Teach Your Heart Release Day Blitz

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Book Title: Teach Your Heart
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 30 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

Some lessons are harder to learn than others…

Doctor O-for-Awesome Owen Bennett is all about fixing broken things. Then the arrival of his orphaned nieces and nephew for twelve weeks causes his workaholic life to plummet into chaos. Hiring the beautiful but unpredictable Gracie Cooper as a live-in nanny might just get him out of a tight spot…or it could seduce him into a reckless affair.

After four years flitting around Europe, waitress/dog-walker/au-pair Gracie Cooper has returned home to New Zealand. Her plans to hang out with her big brother change when Owen offers a perfect solution to her crippling university debt. In spite of her sexy-stick-in-the-mud boss, she’ll spend fun days playing in Bounty Bay’s sand and surf with three cute kids. At summer’s end she’ll follow the sun overseas again.

Gracie and Owen’s opposites-attract connection is so unexpected and powerful that their foundations are rocked. But some things aren’t easy to fix. Some past hurts can’t be run from forever. And the lessons they teach each other risk breaking their hearts.

excerpt

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to wake you,” came his voice from behind the closed drapes.

“I’m awake. I’m awake.”

Parts of her were very awake, so make that three-quarters turned on since a delicious shiver zipped down her spine at the thought of him outside her room. She tugged on her robe, catching a glimpse of herself in the wall mirror.

Ugh.

Resisting the real deal wouldn’t be a problem. Rephrase that—Owen resisting her wouldn’t be a problem. Not sporting frizzy hair like a before photo for a hair-straightening product, her face flushed carnation pink, and a deep pillowcase groove marking her cheek. Dead sexy. Not.

And, oh God—morning breath. Gracie lunged for her handbag and found a packet of mints. She popped one into her mouth and speed-crunched it as she tightened the robe’s belt.

Finally, she yanked the full length drapes open to a bare-footed Owen wearing ancient blue jeans—which, yum, clung to his legs—and a plaid shirt layered over a white tee shirt. His short brown hair stuck up in a dozen different directions, and two days’ worth of stubble covered his jaw. And, yeah, she’d noticed he hadn’t shaved when he’d disappeared off to work yesterday morning.

Gracie slid open the door, and a wave of salt-tinted ocean breeze swept over her. She took a moment to suck a deep lungful down and hoped the fresh air flowing into her room would cool her jets. So to speak. Because even as jaded as Owen looked—and, bless him, it proved he was actually human—she still wanted to grab him by his plaid lapels and kiss the living daylights out of him again.

She tucked her hands under her armpits, just in case, and leaned on the doorframe. “Let me guess…since I’m a former bartender, you’d like me to whip you up a hair of the dog?”

He crinkled his nose. Adorable and hot—so unfair.

“I’m not hungover,” he said.

“My bad. You’re not your usual Barbie Dreamhouse self. Rough night?”

“You could say that.” He scratched his fingernails along his jaw. “But Barbie Dreamhouse?”

“Charlie thinks you look like a Ken doll.”

“Nice. Glad to inform you that I’m not molded from plastic.” His lips curved. “You’re not looking Barbie Dreamhouse yourself this morning. Rough night?”

True, but ouch. “Now that we’ve established I look like Frankenstein’s bride—”

“Never said that. I think you look cute. All rumpled and flushed like you’ve just been”—his gaze dipped to the V-neckline of her robe then jumped up to rest on her mouth—“woken up by some jerk banging on your door.”

Like you’ve just been…banged senseless in the last few minutes. Seriously not helping her control her internal thermostat.

©Tracey Alvarez 2016

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meet the author

USA Today Bestselling author Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand). Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fueled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found with her nose in her e-reader, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

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BOOK BLITZ✰Hard to Regret (Scarlett Bay Book 1) by Kris Pearson

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Book Title: Hard to Regret (Scarlett Bay Book 1)
Author: Kris Pearson
Genre: Sexy Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

Heiress Anna Wynn is hiding a secret – a secret that has blighted half her life and forced her to become an unfulfilled over-achiever. Even preparing for her wealthy family’s summer break in their idyllic New Zealand holiday house, Anna has to be all business and is strung tight as piano wire. Finding her bedroom appropriated by an over-muscled, overbearing, testosterone-soaked tower of annoyance is the final straw.

