Wednesday, May 28, 2014

To Comment, or Not To Comment

I stumbled onto a conversation over on Goodreads the other night. The discussion took several twists and turns when I brought up that the only time I comment on reviews is if the reviewer asks me a direct question such as 'when is the next book coming out?'.

To my surprise, one person wasn't happy that I responded to reviewers at all. In their view that meant I was hovering and it was a 'dangerous path' for an author to take.

I scratched my head a little on that one. It made no sense to me. Why, exactly, would you NOT answer a reader's question?

The person insisted that if a reader really wanted to know that they would message the author privately. This, again, didn't follow through with my experience. Most of the readers who do reach out to me via email or private message on Goodreads open with an apology. They feel as if they are bothering the author.

I'm curious as to what others have experienced. Readers, do you like when you ask a question in your reviews and authors respond, or do you feel that is intrusive?

And authors, do you comment on reviews? I'm not talking about negative reviews. It should be common knowledge that no good can come of that. What I'm talking about are four and five star reviews where the reader loved the book and can't wait for more.

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Release Day Blitz: Jungle Fever Duology by L.V. Lewis

a Boxed Set
by L. V. Lewis
flat cover by Melissa Blue
Join L.V. Lewis, Bestselling author as she brings you her EXTRAORDINARY Alpha-Male boxed set, the JUNGLE FEVER DUOLOGY featuring FIFTY SHADES OF JUNGLE FEVER and EXIT STRATEGY her breakout hit novels in the vein of the most popular contemporary romance series counterpart: Fifty Shades of Grey, told primarily from the POV of an African American woman.
After reading for a chapter or so you'll realize, however, that Keisha Beale is no Anastasia Steele. She's sassy, irreverent, and unapologetically hilarious in her reactions to Tristan White, the venture capitalist whose sexual proclivities rock her world.
Here's your opportunity to get both FIFTY SHADES OF JUNGLE FEVER and EXIT STRATEGY in the JUNGLE FEVER DUOLOGY for the price of one! Even if you already have one of them, at this price you can have them together to complete your collection, or refer the boxed set to a friend, or two. :)

3-D Cover by Rachel at Shoutlines Designs


“Tell me again why you can’t stay?” Tristan says as we stand in front of the elevator. “Because it’s just not a good idea. And I don’t have anything to wear.” “Actually, you do,” he says. “Mrs. Naven found some things in the laundry after you left. Problem solved.” He takes both my hands and backs up into the sitting room. “Tristan, we still have some things to sort out. Tonight was great, but I still don’t think I’m cut out to be your submissive.” “Just my submissive?” I drop my head. “No. Anyone’s.” “You’re afraid you’ll have panic attacks again, aren’t you?” I feel like I’m about to be swallowed up by the sincere blue eyes tracking and pinning mine so effectively I can’t look away. “Yes. And I’m no use to you if I can’t endure the scenes, particularly the occasional disciplinary consequences.” “What if there was a way you could?” His finger traces a gentle path down my cheek. “What do you mean?” “Just what I said. If there was a way we could work around the panic attacks, would you come back? For good?” “You mean until you perfect your exit strategy? That’s what you venture capitalists call it, don’t you?” “Ah, someone’s been paying attention at our semiannual business meetings?” “I have a rather exacting mentor who insists on being heard.” “Asshole,” he says and pulls me close. I place my hands on his chest in an effort to sustain some emotional equilibrium, but he doesn’t let me go. “I’m the one who’ll be ass-out when you lose confidence in your investment and decide it’s time to diversify your portfolio again.” “I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon, Keisha.” He draws me closer, palming my hips, and I get his point. Pun intended. “I can’t seem to get enough of you.” I slip out of his arms and put some space between us. “Chemistry has never been an issue for us, Tristan. I know your lifestyle is important to you, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up.” The truth is, I’m hopelessly in love with a man who hasn’t given me any indication that he will ever want a real relationship. Nothing has changed on that front. He still just wants just a Dominant/submissive relationship, which might enjoy a longevity his other arrangements haven’t had, but it will eventually end. Can I really do this? I certainly don’t think I’ll become any less in love with him over time. Reentering a sexual relationship with Tristan now would be exceedingly counterproductive to the reasons I left in the first place, but I am hard-pressed to make myself walk away again. Tristan moves so close behind me that I can feel the warmth of his skin, his breath wafting over my ear as he speaks. “We’ll take things slow—again.” He runs a finger along my arm, and gooseflesh sprouts like ivy in its wake. I feel a pull toward him that can only be described as magnetic—my body eager to be reunited to his. Even though it could conceivably be more painful for me this time around, I’m not sure if leaving him again is within the realm of possibility. I can’t rationalize staying, but leaving becomes increasingly more difficult with each second I remain in his presence. I turn to face him. “Slow isn’t necessarily going to keep the attacks at bay.” Or guard my heart if he decides he’s done with me. “We’ll figure out a way to do that together.” He takes me into his arms again. “These three weeks have been ... just please stay.” I look into his eyes, and all I want to do at that moment is kiss him senseless. He may not have given me a declaration of love, but somehow I know this is as close as I’m going to get with a man like Tristan White. For now. As an answer, I stand on my tiptoes, throw my arms around his neck, and kiss him with everything in me.



