New Release: Heart by Nicola Hudson

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Genre: New Adult Contemporary

 

SYNOPSIS

Sometimes it doesn’t end with happy ever after.

Neve believes Jake is the one. She is miles away from home, struggling to fit in at university and missing the people she loves. The only thing getting her through is the knowledge that Jake will be visiting for the weekend.

Jake believes he isn’t the one. His family and lifestyle mean he can’t give Neve what she deserves: so much more than him. He arrives for the weekend, knowing that he has to break her heart, along with his own.

Sometimes we make decisions and have to live with the consequences.

Each of them struggles to cope with the aftermath of the weekend. Each of them is unhappy. Each of them refuses to do something about it.

Sometimes it isn’t about a boy meeting a girl and falling in love; sometimes it is about what happens next.

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Nicola-Hudson-ebo…/…/ref=sr_1_1…
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Nicola-Hudson-e…/…/ref=sr_1_1…
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id944791804
B&N Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-nicola-hu…/1120817986…
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/heart-32
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/247937744/Heart

Facts about HEART

  • When I started to plan Heart, I knew I didn’t want to write about Neve and Jake falling in love. That’s the easy part – dealing with the end of a relationship is much more traumatic! This is where the tagline sometimes it doesn’t end with happy ever after
  • When I wrote Curve, I didn’t think that I would be writing a second novel, let alone using some of the same characters. However, by the time Curve was finished, I already had the title Heart and knew it would be Neve’s story.
  • I didn’t really like Neve when I started to write her in Curve! But that changed as she supported Cass and I saw what a wonderful friend she was.
  • Like Neve, I went to university in Brighton and loved sitting by the sea, especially on a wintry, windswept day.
  • I took the photo on the back cover – on yet another wintry, windswept day at the beach.
  • Without being too spoiler-y, the ending was very different in my plot outline. But then I reached a point where it felt like the planned ending was going to feel too contrived to be realistic – and a late night conversation with a blogger gave me the courage to change it.
  • One of my wonderful friends, who is also a beta reader, let me go with her when she had a new tattoo. The scene where Neve gets her tattoo is a pretty faithful account of that afternoon; I even wrote it in a coffee shop close to the tattoo studio!
  • The hospital scene was the hardest scene I’ve ever written. I’ve been in a similar situation to Neve and writing about it brought all of the emotions back to the surface. I was drained and couldn’t revisit it for a few weeks.
  • I found writing Heart much more difficult than Curve. I hit a metaphorical brick wall and was really struggling when I went to an author event in Edinburgh. I asked every author I met for advice. So I have Abbi Glines, Kirsty Moseley, Karina Halle and Natasha Boyd to thank as they gave me some really useful tips which got me back on track.
  • Myrtle is a beautiful evergreen plant with white flowers that symbolizes love and immortality: which is why Jake uses it as a nickname for Neve.

 

EXTRACT
Neve:

“Sit down, Neve.” He never called me Neve. Ever.

“Why? Can’t I put some clothes on first?”

“Please, just sit down.” The quietness in his voice had me worried and so I obeyed.

Big mistake.

That was the moment I let it happen.

“I can’t carry on doing this.”

“Carry on doing what? What are you talking about? Why are you acting so weird?”

“This. Us. I can’t do it any more. I want out.” The bastard couldn’t even make eye contact with me as he broke, no, shattered, my heart.

 

Jake:

Of course I knew it would hurt but I hadn’t expected it to feel like I was ripping my own heart out. I mean, I knew it was coming, didn’t I? What I hadn’t thought about was what it would do to me, seeing her hurt like that. I know her too well to fall for the angry mask she tried to conceal her hurt with. That was the moment I felt like the biggest bastard in the world. That was the moment I almost relented and took back the lies I had spoken. I just wanted to take away the pain I had caused.

But it’s better if she feels angry; it will distract her from the hurt. And, as tempted as I am to pick up my phone and make it all better again, I can’t. I have to stay strong. For her.

This is all for her.

It always was.

It always will be.

 

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

SALE: Books 1 & 2 of the Blue Phoenix Series

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★✩★ Read TWO Blue Phoenix books for the price of ONE ★✩★

$2.99

Books 1 & 2 are full length novels in the bestselling English rock romance series.

 DETAILS HERE

Available on Amazon, iBooks, Nook and Kobo

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Sneak Peek! Chapter One of Rising (Blue Phoenix #4)

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As promised on my Facebook author page, here is the first chapter of Rising and a sneak peek at part of the cover.

Rising is the fourth book in the Blue Phoenix series and will be published in December.

The synopsis for Jem and Ruby’s story can be found here:

http://lisaswallow.net/the-books-bluephoenix/

Keep reading because there’s a giveaway at the end of the chapter – win an advance copy and be one of the first to read the story.

THIS CHAPTER HAS NOT BEEN EDITED AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Please note: Rising contains strong language and one of the characters has a history of domestic violence. Please be aware before you read the chapter as this contains some of both.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Every cliche rock love song crashes into my head as if they were all written for this girl. Long legs in black skinny jeans, tattoos emerging from the tight tank top stretching across her tits and crimson hair spilling across her shoulders; she leans against the bar, one elbow propped behind her. This girl stepped from my fantasies and landed in the new version of reality I live in these days.

