AS DUST DANCE by Samantha Young is LIVE!

 

The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and PLAY ON returns to the world of the arts in this intense and emotional standalone romance about love, sacrifice, and surviving both. AS DUST DANCES
is now available on all retailers!
Grab your copy today!

 

About AS DUST DANCES:

Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.

Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.

Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.

Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible…

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Emma-louise’s 5 ★ review on behalf of kff

This is going to appear like a strange way to write a review, but this is how it feels right to do. I’ve been reviewing for just over sixteen months now and I have never been so compelled to put words to paper the way this one has compelled me to. Usually, I stew over my thoughts for just a little while, but not on this one, oh no. This one demanded I write the review quickly, lest I forget what I was left feeling when I was grabbed by the chin and forced to listen to what these truly exceptional characters had to say. And oh boy, did they give me a lot to think over.

The author of this rare gem is not unknown to me; I have admired her work for quite a while. Just never have I actually gotten around to reading one her books, I admit shamefully. As Dust Dances is a personal journey of two mismatched people who are forced to find a way to repair their shattered pasts.

When Killian and Skylar first meet they aren’t on equal footing. They are in fact, so far apart from equal, one would have to squint towards the sun to see the other. Both are just looking to fix what is broken in their lives and live a full life without regret or pain.

What I obsessed over in this book was the music. The author added numerous song lyrics into the text and not only was it intriguing, each piece added to the feel of the scene to which it was placed. Secondary characters have some of the most interesting personality quirks as far as I’m concerned. Probably because we have so very little time to get to know them and they need to make the right kind of impact.

‘It was hard to take my eyes off Brandon. He was like a bright light that captured my attention and wouldn’t let go. I realized as all three of us sat in my apartment and talked that he held me captivated because I had no bad memories attached to our relationship. When we were on tour and I was tired and lonely, he’d snuggle up with me to watch a movie on the tour bus, or he would take me out for dinner so we could unwind and pretend we were ordinary people grabbing a bite to eat. He was the one who kept Micah at bay when I’d had enough. He was the big brother who protected me.’ 

The bandmates, for example, the usual character traits were there, but underneath all the testosterone and binge drinking was a family. One with a solid foundation and like most families, there is always the occasional spat or battle that breaks out. One particular scene in this book was so torn I almost couldn’t make my thoughts run straight. Real fun when you’re trying to make notes for a review. It was confusing, enigmatic, and fulfilling all at the same time.

And please, do not get me started on the ‘will they won’t they’, argh! That alone drove me into a frustrated mass of questions and agitation. The romance in this book almost took me by surprise when the smexy time happened. I’d almost given up hope that something would finally come of all the sexually charged moments and looks. Killian and Skylar were so realistic, I just wanted them to stop mucking it up and sort it out. Everything they felt, I felt. Wicked, evil, wonderfully talented author, if you ask me.

“You’re mine,” I agreed. “I’m yours.” Killian kissed me hungrily in answer. A kiss that led to us shedding our clothes so he could slide inside me slowly and deeply. We took our time. We touched and stroked and kissed. While he moved inside me, he stared deep into my eyes, and although the words were never said . . . I felt loved.’ 

Often enough people discover/realise that in order to move forward in their lives and to leave the dark shadows they must go backwards. Pain, trauma, any negative event or emotion can lead someone down the wrong/worst path, sometimes for years, or even decades.

Almost all of the characters in this book at some point or another come upon the crossroads. The path they decide to take will change their life for many years to come. Forgiveness oftentimes isn’t deserved; however, for some people, the act of forgiving heals them more so than the person they forgive.

As Dust Dances has something for everyone, and I truly believe that if you were to give this one a chance, even though it’s the second in a series, this doesn’t impact the story one note. You’ll come away from it feeling more emotions than you know what to do with. The last fifteen percent of this book was full of feels. Good and bad, I needed tissues and that does not happen just any all day. Congratulations Ms. Young on penning a book that feels so real I could reach out and actually feel it.

EXCERPT

When I finished, O’Dea was sitting on the chair, his elbows braced on his knees. He was staring at the floor, like he was lost in thought. Then he looked up at me and my breath caught at the million heartbreaking emotions roiling in his gaze.And then they were gone, as if they’d never been there.“That’s all I have so far,” I whispered, so confused by him. “No more songs.”His expression was unreadable. “Your visitor’s visa is about to run out.”Bewildered by the response, I could only nod.

“You’ve no money.”

I tensed.

“You’ve run away from your identity, from your life in the band, in the US. You’ve no family to speak of, and you abandoned your friends.”

The man was the soul of sensitivity. “Your point?”

“My point is that you don’t have many options. I think you were living in some naive fantasy that you could keep running from your problems and live a relatively peaceful life as a homeless person. Somehow, miraculously, you survived unscathed for five months. But last night you were given a giant fucking look at the reality and dangers of homelessness. I wish it hadn’t happened that way, but there was never any other way it was going to end. And it has ended, am I right?”

“So, do you get, like, a bonus at the end of every day if you say a hundred patronizing things in a twenty-four-hour period or something?”

He ignored me. “You can’t go back to sleeping rough.”

“I think I got that, thanks.” I waved my cast at him.

“So … it’s either call your old manager, your band—”

“Not an option,” I snapped.

O’Dea smirked. “Then I’m all you’ve got. And I’m no fucking Mother Teresa. I’m in the business of making money, Miss Finch. You’ve already proven you’re good at making it. And from what I heard today and have heard you playing when you busk, I think the world hasn’t even seen a fraction of what you can do.”

There was really nothing to do but glare and hope that he withered under it.

“I’ll let you stay here in this flat free of charge, give you a weekly stipend for clothes, groceries, a new guitar. You can heal up here. But all of it in exchange for a record contract. A one-album deal, that’s all I ask. When you’re healed up, you’ll be straight into the studio to record.”

The thought made my stomach pitch. “I don’t want to be famous again.”

“Tough shit. There is no being famous again. You are famous. And you’ve got more talent in your pinkie finger than most do in their entire being. And that talent deserves more of a platform than standing on a street busking. It’s a goddamned insult to all those people out there trying to make the big time. I don’t care what it is you’re running from. I care that you sort yourself out and make some music again. Music that matters. Music that will heal you.”

I bristled. “I’ve made music that matters. I’ve got the fan mail to prove it.”

“Your music in Tellurian did its job. It was catchy, appealing, and teenagers related. But your voice is meant for something else. The songs you just sang to me … those are songs that will really make people feel. It’s vulnerable and brutally honest and that’s the stuff that resonates with people. People want songs that make them feel good, but they also just want songs that me them feel, even if it breaks their fucking heart. You’ve been through a lot, Skylar. Even if I couldn’t read a newspaper, I’d know that by listening to those songs you sang.

“Two years ago, you were a leader on social media and the lead singer of a pop-rock band that teens and college freshman loved. I’m not asking you to go back to that. I’m asking you to become an artist in your own right. If you don’t want the social media exposure, we’ll have someone else run that stuff for you. And we’ll do what we can to minimize the tabloid exposure. It will be hard at first considering your disappearance, but once it dies down, we can make it so you’re not hounded. It is possible.”

“It doesn’t matter whether they hound me or not. I hate the fame. I hate the touring. I hate it all.”

“No.” His expression hardened. “You don’t…”

 

 

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About Samantha Young:

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

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EXCERPT & TEASERS for LACHLAN’S PROTÉGÉ by V.F. Mason releasing 15th August

Lachlan’s Protégé by V.F. Mason is releasing on AUGUST 15th!
She never knew nightmares. Until she became mine.

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LEARN MORE HERE

She never knew nightmares.
Until she became mine.

She was a ballerina.
He was a serial killer.

She ran away from him.
He caught her.

She begged for mercy.
He gave her none.

She was an angel.
He was a monster.

She wanted to escape.
He wanted to destroy her.

They were at war.
And only one of them would win.

EXCERPT

Torture is an art form I’ve learned through the years, mastered for decades, and explored in different variations with anyone who I found fit.

Most people will say I’m a monster or a psycho.

However, in life, nothing is ever that simple, as evil and goodness are in the eyes of the beholder.

TEASERS

About the Author:

V.F.Mason always loved reading books and had quite a few fights with her momma over the genre she liked (romance, duh!) She studied filmmaking and thought that would feed her desire for stories, but that didn’t happen. Finally, when she was tired of all those voices in her head, she sat down and wrote a book. It was a huge decision to make and she thanks her friends and family for supporting her in it. When she is not writing, she can be found with her friends doing all sorts of crazy things or reading recent romance books that were written by her favorite authors.

Connect with V.F.!

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RUSH by Samantha Towle is now available!

     

We’re thrilled to share Samantha Towle’s all-new sports romance, RUSH

SYNOPSIS

With the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select…”

It’s been three years since quarterback Ares Kincaid’s NFL dream came true, and he’s living the high life. The days of cleaning up after his drunk of a father are long gone, and he has no intention of going back.

A car crash and DUI charge meant a lengthy stint in rehab for Arianna Petrelli, and her dream of being a professional artist slips further away when she’s sacked from her position at a gallery. Her need for a job stronger even than her dislike of football, Ari goes to work for her father, the head coach of the New York Giants.

Ares hates alcoholics, which is fine with Ari because she thinks he’s a brainless jock. Yet when Ares rescues Ari from a situation with her ex-boyfriend, an unlikely friendship begins – one that quickly becomes more.

But messing around with the coach’s daughter can only lead to one thing…trouble.

RUSH IS LIVE!

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Emma-Louise’s 5 ★ review on behalf of KFF

What a read. What a book. What a whole lot of emotional wasteland. I shouldn’t be surprised though, this is a Sam Towle book after all. This author really does know how to crank up the temperature and the pressure in a way that feels natural, and realistic.

Every time I read a book penned by this writer I realise how much of a student of the human condition she is. Never once has she taken the easy way out, staying true to the characters. That’s not to say that they’re all perfectly formed and everything comes easily to them. For some sure do have talent. Whilst others are enduring survivors, and when they’re really special people they have both. Talent and creativity is their saviour when the world is so dark and black it appears as if the sun has fallen out of the sky and the world feels as if it will never smile or hold hope again.

Ari is attempting to rebuild her life after many years of bad choices. Her addiction weighs heavily on her; getting through each day is a Herculean effort. I won’t go into her addiction more, purely because I want every reader to explore Ari’s story with new, fresh eyes. I will say that she’s hard on herself. More than just guilt-ridden, she really does dislike herself. And I’m not just talking about her bad choices. Her skeletons in the closet are old and unwise. They hound her continuously day in and day out. If only she could figure out how to separate herself from her demons and live a freer life. Can she move past her nightmares and come out the other side healthy and happy?

Ares is, of course, still a hothead and extremely judgemental. Having read Ruin, I can surely understand why, but his hang-ups aren’t a weapon to batter other people with. He’s a big softie of a guy when you get through his concrete exterior, family is the most important thing to him, above all else. He is larger than life, just like his big brother Zeus. Knowing how much he gave up providing for his younger siblings just makes him easier to love. He’s a dedicated athlete, much like Zeus, and is harder on himself then anyone else will ever be. To me, Ares appears to be a man who prefers to be isolated. He doesn’t like discussing his private life or his past, knowing where he comes from I can’t say I blame him.

Okay, so. I’ve discussed the characters and my opinion of the story, which leads me breathlessly into the best part of Rush. The romance. As is in the style of this author, the reader spends plenty of frustrated time wondering how long it’ll take before these two fall on to each other like starving wolves after a kill. They are exactly what the other needs to begin the healing process. Plus the smexy is as hot as a naked flame.

‘I’m picked up and pressed against the door by a hot, hard football player as he kisses me.
And it’s the wettest, dirtiest kiss I’ve ever had in my life.
“I’ve been wanting to do that all night,” he rumbles against my lips.
“Feel free to keep doing it,” I say breathlessly.’
 

Knowing Ares the way we do, of course he doesn’t make things easy. I wanted so badly to knock some sense into him, the amount of pain and anguish he dished out to Ari was so hard to swallow for me. I had a conversation earlier with someone about his behaviour and their comments made me see Ares’ point of view better. However, being the reviewer that I am, I need to mention one small, tiny issue. This doesn’t even detract anything from this book for me; I just feel it warrants mentioning. When of course there’s a meeting of the minds and the sun comes back out to shine. I just feel that perhaps that the sun came out a little too quickly and didn’t just allow the clouds to glide across the sky a little more.

Pick almost any works by Ms. Towle and you’ll find addiction and broken pieces though, to this reviewers mind, it isn’t used for shock or awe, not at all. This speaks of talent and when an addiction or problem is there the storytelling moves fluidly, taking on an almost lifelike shape. Research so evidently has been done, how else could someone create characters so realistic and three dimensional.

You can be sure of a tearjerker and so many conflicting emotions you’re as confused and broken, at times, as the people on the pages are. The best art imitates life and with that purity of character and being steadfast are oftentimes not enforced. In some really great reads, I’ve seen authors take the easy way out so that they don’t appear cruel or disgusting. Ms. Towle doesn’t sugar coat anything, she isn’t Willy Wonka, she isn’t creating confectionery, and I thank my lucky stars she’s in the business she’s in.

TEASERS

Meet Samantha

SAMANTHA TOWLE is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She began her first novel in 2008 while on maternity leave. She completed the manuscript five months later and hasn’t stopped writing since.

She is the author of contemporary romances, The Storm Series and The Revved Series, and stand-alones, Trouble, When I Was Yours, The Ending I Want, Unsuitable, Wardrobe Malfunction, Breaking Hollywood, Under Her, Ruin and Sacking the Quarterback, which was written with James Patterson. She has also written paranormal romances, The Bringer and The Alexandra Jones Series. All of her books are penned to the tunes of The Killers, Kings of Leon, Adele, The Doors, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, Lana Del Rey, and more of her favorite musicians.

A native of Hull and a graduate of Salford University, she lives with her husband, Craig, in East Yorkshire with their son and daughter.

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REVIEW TOUR ~ A PILGRIM TO DEATH by Alexa Padgett releases 14th August!

We’re super excited to share Alexa Padgett’s all-new thriller
A Pilgrimage to Death,
with you!

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About A Pilgrimage to Death

They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. Their day of reckoning is at hand.

Cici Gurule is a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock. When she finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.

Together with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees, she vows to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral. Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation… and her death was no random act of violence.

Now that the criminals are out for Cici’s blood, the pastor must catch the wolf by the tail before it goes in for the kill.

A Pilgrimage to Death is a high-octane mystery thriller. If you like motorcycling sleuths, fast-paced action, and a dash of humor, then you’ll love Alexa Padgett’s edge-of-your-seat novel.

Preorder Your Copy Today!

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Advanced Praise:

“Vivid, alluring, and heart-wrenching, Alexa Padgett’s A Pilgrimage to Death is every reason I love mystery. A breathtaking tale.”

–Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author

Anna’s 4 ★ review on behalf of KFF

This is my first book by this author and is one of my favourite genres, a murder mystery thriller; the first book in a series featuring Reverend Cici Gurule but can be read as a standalone.

Cici Gurule is a progressive reverend who went back to her hometown when she felt something was wrong with her identical twin, Anna Carmen. Her plan of joining her boyfriend for an adventure to South America was abandoned. We have all heard how tight a bond is between twins and we see this in Cici and Anna Carmen. So when Cici received a phone call that Anna Carmen was murdered she had to find out who killed her twin. However, when she starts digging up dirt on some people, she receives warning notes and dead birds on her doorstep and some of her parishioners start dying. She needs to get to the bottom of this with the help of Sam, an old friend. He is a detective who previously worked in the big city, but also came back to town to help solve the murders and a much bigger problem which involves a drug ring.

Narrated in third person, this gripping story is fast paced, full of suspense with a touch of the paranormal. I had conflicting feelings regarding the mystical angle to this thriller which is unreservedly sprinkled throughout the book, but somehow it adds credence to the tale. This is not your usual whodunit thriller; nonetheless,  it does make it more interesting and attention-grabbing. Sam’s backstory was implied that he was more into Anna Carmen in the past. As a secondary character, his loyalty and protectiveness towards Cici meld well with her stubborn, determined and feisty persona; they complement each other. Bear in mind that this is not a romance novel so the focus is about solving Anna Carmen’s murder.  Trying to keep up with the plot twists in the story kept me up all night but it was worth it. This is not your usual run of the mill murder mystery yarn and I am glad I got the chance to read this author’s book, it won’t be my last.

 
The eerie feeling expanded as they turned the last corner back toward her house. Out front was a large, black pickup. It was wedged between Justin’s police car and a compact sedan. Cici’s steps slowed when Justin cursed, low and vicious.
“Do you know who that is?” she asked, trying to keep her voice level. Hard to do with the adrenaline dump that now pumped through her veins. She didn’t need that spot in her head pinging danger! for Cici to realize the black beast of a truck growling mere feet from her doorstep meant trouble.
Justin shook his head as he half-stepped in front of her, causing the hairs on Cici’s arms to rise. He might not know the person in the truck—hard to see through the dark tint—but the vehicle clearly upset him as much as her.
Mona backed up against Cici’s leg while Rodolfo tugged at the end of his leash, his snarl deep and guttural.
The driver’s side window rolled down about three inches. Cici squinted, but all she made out was a dark beanie pulled low over the person’s eyebrows, and large, black plastic sunglasses.
The person threw something out the window. Rodolfo leaped forward, tugging the leash from Cici’s hand as she flinched back. The dog sprinted toward the truck.
“Rodolfo, heel!” Cici called. The dog quivered to a halt, whining, as the truck’s engine roared. Within seconds, it sped down the street.
Cici’s breathing remained labored as she hurried forward, snatching up Rodolfo’s leash. The dogs whined again and nuzzled against her, bumping her hips with their heads.
Justin snatched the paper from the street. He stood there, at the curb, scanning the message.
“Did you get the license plate?” Cici asked.
Justin shook his head, still staring after the truck. “Covered in mud or something.” He swallowed, glanced down at the paper in his hand.
“What does that say?”
“I’m not sure you should read it.”
“Not really your choice.” Cici switched the dog leash to one hand and held out her free one. “The person came to my home. The message is clearly for me.”
Justin handed it over with obvious reluctance.
Your sister didn’t know when to stop snooping.
 

 

About Alexa Padgett:

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

Connect with Alexa:

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