“The Trouble With Before” by Portia Moore #BlogTour

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Our history made things harder.
We were associates out of convenience.
We tolerated each other.
I never saw her that way.
She never saw me that way.
She and I were never meant to be friends.
You’re not supposed to fall for your best friend’s enemy, even if the enemy is YOUR ex-best friend.
This isn’t the story of falling in love with your best friend.
It’s about falling out of hate.

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The door swings open and she emerges, the hot air pouring from the bathroom. She has a towel wrapped around her and quickly walks to her suitcase. She starts to riffle through it.
“You went through my things?” she asks in an irritated tone.
“I was cleaning up the pigsty you’ve been living in,” I correct her.
She’s crouched over, her long blond hair cascading down her small back. And the towel is barely covering her ass, which has gotten a lot bigger since I last saw her, but it’s not flabby and wide but toned and round like a volleyball player.
“Don’t be a pervert,” she says, tossing a knowing look my way.
I hide a laugh, and just like that, it’s almost as though we’re back in high school. We used to swim in the pond by Chris’s house, and I always wanted to catch a glimpse of her boobs. She grabs a T-shirt, drops her towel, and pulls the shirt over her head. I swallow hard. Lisa’s definitely grown up since the last time I saw her naked, even though I can’t see the front of her. Her back’s long and smooth, only curving right before her ass pokes it. It’s round, firm, and perfect, and for a minute, I forget why I’m here.
“Look, I’m sorry to scare Ms. Scott.”
“Huh?” I ask.
She tosses the wet towel at me. “God, Aidan, you’ve screwed, what, a thousand girls and you get distracted by a little ass? I guess you haven’t changed much.” She shoots me a disgusted glare, but I can see a small grin behind it.
I let out a breath and throw the towel back at her, but she swats it away before it reaches her face. She looks more like the Lisa I know. Her hair’s grown out a lot, but it looks good on her. Her eyes still look tired, but they aren’t as dull as they were before. Now she just looks tired, instead of steps away from being dead.
“I didn’t mean to bother anyone. I just… I was really messed up, and as screwed up as it may be, Ms. Scott is the closest thing I have to a friend.” Her tone is quiet and not dripping with the usual sarcasm.
For a moment, I feel a stab of guilt. It’s really fucked up if the closest thing you have to a friend is the wife of the guy you slept with and whose family you almost destroyed.
“So if you want to berate me, tell me how stupid and selfish I am, and anything else you want to add to the list, go ahead. I’m all cried out, and I’m still just a little bit tipsy. Then you can go ahead about your way,” she proclaims, taking a seat on the bed across from me. She sets her hands on her knees and lets out a deep breath.
“Well, you pretty much covered everything I was going to say,” I say jokingly.
A barely there smile makes an appearance on her face. I think about Lauren and Ms. Red’s text about listening, and I let out my own deep breath and get comfortable in the chair.
“Tell me what’s going on. Why are you living in a hotel? I thought Brett had swept you off your feet and you’d be living in fairy-tale land by now,” I say, trying and failing to keep the sarcasm out of my voice.
“We’re on a break,” she answers quickly, then bites the corner of her lip, a tell-tale sign that she’s lying.
“The guy’s a douche anyway.” I shrug, and she rolls her eyes.
“He is not a douche. He’s a really sweet guy and the only person who’s been there for me, so I’d really appreciate if you don’t take any verbal jabs at him when he’s not here to defend himself. You’re more than welcome to direct them at me if you’d like.”
I shake my head. Brett Steltson. I could never stand that dude. The moment I met him, I knew he was a douche. Brett’s such a douchebag name. I don’t know why, but something about him just never sat right with me. Lisa and her best friend, Amanda, always thought he was the perfect guy—nice and older and he had money—but something was off about him. Not to say that a guy can’t be nice and what a girl wants—Chris was always genuinely a good guy, but even he had his problems. Brett was too perfect. Until I caught him with another girl a day after Lisa broke up with him. Then I found out Brett had several girlfriends from a few different high schools. None at his college, which seemed more than a little off to me.
Now I’m not a genius, but for Lisa to be in a hotel room with all of her bags, drinking wine, crying, and before she showered, smelling like a homeless person, something had to have gone down. I hope it’s something he did. I haven’t kicked anyone’s ass in a long time, and I’d love for it to be good ol’ boy Brett’s.
“Okay then, what are you doing here? I’d like to think you didn’t call Ms. Red because you’re feeling sensitive during your time of the month?”
“Has anyone told you you’re a chauvinistic pig?” she asks sharply.
“At least once a day,” I say with a wink.
She sinks into the edge of the bed. She’s quiet, and I can see she’s contemplating something.
I lean forward a bit, giving her a little smile. “It’s not like you care what I think of you anyway right?”
She looks at me and shakes her head. “How is Chris?”
“So you’re going to ignore what I just asked you?” I counter, and she bites her lip.
“I want to know because once I tell you, you may never tell me,” she says quietly.
