Tag: Blog Tour

Blog Tour: The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan

Posted November 6, 2019 by Rowena in Features, Promotions | 0 Comments

Kennedy Ryan has a new series coming out and today we’re featuring the first book of that new series on the blog. The All the Kings Men series kicks off with The Kingmaker and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. It’s been out for about a week now and it promises to be a rocking good reading time.

Check out the excerpt and teaser goodness that we have for you guys today…

Blog Tour: The Kingmaker by Kennedy RyanThe King Maker by Kennedy Ryan
Series: All the Kings Men #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 27, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 344
Add It: Goodreads
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I'm a wolf in wolf’s clothing, and I’ll consume her if she lets me.

Ambition. Passion. Betrayal.

Rita Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan delivers the epic first installment of the All the King's Men Duet.

Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.

In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.

My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I'm determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.

And neither will I.

Excerpt

“What do you want?”

The look he pours over me is hot oil, burning me even through serviceable layers of cotton. His heated perusal caresses my face, sluices over my breasts and hips, and then pools at my feet.

“Oh, that you won’t ever get again,” I say, my voice a soft, certain promise. “I don’t screw liars. I’m particular that way.”

“Never say never,” he drawls, tilting up my chin with his finger.

“Nev–”

He crushes the word between our mouths. It falls apart in the scorching, sweet tangle of lips and teeth. With one hand, he digs his fingers into my hair. The other splays across my lower back, his grip on me almost convulsive, urging me up and closer. I’m in stasis. I’m completely startled by the kiss, unable to respond. I send a desperate message to my brain.

Move. Pull back. Push him away.

But the urgent glide of his hand down my spine to cup my ass melts my thoughts to liquid and they swim in my head. I can’t pull back, and all hope of resistance dissolves when he presses his thumb to my chin, prying me open. He stalks my tongue, hunts down a response, licking and sucking and groaning and growling. His hands tighten on me until I strain up to seek him, yanking his hair, pulling him even closer.

“Dammit, Nix,” he mutters between kisses. His hand wanders down my neck and across my shoulder, and cups my breast, twisting the nipple through flimsy barriers of cotton and lace. He shoves up my skirt, pulling my legs wider, and pushes my panties aside, his fingers invading me. My body remembers this mad craving that claws out of my bones—that wants out. That wants him. Under his rough touch, my body blooms and my hips rock.

“That’s it,” he says, taking my earlobe between his lips.

My head falls back and I moan. It’s so damn good. His touch awakens me. His hands, his kisses bring me to life. It feels like I’m taking my first deep breath since we were last together, and it fills my lungs, seeps into my pores.

“I missed you,” he says, sucking my lips and kissing the corners, quick, hungry. “I’m sorry. Baby, I—”

“Stop talking.” I reach between us to loosen his belt, catching his zipper and dragging it down, dragging him out. “Shut up.”

Teasers

About the Author

About Kennedy Ryan

Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who find a way to thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, Kennedy has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other outlets as a voice for families living with autism.


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Blog Tour: Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted April 1, 2019 by Rowena in Promotions | 8 Comments

Kennedy Ryan’s third installment in her Hoops series is out and here at Book Binge, we’re super thrilled about that. Both of the previous books have hooked us good and we cannot wait to jump into Kenan and Lotus’ book. Their romance promises to be explosive and the early reviews have been nothing but good so we’re pretty anxious.

Blog Tour: Hook Shot by Kennedy RyanHook Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #3
Also in this series: Hoops Holiday, Long Shot (Hoops, #1), Hook Shot, Long Shot
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 28, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 408
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

A deeply emotional standalone romance set in the worlds of professional basketball and high fashion.

Divorced. Single dad. Traded to a losing squad.

Cheated on, betrayed, exposed. My perfect life blew up in my face and I'm still picking up the pieces. The last thing I need is her. A wildflower. A storm. A woman I can't resist. Lotus DuPree is a kick to my gut and a wrench in my plans from the moment our eyes meet. I promised myself I wouldn't trust a woman again, but I've never wanted anyone the way I want Lo. She's not the plan I made, but she's the risk I have to take.

A warrior. A baller. The one they call Gladiator.

