Excerpt from A Friendly Engagement (A Friends First Novel) by Christine Warner

AFEA Friendly Engagement by Christine Warner

 

Release date: 6/23/15

 

About the book: Omar Esterly is married to his job. But when Omar sets his sights on a potential, family-oriented client, his confirmed bachelorhood becomes a problem. Fortunately, his friend and employee, Devi Boss, has the perfect plan…

 

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Devi’s plan to become her friend’s fake fiancée. Lies aren’t her style. However, Omar offers her a big, beautiful raise—enough to track down the missing father she’s never known—and Devi reluctantly agrees to the whole engagement hoax…

This was supposed to be a no-strings-attached win-win for both Devi and Omar, but when they cross the line between friendship and…well, something more, Devi realizes she’s made a huge mistake that just might cost her both job and friend—falling for her fiancé.

Find it online: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * ARe * Goodreads

 

ChristineAbout the author: Christine Warner is living her dream in rural Michigan along with her family, one laptop, and a much loved assortment of furry friends. Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines. A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on facebook, twitter, and her website at christine-warner.com.

 

Find Christine Online: Website * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Goodreads

STREET TEAM SIGN UP: If you love my books and want to help spread the word, want to be a part of the fun by getting excerpts and news first, enter contests with the chance to win prizes, then sign up here: http://christine-warner.com/street-team/

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EXCERPT 2

He checked his watch. “Lunch will be over if you…”

The bathroom door squeaked slightly as it opened, and he turned. His heart galloped, then went into a full-blown stampede.

Devi walked across the room. Although her hair fell down past her chest in two loosely gathered pigtails, they bounced with each step. So shiny, he wanted to reach out and touch the fullness, grab a handful, and smell. Hell, he wanted to slide her hair from the two flower clips and tangle his fingers through the silky-looking waves. She chose that moment to spin in a circle.

“What do you think? Too old school?”

“What?”

“The suit. I bought it on a fifties replica website online. I like the style, but I know most people don’t swim in suits like this. It’s a swimdress actually. Don’t you love the cute black and white polka dots? I adore polka dots. And how it gathers at the waist, and the sweetheart neckline, how cool…”

Her words were lost to him. All his focus centered on the rays of sunlight illuminating her face as her mouth moved, each word forming on glossy red lips but never quite reaching his ears. The way her eyelashes fluttered over her cheeks as she inspected her suit, tugging at the waistline and running her fingers along the edge of material that nestled against the swell of her breasts.

And then there were her legs. Where the hell did she get legs like that? Long, toned, and tanned the perfect shade of light brown. They looked smooth, and his fingers ached to reach out and touch them.

What the hell? He’d seen her legs thousands of times when she wore a dress—the mainstay of her wardrobe— even caught glimpses of her upper thigh from time to time, but to see the entire package…

Holy shit! She spun around again.

“O, I want your opinion.”

Damn. Her legs were incredible, but her ass. That suit did amazing things to her ass. He couldn’t stop staring, and when she turned back around to face him he craned his neck to try to follow the view.

 

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Guest Post featuring Blank Canvas by Mere Joyce w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

 

Blank Canvas
Mere Joyce



Evernight Teen Publishing
@50K ~ Romance/Suspense/Contemporary
Three years ago, sixteen-year-old Maddie Deacon was abducted on her way home from her school’s Art Showcase. Five months ago, she escaped the madman she calls The Painter. Before being taken, painting was Maddie’s life. Now, it’s her nightmare. 
Maddie wants to forget her years in captivity. She’d rather spend her time getting
reacquainted with her parents and her sister, not to mention her cello-playing,
beautiful boy next door and childhood best friend Wesley. But paint is everywhere, and tormenting shadows linger in every portrait she encounters. 
When the yearly Art Showcase once again approaches, Maddie has the chance to win a
scholarship and start planning a future far away from the horrors of her past.
She knows she has to make a choice–confront her memories of The Painter and
overcome her fear of the canvas, or give up painting forever.
 
