“A Veil of Vines” by Tillie Cole #ExcerptReveal

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To most people, princes, princesses, counts and dukes are found only in the pages of the most famous of fairytales. Crowns, priceless jewels and gilded thrones belong only in childhood dreams.
But for some, these frivolous fancies are truth.
For some, they are real life.
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, people have always treated me as someone special. All because of my ancestral name and legacy. All because of a connection I share to our home country’s most important family of all.
I am Caresa Acardi, the Duchessa di Parma. A blue blood of Italy. I was born to marry well. And now the marriage date is set.
I am to marry into House Savona. The family that would have been the royals had Italy not abolished the monarchy in 1946. But to the aristocrats of my home, the abolition means nothing at all.
The Savonas still hold power where it counts most.
In our tight-knit world of money, status and masked balls, they are everything and more.
And I am soon to become one of them.
I am soon to become Prince Zeno Savona’s wife…
… or at least I was, until I met Achille.
And everything changed.
EXCERPT

Caresa

I closed my eyes as the music pounded through my body. The air was sticky from the mass of bodies on the dance floor. My body swayed to the beat, my feet ached from the five-inch Louboutin heels I was wearing, and my skin was flushed from the copious amounts of 1990 Dom Pérignon I had consumed.
“Caresa!” My name split through the harsh sound of drums and synthesized piano notes. I rolled my eyes open and looked across our cornered-off section of the club at my best friend.
Marietta was sitting on an oversized plush couch, waving a new bottle of champagne in my direction. Laughing, I followed my throbbing feet to where she sat and slumped down beside her. In seconds, a champagne flute was in my hand and the bubbly was flowing once more.
Marietta sat forward, swishing her long blond hair over her shoulder. She raised her glass as though she was going to make a toast. But instead, her bottom lip jutted out into a pathetic pout.
I tipped my head to one side, silently asking her what was wrong.
“I was going to make a toast to the Duchessa di Parma, my very best friend,” she shouted over a new but similar-to-the-last song. “To my best friend leaving me here in dull old New York to go marry a real-life godforsaken prince in Italy.” Marietta sighed and her shoulders slumped. “But I don’t want to. Because that would mean this night is almost over, and tomorrow I lose my partner-in-crime.” A sudden sadness bloomed in my chest at her words. Then, when her eyes filled with tears, those words became a punch in the gut.
Placing my glass on the table before us, I moved forward and put my hand on her arm. “Marietta, don’t get upset.”
She put down her own drink and grabbed my hand. “I just don’t want to lose you.”
My stomach rolled. “I know,” I said. Then I didn’t say anything else, but I could see Marietta register my unspoken words. I don’t want to go either.
Keeping my hand in hers, I slumped back against the couch and let my eyes drift over the busy dance floor below. I watched the throng of Upper East Siders losing themselves in the music. A pang of fear swept through me.
This really would be my last night in New York. In the morning, I would fly to Italy, where I would live from that day on.
Marietta shuffled closer to me and cast me a watery smile. “How are you doing?” she asked as she squeezed my hand.
“I’m okay. Just nervous, I guess.”
Marietta nodded her head. “And your papa?”
I sighed. “Ecstatic. Overjoyed that his precious daughter will be marrying the prince he chose for me as a child.” I felt a pang of guilt for speaking about him so negatively. “That was uncalled for,” I said. “You know as well as I do, Baroness von Todesco” —Marietta scowled playfully at my use of her title— “that we don’t really get a choice in whom we marry.” I leaned forward and picked up my champagne. I took a long swig, enjoying the feel of the bubbles traveling down my throat. I handed Marietta her glass and raised mine in the air. “To arranged marriages and duty over love!”
Marietta laughed and clinked her glass with mine. “But seriously,” Marietta said, “are you okay? Truly okay?”
I shrugged. “I honestly don’t know how to answer that, Etta. Am I okay with the arranged marriage? I suppose so. Am I okay with moving to Italy permanently? Not really. I love Italy—it’s my home, I was born there—but it’s not New York. Everyone I know is here in America.” Marietta’s eyes softened with sympathy. “And am I okay with marrying Zeno Savona? The infamous Playboy Prince of Toscana?” I took a deep breath. “I have no idea. I guess that will become apparent in the next three months.”
“In your ‘courting period,’” Marietta said using air quotes, and snorted with laughter. “What a joke. What twenty-three-year-old woman and twenty-six-year-old man need a courting period?”
I laughed at her sassy tone, but then soberly replied, “Ones who don’t know each other at all? Ones who have to see if they can stand each other’s company before sealing their marital fates forever?”
Marietta shuffled closer. “You know as well as I do that you could hate this so-called prince, detest everything he is—and he you—and I’d still be your maid of honor at your wedding on New Year’s Eve.” She sputtered a laugh. “The very fact that the date has been set says it all. This marriage is happening.” Marietta held up her glass, got to her feet and, with arms spread wide, shouted, “Welcome to the life of the European blue bloods of the Upper East Side! Drowning in Prada and Gucci, dripping in diamonds, but having no free will to call our own!”
I laughed, pulling her back down. She broke into hysterics as her ass hit the couch, spilling champagne all over the expensive upholstery. But our laughter waned as the house lights came on one by one. The last of the dance music drifted into silence, and the rich patrons of Manhattan’s most exclusive nightclub began making their way to their limos and town cars. It was three o’clock in the morning, and I had six hours left in the city I loved beyond measure.

