Excerpt: The Christmas Bridge by Elyse Douglas

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Title: The Christmas Bridge Author: Elyse Douglas Format: Kindle Edition, 183 pages Published: September 15, 2015 ASIN: B0141RDSCE

Title: The Christmas Bridge
Author: Elyse Douglas
Format: Kindle Edition, 183 pages
Published: September 15, 2015
ASIN: B0141RDSCE

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

A First Love. A Second Chance.
A young widow travels to New York on business a few days before Christmas. She has reluctantly made a date with a lover she hasn’t seen in 20 years, and she is nervous and apprehensive. Twenty years before, she made a difficult decision that has both troubled and haunted her ever since. She knows she’s about to come face-to-face with her past and she’s hoping for some redemption and resolution. She also wonders if she can somehow pick up where she left off 20 years ago and start again.

An exciting chance encounter changes everything. Now, not only will she face the past with hope to rekindle an old romance, but there is the possibility that this chance meeting will bring her love and happiness she never thought possible.

Once again, she will have to choose. She will have to make the right decision. She will have to believe that Christmas miracles can still happen.

Excerpt from The Christmas Bridge:

At the center of the bridge, Olivia stopped, hearing a saxophone in the distance, the musician softly playing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  It was a lovely moment, as snow fell and a gentle, cool wind caressed her face. She leaned against the railing, smiling with pleasure, taking in the railing features, its gothic cinquefoils and interlaced spiral designs. She was reminded of the many sketches she’d drawn of them and of the surrounding paths, the lights, the trees and the skyline over Fifth Avenue that rises up from the trees.

All the anxiety suddenly vanished, just like it always had when she’d visited the bridge. She felt calm and hopeful. She felt revitalized.  It was wonderful to feel that girlish freedom again—living life unplanned and uncalculated in the timeless contentment of the bridge, her bridge.

She remained for a long time, and although she was cold and hungry, she didn’t want to leave. She hadn’t felt so light and peaceful in years.

She was vaguely aware of someone approaching from the opposite side of the bridge, and wandering toward her. There were plenty of people around, so Olivia wasn’t concerned for her safety. The figure stopped only a few feet away from her. From the corner of her eye, she saw it was a man. He leaned against the railing, gazing out.

They stood there for a time, watching, listening to the music, before he spoke.

“I love it here,” he said, almost at a whisper.

Olivia didn’t respond. She glanced at him with a certain suspicion and reluctance. To her surprise, he was quite good looking. He was in his middle 30’s, hatless, with plenty of brownish hair. He was wearing an expensive Italian leather jacket, blue jeans and white silk scarf.

She lowered her gaze when he continued.

“I always feel better after I’ve been here. Always feel easy. Whenever I have to make a big decision, I either come here or I picture myself here.”

Olivia didn’t respond, aware he wasn’t looking at her. His eyes were fixed on the water and the distant glow of the Fifth Avenue skyline.

Olivia gathered her nerve, but she didn’t look at him. “And do you have a big decision to make?”

He turned, and it seemed to Olivia that he was seeing her for the first time. His eyes cleared and he focused on her. It occurred to her that he may have been talking to himself, completely oblivious to her.

He pocketed his bare hands, nodding. “Yeah… Yeah, I do have a big decision to make.”

Olivia studied him. He was tall and well-built, with a pleasant, handsome face. It was a “boy back home” kind of handsome, appealing and trusting.

He shrugged, loosely. “So here I am, at my crossroads, as my mother used to say.”

They stood, staring, listening to the sax player. “Good music. He really puts you in the Christmas spirit, doesn’t he?” the man asked.

Olivia turned toward the sound and smiled. “Yes, it’s quite lovely.”

“You must be from the South. Georgia…maybe Tennessee?”

“Kentucky.”

“I like Kentucky. I’ve been there. Been to Louisville and Lexington.”

Olivia just nodded, not looking at him directly.

“What about you?” the man asked. “Do you have a decision to make or are you just sightseeing?”

Olivia looked down, her mouth forming a half smile. “I made my decision a long time ago.”

“Oh, I see. And was it a good decision?” he asked, quietly.

Olivia shrugged. “Yes and no, like most things in life.”

“Yeah… like most things, I guess. There’s some good and some bad in everything, so you just have to go for it and hope there’s more good than bad.”

Olivia breathed in, feeling the cold seep into her bones. “It’s cold tonight.”

“Yeah. Going down to 25 degrees, or so the weather people say.”

And then there was an awkward silence. Each wanted to say something to keep the conversation going, but the words wouldn’t come.

“Well… I should go,” Olivia said, but she hesitated. She didn’t want to go.

He studied her, and his gaze was direct before it drifted away. “Maybe you could give me some advice.”

Olivia blinked. “Oh, I don’t know about that. I’m not so good at taking my own advice.”

He grinned. “I doubt that. You seem like the well-grounded type. The steady, confident type. Like you don’t need many warm-up pitches in the bullpen before you go to the mound to throw three strikes and win the game.”

Olivia laughed a little, and she saw it pleased him. She’d never heard that line before. “Well… I don’t really know what to say. I was never very good in sports. I was all legs and tangled feet.”

“My name’s Brett, by the way. I hope I’m not bothering you. It’s just that…I don’t know you from anybody, and I could use an-anybody-I-don’t-know right now…well to help me with this thing—with my decision.”

Olivia wasn’t sure about Brett.  He seemed genuine, but maybe he was a practiced New York manipulator.