L. V. Lewis is a married, mother of four who lives in South Georgia and works in the Florida Panhandle. A new author who decided stories like Fifty Shades of Grey needed a little more diversity and comedy, penned Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever as a parodied response to those wildly popular books from a woman of color. A voracious reader since kindergarten, Lewis loves nothing more than to curl up with a good book and a glass of wine. Now that Lewis has young adults who think they don't need their parents anymore, she has taken up another time-draining career of writing. Her love for writing is only eclipsed by her love for her family.


Social Media
Website and blog:

Tristan and Keisha - ES Promo

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday: Redemption by Lindsey Gray

Celebrate the third anniversary of the release of Lindsey Gray's Paranormal Romance sensation, Redemption.

Lily is one of only three vampires in known existence. After falling in love with a human, sexy and talented musician Ian, she realizes their love is putting him in mortal danger. She flees from her life in Boston to the solace of her frozen waste land.

As her past continues to haunt her, Ian seeks out the only family Lily has ever known. Becca introduces Ian to a world he never thought possible as they embark on a search for Lily, starting in the bowels of a mysterious company called The Manchester Group.

Will Ian and Becca find her? Or will the reemergence of a long lost love take a hold of their future?

Add to Goodreads.


"Did you know the Ahbmonites had resurfaced?”

If Lily could have gone any paler at that moment, she would have. Flashes of the man with jet black hair and pure blue eyes flooded her mind. The small symbol on the inside of his wrist burning its way into the permanent recesses of her brain.

“I wasn’t sure, but I guess you are telling me they have.” Lily lolled her head to the side, cupping her jaw with her hand propped up on the arm of the chair.

“They called him Liam, if that helps,” Renee spoke up cautiously, obviously realizing the severity of the situation.

“I never knew his name, but I felt it – the pull that Martin told me about. It scared the hell out of me, if I’m being honest. Once I realized what was happening, I got out of there as fast as I could.” Ryan gently began massaging her shoulders in attempt to ease the tension of the conversation.

“Well, this guy is one of them, markings and all and he has Becca, Sam, and Ian.”

Lily sat straight up in her chair. “What! How?!”

“An Anarcori. Remember that little gold box with the red orb that was lost in the twenties?” Lily nodded. “He’s got it and he knows how to use it. I don’t see how he can be alone on this one.”

“Hold on just a moment.” Ryan came around the side of Lily’s chair to face her. “What exactly is an Ahbmonite and why would he take your friends?”

Lily looked to Abe for any sort of explanation, but he had none. She then rose from her chair and pushed Ryan down into it.

“There are so many legends about how vampires came into existence; some even saying that Judas Iscariot was one of the first, after his transgressions with Jesus of Nazareth. From all that I learned from my sire, Martin, the line we come from started long ago in Jerusalem.” Lily took a deep unnecessary breath before moving on.

“According to Martin and all the books that we have held over the years, the Ahbmonites were basically food for a quartet of vampires. The four, all males, found the odd race of humans fascinating. They were drawn to them unlike any other human, not to kill them but for them to nurture each other.  The vampires fed from a type of blood they never had tasted before and the Ahbmonites acquired vampire traits strengthened in them with each feeding. When their human bodies could no longer handle the vampire traits, they were either killed or turned. After a few centuries, the families began branding their children with the mark of the black flame. Martin’s sire was one of the Ahbmonites, but he believed that it was time for their race to end. Stop using humans as cattle and learn to live off the blood of animals. That fight eventually led to the practical extinction of the vampire race. Now, only three of us remain.”

Ryan held out his hand in invitation. She took it and snuggled into his lap as visions of blue eyes and black flames raced through her mind.

“He took them to use as leverage against you?” Abe looked up at Lily as her gaze met his.

“I’m not sure of any other explanation. If this Liam is the same man I encountered in Las Vegas, he knew all about me and wanted to be my companion.” She felt Ryan’s hand moving up and down her spine attempting to soothe the strained muscles.

“So, you drank from this guy and now he’s got some vampire traits, enough that he could take all three of them?” Renee inquired.

Lily turned to Ryan and nodded shamefully. “I’d never felt that kind of pull ever in my existence as a vampire. It was truly some sort of biological connection, like somehow we were made for each other. As though our existence depended on one another.”

“What now? We just sit around and wait for him to call?” Renee was full of questions, yet all completely relevant.

“I’d need to get to Martin’s library. All of his books are stored there. It’s just outside of Reading.”

Renee straightened up in her seat. “You mean the Reading that’s in the UK? I’ve never been to the UK.”

“Looks like today’s your lucky day.” Abe took Renee’s hand, lacing his fingers through hers before patting her hand.

Author Bio

Lindsey Gray dreamed of several different careers as a child. On the short list were doctor, chef, and actress. None held her attention as much as putting pen to paper and creating her own world through words. Since 2010, she has published three novels and one short story with The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House. In 2013, she went on her first self-publishing adventure and produced her novella, Fireworks, and joined the ranks of Renaissance Romance Publishing with their winter anthology, Melting the Snow.

A mid-west native, Lindsey enjoys spending time with her husband and two children,rooting for the Green Bay Packers, reading whatever she can get her hands on, and making life interesting at every turn.

Find Lindsey Gray


In celebration of Redemption's third anniversary and Armchair Book Expo of America, Lindsey Gray is giving away an eBook copy of Redemption and a $10 gift card from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Crossing The Line Cover Reveal & Giveaway June 2nd

Some exciting news!

On June 2nd, I'll be revealing my cover for my upcoming novel, Crossing The Line.

As an added bonus, I'm going to be holding two separate giveaways. One on my blog and other participating blogs helping me with the cover reveal. And one on Goodreads. This means you have two chances to win.

Keep your eyes open for the cover reveal post on my blog June 2nd, and hop over to Goodreads to join the Cover Reveal Event for the chance to win a signed ARC of Crossing The Line.

Bloggers: If you would like to join in the blog blitz on June 2nd, please fill out the google doc and you will be contacted with the information via email.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Are you ever self conscious about what you write?

Are you ever self-conscious about what you write? 

This question was asked of me a couple of weeks ago at a book fair. I write contemporary romance and BDSM erotic romance, so this particular person was specifically asking about the sex I write in my books.

She went on to ask me if I would feel comfortable with my family reading what I wrote. The answer to that question is simple. Yes, I'm comfortable with my family reading my books. My mother and sister-in-law have read most of the books I've written.

Over the last three years, I've been asked these questions, and similar ones, regarding the genre I write. For a reason I'm still trying to wrap my head around, romance has this stigma attached to it. Granted there is some pretty racy stuff out there, but there are also sweet romances that contain no sex at all, and everything in between.

Romance is a genre that encompasses a huge variety of sub-genres and writing styles. At its heart, however, it is about relationships. Since when did love become that dirty word that can't be talked about?

Then again, it's not the love part some people have a problem with. It's the sex. Again, this confuses me. Most adults I know, especially those in romantic relationships, are having sex. It's human nature. So why is it taboo in books about the development of an adult relationship?

I'm not sure this stigma of the romance novel will ever completely go away. There will probably always be those who will look down their nose at the genre thinking it is inferior. It's not. There are romance authors that spend hours writing, revising, and editing the same as writers of any other genre. Writing is an art, no matter the genre.

