Book Review: The Mortal Falls (Undercover Elementals Book 1)

About the book:themortalfalls

Title: The Mortal Falls (Undercover Elementals Book 1)

Author: Anna Durand

Published: March 24th 2017 by Jacobsville Books

Source: free copy received from Book Unleashed, in exchange for an honest review

Format: ebook

Blurb:

A pragmatic human thrown into a world of magic…

Lindsey Porter fled from her traumatic past, determined to lay low, but now someone has framed her for murder. The quest for answers leads her into a parallel realm where magic reigns, and with a hostile sheriff and a shapeshifting assassin on her trail, she must place her life in the hands of a seductive, supernatural man who tempts her like no one else.

An immortal sylph enslaved by magic…

Nevan is trapped by a desperate bargain struck a century earlier, yet the beautiful, spirited Lindsey has enticed him to abandon his magically enforced duty. As forbidden passion flares between them, they’ll risk everything to uncover the truth and find what they both need the most—redemption.

When two worlds collide…

The fates of the elemental and mortal realms depend on the star-crossed lovers. As dark secrets from their pasts threaten to shatter the fragile trust between Lindsey and Nevan, a shocking revelation holds the power to deliver salvation or destruction.

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

„The Mortal Falls” was a great read for me. I liked the funny lines between the characters and I even liked how the tension was building until the great reveal. However, there are some items which were not to my liking. All arguments are detailed below.

So here we have Lindsey and Nevan’s story. An apparently quite normal mortal, who’s had an unhappy encounter with the supernatural and an immortal being. They meet while she trips on a dead body in the forest, a body that soon disappears. Being the sheriff’s number one suspect, Lindsay is adamant in finding out who did it and most importantly, why are they trying to frame her. In the meantime, her encounter with Nevan causes quite some trouble for him. His soul and actions are enslaved by Skeiron, because of a deal he had to make some time ago. As the blurb says, both their world will collide and they will have to rely on each other in order to solve their issues.

As I was mentioning, this was a really nice read for me. I spend some good time between the pages of this story. Both characters have personality and the way the author has adapted the language for Nevan (him being from another world) was very interesting as well. I even enjoyed the romance that gradually builds between them and how committed he was on not offending Lindsay in any way.

Now, there are some items that I did not like. I was not quite convinced about how Nevan got to work for Skeiron. It was not enough for me, can’t explain it more because of spoilers. Also, I did not like the magic system that much. I would have preferred a better introduction into Nevan’s world. Lindsay was just thrown into it and had to adapt on the way. And she did, quite easy I must say. I could also add that the action was a little dragged, but it kept me there so… I cannot list it as a bad thing.

All in all, even if there are some items that did not feel well to me, I kind of liked this book. It was not a difficult read, it made me relax for a while and remained me of why I like reading so much.Anna Durand is quite a lovely author and for sure I will try more books by her.  So 3.5 stars (let’s round this to 4) and hope you’ll enjoy it at least as much!

About the Authorannadurand

Anna Durand is a multi-award-winning author of sizzling romances, including the bestseller Dangerous in a Kilt, which earned a 2016 National Readers’ Choice Award for erotic romance. She loves writing about spunky heroines and hunky heroes, in settings as diverse as modern Chicago and the fairy realm. Making use of her master’s in library science, she owns a cataloging services company that caters to indie authors and publishers. In her free time, you’ll find her binge-listening to audiobooks, playing with puppies, or crafting jewelry. She’s also a member of Romance Writers of America and its Published Authors Network.

You can find her on her website or Twitter  – TheAnnaDurand

Release Blitz: Lavender Fields

NEW BOOK RELEASE
Lavender Fields
LAVENDER FIELDS
Natalina Reis
Genre: MM Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Publication Date: July 15, 2017
One Angel To Bind You. One Angel To Save You.
Sky Heavensent, an angel of death, is charged with the collection of souls of the recently departed. Known to his peers and immediate supervisor, the archangel Gabriel, as the liability, Sky puts his heart and soul into everything he does.
When he meets Caleb Pierce, Sky is immediately smitten. The problem is Caleb is the soul he came to earth to harvest, and saving him means breaking one of the most sacred angelic directives.
Already in too deep, Sky pushes aside the consequences and follows his heart. Danger and mayhem follow, but he will do everything in his power to protect his lavender-eyed man.

