Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Forever Yours Clean Romance Event featuring Stephanie Fowers


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Out of the Mouth of Babes
by Stephanie Fowers

Out of the Mouth of Babes  by Stephanie Fowers

During the month of January, we will be featuring 12 fabulous authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Stephanie Fowers with Out of the Mouth of Babes.
This book blast and giveaway is hosted by Clean Wholesome Romance.


Description
Kids get away with saying most anything, like Aunt Gina should marry that “charmer” she met at her sister’s wedding.
But Gina won’t have anything to do with that guy who played with her heart that night - he’s a heartbreaker - no matter how much her niece and nephews adore him now. Besides, the two come from different worlds. Gina’s a workaholic career woman; he’s the irresponsible flirt. Whenever they meet, there are fireworks, and not the good kind.
That is, until her sister wins a cruise to the Caribbean and asks the two to babysit for 2 weeks. Sparks fly as they find a way to play house without burning the place down. Forget marriage - these two shouldn’t even date.
And what do kids know anyway? Maybe everything.

Excerpt
“Oh, hey,” he said casually, “hold the door.” Without my making a move to do so, his hand stopped the doors from shutting between us, and I got a full view of his face. I liked his eyes—they were vibrant blue and full of life, and now they creased into a myriad of laugh lines.
He stepped inside with me. He was tall and standing very close. He acted like it wasn’t a big deal and smiled at me before hitting the button for the thirteenth floor. The button didn’t light up. He shrugged and dug his hands deep into the pockets of his dress pants. “I guess that means no thirteenth floor.” He leaned against the back of the elevator and tucked his cell phone away. His gaze drifted to the gift bag in my hand. “You going to the wedding?”
The elevator doors closed us in together and I tried to adopt his casual manner while holding up the brightly colored bag between us. “What was the giveaway?”
His eyes crinkled at the corners. “Is it any good?”
“The gift?”
He nodded. I felt like I was getting punked. How could he have guessed that I had no idea what I was bringing to this wedding? He couldn’t. I shrugged. “It’s the usual boring…”
He leaned over and peered past the pink tissue paper. “You got the lucky couple toothbrushes? Are you a dentist?”
“No!” I swatted him away but was laughing all the same. How could my mother think that toothbrushes were better than a tool set? I tried to deflect his attention from the gift. “I work advertising. Just down the street actually.”
“Oh really? I work downtown too.”
“Nice. Wait,” I stared down at his empty hands. No gift. My eyes went to his laughing ones. “Are you a wedding crasher?”
“Do you want me to be?”
“I…” this guy was unbelievable. He took bantering to a new level. I was horrible at real conversation—it was so boring. But banter? I was amazing at that. I relaxed. This guy was in no position to judge. “Yes,” I admitted with a smile, even though I didn’t believe he was crashing for a second. “Though you’re clearly an amateur. Wedding Crasher 101—bring an empty gift so no one is suspicious.”
His eyes turned appreciative at that. “And you?” he asked.
“I was invited,” I said, “but it was one of those invites that people have to give, you know?”
He looked intrigued. “Why is that?”
I pursed my lips and decided against ruining the moment by getting too personal. “I’m related.”
His eyes turned watchful. “To the bride or to the groom?”
“Bride.”
“Good,” he said.
Before I could ask what he meant, we passed the thirteenth floor and he whistled. “Makes you wonder why they won’t let anyone on the thirteenth. What are they hiding there?”
“An alternate dimension where they hide dead bodies,” I said without hesitation.
He snickered. “You’re not even curious, are you?”
“I’m always curious,” I said. “I’m just used to disappointment.”
“Really? Why?”
I lifted my shoulder. “Getting caught for trespassing isn’t on the schedule for tonight. Maybe another time.”
He nodded in understanding. The 22nd floor was fast approaching and for some reason, I felt myself getting more nervous than I was twenty minutes ago. Everyone asked me where my prince charming was at my younger cousin’s wedding two years ago and I wasn’t ready for that again. The rushing sound as we passed each floor felt ominous, and I wasn’t sure why I felt so anxious. All my faults came at me, my fear of not measuring up. I was happy for my sister, sure, and wanted her to know that I loved and supported her, but my mother had said it: Emily wouldn’t even know that I was there. So why did I have to go right away?
The elevator door opened on the 22nd floor, bringing in the loud laughter and chatter. Two little girls in puffy white dresses stood at the door. They grabbed my gift for Emily and ran away with my jacket. Still, I couldn’t leave the elevator. I turned to the stranger beside me like he was my lifeline. “You know what?” I asked. “I’m really tired of disappointment. Aren’t you?” He looked confused and I tried to clarify. “I’m dying to know what’s on the thirteenth floor.”
He didn’t move, even as the elevator made its warning noises for us to get out. “Wait.” A dimple played at the corner of his mouth. “You aren’t kidding?” I shook my head and he hit a button that made the door close us back into the elevator. “Great. Let’s go on an adventure together.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“And when I saw that the story began winding down, I was saddened for it to come to an end. These are characters that I had come to know and love. I could barely stand to shut the book at its ending.” ~ J.L. Thomas
“Great book! I’m jealous you get to read it for the first time!” ~ PocketfullofGoldfish
“I don’t want to give everything away, but this story wrapped itself snug and tight around my heart. Every character is well done, even the villains, and the chemistry is snapping and popping with swoony heat. The comic relief is spot on, too. I honestly didn’t want this one to end and was still thinking about it days later.” ~ Lilacqueen75
“I rarely give 5 star ratings, but this was such a ‘licious’ read, well worth every minute! Could barely bring myself to put it down. Gina and Ash’s story is a story for the ages. Loved it!” ~ SL K
“I absolutely love love loved this book! I seriously couldn’t put it down! I was hooked from the very first page to the last! It’s one of those books that you could read over and over, because it’s so cute!” ~ Amielovestoread
“Squeaky clean and fun! I have enjoyed other books by Fowers, but this might be my favorite. It was hard to put down.” ~ Reading My Dessert

