Thursday, 12 March 2015

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY - Snark and Stage Fright by Stephenie Wardrop

Welcome to the next stop in the Snake and Stage Fright Blog Tour!

Snark and Stage Fright
by Stephanie Wardrop
Release Date: 03/10/15
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads
Happily-ever-after isn’t as happy or forever as Jane Austen makes it look. Just something Georgia Barrett learns when her sharp tongue costs her the only guy she’s ever really cared about: Michael Endicott.

Determined to move on, Georgia lands the lead role in the school’s fall musical. But to survive on stage, she’ll need to learn to express herself without her protective shield of snark. She soon discovers being honest with others means being honest with herself, and the truth is she’s still in love with Michael.

 But from the looks of Michael’s new girlfriend, Georgia isn’t the only one who tried to move on. Apparently, some people are just better at it than others. And when Michael and his girlfriend join the cast of the fall musical, Georgia finds out that snark and stage fright are the least of her worries…

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You would think that on a cloudless, picture-postcard-perfect summer day, lying on a raft beside my boyfriend in his pool, I would be incapable of worry.
But I am good at what I do.
Michael’s pool is one of my favorite places in the world, because it looks like it was carved out of the woods by nature herself, like a little lagoon accidentally popped up in a New England backyard about a century ago. It’s very rocky and ferny and surrounded by beautiful exotic plants, lush green and fuchsia and orange-colored plants that shouldn’t thrive in Massachusetts but grow here like the happiest transplants ever.
And a month ago, on the night of the school prom, when I was one of the least happy transplants to New England ever, Michael and I met here and finally admitted that we actually really liked each other. It’s where he kissed me for the very first time. So I should be luxuriating here on the raft with him, basking in the sun and the enticing smells of chlorine and sunscreen, but I’m not.
I’m too busy panicking because in a few days I am going to be spending a week at Michael’s family’s summerhouse. Before I’d moved here to Longbourne a year ago, I’d never even met someone who has a different house for different seasons. I don’t even know what you wear at a summerhouse, but I tried to sound casual as I tugged at my Target tankini and asked Michael, “So it’s your dad’s sister’s house, right? And it’s on the beach?”
Michael nodded and stirred the water with his fingers, making his own personal tiny tidal wave and watching it crash against the side of the raft. One of the reasons I love him is because he seems so serious on the outside but in private he does these silly boyish things like making private tsunamis in the pool. And I have to admit he looks really good wet, with his dark curls plastered to his head like one of those statues of Apollo at a Greek temple, only with a tan, since he’s been teaching little kids to swim every day at the YMCA in Netherfield.
 “Are people going to be, like, walking around in straw hats and white linen dresses all day, sipping smart cocktails and playing croquet?” I asked.
Michael lifted his sunglasses, revealing his now squinting dark eyes as a familiar smirk tugged at the corner of his mouth.
“We’re going to my aunt’s house on Cape Cod, George, not into a deleted scene from The Great Gatsby.” He laughed. “We’ll drive there, and traffic might be a pain, but we don’t require a time machine.”
I could tell he was amused but a little of weary of my pre-travel angst. But summer family get-togethers at my house involve rickety metal grills, inflatable pools for the kids, and lots of potato salad. I’m not sure Michael understands I feel about as comfortable walking into a weeklong celebration for his cousin Rose’s wedding as I would be to crash-land on an island overrun by cannibals. Cannibals wouldn’t care if I wore last season’s sandals or sipped out of the finger bowl. They wouldn’t even have finger bowls.

Enter the giveaway to win 3 ebooks of Snark and Fight

About the Author
Stephanie Wardrop grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, a town mostly famous for being a railroad card in Monopoly. After giving up on her childhood goal of becoming a pirate, she decided to become a writer but took a detour through lots of college and grad school and ended up teaching writing and British and American literature. She's the author of the Swoon Romance e-novella series Snark and Circumstance, based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and lives in western New England with her husband, kids, cats, and gecko.

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Book Blitz + Giveaway - The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski

The Thorn and the Sinking Stone
Release Date: March 2015
Entangled Teen
313 pages

Summary from Goodreads
Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape…

Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth's Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood. Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future…

To avenge his father's death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers, must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know.

But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…

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5 Things You Don’t Know about Sebastian and Valencia from the Thorn and the Sinking Stone

1) He has a cousin named Avery who has been adopted by his uncle Corduroy. The two boys are the same age and grew up learning the ins and outs of being a Dagger together. Sebastian and I both hope to see Avery make an appearance later in the series, because we both think our readers would love him very much.
2) Sebastian was incredibly close with his mother. She taught him to dance, and cook, and even sing a little. Though, since her passing, he avoids everything that reminds him of her…until he meets Valencia that is.
3) He has a tattoo of two crossing daggers on his forearm, just like every member of the gang to reach maturity. It was “gifted” to him by his father on his 15th birthday.  
4) Sebastian graduated from high school the year earlier, albeit barely.
1) Though the katana is her prized weapon, Valencia is a talented martial artist overall and can whip your butt with a pair of nun chucks.
2) She likes to paint in the traditional Japanese style.
3) She is devout in her worship of Shinto
4) Valencia once had a childhood friend named Micah– brother to Aston Mori. He died tragically when she was seven, the same year she met Sebastian Leold for the first time. 
5) Valencia is incredibly intelligent and was homeschooled. Because she spent so much time alone, she had ample opportunity to read and study and teach herself new things. 

About the author
While attempting to navigate life as a responsible human being, CJ graduated from university with a B.Comm and worked her way along as marketer, copywriter, and graphic designer to earn a paycheck while pursing her passion for creating fantastical stories set in dark and wondrous corners of the world.  Born amongst the wheat fields and open skies of the Canadian prairies, CJ’s imagination has always run wild, taking her on adventures across the world from modeling in Seoul, South Korea to backpacking through Europe and surfing (poorly) in Hawaii.

After wandering through ancient cities and civilizations, learning from diverse cultures, and surrounding herself in new experiences, CJ was inspired and began work on her debut Young Adult novel THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE, to be published by Entangled Publishing 2014/15. CJ currently resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada – home of the Canadian Rockies – and keeps one hand on her passport and pen at all times, ready to pick up, see the world, and weave her experiences into stories. 

CJ is represented by Marlene Stringer of the Stringer Literary Agency LLC.

Author Links:
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Book Blitz + Giveaway - Red by Alyxandra Harvey

Release Date: March 2015
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads
Bad girls burn hot…

Red is the color of Kia Alcott's hair.
It's her temper, which blazes hot and always gets Kia into way too much trouble.
And it's the color of fire. Fires that Kia can start…just by thinking about them.

When her latest “episode” gets her kicked out of school, Kia is shipped off to her grandmother, who works for the wealthy Blackwoods. It's an estate shrouded in secrets, surrounded by rules, and presided over by a family that is far from normal…including the gorgeous and insolent Ethan Blackwood.

Ethan knows far more about the dangers of the forest surrounding the estate than Kia can ever imagine. For this forest has teeth, and Ethan is charged with protecting the outside world from its vicious mysteries.

But inside, even the most vibrant shade of red doesn't stand a chance against the dark secrets of the Blackwood family… 

Excerpt: Ethan from “Red” by Alyxandra Harvey
I continued along the edge of the property, an arbitrary line drawn by men in business suits in an office in town. The forest was the forest and it only cared about its own ferocious appetite. The Blackwood wards looked innocuous enough: palm-sized Gorgon heads with snakes for hair. Unlike the myth of Medusa, they couldn’t actually turn people to stone, but they worked on the same principle. The magic inside kept people and beast alike away from the estate.
I wished it worked on me.
I wondered if Kia would notice anything, if she managed to get this far into the forest. Most people didn’t. She didn’t seem like most people, though—I could already tell she saw more than she let on. And in this place, that was as dangerous as anything else the magical wards banished.
I painted dozens of hidden Gorgon heads with a mixture of blood and bone dust—; most from the butcher shop, others best left unexamined. Magic flickered and flared, intensifying. Even though I’d done this once a month since I turned ten, the hairs on my arms still lifted, prickling like needles.
The more magic you used to keep monsters away, the more monsters were drawn to you. It was a delicate balance. Who knew what else had already gotten out?
Or in?

About the author
Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.
Among her favourite books are ‘The Wood Wife’ by Terri Windling, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.

Author Links
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Friday, 6 March 2015

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY - Deviate by Tracy Clark

Welcome to the next stop in the Deviate blog tour!
Deviate (The Light Key Trilogy #2)
by Tracy Clark

Release Date: 03/03/15
Entangled Teen
Summary from Goodreads
Tormented after a daring escape, Cora Sandoval must find a way to stop the Arrazi from murdering innocent people and from violating, using, and killing the Scintilla for their powers. She must also accept one bitter betrayal: Finn Doyle—the Irish boy who has both a piece of Cora's heart and soul—is Arrazi...

On the verge of extinction and sought by those who would either consume or destroy them,  Cora and the remaining Scintilla survivors must solve the mystery of The Light Key. If they fail, the truth will stay buried forever and mankind will pay the ultimate price.

No longer will she hide.

No longer will her loved ones be hunted.

And she will have her vengeance...even if she shatters her heart in the process.

Deviate Excerpt nr. 4

I lay back down, unable to tame my erratic pulse. Images of the deaths I’d witnessed superimposed over my vision, nightmares awake and asleep that tortured me. I vowed these things:
I won’t hide the rest of my life. I will find a way to stop the Arrazi.

I will keep my loved ones safe.

I will make Clancy beg me for his life.
I will deny him.

My Scintilla aura flared with pure hate. It radiated above my body, over my heart, the epicenter of my pain. Resentment for what I’d lost and for what my life was now rose up in my body, cresting over any shame I might have felt about wishing someone dead. The girl I was two months ago would never have had thoughts of death and survival and revenge. There was no damage done that I couldn’t pin directly on the race known as Arrazi.

Giovanni rolled over with the slackness of sleep. His eyes were still closed but his hand reached out, suspended over me, and rested gently on my stomach, beneath my heart. My breath caught. He still breathed with the heavy timbre of deep sleep. Could he subconsciously feel my deep distress? Did he know that with the press of his hand, my fiery rage would reduce to a simmer?
I had so much to learn about being a Scintilla. I’d have to begin immediately.

Add to Goodreads

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Book One: Scintillate

Enter this giveaway to win a signed copy of Scintillate, a key necklace, candy relating to the book and swag. US ONLY
If an international winner is chosen, they will receive a $15 gift card.

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About the Author

Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.
She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat.

Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.
Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.

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BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY - The Gospel of Wolves by Chris Wesley

Welcome on the next stop in the Gospel Of Wolves blog tour!

Title: The Gospel of Wolves   
Author Name: Chris Wesley

Book Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Aristic Agenda Press
Release Date: November 1, 2014

Book Description
Everyone is a wolf.

But putting the pack first can have different ramifications if you don’t really belong with the pack you’re hunting with in the first place.

In The Gospel of Wolves, you delve deep into the heads and hearts of four people who will take risks as they search for where they belong that will force them to make serious choices about the person they are willing to become as they cross paths with some of the cruelest sociopaths the world has to offer to ultimately find out if they are part of the pack or one of the prey.


"Mommy. I don't think daddy's gonna make it."
It wasn't just what little Melanie said, it was how she said it that caused Lindsey to duck down to eye level with her daughter before reassuring her. "Don't be silly, dear. Your father will be here any moment to get us and we'll be on our way home."
Melanie didn't seem convinced. She appeared as if she was listening to someone who was telling her something she didn't want to hear. Whomever that someone was, it wasn't her mother. She stayed down at eye level with Melanie a little while longer, brushed some of Melanie's bangs back under the hood of her coat, then stood upright and looked around the airport receiving area for her husband's car. They had been waiting for half and hour, but the airport was busy, and with the rain, there were surely traffic. She resisted the urge to pull out her cell phone and call him. After what Melanie said, Lindsey was afraid of doing anything that might encourage her to think that something really was wrong.
It seemed like half of the people driving had bought the exact same make, model, color and year of the car her husband owned. With the sky's reflection bouncing off of the windshields, the identities of the drivers remained concealed until they drove past her and Melanie. She held her frustration and impatience behind a veneer of calm that was becoming harder and harder to maintain each time she mistakenly thought she had spotted him.
If he doesn't come in the next five minutes, I'm calling him, Lindsey thought to herself. Knowing that this might upset Melanie further, Lindsey looked down to see how Melanie was fairing to gauge if she needed to provide any additional consoling before the call, but Melanie wasn't there. Lindsey glanced all around her immediate area, but her daughter was gone.
Looking to the parents of a family that had been standing next to them, she asked, "Did you see which way my daughter went? She's wearing a pink overcoat with the hood up and black stockings?"
Both of the parents gave a quick glance around, then offered sympathetic shrugs.
Lindsey forgot about her luggage and began pushing through the crowd of people yelling her daughter's name. The amount of people seemed to increase with Lindsey's anxiety and somehow, they seemed to always manage to be where she was trying to get to and move into the cracks and seams right as Lindsey attempted to peer through to catch a glimpse of where her daughter might be. Irritated by the mass of bodies, she tried stooping down to knee level thinking that looking between legs rather than around torsos might provide more gaps to peer through, but it was a moving forest of limbs that again seemed to move directly into her line of sight as quickly as she could look in a direction.

Guest post with the author
You vs. The Page: 5 Hidden Secrets to Finishing Your Book

There is no shortage of great advice out there to help you get your book finished, but we're going to focus on a few often overlooked means for helping you get your book finished. 

Secret One

Never tell anyone the story that you want to tell and not for the reason you might think.

Yes, there is the possibility that the person you tell, may steal your story, but the more likely scenario is that once you've shared your story with someone, the need for sharing it in print will shrink considerably.

The best thing you can do for your story is to confide only in the written page in whatever form you use whether it's pencil and paper or keys and screen.

Secret Two

Do not edit while writing. There is nothing more important to the success of your book than getting your ideas out of your head and onto the page. You can come back later and fix your grammar or refine the way you articulate something in your story.

What you can't do is recapture the fire of a fresh idea once the moment has gone.

Ideas are fleeting. They come and go without warning or mercy.

Another consideration is how detrimental it is to your finished book when you spend so much time getting your syntax correct that would could have been a two-thousand word writing session only yields a few hundred words.

Secret Three

We're going to piggyback on Secret Two for this one.

Keep index cards or something of that sort on you along with a pen or pencil on you at all times. Cell phones with note taking apps work as well.

The point is to be prepared to capture any thought you may have about your book whenever it comes.

If, like most writers, you're always on the hunt for interesting angles, personalities and scenarios, this may well become one of your favorite idea catchers because you can get it down while you're still feeling inspired and catch that initial fire you're feeling.

Secret Four

Use your personal library to your advantage.

When you aren't exactly sure where to go next with your story and finding the motivation behind how your character isn't enough, think back on the books you loved the most as a reader.

Is there a book on your list that has a similar situation? 

Go back and read the part of that book most applicable to the place you're struggling with just before sitting down to write.

By doing this, you put yourself in the perfect mindset for bringing your story back on track.

Secret Five

This last secret is the most important. You will never finish your book unless you put this to use.

Do not. I repeat, do not wait for inspiration to hit before you start writing.

You need to schedule time to write so that it is an appointment and use that time to write whether you're feeling your story at that moment or not.

I hope these secrets help you find your path to publishing.

Good luck!

Enter this giveaway to win a signed photo book “A Privileged Window” that gives insight into how Chris Wesley uses his fine art photography with his fiction and a free ebook copy of “Regret in Triptych”, the award winning first book from the Wilderness Saga, the 6 Storycard Set “Hotel Arrianda” that extends the storyworld that “The Gospel of Wolves” takes place in.

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Author Bio

Chris Wesley is the award-winning author of the fiction book The Gospel of Wolves, the short fiction story Regret in Triptych and the poetry book Pack Animals. He uses his fine art photography as prompts for character sketches and settings in his fiction along with gallery shows. He has written for the music magazine Night Moves Magazine, acted in independent movies and plays; wrote, cast, directed, shot and edited an independent short movie, started bands and gone solo. He plays a few instruments and is generally considered a smart ass. He also has a thing for how we connect with each other and with ourselves.

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY - Almost loved By Mira Toria

Welcome to the next stop on the Almost Loved blog tour!
Almost Loved
by Mira Toria 
Release Date: 03/06/15

Summary from Goodreads

Falling in love is easy.

After Bradley, Lyris is convinced that love is temporary and the repercussions are permanent, but everything changes when she meets Hale. Falling in love with him begins as something tumultuous and unexpectedly effortless despite her resistance.

Lyris loves him.
Hale loves her.
Staying in love is hard.

As their pasts start to surface, how hard will they fight to stay together? Her ex holds a piece of her heart and he won’t give up without a fight – but that might not be necessary. Hale has a secret of his own that is enough to threaten everything before it even begins.

This isn't just a love story.
This is their story.

She got to the bar and closed her eyes while crossing her fingers. Speaking to no one in particular, she muttered, “Please, please, please don’t make this night another disaster. I swear I’ll be good, just please don’t make this another disaster.”

“Well since you said please so many times.” Her eyes fluttered opened to see a bartender with an amused smile playing on his mouth as he tried hard not to outwardly laugh at her. “Exactly who are you selling your soul to?”

She laughed despite her embarrassment and took a closer look at him. There was no doubt in her mind that while she wasn’t looking for a hook up, she wasn’t immune to beauty and she would be foolish to dismiss this man because he was definitely something noticeable. To her, it was similar to window shopping and admiring a dress in the window – she didn’t have to purchase something to admire it.

 And now I know why people say ‘hot damn.’

His dark hair was cut shorter on the sides but with more volume on top, as if someone had casually run their fingers through it. Her fingers twitched and it crossed her mind that she wouldn’t mind running her fingers thought it. Forcing her hand to stay still, she lowered her eyes, taking in his jawline and admiring how it accented his sharp features in a way that prevented him from being too pretty. When her eyes veered to his mouth, she noticed the smirk deepening with each second she took blatantly and shamelessly checking him out.

She blinked and smiled, trying to pretend that she wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. “No one,” she quipped, “I’m just talking to myself.”

“The first sign that someone’s overdue for a drink,” he said light heartedly. “What can I get you –” He trailed off and looked at her pointedly to finish off the sentence.

Something about the way he phrased the sentence made her smile coyly. This wasn’t her first time flirting and she knew very well when a hook was being thrown at her, waiting for her to take a bite. “You what?”

The corner of his mouth twitched when he realised she wasn’t going to make it easy for him. “Usually people finish that sentence with their name.”

“I’m not like usual people.”

“Definitely not like usual people.” Shaking his head and laughing under his breath, he swapped a new tray for a waiter before he turned back to her. “I do remember you said you’d be a good girl,” he reminded her. “You’re not off to a very good start.”

He filled a glass with champagne, promptly tipping it towards her like he was waiting for her to take it, but when she did reach out, he pulled away at the last second.

Her eyes narrowed as she tried to figure out what he was playing at. There were people who were like open books, easy to read and predict, but then there were people like this man. They were the ones that were seemingly transparent, but had more than a few tricks up their sleeves. It was just her luck that she had a soft spot for that.

His eyes were bright with mischief as he moved the champagne glass out of her reach. “What are you doing?”

He wasn’t like anyone she’d ever met and she found the corners of her mouth tugging into a reluctant smile. There was something about his confidence that was refreshing; where it was enough to be charismatic instead of pure arrogance. “Can I have my drink?” she asked.

He grinned cheekily as he placed the glass on the bar island to lean closer to her. “I meant later on tonight.”

“Did you, now?” She propped her elbow up on the counter and tilted her head as she studied him. “Tell me, how many girls have you used that line with tonight?”

He brought his face close to hers, so close that if anyone even slightly bumped into Lyris, she would’ve grazed her mouth against his. Her breath caught in her throat and she was tempted to run a finger down his jaw line, to just simply touch him, despite accusing him of being a womanizer.

“Honestly?” He looked held her gaze. “Just the one girl I’m looking at right now.”

It was as if the music and the party buzz fueled the tension between them. Looking away didn’t cross their mind as they were both intoxicated in some way.

“Do you usually go home with strangers?” She spoke in a whisper, fearing that the moment would be shattered by noise if she were any louder.

He held his cards close and replied in a low calm voice. “Would you call us strangers?”

Grinning, she turned her face so that her mouth was by his ear. She was so close to him, she heard him catch his breath ever so slightly as she moved deliberately slowly. “I don’t really recall hearing a name,” she whispered, letting her words linger.

She felt his hands on hers before he pulled back and brought a single finger to lift her chin towards him. It was simply a touch, the briefest of contact, yet it was electrifying.

“It’s Hale.” The corner of his mouth looked as if he was trying hard to suppress a full smile. “And what might yours be?”

They had both taken their time answering questions, deliberately extending their answers and teasing the other for as long as they could, so she didn’t feel compelled to answer right away. She took a few seconds to calm herself down. Hale was certainly captivating and despite how often her blind dates failed, she knew very well when to end a game while she was ahead.

Moving back, she kept her eyes on him as she grabbed a napkin and brought it to her mouth. Pressing it on her lips and keeping her eyes on his, she left an imprint of her lipstick and placed it on the counter before sliding it towards him. There was something about the way his brow cocked just slightly in bemusement that fuelled her with a desire to linger, but she wasn’t a fool to believe she was the only woman that wanted to hold his attention tonight.

She was going to leave on her own terms.

“I’ll tell you what I’m not going to be; another conquest. Good-bye, Hale.” Smirking she grabbed the champagne flute and tipped it as a thank you towards him before sauntering back to her friends.

It was difficult to explain, but she felt as if she were on a sort of high. She felt light and something about being so carelessly free lifted a weight she didn’t know she was carrying. Even if she wouldn’t meet anyone tonight, Evey’s suggestion of letting loose did have an upside – she’d never felt like this for a long time.


Enter this giveaway to win $15 Amazon gift card + signed postcard (US only)

About the Author
Mira Toria is a a bit of a romantic even though she flat out denies it. She daydreams more often than she would like to admit and often times she can be found scribbling story ideas onto any writeable surface because a clean napkin comes to mind before her phone. 

She is also 1/5th of MALICE Authors, a group of authors that have banded together with their love of story telling to bring together an array of stories.

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