The Beauty of Us by Kristen Proby 

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes a sexy, new standalone contemporary romance in her Fusion Series, THE BEAUTY OF US, out now! Grab your copy today and get to know Trevor and Riley!

 

 

About THE BEAUTY OF US:

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby delivers another sizzling novel in her delectable and sexy Fusion series.

Riley Gibson is over the moon at the prospect of having her restaurant, Seduction, on the Best Bites TV network. This could be the big break she’s been waiting for. But the idea of having an in-house show on a regular basis is a whole other matter. Their lives would be turned upside down, and convincing Mia, her best friend and head chef of Seduction, that having cameras in her kitchen every day is a good idea is daunting. Still, Riley knows it’s an opportunity she can’t afford to pass on. And when she meets Trevor Cooper, the show’s executive producer, she’s stunned by their intense chemistry.

Trevor’s sole intention is to persuade Riley to allow Best Bites TV to do a show on her restaurant. But when he walks into Riley’s office, he stops dead in his tracks. The professional, aloof woman on the phone is incredibly beautiful and funny. But can he convince her that he’s interested in Riley for himself? Or is he using the undeniable pull between them to persuade her to agree to his offer?

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Add to your Goodreads

 

 

 

 

And Don’t Miss the First Three Standalone Novels in the Fusion Series!

LISTEN TO ME
CLOSE TO YOU
BLUSH FOR ME

 

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

“There seems to be an explosion in the jackass population,” I reply, and sigh, passing my glass to Kat for a refill.

“Where are you meeting them?” he asks, and I bite my lip.

“I don’t want to tell you.”

“Online,” he says with a nod.

“I didn’t say that!”

“Didn’t have to. If you met him at the gym or the grocery store, or somewhere else in person, you wouldn’t be embarrassed.”

“I’m not embarrassed.”

“Yes, you are. Otherwise, you wouldn’t mind telling me.”

“Fine.” I sigh and rub my forehead with my fingers. “I met them online.”

“Stop that,” he says.

“I don’t know where else I’d meet people,” I reply. “I’m at work at least fifty hours a week. I don’t do school or clubs or church, and I rarely go to the grocery store because I always eat here.”

“I could stop feeding you,” Mia interjects and I toss her a glare.

“I’m just saying, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

“I don’t understand any of the words you just said.” I squint at him, trying to process.

“Switch it up,” he says with a grin. “Try to meet people somewhere else. I mean, you didn’t meet me online, and I’m not an asshole.”

“Sure, you’re cute, and you look like you have your shit together, but I suspect that once I got to know you I’d learn that you have mommy issues and fourteen dogs.”

“You might,” he says with a thoughtful nod. “I do hide those things well. All I’m saying is, stop using the dating sites and try meeting people in real life.”

“Yeah. Easy for you to say.” I pout into my wineglass. “Do I need to send you some money for this counseling session?”

“Nah, the first one’s on me,” he says, tossing that crazy-hot smile at me again. “Just don’t combine Star Wars and Star Trek anymore and that’s payment enough for me.”

He pulls a few bills out of his wallet and tosses them on the bar, then stands to leave.

“Have a good night, and good luck,” he says.

“Thanks.” Just as he’s almost out of view, I call out. “Wait! I didn’t ask your name.”

“Trevor,” he says, and my stomach immediately does at least four cartwheels. “Trevor Cooper.”

“You’re early,” is all I can think to say. My cheeks burning, my fingertips immediately tremble. “You’re not supposed to be here for two more days.”

“I like to come early. Get the lay of the land, that sort of thing.” He smiles and waves. “See you in a couple of days.”

He walks away, and as soon as I hear the front door close, I turn to my friends and just stare at them in utter horror.

“Tell me that didn’t just happen.”

 

 

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

About Kristen Proby:

Kristen was born and raised in a small resort town in her beloved Montana. In her mid-twenties, she decided to stretch her wings and move to the Pacific Northwest, where she made her home for more than a dozen years.

During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.

Not only did she publish one book, she’s since published close to thirty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion Series.

Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two pugs and two cats.

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter** Newsletter Sign Up

THE BEAUTY OF US Goodreads ** Kristen Proby Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Sight Unseen Excerpt Tour Week 2 #sightunseen

 

Have you picked up the SIGHT UNSEEN anthology? It features five intriguing, sexy, and surprising stories from five incredible authors – but you don’t know who wrote which story – YET. The reveal is coming soon, but in the mean time, we’re sharing the opening of each of the five stories, one per week! Check it out below and pick up your copy now!

 

About SIGHT UNSEEN

What stories would you tell if you could? Where would your mind take you, if you let it? Five of the top voices in romance dare you to explore the most distant corners of their imaginations as they test the limits of storytelling and break the boundaries of what even they thought possible, teasing and tormenting you shamelessly as they go.

But there’s a twist—the author of each story is a secret at the time of release. They’re each plumbing the depths of the human heart and mind in ways they’ve never attempted before. Taking you high, bringing you low, until you will be hardpressed to guess who wrote what. Can you tell? Want us to?