 AUTHOR BIO
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

 

“Bootilicious (MM) Cedar Falls 17” by Shea Balik #ExcerptReveal

Bootilicious Cover

“Bootlicious (MM) Cedar Falls #17”

by Shea Balik

Genre: MMRomance/Gay

Release Date: November 30, 2016

Bookstrand                 Goodreads

STORY EXCERPT

 “Jesse, welcome.” Lucian was surprised to see Jesse there during the festival. It was a busy time for many of the shops in the downtown area. Even Lucian had been kept fairly busy for much of the day as visitors browsed the shelves lined with boots and shoes.

“What can I do…”

Lucian didn’t finish as his gaze landed on the man that came in behind Jesse. Haunted blue eyes stared back at him, drawing Lucian like a moth to a flame. It had been years since he’d even considered getting involved with anyone for anything more than a one-night stand. He took in the man’s perfectly combed hair, starched shirt, fit body, and hiking boots that appeared recently polished and wondered what a relationship with the man might be like.

Lucian was tempted to walk over and mess up the man’s immaculate attire just to see what he’d do. Then he’d do it again. This man didn’t look like he knew what fun was and Lucian had an urge he didn’t quite understand to show the hot stud how to let his hair down.

All those cravings to possess, control, and dominate that Lucian had mostly repressed since entering the military came flaring back to life. Images of the strong man before him tied up in Lucian’s ropes had all the blood in his body racing south to pool in his dick, leaving him hard and aching.

All those lovely muscles the man had would look amazing as they strained against the bonds that would hold him tight. Lucian feared he come right there in front of a store full of customers. He had to admit to being tempted to kick everyone out, lock the door, and strip the man naked, just to see every fucking inch of his skin.

The blazing look of defiance that was being shot his way from the man didn’t deter Lucian at all. If anything, it only excited him more. Lucian loved a challenge. If the glare this man was sending him was any indication, he would give Lucian that challenge. It would also make the reward that much greater when he finally submitted.

Lucian had always preferred his men to be his equal physically. Twinks just didn’t do anything for him. Nor did he want someone to bow down to him just because he was the Dom. He wanted to earn his sub’s submission.

“Lucian, have you met Vicar?”

The amusement in Jesse’s voice said the man knew just how much Lucian was attracted to Vicar. Taking the three steps to where Vicar was, Lucian held out his hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Vicar.”

For several moments, Lucian thought Vicar was going to leave his hand hanging there. Just when he was about to lower his arm, Vicar grasped his hand but didn’t say anything. A petulant expression was all Vicar gave him.

Lucian smiled.

As far as he was concerned, the gauntlet had been thrown down. Lucian not only picked it up. He also reveled in the chance to break down Vicar’s walls. Before Vicar pulled his hand away, Lucian ran his thumb over Vicar’s inner wrist. Vicar tried to hide the shiver that raced through him, but Lucian was too astute to miss it.

His smile grew wider.

Vicar wasn’t as unaffected as he tried to act. It wasn’t much of a victory, but Lucian was willing to give himself a point. The battle had started. The soldier in Lucian was determined to win, no matter the cost, for he was sure the reward would be too great not to succeed.

Having made the point that Vicar wasn’t as uninterested as he wanted Lucian to believe, Lucian decided it was time to give him what he was asking for—space.

 

 

~~About the Author – Meet Shea Balik~~

Shea Balik has always had a vivid imagination with stories running around in her head.  Often her stories are taken from observations of other people with her own spin. Traveling is one of her favorite ways of fulfilling her passion of people watching.  You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.
Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book.

For out of the country traveling, Shea has been to every Caribbean country that cruise ships visit, several times.  Being a Floridian means easy access to ports and cheaper rates.  Although, now that she’s cruised so often, Shea gets discounts for being a frequent cruiser.  In a perfect world, Shea would cruise around the world, but she doesn’t see that happening anytime soon, unless she wins the lottery.

