Classically beautiful: Beneath the Scars by Melanie Moreland (Review)

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An ocean retreat in Main where the beauty meets the beast and makes him love her. But where love comes easily, trust seems as elusive as a handful of sand…

This review tour is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the following goodies (ends Oct 27):

  • 4 ebooks of Beneath the Scars (INTL)
  • 2 signed Paperbacks of Beneath the Scars (US/Canada only) with book marks
  • 1 package of Into the Storm/Beneath the Scars Paperbacks with bookmarks – both signed (US/Canada only)

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Beneath the Scars
by Melanie Moreland
Publication date: October 14th 2014

Beneath

My Review

Megan’s life has turned into a nightmare. Having her boyfriend humiliate her in such a destructively public way—the person she trusted implicitly—makes her flee Boston. Her friend’s ocean house on Cliff’s Edge in Main is just the place for her to regroup and maybe even start writing again. She is certain she will be left in peace what with her only neighbor being a renowned recluse. Soon, she discovers he’s also a misanthrope. So why is she drawn to him so much?

Zachary’s only companion is his art. And his shaggy golden retriever; the only being he touches anymore. Until the stupid girl next door needs his rescuing. So he is forced not only to touch her but to also hold her, feel her against him. And now all these buried needs rush forward.

With the only currency he was used to dealing in—his face—partially destroyed along with his faith in people and their motives, is there a chance for him and Megan to work out? And when her ex’s deceit spins out of control, and the first thing thing that crashes is their fragile trust, will Megan have the strength to give Zachary a second chance?

This novel starts out in a quiet, lulling manner in sync with the soft waves breaking on the shore—the main setting of the story. The soft, sweet, well-rounded writing reminded me of older romances, and having read lots of choppy, vibrant New Adult stories recently, I was worried my interest might wane. But the plot is surprisingly strong. When the main conflict comes about, I was stunned at the ferocity of the situation and left wondering of how this mess will be resolved.

Zachary’s backstory is well presented, making his disposition plausible and his reaction to events more or less predictable. The good kind of predictable. I also appreciated how Melanie Moreland builds up her story gradually; two thirds into the book and the reader still doesn’t have vital info on both the main characters’ past. Another positive aspect was the slow road to the book’s HEA. The way things turned out, a rushed embrace with the ocean’s horizon as a backdrop would have been eye-roll inducing. But this one takes its time, so the beautiful epilogue is worth the wait.

The only thing that slightly got to me was that Megan is too sweet—bordering on naive. She’s an angel-like character; a somewhat old-fashioned romance heroine. Of course, Zachary makes up for any excess sweetness, so things are nicely balanced. Also, while used to crass language in romances, the F-bombs here seemed a bit forced.

If you enjoy classically romantic stories in an idyllic seascape setting with a strong plot Beneath the Scars is just right for you.

Official synopsis

The sound of the ocean, the crash of the waves as they kick up against the sand and rocks—these are the only sounds Megan Greene wants to hear. She wants to leave the rest of the world behind, and find some peace.

The offer of a private house on the beach, set in a small town in Maine, is perfect. Time to think—to be by herself. It’s all she wants. It’s the escape she needs.

Until she stumbles across the painting that seems to echo her own chaotic mindset.

Until she meets the unfriendly artist behind the stormy painting and discovers his secrets.

All Zachary Adams wants is to be left alone. His canvases, and the unending scope of the ocean and sand, are his life. They direct him—fill his hours. Bring him focus.

Until she enters his life.

She dredges up memories of the past—the haunting images he has hidden for years; the fears he has never shared.

A story he keeps buried below the surface.

Can she make him see what he is missing? Can he trust her enough to believe?

Together they embark on a journey where their pasts collide and threaten to tear them apart.

Will their fragile bond hold or wash away with the ebbing tide?

MelanieAuthorPicAUTHOR BIO

Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her husband and fur children. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works for the sporting teams of a local university. Her (box) office job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and somewhat challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties and socialize, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in writing a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines, to her even more inspired tales, for all to enjoy.

Author links:
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Alex by Sawyer Bennett (Review)

Alex-Sawyer-Bennett

A steamy sports romance, starring a bad-boy NHL star might be just what the doctor ordered for October. This one packs powerful psychological portraits of adults dealing with childhood abuse. Read on for my review and don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for an Alex Crossman/Cold Fury team jersey! This review tour is brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.

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Cover

Alex

Cold Fury Hockey # 1
By: Sawyer Bennett
Releasing October 14th, 2014
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My Review

Alex is a machine. He plays hockey like a machine, he beds women like a machine (I used the other word in my Goodreads review) he socializes like a machine–as in not at all. Fans of Cold Fury, his team, love to hate him. He’s the MVP, as in the Most Valuable Prick.

But the team’s management want their star player to work on his social profile. Or else. Alex now has to deal with some social worker on a drug prevention outreach program. Life sucks. But the surprisingly young and beautiful social worker doesn’t, so he decides to show her both spaces he owns: the pitch and the bedroom. He even resorts to showing her his gentleman side: he warns her that he’s going to break her heart. Because that’s all he’s capable of, right?

