31 October 2014

Brutal by T.A. Brock: Zombies take over the world! 

I am so excited to help announce the release of Brutal, a prequel novella to the zombie romance, Fatal, by T.A. Brock! Readers will get some juicy backstory for Leiv, and Grayson’s mysterious origin story. If you are new to the Fatal Series, this is a great place to jump in! 

We have a fantastic zombie-filled giveaway on the rafflecopter, including swag and a signed copy of Tera Shanley’s Love In The Time of The Dead! Check it out!

Title: Brutal (Fatal, #1.5)
Author: T.A. Brock
Publisher: (November 2014)
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Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Check out my review of: Fatal (Fatal, #1)

Synopsis: No matter how brutal, the law must be kept...

Leiv Patch was killed, turned, and left to his own devices. With nothing more than an ancient tome to educate him in the zombie ways, he’s eked out a lonely—and sometimes miserable—fifty years of undead existence. When he meets raven-haired Iraina Lukin on a 911 call, he begins to realize that being a riser doesn’t mean he has to go it alone. Having a Save means anything is possible. Love, family, a future. The only problem? A union between a riser and a human is against the Oracles’ law…and Iraina doesn’t want to be turned.

Conner Grayson lives as a street kid in the Windy City after his father is locked away for murder and his mother overdoses on drugs. Street savvy, he becomes extremely good at surviving. Never make friends—that’s the key, then nobody can screw you over and you never owe a soul. It works. Until he meets Leather. She’s quiet and sad, but something about her draws Conner in. He looks for her every morning in the shelter lines and before long, they’re inseparable. But Leather is not as she seems, and soon his friend is making him an offer he can’t refuse: she can make all of his brutal heartache and struggle to survive go away. All he has to do is say yes.


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*The book contains adult content and is appropriate for ages 17+*


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RElease Day


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Happy Halloween Everyone!

Don't let the ghosts, ghouls or goblins get you... 

Have a FUN and SAFE time!

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30 October 2014

Title: Resisting Ruby Rose (Ruby Rose #2)
Author: Jessie Humphries
Publisher: Skyscape, 284 Pages (October 28th, 2014)
From: the Author
Format: eARC
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Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Synopsis: Still reeling from the heartbreaking events that unfolded on Grissom Island, Ruby Rose is trying to come to terms with the fact that she’s gone from a vigilante in killer shoes to a stone-cold killer. Everyone from her therapist to her smoking-hot boyfriend keeps trying to convince her that she hasn’t crossed over to the dark side, but Ruby isn’t so sure. It doesn’t help that her nemesis, Detective “Mastermind” Martinez, is still out there, waiting for another chance to take her down.

When an alleged CIA agent named Skryker shows up and asks for a meeting, Ruby figures it just means more questions about her case. But he has information of an entirely different nature and a job offer: join an elite force of young assassins, including Skryker’s right-hand guy, Quinn Donovan. Quinn is distractingly charming, handsome—and deadly. Ruby resists becoming a killer again, but as she becomes more ensnared in a web of deceit, no one around her is safe.

Review: 4 Stars - Resisting Ruby Rose, the second title in author Jessie Humphries Ruby Rose series picks up right where the first book left off. If readers thought the first book was action packed, they haven’t seen anything yet! This second book breaks out of the typical “second book in a series” mold as Humphries writes a full story to keep readers on their toes.

When I read the first book I thought it was pretty good. Not the best thing I’ve read but I was intrigued and felt a bit invested in the characters to want to read more. I wasn’t disappointed to say the least! This second installment was a lot more than I was expecting and kept me on my toes the whole time.

I didn’t know what was going to happen next, who was involved or who might make it out alive. I came out the other side even more so invested in Ruby’s life and those around her. I was rooting for her the whole time and with the additional layer that was added to her story with two characters – Skryker and Quinn, you knew there was going to be trouble around every choice this fierce character made

And then you have Ruby’s boyfriend Liam who we meet in the first book and man, what the heck is going on with him? He killed me in this book. I was so devastated and confused and the anger I felt was almost enough to make me want to throw my Kindle across the room. I mean serious, Liam? SERIOUSLY?!

Ruby is without a doubt a character with a dark side. She’s fighting to remain who she is yet has people pushing and pulling her from every side and is bound to make mistakes, and I mean she’s a teen girl, so mistakes will happen even without all she has going on around her.

With the introduction of new characters and many pieces of the story still left to uncover I foresee yet another book to follow, which I’m looking forward to because, well, there’s so much I’d like to see wrapped up.

If readers are looking for two great books with lots of action, mystery and teenage angst, look no further. YA and adult readers alike will find that Ruby is an old soul and had to do a lot of growing up in her short life to find her where she is now. She’s a multi layered character who knows her way around a gun and isn’t afraid to use it. Enjoy!

About the Author:

Jessie Humphries was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. She received a BA from San Diego State University, where she cultivated her love of the beach, then lived in France, where she cultivated her weakness for shoes, and finally earned a law degree from UNLV, where she cultivated her interest in justice. After practicing law for several years she began writing, and, appropriately, her debut novel Killing Ruby Rose is a thriller about vigilante justice set in sunny southern California with a shoe-obsessed protagonist. Jessie currently writes and practices law in Las Vegas, where she lives with her husband and children.

Find Jessie Online:

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Title: Forever Kinda Love (Lovelly, #1)
Author: Clara Stone
Genre: Mature YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: 246 Pages (August 15th, 2014)
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Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK

Synopsis: Life’s. Little. Surprises.

The last thing seven-year-old Carrigan "Ace" Casper foresaw was an eight-year-old Heath Lovelly walking into her life the day her mother died. From that moment on, Heath sticks by her side, slowly becoming her strength, her confidant, and her entire world. What she doesn’t know is, she's his saving grace, too.

Ten years later, Ace is handed another crippling challenge that threatens everything in her almost perfect life. Only, this time, she doesn't turn to Heath, hiding the truth instead. But Heath knows Ace too well and won't back down easily. He's ready to do whatever it takes and will stay by her side until she accepts that their love is the kinda love worth fighting for.

Will he be her forever triumph or her unexpected downfall?

Two lives.

One story.

And an unexpected journey to falling in love.


“Ace!” It comes out like a relieved cough. I run to her, but stop before I pull her to me. Her arms are wrapped around her small body, and her head is tilted down.
“I’m sorry,” I finally say through heavy breaths. “But only because of the way I told you.”
She looks up through her wet eyelashes, confused.
“I’m not sorry that I’ve fallen for my best friend. I’m not sorry that I kissed you, and I sure as hell am not sorry that I told you.” I wipe the tears rolling down her cheeks.
She sniffles. “But what about—”

“Doesn’t matter.” I cut her off.

“And the whole—”

“We’ll figure it out.”
“What if—”
I step toward her. “The only thing I want to know is if you feel the same way about me. That’s the only if I care about.”
She stares into my eyes, like she doesn’t know what to say. Then she admits, “I’m afraid, Heath.”
“Me too.” I place my hands on either side of her shoulders and lean in. The fresh smell of strawberries assaults my lungs. “But not about us. I’ve never been afraid of us, Ace. Not that first day at the hospital, or the first time I kissed you.”
“You weren’t?” Disbelief colors her question.
I shake my head. “It was like taking a breath of fresh air after inhaling toxins my entire life. Wasn’t it like that for you?”
“I-I . . .” She pauses, chewing on her lower lip, then nods. “I guess.”
I close a little more distance between us. There’s only a hair’s breadth left. “I know you’re afraid. But I’m asking, just this once . . . forget all the reasons you can’t and believe in that one reason you should. Listen to your heart, baby. What does it tell you?”
I know what mine’s telling me. It’s Ace. She’s it for me.
She opens her mouth, closes it, then does that again, like she’s battling with herself. “But what if—”
“We’ll figure it out.” I cup her cheek, running my thumb over it. “I’ve never let you down before, and I’m not going to start now.”
She studies me, her eyebrows pinched together. Finally, she responds: “Okay.”

She smiles, then bites down on her lip. “Yes. Okay. Oui.”

About the Author:

Clara Stone lives in the beautiful city of Boise, ID. Unlike what most believe about Idaho, it’s more than a sack full of potatoes. When she’s not writing, you’ll catch Clara reading YA and NA books, mostly romance, and enjoying time with her family. She is a proud CW TV addict.

Find Clara Online:

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29 October 2014

Title: The Fighter (Foundation #2)
Author: Kira Adams 
Publisher: (October 28th, 2014)
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Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK, CreateSpace

Synopsis: Junior year was supposed to be some of the best times of his life. Instead, Jace Austin lost not only his mother, but also his identical twin brother. After time to heal and grieve, Jace was able to confront his inner demons, and open himself up to love.

Senior year is shaping up to be more of the same; another day, another roller coaster. His father believes Jace is to blame for the deaths in their family; drinking himself numb. He can’t play the hero all the time, and one day soon Jace is going to come face to face with that reality—and let’s face it, it won’t be pretty.

Excerpt from The Fighter:

“What are you doing?” She asked, giggling.
“I’m savoring you,” I answered before moving my kisses right across her jawline. She was getting worked up, I could tell by the death grip she had on the couch cushions.
My hot breath hovered over her neck for only a second before I lowered my lips to her skin; feeling her squirm. I traced my kisses lightly from her jawline to her shoulder blade, enjoying every moment I felt her shudder beneath me; her breath deepening.
Suddenly, the power shifted. Peyton had managed to trade places with me, and she was now straddling me. She rarely took charge, but when she did, God was she sexy. Her lips were now the ones trailing my jawline and neck. I grabbed her face in my hand, gently, and then kissed her furiously. I wanted to be closer; I needed to be closer. She deepened the kiss, allowing my tongue to enter her mouth, another move she rarely made. She was full of surprises today.
We were now heavily panting and fully grinding; our make out session turning us both on to the highest degree. Peyton had been reaching for my shirt when we heard the knock on the door.

Title: Pieces of Me (Foundation #1)
Author: Kira Adams 
Publisher: (August 11th, 2014)
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Synopsis: For sixteen year old Peyton Lane, life has never been easy. She’s not popular, overweight, and oh yeah, her sister is embarrassed of her. But over the course of a tumultuous year, everything changes for Peyton.

Suddenly all eyes are on her and it’s not because she’s fat. From a pair of handsome twins to a couple of dangerously sexy rockers, Peyton will have to find out who she can trust with her heart. From the ups and downs to the twists and turns—this is Peyton’s story of finding one’s voice and growing into your own.

This is a coming of age romance that involves realistic situations and raw emotions. This is Pieces of Me.

About the Author:

Krista Pakseresht has always been a dreamer. From the first time she opened her eyes. Creating worlds through words is one thing she is truly talented at. She specializes in Young adult/New adult romance, horror, action, fantasy, and non-fiction under the pen name Kira Adams.

She is the author of the Infinite Love series, the Foundation series, the Darkness Falls series, and the Looking Glass series.

Find Kira/Krista Online:

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"Waiting On" Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. The purpose of this weekly event is to spotlight a soon-to-be-released book that you are very much anticipating. "Waiting On" Wednesday will also give bloggers an opportunity to share ideas for our TBR lists.

Title: Pull (Push #2)
Author: Claire Wallis
Publisher: (November 6th, 2014)
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Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: PULL is the continuation of Claire Wallis' sharp and shocking debut novel, PUSH. It is the second book in the series and is not intended to be a standalone.

"It is impossible for someone like me—someone with a sin-list capable of wrapping itself around the world—to find redemption. To be repaired."

David Calgaro has secrets, and the only woman he's ever loved is about to pay the ultimate price to protect them. He's spent a lifetime searching for purpose and control. And the only place he's managed to find them is in a single, perfect moment; a moment in which he has absolute control over someone else's life.

David is unredeemable, unfixable, unsalvageable. But Emma Searfoss has forced a tiny sliver of hope to penetrate his soul. Hope that, even though redemption is impossible, maybe life isn't. Maybe he isn't who he thought he was. Maybe he's meant to be more.

This is a new adult novel with mature content for readers 17 and up.

Title: Chasing the Tide
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Publisher: (December 16th, 2014)
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Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: ***The powerful continuation of the story that began in Reclaiming the Sand- a tale of love and forgiveness and learning to over come a past that has come to define you.***

Bully and Victim

Friend and Lover

Past and Future

Ellie McCallum and Flynn Hendrick’s story was as painful as it was devastating.  But they were able to find within each other an unlikely yet beautiful love. Despite the obstacles that tried to keep them apart.

And together they rose out of the ashes of their tragic history.

Now years after their life changing reunion Ellie is back in Wellston, having just graduated from college and ready to start her future with the man who taught her how to love. However, returning to a town that held so much bitterness and anger was the last place she wanted to start over.

But for Flynn, who is now an art professor at the community college and firmly rooted in the place that gave them their beginning, she’d do just about anything.

Yet it’s difficult building a life when you’ve only just learned how to live.

 And love, no matter how strong, doesn’t always conquer all.

Ellie and Flynn must learn how far they are willing to go to stay together. Or whether the ghosts of the past will consume them both.

Because finding a happily ever after is harder than it seems. Particularly when you’re fighting against the one thing that could destroy you.


Happy Wednesday!!! Today I have two sequels for books that I still can't stop thinking about. I loved these stories and these characters and soon I'll be able to read more! I'm so excited! 

If you haven't read the first books for either of these two you DON'T know what the heck you're missing! 

*covers are always subject to change.

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28 October 2014

Title: Wanting Forever (Nelson Island)
Author: Diana Gardin
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 7, 2014)
Genre:  New Adult Contemporary Romance
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NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: Sometimes the one thing you want is exactly what you can't have.

For Sam Waters, it's Aston Hopewell. Talk about a girl out of his league. But he's just a hired hand, happy to keep his head down and work hard on her father's ranch. With a warrant out for his arrest, he can't afford trouble. 

Everyone thinks Aston's life is perfect, but she knows the truth: nothing is as it seems. The only one who gets that is Sam. He understands her in a way no one ever has. But even he won't tell her everything-until the night that changes their destiny forever . . . (70,000 words)

Author Interview:

Hi Diana! Welcome and thanks for taking the time to visit with me today about your latest book – Wanting Forever.

Hey, Lisa! Thanks so much for having me. I love A Life Bound By Books!

For those who haven’t heard about the book yet – Wanting Forever is a contemporary “New Adult” title about Sam Waters and Aston Hopewell. Can you tell readers… in your own words what their story is about?

Sure! WANTING FOREVER is about two people crossing paths who never expected to meet. They’re from two totally different worlds. In fact, Sam isn’t even supposed to be in Nelson Island, which is Aston’s hometown. He just ends up there after he took off from his own hometown. He left home after sacrificing his own freedom for a girl he grew up loving and protecting. Throughout his journey in Nelson Island, he grows into the man he was always supposed to be, and Aston is a huge part of that growth.

What was the easiest and hardest thing about writing this story?

The easiest thing about writing this story was falling in love with my hero. Sam is different from other New Adult heroes I’ve read. He’s all man, but he doesn’t have to sleep around or be majorly possessive to show it. Not that I haven’t fallen in love with plenty of those heroes in recent NA novels myself! But Sam is definitely one-of-a-kind.

The most difficult thing about it was making sure that Sam and Aston didn’t jump the gun! I didn’t want their feelings for each other to be rushed or to happen sooner than would be acceptable for readers.

And while we’re talking about writing, can you tell us about how you came up with the idea?

Actually, the working title came to me one day completely out of the blue. I wanted to write a story called WANTED, and I wanted the hero to ride into a strange town on a Harley. From that tiny thought, Sam was born. He turned out less rough-around-the-edges than I intended, because his heart is pure sweetness. But I ended up loving him just the way he turned out.

Can you share with us a favorite line or two from Wanting Forever?

My very favorite line comes when Sam sees Aston as the sexy woman she is for the first time. The moment takes place outside their favorite bar, and she appears outside as he’s arriving, wearing cowgirl boots. Sam can’t freaking resist those boots!

“Aston,” he said, his voice barely a whisper. She trembled, finally recognizing the precarious situation they were tiptoeing around. “Yes Sam?” “I need you to step away from me, now. Go inside, grab me a beer, and get your ass and those boots under a table. Okay?”

I know I wrote it, but geez! It makes me swoon every single time.

Could you ask Sam and Aston to each describe the other for us?

Sam, of Aston: She’s incredibly strong. She’s crazy-beautiful. She’s also incredibly lonely. I can’t for the life of me figure out why every man in her life treats her like she’s unbreakable. She’s far from it. She needs someone to hold her sometimes, whether she think she wants it or not.

Aston, of Sam: He’s big…really big. All those ex-football player muscles could just wrap me up tight. He’s hot as hell, but he drives me insane! Why doesn’t he realize that everything he’s ever needed is standing right in front of him? All he has to do is reach out…and take it.

And lastly, what do you hope readers will take away from Sam and Aston’s story?

Actually, what I want them to take away has nothing to do with Sam and Aston! There’s a major betrayal in the story, and I want readers to keep an open mind about it. There’s two sides to every story, and Ever’s story definitely needs to be told. That’s why her story is book two, a novella just for Ever called EVER ALWAYS. It’s going to be such a raw, emotional read!

Diana thanks for stopping by.It was great spending some time with you, please feel free to drop in anytime!!

I loved being here today, Lisa! And I would love to come back sometime soon!

About the Author: 

Diana Gardin was born and raised combing the coasts of Southeastern Virginia. She is now a happy resident of South Carolina as she married into an enormous Carolina-rooted family. She loves the beach, and even more than that she loves to read while sitting on the beach.

While writing was always a passion of Diana’s, she enrolled in college to become an elementary-school teacher.After eight years of teaching in both Virginia and South Carolina, she decided to stay at home with her first child. This decision is what opened her eyes to the fact that she still very much loved to write, and her first novel was written.

Diana is also the author of the Young Adult novel COLOR BLIND and the New Adult series the Ashes series.

Find Diana Online:

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YAY for the Release Day Launch for Cora Carmack's ALL BROKE DOWN!! ALL BROKE DOWN is a New Adult Contemporary Romance novel being published by HarperCollins, and it is the 2nd book in The Rusk University Series.

All Broke Down Title: All Broke Down (Rusk University #2)
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks, 368 Pages (October 28th, 2014)
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Order here: Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+
Synopsis: In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can't only fight for what you believe in... sometimes you have to fight for what you love.

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help. Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

ABD Teaser 1


I think I get it then. That decision I saw in her eyes back in the kitchen. That’s what this, what I’m about for her, too. I’m just another part of whatever rebellion she started earlier today. About doing what she wants, not what’s expected of her.

“We’re not talking about me, though,” she says. “So you went to meet your friend, and then what happened?”

She keeps her eyes down as she picks up the gauze and begins winding it snugly around the knuckles of one hand, and then the other.

“He said the wrong thing.”

“Which was?”

“Dylan.” Now it’s her that’s pushing too hard. I didn’t want to talk about things with my friends, and I won’t talk about them with her, either, no matter how gorgeous she is.

“I’ll guess. You were mad about what he did, and he wasn’t sorry.”

“This isn’t middle school, Pickle. He didn’t hurt my feelings. He said some shit he had no business saying, and it pissed me off. The end.”

“But you don’t think some of that anger stems from what you feel is a betrayal of your friendship?”

She finishes taping down the last of the gauze, but doesn’t let go of my hand.

“I think you’re analyzing me again. Making things more complicated than they are.”

“And I think you’re just a guy who doesn’t like to admit he has feelings.” She drags out the word, teasing me with some goofy smile on her face. I turn my hand over so I can clutch her wrist. I curlmy other bandaged hand around her waist and pull her closer.

“I feel plenty of things.”

The teasing stops. She swallows.

“I wasn’t talking about that kind of feeling.”

With her standing and me sitting, I’m eye level with her chest. I see the sharp rise and fall as she sucks in a breath. I want her in my lap again, straddling me this time.

“Doesn’t mean we can’t talk about that kind of feeling. Or experiment with it.”

“Is that Stella girl an ex?”

I cough, surprised. My throat twists uncomfortably, and it takes me a couple of solid breaths to get a hold on myself.

“Ah, no. Stella and I have never dated.”

“Have you—”

“Do you ever run out of questions?”

“Not ever.” She turns playful again, and I’m done doing this the careful way. If she wants a rebellion, I’ll be the one to give it to her. I want her against me, and I’m tired of waiting.

I pull her forward, insinuating my knees between hers, and her body naturally follows, settling across my thighs. Her lips part, but she catches herself before she gasps this time. I keep her steady with my hands at her waist and say, “I’ll make you a deal. A question for a kiss.”

Tentatively, she lays her palms against my shoulders. They rest there, her grip light and casual. She ponders my offer for a moment, and it drives me mad that she can do that while our hips are inches away from alignment.

“Okay then. Are you—”

I cut her off. “Not so fast, Dylan Brenner. I’ve already answered one question. We’ve got to settle up first.”

I wrap her braid around my hand like I’ve been waiting to do all night, and I use it to pull her head back just enough that I can crush my mouth against hers.

And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP Today!

All Lined Up

About Cora Carmack:
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Find Cora Online:
Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** ALL BROKE DOWN Goodreads 

ABD Teaser 3


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27 October 2014

Title: At Any Moment (Gaming the System #3)
Author: Brenna Aubrey
Publisher: Silver Griffon Associates, (October 27, 2014)
Add to: Goodreads
Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: It’s Dangerous to Go Alone!

Mia Strong never expected to be deciding the rest of her life at age twenty-two. Is she willing to become a human lab rat? Does she need to write a will? Does she ever want a family--and if so, with whom? She can't dodge the tough questions--not if she plans to live to see twenty-three. With her life hanging in the balance, Mia wants nothing more than to rely on Adam Drake, but he’s hurt her before.

You Must Gather Your Party Before Venturing Forth…

Adam Drake knows that he's made mistakes, but when he discovers what Mia's facing, he realizes how much those mistakes could cost him. Now he has to choose between being the man who can save Mia's life or the man she can love. No matter how much it tears him apart, Adam knows he has to put Mia first...even if it means he's out of the picture entirely.

Will their love survive this epic battle or is it game over?

This novel is the third and final book in Adam and Mia's trilogy, but they will be featured in future Gaming the System novels.


          “What’s wrong?”
          She waited to answer me, keeping her gaze glued to the sky. “I can’t find Draco.”
          I looked up again. There were no stars to be seen. The black of night was completely covered by the dull gray of low coastal clouds.
          She took in a shaky breath and then shot me a look before her eyes darted away like skittish birds. “You told me that Draco is always in the sky—no matter what time of night, no matter where you are in the northern hemisphere. You can always find it. But I can’t see it tonight. What does that mean?”
          I reached out and touched her smooth, cool cheek with the back of my knuckles. She was trembling so slightly that it was almost impossible to notice. “You can’t see Draco because you can’t see any stars tonight. It’s the marine layer.”
          The breath shivered out between her lips and she closed her eyes. I continued to stroke her cheek. “I want to see it. I need to see it.”
          “You just have to trust me. You can’t see it, but it’s there, I promise. Do you trust me?”
          Her head sank as she lay back flat on the sand. I bent over her, looking upside down into her eyes. Our gazes locked. Suddenly it was hard to breathe. I stroked her cheek again. Her eyelids fluttered like butterfly wings. She was as delicate as one of them. As fragile. And I’d never thought of her in those terms before.
          She was vulnerable. And in many ways she was at the mercy of everyone around her. Including me. My throat tightened.
          She watched me for long moments, reaching up and hooking her hand around my neck as if afraid I would pull away. “You know what I love most about your eyes?” she asked.
          I frowned, confused at the abrupt change of subject.
          Her thumb moved across the back of my neck and I tried to ignore the tingling her light touch evoked. I wanted to pull her hand away but she was so breakable. 
          “They are so beautiful—your eyes. And so different.”
          I sighed, tried to laugh it off. Emilia’s intensity was unusual but not surprising. It didn’t take a genius to understand why she’d be feeling somber tonight. “Men don’t like being called beautiful…”
          She grimaced at me and I saw a glimpse of my Mia return. “Whatever. Deal with it. Your eyes are beautiful. In a totally manly way, of course.”
          I smiled but didn’t reply.
          She tightened the clamp of her hand around my neck, pulling me closer to her. Our eyes were inches from each other but I didn’t look away though intensity of her gaze made me feel like I was staring into a 1000-watt spotlight.
          “They are so dark, so mysterious. I used to think of them as curtains, or shutters. To close off what was going on inside. But tonight I think of them as…mirrors. Reflecting everything. I can see myself in there.”
          My breath stuttered a little. “Oh…” I answered in the smallest whisper that seemed to get swallowed up in the ambient sounds around us, the regular lap of the water on the shore, the distant hiss of the freeway even in the early morning. “Oh, you’re in there, Mia. You are most definitely in there.”
          And then without thinking, just feeling, my mouth sank to hers. I was bent over her, our heads facing different ways, my top lip sealed over her bottom lip, and she opened to me and I tasted her. I was kissing her upside down. And this kiss held more than passion, more than a declaration of desire. It held love. My love. Her love. They collided like waves crashing against a barrier that prevented them from meeting. Like that rugged, unmovable jetty that protected the harbor from the worst of the weather on the south-facing coast.
          “Spider-man kisses,” she murmured against my mouth. I kissed her chin, her cheeks and the tip of her nose. She referred to the famous kiss Spider-man shared with Mary Jane in the first Marvel movie.Completely unaware that Spider-man was her next-door neighbor, Peter Parker, Mary Jane had peeled back his mask from the bottom half of his face and passionately kissed him in the rain as he dangled upsidedown from his web. Spider-man kisses.
          But was I as disguised to her as Peter Parker had been from Mary Jane? In many ways, I was. I wore a mask because this wasn’t the time for us to deal with all the bullshit that had gone on between us. My lies. Her lies. Our respective secrets. They’d created that barrier between our hearts and there was no telling if they were surmountable. 
          A thin, silvery tear leaked from the corner of her eye. I pretended not to notice, pulling back, stroking her cheek.
          “I’m sorry…for everything,” she whispered.
          “I know. I’m sorry for everything too.”

About the Author: 

Brenna Aubrey is an author of New Adult contemporary romance stories that center on geek culture. Her debut novel, AT ANY PRICE, releases in December, 2013.

She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna's favorite author is Jane Austen and favorite novel is PERSUASION.

Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover's heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. A mommy to two little kids and teacher to many more older kids, she juggles schedules to find time to pursue her love of storycrafting.

She currently resides on the west coast with her husband, two children, two adorable golden retriever pups, two birds and some fish.

Find Brenna Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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