Nicole Release Day Blitz @CarrieThomas138 @thebookgardenpr

 

Nicole

by Carrie Thomas

Series: Dream Girls #3

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Genre:
Contemporary Romance/ NA
Publication Date: February 9, 2016

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Nicole-eBookNicole Garrett, a self-proclaimed nerd, has had her future planned out for years. Taking chances has never appealed to her on any level, but growing up means adapting to change and accepting that life moves on no matter what. With her best friends, Piper and Stephanie both starting families of their own, Nicole finds herself concentrating harder on her plan to become a doctor, leaving little time for anything else other than working at the local pub to help cover her living expenses. There is nothing worth more to her than making something of herself—unless you count Corey Tate.
Corey Tate isn’t a self-proclaimed anything. He doesn’t care enough. But ask anyone who has ever been around him and they’ll tell you he’s a bad-boy-recluse, who has a somewhat short fuse. He works hard and plays harder. Even though he has no clue what is involved in having an authentic relationship with a woman, Nicole Garrett has him curious enough to consider trying. Having zero experience in relationships proves to be a challenge for him, both mentally and emotionally.
Timing is everything, right? How much time has to pass before the moment is lost? Two years of knowing glances, private talks, and a connection that surprises them both, come to a head when Corey draws a line in the sand. Can these two very different people find their way to a love that can last forever, or will their own flaws ruin what could have been? If Corey and Nicole could get out of their own heads, they might just find out the difference between falling in love and being in love.

The first book in the Dream Girls series is only 99 cents! BUY NOW

Piper-eBook
“Oh my goodness I loved these girls! Carrie’s writing is light, cheerful and fluffy. Yep I said fluffy. You just want to hug the damn book. These three girls will bury themselves in your hearts. I love that all of them are polar opposites.” – Home Is Where the Wine Is Book Blog

“I read this book in 2 days. I could not put it down. I could relate to Piper on an emotional level. The book portrays the struggles of young adults in life and love. The whole series is excellent.” – Amanda Gulley


EXCERPT

“Thanks, Nic. I’ve just—oh my God. You had sex!” She pointed at me with one hand and covered her mouth the other.

”What?” I asked looking to Piper for help.

”I can’t believe you slept with Corey Tate and didn’t tell me!” Corey walked in at exactly the wrong moment. “You!” Steph pointed at him.

”What?” Cored asked, clearly confused.

”You de-flowered my best friend, and you have the ball to act like it’s no big deal?”

Corey looked at me, and I just shook my head and looked down. I was so mortified. Just then, Moye walked back in. I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation. It wasn’t like I was ashamed of it. I just didn’t want everyone discussing my lack of virginity. Or the fact that I’d lost it.

“That just happens to be the best fucking night of my very private life,” Corey said. “So if you don’t mind, for the sake of my embarrassed girlfriend, could we just make this day about you and your baby and not discuss our sex life?”

“Corey! You love her . . .” Steph cried.

“Baby, let’s just go get ready for the shower.” Cole led her out of the kitchen. He mouthed sorry to us as he turned the corner.

“I heard the doorbell. Let’s go let more of your guests in.” Piper was talking to Steph, but looked back to Corey and smiled.

“Damn, that was funny.” Moye laughed. “Sorry, Nic.”

“What’s a day in our lives without my being humiliated?” I turned back toward my task at the counter.

Moye turned and walked out of the kitchen, leaving us alone. Corey came up behind me while I was scrubbing the counter. “I think you got it.”

“I don’t know how they knew. I didn’t say anything.” I turned into him.

“Baby, you don’t need to. They are your friends, they can tell. The same way Moye was ragging on me outside about being whipped.”

“Is it that obvious?”

“I don’t like to brag, but you’ve had a perma-smile on your face since that glorious night.” I knew when his eyes became glazed over, he was reminiscing.

“Stop thinking about it!” I hit him on the arm.

“You might as well get that out of your head right now. I will never forget it, and I will most likely think about it every minute of every day.” He tugged me close.

