Monday, August 21, 2017

Release Blitz: Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

   

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From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him. Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions. I didn’t think he’d call me back. I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become. Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets. Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake. A complete STANDALONE.

  Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list sixteen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.   Connect with Penelope Ward Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram     Other standalones from Penelope Ward: Mack Daddy: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kWzE1S iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/r3hv19 Neighbor Dearest: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aWvypX iBooks: http://apple.co/29mC6L8 Nook: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY Stepbrother Dearest: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1mFNMeg iBooks: http://bit.ly/YER0mT Nook: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs RoomHate: Amazon: http://amzn.to/294lIeT iBooks: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7 Nook: http://bit.ly/1PLGnSL kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW Mister Moneybags: (co-written with Vi Keeland) Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ny7GhN iBooks: http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq Nook: http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m Kobo: http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho Playboy Pilot: (co-written with Vi Keeland) Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dbetFA iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf Nook: http://bit.ly/2c9vRdV Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ctb6dv Stuck-Up Suit: (co-written with Vi Keeland) Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57 Nook: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/stuck-up-suit Cocky Bastard: (co-written with Vi Keeland) Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MvHLg2 iBooks: http://apple.co/1PffE2J Nook: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO Sins of Sevin: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1F9tbc3 iBooks: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg Nook: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D Jake Undone (Jake #1): Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dJrHBC Nook: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6 iBooks: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8 kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M Jake Understood (Jake #2): Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GFdves Nook: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z iBooks: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk My Skylar Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obOG2F iBooks: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR Nook: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB Gemini: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgk1SE Nook: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD iBooks: http://apple.co/1QTaONj kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Release Blast: Once Upon a Lady by Addie Jo Ryleigh


All it takes is Fate to entice him with the very thing he never wanted.


ONCE UPON A LADY
The Soul Mate Tree
Addie Jo Ryleigh
Releasing Aug 16, 2017
Soul Mate Publishing


Respectable Lady Katherine Baxton, striving to meet the requirements of her station, has become the ultimate dutiful daughter. And now, the Duke of Blackthorn’s betrothed. Far from a love match, Kate is nevertheless determined to do as expected and marry. That all changes the night she panics at her impending future and runs, stumbling upon a private grove, a mysterious tree. . . and a half-naked man.

The youngest son of a viscount widely thought to have purchased his title, Jackson Cooper demonstrates his disdain for the aristocracy by affording himself every luxury available—drinking, wenching, and gambling—while eschewing anything representing the ton. Jackson has little care for his reputation and no desire to marry. His escape from London is all but complete.

Until fate—in the form of a beautiful, mysterious lady—interrupts his plans, enticing him with the very thing he never wanted.




Kate felt his approach before she saw him. Which wasn’t all that surprising since her body had remained mindful of his presence. Fighting the impulse proved fruitless.
When his tall frame blocked the sun and cast her in shadow, she knew besides giving him a direct cut, she had no escape. If only she hadn’t ventured from her sister’s side. At the time, abandoning Helena had been her singular option since their slow stroll through the gathering had traveled too close to the very man standing beside her. She’d been delaying the inevitable.
Kate was now alone, as she tried to keep her attention on the lawn activities before her, hoping no one would witness what was about to happen.
“Aren’t sprites confined to the trees?” His deep voice washed over her.
She didn’t turn to acknowledge him. “How nice to see you properly dressed for once.”
His chuckle warmed her. “Are you following me?”
An unladylike snort refused to be repressed. “Hardly. You are rather difficult to overlook, being the only unknown face here.”
“That’s not true. You’ve seen my face . . . as well as other, more interesting parts.”
Kate wished she’d listened to her sister and worn a bonnet. Anything to mask the heat flaring in her cheeks.
Thankfully he remained at her side and hadn’t a clear view of her face. “We have not been introduced. I can’t be seen speaking to you.”
“Then let us go where we can't be seen.”
Her heart raced at his boldness. Why was this man so tempting? She was spoken for, though still unofficially. Proper ladies didn’t follow strange men to private locations, regardless of their marital status. “Absolutely not.”
“Even if I have something of yours?”
Blast! Her ring. Given her luck lately, she would have lost it in the grove of all places. Her aunt would toss in her grave knowing Kate had misplaced her gift.
“A true gentleman would return it.”
His deep laugh caused her pulse to flutter. “I’m no gentleman. Or haven’t you heard?”