“I don’t think I’m the one to help you,” she said. “I’m sure you have good friends who know you and could give you good advice.”

“Yeah, I’ve got a lot of good friends, that’s for sure but…” he paused, sighing. “Well, let me put it this way, they see me a certain way and it’s hard for them to see me any other way. Do you know what I mean?”

Olivia looked up slowly, tilting her head, as if trying to read him better. “I’m not sure I do know what you mean.”

“I could explain it to you,” he said.

“I really should go,” Olivia said, ducking her head and moving the strap of her purse from one shoulder to the other. “It was nice meeting you, Brett, and I hope you make the right choice.  I hope you find the right person to give you advice.”

She turned and started to walk away.

He called after her. “Did you make the right choice a long time ago?”

She stopped, abruptly. When she turned back to him, she thought he looked distressed.

He moved toward her and then stopped. “Can I buy you a drink?” he asked, hope in his eyes. “Or Coffee? Food? A hotdog?  I have this strong gut feeling you could really help me with my decision.”

Olivia considered his offer.

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About the authors and where to find them:

elyseElyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia University.  She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a  speech-language pathologist.  She and her husband, Douglas Pennington, have completed five novels: The Astrologer’s Daughter, Christmas for Juliet, Wanting Rita, Christmas Ever After, The Christmas Town and The Christmas Diary.

Website / Twitter /  Facebook  / Goodreads

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: Break the Spell by A.M. Bostwick

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Break the SpellBreak the Spell by A.M. Bostwick

Published by Fiery Seas Publishing

Published in September, 2015

Genre: Young Adult

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Alone. On the run. Until she came along.

When Allison Evans walks out of high school the last day of her senior year, she has no idea that her carefully guarded life is about to unravel.

Ethan Knight is on the run. Accused of dealing drugs and armed with nothing but a bad reputation and his motorcycle, he takes refuge for the weekend inside the old high school. Thinking no one will find him and no one does.

Until Allison. Panicked and left with no other choice, Ethan takes her captive. It should be a nightmare, but together, both of their lives take an unexpected turn. It’s time for them both to stop running from their problems.

Excerpt from Break the Spell:

Storm clouds gather above me. I zip my jacket sleeves. I’m always leaving, but I never have anywhere to go.

Where the hell are you, Steve? Why am I the one with all this cash? Why is this all up to me?

He isn’t exactly beating a path to get to me and answer my questions. I shake my head and saddle up. Screw him.

Damn it, I have to stop swearing so much.

Get on the road again, I tell myself. Stay moving. Cursing is the least of my worries.

Where to go? Where do I have left to go?

Motor loud, iPod louder, pounding out my favorite band. My Darkest Days.

You’re out for blood and you can smell the fear.

Miles and miles pass beneath me. The sky grows darker, threatening clouds silently rolling in. The single headlight illuminates my road to nowhere. These roads I’ve traveled all my life. It’s impossible for me to get lost, I know them so well. This both comforts and frustrates me. Lightening flickers across the sky on the western horizon.

The music moves through me like electricity.

You need poison, like it’s the only thing that keeps you alive.

I’m two counties away now, down cracked and twisting county roads. The Wisconsin River snakes downstream alongside me – black, cold, dangerous. Inviting.

Just a little bad habit that you hide from your friends.

What the hell am I supposed to do? Ozone is in the air. Thunder rumbles. Chicken Little had been right. The sky is going to fall. Stay tough, Ethan.

Said you didn’t want it, but you’re in a sick and twisted affair.

I push the throttle in further. The Harley responds. A strike of lightening briefly lights up the eerie gray sky, thunder cracks, and the rainclouds break open. I can’t outrun the storm. I’m forced to slow as the road gets slick beneath my wheels. The drops are needles against my skin. I’m soaked in seconds.

One taste and it can take control of your life.

It hits me.

Your dirty little drug, that you never get enough of.

I know where to go. I know where to hide. Where they will never find me.

You won’t be alone tonight.

It will buy time. Which I sorely need right now. As the rain pelts down, I decelerate the bike on the highway, make a u-turn in the middle of the road and gun back toward Oakdale. Following the storm.

You won’t be alone tonight.

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About the author and where to find her:

Bostwick

A.M. Bostwick writes Middle Grade and Young Adult novels. Her debut middle grade novel, The Great Cat Nap, earned the 2014 Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. An early draft of her young adult novel, “Break the Spell,” was a finalist in the 2013 Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Fab 5 Contest. She holds degrees in both art and earth science. A.M. Bostwick lives in northern Wisconsin with her husband, dog and thrill-seeking cat.

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The Giveaway:

$10 Amazon gift card; (2) ebooks; (1) physical copy (open US only)

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: Last Hope (Book #4: Hitman Series) by Jessica Claire and Jen Frederick

last hope book tour

Title: Last Hope Series: Book #4: Hitman Series Authors: Jessica Claire and Jen Fredericks Format: Kindle Edition, 336 pages Expected publication: September 29, 2015 by Berkley ASIN: B00SA5KFS4

Title: Last Hope
Series: Book #4: Hitman Series
Authors: Jessica Claire and Jen Fredericks
Format: Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: September 29, 2015 by Berkley
ASIN: B00SA5KFS4

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Mendoza: I grew up in the slums and lost everything I loved to poverty, illness, and death. I had only one skill to leverage myself out of my circumstances—violence. Being hired out as a mercenary hitman brought me money and built an empire. But all that I’ve fought for is in jeopardy. My next job: Steal secret information that could bring down world governments. Find my target. Destroy it. But then, I meet her.
 Ava: Karma hates me. When my best friend Rose is kidnapped, I have no choice but to take a job as a mule for a pair of criminals intent on selling top-secret information to the highest bidder. I should have known that bad luck tends to cling, because the plane I’m on goes down. That I survived a crash-landing was a miracle. And so was being rescued by Rafe Mendoza—hot, sexy, dangerous. The thing is, he wants the information that I need to free Rose. I can’t let him have it, but I need his help. And I need to fight this crazy attraction for this mercenary with hungry eyes. Rose is depending on me, and I won’t let her down, no matter how appealing Rafe is.