Monday, May 19, 2014

COVER REVEAL: The Land of the Shadow by Lissa Bryan

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Cover Reveal

The Land of the Shadow
by Lissa Bryan


Release Date: August 21, 2014
In the highly anticipated stand-alone sequel to The End of All Things, Lissa Bryan returns readers to a world devastated by disease, and the breakdown of modern society.
Two years after a horrific virus swept the globe, decimating the world’s population, Carly Daniels and her husband, Justin, have made a safe home in the isolated southern town of Colby. Protected by fences and a vigilant population, the residents there had somehow managed to keep the Infection out. Until the sight of Carly and Justin’s healthy baby girl convinced them it was safe to allow Outsiders in. Now, in the wake of fresh losses, the small band of survivors struggles to rebuild a community. With only nineteenth-century technology to aid them, they must learn skills long forgotten to provide for their basic needs. Each day brings new challenges, and every choice they make affects their long-term survival. While Carly and Justin adjust to a growing family, and to their roles as community leaders, they must rely on one another for strength and support when they face difficult questions. Carly has to decide how to move forward in a world where equality, justice, and freedom from tyranny are no longer guaranteed. And when new threats emerge, she has to decide what she is willing to do—and how far she’s willing to go—to protect what she has worked so hard to build. When the end has come and gone, it’s a journey down a long and broken road through The Land of the Shadow.
Justin was in the barn when he heard Carly scream, and the sound of it almost stopped his heart. It was a sound of sheer terror, a sound that could only mean . . . He didn’t finish the thought. His brain clicked into action mode, based on training and instinct, pushing his own fear aside. Justin jumped to snatch the pump-action shotgun mounted on pegs above the door and ran harder than he’d ever run in his life, pumping the weapon to chamber a round. He prayed as he ran. He didn’t know to whom he was praying, nor for what, but he prayed just the same. Rounding the corner of the house, he saw Kaden and Carly running toward a goddamn big alligator in the front yard. Sam darted around its sides, snapping. Justin caught up to Kaden just as the beast decided that Carly’s direction was a better avenue of escape than the path blocked by the snarling wolf and the two running men. It charged right at her, its mouth wide, tail thrashing in its wake. Carly jumped for the porch, clutching at the post, her foot braced on the rail. Kaden charged up the steps and swept Dagny up into his arms, flinging open the screen door to scramble inside the house. Dagny yelled something that sounded like, “No, kay!” as the keys tumbled from her hand to clatter on the floorboards. Justin heard her wail as the screen door slammed behind Kaden. But she was safe, and that was what mattered at the moment. Carly still clung to the porch rail, her eyes wide. Safe, too, Justin noted, as his mind switched over to seek-and-destroy mode. The alligator kept running across the lawn and straight into the cornfield, surprisingly fast for such a large, awkward creature. “Not the corn!” Justin swung wide to try to drive the reptile toward the road instead, but the alligator saw safety and concealment in the thick patch of tall green stalks. It charged into the patch, clearing a three-foot-wide path of broken stalks with every swipe of its thrashing tail. A flash of movement from the left caught Justin’s eye, and Pearl jumped in front of the alligator with a shout, waving her arms to prevent it from charging deeper into the field. The gator hissed at her and brandished its gaping maw, but began to back away. More people from the town, who had been drawn by Carly’s scream, ran across the lawn toward the corn patch. The confused alligator found himself surrounded, and he turned, crushing more stalks. Justin swore. He caught Pearl’s eye and didn’t even need to tell her what he needed. She shouted and feigned a lunge to get the gator’s attention, and it swung around to hiss at her. He darted to the gator’s side and aimed the shotgun at the back of its head. “Clear!” “No, Justin!” Carly shouted. “Don’t!” Justin groaned. His wife, the animal lover. Was she going to say something like, He can’t help he’s an alligator, and insist Justin transport the thing back to the swamp? He was already picturing wrapping the beast’s jaws with duct tape or something to avoid losing a goddamn hand in the process when she reached his side. Instead, she pulled out the .45 she wore at her hip and blasted the gator three times in the head. It slumped to the ground, dead as Caesar. “I didn’t want you to use the shotgun and tear up the hide,” Carly said. God, he loved her. He felt a grin stretch his cheeks. She turned toward the house but called over her shoulder to the staring townspeople as she ran to check on her baby. “We have meat.”
Lissa-Bryan     Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot...though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing. She is the author of three other novels, Ghostwriter, The End of All Things, and Under These Restless Skies.    

