Shrinking Violet by Jessica Prince (Cover Reveal)

Title: Shrinking Violet
Author: Jessica Prince
Genre: Mature New Adult
Release Date: July 29th
Cover Design: Staci Brillhart at Quirky Bird

Forgiveness.

From the time we’re old enough to understand the word, we’re taught to forgive those who wrong us, so what do you do when the one person you can’t forgive is yourself?

For Cassidy Ashworth, it’s a question that haunts her. Forgiveness has become a foreign concept. Self-loathing is something she’s much more familiar with. Convinced that she doesn’t deserve happiness, Cassidy is determined to spend every day trying to make up for the wrong she’s done. But no amount of repenting for the past will ever convince her that she’s worthy of a future with Carson Langford.

Raised in the foster system, Carson has always been a throwaway kid. He knows firsthand just how cruel life can be, how easy it is for people to prey on the weak, and there’s nothing Carson detests more than a bully. So focused on his self-imposed role of protector, he never counted on the beautiful blonde with the haunted eyes to stumble into his life and shake up his world.

Despite her reluctance, Carson is determined to have Cassidy in his life, but once the truth of her past comes to light, the question is… will he still want to keep her?

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SV Teaser

Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.

Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says.

In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.

Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.

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Point of No Return by Olivia Luck (Release Day Blitz)

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Release Day Blitz
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Book Title: Point of No Return (The Point Series)
A
uthor: Olivia Luck
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: June 23, 2015
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Book Blurb

I had it all: an adoring husband, supportive friends, thriving career, a homey condo in the city.

Amend that.

I had it all except for love from my family. But life was good because I had him. Max was everything I dreamed a husband could be and somehow he loved me just as wildly as I loved him.

Until one cruel night he was stolen from me.

Then I had nothing but a vicious battle ahead of me. It’s a struggle so treacherous, I’m not sure if I’ll make it out with my heart in tact. But on the other side of that brutal war waits the most wondrous prize.

Will I allow myself to move forward?

excerpt

Prologue – His

We cruise through Standard like we own the place because, fuck it, we practically do. Three first-line players and the goalie from the Chicago Scrapers, the city’s only professional hockey team, are kings in this town. When Lars swaggered to the host stand at a restaurant known for only allowing reservations three months out and requested a table, the verbose host seated us without delay. Now circling the wood table and waiting for our steaks to arrive, my teammates and I survey the dimly lit dining room.

“Bar 312 tonight, gentlemen,” Tomas drawls after swallowing a mouthful of the whiskey I got him drinking when we played together in Toronto a few years back.

None of us are attached, spending most nights out of the hockey rink together making our way through the city’s most popular haunts. We’re free to do what we want, when we want, so long as it doesn’t conflict with our job.

“Weren’t we there over the weekend? Could get stale,” I say.

I dangle a tumbler of amber liquid in my hand, watching Standard’s host make his rounds among the clientele. His name’s Paul? Patrick? Something like that. Considering I’ve been to Standard no less than eight times, you’d think I’d know the name of the gatekeeper who runs this place.

“Doesn’t matter when we went there last; the place is wall-to-wall beautiful women. Are you looking for something else? Boystown’s up north, dude,” Tucker goads from my left.

“What was that, rookie?” With a half smirk, I don’t offer Tucker any further attention. Drafted for the incoming season, Coach asked me to take the hotshot rightwing under my tutelage. Responsibilities like this are expected of the assistant captain.

I don’t hear whatever Tucker says in response because something else has captured my attention.

Dark auburn hair curling around slim shoulders like a heavy curtain, thick eyelashes framing deep blue eyes filled with….tears? Milky white hands press to cheeks with a dusky blush, mouth open in surprise.

Fuck me. She’s stunning.

Before I can come up with a game plan to get this woman into bed, a single tear catches the candlelight and glimmers on her cheek, jerking me back to reality. It’s then that I realize there’s a man on bended knee before her.

Only a few feet away on the hardwood floor, I’m able to make out his words. “Violet Harper, will you be my wife?” The dull roar of conversation, both at my table and winding throughout the restaurant, prevents me from hearing her response, but I’m able to read her lips well enough.

