Book Tour + #Giveaway – Entangled Summer – by Michele Belisle @MicheleBelisle #NA #PNR

Entangled Summer
by Michele Barrow-Belisle
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
 

She’s done everything to forget. 
He’ll do anything to help her remember.

They say our dreams mask secrets.
Secret desires.
Secret fears.
Secret truths.

20 year old Nora Dultry’s dreams hide even more. They’re a gateway to the man of her dreams, and an escape from her painful past. She’s fantasized about him for years, and when he mysteriously walks into her summer teaching gig, she never dreamed she’d question whether he was the one she truly wanted.

But her former fling Troy Bellisaro doesn’t just own Wanderlust Academy…he’s her boss, he still has her heart strings tied in knots—and he’s hiding secrets of his own.

One of them will be her dream come true. One, her waking nightmare.

Untangling the truth could make this dream, her last.

“Humans are the only creatures on earth, whose emotions are irrevocably entangled with their memories.”

 
 

A dreamer at heart, Michele Barrow-Belisle has always lived with one foot in this reality and one foot in another, one of her own imagining. So it follows that she would grow up to write about and sculpt the characters from those enchanting worlds she knows and loves so well. As a fan of everything romantic, her young adult novels are populated with witches and vampires and faeries. Michele resides in southern Canada with her hubby and son who indulge her passions for writing, reading, lattes, and most of all chocolate.

She also loves shoes.

Did we mention the chocolate?

 
 
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Book Blitz – Silent Meridian by Elizabeth Crowens @ECrowens [The Time Traveler Professor #1] Speculative Fiction, Gaslight Fantasy, Alternative History

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SILENT MERIDIAN
Elizabeth Crowens
Silent Meridian
Series: The Time Traveler Professor Book 1
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Gaslight Fantasy, Alternative History
Publisher: MX Publishing
Publication Date: May 15, 2016
A 19th century “X” Files meets H.G. Wells’s “Time Machine” featuring Arthur Conan Doyle and partner
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is obsessed with a legendary red book. Its peculiar stories have come to life, and rumors claim that it has rewritten its own endings. Convinced that possessing this book will help him write his ever-popular Sherlock Holmes stories, he takes on an unlikely partner, John Patrick Scott, known to most as a concert musician and paranormal investigator. Although in his humble opinion, Scott considers himself more of an ethereal archeologist and a time traveler professor.
Together they explore lost worlds and excavate realms beyond the knowledge of historians when they go back in time to find it. But everything backfires, and their friendship is tested to the limits. Both discover that karmic ties and unconscionable crimes have followed them like ghosts from the past, wreaking havoc on the present and possibly the future.
SILENT MERIDIAN reveals the alternate histories of Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Houdini, Jung and other luminaries in the secret diaries of a new kind of Doctor Watson, John Patrick Scott, in an X Files for the 19th century. Stay tuned for A Pocketful of Lodestones; book two in the Time Traveler Professor series by Elizabeth Crowens.

SPECIAL PROMOTION

Get 20% off your purchase of Silent Meridian! Promo valid till Christmas.
Promo Price: $13.56 (Original: $16.95)
Use coupon code: silent