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Excerpt from Last Hope (Book #4: Hitman Series):

The ricochet of the bullet has swollen my eye shut. I might be slightly concussed from the free fall from six thousand feet into the jungle. I’ve no clue where we are and we have no supplies, but I’ve never been happier than when Ava stuck her tits into my face. Those babies felt like the softest pillows ever created and I would’ve been happy to suffocate in damp valley of cleavage. Maybe I’d even get the chance to lick her sweat away.

I might have groaned and pretended my injury was worse to lengthen the moment. Her delicate hands smoothed over my forehead and, it may have been my imagination, but it seemed liked she might’ve lingered over my hair. Dig in, I want to grunt.

“What the heck is that sound?” Ava clutches me to her.

If I don’t answer, does that mean I can stay in this position forever? Because I want to. Actually, no, I’d like to move over and suck one fat tit into my mouth until it’s hard as a diamond. Then I’d like to slide down until my mouth is level with her pussy and see how salty sweet she tastes between her legs. The beast between my legs roars to life and it’s a good thing that the monkeys above us scream again, causing her to jump and strike my good eye with her elbow. The pain serves as a reminder of where we are, who I am, and what the fuck I should be paying attention to.

“It’s the howler monkey. They sound like humans screaming or sometimes like the jaguar. They’re kind of dumb and if we found Afonso’s gun, we’d be able to kill one and have meat every night for a week.”

She shudders. “I don’t want to eat monkey.”

The jungle is hot and wet during the day and cold at night. If the mosquitos don’t eat you alive, the jaguars and anacondas might. Not very many people can crash-land into the middle of the Amazon and make it out alive, but I’m upping our odds from around 20 percent to 50 percent based on Ava’s positive attitude. Unless my eye heals up, I’m not giving us more than that. If we could find the Boy Scout bag, though, we could bring our odds up significantly.

“There’s plenty of food in the Amazon from plantains to fish, so if you don’t like monkey, we won’t eat it.”

She shudders again. “Thank you.”

“You a vegetarian?”

No, that couldn’t be right. Didn’t she eat some prosciutto at the café? But I want to hear it from her. I want to know everything about her.

“No, but for some reason eating something that screams like a human freaks me out.”

“Monkey is off the menu,” I say, making no attempt to move away from her rack. “I have a knife in my belt.”

“Do you have anything else besides the knife?” she asks. Her tone is accusatory like I’m holding out on her.

“No,” I say slowly. “Just the knife.”

She narrows her eyes and then reaches out with her good hand and pokes my waistline. “What about that?”

“My pants? I don’t think that they’d fit you or they’d be a good weapon. Besides, I’d rather my legs didn’t get eaten by mosquitos.”

“Look, if you just plan on leaving me behind, then do it now. Don’t string me along.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Just my luck to perv on a crazy woman.

“That!” she spits out, and this time her finger jabs lower, right into the meat of my dick. I flinch back. “I can tell you’re packing something. What’s that thing in your pocket?”

“None of your fucking business,” I growl out, my happy feeling sucked away. I can feel the heat rising in my face that has nothing to do with the humidity. I will my erection to subside but as she stares at it, it does nothing but grow.

“Oh my god. Is that a . . . that’s not a gun, is it?” Her lips part in shock.

“No.” The erection isn’t going to go down anytime soon. Not with her eyes wide with wonder. She raises her gaze to me and then drops back down again, and hell if she doesn’t lick her fucking lips. I turn away, unzip, and then pull the shaft straight up behind the waistband of my cargo pants. I fasten the zipper, carefully, and then pull my T-shirt down over the top. It hides most of the problem. “Let’s go.”

“I’m sorry,” she mumbles.

I surge to my feet, catching her off guard. She stumbles back and thankfully stops staring at my junk. “Enough,” I growl more roughly than I intend. “We have important things to concentrate on, like where are we going to sleep for the night.”

She looks stricken and nods in agreement. “Sorry, I just was taken by surprise. You don’t have to tell me what’s in your pocket if you don’t want to. But I need to remind you that we’re in this together.”

I feel like an ass. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry that she thinks my dick is fake. That’s a new one.

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Hitman Series Reading Order

Last Hit (book #1)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1y9t61Q

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1CzTiCs

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1IUePI1

Kobo:http://bit.ly/1yvJmKZ

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1wiiVD1

Last Breath (book #2)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1EaGROH

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1zojXnW

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/15ab84J

Kobo:http://bit.ly/1IUfZDl

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1xfjC13

Last Hit: Reloaded (book #2.5)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1INVvxW

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1ypyLTu

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Gdj5GH

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Cause3

iBooks: http://bit.ly/14OcGjG

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1zohHwV

GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/14OcVuX

Last Kiss (book #3)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1GdjXed

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1EaI6xg

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1yvLD9e

Kobo:http://bit.ly/1ucztlv

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1CkafR9

Last Hope (book #4)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Kf53li

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1QkhdgL

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Jpkd7x

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1PniPE8

iBooks: http://apple.co/1PniYHF

About the authors and where to find them:

jen frederick bioJen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She’s been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at jensfrederick@gmail.com.

