WHEN WE WERE US Release Day!

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It’s finally here–RELEASE DAY for When We Were Us, Keeping Score Series Book 1. Join us at the Birthday and Release Bash right here.

The Trio. That’s who we’ve been since birth: Nate, Leo . . . and me, Quinn, the token girl. Our mothers met in a prenatal class and became best friends, which meant that the three of us hit every milestone together, from the first day of school to the very first kiss. And beyond.

I’ve always been caught in the middle between the two boys. I’ve been in love with Leo since I was eight, even though he doesn’t see me as anything but his pal. And I know that Nate’s hung up on me. I see the look in his eyes. I wish I could say I felt the same, but I don’t. It’s getting harder and harder to keep him in the friend zone, though.

Things between the three of us aren’t easy anymore. Leo’s popular, the football team’s star receiver, and the object of every girl’s fantasy. I know he doesn’t mean to leave us behind, but now Nate and I are just people he used to know.

What used to be so simple is suddenly messy and complicated. Leo is all I’ve ever wanted, but even if I had the chance to be with him, how would Nate would handle it?

When that chance does come along . . . in the most unexpected way . . . I’m helpless to resist Leo. What was always meant to be is finally happening . . . but will it come at the risk of losing both my friends?

~~~***~~~

The Keeping Score Trilogy is a New Adult contemporary romance. The first two books may not give youWhen We Were Us Sml complete closure, but hang in there for Book 3; I promise the pay-off is worth it.

The release dates, all in 2016, are:

When We Were Us April 7th

Hanging By A Moment May 24th

Days of You and Me September 27th

You can buy When We Were Us now at all major retailers.

iBooks/Amazon/Nook/Kobo/Google Play

Read an exclusive excerpt right here!

 

Want to enter to WIN a $50 Amazon or iBooks gift card? Visit all the blogs below, collect the letter clues in their posts and complete the puzzle below.

Visit all the participating blogs (linked below) in this release day blitz and collect the letters.

One Handed Book Reads T

Wicked Babes Blog Reviews I

Jo&Isalovebooks G

Readers Heaven H

Reviewing in Chaos  T

Paranormal Romance Trance E

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog N

Clarice’s Book Nook D

Need Epic Reads S

Book Plus Heart P

Here is what I read A

My Book Chatter N

2 Girls a Book & a Glass of Wine T

The Pen and Muse Book Reviews S

Gina’s Library of Reviews P

Second Book to the Right L

Susan Heim on Writing A

Sassy Southern Book Y

My Family’s Heart E

Redheads Reading R

Moments in West FL S

I Read Indie R

My Crafty Life O

In Patti’s Imagination M

The Twisted Book Curmudgeon A

CravesTheAngst N

Book Crushin C

Brains, Beauty, Books! E

Niki’s Book Corner BONUS site with a special hint!

 

The puzzle is:

I like _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _

In football _ _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ on the field

And in ­_ _ _ _ _ _ _.

Find all the letters in the blogs and insert them in the puzzle. Once you’ve put together the message, complete the rafflecopter to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

2015AuthorPhoto (1539x1800)Tawdra Kandle writes romance, in just about all its forms. She loves unlikely pairings, strong women, sexy guys, hot love scenes and just enough conflict to make it interesting. Her books include YA paranormal romance,  NA paranormal and contemporary romance, and adult contemporary and paramystery romance. She lives in central Florida with a husband, kids, sweet pup and too many cats. And yeah, she rocks purple hair.

 

 

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Love Paws: Lending Love A Helping Paw

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What could make seven contemporary romance shorts by award-winning and best-selling authors even better? Add seven sweet, scene-stealing pets . . . and then make the whole project a benefit for animal rescue charities!

That’s just what we’ve done. LOVE PAWS features short stories with a little bit of steam, a little of sweet and happy endings all around. Each story also includes a pet, just to give the romance a little boost.

This anthology releases April 18th, in celebration of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. You can preorder your copy today exclusively through iBooks.

