Promo tour: Val and Pal Series by Margaret Lashley

VAL & PALS series

by Margaret Lashley

Genre: Humor/Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit




The first 2 books will be specially discounted to 99 cents on Sept 19th.

Absolute Zero: Misadventures From A Broad

A Midlife Meltdown…with a Side of Fries.

Val’s long-suffering life as a patient daughter, dutiful wife and reliable workhorse has turned her into a snarky, miserable nag.

She has the house, the husband and the career. The only thing missing is the happy.

Before she’s set out to pasture, Val wants one more go around the track. Unbridled. In Italy.

La dolce vita or bust.

Will Val find her happy ending abroad? Or someplace she never thought to look? And will she get there before her money and her sense of humor run out…

If you’ve ever dreamed of ditching your life and running off to Europe, now’s your chance! Join Val on a roller-coaster ride through Europe that will leave you gasping! From gut-busting hilarity to gut–wrenching gaffs, finding yourself again is always worth the price of admission. Buy it now!

The plane came to a halt. A mechanical bell binged. I looked around nervously. I slung my purse across my shoulder and sardined myself into the line of passengers inching their way down the narrow aisle. When I reached the plane’s exit door, I paused hesitantly, like a convict who’d gotten free of her cuffs without anybody noticing. My mind swirled with excitement and abject terror. Goosebumps rushed across my body. The hair at the base of my neck pricked up like a scaredy-cat.

What the hell was I doing?

Mere days before, I’d slammed every single door – including the screen one – on my life back in Florida. The last chance to change my mind had come and gone, as unheeded as a speed limit sign at a NASCAR rally. Every safety net I’d ever known was thousands of miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean, out of sight and out of reach.

I took a deep breath to steady myself, then stepped off the plane into the complete unknown. I glanced back and waved goodbye to the Air Italia flight crew. I turned again and meandered down the gangplank behind a frail, elderly couple holding hands. Their long-standing marriage triggered flashbacks of my own, long-suffering one.

Seven weeks ago, I’d signed the final divorce papers ending fifteen years of matrimony to Jimmy Johnson, a man I no longer knew. I envisioned the beautiful house Jimmy and I had shared together. I’d sold it and my advertising business just days before the flight. After splitting the pot with Jimmy, I’d netted a hot-damn jackpot of $473,000. I pictured my best friend, Clarice Whittle. I’d left my Ford in her garage, along with a few boxes that held the final remains of the cranky, resentful woman I hoped this trip would get rid of for good.

I’d brought next to nothing with me. I’d left even less behind. No kids. No pets. No job. No husband. No responsibilities. No nothing.

I’d spend the last forty-one years in perpetual motion – Val Jolly’s non-stop stint as dutiful daughter, long-suffering wife and brown-nosing business woman. I’d catered to everyone else’s needs for as long as I could remember. Somewhere along the way I’d turned into a crabby, shrill woman that even I didn’t like. I’d forgotten who I was and what I wanted. This trip was going be my R&R&R – relaxation, romance and re-invention.

I was in Italy to try my hand at living irresponsibly, like my trampy cousin Tammy Jeter. She’d always done as she damn well pleased. Up ‘til now, I’d thought she’d been selfish. Especially when she left Whitey Large and their five pit-bulls (One with puppies!) to run off with Tater Johnson. Turns out, that girl had had it right all along.


Available for only 99cents Sept 15-19

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Glad One: Starting Over is a …!

How Many Do-Overs Do You Get in One Lifetime?

One crazy old lady. Two gin & tonics. Three wacko beach-bum friends. Will Val’s fourth stab at starting over add up to a big fat zero?

Val’s down, but don’t count her out just yet. Broke, but not broken (just seriously cracked), Val Fremden returns to her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida to find everything she knew squashed under the heels of change.

With nothing left to go on but her own dry sense of humor and the life coach advice of a beer-guzzling old lady she meets at the beach, can her life get any crazier? Just wait.

Glad One is a satirical look at divorce, single-hood and climbing back up the social ladder. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, reluctant, midlife-crisis survivor who lost everything — but regained herself.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Val? Or is that just the headlamp of another train wreck heading her way? Knowing Val, it’s probably both.

If you like wacky, deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Glad One! It’s the second book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.

A puff of jaded air forced its way between my pursed lips like steam from a relief valve. I needed a good cry. But this was not the time or place for it. To distract myself, I started counting my blessings.

One decimated pocketbook. Two cottage-cheese thighs. Three maladjusted ex-husbands…. Crap!

Whoever was running the show up there had a wicked sense of humor – and I was getting damn tired of being the punchline. I scrounged around for my powder compact and opened it, intent on repairing my makeup after the nine-hour flight. One glance in the mirror at my worn-out face made me snap it shut. Why bother?

In forty-five years, I’d accumulated a good portion of wrinkles, a fair amount of belly fat, and, apparently, precious little wisdom. These questionable assets, along with $5,726 and a suitcase full of inappropriate clothes, were all I had left to launch my latest life makeover. I slumped back into my seat. I was bone-dragging tired. Even so, a wry grin snuck across my lips like a stolen kiss from a stranger. I was not defeated. Not yet, anyway.

The way I saw it, I still had two viable options. One, I could finally learn to laugh at myself. Or two, I could drink myself into oblivion. I fished around the bottom of my purse for a coin to determine my fate. I flipped a tarnished nickel into the air with my thumb. It did a triple gainer, plunged into my coffee, and splashed a nasty brown stain on the crotch of my white stretch pants.

Awesome. Let the festivities begin.

***

My last life makeover had begun over seven years ago, and had turned out to be a spectacular, downward spiral reminiscent of diving off a cliff with a bowling ball in my pants. Drowning in dullness and fueled by movie-inspired stupidity, I’d ditched a tiresome marriage and lucrative writing career, sold all my belongings and took off for Europe. In Italy, I met a German and fell in love with the idea of life with a stranger in a strange land. Things had been great for a while. But then the shiny wore off and the cracks showed up, like they always did.

On my arrival back in St. Petersburg, Florida, I’d discovered that seven wasn’t such a lucky number. In fact, seven years abroad had been just exactly long enough for my entire credit history to be erased – just like most of my money. I’d gotten off that plane with no driver’s license. No place to live. No credit card. No phone. No resume. And, worst of all, no friends. Incredibly, I’d somehow managed to become a foreigner in my own homeland.

As a lifelong lover of irony, I’d had to smile at my own ingenuity. How many other people on the planet could have claimed such a monumental fuck-up?

Available for only 99cents Sept 19-22

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Two Crazy: Fickle Finger of Fate

The World is not a Safe Place for Figurines.

When you’re pushing 50 with an industrial bulldozer, birthdays can be a bitch. What was intended as a gag gift for Val ends up making her gag all right – and lands her in a whole heap of trouble with the law.

With one hot cop on her tail and a mean one on her trail, Val turns to old friends and new ones to help prove she’s not into human dismemberment.

Who’s the good cop? Who’s the bad? And who’s the dwarf in the Halloween mask?

Will a pair of falsies help Val stumble onto the truth? If not, she’s got to rely on her wacky, beach-bum friends if she’s going to escape the fickle finger of fate.

Two Crazy is a satirical look at how life seems to take pleasure in screwing up all of our well-laid plans. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, middle-aged woman with major trust issues and dubious, yet highly original coping skills.

If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Two Crazy. It’s the third book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.

I woke the morning after my birthday party with a cop in my bed and a dead body in the kitchen. Okay, it was just a roach carcass. But I swear it was big enough to draw a chalk line around. It was legs-up in the middle of the floor. I’d fumbled, bleary-eyed, toward the cappuccino machine in nothing but Tom’s t-shirt, and had managed, of course, to step right on it. The disgusting crunch of its carapace underfoot made me scream like a little girl.

“Aaahhhh!”

As a native of the Sunshine State, I’d grown up learning to deal with the worst that Florida’s flora and fauna had to throw at me. Poison ivy. Cabbage-palm spikes. Daddy long-leg spiders. Fire ants. Kamikaze tree frogs. Ghoulish house geckos. Deadly rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Even the occasional gator on the road or in a swimming pool. I’d managed to make my peace with all of them – except one.

Let a roach get anywhere near me – especially a flying one – and my bravado disappeared faster than Oreos at a Weight Watcher’s convention. When I’d stepped on that nasty bug, I’d let out a scream that could be heard on the International Space Station. If that marked me as a sissy, so be it. But there was something abhorrently primeval about a creature that could live for months without its own head.

“What’s going on in there!?”

Tom dashed into the room. He was naked except for his state-issued revolver. The sight of his tan, muscular body almost made me forget about my predicament. Almost.

“A roach,” I grimaced. I held up my foot like it needed stitches.

Tom grinned at me and shook his head.

“There appears to be no permanent damage. What happened to my fearless partner? Valliant Stranger?”

“Hey. Roaches are my kryptonite, okay?”

“Duly noted. I thought you put out some traps. Roach Motels, right?”

I took a paper towel off the roll and ran it under the tap. I bit my lip in disgust and wiped my foot.

“Yeah, I did. I guess there was no room left at the inn.”

Tom sniggered. “Don’t those things come with ‘No Vacancy’ signs?”

“Very funny, Mr. Morning Sunshine. Can we please change the subject now?”

“Okay.”

A dirty grin crept across his face. Tom sidled up to me and put his hands on my hips.

“Have you got a vacancy that I can fill?”

I knocked his hands off of me.

“Geeze, Tom. I think that may go down in history as the most disgusting foreplay line ever.”

Tom scooped me up into his arms. His naughty grin deepened his dimples and crinkled the corners of his hypnotic, green eyes.

“Okay, how about this? I’ve got a gun, lady. Better do what I say.”

Both my hormones and my imagination went haywire.

“Now that’s something I can work with.”

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Three Dumb: Wheelin’ & Dealin’

Baloney and Cheesed.

They say three’s the charm. But charming isn’t Val’s style.

Val Fremden is a lot of things. Quirky. Jaded. Disaster prone. But more than anything, she’s afraid of commitment.

When boyfriend Tom tells her he loves her – then trades away her mom’s ashes for a tiki hut – Val’s just not feelin’ it.

On the warpath with Tom, Val’s forced to rely on her oddball friends to help track down her mom’s cremains. But three botched stakeouts and two disasters later, she still hasn’t got peanuts. Through trial (but mostly error), Val discovers it’s not easy to outwit a mobile master of disguise when she’s stuck driving a paddy wagon full of nutcases.

She loves Tom…she loves him not. Knowing Val, she’s gonna need a bigger flower….

Three Dumb is a satirical look at how life, over time, changes our perception of love and the things we value. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, middle-aged woman with legendary commitment issues and a gnawing reluctance toward romance.

If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Three Dumb. It’s the fourth book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.

I’d spent Sunday evening alone, cooling down slowly, like the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl. I’d avoided a critical meltdown, and when I woke up Monday morning, I’d found myself on the verge of no longer being a lethal danger to other life forms.

After a cappuccino and a long, cool shower, at 8 a.m. I called Lefty’s Hauling again. It rang fifteen times, unanswered. This was, of course, totally unacceptable. It was time for Plan B.

I slipped on a sundress and sandals, put my hair in a ponytail and climbed into the red pleather driver’s seat of Maggie, my 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible. With a little encouragement in the form of smashing her gas pedal to the floor, Maggie carried me north along Gulf Boulevard. The four-lane road, lined with two- and three-story beach resorts, skirted the Gulf of Mexico like stiches in a hem.

Year round, tourists flocked to the quaint mom-and-pop motels and sugar-white beaches. I couldn’t blame them. All-in-all, St. Pete Beach was a great place to be.

I turned east on 107th Avenue. Immediately, the salt air and kitsch beach shops disappeared, replaced with anywhere-USA strip malls. At 66th Street, I turned north in the direction of good-old Pinellas Park.

Every major metropolitan area had a section designated especially for rednecks. How they found each other, I didn’t know. Maybe they were all related, or there was some special redneck hotline I wasn’t privy to. At any rate, in Pinellas County, the mecca for country bumpkins and politically incorrect-and-proud-of-it folks was definitely Pinellas Park.

If it weren’t for Florida’s history of hurricanes and tropical storms, Pinellas Park would have choked to death on doublewide trailers decades ago. But in 1993, a freak storm took out all but the very highest quality manufactured homes. It had been dubbed the “1993 Storm of the Century” by some, the “’93 Super Storm” by others, and the “Great Blizzard of 1993” by the Yankees up north. But we locals simply called it the “No-Name Storm,” because it had come up so quickly and unexpectedly not even the weather forecasters had had time to register it with an official moniker.

It had begun on March 12th as a cyclonic storm in the Gulf of Mexico, then quickly grew into a beast that stretched from Cuba to Canada. It moved into Florida around midnight, catching us unaware with winds over 100 mph. It spawned 11 tornadoes and a storm surge in St. Pete that topped out at seven feet. For folks along the coast, bay and rivers, it had been devastating. It wiped out or damaged over 18,000 homes in the Sunshine State and killed 47 of our citizens, more than Hugo and Andrew combined. Suffice it to say, it was not a good time to be living in a tin can on wheels.

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WHAT FOUR

November 7, 2017

Most Definitely Contains Nuts.

All Val wants is a quiet holiday away from her oddball family. But a promise pried from her lips earlier in the year has blown that wish out the henhouse window.

When Val and her boyfriend Tom arrive at her mother’s house in Hicksville, USA, the annual Family Fruitcake Competition is well underway. And there’s more than a few fruits and nuts in the running.

But the biggest contest is between Val and her mom.

As their battle of wills heats up, unexpected ingredients get thrown into both women’s batter. It may be time to call in a referee….

Who will get best in show? Who will get their just desserts? And will Val’s half-baked family turn out to be too much baggage for Tom to handle? Order a copy and find out!

If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love What Four. It’s the fifth book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.

Like the characters in my novels, I haven’t lead a life of wealth or luxury. In fact, as it stands now, I’m set to inherit a half-eaten jar of Cheez Whiz…if my siblings don’t beat me to it.

During my illustrious career, I’ve been a roller-skating waitress, an actuarial assistant, an advertising copywriter, a real estate agent, a house flipper, an organic farmer, and a traveling vagabond/truth seeker. But no matter where I’ve gone or what I’ve done, I’ve always felt like a weirdo.

As a child I lived in my own pretend world of tickling fairies and talking cats. I began writing when I found an ancient black typewriter on my grandparent’s back porch. (Inspired by my brothers, Boys are Stupid was my first masterpiece.)

I’ve learned a heck of a lot in my life. But getting to know myself has been my greatest journey. Today, I know I’m smart. I’m direct. I’m jaded. I’m hopeful. I’m funny. I’m fierce. I’m a pushover. And I have a laugh that makes strangers want to join me at restaurants. In other words, I’m a jumble of opposing talents and flaws and emotions. And it’s all good.

In some ways, I’m a lot like Val Fremden the main character in my Val & Pals Series. My books featuring Val are not autobiographical, but what comes out of her mouth was first formed in my mind, and sometimes the parallels are undeniable. I drink TNTs. I had a car like Shabby Maggie. And I’ve started my life over four times, driving away with whatever earthly possessions fit in my car. And, perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that friends come from unexpected places.

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Promo Tour: A Bad Boy Billionaire Romance by Shayne Ford

 

A BAD BOY BILLIONAIRE ROMANCE

Night of the Kings series

by Shayne Ford

Genre: New Adult Erotic Romance

 LUST. POWER. BAD BOYS. LOVE. BETRAYAL.
This is a story about love, taming hearts, growing up and changing. It is about a good girl corrupting a bad boy, who turns her into a bad girl. And then, it’s about a bad girl, who brings the bad boy to his knees.
Rain meets James for the first time, fresh out of high school. Fascinated by him, she wants him to be her first man, someone she can never forget. At twenty-five, James is a ruthless, powerful, wealthy man, who’s never had feelings for a woman and wants to keep things that way.
He has two handsome best friends who are also his business partners.
This is NOT a conventional, linear romance. Expect a bit of a mess, dirty bits, other people, cliffhangers and twists of situations. 



Chapter ONE


RAIN

Nobody knows where they come from.
Some people say they travel from the other side of the hills, where the wealthiest estates of the county share the beautiful scenery of Aspen and the well-guarded privacy of big money, but they could drive from farther away.
They come with the first whispers of the fall when the days are still warm, and the light looks like golden honey pouring slowly in a jar of glass. When the nights grow cold, and the leaves flutter in the wind under the vault of the cerulean sky. When homes like mine and Eve’s smell like cinnamon and apple pies, and smoke drifts from the piles of leaves burning outside.
They drive through town like ghosts while we spend our evenings tucked under the blankets, sipping tea and eating cookies, spinning stories like this.
But some people swear they see them all year round. Mostly at night, and almost never during the day, and that’s why it’s so hard to believe.
As they sweep through town, the whispers become murmurs before they turn into gossip, the stories, old and new, resurfacing, revived, spurring restlessness amongst the youngsters and skepticism amongst the older.
Men brush the idea off, huffing and puffing and grumping, turning a deaf ear to the women’s ramblings.
People spot their cars or bikes, but not that many get the chance to see them. Certainly not us, who are barely out of high school.
Women are the ones who spread the rumors, but their stories should be taken with a grain of salt.
Regardless, the tales and mysteries abound.
Eve and I love the legend.
Unlike her, I’m not willing to admit.
Some say they head west–– right outside of town, where an old estate sprawls on a big piece of land, guarded by the majestic forest in the background.
That’s where the road comes to an end, and the Dark House rises on the shore of a large, shimmering lake, the mansion shrouded in a lot of mystery just like them.
Surrounded by old trees, alleys with wrought iron benches, flowering shrubs and a brick wall covered with wild roses, the property–– if we are to believe the story, belongs to them.
Footpaths crisscross the land, an old tale saying there’s an abandoned tunnel hidden in the thick woods stretching behind the house.
Other people have spotted them downtown at Red’s–– the building with charcoal gray walls, red painted stairs, and black tinted windows. The playground of the most powerful and wealthiest men in town, perhaps the county. The favorite place for wheeling and dealing and indulging in guilty pleasures away from their spouses’ eyes.
Throughout the years the space we grew up in has become a portal between old and new, truth and secret, pure and sin, stories like this making the town feel so alive.
“Wait for me,” Eve shouts as I dart away from her, the wind blowing in my hair, the sun kissing my cheeks.
“I’ll meet you down there,” I say, pointing at the bottom of the slope.

Chapter ONE


Rain

One week till Christmas~New York

There’s no stronger force than love. It makes you crawl and cry and curse. It tortures you and poisons you before it shows you bliss to hook you even more, and then it makes you bleed. It brings the toughest man to his knees and turns a woman’s heart into a pile of ashes.
“She doesn’t pay you to read… you know,” a terse voice rings out behind me, scratching my ears.
I stifle a retort.
She who pays me is not the owner of the store, and she who speaks is not my boss, but that’s useless to convey as well.
Clinging to my last ounce of dignity, I slowly fold the piece of paper, place it in my pocket and start stacking books on the shelf.
The more I sense her stare on my back, the more nervous I become. Suddenly, my lips are dry, and my hands turn sweaty as my dress begins to itch.
Pacing myself, I run trembling fingers over my skirt. I wish she’d go away. No fucking chance.
I have no other choice but turn around and face her.
Angel, my co-worker, a petite woman in her mid-twenties, who looks more mature than her age, straightens her back and creases her lips into a disdainful smile.
Her orange sweater makes the pearls around her neck look yellow and her skin translucent. A tangerine ribbon holds her curly hair in place as her beaded eyes follow me intently from behind thick-rimmed glasses.
How many times have we been through this?
She harassing me while I pretend I’m an idiot.
“I thought you’re leaving,” I say dryly.
“I am,” she says, throwing me a disgusted look, her fingers flipping a freshly sharpened pencil.
My eyes drop to the wedding band gracing her ring finger.
Who can love a woman like this?
Pure hatred runs in her blood.
“I just want to remind you that until you close the store, you have to make sure the customers’ calls don’t end up in the voicemail. She doesn’t like that,” Angel says, acting as a surrogate for Candy, our new boss.
I clench my teeth to push back another retort.
I’d gladly give her a piece of my mind, but more than anything else I need this job and the meager paycheck that helps me to survive or rather doesn’t let me die.
“Okay,” I say, looking at her blankly.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out what possesses her to pick on me, day in and day out?
It was like that from the very beginning.
Before I even had the chance to open my mouth and introduce myself or say a thing or two about my life, her mind was already made up.
She’s not much older than me, and she’s not my boss, but somehow she thinks she is. She started working a couple of weeks before me, and yet she behaves as if she owns the store

 


RAIN

The ocean breeze sweeps my feet.
Soft as a feather, the wind rolls onto my legs and my back before it trails my backside. It takes me only a mere second to realize I’m naked.
Caught between sleep and awareness, I stretch my arm and tap the mattress behind me, looking for the sheet.
I slide it over my body and let myself fall back to sleep, hoping to steal another hour. The seagulls have a different plan and start a riot on the beach.
I give up on the idea and just lie on the bed with my eyes closed, and my nostrils filled with the ocean scent.
A smell of coffee drifts from nearby. More awareness settles in, a nagging thought coming along with it.
He didn’t sleep in bed with me.
In fact, he hasn’t touched me since that night.
None of them have.
That must be him, and his instructions.
There’s no other explanation. The Night of the Kings, and my brief encounter with Lex wouldn’t have happened either, had he not given them the green light.
Another thought surfaces in my head.
Today is our last day on the island.
My stomach shrinks and my chest tightens with tension. Forget about sleeping. I crack my eyes open.
The wide stretch of glimmering blue water and the silver sand come into view. It’s a windy morning with the sky mostly clear, only a few fluffy clouds chased away by the wind here and there.
I could live and write in a place like this. I wouldn’t need a big house. Nothing like this for sure. A room or two will do. As long as I’d have the beach, the ocean and the crying seagulls my life would be like a dream.
I can envision myself sitting in a wicker chair, sipping margaritas, and plotting away. Knitting stories.
Hmm. That’s a nice thought. I smile for a few moments before I I shake off the fantasy and look around.
The house is eerily quiet. I crawl across the bed, snatch my phone from the nightstand and flip it over.
It’s almost ten.
Propped on my elbows, I scan the beach, looking for them. The shore is empty.
I slide off the bed, wrap the sheet around my body, take a few stairs down and glance around. The water ripples in the pool while the palmetto leaves sway in the wind.
I take a few more steps, the warm sand brushing my feet. Shielding my eyes from the sun, I look up and down the beach.
There’s no sign of them.
Intrigued, I spin around and make the trip back, entering the house.
Chamber after chamber, I get the same feeling. There’s no one else in here but me. In perfect order, the rooms bear no signs of them. The bedroom doors are wide open, the beds untouched as if no one slept in them last night.
I check the closets. They’re empty as well. I dash back to my bedroom, toss the sheet on the bed, pick up my underwear, a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, and get dressed in a hurry.
SECRETS. LIES. DECEIT. A GAME OF LUST AND BURNING PASSION.
Dahlia is a girl who just started building her own path in life. Lex is the man who has it all, except for one thing.
His heart is full of secrets, and his blood is filled with lust, yet no one can tame his fire.
Fate brings them together in more ways than one. He has a taste for mysteries. She has a heart made for love.
Falling for him is the hardest thing she’s ever done.
Satisfying her is the most pleasurable thing he’s ever done.
Will this be the everlasting love?
This is NOT a conventional, linear romance. Expect a bit of a mess, dirty bits, cliffhangers and twists of situations.
This is a New Adult Erotic Romance. 18+ Only.
PLEASE NOTE: Although a standalone, Lex’s story includes spoilers of James’ story since it unfolds in the same world at a later date. If you wish to know the backstory of the Kings, reading James’ story (book 1-3) is highly recommended
Shayne Ford writes NEW ADULT, Erotic Romance, the love stories involving hot-blooded men and adventurous, soulful women. The male cast includes Rock Stars, Billionaires, Bad Boys, Alphas with a heart, and the sweet, strong man you may find next door. The stories are emotional and deliciously hot. Sometimes they’re unconventional, and sometimes they’re a bit dark.Her Series are epic, layered, character-driven, and have a lot of depth. They are not the typical romance, nor are they formulaic or follow a mold.

Release Tour: Dead of Night by James Agee, Jr.

DEAD OF NIGHT

The Blood Curse Chronicles

by James Agee Jr.

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

All families have secrets.
Some have secrets worth dying for.
The Vasile family owns a funeral home in Frederickton, Virginia. For the most part, life in this small town is ideal. However, there is one secret they try to hide – one that could destroy their lives as they know it.
They are vampires.
When a strange girl comes to town for her grandmother’s funeral, new information is uncovered. There is a chance the Vasiles and all other vampires will know a day when they can become human and break the blood curse that has plagued vampires for centuries.

She opens her mouth to say something, more than likely about what book I should purchase, but I speak before she can get any words out.
“Was someone playing the piano earlier?”
She tilts her head as if I have just asked her a confusing question.
“Well…I don’t know how to explain this. It won’t make much sense to you, but the piano plays itself.”
She must see the disbelief written across my face because she hastily adds, “Sometimes there is the shadow of a person sitting on the piano bench, but honest to goodness the keys play themselves.”
The music starts playing and I find my body gravitating towards the sound. The keys bob up and down swiftly seemingly of their own accord. My heart leaps as I see the shadow of a person sitting on the bench. If I did not believe the old woman before, I sure do now.
I inch closer to the piano.
Is it a spirit? A ghost? My imagination?

A fast paced jazz tune is echoing throughout the shop. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, filling my lungs with the inky dust particles. I open my eyes and the head of the shadow is facing toward me. I reach out to touch it, unsure if I should. My hand goes right through the dark form and slowly the music stops playing.
The woman’s hand tugs on my arm. There is a slightly annoyed look on her wrinkled face.
“Why did you go and scare him off?”
I can’t help but ask her, “Him? How do you know that it is a ‘him’?
She chuckles and pushes her glasses up her nose to keep them from sliding off.
“Dear, you can tell by how he plays the piano. There’s such passion behind the sounds. He has so much emotion.”
James Agee Jr. writes fictional stories that border on the unknown. When he isn’t reading a book, he is writing one. Stories surround him and he cannot help but to write a few of them down. Occasionally, some of those stories turn into books. He firmly believes that words have power and that if you are reading then you are doing yourself a wonderful favor.

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Pre-Order Blast: Of Deception and Divinity by N.D. Jones

OF DECEPTION AND DIVINITY

Death and Destiny Trilogy, Book 3

by N.D. Jones

Genre: Paranormal Romance

The arrival of a new enemy. The start of a greater battle. A destiny to be defended.
A mighty war, waged every 500 years, has returned to the realm of mortals. And with it, the Day of Serpents arrives to wreak havoc upon the world.
Assefa and Sanura struggle to complete their mate bond, as they also continue their fight in this preternatural war of fire versus water. Unseen enemies, surprise magic attacks, and betrayal lurk at every turn for the couple, and revelations about their powers and past come to light.
As Assefa and Sanura fight to seal their bond and love, destiny and divinity may have already sealed their fate.

“I heard the prodigal son is returning and he won’t be alone.”
Tracey Kemraha shivered, the Grimba Forest not the most appealing place to meet. Yet the darkness and lateness of the hour, combined with the remote location made this the ideal and safest place to gather, even if she’d rather be any place other than there, and with him. Yet there they both were, surrounded by towering trees, muggy air, and long-awaited anticipation. No one could see them together, which made tonight’s outing, so close to the eve of their plan, both dangerous and important.
They had too much to lose, especially her. The tall, arrogant man, dark eyes devoid of any emotion, except contempt, stared at her, his green-and-black military fatigues blending into the forest in a way her royal blue outfit did not. And how she despised him, her means to an end, just as much as he loathed her, their alliance temporary and mutually beneficial.
“I see you still know far too much that takes place within the presidential compound. I would guess a spy if I didn’t believe you were capable of finding out all you needed to know by yourself.”
His sneer and slight baring of teeth reminded her, intentionally, she knew, of his power and standing. Out there, and all alone, there would be little Tracey could do if he decided to wrap his hand around her neck, breaking it as easily as he did the trust of those who dared to love the pampered prince.
If given enough time and physical space, she could defeat the were-cat in a one-on-one battle. But shifters like him understood the weaknesses of witches, preyed on them, counted on them, and took advantage of those weaknesses. She didn’t bother stepping away from the predator. He would only follow, guaranteeing she’d have only a second to begin a spell. Then he would be on her, ripping her throat out with fangs or claws and leaving her bloody, dead body to the scavengers.
“I have my means, but I know nothing of the woman who’ll be accompanying the second son of the Sudan. What can you tell me about her?”
She didn’t like it, hadn’t seen Assefa in years. Not that he hadn’t been home since he’d departed for the States. He had. But he’d come and gone, never once seeking her out, angering Tracey with his continued stubbornness. He was hers. And it was high time he stopped running and returned home—for good and to be with her, his mate. Yet, if the rumors were true, Assefa wanted his family to meet some woman he’d met in America—a totally unacceptable turn of events.
Before trust and love can take hold, grow solid roots, and blossom into a reality larger than self, fear must be conquered and faith embraced. Yet fear of an ancient prophecy, of burning magical power, and a broken heart, Sanura Williams, psychology professor, is unprepared when Special Agent Assefa Berber enters her life, hunting a preternatural serial killer. Assefa’s intelligent, chocolate eyes and intoxicating aura signature stirs her fire spirit but frightens the woman.
In a world where all is not as it seems, Sanura and Assefa must battle the gods’ first creations – vile predators who threaten the safety of humans. Each confrontation, each bloody clash, will bring Sanura and Assefa closer to fulfilling the prophecy of being the Fire Witch and Cat of Legend – the ones who will save humanity from the Water Witch of Legend. Death, godly magic, and physical attraction draw Sanura and Assefa to each other, but fear and faith will determine their destiny.

In a world of mystery and magic, sometimes old bonds must be broken before new ones can be formed. Who knew that finding one’s soul mate would test bonds and unleash beasts?
Mami Wata and Oya are now free from their watery prison and ready to wage a battle five hundred years in the making. Special Agent Assefa Berber and Dr. Sanura Williams are the prophesized Cat and Fire Witch of Legend. To save the world from Mami Wata, a water goddess with a bloody thirst for power and an insatiable appetite for death and destruction, they must defeat her beasts and the Water Witch of Legend.
Assefa and Sanura are fully in love but possess only a partial mate bond. While Sanura has merged their auras, bonding Assefa’s cat spirit to her, she has yet to accept his claiming bite. Their incomplete mate bond and their new relationship are tested when Mami Wata sets her malevolent eyes on them, manipulating beasts, sacrificing humans, and creating heartache. Can their bond survive, or will they drown under the vicious tide of godly might?
N. D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. She is the founder of Kuumba Publishing, an art, audiobook, eBook, and paperback company. Kuumba Publishing is a forum for creativity, with a special commitment to promoting and encouraging creative works of authors and artists of African descent.
A desire to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional African American characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers, inspired the author to take on the challenge of penning such romantic reads. She is the author of two paranormal romance series: Winged Warriors and Death and Destiny. N.D. likes to read historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as comics and manga.
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Back 2 School Special and Giveaway

REJOICE! The children are back in school.

For those who live to read…here are some awesome books provided by the incredible authors who wrote them. All in celebration of the new school year.

While a few of these books might be oldies, but goodies…others could be new and fresh off the presses.

Relax and find your new favorite author.

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Paranormal in traditional literary terms is related to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, such as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.

Please enjoy these books that focus on paranormal and all the sub-genres. The list is available in alphabetically order by title.

Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win an Amazon Gift card.


Bob at the Lake by R. Murphy

Paranormal Romance

What would happen if Roz, a crabby woman of a certain age, moved to the wintry shores of a New York lake—and got a ghost? And not just any ghost, mind you. Bob’s a ghost from 1920’s Manhattan, full of quips and over fond of his martinis, who swans around in a silk smoking jacket and makes Roz’s life very . . . well, let’s just say ‘complicated.’


Breakwater Beach: Book One in the Unfinished Business Series by Carole Ann Moleti

Paranormal Romance

Liz Levine is convinced her recently deceased husband is engineering the sequence of events that propels her into a new life. But it’s sea captain Edward Barrett, the husband that died over a century ago, who has returned to complete their unfinished business. Edward’s lingering presence complicates all her plans and jeopardizes a new relationship that reawakens her passion for life and love. What are Captain Barrett’s plans for his wife, and for the man who is the new object of her affections?


Paranormal Romance

Sometimes the past refuses to stay buried, and sometimes it comes back to bite you in the ass.

Eli is an ancient vampire with an ego the size of a planet and a sex drive to match, but his tumultuous past left him broken, so he hides from humanity and cowers from love, left to endure the crushing guilt that haunts his every waking moment. Even his best friend, Malachi, a ghost who is hopelessly in love with Eli, remains unaware of all that transpired in London. Malachi can never know the truth.

When the Angel Daniyyel pays an unwelcome visit, Eli must face his secrets, secrets that he has tried so long to hide. To make matters worse, a chance encounter with the most beautiful man he has ever seen shatters his beloved isolation, pushing him into the world of the living once more. Something about this strange man seems so familiar, but Eli can’t even remember who he was before he became a vampire, never mind explain the unwanted emotions the enigmatic stranger ignites in his dead heart. So Eli has a choice – return to the world that ruined him, or continue his self-imposed exile with no hope of salvation.


Paranormal Romance

Enter our realms and explore your fantasies! These tales will enthrall you with their sexy heroes and spellbinding heroines. They will thrill your imagination, intrigue your spirit of adventure and take you to unique settings you never dreamed possible. Delight in stories that feature Egyptian Gods, Time Travel, Angels, Ghosts, and more. Come – spend time with our mystic lovers in their enchanted worlds. Treat yourself to the ultimate, enchanting read. Lose yourself in the inexplicable inspiration of 6 NYT & USA Today Best-selling authors: Rebecca York, Mimi Barbour, Dani Haviland, Jacquie Biggar, Aileen Fish, and Mona Risk.


Paranormal Romance

Tamara’s spicy scent thrills, seduces and weakens him like no other. She is his and he wants her. Unfortunately, she is done with men. Tamara’s been burned too many times in the past and she’s not looking for a relationship…..ever. But when she finds a stray dog on her doorstep she decides she wants a relationship with a male, after all- that of pet and pet owner.

Josh is not a dog and he has no interest in staying her pet. He has one burning desire- Tamara- in his bed, nightly and permanently. He will stop at nothing to convince Tamara they are better together and that he needs her, forever.

Their paths are intertwined and their future is inevitable but will Tamara allow Josh to love, cherish and protect her? Or will she say good-bye to the amazing, dedicated man whose loyalty and sweet promises could shatter her walls completely and consume her with desire?


Paranormal Romance

Carson, a dreamer who can look into someone else’s past and delve into the mysteries of a stranger’s future cannot foresee what her own life will become. Resigned to her destiny as the caught prey of an ambitious wolf instead of residing with her own life-mate, Carson feels defeated. That is, until she looks into the eyes of the new pack healer.

Chase Blackston, is a confirmed bachelor with a firm grasp on how his life is going to be – ordered, neat and unencumbered. Sent to Sapphire Lake as a replacement for their aging healer, he had no intention of letting anything change his mind or his life. Attending the mate run for his new Alpha’s daughter, Chase realizes the prey is more than she seems – she’s his true life-mate. Can things get any more complicated?

With the future of Sapphire Lake hanging in the balance, along with the very evident attraction growing between Carson and Chase, no one is aware of the dangerous presence in their very midst.


Sweet Sacrifice by L.D. Rose

Paranormal Romance

Former Navy SEAL Sebastian “Bash” Lockard died in Afghanistan after leaping on a grenade to save his comrades. Little did he know his act of heroism would grant him a ticket into Heaven’s elite army as one of the few and powerful Archangels. Struggling with his new existence, Bash still retains his human memories, leaving behind a wife he loves with all of his heart. Although he’s forbidden to see her, he can’t resist her lure, or the mortal desires he harbors for her.

As a young widow and nurse, Irene Lockard still mourns her husband two years after his untimely death. His absence is everywhere, and when her best friend weds, she hits an emotional rock bottom. As if summoned from the skies above, Sebastian appears before her, and they share an unforgettable night. But when he once again vanishes, she wonders if she’s truly gone mad with grief.

The only way Sebastian can remain with Irene is if he makes the ultimate sacrifice. But will she overcome her fear of losing him again to another war?


Tempting The Light by Bonnie Gill

Paranormal Romance

Bad luck magnet Abby Fitzpatrick gets fired, catches her boyfriend cheating with a mime, and is cursed by an evil genie who pops out of a tampon box. She’s bound and determined to remove the spell and, as fate would have it, the hottest guy she’s ever met is out to kill her.

River Stone, a Cryptid hunter for Legends and Myths Police Squad (L.A.M.P.S.), poses as sheriff for Abby’s hometown of Haber Cove, New Jersey. He’s out to find and capture a man-eating gnome and bag the legendary Jersey Devil monster. Little does he realize, the woman who catches his heart is the same creature that he was sent to destroy.

Tempting the Light is the first novel in the L.A.M.P.S. series that features hunky secret agents who find true love while hunting and slaying dangerous Cryptids.

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Treat Yourself With 75 Free Romance Books!

Today only, 75 romance books from your favorite authors are free to download at OMGReads. So go and check out some books and fill your ereaders!

Just a sampling of free books includes Harley by Michelle Jo Quinn, Collateral Attraction by Liz Durano, Love on a Spring Morning by Ainsley Booth, and more!

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Release Tour: Lost & rich by Jude Ouvrard

LOST & RICH

by Jude Ouvrard

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Widowed before her thirtieth birthday, Gracie Collins has dealt with her share of tragedy. Lonely and on her own, she ends up taking a job with an arrogant boss.

Three years later, she’s taken to tolerating him for the sake of entertainment. When she’s not eating the frustrations he’s caused, that is. Everything changes when a stroke of good luck puts Gracie in a position she never imagined.

Freed of the rat race, she begins contemplating her identity, her goals, and her dreams. She begins taking chances and expanding her horizons, but is she ready to move on with life, love, and the future? Will her newfound fortune pave the road to happiness? Or will Gracie find that wealth has left her poorer than ever before?

I can’t believe I’m running late for the second time in three days.

Why? Because my new iPhone is my alarm, and apparently, I haven’t figured out how the damn thing works yet. Anyway, here I am, running through the business district of New York like a mad lady, wearing two and half inch high heels while sweat rolls down my forehead. If my husband were still alive, I’m sure I wouldn’t be running this morning. I would be sitting in his comfortable Jeep while he drives me to work. I sigh and try not to think about him. Time is flying by so fast this morning, I can’t deal with emotions right now.

It’s just about nine in the morning but already almost seventy-five degrees. Why not wear my sneakers to work instead of the dress shoes? They’re at my office. Jesus Christ! If by some stroke of luck Mr. Pulley doesn’t fire me this morning, then I’m buying a lottery ticket. There’s no way he is that forgiving, though; and I understand. I’m already thirteen minutes late, which is unacceptable.

If I could, I’d take off the heels and run. It’d be much easier and faster, but the last time I did that, I ruined a pair of stockings. Not a luxury I can afford, although they’re a luxury I refuse to give up. Sexy silk stockings are my guilty pleasure, what I treat myself to no matter what they cost.

The moment I run inside the building breathless and disheveled, all eyes are on me—Mr. Pulley’s included. He might have called my name as I rushed for the elevator, but I’m not sure because all I can hear is the echo of my heels clicking against the marble floor. Jumping in the elevator right before the door closes, I take a deep breath and try to fix the mess of my hair.

“Rough morning?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s about to turn into a rough day,” I answer with a roll of my eyes.

The man gives me an apologetic smile and stays quiet for the remainder of the ride.

A pile of work needing attention awaits me at my desk, along with the burning pain of multiple blisters on my feet. I want to cry. There may even be tears in my eyes at this point.

“Ms. Collins, in my office, now.”

His voice gives me shivers, and not good ones. I’m scared shitless. “Shit,” I mutter to myself before following him to his office.

“We aren’t in kindergarten, Ms. Collins. Am I going to have to keep an excel sheet of all your misdemeanors, or will you be able to be on time from now on?”

“I’m sorry. I’m having a hard time adjusting to my new iPhone.”

Mr. Pulley looks at me as if I’m growing a second head. “Your alarm clock issues are not my problem. But seriously? My four-year-old nephew can configure one of those in less than two minutes.”

“Well, I guess there are two geniuses in your family, then.” Jesus, did I say that out loud?

“Excuse me?”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Pulley. I’ll contact Apple and arrange a private session to figure it out. It won’t happen again.” If I can’t keep my sarcasm in check, I’ll be in trouble.

“Go. Before I change my mind. However, this is your last warning, Ms. Collins. Oh, and may I suggest you visit the restroom, you look like a raccoon.”

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“Drama, true love, tattoos…and everything in between!”

Jude Ouvrard is an author who writes from the heart, and reads with passion and devotion. Jude enjoys stories of drama, true love, tattoos, and everything in between. While writing is her therapy, reading is her solace. Life doesn’t get better than books and chocolate, and maybe a little bit of shopping.

A romance lover, Jude writes about love, pain, heartbreak and matters that will challenge your heart. A book can tell an unexpected story, no matter which directions it takes. Jude embraces words that have haunted her for years.

Jude is a working mom who dedicates her time to a law firm and writing books. She has an energetic superhero son, and a supportive boyfriend of many years. Her family is her rock; she could not survive without them. Born a country girl, she transformed into a city woman who now lives in Montreal, Canada. Although French is her first language, Jude decided to write in English because she liked the challenge.

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Promo Tour: Scandal’s Child by Pamela Gibson

SCANDAL’S CHILD

by Pamela Gibson

Genre: Regency Romance

Miranda Comstock, widowed and impoverished, accepts a position in London caring for a child who was blinded in a fire. When she discovers the child’s mysterious guardian is the lover who seduced and abandoned her five years earlier, her first thought is to flee. But nine-year-old Phoebe depends on her and is blossoming under her care.

Jeremy Montague returns from Jamaica to take up his duties as the new Earl of Longley and is shocked to find his former lover is his ward’s nurse. Believing she played him for a fool, he vows to remove her from his household, especially when his traitorous body begins to remember the passion they shared.

But there is a mystery afoot involving a long-ago disappearance, Miranda’s resemblance to a society debutante, and the child’s suppressed memories of the fire, which are starting to emerge. As Phoebe’s memories become sharper, Jeremy begins to suspect that he and Miranda were pawns in a twisted game. And both must learn to trust again, if they are to find their way back into each other’s hearts.

A glass of brandy awaited her when Miranda reached the parlor. Jeremy handed it to her without asking, and she accepted it gratefully. The fiery liquid brought her back to reality.

As she sat in the chair in her room, watching Phoebe go to sleep, a languid feeling had overtaken her. Her fight and energy had dissolved once she knew the girl was safe. All she wanted was to sink back into sleep. Now she was wide awake again, although her arms and legs still threatened to buckle under her.

Jeremy leaned against the mantle. She hadn’t noticed in the flurry of activity he’d lost his cravat and he was not wearing a waistcoat. Her only thoughts had been for Phoebe. Now every nerve ending was on edge as she studied his tall frame, his tight pantaloons, and the dark curls peeking from the top of his unfastened shirt. She remembered how soft they had felt against her bare breasts, how they tickled her nose when she lowered her lips to coax his nipples into hard buds. Warmth seeped between her thighs, making her squirm in the hard chair she had chosen. Shaking her head, she took a deep swig of the amber liquid and swallowed, making herself choke.

“Are you all right?” He came over and patted her back as she leaned forward.

“I am not accustomed to strong spirits,” she said between coughs.

“I’m sure you are not, but we all needed some tonight. Or is it morning?”

As if in response, the clock on a nearby table chimed twice.

Miranda blinked and gritted her teeth. Remember, this is the man who deceived you, who already had a mistress and a child when he was promising to marry you. This is the man who sailed away without a word, who never sent a letter, who left you enceinte and alone.

Be fair, he didn’t know you were increasing.

She stilled her inner voice and answered the question.

“It is morning as you heard. Shall we get on with this discussion, so we can all get some sleep?”

He sauntered over to the chair opposite hers and sat down. His lips were drawn in a straight line, and his eyes were cold.

“Now then, tell me exactly how this happened.” He lifted the crystal glass to his lips and drank deeply. Candlelight sparkled from its beveled surface. Miranda watched in fascination as points of light seemed to blur in front of her eyes.

“Miranda? Did you hear me?” He gave her arm a gentle shake. “Are you awake?”

He’d called her Miranda. She blinked and refocused on his lips. That was a mistake. All she could think about was how she longed to taste them, how she burned for the feel of them on her neck and breasts and thighs.

God, she must be exhausted to be having these thoughts.

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Award-winning author Pamela Gibson grew up loving books, history, and small towns. Her first career was a newspaper reporter, but when she returned to college to get a master’s degree, it was in public administration which eventually led to jobs running cities…not as an elected official, but as a city manager, the chief appointed one.

Writing was still her passion and when not busy—with the activities of two children and a lot of volunteer work—she was contracted to write several books on local history. Taking an early retirement at the urging of her very supportive husband, she turned to fiction and began writing the happy ending novels she loves to read.

Sign up for her quarterly newsletter on her website. New followers are eligible for a random drawing for two $5 Amazon gift cards prior to each edition. Author of six small-town contemporary novels, Scandal’s Child is her first historical novel.

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Romance Between the Pages Podcast: Riley J. Ford

Ever wondered about the personalities behind your favorite books? Victoria Danann’s new podcast with Riley J. Ford has an incredible lineup of authors booked through the spring. No question is out of bounds. Check it out!

THIS WEEK’S BEST SELLING AUTHOR…

RILEY J FORD!

Riley J. Ford is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author represented by CAA (Creative Artists Agency). She has had tremendous success with her books, reaching #6 on the NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers list and #9 on the USA TODAY bestsellers list within her first two years of publication. She made the USA TODAY bestsellers list again in September of 2014.

Riley writes romantic comedies, humor, romance, mystery, and contemporary fiction. Fast-paced plots, humor, and steamy scenes are her specialty. Her books are available in e-book formats, paperbacks, audio books, and in foreign languages.

Riley J. Ford is a UCLA graduate with a degree in English. She was a teacher for many years before becoming an author. She resides in California and enjoys reading, dancing, sunsets, and spending time with her family. When she’s not writing, you can find her at her children’s sports activities or running off to the beach for an afternoon swim.

Listen on Itunes (Subscribe so you never miss an episode! It’s FREE!)

Romance Between the Pages Podcast: Jenika Snow

Ever wondered about the personalities behind your favorite books? Victoria Danann’s new podcast with Riley J. Ford has an incredible lineup of authors booked through the spring. No question is out of bounds. Check it out!

THIS WEEK’S BEST SELLING AUTHOR…

JENIKA SNOW!

Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse.

Listen on Itunes (Subscribe so you never miss an episode! It’s FREE!)