Sneak Peek Sunday – To Be Loved by Andrea Goodson #A2A #NA


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To Be Loved by Andrea Goodson

Sneak Peek
I only talked with him for a few moments. I was tired of the same rhetoric, the same circles of conversation that never led anywhere. My father loved me, I knew he did, but our relationship had always been a consistent cycle of love and irritation. One minute I would be his favorite person on the planet and the next, he acted as if he couldn’t wait to get away from me. The second I did or said something that he didn’t agree with, that was it, he was done talking.
Mom wasn’t that different, she was much the same as my Dad, just in a different way. I quickly learned while living with her that, rather than becoming upset if she disagreed with me, she would simply act as if I hadn’t said anything at all. Where my father would fight with me, she would fake ignorance.
As I laid in my bed thinking about the strange relationships I had with both of my parents, the phone rang again. I glanced over at the sleek black handset, wondering if I should even bother answering. I knew it would be my father again. I took a deep breath, exhaled, and gave in to the loud ringing.
“What now?” I answered, sure that it was my father calling again to tell me how bad I screwed up. Surely, one time wouldn’t be enough for him.
“Ok then, Beautiful. I’ll just call you later!”
It was Graysen.
My frown quickly changed to a smile. I loved it when he called me that. Beautiful.
“Wait!” I replied. “I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else.”
“Who? Your other boyfriend?”
“No!”
Wait, had he just said boyfriend?
I thought for a few moments, silent on my end of the phone.
“You there?” he asked.
I carefully worded my response.
“Well, yeah I’m here. I mean, I would have to have one boyfriend to be able to have a second one, right?”
I leaned forward on my bed, resting my chin upon my hand as the seconds of silence slowly passed. I wondered why he hadn’t answered me yet? My ears filled with the deafening silence on the other end of the line. I bit my lip, impatiently awaiting his response. After a few more moments I was ready to ask if he was still there, perhaps we had lost connection or he had just hung up because I had put him on the spot with an uncomfortable question. But then, Graysen said something so simple and so silly that I couldn’t have possibly imagined at that point in time how much those few words would change my life. It was a point where everything was about to change for me. In hindsight, I wish I would have realized just how seriously that change would impact my life.
“Well, who am I, your cousin?”
A huge smile spread across my face. I held my hand against my mouth as the joy inside bubbled out of me. Despite all of my flaws and all of my past mistakes, this boy on the other end of the phone line wanted me. He wanted to be with me. He liked the new Avery Brooks, just as much as my past friends in Chicago liked the old Avery Brooks. He liked me for who I was becoming. Not a girl who went out all the time, not a girl who liked party and get high every chance she got. But a girl who would be dependable for him, a girl that he could count on to remain true and loyal. I wanted to be that girl, I could be that girl. Because as long as I was that girl then Graysen Bennett was my boyfriend.
“Hello?” he asked, obviously now worried that I was the one who wasn’t there.
I quickly tried to stifle the gitty girl that was coming out and replied.
“Ok.”
“Ok?” he asked.
“Yeah, ok.” I smiled and I felt sure he could feel the happiness I exuded coming through the phone.
“Well, good. Now that we have that little detail taken care of, who did you think it was when I called?”
“Oh, that. Just my Dad. We had been talking earlier and arguing. I thought you were him calling me back again.”
“Oh.” He answered. “Well, that couldn’t be me.”
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because I could never argue with you?”
I laughed.
“Never?”
“Nope.”
“Why?”
“Because you’re too perfect.”
Perfect. He thought I was perfect. I was thankful that he couldn’t see me blushing.
“Perfect?”
“Yeah, you’re pretty. Like, really pretty. You’re fun and so smart. You’re different than the other girls around here. You act how a girl should act.”
“What do you mean how a girl should act?”
“I don’t know. I guess I mean, you don’t go showing off for attention. You’re just you and you don’t care what anyone thinks. Like at Sam’s party the other night, you didn’t let Sam intimidate you. You stuck to your guns and didn’t get all messed up like the other girls. I like that. I like a good girl.”
A good girl? I realized I had been right. A good girl is exactly what Graysen wanted. I thought for a few moments about telling him of my life in Chicago, I really did. I thought about telling him that I wasn’t some innocent princess, that I had already done my fair share of bad deeds, skipping school, drinking, and pot smoking. But why would that matter? He liked what he saw now, and it wasn’t fake. I wanted to be good. I wanted to be out of the whole party scene and how lucky was I that I met a gorgeous guy that liked a girl like that? I wanted Graysen. I wasn’t going to say a word to him that might change what he thought of me, the new me. The only question that lingered was why I had changed so rapidly. At that moment in time, I couldn’t even understand myself what it was that had made me want to change, so how could I explain it to him?
Character Depiction
Avery
Meet 17 year old Avery Brooks. New to the small town of Elkins, West Virginia and confident that her last 2 years of high school will fly by without a hitch. Fighting past troubles from her hometown of Chicago, Avery is looking for smooth sailing from here on out. Everything seems to be going exactly as planned until Graysen Bennett, the only boy who has caught her eye, suddenly notices her. Captivated by his attention, soon Avery’s plans begin to fall apart. But what else does she really need than to be loved?

To Be Loved is scheduled for release in November 2013!

