Book Blitz: Furious by T.R. Ragan – Excerpt+Giveaway

Furious CoverFaith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives. Crippling grief and fear for her children make life unbearable. Until her anguish turns to anger…and she trades victimhood for vengeance. Frustrated with the law’s efforts, she takes action to rescue her children—and wreaks havoc on the brutal criminals who tore them from her. With her family and newfound allies at her side, Faith descends into the hellish underworld of human trafficking, determined to make those who prey on the innocent pray for mercy. The forces she’s up against have already proven that their ruthlessness knows no bounds. And there’s nothing they won’t do to turn Faith’s crusade into a suicide mission. But they’re about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a mother fighting for her children—especially one who’s earned the nickname Furious.

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Blog Tour: Best Kept Secrets by Shelly Ellis {Excerpt + Giveaway} @DiverseBkTours

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coverISBN: 1617733997

Publisher: Kensington Publishing

Pages: 352

Publication Date: August 25th 2015

Genre(s): Women’s Fiction, African-American Literature

Find It: GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | INDIE BOUND

Between the fall-out from his father’s latest shady business dealings and his wife Charisse’s alcoholism, Evan Murdoch has his hands full. But he should be most concerned about the scandalous affair Charisse is having right under his nose–with his half-brother. Evan’s being pushed to the edge, and no one knows that better than Leila Hawkins…

Leila is back in Chesterton, divorced, penniless, and desperate enough to do anything to save her mother’s home from foreclosure–including turning to Evan, her former best friend. But Evan isn’t interested in friendship. Instead he makes Leila a shocking indecent proposal…

Meanwhile, Evan’s newlywed sister, Paulette, wants to be the perfect wife. But a blackmailing bad boy ex has reappeared in her life–and he’s threatening to reveal her most painful secret…

The scandals just won’t quit–and for everyone involved, desire, betrayal, and lies are all in a day’s work…


EXCERPT

“So I guess you’re wondering why I invited you here,” Evan said, setting aside his salmon BLT after a few bites, leaning forward in his chair.

Leila paused mid-chew. She wiped her mouth with her napkin. “I was . . . I was hoping it was because you wanted to talk,” she garbled, trying not to spit food onto her lap.

“I did. I want to offer you a business proposal.”

She stopped chewing. “A business proposal?”

“I’ll just get straight to the point. Paulette told me that you came to her about your mortgage situation.”

What?

Leila swallowed the rest of her chicken, feeling it lodge in her throat. “She didn’t say that, did she? Ev, I didn’t . . . I didn’t go to her about the mortgage! She came to visit me at work and I happened to mention that—”

He waved a hand dismissively. “Whatever! Either way, Paulette has nothing to do with what happens at Murdoch Bank. She can’t help you, but we both know that I can.”

Leila’s heartbeat began to pick up its pace. Was Evan finally going to speak to the management

at Murdoch Bank on her mother’s behalf? That would be great—absolutely wonderful! So why did her stomach start to lurch in anticipation of what he was about to say next? There was a catch somewhere. She could sense it.

“I’ll help you out, but only under a few conditions,” he continued. His stare didn’t waver. “I’ll strongly advise Murdoch Bank to review your mother’s mortgage. Coming from me—the CEO of their parent company—that carries a lot of weight. But I’ll only do it in exchange for something you can do for me.”

Leila frowned. “What . . . what do you want me to do?”

“There’s no point in beating around the bush.” He reached out and placed a warm hand on her bare knee, making the skin tingle, catching her by surprise. “You and I may have our differences, but I’ll admit that even after all this time and all our bullshit . . . I’m still very attracted to you, Lee.”

Leila stared down at his hand, gazing at the brown fingers that were splayed over her skin. Why was Evan saying this? Why was he doing this? He was married. She was still married too, damn it, at

least on paper!

Because he’s attracted to you. Because he’s always been! Didn’t you hear what he said?” the voice in her head ridiculed. “And don’t pretend like you don’t feel it too, girl!

Okay, so maybe, despite their differences, she was starting to find herself very attracted to him as well, and knowing that was unnerving. She had never considered Evan in that way in the past. He had always been like a sibling to her. Now he was morphing into something else in her eyes and she didn’t know what to do about it.

