KB Interview and Review! Tapped by Liz Crowe

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Tapped by Liz Crowe

The Interview: Evelyn Benedict from TAPPED

KB: Welcome to Kissing Bandits Blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

EB: Hi guys! I’m Evelyn Benedict, craft beer sales expert, Michigan native, and the luckiest woman in the world…for a lot of reasons.

KB: The first kiss sets the tone for a relationship. Tell us about your first kiss. Were you nervous? Excited? Shocked?

I really didn’t want to like Austin Fitzgerald, much less fall so completely head over heels for him like I did. I believed he lived in a realm somewhere well above the one I inhabited—with his country clubs, trust funds, mansions and whatnot. I’ll admit, I didn’t have a ton of respect for him as a brewer or brewery owner until I met him. I figured he’d just had a ton of money thanks to his Daddy and was playing around in brewing for something to do. But…once I got to know, I learned that he was the opposite of that. And that first kiss…well…let’s just say it was cold in the beer cooler, but we heated it up something fierce! I never looked back, really, even though we hit some pretty rocky patches.

Here’s the cool thing though (see above where I call myself “the luckiest woman in the world”)…I got to experience two first kisses. When I realized that Austin fully intended for his friend Ross Hoffman to join our relationship, I was pretty skeptical. Until Ross kissed me, of course…yeah, I was a goner.

KB: What has been your greatest challenge?

Accepting what Austin and Ross always tell me about myself—that I am just as important to the Fitzgerald Brewery as they are—that I’m as beautiful as they claim I am—and that I deserve to be loved by them both. I’ve never had a strong sense of self-worth. If you’d grown up like I did, you wouldn’t either. But being in love with, and loved by, them both, while strange and some might claim, unrealistic, has done more for my self-esteem than anything.

KB: What is your biggest regret, or is there something you wish you’d done differently?

It’s strange—I know I should regret the time I pushed Austin away after a huge “misunderstanding,” that was completely fabricated by Austin’s mother and ex-girlfriend, but that time gave me the opportunity to really understand the depth and breadth of my real feelings for him. And, of course, it gave me some up-close-and-personal time with Ross, just the two of us. It hurt Austin and it hurt me, but by the end of that period, we were all stronger in spirit for the time spent apart and it only enhanced our time together.

KB: Brag time–what is your greatest point of pride?

  1. The fact that I am engaged to the handsomest, most kind and caring man on the planet.
  2. The fact that I also love the hottest, most creative brewer on the same planet—and my fiancé is the one who brought him into our relationship.
  3. That I get to work in a business I adore—craft beer—alongside both of these men.

KB: Name 3 of your favorite things.

  1. My fiancé
  2. My lover
  3. My job

And a close fourth…a hoppy, but well-balanced IPA (India Pale Ale) made by Ross.

KB: Turn-ons?

  1. Massages (both men are good at this)
  2. Hot baths (we bought a house and had a tub installed that will fit all 3 of us)
  3. Sleeping in my giant king-sized between my men after a night of love….

KB: Turn-offs?

  1. Laundry
  2. Grocery shopping (ok. ANYthing that involves housework, including cooking)
  3. Men who wear too much cologne

KB: Share a funny or interesting anecdote (excerpt okay!)

Here’s a bit from our first weekend together, in Denver at the American Beer Expo. ‘That time was a real turning point for me on a lot of levels…

“Dear God, if I say one more word about these beers, I’m gonna puke, or kill somebody.” Evelyn pulled her hair off her neck. The bar had been a sweltering oven in the unseasonably hot Denver fall. Her throat ached and her heart pounded. She kept checking her phone, hoping Austin had revived enough to contact her, but the screen stayed blank except for all the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter notices she kept getting about their win as Mid-Size Brewery of the Year.

Sighing, she stuck her phone in her pocket and leaned against Ross’ back in a move that felt more natural than anything.

Without realizing it, she’d relied on him as she would Austin and he’d rallied, solving the immediate problem—albeit without much of Austin’s diplomacy, but solving it, nonetheless. And the bombshell Max had dropped, about Austin cutting him off from brewery ownership and in the process cutting them off from his family and their financial safety net, had settled in her gut like a stone, making it hard to concentrate.

Surely, he knew what he was doing. She trusted Austin implicitly and figured he would have told her eventually.

They watched the party progress, standing close enough that she could lean into Ross’ strong torso and take some of the pressure off her aching feet. Eight of the ten kegs were blown, and the last two were on their last few pours so the bar was beginning to empty.

She’d had at least two beers spilled on her as people hugged their congratulations—she felt sticky and smelly. Exhaustion stole over her, combining with the incessant worry about Austin’s health. As if sensing her distress, Ross put an arm around her and brought his lips near her ear.

“Let’s get out of here.”

She nodded, sensing her thighs tighten and her nipples harden against her will. Guilt washed through her, pouring ice-cold water on her libido.

“He texted me.”

She looked at his phone’s screen.

Hey. I’m lonely and sad and feeling sorry for myself. Can’t get Evelyn’s phone. Come back. Bring food.

She grinned, let herself relax for the first time in hours, and followed Ross out. “Let’s walk. It’s not far. I need the air,” he said as he draped an arm around her and they made their way through the milling crowds on the Denver sidewalks. After they stopped in an all-night market for some cheese, fruit and bread, she tucked her arm through his and took a deep breath, pondering the interesting, odd new shape of her life. He stopped, tugged her into a darkened doorway, and held her close.

“You okay? Really? With this…?”

She put her head against his chest, listening to the beat of his heart. “I haven’t sorted it out yet, to be honest.” He tightened his grip and she sensed his lips against her hair. “But I like it so far. I just don’t want there to be—I don’t know—weirdness. I sort of freaked out on you guys last night and I don’t know why. The last thing I need right now is a bunch of bullshit, alpha-male jealous crap.”

“Evelyn, what you and Austin have, no one can change, take away or lessen in any way.” He put a finger under her chin and tilted her face to his. His blue eyes gleamed in the dark and she gave in to the urge to touch the rough, short beard along his jaw before reaching back and releasing his long hair from its tie-back and burying her fingers in it. It felt soft, perfect and she mentally ticked off one of the items on her fantasy to-do list with Ross Hoffman, ever since she’d seen that photo of him and Austin together.

