Monday, March 19, 2018

Review - 'Beneath the Skin' by Zara West


Ex-Olympic wrestler and reclusive billionaire artist Aristides Stavros has one mission—to rescue his sister, a popular tattoo artist from the old enemy who has kidnapped her. But at every turn, he is confronted by anthropologist Melissa Dermot. Is she just an innocent girl in over her head, or is she working for the international crime boss holding his sister?

Only one thing is certain--when Ari holds the beautiful Asian-American in his arms, questions of guilt and innocence fade against an undeniable fiery attraction. But can their wild passionate love survive the tangled web of long-buried secrets, intentional deceit, and murderous revenge that lie just beneath the surface?


In the first book in the Skin Quartet series, grad student Melissa Dermont is writing a dissertation on why people choose to get tattooed. When Bella, the tattoo artist she’s supposed to be interviewing, goes missing, Melissa is determined to find her.
Wealthy artist Ari Stravos flies to New York City to search for his sister, Sirena. Her ex-lover, Vernon, has kidnapped her, and he demands that Ari sign over the deed to his home and private island to get her back. As Ari searches for Sirena, he meets Melissa. Though there’s an instant attraction between them, he thinks she’s involved in his sister’s disappearance, and Melissa thinks he kidnapped her tattoo artist friend, who just happens to be his sister. Ari has a dark past, and with all the scars on his face, he can’t escape derision and the stereotype that he’s a criminal.
Ari and Melissa are interesting characters. He’s definitely a tortured bad boy with pain and self-hatred burning deep inside him. Melissa looks for the good in most people, but she’s torn between seeing Ari as a monster and looking past his scars for the good man beneath. For the first half of the book, there’s a lot of sexual tension between the H/h, but they don’t spend a lot of time on page together. In the second half, the romance and lust grows like wildfire, but the H/h’s secrets are constantly wedging between them.
There are a lot of secondary characters, both good guys and bad. El Toro and T-Crew are awesome and proved excellent friends to Ari, but even they have their secrets.
I really enjoyed the story, but sometimes found it confusing. (I’m not sure why Ari complied with Vernon’s demands after he found out Vernon and Sirena/Bella were in love. I also don’t understand why Bella was estranged from Ari for so long since she agreed with him that Vernon was bad news.) 
I love the author’s fun, snarky writing style. She puts a lot of emotion and depth into her characters. It’s a great book, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next one in the series.
5 Stars

Disclaimer – I volunteered to read and review this book. Thank you, Zara West, for sending me an ebook copy. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Blog Tour - 'Love at Solace Lake series' by Jana Richards #Giveaway

Lies and Solace
Love at Solace Lake Series (Book 1)
By Jana Richards

Jana is giving away some wonderful prizes during this tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below for your chance win Ebook First and Again, Ebook There Goes the Groom, Ebook A Long Way from Eden, $10 Amazon gift card, or $5 Amazon gift card. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

Blurb for Lies and Solace:

She can’t live with one more lie. He can’t tell the truth.

Harper Lindquist is convinced she’s found the answer to her financial prayers. Unless she pours cash into crumbling Solace Lake Lodge, she’ll lose her family’s legacy. Her would-be savior arrives in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard and she’s determined to prove to her reluctant, and trapped, financier the lodge is a sound investment. But Harper isn’t completely honest with him. And she has no idea the lake is hiding secrets of its own.

Ethan James is a liar, but his money is very real. He isn’t convinced a broken-down inn is a smart investment opportunity. But the more he understands Harper’s dreams and desires, the more he wants to be the man to make them come true. The trauma in both their pasts means neither can fully trust the other. They must find the courage to love, to trust, and to accept, or yesterday’s sorrows will keep them apart.

Genre: Contemporary Romance, small town romance
Keywords: contemporary romance, small town romance, mystery, touch of paranormal, murder
ISBN: Ebook ISBN 978-0-9952791-0-0
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy, fully described love scenes
Release Date: March 14, 2018
Cover Artist: Angela Waters

Lies and Solace
Book 1 Out Now

Excerpt, Lies and Solace:

As she stared into his dark eyes she realized how much she trusted him, and relied on him. That was something rare for her. The only people she trusted as much were her sisters.
I’m in love with him.
The thought blasted through her brain with the force of a tsunami. The tension of the last few weeks, the insecurity, the mistrust, the fear, slipped easily from her shoulders. For the first time, her mind was clear. She was in love with Ethan and she didn’t want to wait anymore. She wanted him. She wanted him to be her first, her last.
Finding courage she didn’t know she possessed, Harper slid off the stool and walked around the island. She plucked the wine glass from his hand and set it on the counter, then placed his hand on her breast. “Make love with me, Ethan.”
A fire lit in his eyes, telling her he wanted her, too. But there was a question there, a hesitation. “Are you sure?”
She’d never been more sure of anything in her life. “Yes.”
“Shhh. Let’s not talk anymore.” She placed one finger over his lips, then stood on her tiptoes and kissed him.
Ethan’s reaction was lightning swift. He wrapped his arms around her and brought her close, his mouth descending on hers in a wild, warm kiss. Their tongues tangled, slid over each other. She’d missed his touch, his taste. She moaned, and in the sound she heard thirty-two years of longing.
For this. For him.

Secrets and Solace
Book 2 Coming March 21, 2018

Series Blurb:

Love is worth the risk…

When their grandfather dies, the Lindquist sisters, Harper, Scarlet and Maggie, inherit the northern Minnesota fishing lodge that had been in their family for three generations. The inheritance is bittersweet. They were raised at the lodge by their grandparents. The natural beauty of the place hasn’t changed, but the building itself is crumbling and desperately in need of repair. The lodge also reminds them of what they lost. Twenty-two years previously, their parents died there in what was ruled a murder/suicide.

As the sisters struggle to breathe new life into the failing lodge, old fears and questions rise to the surface even as new love presents itself. Why did their father murder their mother? What truths did their grandparents keep from them? The sisters must fight to keep the wounds of the past from putting their futures, and their fledgling relationships, in jeopardy.
Truth and Solace
Book 3 Coming March 28, 2018

About the Jana Richards:

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Cover Reveal - 'A Beltane Gift' by Holly Barbo

Beyond Time, Book 1
by Holly Barbo

Genre: Paranormal Short Story

Original Release Date: April 2016
Cover Designer: Darkmantle Designs
Publisher: Paper Gold Publishing

A paranormal short story set in Scotland, with cultural heritage at its heart.

Summer in Scotland, and Mari is working on an archaeological dig of a Viking burial ship during Beltane, a time of the year when the veil shrouding the spirit world thins.

What could possibly go wrong?

A Beltane Gift is a contemporary story with historical elements and a wee bit of the paranormal. It won first prize in the PGP Short Story Competition in August 2015. It is also available as part of the anthology Tendrils.

A Beltane Gift, Beyond Time: Book 1, is a story that begs for more. You can follow Mari as she searches for answers in A Bell for Valor. And watch for additional adventures in the Beyond Time series of Quick Reads.

A Quick Read book is a short story available as a single small book. In both ebook and paper format, it is a perfect small gift or for escaping to another place and reality when you only have a tiny block of spare time.

A wisp of a sound snatched her attention and she looked up, startled. The red fox stood just inside the circle of light cast from her fire. The source of the sound came from what it held in its jaws.

Standing, she moved toward the fox, anticipating it would run away. The fox allowed her two steps toward it, then slowly lowered its head and deposited a small animal on the ground before drifting back a few paces into the shadows.

It was a kitten of approximately two months of age, with long hair, bushy tail, ginger-colored thick fur around the head and large paws, but the rest was in shades of black and gray tiger stripes. It studied Mari with eerily intelligent heather-blue eyes. She approached the little animal and held out the back of her hand to be sniffed. In a quiet voice, she spoke to the fox. “Why do you have a kitten and why bring it here?”

A strange, almost atonal, voice came from the archeological dig. “Tha kitten is here 'cause I asked Ruadh ta bring it.”

She whirled, seeking the source of the voice.

It came again. “T'was ah good name an tha fox appreciates it.” Emerging from the shadows was the unsubstantial form of a Viking.

With wide eyes she watched... speechless.

“My greeting ta ye, Mari. Ye're ah descendant...” The spirit chuckled, “Many times an hundreds o' years removed, yet ye bear ah resemblance ta my beautiful Leda.”

