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Essence: Promo and Giveaway!

Friday, January 31, 2014


All Haven Jameson ever wanted was to own a little piece of paradise. Now, she does, having established a successful luxury spa in St. Augustine, Florida. But when the property next door is sold to a mega developer and his pro-golf celebrity brother who design trendy, bustling playgrounds for the rich and famous, she fears her dream could slip away. Confronted by her late husband’s infidelity, Haven learns everything she believed about her marriage was a lie; so she finally sets aside her grief and opens her heart to loving the widowed pro-golfer who is her biggest professional competition. In the end, Haven discovers that living a safe, loveless life is far worse than embracing passion and taking a chance on a man who’s vowed never to love again. And that, sometimes, no matter how high the risk, the best paradise of all can be found inside our own hearts.

Excerpt One:

“I will not let some greedy land developer ruin everything I’ve worked so hard to build.” Haven Jameson slapped the palm of her hand flat onto her desk with a loud thwack. “Owww.”

She rubbed her stinging hand.

Failure wasn’t an option. Sure, it was always a present danger as she forged her way to the top, struggling to establish Essence here in St. Augustine. She’d had plenty of sleepless nights while trying to make a success of her upscale boutique spa chain.

A month ago, the St. Augustine location opened to a raging success and received accolades from the highest society clients who’d she’d given complimentary stays during opening week.

“Unfortunately, Haven, I don’t think you’ll have much say over who buys the land,” Sally, Haven’s business partner and best friend, said, sitting across the desk from her. “Imogen Carmichael will have the last word. She usually does. She sold you this plot of land. And for some reason, I sure as heck can’t figure out, she held on to the adjacent tract. She could have sold you the whole parcel at the same time, but she didn’t. I don’t know what goes on in that woman’s mind. She seems a little off-kilter to me.”

“Don’t be mean, Sally. She’s a little eccentric for a woman in her late fifties, but not crazy.”

“Me? Mean? Never. I’m not the one who waits for a successful, luxury, full-service spa to open next door before I announce I’m offering a prime piece of real estate adjoining it for sale. She could ruin us. We’ve sunk so much time and money into this location. What happens if she sells to a developer who wants to put in a boardwalk and a Ferris wheel? Or she decides the offer from Joe’s Wacky Used Car World is right?”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Mackenzie Lucas is a lover of story in any form. She’s an avid reader of genre fiction, she writes contemporary and paranormal romance, and she listens to an eclectic mix of music that spans from pop/rock to country to gospel. She loves a good story whether it’s an erotic short, a full-length romance novel, or the narrative slice-of-life found in country music. In any story, emotional integrity and authenticity are most important to her as well as a big dose of romping hot sexual tension. She enjoys smart-mouthed, sexy heroines, hunky alpha heroes who know how to take care of their women, and plot twists that surprise her, but most of all, she just wants to experience a satisfying emotional arc of a character falling in love and finding what he or she needs most in life.

Mac is a small-town country girl with a world-traveler’s soul. She grew up in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and she’s lived in Dublin, Ireland, within spitting distance of New York City in Long Island, and now in the Washington, D.C. area. She obtained her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Dickinson College and received her M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She’s currently an author, writing coach, a mother, and a wife.

With Mackenzie Lucas--whether you’re reading her light paranormal romance, her small-town-based contemporary romance, or her steamin’ hawt erotica--you’ll always get a story about connectedness, community, and emotional authenticity, and, at its core, love. No, and it doesn’t hurt that all her heroes are panty-melting gorgeous alphas and all their sexy, sensually aware heroines know how to stand up to them, give no quarter, and love them just as they are.







• One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.
• Two randomly chosen hosts will each receive a $25 Amazon/ gift card.