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Author Jessica Claire is a pen name for Jill MylesJill Myles has been an incurable romantic since jessica clare biochildhood. She reads all the ‘naughty parts’ of books first, looks for a dirty joke in just about everything, and thinks to this day that the Little House on the Prairie books should have been steamier.  After devouring hundreds of paperback romances, mythology books, and archaeological tomes, she decided to write a few books of her own – stories with a wild adventure, sharp banter, and lots of super-sexy situations. She prefers her heroes alpha and half-dressed, her heroines witty, and she loves nothing more than watching them overcome adversity to fall into bed together.

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SWEEPSTAKES

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Spotlight and Sweepstakes: Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 Box Set

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Title: Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 Authors: Sweet Romance Reads Authors Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance Published: September 29, 2015

Title: Sweet Christmas Kisses 2
Authors: Sweet Romance Reads Authors
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance
Published: September 29, 2015

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Welcome in the holiday season with 19 heartwarming and wholesome novellas from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 takes you from the Smoky Mountains to Florida’s sun-drenched beaches, from the Italian Alps to Paris, France, and even to a quirky little town in Arizona. The Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 bundle features all-new, stand-alone stories that are sure to make you laugh, sometimes bring tears to your eyes, but always put you in the Christmas spirit. Foreword by New York Times bestselling author, RaeAnne Thayne.

Christmas Papa by Mona Risk: Living for three years in her grandmother’s respected house helps Monica forget the horror of her youth and reform her wild streak, and even dream of a normal life, similar to her stepsisters’, with a loving husband and children. Geez, she’s pretty enough to attract any man she wants, but to keep him is a different ballgame. The moment they learn of her past or meet her adorable twins, they feel the urge to move two-thousand miles away. Until Michael kisses her…

Gingerbread Kisses by Beate Boeker: Carol spends Christmas at the luxurious Hotel & Spa “Dolomitissimo” in the snowy Alps of Italy where she’s busy creating gingerbread men as name cards for her younger sister’s wedding. When things start to go wrong, she finds help in the form of Tom, the attractive hotel manager, but then, her sister manages to create havoc and Carol has to fight for her happiness.

Boycotting Christmas by Melinda Curtis: Bachelor Nick Santolli needs someone to help him give his niece a Christmas to remember. Back in the day, no one did Christmas better than Joy Encastle. But times have changed and Joy would prefer to boycott the festivities this year.

A Christmas to Remember by Denise Devine: Katie McGowan is returning home from a business trip when a blizzard forces her to take refuge at Lakewood Resort and miss celebrating Christmas with her family. The resort is overflowing with people, including Ryan Scott, an avid snowmobiler who’d come to Lakewood to escape the holidays. Ryan and Katie join forces to help others in need and learn the true meaning of Christmas.

An Angel for Christmas by Raine English: Alexa Stevens needs a job, or she and her daughter might wind up living out of the car. Blake Collins needs a nanny to help with his spoiled ten-year-old. What seems like the perfect match turns out to be anything but when the two girls and a rambunctious mutt create havoc at Christmas.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride by Aileen Fish: When veterinary student Tara seeks shelter in a snowstorm with handsome rancher Dylan, she quickly writes him off as boyfriend material since he’s more temperamental than an unbroken horse. Thanks to a job lined up half a state away, she’s not even tempted by a friend’s request that she move to White Oak, until she learns what has damaged Dylan’s spirit. Will a sickly calf and the magic of Christmas help her heal Dylan’s heart?

Lucky Break Christmas: Second Honeymoon by Patricia Forsythe: Lily is convinced that her new marriage to Marc is cursed because of a string of fiascoes. Marc knows she’s wrong. It takes the intervention of three body-building wedding planners and most of Lucky Break to change her mind.

Beach Walk by Grace Greene: Twelve years earlier, Kelli, a teenage runaway, was taken in by a kind woman named Margie who gave her a home, and safety and security. When Margie dies, her long lost nephew and only blood relative, arrives with plans of his own. Kelli loves her life at Emerald Isle, but how far will she go to keep it, or will Christmas bring a change of heart?

 An Irish Christmas Blessing by Roxanne Rustand: When Eve travels to Ireland to run an old friend’s quaint village bookshop over the Christmas holidays, the trip is a dream come true—all the more because of the beautiful Irish countryside and the quirky locals in the village. And then there’s the charming, enigmatic stranger who just might steal her heart…

Christmas Wedding by Magdalena Scott: Jim Standish is ready—right this minute—to marry the love of his life, but Melissa Singer wants the day to be one they’ll look back on forever. Planning and execution time: 25days. Will it be possible to create the perfect Christmas Wedding?

Finding You at Christmas by Kristin Wallace: After years of looking out for everyone else, preacher’s daughter Janie Worthy is ready to get a life of her own. A stalled car and a stranger on a motorcycle puts that plan in a tailspin…and leads to the best Christmas present she could ever find.