Purchase Links

Available now. Grab your copy today.
Lavender Fields Teaser

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at Lavender Fields. Read this sizzling excerpt from the book.
When I read Caleb’s name on my mission note, my heart had taken control over my brain. I flew the fastest I ever had to the site where he was to meet his demise, not quite sure of what I was about to do. In the end I didn’t hesitate. I saw his bike as it careened around the curve, heading straight for a semi truck driving the wrong way. Before I even realized what I was doing, I plunged down in front of the truck and swept Caleb off his bike just as it fell and slid sideways under the giant tires.
“What did you do that for?” Caleb asked, surprised. I pointed to where his bike was nothing but a pile of mangled metal. “Fuck! You…. I…. Was I the soul you came to harvest? Am I dead?”
I laughed. A nervous chuckle as reality began to sink in. I had just saved the soul I came to take away. “You’re not dead. I saved you.”
Afraid of being spotted, I flew us into the first sheltered spot I could find and put him down gently.
“Are you supposed to do that?” His eyes were mesmerizing, and I found I couldn’t take mine off them. I nodded, incapable of uttering a sound. “I thought you were supposed to take my soul to—well, hopefully Heaven. Why did you save me?”
I should’ve just flown away and hoped for the best. Instead, I grabbed his T-shirt, pulled him closer to me, and kissed him. This had to be some kind of seraphic madness for which I was in no hurry to find the cure. Caleb didn’t fight me, raising his hands and threading his fingers through my curls while his tongue explored my mouth. Ambrosia. Pure, intoxicating ambrosia.
“This is madness.” His breath caressed my lips, and I had to refrain from crushing him between my craving body and the wall behind him. “Am I dreaming, Sky? Hallucinating, maybe? You’re an angel. A real, honest-to-God angel.”
In the back of my mind there was a foggy idea of his earlier statement about having met another angel before, but the slow burning in my gut quickly convinced my brain to ignore it and focus on the task at hand. My hands had become a force to be reckoned with, moving of their own accord beneath his T-shirt, eager to explore every detail of his body.
It was indeed madness. I had just saved my charge. There would be hell to pay.
With that last thought I came to an abrupt realization. I stopped my hands and detached my lips from his, breathless and suddenly anxious. I was in so much trouble. “As much as it pains me to say and do this, I have to go.” I wanted to stay so badly. “I have to tell Gabriel what just happened. He’s not going to be happy.”
My eyes locked with his and I was flying over those sweet scented fields again. My lips stretched into an uncontrollable smile.
“I don’t know why you did it, but thank you for saving me,” he said, sunshine taking over his face. I may be the angel, but he shone as if enveloped in a halo. “When will I see you again?”
Could I stay and ignore the call of responsibility? I wanted to. God, did I want it. But I knew I couldn’t. Being an angel meant I wasn’t free to do as I pleased. My life was not my own, and if I stayed the Corps would find me one way or another. Easier to just go and face the music. At least Gabriel wouldn’t be able to accuse me of being a coward.
“Soon.” I hope. I touched my lips briefly to his and then, unfurling my wings, I took off, heading upwards toward the clouds and the wrath of the angels.

Giveaway

WIN $10 GC AND MORE!
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Prizes up for grabs:
$10 Amazon Gift Card
Lavender Fields eBook copy

About Natalina Reis

Natalina Reis

Natalina wrote her first romance at the age of 13 in collaboration with her best friend. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes. She’s the author of We Will Always Have the Closet, Desert Jewel, Loved You Always, and Lavender Fields.
After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she’s taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.
Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.
Connect with Natalina Reis on social media:
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For more information, visit the Lavender Fields Book Page at Book Unleashed.

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Release Blitz: The Caretaker

NEW BOOK RELEASE
The Caretaker
THE CARETAKER
Dahlia Donovan
Series: The Sin Bin Book 2
Genre: MM
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Publication Date: July 8, 2017
Will age matter when love and lust become all consuming?
Nurse Freddie Whittle devotes every fibre of his being to his work with cancer patients. Their pain weighs heavily on his shoulders. Between losing clients, the expectations of his fathers, and bigot neighbours, he’s slowly reaching his breaking point.
Taine Afoa retires from a storied career as an international rugby star. He’s moved away from London for a change of pace, never expecting to meet a man who’s far too young for him. No matter how hard he tries, it’s impossible to get Freddie out of his mind.
Will Taine’s resistance dissolve in time for him to give love the chance to flourish?
A wonderful story on acceptance, love and finding the one you are meant to be with and fighting for them. Of showing patience and kindness. A great second story in this series that has you laugh, smile and cry but most of all feel the love and acceptance from the characters towards one another.
– books are love, Goodreads Reviewer
Dahlia Donovan has written a beautiful story full of conflict, lust and love. If you like M/M or this is your first time, I would recommend this book, I found it a nice ice breaker into a whole new world of books for me.
– sarahe32, Goodreads Reviewer
Dahlia Donovan is quickly changing the way the genre is perceived and it’s a good thing because now more people will want to read this genre and find that it is as beautiful as any romance story out there.
– Emma, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now for $2.99 only. Grab your copy today.
The Caretaker Teaser