Buy Links:      Evernight
Teen
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Excerpt:
“Hello, Maddie,” Tim says, taking a sip from his Healing Expressions coffee cup. I’m glad he and Juliet call me Maddie instead of Madison, like Klara does. I’ve gone by Maddie since my days in preschool, and being called it here makes the office seem slightly less institutional. Of course, it doesn’t make this moment any less awful.
“H-hi,” I stammer, my voice thin. My feet ache as I force them across the threshold. Tim prefers it if I close the door behind me, but I need to see my escape route. Shakily, I cross the room and sit on the bench along the wall of windows
that look down over the parking lot. The cushions are soft, bright orange, and there are pink and green and blue throw pillows scattered along the seat. I grab the blue one, and hug it to my chest as I stare at the world on the free
side of the glass panes.
It’s a strange sensation, watching the world like this. In elementary school, at recess, I would sit by the fences backing the neighborhood houses. With my head tilted into the cool fall or warm spring breeze, I would close my eyes and
picture the people in those houses: people not working, people working from home, people driving the streets or watering their lawns or relaxing in front of the TV, while I remained stuck at school for another several hours. I have
the same thoughts now as I gaze over the parking lot, far out to the park, the townhouse complex, and the streets beyond. So many people sleeping, reading, shopping––all while I’m here, trapped behind a wall of glass.
It helps to keep my back to the easel. Slowly, the panic of my arrival subsides, and I take full gulping breaths until I’ve settled into muted unease.
“How are you feeling today, Maddie?” Tim asks. He remains seated. I get antsy if his six-foot-three inch body looms over me.
“I’m fine,” I lie. I’m never fine. Not anymore. But declaring it is like stating the obvious.
“How’s school?” I can hear a smile in his voice. I like Tim’s voice, with its deep, quietly enthusiastic tone. I’m fairly certain I like Tim, too. Or at least I would, if the circumstances were different. If he didn’t have the task of
prying, of guiding me into frigid, infested waters every time we meet. 
“It’s fine,” I say, shrugging my shoulders.
Tim’s chair scrapes across the floor as he stands. I keep my eyes fixed on the parking lot outside. I’ve found Wesley’s tiny van, and I watch it intently.
Tim approaches, sits on the bench a ways off. “Did you read any papers this week?”
“No.”
The tension I nearly shed on the ride over here is creeping back again. I hate therapy. I don’t understand how digging into every unpleasant crevice of my subconscious is supposed to make my life easier.
“How about the news? Did you watch any?” Tim asks, even though I’m already shaking my head.
“Y-You know I didn’t,” I reply, and Tim breathes out, the resulting sound just short of a sigh.
“How many times have you had to avoid his picture?” he asks, and I squeeze the pillow until my fingers are white.
“S-Seventy … S-Seventy-two,” I choke out.
It’s become a habit keeping track of the number of times I stop myself from seeing him. When I go to the drugstore and see the papers lined in a hideous row. When the news comes on, and reporters rehash what happened.
In the beginning, it was far harder. There were articles all over, news stories, constant threats to my sanity. Five months on, most of my count comes from the personal attacks, the times I remember something, imagine something, and his face almost manages to push its way in.
“Good. An improvement on last week,” Tim says, the pleasing smoothness of his voice giving the achievement a more respectable air than it deserves. Last week there were seventy-eight occurrences. Having six fewer episodes means nothing, except Tim is trying to be as positive as possible. Plus, there’s the phone call to consider. Last week might have been an improvement, but I’m certain my methods of diversion will fail to keep me from replaying the
conversation I wasn’t supposed to hear this morning.
 guestpostFamily Ties (Writing the Character of Autumn) 

One of the earliest things I was certain about when writing Blank Canvas was that I wanted Maddie to have a good relationship with her family, especially her little sister, Autumn. I didn’t want jealousy or blame between these two siblings, and I didn’t intend them to be always fighting. I wanted them to be friends, and I wanted Autumn to be a source of hope for her older sister.

 

But even with these thoughts in mind, I didn’t expect Autumn’s role in Maddie’s story to become so important. I thought, at first, that Autumn would be a minor character, there for occasional conversation but not actively involved in Maddie’s grief. Yet I soon discovered that Autumn had a big personality just waiting to be explored, and I quickly decided I would give her a chance to shine.

 

And of course, shine she did! Autumn is very much Maddie’s light, a ray of sunshine in her otherwise stormy life. She has her own existence, with her own troubles and her own passions, and Maddie understands this. But Maddie also knows her sister will always be there to smile when a smile’s needed, and that quality cannot go unappreciated.

