Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, & Giveaway – Hostage by Cheryl Headford

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AboutTheBook

HostageLGTitle: Hostage

Author: Cheryl Headford

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Length: 328 Pages

Release Date: September 17, 2015

Blurb: Astrin Raphael wakes up in a strange place, frightened and confused. He is told to trust someone who seems to hate him, and he tries—he really tries. However, things change rapidly when he discovers his friend is actually his archenemy, Rowan Gabriel, whose abusive behavior stems from a deeply ingrained, if unwarranted, hatred over something that happened many years before, and simply wasn’t Astrin’s fault.

When Rowan’s uncle and Astrin’s father are kidnapped by Strebo Michael, the two crown princes are catapulted into an adventure that forces them to work together, and along the way their feelings for each other grow. Rowan is quick to let his hate go, but Astrin can’t release his inhibitions. It takes Astrin almost dying from a poisoned dagger before he finally accepts Rowan’s love.

When they return home, their problems continue as their Houses try to negotiate a way for the young men to be together. It soon becomes clear at least one of them will need to relinquish his throne.

Excerpt

Rowan looked into the sincere green eyes, which were far from clear and never would be as long as he was here. If Rowan had been thinking clearly, he would have been impressed that—even though he was drugged, hurt, and ill—Astrin was handling the situation far better than he was. Unfortunately, Rowan was not thinking clearly, and the only thing that crossed his mind was frustration. He was so determined to hate Astrin, no matter what, he’d blinded himself to anything about Astrin that was admirable or likable.

The things he couldn’t ignore—Astrin’s obvious beauty and calmness of spirit—did nothing more than irritate him enormously. Somewhere deep inside, he knew Astrin was a good person, but Rowan wouldn’t acknowledge it. He couldn’t, because if he did he’d have to stop hating Astrin, and that was simply not going to happen.

“You didn’t do anything. I just don’t like you.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re self-absorbed, stuck-up, and arrogant.”

Astrin’s eyes went wide. “Am I? I… I don’t feel like I am.”

Rowan snorted. “No one who’s truly arrogant ever believes they are.”

Astrin considered. “I suppose you’re right. I don’t want to be any of those things.” He considered again. “Will you help me?”

“Help you?”

“Help me not be anymore.”

Rowan snorted again. “Yeah right.”

“No, seriously. I really don’t want to be those things you said I am— any of them. Please help me change.”

Rowan stared at him, genuinely shocked. “Um… er… okay…. Okay, I will…. At least I’ll do my best.”

Astrin treated him to a blinding smile that made him feel slightly stunned. Those eyes were powerful weapons. Thank the Gods Astrin wasn’t aware enough to know how to use them.

“Have you finished eating?” Astrin nodded, placing his half-empty plate back on the trolley. Rowan shook his head. “You have to eat it all, or Ragnor will have my guts for garters.”

“That’s an… interesting expression.”

“You think it’s just an expression?”

For the first time, the two boys genuinely smiled at each other. Astrin leaned forward to pick up the plate again and missed the expressions flowing through Rowan’s eyes. At first he was amused, then horrified, and then—cold.

“Why have you been taking care of me? I mean… you don’t like me, and you’re obviously not part of my family: we look too different. So who are you? Are you a servant? You don’t seem like one.”

“A servant?” Rowan stared at him, outraged. “No, I am not a bloody servant. I’m Crown Prince of House Gabriel.”

Astrin’s eye widened with an expression of startled shock. “Really?”

“I am not in the habit of lying.”

 “No, I… I wasn’t saying you were lying, but….” Thoughtfully, Astrin chewed on a piece of food and frowned. “I don’t understand.”

“There are a lot of things you don’t understand.”

“If you’re a prince, then why…? Why are you taking care of me?”

“Because my uncle feels I need a lesson in humility.”

“Oh… so you’re arrogant, self-absorbed, and stuck-up too?”

