Saturday, 20 July 2019

Letter Left Tour and Giveaway!


The Letter Left
The Healing Hearts Ranch Book 1
by Angela Ford
Genre: YA Sweet Romance 

A story of remembrance, a gift, and a love rediscovered through healing hearts.
Angela Ford takes a different direction this time to bring you a new adult series. A story centered around family, horses, true love, and finding your way from the wise words left to you.
Jack Willows was a great man. He always put others first. He’d taught his granddaughter to do the same. Raine Willows left her grandfather’s farm at eighteen to find her way in life. Seven years later, his death brings her back to the farm and her first love–the boy next door.
An empowering story of healing through horses. A farm that introduced her to the boy next door–Luke Daniels. The one she could never forget, no matter how many years and miles came between them. Grief reunites them, horses help heal their hearts, and gives them an idea to help others. An idea that had been her grandfather’s dream for her. The letter he left, changed the direction of her life and her heart.


**Only .99 cents!!**
Goodreads * Amazon

He moved closer to her. She backed against the tree. The reflection of the sun in his eyes reminded her of the last kiss between them against this tree. The last time she looked deeply to study those gray eyes. The first time she noticed them, she thought they were blue. But over time she took notice of their change in color from gray to blue to green; depending on what he wore, his mood, or the lighting. No matter the color, they were calming. She’d always felt she could see through the color to his soul. Raine felt his hot breath against her lips. She wanted nothing more than his kiss. Even for just one last time she could hold in her memory forever.


Angela resides in Nova Scotia - Canada's Ocean Playground. Inspired by sunsets, the ocean, her family, and books! She is never without a book, whether she's reading or writing. Angela is a bestselling and award-winning author who has been in the Amazon top fifty, Readers' Choice Awards and ScreenCraft. She has over 50 published works in paperback, eBook, audiobook, and foreign translation. An Award of Distinction sparked the idea for her first book 'Closure' that hit Bestselling Action & Adventure, Women's fiction. In between mysteries, Angela writes short contemporary romance. She loves to connect with her readers!





Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!




Cross Crease by Elizabeth Hartey #CoverReveal


Cross Crease
Elizabeth Hartey
(On the Edge, #3)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: August 20th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Heaven
I was fourteen the first time I laid eyes on the smoking hot, silver-eyed, goalie. Damon Wolfe was the most gorgeous boy I’d ever seen. All it took was one glance, one sentence and my heart was his. But I was too young and he was too broken.
Seven years later, he’s the biggest off the ice player in the NHL and I’m his virginal best friend.
Of course, I have the perfect solution to that particular problem, but Damon keeps on refusing to be the one to vanquish my chastity. He claims he doesn’t want to ruin our friendship, that he’s not good enough for me. Yet, somehow his eyes say something different whenever he looks at me.
Just one night, that’s all I’m asking.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Wolfe
I was mesmerized by Heaven Andersen the first time I looked into her sparkling turquoise eyes. She was a teenage kid with a mouth full of braces and bruised knees, but she was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen—like a fairy-tale princess. With one look, she sent all my inner demons running. But she was just a kid and I was too damaged.
Seven years later, she’s my best friend. My best friend with a single-minded mission—to get laid.
She wants me to take her virginity and teach her about sex. But she’s an off-limits, flawless diamond girl, and so far out of the realm of anything my blackened heart is looking for or deserves it’s laughable.
So, how come I’m not laughing? How come my best friend is the first thing I think about in the morning and last thing I think about at night? More importantly, what am I going to do to protect her—from me?
Previous books in the series:


Author Bio:
As a lover of the northeast US, my husband and I moved to the Poconos several years ago to open a Chiropractic Clinic. Four children and a menagerie of animals later, I have finally found time to fulfill my lifelong dream of writing novels. A dreamer at heart, romance is---of course---the genre I spend most of my time writing and reading into the wee hours of the morning. However, if it's a good book, any genre can keep me immersed in the story for hours.
When I'm not juggling work responsibilities and writing, I enjoy baking, knitting, traveling, hiking the beautiful hills and woods around my home and spending time with my family.