 

Writing Autumn’s scenes were some of the happiest moments I had during the creation of Blank Canvas. I love her enthusiasm, her determination to be a positive influence for her sister, and her total lack of restraint when it comes to pushing into her sister’s life. It was a joy to write someone so unguarded and so unafraid, and I hope I get more opportunities to create characters with her kind of spark in the future.

Author BioMere Joyce lives in Ontario, Canada. As both a writer and a librarian, she understands the importance of reading, and the impact the right story can have.  She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and holds a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario.
When she’s not writing, reading, or recommending books, Mere likes to watch movies with her husband, play games with her son, go for walks with her dog, and drink lots of earl grey tea with orange chocolate on the side.
Twitter: @MereJoyceWrites
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Book Blitz for Drive Me Wild (Part 3, The Devil’s Host MC series) by Shari Slade

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Drive Me Wild
by
Shari Slade
The Devil’s Host MC #3
Publication Date: July 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Serial

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His club is demanding answers. His sister is missing. Noah needs to draw on every ounce of strength in that muscled body. It’s not the time for him to let anyone see he’s more than fists and ink.

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the man behind the cold, hard mask. Something like caring. Something like kindness. I live for those moments.

He might die for them.

DRIVE ME WILD is Part 3 of 5. The wildly erotic journey started with RIDE ME HARD and will continue in August with HOLD ME DOWN. These are short, hot reads, sure to leave you panting for more.

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Other Books in the Devil’s Host MC Serial…

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Break Me In
by
Shari Slade
The Devil’s Host MC #2
Publication Date: June 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Serial

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Synopsis: “Do you get what you deserve?”

Under his hands or on the back of his bike–the freedom I feel with Noah is an illusion.

“No, baby. You get what you take and you keep what you can hold.”

He ties me to him with fear and obligation and lust. Binds us tighter with his twisted sense of honor. I just hope his chains are strong enough to keep me safe.

BREAK ME IN is Part 2 of 5. The wildly erotic journey continues July 1st with DRIVE ME WILD. These are short, hot reads, sure to leave you panting for more.

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Ride Me Hard
by Shari Slade
The Devil’s Host MC #1
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Serial

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Synopsis: When a big scary biker shows up at Jimmy’s Diner fifteen minutes before the end of my shift, covered in tattoos and looking at me like I’m on the menu, I should flip the open sign to closed. But I don’t, because I’m too used to doing what I’ve been told. Too used to working and struggling and surviving to do anything different. A closed sign wouldn’t stop him anyway. He’s here to collect a debt. And I’m the only one left to pay.

Author’s Note: Ride Me Hard is part one in the Devil’s Host MC serial.

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About Shari Slade

Shari Slade

Shari Slade is a snarky optimist. A would-be academic with big dreams and very little means. When she isn’t toiling away in the non-profit sector, she’s writing gritty stories about identity and people who make terrible choices in the name of love (or lust). Somehow, it all works out in the end. If she had a patronus it would be a platypus.

Frequently found in a blanket fort, you can also find her contributing at wonkomance and on facebook, twitter (mostly SFW) or tumblr (mostly NSFW).

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Happy Release Day to Wind Chime Wedding (a Wind Chime novel #2) by Sophie Moss

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Wind Chime Wedding
by Sophie Moss
Wind Chime Cafe #2
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance

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Second-grade teacher, Becca Haddaway, is weeks away from walking down the aisle when she learns that the Heron Island Elementary School is about to be shut down. In the midst of a whirlwind of wedding planning, she launches into a last-ditch effort to save it. But the one man who can help her is determined to make her question every decision she has ever made—including the man she’s about to marry.

Former Navy SEAL and son of the current Maryland governor, Colin Foley, is finally starting to feel whole again after losing his leg on a career-ending deployment in Afghanistan. After struggling for months to figure out what to do with his post-military life, he’s found a new mission—opening a rehab center for wounded veterans on the peaceful Chesapeake Bay island. All he needs now is a woman to share his new life with…and he knows exactly who he wants.

With a little help from the island’s magical wind chimes, can Colin convince Becca to change her mind before it’s too late?