It’s my turn to let out a deep breath, and I lean back in the sofa chair. Shit, what the hell has she done? She better not be screwing Mr. Scott again. What can be worse than that?
“He’s busy. Lauren’s having twins,” I tell her.
Her eyes widen, and for the first time, they’re bright. For the first time since I’ve been here, it’s like the dark cloud over her head is gone. “Twins? Oh my God!” She laughs. “That’s great! He’s finally getting the family he always w-wanted.”
She’s crying again, and this time it’s an ugly cry. Her face is all scrunched up and her body is trembling.
“Lisa, what the hell?” I shake my head, sit next to her on the bed, pull her body into mine, and hug her.
“I’m sorry,” she says, trying to catch her breath. “I-I just messed everything up so bad. I-I don’t even know my best friend anymore,” she whimpers as tears soak my shirt.
I rub her back and try to think of what Lauren or Ms. Red would say. “I-it’s going to be fine.” I don’t even sound convincing to myself.
“No, it’s not,” she mutters.
“Worst-case scenario, Chris won’t ever speak to you again. That’s kind of expected. And maybe Brett dumped you. So what? He’s a douche anyway. You’re still young, kind of hot, and you can move forward,” I tell her, sounding pretty convincing. But I don’t get how she can pretty much leave her kid without a tear but be crying over breaking up with a dude she didn’t even really like when we were in high school.
“I know Chris is never going to forgive me. I can’t ask him to. I’m not delusional,” she says quietly.
“So you’re crying like this over Brett?” I ask, annoyed. I feel her body stiffen. I shift my body back from her and turn her shoulders toward me. I can feel the tension in the room building as her eyes tear away from mine. “What’s wrong?”
My words are strong and confident, but my stomach feels woozy. I run across all of the terrible scenarios in my mind. She’s dying. She’s done something illegal. She’s slept with Mr. Scott again. I bite my lip to keep from saying any of those things. Her eyes meet mine slowly, and I see her swallow hard.
“I’m pregnant.”
Holy shit! My mouth falls open, but no words leave them. I don’t know what to say. What the hell?
“Can you say something!” she squeaks.
I feel as if my eyes are about to bug out of my head. I was NOT prepared for this shit. I shut my mouth and rest my chin in my hand and stare at her. How the hell does someone who didn’t want a kid a year ago end up pregnant? I’m doing my best to not say something that will make me an insensitive jerk, but it’s killing me.
​“Go ahead, tell me I’m an idiot. Ask me how could I put myself in the situation I just got out of. Tell me I’m the lowest person on the planet to leave my first child and end up with another one!” She’s standing and shouting and crying.
​“Please tell me Mr. Scott isn’t the father,” I say stoically.
She picks up the pillow and throws it at me. “Way to be a dick!”
Then she goes into the bathroom and slams the door. I throw my head back in frustration and slap the wall. I think about texting Lauren and Ms. Scott again, but I probably wouldn’t listen to what they said anyway.
It was a little dickish of me to say that, but it was the first thing that popped in my mind, and the relief afterward was worth it. I think back to years ago, when Lisa told me to always say the third thing that came to my mind, not the first.
​“I just wanted things to be different,” she yells through the door.
Pregnant again? What was she thinking?
​“I-I came to a different state. I started a different job. I even tried again with Brett. I thought if I just made myself be with him, then nothing would have happened like it did, and it’s all just gone wrong,” she cries.
I try to feel sorry for her, I really do, but what the hell is her problem? Is she serious?
“Different?” I can’t help but scoff.
There’s a long stretch of silence, and I feel the tension growing with each second that passes.
“I’m sorry, Lisa,” I say, my throat tight. “I came here to make sure you were okay… Lauren and Ms. Red wanted to make sure you were alive and hadn’t done something crazy… but let me tell you, I don’t know who you are anymore. The girl I knew wasn’t this person, this selfish, dramatic, pitiful girl who wants everybody to feel sorry for her.”
She swings the door open, her face red, and I can tell she’s about to yell at me.
​Before she can, I say, “You wanted things to be different, but what have you done differently besides run away from all of your problems? You want people to think of you differently? How about you be different? Go back home, grow up, do something with your life that you like and not what you think a guy wants you to do. Have your baby, be a good mom, drop in to see your other daughter once in a while. Be sorry not because you got caught and everyone’s mad at you but because what you did was fucking terrible. Trying again with a guy you never had feelings for in the first place and having another kid isn’t different, Lisa. You’re making all the same mistakes over again!”
She looks confused, so I firmly grip her shoulders and lean down until we’re face to face.
​“Grow the fuck up. Life doesn’t give us a do-over. We just get to try to do it a little better the next day!” I’m hoping that she gets it, that she’ll wake up and become the woman I know she can be. If she doesn’t, I can’t stand to look at her anymore.
I walk out the door, pull out my phone, and text Lauren and Ms. Red
I wasn’t a good listener or talker but don’t worry she won’t do anything to herself. She’s different.
After I send the text, I turn off my phone.