For more information and to learn about Andrea’s other books, you can follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/andreagoodsonbooks , Twitter www.twitter.com/bethelightwrite , and her website at www.andreagoodson.wordpress.com

Thanks for stopping by!

The Riverbend Trilogy Blog Tour ~ Andrea Goodson

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Thank you for visiting The Riverbend Trilogy’s Blog Tour! Here you will find a sneak peek at a scene from the third book in the series, Waking Tide and learn a bit about the author, Andrea Goodson! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post and see where you can visit Andrea tomorrow!

Excerpt from Waking Tide

The blinding winter sun awoke Lena that morning. The cold winter light let on how frozen the world was outside, but she felt safe and warm in her bed. The lush down comforter wrapped tightly around her shoulders wasn’t the only thing providing that warmth. Will’s strong body lie next to her, though still sleeping, his presence there with her was more powerful than it had ever been. Her mind quickly flooded with all that had happened the previous night and the love she felt for him quickly grew within her. She didn’t regret being with him. She didn’t regret being weak and allowing him to take over both her body and her soul. In fact, she felt a sort of elated giddiness. A spark of light heartedness that had been absent for so long, yet always trying to find its way back to her.
As much as that spark exhilarated her, there was still a small feeling of fear within her.
She felt afraid and she didn’t know why. No matter how perfect it all seemed, no matter how happy she was in this very moment, being cradled inside of Will’s warm embrace, she still felt the fear. It lied low beneath the surface and it was screaming at her as it had so many other times in her life. It just resided there, within her, an unwelcome visitor in her private moment of bliss with Will. Lena despised the fear, she despised it more than she did the feelings of weakness and for the first time in her life she grew so tired of the fear that she suddenly felt strong enough to push it out of her life. Not just in this moment, but in every moment that she would have from this day forward. She was tired of being afraid of love, afraid of pain, afraid of not being in control, and it was finally time for that fear to leave.
Lena had spent many nights in the cold lonesomeness of her apartment in Georgia wishing the fear away. Many times had she asked herself why she must live with such anxiety and panic. She could feel it in every bone of her body almost every minute of every day. It only physically manifested itself as her feeling short of breath. But inside of her, the anxiety had been raging since she lost her father. She had always felt like a victim, like it wasn’t a choice or a decision. But now, lying with her head against Will’s strong shoulder, she felt…powerful. For the first time in years she actually felt as though she was in control instead of always trying to be. She wouldn’t wish the fear away this time. This time, she would demand it. This time, she would force it. It was her life and she knew deep down that she was finally strong enough to do it.
Lena ran her hand up the center of Will’s chest. She could hear him breathing softly as he slept, the soft thud of his heart beat against the side of her cheek. She wasn’t sure why she suddenly felt her strength return. Perhaps it had never left and she just needed to find it again. Lena knew that it wasn’t Will that had brought it out, though if anyone were capable of doing that for another person, it was surely him. No, Lena felt it was there all along and she had just needed to find it again. But as she looked up at the gorgeous man who held her, her strong protector, she had no doubt that opening herself up to the love that she felt for him had freed her in some way. That somehow, Will had made it possible for Lena to let herself out of the cage she had been living in all these years. It was a prison that had been built by the tragedy of first losing her father and then maintained well by Lena herself all of these years. As such, it was a prison only she could free herself from. It wouldn’t be easy, Lena knew that. It wasn’t as if she could just snap her fingers and all of her fears, insecurities, and anxiety would instantly dissipate. But she could try, with Will. With Will by her side, she felt she could do anything.
Suddenly the thought of Gabby crossed her mind, panic entered her being but was quickly relieved when she remembered that she was at her cheer coach’s house. The last thing lena wanted to do was set a bad example for her little sister. Though Gabby was 17 years old and surely not ignorant of such things, evidenced by her late night partying a few weeks ago. Lena still didn’t want to deal with the awkwardness if Gabby had discovered that Will had spent the night in Lena’s room.
Will’s body began to move in the bed next to her, rolling over towards Lena, he tightly wrapped his muscular arm around the front of her chest, holding her close to him. Slowly, he awoke and gently smiled at her. His dark black eyes speaking every word that Lena needed to hear without any sound leaving his lips. She could be with this man, she had been with him, both in mind and spirit, her entire life. And now that she had finally succumbed to her long felt desire to share her body and soul with him, she felt there was no turning back. Everything had been such a whirlwind of pain and grief in her life, she needed this relief. She needed him. And for the first time ever, Lena began to feel that he was safe.
Safe to need.
Will gently caressed her shoulder, still not speaking a word. No Good morning, no cocky comments like Thanks for last night, which was the type of thing Lena could always expect from him. Just silence for what felt like forever, and it was a wonderful forever. One that could go on and on without any boredom or awkwardness whatsoever.
When he did eventually speak, he only said three words. Three words that he had said many times before. Three words that Lena had denied for far too long. Three words that somehow felt different now than they ever had in the past. Three words that made her let the strong walls of resistance and fear that she had built over the past few years instantly come crashing down.
“I love you.” He whispered in her ear, followed by a trailing kiss down the side of her neck.
Lena gazed up at the stark white ceiling above her, her heart and body flooding with a warm rush.
“Will.” She whispered.
He looked up at her from his position against her shoulder.
“I love you too.”
His dark eyes sparkled and a lovingly familiar and overconfident smile spread across his face while he quickly pulled the down comforter over both of their heads.

