Craving: One Night is now available for preorder!

For a while I’ve been telling you about Crave Publishing’s Craving: One Night anthology and my novella “Al Dente.” I’m happy to announce the anthology is now available on Amazon for preorder!

The characters in my story are Ruby and Matteo, two people at a crossroads who aren’t sure they are destined for more than one night with each others. Ruby is a Chinese-Canadian food blogger and Matteo is an Italian chef from Treviso who spends all his time writing cookbooks or touring.

I hope you fall in love with them, as I have.

Preorder here: https://www.amazon.com/Craving-One-Night-Book-ebook/dp/B07D5JT24T

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Chasing Fire by @averyjkingston.

A military alpha hero. A flirtatious vixen. A crazed game of seduction.

One pair of panties changed his life.

“I’m putting my panties in your back pocket. You have until two am to get them back to me. If you do, you will be rewarded. Handsomely.”

Those were the words Victoria Johnson whispered to Scott Harris after she stuffed a pair of lacy red panties into his back pocket. That was Tori’s favorite game: No strings attached sex. But he’d have to chase her first.

Years later, when Scott returns from Afghanistan minus one leg, he thinks the sexual games are over.  His military career is over. Hell, his life is over.

But then Tori shows up in his hospital room as fiery and flirtatious as the day he left. It turns out she’s more than just a beautiful disaster with sexy red panties.

Much more.

She may be trouble but she’s everything he’s ever wanted. Except for Tori, things are never that simple. Because Tori faces a tragedy of her own. An accident that rips her life apart, leaving her without sight and struggling to recover the woman she once was.

For Scott, Tori’s still the one he’s waited his whole life for. He’s done letting fate tear them apart. It will be a challenge to win her shattered heart once and for all.

Lucky thing Scott Harris never backs away from a challenge.

Chasing Fire is a full length romance with LOTS of steam and a HEA. Featuring a hot-as-hell alpha and a sexy artist who both have filthy mouths. Intended for a mature audience.

EXCERPT:
 

Tori’s heart pounded nervously as she walked down the hall toward Scott’s room. She may have gone home from the bar a week ago and cried herself to sleep worrying about him. She may have lied to Keith when he’d walked in that night and caught her sobbing. She may have spent the last week checking her phone every five minutes. She may have texted Shauna and asked her to drop some hints to Scott.

She quietly cracked open the door to his room. It was dark, and the blinds were drawn shut, and he lay sleeping. She shut the door gently behind her. It had been almost two years since she’d laid eyes on him. She crept closer to the bed, glancing him over. Slightly leaner, but still in impeccable shape. His facial hair was thick and unkempt, framed by a tube giving him oxygen. 

He had some bruising and stitched cuts, but it didn’t detract from his looks at all, and she ashamedly thanked God the explosion spared his beautiful face; many of the men she’d passed in the hall were not as fortunate. She could see under the loose sheet where the mound of his left leg stopped and was missing. 

An IV bag was hooked to his arm, which donned a new tattoo of what looked like a Spartan with some lettering on his forearm extending below the tribal on his bicep she was familiar with. She lightly touched his fingertips, leaned closer, squinting in the dark room to make out the words. It looked like Latin or Greek, but she wasn’t sure. 

His hand gripped her wrist, yanking her down. Tori gasped, and her eyes bulged. He studied her for a moment. Gradually, his dark, cold expression faded, his grip loosened, and those soulful brown eyes softened. Her unease disappeared as a slight smile crept across his face.

They locked eyes, neither of them saying a word, barely breathing. He pulled her in close by the back of her neck and kissed her sweetly. Familiarity washed over her as his lips touched hers, and a soft moan escaped her mouth.

“Hey, you,” Scott said, his voice hoarse. He had the sultriest look in his eyes, slightly tainted with the weight of all he’d endured. He kissed her gently once more and caressed her cheek. 

“Hey, Sailor.” She pulled back and studied him. 

“You’re a sight for sore eyes.” His eyes raked her up and down. “You cut off your hair?” He tugged a strand of her blonde waves between his fingertips.

She tucked it behind her ear and fiddled with her earrings. Her mouth quirked up as her eyes darted to the mound under the sheet. “You cut off your leg.” 

His face broke into a wide grin, and he laughed loudly, which made him cough and wheeze. “Touché.” 

Tori loved the way his eyes creased in the corners when he was amused. He carried a perpetually pissed off look that some would be intimidated by, but it was that impish grin that brought out the playful Scott, the Scott she’d met that night in the bar. God, he looks good.

“Sorry I startled you, was checking out the new ink.” She nodded to his arm. “I like it. It’s sexy,” she added with a playful wink. “Although I have no idea what it says.”

“Molṑn Labé,” Scott replied. “It means ‘come and take them’,” he explained further. “Legend is that Xerxes, king of Persia, demanded the Spartans surrender their weapons, and King Leonidas responded with this phrase.”

