Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gone With the Ghost by Erin McCarthy - Guest Post & Promo


I've long been a fan of Erin McCarthy, so I'm thrilled to have her here to promote the first book in her latest series, Gone With the Ghost!  I also love a good paranormal mystery, so this one is definitely on my weekend to do list.  If you've read Erin's backlist you know she often talks about or has ghosts in her books, so this should be fun!

About the Book:  

Bailey Burke has had a rough six months it's not easy thinking your romantic overtures toward your best friend caused him to kill himself. Except that's exactly what happened. Ryan is very much dead, having shot himself with his own police-issued gun. Guilt and grief shouldn't cause hallucinations though, but six months after Ryan went into the ground, Bailey is freaking out and swearing his ghost is standing in her kitchen. Which he is.

Ryan claims he didn't commit suicide, but was murdered, and he needs Bailey to help him find his killer so he can earn his ticket out of purgatory. Which contrary to national opinion is not their hometown of Cleveland. Ryan's counting on a stairway to heaven, as opposed to wings, since that might be a little unmanly for a cop, even a dead one.

An expert in home design, with her own staging business, Bailey can tell you where to place a couch to improve flow and comfort, but solving a crime? Not her area of expertise. But with help from Ryan's former partner, Marner, she is unraveling the mystery of what happened to Ryan that day and unwittingly putting herself in grave danger.

Buy Links:
Kobo 

About the Author:

USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy first published in 2002 and has since written over seventy novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult romance, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Erin is a RITA finalist and an ALA Reluctant Young Reader award recipient, and is both traditionally and indie published.
Website
http://www.erinmccarthy.net/
Mailing List
http://www.erinmccarthy.net/newsletter-2/
Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7941.Erin_McCarthy
Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Erin-McCarthy/e/B001ILHF5I/
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ErinMcCarthyBooks/
Twitter
https://twitter.com/authorerin
Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/authorerinmccarthy/ 

Erin, thanks for stopping by BiblioJunkies HQ!  Can you tell us a little about Gone With the Ghost?


Erin:
        
          Two things I was obsessed with as a kid- ghosts and murder mysteries. Yes, I was a weird child. Yes, my mother debated therapy for me at one point given my active imagination and macabre hobbies, but she decided to trust her gut and let it play out. Now she’s happy to know I’m not a psychopath, I’m just a writer. Starting a new series and branching into mystery from romance was an easy leap for me. I always loved adding an element of mystery to my romance novels and I’ve been a mystery reader since childhood.

            When my daughter was a baby and I had zero money, I went to the library three or four times a week and eventually checked out every Agatha Christie book they had (close to 60, I would guess) and then worked my way through all their cozy mysteries. If it had a kitten or a cupcake on the cover, I was all over it! So when the opportunity came along to create a mystery series, my heroine Bailey popped into my head immediately. An amateur sleuth with a love for fashion and HGTV yet who grows intrigued by mayhem and murder? Very close to my heart. While I’ve always been fascinated by ghost stories, I honestly am not even sure where the idea for the ghostly sidekick came from. Suddenly Ryan was there talking and the first book just about wrote itself.

If your best friend came back as a ghost, what would be the first thing you would do with them?

            Here’s a snipped of Bailey and Ryan’s friendship:

“You really have lost too much weight.”
“What?”  I spun around and found Ryan staring at me critically.  So much for his closed eyes.  The aqua and yellow shirt was in my hand.  Not on my body yet.  Which meant I was only in panties and a bra, and he was staring at me.  Damn.
“You look too skinny.  Men like women with something they can grab onto.”
Nice to know even in death he found me unattractive.  I rolled my eyes at the hangers.  “Thank you.  I’ll remember that next time I’m looking for a man to grab me.”
“Hey, I just had a thought.  I wonder if I can still get a hard on?”
Good grief.  “You could have kept that thought to yourself.”
“No, I’m serious.”  Ryan sounded agitated, but I refused to look at him.  “Man, I don’t know which would be worse- never getting it up ever again, or getting it up and not being able to do anything about it.”
We were wading into waters I could very easily drown in.  “I’m sure there’s a hot ghost or two in purgatory you can investigate this issue with.”
“I can’t wait that long- this is scary.  Quick, just turn around, and take your bra off.  Let’s see what happens.  I have to know.”
Nothing could get me into my shirt and wide-leg trousers faster than that.  “You’re not going to be aroused by me.  We’re friends.  It’s not the same.”  Unfortunately.  “So forget it.  I’m not taking my bra off in front of you.  Pop into the Crazyhorse Saloon tonight and get the answers to all your sexual questions.  That’s what sixteen year old boys do.”
I smoothed my shirt in place, finished buttoning my white pants and turned to him.  “Look, I’ll help you do whatever it takes to find your killer, but I have to draw the line somewhere.”
“I’d take my pants off if you asked me to.” 
It was tempting, but I controlled myself. 



