Category: Book Spotlight

FOREVER’S Holiday Celebration Blog Tour

Posted December 7, 2016 by Sherri in Book Spotlight / 1 Comment

Forever’s Holiday Celebration Blog Tour

‘Tis the season to celebrate! Five of Forever’s authors with brand new Christmas romances are sharing their favorite holiday recipes and memories.

CAROLYN BROWN’S PUMPKIN BREAD

Kids, grand children, great-grands, all coming home for the holidays—the aroma of pumpkin bread baking in the oven—everyone waiting for it to get done so they can slice it up while it’s still hot, slather butter or whipped cream cheese on it, and tell the age old stories about the holidays we’ve had in the house. That’s the stuff memories are made off and every time I smell pumpkin bread it puts a smile on my face for the whole day.

PUMPKIN BREAD

This makes 2 loaves and 8 muffins; Or it makes one Bundt cake

½ cup butter

½ cup shortening

2 2/3 cups of sugar

4 eggs

2 cups canned pumpkin (one 15-16 ounce can)

3 ½ cups flour

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons soda

1 cup pecans (optional)

2/3 cup of cold strong black coffee

(NOTE: I use all butter if I’m out of shortening or even oil)

  1. Cream first four ingredients.
  2. Add canned pumpkin.
  3. Add dry ingredients alternately with coffee
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour for loaves or bundt cake, 25 minutes for muffins, or until they test done in the center.
  5. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  6. Cool completely before frosting with Harvest Moon Frosting (below).

HARVEST MOON FROSTING

3 egg whites

1½ cups brown sugar

6 tablespoons water

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a double boiler. Cook 7 minutes, beating the whole time with an electric mixer, over the boiling water.  The frosting will stand in peaks when done. Add vanilla.  Beat until thick enough to spread.

About Carolyn Brown

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown was born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma. These days she and her husband make their home in Davis, Oklahoma, a small town of less than three thousand people where everyone knows everyone, knows what they are doing and with whom, and read the weekly newspaper to see who got caught.

A plaque hangs on her office wall that says I know the voices are not real but they have such great ideas. That is her motto and muse as she goes through the days with quirky characters in her head, telling their stories, one by one, and loving her job.

She has been married almost half a century to a retired English teacher that she calls Mr. B and he does not read her books before they are published because she cannot afford a divorce. They have three grown children.—and enough grandchildren to keep them busy and young.

When Carolyn is not writing she likes to sit in the back yard and watch the two tom cats protect the yard from all kinds of wicked varmints like crickets, other cats, spiders and blue jays.

PAULA QUINN’S CHRISTMAS COOKIES

My dad used to live across the street from us. Every year, when my kids were little, he would dress up like Santa, climb out his window on the second floor, and hang Christmas lights on his fire escape. My kids would watch from our window with wonder in their eyes, unaware that it was grandpa. He would turn and wave to them, sending them into little fits of breathlessness. Later, we would visit grandma and grandpa’s for homemade cookies (left there for them by Santa). The house was always fully decked out with every Christmas decoration imaginable with Alvin and the Chipmunks on repeat while the kids hunted down little “pre-Christmas” gifts he’d hide for them. I loved witnessing the magic of Christmas and love through their eyes. Now grown, my kids will sometimes still look out the window at his fire escape and smile, remembering a grandpa who loved them beyond measure.

GRANDPA’S CHRISTMAS COOKIES (A favored Italian recipe)

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

½ cup butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

3½ cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

  1. Sift dry ingredients.
  2. Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs; add
vanilla and dry ingredients.
  3. Knead and add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands.
  4. Pinch off dough, roll in your hands to form a log and then twirl into
shape.
  5. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

ICING

2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 teaspoons water

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Stir until creamy. Dip cookies into icing and sprinkle with trim. Place on wire rack with wax paper on counter to collect the dripping icing and sprinkles.