Christmas Laurel by Christine Bush: Female army veteran Laurel Covington and her retired bomb dog have retreated to a cabin in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains. She’s dealing with PTSD and a mind full of ugly war memories, and wants nothing more than solitude, quiet, and an escape from the clamor of Christmas. But then she meets the tall handsome mountain man who shares the mountain, and who has his own ghosts from the past to put to rest. Sometimes, the true meaning of Christmas can bring both healing and love when you least expect it.

Country Christmas by Lois Greiman: Emily Kane was tossed into the deep end of the foster care system years before, making her cautious of love and commitment. Securing her dream job at the Lazy Windmill, a working farm turned guest ranch, has begun the healing process. But the past can’t be shut out forever. Will familial reunions cause her to bolt back into hiding or will the magic of Christmas heal her heart and allow her to find her happily ever after?

The Christmas Crusade by Shanna Hatfield: Levi Clarke is on a crusade to create a merry Christmas for the patrons of Center for Hope community center. He’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen, even if it means seeking a sponsorship from Kat Kingsley, the woman too stubborn to realize she’s still in love with him.

The Christmas Charm by Susan R. Hughes: Gemma and Chris were childhood best friends until their lives took separate paths, both leading to heartache. Fifteen years later, a surprise reunion at Christmastime offers them a second chance at happiness.

Evergreen Romance by Julie Jarnagin: After giving up her plans for college to care for her ailing grandmother, Jillian Rogers has a shot at being promoted to project manager at the local nursery, but the owner’s son comes back into town and tries to take the job. Monty Nelson spent the last five years playing triple-A baseball after college but never made it into the major leagues. Now, he has returned to Lakota, Oklahoma, driven to show his parents he can succeed, but they stick him with running the Christmas tree lot with smarty-pants Jillian Rogers. When old sparks reignite, Jillian and Monty must determine whether their romance will wither or if they’ve found everlasting love.

My Christmas Cupcake by Shaleen Kapil: Clare thinks she is doomed to spend the holiday alone managing her new cupcake bakery until a handsome stranger appears just as she is closing up on Christmas Eve. Despite an instant attraction, Starfish Beach is a tourist town, and Clare has learned to be wary. How can she tempt Garrett, a university professor, to move to her small town when all she can offer are cupcakes?

A Christmas Spark by Ciara Knight: Sara Foster blames herself for her failed marriage. On Christmas Eve, she hides away in the family cabin, the same place her father abandoned her twenty years ago. Dalton Scot is unable to face the family holiday after his divorce and discovering he can never have children of his own, so he chooses Christmas Eve to fix his buddy’s cabin. Both search for a secluded spot to mourn their Christmas pasts, but instead are snowed in at the cabin for the holiday where they discover the power of the Christmas spark.

Sweet Blizzard by Milou Koenings: He’s an ex-con, she’s a socialite. He saves her life when a blizzard strands them together, but she could make or break his. Will love make it all right in time for Christmas.

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About the authors and where to find them:

A tireless traveler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Mona Risk, writes contemporary romance, medical romance, and romantic suspense novels, all simmering with emotion, sprinkled with a good dose of humor and set in the fascinating places she visited— or in Florida, her paradise on Earth.

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Beate Boeker is a USA Today bestselling author with a passion for books that brim over with mischief & humor. She writes sweet sophisticated romantic fiction and mysteries, many of them set in beautiful Italy. While ‘Boeker’ means ‘books’ in a German dialect, her first name Beate can be translated as ‘Happy’ . . . and with a name that reads ‘Happy Books’, what else could she do but write novels with happy endings?

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Melinda Curtis is an award winning, USA Today bestselling author. She writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet, light-hearted romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. Melinda also writes the sweet romantic comedy Bridesmaid series, and fun, traditional romances. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “…Wonderfully entertaining.”

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Denise Devine is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic comedy and she also writes inspirational fiction. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at thirteen and has been writing ever since. She writes about true love, happy endings and stories that touch your heart.

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USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romances, as well as hotter paranormal and Gothic romantic suspense. She lives in New England with her family and her French bulldog, Bailey.

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USA Today bestselling author Aileen Fish is an avid quilter and auto racing fan who finds there aren’t enough hours in a day/week/lifetime to stay up with her “to do” list. There is always another quilt or story begging to steal away attention from the others. Her books include The Bridgethorpe Brides series and the Small Town Sweethearts series.

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Patricia Forsythe grew up in a small copper mining town in Arizona where she had the opportunity to observe a great many interesting people who have since turned up in her books. She has written many romances for Harlequin books (as Patricia Knoll), as well as indie-published books and enjoys creating the kinds of stories she hopes people want to read.

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Grace Greene writes novels of romance, mystery and suspense. A Virginia native, Grace has family ties to North Carolina. She writes books set in both locations. The Emerald Isle, NC Stories series is set in North Carolina where “It’s always a good time for a love story and a trip to the beach.” Or travel down Virginia Country Roads and “Take a trip to love, mystery and suspense.”

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USA Today bestselling author Roxanne Rustand is the author of  thirty-five traditionally published novels, plus four indie novels. She was a  Golden Heart  finalist twice, and a Golden Heart winner in 1995.  She has won two RT Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and was nominated for an RT Magazine Career Achievement Award. Her earlier books were secular, but she now writes sweet indie romance, and inspirational romance for Love Inspired.

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USA Today bestselling author Magdalena Scott writes sweet romance and women’s fiction with small town settings. She invites readers into her world to find out what’s hidden just below the surface of those tiny dots you can barely see on the map—mystery, romance, and the occasional unexplained occurrence.

