fate!

**ON SALE DURING RELEASE WEEK FOR 2.99!
~PURCHASE LINKS~
DefineOftenTeaser

SYNOPSIS
Fate Buchanan just wants to escape the constraints of her old life. After checking her mother into rehab and catching her fiancé with her maid of honor the night before their wedding, she ran. Angry and hurt, she’s aching to do something reckless.

Dean Maxwell is having one last summer of freedom before taking over his family’s multi-billion dollar medical conglomerate. When he sees a beautiful woman running down the beach alone after dark, he knows it’s not safe. So he does something impulsive.

When their paths cross unexpectedly after a night of unbridled passion, neither of them can forget the memory of the affair they shared. What began as one night is about to become a whole lot more.*While part of the Second Chance series, this novel is a standalone.

CAISEY’S CASTING PICKS
FateDreamCast

EXCERPT

“God, you’re so f*cking beautiful.”

Her eyes widened up at him. She could only imagine how she looked. Hair messy and damp, his shirt sliding off one shoulder, eyes glazed over.

“You are.” He shook his head as if searching for the words to explain his attraction to her.

“That first night, swear to everything holy, I thought you might be some mythical creature come to steal my soul. But you were so damn beautiful that I would have given it to you.”

She kept quiet, afraid to move or speak and risk breaking the magic that kept him with her, kept him from running. He wasn’t running. He was opening up and being honest.

Dean lowered himself into the bed beside her, propping on one elbow and facing her. Fate mirrored his position and admired the way the moonlight lit his handsome face.

“I asked the universe for a sign. It sent me you.”

Her whispered confession made him smile. But his expression turned serious far too soon for her liking. “I felt it the moment I saw you. A compulsion like I’d never felt before, as if some unseen force propelled me toward you without my consent. I’ve felt it ever since.”

Fate rested her head on her hands and nodded against them. “I feel it too. I’m just…a little afraid of it. Of what it might cost us.”

“My mom used to say that things worth having didn’t come easy and that the kind of girl that was worth waiting for wouldn’t wait on anyone. Those two adages keep coming back to me every time I think of you.”

She inched her hand over toward his. “Do you do that often? Think of me?”

Dean kept eye contact, only breathing and watching her. “Define often.”

Fate grinned. “More than once a week.”

The slight curve of his lips faded and his gaze became a heavy, tangible thing she could feel pressing into her.

“I thought of you every day, Fate. And I didn’t even know your name. Even after I did… I think after that, it was more like several times a day.”

She wanted to keep this moment, to keep him here with her just like this. Both of them exposed and vulnerable. It was real and honest and—despite her exhaustion— exhilarating. But she knew it wouldn’t last forever. Nothing ever did.

“Sleep with me tonight. Don’t leave. Just… Just sleep with me, please.”

He nodded, letting his fingers interlace with hers between them and placing a soft kiss on the top of her hand. “I’m not going anywhere. Goodnight, sweetheart.”

“Goodnight, Dean.”

*PLAYLIST TRACK: Stay with Me by Sam Smith*

***GIVEAWAY***
Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win
Signed copies of FALLING FOR FATE and LAST SECOND CHANCE
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CaiseyQuinn Caisey Quinn lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, daughter, and other assorted animals. She is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series as well as several New Adult Romance novels featuring country girls finding love in unexpected places. You can find her online at http://www.caiseyquinnwrites.com

Connect with Caisey on Facebook and twitter

 

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WALLBANGER–Tastier Than I Imagined

You know how, sometimes, it seems everyone and your grandma is telling you about this book (or movie) they just experienced. “You can’t miss this! It’s SOOOO good!” they say.

Well, I’m always cautious about those sort of reviews. If they come from someone I know and trust, I tend to give it more weight. I heard about Alice Clayton‘s WALLBANGER long before I found it on the shelf. It has over 2000 5-Star reviews on Amazon, all singing such high praise. It’s been on my TBR a long time, languishing, because I was afraid to be disappointed by the hype.

SILLY ME!!!!

This is a first-class, snappy, romantic comedy that is long on sexual tension and short on time between laughs. I loved every second of it.

Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1)About the book:
The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women.

And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight…

My Review:
Caroline is a no-nonsense woman. She takes her life, and her job, seriously. She works hard and plays a bit, having two great friends from college with whom she regularly connects. As an interior designer, NOT decorator, she is moving up, taking on bigger clients and adores her boss–another career-focused woman. Caroline is also single. And, semi-okay with that. She had a rather long term thing previously, with a man who wanted her to change too much, to adapt her life to suit his career/life goals, so she walked away. In the interim a sloppy one-night fling destroyed her O–got it lost somewhere out in the Hinterland, always just out of reach.