Addie Jo Ryleigh writes historical regency romances that feature rakish heroes and strong feisty heroines. 

Addie Jo has lived in the same cold-winter-hot-summer area of Minnesota her entire life. Sharing in the raising of her three extremely rambunctious boys is her very understanding husband who endured being dubbed “The Duke” by his co-workers. Keeping Addie Jo company while she writes (besides her wonderfully loud children) is her yorkipoo, Bella, who is never far from her side. And recently the newest addition to their family, a black lab named Max.

Addie Jo has always had a love and passion for romance books and became engrossed in historical romance (particularly Regency) soon after graduating from Lurlene McDaniel’s young adult books. Currently, she reads any genre that has a great emotional story that keeps her reading into the early hours of the morning.

Addie Jo has a bachelor degree in accounting and is a financial coordinator when not playing chauffeur for her hockey-playing boys, cuddled up with a good book, or writing her next story.



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Sale Blitz: The Bartender by Piper Rayne

 

 Haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Cole yet? Not to worry, THE BARTENDER (Modern Love Series #1) by Piper Rayne is #FREE for a limited time!!! Don’t miss out, this opportunity is only valid between August 17th-21st. Share the love and be entered to win 1 of 3 paperback copies of The Bartender! (scroll down for #giveaway) #modernlove1 #piperrayne #freebie
Amazon US ---> http://amzn.to/2kSrl6a Amazon UK ---> http://amzn.to/2jT2ejr Amazon CA ---> http://amzn.to/2jT40kA Amazon AU ---> http://amzn.to/2jsZygg Goodreads ---> http://bit.ly/2enMfLc

Blurb

Who knew sleeping with the enemy could be this fun?
Was the one night stand a good idea? Well, no. Probably not in retrospect. In my defense I had just moved back into my grandparent’s house, I’d lost my dream job, and a guy on Tinder had stood me up. It was like life had suddenly stamped ‘LOSER’ on my forehead. So when the guy behind the bar started giving me THE look…you know, the one that promised I’d be screaming his name into the wee hours of the morning? When that guy also has the perfect amount of scruff on his chiseled chin, biceps bulging out of his t-shirt, and a cocky grin you knew he’d earned in the sack…when he gives you that look, you don’t bother to figure out what your six degrees of separation are. You jump on that horse and ride it! Pun fully and completely intended. And accurate by the way. I fully admit to feeling sorry for myself and acting impulsively, but by the time I’d figured out WHO the bartender was, I was already falling for him.

