New Adult

Sugar Skulls Blitz Excerpt + #Giveaway

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Sugar Skulls
Glenn Dallas & Lisa Mantchev

 

Publisher: Skyscape
Release Date: November 10th 2015
Genre: New Adult Dystopian Science Fiction
 

Book Description:

Welcome to Cyrene, a city where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young citizens. Everyone lives on the grid, and the residents of the world’s largest playground are encouraged to pursue every physical and emotional pleasure imaginable.

Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, an all-girl band that is Corporate’s newest pet project. Micah haunts the city like a ghost after an overdose of a deadly illegal street drug knocks him off the grid. When Micah and Vee forge an immediate, undeniable connection, their troubled worlds collide.

Trading concert stages for Cyrene’s rooftops and back alleys, they have to evade vicious thugs and Vee’s possessive manager as they unravel the mysteries connected to their dark pasts. And before the curtain falls, Micah and Vee will bring the city to its knees in their desperate bid for love, home, and a future together.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25789738-sugar-skulls

 

Excerpt:

M

My shirt’s open in a flash, and her lips are on me, her tongue tracing hot little swirls along my skin. My arms close around her, one hand still buried in her hair, the other stroking along her spine, fingertips trailing along the exposed skin, and she shivers despite the warmth radiating from her.

She’s a whirlwind, a hungry, passionate, desperately fuckable whirlwind, and I’m swept up in her wake.

The only furniture in the room is a little bench against the wall, since you need the space for couples, trios, and other gatherings of willing bodies. I sit down quickly, pull her closer, my hands on her ass as she climbs onto my lap, straddling me. Her afterthought of a shirt brushed aside, her chest against mine, I can feel her heart pounding like a speaker about to blow out.

Grabbing two fistfuls of my hair, she yanks my head back, exposing my neck. She chuckles as she kisses along my jawline, then bites . . . not too hard, but not gently, either, like she’s marking me as hers.

Her hands run down my neck and across my chest, her fingernails grazing my skin, one hand resting on the tattoo emblazoned over my heart. She pauses a moment and whispers the top name aloud— “Bryn”—before her mouth meets mine again. My eyes slam shut as I lose myself in her lips, her tongue, her little gasps for breath before she dives in for more. Our hands roam and grasp and tease, but it’s all background to one endless, ravenous kiss. She’s insatiable, a five-story drop, and I take the plunge, succumbing to gravity and falling falling falling with her.

She tastes like hard liquor and candy and sex and longing and . . . something else. Every brush of her tongue against mine makes it sharper, until it’s all I can think about, until even the promise of a gorgeous girl against me fades.

Apples. She tastes like apples.
Fuck. No.
I tense up and pull away from the kiss, and for the second time

tonight, I think I’ve surprised her. She leans close as if to kiss me again, only to purr in my ear, a rolling seductive sound that gives me shivers.

But the spell is already broken.

Velvet curtains. Bryn. Apples.
Someone in the club is dealing applejack.

Did you take something? Did you take little green translucent tabs of something?”

Her warm breath finds my ear once more. “I’m sorry, love, I only had the one. But I can get more, enough for both of us, and—”

Where? Where did you get it?” I shout with a fury that startles us both.

She leans back and takes a moment before answering. “From Adonis. The guy on the dais. He gave me a taste while we were danc—” “I need you to listen to me.” I stand up, awkwardly dragging her to her feet, and I grab her face with both hands. Locking eyes with her. Hazel. Clear. No ruptured blood vessels, no discoloration. Doing quick calculations in my head: skin temperature, time elapsed since she took the tab. If something bad was going to happen . . . It would’ve by now. Lucky girl. “Take anything, anything you want. Sample anything else in the whole place and get as blissed out as you like, but please, please don’t

ever touch that rancid garbage ever again. It will fuck up your soul.” She looks baffled by my spur-of-the-moment plea. I’m sure I would, too, in her place. I pull her close and kiss her again—a gift for me, an

apology for her—and then I bolt.
Making a beeline for the illuminated dais at the center of the Palace

of Wonders, I have no problem spotting him, even if we’ve never crossed paths before. Shirtless, crowned, grinding against a pair of waify young things wearing bioluminescent body paint and spaced-out smiles.

I hustle up the glowing side stairs and onto the platform, barging in on the soon-to-be threesome. “Hey, apologies, ladies, but I need a moment with His Majesty.”

The glow-in-the-dark sexpots step aside, dazed eyes already looking for a new plaything, and he looks suitably pissed. But three magic words make it all better.

I can pay.”