Hearing the orgasmic caterwauling and banging of her sexually-gifted neighbor’s headboard through their adjoining wall (night after night) is wearing down Caroline’s patience, however. When the motion of his ocean actually brings down a piece of art, onto Caroline’s head, she tears into him in person, and the meet-cute is set.

Simon is a good guy. Sure he has a few regular gals with whom he has no-strings sex, but it’s all open. The gals know all about each other, and are comfortable with their casual arrangements. The altercation between Caroline and Simon only becomes more interesting when they meet in person, again, at the home of mutual friends. Inconveniently, Simon’s two best buds seem smitten with Caroline’s BFFs. They begin a dating circle, alternately inviting either Simon or Caroline out as fifth wheel.

Realizing the awkwardness of their position, Caroline and Simon strike a tentative truce, cemented with baked goods. Simon was orphaned in his teens and craves home-baked treats–while Caroline bakes away her frustration. The truce soon morphs into a friendship. Caroline has no interest in joining Simon’s harem, even if he is very attractive. It seems Simon, however, may be changing his ways. One after another of his regular visits seem to be off-schedule.

Caroline isn’t sure, but the idea that Simon is interested in a real relationship is certainly appealing to her, and her girly bits. Especially as Simon is a proven O finder. It takes him quite a while, however, and the journey is delicious.

I liked Caroline. She was sexy and sardonic. She talked to her cat as if he was a person. She has a good heart and a lot of respect for herself. At first, she believes Simon to be a shameless womanizer, but learns that he isn’t. He’s more of an opportunist, I’d say, having discreet relations with a few friends, for mutual satisfaction. When Caroline really gets to know him, she finds him to be very charming, and kind, and someone she honestly fears becoming intimate with, unwilling to upset their friendship. Caroline is a brave lass, however, and Simon can be irresistible, at times. Particularly when he’s got the right bait–a luxury trip planned to a destination Caroline longs to visit.

Lookit. This book is really something. If you enjoy romantic comedy, baking, cats with strong personalities, humorous plot twists and/or people slowly falling for each other in a very real way, this book won’t let you down. It has some heat, but it won’t melt your kindle. And, when the physicality develops, it’s all long, long after a true bond has been forged. I was glad I started it on a night the hubs was out-of-town because I couldn’t stop reading and spent half the night snortling with suppressed laughter trying not to wake my toddler in the next room. I had to power nap through the wee hours just so I could race to the finish.

Interested? You can find WALLBANGER on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Alice ClaytonAbout the Author:

Alice Clayton is a novelist with an unholy love for her KitchenAid mixer. Making her home in St Louis, she enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up afterwards, and is trying desperately to get her long time boyfriend to make her an honest woman. Hi sweetie!!

After working for years in the cosmetics industry as a makeup artist, esthetician, and national educator for a major cosmetics company, Alice picked up a pen (read laptop) for the first time at 33 to begin a new career, writer. Combining her love of storytelling with a sense of silly, she was shocked and awed to be nominated for a Goodreads Author award in 2010 for her debut novels, The Redhead Series.

Alice has penned three novels, The Unidentified Redhead,The Redhead Revealed, and coming soon in November 2012, Wallbanger. She thinks you should purchase them immediately. She’s not kidding, not even a little bit. Everyone needs some comedic erotica in their lives. She is hard at work on the third book in The Redhead Series, set to release in Spring of 2013, continuing the saucy and sexual escapades of everyone’s favorite couple, Jack and Grace.

Additionally, Alice loves spending time with her besties on Not Your Mother’s Podcast, make sure you check them out at notyourmotherspodcast.com or over on iTunes. 3 women rushing towards their forties still acting like teenagers. A saucy little mix of sex, love, relationships, pop cultural, celebrity gossip and All Things Jake Ryan.

Alice enjoys pickles, Bloody Mary’s, 8 hours of sleep, and a good pounding.

Finally Alice would also like all her readers and listeners to help her convince Mt. Alice that the only other thing that would make her truly happy is finally bringing home a Bernese Mountain Dog. She is totally serious. And done talking about herself in the third person.

You can connect with Alice on Goodreads, her website and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Happy Book Birthday to A PERFECT DILEMMA

Available today!