###

Copyright 2013 Andrea Goodson

Take a look at the NEW Riverbend Trilogy Book Trailer!

Author Bio

002 - CopyAndrea Goodson was born in 1982 and had a love of and fascination with writing since she was very young. Always imagining ways in which the world could be different, she began to write short stories when she was very young. It wasn’t until many years later that she put pen to paper and began to work on what has become her first novel, Riverbend, part one in a trilogy. Upon completion of that work she found that writing was something she felt meant to do and would never be able to give up. Using her own experiences with hardship and tragedy Andrea uses her writing to reach others in an effort to show the world that we need not be victims of circumstance. Her main characters endure many conflicts yet find the courage and strength to better themselves.

Click here to follow Andrea on Facebook and Twitter!

You can view the first book in Andrea’s series, Riverbend, here on Kindle

All books are also available on Amazon as Paperbacks and ebooks on Nook, iBooks, and Smashwords!

For a complete listing of all books and venues, CLICK HERE!

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Thank you for visiting! You can see Andrea again tomorrow on I Heart Books and see reviews as well as catch an article about Bookish Boyfriends!

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Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever, by L.V. Lewis

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When Talia Lyons was just a child, her parents were murdered before her eyes. Unable to accept their fate, Talia trains to become one of the country’s deadliest assassins to go after the man responsible. Luckily, she was born with a gift- the ability to read and influence the minds of others. Now there is only one obstacle standing between her and the retribution she craves… the feelings and distractions of a normal teenage girl, torn between her childhood sweetheart and a gorgeous new teammate.

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Serial Summer, by Angel Lawson

Paige Barnes is on the run.

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Riverbend, by Andrea Goodwon

Nestled deep in Northwest Pennsylvania, in the thick forest of the Allegheny Mountains, is a quiet community named Kennerdell. Rich in Native American and European settlement history with few inhabitants and a charming culture, growing up there was simple for Lena. But when grief stepped in and darkened her life-everything changed. After years of escape, Lena is forced to come home. A web of mystery and danger that dates back to America’s earliest days, quickly weaves around her.When a longtime friend, one who knows the tragedy that plagues Lena’s heart, comes back into her life – things get complicated. Will she be able to unfold the truth around this mystery – and herself – or will it be easier to run away?Love, danger, and history collide in Riverbend, the first book of The Riverbend Trilogy.

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Author-to-Author Spring Equinox Book Giveaway!

Spring signifies the hope that blossoms within the heart of humanity after the dark days of winter.

The Spring Equinox is a time for the rebirth, renewal, redemption. In honor of the resurgence of nature after the long, deep sleep of winter, the Author to Author group would like to shine the glorious sunlight (spotlight) on some novels we think you might enjoy.


Title: Lessons Learned
Author: Sydney Logan
Buying Links: sydneylogan.com / TWCS / Amazon / B & N
What It’s About:

In Lessons Learned, my main characters are all experiencing their own form of rebirth and awakening. For Sarah, coming home is a fresh start and a chance to deal with the ghosts of her past and the demons of her present. Lucas, too, has the opportunity to rebuild his life and his career by moving to a new town. Out of all the characters, the one who has the greatest chance of awakening his soul is Matt. He has lived a lie his entire life, and when a classmate learns his secret, Matt is forced to be honest with his family and friends for the very first time. Yes, his rebirth comes at a price, but in the end, Matt is stronger and happier because of it.

©Depositphotos/Alex Raths
Selection:

Voices roar through the high school cafeteria while students navigate their way to the tables. The cliques are easily spotted: the jocks, the geeks, the beauty queens, the slackers . . .

Where will he sit today?

Despite the fact he’s a handsome and impeccably dressed young man, he fades into the background. Knowing it’s pointless, the girls don’t bother to look his way, and the guys deliberately avoid his eyes.

He grips his tray tightly and heads toward the corner table with the rest of the outcasts. They nod hello, but that’s the end of any real attempt at conversation. It’s an unspoken rule of sorts. This is their refuge—a tiny bit of sanctuary in the hell that is public high school—and they’re content to sit in peace.

He takes a seat, and I can see the exhaustion on his face. It’s not a weariness that comes from too many sleepless nights. This is a bone-tired fatigue no seventeen-year-old kid should ever feel.

He’s giving in.

Giving up.

In my peripheral vision, I see a senior stalk into the cafeteria. He’s tall, with deep brown eyes and jet-black hair that won’t stay in place. He’s good looking, popular, and a little conceited, thanks to his father’s wealth and status.

He has a reputation to uphold.

©Depositphotos/Yuri Arcurs

Rumors to squash.

A score to settle.

He pulls the silver gun out of his jacket pocket. Amid the chaos, no one notices.

I notice.

I try to run, but I’m frozen in place.

I try to scream, but there’s no sound.

The first shot rings out, and suddenly, everyone’s on the cold tile.

Tears, prayers, screams.

Another shot, and for some reason, I’m the only one who can’t move. Who can’t scream. Who can’t do anything but watch as the young man’s body slumps over his tray.

Finally, I find my voice and scream his name.


