Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews, TWRP

#Review of One Unforgettable Friday by Robena Grant w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @RobenaGrant

One Unforgettable Friday

by Robena Grant

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Lizzie York, a young paraplegic, has the chance to teach at a new school in Oldcastle. On a quest for independence, and to live alone, out from her brother’s watchful eye, she encounters discrimination from narrow-minded villagers. Toss into the mix: a school employee who sets her heart racing, a home of her own, and work she is passionate about.

Peter Barrington, a London solicitor, invests in Bright Academy. Having experienced pain and loss in his past, he became a workaholic. He now desires a quiet life in the country. He meets Lizzie, is immediately smitten, but respects her need for independence. As they work together, their mutual respect and love grows.

When someone hides in the woods and photographs them, Peter does everything in his power to protect Lizzie. But Lizzie is up for a fight. Will their love be strong enough to overcome hatred, and intent to harm, so they can forge a future together?

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Excerpt One:

“I do apologize for the interruption, ladies.” He smiled at Lina. “I need a document signed. From the county. This should be the last. And I have a couple of things to go over with you.”

“Okay,” Lina said, chewing at the sweet in her mouth and swallowing. “No problem.”

Lizzie tried hard to ignore the handsome man who caused her stomach to flutter and her heart to pound. His deep baritone voice, smooth as honey, trickled to places it had no business. She cleared her throat and resisted the urge to clap her hands. “We need to get started.” The women had no clue how much work was involved. She took a quick peek at Peter. He and Lina could attend to business, but this project had to start right away. “In front of you is a stack of yellow netting, a pair of pinking shears, green ribbon and…wait for it, a dish of boiled sweets.”

In three long strides, Peter crossed the room and stood beside her. He wasn’t an overly tall man, his body wiry but muscular. He picked up a piece of the netting and rubbed it between long, tapered fingers, then glanced about at the ribbons and sweets, his gaze turning thoughtful. “This is amazing. The place looks like a factory. I might need photos.” He fished out his phone.

“No. No pictures, please.” Lina swatted his arm. Lizzie doubted she’d ever think a wise thought again as she inhaled the man’s delicious scent: clean linen and citrus mixed with something spicy. She swallowed hard, overcome by his nearness. The way the room lacked air. The way his long, elegant fingers, lightly held the netting.

This is such a sweet romance and story.  I adored it but let me back up for a minute.  Lizzie is in a wheelchair.  There I said it.  So what is romantic about that?  Plenty and I’ll tell you why.  One of my cousins has severe Cerebral Palsy.  Born with it actually.  He has an older brother and sister, too.  We were told not to ever treat Samuel any differently than another other kid, so we didn’t.  He grew up to be smarter than his siblings.  Was mainstreamed in both public school and college.  Graduated from Illinois University and ended up married to his caregiver.  They had children (yes, the old-fashioned way) but sadly divorced.  He never missed a beat in the way that approached his life and how he lived it.  And yes, he is still alive and living with his parents.

So when I decided to read Lizzie and Peter’s story, I came into with my eyes wide open to her situation.  I didn’t read the other two stories in the series so I didn’t know the set up beforehand.  I’m so glad that I didn’t read them because I really at times wanted to slap her brother for his obsession with her.  Overprotective much?  It bothered me because of the way that I always treated my cousin.  Without kid gloves.  Just because he is in a wheelchair doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a functioning brain cell and that he uses it.  Grrr.  Moving on…

I really liked Lizzie’s feisty personality.  I understood her and cheered for her.  Peter is the perfect partner for her.  Notice I didn’t say, hero.  She didn’t need one.  She needed a partner and she got that with him.  Of course, he overstepped in bounds but in the end, when it really counted with Roberta, he was there.  The creepiness of the photos and the hatred that came with Lizzie trying to go back to teaching.  Small towns can be so small minded but Ms. Grant wrote it in a way that not everyone is like that.

