WARNING: This website may contain content of an adult nature. If you are under 18 years of age or this type of content offends you, please exit now.
Thanks – Dawn & Abby
WARNING: This website may contain content of an adult nature. If you are under 18 years of age or this type of content offends you, please exit now.
Thanks – Dawn & Abby
Cover Reveal: MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid
ABOUT MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE:
At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college, but on the heels of a disastrous breakup, she has finally returned to her hometown of Los Angeles. To celebrate her first night back, her best friend, Gabby, takes Hannah out to a bar—where she meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.
It’s just past midnight when Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. Ethan quickly offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay.
What happens if she leaves with Gabby?
What happens if she leaves with Ethan?
In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into surprisingly different stories with far-reaching consequences for Hannah and the people around her, raising questions like: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?
Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She is the author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.
MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Atria Books/Washington Square Press Paperback | 352 pages | ISBN: 9781476776880 | July 7, 2015 | $16.00
eBook: Atria Books/Washington Square Press | 352 pages | ISBN: 9781476776897 | July 7, 2015 | $11.99
FIND TAYLOR ONLINE:
Pre-Release Blitz: Hell’s Kitchen (book #1)
By Hart Saint Germain
Hell’s Kitchen (Hell’s Kitchen #1)
by Hart Saint Germain
Release Date: March 3, 2015
**The Hell’s Kitchen series will be available on Amazon on release day. No pre-order option.
Hell’s Kitchen (Hell’s Kitchen #1)
*From International Bestselling authors Callie Hart and Lili St. Germain comes a tale of two families co-existing in a melting pot of violence, murder and drugs in the seedy underbelly of New York City*
Theo and Sal Barbieri are brothers, tasked by their Mafioso father Roberto with a very clear purpose: kidnap Kaitlin McLaughlin. The beautiful daughter of Roberto’s Irish enemy. It’s high time Kaitlin was punished for her father’s sins—not to mention, her own.
And Operation: Kidnap Kaitlin is a roaring success… until it isn’t. When Kaitlin escapes into the busy streets of New York City, it’s a race against the clock to find her before Sal and Theo become the hunted.
Zeth Mayfair has traded his life as a hitman for a quieter existence, but it isn’t long before the past catches up with him in the form of Roberto Barbieri. Will he succumb to the lure of power that Roberto is offering? Or will he retaliate by killing every last Barbieri in New York to get them off his back?
Jason Ross is running. Woken in the night by a tip that the Gypsy Brothers are coming for him, he packs a bag and gets his girlfriend the hell out of dodge. Arriving in New York City in the midst of a heatwave is one thing, but being tailed by an entire drug cartel is another.
Worlds collide in Hell’s Kitchen as secrets come to light and sins are punished. Because we might be different in the light of day, but in the darkness, we’re all connected somehow.
Hell’s Kitchen is a serial comprising three volumes: Hell’s Kitchen, Tribeca and Bleecker Street. Volume One releases on March 3rd with a limited-time sale price of 99 cents
“What time they due to land?” Sal asks. He loops a tie, pre-knotted and ready to go, over his head.
“Twenty minutes.” With traffic the way it is, we’ll be there in ten.
Sal tightens the tie around his neck, placing the ridiculous fucking chauffeur’s hat on his head. He tucks his hair back behind his ears. He needs to cut it, but will the bastard listen? Hell, no. He never listens to a word I say. “Are you ready?” he asks.
I take my eyes off the road, arching an eyebrow at him. Who the hell does he think he’s talking to? I’ve been doing this job longer than him, after all. I’ve never blinked. Never not been ready. He gets the point pretty damn quickly.
“All right, man, I’m sorry.”
When we arrive at the airfield, we’re directed to hangar twelve, no questions asked. Paddy McLaughlin’s own men would have arrived around now—if we hadn’t already beaten the shit out of them and handcuffed them to a pillar inside an old cardboard factory down on the wharf—so we’re expected. Kaitlin McLaughlin’s plane is delayed. I’m already bored and itching to go by the time the private jet touches down. Sal climbs out of the car and leans against the front passenger door, waiting for the prissy Irish princess and her entourage to exit the plane. When she does, we’re in luck.
Normally, Paddy doesn’t send his little girl anywhere without two personal bodyguards. Today, she’s only accompanied by one. Sal taps the hood of the car as he goes out to take her bags. I have the engine purring in anticipation as he opens the back passenger side door for her and she climbs inside.
Huge sunglasses cover her eyes. That full mouth of hers is perfectly visible in the rearview, though. “Where the fuck is Ray?” she asks. Her father may be first generation Irish, but Kaitlin was born and raised in the States—she sounds like a spoiled little Yank bitch.
“Mr. McLaughlin needed him for something else. He sent us instead.”
She slides the sunglasses down the bridge of her nose, peering at me over the car’s half-raised privacy screen. “And who are you?”
I give her a tight-lipped smile, doing my best to keep my tongue in my head. We need the bodyguard to get in the car, and then we’re golden. Until then, I’m Jerry, the friendly town car driver. “Jerry. My buddy there, that’s Gareth. We’re new.”
