Day 3 Book Highlight: Touch Me

Title: Touch Me #1

Series: Touch Me

Author: Skye Malone

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Wildflower Isle

Publication Date: February 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-940617-30-5

Cover Designer: Karri Klawiter

Caitlin Faire was only expecting a simple night out to celebrate her best friend’s twenty-first birthday. But enter one gorgeous and mysterious guy, and inexplicable visions that can’t possibly be real, and you have an evening that becomes anything but simple.

Suddenly, she’s seeing visions everywhere. Being overwhelmed by strange impulses she can’t control. She thinks she’s going insane.

Until she almost kills the first man she touches.

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“What are you doing?
I jump, my gaze snapping to the doorway at the harsh whisper. And he’s standing there. The guy from the club. From the street. A matte black jacket covers him now, and if not for the moonlight streaming through the window on the other side of the room, he’d disappear into the thick shadows entirely.
But he’s here. Like the street, here. On the seventh floor of a hospital that’s mostly shut down for the night. Terrified, I back
away.
Or try to.
My legs won’t hold me. The adrenaline of the past moments has shot all my reserves of energy. I crumple back against the pale green curtain and hear the rungs clatter on the metal pole overhead.
He’s at my side in an instant, his strong hands catching me before I can fall farther.
And suddenly, breathing becomes distinctly optional.
“You’re hurt,” he hisses angrily.
“You need your strength. Why are you—”
He cuts off when he glances to the dark-haired girl on the bed, and something about his face goes still. It lasts only a heartbeat, though. Then he turns back to me and the odd expression is gone.
“Come on,” he says rather than continue berating me.
His grip adjusts on me, one arm sliding around my back while the other takes my legs, and he lifts me
effortlessly. Instinctively, my arms wrap around his neck, hanging on tight as he carries me to the hospital bed.
And I can’t breathe. I so can’t breathe. Part of me — the sane, rational, smart-Caitlin part of me — wants to scream bloody murder for the nurse. Because he was there, right when I noticed the fog for the first time.
Right when I realized what was happening to me. It could be his fault for all I know.
But the rest of me isn’t listening. The rest of me is locked on him. On the sensation of his jacket against my bare legs, the fabric warmed by his body. On the way I can feel his muscles moving in his chest when he turns with me in his arms. I bite my lip, all manner of urges and thoughts flying through my head. Only a lifetime of habit crushes them before they take me like wildfire.
Gently, he lowers me to the hospital bed. His arms leave me and he sinks down, folding into the chair at my bedside with fluid ease. He’s comfortable in his body, I can tell. More comfortable than anyone I’ve ever seen. Moonlight touches his skin and shoulders with silver, though much of his face is hidden in the shadow the light casts.
But his eyes are on me. I can see them, barely, in the darkness. They make it difficult to think.
“Who are you?” I whisper.
Skye Malone is a fantasy and paranormal romance author, which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the things she imagines couldn’t actually exist.
Born and raised in central Illinois, she hopes someday to travel the world — though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay with you long after the book is closed. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.
Skye also writes YA urban fantasy as Megan Joel Peterson and is the author of The Children and the Blood trilogy.
 
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Book Highlight: Son of Set by Kelsey Ketch

Title: Son of Set

Author: Kelsey Ketch

Series: Descendants of Isis #2

Genre: Upper Young Adult Fantasy

Publication: May 2nd, 2014

“. . . the Sons would never just let him go—alive.”

Seth O’Keefe has broken the laws of his god. He never thought he would sacrifice his own future to protect a Daughter of Isis. But when the Sons of Set discovered Natti is the Secret Keeper, he had no choice. Now, Seth and Natti are on the run from his father, who wants nothing more than to see Seth dead. With no allies, Seth turns to the Daughters of Isis for help, hoping they would protect Natti. But when they meet the Daughters, he discovers a secret that puts both their lives in more danger. Low on options, Seth sees only one possibility for survival. He must help Natti solve an ancient puzzle and find the secret name of Ra.

Natara “Natti” Stone is having a hard time swallowing the truth. She can’t believe what she has learned in the past twenty-four hours: Seth is a Son of Set blessed with charm; she is a Daughter of Isis blessed with a sliver of Ma ‘at; the locket her grandmother gave her holds an ancient Egyptian secret linking to Osiris and Isis. That along with being tortured and brutalized by the Sons of Set, she can hardly hold herself together. Thank God for Seth’s touch! That warm, tingling sensation that drowns it all out. Yet her heart struggles to stay focused. She must quickly embrace her destiny before the secret name of Ra falls into the wrong hands.

*Note: Content for Upper YA*

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________________________________________________

Excerpt•
Natti awoke and
sat bolt upright in the bed, gasping for breath. Her heart raced and a headache
flared right between her temples. The nightmare seemed incredibly real, Sean’s
eyes and the dagger ingrained in her mind’s eye. Looking around the little
hotel room, she pulled the sheets closer to her chest. She felt cold and alone
in the queen-size bed, which only heightened her lingering fears. Everything
appeared ominous in the dark; the shadows seemed to slither along the walls.
These hauntings were eating her alive from the inside out.
 