Holly’s world is shaped by her love of family (which includes an adorable rescue kitty who has stolen her heart), the beauty of nature and an irrepressible curiosity that frequently has her turning over rocks and questioning what she finds. This sometimes sends the reader down a rabbit hole into an alternate view of the world than what they expected. Holly’s mind can be an interesting place. Her motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Release Day - 'Crazy, Madly, Deeply' by Lily White #Giveaway



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CMD cover 
  Holden sees things. Lots of things. Things we would call ugly, but he believes are beautiful. He paints sad pictures. And strums lonely guitars. He drowns out the taunting voices while shunning the expected norms. I let them hurt him. I wasn’t strong enough to speak out. I hurt him, too, only to prove I wasn’t just like him. But then I saw him. I heard him. I learned why Holden wasn’t CRAZY like they said. I loved him MADLY. I fell for him DEEPLY. And alone, I decided to save a man who was the most beautiful of us all.

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  4 Crazy Madly Deeply Release  

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Enter HERE for the Release Day Giveaway!


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  Lily White is a dark writer who likes to dabble on the taboo side of eroticism. She is most known for her Masters Series (Her Master’s Courtesan and Her Master’s Teacher), Target This, Hard Roads, and Asylum. She’s co-authored Serial (a four part serial series). When she isn’t writing as Lily White you can find other books by her under M.S. Willis where she has penned the Control Series, the Estate Series, Because of Ellison (contemporary romance), and Standard Romance Story (Romance Comedy). Lily enjoys stretching her writing muscles by continuing to challenge herself with each book she publishes. In addition to writing, Lily is an avid reader, gummy bear slayer, and a gold medalist in puppy naps.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Blog Tour - 'Prancing Around with Sleeping Beauty' by Stacy Juba


Do you love sweet romance novels that make you laugh? Then you'll want to check out Stacy Juba's brand new chick lit novel, Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty, the second book in the Storybook Valley series. The book was released March 5, and while it's a follow-up to the popular Fooling Around With Cinderella, both novels can also be read as stand-alones. Come discover Storybook Valley, a fictional theme park in the Catskills of New York. If you love small town romance with humorous characters, theme parks, fairy tale fun, and amazing love stories, then Storybook Valley will be your new favorite series.

Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty funny chick lit

This Sleeping Beauty isn’t sure she wants to wake up…
Dance instructor Rory Callahan likes to play it safe. When she meets Kyle, he’s impulsive, persistent, and her exact opposite. He’s pushing her to tango way past her comfort zone and keeping Rory on her toes more than twenty years of dance teachers ever had.
Unfortunately, he’s the grandson of her family’s archrival and she doesn’t want to disappoint them. After all, her parents imagine her as a proper princess - hence her namesake Aurora, AKA Sleeping Beauty. Complicating matters, Rory’s also dealing with a surgeon boyfriend who’s perfect for her (sort of), an obnoxious boss, and desperate dance moms. Kyle wants to change her whole life, but Rory doesn’t like the stakes. After all, princesses are the ones who get the happy endings. . .aren’t they?

Here’s what reviewers are saying:

“It’s fun and energetic and bright, everything you want in a romance novel.”
Emily Reads Everything

“This series is so charming. The characters are so incredibly endearing; I couldn’t help but fall in love with them.”
Boundless Book Reviews

“I chuckled, giggled and may have even snorted through Prancing Around with Sleeping Beauty…”
Among the Reads