“I can see that.” She makes a low, humming sound at the back of her throat. She sounds like she approves. Sorry, sweetheart. I don’t touch crazy pussy. But I will introduce you to my old man, all the same. He just can’t wait to fucking meet you.
The door behind me opens and I feel the car dip as someone gets in—I didn’t notice before, but the lone bodyguard with Kaitlin is a woman. Must be the chick Roberto was talking about. I get a good look at her in the rearview and find myself taking a second one for good measure. She’s blisteringly hot. Maybe in her mid-twenties? Long dark hair, tied back into a braid. High cheekbones. A mouth to rival Kaitlin’s. Her tits strain against her tight black shirt as she twists to put on her seatbelt. You can tell she works out; her clothes fit her far too well for her not to know she looks good in them, too.
Just like Kaitlin, she asks, “Where’s Ray?”
“Busy doing something for Daddy,” Kaitlin informs her, which saves me from spinning the lie again.
“Okay. Straight to the bar, then.” The body guard’s head doesn’t even lift, but she’s a professional. She assesses me in the mirror just as I’ve assessed her. I pretend not to notice as Sal folds himself into the passenger seat.
“Of course.” I press the button for the privacy screen, raising it the rest of the way, blocking out all sound from the back of the car. Sal turns and gives me one of his wicked, crazy-ass grins. He’s enjoying this already. “All right, then, big brother. Let’s do this.” He leans forward and hits a button on the dash—and every single door on the town car automatically locks. “No backing out now.”
I burn out of the hangar to the sounds of muffled thuds from the back of the car. The bodyguard’s not stupid. She’s heard the doors locking and knows something isn’t right. “Motherfucker! Open this up right now!”
Normally there’s an intercom in these cars, but this one’s different. Sal and I smashed the shit out of this car’s intercom with two lump hammers and ripped out the wiring. We also lined the roof with lead. The girls in the back aren’t striking up a conversation with us any time soon. And they aren’t making any phone calls to dear old Papa McLaughlin, either.
As I head back toward the city, the shouting from the back gets louder. It’s accompanied by the dull thudding of feet trying to smash out the privacy screen. Sal raps his knuckles against the glass, grinning again. “Bitch sounds crazy back there. I don’t think she likes the modifications we’ve made.”
I allow myself a small smile as we hit the George Washington Bridge, heading back toward North Manhattan. So far Operation: Kidnap Kaitlin has been a roaring success. Sal pulls out his cell and starts tapping into it with quick fingers. “Telling the old man we’re on our way?”
He nods. “Bastard better give us credit where credit’s due. He’s probably still organising his own fucking birthday party. Meanwhile, we have just successfully taken our mark hostage. We’re on the homeward stretch.”
The fucking homeward stretch.
The thing about saying you’re on the homeward stretch is that often it’s like waving a red flag at a bull. Fate must hear that phrase and decide to fuck over the poor schmuck who was dumb enough to utter it every single fucking time. It’s only seconds after Sal’s parted with those words that the electric window behind me—the bodyguard’s side window—shatters. We knew the bodyguard would be armed, but we didn’t expect anyone to be shooting out the damn side windows. An eruption of fragmented diamonds explodes sideways, spraying a bright yellow smart car with a million shards of glass. The sound of the firing gun is almost deafening.
“What the fuck?”
The smart car veers sideways, smashing into us; I press my foot to the floor, grinding my teeth at the sound of screeching metal and more hammering from the back as I swerve through the traffic. Sal twists in his seat, pulling his gun and pressing it to the glass of the privacy screen. His finger’s on the trigger. “She’s going fucking crazy. I’m gonna shoot the bitch.”
Callie has experienced many changes throughout her life, and gone through many ups and downs that have all worked towards shaping and molding her into the person she is today: fun loving, active, social, and hard working. The only thing that has remained a constant throughout her life is writing. Creating characters who will tear your conscience in two is a favorite pastime of Callie’s. There are few real saints and sinners in her books; more often, the denizens of her stories are all very human. Broken, flawed, and always with the potential for redemption.
Despite the subject matter being markedly hot and heavy in comparison to the stories she wrote in elementary school, there will always be an element of fairytale to her work.
Lili Saint Germain
Lili writes dark romance, suspense and paranormal stories. Her serial novel, Seven Sons, was released in early 2014, with the following books in the series to be released in quick succession. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.
She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.
Leather & Lace – Las Vegas
BUY TICKETS HERE:http://bit.ly/LLLasVegas
Callie Hart & Lili St. Germain are coming back to the US! Just in time for the release of their joint projectHell’s Kitchen. Join Callie and Lili, Saturday March 14th, at the super cool Inspire News Cafe from 5-7 for a special printing and signing of their newest book and a Q& A session.
Then, come upstairs to the Wayfarer Bar, from 7-9 for cocktails (cash bar) and laughs. It’ll be a fun evening with Hell’s Kitchen chatter, some themed cocktails, light bites and a chance to spend some more time talking about all things Hart St Germain.
**Books that are printed will be available for purchase for around $10. Exact price to be confirmed closer to event date. This is pretty awesome! The machine that prints books while you watch is one of only 30 in the world! You’ll be able to take away your unique, limited edition of Hell’s Kitchen, signed by both authors – There will never be others that look like the ones printed in Vegas.
