EXCERPT REVEAL: Memphis by Ginger Scott

You guys, this excerpt is amazing and gave me all of the tingles! I cannot wait for this book!

New Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 23, 2018

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♦BLURB♦

My mom always said it was just something about the way he moved.

The same swagger Archie Valentine wore in the ring when he took his opponents down followed him like a halo everywhere he went. But make no mistake about it—he was no angel. He was like a drug. My mother was his addict.

I never understood it…how love could make you blind and convince you to drink the poison. Not until I met Memphis Delaney.

At first, it was the familiar form. He’s a fighter, built like a god from the past, the kind of man the universe doesn’t make anymore. His eyes hide a story, and every time I’m in his presence I want to keep reading him until I get to the end. And then…there’s the way he moves. His boxing is violent but beautiful, and his body is a seductive weapon. When he’s in the ring, he wears the stare of a man committed to the battle until his very last breath.

He could end me; turn me into her. Too much of him will leave me as a shadow, and I’ve lost so much of myself already.

But I have discipline. It came the hard way. Lessons learned, scars left behind, and trust stripped away from life.

I will breathe his air, but I won’t fall for a man like him. The only boxer who’s ever going to break my heart is the one who gave me my name.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

“Come here,” he says, calling me with a finger.

I wait a second before giving in, letting my arms fall to my sides as I take the few steps from where I am to where he is. His hands wrap around my biceps as soon as I’m near enough and I breathe in fast, just once. His eyes widen a little.

“You’re stronger than you look,” he smirks.

My gaze is held by his when he speaks. He holds it hostage and when I start to look away, his hands slide down to my wrists and he shakes them lightly until I look at him again. His head tilts, and he waits until I get it.

I’m stronger than I look.

“Thank you,” I say, pulling my lip in tight, so afraid I’m not. I’m stubborn for certain. I’m hardened and jaded. I’m not sure if any of that makes me strong.

My muscles bend to Memphis’s will as he threads his fingers through my right ones and lifts my arm, his other hand holding my elbow into my side. He lets go of my fingers and wraps his palm over my knuckles forming a fist and then moves my entire arm forward slowly, stopping when my body lunges with it.

“Here. You lose everything…right here,” he says, stopping my fist where it is then placing the tips of his fingers on my hips.

Memphis’s eyes are intent on where his hand rests at my waist, and he pauses to take a breath, his tongue pinched by his teeth, his lips twitching up at the corners, his eyes blinking fast—all in a second.

I think about kissing him again right now.

“Your weight is already spent, and you haven’t even made impact with something yet. Think about it,” he says, eyes flitting up to mine.

I shake my head a little from the brief stare and silence we share.

“Okay,” I say, following his lead as he brings my arm back and steps behind me.

“You hit me hard, but that was without everything you have behind it. Imagine,” he begins, adjusting his hold on me, his right hand sliding down my arm and covering my hand, feet straddling one of mine from behind, his chest against my back, his breath at my neck and a thousand beads of nerves dotting my skin.

“You’re here,” he says, his voice low and right at my ear.

My eyes flutter when his left hand runs down the side of my body to my hip, and my breath hitches when he grips it more forcefully.

“Your opponent is standing right there. Do you see him?”

I nod.

“Yes,” I say, my voice barely audible.

“He’s cocking,” he says, and I giggle at the word while his nose moves closer to my skin, tickling against my ear. “You’re such a child.”

I clear my throat and wriggle my hips and roll my shoulders, all under his touch.

“You’re right, I’m sorry,” I say, still smiling.

A short breath escapes him in laughter.

“He’s about to swing, okay?” he says, coaxing me to focus.

“Trust me.” His voice falls to a whisper, and my eyes fall closed.

Memphis drives my body, the space between us gone so much that I am lying against him while standing. His hand brings mine up, tucking it close to our bodies. His fingers splay on my thigh, and my leg feels strong. He leans with me, our bodies in sync as we twist to the left, our right shoulders stretching backward, necks rolling until we’re nearly back where we started.

“His balance is off,” he says at my neck. There are no areas of my body that aren’t affected by the vibration of his voice. “You have him. He’s yours. You have balance. His is gone. This is where you win.”

His hand holds my left side still, and his right hand brings me back to swing with a tighter form than I had before. He takes me through the motion once slowly, almost like we’re just part of some intimate ballet performance, then he brings my fist back in and tucks his chin into the side of my neck.

“Again,” he says, this time leading me through the motion faster as his hand slides from its hold on my hip to my diaphragm.

“Breathe out,” he says, and I do slowly at first, but with each swing we repeat, the motion is faster.

My air escapes with my thrust, my body something mechanical now, parts working in unison until I’m able to do it all on my own.

“Keep going,” Memphis says as he steps away. My eyes flit open, and I imagine everything that has ever hurt me. I see their faces—my parents, Enoch, the angry crowds at trials, reporters.