About the Author
Stephanie Fowers
Stephanie Fowers loves bringing stories to life and, depending on her latest madcap ideas, will do it through written word, song, and/or film. She absolutely adores Bollywood and bonnet movies; i.e., BBC (which she supposes includes non-bonnet movies Sherlock and Dr. Who). Presently, she lives in Salt Lake where she’s living the life of the starving artist. This summer, she will do the reading of her musical The Raven with the talented composer Hilary Hornberger. She also expects to film some shorts with Triad Film Productions. Stephanie plans to bring more of her novels out to greet the light of day. Be sure to watch for her upcoming books, including YA fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, a compilation of short twisted fairy tales, and more – many more – romantic comedies. May the adventures begin.

Also by Stephanie Fowers:

Download a FREE copy of With a Kiss.

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Links














Tuesday, January 22, 2019

"Abigail" by Jess Heileman


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Abigail
by Jess Heileman

Abigail by Jess Heileman

Abigail by Jess Heileman has just been released and is FREE today only (22 January).


This book blast and giveaway is hosted by I Am A Reader.


Description
For Abigail Blakeslee, becoming a debutante and entering Society is happening far too quickly. But now, foregoing her first Season has brought an unwanted invitation to join her aunt and cousins for a summer at Timpton House, the large estate of the Stanton family.
Reluctantly accepting, Abigail is thrust into the vexing world of social propriety and match making. More vexing still is her cousin’s suitor, the young Timpton heir - Edwin Stanton. Moody and distant at times, remarkably endearing at others, Edwin seems a puzzle she can never solve, but can never quite put away. But then, Abigail has her own secret to hide - her own mystery to conceal. Perhaps such puzzles are better left unsolved, or perhaps love can find a solution.

