Before I Let Go, an all-new powerful, soul-gripping second chance romance filled with raw emotion and sizzling steam from USA Today bestselling author Kennedy Ryan, is now available!
Their love was supposed to last forever. But when life delivered blow after devastating blow, Yasmen and Josiah Wade found that love alone couldn’t solve or save everything
It couldn’t save their marriage.
Yasmen wasn’t prepared for how her life fell apart, but she’s is finally starting to find joy again. She and Josiah have found a new rhythm, co-parenting their two kids and running a thriving business together. Yet like magnets, they’re always drawn back to each other, and now they’re beginning to wonder if they’re truly ready to let go of everything they once had.
Soon, one stolen kiss leads to another . . . and then more. It’s hot. It’s illicit. It’s all good—until old wounds reopen. Is it too late for them to find forever? Or could they even be better, the second time around?
A RITA® and Audie® Award winner, USA Today bestselling author Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish, and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts. Kennedy and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, TIME, O magazine, and many others. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.
Connect with Kennedy
Text KennedyRyan to 797979 for release and sales news by text!
Welcome to the book tour for Closer to Okay by Amy Watson! Read on for more info and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy and some fantastic book swag!
Closer to Okay
by Amy Watson Publication Date: October 11, 2022 Genre: Book Club Fiction/ Modern Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction Publisher:Alcove Press
Weaving culinary delights with an honest, appraising look at how we deal with the world when it becomes too much, Closer to Okay is the comfort food we all need in these, well, crazy times.
Kyle Davies is doing fine. She has her routine, after all, ingrained in her from years of working as a baker: wake up, make breakfast, prep the dough, make lunch, work the dough, make dinner, bake dessert, go to bed. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s a good routine. Comforting. Almost enough to help her forget the scars on her wrist, still healing from when she slit it a few weeks ago; that she lost her job at the bakery when she checked herself in as an inpatient at Hope House; then signed away all decisions about her life, medical care, and wellbeing to Dr. Booth (who may or may not be a hack). So, yeah, Kyle’s doing just fine.
Except that a new item’s been added to her daily to-do list recently: stare out her window at the coffee shop (named, well…The Coffee Shop) across the street, and its hot owner, Jackson. It’s healthy to have eye candy when you’re locked in the psych ward, right? Something low risk to keep yourself distracted. So when Dr. Booth allows Kyle to leave the facility–two hours a day to go wherever she wants–she decides to up the stakes a little more. Why not visit? Why not see what Jackson’s like in person?
Turns out that Jackson’s a jerk with a heart of gold, a deadly combination that Kyle finds herself drawn to more than she should be. (Aren’t we all?) At a time when Dr. Booth delivers near-constant warnings about the dangers of romantic entanglements, Kyle is pulled further and further into Jackson’s orbit. At first, the feeling of being truly taken care of is bliss, like floating on a wave. But at a time when Kyle is barely managing her own problems, she finds herself suddenly thrown into the deep end of someone else’s. Dr. Booth may have been right after all: falling in love may be the thing that sends Kyle into a backslide she might never be able to crawl out of. Is Jackson too much for her to handle? Does love come at the cost of sanity?
I’ve only seen Booth a handful of times so far, but I’ve mostly got him figured out. Flattery will get you everywhere, and compliance with his instructions almost as far. What I haven’t worked out, though, are his intentions. Put in the simplest terms: Is he a good guy or a bad one?
He looks at me over his glasses, breathes a sigh, and reaches over to close my file. “I suppose you’re right. I appreciate that you’re taking ownership of your place in the house, Kyle. You’ll find that your recovery will accelerate once you embrace my program. We can review your progress together at your appointment on Monday.”
Standing to leave, I smooth my apron back down and hustle toward the door. “Thanks, Dr. Booth. See you tomorrow.”
The kitchen is a calamity when I get back. There’s smoke pouring out of the oven. Bruce did turn off the stove and oven like I’d told him to but left everything where it was. The residual heat did a number on the eggs, now a solid brown-on-the-bottom disk that gives off the smell of burning sulfur. The muffins might be edible but are overcooked. I’d normally chuck them straight into the trash, but I have to serve them since Mary and Eddie will be here in five minutes and need breakfast if they’re going to stay on Booth’s schedule. I don’t want everyone getting off-program and being forced to sit through the same talk I just did. We all know how important schedules are here. I’ll make it up to them at dinner, maybe put some extra turkey on the lunch sandwiches.