She sighed as he covered her mouth, his lips full and firm. Her body responded instantly and she had to pull away to keep from going any further in public.

“Dear God, woman, you are…” He released her and shoved his hands into his pockets. “Like I said.” But she stopped him with a finger over his lips.

“I know, Ross. Let’s see where it takes us, okay? But together, as three. We don’t sneak around. This is not cheating. It’s just… Oh hell, I have no idea what it is.” She stopped, dizzy with the possibilities—good and bad. Ross took her arm and pulled her hand back into the crook of his elbow as they walked the last four blocks to the Marriott in comfortable silence.

After a long kiss-and-grope session in the elevator, Evelyn shoved him out into the hall, laughing at his sheepish expression.

He shrugged. “I can’t keep my hands off you. Sorry.”

She pointed toward their suite. “Go. I need a shower. Give him some food and company while I clean up.” He sauntered down the hallway alongside her, whistling and swinging the bag of groceries.

“About damn time.” Austin was perched on the bed, laptop on a pillow, sports on the television. His grin was genuine. Evelyn kissed him, long and deep. “Mmm, nice. But you reek, my love. Did you bathe in a keg or what?”

“Don’t ask,” she tossed over her shoulder before closing the bathroom door. Leaning a moment against it, she wrestled with a complex stew of relief, happiness, tension and a small twinge of stress. She knew damn well that these men would butt heads over her, but, damn her to hell and back, she wanted them. She wanted this.

While that amazed her, nothing felt more perfect. She sighed and turned on the shower full hot blast, and stripped out of her limp clothes. The erotic visions of the two men cradling her between them filled her head. She stayed a solid thirty minutes under the spray, relishing the sensation of being washed clean of every molecule of the day’s craziness.

Emerging, pink-skinned and breathlessly horny, she wrapped a towel around herself, brushed her teeth and fluffed up her damp hair before opening the door.

“Hey, you, hot blonde chick. C’mere.” Austin held out an arm, encouraging her to snuggle into his shoulder. She hesitated. Weird, inexplicable tears pressed against her eyes.

“I don’t know, Austin.” She looked away and watched steam roll out of the bathroom.

He went up on one elbow and touched her bare leg, making her skin pebble. “I heard you talked with my dad. I’m sorry you had to hear it that way. I was going to tell you, after…” She shrugged and willed the tears away. He sat and gathered her in his arms. “It’s okay, baby. I’ll make sure everything works out.”

 

GENRE:   Contemporary Erotic Romance

BLURB:

When wealthy brewery owner Austin Fitzgerald meets sexy saleswoman Evelyn Benedict, angry sparks fly. They seem destined to clash, until a hot hookup in a cold beer cooler changes everything.

For Austin, it’s a life-altering moment that sets him on a path away from his birthright, while Evelyn must face her fears about committing to a man considered the playboy of the micro-brewing world.

The power of preconceived notions nearly tears them apart—until they meet up with brew master Ross, who opens their eyes to a deeper, even more erotic connection. But three strong personalities don’t always make for the best emotional mix and when a simple misunderstanding causes chaos, it’s up to Ross to repair the tattered shreds of their relationship.

Excerpt:

Sensing the heat of Evelyn’s fury as he finalized another large order, he excused himself and made his way toward the restroom. The tuning-fork sensation had morphed into a dull ache centered in his gut, which steadily made its way down to his balls.

When he emerged—after splashing water on his face enough times to calm the hardening in his jeans—he almost plowed straight into her. He gripped her arms to keep her from falling and the impulses that had bounced around in his brain since the morning nearly brought him to his knees. He dropped his hands and looked away, swallowing back the urge to say something, anything, to convince her he wasn’t such a bad guy.

“Sorry.”

Her voice was flat. He took a step back, stopped only when his butt hit the wall. The space between them filled with near-visible silence, but he didn’t move.

“I don’t know how I’m doing it, but the longer we work together, the more sales I make, and the more you hate me. Clue me in here, Benedict. I thought sales were the goal of the day.” He crossed his arms, holding them close to his chest so she couldn’t gauge how shaky his hands had gotten.

She swallowed, and he watched the exquisite warm peach hue of her skin redden. Admiring the line of her neck, her jaw, the plump fullness of her lower lip as she bit it, a nervous tic he’d love to come to love, if she’d let him, Austin sensed himself falling deeper into a very scary hole. Her ongoing silence took on a life of its own.

“Well? I left my secret-sales-goal decoder ring at home. You obviously have a different agenda for today. I get it. ‘Prove to the rich boy he doesn’t have what it takes’ is fine, but we could have saved some time if you’d just told me first.”

She opened her lips, then pressed them together and shouldered past him. He watched, fascinated, as his hand reached out of its own accord and snagged her arm. She stopped, stared at it, then up at him. When he realized the blue of her eyes was brighter because of tears, he hesitated. Female tears always unnerved him, but his chest tightened in a thoroughly alarming way at the thought of having caused her unhappiness.

He let go. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to…”

In a split second, her beautiful face was within inches of his. “Don’t flatter yourself. I’m just pissed off. You’ve had that effect on me since I first laid eyes on you, so yeah, I guess I set you up. But apparently, all your country-club, private-school time has been worth it. Bullshitting comes naturally to you. And that’s all this job is. A whole barrel of bullshit.”

She stomped away before he could speak or, even better, grab her and kiss her. The space she vacated quivered with anger. But her crisp perfume stayed in his nose and he had to clench his hands into fists to keep from shoving her up against the wall and kissing her until she saw it his way.

The Review:

I wanted to read this because it takes place in Michigan, which is where I live and where I’ll die, so I dived in eagerly. Tapped is really two stories in one. It’s a love story between Evelyn and Austin, and then it’s a love story between Evelyn and Ross. It’s also about Austin and Ross reconnecting as friends. Tapped introduces readers to the world of microbreweries and marketing. [Personal fun fact: My sister had a job like the one Evelyn left at Tri-City, and I based the job I gave Lacey, the heroine of Kiss Me Goodnight, on that job. So there’s another connection that drew me to Tapped.]

