Bombastic #BookBlitz: Something Beautiful by Amanda Gernentz Hanson

Something Beautiful
Amanda Gernentz Hanson
Published by: Pen Name Publishing
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Cordelia and Declan have been best friends since they were three years old. By the time they hit middle school, Cordelia—Cord, to Declan—is already feeling the blackness in her life as depression takes hold. Their mutual attraction to each other leads to a serious high school relationship, one with their foundation of friendship at the forefront. Cordelia seems to have her mental health under control. All appears to be well.

However, when Declan starts to accept his own fluid sexuality, it sets something in motion in their lives that is both beautiful and tragic as they learn to love each other for who they are.

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EXCERPT:

Chapter 1—Now

October 2014

“Fresh off of her book tour, I have here an advocate who is actively involved in fighting inequality in her daily life. I give you, Cordelia Quinn!” The rally organizer steps aside, and I can finally see the crowd. I wave, and the rally organizer gives me a dazzling smile before she continues. “Cordelia Quinn is the bestselling author of The Yellow Wood, a coming-of-age story about a boy and a girl who are best friends as children but choose different paths as adults and then come together later in life. She is also an award-winning screenwriter and one of the most outspoken LGBTQ allies in publishing. Please join me in welcoming her to the podium!” The crowd breaks into thunderous applause that echoes through the cold air, and a smile pulls at the corners of my mouth.

I can’t lie—I’m nervous. I’m not good at hiding my emotions, so I’m afraid that people might be able to tell. I hate crowds, and I hate public speaking. I’ve managed to avoid it ever since I spoke at high school graduation.

“Hello, Topeka,” I begin. My voice is shaking. God, I hope no one notices.

The crowd is rumbling below me, waiting for me to say something good. I’m not even sure I have anything good to say. I’m so bad at this. But I’ve learned that being honest is usually the best way to go, so I decide to veer away from my prepared speech and try for candor.

“I’m going to admit something to you,” I say, gripping the sides of the podium to keep my hands from trembling. I can’t be trusted to hold papers or they’ll be shaking so much that I can’t read them. “I’m not a fan of public speaking, and I don’t usually speak at rallies like this one. But this issue… it’s really important to me. Those of you who have read my book know that. So, when my publicist asked me to come here and talk to you, I couldn’t really turn her down.”

The crowd cheers, and I smile and take a deep breath. With each breath, I feel more at ease, more comfortable speaking up here in front of everyone. I close my eyes for a second, trying to center myself. I see my children’s faces, and my grin widens.

“Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say,” I continue, gaining confidence. “I believe in equality. I believe in love. And I believe that the government should not tell us who we are allowed to love and marry.” At this, all I can think about are the people I left at home—the people who I love, the person I married. I’m lucky. I’ve never had to fight for those rights. “The politicians who are fighting against marriage equality are all active in their conservative churches—well, ladies and gentlemen, I find two issues with that. First, this country was founded on the separation of church and state—it’s in the First Amendment of the Constitution. What ever happened to that?”

I’m on a roll now. My hands have stopped shaking and everything.

“And second, marriage isn’t just about love. Anyone who has made that kind of commitment to someone can tell you that. There are legal rights that come with marriage that should be available to everyone, no matter who they love!”

I can’t help it. I start looking for him. He’s here. I can feel it.

And then I see him, and my face breaks open into the giddy sort of smile I wish I could contain. I knew he’d come. We’ve been apart for weeks now while I’ve been on my book tour, and I’ve missed him so much. Almost as much as I’ve missed the kids. God, I wish they were here with me.

As I make eye contact with him, an idea strikes. I decide to roll with it. “I’m very pleased to tell you that the person who inspired my book is with us tonight. I’d like to call him up here, so that you can meet the first man I ever loved—Declan MacLeod. Come up here, Dec!”

People turn to look at him as he shakes his head and starts moving toward me. I can nearly feel my body vibrating. I can’t wait to be next to him again, to feel his warm hand in mine. My smile is so big it feels like it’s going to split my face in two.