Title: Legacy of a Dreamer
Author: Allie Jean
Buying Links: Amazon / TWCS / B & N
What It’s About:

Mathias is a descendant of a Fallen Angel and beholden to wage an unfathomable war against an ancient evil, spawned by greed and spite. A powerful fighter, he and his brethren of Warriors vow to pay recompense for the sins of their fathers by guarding the most precious, piercing light against the darkness – their females. The Warriors’ pledge is to find and protect the Oracles, their sisters and kin. Long have they fought, shedding sweat and blood, hoping that their struggles are not in vain. Yet in his sacrifice comes redemption. And in his service he will find life’s ultimate reward – a love to surpass all time.

Photographer: Amy Kaplan Model: Marissa Cannon
Selection:

She scrambled across the wall, heading toward her bed, hoping she could find something to defend herself. She pushed herself across the mattress, keeping the thing in view as she reached for the lamp. He laughed, both of them knowing she was pathetic. He raised his blade as his oozing mouth formed a horrifying smile.

© Masta4650 | Dreamstime.com
Title: Beautiful Body

“Excuse me,” a male voice said from behind the cloaked figure, making both the creature and Chantal pause. A man stepped into view, grayskinned, dark-haired, dressed in only a black pair of jeans with those distinct eyes Chantal had seen in the alleyway. “I think the lady’s made it clear she wants you to back off. Besides, you’re kind of gross.”

The creature lunged at the gray-skinned man, thrusting his blade toward his bare torso. The man spun, melting into the darkness, becoming part of the shadow again. He reappeared behind the creature, yielding a blade of his own.

They fought ferociously as Chantal sat frozen on her bed. Each had the ability to move like lightning; each could disappear into the darkness.

“She will die, Warrior, no matter how many you send to protect her,” the creature said, spitting his dark venom onto the floor as he whipped around in attempt to slice at the man’s lower torso.

“Not by your hand, and not while I’m still around,” the gray man said, hacking his blade through the air and just missing the creature’s melonshaped head.

“You protect her in vain,” it said, landing a punch to the man’s flank.

“She’s survived this long,” the gray man said, plunging his blade deep into the creature’s abdomen. It sputtered, spraying black liquid onto the floor. “And she will survive tonight, just like I said she would.” He twisted the blade, causing the creature let out a gurgled cry, and a torrent of fluid poured from the creature’s terrible mouth, leaving a puddle on the floor.


TheEndTitle: The End of All Things
Author: Lissa Bryan
Buying Links: TWCS / Amazon
What It’s About:

After a pandemic virus wipes out most of humanity, Carly Daniels struggles to hold onto hope for the future. What sort of world can the survivors build? Can the old values of the social contract—compassion, kindness, and altruism— survive the end of all things? Or will only the strongest survive in this brutal new world?

Justin, Carly’s traveling companion, is more cynical about human nature. But on their journey, he learns how precious hope can be, how it can keep a person going when all else seems lost, and how love can be its most powerful source.

If the old world is gone, it is up to the survivors to build a new one. Carly finds strength in her faith that things can be even better than they were before, that compassion and charity are not luxuries; they are what make us human. Life endures, and so does love. The End of All Things is only a beginning.

License Some rights reserved by country_boy_shane (Under Creative Commons license)
Selection:

Carly closed her eyes, and the tears that had gathered fell. She pressed a hand over her still-flat abdomen.

Is the fate of humanity to be a world of empty nurseries? Is this the end for all of us? She suddenly realized she hadn’t seen a baby or child since the Crisis, except for the child in the fishing cabin. All of the travelers they’d encountered had been adults. A wave of despair threatened to engulf her. Carly sobbed, and it sounded horribly loud in the quiet, cheerful little room. Resolutely, she pushed it back. She couldn’t believe it was the end. She refused to believe it.

The vague musings about fate and destiny that had occupied Carly’s thoughts sporadically over the last few months came together, and she saw them as an unbroken chain leading her to what was meant to be. There was a reason for this. If mankind had been meant to go extinct, there wouldn’t be any of them left, and she wouldn’t be carrying a baby. She didn’t know whether to call it God or destiny, but there was some force in the universe that had brought Carly and Justin to this point.

She thought of the pills she had tucked away in her bag, and the pain was like a hot knife blade in her heart. She knew then she couldn’t do it. Despite all the perils they faced and the uncertain future, she wanted this baby. She already loved him or her, this tiny, precious life, this part of herself and Justin. She saw that vision in her mind again, of the dark-eyed little boy, but the thought was no longer painful. It made her happy. She thought once he got over his worry, Justin would be happy, too.

This wasn’t the end. It was the beginning. It wasn’t going to be easy, and the road they traveled was fraught with danger, but she had to have faith. Whatever had brought them to this point would see them through whatever challenges lay ahead in order to fulfill their destiny.

Ω

“Carly?”

©Depositphotos/Kotenk

Justin found her in the nursery, and a dart of alarm struck him when he saw the tears on her cheeks. But she smiled at him, and her eyes were bright.

“I think you’re wrong,” she said. “I don’t think humans were supposed to die out during the Infection. And I think those of us who survived have a duty to protect the next generation. We’re starting over, Justin. We’re rebuilding the world. And this time, we’re going to make it even better.”

