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About Holidays Ever After:

Which holiday hottie will you unwrap first?

No matter the time of the year, it’s always the season for seduction!

From Spicy to Sweet and everything in between, this sizzling boxed set of TWENTY contemporary romances from today’s New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors will give you tons of holiday hunks to fall in love with.

Inside these pages you’ll find everything from sexy strangers and brooding billionaires to marines, firefighters, and the guy next door.

Whether you’re in the mood for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, or a New Year’s celebration, this limited edition Holiday Ever After anthology is packed with exclusive, full-length titles to lift your spirits. From Halloween to Kwanzaa, Valentine’s Day, Norooz, and the Fourth of July, these stories will give your holiday season extra spark and will be the best romantic holiday bundle to hit your ereader this year!

Get ready to heat up your holidays when you treat yourself to Holidays Ever After!

Hot & Sinful Nights Spotlight: No Strings Attached By Marie Long

You’ll love Hot and Sinful Nights. 22 full length novels including…No Strings Attached by Marie Long…

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Desmond Black worked the doors of the New York City clubs for five years as he struggled to escape the haunting nightmares of his younger sister’s death. One night, he takes his anger out on an unruly patron, ultimately costing him his job. While drowning his sorrows in whiskey, Desmond meets the mysterious and talented bass player, Tianna Gadson. He senses there’s more to her than she’s letting on. The closer he gets to her, the more he realizes his feelings for her have become hazardous to them both—attracting the attention of a dangerous underground organization with its sights on Tianna and her family.

 

Is Desmond willing to risk his life for Tianna? Or will he be forced to keep their relationship strictly business?

Excerpt:

Whiskey tends to taste better when my brain is wrecked. Not even the light jazz music playing on stage can soothe my nerves. My mind has been in a week-long spiral from hell, and I wish I could just forget.
But that’s not gonna happen. I’m a man with dignity, and I stand by my decision.
You didn’t take the first swing; he did, I keep telling myself. Last week is a blur. That beautiful girl—what was her name? Danielle?—thought she could sneak into the club with a fake ID and her fortysomething ‘boyfriend.’ But I’ve dealt with that shit in my line of work far too many times. Her sugar daddy thought she was privileged to go to this club or something because she was so young, so ‘innocent.’ No, you stupid sick fuck.
I’d expected the usual: a plastered look of utter shock, a declaration of authenticity, and a smirk as some rolled-up cash was discreetly forced into my hand. I would’ve proceeded to bounce them right on their pretentious asses. But no, this guy decided to be a punk instead, lashing out with a solid punch to my ribs. If I hadn’t stepped back, he would’ve broken his hand on my damn near harder-than-steel body. I’d returned the sentiment. My knuckles felt nice across that asshole’s face. But apparently, the ‘excessive force’ had cost me a one-week job suspension without pay. Unlike the grungier underground New York City clubs I’d been used to for years, the elite Posh Diamond Luxury Lounge preferred subtler means to remove unruly patrons. Thank God I had friends in high places who were able to get my assault charges dropped.
I pick up my shot glass and stare at its light-brown contents. I’m sure that bastard’s doing whatever he pleases to that poor girl. He strikes me as the type, and rarely am I ever wrong. It comes with the territory—and the job—of being around a lot of personalities for long periods of time. You can read people, know their intentions, empathize, almost like a sixth sense.
I down the shot in one gulp and set the glass on the bar top with a clunk, thinking about how fucked up some people are.
Charlie comes over with a bottle of whiskey. “You look like shit. Need another?”
I can’t waste away like this. I made a promise a long time ago that I wouldn’t. I nod and casually flick my hand. “Yeah, sure, man. One more.”
The corner of his mouth twitches, and he fills the shot glass. I swipe it up and stare at its contents.
“Listen, Desmond.” Charlie wipes the bar with a white cloth. “It could’ve been worse. At least you still have a job, y’know?”
I snort. “Shit like that gets under my skin, Charlie. There’re too many desperate people out there looking for acceptance. For love, whatever that means.” I down the shot. “I can’t help them.”
“No, you can’t. For some people, that’s the only life they know.”
I swivel in the high-backed barstool and look out at the crowd. The nightclub’s packed for a Thursday night. Couples sit at tiny tables and loungers, and larger groups claim the semicircular booths surrounding a small stage, where a four-man jazz band plays. “Say, you got any work around here for me?” I ask Charlie without looking at him.
“Nah, kid. Joe’s got it.”
Applause erupts from the crowd as the band wraps up. I look back at Charlie, who’s nervously checking his watch.
“Damn, where is she?” he mutters.
I arch an eyebrow. “Who?”
“Marigold.”
“Since when did you start hiring strippers?”
He chuckles. “She’s a local jazz artist. She was scheduled for an eleven o’clock gig, but…” He checks his watch again and frowns. “This ain’t the way to make a good first impression. Know what I’m sayin’?”
I nod and gaze out at the crowd, letting the lull of voices ease my mind. So many personalities and so many stories. Some of those stories I know all too well, like the three men in a round booth center right of the stage—players, all of them, from their too-nice button-down shirts and designer blazers to their flashy bling and gaudy sports shoes.
Their faces are flushed, their eyes glazed. They laugh and make lewd comments at an approaching waitress carrying a pitcher of beer. She hastily refills their drinks, avoiding eye contact, turns, and hustles to another table.
“Christ, there she is!” Charlie suddenly says, and I whip my head around.
A girl rushes through the entrance, snaking her way through a small group of people on their way out. She carries a black guitar case on her back. A bright-orange marigold is tucked in the white headband holding back her shoulder-length dreadlocks. Out of breath, she reaches the bar and plasters an exhausted smile on her full lips. “Hi, I’m Marigold,” she says between pants. “Sorry I’m late.”
Charlie’s lips form a thin line. “S’alright, Miss Marigold.” He gestures to the stage with his head. “Go on. Your audience awaits.”
She smiles graciously and brushes past me. For a brief moment, we lock eyes. She’s got those doe eyes, brought out with a little makeup. She’s beautiful. Her gaze falters and moves to a point beside me, as if she’s overwhelmed by the initial contact. I sense beyond that beauty, she carries an ugly story.
She gets up on stage, sits on the stool, and retrieves her bass guitar and a small MP3 player from her backpack-like case. It takes her less than a minute to set up. She does a quick tune of her strings then smiles at the audience. The stage track lights shine on her smooth mocha skin and bring out the bright red of her halter-top.
“Hi, everyone. My name is Marigold. Thank you for having me here tonight. I hope you’re all enjoying yourselves.” She scans the room as she talks, her eyes settling briefly at the bar—on Charlie, most likely. Lucky son of a bitch.
A mix of mellow drum and piano accompaniment filters through the stage speakers, and Marigold starts to play. Her fingers glide across the strings with ease as she produces some articulate vibes that I can’t help bobbing my head to. The audience falls silent, puts down their phones, and stares attentively toward the stage, moving their bodies in time with the beat.
Then she starts to sing. She doesn’t need a mic. Her beautiful voice, relaxed and flowing like smooth velvet, carries throughout the room, complementing the low, mellow strums of the guitar.
“…Why, oh why, do the birds gotta fly?
Fly so far, far away from me?
Why, oh why, can’t I spread these wings?
Spread these wings and fly so free…”
“Wow” doesn’t even begin to describe her multiple talents.
Charlie tends to a patron a few stools down then returns to me.
“She’s good,” I say.
Charlie nods. “Yeah. I guess I can forgive her for being late just this once.”
Smiling, I look back at her. She’s fearless as she sits up there alone, strumming her heart out. But fear and doubt are definitely in her. She reminds me of Little Miss Danielle, except Marigold looks several years older. Marigold’s song speaks of what I can see in her eyes. She sings about pain and running away, but she hides it in her catchy tune. The audience seems none the wiser.
My smile fades as I look at the group of guys in the corner, who appear pretty damn close to their drinking limits. They eye Marigold like a pack of hungry wolves. Thankfully, they stay put and quiet while she plays. Wandering waiters and waitresses keep their drinks coming.
Marigold sings four more songs, and before I know it, it’s already midnight. Marigold’s show is over. She rises from her stool, bows, and receives massive applause from the crowd. Even the drunk guys are on their feet, clapping wildly and whistling. She packs up her things. Some audience members make their ways to the exit.
I release the breath I’d been unconsciously holding. “Wow, Charlie, you have got to have her back here.”
“I plan to.” Charlie grins. “That was the loudest applause I’ve heard all night. Not bad for a stripper, eh?”
It’s my turn to laugh.
Marigold stops at the bar and smiles at Charlie. “Thank you so much for letting me play. And I’m sorry again for being late.”
Charlie shakes his head. “Don’t worry about that. You did a good show. When are you available to come back?”
Her doe eyes widen. “Whenever you want me, sir!”
He grins. “Okay, how about this Saturday? Same time?”
“That’s perfect! I will be here. Thank you so much.”
They shake hands, and she brushes past me again. The side of her guitar case bumps into my arm. She stops and turns around, her face flushed. “I’m sorry, sir.”
I smile at her cute look of embarrassment. “It’s all right. Hey, you were pretty good up there. Great show.”
“Thank you.”
I look at the case. “Do you need some help with that?”
“No, I got it. Thanks.” She heads for the exit.
I watch her leave, taking in every bit of her from behind. When she’s gone, I face Charlie, who smirks at me. “Ever the gentleman, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, and what of it?” I puff out my chest.
He laughs and moves farther down the bar, gathering up the empty wine and shot glasses.
I glance out at the rest of the club. The crowd’s gotten considerably thinner. I look for the guys in the corner, but they’re gone. A waitress is busy cleaning the table with a grateful look on her face.
Remembering the primal way those guys ogled her, I feel my throat tighten. Did those guys leave with Marigold? She couldn’t have gone far unless she took a taxi home. I tap the bar to get Charlie’s attention. “Hey, I’ll see you later.”
Charlie gives me a small salute and turns to another group of customers. I grab my baseball cap out of the empty chair next to me and hurry outside. Even on an early Friday morning, Midtown Manhattan is still busy. I look around for any signs of Marigold, but she’s nowhere to be found. Shoving my hands in my pockets, I cross the street toward the subway station. A small crowd emerges, and something on the stairs catches my eye. I stop. On the second step is an orange marigold, trampled by many feet. My skin prickles. Is she in trouble? I look down the stairs. A few more people come and go, brushing past me as though I don’t exist. I head underground…

Click to get Hot & Sinful Nights at your favorite retailer…

Enter to win $100 Gift Card AND 1 Year of PassionFlix here plus pre-order bonuses:

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About the Author:

Marie Long is a novelist who enjoys the snowy weather, the mountains, and a cup of hot white chocolate. She’s an avid supporter of literacy movements like We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
Join Marie’s newsletter and get a FREE story! www.MarieLongAuthor.com/newsletter

Author Links:

Website: http://www.marielongauthor.com
Newsletter: http://www.marielongauthor.com/newsletter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marielongauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marielongauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marielongauthor
Goodreads: https://goodreads.com/marie_long
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/marielongauthor
Google+: plus.google.com/+MarieLongAuthor/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marie-long
Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/marielong

Hot & Sinful Nights Spotlight: Noblesword By Katalina Leon

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Exclusively featuring….

NOBLESWORD

By Katalina Leon

 

Did curiosity really kill the cat, or did the cat decide that facing life with her curiosity unsatisfied wasn’t worth living?

If you felt safe, would you sign a contract that allowed an exclusive sex club to claim you as their property for twelve hours?

If exciting partners could deliver your wildest fantasies, would you submit?

If the situation were completely secure and all members vetted, would you say yes?

If management knew what you really wanted and not just what you said you wanted, would you say, take me, I’m ready?

Gwen Bel Geddes just did.

Now she’s going to discover the secret to one of the world’s most exclusive sexual boutiques. Going undercover as a submissive, Gwen turns herself over body and soul to be transformed into an erotic plaything for wealthy dominant men and a very special man stakes his claim on her.

Noblesword is a lush “free play zone” where adults can express themselves and test their personal boundaries. Erotic games of every description are played here. Gwen must determine for herself if the risqué Noblesword is as dangerous as it looks or simply an erotic circus of the mind.

Would you sign the contract and take the biggest sexual adventure of your life?

Note: At Noblesword sexual expression is encouraged. Be warned that the novel contains graphic material, BDSM, some sensual f/f interaction along with a described m/m/f ménage.

 

Noblesword -katalina-leonWant a free taste of NOBLESWORD?

Claim a sample chapter here: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/IJTUo

 

Author Bio.

katalina-leon-picKatalina Leon is an artist and author who can’t commit to a single romance subgenre. Her favorite playgrounds are historical, sci-fi, contemporary, and most of all paranormal realms. Lately, she has paranormal romance and vampires on the brain. Katalina brings a sense of adventure and a touch of the mystical to romance. She believes there’s a daring heroine inside every woman who wants to take a wild ride with a strong, worthy hero.

 

Read More from Katalina Leon

www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BIXI8BQ

https://www.facebook.com/katalinaleonauthor/

www.katalinaleon.com

 

Charity Anthology for St. Jude’s & Special Giveaway!

`*•.¸(`*•.¸(`*•.¸★¸.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•*´

★★ SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT & GIVEAWAY! ★★

¸.•*´(¸.•*´(¸.•*´★`*•.¸)`*•.¸)`*•.¸

Schmexy Girl Book Blog and I are so proud to be working with 20 amazing authors to bring you Drunk In Love, a charity anthology! The idea for this anthology came up over lunch almost a year ago. Since then, Jesey Newman, one of the founders of Schmexy Girl, and I have been working on organizing and planning this grand event! We handpicked our talented authors and invited them to join us on this journey.

100% of the digital proceeds of Drunk In Love will be donated directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This is a charity that is near and dear to all of our hearts and we have been working so hard to bring this to all of you! Without further delay, here are some of the details of this wonderful project!

Cover Reveal – February 13, 2017

Release Day – March 13, 2017

**Bloggers sign up HERE**

Synopsis

A glittering diamond, the promise of forever, and the hope that your future in-laws will move to a galaxy far, far away…sounds like a decadent recipe for eternal happiness, doesn’t it? All girls dream about their wedding day, fantasize about each and every gooey-delicious detail. It’s so easy to get scooped by the champagne bubbles and swallowed by our dreams. But we all know the magical path toward happily ever after is not always sprinkled with pixie dust. Sometimes, we stumble over our plans for a perfect future and choke on the words promising forever. We watch the path take a defiant turn away from our blissful paradise because everybody has secrets, and skeletons, and fears.

And sometimes, being drunk in love isn’t always enough.

What Authors Are Participating?

Amy Daws, AM Johnson, Melissa Collins, Carey Heywood, Elle Brooks, Isabelle Richards, Jeannine Colette, JD Hollyfield, Liv Morris, Meghan Quinn, Kandi Steiner, Mariah Dietz, Tori Madison, AD Justice, Kristen Luciani, MD Saperstein, Ryan Ringbloom, MJ Fields, Kathryn Andrews & Katy Regnery

Where can you get it? Available for pre-order at these retailers…

Add to Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

Please help us spread the word about this fabulous announcement!!! Comment on and then share our Facebook post (click HERE) on your Facebook and Twitter accounts, using #DrunkInLove for your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card!!!

Would You Please Sign My Kindle??

Okay, I spend a lot of time covering ideas that others have but here’s one I’ve mulled over…

People love autographed copies of books, especially books they actually enjoyed reading.  But how does that work if your library is in electronic form and all of your books are downloaded to a Kindle or Nook?

No hard copy to treasure and pass on to your kids?  Or to eBay if the author is(gets) really famous?? =)

Courtesy of www.villagebooks.com

Courtesy of www.villagebooks.com

There are many varieties of autograph apps out there but I haven’t seen something specifically compatible for the e-readers. Wouldn’t it be great to bring your device to a book signing? Or have an author gift you an electronically signed copy of their bestselling book, Unlikely Venture? (Wink, wink).

Sign with your finger and BAM! You’ve got digital swag!!!

Courtesy of www.starmarks.net

Courtesy of www.starmarks.net

I Promise I’m Not An Author-Stalker!

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I’m a little bleary-eyed as I write this.  It’s been a looooong day for me.  I woke up at 4:00 AM because I couldn’t breathe (damn forced air).  Then I tossed and turned for about half an hour before I gave up on any hope of getting a few more winks. 

By that time, my mind was on high alert and I got the brilliant idea for a high drama scene in my second book (still sans title because I’m only on page 30).  I logged a few notes in my iPhone but it just didn’t suffice.  I needed to get the words out, right then.  So I got a cup of coffee and clacked away on my keyboard for an hour. 

I love it.  It’s rough, but has so much emotion.  I’ll go through it again tonight and make some tweaks.  Only one tiny issue. I’m not exactly sure where it fits into the overall timeline.  I have a million ideas surrounding it on both sides, but I don’t know how to position it in the story quite yet.  That will come.  But the scene can work in so many ways.  I’m so excited to figure out how best to use it.

Today was an ultra-busy day and the next few look just as full.  My energy is all but sapped by now, especially after yelling and screaming about homework.  But I got a bit of a second wind after dinner, so I Googled how to become a bestselling author.  Just to get some ideas.  =)

I came across a blog post by an bestselling author and social media guru named Kristen Lamb with tons of great sound bytes about the trade.  I was hooked.  So I followed her blog, followed her on Twitter, commented on her post, commented on another post, and then she followed me on Twitter!  After some more Tweeting and re-Tweeting, I bought her book on Amazon – Rise of the Machines:  Human Authors in a Digital World.  Awesome cover, Kristen!

Even though I have a Kindle, I bought the paperback.  Yes, I’m one of those people who like to make notes on the pages, fold them down, highlight passages and revisit as needed.  I need the hard copy for all that.  It’s just my thing.

Anyway, I hope she doesn’t think that I’m some wacko author-stalker.  I’m just happy to connect.  =)

What’s In It For Me?

Let’s face it, contemporary romance novels are ubiquitous.  So how can you differentiate yours from the rest?  This is a big part of the value prop for an author but you don’t always get an opportunity to deliver a full Power Point presentation complete with charts and Smart Art explaining why your novel commands attention.  All the elements of value prop are essential in crafting your message but here’s the deal…you need an elevator speech to convince people on the spot that you’re book is worthy of their time and money.

I’m always challenged by the 30-second spiel.  By nature, I’m very long-winded so trying to whittle down my delivery into one or two sentences throws me into a major tailspin.  Luckily, I’ve learned to tailor my writing style with the help of a very patient editor.  But summing up my fabulous manuscript into so few words?  Impossible!

The problem is, if you can’t be proactive and distinguish yourself quickly, people will automatically assume you’ve written the next Fifty Shades.  At least, that’s the assumption I’m faced with most often.

Here’s how the dialogue usually goes:

“Kristen, you wrote a book, how fantastic!  What’s it about?”

“It’s a contemporary romance novel.”

(The knowing smile and head nod)  “Oh, so it’s another Fifty Shades?”

“Haha, no.  Actually mine is much hotter.  In fact, it’s so intense that steam will rise from the screen of your e-reader and peel the paint off your walls.”

Well, there’s a very convincing value prop!  But I’ve found that it’s not exactly proper as a description for my eighty year-old aunt or my son’s preschool teacher.  So I made some changes.  I’m still working on variations but this is the latest:

“It’s an emotional tale about an unlikely romance that develops between two people and is ultimately threatened by the heroine’s risqué past.”

I typically leave out any sexual references unless specifically asked.  Not everyone would appreciate that granular a description.

The key is to generate enough interest with your elevator pitch so that it drives the potential reader directly to the Kindle e-bookstore to buy your novel.  Not an easy feat, but that’s why the value prop is so important.  Once you’ve identified all the fabulous elements of your book, you can shrink them into a meaningful sound byte, kind of like creating a tiny URL.

 

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