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at The Caretaker. Read this sizzling excerpt from the book.
“Are you going to continue to stare at my lips whenever you look my direction?” Taine’s voice dropped down to a husky whisper. “If you are, why don’t you bring yours a little closer to mine? You’ll see them far better with your mouth than your eyes.”
Cursing his exuberant and generally impulsive nature, Freddie leaned forward until their lips hovered a breath away from each other. One strong exhale could bring them close enough to qualify as a kiss. Taine didn’t move backwards or forwards; they both waited for the deadlock to be broken.
“Oh, why not,” Freddie muttered impatiently. He surged forward, closing the distance. His lips smacked awkwardly to the left of Taine’s, which caused the man to chuckle. “Oh, coc y gath, sorry.”
“Calm down.” Taine caught Freddie’s chin in his hand and guided him closer. His mouth controlled the connection. They had to tilt to avoid their noses mashing uncomfortably. The former rugby player’s tongue darted across Freddie’s lips and pressed the advantage. He delved expertly into their true first touch. “Now that is a kiss.”
“You should be ashamed.”
Freddie jerked away from Taine and snapped around to find a woman in her sixties glaring at them—or at Taine specifically. “Pardon?”
“You should be ashamed.” She pointed a bony finger at Taine. “Corrupting a young teenager. Is that legal? I’ve half a mind to report you. Are you okay, young man? Did he force you away from your parents?”
“A teenager?” Freddie swallowed down an irrational burble of laughter. “I’m twenty-six years old.”
“Oh. Oh, dear. I’m so sorry.” She covered her mouth in obvious embarrassment. “You look so young. I just assumed. Carry on then, loves. Never you mind me. It’s always good to see someone enjoying the pleasures of life.”
The two men stayed silent after accepting her apology. Freddie only dared to peek at Taine out of the corner of his eye once the woman had gone back to her seat. A clear mistake. It started with a snort, muffled quickly by his hand, but quickly dissolved into laughter anyway; it continued until their sides ached and they were gasping for air.
Freddie regained his composure just as the train pulled into Paddington station, forcing him to shelve any comments about the kiss. “Ready for the next stage of the journey?”

Other Books by Dahlia Donovan

Don’t miss the other books in the The Sin Bin series:
The Wanderer
THE WANDERER
Series: The Sin Bin Book 1
Graham Hodson lives for adventure. His entire life revolves around his wanderlust. The last thing he expects is a diagnosis to ground his travel—permanently. Boyce “BC” Brooks screws up his dream of being a rugby team captain. He’s lost everything. Can they find stability when their world spins?
Buy Links: Amazon
This book will have you laughing so hard at the easy banter between these two then clutching your chest as the emotions threaten to boil over.
– ~lil maso~, Goodreads Reviewer

Giveaway

WIN $10 GC AND MORE!
The Caretaker Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
$10 Amazon Gift Card
Two eBook Copies of The Wanderer (Sin Bin Book 1)

About Dahlia Donovan

Dahlia Donovan

Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.
Official website: http://dahliadonovan.com/
Connect with Dahlia Donovan on social media:
The Caretaker Tour Graphic
For more information, visit the The Caretaker Book Page at Book Unleashed.

