Release Blitz

Xavier’s School of Discipline by S. Legend

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title:  Xavier’s School of Discipline

Author: S. Legend

Publisher:  Mockingbird Publications

Cover Artist:  Nadia Polyakova and Chiara Monaco

Inner Book Artist: Artsy Ape

Release Date: April 21, 2021

Genre: Erotic M/M Romance

Trope: Soulmates 

Themes: Belonging.  Found Family.  Spanking.  Domestic Discipline. 

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: 83 539 words/306 print pages

This is book one in the series but can be read as a standalone.

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“… there’s something tantalizing about trouble and me in it with him.”

Blurb

Follow Your Heart’s Discipline Calling

Finnegan Brighton is twenty-seven, has never moved out of Dad’s house, can’t keep a job and has to rely on his brother for continued food and shelter. In a bold move, he ships himself off to one of those new, fangle-dangle, discipline schools hoping to turn his life around. But it’s not just a whim, he’s finally answering a calling inside of him, one he’s ignored until now. The school turns out to be more than he bargained for, giving him a family of men just like him, who want to teach him that he can love himself enough to have everything he’s ever wanted. He just has to do the one thing he’s never been able to do: Surrender. 

Enter Xavier. 

Xavier is the school’s unyielding headmaster and founder. Oh, and he happens to be interested in the one Finnegan Brighton. Surely with the forces of the strict headmaster and Finnegan’s affectionate, if overzealous domestic discipline family, he can overcome himself, his own worst enemy, and surrender to who he is inside, right? Or will his crushing self-doubt chain him to old patterns forever?

Either way, much spanking ensues! A polyamorous love story with brats and Tops.

Excerpt 

From Chapter 6

Dammit. I know what to do. I need to do it. As much as Tops are drawn to soothe us … oh fine ‘brats’, us brats are drawn to soothe Tops. I’ve watched Grayson do it a ton, Chris, Bellamy and Johnny too. Even Bray when he’s in the mood. I swallow. “Oh, sir? One more thing. We can still have people over, right?” It’s not against House rules for each of us to have one friend from another House over. If it’s more than that, it turns into a party, which would require permission, but as the rules stand, that means one for me and one for Grayson.

His eyes narrow. “Who?”’

I shrug. “Haven’t decided yet, but there is this hot Top, Nikolage, from one of my harder classes. Maybe he can uh, help me with my homework?” I waggle my eyebrows, suggesting that yes, fucking Nikolage is what I mean. 

His chair slides out, he stands, hands flat on the desk and my heart’s beating so damn fast. I have to take a stealthy breath. Maybe I should abandon the whole thing—I’m poking at a fucking lion and I know it—but I also know in my bones it’s the right thing to do. 

“No.” 

“Why?” I dare to cross my arms at him—a, God … a brat’s red flag, okay?

“Come here, my little Finnegan.” He flashes shark teeth at me. He is predator, I am prey. 

I want to buckle, I want to tell him I’m just kidding, but I’m in too deep now. I commit. “So you can spank me? Forget it. It’s not against the rules. I was kind enough to even run it by you. I’ll be leaving now.” 

I went too far didn’t I? Yep. Too far. 

Xavier clears his desk in a smooth, panther-like leap. I’m quick to respond, gripping either side of the leather chair I was just sitting in, catapulting myself over it. But I was a hockey player, not a gymnast and though my response is quick, my catapulting skills aren’t graceful. I catch the chair and hit my knee, landing like a rock on the other side. “Fuck!” I roll on the ground behind it, licking my wounds. 

How is it I can take one helluva spanking, but this paralyzes me?

Xavier’s there fast, reminding me of Superman, with the way his jacket flares. He crouches beside me. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. Are you hurt?”

I laugh. “I’m fine. I wasn’t scared.” 

“You were a bit, but … well I thought you wanted me to chase you.” I’ve never seen the man blush, he does now. He can’t even look at me. 

I wait until he braves my eyes again. “Xavier, I did want you to chase me.” 

He stares frozen, my words sinking in, as my heart thumps loud drumbeats into my ears. While I wait for him to come to, I rub my sore knee. It is fine, but there’s gonna be a nice bruise I’ll have to explain to Ani later. I smile thinking of the arnica he’ll insist he has to apply to it. Xavier notices my rubbing. 

“Your knee.” 

“No, Xavier—” 

But it’s too late. He scoops me up and it’s fucking embarrassing how easy it is for him to lift me. It’s not like I’m small. He’s got me bridal style and he swings me around, placing me in the chair and bending down to inspect the knee. I wore loose jeans, he’s able to roll them up to have a look. “Doesn’t look to be swelling, but you’ll ice it anyway when you’re home. Understood?”

He’s holding my knee in both of his elegant hands, which are hot against my skin. I have to look down at him. “I will, sir.” 

I’m kicking myself now. This was a disaster. One point to me on not being a brat, a real brat would have pulled this off, I end up injuring myself. 

“Now that it’s established your knee will be fine, we will address, Nikolage.” His nose wrinkles, his form takes up all the space in the room once again. 

Shit. Already forgot about Nikolage. “There’s no Nikolage. I just said that to—” 

“—I know Nikolage.” 

“I meant there’s no Nikolage for me, sir. I only said that to, never mind. May I go?”

He’s staring at me for a new reason now, a smile spreads slowly, reaching his eyes. He yanks me up. We’re close, my lips aren’t far from his. “I want to spank you so badly right now.” 

That was the goal. “You uh, you can, sir.” My voice is above a whisper. 

“I know. I can spank you whenever I want. But that would not be a good idea. It’s day eight, Finnegan.” 

“I am well aware of the day, Headmaster Harkness,” I say, boldness returning. Two can play the game of cheek, but only one of us will win, we both know it’s going to be him. 

“All right, that’s quite enough cheek from you, brat.” 

I light up everywhere. Maybe him calling me brat isn’t so bad?

“I don’t date people, Mr. Brighton. I own them. Do you want to be owned?”

About the Author 

Some of you know her as Mock, others as S. Legend, or Miss S.  She welcomes all names but will often go by Mock, a name given to her by her readers.

Mock is an ambitious creative, weaving the most precious aspects of her soul into stories.  She is an architect, building fascinating worlds, designed from inquiry, rooted in worldly wonderings.  It’s an intuitive process where she is the scribe, the translator, the conduit. 

It helped that storytelling was the language spoken at home.  One simply didn’t say, “We have an ant infestation. ” In Mock’s family it was, “I was on my way to the living room, when a peculiar ant crossed my path.  I looked to my right, a suspicious line of them marched toward the pantry.  In that moment I knew; my kitchen was under siege.”  The natural flow of conversation always took this form.  

And so. 

When Mock wrote her first novel, she didn’t plan it chapter by chapter, there was no outline, no “plotting” to speak of.  But she didn’t “pants” it either, she didn’t make it up as she went along.  She knew how the story felt, where it curved in places and hollowed in others; she knew the destination it rushed toward.  Instead of orchestrating, she let the world inspire her, and held space for the words to come, trusting the characters knew what they were doing.  All she had to do was tell a story, as she always had done; like breathing.  

This is her peace, her healing and solace: Gifts better shared.

Mock’s works are the comfort you seek when you need to come home.  Her unique writing style will take you, wayfaring reader, to unexpected destinations. 

She always says, “I’m not in the business of making up stories, I couldn’t if I tried.  I’m lucky enough to get picked to share someone else’s story when I ask a question to the universe.  Someone answers; I write it down.” 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook  |   Twitter  |  Instagram  

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Giveaway 

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Book Blitz

Country in Bliss by Freda Ann

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<p><strong>Country in Bliss</strong><br><strong>Freda Ann</strong><br>(A Bliss Cay Novella, #3)<br>Publication date: May 19th 2021<br>Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance</p><blockquote><p>After country singer, Blaze Shore, almost cold-cocks Cali Rose with his car door, she hopes to never see the arrogant stranger again. But when she finds herself face to face with the up and coming heartthrob, the wrong kind of sparks fly.</p>

<p>Blaze agrees to take on the role of big brother to Angel, a boy he mentors. He wants to give the struggling kid the best summer vacation of his life. On day two in Bliss, he realizes it may be more difficult than he imagined.</p>

<p>Cali’s daughter, Becca, wants to hang out with the only kid staying nearby. The problem is he lives with Blaze, the man who likes nothing more than getting under Cali’s skin.</p>

<p>Can two kids and a dog find a way to help Blaze and Cali look beyond haunting memories of the past, as well as their first impressions of one another? Or will this summer turn into the worst one ever?</p>

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<p style=”text-align: center;”><strong>EXCERPT:</strong></p>

<p>With my disguise in place and feeling like I might explode, I throw the car door open—only for it to stop halfway. It must’ve hit something. I squeeze through the opening while trying to push it further as I see some blonde with large sunglasses gawking at me.</p>

<p>“What’s your problem?” Raising my brows, I stare back at her wondering if my disguise didn’t work. Hopefully she’ll take the hint to leave me alone because I’m not in the mood to sign autographs.</p>

<p>“Excuse me?” Fluttering her eyes, she shuts her mouth and raises her brows. “You’re asking me what <em>my</em> problem is when you’re the one who hit me with your car door?

What’s <em>your</em> problem? You barely missed my face!” She props her hands on her hips, shaking her head.</p>

<p>“Why are you walking so close to my car then? You people need to give me a break.”</p>

<p>“<em>You people</em>? What the heck does that mean?”</p>

<p>“Duh, people like you who want something from me. Just give it a rest, okay?”</p>

<p>“Are you on drugs or something?” She pulls her glasses off, looking me in the eyes.</p>

<p><em>This woman is getting on my last nerve.</em> “Don’t try to play dumb with me lady. I’m not falling for it.”</p>

<p>She squints at me. “Have you lost your mind, or are you rude by nature?”</p>

<p>“You can quit trying to be coy, I’m not interested!”</p>

<p>“Trust me <em>buddy</em>, I wouldn’t be interested in you if you were the last man on earth.” Eyeing the woman, Shane walks around to my door, in an attempt to diffuse the situation before I slam it shut.</p>

<p>“Unbelievable!” she yells before storming off.<br />

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<p>Author Bio:</p>

<p>Freda was born in southern New Jersey but grew up in Florida. She has loved writing her entire life. After retiring from a career in law enforcement, she knew it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of being a published author.</p>

<p>She’s the author of The Hawaii Series, proudly named from her love of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. It’s a three-book series with all of them written as standalone books.</p>

<p>Freda loves her large family, horses, dogs, cat, and close friends. She hosts monthly family dinners at her home in the country, which she shares with her husband.</p>

<p>She loves baking (she owned and operated a cupcake business for years), cooking, yoga, crocheting, nature and traveling with the love of her life.</p>

<p>What helps her write? Music makes her happy! If music doesn’t give her the right motivation, she puts on a romantic movie, usually from the Hallmark Channel, which she can’t get enough of!</p>

<p>Freda speaks her mind and pushes perfection to its limit. She strives to be her best, most positive self she can be in life. With time, determination, and practice, she believes anything is possible.</p>

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Uncategorized

Dating the Intern.


Author: Natalina Reis
Title: Dating the Intern
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 1, 2021
Cover Designer: RMGraphX

AVAILABLE NOW!
Who would have thought that pretending to be in love could feel so real?

Ivory Tower is the successful owner and CEO of an online dating service who prides herself in matching her clients with their true love. Everyone except herself. When a TV studio wants to spotlight her company live on air, Ivory runs into a problem: she can’t produce the boyfriend she needs so she doesn’t look like a fraud.

When Li Qiang, her ten-years-younger and toe-curlingly-handsome intern, offers to pose as her boyfriend, Ivory thinks her problem has been solved, but it’s going to take more than the perfect algorithm to get out of this situation. Li Qiang is too easy to love and too hard to forget, and the question remains: Does he really love her or is he only playing his role?





The tears fell for a long time, punctuated ever so often by little sobs that I couldn’t hold in. I lost track of time and my dignity as I stood there, leaning on a man I barely knew and who was my subordinate—worse yet, who was much younger than me.

As soon as the tears finally dried out, I became acutely aware of his hard pecs underneath my face and the awful, snotty stains on his immaculate shirt. “Oh my God. I’m so sorry,” I said, in a panic, trying to brush the dark spots with my hands. Holy mother of God, it looked as if I was caressing him. I pulled my hands away, horrified. “Double sorry. I don’t know what got into me. So, so sorry.” Scared of looking at his face, I stared straight at the ugly blotches on the white of his shirt. “I’ll buy you a new shirt. How unprofessional of me.”

Before I knew what was happening, he held on to my hands. His were large and warm. I had the insane thought that my tiny, puny hands belonged in his. I couldn’t avoid it any longer; I looked up at him. “Stop fussing. It’s okay.” He bent his head just enough to look me in the eyes. “Everyone has bad days. I’m glad I was here when you needed a good cry.”

I sniffed like a little girl. “But your shirt… I made a mess out of it.” I was glad he was holding my hands because I would have touched him again. I’d taken a total leave of my senses. “There’s mascara all over it.”

He clicked his tongue in an oddly old-fashioned way. “Nothing that won’t wash out. Will you stop worrying about my shirt and tell me what’s going on?”



Natalina wrote her first romance at the age of thirteen. Since then she has published eleven romances that defy the boundaries of her genre. She enjoys writing all kinds of rebels and outcasts into her stories and she always roots for the underdog.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.



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Cover Reveal

Wraith by Lynne Leslie

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Title: Wraith
Author: Lynne Leslie
Series: Dirty Mavericks MC; Book One
Release Date: July 21, 2021

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blurb

The Dirty Mavericks have two rules—never betray the club and protect each other at all costs.⁣

As the President, this family is all that matters . . . until Hell-on-wheels come crashing into our compound with the body of a goddess and drowning in trouble.⁣

Nova needs help, but nothing comes for free. I agree to rescue her sister from another club, but only if she gives her body to me, and only me. The longer she’s here, the more I fall for her, but pleasure with Nova comes with a large side of jealousy, secrets, and betrayal.⁣

I can’t stop the burn in my soul for this woman, though, and between my club’s disapproval and our rivals determined to take her from me, I’m almost certain Nova will do more than burn me—this time, I may get scorched.⁣

Too bad no one realizes I’d walk through Hellfire to keep Nova at my side and in my bed. She’s mine, and I’ll unleash my darkest demons to make sure she stays that way.

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preorder-links

Amazon | https://smarturl.it/it2vzq

Apple | https://smarturl.it/rh99zt

Nook | Coming Soon

Kobo | Coming Soon

⟶Sign up to stay notified of all things Wraith here.

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author-bio

Mom. Fiancée. Wine Drinker. Hot Mess. Even bigger Walking Disaster. Fluent Sarcasm Speaker. Word Writer. Collector of Readers Hearts. Taco Lover. Book Nerd.

Lynne is a USA Today Bestselling Author who writes a little mix of everything. Currently, it’s romance with a handful of suspense thrown in, a dash of dark and twisty along the way, and a lot more than the recipe calls for of steamy against-the-wall sexiness.

She lives in the quiet country with a bossy mister, a mischievous little prince, and two sassy divas. If you don’t catch her with her nose in a book or her fingers scribbling on paper, she’s usually right in front of the television with her family. She loves anything that glitters and has a weird habit of collecting pens. She thinks seafood is disgusting, beach sand is the devil, and Tom Hardy is life.

⟶ Follow her here.

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Release Boost

Bombshell by Jessica Prince

Title: Bombshell Series: Whiskey Dolls Author: Jessica Prince

Contemporary Romance; Small Town Romance; Single Dad Romance

He’d hated me first, so I figured it was only fair I hate the stupid, sexy jerk back. After ending the world’s worst relationship, Marin Grey had sworn off men. So it was rather inconvenient that she couldn’t seem to keep her eyes and thoughts off the Ice King himself, Pierce Walton—also known as her ex-boyfriend’s older, much hotter brother. He was cold, callous, and rude. He was also the most gorgeous man she’d ever laid eyes on, which made the fact that he’d hated her from first sight all the more unfair. When circumstances dictate they put their swords away so Marin can help Pierce take care of his son, that ice-cold hate suddenly takes a turn into something much hotter. And if they aren’t careful, they could both be burned alive. **Whiskey Dolls is a brand-new series of interconnected, standalone, small town romances.**

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Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

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Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all. Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says. In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand. Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.

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Uncategorized

Love is Blind by Janine Infante Bosco


 This angsty ride will stay with you. 
Are you ready for Love is Blind by Janine Infante Bosco?
Preorder it now for June 11th!  

Universal: https://geni.us/LoveIsBlind

#teaser #teasershare #preorder #ghost #ghostandbirdie #mcromance #motorcycleromance #satansknights #spinoff #newseries #knightdale #romancenovels #romancebooks #romanticsuspense #badboyromance #bikerromance #bookish #bookclub #bookbuzz #booksbooksbooks
  
BLURB:
The things I’ve lost could shatter any man.
Send him on a downward spiral.
I would’ve punched my own ticket if it weren’t for the Satan’s Knights.
Instead, I became the VP of the Knightdale Charter.
A man can’t drown in his misery when he’s got responsibilities.
So I look for things to dull the pain.
Sex. Drugs. Whatever.
When you’ve been to hell and back, the only time worth having is a good one.
My little Birdie knows this self-destructive path, too.
That’s why I can’t stay away from her.
The highs are higher when you don’t fly alone.
But I’m not the only ghost in her life, and her past isn’t letting her go.
I thought my club was the only thing left for me to love.
It turns out I was wrong. 

About Janine
Janine Infante Bosco lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.

She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.

Find Janine Online
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/2WU2AxI
Instagram – http://bit.ly/2Y0UArg
Pinterest – http://bit.ly/2ZEEnZr


Teasers

A Haunting Midlife by Lia Davis & L.A. Boruff


 

How do you sell a haunted house?
Ava doesn’t know either…
Haunting Midlife by Lia Davis & L.A. Boruff releases May 25th! 


#teaser #teasershare #teaserwednesday #preorder #comingsoon #pwf #paranormalwomensfiction #paranormalfiction #witchingafterforty #ahauntingmidlife #bookbuzz #bookclub #booksbooksbooks #readers #booklovers #booknerds #bookish  

New to the series? 
CLICK HERE: https://geni.us/WitchingAfter40
It’s #FREE with #KindleUnlimited!

BLURB:
Ava Harper may be a raiser of the dead and a not-so-famous author, but she isn’t a vampire hunter. Not even close.

With the decision made to stay in Shipton Harbor, she returns to the home she shared with her deceased husband in Pennsylvania to put it on the market. But saying goodbye to the memories of the home they raised their son in is a lot harder than it had sounded in her head.

In the months she’s been in Shipton, new neighbors moved in across the street from her Philly home. Now, Ava has nothing against vampires. But when people in the neighborhood start turning up dead, she can’t help but to check into the newbies in the hood.

Since she doesn’t know enough about law enforcement red tape, she calls her best friend to come and help. However, Sam is working a case with a neighboring town and Sheriff Drew takes it upon himself to show up at her door instead.

And now, as if dealing with how the sheriff makes her knees weak isn’t bad enough, her house is haunted.

Just another day in Ava’s life at this point.

About Lia

Lia Davis is the USA Today bestselling author of more than forty books, including her fan favorite Ashwood Falls Series. A lifelong fan of magic, mystery, romance and adventure, Lia’s novels feature compassionate alpha heroes and strong leading ladies, plenty of heat, and happily-ever-afters.

Lia makes her home in Northeast Florida where she battles hurricanes and humidity like one of her heroines. When she’s not writing, she loves to spend time with her family, travel, read, enjoy nature, and spoil her kitties.  She also loves to hear from her readers. Send her a note at lia@authorliadavis.com!

About LA

LA (Lainie) Boruff lives in East Tennessee with her husband, three children, and an ever growing number of cats. She loves reading, watching TV, and procrastinating by browsing Facebook. LA’s passions include vampires, food, and listening to heavy metal music. She once won a Harry Potter trivia contest based on the books and lost one based on the movies. She has two bands on her bucket list that she still hasn’t seen: AC/DC and Alice Cooper. Feel free to send tickets.

Get Social With The Authors! BookBub – Lia: http://bit.ly/2N3X2dS
BookBub – LA: http://bit.ly/2Z2VA24
Facebook – Lia: http://bit.ly/2H7mhbL
Facebook – LA: http://bit.ly/2ORBhk6
Website – Lia: https://authorliadavis.com
Website – LA: https://laboruff.com 

Cover Reveal

Baby, It’s Hot Outside: A Christmas Down Under

BABY, IT’S HOT OUTSIDE: A LIMITED EDITION BOXED SET of CHRISTMAS DOWN UNDER NOVELLAS.
Publication date: October 31st 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance

Come Down Under for a hot and steamy SUMMER festive season.

Escape those winter blues with 12 summer Christmas novellas.

A fabulous collection of sexy Down Under summer Christmas romances. Hot sun and hotter men, friends to lovers, forbidden romance, reunion stories and more. Come visit a world of hot, sultry kisses and long, lazy days in the sun.

Scoundrel Ever After by Darcy Burke – Once upon a time there was a very bad boy who met a very nice girl….

Lady of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle – Educating a man in the art of love takes time. Lots of it.

Sonata for a Scoundrel by Anthea Lawson – Passion and secrets simmer against the glittering backdrop of 19th century musical celebrity.

To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield by Bronwen Evans – What’s a lady to do when a notorious rake wins her estate in a game of cards?

Undone by Lila DiPasqua – One steamy, emotionally charged retelling of Rapunzel…Rescuing this beauty from the ‘tower ’is only the beginning…

The Problem with Seduction by Emma Locke – Elizabeth Spencer needs a man. She doesn’t need to like him—because while she needs a man, she doesn’t particularly want one.

A Dangerous Invitation by Erica Monroe – Daniel O’Reilly returns to win back Kate Morgan’s heart and prove he’s innocent of murder.

Once Upon a Duke by Eva Devon – A widow looking to get seduced. A duke more than willing to oblige.

Great & Unfortunate Desires by Gina Danna – A marquis with a guilty past takes a bride in a world where love is fatal.

Dark Surrender By Erica Ridley – Trapped in darkness…. Their passion burns bright!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Twelve standalone novellas (never before published)

99c Pre-Order Price rising to $4.99 week of release

Only available until the end of January 2022 – get your copy today!

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Release Blitz

Nice Guys Don’t Win by Micalea Smeltzer




Title: Nice Guys Don’t Win
Series: The Boys #2
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Genre: New Adult College Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2021


BLURB

When I agreed to be his roommate, I had no way of knowing that Cole Anderson was one of my father’s star players.
Having transferred to Aldridge University for my junior year, I wasn’t familiar with anyone on campus.
If there’s one rule I’ve always been supposed to follow it’s don’t date a basketball player.
Cole is different, though, and I don’t want to stay away.
But when he finds out I’m the coach’s daughter I might not have any say in the matter.







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EXCERPT

I finish my beer and add it to the growing empty pile beside the cooler. Fluffing my hair, I shake out my arms and smile at my roommate. “I’m going to dance. Alone.”
His eyes follow me as I walk over to the actual fire where some people sit on the ground but quite a few are dancing. Sail by AWOLNATION plays, the beat vibrating along with the pulse of my blood flowing through my veins.
I danced from the time I was four through high school. Even though I love math and the sciences, and consider myself on the more studious side, dance has been my creative outlet, a passion. I know I’m good at it, and as I move my body, eyes closed, I know people are watching. When I dance I don’t care why they’re looking at me or what they’re thinking. I do it for me. Because it feels good to move my body, to exist in a moment. Dance is freeing, it’s the language of our bodies.
When I finally open my eyes, they connect immediately with caramel brown ones. He’s moved closer to the bonfire, beer bottle in hand while his jaw works angrily at the piece of gum he’s chewing.
I know I shouldn’t do it.
I’ve sworn off men.
He’s my roommate.
He’s hot as hell.
But I do it anyway.
I crook my finger. It’s a challenge, a silent dare. The ball’s in his court.
He shoves the bottle into the hand of one of his friends, slinking toward me like a panther. When he gets to me he wraps one big hand around my waist, the heat of his palm a brand against my skin. He begins to move to the song as well, and despite our massive height difference it works—we work, but I don’t let my brain linger on that thought too long.
I don’t know if he has any formal dance training, but he moves like someone who has at least some knowledge or basic understanding of rhythm. The fire crackles nearby, and I faintly taste ash on my tongue. His brows are drawn low as he watches me, our movements evenly matched as we anticipate each other’s movements. People still watch, but this time they’re not just watching me. It’s us. Normally I would be scared to put on a show like this, I’m not this bold, but after everything with Todd some spontaneity won’t kill me. In fact, I think it’ll be good for me. It also helps that on this campus no one knows who I am. I like the anonymity of it. I can be anyone.
He knows you, my conscience whispers to me.
But not really, sure he knows who I am, but Cole doesn’t know much of my past, of my hurts, the scars I bear. And tonight, I just want to be, to exist in this moment.
With both hands on my waist, he dips me backwards and my hair falls with me, the ends touching the grass. When he pulls me back up, we’re closer than before. Chest to chest. Heartbeat to heartbeat—well, maybe not quite since he’s such a giant. I crane my neck back as we sway, our hips moving in a sensual rhythm, and our eyes meet.
Lust.
Desire.
Sex.
It’s there. In his gaze. Mine too. We can’t go there, not just because we’re living together, but because I need time. To heal. To stand on my own two feet. To grow.
I pull out of his arms. “No. I can’t. I’m sorry.” I bite my lip, truly remorseful. “I’m sorry,” I repeat, taking a step back.
Another.
One more.
Until I’m disappearing into the shadows.






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AUTHOR BIO

Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.


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