Wednesday, 14 September 2022

BOOK SPOTLIGHT! The Muse of Freedom - a Cévenoles Sagas novel - by Jules Larimor #historicalfiction #BlogTours #TheCoffeePotBookClub @jules_larimore @cathiedunn

 


The Muse of Freedom 
a Cévenoles Sagas novel 
By Jules Larimore


Publication Date: September 13, 2022
Publisher: Mystic Lore Books
Page Length: 454 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Renaissance Fiction / Sagas

First in the series from The Cévenoles Sagas is THE MUSE OF FREEDOM.

“Brilliantly told, a story that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page . . . fresh and compelling, as relevant now as it was then.”
~ Janet Wertman, award-winning author of The Seymour Saga trilogy

A French Huguenot apothecary’s legacy of secrets, a mystic healer’s inspiration, a fateful decision.

In the mysterious Cévennes mountains of Languedoc, France, 1695, Jehan BonDurant, a young nobleman forcibly held in a Dominican prieuré as a child, comes of age only to inherit a near-derelict estate and his Huguenot family’s dangerous legacy of secrets. While he cherishes his newfound freedom apprenticing as an apothecary, his outrage mounts over religious persecutions led by King Louis XIV’s Intendant Basville, who is sent to enforce the King’s will for “One King, One Law, One Faith”. 

The ensuing divisions among families and friends and the gradual revelation of his own circumstances lead Jehan to question his spiritual choices. A journey deep into the heart of the Cévennes in search of guidance, unfolds in a way he least expects when he enters the enchanting Gorges du Tarn. There he discovers his muse, Amelia Auvrey, a free-spirited, mystic holy woman who reveals ancient healing practices and spiritual mysteries.

Together they quest for peace and spiritual freedom by aiding the persecuted until the Intendant’s spy reports their activities and the King’s dragoons are sent out after them. To retain their freedom, they must choose to live in hiding in a remote wilderness, join a festering uprising against the persecutions, or flee their cherished homeland with thousands of other refugees in search of hope.

Inspired by the true story of Jean Pierre Bondurant dit Cougoussac, distilled and blended with Cévenole magic lore, this is an inspiring coming of age story and family saga of courage, tenacity, and the power of love in a country rife with divisions under the control of an authoritarian king obsessed with power. 

Fans of Poldark, Magic Lessons, The Lost Apothecary, and The Huguenot Chronicles will find thematic elements from those stories melded into this thrilling and obscure slice of French history. 

If you would like to read this novel then head over to Amazon 


Jules Larimore writes emotive, literary-leaning historical fiction to inspire positive change for the oppressed and refugees, and to encourage an intimate relationship with the natural environment.

Influenced by a background in freelance travel writing, Jules uses captivating historical settings as characters. Then distills and blends them with a dose of magic, myth, and romance to bring to life hopeful human stories. A previous career in marketing offered an outlet for creative writing used to romance brands with mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.

With a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University, Jules has studied medieval history, ancient Greek culture, anthropology, folklore, narrative composition, and architectural design, and has trained under writing geniuses Libbie Hawker/Olivia Hawker and Roz Morris. While investigating the ancestor who inspired The Muse of Freedom, Jules researched late 17th century Languedoc customs, politics, and spiritual traditions specific to the little known Cévennes mountains of south-central France, culminating in a rich repository to feed future novels about the Cévenol people and culture.

Jules lives primarily in Ojai, California, with time spent around the U.S. and in various countries in Europe gathering more treasures in a continued search for authenticity.

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Friday, 5 August 2022

A Royal Mistake by Jennifer Bonds #Romance #Giveaway @jbondswrites

A Royal Mistake
By Jennifer Bonds
(Royally Engaged, #3)
Publication date: August 2nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Princess Philippa Stanley is over being the perfect royal.

The world’s got bigger problems than the color of her nail polish, but the tabloids insist on detailing her every royal faux pas. Like her bold new hairstyle and missing pantyhose. Freaking pantyhose. Things that don’t matter to anyone. Except her parents.

Their Majesties are desperate for her to settle down. So desperate they invite a dozen overzealous bachelors to compete for her hand in marriage. Now she’s living her own nightmare version of The Bachelorette: Royal Edition with suitors ambushing her at every turn.

No way is she participating in this farce of a courtship, but when her father makes her an offer she can’t refuse—take part in exchange for access to her trust fund—it’s the only way to get the money she needs to start her own charitable foundation.

Fine. She’ll play the game. There’s zero chance she’ll fall in love until she crashes into a sexy, down-to-earth philanthropist who can help her launch her charity and drive off the unwanted suitors. It’s like she’s met the perfect guy.

But what if he’s really the perfect lie?

What can you expect in A ROYAL MISTAKE?
✓ Awkward meet-cute

✓ Royal in disguise

✓ Virgin heroine

✓ Friends-to-Lovers

✓ Sexy, slow burn RomCom

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Pippa lifted her chin and squared her shoulders. The last place she wanted to be was at Heinrich von der Recke’s door, but here she was, fist raised, courage gathered. Sometimes you had to take the shite with the sunshine.

Today it was her turn to roll in the muck.

She knocked three quick raps, her nerves stretched taught. Maybe he’d be out and she could just slip a note under his door. She’d written one just in case. Another of Miss Cartwright’s lessons; always be prepared.

She glanced up and down the empty hall. There wasn’t a soul in sight, save Sarah, her constant shadow. She’d give Heinrich to the count of thirty—no, twenty—and she’d slide her card under the door. After all, a written apology was still an apology.

Pippa quickly counted to twenty and pulled the handwritten note from her pocket. Just as she knelt down, the door swung open. Heinrich stood over her, looking even taller and more handsome than she remembered. Like before, he wore a trim summer suit that showcased his broad shoulders, slim waist, and a rather impressive package.

Not that she was looking at his package, but it was right there.

God, what was wrong with her? Miss Cartwright would have a conniption fit if she could see her now.

She jerked her eyes up to his face. Though it was barely noon, dark stubble covered his jawline. Didn’t the man own a razor? Not that she was complaining. The look suited him. She wanted to run her fingers along his jaw to find out for herself if it was scratchy or soft or something in between.

Which should’ve been her first clue he wasn’t a suitor. Because no way would her body betray her by getting hot for one of the toffs.

Heinrich lowered his gaze, and his dark eyes sharpened when they locked on her own. Then that insufferable smirk spread across his lips and she forgot all about stroking his… beard.

“To what do I owe the pleasure?” he asked, voice as smooth and rich as a Richart truffle. “It’s not every day I open my door to find a beautiful woman on her knees.”

He thought she was beautiful?

So not the point. Get off the damn floor!

“I’m not— It’s not—” Flames heated her cheeks as she scrambled to her feet and shoved the parchment envelope in the pocket of her sundress. His gaze slid over her, slow and deliberate, as if he were memorizing every inch of exposed skin.

Pippa shivered in anticipation. She’d never felt a true lover’s caress, but she imagined it might feel like this, her skin hot and tight everywhere his gaze lingered. She sucked in a steadying breath, combing her memory for her carefully practiced speech, which seemed to have evacuated her brain.

Bloody hell. This was not how she’d imagined their meeting. At. All.

“Careful, Your Highness.” He folded his arms over his chest and leaned casually against the doorjamb, ankles crossed. “A lesser man might get the wrong idea. Me? I figure we should get the introductions out of the way before we get to know one another intimately.”


Jennifer Bonds is the USA Today bestselling author of sizzling contemporary romance with sassy heroines, sexy alphas, and a whole lot of mischief. She’s a sucker for enemies-to-lovers stories, laugh-out-loud banter, and over-the-top grand gestures. Jennifer lives in Pennsylvania, where her overactive imagination and weakness for reality TV keep life interesting. She's lucky enough to live with her own real-life hero, two adorable (and sometimes crazy) children, and one rambunctious K9. Loves Buffy, Mexican food, a solid Netflix binge, the Winchester brothers, cupcakes, and all things zombie. Sings off-key.

