Thursday, February 7, 2019

Forever Yours Clean Romance Event featuring Jess Heileman


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Abigail
by Jess Heileman

Abigail by Jess Heileman

During January and February, we have been featuring 12 fabulous authors who write clean romance. Today we feature our final author, Jess Heileman with Abigail, ON SALE for $0.99.
This book blast and giveaway is hosted by Clean Wholesome Romance.


Description
Since the death of her mother, Abigail Blakeslee has lost all desire to become a debutante and enter Society. 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 matchmaking she had hoped to avoid. 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. Bet 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
It was several minutes into the first course that Uncle Stanton leaned toward me. “By whom do I have the privilege of sitting this evening?”
“Miss Blakeslee, sir.” I offered, perplexed how he had forgotten our introduction already. “We met just now in the drawing room.”
“Of course. Miss Blakeslee. Such a pretty sounding girl. And I have heard you are quite exquisite though I wish I could see you for myself.”
It was only then I noticed the cloudiness of his eyes. “Forgive me, sir. I did not realize you—” the words to finish seemed too harsh to speak.
“That I am blind?” He chuckled. “I’m flattered you took so long to realize. Was it my handsome face that made you overlook the defect or the confident way I hold myself?”
I was convinced it was the darkness of the drawing room, but I had no intention of saying so. “I believe it was both, sir.”
He chuckled again and reached a hand toward me. Placing my hand atop his, I gave it a gentle squeeze which he affectionately returned.
After some general small talk around the table, a few failed attempts to entreat Miss Hawkins into conversation, and seeing the focused regard Sir Wycliffe paid to Hannah, I gladly directed my attention to Uncle Stanton. There was something about his openness that endeared him to me immediately.
“And, if you don’t mind me asking, Mr. Stanton—”
“My friends and relations call me Uncle, and, if you find no offense in being placed amongst that group, I must insist you do also.”
“I would be honored, Uncle.”
“And I’m guessing by how you began to phrase your question, you were curious how I lost my eyesight?”
Now that he said it aloud it sounded alarmingly impolite, and I felt relieved he couldn’t witness the color that filled my cheeks. I still needed to learn to not let my curiosity take precedence to propriety. “I—well, I—” I stumbled over my words, endeavoring to think of another question to propose.
“Truly, I don’t mind,” he said, sensing my hesitation. “But I fear there is little to tell. A few years ago, I began having problems with my vision. Things grew dark at the edges and gradually expanded toward the center until all I now have is a general sense of light and dark. I sought the best physician in London, who assured me there was nothing to be done. So, I have resigned myself to enjoying the world through my other senses.”
I smiled. “That is a commendable outlook on such a hardship.”
“As I see it, I only had two choices—to be bitter or to not. I simply chose the more enjoyable of the two. Though I will admit, I often wish I could create a more romantic story surrounding it all. You see, I have a very dull imagination—” he hesitated, “not that I care to mislead anyone, but the truth is hardly worthy of attention.”
“I don’t credit myself with much creativity, but perhaps both our minds together might come to a tale worth sharing—or, in the least, to entertain ourselves?”
“Miss Blakeslee, that is a capital idea!”
“Well then, let us think. The grandest stories are always believable,” I paused, trying to determine an appropriate setting. “You were just telling me of your time in the British Fleet.” He nodded. “It would be fitting, and perfectly romantic, if your tale occurred at sea. Perhaps a heroic rescue?”
One side of his mouth lifted. “I daresay I prefer to play the hero.”
“And nothing is as heroic as rescuing a damsel in distress, do you not agree?”
“I most certainly do.”
I couldn’t resist grinning as a story surfaced in my mind. “I believe it must occur at night, for the mystery of things is always greater at night. You are walking the deck as Captains do, on watch for pirates or smugglers, when you hear the cry of a woman. You follow the sound to the starboard side of the ship and search the water, wondering who could be in such a state of anguish. The water is dark, with only an occasional reflection of light from the moon dancing off the waves. It would be impossible for someone to be out there, but then—” I nearly giggled at the intensity of Uncle Stanton’s concentration.
“Well, what was it I saw?” he asked eagerly.
“A woman, of course.”
“In the sea?”
“In the sea! And the most beautiful woman you have ever laid eyes on. But what was most peculiar was how her cry transformed to a song—an entrancing melody that wrapped around you, pulling you toward her.”
“But she is in the water? How is she rescued?”
“You are a hero, Uncle. You must jump in to save her!” He lifted his eyebrows in surprise, and I covered my mouth stifling a laugh. “Don’t look so startled at the notion, I daresay if it were a real occurrence you wouldn’t hesitate a moment. And our story must be accurate—that is why I came to this conclusion.”
His face beamed with pride. “I’ve always had a propensity for acting brashly around beautiful women.”
“And so, this is no different. And after you jump into the freezing water, as extremes make the account more exciting, you swim to where you expect her to be but find nothing. You search frantically, diving under the water and yelling for her—for now that you have seen her you will save her or die in the attempt. But you grow tired and, just as your strength is exhausted and you begin to sink, you are pulled from the sea.”
“And how should I be saved?”
“A shipmate would be a reasonable rescuer. Possibly a fellow watchman or someone who heard your distress as you searched?” I received a reassuring nod. “When they got you on deck, although you had taken in much water, your only concern was for the woman. ‘Woman?’ they’d say, ‘There was no woman in the water.’ Had they not heard the cry or the mesmerizing song? Were they not lucky enough to behold the enchanting face? They’d surely blame it on your longing imagination—though we know how dull it is—or likely a bad meal. And I fear she would forever be a mystery to you, plaguing your very existence— the image of this siren etched in your mind and her song on your heart. And your eyes would ultimately grow dim because nothing in this world could compare with the splendor you once beheld.”
A satisfied smile lit his face and my own expression soon mirrored his.
“You have given me quite a story, Miss Blakeslee; yet I am certain I shall never tell it as well. I’d ask you to transcribe it, so I might memorize it,” he chuckled, “but that would do little good as I’m no longer able to read.”
His laugh was contagious, and I easily joined him. Glancing around to make sure no one had observed my casual behavior, my eyes locked with Mr. Edwin Stanton. His stern look took the smile from my lips and drove my gaze to my plate.
“What is it, Miss Blakeslee?” Uncle Stanton asked gently.
I marveled at his discernment, most people with perfect eyesight would fail to perceive what he did. “I believe I have offended your great nephew with my behavior.”
“And how did you come to that conclusion?”
“The intensity of his stare—as though he is condemning me from across the table.”
“Many emotions can cause intensity, Miss Blakeslee. But, if he is displeased, let me ease your mind—you can hardly be the cause. These last few years he has had no difficulty finding things to aggravate him. Perhaps it is his way of being hospitable—ensuring he treats us all equally.”
“Perhaps,” I said, taking comfort in the idea his ill temper hadn’t began with my arrival. Looking back toward the other side of the table our eyes met again, but this time he redirected his attention to the smiling face of Helena.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Ooh, I really enjoyed this story! It definitely had a Pride and Prejudice sort of feel for me with the brooding hero, the passionate and intelligent heroine and plenty of misunderstand and judgments on both sides. Abigail is so easy to love. Honestly, she is kind, compassionate and freely herself even when it goes against what is ‘proper’. She is a defender of people and exceptionally loyal. See? What’s not to love?” ~ Aimee brown
“I bought this book last night and then ended up staying up way too late to finish it! But I was enjoying it so much I couldn’t put it down! It reminded me of Edenbrooke in style and that I loved the heroine, Abigail, and her desire to stand up for good causes despite society pressures - she had so much goodness! I loved her story and how it all connected.” ~ Crystal
“This is Jess Heileman’s first novel, and I am excited for her to write more! Edwin and Abigail were easy to love and cheer for, and there was a host of secondary characters who were also fun to get to know!” ~ Alisa
Abigail sucked me in from the first page and I had a hard time putting it down. A sweet Regency romance with all the back and forth love vs duty inherent in this type of book - which helps make them one of my favorite! The characters are well developed and believable.” ~ Cheryl-Lynn

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 $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Links
Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

Books featured in this post:



Wednesday, February 6, 2019

"The Bet Between Us" by Brandon Moore


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Bet Between Us
by Brandon Moore

The Bet Between Us by Brandon Moore

This book blitz and giveaway for The Bet Between Us by Brandon Moore is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.


Description
Donald Cerlino only cares about three things: money, getting girls, and gambling. His friends are so impressed with his abilities with women, they start calling him Don Juan. When senior year starts, he’s got a list of girls he wants to add to the growing number of notches on his headboard. So when his best friend, Thomas, bets Donald that his skills aren’t enough to nab the school valedictorian, Alaina Pizzo, Donald is up for the challenge. What Thomas doesn’t know is that Donald has had a crush on Alaina since kindergarten. Problem is, Alaina hates his guts.
When Donald’s feelings for Alaina start to show, Thomas begins to turn against him. Thomas wanted Donald to see the error of his ways when it comes to women, not abandon their friendship for yet another girl. The deeper Donald gets, the more he wants a future with Alaina, but that means revealing why he started talking to her in the first place. When Thomas starts threatening to tell Alaina the truth, Donald has to decide if he wants to lose the love of his life or his best friend.
Donald realizes he took a bet he can’t win. The great Don Juan may lose everything.


Excerpt
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


About the Author
Brandon Moore
Brandon was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey, in 1991. He started writing in the first grade when his teacher gave him an assignment to write a story that had to do with Halloween. He chose to write a story about werewolves, and the rest is history. Since then, he's written poetry, lyrics to quite a few songs, and a ton of reviews on music, movies, video games, etc. He currently resides in Carney's Point, New Jersey, with his wife and cat.



Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of The Bet Between Us by Brandon Moore (US/Canada only).

Links

Books featured in this post:



Tuesday, February 5, 2019

"Sourpuss" by Merricat Mulwray


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Sourpuss
by Merricat Mulwray

Sourpuss by Merricat Mulwray

Sourpuss by Merricat Mulwray is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Sourpuss is a blistering satire of the depraved and entitled culture that pervades college campuses.
Mallory Wahl loathes the campus party scene ...
She’s sprinting through her senior year obsessed with winning a spot on the US Olympic track team. But she runs straight into a hurdle in the form of fraternity president Graham Patterson, an intern assigned to help her recover from an injury – one she blames on him.
Once Graham’s therapies begin to work, Mallory pretends to fall in love but traps herself in her own scheme and tailspins deep into his debauched world. When a scandal erupts which threatens to shatter her Olympic dreams once and for all, Mallory must finally face the dark truth she’s been running from since freshman year.
In the style of a ’90s dark comedy flick, Merricat Mulwray’s debut brings an insightful and humorous perspective to the reckless behavior college students perpetually get away with. Mallory, herself a flawed heroine, is backed by a self-serving cast of athletes, party girls, townies, and fraternity brothers so hilariously dark that the book will leave you wondering if anyone ever gets what they deserve.

Excerpt
“Welcome back to the hellhole!” Mallory announced. Her teammates briefly cheered then returned to making evening plans. Mallory huffed, crossed her arms, and jammed her body further into the back of her seat. She hated getting back to campus once everyone was already in party mode and out for the night. The bus slowed and she glared out of the window at a swaying student pissing on a tree. As he tried to steady himself, his Greek lettered baseball cap slipped off his head into his warm urine pool. “It’s always the same mess,” she grumbled. Her eyes followed an upbeat group of girls so engrossed in their walking dance battle they unintentionally forded the stream of urine.
Mallory was sure she was the only person who knew exactly how things worked and how they should be. She thought that, unlike the rest of the “morons” on campus, she would be leaving on the Olympic track team. My purpose isn’t to spend my nights barfing and fucking randoms in filthy locations. Come summer, I’ll be far, far, away from this bunch of idiot children and their worthless degrees, she thought with a smile.
To her, the brand new stadium and the sports facilities were proof the college only spent money to support those with true talent, the top athletes. She firmly believed it was the athletes who gave credibility to the school and that the general student body was nothing but fodder for the machine. Except the fucking frat boys. They’ll have jobs—not even, they’ll have careers—when they finish and will have earned none of it. The school lets them do whatever the fuck they want, Mallory thought between aggressive pulls on an energy gel.
The bus came to a stop, allowing a herd of Greeks to pass. The driver laid on the horn as they slowly meandered by. The guy in charge of holding up the rear of a blacked-out girl flung her legs down and gave the driver an aggressive middle finger. The scene made Mallory’s lip curl back, exposing the entirety of her gums.
The bus pushed around the curve towards the stadium. She grinned, wishing the driver had plowed through the crosswalk. Mallory forcibly rolled her eyes at another group. Their pants were down to their ankles as they grabbed at the skirts of sorority girls who were wobbling by in a human train, powered by the fifth of Fireball the caboose carried. Those girls are gonna get what’s coming to them. Mallory laughed as she watched one of the girls throw back her head, heave, and vomit into her sister’s beachy waves. Overturned trashcans and broken beer bottles littered the streets. Mallory sighed. They all need to be arrested. But she knew campus police wouldn’t do anything. They were too busy running a revolving door for those too connected to spend any time in jail.
She stretched out her legs and watched her teammates unload.
“Aren’t you going to get off?” asked a freshman whose name Mallory didn’t know.
“Driver. Drop me at home,” Mallory demanded coolly.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“This all aligns with what I have been trying to find in fiction - more books about college students, more books about fraternities, more books about campus climates - making it immediately appealing. And as anyone who has listened to me talk about Heathers or Sharp Objects knows, I have a hard time resisting any story that makes me go ‘That is so f--ed up’ while continuing to consume it without hesitation. It is a relief for me to say Sourpuss easily falls within that category.” ~ Natalie Walton, Managing News Editor - The Review - University Of Delaware
“Perhaps one of the most offensive sick ‘jokes’ in literary history... strongly written ... brutally honest and graphic.” ~ IndieReader


“... Merricat Mulwray, covered every aspect of rape culture and did it with their own twist, that no doubt will grab the attention of every fiction fan out there. From slut shaming, to toxic masculinity and the use of misogynistic language and the objectification of women, you'll want to ask ‘Is this allowed?’ The answer is yes, and it is necessary.” ~ Julia Moro, News Editor - The Good Five Cent Cigar - University of Rhode Island
“... it is exceptionally refreshing to read about a female character unashamed to flaunt her ego ... the novel has no shortage of characters that make an immediate impact on readers.” ~ The Daily Californian / UC Berkeley


“Debauchery, nonsense and some of the most hateable characters ever... I loved it! Darkly hilarious and sharply satirical, Sourpuss is fantastic fun to read.” ~ Amber S, NetGalley

About the Author
Merricat Mulwray
Merricat Mulwray is the collaboration of two sisters. They live in Los Angeles where they hatch plans and develop schemes, sometimes these turn into novels.



Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of Sourpuss by Merricat Mulwray (US/Canada only).

Links

Books featured in this post:



Forever Yours Clean Romance Event featuring Rebecca Connolly


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
A Tip of the Cap
(London League Book 3)
by Rebecca Connolly

A Tip of the Cap (London League Book 3) by Rebecca Connolly

During January and February, we will be featuring 12 fabulous authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Rebecca Connolly with A Tip of the Cap.
Also available in the London League series: The Lady and the Gent and A Rogue About Town.

London League series by Rebecca Connolly

This book blast and giveaway is hosted by Clean Wholesome Romance.


Description
With Cap in hand …
Malcolm Colerain, Earl of Montgomery, needs a wife. He has four children, a peerage, and a demanding secret occupation as a member of the London League; all of which give him a fulfilling life, so a proper marriage of convenience is all he seeks. But when he meets Elizabeth Owens, things begin to change. Distance becomes difficult, convenience becomes rather inconvenient, and his exciting life as a spy turns on its head.
… Love comes to call …
Beth Owens seizes the chance to marry the handsome and striking Earl of Montgomery, marriage of convenience or not. Her heart is his for the taking, and she is determined that he eventually will. But the more she learns about her husband, the more he puzzles her. He has secrets, she is well aware, but just how many and how deeply do they run? And when she finds a few secrets of her own, will they ever have a chance at love?


Excerpt
“I hope you don’t mind that I asked Mrs. Granger to introduce us, Miss Owens,” he said, somehow smiling in his tone but not with his mouth.
Beth shook her head quickly. “Not at all, my lord, I am grateful for the opportunity.”
He opened his mouth to reply, then closed it, cocking his head in confusion. “Were you, indeed?”
She nodded meekly. “Yes, my lord.” She opted not to say more, trying to remember how to be demure and polite when faced with a powerful man who could give her a desperately-needed position.
Impertinence would not be appreciated, nor would rambling. Beth tended to be inclined towards both.
Lord Montgomery propped his elbow on the arm of the sofa, hand positioned in a thoughtful pose against his face. “Tell me about yourself, Miss Owens, if you please.”
Beth straightened up, praying her hands would remain gracefully clasped in her lap. “I am from Oxfordshire, my lord, near Abingdon. My godparents sent me to finish at Mrs. Rampton’s School in Berkshire where I received an excellent education, giving me all the skills and knowledge that a competent and capable governess ought to possess. I am learned in French, German, and Latin; I have skills in penmanship, arithmetic, as well as prominent literature. I can teach deportment and manners, as well as…”
“Miss Owens,” Lord Montgomery interrupted, a deep furrow between his brows, “I don’t wish to engage you as a governess.”
Beth stared at him for a moment, then sighed heavily and let her shoulders droop a little. “No, of course, you don’t.” She was not entirely sure if she were disappointed or relieved, but she suspected it was an odd mixture of both. In truth, she would have to admit that arithmetic made her itch, and her German accent sounded as though she were ill. Her aggrieved headmistress had maintained that Beth’s skills in deportment bordered on ‘just enough to not be shocking’, so she really would have been quite hopeless.
Her reaction seemed to amuse him. “Why would you think that was why I asked Mrs. Granger for an introduction?” he queried, that sort-of smile returning to his face.
She stared at him rather blankly. “Why else would you want to meet with me, my lord?”
“That… is an excellent question,” he said slowly, his thumb grazing his jaw absently as his gaze fixed on her.
It was all she could do to not fidget under such a gaze. “Yes, sir?” she prodded, smiling nervously.
His lips quirked with an ironic tilt. “I haven’t yet decided, Miss Owens.”
Beth smiled in earnest now, laughing at the bizarre twist of their conversation. “Will you tell me when you have?”
Lord Montgomery gave a slow nod. “Most assuredly.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Loved it. I am still in my happy place after reading that amazing book:} This was a great story with great characters. Sweet proper romance with a hint of danger …” ~ LoveBooks
“I love all of Rebecca’s books and this was no exception. I think it’s a great release in the series and I can’t wait for the next one!” ~ Angela
“The characters are written so vividly that you feel like you could look up from the page and see them in front of you. I love the depth of feeling that gradually develops between Malcolm and Beth, the love that develops between Malcolm’s children and Beth, and the camaraderie between the members of the League. Another wonderful book!” ~ Caseybee
“I loved this book!! Beth was so lively and spirited. She suited Malcolm so well. They both complimented each other and made each other better. […] This was a great story!!” ~ Amberly Lucas
“My emotions and anxiety will never calm down after reading this book. […] As always with this author I’m sad when a story ends and I have to say goodbye to new friends. I can’t wait to hear Rook’s story and maybe an update on Cap and Lily. Well done again Ms. Connolly!” ~ ktaft

About the Author
Rebecca Connolly
Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.





Also by Rebecca Connolly:

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


Links
Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

Books featured in this post: