Thursday, March 31, 2016

BROKEN BUT BREATHING

Title: Broken but Breathing
Series: Jinx Tattoos #2
Author: Shyla Colt
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 29, 2016
It’s time to move on.
You’ve grieved enough.
I’m worried about you.
Estelle Noll has heard the same things repeatedly for the past two years. How can one put a time line on recovery from total devastation? She lost the love of her life, child, and home in one day. Broken, depressed, and lost, she battles her way from the darkness and begins to piece together a new life. Xavier “Snake” Kolton is everything her husband wasn’t. 
Tattooed, bold, dirty talking, and free-spirited. He makes her feel alive for the first time since the tragedy. Can the M.C. Vice President ever be more than a passing phase? 
Xavier "Snake." Kolton knows what it feels like to lose. The Vice President of the Wild Ones MC has spent years dedicated to nothing but his brothers and their commitment to bettering the community. When the fragile curly-haired blonde woman comes into his life, long dormant to him awaken. Can this woman who’s lost more than anyone ever should handle his lifestyle. Should he even ask her to?

Prologue
Estelle Noll never minded storms. The sound of the rain dancing on the rooftop made her smile. The fresh scent and the coolness it always brought were a welcome break from the sweltering summer heat. She sat on the plush grey window seat, viewing the world through the pane of glass. They cracked the screen earlier in anticipation of what was to come. The distinct aroma that came from wet concrete was nature’s perfume. She couldn’t wait to breathe in the crisp, clean scent.
I’m an unrepentant pluviophile. A total lover of rain who found joy and peace in the precipitation. The corners of her lips curled up as her mind went to her mother, Jane Abbot, and her father, James. They gifted her with her appreciation of books, rain, and whimsical things. The English-born couple loved classic literature, and wove wondrous tales about their life in Kent, England.
They’d returned to their hometown five years ago, and Estelle missed them more every day. Soon they’ll be back to prepare for your birth, little one. She rubbed her rounded belly. 
A tiny foot kicked in response, and garnered a smile. There’s a living, breathing being inside of me right now. Wonderment filled her. For five years she and Everett tried to have a baby. Therefore, with his low sperm count and her endometriosis this bun in her oven was a tiny miracle. 
“I can’t wait to meet you, Emma,” she whispered. Content, she glanced at the worn copy of her name inspiration, Great Expectations, in her lap. 
The wail of sirens brought her from Pip and Estelle’s childhood. Tornado warning. The warnings were common this time of year. Closing her book, she studied the sky rapidly changing color. The hairs on the back of her neck and arms stood on end; a sense of unease flooded her system. She closed the book and slid off the cushion, narrowing her eyes. Had the sky taken on a green hue? The wind had picked up. The branches on the trees shook violently in the wind. 
“Stell.” Everett strode into the room. The terse tone and clipped words made her hackles rise. 
“What’s wrong?” she asked, standing to greet him. 
“We need to go downstairs. The bathroom is the safest place. They spotted a funnel nearby.” 
Goosebumps covered her flesh. A fine sheen of sweat broke out on her forehead. She toyed with the hem of her maternity top, worrying the material as she rubbed it between her forefinger and thumb. 
He moved to the window and struggled to close it. “I’ll close this. You go downstairs, now.” 
The bass in his voice put her in motion. Fear slithered its way through her body; worry sat in her stomach like a stone, cold and unyielding. A lump formed in her throat. She gripped the bannister, careful not to trip as she waddled her way down the stairs. Balls of ice hit the windows, walls, and roof with loud cracks. 
She jogged toward the bathroom. Fear drove her into the tiny room. She perched on the toilet seat, eager to have Everett in her line of sight. Taking deep breaths, she attempted to keep the panic forming at bay. Her stomach soured. She rocked back and forth to comfort herself and the squirming bundle in her belly. The attempt failed. His footsteps pounded on the steps. 
He appeared in the doorway a few moments later. His face was pale as a sheet, and the crow’s feet in the corners of his eyes stood out. Lips drawn in a straight line, and dark eyes full of sadness, he presented a grim picture. He doesn’t think we’re going to make it. Tears blurred her vision, and her shoulders shook as she tried to hold in her sobs. 
He sat on the edge of the tub and gripped her chin. “Hey. I need you to calm down for Emma, okay? I won’t let anything happen to you or the baby. We’re going to get into the tub, stay down, and pray our asses off. We’ll be interviewed on the news when all this is over. Okay?” 
She swallowed the hysteria threatening to rise in her throat like carbonated bubbles full of crazy and nodded. Their lips met in a kiss that smacked of desperation. She poured every ounce of love she held for this man into their mouth mating. Surfacing for air, breathing heavily, they stared into each other’s eyes. She saw everything in his hazel orbs—the fear, the joy, and the determination. Everett Noll had never let her down when it counted. He wouldn’t start now if he could help it. 
“I love you, Estelle.” 
“I love you, too, Everett.” She had to yell to be heard over the roar that sounded like a massive waterfall. 
“Let’s get in. It's go time.” He stood, holding her hand as she slipped into the porcelain basin and rested on her side. She held her belly, wishing she could cradle the babe moving around inside of her in her arms. 
The house vibrated, shaking them violently. Her body protested and her teeth rattled. Joints creaked and moaned. He covered her body with his own. The heat from his body, the cold, smooth surface of the tub, and the terror placed her in a crazed limbo. The noise grew loud. It really does sound like a locomotive. Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. The rest of the prayer was lost to her screams as the roof ripped off, and all hell broke loose.
Shyla Colt grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but has lived a variety of different places thanks to her wanderlust, interesting careers, and marriage to a United States Marine. She's always loved books and wrote her very first novel at the age of fifteen. She keeps a copy of her first submission letter on her desk for inspiration. 
After a lifetime of traveling, she settled down and knew her time had come to write. Diving into her new career like she does everything else, with enthusiasm, research and a lot of prayers, she had her first book published in June of 2011. As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there's never a dull moment in her household.
She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company. A self-professed rebel with a pen. Her goal is to diversify romance as she continues to genre hop, and offer up strong female characters.