Sutton Price knows very well what she’s getting herself into. But Alex’s abusive background, bits and pieces of which surface especially during their post-coital bliss, hit very close to home: she’d been there herself, only she chose the path of acceptance and forgiveness, and she wants more than anything to help Alex involve more emotions than anger, hatred and apathy. But when he gets there, fear and insecurity also creep in and mire everything. With his father always devastatingly present in his life, and a career with an expiry date he needs to focus on, how can Alex give Sutton what she needs?

This sports-themed NA romance had some surprising elements. First of all, it offered the male point of view as well. In the case of a damaged, withdrawn hero, especially if he’s in the star (rock or sports) category, it is not often that we get to see his mind at work with extra insight into his childhood; the source of all evil. Usually, his behavioral pattern is explained in the final stages of the plot through dialogue or revelations of a third party. In the case of Alex, however, not only he knew exactly what mindset he was in and what caused it, but we get a front-row seat to vivid scenes of his hair-raising childhood in the hands of a father destroyed by alcohol and his own demons.

The other element I appreciated was the presentation of the two different paths an abused child can follow in life: Sutton shared experiences with Alex, but she embraced her past in an empowering, creative way. But Sutton’s way, although acknowledged by Alex, causes further rift between them, as self-doubt and even envy tipping towards jealousy manage to further distance him from her. These subtle psychological insights made the book stand out from the lot.

The sex scenes are frequent and steamy, but they’re not there just to underline the hero’s prowess; they also help to move the plot forward as that’s where Alex’s psyche is gradually revealed.

Ms Bennett’s writing is efficient, adeptly delving into the characters’ true essence. The only thing that got to me was big chunks of narration revealed in the form of thoughts during an on-going scene, inevitably using past perfect. For example, someone would wake up and start getting ready for the day, thinking about what happened the day before. Quite a number of scenes were presented that way. Other than that, this was a smooth read.

If you enjoy reading sports romances with seriously hot, seriously damaged heroes, but want a deeper portrayal than just of their physical attributes, you should consider picking Alex up—pun intended 🙂

Sawyer BennettAbout the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett is a snarky Southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Author Links
Website: http://www.sawyerbennett.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bennettbooks
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bennettbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6950682.Sawyer_Bennett

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Skating On Thin Ice (Book Blast)

 

Professional hockey in Seattle by a bestselling sports romance author? Plus a hot giveaway? Game on! This Book Blast is brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.

 

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$20 Amazon Gift Card, Swag Pack &
Winner’s Choice Backlist Romance

 

 

 

 

Jami Davenport presents Game on in Seattle, a new series featuring Seattle sports teams, hot men, and strong women.

He trusts his gut, she trusts her numbers, and neither trusts the other, as a billionaire’s mission to bring hockey to Seattle clashes with his passion for the woman who holds his heart.

Ethan Parker, a billionaire determined to bring a professional hockey to Seattle, will stop at nothing to realize his dream. After signing an agreement to purchase another city’s team, Ethan is anxious to make the move to Seattle, but a gag order by the League forces him to keep the sale a secret until the season ends, leaving him no choice but to go undercover as a consultant to study his team during the playoffs.

Lauren Schneider, Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Giants hockey team, gets no respect from the team’s testosterone-loaded staff. When Ethan bursts onto the scene, full of charm and genuinely interested in her opinions, she shares the team’s weaknesses and discovers a weakness of her own–for Ethan. But when his true identity is revealed, and he starts cleaning house based on her unwitting input, his betrayal cuts deeply on both a professional and personal level.

Bound by an employment contract, Lauren reluctantly moves to Seattle to work for the newly christened Seattle Sockeyes and her sexy, infuriating boss. Lauren and Ethan must come to terms with their passions–for the team, for hockey, and for each other.

Will their situation build a frozen wall between them, or will their love burn hot enough to melt the ice shielding their hearts?

 

 

 

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An advocate of happy endings, Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. She works in computer support in her day job and juggles too many balls, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.


 
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The Obsidian Collection – Book Blitz

Dark-love certainly holds appeal! Yet another great collection brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours. You can read the synopses, all authors’ bios, watch the trailer and read two tantalizing excerpts. If you live in the US or Canada, scroll down and enter the Giveaway for a Kindle Fire HD!

THE OBSIDIAN COLLECTION

Nine authors. Nine dark-love novellas.

The wicked have never looked so good…

SYNOPSES

Obsidian Escape by Rebel Adams
Just one look at the battered form of Whitney Geddings awakens a fierce protective instinct in Detective Jackson Ogden…but at what price?

Obsidian Liquor by Scarlett Dawn
Reporter, Elizabeth Forter, never expected one drunken challenge to leave her sexually satisfied and waking beside Daniil – the head of the Russian mafia.

Obsidian Faith by Bev Elle
Shanice Bailey’s epic faith in Trevor Kyle, the man she’s loved since they were both wards at the Baptist Children’s Home, is shaken when his sketchy foster father shows up on their honeymoon.