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Friday, 19 July 2019

The Brothers of Brigadier Station #Audiobook Tour

Audiobook Tour: The Brothers of Brigadier Station by Sarah Williams

Author: Sarah Williams

Narrator: Myles Pollard

Length: 5 hours

Series: Brigadier Station, Book 1

Publisher: Serenade Publishing Audio

Released: May 17, 2019

Genre: Romance


She came to the outback to marry the love of her life. She just didn't expect him to be her fiancé's younger brother. When Meghan Flanagan, a vet-nurse from Townsville, moves to Brigadier Station in outback Queensland to marry the man of her dreams, she is shocked to discover that perhaps her fiancé isn't the man she wants waiting for her at the altar. The man she's destined to marry, just might be his younger brother. Cautious of women after a disastrous past relationship, Darcy is happy living on his beloved cattle station, spending his spare time riding horses, going to rodeos and campdrafting. He didn't expect the perfect woman show up on his doorstep. Engaged to his brother. With the wedding only hours away, Meghan must make the decision of a lifetime. But, her betrayal could tear the family apart. She knows all too well the pain of losing loved ones and being alone. Now that she has the family she so desperately wants; will she risk losing it all? Set in the drought stricken plains of Julia Creek, North Queensland and the coastal city of Townsville this is a rural romance that will leave you asking: Will she marry the right man, for the right reasons? The Brothers of Brigadier Station is the first in the Brigadier Station series and can easily be read as a standalone. Each of Sarah's stories are linked so you can find out what happens to the other brothers and your favourite characters in future books.
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https://youtu.be/8EVPftEjDJ8
Sarah Williams is the bestselling author of Australian romantic fiction including the successful Brigadier Station series. Sarah Williams spent her childhood chasing sheep, riding horses and picking Kiwi fruit on the family orchard in rural New Zealand. After a decade travelling, Sarah moved to Queensland to raise a family and follow her passion for writing. She currently resides in Maleny on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Australia. When she's not absorbed in her fictional writing world, Sarah is running after her family of four kids, one husband, two dogs, a horse and a cat. She is CEO of Serenade Publishing, hosts the weekly podcast/vlog Write with Love, runs writers workshops and retreats, mentors and supports her peers to achieve their publishing dreams.
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Narrator Bio Since Graduating from Edith Cowan University in 1994 with Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, Myles was selected to attend the prestigious drama school, NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) and graduated in 1998. He has appeared in many Australian television series including Water Rats, Home and Away, All Saints, Wildside, Double Trouble, Packed to the Rafters, Underbelly 2, East West 101, Rescue Special Ops and Sea Patrol. It was playing Nick Ryan in the internationally acclaimed television series McLeod’s Daughters that secured him a place in the hearts and minds of millions of people worldwide. Myles has also worked as an actor with respected Australian theatre companies such as Bell Shakespeare, Ensemble and Black Swan. He appeared in the box office hit, Wolverine, had a lead role in the critically acclaimed feature film, Thirst, a lead role alongside Sam Worthington in DRIFT (shot in WA), appeared in Tim Winton’s “The Turning” alongside Rose Byrne and Miranda Otto, featured in “Foreshadow” (also shot in WA) and has just completed filming alongside Richard Roxborough in Western Australia. Myles has produced two short films for Trop Fest over the years and a short film called Jubulj, directed by Wayne Blair of (The Sapphires) and recently made his feature film Producing debut with Drift. Myles continues to work in the corporate arena as a coach/facilitator and runs numerous acting classes in Perth, Margaret River and Bunbury for developing actors and children. He also runs classes on auditioning, private lessons and general workshops for acting to camera.
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Sweet forbidden love. 

Meghan is engaged to Lachie and is in love with the dream of having everything he can offer. He has a loving family, money and stable life. When she moves to Brigadier Station in outback Queensland she realises there is something he loves more than her fiancé. Lachie's younger brother is everything she ever wanted in a partner and everything she needs to forget about. Her fiancé flaws become more apparent as she sees the future she wishes she has with his brother.

This is a sweet romance, with a beautiful setting. Watching the forbidden love grow shows how love can defeat all obstacles. This is a cute story. 

This book took me a little while to get into it, however, was worth it. The narrator's voice fits nicely with the story and you can almost image him as Darcy (The brother).

The relationship between Lachie and Meghan isn't featured in this book very much. There is no sense of feelings for him as a reader. Darcy is our one and only true guy.

4.5 star out of 5.
*MP3 Audio read as part of the tour. My review is my own and an honest reflection of my opinion. 



  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Sarah Williams. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. Dream Cast
Dream Cast By Author Sarah Williams
If The Brothers of Brigadier Station were being turned into a movie or television series, who should be cast as its characters? Since The Brothers of Brigadier Station was actually inspired by them, I’d have to say the Hemsworth Brothers! Chris as Lachie and Liam as Darcy. These guys are not only amazing actors but about as Aussie as they come! Not to mention gorgeous! Shailee Woodlea is the actress I would love to see play Meghan. I think she is an incredible actress who plays the quiet, shy type really well. Plus she and Liam would look so cute together.

Q&A With Author Sarah Williams
  1. What inspired your book? I have always loved Cowboy romances and after meeting another Australian author I decided to write one set in Australian. I was inspired to write about brothers after seeing a picture of Chris and Liam Hemsworth together and thinking how good they would look in jeans and an akubra, fighting over the same girl.
  2. Will you turn the rest of the series into audiobooks? Yes. Myles has already signed on to record the next two in September.
  3. How did you select your narrator? I happened to be attending a charity event for my kid’s school which Myles was being paid to attend. Myles Pollard is a very well known Australian actor. He was on the hit Australian TV show McLeod’s Daughters which was very similar to my books - set on a cattle property in the Outback. I got to meet him and asked if he would be interested. He said he was so a few days later he auditioned and I was incredibly impressed with what I heard. He really is the best choice for my Brigadier Station series.
  4. How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? I am an Indie author without any staff so I project managed every detail. I even flew across the country so I could attend the recording sessions. I did need to direct Myles a little bit and correct a few words. On the whole he picked up the different characteristic and quirks very quickly and brought them to life on a whole-nother level.
  5. How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing? I sit down to write every morning as soon as the kids leave for school. After about two hours I take a break and do other things and usually come back for another session before the kids come home.
  6. Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you? I spend a lot of time driving so listening to audiobooks is fantastic. I go through at least one per week.
  7. If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles? Chris and Liam Hemsworth (two of the hottest guys in Australia in my opinion!) and Shaileen Woodley.
  8. What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors? Find a genre you like and read it extensively. Then do some workshops and courses. There is so much to learn and you don't know what you don't know!
  9. Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks? Make sure you read the script aloud before handing it over. I spotted a lot of mistakes like repetition and had to change them in the book. Making an audiobook is expensive so you need to get it right the first time.
  10. What’s next for you? I’m still writing! #4 in the Brigadier Station series will be out before Christmas. I’ll be back in the studio with Myles in September for more audiobook adaptation and I’m travelling to the USA for the Romance Writers of America conference in July. I also host a weekly podcast called Write with Love, so that keeps me pretty busy too.
Giveaway
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card

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Silent Kingdom Tour and Giveaway


Silent Kingdom
Silent Kingdom Book 1
by Rachel L. Schade
Genre: YA Fantasy 

Some fates can't be escaped
Chosen by truth. Marked for death. Halia must choose to save her kingdom, or let it fall.


Misroth's king has died, and the entire kingdom is in mourning--or so it seems. After her father is crowned regent in his brother's stead, Princess Halia discovers a terrible truth that could end her life. But when she flees to live in hiding, she discovers that the Royal Guard are not all she has to fear. Dark creatures stalk her, reports of oppression and war reach her ears, and her burden to protect her kingdom--at any cost--will not be silenced.

Lovers of fantasy adventures such as Throne of GlassAn Ember in the Ashes, and The Remnant Chronicles won't want to miss this exciting new series. Filled with heart-pounding action and thrilling courage, supernatural powers and nightmarish monsters, readers have trouble putting this book down. Start your adventure today!




Goodreads * Amazon
CHAPTER ONE
I was thirteen when the truth first revealed itself to me.
It happened on a day usually set aside for celebration in Misroth, now weighed down by the loss of our king. The air felt heavy and still under the grey afternoon sky as I walked amidst the coronation procession. All around me, councilmen strode silently, their cloaks swirling about their legs, their boots thudding a steady rhythm along the cobblestone streets of the capital. Arrayed in elaborate scarlet and blue, the King’s Guard formed a protective barrier around the procession’s outer edges, as if they could save my family from the pain that had already taken residence in our hearts. Even in the dim light, the guards’ steel armor glinted. I watched them in awe, for I had never seen them in anything other than their everyday chainmail and leather breastplates, and they looked ready for battle.
Before me, my mother and father walked with their heads held high. Mother’s long, dark hair was plaited delicately and her emerald green dress was so long it trailed along the street behind her. Father kept his grey eyes focused on the crowds around us, nodding to citizens as we passed. He had warned our family that we should not let this dark time steal our dignity, and reminded us that tears were for the weak.
To my shame, my vision blurred with tears anyway. Perhaps I’ll always disappoint Father. I blinked them away hastily and turned to my cousin Gillen, who trudged beside me. His golden, shoulder-length hair tousled in the wind and fell into his face when he hung his head. I knew he was trying to hide his eyes, which were usually bright, but today were swollen and red.
I reached out and gave his arm a reassuring squeeze, wishing I could lend the last shreds of my strength to him.
“Thank you, Lia,” he muttered for only me to hear. “This is not a day I feel strong.”
But he had to be. One day he would be our new king. I opened my mouth to murmur something comforting, but choked on my words. He is healed now. We will see him again. What nonsense. The words were all hollow and brittle, crumbling as soon as I thought them. Gillen didn’t want to hear them, and neither did I. Frowning at my feet, I clamped my mouth shut.
Drawing a deep breath, I dared to raise my gaze to study the rows of citizens lining the streets. Their faces were solemn and their eyes seemed to reflect my own fears: fear of change, fear of the pain and death we had witnessed. This was no joyous coronation procession, not when it followed a funeral. We had left grieving citizens and my weeping aunt at her husband’s graveside to wind our way through the wide streets of Misroth City, past the towering stone buildings and houses. There were no cheers or fists raised to hearts in salute; no ribbons were waved, and no songs were sung. Throughout the city, a heavy silence hung in the air.
We halted in the main square, surrounded by shops closed for business today, and stood, hushed, as my father approached the waiting priest, who stood in the center of the square before a marble statue of King Eldon. Beside the priest, a solitary Royal Guard stood bearing Misroth’s banner, adorned with the stars of the dragon constellation, Vehgar. Father’s velvet robes, midnight blue and trimmed in silver, trailed along the cobblestone behind him. Dressed all in red, the royal priest stood tall and solemn, his dark face masked by the large hood he wore. His cloak billowed about him, but he was motionless.
“Today is a day of many emotions,” the priest announced. In the stillness, his voice was startlingly loud, echoing off the buildings around us. “We grieve the passing of our beloved King Reylon. Together, we mourn the loss his family all feel. But we have hope and comfort in this dark time. We know the Giver of Life has carried our king to another, better place, and King Reylon’s brave brother, Zarev, stands before us willing to accept the throne until King Reylon’s son Gillen is of age. Misroth will not be leaderless.”
Lifting his arms, the priest began to sing an ancient blessing over my father. The words were in Alrenian, a language no longer understood in our kingdom, but the meanings of the old songs were still remembered, passed down from generation to generation. This was a traditional coronation blessing, asking the Giver of Strength to equip my father for the task before him.
“O bren valt hali,
O bren valt mis.
Mari, O emba l’val.
Thero, yagen sem forith.
Thero, yagen sem mis.
Thero, val re rynnet…”
All around me, heads bowed in reverence. It seemed as if others felt comforted by the priest’s words, but I felt numb. I didn’t want to be the daughter of a king, even a king regent. I didn’t want to return to a home bereft of my uncle’s kindly smile or his exciting stories shared with Gillen and me by the fireside.
My red armband of mourning, fastened over my forearm, was constricting, and I wanted to rip it off. Why would the Life-Giver bring us death?
I was startled out of my reverie by my father’s voice, repeating a pledge before the Misrothian people and the Giver as he accepted kingship. The priest’s and my father’s voices trailed on, alternating as the priest spoke and my father recited the words.
“I vow to protect my kingdom with my own blood, to dedicate my service to the Giver of Life and to Misroth…”
“My father was supposed to live a long life,” Gillen whispered, his countenance still a picture of shock. “Not leave me to rule as soon as I am eighteen. That’s four years from now,” he choked out.
Grasping Gillen’s cold hand in mine, I bowed my head, knowing nothing I said would help my cousin.
“…and, if circumstances demand it, to give my own life for Misroth.”
My father rose, the king’s silver crown contrasting with his long dark hair as he faced the crowd. His voice was steady and confident. “…and, if circumstances demand it, to give my own life for Misroth.”
As the priest called my mother forth to declare her own pledge as queen, I wished for something to say, anything to ease Gillen’s pain.

If only I’d known how dangerous words can be.


Forsaken Kingdom
Silent Kingdom Book 2

An empty throne. A ruined kingdom. Is she their deliverance or their downfall?


Halia's fight for her kingdom is only beginning. With Misroth's rightful king in danger, Halia is forced to trust her enemy and embark on a dangerous journey into Toryn to find her cousin. But Toryn is in ruins, its people plagued by terrors and fighting for survival. As death stalks them all, Halia must face the darkness in her past and her deepest fears, until at last she is faced with one terrible question: How much is she willing to lose?

Lovers of fantasy adventures such as Throne of GlassAn Ember in the Ashes, and The Remnant Chronicles won't want to miss this exciting new series. Filled with heart-pounding action and thrilling courage, supernatural powers and nightmarish monsters, readers have trouble putting this book down.



Goodreads * Amazon
CHAPTER ONE
The people of Misroth marched my father’s head through the streets. In a gleeful parade,
men, women, and even children held their fists high in the air and shouted their victory,
their freedom, and their release from tyranny and death. The patches of ice and snow
littering the muddy cobblestones underfoot did nothing to slow their steps.
Kneeling beside my mother’s memorial, I watched them stream through the streets below
as anger and disgust stabbed my chest. Beside me, Jennah reached out and grasped my arm, her
hand warm and reassuring.
I stared at her, a breeze off the Alrenian brushing its chill fingers through my hair. Her
eyes were sympathetic, but her brow was furrowed into firm lines. In the daylight, the fresh scar
cutting across her cheek contrasted starkly with the dark, gold-tinted skin that, along with her
eyes, showed her Alrenian heritage.
“This needs to end,” I said, plucking her hand from my arm and rising. The rebels
standing behind us, acting as my unofficial Royal Guard, stirred uncomfortably.
Jennah didn’t move, but continued to gaze at the stone altar. Words were etched into its
side, words that left me cold and numb as they blandly recited facts:
Lady Ryn of Misroth,
Daughter of Lord Dievon and Lady Loella,
Wife of Prince Zarev.
Born Year 159. Perished Year 201.
Prepared years ago for the former queen, with her death date added mere days ago, its
charred surface was a heavy reminder of the night we burned her body. Contrasting starkly with
the blackness were white sythrel petals scattered over the memorial, offerings to plead for the
Life-Giver’s favor toward the dead.
My fingers curled into fists. There would be no favor for the dead if there was not favor
for the living first. And behaving as my father had was no way for my kingdom to earn it.
I turned my back to my mother’s memorial and took a step back toward the city, my
boots crunching on gravel and sand.
“Your Highness.” Jennah’s voice was low, smooth.
“Do not call me that.”
Ignoring my comment, Jennah stood and joined me as I glared down at the streets. She
studied me for a moment before quirking an eyebrow. “How do you plan to stop a mob—by
running out into the fray and being trampled to death?”
I lifted my hands to massage my temples. “We must not be like him. We cannot stoop to
this—this barbarism…”
Again, Jennah reached out her hand to touch my shoulder. Her face softened with
compassion, the gold flecks in her brown eyes glittering with warmth. “What will you have us
tell the people?”
“Tell them to burn the king’s body. Scatter the ashes to the wind, or bury them to be
forgotten forever. I don’t care,” I finished, “as long as the people return to their lives. It is time to
rebuild. To forget.”
I fingered the red armband of mourning adorning my right forearm, tracing the outline of
sythrel petals etched into its smooth leather surface. It and the diamond star hanging from a
white gold chain my mother had worn to honor her marriage to my father were the only symbols
of bereavement I bore. It had seemed wrong not to follow Misrothian custom in the wake of my
mother’s death, even if she had failed me in countless ways. Jennah’s eyes followed my
movement, and I could read the question on her face: Was there a part of me that mourned my
father?
Refusing to contemplate that possibility, I averted my gaze.
“Let’s return to the castle, and I will pass on your orders,” Jennah said.
We descended the dirt pathway leading to the streets. Now that the riotous crowd had
passed, the surrounding city was quiet and empty. A distant bell tolled the time—half past the
thirteenth hour—and a stray cat skittered along the cobblestones to avoid our path. Half the
shops we passed, even those lining the main street that wound a path toward the castle, were
closed, while the rest looked lifeless, vacant of all but their shopkeepers.
Our guards followed Jennah and me silently, a constant reminder that I was confined
once again to the life of a royal, always being followed, always being watched. Always feeling
constricted. Towering overhead, even the slate-colored buildings of the capital seemed to hem
me in. I caught a glimpse of a woman peering from a window high above until she met my gaze
and turned away. The eyes of an entire city—an entire kingdom—were on me, all the Misrothian
people resting their hopes in my hands and waiting to see what I would do next. I couldn’t fail
them.
I swallowed as memories of open skies and friendly faces darted through my mind, as
grief and regret rose at the reminder of how much I missed Lyanna and Rev and all the others I’d
never even bid goodbye. But in a kingdom teetering toward anarchy in these uncertain days, I
had no time to consider that now.
Mere days had passed since the rebels had taken possession of the castle, but these days
had felt like a lifetime. I couldn’t leave Misroth until a semblance of order was restored and my
aunt was well enough to rule in her son’s stead, but my heart ached to be journeying toward my
cousin Gillen, to find him and bring him home safely. Every moment I remained in Misroth was
another moment I was abandoning him to an unknown fate in a perilous land.
We reached the castle, our footsteps echoing in the courtyard as guards let us pass with
salutes. Two more pushed the main doors inward to reveal the gleaming marble floors and
carved mahogany columns of the main entrance. My stomach twisted; I still wasn’t used to the
sight of my childhood home, a place that felt cold and empty with so many recent painful
memories—and without Gillen’s presence. After the years I’d spent in the quiet village of Evren
with Lyanna and Rev, I felt like I was living a stranger’s life in Misroth City.
Jennah turned toward me. “We need to prepare for your meeting with the Royal
Council.” She glanced back at the men accompanying us. “Gather more men and put an end to
the riots, in the princess’s name.”
Ever since King Zarev had been overthrown, I’d found there were few I could trust
within the castle. Most of his Royal Guard were locked in the prisons while the servants were
questioned one by one. Because of this, members of the rebellion, including Jennah and her
family, had moved into the castle with me to better serve as my unofficial guard and assist in the
many changes I needed to enact. Jennah had already proved to be an encouraging supporter and
advisor. But I wasn’t as thrilled as she about my meeting to reconvene the Royal Council today.
I drew a deep breath as Jennah and I passed through the halls and up the spiraling
staircases of the castle. Endless stone corridors, richly carpeted rooms, grand windows with
breathtaking views of the gardens and sea, and dozens upon dozens of paintings and statues and
tapestries commemorating Misroth’s history—they all whirled by in a maze I could have walked
with my eyes closed. When we entered my chambers, two servants were already laying out a
gown the royal seamstress had prepared for the occasion. They glanced up at me expectantly, but
I waved them away.
“That will be all, thank you,” I said. The headache forming in my temples was growing
more relentless, more insistent.
“It’s beautiful,” Jennah murmured, running the skirt’s silken folds through her fingers.
Pressing my lips together, I studied the dress carefully spread across my bedcovers. It
was scarlet, its flared sleeves accented with small jewels that cast small glimmers of light along
the walls. The bodice was fitted and overlaid with silver lace; the skirt hung in loose folds that
shimmered with further hints of silver—more lace or jewels or perhaps elegant embroidery, I
could not tell. I didn’t want to look and suppressed the urge to cringe.
Jennah spun toward me with a smile. “Now you can finally set that old dress aside.”
“Yes,” I said, turning away as I bunched folds of my wool skirt in my hands. It was
travel-stained and faded, an old brown dress Lyanna had made for me. I had few possessions
from Evren to hold on to, and I longed for even these simple reminders of the family and friends
I’d left behind. Though I knew I had no choice, I was afraid if I discarded my old clothes for all
the new castle attire the seamstress was preparing, the servants would burn them or use them as
rags.
This isn’t a time to be sentimental. Drawing a deep breath, I nodded. “I will change.” I
snatched the gown from the bed before Jennah could protest and dashed toward my dressing
chamber.
“Do you want help…?” Jennah called hesitantly.
I repressed an urge to laugh aloud. Help? I’d lived as a commoner only a few years of my
life, and I’d felt more comfortable then than I’d ever had within the castle walls. If only she
knew how much I longed to return to that life now, as the Misrothian people turned to me in
anticipation and hope. “I’m fine,” I murmured instead.
The dress was as heavy as I’d imagined, but to the seamstress’s credit, it fit perfectly, and
the material was soft against my skin. And politically, to be attired in Misroth’s colors—well, I
hoped I would make the impression I strove to make with the Royal Council, because I knew
what I had to say was going to stir their anger. Drawing as deep of a breath as I could in my
fitted bodice, I walked back toward my bedchamber and quirked an eyebrow at Jennah.
Jennah set her hands on her hips. “I was right. You look stunning.” She smiled. “Like a
princess.”
I relaxed my shoulders somewhat and stepped forward, trying to ignore the way the dress
swished along the floorboards around my feet. After years of sword practice and archery with
Avrik in simple, more loose-fitting attire that let me move as I needed, it was hard to feel
comfortable in a dress that restricted me. Even if my fight was over—for now.
“Good,” I said, “then they will listen to me.”
Jennah’s gaze was level yet piercing, as if she were looking into my head and assessing
my thoughts. “You are their leader; they will listen to you no matter what. You are the one who
should be dead, if not for the Life-Giver’s blessing. Have the people not sought blessings from
our god all this time? To see one of their own, a member of the royal family, receiving his
blessing and offering them freedom again as King Eldon did… It means something.”
I caught a glimpse of myself in the floor-length mirror on the opposite wall and paused.
My green eyes and dark hair were so like my mother’s, but my jawline and stern expression were
more my father’s, traits that I could use to give me his same commanding appearance, if I
wanted to. “Gillen is their rightful leader,” I said.
In the mirror, Jennah’s reflection was visible over my shoulder. Her eyebrow rose in
understanding. “You mean to find him,” she said. “You called this meeting to inform the Council
or to seek its blessing.” Her brow furrowed and she shook her head. “Ele—Halia, please
reconsider. Misrothians will look to you during this time. You must be crowned queen regent in
Gillen’s absence and help the kingdom recover.”
I tugged on the sleeve of my dress and stared down at my feet. “My aunt can do all of this
in my absence.”
“She is royalty by marriage only…”
“She is as capable as anyone. More capable than I am, certainly.” I fidgeted with the
folds of my skirt before I caught myself and stopped. “Trust me, Jennah, I’ve considered all of
this. I know the objections that will be made. But if I don’t go”—I struggled not to choke on the
words— “if I send others in my place while I sit in the safety of this castle… I cannot do it. I
can’t leave him again.”
Jennah’s eyes met mine in the mirror and for several long seconds we said nothing.
Determination spread across her face and her eyes sparkled with defiance. “If you go, I go with
you.”
“What about your daughters?”
“If this is for the kingdom’s safety, it is for theirs.” Jennah saluted. “Please grant me this.
Let me stay by your side to protect you.”
I hesitated, studying her strong features, her tall, slender form. A woman of Alrenian
heritage with a warrior’s heart would surely be an asset, but I hated to risk her safety and tear her
apart from her family again. The jagged scar tracing her cheek, pale white against her dark
complexion, reminded me of how much she had already given. But who was I to tell her no?
“If this is what you want,” I sighed, “I will not say no. But do what is best for you and
your family, not me. Think of them and then make your final decision.”
Jennah lifted her chin. “I already have. I’ll speak with my husband, but I know he’ll see
my point. It’s too soon for him to travel again, when he’s still recovering, and he’s been away
from our daughters all this time.”
Bowing my head, I nodded.