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About Sophie Moss

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Sophie Moss is a USA Today bestselling author of five full-length romance novels. She is known for her captivating Irish fantasy romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with realistic characters and unique island settings. As a former journalist, Sophie has been writing professionally for over ten years. She lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where she’s working on her next novel. When she’s not writing, she’s testing out a new dessert recipe, exploring the Chesapeake Bay, or fiddling in her garden. Sophie loves to hear from readers. Email her at sophiemossauthor@gmail.com or visit her website sophiemossauthor.com to sign up for her newsletter.

Blog Tour for Things Mysterious by Matthew Chabin w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

ThingsMysterious_Cvr3Title:  Things Mysterious

Author:  Matthew Chabin

Publisher:  Roane Publishing

Release Date:  June 22, 2015

Keywords:  Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Mortality, Literary

 

Blurb:

Dasan Garret is a disappointed man.  Recently divorced and just returned from a traumatic tour of duty in Iraq, he moves back to his hometown of Portland, Oregon only to find himself unexpectedly alone.  His old friends are all gone, moved away, locked up, or dead.  Women seem to occupy a parallel universe.  With no community and few prospects, he takes a job as a night watchman and withdraws ever deeper into the shadows of his mind.  Until one day when he meets Edenia, and she lights up his world like a bolt of pure energy.  She seems perfect: vibrant, gifted, kind, sexy, a sudden and unlooked-for reprieve from the sad ruin of his life.  And yet there remains a nagging sense that something isn’t right.  Could it be that he is merely slow to trust the happiness she offers him?  Or is there something behind that waver in her laugh, that fleeting look of sadness in her eyes?

The mystery deepens when one day Edenia disappears.  Dasan believes he must find her in order to go on living.  But to find her again, he will have to confront a devastating truth about her life, and his.

Excerpt #4

He’d heard on the radio that Whitey Ford was going to play the Rose Garden in April, and right away he’d thought of taking Edenia. He remembered she’d mentioned something about agoraphobia and, if that meant what he thought it did, then a concert might not be her scene. Then again, no harm in asking.

An elevator opened to his left and he got in. Lingering smell of perfume made him vaguely horny. He stuck his hands in his pockets and leaned back against the wall as the door closed, bracing slightly against the liftoff. No worries though, just a little ride.

It occurred to him for the first time that this building had only twelve floors, and therefore no thirteenth. Unless one counted the rooftop. He’d been having his zombie fantasies again. It was an old habit.

It started back when he first got the job, standing long, lonely vigils against nothing in particular. He imagined himself in the path of a full-on zombie apocalypse, the Big One. He plotted ways of using his keys, knowledge of the building and what crude weapons were at hand to stave off a fate worse than death while society collapsed around him. Only this time, it wasn’t just him alone, running these horrific gauntlets. Edenia was there. She was with him, depending on him, aiding him and, though they were both in constant danger of being ripped apart by the living dead, somehow there was always time for a last, desperate, doomsday tryst in a boiler room, or shower stall, or maybe up on the roof under the stars.

He started to wonder if it was really going to take the end of the world for him to get laid by the girl. Because he sure as hell wasn’t getting any outside of his own head these days, that was certain. And therein lay the crux of what he’d come to think of as the only problem with Edenia.

 

 

Purchase Links

Roane Publishing

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

 

 

Bio:

Matthew Chabin was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up in Portland, Oregon.  He served four years in the US Navy as a ship crewman, journalist and public affairs liaison.  He studied literature and philosophy at Southern Oregon University.  After graduating in 2010, he started teaching English abroad, working in the Czech Republic and volunteering with the Dalai Lama’s affiliate organization, Tibet Charity, in Dharamsala/Mcleod Ganj, India.  He currently lives in Nagano Prefecture of Japan with his wife, Marie, and cat, Futa.

His work has appeared in Gravel: A Literary Journal, Southern Pacific Review, Piker Press, and Black Denim.  He is the author of a memoir, Equaling Heaven, which he hopes to see published in the near future.

 

Matthew’s Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matt.chabin

 

Link for Things Mysterious on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25438629-things-mysterious

 

Link for the tour button:

http://www.roanepublishing.com/things-mysterious1.html
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