Book Blitz & Excerpt: Tomorrow’s Hero + Giveaway

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Tomorrow’s Hero, by Thom Collins

Word Count: 32,214
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 127

Genres:

CELEBRITIES
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI
SPORTS

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Book Description

A professional footballer with a secret. Can love conquer a lifetime of fear?

On the surface, international football star Fernando Inglesias has the perfect life—his dream career, fame, wealth and a beautiful girlfriend on his arm. At twenty-nine, Fernando has it all, but success is fragile, and one mistake could destroy everything. Fernando has a secret he will never share, something that could destroy everything he’s worked hard to achieve. There are no openly gay male footballers in the professional league, and he has no intention of becoming the first.

Ibiza…the party playground of Europe—a hedonistic island where anything is possible. On a weekend trip with the boys, love is the last thing Fernando expects to find. A chance meeting with Joshua, a handsome English visitor, changes it all. For the first time, he finds himself interested in more than sex from another guy. As Fernando and Joshua grow closer, the stakes are high on both sides as they struggle to overcome their personal differences.

Can Fernando risk his career for the sake of loving another man?

Reader advisory: This book contains themes of homophobia, a mention of suicide and references to parental neglect and abuse.

Excerpt

By eleven p.m. on Friday night, the stag party had been hard at it for thirty-eight straight hours. Since they’d arrived at the airport yesterday morning, they’d been on a relentless mission to get wasted, knocking back beers with vodka chasers before boarding the flight. Now Marc, the groom, had his hand up the skirt and his tongue down the throat of a girl he’d met less than an hour before. The best man had another woman pressed against the wall, while the tell-tale jerk of her shoulder made it clear she was giving him an over-the-trouser hand job.

Fernando Inglesias watched the tawdry display going on all around him and wondered, not for the first time that day, what the hell he was doing there. He barely knew Marc Jenner, and from what he’d seen of the groom so far, he intended to keep it that way. The rest of the group were just as bad—entitled, overgrown schoolboys behaving like this was their first trip away from home. Fernando had come along for the sake of his friend and teammate Robson, the only guy on this trip he gave a stuff about. Now Robson had his arm around the shoulder of a woman in a transparent dress. There was no need for Robson to stare so obviously at her enhanced breasts when everyone in the place could see them.

And now the women—a large hen-party they’d met in the previous bar—had tagged along and made themselves a permanent fixture. Lured by the promise of free drinks and VIP club access, it was obvious they would stick with the guys for the rest of the night, perhaps even the weekend.

Fernando knew before the flight had left London that he’d made a mistake in accepting the invitation. It had been pure hell from the start. He would make sure he was unavailable for the wedding, whenever that was.

He flinched as one of the women from the hen party made a grab for his crotch. He ducked his hips just in time to keep her from getting a good handful.

“Aww, don’t be a spoilsport,” she said, pressing her breasts against him and thrusting her knee up the inside of his thigh. “I only wanna see what all the fuss is about. Know what I mean?” Her screechy laugh cut above the unrelenting beat of generic house music.

Fernando tried to pull away, but the woman would not be shaken. She put an arm around his waist and pushed her body tight against his. She reeked of cloying, overbearing perfume and gin. Fernando turned his head to avoid the worst of the smell. Like all drunks, she had no concept of how loud she was being.

“Wass-a-matter with ya?” she shouted in his ear. “You’re in Ibiza, ain’t ya? Everyone comes here to party. Don’t be so stuck up.”

She ground her body against him almost in time with the music. Fernando looked around for help, for someone to save him from this awful woman, but all the other men in his party were enthralled by the girls. They probably thought he was having a great time.

Fernando groaned. He didn’t fit in with anyone here. Even Robson had turned into a different person since hooking up with these idiots. They had been drinking since they’d surfaced around noon and made no attempt to hide it when they took a hit of cocaine to revive their flagging spirits. He’d avoided them for much of the day, working out in the hotel gym before catching some quiet time around the pool in the afternoon, but there had been no getting out of joining them this evening. When they’d finally hit the town, Fernando had been the only sober member of the group.

“They call me Becca,” the woman hollered, fluttering her false eyelashes. She licked her lips, gazing at him lasciviously. “I know who you are. I’ve seen you in the magazines—gossip sites and all that. Always thought you was hot, but man, those pictures don’t do you justice.” She giggled, an obvious attempt at coyness. “You are so much sexier in the flesh.”

Fernando clenched his teeth. This was exactly what he didn’t want—being recognised from the trashy celebrity magazines his girlfriend paraded them through, rather than as the international striker he was. Those mags were devoured by people like Becca, who seemed to believe every word they read.

