Category Archives: Spotlight

New Release Spotlight: One Wrong Turn by Deanna Lynne Sletten

Title: One Wrong Turn by Deanna Lynne Sletten
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 206 pages

Summary:

Author Deanna Lynn Sletten returns with an unforgettable novel about one man’s crisis of self and his greatest act of love.

The words “I’m her husband” roll off Clay Connors’s tongue, but with his estranged wife lying in a coma—and no assurance that she’ll awaken—he knows he’s perilously close to losing everything. A singular, terrifying accident has left Jess Connors suspended between life and death. Now Clay is reunited with the family he hasn’t seen for two years, including the daughters he left behind.

Clay should have been there for his family. He never should have stayed away so long. The alcohol that took over his life destroyed everything but a shred of his self-preservation. Sober and haunted, Clay revisits the memory of love, marriage, and how his life unraveled. He hopes that by trying to reconnect with the daughter who blames him and the daughter who barely knew him, he can find a light of hope in this darkest hour. As his family faces its most grueling, emotional test yet, Clay must summon the courage to make right what was wrong—and find forgiveness from his harshest judge: himself.

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Author Bio

Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women’s fiction and romance novels. She began her writing career self-publishing novels in 2012 and has since published several novels. Her latest novel, One Wrong Turn, is her third book published by Lake Union Publishing. Deanna believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, and happily ever after, and her novels reflect that.

Deanna lives in a small town in northern Minnesota and is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Amazon Author Page

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Spotlight: The Secrets of Married Women by Carol Mason

Title: The Secrets of Married Women by Carol Mason
Available June 22, 2017
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 229 pages

Summary:

When Jill’s husband discovers he can never have children, it tears a hole in their marriage that Jill doesn’t know how to repair. Frustrated, she seeks comfort in her friends: fierce Leigh, with her high-powered career and doting family, and sweet, uncomplicated Wendy, who has a rock-solid marriage any woman would envy.

Leigh and Wendy’s lives seem perfect. But beneath the surface are secrets that could tear their friendship apart.

Leigh has grown tired of her stay-at-home husband and is looking for excitement—outside of the marriage bed. And after seventeen years of marriage, Wendy can’t shake the sense that there is something missing in her life.

As Jill is drawn deeper into her friends’ relationships, she is confronted by a temptation of her own: an intriguing stranger whose good looks and charm spark an instant connection.

Full of the realities of modern-day marriage, The Secrets of Married Women asks the question: how well can we ever know our husbands, our friends, or even ourselves?

Revised edition: This edition of Secrets Of Married Women includes editorial revisions.

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Release Day Spotlight: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Title: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Women’s Fiction
Length: 352 pages

Summary:

Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge–until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents–but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals–in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country–Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Read my review HERE.

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Author Bio

Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker, and bestselling author of more than twenty novels. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, The Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Booklovers Reviewer’s Choice Award.

The group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with six others as recipients of the National Civics Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Booklist summed up her work by saying, “Lisa Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller.” More information about her novels can be found at www.lisawingate.com.

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Tour Stop: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

Title: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 368 pages

Summary:

In the spirit of A Man Called Ove and Good Grief—a poignant, funny, and utterly believable novel about life and loss.

Give grief a chance . . .

Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years—ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing. She can now get her two girls to school, show up to work, and watch TV like a pro. The only problem is she’s becoming overwhelmed with being underwhelmed.

At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks—like actually being called upon to draw whale genitalia. Oh, and there’s that vegetable-gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently, being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally. Wallowing around in compost on a Saturday morning can’t be much worse than wallowing around in pajamas and self-pity.

After recruiting her kids and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles botanical garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover—with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners—is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not…

READERS GUIDE INCLUDED

Read my review HERE.

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Author Links: Website * Twitter * Goodreads

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Release Day Spotlight & Giveaway: Feels Like the First Time by Marina Adair

Title: Feels Like the First Time by Marina Adair
Destiny Bay Series Book Two
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages

Summary:

What’s wrong with a little white lie?

There are a lot of things Ali Marshal doesn’t do: pink anything, a day without chocolate, and Hawk, her sister’s ex-husband. Sure, he’s a sexy former NHL star who can make her pulse pound with just a wink. But he belonged to Bridget first. And no matter how long she’s had a crush on him, how great he’s always been to her dad, or that her sister is engaged to someone else now and Ali needs a date to their engagement party, she can’t give in to temptation. Can she?