“I’m going to kill you,” he whispers in my ear as he wraps his arms around me. I want him to hold me forever, to never let go of me, to keep me safe and warm wrapped in his strong arms. But we’re in front of all of these people. He has to let go.

“No, you’re not,” I murmur back. “You’re better at this stuff than I am. Tell them something. Anything.” He starts chewing on his bottom lip as he thinks, and I throw him a sharp look. I’ve been on him about that since high school, but he always slips back into the old habit when we’re apart.

He makes his way to the podium and clears his throat. “Hello,” he starts as he waves at the crowd. “I had no idea that I was going to be speaking here tonight, so I apologize if what I say doesn’t make any sense.” He takes a deep breath and glances back at me. “As Cordelia mentioned, I’m Declan MacLeod. I grew up across the street from her in Hamden, Connecticut. Now, I spend most of my time in New York, performing on Broadway.”

The crowd is hypnotized, and I don’t blame them. I’ve been told that, together, Dec and I are hypnotic. We have an energy. I’m not sure I agree—I think he’s the one who radiates energy and charisma, whose skin feels electrifying, no matter how many times I touch it.

As I watch him look out into the crowd, I know one thing—he’s everything. He’s my reason, my why. He’s it for me. I’d be nothing without him.

Author Bio:

Amanda Gernentz Hanson has been writing stories since the third grade, when she entered a five-page story about talking dogs into a local youth arts contest. She is an instructional designer by day and an everything else by night. Amanda is a proud Latina who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Hope College and her Master’s degree in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University. You can find her on the internet at browneyedtwentysomething.com, diverseladybookproject.tumblr.com, and on Twitter and Instagram @amandamariegh. If you see her in the wild, she probably has a book in her purse.

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Clever #CoverReveal: Path Of Thieves by Sunniva Dee

Path of Thieves
Sunniva Dee
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Football hero by day and thief by night, Charles “Cugs” McConnely leads a double life in the small town of Newbark, Florida. At sundown, the seventeen-year-old turns burglar, forced into the business by the man who should be teaching him the difference between right and wrong: his father.

Cugs is a pro at both games, but only one can secure him a college scholarship. It should be an easy decision, a no-brainer—if Newbark hadn’t proffered the only life he knows.

After run-ins with Nadine Paganelli, his accidental victim and the sole person to have caught him in the act, Cugs starts to realize that hearts can be stolen too.

When his long-lost sister makes contact, lies are uncovered and truths revealed. Suddenly, Cugs finds himself questioning both plans and loyalties. Because sometimes the only way to move forward is by pulling the bottom out of the past.

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EXCERPT:

It’s been nine years since the last time I was caught. But here I am staring into wide eyes again. It’s the craziest thing—such a wild, wild flashback to when I stood exactly like this on the threshold of Nadine’s bedroom.

These eyes are as round as Nadine’s back then, and brown locks frame these features too. I don’t know what to say, so I open my hands, palms up, in an I’m so sorry.

“Are you robbing my house?” she whispers. My heart does a flip.

“Maybe.”

“What are you after?” Her throat is long, and it bobs in the middle where she swallows her panic. I hate how it makes me feel.

“Apple products.”

“Are… you going to hurt me?” Her fingers are as white as her neck. Suddenly, I can’t stand trembling girl hands. I want them calm and unafraid if they’re to cover her mouth the way they do now.

On instinct, I pull my bandana down and leave it crinkled around my neck. “No, I’d never hurt anyone.” I let my eyes flick toward the stairs.

“There are more of you, huh?” She’s still not raising her voice. Backing into her room, she fumbles behind her and finds a blanket to throw over her nightgown.

My déjà vu is so big. This girl is older, wiser, but the color of her irises I’ve seen before, and they match the hair folding around her cheeks.

“Yes, it’s me and my—”

“Father?”

I suck in a breath, arms heavy at my sides. “Yes, my father. I never meant to scare you, Nadine. Not once, and definitely not again.”

“Does he still carry a knife?”

“Worse.” It wouldn’t be fair to keep it from her.

“A gun?”

“Sort of.”

“No, it’s not ‘sort of.’ Either he carries or he doesn’t carry a gun.”