250+ Book Giveaway Introduction

That's right! 250+ books up for grabs. Krystal and Rachel have been saving up books for this special occasion. Both of them are giving away 80 books to two winners and every day February, March April, and May there will be a special guest author giving away signed books. In total everyone receives 210 chances to win! Every day they will be updating this post so you can click on different authors if you missed someone. Be aware that if it's International most authors are sending the book via The Book Depository; if your country is available, then you're eligible. Here's the author schedule:

5th: Lissa Price - Enders (Int) 
8th: Nina Berry - Othersphere (USA/Can)
11th: Elle Cosimano - Signed swag (USA/Can)
26th: Tracy Ann Lord - Good Catch (eBook) (Int)

19th: Anne Applegate - The Last Academy -- 5 copies (USA)

3rd: Dave Massey - Torn (USA)
5th: Erin Bow - Sorrows Knot (USA/Can)
11th: Alecia Stone - Talisman Of El (eBook) (Int)
20th: Lex Thomas - The Saints (USA/Can)

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Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win 50 books. BEFORE ENTERING please note that some of the books you'll  receive will have library stickers on it and / or are used.

Also, when the message says "Do this again tomorrow for more entries" it means put in different links, not the same one. We had this happen a few times before and it's not fair to people who play by the rules. If you keep repeating the same social media / comment links on any of the Rafflecopters you'll be disqualified. We check every entry, so don't think we'll be fooled!

Last year people didn't really know how to enter a rafflecopter properly and many didn't win because of it. PLEASE read here before entering.

All Rafflecopters end May 15th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ekho: Promo and Giveaway!

Thursday, January 30, 2014
EKHO Cover newEKHO by Marie D. Jones Ten-year-old Elvis Jones is tired of being picked on, taunted, and teased by the bullies at his elementary school, so he does what any smart, technologically brilliant kid his age would do: he creates EKHO, the Evil Kid Hunting Organization, a sophisticated network of kid spies and secret agents that utilize a variety of cool gadgets to stay one step ahead of the enemy – the bullies. They hire kids, make them swear allegiance to the organization, and train them as Commandos, Privates, and Elite Spies. As kids rise through the ranks, the missions, posted on an encrypted EKHO website, require more smarts and skill, especially when the bullies form their own counterspy group called DEKE (Destroy EKHO Kids Everywhere). It’s all in good fun, until the kids of EKHO must put their pretend skills to use for far more serious, and dangerous, missions. As field agents come across evidence of more sinister forces, they now have to deal with the strange, weird, and the unknown as they look for the truth about the bizarre and creepy threats to their school, their families, and their own lives. They experience betrayal, intrigue, infiltration and counter-espionage as well as teachers and adults who act more mysterious with each passing day, which leaves Elvis and his EKHO team wondering: who can you trust when the person standing next to you might not be entirely human?
Coming February 4, 2014
EKHO tour
Marie JonesAuthor Marie D. Jones Marie D. Jones is a best-selling author with an extensive background in unknown mysteries, metaphysics, science, and the paranormal. She has been featured multiple times on the History Channel in Ancient Aliens and Nostradamus Effect. Marie also served as a special UFO/abduction consultant for the 2009 Universal Pictures movie, The Fourth Kind. She is a staff writer for FATE Magazine and Intrepid Magazine and a regular contributor to Paranoia Magazine and New Dawn Magazine. Marie has been interviewed on hundreds of radio talk shows all over the world, including Coast to Coast AM, and has been featured in dozens of newspapers, magazines, and online publications, internationally. She has lectured widely at major paranormal, new science, and self-empowerment events, and is the screenwriter and co-producer of 19 Hz, a paranormal thriller in development with Bruce Lucas Films.
BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/28/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Freedman and the Pharoah's Staff: Promo and Giveaway!


Jeb, a former slave, rescues his brother-in-law Crispus from the Ku Klux Klan, only to be drawn into a world of Creole Voodoo, racism, time travel, and redemption.

Verdiss, the leader of the Ku Klux Klan has gained possession of the Pharaoh's Staff, a magical artifact from ancient Egypt and concocted a diabolical plan far more insidious than himself.

In the end, Jeb and Crispus must stop an entire people from eradication and each find redemption for their own past sins.

Excerpt One:

Small rib bones clattered on the wooden table, where several black and red candles burned, their flames dancing like a company of elegant danseuses. There was a sense of power in the air. The old conjure-woman felt its prick at the back of her throat as she studied the animal bones. La’Rita was a Haitian woman with a cape of dreadlocks. She would have been beautiful were it not for the boils covering her face—and that her eyes were devoid of any color. La’Rita leaned over the table, shifting her weight in the chair. Shelves and desks filled with jars of grotesque, rotten items surrounded her. Foul-smelling roots and herbs filled some. Rancid liquids filled others to preserve the dead animals they held. Leather-bound books occupied some of the shelves, many etched with strange, archaic symbols.

