THE KINGMAKER BY KENNEDY RYAN

THE KINGMAKER BY KENNEDY RYAN

Power. Passion. Betrayal.

RITA® Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan delivers the epic first installment of the All the King’s Men Duet.

Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition. In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.

My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I’m determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and would do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.

And neither will I.

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ABOUT KENNEDY RYAN

A RITA® Award Winner and Top 25 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta families living with Autism, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism. 

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Lily Java dishes about the Blackbirds: Blank Pages series

I love it when one of my favorite people (who also happens to be an amazing author) stops by and shares with us a little insight into the inspiration for her writing. Today, Lily Java shares with us the secrets behind her latest releases: Ethan’s Choice and Serena’s Vow – books 1 and 2 in the Blackbirds: Blank Pages series.

What inspired you to write the Blackbirds: Blank Pages series?

These two novels were inspired by one little scene I wrote in another book called ‘Blackbirds’ where the hero Elliott Vance meets his father for the first time, and it doesn’t go well at all. It was a pivotal scene in that book, but it was also compelling because of all the questions it left unanswered about Elliott’s parents, Ethan and Serena Vance. Telling Ethan and Serena’s story from the beginning, then including the middle, and wrapping up the end with what happens after the fateful meeting between father and son became a fascinating journey for me. I couldn’t resist it the more I thought about it and it occurred to me that maybe it would be irresistible for the reader as well.  

Part of my fascination with the story came from themes that as a writer I’d been wanting to explore. To see young love, turn into mature love for example was the first theme that attracted me to the project.  Then checking in on that love over four decades was also a temptation, albeit a daunting one. Starting off with a rendering of the 70’s and 80’s in New York City in particular was intriguing, because it was such a memorable time and place especially in Black and Brown communities. Writing a love story that crystallized in that environment was fun to think about as well as write. 

Tell us a little about Ethan and Serena?

Serena Clay is the kind of young woman that every girl wants to be beautiful, sensible, and unpretentious. The only child of two adoring, aging parents Serena had a solidly middle-class education and upbringing. There was a grounded, loving, and sheltered quality to Serena’s childhood that gives her an underlying security and confidence in her daily life until she meets Ethan Vance. Ethan represents a worldly sophistication that Serena has yet to achieve but that she’s attracted to in the extreme. 

It is true, Ethan’s life has had many advantages but because of his family there are many aspects of it that are also dark, gritty and violent. Much of Ethan’s family legacy is so abhorrent to him he makes every effort in both word and deed to leave it behind. When he meets Serena, the last thing he expects to do is to immediately fall for the type of girl that epitomizes innocence and virtue, but he also recognizes that being with her could be his ultimate salvation and the culmination of everything he truly wants his life to be. 

There are some heady stakes involved when these two fall in love. It’s powerful, passionate and often all consuming. How life changes the trajectory of their romance, changes them both as people, and how what they feel for each other endures despite the obstacles and setbacks, is the epic love story told in this duet of novels. 

Ethan’s Choice and Serena’s Vow are available now.

Get to know other titles by Lily Java

Sticky Moon

Blackbirds

Prelude for Tomorrow

Because My Heart Said So: a Friends to Lovers Collection

BLACKBIRDS NOVEL DUET

BLACKBIRDS NOVEL DUET

When Elliott Vance sees his parents, Serena and Ethan, together for the first time, holding hands; it causes a tectonic shift in his perception of reality. Answering all the questions that bubble to the surface, will not always be easy or pleasant. But, there’s always a beginning, a middle, and an end to most stories, including Serena and Ethan’s.

The reconnection between Serena and Ethan Vance will lead to explosive revelations and a thousand and one questions about their past. But will it also give them and their only son Elliott, the closure they all so desperately need?

‘Ethan’s Choice: Blank Pages I’ and ‘Serena’s Vow: Blank Pages II’ by Lily Java brings full circle the story of Elliott Vance’s parents, Serena and Ethan, first introduced in the novel ‘Blackbirds’.

ETHAN’S CHOICE: BLANK PAGES I BY LILY JAVA

He thought he planned for everything. But, what he didn’t plan for, was her.

Whether we are we born into the world a blank page has been argued since the time of Aristotle. Is it nature or nurture that makes us who we are? Do we choose our own fate, or are we chosen for the roles we play?

Serena Clay is a golden girl living in a soulful, turbulent time. Beautiful, intelligent, pragmatic, and so well cared for, one would think she’d be better prepared. But there’s no way, she could’ve known how overwhelming and passionate it would be to fall in love, until she met Ethan Vance—a fierce, charming, and enigmatic young man.

Ethan Vance lives a life filled with secrets and lies. He longs to be free of them as well as of the violent family legacy they stem from. With careful planning and avoidance, he hopes to keep the woman he dares to love and the person most precious to him, in his life forever. When things go bad as they often do, Ethan has a choice to make but now his heart won’t be the only one on the line.

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SERENA’S VOW: BLANK PAGES II BY LILY JAVA

Keeping her promises has often meant sacrifice. But is it ever too late to try and live your best dreams?

Sometimes, re-imagining your life is your only road to salvation.