Her pulse
pounding wildly, she glanced at the second bed. Seth’s chest rose and fell
under the blankets. He looked so peaceful, and though the idea seemed wrong,
she knew she would feel much safer curled up in Seth’s arms, like back in the
hospital when her friend, Wanda, had been drugged. She pictured herself resting
her head on his chest, his warmth easing her back to sleep.
 
She knew she
shouldn’t for a number of reasons, the top being he had the reputation of
sleeping with half the girls at Setemple High School. And if it was true he had
a power as mind-bending as a drug, then those girls, most likely, weren’t doing
it of their own free will. The thought sickened her, yet it didn’t deter her
need for his comfort. Was she becoming addicted, just like he had said? The Ma
‘at feather or whatever “blessing” she had was supposed to protect her, but if
it was, she couldn’t tell.
 
If I even have
a “blessing” at all.
 
She pulled her
knees up to her chest, wishing Seth had brought Anubis, the stuffed jackal he
had given her at the Pharaoh’s Festival. It had become her most precious
keepsake and a source of comfort when she felt lost and confused. She also
wished Seth hadn’t surrendered the locket, which she never finished
translating. At least that would have occupied her mind for a while as she
tried to piece the family secret together. Except she already knew what the
secret was, supposedly: the location of the secret name of Ra. And now it was
in the hands of the cult Seth keeps referring to as the “Sons of Set” or the
“Sons.”
 
The darkness
seemed to continue to press in on Natti, making her restless. Wrestling with
her conscience, she slipped out of her bed, lifted Seth’s covers, and crawled
in. She was quiet and careful, trying not to wake him. Finally able to place
her head on his pillow, she snuggled up next to him.
 
Her body jerked
when his arm draped over her. “You have no idea how often I’ve dreamed of this
moment,” Seth whispered in a drowsy voice.
 
He moved
closer, slipping one arm under to support her head and shifting the other
around her waist. His hand slid under her “Keep Calm and Carry On” nightshirt
to massage her spine, his nimble fingers rotating in small circles over her
skin. Natti snorted softly, secretly loving his touch and hating herself for
it. The feel of his flesh was smooth as silk and every lean muscle flexed
steadily while he moved his hand up behind her neck. Her body warmed, completely
aware of every place their skin made contact. Thank the lord for her nightshirt
and the Calvin Klein pajama bottoms Seth slept in. There was hardly any space
between them, and yet, he managed to pull her even closer.
 
“So to what do
I owe the pleasure?” Seth asked.
 
“I couldn’t
sleep,” Natti breathed, her galloping heart drummed in her ears.
 
“Hmm.” A smile
pulled at Seth’s perfect lips. “So you crawled in looking for some company?”
 
“Well, I would
have stayed in my own bed, but you forgot to pack Anubis.”
A laugh rumbled
in Seth’s throat. “What is it with girls and stuffed animals?”

“Oy, you gave him to me,” Natti shot back while slapping her hand against his chest. “And he’s been providing comfort when I need it ever since. But since you left him behind, you’ll just have to take his place.”

“I guess I can live with that.” Seth stroked the back of her neck, sending goose bumps over her skin.

The room was quiet. With no sight and no sound, Natti was only left with her heightened sense of touch and smell. She memorized Seth’s embrace; every little shift of his muscles and every little movement of his fingertips. The gentle heat that took her breath away slowly radiated through her system. She felt closer to Seth right now than she had ever felt with anyone in her life. Yet she hardly knew him. She knew who he was and even what he was, just nothing really about him. What music did he like? What kind of films did he watch? What was his favorite past time? Well, actually, she already had a sense what his answer would be to that last question just by knowing his reputation. Still, she wanted to know more. Rattling her brain for a conversation starter, she asked the simplest question she could think of.

“What’s your favorite color?”

He groaned in response and crinkled his brow. “Is that what it would have taken to get you into bed with me? Knowing my favorite color? We could have fixed that long ago.”

“No,” Natti hissed. “This is just a conversation. You know, something normal people do.”

“I know what a conversation is.” Seth’s perfect grin glistened in the dark. “There’s just other things I’d rather be doing in the middle of the night, like sleeping or . . .”

Natti’s cheeks burned when his hand moved south. “Bloody hell, Seth!” She pushed his hand back to the small of her back. “I’m talking about things like your favorite class subject, when your birthday is—”

“What’s my favorite color?” Seth mocked with a hidden smile, his exhaustion weighing in his voice.

“What about you? What’s your favorite color then?”

Taken aback by his abrupt turnaround, Natti sputtered her answer. “Red.”

“Hmm.” Seth fell silent, his eyelids drooping a bit. Natti shifted, thinking he had dozed off. She closed her eyes, his warmth gently pulling her into sleep.

“History. March fifteenth. Black,” Seth finally responded.

“Wait—What?” Natti jerked, now fully awake again.

