Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spotlight on: Always My Girl by Samantha Chase ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! I'm super excited to be doing a Spotlight with Sourcebooks Casablanca! I have for you an excerpt from Samantha Chase's new book, Always My Girl (The Shaughnessy Brothers, Book 3)! I hope you enjoy! Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for giveaway details! 





Sometimes the love that’s closest to you is the hardest to see.   

Quinn Shaughnessy’s two older brothers have found their true loves … but Quinn’s not about to join that parade. Nope, as he tells his best friend Anna, there’s a lot more to life than getting tied down to one person. He’s positive tomboy Anna will be on his side — except she’s inexplicably developing other interests — even dating! Suddenly Quinn is seeing Anna in a very different light.   

Quinn has been Anna’s buddy since they were both five years old. She can tell him anything — except the one big secret she’s been hiding for years — that she’s fallen in love with him. Now Anna is determined to make a life for herself that doesn’t include pining for Quinn. Falling in love with your best friend? Easy. Telling them how you really feel? Impossible.   

Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their two sons in Wake Forest, North Carolina.


Excerpt:


     Beside him, Anna sighed and began to lean toward him. If he didn’t do something, she was going to fall face-first into the popcorn bowl. He quickly scooped it up and put it on the coffee table—and froze with shock when Anna shifted and lay down with her head in his lap. It took a moment for the shock to wear off, and then he slowly let himself relax. The last time they had been like this had been the night before Aidan and Zoe’s wedding and at least he had had a pillow acting as a buffer then.

     “Not a big deal,” he muttered and shifted to get them both a little more comfortable. The movie was almost over, and it didn’t take long for him to get pulled back into the plot while he mindlessly played with Anna’s hair. When the movie ended and he realized what he’d been doing—again—he pulled back like he’d been burned. He cursed. “I have got to stop doing that!”

     “Anna?” he whispered, but she didn’t move. He muttered under his breath and tried to think of what he should do. He knew he needed to leave—it was late and he had a lot to do at the new shop early in the morning—but he didn’t want to disturb her.

     The scene was eerily familiar and was seemingly becoming a habit for them.

     While he continued to study her face, he finally let the guilt wash over him. He’d heard Jake ask her out and it had pissed him the hell off. He knew Jake was a player, but when Anna had turned him down, he’d thought that was the end of it. Quinn had been so wrapped up in—hell, just call it what it is—jealousy that he didn’t really thought about all the reasons why Anna shouldn’t go out with Jake.

     Because she’s mine.

     Yeah, that was becoming more and more apparent, but for the life of him, he didn’t know what to do about it. And now, because of his own stupid pride and childish behavior, Anna could have been seriously hurt.

     It wasn’t something he was likely to forget anytime soon—or be able to forgive himself for.

     Carefully, he slid out from under her head. Standing, he walked into her bedroom and pulled the comforter and sheet back and then looked around and chuckled. The room was a bit of a mess but then again, he knew Anna wasn’t the prissy type who obsessed about everything needing to be in its place. If anything, it comforted him to see her room in slight disarray.

     He walked around and really looked at the space. The light-colored furniture and the pastel-blue walls gave the room a beachy vibe he knew Anna tended to favor. On her shelves were books and knickknacks and pictures. He chuckled at how many different types of frames she had—another quirk of hers. But as he took a minute to look at the actual pictures, he noticed one thing—he was in most of them.

     Pictures from her childhood, holidays, parties, and just…life. And he was there for all of them. They were laughing and smiling and in some of them, and Quinn could actually remember what it was they were joking about. A soft chuckle slipped out as he found a picture from Anna’s sixteenth birthday. Her parents had gotten her a car. It was a used Mustang, and they had parked it in the driveway with a big red bow on it. In the picture, she was smiling so brightly, and he was standing right beside her.

     Quinn ran a finger over the picture. It was her special day, and she had begged him to be in the picture with her. She did that a lot. Hell, he didn’t think his own father had as many pictures of him as the Hannigans did.

     He put the picture back down on the shelf and moved over toward the lone framed picture on her nightstand. For some reason, his heart began to race as he reached for it. It was a fancy silver-and-crystal frame. In it was a picture taken about a year ago of the two of them. It wasn’t a special occasion; it was just a family day at the beach. They were sitting side by side in the sand, and he remembered Darcy coming over and snapping the picture. Anna’s head was on his shoulder and they were smiling and looking so happy and relaxed and… He swallowed a lump in his throat. Being with Anna was normally the only time he felt happy and relaxed.