He sizes me up—torn shirt with no buttons, half-mauled chest, dark jeans with a little bit of roof dust still clinging to the legs—and shrugs, gesturing me toward a side exit. “Fun inside, business outside.”

We step out into the heavy mist of the alley, and the door shuts behind us. Standing with his back to me, he reaches into both pockets. From one, he pulls a handful of silvertip sticks and a lighter; from the other, a stack of green-tinted tabs, individually wrapped and ready to share. “What’s your pois—”

I don’t give him the chance to finish, charging him as he turns and slamming him against the opposite wall. His head bounces off the brick. I’m ranting away in my head, bordering on raving.

That’s for the girl in the alcove and Bryn and Rina and every other person you’ve torn to pieces with this fucking life-ruining shit . . .

He collapses to the ground, drugs still in hand, and I lean close, almost snarling. “Where’d you get this? Huh? Who’s your supplier?” I snatch the whole stack from him, cracking one tab open and sparking the lighter beneath it.

The applejack flares up in an instant, burning hotter than I expect, and I drop it into the garbage can against the wall, dumping the other tabs in after it. Each one bursts into flame with a whoosh, incinerated in seconds. This is some potent shit.

I turn back toward the scumbag dealer. “Who keeps you stocked? Is it Re—”

He punches me in the leg, and pain arcs through me. I crumple to the ground in a heap, twitching.

Fuck. Took too long. My hand still clutches the lighter tight, the nerves frozen and nonresponsive. I can’t even speak.

Standing now, he kicks me in the gut, hard. He leans down and smiles, showing me the glowing set of knuckles on his hand. Brights. Should’ve known. Then two furious kicks to the chest, punctuating them with “should kill you for that” and “wasted all my best shit.” I’m still so rattled by the shock from his modified knucks, I can’t cry out. I wheeze, trying to get my breath back, and he gives me three more kicks, just for good luck, I guess.

The security door swings open, and His Majesty instantly steps away from me. Blinded by the light from the doorway, I can barely make out the shape of the bouncer. “What’s going on out here?”

Slick as bacon grease, His Majesty goes into spin mode. “Guy wanted a hit of riprap and got a little aggressive, that’s all.”

Should I bring him inside and call the greys?”

Fuck.

But saving his own ass saves mine by accident. “Naw, let him sleep it off in the alley. You know how these little tweakers can be.”

Curled up in pain, I’m in no position to argue. I just lie there on the cold, damp asphalt as he spits in my face and struts through the security door. It slams shut behind him, and everything goes dark.

 

 

About The Authors

When not working on puzzles for Penny Press or writing about them for PuzzleNation, Glenn Dallas is an author of short stories and at least half of one novel. After appearing in the acknowledgments of several outstanding novels, he looks forward to returning the favor in the future.

Lisa Mantchev is the acclaimed author of Ticker and the Théâtre Illuminata series, which includes Eyes Like Stars, nominated for a Mythopoeic Award and the Andre Norton Award. She has also published numerous short stories in magazines, including Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, and Fantasy. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with her husband, children, and horde of furry animals. Visit her online at http://www.lisamantchev.com.

Connect with Lisa & Glen 
 
Lisa: 

Glenn:
Website / Twitter  

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The Finn Factor by Rachel Bailey Review + #Giveaway

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The Finn Factor
Rachel Bailey

 
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 28, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
 
ISBN: 978-1633753600
ASIN: B0140NXXAG
Pages: 228
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.85
My Rating: 5.0

Book Description:

Sometimes all a girl needs is a little practice…

It’s been twelve months, three days, and eleven hours since accounting student Scarlett Logan made it past a second date. A pitcher of mojitos in hand, she employs her supreme graphing skills to narrow things down to one horrifying explanation. Kissing. Clearly someone needs to teach her how to kiss properly. Like, say, her best friend and roomie, Finn Mackenzie. He’s safe, he’s convenient, and yeah, maybe just a little gorgeous.

Finn knows exactly why Scarlett’s boyfriends are disappearing quickly. Him. Not a single guy she’s brought home is nearly good enough. And he’ll be damned if he lets some loser give her “kissing lessons.” No. He’ll do the honors, thank you very much. The moment their lips touch, though, everything turns upside down. But Scarlett deserves the one thing Finn can’t give her. And if he doesn’t put an end to the sexy little shenanigans, he’ll teach Scarlett the hardest lesson of all…heartbreak.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114681-the-finn-factor?ac=1

My Take:

 
was a really cute story full of lots of laughs! I found myself really invested in the story and characters and genuinely rooting for them. I loved the synopsis when I first got the tour invite via email. It felt like the perfect chick-lit read, light and flirty and full of laughs. The fact that it is an HEA title doesn’t hurt either!

I literally got all that and more while reading this book. There was just so much to love about these broken and flawed characters that come together so beautifully. They really do bring out the best in each other and they are so full of scorching  chemistry with a great friendship one can’t help but be in awe of.
 
Finn is so thoroughly rounded that when he’s clueless at times its adorable and he honestly is a sweet male lead that I just wanted to see happy. The way he interacts with not only Scarlett but his sisters and his friends is so endearing. On the flipside, Scarlett seems to be in a perpetual clueless state so when she shows that she has more substance that her beautiful appearance I found myself loving her character as a lead. She’s a loyal character with great traits and a perfect match for Finn.

 4.5 Quills

 
10/10 I would read this again when I need a sweet romantic fix! You get relatable characters with great chemistry and scorching love scenes so its no surprise that you have a win with this title.

About The Author

As a teenager, I was a voracious reader of science fiction, until one day when I was 16, I saw Pride and Prejudice on television. The old version with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. I adored it. I’d seen it in the TV guide and, since I had a crush on Laurence Olivier after seeing him in Henry V, I’d taped it.

I watched that tape so often I can still recite most of the dialogue by heart. I sought out the book, devoured it, then found every other Jane Austen book and read and reread them frequently. I only discovered romance as a genre as an adult. Imagine my delight when I first read modern versions of Jane Austen!
 
Now I read most subgenres of romance, from category to historical to romantic comedy. Such a banquet!
 
Author Links:

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Stir Me Up Review + Giveaway

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Stir Me Up

Sabrina Elkins

 

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 1, 2013

Publisher: HarlequinTEEN

 

ISBN: 978-1459254732

ASIN: B00DWRAK4E

Pages: 268

 

Goodreads Rating: 3.85

My Rating: 5.0

 

Book Description:

Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She’ll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father’s French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami’s family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian’s all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami’s starting to feel. And Cami can’t stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He’s got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….

 

Praise for Stir Me Up:

 

“Fun, steamy, and leaves you hungry for more. Sabrina Elkins nails the vulnerability of becoming an adult and the choices that come with growing up.” —Katie McGarry, author of Dare You To

 

“Cami’s slow burn for a wounded hero will rivet readers. I seriously loved this book.” —Jennifer Echols, author of Dirty Little Secret

 

“This book is one of my favorite young adult contemporaries. Not only does it feature a hot romance, it’s also very meaningful and well, you just have to read it and see.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

 

 

My Take On The Book:

There was just something so beautiful and endearing about this book, I couldn’t put it down. I fell in love with the character and the story. It’s a hard book to break down into pros and cons since a lot of it is interwoven so you’ll just have to make due with these notes.

 

Cami, is a loyal and loveable character, but she has these moments of stupidity that make you wanna shake the girl. But when it comes to Julian and their romance ::sigh:: she does it right. He on the other hand, has stupid boy moments and while it’s somewhat understandable due to his hardships, its still utterly frustrating. This was definitely an uplifting book and a romance that reels you in. I kept trying to guess what would happen and more often then not, I was wrong. Its not what you expect and that is what makes it so perfect. My only real complaint is how hard people come down on Cami for doing whats natural, the dude is a jerk through the better half of the novel and she treats him just like she’d treat any other jerk. They all want to help him fit in and make it easier, they try so hard not to remind him of his disability but then, all that coddling does remind him. I feel like Cami was the only one that treated him normally. Yeah she looked and freaked a bit the first time she saw him, but she had never been face to face with those types of injuries. Everyone just tiptoes around the wounded vet and that is just a reminder of what happened, what he feels he failed at.

 

The author did a magnificent job at portraying his pain and his growth as well as the growth of their relationship. It was all together beautiful and captivating.

 

5 Quills

 

Do yourself a favor if your into romances, buy this book and read it. Its worth your time and you won’t want to put the book down. Oh and the recipes provided at the end oh the book are pretty freaking awesome if I say so myself 🙂

 

 

Buy Links:

 

BAM  ITUNES  ZOLA 

 

 

About The Author 

 

I am a former journalist who worked for the Los Angeles Daily Newsand other newspapers in the greater Los Angeles area. Prior to this I worked in advertising, writing ad copy for corporate travel accounts and major motion pictures. My first job out of college was as an administrative assistant to an executive chef and a food & beverage director at a Four Seasons hotel. I also spent some time working as a prep cook for Spago in Beverly Hills.

I received my Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California. While in graduate school, I had the privilege of studying fiction writing under renowned author Hubert Selby, Jr., and comedy writing under famed comedian Shelley Berman. I am a past participant of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Summer Writing Workshop.

