NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon

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♦BLURB♦

“In the end, only three things matter. How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” – Unknown

It was a big lie. The biggest lie she’d ever told. It reverberated through her head as she said it, ringing eerily, and the girl behind her eyes—the girl who knew the truth—screamed, and her scream echoed along with the lie.

“Are you in love with Noah, Mercedes?” Cora asked. “I mean . . . I know you love him. You’ve been friends forever. We all have. But are you in love with him?”

If it had been anyone else—anyone—Mercedes would have stuck out her chest, folded her skinny arms, and let her feelings be known. She would have claimed him. But it was Cora. Brave, beautiful, broken Cora, and Cora loved Noah too.
So Mercedes lied.
And with that lie, she lost him. With that lie, she sealed her fate.
She was the best friend, the bridesmaid, the godmother, the glue. She was there for the good times and the bad, the ups and downs, the biggest moments and the smallest parts. And she was there when it all came crashing down.

This is the tale of the girl who didn’t get the guy.

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

The Smallest Part is a complex, character-driven memoir about three childhood friends. Harmon eloquently captures their bonds, built from before double digits, and expands them expertly between current and past viewpoints. The expected love triangle is completely non-existent–this is not that kind of story–instead wonderfully displaying the sacrifices, the heartaches, and the true bounds of this kind of selfless love.

This story is a true journey, each moment offered up as a means to understand these characters more deeply. With the aspect of the point-of-view written in what I consider third person objective (wherein not all feelings are known to the reader), it only managed to further guide that point home. Not having every feeling and thought given to the reader made it an adventurous tale to dig into, to discover the characters through their actions and responses–and this was beautifully done. With sensitive subjects and a delicate romance to handle, Harmon’s well-plotted story traversed the gamut of emotions while telling a beautifully inspiring and heartbreaking story.

In order to give you the best chance of experiencing what this story has to offer, I cannot say anything more. The Smallest Part has so many cogs in its machine, ones that build on top of each other to create something even more beautiful with each new scene. I adored its subtlety and quiet allure, and how artistically different it is from any other story out there.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street JournalUSA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in fifteen different languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Levan, Utah.

Amy Harmon has written eleven novels — the USA Today Bestsellers, The Bird and The Sword, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as From Sand and Ash, The Law of Moses, The Song of David, Infinity + One, and the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue. Her recent release, The Bird and the Sword, is a Goodreads Best Fantasy of 2016 finalist.

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NEW RELEASE: Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley

Chaos Book #4.5

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Rosalie Holloway put it all on the line for the Chaos Motorcycle Club.

Informing to Chaos on their rival club—her man’s club, Bounty—Rosalie knows the stakes. And she pays them when her man, who she was hoping to scare straight, finds out she’s betrayed him and he delivers her to his brothers to mete out their form of justice.

But really, Rosie has long been denying that, as she drifted away from her Bounty, she’s been falling in love with Everett “Snapper” Kavanagh, a Chaos brother. Snap is the biker-boy-next door with the snowy blue eyes, quiet confidence and sweet disposition who was supposed to keep her safe…and fell down on that job.

For Snapper, it’s always been Rosalie, from the first time he saw her at the Chaos Compound. He’s just been waiting for a clear shot. But he didn’t want to get it after his Rosie was left bleeding, beat down and broken by Bounty on a cement warehouse floor.

With Rosalie a casualty of an ongoing war, Snapper has to guide her to trust him, take a shot with him, build a them…

And fold his woman firmly in the family that is Chaos.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

 

♦EXCERPT♦

My dad had been a biker. He was a nomad when it came to that kind of thing (or, really, any kind of thing). He accepted being tied down by his woman and his daughter only, not anything else. Not a job. Not a mortgage. Not a membership to a club. He hung with a lot of them, including Chaos (in fact, Hammer, sadly now deceased, but one of the founding members of Chaos, had been my father’s best friend).

But he’d never hung with Bounty.

“Don’t like the feel of them,” I’d heard him mutter years ago. “If you’re an outlaw, own the outlaw. If you’re not, own that. You can’t wanna be a Gypsy Joker. You either are or you aren’t. They wanna be. But they aren’t. That shit just ain’t right and it could get dangerous.”

He’d been right.

It got dangerous.

I should have known.

I should have followed my dad.