Book Excerpt

Take an inside look at Silent Meridian with this thrilling excerpt!
Edinburgh, 1898
Scotland was just barely crawling its way out of the nineteenth century. I was a naïve, but ambitious student studying music at the University of Edinburgh hurrying over to meet Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who would change my life forever.
“John Patrick Scott, sir,” I said as I approached Mr. Doyle, who was already seated at a back corner table where he hoped he wouldn’t be recognized. He had picked the Deacon Brodie, the pub that inspired the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
I extended my hand to greet him and removed my rain-soaked hat, while my overcoat slipped out of my hands and fell on the floor by accident. It was still hard to believe that good fortune had finally brought us together, but we were both nervous.
“The pleasure is all mine.” Doyle responded like a father to his son.
“Mr. Conan Doyle, or should I call you Doctor Doyle?” I said unsure how to address him.
Doyle scrutinized me from top to bottom as he signaled the waiter. “John, call me Arthur,” he said casually, ignoring the tension I couldn’t control.
“Sir, I’m so honored that you agreed to discuss this matter. Perhaps you can enlighten me in a way that I’ve failed to comprehend.”
I wanted to ask him about my unusual turn of events straight away but he caught me off guard and was dead set on pulling me into the swift current of an unexpected conversation.
“Can I assume you believe in the transmigration of souls?” he asked.
“Until now, I haven’t given it a lot of thought,” I said, unsure as to which direction he was leading.
“Did you ever read those books about that Swiss doctor who felt his body and soul had been taken over by a Benedictine monk? That presented a curious case. He claims that he was approached by the spirit of an elderly monk before he died, and that the monk needed to rent his body to continue his spiritual mission.”
“Rent?” I choked in disbelief.
“We truly don’t take anything with us when we pass on, do we? This monk knew that he was dying, and therefore had to replace his physical body with something more youthful and vital.”
“That’s incredible. It debunks the theory that you have to die and be reborn as an infant to carry on your spirit,” I said.
Mr. Doyle had the tinge of excitement in his voice.
“John, here’s another instance. I’ve had my suspicions about a famous musician who had an obsession about a notorious and controversial mystic. You’d surmise by his overwhelming attraction to that person that he might’ve been him in a previous lifetime, but facts were clear that he was born three years before the mystic died. My understanding is that the mystic knew he didn’t have long in his present incarnation. Therefore he made plans for some sort of partial soul transference while he was still alive to imprint his essence upon the child. That would’ve allowed him to carry on and accomplish unfinished business that couldn’t have been executed otherwise. Essentially he had the ability of being two places at once.”
“Sounds more like Spiritualism,” I replied.
“Honestly, John, I don’t think there are any steadfast rules when it comes to this matter. That’s what makes it so intriguing.”
I sensed he had a secret agenda.
Doyle reloaded his churchwarden pipe with fresh tobacco and continued, “This is not at all like anything you’ve ever read from H.G. Wells or Jules Verne. We’re poking holes in every treatise written on the subject— the idea of being able to reincarnate a part of yourself while you are still alive into another soul.”
Our conversation was quickly becoming like a speeding train ready to jump the tracks. Realizing this, Doyle slowed down the pace and took a deep breath. He carefully composed his next statement.
“Fiction it may seem to be but it’s not hocus pocus. Don’t you also find it strange that you somehow found yourself initiated into a mystical order on a commuter train bound from London to Edinburgh when the instigators kept on mistaking you for me? There are no accidents.”

About Elizabeth Crowens

Elizabeth Crowens

Elizabeth Crowens is the pen name author of SILENT MERIDIAN, an alternate history/ 19th century “X Files” alternate history novel published by MX Publishing in London. Recently she won First Prize in Chanticleer Review’s Goethe Award for Turn-of-the-Century Historical Fiction, is on the short list of finalists for Chanticleer’s 2016 Cygnus Awards for Speculative Fiction, Paranormal and the Ozma Award for Fantasy Fiction and received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s fiction short story contest for Emerging Writers. She has also published a variety of non-fiction articles and is currently writing a column called The Poison Apple in the World Fantasy and Alfie Award-winning publication, BlackGate.com.
Recently, she participated on panels at The World Fantasy Convention, MidAmericon II/Worldcon, Lunacon, Heliosphere, the Writer’s Digest Conference, Queens Book Festival, Philcon and was also interviewed for the radio show, Hour of the Wolf. A Pocketful of Lodestones, the sequel to Silent Meridian is awaiting a publication date. Current work-in-progress is Dear Mr. Hitchcock, a psychological/domestic suspense novel/series.
A 15-year veteran of the film industry in Hollywood, she’s also an alumnus of Algonkian workshops and the Gotham Writer’s Workshop and a member of the Horror Writers Association, Historical Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America. An active Sherlockian, she’s lectured on Arthur Conan Doyle, belongs to several Sherlockian scions, and is an independent scholar on Eastern and Western mysticism and Jungian psychology. A blackbelt in martial arts, she’s lived in Japan. Currently, she lives in New York City.
Connect with Elizabeth Crowens on social media:

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Release Blitz – Something Down There – by Nancy Widrew @nancywidrew #PsychologicalThriller

Something Down There
SOMETHING DOWN THERE
Nancy Widrew
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Azure Spider Publications
Publication Date: November 15, 2017
Not all caves are uninhabited
Horror erupts when newlyweds, Karen and Jeremy, cross paths with members of a diabolical cult inside a West Virginia cave. Living below the earth’s surface has triggered mutations, rendering the cult members nearly infertile. Their leader, a wild-eyed, cunning brute, refuses to let the couple leave, believing they and their potential offspring hold the key to surviving underground. Are Karen and Jeremy doomed to spend their lives inside this sunless, subterranean wasteland, or do they escape before their minds shatter and their bodies betray them?
[Praise]
– [Name], Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now $3.99 only. Grab your copy today.

Schedule

Save the Date! November 20 – December 2, 2017.
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Get behind the scenes on Something Down There.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras.
To check the latest schedule, visit the Something Down There Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Book Excerpt

Take an inside look on Something Down There with this thrilling excerpt.
Reaching into his pants pocket, he drew out a small leather case attached to a silver chain and dangled it before her eyes.
Karen grabbed it from his hand and looked it over as if she needed to make certain it was real. “I know I took the damned keys from the car,” she said. All the same, she felt a moment of relief at having a new set in her possession. That relief, however, ended in a flash.
With a powerful leap to a ledge above, Rahm crossed his arms over his chest like a dictator about to make a pronouncement. “They won’t do you any good,” he bellowed.
Jeremy swallowed hard, raising a hand to his throat. “W-what do you mean?” he said, reaching out for something to grab onto. Finding nothing, he spread his legs wide, feet flat on the floor, trying to maintain his balance.
Rahm, aware of the significance of this moment and wanting to ensure that it remained stamped in everyone’s mind, stood tall, chin out. “While you were sleeping last night, I climbed out and drove your car off a bridge. You will not be allowed to leave.”
Karen’s hands flew to her face. She began to cry and dropped to one knee. Protectively, Jeremy rushed to her side, encircled her in his arms, and pulled her close. He glared at this insane man, his new enemy, standing above. With hate etched in the dark hollows of his cheeks and in the lines of his furrowed brow, he said, “What do you mean? Why can’t we leave? You won’t get away with this!”
Rahm, a leader of few but a leader nonetheless, addressed his flock, gathering with solemnity about the pair, now unofficial members of the tribe, even if against their will. All eyes riveted up.
“You can’t leave because we need you. That is, we need your baby—the baby you will have, sooner or later. And yes, we will get away with it. You see, the harnesses are gone, and we dismantled the machinery that lowered you down. You will never be able to find your way out. Don’t even try. It would be suicidal.”
Karen stared at her husband, her jaw dropping in disbelief, as the horror of her predicament bore down with jackhammer force into her brain. Unless she and Jeremy were guided out, they were snared, trapped, condemned, damned. Without the candles, lanterns, or torches they couldn’t see the tips of their fingers, and even with their carbide lamps they wouldn’t know the way through this puzzling maze with its unknown levels and intricate network.
Jeremy’s nails dug into his wife’s shoulders. “Dear God,” he wailed. “We’re doomed, and it’s all my fault. Forgive me, Karen. Please!”
She looked at him blankly, then blinked, her breath coming in staccato bursts, piercing her lungs like wounds from a knife. She began to run blindly, crying, “Let me die! Let me die!”