It’s been years since his disastrous marriage crashed and burned, and Bradley Hawk has finally moved on. So when Bridget blows back into town with her new fiancé, throwing the engagement party of the year, he could care less . . . until Ali tells one little lie that lands him smack dab in a fake relationship. After one promise to be Ali’s date and two of the hottest kisses he’s ever had, Hawk can’t deny how much he wants her. But what happens when this fauxmance starts to feel very, very real?

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THE DESTINY BAY SERIES

LAST KISS OF SUMMER, #1
FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME, #2

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Excerpt

Ali nodded because she needed him more than she needed her next breath.

The intensity of her feelings terrified her. They always had. Even at seventeen she knew what she felt went beyond the run-of-the-mill teenage crush. She’d been in love. Sure, it was a young, simple love, but it was love all the same.

Only he’d loved someone else.

So when he married her sister, she did her best to let him go. But no matter how painful it had been for her, and at times the ache was so acute it had been paralyzing, she was never able to set him completely free. Choosing the pain over the loss.

Now he was back, looking at her how she always looked at him, as if he’d never let go, and Ali gave in to the fantasy. Played out the what-ifs she carried with her for over a decade. He’d been hers for so long, she let herself believe that she was his, too.

He was asking for right here, right now—this she knew. Tomorrow, reality would creep in, and everything would go back to the way it was. But tonight, sitting on this beach, overlooking a world bigger than the two of them, Ali wanted to feel what it was like to be loved by the man who owned her heart.

“I want,” she said.

“What do you want, Aliana?” he whispered, the sound of her name on his lips doing crazy things to her. Crazy girly things that made her feel delicate and desirable.

“I want you.” She trailed her hands down his pecs to that flat stomach and lower, loving how his muscles rippled and curled under her touch. “I want you to pamper me so hard I won’t remember how to walk come morning.”

Hawk’s eyes darkened, and his mouth was on hers. Hard and demanding, and just how she’d imagined. There was no warm-up, no testing the waters. He was kissing her as if he knew what he wanted.

And he wanted Aliana.

Their mouths were fused together, her hands gripping his shoulders for purchase, but his fingers were gentle, languidly exploring her face, her neck, the curve of her shoulder, slowly moving down her arm and bringing the wide neckline of her shirt with him.

He never stopped kissing her, but she felt his lashes flutter open, realized that she’d never closed her own. Then his deep brown eyes locked on hers, watching her as they kissed, and it was erotic and unexpected. As she watched him back, she felt his lips curl into a smile. Could feel the dimples on both cheeks come alive under her touch.

“You like to watch,” Hawk growled, and she felt her cheeks flush.

Ali never considered herself a watcher. But Hawk was such a beautiful and commanding man, she’d never been able to look away. Not even now, when her body was begging for release. He was that good—a simple kiss and she was so turned on, she could feel her body shaking.

That smile turned cocky.

“It’s not like I stand there peering through your bedroom window at night,” she said, leaving out that night he was at the bar. His bedroom window during the morning, when he was walking around after a shower. She was more than guilty.

“I’ve peered through yours.”

And to prove he wasn’t the least bit ashamed, he lowered his head and placed an openmouthed kiss on her shoulder, those eyes of his never leaving hers. Not even when he moved lower toward her collarbone, his mouth working her with a softness that took her by surprise and a reverence that made her feel as if she was precious.

Ali wasn’t sure what to do. Hard, challenging, complicated—that was what she was used to. But this was light, simple—too easy to be real. It confused her as much as it terrified her.


Author Bio

Marina Adair is a #1 National bestselling author of romance novels and holds a Master of Fine arts in creative writing. Along with the Destiny Bay series, she is also the author of the Sugar, Georgia series, the St. Helena Vineyard series, and her new Heroes of St. Helena series. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, and two neurotic cats in Northern California.

As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


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Release Day Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: At Attention by Annabeth Albert

Title: At Attention by Annabeth Albert
Out of Uniform Series Book Two
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Word Count: 73,000

Summary:

Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

Book Two of the Out of Uniform series

This book is approximately 73,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

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Purchase Links: Carina Press * Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo


Excerpt

Hamburger. Onions. Pickles. Ketchup. Buns. Buns.

Well, hello, there. Possibly the most perfect specimen Apollo had ever seen was bent over in the bakery aisle at Sprouts, looking at a rack of organic cookies. High. Tight. Round. Attached to muscular legs poking out of board shorts, the kind of legs that suggested a serious investment in a sport or fitness. He wasn’t going to do more than look, but even when he’d been with Neal, he hadn’t been blind, and it was nice to know perfection like this guy existed in the world.

