Blog Tour: Take the Shot by Danica Flynn – Excerpt + Giveaway

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Title: Take the Shot
Author
: Danica Flynn
Series:
Philadelphia Bulldogs #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Release Date: June 9, 2020

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DINAH

When my husband died, I never thought I would find love again. 

I definitely didn’t think I would find it in the arms of my younger best friend. Why would the hunky hockey player want anything to do with me? I’m a stressed out writer with a lot of baggage. Any other man would say, “HARD PASS!”

But Noah was the best man I’ve ever known, and if it wasn’t for him, I might not be alive.

But am I ready to put my heart on the line again?

NOAH

I’ve pined for my best friend for so long, that my teammates issued an ultimatum. 

“Make your move now or one of us will ask her out.”

They are just trying to push me, besides none of those jerks would ever be good enough for her. Makes me wonder if I even stand a chance.

Besides, what would a smart woman like her want with a dumb jock like me?

CW: This book deals with miscarriage & infertility. 

Excerpt:

DINAH

The bass thumped against the wall, shaking me from my concentration as I tried to write. As if on cue, my phone vibrated against my desk lighting up with “Mom” across the screen. I silenced it, dodging yet another call from my mother wherein she tried to persuade me to go out on a date with another “nice Italian boy from the old neighborhood.” See also: balding, divorced dads. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but I was only thirty and she kept trying to set me up with guys closer to my dad’s age. My family meant well, but they just didn’t understand what it was like to be a widow at my age. Or what it was like to endure a dangerous miscarriage that almost killed me.

Not that I’d ever told them that last part.

I put my headphones on and tried to drown out the sounds of my neighbors having another party. I didn’t really mind the noise, it was a Friday night after all. I was always invited to their shindigs, but tonight I had to get some writing done. I stared at the screen blankly, trying to figure out how to dig myself out of this plot hole. Working a full-time job in marketing sucked when all I wanted to do was write my novels.

I cranked up the volume of my own music. I drummed my fingers on the tabletop as if it would will the words out of me. When I heard the thumping bass through the wall again, I knew tonight just wasn’t my night. Not that I was going to blame the hockey players next door, this was on me.

I lived in a kind of swanky condo next door to two pasty Canadian hockey players for The Philadelphia Bulldogs. TJ was a lovable douche, but friendly enough. His roommate, Noah though, was a tall, lanky hottie with long hair who said “eh” a lot. Even when I had a husband, I had to admit he was cute.

When Jason died suddenly in a car crash two years ago, Noah had sent flowers and came to the funeral. He handled all the hockey questions my dad and three older brothers threw at him, even though it had been wildly inappropriate. My family were loud-mouth Italians from South Philly, so it hadn’t really been all that shocking that they razzed my friend, the hockey player, at the funeral for my husband.

The Mezzanettis did not give a single fuck about anything.

Like ever.

My phone buzzed on the desk and I tried not to smile when I saw it was from Noah. Speak of the devil.

NOAH: Is the music too loud?

I smiled at his question. He was such a good old Canadian boy. I could barely stand it. It definitely made it harder for me to not think about just banging one out with him, just one time. I couldn’t do that, no matter how much I wanted to, that would have made things too complicated. Plus, I was pretty sure he was just really nice because he was Canadian and was not into me like that. He was a sweetheart, and it wasn’t like he ever had fantasies about me.

Giveaway:

  • Enter HERE
  • Prize: $25 Amazon gift card
  • Ends: June 18, 2020

About Danica Flynn:

Danica Flynn started writing at an early age, and thinks Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series is why she loves both writing and romance books. She is a rabid hockey fan of both The Philadelphia Flyers and the Metropolitan Riveters. When not writing, she can be found hanging with her partner, playing video games, and reading a ton of books.

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Review: Keep Forever by Alexa Kingaard – Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: Keep Forever
Author: Alexa Kingaard
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: March 28, 2020
Genre: Historical Romance, Women’s Fiction
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 5 stars

Paul O’Brien’s idyllic childhood in Southern California comes to a halt when his mother dies in the summer before his senior year of high school and a very different persona of his father emerges – isolating himself inside the house, turning to alcohol for comfort, and barely noticing his only child. Simultaneously, the war in Vietnam is sending shock waves around the world and young men from one coast to the other are being called upon to serve. Paul enlists in the Marines before receiving his draft notice. 

Elizabeth Sutton is eager to gain some independence from her father’s old fashioned notions and looking forward to her first year in high school.  At fifteen years old, tragedy strikes with the loss of both parents in an auto accident, turning her childhood into one of responsibility and worry overnight.  The four siblings are scattered when her nine-year-old twin sisters are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle on Nantucket Island, and Elizabeth is left behind in Boston with their grandmother.  Her older brother, Sam, enlists in the Marines, eager to join the conflict a world away as opposed to dealing with the one unfolding at home. 

A bond develops between Paul and Sam in Vietnam, and both are injured in a bloody battle that costs Sam his right hand and sets the stage for a lifetime of nightmares and sleepless nights for Paul.  Matched by similar tragedies at a young age, Elizabeth and Paul’s first introduction by Sam upon their return from Vietnam is the beginning of friendship and love that survives five decades. 

After marrying, welcoming their first child, and inheriting a small beach house, the couple adapts to their new surroundings, but distant memories of Vietnam continue to haunt Paul.  In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, he is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his loved ones amidst his his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As their lives unravel from the lingering effects of PTSD,  Elizabeth learns to accept the burden that Paul brought home, and together they make their own memories to keep forever.

Inspired By A True Story

Review:

Keep Forever was a poignant and gripping novel about the aftermath of the war in Vietnam and the struggles faced by its soldiers and their families. It was insightful and honest and powerful.

I could not put this down. The story of Elizabeth and Paul was so raw and real. The representation of the PTSD Paul had was absolutely heartbreaking. My heart broke for the struggles he faced and the fact that the mentality then was “we’re manly soldiers and we don’t talk about our pain” made it all the more sad to read. About halfway through when Paul had a sort of breaking point with his PTSD/depression, I was on the verge of crying like a baby because it hit so close to home. She could not have painted a better picture of the sadness and the fear from both the person suffering and the family members who love that person with their whole heart.

I wish this book was 600 pages. There was so much life between Elizabeth and Paul to be explored. Some moments were explored more and others were glossed over. But considering this is coming from Alexa Kingaard’s own personal experience, I can accept that. She’s chosen to highlight what she felt was important through the life she experienced with a husband home from Vietnam with PTSD and to me that made the book even better. These emotions were truly felt by her at one point or another in her life and she really hit the nail on the head with how much it can hurt to see the one you love suffer and there’s not really much you can do to help.

I loved this book so much and I really hope you guys will pick this one up.

Giveaway:

  • Enter HERE
  • Prize: $50 Amazon gift card
  • International
  • Ends: May 13, 2020

About Alexa Kingaard:

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Alexa Kingaard was born in San Diego, CA and has lived most of her life in the area. She currently resides in Carlsbad and is the mother of a son and daughter who continue to be her biggest fans and cheerleaders.

Her debut novel, KEEP FOREVER, was inspired by her late ex-husband who batted the residual effects of the Vietnam War for decades after his return. The burden he brought home is shared by combat veterans of all conflicts, and her fictional account highlights the collateral damage encountered by family members and loved ones living with PTSD in their midst.

Her second novel, MY NAME IS ROSE, departs from her personal experiences and focuses on the collective memories of her generation. She loves writing about nostalgia and the human condition, the common denominator of our lives.

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Hasty by Julia Kent – Cover Reveal

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Title: Hasty
Author
: Julia Kent
Series: Do-Over #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2020

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I never thought my perp walk would lead to true love.

Then again, I never thought I’d be arrested on RICO charges and hauled away in zip ties on camera for the world to see, minutes after closing the most amazing deal of my career.

And all of it in front of my biggest viral, billionaire wunderkind Ian McRory.

I am broke.

I am disgraced.

I am alone.

I am a sucker.

But the worst part? I have to go back to my hometown and live in my bedroom filled with relics from my childhood.

Lisa Frank never made me so mad before.

Just when I needed a rescue, I got one — in the form of help from my biggest rival.

He can’t bring back my money.

He certainly can’t bring back my reputation or my pride.

But there’s one thing he can bring back to me.

A sense of hope.

Maybe even love.

Ian sees something in me no one else does, and he’s relentless about making me see it, too. As we grow closer, I’m starting to see that while my entire life used to be a lie, the truth is staring me in the present — and it’s a truth I like very, very much, hot eyes and gorgeous smile and all.

But I have to be careful.

I can’t be too —

That’s right.

Hasty.

The final book in the USA Today bestselling Do-Over Series (Fluffy, Perky, Feisty), as Mallory’s sister, Hastings “Hasty” Monahan gets her turn at a happily ever after that starts off with an arrest.

Hers.

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About Julia Kent:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

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Beauty is the Best by D. James McGee – Cover Reveal

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Title: Beauty is the Beast
Author
: D. James McGee
Series: Caligula #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: July 15, 2020

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It’s 1985. Lady Laura Lacy of Britewood is beautiful and graceful, a celebrity in her own right. She is cousin to Her Majesty The Queen, and her father is the well-respected Earl of Britewood, honorary commander of the Army’s elite reserve special forces unit. Laura seemingly has it all. She should be happy.

However, due to unspeakable acts committed against her as a child, she’s developed a blood lust for revenge. Secretly trained by her father’s regiment in the arts of war, Laura begins to target men who prey on the innocent and helpless. As her skills sharpen, Laura becomes a formidable force against evil.

That’s when she uncovers a transatlantic child trafficking ring led by an elite group within British society. With the help of commanding officer and police inspector Billy Smythe, her mysterious family attorney Arthur Mosely, and an unorthodox group of American allies, Laura sets out on a vengeance-fueled quest to stop them. She is determined to save as many innocents as she can.

It’s a mission that will put her very life and sanity at stake, making her question everything she’s ever believed in. But to make things right, Beauty must become the Beast.

About D. James McGee:

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Domnic “DJames” McGee was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire. A sickly child, he was raised in a council estate to a single mother. At school, he was a poor student and failed dismally.

He developed a passion for martial arts, so in his teens, he moved to Ireland where he trained full-time while working in menial jobs to survive.

A chance encounter then gave him the opportunity to work as an Executive Protection Agent for some of the most influential figures in European society.

He came to the US in 2001 to further his studies of martial arts. He decided to stay and earned his citizenship by serving in an Army infantry unit and later with a reserve Military Police unit.

He currently lives in Huntington Beach, where he works as an Executive Protection Agent and trains and writes as much as he can.

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After All by Heidi McLaughlin – Release Day Blitz + Giveaway

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Title: After All
Author
: Heidi McLaughlin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 24, 2020

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Amazon

Brooklyn Hewett hasn’t stepped foot in Cape Harbor for fifteen years—not since an accident claimed the love of her life, Austin Woods. Desperate to move forward, Brooklyn has focused on raising her daughter for the past fourteen years. But when the opportunity comes along to renovate, and possibly buy, the old Driftwood Inn, Brooklyn knows it’s time to go home.

But it won’t be easy. For one, Austin’s best friend, Bowie Holmes, still lives in Cape Harbor. Brooklyn hasn’t quite been able to forget him: not since the night they spent together—the same night they both lost Austin. Separated by tragedy and guilt, they’re brought together by the Driftwood project. And as they rebuild the inn, they discover they’re also rebuilding something else.

Brooklyn’s always been desperate to move on, not knowing that she first needs to reconcile past transgressions. She can’t forget, but she can forgive—Austin, Bowie, and herself—on her way toward long-awaited happiness.

Giveaway:

  • Enter HERE
  • Prize: $100 Amazon gift card
  • International
  • Ends March 30, 2020

About Heidi McLaughlin:

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Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.

Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband, two daughters, and their three dogs.

In 2012, Heidi turned her passion for reading into a full-fledged literary career, writing over twenty novels, including the acclaimed Forever My Girl.

When writing isn’t occupying her time, you can find her sitting courtside at either of her daughters’ basketball games.

Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe, and opened in theaters on January 19, 2018, and is now available on DVD & Digital.

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