Mom and me had done it all our lives, job to job, house to house, city to city.

Why I stopped…

Damn.

I knew why I’d stopped.

I’d wanted Shy; Shy, who reminded me of Dad.

And when I couldn’t have him, I’d gone looking.

I’d wanted what my mom had.

I’d wanted that sweetness. That love.

That devotion.

I’d wanted the stability that just seeped down deep into your bones from all that no matter the job changing, the scenery changing, the amount of times you boxed up a house.

Stability had nothing to do with income and locale.

Stability was all in the heart.

♦TRAILER♦

♦SERIES♦

Own The Wind #1

Chaos Book One

Purchase:  Kindle | Paperback

 

Fire Inside #2

Chaos Book Two

Purchase:  Kindle | Paperback

 

Ride Steady #3

Chaos Book Three

Purchase:  Kindle | Paperback | My Review

27 - Walk Through Fire

Chaos Book Four

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

kristen-ashley-headshot

Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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BLOG TOUR – REVIEW: Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger

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“How can you remember someone you’ve never met?”

Megan and Cassidy were childhood sweethearts who thought they’d be together forever, but fate had other plans. Soon after they were married, Cass’s life was tragically cut short. Still grieving her soul mate five years later, Megan moves to the small town of Seaside, Oregon, hoping to rebuild her life.

Her first night there, she meets the town recluse, Theo. Withdrawn, guarded, and mysteriously silent since a terrible accident left him scarred, Theo takes an instant and inexplicable dislike to Megan. But as their paths cross again and again, Megan becomes convinced there’s more to Theo than meets the eye.

When she discovers the reason for his silence, his nightmares, and especially his pointed dislike, Megan becomes convinced of something far more astonishing.

Is a second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love possible, or is a broken heart the cruelest kind of liar?

 

♦4.5/5-STAR REVIEW♦

Uniquely powerful and oddly fantastical, Midnight Valentine told an unusual love story with heavy undercurrents of heartbreak and second chances. In working with two characters with an abundance of loss–a widowed heroine and a hero who lost himself after a horrific accident–there was a risk of having so much sorrow that hope couldn’t find its way in, but Geissinger found the perfect balance that captured the anguish without negating the prospect for something wonderful finding its way in.

The universal likability of Megan was felt instantly upon opening this novel. Her cynicism and pessimistic nature along with her shield of sarcasm made her character feel real, palpable, and quite humorous at times; she wasn’t without scars and tools for preventing anyone getting close to her, and she wouldn’t have felt as evocative as she did without any of that. The grief and anguish bled through the pages, and became a living entity, and when Megan and Theo inhabited a scene together, those emotions swelled, but slowly became tinged with a growing attraction. The push-pull and tension that radiated between them was ever-growing, but through each encounter they continued to evolve and take a step forward in not just healing but moving on, too. That slow build and magnetism between the two was wonderfully done and created a very organic and natural feeling of coming together–and so well-fitting for a couple with their level of baggage.

Oftentimes unique is thrown around pretty easily, but the premise of this love story is very much a unique tool for bringing two people together. And though I can’t speak of it without giving a lot away, I was honestly surprised I fell into it the way I did. I believe it was how well the characters were written, how beautifully the buildup to the crescendo was, that I was able to swallow up the fantastical elements. In case that sort of wording scares you, there’s nothing paranormal involved; it was purely an added effect to a love story that felt otherworldly. Only because there was a bit of ambiguity about a certain piece at the end was this not a true 5-star read.

Midnight Valentine was simply a beautiful love story. One that will have you believing that anything is possible. The characters were brave and resilient, but markedly true to their separate forms of trauma, and I adored them and the entire story from beginning to end.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

JT Geissinger

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

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BLOG TOUR w/ REVIEW: About That Kiss by Jill Shalvis

Heartbreaker Bay Book Five; Interconnected Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

When love drives you crazy . . .

When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylie shoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favor, and it’s a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen and there’s only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help—Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him—or seduce him.

the best thing to do . . .

No, Joe didn’t call after the kiss. He’s the fun time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she’s been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn’t getting the memo.

… is enjoy the ride.

As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over “that kiss” might just be to replace it with a hundred more.