Me? she asks, surprise apparent across her gorgeous features.

The guy would be an idiot not to lock her down. She has that doe-eyed innocent look, but plump lips and a hint of cleavage that would knock any man right on his ass.

“There’s no one better than you, Violet,” the guy says. He hooks an arm around her tiny waist and yanks her onto his bended knee. Slim arms circle his neck as she stares down at him adoringly.

Do I want to be a one-woman man like that?

As quickly as the thought appears in my mind, I shove it away. Feeling like a voyeur, I attempt to turn my attention back to my teammates. But like being caught in the pull of a powerful magnet, my gaze powerlessly slides back to the couple.

“Put me out of my misery, babe. Say yes?” The guy actually looks nervous. Her answer is obvious, but she gushes out her assent. The guy launches to his feet with her still in his arms, locking her lips on his.

She never looked at the ring.

The majority of the women I hook up with want one thing: status. That means money or power—whatever I’ve got as one of the league’s best goalies. I’ll admit it, I’ve become a shred jaded, believing most women care more about my bank account and fame than the man I am. And now, here, to my surprise, a goddess looks more interested in the man than the sparkling stone in the velvet box tossed carelessly on the white tablecloth.

“Cam, are you listening?”

Shifting around in my seat, I focus on my friends. “Got to let the hens gossip,” I mutter. They’re passing around potatoes and mushrooms. Not even the scent of the broiled salmon (yeah, I’m in season and eating like my trainer wants to stay at the peak of my game) managed to distract me from the engagement going on a few feet from our table.

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention? Let’s all raise our glasses in a toast to one of Chicago’s finest. My boy, Max, a firefighter for you fine folks, just got engaged to his lovely girlfriend, Violet.” The host, whose name still escapes me, booms to every patron of Standard and cuts through our conversation. Now at least I have an excuse to stare at the woman. Violet. I savor her name, letting it roll around the deep recesses of my mind. I’d never go after a taken woman, but I can’t help but watch her with appreciation as she blushes, pressing her cheek into the neck of the firefighter boyfriend. Excuse me, fiancé.

Blowing away a hot breath, I force my head away from the scene. There’s a chant building steam, kiss, kiss, kiss, and I’m not willing to watch that. By now, the guys aren’t interested in razzing me further; they’re watching too, though not with the same rapt attention as me.

“Don’t you want to see the ring?” Firefighter says.

“Oh! That. I was lucky enough to have you,” her melodic voice responds.

Only then do I realize my hand is clenched in a fist on the tabletop, the tension bleaching my knuckles.

“Sucker,” Tucker mutters under his breath.

“Really? Seems pretty thrilled to me.” With a decisive slice from my cutlery, I swallow a bite of my fish.

Yeah, maybe I’ll settle down one day.

But not today.

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Meet the Author

Olivia Luck lives in the middle of the US with her husband and pooch. She loves writing, reading, pizza, dogs, good TV, cooking and spending time with her family. But not necessarily in that order. Olivia writes New Adult Romance.

Get in touch with Olivia, she adores emails: olivialuckauthor@gmail.com

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Not You It’s Me by Julie Johnson (Cover Reveal)

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Book Title: Not You It’s Me
Author: Julie Johnson
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: July 7, 2015
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Book Blurb

Gemma Summers is unlucky in love.

She’s known it since third grade, when her first crush blew a spitball into her hair, and a decade-long string of bad dates, boring sex, and abysmal morning-afters has done nothing to improve her prospects.

But when a random radio call-in contest lands her courtside tickets to the hottest playoff game of the season, Gemma’s luck may finally be on the upswing — even if it doesn’t exactly seem like it when the dreaded jumbotron kiss-cam lands on her and her date, who’s too busy ignoring her to notice…

Chase Croft doesn’t date.

Despite ample opportunity as Boston’s most eligible bachelor, the reformed bad-boy would rather put his energy into taking over the family business than weed through a world of gold-diggers to find an honest woman.

But when the beautiful girl in the seat next to him becomes a courtside spectacle at the hands of her loser boyfriend, he can’t help but step in and save the day.