**Snack foods will be provided.
**All drinks are your responsibility
Inspire News Cafe (downstairs) and Wayfarer Bar (upstairs) are both gorgeous, hip venues with kick ass atmosphere! The Wayfarer bar is where we’ll finish the night and is a gorgeous, mad-men inspired bar that will be closed just for attendees!
BUY TICKETS HERE:http://bit.ly/LLLasVegas
Lord Geoffrey Fitzroy leads a charmed existence. As the second son of the Duke of Breconridge, he has none of the responsibilities of his older brother and all of the advantages, leaving handsome Geoffrey free to enjoy his rakish pursuits. And pursue them he does, leaving hearts fluttering all over London. But one night, at a ball teeming with high society’s most sought-after beauties, only one truly intrigues him: the regal, aloof, and mysterious Miss Serena Palmer.
Magnificently dressed and wearing jewels befitting a queen, the lady is considered the prize of the season, a noble-born heiress raised in India. But even as Geoffrey’s fascination grows, Serena deftly deflects his curiosity—and with good reason: Serena’s exotic past contains a perilous secret that could destroy her. Yet her plan to live in safe solitude is thwarted by her hungry heart, and soon Geoffrey’s passionate seduction finds her blissfully bed—and wed. Will her deception destroy her chance at happiness as Geoffrey’s wife? Or will the devotion of her new husband reveal the only truth worth embracing: her undying love?
Nicole’s 4.5 Star Review
I read a LOT of romance novels. Contemporay Romance, Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Historical Romance. Man, I love a good bodice-ripper where busoms heave and loins tighten. I love that this genre always has an incredibly handsome rake who meets his match in the beautiful, independent heiress. The dance of their seduction surrounded by gorgeous ball gowns and secret gardens always pulls me in.
In A Sinful Deception, Isabella Bradford weaves a story full of seduction and secrets where a dashing second son, Lord Geoffrey Fitzroy, spies an elegant beauty from across the ballroom. Serena Carew is nothing like the other women in the room and everything that attracts Geoffrey. When the two meet in the garden at the party, the attraction is immediate and palpable. But like all good bodice-rippers, Serena has a secret that can destroy her chances with Geoffrey and become the scandal of the season. Complete with blackmail, tragedy, and secret rendezvous, A Sinful Deception has all of the elements that make for a great historical romance.
Unbeknownst to me at the time I read this book, A Sinful Deception is actually the second book in the Breconridge Brothers series. I’ve already one-clicked the first book, A Wicked Pursuit! I can’t wait to get lost in that one too!
Isabella Bradford is a pseudonym for Susan Holloway Scott, the award-winning author of more than forty historical novels and historical romances. Her bestselling books have been published in nineteen countries and translated into fourteen languages with more than three million copies in print. Bradford also writes as half of the Two Nerdy History Girls (twonerdyhistorygirls.com), an entertaining history blog and Twitter account (@2nerdyhistgirls) with an international following. She is a graduate of Brown University, and lives with her family outside of Philadelphia.
Double Cover Reveal
Book One in the Consolation Duet
Author: Corinne Michaels
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Okay Creations
Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography
Release Date: March 18th
✦ Pre Order on iBooks ➙ http://bit.ly/16nXT0k
✦ Add to your TBR here ➛ http://bit.ly/1wMUa4a
Liam wasn’t supposed to be my happily ever after.
He wasn’t even on my radar.
He was my husband’s best friend—forbidden.
But my husband is dead and I’m alone. I ache for him and I reach for Liam.
One night with Liam changed everything. Now I have to decide if I truly love him or if he’s just the consolation prize.
Today is the last day I will allow myself to feel sorrow, the last day I will shed tears, because tears don’t change anything. I need to harvest whatever strength I have and hold it tight. I’m a mother who has an infant that needs me to be both mom and dad.
One day, they say. One day this will stop hurting.
This will never be okay or stop hurting.
I’ll never be the same. The woman I was before died the minute the knock on the door came. I’m a shell of the woman I was. The woman who was loving, open, and full of hope is gone. Hope is a weak bitch who couldn’t give two fucks about what you want. So I rely on faith. Faith that I’ll make it through this and find my heart again.
Book Two in the Consolation Duet
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Okay Creations
Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography
Release Date: May 27th
✦ Pre Order on iBooks ➙ http://bit.ly/1AjLE0d
✦ Add to your TBR here ➛ http://bit.ly/1ISmhJ8
I fell in love with Liam only to be left shattered into a million pieces. Again. The idea of being without him cripples me but the reality is, he’s gone.
He doesn’t understand and I can’t make him.
Corinne Michaels is an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. She’s happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness.
Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn’t ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha Navy SEALs are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.
We are just coming down from the high of the release of Thoughtless on Tuesday…but who’s read for some GRIFFIN??? ME, ME, ME!!
THAT IS ONE sexy cover …UNTAMED!
Griffin Hancock is tired of being stuck behind Kellan Kyle’s spotlight. He’s the best, the main event, and everyone should know it. He has Anna, and his beautiful daughter Gibson, and to hell with the rest of them. A new venture presents itself, and Griffin decides this is his chance. When he tells the band about his new side gig, they are less than supportive. Undaunted by their criticism, Griffin decides to take matters into his own hands. Packing up his family, he leaves Seattle behind and returns to L.A. to break out on his own. But success isn’t as easy as Griffin thought it would be, and he soon finds that the phrase ‘You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’, is all too true.