Excerpt
The library was filled with books, and it reminded me of the one at Easton Manor with overstuffed shelves, large windows, and numerous seats for reading. I grabbed a thin book off a nearby shelf and held it in my hand. I traced my finger over the title, The Tempest. It had been sometime since I’d picked up a book. Mother taught me to read and had given me the joy of new worlds and unforgettable stories. I’d spent countless afternoons tucked in a chair in our library, unable to stop reading; but when Mother died, I found little delight in anything, including the things she’d taught me to love.
“Have you read it?” Edwin asked peering over my shoulder.
“Of course!” I answered placing it back on the shelf.
“And I presume you enjoyed it?”
“Very much. I admit I am easily satisfied by a happy ending.” I kept my eyes searching the books, having little desire to receive the look of censure awaiting me. “The Shakespeare writings I enjoy most are those that end well—Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew—the ones where love is victorious.”
“A common ideal among ladies, I believe, and the reason his comedies are so popular.”
I turned towards him, “Life has enough of tragedy and grief, is there something wrong with finding satisfaction in love and happy endings?”
“There is,” he said. “The harm is believing in something that isn’t real, Miss Blakeslee.” He stepped closer, and my feet faltered. “Love only brings misery. To think otherwise is foolish. You just declared life is full of tragedy—”
“And that is why love is needed!”
“And that is what love causes!”
Neither of us moved and I could feel his warm breath on me. It was only then I realized how close we stood, my neck craning to look up at him, but I had no desire to move away.
“You do not understand love then,” I whispered.
The resentment in his gaze caught me by surprise. “And you do?”
“Yes! Love has saved me.” His eyes searched mine, “The love I know has the power to lift and to heal, to see past weakness and turn it to strength.”
“Love is fickle and will fail you.”
“Never.” I said shaking my head as tears stung my vision. “I do not know what counterfeit you describe but the love I have found is faithful and unconditional.”
He said nothing and after a moment his eyes drifted from mine in contemplation. After taking a deep breath he looked down at me again. He wore the stern expression I knew so well and took a step backward. “I hope you are correct in your judgment,” he said with a brisk nod. “Thank you for telling me.”
As he turned from me I wanted to call out to him, but I was too confused to contrive a response. I followed him to the study in a daze. Edwin positioned himself near the desk with his eyes cast to the floor as Diana glanced between us bewildered.
“How is it you’ve found something to quarrel about already? You were in there less than five minutes! Perhaps I should take on the role of mediator instead of chaperon for the two of you.”
Neither Edwin nor I smiled.
“This will not do! What was the disagreement this time?”
“There was not a disagreement,” Edwin said. “Well, at least that is not what caused the discontent.”
Curious what the cause had been I glanced in his direction, anxious for him to finish. A knock interrupted his revelation.
Diana shot to her feet and reached out her arm towards me, “We will go out the library.”
Edwin blocked our retreat, “You are fine to leave out the study door.” He shifted his gaze at the repeated knock, “Come in!”
The butler opened the door, his eyes gliding over Diana and me, “The Slytons are here to see you, Mr. Stanton.”
“Show them in.”
The Slytons? I was familiar with the name, but surely they were not the same as I had known. My heart picked up pace regardless of what I told myself. The door opened again and a tall, wiry lady and a shorter, burly man stepped through the door. They were older and somehow uglier, but it was them. My knees nearly gave out, and I tightened my hold on Diana’s arm for support.
“Mr. and Mrs. Slyton, I am pleased you finally agreed to make the trip to Timpton. This is my sister, Mrs. Ellis, and our friend, Miss Abigail Blakeslee.”
Mrs. Slyton nodded in our direction but abruptly turned her attention back to Edwin. “With such a gracious offer, how could we resist?” Her scratchy voice brought a slew of memories that made my body tremble.
I cautiously turned to find Mr. Slyton inspecting me through squinted eyes. Did he recognize me? I hadn’t seen him since I was a little girl, and I hoped the years had done their job adequately enough to disguise me. I lifted my chin, attempting to appear unaffected by his presence and was relieved when Mr. Slyton turned towards Diana, appraising her with the same disgusting grimace he’d given me. I looked to Edwin and found him returning my gaze, a peculiar expression on his features.
Edwin moved to my side and placed a firm hand around my waist, guiding me to the door. My ears were ringing, and I was confident he said something to me, but I couldn’t be sure. As we walked from the study, his touch retracted, and Diana took his place directing me back down the corridor.
I was uncertain where I was being led and soon found myself seated in a distantly familiar room. “Bring refreshment at once!” Diana’s voice echoed through my mind. My head was spinning, and I rested it against the chair as my vision faded into blackness.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I cannot even express exactly how much I loved this book!! I have no doubts recommending it to everyone who loves great writing combined with a gripping story line. The author's writing is beautiful and she's an excellent storyteller! It was so well done and I loved every minute of it! It truly is an incredible book. Her characters are so complex that it was easy to care for them (honestly, even within the first couple of pages I was already hooked). Jess Heileman wove a great story that had layers to it that any regency reader would love. I'm so, so excited to have this on my bookshelves!” ~ Loretta Porter
“Coming from a person who is not much of a reader, this book took me by surprise. It hooked me at the prologue. Abigail had me laughing out loud, tearing up and blushing. It was my show that I couldn't wait to get back to. It was a clever, easy read that had me guessing, what could possibly happen next? A perfect escape! Time for a squeal! Loved it!” ~ David Brundage
“This is one of the best books I've read in a long time! I'm thoroughly impressed with her ability to completely captivate me with her amazing storytelling. I've never heard of this author before, but I'm going to read everything of hers I can find! Well done! Once I started, I couldn't put it down!” ~ HeavenlyMarie
“Jess Heileman has a wonderful way with words that caught me up in Abigail’s world from the first page. […] I couldn’t help but love this absorbing historical novel, with its engaging characters and mysterious plot twist!” ~ Emily Farlow
“I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and the relationships they build through out the book. It was full of surprises that will make you laugh and cry all at once. I never saw the end coming. It's clean and uplifting. It is a book I would be comfortable letting my teenage girls read it. It is a book that I will read over and over again.” ~ Wallaceandgrommit

About the Author
Jess Heileman
In kindergarten, Jess won a first prize ribbon for her original creation “Pigs in Wigs”. It was a solid storyline: there was this pig that wore a wig - and it rhymed. Not impressed? Neither were her children when shown the very masterpiece that influenced her to become an author. “You won a ribbon for that?” Yes. Yes, she did.
Thankfully, life has since exposed her to a thorough education with its share of awards and accolades - and, more importantly, to the trials and human experiences that form the heart of a storyteller and the substance of great stories.
Besides her love of writing, Jess is an avid reader, shameless people observer, international café loiterer, and partially retired photographer. She loves being a mother to five amazing humans and a wife to the greatest man she knows.