You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.

Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book.

~~Shea’s Links~~

 Bookstrand – http://bit.ly/SheaOnBookstrand
Website – http://bit.ly/SheaBalikWebsite
Facebook – http://bit.ly/SheaOnFacebook
Amazon – http://bit.ly/SheaOnAmazon
Twitter – http://bit.ly/SheaOnTwitter
Pinterest – http://bit.ly/SheaOnPinterest
Instagram – http://bit.ly/SheaOnInstagram
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/SheaOnGoodreads

SheaBalik.com

 

“Face-Off at the Altar (The Assassins Series)” by Toni Aleo #CoverReveal

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Coming December 29th
Markus Reeves is sucking. Big-time. Toiling away on a minor-league hockey team hundreds of miles away from home, he’s watching his dreams of an NHL career fade away. Add in the lingering guilt he has over the dramatic demise of his relationship with college girlfriend, Mekena, and he’s a mess on and off the ice.
But the family of his heart, the Sinclairs, won’t let Markus suffer any longer. When he arrives himself back in Nashville for a trial run on the Assassins, it feels like his life may be making a turn for the better. If only he could get Mekena to forgive him…
Mekena Preston has been hurting since fleeing Nashville following the horror of Markus’s betrayal with her sister. Now a professional photographer, Mekena finds herself in the same place at the same time with Markus to celebrate Lucy and Benji Paxton’s wedding. Neither of them has been able to move on—and they’re starting to wonder if they really want to.
They’re headed for a face-off at the altar unless they can confront their past and unearth the truth about what really happened on that fateful night.
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My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?
Author Links

Dear Santa, I Can Explain…

Come share your links AND your Christmas spirit! 😉

yadadarcyyada

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/12/08/dear-santa-i-can-explain/With the Christmas lights on, it’s less dangerous. Here we are now, entertain us. I feel dazed, not contagious. Here we are now, entertain us…I’m worse at what I do best And for this gift, I feel blessed… Our little blogging group has always been. And always will until the end. HoHo, HoHo, HoHo, HoHo, HoHo, HoHo. Ummm, Smells like Christmas spirit?

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/12/08/dear-santa-i-can-explain/

In a kind of Welcome-to-the-Christmas-Jungle-type way, it’s been a strange few weeks, so Dear Santa, I Can Explain….

1. I’ve fought a prolonged battle with a vicious cold, it almost won, until I released my dragons, ok, it was chicken soup, but it was epic.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/12/08/dear-santa-i-can-explain/2. I overindulged in great gently used ‘finds’, tea with seniors, and raffles – if loving Christmas Bazaars is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/12/08/dear-santa-i-can-explain/

3. I fell out of bed (and not in a fun way), luckily no serious injuries, but it…

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I Stand with Darkness! – Jasper Kerkau

Stand with darkness!!!

The Writings of Jasper Kerkau

franksinatra-holeinthehead-rexfeatures_1548806a-large_transceyxuz-229tmz2qznh8ui37gggjjgqhhpdc0eaekfx8Would I give up my torment for a better life?  Trade my constricted words for laughter at restaurants with jovial sorts with funny handshakes and antidotes about country life. I could chemically alter the color of my walls and meet a charming girl with a big smile and hearty laugh who will take down all my art, replace it with funny phrases painted on plaques made out driftwood. She could lead my around by my thumb, put me in pastel shirts and feed me to a congregation of hungry Mexican food eating Presbyterians  with good intentions. Maybe I could work up to being a people person and start watching the weather, get a favorite sports team and have heated arguments with co-workers over draft picks.

Could I sacrifice my darkness for happiness? I could let my doctor have his way, cleanse my mind, lose Thomas Wolfe, the eternal quest…

View original post 112 more words

“Bootilicious (MM) Cedar Falls 17” by Shea Balik #NEW

Bootilicious Cover

“Bootlicious (MM) Cedar Falls #17”

by Shea Balik

Genre: MMRomance/Gay

Release Date: November 30, 2016

Bookstrand                 Goodreads

From the moment ex-SAS officer Vicar Hunt met ex-Delta Force officer Lucian Frost, they couldn’t deny their instant attraction. Well, Lucian wasn’t about to deny it—Vicar, on the other hand, wanted to run as far as he could in the opposite direction. Why he ever thought he could fit in around others after all he’d experienced was asinine on his part. A mistake he never planned on making again, if he could just get to the safety of his home.

Lucian stared at the beauty that had run from his shop, Bootilicious as if the hounds of hell were chasing him. Up until that moment, Lucian had never realized he’d wanted a man in his life. Since entering the military at eighteen, he’d been perfectly content with one-night stands, not having the time for anything more permanent. Now that he’d met Vicar, however, Lucian found himself more than ready to settle down.