Friday, March 25, 2016

THROUGH HER EYES




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Meet Chase Porter in Through Her Eyes by Ava Harrison!
NOW AVAILABLE!



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Blurb
One phone call changed me.
Three simple words and I was shattered.
Damaged.
Broken.
Alone.
So I started over.
And my journey of rediscovery led me straight into his arms.
Chase Porter.
The stranger who showed me life from a different perspective.
But we both had secrets…
His would destroy my world.
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Prologue
I was a horrible person.
        Truly.
        But I had goals, and he didn’t fit into them.
I didn’t know how to take back the words I’d said. They filtered through my brain like a bad dream that I just couldn’t awaken from. Just when they started to slowly slip away, they resurfaced. Rooted so deeply in my psyche, there was really no place for them to hide.
        If only I’d known the ramifications of my actions. If only I’d known how my decisions would hurt me beyond repair.
        But at the time, I couldn’t let him halt my progress. I was so close . . .
        “Are you in love with me, Aria? Do you want to be with me?” Parker asked, and my heart completely stopped. I had waited so long to hear those words, for him to see me as more than a friend.
        “No. I don’t want to be with you,” I replied. Even as the words left my mouth, I knew they were a lie.
        I didn’t just love him. It was so much more than that. So much more than love. He was my rock, my friend. He was the lifeline that ran through me.
        At the time, I thought I had no choice . . . I thought he would be able to see that after everything I’d been through I needed to succeed. I needed to make up for the loss of my brother Owen. In the end, though, my decisions were always toxic.
        Toxic to him.
Toxic to Owen.
        Toxic to everyone.
“No, I don’t love you.”
Those were the last words he heard as he turned and walked away.
        My heart tightened in my chest as the words replayed over and over again that afternoon. A record skipping that I just couldn’t turn off.
Then the phone rang.
Three words were uttered.
Three words that changed my life.
The phone slipped from my trembling hand, and I dropped to the floor.
I couldn’t swallow. I couldn’t scream.
Cemented in place.
My shoulders curled in, and I clutched my stomach through dry heaves.
I’d lost my soul mate, and now I’d lost my future.
Everything I’d worked for crumbled, and it all no longer mattered.

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About the Author:
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Ava Harrison is a New Yorker, born and bred.
When she’s not journaling her life, you can find her window shopping, cooking dinner for her family, or curled up on her couch reading a book.


THE RANCHER'S SON

Title: The Rancher's Son 
Series: Montana, #2
Author: R.J. Scott
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date:  March 25, 2016
A man without memories, and the cop who never gave up hope.
When he wakes up in the hospital, the victim of a brutal beating, John Doe has no memories of who he is or who hurt him. The cops can find nothing to identify him and he can't remember anything to help... except the name Ethan and one recurring place from his dreams. Two words, and they're not much, but it's a start: Crooked Tree.
Detective Ethan Allens has never stopped searching for the two boys who vanished. When a report lands on Ethan's desk that may give new leads, he jumps at the chance to follow them up. The man he finds isn't his brother, but it's someone who could maybe help him discover what happened twelve years ago.
What neither man can know is that facing the very real demons of the past could destroy any kind of future they may have together.

"5 Stars!!  For a romance and a mystery all in one!!  ~Jaime - Alpha Book Club
".... a wonderful "second-chances" story and I couldn't put it down once I started it." ~Paul (Goodreads Review)
"You can't go wrong with an R.J. Scott book, and this one is no different. Heartwarming and fun with a splash of angst and suspense..." ~Ceri (Goodreads Review)
Ethan must have nodded off at some point, waking to another coffee from Clare and a ten-minute warning that breakfast was about to be brought up to the patients. His neck ached, and he was semi curled up in the hard chair. 

“Thought you needed this. If you want to go to the cafeteria, I can keep an eye on Adam.” 

“No, I’ll stay here. Thank you, though.” 

“I’ll see if I can get someone to bring you up something.” 

A quick glance at his watch showed Ethan it was a few minutes after six. He checked his email. He’d only sent the information to Navy Liaison at late last night, but there was already a message back saying all efforts would be made to get the information to Cole Strachan. There was a group joke sent by one of the shift officers back at the precinct, and some spam. Other than that, nothing. 

Ethan stood and stretched tall, sipped his hot coffee, and watched the April morning unfold before his eyes. Clare managed to scrounge up some pastries, and he ate them at the window, a hundred thoughts racing through his head. 

A nurse disappeared into Adam’s room, and Ethan tensed in expectation. He desperately wanted to go in there, but would Adam even be interested in talking to him? 

“Are you Ethan?” the nurse asked. The tray in her hand carried untouched food. 

“Yes, ma’am.” 

“You can go in. He’s asking for you.” 

As he started to walk past her, she thrust the tray at him. There was a plate of eggs, and a sorry-looking pancake. “Try to get him to eat some of this,” she said. 

He took the tray, because he didn’t really have a choice, and went into Adam’s room, kicking the door shut behind him. There was no one in the bed, but the bathroom door was closed, so Ethan assumed that was where the errant Adam was. He placed the tray on the table and waited, looking out of the same window Adam had been standing at last night. From this angle and at this height, Ethan could see the water of Lake Michigan and watch the hospital parking lot grow busier by the minute. 

The bathroom door opened. Ethan instinctively turned and wished he hadn’t, because now he was staring. Not so much at the pajama bottoms that rode low on slim hips, or the broad chest that had a smattering of hair, tapering to a happy trail downward, nor to the muscles in Adam’s arms. No, Ethan was staring at the scars—new ones and some way older by the look of them—bruises purple and yellow and green, and the tattoos. 

Tribal tattoos circled Adam’s arms, over his right shoulder, and down onto his pec: big swathes of dark ink with finer detail in curls around muscles. Something that looked like old burns marked his neck. A body that had seen a lot, felt a lot. 

“I don’t remember them,” Adam said, his voice lost. He ran his fingers over the tattoos as if touching them would bring back memories. “They must have hurt, don’t you think?” 

Ethan thought of the small tattoo over his heart and recalled the discomfort of getting it. His hadn’t hurt; the million tiny pricks into his skin were nothing. 

“Maybe,” he offered. 

Adam turned a little and checked the tattoos in the mirror, peering close. “I wonder what they mean?” 

When he turned, he exposed more marks on his back and the fine lines of a horse standing on his hind legs. Ethan inhaled sharply. 

“What?” Adam snapped, attempting to see his back even though he couldn’t get the right angle. “What is it?” 

“Your horse.” 

Adam frowned. “That is my horse? I want to see that again, the detective took a photo but he didn’t have a copy for me.” 

Ethan pulled out his cell and snapped a shot of the beautiful tattoo, then passed the phone to Adam, who stared at the picture. 

“Why is it—” Any energy seemed to leave him in the exhalation of a sigh, and he slumped to sit on his bed. “—I remember this is a cell phone, but I don’t recall patterns on my own skin?” 

From his research Ethan learned terms like brain centers and retrograde amnesia, alongside traumatic stress, he didn’t understand a lot of it. “I have no idea.” 

Adam curled into himself, hunching over his knees, looking utterly defeated. 

Compassion welled inside Ethan, and he sat next to his old friend, pushing the tray toward him. “Eat your eggs,” he said gruffly. 

Adam side-eyed him and huffed before taking the tray and resting it on the small hospital table. He forked some into his mouth, grimacing as he chewed and swallowed, but at least he ate half of what was there, and one cold, dry pancake. 

“I need a proper breakfast,” Adam grumped. 

“Like what?” 

“Hot fresh bacon,” Adam said immediately, paling at what he was saying. “I think that I love bacon. I’d eat plates of the stuff if you gave them to me.” 

“And real pancakes,” Ethan added. He reached over and poked at the sorry excuse for one that had been served. “But not like this one. Fluffy, steaming pancakes.” 

Adam nodded and darted his tongue out to collect a small piece of egg resting on his lips. “Maple syrup,” he added softly. 

“You always liked maple syrup.” 

Adam finished the eggs and grimaced again. “When we get out of here, will you find me bacon?” 

“Of course.” 

“Real bacon, and pancakes with maple syrup. That sounds just like what I want to eat.” 

Ethan’s chest tightened as Adam looked up at him under his eyelashes, his dark eyes holding humor. Adam and Justin had spent their childhoods getting Ethan to do what they wanted: the older brother with money from a part-time job, the one with the car. And he’d done everything they asked. 

“I wouldn’t take you anywhere bad,” Ethan said 

Adam pushed the tray to one side. “I need a shower, and then we go, right?” 

“Right.” 

“You should take photos of all my tattoos, so you could maybe find out more about me.” 

“I know who you are. The rest will follow when your memories return.” He didn’t want to say that he’d already decided to email the tattoo of the horse to Jen, just in case she could track down where it had been done. It was a beautiful piece of work, and likely whoever did it would have it in a portfolio somewhere. Of course, that was a needle in a haystack. Who knew where Adam had been in the last twelve years? Chicago, where he was now? Or had he traveled from Montana to another city? 

Adam looked at him, confused. “You said I disappeared. How old was I when that happened? Fifteen, you said?” 

“You were nearly sixteen.” 

Adam glanced down at himself, “And I’m twenty-eight now, so what happened in between?” He stood up and half turned. “You should get them all.” 

Ethan did as Adam wanted, and pulled all the photos into one email, sending the whole lot to Jen with a particular request about tracking down the artist. Meanwhile, Adam went into the bathroom, closed the door, and left Ethan staring at the wood.


RJ Scott has been writing since age six when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and was told to write a story. Two sides of A4 about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born. She reads anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror; however, her first real love will always be the world of romance. From billionaires, bodyguards and cowboys to SEALs, throwaways and veterinarians, she writes passionate stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and more than a hint of happily ever after.
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