Raised in the woods of Vermont, I now live in the greater Los Angeles area with my husband and three children. STIR ME UP is my first novel.

Author Links:

 

 

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Cami’s Cookbook Pack

Le Petit Paris: French Finger Food by Nathalie Benezet

500 Soups by Susannah Blake

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George Noory’s Late-Night Snacks by George Noory

Dinner and a Movie by Katherine Bebo

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Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor

Cutie Pies by Dani Cone

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Contest is void where prohibited. Entrants must be 18 or else have parent or guardian’s permission to enter. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond  or another winner’s name will be selected. Winning entries will be verified for authenticity.

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Men and Martinis Review + Giveaway

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Men and Martinis

(Girlfriends of Gotham #1)

Delancey Stewart

 

Genre: New Adult Romance

Release Date: December 3, 2013

Publisher: Swoon Romance

 

ASIN: B00GZ6SERE

Pages: 216

 

Goodreads Rating:  5

My Rating: 4

 

Follow the Tour HERE!

Book Description:

Candace Kanie wins at every game she plays. From the boardroom to the bar, she’s confident, clever, perhaps just a tad overbearing. It’s not easy for a girl like Candace to admit that love may be the one game she can’t win…at least not until she’s willing to change her strategy. In Men and Martinis, Candace Kanie will learn that sometimes to be at the top of your game, you have to hit rock bottom.

Men and Martinis is the first release in Delancey Stewart’s series “Girlfriends of Gotham” – a voyeuristic voyage through the lives of a group of twenty-something girls who dance, date, and drink their way through Manhattan during the days of the dot com boom. During an era when the up-and-comers in New York were partying like Studio 54 had never died, this group of friends discovers that the city is theirs for the taking; and they find their often-hilarious way through the forces that work to redefine the way they know themselves and each other.

My Take On The Book:

At times I adored this book, other times I had to stop myself from having an angry outburst. Even now after finishing my heart feels heavy and my throat tight like I might cry, but I guess that’s just the work of a good author. A good author is someone who can make you smile or scream at the injustice.

The story itself is not one of sadness, it’s about love and friendship but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a bit of heartbreak in this. I was originally attracted to the book because of the Sex & the City appeal, funny enough there are a few references to the show in this book.

The book starts off remarkably like a Carrie Bradshaw monologue. It the first chapter you are introduced to 1 of the main characters, Natalie Pepper or Pepper for short. She’s just arriving in NYC from her San Fran copyediting job  and while scared, she’s excited and seems to love the city as much as her TV counterpart. But other than this, there aren’t many other similarities to the popular show. It’s a book with its own merit and it shows on every page. I couldn’t decide my pros and cons since they all seem to intertwine so I’m just gonna share my notes with you guys 🙂

My Notes:

Natalie is my honest to God favorite character in this book followed in a close second by Lulu! And when you meet the crazy Brazilian Lulu you’ll understand. Both girls are flawed, making human mistakes but they are so lovable. Lulu is the fun, beautiful girl you just adore and Natalie is the sweet, somewhat innocent girl trying to do right. Unfortunately, through most of the book, until the last couple of chapters I couldn’t stand the other main character Candace Kanie. Sure she was a strong woman with a drive for success but she was also whiny, a tad snobbish, delusional when dealing with men, overbearing and needy. She basically encompasses all the negative attributes of my and Natalie’s favorite TV girls.

The Romance in this book was perfect with a dash of omg. It had those sweet gooey moments and then sucker punched you with the heart wrenching sob fest moments. I loved CJ and Natalie. As for Damon, I really tried to hate him, I swear but he’s like a bad puppy that pees on your carpet then looks at you with the cute sad puppy eyes and you forget to be mad. It might also have to do with the fact that I’m not a huge Candace fan.

I didn’t like Catalina, not one damn bit, but I’m sure that was the point lol. Truthfully other than how Candace’s story starts out there isn’t much wrong with the story and even then it’s not something that’s wrong with the story it’s my personal opinion on one character. And while I thoroughly enjoyed it I will admit to some adjustment issues with the era. The story takes place in the 90s and whether it’s the books I’ve read recently or just cluelessness on my part I had trouble picturing the girls in the 90s. It took some time getting used to the difference but maybe mid book I fell into the flow of things and didn’t think much of it.

4 Quills

Honestly, I’d recommend it to all lovers of Romance. But keep in mind my recommendation comes with a warning stamped on it, it’s an opener of a series so don’t expect everything wrapped up all pretty in a perfect bow. It has a strong liking to Sex & the City, with the whole girlfriends in the 90s living in NY, bumbling through life and romance with drinks in their hands down to the breakfast/brunch. It has betrayal, it obviously has romance galore and it’s definitely a friendship feel good… how could I not recommend it!

About The Author

 I’m not big on labels, but there are a few that fit me (not necessarily in this order. Or maybe in this order):

– wine drinker (and wine geek)
– mother of small boys
– military spouse
– writer
– chocolate eater

I’ve written the Wine Country Romance Series, which ties my love of wine to my love of falling in love… and the Girlfriends of Gotham series, which begins publishing with Swoon Romance in December 2013.

I also love short stories, and my themed collection (all set in the same NYC brownstone across the span of a century) published in 2012.

Author Links:

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4 – ebooks of Men and Martinis + $10 iTunes gift card (INT)

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Book Blitz: More by T.M. Franklin Excerpt & Giveaway!

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More (More #1)
Release Date: 10/04/13
 
Summary from Goodreads:

Ava Michaels used to think she was special.

As a child, she fantasized about having magical powers . . . making things happen. But Ava grew up and eventually accepted the fact that her childish dreams were just that, and maybe a normal life wasn’t so bad after all.

Now a young college student, Ava meets Caleb Foster, a brilliant and mysterious man who’s supposed to help her pass Physics, but in reality has another mission in mind. What he shows Ava challenges her view of the world, shaking it to its very core.

Because Caleb isn’t quite what he seems. In fact, he’s not entirely human, and he’s not the only one.

Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bound to protect humans, but only after protecting their own secrets—secrets they fear Ava may expose. Fighting to survive, Ava soon learns she’s not actually normal . . . she’s not even just special.

She’s a little bit more.

 
Available from:
 

Check out the FREE short story!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPPkPXcV-ds

Excerpt From More by T.M. Franklin

“Okay,” Ava said. “Now what?”

Caleb pulled out his phone, tapping away on it.

“Wait a second,” Ava said, stilling his hand. “Is it safe to use a cell phone? Can’t it be traced?”

Caleb shook his head. “Not this one.” He glanced up at her. “Do you have one?”

Ava pulled her phone out of her backpack, and Caleb cursed under his breath.

“It’s not on,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter.” He grabbed the phone. “I could take out the battery, but they’d still know this was our last location.” Caleb thought for a moment then grabbed Ava’s hand, turning to walk quickly down the block.

“Where are we going?” she asked.

Caleb pointed to a Greyhound sign across the street. They walked into the small bus station, coming to a stop in front of the departures board. “Wait here,” he said after a moment, glancing around the station before heading out the back door. Ava paced nervously, her eyes darting around, before she took a seat on one of the hard plastic chairs. Caleb returned a few minutes later, motioning for her to join him as he walked back out the front entrance.

“What was that all about?” Ava asked with an irritated wave of her hand.

“Couldn’t risk leaving it here in town, even if we took the battery out,” Caleb said. “We’ve been monitoring your movements for quite some time. It’s good that you turned it off, but even then, it’s not impossible to track. I put it on a bus to New York, just in case.”

“New York?”

Caleb nodded. “It leaves in a few minutes. With any luck, it’ll throw them off the trail. At least long enough for us to get to the safe house.” He looked back down at his phone and pulled out a small piece of paper from his jacket pocket.

“What are you doing?”

“The location is encoded. I just have to figure out . . .” He looked back and forth between the paper and phone for a moment, and Ava leaned in, scanning the strange combination of symbols, letters, and numbers.

She tried to make sense of it, biting her lip as she leaned in a bit closer. Caleb’s breath ruffled the hair at her temple, and Ava stiffened, suddenly very aware of how close they were standing. She swallowed thickly, fighting the urge to jump back like a frightened kitten.

Then—so slightly that she thought she might have imagined it—Caleb’s breath hitched. A prickle of awareness ran along Ava’s skin, her heart thudding heavily in her chest, and she stepped back purposefully, looking away down the street.

What in the world was that?

– MORE, Chapter 9

About the Author

T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. After writing and unsuccessfully querying a novel that she now admits, “is not that great,” she decided to follow the advice of one of the agents who turned her down—write some more and get better at it. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days.
 
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Mike, is mom to two boys, Justin and Ryan, and has an enormous black dog named Rocky who’s always lying nearby while she’s writing. Whether he’s soothed by the clicking of the computer keys or just waiting for someone to rub his belly is up for debate.
 
In addition to MORE, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short story, Window, as well as another short story, A Piece of Cake, which appears in the Romantic Interludes anthology. The sequel to MORE, The Guardians, will be released November 7, 2013.
 

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Goodreads    

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