 

About Paula Quinn

Paula Quinn is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of medieval and Scottish historical romance. To date, four of her books have garnered a starred review from Publishers Weekly. She has been nominated for Storyteller of the year by RT Book Reviews and every one of her books from the Children of the Mist series have garnered Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. Her latest, The Taming Of Malcolm Grant is the last book in the Highland Heirs series and will be available Sept. 2015. She is currently working on her next series, Highland Honor, which features the grown children of the beloved MacGregors and Grants from the Children of the Mist series.

DEBBIE MASON TREE TRIMMING PARTY

One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is our tree trimming party. We’ve held one every year for the past thirty years. Though I don’t know if it qualifies as a party seeing as it’s just the immediate family. But we do make a thing of it with our favorite carols playing in the background, fire on (mostly for ambiance), hot chocolate served in festive mugs, lots of holiday treats, and a special ornament for each of the kids and grandkids to open before the tree decorating gets under way.

But I think the most fun for all of us isn’t decorating the tree, it’s unpacking the ornaments. I’ve always tried to buy an ornament that’s uniquely suited to each of the kids, whether it was a sport they were into that year or a movie, book, or hobby they loved, so unwrapping each one brings back a lot of special memories. Here’s a peek at just some of the collection. I don’t think it will be long before we have to break from tradition and let the kids take some of the ornaments home to decorate their own trees. Either that or we’ll have to put up another tree.

And this one in my office doesn’t count. 🙂 Every year, my family gifts me with an ornament too. This year they gave me these three adorable ornaments to celebrate the release of the first book in the new Harmony Harbor series, MISTLETOE COTTAGE, and the short story, CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL.

 

About Debbie Mason

Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series and Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue, and juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). She also writes historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series has received several nominations for best paranormal as well as a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, three wonderful children and son-in-law, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

HOPE RAMSAY’S GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Every year for the last quarter-century, or possibly longer, I have set aside the Saturday closest to Christmas to bake gingerbread cookies with my children, and now, with my grandchildren.   These are the only cookies I make at Christmas time, and the activity is more about family fun than turning out a perfect cookie.  Usually I do most of the rolling, cutting, and baking.  And the rest of the family does the decorating.

The magic is in the royal icing.  The white icing is a snap to make, and it can be divided up into small bowls and colored with food dye, creating pots of colored cookie paint.  I give each child (or adult) a watercolor paint brush and let them paint the icing onto the cookies.  The kids have a blast, and the cookies always come out looking wonderfully homemade.

To me, cookie baking embodies everything I love about Christmas: kids, family, baking, and yummy desserts.

GINGERBREAD COOKIE DOUGH

Makes about 6 Dozen

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dutch cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
1 cup superfine sugar
1 egg at room temperature
½ cup unsulphured molasses

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour cocoa, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, backing soda, and salt.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and molasses and beat thoroughly.
  3. On low speed, add the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  4. Cut the dough into thirds, pat into disks, wrap in plastic and chill until firm – 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about 1/16 inch thick and cut cookies with cookie cutters.  Transfer the cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the cookie turn brown.
  6. Let cool on sheets and then transfer to a wire rack.  Decorate with royal icing.

ROYAL ICING

2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup water

Using a mixer, place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat at high speed until fluffy, thick & shiny (about 10 minutes.)  Divide the icing into smaller bowls and color it using food coloring.

About Hope Ramsay

Hope Ramsay is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming contemporary romances. Her books have won critical acclaim and publishing awards. She is married to a good ol' Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her Southern heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Virginia where, when she's not writing, she's knitting or playing her forty-year-old Martin guitar.

OLIVIA MILES SNOWFLAKE COOKIES

In my newest release, CHRISTMAS COMES TO MAIN STREET, my heroine owns a cookie bakery. As this story takes place over the holidays, I thought hard about a signature cookie she might make, and eventually I settled on charming snowflake cookies. Of course these are not just any old cut out cookie, though. No, Kara makes them by the dozen, sure to keep each one in the batch distinct in shape and decoration, because no two snowflakes are ever the same, after all! And it’s these snowflake cookies that she delivers every day to the inn in BriarCreek…where a Christmas visitor falls in love with more than just her cookies.