When she turns her head, it’s as if she takes a sawn-off shot gun, holds it to my temples and pulls the fucking trigger. My head explodes because in her eyes I can see she exists in the same place I do: a lost place at the edge of the world.

Did time stand still? The world fade away? Souls meet across the stars? I should give this to Dylan for one of his pathetic love songs. That shit doesn’t happen.

The chick looks away, snapping me back to the real world. Another club, another band. Not the best place for a recovering addict to hang out but Steve reckons I make a good scout for a new support act. Blue Phoenix don’t tour again until next year and I worry he’s trying to replace us. Steve claims he’s looking for a decent support he can whip into shape ready for the tour. Hedging his bets, more like. Bryn often comes along too, big brother supervising me around the lure of alcohol. The world waits for Jem Jones to fall back into his drug addicted self, poised to hold me up as a fucked up loser again but if I’m in public, I’m less likely to slip than if I’m hidden at home amongst the spectre of my old life. Three rehab attempts, this time I make it count.

The kids in the club are young – some are too young to be here. Sure, eighteen is a great age in this country because it’s legal to drink in clubs, but what a mess. Why come and watch a band if you’re too drunk to stand up? At least I could hold my drink by the time I hit the legal age, but I started early and had plenty of practice.

I’m half-hidden in the shadows at the edge of the bar waiting for the band, Ruby Riot. Everything’s set up on stage but no band. I check my phone – 8 p.m. They’re late. If they don’t appear soon I’m going, I haven’t got time for a group who can’t get their shit together. This was a last minute anyway, normally I research before I waste my time but I needed to get out of the house and away from the direction my thoughts were taking me in. I rocked up at the nearest pub with a band playing tonight, and here I am.

The white glow from the lights above the bar illuminate the girl, highlighting the scarlet red of her hair. Do I speak to her? Why am I hesitating? Since when is Jem Jones fucking nervous of talking to a chick? She must know who I am or she wouldn’t have her eyes glued to me again. Problem is, if I step out of the shadows the kids around will spot me. As I debate this like a nervous teen, she drains her beer and places the empty bottle on the bar.

Fuck it.

“You want another?” I ask, approaching the girl.

“No. Thanks.”

I wait for the parted lip, moment of realisation at who I am but it doesn’t come. Instead, she scans the room, ignoring me. Do I have to fucking introduce myself?

She smells of flowers, roses maybe, which is odd because she doesn’t look like a flowery girl. In her boots and with those legs, she’s almost to my eye height and her face is close enough to see the ‘back off me’ purse of her lips. Now I’m closer, I’m struck she could be younger than she looks under all that make up and my neck prickles as an image of Liv trips into my head.

“What’s the band like?” I ask.

She turns her black-painted eyes towards me. “Yeah, they’re okay. You not seen them before?”

“No, I heard good things so came to check them out.”

“Why ask? You’ll see them soon, make your own mind up.”

“I want to know people’s opinions.”

Does she really not recognise me? There isn’t a glimmer of anything apart from a disinterested girl being hit on by a random guy in a bar.

A new track filters from the speakers and through the room. I smirk when I hear Blue Phoenix, this should prompt her memory. I watch and wait but her expression remains detached; no flicker of recognition. For fuck’s sake.

“Hmm. Okay, I gotta go.” The girl pulls herself away from the bar.

“Leaving? They’ve not played yet.”

She fixes me with a curious look. “I have somewhere I need to be.”

This I’m not used to. I almost utter the cliche ‘don’t you know who I am’ but she’ll laugh at me. Nah, she must have a boyfriend.

“I hope you like the band, Jem Jones,” she says and stalks away.

Okay. That was unexpected. I stretch out my neck and consider my next move. Drunk Jem would’ve ignored the rejection by picking up some chick who’d love to get her hands on me. Sober Jem can’t be fucked with that idea. I shuffle back into the shadows before someone spots me, but the crowd are jammed tight and not looking at anyone but each other.

When I was younger and went to clubs, we smoked. Now it’s banned. At most places in my Blue Phoenix life, this makes no difference, I do it anyway but here, tonight it’s a no go. Shaking my head, I disappear out of the bar to indulge the one vice I’ve not weaned myself off yet. So? I can’t stop every drug in the space of three months.

I head to the back of the club, staying to the dim areas and edging around the sweaty crowd. Security know who I am, they were pre-warned in case I attracted attention. No hassle from anyone so far, and the niggling feeling I’m a ‘has-been’ edges around. I’m paranoid – I don’t go from top of the world to nothing. The location I’m in is the reason, I look like just another grungy dude in the corner. Suits me.

I duck out through the room filled with empty crates and fresh kegs, then out of the propped open fire-door. The warmth of the summer evening surprises me but you can never tell with English summers – it’s pissing it down one minute; bright, sunny days the next. I pull the pack of cigs from my pocket and light one, gratefully inhaling the nicotine. Good thing I can’t do this by the bar, reckon I’d have ordered a beer by now. Filling my lungs with the harsh smoke, I close my eyes and rest my head against the cool bricks. The nicotine buzzes into my system. Yeah, I’ll give up. Eventually.