Giveaway

WIN A PRINT COPY OF
SOMETHING DOWN THERE *
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* Available for US Residents Only
Additional Giveaway
Join the Goodreads Giveaway and win a print copy of Something Down There (US Residents only).
Contest runs from September 19 – November 15. Click here to enter.

About Nancy Widrew

Nancy Widrew

Nancy Widrew was born and raised in NYC before settling in New England with her husband. She has two grown children and two four-legged furry ones, always a source of amusement. She has had short stories published in webzines and a print anthology. This is her first novel.
Follow Nancy Widrew on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nancywidrew

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Book Blitz + #Giveaway – Harper’s Place – by Sheryl Winters @WintersSheryl #romance

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HARPER’S PLACE
Sheryl Winters
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Publication Date: March 27, 2017
Harper's Place
Is she strong enough to make her dream a reality?
Harper Grey is fed up with over-bearing men. Her father wants to sell the family hamburger joint to her brother because a woman could never make it successful.
Harper knows she has the same flair for business as her mother, and sexy Navy SEAL Patrick O’Brien dares her to prove it to the world.
When duty calls and Patrick must leave her side, will Harper be strong enough to make her dream a reality?
Fun, flirty, and absolutely endearing!
I’m a sucker for stories where the protagonist follows their dream even when it seems unlikely they’ll succeed. Throw in a sexy SEAL? YES. I’m in.
– M J C, Amazon Reviewer
Fun, flirty, and absolutely endearing!
This is a short read that you’ll want to be longer by the time you’ve finished. I was so engrossed that I couldn’t put it down.
– Barbara Gartman, Amazon Reviewer
Fun, flirty, and absolutely endearing!
Harper’s Place is everything a ★★★★★ novella should be!
– NDP Book Review

Purchase Links

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at Harper’s Place. Read this sizzling excerpt from the book.
“How would you bring in new business, though?”
I’m amazed that he seems to find our conversation interesting. He’s an audience willing to listen and I’ve not had that in a long time. Damn this crush of mine. It won’t be easy to tame after tonight.
“New menu items, specials, things like that. Start serving dessert, like pies. Easy cook items. With the new burgers I’ve created and a new décor, I’d open in the summer when the air is fresh and everyone is happy to be out of the snow, hungry for grilled food. I think we could do fine.”
“What’s your hold up?”
“Tony, Dad. It’s complicated.” I shrug. His arm feels good, and I have the overwhelming urge to nuzzle against it. “Did you kiss Amy Parker when you were twelve? She still brags about it.” Did I just ask him about kissing? What is wrong with me? Will this mouth of mine never shut up? Stop it, Stop it, stop it!
“That I did, in a closet over at Robert Anderson’s house.”
“Ew.”
“I was twelve and desperate. You can’t blame me. I do blame that stupid soda bottle. And your first kiss?” There is a challenge in his voice.
“Kevin Monroe at the Klines Movie Theater. He sent me a six-page note the next day about how much he loved me, and I freaked out and dumped him.”
“Any regrets?”
I choke back a giggle. “Naw, ‘cept I remember I liked his cologne. It could have been aftershave, but it was nice.” It’s not half as nice as the Aramis that Patrick has on. Something about it sends a shiver up my spine that has nothing to do with the zombie waiting in Dad’s office.
“The dark isn’t so bad, now is it?”
“I guess not.”
Silence surrounds us. The fear that enveloped me seems to disappear.
“Are you seeing anyone?”
“No.” It sounds terrible now that I’ve said it out loud. Like I’m admitting to being a desperate and dateless leper.
“So,” he drawls out, “ever thought of dating a military guy?” He squeezes my fingers.
Is he serious?
His fingertip smooths over the rough callouses I’ve gained from years of hard work. Suddenly my wasted evening of not going out to celebrate is starting to look better. “I think it would depend on which military guy.”
“You’re killing me. You know that, don’t you?” His strangled tone only sets off a case of the giggles.
“Are you asking me out, Patrick?”
“Trying to, but you’re not making it easy.” The challenge is back in his voice.
“I wouldn’t mind a date or two,” I manage to squeak out. Breathe, Harper, just breathe, calmly through your nose, out your mouth. Sainted Mother of God, Patrick asked me out! I hit the jackpot! Now all I have to do is not hit him.