Dragged up under the callused thumb of his dirt-poor father, Jason Jones regrets his choice of security over his dream. His ambition to work as a freelance photographer has been ruthlessly supressed in favour of setting up his own construction company. He has a pre-Christmas deadline looming on the current project, and the last thing he needs is constant surveillance by the owner’s sharp-tongued daughter – or the lure of her hot body and big blue eyes.

Forced to endure each other’s company in the small-town beach house, mutual frustration and undeniable chemistry pull Anna and Jason together for a few stolen days. Enemies become lovers – but how long before secrets are revealed that will change everything?

HARD TO REGRET is the first in Kris Pearson’s new Scarlet Bay series of sexy, funny and heart-warming romance novels and is intended for mature readers.

excerpt

CHAPTER 1 – SAUSAGE ON A FORK

“I’ll do it,” Annaliese Wynn said, heaving her travel bag from the back of the taxi to save the overweight driver waddling out. Finally she’d be swapping her stilettos for summer sandals and solitude, and hopefully winding down from the everlasting treadmill of her life.

As she listened to the waves crashing on the shore of Scarlet Bay, she drew a deep satisfied breath and discovered the delicious aroma of grilling meat wafting on the warm breeze. She glanced at her watch. Someone was barbecuing. At ten-fifteen? She inhaled again. Her tummy gave an unladylike gurgle. The barbecue smelled amazing after her hasty early breakfast of a fresh pear.

Sighing, Anna clicked the bag handle up into place and rolled the case over the cracked concrete path to the old shorefront cottage. This would be her last holiday here before it was demolished to make way for a new, much larger dwelling for her extended family to share. She unlocked the front door and stepped back into her childhood. Faded Indian cotton curtains, Great-aunt Emily’s fussy watercolours (also fading) and… the back door at the end of the hallway swinging wide open!

She stood stock-still, like a cat transfixed by a bird that had just landed unwisely close. Loud masculine laughter billowed in and echoed around the high-ceilinged space.

“Shit, no…” someone said.

“Totally crappy luck,” another man agreed.

“And probably a spoiled little bitch,” a deeper voice added.

Anna released her bag, set down her laptop, and crept the length of the old house on tiptoe, trying to stop her high heels from echoing on the varnished hardwood floor. “What do you think you’re doing?” she demanded, bursting through the doorway.

Four pairs of eyes swivelled in her direction. Three men stuffed meat into their mouths and chewed.

“Ms Wynn?” the deeper voice asked. The attached male raised a can of cola and took a leisurely swig. Dark eyes locked with hers over the shining can, and she watched his tanned throat constrict as he swallowed. He lowered the drink and wiped the back of his hand over his mouth.

“Anna Wynn. Why are you all here?”

Plainly they were the crew from the almost finished house through the hedge. Why weren’t they there instead? And how had they opened the door?

Three sets of teeth continued to chomp. Three pairs of eyes shifted away. The other man set the cola can down with no haste, and stood.

Up and up.

Anna had to tilt her head back to keep eye contact.

He thrust out a large hand as though he expected her to shake it. “Jason Jones,” he said.

He blocked out the light, stole her breath, irritated her far beyond anything that was reasonable.

“We’re having breakfast,” he added in that gritty velvet voice that had queried her name with unmistakeable amusement.

She inspected his fingers for cleanliness before extending her own. His boots were caked with mud, his long, powerful legs were smeared with dust, his khaki shorts had the zipper at half-mast, and there was sawdust all over his garish orange visibility vest. She tried not to ogle his arms and shoulders.

“Breakfast?” She found her fingers enclosed in firm warmth and then held captive.

“Or brunch, if you want to be fancy.” A faint grin teased the corners of his mouth.

Suddenly Anna’s choice of high heels and tailored black silk crepe pants felt ridiculous. Why hadn’t she worn jeans?

She tried to retrieve her hand and he tightened his grip, allowing her no escape.

“We’re on the job by seven in weather like this, and we work hard. We’re ready for more than a sandwich by now. You want a sausage?” Without waiting for a reply he reached sideways with his other hand, speared one from the barbecue on a bent and tarnished fork, and passed it to her.