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Release Blitz: Snow Blood

HAPPY RELEASE DAY
As this beloved vampire series draws to a close with Season 5, discover the true fate that awaits Brogio and his loved ones.
Snow Blood Season 5
SNOW BLOOD SEASON 5
Carol McKibben
Series: Snow Blood Season 5
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Troll River Publications
Publication Date: July 15, 2017
Snow Blood Season 5 Brings the Adventures of Brogio, the First Vampire, and His Family to an End.
A devastating loss sets Snow Blood and his vampire family on a path to revenge. Determined to use whatever means necessary, Brogio’s kindred dog risks the endangerment and potential destruction of all he loves and most especially the love of his master’s life, Selene. Only a surprising intervention can save them from a tragic destiny as the mythological gods unite to destroy them.
As this beloved vampire series draws to a close with Season 5, discover the true fate that awaits Brogio and his loved ones.
Snow Blood Season 5 was a fast-paced, exciting conclusion to one of the best series of books from Carol Mckibben I’ve read.
– Rickey Morris, Goodreads Reviewer
This was such an interesting way to close Snow Blood’s series! A truly well written and enjoyable series.
– Patricia Myers, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now. Grab your copy today.

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at Snow Blood Season 5. Read this sizzling excerpt from the book.
Episode One
The Plan
Scrawny’s true death wrapped its cold, cruel fingers around me. Its grip remained relentless. How could I ever recover from the loss of my child? Even though I was surrounded by death and existed as an undead being, I had never experienced it like this. Each wolf that I had sired was a cherished family member.
I reflected on Brogio’s wisdom. My own sire and father of all vampires advised, “The reality, Snow Blood, is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over it. You will only learn to live with it. You will heal and rebuild yourself around your loss. You will be whole again, but never the same. You should not be, nor should you want to be.”
I looked into Nova’s blue eyes. She had stayed close to me in the days following Scrawny’s murder. My mate did everything she could to surround me with her warmth, even in her own sorrow. As we walked through the melting snow of a Nova Scotia morning on Brogio’s Wolfville Wine Estate, she nipped at my ear and ran out ahead of me, challenging me to chase her. She shook her gray-and-white fur seductively and put her front paws and face in the snow, her hind end stuck up, her tail wagging. I ignored her effort and looked up at the sky. The desire for revenge sliced through me like a silver arrow, deadly to my kind.
I would kill the one who had brought my family nothing but pain and despair. The Titan Hecate, goddess of all witches, would suffer as no other. She alone held the responsibility for my greatest loss. She had murdered Scrawny with pure malice. My family and I had once again thwarted her plans to spread evil throughout the world, and I had escaped her attempt to make me her familiar. She had executed her punishment for it.
I watched the sky and waited impatiently for darkness to overcome the light. My remaining pack—Nova, Chase, Fergus, Thor, Gaspar, and Joker—had the gift of daylight, bestowed on me by the goddess Artemis. We used that attribute to guard our human family—Brogio, his wife, Selene, and his first blood son, Kane. When night fell, they would arise, and I could discuss revenge with them.
I am a vampire dog. More than five years ago, I lay dying, accidentally hit by Brogio’s car. He turned me to save me. In this undead state, I have lived lifetimes and fought endless enemies to protect both my human and wolf families. I created my wolf kindred to help defend against the selfish gods, numerous vampire hunters and monsters, and finally Hecate. Scrawny, my second-in-command, held a special place in my heart. His hard-fought love and devotion had given me strength. That had to be defended.
Snow Blood Season 5 Teaser

Other Books in the Snow Blood series

Don’t miss the first four books in the Snow Blood series! Join the paranormal world of Brogio, the first vampire, as told through the eyes of his kindred dog, Snow Blood! The Snow Blood Series takes readers through the creation of the first vampire and how he saved a dying white husky to be his eternal companion. Together the two face a series of events that reveal sinister plots to destroy the father of all vampires and those he loves. Through it all, Snow Blood demonstrates the meaning of unconditional love and redemption.
Each book is available for 99 cents only at Amazon.com. Or get them FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

Snow Blood Season 1
$0.99
Amazon.com

Snow Blood Season 2
$0.99
Amazon.com

Snow Blood Season 3
$0.99
Amazon.com

Snow Blood Season 4
$0.99
Amazon.com

Giveaway

WIN $10 GC AND MORE!
Snow Blood Season 5 Giveaway Graphic
One lucky winner will win the following:
$10 Amazon Gift Card, a signed copy of Snow Blood Season 1 or the Kindle version, and a Silver Wolf Pendant

About Carol McKibben

Carol McKibben

Carol McKibben was a magazine publisher for 20+ years. She has published Luke’s Tale, Riding Through It and the Snow Blood Vampire Mystery Thriller Series. Luke’s Tale and Snow Blood are targeted to a YA market. Luke’s Tale was included in the Summer Solstice Top 12 Book Pick List. Carol writes from the heart of a dog’s eyes. Her books help support her dog rescue efforts and focus on unconditional love. Carol, her labradoodle Neo, lab Thor and Siberian Husky Ty are currently working on new adventures. Go to http://www.carolmckibben.com or email carol@mckibben.com.
Connect with Carol McKibben on social media:
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For more information, visit the Snow Blood Season 5 Book Page at Book Unleashed.

