Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall #bookblitz

Pearl
Deirdre Riordan Hall
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: March 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Run fast and run far, unless you’re fearless. Unless you’re courageous. I’m not, but I’d like to be.

Pearl Jaeger is seventeen and homeless after drugs, poverty, and addiction unraveled the life she shared with JJ, her formerly glamorous rock star mother.

This moment of happiness is fleeting; someone will take it from me.

When tragedy brings a chance to start over at an elite boarding school, she doesn’t hesitate. Yet the only salvation comes from an art teacher as troubled as Pearl, and she faces the stark reality that what she thought she wanted isn’t straightforward.

I trace the outline of my reflection in a window. I am no more than a replica of my mother. This is not the self-portrait I want to paint.

Through the friendships she forms at school—especially with Grant, a boy who shows Pearl what it means to trust and forgive—she begins to see a path not defined by her past. But when confronted with the decision to be courageous or to take the easy way forged by her mother’s failures, which direction will Pearl choose?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Chapter 2

Sweat and tears intermingle on my mother’s face, and a cut bleeds slowly from the side of her eye.

“Pearl, we gotta get out of here.”

I’ve heard this before. We’ve had to leave abruptly from other situations: lousy boyfriends, landlords she owed rent to, roommates she’d stolen from, and the police.

As the stream of blood reaches her T-shirt, she clutches her side. Her face crumples in agony. “I think I have a broken rib. He hit me with his guitar.”

Everything about this is wrong. I want to wish it all away—go somewhere simple, clean, and faraway, like Antarctica. I’d prefer the cold to the fevered flush of fear running through me. I get to my feet and grab a pair of stretch pants from the floor. I help her into them. As she leans on me, we slowly make our way to the door. In the hall, she falls against the door frame of the bathroom.

“Come on, Mom, let’s go.” She probably needs an ambulance, but who knows how much crack—and whatever else—she has in her system, so I dare not get the police involved. We’ve gone that route, and I don’t want to see her arrested again.

“Wait. Get my purse and some clothing. Pack me a bag. No, never mind. I’ll do it,” she says hoarsely. She gets to her hands and knees and crawls back to her room.

“Mom, come on, let’s just go. I can come back for whatever you need later.” I grip my hands together, my fingers blanching as I hold on tight.

“I have to get a few things,” she whimpers.

“I’ll get them. Tell me what you need,” I say insistently, my vision starting to blur.

She shakes her head, continuing. She wants to get the crack pipe and other drug paraphernalia she has hidden in her room. This scenario is uncomfortably familiar.

I shift from foot to foot. My stomach clenches with anxiety. What if Darren comes back?

Part of me fears what other damage he might do, but the bitter part is that if he comes back with drugs, she’ll do them instead of getting medical attention.

“Mom, let’s go.”

She must have used the bed to pull herself up and stand, because she emerges, staggering on her feet, dragging a duffel bag. “Why don’t you grab some clothes too?”

I scoot past her and stuff a couple of outfits, underwear, and Vogue into my backpack. I scrounged whatever I could this past month, saving every penny, even the ones I found on the ground, to get the latest issue, my lone extravagance. “Ready?” I say when I step back into the hall.

She nods. Step-by-step, we make our way down two of the three flights. She droops on the top of the last one.

“Do you have any money?” she asks.

“No,” I answer honestly. I tried getting a job, but no luck. I com- plain that I have a young face, and well-meaning adults assure me that when I get older, I’ll be thankful. It doesn’t help me now. I inherited my mother’s youthful look, the one she had before drugs and alcohol took their toll. But I’m already taller than her, five seven to her five three, my father’s genes. I’m slender, but that probably has more to do with the scarcity of a hot meal than anything else. She occasionally reminds me I have my father’s gray eyes and his height, like my DNA insults her.

She mumbles something about going to the bank, but all she’ll find are overdraft fees and denied credit. I’m afraid to tell her.

“Go out to the street. See if you recognize anyone. Tell them I need to see them,” she orders me.

I bound down the stairs. It takes my eyes a moment to adjust as I emerge into the bright summer sun. I look up and down the sidewalk. A homeless guy perches on top of a newspaper box, and a kid rides by on a bike. Finding someone my mother knows is a sketchy task. I retreat inside.

“I didn’t see anyone.”

“Pearl, I need to get out of here.” Her cheek rests against the grimy wall, and the gash on the other side still bleeds, staining her yellow T-shirt crimson around the shoulder. “Go across the street to the apartment with the Christmas wreath on the door. Knock six times.” She lifts her knuckles and beats them, weakly, on the floor. “Ask for Pauline.”

