Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book Highlight & Giveaway: The Storm Inside by Alexis Anne

The Storm Inside by Alexis Anne
Genre: Adult Romance
Published: September 17th, 2013

The only thing holding me back was my heart. You know, the broken one. It knew if Jake and I got back together we’d make our past relationship look like child’s play. It would be a sweet footnote to this new, torrid love affair. ‘Jake and Eve 2.0’ would be an uncontrolled explosion of sex and adoration.
Uncontrolled explosions were dangerous. Everyone knew that.
And yet, I couldn’t seem to stop myself from playing with the matches…” ~Eve

Loving someone and being in love aren’t always the same thing.

That’s what Eve Daniels is trying to come to terms with when Jake Spencer suddenly returns to her life after ten years of silence. Haunted by a past he had no power to control, Jake left everyone and everything behind in hopes of saving Eve from his demons. His one regret was breaking her heart.

From the moment they reconnect, it is clear to Eve the passion, brilliance, and determination that first attracted her to Jake are stronger than ever. So strong that fighting their pull seems useless. But falling back in love isn’t as easy as letting the walls down. Eve soon realizes the choices they’ve both made come with consequences. Ones that will test how deep her love runs for a man living with a storm inside.

Recommended for ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.

Amazon (paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Noble

Jake slammed my back into the wall of the shack, the boards of the wall bending and flexing from the impact.  For a moment I worried we’d punch a hole right in the side of the building, but then Jake nipped my earlobe at the exact same moment he flexed his hips into mine, and I forgot everything I was thinking.
Everything but him. 
I didn’t think about the ten years he’d been gone or how much I hated him.  All I could feel was his hard body pressed up against mine, his rough hands as they desperately roamed over my skin, and the intensity in his kiss.
We’d always made an explosive combination; that clearly hadn’t changed.  If anything, the added experience and time apart made what we’d had in the past look sweet and warm.  Because this—what we were doing now— was off the charts insane.  It was brutal and animalistic in the most fantastic way.
The afternoon thunderstorm was howling outside.  It was my favorite time of day, and Jake knew it.  The thing about Florida’s summertime storms was that you could feel them.  When lightning strikes, the air crackles with electricity moving through everything around you.  The moment it splits the sky, thunder vibrates so deeply it shakes the earth and every molecule in your body.  You feel it everywhere.
Thunderstorms are a full body experience from the light and the vibrations, to the sound of the wind, the pounding of the rain, and the taste of the humidity in the air.
It’s like Mother Nature is trying to sweep you away in a symphony of senses.  And at the moment I was swept away by both the storm and by Jake.  I was completely lost to everything.
It had always been like this with us.  Ten years hadn’t dulled it at all.  If anything, the waiting only made it more intense than ever. 
His hand closed around my jaw, turning my head away so that he could nuzzle my neck.  As his tongue stroked upward along my skin, the muscles in my belly clenched and I squeezed my legs around him tighter.
“Oh god, Eve…” he moaned, pinning my hands to the wall and looking up at me with fire in his eyes as he continued to rock against me.  The intensity with which he wanted me only made me crave him more.  I ground back against his firm waist even harder.
Words seemed to ruin everything between us, so I wasn’t about to start talking now.  I just panted, throwing my head back, and pushing against him with my hips to let him know I wanted to continue.  There was no doubt in my mind how wet I was, my body was practically begging to have Jake back inside me.
Taking my cue, Jake released my wrists and slowly, silently began to undress me, not that it took much.  My bikini was held on by four sets of strings.
His eyes hungrily roamed over my naked breasts with a passion that made me shiver with hot desire.
Thunder rattled the roof as Jake stepped back, pulling me toward him with his hand knotted in my hair.  The tug on my hair follicles hurt in the most fantastic way.  He crushed his lips against mine and I would have cried out in pain if it hadn’t felt so good.
The one thing that kept running through my head, the one thing I couldn’t ignore any longer, was how badly I wanted this man.  Every inch of me wanted to possess him.  I felt like a tigress stalking her prey.  Jake was mine and no one else’s.  Always had been, always would be.
The shack was dank and old: there wasn’t a surface in the place that seemed clean or inviting, let alone suitable for our naked bodies.
Jake’s towel was flung over the back of a folding chair and with a quick flip of his wrist, the towel now covered the seat.  I let him pull me onto his lap, my toes just barely reaching the floor on either side of him.  His warm and sweaty skin against mine was electric and I gasped.  I needed him inside me, now.

Alexis Anne lives in Central Florida with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their two adorable superheroes. Their crazy lives have taken them from archaeology digs to breaking news as they traversed the worlds of anthropology and television news. When she's not reading or writing, Alexis can be found at the beach or on the water with her family. Her first series, FILTERS, are contemporary romance short stories. The Storm Inside is her first full-length novel.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Highlight & Giveaway: #LovingHer by CM Hutton!

Loving Her by CM Hutton
Expected publication: October 15th, 2013
Adult contemporary romance

Boring, but completely gorgeous. That was my first impression of him. My next two thoughts were ‘pompous ass’ and ‘cocky jerk.’ And, I had the glorious pleasure of sharing a table with him for the entire night. He didn’t speak, didn’t grunt….he just nodded and stared. If I weren’t taking my bosses place at this dinner, I’d have found another place to sit and escape Rylan Daniels.

‘Absolutely beautiful’ was what I thought when I found her at my table at the Ad Execs quarterly dinner. She wore a black strapless dress and exuded confidence from every part of her. I nodded to her, but didn’t speak. I really didn’t have much to say anyway.

I couldn’t quit staring and had to excuse myself at one point to stand across the room and watch her. It was a strange, unwelcome feeling I was having about this stunning woman.

It had been five years….five years since Kristen…..and I still couldn’t move on. That kind of hurt you just don’t get over so easily and I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to get over it. But, here I was, completely intrigued and unable to stop thinking about Jen Bailey.



I hated going to these stupid functions! Weird guys with slicked-back hair and way too much cologne on gave me the creeps. If it weren’t for my boss, I wouldn’t be here. But, when he asked me to come in his place while he was gone out of the country, I couldn’t say no. He’d never asked me to go to anything in his place, so I saw this as a positive sign that he was beginning to have confidence in me and my abilities. Hell, I’d only worked for the crazy bastard for six years! It was about time he recognized my strengths.

I strolled into the swank hotel all decked out in my new black strapless dress and red Christian Louboutin heels. I loved these heels. They were a gift to myself for….something.

I found my seat at a round table near the front of the room. This was a once a quarter dinner set up for all the execs at the top ad agencies in the San Diego area. I had been working for Sullivan & Jackson since finishing my masters in marketing. I’d done fairly well moving up in the company, so I guess I shouldn’t complain about the lack of recognition. I just never knew that Michael Camden noticed until today.

I didn’t know anyone at the table, but I’d never had a problem socializing. I was getting a delicious meal, a few drinks and some much needed self-promoting this evening and I planned to enjoy every moment.

I noticed him walking toward my table with his impassive face and stiff body language. I was hoping he would pass on by because as good looking as he was, he looked like a total ass and I didn’t want to be stuck with a pompous jerk for the evening. But, as luck would have it, he sat down directly across from me with barely a nod of acknowledgement. Wow, how did this guy get a job in marketing? What does he sell….sticks to shove up assholes? I nearly laughed out loud. Nice one, Jen! I silently patted myself on the back.


She was incredibly beautiful. I hadn’t seen her at any of the dinners before. When I found her sitting at the same table and she looked straight at me, I froze not knowing what to say. Thankfully, some of the awkwardness went away as soon as Jim showed up and began his inquisition, taking her focus off me.

I listened intently all evening to learn more about her. What I learned was that she worked for a rival ad agency and had impeccable people skills. She didn’t skip a beat keeping up with all the macho crap at our table and I was pretty impressed.

She looked close to my age and judging by her conversation with Jim Davis, she was well educated and worked hard. Knowing Michael like I did, he’d obviously seen her talent and respected her abilities enough to send her in here with all these sharks.

I sat quietly most of the night, as usual. I rarely saw the need in mindless, meaningless conversation anymore. It served no purpose to me, even though I did enjoy listening to it. It occupied my mind and kept me focused on the present…on life.

I'm a wife, a mom of three, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend and a teacher. Now I can add writer to my list! I've always loved to write and finally found the inspiration and support to put my first novel on display for others to read.

I live near Austin, Texas with my family where I teach school and run around like crazy taking care of my crew. I absolutely love to read and tend to totally ignore my 'near and dear' when I'm lost in a good book. Put me on a beach somewhere with a great story and the whole world just disappears around me.

Loving Her is my second novel. I'm working hard to continually improve my writing; hoping to make my stories better, my characters more loveable and my fans proud!

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Highlight & #Giveaway -- #PullingMeUnder by @RebeccaBerto

Title: Pulling Me Under
Author: Rebecca Berto
Series: Pulling Me Under #1
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Suspense
Age Group: Adult
Cover Designed by: Berto Designs

Paul was Katie’s rock for thirteen years, but then she watched him die.

By day, she is left with her daughter Ella’s questions about where Daddy went, and at night she's consumed with nightmares of the moment he died. It isn’t long before Katie’s mother hints that her volatile lifestyle and developing drinking habits are no way to raise a little girl.

Through it all, her and Paul’s best friend, Liam is there. Grieving the death of both husband and friend, the time they spend together seems more intimate these days, and Katie soon stumbles into taboo territory: Liam might be in love with her.

Torn between Liam’s feelings and losing Ella, one night Katie runs.

Air. Space. Thinking time. That's what she thinks she's getting when she stumbles upon that party. In the morning, in a strange bed, she can’t remember the night before.

Pulling Me Under is raw in its brutality of love and pain, with slow-building suspense to a heart-stopping conclusion.

Purchase Pulling Me Under:
Amazon US | Amazon International | Barnes & Noble 

Download the prequel novella, Precise, for FREE!

   Ella’s school-dress buttons and collar change color. They’re business-shirt blue and only three buttons are done up because Paul was lifeless, gone, by the time I got to him but Paul’s not really here and maybe Ella is. Maybe I’m not here, either.
   I dig my nails into the laminate until I want to scream from the pressure of my bending nails. Okay, so I’m still here.
   “What did I do?” Ella’s voice breaks, and it sounds as if she chokes on her last word.
   Ella deserves a mother who will pull her into her chest at times like this and cry about how sad they both are. I haven’t cried since before Paul’s death.
   At twenty-nine, I shouldn’t be waking up every day to this. I’d once thought widows only existed when people were old. Sure, I still have the brown hair with some type of wave to it, but I’m a shell with rotting insides.
   Paul’s bloody body, dotted with partially digested chunks of his breakfast is suddenly in front of me. Then his dead body multiplies, replicating behind me, to my left, right. He is a cage. I am the prisoner. His blood stains the floor red, causing my breath to stagger. My head spins seeing the sickening chunks and lifeless body of the man I would have given my life for.
   My daughter’s sobs fade, as if I’m being sucked away into a tunnel. The gray walls churn as if I’m in a kaleidoscope. Fire truck red and kryptonite green color blurs together to a spot in the distance. The end of the house is gone, replaced with a tunnel sucking me out of the kitchen. The choking, sobbing sound across the counter fades further.
   Suddenly, the kitchen fades to an image of my closet. Last night, I found Ella there, her fingers skimming along the circle she made of Paul’s ties. For minutes, I stood behind her in the doorway of my closet. It had been the first time in my master bedroom in months.
   Ella bopped on her knees, her feet tucked away under her bum. She’d laid out all of her favorite colors. One with Disney’s Tasmanian Devil printed on it, another in Cadbury purple. Ten or more lay around the circle. Her favorite tie had a pink and blue swirl twisting down its length, right in front of her knees.
   She stroked each tie once, her voice a steady hum. When she brushed the swirly tie, her hum reached a staccato and stopped. She picked it up in the same manner as she would her favorite doll and stroked it against her chest.
   Outside, the Melbourne rain had climaxed from gentle taps on the windows to angry thumps, making me jump.
   “Oh, Daddy,” Ella mumbled. “Can I really have it?”
   A flash of me from months ago rushed to her side, knowing to fold her legs and prop her in my lap as we sat together. That version of me plucked all her fingers, and Ella chuckled and snorted simultaneously.
   Instead? I said, “No. Ella. Out.”
   Ella spun around at the same time as a clap of lighting shook the carpet under our feet. She squealed and clamped her arms by her side, her back ramrod straight. “I want the swirly one. M—my doll needs it.”
   I held myself up on the doorjamb of the closet, my arm against the wall easily blocking out the bed and the far side of the room where no one had scrubbed out the stain. “No more. You’re not allowed in here. No one is.” My lip shook almost too much to choke out words. “How could you . . . do this? You know how naughty . . . it is to . . . to come here.”
   Even I couldn’t go in the master bedroom. Haven’t since what happened until now.
   The crumpled sheets can’t be moved. I leave the stains. Everything must remain the same. I don’t straighten my hair anymore, or sleep with a pile of pillows, or wear my comfortable jeans. No one can be in here so nothing will change.
   What if Ella found the box under the bed? If she went through it?
   Not yet. Maybe not ever. I promised myself that I wouldn’t look under the bed. There’s too much finality in looking through that box.
   Shaking my mind back to present-time I think, I know too much.
   I hate.
   I hate Paul for leaving me to fend against Mom when he knows I can’t do it by myself.
   I hate him for being selfish and thinking that I can live without him.
   Most of all, I hate me for hating him, since it’s my fault he isn’t here now.
   Ella? She wants to know. Something. Will he come back? Does he love her?
   My mom used to say things like, “It’s your fault, Katie. You hear me, Katie? You ruined my tummy, Katie.” Then she would come close enough to smell the fear coating my skin. Always, I’d gasp and try to run away. She’d grab me and yank me back by my flimsy wrist. Her voice was low and steady. Low so I wouldn’t get lost in her hysteria; steady so my mind would store this information forever.
   “You killed your brothers and sisters. They didn’t make it out of my belly because you jinxed me. You know that, right?”
   Now, in this kitchen, Ella smells a lot like that fear.

Rebecca Berto is an Amazon bestselling author. She is also a freelance editor.

She writes stories that are full of heart. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

#Alchemy by Sheena Boekweg, Melanie Crouse, and Sabrina West -- Book Highlight & #Giveaway!

Alchemy by Sheena Boekweg, Melanie Crouse, and Sabrina West
457 pages
YA, paranormal 

"Do you want me to be dangerous?" he asked, his voice husky and low.
I gulped, and for a moment I was incapable of speech. But he was quiet, waiting. "No. I don't."
"Then I'm not dangerous at all," he murmured. His gaze moved from my eyes to my mouth. "You've never been safer than you are at this moment." I shivered as his breath tickled my skin. Our lips were mere millimeters apart when the sky shattered in a kaleidoscope of colored light.

We didn’t know how much we had to lose until we were infected with magic. Sam was in love, Juliette was the main caretaker for her siblings, and Ana and her dad planned the best parties in New York. But we lost it all when we were shipped to Chebeague, an exclusive school for newly infected mages.

Everyone knows about the mages, those who survive the infection and end up with magical abilities. We’ve seen the power of magic, the high-paying jobs, and the world fame. But we never saw the cost. We didn’t know we’d be forced to give up everything: sanity, family, even the right to talk on the phone.

We didn’t know mage was just another word for prisoner.

Amazon (ebook) | Amazon (paperback)

How we came to write Alchemy: 

Once upon a time, there were some aspiring authors who wrote on a blog called The Prosers. ( One day, Sabrina wrote a blog post about a book called Sorcery and Cecilia. Sabrina explained that:  

"The authors wrote the book entirely by sending letters to each other from the point of view of their characters. The picked a setting ahead of time… and then were not allowed to discuss plot at all, just let it develop naturally. And yes, it has to be real letters, or else it's not quite so fun to get the story in the mail."