Twilight had descended over the strip mall which also contained a pizza place, children’s art studio, New Age shop, bakery, and a consignment store with identical brick facades. A long sidewalk connected the storefronts. Rory’s phone chirped and she scanned a text as she strolled through the parking lot. A message from her older brother Jake, who lived in Maine.
Happy 25th. What new rose crap did you get this year?
Instead of making her chuckle, his joke elicited a sigh. She missed Jake and his toddler Quinn, but he never came home anymore thanks to a stupid fight with their parents. They went ballistic after he got a girl pregnant and accused him of ruining his life. Jake and the mother broke up, not surprising since she was a total flake, but he got an apartment a couple blocks away from her to be near his daughter. His absence meant he couldn’t take over the theme park, leaving room for Dylan to step forward.
Heading toward her car, she replied: Don’t know yet. I’m on my
Augh! Rory stumbled over something and toppled to the ground, her phone sailing through the air. Her right hand slammed against the pavement, and pain seared through her. Sitting up, she glared at the object that had blocked her path. A spiky creature in a plastic carrier glared back at her.
Rory blinked. She could accept a black cat crossing her path, but she owed her unceremonious spill to a needle-infested rodent?
“Who leaves a porcupine in the middle of the parking lot?” she demanded.
“Who trips over a huge animal carrier? Oh, right, someone who’s texting while walking.” A brown-haired guy in a khaki zookeeper uniform and boots loomed over her. She stiffened at his words until she noticed the dimples sprinkled with cinnamon freckles. He wasn’t mad, just amused. “And it’s not a porcupine. It’s a hedgehog.”
“What’s the difference? It was still in the middle of the parking lot.”
He crouched beside her. “For starters, hedgehogs have shorter quills that can’t easily come off their bodies, while a porcupine’s quills can easily detach themselves. On average a hedgehog has 7,000 quills while a porcupine has approximately 30,000. And a porcupine can grow to triple the size, between 25-and-36 inches.”
“It was a rhetorical question.” Rory risked a glance at her throbbing hand and winced. Blood dripped down her finger.
“I’ll admit that you’re worse off than Turbo. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll get the first aid kit.”
Mr. Porcupine Expert disappeared into a green van so garish, it almost distracted Rory from her pain. Painted animal heads peered out of big circles and orange letters proclaimed the monstrosity a Zoo Mobile—with paw prints forming the double ‘o’ in zoo. It wouldn’t surprise Rory if a white rabbit in a waistcoat popped out from the Day-Glo monstrosity, muttering about being late . . . for a tea party at her house using Wendy’s bumpy placemats. She groaned, deciphering the smaller words beneath the paw prints. ‘Duke’s Animal World.’
She’d always considered her family’s rivalry with Duke Thorne a bit ridiculous, but now Rory related to her granddad’s agitation. Thanks to sprawling over one of Duke’s stupid hedgehogs, she might have sprained her finger.
Shifting position, Rory glowered through the cage at the spiky black ball that had caused all the trouble. It huffed and puffed, quills poking outward, a breathing pincushion. My . . . she hadn’t realized hedgehogs had such tiny eyes. And what a cute button nose. This little guy—Turbo?—seemed skittish.
“Hey, there, Turbo,” she murmured. “Guess it was my fault, too. Did I scare you?”
“He’ll be okay.” The dimpled zookeeper reappeared with her cell phone, along with a toolbox-sized red first aid kit. He unlatched the kit, opened a box of gauze pads, and bent beside her. “Let’s apply pressure to stop the bleeding.”
“I can do it.” Rory squashed the pad against the cut, her cheeks heating, whether from his boyish good looks, or the mortification of falling over a hedgehog, she didn’t know. She hoped he couldn’t detect her blush under the lampposts’ dim glow. She rested her wrist on her knee. “What are you and Turbo doing here, anyway?”
“The art studio had a zoo night. The kids decorated animal statues and then I did a presentation. I was just about to load my last animal, Turbo, into the van when you went flying.” He jerked his thumb toward the Zoo Mobile. “I’ve also got a red-eyed tree frog, bearded dragon, chinchilla, and domestic rabbit.”
“Is it a white rabbit?” Rory muttered.
Mr. Porcupine Expert elevated a brow. “Not this time. What’s your story? What were you doing here?”
“I’m an instructor at the dance studio. We were having an open house. I got a text, and apparently, I wasn’t watching where I was going.” Rory battled the temptation to peek under the gauze.
“Let me get this straight. You’re a dancer? I thought dancers were graceful.” His brown eyes crinkled with amusement. Their shade reminded her of a caramel latte, warm and inviting.
“I am graceful! This was an isolated incident.”
“Uh-huh. I’m Kyle, by the way. And you’re . . .?”
“How about I make it up to you with free zoo tickets? You can come meet Turbo’s parents. I’m sure they’ll forgive you if I explain that you’re a dancer with two left feet.”
He wore such a deadpan expression that Rory almost laughed. His dry comic delivery must enliven his presentations. Her grandmother Lois, Storybook Valley’s self-appointed entertainment director, would remark that Kyle had charisma.

Buy it on:

Fooling Around With Cinderella funny chick lit

Ever wondered what those cheerful theme park princesses are really thinking? When twenty-five-year-old Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom...

Check out the Storybook Valley series at these retailers: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBookstore Kobo

And if you discover that you love the Storybook Valley books, be sure to join Stacy's street team, the Storybook Valley Sweethearts, on Facebook for book launch activities and exclusive sneak peeks. Members will get to hear the latest Storybook Valley news before anyone else, and even read excerpts of works-in-progress and give input on cover design.