A scuffling sound and a woman’s voice alerts me. The alleyway is narrow, brick walls overhanging the space between and the sound carries from around the corner.

“I fucking saw you, you stupid bitch!” The man’s voice alerts me, I have zero tolerance of this shit thrown at women.

Peeling myself from the wall, I approach the corner. A woman’s voice, low and placating, travels towards me; I quietly step out of where I am.

And see red.

Literally, because against the wall, partially illuminated by the car park streetlight, is a girl with red hair. What makes me see red in the other sense – of wanting to rip the fucker’s head off – is a man with his hands around the girl’s throat, pressing her into the wall. The worst part is, she’s not fighting back.

The man slams her head against the bricks and trips a primal anger in my brain. Striding towards him, I yank him by the back of his jacket, and he loosens his grip in surprise. The guy draws himself to his full height, but he’s still a few inches shorter than me. He has close cropped hair, and the muscles barely covered by his T-shirt suggest he works out. A lot.

“What the fuck?” he growls.

“Was gonna ask you the same thing,” I say in a low voice.

“I’m fine, it’s okay.” The girl’s panicked voice confuses me, as if my interference is unwarranted.

I stare back at the girl from the bar, but she rubs her head and keeps her gaze to the floor and doesn’t meet mine. “A guy has his hands around your throat and you say it’s fine?”

“None of your fucking business, mate.” The man curls his hand around the girl’s arm and she winces.

Assault charge. Do not get an assault charge. I close my eyes and fight the urge to smash my fist into his face. My history with chicks isn’t the best, but I sure as hell never beat a woman.

“Please leave us alone,” says the girl quietly.

I open my eyes and meet hers, the lost soul behind them pleading with me not to make things worse.

“Hands off her and I’ll go,” I growl at the guy.

He snorts and pulls his hand away so she stumbles, and then he raises them in a gesture of surrender. The red-haired girl steps back and disappears through the nearby fire exit before I can ask if she’s okay.

The dickhead and me stand off against each other for a moment. He’s drunk, his eyes not focused on me properly. Man, he’d be so easy to fight. I open and close my fist, fighting down the Jem who’d solve things without words. Then I turn away, taking a drag from my cigarette. If he hits me first, I’ll have an excuse.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he doesn’t. When I resume the position against the wall to finish my smoke, I glance over and he’s gone.

Not my problem.

****

I leave the empty alley and return to the busy club, the contrast in sound pushing away thoughts about my weird encounter. The lighting in the space between the bathrooms and the door is brighter and girls queue outside. At least one of them recognises me, I hear my name whispered. Beneath the heavy make-up and long, black hair, she’s young. Too young for me. Wow, I’m maturing. I laugh to myself, no, just getting too old for fucking girls in darkened corners. Not my style these days. Any more than a glance toward a chick, and I’m asking for attention so I adopt my ‘don’t fucking talk to me’ stance and stalk back to the bar.

I order a coke, again questioning my wisdom in surrounding myself with one of the drugs that fucked my life up. Why? Because in these bars I’m at the beginning, before I became Jem Jones, lead guitarist of the stratospheric Blue Phoenix. Where else can I immerse myself in the raw music that reminds me of the early days before I got lost?

A jarring guitar pitches into a frenzied song as the band launches into their set, no introduction. I turn from the bar toward the stage, encouraged I might be hearing something decent after weeks listening to wannabes who need to rehearse a lot more before they play in public. Bodies fill the sticky, wooden floor between me and the band; strobing lights pick out the band members.

Front of stage, mic in hand is the red-haired girl.

What the hell? Her voice cuts into the sound, an energy and depth to compliment the overpowering music. She has the crowd transfixed; I’m transfixed and that never happens. She’s fucking amazing. Beautiful. Intoxicating.

How can someone with the strength and a presence holding the crowd by the balls be weakened by the dickhead outside holding her throat?

The rest of the band are guys and I smirk with recognition as I watch the lead guitarist. He’s good, not as good as me, but makes up for it in his presence. He shakes his blonde hair from his face and picks out a girl in the crowd before turning on the kind of smile I used myself. Tag, you’re it. Yeah, there’s a fair few chicks fixated on this wiry, muscular guy with the looks to match his swagger.

The drummer is half-hidden but pretty damn good too, and the bassist is lost at the opposite end of the stage, intently focused on his performance. You get that, some people have no idea how to perform to a crowd. Blue Phoenix bass player, Liam, isn’t big into performing but he gets to hide behind his long hair; this guy’s short spiky black hair hides nothing, including the piercings covering his face.

The more I stay, and the more I hear, I know Ruby Riot are beyond special. The acoustics in the place are shit, some of their tuning is crap but with decent sound engineers this band would rock the fucking world. The world needs to hear this band and at that moment I decide to make it my job to see that they do.

I close my eyes to see what colour their music is – I see music as colour, always have done and I was pretty damn happy when I discovered I share this condition with Jimi Hendrix. I suspect the drugs are responsible for the synesthesia becoming stronger over time, more damage to my brain, but in this case I’m happy about it. This song is purple; red and blue melded into a vibrancy to match the girl’s voice.