Kenan Ross charged into my life smelling all good, looking even better and snatching my breath from the moment we met. The last thing I need is him.I'm working on me. Facing my pain and conquering my demons.I've seen what trusting a man gets you.I. Don't. Have. Time. For. This. But he just keeps coming for me. Keeps knocking down my defenses and stealing my excuses one by one. He never gives up, and now...I'm not sure I want him to.

Kenan and Lotus’ have been circling each other since Long Shot and their romance is finally here. If you haven’t read the other books in this series, you really should because they’re emotional and raw and hard to get through but worth the emotional turmoil you’ll face while reading them. Kennedy Ryan does such a fantastic job of telling these stories and I want everyone to read them. Check out this excerpt!

Excerpt

After talking to Kenan for the last few minutes, and looking under his hood, so to speak, I’ve found that he’s a classic. They don’t make them like him anymore, and if I don’t change the subject, change the course of this conversation, I’ll fool myself that we don’t have to keep things simple and that we could be more than just friends, not just for the summer, but for a long time to come. As long as I’d like.

“Okay,” I say, switching gears without a clutch and pulling a tie off another of Amanda’s racks. “I think that shirt could work really well with this tie.”

He doesn’t look at the tie I’m holding up, but keeps his eyes fastened on me. He’s not playing along. I’ve boxed myself into a corner with him. And the quarters are too tight. His scent. His warmth. His intelligence. His thoughtfulness. He is pressing in on me, overtaking my good intentions in all the ways I never thought a man could.

“Try this on,” I say, blindly shoving the mint green shirt at him.

When I look at him, he’s already peeled one shirt off and is reaching for the one I chose. I didn’t think this through. Didn’t forecast that Kenan changing from one shirt into another would mean his naked chest. I lose my train of thought and all my chill. Besides my mouth dropping open at the sight of the sculpted terrain of his chest and abs, I give no other indication that he affects me. Taut, bronze skin stretches across his broad shoulders like supple canvas pulled over a frame, the foundation of a masterpiece. He’s a big man. Not bulky, but instead chiseled to the specifications of a master sculptor: arms roped with muscles, biceps like rocks under skin glowing with health. The forearms Chase raved about are lined with veins and sinew. And I die for a great chest. I’ve never seen one more spectacular than Kenan’s.

Two words.

Male. Nipples.

Jesus, my mouth is literally watering at the thought of tasting them, sucking them, licking them. And if that pectoral perfection weren’t enough, the two columns of muscles, four each, are stacked over his lean stomach arrowing down to a narrow waist and hips. I can’t look away. I lick my lips, imagining how he would feel under my mouth. How I’d lick around his nipples and drag my tongue down that shallow path bisecting his abdominal muscles. I’d slip that belt off and sink to my knees. Unzip those pants and take him out. God, hold him in my hands and then take him all the way to the back of my throat. I’d choke on him. A man this big . . . I’d be so tight around him.

“Lotus,” Kenan says, jarring me from my torso trance. “Should I go ahead and put this shirt on? Or did you need a little more time?”

I snap a glance up to his face, embarrassed to find him laughing at me. Oh, God. I’m as bad as Amanda. I turn to leave, but he catches my elbow with a gentle hand and turns me back around, walking us behind two of the racks. He bends until he’s almost eye level with me.

“Don’t be embarrassed,” he says, searching my face intently. “I’m glad you like my body.”

“I didn’t say I . . .” My words trail off at his knowing grin. “Okay. So you have a nice body. I work in fashion. Do you have any idea how many great bodies I see on a daily basis?”

“I’m sure many,” he says, his smile still firmly in place. “I can’t speak for any of them, only for the way you looked at me.”

“And how do you think I looked at you?” I ask defensively, forcing myself not to look away.

In the quiet that follows, his smile fades, and heat replaces the humor in his eyes. “You looked at me the way I bet I’ve looked at you every time you walk into a room,” he says, the timbre of his voice rolling over my sensitive skin like a caress. “Like I would eat you if I could. Head to toe, everything in between.”

“Kenan,” I protest, closing my eyes on a groan. “We said friends. We said simple. This is not how you start a simple friendship.”