“You are such a pervert! Seriously though, thank you for saving me.” I kissed him.

“Always, Ace. Now let’s get this baby shower over with so we can go home and do what I was just thinking about.”

“I am home.” I giggled.

“In my mind, your home is my home. One of these days, I’ll convince you.”

“I’m sure you will.” I poked his abs.

 

 

author picCarrie Thomas

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Carrie is a wife and a mom who loves reading and sometimes writing stories of her own. It is impossible for her to write a book without a happy ending. Impossible. If you have trouble finding her, that is probably because she is traveling or at a concert. Music plays a very important role in her writing as she finds inspiration for her future characters. She loves romance novels and has too many favorite authors to list just one…but she will–Jay Crownover is one of her favs! She lives in the South with her husband and two boys.

 

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Catch My Heart, A Valentine’s Collection Blog Tour @layne_lyssa @thebookgardenpr

Catch My Heart

(A Valentine’s Collection)

by Lyssa Layne

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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: January 1, 2016

ABOUT THE COLLECTION

12190307_837575676363462_859012874_oNo one said love was easy. No one said love was perfect. No one said love didn’t hurt. No one said love would last forever.

Follow these characters from your favorite Lyssa Layne books as they experience Valentine’s Day in an unexpected, non-traditional fashion…

Love is a Fire/Burst Into Flame

Andy Garrity lost the love of his life almost three years ago.Giving in to his daughter-in-laws, he decides it’s time to get back in the saddle and go on a first date for the first time since high school. Before he even meets his mate, Andy’s having second thoughts and ready to pass on this opportunity at love.

Everybody’s After Love/My Favorite What If

James Paul and Brianna Rossi are expecting their second child in less than a month. Brianna can’t wait to have a daughter while James Paul is thrilled to have a new princess to spoil. Brianna has the perfect day planned for her husband until she’s blindsided in a way she never imagined.

Loved by the Linebacker

Recovering from a torn ACL, Blake Purser isn’t used to taking it easy. He also isn’t used to not having his best friend, Camila Lemos, spend more time with her boyfriend and his brother Evan than him. His long-time on-again, off-again girlfriend, Molly Feiser, is doing her best to entertain him during the off season but Blake isn’t prepared for her latest news.
Holding the Other – Lee Maverick and Miranda Wallen are the king and queen of country music. The married couple have ruled the charts for the last ten years and fans love the chemistry between them. Before the night is over, this Valentine’s Day will be one for the records.

My Favorite What If

Sloan Talbott and Jacob “Smitty” Smith are spending their first Valentine’s Day as a couple. In the short time they’ve been together, they’ve carved out the perfect nook for just the two of them. Having spent the last six months in Italy, it’s time they head back to the States and learn to be together with their meddling families surrounding them 24/7.

Love’s not easy. Love’s not perfect. Love hurts. Love doesn’t last forever. Can these couples endure love at its ugliest or will it break them down more than they can endure?

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EXCERPT

Sloan fingers walk up my chest, grabbing my shirt and forcing me to look down at her. Her eyes glimmer with sensuality and I know exactly where her mind is going. Leaning down, our lips barely touch and the passion is ignited. With a shrill squeal, I scoop her into my arms as though we’re newlyweds about to cross the threshold for the first time. Sloan nibbles on my neck and I moan as I walk us toward the bedroom, ready to christen our new bed.

“You gonna give me the chance to marry you and do this for real?” I ask, already knowing the answer.

“Not a chance in hell.”

I chuckle as I set her on the bed, tugging my shirt off. “I’ll get you to change your mind some day.”

Sloan pulls her own shirt off, leaving me licking my lips at the sight of her in just a black lacy brassiere. Teasing me, she runs her index finger from her collarbone between her breasts, licking her lips and keeping direct eye contact with me. The tip of her finger slips inside her bra and I bite my lip, wanting to replace her hand with mine, but am way too turned on by her own handiwork to stop her.

“Maybe one day, when we’re old and gray,” Sloan says, drawing out her words and speaking in barely a whisper.