Justin saw it in his mind, his fate written as clear as day. Carly would have a little girl with her beautiful eyes and caramel hair, and she would only have to smile to wrap her father around her little finger. And Justin would go crazy when she started dating. No man would ever be good enough for her, especially guys like him. Or the child would be a boy, with dark eyes that sparkled with mischief, and he’d give his father heart attacks with the adventures he would get into. But just like the little girl in his vision, all his son would have to do is give that wicked little grin and he would get away with anything.

Doomed, he thought, but it made him smile.


RevisitedTitle: Revisited
Author: Lindsey Gray
Buying Links: TWCS / Amazon / B & N
What It’s About:

In the second installment of The Redemption Series, everyone’s path leads into one.

Lily Edwards, the last remaining female vampire, faces a daunting task. She has to find Liam Caldwell, the vampire she was forced to create, and change him back to a human. Her task won’t be easy as fellow vampires, Filipp and Debir, have been secretly plotting her demise for decades.

Liam is having second thoughts when he learns Filipp has handpicked an army of humans for him to turn into vampires and Valentina Pavel, the last member of a coven of Romanian witches, brings him a new challenge of her own. Together, they all have Liam doing the unthinkable ̶ ̶ pleading for a way out.

Friends-now-turned-enemies struggle for their eternity, while enemies-turned-friends fight side by side. Will Lily’s past give her the answers she needs to reach the future or will her darkest fears be revisited?

© Dragosmanea | Dreamstime Stock Photos& Stock Free Images
Selection:
For a new vampire, Liam wasn’t doing the typical things a virile vampire would do. He hadn’t drained the blood from any of the humans he came into contact with. He hadn’t had any strong sexual or violent urges to act upon. He hadn’t mourned for his lost human life. He was, in fact, still in a luxury hotel suite in Bucharest, Romania. He began to wonder if he was vampire enough to take the next step
Shortly after his arrival, Debir and Filipp had gotten the call from The Manchester Group to stay put. The entire group was on high alert since Lily’s death, or at least that was what the elder vampires were told.
Liam knew different. Lily was his sire and in those moments she made him, an unbreakable bond was formed. He still felt it down to the marrow in his bones. Lily was alive in one form or another.
As for the next step, Filipp’s plan was for the three of them to strategically sire new vampires, whose strength would bring The Manchester Group down. Gideon’s plan coincided with their own, though he was occupied now and wouldn’t be of any help to them. Through fate and a hell of a lot of luck, Ian Holt was in the wrong place at the exact right time. Gideon needed a new vessel to cast a spell over Becca and receive her love and devotion. Ian was presented as if on a silver platter; Gideon turned him into his vessel and the benefits to him would be limitless.

483582_257595827699217_1950616443_nTitle: Serial Summer
Author: Angel Lawson
Buying Links: Amazon
What It’s About:

Paige Barnes is on the run.

Good thing her mother, true crime author Julia Barnes, just purchased an Airstream trailer for an adventurous move to costal South Carolina to write her next book. Living by the ocean in a shiny, silver camper may not be what Paige had in mind for the summer, but sometimes a fresh start is just what a girl needs.

This should be enough to distract Paige from her problems, but when she meets recent college graduate Justin Hawkins, a summer rebound seems like a great idea. Part beach bum, part business man, Justin is just the kind of fun Paige hopes will help her forget the mistakes she’s made.

It works until her past comes nipping at her heels and her mother’s secrets are revealed to be darker than she ever expected. Bolstered by their new friends and family, they’re both ready to face their fears head on…but at what cost?

photographer Denis Varnadoe 2012
Selection:
He doesn’t fight me and we walk back to the driveway. His hand never leaves mine, and when we reach the car he positions his body so his back is flat against the door, blocking me from leaving yet. “Thanks for the ride home,” he says. His hands reach for my hips but he’s taking too long, so I grab his shirt and move closer. The instant I do a slow, wide smile briefly appears before his expression turns serious and he kisses me.
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My hands fly to the back of his head and tug him toward me, and I lift on my toes to reach him better. This kiss is beyond what I’d hoped it would be, and it spreads to the pit of my stomach down to the tips of my fingers. My encouragement makes him greedy and I feel his hips push back into mine and his day’s growth of stubble rubs against my chin. I don’t care. When we part, we’re both breathing a lot heavier than before.

“That was,” he starts, but I kiss him again, because I like kissing and well, I like him.
This leads to another round of his lips on mine, then he focuses on the sensitive skin behind my ear until his teeth scrape down my throat to my collarbone and I crumble into giggles under his touch. “Ticklish,” I say, and he starts laughing too and it’s enough to break the fire between us for the moment.
“Good to know,” he says, raising his eyebrows in fun while staring at my lips.

“Good night, Justin,” I tell him and get in the car before I change my mind and take him up on the offer to see his cottage. Baby steps, I remind myself as I drive away from him the house.


Title: Ghosts of Our Pasts
Author: N.K.Smith
Buying Links: TWCS / Amazon
What It’s About:

Will Darcy once held the world and his future in the palm of his hand. Engaged to marry the love of his life and on the cusp of a brilliant financial career, he loses everything in a horrifying act of violence that still ripples through his life. After years of giving away only pieces of her heart, Emily Martin is beginning to realize that her life of comfort leaves her with nothing in the end. For while love is fraught with risk, turning away from love may be the biggest risk of all. After a long, dark ten years, two people must make a choice: renewal or continued deterioration.

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Dreamstime Stock Photos &
Stock Free Images
Selection:

“You have an accent. Where are you from?”