“I’m a very busy man in a very shitty marriage, Lee. I’ve put sex on the back burner way too long. I’m not ready to divorce Charisse. When I said ‘I do’ to her, I meant it for the long haul but”—he sighed and absently rubbed Leila’s knee, making the tingle she’d felt earlier radiate up and down her leg—“I accept that I’m no saint. I have needs just like any other man—needs that must be met. So I’m offering to help you in exchange for you meeting those needs.”

In exchange for meeting your needs?The blood drained from her face. “Evan, what . . .

are you asking me?”

“What does it sound like I’m asking?”

“It sounds like you’re asking me to have sex with you!”

He paused. “Well . . . yeah. Yes, I am.”

Leila stared at him, struck speechless.

He removed his hand from her knee and sat back in his chair, looking annoyed. “I can tell from your reaction that it wasn’t what you expected me to ask. But before you say no outright, seriously consider my offer. I should add that I’m willing to sweeten the pot a bit if my terms aren’t suitable. In addition to talking to the bank, I’ll offer you one hundred thousand dollars outright for your time and effort.”

Time and effort? Why, you smug son of a bitch, she thought. He was propositioning her, actually propositioning like some two-dollar ho! Make that onehundredthousand-dollar ho!

“So this is what you thought you could get done in fifteen minutes or less? You thought you could get me to agree to be your mistress? You thought you could . . . you could buy me like some. . .” She sputtered helplessly. “How the hell could you even ask me something like this, Evan?”

“Oh, please!” He rolled his eyes. “Don’t get on your moral high horse! You’ve done a lot more for the people you love, haven’t you? Compared to that, this is a small price. Besides, at least with this deal, we both get something out of it. I’ve let you use me one time too many without getting something in return.”

“Fuck you!” she barked, jumping up from the sofa in outrage, letting her napkin fall to the floor.

Is that how he saw their relationship? She had thought it was a mutual friendship. All this time, he had thought she was using him?

“Whatever,” he replied, also rising from his chair. “Play the drama queen if you want. Either way, my offer still stands. You can say yes, or you can say no. It’s up to you. But it’s the only way you’re getting me to talk to that bank. Those are my terms.”

“Terms? Terms? Ev, would you listen to yourself! You’ve been stuck in this office for too damn long if you honestly think you can bargain sex like some . . . some contract! I don’t care how shitty of a marriage you have or how horny you are. . . . Stuff like this between a man and a woman can’t . . . it can’t be worked out like ‘Terms of Use’!”

He squinted. “Why not? People do it every day.”

“With prostitutes! But I’m not a goddamn prostitute! I’m not gonna spread my legs for a man just because he offers to do me a favor or shakes a hundred grand in front of my face!”

“So what would you do it for?”

“What?”

“What else would you need to agree to something like this?”

She was struck speechless again. What had Evan changed into in the ten years that she hadn’t spoken to him? She didn’t recognize this man anymore.

“Come on, Lee. I already told you that I want you. I’m a businessman. I’m always open to negotiation . . . within reasonable boundaries.” He took a step toward her, making her take a step back and almost bump into his coffee table. He gazed into her eyes. “Tell me your terms.”

“I told you, I don’t have any goddamn ‘terms’! I only have sex with someone I care about. I only have sex with someone I’m attracted to and have passion for. I’m not a professional. I can’t fake something like that, Evan! I can’t—”

He suddenly closed the divide between them. She didn’t have the chance to pull away before Evan abruptly lowered his mouth to hers.

The kiss caught her off guard, but the enticing feel of his full lips against her own sent her heart racing, even when she thought it couldn’t possibly beat any faster. When her lips parted, he slid his tongue inside her mouth and lowered his hands to her waist, drawing her even closer to him. She momentarily forgot about his “business proposal.” Instead, she focused on the feel of him: his powerful arms around her and his lean body pressed against her own, the warmness of his touch and the searing heat of his kiss. Evan—the man whom she had once considered a brother—now sent her senses

whirling.