About S.C. Stephens
S. C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who enjoys creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she likes spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.
The question on everyone’s mind is…. WHO IS CHARLIE? And what is she hiding?
Planting herself deep within the club’s inner circle, Charlie came to Chisolm with one goal in mind… to destroy the Kingsmen, M.C., no matter the personal cost. An unknown hatred fuels her mission to take them down. Pairing herself up with one of the club’s bad boy’s, the M.C.’s enforcer, Clink, seemed like just the ticket to get her in the door.
Once inside the club she had been eyeing from afar, she comes to realizes things are very different from what she had imagined them to be. Villainizing the group as a whole for an injustice that was done to her many years earlier no longer seemed to fit with growing attachments and relationships she was forming.
And then there’s Clink. He may very well be the wild card thrown into the mix that derailed Charlie’s plans from the get go. Originally, serving as nothing but a way in to the club, and a body to warm her sheets at night, Clink has thrown Charlie for a loop. Determined from an early age to never need a man, Charlie can’t help but find herself drawn to him in a carnal and ethereal way. She’s tried to fight it, to deny it, but it was in vain. He calls her sugar… but, she’s anything but sweet.
A chance twist of luck placed Charlie right in the middle of club politics, where she was able to help free the club’s Vice President, Jay, from serving time for murder he did not commit, but willingly confessed to in Book 2. Her risk earned her the hard earned respect and admiration that is hard to come by in the world of the M.C.
Now that she finally has a place of her own in life, a place where she belongs and is wanted… is she willing to give it up? Give Him up? Willing to let it all slip through her fingers? Find out in Book 4 of Tara Oakes’ Kingsmen M.C. series, “Bitter Sweet Deception”
About COLLATERAL DAMAGE
Hollywood It Girl, Francesca Leon, has just landed the biggest role of her career…one that could clinch an Oscar nomination and open doors. If she’s going to move her career to the next level and work with top directors, she has to nail this part — and keep her sexy, but unreliable leading man from screwing everything up.
Bad boy Calder Fox is the son of Hollywood royalty and fresh out of rehab after his best friend’s death sent him on a downward spiral of drugs and alcohol. While his fans still love him and the paparazzi stalk him, he’s never taken life, or anything about his career, seriously. He may be charming and drop-dead gorgeous, but if he doesn’t stay sober, he could ruin Frankie’s future and expose her long-hidden family secret to the voracious media.
Behind the scenes
Things heat up during filming and have the potential to become hotter, deeper, and much more real. But can Frankie trust Calder with her secret? Or is he doomed to sabotage his own happiness yet again?
You can read an excerpt on Heroes & Heartbreakers!
Elisabeth is giving away a $10 Amazon giftcard – you can enter on the Rafflecopter below!
Be sure to sign up for Elisabeth Grace’s newsletter – she’s releasing a new chapter of BUILT TO LAST every two weeks, which will be available to newsletter subscribers only as she writes it!
If you’re US based and you want to receive a text message when Elisabeth has a new book go LIVE, text ROMANCE to 313131!
Twenty-four-year-old Summer Johnson knows two things. The first is that due to a quickly worsening medical condition, she faces a risky surgery in three months’ time that may very well end in her death. The second is that she would like to fall in love before then.
As spring sinks into her namesake season on the Florida coastline, Summer plays the odds and downloads a new dating app – and after one intriguing message from a beautiful surfer named Cooper Nichols, it becomes clear that the story of what may be her last few months under the sun is about to be completely revised. All she has to do now is write something worth reading.
Tender, honest, devastating and triumphant, The Summer Remains explores a very human battle being waged in a very digital age: the search for a love that will outlast this temporary borrowing of bones. In an era when many feel compelled to share and re-share anything about everything, prepare to feel a love so special, you will want to hug it close and make it yours forever.
Louisa’s 5 Star Review
This book has absolutely, utterly blown me away. There are books you will read that will just stick with you forever. This book is that book for me.
The writing in this book is beautiful, descriptive, and brings these characters to life. You will laugh with them, cry with them, feel with them and connect like you should with all character, but rarely do. You have no choice. This author has perfected the romance novel. This isn’t your everyday romance story. Their relationship may be brief but the amount of emotion, intimacy and love they share is epic. It is the love of their lives, soul mates you may even be inclined to say.
We have all fallen in love with Romeo & Juliet, Christian & Ana, Holder & Skye ~~ you need to add Cooper & Summer to that list of timeless couples.
To say you will be emotional while reading this book is saying it lightly, I would venture to say that I lost my breath a few times while reading this book. I had to put it down, compose myself and then go back to reading. How Seth expects us to read this book through the tears, I am not sure.
More beautiful words has never been written! Seth King is now on my list of “must reads”!