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Release Blitz: Lipstick on the Strawberry

NEW BOOK RELEASE
From Award Winning Author
Margaret Ann Spence
Can a father’s hidden life threaten a daughter’s chance at love?
Lipstick on the Strawberry
LIPSTICK ON THE STRAWBERRY
Margaret Ann Spence
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: July 5, 2017
Estranged from her English family, Camilla Fetherwell now lives in the United States and owns a successful catering business. Returning home for her father’s funeral, she reunites with her first love, Billy, whom she hasn’t seen since her father broke up their teenage romance. Billy seems eager to resume their love affair. But after one blissful night together, things take a turn.
Camilla suspects her father may have led a secret life, and when Billy reveals something he, too, has discovered, her apprehension grows. Billy holds her heart, but their relationship might be tainted by what her father hid. A reunion seems impossible.
Her life feels as splattered as her catering apron. As she watches her food stylist make a strawberry look luscious with a swipe of lipstick, Camilla wonders if a gloss has been put over a family secret? Can she and Billy survive what’s underneath?
Lipstick on the Strawberry won FIRST PLACE, Romantic Elements Category in the 2015 Beacon Contest sponsored by First Coast Romance Writers.

Purchase Links

Available now for $5.99 only. Grab your copy today.

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at Lipstick on the Strawberry with this intriguing excerpt from the book.
My fingers searched the back of the drawer and felt something glossy. I pulled, and saw in my hand a colored photograph of a woman who looked to be about the age I was now. She had hair the color of fallen leaves. Only the woman’s shoulders were visible below the head, she was wearing a scarf of blue and green, which reflected the color of her laughing eyes. In the background was the blurred green of a field. I flicked the photo over. The penciled initials N.B. were the only notation.
A cold prickle ran down my back as I stared at it.
I tucked the photo into my pocket. How peculiar was it to find this woman’s image stuffed in the back of a drawer? Daddy had gone to pains to hide the picture.
In one hand, I lifted the plastic bags of trash, picked up the passport in the other, and went to find Tilda.
“Would you mind if I went home and rested?” I asked. “I feel a headache coming on.”
“Yes, of course. What did you find in there? Oh, good, Daddy’s passport. I’d like to keep that. How thoughtful of you. Anything else of interest?”
I turned so Tilda couldn’t see and fingered the pocketed photo. The letters N.B. intrigued me. Was this just the acronym to remind our father of something important? Or did it mean something else?

Giveaway

WIN $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD
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About Margaret Ann Spence

Margaret Ann Spence

Margaret Ann Spence was born in Australia and has made the United States home for many years. In Lipstick on the Strawberry she takes as backdrops Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, England, cities she’s lived in and loved. ` Lipstick on the Strawberry won First Place, Romantic Elements Category, in the 2015 Beacon Contest, sponsored by the First Coast Romance Writers.
Connect with Margaret Ann Spence on social media:
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Release Blitz: 50 Hours

HAPPY RELEASE DAY
From Bestselling and Award Winning Author
Loree Lough
Based on a Screenplay by Kevin James O’Neill
“This is the kind of book that wins Pulitzer Prizes.”
– Catherine Lanigan, Author of Romancing the Stone
50 Hours
50 HOURS
Loree Lough
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
Publication Date: June 30, 2017
A broken man, a dying woman, and a friendship that changes them both.
Franco Allessi is a broken, lonely man who wants nothing more than to outrun the ghosts of his past. For years, he tries to numb the pain of his wife’s death with cheap beer and whiskey. When he’s convicted of drunk driving, the judge revokes his license for six months and orders him to serve fifty hours of community service. Franco chooses Savannah Falls Hospice for no reason other than it’s walking distance from his dilapidated house trailer.
On his first day on the job, he meets Aubrey Brewer, a woman whose time on earth is quickly ticking to a stop. Their unusual connection teaches powerful, life-changing lessons about friendship, acceptance, and the importance of appreciating that precious treasure called Life.
Loree Lough is an exceptional author, and that’s why I approached her about writing the novel for my Feature film, 50 Hours. But I had no idea how wonderful her novelization would be until I read it. Loree was able to dig so deep into my characters. She unearthed and richly developed the film’s skeletal characters and give them three dimensional lives. I am so happy with the book!
– Kevin O’Neill, writer/director/actor/producer