APD Amazon GR SW(1)

the final book in the A Perfect Secret Series

New Adult Contemporary Romance and Mystery

About the book:
The one secret she can’t stand to keep is the one she can’t afford to tell.
The perfect little rich girl, River Pearl Sutton has always done what her family expected of her. She’d become the perfect little beauty queen, the perfect child model and now her global success locks her into a life she never really chose.

Coming home for the summer to prepare for the Founder’s Day Festival, a celebration of her lauded ancestor, she is tasked by her father to write a speech to be delivered at the end of the party.

Returning to Hope Parish brings her back into close proximity with sweet-talking, skirt-chasing Braxton Outlaw, the boy who always seemed immune to her charms in high school. But now he looks at her with those challenging blue eyes, both intimidating and seductive at the same time. Using research of her family lineage and his as way to get close to this bad boy, they fall into a hot, torrid affair.

She stumbles across a terrible secret that could bring to ruin not only her reputation, but the reputation and standing of her family. But when her infatuation with Brax grows into something that she can’t live without, she must decide what to do. Keep the secret and lose Brax or destroy her family and lose them.

It’s an awful, heartrending perfect dilemma.

A Perfect Mess CoverA Perfect Mistake coverA PERFECT DILEMMA is the third book in the A Perfect Secret series. I’ve reviewed the other two books–and they were interesting, spicy New Adult reads. They are all stand-alone novels with some common characters and no cliffhangers.

If you’re thirstin’ for an entertaining quick read these Bayou books might could wet your whistle. Check out my reviews for either A PERFECT MESS or A PERFECT MISTAKE.

I’ll tell you, never did suspect a pretty young smart gal could hide a body so darn good. And the Outlaw triplets are a big ‘ol slice of yum.

Interested? You can find A PERFECT DILEMMA on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes.

The author is giving away (1) $25 Gift Card!

To enter, visit her Facebook page HERE.

About the Author
Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads | Newsletter

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They Embodied SADDLES AND SIN-Review and Giveaway!

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Hi there! Today I get to share my review of Jessie Evans’ newly release steamer–SADDLE AND SIN. It’s a contemporary romance featuring the hottest singing cowboy in five states (and Texas) and how he woos his Ice Queen manager into a Happily Ever After. #Loved.

SaS AmazonGRSWAbout SADDLES AND SIN
Even sweet cowboys have a sinful side…

Robert Lawson—Bubba to his friends—is six feet, four inches of tall, dark, and handsome cowboy, with a panty-melting voice and a face made to launch a country music career. But when his family’s ranch hands go down with the flu, Robert cancels his high-profile auditions in Austin, and returns home to Lonesome Point to help out. Fortune and fame are all well and good, but family and friends come first. Besides, he’s ready to enjoy some off-the-clock time with his manager, a woman who has him dying to show her what a good man can do to a woman when he’s given permission to be bad.

Marisol Medina has been looking for her golden ticket since she became a country music manager. A scandal with one of her clients nearly destroyed her, but now she’s close to launching an artist who will make her career. Robert Lawson has it all—talent, charisma, and a naughty side that flicks all of Marisol’s kinkier switches. But Robert is off limits. She refuses to mix business and pleasure, even if it will be hell resisting temptation while spending a week at the Lawson family ranch, doing her best to convince Robert to ditch the saddle and embrace his future as a star.

But as Marisol and Robert grow closer and the passion between them ignites, Marisol must decide if fear is stronger than love, or if a chance at forever is worth breaking all her rules.

My Review:
This is the second book in the Lonesome Point series, and I liked it better than the first.

Robert “Bubba” Lawson is reaching out for his dream. He’s always been a fave on the karaoke scene, but now he’s singing for real–booking gigs and everything. He’s keeping this on the super down-low because his mother is totally against performing, and especially against her sons growing up and moving away. Both his older brothers have built homes on their family ranch, but Bubba wants wings to fly. Oh, and he also wants his manager, Marisol.

Marisol got burned, professionally and emotionally, by a client/lover two years ago. Shunned by her family and plagued by internet video evidence of her folly, she’s sworn off men. Even Robert. Even panty-melting, heartstring-pulling, uber-lucious, destined-to-be-a-star Robert. Especially Robert, because he’s the real deal, both professionally and emotionally, and that scares the stuffing out of her pillows.