I hope you all enjoy these snowflake cookies as much as Nate does! 🙂

KARA’S SNOWFLAKE COOKIES (sugar cookie cut-out and royal icing recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart)

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
  2. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies. Transfer cookie dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer and transfer shapes to baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats. Roll out scraps, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
  4. Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

ROYAL ICING

2 large egg whites, or more to thin icing

4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, or more to thicken icing

Juice of 1 lemon

3 drops glycerin

Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar, lemon juice and glycerin (if using); beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Decorate each as you wish!

About Olivia Miles

Olivia Miles writes women's fiction and contemporary romance. A city girl with a fondness for small town charm, Olivia enjoys highlighting both ways of life in her stories. She currently resides just outside Chicago with her husband, young daughter, and two ridiculously pampered pups.

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter

Posted December 2, 2016 by Sherri in Book Spotlight, Giveaways / 2 Comments

the-darkest-torment_gena-showalter
Title:
 The Darkest Torment
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld #12
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Release Date: June 1, 2016
Format: Paperback/eBook, 512 pages

Book Description:

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with her most explosive Lords of the Underworld tale to date, about a fierce warrior on the brink of sanity who will stop at nothing to claim the exquisite human with the power to soothe the beast inside him… 

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he’s back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he’s unable to withstand the touch of another…and he’s quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she’s taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she’s plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she’ll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

“Gena Showalter is a romantic genius.” -San Francisco Book Review

“Showalter writes fun, sexy characters you fall in love with!” -Lori Foster, New York Times bestselling author

“The Showalter name on a book means guaranteed entertainment.” -RT Book Reviews

Buy Links:  Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Books a Million
Book Links: Goodreads

About Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series--Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles--and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she's appeared onNightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black--if you ask her about it, she'll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at her social links below.

Wednesday, November 30th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, November 30th: Reader Girls
Friday, December 2nd: Urban Girl Reader
Friday, December 2nd: Drey’s Library – excerpt
Monday, December 5th: Read Love Blog
Tuesday, December 6th: Books a la Mode
Wednesday, December 7th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, December 7th: Harlie’s Books
Friday, December 9th: Books that Hook
Monday, December 12th: Lampshade Reader
Monday, December 12th: Books Without Any Picture
Wednesday, December 14th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Friday, December 16th: The Romance Dish
Friday, December 16th: A Night’s Dream of Books
Monday, December 19th: Stuck in Books
Wednesday, December 21st: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Friday, December 23rd: Stranded in Chaos
Monday, December 26th: 100 Pages a Day
Wednesday, December 28th: Written Love Reviews
Wednesday, December 28th: Lovely Reads

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Book Spotlight, Excerpt & #Giveaway: The Earl by Katharine Ashe

Posted October 27, 2016 by Sherri in Book Spotlight, Giveaways / 1 Comment
Book Spotlight, Excerpt & #Giveaway: The Earl by Katharine Ashe

Title: The Earl Author: Katharine Ashe Series: Devil’s Duke #2 Genre: Historical Romance, Publisher: Avon Books (Harper Collins) Release Date: October 25, 2016 Format: Print/eBook/Audiobook, 384 pages Book Description: How does a bookish lady bring an arrogant lord to his knees? Entice him to Scotland, strip him of titles and riches, and make him prove what sort of man he truly is. Opposites… Handsome, wealthy, and sublimely confident, Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor, has vowed to unmask the rabble-rousing pamphleteer, Lady Justice, the thorn in England’s paw. And he’ll stop at nothing. Attract. Smart, big-hearted, and passionately dedicated to her work, Lady Justice longs to teach her nemesis a lesson in humility. But her sister is missing, and a perilous journey with her archrival into unknown territory just might turn fierce enemies into lovers. Print Buy Links:  Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Books-a-Million• Book Depository • IndieBound • Avon Print Digital Buy Links:  Amazon Kindle • B&N Nook • Kobo• iBooks […]