Long ago left by the man she loved and trusted, with a young son to raise alone, Serena Vance is now a grown woman. The vows she and Ethan made to each other, she has had to forget. Now there is nothing more important than helping her son become the best man he can be. But will reaching that goal come at the expense of her own happiness?

Ethan Vance is a lost, broken man—angry, alone, and teetering on the brink of disaster. The people and things that meant the most to him are disappearing from his life one by one. Every day has become a nightmare, and to survive he must turn his life around.

But is it ever too late to have a second chance at living your best dreams?

In the winding journey these two former lovers take further away from each other, they both lose a significant part of themselves. To thrive again, they must re-invent their lives apart … and maybe, in doing so they will find their way back together.

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EXCERPT

Serena was lying in his bed, reading. They’d made love late that afternoon. He’d elevated the hurt wrist and told her not to move it, no matter what he did. She was obedient, though he did not make it at all easy for her. As she writhed against his treacherous mouth, tongue, and hands, he kept her in endless pursuit of an orgasm until she could barely move from the effort. The sun set over their warm, conjoined bodies. 

He never seemed to have enough time with her to his liking. And now here she was— lying in hisbed, in hisshirt—and he still felt that way. He’d been studiously watching her while pretending to work on something else. It wasn’t just that she was beautiful. It was her earthiness—how full of grace she was. It made him feel like having her in his life was the only thing he needed to be sure he’d stay safe, grounded, and in touch with everything around him. That as long as she was there, as long as he could look at her every day, he wouldn’t lose himself to the dour or murky thoughts he sometimes had about his life—about the world in general. 

She reached the end of a page and adjusted herself while turning it when she noticed he was staring. 

Everything he’d been thinking, everything he’d been planning, Ethan blurted it all out at once. 

“There’s something I want to tell you. I’ve made a decision. I’m going to leave school after this semester.”

Her brow creased ever so slightly. He got the impression she was holding her breath a little. Stabilizing herself against the conversation, she took a deep breath, and then another, before she spoke. 

“Where will you go?”

“I’m thinking about going to the country for a little while.”

“The country? What do you mean?”

“I mean I’m thinking about renting that house we stayed in but for a longer time than just a weekend.” 

Serena sat up in the bed, pushing the book aside.  

“In Claverack?”

“Yeah.”

“Why there?”

“Good memories.”

He knew her downcast eyes and the subtle smile meant she was remembering too.

ABOUT LILY JAVA

Lily is a freelance writer, blogger, and novelist who writes fiction in numerous genres. When she isn’t writing, Lily raises money for arts and cultural organizations or plans special events in iconic landmarks throughout her beloved hometown: New York City. A resident of Brooklyn, Lily is a true ambivert, who enjoys solitude just as much as she likes meeting and talking with other passionate readers and writers.

“I think every story is a love story of some kind. The whys and wherefores are usually as interesting as who or what you love, but you only know that if you delve deep. So in life, in love, and most definitely on the page, that’s how I like to do it.” –Lily

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AWAKENED: THE ORACLE CHRONICLES BOOK ONE BY MONI BOYCE

AWAKENED: THE ORACLE CHRONICLES BOOK ONE BY MONI BOYCE

Secret lineage, a ruthless vampire, and forbidden love.

Willow Stevens dreams of stardom are eclipsed by the real nightmares of a sinister man haunting her dreams. Unbeknownst to her, Eli Walker, her hot but snobbish co-worker, may know the reason nightmares plague her, but their history shows he is more prone to reject her, than help her. 

Then Willow passes out at work only to wake in Eli’s apartment. There she has her chance to learn more about her heritage. But, knowing why the vampire king stalks her doesn’t make the nightmares disappear. If anything, they become more real as she now faces off against a slew of creatures she’d always believed were myth. 

That Eli is one of those creatures is just her luck. Secret witch guild or not, his natural ways are casting spells her heart can’t escape. As a Protector his only focus should be her safety. Anything else is forbidden. He plans to stay in task, but some women break a man, or tempt him to break the rules. 

Can Eli keep Willow alive and safe from the vampires long enough for her to grow her own powers or will both cast aside rules for a reckless passion that will only lead to danger?

AWAKENED is the first installment in The Oracle Chronicles series. This interracial, paranormal romance is a great mix of magic, adventure.

**This book is part of a series and ends in a cliffhanger**

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EXCERPT

Sleep was pulling and tugging at every part of her physically and mentally. The long yawn that left her mouth made her shake her head. The minute she hit the mattress she was asleep in seconds.

Where am I?

When the thought entered her mind she knew she was dreaming, but wherever she was, she’d never been there before. She looked down at her body and saw she was still wearing the bathrobe. A chill crept up her spine because this felt eerily real. In any other dream she wore a random outfit. The hallway was massive, like she was in a palace. Her bare feet made no sound as she tiptoed down the corridor, frightened she would encounter someone. This place had an ominous feeling. She shouldn’t be here.

“Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.” The whispered words did nothing, because she remained in the dream or whatever it was.

A large doorway loomed at the end of the hall. The door was slightly ajar. Against her better judgment she crept towards it. 

What am I doing? Why am I going to investigate? I should head in the other direction.

Despite the screaming thoughts in her brain she proceeded to the door, frantically looking around for anyone or anything that might lurk in the shadows. The sliver of an opening was enough for her to press her eye to and attempt to look around without being caught. It was a bedroom. There were floor to ceiling windows on the far side of the room. There must have been a balcony or terrace situated outside because the flimsy, gauzy curtains billowed out from the windows, caught by a breeze. In the dimness she could barely make out a sleeping form in the cavernous bed. The room seemed devoid of anything else, save a large armoire.

Something made her crack the door open and walk inside.

What are you doing you crazy person? Go back. Get out of here.

Still she moved closer, her curiosity carrying her closer and closer. Seconds later, she stood on the stairs that led up to the bed. Her hand and arm shook as she reached out to touch the shoulder of the sleeping form that had their back to her. 

“Who’s there?” 

His sinister voice froze her in place. The hairs all over her body stood on end. This was Killian’s bedroom. He rolled over and sat up. The covers slipped down revealing his naked chest. His green eyes scanned the darkened chamber. She was sure his vampire sight allowed him to see just fine despite the lack of light. The crazy thing was, he seemed to look right through her like she wasn’t even there. She waved her hand in front of his face.

“You can’t see me?”

His eyes continued to search the room. While she was definitely dumbstruck that she was invisible to him, her mind chose that moment to have a stupid thought. 

If he’s a vampire why isn’t he sleeping in a coffin or underground?

She wanted to kick herself.

Really? Right now is not the time for this.

“I can smell the witch on you, Willow.” His nostrils flared. 

Her body went rigid with terror. 

He knows I’m here.

The derision in his statement made her wonder if he knew she was staying at the Walker Coven. After the attack he already knew she traveled with witches.

“I will find you.” He sounded so sure she swallowed to keep from choking and clutched her throat feeling like he was strangling her.

Wake up!

Her eyes flew open, and she took in a deep, much needed breath before she sat up and looked around the beige and white, eighteenth century bedroom she occupied at the coven and sighed.

ALSO AVAILABLE

ENLIGHTENED (BOOK TWO)

COMING SOON – SEPTEMBER 24

EMPOWERED (BOOK THREE)

ABOUT MONI BOYCE

Moni Boyce is a writer, filmmaker, poet and author of contemporary and paranormal romance novels. She spent the last fifteen years working in the film industry and now creates characters of her own and brings them to life on the page. Moni has ghostwritten romance novellas and novels for over a year now and decided to put some of her own creations out in the world. She considers herself a bookworm, film buff, foodie, music lover and an avid world traveler having visited 32 countries and counting. She lives a bit of a nomadic life, but considers Los Angeles home. Which is the subject of her first travel book: Greater Than A Tourist – Los Angeles, California: 50 Travel Tips From A Local.

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New Release: Avoiding Matthew by Caroline Bell Foster

AVOIDING MATTHEW BY CAROLINE BELL FOSTER

A kiss. A promise. A mistake. 

Lacy Dawson would rather spend her days experimenting with brownie recipes and trying on wedding dresses, than go on yet another secret mission to save her country. She needed a way out and found it.

Deaf, Special Operative Matthew Edwards, stumbled across Lacy where she wasn’t supposed to be, while on an enforced vacation.

They’d never been able to stifle their sexual attraction and indulged every time their paths crossed. However, Matthew knew Lacy was working a dangerous mission outside of the bureau. But what? She was too soft and needed protecting from herself. 

Lacy’s secrets take her from America to Russia, to England, all the while with Matthew hot on her heels. 

How could she avoid Matthew? Did she want to?

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EXCERPT

Lacy pressed the gas and the car surged forward. A powerful engine under the guise of a rusty exterior. With one hand she managed to button up three buttons on her shirt, before seeing Matthew in the middle of the road, pointing a gun at her.

 No doubt it would be her gun, she thought, pursing her lips.

 Frowning deeply and knowing he would move, she kept going. Flooring the gas pedal.

 She did up another button.

 His hair was shorter than the last time she had seen him, she thought, noticing the burnished red being picked up by her headlights. She went full beam.

 He didn’t squint as she thought he would.

 She watched as he spread his legs wider, aiming the gun at her head and she narrowed her eyes driving faster. He would move. 

 Please move.

 Move!

 Move damn it!

 He didn’t.

 Lacy gasped, skidded out of control for a split second before pulling up the handbrake, gripping the steering wheel and spinning the car in the opposite direction.

 Matthew was lying motionless on his side in the middle of the road.

 “You idiot!” Lacy yelled frantically, coming to a stop and storming out of the car.

 Matthew had hit the hood hard, bumped up the windscreen to slide off the side. He’d frightened the life out of her. She watched as he lifted his head, shook it once then twice, before rolling over and hauling himself up.

 She catalogued his slow movements. He’d be sore in the morning, but otherwise, he was okay she thought charitably. Stupid man.

 “Matthew?!” Lacy yelled from a safe distance. If Matthew caught her now he would want answers. She wasn’t giving him, or anyone else answers, and that included their mutual employer.

 “You hit me!” Matthew charged.

