Spotlight & Excerpt: A Beautiful Fall + Giveaway

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours


A Beautiful Fall
(The North Star Series, #2)
By Laurie Winter
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 243 Pages
March 9, 2021

He resists putting down roots. Fear keeps her planted in place. By opening their hearts, they could offer each other the world.

Nina Pettit left behind fame and trauma when she moved from Boston to Polaris, Utah. She changed her last name and went into hiding to enjoy a quiet life. Instead of performing on stage as a professional cellist, she now teaches music to children. When a handsome traveling private duty nurse arrives to care for Nina’s elderly neighbor, she finds herself drawn to the charming man.

Colin Moynahan’s rough boxing days are long behind him. His job as a private duty nurse allows him to travel the world. While working in Polaris, he’s introduced to Nina, and an attraction ignites. As he learns about her past, he promises to care and protect her for as long as his temporary stay in Polaris allows.

But when innocent flirtation turns to deeper feelings, the lines between them blur. Colin has resisted establishing roots while Nina’s fear keeps her firmly planted. As threats to Nina reappear in the form of the man she’d help send to jail, Colin returns to fighting mode, willing to sacrifice it all for the woman he loves.

***content warning for stalking, kidnapping, and brief remembered physical abuse***

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Excerpt:

Nina avoided talking about the time in her life when music was everything. With Colin, though, she’d offer a small peek. “I played the cello…and studied music education at Juilliard.” Inhaling deeply, she attempted to block out any memory of Erich, but it was no use. He was always hidden in the recesses of her mind. His demands she play only for him still echoed in her head. The memory made her sick.

She’d dated Erich after her graduation from Julliard. He’d seen her final solo performance at the school and sent her flowers the next morning. He was older and sophisticated, and Nina was totally taken in by his charms.

Six months of dating went by before she recognized the pattern of his abusive control. Especially regarding her music. By then, he’d become her sponsor and the center of her musical world. When she broke off their relationship, she soon discovered his confident demeanor disguised a brutal obsession.
The day Erich was convicted of assault, kidnapping, and involuntary manslaughter, she locked her cello case away for good. Her love of playing had been permanently corrupted.

Nina closed her eyes and pushed away the toxic feelings. She reopened them to the gorgeous sight of Colin.

The corners of his mouth lifted with a small grin. “I can picture you as a cellist.”

“I teach music at the Polaris elementary and high school, but haven’t played myself in years.”

Other Books in the Series


This Christmas
(The North Star Series, #1)
By Laurie Winter
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 240 Pages
October 20, 2020

‘A beautiful story of loss and new love, set in a snow-capped mountain ski resort town.’

Celia Batista waited a long time for all three of her sons to be together for Christmas. But after one of her identical twins disappears without a trace, Celia must rely on Police Captain Luke Veldkamp for help. Despite Luke’s accusations that her other twin son is involved with organized crime, she falls for the handsome, Stetson wearing cop.

Luke Veldkamp is facing his first Christmas after the loss of his wife, working nonstop to avoid the holidays and his grief. His daughter, who’d moved home to care for her mom before her passing, pushes him to face his pain. Luke pushes back, telling her to return to college and regain her own life. If his own strife isn’t enough, the mission to locate the missing son of his beautiful neighbor grows more personal than any other case.

While Luke and Celia fight to keep their families from falling apart, they find comfort and strength in one another. And when love blooms between their children, Luke and Celia’s own relationship takes root and grows. But Celia is used to living on her own terms, and loving a man who has isolated his heart is a risk too great. Now, Luke must either confront his emotions or face a life without the woman he’s come to love.

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About the Author

Laurie Winter’s head has always been full of stories. Then a dream gave her the inspiration to put her thought into written words, sharing a part of her heart and soul. Now, she creates authentic characters who overcome the odds and find true love. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, daughter, and rescue dog. Please connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Bookbub.

Website | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a print copy of This Christmas or A Beautiful Fall (winner’s choice), a $25 Amazon gift card and a bag of Lindor milk chocolate truffles (US only)

Ends March 24, 2021

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Release Blitz & Excerpt: Plenty of Fish in the Sicilian Sea + Giveaway

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Plenty of Fish in the Sicilian Sea
by Stefania Hartley

Heat Rating: Simmering

Sexometer: 1
Word Count: 43,630
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 179
Genres: CHICK LIT, COMEDY AND HUMOUR, CONTEMPORARY, EROTIC ROMANCE, THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE

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Book Description

 

Sicilian marine biologist Serena Ingotta has never understood men, but when she uncovers a mafia factory polluting the sea, it only adds to the things that confuse her.

Twenty-four-year-old Sicilian scientist Serena Ingotta has always misunderstood men, from her workaholic anti-mafia judge father to the Catholic seminarian she’s hopelessly in love with. Interning in a marine biology lab alongside her irritating colleague Enrico, she discovers an illegal polluting factory that is possibly connected with the mafia.