The building across the street houses a pimp and an assortment of women who emerge, raccoon-like, around dusk. I’ve met Pauline, long limbed, with scars on her arms that she doesn’t try to hide. My mother has gone over there a few times and returned with fifty, and sometimes a hundred, bucks.

I knock as directed. Vinyl blinds part, and a pair of bloodshot eyes appear. The door opens a crack. I seize the opportunity.

“I’m looking for Pauline. My mom, across the street, needs to see her. It’s urgent.”

The door opens just enough to let me slip through into a dark foyer. Something like cinnamon hangs in the air, but mostly I smell cigarettes and defeat.

A woman about my mom’s age, wearing a silk robe, leads me back to the kitchen.

“Midge. Says she’s lookin’ for Pauline. Somethin’ about her mother across the street.”

A giant of a man sits at the kitchen table, playing solitaire. He looks up at me and licks his lips. “Whatcha looking for, sweetheart?”

I swallow hard. Leave it to my mother to put me in this situation. I draw a breath. “Janet, across the street, Pauline’s friend, she just needs her help real quick.” I sense that if I bring any word of trouble to the table, they’ll escort me to the door.

Midge looks at me full on, his eyes simultaneously hungry and concerned. Finally, he jerks his head toward the lady who answered the door. She gives me a sharp look before exiting.

“Pauline will be right with you,” he says gruffly before returning to his game.

With the toe of my boot, I trace the lines between the tiles on the floor like a maze, trying to find a way out of feeling vulnerable and helpless.

I hear Pauline’s smoky voice from down the hall before she appears. She greets me with her arms opened wide. Even though we’ve only met a few times, a long embrace is her customary greeting.

As we exit the shady building, Pauline asks, “You still collecting those magazines?”

I nod.

“I’ll be sure to save some for you. Sometimes the girls leave them in the house.”

I hope I’m not still hanging around here by the time the next issue comes out.

I jaywalk through traffic, filling Pauline in on what happened. I worry Darren may have returned.

When Pauline pushes open the door to the building, my mother is where I left her, but with her eyes closed. At first, I fear she fainted, but she’s probably been up at least twenty-four hours, if not longer. Pauline, gentle as ever, strokes my mother’s leg to wake her up. For a vague instant, I picture Pauline tending babies or the elderly. She doesn’t belong in this harsh life.

“Pauline,” my mom says, brightening. “Hiya, JJ, how ya doin’?” she coos softly. “Been better.” “Well, come on,” Pauline says, wrapping her arms underneath my mother’s to help her up. “Where we going?” Pauline asks, but before my mother answers,

Pauline suggests, “How about the Constance House up on Riverside?” I get the sense she’s done this before. Constance House is a battered women’s shelter—a place I doubt will abide my mother’s lifestyle—and as such, I expect Janet to protest, but apparently Pauline’s caring manner is all the convincing she needs.

“Pearl, you have a towel or something? She can’t go in a cab like this. She needs shoes too.”

I run upstairs. Each step reminds me that Darren might be back any second. I grab a pair of flip-flops and look in the bathroom cabinet for a towel. There aren’t any clean, so I pull a worn pillowcase off the bed and race back down to meet them outside.

“Thatta girl. Thanks,” Pauline says as she helps my mother into the flip-flops. Janet’s eyes are nearly closed as she leans heavily against Pauline’s shoulder.

It’s times like these I’d also like to give myself over to Pauline’s capable hands, the hands of a mother, sister, caretaker. Instead, she hails a cab and hands me a twenty.

“Look after her, Pearl,” she says before I close the cab door. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, but how can she expect a kid to look after a grown woman when neither one knows how to take care of herself?

The cab drops us off on a side street in front of an anonymous brick building. A woman with tight curls confidently helps us inside. I flash to a magazine clipping of my mother holding her hand up to the camera as she emerged from a limo, back when the Shrapnels were big. It was rock star glitz and glamour. Now it’s just grit.

Author Bio:

During her teens, Deirdre Riordan Hall traveled throughout the United States and Europe, developing a love for stories and a desire to connect with worlds—imagined or real—on the page. She has written Sugar, To the Sea, Surfaced, and the Follow Your Bliss series. When not spending time with her family, writing, or traveling, Hall is at the beach, pretending to be a mermaid.

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GIVEAWAY!

Skyscape is giving away 3 print copies of PEARL by Deirdre Riordan Hall!

ENTER HERE for your chance to win!

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Entangled Turns 5 Lovestruck sale blitz

 
 
Entangled Publishing is turning 5 and love is in the air!
 
We are so excited that we are offering all the books on our latest bestselling imprint, Lovestruck, at a celebratory price of just $.99 each! If you love romantic comedies you won’t want to miss any of these laugh out loud and smexy reads.
 
AND that’s not all. From 2/1 to 2/21 we are giving away 5 Lovestruck prize packs including 5 different Sephora Minimergency kits, an Amazon gift card and other surprise gift cards. So be sure to stop by each of our amazing blogger hosts below and visit the Lovestruck Facebook page to find out about the fun events and giveaways we will be having in the coming weeks. You will also get sneak peeks inside our different releases so you can pick out your must reads.
 
Don’t miss our Facebook party on Thursday, February 11th from 8-10pm ET where several of our Lovestruck authors will be chatting with readers and offering prizes as well. So join us on the Entangled Publishing Facebook page.
 
Haven’t read a Lovestruck yet? Take a peek inside…
Excerpt
 

Unexpectedly His by Maggie Kelley Excerpt

Oh yeah, they were going on a ride tonight, a long, sexy ride that would make her cry out in desperate pleasure.

She crooked a finger at him, and he had to fight the urge not to run across the room.

Nick walked toward her in an even stride that left no room for objection. He took her face in his hands and kissed her. Slowly. Deeply. Then he fell to his knees at her feet. Shestepped out of her dress and he moved to slip off her sexy, open-toed shoes, but her whispered words stopped him midmotion.

“Leave them on.”

Sweet mother of God.

“Marianne,” he said in a husky voice, “I plan to show you how sexy you are, prove how much you turn me on, and when I’m finished, you are going to cry out my name in absolute need. Can you promise me that? Because I want to hear you say my name when you come. Promise me.”

About the book:

A match made in Manhattan…

By-the-book Marianne McBride wants to prove she’s more than a computer geek in a pair of horn-rimmed glasses. But how did she end up hiding in a cake, waiting to sing “Happy Birthday” to Nick Wright, a sexy and arrogant serial-dater? Not exactly part of her plan. Especially when she finds herself kissing the birthday boy, and then running like hell…

Nick falls for no woman. No strings, no commitments, and no relationships. Not even with the sweetly curvaceous bombshell from his birthday. But then he’s hit by a bombshell of his own. He needs to find the perfect faux fiancée, or kiss his key to the executive washroom goodbye. Fortunately, his matchmaker sister has the perfect girl in mind.

Now Nick and Marianne have to pretend they’re in love for six weeks. No dating. No sex.

And definitely no acting on the wickedly-hot chemistry that could ruin everything…

Buy links:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

 
Giveaway
 

#BookBlitz The Safe Bet by Shealy James #BEP @ShealyJames

The Safe Bet

Book Blitz

SafeBeteBook

Book Title: The Safe Bet
Author: Shealy James
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 29, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Book Blurb

There’s no man in the world who won’t break Reagan Anders’s heart…

At the fragile age of eight, Reagan’s life seemed perfect. But when her beloved father abandoned their tiny family, Reagan was left emotionally scarred.

Now in high school, not much has changed. Reagan still won’t let her guard down. Not even for her long-time friend, Brock Anderson, who has spent years pursuing Reagan, yet never tearing down her walls.

If you push hard enough, eventually you’ll get your way…

By graduation, Brock has finally won over Reagan’s affections. They aren’t a public item, but Brock is content just being hers, even if that means going without the official boyfriend title.

As usual, Reagan’s fears get the better of her, and suspicions of Brock’s commitment creep in. Surviving their relationship’s tension, they make it to college together, where their game of cat and mouse takes a darker twist.

Tragedies come in threes…

But after a tragic car crash that kills her best friend, her mother ships her off to the one person Reagan hates more than herself. Her father.

When she meets her brother she never knew, they immediately become friends. Years pass until one day when she meets one of her brother’s friends…Brock Anderson—and he’s on a mission to win her back.

When Reagan and Brock are reunited, the chemistry is stronger than ever. But when uncertainty threatens their future, will Brock be the safe bet, or will he be the heartache she always feared?

Teasers Reagan Teaser

Brock teaser

Meet the Author

Shealy James is a Georgia native who teaches math by day and writes romance at night. As an avid reader, expert on romantic comedy films, and lover of realistic characters who could be her best friends if only they really existed, Shealy appreciates when humor mixes with drama to guide her imaginary friends to their happy endings. And there must always be a happy ending. Shealy openly eats enough candy to feed a small nation, drinks sweet tea by the gallon, hopes to hit 10,000 steps each day, and lives every day with her amazing daughter.

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SINFUL DESIRE-HOT NEW RELEASE BY LAUREN BLAKELY WITH GIVEAWAYS

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SINFUL DESIRE, BOOK 2 

SINFUL DESIRE is book 2 in the NYT Bestselling Sinful Nights series, and while the books are connected, each one follows a new couple, so SINFUL DESIRE can be read as a standalone. The price is $3.99 for release week!

Purchase links:

Amazon US➙ http://amzn.to/1KxwWUm
Amazon UK➙ http://amzn.to/1UHGKDK
iBooks US ➙ http://tinyurl.com/
iBooks UK ➙ http://apple.co/1J7tI9Q
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Paperback ➙ http://amzn.to/1Jsqyhq

SYNOPSIS:
This book contains Lauren Blakely’s hottest, dirtiest, and most dominating hero ever! Panties optional when reading this sinfully sexy STANDALONE novel in the NYT Bestselling Sinful Nights series!

He gave her the most mind-blowing night of pleasure ever. He made her want to get down on her knees. He dominated her in ways she’d only dreamed of. And she didn’t even know his name… 
Control.
It’s what Ryan Sloan values most. Control of his business, control of his secrets, control of his days and nights. With the way his life spiraled in the past, he needs to stay in charge of his present.
Giving up control.
It’s what Sophie Winston craves. After a wildly successful career, she’s stepped away from the business world and is now focused on her work as her city’s most noted philanthropist.
When she meets Ryan Sloan, the chemistry is scorching, and utterly undeniable. Their desire for each other runs red hot. He wants everything she’s willing to give him in bed, and she wants him to take her to new heights as only he can.
Soon, he has to have more. All of her — heart, mind and body.
The only trouble is, he hasn’t been honest about how he met her and the dangerous connection he has to her brother.
When the truth is revealed, he’ll have to give more of himself than he’s bargained for or risk losing the only woman he’s ever let into his heart.

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Sinful Desire is live everywhere! Find out why reviewers say it’s Lauren Blakely’s best book yet! http://laurenblakely.com/
“Passionate, sexy, erotic and full of mystery. SINFUL DESIRE is A 5-star read!” 
http://laurenblakely.

Better charge the #Kindle, because you’re not going to be able to put down Lauren Blakely’s SINFUL DESIRE. http://laurenblakely.com/

Love a hot, sexy, dirty-talking hero? You need to check out SINFUL DESIRE, now live everywhere! http://laurenblakely.com/

My Kindle is doing the walk of shame this morning, and I have Lauren Blakely’s #SINFUL DESIRE to blame. #upallnight http://laurenblakely.com/

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INFO ON GIVEAWAYS!
Here is more info on giveaways and promotions running this week with the release of SINFUL DESIRE!
BUY ONE BOOK, GET ONE FREE!

THIS WEEK ONLY! When you buy SINFUL DESIRE, you can get a FREE copy of Lauren’s USA Today Bestseller PLAYING WITH HER HEART!! Every single ebook of SINFUL DESIRE on sale during release week (and ALL preordered copies) includes a link in the back of the book to redeem your free copy of PLAYING WITH HER HEART for any eReader!! One-click SINFUL DESIRE and get 2 books!

WIN AT NIGHT AT THE RITZ!
To celebrate the release of SINFUL DESIRE, Lauren is giving away a $500 gift card for a stay at the Ritz Carlton nearest you! Everything you need to  enter the Ritz giveaway during release week can be found in the back of the SINFUL DESIRE eBook, including the short trivia quiz on the book that you have to complete to enter the contest that runs through Saturday, September 26, ONLY!

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About the Author~Lauren Blakely

Biography

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and she has had eight books on the New York Times Bestseller list and fourteen on the USA Today Bestseller list. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire. She recently released SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS, the first novel in her new sexy romance series Sinful Nights that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. Her new adult forbidden romance, 21 Stolen Kisses, hit e-readers in May and landed on the USA Today Bestseller list. In September, she’ll release SINFUL DESIRE, her next title in the bestselling SINFUL NIGHTS series. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375 (please use the actual + sign)