     At least until recently.

     Or maybe some time after this picture was taken.

     Could he have known even then that things were changing? Was he subconsciously already noticing Anna wasn’t just his pal but a woman?

     Carefully, he put the picture back down and sighed. Tonight wasn’t the night to figure it all out. Too much had happened, and his mind was spinning with it all. It was late, and he needed to help Anna get to bed and then go home himself. He was suddenly very tired—exhausted really—and knew it would be better for both of them if he just gave her a little space.

     Once back in the living room, he stood over her and studied her for a minute. She was out cold. They were going to have to talk. Really talk. Soon. They’d been friends for too long to just…stop. He needed Anna in his life—couldn’t imagine a life without her in it. Eventually he’d wear her down and get her to just tell him how he’d screwed up and then they could move on. He was just impatient and wished she’d tell him now.

     “Problem for another day,” he whispered. “Anna? Anna, come on. You need to go to bed.”

     “Too tired,” she murmured as she shifted on the couch.

     Quinn sighed and reached down to gently scoop her up into his arms. He straightened and stiffened when Anna snuggled closer and seemed to hum her approval. He took a step but instantly stopped when he felt her breath on his neck. And then her tongue. And then her lips. What the…?

     “What are you doing?” she whispered sleepily.

     “Taking you to bed,” he said gruffly.

     “Mmm…finally,” she purred.

     This was Anna. Anna, for crying out loud! He chanted to himself to just keep walking and almost made it to the bed when once again her breath was replaced by her lips. Quinn froze as Anna slowly kissed and licked her way up the column of his throat and then nipped at the line of his jaw. He jerked back and looked down at her face as he continued to hold her in his arms. Her eyes were closed, but there was a very sexy smile on her face. “Anna,” he whispered.

     In a flash, her hands raked up into his hair and pulled his face closer to her, and then Quinn was lost. He closed the distance between them and tentatively touched his lips to hers.

     And then all rational thought left him.

     Her lips were softer than he’d ever let himself imagine, and when she purred into his mouth and opened for him, he felt a sense of completion he’d never felt before. Slowly, he lowered Anna to the bed as her arms wound around him, holding him close. Quinn stretched out on top of her and smiled at Anna’s whispered yes.

     It was instantaneous, the surge of arousal and excitement he felt. He kissed her, as ravenous as a starving man at a feast, as her legs came up and lazily wrapped around his waist. He wanted to touch her, taste her everywhere, while at the same time he was questioning his own actions and sanity.

     This was Anna. His best friend.

     And clearly she didn’t know what she was doing.

     Cursing, he forced himself to move away from her and rose from the bed. She moaned her disapproval and whispered his name again before her head rested to the side and she sighed.

     “Don’t go,” she said softly, but her words sort of trailed off, and then she rolled over and didn’t say another word.

     Shit. She was dreaming.

     And he felt like a complete jerk for giving in to the temptation. He knew she was tired—clearly more tired than he’d realized—and he should have just put her down and left.

     If she didn’t hate him before, she’d certainly hate him now. Forcing himself to look away, he slowly backed out of her room and shut the door before making a hasty retreat from her house.


     Cursing himself and his lack of control the entire time.

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

Available for pre-order: *AmazonB&NiBooksBAM
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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!


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* * * GIVEAWAY * * * 

Sourcebooks Casablanca is kindly giving away Five copies of Love Walks In, Book 2 in The Shaughnessy Brothers series. 

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Did you enjoy the excerpt? I love best-friends-since-childhood-fall-in-love scenarios! What about you? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

'Love & Friendship' The Janeite Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! Today, as part of the Love & Friendship Blog Tour, I have a lovely excerpt for you to read! Be sure to read down to the bottom of the post for the giveaway details! 

Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen's Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated by Whit Stillman is a companion novel to Stillman's movie Love & Friendship.





Excerpt:

December: Parklands

Parklands,  the ancestral  home of the DeCourcy  family, was known for the striking  beauty of its Palladian exterior, thoroughly belied by the nastiness of the family within. Sir Reginald DeCourcy,  the patriarch and perhaps  least  objectionable member of that detestable  clan, was still the sort  of cantankerous and insensible country baronet too-kindly portrayed in the literature of our day. Though he did not go out of his way to cause others misery, exorbitant family pride went far towards a similar result.