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday: Read An Excerpt from Sandi Layne's Work In Progress

Coming in 2015

The final novel of Sandi Layne's Éire's Viking Trilogy: Éire's Devil King

27009-banner_zps2f7db0db Currently a work in progress, this final book completes the telling of one way that the Northmen—the vikingr—came to settle in Éire and how one of their number, Tuirgeis, claimed the title of High King of that island. Based in history, Tuirgeis's story will complete the story Sandi Layne began to tell when Tuirgeis captured Cowan and Agnarr captured Charis the healer in Éire's Captive Moon.

Blurb Idea:

dont-keep-calm-the-vikings-are-comingA man of ability and ambition, Tuirgeis has nurtured the desire to carve a place of leadership for himself on the Green Island, Éire, that he has raided multiple times. After the death of his wife, he takes his surviving son to Éire and comes to learn that there is more to claiming a kingship than merely overpowering the locals.
While he is attracted to an Éire-woman for his new wife, Tuirgeis seeks to find ways to not only settle in this new land but also to learn to live with the people there, not just overthrow them.
Having connections with his adopted brother, Cowan, and Agnarr, his former countryman, Tuirgeis feels he has the support he needs to make his claims strong.
Bloodthirsty tyrant? Overly ambitious leader? Prideful warrior? The histories tell one tale of Tuirgeis, acknowledged usurper and High King of Ireland; I am telling another.

Sneak Peek of the Work in Progress:

Ide spoke. “The Ostmen will be gone in the morning.” “Well, perhaps,” Charis murmured as the sweet scents of mead and ale wafted through the evening air ahead of Cowan and Tuirgeis. She did not care for ale, but did find mead to be a pleasant beverage. It never interfered with her senses as it did with others, but she liked the mellow flavor. “They might be leaving closer to midday if their heads are as heavy as the smell of their drinks.” The women chuckled softly just as Cowan called, “What is it, wife?” “We came to spend time with Aislinn and the baby,” Charis replied, moving toward Cowan until she could look him squarely in the eye. “Why are you away from the fire?” she asked in Gaeilge. Cowan translated. Tuirgeis shook his head and rolled his shoulders as if he felt stiff from inaction. “I have spent enough time with men,” he stated through Cowan. “I wished for other, softer company.” A challenge was in his gaze as it clashed with Charis’s and she felt as if her spine was iron. Cowan drew her to him and she allowed herself to sidle away from the Northman. After dropping a kiss to the top of her head, her husband blew out a breath. “Softer company, Tuirgeis? Well, you remember my daughter Aislinn, of course.” Against her will, Charis took it upon herself to translate the tongue for Ide and Aislinn. If there was any luck in her world, she would not have to spend another evening doing so. Tuirgeis snorted to hear her, a smile in his eyes before they moved to Aislinn. ????????????????????????????????????Ja. Aislinn. How many children do you have?” Aislinn understood him to an extent. “Two.” “And this is Ide. She used to live on the west coast, a bit north of where Muiredach recommended you go,” Cowan said, nodding to the red-haired woman. Tuirgeis’s smile widened. “I remember you,” he said while Charis moved to stand next to Ide. Cowan translated; Charis refused to do so for the moment. “I saw you when Agnarr wed.” He indicated Ide’s rich curls with a quick gesture of his hand. “Your hair. I like red hair.”

About the Author:

Award winning author of short Celtic fiction, Sandi Layne is the creator of the Éire's Viking Trilogy, as well as works of contemporary Christian romance.Headshot8a

She began by self-publishing her novels in 2000, garnering a loyal group of readers whom she continues to appreciate to this day.

Married for more than twenty years to a very tolerant (and brilliant!) man, she has two sons, no pets, and a plethora of imaginary friends. Her interests range from ancient civilizations to science fiction for both reading and research. With degrees in English and Ministry, she also claims Theology’s crimson Masters collar which she has been known to don on rare occasions.

If you drive by her window before dawn, it is likely she’ll have a light on for you. Or at the very least, she’ll be alert on twitter.
Find her on her website, Goodreads, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

The first two books in the trilogy are already available. Click on the book covers here to be taken to Sandi's website where you can link up to purchase Éire's Captive Moon and Éire's Viking in paperback or e-book editions. ECM small Eires_Viking_Low-Res_Cover

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Don't Go To Book Conferences To Sell Books

Should you try to sell your books when you go to book conferences and festivals? Of course you should. But that shouldn't be all you're doing. Conferences are great places to network with other authors. Take advantage of it!