So you may be asking if there are smexy times in the book?  Well, I don’t do spoilers so you will have to find out for yourself.  *wink*  Lizzie wasn’t about to let that chair define her as a person and not everyone was on board with it.  Ms. Grant handled that aspect of the book marvelously.  It takes a while for some people to come around and then again, some just don’t.  I never saw Lizzie in the chair.  I saw her has a person that wants and needs just like everyone else.  Peter saw that, too and I adore that about him.  Plus, come on?  Dev Patel lookalike?  Yep, I’m in.  *swoon*

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Robena Grant writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense about ordinary women thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Travel and discovering new places brings her great pleasure, and she often includes these discoveries in her stories. She is Australian by birth, lives in Southern California, and has two grown children. Robena may be contacted at: www.robenagrant.com where she blogs frequently, or follow her on social media https://twitter.com/RobenaGrant https://www.facebook.com/robenagrantauthor

 

https://www.amazon.com/Unforgettable-Friday-English-Village-Book-ebook/dp/B076Z4D56Y

https://www.amazon.com/Robena-Grant/e/B00B60DEE2

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Robena Grant will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Spotlight

Author Spotlight featuring David Pereda’s Havana Blue w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @DavidPeredaAVL #HistoricalFiction

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David Pereda will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The year is 1952 and Ramon Rodriguez’s life as a teenager in fun-loving Havana is filled with typical activities and concerns: girls, education, religion, baseball, parties, and hanging out with friends. The country is enjoying a period of prosperity and happiness–until General Batista stages a coup that topples the government and Ramon’s life is flung into chaos.

In a few short years, the carefree fifties morph into a vicious and repressive dictatorship highlighted by corruption, organized gambling, school closures, student demonstrations, police brutality, and assassinations.

As Ramon experiences the thrills of his first romantic relationship, graduates from school, and struggles to plan for an uncertain future, he is forced to make important decisions that may be dangerous to him, his family, his friends, and his girlfriend – the beautiful Sonia — and could turn deadly.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Black Face chomped on his cigar, eyeing Pepe with deliberation. He was big and muscular and mean-looking. Pepe looked frail next to him. ‘Go home, muchacho.’ He finally said. ‘Now. Before you get in trouble.’

‘Is the president really dead?’ I asked. ‘Is it true?’

The fat policeman laughed in my face. He had rotten teeth and bad breath too. He winked at Black Face. ‘Hey, Valdez, did you hear that? This boy wants to know if the president’s dead. How do you like that?’

The black policeman laughed too, as if what Puffy Face had said was the funniest thing in the world, his burly body shaking all over. He coughed, and tears came to his eyes.

‘Is he dead?’ Pepe asked.

The two policemen laughed some more, but not so hard.

Their laughter was running out of steam. Maybe they were getting tired. I realized, suddenly, how scared I really was of them – my heart was pounding hard and my breath was coming in shallow little gasps. It was time to leave. Who cared if the president was dead or not, anyway? We could find that out later.

‘Is he dead?’ Pepe asked again.

‘You sure ask a lot of questions,’ Puffy Face replied with annoyance. ‘No, he ain’t, cabron. Bastard ran away. Scared.’

‘Cabron yourself,’ Pepe said under his breath. ‘Fat ass!’

‘What was that you said?’ Perez scowled at Pepe.

‘Nada, Señor Policia. Nothing!’ Hermes said, walking rapidly toward the other side of the street. ‘He didn’t say nothing.’

Perez watched us with his frog eyes as Joaquin and I struggled to take Pepe away. Black Face chewed on his cigar stump.

‘What these little bastards need is work,’ Perez said. ‘Trabajo.’

‘Trabajo, si.’ Valdez took the cigar out of his mouth and spat again. ‘Put them to work in the sun ten hours a day with a pick and a shovel. That’s what they need. I guarantee you they won’t be so sassy then.’

‘Si,’ Perez said. ‘That’s what they need.’ He laughed. ‘And palos. Una buena partida de palos. Beat the shit out of them with a stick.’

As if to emphasize his words, Perez hit the façade of the school building hard with the butt of his machine gun. ‘And here’s where they learn all that mierda. Right here!’ He banged the wall again. ‘From the curas and their goddamned Catholic schools.’

‘That’s the problem with Cuba, the goddamned curas,’ Valdez said. ‘Fucking priests stick their noses into everything. All they do is create trouble. Look at these kids, asking questions. No respect for authority. Wanting to know who’s the new president.’