Too bad Vicar didn’t feel the same.

Then again, Lucian always did like a challenge.

 

~~About the Author – Meet Shea Balik~~

Shea Balik has always had a vivid imagination with stories running around in her head.  Often her stories are taken from observations of other people with her own spin. Traveling is one of her favorite ways of fulfilling her passion of people watching.  You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.
Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book.

For out of the country traveling, Shea has been to every Caribbean country that cruise ships visit, several times.  Being a Floridian means easy access to ports and cheaper rates.  Although, now that she’s cruised so often, Shea gets discounts for being a frequent cruiser.  In a perfect world, Shea would cruise around the world, but she doesn’t see that happening anytime soon, unless she wins the lottery.

You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.

Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book.

~~Shea’s Links~~

 Bookstrand – http://bit.ly/SheaOnBookstrand
Website – http://bit.ly/SheaBalikWebsite
Facebook – http://bit.ly/SheaOnFacebook
Amazon – http://bit.ly/SheaOnAmazon
Twitter – http://bit.ly/SheaOnTwitter
Pinterest – http://bit.ly/SheaOnPinterest
Instagram – http://bit.ly/SheaOnInstagram
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/SheaOnGoodreads

SheaBalik.com

 

“June Jenson and the Shield of Quell” by Emily Harper #BlogTour

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blog tour

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Book Title: June Jenson and the Shield of Quell
Author: Emily Harper
Genre: Women’s Action/Adventure
Release Date: April 16, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Goodreads

book blurb

June Jenson, an accomplished Oxford professor, has spent her life trying to get out from under the shadow of her infamous grandfather: a renowned archaeologist accused of stealing a relic during an excavation at Sutton-Hoo. When a secret alliance recruits June to guard priceless artifacts she realizes that this is her chance to contribute to the history she loves and rid herself of the cloud of suspicion that her family has lived under for so long. But, when the artifact June is commissioned to guard turns out to be the same relic her grandfather was accused of stealing− a relic he has consistently claimed never existed − her carefully laid plans of family redemption are a bit shot. Now, with the aid of her accused grandfather who suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s, and a chauffeur who’s looking for a scandal to make him famous, June must race to discover the truth of the shield and what really happened at Sutton-Hoo all those years ago.

excerpt

Professor!” I yell in frustration.

“Alright, fine,” he says, nodding his head after making his decision. “There is something I can tell you. Something that could help you get the answer under the illusion you came to it on your own.”

I ignore all the insults in that statement and just eagerly nod.

“My advice would be this: walk beside the clues, not in their shoes.”

I stare at him, blinking rapidly.

“What? That’s it?” I ask when he says no more.

“I should think that all but spells it out, June bug.”

I shake my head, my mind running over the words. Nothing. It means absolutely nothing.

“That is the single worst clue I think I’ve ever heard!”

The Professor sighs dramatically. “You are letting the clues lead you to the trap door, my dear. The clues are a guide, of course, but you need to see them from afar. An optical illusion is revealed the further you step back while looking at the same image.”

This is absolutely ridiculous.

That’s it. It’s over. My illustrious career as a Relic Guard is officially in the bin.

And you know, it’s just so maddening because I am a smart woman. I finished top in my class. I have an eidetic memory. I am one of the youngest Professors to teach at the prestigious Oxford University. I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with just my tongue.

But this one bloody riddle has plagued me for days. On repeat in my head.

How will everything always end?

The simple answer is death, of course. But if you are looking at it from a mythological standpoint, the possibilities are endless…

Or maybe they aren’t thinking of human entities, but the very thing we are swearing to protect: the relics themselves. What will inevitably happen to them?

“Don’t go down the rabbit hole, June bug,” the Professor warns.

I look at him in utter frustration.

Walk beside the clues, not in their shoes…

Think… Think…

This is ridiculous. That is the worst advice in the entire world. I mean, it even rhymes. He’s treating me like a simple child who needs–

Oh, bloody hell.

Well, that’s terribly embarrassing.

“Light bulb?” the Professor says with a wide grin on his face.

What is the answer to June’s riddle?

meet the author

Emily Harper is the bestselling and award winning women’s fiction author of White Lies, Checking Inn, My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero and the June Jenson series. Her debut novel, White Lies, was a finalist in the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award. My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero won the 2014 New England Readers’ Choice Award. She has a passion for writing humorous romance stories where the heroine is not your typical damsel in distress.

Originally from England, she currently lives in Canada with her husband, two children, and a very naughty dog.

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