The first half of the story flew by. I felt the off-the-charts chemistry between Austin and Evelyn, and I liked both characters. However I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I wanted in the second half of the story. I think this is because some parts of the narrative were glossed over or told in retrospect. This also may be because I was reading on a screen (sometimes I have issues with paying attention to a screen.) Normally I love Liz’s books from cover to cover because she’s quite talented. Overall, I liked this story. Tapped is hot, completely erotic–perfect if you’re looking for spank bank material. This is the first in a series, and I’m looking forward to the next one!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.

Website   http://www.lizcrowe.com/

Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor

Facebook Chat Group http://www.facebook.com/groups/lizcrowefans

Facebook Profile https://www.facebook.com/liz.crowe.75

Twitter Feed http://www.twitter.com/beerwencha2

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M

Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4350864.Liz_Crowe

Sign Up for Liz Newz http://eepurl.com/JRue5

Publisher:  https://www.totallybound.com/book/tapped

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tapped-Brewing-Passion-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01N0XLM0E/

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Liz Crowe will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

KB Review: Run to Her by Lynn Kellan

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Run to Her by Lynn Kellan

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

BLURB:

She avoids men like him. He needs a woman like her. One lie changes everything…

Gabriel Antonov is a mechanic who can fix anything, even a woman’s hesitance. His talents have earned him the well-deserved reputation as a player, but when a routine one-night stand goes wrong, he’s haunted by what he’s done. Nothing can free him from those depraved memories, until he meets Leigh Nelson.

Leigh avoids strong, silent types like Gabe, who is stronger and quieter than most guys. The only man she’s focused on is her father, who is suffering from a devastating health crisis. She’ll do anything to help him, even at the cost of ignoring her own well-being, but the stress is getting to her. Gabe’s strength is tough to resist, and his silence might be hiding a crushing secret only she can understand.

He can’t outrun his gut-deep craving for her. Problem is, she’s running from him. When they’re marooned in his lakeside cabin, he might finally catch her…if he can admit why he’s falling apart without her.

mediakit_bookcover_runtoherExcerpt:

She rose and gave him a smile.

That smile made him want to do pointless, tender things like brush his fingers through the blonde curls hanging down her slim back, but he kept his hands to himself. With her, he had to be careful. Take things slow. If he moved too fast, she’d come up with some reason to leave. He wanted to give her reason to stay.

For one night.

Or a long weekend.

Whatever it took to satisfy his hunger for her.

For the first time in months, he wanted to be with a woman. Not just any woman, though. Just Leigh. He wanted her so badly, every word he spoke came out curt and rough. Winning her trust would be tough if he kept sounding like a horny Neanderthal, so he kept his mouth shut and guided her out of The Crab Trap with a light touch to her back.

The Review:

I loved this one. It’s a quick read, and the writing is smooth and engaging. The English teacher in me loved the vivid descriptions and the well-placed metaphors. Kellan creates characters that leap off the page, and the chemistry between Leigh and Gabe is hot, hot, hot. Both characters are nursing painful secrets that make it difficult for them to trust again. It begins quickly, with a tryst between the pair who already know each other. One criticism is that their history is told in retrospect, so we don’t get to fall in love with Leigh/Gabe through their earlier interactions. I’d love to see an expanded edition or a prequel. A couple other important plot elements are glossed over, but the rest is wonderful. Gabe’s anguish is palpable, as is Leigh’s heartbreak. It’s the perfect kind of sexy love story for a lazy afternoon.

mediakit_authorphoto_runtoherAUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lynn Kellan writes contemporary romance about strong men who have a weakness for smart women. She believes men and women aren’t that different, because everyone wants to be with someone who will empty the dishwasher. To prepare for her career as a romance author, she fell in love with bad boys, burly athletes, battle-hardened Marines…and married a chemist. Lynn has won numerous writing contests and served two terms as President of her local Romance Writers of America chapter, but she feels a true sense of accomplishment whenever she doesn’t embarrass her teenaged kids.

For love. For funny. For ever.

Find Lynn at http://LynnKellan.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LynnKellan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LynnKellan.Author

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/LynnKellan/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey_aNwYAAp0

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/E4qxL

RUN TO HER is on sale for $2.99

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gFuHec

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2fL6oXQ

iBooks: http://apple.co/2gP8UB7

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2g1AEkK

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2gQZkuK

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #redefined #michelezurlo

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Re/Defined

Blurb:

redefined FB1Amy Markevich nurses fantasies about dominant agent Jordan Monaghan, but she knows they’ll never come true. He’s younger, to-die-for handsome, and so very different from her. She settles for friendship and dreaming from afar, even when he agrees to show her the platonic side of submission.

Jordan has always known what he wanted, and as he gets to know Amy, he’s convinced that she’s the complete package. Her sexy curves and passionate nature contrast sharply with her childlike innocence and exuberant joie de vivre. She calls to him—body and soul.

Just as he’s about to reveal that he’s a Daddy Dom and that he suspects Amy harbors an inner “little” and a submissive side, Amy witnesses a gruesome murder, and a terrorist organization puts her on top of their most-wanted list.

As they are forced to run for their lives from this unexpected enemy, Jordan helps Amy to accept her true nature—as a little—and to redefine everything she thought she knew about belonging to him.

Warnings: anal play, mini-golf, bondage, sensory play, suction cups, and laser tag.

Excerpt

She’d never been to his place. It made sense that they’d go to his apartment because that’s where his equipment would be located. The drive took a little time because he lived two counties away. They mostly chatted about movies and television shows. She figured he wanted to keep the conversation light to put her at ease.

redefined500x750His apartment was exactly like Jamie had described—pristine and sanitary. Amy chalked that up to his modern décor. There was too much shiny metal and not enough color. It could use some fabric and softness to make it homey. Normally she wouldn’t judge anybody’s home, but this seemed so unlike Jordan. Standing there in a black fitted shirt and worn jeans, his face scruffy from a day’s growth, he didn’t seem to fit. The lack of color was him, but the sharpness of the furniture reminded her that perhaps she didn’t know him all that well.

“What do you think?”