‘Si, what the fuck do they care who’s the new president? That’s the fault of the curas,’ Perez said, adding so softly I had to strain to hear him as we rambled away, ‘School and curas. Never liked them and never will.’

Unexpectedly, Black Face screamed something at us. The jumbled words reached my ears with the force of a slapping wind as we hurried down the street. For a moment, I couldn’t comprehend what he was saying and then, finally, I did.

‘It’s Batista, cabrones. You hear me? Batista! That’s the name of your new president. And he’s black too. Like me.’

About the Author:

David Pereda was born in Havana, Cuba. The award-winning author of seven previous novels, he enjoys crafting political thrillers and edgy mainstream novels with unique characters placed in exotic settings. He has traveled to more than thirty countries and speaks four languages. Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, David had a successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Qatar, among others.

A member of MENSA, David earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in California. He earned bachelor degrees in English literature and mathematics at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

He lives in artistic Asheville, North Carolina, with his youngest daughter Sophia, where he teaches mathematics and English at the Asheville-Buncombe Community College. He loves sports and is an accomplished competitor in track and show-jumping equestrian events.

http://davidpereda.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Pereda-Writer/345490998614

https://twitter.com/DavidPeredaAVL

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Havana-Blues-David-Pereda-ebook/dp/B078KLQNL9

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/havana-blues-david-pereda/1127421804

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Author Interview of Samie Sands featuring Lottie Loves! w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @SammieSands

Lottie Loves

by Samie Sands

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GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

“Will you marry me?”

Four words I’ve waited my whole life to hear. Four words I was sure would change my life forever…and they did. Just not in the way I expected.

Finding out my extremely gorgeous rock star boyfriend was about to propose had the complete opposite effect I thought it would. Rather than catapult me into a future I’ve always wanted, it plunged me back to a past I tried to forget.

Now I can’t get him out of my head. I can’t help but wonder what could have been, how our lives would have ended up if he didn’t leave me behind, a shattered mess.

All these memories are dangerous. They’re bringing my past back to ruin my future. And worst of all, they’re taking me right back to him, my childhood sweetheart, my first love…my biggest regret.

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Excerpt One:

“Will you marry me?”

They were the words I’d wanted to hear my entire life. Didn’t every girl fantasize over the perfect man buying the perfect ring and getting down on one knee in the most romantic way possible, before telling them they loved them so much they wanted to spend the rest of their life with them? 

I knew I certainly had. 

Me and my best friend Cici used to talk about it all the time. We used to plan our dresses, the music, the flowers—every part of the ceremony down to the very last detail. Of course, the man didn’t really matter. We were young enough and naïve enough to believe we would magically meet the perfect man without even trying. 

And I really thought I had. I really, truly believed my dream had come true. 

Me and Danny had begun our love story in a very typical fashion—our eyes had met across a bar, where we’d had long, lingering eye contact, sparking all kinds of emotions within me. The only difference between my story, and that of every other rom-com ever, was that Danny was a genuine up-and-coming rock star, playing on a fairly big stage, and I was a fan who already felt a lot of love for this man. I’d been admiring him from afar ever since I first heard their album a year or so before. 

I certainly hadn’t expected it to ever go any further than that moment, so when he came and joined me at the bar later on for a drink, despite being mobbed by other members of the audience, I felt like my entire life had been leading me up to that moment. I felt like everything I’d experienced had drawn me closer to Danny, the love of my life. Here was a gorgeous man who was destined to be famous, and who could have any girl in the world hanging off of his arm, talking to me, asking me questions, and actually showing me interest. 

It seemed like a dream—one I was terrified to wake up from. 

As he flicked his wavy auburn hair from his warm, chocolaty eyes, and he gave me that smile that had already melted the hearts of the nation, I thought for a dreaded, wonderful second that he was going to kiss me in front of all of those people. But after a few beats of pure terror, he didn’t. Instead he handed me his phone number, and he asked if I would like to go on a date with him. 

Me—boring old Charlotte aka Lottie Jones—on a date with Danny Boreom, drummer of the now very famous band Jax. It didn’t seem real. 