Too bad our lips are sealed . . . for now.

Lost That Feeling

Alma knew who she was, once—that is, before she erased her memory with a spell. Some, like the guards at the prison in which she’s held, say that she was a thief, a murderer.

Others say she was a hero. Like Driss, the man who rescues her. He claims to be a friend. He’s certainly handsome. And charming. And brave. In a word: perfect.

That’s the problem. If he’s perfect and she’s a hero, how did she end up in prison with a seven-year hole in her memory to begin with?

A Clear View of You

As a child, Kate had one dream: to escape her mother’s deluded hippie commune and live in the real world, where mature adults know that magic isn’t real. But the real world also has its downsides—like rent, student loans, and a cutthroat job market.

Happily, Kate is uniquely qualified for one in-demand position: psychic. Of course, she’s as fake as the rest of them, but nobody plays a fortune-teller as convincingly as a girl raised by a would-be witch. If only Kate’s newest client weren’t so perceptive . . . and attractive. If only crystal balls didn’t have the habit of lighting up in his presence.

Magic isn’t real, right? Kate is about to find out otherwise . . .

Free

Brad White would be an ordinary accountant with an unrequited crush except for two things: he works for a criminal motorcycle club, and he’s in love with the club president’s daughter. When she discovers the truth about the family business, Brad has to move beyond ordinary and put his life on the line to keep her safe.

Wren Masters, unlike everyone else in her graduating class, chose to stay in Fallow, Montana because, also unlike everyone else, she loves it. But when she finds out her father’s club is running drugs, her family and world crumble. She and Brad risk everything to uncover the truth . . . and begin a scorching affair.

As the conspiracy—and their feelings—deepen, Brad and Wren must choose between family and justice. And neither seems to include a future for them.

Chariot of Desire

CJ Crespo, drummer for the once wildly popular rock band Donjon, has always had a thing for frontman Donny Times. They spent the seventies getting high together, making music together, self-destructing together. But her qualms about ruining a creative partnership with sex kept them from ever hooking up. Now, Donny’s conversion to a bizarre fringe religion that won’t allow him to engage in—or even sing about—sex, drugs, or other “sins” threatens to tear Donjon apart.

As the band struggles to embrace a new decade and a new Donny, CJ must decide where she belongs: by Donny’s side, even if he can’t ever love her? Or out there making her own music, away from a man who gives and takes in equal measures?

The Heart is a Universe

On the remote planet of Pax Cara lies the greatest secret of the universe. Once every generation, the inhabitants must offer up an exceptional young person—the Chosen One—who sacrifices his or her own life for the sake of that secret, and the planet itself.

However, Vitalis, the current Chosen One, is desperate to free herself from the yoke of destiny. An unexpected invitation to an aristocratic summit seems to be the perfect opportunity for escape. But almost as soon as she arrives, the most eligible prince in existence proposes marriage.

Sparks fly, but Vitalis is wary. Eleian of Terra Illustrata can have any woman he wants. Why has he set his sight on Vitalis, who, unless she manages to flee, will die in sixteen days? Is he hiding an ulterior motive, one that could put everything in jeopardy—her plans, her life, and her heart? 

Get your hands on SIGHT UNSEEN:

Open Ink Press | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

Read the opening of A CLEAR VIEW OF YOU:

Monday afternoon at five o’clock was not a good time to pick up chips and a sports drink. The line to the cashier felt like the front of a war zone. The enemy—armed with shopping carts, crying children, and cell phones—was making a last-minute siege.

If I’d known, I would have just gone to the 7-11, Kate thought. Sometimes she wished she were a real psychic, instead of a fake one. Things would be so much easier.

She sighed and shifted her weight. The giant thermometer on the wall read ninety-one degrees—a record for late November. On the wall behind the checkout counter, a giant plastic turkey squawked Season’s Greetings! Overhead, a Christmas soundtrack was piping in through the sound system. Crappy speakers. Frank Sinatra sounded like Betty Boop. God, she was hungover.

Some stiff in a suit rolled his cart right over her toe. She yelped and turned to glare, but he was already elbowing his way through the next line, completely oblivious. She transferred her glare to her shoes. Birkenstocks. Symbol of all she loathed. Given the choice, she’d be in heels. But after her little argument with Luna last week, she knew better than to show up at work in civilian gear. Her boss’s patience was stretched thin. One more screw-up, and Kate would be back in the unemployment line—and worse yet, out on the street. She was already late on this month’s rent.

Is that why you blew thirty bucks at the bar last night?

She found herself chewing a nail. There went her manicure. Annoyed, she started to push her hands into the back pockets of her jeans—and realized too late she wasn’t wearing any. Dozens of little bells burst off her floor-length skirt, plummeting and jingling to the floor.

People turned to look. One middle-aged woman did a double take, then smirked.

Kate frowned. So what? She was dressed as a New Age hippie; no big deal. This was Berkeley, after all. Some people didn’t wear any clothes.
 