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Kristin Wallace is a USA Today bestselling author of inspirational, contemporary and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith.” Her popular series include the Covington Falls Chronicles and Shellwater Key Tales.

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Christine Bush is an award winning author of many sweet romances, mysteries, and novellas.  When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching Psychology at a local college, working as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or (mostly) spending time with her twelve grandchildren.

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Lois Greiman is an award winning author who has penned more than 50 heart-warming, laugh out loud novels. She currently lives on a small farm in Minnesota with her best friends, some of whom are human.

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Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen one story at a time. Her bestselling sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real.

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Susan R Hughes writes contemporary and historical romance novels set in Canada. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and three children.

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Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of sweet and inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched, but these days she lives in a not-so-big city with her husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks.

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Shaleen Kapil is new and upcoming author. Her first book, None But You, debuted in 2014. Her latest stories are built around the Emerald Coast of Florida, a favorite vacation spot. She created the Starfish Beach series to allow readers to enjoy a taste of romance in a laid-back beach setting.

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Ciara Knight writes ‘a little bit of edge and a lot of heart’ with her bestselling sweet romance and young adult stories that have topped the Amazon charts. When not writing, Ciara enjoys her own happily ever after with her husband and three sons living in suburbia, GA.

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Milou Koenings writes heartwarming romance novels because she believes sweet stories with happy endings are like chocolate – they bring joy to the world and so make it a better place. She’s lived all over the world, working as an editor and newspaper columnist, but loves staying home with her family most of all.

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SWEEPSTAKES

BPiC

Spotlight and Sweepstakes: Wild, Wicked, and Wanton Box Set by Natasha Blackthorne

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Title: Wild, Wicked, and Wanton Box Set Author: Natasha Blackthorne Expected publication: October 16, 2015 by Hearts Aflame Press ASIN: B014LRV790

Title: Wild, Wicked, and Wanton Box Set
Author: Natasha Blackthorne
Expected publication: October 16, 2015 by Hearts Aflame Press
ASIN: B014LRV790

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Wicked and Wanton: She wanted just one naughty carriage ride…
Beth McConnell has a secret. Sometimes in the afternoons, she escapes the drudgery of her family’s shop and seduces wealthy gentlemen. One encounter is all Beth allows. She must leave them burning.

When she boldly seduces Grey Sexton, a powerful shipping magnate, Beth finds his ice-over-fire combination of ironclad self-control and sensual indulgence too tempting to resist. Surely, one or two more clandestine trysts wouldn’t hurt?

But Grey Sexton demands more. His possessive determination to own her, body and soul, threatens to expose her
erotic life. To give into his demands means losing her good name and her place in her brother’s home…everything she holds dear. She must turn away, for she knows that a poor girl can never afford to trust her heart to a gentleman.

White Lace and Promises: New York Merchant Prince Grey Sexton loves the audacious, spirited young temptress who seduced him in a Philadelphia bookseller’s and made passionate love to him in his carriage. Her fiery nature broke through his cold self-protection.

Beth McConnell loves her husband-to-be very much, yet she wonders if she will ever be able to present herself as the respectable lady he needs for his wife.

What started out as a secret, tumultuous affair has blossomed into something neither of them can live without. But under the strains created by the differences in their social rank, they begin to have serious doubts about the future. And dark secrets from their past threaten to tear them apart.

Can their love prevail?

Alex’s Angel:  In the wake of a devastating epidemic, sheltered Emily Eliot finds herself alone, making her own decisions for the first time. When desperation leads her to sell her virtue, she walks straight into trouble.

Enter one gorgeous, golden haired gentleman bent on protecting her.

Alexander Dalton came to the Blue Duck Tavern seeking to lose himself in sexual pleasure. But when he saw the delicate and vulnerable young woman, he couldn’t turn away.

Emily is alarmed by her own intense responses as this charismatic and carnal man introduces her to erotic pleasure. Having lived as a virtual prisoner of her grandmother’s suffocating manipulation, Emily bridles under Alex’s possessive, protectiveness. And Alex’s charming smile hides a dark secret that could destroy their chance at happiness.

Emily’s Seduction: Love is the most seductive sacrifice of all. Before he can share his deepest, darkest secrets with her, he has to show her what seduction truly means.

For the first time in a long time, Alex is genuinely happy. He’s found a woman he can love. Now he wants only to enjoy his life. But the past won’t let him go. His dark secrets threaten to engulf him. Yet how can he tell his innocent fiancée about the horrific things he’s experienced?

Emily finds herself locked in a battle with the darkness that appears to hold Alex captive.

Pre-Order: .99 Amazon US | Pre-Order: £0.99 Amazon UK

Pre-Order: CDN $1.31 Amazon CA

About the author and where to find her:

Natasha Blackthorne writes hot & sensual Erotic Historical Romance where deeply flawed characters find love & trust. Her stories are most frequently about the intimate journey of the characters as they learn to open their hearts to love.  Natasha’s heroines are not perfect ladies. They are wildflowers and wallflowers who flirt with the forbidden. Whether they are bold or shy, these heroines’ strong desires and deep emotions drive the plot and drive their heroes to the point of no return. Natasha’s heroes are strong and dominant and live their lives with strength and purpose. They support their women in everything.  Natasha holds a B.A. in History, loves reading, cats and music. Readers are welcomed to Friend her on Facebook where she is most socially active online.