Yet, it was real, and it did happen. 

It was the start of my real life. 

After a night out on the town where he well and truly wined and dined me, he walked me home to my tiny flat, which must have looked ridiculous compared to the mansion I now know he lived in with the rest of the band at the time, and he finally kissed me. As his lips met mine, I felt myself flying on top of the world—he was an amazing kisser, and there seemed to be an endless chemistry between us. One I never wanted to end. 

Breathless and turned on by the power of his mouth, I invited him inside. Although he coolly and calmly turned me down, it was still the best night of my entire life, made even better by a phone call the next day to say that he only didn’t come inside with me because he wanted to be something real. He didn’t want our love to end with a one-night stand, he actually wanted us to develop, and for him to become my boyfriend. 

Fast forward three and a half years and we were blissfully living together, grazing by every day happily and easily. Although he was away for a lot of the year touring, it didn’t seem to bother us. We were so strong and so solid with what we had, nothing would get in our way. 

It was perfect, still a dream come true, and that intense chemistry hadn’t burned down one bit. 

Which made it even weirder that my reaction to Cici telling me that Baz—another member of the band—had just told her that he’d been engagement ring shopping with Danny, wasn’t one of pure joy. 

“What…what do you mean?” I asked, my heart racing frantically in my chest. I could tell that my voice was breathless and kind of terrified, but my mind was spinning too fast for me to be able to do anything about it. 

“Aren’t you happy?” She giggled. “I thought you’d be over the moon to finally be Mrs. Boreom.” 

“No, no, I am,” I half lied. The idea had always been at the edge of my thoughts. I knew Danny was the one for me, and despite all the car crash relationships around us, we’d even managed to survive the fallout of him becoming mega famous. It helped that I had no interest in the spotlight and I did everything I could to avoid it, but even despite all of that, I felt like it proved we could go the distance, and be together forever. So why wasn’t I excited for us to take the next step? “It’s just a bit of a shock, that’s all.” 

But that was normal, right? Everyone freaked out at first when they learned they were going to become someone’s wife…didn’t they? 

Of course, I already knew that wasn’t true. I’d already been proposed to once in my life before, and that time, I didn’t hesitate one bit. Panic didn’t even come into the equation, I was happy, over the moon at the thought of becoming his wife. This was nothing like that had been. I felt completely different. 

For the first time in a very long time, I allowed myself to think about Joe again, and almost the second I allowed that vault to open in my mind, I felt myself fall into a tailspin. As his face filled my brain once more, it was almost as if the last five years hadn’t happened at all, and I was still his proud girlfriend, waiting to be his wife. 

As the wound reopened, I could barely hear what Cici was saying. I felt like I was gaping, exposed, and extremely vulnerable all over again, and I did what I’d always done when I was younger when things got too difficult for me. I started to talk to Joe in my mind. 

Where are you now? What became of you? What happened to your life? 

It was so strange to have gone from the closest people in the world, to absolutely nothing, and I struggled to imagine that he’d changed one bit. Of course I had, my life was completely different, but I couldn’t think of Joe without viewing him as the other half of me. The boy that I’d adored, and the one I never thought would leave my side. 

“I…I’ve got to go,” I finally announced to my friend. “I’ll speak to you later, okay?” And then I hung up the phone, without even waiting for her to answer. I knew I was being rude, acting more than a little strange, but I needed some time. I needed to be alone with my thoughts to try and process all of this. 

So how I found myself sitting at my computer with my fingers running along the keys, I wasn’t quite sure. 

Don’t press anything, I willed myself. As soon as you do, everything will change. 

Since we had gone our separate ways, I hadn’t contacted Joe once, and with the rising of social media, I hadn’t looked him up either. I just couldn’t face it. He was like an imaginary fantasy in my mind now, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to ruin that with reality. What if he was married now? Or into drugs or something? His life could have gone in any direction, and I wasn’t sure I really wanted to find out which one. 

Plus, my life really was amazing now. Why would I want to even consider risking that? I had a gorgeous, passionate man who actually wanted to be with me forever, even though he was about ten leagues above me. I had a teaching job I loved, and friends that would do anything for me. That was a hell of a lot more than most people had! 