About the Authors:

Emma Barry

Emma Barry is a novelist, full-time mama, and recovering academic. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves hugs from her twins, her husband’s cooking, her cat’s whiskers, her dog’s tail, and Earl Grey tea. You can find her on the web at www.authoremmabarry.com.

Meredith Duran

Meredith Duran is the author of eleven novels, all published by Pocket Books. Her debut, The Duke of Shadows, has been translated into thirteen languages and together with her sophomore book, Bound by Your Touch, was ranked among the top 100 romances of all time in the 2010 All About Romance poll. Her other books include RITA award winner Fool Me Twice; Wicked Becomes You, which was included on Woman’s World list of Best Beach Reads for Summer 2010; and her February 2017 release, A Lady’s Code of Misconduct, which both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly called “flawlessly executed” in their starred reviews.

Meredith blames Anne Boleyn for sparking her lifelong obsession with British history, and for convincing her that princely love is no prize if it doesn’t come with a happily-ever-after. When not writing, Meredith enjoys collecting old etiquette manuals, guidebooks to nineteenth century London, and travelogues by intrepid Victorian women.

Connect with Meredith at MeredithDuran.com.

J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Website: www.jarockauthor.com

Blog: http://jarockauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarockauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ja.rock.39

Erin Satie

Erin Satie is the author of the dark and elegant No Better Angels series, historical romances set in the early Victorian period. She’s currently hard at work on her upcoming series, Sweetness & Light, which should be just as elegant but not quite so dark.

Erin is a California native who’s lived on the coasts and in the heartland, in tiny city apartments and on a working farm. She studied art history in both college and graduate school—research is always her favorite part of starting a new book.

Her favorite part of finishing a book, whether reading or writing, is the happily ever after.

Website: www.erinsatie.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/erinsatie/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/erinsatie

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/2DiAf

Sherry Thomas

USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas loves intricate plots, explosive action, and combustible love stories. She has written romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

And by the way, English is her second language.

You can find out more about Sherry’s books at SherryThomas.com.

My Dear Hamilton #cover reveal 

 

 

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

We’re celebrating Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today and you get the gift! Don’t miss the beautiful cover below and a special giveaway, and don’t forget to pre-order your copy today!

 

About My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton (Coming 4.3.2018):

Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest to Form a More Perfect Union

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A founding father’s wife…

But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…

 

 

Pre-Order on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

To celebrate Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today, we have a surprise for you! Share the cover of MY DEAR HAMILTON and fill out the Rafflecopter below to receive an Exclusive Excerpt!

 

 

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5aedf95d1/?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

New York Times bestselling author, Stephanie Dray is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

 

 

 

Stephanie’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

 

New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kaye. Her New York Times bestselling debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

 

 

Laura’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter Sign-Up

 

 

Book Blitz: Updrift by Errin Stevens 

*** Vote for UPDRIFT in the Goodreads Listopia Awards!
Details below. ***

Updrift Tour Graphic

UPDRIFT

by Errin Stevens

What if joining your lover’s world meant leaving your own?
Kate will have to look hard at her man to determine what is real, what is illusion, and how, if ever, she can get back home.

Updrift

Series: The Mer Chronicles
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publication Date: November 2, 2015

Ever since her father died, Kate Sweeting’s home life has been in the pits, her well being on life support. Her future looks desolate, too, until she and her mother make another plan: abandon their shriveled existence for more promising prospects on the coast, where Mom can play small-town librarian/bachelorette, and Kate can figure out what’s up with that secretive Blake family from the beach.

Everyone is eerily captivated with Kate and her mother, and Cara is the first to figure out why when the man of her dreams arrives all dripping and devoted and closed-mouthed about what he intends. Kate is willing to go along with their subterfuge for a while, but eventually makes a charge for the water to learn what her mother is hiding. Gabe Blake is there waiting for her… and so is someone considerably less friendly. By the time Kate navigates her way home, everything will have changed for her – what she feels, what she wants, and what she will risk to be with the man she loves.

“Best mermaid book I have EVER read? Updrift by Errin Stevens.”

– – Ben Alderson, voted leading vlogger by Teen Vogue and The Guardian

About Errin Stevens

Errin Stevens

Errin Stevens writes paranormal suspense/romance from her home in Minnesota, where she lives with her husband and son. When not wrestling with unruly narrative – or reading everything from mythology to contemporary romance to literary novels – you’ll find her swooning over seed catalogs (winter), or digging in the garden (the other three days of the year). Visit her blog site at http://errinstevens.com for release updates and random essays on writing and mothering.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

VOTE FOR UPDRIFT

Participate in the Goodreads Listopia Awards!
Help Errin Stevens by voting for Updrift in the Best Paranormal & Fantasy Romances Category. Your vote counts!

To vote, follow these simple steps:

1. Click on this link: https://rebrand.ly/bestp1cda (Link opens in new tab)
2. Under Updrift, click on the “Vote For This Book” button.
(Log in to your Goodreads account to vote.)