It was like swimming by a perfect coral reef on a dive or the blue of a cloudless sky right before a jump—

Wink. Fuck. The guy straightened before Apollo could look away and caught Apollo staring, and instead of blushing or serving him with the angry glare he deserved, he gave Apollo a saucy wink. It was the sort of wink that a decade ago would have had Apollo crossing the shiny linoleum and getting the guy’s number, but those days were long gone.

Instead he grabbed the closest twelve pack of hamburger buns and one of hot dog buns and headed to the next aisle. Those were the only kind of buns he had any business letting himself be distracted by. He was a father for crying out loud, not some single guy out treating the natural grocery store like his own personal pickup joint. Reflexively, he rubbed his ring with the side of his pinky, making it spin on his ring finger. Yeah. No more looking.

“Apollo! How are you?” Bridget from down the street almost ran her cart into his as he navigated the aisles. Her red-haired toddler waved at him from the basket.

Hell. He knew he should have brought at least one of the girls shopping. Then Bridget could have focused on the kids, and not his least favorite question in the universe.

“Hanging in there.” Apollo gave her a practiced a smile. “Good” would be a lie and no one wanted to hear “same as yesterday,” which was closer to the truth. But what the Bridgets of the world all wanted to hear was that Apollo was moving on—like time was the magic cure for the hole in his heart. “Having some people over for a barbecue later. Apologies if anyone parks in front of your place.”

“Oh, no worries.” Bridget patted his arm. “Having friends is so important.”

“Yeah, it is,” Apollo agreed because Bridget was a nice person, but inwardly his teeth gnashed together. He was so tired of well-meaning people telling him what was good for him when not a damn one of their suggestions would bring Neal back. “I better get on with my list.”

“You do that. And be sure and let us know if you need anything.”

Apollo nodded. Two years. It had been two years of neighbors and friends stopping him like this, making kind offers, but none of them able to do the one thing he wanted more than anything.

Fuck. Snap out of it, Lieutenant. No one wants your mopey ass around on this sunny May weekend. And it was an absolutely gorgeous day, perfect for playing with the girls outside and kicking back a few beers with his friends. He wasn’t on duty and had three consecutive days off for the first time in a long time. No sense dwelling on sad shit. Time to get stuff done.

Find something else to focus on.

Like that perfect ass?

No. Absolutely not that. Like…pickles. Lots and lots of pickles.

He saw Mr. Perfect Butt again in the juice aisle, and it was damn hard to keep his resolution to stick to shopping. The guy was model cute—curly hair falling just so over his forehead, sparkling eyes, chiseled jaw, and a tight T-shirt advertising a British soccer team showing off a defined chest and tight stomach. The guy smiled at him again and looked like he might want to speak, so Apollo grabbed the juice boxes for the girls and got out of there like he’d just launched a flash bang in the guy’s direction.

At the checkout, Mr. Perfect Butt was ahead of him in the only line that seemed to be moving. Apollo very carefully did not look at his butt again and busied himself grabbing some gum and trying to give off “don’t talk to me” vibes.

But those vibes seemed to be an utter failure as the guy turned, offering another movie-star-worthy grin. “You want to go first?” His voice was husky, like every word was a secret.

“I’m good,” Apollo said.

The man nodded, shy smile teasing the edges of his mouth, making his blue eyes dance. “You know—”

“ID please.” The cashier interrupted whatever flirtation the guy had planned as his six pack of beer went across the scanner.

“Oh, yeah.” A faint red flush spread up the guy’s neck. Oh hell. He wasn’t just younger than Apollo. He was a kid. A kid who still got carded, and rightfully so with that baby face. What the hell had Apollo been thinking, admiring his body?

Apollo focused on unloading his own groceries, making neat rows for the cashier, and making sure the buns wouldn’t get squished.

Buns. Nope. Not going there. The kid hung around after paying for his groceries, mouth moving as if he were debating speaking, but Apollo kept his attention squarely on the cashier.

No more looking. Remember who—what—you are now. When he finally looked up, perfect butt guy was gone, and if Apollo felt a twinge of regret for being a bit on the rude side, he squashed it quickly. Wasn’t like he’d ever see the guy again anyway.

What will Apollo do when he discovers that Perfect Butt guy is his best friend’s little brother? Find out in AT ATTENTION!


Author Bio

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Newsletter * Annabeth’s Angels * Goodreads


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