“Ah, yes,” La’Rita whispered as she looked deeper into the bones. Images danced and twirled across the table, outlined by the dim candlelight. Her empty eyes poured over the phantasms, one by one. Stiff metal birds soared through the open sky, dropping massive pipes. La’Rita shuddered, feeling a sinister force was responsible for the contraptions. The form of an ancient staff passed through her vision. It held within it a great power. Metal boxes on wheels and metallic belts rolled across broken and burning landscapes, fire bursting from their elongated snouts.

Her body shook, spasms rushing up from her feet.

Apparitions whirled around La’Rita, changing, appearing, and dissipating into air. The tremors grew. La’Rita’s entire body shook. She struggled to stay in her chair.

A grizzled man wisped by her eyes. Then the fit ceased. He’d gone by fast enough that La’Rita hadn’t a chance to notice his features. Only his dark skin. She squinted her eyes, spotting the faintest aura in the air. A man with a fine mustache. La’Rita’s head throbbed as if a miner were taking a pick to it. The room shook. Was it her moving or the room?

Her gaze met the phantasmal man’s wretched eyes. The ghostly image made La’Rita sick to her stomach. Utter evil oozed out of this simple-looking man. Too much to bear. Her eyes rolled back. Darkness descended.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lane earned a BA in Liberal Arts with a focus on literature and history. He also holds a double minor in psychology and business. He is a literary assistant with The Seymour Agency, and also has several short stories. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Historical Novel Society, and International Thriller Writers.


Website (

Twitter: @LaneHeymont ( )

Facebook: www.Facebook/Lheymont



Sunbury Press, Inc.:


Lane will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. A $25 Amazon GC will be awarded to a randomly drawn host.

Ever Hopeful: Excerpt and Giveaway!


Combining heart-soaring contemporary romance with heart-pounding suspense is a trademark of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Ryan—and in her novel Ever Hopeful she delivers spectacularly on both counts. 

Two-months pregnant and trapped in a violent marriage, Laura Kensington realizes that her ruthless and powerful in-laws will never let her go, even after the strange sudden death of her abusive husband.  Fleeing far away to the Texas ranch of Cade Bishop, a strong yet tender man who believes in second chances, Laura finds herself irresistibly drawn to Cade’s gentle passion and giving heart. But there is no escaping the shadows of her past and soon danger re-enters her world, pulling Laura into a deadly web of lies, betrayals, and murder.  And only Cade Bishop’s quiet strength and unwavering love can set her free.

Excerpt One:

Laura watched the clock on the microwave and willed the phone to ring. Patrick would be home within the hour. If “John Smith” didn’t call soon, she’d… Well, she didn’t know what she’d do. If he called after six o’clock, she’d have to try to convince Patrick it was a wrong number.

He wouldn’t fall for that. Even genuine wrong numbers had gotten her into trouble before.

“Please,” she whispered aloud to the phone. “Just ring, please.”

The numbers on the microwave stared back at her, blank and unfeeling. Twelve minutes past five. The clock apparently didn’t care that time was running out, that she was cutting this much too close.

Forty-eight minutes left. Laura’s heart felt like it would jump out of her chest as she cradled her head in her hands. The phone rang causing Laura to jump a foot in the air at the sound. How was it that a sound she was waiting for—hoping for—sent her into a panic?

“Hello,” she said breathlessly into the phone.

“Mrs. Kensington?” came Smith’s voice on the other end. She had talked to him before, but hadn’t met with him in person. He sounded kind, even though she knew he was a man who spent a lot of time with unsavory people. But, that was to be expected given his profession. Despite that, she’d been told he often worked with women who needed to leave a spouse and who wished not to be found again. Maybe there was an empathetic side to him.

“Yes, speaking.”

“Can you talk now?” he asked and she knew right away what he meant. He had never asked why she was leaving and she certainly hadn’t volunteered the information, but it seemed as if he knew without having to ask. Just the thought that he knew her secret made her uncomfortable.

“Yes, my husband is still at work, but I don’t have long.”