One kiss. Two strangers. No strings attached.

The only problem is, Chase is used to getting whatever he wants. And after kissing Gemma once, he knows one thing…

He wants more.

Teaser
Not You It's Me Julie Johnson Teaser
Meet the Author

Julie Johnson is a twenty-something Boston native suffering from an extreme case of Peter Pan Syndrome and an obsession with fictional characters. When she’s not writing, Julie can most often be found daydreaming, drinking too much coffee, striving to conquer her Netflix queue, or stalking Goodreads for new books to add to her ever-growing TBR list. You can find Julie on Facebook, or contact her on her website http://www.juliejohnsonbooks.com. Sometimes, when she can figure out how Twitter works, she tweets from @AuthorJulie.

 
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Sight Words by L. B. Dunbar (Blog Tour)

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Book Title: Sight Words (The Sensations Collection)
Author: LB Dunbar
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
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Book Blurb

I’ve been waiting for love. I’ve watched my closest family find their perfect match, and it’s made me realize my current boyfriend is not mine. When a stranger comes to town, I’m intrigued, but not ready to give up my newfound freedom. A whirlwind of events throws us into each other’s path, where I eventually discover I’m the teacher of his youngest sister. Concerned about Amaryllis’ reading, I take on the role of mentor to her. Soon I learn a lesson or two from big brother, Leon Ramirez. In a push and pull, we struggle as we each have demons in our past.

A smart girl would never stay in a bad relationship.

A gang member could never want more from his life.

Stereotypes remain false words.

As I learn to fight for love, I find that words do matter.

Sometimes they can hurt more than sticks and stones.

 
excerpt

She was out of my league in more ways than one, but I noticed her long brown hair, skimming down her back, hanging straight. I hadn’t noticed before that she had some kind of highlights that shimmered in the harsh fluorescent lighting of the room. Just the sight of her brought tightness to my chest. I couldn’t get enough air. I was about to walk away, knowing I could never be involved with her, when I changed my mind and opened the door to hear her let out a squeak.

“You scared the crap out of me,” she hissed, but with a small smile. My breath hitched when she looked at me, then her face hardened slightly.

“Mr. Ramirez. I haven’t seen you in a while. How are you?” She was all formal politeness as if I were some student’s father.

“Ms. Carter. I’m fine, and you?” I replied with mockery in my voice.

She smirked at me and then returned to finish writing on her white board. I took in the classroom, noting that it was for younger students, but not really noticing anything at all. I sat at a desk in the front row then slid my palms over to the edge of the flat surface and gripped it.

“So this is your classroom,” I said, not really knowing what to say.

“Yes. I believe you are familiar with it as you clean it each night.”

I grunted, and looked away.

“You always work late.” It was said as a question, but was more of a statement.

“I work hard…and I have a lot to do.”

I might have thought she was dismissing me, but I didn’t move from the desk.

“Tell me what you do.”

She turned and glared at me, as if I had insulted her.

“I mean, tell me what you have to do so late each night. Why aren’t you home, or on a date?” This last question I didn’t want answered. Maybe she did have dates. I wouldn’t know and shouldn’t care.

“I have to get organized for the next day. Plan. Grade. Contact parents.” She leveled a stare at me.

I only nodded in response.

“Do you have a lot of naughty children?” I laughed.

“Naughty?”

“You know, misbehaved, so that you have to call their parents.”

“Not many. I call more with concerns related to academics.” She glared my way again before straightening something on her desk.

“I got in trouble a lot in school,” I began, looking at her as she continued to ignore me. She was purposely doing it now, because she’d straightened the same pile several times, even though it was already neatly stacked.

“Uh-huh,” she pretended disinterest.

“Stared out the window. Teased the girls. Talked a lot in class.”

She looked up at me finally and raised an eyebrow above her sexy glasses.

“I was a good student, academically,” I emphasized, “but I was bored and that can lead to trouble.”

She came around her desk and sat on the edge, listening intently.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I made some…poor decisions. I was in two different high schools, and it was when I was a junior that things changed for me. I had an AP Physics teacher that believed in my potential and helped me apply to college. I’d be the first one in my family to ever go.”