Giveaway

WIN $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD
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About Sheryl Winters

Sheryl Winters

In a small town outside of Anchorage, Sheryl Winters can be found penning her next novel with her two cats and one dog at her side. On sunny days, she can be found in Hatcher’s Pass about an hour outside of Anchorage.
Sheryl is a firm believer that superheroes are among us—regular people whose actions “create beauty out of chaos.”
Sheryl is an advocate in the fight against bullying.
Connect with Sheryl Winters on social media:

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Release Blitz + Giveaway Diamond in the Rough – by Brenda Jernigan @bkj1608 #contemporary #romance #99cents

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DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH
Brenda Jernigan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Kathy Taylor has one hell of a personality…and she is about to unleash it all over Devon York.
Diamond in the Rough
When Kathy Taylor receives word that she has been left a million dollars by her late aunt, she doesn’t believe a word of it. Nothing good ever happens to her. Reluctantly, she goes to see her aunt’s attorney, Devon York. Devon simply takes her breath away… he’s tall, good-looking and has a British accent. However, there is a big catch in the will. Kathy must attend the annual Dubois Charity Ball wearing the dress Devon is holding.
Is the man crazy? The dress is a size 8 and Kathy is a size 16. She is an emotional eater so she might as well kiss that money goodbye.
Devon made a promise to Catherine Dubois to help her niece, and it’s a job he’s dreaded. But when Kathy storms into his office and asks if he is absolutely crazy, he finds she is a breath of fresh air. So he volunteers to coach Miss Taylor, which doesn’t prove easy, especially when Kathy’s sister keeps sabotaging her diet.
As sparks fly, they battle the ups and downs of their relationship. Will Kathy become that bright shiny diamond her aunt always wanted her to be or will she remain a diamond in the rough?
“Heartwarming and fun. A feel-good read guaranteed to delight.”
– Sue-Ellen Welfonder
USA Today Bestselling Author

99 CENTS PROMOTION !!

Limited time offer until November 30 only.
Diamond in the Rough Teaser

Giveaway Contests

WIN A BEAUTIFUL NECKLACE OR $10 GIFT CARD
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Giveaway # 1: Win a beautiful Diamond in the Rough necklace !!

Joining is simple and free!
  1. Join Brenda’s mailing list at http://www.brendajbooks.com.
  2. Answer the two questions below and send your answers via email to bkj1608@juno.com.
    • Question # 1: When is Kathy’s birthday?
    • Question # 2: What was the secret that she found out about herself?
  3. Subject line of your email should be Diamond in the Rough.
  4. Include your first and last name and email.
  5. The winner will be chosen from the correct entries and awarded on July 21, 2018. The winner will be announced on Brenda’s newsletter.

Giveaway # 2: Win $10 Amazon Gift Card

About Brenda Jernigan

Brenda Jernigan

Amazon All-Star author, Brenda Jernigan is a bestselling author. She writes both contemporary and historical novels. She has been nominated for several awards – Book Seller’s Best Award, The Maggie Award, The Holt Medallion Award and a RONE Award.
Publisher’s Weekly says, “Brenda Jernigan writes Romance, Adventure and Magic.”
She grew up as a tomboy and really had no use for books. It wasn’t until she was taking her son to Story Hour at the local library that the librarian gave her a copy of DEVIL’S DESIRE by Laurie McBain. After that Brenda became hooked on historicals. Brenda’s first book, THE DUKE’S LADY, was bought and published by Kensington Publishing and her career as a storyteller took off.
“As usual her characters are interesting, her plot action-packed, and her love story filled with conflict and emotion. A great read from a talented writer.”
Rendezvous Magazine
“The characters had me hooked from the beginning. This book touched my heart and will definitely be one of my recommends for May.”
Cindi Streicher – Waldenbooks
RWA Bookseller of the Year 2002
Brenda loves to hear from readers. You can email her at bkj1608@juno.com
Official website: http://www.brendajbooks.com
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Pre-Order – Reformed – Book 3 in the Responsible Adult Series – by C F White @CFWhiteUK @PridePublishing #gay #erotic #romance

 

REFORMED

Pre-Order your copy now!