Memphis picks up one of the pads and steps closer as I swing, bending down to hand lift one of my abandoned gloves, eventually holding his palm out for me to pause.

“Put it on, and I want you to hit me now…not like before. Hit me with what you know. Hit me with what you feel, but always there is balance. You can’t give that away. It’s not theirs to have.”

My eyes lock on his as he slides the glove over my knuckles and I form a raw fist with my other hand. He takes two small steps back and readies himself before nodding.

I clear my lungs and consider his words and everything he just led my body through. I was so strong. I’m stronger than I think I am.

My feet shift to find the perfect fit against the mat, and I bring my hands in, fists raised and ready.

“He’s going to swing now,” Memphis says, and I react just as he taught me.

I dodge. The motion so swift and natural I barely remember doing it before my legs steady themselves, my middle twists and my arm swings forward, fist landing in the same spot as it did before only this time my body doesn’t stumble. Memphis does. Inches, but there is reaction to my action.

“Ha,” I breathe out in disbelief. My eyes lift from the fist-shaped dent in the pad to Memphis, and my lips part in awe.

“Yeah,” he says, glancing around to the front of the pad. “You did that by yourself.”

Giddiness takes over my face, my mouth stretching wide with parted lips. Memphis lets the pad fall again, and the physical proof from my force disappears as the padding evens out. It was there, though. I fought back, and left a mark. More than seeing it, I felt it. I still feel it.

“I want to do that again,” I say, blinking as my vision slides from the pad to Memphis’s proud smile.

“Baby steps, Champ. Let me show you a few drills, and then maybe you can punch me one more time before we’re done,” he says, chuckling.

“I wasn’t hitting you,” I say, handing him the glove.

He holds it in both of his hands before bending down to pick up the other glove, pairing them together. His gaze hits mine.

“I know who you were hitting.” Silence settles in for a long second. I don’t have to respond; Memphis doesn’t expect it.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, and Hold My Breath.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns.

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COVER REVEAL w/ GIVEAWAY: Mend by Kivrin Wilson

The Waters Book Two; Interconnected Standalone

Release Date: February 7, 2018

(iBooks, Kobo & Nook will release for just February 6th and then be Amazon only from the 7th on)

PreOrder: B&NiBooks | Kobo | Live Alert for Amazon

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♦BLURB♦

PAIGE

Logan McKinley. My ex. I knew he was trouble from the first moment I laid eyes on him.

Fresh out of law school with a new job at one of San Diego’s biggest firms, I was supposed to focus on my career. No distractions, no men, and especially no office romances.

Then I met Logan. He was cocky, smooth-talking, and gorgeous—a hotshot associate on the fast track to a partnership and exactly the kind of guy I needed to avoid.

But he was relentless. He pursued me, intrigued me, and seduced me. And when I had no defenses left, my ambitions shifted, and I only wanted him.

For a while, that was enough.

But no one’s perfect. The man who put a ring on my finger isn’t who I thought he was, so I left.

Now he’s back in my life, and he’s pushing me into a corner. It’s time to show him how hard I can push back.

LOGAN

“It’s over.”

When those words came out of her mouth, I wasn’t surprised. What I didn’t expect was how damn near impossible it’s been to move on.

The first time I saw Paige Waters, the new associate at my firm who was as intelligent and self-confident as she was stunning, I wanted her. I wasn’t used to women rejecting me, but she did—or tried to, anyway—which made me even more determined to have her.
I had no idea that when I finally got her, I wouldn’t want to let her go.

But I screwed up. She doesn’t even know how badly I screwed up, and everything still went to hell.

Now, one year after our split and with so much still unresolved between us, we’re suddenly going head to head on the same case. Seeing her at the office again, where it all started, I realize that this is far from over.

She’s still mine.

And whether it’s in the courtroom or the bedroom, I always win.

 

♦SERIES♦

The Waters Series Book One; Standalone

Purchase:  Kindle | Paperback | Kobo | My Review

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Kivrin

Kivrin is a mother, wife, unabashed cat lady, avid reader, Netflix binge watcher, proud introvert, and a passably good cook. When she’s not writing, she’s usually busy with her self-employed day job, though she tries to do that as little as possible. She enjoys exercising forces herself to run on her treadmill (while watching Netflix) because it allows her to eat chocolate.

Kivrin grew up in Norway, but she’s lived most of her adult life in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she currently shares a roof with her husband (who’s pretty amazing, according to him), their daughter (who’s definitely amazing, according to everyone), and two young male cats who behave very much like teenage boys and of whom she shares too many photos on Instagram.

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♦GIVEAWAY♦

Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

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TOP REC & REVIEW: Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker

Standalone Romantic Suspense

Purchase: Kindle US | Kindle UK | Kindle AU | Paperback | Hardcover | Audio | B&N | iBooks | Google

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♦BLURB♦

Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that’s been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family’s life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.

Gracie Richards wasn’t born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it’s all she knows anymore. At least here people don’t care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive…until a man who clearly doesn’t belong shows up on her doorstep.

Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department’s dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.

Complex, gritty, sexy, and thrilling, Keep Her Safe solidifies K.A. Tucker’s reputation as one of today’s most talented new voices in romantic suspense.

 

♦6-STAR REVIEW♦

Keep Her Safe was a riveting, page-turner of a thriller with a massively intriguing storyline. As one of the most complex and twisty stories I’ve read, Tucker was absolutely in her element with this tale, keeping the pace of the novel at its quickest and its mysteries at their most puzzling. When a story is as gritty and convoluted as one is with delving into possible police force corruption, the expectation to not only handle the subject with sensitivity and care, but still manage to fall within the realm of possibility was high–all of which it delivered on perfectly and with sound, skilled writing.

Tucker’s skill with suspense and mystery has grown with each new book of hers, continually edging up the bar in the genre, and, if anything, she has outdone herself again. This is the kind of story you cannot put down; each chapter ending manages to bring forth new information, thus eliminating stopping points, and the need to forget sleep or basic essentials to inhale more of it only heightens. The suspense was a nonstop, heart-racing whirlwind that sucked me in and spit me back out, chapter after chapter filled with excitement and revelations. But this story wouldn’t be what it was without its enigmatic and intricately written characters, both main and secondary. Each person had their part to play and I’m still amazed at how brilliantly they all circled one another to create this multifaceted and elaborately plotted tale. Noah and Gracie were deeply connected by past family ties, placing them on the same side of the game board, but their motives and those same family ties also divided them–each step forward continuing to threaten their growing (dis)trust and connection, and creating a brilliant back-and-forth tension in the process.

The most provocative aspect was how harrowingly realistic the portrayal was of something that happens all over the country. The injustice of abuse of power and position was poignant and hit close to home. These characters and their stories were heartbreaking and filled with sorrow and unfairness, but ever-present was that small, undying spark of hope and justice that continued to show life in Noah and Gracie no matter the obstacles. Keep Her Safe was a wild and crazy ride of a tale that captivated and beguiled with its mysteries and slowly revealing plot points, and I cannot wait to read it again to see all the little signs I might’ve missed. It was a masterfully written story and an absolute must-read.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

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REVIEW: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Unearthed Book One

Young Adult

Purchase: Kindle | Hardcover | Audio

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♦BLURB♦

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race…

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

Filled with heart-pounding action & adventure and two engaging characters, Unearthed felt like a wonderful sci-fi version of a mash-up of Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider and Drake’s Uncharted video games in written form. If you’re not a gamer and don’t understand the reference, think of a race to save humanity paired with extraterrestrial landscape that is covered with deadly puzzles to solve and an entire cast of shifty characters. And what I adored most was that slow-to-build connection and attraction that was mired with secrets, distrust, and personal agendas between Jules and Amelia as they embarked on this adventure together.

With two main characters after entirely different objectives but pushed into working together due to outside circumstances, their dynamic fueled the pace of the story; their trajectories, so dissimilar but mockingly on the same path, led to a lovely push-pull between them that not only amplified their attraction and differing paths, but also the obstacles affecting their journey. They were each humanly-flawed people, but likable from the instant they came onto the page; both unlikely characters to get along–let alone race together across a strange planet fighting the planet itself and other scavengers–the fun was in watching them battle that growing tension. Amelia’s hardened personality blossomed as the journey grew on, and complemented the naivete of bookish Jules so well. With everything pushing them together and then instantly pulling them apart along with the ever-expanding mystery of the planet and its secrets, it became an un-put-down-able story very quickly. Amie and Meagan found a brilliant way to weave romance in a complex tale, keeping the relationship’s path just as tumultuous as the answer to the final puzzle.

Yet it wasn’t just a story about Amelia and Jules’ wants and needs nor that of the other scavvers, but rather the subtly and carefully placed reference to the real-life issue of our footprint on Earth and the consequences of misuse–a thought-provoking and clever plot point for a story. The writing was seamless, the story full of surprises, and I am left with a bevy of unanswered questions and guesses for the direction of the story that I am absolutely excited to have answered with the second, and final, installment of the series. Boldly inspiring and wonderfully plotted, Unearthed was a crazy thrill ride from start to finish.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHORS♦

Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work has been published in 30 countries, and described as “a game-changer” (Shelf Awareness), “stylistically mesmerising” (Publishers Weekly) and “out-of-this-world awesome” (Kirkus). Her work includes the Starbound Trilogy (co-authored with Meagan Spooner) and The Illuminae Files (co-authored with Jay Kristoff), as well as her new series Unearthed and Elementals. Raised in Australia and Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.

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Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

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