The comment and question catches him off guard because he thinks he shed the verbal flag of his Midwestern beginnings a long time ago. He’d always thought his neutral inflection was the norm and that other people had the accents. New Yorkers had a distinct dialect, but as soon as he and Gabe moved here, it was clear that it was they who possessed the strange pronunciation. Gabe stuck with the manner of speech he grew up with, but Will did his best to change his.

He would note the differences in the way he said “ten” and “flower” and “talk” and the way his New York friends said them and he

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spent time perfecting the blending of the two. He didn’t want to stand out. He might have been a transplant, but he knew he was a New Yorker at heart.

Clearing his throat, he answers, “Illinois.”

“Chicago?”

It is Will that chuckles this time. “No.”

“Why’s that funny?”

“Because no one outside of East North Central Midwest seems to know that there are other cities and towns in Illinois besides Chicago.” He adopts the stereotypical Chicago accent and says, “While I like da Bearz, dare’s more dan Chi-town in da landa Lincoln.”

It feels strange but exciting to joke with someone other than Zoe. This thing that is happening between Will and Emily draws him out of himself. It’s terrifying and yet beautiful. He feels stupid at having said what he just said, but he’s moderately happy he’s said it.


68394_4986914561773_100996326_n (1)Title: Riverbend (Book 1: The Riverbend Trilogy)
Author: Andrea Goodson
Buying Links: Amazon / Smashwords
What It’s About:
Nestled deep in Northwest Pennsylvania, in the thick forests of the Allegheny Mountains, is a quiet community named Kennerdell. Rich in Native American and European settlement history with few inhabitants and a charming culture, growing up there was simple for Lena. But when grief stepped in and darkened her life-everything changed. After years of escape, Lena is forced to come home. A web of mystery and danger, dating back to America’s earliest days, quickly weaves around her.
When a longtime friend, one who knows the tragedy that plagues Lena’s heart, comes back into her life – things get complicated. Will she be able to unfold the truth around this mystery – and herself – or will it be easier to run away?

Love, danger, and history collide in Riverbend, the first book of The Riverbend Trilogy.

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Dreamstime Stock Photos &
Stock Free Images
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They continued on the downhill path crunching leaves under their feet as they walked. The trail that had been created by Will and her as kids was still just as worn and beaten down as it always had been. It did not appear to have been neglected for years and looked as though it were still used every day. She imagined there had to be kids around here that would make their way through these woods, having the same fun her and Will once had, playing the same games, and discovering the same secrets. To be truthful, Lena and Will had discovered quite a bit about the world just by playing in these woods. Lena had discovered the simple beauty of

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life in its simplest form, the calmness and joy that was displayed in nature. Lena began to discover these beauties when she would come here as a small child with Will and both of their fathers. Carl and Joel would point out all the small, seemingly magical, beauties of nature. The way the leaves would rustle in the wind or the way the sunshine would create a spectrum of colors by simply reflecting off of a raindrop. As Lena and Will grew older they started to play in these woods without their parents. It was then that she discovered how it felt for the first time to have a best friend, how it felt to have another boy she could depend on other than her father, and how it felt to have a childhood crush. She glanced over at the strong man that now walked beside her, she realized that he was definitely not a boy anymore.

“Do you hear the water? Not too far now.” Will said.

Not too far, she thought, this walk seemed a lot shorter when they were kids and excited about fishing or just playing by the creek catching some salamanders and crayfish. They approached the edge of the ravine and she looked down at the waterfall below. They were both silent, they somehow each knew what the other was thinking. At the foot of that waterfall, gorgeous and flowing, had been where, when they were about 13, they had both had their first, and only, kiss with one another. They glanced at each other and smiled.


TalentedTitle: Talented (Talented Saga #1)
Author: Sophie Davis
Buying Links: Amazon / B & N
What It’s About:

When Talia Lyons was just a child, her parents were murdered before her eyes. Offered a choice between accepting their fate and exacting revenge, Talia trains to become one of the country’s deadliest assassins in order to kill the man responsible for their deaths: Ian Crane. Luckily, Talia was born with a gift- the ability to read and influence the minds of others. At sixteen, Talia is poised to graduate from the McDonough School for the Talented, where she learned to control her abilities. Now there is only one obstacle standing between her and the retribution she craves… Talia, herself.

Her greatest asset may also be her undoing; while a formidable weapon in the field, Talia’s talents prevent her from both shutting off the mental connection she shares with her questionable boyfriend and blocking out the thoughts of a beguiling fellow recruit. But Talia can’t afford to have the feelings and distractions of a normal teenage girl, when her life is far from normal.

She must regain the single-minded determination that has brought her this far, or it may cost Talia her life when she finally faces Crane. And even after being molded in to a weapon of war, she’ll still have to find the strength it takes to pull the trigger.

dream designs, published on 04 October 2012 www.freedigitalphotos.net
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I am still not sure if it was the cold, calculated murder of my father, or the careless disposal of my mother – probably both – but I felt something inside of me snap. One minute, I was hiding in the closet with the silk of my mother’s long dresses pulled tight around my face, like curtains trying to block out the brutal scene in the bedroom. The next, I was sitting in the outer room of our hotel suite, surrounded by broken furniture, shattered glass, and the bodies of the men in black. They were all dead.

The blonde man carried a large gun slung over one shoulder, and several smaller ones were tucked at his waist. An entire team of men clamored through the doorway after him. He held up one of his hands, indicating for the men to stay back. He approached me slowly, hesitantly. He was greater than an arms distance away when he tentatively extended one of his large, gloved hands toward me; I had seen people do the same thing with wounded animals.

“Natalia?” he asked in a soft voice. I couldn’t find the energy to even nod my head, I just stared blankly. “Natalia,” he repeated. “My name is Danbury McDonough. Do you remember me? I’m friends with your daddy.”


Fifty_Shades_of_Jung_Cover_for_Kindle
Title: Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever (The Ghetto Girl Romance Quardilogy#1)
Author: L. V. Lewis
Buying Links: Amazon / B & N
What It’s About:

Keisha Beale, a post-college, African American woman hopes to see her dream of owning a recording studio and music store become a reality. Venture Capitalist, Tristan White, a Caucasian, One-percenter, holds the keys to realization of that dream, but it comes with a price. Tristan is prepared to front the funding for Keisha’s business with a bonus if she will agree to be his friend-with-kinky-benefits. Keisha’s acceptance of Tristan’s terms pushes the boundaries of everything she thought she always wanted in life when it comes to love and relationships. After a rocky start, she is reborn as a submissive and embraces his lifestyle with aplomb. Tristan has been adamant that he doesn’t want any emotional attachment. Keisha is all set to try and change his mind, to awaken the dormant desire of commitment in him, until demons from her past make her continued arrangement with him impossible.

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Tristan hauls me into my own bedroom, shuts the door, and pins me against it then kisses me in all my morning-breathed glory. I try to avoid opening my mouth but resistance is futile, so I relax and let him kiss me until I taste only what he tastes like. I think it’s Scotch, but I can’t be sure.

When he decides to come up for air, he releases me abruptly, and I’m a limp noodle against the door.

“How can you say no to this kind of passion? What are you afraid of? Do you need to do a trial run?”

“I just don’t like the idea of being involved with you when we’re doing business together. I’m going to apologize to Princess Danai and see if she’ll take on our project.”

© Stanyslava | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images

“I wouldn’t approach her right now if I were you,” he says. “I had to talk her out of pressing charges and filing a lawsuit against you.”

I cringe. What did I expect? Her eye is probably still some variation of black and purple right now.

“Oh,” is all I can muster.

“If you’re going to open in a little over three weeks, I’m the only shot you have,” he says.

“What happens if this,” I say and gesture between us, “doesn’t work out? I need assurances that Kente doesn’t become one of your acquisitions.”

“Have you read the contract?”

“No.”

“I’ve included a provision for that. I think the language says that if personal relationships are severed, White Enterprises will ensure your company is backed by another entity before we part ways, amicably.”

“You would do that?”

“Right now, I’d do anything it takes to make you mine.”
My Triple-G and my Fairy Hoochie Mama both faint in a synchronized swoon.

Damn, this white boy is off the chain.


We hope you enjoyed the selections, and we hope your Spring Equinox brings renewal, awakening, and rebirth of everything beautiful.

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Enter The Author to Author – Most Kissable Character Contest!

 

Welcome to the Author to Author Most Kissable Character Valentine Contest!

The Author to Author group has a wonderful contest in celebration of the most romantic day of the year: Valentine’s Day. 
 
From now until February 13th at midnight, you can vote for the Most Kissable Character (characters listed below). The winning character’s author will post a snippet/outtake/sneak peek from their book for you to enjoy!
 
So sit back, scroll down, and meet some of the hottest characters in fiction. Don’t forget to click the SurveyMonkey link at the end (and leave the Author to Author group a little love via a comment). 
Have an idea for a contest you’d love to see? Let us know! We’re always looking for some great ideas to connect with readers!
 
Book title: The End of All Things
Name: Justin Thatcher
Eye Color: Dark brown
Hair Color: Dark brown
Profession: Ex Special Forces soldier
Special Abilities/Talents: The man you’d want
around in case of an apocalypse, Justin is skilled in combat and survival
techniques.
Why he’s the most kissable: Beneath that
tough, ruthless exterior, Justin’s got a heart as sweet and soft as melted
chocolate.


Purchase The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan at The Writer’s Coffee Shop Website

Book title: MORE

Name: Caleb Foster 

Eye Color: Blue (kinda)


Hair Color: Dark Brown

 

Profession: Protector of the Race/Student/Physics Tutor 
Special Abilities/Talents: Superior strength and speed, heightened senses, compelling people and
blurring memories, an ability to shift from place to place with only a
thought. 

 

Why he’s is the most kissable character: At first, Caleb comes off as a bit of a nerd – I mean seriously, he is a
physics tutor after all, and look at that hair – and those glasses! But peel
below the layers (and the hoodies) and va-va-voom! There’s more to him than
meets the eye, and we’re not talking Transformers here. One top of that, he’s
got a heart of gold. Sure, he’s dedicated to his job as a Protector of the
Race, but when it comes to doing his duty or doing what’s right (like
protecting Ava) – he’s going to make the right decision. 
 