She closed her eyes and linked her arms around his neck. She stood on the balls of her feet and tilted back her head to deepen the kiss, meeting his tongue with her own. Her nipples hardened against the silk fabric of her blouse. The blood in her veins pounded wildly in her ears. His hands lowered from her waist to her bottom. She grinded against his pelvis and felt him harden. The junction between her thighs started to dampen in primal response.

When Evan drew back a minute later, they were both panting.

“Either you’re a better fake than you thought,” he whispered with a mischievous grin as he ran his thumb over her kiss swollen lips, “or you’re just as attracted to me as I am to you, Leila. I think we’ll do just fine.”

Leila grimaced. She stepped out of his embrace, recoiling at the realization of what they had done. What had gotten into her? She had been trying to prove a point to Evan that he couldn’t treat her this way. She wasn’t some high-priced hooker. Her body wasn’t up for negotiation, no matter what

spark he ignited.

Leila grabbed her purse and shoved past him. She strode toward his office door.

“You’ve got until the end of next week,” he called after her, making her pause as she gripped the door handle. “If you don’t let me know by then, I’ll assume your answer is no.”

She whipped around and faced him, blinking back tears of anger. “You know, Evan, when I heard you father had died and that you were the head of your family now, I’d hoped that Paulette and Terrence were in good hands. Your father was a cynical, manipulative asshole who tried to make all of you his puppets. I’d hoped they’d have a better chance with you. But now I know I was wrong! You’re a bigger son of a bitch than George Murdoch ever was! Because unlike him, you know better! I thought you were better than this!”

“Next week, Leila. That’s your deadline,” he said coldly before she opened his office door and slammed it closed behind her.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelly Ellis HeadshotShelly Ellis is a NAACP Image Award-nominated women’s fiction/romance author and creator of the Gibbons Gold Digger series. Her fiction writing career began when she became one of four finalists in a First-Time Writers Contest when she was 19 years old. The prize was a publishing contract and having her first short-story romance appear in an anthology. She has since published five novels and has been chosen as a finalist for 2015 NAACP Image Award in the Literary Fiction Category, 2012 African American Literary Award in the romance category, and won a 2013 Angie Award.

She is married and lives in Maryland with her husband and their daughter.

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Promo: Bombshell by Xyla Turner @DiverseBkTours

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book coverISBN: B00WZYKQ62

Publisher: Azina Media Publications

Pages: 271

Format: ebook

Genre(s): Interracial Erotic Romance

Date of Publication: July 15th 2015

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon

Tired of dealing with the sexist, dominant men at her corporate job, Samantha Wilde started her own company. After hearing some life-altering news, she literally bumps into a man who knows what he wants regardless of her situation and is willing to pursue her no matter the costs.
Joshua Kelly is a successful business man. He has Samantha in his sights for not only business, but pleasure! He makes her a business proposition that she tries to refuse, then he moves in for the kill with a relationship proposal. She is almost helpless to stay away from him, because he represents the type of dominant man that she wants to avoid but his touch is addictive. Maybe this kind of dominant isn’t so bad.

This story is about the realities of sexual encounters and how to move on from what you cannot change. Based loosely on a many true stories.


EXCERPT

I whipped around and almost hit him with my head because he was so close. He was leaning over me to pay the barista for the drinks.

What the hell?

Here’s the thing, I’m 5’9 and I had on 3” heeled boots, so I’m a pretty tall lady. This guy was leaning over me, so he had to be around 6’5 or taller. When he stood up to his full height, I saw it was the guy from the elevator.

What the hell?

“Sir, what are you doing?” I was annoyed.

His eyes slid down to mine. “Treating a beautiful lady,” he smoothly responded.

“I didn’t ask for this,” I shook my head at the barista and went to hand her my card.

She looked confused, but went to grab my card. He snatched the card out of my hands and commanded, “I got this.”

Well, I’ll be.

At that point, the barista took his twenty dollar bill and deposited it in the register, gave him his change and asked, “Your name?”

“Joshua,” he replied.

I could play this one of a few ways, I thought as I stared at him with my mouth open.

Option 1: I could be a total bitch and tell him where he can go, how I can pay for my own coffee and how dare he have the nerve to try and bend me to his will.