Excerpt

An hour and a half later and hot stuff has come around the bar to take the seat beside me and join me on my mission to get shit-faced. I have to admit, I’m enjoying his company, but it doesn’t exactly make him Employee of the Year given the fact that he’s supposed to be working. “Won’t your boss be mad that you’re drinking on the job?” I ask. That damn dimple makes another appearance again before he answers. “Nah, he’s cool. It’s dead in here tonight. If anyone comes in, I’ll be sure they get what they need.” His gaze rakes up and down my small frame, and I get the distinct impression that he’s picturing me naked. Jeez, I hope my nakedness looks amazing in his brain. Given the half-crooked smile on his face, I think it must. I wonder if his imagination is good enough to picture that dimple in my ass that doesn’t ever seem to want to disappear, regardless of how much I weigh. As if he’s tempted fate with his words, the bell over the door dings and an older gentleman walks in and seats himself at one of the bar tables across the room. “Be right back.” Cole pats my hand before he rises from his seat. It was an innocent gesture, but it makes me think dirty things. The heat from his hand seeps up my arm like a bee sting and settles somewhere in my chest. I watch him walk away and can’t help but notice the way his ass perfectly fills out his jeans. It bunches and flexes as his long strides take him across the bar. Maybe Lennon is right and it has been too long since I’ve been with a man. It’s then that I realize that Tinder dude still hasn’t shown up. The bar isn’t busy, probably since it’s the middle of the week, and I’ve been chatting—okay, flirting—with Cole and hadn’t realized how much time had passed. I grab my phone from my purse and open the app to see that I have a new message. Pussylickr69: Not coming. Sorry found someone else who wasn’t so much werk Fury causes my face to heat as I type out a quick reply that might be, and by that I mean most definitely is, alcohol-fueled. Whiteebanter: Yeah, I can see how thirty minutes of conversation is too much foreplay for you. Fuck you and your lack of knowledge of the English language. You spell work with an ‘o,’ dipshit. There. That’ll show him. With a frown, I drop my phone back into my purse. “Everything okay?” Cole asks as he takes the seat beside me again. I sigh. “Yeah, I just found out that Pussylicker isn’t coming anymore.” Cole nearly spits out the sip of drink he’s just taken and has a coughing fit before he fully recovers. “Excuse me?” “I was waiting for a guy from Tinder to show up, but he just ditched me because apparently it was too much work to have a drink with me before taking me back to his place to bang me.” I spin my glass in place on the bar top. “You’re trolling for guys on Tinder?” Cole howls with laughter so hard he has to hold his stomach. I love the way the laugh looks on his face—the way it crinkles his eyes at the corners and how it showcases his perfect teeth. But all that aside, it’s irritating. “It’s not that funny.” This guy might be hot, but right now he’s working my nerves. “Actually, it is. Why the hell would a woman like you resort to finding someone to fuck on a dating site?” The way the word ‘fuck’ rolls off his tongue has all my womanly parts contracting and wishing that it was an invitation to do just that. But never mind that, because I’m annoyed at him, I just barely remember through my drunken haze. “What do you mean a woman like me?” I try to do air quotes around the last part, but my balance isn’t what it was three hours ago, and I almost topple off my stool, so I quickly grab on to the bar in front of me. “Beautiful. Intelligent. Likable. Smartass.” He ticks each word off on one hand while he speaks and he says it like he means it. I hold his stare for a minute before realization dawns. “Hey! I’m a B.I.L.F. You know, like a M.I.L.F. Only different.” I’m so impressed that I thought of that given my current state. Cole chuckles with an amused gleam in his eyes. “Only better,” he says. Our gazes lock for a beat and it’s at that moment I know that if I offer myself up to this guy, he’ll be more than willing to send me on the walk of shame tomorrow morning. Heat rushes into my cheeks and I look away. As much bravado as I had earlier about my Tinder escapade, I’m not sure I can do this. Be this girl so full of confidence that she bangs a stranger with no qualms about it. My elation has crash-landed on the ground as I realize I’m not able to pull the trigger and make an advance toward him. I also know I’ll probably regret it forever because this man is so far beyond good-looking that it’s a speck in the rear-view mirror. Not to mention the fact that he’s sexy as hell and seems to be a decent human being. Which is more impossible to find in the Bay area than someone who doesn’t think they’re allergic to gluten. I take a deep breath and finish the last couple of gulps of my drink and push the glass in Cole’s direction. “Another, please.” Cole tosses back the rest of his drink and I watch as his Adam’s apple bobs in his throat while the liquid slides down. Damn. That is sexy. Why is that sexy? “I’m going to join you for another as well.” He gets up off his bar stool and before walking away he comes to stand directly behind me. “Assuming you want me to stick around?” His breath washes across my neck and my ear and I close my eyes for a brief moment to enjoy the sensation. “I’d like that,” I say with all honesty. “Good. I know the first guy let you down, but don’t worry… I’ve been told I lick pussy like a boss.” And with that, he walks away while I struggle to keep my heart from pounding out of my chest. I’m out of my league with this guy. I know it and there’s a good chance that he knows it, too. But ask yourself this, ladies… if you were called up to the big leagues from the minors, would you say no?  