“Defiant.” Tori wrinkled her nose. “I like it.” 

He chuckled. “Speaking of ink, I noticed from your photo you had some yourself.”

“Yeah.” She turned and lifted her little blue casual dress, exposing a purple, lacy thong with the red lips on her right cheek at the hip. “Got this and another one I like even more.” She traced the lines of her tattoo. 

“Another?” His brow arched. “I’m not sure what can top saying kiss my ass.” 

She smiled. “You’ll see it sooner or later,” she said coyly. “When you’re up to it.”

“Now you have me intrigued.”

“Good.” She grinned. 

Tori pulled up a chair and sat next to his bed, kicking her feet up on the side lazily. She folded her arms across her chest, heaving a big sigh. He looked down at her sandaled feet, fiddled with her toe rings, and traced his fingers over the feathered tattoo wrapping her ankle.

“So how have you been?” He rubbed her calf with his rough hand. 

“Better than you, I presume,” she said kindly with a long breath. “I’ve been good. Got into grad school at Georgetown next fall. Getting ready to move in with my friend Keith after graduation. He’s got a kicking job at the Smithsonian and has a small place in Georgetown. He’s renting me his spare room. I’m hoping he can put in a good word. My degree requires an internship at a museum next summer, right after I finish spring semester, either in London or New York.” 

“Look at you, all grown up, going legit. I had no idea you had it in your bohemian blood. I’m impressed.”

“You should be. I’m kinda a big deal.” She made a silly face, crinkling her nose.

“So, who is this Keith dude you’re moving in with?” His brow wrinkled.

Tori tilted her head to the side, and a calm smile fell over her face. “Is someone jealous?” She let out a huge laugh as Scott rolled his eyes. “Keith is as gay as a row of pink tents.”

Scott laughed loudly, which made him cough again. 

“Hungry?” she asked.

“Very. Food here sucks.”

“I figured.” She bent over and grabbed her suede purse with the fringes on it, digging through it.

“Fringes?” he teased her about her purse, as he did about most of her clothing all the time. “You are such a freaking hippie, Tori.”

“And you’re a wounded vet. Look how stereotypical 1960s we are.” She stuck her tongue out at him.

“Sneak in any cigarettes in there?” He nodded to her purse.

“You know I don’t smoke,” she smirked and added, “not cigarettes, at least. That shit will kill you.”

“So will explosions, but I’m still here.” He raised his palms.

She pursed her lips into a displeased scowl. From the sound of his lungs, the last thing he needed was a cigarette. She pulled out a large bag of chips. “Brought you some non-hospital food, Lieutenant Dan.” She tossed him the bag.

“Haha. Very funny.” Scott caught the bag. “Funyans. Fancy.” He opened the bag and popped one into his mouth.

“Oh, don’t act like they aren’t your favorite. I remember.” 

“That you did.” He grinned smugly. “Burgers are also my favorite.” 

“Hey! I’m a poor, starving artist living off my meager earnings from selling my paintings.” She leaned over and grabbed a chip from the bag and tossed it into her mouth. “That bag of chips was the last few dollars in my wallet”—she crunched on the chip—“and out of the goodness of my heart, I spent it on you. I probably won’t eat the rest of the week now.” She licked her fingers clean. 

“Well, I guess I better share. I can’t have you starving all week. Get over here, beautiful.” He patted the mattress next to him.

Two hot new releases from @authorjadewebb.

GUARDING HER HEART: A Renegade Love Bodyguard Novel (Book 1)

Released February 13, 2018

 

$2.99 on Amazon // Available on Kindle Unlimited

http://amzn.to/2FKTiLS

 Trust me, even though I’ve had a silver spoon in my mouth since I was a fetus and have a world-famous pop diva as a sister, there is nothing I want more in the world than to fade into the background and live out my Law & Order fantasy of becoming a public defender.

The only problem is my dad won’t bankroll law school unless I spend the summer following my older sister on her arena tour, keeping her out of trouble and making sure she doesn’t have yet another embarrassing public meltdown. Now relegated to a glorified babysitter, I am stuck lugging my ten-pound LSAT prep books through hotel lobbies and taking practice tests in my sister’s dressing rooms.

Then I find myself caught in a love triangle with my sister’s arch nemesis, bad boy popstar Jordan James and Liam, my sister’s confusing and irritatingly gorgeous Scottish bodyguard. Too bad I’ve sworn off love after seeing my own parent’s train wreck of marriage end with heartache and misery.

I’m tired of living under my family’s careful rules and law school is my way out. I won’t let anything get in my way. I won’t let anyone close enough to break down my walls.

I have to guard my heart.