Distant tolling marked the hour and I jerked upright, straightening my back and holding




Rachel L. Schade was born on the first day of summer in a small town in Michigan, only to end up in another small town in Ohio. She attended The Ohio State University to learn how to write obnoxiously long papers, cite people who use big words, and discuss her passion: books. She has a great love for the color blue, sunshine, chocolate, and not folding her laundry. Currently she lives with her husband and surrounds herself with coffee and books on a regular basis.





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Thursday, 18 July 2019

Out of Luck Tour and Giveaway


Out of Luck
Maximum Exposure Book 3
by Kendall Talbot
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Adventure

For twenty years, they moved from town to town every few months. They paid in cash. They kept only what they could carry. But 26-year-old Charlene Bailey and her father were a family, complete and happy. Until a woman stabbed him to death in a New Orleans café, right in front of Charlene’s eyes, screaming in a language she didn’t understand. Now the police are claiming that her whole life is a lie. To find out who she is, she’ll have to find out what they were running from. And to discover that, she’ll have to find someone she can trust.
As a charter boat captain out of Key West, Marshall Crow has seen his share of reckless tourists. But the fierce young woman asking for passage to Cuba isn’t one of them. He never thought he’d put the skills he learned in the Navy to work smuggling a stranger, but he’s drawn to her the same way she’s drawn to the truth. And through the dark waters of the Florida straits and the narrow streets of Havana, the danger that awaits them is far too vicious to face alone.


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Chapter 1
Sorrow coiled in Charlene’s heart as she inched toward her father’s body on the metal slab. The pungent air crackled with the stillness about her, and her bones sagged with an emptiness deep in her soul. Her father didn’t look peaceful. She should’ve expected that, given the way he’d died. The stubble in his beard was longer than usual, and she was surprised at how many gray whiskers he had. Lips that had always been quick to smile were tinged the color of acid-washed denim.
His almond-colored eyes were closed, destined to remain that way forever.
With trembling hands, she curled her fingers beneath the seam of the white sheet concealing his body and eased it down from his neck. Fighting the quiver in her chin, she stared at the jagged knife wound in
his chest. It was surprisingly small considering the amount of blood that’d gushed from it.
Charlene squeezed her eyes shut, trying to force the brutal attack from her mind. But it was there to stay. Every precise second was permanently etched into her memory.
The woman who’d stabbed him was a stunning brunette with olive skin and fierce brown eyes. She’d looked petrified. Clearly her father and the woman had known each other, but Charlene had never seen her before. They’d argued in Spanish. Charlene didn’t speak any other languages, and
she’d had no idea her father did either.
When the woman had grabbed her father’s steak knife, Charlene had seen the look in his eyes. It wasn’t fear. It was resignation. Like he’d always expected that moment to one day come.
Shaking the recollections free, she opened her eyes and touched his forearm, just as she’d done a thousand times over, except this time she had to resist recoiling at the cold beneath his flesh. As a single tear trickled down her cheek, she wondered if their past had finally caught up to them.
Twenty-two years it’d taken.
Twenty-two years since her father had whisked her away in the middle of the night.
Twenty-two years since she’d last seen her mother.
They’d moved to twice as many cities in that time. Just the two of them.
Charlene inhaled the tangy disinfectant and the emptiness around her. “What am I going to do?” Even her voice sounded hollow, lacking in emotion.
Life as drifters had meant she had no friends.
Her time with her mother was nothing but a whispered dream. Her father never did tell her what happened when she was six years old. And after a while, she’d stopped asking. In fact, she’d often wondered if it was just a silly childhood nightmare.
Now she was all alone.
The enormity of it had hit her yesterday when the police started asking questions.
Her father had no identification. No driver’s license. No credit cards. Not even a Social Security card. Just a small amount of cash and the key to their rented apartment. It hadn’t surprised her. The police, however,
had implied that it was abnormal. Deceitful even. Charlene had explained away all their questions, yet Detective Chapel had looked at her like she was hiding something.
She’d learned to live with inquisitive gazes; she’d been the new student at twenty or so schools. Being the stranger in a crowd was completely normal.
The door cracked open, and the sound ricocheted about the room like a bullet. She jolted at the interruption and turned. Detective Chapel had a look of sorrow that for some reason seemed forced…too practiced. She flicked the tears from her cheeks and stepped back from her father’s lifeless form.
“Ms. Bailey, are you okay?”
Charlene swallowed the lump burning in her throat and shook her head. Okay? His question was ludicrous. Nothing will ever be okay again. Ever. She turned back to her father’s body and through her murky tears scanned his face. Finally, she nodded. “Yes.”
When she turned to look into Chapel’s eyes, she had a strange feeling he didn’t believe her account of what happened. She blinked and tried but failed to cast the unfounded feeling aside. “What happens now?”
“If you’re up to it, we’d like to ask you a few more questions.”
She glanced at her father one last time, hardly able to believe what she was seeing. He’d always been full of life…the first to try out a dish he couldn’t pronounce at a restaurant or jump off the bus to explore a new
vista. He taught her to appreciate the sunrise and the glow of the moon over the ocean. His days were long and his nights short in his attempts to squeeze the life out of every second.
All that had been stolen with the slice of a blade.
She bit her lip in an attempt to halt her quivering chin, and before she succumbed to the burgeoning tears again, she allowed Chapel to lead her from the morgue.