Option 2: I could thank him politely, get my coffee and go home.

Option 3: I could smile and say thank you.

I couldn’t tell if he was good looking or not because I was now thoroughly pissed. He no longer had the scowl on his face, but a smirk. I felt like he walked over me and disregarded my wishes, but that didn’t mean I needed to act on that feeling. I didn’t want to make a scene at the Starbucks because I frequently came here as many of my clients were in this area. However, I did want to make it clear to him who he was dealing with. As I was preparing myself to go with Option 1, but a more civilized and modified version, he reached his hand up to my mouth and closed my lips with his thumb and index finger. Then he slipped my card back in my purse with his other hand.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

turner_headshotXyla Turner was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has always been a writer, even as a teenager, she wrote short stories and essays that won awards and nationwide competitions. Xyla is an avid reader of romance novels and a sucker for sassy females and dominant males. She is a lifelong learner, High School Vice-Principal and a pretty good Auntie. Outside of reading, Xyla likes to spend time with her family and friends, experiment with dangerous adventures and travel. She writes different genres, but her favorite is romance.

Xyla has her Bachelor’s degree in Education and Masters in Education Administration. She is also a web designer and a Life Coach. She will forever be an educator, innovator and entrepreneur.

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{Blog Tour} Son of Dragons by Andrea R. Cooper

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Title: Son of Dragons

Author: Andrea R. Cooper

Release Date: April 28, 2014

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Tour: Irresistible Reads Book Tours

Book Description:

In a time of false peace, the dead rise as soldiers for the Warloc’s scheme. For thousands of years he has stood ready for the final battle. Though the witch and her cursed Elvin have destroyed his physical body, now with his protégé, he has honed a new way to wage war.

Shunned by her own people and weary-hearted from centuries of lost loves, Elvin warrior Mirhana scours the land to silence the undead. Her heart has turned as cold as the sword she wields, until a prince seeks her aid.

Never has Prince Landon met a woman like Mirhana. Both beautiful and deadly, she haunts his dreams. The battle at hand becomes more enchanting than fighting to remain true to his unseen betrothed.

When a traitor emerges, new alliances are tested and the only remaining hope is to follow the prophecy and find the … Son of Dragons.

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Book Excerpt:

Gillespie frowned. “I’ve failed my master Pr—Landon. He’s dead by now.”

Nonsense.” Mirhana tucked her bow over her shoulder. “The Sorceress’s undead took him. At least for a while, he’s safe.”

How do you know? Magic?”

In a way.” She sheathed her sword. “A friend of mine follows them. If we ride hard, we should reach them by dusk.” Melwyn sent her flickering images of Landon.

He was the one from the inn’s window. Her pet told her he smelled wild, but he appeared human enough. His brown hair with blond streaks still damp from his shower as he stared at her. His dark eyes held her and she couldn’t look away. It was almost as though someone had frozen her in place. She wasn’t sure why; she had seen handsome men before, so that wasn’t the reason for her hesitation. He looked lost and alone and sensing that struck a chord within her. Only the fact that he’d hit his head when he leaned out the window that allowed her feet to move so she could dash behind a building before he enticed her to his room.

About the Author:

Andrea R. Cooper writes fantasy, paranormal and historical romance. Her favorite childhood memories revolved around creating vibrant characters for her friends, and then acting out their adventures. Inside her fantasy worlds of darkened forests, dragon-filled glades, and iced islands, nothing was banned. From the ethereal
Elvin to the most maligned Vampires, all were welcome in her fictional realities, a stark contrast to her home, where the magical and mythical was forbidden.

Divorced and disillusioned of love and believing all the love songs and books exaggerated, she put aside her creativity for life. Many years past before characters, from the familiar to the freshly conceived, came to her again, but this time teasing at a new passion, the written word. 

Gradually, her real life hero brought love and magic back into existence. During the time when her characters were getting reacquainted, the love of her life was showing her that true love never gives up and rekindles no matter how many times others attempt to extinguish it. Today, she is happily married with three children.

