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Friday, November 24, 2017

Fire Born by Rayanne Haines: Interview & Giveaway



Fire Born
The Guardian Series, Book One
Rayanne Haines

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Date of Publication: September 13th, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68291-511-0
ASIN: B074WFSD7G

Number of pages: 224
Word Count: 70,000.00

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

Book Description:

When Alex Taleisin’s immortal DNA kicks in after a fight for her life against something not-quite-human in the YMCA parking lot, her Aunt finally lets her in on the family secret. They’re Immortal – Elementals to be precise. Only, Alex is a little something more, and until they discover what, her life is in danger.

Collum Thronus, Guardian of the Races and savage King of the Dragons has no choice but to protect Alex and find her father’s people. He made a promise and Collum always keeps his promises. Now, he needs to keep his hands of his charge.

Enter an insane grandfather, a shifter with a hidden agenda, and a witch with a shoe addiction and soon Alex is wishing for a quiet house in the hills with the dragon she’s falling for. But a battle is coming and Alex knows the only way to find her answers is to trust her powers and become the warrior she was destined to be.


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Excerpt



Alex refused to break eye contact. Something inside clawed at her flesh—reaching for the man in front of her. Her knees buckled as he pressed his face to her neck. She held his shoulders as he lifted her, sat her on the kitchen counter, and stepped between her thighs. The whole time he kept breathing in like he was trying to absorb her. His hands were brands on her skin. One palm stroked her back, the other found its way into her hair.
She pressed her body against his, trying to take on his heat. Her breasts crushed against his chest, and she whimpered in the back of her throat. Things like this didn't happen to her. She usually dated journalists with very un-dragon like qualities or weekend mountain men with annoyingly trendy facial hair. She did not get ravished by drop dead, slam-dunk, gorgeous alpha males, in her aunt’s kitchen.
After this morning’s revelations, she was ready for a bit of sinning. She nipped at his neck. His grip tightened as he growled low and deep. Somewhere in the back of her mind, Alex realized she was ready to have sex with a stranger on her aunt’s kitchen counter, with said aunt in the other room, perhaps even on her way back to this room. Awareness crashed in with a resounding thud.
He stepped back and shoved his hands through his hair in jerky movements before drawing a ragged breath. “I’m sorry. That shouldn't have happened. You’re at a critical point in your transition, and that makes your heat difficult to ignore . . . It will likely get worse as it grows.” His jaw clenched. “I should have been more prepared.”
Alex blinked, her mind jumped from one thought to the next.
“Did your aunt tell you what’s happening?”
“What?” She shook her head. “What the hell? Aunt Quinn!” she yelled, jumping off the counter to back away. Pulling her housecoat tighter around her neck, she snapped, “Are you kidding me? You can't do that. And I’m not sending out heat, asshole!”
He held up his palms in surrender. “I said I'm sorry. We don't have time for this. There are people who will hurt you if they know you’re still alive. I need to get you somewhere safe.”
A panic attack pushed at the edge of her temple. Confused and turned on, she needed a goddamn coffee. She refused to give control of the situation to him. “So, you're some kind of dragon thing? And I'm supposed to go away with you?”
Collum sighed and gritted his teeth. “Yes, something like that. Your enemies will make a move soon. As soon as they find out you live, they'll come after you, and me for my part in it. We hoped your element wouldn’t surface.”
“I'm expected to believe everything Aunt Quinn said was real. Just like that?”
“Yep.” He blew more smoke at her mouth, his gaze intense. “Just like that.”
She stumbled back. “Wait, do you know who my father was?”
“I don’t. But now that you’re transitioning, we need to find out before the elders do. They tend to dislike things more powerful than them. And if I’ve guessed right, you kid, are about to be far more powerful.”
He pulled at a stray thread on her housecoat, right above an old coffee stain. “You need to put some clothes on.” Collum reached for her hand. “We have to go now.”
Alex yanked her hand back. She knew if she let him touch her they'd be on the floor. She didn't know if she trusted him, but she'd learned over time to trust herself. Aunt Quinn hadn't told her enough, but it was enough to know she wanted to find out more. Now she had to figure out why her parents were killed. If sex dragon guy could keep her alive long enough to do that, then she'd go with him. She took a steadying breath. She didn’t usually feel small around men, but this giant dwarfed her. Instead of being frightened, she wished he’d lean down and cover her mouth with his. He grinned like he knew what she was thinking, took her hand in his larger one, and
rested his other on her hip. Alex almost purred with the echo of his heat. She reached to touch the smoke pouring out the strands of his hair. Quinn walked in before she had a chance.
“Honey I have . . . oh.”
Alex wished she could sink into the blue wall paper, but he simply raised his head and
took one step back. He gave his head a slight nod. “Quinn, I presume.”
She responded the same. “Dragon King.”
“You have her things ready to go?”
All business, she handed the bag to him. “Everything is here; passport, extra clothing, all
her necessities.”
“Good. We won't have time to stop. I won't make contact again for a few days, but I
assure you I’ll let nothing happen to her. I promised Kaylen, and I never break a vow.”
Alex interrupted them. “Um, hello. I'm right here you know. How about you both talk to me, instead of over me? Besides, I haven't agreed to go anywhere yet.”
Collum stiffened, and glared at her.
She stomped her foot. “I’m not a child. I’ll make my own decisions, thank you very much.”
He snorted and turned back to Quinn. “Say your goodbyes. I'll be in the car.”
He strolled out of the kitchen like it was any other day of the week—not like her life had been ripped to pieces.
Quinn dropped the bags at her feet and rushed toward her. “I told you he was impatient. You really have no choice, my darling. I swear on my life that we’re telling you the truth. This must happen. You’ll be safe—he can control your fire.”
Quinn handed her a yellow tank top and a pair of sweats. “Now put these on. You can't run for freedom in a Hudson's Bay housecoat. It's undignified.”
“But I haven’t said yes yet. It’s—”
“No, Alex, stop.” Quinn hugged her. “I love you with all my heart. But you have no say in this. You must go now.”
Alex held on to her aunt as tight as she could for a final minute, then stepped away. “I love you too, Quinn.”
Five minutes later they walked out to Collum's vehicle. After a final kiss to her aunt, Alex climbed in the vehicle and looked at her would be savior. “Okay, Dragon Boy. Let's go find out who Daddy is.”