Of course she didn’t. Nothing was further from her mind. A sausage with a gang of rough builders who had no business intruding into the house? From this over-muscled, overbearing, testosterone-soaked tower of annoyance?

Her traitorous stomach chose that moment to give another loud gurgle, and she gave in to the inevitable, trying to accept the fork without touching him any further. She took a cautious nibble and closed her eyes. She possibly moaned. God, it was good!

“Ketchup with that?” the velvet voice asked, stroking every one of Anna’s nerve endings exactly the wrong way.

Snorts of amusement exploded from the other men and he threw a sharp, “Shut it,” in their direction. She opened her mouth wider and took a more ravenous bite.

“Go for it…” the youngest man encouraged.

“Shut it, Hoolie,” Jason Jones repeated. He turned to Anna. “Doesn’t take much to amuse someone with no brain.”

Anna glared at them all. The youngest one grinned from ear to ear, the other two tried to stifle their laughter, and even Jason Jones had the faintest twitch at one end of his surprisingly gorgeous mouth. No prizes for guessing what they were imagining.

She managed to swallow the mouthful without choking, took a step backward in case it made him look less impressive, and pinned him with her best ‘you’re-an-insect-beneath-my-notice’ gaze. “And I’ll ask you again; what exactly are you doing here? This is my family’s home. I’m staying to do some work for a few days, and I’m not expecting, or wanting, company.”

Jason Jones folded his tall frame down onto a battered white plastic chair and glanced toward the open back porch of the old house. “I arranged with your uncle for us to use the… facilities… there. But some big rocks slid down the hill and bashed the wall in a couple of days ago.”

“No more facilities,” young Hoolie explained helpfully. “No bog, broken basin, only half a shower.”

Anna flicked her gaze into the damaged porch, bared her teeth, and took another bite of sausage – a really savage one – while looking Hoolie in the eye. Her action had the intended effect, and she had the great satisfaction of seeing him flinch.

She tried to suppress a smirk as she chewed and swallowed. “You’ll have to get a Porta-loo then. I don’t want you in the house. How did you get the door open?”

A big hand rummaged in the pocket of the khaki shorts. Anna glimpsed lime green undies through the gaping fly. Lime green? Did the man have no class?

He pulled out a key on a twist of string. James’s key. The little white lighthouse on the end of the string was a souvenir she’d given him on a long-ago holiday.

He swung it to and fro. “Your uncle gave me this in case I wanted to stay over. There have been burglaries from the other house. Boxes of tiles, appliances – and I don’t need any here at mine.”

Why don’t they lock things up more securely?

“So you’re the foreman?”

“Project manager.”

This brought a ‘yeah, right’ from Hoolie, and a tightening of Jason Jones’ features. He glared at the offender and said, “Hoolie’s not worth meeting until he grows up a bit, but the rest of my men are.” He waved an arm in their direction, and the sun glinted on gilded skin and bulging muscle. “Brett Lambourne and Eric Hansen.”

“Pleased to meetcha,” the younger Brett said.

“Yeah, gidday,” balding Eric added, wiping his lips with a crumpled handkerchief and stuffing it back into the pocket of his shorts.

“But…” Anna said. This was absolutely not what she wanted. She shook her head. “I don’t want to share my bathroom with a crowd of men.”

Jason leaned back in the chair and drew a deep breath. Anna found it hard not to stare as his chest expanded, and saw from the set of his jaw that he was making quite an effort to stay polite.

“There are only four of us,” he said in a tone suitable for explaining quantum physics to young children. “And I’ve been telling them to take their boots off. But okay, I’ll order a Porta-loo. I can’t guarantee they’ll have it here before Monday though. Not with the big surf carnival over the weekend.”

“Every bog’ll be busy,” Hoolie contributed.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” Annaliese snapped. She took the last bite of sausage and wondered what to do with the fork. A big hand on the end of a long arm closed around it and she let go in a hurry. “Thank you,” she added, a few seconds too late, turning and flouncing back into the house.

“Yep – spoiled little bitch”, she heard Jason say just before the door swung closed. So it was her he’d been talking about as she arrived? He’d already known she’d be staying? She nearly whirled around and gave him another earful, but what would that achieve? It wouldn’t do to make an enemy of the builder. Keeping out of each other’s way would surely be the wisest course.