“The answers to your questions.” Seth’s eyes opened, taking her in while they laid together in the dark. His hand skimmed her hair, pulling a lock toward him. “My favorite subject is history. My birthday is March fifteenth. And my favorite color is black, like the color of your hair.”

A smile pulled at Natti’s lips. “Is black even a color?”

“Hey, don’t knock it.” He paused, looking deep into her eyes. “I’ll admit, though, lately I’ve also become enamored with a unique shade of purple.”

Natti swallowed a lump forming in her throat. Seth leaned his forehead to hers, their noses touching. Even in the dark, his gaze captured her, drawing her full attention.

“You know how tempting it is to kiss you right now?” he said, an intense, fiery tingling sensation growing strong throughout her body.

Natti could barely speak as she melted into the sheets. She really wanted to kiss him. He was too tempting with his heat, his eyes, and the feel of his body conforming to hers.

A sudden flashback to the halls of Setemple High caused her to hold back and bite her lower lip. It had been her first kiss with Seth. The very thought of it still coursed fire through her veins. It had only been a distraction. A method he used to pickpocket her grandmother’s letter before abandoning her and leaving her in the hands of his friend, Ky.

“Don’t push it,” Natti mumbled. “Not after you used the last one to pinch from me.”

His eyes searched hers, his voice deep with pain. “You really don’t remember then.”

Natti tried to think of what he was referring to. “Remember what?”
Seth attempted a charming grin, but it faltered. “Never mind. It wasn’t important.”

He lightened his touch, withdrawing a bit. The sensations that were running rapid finally eased. She watched Seth’s expression fill with disappointment, making her wonder what she had forgotten that had been clearly special to him.

She slipped her hand along his well-formed abs and over his chest. She could feel him shiver. Goose bumps appeared over his skin. Her own body also reacted to the touch, her skin prickling with little sparks. She froze when he caught her gaze, desire shining in his eyes like a beacon in the night. Reality struck, and it struck hard. She wanted him too.

“Maybe I made a mistake.” Natti’s body quivered, and she moved back. What had she been thinking, crawling into a guy’s bed? In a freaking hotel no less! What kind of impression does that give? “I shouldn’t have come over here. I’m sorry.”

Seth strengthened his grip, his voice tight with emotion. “No. It’s fine. Stay.”

A strange calm replaced her abrupt urge to run. She looked at Seth, feeling the tingle of magic under her skin. She was scared. She stupidly crawled right into his element, and she knew in her heart she was too weak to resist any advance. His fingers reached up and stroked her cheek. With the warm breeze from his touch, her excitement and fear were whisked away, leaving her to feel only a bliss that affected her very being. She lowered her body back into Seth’s arms. Her muscles relaxed into his embrace. She gave into the power, unsure if she was staying of her own free will or if he was controlling her actions. Either way, it was too late. She had stepped into his web, just like the oracle at the Pharaoh Festival had warned. But maybe if she kept him talking, nothing ominous would come of it.

Natti’s voice came out flustered when she finally spoke. “We used to talk about you. My mates and I, that is. Back in school.”

Seth perked up. “Really? What about?”

“Oh.” Natti tried to be sly with her words while thinking about Jen, Kevin, and Wanda. She missed them all very much. Even more than some of her friends back in London. “Different things.”

Seth raised a brow and smiled. “Like how devilishly handsome and extremely charming I am?”

“Actually, we couldn’t decide if you were a vampire, a werewolf, or a fae.”

“Say what?” Seth jerked. “What plebs have you been talking to?”

Natti rolled her eyes. “Well, you can’t really blame us. With your looks and how you charm most of the teachers and students, Jen figured you had to be paranormal.”

“And what did you think? Did you think I was a vampire or a werewolf?”

“No. I only thought you were a spoiled rotten rich kid whose only charm was his father’s money.” A malicious grin spread on her lips. “And I still stand by it.”

Seth crinkled his nose, smiled, and shoved her back slightly. Natti burst into laughter; her first real laugh since the day of the fire. Her body released all its tension in one fell swoop. The high was addicting, her adrenalin soaring to new heights. Finally, as her body became weary and calmed, she could still hear Seth laughing beside her. A laugh that was as soothing as Big Ben chiming out the time, giving her a sense of home. Natti basked in the sound until Seth abruptly faded from sight and Sean’s cold eyes flashed before her. She gasped and pushed away as the icy cold emptiness burned her insides.“Natti.” She felt Seth pull at her waist. “Natti, stop!”

________________________________________________

About Kelsey


During her high school years,
Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall
or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps.
Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office
building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble Café in Cary, North Carolina.
She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at
Ketch’s Book Nook,
and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate.

For more information, please
visit her site at
kelseyketch.com.

 

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Book Highlight: Priya in Heels by Ayesha Patel

Title: Priya in Heels

Author: Ayesha Patel

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Multi-cultural

Publication: August 28th, 2014

A new adult title from Entangled’s Embrace imprint…

Love doesn’t conquer all…does it?