Sheena was delighted with the idea, and asked if anyone wanted to try it with her. Both Sabrina and Melanie volunteered, and there we hit our first snag. How on earth does one write a cohesive story via letters sent between three people? 

So we got together for a facebook chat where we brainstormed solutions. It took a few weeks, and false starts, but eventually Melanie mentioned a real boarding school for rich, troubled teenagers where they were required to write journal entries to their therapists in exchange for privileges, and everything took off from there.

We each picked a character. Sabrina chose Juliette, an angry, scared girl who just wants to go home. Sheena created Sam, a sexy but broken boy who doesn't know how to function without his girlfriend, and Melanie created Ana, a gracious, yet opportunistic beauty who doesn't have anything worth missing back home.

We added some secondary characters and a rich magical world, and began. For most of the book, we truly did send the letters via snail mail (although thank heavens we knew not to start anticipating them until we got a message on facebook saying they were on their way! How did people survive doing it the other way???) As the action started heating up at the end, we started sending our sections via internet, and that’s when we really hit our stride. 

On the one hand, it is pretty frustrating when you think you know where you are going with a story, and someone (cough, cough, Sheena) careens off the path and turns the whole story line on its head. On the other hand, some of best parts of the book came when we were trying desperately to get the story back on track.The explanations we all had to come up with about why the stories turned out the way they did were so much fun! For example, if Sheena hadn't had the characters try to escape, we would never have realized they were prisoners. Sometimes the ripples created waves that were better than what we had originally planned. It was exhilarating and magical, and it didn't take long before we realized that this book wasn't just fun, it was also going to be awesome enough to share with the world! We hope you love it as much as we do. 

What is Alchemy about?

There are three main characters: Sam, a former baseball player who uses girls as a kind of medicine, Juliette, whose past has made her react to the world with clenched fists, and Ana, who is so normal that there is no way she’ll ever be able to fit in at this school for freaks.

Imagine a cross between Harry Potter, Ender’s Game, and Gossip Girl. Sam, Juliette and Ana have just been sent to a magical school, and have been told they will never see their families again. One of the biggest things that makes our book different from the usual paranormal romance, is that magic isn't a secret. Once they have survived infection with a magical virus, and managed to retain their sanity, they will be used by the government as a weapon, similar to nuclear armament.  Mages aren’t allowed back into polite society. They are too unstable, and definitely too dangerous.  But Juliette, Ana, and Sam are still teens, and none of that is half as important as their friendships and crushes.

Shy, awkward Seb is in love with Ana. Can Sam teach him the right moves to pull Ana’s attention away from the sexy janitor, James? Juliette hates Zach, the snarky leader of the Elite. So why can’t she get him out of her head? Even though Sam will never be allowed to see his girlfriend Katie again, his love for her is unfailing. Except, there’s this girl...

Sheena Boekweg (writing as Sam) is the author of the award winning novel Funny Tragic Crazy Magic. Look for her next novel, Waxling in 2014. She is a mom of three living in West Jordan, Utah. You can find Sheena on Facebook, Twitter, and her website

Sabrina West (writing as Juliette) is a writer and wildlife biologist living in San Diego, California. There, she wanders the streets searching for rare shorebirds, quality espresso, and elusive snippets of dialogue and imagery. Her short fiction has appeared in markets such as the Santa Clara Review, Cover of Darkness, and Strange, Weird and Wonderful Magazine. She also has a story upcoming in Kayelle Press's Night Terrors Anthology.

Melanie Crouse (writing as Ana) lives in the gorgeous state of Maine with her (usually) delightful family. She wishes with all her heart that her teenage children weren't so embarrassed that their mom writes "kissing scenes". With any luck, her first solo book, Hidden Magic, will be out in early January, 2015. You can find Melanie on Facebook and her website.

Meet all of us at: 

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