Okay. There are no surprises that Robert and Marisol do hit it. It’s more about how and when, and how they deal with it after. Marisol is loathe to give up any control in her regimented life, but she’s so attracted to the sensitive, hard-working, emotionally-available man who wants nothing more than to love and please her. Robert woos with the best of them: taking Marisol to his ranch to help with bull castrating. Yep, this cowboy is a real cowboy, fo sho.

I actually adored the ranching parts of this book. It felt fun and authentic. Marisol has more than a few tricks in her arsenal, and from the outset I felt compelled to cheer them on, knowing they would be each other’s best ally.

I got Marisol’s anguish–it’s brutal to have personal acts shared on porn websites. It’s rotten to be disowned by family. It’s empowering to isolate and cut away the hurting bits, but it’s exhilarating to be loved again, in spite of past mistakes. I so swooned for Robert. He didn’t bat an eyelash over Marisol’s sordid history. He loved her up, and down, and any which way he could get her. The smexytimes were G-O-O-D.

Bubba and Marisol made a great match and a great team, and this book is seriously just such a huge pile of beach-ready sunshine that I’m sure I’ll read it again. The Lonesome Point series is turning my head on cowboy romance. Or, maybe that was Bubba.

Interested? You can find SADDLES AND SIN on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.

About Jessie Evans

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessie Evans, gave up a career as an international woman of mystery to write the sexy, contemporary Southern romances she loves to read.

She’s married to the man of her dreams, and together they’re raising a few adorable, mischievous children in a cottage in the jungle. She grew up in rural Arkansas, spending summers running wild, being chewed by chiggers, and now appreciates her home in a chigger-free part of the world even more.

When she’s not writing, Jessie enjoys playing her dulcimer (badly), sewing the worlds ugliest quilts to give to her friends, going for bike rides with her house full of boys, and drifting in and out on the waves, feeling thankful for sun, surf, and lovely people to share them with.

Connect with Jessie Evans

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter

***GIVEAWAY***
Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win
a set of four silver Country/Western charms (Int’l)
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Inkslinger

New Release! STRIVING FOR PERFECTION by BL Mooney

 

 

Title: Striving for Perfection
Series: Striving #2
Author: BL Mooney
 Release Date: September 18, 2014

 

Synopsis

Perfection is a gimmick.

It’s something they use to sell you shit you don’t need. The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect marriage. Photos of that perfect life are all around us, but none of it exists.

I know better because I take those photos. It’s all a ruse to make us think that’s what we want. Behind closed doors, the house is a mess, the family is fighting, and that loving couple hates each other. I prefer a different city every week, laughing friends, and a variety of lovers.

Until Carl. I’m not sure what I want when he’s around.

Perfection is an illusion.

It’s something used to make you forget all the bad shit that happens in this world. It’s an unattainable dream not worth the effort.

I had the perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect marriage. Or so I thought. That illusion died with my wife and slammed me into reality. Aside from my daughter, business deals and making money is where my heart is now.

Until Rachael. I’m not sure what I feel when she’s around.

Links to Buy
Also Available
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#1 Striving For Normal
Coming Soon
#3 Striving For Acceptance

Excerpt

Cagney buzzed that the VIP had arrived. I stood up and smoothed out my jacket and slacks. I also took a moment to make sure the girls were still at optimum cleavage. Jimmy scoffed. “He’s married.”

I raised my eyebrows and looked at him. “So are you, but you still look.”

He shrugged, not denying the truth, and walked to the door. I was smoothing down the last of the wrinkles in my jacket when I heard his deep voice. I froze.

“Jim, thank you for meeting with me again.” I heard the door shut and heard him approach. I closed my eyes.

Carl Williamson was a man known to my family. He and my brother had fought for the same woman. Carl lost. He never stood a chance with his intimidating and aggressive tactics. He even used his daughter as a pawn to get Drew to go out with him.

I didn’t know who he was when I first met him. The only thing I needed to know was he was hot and I was in need of a hot man. At that time, being hot and single were my only dating requirements and I wanted to date Carl. It didn’t stop me from seeing him when I found out. A choice I later regretted.

Jimmy kept bringing him closer. “No problem. We’re just as excited to get started. This is the photographer you requested.”

“No. Fucking. Way.” I spun around and met Carl’s black eyes. It only took him a second to register what was happening and his eyes widened in surprise. “I’m not working with this asshole.” I started for the door.

“Rachael!” Jimmy grabbed my arm. He was surprisingly stronger than I had anticipated. “What’s wrong with you?” He tried to speak softly, but Carl heard him.

