Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Blog Stop: The Runner's Enticement



The Runner's Enticement
Men of Circumstance #2
By: Addie Jo Ryleigh
Releasing May 18, 2016
Soul Mate Publishing 

A Duke. A Runner. An Earl.
Three men, each born into different circumstances.
Each fighting to overcome their own adversity.
All striving to change their past.
 
As much as Nathaniel Frederickson, bastard brother to the Duke of Wesbrook, loathes the status and consequence of his lowly birth, he has reinvented himself by becoming London’s leading Bow Street Runner. But no matter his success or his charm, he never seems to be good enough.

Lady Annabel Baines, self-professed bluestocking, has one goal in life. To create a legacy for her deceased mother by ensuring the success of her school for young ladies. Even if it means being beholden to a man intent on ruining her life, forcing her to make impossible, heartrending choices.

Assigned to recovering stolen artifacts, Nate is thrust into Anna’s privileged world. To make matters worse, he is forced to protect her from a mysterious threat she refuses to acknowledge. While fighting Anna’s stubbornness—and his unwanted fascination with the spoiled chit—Nate becomes the renewed target of a blackmailer thought to be destroyed . . . while a killer sets his sights on Anna.

Will the well-born bluestocking ultimately save the bastard Runner?


Link to Follow Tour: HERE
His longer stride allowed him to reach her before she vanished into the shadows of the entry. Securing her elbow, he directed her to an empty room off to the left of the foyer. Time to remind Lady Annabel exactly who is in charge.
His quick maneuver only allowed for her to sputter in resistance. As soon as the door clicked shut, she yanked free and rounded on him. “How dare you mistreat me in such a way!”
The flash of fire in her eyes held him spellbound. Gone was the perfectly put together gentlewoman. In her place stood a wild and captivating woman. The kind of woman he would easily welcome into his bed.
At his silence she continued, “I should have you dismissed for your impertinence.”
With the return of the haughty noble, the spell was broken. The heat simmering in her glare would never melt the coldness born of the nobility.
His touch hadn’t been anywhere near brutish, but he recognized the meaning beneath her objection. “Forgive me, princess, for soiling your precious sleeve with my dirty hand.”
Given the narrowing of her eyes, she knew, as well as he, his hands were as clean as hers.
I would never—”
He didn’t give her the chance to launch into a lecture. He’d brought her here for a purpose. “We need to set a few things straight.” He ignored her sharply indrawn breath. “Firstly, I’m not your lackey. You may have the rest of England on a tether but you’ll never have me. I’m here to do a job and I’m not about to let an overindulged, spoiled brat stand in my way.”
So much for being reasonable. There was just something about the petite Lady Annabel that provoked him beyond anything he’d experienced before. More than just her title stirred his blood. Even when faced with the most condescending members of the ton, Nate still managed to hold onto his dignity and poise.
The entire mission might be manageable if she understood he would be the one setting the course. Moreover, if there was a threat to her safety, her rushing headlong into a situation could get her hurt—or even killed.
Secondly, I am not your lap dog. I won’t sit and stay on command. Or obediently follow where you lead. If you have somewhere you absolutely must be, you will inform me before we go gallivanting all over England. Your father hired me to do a job and dammit, I will do it the best way I know how. Which doesn’t include you dictating our every move. I am the professional, after all,” he tacked on for good measure.
Given her glowering expression, she’d comprehended every word. And had found issue with each one.
Oh, hell. She was about to become indignant. The last thing he needed was an overwrought silk-stocking who felt the world had wronged her. Why couldn’t Lawson have sent him to some corner of the country lacking the delicate sensibilities of the nobility? He’d have gone to Scotland if need be.
Just when Nate thought he had her pegged and was prepared for her vicious onslaught, she took a steady breath and her eyes cleared like a passing storm.
Her voice held complete calm when she answered, “Mr. Frederickson, since you found it within yourself to speak so . . . honestly . . . with me, I feel I should return the courtesy. First, I will concede you are the expert. My father wouldn’t have entrusted myself—or his collection—to anyone less than capable. However, I’m not about to set aside my freedoms on what we both know to be an overreaction on my father’s part.”
She paused while he remained silent. In all honesty, he wasn’t sure how to respond. In the last minute, she’d destroyed every expectation he had.
He didn’t get an opportunity to think on it as her eyes suddenly narrowed and pinned his boots to the floor. He felt like a wayward student who’d spoken out of turn. “I have never in my life treated someone as a lap dog. No matter if their arrogance demanded it. If you are looking for someone who has acted childish, Mr. Frederickson, I suggest you place yourself in an empty room and look in a mirror. Overindulged, spoiled brat indeed!” Her chest expanded with visible outrage as she finished chastising him.

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Addie Jo Ryleigh writes historical regency romances that feature rakish heroes and strong feisty heroines. Addie Jo lives in the same cold winter and hot summer area of Minnesota where she was born and raised. And frankly, wouldn’t live anywhere else. Sharing in the raising of her three extremely rambunctious boys is her very understanding husband that so graciously enabled her to fulfill her dream of writing. Keeping Addie Jo company while she writes (besides her wonderfully loud children) is her yorkipoo, Bella, who is never far from Addie Jo’s side.
Addie Jo has always had a love and passion for romance books and became engrossed in historical romance (particularly Regency) soon after graduating from Lurlene McDaniel’s young adult books. Currently, Addie Jo reads any genre that has a great emotional story that keeps her reading into the early hours of the morning.
Addie Jo has a bachelor degree in accounting and is a financial coordinator when not driving her children around central Minnesota, cuddled up with a good book, or writing her next story.
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Release Day Blitz: A Fairytale Bride by Hope Ramsay



A Fairytale Bride
Chapel of Love #0.5
By: Hope Ramsay
Releasing June 7, 2016
Forever Yours


A Fairytale Bride

Chapel Of Love Series

A CHAPEL OF LOVE SHORT STORY


After a very public career disaster, journalist Jeff Talbert-Lyndon wants to escape from the world. Picturesque Shenadoah Falls, Virginia, seems like the perfect place to relax and regroup before heading back to real life. But when he discovers the charming bookstore Secondhand Prose - and its lovely, slightly overwhelmed owner- he finds a part-time job and a very tempting reason to stay...



Melissa Portman is fighting a losing battle when it comes to saving her grandmother's store - and selling the historic building may be her only option. Yet when a handsome stranger wanders in one day, she wonders if her very own fairytale is just beginning...


Link to Follow Blast: HERE
Melissa Portman almost laughed in the man’s face. He was most definitely not the teenager Grammy had been searching for when she’d put the “Help Wanted” sign in the window three months ago.
He was a grown man, probably her age or a little older, in his late twenties or early thirties. He wore clothes that branded him as someone who came from way, way out of town: a brown tweed jacket with elbow patches, a striped button-down shirt, and a pair of skinny jeans that showed off his muscular thighs. All in all, he gave the impression of a hot college professor.
He also had dark, soulful brown eyes, too-long black hair that curled over his forehead like a sensitive poet’s, and a well-groomed scruff of beard that Melissa found way too attractive for her own good. To top it all off, he held Hugo in his arms like a man who knew something about cats. In fact, just watching his long fingers stroke the cat was vaguely erotic.
No question about it. He was delicious eye-candy. And she wasn’t stupid enough to believe that he needed a job. The guy was flirting.
Wow, that hadn’t happened in, like, forever.
She arched her eyebrow the way Grammy used to when faced with the utterly absurd and said, “You want to work here? Really?” She invested her voice with just the right tone of skepticism.
His mouth quirked and exposed adorable laugh lines that peeked through his GQ-style stubble. “Really,” he said. “I appreciate literature.”
His voice was low, deep, and had just the right hint of tease in it — like he might be calling her out for the book she’d hidden beneath the counter. Had he seen the title? She hoped not.
Seriously,” he said, “I’m interested in the job.”
It’s minimum wage,” she said.
How much is that? I’m new around here.”
No kidding. “$7.25 an hour.” She managed to say this with a straight face.
The professor’s eyebrows lowered. “That’s not very much, is it?”
Obviously Mr. Professor had been spending all his time in ivory towers or something. “Right,” she said, nodding. “And that’s why we only hire high school students. You’re a little old for that.”
He continued to stroke Hugo as he gazed at her out of those impossibly hot brown eyes. “I know, but I need the work. I recently lost my job.”
Something in the set of his broad shoulders suggested that he was telling the truth, even if he was also flirting at the same time. A momentary pang of sympathy swelled inside Melissa. She was in the same boat. She’d given up a good job with the Fairfax County Public Schools in order to take care of Grammy, and now she’d be out of a full-time teaching job until next September. She didn’t know how she’d pay her bills.
Unless she sold the historic building that housed Secondhand Prose. The Lyndons were willing to pay a fortune for it—enough to pay all of Melissa’s bills, cover the property taxes, and give her something left over to invest. But selling out to the Lyndons was the last thing Melissa wanted to do. In her heart of hearts, she wanted to keep Secondhand Prose’s doors open. But that was just silly, wishful thinking.
I could be very helpful,” Mr. Professor said, breaking through Melissa’s financial worries. “I’m good at organizing things, and I have other experience and qualifications that could be valuable to you.”
She eyed the cat and then his handsome face. “Aside from charming killer cats?”
His mouth twitched again. “I’m an avid reader.”
She rolled her eyes. “Aren’t we all? But really, there is no job.”
But the sign. And you’re clearly short—”
The sign has been there for a while. My grandmother put it up before she died. I’m sorry, but there’s no job available here.”
Oh. I’m so sorry about your grandmother.”
For an uncomfortable moment, their gazes caught, and the kindness and concern in his eyes surprised her. “Grammy was pretty old,” Melissa said, her voice barely hiding the sorrow that had hollowed out her insides. “So let me ring these books up for you, okay?”
Melissa picked up the books he’d laid on the counter while Mr. Hottie Professor continued to lean his hip into the counter, his mere presence disturbing the atmosphere and making Melissa adolescently self-conscious.
That’ll be $25.00 for the books,” she said in her best customer-service voice. She expected him to hand over a credit card, but instead the guy pulled out a money clip that held a big wad of bills. He sure wasn’t a professor, not carrying cash like that. He had to thumb through several hundred-dollar bills to find a five and a twenty. So who was he? She was suddenly dying to know.
He put Hugo down, but the damn cat continued to circle his legs. “Nice cat,” he said.
His name is Hugo — well, his full name is Victor Hugo — and he’s not friendly.”
Could have fooled me.”
The cat meowed as if he knew they were talking about him. What was Hugo up to? He never made friends with strangers.
She handed the guy his bag. “So, where are you staying?” she asked, hoping she might prolong this conversation and get his name, email address, or even his profile on Match.com.
He took his bag and broke eye-contact. “I love your store. Next time I’m going to make friends with the cat in the window.”
Ha, I don’t think so. Dickens is half-wild.”
I already figured that out. Have a nice day.”
And with that, the guy turned and strolled down the aisle toward the door, looking amazingly like the hero in the romance novel she’d been reading when he’d first arrived.


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Hope Ramsay is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming contemporary romances. Her books have won critical acclaim and publishing awards. She is married to a good ol' Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her Southern heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Virginia where, when she's not writing, she's knitting or playing her forty-year-old Martin guitar.
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Release Day Blitz: Targeted by Marissa Garner



Targeted
FBI Heat #2
By: Marissa Garner
Releasing June 7, 2016
Forever Yours
Targeted

FBI Heat Series


For San Diego's elite FBI agents, risking their lives is standard procedure when it comes to capturing the city's most dangerous criminals-but falling in love is the greatest risk of all. 



RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES . . . 



FBI Special Agent Marissa Panuska faces the most explosive case of her career when she impersonates a female terrorist to infiltrate an al-Qaeda cell. Her dark hair, olive complexion, and Arabic fluency make her the perfect imposter, but each passing hour raises the risk of discovery. Can she stop the dirty-bomb plot-alone-when the Feds don't even know the target? And should she trust the mysterious man who bursts into her life when her cover is blown?
SO CLOSE TO REALITY . . . 



Former Navy SEAL Ameen Ali has a very personal reason for hating the terrorists and vowing to stop them. But when a beautiful woman joins the sleeper cell spreading death-to-America propaganda at his mosque, he doesn't want to believe she shares their evil goals. Can he convince her to join forces before it's too late?


