Thursday teaser: What Had to be Done

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The new young adult novel by USA bestselling author

DelSheree Gladden

I lose my train of thought when my pool cue is suddenly yanked out of my hand. I whip around to find a tall, not-at-all-lanky frame and set of blue eyes staring down at me. The combative set of his jaw is surprising and a little upsetting. Suddenly, I remember Carlos’s warning.

Tamping down my fear, I hop down from the pool table where I’d been sitting. I land a scant few inches away from him. He dwarfs me by about six inches, but that doesn’t stop me from glaring at him.

“I wasn’t finished with that.”

“Sure looked like you were.”

“Looks can be deceiving,” I say, almost choking on the words. “Take you for instance…tall and built as you are, I would have pegged you for someone willing to look out for a girl new to town, not one who goes around snatching pool cues out of their hands and making them want to slap you.”

“What does you being new to town have to do with anything?”

I snatch the pool cue out of his hand and stamp it down on the ground. Thankfully, he is still focused on my eyes and not on my shaking hand. I do not want to start off my tenure here in Santa Fe as the class weenie. “Generally, new arrivals like me come to a party to make friends, not a hit list.”

“Maybe I’m not interested in friends.”

“I doubt that,” I say.

“Why?”

“Because you wouldn’t have come over here and barged in if you didn’t want to know who I was.”

In a flash, his pushy demeanor disappears. A grin replaces his scowl. “Wrong again. I already know who you are, Anna Elizondo.”

“Then why did you come over here, Dave?”

He laughs at the fact that I know who he is as well. He must realize Carlos warned me about him. The merriment in his expression folds quickly. “I came over here because I’ve heard some not so nice things about you, but you look too sweet and innocent for them to be true.”

Surely Carlos wouldn’t say horrible things about me to his friends. Is that why he disappeared so quickly?

“Who told you about me?”

“You don’t know?” Dave asks. “Didn’t Carlos tell you?”

“Tell me what?”

Photo by Santiago Steinkamp on Unsplash

He doesn’t answer. What he does is turn around and call out to someone. When he turns back, all of my false bravado falls away when I see who’s coming toward me. In three years, he’s grown nearly a foot. I can see the same honey-colored eyes I looked into almost every day for years, but never before have I seen such brazen anger in them.

“Felix,” Dave drawls, “look who’s here. It’s your favorite person. Say hi to Anna.”

In front of Dave, I stood my ground. In the face of Felix’s frozen glare, I wilt like flowers in July. My hand shakes to the point that the pool cue I’m holding clatters to the ground. I can’t stop staring at him. The same lips I wanted to kiss a thousand times curl up in a sneer. His hands held mine so many times, the touch always strong but gentle. Now, both of his hands are balled up at his sides.

I haven’t cried since my mom died, but I feel a tear slip down my cheek.

“Felix.”

The single word slips out unbidden. He flinches as if my voice were acid.

“What are you doing here?” he demands.

“I…I live here,” I say weakly. “What are you doing here?”

He half turns. For a moment I think he’s going to walk away from me like I did him three years ago. He almost does. Before his face vanishes completely, he snaps back around. “I spend summers with Carlos’s family. He’s a real friend, unlike other people.”

After his attack, he waves me off and walks away. Dave, who called Felix over in the first place, looks stunned by Felix’s reaction. He watches his friend storm off with a frown.

“Well,” Dave says, “I guess Carlos didn’t tell Felix you’d be here, either.” He walks away after him.

I’m too shocked to move. Lacey comes around the pool table to stand next to me.

“I’m gonna make a wild guess and say Felix is the friend you crushed.”

I swipe at my eyes to brush away the evidence of my betrayal. What I did to Felix…crushed is putting it mildly.

What Had to be Done

Everyone has bad days. Anna Elizondo is going on three years of bad days.

It started with her mother’s illness and eventual death, continued with a decision that ruined a friendship, and culminated in her father announcing they were broke and moving away right before her senior year of high school.

Maybe a fresh start will turn things around. Or maybe it will put her face to face with her former best friend, Felix, and the hatred in he still carries for her.

The only bright spot in Anna’s move to Santa Fe is meeting her new swim coach, a long-time hero who has big plans for her athletic career. The pool is her refuge, but she can’t hide there forever. Living in a small town makes it impossible to stay out of Felix’s way, and unlikely their history will remain just between them for long. If Anna can’t find a way to make things at least tolerable with Felix, it’s going to be a very long summer.

Get it from:

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read.

Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by.

When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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Thursday teaser: Finding You

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A free sample of the romantic suspense

By D.G. Torrens

Eden’s eyes struggled to adjust to the darkness enveloping her. Her heart pounded in her chest when she realised she could hardly move. Her breaths quickened and panic was setting in fast. She could just about move her arms. She extended her arm above her and felt around. She was enclosed…

Fear consumed her. Her body trembled. She screamed – but her cries were ignored. She utilised all the force she could muster in the tight space. She tried to push the top of the box, but all that achieved was a rush of loose soil slipping through the cracks, covering her face.

She shook her head vigorously feeling the impending danger. Her lower lip trembled. Her eyes were gritty and sore. She sobbed.

Who would do this? What is happening to me? Where am I?

Her eyes widened, aware that someone was there… She froze. The person is silent – not a sound. Then all she could hear was the sound of footsteps fading into the distance.

Finding You

Eden Marshall catches the eye of the wealthy and mysterious bachelor, Noah Ainsworth. Noah has been hiding away in his ivory tower for far too long. He decides it’s time to start living again. Eden Marshall is his motivation – captivated by her, he begins to trust in love again. Until a dark secret from his past threatens all that he loves…

Get it on Amazon.

D.G. Torrens

is the author of 14 books, including the bestselling trilogy, Amelia’s Story #1, Amelia’s Destiny #2 and Amelia The Mother #3. This is an emotion-charged true story that the author wrote for her daughter.

D.G is a mother/writer/blogger who has a dream to inspire as many people as possible through her story. To show those with little hope that dreams can come true.

Born in England, passionate about writing, D.G. Torrens is married with a daughter. Her first book, Amelia’s Story, has inspired people all over the world. Amelia’s Destiny, book #2 is the sequel and is followed by Amelia The Mother book #3 in this awe-inspiring trilogy. A memoir that remains with D.G.’s readers long after they have put the book down …

D.G is a prolific writer and in 2013, her works were recognized by BBC Radio WM, where she has given several live interviews in the BBC studios in Birmingham, UK. Thereafter, D.G. became a regular Headline Reviewer for the radio show for the next 12 months.

Visit her on:

And follow her on Twitter @torrenstp.

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Thursday teaser: Fighting for Fall

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Enjoy this excerpt of the upcoming second book in the Seasons of Love series

By Kayla Dawn Thomas

Maddox held out a big hand, and the older women pressed the key into his palm. The glow in her eyes was back. Chanel fought the urge to reach over and slap Alice’s bony wrist by telling herself this was the most action the grouchy old broad ever got. It cheered her to know she got to go upstairs with Maddox and would be making love to him in a matter of minutes.

“Thanks, Alice,” Maddox said taking the key and passing it to Chanel, which reminded Alice of her presence.

“There is a marked pet area on the far side of the garden. That is the only place on the grounds where animals are allowed to do their business. Bags and a trash receptacle are provided, be sure to use them.” Alice glowered over her tiny rectangle glasses. “Security cameras are running around the clock both inside the public areas of the building and outside.”

Chanel forced a smile, felt Maddox stroking her back urging her to keep her cool. “I’m glad security is such a priority here.”

“I’ll give Chanel the rundown on everything else.” Apparently Maddox could feel Chanel’s growing agitation. He grabbed the luggage he’d set on the floor and took off toward a bank of elevators.

Once inside the plush elevator car, Chanel sagged against the rail and rested her head on the soft green upholstered wall. “I don’t know if I can do this. The traffic, the building Nazi tracking my every move. She does not like me.”

Maddox stood square in front of her, his blue eyes soft as he ran large hands up and down Chanel’s arms. “You’ve got this. You’re just wound up from the drive. We’re going to get in the apartment, and I’m going to help you unwind.”

He lowered his lips to hers sparking a fire in Chanel’s lower belly. Maddox had a way of wiping everything from her mind when he kissed her, a feat of pure magic as her brain was constantly on the go.

The elevator dinged and the doors slid open on the tenth floor.

“Get it! Wooo!” A male voice thundered into the car.

Chanel jumped in surprise while Maddox laughed and turned with a smile to greet the giant in the doorway. “Hey, Clavin.” The two exchanged a complicated handshake. “Meet my girlfriend, Chanel. Chanel, Clavin Marks. He’s an O lineman on the team. His place is next door to mine.”

“Hey, girl, it’s about time you got yo ass into town. This boy’s been lonely!” Clavin held out a beefy hand. Chanel took it to shake, but he pulled her in for a hug that all but suffocated her in his bulk.

Maddox laughed as he shuttled Chanel’s luggage out of the elevator. “Let her breathe, man. I’d like to keep her around a while.”

Clavin chuckled, a rumble that shook his whole body, and turned Chanel loose. “And who do we have here?” He knelt as Soda crossed the threshold, tail wagging. She leaned into the big man as he pet her with a surprisingly gentle touch. “You an old lady, aren’t cha.” His voice went up an octave as he spoke to the animal.

Image by Charlotte Post from Pixabay

“This is Soda,” Chanel said. She couldn’t help but smile at the pair on the floor. The two seemed smitten with each other.

“You a beaut,” Clavin said in his dog voice.

Chanel looked over at Maddox, who grinned and shook his head. “Clavin was planning to go to vet school if he hadn’t been drafted.”

“Oh, I’ll be goin’ as soon as this ride’s over,” Clavin said, regaining his feet. “I love animals. I got two dogs, a Sheltie and a Brussels griffon. Make Alice crazy every time we go downstairs. I taught ’em to bark extra when she around.”

“Albert, the griffon looks like a damn Ewok,” Maddox said, running a hand through his shoulder length blond hair.

That move had always turned Chanel on. While she was enjoying meeting Clavin, she really just wanted to get her man into his apartment and all to herself.

“So, it’s not just me she doesn’t like?”

“Hell no. Alice picks her favorites round here and’s a snot to everyone else. She ’specially don’t like dogs. She thinks they belong outside, but she don’t own the place, so she don’t get to make the rules.” Clavin’s phone chimed from his pocket. He dug it out. “I got to go, Sean’s waitin’ at The Dive for me. Don’t tell Coach, but we havin’ gut bomb burgers for dinner.” He poked the button to reopen the elevator door. “Awesome to meet cha, Chanel. Bring Soda over to play with Albert and Barbara sometime.”

“Will do,” Chanel said, giving Clavin a parting wave.

“Later, man,” Maddox said as the door slid closed.

“He’s a good guy,” he continued as they walked down the soft gray-carpeted hall. “Loves to eat, and hates Coach’s diet restrictions. He and the other linemen sneak greasy grub almost every Monday night since we usually have Tuesday off.”

Maddox stopped at a door with number 1082 on a plaque beside it. He grinned at Chanel. “Here we are. Home sweet home.”

Fighting For Fall

Seasons of Love Book 2

Go. Fight. Win. Love?

Chanel Eber, a rancher’s daughter, faces down her fear of big cities to follow the love of her life to Portland, Oregon where he’s living his NFL dream. But the Wolves aren’t the only ones looking to score. Another woman’s got her eye on Maddox, and Chanel’s going to have to fight harder than ever if she wants to keep his eyes on her.

Meanwhile, Delsi Melita has a big decision to make. She’s a single mom, the only woman in the athletic training room, her boss is a pompous jerk, and she’s falling for the team’s owner. Can she have the job and the man, will she have to pick one, or will she lose both?

The stakes are high, and both women stand to lose big if they don’t fight hard for love.

Kayla Dawn Thomas

Kayla Dawn Thomas grew up on an Idaho cattle ranch, but now calls the wheat fields of the Washington Palouse home with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.

Kayla writes romance, chick lit, and now romantic suspense. Her rural roots inspire her writing, and she enjoys giving the world a little taste of a life most folks have never experienced.

A rabid reader, when Kayla isn’t writing, ushering dogs in and out of the house, or taking care of the humans in her family, you can find her in a comfy spot with a book.

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Once Upon a [Fallen] Time

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A time-travel fantasy romance teaser

By Samreen Ahsan

“She is a witch?” I asked hesitantly.

There were magic and excitement, a hope dancing in his eyes—that I had never seen before.

“It doesn’t affect her,” he said. “For the first time, I feel like I hold the reins of my fate in my own hands.” He stood up and walked around the room once again, my gaze tracking his every move. “I feel like…” for the first time, I noticed King Stefan was out of words. He was troubled delivering his emotions. “I feel as if I am able to write my own story. No one else holds the power.” I looked at him confounded. Was he implying that she had a royal blood in her? “She is a woman who has come out of my dreams.” His dreams? What was he saying? “You spend your entire life having one dream—a woman standing in your garden—surrounded by nature…” I held my breath tightly, my heart hammering. “And one fine day… she just starts living with you,” he snickered and shook his head. “There’s a dream legacy passed from seven generations of Hue men—a woman haunting them all their lives.” I stared at him, not able to believe what I was hearing. He was talking about my dream. “She is holding our weapon but she’s standing in our garden which is full of natural gems. It seems like nature is in love with her. She’d create all the life within this castle. She is wearing a beautiful white dress with every possible flower stitched to it.” He rubbed his beard, his eyes showing his fascination. “She looks sinfully tempting but she also looks like a killer. And we are so consumed by lust that we don’t see her intention.” He looked me in the eye. “I was not supposed to share this dream yet. Hue men normally share it with their sons when they reach the deathbed, but since she’s already here—before my death—I had to share.” He moved in closer. “Tell me… did you ever have this dream?” I could sense danger lurking behind the walls of this castle.

I felt like the walls of the chamber were closing in on me. I couldn’t even imagine what he would do to her. She was not just in my dreams, but she had been haunting all Hue men in the past? Was she truly Jasmine after all? Because that was the only witch that had haunted Hues.

“It was not just the garden of our castle,” he referred to the poem, “but I call it hortus delicarium (the garden of pleasure), where she gave me hope.” I wanted to shut down my mind. “She is a rose in this garden, attracting everyone with her beautiful charms.” This was my dream, my garden, my fantasy. He made me believe that dreams do have significance in our lives just like how Guillaume de Lorris had narrated in his poem. “The rose is inhabited by Déduit (Pleasure) and his companions, Jeunesse (Youth)Richesse (Wealth), Liesse (Jubilation), and Beauté (Beauty).” He was using the exact French words to make me understand his dream. He assumed I couldn’t picture it in my head.

Bloody hell! She was not just my fantasy but my forefathers’ as well.

“You sound like a poet,” I grunted. “You were the one who used to say poetry is a waste of time.”

“Yes,” he sank deeper in his chair, “but I never knew a dream could shape reality.”

I held my breath tightly and recalled the poem to argue.

“So, you’re saying she is Idleness, who is the intimate acquaintance of Diversion,” I chuckled as I recalled Guillaume’s words, “the elegant charmer who owns the garden.” I couldn’t agree more with him that she was indeed a charmer. “She could lead you to damnation,” I added. “In your case, she doesn’t own the garden.” Or does she? I wondered if she had any relation with this castle. I hated to admit it, but my father was right—she truly didn’t have any curse affecting her inside the castle.

He watched me for a while and changed the topic. He had mixed feelings for her—he couldn’t decide if she was an angel or a devil.

Once Upon a [Fallen] Time

Samreen Ahsan continues the saga that began in Once Upon a [Stolen] Time.

In Once Upon a [Fallen] Time, the past and future collide in the tale of love, obsession, betrayal and the hope for redemption.

The tortured Edward Hue, the last king in the cursed dynasty, is in deeper anguish over the woman he loves when he discovers which woman his father has chosen for him to marry.

“The author’s style is magical in itself as she sets the past and present onto a direct collision course. 5-stars!”—Tome Tender Book Blog.

Find it on Amazon.

About Samreen Ahsan

History, art and literature are my passions. I love digging out information about prophecies, divine miracles and paranormal events that are mentioned in history and holy books, that don’t sound possible in today’s modern world.

Since childhood, I have been into reading and writing—and yes, it can’t happen without imagination, which luckily has no boundaries. Dance and music are also pastimes I enjoy, as well as reading romance fiction. I love to travel and explore historical cities.

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Beautiful Finale now out!

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It’s the day readers have been waiting for: a new bestseller published

By Raine Thomas

On the eighth anniversary of the publication of her award-winning Daughters of Saraquel trilogy, bestseller Raine Thomas has just released the fourth and culminating novel in her House of Archer rock’n’roll romance, Beautiful Finale.

Beautiful Finale

A rock band. A reality show. A marriage on the rocks.

In the span of four months, Lily Montgomery has gone from touring with her best friend to marrying him. It feels like someone has stomped on the gas pedal that is her life. Right now she is more than ready to pump the brakes.

But that’s not how it works in the world of show business. Her new husband is off filming and recording more often than he is at home. He sees more of his beautiful co-star than his own wife. Lily is finding it harder and harder to distinguish between performing and reality, adding more stress to a marriage that the tabloids already wager won’t last the year.

Thank God for Jada Morgan.

Lily’s new assistant quickly becomes indispensable, covering The Void’s social media while Lily pursues her own writing. When Lily learns that Jada is temporarily rooming with Void guitarist, Xander Phillips, she isn’t concerned. Xander has hard-and-fast rules when it comes to relationships with women. The only way he’ll break Jada’s heart is if he breaks all of his rules.

Even with Jada’s support, Lily struggles to adjust to her new life. From her own personal stalker and ongoing family drama to the constant bombardment from the media, she’s quickly reaching her breaking point. She’s about to learn if marrying a rock star will result in a beautiful finale … or in absolute disaster.

The end?

The House of Archer series until today has comprised three novels:

While Beautiful Finale is the culmination of the story arc, author Raine Thomas says it’s not necessary the end of the story of the characters House of Archer readers have come to love.

“I have loved crafting the House of Archer series, and I look forward to weaving these characters into my future books much like I threaded the characters from my baseball romances into this one,” she says.

So as Raine says, “it’s not truly the end. It’s merely goodbye … for now!”

Where you can get Beautiful Finale now

About the author

Raine is a hopeless romantic with a background in the fields of mental health and wedding planning…two areas that intersect far more than one would think. Her years working with children and young adults with emotional and behavioral challenges inspired her to create protagonists who overcome their own conflicts. 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.

Where to find her

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Tumblr  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  |  Goodreads  |Linkedin 

Raine Thomas’ titles

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Why we write what we write

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Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash

Romance, mystery, thriller, science-fiction … what makes an author choose to write in a particular genre? Your favorite bestselling authors reveal why they chose their literary path. This week, we continue with Kayla Dawn Thomas, David C. Cassidy, Scott Bury and J.L. Oakley.

Kayla Dawn Thomas

Romance

I’ve always been fascinated with falling in love, with everyone finding their perfect someone. While I read romance from all time periods, I like writing contemporary to show that people can still find love in this somewhat jaded, prickly world.

David C. Cassidy

Horror

For me, it was simply a case of being enthralled and inspired by Stephen King and Clive Barker at a young age. For me, they taught me two things. King: How to tell a story with “real” characters a reader cares about. Barker: How to imagine … and then to imagine more.

Scott Bury

Historical fantasy, non-fiction and mystery

When I was about 15 or so, I was into science fiction. I read a novella by Larry Niven featuring a detective named Gil the Arm. He served in a global police force, a couple of centuries in the future, so it was essentially a science fiction detective story. I was hooked!

When I started writing fiction, I felt frustrated by the expectations and tropes of genres: noirs, police procedurals, fantasy, science fiction … Plus, I am interested in many different types of stories. That’s why I not only write in different genres, I cross the boundaries as often as I can.

J.L. Oakley

Historical fiction

I’ve always loved history and even wrote a very serious thesis on Comanches as prisoners of war using primary materials from the National Archives and the Smithsonian Institute. My goal was to make it readable, not some high-faluting work that people wouldn’t understand. That’s what a publican historian is all about.

Writing historical fiction is another way to present history in an engaging way. When a reader becomes involved with a character facing the troubles of her time or just living life, you can teach about an era much more effectively. 

Take your pick

Whatever genre you like, BestSelling Reads members are authors who adhere to the highest professional publishing standards, dedicated to bringing readers compelling, enjoyable stories that leave you wanting more.

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