“I can’t do this.”

I couldn’t look at Carl. I already knew what he looked like. I didn’t need to see the man standing off to the side to know his shoulders were broad. I didn’t need to see the jet-black hair to remind me I wanted to run my fingers through it. I already knew he was the perfect height to offset my heels.

I could’ve bet money his designer suit fit his body perfectly, and was pressed as though he had just stepped off the pages of a magazine. And I didn’t need to see the look on his face to know his strong, squared jaw was set—hard. No, I didn’t need to see him again to remind me of all of that.

“You have to do this.” Jimmy started to drag me away from the door.

I wrenched my arm free of his grasp and from the corner of my eye, saw Carl take a step forward when Jimmy tried to grab me again. I placed my hand up to stop him. “Don’t.”

Jimmy held his hands up and backed away. “Just give us five minutes. I’m not sure what exactly went on between the two of you, but I’m only asking for five minutes.” I hesitated and Jimmy whispered, “Just think of the camera.”

I glanced at Carl and looked back to Jimmy. “Do I have to work with him?”

Carl answered. “Yes, you do.”

I could tell by the look on Jimmy’s face it was true. “Then forget it.” I turned and walked away. “I’m not working with an asshole.”

“Rachael,” Carl said my name as a command. It stopped me, but I didn’t turn around. “We can communicate through email. I’ll send you the list of prospects and you send me the photos, but you will answer directly to me.”

I turned at the sound of Jimmy whispering to see Carl silence him with the wave of his hand. “What aren’t you telling me?”

“Nothing that’s required for this job.”

Jimmy’s brows furrowed for a brief moment before he walked to his desk, shaking his head. “I don’t know what’s going on between you two, and I don’t want to know.”

“Nothing is going on.” I walked past Carl to Jimmy’s desk. “What were you whispering?”

“I had set up a test.” I still wouldn’t turn to look at Carl as he spoke. I watched Jimmy to see if Carl was being honest. “I didn’t know you were their best photographer. The test is no longer needed.”

“Of course it’s needed.” I finally turned to address him. “You don’t trust anyone, so I’ll take your lousy test. What is it? Stand on my head and get an impossible shot?”

It hit me then that both Cagney and Jimmy had said he was married. His wife had died over a year ago. I looked at the wedding ring on his finger. Carl noticed and put his hand in his pocket as I lifted my eyes to his. I stood there silent, just staring. I didn’t deserve an explanation, but one would’ve been nice.

Jimmy was either unaware of the tension or chose to ignore it. “He wanted family photos taken.”

“Jim.” He finally stopped staring at me and tried to stop Jimmy, but it was too late. He didn’t want me to take his family photos.

I couldn’t believe it. He was still hiding me as some mistress. I’m no one’s whore. I didn’t say a word. I just walked out. Jimmy was calling after me, but I ignored him and kept walking. I wasn’t going to stick around where I wasn’t wanted.

Problem was I didn’t know where I was wanted.

About the Author
B.L. Mooney started writing when the voices and storylines in her head ran out of room. They were getting too cramped and neither B.L. nor the characters could take it anymore, so she did the only thing she could do—she made room. She always knew she wanted to write, but vowed to make time for it later. Now that she’s made time for writing, most everything else falls to the wayside. That seems to suit the characters that keep popping up in her head just fine.

B.L. lives in the Midwest, and her other talents include in-demand cookies, a very dry sense of humor, and stealth eavesdropping. Some mannerisms, attitudes, or twists come from random sentences picked up while passing by strangers. So speak up the next time you have something to gossip about. You never know, it may just end up on the pages of the next book you read. She loves to hear from her readers and you can contact her via email at AuthorBLMooney@gmail.com

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Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win
a $10 Amazon Giftcard and one of 5 eBook sof STRIVING FOR NORMAL
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He was Better Than CHERRY PIE–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m featuring a newly revised, expanded, and re-released novel by Samantha Kane. CHERRY PIE is a contemporary M/M romance that is as “country” and “delicious” as the dessert of its namesake.

Cherry Pie (Mercury Rising, #1)About the book:
“You can go home again if you can get a foot in the door.”

Months after packing and moving from L.A. to Mercury, North Carolina, John Ford still hasn’t adjusted to the heat. Or, to life without his long-time partner gone nearly a year by now. As he fixes up the old house he bought, the quiet becomes his only companion, and he’s content with that until a deep-voiced stranger plants himself under a tree across the street.