“Did you get the first package?” he asked. He had mailed it to a post office box she’d set up two towns over from her and Patrick’s home in Windsor, Connecticut.

“Yes, the temporary license and birth certificate.”

“Good. You’ll be able to use that for a little while, but I need to get you a real birth certificate and social security card if you want to be able to find a job that doesn’t pay under the table. That’s going to take time.”

“How much time?” Laura asked, wanting the answer to be days, not weeks or months, but she knew that was unlikely.

“Not for another few weeks. It takes time to get a real birth certificate and once that’s in place, it takes a little longer for your social security number to come through,” he said with the tone of a man who had explained this to her all before. He had. She was partly just nervous and partly hoping for a different answer this time. This just had to work. There wasn’t any other option.

Before Laura could answer, he continued with instructions. “Save this phone number. I’ll need you to call me in three weeks and let me know where you are. I’ll need a mailing address.” There was no talk of payment. She’d already paid in full just to get him started on the new identity for her. He also didn’t ask her when she was leaving and she didn’t tell him. He seemed to assume she wouldn’t be in town in three weeks’ time and he was right. Laura would be running next week, as soon as Patrick left on his business trip.

The sound of car tires crunching up the drive sent panic churning through Laura’s stomach. So much so that she thought she’d be sick, but that wasn’t unusual nowadays. She was nauseated for several hours every day and often had to run to the bathroom to be sick.

“I have to go,” Laura whispered and didn’t wait for a response. She tucked the phone in her pocket and turned to the stove, focusing on making her breathing normal, making sure nothing seemed out of place.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lori is an award winning author and stay-at-home mom. Her second book, Penalty Clause, won first place in the romance category in Lcuky Cinda Publishing’s Annual Global Writer’s Contest in 2013.

Lori has had a number of careers before embarking on her newest adventure of writing novels. After graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Law, she practiced law for three years, working primarily in the areas of utilities law and intellectual property litigation.

More recently, Lori owned and operated a dog training business in Austin, Texas, where she specialized in aggression and became an expert in the field of dog bite analysis. Lori sold her dog training business in 2013 and is now a full time writer and mother of two.

Lori still lives in Austin with her husband -- who is endlessly supportive of her changing career paths -- and her two children, one cat, and three dogs.

How can your readers follow you?

To follow me on Facebook, visit:

To visit my website, visit:

Want to be a part of my online street team? Email me at and put the words ‘street team’ in the subject line. I’ll email you back with directions for joining my team.

To join my email list to receive updates and news, including sneak peeks and free giveaways or contest news, visit!join-my-mailing-list/cdpp.

To buy my books, visit my author page on Amazon:

Release: January 26th

I’ll be having events and contests January 26th through February 9th

Ever Hopeful will be priced at 99 cents for the first two weeks!

Price increases to 2.99 on February 10th


Enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite! A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Into the Darkness: Promo and Giveaway!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I’d always been different. I saw objects in the night where others saw emptiness. Large, human shaped shadows, fierce yet beautiful, melting into the darkness. I collected secrets like other women collected bells; afraid to fully trust lest my oddities be exposed.

Until I saw him. He’d been gliding down the street, unshakable confidence in every step. It wasn’t just that he was breathtakingly handsome with perfect features. Something about him drew me. Sucked my focus to him and then tugged at my body. As his eyes met mine, I was entrapped.

No one had noticed him. He’d been right there, just beyond the light, but only I had perceived.

I had to know if he was real. Or maybe I really was crazy. And even when my secret box was blasted wide open, dangers hurled at me like throwing knives, I couldn’t stop until I unraveled his true identity.

I just had to know.

“She was fated to live.”
“Then why must you save her?”

“Often Fate is struck down by dumb luck.”

Excerpt One:

I huddled on my bed later that night with my knees pulled up to my chest. Thinking. Focusing on what it was I couldn’t remember. It was there, hovering around my conscious mind. Nudging me. Waiting for me to pay attention. To remember. It was the key to that insane situation in the park.

I flung my wet hair out of my face,  pulled the sleeves of my pajamas over my hands, and  glanced out  the window.

The stranger waited. Outside, he watched, staring up at my shaded windows, just wanting me to know he was there. He was waiting for me to come down to him. He had the same questions I did—I was certain  he felt the same things.

How did I know this? I just did. And that scared the holy crap outta me!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A wine country native, K.F. Breene moved to San Francisco for college just shy of a decade ago to pursue a lifelong interest in film. As she settled into the vibrant city, it quickly became apparent that, while she thought making and editing films was great fun, she lacked cinematic genius. For that reason, her career path quickly changed direction. Her next goal was a strange childhood interest, conjured at the dining room table while filling out a form. For some reason, her young self wanted to be an accountant. Thinking on it now, she often wonders how she had any friends. Regardless, it was the direction she finally took.

While she could wrangle numbers with the best of 'em, and even though she wore the crown as the most outspoken, belligerent accountant in the world, her mind got as stuffy as her daily routine. It was here that she dusted off her creative hat and began writing. Now she makes movies in her head, not worried about lighting, shutter speed or editing equipment. Turns out, a computer is much easier to manage than a crowd of actors. She should know, she was an actor at one time.


Twitter: @KFBreene

Facebook for friending:

Facebook author page (for liking):

GIVEAWAY: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Historical Heartthrobs by Kelly Murphy and Hallie Fryd : Review and Giveaway!

This book compiles photos and life stories of 50 of the sexiest men and women from history and asks the essential question: Would you really want to date them? Some are artists, some are scientists, and many are political or military leaders, but all have had a lasting impact on human life—and a sizable impact on their admirers as well. Each entry describes the period in which the heartthrob lived and includes essential stats, hilarious sidebars, and, of course, a “crushability” ranking: a measurement of how crush-worthy these people really are, based on their relative levels of heroism (or villainy).

Goodreads Summary

Ready for Valentine's Day?  You might be missing the perfect book for the occasion if you overlook Historical Heartthrobs! I love how this book taught me more factual knowledge about historical figures I already know and introduced me to more historical figures I was not yet aware of.  The little tidbits of their lives and some specific tidbits created quite the interesting story behind these grand figures.  I liked how the author portrayed them more as friends than as people to be feared or thought of as unattainable.  The personalized history made me really remember what went on in these peoples' lives and, more specifically, their love lives.  The quotes were memorable and I loves the hotness scale.  This book is certainly meant for young adults, but I think adults would love this book as well!

5 Stars

Find this book on:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

Author Bios:

Born and raised among the sprawling cornfields of rural Pennsylvania, Kelly Murphy now writes from her child-sized apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Her articles have appeared in Brokelyn, Brooklyn BasedChic Today, NCTE’s The Council Chronicle, and various other publications. A Penn State graduate, Kelly currently works in publishing. Hallie Fryd is the author of Scandalous!: 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About (So You Can Impress Your Friends), which was aForeword Reviews Book of the Year Winner in 2012. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Mooncalf: Promo and Giveaway!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Mooncalf coverMooncalf by Linda Zern Over Olympia and Leah's heads, Americans race the Russians to the moon; on their television sets young men fight and struggle in the mud of Viet Nam; and America holds its breath between heartbreaking tragedies. But on Miss Brinker's school bus, in the seat with the rip in the green plastic, Olympia and Leah fall in love, the way children do: immediately, completely, and without knowing or caring why they shouldn't. Olympia Crooms, with her happy hair, and Leah Breck, with her silly red dog, are two smart girls. Olympia's father works other men's orange groves in rural Central Florida and tells his daughter that school is the best way to reach for the stars. Leah's father moves his family from the Space Coast to the country where she and her brother can climb orange trees, imagine lions in the tall grass, and learn to feed baby cows milk from a bottle. At Evegan Elementary, two smart girls find each other and have to decide if they will learn the hardest lessons of all: the false traditions of their fathers.
Praise for Mooncalf "One of the most admirable things about Mooncalf is that it's difficult to find a single wasted word in the entire book. Granted the book is short; yet, it is very rare to find a book which treats with such delicacy the choosing of each word--each adjective, verb, and noun. Themes, motifs, and symbols are everywhere throughout Mooncalf, and most impressive of all none of it is discarded. Motifs and themes exist in big and small circles in Mooncalf, circling back in on themselves as well as intertwining themselves with the plot and the characters that inhabit it. And those motifs and themes, those messages and those symbols, don't go away once you've finished the book. They stick with you. It's hard to forget Mooncalf."" ~ The Thousander Club "I never expected to be moved to tears by a book meant for adolescents. Buy it, read it, share it, and let yourself be changed by it." ~Lacey Smith Excerpt Olympia’s voice was a whisper in Leah’s ear. “I don’t have those things, those cooties.” “I know. I don’t even care what those things are.” “Cootie bugs. Miss Rhodes is saying I have bugs crawling and living in my hair and at my house.” “Miss Rhodes didn’t mean you.” Leah felt icky. “She couldn’t mean you.” “It’s because I’m one of the poor kids, you know. She said it: sharecroppers.” Without looking, Olympia pulled her hand out of Leah’s and started trying to flatten the wrinkles out of the crushed paper doily on the valentine. Leah put her hand over Olympia’s, the valentine a ruined mess under their fingers. “But Miss Rhodes has hair just like yours.” “No,” Olympia said, shaking her head. “No, Miss Rhodes doesn’t want hair like mine, like she had when she was a little girl. She wants white folk’s hair. That’s what Granny Mac says. ‘Cuz some colored folks like her don’t know who they want to be any more.’” Leah looked at the neat part in her friend’s black braids, and loved the way Olympia’s barrettes danced when she dropped her head. She saw only the complicated, clever patterns in her friend’s clean black hair. Leah saw only Olympia.  
mooncalf tour
LindaAuthor Linda Zern Linda Zern is a native of Florida where she learned to be moonstruck. She wrote her first children's chapter book, The Pocket Fairies of Middleburg, in 2005. Writer's Digest called "the perspective of these tiny beings [the pocket fairies] refreshing, enchanting, and intriguing." Florida Publisher's Association was kind enough to award her little book the President's Book Award for best children's book of 2005. Mrs. Zern has since published an inspirational book, The Long-Promised Song, serving as both writer and illustrator. Three collections of her humorous essays (ZippityZern’s Uncommon Nonsense) can be found at, and her award winning essays have been recognized and published at Her current project, Mooncalf, is her first work of historical fiction for Middle School readers. Set in rural Central Florida, the author tells the story of two misfit girls and the hard lessons they must learn about friendship and love from their friends, their families, and their world. The mystical state of Florida remains an enchanted and delightsome place for both Mrs. Zern and her husband of thirty plus years, and so they continue to make their home among the palmettos and armadillos in the historic town of Saint Cloud.
  BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/28/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Romancing the Duke: Promo and Giveaway!

“A sweet, fun nod to literary fandom, and two main characters who are perfect for each other yet never would have met if they weren’t each at a nadir in life’s journey.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Dare’s first Castles Ever After historical provides a unique twist to a fairy tale, complete with an ancient castle, a damsel in distress, and a wounded hero […].”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] wickedly funny and soul-satisfyingly romantic novel, the perfect launch to Dare’s new Castles Ever After series.”
Booklist (starred review)

In the first in Tessa Dare's captivating Castles Ever After series, a mysterious fortress is the setting for an unlikely love . . .

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too.  The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off.  One by one by one.
  • Ugly duckling turned swan?
  • Abducted by handsome highwayman?
  • Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?
No, no, and... Heh.

Now Izzy's given up yearning for romance. She'll settle for a roof over her head.  What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who's never even been kissed?

This one.