Kristine’s 5 Star Review
I’m gonna try my best to write a review that will come close to explain my feelings about Summer Remains. I saw this beautiful cover come up on my news feed constantly one day and my blog sista Louisa was going crazy telling us that we all needed to read this. I’ve stated this another time on a different review that this is what I love about this book community…that it will be hard for brilliant books like this not to hit my kindle screen. This is my first book that I read from Seth King and I’m truly blown away on how perfect he tells a story. He is raw and natural, I was pulled right into this story from page one. I had no idea what to expect…for what I do, is read not one teaser or review before I jump in, so I was solely depending on my fellow post crazed reader friends for telling the honest truth about this one. That it was an absolutely must read….that’s all I needed and I’m all over it and so very greatful I was!
What got me so intrigued about this story in the first few paragraphs was this girl named Summer. What a strong and heroic girl she is. All her intellectual views….her life as she sees it, feels it, deals with it….I feel it too! This girl is unique, very different from many main characters I read about and hear from their point of views. I feel for her, I sympathize and I totally agree 100% with most of what she shares. She opens my eyes through such an art form of dialogue. This girl will never be forgotten.
So as I go on I know this is gonna be an emotional flood for me. As the words tell their story….I’m saying thank you to all my book friends, Louisa, and Seth King! Thank you, thank you…for all these emotions and feelings…this is why I love to read! I’m feeling all the emotions bleeding from these characters….I feel Seth pouring out of them. Truly a remarkable feeling to feel.
So this is going on right from the beginning. Then I meet Cooper. I have a feeling this boy is gonna be another very special character.
“You’re beautiful, and beautiful things don’t demand attention. It just gravitates to them.”
The way these two are together, think together…they are perfect. All they need is each other and everything else just dissapears and leaves thier world. They impact each other in so many wonderful ways. Young in love enjoying their moment even if one knows it won’t be for long. The thing is this is a different love story. A love story that everyone must experience.
Summer remains…will remain in my heart and soul always. This inspirational story reminds me to open my heart, see people for the light inside not the outside. This book left my eyes gushing, my heart on overload with love and compassion for each and every character in this story. After reading the last page and author note I just stared in space and couldn’t stop thinking about everything I just read, everything coming back and I was sad to say goodbye. How do I read something else after this? If I had to pick a book that awed, inspired, and will forever stay inprinted in my heart and soul, it would have to be this one.
Jade’s 5 Star Review
On a sunny Tuesday morning towards the end of March, a white-haired man walked into a cold room and told me I might die soon.
I fidgeted on the hospital bed as Dr. Steinberg entered, the late-spring sunlight mocking me as smiled onto the industrial tile floors. I’d known Steinberg since I was four. He’d handled almost all of my throat problems, and I trusted him. He was like a second father to me, and I knew he would always tell me the truth.
That’s why the look on his face scared the living shit out of me.
I listened for the next ten minutes as he gave me the gist of the story. It was all so surreal that my mind could only catch certain phrases before the sentence would run away from me again:
Your esophagus has ruptured again, for good this time…
Your stomach is leaking more and more…
Toxicity levels are through the roof…
Your body just isn’t getting the nutrients it needs from your feeding tube any longer…
And finally, terminal.
“Terminal?” I heard myself squeak, my throat filling up with that weird, shivery feeling you get when you know your life has just changed. Steinberg suddenly became very interested in a fraying string on the sleeve of his jacket.
“T-terminal,” he stuttered. “Summer, the thing is…I’m afraid this is a…well, nobody has ever…”
He finally cleared his throat and met my gaze, tears pooling in the corners of his cerulean eyes. “Sweetheart, I am so sorry to tell you this, but this mountain may be unclimbable for you.”
My mother let out a small, sharp sob in the corner and then clapped her hands over her mouth.
“Okay, unclimbable,” I swallowed, staring down at the floor as I tried to grasp just what that word now meant to me and my family and this weird little life I had created for myself. “Okay. Unclimbable. Okay.”
But Steinberg wasn’t done yet.
“Hold on. I said it may be unclimbable, not that it definitely will be. I want to prepare you, and I don’t want to give you any false hope, but there may be something we can do, Summer. It’s a small chance, but still, it’s a chance. A Hail Mary, if you will.”
I reached up to rub my temples. “Okay, well, survival sounds good. Better than death, I suppose. What is this Hail Mary?”
Steinberg crossed his arms, studied me for a moment, and then took out a chart and launched into a spiel about something called the Porter-Collins Procedure, an extremely major surgery that would perhaps be saving my life in three months’ time.
“Nobody has ever survived this particular operation,” he concluded a few minutes later, skipping all the medical jargon to keep from boring you to death, pardon my pun. “Nobody. It’s been attempted three times, but none of those were ultimately successful. One person survived for three months in intensive care, but she was fifty-one, and in frail health in general. We think you’re a much more viable candidate, but then again, there is no way to be sure. We can do it in two, maybe three months, after I assemble the specialists and create a game plan – considering your health doesn’t take another nosedive before then, that is. If we’re going to try this, we need you in tip-top shape – or as close to that as we can get you, anyway.”
“Okay,” I said again, sitting a little taller. “And what are the chances that this Hail Mary will even work, and that I won’t just die a few days later, anyway?”
He peered down at me from over his glasses. “I’m afraid to say that it would be stretching things to even tell you eighty/twenty.”