I was lost in the thought of Mr. Croft, who’d pushed me to work harder and do better in order to make the basketball team with passing grades. When I was a senior, Mr. Croft helped me fill out the forms for Northeastern and secure the necessary student scholarship. I hated to think that I might have disappointed Mr. Croft by taking this break in my senior year.

I looked up at Tricia, who was watching me.

“I wanted to be a pro-basketball player, but that wasn’t going to happen by attending a Chicago city university. Physics was my next favorite subject, and I’m good with my hands and building things. I like to study things like motion. Basketball is all physics.” I held my hands up as if to show her my physical tools, then felt silly and returned them to grip the edge of the desk. She walked over to stand in front of the desk where I sat and balanced against the edge of it.

“When I had to…when I came up here, I had to put it all on hold; hopefully only until January,” I added the last part and looked at her sheepishly. She seemed to be attentively listening and not judging me. I could tell in the way she held her hand under her chin, fingers wrapped around her exposed neck. She appeared thoughtful and I wanted her to know something about me. I wanted her to understand that I was trying to keep my life together. I had a goal.

“What?” she asked and I saw her swallow. I hadn’t realized how long I’d been staring at her.

“I’m trying to imagine getting in trouble by you as my teacher,” I lied to cover the stare. “I don’t think you could be intimidating.”

“Intimidating? I can be intimidating,” she laughed.

“Doubt it. Pretend I just teased someone or talked too much, and give me your best Ms. Carter scowl or reprimand.”

She laughed and then tried to straighten her face. She bit her lip, which was more seductive and playful than frightening, and I assumed she did it to hold back another laugh. She leaned across the desk, hands on either side of the flat writing surface, and looked down at me over those glasses. She was trying to be firm, but I could tell again that she was struggling. She tugged at her own lip to hold the smile. She had pressed her breasts together, unknowingly. My eyes wandered down her neck to the V-cut and her exposed cleavage.

“Are you looking at my breasts?” she gasped.

“Well, you put them in my face and if I was twelve, I would be so distracted I wouldn’t mind getting in trouble.”

She gasped even louder and pushed off the desk, but my quick hands imprisoned each of her wrists, holding her palms on the desktop.

I blatantly looked at her rising breasts, pressed firmly together and bursting out of the V in her sweater. My eyes climbed up her soft looking neck to her jaw, and then to her mouth before I met her eyes. Those glasses were too damn hot.

“You aren’t very scary as a teacher,” I said, not recognizing my own voice.

“You aren’t scary, either,” she replied, but I knew she was lying. Her ragged breathing gave away the fine line between thrill and threat. I wouldn’t hurt her. I could never hurt a woman the way I had seen others do it. I wouldn’t ever stand by and watch others hurt women.

My hand slowly slid up one of her forearms and I could feel her tremble under my touch. Her mossy colored eyes sparkled with gold flecks. I could be lost in them forever, if I let her in. But I couldn’t do that.

“You play the role of naughty teacher pretty well,” I teased.

“Naughty teacher?” she gasped again, trying to pull out of my firm hold on her.

“You know you have the sexy, tease factor going on. And the glasses…” I smiled slightly as she turned a shade of pink. Pink was definitely becoming one of my favorite colors on her. I wanted to trace the line of that blush as it traveled from somewhere within her sweater, up her neck, and over her face.

“Tease?” she questioned firmer.

The door to her room opened with a swoosh sound.

“Missa Carter, you work too hard.” Damn that Italian accent.

I released her at the same time she pulled back abruptly, and her foot slipped in her high heels. I reached for her as she regained her composure by gripping the desk a second time to prevent from falling. She looked at me with those mischievous sparkling eyes and a bit of anger. With my hands on her upper arms, I tried to right her from slipping. It pressed her breasts even closer together between her arms. As she clasped the front of the desk, facing me, she almost burst forth from the V-shape in the sweater. My eyes traveled downward before glancing up at her face.

“Bad teacher,” I whispered, shaking my head. Her shocked expression was priceless. I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to kiss her so badly, and that made me a bad boy.

playlist
Playlist for Sight Words – Tricia Carter and Leon Ramirez
 
“The One That Got Away” – The Civil Wars
“Not Afraid” – Eminem
“Sail (The Voice Performance)” – Kat Robichaud
“Lose Yourself” – Eminem
“XO” – Beyonce
“Sex On Fire” – Kings of Leon
“The Monster (feat. Rihanna)” – Eminem
“Made to Love” – John Legend
“Reasons to Love You” – Meiko
“Love Is Blind” – Alicia Keys
“Pumped Up Kicks” – Foster the People
“Retrograge” – James Blake
“The Great Escape” – P!NK
“#Beautiful” – Mariah Carey
Meet the Author
LB Dunbar_author pic
 

L.B. Dunbar loves to read to the point it might be classified as an addiction. The past few years especially she has relished the many fabulous YA authors, the new genre of New Adult, traditional romances, and historical romances. A romantic at heart, she’s been accused of having an overactive imagination, as if that was a bad thing. Author of the Sensations Collection, Sound Advice, Taste Test, Fragrance Free, Touch Screen, and the upcoming Sight Words, she is also author of the Legendary Rock Star series, beginning with The Legend of Arturo King. She grew up in Michigan, but has lived in Chicago for longer, calling it home with her husband and four children.

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Kane by L.A. Casey (Blog Tour)

Title: Kane
Series: Slater Brothers (#3)
Author: L.A. Casey
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult, Romantic Comedy

Releasing: June 2nd

Kane-eBook

Synopsis

Aideen Collins is a free spirit. She is outspoken and tough as nails, but she has to be after growing up in a house full of men. Family means everything to Aideen. Her family consists of her four brothers, her father, and her group of wild friends. Aideen is protective of her family, there is not a lot she wouldn’t do to keep them safe.

Kane Slater is a tortured soul. Literally. He is misunderstood by people, even feared by them thanks to the scars that mar his face and body. He relishes in their fear because people who fear you, won’t want to know you. He likes his circle limited to his brothers and their girlfriends, but a thorn from an Irish rose is dug deep into Kane’s side, and her name is Aideen Collins.

Aideen and Kane don’t get along… at all. Aideen is the only woman who stands up to Kane and throws his bullshit back at him without fear of hurting him. Kane is the only man who can see right through Aideen’s tough exterior. He knows her deepest, and darkest secrets. They can’t stand each other, but they want each other. Badly. They hide their need behind arguments, and banter, but when Kane drops his guard for all to see, and succumbs to an illness within his body, it’s Aideen who steps up to the plate to take care of him.

An illness is the least of their worries when a devil from Kane’s past comes back to play with him. Everybody in Kane’s life is threatened, and with his body fighting against him, he doesn’t know if the luck of the Irish is enough to keep his family safe and his demons at bay.

Kane needs Aideen, and what Kane needs, Kane takes.

“I can’t believe you’re givin’ Skull another chance,” Keela grumbled to me as she zipped up the zipper on the back of my skin-tight dress.I grinned and turned to face her. “I’m not givin’ him another chance, but I haven’t had sex with him in over a month, and he gives me amazin’ orgasms… Need I say more?”Keela deadpanned. “There is more to life than orgasms, Aideen.”

My girl had jokes.

I burst into laughter. “Good one.”

Slater Brothers Series

Slater Bros Series

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Author Bio

LA Casey

L.A. Casey was born, raised and currently resides in Dublin, Ireland. She is a twenty-three year old stay at home mother to a two year old German Shepherd named Storm and of course, her five year old – going on thirty – beautiful little hellion/angel depending on the hour of the day. She is the author of the Amazon Bestselling book series, Slater Brothers.

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Chasing Rainbows by Linda Oaks (Cover Reveal)

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Title: Chasing Rainbows
Author: Linda Oaks
Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing

chasing rainbows

Synopsis

At the start of Addison Hayes freshman year, her world is tragically turned upside down, and she finds herself spiraling into the darkness of destructive habits. Now three years later, Addie is still battling the ghosts of her past.

With the start of senior year, she finds herself entangled in a twisted game between twin brothers, Chase and Chance Logan. Their path of destruction leaves an already tormented girl even more lost and confused. But sometimes out of complete chaos can arise a blindingly blessed insight whose name is Jake Riley.

Jake’s like no other guy that Addie has ever met before. He doesn’t scare easily. Unfortunately for Addie, Jake wants her; darkness and all.

Will Addie lose herself in the darkness or will she be brave enough to finally set herself free?

chasing rainbows meme 1

Excerpt

Whoever Messes With Me

Chase’s broad back loomed directly in front of me. His shoulders looked like they might burst the seams on his blue flannel shirt. He made the chair he sat in look like it belonged in a kindergarten class rather than high school. “Addie,” Kara whispered, and I dragged my eyes away from his shoulders to peek across the aisle at her. “Talk to him,” she mouthed, but I shook my head no and settled back against my seat.

Seconds dragged into minutes. I was antsy. Why was I always afraid of everything? What would it hurt? He was just a guy. Maybe, Kara was right. On the other side of the room, Mr. Shilon was busy passing out the class syllabus. I took a deep breath and leaned up against my desk studying the back of Chase’s head and tentatively extended my fingers toward his shoulder. He didn’t turn around, but he did turn his head to the side.

A hint of a smile played along the sensual curves of his lips. I shamelessly drank in his profile, my eyes memorizing every minute detail that made up his handsome face. His expression was making me crazy. It was as if he knew something that I didn’t, and I wanted to find out all of his secrets.

I leaned closer, forgetting to speak when he turned the rest of the way around in his seat. My eyes were drawn to the opened notebook lying in front of him. He’d been drawing; already, the lines on the page forming a feminine face. He still held the pencil gripped in the tips of his blunt fingertips, and they hovered over the paper waiting. I remembered myself when the heat of those eyes penetrated mine and his lips blossomed into a full smile.

“Why the stars?” I asked, blurting out the first thing that came to mind as I nodded to the hand clutching the pencil. Suddenly, I felt very foolish and unsure. He was out of my league, and this had definitely been a bad idea. Later, I’d remind myself to kill Kara. This was all her fault.

He seemed confused by my question then raised his hand giving me a better glimpse of the tattoos inked into the skin of each one of his broad knuckles. “Whoever messes with me will see stars,” he replied, cockily.

A laugh rumbled in my throat and escaped my lips. Under the intensity of his gaze, my smile slowly slipped. His attention shifted and was now focused directly on my lips. His expression made my insides melt.

chasing rainbows meme 3

Author Bio

Linda OaksPhoto by Allene’s Photography

Linda Oaks has always had a passion for books. At the age of five, she was a book of the month club member. Her love for books eventually led her to a love of writing. She resides in Eastern Kentucky with her husband, two children, three dogs and a pet rabbit named Dozer. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad and Instagram. She can be also be reached by mail at authorlindaoaks@gmail.com. She loves connecting with her readers.

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Sight Words by L.B. Dunbar (Release Day)

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Release Day Blitz

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Book Title: Sight Words (The Sensations Collection)
Author: LB Dunbar
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
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Book Blurb

I’ve been waiting for love. I’ve watched my closest family find their perfect match, and it’s made me realize my current boyfriend is not mine. When a stranger comes to town, I’m intrigued, but not ready to give up my newfound freedom. A whirlwind of events throws us into each other’s path, where I eventually discover I’m the teacher of his youngest sister. Concerned about Amaryllis’ reading, I take on the role of mentor to her. Soon I learn a lesson or two from big brother, Leon Ramirez. In a push and pull, we struggle as we each have demons in our past.

A smart girl would never stay in a bad relationship.

A gang member could never want more from his life.

Stereotypes remain false words.

As I learn to fight for love, I find that words do matter.

Sometimes they can hurt more than sticks and stones.

excerpt

My head was starting to throb, which made me feel sick to my stomach. I’d forgotten my glasses and the morning was dragging on. It wasn’t even eight a.m. yet. Thoughts of Leon Ramirez had me tied up in knots. I couldn’t think straight and I felt the onset of a major migraine coming.

“What’s wrong with you?” Mia whispered next to me at the morning faculty meeting. We were in the library and we sat at the table farthest to the back, as usual.

“Nothing.”

“Bullshit. How’s the hot daddy-brother turned janitor-basketball coach?”

“What?” I choked. My friend made no sense.

“Oh, you know what I mean. How’s the Latin Lover?” she rolled the last two words to sound exotic and I choked on a giggle.

“Oh. My. God. You’ve lost your mind,” I whispered as I shifted my eyes to see if others were watching us. I reached for the post-it notes in front of me.

“By the looks of it, you have. What’s he done to you?” I glanced at Mia to see her squinting at me.

“Nothing.” I nervously began to doodle on the bright green pad of paper before me. The principal was droning on about state testing. I couldn’t concentrate. I aimlessly drew an L.

“Oh…I get it. That’s the point, isn’t it?” Her face broke into a large grin.

“Mia!

“No really, what is going on? I think you stay late just to see him, but you said he’s been ignoring you. I don’t know why you’re interested. You said you told him off the other night.” She paused and I continued to creatively draw on E next on the green square. Mia didn’t know what actually happened. How once again I’d hoped he’d kiss me. And once again he didn’t. I was making a fool of myself. I was acting like a middle-schooler with a crush.

“He’s too young for you, you say? Hello. Have you seen his body? With a body like that I’d overlook the age difference.”

“Mia, please,” I sighed. I didn’t even know why we were having this conversation. “Besides his age, he’s also leaving. He’s practically counting the days until he can go home.” The pen I held had a mind of its own. I gracefully made a circle: an O.

“So? That sounds perfect. Look, you don’t need another long-term serious relationship. You need a little fun. Excitement.” She shimmied in her seat when she said the last word and lifted one red eyebrow, then the other, in a dance. I giggled, but it made the slow ache in my head pinch.

“Mia,” I groaned softly.

“I’m serious. Give in to him. Or go after him. Or whatever you want to call it, with him.”

“I’m not going to anything with him. You should have seen Amaryllis that other night. It was like she caught Santa Claus making out with her mom.” I finished my artwork with an N.

“Did you kiss him? How could you not tell me?” Mia’s tone was mock horror, but she was also serious. “I bet he was good. Those lips. Mmmm. He was delicious, wasn’t he?”

“Mia,” I shushed her. “We almost did. I think. I don’t know. He leaned in, and I…oh never mind. Anyway, Amaryllis interrupted us. Or stopped it… or whatever… Her face was horrified. It would be too weird to date someone related to a student.” My voice was raspy as I tried to keep it low. The thought of Leon’s lips on mine was too much. Mia was right, they did look delicious. I wanted a dangerous taste of him. I had switched to doodling hearts and arrows around the letters I had scrolled on the post-it note before me.

“We aren’t talking about dating. We’re talking about…” Mia giggled.

“Okay. I get it!” I said too loudly. Mia placed her hand over mine to still the pen. She took it from me and drew arrows to rearrange the letters of L E O N. I looked at her in question.

“You don’t see it? And you call yourself a language arts teacher. I’ll use my math handwriting.” She wrote under the name. L O N E, then added an A before it.

I took the pen back and scribbled out the A. I traced heavily over the second two lines in the N, forcing it to look like a V.

L O V E.

I sighed as I realized what I’d done. Yep, definitely a schoolgirl crush. I yanked the paper off the pad and crumpled it into a small ball. Mia laughed softly next to me as the principal called for everyone’s attention to his PowerPoint. I definitely wasn’t going to make it through the day.

Meet the Author
LB Dunbar_author pic

L.B. Dunbar loves to read to the point it might be classified as an addiction. The past few years especially she has relished the many fabulous YA authors, the new genre of New Adult, traditional romances, and historical romances. A romantic at heart, she’s been accused of having an overactive imagination, as if that was a bad thing. Author of the Sensations Collection, Sound Advice, Taste Test, Fragrance Free, Touch Screen, and the upcoming Sight Words, she is also author of the Legendary Rock Star series, beginning with The Legend of Arturo King. She grew up in Michigan, but has lived in Chicago for longer, calling it home with her husband and four children.

 
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