Priyanka Patel is the epitome of an obedient daughter. She’s finishing up her medical residency at one of Houston’s busiest emergency departments, and has agreed—albeit reluctantly—to marry the man her family has chosen for her. The only thing that can derail the “perfect” life laid out before her is the sexy musician down the hall who wants into her life…and into her bed.

Tyler O’Connor has been infatuated with Priya since she treated his sprained ankle in the ER, and after saving her from a brutal attack, he can’t get her out of his head. When Priya puts her family’s wishes before their relationship, agreeing to an arranged marriage with another man, Tyler is devastated.

But love is fierce and unreasonable and clashes with the carefully sculpted life her parents want for her. Is going after her heart such a big deal, or will it truly unravel Priya’s world?

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“Priya in Heels is an exquisite mix of culture, romance, and humor all brought together by two characters you can’t help but love from the get-go. It’s a must read!” ~NYT Bestselling Author Anna Banks
 
“Sweet and sexy with a dash of spice.” ~USA Today Bestselling Author Nicola Marsh
 
“Chemistry jumps off the pages in this sexy-fun tale of family, “firsts,” and doing anything for true love. I swooned over Ty right along with Pree!” ~USA Today Bestselling Author Ophelia London
 
A moving story about a girl at a crossroads between her Indian culture and what’s expected of her, and the American boy who’s stolen her heart.” ~USA Today Bestselling Author Cindi Madsen