She stands up, wiggling her hips and pushing her pants to the floor. Now she’s in just her black lace bra and thong. She turns her back to me, crawling over our king size bed and I reach out, running my hand over her perfectly tight runner’s ass. Sloan stops moving forward, placing her hand on top of mine and leaning up on her knees. Her back is against my chest, our bodies flush against each other’s and I squeeze my hand tightly around the handful in my touch.

“I don’t want easy right now, Smitty. I want you, me, and passion.”

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to welcome Lyssa Layne, author of Catch My Heart, A Valentine’s Collection, to Room With Books!

Hi and thanks for having me!

Lyssa, please tell us about yourself.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be and why did it appeal to you?

I used to write when I was younger, as in elementary school but I never dreamed I’d write romance novels one day. I still work full-time running youth sports leagues, you’ll see that in my books, and I’m an adjunct professor at a local university. I chose to go into recreation because I get paid to play!

How long have you been writing and who or what inspired you to write?

I started writing in November 2013 and published my first book in May 2014. I was actually blogging and doing product reviews in the fall of 2013 when I was introduced into world of indie writing. Rachelle Ayala was one of the first indie writers who allowed me to pick her brain and get me excited to write my own novel.

How would you summarize Catch My Heart in less than 20 words?

Valentine’s Day-the good, the bad, and the ugly

Now, let’s talk about writing and how you came to be a published author.

When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?

Um… I still don’t? *laughs nervously* I still see other indie writers, no matter how new they are or how long they’ve been published, and I’m like, “Wow, they’re an author!” I just don’t recognize myself as that which I guess is kind of weird.

How long did it take to get your first book published?

A little over six months

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to “The End”?

Typically 1-2 months

What can we expect from you in the future? More of the same genre? Books of a different genre?

Definitely more non-traditional romance, I’m notorious for not always giving a HEA. Catch My Heart is a series of short stories so you’ll see some of the characters in this book getting their own full-length stories.

I do have a Youth Adult book that my niece has been begging me to write so we’ll see if that pans out.

Who is your favorite character from Catch My Heart and why are they your favorite?

I kind of love Brianna Rossi. When she was first introduced in Everybody’s After Love, she was written as an annoying side character who developed into a much sweeter and loyal friend than I intended. So many women can relate to Bri’s story and don’t ever get a chance to talk about it or get their feelings out so this is a way for me to help them let the world know what they went through.

What is your routine for writing?

Waste a lot of time on Facebook then settle in my big, comfy chair and get to writing. That’s my nightly routine. If you are asking from start to finish, I usually do an outline of the whole story, search Pinterest for some inspirations. Then I start writing and go completely off course.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?

Typically title first.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books?

Always! Just depends on which book it is. Sometimes my readers get them more than I do and have to explain it to me.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

Paperback although reading in bed at night an eBook is much easier.

What is your favorite book and why is it your favorite? How many times would you estimate you’ve read it?

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. I started reading it in middle school and try to read it every summer so…20+ times?!? I think this story is what introduced me into the not-so-perfect characters and the not always so happy endings. It’s real and captivating!

Do you read all the reviews of your books?

Yep! I appreciate all of them, even the negative ones (which luckily there aren’t too many!).

That’s enough of the serious business. How about a handful of fun questions.

What is your favorite food? Cheese dip!

Who is your favorite singer or group? Megan Trainor-so much inspiration for books!

What is your favorite color? Blue-For you and me, Mommy! as my three-year-old would say since we both have blue eyes.

What is your ideal getaway dream vacation? As an author, somewhere tropical with high-speed Internet and lots of hot guys to help me write. As a mom, anywhere with a pool, my daughter is a fish!

What final words would you offer to our readers?

Catch My Heart is just an introduction into the world of my characters. Hopefully, you’ll be able to relate to one or two of them and enjoy each story.

Thank you, Patricia, for having me on Room With Books today!

Thank you for spending time at Room With Books. I appreciate your time and wish you the best with Catch My Heart. I hope you will come back again!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

1655958_10201225957843566_34581346_nLyssa Layne is first, and foremost, the proud momma to her precious daughter, AR. In addition to working full-time and being a mommy to AR, she is also an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, a runner, blogger, and an infertility survivor.

Having watched one too many medical dramas and being inspired by author Rachelle Ayala, who introduced her to the world of indie writing, Lyssa decided to try her hand at writing a romance story. Her attempt turned into the Burning Lovesick series. You can find Lyssa’s own interests throughout her stories although all stories are fictional.

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Her Sweetest Downfall Book Blast @kelliewallace85 @thebookgardenpr

Her Sweetest Downfall

by Kellie Wallace

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Genre – Historical fiction
Publication Date –
April 27 2015

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her-sweetest-downfall-mock-3At the height of the London Blitz, Viola Craft, a sexually repressed young woman is trapped in a loveless marriage to her God fearing husband Vernon. She spends her days working in her mother’s dress shop while Vernon pulls the dead from the rubble with his rescue crew.
Their marriage is turbulent and Viola feels pressured to bear a child. After failed attempts, Vernon believes she’s barren and alienates himself from their marriage.
One night during an air raid, she meets alluring German born Kristoff Richter. They make an instant connection. He’s young, good looking and emphatic. They embark on an illicit affair that leads to tragic consequences.

What others are saying about Her Sweetest Downfall

This book surprised me more than any I have EVER read. Just when you think you know what is going to happen…BAM…the author spins it on you. – Home Is Where the Wine Is Book Blog

This is my first read from Kellie Wallace and I loved every minute of it. She draws you in with her writing. 1-Click Her Sweetest Downfall today. If you like Historical Romance with twists you will love this. – Alpha Book Club

The story and characters are simply amazing and you will ride an overwhelming roller coaster full of love and heartache. – The Voluptuous Book Diva

This book was amazing. I started this book and finished in a day. The characters were amazing and I placed back in time with the story and plot. It was heart wrenching and I cried my eyes. I was on a huge book hangover because it was that good. – Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog

 

kellie wallace author picKellie Wallace

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Born in Sydney, author Kellie Wallace developed a love for the written word early in life, writing her first story at aged three. Her father used to read to her at bedtime, establishing a deep love and respect for books.
Kellie wrote her first fiction fantasy novel called Giblin the Conquer, an X Files fan fiction and a military fiction while in high school. After finishing school, Kellie moved to the sunny Northern Beaches and carved a successful career in the media/advertising industry writing for numerous Sydney based publications. But that didn’t stop Kellie’s love to write. An aspiring novelist, she fulfilled a dream in 2008 having her first book All She Ever Wanted published at the age of 22 years old
In 2013-2014, Kellie released her first catalogue of books Darkness before Dawn, Skylark, To lean on Falling Men and Earthwalker. 2015 will be a big year for Kellie with the releases of Edge of Tomorrow and Her Sweetest Downfall.
She currently resides in Sydney with her husband.

 

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The Vampire’s Daughter Cover Reveal @LeighA_Romance @thebookgardenpr

The Vampire’s Daughter

by Leigh Anderson

Cover by Cherith Vaughn

Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press

Genre: Gothic Paranormal Historical Romance

Publication Date: March 22, 2016

 

About the Book

Front EBOOK Web Size - Vampire's Daughter

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When Ethan discovers that the love of his life, Victoria, is actually the child of a monstrous beast and must marry another man to save her family, he retreats to a monastery to live out the rest of his days alone.

But the Church has other ideas.

Ethan’s mentor asks him to lead famous vampire hunter Dom Calmet back to his home village to rid the town of the vampires that plague it. Ethan must then take a journey, emotionally and literally, back to the town of his youth and choose between love and faith when he once again meets The Vampire’s Daughter.

Containing many tropes of a classic Gothic novel combined with the sensuality of a passionate romance, The Vampire’s Daughter will leave you gasping for more.

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Excerpt

Victoria rode her horse Gregory toward the village at a steady pace. She was looking forward to seeing Ethan, and Gregory was glad to be out of the barn. As she got close to the village, she could sense something was wrong. She could hear the faint sound of a woman crying. Sorrow seemed to hang on the air. As she got closer, she could see a few people moving about quickly and quietly. Some were boarding up their windows; others were reinforcing their animal enclosures. Riding through the town, the usually cold people looked at her with disgust. In one house, she saw a little child pointing at her until the mother came up to close the drapes. A group of older women gathering firewood stopped and mumbled as she got closer. She dismounted at the blacksmith’s and greeted the man with a smile, but he did not repay her in kind.

“Thank you for watching Gregory for me for a few hours, sir,” she said as she tied him in his usual stall.

“No need to thank me,” he replied as he untied the horse and gave her back the reigns.

“Why?” she prodded, confused.

“You should not be here,” was all he said as he headed inside.

She led her horse back out into the street and looked around. There was hardly anyone about. A few prying eyes watched her from the houses.

“I have just as much right to be here as any of you,” she thought to herself as she held her head up high. She felt herself getting mad, but she wasn’t sure why. Why were the people staring and pointing at her? Why would the blacksmith say she didn’t belong there? What had she done to any of them? She decided to go to her future home and see if Ethan was there.

She tied her horse to the hitching post at the end of the walk. She approached the house and ran her fingers through what looked like claw marks on the oak front door. She did not remember seeing them there before.

“Hello?” she called inside as she opened the door. A small fire was going in the fireplace, telling her Ethan had been there and most likely would return. She felt herself calm down and her anger at the people melt away. The room was warm and safe. She closed the door and looked around the cottage. It already looked so homey, fully furnished with curtains on the windows and rugs on the floors.

She ascended the wooden steps to the second floor and opened the first door to a room on the left. It was small with equally small furniture – most likely a child’s room. She imagined that one day, her and Ethan’s children would be playing on that floor looking up at her with wide-eyed wonderment. Then their eyes reflected fear, and she thought of how the townspeople reacted to her today and how, even now, she was an outcast. She sighed, frowned, and shut the door on the frightened children she imagined were there.

She opened a door on her right and found the master bedroom. She entered the room, took off her cape, and hung it on a hook by the door. She walked over and placed her small hand on the large pine spindles of the bed. She walked to the far side of the bed, running her fingers over the covers. A multi-colored crotched blanket overlaid a beautiful pink and ecru quilt. She folded the blanket back so it only covered the foot of the bed and the quilt could be more fully seen. The quilt was so soft to the touch. She bent down and put her cheek to the fabric. She sighed in delight. She looked at the door and listened to see if anyone was there. When she only heard silence, she took off her shoes, climbed up onto the bed and laid long ways across it. It was a large bed. She stretched her hands way above her head and still could barely touch the other end. She laughed at herself and how she found such delight in such a simple thing.

“What are you doing?” a voice asked.

“Ahh!” she screamed and sat up straight and turned toward the voice. “Ethan! You startled me!”

“I startled you?” he asked. “What are you doing in my house?”

“Your house?” she asked. “I thought this was our house.”

Ethan began to laugh as he put the wooden club he was carrying by the door. “You should see yourself,” he said. “Why were you so afraid? I did not mean to scare you.”

“Oh, I do not know,” she replied, settling herself down. “Everyone was just acting so strange when I got here. I guess I am just on edge…” she trailed off, noticing the club. “What is that for?”

“Oh, well, do not worry about that,” he said, taking off his coat and sitting on the other side of the bed. “Everyone is a little nervous. Some wolves came into town on Sunday night and killed a man.”

“Oh, my goodness,” Victoria said, putting her hand to her mouth. “That is awful. Who was it?”

“Mr. Stanek,” he said. “We just had the funeral this morning,”

“I am sorry I missed it,” she lamented.

“It’s all right; you had no way of knowing about it.”

“Still, I feel awful.” She laid back and placed her head on one of the pillows.

Ethan looked at the sorrow on her face. He knew Father James was wrong about her. She cared and felt deeply for every person.

“Wait!” she said, sitting straight up again. “You said ‘wolves’ as in many of them? Is that what clawed the front door?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said. “There were five by my count, but some people saw more.”

“A whole pack attacked the town?” she asked. “That is like something out of an old legend, back when werewolves ruled the woods at night.”

“I know,” Ethan said. “The whole town is worried about the next full moon. Everyone is boarding up their windows and reinforcing their doors. I’m sure they are overreacting, though. Werewolves. How silly. They were just normal wolves. This cold weather probably has them desperate for food.”

“You actually saw them?” she asked. “My God, are you all right? You were not injured, were you?” She crawled over to him and put her hand on his face.

“No, no, I’m fine,” he said, chuckling over the fuss she was making. He liked how much she cared for him. “I’m fine,” he whispered, looking at her beautiful face. His face turned stone serious and he exhaled slowly.

She could tell by the way he was looking at her he wanted something. He turned his body to face her, reached up and pulled her toward him. She closed her eyes and let him kiss her. He stood up to kick off his shoes. She lay on the bed with her head on a pillow. He crawled up next to her and just looked at her for a moment. She pulled her feet up under her gown in a fetal position and put her hands under her cheek on the pillow. Ethan reached over and took the pins out of her hair, letting it frame her face. She looked so innocent, so pure. Her white skin was flawless and her dark eyes were glossy. She was not evil. If anything she was godly, angelic. He leaned over to kiss her, but she pulled back.

“Ethan,” she said. “Do you…would you mind if…maybe we…” She didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but she needed to ask him something.

“What?” he asked. He reached a reassuring hand to her and rubbed her shoulder. “What is it?”

“It’s …maybe we could not do that today. I still have not confessed from last time, and it has been a bad couple of days. Things have not gone well at home. I don’t need any more sin on my conscience right now.”

“Oh, sweetie. That’s all right,” he said. “Don’t worry about it. I don’t want to do anything you’re not comfortable with.”

“Have you talked to Father James yet? I really need to see him.”

“Oh, yes. I did speak to him…” He didn’t want to tell her what Father James had said, but he did not want to lie to her, either. “He was not happy, as expected,” he said. “He still wants me to go to Rome, of course.”

“Of course he would,” she agreed.

“He is still upset; I doubt he would absolve you of anything right now. Or me for that matter. I actually never confessed after last time either. Don’t worry, though, I am sure that in a few days, he will calm down and see that we are doing the right thing.”

“I hope so,” she said.

“Did you tell your father?” he asked.

“No, I have not been feeling well; I have not even seen him since Sunday. I think my nerves are making me tense. It has only been a couple of days; there is still plenty of time.”

“We have all the time in the world,” he said and smiled. His tone and happy demeanor calmed her so much she almost forgot about the wolves, and the priest, and the way the people in town were acting, and the women back home. All she wanted was to be with him forever. She leaned over and gave him an enticing kiss.

“I thought you were feeling guilty!” he said, pushing her gently away.

“If I die without confessing my already many and egregious sins, I suppose it makes no difference if I have one more added to the list, does it?”

“No, I suppose it doesn’t!” he said, climbing onto her, wrapping his arms all the way around her, holding her just as close and tight as he could. He rolled over and let her lay on his chest as they kissed. She straddled him to keep from falling over. She ran her tongue down his neck and kissed his chest. He reached down, pulled up her dress and caressed both of her legs. He ran his hands up to the top of her thigh-high stockings and touched her soft skin. She put the full weight of her body on top of him and he kissed her forehead. He slowly removed one of her stockings, feeling her bare, exposed skin from her thigh to her toes. He then removed the other stocking, a little more quickly this time.

Victoria breathed heavily; the room was hot. Ethan was burning for her. Ethan’s hot breath on her skin was almost more than she could handle. She reached a hand under his shirt and touched the skin of his rigid stomach. The sensation of her cold touch on his skin made Ethan gasp, but he took it as a sign that the shirt needed to be removed. He sat up and removed it while she still straddled his lap. He suckled and bit her neck and chest and caressed her thighs while she ran her fingers through his hair. The way his muscles had a slightly moist sheen in the subdued light filtering in from the window dressings excited her.

She reached around her back to try to find the many buttons that ran from her neckline to her waist. Ethan’s hands followed hers and realized what she was trying to do. He laughed a little, out of surprise and joy. He had an easier time removing the buttons from their loops than she did. He only got about halfway down when he thought the dress would be loose enough to take off. They both got up on their knees and he helped pull the heavy gown over her head. His face sank for a moment when he saw the full-length shift she was wearing underneath a fully laced corset. She laughed when she saw his expression.

“You did not think it was going to be that easy, did you?” she asked.

“Sorry if I seem a bit eager,” he said.

She felt relieved; she could breathe better and she felt lighter with the gown off. Ethan kissed her while she ran her fingers down his naked back. He reached around her and began pulling at the laces on her corset. She did not protest. She did not care if Helena noticed the lacings or not. She did not care if her father found out. What could he do about it after it was already done? If she gave herself to Ethan, let him have her most prized possession, it was hers to give. Ethan removed the corset and laid himself fully on top of her. She undid the top button on his pants. She moved her fingers deeper inside his pants to undo the next one and he groaned in anticipation.

“Victoria,” he said, propping himself up and looking at her. “Victoria. I love you so much.” He reached up and brushed some stray hairs away from her face. “Are you sure this is what you want?”

“I want you, Ethan,” she said, running her hands up his back. “I love you.”

He leaned back down and sucked on her neck. She held him tightly to her. He moved both of his hands to her legs and pulled her chemise up almost to her waist. He kissed her so strongly and his tongue prodded her mouth so deeply he almost gagged her, but she did not dare protest for fear he would stop. Her breath quickened. He did not want to go too quickly. This was the first time for both of them. He wanted to make sure it was perfect.

She was about to tell him to take her when a terrible feeling flooded over her. It was as if someone inside her head told her to run. She froze, trying to listen to the voice.

Ethan felt her tense up. He stopped because he was afraid he had hurt her or that she had changed her mind. “Victoria?” he began.

“Shhhhh!” she said, holding up a hand to silence him. Her harsh tone shocked him. She did not mean to sound cruel, but something was certainly wrong. He saw a disturbed look on her face. All of her senses seemed to come alive – she could see and hear everything around her. Hushed tones, the light clang of weapons, the smell of the cold air wafting in through an open door.

“Ethan!” she said, letting go of him and sitting straight up. “Someone is in the house!” She had a feeling it was more than someone simply looking for them – they were in danger.

“What?” he asked as he got up, closed his pants, and moved toward the door. She stood on the far side of the bed, pulled down her undergarment, and looked around for something she might be able to use to defend herself, but there was no time. As Ethan reached for the door, an unimaginable sense of danger overwhelmed her.

“No!” she screamed.

He stopped, but it was too late. Someone kicked in the door, and several of the village men entered the room followed by Father James.

About the Author

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Leigh Anderson

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Leigh Anderson is an American author and editor living and traveling in Asia. She has a master’s degree in English and her thesis was on Gothic imagery in vampire literature. You can learn more about her at her website LeighAndersonRomance.com.


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The End of All Things Blog Tour @LissaBryan @thebookgardenpr

The End of All Things

by Lissa Bryan

Series: The End Of All Things #1

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Genre:
Dystopian
Publication Date: January 24, 2013

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After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.
She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.
Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.
But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.
This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.

EXCERPT from Book 1, The End of All Things

Two days later, they were out of food again, and Carly was faced with the prospect of trying to make it out to the store.

Sam swatted his metal bowl with his paw, and then stared down at it with a hint of expectation, as if rattling it would make food appear. Perhaps, in his little doggy head it did, because Carly had always filled it whenever she heard the bowl clatter on the floor.

Carly went over to the window to peek out at Biker Guy. Still there. Yesterday, she had gathered all of her courage and gone down to the lobby door again, but he had met her there with another Hello, and she’d panicked and darted back upstairs.

He was looking up at her window. He waved and reached down beside his bucket to pick up something that looked like a large white sheet of poster board. He held it up, and she could see the words he’d painted on it in black: PLEASE DON’T BE AFRAID. I WON’T HURT YOU.

He dropped the top poster to reveal another beneath it: I JUST WANT TO TALK TO YOU.

Carly thought that was highly unlikely. Whatever this guy wants, it isn’t just a scintillating conversation.

He held up another sign: I’M REALLY A NICE GUY. HONEST.

Yeah, like he’d tell me if he wasn’t.

He grinned as he held up the last board: SURRENDER, DOROTHY.

Carly had to giggle, but it faded as she realized it was the first time she’d laughed since the Crisis. She retreated and let the curtain drop. Indecision gnawed at her. She had to get food, and that meant confronting Biker Guy, whether she liked it or not.


Tales from the End by Lissa Bryan

(4 Short Stories / Companion Pieces)

Series: The End Of All Things #1.5
Genre:
Dystopian
Publication Date: February 4, 2014

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From the author of The End of All Things comes a collection of short stories about the Infection that swept around the globe, decimating the population, and leaving behind a small number of survivors, unprepared to deal with the brutal new world which had replaced the one they’d known.
The Horsemen
L.A.’s mayor has declared quarantine to try to halt the spread of the Infection. Pearl sets off across the city to buy supplies, but already the world is changing. Something strange is in the air. The Horsemen are coming …
Veronica
When Veronica’s mother doesn’t come home from work and no one answers the phone when she calls for help, a nine-year-old girl is thrown into the chaos of a world coming to an end. Veronica decides it’s up to her to find her family. “Veronica” is the story of a little girl’s courage in the face of the end of all things.
“I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud”
They called her Shadowfax– the mare Carly and Justin found on their travels. But before she was found by Carly, the retired dressage horse was known as Cloud. An unusual tale of the end, told through the eyes of a confused and lonely horse, left in her pasture.
Birthday
A previously-published bonus story. Carly knows Justin has never celebrated his birthday, and after society crumbled, no one knows what date it is, anyway. But she wants to do something special for him. Celebrating the little things helps them keep hope alive, and as a blizzard rages outside, a small gesture of love warms their home.

 

The Land of the Shadow by Lissa Bryan

Series: The End Of All Things #2
Genre:
Dystopian
Publication Date: August 21, 2014

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After surviving the Infection and a perilous journey through the wasteland that was once the United States, Carly and Justin have found a safe home in the isolated town of Colby.
Even so, balancing the duties of survival and a growing family isn’t easy. As they emerge as leaders, they face difficult questions about justice in a lawless land, basic human rights, and freedom in a world where strength defines worth. More than ever, they have to rely on one another for strength and support during the darkest of times.
The Crisis is far from over. Their fences won’t keep the world out forever, and a new threat is emerging—a gang of predators who see the town as easy pickings. When danger looms over Colby, Carly must decide how far she’ll go to protect those she loves.
It’s a journey down the long and broken road through The Land of the Shadow.

Shadows Have Gone by Lissa Bryan

Series: The End Of All Things #3
Genre:
Dystopian
Publication Date: March 26, 2015

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Carly Daniels knows what it is to suffer loss. She knows what it is to sacrifice. In the two years since a pandemic virus—known only as the Infection—decimated humanity, she’s made choices she never could have imagined. She’s condoned violence in the name of peace and done the unthinkable in the name of mercy. But with Justin at her side, she’s also learned there’s nothing she can’t face and nothing she wouldn’t do to protect those she loves.
But now another threat has arrived in the form of a uniformed man driving an army truck, claiming to represent the remnant of the United States military. Someone has set their sights on their community . . . and on Justin. The struggle to defend their little homeland is far from over, and the visitors may have brought more danger with them than just their weapons.
The shadows are closing in. Carly has to find out whether she has the strength to stand on her own when all of her support has fallen away. What remains when the shadows have gone
?

lbryanLissa Bryan

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Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete’s foot…. though only in her head.
Real life isn’t so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.


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