Thank you very much for your support.

Purchase Links

Available now for $2.99 only. Grab your copy today.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Giveaway

WIN $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD!

Updrift Giveaway Graphic

Contest runs from Aug 3 – 9, 2017.
Click here to enter now.


In partnership with

Book Unleashed Logo

Book Unleashed Blog Tours

The Essential Carl Mahogany by Zach Boddiker

The Essential Carl Mahogany

“Internal dialogue to match Nick Hornby at his best, and external dialogue that’s reminiscent of early Don DeLillo. Rarely have I seen so much wit mingle so comfortably with such an honest portrayal of rural America’s anarchic spirit.”  — Gregory Hill, Author of East of Denver, The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles and a Colorado Book Award recipient

Paperback

$15.00

ISBN: 978-0-692-63863-7

Fiction, Neo-Western

M12 / Last Chance Press

March 24, 2017

Pages: 270
What can an award-winning Nashville singer-songwriter learn about himself by agreeing to a best-of tour in a beat up old van? If it means getting out from under the thumb of a label that considers him washed up, he’s willing to find out.  At least until an ex-lover wants to come along for the ride.

 Carl Mahogany’s not your average protagonist. In the practiced drawl of the aging country singer, and echoing Edward Abbey’s Henry Lightcap, Boddicker takes us across the country in an Americana-steeped journey through Mahogany’s roots. Encounters with old friends and lovers, including the Eisenhower Interstate System, a firecracker tenured professor, former bandmates, and a down-to-earth small town mechanic, shake the dust out of Mahogany’s creases to revision his life.

If a lifetime of travel, songwriting and performing equates to learning to work with the monsters inside us, The Essential Carl Mahogany is that journey. Grab a six pack, settle into the cushions, and come along for the ride. 

Praise for The Essential Carl Mahogany

“With internal dialogue to match Nick Hornby at his best (see High Fidelity), and external dialogue that’s reminiscent of early Don DeLillo (See Great Jones Street, possibly the only musician-novel that I dare to compare to this one), author Zach Boddicker has crafted an elegant, oddball, and unapologetically funny tale of ex-Nashville, ex-famous, and ex-boyfriend Carl Mahogany and his existential mission to recover his soul in a tumbleweed junction on the Great Plains of Eastern Colorado. Rarely have I seen so much wit mingle so comfortably with such an honest portrayal of rural America’s anarchic spirit.” 

— Gregory Hill – author East of Denver, The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles, Colorado Book Award recipient

“The story of a successful country songwriter trying his best to live a hassle-free existence, of which he is only marginally successful. Full of great dialogue, humorous observations and dry wit, The Essential Carl Mahogany is a strong debut.” 

— Chris Auman,  Reglar Wiglar Magazine 

Meet Zach Boddicker

Zach Boddicker grew up living the country life north of Laporte, Colorado.  Ever more interested in rock bands and art than hunting, sports and other traditional red-blooded American activities, it was when he finally got his hands on a guitar that his journey into a life of music was catapulted into action.

In his formative years, Boddicker listened to and learned from everything he could get his hands on, but found direction one Monday night at a poignant performance at The Continental Club in Austin, Tex. by country guitar legend Junior Brown. This steered the author and musician toward honky-tonk, country and western swing. 

Boddicker holds a B.A. in English and a MFA in Fiction from Colorado State University, which have proven useful for his endeavors into publishing. In 2014, his short story “Equipment” was published in “A Decade of Country Hits: Art on the Rural Frontier” (Jap Sam Books / M12 Studio). His first book “The Essential Carl Mahogany” (2017), which has been deemed evocative of Nick Hornby, Hunter S. Thompson and Don DeLillo, is the first novel to be published by M12 Studio / Last Chance Press. 

 In addition to his work as an author, Boddicker has been a staple of the Roots Music scene along the Front Range for 20 years as a member of 4H Royalty, Cowboy Dave Band, Drag the River, and many others. He currently resides in Denver with his wife and two daughters.

 Stay current on all of the author’s updates and appearances at CarlMahogany.com
Q&A with Zach Boddicker

What inspired The Essential Carl Mahogany?

The answer to this may be lost to history. I do remember having gotten to the point where I refused to watch any more musician/artist biopics and documentaries. So many of them follow the rise-fall-redemption paradigm, focused on industry pressure and substance abuse.  There are so many other ways to depict the complex trials of a successful, working artist. Having written several short stories in college, and unaware of any novel written about a professional songwriter, I decided it was time to go for it. 

Where did the moniker and personality of Carl Mahogany come from?

The name “Carl Mahogany” came from a quip made at a backyard 4th of July horseshoe tournament I attended in 2005, and it just stuck. When I started the book, I wanted an artist-protagonist who could feasibly reach the top of their game with no college degree, trust fund or traces of nepotism; someone who could still move about the general population without being noticed. If I were to run into a real version of a songwriter like Carl, I’m not sure I would recognize them – even with being familiar with their work. 