Responsible Adult Series – Book 3

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Someone has to be responsible.

 reformed_9781786516244_xlrg-180x288Micky O’Neill and Dan Peters now live in Wales, bringing up Micky’s disabled little brother away from small-minded Heathwood and close to Micky’s deceased mother’s family.

Things are fine…until Dan begins his dream career as an English teacher at the local school and Micky, main caregiver to Flynn, is isolated in a village that only serves to remind him of his mother’s absence.

With Flynn’s health deteriorating and his needs becoming more complex, everything is tested to its limits and Dan seeks solace in a friendship with a fellow teacher, sending Micky into further turmoil.

After an accusation is leveled against Micky and it seems he’s slipping back into his old ways, he and Dan are torn asunder. To repair the rift, both have to accept responsibility—for life.

Publisher’s Note: This book is the third and final book in the Responsible Adult serial and is best read in order.

General Release Date: 5th December 2017

Pre-Order Available Now @     Pride Publishing     *     Amazon

*      Also Available in Print

Other Books in the Series

Book 1 – Misdemeanor

                                       Life isn’t always responsible…

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 After his mother tragically dies and his deadbeat father goes off the rails, nineteen-year-old Micky is left to care for his disabled little brother, Flynn.

Juggling college, a dead-end job and Flynn’s special needs means Micky has to put his bad-boy past behind him and be the responsible adult to keep his brother out of care. He doesn’t have time for anything else in his life.

Until he meets Dan…

Available Now @      Pride Publishing         Amazon

*      Also Available in Print

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Book 2 – Hard Time

Love isn’t always responsible.

 hardtime_9781786515988_xlrg-148x237After Micky O’Neill is remanded in custody for breaching his court order, his already tempestuous relationship with Dan Peters is tested to the limits.

Having to battle their way through a court case that could end with Micky in jail, social workers breaking up the family home and the return of Micky’s deadbeat father, it seems everything is set to destroy their relationship before it even has the chance to start.

With such high stakes involved, not just for Micky but for once-burned, twice-shy Dan, they both have to learn that falling in love isn’t always responsible.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of physical altercations; references to suicide of a parent; references to spousal abuse; references to parental violence to child and parental neglect; abandonment; estrangement.

Available Now @      Pride Publishing         Amazon     

  Also Available in Print

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C.F.White

Author – Pride Publishing 
Author – Loose ID
Author – Indie
Misdemeanor (Responsible Adult #1)
Hard Time (Responsible Adult #2)
Reformed (Responsible Adult #3)
 
St. Cross Series
Won’t Feel A Thing (Coming 19 December by Loose ID)
 
The District Line Series
Half Time Big Apple
Extra Time Encore
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New Release – Genie’s Awakening – by @JewelQuinlan [Reverie Resort Vacation, bk 2] #PNR

GA FB Cover 4

A Reverie Resort Vacation

Visit Reverie Resort, a luxury hotel on a tropical island where vacationers come to enjoy their wildest dreams but get more than they ever expected…

Genevieve, a Jinn, comes to Reverie Resort for one last vacation before she must go before the Afrit tribunal and formally declare that she has no powers. She hopes to enjoy one last taste of a luxury beyond even what she is used to before being cast out of her own dimension to live among humans.