PROTECTING HER PRIDE: A Renegade Love Bodyguard Novel (Book 2)

Releasing March 27, 2018

 

$2.99 on Amazon  // Available on Kindle Unlimited

Pre-order: http://amzn.to/2GP9JDh

Okay, sure, take a picture. I know you want to. Trust me, I’m used to it. I’ve been in the public eye since I was fifteen years old. And now a decade later, I am one of the most recognizable faces on earth.

But fame can sometimes come at a high cost. Like my recently discovered stalker intent on kidnapping and chopping me into a thousand pieces.

And I’m freaked out. So I call the only person who I know I can trust. The man who was like a father to me and who led my security team my entire career.

Except he’s also the man I fired eight months ago when I was drunk and upset that he had punched my boyfriend (not that I could really blame him, my boyfriend is kind of an idiot). So I decide to go back and beg him to come back and work for me. Except he’s now retired.

But he has another idea.

His son: Roman. My first kiss. My first love. My first everything.

The boy who I dumped two days before he was set to be deployed to Iraq. The boy who’s heart I broke. The boy who has cruelly haunted all my dreams ever since.

Except he’s not a boy anymore. No, he is most definitely all man. And while he agrees to help me out, be my bodyguard until my creepy stalker is captured, he obviously still hates me. And I can’t blame him. I hate myself, too.

But when my stalker starts to escalate, and I realize this threat is serious, Roman is the only one I can turn to. But how can I ever reveal the truth of why I had to break his heart seven years ago?

I have to protect my pride.

BIO

I am a lover of romance novels that feature strong heroines who know that the loves that may come into their lives are always the icing, and never the cake.

I have loved romance novels since I was a teen, sneaking them into my Bible studies at my all-girls Catholic school. I love strong heroines who know that the men that may come into their lives are always the icing, and never the cake.

Thanks to my own marriage, I have learned that the challenges of life can only help to make love stronger and I am grateful to my partner for embodying all the magic that love can offer.

When I am not writing or dreaming up new love stories, I am working in a retirement community outside of Boston that provides me with enough writing material for ten lifetimes.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Website: www.jadewebb.com

Mailing list: http://bit.ly/2EDe3Wj

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjadewebb/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorjadewebb

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JadeWebb

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jade-webb

 

 

 

 

 

The Space Colonel’s Woman. @jayshawauthor.

Blurb:
Helicopter pilot, Julia Swift, lives her life from one rescue to the next. Unlucky in love, she longs for a lover who resembles the hero of her favorite space show, Phoenix Rising.

When an injured man falls through a portal and lands on her local beach, it seems the universe has granted her wish. Not only does Colonel Mark Holden resemble the fictional military commander, he also bears his name.

Despite the incredulity of their situation, Mark and Julia share an inexplicable connection. They realize they have spent their whole lives searching for each other. But when Mark’s team comes to rescue him, Julia must choose. Will she stay behind? Or will she travel with a man she hardly knows, to the fictional Dragonus Galaxy?

A world brought to life in an alternate reality…

Buy links:

Stranded in Love. Victoria Grant.

Stranded in Love is a fun and feisty contemporary romance by Victoria Grant. A stand-alone novel, it’s the first in the Calderone Family Romance Series.

Blurb:

If a gold medal was awarded for ‘Worst Day Ever’ Laney Calderone would win it today, hands down. She’s just discovered she’s pregnant, her fiancé abruptly dumps her when she tells him, and her new car refuses to start as a brutal snowstorm hits Toronto.

Good Samaritan Tyler Hammond offers to take her home; however, with the heavy snow falling and his patience dwindling, Laney’s gold medal day isn’t over yet.

Storms intensify both outside and in as Laney finds herself inexplicably attracted to this tall, dark and very handsome but infuriating stranger.

Can Laney fight her unwanted yet increasing desire for this man long enough to get through the relentless storm? And will Tyler let her walk out of his life as easily as she came into it?

Website:  victoriagrantromance.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriagrantromance/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VGrantRomance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38210890-stranded-in-love

Purchasing links:

https://www.amazon.ca/Stranded-Love-Victoria-Grant-ebook/dp/B07995YY8Q/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517498421&sr=1-2&keywords=stranded+in+love

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stranded-in-love-victoria-grant/1127888894?ean=2940155107040

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/stranded-in-love

https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Stranded+in+Love

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/stranded-in-love/9781773700984-item.html?ikwid=Stranded+in+Love&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

When is a “bad” book not a bad book?

The other day on Twitter, I engaged in a brief discussion with Madelina Rivera at @LinasMusings. By the way, give this lady a follow for some engaging tweets. Madelina and I were chatting about something we had in common. We had both recently read books that we didn’t like. It wasn’t just a case of those books not being our “cup of tea.” We had real issues with them.

Here’s the thing though. Neither of us could get them out of our minds.