The Essential Carl Mahogany  is the first novel published by M12 / Last Chance Press. How did you two connect – and what made them decide to publish your book?

Richard Saxton (Creative Director of M12) happened to be at a 4H Royalty show at the Lion’s Lair several years ago. I didn’t meet or speak with him that particular night, but we eventually connected, and with their company focus on rural art and artists,  I insisted that we collaborate. I contributed a short story to their first publication A Decade of Country Hits: Art on the Rural Frontier. After Carl won an unpublished novel contest a few years ago and made the finals in another, Saxton said “why don’t we put out your book?”

Do you see yourself in any of your characters in the book?

Definitely – there’s some aspect of all of the main characters, except Lloyd. Bill, Carl and Rhonda are all pretty good improvisors when it comes to handling the disruptions and chaos of life. Their sense of humor enables this more than anything. Carl takes several more beatings than anyone else in this story, but he keeps grinding forward with his new project. Bill and Rhonda have gone through their own messes previously and have earned their ability to see the humor and absurdity of all of the knuckleballs that have come their way. I suppose this is why I identify with these characters the most. It’s an ongoing aspiration, at least.

Are any of those six a favorite of yours?

It depends on my mood. I’d probably choose Rhonda as my go-to character. She’s naturally non-judgemental, an improvisor, focused, highly-skilled and unapologetically passionate about what she does. 

You’re a musician, as well as a writer. How long have you been a musician and what type of music do you play? 

I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10, and then picked up pedal steel at 19. I started playing bars at 18 with a “modern country” cover band, which led to me starting a “classic country” band with Ben O’Connor (Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams, Matt Skinner Band). No one was doing that up in Fort Collins at the time, so people started coming to check it out. 

One of these individuals was Karl Alvarez of Descendents / ALL fame. He brought me on board with Drag the River, which to that point was just an acoustic duo. We got the full-band version of DTR going, and I spent about five years recording and touring with them.

My main project since 2008 or so is a four-piece band called 4H Royalty. It’s been more of a long-term art project than a working band. People have described our sound as a combination of the Replacements, Billie Joe Shaver, Thin Lizzy, Meat Puppets and late-seventies Springsteen.  

So, given your history in music, were any parts of your story inspired by real-life events?

From the start, I anticipated receiving accusations that this story is just a thinly-veiled autobiography, so I over-compensated by making sure nearly everything that happens in this book is made from scratch (to the best of my ability). None of the major plot points have happened to me, or to anyone I know personally, but several minor plot points, characters, details, and locations are based on, or influenced by, real-life experiences, hearsay, and unreliable memories. Several!

What do you think will surprise readers most about your book?

The depiction of small-town/rural humans as creative, dynamic individuals with complex lives and diverse opinions. 

What fascinates you about writing?

I like the act of smashing conflicting or disparate ideas/philosophies/conventions together and seeing what happens. 

What about music? 

Same as above, though a three or four-minute song isn’t the ideal vehicle for a complex story. It’s more of a flash-fiction exercise, with some elements of poetry involved.

What authors do you like to read? Any that have been a particularly strong influence on your own writing?

Kent Haruf, Kurt Vonnegut and Larry McMurtry have been consistent favorites over the years. I’m currently working my way through the Goodreads Literary Westerns list, and researching the lesser-known pulp western writers of old. 

Do you have any plans for more books in 2017 and beyond?  

I have a handful of somewhat-developed ideas for future novels and short stories. One seems to be wanting more attention than the others, so I’m in the outline stage with that. It will involve a younger protagonist and his escape from a quasi-religious commune, and his adventures thereafter. I’m anticipating there’ll be truck drivers, journalists, motorcycle club folks and all sorts of local color scattered about.

What I Thought: 

I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I really didn’t have any reservations about it, but I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. 

Going in, it seems like Carl Mahogany may not be a very likeable character. But even with his flaws, he is indeed likeable. The dialogue and story are excellent……I felt like I was along for the ride with Carl and Percy. And for some reason I didn’t expect so much humor, but it really was a funny book. There were some parts that were downright laugh out loud funny. 

There are some books that I read and can imagine them being movies and this was one of them. I could actually see it playing out in my head as I was reading it. 

I give this one five stars and highly reccomend!! 

Release Blitz – 50 Hours by Loree Lough

HAPPY RELEASE DAY
From Bestselling and Award Winning Author
Loree Lough
Based on a Screenplay by Kevin James O’Neill
“This is the kind of book that wins Pulitzer Prizes.”
– Catherine Lanigan, Author of Romancing the Stone
50 Hours
50 HOURS
Loree Lough
Genre:�General Fiction
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
Publication Date: June 30, 2017
A broken man, a dying woman, and a friendship that changes them both.
Franco Allessi is a broken, lonely man who wants nothing more than to outrun the ghosts of his past. For years, he tries to numb the pain of his wife’s death with cheap beer and whiskey. When he’s convicted of drunk driving, the judge revokes his license for six months and orders him to serve fifty hours of community service. Franco chooses Savannah Falls Hospice for no reason other than it’s walking distance from his dilapidated house trailer.
On his first day on the job, he meets Aubrey Brewer, a woman whose time on earth is quickly ticking to a stop. Their unusual connection teaches powerful, life-changing lessons about friendship, acceptance, and the importance of appreciating that precious treasure called Life.
Loree Lough is an exceptional author, and that’s why I approached her about writing the novel for my Feature film, 50 Hours. But I had no idea how wonderful her novelization would be until I read it. Loree was able to dig so deep into my characters. She unearthed and richly developed the film�s skeletal characters and give them three dimensional lives. I am so happy with the book!
– Kevin O�Neill, writer/director/actor/producer