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.

Links



Forever Yours Clean Romance Event featuring Sophia Summers


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Bride’s Secret
(Love and Marriage Book 1)
by Sophia Summers

The Bride’s Secret (Love and Marriage Book 1) by Sophia Summers

During the month of January, we will be featuring 12 fabulous authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Sophia Summers with The Bride’s Secret.
This book blast and giveaway is hosted by Clean Wholesome Romance.


Description
She wants to run.
He wants to help her.
But when they must honeymoon together as if they’re the happy couple, will a series of fake events which turn into a fake relationship entice them both back to the altar, only this time for real?

Excerpt
Carisa Hamilton didn’t want to get married. Never mind that the music would start and they would open the back doors of the church, everyone would stand… Her heart rate picked up and her breathing must have joined in because Marguerite, her wedding planner, started counting. “Measure your breaths darling. In-two-three-Out-two-three.”
Carisa tried, but her chest felt tighter and tighter. “I—I don’t know if I can do this.” She clutched her stomach and buckled forward.
Marguerite’s cool fingers ran a hand gently over her hair, not messing up a single strand. This woman was good. She whispered comforting things. “You’re beautiful. He loves you. Just look into his face. Forget everything else.”
But that was just it. He was the problem. The groom. She loved everything else about getting married. The dress, the party, her bridesmaids. They were stunning. She’d let them choose a dress following a specific color scheme and they’d nailed it. Pictures had never looked so good. The pictures. A part of her wanted to get married just for the pictures. The food, the cake. She’d picked the best flavors. The party. The playlist. All her favorite songs. She imagined dancing with her father, with her best friends, but then his face jarred to the front, and she remembered she’d have to dance with him too… She clutched at Marguerite’s arms, gripping with a panic that rose up inside. “I can’t dance with him.”
“Who? Your father?” She clucked. “Honey, if there’s something that makes you uncomfortable we can change the whole plan. That’s what I’m here for.”
Carisa shook her head, curls bouncing around against her scalp high above her veil. “No, It’s Heath.”
Marguerite stopped. And for a moment, Carisa saw what really went through her mind. And Carisa feared for her own life, a little bit. No one messed up the wedding planner’s plan. Not even the bride apparently. Not even if she didn’t love the groom. Anymore. Did she ever? “Ugh. I can’t. The thought of him makes me ill. She squeezed harder, the soft skin of the wedding planners’ shoulders squishing between her fingers. “What do I do?”
Marguerite gently peeled away Carisa’s hands and plugged in her diffuser; immediately the calming scents of lavender and chamomile filled the air. She clicked a few buttons on her phone, and instrumentals filled the room softly, as though she were in a spa. Marguerite held the back of a chair and motioned that Carisa sit. “We have plenty of time still. You are ready. You are the most beautiful bride I have seen. Have a sit. Relax. We will make this better.” She handed her a warm cup of tea that had appeared from the countertop almost as if by magic. And then stepped out of the room, closing the door softly behind her.
But Carisa jumped up. Alone at last. Time to make a break for it. Was she crazy? Insane? Her mother would kill her. Forget her mother. Marguerite would hunt her down. But she couldn’t think about that. All that she could think about was the coldness. Heath’s eyes, for the first time, cold. He’d turned back on his Texan charm as soon as he noticed she was looking, but that flash, that instant of cold proved all that she’d suspected. He didn’t really care. And, she breathed out, thank the stars above, because she didn’t care about him either.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“This was an interesting story, to say the least. […] It did grab my attention with the central theme of the book. Read it to see what you think. A very interesting female character, Carisa, as the bride, who definitely knows what she needs to do, but can she carry it through? There are basically two central male characters that are as different as black and white, but they were best friends in GRADE school! It will be interesting to see how this series develops. A decent book, easy, clean and very quick read. It does have the solid HEA.” ~ Vicki Johnson
“Short and sweet. It moved pretty fast, but I still liked it.” ~ Karen

About the Author
Sophia Summers
Billionaires, Royals, Marriages of convenience, Cowboys, and Spies. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Sophia Summers is an award-winning author who just wants to relax a little and enjoy a great beach read. She lives in a quiet southern town brimming with an extra dose of hospitality and a whole lot of charm.
She writes historical romance under a different name.

Also by Sophia Summers:

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Links