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review 2019-01-22 10:50
Release Day Review! The Conspiracy (Maximum Security #1) Kat Martin!

 

The 2nd book I have for you today is Kat Matin's The Conspiracy - the first book in her new Maximum Security series! Enjoy and don't forget to add The Conspiracy to your shelves!

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

 

 

Harper Winston’s brother has disappeared. Pursuing his dream of sailing the Caribbean, Michael hasn’t responded to texts or emails in days. When even the Coast Guard can’t find him, Harper is forced to take desperate measures. Which means going to Chase Garrett, once her brother’s best friend, now the only man she can trust…or so she hopes.

 

As the successful owner of Maximum Security, Chase has learned to trust his gut. He knows Harper’s father is mixed up in a deadly business, and suspects there’s more to Michael’s disappearance than meets the eye. Getting involved again with the Winstons goes against everything he stands for, yet old loyalties die hard. As the case draws him closer to Harper and deeper into the Winstons’ snarled crime family, he is forced to put everything on the line to keep Harper safe…and both of them alive.

 

 

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Thrilling suspense and danger holds readers hostage while the emotions grips readers by the heart. Harper’s brother is missing and her only hope is the man who used to be his best friend. Trusting his gut, Chase suspects that there is more to Michael’s disappearance than what meets the eye. Chase and Harper’s chemistry sizzles with electricity and the attraction between is undeniable but this couple has some emotional issues that has to be overcome as well as family issues that need to be resolved which keeps the relationship on a razor’s edge throughout. Readers hold their breath in anticipation of the outcome even as the couple fight their attraction.

 

The plot is fast paced and flows smoothly throughout with lots of adrenaline pumping suspense and dangerous events that keep readers on the edge of their seat as Michael is forced to put everything on the line to keep Harper safe. Surprising twists ensures that readers are kept guessing right along with the characters. The author has created another wonderfully, thrilling and suspenseful story with strong, imagination catching characters in a setting that demands readers come back for more and once again I was completely caught up in her world until the very end.

 

 

 

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Author's Book Page - https://www.katmartin.com/romantic-suspense/maximum-security/the-conspiracy/

 

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39929060-the-conspiracy

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-conspiracy-by-kat-martin

 

Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1034575

 

Romance.io - https://www.romance.io/books/5c2c654901dbc864fb972d45/the-conspiracy-kat-martin

 

GBooks - https://books.google.com/books?id=Xx1VDwAAQBAJ&dq=kat+martin+the+conspiracy&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjWnfvO7IDgAhUGlawKHc1cAycQ6AEIKjAA

 

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The Conspiracy is the 1st book in the Maximum Security series

 

Goodreads -https://www.goodreads.com/series/239415-maximum-security

 

Author - https://www.katmartin.com/romantic-suspense/maximum-security/

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G1D579Z?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 


 

.25 After the Sunrise
.5 Wait Until Dark
1 The Conspiracy


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AVAILABLE in print or ebook

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Conspiracy-Maximum-Security-Kat-Martin/dp/1335541896/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/conspiracy-duane-l-martin/1120825832?ean=9781488098901#/

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/until-midnight-2

 

HQN - https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488098901_the-conspiracy.html

 

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-conspiracy/id1369525583?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 

BaM - http://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335541895?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=29ef2a261e1711e9836c00b30a24060d

 

GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kat_Martin_The_Conspiracy?id=Xx1VDwAAQBAJ

 

IndieBound - https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335541895

 

Wal-mart - https://www.walmart.com/ip/Until-Midnight/768151117

 

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New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

 

 

 

 

Website - http://www.katmartin.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/49381.Kat_Martin

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/KatMartinAuthor

 

Twitter - https://www.facebook.com/KatMartinAuthor

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kat-martin

 

G+ - https://plus.google.com/108225762833381822985/posts

 

Pintrest - http://www.pinterest.com/westwrite/books-by-kat-martin/

 

YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/ljmartinwolfpack

 

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review 2019-01-19 11:10
Blog Tour & Giveaway with 4 STAR Review! Hidden (Fire and Iceland #1) Megan Morgan!

 

 

http://www.rabtbooktoursandpr.com/

 


Today, I am joinging the Hidden Blog Tour - a paranormal romance fantasy by Megan Morgan! Enjoy & don't forget to add the book to your shelves!

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

 

 

Hidden (Fire and Iceland #1)
Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
Date Published: October 31, 2018
Publisher: Evernight Publishing

 

After a breathtaking journey through Iceland, Vanessa Evanston finishes her dream vacation with her two best friends in the capital city of Reykjavik—and wakes up the next morning on the ground, on a tiny island 250 kilometers north, with no memory of how she got there.

 

Luckily, handsome and kind-hearted local Gunnar Heimirsson stumbles upon her—unluckily, he can’t explain her mysterious journey either. Nor can anyone explain why Vanessa soon discovers “last night” actually happened a year ago, and everyone thinks she’s dead.

 

Iceland is known for its folklore, but beyond the elves and mountain trolls, there are other creatures: beautiful, powerful, and vengeful, known as the huldufólk. Gunnar has been alive for a century, trapped by their curse after angering them.

From the far flung Westfjords to the black sands of Reynisfjara, the answer to Vanessa’s missing year might be connected to Gunnar’s punishment—as well as his long-lost wife, Hera—but the truth lies somewhere in the realm of magic, myth, and love, and Vanessa has only just discovered fairy tales are real.

 

 

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Vanessa Evanston is missing a whole year of her life and Gunnar Heimirrson is convinced that the answer for her mysterious journey is connected to his punishment which was inflicted upon him by the huldfólk.

 

Suspense and emotional turmoil flow freely from every page throughout this thrilling story. Vanessa and Gunnar are two strong, captivating character that easily grab readers’ attentions and draw them into their story. The romance is sweet and sizzling with passion but the relationship a serious cloud over it as Vanessa and Gunnar try to unravel Vanessa’s lost memories.

 

The plot is steady to fast paced and full of suspense that really holds readers in thrall and the fascinating and powerful huldfólk are quite intriguing so the story keeps readers glued to the pages as they join Gunnar and Vanessa in discovering the truth. The story has hints of danger especially as Vanessa is determined to take on those vengeful creatures of lore. I was caught up in the story and I certainly didn’t see that surprising twist that set the whole story as well as the characters on end, but I was disappointed in the way the situation has worked out with the huldfólk so far and really disappointed that the story continues on to the next book. In essence this story is not a complete HEA romance is more of a serial romance with lots of questions being left unanswered, but on the bright side, I am hoping that we will see more of the mysterious huldfólk.

 

 


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Author's Book Page - https://meganmorganauthor.com/hidden/

 

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42595808-hidden

 

Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1030758

 

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Hidden is the first book in the Fire and Iceland series

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/248063-fire-and-iceland


Author - https://meganmorganauthor.com/fire-and-iceland-series/

 


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AVAILABLE in ebook

 

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2UsRA5M


Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hidden-megan-morgan/1129805164?ean=2940155862901


Kobo Link: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hidden-121


iTunes Link - Coming Soon...


Smashwords Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/904181


Publisher Buy Link: https://www.evernightpublishing.com/hidden-by-megan-morgan/


Bookstrand: https://www.bookstrand.com/hidden-mf

 

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$5 Amazon Gift Card


eBook Copy

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NDA4MjY0MDFhMDY3NGJmNzk2NDA5M2VhM2I4M2I2Ojg2MA==/

 

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Megan Morgan is an award-winning paranormal and contemporary romance author from Cleveland, Ohio. A mild-mannered airport bar supervisor by day and purveyor of things that go bump in the night, she lives on the often-wintry shores of Lake Erie with her spoiled cat and adult son, both of whom shed too much.


 

Website: http://www.meganmorganauthor.com


Twitter: https://twitter.com/morgan_romance


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megan.morgan.author


Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/megan-morgan/89/aaa/780


Instagram: http://instagram.com/clockworkmusicbox


Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mmorganauthor/

 

Blog: https://meganmorganauthor.com/blog/


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

 


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http://www.rabtbooktoursandpr.com/

 


 

 

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text 2019-01-18 11:00
Blog Tour & Giveaway with Excerpt! Shadow Walker (Bloody Hearts #1) Anya J. Cosgrove!

 

 

http://xpressobooktours.com/

 

Good Morning Readers! Today, I am sharing the 1st book in a new series that released yesterday! Shadow Walker is the 1st book in the paranormal romance series - Bloody Hearts by Anya J. Cosgrove! Enjoy and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

 

 

Shadow Walker 
by Anya J. Cosgrove 
Publication date: January 17th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

 

Synopsis:

 

A newborn witch is rescued by two smoking-hot brothers. Can she unravel their dark secrets? Or will she lose her soul trying?


Alana sucks at witchcraft. Healing, telepathy, seeing through illusions… she can’t master any of it.


Sparring with the six-foot-three muscular Walker brothers doesn’t help her focus. Alana’s not about to let herself fall for a man—or a demon—especially not the ones that abducted her in an attempt to save her life.


When a bitter demon learns of Alana’s existence, he’ll stop at nothing to possess her and drive a wedge between the two brothers. If Alana can’t learn to use her powers, she’ll die. If she can’t discern illusion from reality, she’ll lose her mind.
Nothing stays black and white in a world full of shadows.


Demons, witches, forbidden love… visit the otherworld today.


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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40869483-shadow-walker

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/shadow-walker-bloody-hearts-book-1-by-anya-j-cosgrove

 

Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1034082

 

Romance.io - https://www.romance.io/books/5c3ed7ef01dbc864fb982677/shadow-walker-a-slowburn-paranormal-romance-anya-j-cosgrove

 

 


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AVAILABLE in print or ebook

 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2M4DAeQ

 

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LOSING MY RELIGION

 

Upon waking the next morning, I was primed for a fight. Taking the stairs two at a time, I entered the kitchen to find Thom in front of the stove. My thoughts drifted when I saw him, and my accusing questions got stuck in my throat. Dark blue jeans hugged his hips, and he was naked from the waist up. A sparse stretch of sand chest hair ran on his muscular torso. As he waited for the eggs to cook, he scratched the stubble on his chin, his light blond curls tousled.

 

God, he's hot.

 

Suddenly feeling underdressed, I considered the white lace trim of the gray night camisole I was wearing. Nipples threatened to show through the thin cotton and the pajama shorts barely came to my mid-thighs, so I was practically naked, too. Blush crept on my cheeks and chest. We looked like two lovers having breakfast after a night of passion. Not that I'd had any of those in a long, long while.

 

I gave myself a brisk, inward shake. Stop it.

 

Thom chose this moment to notice me. "Good morning. Sunny-side up, or scrambled?" He asked with a dashing smile.

 

Ignoring the fact that my heart skipped a beat, I gritted my teeth together and forced myself to go on with my original plan. "Did you know I was going to end up here?" I asked point-blank.

 

The seriousness of my voice seemed to surprise him, and he removed the frying pan from the stove. "Yes and no."

 

A cryptic answer, again. I gave him a dirty look that commanded he stop being enigmatic. "Which is it, Walker?"

 

He winced. "I knew you might end up here."

 

Busted. I crossed my arms, waiting for an explanation. Better be a good one.

He took a deep breath. "Certain people have the latent ability to become witches even if their ancestors are not. They are called random witches and come from human bloodlines. That potential has a limited time frame, a few weeks at most.

You weren't supposed to activate anymore." I frowned, and he caught my unspoken question. "You had turned twenty, and nothing had happened. We were going to move on."

 

I digested his words. My plan to break a window switched to the back-burner, and I found myself content with his answer, at least for the time being.

 

As I thought back on our last meeting, the night of my birthday party, everything made more sense. The sweet goodbye kiss on the cheek had felt like an adieu. He was going to leave, never to be seen again. That's why he hadn't texted me back the next day. "You move from girl to girl until one becomes a witch, and when they do, you save them?" I summed up, and he nodded. "Why?"

 

How did he end up with this occupation? I didn't remember seeing witch guardian in the university brochure.

 

"Because they deserve to be saved." He didn't say it out of self-aggrandizement but in earnest.

 

My stupid heart swooned. "How do you know where to look?"

 

He shifted his gait from one foot to the other. "Liam knows."

 

As soon as he spoke his brother's name, the shroud of worries reappeared, and I quickly changed the subject. "So, I'm a witch?" I stated out loud, curious to see how it sounded.


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Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

 

Prize(s) listed on giveaway


(this giveaway is set up and managed by author, not Xpresso Book Tours):

 

 

 

Link: http://anyajcosgrove.com/giveaways/shadowwalker/

 


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Anya J Cosgrove lives in Québec with her husband, her beautiful son, and two mischievous cats. She works as a veterinarian by day. She’s a travel and Disney junkie and is passionate about her favorite paranormal series.

What would Buffy do? Kick ass!

 

Read it first! http://bit.ly/anyaslair

 



Website - http://anyajcosgrove.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18213273.Anya_J_Cosgrove

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AnyaJCosgrove/

 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/anyajcosgrove

 


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http://xpressobooktours.com/

 

 

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text 2019-01-17 11:00
Blog Tour & Giveaway with Excerpt! Wrong Bed Right Roommate (Accidental Love #1) Rebecca Brooks!

 

http://xpressobooktours.com/

 

Thanks for joining me today, Readers! Today I am celebrating the release of Wrong Bed, Right Roommate – the 1st book in the Accidental Love series by Rebecca Brooks! Enjoy and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

 

 

Wrong Bed, Right Roommate 
by Rebecca Brooks 
Published by: Entangled: Brazen
Publication date: January 14th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

 

Synopsis:

 

It’s not every day you wake up to a stranger getting into your bed.
Only, he isn’t a stranger at all, he’s my best friend’s hot older brother…and apparently my new roommate.

 

Having him in my space, driving me crazy, isn’t a problem at all. Nope.
All I need to do is keep control of the situation…

 

But that’s easier said than done.

 

Shawn Lassiter is the kind of distraction I don’t need.

 

First he accidentally gets into my bed, half-naked, the night before my first day at my new job.

 

Hello, muscles and tattoos!


Then he’s there, in nothing but a towel, making me coffee in the morning.
It’s more than any girl can resist. Right?

 

But Shawn is off-limits, even if his eyes are saying differently.


Years ago, back when I still had my crush, he destroyed friendships with his reckless playboy antics.

 

There’s no way I’m touching those perfectly formed abs now. I don’t care how nice and responsible he’s acting.

 

I don’t want a boyfriend anyway. That’s what my trusty vibrator is for.


I’m the smart girl—the glasses-wearing, book-reading workaholic. I can totally do this.

 

After all, it’s only for two and a half months.


I’ll be on my best behavior…even if Shawn isn’t.


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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42642228-wrong-bed-right-roommate

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/wrong-bed-right-roommate-by-rebecca-brooks

 

Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1033759

 

Romance.io - https://www.romance.io/books/5c3991a201dbc864fb97e477/wrong-bed-right-roommate-rebecca-brooks

 

GBooks - https://books.google.com/books?id=t051DwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=rebecca+brooks+wrong+bed+right+roommate&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxxLHo3fPfAhVLQ6wKHZQ9C-sQ6AEIKjAA

 


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AVAILABLE in ebook

 

Amazon - https://amzn.to/2RjiG1h

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/wrong-bed-right-roommate

 

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wrong-bed-right-roommate/id1440486177?mt=11

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wrong-bed-right-roommate-rebecca-brooks/1129792020?ean=9781640636941

 


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EXCERPT # 2

 

 

Shawn couldn’t want her like this. She knew he didn’t want her like this. He could have had any woman in that club.

 

He’d only danced with her because they were roommates, and he was trying to be nice, and obviously they’d gone home together because they lived together. It wasn’t like there was some kind of arrangement.

 

She should have stayed home tonight, working. She should have said no when he asked if she wanted to go out after the bar. Even after all those mistakes, she should at least pull away now and end this.

 

But Shawn wasn’t stopping things, and she could feel in the heat of his body and the way he held her that he wasn’t going to. She gave herself another heartbeat to decide what to do. If only she could pause time, open up an Excel spreadsheet, and make a pros and cons list to help her choose!

 

Should I make out with my roommate and my best friend’s older brother: Y/N?

 

But that wasn’t the way life worked. She couldn’t just leave him in the living room waiting for her while she went to plan every step of her future. And then it was too soon, it was already happening, he was hooking a finger under her chin and lifting her face to his.

 

The next thing she knew, he was kissing her.

 

And it looked like she’d made her decision, because she was kissing him back.

His lips were soft, but his touch was hard, insistent, as though he needed more of her—more of her body, her breath. His hands ran through her hair, down her back, drawing her closer. She felt like she was melting, sinking right into him, letting him take and take and take.

 

She pulled away, gasping.

 

“We can’t do this,” she said, looking up at him, trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

 

“I know.”

 

“Talia would freak.”

 

“I know.”

 

“And we’re living together.”

 

“I know.”

 

“Then what are we—”

 

He kissed her again. The question fizzled inside her as soon as his lips were on hers, replaced with the champagne bubbles she felt just from being around him. She kissed him back, touching him, tasting him, his mouth warm and searching, her tongue moving with his.

 

“What are we doing?” she finally managed, but it was more like a whimper than the actual question she’d meant.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)


· Prize(s) will be listed on the Rafflecopter shortly!


Giveaway - ends Jan 24th:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



 


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Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind to try something new–and find the passion, excitement and purpose they didn’t know they’d been missing. Learn more at http://rebeccabrooksromance.com.

 

To sign-up for her newsletter, sign-up at http://rebeccabrooksromance.com/newsletter.

 


Website - http://rebeccabrooksromance.com/


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/539219.Rebecca_Brooks

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/rebeccabrooksromance

 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/BeccaBooks

 

 

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http://xpressobooktours.com/

 

 

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text 2019-01-16 11:00
Book Blitz & Giveaway with Excerpt! Wishes in a Bottle (Wishes & Dreams #1) Allie McCormack!

 

 

http://xpressobooktours.com/

 

Hello Readers! Today I am celebrating the release of Wishes in a Bottle – the 1st book in the Wishes & Dreams series by Allie McCormack! Enjoy and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

 

 

Wishes in a Bottle 
by Allie McCormack 
(Wishes & Dreams, #1) 
Publication date: January 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

 

Synopsis:


Centuries ago in plague-struck Italy, Julian DiConti cast a powerful spell in desperation to have the magical power to be able to help his people who were dying in horrific conditions. The spell goes spectacularly awry, leaving Julian enslaved to a Djinn bottle, bound to grant three wishes to each Master of the bottle until the spell can be broken. More than anything, Julian longs for a normal life – for a home, and a family. After six hundred years, however, he has begun to despair of ever being freed from the spell.

 

Enter Alessandra Taylor, a young woman who has followed her calling to help others, in the face of vociferous disapproval from her family, particularly her controlling father. Working at a shelter for battered women, she’s thrilled to meet the reclusive Julian DiConti, whose collection of garments from third world countries has provided funding for shelters across the country. When Julian turns out to be a Djinn from the old bottle she found in her attic, she hears his story and empathizes with his despair. Although she’s willing to free him, he can’t tell her how. As time goes by, their initial attraction blossoms into a love that both realize is doomed. Once she has made her third wish, the magic of the bottle will whisk Julian away and out of her life forever… unless she can somehow figure out how to free him. But one by one, she’s forced to use the precious wishes to help others.


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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43234144-wishes-in-a-bottle

 

Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1033597

 

Romance.io - https://www.romance.io/books/5c3c371901dbc864fb9809bd/wishes-in-a-bottle-allie-mccormack

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

AVAILABLE in ebook

 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RlKtxT

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT #1


“Betty!”


Alessandra burst into the supervisor’s office, bursting with excitement. It was her first day back at work after everything that had happened. Betty looked up from her computer monitor, peering at Alessandra over the top of her reading glasses.


“Welcome back. What’s got you in such a tweak?”


“You’ll never guess who I've met.” Alessandra came to perch on the corner of Betty’s desk, nudging a stack of official-looking papers aside with her hip, anticipating Betty’s response.


“Whom,” Betty corrected automatically, taking her glasses off and leaning forward, slender brows raised over grey-blue eyes sparkling with interest. “Don’t keep me in suspense. Tell me.”


Alessandra leaned forward. “Julian,” she spoke the name slowly, enunciating each syllable, “DiConti.”


She enjoyed seeing Betty’s eyes widen, hearing her audible gasp.
“No!”


Alessandra just smiled and nodded.


“Oh my God, Alessandra. How did you meet him? Where? Is he here, in New York?”


“Yes, he’s here. In fact, it turns out he lives here, in the city.”


Alessandra paused for effect, grinning at the growing anticipation on her boss’ face. A thought struck her, and she pondered. Julian's face arose in her mind's eye, the clear pleasure on his face when he'd learned that she worked at one of the shelters that had received donations from the fund he'd set up. He would never ask, she thought, to visit the shelter to see for himself. He'd be well aware of the security and anonymity they required. But she would bet her bottom dollar he would love to actually see for himself the difference his Foundation had made for some.


“I wonder," she said slowly. "I wonder if we might invite him to visit, and see what improvements his donations have made possible.”


“Yes!” Betty shot out of her chair. “Alessandra, this could be wonderful for us.”


“I’ve told him a bit about what we’ve been able to do with the funds we’ve gotten from Uncommon Threads. It turns out that he’s never seen a safe house, and has only the most basic knowledge of what we do here. He told me that he’d never met anyone who’d benefited directly from his Foundation, not here in the States, I mean. I think he’d very much like to see the place, what we’ve been able to do with the extra funding.”


Betty sank back into her chair, staring at Alessandra.


“I can’t believe it. You have met Julian DiConti. You’ve actually spoken to him. Do you know he has only appeared in public once? Once! And that was at the opening of his Uncommon Threads exhibit last year. He’d never been seen before then, has never been seen since. He travels a lot, the papers say,”


Betty seemed to be still lost in amazement. She lowered her voice, leaning forward conspiratorially, “Do you know, no one has ever been able to get a picture of him? He’s never been in the paper or in a magazine, not on the Internet... nothing! Even the paparazzi can’t seem to snap a shot of him.”


Alessandra tucked that away in the back of her mind to ponder. She’d ask Julian about it later. It seemed impossible that journalists, as persistent as they were annoying, would not have gotten some shots of him. A person as wealthy and reclusive as Julian DiConti would draw paparazzi attention like bees to honey. Maybe it was something to do with the Djinn magic. Certainly one could not live for so many hundreds of years and leave a record, something by which one could be recognized, especially now with photography. How embarrassing to have a photograph of one resurface half a century later and you haven’t changed by a whisker.


Betty’s mind was already darting ahead.


“We can invite the Board of Directors, and maybe some of the...”


“No, absolutely not,” Alessandra interrupted hastily. She didn’t have to ask Julian to know what his feelings about that would be. “He wouldn’t like that at all. He’s a very private person. Really, Betty. I think he’d appreciate seeing the positive results of his efforts, to see for himself the difference that is being made. He wouldn’t want publicity, or any grand fuss made, and you know it would be bound to get out, if we told the Board. And, too, you know,” she pressed on, “the residents here wouldn’t like it, either. It would make them uncomfortable. Just being here is hard enough for most of them.”


“Yes,” Betty admitted. “But, at the same time... Mr. DiConti is such a huge contributor. More than half a million dollars, just to us! It seems almost rude not to do everything we can to welcome him.


“Bring out the red carpet and brass band?” Alessandra suggested with a laugh. “Betty, I assure you he would neither expect that, nor want it.”


Betty pursed her lips, thinking this over. “You’re sure?”


“I am.” Alessandra made her answer as firm and authoritative as she could. “I’m very sure, Betty. And I was thinking, you know. We might ask some of the women if they would be willing to talk with him, tell him their stories. He knows the stories of the women he has helped in India, why shouldn’t he hear the stories of the women here? We can let the residents know exactly when he would be here, let them choose to come out to meet him, or not.”


“He’s worth millions, you know. Billions.” Betty’s eyes held a dreamy, far-away expression. “Mostly inherited, but he’s made a pile on his own. That antique shop has been around forever. There was an article on him in People magazine when he first opened Uncommon Threads, and then when it did so well and he sent the collection on tour across America. There was an article on Whimsies, too, in that artsy magazine from the Village. No one really knows much about Julian himself, though.”
“Except that he’s worth a lot of money.” Alessandra laughed, but inside she cringed. Billionaire? Of course, six hundred years was plenty of time for financial planning, but still... It was almost impossible to comprehend. Billions of dollars? And he was living in a little glass bottle on her dresser!


It would have been funny, if it weren’t so sad. Alessandra’s heart ached for Julian. If only there were something she could do for him, some way that she could release him from the spell so that he could really live, could have a real life. She would gladly give all three of her wishes... well, the two she had left... but she would have given all of them to free him.


That spell seemed more like a curse to her. Julian was so desperately unhappy. He never said so, but she could see it in his dark azure eyes, the brooding sadness that never quite left, that lurked behind the charming smile. So many times she had caught the quiet lapses, when he retreated inside himself when he thought she was unaware. It seemed an awful punishment, no matter what he had done. She just wished she could find a way to help him.


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A career medical transcriptionist, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. As a single mom, she raised a wonderful daughter who's recently married and there are plans afoot for grandchildren. A disabled veteran, Allie now lives in the beautiful Sorona Desert in southern Arizona with her two rescue cats and writes full-time. 

 

Allie says: "A writer is who and what I am... a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories."



Website - http://www.alliemccormack.com/

 

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