“It’s clean.” She wasn’t going to say anything critical, not to a guy who was planning to tie her up.

He frowned. “You don’t like it.”

“It’s fine. I just pictured your place with more leather, and maybe framed photos of your family on the walls.”

He gestured to the sofa. It was the kind with an exposed metal frame and thin cushions for the seat and back. “It’s more comfortable than it looks. Take off your dress and sit down.”

She hadn’t expected him to say that. She looked at her bright yellow sundress, the only spot of real color in the room. “You want me to get undressed? In here?”

“I need to do a few things before we can begin. If you need to freshen up, the bathroom is the down the hall, first door on the left. When I return, I expect to see that you’ve followed orders.”

Orders. His tone had shifted, becoming harder and more commanding. This was definitely his Dom tone. A shiver of anticipation ran up her spine. Finally, being with a Dom seemed right. “Should I call you Sir or something?”

“Let’s hold off on titles for now.” He disappeared down the hall.

Amy made use of the bathroom. She combed her fingers through her hair and redid her ponytail, and then she checked to make sure she didn’t have anything weird going on with the parts of her skin that would be exposed. Standing in front of the mirror wearing only her bra and underwear was a sobering experience. Though she’d worn her prettiest, laciest underthings, there was no way Jordan was interested in her as anything more than a friend. With a sigh, she hung her dress on a hook on the back of the door. He found her a few minutes later perched on the edge of the sofa, which was surprisingly comfortable, without her dress.

He sat down next to her, but he leaned back and stretched his arm along the back. “What’s your color?”

She stared at her hands, folded neatly on her lap, and hoped he hadn’t meant for her to be completely naked. “Green.”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MZurloAuthor

Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/

Buy Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RAak9CqlQo4ckl68HnulIfifLOC4kZDUN6om0ywg77s/edit?usp=sharing

Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

 

KB Blitz: Ancient Ties by Marie Johnston

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Ancient Ties by Marie Johnston

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GENRE: Paranormal Romance

BLURB:

Kaitlyn Savoy might’ve been raised human, but she’s fully embraced her shifter side in her role as Guardian. Protecting her species calls to her blood, but unfortunately, so does her new partner. She pretends indifference to his cutting remarks about her heritage and the inconvenient blackouts she experiences after each shift.

Chayton Eagle’s honorable bloodlines include an ancient father and full-blooded Sioux mother. When he joins the West Creek Guardians and meets Kaitlyn, he can’t believe fate chose her to be his mate. But it’s too late. He already swore himself to another female.

When the two Guardians have to partner for a mission, it brings them too close to resist their attraction. Until Chayton discovers the promise he made in the past may kill his future.

Excerpt:

mediakit_bookcover_ancienttiesHe pulled away from the house to drive slowly through town. There wasn’t much traffic, but like most shifter colonies, they made their actions count and didn’t waste time running errands.

His smile died. “When we go hunt, we’ll hike into the woods and hide our gear. We shift and search, but we leave town the way we came.”

The shifting thing again? “Ashamed?”

Chayton abruptly pulled to the side of the road. He twisted in his seat to face her, his dark eyes deadly serious. “Any weakness will get exploited here, Kaitlyn. You think I’m a dick, wait until you meet every other shifter in this colony. This isn’t a place touched by modern inclusive thinking. Their motto is still the strong survive and if anyone finds out a Guardian roams their streets to enforce how someone else says to govern them and she can’t shift normally, they will use your shifting defect as an example. Mato wouldn’t allow anything less.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Ties-Moonlight-Shifters-Romance-ebook/dp/B01MFEATE2/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ancient-ties-marie-johnston/1125059988?

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ancient-ties-1

Author web links: (web, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads, etc)

Website http://www.mariejohnstonwriter.com/

Blog http://www.mariejohnstonwriter.com/blog

Twitter https://twitter.com/mjohnstonwriter

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mjohnstonwriter/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11248716.Marie_Johnston

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Marie-Johnston/e/B00R6SC79Q/

mediakit_authorphoto_ancienttiesAuthor Bio

Marie Johnston lives in the upper-Midwest with her husband, four kids, and an old cat. Deciding to trade in her lab coat for a laptop, she’s writing down all the tales she’s been making up in her head for years. An avid reader of paranormal romance, these are the stories hanging out and waiting to be told, between the demands of work, home, and the endless chauffeuring that comes with children.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Marie Johnston will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #reclaimed #michelezurlo

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Re/Claimed

reclaimed FB2Layla’s wicked fantasies had already caused problems that left her with deep emotional scars, so when she got a second chance to live them out, she insisted on strict rules and boundaries.

Dustin agreed to abide by Layla’s rules because that’s the only way he could have her, but after a while, it wasn’t enough. He wanted the whole woman—the impulsive, stubborn parts as well as her sweet, generous side—and so he insists she give him a fair chance to prove he’s worthy of her love. He’s over the moon when she agrees to date him, even if she insists on a vanilla relationship.

Complicating matters is the return of her abusive ex-Master, a kidnapped child, and a human trafficking ring that’s been targeting teens from the community center Layla runs. When the investigation turns up nothing, Layla takes desperate measures that put her and Dustin in danger.

In Re/Claimed (Doms of the FBI 3), Michele Zurlo delivers another hot, heartwrenching, and stunning BDSM romantic suspense tale.

Warnings: D/s, kidnap/breaking-and-entering fantasy play, impact play, bondage, spanking, anal play, electric play, and some seriously sexy kinky footwear

Adult Excerpt:

Other friends and members of the family had arrived, and the house rang with conversation, laughter, and the squeals of small children. The bathroom on the main floor never seemed to be free, so Layla headed up the stairs. Perhaps it was a little on the rude side to use their private restroom, but it was an emergency. Just to be stealthy, she relied on the ambient light coming up the steps to find her way around.

On the way out, a hand clamped over her mouth, and she found herself pressed back against a hard body. Though her heart raced, she recognized Dustin immediately, so she didn’t struggle. Excitement bubbled through her veins, but this was the wrong time and place for a scene. She hadn’t seen him all afternoon, and she had no idea why he would attempt something like this now—especially after his polite reception.