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Thursday, 4 August 2022

#Giveaway - $25 Amazon gift card. #BlogTour - Peaches and Cream by S. London #Romance @siera_london

Peaches and Cream
By S. London
Publication date: August 3rd 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Gabriel Abruzzo
Soft.
Ripe.
Juicy.
Her name is Empress. I asked, she didn’t tell. The new masseuse at The Governor is quiet and delicate. Delicate things get broken in the underworld, but Empress is on edge, those dark eyes harboring a thousand nightmares. Edgy gets my attention. And drawing my attention means trouble is coming. I should send her packing, but she clings to me, a man without a soul. One touch and all I think about is the taste of sweet nectar on my tongue. I know she has secrets but I’ll protect my little peach from bruises…at all costs.

Empress Reign
Dark.
Lethal.
Haunted.
I ran from a dangerous man. Now, I’m attracted to one with a darkness that frightens even my demons. Distractions, in the form of my new client, Gabriel could prove deadly. Touching him, stroking my fingers over all his sinewy muscle makes my mouth water for a taste. Getting involved would mean trusting him with my secret. Gabriel’s no angel, yet being close to him transforms my living hell into heaven. Maybe I’m biting off more than I can swallow, or am I?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Bill ain’t here, lady. Now get out.”

Bill? Now I’m for real confused. “I don’t know Bill.”

He twists those gorgeous full lips into a lopsided smirk. “With the road dust on you, thought you were here for a kill.”

I can’t help the eye roll at the movie reference. “Haha. You made a funny.”

“I don’t joke,” he rasps. “Who are you?”

“Excuse me?”

“Answer my question. A name.”

“I would like to see The Doctor,” I repeat, lifting my chin, staring him in those dark pits that are swallowing me up like shadow giving way to darkness.

“No. Leave,” he says.

“Why is that?”

“Because you don’t belong here.”

“Tell me something I don’t know, Mr. No. But it’s a free country.”

“Not in these walls. Management reserves the right to say leave… while you can.” He smiles, flashing me one gold canine.

My heart slams in my chest. What the fuck? I will myself not to take a step back. He’s trying to intimidate you, Empress. Inhaling, I slow my rapid breathing. Who in the hell on the management team thought a bully with a double flare plug in each earlobe and a polished fang should greet the guests? Not that it’s my business, but I ain’t scared… that much.

“He’s expecting me. You can do your job and tell him that his guest has arrived. I will wait right here.”

He narrows dark eyes on me. The broad muscles across his chest bunch in agitation. I can see it even through his suit jacket, that looks so out of place on a man built like a mountain. Images of him shirtless, no, naked and alone on a mountain peak, the world perfectly poised on his broad shoulders, have me sucking in a breath. He-man tattoos all across his chest proclaiming him the biggest and the baddest of them all.

I forget that Jada is on speaker until she says, “Tell that asshole that you have an appointment with The Doctor, don’t let him stop you.”

He looks to the phone I’m still holding in my hand. I tuck it behind my back as if he might take it from me. Like I’m a child who’s touched something that daddy says I can’t have.

“Yeah, what she said. Go get The Doctor, now.”

“Why do you need his help?” The way he asks the question gives me pause. Like he’s trying to decipher an agenda beyond medical necessity.

“That’s none of your business. Why don’t you just do your job, you glorified jackass. And go get The Damn Doctor like I asked.”

“Not wise to call me names, pretty girl.”

“Woman,” I correct. “And, normally I don’t, but when the ass fits, wear it. You’re giving me a hard time. So, I do what I have to do.” It’s true. I’ve always done what I had to do. It may have taken me a little bit longer to get away from Rafa, but I did it. I’m not going back.

No one is gonna stop me. Not even this asshole who’s trying to play gatekeeper in this fancy hotel. No one gives shit about women like me. Those who choose the wrong men. Who are stalked and hunted by men with money, power, or both.

I don’t give a shit what this man thinks of me. I have responsibilities. Jada is depending on me to protect her. And Alfie… I have to figure a way out of this.

“You know what? Never mind. I don’t need your help. I’ll find The Damn Doctor myself.”

I pivot on one soggy sneaker, a deliberate drag of my feet to scuff the clean tiles. Looking from left to right for something that hints at where a doctor’s corner would be in a palatial hotel.

There’s this club to my right. Al Di La is elegantly carved into the sign above double paned doors. It looks like some type of lounge. Inside, people are huddled in semi-circular booths chatting and laughing. Distracted by the opalescent, I missed the soft jazz accompanying a female vocalist floating through the air.

I turn to my left. There’s a bank of elevators. I’ll start with them.

Before I can take a step, Mr. No is around the counter. I see him coming towards me. I take a step back, stumbling over another guest’s personal luggage behind me.

Mr. No reaches out an arm and snakes it around my waist.

Panic. Fear. It all crushes into me.

“Let go of me. Don’t!” I scream. My arms are flailing as I curl my fingers into talons to fight off my attacker.

“Sis, what’s happening? Say something. I swear, if that jackass lays one finger on you, I’m gonna come down there and a kick his jolly green ass.”

“Whoa,” he grumbles while blocking my blows with ease. “You’re going to hurt yourself.”

Too late. Cramps shoot up my balled fists. Pain explodes in my shoulders. “Damn it.”

“That’s enough!” His voice rumbles over me, weighted and slow, crushing my anger. The previous agitation tumbles over at the impact. A new, more troubling sensation emerges. Attraction.

He holds me firm in his arms, but his touch is gentle. Our size difference is comedic. His big beast nostrils flare to my round-eyed dark beauty. I relax my fighting stance and cling to him. But then, like a well-trained pet, I remember. Big hands bruise. Big hands hurt. Big hands kill. Tensing, my demons break free, their defenses fighting a battle one touch from this stranger could defend.

I draw back my hand. With my open palm, I make contact, across his bearded jaw as hard as I can.

“What the fuck was that for?” he bellows, but he doesn’t release me.

“Don’t ever touch me!” I yell, shoving his hands away. “Stop being an asshole. Stop telling me no. Stop holding me.”

My breath is a choppy, high pitch. My inside voice is gone. All hope of staying invisible vanishes. The other guests watch the beginnings of what I’m sure is an emotional meltdown.

My clothes have shifted, and the scars to both wrists are on display. He looks at them, then back at me. I refuse to feel shame for surviving Rafa’s hell. Steeling my spine, I point in the direction of the lounge.

“Is The Doctor in there?”

“No,” he says, lifting one of my wrists for a closer examination. “Who hurt you?”

It comes out as a growl. His eyes darken to an obsidian I’ve only seen under museum glass. His whole body seems to grow before my eyes like the hulking beast he is. I grab the edges of my secondhand sweater, yanking the sleeves lower.

“No one,” I lie, averting my gaze.

“Hate liars, pretty woman.”

“Well, that’s all you’re gonna get from me, beast boy.”



Siera writes heroines you know, heroes you love, and romance you feel.

USA Today Bestselling & Award-winning author, Siera London pens contemporary and paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and crime fiction. She crafts stories of diverse characters navigating their journeys to love with intelligence, wit, and heart-gripping emotion.

When away from the literary world, Siera lives on the east coast with Mr. Awesome and a color patch tabby named Frie. Visit her website at www.sieralondonauthor.com to subscribe to Siera London News or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorsieralondon. Repped by Latoya Smith / ArtHouse Literary Services

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Wednesday, 3 August 2022

#Giveaway - $25 Amazon gift card + 2x ebook copies of Awaken by Vanessa MacLellan #Fantasy @McCVan

Awaken
By Vanessa MacLellan
Publication date: July 30th 2022
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, Horror

Balin stands between two great Powers. One will shatter his mind; the other will destroy his soul. Only one of them can save his people.

Fort Resonbirg, a Norse stronghold in the New World, is besieged by the evil sorcerer Ursulard the Dreamspinner. Though their fields are scorched and homes destroyed, the residents and refugees do not worry, because Fort Resonbirg is Awakened with the power to provide, protect, and grow. But not all is as it seems when a wall of impenetrable mist surrounds the fort, and within the mist hunts the dragon, Nidhogg. Nidhogg hungers for more than flesh and bone. It instills nightmares on its prey, feeding on fear and pain, inevitably taking lives.

Balin Tremore, a commoner bound for the militia but hoping to stay by his noble love’s side, never expected to amount to grand things. When the great power of Cradleweaving is awakened within him, Balin unknowingly becomes the one person with the power to pierce the wall of mist and banish the deadly beast within before it destroys them all—if he can master the new power in time. But to master the power, he must sacrifice much. The question is, will it be his position, his Lady, or his very soul?

The Mist meets Nightmare on Elm Street in this classic tale of personal sacrifice.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

He rapped his knuckles against the wooden door, leaning against the frame to take the strain from his leg.

“Who is there?”

“It is I, Balin Tremore.” He glanced up and down the hallway. Vacant. “I request an audience.”

The door swung open. “Please enter with an open heart, Balin.” Elaine beamed at him, her joy evident in the musical laughter in her words.

Balin stepped inside, and Elaine slammed the door closed.

“Is Kirsten here?” he asked, scanning the suite for Elaine’s handmaiden.

Elaine shook her head. “She’s getting fabric.” With no warning, she threw her arms around Balin’s shoulders and hugged him close. “I’m so, so, so glad you are well,” she said, her words held stiffly, as if voicing a vow. “Don’t ever do that again. Don’t ever.” She squeezed him. His body took a moment to react, and then he melted into her hold.

He embraced her, brushing his cheek against her plum silk shirt, holding her close, praying to Baldr that she’d never be taken from his arms. He inhaled her lilac scent and closed his eyes.

She pulled back, and the intensity in her gaze captured his breath. They were of a same height, except for when she wore ball shoes and could stare down at him with haughty superiority. She’d tease him then, drape her arm over his shoulders when nobody was looking their way. He didn’t mind, he just enjoyed being close to her. Now, however, no tease twinkled in her stormy eyes. Only worry and determination resided there, and he hated to see all those emotions in turmoil over her sweet features.

“Balin, would you just give in? You don’t have to return to the field.”

Balin took in a breath and let his gaze slip from hers to stare at the side of her nose. “I can’t do that.”

“Yes. You can.” She pulled away sharply, turning her back on him as she charged into her sitting room, her strong trouser-clad legs cutting the distance to a few strides. She gleaned pieces of paper from her writing desk and tromped back towards him, shaking the papers in his face. “I’ve completed the requisition. All I need is the Hauld’s approval, and after you and William—” she waved her hands through the air in a grand gesture, the papers crackling under the abuse, “—there’s no way he wouldn’t agree to you being my steward.”

They’d had this argument before, and Balin found it harder and harder to refuse her.

But he wanted to be so much more to her than just her steward.

“I don’t even need your approval, you know.” Her eyes narrowed, and her mouth turned into a frown.

He dropped his shoulders back, attention wandering over the copper molding encircling her ceiling. “You wouldn’t do that.”

“Don’t you tempt me, Balin Tremore. If it means keeping you out of the war, I will do what I have to do.”

The command in her voice drew his attention back to her face. He scooped up her hands, papers and all, and pressed his forehead to hers. They stood that way for a moment, Elaine’s breathing fast, Balin’s heart thumping in his ears. Those weeks in the cage, cold, starving, he’d wanted her. Wanted her soft touch. Her amused smile. He’d kept her stored in his mind in the hidden places Zebbens couldn’t beat out of him.