Praise for 50 Hours by Loree Lough

50 Hours is a moving story about love, loss, friendship, and last chances. It�s a reminder that our lives are precious stories, no matter how long or short. This is a must-read for all of us who have been touched by cancer � victims, caregivers, family, and friends. This poignant and touching tale will inspire hope in the midst of even the darkest hours.
– Cerella Sechrist, author of the popular Findlay Roads series from Harlequin
50 Hours 3D
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… 50 Hours is an unforgettable tale of healing, redemption, and the cost of true love. With a delicate pen, author Loree Lough writes an honest and poignant view of what cancer patients face with commendable bravery. A must-read for readers of every kind!
– Rachel Muller, author of bestselling World War II series, Love & War, and the newly released, Phillip’s War
Loree Lough took a difficult subject and turned it into a compelling read with light humor to soften the inevitable sadness that comes with a depressing disease.
– Emma Gingerich � author of Runaway Amish Girl; the Great Escape
50 Hours is a book you won�t be able to put down, and its messages of love and compassion will linger with you long after you�ve turned the last page.
– Kate James, award-winning author of Sanctuary Cove, Silver Linings, and The Truth About Hope
The novel is a reminder that life is indeed short, but always worth living. And almost always� one life will touch many others. Great job Loree!
– Robin Bayne, author of Reunion At Crane Lake. http://www.robinbayne.com
Emerson said, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.” Aubrey and Franco succeeded. Believe me when I say, THIS IS THE KIND OF BOOK THAT WINS PULITZER PRIZES.
– Catherine Lanigan, author of Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile, and over forty-five novels and non-fiction
To read the complete praises and accolades, visit the 50 Hours Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Purchase Links