“Oh my gosh, what is going on in here?” Mary asks, coming into the kitchen.
“Sorry, Mary. Booth called me into his office to talk as soon as I got everything cooking. You know how it goes. His two-minute talk turned into ten and breakfast burned. Bruce was in here tending the food when I left. I don’t know where he went. I can salvage the muffins. I’ll make it up to you guys, I promise.”
“You don’t have to make anything up to me, sweetie. Eddie was making a fuss; I’m sure that’s where Bruce went. How can I help? Can I get the cups and milk?”
“I’ve got this, Mary. Go sit down and enjoy your horrible muffin. You’ve got to clean the bathroom, worst chore in the house. I will not have you doing my work, too.”
She waves me off. “Nonsense. It’s no bother. I’ve spent a lifetime cleaning up after my husband. One little chore is nothing. I’m glad to help. You go get those muffins out of the pan, and I’ll get the drinks.”
She hustles around me to the refrigerator and starts humming. I move over and pop the muffins out onto one of the red plastic trays, stacking them in tiers so they’ll look good, even if they don’t taste it. I put two muffins on a separate plate and carry them all into the dining room.
“What’s up, Special K?” Eddie yells as I walk into the room. He does this every morning, and it always makes me flinch.
“It’s a bad morning, Ed. You get muffins and milk. Sorry. The bacon and eggs got burnt. I’ll make something extra-good for dinner tonight.”
“Well, ain’t that a bitch? You better make something really fucking tasty for dinner, then. I can’t get through my day in this shithole with an empty stomach.”
“Hush, Edward,” Mary says as she comes in behind me with the glasses of milk. “It’s not her fault.”
“How’s it not her fault, huh? It’s her job to cook my food and keep my belly full. How are lousy fucking muffins supposed to keep me satisfied?”
“Eddie,” Nancy warns as she walks into the dining room, stopping his rant. She has a slight accent, maybe something Slavic, that gives her voice more authority, sounds harsher to my ears. Eddie puts on his nice act; Nancy tells Booth everything. “Good morning, Nancy. Great to see you. I’m sure looking forward to these muffins Kyle made this morning.”
Nancy grunts and turns on her heel. She takes the separate plate I made, knowing Joey wouldn’t be down to eat with everyone. With her back to us, she says, “Kyle, Bruce needs the grocery list after breakfast. Drop it off in the security office as soon as it’s done. Eddie, you have an appointment with the doctor in an hour. Mary, you need to do your chores this morning.”
“Sorry again about breakfast, guys. I’m gonna get started on the grocery list. I’ll make a dessert for you tonight. Chocolate cake, maybe.” “It better be fucking good, K. This muffin shit’s for the birds.”
Amy Watson is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas. A wife, a mother to two boys, and a full-time office manager. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, drinking coffee, knitting, and watching football.
by Lisa Slabach Category: Adult Fiction 18+, 303 pages Genre: Women’s Fiction Publisher: BookBaby Release date: February 2022 Content Rating: PG-13 + M for handful of f-bombs and semi-explicit sex scenes; mature themes discussing sexual mores and adult relations; no abortion, violence or abuse.
In this humorously touching novel by the critically acclaimed author of Degrees of Love, a woman is blindsided when her high school sweetheart abandons her after eighteen years of marriage.
At sixteen, Kimberly Kirby thought the only thing she needed to be perfectly happy was to spend the rest of her life with Jay Braxton. Twenty years later, she still believes it. As they proudly watch their daughter, Haley, graduate from high school, she imagines her life is as perfect as anyone could reasonably expect. Jay is a formidable attorney, she a freelance writer, and their love as strong as ever. With Haley heading to UC Berkeley in the fall, Kimberly fantasizes about making love on the kitchen table. She has no clue that Jay’s bags are already packed.
