Showing posts with label I Am a Reader. Show all posts
Showing posts with label I Am a Reader. Show all posts

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



Tuesday, December 18, 2018

12 Days of Clean Romance featuring Rachael Anderson


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
My Brother’s Bride
(Serendipity Book 2)
by Rachael Anderson

My Brother’s Bride (Serendipity Book 2) by Rachael Anderson

During the month of December, we have been featuring 12 authors who write clean romance. Today we feature our final author, Rachael Anderson, with My Brother’s BrideAlso available in the Serendipity series: My Sister’s Intended.

My Sister’s Intended by Rachael Anderson

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


Description
Abigail Nash leads a lonely existence. Her mother died giving birth to her, her father’s business dealings took him away more often than not, and her ailing great-aunt, unable to provide much in the way of companionship, was a lack-luster guardian at best. So when her dear friends offered to launch her into London society, it appeared Abby’s life was taking a turn for the better, with suitors and social engagements aplenty. When she marries a proclaimed darling of the ton, it seems she will at last settle into the life of her dreams.
But appearances aren’t always what they seem, and dreams often become disappointments.
Just months into her marriage, Abby finds herself widowed, penniless, increasing, and determined to never hope again. But when her late husband’s brother, the Earl of Brigston, attempts to thaw the numbness surrounding her heart, Abby must decide if she has it in her to risk another chance at happiness, knowing the odds are not in her favor.

Excerpt
MUSIC PERVADED THE crowded ballroom, carrying couples through the steps of the quadrille, while onlookers clustered around the dancers, talking, laughing, sipping drinks, and observing.
Morgan Campbell, the Marquess of Brigston, did only the latter. He lingered near a door that opened onto a small balcony, where, every now and again, he’d feel a slight draft. Although it provided some relief from the heat in the room, the open door offered no other boon. This was not the country, and London air could never be described as fresh, not even on Grosvenor Street. Too many horses pranced about, too many bodies filled the streets, and too many unpleasant scents lingered as a result.
Only one month more and Morgan could leave his parliamentary duties behind and return to his coastal hometown of Cawley, Hampshire. Most considered the country to be a bore, but Morgan thrived there. The chirping birds, the salty breezes, the peace he felt every time he walked outside—Oakley Grange revitalized him as nowhere else could. It was London that tired him, or at least the endless social obligations. He despised frivolous chatter. It rang in his ears and made his head ache.
A servant offered Morgan a drink, but he declined, directing his attention towards the middle of the ballroom, where his younger brother, Jasper, danced with a paragon of beauty. Her blue eyes sparkled, her golden hair shone, and her sapphire silk dress glittered with the light of the crystal chandeliers. She moved with natural grace and elegance that bespoke good breeding.
It was no surprise she had captured his brother’s attention. Jasper had always been drawn to beautiful women, especially those with fair coloring. He called them angelic. He would dance with them, take them driving in Hyde Park, and shower them with pretty posies—at least until his interest waned or was captured by another pair of blue eyes and golden locks. It had been the pattern for years now, ever since Jasper had finished at Eton. With his good looks and charisma, he’d always been able to charm most women.
Not long ago, their mother had asked Jasper if he planned to settle down at some point. He’d chortled, as though the mere suggestion was laughable, then insisted he had no intention of getting caught in the parson’s noose anytime soon.
Yet here he was, recently returned from Gretna Green with a wife.
A wife.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I haven’t read a book by Rachael Anderson that I didn’t absolutely love and this awesome book didn’t fail to meet that grade.” ~ Vicki
“This forbidden Regency romance was excellent! Once I started, it was hard - almost impossible to put down.” ~ Charissa
“This is the first full-length novel I’ve read by Rachael Anderson, but it definitely won’t be the last. I really enjoyed the story - the writing was really good with no annoying parts or awkwardness, the plot was interesting, the characters were endearing (I loved the banter between Brigtson and Abby!), and this book was just really good. Highly enjoyable. Great choice for those who like clean, well-written Regency romances.” ~ AE2
“This is a wonderful story for anyone who enjoys a clever and heart-warming historical tale that will leave them with a smile on their face. “~ Phyllis

About the Author
Rachael Anderson
A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.




Also by Rachael Anderson:

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


Links

Monday, December 17, 2018

12 Days of Clean Romance featuring Mylissa Demeyere


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Songs That Brought Me Back
(The Songs Series Book 2)
by Mylissa Demeyere

The Songs That Brought Me Back (The Songs Series Book 2) by Mylissa Demeyere

During the month of December, we will be featuring 12 authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Mylissa Demeyere with The Songs That Brought Me Back. Also available in The Songs Series: The Songs of You and Me (read my blog post).

The Songs of You and Me by Mylissa Demeyere

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


Description
Have you ever made a mistake? One so monumental you lost everything? I did, and I hate myself for it! All I want to do is close my eyes, and let the darkness consume me. Make it all go away. The end.
Ainsley is drowning in the depth of her despair. One wrong decision left her alone, with only regret as her constant companion. To escape it all, she makes another choice. One she hopes will end everything. Instead, she’s thrown into a whole new world filled with opportunities she doesn’t believe she deserves.
Ethan gives the appearance of breezing through life. But underneath his bright facade, he’s scarred by loss. When fate leads him into Ainsley’s world at the exact moment she needs someone the most, he can’t ignore the chance to right the wrongs of his past.
Ainsley and Ethan will struggle to help each other heal and start anew.
They’ll learn that the secret to conquering their pain lies within their power, if only they can do it together.
Always together.
Sometimes the ending is really the beginning.