 “You shouldn’t have been in the middle of the road!” Lacy shot back.

 “You’re fucking crazy,” he wiped his nose with his arm, “do you know that? You could have killed me!”

 “Running you over is not the way I plan to kill you.” She answered, noticing his small but gaining steps. She edged to the door.

 “Oh yeah,” he smirked, he couldn’t see much of her, what with the headlights trained his way, but he could see enough. She’d buttoned her shirt up wrong and hadn’t got to the top buttons yet. He could see the golden slope of her breasts. Breasts he had held in his hands not half an hour ago. “And how do you plan to kill me?” he asked conversationally.She didn’t answer but was looking down at her phone in her hand before throwing it into the car. 

 “I’ll tell you another time,” she advised on a laugh. “Duty calls.” She told him, getting into her small car.

 Matthew jogged towards her vehicle, but she was already driving off. Matthew watched her go with a smirk and the biggest hard-on he’d had in half an hour.

 When she was at a reasonable distance, she stopped.

 Matthew waited with his arms crossed over his chest.

 “Have a hot shower babe!” she yelled at him on a laugh, before driving off.

 Matthew laughed and laughed even harder as he picked her gun from the asphalt. She’d be back for it, he knew.

 Until next time sweetheart, he thought with a smirk.

CAROLINE BELL FOSTER IS GIVING AWAY A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

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ABOUT CAROLINE BELL FOSTER

Caroline Bell Foster is an internationally bestselling, multi-award-winning British author of diverse romantic fiction. She is named as one of the most influential people in culture & entertainment in the East Midlands and also listed in the Top 100 Most Influential Creatives.

Caroline spent her formative years in the Caribbean, where her thirst for exploring other cultures began. Ever the adventurer, she bought her first pair of high heels in Toronto and traded her pink sunglasses for a bus ride in the Rift Valley, Kenya at 18.

With themes of substance, Caroline’s latest novels’ defy convention and celebrate modern day Britain with several titles set primarily in the East Midlands, where she shares her love for the three main cities and the surrounding ‘shires’ with her readers. 

Caroline has come full circle and lives in Nottingham, England just twelve miles from where she was born. Married to her college sweetheart husband, David, they have two children and they are all ruled over by 17 year-old, rescue cat Naomi ‘Nay Nay Boo’.

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New release: Volatile by Avylinn Winter

Volatile

Second Edition

Chris Sinclair fades under a dark cloud after losing his mother to cancer. On the cusp of adulthood, he doesn’t know where he should go or how to get there. But watching life pass him by was never the plan, and when he is forced to attend a concert in an attempt to coax him out of his shell, he discovers that life might have more to offer. 

Dante Heron holds the audience between his delicate bow and the tips of his fingers. He plays the violin as if every heart is his to command, but the discipline needed to perfect his skills has left him with nothing to spare. He’s a fire that burns too bright or not at all—unpredictable and demanding.

When Chris is unexpectedly offered a job to travel around Europe as Dante’s assistant, or ‘friend’, he surprises himself by accepting. Their journey barely starts before Chris realizes he’s in over his head. Every step along the way is fraught with tension, and the farther they go, the closer they veer to a breaking point. 

Invisible strings are at play, stitched into Dante’s life by those who should have taught him how to love. Perhaps Chris is right to be afraid, but sometimes, what you fear the most is what you can’t afford to lose.

This story has been published previously in another version. This second edition includes material from the companion short story, Magnetic, and is extensively rewritten and expanded.

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New Release: Temptation by Chiquita Dennie


TEMPTATION BY CHIQUITA DENNIE

Age ain’t nothing but a number.

Gabriel McCollough is the star basketball coach, Top draft pick that played in one season and retired from the game of basketball from a injury and the twenty-five-year-old alpha male every young woman in town can’t help but like.

Desiree Spence is a good teacher, a good person, a quiet, reserved soul, but a chance meeting with a handsome coach, ten years her junior, tests her limits and stirs up a controversy she could’ve ever anticipated.

He wants her. She wants him. Everyone in their lives is against their relationship.

Will they give into societal pressures or follow their hearts’ desires?

Note: Chiquita writes stories with explicit language and adult content.

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EXCERPT

Prologue: Desiree

“Do you, Desiree Spence, take Gabriel McCullough to be your lawfully-wedded husband?” the pastor asked. He looked between Gabriel and me as we stared into each other’s eyes. Gabriel’s touch was reassuring; his eyes alone seemed to undress me, as though it were just the two of us standing there. 

That was the moment we’d been waiting for. After multiple obstacles and breakups, I realized I needed to put myself first and not let other factors define my happiness. Gabriel showed no signs of hesitation in marrying me, and I appreciated his strength and motivation. 

Over the past year, I’d taken a new job at East High School after leaving my old job as a substitute teacher. I’d dealt with David’s betrayal and getting fired. My family stood by me—even though my father wanted to kick his ass. Hearing the gossip around town helped my decision to start over in a new townand make new memories. What I didn’t expect was to encounter an overwhelmingforce that turned my life upside down—thissmooth, charismatic charmer with rich,milk-chocolate skin and dimples, with a small scar next to his mouth. Some people might have been put off by it, but in a weird way, it made him even sexier to me. Standing tall, at around 6’3”, he had broad shoulders and thick, muscular arms that brought me comfort every night in bed—not to mention Gabriel’s soft, oval, dark-browneyes that hadme melting in the palms of his hands. I loved climbing onto him every chance I got. Feeling his hands running up anddown my back brought chills to my spine. 

We waited before having sex again until the wedding night. It was Gabriel’s idea, and after the shock wore off, I remembered he always put my needs above his own. 

David could never compare to Gabriel; many times, David came off as selfish, making plans that revolved around his own needs. He liked to show off to our mutual friends and make himself seem bigger and more important than anyone else. I could count on my one hand how many times he got involved in the community.

After several nights of tossing and turning and yearning to have Gabriel by my side, I couldn’t wait to get him alone and try something new. The church we picked out was beautiful, with its fine crystal-and-gold window trimming. Flowers adorned each row, and thanks to the high ceiling, the church choir sounded exquisite as they performed one of my favorite songs, Tamia’s “Spend My Life with You”.

“Baby, you, all right?” Gabriel asked and squeezed my hands tighter to pull me out of my trance. 

A part of me felt nervous; my stomach was doing somersaults and my hands were sweaty; I was about to become someone’s wife. I looked around the room at my family, and my best friend, Sidney, as she rocked her newborn baby and my goddaughter, Coco, to sleep. If I hadn’t listened to Sidney that day and interviewed for the job, I wouldn’t have met my future love, my backbone, best friend, and my weakness. 

“Excuse me, Pastor,what did you say?” I asked as our guests laughed at me for zoning out during my wedding. 

“I asked, do you take Gabriel to be your wedded husband, to have and to hold, through sickness and in health, till death do you part?”

“I do,” I answered, giving Gabriel a coy smile.

“I do,” Gabriel answered huskily.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife, and you may kiss the bride.”

I heard everyone shout and cheer before we even kissed.I caught a glimpse of Gabriel’s mother and sister, whispering back and forth; apparently, his mother was not the least bit interested in what was going on at her son’s wedding. I was amused by her long, sleeveless black dress and black sunglasses. Of course, she dressed like it was a funeral, instead of our wedding day. I was not surprised she showed up—just surprised she didn’t stop the wedding. 

I had a great relationship with his father, grandparents, and friends. His mom thought I was the devil, and she had tried her best to keep us apart—even conspiring with his ex-girlfriend to break us up, and then trying to convince him to play basketball again and quit teaching.

Gabriel lifted my veil and stared into my eyes as the tears slowly slipped down my cheeks. Standing on my tiptoes, I met him halfway, and our mouths sealed our vows. It was a sensual, pulsating kiss that had my juices flowing. I was ready to take him into the bathroom for a quickie.

“I love you, Mrs. McCullough,” he said.

“I love you too, Mr. McCullough.”

He gently wiped the tears traveling down my face.  “How does it feel to marry a man 10 years younger than you, babe?”

“Like I have a lifetime to share new memories—”

The church doors opened, and a familiar voice cut me off. “Desiree!”

“Da—David?” I stuttered, shocked at his interruption. 

ABOUT CHIQUITA DENNIE

Chiquita is an Author and Entrepreneur. Born in Memphis, TN, and currently a Los Angeles CA native. Her background in film/tv has taught and shaped her passion for writing with her debut romance novel Antonio and Sabrina Struck In Love. Favorite genre to write Contemporary Romantic Suspense. Since its debut, fans have embraced the unconventional love story of Sabrina Washington and Antonio De Luca. Amazon Best Seller in Italian, African American Drama,and Multicultral Romance. Check out her other work in Erotic, Paranormal and Women’s Fiction under amazon.com/kekerenee.

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New Release: Trois by Brooklyn Knight

Trois is the exciting conclusion to Brooklyn Knight’s The French Connection series; A BWWM, Multicultural & Interracial Romance. It is currently on sale now in eBook and paperback format.


ABOUT THE BOOK

He has three days to save her…

Dylan Hamilton has waited two years for this day to arrive; the day when Laila Renaud will become his wife. But the morning after his nuptials, he awakens, drugged and confused, only to discover that she has been snatched from his bed. And according to the man who has taken her, he has a limited amount of time to get her back. The clock is ticking… When Stefan Miller finds three Italian gangsters sitting in his suite the morning after Dylan’s wedding, it’s confirmation that his worst fears have come true. His brother’s antics have finally caught up with him and everyone else, including his love-interest, Sasha, who has been held ransom. Now with the clock counting down, he and Dylan must come up with a plan to save the women from impending doom.

Theoretically, it’s a simple operation: Get Stefan’s brother! Engage Dylan’s mob-boss of a mother! Save the girls!

But the rescue effort doesn’t go as smoothly as planned, especially when the puzzle pieces of Dylan’s traumatic past begin to connect. And especially when Stefan discovers that Sasha has fallen under the curious spell of her green-eyed kidnapper.

Series The French Connection, Book 3 of 3

Publication Date January 4, 2019

Publisher Independently Published

Print Length 260 pages

Genres BWWM Romance, Multicultural & Interracial Romance, Contemporary Romance

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EXCERPT

Dylan
 
A persistent pounding on the door ripped me out of sleep. I stirred, extra groggy from the fact that Laila had interrupted my slumber to talk about my parents and the announcement of her pregnancy. Her questions about my mother and father had angered me, but I’d hidden it from her, but when she’d told me she was carrying our baby, any negative emotions I’d been harboring fled.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

I reached over to the nightstand and gripped the clock, squinting. “It’s five-thirty,” I said to Laila. I reached over to pull her close, but when I realized the place in which she was laying was empty, my eyes popped open.

Bang! Bang!

“Lai…” I called into the darkness. My eyes shot to the en-suite bathroom, noticing the light bleeding from beneath the closed door.

Maybe she’d gotten up to use it. That was what happened to pregnant women. They peed more and they started throwing up. The sound of water running down the drain confirmed my suspicions.

The banging sounded again and I threw my legs over the edge of the bed, holding my head. That was when I realized the banging wasn’t only coming from the door. An aggressive thud was pounding against my brain, and I wondered what it could be from.

I looked at the empty glass on the night table and my brows drew. I turned to the door. “Who is it?” I shouted.

“Open the door, man!”

I stretched the tightness out of my limbs and made my way over, wondering what in the world would have Stefan so uptight and hammering my door down at such an ungodly hour.

“Lai,” I called again.

Still no answer.

I frowned, peeked through the peephole, and then stood back.

Stefan’s voice emitted from the other side of the barrier, and I couldn’t help but notice the alarmed edge in his tone.
I unlatched the door and ripped it open. Without hesitation, Stefan sprang inside, his eyes as wide as saucers.

“Stef, what the hell –”

“Where’s Laila?” He pushed past me and started searching the room as if he was looking for treasure.

I frowned, trying to understand what he was talking about, all the while, trying to ignore the throbbing in my head. “What do you mean, where’s Laila? She’s in the bathroom.”

Without saying anything, Stefan dashed for the bathroom and ripped at the door.

“What the hell are you doing?” I demanded rushing after him, I pulled him by the arm.

He ripped his arm away from me and glared at me. His eyes seeped with anger.

I grimaced. “What’s going on?” I demanded.

“Laila isn’t here,” he spat out.

My neck jerked forward. “Of course she is, she’s in the bathroom,” I reminded him. “She’s pregnant.”

Stefan rolled his eyes towards the ceiling and covered his face with his hands. “Jesus Christ…” he muttered.

“That’s not quite the response I was expecting,” I admitted trying to quell my frustration.

Stefan spun around and gripped me by the shoulders. “Dylan, Laila isn’t here,” he said again. Forcefully.

My body turned rigid. “What the hell do you mean –”

“Your boy, Anthony Moretti, the guy you told me not to worry about…”

He was talking, but I’d already ripped the bathroom door open, almost taking it off the hinges. I looked into the room, my eyes shifting frantically, searching for my wife who, true to Stefan’s word, was nowhere in sight. The only sign of movement was the water spilling from the gold faucet and disappearing down the drain.

My chest heaved and I stumbled until I had no choice but to lean over the basin. Water from the tap splashed onto me. Everything was spinning like it would in a funhouse, yet there was no doubt in my mind, I was in a house of goddamn horrors.

“Where’s my wife?” I gripped my temple before pulling myself away from the basin and storming through the Presidential Suite. I ransacked the place. I tore through every room, tossing the furniture like it was plastic. I marched out to the pool and scanned the area. With each examination, the fact that she was nowhere to be found pushed me further over the edge of sanity.

I screamed her name into the emptiness.

No answer.

Stefan paced the floors next to me. His hand was clasped over his mouth. His eyes were narrow with rage. “He took Sasha too,” he muttered.

I spun around to look at him. “Who took Sasha?”

Stefan turned his eyes on me. “Fucking Moretti.”

I looked at the carpet, trying to make sense of what he was saying. “How do you know this?”

“Because I woke up in the middle of the night to Moretti and his boys in my goddamn room, and that’s when he told me. Silas…”

“What the hell does he have to do with this? I swear to God, I’ll kill him!” I listened, my entire body shaking as Stefan revealed the things Moretti had told him. Then he handed me the man’s business card, his despicable name embossed and emboldened.

Three days.

Moretti was demanding that we came up with two million euros in three days.

An angry breath escaped my nose. “Fine,” I spat. “He wants it in three days, he’ll have it three hours.”

Stefan nodded, realizing that my transferring the funds into Moretti’s account was the only way to put a stop to what was happening.

I raced around the room, looking for my cell phone. After a few minutes, which felt like a few hours, I found it on the floor underneath shards of a vase I’d destroyed.
I instructed SIRI to call my accountant and waited, operating on threads of patience, for him to pick up.

It went to voicemail.

I cursed.

“What happened?” Stefan asked, dry-washing his hands.
I gripped my bottom lip between my teeth and didn’t respond. Instead, I called the number again, this time taking care to punch each digit in manually.

It rang six times before clicking over to voicemail. In a fit of rage, I pitched the phone across the room and took my sweaty hair into my hands.