His large hand cups my jaw and lifts my chin. I open my eyes, blinking dazedly at him. I wasn’t prepared for how his touch makes me feel. How I instantly crave more of it; want to lean into the warmth; to turn and trace his lifeline with my tongue. Tell him all the things I could discover just from reading his palm and looking into his eyes.

How can such a large hand feel so gentle, like it’s capable of treasuring, cherishing?

“Okay, Lotus,” he says, regret and reluctance woven around my name. “Simple. Friendship.”

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving away 3 e-copies of Hook Shot so make sure you enter, using the widget below. We’re excited for this release so we want to share the goods around with three lucky winners. Good luck!

Blog Tour: Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan

About Kennedy Ryan

Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who find a way to thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, Kennedy has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other outlets as a voice for families living with autism.


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Blog Tour: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews (+ Magic Bleeds Giveaway)

Posted August 20, 2018 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 10 Comments

Magic Triumphs is almost here! To celebrate, Ace Books and participating blogs will be giving away three copies of each Kate Daniels book every weekday leading up to highly anticipated release on August 28th. Each giveaway will run for three days.

Follow the tour and enter to win them all!

Blog Tour: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews (+ Magic Bleeds Giveaway)Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels, #10) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #10
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-half-stars

Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can't-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series.

Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She's made friends and enemies. She's found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be.

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate's doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.

Order the Book:

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The World of Kate Daniels

The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, technology is destroyed. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But sometimes even trained killers make friends and fall in love, and when the universe tries to kick them in the face, they kick back.

Giveaway* Alert

We’re giving away 3 copies of Magic Bleeds (US only). To enter, use the widget below.

Blog Tour: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews (+ Magic Bleeds Giveaway)Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #4
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises

Publication Date: June 25, 2010
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 349
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, officially, as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar on the border between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord, to handle. Because this time Kate will be taking on family…

Blog Tour: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

About the Author


WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children, and many dogs and cats. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

Visit Each Blog for a Chance to Win the Entire Series

*This is a publisher sponsored giveaway. Prizes will be mailed direct from Penguin Random House. If you win, Book Binge will need to share your mailing information with the publisher.


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Blog Tour: Somebody Like You by Donna Alward

Posted February 8, 2017 by Rowena in Giveaways, Promotions | 2 Comments

Somebody Like You by Donna Alward
Series: Darling, VT #1
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genres: Contemporary, Romance

A kiss to last a lifetime

Aiden Gallagher was only five years old when he appeared in a photograph on the Kissing Bridge. The town of Darling, Vermont, has used Aiden’s image on the famed bridge—local legend has it that a kiss there results in everlasting love—as part of its tourism campaign. Now, twenty years later, Aiden is asked to recreate the moment with the woman he once kissed: Laurel Stone.

Recently divorced, there’s nothing Laurel wants less than to pretend happily-ever-after with Aiden. As teenagers, their romance was no fairy tale—and Laurel has never quite forgiven Aiden for breaking her heart. But now that she is back in her hometown, and keeps bumping into police officer Aiden, Laurel can’t deny that there’s still a strong flicker between her and her old flame. Could it be that the Kissing Bridge is working its magic on Laurel and Aiden—and that all true love ever needed was a second chance?

Order the Book:

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Excerpt

By the time they were through, it was nine o’clock and time to open. Being a Saturday, business was brisk. Her dad dropped off the supplies and offered to stay to help cover the tagging, but with the heavy shopping traffic, Laurel decided to wait until things died down. For now the tarps covered the tags, and she’d focus on her customers. Otherwise her anger would get the best of her and that was bad for business. By six p.m., things had slowed considerably.

Laurel had been going flat out for ten hours, stopping for only fifteen minutes to run to The Purple Pig for a sandwich. Her stomach growled, her feet hurt, there was dirt beneath her nails and she really, really wanted a shower and a glass of wine—in that order. Laurel had just dragged out the hose to water the fruit trees when a half- ton truck drove into the lot and parked in an empty space.

The driver hopped out, and her heart slammed against her ribs as she immediately realized how she must look. Dirty jeans, mannish golf shirt that did nothing for her figure, scrubby ponytail through a Ladybug Garden Center ball cap, and probably smudges of dirt on her face and arms. Not that she was trying to look nice for Aiden or anything, but it was him getting out of the truck, looking sexy as hell in faded jeans and a T- shirt that stretched across his chest and shoulders.