Reclaimed5002 She cooperated as he pulled her into a spare bedroom. He closed the door. In the scant streetlight that filtered through the curtains, she could make out the shape of a bed near the window of Darcy’s guest room.

Dustin shoved her face-first against the wall. He used his weight to hold her in place, and she felt one hand work the button and zipper on her jeans. She grabbed at his hand, trying to halt his actions.

It didn’t work. If he felt her protest, he completely ignored her. He plunged his hand down the front of her pants, cupping her mound. Behind her, he ground his hard cock against her ass.

Adrenaline kicked through her veins for two reasons. First, she desperately didn’t want to be caught. Second, the sheer naughtiness set her juices flowing. She surrendered to the second feeling for several gluttonous moments. Then her better sense kicked in and she renewed her struggle.

She landed a couple lucky kicks to his shins, but that didn’t stop him. The loud thunk of her foot hitting the wall halted his actions.

He rested his body against hers, pinning her to the wall. Breathing heavily into her neck, he shook his head. “If you can’t be quiet, then everybody downstairs will know what a kinky little slut you are because I’m not going to stop. I’m going to fuck you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

She knew this man, but taking him out of context also moved her out of her comfort zone. His vehement reassurance calmed her nerves enough for her to concentrate on the way her clit pulsed against his palm.

As her heartbeat calmed, she nodded consent. He eased his hand away from her mouth.

She inhaled a huge breath and licked her lips. “I think you might want to keep it there.” The more she enjoyed sex, the louder she became.

He chuckled as he pushed her jeans and panties down. In seconds, she felt his bare cock sliding toward her pussy. He guided it into her hot and dripping cunt, stretching and filling her in a way that made her feel possessed.

She braced her hands against the wall. Her jeans imprisoned her legs. She couldn’t spread them to gain leverage. Caught between clothing and his weight, she was forced to stand still and accept whatever he wanted to do to her. Nothing turned her on more.

Over and over, he stabbed her sweet spot. It didn’t take long for the hot coil tightening inside her abdomen to burst. He clamped his hand over her mouth to muffle the noises, and he buried his face in her neck as jets of his semen shot into her pussy.

They stayed that way for nearly a minute, and she suspected he was trying for a brief cuddle—something else she’s prohibited. Then he stepped away from her, fixed his clothes, and reached for the doorknob.

“What are you doing?” She scrambled to pull up her jeans.

He laughed, but she heard his bitterness. “What you want me to do.” With that, he exited the room, closing the door behind him.

She leaned against the wall that had just cradled her body. For the first time, she felt empty and dissatisfied after his departure.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MZurloAuthor

Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/

Buy Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RAak9CqlQo4ckl68HnulIfifLOC4kZDUN6om0ywg77s/edit?usp=sharing

Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

 

KB Review: First Comes Desire by Tina Donahue

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First Comes Desire by Tina Donahue

GENRE: Erotic Historical

tourbanner_firstcomesdesireBLURB:

On a lush, secluded island, one passionate adventure leads to another….

Diana Fletcher means business. The beautiful, innocent, reverend’s daughter has traveled all the way to a tropical island off Madagascar on a mission: To find her brother—and to punish the man who drove him to a life of piracy. But when she comes face to face with the enemy in question, the handsome, powerfully seductive man is not at all what Diana expected…

Tristan Kent never intended to harm Diana’s brother. A man of humble origins, Tristan claims he tried to save him from another ruthless captain. Diana is desperate to believe he is telling the truth…and that the intoxicating desire that escalates between them is true as well. But can she trust him? Or is Tristan’s story—and his heart—nothing more than fool’s gold? Amid the haze of sensual delights and soaring ecstasy Tristan has in store for her, all will be revealed…

Excerpt:

mediakit_bookcover_firstcomesdesireTristan brushed his lips against hers, teasing, testing. Diana softened beneath him, proving what he needed to know.

Gently, he eased his tongue into her mouth. The world spun, her thrilling heat snatching his breath and thoughts. He explored her intimately, deepening his kiss. Her taste soon belonged to him, his to her. They were no longer separate. He hoped she’d suckle him and deliver pleasure.

She resisted briefly, then coaxed his tongue deeper into her mouth. Pleased beyond belief, he released her wrists, slid his hands over her palms, and laced their fingers.

She yielded fully. She smelled like an English spring, soft rain mixed with fragrant flowers. He didn’t finish their kiss until she smelled of him. Slowly, he withdrew his tongue, lifted his head, and struggled for breath. “Open your eyes.”

Arousal brightened them, her mouth still wet with him, lips slightly bruised from his impassioned kiss.

His spirits soared. “You desired that.”

“I did not.”

As a clergyman’s daughter, she was a poor liar and would never fool him. “Then I’ll have to continue until you do.”

He kissed her, tenderly at first, then hard and greedy. She whimpered in what sounded like pleasure but held back, not giving herself fully. Finally, she tore her mouth free.

He pressed his lips to her neck. Her breath spilled out on a contented sigh, telling him what words never could. “I’ll not deliver you to Bishop. You belong to me.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Tina Donahue is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, mediakit_authorphoto_firstcomesdesireparanormal, contemporary and historical romance for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic novels (Freeing the Beast, Come and Get Your Love, and Wicked Takeover) were Readers’ Choice Award winners. Another three (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger, her erotic contemporary romance, was chosen Book of the Year at the French review site Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for her erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights. Two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, Tina worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.

You can find Tina here:

FB Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/DonahueTina1/

Email: tinadonahuebooks@gmail.com

Website/Blog: http://tinadonahuebooks.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1wFmIu6

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1ziy4IU

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1Dl8DHy

Triberr: http://bit.ly/1CE2ec7

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1yFLeMx

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1ChWFkO

My page at TRR: http://bit.ly/1vb7eEc

Samhain Author Page: http://bit.ly/1Bvw6mL

Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas: http://bit.ly/1ChWN3K

Romance Books 4 US: http://bit.ly/1JPtfeS

KB Review:

As I write this, I’ve just finished First Comes Desire. Wow. That’s what first comes to mind. Donahue channels her inner Johanna Lindsey for this one, though she brings her unique flair for writing great characters, excellent pacing, and steamy sex scenes. I grew up reading JL, where I first fell in love with dashing pirates and the strong women they love. Donahue’s hero is dashing and debonair, a dangerous angel come to steal a reader’s heart. Unfortunately he can only ever be a book boyfriend because his heart belongs to Diana. From page 1, he’s smitten. Everything he says and does is to woo Diana and win her heart. Along the way she teaches him that friendship and respect are equally important. I liked Diana. Her spirit and grit make you want a happy ending for them all–including the islanders and Diana’s little brother, Peter, the boy who started this whole mess by trying to become a pirate.

As an added bonus, the BDSM parts of me loved the significance of the marriage collar in lieu of a wedding ring. Very sexy. You’re going to love this one. Once I picked this up, I neglected my own writing until I finished. Bravo, Tina. Well done, and thank you for this delicious diversion.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Tina will be awarding ebook copies of the three titles in her Dangerous Desires series – Loving Lies (Book One), Wicked Whispers (Book Two), and Passionate Pursuit (Book Three) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Enter to win 3 ebooks – a Rafflecopter giveaway

KB Blitz: Becoming Dragon by Eve Langlais

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Becoming Dragon by Eve Langlais

GENRE: Contemporary Romance

tourbanner_becomingdragonBLURB:

Can he embrace the beast within?

I’m a monster. That’s what Brandon thinks when he flees the medical institute that changed him. Living a normal life isn’t in the cards for him because, while he can hide his scaly skin, his wings are hard to miss. So he runs and lives in the shadows where monsters belong. What he didn’t expect to find were others just like him, and they call themselves dragons. Or so Aimi with the violet eyes tells him when she pins him to the ground.

mediakit_bookcover_becomingdragonSeriously, though, dragons?

He doesn’t want to believe, but the evidence is mounting. Not helping his resolve is the fact that the woman with the silver hair doesn’t fear the monster and wants to claim him.

However, before he can think of his own happiness, he has to rescue his little sister. Uncle Theo kidnapped her, and Brandon will do anything to get her back, even if he must embrace the monster within to become the dragon.

Excerpt One:

“What do you mean, what am I?” Her brow crinkled. “I am the same thing you are.” Her shoulders drew back, her head tilted imperially, and for a moment, shadowy wings glistened silver at her back. “We are dragon.”

At her serious claim, he gaped then snorted before he outright laughed.

“Why are you giggling?” She seemed perturbed at his reaction.

“Men don’t giggle. We guffaw. And I’m guffawing because that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard. I’m no dragon. I’m nothing anymore but a fucking mess.” Bitter words for a bitter fate.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

mediakit_authorphoto_becomingdragonHello, my name is Eve. I’m a stay at home mom who writes full time in between juggling my three kids, hubby, and housework, I write hot romance with a bit of a twist. I like strong alpha males, naked chests and shifters. Lots of different breeds of shifters. I am also extremely partial to aliens, you know the kind who abduct their woman and then drive them insane…with pleasure of course.I love to write, and while I don’t always know what my mind is going to come up with next, I can promise it will be fun, probably humorous and most of all romantic, because I love a happily ever after.

Buy links: http://evelanglais.com/wordpress/books/dragon1

Eve Langlais author page : https://www.facebook.com/eve.langlais.98/

Web page to find out all there is about Eve: http://evelanglais.com/

Twitter: @evelanglais

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Three randomly chosen winners via rafflecopter will win a print a copy of Becoming Dragon (international giveaway).

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #repaired #michelezurlo

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Re/Paired

repaired fb1Keith Rossetti grew up the hard way–fleeing from his older sister’s fists and finding addiction at a young age. It’s a miracle he was able to make it into the FBI, and he fiercely guards his relationships with a handful of close friends.

When Katrina Legato’s brother brought home his Marine buddy all those years ago, she fell head-over-heels in love. Ten years have elapsed, and she hasn’t forgotten that toe-curling kiss he gave her for her eighteenth birthday. She knows he’s a demanding Dom who doesn’t respect his submissives or keep them for long, but if that’s all she can have of him, then she’ll take it.

When refusing Kat sends her to another Dom, Keith rethinks his decision. He plans to show her exactly why he’s not a suitable life partner for anybody. But Kat, one of the only women he’s allowed into his heart, isn’t what he expected. She’s no pushover. She demands more from him than anybody ever has, and he finds himself wanting to be the man she thinks he is.

As she repairs his damaged soul, a stalker targets her. Is it just a coincidence that his mother pops back up in his life and his sister is suddenly calling his office?

Warnings: Bondage, D/s, SM, clothespins, GYN exam table play, electric play, a Dom who thinks he’s too badass for love and a sub who knows her value

Word count: 110,452

Excerpt

repaired500He smoothed a hand down her back. “I have a caramel macchiato waiting for you in the kitchen that’s probably cool enough for you to chug it.”

That sounded good. “Okay. Let me get dressed. You and I have some negotiation to do before we do another scene.” She was sure he would prefer to talk while she was naked, but that wasn’t going to happen. Part of her wondered if being naked last night had short-circuited her brain. The litigator in her needed clothes to function—at least around Keith.

He let go slowly, and she sensed his reluctance. They were leaving his comfort zone, but he wasn’t protesting. He got points for that.

Behind her, the drawer was open. Now that her tears were gone, she could clearly see that it was empty. Her socks and stockings were still there, but her bras and underwear were all missing.

He headed toward the door. “I picked up some more of that Greek yogurt you like. Do you want it with cereal or fruit?”

She whirled and regarded him, hands on hips so he knew she meant business. “What did you do with my underthings?”

He paused in the doorway and looked back over his shoulder. His brows were drawn together, a severe look that only accented the dangerous air he liked to affect. “What?”

“My bras? My underwear?” She exhaled hard through her nose. “I’m not in the mood for games. My blood sugar is getting low, and I really need to eat. Just tell me where you put them.”

The expression on his face changed, melting to that inscrutable special-agent-in-charge look. He swept the room visually. A cold chill raced down her spine.