Displaying PoT secret with title.jpg

Author Bio:

Between studies, teaching, and advising, Sunniva has spent her entire adult life in a college environment. Most of her novels are new adult romance geared toward smart, passionate readers with a love for eclectic language and engaging their brain as well as their heart while reading.

Born in the Land of the Midnight Sun, the author spent her early twenties making the world her playground. Southern Europe: Spain, Italy, Greece–Argentina: Buenos Aires, in particular. The United States finally kept her interest, and after half a decade in Los Angeles, she now lounges in the beautiful city of Savannah.

Sometimes, Sunniva writes with a paranormal twist (Shattering Halos, Stargazer, and Cat Love). At other times, it’s contemporary (Pandora Wild Child, Leon’s Way, Adrenaline Crush, Walking Heartbreak, and Dodging Trains, coming in late March 2016).

This author is the happiest when her characters let their emotions run off with them, shaping her stories in ways she never foresaw. She loves bad-boys and good-boys run amok, and like in real life, her goal is to keep the reader on her toes until the end of each story.

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Rapturous #NewRelease #Blitz: The Color of a Silver Lining by Julianne MacLean

RELEASING TODAY
From USA Today Bestselling Author
Julianne MacLean
Sometimes, moving on isn’t the right choice when miracles are leading you back to your past — toward something, or someone, who was your destiny all along.
The Color of a Silver Lining
THE COLOR OF A SILVER LINING
Julianne MacLean
Series: The Color of Heaven Series Book 13
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
It’s been five years since Emma Cochran endured the worst possible tragedy—the sudden, unexpected death of her four-year-old son. The emotional trauma tore her marriage apart, but now her divorce is final and she wants to begin again. She’s found happiness at last with her fiancé, Luke, who is eager to start a family with her.
On the other side of the country, single mother Bev Hutchinson watches helplessly as her five-year-old daughter Louise drowns in a high-profile boating accident. Miraculously, Louise is brought back to life and claims she went to heaven. The news causes a media frenzy surrounding the little girl, and Bev does everything she can to shield herself and her daughter from the relentless swarming of the press.
Lives collide when Emma becomes obsessed with the story of the child, thousands of miles away, who drowned and went to heaven. She wants to connect with the mother, but Emma’s fiancé is against the idea because he wants her to let go of her grief and move on.
The Color of a Silver Lining 3D
An amazing read. The story builds and builds and then suddenly there is a twist and a turn and it all comes together.
– Zena, Goodreads Reviewer
Every book in the Color of Heaven series opens my heart and mind to new possibilities in life. With each story I cry and feel alive. Color of a Silver Lining encourages you to see love here on earth and stretch your mind to believe in the connection of spirit. A truly beautifully written novel that inspires hope; even after tragedy.
– Karen Forrest, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now. Grab your copy today.

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at The Color of a Silver Lining. Read an excerpt from the book.
Chapter 10
It had been two full days, and the reporters were still outside my house.
Louise and I took cover indoors. I’d planned to keep her home from school anyway for a full week after the accident, and I’d asked for sick days at the hospital. Thankfully we had a private fully-fenced backyard with tall trees, so we were able to go outside with Leo and get some fresh air in a safe place with no cameras pointed at us.
One good thing came from our self-imposed lockdown: We had plenty of time to get creative with crayons. Over the course of two days, Louise drew dozens of pictures of her visit to heaven, and I tacked each one to the wall outside her bedroom.
To a stranger, they might have looked like any other drawings by a five-year old because they were images of colorful rainbows and yellow suns, trees and tall buildings—just like what she’d described to me in the park. But to me, I saw something more.
Each time she finished a new picture, she handed the page to me and said, “This isn’t as good as the real thing. I don’t think I can draw it.”
“Would it help if you had something better than crayons?” I asked, encouraging her to continue. “What about paint?”
“That would be good.”
“Let’s go to the art store tomorrow,” I suggested.
In the meantime, she drew hearts everywhere to surround herself and her grandfather, who held her hand wherever they were—in the sky above the clouds or in an orchard with sunlight filtering through pink apple blossoms or rabbits in the tall grass. I could almost hear the sound of insects buzzing, grass swishing against my legs…
And she always drew a mustache on her grandfather.
By the end of the second day, the entire hallway was papered with Louise’s colorful crayon illustrations, but now she was painting with oils on canvas—using an easel I’d purchased at the art store.
I spent a lot of time in the hallway, studying her creations, which she produced at an alarming rate. She drew birds and trees and meadows with colorful wildflowers and sparkling drops of dew. Oceans with turquoise water, dolphins and seagulls. Mountains with white, snow-capped peaks. Sunsets with spectacular clouds and silver linings.
On the third day, when I woke at six am to the sound of rain pelting against my window, I donned my bathrobe, went to the living room and peered through the slats in the blinds. To my relief, the street in front of my house was deserted. The reporters and news vans had departed.
Knowing my sister was an early riser on school days, I called her. She told me to turn on the television because it appeared we were no longer the top news story on every station. We’d been bumped aside by an earthquake in California the night before. I wasn’t happy about the devastation, of course, but I was thankful to have our privacy back.