Praise for 50 Hours by Loree Lough

50 Hours is a moving story about love, loss, friendship, and last chances. It’s a reminder that our lives are precious stories, no matter how long or short. This is a must-read for all of us who have been touched by cancer – victims, caregivers, family, and friends. This poignant and touching tale will inspire hope in the midst of even the darkest hours.
– Cerella Sechrist, author of the popular Findlay Roads series from Harlequin
50 Hours 3D
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… 50 Hours is an unforgettable tale of healing, redemption, and the cost of true love. With a delicate pen, author Loree Lough writes an honest and poignant view of what cancer patients face with commendable bravery. A must-read for readers of every kind!
– Rachel Muller, author of bestselling World War II series, Love & War, and the newly released, Phillip’s War
Loree Lough took a difficult subject and turned it into a compelling read with light humor to soften the inevitable sadness that comes with a depressing disease.
– Emma Gingerich – author of Runaway Amish Girl; the Great Escape
50 Hours is a book you won’t be able to put down, and its messages of love and compassion will linger with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
– Kate James, award-winning author of Sanctuary Cove, Silver Linings, and The Truth About Hope
The novel is a reminder that life is indeed short, but always worth living. And almost always… one life will touch many others. Great job Loree!
– Robin Bayne, author of Reunion At Crane Lake. http://www.robinbayne.com
Emerson said, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.” Aubrey and Franco succeeded. Believe me when I say, THIS IS THE KIND OF BOOK THAT WINS PULITZER PRIZES.
– Catherine Lanigan, author of Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile, and over forty-five novels and non-fiction
To read the complete praises and accolades, visit the 50 Hours Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Purchase Links