She inspected the bathroom as she returned down the hallway. Men! Four empty toilet roll inners sat along the windowsill… the tap wasn’t properly turned off… and very dirty handprints decorated the pale blue towel.

Oh well, at least they washed their hands to some degree, and from the lack of mud on the floor they were indeed kicking their filthy boots off before they came inside.

She tried to be pleased about that as she collected her bag and pulled it into the front bedroom – the one with the best and biggest bed.

Someone had been sleeping in it. The cover had been tossed back and the pillow held the unmistakable indentation of a head. A half empty water bottle and an electric shaver sat on the chest beside it.

Jason Jones’ firm, clean-shaven jaw came immediately to mind, and for some reason his gorgeous mouth, and she just knew it would be him. Turning on her heel she clattered back along the hallway and flung the door open again.

“Who’s been sleeping in my bed?” she demanded.

“Big bad bear?” Hoolie suggested.

Brett Lambourne grinned. “Don’t you know your fairy stories, boy? Big bad wolf.”

Eric Hansen threw back his head and managed a passable howl.

“Hell,” Jason muttered. “It was the longest bed.”

“Well, will you move please? It sounded like you knew the ‘spoiled little bitch’ was coming to stay.”

Jason drew another of those devastating, chest-expanding breaths. “Your hearing’s a bit too good, eh? Sorry about that.” He set his can of cola aside and stood. Anna was almost willing to believe he was blushing under his tan.

“Move your stuff out at the end of the day,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to stop you working.” This time she slammed the door behind her so she wouldn’t hear any more smart comments.

meet the author

New Zealander Kris Pearson was born to write – at twelve she completed her autobiography – an easy subject which required no research. It filled a whole school exercise book!

Her first proper job was as a radio copywriter. After living in Italy and London she returned to the capital city of Wellington and worked in TV, radio again, several advertising agencies, and then spent many happy years as a retail ad manager. Totally hooked on fabrics, she followed this by going into business with her husband as a curtain installer. It was finally time to write fiction. In sixteen years she hasn’t fallen off her ladder once through drifting off into romantic dreams.

She writes sizzling contemporary romance, pure and simple. Well, maybe not that pure! They’re sexy stories about modern couples who fall in love and into bed along the way, just like real people do. She’s the author of fourteen novels, three of which were finalists in New Zealand’s Clendon Award. Four have been translated into Spanish.

The most widely distributed is ‘The Boat Builder’s Bed’. She gave away more than two million ebook copies of this to kick-start sales of all her others. Did it work? Beyond her wildest dreams. See them all on her website – http://www.krispearson.com

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Disremembered by S.A. Ellis Book Promo

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Her father was supposed to pay.
She was supposed to die.
It was supposed to stay buried.

Nine months after Faith Roden was kidnapped, beaten and left for dead, she’s physically recovered. But she remembers nothing of her abduction, and is grappling with several other gaps in her life left by trauma-induced amnesia.

Headstrong Faith is determined to move on and ignore the things she’s lost, throwing herself into her career as a journalist and diving into a new romance. Yet, when violent nightmares begin to haunt her and a trickle of memories becomes a flood, she has no choice but to confront a past that jeopardizes her future.

This book contains adult material.

 

You will find it on Amazon and Goodreads.

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US of Books~A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton~Wisconsin

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State of Wisconsin

A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton

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Review by Teri at Sportochick’s Musings: http://sportochicksmusings.blogspot.com/

Synopsis:

One unremarkable June morning, Alice Goodwin is, as usual, trying to keep in check both her temper and her tendency to blame herself for her family’s shortcomings. When the Goodwins took over the last dairy farm in the small Midwestern town of Prairie Center, they envisioned their home a self-made paradise. But these days, as Alice is all too aware, her elder daughter Emma is prone to inexplicable fits of rage, her husband Howard distrusts her maternal competence, and Prairie Center’s tight-knit suburban community shows no signs of warming to “those hippies who think they can run a farm.”

A loner by nature, Alice is torn between a yearning for solitude coupled with a deep need to be at the center of a perfect family. On this particular day, Emma has started the morning with a violent tantrum, her little sister Claire is eating pennies, and it is Alice’s turn to watch her neighbor’s two small girls as well as her own. She absentmindedly steals a minute alone that quickly becomes ten: time enough for a devastating accident to occur. Her neighbor’s daughter Lizzy drowns in the farm’s pond, and Alice – whose own volatility and unmasked directness keep her on the outskirts of acceptance – becomes the perfect scapegoat. At the same time, a seemingly trivial incident from Alice’s past resurfaces and takes on gigantic proportions, leading the Goodwins far from Lizzy’s death into a maze of guilt and doubt culminating in a harrowing court trial and the family’s shattering downfall.

Review:

An outstanding depiction of dairy farm life in Wisconsin. I am from the state of Wisconsin and was curious of how this book could represent our fine dairy state. I can say that the descriptions and the feel of Howard’s daily farm life run true for dairy farmers. I was raised on a dairy farm and slipped back into my childhood where I milked cows by hand. I could smell the farm smells she was describing and I felt nostalgic for a time in the past that many people will never know or understand. To this day I have friends who are farmers who feel like Howard. Who yearn to smell the dirt, till the soil and have mannerisms much like him.

In my experience there is also a small mindedness in small towns as well and this story shows how this can effect and destroy families. During the course of this book the story brought up old feelings from the past and it was a hard read for me. I will say that it is well written and speaks truth of subjects most don’t talk about. It shows how some people who have been wronged have a huge capacity of forgiveness and that some can’t or never will forgive themselves or others.

This book is about being afraid to say the truth or not wanting to hear the truth. Even more it’s about standing behind someone even if you don’t know the truth. It shows that love can be taken for granted, felt but never shared and it can be renewed over time through the fires of life. That sometimes the people you fear the most are the ones with the saddest story.

Though there were times I felt it got a tad slow the overall book is very emotional and in the end I was still wondering “is this considered a happy ending” because all I could do was cry for Howard, Alice and Theresa.

I give this 4 STARS and recommend it for all readers of fiction.

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US of Books-Geek by Katherine Dunn~Oregon

Entertainment Weekly chose Geek Love for Oregon. The magazine said, “A twisted couple populate their freak show with their own children in this modern classic. It’s weird, carnivalesque, and unnerving: not unlike Portland on a given night. Need more? Kurt Cobain was a fan.”

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Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, narrated by Christina Moore, is a family saga of love, obsession, and revenge among the freaks at the Binewski traveling show. In many ways this novel reminded me of American Horror Story: Freak Show. Al and Lil populate the show with their own children, those they have disfigured by ensuring Lil drinks and subjects herself to all manner of poisons, insecticides, and other torturous devices. Their efforts to save the traveling carnival from bankruptcy requires more than traditional dwarfs and extraordinarily tall men and women. The Binewskis have concluded that the rise of basketball and other entertainments have made these traditional freak show participants obsolete.

Much of this is narrated by Oly, an albino hunchback, as she recalls the past and her brother Arturo the Aquaboy, who became so consumed with jealousy, that he would do anything to be on top and take over the carnival from his father. Oly, despite being a hunchback, is on the outside of the clan, and she’s treated more as a servant than a family member, even by the brother she loves beyond all reason. While her relatives seek to get by under Arturo’s reign or escape it, Oly seeks to bind herself to him in the only way she knows.

Dunn’s novel examines the love inside an family of freaks, but it really could apply to any family, especially if jealousies are allowed free reign and grow out of control. What’s interesting is how much Oly is unlike her family in that she sees the “norms” as not something to be despised, but as something that could be loved. Her transformation and distance from her family is complete later on in the novel when she gives birth.

Christina Moore does an admirable job with the narration, and it is easy to follow each character. However, the setting in Oregon is not front-and-center and many times, readers will forget that the carnival is even in the state, particularly when other cities in other states are more frequently mentioned like Spokane. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, narrated by Christina Moore, takes a while to get used to, and there is some very strong language and sexual content that some readers would not prefer. Overall, the novel was just plain odd.

RATING: Tercet

About the Author:

Katherine Dunn is best known for her beloved novel “Geek Love,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1989. She is also the author of the novels “Attic” (1970) and “Truck” (1971). A fourth novel, entitled “The Cut Man,” has been in-progress for decades and was purportedly scheduled for a September 2008 release.

Dunn is also known as a prolific sports journalist in the field of boxing, and has written several articles on the subject.