“A thoroughly entertaining romance that deftly captures the enduring conflict between conservative Indian traditions and contemporary American culture.” ~Shobhan Bantwal, Award-Winning Author of the Dowry Brid
Chapter One
Priya
Women who wore heels all day belonged in a mental institution for heinous self harm. Residency taught us to always look professional, and I envied the female docs who rocked nice shoes every day, but I drew the line with heels. Hello, plantar fasciitis, anyone?
Even in sneakers, pain bubbled around my ankles and prickled up my calves. One month of fifteen-hour days in one of Houston’s busiest emergency departments had turned my ankles into dainty twigs ready to snap in half.
I tried not to wobble to room twenty-three, and the wheelchair in the corner called my name. Maybe the ED tech could wheel me to the next patient?
The nurses giggled as I hobbled past station two.
“Oh, honey, try doing this for a living,” Mara said.
“You’ll get used to it,” David encouraged.
Right.
I skimmed over the file I’d been using to fan myself with. It belonged to a man who lived in epic STDville. Eww. Thank goodness his numerous venereal diseases couldn’t attach to his folder and fly off onto my mouth.
“Oh, wait, this one.” Dr. Lemur snatched that folder from me and replaced it with a thinner one.
This man thought he had a broken ankle. Much better! On my last day in ED rotation, I wasn’t in the mood to deal with another nasty sexaholic. I had already had one last week, and the guy had persistently hit on me. He had been lucky that he’d walked out with his genitals intact.
More times than not, the reality of a person’s illness paled in comparison to what they thought they had. This broken ankle was more likely a sprained one, and that was an easy fix.
Still attached to my notes, I opened and closed the glass door to room twenty-three, then closed the curtain behind me before looking up. What a mistake! I almost stumbled over my aching feet. Okay, I had to close my mouth now before the patient slapped a piece of tape across my forehead that read, “Idiotic Buffoon.”
The patient straightened and gave me a lazy smile. Yeah, he knew he had the looks. Shimmering green eyes like emeralds. Auburn hair, a little wavy, wisped across his forehead, curled over his ears, and flirted with his shirt collar. Kissable lips curved upward, set above a firm, square jaw. He almost had me stuttering like a boy-crazy teenager, the way his intense eyes held my attention.
Icy air puffed down from the ceiling vent and tickled the back of my neck, jolting me back to my senses. It was one of those weird moments when time stopped and all of a sudden you couldn’t remember what you were doing or how long you’d been mentally gone. It was a moment that made me think, Damn!
“Tyler O’Connor?” I managed to say, playing off my unprofessional reaction to the stunningly handsome man and quelling any interest.
“Yep,” he replied in a thick, low voice. Either too dreamy to be real or sleepy from pain medicine.
“Think you sprained your ankle or broke it?”
“Yep.”
“Okay, let’s take a look.” I snapped on a pair of white gloves from the triage cart, pulled up a rolling stool, and sat down. All the while, I surreptitiously noticed that Tyler was focused on my face, so meeting his eyes again was impossible.
With shoe off, sock on, Tyler rested the injured foot on a chair. The butcher paper crinkled underneath him as he shifted on the gurney while I lifted his foot onto my lap. At six-foot-one and a muscular two hundred pounds, according to his chart, his leg felt like dead weight.
I pulled down his sock to check for bruising and wounds, then pressed and felt for swelling. He hissed.
“Hurts?”
“Yep,” he responded in his amazing verbal repertoire.
“What were you doing when you injured yourself?”
“Walked off stage and buckled on a step.”
The image of this tall, brawny man stumbling down a few steps tickled me. I stifled a giggle. When I looked up, he rested his forearms on his thighs and leaned in, his face way too close for comfort.
“Oh, sorry.” Apparently, the giggle had escaped.
He flashed an insanely swoon-worthy smile. “Do I need an X-ray?”
“Only if you want to spend a bunch of time in our lovely hospital.”
“Do I get a meal and you at my bedside?”
I responded dryly to subdue his flirting, “You get a hit of high-energy electrons and an hour of sitting alone.”
“It’s not even broken, is it?”
“No.” I couldn’t help myself. I thumped his ankle. He jerked forward. “A broken ankle would hurt much worse.” I returned his foot to the chair and rolled away.
“Yeah, I figured. Bar owner demanded I get it checked.”
“Guess he thought you’d sue?”
He shrugged and I wrote a few notes as he craned his neck to look over the folder’s edge. “Thought you guys had electronic notes.”
“We do. This is for my personal notes to take to clinic. I’m a resident, so…” I responded as if that explained anything because, of course, everyone knew residents made their own notes to study and report back to their attending doctors.
“Cool.”
“Are you in pain? I can prescribe something.” This tactic tended to flush out drug abusers, those who went straight to narcotics.
“Nah. Rest, ice, compress, elevate. Right?”
“You got it.”
“Guess I wasted two hours and a hundred bucks for nothing. I should make the bar owner pay.”
“Look on the bright side, Mr. O’Connor, at least you have good insurance.”
“Better than that, I have a good doctor. Are you working late?”
“No. You’re my last patient.”
“Are you doing anything after work?”
I peered up and tried very hard to hide an impending grin. My lips quivered in the futile effort, and the boy-crazy teenager inside of me giggled with excitement. “I’m not allowed to date patients, Mr. O’Connor.”
“Ah. Well, in half an hour I won’t be your patient, right?”
“You know what I mean. We would have had to meet a different way.”
“Well, how about you come by The Harmon’s where my band’s playing? We could meet there.”
“The bar? Your bar? Where you tripped?” An image of him falling crossed my thoughts.
“You think it’s funny?”
I frowned. “Sorry. Of course it’s not funny, Mr. O’Connor.”
He chuckled. “Anyway, check us out. We’ll be going back on at eleven.”
Standing, I handed him a piece of paper to end the conversation before it traveled down personal roads. “Here’s a prescription for pain medicine, in case you need it. Eight hundred milligrams of Tylenol.”
“I could just inhale four over-the-counter Tylenol, right?”
“Yes.”
“I didn’t catch your name.”
“I’m sorry. I failed to introduce myself. I’m Dr. Patel.”
“And your first name?”
“Irrelevant.”
He lowered his eyes to my chest and slowly dragged them back up. “Pry-anne-kah?”
I flipped the name badge and slapped it against my chest. “Observant, aren’t you?” I said curtly, hating that the residents had both first and last names on our badges.
“Did I pronounce it wrong?” He grinned again.
“Yes. It’s pronounced Pree-ahn-ka. Priyanka.”
“That’s kinda hard. Think I’ll call you Pree.”
“You can call me Dr. Patel.” I gritted my teeth.
“Is that offensive?”
“Houston only has a million Indians, and a million other ethnic people. You should try harder to properly pronounce names instead of being lazy and assigning unwanted and unwarranted nicknames.”
“Ouch!”
I shook my head and forced a smile. “Don’t overdo it tonight. Have a good one, and take care of that ankle.”
“Bye, Dr. Patel,” he said in a somewhat amused tone.
There were many things I couldn’t tolerate, including people who judged, those who expected doctors and nurses to be at their beck and call, and people who thought they couldn’t pronounce a three-syllable name. “Priyanka” wasn’t that difficult, especially in comparison to some names. Snapping at a cocky patient wasn’t acceptable, but Tyler would walk out of here unscathed by my anger. Mostly.
Like the rest of the patients who wandered in and out of the ED, Mr. Tyler O’Connor faded from memory soon enough. Despite his remarkable good looks, perhaps the hottest Irishman ever, only patients with interesting reasons to visit stayed with me. Like the STD guy, and the woman who had lacerated her vulva because she had decided to crawl over a bathroom partition to get out of her locked stall…as opposed to crawling under on a dirty floor in her pretty dress. The partition had broken beneath her weight, and well, the rest had been a painful, tear-filled adventure. I tingled with sympathy for her.
My shift officially ended, and hell month in ED would soon be a haunting memory. Another hour of electronic charting and handwritten notes for myself and I was ready to skip right on out. Well, I would’ve stayed if a car accident came in, a stroke victim, or the always emotional pediatric case—for the experience—but nothing of the sort happened.
I changed out of my hospital-assigned blue scrubs and into jeans and a snug, black top. I slipped on my favorite plaid pink and purple backpack because, of course, I intended to bring plaid back, and hurried out to my car just as my cell rang.
“Hey, Vicki. What’s going on?”
“Are you coming to dinner, or what?” my roommate asked in a high-pitched voice above the clamor of what sounded like a party in the background.
“I’m just leaving work. Where are you?”
“The Harmon’s.”
“Oh, uh, sure.”
“We just got here, waiting for a table. We should be seated by the time you get here, but you can still grab some food from the bar menu.”
The thought of running into a patient outside of work, particularly to a place he had invited me to, caused me to hesitate. “It’s late.”
“Have you eaten?”
“No.”
“Not all day, right? Get some food, hang with us, come out once in a while!”
“Ugh, sure. Be there in twenty minutes.”
Though I dreaded being seen by Tyler O’Connor, because he would assume I went there for him, The Harmon’s Brewery & Restaurant had the best food, a rocking vibe, and was centrally located for my friends. We ate there at least once a month. The only problem with the place was its downtown location, which meant a ton of one-way streets, horrible parking, outrageous parking fees, and weekend crowds half drunk and wholly pushy. But I was starved because I hadn’t had time for lunch or dinner again, and the fridge at the apartment was a little sad.
Vicki cooked more than I did. She had a nine-to-five job, Monday through Friday, and loved the Food Network. But she never cooked on Fridays, which were knighted “leftover day.” She never cooked on Saturdays, either, because it was girls’ night out. Sometimes I believed Vicki didn’t cook on those days to dwindle down our food supply so I had no choice but to meet her someplace if I wanted to eat.
It worked.