Obsidian Heart by Nicole Flockton
Will Erika’s holiday fling with Brandt bring him out of the shadows, or is his heart destined for darkness?

Obsidian Sky by Lara Henley
When military man, Brandon Michaels, comes home to a town he no longer recognizes, his salvation may rest in Arabella Knight, a woman who has secrets that no one knows.

Obsidian Ice by Missy Johnson
Medical intern Cam Fletcher knew becoming a surgeon would be hard work, but what he wasn’t counting on was falling for his mentor – cocky surgeon Eric Langdon.

Obsidian Jewel by Angel Lawson
Professional thieves, competitors, and occasional lovers, Maya Clarke and Malcolm Kent, must work together for the job of a lifetime and try not to kill one another while doing it.

Obsidian Desire by t.h. snyder
Can one chivalrous act change Tyler Jones, a coldhearted man, or will desire burn through his soul and change him forever?

Obsidian Beauty by Emily Walker
Out of jail and finally ready to confront the man who left her there to rot, Abigail Rivers is upset to learn Benton Sellers has moved on with no regard for the sacrifices she has made for him.

AUTHORS

Rebel Adams is writer and lover of good prose, better cigars, well-aged whiskey and fine women– and not always in that order.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Scarlett Dawn is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, which include King Hall and King Cave. She lives in the Midwest, where she loves to ‘people watch’ and daydream. She adores her music loud and her fries covered in melted cheese.

Website | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

Bev Elle is the author of sweet and spicy, contemporary romance. She’s a lover of books–those already written, and those she harbors in her very active imagination. Writing is a passion she’s had for many years, but was unable to act upon. Until now. Bev Elle is the mother of three human children and two canines. She is also the lover of one husband. When Bev isn’t writing in her spare time after work, she is thinking of doing so.

Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads

Nicole Flockton is an Australian living in Texas. Nicole writes sexy contemporary romances which seduce you one kiss at a time. She enjoys taking two characters and creating unique situations for them. When she’s not busy writing, she’s attempting to keep up with two active children and a busy husband.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Lara Henley is originally from Oklahoma, but has lived in several places. She began writing in 2009 when she had a dream about a little girl traveling with her grandmother. That is how Jessie Discovers Christmas was born. She then ventured into YA and adult romance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Marketing and a Masters in Administrative Leadership. She loves all things creative and aspires to have a fulltime writing career.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Missy Johnson in a small town in Central Victoria, Australia, with her husband and her confused pets (a dog who think she’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog…you get the picture). When she’s not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Angel Lawson lives with her family in Atlanta and has a lifelong obsession with creating fiction from reality, either with paint or words. On a typical day you can find her writing, reading, plotting her escape from the zombie apocalypse and trying to get the glitter out from under her nails. She is the author of five books, including the Wraith Series, Serial Summer, FanGirl, and Vigilant. She is the co-author of the New Adult Paranormal book, Odin’s Murder with Kira Gold.

Website | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

t.h. snyder is a 34 y/o single mom of two amazing kids. She lives in Central PA where she works full time for a local business/technical school. Writing wasn’t something she ever thought she’d be doing, but here she is. t. h. snyder started reading like a nut after Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey. Since then she’s read over 300 romance and paranormal books. In June of 2013, she decided to try her go at writing. She had a vision and went with it….hence Touch Me. To date she’s published 6 books and now 2 anthologies…The Touch Series (NA Romance), Pierced Love (YA Romance), Cursed Love, Cursed #1 (Erotic Romance), My Dirty Little Valentine, and the Obsidian Collection.

Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads

Emily Walker loves creating worlds and stumbling around in them. She is constantly losing her chap-stick, and has an obsession with the color pink. Currently a resident of the mountains and loving the view, she writes mostly paranormal fiction and horror. Her small family consists of her red bearded other half, a rat terrier named Rebel, and a cat named Mr. Creepy.

Website Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

BOOK TRAILER

 

BUY LINKS

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THE OBSIDIAN COLLECTION

Excerpts

OBSIDIAN LIQUOR by Scarlett Dawn

Daniil peered at me.  His stare was a warning.  “What were you doing, Ms. Forter?”

So he did know who I was.  The jerk had probably followed me after I had bumped him.

I shrugged and went with the semi-truth.  “Getting a story.”

“What story might that be?” Stash asked, his gaze roaming me in an assessing way.  We had never met before, so this was my first up close and personal with the man.

I shrugged again.  “Brent and Cole are big news.  Anything that I can put in print that others don’t have is good business.” Sticking to the truth as much as possible was always key when caught snooping.  And I was press.  They expected it of me.

“Hear anything interesting?” Daniil asked gently.

Instinct had me taking a step back.  The man was chilling on a different level.  “Nothing I didn’t already know.”

OBSIDIAN BEAUTY by Emily Walker

The bar was pretty much what she imagined, but it had a warm feeling to it. The bartender was a middle-aged woman with an appealing smile; the kind of person you wanted to tell your troubles to and see if she could impart some wisdom on you. At least that was what Abigail was thinking as she took a seat on a bar stool.