About the Author:

Rayanne Haines is a published poet, romance fiction author, and arts manager.

She writes Paranormal Romance with Kick-Ass Heroines. She believes in magic and legend and all the things we cannot see. Rayanne prefers her alpha males a little gritty and the women who love them, in charge of their own destiny.

Fire Born is the first book of the Guardian Series published by Soul Mate Publishing. Magic Born is available June 2018.


Website and newsletter sign up - http://www.rayannehaines.com/



Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rayanne_haines/

Good reads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36104647-fire-born

Interview 

Please welcome Fire Born author Rayanne Haines to Diane’s Book Blog. 

How long did it take you to write Fire Born?

Fire Born is book one of The Guardian Series. It took me three years to write Fire Born. This is my first novel and I wrote it in between my full-time job as as the director of a literary festival, while writing a poetry novel, and raising my family. But really it took so long because I was learning how to be a better writer while I was writing. I made a lot of mistakes. I wrote five drafts. I would say the final books is almost 80% different than what I started with. Just to give you a sense of my writing now. I wrote book two, Magic Born in seven months and two drafts. I’ll have revisions and edits suggested by my publisher of course but I’ve sent them a much cleaner version than I did with my first book. Magic Born will be out June 2018 or earlier.


If you were stranded on a desert island which of your characters do you want by your side?

This is such a tough question because I love all my characters.
  1. Collum. Hello! He’s a dragon so I know I’d be protected no matter what. Also, If I must be deserted with someone It’d be nice to be with someone that gorgeous – lol. Plus – the guy has wings. He could fly us out of there!
  2. Alex. I spent so long writing her and I feel like she is a friend at this point. Her personality is tough and loyal. She controls fire so we’d never be cold! I’d want someone like that to have my back in a difficult situation.
  3. Mar. I mean C’mon. I totally fell in love with this character. She is hilarious, kind, and a witch! Hungry? She could conjure us up dinner. Cold? With a sweep of her hands we’d be living in a mansion.

If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?

Alex - Tough as nails. Fierce. Likes good music. Plus, she’s real to me. Someone trying to make it and figure life out. She’s funny too. I think she’d be an awesome friend.

Or Mar – I feel like she’s that crazy girlfriend who’d be up for anything but would also just hang out and watch crappy movies with you all day if you were sick or depressed.


What books have most influenced your life?

So, so many. I grew up reading historical romance by authors like Johanna Lindsay. I’m also very inspired by narrative poetry. I love the sound of words J. Right now, I’m inspired by authors like J.R. Ward, Patricia Briggs and Charlaine Harris.