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

About That Kiss was a sweet, sultry romance with a love story between an unlikely couple. As my first Jill Shalvis book, I enjoyed the balance between character and relationship buildup, and how there was just the right amount of tension in both as the story progressed. Shalvis captured Kylie’s personality well and brought her out of the shell she’d been in, and made her strong for doing it not just for love but for her own self. Anyone who is an old soul like her will find a sense of belonging with that character, and it was something that was palpably felt. Her connection with Joe felt untouched and pivotal, something that built wonderfully as they spent more time together.

With the perfect amount of fun mixed in, About That Kiss was an enjoyable novel from beginning to end. Shalvis’ writing was easy to get into and effective in bringing the reader into the story of not just these two characters but past and future characters from the series, too. Even though I started the series with this book, I never felt like something was missing or that it wasn’t possible to jump in at any point. With low angst and the perfect amount of butterflies given, anyone who opens this book will fall for it from the first page.

As a side note: There’s a line in the book about ‘PTSD-proofing’ a house. I understand wanting to make your characters’ issues seem real, but this line was offensive and a bit ignorant. You can’t proof a house from a disorder, any disorder (and for that matter, you can’t proof a house from getting PTSD). You can safe-proof a house from someone who has self-harming tendencies, but that is in no way ‘PTSD-proofing.’ I’m sure the author didn’t mean any offense, but as someone with that disorder, I would recommend being a bit more careful in how something is worded. 

 

♦EXCERPT♦

Joe studied her. “I asked you once before, but now I’m going to ask you again. Is there something going on between you two?”

She tossed up her hands. “Why do you both keep asking me that about each other?”

His eyes narrowed. “I thought nothing was going on.”

“And before today, I could’ve passed a lie detector test on that,” she said.

“What happened today?”

She paused. Not because she had anything to be ashamed of, but because she wasn’t quite sure what had happened.

“Kylie.”

She sighed. “It’s nothing.”

“Try again,” Joe said and gave her the very male universal go on gesture.

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. He . . . finally made a move on me.”

Joe didn’t budge. Not a blink, not a muscle twitch, nothing, but she could’ve popped corn off the electric tension coming off him.

“Describe ‘made a move,’ ” he finally said.

She crossed her arms. “And again, how is this relevant to my case?”

He just gave her that careful stare again and she thought wow, those eyes of his should be registered as a lethal weapon, because she found herself opening her mouth and spilling her guts. “He kissed me.”

“He kissed you.”

“Yeah,” she said. “Do you know that you often repeat what I say?”

“What kind of a kiss?” he asked.

She was momentarily bewildered. “I don’t know. It was a kiss. A normal kiss. A nice kiss.” She cocked her head at him. “How many kinds of kisses are there?”

He just looked at her for a long moment before coming toward her. He backed her to the wall and pressed his big hands on either side of her head.

“There are many kinds of kisses,” he said.

Her breath had backed up in her throat, where her heart had lodged, pounding wildly. “S-s-such as?”

“Such as this one.” And then he leaned in and covered her mouth with his.

At the touch of Joe’s mouth, Kylie’s brain stopped being capable of rational thought. His tongue gave a knee-weakening stroke against hers and she let out a shockingly needy moan as she clutched at him, fisting her hands in the material of his shirt at his chest. Only when he’d thoroughly plundered and pillaged and left her boneless did he lift his head and look into her eyes.

“Wow,” she whispered, fully aware she was still holding on to him like he was a lifeline, but the bones in her legs had liquefied. “I mean . . .” She shook her head. “Wow.”

He nodded. “Yeah. So to be clear, that wasn’t ‘a normal kiss’ or even ‘a nice kiss.’ It was a ‘wow’ kiss. Any questions?”

“Just one,” she said softly. “Can I have another?”

Joe didn’t have to be asked twice. His mouth immediately descended again, his fingers sliding into her hair to change the angle of the kiss to suit him. It was a controlled, alpha thing to do, but she had only one thought—nothing about the usually carefully, purposely leashed Joe was in control at the moment.

And she liked it.

She had no idea how long they went at it because she was in absolute heaven. Who knew that the man could use his preferred silent mode to communicate in a way that she finally approved of?

Only when she was completely breathless and about to strip him down to his birthday suit did she manage to pull back.

“Any more questions?” he asked, also a little bit breathless, which was more than slightly gratifying. Dumbly, she shook her head. His eyes softened and he gently he stroked his thumb over her bottom lip. “And FYI? Gib’s an idiot.”

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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