Blog Tour w/Review # 2 – LAID OUT

 
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Laid Out
Worth the Fight # 4

 

Sidney Halston

Releasing August 18th, 2015
Loveswept

 

 
Perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and Cecy Robson, Sidney Halston’s scorching new MMA romance proves there are no holds barred when it comes to seduction.
 
Growing up an Army brat, Violet Channing could never meet her dad’s high expectations. But in the eyes of her best friend, she could do no wrong. He even insisted that he should be her first kiss. Now Cain Sorensen is all grown up, hardened by years in special ops and always looking for a good fight. Tall, with striking blue eyes and impossibly blond hair, he’s a modern-day Viking warrior. Of course, Violet’s all grown up, too, and she’s ready to surrender to his every command.
 
Cain knows he’s bad for Violet. His work is dangerous, and his hobbies are downright deadly. As a private mercenary and a mixed martial arts fighter, he could never let such an innocent soul into his world. And yet his most grueling combat training is no match for Violet’s killer curves, hot touch, and suggestive glances. Now all of Cain’s most explosive fantasies are coming true—but once they cross the line between friends and lovers, there’s no turning back.
 
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Excerpt 4

Cain hadn’t left Tarpon Springs, Florida, for this long since he’d moved there four years ago. He’d grown up on an army base, then served in the military for eight years before retiring, and this was the first time in his adult life that he felt he had a home. After one too many fights in school, his father had forced him to enlist, to follow the path of his father and his father’s father. The Sorensons bred military men. Then his second tour ended and he didn’t want the army to be a career, so he’d gotten out, much to his father’s dismay. Right now, if someone asked him why he had signed up with IMC, International Military Coalition, as a contractor, he couldn’t answer. At the time he’d only seen the dollar bills. The pay was amazing compared to what the U.S. government had paid him for risking his life for years as an Army Ranger, and signing up to make four times the amount with a private company seemed like the obvious next step.

 

As soon as Cain walked out of the airport, he hailed a taxi to take him straight to the Pier. It was Friday night, and his friends would undoubtedly be there. Plus, he needed a beer . . . or seven. On the ride over, he received a text from Iggy Mitchell, another mercenary he’d met overseas. Iggy had lost a leg in a tour in Iraq a couple of years ago, and when he wasn’t on a mission for IMC, he worked as a consultant in Tampa specializing in testing firewalls and other online security threats. In other words, he was a professional hacker. The two men had quickly hit it off and sparred together during their free time. Iggy’s hard work and zest for life made the prosthetic leg a nonissue. One evening Iggy had mentioned how he loved to gamble on a series of underground fights put together by some Russians. The text Cain was currently reading was the address of a fight happening in a few days. But Cain wasn’t a gambling man, so he wasn’t interested. He slid the phone back into his pocket and settled in for the forty-five-minute cab ride to the Pier.

 

It was raining when the taxi arrived. He swung the big duffle bag over his shoulder and looked around the familiar town before he reached to open the front door. A hand on his shoulder stopped him. “Hey, man! You’re back.” It was Tony, his friend, sparring partner, and professional mixed martial arts fighter, whom he had helped train a few months ago.

 

Cain, honey, so glad you’re home!” Tony’s wife, Francesca, threw her arms around him for a big hug. He wasn’t big on contact, and he awkwardly put his arm around her waist and patted her back.

 

Come on, let’s go inside,” Tony said. “The rest of the guys are on their way. Do they know you’re back? Where were you, by the way?”

 

Libya. Just arrived. No one knows,” Cain replied.

 

Francesca hissed. “Libya. Fuck. That’s not safe.”

 

No.”

 

Still quite the conversationalist, I see.” Tony patted Cain roughly on the back.

 

Leave the man alone. He just came back from hell, he doesn’t need that attitude tonight. By the way . . .” She poked Cain in the shoulder. “Don’t you ever fuckin’ leave again without letting us know you’re leaving or where you’re going. We were worried.” She reached in and hugged him again.

 

Violet?” Cain asked when she released him.

 

What about her?” Francesca asked.

 

She okay?”

 

Ask her yourself—she’s here.”

 

Cain tried not to smile, but his lips seemed to curl upward all on their own. He hadn’t seen Violet for years until a few months ago, when she’d moved to town. He was happy he’d get to see her tonight. As had always been the case, her warm smile was the perfect salve for his shitty mood.

 

Cain put a hand on Francesca’s upper arm. “Wait—before we go in, are there any fights coming up? Sign me up for something. Soon.” Francesca was co-owner of Worth the Fight Academy, a mixed martial arts gym that trained professional cage fighters, which was what Cain had been doing before heading off a few months earlier.

 

You just got into town. You need to take a breather. We can talk about it when you’re settled back.”

 

I’m settled. I’m back. Sign me up.”

 

Fine. But tonight, relax, at least for a few hours. Come have a drink and say hello to everyone. We’ll find you something tomorrow,” Francesca said.

 

As soon as he opened the door to the familiar laughter and smell he started to feel better.

 
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Violet and Cain have known each other since they were children.  They have been best friends this whole time, along with Violet’s late fiance.  They are attracted to one another and they both fight it to preserve the friendship they have.  When it comes to family, they are all each other has left.
 
Cain has known he was in love with her since they were teenagers.  He gave her the very first kiss from a boy she ever had.  Then he tore her heart open with a letter that nearly killed her.
 
Violet started seeing their other best friend instead.  He eventually asked her to marry him and all of it was witnessed by Cain.  How much pain would he have to endure?  When her fiance died, she turned even more to Cain – only to see a cold shoulder.
 
Cain blames himself for her fiance’s death.  The problem he has now, besides guilt, is that he is love with a woman who will never want him.  But she turns to him for help anyway.
 
Together they have a strong friendship when they work at it.  Violet is feeling alone and unwanted.  Cain has so much to tell her that he keeps to himself.  They must learn to fight for what matters before its too late.  I found this to be a genuine romance book!  It has everything for you.  I give it a 4/5 Kitty’s Paws UP!
 
 
***This ARC copy was given for review purposes only.

 

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Getting to know the AUTHOR: Interview with Sidney Halston

 

Kitty’s Q&A QUESTIONS:

 

1.  You have been writing about a lot of hunky MMA fighters.  Are you a fan of the MMA?  Do you have a favorite that you follow?  

 

Admittedly, I am not a die hard fan but I do watch it and I do have a favorite. My husband is a fighter, so I watch him, which is how I got into the sport in the first place. I follow Randy Couture on Twitter/Facebook long before he was on The Expendables movie. I used to love watching him fight. He’s older now, but to me he is still the best  (and oh so sexy). My husband doesn’t miss a single bout, so I do watch and lately I’ve been watching some of the women. I love Rhonda Rousy and she was the inspiration behind Francesca, the heroine in Below the Belt (Worth the Fight #4).

 

2.  Our readers love getting to know authors.  Will you share with us a secret about yourself that no one knows? 

 

Hmmm….I’m so open I feel everyone knows everything about me. I’m a lawyer. Is that a secret? Oh, I know. I’m terrified of flying. Things shouldn’t be hanging willy nilly from the sky!

 

3.  Do you listen to music as you write?  Is there a playlist for any of your books you would care to share with your readers? 

 

I do listen to music when I write. In fact, I can’t write without music blaring. I don’t necessarily have a playlist. I am one of those people that when I like something, I hear it (or watch it, or read it) over and over again. I listened to Sam Hunt, “Take Your Time” and Hozier “Take Me to Church” a zillion times while writing LAID OUT.

 

4. You’re an admitted reader.  Do you have a favorite book of all time?  What genres do you like to read in your spare time? (Assuming, you have any…) 

 

I love to read! My favorite non-romance book is The Count of Monte Cristo. I think I’ve read it ten times. My favorite romance book used to be Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon. He was my favorite romance author forever. But, since discovering Kristen Ashley, I may have to switch my answer to Sweet Dreams. One word: Tate!

 

5. Your books are always so good and filled with strong characters, even female.  Is there anything you look to for inspiration that influences this? 

 

Oh thank you, that’s a great compliment! Like I said, Rhonda Rousey was my inspiration for Francesca. In general, I’m surrounded by strong women—my mom, friends, etc. I wouldn’t know how to write a weak woman, I think.

 

6. Silly question just to please the readers.  If you could be any animal for a day – what would you be? 

 

Ha! Okay, let me think about this. A dude lion. He sits around all day with his long mane doing nothing but screwing and eating. I have one or two people I’d like to literally bite their head off and I think I could get away with it if I were a lion, right? Seems like a good life. All those lioness fighting for his attention as he watches from his throne. Nice question!

Thank you so much for having me. It was lots of fun. Xoxo

 

 

 
 
Sidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “Just do it.” And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in South Florida with her husband and children.
 
 

 

 

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Blog Tour w/Review # 1 – PLAYING FOR HER HEART

 
 
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PLAYING FOR HER HEART
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Playing for Her Heart
Gamers # 2

Megan Erickson

Releasing Aug 11th, 2015
Entangled: Brazen

 

 
Grant Osprey just had the hottest sex of his life. Sure, they were both in costume, and yes, it was anonymous, but he never expected her to bolt in the middle of the night without so much as a good bye, let alone exchanging numbers. Or names. All he’s left with are her panties and some seriously X-rated memories…until he meets his business partner’s little sister.
 
Only Chloe Talley isn’t the bold, sexy vixen he remembers. And she wants nothing to do with him.
 
Cosplay is Chloe’s only chance to leave her boring, socially awkward world behind. To forget that she’s failing at life and can’t be with anyone, let alone a single-father like Grant. But the raw hunger between them is undeniable. With him, she can be a misbehaving maid. A sexy call girl for hire. Each scene pushes Chloe beyond her strict boundaries, until Grant demands the one character she can’t play.
 
 
Herself.
 
 
 
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Excerpt #3:

 

He peered through the peephole. Chloe was standing on the front porch, large sunglasses over her eyes—even though it was nighttime—and wearing a belted trench coat.

 

When he opened the door, he gazed down to her bare legs and sky-high black heels.

 

Mr. Osprey?” she asked, her lips a bright cherry red.

 

He leaned on the door and raised an eyebrow. “Yes.”

 

Her pink tongue slipped out, wetting her bottom lip.

 

My handler said you have hired my services for the night. I only accept cash.”

 

He nearly swallowed his tongue. So she wanted to play some Pretty Woman role, huh? He went from kinda hard to full mast.

 

We agreed on two grand and I get you until two in the morning.” He deliberately leered. “All of you. Every inch of you. However I want you. Suit you, Princess?”

 

The lapels of her trench coat quivered. “Suits me.”

 

Great.” He stepped back and gestured inside. “Come in, please.”

 

She brushed past him and he smelled strawberries. He shut and locked the door, then turned around to face Chloe.

 

She’d taken her sunglasses off and her hands were on her untied belt. In one practiced move, she flung open the edges of the coat and rolled her shoulders so the khaki material fluttered to the ground at her feet.

 

Grant had to shoot out a hand to brace himself on the wall because he suddenly had vertigo.The physical parts of Chloe he loved the most were encased in lavender lace—a bra that didn’t cover much, because he could see her hardened nipples poking through.

 

Her thong didn’t cover much except for a small triangle scrap, hiding her pussy—which he knew she shaved bare—from his view.

 

Jesus, all that skin, that delicious lace, all for him.

 

She watched him with those green eyes, a sexy smirk to her mouth. She slowly twisted, so that her ankles were crossed, and showed him her back, she looked at him through her lashes over her shoulder. Only a string ran along the top of her ass and between her crease.

 

He was hard in his jeans, ridiculously so, and he hadn’t even touched her yet. Hadn’t yet taken that mouth or plunged his fingers in that tight heat. He was going to do all of that and then some.

 

He stepped toward her. “Hands on the wall. Ass out.”

 
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Chloe Talley hooks up with Grant Osprey at Comic-Con while in character.  Their Cosplay turns HOT and they decide to extinguish the flames the old fashioned way.  Only he turns up the heat.  

 

Later, Grant meets her in a restaurant while dining with her brother.  And again later.  They keep meeting like this and he might start to get ideas.  If he didn’t already have them, that is.

 

Chloe, and her family, have been through a lot since losing her sister.  It has been 2 years and she seems to be the family scapegoat for feelings of all kinds.  Can she be selfish and take for her own needs?

 

Grant just cannot stop thinking of the beautiful and smashing Chloe.  It is starting to effect his work too.  He wants to see her out of Cosplay and in a real life role.  Her brother wants to kill him if he so much as hints at it.  What’s a guy to do?

 

This story has so much to offer the reader!  It is full of nerdy sayings, angst, humor, satire, lust, and so much more.  I found the book was not one I could put down.  The characters are so achingly refreshing in a book that has so many surprises and smoking hot sexy times.  I give this story a 5/5 Kitty’s Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC was given for review purposes only.

 

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Megan worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction.
 
 
She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she’s probably listening to the characters in her head who won’t stop talking.
 
 
 
Looking for More of the Gamers Series?
 
 
 

 

 

Cover Reveal – HIDDEN SCARS

 

Hidden Scars by Amanda K. Byrne 
(Hidden Scars, #1)
Publication date: September 22nd 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Synopsis:

Sometimes the past won’t stay where it belongs.

 

Sara’s number one rule of dating: closed off, secretive men need not apply. Years of therapy helped her move past the damage done by her emotionally abusive boyfriend, and she’s ready to date again. Someone funny, laid back, and easy to talk to. All things her coworker Taylor isn’t.

 

Taylor’s quiet. Too quiet. He operates in permanent stealth mode, and he hides his secrets as well as Sara does. She doesn’t want to be attracted to him, but after a night spent in a hotel room together, trapped by a blizzard, she can’t deny there’s a fire-hot connection between them, waiting to ignite. Their working relationship inches closer and closer to friendship, until one day she gathers her courage and kisses him.

 

It’s the match Taylor was waiting for.

 

What starts as a sweet, fumbling friendship quickly becomes a passionate and intense affair. Just when Sara’s starting to feel safe in Taylor’s arms, his secrets come out, and she wonders if she’ll ever be able to stop looking over her shoulder.

AUTHOR BIO:

When she’s not plotting ways to sneak her latest shoe purchase past her partner, Amanda writes sexy, snarky romance and urban fantasy. She likes her heroines smart and unafraid to make mistakes, and her heroes strong enough to take them on.

If she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking hot chocolate, and trying not to destroy her house with her newest DIY project. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and no, it really doesn’t rain that much.

Author links:

Cover Reveal – WARD AGAINST DESTRUCTION

 
Ward Against Destruction (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, #4)
Release Date: 10/05/15
Entangled Teen
Summary from Goodreads:
Ward de’Ath used to the think that nothing could be more terrible than death. Now he realizes
there are worse things. Like his never-ending hunger for blood. Even if he conquers the
unbearable cravings that drive him headlong toward destruction,he’s a wanted man with a bleak
future.
Assassin Celia Carlyle learns she is the only one who can protect Ward from disaster. She loves him–she wants to help him, but no one can tell her how to save him from himself. And the confusing voices in her head scream to let him go.
But Ward’s dark trials keep mounting. A malevolent evil is rising in the land, threatening to
unleash horror upon the world. The only way Ward can defeat it, and have the chance to marry
Celia, is by accepting his fate and becoming the one thing he swore he would never become..
 
***Books in this series***

Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…

 

Release Date: 08/27/13
Entangled Teen
352 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
The last thing Ward de’Ath wants is more trouble. On the run from both the law and the criminal underworld, Ward and Celia flee Brawenal City only to stumble into the mansion of a powerful evil necromancer. And when Ward discovers the man possesses a dangerous grimoire, his duty leaves him no choice. He can’t allow the necromancer to keep the grimoire.
But the mansion is filled with monsters–human and undead–and Ward has no way of telling who’s friend or foe. The only person he can trust is Celia who dominates more of his thoughts and feelings everyday. But there are still laws in the way of anything but friendship. She’s still dead and he’s still alive . . . for now.

 

 

Release Date: 01/19/14
Entangled Teen
276 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
Ward de’Ath should be dead by now. Instead, he’s chasing after a soul-eating creature—that he unleashed— and is bent on stopping her before she slaughters more innocents. Fortunately, Celia Carlyle remains by his side, a nobleman’s gorgeous and deadly daughter, who is…well, dead.

Celia claims she’ll champion Ward wherever he goes, even when she thinks his quest is hopeless. He can only hope her pledge comes from her heart, and not because she’s bound to him through his magic.

When they enter Dulthyne, they stumble upon a dark power that threatens the entire town. Ward, with his unreliable necromancy, is determined to help but finds himself ensnared in the lure of white-hot magic…blood magic he struggles to resist. But if Celia’s love is a lie, it might just doom his soul to the dark arts forever. 

 

About the Author
I have always been drawn to story telling. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling a story in my head or on paper. In grade school, we had journal writing time which I turned into story telling time, weaving tales of magic and adventure that mimicked the fairy tales and myths that I loved to read. It was there, with the help of two very special teachers, that I nurtured this love and started my journey as a writer.
I write fantasy, paranormal romance, and everything in between, seasoned with a good dash of adventure and mystery. Join me on my tales of magic, adventure, and romance.
 
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