Giveaway

For a chance to win 1 of 3 paperback copies of THE BARTENDER, #like, #comment and #share this post, then enter here: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0dd3e01810/

Cover Reveal: Echoes in the Storm by Max Henry




Title: Echoes in the Storm
Author: Max Henry
Genre: Military Themed Contemporary
Cover Design: Max Effect
Release Date: September 12, 2017



Blurb

“Behind those eyes, a battle rages. One that’s not fought overseas with guns and tanks, but one that wreaks havoc in the homeland with harshly spoken words and misguided beliefs.”

One week is all we were supposed to share. One week as strangers. Yet you became so much more.

You were the echo in my storm.

All the little things you did differently irked me. I thought it meant we couldn’t get along, that there was no chance we’d work out. But when it came time for me to leave, you know what I figured out?

They were the faint call of home, lost on the wind and the roar of thunder. It was you calling me, hoping I’d hear you and find my way out of the dark that I had lost myself in when I shut off to survive.

You were my echo. My call back.

And fuck it all if I didn’t find home in the end. 








Pre-order Links






Excerpt

ECHOES IN THE STORM
Chapter One

Eleven hours in the office, and this is what I have to come home to. I close my eyes and focus on my breathing, trapped in the naïve thought that maybe, just maybe, if I wish him away hard enough, it could truly happen.
Nope. Still there.
Blondie belts a tune out on my car radio, the beat going some way toward helping me find my zen. Three years on, and the sheer sight of him still pisses me off the same as it did when he told me “I don’t think I could ever love you again.”
Yeah. Because loving me meant accepting the fact it wasn’t my fault, and he refuses to believe that.
I refuse to believe that.
Drawing a deep breath, I reach for the door handle and promptly cut Blondie off mid-sentence as the crisp evening air rushes into my safe haven. With my leather tote snatched in my other hand, I rise and plaster on as natural of a smile as I can manage when my back aches and my feet throb from overuse.
“Eight months, Jared.”
My ex leans a shoulder against the side of the house, tucked under the veranda as though he had hoped to blend into the shadows and catch me by surprise.
“And yet, it hasn’t dulled your attitude any.”
“What do you want?” I shut and lock the car, pining for that first dip in a hot bath.
“You ignored my calls.” He frowns as I walk right by him. “Did you think I’d be that easy to brush off?”
“Hardly.” There was a reason he used to be saved in my phone under ‘Cockroach’. “I’ve been busy.”
“You’re not the only one,” he bites, inviting himself into the house behind me. “But then again, you never did understand that concept, did you?”
“Carry on, Jared,” I snap louder than intended. “See how long this wee conversation lasts if that’s the way you’re going to steer it.”
He pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs. “I’ll make it quick.” For a fleeting second, I see the vulnerable man I fell in love with ten years ago. “I want you to sell the house.”
Until that.
“What?” I throw my tote on the side table with more zest than necessary.
We were married for barely two years, not enough time for the property to have increased substantially in value. So it was decided when we split that I’d stay in it, paying the mortgage on my own, and the little that he had put in over the course of our relationship would be repaid when I sold.
When I sold.
“If you need the cash—”
“I need an end to this.” He waves a hand between us as I slump against the hallway wall. “I need to cut ties from you, Cam.”
“I thought we were doing that just fine,” I whisper as I run my eye over his carefully put together outfit.
Fuck, he unfriended me on Facebook the minute he split. I don’t even know where he lives now, just that it’s in the city, and judging by the threads he’s got on he’s doing well for himself.
Of course, he doesn’t need the money. He’s never needed anything from me. Makes sense then, that he wants me to sell to ensure he has no reason ever to see me, let alone talk to me, again.
“If you want closure, Jared, I can get my lawyer to send yours the settlement amount when and if I sell in the future. You don’t have to deal with me.”
He shrugs. “Except I would. You’d still be there in the back of my mind every time I have to list assets, Cam. Or if Kell and I want to apply for another mortgage—it’s still in my name, too.”
“So we change it.” I push aside the reference he made to the whore who stole him away. “Make a time at the bank, and I’ll meet you there.”
Silence hangs thick, choking the air in the house—the very reason for this conversation. I push off the wall with the flat of my hand and take a couple of steps toward the lounge room.
“How long?”
He hangs in the entrance hall. “As soon as we can agree on a realtor.”
“No.” I drop to the edge of the armchair, bracing myself with both hands on the cushion. “You’ve got to give me longer.”
“Why, Cam?” He ventures as far as the open doorway, ever reluctant to get too close to me. “You’ve had three years to get what you need out of being here. Staying in the house won’t change anything.”
“Exactly,” I whisper.
I never stayed in the hope it would settle the past, or that the memories the house held could ever ease the pain. I didn’t stay to heal. I stayed to keep the wound open and festering, to never forget.
I chose to remain in the home we shared so I would be reminded every day of what I did and why I don’t ever deserve to have that kind of love again.
“You need to move on,” Jared murmurs as he retraces his steps toward the door. “It’s not healthy, Cam.”
“I know.”
He twists the handle and opens the front door a fraction, resting his shoulder against the edge as he drives the nail home a little harder.
“You need to own up to what you did.”