In the end I forced myself to stand up and to move away from the computer screen before it lured me in. I couldn’t do it; I just wasn’t willing to take that step into the unknown. It terrified me far too much. But as I wandered aimlessly from room to room, I realised I couldn’t just do nothing, either. I needed to calm this beast within me, which meant delving into my past whether I liked it or not. 

I stood at the bottom of the attic ladder, wondering what awaited me up there. When me and Danny decided to buy a place together—well, he put the most money in, of course, but we still classed it as ‘ours’—I shoved everything related to my old life away, not wanting to even consider it. But it was always a comfort, knowing it was there, knowing I could access it at any moment if I really wanted to. 

And I could feel myself finally taking that step. 

I creaked up the ladder, feeling my heart thump and my palms sweat with nerves. This was a mistake, I knew it was, but at the same time I couldn’t stop. 

There would be no way for me to get married without taking this step anyway. Right now, things were comfortable, but if I was ever going to have a future with Danny, I needed to confront my past first. At least, that was my excuse and I was sticking to it. 

Danny knew about Joe anyway. Well, he’d been told some of it, the very basics, so I supposed I was probably going to have to confess all before we finally took the plunge. With that thought in mind, I tore open the first box I stumbled across, and I ended up looking at the few photographs I had of me and Joe when we were very young, when we first met… 

Welcome Samie, Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

 

Thank you very much for having me! I love your blog. I’m a UK based author who is actually more known for writing horror books, so this is all very new to me. I have a zombie book series that’s been out for a while now, and short stories in the best-selling 13 series. This is my first published romance novel. Before Lottie Loves, I kept my romance books on Wattpad. I have some avid readers there who have loved my books, which gave me the confidence to get this one published.

Is Lottie Loves a single title, or part of a series?

 

Lottie Loves is a standalone novel, there isn’t a series around it, but there is a secret end chapter that you can access once you’ve read the book in eBook form which gives you a bit more insight into the main character’s life once the story has ended.

What were your inspirations for the story?

 

The story starts with Lottie finding out that her rockstar boyfriend, Danny, is about to propose to her. She know she should be happy about this amazing news, but instead it sets her thinking about Joe, her childhood sweetheart and the ‘one who got away’. Once you find out the reason that these two were torn apart it becomes obvious why Lottie can’t let go.

 

The inspiration for this came from the idea that we’ve all got things from our past that we wish we could change or do again, and the plot follows Lottie as she attempts to work out what would be different in her present if her past hadn’t got messed up in the way that it did.

When did the writing bug first bite?

 

My first book in my zombie book series, Lockdown, is the first thing I wrote ever, and to be honest I did it more for myself than with the idea of it getting published. I wanted to create a zombie novel with a bit of a difference, using a main character who definitely doesn’t have the skills needed to survive. I always feel like the weaker, average person gets forgotten about in the apocalypse, so I wanted to shine a light on that. I wrote the book I wanted to read.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

 

In the romance genre, I love Lindsey Kelk, Sophie Kinsella, and Giovanna Fletcher. I like the way that they write flawed, humorous characters, who don’t always act in the way that the reader thinks they should.

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

Just do it! You’ll never know if you don’t try. And also, don’t take everyone’s opinion to heart because you cannot write something that everyone will like, and that goes for publishing companies and readers alike. Just because one person doesn’t like it, doesn’t mean everyone will feel the same.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Samie Sands is the author of the AM13 Outbreak series, published by Limitless Publishing. She’s also had short stories included inAmazon best selling anthologies and work featured on Wattpad. Lottie Loves is her first book in the contemporary romance genre.

To find out more, please check out samiesands.com.

Links:

Website – samiesands.com

Facebook – /SamieSandsLockdown

Twitter – @SamieSands

Blog – https://zombiesinside.wordpress.com/

Wattpad – http://wattpad.com/samiesands

Lottie Loves US – http://amzn.to/2ywXvw2

Lottie Loves UK – http://amzn.to/2yyUPzY

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lottie-Loves-Samie-Sands-ebook/dp/B076CRYS47

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Samie Sands will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway