Tag Archives: contemporary

Br0th3rly Extract

Br0th3rly blog tour

Title: Br0th3rly

Author: Alina Popescu

Series: Famous on the Internet, Book One

Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary, M/M Romance

Length: Novella

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Start your journey through the new techie/geeky gay romance series by Alina Popescu—Famous on the Internet—with the first book, Br0th3rly.

Synopsis

Fighting his relentless love for Trevor, the guy he was raised to consider his brother, has been Tristan’s mission in life.

To distance himself from Trevor, even after discovering they weren’t really related, he left for college at sixteen. Moving into the city, building a new life, and running an anonymous blog about

what he considers sick, twisted feelings might make Tristan famous on the Internet, but it isn’t enough to get over his obsession. Every time he goes home, a quick glance at Trevor brings it all flooding back.

Br0th3rly 3D Cover

When commitment-phobe Trevor announces he’s got a serious boyfriend during one of Tristan’s rare visits home, the adoring kid brother will be forced to run once again. This time, however, Trevor doesn’t stand back and watch him leave.

Instead, he follows him, making it nigh on impossible for Tristan to keep his love a secret for much longer.

Excerpt

A knock on my door told me I’d unsuccessfully tried to sleep till dinner time.

“Yeah,” I groaned, praying he would not come in.

Of course it was Trev; that was the rule in our house. Dad would get drinks ready, Mom would cook the meal, and Trev would fetch me. I’d been hiding before dinner since I was fourteen. Back then I used to blame it on homework; now I was using my exhaustion.

It was an excuse, but I wasn’t lying. I really was shattered. About a week before having to spend time with my family, sleep would start to elude me. Restless nights, or dark dreams that began erotic and ended with disgust painted on my parents’ faces. Worse, that same look of disgust was painted on my brother’s face, twisting it cruelly.

Trev pushed the door open and leaned against the door frame. “Dinner, baby bro.”

I groaned and pressed the heels of my hands into my eye sockets. I hated the sound of his voice when he called me that. Such warmth, such pure brotherly love. He was never this sweet and warm with anyone else, not even with Mom. Just me. Man, did that make me feel like the freaking asshole of the century.

“C’mon, lazy boy, Mom’s been cooking all day to make your favorites. Let’s not keep her waiting.”

He stood there, in the doorway, waiting for me to come. I knew what would happen next and I braced myself. Deep breaths, deep breaths. Think of grandpa and grandma having sex. It was useless. The moment I passed by, he ruffled my hair and pulled me into a half hug. There we go, boner time! I could not have my brother touch me and not get a stiffy. And he always was so carelessly tactile with me.

I grumbled some excuse or another and hid in the bathroom.

Book Trailer

Buy Links

Don’t miss the ARe 25% off sale till January 23rd, WIP’s Unzipping 2016 Sale – 35% off all list titles till January 24th, or the huge Australia Day Sale–January 25 to January 27—50% off all titles on WIP’s website and 35% off on Are!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/br0th3rly-by-alina-popescu/

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019VK3VFA/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B019VK3VFA/

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B019VK3VFA/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B019VK3VFA/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-br0th3rly-1959019-149.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/br0th3rly-alina-popescu/1123179425

Br0th3rly Cover

Giveaway

1x$10 WIP Gift Card

2×1 Backlist Title from WIP – anthologies and individual releases included

About the author

Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

Social Links

Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authoralinapopescu

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alina_popescu

Instagram: http://instagram.com/alinapopescuwriter

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/alina-popescu

Google+:  https://www.google.com/+AlinaPopescu

Amazon:  http://amazon.com/author/alinapopescu

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The Distant Sound of Violence

I am super excited today to bring you details of the new release from my #Awethor buddy Jason Greensides. Jason’s a great writer and I know you’re gonna love his new book.

Seven Days, Seven blogs, Seven Chapters

Day One, Chapter One

The Distant Sound of Violence by Jason Greensides Relaunch Blog Tour

The Distant Sound of Violence promo banner

Author: Jason Greensides

Title: The Distant Sound of Violence

Genre: Literary/Contemporary/Coming-of-age/mystery

Book Content Rating: Adult, based on language, violence, and sexual content

Synopsis:

Do we ever escape the decisions we make when we’re fifteen?