“It’s not true, is it?” she persisted. “That you’re getting married to that Pritti Parlow?”

“No,” he said, looking for an escape. The bar was packed, and he’d somehow got hemmed into the corner. He saw several camera phones trained on him and Becca. Great. A photo like that could be used to support any bullshit story the gossip sites cared to invent.

“Good,” Becca said, pressing closer. “Cause you can do much better than her. Know what I’m saying? I don’t think she’s all that special. You see her everywhere, but I don’t even think she’s that pretty, which is funny considering her name. It’s all false, ain’t it? Her tits, her hair, lips… None of it’s real. I mean, no offence and all that, but I just say what I see.”

Fernando raised his eyebrows. With her frozen forehead and the duck-like shape of her mouth, Becca’s own brand of beauty was far from natural. “I have to go. Excuse me.”

Becca gripped him tighter. “I’m a model,” she continued, undeterred. “Glamour, corporate entertaining, you know the kind of thing. I’m a friend of the bride.” She gave a dismissive wave in the direction of a woman in a pink tutu and veil. “Sort of. More a friend of a friend, but who’s gonna turn down a trip to Ibiza? It’s fucking insane, ain’t it? I love it here. Don’t you, hon?”

Fernando yanked his arm out of her grip. “It was nice meeting you,” he said without conviction. “I have to go now.”

She appeared panicked, reaching for him again, but he shrugged her off. “Why don’t I come with you? How does that sound? You and me? We could go somewhere nice and quiet. Maybe your hotel.”

“No thanks.”

“I give the best blow jobs,” she shouted, spraying him with spittle. “All the guys love it. I can suck your balls dry and make your toes curl. And that’s just for starters. First night anal. I’m that kind of girl. I guarantee a good time—the best you’ll find this weekend.”

“You know I have a girlfriend.”

“But she ain’t here, is she? What she don’t know about won’t hurt her. Besides, if it’s only a blowie, like, it hardly counts as anything, does it? An’ in Ibiza at that.”

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About the Author

Thom Collins

Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, with Pride Publishing. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and promptly confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.

Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonkbusters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but since taking his first cruise in 2013 he realized that sailing is the way to go.

You can take a look at Thom’s Blog and follow him on Twitter.

Giveaway

Enter to win a signed paperback copy of North Point (Jagged Shored Book 1)

 

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Two Different Sides + Giveaway

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Two Different Sides, by L.A. Tavares

Word Count:  79,684
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 306

GENRES:

 CELEBRITIES
CHICK LIT
CONTEMPORARY
ROMANCE

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Book Description

All bets are off.

Blake Mathews is out of luck.

The music, the fame, the love of his life… They’re not enough for him. His tendency to make large bets at expensive tables could cost him everything—the band, the money and the girl.

Blake thought things couldn’t get any worse, but he lost that bet too. Someone from his past shows up after a decade of silence with new information about who Blake is, where he came from and the fact that he has family who is closer than he thinks.

Told on two different timelines—now and then—the story recounts the upbringing of the bass guitarist and his friend, lead singer Xander Varro, dating back to the two meeting, starting the band and the trouble and triumphs that unfold as the two grow to the present-day versions of themselves.

For Blake, history tends to repeat itself, but with the help of his band, the girl he’s been chasing since his teen years and the family he didn’t know he had, the chance to break the dark cycles is in the cards for him, if he chooses to play the game.

Reader advisory: This book deals with a gambling addiction and parental abandonment. This book is best read in order as part of the Consistenty Inconsistent series.

Excerpt

It was about damn time I took things into my own hands.

I’ve loved her for too long and have nothing to show for it. For years I’ve admired her from afar and she’s given me none of her time and even less of her heart, yet she holds mine in her hands. She always has.

Touring and being on the road is exactly what I always wanted, but I wouldn’t have any of it without her—in more ways than she even knows.

Now, I stand outside the doors of The Rock Room, ready to give the performance of a lifetime without ever stepping on the stage at all.

The doors creak as I push them open and strut across the venue floor. My steps echo and my heart rate quickens. She’s on the stage walking back and forth in heeled knee-high boots. Her blonde hair falls in curls down her back.

“Kelly!” My voice echoes as it leaves my throat and bounces off the walls of the empty venue. She looks at me and her mouth parts, but I don’t give her time to speak. I have to get this out. If I don’t say the words now, I never will. “I have loved you since the first time I saw you. I’ve never been able to give my heart to anyone else because it has always only been yours. I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to get your attention and the truth is, I’ll keeping wasting it if you ask me to. I will wait for you, but I’m hoping you won’t make me.”

