now browsing by month
Hey guys, so today is officially the last #ATO! It’s been a fun ride and I’m happy to be closing it out with my friend C.M. Doporto and her NA series The University Park series! She’s got tons of info on her series including an excerpt and several quotes that I just love!
Take it away C.M.
College senior, Lexi Thompson, finds herself in a relationship to be wed to the university’s star baseball pitcher, Collin Norris. Collin’s damn hot, but his lack of spark has Lexi thinking twice before she says ‘I Do’. When she’s forced to tutor bad boy football quarterback, Raven Davenport, she soon discovers all the things she’s missing in her relationship with Collin. Will she succumb to the temptations enticing her, or will Collin be able to convince his sweet, innocent fiancée that his love for her is genuine despite his lack of affection? (This story will be told in three installments)
Currently Opposing Sides, book 1 in the University Park Series is FREE for a limited time.
The engagement’s off and with Collin behind her, Lexi has decided that the temptations of Raven Davenport are too strong to be ignored. It doesn’t take long for Lexi and Raven to find themselves wrapped in each other’s affection, but not without the challenges that life poses. But can she withstand the world he’s created or will the forces that are against them rip them apart? Love, faith, betrayal, and heartache ripple through their lives as they fight to be on the same side.
Purchase, The Same Side, book 2 in the University Park Series $2.99 for a limited time.
Lexi’s determined to keep her word and stand by Raven’s side because her love for him is too strong to deny. As Raven learns to deal with the issues that are destined to destroy him and their relationship, their love is taken to a new level. As doors are closed and new ones are opened, Lexi and Raven find themselves in a heavenly bliss, but not without the challenges from Raven’s past. With a true test of love, Lexi and Raven have to decide if they are willing to do whatever it takes to be on the winning side.
Delaney held up a light pink sweater to her chest. “This is hideous. You have to trash this thing.” She flung it behind her.
“Hey, I like that sweater.” I dashed after it and then gave it a once over and agreed with her. It was something my mom had bought for me and it had Betty Homemaker written all over it with pearl buttons and a jacquard trim. I shoved it in the return-home bag. “I think coming back to the dorm will be good for both of us. When Raven’s having a bad day, I can just come back here so he can have some time to himself. Time to process whatever he’s going through.”
And time to fight his demons.
“And you trust that he will be okay.” She threw one of my skirts over her head. “He won’t plunge off the edge and go back to where he was, will he?”
“I’ll check on him. It’s not like I won’t see him. And if needed, you can take me to his apartment, right?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“Who’s apartment?” Raven stood in the doorway carrying my bags.
“Your apartment, silly.” I smiled at him, trying to displace any unnecessary fear or jealously. Although Raven hadn’t seemed liked the jealous type, I wanted to keep it that way. That was one less thing I didn’t have to worry about in our relationship.
“Hey, what’s this?” Delaney held up a pink and silver Victoria Secret’s gift card.
“Where did you get that?” I said taking it from her hand.
“It was buried in your clothes.” She pointed to the mound on my bed.
Raven looked over my shoulder as I opened the flap.
Have fun shopping with Raven. Love, Dad.
“Holy shit. Is he serious?” I looked at Raven and he smiled. Was my dad trying to make up for my mom going bat shit crazy and burning all the lingerie Raven had bought me?
“Damn!” Raven covered his mouth with his fist. “Three hundred bucks. We can buy you a lot of sexy stuff.” Raven cocked a brow. “When are we going?”
“Whenever you want.” I eyed him with a hungry stare. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to get enough of him.
Of his taste.
Of his touch.
Of his scent.
I was permanently caught in The Raven’s trap. And I wondered if he was really done with setting out his bait and happy with the catch he’d caught. Time would only tell. I shook my head, trying to calm my ranging hormones.
“Is that it?” I asked, looking at the two bags by the door.
“What do you mean, is that it?” He huffed, gripping his waist. “I brought up like five bags. And there’s still more at my apartment.”
“I’m sorry.” I walked past him and headed for the closet. “I didn’t ask my dad to bring me all of my clothes.”
“I know.” He grabbed my hand and spun me around. I slammed against his body and rested my hands against his broad chest. “If you’d just stay with me, then we wouldn’t have to be hauling all of your stuff back and forth.”
His scent laced around me, making it difficult to stand my ground. “But I am going to stay with you.”
“Yeah, but not every night.” He pressed his lips to the sensitive part of my neck and my mind quickly forgot why I had talked myself in to coming back to the dorm. “I need a little bit of this every night.” He popped me on the butt and I squealed.
“Okay, I’m outta here.” Delaney dropped the clothes in her hand.
“No. I need your advice.” I tried to wiggle out of Raven’s arms, but he only held me tighter. “I need you to help me pick out clothes that will make me look sexy.” I glanced up at Raven and he let out a low growl as he continued to nibble on my neck, not paying any attention to Delaney. I leaned to the side, trying to break free, even though I really didn’t want to. “Raven, stop.” I pleaded with a tone that said yes, more than it said no.
“Looks like you’re about to get undressed so I’ll help you later.” Delaney step aside and headed for the door.
“Thanks, Delaney.” Raven said as he kicked off his shoes and started to pull off his shirt. His stomach tensed and I caught a nice view of his elegantly chiseled abs.
“Shit, I almost forgot.” Delaney turned around before pulling the door shut. “Whoa! Can you wait until I get out? I don’t need a glimpse of the freak show.”
“Hurry.” Raven tossed his shirt on the chair. “I don’t have all day.”
Delaney’s eyes landed directly on Raven’s midsection for a full count of three before she finally tore them away and looked at me. “Do y’all want to grab a pizza with Luke and me later?”
Raven looked at me, waiting for a response. “I’m game if you are,” I said, feeling the hunger pains bubble up in my stomach.
His lips spread into a full smile. “Sure, but I’m game for something else first.” Raven encircled his arms around me and pressed his lips against my ear as his hands wondered up and down my backside.
“What time Delaney?” I grabbed his arms, trying to restrain him from feeling me up in front of my roommate. He stretched his neck, trying to kiss me. I laughed, unable to resist his tempting offer. After all, I was already in his trap and I was there to stay.
“Is an hour long enough?” Delaney appraised Raven from head to toe and then gave me a wide-eyed warning.
“No, but we’ll make it work.” He said, undressing me with his eyes.
I giggled as Raven picked me up and tossed me on the bed, landing on top of my clothes.
“I warned you, Lexi,” Delaney said, as she pulled the door shut.
“I know. But I can’t resist The Raven’s trap.”
His lips spread into a full smile. “Sure, but I’m game for something else first.” – Raven Davenport
“Damn, Lexi, I could never stop loving you.” His hands roamed freely over my body and I closed my eyes, relishing in every stroke of his touch. I was forever caught in The Raven’s trap. – Lexi Thompson.
“It’s easy to do. Being next to you is so comforting.” I traced a finger along the crease separating his pecs. His muscles twitched beneath my touch and heat consumed me. Raven’s body was made for worshipping. I would make him my king. No questions asked. – Lexi Thompson
Not disagreeing with him, I kissed him greedily. His mouth dragged along my skin and I quickly became the one drugged with his love. I indulged sinfully in his taste, his touch, and desire for me. – Lexi Thompson
Raven leaned forward, resting his forehead to mine. He took, slow deep breaths, drawing me in with every inhalation. – Lexi Thompson
I was willing to do anything to help him. But would he allow me to get close to him? Really let me in? Allow me to see the real Raven? My love for Raven was worth the battle. I refused to give up and I wouldn’t allow him to give up either. – Lexi Thompson
“Don’t ever doubt that your dreams are never worth the fight. It’s worth every struggle, every let down, and every victory until you get where you want to be.” – Lexi Thompson
“The only place I want in is right here.” I placed my hand on his heart. “Because if we can get your heart healed, then I know it can heal this.” I brushed the tips of my fingers through his soft hair. “I’m not asking you to tell me those horrid thoughts, but rather, just open your heart to me and love me.” – Lexi Thompson
About the Author:
CM Doporto lives in the great state of Texas with her husband and son enjoying life with their extensive family along with their Chihuahua, Mexican Redhead Parrot, and several fish. She writes Young Adult and New Adult swexy stories about ordinary women who do extraordinary things, become a heroine, and find love along the way.