Ayesha Patel was born in the rich and colorful state of Gujarat in western India before moving to Texas. She quickly found her footing in languages and creative writing and weaves her diverse background into her stories. She currently lives in the beautiful, though rainy, state of Washington with her husband. With a splendid view of Mt. Ranier behind her, a cup of coffee in her hand, and a ridiculously fast laptop at her fingertips, Ayesha is thrilled to explore the literary world.

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“Sweet and sexy with a dash of spice.” ~USA Today Bestselling Author Nicola Marsh
 
“Chemistry jumps off the pages in this sexy-fun tale of family, “firsts,” and doing anything for true love. I swooned over Ty right along with Pree!” ~USA Today Bestselling Author Ophelia London
 
A moving story about a girl at a crossroads between her Indian culture and what’s expected of her, and the American boy who’s stolen her heart.” ~USA Today Bestselling Author Cindi Madsen

“A thoroughly entertaining romance that deftly captures the enduring conflict between conservative Indian traditions and contemporary American culture.” ~Shobhan Bantwal, Award-Winning Author of the Dowry Brid

***

Book Highlight: The White Door by Christy Sloat

Title: The White Door

Author: Christy Sloat

Genre: Young Adult

Series: The Visitors Series, Book 3

Publication: March 3rd, 2014

“When I first moved here I was still a girl who cherished the normality of teen life. Now, after being here a year I had come to love a boy who was both strong and courageous. I made real friendships that would last even after death. The selfish girl my grandmother warned me of becoming had vanished. A girl who stood tall, with the powers to see the dead and help those in need, appeared in her place.”

In Brylee’s world, nothing is normal. She sees and speaks with the dead and, at seventeen years old, she already has a full plate. She’s in her senior year of high school and college is just around the corner, but only if she learns to control her gifts and survive in the land of the living.

She has succeeded in ridding her boyfriend, Ephraim, from the Brown family curse, but, in the end, her best friend loses her life. Now a whole slew of new problems present itself and, like always, Brylee is tempted to run for the hills. With Ephraim at her side, she must come to grips with the reality that she is not an average girl and she never will be.

What will happen when the town turns on her? Or, better yet, when a body is unearthed in her backyard? The choices that Brylee must make will determine whether she has a future or nothing at all.

Buy on Amazon 
     I raised my hand to excuse myself to the bathroom and Miss Hailey obliged. I sped walked to the girl’s room as Kayla skipped behind me. I pushed open a stall and threw my hands up in the air. “What the heck Kayla? Here, at school?”
     She laughed.
     “Seriously? I know something’s up, but why not wait until after school?”
     She leaned against the stall and sighed. “I told you things are weird with me lately. I don’t know what’s happening but I can feel a change coming. I… I…” Her mad rush to speak was suddenly interrupted by a choking sound coming from her mouth.
     “Kayla!” I rushed to her and my hands went through her body. She wasn’t solid like normal. Something was wrong! Kayla had always felt like flesh and blood to me. Never like a ghost.
     Suddenly her mouth opened and water poured out onto my feet, splashing my shoes and legs. I still tried but failed to help her. She was choking on water and, if I wasn’t mistaken, she was drowning. I was helpless and didn’t know what to do. Then before I could come up with an answer she uttered one word, “Diary.”

Christy Sloat is a SoCal born girl who resides in New Jersey currently with her husband, two daughters and Sophie her Chihuahua. Christy has embraced the love of reading and writing since her youth and was inspired by her grandmother’s loving support. Christy passes that love of reading, writing, and creativity to her daughters, family, and friends. When you do not find Christy within the pages of a book you can find her being mommy, wife, crafter, and dear friend. She loves adventurous journeys with her friends and can be known to get lost inside a bookstore. Be sure to venture into her Past Lives Series, The Visitor’s Series, and watch for many more exciting things to come.

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Blurb Blitz: The Billionaire Princess by Christina Tetrault

Cover_The Billionaire Princess

She was raised as an American Princess

Following the betrayal of a former lover, Sara Sherbrooke swore off relationships, too afraid she would be used again. Instead she has devoted all her energy to succeeding in politics without relying on her family name. That is until one night in Hawaii with her brother’s best friend Christopher Hall.

He is a self-made billionaire

Technological genius and CEO of Hall Technology, Christopher Hall first met Sara Sherbrooke when he and Jake Sherbrooke were college roommates. While attending Jake’s wedding in Hawaii, Christopher is reintroduced to Sara, a beauty who was once way out of his league. But now as the most eligible bachelor in Silicon Valley, the only thing stopping Christopher from pursuing Sara is the thought of betraying his best friend.

As they work together to promote a new education initiative, neither can deny the attraction between them. But will their growing romance be worth all of the consequences?

Buy from: Amazon.com | Barnes and Noble | KOBO

excerpt

“Really? I didn’t recognize any of them.”

He couldn’t stop himself from leaning closer. “Then you don’t listen to the right music. I’ll have to introduce you to some good music.”

The moon provided just enough light for him to see her eyes searching his face for something. “I might hold you to that,” she said teasingly.

His eyes dropped to her lips, and he watched as her tongue darted out to moisten them. Overhead the first volley of fireworks exploded, but the sound barely registered through the haze surrounding him. Christopher leaned toward her as if pulled by an invisible magnet.

“Anytime.” He tried to remember all the reasons he shouldn’t kiss her again, but his brain refused to concentrate on anything except her lips. Lips he had every intention of tasting again unless she stopped him. It hadn’t been his plan for this evening. He wanted her to have time and space to consider things. Yet he knew it was now inevitable.  Only two things would prevent it, Sara herself or the end of the world.

Another firework exploded overhead but neither turned to look. Both focused only on each other. Reaching out he placed a hand on her shoulder, her skin warm and smooth like velvet beneath his palm. Slowly he pulled her toward him. “If you want me to stop, tell me now.” He managed to get out as he lowered his head toward Sara.

She answered with a simple shake of her head.

“Good,” he spoke the single word before settling his lips on hers.

Her mouth tasted like the strawberries she’d had for dessert. Wrapping his arms around her waist he pulled her closer. The scent of her perfume teased his senses as she wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned against him. In the night sky fireworks exploded, bathing the sky in color. Each explosion mimicked the ones going off in his head. Needing to deepen the connection, he teased the seam of her lips with his tongue until she opened them and then plunged in. Slowly, their tongues explored and mated while at the same time he dug his fingers into her thick silky hair.

As the firework display approached its finale, the sounds of the cheering crowd gradually penetrated the desire engulfing his mind. He needed to stop while he still could. One didn’t make out with a woman like Sara Sherbrooke in the middle of a very public beach surrounded by onlookers. There was no way to know who was watching. So even though it took almost all his determination, Christopher pulled his mouth away and let his hands drop to her shoulders. For a moment Sara’s eyes remained closed and her lips slightly apart. When she did open her eyes, he saw the total confusion and he knew the exact moment she realized where they were and what they’d been doing.

“I’ve been thinking a lot since yesterday,” Sara said, her eyes not meeting his.

About_Author_001

authorpicI wrote my first story with characters similar to those in the Sweet Valley Twins books at the age of 10 on my grandmother’s manual typewriter. As I got older my stories and characters became more mature. During my freshman year at UMass Dartmouth, I read my first romance novel and fell in love with the genre. I have been writing contemporary romance ever since.

Today I live with my husband, three beautiful daughters and two dogs in Massachusetts. Whenever I have a free moment you’ll find me either reading a romance novel or working on my most current story

Author’s Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

Christina will be awarding a $15.00 Amazon or BN gift card (Winner’s Choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Blurb Blitz: Corporate Merger by Elisabeth Roseland

Cover_Corporate Merger

Amy Connelly has gotten used to the taste of shoe leather. Every time she opens her mouth to talk to gorgeous co-worker Eric Lewis, she puts her foot right in it.

Tired of the painful sight of her turning into a hopeless motormouth or tongue-tied fool at Eric’s approach, Amy’s friends take steps to remedy the problem. Her thirtieth birthday present is three desensitization dates with Derrick Vaughn, an Ebony Nights escort and an Eric look-a-like.

It’s magic. Communicating with Derrick is easy, especially when it’s their bodies doing the talking. He’s even helped her rediscover the kinky side she’s repressed for so long.

Eric? That’s a different story. She’s failed miserably at two of Derrick’s three assignments for her—asking Eric to lunch and dinner—thanks to a meddling, flirty co-worker who’s suddenly vying for Eric’s attention. If shy, awkward Amy is to have a chance, she’ll have to kick it up a notch…or three.

Warning: This book contains an awkward motormouth heroine, a painfully shy hero, and a sexy male escort who knows how to set them on the course of true love.

Buy from: amazon.com

excerpt

“You are going to laugh, but I like ‘Arena’ from the Original Series.”

Amy stared at him, her bottle poised at her lips. “Not the Gorn episode.”

“Yes. The Gorn episode. Isn’t that terrible?”

“It is terrible. That’s like the cheesiest one.” 

“I know. And the worst thing is, I can’t even tell you why I like that one.” Eric shook his head. “I think it’s the combination of the terrible costumes and the awful fight-scene music. Dun dun da-da-da-da—”

“—da-da-da-da—” Amy laughed as she sang with him. “And Kirk looking like he’s about to rip that giant rubber mask right off the guy. Terrible. Just terrible.” She could feel the relaxing effects of the beer beginning to overtake her, and with it came a touch of boldness. “Hey…” she placed her hand on his knee, “…thanks for saying yes to this. I’ve never…I’ve never really asked a guy out on a date before. So—”

“I’m glad you did.” Eric covered her hand with his own. Underneath her palm, his leg felt solid. She squeezed it firmly. There was very little give. Eric set his bottle down on the bar. “Amy…I…I really…” He began to lean toward her.

Kiss me please kiss me please kiss me please kiss m—

His lips approached hers slowly. She tentatively reached up and touched the side of his face, running her fingers along his jawline.

Kissmekissmekissmeki—

She closed her eyes and could feel the heat radiating from him. Her body shook in anticipation of the touch of his lips, the taste of his tongue.

Kisskisskisskisskiss. Ye— 

A phone rang.

About_Author_001

Roseland AvatarElisabeth Roseland spends her days dreaming up ways to throw sexy heroes and strong heroines together. Her characters explore the wonderful, agonizing, joyful, heartbreaking and complicated human experiences that are sex and love. She also hopes to inspire readers to grab the nearest consenting adult and do something fun. She lives in Chicago with her very own Happily Ever After.

Author’s Links: website | Facebook | Twitter

Elisabeth will be awarding an eBook of the first book in the series to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Blurb Blitz: Her Sister by Karen Rose Smith

Cover_HerSister

Clare’s little sister, Lynnie, was abducted twenty-seven years ago.  Now the retired detective who has never been able to let go of the cold case has a lead.  Lynnie could be alive!

Clare’s neighbor, Joe, an occasional friend until now, gives her support and…wants more than friendship.

Clare’s mom, Amanda, thrown together again with her ex-husband into a crisis discovers forgotten love beneath the regrets.

Clare’s sixteen year old daughter, Shara, decides to run from her problems instead of facing them.

A devoted sister, a turmoiled mom and a rebellious daughter find their way back to each other in this contemporary ebook about three generations who discover love can knit their family back together again.

excerpt

Stepping closer, keeping his eyes on hers, Joe took her by the shoulders.  “You can’t solve your parents’ problems, but you can let them help you.  You can be here for Shara.  You’ve got to keep the best possible outlook on this, not the worst, and you’ll be able to keep in touch with your parents to know what’s happening every step of the way.  That’s what cell phones and texting are for, right?”

Thinking about it, Clare found herself biting her lower lip, feeling younger than she was, feeling uncertain about everything.

“Your parents probably don’t know how much they hurt you.  Have you ever told them?”

She’d let a little of that come out today.  Still … “How could I tell them when they were hurting so badly because Lynnie was gone.  I let some of my feelings slip today.  They seemed shocked, actually shocked.  Are they really so clueless?”

“They’re human, Clare.  They’ve tried to do their best, but that just wasn’t enough with you.  You have to decide if you’re going to forgive them and move out of this, or if you’re always going to hold bitterness toward them.”

She saw the look in his eyes and the road she should take.  “You’re going to tell me bitterness is only going to hurt me, not them.”

“No, I’m not.  It will hurt all of you.”

His eyes were so kind and compassionate that she found tears coming to hers.  Blinking hard, she tried to turn away.  But instead of letting her, he pulled her into a hug and he held her tight.

About_Author_001

Karen Rose SmithAward-winning author Karen Rose Smith was born in Pennsylvania. Although she was an only child, she remembers the bonds of an extended family. Since her father came from a family of ten and her mother, a family of seven, there were always aunts, uncles and cousins visiting on weekends. Family is a strong theme in her books and she suspects her childhood memories are the reason.

In college, Karen began writing poetry and also met her husband to be. They both began married life as teachers, but when their son was born, Karen decided to try her hand at a home-decorating business.  She returned to teaching for a while but changes in her life led her to writing romance fiction. Now she writes romances and mysteries full time. She has sold 82 novels since 1991.

Presently, she is hard at work on a three-book series for Harlequin Special Edition as well as a three-book mystery series for Kensington.

Married to her college sweetheart since 1971, believing in the power of love and commitment, she envisions herself writing relationship novels, both romance and mystery, for a long time to come!

 Author’s Links:  Website | FacebookTwitter | Blog | Newsletter