Cover Reveal: Her Heart’s Surrender by Allison Merritt

 
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Her Heart’s Surrender
By: Allison Merritt

Three Things I Learned While Writing Her Heart’s Surrender

History is one of my passions. I love “going” back in time to discover what our ancestors were like and how they functioned, which shows how much we’ve changed as a society. Here are a couple of things I learned while writing this book.

1) I had to bend the rules a little to make the story work.
When the Vikings invaded the UK, they settled around the Orkney Islands, in Ireland, England, and Scotland. Among a lot of other places too, but the part of Scotland where I wanted my Vikings doesn’t appear to have actually had many, if any. So I pushed them farther north with the Saxons and set up a kingship for them. One of the bad guys in the story, Ingvar the White Raven, became king of the area and snuffed out his Saxon neighbors. I fandangled the names of the native people a bit, giving them a little Old English and Scottish flair.

2) I had no idea the Viking reach was so far out into the world.
You think Vikings, you think Sweden, Denmark, you know, cold places. You can easily figure in the UK, although I had no idea Normandy referred to ‘northmen’ which is, of course, the Vikings. While doing research, I was astounded to learn than the Vikings had a huge influence on Russia, which I mention the hero, Hella, has visited, and even Byzantine. The Vikings set their longships to sail from Greece to Turkey and even into Africa. Amazing!

3) By the 11th century, they’d discovered North America.
This doesn’t factor into Her Heart’s Surrender, but I found it incredibly amazing. There are all kinds of hoaxes suggesting Europeans made it to the New World much sooner than we can historically prove, but the Vikings actually made it to North America and would have colonized but for the aggressive Native Americans they encountered. That’s saying something, because we’re all well-aware of how mighty the Vikings were, but it was unlikely they were willing to send great armies to foreign shores just to colonize there. Too impractical, although their discovery of the Canadian coastline was.

Short Blurb:

One woman will turn the tide of battle by risking everything for the man she loves.

Long Blurb:

Taken from her village as a child, Ealasaid has lived under the iron rule of a Viking king for far too long. The only good to come out of her life is her son. As long as the king lives, their freedom and hope for the future seems dismal. Despite her contempt for the king and his bloodline, she’s drawn to Hella Ingvasson, the man who kidnapped her, and the plight he faces when the king dies.
His father’s final demand is that Hella must wed if he’s to claim the throne. What better revenge than to marry the thrall his father hated most? Despite her fears Hella will become like his father, Ealasaid agrees to marry for her son’s sake, but she quickly learns her husband’s battle scarred body provides more pleasure than nightmares.
Word comes that her brothers also survived the raid and have assembled an army. They march toward a Norse settlement with the intention of revenge. Unless she can reach her brothers and convince them not to slaughter the man and people she’s come to love, Hella may become another bloody stain on history’s tapestry.


Excerpt
“You seem troubled, Hella.” His name rolled from her lips smooth as wind through the oaks. “Shall I send for Erik or Bjorn? Company might soothe your nerves.”
Erik would have to be informed of Ingvar’s plan should Hella fail to marry, but he didn’t want to share it yet. “They’ll suggest we drink ourselves blind and let the problem wait for tomorrow. There are not enough tomorrows to prevent my trouble.”
Her lips puckered, a clear sign she wanted to ask, but there were limits to her curiosity.
There wasn’t any harm in telling her. Everyone would learn his plight soon enough. “It’s about my father’s last wish.”
“Ingvar speaks from beyond the death veil.” She quirked an eyebrow. “What does the old king require you to do? Will you unite Northumbria to conquer Byzantium or Spain?”
“No, it’s much more difficult.” He tore the end off the bread and ripped it into little bits. “I must take a wife or lose Solstad.”
Ealasaid stared, then burst into laughter.
“I’m pleased my troubles amuse you.” He smashed his hand on top of the crumbs. “Explain how my misfortune is a cause for laughter.”
She wiped tears from her eyes. “You’ve fought battles others would run from. You grew up in the White Raven’s shadow. You take what you want and leave nothing behind. I find it difficult to see how marriage is a horror you cannot face.”
“Indeed, my sorrows are reason for mirth.” He shoveled scalding soup into his mouth and swallowed. She wouldn’t have dared talk to his father this way, but Ealasaid had never held her tongue around him. “Be gone. Instruct another thrall to bring the rest of my courses.”
“You must have dozens of conquests. Surely one would make a suitable wife for the new king of Solstad.” She twirled a pale strand of hair around her finger. “Inga the butcher’s daughter? She’s fair of face and quick to laugh. Or Giera. The daughter of some jarl or the other north of here.”
“You’re not helping. Go on, leave.”
“As you wish, m’lord.” She curtsied then turned for the door. “May the gods resolve your inheritance issues and favor you with a mighty queen and a hundred strong Viking babies born with clubs in their hands.”
About Allison

A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.
Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.

There are always stories inside her head; she just never thought she could make them come to life. That creativity has finally found an outlet.

Cover Reveal: Broken Pearl by Dawn Brower

COVER REVEAL
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Broken Pearl
By: Dawn Brower
Cover Reveal: March 26, 2015
Release Date: April 16, 2015

 

Short Blurb: 
 

The death and destruction of war can destroy even the strongest among us. Will the loss and pain be too much for Rebecca to withstand?

 Long Blurb: 
 

The year is 1941 and paradise is a way of life in Hawaii. For Rebecca O’Shea things couldn’t be more perfect. She has her dream career as a naval nurse, and is in love with the man of her dreams—it seems she has it all.

An empathic gift she’s had all her life starts to grow, showering her with emotions and premonitions that suggest a great darkness is near. Just when she thinks she cannot take anymore her guardian, Joel, arrives to help her.

Rebecca’s life is thrown into chaos when war hits Hawaii’s shore. As the Japanese bomb her home, her gift explodes within her. Loss and pain become her new way of life. She abandons all hope and shuts down her empathic abilities. With bodies littering the hospitals and seas, her calling as a nurse is put to good use, but her heart remains unreachable. Can she find her way out of the blackness and accept her true fate? Or will the prevailing death and destruction of war consume her?

 

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Teasers
 
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About Dawn

dawnbrowerDawn Brower holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a Master of Arts in Education, and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Literature, History, and Sociology. She works as a substitute teacher and enjoys the flexibility it gives her to concentrate on her other endeavors.

Growing up she was the only girl out of six children. She is a single mother of two teenage boys; there is never a dull moment in her life. Reading books is her favorite hobby. There is nothing like a nice glass of wine and a good book to relax with at the end of the day.

There are always stories inside her head; she just never thought she could make them come to life. That creativity has finally found an outlet.

The Beatles

the-beatlesI am working on my second master’s degree. I know I know–glutton for punishment, lol. The thing is I’ve enjoyed the classes for this second degree immensely. They are more fun overall. To give an example: the title of this blog post. Yes, you guessed it, my current class is on none other than the Beatles.

Crazy right? This is an actual hitory/sociology class. I’m taking the sociology designation as this is my second concentration. We are listening to Beatles songs and discussing the era when they were both controversial and popular. So my question for you all is this. What is the first Beatles song you heard and when was it? Did it have an impact on you? What does that song mean to you today?

Okay that’s actually more than one question. But this class has made me curious on a social point. What has the Beatles done for you. The younger generation probably doesn’t know much about them. I’m more curious about the individuals that grew up with the band and may have seen them live on the Ed Sullivan show.

For me… I honestly can’t tell you the first song I ever heard, but I can tell you which two stick in my mind the most.

The first one is Revolution

The second is I am the Walrus

I can’t tell you why these two always stick in my head. I certainly know other songs like Hey Jude and Can’t buy me love, but if you ask me to name a Beatles song…these are the first two that pop into my head. So tell me your stories and what your favorites are. Just tell me anything :)

Review: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

rhnsThis book was beautiful and heart wrenching.

Charlotte and Gabriel’s relationship is an uphill climb. The struggle not because they are trying not to be with each, but because what they ultimately want is together. Charlotte has a lot of inner demons she has to get through. At first when she meets Gabriel she is struck with fear. She is the tiny mouse and he is the T-rex about to gobble her whole.

Because of a relationship gone wrong Charlotte has panic attacks when Gabriel gets to close. It’s difficult for her because she really does want him close–until she doesn’t. Her whole body seizes up and she has to remember to breathe. Gabriel has unending patience with her. He can’t see himself with anyone else. Charlotte is it for him and if he has to go slow with her for the rest of their lives he’s prepared to do just that. To him Charlotte is worth everything.

This book pulled me in from the very beginning and I stayed up way to late reading it. I foolishly thought I’d just read a few chapters and go to bed–wrong. This is one of the best books Nalini Singh has written. I enjoyed the first book in this series for different reasons. It was hot and sexy with lots of sex to back it up.

Rock Hard was an emotional whirlwind of romance and so so moving. Every woman deserves a man willing to do whatever it takes to make sure she is comfortable in her own skin. Gabriel does that for Charlotte. His first and foremost concern is her and her needs (and I don’t necessarily mean in the sexual variety.)

I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It’s well worth the read.

Heart and Souls by Monica Corwin

Today Monica Corwin is here to tell everyone about her newest release, Heart and Souls.

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Thank you so much for letting me drop in with my upcoming title: Heart and Souls.

Here’s a little about the book:
Heart and Souls follows church detective Constance Grace as she hunts a con man stealing women’s souls.
In the late 21st century, scientists created a serum that gave every person nine lives, also known as souls. Flush with expendable life, Earth collapsed into war and anarchy, leaving the Catholic Church to step in and take control. In a world where the stealing of souls is big business, it takes people like Constance Grace, detective in the Soul Theft Division, to hunt the criminals down and strip them of their remaining souls.
When social-climbing con man, Noah Hannock, plunks himself on the church’s radar, he becomes Constance’s problem. With a brand new partner, Mikon Cross and seven of her nine given souls remaining, Connie has to enter high society under a too-familiar alias to tempt Noah into her web.
While the chemistry between Connie and Mikon is scorching hot, the reality is they don’t trust each other. Each with their own secrets to protect, the hunt for Noah Hannock threatens them both. The only way they can survive is if they learn to lay themselves—heart and souls—on the line for each other.

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About the Author:
Monica Corwin is an outspoken writer who believes romance is for everyone no matter their preferences. Displaced in Central Pennsylvania, Monica Corwin attempts to spend her days writing away in her home by the river. In reality she chases around a tod- dler and writes when she can. In her free time she drinks entirely too much coffee and collects tomes on King Arthur. Monica Corwin has over thirteen published works from publishers such as Crimson Romance and Cleis Press. You can find her on the web at http://www.monicacorwin.com. She is also on Twitter @Monica_Corwin and Facebook.
Excerpt:
He watched as she pulled her unruly mane up into a messy bun on top of her head. Every time he saw her do it, he couldn’t help but think it was a move specifically designed by women to turn men on. The pale skin of her delicate neck was now on full display, as were her toned shoulders and biceps. Usually he liked his women soft, and while Connie did have softness here and there, mostly she was made up of backbone, hard-toned muscles, and coffee.

“Stop being a creeper,” she said, breaking the spell.

He looked up. She was giving him a pointed look with an eyebrow arched. Somehow he had forgotten himself and sat staring at her. Will this night never end?

“Sorry, I was zoning out,” he said.

“Yeah, on my tits.”

“Really, I wasn’t staring at them. I was just thinking.”

“Uh-huh.”

There was no talking to her. He climbed up and went to his own bed. She was right, but he wasn’t going to admit it. He’d have to hear about it for the next year otherwise. “How are you feeling?” he asked after a few moments of silence.

“Still a little messed up from the drug, but, not terrible,” she said.

“That’s good.” He could tell she wasn’t saying it all though. She sat on top of her comforter, shoulders slumped, as she rocked ever so slightly back and forth. There was no way he could let her stay like that all night. If she was to be tortured then he could at least bear some of the burden.

He got up and walked over to her, moved behind her on the bed, and circled his arms around her upper body. She didn’t move, didn’t even breath, for a few seconds. It was a huge relief when she sagged into him, allowing him to hug her more comfortably.

The intensity with which his heart leapt and battered against his ribcage was astounding. If heaven and hell could merge it would live in such a moment. Her scent engulfed him, consumed him, and made him think of all the things he knew he shouldn’t. It was a shock when he realized she was guarding her thoughts to him. Not effectively, but she was making an attempt to ease his discomfort.

“Here,” he said, shifting his legs open so she could lean back into him and stretch out as well.

Such an unlikely pair they made. Only having met a month ago and now here they were in a gilded hotel room, holding each other gently. He would never have imagined a moment like this between them when they first met. Father Reynolds wouldn’t have either.

Constance turned to face him, and he watched helplessly as she slipped her tongue out and wet her lips.

“I’m going to kiss you, Mikon, unless you stop me,” she whispered, only inches away from his mouth.
Pre-Order Now! Click the link below:

Breathless Press

UPCOMING EVENTS

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I have several events (on FaceBook) I’m going to be taking a part of over the next several months. If you want to come over and join in on the fun, possibly win some great prizes, and meet new authors click on the links. I have a few others I don’t have dates/times for yet. I will update this list as those become available. I hope to stay pretty busy over the next several months as I have new stuff releasing. I hope everyone will find time to join me as I share news and give away copies of my books to lucky winners.

List of Events:

Nina Mason’s One Year in Print

I will be here Sunday 3/22 at 3PM

Expired Regrets Re-Release Party

I will be here on Thursday 3/26 at 6PM EST

On a Red Horse Release Party

I will be here on 3/27 at 6PM

Love is in the Air

I will be here on Saturday 3/28 at 4PM EST

Smash Sale Take Over

I will be here at 8 am EST

1500 Likes Bash for Book of the Day

I will be here 3/29 at 4PM EST

Two Chicks and a Dude Blogiversary

Tuesday, 3/31 at 7PM EST

Saints and Sinners Party

I will be here Sunday 4/5 at 1PM

Love, Lust, or Animal Attraction

I will be here Sunday 4/5 at 3PM-5PM CST or 4PM-6PM EST

Multi-genre A-Z event

I will be here Monday, 4/6 at 6PM EST

Secret Regrets Release Party

I will be here on Thursday 4/9 at 5:30PM EST

Dawn’s Birthday Bash and Broken Pearl Release

This is my event :) I will be here all day 4/16-4/17 on and off. It will be filled with lots of other authors (me opening and closing) So come by and say hello and meet some great peeps.

Author Spring Fling

I will be here Sunday 4/19 at 6PM EST

Fun Friday

I will be here Friday, 4/24 at 6:30 PM EST

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Cover Reveal: A Sanguine Gem

I usually don’t have the patience to wait in order to do a tada…here is my cover weeks after I got it. A miracle happened and I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. I can’t wait to show it to you all. A Sanguine Gem is going to be the final book in this series. At least at this point in time. Somewhere in the future I *might* consider writing further, but at this time I want to concentrate on other projects.

Are you ready to meet Liam in all his awesomeness?

Since I’m aware peeps might want some insight to go along with the pretties I will share the blurb. (which is subject to change) to give you and idea of what happens to Liam in A Sanguine Gem.

Blurb:

Lady Gemma Kemsley is in dire straits. Her cousin Alfie inherited her father’s estate upon his death. He quickly bled it dry of funds and is turning his lecherous intentions toward her. Alfie wants to have complete control over her inheritance. Without Alfie’s approval she can’t marry. She only has one option—run away and live with her best friend in America.
When his sister begs Liam Marsden to help Gemma he reluctantly agrees. He has a past with Gemma he’d rather forget—involving a failed attempt at betrothal and her professed love. When he sees Gemma again he realizes he can’t ever let her go. Instead of sending her to America he uses the old betrothal agreement to marry her.
Gemma doubts Liam truly loves her. Can he convince her of the veracity of his love or will he lose her forever?

I hope you all enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. Once I know when Liam will be available you will be the first to know. All I know for sure is that he will release this year.

So without further ado… Meet Liam Marsden from A Sanguine Gem

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Cover Reveal: Quest for Redemption

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Blurb:

The fate of the realms rests on the hands of an elven princess yet to prove herself and an orphan just learning his powers.

Zanna is an elven warrior princess, who seems to have it all, yet really has nothing. Her fate is not in her own hands. Instead, it is bound to an ancient magic she has no control over. She wants to rule the elves, yet must prove herself worthy before she is accepted. She also wants to find her mate, but after two thousand years, didn’t hold much hope. Her existence has become mundane, and she craves something new. A routine assignment suddenly turns into something bigger that could ruin all of them. Is she strong enough to save the world and find her own happiness too? Can she change and help change the fate of the world with her?
Will is an orphan who has always been confused by his strangeness. He keeps himself apart, separate from those around him. A chance meeting with a remarkable woman changes everything. He not only learns about himself, but about a whole other world that he is a part of by birthright. However the father that abandoned him as an infant stands to ruin his future and the future of the world unless he can be stopped.
Will and Zanna must face loved ones who work against them and their past as well as find the strength to fight a bigger enemy and save the realms from evil. Can love, friendship, family, and acceptance defeat evil before it brings the realms crashing down? Can Zanna prove herself worthy to rule the kingdom?

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Author Bio: Author Sheri Velarde
Sheri Velarde is an author, artist, independent comic creator and jewelry designer out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a creative soul with eclectic taste and style when it comes to her art and writing. Sheri is a multi-publisher romance author who is now branching into fantasy as well with her Defender of the Realms series. When not creating (which her fiancé argues is never), Sheri can be found spending time with her fiancé and their two dogs, reading, watching fantasy movies, attending metal concerts and just taking time to stop and enjoy life.
You can view Sheri’s work on her website/blog: http://sherivelarde.weebly.com/, on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sheri-VelardeKelly-Ryan/, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Sher_V.
Quest for Redemption will be out on Three Worlds Press soon!

Life Goes On

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No matter how much we’d like to stay in one place it isn’t possible. Change is inevitable. Loss is part of life. We grow up, live our lives, build families, all while knowing we need to accept change as a part of our lives. The very concept of growing up is really about change and how much we are willing to do it.

Sometimes circumstances happen that make us change. They alter was…is fundamentally part of who we are. We get up every day, we do the same things, yet we are completely different on the inside. It might seem like nothing has changed, but deep down we know we have. Nothing will ever be the same. I never really considered how these things have made me into the person I am today. Life goes on… We love, we lose, we gain, and through it all life just goes on. Even when we want to curl up in a ball and give up it still goes on. We do what we have to in order to survive. We push through the pain to support those that are depending on us. Nothing and no one can ever make it right. But we know we have no other choice, because yes it bears repeating, life goes on.

I have lost a lot in my life. There are some that has lost more. Those losses have become a part of me and they have created the person I am today. There are times I wish I could change things in a different way. People say everything happens for a reason. Well you know what? I want to scream and say who freaking cares. That reason didn’t matter to me when my heart was ripped out. When people turn to me and say how sorry they are. It doesn’t help the people who are hurting way more than I am or ever could. Those reasons can be shoved in places no one ever wants to go.

It doesn’t matter what those reasons are. What does matter is we are still here. We need to find a way to move forward, be more than we are. Find strength when we didn’t think we had any more. Loss is hard to get through. It becomes a fundamental part of our inner being. We live and breath it. Life moves forward whether we want it to or not. We do things like go to work (bills need to be paid after all) prepare dinner (family needs to eat) go to sleep or not sleep depending on our frame of minds.sometimes-the-things-we-cant-change-end-up-changing-us

For me I promo a book when I’d rather not. I write blog posts to drain out my tumultuous thoughts and help get the word out about things in my world. Events get planned, contests go up, and life goes on. It has never left my mind that not too long ago loss was a shock that rocked my world. It still sits inside of me as part of my being. I still question why. It still doesn’t make any damn sense to me. The only difference between then and now is at least for me the loss isn’t as devastating as it was for others. The missing piece wasn’t a part of my daily life. It makes moving forward slightly easier, but no less heartbreaking. I can separate it and compartmentalize it enough to know I have no choice but to accept the change. There is no other choice left for any of us really but to accept that the thing that has changed, has altered us unrepairablely. None of us will ever be the same after the loss of someone we loved so much.

Just remember to breathe in and breathe out. Lean on those offering support. Keep moving forward and maybe in time when a stray thought rolls through your mind it won’t break you down. You’ll smile through the tears and know you’ve made it far enough to see the light at the end of the darkness. Someday for us all life doesn’t keep moving on. Appreciate it while you can.

Review: When Love Comes by J.H. Croix

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This was a sweet romance. Hannah is still reeling from the loss of her parents and feels alone in the world. She returns home after finishing her undergraduate degree. When she gets home some things come easy–others don’t. She has to find her place in familiar surroundings without the two people she always relied on. Living without her parents changed her in a lot of ways. She had to grow up and stopped being reckless with her decisions. She stopped dating altogether.

Luke moved to Alaska after a bad break up with an ex. He is running away from love and relationships so he doesn’t make the same mistake twice. He likes his life living in Diamond Creek with his two brothers Jared and Nathan. He doesn’t see any reason to change that. He is undeniably attracted to Hannah and can’t resist getting to know her better.

Their relationship started out feeling awkward as they started to learn more about each other. They both could feel the chemistry, but each had their own reason for taking things slow. Things heat up between them when Hannah realizes she has a long lost family member and Luke’s parent’s pay them a visit.

It was a nice sweet ending when they finally admitted to each other their shared love. The slow build of their relationship and the awkward beginning gave it validity and made it seem more real. It wasn’t burning passion that fizzled out fast, but a slow steady burn that made you root for them. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.