I don’t let the girl see me, I don’t need to, she knows I’m here. Other nights, when bands knew Jem Jones was scouting them, it reflected in their performance. I scared them into mistakes and if that’s going to happen, they’re not ready to step outside their pubs and club circuits. This chick – no. If anything, I suspect she’s performing better.

I guess I’ll have to find her afterwards.

Towards the end of the set, I disappear outside for another nicotine fix and when I get back, Ruby Riot have left the stage. I head to the Green Room, hoping to hell Mr Muscles isn’t the band spokesperson. The flaking blue painted door is ajar so I walk in.

“I said I’m sorry,” says the red-haired girl as she turns. “Oh. You.”

Her face glows from the performance and she drags her hair above her head, twisting the damp tendrils into a ponytail. The movement is impossibly sexy, her flushed face and wide-eyes adding to the almost innocent attraction. Her plain black tank top is soaked at the front, perspiration slicking her skin. This chick is hot, and too young.

“You never told me it was your band,” I say.

“Thought you might leave if I did.” She reaches for a bottle of water behind her and when she wraps her painted red lips around to take a drink, I immediately picture them around my dick. Yeah, I guess some things’ll never change.

“Why would I leave?”

“Can’t see Jem Jones scouting out a band with a girl as lead singer.”

“Why not?”

She wipes sweat from her brow with the back of her hand. “Dunno. Just never seen Blue Phoenix with a female support band.”

“You’re not all chicks.”

She pulls a sour face. “That’s okay then, only one of the band are the weaker sex.”

“You’re twisting my words.”

“What do you want, Jem Jones?”

“You.”

Her eyebrows rise along with her tone. “And you think I’ll fuck you because you’re the famous Jem Jones? We’re good. I don’t need to sleep with anyone to get Ruby Riot on the map. We’ll get there.”

I laugh at her, at her presumption and the hovering meaning behind. She either thinks I’m a complete asshole or she’s considering me in a fuckable light. Funny. Closing the door, I lean against it and cross my legs at the ankles.

The girl stiffens.

“I meant the band,” I say in a low voice. “Not your delightful self.”

“Oh. Shit.” Despite her bravado, the girl’s hands shake. She roots around in a large bag and pulls out a small bottle of whiskey.

This time when she drinks straight from the bottle, I lick my lips imagining my mouth around the bottle instead.

“What’s your name?” I ask.

“Ruby.”

“Ruby from Ruby Riot. Cute.” I flick my fingers at her. “You dyed your hair to match your name?”

“Kind of.”

“Kind of?”

“It’s not my real name.”

“What’s your real name?”

“What does it matter?”

Our staccato conversation is accompanied by much more beneath the words. Ruby’s eyes get me. Completely freak me out. Why is she so lost?

“You guys are good,” I tell her.

“Thanks, I know.”

“Wow, you’re hard to talk to.” I pull out one of Steve’s business cards and wave it at her. “This is my manager. I’m helping him find a support act for the next Blue Phoenix tour, tell him I asked you to contact him.”

Ruby looks at the card as if I’m handing her a bomb. “Blue Phoenix split.”

I huff. “No, we’re taking time out. We’re touring again early next year.” I step towards her, still holding out the card. “Gonna take it?”

I’m close enough to inhale Ruby – her scent, her warmth, her loneliness. And close enough to see the fading bruise beneath the make-up on her cheek. For a split second, I want to reach out and touch Ruby’s face, stroke away the mark. Her fingers go to her cheek, eyes warning me not to speak.

Ruby snatches the card. “I’ll ask the guys. Jax – the guitarist – makes the big decisions.”

Somehow, I can’t see anyone telling this chick what to do. “Sure.”

Ruby sits on the table and places her feet on the chair. Damn those boots are sexy, half way up those amazing legs. “And you can leave now.”

“You can’t be found alone in a room with Jem Jones, huh?”

“Yeah, exactly. Mind you, I always preferred Dylan, I might not have said no to him given the chance,” she shoots back.

Burned. “It’s always Dylan.”

Ruby parts her lips, as if she had an afterthought, but she doesn’t speak.

I head to the door and open it, the buzz of voices and music from the bar enter the quiet space.

No. Wait. I turn back. “Don’t waste the opportunity. You guys are good. Really fucking good.”

She nods slowly, the curious look still on her face. “I was lying by the way.”

“About the guitarist making the decisions for the band?”

“No, about preferring Dylan.”

When our gazes lock again, I’m dragged back to the place we belong in, the one I saw behind her eyes earlier.

But I’m not going there again, not for anybody. I can’t fix people, I only kill them, don’t I?

“Sure,” I say and close the door on my way out.

 

 

*****

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The Wraith Trilogy by Angel Lawson

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Just in Time for Halloween!

The Complete Wraith Trilogy in One Bundle!

Read the thrilling YA paranormal series that follows seventeen-year-old Jane Watts as she navigates the thin line between this world and the afterlife. Friendship, love and family are put to the test in Wraith, Shadow Bound and Grave Possession. Now all together in one fantastic bundle!