“Let me guess, you saw an ex today and he or she was looking good?” The bartender certainly didn’t beat around the bush. Wow, talk about intuition.

“Something like that.” Abigail smiled and grabbed a menu to have something to look at instead of the woman who could read her so well.

“Honey, the food here is shit; you don’t want any of that. You like whiskey?” Abigail was shocked someone would talk about their own restaurant’s food that way, but she nodded.

“I’m Abigail. I just arrived into town today. You were right; he was looking good, and I want to kill him.” She watched the bartender pour her a shot and a second shot, which she assumed, was for herself. She was pretty, and Abigail could tell she had been a knockout when she was younger. Some lines were starting to form around her eyes, but her high blonde ponytail kept a youthful glow about her.

“Stella Moet, my husband owns Moet’s, but the cook we have is pitiful. That’s why I wouldn’t eat here until we found a better one. Slim pickings in this town, you know.” Stella set both shots in front of Abigail and winked. “One for luck and one for drunk.”

Abigail smiled as Stella went off to help some other patrons at the end of the bar. She liked how nice everyone seemed to be in South Carolina. In Florida, it was hit or miss, and up north, no one was friendly, especially when they were hustling in New York. New Yorkers could tell when someone wasn’t from New York, and they let you know it.

She was totally lost in her thoughts and didn’t notice someone had settled onto the stool beside her. Finally when her eyes met the man who appeared beside, her she couldn’t help but notice him. He was handsome and she actually thought she could feel herself being pulled into his kind, vibrant green eyes. She wanted to say something clever about staring at strangers, but when she opened her mouth, that wasn’t what came out.

“Hi there,” she said, immediately hating herself. Who says that?

“Hi yourself. I’ve not caught your eye in this place before. Are you new to town?” For a minute, she debated on telling him her real reason for being there. What the hell was wrong with her, two seconds of eye contact and she wanted to spill the beans?

“Yes, I just got in today, actually. Do you know of any hotels nearby which aren’t too crappy and take a credit card?” He raised an eyebrow, causing his eyes to crinkle a bit and she felt a little pulse go through her as he bit his lip in thought. She really needed to get it together. It had been awhile, but she was pretty sure before prison a man couldn’t affect her like this at first glance. Well, that wasn’t true. Benton had. Handsome green eyes were talking, and as usual, her thoughts were causing her to miss out.

“So, I can take you there if you want?” The stranger told her. Abigail nodded, not sure what she was agreeing to. Hoping it was an escort to a decent hotel, she signaled Stella for two more shots. The first two had gone down quite well; this time she had a drinking buddy.

“Now, deputy, don’t be turning your charm on my new friend here.” The man turned to Stella and gave her a grin. Even his teeth were perfect, staring at them it dawned on her what Stella said. He was a cop! She needed to get away from him before he found out what she was planning.

“I’m Scott,” he said, holding his hand out to her. She took it timidly, which wasn’t like her at all.

“Abigail, Abigail Rivers, I just got out of prison.” Why the hell did she say that? There was no good reason to say something like that to a cop, and especially a good-looking cop she just met. “I mean it feels like I just got out of prison.”

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The Lady of the Pier – The Ebb by Effrosyni Moschoudi (ABNA Q-Finalist)


LOVE WILL GO ON FOREVER, SEEKING A SECOND CHANCE.

 

BRIGHTON, 1937
Laura Mayfield leaves London with her mother Ruth in order to pursue a new life in Brighton. She finds employment at the West
Pier Pavilion and soon falls in love with Christian Searle, one of the stagehands at the theatre. Laura aspires to a life of riches but this annoys and frightens the proud and insecure Christian, causing rows between them. When she is offered the chance to perform at the theatre, her love for Christian is put to the ultimate test. Charles Willard, a wealthy and arrogant aristocrat becomes fascinated by her and pursues her relentlessly, causing Christian to become enraged. Will Laura’s desire for wealth throw her in the arms of Charles or will her feelings for Christian prevail?

 

CORFU, 1987
Sofia Aspioti, a Greek student from Athens, arrives in Corfu for her annual summer holidays at her grandparents’ house, relieved to escape her overprotective parents’ care for a while. She takes on a job at the local water sports pier and when Danny Markson, a larger-than-life British tourist flirts with her, she is initially worried that his advances will cause her trouble with her strict family. Yet, by the time she realises that she’s desperately in love, she finds she no longer cares. When Danny returns home to a village near Brighton, Sofia becomes haunted by a series of dreams about the West Pier and a woman dressed in black. As if cast by a spell, she takes to writing poems about a love that won’t let go. Who is the grieving woman in her dreams and how is her sorrow related to her own feelings for Danny?

My Review

After reading the enchanting fantasy tale of The Necklace of Goddess Athena, I marked this author as one whose books I won’t miss. The fact that this second attempt of Effrosyni Moschoudi cleared the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest is a further testament to the writer’s talent.

Emancipated Laura finds love and her star shines brightly in Brighton in the ‘30s. Insecure Sophia finds love and a modicum of independence from her overbearing parents in Corfu in the ‘80s. Different places, different eras. But what binds the two girls in a common fate? And who is the lady of the pier?