She could pretend she hadn’t seen him. Resolutely she turned on the hose and started watering the apple trees.

“Hey, Laurel,” he called out, and that erased any hope of avoiding him.

She turned off the hose and faced him. “Aiden. What brings you by? Looking for a shrub or tree or something?”

Keep it businesslike, she reminded herself. The last thing she needed was for him to know that he had the ability to fluster her.

“I heard about what happened.”

Of course he had.

“Don’t even. I’m still pissed.”

“I know it’s not what you needed. Did Crystal tell you that you weren’t the only one hit?”

Crystal must be the offi cer from this morning. “She did.”

“Well, that must make you feel better.”

She stared at him. “Better? Seriously? Since I opened a month ago, I’ve had to have the driveway re- graded, I’ve had to replace shrubs that were stolen from out front, deal with a break-in and vandalism, and now tagging. Trust me, Aiden, the only thing that would feel better is if you actually did your job and found out who was doing this.”

She turned the hose back on.

He waited. He waited a long time. Several seconds, maybe thirty. Which was really not that long at all but definitely felt that way. She was watering the third tree when he sighed. “ You’re upset.”

“No shit, Sherlock.”

He met her gaze, and his eyes were soft, even though she’d basically just accused him of not doing his job. The understanding she saw there made her stomach churn. She didn’t want to lash out, but that was what she did when she was hurt. Angry.

Stopping by was kind and thoughtful. She kept trying to make him out to be a bad guy, and he kept being nice. It definitely made it difficult for her to hate him. Particularly since her biochemistry betrayed her at every turn. Even now, when she was utterly preoccupied with the day’s events, she seemed to notice everything. His hair, his eyes, the breadth of his chest, the armband tattoo that looked like some sort of Celtic braid, peeking just below the hem of his T- shirt sleeve. The shape of his lips . . .
He muttered something that was as creative a curse as she’d ever heard, and sounded suspiciously Irish. She couldn’t help but laugh, and tried to clamp her lips shut again. But not before he saw and heard, and his eyes took on an impish gleam.

“You’re not fine. You’re tired and upset and rightfully so. You’re also just as stubborn as you always were.” He put his hands on his hips. “I take it you’re not adverse to help, just help from me in particular.”

Her face heated. Dammit.

“Maybe this could be my penance,” he suggested, giving her a quick grin. And she wished she could take him seriously, but he always seemed to be teasing. It was one of the things she’d really liked about him and hated at the same time. Particularly now, when she wanted to be, if not mad, completely unaffected. And she wasn’t. He was trying to cajole her out of her mood and it was working.

“It’s Saturday night. Don’t you have a hot date or something?” She turned on the hose again. Focused on the large plastic pot holding a cherry tree.

“Nope. Free as a bird.”

Dammit again.

“Come on, Laurel. Peace offering. Manual labor for you to stop hating me.”

She glanced over at him. “Why do you care so much?”

He was quiet for a moment, and to her surprise the teasing expression left his face. After a while he answered, his voice a little lower. “I don’t know why I care what people think so much. I always have. I don’t like anyone to be mad at me. Maybe it has something with being one of the younger siblings in the family. I don’t know. I just know that I don’t like it that you’re still so angry.” His intense blue gaze locked with hers. “It’s starting to become a personal mission to win you over. To atone for past sins.”

“Good luck,” she said dryly, more touched than she wanted to admit.

His boyish grin was back. “Come on, Laurel. You know you can’t hold out forever. You think I’m hot.” He had the audacity to wink at her.

She rolled her eyes.

“You do. You have a thing for gingers. And you have to admit, I grew up kinda good.” His hands were still on his hips and he tensed his muscles so that his shoulders and chest tightened beneath the thin T- shirt.

“I think you’re a bit taken with yourself, to be honest,” she replied. And tried not to smile. She didn’t want to be charmed, but he was incorrigible.

“Laurel.”

Damn, his voice was all silky- smooth now. “Yes, Mr. Narcissist?”

“You know damn well you want to hate me and you can’t. Besides, I saw your face just now. Maybe if I took off my shirt . . .”