I steeled myself and took a breath. “Okay, well, that’s better than a hundred to zero. Let’s go out with a bang, then, Steinberg. Let’s do this.”
He threw up a fist, triumphant, but I could see the fear in his eyes. “It’s settled, then. Hail Mary it is.”
My mom rushed over to sit beside me and kind of hang onto my shoulder as some counselor woman came in who helped families handle these types of situations – “transitions,” she called them, and just hearing that word threatened to pull me under. Dr. Steinberg watched, an apology on his face, as she said things like “preparations” and “options” and “arrangements.” I tried to be polite and pay attention, but truthfully I didn’t give a damn about what she was saying. It was go time, and things were looking grim. I already knew that. The wet, metallic panic erupting in my stomach was due to an entirely different subject.
“And finally,” the counselor, Angie, said in a hushed, clipped, polite voice that spoke of years of having impossible conversations with worried families huddled in chilly waiting rooms, “I work very closely with Last Great Hope, a wonderful organization that specializes in situations like this, and if there is anything you want before the surgery, Summer – a trip to Tahiti, a cabin in the mountains, whatever – we can do it. Or if-”
“Thanks, but no thanks,” I said, making her stop short.
“Wh – excuse me?”
“Save the Disney trips for the twelve-year-olds,” I told her. “Spend all that money on a cancer kid or something; I know the truth about those fairy tales now. Make someone else happy – I’ve got everything I need. Or almost everything.” I paused as everyone leaned in. “I do have one request, actually. First of all, all of you are forgetting something vital.”
“Oh no, did we forget your milk?” my mom asked as she reached for her purse. “I thought I put some-”
“No, Shelly, we did not forget the baby milk I pump into my stomach tube every day to keep myself alive because my throat doesn’t work, but that does have something to do with it.”
As she pouted in my general direction I realized what a complete bitch I was being, and then I realized just as quickly that I probably wouldn’t be able to stop myself anyway.
“What is it, then?” my mom asked, stung, and I took a breath and then pushed it back out.
“Frankly, I need all of you to chill the fuck out.”
My mom dropped her purse onto her lap. Dr. Steinberg looked at me like I’d just tried to jump out of the third story window. Angie held her pen in midair and stared at me, the sun turning her brownish eyes ocher.
“Excuse me, young lady?” my mother asked. “We need to what?”
“Chill the eff out,” I said, editing my language the second time around. “Sorry, but all this emotion and drama and doom and gloom crap is already making me freak out. You’re all forgetting I’ve had a broken throat and a tube in my abdomen since I was in diapers, and that I can handle this. I’ve dealt with health scares before, and I will do it again, no matter how much scarier this Scare is than all the other Scares. Like, I know you’re trying to help and stuff, and I love you, but having meltdowns in front of me is not going to help me deal with all this, so please, I beg you, everyone take a deep breath, close your eyes, and get your panties out of a bunch.”
“We’re sorry,” my mom said after an impossibly long and awkward moment. “It’s just that we need to prepare you for…for what will happen, and-”
“Prepare me to die?” I asked. “Guess what, Shelly, I’m going to die one day, be it in three months or sixty years, and wasting all my time crying over it isn’t going to help. Here’s what I want, my one last wish – or my maybe-not-last wish, or whatever the hell this is.” A tear appeared in my mom’s eye, and I softened my voice as I reached up to wipe her cheek. “Okay. Before the surgery, I want to have a normal summer by the beach,” I began as I cleared her eye and shook the water from my finger. “I want to go to the sea and go to work and read my books and go about my business like usual without everyone breathing down my neck and treating me like A Broken Person, because if I am treated like A Broken Person for one more month of my life I will break some faces, no offense. Shelly, if you so much as make one special meal – I mean, not that I can eat or anything, because I can’t – anyway, I’m burning down the house. There will literally be a pile of smoldering ashes where your kitchen used to be, I promise.” Shelly pouted again, but I trudged through. “I’m serious, no special treatment. No Christmases in July, no excessive hugging, not even a midnight run to Target for some trinkets from the dollar section. And most of all…”
I looked around and, seeing sympathy in everyone’s eyes and knowing this request would be completely futile, said – “No sympathy. Please. The sympathy is what breaks me and makes me feel broken. If this is gonna be my last chance to live and have fun and be normal, then I’m going to need to feel as normal as possible, and that means absolutely no pity, because that separates me from everyone else and makes me Different with a capital D. And if I don’t stay in a good headspace I’m gonna spend the next three months in a fetal position in my closet having an endless anxiety attack about the surgery, so please work with me here and keep the pity locked up.”
A sigh and a smile. Shelly put her hand on mine. “I would never pity you, Summer. You’re the strongest person I know, and you always have been. You know that. We all know that. That’s not what this is about.”
I tried to smile back. “Thanks, Shelly.”
“Anytime. And can you please call me Mom, like a normal twenty-four-year-old?”
“Not a chance, Shelly.”
“Okay, fine. So, then…a Jax Beach summer? Is that really all you want?”