And that’s it for this very last ATO lovelies! Thank you so much for all the support and to all the great authors that took part! Time to move on the the next project 🙂
Ben Pryor grew up as an average kid in Camden, Maine, unaware of the supernatural storm brewing in his Celtic blood. However, at nineteen, as the last born in the royal line of the beings that once ruled Atlantis, Ben has eagerly embraced his newfound abilities and birthright.
When Caleb, his sister’s mate, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, the prime suspect is the last remaining member of the overthrown corrupt Guardian Council.
With the discovery that an old acquaintance has been keeping secrets and the future Ben was so sure of shifting before his eyes, the situation becomes more complicated, the ransom for Caleb too high.
In the sequel to Shades of Atlantis, Ben will delve deeper than he ever imagined into the magical old ways of the Guardians, the secrets of Excalibur, and the truth behind the legend of King Arthur.
Emma lifted her arm and pointed, bringing our attention to the water. Her eyebrows arched in astonishment. “We still have company.”
Guinevere’s fingers tightened and her entire body appeared to go ridged to the point of breaking. Her eyes locked mine with a strange little twitch in the corner of the one on the left. She swallowed. I was the only thing blocking her view from the water. I wanted to look, but it seemed like a needless cruelty to tear my eyes away and leave her hanging.
“Guinevere?” The voice was male and unsure. It had to be to Arthur.
The startled gasp that escaped Guinevere’s throat confirmed it. She closed her eyes, breaking our connection, and her cheeks flushed, a smile tugging at her quivering lips.
Her grip intensified when he called her name again. “Is this real?” She whispered, hopefully.
“If real means I can hear him too.”
She smiled and tilted her head sideways to look around me. Guinevere’s hand slipped out of my grasp and she moved away slowly, over the sodden ground.
The man by the water had to be Arthur Pendragon. At first sight, he appeared little older than the rest of us and as though stepped from the pages of a history book…or a renaissance fair. He wore a tunic with the emblem of a red dragon and boots that came up to his knees. Unlike the rest of us, he was clean and dry, as though he had materialized from air. His hands suddenly jerked to his stomach and clutched at the fabric. One swiped through his hair before he examined it, perhaps searching for evidence of his previous injuries.
Guinevere approached him tentatively, mud squelching up around her feet.
“Ben, look,” Amanda leaned into my side a whispered. She inclined her head to the nearby farmhouse where the lights were coming on one by one. “We have to leave, now.”
“It’s been centuries for them, we can spare thirty seconds,” I replied, keeping my voice low too.
Amanda’s lip pressed together in surprise. I couldn’t help it. I remembered when it was me seeing her again for the first time after I’d thought she was lost to me at Tara. They needed a moment to process…but, a moment was all we could spare. The Fáidh were nothing, if not dramatic and their little ground-shaker stunt would probably bring unwanted attention soon.
“I was gone a long time,” Arthur said, taking in the group before him.
Guinevere stopped about a foot away. She nodded.
He shook his head and raked both hands through his hair in anguish. “I confess, I am at a loss to understand much of what has transpired, Guinevere.”
“Guys,” Emma joined us. “This reunion needs a change of location.”
“Guinevere,” I called reluctantly. “We can do this back at the house.”
She raised a hand to hush me and addressed Arthur. “There is much to talk about, but right now we have to leave this place.” The same hand inched toward his chest. She hesitated a beat before touching the red dragon. Her shoulders drooped as though her entire body deflated. Guinevere’s fingers slid up and around his neck. She pulled Arthur forward into a quick, passionate kiss before grabbing his hand and smiling. “You, my love, were made for the 21st century.”
Don’t miss book 1 of the Shades series: SHADES OF ATLANTIS
About the Author
Carol Oates came into the world on Christmas morning, in an elevator. Raised just across the street from the childhood home of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, it was only a matter of time before Carol’s love of all things supernatural would emerge.