Author Bio


Born and bred in Canterbury, New Zealand, Max now resides with her family in beautiful and sunny Queensland, Australia. 

Life with two young children can be hectic at times, and although she may not write as often as she would like, Max wouldn’t change a thing. 

In her down time, Max can be found at her local gym, brain-storming through a session with the weights. If not, she’s probably out drooling over one of many classic cars on show that she wishes she owned.


Author Links



Teaser: Reunion by London Hale

REUNION_BANNER_1
Your high school reunion was NEVER this sexy!
REUNION_TEASER_5
RSVP NOW for Reunion by London Hale: Amazon US ►►► http://amzn.to/2wj46Zr Amazon AU ►►► http://amzn.to/2tWBSX1 Amazon CA ►►► http://amzn.to/2uQL6kE Amazon UK ►►► http://amzn.to/2vlHKt2
Tattooed bearded male taking off his shirt and undressing for studio shooting.
GET IT WHILE IT'S ONLY 99¢!!!
Blurb:
We're heading back to Temperance Falls for a second chance at love...
She’s ready to move on
High school reunions are supposed to be fun. Unfortunately, mine starts with a storm that traps me in a house with my newly ex-boyfriend...and his hot-as-sin stepbrother. Luke kept in touch with me over the years, but not like this. Not with his hands, his fingers...his mouth. If my ex finds out, it’s more than just a friendship on the line. I could destroy a family.
He’s done holding back
Hannah’s been off-limits for twelve long years, ever since my stepbrother swooped in and claimed her before I could. As if coveting from afar isn’t bad enough, now I have to suffer through our ten-year reunion watching them together. But things aren’t as perfect in paradise as it would seem. One overheard conversation between them, and I’m ready to throw caution to the wind. If my stepbrother can’t make her scream, I’m more than happy to get the job done.
London Hale's books can be read in any order or as standalones. Looking for something quick, filthy, and taboo with a guaranteed HEA and no cheating? The couples of Temperance Falls deliver.
Top view of couple sleeping in bed together
About London: London Hale is the combined pen name of writing besties Ellis Leigh and Brighton Walsh. Between them, they’ve published more than thirty books in the contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense genres. Ellis is a USA Today bestselling author who loves coffee, thinks green Skittles are the best, and prefers to stay in every weekend. Brighton is multi-published with Berkley, St. Martin’s Press, and Carina Press. She hates coffee, thinks green Skittles are the work of the devil, and has never heard of a party she didn’t want to attend. Don’t ask how they became such good friends or work so well together—they still haven’t figured it out themselves.