As with Effrosyni’s previous book, I found myself immersed and mesmerized. The writer has an undisputed talent for creating vivid imagery through her amazing descriptive skills that managed to stay with me long after I’d put the book down. No, this was not one of the books that I speedread, needing to devour the story. Here, I needed to savor. I found myself rereading parts just to refuel a scene’s energy to keep it running in my mind longer, and I got withdrawal symptoms when I finally ended it.

It’s not just the two enticing stories, the breathtaking beauty of the landscape, the authenticity of the characters or the heart-warming dialogue; it’s what reigns over these. An inner glow, an inherent purity that emanates from the pages to create a sense of completeness, like a dream you don’t want to wake up from.

I’m so glad I’ll get to live the dream again in the book’s sequel, The Lady of the Pier—The Flow!

Highly recommended!

For an exciting excerpt of The Lady of the Pier, head over to my complementary excerpts’ blog by clicking here.

What other readers said about the book:
(Excerpts from posted reviews on Amazon.com)
 
“A passionate pearl”
 
“Addictively mesmerizing”
 
“I defy you to put this book down after the first chapter”
 
“I got withdrawal symptoms when I ended it”
 
“The writer has an undisputed talent for creating vivid imagery”
 
“A fantastic read. This author has the ability to draw you into the story”
 
“If you enjoy romance, take heed: The Ebb makes a perfect summer read!”
 
“A heartfelt story drawing you in and not letting (you) go until the last page. Fantastic!”
 
“The book has the same charm and nostalgic character as the Necklace of Goddess Athena, despite the genre difference. The author’s amazing descriptive talents shine throughout the book”
 
“It’s not just the two enticing stories, the breathtaking beauty of the landscape,
the authenticity of the characters or the heart-warming dialogue; it’s what reigns over these. An inner glow, an inherent purity that emanates from the pages to create a sense of completeness, like a dream you don’t want to wake up from.”

 

Purchase Links for The Lady of the Pier-The Ebb

 

BIO

frosso pic1 (1)Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She has a BSc in Computer Science and has worked for large companies for twenty years, mainly in the hotel and airline business. She’s been writing since childhood and lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix. She’s passionate about books and movies and dedicates sufficient time on her weekends to enjoy a bit of both.

Effrosyni’s debut novel, “The Necklace of Goddess Athena”, is a fantasy adventure of Greek myths and time travel that’s suitable for all ages. It’s been described as a “Rare Gem” by the Fantasy & Sci-fi Network and has reached Amazon’s #1 in Mythology and #2 in Fairy Tales. The novel also made the shortlist in 2014 for the “50 Best Self-Published Books Worth Reading” from Indie Author Land.
Effrosyni’s second novel, “The Lady of the Pier – The Ebb”, follows the lives and loves of two young girls who’ve never met but are connected in a mysterious way. The novel is an ABNA quarter-finalist. It’s the first part of a paranormal romance that’s set in Brighton (England) in the 1930’s and in Corfu (Greece) in the 1980’s. Effrosyni is currently penning the second part of the series (“The Flow”), which she plans to publish in 2015.

To write “The Lady of the Pier-The Ebb”, the author drew heavily on her experiences as a youngster, holidaying in her grandparents’ house during the summer months in the Corfiot village of Moraitika. To see pictures of the locales that inspired the story, visit this link to Effrosyni’s Blog: http://dld.bz/dmHQp
In Goodreads.com, you will find downloadable free excerpts from both published novels by this author.

On her blog, Effrosyni presents the works of fellow indie authors with spotlights, interviews, and book reviews. She also posts her own content of various subjects, such as travel articles, inspiring personal accounts, tips for authors, and even some Greek recipes.

Connect with Effrosyni

Purchase Links for The Necklace of Goddess Athena

 

Game Changer by Collette West (NA Romance) Cover Reveal

A cover reveal of an exciting, fresh and sporty New Adult romance brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours. Check the cover out. Perfect branding! I also loved the Author Bio. Original and very readable!

BOOK & AUTHOR INFO

Game Changer by Collette West
Publication date: July 25th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Young, rich, and unaware of how seriously hot he is, Brooks Davison is tearing it up as the latest shortstop for the New York Kings, despite his tendency to blush whenever girls scream his name.

When a health scare forces his best friend, Kyle Roberts, off the team, no one can stomach the thought of replacing him, especially so close to the playoffs.

Until Kyle’s sister, Sasha, steps in, convincing management to let her take his place. The idea of signing the first female player in Major League history proves too tempting for the Kings to resist.

Nevertheless, Brooks doesn’t want any part of it. Sasha is Kyle’s little sister, not some sideshow.

Yet when Kyle takes a turn for the worse, Brooks promises to do everything in his power to help Sasha win a championship for him. Because there’s no way he’s letting either of them down. Not now, not ever.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22464513-game-changer

AUTHOR BIO

Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball’s biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette’s impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she’s not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at collette_west@yahoo.com.