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WIN $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD
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About Julianne MacLean

Julianne MacLean

Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author who has sold more than 1.3 million books in North America, and her novels have also been translated into many foreign languages. She has written twenty historical romance novels, including the bestselling Highlander Trilogy with St. Martin’s Press and her popular Pembroke Palace Series with Avon/Harper Collins. She also writes contemporary mainstream fiction, and her 2011 release The Color of Heaven was a USA Today bestseller. Please visit her website for more information. http://www.juliannemaclean.com.
To receive regular updates from the author, join Julianne MacLean’s newsletter.
Connect with Julianne MacLean on social media:
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For more information, visit the The Color of a Silver Lining Book Page at Book Unleashed.

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Rapturous #NewRelease #Blitz: Star Gone by Kim Briggs

NEW BOOK RELEASE!
A Starr gone. A team betrayed.
Starr Gone
STARR GONE
Kim Briggs
Series: Starr Fall Book 3
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, YA Romance, YA Thriller
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Publication Date: June 3, 2017
A Starr gone. A team betrayed.
You never know who your true friends are until a gun’s pointed at you. One will take a bullet, and the other will pull the trigger. Starr learned that lesson the hard way.
The perfect smile. A killer attitude. General Treadwell wanted nothing more than to turn Starr Bishop into the ideal assassin, but she’s far more valuable as Jessica Chamberlain, granddaughter and heir to Chamberlain Chocolates. Luckily, he’s found two enthusiastic replacements. They lack Starr’s intelligence, but no matter, they possess their own weapons of persuasion along with a flair for the dramatic, and that’s never a bad thing.
Di, along with Christian, Frank, Ben and Coda, are determined to keep Starr safe, but the depths of betrayal crack the very foundation of the team. When Starr becomes a pawn in a game of power, money, and manipulation, Di channels her WWSD (What Would Starr Do) to rally the team. She owes her best friend that much. No… More.
“I love this book so much and this series just won’t stop getting better and better!”
– Meggan Turner, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Starr Gone Teaser

Other Books by Kim Briggs

Don’t miss the first two books in the Starr Fall series:
Starr Fall
STARR FALL
Series: Starr Fall Book 1
When the Organization decides Starr would make the ideal assassin, she needs to escape the island and disappear. While in hiding she meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Christian makes Starr forget that the Organization is after her, but their lives are more entwined than either one realizes.
One Starr falls, and a killer rises!
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Starr Lost
STARR LOST
Series: Starr Fall Book 2
A Starr falls, and a family is found.
On the run from the Organization, Starr and Christian find safety on the Qualla Boundary with their friends, Ben and Coda, but Starr needs answers. She owes her dear dead friends, Sami and Jody, that much. She forms a team of her own to fight the general and his recruits.
Life becomes tense on the Qualla Boundary, sparks fly, and the Organization is about to smash in their door.
Buy Links: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble
“Amazing, Amazing Must Read. Had me edging from my seat, wide eyed with what’s going to happen with each turn of the page.”
– Amazon Customer, Amazon reviewer