Link to Follow Blast: HERE

Night had fallen when Samir parked the truck in front of the dilapidated house in the drug-infested Tijuana slum. Once he killed the headlights, the moon provided the only illumination along the crumbling asphalt road. Wedged between Samir and Omar on the seat, Marissa Panuska scanned the neighborhood of decaying buildings, hoping to catch a reassuring glimpse of the two agents who were out there—somewhere—following her, watching her back.
On five previous occasions, the terrorists had brought her to their hideout in Mexico, just across the border from San Diego. Marauding drug gangs ruled the area where crackling gunfire was as common as barking dogs. The constant smell of weed permeated the air and stung her nostrils. The residents were rarely visible, preferring relative safety behind walls.
Marissa’s gaze swept over the run-down house, checking for any signs of change or trouble. Boards protected the windows from prying eyes, and a padlock secured the door against thieves. The electrical connection dangling from the sagging overhead lines was one of the few in the slum, and the satellite phone antenna on the roof was definitely unique.
After an anxious look around, Omar jumped out to unlock the door before all three darted inside. Samir switched on the lamp that sat on the floor by the door. Ignoring the stench from the barely functioning bathroom, they hurried past it and the bedroom on the left. A narrow archway separated the front room from the larger back room, which included a rudimentary kitchen along one wall. The furnishings consisted of six metal folding chairs, a wooden table, and three tall lamps. Several boxes of electronic parts, including a new one, were lined up near the rear door. The place was filthy, but no one cared.
The stifling heat in the closed-up house stole Marissa’s breath. Sweat dampened her skin beneath the long, black abaya and niqab, the Muslim robe and veil she wore over her other clothes. While the men turned on the lights, she sank onto one of the flimsy chairs, morbidly wondering if she was more likely to die from heat stroke than at the hands of the terrorists.
Holding the niqab away from her face, she drew slow, deep breaths and grimaced at the pain in her lungs and stomach. The stress of impersonating Baheera Abbas, of pretending to be the female terrorist previously unknown to the US intelligence community, gnawed at Marissa’s nerves. If only she could determine Baheera’s role in the planned attack, she might be able to finish the covert operation, might be able to survive. Every passing minute held the threat of discovery and diminished that possibility.
Marissa wiped the sweat from her face and watched the two men admire the sword-like knife Samir had purchased in a shop along Avenida RevoluciĆ³n on their way through Tijuana. On previous visits, Samir’s first priority had been to unlock the metal gun cabinet bolted to the floor in the bedroom closet and to confirm the delivery of additional bomb components. But tonight, the sleeper cell’s leader and Omar were distracted by the massive blade, which they took turns brandishing menacingly at each other.
Samir’s satellite phone lay on the table. The phone never left his sight because it represented the cell’s umbilical cord to the Middle East, the only method of communication between the terrorists here and those at home. Homeland Security couldn’t fathom why just one means of contact existed, why no alternate options were in place. They suspected the men in charge didn’t trust anyone except Samir and wanted to minimize the risk of the plot being traced back to the source. Unable to determine the terrorists’ reasons, US officials decided the terrorist mind was impossible to comprehend and worked to exploit the obvious weakness in the cell’s strategy. The Bureau and other government agencies had simply taken advantage of the situation and monitored the terrorists’ calls with ease.
Until two weeks ago, Marissa had been one of the agents monitoring those calls, listening to and translating many long distance conversations between Samir and his bosses. Discovering the true identities of the people had been a frustrating, and often futile, process. No one used a last name, and even the first names were suspect as they were frequently aliases. Husaam was the name used by the man who seemed to be at the top, but the common Arab name made it impossible to positively identify or trace him.
The sat phone’s ring interrupted Marissa’s thoughts.
Everyone froze.
Samir shot it a startled glance. The call seemed to confuse him for a moment, suggesting he didn’t expect to be contacted tonight. He grabbed the phone, answering warily in Arabic. His face tensed, and his tone turned respectful when he launched into a detailed status report. As usual, he lowered his voice and walked into the front room so neither Omar nor Marissa could hear.
She prayed that someone in Washington would be listening in real time—not hours later to a recording.
Only five minutes passed before Samir, wearing a Cheshire cat grin, strolled back through the doorway and held out the phone to her. Her stomach knotted. Only Samir talked on the sat phone.
Saying nothing, he thrust it at her again.
Hesitantly, she put the phone to her ear and spoke in precise Arabic. “Allahu Akbar.”
The man on the phone greeted her affectionately—as his wife.


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I'm a wife, writer, chocoholic, and animal lover, not necessarily in that order. As a little girl, I cut pictures of people out of my mother's magazines and turned them into characters in my simple stories. Now I write sexy paranormal romantic suspense, steamy contemporary romance, and edgy romantic thrillers. I live in sunny Southern California with my husband, but enjoy traveling from Athens to Anchorage to Acapulco and many locations in between.