The first conference I attended three years ago was the Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together (RAGT) near Cincinnati, Ohio. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and I admit I was a slightly overwhelmed. Little did I know I'd be sitting in a sea of over 500 people and I didn't know a single one of them. Luckily, I'm not all that shy, so I walked up to a table of complete strangers and introduced myself.

I've been to several conferences and festivals since. Some focused on the romance genre. Others were more general. But I can honestly say that I've never walked away from a conference without gaining some bit of knowledge or making a connection.

A perfect example of this was when I attended the Romance Novel Convention last year. I ran into another author and we started talking. What began as a small conversation ended up including a late lunch with some other authors and a more detailed discussion on marketing. I learned, and still learn, so much from that one connection I made. Did I sell a ton of books at the conference itself? No. But the marketing information I picked up from her and all the other authors I met helped me immensely.

This past weekend I attended the Ohioana Book Festival. This was my fourth year at the event. I never sell many books there. Its not really geared toward romance readers. But I enjoy sharing my knowledge with up and coming writers and learning from others who have been writing for years.

If you go to a book conference, take the time to learn from those around you. Most authors are more than willing to give some free advice.

What is the best advice you've received from another author? It could be at a conference or even through social media.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cover Reveal: Anniversary Killer by Alexandra Allred

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Cover Reveal

Anniversary Killer
by Alexandra Allred
Release Date: August 14, 2014
Allie is back! When a kidnapping, house fire, and murder occur around the corner from Allie Lindell’s house, it’s too much for her to resist. Despite promises to stay away from murder and mayhem, a missing Irish setter named Chester puts Allie on the hunt. Almost a year to the day, Mickey Callahan’s business partner was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the head and nothing but questions surround his murder. Now, Mickey is convinced that the same people are out to get him. After a sloppy kidnapping attempt, no one takes him seriously until the body count starts to grow. The Allie Lindell saga returns with the third book in the series and more drama than ever as Allie continues the struggle to hold on to herself without giving up on her partner and love, maintaining a relationship with her police officer sister and best friend, and keeping up with her caper-loving neighbor who insists on going along on every stakeout.
About the Author:
  aallred Alexandra Allred is a former national and professional athlete turned adventure writer turned humorist and novelist. She’s often been called the next Erma Bombeck with a grudge. Her annual Christmas letters, which have frequently made the news, could make the Grinch weep with joy. For a taste of holiday glee, see Allred is a writer of fiction and nonfiction alike, but is most proud of the Allie Lindell series. Several close friends from her sports background and personal life have been the source of inspiration for the books. And just like Allie Lindell, Allred grew up with a father who taught her the love of reading a good obituary column. Allred writes for Waxahachie Daily Light newspaper, continues to testify in Washington D.C. on behalf of children with asthma and our need for clean air, and she’s never too far from her gym in Midlothian, Texas. You can always drop her a note at
Connect with Alexandra Allred on:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday: Read An Excerpt of Soldier On by Sydney Logan

Today's Sunday Sneak Peek is an excerpt from Sydney Logan's upcoming military romance, Soldier On.
Will his call of duty break both their hearts?
Losing her father in Desert Storm has left Stephanie James a bitter soul when it comes to the military. As a college senior juggling a full course load, Steph's only goal is to graduate with honors at the end of the semester. She’s focused, determined, and a firm believer in all work and no play. Then she meets Brandon Walker at a New Year’s Eve costume party. Despite his disguise, Steph finds herself attracted to the camouflaged soldier who curls her toes with a scorching midnight kiss.

Brandon is an engineering major and ROTC student from the hills of Kentucky. Growing up as the son of a major general has given Brandon firsthand knowledge of the struggles military families sometimes face. Now that his father’s memory is fading, Brandon is even more determined to make his dad proud and graduate as an officer in the United States Army. Then he meets Stephanie, and suddenly, his focus is less on his military service and more on the pretty brunette who has stolen his heart. When he becomes aware of Steph’s resentment toward the military, he worries their relationship is doomed.