Includes an additional excerpt of Connor’s point of view during his time before meeting Jane, titled We’re All Mad Here.

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2.99 for all three books!

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NEW RELEASE – Unplugged (Blue Phoenix #3)

 

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“A rock star doesn’t return to his humble beginnings and whisk away the girl he kissed once. Especially if she has a four year old and her relationship status is ‘it’s complicated’.”

Blue Phoenix bass player, Liam Oliver discovers pictures of his fiancée with another man and his world crashes around him. He packs up his humiliation and hurt and flies back to his Welsh family home for Christmas.

Cerys Edwards once had pictures of Liam Oliver covering her bedroom wall. Her best friend’s big brother never gave her the time of day when they were growing up. When she was fifteen, he left town leaving Cerys with her fantasies. Now he’s back. The problem is, she has a daughter and a broken relationship of her own.

In the world of his Christmas past, Cerys and Liam reconnect. Are they two hurt people looking for comfort in a time of heartbreak or does Cerys have a place in Liam’s future too?

Months later and unplugged from his Blue Phoenix lifestyle, Liam reconnects with Cerys. He discovers Cerys’s world is full of complications he never expected – including Ella’s father who isn’t happy about being replaced by a rock star.

Unplugged is more than a rock star romance. Liam isn’t dark and brooding like Dylan, or a bad boy like Jem but a fiercely loyal man with a big heart. This is a story of love, family and unexpected bonds made that can’t be broken.

This is book three of the Blue Phoenix series. It can be read as a standalone but has minor spoilers for books one and two.

 

PURCHASE LINKS

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September Release Date for Unplugged (Blue Phoenix #3)

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22452033-unplugged

Watch out for a cover reveal and giveaway on SEPTEMBER 1st

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Book Blitz: Between (Dark Intent #1) and Giveaway

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 Book Details 
Title: Between
(Book One of the Dark Intent Series)
Author: Lisa Swallow
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
 
 
BetweeneBook copy
 BLURB

What do you do when two very different men enter your world and both have the power to kill you with a touch or a kiss? Can Rose trust either of them – or anyone in her new life after the accident which almost killed her?

Ghosts? Demons? Angels? Or something more? The supernatural you find living and working in this English city are a little different to those you usually find in the genre…

Rose survived the accident which killed her friend. The problem is the life she returns to scares her more than the night she almost died.

When Alek and Finn enter her world, Rose discovers the after-effects of the accident are worse than she thought. The slow recovery and fogged nightmares aren’t the only changes she needs to cope with.

Rose has an immediate and intense attraction to arrogant housemate Alek. This confuses her as much as the chilling effect of her mysterious work colleague Finn. As Rose struggles to cope with her new life, she learns that her connection to the two men threatens all their futures

Alek has lived years closed off from people. He didn’t expect someone like Rose to come into his life and challenge the reality he grips onto.

If Finn doesn’t fix the mistake he made, his life is in danger. His desire to help and protect Rose makes his task difficult, especially when she’s the mistake he needs to fix.

When Alek’s past catches up, Rose disappears. Trapped between the living and the dead, on the edge of Hell, Rose is unable to find her way back. Alek and Finn could help her – but are they prepared to risk the consequences?

BUY LINKS:

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http://amzn.to/1tKnHxE (UK)

http://bit.ly/1tKnXgd (Aus)

 