For weeks  Sir Reginald had keenly anticipated his son’s long-delayed return, as well as the Vernons’ seasonal visit, so the arrival of a letter in Catherine’s hand was of particular interest to him. Lady DeCourcy, however, was the addressee and she had lingered abed that morning in the hope of rendering a mild ague even milder. So Sir Reginald carried the letter to her there and watched attentively as she unfolded its pages.

“I hope Catherine arrives soon,” Lady DeCourcy sighed. “The  season’s  cheerless  without  the children.” She tried to focus on her daughter’s handwriting, always difficult to decipher but with watery eyes especially so.

“I’m afraid this cold has affected my eyes.” 

“Save your eyes, my dear — I’ll read for you.” 

“No, that’s all right —”

“I insist. You must rest.” Sir Reginald opened his spectacles* and picked up the letter.

“Now let’s see . . .”

Sir Reginald read to himself for a bit before beginning. 

“Catherine hopes  you are well . . . She asks most  particularly that you give me her love.”

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Mini-Bloggiesta! ~ June 18-19

Hey, Everyone! Mini-Bloggiesta is happening this weekend! I really wanted to do this, and I was going to do a little prepping during the week to get ready, but unfortunately my dog got very sick. After two visits to the vet, she seems to be doing better. 




Here's what I hope to accomplish this weekend: 


  • Update my reading challenge page and progress bars. - completed
  • Update my 'List of Reviews' page. - completed
  • Write two reviews. 
  • Work on a guest post. - completed
  • Clean off my desk. - not perfect, but much better! 
  • Clean up my email. - completed! Whew! How does that build up sooo much? 

Unfortunately, I can't join the Twitter chat because that time slot doesn't work for me.

That's it for now. Fingers crossed I get through my list! 

It's not too late to join! It's a great way to get those jobs you've been procrastinating done!  Need some help or ideas? Check out this list of past Mini-Challenges.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hope For Mr. Darcy ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! I have the lovely Jeanna Ellsworth Lake visiting with us today! She has brought with her an excerpt of her new book, Hope For Mr. Darcy, and she is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky winner! Details about the giveaway are at the bottom of the post. 





Thank you, Candy, for hosting me again! It is always a pleasure! I thought today I would share an excerpt from my latest release, Hope For Mr. Darcy, the first book in the Hope Series Trilogy. The series is about never giving up hope on love, even if it is unrequited love. We may not always see how it could work out, and there will be times we feel there really is no hope, but love always prevails!

I thought I’d share this scene where Elizabeth is really quite ill, even a little delusional, but that does not matter to Darcy . . . (what?? You say??)  Ha Ha, I meant the delusional part! Because for some reason in her illness, she seems to not feel as negative about the man from Pemberley. In fact, she is open and welcoming to his kindnesses. Of course, that only feeds his hope that even though Elizabeth had refused him the day before, and he has found he is quite protective of her, as well as, shall we say, hopeful???

The scene opens with an introduction of a new character, Mr. Osborn, a doctor who will be examining Elizabeth for the first time. Enjoy!

*****

“Naturally we are concerned for her and would like to offer our assistance,” Colonel Fitzwilliam interjected. “She has become a favorite of ours, and a favorite of Lady Catherine’s as well.”

“A favorite of Lady Catherine’s? Well, I will give her my upmost attention and care. Lady Catherine funds a great deal of my research. My name is Mr. Osborn. My specialty is mysterious illnesses, especially ones like this, where the patient cannot provide any clues. I find it fascinating to study a subject and look at it from all sides. Take for example my last three patients. They all died, unfortunately––although I am sure that will not happen to Miss Elizabeth! But the last one in particular was most interesting. He had so many symptoms that I had to start writing them down!” He pulled a notepad out of his satchel and started listing them. “Red raised rash on arms and trunk, fever, sore throat the week before, swelling in the legs, fatigue, and malaise—that simply means being tired. Anyway, he also had swollen tonsils, red blotchy cheeks, glassy pink eyes—”

Oh dear Lord! Another Mr. Collins? Darcy interrupted him with as much civility as he could muster, “Fascinating. But perhaps you should examine this patient?”

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