She began experimenting with fiction at school and keeps the notebook containing her first unpublished novel in her desk drawer. Over three decades later, all her stories still begin life scrawled on paper.
When not writing, Carol can be found exploring history with her son. Luckily, he shares her love of old buildings, castles, and tombs.
Now, I’ve still got my big giveaway going, and the first two books in Carol’s SHADES series are up for grabs along with my books, a $15 gift card and many other cool prizes! That’s it for this one lovelies! We will see you next week for our final #ATO!
<3 always LH
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Okay, okay….sheesh, maybe I’m not the star of Claiming Excalibur but I dare you to not like me. Who wouldn’t like me? I’m a half Imp half Fae trickster who is going to give you two new peaks at Claiming Excalibur right here today. Of course there’s also a giveaway (I swear she’s obsessed with them) that includes a $15 gift card, signed copies of both Legendary and Claiming Excalibur and another eBook pack!
PLUS I’ve had my fun with Amazon and the other online booksellers and put Legendary (Legendary Saga #1) on sale for $0.99! That’s right…you can get all caught up on the adventure, romance and magic of it all before moving on to book 2!
Excited yet? Good
But first things first:
Aliana Fagan has done what many thought impossible: she’s awakened King Arthur from his fifteen-hundred-year sleep, reunited the Knights of the Round Table, and even beaten Mordrid and Morgana LeFay in battle.
But the Destined One’s quest has only begun.
Before the knights can “unearth and reclaim their lost relics” they must survive the trip to Charleston, South Carolina and meet the newest member of the Round Table. If King Arthur’s men thought Aliana and Lacy were tenacious, they’ll be even more surprised by Dawn, the third member of the fem-trio.
Deadly secrets, unexpected allies, and a traitor lurking in the shadows await Aliana and the new Round Table as they continue their search for Excalibur. Their only clue is a beyond confusing poem from a mysterious book that speaks of a terrifying creature guarding the legendary sword. Trying to build a somewhat normal relationship with Sir Galahad adds a whole new level of complexity to Aliana’s task, especially when several among them suspect the White Knight may not be wholly himself. Her friendship with King Arthur grows closer, and when circumstances become intense, he may finally get the chance with Aliana that he’s been pining for.
Mysteries, legendary quests, and haunting memories will either unite the members of the New Round Table or fracture their bonds. Aliana and her crew only have seven months before the planets align and Mordrid can seize the power he needs to conquer the seven realms. Can the Destined One keep her new family together and lead Arthur to his destiny of saving the realms? Or will a centuries-old plot for revenge finally spell the king’s end?
Add Claiming Excalibur to your Goodreads shelves OR buy it here and many other fine places
Now, me being the crafty and outrageously devilish trickster that I am, I got into the early copy of Claiming Excalibur and pulled two, well….interesting scenes that have not yet been seen! I’ve borrowed one of the first fight scenes in Claiming Excalibur that includes a good look at the mysterious book Aliana dreamed of in the end of Legendary and a chance to get to know our newest lady of the Round Table: Dawn. That girl is going to be trouble, I like her already
Arthur crouched and pulled the volume free. The edges of the wrapping and spine were well worn, as if the book had been opened often. He handed the book to Aliana.
It looked about the right size. After an unsure glance at the others, she slipped her index finger under one of the torn edges and pulled.
The paper ripped easily away, like unwrapping a present. Turning the book over, she studied the brown casing and yellowed pages, her gaze going to the cracked spine. On it was a faded red shield with a dull yellow Dragon rearing back, wings spread to take flight.
“That’s my family’s crest,” Arthur confirmed.
“And this is the book from my dream.” Aliana’s astonishment turned to concern and confusion. “Why would Uncle Joe keep it wrapped in crappy paper to hide it?”
“We’ll have to discuss that later,” Arthur decreed. “We have what we came for; we should go.”
Aliana asked Dawn to hide the book in her messenger bag, and Wade led the way out of the office and down the hall. Dagg locked the door before returning to Aliana’s wrist. Galahad and Arthur flanked the girls, their eyes scanning the nearly empty hall.
“Why do I feel like I’m in the middle of an honor guard?” Dawn whispered loudly enough for the knights to hear.
“I’d like to know why we’re freaking out so much,” Aliana fake- whispered back. “I’d think we’d look much less conspicuous pretending to be normal students.”
Galahad took Aliana’s hand. “We’re just being cautious,” he said, but his stance relaxed and the pace Wade set slowed.
Aliana was used to seeing this part of the college more crowded. Now it felt more like a creepy movie ghost town minus the rolling ball of tumbleweed. She shook her head, dispelling the paranoid thought. The school was always a lot less crowded during summer.
They made it out of the building without incident and were halfway across a small, deserted quad. Wade pulled out the car keys, chirping off the alarm system as they neared the SUV.
“When we get back we need to —” Arthur was cut off when an unnaturally bluish-gray cloud swooped down from the sky, wrap- ping around the group and trapping them in a smoky wreath. A gray, fox-like creature with matted fur and three tales jumped from a tree and stared at them with glowing red eyes. Its tales twitched as it hunkered down, like it was waiting to pounce. Yellow ooze dripped from its sharp teeth.
“Get behind us!” the three guys ordered together. Dagg leaped from Aliana’s wrist, taking his true form. The guys pulled their swords from out of nowhere, getting into fighting position. The jewels on Arthur’s fire Elf sword gleamed.
“Where the hell did your weapons come from?” Aliana gasped. The scabbards that had held the swords were now visible, strapped to the guys’ backs.
“Merlin’s idea,” Galahad answered, studying the cloud.
“Didn’t think the old timer had it in him,” Wade joked, but he didn’t smile.
As quickly as the cloud came, it vanished, leaving behind a dozen disfigured monsters. Their black, tattered clothes showed gray, cracked skin, and their claw-like hands held long sticks with dozens of sharpened barbs. They had Frankenstein-ish, lightning-struck spiked hair and lidless, dead eyes circled with black like raccoons. Their mouths gaped, revealing sharpened, yellowed teeth, as they lumbered around their trapped prisoners.
The girls stood back to back behind the knights. Aliana kept an eye on the monstrous little TreTale. Dawn gripped her bag, holding the book tightly to her side.
“I feel like I just landed in the middle of a Power Rangers fight scene,” Dawn said, trying to hide the tremor of fear in her voice. “What’s next, a flying monkey in gold armor saying ‘Attack them.
Bring me the book’?”
“Not the time, Dawn,” Wade warned as Dagg growled.
I told you she’d be my kind of trouble! Though I’ve got to question her for quoting the Power Rangers, even if she did at least have the good sense to reference the original series. Originals are always the best aren’t they?
But I promised you more than this one look, so click the link below to be taken to the prologue of Claiming Excalibur, and that part does star me! You’ll need a password to read it though, so here it is: Puck
But wait, there’s more! Including the new and improved playlist for Claiming Excalibur. And let me just say, Queen Titania’s got the whole Dark Horse thing covered.
I’ve also gone ahead and made LH’s Pintrest board for Claiming Excalibur open for public consumption. I have to have a chat with that girl….I’m no where in there yet. but have no fear, dear readers, I will be there soon!
I think that’s enough for today, I hear LH coming back from work….wait until she sees what I’ve done! Hehe. She’ll thank me in the end. I’ll see you readers soon.
Today is another very special #ATO for me because the fantastical Colleen Houck is taking over with an interview and more about the novella for her A-maz-ing Tigers Curse series: TIGERS PROMISE. I was so excited to read this story and I loved it, just like this entire series! If you haven’t heard about, or read this series–you so should! I was actually reading TIGERS QUEST (book 2 of the series) as I started pulling together and planning everything for my Legendary Saga. Just another reason I love this series so much. But enough from me, time to hear Colleen’s answers to some of my interview questions and learn more about her wonderful series.
Take it away Colleen!
- As a writer, we have to do a lot of research to make sure our stories are rooted in facts. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever researched?
I had to research a place called The Body Farm. It’s a site, I can’t remember where exactly where they dump bodies that have been donated to science and they place them in various locations such as a swamp, a forest, in a woodshed, etc. Then they study the rate of decay. The reason I was researching it was so that I would understand how zombies would look for a chapter in Tiger’s Destiny called The Cave of Sleep and Death.
- Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Battle scenes are tough for me. My little brother actually acts them out and explains to me how when you swing a sword a certain way there has to be follow though and you can’t have it coming down on the bad guy’s head in the next move.
- Tell us about a unique or quirky writing habit of yours.
I always light a candle as I write. It reminds me to add the five senses into my book. If the character doesn’t see, smell, taste, touch, or hear something, then neither does my reader.
- If you were attending a Halloween party, what would your costume be and why?
I’ve always wanted to be the Queen of Hearts. The dress is fun and I’ve been ordering people around since I was a kid so I’d be a natural at it.
- What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? And how did you handle it?
The toughest criticism comes from ordinary people leaving reviews. At some point every author needs to learn to turn a blind eye to it. I once got a very detailed email from someone with pages full of bullet points explaining why I was a terrible author. I was crying by the middle and then, when I got to the end, the person said, “By the way, I’m 13.” I wiped my eyes and vowed never to take that stuff seriously again. Ultimately, the person we are writing for is ourselves and all you can do at the end of the day is your best. If you end up with lots of readers who love to read your story then fantastic! But you’ll always have a group who want to cut you up in little pieces and throw you to the wolves. It comes with the territory.
- If I wasn’t afraid I would _________ (What?)
- If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?
Social Media. There’s an aspect about it that I love and it’s great to interact with fans but it takes up so much of my time that I often feel chained to it. The expectations that come with it are very high. There are some people who will poke, prod, and pester you, demanding that you acknowledge them in some way. A fan wrote me a long letter that I actually took the time to read and at the end I responded with a, “Thank you so much!” The next day they cursed at me saying I should have written them back something equally as long. That was one of 200 emails I looked at in one day. Social media draws us closer than ever to the people we admire but I think it also creates pseudo relationships that can be damaging in a way, too. And it definitely shrinks or makes invisible the boundaries of where you have a personal space.
- Your books all take place in many different countries; did you travel to any of these places for your book?
No. I wish I had and have plans to go visit at some point.
- If you could change ONE thing about your Tigers Curse Series, what would it be? Why?
I wish that I’d been able to write Tiger’s Dream immediately following Tiger’s Destiny. It’s hard for me to put that on hold while I write my new Egypt series. Retaining the details of an entire series while adding a new one is not an easy thing for my brain to do.
Before the curse, there was a promise. A prequel to the bestselling Tiger’s Curse series, this much anticipated novella recalls the beginning of Ren and Kishan’s story. Before Kelsey there was a girl, raised by a villain, whose love for a hero changed the course of history.
Trapped under the thumb of her abusive and powerful father Lokesh, Yesubai struggles to keep her own magical abilities secret while evading his dark powers. When Lokesh promises Yesubai to the prince of a neighboring kingdom, she becomes the central pawn in his plot to destroy the ruling family and take power for himself. Yesubai is trapped by her father’s threats and desperate to protect the man she comes to love, but she knows that any decision she makes will have dire consequences. As dark forces gather around her, Yesubai must decide if she’s willing to reveal that somewhere deep within her she has the power to change everything.
New York Times Bestselling Author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Her first four novels, Tiger’s Curse, Tiger’s Quest, Tiger’s Voyage, and Tiger’s Destiny were New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, she worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years before switching careers to become an author. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers. TWITTER FACEBOOK WEBSITE
I am so happy Colleen was able to stop by and take over today, and I hope you all enjoyed her interview! I’m serious, her Tiger series ROCKS! I am also super excited because next week’s #ATO will be me and the release of CLAIMING EXCALIBUR!!!!! Just wait until you see what I’ve got for the release 😀
<3 always LH