Book Blast & Giveaway for Love, Honor, and Hope

As Independence Day approaches, I wanted to share the recent release of Love, Honor, and Hope. Below you find a list of the authors and the stories included in this anthology, and all proceeds from the sale of this book go to support the U.S. War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation.  You also have the chance to enter a giveaway for a chance to win a $25 gift card.

8 Authors. 8 Labors of Love. One Fantastic Cause.

Publication Date: June 24, 2014 

Genre: Romance Anthology

 

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The Authors and their Stories

Jennifer Theriot, Out of the Box Awakening

Swept from her perfect paper-doll life in Houston, Olivia finds herself in Chicago, alone, betrayed, and far from home. Ash is the man who has everything—everything except healing from the losses of a lifetime. What happens when the married woman and the sexy handsome widower are thrown together by fate?

Aubree Lane, Early One Morning

Stuck in San Diego, dealing with unreasonable clients and babysitting Marissa’s kids, a jealous Annie Harper catches the red-eye out of LAX wanting to intercept Terence and foil her best friend’s plans. This envious act uncovers a scandalous affair, and in that one pivotal moment, none of their lives would ever be the same.

Jennifer Yarbrough, Lost and Found 

A tragic accident changes Olivia Porter’s life in ways no woman should experience. With the help of a friend she tries to pick up the pieces and suddenly Cash Kingston appears giving her one more chance at happiness…will she take the chance or keep hiding from pain?

Diane Rinella, Scary Modsters 

While under the influence of insomnia-impaired judgment, Rosalyn summons Rock ‘n Roll deity Peter Lane back from the dead. Not only does he spin her hormones into a frenzy, Peter is also the precarious puzzle piece that brings sense into her world. When Niles learns that he can overcome his life-long challenge by helping Peter avenge his death, how far will he go to secure Rosalyn’s heart?

Kelly Cozzone,  Tropical Dreams 

Tropical Dreams is a tale of love, murder and conspiracy. Can Tiana Alexander overcome her past to learn to love again? Can David Murphy let go of the demons who haunt him. Can they face the future together or will life finally take its toll and their lives?

Linda Lee Williams, Sisters of the Night

Can there be a happily ever after for Emaline Hoffbrau, Juliana Slater and Gretchen Eberhardt, three modern-day vampire women?

Cherime MacFarlane, Heart of the Hunter

Leda is a teacher just out of school, who has not had time for love.  Jay takes her by surprise, a soft spoken slightly broken man who lives with only his dog, for company. Leda sees something in Jay she needs to pursue. She should stay away from Jay. But can she? Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?

Sammie J, Piece of Heaven

Aaron Calnan has seen enough of the horrors of war. Now, Aaron finds himself immersed in a world where humans work within the realms of the paranormal, where Werewolves and Vampires become friends and Fae like to kick your ass. One encounter changes everything and Aaron finds his life turned upside down. Will he finally find his own piece of heaven?

 

Find this amazing anthology on Amazon and Barnes&Noble!

*All proceeds will benefit The United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation*

 

Giveaway!

Review of Taming Cross

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Taming Cross (Love Inc. #2)  by Ella James

Book Description

Book CoverFor twenty-three years, Cross Carlson was a playboy. You know the type. Tall, dark, and wealthy. Blue-eyed. Charming. He seemed to have it all so easy. But Cross was harboring a terrible secret – one that helped ruin the life of an innocent girl and almost ended his own.

Finally out of the hospital, Cross is flailing, scarred in both body and mind and stifled by the weight of the secret he still keeps. The only way to absolution lies in a Mexican convent, and going there could cost him everything.

If there’s anyone who knows what it’s like to screw up big time, it’s Meredith Kinsey. Just a few years ago, Merri was an ordinary girl with a job at her college newspaper and white picket fence kind of dreams. Now she’s holed up in a Mexican convent, hiding from a drug lord who thinks he owns her.

What happens when the only way out of hell is with the son of the man who put you there? They say love conquers all, but does it really?

Book Review

Taming Cross is the second book in the Love, Inc. series and the book’s description on Amazon indicates that it can be read as a standalone.  However, before I even finished the first chapter, I began to feel uneasy about continuing with the story. Although the narrative summarizes significant details from the first book to show the connection between Cross and Merri, the information was too vague to satisfy my curiosity about the events that took place earlier to land these two characters into their current situation. I decided to backtrack to the beginning and read Selling Scarlett before I went any further with the second book, and I’m so glad I did because it enriched my reading experience.

Taming Cross features Cross and Merri’s love story, and the plot continues two months after the end of book one. In both books, the story is presented in present tense that establishes sense of immediacy about the events occurring and intensifies the action. Even though I enjoy stories that are narrated in the present tense, I’m also wary of this technique because I’ve read works where the tense was inconsistent, with the author inadvertently slipping into the past tense which interrupts the flow of the story.  I’m happy to say that James is successful in creating a vivid story where the action seems to leap off of the page.

I also appreciated having the story narrated from both Cross’s and Merri’s points of view. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have been able to like either character. Cross in a minor character in the first book, and I just didn’t connect with his seemingly easy going lifestyle. Although we don’t meet Merri in the first book, it’s easy to understand why Cross doesn’t like her. Rumors indicate she was a mistress of Cross’s father, and Merri’s relationship with this man of prominence makes her a target for the emotionless, despicable villains who kidnap and sell her into sex slavery in Mexico.

Although Cross thinks Merri is a prostitute, blackmailer,  and his father’s whore, he feels guilty that he didn’t tell anyone about his knowledge of and his father’s involvement in her disappearance. Because of the trauma he’s recently suffered, he can now empathize with her plight. Because he has evidence of his father’s illicit activities, his life was almost destroyed.  As a result, he is determined to find Merri and bring her back to the U.S. no matter how he feels about her.

James has done an excellent job in creating realistic, complex characters who struggle with their pasts. She shows how their histories, their vulnerabilities, and their mistakes have shaped them into the characters we meet in this book. As I read, I could feel the intense and raw emotions of each character as they sort out their feelings for each other. Their relationship is awkward, it’s painful, and it’s ultimately healing.  I was mesmerized by their perilous emotional and physical journey to escape the demons following them.  James does a great job in tearing down the playboy and prostitute façade and revealing two imperfect characters who truly deserve happiness.

Rating – 4.5 suns

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About the Author

I’m a Denver, Colorado author who writes teen and adult romance. I am happily married to a man who knows how to wield a red pen, and together we are raising a feisty two-year-old who will probably grow up believing everyone’s parents go to war over the placement of a comma. My books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Amazon Top 100 and the Amazon Movers & Shakers List; two were listed among Amazon’s Top 100 Young Adult Ebooks of 2012. To find out more about my projects and win prizes and swag, find me on Facebook at facebook.com/ellajamesauthorpage. Questions or comments? Tweet me at author_ellaj or e-mail me at ella_f_james@ymail.com.

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Purchase the book

Amazon:  Taming Cross (Love Inc.)

 

Related Reviews

Mini Review of Selling Scarlett (Love Inc. #1)

Related Links

Human Trafficking

NPR:  “Human Trafficking: Slavery of the Modern Era”

Watch Sex Slaves a documentary that investigates the

Spotlight & Giveaway for Life, Love & Lemons

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Life, Love, & Lemons by Magan Vernon

Couple lying on a picnic table

Publication date: August 20th 2013 
Genre: YA Contemporary

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17940365-life-love-lemons?ac=1

Book Description

When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.

Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off. 

Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it’s crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.

Read an Excerpt

“Are you okay?”

I sat on the cold tile floor of the break room with my head between my grease stained knees. The last person I expected to come back and check on me was Kai.

In my frenzied cry I somehow managed to blurt out that I female problems and that got Jason to find someone else to do the sweeping. No guy ever wants to fight that one and Jason’s face turned red when I mentioned it.

“I’m fine.” I sniffled, hoping that Kai would just go away. I wanted to be alone. How could my friends have done this to me? It was bad enough that I already lost my house, my school, and now some of my best friends since grade school. To top it all off I had some kid with hot pink shoes acting like I was the one with issues.

“Well obviously you’re not.” He reached his hand out toward me.

I crossed my arms firmly over my chest. “I don’t need your help.” It came out whinier than I intended.

Instead of walking away, he just plopped down beside me and spread his long legs out next to mine.

“You can only try and make lemons into lemonade for so long before you just have to say, screw the lemons, and bail.” He stretched his arms out over his head.

I couldn’t help but smile. “I didn’t think anyone but me actually used that expression.”

“Well looks like you were wrong.” He slowly stood up and turned to face me. “Now c’mon and let me show you what else you’re wrong about.”

As I looked at him, I didn’t know what came over me. Maybe it was just my girl emotions working overtime or maybe it was his pleading puppy dog eyes, but for some reason I took his hand and followed him out the back door.

“So where are we going?” I questioned, letting go of his hand as soon as we got outside. I was really glad we exited out the back so no one saw us. I really didn’t want people getting the wrong idea. Kai was a nice guy and everything, but I knew the other co-workers would have a field day if they saw us together. Luckily it was just my little red mini and a giant orange car in the parking lot.

“Just get in and you’ll find out,” He said conspiratorially and opened the passenger door of the giant orange thing.

“What is that?” I pointed at the car, tilting my head.

“This would be my car, a Ford Falcon.” He motioned again for me to get into the car.

Slowly I approached the car and got in as he slid over the hood of the car to the driver’s side.

“Isn’t that like something out of Star Wars?” I asked as he got in and started the car.

“No, that would be the Millennium Falcon, and that would be Star Trek.” He smiled and pulled out of the parking lot.

“Sorry, I’m not up on my geekery.” I laughed and I held out my palms toward him.

“It’s okay I didn’t really expect you to be.” He slid his long fingers over toward me. I thought he was going to reach for my hand but instead he turned on the stereo, letting a loud screaming guy’s voice blast over the speakers.

“Ugh!” I put my hands over my ears and screeched, “What is that?”

Kai sighed and turned down the music. “It’s the Circle Jerks, you know Punk Rock.”

I shook my head. “Never heard of them, maybe you have something else that I might like.” I reached up into the CD visor and browsed through his CD’s. Bad Religion, The Misfits, Dead Kennedys —All these bands I had never heard of and sounded really depressing.

“How about we just turn on the radio?”

“You’re kind of demanding you know that?” Kai looked at me out of the corner of his eye and leaned back in his seat.

“Gee, you’re such a charmer,” I mocked. “But seriously, where are we going anyway?”

“It’s a surprise,” he said mischievously, smiling as he turned down State Street.

“Okay,” I said and pulled my uniform top over my head.

“JESUS, what are you doing?” Kai swerved the car and almost hit the curb in the process, causing me to almost bounce my head off the dashboard.

“Ugh!” I folded the shirt in my lap and then ran my fingers across the straps of my white tank top that I had on underneath. “I just didn’t want to show up to wherever we were going in my uniform; what did you think I was doing? Trying to strip down in the Star Trek car?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugged. “I thought the Falcon had some magical powers or something.”

About the Author

Magan

Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.
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