There is a long pause. She’s completely still—unmoving and holding her breath. I swallow, hoping she speaks because…I’ve got nothing else.

“Blake,” she says, my name echoing through the venue. “Can we…can we do this later? We’re auditioning musicians for the house band…” She lifts her hand and points to the seats where bodies fill the spaces that I’d assumed were vacant. I rub my hand at the back of my neck while my cheeks flush something fierce. With no other option, I turn on my heel, leaving without the girl but with my fill of embarrassment for the next few years.

I slam the doors open and stomp through a two-day-old puddle in the alley behind The Rock Room, but the doors reopen and she runs out behind me, her boots hitting the water as she heads toward me.

“Blake.”

“No, it’s fine. I don’t know what I was thinking—”

“Do you ever stop talking?” She grabs the collar of my leather jacket, pushes my body against the cold brick wall, then pulls me toward her—against her—and places her mouth on mine in a kiss that was more than worth the wait.

“I’ll come by tonight,” she says through the kiss. “I have to go back to work.”

“Mmm, you should quit.” I keep her close to me.

“Not a chance.” She steps away, adjusting her clothes and hair before giving me a smile over her shoulder and heading back inside. I slide down the brick wall and sit in the alleyway. Though the ground is wet and cold, this all feels too good to be true—a dream.

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About the Author

L. A. Tavares

When it comes to romance, L A doesn’t have a type. Sometimes it’s dark and devastating, sometimes it’s soft and simple – truly, it just depends what her imaginary friends are doing at the time she starts writing about them.

L A has moved to various parts of the country over the last ten years but her heart has never left Boston.

And no, the “A” does not stand for Anne.

Follow LA on Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaway

Enter to win an ebook copy of One Motion More (Consistently Inconsistent Book 1)

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Love Burns + Giveaway

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Love Burns, By Adrian J. Smith

Word Count: 79,076
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 303

Genres:

CELEBRITIES
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GLBTQI
LESBIAN

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Book Description

A chef must learn to open her heart when challenged by her young but wise nanny, who has a knack for turning up the heat.

Kimberly Thompson—or Kim Burns, her stage name—is a celebrity chef whose career is taking off. As a single mom who has a penchant for being a bit of a bitch, she goes through nannies like the flavor of the month until Becca Kline is sent to her by Kiddie Academy.

Becca—known as ‘the fixer’—is often sent to homes considered to be troublemakers. In charge of caring for four-year-old Michael, she is determined to make this job her last before student teaching in the fall and finishing up her degree, which she has been working on for the better part of a decade.

Neither Kimberly nor Becca are prepared for the changes headed toward them, and they both have to learn the hard way that love doesn’t wait or discriminate.

Reader advisory: This book contains references to drug use.

Excerpt

Becca carefully set the last of her picture frames into the cardboard box then shoved two shirts around them, making sure they were tight against the sides. Folding over the flaps, she pressed down lightly as she pulled the packing tape across to seal the box. This day had come far sooner than she had hoped, but the twins she had watched over for the past year were officially on track with life, and she was no longer needed. It was time for them and her to move on.

The agency, Kiddie Academy, was sending her to a new home. They had warned her it would most likely be a temporary position. No one lasted long at this appointment. Becca had heard the rumors before Kiddie Academy had even decided to send her there. The other nannies all talked, all shared, and she had seen a vast number of women go through that house in just two short years.

Nerves ramped up in her belly as she picked up the box and walked it out in a light March rain to her run-down car. After opening the back door, she slid it in, her entire life fitting into the small sedan. Sighing and brushing away a few tears, Becca went to the house, triple-checked that she had everything, then set the alarm and left. All her goodbyes had been said, and this was how she’d wanted it—quiet and without fanfare.

Slipping behind the wheel, Becca turned the engine and backed out of the drive. A year had been a good run, her longest nanny position yet, but it was time for a new life—perhaps her last before she finally finished her degree. She was the fixer, the one who went into struggling homes and helped the kids turn around. That was what her employer Kiddie Academy called her, anyway. With a steadying breath, Becca headed to the address on the files she’d acquired, ready to begin her new job.

When she pulled up outside the house, she was gobsmacked. The house itself was beautiful, but it was also huge. This was the upper class. They routinely had nannies and maids who were live-ins and had their own sections of the house. That was why she’d opted to work for those families, to cut down her costs, pay more for school—that’d been her theory, anyway.