BuyLinks

Harmony Ink Press (ebook)

Harmony Ink Press (Paperback)

Amazon US

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AboutTheAuthor

Cheryl Headford was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was sixteen, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry, and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews, and cousin, and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a reenactment group who traveled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was there she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the Valleys with her son, dog, hamster, and two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art.

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Winner’s Prize: Signed Paperback of Hostage.

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TourSchedule

September 21:

Gay.Guy.Reading And Friends

The Land of Make Believe

September 22:

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

The Purple Rose Tea House

September 23:

Queer Sci-Fi

Diverse Reader

September 24:

The Novel Approach

Wicked Faeries Tales And Reviews

September 25:

MM Good Book Reviews

Drops of Ink

September 26:

Cia’s Stories

Author Cody Kennedy

September 27:

Bayou Book Junkie

Louise Lyons

September 28:

Prism Book Alliance

Boys on the Brink

September 29:

World of Diversity Fiction

Love Bytes Reviews

September 30:

Eyes on Books

Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, & Giveaway – The Baker by Serena Yates

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AboutTheBookBaker[The]LG

Title: The Baker

Series: Workplace Encounters

Author: Serena Yates

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Length: 40000 words

Release Date: July 15, 2015

Blurb: Ian Wallace works as a baker for his tyrannical father in their family owned Scottish Bakehouse in Casper, Wyoming. He wants to represent the bakery in the upcoming Tartan Day competition, but his father refuses to reveal the secret ingredients that make them so successful—unless Ian gets married and has a son, proving he is fit to continue the family line.

Just before New Year’s Eve, Cameron Lewis, a former Marine turned police detective, comes into the bakery for donuts for his department and some black buns for himself. Cameron is hooked, and as his visits become more frequent, they stir Ian’s father’s suspicions. But threats can’t stop Ian from donning his kilt and entering the competition anyway—to show his father what he can do on his own. Though he might not have the secret ingredients, Ian and Cameron might still discover a recipe for happiness.

ExclusiveExcerpt

Ian tried his soup. It contained more vegetables in one place than he’d seen in a while, and little pasta shells combined with a light covering of Parmesan complemented the goodness perfectly.

“Is it as good as it looks?” Cameron looked up from demolishing his salad and smiled when Ian nodded. “Great.”

Minutes of silence followed as they each enjoyed their dishes. Ian must have been hungrier than he’d realized, because the soup sated a sudden empty feeling inside him that he hadn’t even registered before. His stomach slowly warmed as he enjoyed the savory flavors. When he looked up again, Cameron was sitting back in his chair, watching Ian eat. Ian blushed a little, the sudden heat on his cheeks a little embarrassing.

“I’ve just discovered a new hobby.” Cameron smiled.

“You have?” Ian wiped his mouth with the spotless white napkin and leaned back in his chair.

“Yep. I love watching you eat. Your face is very expressive.” Cameron flinched. “That probably sounds a little creepy, huh?”

“A little.” Ian was pleased and a little flattered that the detective was paying such close attention though. He leaned forward, reducing his voice to a whisper. “Just don’t let anyone else know about you being a closet stalker. They might take it the wrong way.”

Cameron laughed. It was a good sound, and Ian couldn’t help but smile in return.

BuyLinks

DREAMSPINNER PRESS (eBook)

AMAZON US

ALL ROMANCE eBOOKS

AboutTheAuthor

I’m a night owl and start writing when everyone else in my time zone is asleep. I’ve loved reading all my life and spent most of my childhood with my nose buried in a book. Although I always wanted to be a writer, financial independence came first. Twenty-some years and a successful business career later I took some online writing classes and never looked back.

Living and working in seven countries has taught me that there’s more than one way to get things done. It has instilled tremendous respect for the many different cultures, beliefs, attitudes and preferences that exist on our planet.

I like exploring those differences in my stories, most of which happen to be romances. My characters have a tendency to want to do their own thing, so I often have to rein them back in. The one thing we all agree on is the desire for a happy ending.

I currently live in the United Kingdom, sharing my house with a vast collection of books. I like reading, traveling, spending time with my nieces and listening to classical music. I have a passion for science and learning new languages.

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TourSchedule

July 13

Fangirl Moments And My Two Cents

Man2Mantastic Blog

 

July 14

My Fiction Nook

Sid Love Writes

 

July 15

Love Bytes Reviews

Love.Imperfect.Real.

 

July 16

Wicked Faeries Tales And Reviews

The Purple Rose Tea House

 

July 17

Bayou Book Junkie

Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words

 

July 20

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

MM Good Book Reviews

 

July 21

Drops of Ink

Rainbow Gold Reviews

 

July 22

Divine Magazine

BFD Book Blog

 

July 23

Loving Without Limits

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

 

July 24

Gay.Guy.Reading and Friends

Prism Book Alliance

Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, & Giveaway – Family Jewels by M.J. O’Shea

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About the Book

 

FamilyJewelsLGTitle: Family Jewels

Author: M.J. O’Shea

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Length: 200 Pages

Release Date: 27th April, 2015

Blurb: Corbin Ford, aka the Nightwatchman, named for the antique pocket watches he leaves behind at jobs, has been in the cat-burgling business for years. His father was. His grandfather was. His mother is still one of the most renowned thieves. Corbin likes his high-profile heists, priceless paintings from private collections, artifacts from museums, but his favorite? Jewels. Sparkly, beautiful jewels. If they’re famous, better yet.

Interpol agent Luke Eldridge has one goal and one goal only: to catch the Nightwatchman. Luke’s been after him for months, but getting the slip time and again is getting embarrassing. Luke has never even laid eyes on the bastard, but he’d happily strangle him. And then arrest him.

When Luke meets Corbin, the man of his dreams, he falls hard and fast… only to catch Corbin red-handed with his hand in a jewelry case at the scene of the highest-profile murder that’s rocked the international world in years.

Excerpt

 

London, March.

“We’ve got something you need to see, Luke. You’d better get over here now.”

Luke Eldridge sighed into his phone. He glanced at the slices of pizza he’d just picked up from a food cart down on the Camden Lock. Looked like there was more cold pizza in his future. Typical. Irritating, but typical.

“Where are you?” Luke asked. He dragged himself off his soft leather couch. It made a disgusting squelching sound. Luke turned and halfheartedly wiped the seat off. He was tired from the run he’d forced himself to take, wet, and starting to chill as heat escaped through his damp T-shirt. The last thing he wanted to do was get back into a suit and go out in the cold he’d just escaped from.

Rob, one of his oldest friends from his days in the FBI academy, rattled off a very upper crust Kensington address.

“Jesus. Is this one going to make the morning press?” Luke asked. People who lived at addresses like that tended to make the news. His job was always harder when he had a ton of panicking socialites breathing down his neck guarding their beloved possessions. He didn’t need them or the news vans outside his crime scene.

“Probably. I’ll try to put it off as long as I can, but you know how it works. Just get your ass over here. Waterman’s on my dick already.”

“Sounds unpleasant.” Luke chuckled under his breath. “Does that surprise you?”

“Not really.”

Didn’t surprise Luke either. Their division chief within Interpol Art Crimes was all about the high profile cases. Art, jewelry, anyone with a Lord or Lady attached to their name. Even the odd Sir here and there. Cases like that were good press for the agency, he always said. Probably more like good for getting his face on the camera. Waterman was a media whore extraordinaire. Usually Luke didn’t care, but when they were in the middle of trying to open a case, it kind of pissed him off.

Luke felt it would be better to deal with the press after they had some solid leads, or, you know, someone in custody, but far be it for him to correct Waterman. He’d spent the last eight years trying to overcome the hereditary American-ness Waterman deemed a deep character flaw. If he started correcting the guy now, he might as well sign his own pink slip.