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I’m obsessed with blowing kisses. I guess that makes me a romantic. I love books and cute boys and reading about cute boys in books.I’m infatuated with the glamour girls of the past: Audrey,Dorothy,Marilyn,Elizabeth.
I’m a self confessed girly girl,book nerd,food enthusiast, and comic book fan. Odd combination huh, you have no idea…
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“Touching Down” by Nicole Williams #ExcerptReveal

  

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Coming October 9th
Pre-order exclusively on
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The whole world might be in love with him. But all he’s ever loved is her.


Grant Turner’s name is synonymous with football. The fans and media can’t get enough of the player known as The Invincible Man, a nickname he earned while growing up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the country and the nickname he’s kept by being one of the best players in professional football today. No one can take him down. He’s unstoppable.

But even a suit of armor has its weak point, and Grant’s has always been Ryan Hale.
They were a couple of kids when they fell in love, and just when it looked like the happy ending neither expected was within reach, Ryan disappeared. No explanations. No good-byes.

Grant coped by throwing himself into the game for seven years, and he’s finally moved on. Or so he thinks.

When she walks back into his life, all of those feelings come crashing back, despite the warnings in his head that tell him she’ll leave him again. Grant can withstand the league’s toughest defensive line, but he’s always been weak where she’s concerned.

No man can take Grant Turner down.

But one woman certainly can.

One woman will.