Andrea believes in the power of change and delighting in each moment. But most fervently, she believes in the magic of love and imagination again.

Official Website: http://www.andrearcooper.com/

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Blog Tour: Mystical Wonders Survival by Karen Cino

Banner - Mystical Wonders Survival by Karen Cino

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Title: Mystical Wonders Survival

Author: Karen Cino

Release Date: April15th, 2014

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tour: Irresistible Reads Book Tours

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Purchase: Secret Cravings Publishing


 

 

Book Description

Shari’s home is the center-point of the story, the only one, which isn’t submerged under water. Madison and Dino are trapped in their crawl space as water has swept through home. Sophia is at work when a tidal wave hits and she is swept away, holding on to the chandelier for dear life. Cassie and Antonio are stuck in the police precinct, with the only way out is climbing through the metal grate in the ceiling up to the floor above. Fay gets from Italy to England where she is trying to get a flight home to make sure her daughter Heather and her friends are safe.
With no electricity, landlines or cell phones in service and the streets flooded out, the women have no way to contact each other or know if the other is in despair. The women turn into survival mode with each knowing their survival is necessary to help their friends.


 

EXCERPT

Sophia cleaned up her desk. The past hour she did more work than she had done all week. In her office closet, she finally had time to straighten up the bins filled with her centerpiece supplies. This time, she hand wrote a list of everything in the bins, before proceeding to make a spreadsheet. She always seemed to buy the same supplies multiple times.

From what she had seen, all she needed to buy were small and large organza bags. Her clients all loved the small goody bags she made. She sat down behind her laptop. Just as she started to place her order, she heard a loud crash followed by the sound of glass breaking. A chill rushed through her. She flew out of her seat, opened her door and walked down the hallway. The howling wind came from the room overlooking the ocean. Noticing her feet were wet, she stopped dead in her tracks. Looking behind her, the floor remained dry. Could it be someone overflowed the toilet in the main lobby? Yuck.

Continuing down the hall, she heard another crash along with more shattering of glass. For certain, something wasn’t right. The closer she got to the room, the higher the water rose on her calves. She unbolted the two wooden doors. The moment she turned the handle and opened the door, water hurried at her.
Sophia held onto the door handle tightly as the entire lobby was engulfed. When the surge started to recede, she stepped cautiously into the hall. To her left, the glass French doors leading to the boardwalk were floating toward the entrance door.

When the wind slowed down, she stared out the doorway. The waves were breaking feet away from the boardwalk, pushing the sand up onto the wooden walkway and into the hall. Pieces of wood and garbage floated past with some pieces drifting into the hall. As the wind began to pick up again, so did the tide, which started to break again even closer to the boardwalk.

In the distance, she spotted a person in a bright orange jacket trudging toward her, waving. Sophia returned the gesture as she watched him fight the wind and rain. By now she had become completely wet. Licking her lips, it wasn’t rainwater on her tongue, but ocean water. The taste of salt evident.

“Lady, get out of here,” screamed the man as he approached her. “Go home while you can. The ocean is getting fierce. The streets are filling up with water.”

“I can’t. The doors are gone. Anyone could come in,” Sophia yelled above the howling wind.

“Look at the sky, lady. Those are funnel clouds. Get out of here. I’m heading home to my family.”

Sophia pushed her wet hair behind her ears. “Okay. I will go. Come with me. We will go out the front doors.”

The short stocky man followed her through the catering hall. Sophia heard him yelling something else, but couldn’t understand his words. As she walked through the opening into the lobby, something hit her from behind sending her across the room. Oh my God. What the hell is happening?


 

About The Author

karen cino

Karen Cino is an author, poet and former journalist. She’d been writing since she was fourteen years old. She started her career by writing poetry, short stories and articles for her high school newspaper and the Staten Island Register. After reading Jackie Collin’s “Lovers and Gamblers” she knew she found her niche, writing women’s fiction.
Her daily walk down at the boardwalk is what gets her muse going. It clears her mind and helps her find realistic plot ideas and characters, boosting her muse. She loves writing about local places that people can relate to.
Karen is a single mom living in Staten Island, New York with her two adult children, Michael and Nicole, and three cats.

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