Nathan Dawes, the loser from school, an outsider, street philosopher and member of The Grove Runners gang, needs Ryan’s help to get Stephanie to fall for him. When Ryan’s lawnmower is stolen, Nathan sees this as his chance to enlist Ryan in his plan.

Although Ryan knows becoming friends with Nathan could lead to trouble, he reluctantly agrees to help.

Stephanie wants nothing to do with either of them. Besides, she’s more interested in the one guy in the world she really shouldn’t be.

As Nathan continues his pursuit of Stephanie, and Ryan gets mixed up with The Grove Runners, soon events overtake them all, haunting their lives for years to come.

This intelligent and compelling debut is a heart-breaking tale of bad decisions and love gone wrong. It’s about choices that lead to violence, loss and tragedy.


Excerpt

Chapter One

‘You can’t change the size of fire.’

The first words he ever said to me were half lost in the rumble of traffic along Ladbroke Grove.

I’m sure he thought he was being poetic or something, but right then I didn’t care: someone had just stolen my aunt’s lawnmower while I’d been inside the repair shop. I stormed up to him from the curb, where I’d been scanning the road for some sign of the thief, and barked down at him, ‘Where’s the mower?’

He gave me a crooked smile, delved into his trouser pocket, pulled out a stick of Dentyne and offered it to me.

How did he think a stick of gum could help in this situation? How would that help when my aunt went batshit? Weirdo stuff like that made everyone at school run whenever they saw Nathan. It also didn’t help that he was supposed to be part of a gang – The Grove Runners – and it was this that made me weary of him now. If any of the girls from school saw me talking to him, they’d be gone.

So I smacked the gum out of his hand, sending it flying onto the concrete.

‘Which way did he go?’

‘That way,’ Nathan finally said, jerking his thumb towards the Harrow Road.

I turned from him then ran off in what would turn out to be a futile search for the lawnmower.

*

The next time I spoke to him was two days later in Mrs Bradley’s history class. For some reason, he threw himself into the chair next to mine, flung his graffiti-covered bag on the table, just as my girlfriend Karen – the girl I was supposed to be saving the seat for – walked up, saw the two of us, gave an exaggerated huff and strutted away again.

‘Yeah, cheers for that,’ I said to Nathan as I watched Karen’s arse sway tauntingly as she walked away to look for another seat.

‘Sorry, mate. I didn’t mean to –’

‘Save it.’

Besides, he didn’t seem sorry. He looked amused.

Ignoring him, I perched on the edge of my seat and watched to see where Karen would sit. I could still salvage the situation, follow her over there, tell her she looked beautiful today.

She finally sat over in the opposite corner, at the farthest point away from me.

But then I saw she could have taken the seat next to this other girl, but hadn’t. There was an empty seat next to her. She wanted me to follow!

I grabbed my books and pens, but just as I was about to leap from my seat, Mrs Bradley clapped her hands, told everyone to shut up and draw the curtains. Too late to change seats. I slumped back into my chair and dumped my books on the desk as far from Nathan as I could. Yeah, petty, I know.

Mrs Bradley inserted a video into the player, switched off the lights and ordered everyone to put their pens down. Seconds later, Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog flickered across room.

As the opening credits rolled and the haunting music rippled through the sweaty air, I soon forgot about Nathan and the trouble he’d caused me with Karen. That film is probably why I remember the events of that day as well as I do: Jews stripped, shaved and tattooed; a man who’d been shot, lying on a barbed wire fence; a bulldozer shovelling raw-boned and skeletal bodies into a ditch…

About halfway through, I snuck a look at Nathan. Odd: he seemed just as disturbed by the film as I was. Usually he’d sit at the front, cracking wise, but now he was gazing at the screen, the flecks of green in his brown eyes shimmering, the Dentyne frozen in the side of his mouth in mid-chew.

When it was over, as Mrs Bradley ejected the video and switched on the lights, I whispered to Nathan, ‘That film was insane. I can’t believe –’

He held up a chubby, scarred hand to silence me, an odd, faraway look on his face, and huskily said, ‘I know where your lawnmower is.’

*

This was back in ’91 when I was living with my aunt in a small flat off Portobello Road. She’d taken care of me since I was eleven, when my parents, away on their second honeymoon, had drowned off the coast of Antigua (that small island in the Caribbean where I was born).