How do you overcome writer’s block?

I write. I sit at my desk and start writing. Sometimes I’ll go back and forth between prose and poetry. Sometimes what I write will have nothing to do with my current project. The only way to overcome the block is by putting pen to paper. Shit words are still words.


Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m just submitted book two, Magic Born, to my publisher on November 15th. The book is Mar and Neeren’s story. Here is a very quick excerpt.
  
She must be losing her touch.
Mar opened the make-shift medical office door, only to be swept up into the thunderstorm gaze of Neeren Simine. The Parthen Kings eyes swirled green, black, and yellow. Wicked. Measured. His six-foot four-inch frame exuded cool masculinity. Prowess. Sin. Nonchalance written on every part of his body. He wore tan slacks and a loose white cotton shirt that effortlessly showcased his muscles. His sleeves rolled up above his powerful forearms. His feet were bare. As always.
Show-off.
She'd been on his island for close to two weeks and only managed to ruffle his feathers a couple of times. She usually pissed people off at least twice per conversation, but with this guy? Nothing. It was unnerving not knowing what he felt. Schooled in the art of diplomacy and secrecy, his face betrayed nothing. He was, she thought, opaque. She squinted, hoping to decipher something in his high cheek bones. His square jaw. His thick lower lip.
Neeren grinned at her. His yellow eyes remained aloof. "Do you like what you see?"
She snorted. Refused to give him the satisfaction of knowing he unnerved her. "Dream much?"
"Double entendres this early in the day, Maria?"
Of course, she hadn't meant it that way. Trust him to pick up on subconscious spilling out.
Neeren was half parthen and half water elemental. Parthen were shifters (black panther variation) and dream walkers. A race imbued with the ability to enter others dreams and manipulate them. Once inside a person’s mind, dream became reality. Whatever the parthen wanted to happen—happened. Pain or pleasure. They wielded their gift with exacting precision. Needless to say, most immortals were nervous around them. The jury was out as to whether they were admired or reviled. Depends on who you spoke too.
The elemental race was one of only a few with a natural ability to block parthen from entering their dreams. Because Neeren and his sister Alex were half parthen, they could bypass this natural blocking ability. Those two could do whatever they wanted to any elemental they wanted. Even kill them in their sleep. It's why Alex and Neeren had been hidden their entire lives.
The secret was out now though. To keep peace, they'd both agreed to have their dreamwalking abilities bound against the elemental. Mar was tagged to do the binding.
She leaned her hip against the door and winked at him. "Funny. Bet you think you're pretty clever."
"Hardly. If I was clever, I'd have figured out a way around this." He narrowed his eyes at her. Bared perfect teeth in a sinister grin.
A shiver raced up her spine and slammed into her gut. Goddess he annoyed her. 
She pursed her lips. "It's not going to hurt. I never pegged you for a chicken. Tell me, how many bodyguards are standing guard during this little tet-a-tet?"
"Ah yes, that's it of course. I'm scared." He grinned again. "How perceptive of you."
She hated his grin. How his lower lip curled up slightly. Her jaw clenched. Realizing they were still standing in the doorway, she retreated a step to let him in.
He remained where he was.
"Are you coming in or what?"
"I'd rather not, thank you."
She sighed. "Alex wasn't such a baby about it. Just get in here."

He bowed mockingly. "As you command." 


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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Head Coach by Lia Riley



Head Coach by Lia Riley
Series: Hellions Angels
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: November 21, 2017

Neve Angel’s life is all work and no play, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.  One of Denver’s top sports reporters, she’s fought hard to make it in a male-dominated world, and she won’t back down from a fight with anyone–not even the Hellions’ gruff head coach, Tor Gunnar. Her hostile relationship with the icy Scandinavian is the stuff of local legend.

Tor Gunnar hates dealing with the media; at best, they are a nuisance and at worst, a distraction. And no one distracts him more than the scrappy, sexy reporter who gets him hot under the collar. When he wins a not-so-friendly bet with Neve, he decides it’s high time they either kiss or kill each other, and invites her as a date to an out-of-town wedding.
But what happens when enemies become lovers? Will they be able to smother their sizzling attraction, or is it time to start playing for keeps?

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Excerpt



Chapter One
Stuck in a Rut?
The billboard’s tacky font splashed across the image of a blonde woman dressed in a corset, high-waist underpants and garter belt. Neve Angel scowled through her windshield at the rest of the tagline.
Shimmy into a Whole New You!
BEGINNER Burlesque Classes at The Twirling Tassels
“Humph.” Neve tucked an escaped strand of hair back into her bun. Ms. Blondie could pop an egg in her perfect pout and suck it. Since quitting figure skating at the age of eighteen, she had developed an allergy to glitz and glamor, favoring low-key personal grooming.
Fake lashes were out.
Foundation contouring? Negative.
Waxing? Please. She wasn’t a masochist.
These days the word pragmatic carried far more value for her than pretty, thanks very much. Flicking on the radio, she relaxed her shoulders as a familiar guitar riff filled her ’78 wood-paneled Jeep Wagoneer. She had an unabashed love for classic cars and classic rock, and Tom Cochrane was a guy who knew his stuff. Life was a highway, except forget the part about driving it “all night long.”
Or driving anywhere for that matter. Satan would ice-skate through hell before this insane gridlock budged.
A silver Prius inched forward until it practically dry-humped her bumper.
Meep! The driver leaned on a wimpy-sounding horn.
Honking under these conditions was a ballsy move, akin to sitting in the last row of an airplane and standing when the cabin crew disarmed the doors—a good way to tempt ordinary citizens to commit murder.
The driver beeped again.
“Use your eyes. There’s nowhere for me to go!” Neve glanced to the rearview mirror and gazed at the distinctive red cursive on the Prius’s license plate.
A California driver. Surprise, surprise. She’d bet the loose change in the bottom of her purse that this chick was a Bay Area transplant, relocating her traffic problems to Denver along with skyrocketing home prices. The whole West was getting Californicated, from Nevada to Montana, Texas to Colorado.
The horn beeped a third time. She fisted her insulated travel mug and then took a careful sip. Madam Prius better thank her astrological chart that Neve had hot coffee within arm’s reach because otherwise things could get ugly.
A minute passed.
Two.
Blessed silence reigned.
After blowing up her bangs, she pulled an everything bagel from the flimsy paper bag on the dashboard, cramming it into her mouth. In a parallel universe, Alter-Neve woke with ample time to prepare a nutritious breakfast, perhaps an acai bowl topped by sliced bananas and kiwi fruit or Greek yogurt and granola, Instagram-worthy concoctions bursting with enough omegas and fiber to make any Prius driver water their home herb garden with organic tears.
But in this world, Einstein Bros. and a dark roast had to do the job.
She brushed stray poppy seeds and flecks of dried garlic off her charcoal pants with a muffled sigh. Charcoal, i.e., dark grey . . . not black. Her somber closet palette might be as cheerful as a funeral home, but it never required expending mental energy at seven a.m. trying to coordinate funky colors or mix and match patterns.
From her roadside perch, the burlesque model appeared amused, as if she knew Neve ate the same humdrum breakfast day in, day out and dressed in the same humdrum wardrobe. Or that while she might have an impressive LinkedIn profile, that didn’t translate to a social life worth posting over.
Neve poked out her tongue at the model’s image. This low-maintenance duckling had grown up to be . . . if not a preening swan, a confident duck.
She had a good—scratch that, great—career as a sports columnist for the Denver Age covering the hockey beat, and her life was too consumed by deadlines to bother with extra fuss. Work was the priority, and as for her biological clock . . . well, it could keep right on ticking. She had another baby to grow, her side hustle, a podcast—Sports Heaven—that kept climbing iTunes rankings; she had even been featured in their New and Noteworthy section last month.
Rut-shmut. By any measure, Neve was doing great in her career and living her best life. Except her smirk faded as she glanced to the console clock. She’d risk missing the puck drop if traffic didn’t improve soon.
Hopefully, the Hellions would get a much-needed win tonight. After their recent back-to-back championships, it appeared the team’s days in the sun had fallen into one serious shadow. The roster had been shaken ever since the unexpected retirement of captain Jed West last summer. This season had started as a big disappointment for Denver fans, and worse, whispers of NHL labor disputes were gaining traction. For the past few weeks, trusted sources had even uttered the dreaded term lockout—a word that kept her up at night restless and fretting.
Fingers—and toes—crossed that the powers that be would navigate through the negotiations and get the league back on track. During the 04–05 lockout, the whole season was cancelled—the worst possible outcome. Stadiums sat empty. Fans grumbled. Refs and arena workers forwent paychecks.
She shuddered, mentally elbowing away the terrible idea. Hopefully this time around, cooler heads would prevail.
And as for the Hellions, there was another place where cooler heads needed to prevail. Maybe if their goalie would practice a little Zen meditation and quit getting players sent to the penalty box every damn ga—
Meep! Meeeeeeeeep! Madam Prius hit the horn as if she’d face-planted on the steering wheel and died.
Tension migrated from Neve’s neck, making the slow climb to her temples. The first throbs of a headache emerged. Between lockout worries and this racket, she might spontaneously combust. To release steam, she rolled down the window and flipped the Prius the bird before grabbing her phone off the passenger seat.
Ignoring the new—and so far unlistened-to—mindfulness podcast her friend Margot had recommended, she clicked on Byways, the popular navigation app that relied on community-sourced traffic updates to create the fastest routes. It needed to get her moving before she found herself arrested for disorderly conduct.
She plugged in the Hellions stadium address and an avatar of a pitchfork blinked from a quarter mile ahead. Her tummy performed a flawless triple-axel jump.
Rovhal30.
She took a deep breath and issued herself a stern reminder. There had never been any official confirmation that Rovhal30 was even male, but in her mind, he was six feet of strapping sexiness, lounging behind the wheel of a black Subaru Outback—a ginger-haired Ewan McGregor doppelgänger. Not Trainspotting Ewan either. Not even Moulin Rouge! Ewan. No . . . straight-up Obi-Wan Kenobi Attack of the Clones Ewan, with the shaggy hair and delicious beard.
One thing was for certain, the pitchfork avatar meant that Rovhal30 was a Hellions hockey fan.
Or a devil worshiper who lives in his mom’s basement hand-feeding his pet bull pythons.
The pitchfork didn’t budge. Rovhal30 was stuck in this traffic too. She sucked in her lower lip, debating: To message or not to message? That was the question.
No point glancing to Burlesque Blondie for advice. The model would just shimmy her tassels in a “you go, guuuurl” affirmation.

Eenie, meanie, miny . . . ugh. Fine. She was doing this.


About Lia Riley

After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

Author Links

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Head Coach (Hellions Angels #2) by Lia Riley Review

Head Coach (Hellions Angels, #2)Head Coach by Lia Riley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lia Riley’s HEAD COACH is top-shelf. Sports reporter Neve Angel and Hellions’ head coach Tor Gunnar are nemesis. However, a game of air hockey might change it all. This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences. The story takes place in Colorado.

I looked forward to reading Neve’s and Tor’s story ever since book one, MISTER HOCKEY. The two have an interesting relationship, enemies that are attracted to each other. The plot was clever and believable. There were a lot of interesting twists throughout the story. I liked the wedding aspect of the novel. I love when Neve went dress shopping. Kendall was just what she needed. I thought the traffic app aspect was smart. The moose was entertaining.

Lia Riley does a great job with her character development. Neve is smart and feisty. She has some self-esteem issues. Tor is a good man and father. He is reasonable. He is usually good at reading people. I like that Neve and Tor always respected each other. Both love their jobs and realize that a relationship between the two could cause a conflict of interest.

I like how the story ended. It felt well concluded. Because of the tidbits told about Patrick Donnelly that happened in this book, I cannot wait for book three, VIRGIN TERRITORY, to hear his story. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 159 pages
Published November 21st 2017 by Avon Impulse
ASIN: B06XBZ1W75
Series: Hellions Angels #2

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Rivalry by Nikki Sloane

AVAILABLE_BANNER

She won't be able to resist this TIGHT END. The Rivalry by Nikki Sloane IS AVAILABLE NOW!!

"Nikki Sloane delivers a fun, steamy read with The Rivalry! Get ready to swoon for Jay Harris, the hottest tight end in college sports..." - NYT Bestselling Author, Elle Kennedy

RivalryCoverIdea_wPic

PICK YOUR SIDE


This tight end is at the top of his game.

He’s good with his hands, even better with his sexy mouth, and the best at making me forget my own name. His—ahem—stats are perfect. But I can’t fall for him. He might be everything I want, all rolled into a glorious package of gridiron god, but there’s one teeny-tiny problem. The vile, loathsome team I’ve spent my entire life hating—my beloved school’s arch-rival? This guy is their star player.
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About the Author: 

Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there. Now she lives in Kentucky and manages a team of graphic artists. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, is married with two sons, writes dirty books, and couldn’t be any happier. Stalk Nikki: 

Website: http://www.nikkisloane.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nikkisloaneauthor/?fref=ts 
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AuthorNSloane 
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fsTzpI 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/NikkiSloane

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