“We have to fight him, Elaine. Every one of us, we all have to do what we can.”

“Then, Balin,” she argued, her voice a terse whisper, “that means I need to be out there, too.”

Through his bangs, he saw her looking at him. He rolled his forehead against hers until their noses touched. “You can’t go out there, Elaine,” he whispered, the words hovering between their nearly touching lips.

“I’m a better fencer than you.”

“Fencer, not swordsman, they aren’t the same.”

Behind him, the door opened.

“Oh, Miss, I’m so sorry to intrude,” Kirsten said.

The air crackled with anticipation, but Kirsten, so-sorry-to-intrude, didn’t leave.

Balin bowed his head and slowly pulled away. Then he turned to the handmaiden. “Hello, Kirsten.”


Author Bio:

Vanessa MacLellan was born and raised in the farmlands of eastern Washington, works as an environmental engineer, and is an avid birder, naturalist and hiker living in Portland, Oregon.

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#Giveaway - 2 x print copies of Blackmail by Amelia Wilde #Romance @awilderomance

Blackmail
By Amelia Wilde
Publication date: August 2nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Bristol Anderson will do anything to protect her younger siblings. Even if it means embezzling from the company where she’s a temp. No one will find out. And the wealthy owner of the investment firm will never notice.

Except Will LeBlanc doesn’t miss a thing.

He could call the police, but he has more interesting plans for her. In the copy room. On the conference table. Under his desk.

The coldhearted venture capitalist will make her pay back every last cent.

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Amelia Wilde is a USA TODAY bestselling author of steamy contemporary romance and loves it a little too much. She lives in Michigan with her husband and daughters. She spends most of her time typing furiously on an iPad and appreciating the natural splendor of her home state from where she likes it best: inside.

Amelia is a USA Today best selling author from northern Michigan. Be her friend!

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Monday, 1 August 2022

#Giveaway - Kindle copy of Beginning of the End by Colleen Green #Romance

Beginning of the End
By Colleen Green
(Amber Milestone, #3)
Publication date: August 10th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

“Amber Milestone’s life in New York City has been plagued by the Mafia for as long as she’s lived there. Her roommate, Fiona, and friend, Henry have had their lives ruined by drugs and mobsters, and the trio agree to share what they know with the police in the hopes of taking down the Bugiardini family once and for all. However, informing on the Mafia is not without risk, and Amber will have to be careful if she wants to make it out of the investigation alive.”
Alyssa B., Proofreader, Red Adept Editing

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

EXCERPT:

The thought of speaking about my mob-related experiences over the past months caused an emotion I couldn’t name even if I tried. I couldn’t digest what I was feeling. It was such a mixture that it left me with an ache in the pit of my stomach grinding against the swarm of nerves, making it quiver uncontrollably. It was anxiousness and anger toward the men who did horrible deeds under the guise of so-called business. It was hatred toward them, their actions, and the pain they inflicted on others. It was sadness for the irreparable damage they had caused, like Fiona’s disappointment in her gambling-addicted father. Somehow, I was about to take all those feelings and turn them into coherent information with names, dates, places, and suspicions for my father to take to his NYPD contacts.

As we got off the train at our stop, it wasn’t just the cold fall breeze cutting through me. Memories of every injustice played back in my mind and filled my veins with ice. To help take down the mob with information, I needed to be calm under pressure. I couldn’t worry about the bullet that might get lodged in my brain because of the words I was about to speak or the bullets that may go into my dear friends’ heads. I couldn’t let fear win. Instead, truth and justice would prevail no matter what, no matter the cost. It was the only way to stop these so-called businessmen.

Fiona and I walked side by side without talking to each other. We knew what each other would say to my father per our discussion last night. We knew the information was valuable to the police and how dangerous it was to divulge it to the authorities. There was nothing left to say to each other until we were done speaking to my father.

My cell vibrated in my pocket. I pulled it out and saw “Henry” on the screen. I flipped it open. “Hey. What’s going on?”