Extract

I spread my fingers on the table in front of me, concentrating on the cold linoleum table, and think what a stupid move it was to ask Finn where he was from. Of course, he’s going to ask about my home too, and then we’ll move onto what we did over the summer…
The music upstairs stops and the familiar sound of Alek’s boots stomp downstairs.
“Hey, Casper…” The grin I heard behind his voice disappears as he walks into the kitchen and sees us. His brown eyes narrow beneath the dark hair falling across his face. “Who’s this?”
“I’m Finn.” He holds out a hand to shake, a formal gesture I find very strange and one Alek doesn’t accept.
Alek looks at Finn as if he’s something I brought in on the bottom of my shoe. “How did you get in?”
“He’s my guest, Alek.”
“I don’t like your guest.”
Something strange is in the room with us, a tension thickening the air as the two guys regard each other. I gulp down my glass of wine and sigh at the testosterone. Finn and Alek are on the edge of each other’s personal space and stare at each other. Finn’s stance is less aggressive; hopefully one of them is mature enough to back down. Behind Finn, the wok sizzles and spits so I get up to stir the meal. Finn steps to one side, breaking his standoff with Alek.
“I’d better go,” Finn says to me.
“Yeah, good idea.” Alek’s voice is as low as Finn’s, and his features are arranged into an expression threatening enough to make me run. I almost do.
“Finn’s my friend,” I snap, “and you don’t get to tell me who I can bring home.”
“See you tomorrow, maybe?” Finn grabs his jacket and bag, then edges around Alek. They’re almost the same height, although Finn is stockier and for a horrible moment, I think one of them is going to punch the other. Finn lingers for a moment, with an impassive look at Alek, before disappearing down the hallway.
The front door shuts.
After a few moments of catching up with the situation, I move to the kitchen counter and pour another glass of wine, then slam the bottle on the table. “What the fuck Alek?”
“I don’t like him.”
Alek is still in the doorway; he hasn’t moved since he saw me and Finn, but at least the dangerous look on his face left with Finn. He’s staring toward the window, barely registering me. Who does he think he is?
“How dare you, you asshole! He’s my friend.”
“I said, I don’t like him,” he says through gritted teeth.
“Why? Do you know him?
“No.”
“This is my home, too. I invite who I like! Do you have to like everyone who comes into this house? You don’t own it!”
“I got a bad…vibe from him; I don’t want him here.” Alek’s tone is low and imploring.
“Well, I get a bad vibe from you!”
Alek remains in the doorway, and as I attempt to get past him, he stretches an arm across. “Stay away from him.”
“Don’t be such a dickhead.” My fingers itch to push him away, but I don’t want to touch him. “He’s a friend from work who I’m sharing a meal with! So you don’t like him. Tough.”
“Is he the only friend you have at work?”
“No.”
“Who else do you know there?”
I have no answer, because over the last few weeks Finn is the only person I’ve spoken to any longer than polite small talk to work colleagues. “People.”
“He’s the only person who shows any interest in you. Don’t you think that’s strange?” My neck prickles with annoyance. “Think about it, Rose.”
I don’t want to and I’m struck by the realisation he’s never called me by my name before. “No, you’re what’s strange. Excuse me.”
“Your meal…” He gestures toward the stove.
“Move.”
“Don’t go after him.”
“For fuck’s sake…” I mutter and duck under his arm.
Alek steps in my way and I back toward the wall. Out of the two of them, Alek unnerves me the most. He places a hand on the wall, trapping me and anger seethes in my stomach.
“Move!” I growl.
His scent engulfs me, pushing out my need to follow Finn. No, it’s not his scent, something different. Alek’s eyes are fixed on my mouth and although we’re not touching, the physical pull to him is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Strangely, his face registers the same. I close my eyes; sure, he’s doing this deliberately.
“Move,” I repeat.
Alek’s hair touches my face as he leans toward my ear. “Don’t trust him.”
I pull my head back, so I’m looking at his face, ignoring the same intense energy between us as last time. “And trust who? You? At least he’s nice to me!”
Dropping his hand, Alek steps back. “Oh, I am being nice to you. You have no idea.”

CLICK!
a3e17-giveaway
 

Blue Phoenix Series Update ~ Unplugged (Blue Phoenix #3)

As not everybody sees my Facebook posts, I decided to share the latest news about the Blue Phoenix series here.

The next book in the Blue Phoenix series is titled Unplugged.

Unplugged was originally going to be a Christmas novella but I have changed to a full book about Liam and Cerys.

This means Jem’s book, Rising, will be published early next year.

The as-yet-untitled ‘Dylan point of view’ novella to accompany Summer Sky will also be published next year.

Estimated release date for Unplugged is October 2014

liamquote

“A rock star doesn’t return to his humble beginnings and whisk away the girl he kissed once. Especially if she has a three year old and her relationship status is ‘it’s complicated’.”

Blue Phoenix bass player, Liam Oliver, has everything he wants: fame, money and Honey Wilson. But when he discovers pictures of his fiancée with another man, Liam’s world crashes around him. Despite her denials, Liam ends their relationship. He packs up his humiliation and hurt and flies back to his Welsh family home for Christmas.

Cerys Matthews once had pictures of Liam Oliver covering her bedroom wall. Her best friend’s big brother never gave her the time of day when they were growing up. When she was fifteen, he left town leaving Cerys with her fantasies. Now he’s back. The problem is, she has a three year old daughter and a broken relationship of her own.In the world of his Christmas past, Cerys and Liam reconnect. Is this two hurt people looking for comfort in a time of heartbreak or does Cerys have a place in Liam’s future too?

 

Links to the other books in the series:

Summer Sky (Blue Phoenix #1)

http://amzn.to/1pou3wv (US)

http://amzn.to/1fqS8jF (UK)

Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2)

http://amzn.to/1l8SYEg (US)

http://amzn.to/SbYMBq (UK)

 

Keep up to date on all things Blue Phoenix on their Facebook page – release dates, teasers etc are shared here first!

https://www.facebook.com/BluePhoenixSeries

 

 

NEW RELEASE: Between (Dark Intent #1)

 NEW RELEASE ~ 99c for a LIMITED TIME

Title: Between
(Book One of the Dark Intent Series)
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

BetweeneBook copy

AMAZON PURCHASE LINKS: 

http://amzn.to/1oW4q79 (US)
http://amzn.to/1tKnHxE (UK)
http://bit.ly/1tKnXgd (Aus)

Rose survived the accident that killed her friend. The problem is the life she returns to scares her more than the night she almost died.

When Alek and Finn enter her world, Rose discovers the after-effects of the accident are worse than she thought. The slow recovery and fogged nightmares aren’t the only changes she needs to cope with.

Rose has an immediate and intense attraction to arrogant housemate Alek. This confuses her as much as the chilling effect of her enigmatic work colleague Finn. As Rose struggles to cope with her new life, she learns that her connection to the two men threatens all their futures

Alek has lived years closed off from people. He didn’t expect someone like Rose to come into his life and challenge the reality he grips onto.