Out of Mind
Maximum Exposure Book 2

A love frozen in time . . .


Holly knew the romantic helicopter ride up to the remote peak of Whisky Mountain was a bad idea. But she never expected it to snatch her fiancé from her—or destroy her life. A few fiery seconds turn a postcard-perfect morning in the Canadian Rockies into a snowy hell, thirteen thousand feet above sea level. And in the midst of grief and agony, Holly catches sight of a scene in the ice that will haunt her until she can return and discover the truth.
Oliver Nelson could see the stranger had a mystery inside her. The scars on her face, the pain in her eyes, the insistence that he teach her completely alone—no one needs to learn rock climbing, or so he thought. But the more he gets to know her, the more he admires her drive, her ingenuity, and that little edge of recklessness. If she can trust him with her story, he’s ready to follow her wherever her heart takes her. 
But nature’s deadly beauty isn’t the only danger waiting for them on Whisky Mountain. To survive, Oliver and Holly will have to move fast—and think faster . . .



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Chapter 1
From the moment Holly climbed into the helicopter, a sense of foreboding plagued every thought. Three times in her life she’d had a premonition about death. Each time it’d come true. But she wouldn’t say anything. Not when Milton, her new fiancé, had paid so much money for this exclusive trip. And especially not when he’d looked like an excited teenager when he’d first spied the chopper at the ski resort. Holly forced her brain to focus on the mountain scenery around her, rather than the tendrils of dread inching up her spine.
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was supposed to be fun. But the buffering wind and shuddering windows made it so far from fun she could barely breathe. According to the pilot, a private picnic on the west
summit of one of Canada’s highest peaks had never been done before. But Milton had charmed the man with both his expert persuasion skills and his generosity with money. So much so that the pilot simply couldn’t refuse.
Twelve thousand dollars had been his tipping point. For that, not only did they get a private helicopter, but the pilot also provided expensive champagne, a gourmet feast, and a folding table and three chairs, ready
to be set up wherever they wanted.
Milton was capable of convincing anyone to do anything. Her being on Whiskey Mountain was a testament to that. She never did anything that even hinted at danger.
Death had a way of following her. Her brother died as a three-week-old baby. Her father went to work one day and never came home. Her best friend died in a freak accident that’d perplexed all the authorities. Even her one and only pet didn’t make it past puppy stage. And Holly was only twenty-four years old. Based on that average, one death every five or so years, she was due again. She smacked the disturbing statistic away and wiped her sweating palms on her ski pants.
Shielding her eyes from the sun, she looked up at the mountain peak. The snowcapped granite wall jutted skyward like an enormous shark fin. It was an interesting color, like the rocks were gilded in copper. She
wondered if that’s why it’d been named Whiskey Mountain. With each foot they rose, it appeared to grow wider and higher, and the very tip glistened like a diamond.
The helicopter shot over the ski resort’s highest cable car station, leaving behind the last signs of civilization. The lump of dread, deep in the pit of her stomach, hit a whole new level. The white terrain stretched as far as she could see. Even the trees had given up trying to live here.
When Holly had suggested to Milton that they take a vacation, she’d envisaged lying in hammocks on a deserted beach, sipping fancy drinks out of coconuts. Not this. Not high in the mountains where snow and ice
blanketed every surface. Cold weather seeped into her bones. Her mother said it was because she didn’t eat enough. Her fiancé said it was because she didn’t eat meat. Ever since their first date, two years ago, Milton had been trying to coax her off her strict vegetarian diet.
“Having fun?” Milton beamed at her. His eyes were hidden behind mirrored glasses, but she could picture the dazzle of excitement in his brown irises that she’d come to love.
Swallowing a bitter taste in her mouth, she decided to dodge his question. “It’s magnificent.” The last thing she’d do was voice her fear, not when he looked to be enjoying it so much. And especially not in front of Milton’s son, who’d commandeered the front seat next to the pilot. Kane had visited more countries in his seventeen years than Holly had dreamed of.
He hated Holly…and had made it his mission to tell her so at every opportunity. He blamed her for breaking up his parents’ marriage. She hadn’t. Their marriage was fractured long before Milton strolled into the coffee shop where she worked.
Holly had suggested to Milton that a vacation would be the perfect opportunity for Kane to get to know her better. She was desperate to prove to Milton’s son that she was worthy of his father’s love. At least,

that’d been her plan.