“Would you like to go somewhere private to be with yourself?” she asked, biting the inside of her lip. She shouldn’t be enjoying this so much. And she wouldn’t be, if she thought he was serious. But he was teasing her.

Like he used to do when they were friends. And today . . . she swallowed against a ball of emotion. Today she needed a friend, and all she’d had were well- meaning customers.

She looked over at him. “Jeez, Aiden. You’re looking a little flushed. I think you could stand to cool off.” And before he could reply, she flicked her wrist and aimed the spray of the hose right at the center of his chest.

The abrupt shock on his face was gratifi cation enough, but then he grinned and reached to take away the hose. She danced away, still spraying him, admiring how the shirt now clung to his skin and the little droplets lit up his face and hair. A laugh bubbled up through her chest and out her mouth as she darted around the trees, dragging the hose with her. But there were too many pots and not enough room to maneuver and within seconds he caught her, wrapped one strong arm around her and wrenched the hose away with the other, spraying her in the process.

Cold water dripped from her nose, down her neck, over her bare arms. Aiden held her close against his body, close enough she could feel the hardness of his muscles, and thrilled at it. Their breaths came fast, their chests rising and falling with both laughter and the exertion of the struggle over the hose. But it was the way he was looking down at her right now that made her feel as if the lack of air was strangling her lungs. All it would take was the tiniest move and he’d be kissing her. Her gaze dropped to his lips— he’d always had fine lips— and she swallowed, nervous and scared at her reaction and turned on as hell.

She looked up, which was a mistake. Because he was staring at her lips. And his arm tightened just a little bit at the hollow of her back. Oh God . . .

A car horn honked and Laurel jumped back. He let her go, but the gravity of the moment remained.

Copyright © 2017 by Donna Alward and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

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About the Author

Donna Alward

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers!

Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.


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Blog Tour: LOVERS AND NEWCOMERS by Rosie Thomas

Posted October 27, 2016 by Casee in Promotions | 0 Comments

lovers-and-newcomers_hc_cvr

Lovers and Newcomers by Rosie Thomas
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Overlook Press
Genres: Romance

Miranda Meadowe decides a lonely widowhood in her crumbling country house is not for her. Reviving a university dream, she invites five of her oldest friends to come and join her to live, and to stave off the prospect of old age. All have their own reasons for accepting. To begin with, the omens are good. They laugh, dance, drink and behave badly, as they cling to the heritage they thought was theirs for ever: power, health, stability. They are the baby boomers; the world is theirs to change. But as old attractions resurface alongside new tensions, they discover that the clock can’t be put back. When building work reveals an Iron Age burial site of a tribal queen, the outside world descends on their idyllic retreat, and the isolation of the group is breached. The past is revealed – and the future that beckons is very different from the one they imagined.

Excerpt

The last few days of October trickled away, the nights lengthening dramatically and the light even at midday seeming as grey and filmy as old cobwebs. Rooks noisily debated in the bare trees.

The police withdrew from the site, leaving a sea of mud. The archaeologists returned and sadly picked over what remained. Another handful of coins was uncovered, fused amongst the frag- ments of the earthenware jar that had once contained them, but the meagreness of this remaining hoard only emphasized the imag- ined lustre of what was missing.

Katherine was in her office in London when Chris called her. He was in London too, he told her, showing the torc and the shield to interested experts. They agreed to meet for dinner that evening in an Italian restaurant. She shielded the phone handset as they spoke, conscious of her colleagues at the adjacent desks, surprised to find herself making these furtive arrangements even though she had longed for his call.

She hurried home first, to the small flat in Bloomsbury she and Amos had bought as a pied-à-terre following the move to Mead. She stood for a long time looking at herself in the bathroom mirror, won- dering how a woman in the second half of her fifties prepared for an evening like this one. Her dating days had been short-lived, and were decades in the past. Her drawers and cupboards contained what now looked like expensive camouflage – clothes to conceal ripples and bulges, to present a modest face to the world, to hide within. Plenty of taupe and black. Nothing gaudy or flamboyant or, God forbid, sexy. For a moment she played with the idea of calling Miranda for advice. But she already knew what Miranda would say.