If Finn doesn’t fix the mistake he made, his life is in danger. His desire to help and protect Rose makes his task difficult, especially when she’s the mistake he needs to fix.

When Alek’s past catches up, Rose disappears. Trapped between the living and the dead, Rose is unable to find her way back. Alek and Finn could help her – but are they prepared to risk the consequences?

The supernatural you find living and working in this English city are a little different to those you usually find in the genre..

Extract

I spread my fingers on the table in front of me, concentrating on the cold linoleum table, and think what a stupid move it was to ask Finn where he was from. Of course, he’s going to ask about my home too, and then we’ll move onto what we did over the summer…
The music upstairs stops and the familiar sound of Alek’s boots stomp downstairs.
“Hey, Casper…” The grin I heard behind his voice disappears as he walks into the kitchen and sees us. His brown eyes narrow beneath the dark hair falling across his face. “Who’s this?”
“I’m Finn.” He holds out a hand to shake, a formal gesture I find very strange and one Alek doesn’t accept.
Alek looks at Finn as if he’s something I brought in on the bottom of my shoe. “How did you get in?”
“He’s my guest, Alek.”
“I don’t like your guest.”
Something strange is in the room with us, a tension thickening the air as the two guys regard each other. I gulp down my glass of wine and sigh at the testosterone. Finn and Alek are on the edge of each other’s personal space and stare at each other. Finn’s stance is less aggressive; hopefully one of them is mature enough to back down. Behind Finn, the wok sizzles and spits so I get up to stir the meal. Finn steps to one side, breaking his standoff with Alek.
“I’d better go,” Finn says to me.
“Yeah, good idea.” Alek’s voice is as low as Finn’s, and his features are arranged into an expression threatening enough to make me run. I almost do.
“Finn’s my friend,” I snap, “and you don’t get to tell me who I can bring home.”
“See you tomorrow, maybe?” Finn grabs his jacket and bag, then edges around Alek. They’re almost the same height, although Finn is stockier and for a horrible moment, I think one of them is going to punch the other. Finn lingers for a moment, with an impassive look at Alek, before disappearing down the hallway.
The front door shuts.
After a few moments of catching up with the situation, I move to the kitchen counter and pour another glass of wine, then slam the bottle on the table. “What the fuck Alek?”
“I don’t like him.”
Alek is still in the doorway; he hasn’t moved since he saw me and Finn, but at least the dangerous look on his face left with Finn. He’s staring toward the window, barely registering me. Who does he think he is?
“How dare you, you asshole! He’s my friend.”
“I said, I don’t like him,” he says through gritted teeth.
“Why? Do you know him?
“No.”
“This is my home, too. I invite who I like! Do you have to like everyone who comes into this house? You don’t own it!”
“I got a bad…vibe from him; I don’t want him here.” Alek’s tone is low and imploring.
“Well, I get a bad vibe from you!”
Alek remains in the doorway, and as I attempt to get past him, he stretches an arm across. “Stay away from him.”
“Don’t be such a dickhead.” My fingers itch to push him away, but I don’t want to touch him. “He’s a friend from work who I’m sharing a meal with! So you don’t like him. Tough.”
“Is he the only friend you have at work?”
“No.”
“Who else do you know there?”
I have no answer, because over the last few weeks Finn is the only person I’ve spoken to any longer than polite small talk to work colleagues. “People.”
“He’s the only person who shows any interest in you. Don’t you think that’s strange?” My neck prickles with annoyance. “Think about it, Rose.”
I don’t want to and I’m struck by the realisation he’s never called me by my name before. “No, you’re what’s strange. Excuse me.”
“Your meal…” He gestures toward the stove.
“Move.”
“Don’t go after him.”
“For fuck’s sake…” I mutter and duck under his arm.
Alek steps in my way and I back toward the wall. Out of the two of them, Alek unnerves me the most. He places a hand on the wall, trapping me and anger seethes in my stomach.
“Move!” I growl.
His scent engulfs me, pushing out my need to follow Finn. No, it’s not his scent, something different. Alek’s eyes are fixed on my mouth and although we’re not touching, the physical pull to him is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Strangely, his face registers the same. I close my eyes; sure, he’s doing this deliberately.
“Move,” I repeat.
Alek’s hair touches my face as he leans toward my ear. “Don’t trust him.”
I pull my head back, so I’m looking at his face, ignoring the same intense energy between us as last time. “And trust who? You? At least he’s nice to me!”
Dropping his hand, Alek steps back. “Oh, I am being nice to you. You have no idea.”

Release Day: The Bookshop on the Corner by Rebecca Raisin

The Bookshop on the Corner by Rebecca Raisin

Who said that only real heroes could be found in fiction?

Sarah Smith had an addiction – she was addicted to romance novels. The meet-cute, the passion, the drama and the gorgeous men! Now this wouldn’t have been such an issue if she hadn’t been the owner of the only bookshop in Ashford, Connecticut.

Ever since her close friend Lil, from The Gingerbread Café, had become engaged she had been yearning for a little love to turn up in her life. Except Sarah knew a good man was hard to find – especially in a tiny town like Ashford. That was until New York journalist, Ridge Warner stepped into her bookshop…

Love could be just around the corner for Sarah, but will she be able to truly believe that happy-ever-after can happen in real-life too!

bookshop

Find The Bookshop on the Corner here:

US Amazon http://amzn.to/1jMmIWA
UK Amazon http://amzn.to/1lGBvED
AUST Amazon http://bit.ly/1fTDwWW

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/bookshop-on-corner-gingerbread/id850630026?mt=11

Kobo http://goo.gl/PjVtr1

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/rebeccaraisin/the-bookshop-on-the-corner-by-rebecca-raisin/

Praise from Mia March, author of The Meryl Streep Movie Club, and Finding Colin Firth.

“How I wish this magical little bookshop was around the corner from my house! Brimming with heart, hope, and wisdom, THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER is a wonderful novel about love, life, friendship, romance, books galore, and finding that happy ending.” –Mia March.

Excerpt

Chapter One

Snuggled in the cozy bay window of the bookshop, I looked up from my novel as the first golden rays of sunshine brightened the sky. Resting my head against the cool glass, I watched the light spill, as though it had leaked, like the yellows of a watercolor painting. Almost dawn, it would soon be time to switch on, and get organized for another day at The Bookshop on the Corner.

Every day I arrived at work a few hours prior to opening to read in the quiet, before customers would trickle in. I loved these magical mornings, time stolen from slumber, where I’d curl up with a book and get lost inside someone else’s world before dog-earing the page and getting lost in mine. Sure, I could have stayed in bed at home and read, but the bookshop had a dream-like quality about it before dawn that was hard to resist.

I turned back to the inside of the shop to watch shards of muted sunlight settle on piles of books, as if it were slowly waking them. The haphazard stacks seemed straighter, as if they’d decided when I wasn’t looking to neaten themselves up, dust their jackets off, and stand to attention. Maybe a customer would stumble across one of them today, run a hand lovingly across their covers, before selecting a book that caught their attention. Though my theory was books chose us, and not the other way around.

The bookshop was silent, bar a faint hum — were the books muttering to each other about what today would bring? Smiling to myself, I went back to my novel, promising myself just one more chapter.

When I looked up again the sun was high in the sky, and I’d read a much bigger chunk than I’d meant to. Some stories consumed you, they made time stop, your worries float into the ether, and when it came to my reading habits I chose romance over any other genre. The appeal of the happy ever after, the winsome heroine being adored for who she was, and the devastatingly handsome hero with more to him than met the eye tugged at my heart. And I’d read about them all: from dashing dukes, to cocksure cowboys, I never met one I didn’t fall for.

The sounds of the street coming alive filtered in, roller shutters retreating upwards, cheery shop owners whistling as they swept their front stoops. Lil, the owner of the Gingerbread Café across the road, arrived, hand in hand with her fiancé, Damon. They stood on the pavement in front of her café, and kissed goodbye, spending an age whispering and canoodling.

I tried to focus on my book, but couldn’t help darting a glance their way every now and then. Each morning they embraced almost as though they’d never see each other again, yet they worked only a few short steps away. It was as if they were magnetically drawn to each other; one step backwards would draw the other person forwards. I bet they couldn’t hear the sound of shops opening or cars tooting hello. They had their own kind of sweet music that swirled around them as if they were in some kind of love bubble.

Feeling as though I was intruding on a private moment, I swiveled away from the window and padded bare foot down to the back of the bookshop to make more coffee. My feet found the familiar groove in the wood; the path was so well trodden it was bowed. The feel of the polished oak underfoot with its labyrinth-type trails exposed around stacks of books was comforting. It’d weathered traffic for so long it was indelibly changed by it.

Taking the pot of coffee to the counter, I poured a cup, and sipped gingerly. Lately, I’d felt a little as though I was at a crossroads. You know that frustrating feeling of losing the page in your book? You didn’t want to go too far forward and spoil the surprise, and you didn’t want to go too far back, so you kind of stagnated and started from a page that didn’t seem quite right, but you read it a few times just to convince yourself…that was how I felt about my life. A little lost, I guess you could say.

Ashford was buzzing with good news recently, love affairs, weddings, babies, but I was still the same old Sarah, nose pressed in a book, living out fictional relationships as if they were my own. I was waiting for something to find me. But what if that something never came?

What did heroines do when they felt like that? Broaden their horizons? I imagined myself swapping Ashford for Paris, because of the bookshops and the rich literary history. But really, I’d never ventured far from my small town, and probably never would. My bookshop was a living, breathing thing to me, and there was no one to look after it even if I did want to do something spontaneous. Should I take up a hobby? I’d be the girl stuck line dancing with the octogenarian. Instead of dreaming of the impossible, I set about opening the shop, and shelved that line of thought for another time.

Find Rebecca here:

https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaRaisinAuthor

http://rebeccaraisin.wordpress.com

www.twitter.com/jaxandwillsmum

The Bookshop on The Corner blog:http://thecornerbookshop.wordpress.com/