Giveaway

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$10 Amazon Gift Card, Starr Gone Paperback and Swag

About Kim Briggs

Kim Briggs

Kim Briggs once smashed into a tree while skiing. The accident led to a concussion, a cracked sternum, temporary notoriety as a sixth grader returned from the dead, and the realization that fictionalized accounts are way more interesting than just slipping on the ice.
An unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories combined with a love of travel and happily ever afters led Kim to write her YA novel, Starr Fall, where a secret organization decides 17-year-old Starr Bishop is not only the model student, but the ideal assassin. While in hiding, Starr meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Cue the swoon worthy music. But it’s not all happily ever afters for Kim. Her NA novel, And Then He, explores the dark and scary corners of the human psyche. Following a night of innocent flirting with a handsome stranger, Tiffani finds herself in the midst of a nightmare she can’t escape. And Then He is available through Amazon and other major book retailers. Starr Fall released November 2016 with Inkspell Publishing, followed by Starr Lost in January 2017 and Starr Gone in June 2017. Her novella, Avalanche is part of the Valentine Kisses Anthology and released February 14, 2017.
When she’s not doing something writerly, Kim can be found jumping into snowdrifts with her three kids, husband, and dog. She’s careful to avoid trees.
Visit her website and sign up for updates: http://www.KimBriggsWrite.com
She shares writing love with her INK Sister Alison Green Myers at INK Sisters Write
Connect with her on these social media sites: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from June 6 – 19, 2017.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Starr Gone Book Page at Book Unleashed.
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Titillating #Trailer: The Funeral Flower by Michelle Jester

The Funeral Flower
Michelle Jester
Publication date: June 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Devastated by the death of her grandfather, six-year-old Kelly Rodgers barely manages to cope with the profound loss. Already facing issues at school, she finds herself spiraling deeper into despair, when a fateful interaction through the fence in her backyard gives her hope. In the years following, Kelly realizes that life’s tragedies can be dealt with through acceptance; until another series of agonizing events leaves her heart in pieces.

Finding herself thrown into new surroundings, Kelly embraces her life and resolves to never fall in love. That decision is easy to keep until her junior year when she is drawn by an unavoidable attraction to the new guy, tormented James Delaney. The moment he looks up at her and smiles, her body betrays her. And he notices. She is determined to avoid him, but soon Kelly is forced to face the inevitable truth: She doesn’t want to avoid James… and he won’t let her.

Even though tragedy always follows love.

This book is intended for mature audiences due to critical subject matter.

Note: Due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+

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BOOK TRAILER

Author Bio:

I am a hopeless romantic (I think this is the most important thing to know about me). In addition, I live in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana with my husband and high school sweetheart. Together we have a son and daughter.

Throughout my life writing and photography have been my main creative outlets. Especially when I am stressed, I know I can go to either of those things and pour out that anxiety into something good and productive.

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Clever #CoverReveal: Second Chance by Suzanne Jenkins

SecondChanceRevealBanner

Title: Second Chance

Series: Pam of Babylon, Book 15

Author: Suzanne Jenkins

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Tanya Shatseva

Release Date: July 3, 2017

Romance Genre(s): Contemporary

Pages: 300

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About the Book

Blurb

SecondChance

Just when life settles down to a dull roar for those people whom Pam holds closest to her heart, the pendulum swings in the opposite direction and everyone is tossed into the air. Who will they hold on to as they fall back to Earth?

Gladys finds the son she gave up at birth forty years ago; he’s a single fire fighter on Staten Island. At their first meeting, he sees Pam’s beautiful daughter, Lisa. Will it be love at first sight?

Big Ed leaves Gladys, his wife of almost forty years for Melody. The unexpected? Gladys falls into the arms of the eligible bachelor, Dave, owner of Organic Bonanza. Will it be a case of I don’t want her, you can’t have her?

And last but not least, Sandra starts up an unusual relationship with her late ex’s ex-wife, Jenna. But history might repeat itself; Sandra can not be trusted.

Second Chance is the fifteenth novel in the beloved Pam of Babylon series.

Excerpt

July. Fire House A-89, in the northeast corner of Staten Island.

Early Saturday morning, as the sun rose, fire fighter Dale McGuire stripped off turnout gear and hung it to air out on a hook on the outside of his locker. Coming in from a call for a small brush fire at the side of the highway right before the Verrazano Bridge entrance, Dale looked forward to coffee, something to eat, and bed for a nap, in that order.

Grabbing a towel, he walked to the shower, whistling.

“McGuire is happy this morning,” his colleague, Paul shouted, coming on his shift.

“Yeah, because he gets to go home,” another firefighter called out.

Chuckling, Dale nodded. Life was so peaceful, if it weren’t for the fires he fought, the lives occasionally rescued, he’d have to consider getting a hobby just to prevent boredom from setting in. Mind a blank as he lathered up, he thought of getting home to his dog, Tilly. She’d be on the back of the couch, waiting for him.

“Jesus, buddy, I’m embarrassed to strip in front of you,” Paul said, pointing to Dale returning from the shower. “Look at this guy’s abs.”

Quickly pulling his towel up higher, Dale laughed. “You’re not my type,” he said over the hilarity. “I won’t watch you if it’ll help.”

Locker room banter took some of the pain the exhaustion the night shift firefighters experienced away. “See you Monday,” Dale said when he was dressed, grabbing his duffle bag.

He lived in the house his late parents’ left him on Todt Hill, within walking distance to the firehouse. Volunteering there during high school, he bypassed college, much to his parents’ chagrin, and took a full time position as a firefighter rather than go away to his father’s alma mater in Philadelphia.

“It’s an honorable position, Douglas,” his mother had said in Dale’s defense. “Don’t make yourself sick with disappointment.”

“I wanted our son to follow in my footsteps. A McGuire at Penn is a tradition.”

Twenty years later, they were both dead, a fatal car wreck snuffing out the lives of Dale’s favorite people. Walking up the hill, he glanced up at the imposing structure in the bright morning sun. It was a grand house, but too big for a single man approaching middle-age.

Parents gone almost three years, he’d taken over the house as his own and couldn’t imagine anyone else living there with him. The scariest part of that; he knew he was becoming so set in his ways that if he didn’t fall in love soon, it might be too late.

Preorder Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

About Suzanne Jenkins

Author Bio

SuzanneJenkins

My books are all creations of a rich and sometimes devilish dream life. Don’t worry—you won’t see yourself in any of my books, but if you do, it’s just a coincidence…

In a former life, I was a registered nurse who worked in the Operating Room for many years. Prior to nursing school, I was an OR technician, and after working in the OR for over thirty-three years, I can’t stand the sight of blood!

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for forty-eight years. We have two children and seven grandchildren and are down to one dog, Oscar. We live in the isolated mountains of north San Diego county, rarely leaving the sanctuary. It’s a wonderful place to hide out and write. I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America and the RWA San Diego Chapter.

Connect with Suzanne

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Linked In | Pinterest

Giveaway

Enter via the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of the following:

  • First prize: Pam of Babylon bracelet and eBook box set of novels 1-5 in the series
  • Second prize: eBook box set of novels 1-5 in the series
  • Third prize: e-copy of Pam of Babylon

The contest closes at midnight EST on June 9 and is open to entrants worldwide.

Good luck!

Enter here.

Tour Stops

May 29

Loves Great Reads
A Fold in the Spine
Shh, I Am Reading
Amo & Sarah’s Book Corner
Just Us Book Blog
Red’s Romance Reviews

May 30

Books All Things Paranormal and Romance
Paranormal Palace of Pleasures
CelticLady’s Reviews
Books, Dreams, Life
Pink Lace & Silver Buckles

May 31

Kitty’s Book Spot
Tome Tender
Underneath the Covers
Literary Misfit

June 1

Anna Butler
LoveBound Books
A Naughty Book Fling
Reads and Treats

June 2

Ramblings of a Book Nerd
Liz’s Reading Life
Always Love Me Some Books
Smokin’ Hot Reads
Wicked Babes Blog Reviews
Abibliophobia Anonymous

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