I paused as her words hung in the overly sanitized air. It wasn’t all, and I knew it. As I sat there I thought of the one thing I didn’t have, the one thing I’d never had, the one thing that screamed at me from the silence and jumped out at me from the shadows – and now that this upcoming summer had perhaps just become Summer’s Last Stand, my desire was suddenly more urgent than ever. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop the longing from rising to my face, and as I felt the blood burn my cheeks I caught Steinberg’s eyes again, which just embarrassed me even more.
“Well, I mean, since you’re asking, there is one thing…”
“Anything!” Shelly and Dr. Steinberg said at exactly the same time, and I stared out of the window as my eyes got all weird and watery.
“Okay, well, I know something so sentimental is going to sound crazy coming from someone so…well, you know how I am…”
“Honest?” Steinberg offered, trying to be polite.
“Opinionated?” Shelly said.
“Brash?” Angie asked, even though she’d just met me ten minutes ago and it was literally beyond embarrassing that she already held that opinion of me.
“Headstrong and stubborn and annoying,” I finally said, shoving it out of the way, and they all nodded. “Anyway, here goes. Since you’re asking, the thing is…well, I’d like to fall in love.”
I looked down at the ground again as everyone in the room broke my most important rule already: I could feel their pity descending on me, smothering me just like it had my entire life, snuffing out any chance I had at being treated like a normal, living, breathing human, who deserved to love and be loved just like anyone else, as they say in the Hallmark cards.
“Oh, honey…” Steinberg sighed.
“It just wouldn’t be fair to someone…” my mother chimed in, just as Angie the counselor lady threw in her two cents, too.
“Sweetie, you have to understand, your situation is very serious. People get irrational during times like these, and if you get involved with someone and the worst happened, well-”
I crossed my fingers behind my back and shook my head. I’d known they’d react like this – why had I even tried in the first place? Some things, I knew, were just better left unshared.
“Yeah,” I said. “Okay, yeah, you guys are right. I’ll try to…put that off, I guess. For now. God knows I have tons of time to think about it – it’s not like I’m dying or anything.”
Everyone forced quick, fake laughs and then got back to business. Unbeknownst to them, however, my mind was quickly leaving the room, flying past the barren oak branches outside the window and soaring above the clouds to someplace only I knew. My desires could not be contained by the circumstances in this room, or by sickness, or even by reality in general, really. I wanted love more than anything – this was true, as much as it humiliated me to admit it. I’d wanted love ever since I was a cookie-cutter little girl being brainwashed by cookie-cutter Disney movies about cookie-cutter princes and princesses falling into cookie-cutter love and then prancing off to their cookie-cutter castles to live out their cookie-cutter lives. And strangely enough, this desire had only deepened after the fairy tale fantasies faded away and melted into a more grown up, real-world entity known as relationship FOMO, when my condition had rendered me an observer from the social media sidelines as everyone my age paired up and got engaged and married and pregnant and then shouted about it from the Facebook treetops as loud as their keyboards would let them while I sat there single as a nun with the flu. But I didn’t want that cookie cutter love from the Disney movies and my social media feeds. I didn’t want some run of the mill summer romance that would fizzle out as soon as the sunrays slanted in the fall and the Facebook Official status went to shit.
Because I, Summer Johnson, Purveyor of Pragmatism, Lover of Logic, Ultimate Believer in the Rational, and Person Who Was Maybe Going To Die Soon, wanted to drown in someone.
Seth King is a twenty-five-year-old author and artist.
Samantha Towle has been working on a secret project and we are SO excited to be sharing the cover with you! Revved is releasing on March 24th! Make sure to add it to your TBR. Check out a sneak peek excerpt below.
Race car mechanic Andressa “Andi” Amaro has one rule—no dating drivers. With a good reason behind the rule, she has no plans on breaking it.
Carrick Ryan is the bad boy of Formula One. With a face and body that melts panties on sight, and an Irish lilt that leaves women on their knees, begging for more. He races hard and parties harder. The youngest driver to ever sign with F1, he’s still at the top of his game five years later, breaking hearts on and off the tracks.
When Andi is offered her dream job working in the glamorous world of F1, she leaves her home in Brazil, positive she can handle working for Carrick. But she’s not prepared for the off-the-chart sparks that fly the moment they meet.
Now, Andi has a crush on the one man she can’t have, and her resolve is about to be put to the test, because Carrick has decided he wants Andi, and he plans on testing her to the very limit…
Cover Designed by: Najla Qamber Designs
“Come on…just one piece of bacon.”
“No.” I move my plate toward me, and away from him.
“Aww, come on, baby. You know you wanna give me some.”
I feel that word wash through me like an erotic cleansing.
Pressing my thighs and lips together, I shake my head. “Nope. Your smooth Irish charm won’t work on me.”
Grinning, he gives me a look straight from the sex devil. “Aww, Andressa. Baby. If you give me some…I’ll make it worth your while. It can be our little secret. I won’t tell anyone, I promise.”
“How do you manage to make a conversation about bacon sound dirty?”
“I’d say it’s a talent…but maybe it’s not me that’s dirty and it’s you. After all, you are the one interpreting it that way.”
New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and international bestselling author Samantha Towle began her first novel in 2008 while on maternity leave. She completed the manuscript five months later and hasn’t stopped writing since.
She has written contemporary romances, THE MIGHTY STORM, WETHERING THE STORM, TAMING THE STORM and TROUBLE.
She has also written paranormal romances, THE BRINGER and the ALEXANDRA JONES SERIES, all penned to tunes of The Killers, Kings of Leon, Adele, The Doors, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, and more of her favourite musicians.
A native of Hull and a graduate of Salford University, she lives with her husband, Craig, in East Yorkshire with their son and daughter.
He wanted nothing at all…
Until he found she had everything to give…
Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.
Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.
When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.
They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.
Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.
Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?
I‘ve been hearing a lot of hype about A Stone in the Sea so when I got my hands on this ARC, I dove head first into it and happily drowned over and over again! The HYPE is REAL & WARRANTED!!
I’ve read every single one of A.L. Jackson’s books and when you’ve read all of an authors books you get the “feel” of how an author writes. The way they plot. How they set up scenes and story lines. The way a story progresses… Even characters have some of the same qualities at times. THIS however is completely different from what Jackson has ever given us.
Her writing in this book has been taken to a higher level… Maybe she should start writing actual songs because that’s what it felt like…. Lyrics to my new favorite song that I want to put on repeat. The flow and emotion of this piece is brand new for me as a reader and I loved every verse of it.
The story itself is A.L. Jackson at her best. As a tormented, tattooed lead singer of a hard core band called Sunder, Sebastian Stone, or Baz (sighhhhh) fools everyone with his hard exterior. He’s ridden with guilt and protective of his family and those he loves but what sets Baz apart from everyone else is that he’s GENUINE. Yes, he’s sexy and makes your heart melt but HIS struggles are real. His FAMILY’S struggles are real and what has brought him to the point where he is in his life….. Is REAL!
Shea is sweet and full of life! She’s a breath if fresh air and you will immediately fall for her too. Root for her from the get-go. Want her to WIN!!! Shea is strong and a perfect fit for Baz… If I wanted anyone other than ME to have Baz… Hehehe… Then Shea is my pick. Together they are perfectly molded… Perfectly intertwined… Perfectly damaged in all the greatest ways possible.
A.L. Jackson has left me with a simmering book hangover and I miss Baz already… GREAT READ! You rocked my world Miss Jackson!!!!
5 out of 5 BLUSHES
I froze when I felt the presence behind me. The song slowly blinked out, the last note lingering in the dense air, before I slowly looked over my shoulder to find Shea. Thoughtful eyes met mine in all their warmth—covering me, pulling me in, dragging me under.
“You play,” she said, a statement rather than a question.
“A little,” I said with a shrug.
She scoffed. “I would hardly classify that as a little.” She shuffled toward me, barefoot, and still wearing that robe. “You have a beautiful voice,” she whispered, and again it took on that reverent tone, like she was recognizing something inside me I didn’t see.
She ran her fingers up the back of my neck and into my hair, and I lifted my head to it and tried not to moan like a girl when she pressed her hot mouth to my Adam’s apple, kissing me there like the temptress she was.
“Such a beautiful, beautiful voice for a beautiful, beautiful man.” The words vibrated against my throat.
“Shea.” My response was hoarse, uttered toward the ceiling as she kissed up and down my throat. With her daughter’s innocent face running like a reel through my mind, I searched inside myself for some kind of resolve. For courage. For a speck of integrity. “I should go. I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t have stayed. Shouldn’t have come back.”
Never should have come in the first place.
“You’re exactly where I want you to be,” she coaxed against my skin.
“Shea.” It was a plea for one of us to find reason.
“Please,” she whispered, hands sinking into my shoulders.
That’s what she made me.
Groaning, I gave, because she already had me, and I swiveled a fraction, grabbed her by the hips, and pulled her onto my lap. She was quick to straddle me, a smile taking over her face as I palmed her ass, all those waves of shiny soft hair falling down around us.
“It’s hardly fair, you know,” she said.
“What’s not fair?”
“You…looking the way you do. Then you turn around and have a voice like that? Singing and playing that way?” She pulled back with a grin. “Tell me you don’t play guitar. You know what they say, a man with a guitar automatically becomes ten times sexier than any other guy in the room.”
I curbed a snort.
Didn’t I know it.
And that was exactly the shit I’d come to hate.
“Pair that with this face and this body…” she continued, purely playful.
Any other girl started talking like that and I’d have tossed her from my lap.
Instead, I kneaded my fingers deeper into the flesh of her ass, rocking her into my cock that was at the ready and begging for more.
Shivers rolled through her. “…and I would say you’re irresistible, Sebastian Stone.”
“Is that all you want me for…my body?” I teased, running my hands up her back, eliciting a pleasured whimper from her.
Fingertips played across my chest, and her expression turned vulnerable, that storm collecting speed. “Yeah. I do want this body.” Those fingers fluttered up to my jaw. “And I want this face.”
Eyes not leaving mine, she slowly leaned down and kissed me over my heart. “Most of all, I want this,” she murmured, hiding nothing, laying herself bare.
A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Come to Me Quietly, Come to Me Softly, Pulled, When We Collide, and If Forever Comes.
She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.
Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.
To stay up to date with important news on A.L. Jackson, including new releases, sales, and exclusive specials and excerpts, text “jackson” to 96000 to subscribe!