Available now. Grab your copy today.
50 Hours Teaser

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at 50 Hours with this sizzling excerpt from the book.
DURING THE DRIVE BETWEEN THE COURTHOUSE AND MAMA�S BOY DINER, David Gibbons barely spoke. Even now, seated at their table near the windows, he remained quiet. Except for reciting his breakfast order, he hadn�t said a word, but Franco knew it was only a matter of time before he let him have it with both barrels, as his grandpa used to say.
Finally, when the waitress was out of earshot, he stared hard at Franco.
�Well?�
A-a-and there it is, he thought, running shaky hands through his hair. �Okay. Look. I know I should have called before all hell broke loose, but . . . but I was testing myself.�
David grabbed the sugar dispenser. �Testing yourself.� He sounded more like a disappointed dad than an AA sponsor.
�I thought maybe I could get through it on my own this time.�
�Bull.� He let the white granules stream into his cup. �You didn�t think. If you had, you would�ve given a thought to what happened last year. And the year before that.�
Franco knew he�d messed up. Again. And that he had nobody to blame but himself. Head pounding, he rubbed his temples as David�s spoon clanked against the sides of the mug. Had he ever met anyone who made more noise stirring coffee? He didn�t think so.
David pointed at Franco�s swollen lips and the bloody butterfly bandage a nurse at the jail had taped over his left eyebrow. �So, who cleaned your clock?�
�Well, there was this pool cue, see . . . �
�Real funny. I notice you�re favoring your right ankle. I suppose the pool cue did that, too.�
�No. That was the work of the biker, attached to the pool cue.� Franco chuckled, then gripped his aching ribcage.
�Busted ribs too, huh?�
�Probably.�
�Probably? You mean they didn�t take you to the ER?�
�They offered. I said no.�
�Idiot.�
David couldn�t call him anything he hadn�t already called himself.
�You�re gonna have one heckuva scar when you peel that bandage off your forehead. Maybe it�ll serve as a reminder, help you really think next time you decide to, ah, test yourself.�
�You�re all heart, David. All heart.� He smirked. �Except for your mouth, of course. That�s more like another part of your anatomy.�
David waved away the insult. �You know how frustrating it is, watching you get this close to earning your one-year chip,� he said, thumb and forefinger an inch apart, �and then you go and bungle it by pulling another dumb stunt? Every. Single. Year?�
Franco didn�t have a comeback for that one. He�d screwed up. Royally. At least no one got hurt, other than himself. David knew it, too.
The men sat in stony silence as the waitress delivered their food.
David peeled back the top of a tiny jelly container. �When was the last time you went to a meeting?� he asked, smearing its contents on a wedge of toast.
It had been more than a month, but Franco didn�t want to open himself up to another firestorm, so he stuffed his mouth with food and shrugged.
David counted on his fingers: �Pushing your limits. Breaking the rules. Avoiding tough questions.� He salted his eggs. �You remind me so much of my kid, it�s almost scary.� He used his fork as a pointer. �And that shouldn�t come across as a compliment, since he�s ten.�
Touch�, Franco thought, gulping his OJ. He winced when it stung the cuts inside his mouth.
�Maybe this community service stuff will finally shake some sense into you.�
He�d been acting like a fool for so long, it had become a habit. And yet he said, �Maybe.�
�How long did the judge give you to choose your community service project?�
�Twenty-four hours.�
�Well, it just so happens I have an idea.�
Franco stopped chewing. �Yeah?�
�There�s a hospice, a half-mile or so from your trailer� which is lucky for you, since you can�t drive�and I happen to know they�re in need of a gardener.�
Before Jill�s death, his landscape business had kept the wolf from the door. In the three years since, the only garden tool he�d touched had been the shovel Clayton kept out back for scooping up his dog�s poop. It might be nice, working hard again. Working so hard that he fell into bed too exhausted to have nightmares about the wreck that took Jill from him.
�You know the old saying, �If it seems too good to be true�?� Franco lifted one shoulder in an indifferent shrug. �But you�ve got my attention.�
David explained that his sister-in-law had spent her final days at Savannah Falls. �So I know for a fact that it�s a great place. I can take you over there, make introductions.�
�I dunno, Dave. A hospice center? You know better than anybody that I�m not exactly a people person. Dealing with sick people?� He winced again.
�Oh, quit your bellyaching. You�ll be outside, mowin� and hoein�, and the patients will be inside��
��dying.� Hungry as he was, Franco shoved his plate aside, because it hurt to chew, and the bacon and buttery eggs burned the cut on his lip. �I dunno,� he said again.
�You�ll do fine, if you just do your job and keep your big yap shut. For a change.�
Franco grinned despite himself. Had it been good luck or bad that put him together with a guy who never sugar-coated anything?
David slid his cell phone across the table. �Call your lawyer, find out how we go about informing the judge that you�ve decided to get back into the posie-planting business. Cause last thing you need right now is to violate courthouse protocol.�
Franco slid Carlisle�s card from his pocket, and as he dialed, David said, �When you�re through there, I�ll call Mrs. Kane, the director, arrange a meeting between you two. She�s a good egg, but she doesn�t take any guff, so I�d watch my step if I were you. With any luck, she�ll put you to work tomorrow.�
�I have a job, y�know.� At least he hoped he had a job. Clayton might tell him to take a permanent hike once he heard . . . everything.
It only took a minute to run the hospice idea past the young attorney, and less than that to find out that a phone call from Carlisle would get things straight with Judge Malloy.
He returned David�s phone. �The kid said I should get over to Savannah Falls and sign up ASAP. Said the judge�s office wouldn�t waste any time checking up on me. And that I need to keep track of my hours, so that when the paperwork comes through . . . �
Phone pressed to his ear, David wasn�t listening, because he�d already connected with Savannah Falls. Franco picked up a slice of cold bacon, and took care not to let it graze his sore lips when he bit off a chunk. He slid the plate close again. Hard to tell when he�d have the time�or the money�for another meal, so he did his best to clean his plate, listening as David explained the situation to the takes-no-guff Mrs. Kane.
�She can meet with you this afternoon,� he said, dropping the phone into his shirt pocket.
It was all happening too fast. Way too fast for Franco�s taste. �But . . . but I need to figure out how to get the Jeep out of the impound lot. And get over to the garage, see if Clayton can find something for me to do that doesn�t involve a driver�s license.�
�I�ll chauffer you around today. But first things first. I�m taking you home so you can clean up your boozy self. You need a shower. A toothbrush. And a change of clothes.� He wrinkled his nose. �You look�and smell�like something my cat puked up.�
�Cat puke, huh?� Franco smirked, even though it hurt to do it. �People can call you a lot of things, Gibbons, but tactful isn�t one of them.�
�Tact!� David got to his feet and tossed a twenty onto the table. �Who has time for tact with you falling off the wagon and going ballistic every couple months?�
Ordinarily, a crack like that would have set Franco off. For some reason, it struck him as weird penance, because he knew he had it coming.

Giveaway

WIN
50 Hours Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
$10 Amazon Gift Card
50 Hours (eBook Copy)
50 Hours (Print Copy)

About�Loree Lough

Loree Lough

Bestselling author LOREE LOUGH once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. Her 115th book, 50 Hours, is her most personal to date. Recently released, The Man She Knew, book #1 in her �By Way of the Lighthouse� series from Harlequin Heartwarming.
Official website:http://www.loreelough.com/
Connect with Loree Lough�on social media:

Book Tour Schedule

50 Hours Tour Graphic
Follow the book tour from June 30 – July 8, 2017.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the 50 Hours Book Page at Book Unleashed.

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo

Release Day- Comeback Cowboy by Sara Richardson

 

Today we are sharing the release of COMEBACK COWBOY by Sara Richardson. This is the second book in her brand new series, Rocky Mountain Riders. Check out an excerpt from the book below and a fantastic giveaway.

 

richardson_comebackcowboy_mm

 

COMEBACK COWBOY by Sara Richardson

The second book in Sara Richardson’s Rocky Mountain Riders series featuring sexy bull-riding brothers.

PURCHASE COMEBACK COWBOY NOW

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | GooglePlay | iBooks

BLURB:

A WOMAN NEVER FORGETS HER FIRST COWBOY . . .

As a single mother, Naomi Sullivan is used to doing things on her own. She’s finally saved enough from working at the Cortez Ranch to buy a lovely home for her and her little girl. Life is going as planned. But when her high school sweetheart comes riding back to town, this self-sufficient woman feels something she hasn’t felt in years: red-hot, unbridled need for the handsome cowboy who left her behind.

Lucas Cortez doesn’t plan on being in town long. Yet when he sees Naomi again-the gorgeous girl he never stopped loving-he’s tempted to hang up his hat and stay awhile. He’s already charmed his way into her daughter’s heart, but he’ll need more than sweet talk and roses to convince Naomi to give them a second chance-especially when she’s hiding a secret that could change their lives forever . . .

An excerpt from Comeback Cowboy:

“I’m so sorry, Naomi.” For whatever reason, her heart had opened to him. Maybe only a crack, but that was all he needed. He stepped closer to her, so that her body was pressed against his. Out in the parking lot, a line of headlights moseyed out to the road, but he didn’t care. He didn’t know when he’d have this chance again. So he took her into his arms because he couldn’t wait. Couldn’t analyze. He had to see. He had to feel her. Had to know she was as desperate as he was.

“Lucas…” she whispered, closing her eyes.

He rested his hands on her hips, urging her closer. “I need to know you don’t hate me,” he said, drowning in the feel of her. His hands slipped down low on her back, until he had her locked in his arms.

“I don’t hate you,” she squeaked. “God, I don’t hate you at all.”

That was all he needed. Holding her tightly in his arms, he lowered his mouth to hers, unable to stop himself, unable to hold back anything. Her lips tasted sweet, so warm and wet. He pressed into them, drinking in the scent of her, the feel of her curves fit so tightly against his throbbing body.

She kissed him back, sighing deeply into his mouth as though letting go of her protests and hesitations.

His tongue sought hers, rekindling that connection they’d always had, electrifying everything else until the sparks of desire flashed all through him.

Her soft moan purred into him as her lips clung to his, and those hands of hers, always delicate but strong, climbed their way down his chest. He’d never regretted walking away from her as much as he did now, gripped by this one small taste of how it could’ve been with her…

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

PURCHASE COMEBACK COWBOY NOW

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | GooglePlay | iBooks

 

PURCHASE THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES

HOMETOWN COWBOY (Rocky Mountain Riders, #1)

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | GooglePlay | Kobo | BAM

————————————

What reviewers are saying about Sara Richardson’s novels…

“Filled with humor, heart, and love, this page-turner is one wild ride.”
— Jennifer Ryan, New York Times bestselling author on Hometown Cowboy

“Charming, witty, and fun. There’s no better read. I enjoyed every word!”―Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author on No Better Man

“Richardson’s debut packs a powerful emotional punch. [Her] deft characterization creates a hero and heroine who will elicit laughs in some places and tears in others.”―Publishers Weekly on No Better Man

“4 stars! Hot! Richardson brings us a modern read set in beautiful Aspen. Her brisk storytelling and the charming, endearing characters set within a solid, engaging plot make this sweet romance shine. A strong and vulnerable Bryce, coupled with a determined, lighthearted Avery, will appeal to readers, especially with their sizzling chemistry. This is a truly delightful read.”―RT Book Reviews on No Better Man

“Fresh, fun, well-written, a dazzling debut.”―Lori Wilde, New York Times bestselling author on No Better Man

“The perfect balance of humor, heart and heat. I couldn’t put it down! Sara Richardson will sweep you away.”―Christie Craig, New York Times bestselling author on No Better Man

“An enjoyable read. Richardson’s spunky, baseball-lovin’ heroine is delightful!”―Katie Lane, USA Today bestselling author on No Better Man

———————————————–

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

 

Headshot_Sara Richardson

BIO:

Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. She’s climbed to the top of a 14,000-foot peak at midnight, swam through Class IV rapids, completed her wilderness first-aid certification, and spent seven days at a time tromping through the wilderness with a thirty-pound backpack strapped to her shoulders.

Eventually, Sara did the responsible thing and got an education in writing and journalism. After five years in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now, she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Still indulging her adventurous spirit, Sara lives and plays in Colorado with her saint of a husband and two young sons. Her first contemporary romance, No Better Man, was released by Grand Central forever 2015.

 

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

InkSlinger blogger banner