How had I gotten here?
​That was the question still cycling through my head when I heard the shower turn off. In the minute that followed, I did everything I could not to think about what was behind that closed bathroom door. What being a wet and naked Grant Turner.
​What being the only man I’d ever loved and the only man I ever would. My life felt like it was ending, but his was only really getting started. There’d be more for him, despite whatever he said or thought. There’d be love, heartache, and more love. For Grant, I would be one of the many. For me, he was the one of them all.
​When the bathroom door opened, a fog of steam burst into the bedroom. It wasn’t a plume; it was a thick fog.
​“Do you have any skin left after that scalding shower?” I asked, turning toward the dresser so my back was to the bathroom. Grant fresh from a shower had always been a weakness for me, and I guessed nothing about that had changed.
​“I don’t know. What do you think?”
I saw him from the corner of my eyes, standing beside me. When my gaze shifted to confirm whether he had or had not scalded off his skin, my breath caught.
​“Why are you naked?” I blinked a few times to keep my eyes facing north. It was a chore though. I felt as though two metal weights dangled from my eyeballs and were trying to draw them downward.
​Grant chuckled, pulling open the bottom drawer. “I’m not naked.”
​“Why are you mostly naked?” When the fight against gravity became too much and my eyes dropped below his navel, I literally felt flames licking up my throat. Fuck me. That man had always had an amazing body, but now . . . I knew women who’d auction off their souls for a chance to be entertained by a body like that for a night.
​“Because I figured you wouldn’t prefer the alternative of me being fully naked.” Grant pinched at the white towel tied around his waist as he pulled a pair of light grey sweats from the drawer. “But since I can tell from your shock I was wrong, what the hell.” In one flick of a finger, the towel fell to the floor.
​“Grant!” It came out as more of a shriek than I’d intended, but he was standing two feet in front of me, fully naked.
​“What?” His voice was innocent, but his smirk was the opposite. “Nothing you haven’t seen before.” His muscles rippled when he shrugged, tugging on his sweats. “Just seven years older is all.”
​When he turned to pick up his abandoned towel, I got the full view of his back which, like this, looked as wide as the span of my arms.
“And seven years bigger,” I muttered, still unable to believe he’d just bared it all like that. Actually, the more I thought about it, I shouldn’t have been so shocked. Grant wasn’t exactly modest.
​Glancing back at me, he winked. “Why thank you. Glad you noticed.”
​When I caught what he was getting at, heat settled beneath my cheeks. “That’s not what I was talking about.”
​“Maybe. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t what you were thinking about.” He slid the waistband of his sweats around until he found a comfortable spot. Which happened to be a good half foot below his navel.
​“In your hurry to make me uncomfortable, you forgot to put on underwear.” I flattened my expression to give the impression that I was not half as shook up as he thought I was.
​The truth was, I was probably twice as shook up as he thought.
​“I don’t believe in them,” he said simply.
​“You don’t believe in what? Underwear?” I felt my forehead crease.
​“I’m anti-underwear.”
​“Anti-underwear?”
​“You know how some people are anti-gun or anti-abortion? Well, I’m anti-underwear,” he explained with a shrug. “But are you?”
​My arms folded and I looked across the room. “Am I what?”
​“Uncomfortable?” He moved a step closer, when he’d already been five steps too close.
Now, it wasn’t just the image of him clouding my mind. It was the way he smelled. The sound of his breath. The feel of the warmth cascading off of his body.
​Sealing my eyes closed, I focused. I imagined the most Zen, peaceful place on the planet. “No,” I said as firmly as I was capable.
​“Liar.” I heard the twisted smile in his voice. After a moment, I felt him move closer. “Why do I make you uncomfortable? I never used to.”
​My eyes opened right into his. As dark as Grant’s eyes were, a person would never notice the flecks of light in them if they didn’t get close enough to see them. Up close, his eyes were more light than dark.
​“You don’t make me uncomfortable.” I could hear the lie in my voice like it was a shout.
​One by one, Grant’s hands formed around the outsides of my elbows, his fingers circling around my arms. His body pressed closer until his chest touched mine each time he inhaled. “Then why are you trembling?” His head dropped, his mouth moving just outside of my ear. “Why do I make you uncomfortable, Ryan?”
​His voice, his body. His words, his touch. He was wrecking my resolve, one moment at a time, until I could feel the last of it about to crumble.
​“It’s been a long day, Grant.”
​“It has.” His head nodded beside mine. “Let’s keep up this trend and make it a long night too.”
​My heart started to echo in my eardrums as a growing ache pulsed inside me.
​“We should get to bed.” My voice was trembling now too.
​“We should.” His head dropped lower to my neck. He took in a long breath, like he was trying to take me inside him. “Yours or mine?”
​Despite my resolve, I smiled. “They’re all yours technically.”
​“They’re whatever you want them to be just as long a you say which one you want me to carry you into. Or feel free to point in the general area too. I can figure it out.”

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Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.

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“Safe at Home (Warm Springs Trilogy #1)” by Christina Kirby #BookBlitz

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Book Title: Safe at Home (Book One in The Warm Springs Trilogy)
Author: Christina Kirby
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 15, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

Driven by fear and desperate to protect her family, Samantha is forced to leave Chicago and everything she’s worked to achieve, only to start over by tossing a dart-at-the-map. The Georgia townsfolk’s true Southern charm is the unexpected prescription needed to heal her soul, and the sexy carpenter who touches her heart are distractions she didn’t plan on, but they might offer her a chance at a new life, if she can let go of her past.