Purchase MORE by T.M. Franklin at AmazonBarnes and NobleThe Writer’s Coffee Shop WebsiteiBooksKobo

Book title: Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever

Name: Tristan White

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Blond

Profession: Venture Capitalist

Special Abilities/Talents: Dominant
who knows the canon of the Kama Sutra from front to back. He dispenses orgasms
as if they are party favors at your own private party. 

Why he’s the most kissable character: Well,
Keisha says Tristan’s tongue should be registered as a lethal weapon due to his
ability to exact pleasure with it!


Purchase Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever by LV Lewis at Amazon

Book Titles: Redemption and Revisited 

Name:
 Ryan Edwards

Eye Color: Dark Brown

Hair Color: Jet-black

Profession: Angel of death

Special abilities: Can
transport anything or anyone to any spot in the universe.

 

 

Why he is most kissable: He spent the remaining years of his human life searching the globe for
his wife. Even in the afterlife, he never gave up his search. Now that they
have been reunited, a love that has spanned a century can be fulfilled. Who
wouldn’t want to kiss someone that dedicated to the love of his eternity?

Purchase Redemption and Revisited by Lindsey Gray at

 
 
Book titles: Riverbend and Rapid Water

 

 

Name: Will Sundback

Eye Color: Brown

Hair Color: Dark Brown

Profession: Runs the family’s remodeling and construction business.

Special Abilities/Talents: Very
athletic and proficient in most sports, basketball being his favorite.
Dependable and kind.

Why he is the most kissable: Will is
caring and kind while always remaining brutally honest. He has a lovable,
confident, and sometimes cocky personality.


Purchase Riverbend and Rapid Water by Andrea Goodson at Amazon (Riverbend) and Amazon (Rapid Water)

 
 
Book title: Wraith
Name: Connor
Jacobs
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Dark
brown
Profession: Student
Special
Abilities/Talent: Can
see ghosts
Why he’s the most
kissable: When
the supernatural Big Bads to big bad, you want him on your side, that is, if he
can stay out of trouble long enough to be there.

 

Purchase Wraith by Angel Lawson at Amazon

 
Book: Are You Mine?

 

 

Name: Fox
Harrington

Eye Color: Brown

Hair Color: Light Brown

Profession: Warehouse
worker

Special Abilities/Talents: Graffiti
artist, portrait artist, manga artist.

Why he is the most kissable: Fox is a
hopeless romantic, and no matter how difficult life maybe, he always focuses on
the positives. Plus, look at those lips!

Purchase Are You Mine? by N.K.Smith in March/April of 2013. Keep an eye out at N.K.Smith Writes (blog)

picture: © Vishstudio | Stock
Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
 

Book Title: Legacy of a Dreamer

Name: Mathias

Eye Color: Blue

Hair: Dark Blonde

Profession: Warrior of the Contrite Lineage

Special Abilities/Talents: Protector
& Guardian of the Oracles, assigned to keep Chantal safe. He has inhuman
strength and power, and has the ability to move through the Shade where evil
lurks to harm mankind. He has an incredible heart and falls for Chantal
quickly. It doesn’t hurt that he has an insane body, too. 


Why he’s the most kissable: 
He’s handsome, fearless, and always puts his woman first. Always 😉

Purchase Legacy of a Dreamer by Allie Jean at The Writer’s Coffee Shop Website

Book title: The Future of Our Past &
Don’t Forget to Remember Me, Books One and Two, The Remembrance Trilogy
Name: Ryan Matthews 
Eye Color: Dark blue
Hair Color: Golden Brown
Profession: Medical Student/Doctor
Special
Talents/Abilities: “Hi! Kahlen, (the chick that
writes my story), said I have to tell you about my special abilities and
talents, but no dude likes to talk about himself; for sure not me! I will say
I’m passionate about two things, my woman and my career. I’ve always wanted to
be a doctor, but nothing is more important to me than Julia. I’d sacrifice
everything just to see her smile.”
Why he’s the
most Kissable: “I had to ask Jules why I
was the most kissable because I’m like, ‘seriously?’ She said that I’m every
woman’s dream; being handsome, tall, and built, doesn’t hurt, but mostly it’s
how much I love her and always put her first that seals the deal. She also said
I’m not just kissable, but lickable. I’m rolling my eyes at it all because I’m
a modest guy, but I have to admit that last part got me grinning like the cat
that ate the canary! As long as my girl’s the canary… I’m golden!”
(*winks!*) 

Purchase The Future of Our Past & Don’t Forget to Remember Me, Books One and Two, The Remembrance Trilogy by Kahlen Aymes at AmazonSmashwordsBarnes and Noble

Book Title: Talented

Name: Erik Kelley

Eye Color: Turquoise

Hair Color: Brown

Profession: Hunter-
a special forces operative for the government

Special
Abilities/Talents:
Able to mimic the talents of others

Why he is the Most Kissable Character: It may be cliché, but having him throw his life on the line for the girl
he loves just makes us want to bite that sexy bottom lip

Purchase Talented by Sophie Davis at Amazon

Ready to vote? 

CLICK HERE to vote for who YOU think is the Most Kissable Character!

Check back on February 14th to see who won and for an excerpt or a sneak peek from the winning author! 

authors (in order of character appearance in this blog): Lissa Bryan, T.M. Franklin, LV Lewis, Lindsey Gray, Andrea Goodson, Angel Lawson, N.K.Smith, Allie Jean, Kahlen Aymes, Sophie Davis