But something goes wrong. Instead of the spa weekend she’s expecting, she finds herself on a remote, barren planet being auctioned off to the highest bidder and has no way to contact her hosts to correct the situation. Is there really a mix up? Or do her hosts have sinister intentions toward her? In the meantime, she finds her new owner, Colin, to be quite attractive for a human…

 

Where you can buy it:

Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Nook

Add it to your shelf on Goodreads

 

Enjoy this excerpt:

Will turned to address the men again, but did not release her from his grip. “Have a good look at this beauty, gents.”

As they gawked at her, she stood straight and proud as though daring someone to try and claim her, returning their gazes with scathing, cold eyes, her fair lips pressed into a tight line. After one quick scan of crowd before her, she shot an icy glare at Will, who let go of her and backed off.

Colin chuckled. Could this petite thing be the reason for the bruise on Will’s cheek? She radiated anger, was so alive with it that it cast off her like the heat of a flame.

Will strolled to one corner of the platform as though nothing dramatic had just occurred. “Now, where shall we start the bidding?”

“What skills does she have?” asked one of the men.

“Yeah, can she work a terminal?” asked another.

“A bit scrawny for farm work. Looks like the most she’d be able to do is keep the house clean,” someone else commented. That was followed by snickering from the cluster of men around him.

The woman tossed her head and the dark strands of her hair gleamed onyx in the light of the double suns. “I do not do menial labor.”

She reminded Colin of warrior princesses in tales. And it was obvious to him that she was unused to being handled the way she was right now.

The trader wagged his eyebrows and strolled to the other side of the platform. “Who cares what skills she has? Come now. Let’s start the bidding. With a woman of this quality, why would you ever want her to leave the bedroom?”

The deep multi-toned chuckle of men followed his statement. But Colin wasn’t among them. Instead, he frowned, and started making his way forward to end the show.

“Who will give me twenty credits?” the trader shouted. “Twenty credits for the loveliest creature you’ve ever seen.”

The woman stood with her head held high, eyes distant, stance hard as the rock that formed the distant red mountains of Garrulus Four.

The men shuffled and murmured amongst themselves. Given the kind of lives they led, beauty was a luxury far outweighed by the many other qualities they needed in a wife. This lot of men were used to leading quiet lives, and they wanted women who did the same or went along with it at least. The woman on the platform would not fit in with this plan. Even if one of them could afford her, Colin doubted they’d be able to handle her.

Will’s eyebrows were high with shock. “Nobody?” He stopped his movement on the platform and pulled his head back in an exaggerated way, making his potbelly poke forward from the coat he wore. “No one will pay twenty credits for this gorgeous creature? That’s a bargain for someone like her.”

Colin saw one corner of the woman’s mouth quirk upward in satisfaction, and he grinned again. Obviously, she felt like she was winning so far, but what would be the consequences? She’d already stated she wouldn’t work, and she’d failed to declare any skills. If all she had to trade was beauty, she was on the wrong planet.

“Eighteen credits then. Who will pay eighteen?” Will called, an edge of desperation in his voice now. “You’ve all become shy suddenly. Suffering from performance anxiety, perhaps? Who wouldn’t be with her around, eh?” He chortled and leered at the woman.

Colin could see the men glancing at each other. Who would be crazy enough to take on the beautiful spitfire? That’s what it came down to, their masculinity. Clearly they found themselves lacking, because none of them were brave enough to bid.

As the silence stretched on, a warm wind whooshed through, audible in the vacuum of stillness. It was only then that the woman’s stance thawed. Her shoulders rounded, and worry transformed her eyes from their sparkling glare to the round-eyed, lost look of an innocent. The pink lips softened and parted revealing surprise at the group’s rejection, and Colin’s heart went out to her.

“Eighteen credits!” His hand shot up in the air before he even realized that the words had left his lips.

 

About the Author:

Restless by nature, Jewel Quinlan is an avid traveler and has visited sixteen countries so far. Lover of ice cream, dark beer, and red wine she tries to stay fit when she’s not typing madly on her computer concocting another romance novel. In her spare time, she likes to do yoga, hike, learn German, and play with her spoiled Chihuahua, Penny.

For more information about Jewel Quinlan

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