When it turns out that their boss is going to cover up the story, she publicly denounces him at a science conference and gets expelled from the lab. Alone and ostracized, Serena’s attempts to find love and expose the factory seem to be failing epically until she finally realizes that everything she has been searching for was just under her nose.

Reader advisory: This book contains instances of minors with firearms.

Excerpt

Serena jangled the lab keys inside her bag and smiled. The cheerful clink told her that, even without a salary, a job description or a coat peg, she belonged there. The sound echoed in the silent corridor. There was no tapping of wooden soles, no irritated voices, no whispered gossip at that time in the morning. There was just her, the pickled coelacanths and the embalmed, startled pufferfish to greet her through the glass cabinets.

She stuck the key into the lab door and tried to turn it, but it was already unlocked. Strange… I’m usually the first in. As she opened the door, she found the tall green shutters gaping open and a gust of wind slammed the windows shut with a tinkling of glass.

“Hi, Sery!”

“Enrico?” He was perched on his stool, hunched over the wooden workbench with his grubby lab coat unbuttoned, as attractive as the Hunchback of Notre Dame. He straightened, turned toward her and blinked as if he were only just waking up. He usually turned up around ten o’clock. “How come you’re here so early?”

“Just to spook you. No, not really. I just suddenly thought, Shit, we have to finish our research by the end of the week, and I freaked out. Are you freaked out too?”

“A bit. Mostly about your sudden interest in our work. I thought I’d never get any help from you.”

He smiled. “I’m here to the rescue, baby.” He thrust a fist in the air, and Serena groaned inwardly. He was even wearing a Superman T-shirt.

She took off her motorbike helmet and put it down on the floor under the coat pegs. “Maybe we’ll get our own pegs after the conference.”

He shook his head. Coat pegs were for staff, not unpaid interns. “I wouldn’t hold my breath, Sery. We’re out of filter paper and we can’t order more until next year’s funding arrives. I don’t think either of us is getting a job here anytime soon.”

“Hold on. If we’re out of filter paper, what are you using for filtering?” she asked, pointing to the funnel dripping a red liquid into a conical flask on their workbench.

“Hand towels.” He grinned.

She clutched her head. “You can’t do that! No wonder our results—”

“Just joking.” He grinned, winking. “I’ve cut the discs in half so we have enough. If you pour carefully, they do the job just fine.”

“Please, don’t make a joke like that again. Not now.” They only had until Friday to persuade their boss to submit their research to the upcoming Marine Biology Conference. If they presented their research at the conference, they could put it on their CVs and maybe they’d get a research bursary or—if dreams ever came true—a permanent research position. Two years of unpaid work in Schettino’s lab would not have been in vain. “Right. Let’s get to work.”

By the time Giovanna and Titti arrived after dropping their kids off at school, Serena and Enrico had dissected the fish samples, isolated the gill tissues and filtered the extracts. Giovanna and Titti were research associates—with coat pegs, name badges and monthly salaries—but they were too nice for Serena to wish that they accidentally cut their own heads off while dissecting a fish so that she could have their jobs.

Cornetti to see us through today,” Giovanna announced, putting down a parcel wrapped with the paper from the café downstairs on a nearby bench. The heavenly buttery scent of the Italian croissants temporarily flushed the smell of the fish samples from the room. Yes, Giovanna is definitely too lovely to hate.

“Shall we have a break?” Enrico suggested hopefully.

“I want to see the spectrophotometer’s results first, but you can,” Serena said.

Enrico hesitated but picked up a cuvette with fish juice instead of a cornetto with custard and walked over to the spectrophotometer in the far corner of the room. Enrico called out the machine’s readings and Serena entered them into her laptop.

“How are things going here?” Professor Schettino suddenly appeared behind them. The boss never arrived before eleven o’clock. He must be early because of the conference deadline.

“We’re getting together the last results,” Enrico said confidently.

“Great. I want to see all your results by lunchtime.”

“Sure.”

After that deadline was issued, the cornetti weren’t mentioned anymore.

Just before midday, Schettino shouted from his office, “Enrico, Serena, are you done?”

They looked at each other. “Almost!” Enrico called back.

It was a very early ‘lunchtime’ for Italy. They entered the last few results into their table and clicked on the button that would create a curve of best fit. But what came out was not a curve by any standard.

“I’ve calibrated the machine three times!” Enrico protested, waving his arm in the air.

“I don’t think our results are wrong. The repeats are very close to each other.”

“Then why does our data make no sense?”

“It does make sense. Negative results disprove the hypothesis.”

Enrico twisted his mouth. “Negative results aren’t exciting enough to be presented at a conference.”

“Schettino will agree that science doesn’t have to be sensational. Come… Let’s show him.” She got up with her laptop and marched to Schettino’s office-cave. Enrico followed her. “Here are our results,” she announced, putting her laptop down on their boss’ desk, which was scattered with printouts crossed through and scribbled on in red pen. Enrico stopped on the threshold and leaned against the door jamb.