When faced with the realization that she's fallen in love with a soldier, can Steph’s wounds from the past be healed with love in her present . . . and in her future?
Release Date: June 20, 2014
Genre: New Adult/Military Romance
With a disgusted sigh, I toss my cup into an overflowing trash can before maneuvering my way through the dancers and up the stairs in search of my best friend. Bravely, I try a few of the rooms, but all are locked except for a set of open double doors at the end of the hallway.

Curious, I step inside, and I’m instantly mesmerized.

Frat houses have libraries?

This one does, complete with ceiling-high bookshelves. Laptops line one wall, and a giant multimedia screen is attached to another. While all of it is impressive, nothing excites my book-loving heart more than to see the library ladder.

Secretly, I’ve always wanted to climb one—the tall ladders that roll from one end of the shelves to the other. Ironically enough, library ladders always remind me of Beauty and the Beast. Or the love scene in Atonement.

One of those movies is G-rated. The other most definitely is not.

Suddenly nervous, I look over my shoulder before making my decision.

YOLO. Carpe Diem. Whatever.

Slipping off my shoes, I reach for the ladder and slowly begin to climb. Sadly, this is the most adventurous thing I’ve done in a long time, and I can’t stop smiling. I’ve made it to the fifth rung when I hear someone clear his throat.


I hold on tightly and manage to turn myself around without falling off. When I’m sure I’m steady, I turn and find myself looking into the eyes of a soldier. Possibly Army. Maybe Marine.

Not that it matters. I accepted long ago that my hatred for anything military related is a little unhealthy, but when the service strips a girl of the privilege of knowing her father, it sometimes makes a person bitter.

I am the epitome of bitter.

This particular solider is smiling at me, and I can’t lie, the smile is kind of beautiful. Despite that, my first instinct is to roll my eyes at his outfit. But then, I remember this is a costume party, and he probably just needed a quick and totally uncreative disguise.

“I don’t think this room is open to visitors,” he says, his tone soft and deep.

I wonder if that’s his natural speaking voice or if he’s just playing his role as a badass. The guy certainly looks like a soldier, dressed in his head-to-toe camouflage and smeared-on face paint. 

“It was actually the only room that wasn’t locked, which is kind of stupid if you ask me. This is the one room in the house you guys shouldn’t want trashed. Drunken idiots could really do some damage in here.”

He grins, and my breath catches in my throat as he steps closer. I tighten my hold on the ladder, because a smile that makes a girl’s heart race isn’t the best thing when she’s trying to maintain her balance.

“I noticed you downstairs.”

Embarrassed, I glance down at my ridiculous dress. “I’m a little hard to miss in canary yellow. I’m going to kill Tessa—”

“That’s not why I noticed you.”

He’s closer now, with one hand pressed against the shelf behind me. He’s tall, but thanks to the ladder, we’re practically nose-to-nose. Normally, I would be frightened of a complete stranger invading my space, but honestly, this is the most relaxed I’ve felt all night. With his athletic build, there’s no doubt he could hurt me if he wanted, but I’m not afraid. For one thing, his breath doesn’t stink and his speech isn’t slurred. For another, he’s gazing at me with a pair of big brown eyes that make my stomach do this weird somersault-thing, and my stomach hasn’t done somersaults in a very long time.

Before I can ask why he noticed me, shouts erupt from downstairs.

“Ten, nine, eight . . .”

“Do you have someone to kiss at midnight?” he asks.

I simply shake my head. He steps closer, pinning me between his body and the bookshelf.

“You do now.”

Horns blare below, but I barely notice because in the next second, his mouth covers mine. His lips are featherlight and sweet, causing warmth to spread through my veins and settle in my heart. I sigh, causing my lips to part slightly, allowing him to deepen the kiss. One of his hands stroke my cheek as he leans in, pressing his body tighter against mine. His quiet groan vibrates through me, and I’m ready to let go of the ladder and wrap my arms around him when he suddenly pulls away.

“Wow,” he whispers.

I’ll say.

I open my eyes, and all I can see is his smile.

“Happy New Year,” he says.

Then he’s gone, sprinting from the room before I can even formulate a coherent response.

Amazon bestselling author Sydney Logan holds a Master's degree in Elementary Education. With the 2012 release of her novel, Lessons Learned, she made the transition from bookworm to author. Her second book, Mountain Charm, was released in 2013. She is also the author of three short stories. A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.
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