“Change of plans. Now we’re meeting in the restaurant Tea Time in the Continuance Center on the third floor. The building is in the Columbus Circle area. I told your father that you and Fiona are coming to talk to him. He seemed excited to see you. After what he put your family through, he’s lucky you’re talking to him at all!”

“He is. But I’m not doing it for his sake. I’m doing it to do my part in taking down the mob.”

“Yes, of course. I’ll see you soon.”

I hung up by flipping the phone before putting it back into my pocket.

“What was that about?” Fiona asked.

“New meeting place. We’re still headed in the right direction, so at least we don’t have to backtrack.”

“That’s good. Where?”

“Tea Time in the Continuance Center.”

“I’ve heard they have delicious pastries.” Fiona’s eyes lit up, but the gleam faded quickly.

“I know. It would have been an exciting thing to do if it weren’t for all the ugly things we’re about to talk about.” I frowned. “I’ve always wanted to go to have tea and crumpets or whatever, but not like this.”

At nearly four o’clock, Columbus Circle was already crowded, almost like rush hour on a Monday. In Manhattan, though, it always seemed like rush hour. New Yorkers say the busiest time is from four in the afternoon to about seven in the evening.

Tourists with maps, people in business suits, workers in black-and-white uniforms who must have been servers or bartenders at restaurants, and casually dressed New Yorkers walked around Columbus Circle, heading to different buildings. Traffic was congested, with horns beeping. The statue of Christopher Columbus stood high in the air on a pedestal. We had seen it in the distance when we were walking.

Henry was ahead of us, standing beside the twenty-story Continuance Center. I had heard it had business offices, restaurants, and shops inside. His drawn face, puffy eyes, and the crease above his forehead were most likely due to his inner struggle of living with what he thought his brother, Charles, could be doing with the mob. As we approached Henry, he mustered a faint grin.

I hugged him more tightly than I ever had before.

Author Bio:

Author Colleen Green lives in Ohio. She loves to write, read, and cook. Creating a world that readers can immerse themselves into is her passion. Last Words is her debut novel. The romance suspense book is set in the breathtaking vineyards of Napa Valley, California. Romance suspense, YA paranormal romance, and urban fantasy genres are among her favorites to read and write. She is currently working on the second book in the Amber Milestone series and a series of short YA urban fantasy stories.

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Giveaway - Ebook copy of It Started with a Dance by Tinia Montford #Romance

It Started with a Dance
By Tinia Montford
(Pacific Grove University, #2)
Publication date: July 28th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

WILL THEY PULL OFF THE PERFECT PERFORMANCE?

It’s double time for Cami Clinton…

Dance is in Cami’s blood, but a bombshell diagnosis puts her on the sidelines. Now returning for her senior year of college, she’s determined to prove she is the dancer she once was. Each year, at the end of the semester, the campus hosts a dance festival. Cami knows this is her shot at redemption, but while at a party, things go horribly wrong and Cami suddenly has a new boyfriend: Marsh Lincoln.

Marsh Lincoln has two left feet…

He doesn’t dance. A nasty accident haunts Marsh and he’s just ready to graduate. Until he’s told he’s missing credits. The only class left to fill his missing credits? Ballroom dancing. To make matters worse, his girlfriend breaks-up with him in front of everyone at a party, leaving him with a new girlfriend he’s never met before…

It takes two to tango…

Acting like the perfect couple isn’t easy when you’ve just met. When the lines between what’s real and pretend blurs, they have to ask themselves: Can you catch feelings for something that’s all pretend?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Girl, don’t do it; it’s not worth it. Don’t do it… Don’t do it, Cami. Last time was supposed to be it! Don’t…

Paper crinkled under Cami as she shifted on the exam table, facing the cabinet on the wall. It held a box of gloves, a thermometer, an otoscope, and the little disposable thingies that went with it. She exhaled shakily and squeezed her eyes shut. I swear I’m just thinking about stealing the doctor’s glove; I’m not gonna do it. Last time was it… They are good for cleaning. It would be awful if Devin had to bail me out of jail for stealing gloves in a doctor’s office. I’ll get expelled from school and be forced onto the mean streets of the Tenderloin. I’ll have to fight cats for chicken bones and steal cough syrup to stay high.