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Book Spotlight: Tempted By A Touch by Kris Rafferty

Posted October 24, 2016 by Sherri in Book Spotlight / 0 Comments
Book Spotlight: Tempted By A Touch by Kris Rafferty

by Kris Rafferty Title: Tempted By A Touch Author: Kris Rafferty Series: An Unlikely Hero #2 Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Select Suspense) Release Date: October 24th,  2016 Format: eBook Book Description: People keep dying around Harper MacLain. Try as she might, she can’t stop bad things from happening to those she loves. When her closely guarded secret lands her in the middle of her ex-boyfriend’s investigation, she’s in over her head. She hates that Detective Lucas Sullivan is in her life again, tempting her to fall back into bad habits…and his bed. When Harper left him, Lucas tried not to care, burying himself in his job instead. Then Harper became the job. Now they’re on the run, and all he can think about is keeping her safe…and his hands off her. Lucas knows she’s the key to solving his case, if he can keep them alive long enough to do it. And that’s the trick…because […]

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Book Spotlight & #Giveaway: United by Melissa Landers

Posted August 2, 2016 by Sherri in Book Spotlight, Giveaways / 0 Comments
Book Spotlight & #Giveaway: United by Melissa Landers

Title: United Author: Melissa Landers Series: Alienated #3 Genre: Young Adult, Romance Publisher: EverAfter Release Date: August 2, 2016 Format: Hardcover/eBook, 300 pages Book Description: After thwarting a deadly coup and saving the alliance between their worlds, Cara and Aelyx have finally earned a break. Their tiny island colony is everything they dreamed it would be―days spent gathering shells on the beach and nights in each other’s arms. But the vacation is short-lived. The treaty between Earth and L’eihr has awakened an ancient force that threatens to destroy them all. The Aribol, mysterious guardians charged with maintaining interstellar peace, deem the alliance a threat to the galaxy. They order a separation of the races, decreeing humans and L’eihrs must return to their own planets within the month or face extinction. In fact, they already have agents in place on Earth, ready to begin. With the clock ticking, Aelyx and Cara assemble a team of colonists […]

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Book Spotlight, Excerpt & #Giveaway: Love, Alchemy by Eden Ashley

Posted July 11, 2016 by Sherri in Book Spotlight, Giveaways / 0 Comments
Book Spotlight, Excerpt & #Giveaway: Love, Alchemy by Eden Ashley

Title: Love, Alchemy Author: Eden Ashley Genre: New Adult Romance/Fantasy Release Date: July 1st, 2016 Format: eBook, 326 pages Book Description: Daveigh Little is no stranger to bad choices, but when one of them lands her in hot water, she finds herself on the run from a ruthless criminal who places a price on her head…and then there is Ethan. From the moment she first laid eyes on Ethan Remington, Daveigh knew there was something very different about him…she just didn’t know how different. With the habit of showing up exactly when she needs him the most, Ethan displays an uncanny intuition towards Daveigh’s whereabouts. But then the tables are turned and soon Daveigh realizes that it is Ethan who actually needs saving. Buy Links:  Amazon Book Links: Goodreads Excerpt Remington The rusted chains squeaked in rhythm with the swing’s low arc. Somewhere in the distance, a raven cawed. Leaves fluttered about in […]

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Lyrical Press Contemporary Romances Tour, Excerpt & #Giveaway – Heartland by Sara Walter Ellwood

Posted June 30, 2016 by Sherri in Book Spotlight, Giveaways / 2 Comments
Lyrical Press Contemporary Romances Tour, Excerpt & #Giveaway – Heartland by Sara Walter Ellwood

Today’s tour is a Virtual Blurb Blitz Tour for Lyrical Press Contemporary Romances available June 24th from Lyrical Press. Urban Girl Reader is hosting Heartland by Sara Walter Ellwood but other tour stops will have excerpts from the other available books. Be sure to visit the other sites to increase your chance to win the Giveaway! Books available: READY TO FALL by Olivia Dade HEARTLAND by Sara Walter Ellwood HER UNEXPECTED AFFAIR by Shea McMaster HER AUSTRALIAN HERO by Margaret Way Title: Heartland Author: Sara Walter Ellwood Series: Singing to the Heart book #3 Genre: Contemporary Romance Publisher: Lyrical Shine Release Date: June 21st, 2016 Format: eBook, 135 pages Book Description: Sex, drugs, and country music. That was the lifestyle for Emily Kendall, a Texas girl who hit it big on the country music charts–until she found herself pregnant and battling addiction. Now out of rehab and seeking a new life for herself […]

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Book Spotlight, Excerpt & #Giveaway: A SEAL’s Vow by Cora Seton

Book Spotlight, Excerpt & #Giveaway: A SEAL’s Vow by Cora Seton

Title: A Seal’s Vow Author: Cora Seton Series: The SEALs of Chance Creek #2 Genre: Contemporary Romance, Military Publisher: One Acre Press Release Date: June 7th, 2016 Format: eBook, 279 pages Book Description: After fifteen long, dangerous years in the service, Navy SEAL Clay Pickett is ready for his new mission: build a model sustainable community and show the world an exciting alternative to a consumption-based life. If that means he’s got a deadline to find a wife in order to win the reality TV show that’s filming his sustainable adventure, so be it. He’s got just the woman for the job in mind: beautiful, dedicated Nora Ridgeway. When Nora left her job as a school teacher in Baltimore to live a simpler, Jane Austen style life in Montana with her friends, she was relieved to escape the escalating threats of violence from an unknown student stalker, but she can’t help feeling she’s […]

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Book Spotlight and Excerpt: His Lass Wears Tartan by Kathleen Shaputis

Posted June 20, 2016 by Sherri in Book Spotlight / 1 Comment
Book Spotlight and Excerpt: His Lass Wears Tartan by Kathleen Shaputis

Title: His Lass Wears Tartan Author: Kathleen Shaputis Genre: Paranormal Romance Publisher: Crimson Romance Release Date: June 20th 2016 Format: Paperback and eBook, 270 pages Book Description: Independent and dedicatedly single, Rogue Bruce enjoys running Castle Baillie with her Aunt Baillie from America. They specialize in romantic Elizabethan-themed weddings, complete with resident ghost, Lord Kai (nothing like a haunted castle to set the mood for love). But love is something Rogue is not the least bit interested in. Content with her work and stable of horses, no man is necessary for her happiness. Matchmaking is in the air, though, focusing on Bruce MacKenzie, a Thor in plaid and jeans from town, and Jonathan Olson, a snobbish Rhett Butler type. With two men after her heart (she’d thought safely locked away), Rogue is torn with confusion. Murder and a psychic yank the soundtrack of Rogue’s life from romantic to scary, while she has choices […]

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Book Spotlight, Exceprt & #Giveaway: Falling For Sarah by Cate Beauman

Book Spotlight, Exceprt & #Giveaway: Falling For Sarah by Cate Beauman

Title: Falling for Sarah Author: Cate Beauman Series: The Bodyguards Of L.A. County #2 Genre: Romantic Suspense Release Date: October 15th 2012 Format: Paperback / eBook, 384 pages Book Description: Widow Sarah Johnson struggled to pick up the pieces after her life was ripped apart. After two years of grieving, she’s found contentment in her thriving business as photographer to Hollywood’s A-list and in raising her angel-faced daughter, Kylee… until bodyguard and long-time friend Ethan Cooke changes everything with a searing moonlight kiss. Sarah’s world turns upside down as she struggles with her unexpected attraction to Ethan and the guilt of betraying her husband’s memory. But when blue roses and disturbing notes start appearing on her doorstep, she has no choice but to lean on Ethan as he fights to save her from a stalker that won’t stop until he has what he prizes most. Buy Links:  Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iTunes • Kobo […]

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