Schettino adjusted his reading glasses, put down the red pen and looked intently at the graph. “Ah,” he said, pushing his wheelie chair back and dropping his glasses to look intently at Serena.

Serena waited for a more comprehensive comment, possibly with some indication of his appreciation.

“So, what’s your conclusion?” he asked, shrugging.

“That there’s no correlation between heavy metal concentration in fish and distance from the shore.”

Enrico stepped into the room. “We’ve calibrated the instruments before every batch of measurements, we’ve repeated each reading at least three times and…we’ve worn gloves.”

“Uhm”—Schettino pursed his lips—“perhaps you need to plot against depth instead of distance from the shore.”

“Why? What’s wrong with our results as they are?” This was not how she had imagined the conversation would go.

“Not impressive enough to go to a conference. The selection committee won’t give you even a five-minute slot to present it. Nobody is interested in you having an idea and proving that it was wrong, Serena. I don’t care what you plot your results against, so long as you find a correlation of some sort. Otherwise, I won’t submit your work to the conference. It’s as simple as that.” He stood up, which made him a lot taller than her—but not Enrico.

“But the submission deadline is on Friday,” Enrico protested.

“You don’t have to come to this conference. There’ll be many others.”

But we’ve worked for two years with the promise of being allowed to submit to this conference.

“We’ll turn the research around by Friday.”

Schettino smiled. “I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

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About the Author

Stefania Hartley

Stefania Hartley, also known as The Sicilian Mama, was born in Sicily and immediately started growing, but not very much. She left her sunny island after falling head over heels in love with an Englishman, and she’s lived all over the world with him and their three children.

Having finally learnt English, she enjoyed it so much that she started writing stories and nobody has been able to stop her since. She loves to write about hot and sunny places like her native Sicily, and she especially likes it when people fall in love.

Her short stories have been longlisted, commended and won prizes. Plenty of Fish in the Sicilian Sea is her second novel, after Sun, Stars and Limoncello.

You can find out more about Stefania on her website, and on the Sicilian Mama’s Blog. You can also listen to Stefania’s podcast.

Giveaway

Enter to win a fabulous gift package and a FREE Stefania Hartley romance book!

Stefania Hartley’s Plenty of Fish in the Sicilian Sea

STEFANIA HARTLEY IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GRAB YOUR FREE STEFANIA HARTLEY ROMANCE BOOK! Notice: This competition ends on 26th January 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

Spotlight & Excerpt: Caught in His Webb + Giveaway

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Caught in His Webb
The Love Connection Book 2
by Sean D. Young
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Sara Simmons has no desire to go into law or politics, so her brothers will continue the family’s legacy of prestige and honor. Making her mark on the world with high fashion has always been her dream. Taking her shot, she is threatened by a situation that could not only ruin her career, but her family’s reputation. There’s only one person she can run to for help and keep her secret too…Derrick “Spyder” Webb.
 
Being the man of the house at the age of twelve when his father died unexpectantly, caused Spyder to grow up quickly. It made him a little unforgiving and demanding, but it also made him one of the greatest problem solvers this side of the Mississippi. Now, when people are in trouble, they come to him, but Sara is another story. He’d helped his best friend’s baby sister one night so many years ago. What he didn’t expect, however, was pulling her in his arms to comfort her and feeling things he hasn’t since. Now, she’s older, more mature and gorgeous as hell. The problem is she’s off limits, but lately he can’t deny that her presence makes him want to pull her inside of his web of protection …into his web of desire.
 

Hearing the pain in Sara’s voice moved him greatly.

He’d watched her grow into a beautiful and talented woman. He was proud of her progress and wanted to be sure that this episode didn’t thwart her efforts to seeing her dreams realized.

He gently pulled her to him, looking down into her startled eyes. He didn’t give himself time to think, he simply said. “I’d never hurt you, Sara.” He searched her eyes for understanding. “I know you know that, but just in case you’re wondering.” He stroked her hair, and his eyes didn’t move from hers. “You’re my friend and if you’re hurting, that bothers me.”

She rushed back over to him and hugged him around the waist. Being so much shorter, she stood on the tips of her toes and kissed him on the cheek. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
With no thought as to what he was doing, he wrapped his arms around her, lifting her off the floor, and planted a kiss on her forehead. “You know I’d do anything for you.” Their eyes fused and Sara made matters worse when she wrapped her arms around his neck.
Their bodies were flush against each other her familiar scent surrounded him and Spyder’s body reacted, his manhood lengthening. He was stepping over the line, but her soft skin felt so good. Looking out for his friend’s sister was one thing but taking her on the couch and making sweet love to her was way over the definition.

Sean Young has always been an avid reader. This Gary, Indiana native joined her first book club at the age of seven. A lover of the happily ever after, Sean uses her vivid imagination to craft heartwarming and passionate family love stories that deal with forgiveness, promise, romance and redemption. A certified wedding planner by trade, Sean continues to help brides plan the wedding of their dreams.
 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
 
$10 Amazon giftcard, 
Swag Pack with Print Copy of Caught in His Webb 
– 1 winner each