Eight years ago, Connor Meecham left someone behind in that house:  himself. Now he’s back to find the man he used to be, before drugs and prison sent his life careening off the tracks. But it’s not his mother’s face peering through the window any more. It’s a man who seems as lost as Conn himself.

When John learns what the house and the dying town mean to Conn, he finds himself opening the door to his heart. Just a crack. But it’s enough to get mixed up in a world of emotions as complicated as the recipe for the perfect cherry pie. Where one misstep can turn something sweet and juicy into one hot mess.

Warning: Contains a guitar-wielding, brooding Southern boy and a reclusive millionaire with a weakness for cherry pie and hot coffee. Excessive porch sittin’ and lemonade included.

My Review:
I really enjoyed this book. First, John is a compassionate lead. He carries have the POV, and it’s good to see him break out of the shell he’s built around himself. He spent ten years as a monogamous partner to a closeted Army officer. This, in itself, wasn’t the worst part, however. It was how–at Steve’s funeral–John learned that he was the only monogamous partner in that relationship. Feeling betrayed, an unable to deal with his life in LA, he drives across the country and buys a worn-down farmhouse in Mercury, NC. It’s a po-dunk backwater town, but it’s perfect for John, who really wants to start over. He spends his time rehabbing the country home. John, see, he’s a very wealthy man–he designed an app game a number of years ago. And he’s kinda resting on his residual income.

Connor is a local boy gone astray. He was captain and quarterback of the state champ football team, on his full-ride to Univ of Georgia–when a hard tackle blew out his knee. Then it was failed rehab, painkillers and addiction. Followed by funding his addiction, however he could. Connor prostituted himself–first to high-paying men, and then to whomever would supply him, spiraling so far, he felt beyond redemption when he was finally arrested. That was three years ago and he’s been clean since. In that time, his mama died and he couldn’t bring himself to visit–even for the funeral.

Connor’s so emotionally lost, his only connection in the world is to the small town in which he was raised. His redemption tale begins at the end of John’s driveway. John is dismayed to see the hulking brute hanging out across the street in the shade of a tree. He tries to ignore him, but after a few days, John insists on driving Connor to the local shelter he helps to fund in town–it’s a safe space for homeless (straight and gay) men to live while they get their lives together. Connor’s mortified to be thrust back into the society he once knew, and reluctantly reveals his sordid tale, and his sexuality, to the people who feel, well, a bit taken aback. But, he does what he set out to do–come to terms with himself, and his past, and finds there are still people who care about him in this world. It’s quite the surprise.

Connor needs a job in order to stay in Mercury, that’s made crystal clear by the local law enforcement entities, and he begins to clean up his old home, with or without John’s approval. In time, John is obliged to accept Connor’s help, and offer him regular lodgings–allowing Connor to repair his own self-esteem in the process. These two find a mutual attraction, and when they become intimate, it is a mutually satisfying experience; John is allowed to be the top man–something Steve had never permitted, while Connor shares himself as a partner, not a boy toy–for the first time.

In the course of all these happenings, both John and Connor are also enveloped into the community of Mercury, and are able to make positive strides toward recover of the local economy. The small, close-knit group of neighbors with whom they associate–many being childhood friends of Connor–become the family that each of these men lacks. And that’s about as sweet as Connor’s mama’s signature cherry pie dessert the locals clamor to consume.

It’s a solid redemption tale, with interesting, compassionate leads and some delicious smexytimes. It’s a vanilla romance with tender insight and a quick pace. John thinks the way to Connor’s affection is to “take care” of him, while Connor knows he must rebuild himself to being a man worthy of love. They have some fits and starts, but they communicate. They share. It’s a whole new kind of relationship for John, who is more than happy to be openly affectionate, instead of being closeted away.

Interested? You can find CHERRY PIE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

Samantha KaneAbout the Author:
Reviewers have called Samantha Kane “an absolute marvel to read,” and “one of historical romance’s most erotic and sensuous authors.”  Her books have been called “sinful,” “sensuous,” and “sizzling.” She is published in several romance genres including historical, contemporary and science fiction.  Her erotic Regency-set historical romances have won awards, including Best Historical from RWA’s erotic romance chapter Passionate Ink, and the Historical CAPA (best book) award from The Romance Studio.

Samantha Kane has a master’s degree in American History, and taught high school social studies for ten years before becoming a full time writer. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children.

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Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends. 🙂