Out of Reach
Maximum Exposure Book 1

In a place where a city can be lost hundreds of years . . . they can still find each other.

Lily saw the temple of Agulinta on television: a vast stone structure swallowed by the Yucatan jungle, rediscovered only now after hundreds of years. So why did the papers she found after her father’s death show the same mysterious carvings that puzzled archaeologists at Agulinta? Her search for answers pulls her to Mexico’s southern border, where the journey to the lost temple will take her through jungle and mountain, over waters home to crocodiles and drug runners, and into uncomfortably close quarters with a man whose need to wander has become a way of life . . .
Australian Carter Logan’s work as a nature photographer has given him the excuse he needs to roam wherever his restless feet take him. But in all the time he’s traveled, he’s never been drawn to anyone the way he is to this determined, cagey young American. Lily’s perseverance through dirt, sweat, and danger to the heart of the ancient temple fires through him. But when the two of them are left alone and stranded in a vicious wilderness, their connection might prove the difference between life and death . . . if the secrets of the past don’t come between them first.




Lily Bennett reached into the satchel at her side and placed her hand on the leather-bound journal that had triggered her traveling more than three thousand miles out of her comfort zone.
She’d already memorized everything inside its weathered pages.
Especially her late father’s sketch of the unusual temple she’d been shocked to see on CNN six weeks ago. According to the news report, the newly discovered, three-thousand-year-old Agulinta Temple had been hidden for centuries—literally consumed by the Mexican jungle.
Yet, somehow her father knew it existed.
The temptation to open the journal again was powerful . . . too powerful.
She pulled it from her satchel and flicked over the yellowed pages, stopping on his drawing of a hollowed-out circular statue, like a giant donut. Around the face of the structure, pictographs appeared to tell a story. CNN had shown footage of a statue at Agulinta Temple exactly like this. Exactly.
A branch with enormous elephant-ear-sized leaves swiped the side of the taxi, brushing the elbow she’d leaned out the door. It was hard to know what was worse—the hot air seeping through the car vents or the humid air blowing in through the window. Shifting on the cracked vinyl seat, she tugged her cotton dress over her knees, hoping for a slight breeze up her skirt, but it was pointless.
She cleared her throat. “How much farther?”
The taxi driver looked at her in the mirror and smiled, showing off his chipped front tooth. “Not long.”
That’s what he’d said an hour ago.
Her mind drifted back to the horror written on her mother’s face when they’d opened the beat-up old suitcase they’d discovered in her father’s shed after he’d passed away. Lily thought she’d known her father well, until that moment.
Alongside the leather-bound journal, they’d also found a collection of black-and-white photos. The implications behind the pictures further shattered her mother’s already broken heart. His sudden death meant their future was forever changed; however, the mysterious items they’d found in that case, changed their past too.
For nearly a year, she’d watched her mother’s slide into a grieving darkness, dragging Lily and her brothers along with her. Lily had feared the secrets her father had taken to his grave were destined to remain unsolved.
Until CNN revealed Agulinta Temple to the world.
From the moment she’d seen that news report and heard the archaeologist’s declaration that the unusual shape of the ancient statue was one of a kind, she’d made it her mission to come down to Mexico and see Agulinta for herself. She needed answers. As did her mother. It’d been a whirlwind couple of weeks, and she still couldn’t believe she was here.
Lily took a tissue from her satchel and dabbed it across her neck and chest before using it to soak up the sweat under her armpits. The driver snuck a glance at her, but when she met his gaze, he quickly looked away. She was used to that. With six older brothers, and overprotective parents, she’d felt the eyes of someone watching her whole life. It was like living in a snow globe, and when things tipped upside-down, they’d all be watching to see how she’d handle it.
That wasn’t how she’d ended up here, though. Traveling to the middle of the Mexican jungle had been her decision. She’d listened to everyone’s objections, fielding calls from every member of her family and her girlfriends.
Her boss had put his foot down, proclaiming the trip too dangerous for a woman like her, which made her even more determined. Taking her new position with More to Explore was a stepping-stone for her career. It had also relocated her from Montana, where she’d grown up under the wings of her abundant family, and into her own dinky little apartment in Seattle.
Defying them all, she’d taken unpaid leave to make this journey from Seattle to the jungles of Mexico. Once she’d proved her decision was final, her boss, being the dirtbag he was, had added a caveat: If she did write a story, and if it was any good, the magazine would publish it.
Everybody thought she was crazy.
Maybe she was.

But this was something she had to do. For her mother’s sake. And her own. People had been controlling her all her life. It was time to show everyone that Lily had grown up.


Kendall Talbot is the author of the Maximum Exposure series, and many other action/adventure stories. A thrill seeker, hopeless romantic, and award-winning author of stories that’ll have your heart thumping from action-packed suspense and steamy bedroom scenes, she lives in Brisbane, Australia with her very own hero and a fluffy little dog who specializes in hijacking her writing time. Meanwhile, Kendall’s two sons are off making their own adventures—look out world




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!