And there you have it folks, mystery, hornball ghosts - what more can you ask for?  Thanks to Erin McCarthy for guest posting with us and providing us a sneak peak at Gone With the Ghost!  Ghosts not your thing?  Check out Erin's extensive backlist - seriously, she's written just about everything in the romance genre, there's sure to be a plethora of goodies there for you to enjoy!  My favorites are Bad Boys Online (her story is awesome!), the True Believers Series (god this series gets me every freaking time!), and Houston We Have A Problem.  

~ Shel

Monday, May 22, 2017

Grand Slam by Heidi McLaughlin Release Day Blitz


The weather is warm and the boys of summer are hot!  I love baseball books, so I'm excited to celebrate the release of Heidi McLaughlin's Grand Slam.  








ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: GRAND SLAM
Author: Heidi McLaughlin
Series: The Boys of Summer, #3
On Sale: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Forever
eBook: $4.99 USD

Win the game. Lose your heart.

Everyone knows who I am and that I could have any female fan I want. That's supposed to be the "perk" of playing left field for the Boston Renegades. But I don't want just any woman; I want her.

She should be just another face in the crowd, but I can't stop thinking about the one night we spent together-and her look of regret the morning after.

Because Saylor Blackwell is the kind of woman who haunts a man. Smart, sexy as hell, and one of the best managers in the business. She's every ballplayer's dream woman. And I'd do anything to make things right with her.

I'm done sitting on the bench when it comes to Saylor Blackwell. Time to swing for the fences.

BUY THE BOOK HERE


GRAND SLAM EXCERPT

Whenever I wake up with a hangover, I often ask myself why I drank so much and promise that I’ll never do it again. That promise is something I’ve been breaking for the past few days, and up until now, I didn’t care.

I had hoped the booze would muddy my memory of last night, but it hasn’t. Every word she said, every expression she had, every punch to my chest to get me out of her apartment is crystal clear. I fucked up, and I don’t even know how. All I know is that the sobs I heard on the other side of Saylor’s door last night were enough to sober my stupid ass up.

For hours, I sat against her door, until a resident suggested I leave or they were going to call the police. If I hadn’t been arrested ear- lier, I probably would have encouraged them to dial Boston’s Finest. Another man might understand my plight. The woman that I want to be with kicked me out of her house, and while I probably deserved it, I didn’t want to leave until she stopped crying. I didn’t want to be the one to walk away in her time of need.

But as egos go—and believe me, mine is huge—I couldn’t let it get in the way any longer, so I walked my drunk ass back home with my tail between my legs, only to stay up all night while the booze wore off, knowing that I had to live with whatever I’d done to Saylor.

She’s the last person in the world who I want to hurt, and she’s the one person who can save me. Not only from a life behind bars, but from myself. When I’m with her, I’m a different person. The cocky son of a bitch whom everyone is used to doesn’t exist when she’s near me, and frankly, that is the man I like, or at least I used to. It’s easier being a fucking douche. It’s second nature to me and comes with the territory of being named one of the citys most eligible bachelors.

Except when I’m with Saylor, I can be the man who hides in the shadow of that Travis Kidd. I can be the kind of man who doesn’t have to have a one-liner available or wink in order to get a phone number. When I’m with her, life outside of baseball starts to have a meaning, a fucking purpose.


THE BOYS OF SUMMER SERIES

THIRD BASE, #1
HOME RUN, #2
GRAND SLAM, #3


ABOUT THE AUTHOR




FOLLOW FOREVER ONLINE



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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

At Attention by Annabeth Albert (Out of Uniform #2)

At Attention (Out of Uniform, #2)****
Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he's lucky a friend's younger brother needs a place to stay. He's surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete's body. Apollo's widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up. 

It's been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it's time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he's all man now—an adult who's fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo's muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can't afford to fall for that guy. He's determined to hold out for someone who's able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother. 

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he'd expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what's more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.


Review:
At the end of Off Base, I was crossing all my fingers and toes that Lt. Apollo Floros was going to get his own book.  I’m a sucker for the widower trope.  Give said widower kids and double swoon.  Fortunately, Annabeth Albert knows what the fans want and she didn’t hesitate to deliver. 

At Attention starts out with Apollo getting caught checking out a young guy’s ass at the grocery store.  What he doesn’t find out until later that day is that the young guy from the grocery store is his best friend’s little brother, Dylan.  Yep, Dylan’s not so little anymore.  And Dylan is finally old enough to hit on the guy he’s crushed on since he was a teenager.  Yep, not only do we have the widower trope, we also have the age-gap and best friend’s younger brother tropes.  Seriously.  It’s like this book was written just for me.

As you can guess, there is some angst in this story.  Apollo’s main hang up about dating anyone, let alone Dylan, is that he’s still grieving the loss of his husband.  Not that he will admit that to himself or anyone else.   On top of his grief, he has more than a bit of OCD (I’m envious of his orderly kitchen and weekly meal plans) and an old injury is making him a bit cranky.  And then all of a sudden he has a super hot young guy living in his house and taking care of him and the kids.  A hot guy that he considers completely off limits.  He just cannot deal.

I’m surprised that I was so attracted to Apollo simply because Dylan is basically the beta hero of my dreams.   This attests to Albert’s ability to write amazing characters.  The fact that an Alpha former SEAL can compete with my adoration of the steady beta hero is pretty amazing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I loved Dylan too.  His willingness/desire to be part of Apollo’s ready-made family and to insert himself in ways that Apollo didn’t know he needed was heartwarming.  And his insistence on doing what was right for HIM was inspiring.   

So yeah, another hit from Annabeth Albert.  I’m fairly confident there isn’t anything she can’t write.  If you love your Alpha heroes and your military romance then this book is definitely for you.  And if you like your “forever boys” then At Attention is for you too. 


Nat

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Score by Victoria Denault Release Day Blitz - Excerpt & Giveaway



Good morning party people!  We're just recovering from RT17 here at BiblioJunkies HQ, so forgive me for any typos, etc in this post.  I was lucky enough to meet the fabulous Victoria Denault at the Giant Book Fair on Saturday and we dished about delicious hockey hotties and I scored a signed copy of Score!   I would have loved to include a picture of my copy, but it is currently winging it's way to me via FedEx (I hope).  I can't wait to dig in to Jude's story.  Check out the excerpt below and don't forget to enter the giveaway!  Good luck!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: SCORE
Author: Victoria Denault
Series: San Francisco Thunder, #1
On Sale: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Trade Paperback: $14.99 USD
eBook: $3.99 USD

“Denault launches a new series, featuring the bad boys of the San Francisco Thunder, with gusto, passion and heaps of tension and sensual detail.  Several genre-defying complications makes the story feel unexpectedly fresh.  Moreover, the consistent reinforcement of the female characters’ strength and individuality turns this book into something unique, and provides plenty of incentive for fans of sport romances to seek out this new series without delay.” –RT Book Reviews

“Sexy, sassy, and a perfect new adult read for fans who love hockey and romance, not necessarily in that order. An excellent new sports series launch.” –Library Journal




BLURB:

He's used to winning, but now he's playing with his heart.

Jude Braddock. Hockey god. That's how everyone sees him now. But when they were teenagers, Zoey knew him as the kid who didn't have enough nerve to make a move on their one and only disastrous date. Seems he doesn't have that problem anymore, though. According to the rumors, he's with a different woman every night. After a rough divorce, the last thing Zoey needs is more heartbreak. But Jude's cocky, playful attitude is mighty hard to resist.

Jude knows he isn't built for long-term relationships. But he's getting sick of women pounding on his door in the middle of the night looking for a rematch. When Zoey comes back into his life, it's like fate has given him a second chance. He'll do anything to make her happy again. Is this what love looks like? He has no idea. All he knows for sure is that this time, he's playing for keeps.

BUY THE BOOK HERE


THE SAN FRANCISCO THUNDER SERIES

SCORE, #1
SLAMMED, #2


EXCERPT:

Still staring at my blank phone screen, I stumble toward the door and of course I walk straight into someone. Of course. Because to- day is going to be shitty in every possible way. Luckily, I manage to avoid getting chai latte on either of us; it barely spills over the lid and only dribbles onto my hand.
“I’m so sorry!” I say at the exact same time she does, and I look up to see a familiar face staring back, but I can’t place it.
She blinks azure eyes and then her whole face lights up. “Zoey?
Zoey Quinlin? Oh my God!”
                She’s hugging me before I realize what’s happening. I wrap the hand not covered in latte around her back and return the embrace. She pulls back, still holding my shoulders, and smiles. “Holy crap! It’s been over ten years! Oh my God.” She pauses and glances around before adding in a softer voice, “It’s Dixie. Dixie Braddock. You used to babysit me at my family’s summer cottage in Maine. You were friends with my brother, Jude.”
“Holy shit! Dixie Braddock?” I can’t believe it. The last time I saw her she was thirteen. Wheat hair; pink, suntanned skin; freckles across her nose and chronically scabbed-up knees from trying to keep up with her older sisters and brother, who were all daredevils on their bikes and skateboards and surfboards. Babysitting them—well, the girls, anyway—for the two years I lived in Maine was a highlight of my summers. And so was seeing their brother. Shit, I hadn’t thought of Jude Braddock in a while. I find myself smiling now that I am.
“You live in San Fran?” she questions as she takes my elbow and leads me over to the counter and hands me a napkin for my latte- soaked hand.
“Yeah. Stayed local after college,” I explain as I put down the latte and wipe my hand. “And you live here?”
She nods, her sleek blond bob moving like a curtain around her face. She looks close to the tiny thing I babysat but much more refined and beautiful now. I do the math: she’s only twenty-four, but she looks more put together than any twenty-four-year-old I’ve known.
“Yeah. I went to school for sports media, then interned with the San Francisco Thunder hockey team, and they hired me full- time this year.” Her eyes dart around, and her voice drops again. “Jude plays for them, so I use my mom’s last name, Wynn, so no one thinks he got me the job. He didn’t.”
“Jude is in San Francisco?” I don’t know why I felt the need to say that with such breathless shock. I knew he made the NHL, but I had thought he was playing in Milwaukee. That’s where he was last time I Googled him, which was three years ago, before I married Adam.
“Yeah. Got traded a couple years ago,” Dixie explains. “So how’s your family? Where’s your dad preaching now?”
“He’s retired. Mom and Dad are in Sacramento,” I explain. “My brother, Morgan, is a teacher here in San Francisco.”
“Morgan!” She laughs and her cheeks turn a little pink. “Sadie, Winnie and I had such a crush on your brother when we were little. Remember we used to keep begging you to invite him over when you were watching us?”
I nod and can’t help but smile back. Yeah, that memory hasn’t faded. The Braddock girls wanted my brother to come over, but I never invited him. Not because he was gay, which I already knew at that point, but because if Morgan was around, he would tease me about gawking at Jude, which I always did if he happened to come home before Mr. and Mrs. Braddock’s date night ended.
Dixie glances at her phone in her hand, and I realize we both must have been looking at our screens when we collided. She frowns. “I have to go. I have a meeting at the arena in twenty.” She puts a hand on my arm again. “But I would love to catch up with you, and I know Winnie and Sadie would too. They’re going to be in town this weekend. Would you be able to do brunch?”
“Yeah, I can do brunch,” I reply and am shocked at how excited I am at her suggestion. I haven’t really done much of anything social since the separation. I kind of lost touch with a lot of my friends after marrying Adam and adopted his circle of friends. And they all promptly orphaned me after the separation. I didn’t care much because I didn’t feel up to social interaction, but suddenly this seems like a pleasant distraction from my reality. The Braddock family was one of my favorite parts of my childhood.
“Amazing!”  Dixie almost squeals.  “How about  tomorrow.  Eleven?”
I nod. “Where?”
“You pick.”
“MKT?” I blurt out because it’s in my hotel and I’m too flustered to think of anything else. To be honest, I don’t even know what they serve for brunch.
“Great! Sadie loves that place, and she’s normally impossible to please.” She hugs me again. “See you tomorrow! Winnie and Sadie are going to be so excited!”
And then, before I can even lift my hand to wave, she’s back out the door. She never even got a coffee, but she doesn’t seem to notice. I’m more dumbfounded and confused than I was from the phone call with Minerva. The Braddocks are here. Well, at least Jude and Dixie are here. In San Francisco. Where I live. When the hell did that happen?
I look around the coffee shop to make sure there’s no one else from my past lurking around. A teacher, a neighbor, another sister of an old unconsummated love. Although Jude was my only unrequited love, but he did have three sisters. Whom I will be having brunch with tomorrow. Crazy!
I slip out of Peet’s and concentrate on the clicking of my heels as I make my way back over to my office. I finally take a sip of my jostled latte. It’s barely warm but the caffeine still manages to clear my head a little. Not enough that eagle-eye Marti doesn’t notice something is up.
“Everything okay?” she wants to know as she stands at her desk, gathering things she needs for her day and placing them in her bag. “You look more out of it than you did before the coffee.”
“I ran into someone I haven’t seen in a long time,” I murmur, and for some reason Jude’s seventeen-year-old face floats through my head, not Dixie’s from this morning. “The last time I saw her was in Maine eleven years ago, so it was surprising.”
“Wow.” Marti takes a break from filling her Michael Kors satchel with listing flyers. “Small world, huh? I love when that happens. Unless it’s someone I hate. Was it someone you hate?”
“No. Not at all,” I reply and drop down gently into my seat. “She and her sisters were sweethearts. Seems like they still are. I’ll definitely find out, because I’m having brunch with them tomorrow.”
“Cool.” Marti isn’t paying attention anymore. Her eyes are focused across the room on Parker McDavid, who is the owner of our company. He’s midforties, tall with a dad bod that is oddly at- tractive, probably because he covers it in perfectly tailored designer clothes. His dark hair is graying in all the right places, like George Clooney’s, and his eyes are warm and his smile is kind. But he’s an astute businessman who expects a lot from his Realtors, and Marti is constantly trying to impress him. I am too, if I’m being honest, but I’m new. She’s not new, but she’s still hungry.
“I’m going to tell Parker about the deal I just closed, and then I’m off for a condo showing,” Marti explains and barely even waves good-bye as she hustles toward the kitchen Parker just disappeared into for his morning croissant and English Breakfast tea.
I open my laptop and pull up my email, determined to keep my mind focused on work. I need to send a follow-up email regarding the potential Haight listing, but my brain is bouncing from Adam to Dixie.
One future encounter I’m dreading—confronting Adam—and one I’m looking forward to—seeing the Braddock sisters. But the one that isn’t destined to happen is the one that fills me with excitement I haven’t felt in a long time—the potential that since I’m meeting three Braddock siblings I might also run into the fourth: Jude.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in L.A. but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.