“Fuck!” My voice almost made the Swarovski chandelier hanging above us to crash to the floor.

Stefan raked his hands through his afro and pulled out his own cell phone.

“Who are you calling?” I asked, shoving my hands on my hips.

“It sure as hell ain’t my investment banker,” he muttered. “The hell if I have two million goddamn euros sitting in an account.” He pressed the phone against his ear. “I’m calling my brother.”

“If you don’t have it, he sure as hell doesn’t,” I spat. My eyes burned and I rubbed them, trying to erase the sensation.
I needed to slow down.

I needed to calm down and think rationally.

Ma belle fille and Sasha had been abducted. I had no idea how it had happened or when. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I couldn’t remember much of what had transpired over the course of maybe three or four hours.

Stefan turned away from me and I listened for a second as he threw a slew of curse words into the cell phone receiver.
I pinched the bridge of my nose, trying to practice my solution-focused mantra, the one I used every day at my firm.

“I need to call Moretti,” I mumbled to myself. My cell phone, now shattered on the ground, would be of no use. I rushed to the landline on Laila’s side of the bed and tried to ignore my heart, crushing inside of my chest. I held the business card Stefan and given me and tried to steady my shaking hands as

I dialed the numbers.

Within seconds, Moretti answered.

I dropped onto the bed and pressed the phone hard against my ear. “Tell me this is a fucking joke!” I shouted into the phone.

“Dylan Hamilton.” The sound of his vocals made me want to spit.

“Where is my goddamn wife?” He’d barely finished his greeting before I was barking the demand. “I swear to God, I’m two seconds away from alerting INTERPOL. They’ll have you apprehended and your ass will be in jail quicker than you can fucking blink!”

“A few things,” Moretti responded casually. “INTERPOL is not a threat to me. Yes, I have been barred from various jurisdictions, but that does not inhibit my movements. Surely, you are aware of this. Secondly, if I were you, I would think long and hard about alerting anybody about anything. Your precious wife and her friend would be dead before the authorities ever caught up with me and my men. And thirdly…” he sighed. “You should practice being less emotional. You are a savvy business tycoon who cuts million-dollar deals by the hour. You, of all people should know that emotion has no place when it comes to business. Let us talk like the adults that we are.”

I gritted my teeth and tried to settle myself as best I could. In some ways he was right. My only concern was getting my wife and Sasha back. If that meant playing Moretti’s sick game, I should at least hear the rules.


Grab your copy of Trois today!


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ABOUT BROOKLYN KNIGHT

Brooklyn Knight is a romance enthusiast who lives in the island of Bermuda and has been writing stories since she was a little girl. Over the years, her gift for designing and bringing characters to life has evolved, and she enjoys creating vivid, memorable characters and unforgettable situations. Her characters are thought-provoking and evocative; and they will draw emotion out of you like water from a well.

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New Release Alert: Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

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A standalone romance novel published by Montlake Romance

By: New York Times Bestselling Authors Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

Release Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2018

SYNOPSIS:

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue.

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new.

But I have no idea how this one is going to end . . .

Hate Notes final paperback cover

Photo/Cover Details: 

Photo Credit:  Tijana Vukovic

Model: Dusan Susnjar

Teasers by: Luna Sol

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To read an excerpt of Hate Notes, click here.

Hate Notes Teaser 2

PURCHASE LINKS:

Add to Goodreads ➜ http://smarturl.it/xys920

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Amazon Audio ➜ https://amzn.to/2zR81AE

Amazon print UK (Currently on sale) ➜ http://hyperurl.co/32k3q7

Please Note: Because Hate Notes is published by Montlake Romance, a division of Amazon, the ebook and paperback will only be available on Amazon. If you are an Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited member, the Hate Notes ebook will be free for both Prime and KU members on release day!

Sign up for Penelope & Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live! ➜ https://www.subscribepage.com/Vi&Penelope

Hate Notes Teaser

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

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Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in two dozen languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over 1.5 million books sold, she is a twenty-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels.

Sign up for Penelope & Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!    https://www.subscribepage.com/Vi&Penelope

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7105545.Penelope_Ward

Other Books From Vi & Penelope:

Co-written Novels

The Rush Series  (2 Book Series)

Rebel Heir (Rush Series Duet #1)Rebel Heir

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JHynHe
iBooks: https://goo.gl/iG6fmD
B&N: http://smarturl.it/ubjd6b
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Rebel Heart (Rush Series Duet #2)Rebel Heart

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iBooks: https://apple.co/2oleXyJ
B&N: http://smarturl.it/ew2ggj
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British Bedmate

(Previously titled: Dear Bridget, I Want You)
Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2I9CSxm
iBooks:  http://smarturl.it/y4x3xi
B&N:  http://smarturl.it/o780mb
Kobo:  http://smarturl.it/kfgc6a

Cocky Bastard

Cocky Bastard

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JIy7HT
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
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Stuck-Up SuitStuck-Up Suit

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iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
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Playboy PilotPlayboy Pilot

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HFAtec
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B&N: bit.ly/2caXPEK
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Mister MoneybagsMister Moneybags

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iBooks: http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq
B&N: http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m
Kobo http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]
By:Vi Keeland & Dylan Scott
Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HGMjVw

Vi’s Standalone Novels 

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Vi’s Upcoming January 2019 Release

Bloggers, sign up here.