Town heartbreaker Spencer Malloy isn’t looking for anything serious. His days are perfect working as a contractor, attending his nephew’s baseball games, or taking him fishing. He never expects to fall for the big city girl, Samantha. She’s not his type, timid and closed off, but in her unguarded moments, he’s intrigued by the woman he can’t get out of his mind. The urge to get closer to her grows stronger each day, and when the shadow of evil resurfaces, he vows to protect Samantha, even if it means abandoning his home and joining her on the run.

When confronted by the man who’s bent on revenge, Samantha must choose between running again to save the people she loves, or, if she has the strength, to stay and fight for her new life.

excerpt

“Here it is.” Jenny announced. She stopped the car in front of an old white house with peeling paint and looked over at Sam whose eyes began to fill with tears.

“Like I said, it needs some work. When Pete got sick, no one really paid much attention to the house. It’s been sitting here idle for a while. His boys just couldn’t bring themselves to sell it at first, and then…”

“No, it’s perfect,” Sam’s voice sounded watery. “It’s the first house I’ve ever owned.”

After fighting off the foolish tears, Sam climbed out of the car, strolled through the freshly cut grass, and up to what could be a beautiful porch. Jenny unlocked the door as she chattered away about the house, but Sam wasn’t listening. This was it, her new home.

Entering through the wood and glass front door, Sam stepped into a little hallway and felt her heart swell. The inside was small and cozy. The perfect place to sit and feel safe from the outside world.

“Excuse me, earth to Sam. Do you want to see the rest of the house?”

Sam turned, face warm. “Yes, sorry. Lead the way.”

Jenny led her down the hall to show her the kitchen, which had a wonderful view of the backyard, they moved through the dining room and then the upstairs before returning to the den. It was a wonderful little house, so much more than what she imagined for herself.

A car backfired out on the main road and Sam jumped.

“Are you okay?” Jenny’s blue eyes widened, her voice threaded with concern.

“Fine.” Sam let out a shaky breath and waited for her heart rate to return to normal. “I must’ve been so lost in all my plans for the house that I was in another world.”

Jenny gave her a warm smile, but continued to watch her with a crease between her perfect eyebrows.

“Should we be off to your office now?” Sam tried to sound relaxed.

Jenny beamed. “The papers are ready for you.”

Relief washed through Sam as the thrill of the sale seemed to distract Jenny from Sam’s nervous behavior. She led the way out the door and took a deep breath of country air. It was going to be okay here. No one knew where she was. Not her family. Not her best friend. No one. She glanced over her shoulder at the little white house, which for her, symbolized so much more than a new house. She was home.

meet the author

sanantonio-signing5Christina Kirby holds a degree in Public Relations from Auburn University (War Eagle!). She worked in banking for four and a half years before deciding to become a stay at home mom to her two sons. Moving every couple of years because of her husband’s job, Christina has had the opportunity to meet all kinds of people and to live in many different states. Fortunately, writing is something she can take with her no matter where she lives. She loves chocolate and all things pop culture so if you love to talk movies, favorite TV shows, or books, she’d love to hear from you.

Other titles by this author include:
Running Home (#2 in the Warm Springs Trilogy)
Protecting Home (#3 in the Warm Springs Trilogy)
A Face In the Crowd

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“Roommate: A Real Man” by Jenika Snow #CoverReveal

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Coming October 18th

Brendan

I’ve done pretty damn well in hiding my feelings for her over the years, but having Meghan under the same roof as me, and only feet from my bed makes it hard to control myself.

The truth is when it comes to Meghan I don’t want to practice self-control. I love her.

Meghan

I’ve known him nearly my whole life. He’s arrogant, gets under my skin, but is gorgeous and caring, too. And as much as I want to say it doesn’t affect me, that Brendan doesn’t affect me I’d be lying.

The truth is I love him, and I don’t know if that’ll end up destroying me.

Brendan

She needed a place to stay, and now she’s got a roommate … me. But I’m about to show her that I want more than a friendly arrangement.

I’ve never been good at sharing, and when it comes to her, she’s mine.

Warning: You like short, hot, straight to the point stories? Do you want drama-free sexiness that leaves nothing to the imagination? Do you want a story that is pretty unbelievable, but gives you the warm fuzzies at the same time? Well then, leave your panties at the door because that’s what’s going down in this quickie.

Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse.

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