A sneak peek of ROMANCING THE DUKE:
The driver pocketed her offering and touched his cap. “What was yer name again, miss?”
“Goodnight. Miss Izzy Goodnight.”
She waited to see if he would recognize it. Most of the literate people in England would, and a great many of their domestic servants, besides.
The driver only grunted. “Jes’ wanted to know it, in case someone comes around asking. If you’re never heard from again.”
Izzy laughed. She waited for him to laugh, too.
He didn’t.
Soon driver, team, and carriage were nothing more than the fading crunch of wheels on the road.
Izzy picked up her valise and walked through the barbican. A stone bridge carried her over what once had been a moat but now was only a slimy green trickle.
She’d done a bit of research in advance of her journey. There wasn’t much to read. Only that Gostley Castle had once been the seat of the Rothbury dukedom, in Norman times.
It didn’t look inhabited now. There was no glass in many of the windows. No lights in them, either. There should have been a portcullis that dropped to bar the entrance—but there was nothing there. No door, no gate.
She walked through the archway and into the central, open courtyard.
“Lord Archer?” Her voice died in the air. She tried again. “Lord Archer, are you here?” This time, her call got a respectable echo off the flagstones. But no answer.
She was alone.
Dizzied from her strange surroundings and weak with hunger, Izzy closed her eyes. She coerced air into her lungs.
You cannot faint. Only ninnies and consumptive ladies swoon, and you are neither.
It started to rain. Fat, heavy drops of summer rain—the kind that always struck her as vaguely lewd and debauched. Little potbellied drunkards, those summer raindrops, chortling on their way to earth and crashing open with glee.
She was getting wet, but the alternative—seeking shelter inside one of the darkened arches—was less appealing by far.
A rustling sound made her jump and wheel. Just a raven taking wing. She watched it fly over the castle wall and away.
She laughed a little. Really. It was too much. A vast, uninhabited castle, rain, and now ravens, too? Someone was playing her a cruel trick.
Then she glimpsed a man across the courtyard, standing in a darkened archway.
And if he was a trick, he wasn’t a cruel one.
There were things in nature that took their beauty from delicate structure and intricate symmetry. Flowers. Seashells. Butterfly wings. And then there were things that were beautiful for their wild power and their refusal to be tamed. Snowcapped mountains. Churning thunderclouds. Shaggy, sharp-toothed lions.
This man silhouetted before her? He belonged, quite solidly, in the latter category.
So did the wolf sitting at his heel.
It couldn’t be a wolf, she told herself. It had to be some sort of dog. Wolves had long been hunted to extinction. The last one in England died ages ago.
But then . . . she would have thought they’d stopped making men like this, too.
He shifted his weight, and a slant of weak light revealed the bottom half of his face. She glimpsed a wide, sensual slash of a mouth. A squared jaw, dark with whiskers. Overlong hair brushed his collar. Or it would have, if he had a collar. He wore only an open-necked linen shirt beneath his coat. Buckskin breeches hugged him from slim hips to muscled thighs . . . and from there, his legs disappeared into a pair of weathered, dusty Hessians.
Oh, dear. She did have such a weakness for a pair of well-traveled boots. They made her desperate to know everywhere they’d been.
Her heart beat faster. This didn’t help with her lightheadedness problem.
“Are you Lord Archer?” she asked.
“No.” The word was low, unforgiving.
The beast at his heel growled.
“Oh. I-is Lord Archer here?”
“Are you the caretaker?” she asked. “Are you expecting him soon?”
“No. And no.”
Was that amusement in his voice?
She swallowed hard. “I received a letter. From Lord Archer. He asked me to meet him here on this date regarding some business with the late Earl of Lynforth’s estate. Apparently he left me some sort of bequest.” She extended the letter with a shaking hand. “Here. Would you care to read it for yourself?”
That wide mouth quirked at one corner. “No.”
Izzy retracted the letter as calmly as she could manage and replaced it in her pocket.
He leaned one shoulder against the archway. “Aren’t we going to continue?”
“Continue what?”
“This game.” His voice was so low it seemed to crawl to her over the flagstones, then shiver up through the soles of her feet. “Am I a Russian prince? No. Is my favorite color yellow? No. Would I object if you were to come inside and remove every stitch of your damp clothing?” His voice did the impossible. It sank lower. “No.”
He was just making sport of her now.
Izzy clutched her valise to her chest. She didn’t want Snowdrop getting wet. “Do you treat all your visitors this way?”
Idiot. She cursed herself and braced for another low, mocking “no.”
He said, “Only the pretty ones.”
Oh, Lord. She ought to have guessed it earlier. The fatigue and hunger had done something to her brain. She could almost believe the castle, the ravens, the sudden appearance of a tall, dark, handsome man. But now he was flirting with her?
She had to be hallucinating.
The rain beat down, impatient to get from the clouds to the earth. Izzy watched drops pinging off the flagstones. Each one seemed to chisel a bit more strength from her knees.
The castle walls began to spin. Her vision went dark at the edges.
 “I . . . Forgive me, I . . .”
Her valise dropped to the ground.
The beast snarled at it.
The man moved out from the shadows.
And Izzy fainted dead away.
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