Follow London online: Amazon ►►► http://amzn.to/2uybkLD BookBub ►►► http://bit.ly/2t5EPzS Facebook ►►► https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLondonHale/ Goodreads ►►► http://bit.ly/2tY7vxA Twitter ►►► https://twitter.com/haleyeslondon Website ►►► http://www.londonhale.com

Cover Reveal: Show Me the Way by A.L. Jackson

Show Me the Way

The first stand-alone novel in A.L. Jackson's brand-new Fight for Me series...

Coming October 2nd

Cover: RBA Designs
The first sexy, captivating, stand-alone novel in the brand-new FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .
Rex Gunner. As bitter as he is beautiful.
The owner of the largest construction company in Gingham Lakes has been burned one too many times. His wife leaving him to raise their daughter was the last blow this single dad could take. The only woman he’ll let into his heart is his little girl.
Rynna Dayne. As vulnerable as she is tempting.
She ran from Gingham Lakes when she was seventeen. She swore to herself she would never return. Then her grandmother passed away and left her the deed to the diner that she once loved.
When Rex meets his new neighbor, he knows he’s in trouble.
She’s gorgeous and sweet and everything he can’t trust.
Until she becomes the one thing he can’t resist.
One kiss sends them tumbling toward ecstasy.
But in a town this size, pasts are bound to collide. Caught in a web of lies, betrayal, and disloyalty, Rex must make a choice.
Will he hide behind his walls or will he take the chance . . .
Be notified of LIVE RELEASE on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/liveonamzn
Signed Paperback PRE-ORDER: https://goo.gl/forms/0e1A28nSE5zr2LUN2

 Giveaway




A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, and BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for A.L. Jackson’s upcoming novel, SHOW ME THE WAY, the first stand-alone novel in her brand-new FIGHT FOR ME SERIES.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson - Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 24587 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

Connect with A.L.

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage
Reader Group: http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock
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Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
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Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Blog Tour: Absinthe by Winter Renshaw
















































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The name on the screen was “Absinthe.”

I knew her as the sultry voice blowing up my phone for late night chats about Proust and Hemingway interspersed between the best phone sex I never knew I could have.

We’d never met.

Until the day she walked into my office, her cherry lips wrapped around a candy apple sucker and an all too familiar voice that said, “They said you wanted to see me, Principal Hawthorne?”



