But this house? There was something different about it. The tans and browns blended together to look like a vast desert in the middle of a rainforest because of the number of trees and shrubs and green things that surrounded the building. Stepping out of her car, the glimmer of the sun off the waters in the pool caught her eye. She took a step to the side of the house to get a better look and let out a deep breath. Clenching her jaw, Becca flipped through the papers in her hand again and looked for the name of her new employer.

Kimberly Thompson.

Something about it rang a bell, but she couldn’t place the name. Still, the niggling feeling in the back of her mind didn’t leave. Turning on her toes, Becca headed for the front door. Nerves swelled in her belly, but she tamped them down before pressing the bell. The ring echoed through the house. There was a loud thump then pattering feet as their owner no doubt raced toward the door.

Becca heard a small voice on the other side, squeaky but clear.

“Can I open it, Mama? Can I? Can I?”

“Wait until I get there, please. You know better than to just open doors for strangers.”

“But can I open it?”

Becca smiled to herself, knowing she’d likely have the same conversation with any child in her care. It was only a few more seconds before the handle turned and the left side of the French door snicked open a crack, revealing the bright brown eyes and red cheeks of a small, cheery boy. Becca planted the softest smile she could on her face and bent down to his level.

“Afternoon,” she offered. “I’m Becca. You must be Michael.”

“Open it all the way, kid.” The woman’s voice, still behind the door, was solid and strong, but her admonition to Michael was said with a tone of love.

Michael shoved the door the rest of the way open, the door itself flinging rapidly toward the wall. A small hand with thick, short fingers caught it before it slammed to a stop.

“Michael…we don’t open doors like that.”

“Who are you?” His small voice was full of curiosity. He completely ignored the beautiful woman now standing fully revealed before Becca.

Becca had to work hard to pry her eyes away from her, but she managed to glance again at Michael and hold her hand out for him. “I’m Becca. It’s good to meet you.”

The woman stepped behind Michael and pressed her fingers to his shoulder in a protective manner. “Are you from Kiddie Academy?”

“I am.” Becca straightened her back and turned her smile toward whom she presumed was Kimberly, her new employer, hoping it would disarm some of the hostility coming off her in waves. “I know I’m a little early.”

Kimberly waved her away before stepping forward and extending her own hand. “It’s all right. I’m Kim. This is Michael. We just finished dinner. Come on in. Michael can give you the grand tour while I clean up.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Becca put her focus on Michael as she swallowed the lump in her throat. First impressions were everything, and while she was there for Michael, her impressions of Kimberly mattered far more, since she was the source of Kiddie Academy’s problems. “What are you going to show me first?”

Michael bounced on his bare feet briefly before running inside. “My room!”

Chuckling, Becca waited for Kimberly to move to the side so she could come in, but Kimberly hesitated. Their eyes locked, and Becca found herself lost in the pale hazel with a hint of yellow. Becca raised an eyebrow and cocked her head to the side, surprised when Kimberly jerked and held her hand open for Becca to walk through the doorway.

As soon as Becca was inside with Kimberly behind her, out of her immediate sight, she was able to relax briefly. But she was just as lost as ever. Michael was nowhere to be found, and the inside of the house matched the outside. It was huge. The living area took over most of what she could see, and from there, all she saw was a kitchen.

Kimberly stepped beside her. “His room is down the hall off the kitchen. Third door on the left.”

“Right. Thanks.”

Becca headed away from Kimberly, hoping she’d masked the shudder racing up her spine. The niggling feeling that she knew Kimberly came back sharply, but Becca ignored it and focused on Michael—the main reason she was there. She knocked on the door and grinned.

“You left so fast that I missed where you went. You must be as fast as Flash!”

Michael stopped where he stood and cocked his head to the side, the toy tractor slipping from his fingers onto the floor. “Who’s Flash?”

“What? You don’t know who Flash is?”

Michael shook his head. Becca stepped onto the carpet and curled her legs under her to sit down on the floor in front of him. She grabbed the tractor and set it the right way. “Flash is the fastest man alive. He was struck by lightning, and he became as fast as lightning. He can run for days and never stop. He can run so fast that you can’t see him.”

“Is he a superhero?”

“He sure is.”

“Cool!” Michael plopped down on the floor and grabbed the controller for his tractor. He drove it in circles around Becca, and she laughed as he ran into things and narrowly avoided her. Occasionally, she would pretend she was scared he was going to scoop her up and dump her somewhere else. Michael roared with laughter as he attempted to run her over.

Becca had no idea how much time had passed, but when she glanced out of the window after hearing footsteps down the hall, she realized it was dusk. She glanced around the room for a clock, found none then looked at her watch. “Michael, do you suppose it’s getting close to bedtime?”

He sheepishly crossed his legs and looked down at his hands in his lap. “I guess.”

“Do you think we should clean up your toys before bed, so your room is nice and clean in the morning?”

“I guess…” he muttered.

Becca smirked and picked up the tractor. “Where does this go?”

He jumped up, took it from her and put it in a cubby against the wall. It didn’t take them long before the room was cleaned, and when he turned to look toward the door and not Becca, Becca was taken off-guard.

“We cleaned my room!” He beamed.

“That you did.” Kimberly’s voice was like silk, floating over Becca’s skin and warming her. “Did you show Becca anywhere else other than your room?”

“Ummm. I did.”

Becca glanced up in time to see Kimberly give Michael a look that meant business. “Did you?”

“No. We just played.”

The smile that brushed Kimberly’s lips was one of pure love. “Why don’t you get changed into your jammies, and I will show Becca the rest of the house.”

“Okay!”

He jumped up without another question. Becca, however, rolled to her side then got up to her feet. When she stood, facing the door, she found herself within an arm’s reach of Kimberly. Her heart rate ratcheted up and her breath left her lungs.

“This way.”

The curt tone was back, and Becca couldn’t figure out if it was just her Kimberly wasn’t liking or if she was like this with everyone. Doubling down on her efforts, Becca knew she’d have to make progress, otherwise her name would end up back on the available list like everyone else who had been through this house.

Becca followed Kimberly the way she had come before, her eyes focused on Kimberly’s swaying hips. Kimberly had generous curves and a rounded butt covered by skin-tight leggings. Her shirt billowed a little more as she moved, her dark hair straight down her back.

“There’s a bathroom at the end of the hall that Michael uses. The kitchen’s here, living area… There is a den down that hall, along with two guest rooms. There’s also the sunroom that leads to the pool that way. Michael is not allowed near the pool or in the backyard without you or me. You are CPR trained, correct?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Becca answered.

Kimberly wrinkled her nose. “No need for that. You can call me Kim.”

“Kim. Kim Burns.” The click in Becca’s head was nearly audible. “You’re Kim Burns. How did I not put that together?”

Kimberly hummed to herself. “I am. Didn’t think you recognized me. I tell Kiddie Academy not to share, so I’m not surprised they didn’t tell you. That, and Burns is my maiden name, not my married name.”

Becca’s eyes widened again, her muscles locking up with a touch of fear and worry. “I’m so sorry. I should have recognized you. I’ve seen your cooking show.”

“I don’t expect people to know who I am, but thank you.”

Becca grinned and winked. “I didn’t say I liked your show. I just said I’d seen it.”

Kimberly smirked, and it was the first time Becca felt she’d made a chink in Kimberly’s thick and solid armor. It was a small one, but a chink at that. Kimberly pushed open the door to a room down a hallway the complete opposite direction from Michael’s.

“This is your wing…bedroom and bathroom. You’ll have to share the kitchen with us. I do apologize for that, but I rarely cook when I’m home.”

“Don’t blame you for that. I can’t imagine cooking all day then coming home after work and wanting to cook again.”

Kimberly let out a snort. “Exactly. We can discuss everything else once you get a bit more settled and once Michael is asleep. I’d rather not mess up his routine any more than necessary.”

“Absolutely. I’ll just bring in my stuff then.”

“Here’s a key.” Kimberly held out the single key between her thumb and forefinger, dangling it in front of Becca. “I’ve got a file for you with the alarm code and everything else that you’ll need to know.”

“Got it.” Becca reached forward and held her hand open so Kimberly could drop the key into her palm. She would much prefer to avoid touching Kimberly if at all possible. Something about her set Becca’s nerves on fire.

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About the Author

Adrian J. Smith

Adrian J. Smith has been publishing since 2013 but has been writing nearly her entire life. With a focus on women loving women fiction, AJ jumps genres from action-packed police procedurals to the seedier life of vampires and witches to sweet romances with a May-December twist. She loves writing and reading about women in the midst of the ordinariness of life. Two of her novels received honorable mentions with the Rainbow Awards.

AJ currently lives in Cheyenne, WY, although she moves often and has lived all over the United States. She loves to travel to different countries and places. She currently plays the roles of author, wife, mother to two rambunctious toddlers, and occasional handy-woman. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or her blog.

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Adrian J. Smith Love Burns Giveaway

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