Available now. Grab your copy today.
50 Hours Teaser

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at 50 Hours with this sizzling excerpt from the book.
DURING THE DRIVE BETWEEN THE COURTHOUSE AND MAMA’S BOY DINER, David Gibbons barely spoke. Even now, seated at their table near the windows, he remained quiet. Except for reciting his breakfast order, he hadn’t said a word, but Franco knew it was only a matter of time before he let him have it with both barrels, as his grandpa used to say.
Finally, when the waitress was out of earshot, he stared hard at Franco.
“Well?”
A-a-and there it is, he thought, running shaky hands through his hair. “Okay. Look. I know I should have called before all hell broke loose, but . . . but I was testing myself.”
David grabbed the sugar dispenser. “Testing yourself.” He sounded more like a disappointed dad than an AA sponsor.
“I thought maybe I could get through it on my own this time.”
“Bull.” He let the white granules stream into his cup. “You didn’t think. If you had, you would’ve given a thought to what happened last year. And the year before that.”
Franco knew he’d messed up. Again. And that he had nobody to blame but himself. Head pounding, he rubbed his temples as David’s spoon clanked against the sides of the mug. Had he ever met anyone who made more noise stirring coffee? He didn’t think so.
David pointed at Franco’s swollen lips and the bloody butterfly bandage a nurse at the jail had taped over his left eyebrow. “So, who cleaned your clock?”
“Well, there was this pool cue, see . . . ”
“Real funny. I notice you’re favoring your right ankle. I suppose the pool cue did that, too.”
“No. That was the work of the biker, attached to the pool cue.” Franco chuckled, then gripped his aching ribcage.
“Busted ribs too, huh?”
“Probably.”
“Probably? You mean they didn’t take you to the ER?”
“They offered. I said no.”
“Idiot.”
David couldn’t call him anything he hadn’t already called himself.
“You’re gonna have one heckuva scar when you peel that bandage off your forehead. Maybe it’ll serve as a reminder, help you really think next time you decide to, ah, test yourself.”
“You’re all heart, David. All heart.” He smirked. “Except for your mouth, of course. That’s more like another part of your anatomy.”
David waved away the insult. “You know how frustrating it is, watching you get this close to earning your one-year chip,” he said, thumb and forefinger an inch apart, “and then you go and bungle it by pulling another dumb stunt? Every. Single. Year?”
Franco didn’t have a comeback for that one. He’d screwed up. Royally. At least no one got hurt, other than himself. David knew it, too.
The men sat in stony silence as the waitress delivered their food.
David peeled back the top of a tiny jelly container. “When was the last time you went to a meeting?” he asked, smearing its contents on a wedge of toast.
It had been more than a month, but Franco didn’t want to open himself up to another firestorm, so he stuffed his mouth with food and shrugged.
David counted on his fingers: “Pushing your limits. Breaking the rules. Avoiding tough questions.” He salted his eggs. “You remind me so much of my kid, it’s almost scary.” He used his fork as a pointer. “And that shouldn’t come across as a compliment, since he’s ten.”
Touché, Franco thought, gulping his OJ. He winced when it stung the cuts inside his mouth.
“Maybe this community service stuff will finally shake some sense into you.”
He’d been acting like a fool for so long, it had become a habit. And yet he said, “Maybe.”
“How long did the judge give you to choose your community service project?”
“Twenty-four hours.”
“Well, it just so happens I have an idea.”
Franco stopped chewing. “Yeah?”
“There’s a hospice, a half-mile or so from your trailer— which is lucky for you, since you can’t drive—and I happen to know they’re in need of a gardener.”
Before Jill’s death, his landscape business had kept the wolf from the door. In the three years since, the only garden tool he’d touched had been the shovel Clayton kept out back for scooping up his dog’s poop. It might be nice, working hard again. Working so hard that he fell into bed too exhausted to have nightmares about the wreck that took Jill from him.
“You know the old saying, ‘If it seems too good to be true’?” Franco lifted one shoulder in an indifferent shrug. “But you’ve got my attention.”
David explained that his sister-in-law had spent her final days at Savannah Falls. “So I know for a fact that it’s a great place. I can take you over there, make introductions.”
“I dunno, Dave. A hospice center? You know better than anybody that I’m not exactly a people person. Dealing with sick people?” He winced again.
“Oh, quit your bellyaching. You’ll be outside, mowin’ and hoein’, and the patients will be inside—”
“—dying.” Hungry as he was, Franco shoved his plate aside, because it hurt to chew, and the bacon and buttery eggs burned the cut on his lip. “I dunno,” he said again.
“You’ll do fine, if you just do your job and keep your big yap shut. For a change.”
Franco grinned despite himself. Had it been good luck or bad that put him together with a guy who never sugar-coated anything?
David slid his cell phone across the table. “Call your lawyer, find out how we go about informing the judge that you’ve decided to get back into the posie-planting business. Cause last thing you need right now is to violate courthouse protocol.”
Franco slid Carlisle’s card from his pocket, and as he dialed, David said, “When you’re through there, I’ll call Mrs. Kane, the director, arrange a meeting between you two. She’s a good egg, but she doesn’t take any guff, so I’d watch my step if I were you. With any luck, she’ll put you to work tomorrow.”
“I have a job, y’know.” At least he hoped he had a job. Clayton might tell him to take a permanent hike once he heard . . . everything.
It only took a minute to run the hospice idea past the young attorney, and less than that to find out that a phone call from Carlisle would get things straight with Judge Malloy.
He returned David’s phone. “The kid said I should get over to Savannah Falls and sign up ASAP. Said the judge’s office wouldn’t waste any time checking up on me. And that I need to keep track of my hours, so that when the paperwork comes through . . . ”
Phone pressed to his ear, David wasn’t listening, because he’d already connected with Savannah Falls. Franco picked up a slice of cold bacon, and took care not to let it graze his sore lips when he bit off a chunk. He slid the plate close again. Hard to tell when he’d have the time—or the money—for another meal, so he did his best to clean his plate, listening as David explained the situation to the takes-no-guff Mrs. Kane.
“She can meet with you this afternoon,” he said, dropping the phone into his shirt pocket.
It was all happening too fast. Way too fast for Franco’s taste. “But . . . but I need to figure out how to get the Jeep out of the impound lot. And get over to the garage, see if Clayton can find something for me to do that doesn’t involve a driver’s license.”
“I’ll chauffer you around today. But first things first. I’m taking you home so you can clean up your boozy self. You need a shower. A toothbrush. And a change of clothes.” He wrinkled his nose. “You look—and smell—like something my cat puked up.”
“Cat puke, huh?” Franco smirked, even though it hurt to do it. “People can call you a lot of things, Gibbons, but tactful isn’t one of them.”
“Tact!” David got to his feet and tossed a twenty onto the table. “Who has time for tact with you falling off the wagon and going ballistic every couple months?”
Ordinarily, a crack like that would have set Franco off. For some reason, it struck him as weird penance, because he knew he had it coming.

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About Loree Lough

Loree Lough

Bestselling author LOREE LOUGH once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. Her 115th book, 50 Hours, is her most personal to date. Recently released, The Man She Knew, book #1 in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series from Harlequin Heartwarming.
Official website: http://www.loreelough.com/
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Book Tour Schedule

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Follow the book tour from June 30 – July 8, 2017.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the 50 Hours Book Page at Book Unleashed.

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Book Promo: Starr Gone

NEW BOOK RELEASE!
A Starr gone. A team betrayed.
Starr Gone
STARR GONE
Kim Briggs
Series: Starr Fall Book 3
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, YA Romance, YA Thriller
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Publication Date: June 3, 2017
A Starr gone. A team betrayed.
You never know who your true friends are until a gun’s pointed at you. One will take a bullet, and the other will pull the trigger. Starr learned that lesson the hard way.
The perfect smile. A killer attitude. General Treadwell wanted nothing more than to turn Starr Bishop into the ideal assassin, but she’s far more valuable as Jessica Chamberlain, granddaughter and heir to Chamberlain Chocolates. Luckily, he’s found two enthusiastic replacements. They lack Starr’s intelligence, but no matter, they possess their own weapons of persuasion along with a flair for the dramatic, and that’s never a bad thing.
Di, along with Christian, Frank, Ben and Coda, are determined to keep Starr safe, but the depths of betrayal crack the very foundation of the team. When Starr becomes a pawn in a game of power, money, and manipulation, Di channels her WWSD (What Would Starr Do) to rally the team. She owes her best friend that much. No… More.
“I love this book so much and this series just won’t stop getting better and better!”
– Meggan Turner, Goodreads Reviewer

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Other Books by Kim Briggs

Don’t miss the first two books in the Starr Fall series:
Starr Fall
STARR FALL
Series: Starr Fall Book 1
When the Organization decides Starr would make the ideal assassin, she needs to escape the island and disappear. While in hiding she meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Christian makes Starr forget that the Organization is after her, but their lives are more entwined than either one realizes.
One Starr falls, and a killer rises!
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Starr Lost
STARR LOST
Series: Starr Fall Book 2
A Starr falls, and a family is found.
On the run from the Organization, Starr and Christian find safety on the Qualla Boundary with their friends, Ben and Coda, but Starr needs answers. She owes her dear dead friends, Sami and Jody, that much. She forms a team of her own to fight the general and his recruits.
Life becomes tense on the Qualla Boundary, sparks fly, and the Organization is about to smash in their door.
Buy Links: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble
“Amazing, Amazing Must Read. Had me edging from my seat, wide eyed with what’s going to happen with each turn of the page.”
– Amazon Customer, Amazon reviewer

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About Kim Briggs

Kim Briggs

Kim Briggs once smashed into a tree while skiing. The accident led to a concussion, a cracked sternum, temporary notoriety as a sixth grader returned from the dead, and the realization that fictionalized accounts are way more interesting than just slipping on the ice.
An unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories combined with a love of travel and happily ever afters led Kim to write her YA novel, Starr Fall, where a secret organization decides 17-year-old Starr Bishop is not only the model student, but the ideal assassin. While in hiding, Starr meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Cue the swoon worthy music. But it’s not all happily ever afters for Kim. Her NA novel, And Then He, explores the dark and scary corners of the human psyche. Following a night of innocent flirting with a handsome stranger, Tiffani finds herself in the midst of a nightmare she can’t escape. And Then He is available through Amazon and other major book retailers. Starr Fall released November 2016 with Inkspell Publishing, followed by Starr Lost in January 2017 and Starr Gone in June 2017. Her novella, Avalanche is part of the Valentine Kisses Anthology and released February 14, 2017.
When she’s not doing something writerly, Kim can be found jumping into snowdrifts with her three kids, husband, and dog. She’s careful to avoid trees.
Visit her website and sign up for updates: http://www.KimBriggsWrite.com
She shares writing love with her INK Sister Alison Green Myers at INK Sisters Write
Connect with her on these social media sites: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from June 6 – 19, 2017.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Starr Gone Book Page at Book Unleashed.
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