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The Naked Truth

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iBooks: http://smarturl.it/3m7isv
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Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2H0XH9p
Audio: https://amzn.to/2uC6fPS
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Sex not Love

Sex, Not Love

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Beautiful Mistake

Beautiful Mistake

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iBooks: http://smarturl.it/20x53a
B&N: http://smarturl.it/n8jey6
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/1btxsz
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]

Egomaniac

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Ktm6r2
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fIsmvC
B&N: http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/azmhq9
Bossman

Bossman

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iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX
B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/29lW19I

The Baller

The Baller

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iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller
B&N: http:// bit.ly/BarnesBaller
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/KoboBaller
Life on Stage series (2 Standalone Books)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]

Throb

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HFxAKy
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986
B&N:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]

Beat

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2jjG23h
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5

MMA Fighter series (3 Standalone Books)

Worth the Fight (MMA Fighter #1)

Worth the Fight

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KoSwmx
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252
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Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-fight
Worth The Chance (MMA figher #2)

Worth the Chance

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rdzGa3
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance
18742801

Worth Forgiving

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JJqtNG
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving
Worth it All (MMA Complete Series)

Worth It All (Complete Fighter Series)

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Fx1g6H

Serials

The Cole Series (2 Book Serial)
Belong to You (Cole #1)

Belong to You

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FzDjLN
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754
B&N:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you
Made for You (Cole #2)

Made for You

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iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Penelope’s Standalone Novels

Love Online Ebook

Love Online

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2obQRa2
iTunes :https://apple.co/2LzO4om
B&N: http://bit.ly/2wfHUQO
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Google Play: http://bit.ly/2ORdVWT
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2LyWzAb
Audible: https://adbl.co/2KAWnMq
Amazon Audio: https://amzn.to/2KF8tEl
Add to Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2LJjHso

Gentleman NineGentleman Nine

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KoRJC5
iBooks: http://bit.ly/2D7K7Qi
Nook: http://bit.ly/2EPuDCn
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2nMeoP3
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2C9ESTm

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Drunk Dial

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rcBbVl
iBooks: http://apple.co/2tq7dRz
Nook: http://bit.ly/2xeEH2H
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ihXnMD
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LzQ2Fg

Mack DaddyMack Daddy

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2regybn
iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj
B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj
Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/r3hv19      
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LhHZxB

RoomHateRoomHate

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rficJw
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7
B&N: http://bit.ly/1PLGnSL
kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JMo306

Stepbrother Dearest

Stepbrother Dearest

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FBxe1G
ITunes: http://bit.ly/YER0mT
B&N: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG
kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JJV90V

Neighbor Dearest

Neighbor Dearest

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JJQPz2
iTunes: http://apple.co/29mC6L8
B&N: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LFzZTn

Jaded and Tyed

Jaded and Tyed (A novelette) 

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Sins of Sevin

Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2I6i3T6
iTunes: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg
B&N: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE   
kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LImsup
Jake Undone (Jake #1)

Jake Undone

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KoQnYd
iTunes: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8
B&N: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6   
kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2uU45v3
Jake Understood (Jake #2)

Jake Understood (Jake #2)

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rbAlZQ
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kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JHWUM0
My Skylar

My Skylar

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Fwe78V
iTunes: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR
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kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2mzqkmn
Gemini

Gemini

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rggfwv
iTunes: http://apple.co/1QTaONj
B&N: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD
kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2zYoXXP

 

New Release Alert: Who We Were by Melissa Collins

Release Blitz for Who We Were by Melissa Collins
A M/M contemporary romance

NOW AVAILABLE!

Amazon – https://mc-author.com/WWW_MC-Amazon
Apple Books – https://mc-author.com/WWW_MC-Apple
Nook – https://mc-author.com/WWW_MC-BN
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Google Play – https://mc-author.com/WWW_MC-Google
*If you read with Apple, Nook, Kobo, or Google Play – this title will be removed from these retailers and going into KU on Sunday, so grab your copy today!

Who We Were…

Two awkward teenagers – the loner and the nerd, trying to find our place in the world. Paired in wood shop, we knew nothing of each other, except that we wanted to know everything. Then one life altering moment changed it all and we were left with shattered dreams and broken hearts.

Who We Are…

Two grown men – braver and smarter than we used to be, trying to heal the damage from that irrevocable moment. Even though the past was behind us, dead and buried long ago, we found it impossible to move on without ripping open the scars of our deep wounds.

With twelve years of unanswered questions fueling our desperate need for the truth, we must figure out if who we were will destroy who we are.

Add to your TBR on Goodreads here.

 

NOW AVAILABLE!

Amazon – https://mc-author.com/WWW_MC-Amazon
Apple Books – https://mc-author.com/WWW_MC-Apple
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Google Play – https://mc-author.com/WWW_MC-Google

Melissa is having a giveaway on Facebook for 2 – $25 Amazon gift cards! Check it out here.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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