The last block of the day is taking for-ev-er, so I ask for a hall pass and make my way around the school, loitering at every drinking fountain and bulletin board. The teacher’s probably wondering where the hell I am, but I’m not afraid to tell him I got my period. That usually shuts them up.
Rounding the corner by the front office, I’m making a beeline for drinking fountain number six when the door swings open and out walks Kerouac.
Or rather, Principal Hawthorne.
We both stop so as not to bump into each other, though he’d be so lucky.
I saw the way he looked at me in his office this morning, the way his body responded to my voice. I knew the instant he started talking that it was him, though it took all the strength I had to ignore his chiseled jaw, dimpled chin, thick, dark hair, and hooded, honey-brown eyes.
Principals are supposed to be old with gray hair, glasses, and dad bods.
They’re not supposed to look like fucking supermodels.
Our eyes lock, and I smirk. To think, all those times I was talking to this.
This is what was on the other end. That stock photo doesn’t even hold a candle to the striking Adonis standing before me. No wonder he doesn’t want to commit. For a man like that, the world is one giant, all-you-can-eat buffet of beautiful women.
“Excuse me,” he says, stepping out of my way like a gentleman.
God, that voice. That gentle, low rasp of a voice. I about creamed my pants when he did the overhead announcements earlier. Almost had to excuse myself from class so I could finish the job in an empty bathroom stall.
It doesn’t help that all anyone can talk about lately is how fucking hot the new principal is. I overheard a group of senior girls earlier making a wager to see who could sleep with him before they went off to college. The winner was to get a thousand bucks.
Ha. Stupid girls.
If they only knew who they were dealing with.
But I’m no better than they are. I know the man that lies beyond the carefully crafted exterior, behind those dark, hooded eyes and that confident stride. The man on the inside is a million times sexier than any of them could begin to imagine.
“You’re excused.” I make my way to the fountain, press the button, and lower my mouth to the jet stream of fresh water. His stare is heavy, weighted, and I’d give anything to know what he thinks when he looks at me.
The halls are empty and quiet. It’s just the two of us.
Across the way a male teacher drones on about World War I and the Lusitania, and when I glance into the classroom, I spot Bree sitting in the front row, gnawing on the tip of her pen as her eyes wander in our direction.
I move out of her line of sight. Ford follows.
“I’d like to talk to you sometime,” he says. “About—”
I rise, turning to him. “About what? Nothing happened.”
He squints, studying me. He must think I’m planning to blackmail him, but he’d be mistaken. While his rejection stung at the time, I’m over it and I’ve got bigger fish to fry—specifically a bottom-feeder by the name of Bree.
“I tried to reach out to you after we last spoke,” he says, keeping his voice down. “I wanted to make sure you were okay. Couldn’t find you on the app.”
“I deleted it.”
His lips press, and he nods. All those long phone calls and messaging sessions this summer, and the man can’t find more than a handful of things to say to me now. He must still be in shock. I can’t say that I blame him. He’d have a hell of a lot more to lose than I would. The stakes are higher for him. I might be legal and an adult, but there isn’t a single red-blooded soul in this entire school district who’d be okay with a principal striking up a sexual relationship with one of his students.
On paper, it would seem atrocious. Scandalous. Disgusting.
But it doesn’t keep me from wishing we could’ve made it work, as insane as that is.
“You know, we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other around here, so let’s do ourselves a favor and get the fuck over what happened,” I say, arms folded as I maintain my icy demeanor. My ego may be bruised, my heart may be longing for him, but I’ll be damned if I run away with my tail tucked like some rejected schoolgirl. “If you’re going to look at me like that every time you see me—”
“I’m sorry.” He won’t stop staring. “I just … I can’t believe it’s you.”
“Believe it.” I begin to walk backwards, distancing myself from him.
He may have closed the door a few weeks ago, but I’m the one who locked it.














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REVIEW

Absinthe sucked me in from page one - with a thirst to know more about both Kerouac and Absinthe.  The bond they formed through messages and a veil of anonymity was strong and powerful and I needed to know what happened between them. 

Absinthe - Halston is a young woman who's been through a lot in her life, but she doesn't let it hold her down, or keep her back from living life.  She's 18, and finally on the path to a good future, but when life is hard she signs up for a dating app - never expecting to make an intense connection with someone.  But once that connection is made - Halston can't help but imagine more coming from it - she's ready to put herself on the line for a chance at something she's never had before - a real love. 

Kerouac aka Ford - the new principal at Halston's high school never expected to find a woman who made him question his inability to commit - he certainly never expected to find her in an 18 year old student in the high school he's administrating. But Ford isn't one to give in to his feelings - he knows the right thing is to stay away, to push aside his own feelings and keep on the moral side. 

Absinthe was a story that drew me in and made me think deep. What would I do if I found myself in this situation? Would I be able to stay away from the person I couldn't bear to not see? When it comes to love - are there obstacles that are insurmountable? Halston and Ford made me ask lots of questions, while pulling me deeper into their stories - from learning their pasts and what made them who they are today - to watching their connection bloom from one anonymous text to a deeper, meaningful connection.  

Throw in the drama from their taboo connection, plus Halston's family situation and this story kept me on my toes. 


















Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.

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