For the Win

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An exciting excerpt from the upcoming new romance by the bestselling author

Raine Thomas

It didn’t take long to get to their destination. Will had given the driver an address a few blocks from his house. It was a safety measure his father had suggested years ago when Will first started living on his own. There had been several times when the advice had saved his ass, especially once he started getting more well-known.

They pulled up to the curb in front of the dark dwelling belonging to the incorrect address. “Nice neighborhood,” the driver observed as he entered their arrival into his app.

Will finished entering a tip amount in the app on his own phone, knowing he’d likely forget otherwise. “Yeah, it’s quiet,” he said as he reached for his door handle. “Thanks for the ride.”

“Hey, wait…can I get your autograph?”

Although Will wanted nothing more than to get out of the car and into the crisp December air, he obliged the driver by signing a couple of greasy napkins that looked as though they were the source of the cheeseburger smell. He signed one for the driver and one, he was told, for the driver’s son, then made his escape.

He focused on his phone and pretended to get absorbed in responding to a text on his way up the driveway. As soon as the car pulled away and turned out of sight, Will put the phone in his pants pocket and walked along the silent suburban streets to his house.

The driver had been right about the neighborhood, he idly thought as he rounded the bend towards home. The houses were all well-tended and there was little crime in the area. In the months he’d been renting there, he hadn’t met a single unfriendly neighbor. It also suited him being a short drive from the ballfield and convenient to Denver nightlife. Although he doubted he’d be there much longer since his contract was up and his agent was close to finalizing a deal with Atlanta, the neighborhood had served him well.

His head throbbed dully with every step he took, telling him he was sobering up. He longed for a bottle of water. A frigid wind had him picking up the pace and burying his hands in the pockets of his Berluti suede bomber jacket. He sure as hell wouldn’t miss the Denver winters, he mused as he finally headed up the path to his front door and fished his keys out of his pocket.

Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash

He’d forgotten to leave the porch light on, so he struggled with finding the right key on his heavily shadowed front porch. The cold night air quickly numbed his fingers. He dropped the keys with a jarring clang.

Cursing, he shifted to look for them. His foot connected with them, sending them skittering under one of the two porch chairs. He cursed again, more loudly this time, and bent to retrieve them. He couldn’t see a damn thing under the chair.

Having an a-ha moment, he pulled out his phone and triggered the flashlight. He turned the light towards the chair and caught the glint of light off metal.

Then the shadows in the second chair moved.

He jerked back into a standing position and braced himself for a possible assault. His heart throttled into overdrive.

“Who’s there?” he demanded.

Jesus, Campbell, he thought. Could you sound any more like a fucking horror movie cliché?

Forcing his hand to remain steady, he aimed the phone towards the second chair. His racing heart calmed as fear eased into confusion. There was a small, shivering lump sitting on the chair…a lump with two long braids and wide, glistening eyes staring right at him.

A little girl.

Why the hell was there a little girl on his front porch?

For the Win

Determination.

It’s what gets Jasmine Li out of bed every morning. She’s determined to overcome the injury that has derailed her career in ballet, the only love she’s ever known. She can’t afford to allow a baseball player to distract her, no matter how hot and persistent he might be.

Commitment.

Will Campbell defines the word. It’s what makes him a successful pitcher and it’s helping him learn how to be a single dad to a little girl with plenty of trust issues. Just his luck, the one person his daughter—and his heart—finally respond to is a stubborn, sexy ballerina with plans that don’t involve relationships or children.

But Will didn’t become the best closer in the majors by giving up. He knows what he wants and what his daughter needs, and he’s going to get it. Jasmine Li has met her match … and he’s playing for the win.

For the Win will be published in the summer of 2020.

Raine Thomas

Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen.

She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Get to know Raine on her

And follow her on Twitter @Raine_Thomas.

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New book: The Maltese Pigeon (A Matt Kile Mystery Book 5)

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By David Bishop

MaltesePigeon-Bishop

BestSelling Reads member author has just published a new Matt Kile Mystery, now available on Amazon.

About the book

A shy, mysterious woman and a shadowy fat man put Matt Kile in the middle of Russian Romanov history, danger, murder, and enormous wealth.

All while Matt spars with two romantically competitive women.

About the author

DavidBishopDavid Bishop stuck his author nose under the edge of the mystery tent with his first novel in October 2011. Since then his mysteries have maintained a constant presence on Amazon Best Selling Lists in multiple categories of mystery novels. He has also been listed numerous times among the 100 best selling authors of mysteries, including appearances among the top 10.

He writes several character series :

  • Matt Kile Mysteries (in the order of release): Who Murdered Garson Talmadge, The Original Alibi, Money & Murder, and Find My Little Sister
  • Maddie Richards Mysteries (in order of release): The Beholder and Death of a Bankster
  • Jack McCall Mysteries (in order of release): The Third Coincidence and The Blackmail Club.

The stories within these series are independent, not continuing. They can be read in any order.

Visit David Bishop’s

And follow him on Twitter @DavidBishop7.

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Win-A-Book today: Watch Over Me

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By Sydney Landon

Win a copy of Sydney Landon’s brand-new Danvers romance novel, Watch Over Me, just by leaving a comment below.

WatchOverMe

 

About Watch Over Me

Gwen Day has never been lucky in love, but now she’s betting on one man ready to care for her like no one ever has…

Fresh off of the most humiliating romantic disaster of her life, Gwen sees no reason not to get tipsy and throw herself at her sexy bad boy neighbor. But she never expected their one night stand to have consequences that would keep them together…or for his concern to turn into something that feels like it could last.

Dominic Brady has always admired Gwen from afar, and now that she’s single, he has no reservations about saying yes to one wild night. Soon he’s interested in a real relationship. But when their future is uncertain, Dominic is determined to show her that he takes care of what’s his. And that no matter what happens, he’s one man she can’t lose.

About the author

Sydney Landon is the New York Times & USA Today Best Selling author of Weekends Required, Not Planning on You, Fall For Me, Fighting For You, Betting on You, No Denying You, Always Loving You, Pierced and Fractured.  Sydney is currently working on the next book in the Danvers’ Series.

When she isn’t writing, Sydney enjoys reading, swimming and the beach.  She lives with her family in Greenville, South Carolina.

Visit her:

And follow her on Twitter @SydneyLandon1.

 

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Win-a-Book Wednesday: A Case of Sour Grapes

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By Gae-Lynn Woods

Woods-SourGrapes

You could win a free e-copy of Gae-Lynn Woods’ newest novel, just by leaving a comment. Don’t forget to also give us some way of contacting you to get your free book to you.

About A Case of Sour Grapes

Wine, women, and song. What could possibly go wrong?

Meet Maxine Leverman, lover of expensive shoes, beautiful handbags, and her lingerie wearing ex-husband’s hush money. When she pleads her way into a job at family run Lost and Found Investigations, Maxine’s only goal is to gain the concealed carry license and PI skills she needs to find the man who attacked her, and then kill him. (Or maybe just put him in jail, that decision can wait.)

But when she secretly takes a missing husband case on her first day at the agency, she stumbles into a high-stakes game of blackmail and murder. Maxine must unravel the links between a forgotten folk punk band, an international drug cartel, and the tangled history of the missing husband to keep the women in his life alive.

Fans of the early Stephanie Plum novels and Stuart Woods’ Holly Barker series will love Maxine’s tenacity, grit, and lust for life.

Get it on:

About Gae-Lynn Woods

Gae-Lynn WoodsGae-Lynn Woods is a Texan who has traveled the world, lived overseas, and come back home. She and her husband, British jazz guitarist Martyn Popey, share a ranch in East Texas with a herd of Black Angus cattle, one very cranky donkey, and The Dude, a rescue kitty with attitude.

Visit her full bio on BestSelling Reads.

You can find her on:

Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Google+   |   Goodreads   |   LinkedIn   |    Website   |    Blog

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New release! The Opposite of Hate, by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

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Your first look at the newest novel from this Bestselling author and founding member of BestSelling Reads.

OppositeOfHateCoverChapter One

October 1973

Luang Prabang, Laos

The scent of the Mekong River, wet earth and water, permeated the air. Dampness, like a blanket, folded around them, as the final weeks of the monsoon lingered in the air. Purple clouds of dusk populated the sky. The watchers below stretched their necks, hoping to hasten the moment when the moon would hang like a jackfruit over them, impervious to the hustle of human bodies gathered for the Lai Hua Fai festival. Only when the moon appeared could their boats set sail and signal the end of the monks’ three-month retreat, or Buddhist Lent. All along the shore, fathers prepared to light fireboats fashioned from banana stalks and leaves to send across the river while children hopped from one foot to another in anticipation of how far theirs would travel on the glass-like surface of the water. Mothers hung back, nestled on logs and blankets, putting the final touches on spicy papaya salad and sticky rice for when the stomachs of their family members would remind them of the lateness of the hour. The biggest and boldest boats would launch first under the glow of the full moon. Older children were instructed in technique. Elders, grandparents, aunties, and unmarried uncles watched with one eye for those too eager with the match or careless with the wicks, their ears attuned to the latest gossip from friends and relatives. Qui, Sengchanh’s wife, held the boat he had bought from one of the stalls.

The banana stalk boat hung in her loose grip on top of her distended belly. Qui’s hair was knotted into a bun at the nape of her neck. This time next year, they too would have a pudgy-fingered toddler reaching for a boat, a vessel Sengchanh would whittle for this long awaited firstborn. A boy, impatient for full dark and the moment when hundreds of boats would set sail across the Mekong, taking away bad luck and bringing in the good, like all the other boys up and down the shore, their parents catching on to the excitement.

For now, Sengchanh was content at the sight of Qui’s cheeks, flushed from the breeze, the color returning to her skin, hinting at the vigor of the woman she had been before.

“Now can I?” she asked, like one of the dozens of children eyeing the river, for the umpteenth time since they had arrived to the embankment. “Seng?”

He laughed. “No, we have to wait for the moon,” he said. He pointed at the visible edge of the orange-rimmed sinking sun.

They sat down again on bamboo stools near the makeshift eatery, recently established for the occasion. A balding street vendor in a grease-stained apron called out the names of meats as they were grilled. Seng signaled for a cup of rice wine and a young boy with longish hair ran one over to him. He pulled out a few hundred kip for a Green Spot, the Lao soda, for Qui. A few paces away the transaction was monitored by the wide-eyed stares of two children who bore a striking resemblance to each other. There were no adults around them, and from their worn shirts and shoeless feet, Seng wondered if there were any.

 About The Opposite of Hate

During the 1960s and 70s, more bombs were dropped on a landlocked part of Southeast Asia than in any other war — and it wasn’t Vietnam. The turbulent history of the Land of a Thousand Elephants, the Kingdom of Laos, is the backdrop for this family saga, told as a historical novel. THE OPPOSITE OF HATE opens a window onto a forgotten corner of Southeast Asia and brings little known history to life through vivid characters and settings which explore the cultural heritage of Lao history.

THE OPPOSITE OF HATE explores the intersections of family, loyalty, and nationalism as Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is being taken over by Communists. The political instability drives Seng, a widowed engineer, to marry his best friend’s teenage daughter, Neela, so they can escape re-education or even worse, death. The unlikely husband and wife cross the Mekong River into Thailand as strangers.

Life in the refugee camp brings surprises along with the grime. As they struggle for survival, romances blossoms into an unplanned pregnancy. Seng and Neela get their wish of immigrating to the United States. Succeeding in suburbia, however, presents another unique set of challenges, ones that are not black and white.

This is a tale of intermingled violence, love and ambition.

Seng and Neela embody the historic cultural struggle of thousands who fled the threats of communism only to face the challenges of democracy.

About the author

Moha2013Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to a full time passion.

Her work has been published in Variety Arabia, Brownbook Middle East, Isola Magazine, AudioFile Magazine, and Society Magazine, as well as Explore Qatar, Woman Today, The Woman, Writers and Artists Yearbook, QatarClick, and Qatar Explorer. She has been a guest on Expat Radio, and was the host for two seasons of the Cover to Cover book show on Qatar Foundation Radio. She was the Associate Editor of Vox, a fashion and lifestyle magazine.

In addition to print titles, Mohana has published five e-books including a mom-ior for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me, a guide for aspiring writers, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, a short story collection, Coloured and Other Stories, and a novel about women’s friendships, Saving Peace, which was a semi-finalist in the Literary category of the 2012 Kindle Review of Books.

 Visit her:

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