Now divorced and determined to squelch her love for Jay, she accepts a gig writing a sex and dating blog for divorcees. As the Virgin Dater, she is on the hunt for love. No-strings-attached nights with a sexy fireman and moving to San Francisco are just what she needs to boost her battered ego and mend her shattered heart.
But just as she falls hard for a talented young chef, Jay fights to win her back. Torn between her bold new life and the comfort of Jay’s strong arms, she questions if there is too much to forgive. The ten thousand I love yous that had passed Jay’s lips can’t be dismissed, but nor can her newfound freedom and the knowledge that her happiness doesn’t depend on Jay.
What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
When my husband was in law school, I was the sole support for our family. At the time, I worked at Saks Fifth Avenue and made good money by retail standards and had a killer wardrobe thanks to a clothing allowance that was part of my compensation package. But I struggled to make ends meet with two toddlers in daycare and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I took a risk, quit my salaried position, and in hope of making more money, accepted a straight commission sales position in the financial industry. I barely had enough banked to float us until my first commission check. Thankfully, it worked out!
Do you have another profession besides writing?
Yes, I wear many hats. I’ve worked in the financial industry for over twenty years and currently am a Relationship Executive for a Fortune 500 Company. I took a three-year hiatus from corporate life a few years ago and did a lot of writing and launched an on-line book business, which is still in operation. I keep telling myself that I’ll close down the book biz to give myself more time to write, sleep, and spend time with my hubby, but it hasn’t happened yet. Where did you get your idea for Ten Thousand I Love Yous?
Growing up in a small farm community, many classmates and extended family married straight out of high school and started having children right away. Not all pairings ended well, but most couples I know have had successful lives and strong marriages. Marrying young doesn’t have to be a recipe for disaster. I thought it would be an interesting scenario to explore but with twist: what would it be like to split from the one and only person you’ve seriously been with?
Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?
The hardest character to write was Jay. The book starts with him leaving Kimberley, which completely crushes her. It would have been easy to leave him as a hateful ex who has wronged our gal, but I wanted him to be a good person who made a bad choice while going through a difficult time of life. The crawl back to show that he is a good guy while keeping him real and believable was a tough task. What made it even harder was having the entire story told from Kimberley’s point of view.
The easiest character was Joshua. From the time I started penning the novel, I could see and hear him clearly in my mind and knew exactly what purpose he served in the story. Of course, I love Joshua. He is also one of my favorite characters. The biggest challenge I had with him was trying to make him a little less perfect without blowing up his character.
Ten Thousand I Love Yous has been categorized as both Women’s Fiction and Romance. Which do you think it is?
I love a good Romance as much as anyone and understand why some reviewers reference the book as a Romance. It has romantic elements with an interwoven love story, but I wouldn’t classify it as Genre Romance. In my humble opinion, the focus of a traditional Romance is two people falling in love and overcoming seemingly unsurmountable obstacles to be together. The struggle to unite is the main conflict. Ten Thousand is more about Kimberly’s personal journey and growth—more character drive than plot driven. Her happily-ever-after ending is not a forgone conclusion.
What advice would you give to help others create plotlines?
As an acting student, I had a great professor who encouraged his students not to decide what their characters wouldn’t do. The idea was to let the characters take over and react in the moment to what is in front of you. I think the same principle applies to writing fiction. It is very important to ask, “what if” and not decide what a character absolutely would or would not do. As one of my characters states, “… I really don’t know what I’m capable of until I’m in the situation.” It’s that unpredictability that keeps a story exciting.
Meet the Author:
Ten Thousand I Love Yous is Lisa Slabach’s second novel.
Prior to publication, her first novel, Degrees of Love was recognized as a Best Book of 2014 by Kirkus Review. Degrees of Love made its publishing debuted December 1, 2017 and was nominated for a 2017 Reviewer’s Choice Award by RT Book Reviews.
In addition to writing, Lisa is a Fintech Relationship Executive for a Fortune 500 Company. She is a long-time resident of Northern California and lives with her husband, one-hundred-forty-pound puppy and numerous goldfish. In her free time, she enjoys wine tasting, shopping with her daughters, and cooking in her pink kitchen.