Author links:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7539982.Collette_West
https://twitter.com/Collette_West

Black Rook by Kelly Meade (Spotlight)

Here’s a brief language and cultural lesson: Loup is French for wolf, and garou (from Frankish garulf, cognate with English werewolf) is a man who transforms into an animal. In the Cajun legends, the creature is said to prowl the swamps around Acadiana and Greater New Orleans, and possibly the fields or forests of the regions. Source: Wikipedia

Intrigued? Brought to you by Rabid PR, this paranormal romance is guaranteed to spike your interest and set your pulse racing! Read more about this first installment of the Cornerstone Run Trilogy, and if you want to read the full first chapter, head over to my excerpts’ blog by clicking right here.

Black Rook, Cornerstone Run Trilogy #1

By Kelly Meade

Available July 15th from Intermix

ISBN 9780698165441

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Penguin | BAM

GoodReads

Blurb

She never saw this coming… 

Brynn Atwood is a low-level Magus whose unpredictable precognitive powers have made her an outcast among her people—and an embarrassment to her highly-regarded father. After a frightening vision in which her father is murdered by a loup garou man, Brynn decides to prove herself by finding the killer, and stopping them at any cost.

Her target is Rook McQueen, the son of a small-town loup garou Alpha. Despite being the youngest of three, Rook is first in line to inherit the role of Alpha, a duty he isn’t sure he’s capable of fulfilling. When Brynn finally meets Rook, she doesn’t expect the attraction that draws her to him—and him to her.

No longer believing him a murderer, Brynn and Rook strike an alliance to find her father’s real killer. But when his older brother is targeted by an unknown enemy, Rook will have to choose between his growing feelings for Brynn and his duty as the future Alpha of his community.

Cornerstone Run is a paranormal romance trilogy, set in a world of hidden loup garou, their mystical Magi enemies, and the occasional vampire. The small, reclusive town of Cornerstone, Pennsylvania, houses an almost entirely loup garou population—one of only thirteen towns around the country that serve as a sanctuary for their nonhuman inhabitants, where the loup garou are free to be themselves. When a neighboring sanctuary town is attacked by a vicious, unknown enemy, the three sons of Cornerstone’s Alpha must stand together to protect their people—and the women who steal their hearts.

Cornerstone Run Trilogy:

Black Rook: July 15, 2014 – http://amzn.com/B00I8R61LY

Gray Bishop: October 21, 2014 – http://amzn.com/B00I8RB1WS

White Knight: January 1, 2015 – http://amzn.com/B00I8RB100

Author Bio

Raised on a steady diet of Star Wars, Freddy Krueger and “Fear Street” novels, Kelly Meade developed a love for all things paranormal at a very young age. The stealthy adolescent theft of a tattered paperback from her grandmother’s collection of Harlequins sparked an interest in romance that has continued to this day.

Black Rook is the first novel in her Cornerstone Run series, a paranormal romance trilogy from Berkley Intermix that also includes Gray Bishop and White Knight. It follows three loup garou brothers who will do anything to protect their town, their family, and the secret of their existence—and maybe fall in love in the process.

Writing as Kelly Meding, Three Days to Dead is the first book in her Dreg City urban fantasy series. The series follows Evangeline Stone, a paranormal hunter who is resurrected into the body of a stranger and has only three days to solve her own murder and stop a war between the city’s goblins and vampires. Additional books in the series, As Lie the DeadAnother Kind of Dead, and Wrong Side of Dead, are available in both digital format and mass market paperback from Bantam. Book five, Requiem for the Dead, is available digitally through all platforms.

Trance begins the story of the grown-up children of the world’s slaughtered superheroes who receive their superpowers back after a mysterious fifteen-year absence, and who now face not only a fearful public, but also a vengeful villain who wants all of them dead. Trance and Changeling are available now in both digital format and mass market paperback from Pocket Books. Tempest and Chimera are available in digital format only via Pocket Star. All four MetaWars books can also be purchased as a digital bundle.

LINKS

Website: http://www.kellymeding.com

Blog: http://chaostitan.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KellyMeding

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelly-Meding/84164375745

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kellymeding

Tumblr: http://kellymeade.tumblr.com

 

 

One, Two, Three… by Elodie Nowodazkij (Book Blitz)

 

Shattered dreams and learning to love especially one’s own self is what the story of One, Two, Three… by Elodie Nowodazkij brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours delivers. Scroll down for “Choosing my own magic” a guest post by Elodie, an interview and fun facts where the author talks about being French, living in Germany and writing in English, and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway (US & Canada only) to win goodies!

 

Book & Author Details:
One, Two, Three… by Elodie Nowodazkij
Publication date: June 26th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

 

Synopsis:

When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.

Last year, Natalya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.

But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.

At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present, and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.

But when upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20656288-one-two-three?ac=1

Purchase Links:
B&N
iTunes
Kobo
—-
 
AUTHOR BIO

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Germany with her husband and their cat (who doesn’t seem to realize he’s not human), and uses her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She’s also a serial smiley user.

Author links:

Newsletter: Sign up here

 

Guest post – Choosing my own magic

ONE, TWO, THREE isn’t the first book I wrote but it’s the first one I felt like I wanted to share with the world (scary) and that was getting so many lovely reviews by the ones who read it. I got very close to getting picked up by a literary agent several times, I received great feedback from beta readers, critique partners and through contests but…the magic door stayed close. In the past months, I read a lot of books that I know would do so well with readers but for x or y reason haven´t hit the shelves yet. That´s when I realized that I could choose my own magic.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t have to work hard on my book, or that it didn’t have to go through several editing rounds, copy editing, proofreading…That doesn’t mean I am guaranteed for my book to do well.

It would be a lie to say I´m not scared because I totally am. People are going to read my book(s). People are not going to read my book(s). People may hate my characters. Others may love them.

But mainly I´m excited. And happy. And looking forward.

Yep, lots of emotions. Luckily I have a very patient and supportive husband 🙂

I cannot wait for you all to get to know Antonio and Natalya!

Four questions to Elodie Nowodazki

1.  You’re French and live in Germany…but you write in English. How come?

I lived in the United States, in Maryland, for quite a few years, first as an “au pair” and then as a university student. I’m a proud Retriever and a proud Terps J, having received a BA from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County and my first Master’s from the University of Maryland at College Park. Writing in English just seems to be more “natural” for me. But maybe one day, I’ll write a novel in French too.

2.  What was your inspiration for ONE, TWO, THREE?

I used to love dancing ballet as a kid, and I won a writing contest to go see the Opera de Paris. We saw the dancers train, it was magical. Those moments stayed with me.

Then, one day, I was talking about the movie Center Stage on Twitter and Natalya’s voice came into my head. At first, all I knew was that she was seventeen and an accident had killed her hope of becoming a professional ballerina…The accident turned into a car crash that also took her father’s life.

Natalya’s voice was sad and broken, but full of want.

From there on, it became her story.

3.  The family from Natalya, the main character in your novel, originally comes from Russia. How did you do your research?

The name of my main character was actually inspired from my mother-in-law, who moved to Germany from Russia about 20 years ago. My husband, who was born in the Ukraine, still speaks Russian with her, and I learned a lot from them. His family is the one who taught me there’s a Russian proverb for every situation, and some of Natalya’s favorite food is also mine.

4.  Can we expect more books to come with Natalya & Tonio?

Yes. But I’m not planning a sequel. There will be at least two companion novels to One, Two, Three. The first one will be published in November 2014. It will focus on Emilia, Nata’s friend at the School of Performing Arts. It’s entitled ALWAYS SECOND BEST, and you can already find it on Goodreads. The second companion novel will be focusing on Becca, Nata’s best friend. Publication will be in early 2015.

Little facts about One, Two, Three & Elodie Nowodazkij

  1. Little fact: I wrote this book (mostly in the train) in 6 months back in 2012. And it has gone through several revisions since.
  2. Little fact: Like Natalya, I love pelmeni – but my favorite Russian dish is stuffed blinchiki (mostly with mushroom and mashed potatoes) yum!
  3. Little fact: I got the inspiration of my main character’s name – Natalya – from my mother-in-law
  4. Little fact: Like Natalya’s father, my favorite composer is Chopin.
  5. Little fact: My book is officially coming out on June 26th 2014 because it’s my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary
Blitz-wide giveaway
Open to US/CAN – Ends July 8th
-1 signed copy + $50 to either Amazon or B&N + $25 donation to the literacy project of their choice in donor.org

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crossing The Line by Nicola Marsh (Book Blitz)

 

If you enjoy romance with an athletic background, Crossing the Line by Nicola Marsh aces it! (Yes, that’s a tennis metaphor). Scroll down for enticing content served to you (yep, I’m on a roll!) by Xpresso Book Tours and go grab a copy! But before you do, read Nicola’s guest post on Fantasies, and let some steam by writing your own (clean one!) in the comments below.

 

Book & Author Details:
Crossing the Line by Nicola Marsh
(World Apart #1)
Publication date: May 8th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

 

Synopsis:

Laying it all on the line for love…

Mia Cresswell is tired of being good.
Achieving geek status at college doesn’t equate with fun. So when she heads home to her dad’s tennis academy in Santa Monica on spring break, she’s determined to be bad. And hot Aussie tennis star Kye Sheldon is just the guy to help her do it.

However, Kye’s troubled past continues to dog him and attending the Cresswell Tennis Academy is his last chance at the big time. He can’t afford to screw up…by screwing the boss’s daughter.
But Mia and Kye’s relationship is much more than a vacation fling.
Will it be game, set, match, when the truth is revealed?
Or will Mia and Kye have a real shot at love all?

FIVE FOR FIVE WITH KYE SHELDON

  1. Sydney or Santa Monica?

Sydney: sun, surf, sand. Though considering Mia’s a native Californian, Santa Monica sure does hold some appeal.

  1. Vegemite or peanut butter and jelly?

Please, there’s no comparison, Vegemite every time. In Australia, jelly is a wobbly dessert, not jam. And we don’t mix peanut butter with jam, ever.

  1. Nadal or Federer?

The Fed is my idol. Though if I could play half as well as the top 10 seeded players I’d be happy.

  1. Clay court or grass?

Neither. I don’t mind faking it when it comes to an artificial surface. More predictable.

  1. Backhand or forehand?

I have a more lethal forehand but if I had my way, I’d prefer both my hands free for Mia. Go on, ask her. She’ll agree.

 
AUTHOR BIO

 

USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and spooky, supernatural fiction for young adults.

She has published 45 books with Harlequin, Entangled Publishing and indie, and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.

Her first mainstream contemporary romance, BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD (Entangled Publishing) released to rave reviews, including a nomination for RWA’s RBY, Romantic Book of the Year 2012.
Her first indie-pubbed contemporary romance CRAZY LOVE released September 2012, is a Barnes & Noble bestseller, and was nominated for a 2012 ARRA award.

Her young adult debut, BANISH, a supernatural thriller featuring Wicca, spirits and murder, released August 2013 with Harlequin Teen. Her young adult fantasy series with Month9Books launched November 2013 with SCION OF THE SUN.

Her debut new adult novel BEFORE was released in December 2013.

She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a 2013 RBY and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, is a multiple finalist for awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.

 

Author links:

FANTASIES

Why do I love writing so much? Because I get to live in a fantasy world.

I’m lucky that my characters take me to some pretty wild places and do some equally wild things…

But I’m also an avid reader.  I devour books; have ever since I was a kid.

I read widely, across genres and could happily spend a day/week/month curled up with my nose in a book.

For me, part of the appeal of reading is getting engrossed in another world, being so absorbed in the characters’ lives that I’m almost there alongside them, laughing and crying and feeling their pain.

It’s sheer pleasure to be swept up in the fantasy as I turn the pages, eager to reach the end yet reluctant to do so because I love the story so much.

In CROSSING THE LINE, Mia gets to live out one of her fantasies: geek girl turns bad. And thanks to Kye, the sexy Aussie bad boy, the fantasy just gets better and better!

Embracing fantasies can be liberating and exciting. But it’s those deeper fantasies, the emotional ones we crave like security and love and recognition that can be the most challenging of all.

At least, that’s what Mia and Kye discover…

Now it’s over to you.

Share a fantasy (keep it clean, please!) in the comments.  It could be a fantasy date, fantasy dinner, fantasy destination, fantasy celebrity. 

Go ahead, use your imagination. J

 

Taming the Country Star by Margo Bond Collins (Blog Tour)

Glitter-and-guitar

Another offering, this time in the romance category, brought to you by the fabulous Wendy Ewurum and Fabulosity Reads Book Tours. Check it out!

Blurb:

He’ll do anything to win her heart. She’ll do anything to keep him away.

 

Country star Cole Grayson is in town, and Kylie Andrews is less than thrilled. As if months of changing the radio station and tearing down his posters weren’t bad enough, now she has to deal with a town of fans swarming toward the man who deceived her the year before. But when Kylie’s eyes meet Cole’s again, she can’t deny the electric chemistry that drew her to him the first time around.

Cole Grayson is on a mission. Ever since Kylie left him, he hasn’t been able to forget her sweet country smile. After writing a song just for her, he sets off for her hometown to prove he’s not the player she thinks he is. But as much as Cole can’t forget her, Kylie wonders if she can forgive him…

______________________________

 

TamingtheCountryStar

Excerpt:

Kylie Andrews’s Texas-themed gift shop, Cowbelles, sat on the very outer edge of Fort Worth’s Stockyards District, not far from Jimmy’s Honky Tonk. And much to her dismay, no matter how often she cleared it, the wall adjacent to her store remained covered with announcements for local events.

Like, for example, concerts.

She stared at the latest layer of advertisements.

From the topmost poster, Cole Grayson stared out at her, leaning against the edge of an old barn door, guitar at his feet. One booted foot was kicked up against the wooden wall behind him. His dark-blond hair curled around behind one ear and fell down across his eye on the other side. A cowboy hat rested on the ground next to the guitar.

Her hand drifted up toward the image, hovering several inches from the picture of his face. She glanced around. None of the other shopkeepers were outside. No one was watching.

“Bastard,” she whispered to herself, and ripped the poster off the wall.

At least, she tried to. It was thicker than she had expected, attached more firmly, and it resisted her pull.

Chewing on her lip, she took another look around, dropped her bag to the ground, and reached up to grasp the edge with both fists, jerking at it in opposite directions. A tiny tear opened up along the side, and she yanked harder. Finally, the poster ripped—right across Cole Grayson’s lying eyes.

She tugged at the image some more, glancing around surreptitiously every few moments and dropping ragged pieces of paper on the ground at her feet, until there was nothing left on the wall but a few fluttering strips.

Gathering the mutilated shreds together, she opened her bag and shoved them inside until they overflowed, bright ribbons of color in the morning light.

______________________________

About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them. She currently writes for Entangled’s Red-Hot Bliss line.

 

______________________________

Glitter-and-guitar

Connect with Margo

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins

Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com

Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.net

Blog: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/