My father had jumped into the sea to save my mother after she’d been swept away by the swelling waves in the rainy season of 1987. Since that time I’d been living in west London under the stern guidance of my aunt. I always had plenty of friends and girlfriends, and usually managed to stay on top of my homework and out of trouble.

But something must have happened when I turned fifteen. Whether it was the nightmare of exams and having to make decisions about what I was going to do with my life, or whether hormonal changes had twisted my way of thinking – whatever it was – something had changed in me.

So, that afternoon after Mrs Bradley’s history class, I skipped football practice and lied to Karen about where I was going – something the old Ryan Williamson would never have done – and walked through Notting Hill with Nathan Dawes.

‘Where are we going?’ I said as we turned onto All Saints Road.

‘You’ll see.’

I think he thought ‘You’ll see’ would be enough to get me off the topic.

It wasn’t.

‘Come on. Don’t be lame. You said you knew who took my lawnmower.’

‘Yeah, and I bet you wish you could go back in time and stop that kid from taking it.’

‘So what if I do?’

‘My point is’ – he broke off to take a hefty drag on his cigarette – ‘that stuff what happened in Germany would have happened anyway. Determinism, innit.’

Nathan had already gone home to change, and he was now wearing a shirt, trainers with big floppy tongues, and aviator glasses, which were balanced on his head. His hair was slicked across his brow, partially covering a broad face that seemed both welcoming and belligerent.

It was that look on his face which was going to make me argue that what happened in Germany could have been stopped, perhaps asking him if my parents’ death was also inevitable. But I didn’t. Instead, I asked, ‘What you doing after exams?’

He seemed to struggle with this question, his brows jagged in a deep frown, his pockmarked, nail-bitten hands scratching at each other. ‘I don’t know… I just… Whatever I do, I just want to fit in. I want the girls to like me.’

I laughed, then, seeing that he was being serious, shut my mouth again.

‘Well, what are you gonna do?’ he said.

‘I want to make films and maybe get married, I guess.’ The vagueness of my answer was worrying, and, as if to steer the conversation back to the safety of the present, while realising Nathan had derailed the conversation in the first place with all that determinism bollocks, I said, ‘What did this kid look like, anyway?’

‘Can’t remember,’ he shrugged, ‘all kids pretty much look the same.’

‘You’re right useless.’

Nathan laughed, as if I’d fallen into a trap he’d laid. ‘Well, as Chaung Tzu said, “All People understand the use of the useful. But few people understand the use of the useless”.’

I waved him off. ‘And you said you want the girls to like you?’

But he’d already moved on, his attention caught by a group of boys waiting outside Vidur’s Videos. ‘There’s some people I want you to meet,’ he said.

I stopped dead, eyeing the boys wearily.

‘Come on,’ he continued, ‘your aunt wants her lawnmower back, don’t she?’

‘But I didn’t think I’d have to meet your dumbass friends in the process.’

‘Get over yourself. You need to see what’s on the underside of life. You need to –’

‘Shut your trap. I need to go meet Karen. I need to go to football practice.’

‘Look. Come with us just this once,’ he said. ‘After that you can go back to your hot girls.’

I studied his face. Could he hear the crazy things he was saying?

He looked back at me, and we tried to stare each other down, the traffic along Ladbroke Grove spluttering around us.

I don’t know how long the two of us stared at each other like that, but it felt a long time. Then, unable to remain serious any longer, we both broke into laughter.

‘You’re fucked,’ I said, my reluctance at meeting his gang crumbling the longer I watched Nathan’s animated eyes.

‘Let’s do this,’ he said.

I glanced over at the boys, who’d begun to saunter towards us, and I cursed under my breath. It was too late to walk off without looking like I was scared of them.

First, Nathan introduced me to Dwain Tapper, the leader of The Grove Runners, a curbside gang which had strong ties to a Yardie outfit headed by Dwain’s cousin, English Victor; then, Fahad Kandala, son of Vidur, the Indian proprietor of the video shop we were stood by now; Courtney Hoxton, another boy with Jamaican parents; and lastly – although

everyone was uncomfortable with his presence – Aidy Small, now half-hidden behind a wall because he knew he wasn’t welcome due to him being only eight years old.

We ambled up Ladbroke Grove to the Harrow Road where, according to Aidy (whom Nathan had sent to follow the thief), the lawnmower could be found in a shed at the end of an alley behind Lee’s Arcade. We stood across the street, eyeing the arcade, watching old men and kids trundle in and out, until it became apparent to the other gang members that they had no idea why we were there.

Dwain, grouchy, marginally overweight, with a short Afro, leering smile and dark confrontational eyes, stepped right up into Nathan’s face, looked him up and down, as if Nathan were emanating some faintly pungent smell, and said, ‘Why you bring us here for, star?’

Nathan placed a hand on my shoulder. ‘We’re here to get Ryan’s lawnmower back. Look how upset he is.’

I looked down at the floor, embarrassed that Nathan, despite Dwain’s glare, was just laughing him off.

Dwain kissed his teeth, eyed Fahad and Courtney, thrust his glare upon me then focused back on Nathan. ‘Ain’t no reason why we should help this bumboclot. My man looks like a batty boy.’

‘Don’t be like that,’ Nathan said, ‘he’s gonna help me get laid. The least we could do is this one little thing.’

‘I’m going to what?’ I said.

Fahad and Courtney laughed.

‘You ain’t getting no pussy,’ Dwain said, ‘not dressed like that. You look like you’re dressed for the beach – raas.’

Nathan flattened out his shirt with his palms. ‘This was my dad’s.’

‘No shit it was your old man’s. If I were you, I’d mash up his face; he’s laughing at you, star.’

What did Nathan see in these kids? Courtney and Fahad were OK, I guess, but Dwain was just…ugh.

‘If you batty boys fink I’m gonna watch while you steal back some pathetic lawnmower and drag that shit halfway across London, you’re on a jolt flex.’ Dwain hunked up a gob of spit and fired it three feet from Nathan.

Nathan blew air from his lips, making his fat lower lip wobble. He didn’t speak, just turned to eye the arcade again.

Feeling stupid for ditching football practice and Karen for these bunch of losers, I decided to make it up to my aunt in some other way. So I turned and walked back.

Nathan called after me but I kept my head forward and my feet moving. They were proper doing my nut. I had to go ring Karen.

Now about twenty meters away (I could hear Nathan and Dwain arguing again), I stomped on to the nearest bus stop.

*

When I arrived home, Aunt Esther was stooped over the stove, boiling rice, a wooden spoon in one hand, a bible in the other. She was stood between me and the phone.

Acting casual, I strolled up to the biscuit tin, pulled the lid open and picked out a chocolate Digestive, knowing this would cause her to turn and allow me to squeeze by her to the phone.

It worked, but she ignored the pre-meal biscuit and said, ‘How many sweet potatoes you want?’

My stomach flipped, both at the prospect of eating sweet potatoes, and being accused of rejecting my West Indian heritage. I took a bite of the biscuit and said, ‘Do I have to?’

She kissed her teeth, something I was used to her doing for the last four years, but this time it reminded me of Dwain, catching me off guard.

‘Look here, boy,’ she said, ‘I don’t never give you no yam, no plantain, dasheen, green banana, okra, aubergine, callaloo –’

‘I know. Just one then.’

I squeezed past her, the phone now in my sights at the end of the hallway. But just as I was about to leave the kitchen, she said, ‘Any sign of my lawnmower?’

‘What do we need the lawnmower for, anyway?’ I said, backchatting her against my better judgement. ‘We live in a flat.’

‘Don’t make me walk my hand around your face, boy. You’re lucky Gertrude can’t hear you. She box your ears.’

Gertrude was my grandmother in Antigua. Esther always said that Gertrude wanted nothing more than to get me out of the satanic cesspool of London and over to the Caribbean, to straighten me out, teach me the ways of the Lord.

Obviously, I hated the idea, so in order to steer the conversation away from that, I stepped outside the kitchen and said, ‘God, I’m starving, maybe I’ll have some plantain if you’re doing some.’

‘Eh-eh. Now you want my cooking. Have mercy.’ Despite herself, she laughed and waved me out of the kitchen. ‘And don’t go runnin’ up my phone bill.’

‘I won’t.’

I closed the door behind me and dialled the number.

‘Who’s this?’ Karen’s mum asked even though she knew who I was.

Sweat moistened my hands and I struggled to grip the receiver by the earpiece. ‘It’s Ryan. Is Karen there, please?’

There was an awkward silence, then: ‘Hang on, I’ll go see if she’s in.’ I flinched at the sharp knock of the phone being placed onto a table.

At last Karen came on the line. ‘Hello,’ she said, her voice oddly blank.

‘Hi, it’s me,’ I whispered.

‘Oh, hi,’ she said, the background noise at her end fading as she went into another room, ‘I thought you were with that Nathan Dawes.’


The Distant Sound of Violence cover

To celebrate the relaunch and Kindle $0.99 / £0.99 promotion of Jason Greensides’s acclaimed literary coming-of-age debut, The Distant Sound of Violence, you can read the first seven chapters on seven different blogs over seven days. I’m proud to host Jason for day one of the tour, featuring chapter one. Happy reading!

Amazon Book link: mybook.to/TDSOV

Jason Greensides Biography

Jason Greensides has a degree in Video Production and Film Studies and has made several short films, two of which have been broadcast on television – but writing fiction is his real passion.author headshot photo

He’s interested in ‘outsider’ types, people operating on the edge of society. This inspired him to write his first novel, The Distant Sound of Violence. It’s about a group of kids, one in particular, Nathan Dawes, whose philosophical obsessions and criminal connections have made him an outcast at school.

Jason is now working on his second novel, another coming-of-age mystery, but on coffee breaks he blogs and tweets about writing, and throws in the occasional book review.

Links:

Jason Greensides website: jasongreensides.com

Facebook: facebook.com/jasongreensidesauthor

Twitter: twitter.com/jasongreensides

Google Plus: plus.google.com/+JasonGreensides

Pinterest: pinterest.com/jasongreensides

Goodreads: goodreads.com/Jason_greensides

Amazon page: amazon.co.uk/Jason-Greensides


Always Love You

New release time. Today it’s contemporary romance Always Love You from Shirleen Davies. Take a look.

Book Description:

“Romance, adventure, motorcycles, cowboys, suspense—everything you want in a contemporary western romance novel.”

Eric Sinclair loves his bachelor status. His work at MacLaren Enterprises leaves him with plenty of time to ride his horse as well as his Harley…and date beautiful women without a thought to commitment.

Amber Anderson is the new person at MacLaren Enterprises. Her passion for marketing landed her what she believes to be the perfect job—until she steps into her first meeting to find the man she left, but still loves, sitting at the management table—his disdain for her clear.

Eric won’t allow the past to taint his professional behavior, nor will he repeat his mistakes with Amber, even though love for her pulses through him as strong as ever.

As they strive to mold a working relationship, unexpected danger confronts those close to them, pitting the MacLarens and Sinclairs against an evil who stalks one member but threatens them all.

Eric can’t get the memories of their passionate past out of his mind, while Amber wrestles with feelings she thought long buried. Will they be able to put the past behind them to reclaim the love lost years before?

Read, Always Love You, book five in the MacLarens of Fire Mountain Contemporary Romance series.

Excerpt:

The trip to her apartment had been excruciating. Not so much because of where she sat, within arm’s reach of him. It had more to do with his acceptance he still loved Amber, wanted her back in his life and his bed—always. No other woman had been able to find a way into his heart the way she had, and there’d been many who’d tried.

He’d spent the drive trying to come up with the right words, something to make her understand he’d never stopped loving her. The fear she’d turn from him again began to fade as the need to find out if they could ever have a future took over. He’d seen the way she watched him when she thought he wasn’t looking. The regret he’d seen almost choked him.

It had taken all his willpower to unlock her door and step aside instead of taking her in his arms. Now he found his control falter as she stared up at him.

His chest squeezed as his breath caught. He reached for her hand, turning it over to press his mouth to her palm, never taking his gaze from hers. Her lips parted, her breathing quickened. The air around them pulsed as if they’d been enveloped in a magnetic force neither could escape.

“Amber…” He whispered her name a moment before lowering his head until his mouth came down on hers. The first touch seemed almost tentative before he wrapped his arms around her and tightened his hold. The kiss deepened, his mouth devouring hers, hot and moist.

He could feel her hands move up his arms to wrap around his neck, pulling him tight, melding her body to his. He groaned as her tongue traced his lips, sending a hot ache through him. Gathering her closer, he explored the recesses of her mouth until he pulled away on a ragged breath, letting his lips trace a path down her neck to the soft spot at the base. He sucked lightly before moving back up to reclaim her mouth.

Amber’s caution shattered at the first touch of his lips to hers. It had been so long and she wanted him so much. The feel of his mouth devouring hers sent waves of heat pulsing through her. She remembered how they used to be together and began to feel the same sense of urgency. Her hands moved under his jacket, splaying across his back.

“Ah, baby,” he groaned as fire roared through him. “God, I want you.”

 Bio

Shirleen Davies writes romance—historical, contemporary, and romantic suspense. She grew up in Southern California, attended Oregon State University, and has degrees from San Diego State University and the University of Maryland. During the day she provides consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses. But her real passion is writing emotionally charged stories of flawed people who find redemption through love and acceptance. She now lives with her husband in a beautiful town in northern Arizona.

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The Cortlandt Boys

Today I have an exclusive extract from Laura Vanderkam and her book The Cortlandt Boys.

 

She watched a detective snap pictures and a truck carting the county’s mobile crime scene trailer pull into the parking lot. Soon, though, she was shivering too much to stand there, so she went inside to grab the coat she’d left in her room. As she put it on, she looked at Janie’s collage, sitting on her bedside table.

She looked at the white house. She looked at the baby.

“Oh my God,” she said to no one in particular. She felt her heart beat a little faster. It was the baby in the Curtis Inn. Janie had known the baby was there.

Of course, as she thought about it, she realized that made no sense. How could a 7-year old know about a 10-year-old crime? Still, it was an utterly intriguing idea: a body buried around the time of the championship game, a body hinted at by this little witness that no one believed. It was an idea that twisted the story of the Cortlandt boys in ways Max knew her editor would find difficult to resist. Any chance you could uncover an unsolved violent crime? She texted news of the discovery to his cell phone. This could be even better than the Friday Night Lights boys robbing a bank. With this dark addition, she could see her story splashed even more prominently across the cover of Sports. To be sure, it was awful to imagine a tiny body hidden under the room where she’d been sleeping. But then again, Max always did like a story.

The Cortlandt Boys is available on Amazon. ( http://www.amazon.com/The-Cortlandt-Boys-Laura-Vanderkam-ebook/dp/B00R8I2672# )

Laura Vanderkam is the author of the novel, The Cortlandt Boys, and several non-fiction books, including 168 Hours (Portfolio, 2010), What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (Portfolio, 2013), and the forthcoming I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make The Most Of Their Time (Portfolio, June 9, 2015). She blogs at www.LauraVanderkam.com.


Elizabeth Clansham

Here’s an exclusive from Contemporary Woman’s novel Elizabeth Clansham by Catherine E Chapman and this book is free for the next few weeks so don’t forget if you like it download it now!

Browsing pulses in the tinned-foods aisle, thinking that a chilli would be a good pick-me-up for him and a peace offering to Dorothy, Angus became aware of a small, fair-haired girl watching him intently.

She stood at the end of his trolley, her head barely visible above it, but the bright red coat she wore barring him from going any further without acknowledging her. ‘Hullo,’ she said. ‘My name’s Lauren. What’s yours?’

‘Angus,’ he replied. ‘Did your mammy never tell you, you shouldn’t speak to strangers.’

‘You’re not strange,’ she said.

Angus laughed.

‘You’re quite hairy.’

He laughed again. ‘Where’s your mammy, then?’

‘Frozen foods,’ said Lauren.

‘Shouldn’t you go and find her?’ Angus suggested.

‘She’ll find me,’ Lauren assured him. ‘Are you a farmer?’

‘No but I do work on the land and I work with animals.’

‘Are you a zookeeper?’

‘Lauren!’

Angus looked up and saw, at the head of the aisle, a Viking princess. She wore tight jeans and a cerise top that was too small for her and her long, blonde, flowing hair enhanced the animation caused by her distress. She advanced towards them.

‘Lauren, don’t go wandering off like that ever again. And don’t talk to strangers.’

‘See,’ Angus said to Lauren.

‘He’s not strange,’ Lauren insisted. ‘This is Angus. He’s a zookeeper–’

‘I’m not actually a zookeeper,’ Angus admitted, holding out his hand to the warrior princess.

She shook it half-heartedly but looked less aggressive. ‘I’m very sorry,’ she said. ‘This one can be a real pest; I hope she hasn’t been annoying you.’

‘Not a problem,’ said Angus, wondering whether Lauren had a father.

‘Come on then, chipmunk,’ the princess said, extending the hand he’d shaken to her daughter. ‘I’m really sorry,’ she repeated.

‘Until we meet again,’ Angus said to Lauren but really to her.

‘Yes,’ Lauren replied definitely.

The princess dragged the chipmunk away, the chipmunk turning and waving to him as she went. Angus noted that the Viking warrior princess wore a very new, very sturdy-looking pair of fawn, suede boots, trimmed with fur around their tops. They were incredibly incongruous with the rest of her attire but incredibly sexy with her long, powerful legs in their tight jeans. He wondered what could be her name: Brunhilde? Isolde?

When Angus went to the checkout he saw them again, two tills down. They were alone – his hopes were raised.

‘Earth calling Angus, Earth calling Angus,’ Lena mocked as she began to swipe his purchases.

‘Oh, how are ye?’ he asked.

‘Not half so lovesick as you by the looks of things,’ she remarked astutely.

‘Get away with ye,’ Angus said, fearing he was blushing.

As he went to the end of the checkout, he snuck another look at her. She was bending over the end of her checkout, packing her bags, but looking up and smiling at someone approaching her from the aisles.

Angus turned to see the bloody rock star waving a leg of beef in the air, signalling to the cashier not to total the bill until he’d reached them. His heart sank.

‘She goes by the name of Laetitia,’ Lena said, without having to look at what Angus was looking at to know what he was looking at.

‘And she’s what, Andrew’s girlfriend?’ Angus asked, trying to sound matter-of-fact.

‘According to Agnes McGinty but then, personally, I don’t think Agnes’s word is the most reliable. She could be his sister,’ Lena suggested, wondering why she was being so nice to him when he never gave her so much as a look.

‘Aye,’ he said, brightening.

‘Although, she is very blonde and he’s very dark – so maybe not.’ She saw Angus’s smile subside and felt glad she’d undermined his optimism. ‘That’ll be thirty-six pounds and seventy-two pence, then.’

When he’d given his card to Lena, Angus looked over again to see them departing. He didn’t think she’d noticed him – why should she? He was slightly comforted to see that, walking side-by-side, Laetitia was at least an inch taller than Andrew. As he looked on, Lauren turned and waved a rather ugly, half-hare-half-human entity at him.

He waved to her and smiled.

‘Put your pin in, for goodness’ sake Angus,’ Lena instructed.

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Save Me


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Title: Save me
Author: Natasha Preston
Genre:NA contemporary romance
Release Date: 7th October

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SYNOPSIS

Tegan Pennells used to care about everything: family, friends, boys, school, and music. But then her dad died and that stopped.

She doesn’t care about her relationship with her mum and sister. She doesn’t care that she’s pushed away most of her friends. She doesn’t care that she lost her virginity to her friend’s brother in the backseat of his car. She doesn’t care that she uses men, or what people think about her friends with benefits agreement with Kai, a guy she met in a bar.

Tegan doesn’t care about the man that received her father’s heart. And she doesn’t want to care about that man’s son.

She doesn’t want to care about anything ever again.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Amazon CA
iTunes

TEASERS

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she stumbled across an amateur writing site and uploaded her first story and hasn’t looked back since. She enjoys writing NA romance, thrillers, gritty YA and the occasional serial killer.

CONNECT WITH NATASHA

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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Bitter Candy

Here’s an exclusive from YA Contemporary Romance Bitter Candy. Enjoy!
Yet again, Eric was throwing a party for people he couldn’t care less about. He’d only been at Edith Wharton High School for a day, but already he could tell the students there would be carbon copies of people at his old boarding school: vapid, shallow, and pretentious. People who pretended to have a passion for politics and Vladimir Nabokov when they would rather piss their parents’ money away on drugs and alcohol than pick up a newspaper or Lolita.
Why do I keep providing superficial teenagers with free booze? he thought, wrinkling his nose when he saw a wasted girl throw up into a priceless Ming vase and an intoxicated boy stick his tongue into an apathetic blonde’s mouth. The pathetic answer—to be liked, popular. Which was an incredibly idiotic reason considering he didn’t especially want to be friends with these people and the “friends” that he’d had at his old boarding school were dull douche bags who had dropped him like bad weed when the stain of scandal had fallen upon him.
Needing a drink, he walked to the refreshment table. A curse left his mouth when he realized all of the chardonnay bottles were empty. Sigh… He guessed he would have to be content with a glass of red wine.
As he poured himself a glass, his eyes caught a girl—a beautiful girl. She had one of those maddeningly perfect, Snow-White-esque, innocent-looking faces that couldn’t be achieved with either any amount of plastic surgery or makeup. The girl possessed skin like flawless, unblemished porcelain; eyes the color of a warm, sparkling ocean; and lips as red as—you guessed it—a rose. She also had a delicate little body like a doll and long, shiny blond hair that flowed down to the small of her back.
Hello, scholarship girl, he thought, thinking of his nickname for the pretty—if slightly irritating—girl who’d called him a douche. Hilarie Walsh. Her bold insult had sparked his curiosity and—to be honest—kind of turned him on. Something told him that she wasn’t like his other guests; she seemed like she had some depth and had more on her mind than the latest designer handbag or newest luxury car model.
He cocked his head, continuing to stare at her. The girl inspired a strange mix of feelings in him; both lust and tenderness filled him. Her beauty and apparent innocence made him want to tear off her clothes and ravish her, but they also made him want to cradle her fragile little body in his arms.
The sight of her, all alone with a sad look on her face, for some reason, caused him to feel lonely too.
But who says we have to be lonely? he asked silently with a smile on his face, making his way to Hilarie Walsh…
And here’s a real exclusive sneak peak

“Hello,” a black-haired boy said as he leaned against the locker next to Eric’s at the end of gym class.

Eric turned to face his classmate and blinked. The black-haired boy was completely nude, and from the absence of a towel or clothes in his hands, Eric could tell that the guy was in no hurry to change that.

His classmate winked. Eric recognized him as one of his teammates, the Asian kid who had made their team lose the lacrosse game in class because of his total lack of interest in defending the goal and who some of their less tolerant teammates called, “Faggot chink,” under their breaths. “Admiring my muscles?”

“Sure,” Eric said, rolling his eyes.

“I have to say, I’m a huge fan. Anyone who beats up that hypocritical bastard is a hero to me. Daddy Buck is an asshole too, but at least he practices what he preaches.”

“Who are you and what do you want?”

The guy’s dark brown, almost-black eyes lit up. “I’m Teddy Chan, aka not just a pretty face, and I want to be your bro.”

“Not interested.”

“Is it because you’re afraid I want to suck your dick? I’m disappointed. I didn’t take you for a homophobe. And FYI, I wouldn’t want to suck your dick anyway. You’re not my type,” Teddy said, seeming more amused than genuinely offended.

“I couldn’t care less about what you suck.”

“Then why the refusal?”

“Told you. Just not interested.”

“Hey, a guy can never have too many friends.”

“Shouldn’t you get dressed and go to your next class?” Eric asked, closing his locker.

Teddy lifted his golden shoulders. “I can miss a few minutes of Human Geography.”

“Whatever,” Eric said as he buttoned up his shirt.

“Hang out with me tonight. I’ll show you the best Cleveland has to offer.”

“No offense, but Cleveland sounds only slightly more appealing than watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.”

Teddy held up a finger. “First, Cleveland is great. People who say otherwise are either snobs or New Yorkers.” Then he held up two fingers. “And second, Nicolas Cage is one of the greatest actors of our generation. There is no such thing as a bad Nic Cage movie.”

“The answer is still no. I’m hanging out with my girlfriend tonight.”

“How about tomorrow night?”

“I’ll probably be hanging out with her again.”

Teddy shook his head, clicking his tongue. “My man, it’s not a good idea to be so clingy.”

“Who the hell says I’m clingy?”

“Answer these two questions for me.”

“I don’t have to answer shit—”

“One, have you gone a day without seeing her?”

Eric clenched his teeth. “No, but we have two classes together.”

“Okay, have you gone a day without seeing her outside of school?”

“Well, no—”

“I thought so. Two, are you always the one initiating things?”

“Well, technically yes, but—”

Teddy crossed his arms, grinning. “I rest my case.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Fine, fine, ignore my totally valid opinion. But if your plans with your girlfriend fall through, give me a call,” Teddy said, handing Eric a business card.

As Teddy sauntered away, Eric read his card:

Teddy Chan

Young entrepreneur

Cell: (555)-555-7820

Office: (555)-555-6130

Email: yourgirlfriendwantsme@gmail.com

“Prick,” Eric muttered when he saw Chan’s email address.

But he put the card in his pocket.

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