Cami’s karma was shot to hell based on her last six months of existence. She didn’t want the big man upstairs to send a bolt of lightning down to obliterate her.

She would be good…

Pushing herself up, she strained to hear any footsteps in the hall. The doctor wouldn’t notice a few missing gloves, would she?

Her phone dinged twice with a text message. It was her best friend, Deja. Saved by the bell.

Where are you?? I thought we were getting lunch? Winter and I are in the restaurant.

Cami slapped her forehead. How could she forget? It was their annual back-to-school tradition. Lunch in Japantown and mochi ice cream afterward. A staple in their friendship since freshmen year and even more important since last semester.

I had to meet with my adviser. Let’s meet for dinner?

Deja’s reply was instant.

Fine. Take a sneak pic of your adviser. Clark is foine.

Cami hung her head. Why did I lie? Deja and Winter, her best friends, knew about her hospital stint. They visited her every day until they had to go home for summer break, right before she finally received her diagnosis. Cami still couldn’t utter the words chronic disease…

She told herself she would confess to them, but when the moment came, she found herself saying viral infection instead. Each time after that, the lie flowed easier and it became harder and harder for her to backpedal. She told herself lying was for a good reason. Cami was tired of being the one people needed to look after. She was reinventing herself after this setback, presenting herself as independent and poised. Even if it was a façade.

Anxiety churned in her stomach, and she hoped her doctor would come back with the results she wanted. A glance at her phone let her know the time.

12:04 PM.

How long had she been sitting here? Twenty or thirty minutes? It was the first day of the semester, and Cami wasn’t letting it slip through her fingers. It was late August and freezing in San Francisco because of the coastal fog and wind. She tugged at the pink chunky sweater she’d paired with a skirt and combat boots. She pulled her knotless braids over her shoulder, biting her lip with a glance at the door before she pushed herself off the exam table.

“I’m just gonna take one. I’ve been through a lot,” she muttered, justifying the petty theft.

Cami plucked a glove from the box and held her breath as if alarms would sound. Once the coast was clear, she took another. Then another. Her hands were full as someone knocked at the door. She squealed, dropping some contraband as she darted across the room and shoved the gloves into her book bag, and plopped her butt back on the exam table, winded from that simple yet covert act.

“Y-yes?”

She tried placing a neutral expression on her face, hoping it didn’t reveal how fast her heart was beating, or her fear that a minor sprint consumed most of her energy.

The door opened, and her doctor’s head appeared. “Camille?”

“Dr. Aguilar.”

The last time Cami was in a hospital, besides her own illness, she found out her father had died. Of course, she didn’t remember this. She had been a toddler; her mother and brother recounted the story solemnly to her years later. It was a good enough excuse to avoid hospitals ever since.

Dr. Aguilar almost changed her mind about hospitals. The older woman’s aura of calmness and matronly appearance never failed to put her at ease. Bracelets adorning both arms and rings on all fingers. Plump. Graying hair. She smiled and her eyes went to the blue glove lying on the floor.

“The gloves fell out of the box…” That was a lame excuse.


Tinia (TUH-NIA) Montford is a Pisces who’s a sap for romance, especially when there’s (tons of) kissing. Loves eighties sitcoms and will consume anything with chocolate. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in English and Graphic Design.

She is a world traveler having climbed a volcano in Nicaragua, scaled Angkor Wat in the blistering sun, and roamed the Acropolis of Athens. Oh, she also dabbles in short stories occasionally.

If you can’t catch her writing, you can bet she’s overindulging on poke bowls, listening to the same four songs, or chilling with her adorbs doggie. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Fiction.

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