FOLLOW FOREVER ONLINE


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Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen

* * * 1/2



A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.


Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review


I seriously do not know how Sarina Bowen has the time to write so many books but I'm glad she does. She's one of a few of my must-read authors; I'm so there whenever they have a new release out. 

So here I am talking about Pipe Dreams, book 3 in the Brooklyn Bruisers series. I'm predicting some burst ovaries with this one because it's a second-chance romance featuring a single dad and the woman he had to give up in order to take care of his family. There's some heartache from the past mixed in with deep desires that never went away. Give those ingredients a good shake and you have some major sexual tension vibes flowing through the pages.

Mike and Lauren are both extraordinary people for all their strength and weaknesses having been through a disastrous breakup that saw both of them come away with broken hearts and dreams. So one can understand why Lauren wants to stay the hell away from hockey, the Brooklyn office and most of all Mike, Mr. Heartbreak himself. But she's forced to be there and even the most strong-willed person in the world would have trouble facing off with him. Mike is naturally ecstatic to see her again though cautious about how the interaction will go between them. He knows he left her in pieces but he doesn't get the full picture until now when she finally throws it all at him. Yikes!

I think one of the positives of their story is that it's about perspective, the kind that you gain with distance and time apart. Having been through the worst both Lauren and Mike can look back and say what they did and didn't handle well. And this go round nothing is left unsaid. Once they get through that awkward and painful ceremony of asking for and receiving forgiveness, they can start over though with some changes.

I thought Pipe Dreams was a good read even if I was iffy about how badly Mike wanted to accelerate things with Lauren. For example, I was a bit surprised that he insinuated himself into a major decision in her life and that she initially went along with it without either of them discussing the impact of that decision on some important people in their lives. That's solely my hang up and how I read that particular situation, and to be honest I liked that it had me thinking about how I might respond in such a scenario.

There is no shortage of love for Sarina Bowen here at Bibliojunkies. We adore her and everything she does. I believe there's a fourth book in the works and frankly, I'm hoping that's Nate and Becca's story. They've been in the background this entire time and we've caught glimpses of Nate's distant pining and Becca's adorable obliviousness. I want more, and I have to know, please! Anyway, Pipe Dreams, read it and enjoy yourself!

~ Bel