Excerpt
ETHAN
“FILL THESE OUT, PLEASE.” The nurse at the ER admin desk shoved a clipboard holding a stack of insurance forms into my hands. “Once we get your partner stabilized, I’ll go find out about sending you in to see her.” She gave me a curt nod and disappeared behind the desk.
What had I been thinking? I hadn’t been thinking. Not much beyond getting my neighbor here in time. I had been living next door to Ainsley for the last six months, ever since the construction on my house was completed. And I had noticed her from day one. Who wouldn’t, with her striking blue eyes, long blonde hair, and a body every man dreams of? But there was more. She had this frailty about her, if you looked close enough. And it drew me in, right from the start. But she never let me get further than a few pleasantries. Still, it didn’t stop me from trying. And I had tried to be her friend.
When I found her earlier today… I shuddered as the memory washed over me.
I clutched the letter in my hand, secretly happy I had an excuse to ring Ainsley’s doorbell. The mailman had messed up and I couldn’t let the opportunity slide, noting her car in the driveway.
Walking up to the door, I rolled my shoulders and took a deep breath, aiming for cool and suave, not flustered and eager like she had me feeling each time I caught a glimpse of her.
I rang the bell and turned to soak up the bright rays of sun, feeling my stomach knot as the anticipation rose. A few seconds passed, but no one came to open the door.
I turned to ring the bell again, sure she was home, when I stopped dead in my tracks, my hand still suspended in the air. My heart started pounding in my chest as the ground beneath me felt like it was moving.
“Ainsley! Ainsley!” I pounded on the door, her lifeless body sprawled on the floor in the hallway just visible through the sidelights. My palms felt moist as I fought against the rising panic.
“Ainsley!!” My voice was hoarse as I belted out her name over and over.
Instinct took over. I ran to the back door and found it unlocked. I hadn’t ever let myself in, but now wasn’t the time to worry about that.
“Ainsley!” I fell on my knees next to her, taking in the full scene. Her chest was barely moving, her lips a faint shade of blue. An empty pill bottle lay on the floor beside her. I picked it up, already sure of what was going on but needing to confirm it. Time seemed to stand still as I pieced it all together, but the loud, ringing sound in my ears forced me to move and get help.
“Ainsley, what have you done?” I cried as I slipped my phone out of my back pocket and called 911. I hoped I wasn’t too late, that we still had time.
“What happened?” One of the paramedics loaded her on a gurney while the other got to work checking her vitals. I rehashed all I knew, which wasn’t very much.
They loaded her in the ambulance, and after getting the right info about where they were taking her, I sped over to the hospital in record time.
“What’s your relationship to the patient?” The ER clerk typed in Ainsley’s name without making eye contact.
“I don’t see how that’s important now,” I growled.
“Only the next of kin can see the patient.” She looked up for the first time and took in my panicked state.
“I’m her…boyfriend.” Where did that come from? I didn’t even know her that well, but I couldn’t take it back now.
“I see.” The woman stared up at me over her wide-rimmed glasses, pausing as she studied me. Did she pick up on my hesitation? Did she detect the lie? “Please take a seat. I’ll have her paperwork ready in just a sec.”
I released the breath I held and dropped down in the vinyl seat, overcome by the events of the past hour.
I’d been waiting for over two hours, and I was frantic. I didn’t do so well in a hospital setting.
“Mr. Van Der Beek?” A doctor dressed in light blue scrubs walked into the waiting area. I stood up.
“Yes?” My heart beat double time, waiting for him to give me news on Ainsley.
“We were able to stabilize your girlfriend.” The word made me wince. The doctor luckily mistook it for the info he was delivering, and his expression softened, his eyes full of sympathy. “Ainsley experienced respiratory depression, and we needed to intubate her to ensure she was getting enough oxygen.”
I swallowed the bile rising in my throat and nodded my understanding.
“We’ll keep her in the ICU until she gains consciousness.”
“But she’s going to be okay?” I pleaded.
“We’ll know for sure tomorrow. I think you got to her in time.” He patted me on the shoulder and turned to leave but reconsidered. “Mr. Van Der Beek.” He stared into my eyes.
“Yes?” I felt the weight of the day settle on my shoulders.
“Your girlfriend is very sick. Even if she makes a full physical recovery, you have a long road ahead of you.”
I nodded, my eyes stinging. “Thank you, Doctor.” I sank onto one of the chairs lining the side of the waiting area. If anyone knew how long that road was, it was me.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“A heartfelt romance with a powerful message about the sanctity of human life. If you’ve ever simply needed a friend, The Songs That Brought Me Back will resonate – and leave you thankful for the people in your life.” ~ Taylor Dean, author of I’m With You and Chasing Fireflies
“Another remarkable read by Mylissa Demeyere. Ethan and Ainsley had me laughing and crying as they face their own demons and fall in love while doing it. This book adds even more depth as it confronts suicide head on. Suicide has become an epidemic that some are afraid to address; Demeyere brings it to light from both the victims and the survivors giving us insight on the struggles of so many. It does not disappoint and I, again, am excited to see what comes next from this talented writer.” ~ Amazon Reviewer
“A beautiful sequel to The Songs of You and Me that cleverly illustrates that there are always two sides to every story and that it is never too late for love to overcome any challenge.” ~ Amazon Reviewer
“This poignant redemption story about second chances and forgiveness yanked my emotions all over the place. I cried, I yearned, I hoped. A beautiful story about what true love is and does.” ~ Charissa Stastny, author of Between Hope and the Highway and The Ruled Out Romance Series


About the Author
Mylissa Demeyere
Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast.
The Songs That Brought Me Back is the sequel to The Songs of You and Me, with third book releasing in the middle of 2019.






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


Links