‘No, K, not a little black dress. Much too obvious.’

She opened her lingerie drawer, then catching on to the subtext of her own imagining she slammed it shut again with her cheeks burning. This was all racing ahead of her, too fast, too eagerly. She should call him now and cancel. Definitely. She looked for her mo- bile. Hesitating, with the phone in her hand, she thought a little harder.

It was unlikely that Chris would take very precise note of what she was wearing, given that he didn’t seem to worry too much about his own clothes (North Face). It was only a dinner, and no promises had been made. Underwear was not yet and might never be relevant, so the absence of Agent Provocateur was not a crucial factor.

Besides, whatever she wore it would not make her beautiful, or sexy. Clothes were just clothing. She felt sexy tonight, therefore she was. This last wanton thought made her smile, an unaccustomed slow beat of private amusement.

She put on scent, trousers, heels, a cashmere sweater. She was just doing up her coat (camel, MaxMara) when her phone rang. She reached for it. It would be him, of course. She hadn’t changed her mind; he had.

‘Hi, Mum.’

It was Sam, her elder son. He was the one who resembled her, whereas Toby took after Amos. She was close to both her boys, but they seemed lately to have floated off into a universe of work, peopled by friends she had never met, and subcultures and private languages that in no way touched on the family world.

‘Dad told me you’re down here. I thought you might like a drink or the cinema?’

‘I would have done. But I’m having dinner with a friend.’ ‘Where are you meeting her?’

An obvious assumption. Katherine thought quickly. She’d better not mention the restaurant in case Sam breezily suggested looking in on them. Her mind went blank of any other of a million possible venues.

‘Mum?’

She mumbled that they were meeting first at the British Museum (this coming to mind because Chris had told her it was where he would be this afternoon), and then they planned to find somewhere nearby.

‘Are you all right?’ Sam asked, after a pause. It had been one tiny lie, but delivered with massive ineptitude. She was no good at this, she realized.

‘Of course I am. Just in a hurry, darling. Shall I call you tomor- row?’ She was on her way. Katherine finished doing up her coat, walked out into the street and hailed a taxi. She felt that she might as well have been wearing a sign around her neck. A Woman on the Brink of Adultery.

Rosie Thomas is the author of Lovers and Newcomers, from which this text was excerpted. Copyright © 2010 by Rosie Thomas. Published in 2016 by The Overlook Press, Peter Mayer Publishers Inc. overlookpress.com. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Rosie Thomas

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Rosie Thomas was born and grew up in a small village in north Wales.

After winning a scholarship, she became a boarder at Howell’s School. The school had a strong tradition of music and games, but unfortunately Rosie had no aptitude for hockey and no enthusiasm for Gilbert and Sullivan choruses. She found the library instead … and read, and read. To feel an outsider and to be immersed in books was the ideal apprenticeship for a writer.

Rosie read English at St Hilda’s College Oxford, and for the first time in her life felt that she was in the right place at the right time. She still feels a debt to the remarkable women who taught her, and who encouraged her to think for herself.

After a few years of working in women’s magazines and for a publisher, and by now married to a literary agent, Rosie found herself at home with a new baby son and no job. To write a novel seemed the more promising of the options open to her.

Her first book was published in 1982, shortly after the birth of her daughter. She has been writing full time ever since, and that first novel has been followed by a score of others.

Rosie lives and writes in London, but she is also a keen traveller, mountaineer and skier. Among many adventures she has climbed in the Alps and the Himalayas, trekked in Pakistan, Ladakh and Bhutan, followed the Silk Route through Asia, worked on a research station in Antarctica, sailed the Atlantic, explored in Chile, and competed in a classic car rally from Peking to Paris. Most recently she has sailed the southern ocean from Falklands to South Georgia and then crossed the island in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Rosie believes now that her travelling and writing are interdependent, and that one informs and enables the other.

All along the road there are stories, waiting to be told.

Among her other interests, Rosie has been a Trustee of the London Library and of the facial reconstruction charity Saving Faces. She has chaired the Betty Trask Prize.

Her work has twice been awarded the Romantic Novel the Year, and recently The Kashmir Shawl won the epic category of the prize.

She is currently at work on a new book.


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