“I didn’t touch your clothes. I never opened your drawers.” He inspected her bed and bathroom before he slid completely into work mode. “Stay here.”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MZurloAuthor

Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/

Buy Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RAak9CqlQo4ckl68HnulIfifLOC4kZDUN6om0ywg77s/edit?usp=sharing

Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #rebound #michelezurlo

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Re/Bound

Blurb: Picking herself up after the devastating loss of her master is more difficult rebound fb2than Darcy anticipated. Just when she needs someone the most, a handsome Dom steps in. Theo is thoughtful, dominant, and demanding—everything she needs. He pushes her boundaries, tests her limits, and takes her to new heights. With him, she remembers what it is to feel joy and love and a firm hand on her ass.

Agent Malcolm Legato is after a corrupt businessman, and Darcy is his ticket into the upper echelon of Snyder Corp. As he cultivates her as an asset, he falls hard for this feisty submissive, and he knows he’ll break her heart the moment she finds out he’s been lying to her all along.

When it all falls apart, will Darcy be able to find the strength to forgive Malcolm so they can build a life together and the courage to bring justice to the man she loved and lost?

With twists of rope and plot, this action-packed story will make you laugh, cry, and squirm in all the right ways. With Re/Bound, Michele Zurlo delivers a smart, bold, and sexy tale.

Warnings: Bondage, D/s, S/M, salsa dancing

Praise for Re/Bound:

“It’s not hard to find yourself lost in this book and unable to stop reading…RE /BOUND is a must read.” The Romance Reviews

“A bold, smart, and sexy story that is the perfect combination of romance and dominance. The author does a superb job of explaining the psychological elements behind the relationship, needs, behaviors, and connection that is between Malcolm and Darcy. The blistering sex is filled with smoking hot delights, kinky pleasures, and tender seduction.” The Romance Studio

Excerpt:

rebound500by750She paused at a door three-quarters of the way down the hall. Her gaze fell to the floor. After the awkwardness had passed, the rest of the night had gone well. He had kept the conversation on innocuous topics and had learned a lot about her relationship with Victor Snyder. The prick had her thoroughly and completely snowed. She considered him a friend and a benefactor.

He hooked his finger under her chin and encouraged her to meet his gaze. When she complied, he rewarded her with a smile. Without a doubt, she was one responsive submissive. Yataines had trained her well.

He cupped the side of her face and traced his thumb over her eyebrow. Adjusting the position of his hand, he repeated the caress along her lower lip. She trembled a bit, but she clearly awaited his command. His earlier intention had been an impulsive act of affection. It had taken all his willpower to keep his cock from saluting her submissiveness.

“I had a nice time tonight, Darcy. Thank you for making this trip worthwhile.”

Her eyes widened a bit, and he knew she wanted to ask if he’d decided against seeing her again now that he’d found out about some of her baggage.

He replayed his caress of her lip. Suddenly he needed to taste her lips more than anything in the world. “Can I kiss you?”
She began to nod, but she caught herself in time. She swallowed and licked her lips. “Yes, I’d like that.”

Malcolm had never once taken the trust of a submissive lightly. Part of him wanted to play the gentleman and leave her alone. A larger part of him needed to know the flavor and texture of her kiss. He recognized the blurring of the line between his cover identity and his real self, and he couldn’t keep from crossing it.

He feathered his lips over hers, a reverent caress that teased a small sigh from her. That tiny sound proved to be his undoing. He traced the seam of her lips with his tongue, and she opened for him. He cradled her head with one hand to hold her close, and he snaked the other around her waist to press her body closer.

She moaned and leaned into him as he directed with the pressure of his hand on her back. He tasted her lips and teeth. He sampled the roof of her mouth and tangled his tongue with hers. A piece of his heart he’d never before used came to life. It beat a furious staccato rhythm he felt echoed in her chest. Blood rushed to his cock. He thrust a knee between her legs and ground against her.

She mewled, and her fingers dug into his shoulders. Inflamed with her flavor, he moved his lips to sample her neck. She moaned and threw her head back.

The sharp crack of it hitting the door brought Malcolm back to his senses. He had shoved her against the door, and he had ravaged her with everything in his arsenal. He released her abruptly, keeping one hand close in case she needed more than the door to hold her up.

She gazed up at him, her eyes heavy-lidded with desire and blurred by shock. She took a deep, ragged breath and pushed away from the door.

Malcolm ran a shaky hand through his hair. “I’m sorry. You consented to a kiss, not a public mauling.”
A little laugh escaped before she could bite her lip to keep it inside. “Now I’m wondering what will happen if I consent to a public mauling.”

The visions she evoked meant he would need an icy shower before going to sleep. Wisely he changed the topic. “I’d like to see you again. Can we have breakfast together? I could swing by around eight, and we could walk down together.”

Malcolm didn’t know whether he asked her for the mission or because the pounding heartin his chest wanted to shrivel up and die at the thought of not seeing her. She nodded. “I’d like that.”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MZurloAuthor

Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/

Buy Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RAak9CqlQo4ckl68HnulIfifLOC4kZDUN6om0ywg77s/edit?usp=sharing

Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

 

KB Review: Mist by Emily Mims

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The Music of the Smoky Blue Series

A Blog Post by Emily Mims

mediakit_bookcover_mistMusic is an integral part of my life.  Ever since I sat down at our brand-new piano at the age of nine with a simple song in front of me, I have been making music in one form or another on five, hopefully soon to be six, different instruments (piano, organ, guitar, dulcimer, ukulele and hopefully I can nail down the bowed psaltery).  It is inevitable that my love of music finds its way into my stories.  In my first series, The Texas Hill Country series, my characters either sang, danced well, or played an instrument.  But I wanted to take it further than that.  So when I was thinking about writing a second series, I decided to set the stories in the world of Appalachian mountain music and bluegrass music and have as my centerpiece a bluegrass music club in Bristol, Tennessee, with my characters the professional musicians performing there.

Kylie Richards, the heroine of ‘Mist’, plays the mountain dulcimer.  I play the dulcimer-not as well as she does, but I do play it.  I bought my first dulcimer in the summer of 2012 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  The vendor was demonstrating how to play one and it looked interesting, so I sat down and gave it a test run.  I was hooked!  I bought one on the spot and brought it home to San Antonio, where I found a tiny but thriving dulcimer group called the Riverpickers.  The mountain dulcimer is the only instrument that was ever developed in the continental United States and is a bit deceptive in that at first it seems easy, but playing it well requires a great deal of skill.  Normally a dulcimer is held flat on one’s lap or on a table in front of the musician and played flat like a steel guitar, but I prefer a ‘music stick’ or banjo dulcimer that I hold like a banjo or a ukulele.  Most dulcimers are made by specialty luthiers, and they are hard to find outside Appalachia or the Ozarks.  Some of the characters in ‘Mist’ play the hammered dulcimer, a large triangular instrument played by hitting the strings with small hammers.  I don’t play one of those and have the utmost admiration for those who do!  I also have Kylie’s amputee brother playing a bowed psaltery, an instrument that can be played one-handed.  It’s another instrument that is deceptive in that it’s laid out like a piano and would theoretically be a quick study for a pianist, but that again requires skill and practice to play well.

A good musician can play anything on a dulcimer (either kind) or psaltery, but the music that’s made for them are the old folk songs and ballads that were brought over by the English and Scots that settled Appalachia and passed these songs down as the years passed.  I was careful to have my characters play actual old mountain songs to the point that I had my Riverpickers music book on my desk as a ready reference.  Most of the music in that book is hand-written, as much of the mountain music has never been formally written down or published.  When I needed a song for my characters to play, I would ask myself ‘What are the characters doing with the music?’  If they are accompanying the young cloggers, I have them play something that would be suitable for clog dancing, as opposed to singing a love ballad.  However, I was also careful to have them play other kinds of music as well.  The Barstows sing and play bluegrass, which developed in the 1940’s as a musical genre and is an outgrowth of the old mountain music, and my musicians are seen playing modern songs as well.

As the Smoky Blue series progresses, more musicians will star as my heroes and heroines and more instruments will be featured.  Some of my upcoming heroines play the fiddle, the ukulele, and the banjo, and I also have a song writer and a pole dancer in the works.  Where will the series go after that?  I’m not sure, but wherever it goes, my characters will be making beautiful music in my stories.

vbt_tourbanner_mist

Mist by Emily Mims

GENRE: Romance/romantic suspense

BLURB:

The widow of a lying drug dealer, dulcimer-player Kylie Barstow Richards finds herself struggling to see through the mist of the Smoky Mountains to the truth-about her life, about the nightclub where she works, and about the bluegrass-playing musician who has arrived to steal her heart.

Excerpt

Kylie looked Ren in the eye.  “How much of that is the truth and how much of it was bullshit?”

Ren’s lips firmed.  “It’s the truth, every damned bit of it.  And that’s also why I did what I did.  The DEA honestly thought you were guilty.  A drug dealer took out one of my best friends, Kylie.  I’ve missed Jerry every day for the last two years.”

“And that justifies what you did to me?  Sorry, Ren.  Not buying it.  And I don’t care what your reasons for lying were, a liar is a liar.  And I can’t stand liars.”

“I get that, Kylie.  Look, obviously we blew it, and I’m just as sorry as I can be that I hurt you.”

“If you can be believed, which I seriously doubt.”

“I do mean it.  I’m sorry.  I’m really sorry.”

“I am, too, Ren.  I was just beginning to have a little bit of faith and trust again and you very effectively managed to take that away from me.  Congratulations.  I will probably never trust another man as long as I live.”

“Aw, Kylie, no.”  Ren leaned forward.  “Look, I know there is no way I can take back the lies I’ve already told.  But I can promise you this.  I will never, ever lie to you again about anything.”

Kylie shrugged.  “And now I’m supposed to believe that?  Ren, I’m sorry.  The damage is done.  The trust is broken.  Kind of like Humpty Dumpty.”

“I understand.  But Kylie, I’m going to tell you the truth from now on whether you believe me or not.”

“Knock yourself out.”

mediakit_authorphoto_mistAUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author of twenty six romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time.  The mother of two sons and grandmother of three, she and her husband Charles live in central Texas but frequently visit grandchildren in eastern Tennessee and Georgia.  She plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele and belongs to two performing bands.  She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them.  Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”

Website: http://www.emilymims.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmilyMimsAuthor

Twitter @EmilyMimsAuthor

https://www.amazon.com/Mist-Smokey-Blues-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01LZBLPWO/

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Emily Mims will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

KB Review

mediakit_bookcover_mistThis was a different kind of read for me, full of unfamiliar landscapes and sounds. Being a city girl from Michigan whose favorite band is AFI, reading a story about a bluegrass band with a dulcimer-playing heroine that takes place in eastern Tennessee was definitely something new, but I enjoy learning about new places and new things.

Funny sidestory: My parents just moved to his area, and their neighbor complained first thing about the meth problem in the area. My mom freaked out (having also just been diagnosed with cancer) because they’d bought the house sight unseen and it’s a drug neighborhood (which it isn’t.) The second time I hear about this area (Kingsport/Bristol,) the fictional DEA is setting up a sting in a bluegrass music place. I did NOT tell my mom about this book because she’d freak out even more, though I do like to pass on titles of books I think she’ll enjoy–like this one.

Back to the review: This story is about Kylie, a widowed musician whose husband had been a cheater and a liar. She’s tender and doesn’t trust easily, so when Ren, a man working with the DEA steals her heart while investigating her, it’s understandable when she shows him the door. The plot here is nothing new, but the writing style brings these characters and the story to life. There were a few things that bothered me, mostly Cooper’s attitude (he’s Kylie’s brother.) At one point, he spouted off about his mother being a whore, his sister being a bastard, and his father being a queer. Those judgmental, old-fashioned prejudices pissed me off, but then I reasoned that there are people like that in every family–mine included–who we love but want to smack over the head. Kudoes to Ms. Mims that her story engaged me enough to make me want to shake a character. (I’m pretty sure Cooper is the focus of the next book, so hopefully someone teaches him to be more open-minded and less judgmental.)

Overall, I liked this book. The writing style was engaging, and the story was good. Mist has it all–jams, intrigue, love, heartbreak, and forgiveness.

Excerpt: