Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Spotlight: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! Yay! The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren is now available! I'm looking forward to reading this one! If you remember, back in November, Sourcebooks Casablanca, offered one of my readers a print ARC of the book (you can see that post here). Today, as part of the Spotlight tour, you have another opportunity to win one of three copies Sourcebooks is giving away!


Excerpt

     The boards of the restaurant’s back deck creaked somewhere behind Liv. She didn’t need to turn and look to know it was him. Her senses seemed attuned to his presence. She kept her eyes on the water, letting her greeting drift between them. “Hello, Finn.”

     “Liv.”

     The quiet tenor of his voice hit her harder than she’d expected, the volume too close to how it used to sound against her ear in those stolen make-out sessions. Funny how even after all the years and the men who’d cruised through her life since, that voice still sounded so bone-deep familiar. She didn’t turn to face him, not trusting her expression to stay neutral. “I guess it turns out I have time for that drink after all.” She lifted her glass. “But I’ll warn you, I’m a few drinks in and all out of energy for polite chitchat.”

     “Good. I don’t chitchat.”

     He stepped a little closer, his scent drifting her way—some combination of cedar and mint. Like a man who chewed gum while chopping wood. The thought made her want to giggle.

     “Are you okay?” he asked.

     Liv scrunched her nose. “You mean, am I drunk?”

     She wasn’t sure what the answer was on that one. Probably a little. She doubted she could be this close to him without anxiety bubbling up otherwise.

     “No. You ran out of the gym today. I mean, are you okay?”

     Okay.

     Was she? She hated that question. That was the question she’d probably heard most since that night—and then again when her mom passed from cancer two months later. That was what everyone always wanted to know. Are you okay?

     But people asked, wanting her to say, Yes, I’m fine. I’m going to pull up my bootstraps and not make you uncomfortable with my messy feelings. No one wanted the real answer. But she got the sense Finn did. After all, he’d probably gotten asked that question just as much as she had. She released a breath. “Today sucked.”

     “Yeah.”

     She took a sip of her drink, the sweet liquid cool on her dry throat. “Being in the school got to me, but I’m okay now. Just a little panic attack—shitty but brief. Drinks and friends helped distract me.”

     She could hear him shift behind her, skin against fabric, maybe tucking his hands in his pockets or crossing his arms. “Distraction’s good.”

     She finally stole a glance at him, but he was shrouded in shadows, just a broad-shouldered silhouette. “You could’ve joined us. You didn’t have to eat alone.”

     “Y’all looked involved in something,” he said, the gruff drawl in his voice making her think of steamy-windowed moments in the back of his car. She used to tease him that the more turned on he got, the more his country-boy accent showed. “You were reading papers. Seemed kind of intense.”

     “Oh, that.” She turned back to the water, her shoulders curving inward and the sexy memories icing over. “We were opening this time capsule thing we did a long time ago. It’s probably good you didn’t come over and hear that part.”

     “Time capsule?”

     She picked at a splinter in the wood railing. “Just something we did that summer after everything happened—promises we made to the Class of 2005 about our futures. Kincaid decided we should open the letters inside tonight to see what our teenage selves hoped we’d become. I decided we should get drunk after.”

     He made a throaty sound—like a laugh that didn’t quite make it out—and moved closer. He settled next to her along the wooden rail, his gaze fixed on the dark water. “Sounds like a solid plan to me.”

     “I thought so.” She rattled the ice cubes in her glass and dared a peek at him. But all she got was his familiar profile, the slight bump in his nose from when he’d broken it sophomore year, and the unfamiliar scruff as he took a sip from his drink. It was hard for her not to stare and catalog all the little differences, all the changes time and experience had given him. The harder angles. The dark mess of hair that looked at least two haircuts past neat. Expression that didn’t reveal a thing. He was still Finn somewhere in there, but gone was the boy with the wide smile and the playful attitude. There was a sharpness to him now, jagged edges. Like if she met him in a dark alley, she’d have trouble determining if he was friend or foe.

     He lifted his drink in agreement and turned, his green eyes gray in the darkness. “That was my plan, too. Minus the time-capsule part.”

     “Ha. Lucky you.” She shifted her stance and accidentally bumped her shoulder against his, sending a tendril of awareness down her arm. She wet her lips, ignoring the shiver. “Now you’ll never know if you lived up to teen Finn’s expectations.”

     He was quiet for a moment, and she wondered if he was having the same push and pull inside as she was. On one hand, this felt comfortable. They’d always talked easily with each other. But at the same time, they were strangers now. Strangers who had this big, breathing beast between them.
He took a long swig from his drink. “Teen Finn didn’t have expectations. He just wanted to play football, not work for his dad, and get the hell away from here.”

     “Guess you lived up to that last part at least. I was convinced you’d changed your name and moved to a foreign country.”

     His jaw flexed. “Something like that.”






The Ones Who Got Away 
by Roni Loren 

Liv's words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she'd known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence. 

It's been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away. 

Liv Arias thought she'd never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs...


Buy:  Amazon • B&NAppleBAM! • IndieBound • Google Play
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FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

About the Author

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She holds a master’s degree in social work and spent years as a mental health counselor, but now she writes full time from her cozy office in Dallas, Texas where she puts her characters on the therapy couch instead. She is a two-time RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

Connect with Roni Loren



* * * GIVEAWAY * * *


It's giveaway time! Sourcebooks Casablanca is giving away three copies of The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren to three lucky people! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


This is a group giveaway. So little time... is not responsible for books lost or damaged in shipping or any prizes shipped by publishers or authors.

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for including me in this blog tour!

Congratulations to Roni Loren on the release of The Ones Who Got Away! I cannot wait to read it! 

What do you think?! I'd love to hear from you! 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

What Are You Reading? ~ January 3, 2018

* * Post contains affiliate links. * *

Happy New Year! This is my first post of the new year. I should be posting my new reading challenges for 2018 soon, but I did update my 2017 Reading Challenges page. I did much better than I thought I would! :)


What are you Reading?  Let me know what your current read is, what you recently finish reading, and what you plan on reading next! 

Here's my list:


I'm currently rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. I got a new hardcover of this for Christmas! Yay!   







I listened to Clockwise by Elle Strauss. This time-travel story was really cute! I've had in on my Kindle for a few years, and I'm glad I finally read/listened to it! 






I also finished reread Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling, and yes, so far, it's still my favorite of the series! :)








What's next? I'm not sure! :) 


Disclaimer: Links to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!



I'm linking up with This Week In Books hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found.


And with Sam @ Taking on a World of Words


So, tell me, what are you reading? 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Giveaway Winners!

Hello, my friends! I have a couple of giveaway winners to announce! But before I do, I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday, and I hope the New Year brings you much joy! 

Myself, I'm going to be celebrating Christmas with my family! I'm so looking forward to it! Especially, now that I have most of the presents wrapped and under the tree! ;) 



Now, without further ado, the winners are:

True Love Comes to Delaford

Luthien84





Buy: Amazon
Add to Goodreads


A Very Austen Christmas

Pig Pen


Buy: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

FTC Disclaimer: Links to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!


Congratulations, winners! 

Thanks to all that entered! I love reading your comments!

Again, Happy Holidays! I'm taking the rest of the year off! See you in 2018!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Very Austen Christmas ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! I'm very excited to have Robin Helm, one of the authors of A Very Austen Christmas, here today with an excerpt from her short story in the book! I hope you enjoy! 





     After breakfast, the ladies, with the exception of Elizabeth, took turns sitting with Lady Catherine. Even Charlotte spent a half hour with the lady, after sensibly pointing out that she could call for help if she need it. As the patient slept much of the time, there was no need to read aloud to her. The ladies did needlework or read a favourite book instead.

     Elizabeth occupied her time in practicing the piano and perusing the library. She found several books which caught her interest and took them to the parlour to occupy her time until the doctor arrived.

     Maria brought her sewing and settled on the settee beside her.

     “How was Lady Catherine when you left her?” asked Elizabeth.

     “I cannot say. She slept all the time I was with her. Does that mean she is better?”

     Elizabeth shrugged. “I have no way of knowing. We can only hope that her sleep is healing, I suppose.”

     Silence reigned until Charlotte joined them, coming directly from the sickroom.

     “Come sit by the window with me, Lizzy. The snow is so beautiful.”

     Elizabeth moved to be by her friend, watching the steady accumulation of the snow. Is Thomas caught in this storm somewhere between London and Rosings Park? Is he well? Has he been in a carriage accident? We parted on less than friendly terms. What if I never have another chance to speak with him? 

     She shuddered.

     Time crawled by, and her apprehension grew.

     Surely he should be here by now.

     Just before noon, they heard a commotion at the front entrance.

     Charlotte and Maria stood to smooth their skirts, but Elizabeth could not wait. 

     She hurried into the hall to see if it was indeed Thomas, but he was not the first gentleman she saw.

     Elizabeth came to a full stop. “Mr. Darcy!”

     His surprise matched her own. “Miss Bennet!”

     Thomas Jones stepped forward and grasped both of her hands. “Elizabeth! What an unexpected pleasure! ’Tis so good to see you again. I have missed you most dreadfully.”

     She blushed crimson. “Thomas! You are Lady Catherine’s physician?” 

     How shall I extract my hands from his without being rude?

     “I am Mr. Darcy’s physician and a partner to Lady Catherine’s. Mr. Hough was unable to come, for he is ill, so Mr. Darcy brought me in his place,” he replied, dropping her hands and stepping back to look at her. 

     He smiled. “You are even lovelier than when I saw you last May. I have been meaning to return to Longbourn to speak with you again. Had I known you were here, I would have insisted the coachman drive faster.”

     Speak with me again? So, he is no longer angry with me. She blanched. Does he mean to renew his addresses? 

     Darcy, meanwhile, had divested himself of his coat and hat. He turned to face her.

     “Miss Bennet, please forgive me for not greeting you properly just now.” 

     He extended his hand, and she took it. Without smiling, Darcy bowed his head in acknowledgement, then released her.

     Elizabeth’s heart sank. ’Tis as if he hardly knows me.

     Thomas watched them speculatively. “You are acquainted?”

     She nodded. “We met several times in Meryton, at Netherfield, and again this past summer when my Aunt and Uncle Gardiner and I visited Pemberley. A few days ago, Jane married Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy’s friend, who let Netherfield. He stood up for his friend, and I for my sister.” 

     I am babbling. It seems I have been overtaken by Lydia’s predilection. Silent. I will be silent. He that refraineth his lips is wise.

     Darcy’s expression was solemn. “I had no idea you were so well known to my physician, Miss Bennet.”

     She swallowed, choosing her words before she spoke. 
     “Thomas’s father is the Meryton apothecary. He and I are of an age, Mr. Darcy. We played together as children.”

     Thomas smiled, his eyes never leaving her face. “We were always very close, even though she is four years younger than I. Elizabeth taught me to dance. In fact, I was privileged to be the first man with whom she ever danced at an Assembly. That was six years ago when she was but fifteen, and I fear her toes have likely not yet recovered from the experience.”

Anne de Bourgh spoke from behind Elizabeth. “How very interesting. And detailed. Since my mother is resting comfortably, shall we all go into the small dining room to continue the conversation where it is warm? You gentlemen must be cold and hungry, so I directed Mrs. Robinson to have a hot meal served before you go to your chambers and then to my mother’s rooms. I ordered your favourite soup, Fitzwilliam, and a roaring fire awaits us. Mrs. Collins, Miss Lucas, and Mrs. Jenkinson are already there.”

     She turned immediately and led the party from the hall.
Elizabeth followed her without hesitation, pleased that Miss de Bourgh put the comfort of her guests above the established protocol. 

     To her surprise, she found a gentleman on either side of her. 

     Each man offered her the crook of his arm, and Elizabeth did the only thing she could think of at the moment which would offend neither gentleman. She gave one her right hand and the other her left.

     Mama would be quite pleased.

     It was not altogether unpleasant.





A Very Austen Christmas 

Four favorite authors, four heartwarming stories set in Jane Austen's Regency world.

Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite revisit Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Mansfield Park to deliver the uplifting holiday storytelling you're looking for.


Her Christmas Gift by Robin Helm 

Elizabeth Bennet finds herself snowbound at Rosings with two rejected, but highly eligible, suitors. Does either man have a chance? Will her childhood friend, Meryton’s golden boy, win her affection, or will she accept the master of Pemberley? Perhaps she will refuse them both a second time. Her Christmas Gift deftly combines tension and emotion with humor and romance. 


The Christmas Matchmaker by Laura Hile 

It’s raining; it’s pouring – and what could be better than a little Christmas matchmaking? So says Emma Woodhouse who is unexpectedly stranded at Netherfield Park. Mr. Darcy disagrees, for she has someone else in mind for adorable Elizabeth Bennet. Amid meddling, misunderstanding, and an unwelcome proposal or two, will True Love find a way? 


No Better Gift by Wendi Sotis 

On his way to Derbyshire to spend Christmas with his family, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy plans to retrieve an item he left behind during his rushed escape from Netherfield—and the country miss who touched his heart. Finding Meryton practically deserted, he fears the worst. What fate could have fallen upon this once-thriving village in only three weeks? More importantly, was Miss Elizabeth Bennet in danger? 


Mistletoe at Thornton Lacey by Barbara Cornthwaite 

When Edmund Bertram realizes that Fanny is the perfect wife for him, he wants to propose without delay. What better time than at Christmas? Ah, but the course of true love never does run smooth ...

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Add to Goodreads.

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks! 


About the Authors

    Robin Helm's time revolves around music as she dances (as badly as Mr. Collins), sings (a little better than Mary Bennet), plays (better than Marianne Dashwood – almost as well as Caroline Bingley), and teaches (channeling her inner Elinor). Her books reflect that love, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.

      Her latest publication is Understanding Elizabeth, in which Darcy must decide how much he’s willing to pay to have what he wants. Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy (Darcy is Elizabeth’s guardian angel), and the Yours by Design series (Fitzwilliam Darcy switches places in time with his descendant, Will Darcy).

     She lives in South Carolina and adores her one husband (Mr. Knightley), two married daughters (Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II), and three grandchildren.    

    Readers are loving Laura Hile's joyous Regency novels. Her signature style – intertwined plots, cliffhangers, and laugh-out-loud humor – keep them coming back for more. 
    The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There's never a dull moment with teen students!

    She recently released Darcy By Any Other Name, a comic 'body swap' romance based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

    Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and sons. Her fiction is for everyone, even teens. 
    
    Wendi Sotis lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and triplets. While searching for Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view, she became thoroughly enamored with Jane Austen Fan Fiction or JAFF. In early 2010, she dreamed an idea for a story and hasn’t stopped writing since: Promises, Dreams and Expectations; All Hallows Eve; The Keys for Love; Safekeeping; The Gypsy Blessing; Foundation of Love (The Gypsy Blessing 2); and A Lesson Hard Learned
     
     Some of her works-in-progress have branched away from JAFF to Regency Romance (The Pact, due to be released in 2018) and Contemporary Romantic Mysteries (Implicated, working on a series). Wendi will also continue bringing Darcy and Lizzy together again and again in an unusual manner.
     
     Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before "retiring" to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). 

   She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather. 

   Barbara is the author of the George Knightley, Esquire series, and A Fine Young Lady.

You can find them all on their website, Jane Started It!


* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! The lovely authors of A Very Austen Christmas would love to offer one of my readers an e-copy of the book! To enter, please leave a comment below! 

  • One person will win one e-copy (Kindle) of A Very Austen Christmas.
  • To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below and include your e-mail address (with parentheses around (at) & (dot)).
  • Open Internationally.
  • Last day to enter the giveaway is December 2oth, 11:59 PM, Pacific Time.
Good luck! 


Congratulations on the release of A Very Austen Christmas, ladies! And many thanks to Robin Helm for sharing an excerpt with us! 

I'm looking forward to the upcoming holiday, and A Very Austen Christmas sounds like a delightful way to get a quick read in here and there during this busy time of the year! 


Any thoughts? Me, I'm wondering who this Thomas is that has his eye on Elizabeth! Lol! 
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