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SWEEPSTAKES

Spotlight: Dark and Dangerous Box Set

Title: Dark & Dangerous: A Boxed Set of possessive alphas, sexy bad-boys, and savage heroes
Authors: Clarissa Wild, Lili St. Germain, Nashoda Rose, M. Never, C.D. Reiss, Gemma James, Vanessa Waltz, Skye Warren & Skye Callahan
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Genre: Dark Romance & Suspense (18+)
Cover Designer: LM Creations
Purple Goodreads

Synopsis

*** 9 tales of dark desire from your favorite NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Bestselling Authors! ***

Delicious dark romance, toe-curling suspense, and sinful pleasure, all packed into one boxed set. We’ve gathered all your favorite Dark Romance and Suspense stories and combined them into one scorching bundle. These possessive alphas, sexy bad-boys, and savage heroes will claim your heart and leave you begging for mercy.

 Mr. X:  (Clarissa Wild):  He’s come to kill me. I don’t know his name, but I know he wants me. He is Mr. X; the man who comes to claim my life. Can I save myself before he demands my heart?
 
Gypsy Brothers Series: Parts 1-3: (Lili St. Germain):  Six years ago, Juliette Portland was viciously  attacked and left for dead by people she trusted. People inside her father’s  motorcycle club, greedy for power, who defiled her, shot her father dead and  destroyed everything she ever cared about.  Only, she
didn’t die. She survived … and now, she’s out for revenge.
 
Overwhelmed By You: (Nashoda Rose): I don’t deserve her, but I’m selfish and I’m taking her anyway. This is who I am and it’s too late to change me.
 

Owned: (M. Never):  “I like you collared, baby. I like you naked, I like you mine.”  Ellie Stevens has lusted over Kayne Roberts since he first walked into the import/export company she works for a little over a year ago. She kept a safe distance from the man with the majestic blue eyes – until temptation finally gets the better of her.

Breathe: (C.D. Reiss): He was the dream I never knew I had until he claimed me. The kinky billionaire who wanted to give pain as much as I wanted to receive it. He’d marked me as his own and I accepted him. I trust him completely. I swear I do.  But, now things are getting complicated. I have a career, and he has his claim. How far is he going to go to mark me? And am I going to run or stay? 

Epiphany:  (Gemma James):  He haunts her in her dreams, but she’s never laid eyes on him.   Until now.
His  Witness:  (Vanessa Waltz):   He kidnapped me.He was charming, powerful,  intoxicating. Accepting his advances might be the last mistake I’d ever make.   Now I’m trapped in his basement, completely at his mercy.
 
Love The  Way You Lie: (Skye Warren):  I’ll do anything to stay free, even if it means  taking my clothes off for strangers. So I dance, hiding under the shadows and  bright lights. Then I see him in the audience, and I know my past isn’t the
only thing I need to run from…
 
Irrevocable: (Skye Callahan): 
I remembered! They stripped me of my life but
never my will to survive. Descending into their darkness and making it my own
became my only escape.

Preorder for 99 cents: 

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About the authors and where to find them:

Clarissa Wild: Clarissa Wild is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, best known for the dark Romance novel Mr. X. Her novels include the Fierce Series, the Delirious Series, and Stalker. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire’s Bet series, and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

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Lili St. Germain: Lili writes dark, disturbing romance. Her USA Today bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the girl who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a prequel trilogy of full-length novels that explores the beginnings of the club, to be released worldwide in print and ebook in 2015 by HarperCollins.

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.

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Nashoda Rose:  Nashoda Rose is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes contemporary romance with a splash of darkness, or maybe it’s a tidal wave. When she isn’t writing, she can be found sitting in a field reading with her dog at her side, while her horses graze nearby. She loves interacting with her readers and chatting about her addiction–books.

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M. Never: M. NEVER RESIDES IN NEW York City. When she’s not researching ways to tie up her characters in compromising positions, you can usually find her at the gym kicking the crap out of a punching bag, or eating at some new trendy restaurant.  She has a dependence on sushi and a fetish for boots. Fall is her favorite season.  She is surrounded by family and friends she wouldn’t trade for the world and is a little in love with her readers. The more the merrier. So make sure to say hi!
C.D. Reiss: CD Reiss is a USA Today and Amazon bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up, she’s at the well, hauling buckets.
Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere, but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.
Critics have dubbed the books “poetic,” “literary,” and “hauntingly atmospheric,” which is flattering enough for her to put it in a bio, but embarrassing enough for her not to tell her husband, or he might think she’s some sort of braggart who’s too good to chop a cord of wood.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.

Gemma James: Gemma James is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of a blend of genres, from new adult suspense to dark erotic romance. She loves to explore the darker side of human nature in her fiction, and she’s morbidly curious about anything dark and edgy, from deviant sex to serial killers. Readers have described her stories as being “not for the faint of heart.”

She warns you to heed their words! Her playground isn’t full of rainbows and kittens, though she likes both. She lives in Oregon with her husband and their four children–three rambunctious UFC/wrestling-loving boys and one girl who steals everyone’s attention.

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Vanessa Waltz: My name is Vanessa and steamy, bad boy romances with headstrong alpha males are my trade. Feel free to drop me a line at waltzbooks@gmail.com. Join my newsletter here for discounts, information on new releases, and more!

WebsiteAmazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Skye Warren: Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of dark romance. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely tender. For those new to her work, consider the bestseller Wanderlust, Prisoner or the Dark Nights series starting with Trust in Me.