“I can be there in fifteen minutes. Waterman won’t even be done fixing his hair for the cameras,” Luke told Rob. He was already in his suit pants and shaking out his dress shirt. It felt a little stale from a long day, but he wasn’t going to put on a new one for a late evening call. If all went well, Luke would be back in his sweats and on his couch in less than an hour.

“Try to make it ten. I’m not in the mood to get my skin pulled off a strip at a time.”

He sounded like his typical sarcastic self, but the tone of his friend’s voice was different. Worried, maybe. “What’s going on, Rob? What are you leaving out?”

“There’s something weird about this one. Might cause us a lot of shit in the near future if I’m right.”

“Are you going to tell me or play guessing games?” Luke wasn’t in the mood to play anything. All he wanted to do was eat some still-warm pizza, crawl into bed, and sleep for days—or at least until his alarm went off at six. He’d gotten way too little sleep lately. He hadn’t gotten enough sleep in years.

Rob cleared his throat nervously. “You need to see this for yourself. Just get here, man.”

Luke disconnected the call. He finished dressing, shoved one piece of his pizza on a paper towel, and grabbed his keys. He could eat it on the way without ruining his suit. Even if he spilled, fuck it. Luke wasn’t going to sacrifice one more decent dinner to the cause.

It had rained earlier, and the London streets were still slick and dark, half frozen in the early spring chill, but at least it was quiet. The air was close to freezing, too. Unseasonably low temps, but sadly not by much. After all the years he’d been in London, the winters still got to him, cold and wet, the kind that seemed to creep all the way into the center of his chest—nothing like his childhood home in South Carolina or even Virginia, where he’d lived and worked his first few years out of the academy. Sometimes Luke missed the old optimistic years at Quantico. These days it seemed like the cold was impossible to shake. It seeped into his bones and camped out until nothing he did could warm him through.

I’m getting old.

The stone row houses slipped past, nestled together, dark on the outside like everything else, interiors shining and cheery against the insidious, creeping chill. Everyone who knew better was inside somewhere, enjoying dinner, relaxing with the people they loved. They didn’t look alone. He’d figured long ago his hopes for being one of them had probably passed. Luke loved his job, it was his life, but some nights he wouldn’t mind a break. Luke bypassed their unit’s Westminster offices in favor of going straight to the scene. He didn’t need anything but what he had on him. Hopefully he’d be in and out in time for the late news.

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DSP Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6318

About the Author

Author PicI’m Mj O’Shea :) I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.

I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite movie and pop stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then.

When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano, dance, cook, paint pictures, and of course read! I like sparkly girly girl things, own at least twenty different colored headbands, and I have two little dogs who sit with me when I write. Sometimes they comes up with ideas for me too…when they’re not busy napping.

Website: http://mjoshea.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mj.oshea.5

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjosheaseattle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3512511.M_J_O_Shea

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mjosheaseattle

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mjoshea5

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/M.J.-OShea/e/B003XERT7M/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1427433101&sr=8-2-ent

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Tour Schedule

April 28: Cherry Mischievous || Because Two Men Are Better Than One

April 29: Nessa’s Book Reviews || Nic Starr

April 30: RJ Scott || Love Bytes Reviews

May 1: MM Good Book Reviews || Sue Brown

May 4: A Celebration of Books || Divine Magazine

May 5: Diverse Reader || Drops of Ink

May 6: Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words || Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

May 7: Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews || Lisa Worrall

May 8: Man2ManTastic || My Fiction Nook

May 11: Prism Book Alliance || BFD Book Blog

May 12: Bike Book Reviews || Bayou Book Junkie

May 13: Hearts on Fire || Wordsmith Wednesday

May 14: The Novel Approach || Gay.Guy.Reading And Friends

May 15: The Purple Rose Tea House || Cia’s Stories

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