Sometimes a book really is just bad. Perhaps it suffers from poor grammar or a lack of editing. Perhaps the story goes nowhere or the characters never develop in any way. Maybe the message is just plain toxic. In other words, bad. I’m not talking about those stories here.

I’m talking about the ones that sit in the pits of our stomachs, long after we’ve read them. The ones we turned from, noses in the air. Is it possible those  “bad” books can be something else?

Madelina told me she kept thinking of the book she despised, over and over again. I had the same experience.

Now, of course, I’m not going to name the book I didn’t like. There may be plenty of people out there who love it and who am I to say it’s not a worthwhile read? I will, however, share a bit about how I felt about it.

The “bad” book I read was a contemporary romance set in a place I have never visited, so there was an element of the unknown for me. I thought the author did a lovely job in setting the stage and describing this unique locale. I loved the setting, but setting isn’t everything.

I had real issues with the characters and their romantic journey. It’s safe to say I hated the hero and the heroine. They both had major issues and emotional hurdles, and neither of them seemed willing to confront those issues, or to work on them in any way, not even to save their relationship. I remember thinking, “These people are awful. There’s nothing redeeming about them.” They didn’t give me an ounce of hope.

As for the plot, it was one of those stories in which the hero and heroine seem determined to hurt each other. That might work for another genre but not in romance. I didn’t feel the love at all. I did finish the book because I kept expecting something to change. It didn’t. Although it ended “happily,” I did not in any way buy into that happy ending. I walked away from that story, unconvinced and disappointed.

It was some time ago that I read it but I can’t get it out of my head. It pops into my consciousness every so often, making me wonder why I had such a visceral reaction to it. Making me wonder if I’d have the same reaction if I reread it.

Crazy, right?

This is a book I would have struggled to review and I never did. So why does it haunt me? I sometimes wonder if it is because of that evocative setting, but that can’t be it. I haven’t suddenly fallen in love with the characters. In fact, I’m quite sure if I read the book again, I’d hate them just as much. I haven’t changed as a person, and I doubt they have.

Perhaps the reason this story has lingered in my mind is because I had such a strong reaction to it. Is it possible that, on some level, it affected me even more than some of the books I’ve loved? I can’t help thinking this “bad” book might not be so bad, after all. Maybe it was just difficult for me.

Difficult can sometimes be good.

As authors, we despise finding negative reviews of our own books. We may train ourselves to read them with a thick skin, or not at all, but I don’t know anyone who enjoys reading negative comments. I certainly wouldn’t like knowing a reader hated my story.

And yet that level of dislike is powerful. Aren’t we trying to write powerful stories? Maybe it’s okay our beloved novels inspire something other than wholehearted love and approval.

Maybe it’s better than indifference.

Because I’ll tell you something. I’ve read a lot of likable books that I’ve forgotten.

But I have never forgotten the ones I disliked. There’s something to be said for that.

In the end, maybe it’s better for art to be disliked and remembered sometimes, than enjoyed and forgotten.

 

 

On love and redemption.

The other day, on social media, I asked my friends what initially drew them to romance as a genre. The variety of answers was interesting and informative. One response caught my eye, in particular, and has caused me to think a lot about what that person said. This reader said she was not a fan of today’s romance and one of the reasons was because these romances have strayed from the theme of love, and feature the theme of redemption far too often.

This blew me away. I think every single one of my books, on some level, has dealt with redemption.

Now, of course, this reader is perfectly entitled to read whatever she likes, as are the rest of us. However, I can’t help thinking love and redemption are linked. I believe the reason so many of us read and write romance is because we want to see those characters redeemed. Reborn, if you will, through the healing power of love.

This is not to say every romance character has to have major life issues, although I do like writing them that way, probably because I’ve had major life issues. I’m sure there are romances out there that feature characters who are perfectly content and well-adjusted. People who have a plan. I just don’t necessarily identify with those people. Me, the woman who started writing romance in her 30’s, after careening through a variety of careers? Yeah, probably not. It took me some time to figure out my plan.

Shouldn’t our characters also have wounds? If you read any writing manual, experts will always tell you characters needs wounds. They need flaws and they need to put their feet in their mouths from time to time. They must make mistakes in order to be interesting.

Our wounds shape us and drive us. I know my own wounds have shaped me. If I hadn’t witnessed my father’s gambling addiction, if I hadn’t seen my parents separate when I was seven, if I hadn’t lost beloved family members, I wouldn’t be the person I am. I am sure I still make mistakes because of my wounds. I have tried to rise above them, but do they still compel me to see the world through a particular filter? Of course.

I suppose it’s because of my own mistakes that I want to see my characters redeemed. I try to give them experiences and secrets that shape them, hoping my readers will identify.

I don’t ever want to simply hand that HEA over to my characters. I want them to fight for it. I want them to develop as people, and to realize through finding love that their wounds don’t have to color their world anymore.

In other words, I want them to be redeemed.