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Skye Callahan: Skye Callahan is the bestselling author of Irrevocable a dark romance that ran away with her emotions and led her on a whole new writing journey. She enjoys exploring the darker sides of life through her fiction, whether through paranormal creatures or the depraved underbelly of human nature. Her other works include the follow up to Irrevocable, Bend Don’t Break, The Redline Series, The Fractured Legacy Series, and Bound and Unbroken.

Her love of reading and writing started at a young age and she has been blessed with a family that continues to support her dreams to be a full-time writer. She has lived in Ohio all of her life, where she enjoys taking long walks through cemeteries with her husband (when the insane Ohio weather permits), studying local history, and trying to make peace with the neighbor’s cats.

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Review: Crystal and Wand (Book #3: Talbot Trilogy) by Tori L. Ridgewood

Title: Crystal and Wand Series: Book #3: Talbot Trilogy Author: Tori L. Ridgewood Format: Kindle Edition, 328 pages Published: July 23, 2015 by Melange Books, LLC ASIN: B011KCDLZW

Title: Crystal and Wand
Series: Book #3: Talbot Trilogy
Author: Tori L. Ridgewood
Format: Kindle Edition, 328 pages
Published: July 23, 2015 by Melange Books, LLC
ASIN: B011KCDLZW

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Lovers reunite, and are torn apart. Bloodthirsty fiends battle for control of an army of the undead. With the community of Talbot frozen under layers of ice and snow, the domination of the vampire coven seems certain, but in the eye of the storm, the witches and the vampire hunters search desperately for the means to bring an end to the violence that threatens to take over more than one small, sleepy town. Will Rayvin and Charlotte be able to work together, combining their skills in magick, to prevent the loss of more innocent lives?

Source: Author

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

The third and final installment of The Talbot Trilogy opens in the aftermath of the huge magical event caused by Charlotte and Rayvin.  Though their magic was able to temporarily stop the wave of violence brought on by Jason, de Sade, and the newly created army of the undead the fight is far from over and Talbot is on the brink of total destruction.

Army of the undead sucks (see what I did there?) but it is really Jason that Charlotte and Rayvin have the most to fear from.  Jason is pure evil and even de Sade couldn’t predict how vampirism would affect him.  Jason has little to no impulse control, a deep-seated hatred of Rayvin, and a strong desire to take over more than just Talbot.  Thankfully, the girls aren’t quite alone in their fight against evil.  Joining Charlotte and Rayvin are Marcy, the wood nymph, her partner and lover, Siobhan, the gargoyle, Grant, the beautiful (in both forms!) arctic wolf, and Pike, Charlotte’s husband.  Six against an army isn’t the greatest of odds and things are about to get worse.

Charlotte has rarely ever used her magic and is just now, in the time of crisis, learning to harness her power.  Rayvin is hurt and bleeding a lot (I won’t reveal why!!) which is weakening her ability to perform magic.  Pike is mid-change and trying to avoid drinking blood until his sire can be cured and he can be rid of the vampiric virus.  Marcy and Siobhan are exhausted from the strain of using their gifts so much, and Grant is constantly shifting between his forms which is causing exhaustion as well.  Their exhaustion and the rapidly disintegrating weather conditions are not conducive to fighting but if the group has proved anything over the course of the series, they are resilient. 

Jason’s evil and de Sade’s constantly fluctuating allegiance are also in play and the group struggles to stay alive and fight on divided fronts.  True to form, Ridgewood doesn’t offer any quarter or safe haven to her characters but pounds them with obstacle after obstacle and casualties are sustained.  Also true to form, Ridgewood balances the awful with some goodness and provides the group with help from some most unlikely sources.  The good and the help are few and far between but when the chips are down, Talbot belongs to the humans and the group intends to keep it that way or go down swinging.  From start to finish, there is very, very, very little downtime for the characters (and the reader) to regroup and catch their breath.  The variety of awful Ridgewood has concocted is as creative as it is wretched.  There are stabbings, falls from cliffs, being chained to a cliff, burnings, cracked skulls, loads of deaths, and explosions.  Seriously, this thing is balls to the wall full of action with some crazy twists and turns and surprises along the way.

The Bottom Line:  In all, I liked this final installment of The Talbot Trilogy but there are a few things that sort of rubbed me the wrong way.  Charlotte!  Until the very end (again, I won’t tell you why!), Charlotte is a seriously annoying character and it got old having to have everyone constantly prop her up and convince her of her ability.  The group needed her to pull her weight not whine.  Next, the constant reminder of Rayvin’s bleeding and condition.  I have no issue with how she got into the situation, it is the constant reminders of her bleeding that rankled.  Finally, the sense of time is very much lost in this read.  There are few moments when one of the characters mentions how little time has passed and it feels wrong (disorienting?) given how much action has occurred.  One of the highlights of the read is the epilogue.  Have I mentioned how much I love it when an author adds an epilogue and uses it well?  Crystal and Wand’s epilogue isn’t just a great what happens after all the awful, it is also quite the little teaser.  While I firmly believe The Talbot Trilogy has come to an end, I don’t get the sense Ridgewood is done with this particular cast of characters.  There is still a lot that can be done with the Talbot group and it will be interesting to see where Ridgewood takes them in the future.

Amazon

About the author and where to find her:

author - Tori L. RidgewoodAfter her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.

At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.

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