***~~~***

Becca BoydFire Up

Rene FolsomBy Chance: A Playing Games Spin-off Novella

Alison FosterSaving Grace: A Beautiful Ruin Story

Olivia Hardin:  All in the Takeoff: A Rawley Family Romance

Tawdra Kandle: My One and Always (An Always Love Short)

Lyssa LayneDig Deep

Juli ValentiTaunt : A Twisted Wolf Tale

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A Sneak Peek of THE PATH

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THE PATH releases next week, August 25th~but you get a sneak preview today!

Abby Donavan came to the small beach community of Crystal Cove to start over. After a painful affair broke her heart and derailed her burgeoning career, taking over management for the just-opened bed-and-breakfast was the safe choice. In this sleepy town, Abby figured she could bury her memories and forget the pain.

When the chance to have her own hotel falls into her lap, though, she can’t resist the temptation. Making the old Riverside Inn into the showplace she’s always dreamed of running offers the second chance she never expected.

Abby didn’t expect another kind of second chance to land on her doorstep at the same time. Ryland Kent wants to help her bring the Riverside back to life, and his passion for restoration is irresistible. But as much as she wants to ignore it, she can’t help seeing another spark in his eyes . . . one that offers to reignite her own flame.

Sometimes the path to a happily-ever-after is anything but smooth.

***

“Hmmm.” Jude nodded. “Cooper told me there was some kind of mix-up with the spa plans. He said you handled it, though.”
Mentally I rolled my eyes. I should’ve known that Cooper would tell Logan and Jude about anything that might affect their property. “Oh, it was just a misunderstanding. I took care of it, and everything’s set now.”
“Wonderful.” She retied her apron, making the knot at the back of her neck a little more secure. “You know, Ab, Logan and I did a lot of research before we hired Ryland Kent. We wanted him because he’s the best in the business. He’s young, sure, but his talent and reputation are better than contractors twice his age. He’s got vision.”
I tried not to cringe. Had Cooper said something else? Did Ryland complain about me, either to Coop or directly to Logan?
“That being said . . . he’s a man. And I’ve been a work- ing woman long enough to know that no matter how en-
lightened a man can be, there’re times when he might try to bully a woman. He might not even realize it; some men just think their plans and ideas make more sense, so they believe they’re doing us a favor by pushing for their own way. I’m not saying Ryland’s doing that.” Jude held up one hand as I opened my mouth. “And I’m not asking you to rat him out, or gripe about him. I know you, Abby. That’s not your style. You’d grit your teeth and get through it until you’d have nothing left but bleeding gums, rather than ask for help or say someone’s giving you trouble. But I want you to keep in mind that I’ve got your back. Logan and I believe in you. We trust you. And in our book, you are the final word on anything that happens at the Riverside.”
It was mortifying to realize my eyes were filled with tears. I never cried. I hadn’t in years, and most certainly not in any work-related situation. I was a Donavan, and Donavans were tough. I could almost hear my father’s voice.
But Jude’s support was more important than I’d known. Hearing her affirm that she and Logan would back me in a show-down with Ryland took a weight off my shoulders that I hadn’t realized I was carrying. I swallowed hard and raised my eyes to meet Jude’s.
“Thank you. Really, you have no idea how much that means to me. You and Logan have been my lifesavers these past few years, and I don’t know what I would’ve done without you.” I let a moment of silence pass as I collected myself. “But everything’s fine with the contractor. I can hold my own. And I think he gets that now.”
“I’m sure he does.” Jude’s voice held more than a trace of amusement. “I can’t see anyone getting the better of you,
Abby. Ryland’s a good guy, I think. Cooper likes him, and that speaks volumes, since Coop doesn’t really like anyone outside the posse.”
I smiled. It was a long-playing joke among the group of friends that Cooper Davis didn’t play well with others. He could be gruff, sure, and he didn’t suffer fools. I knew that. But then, neither did I. The difference was that while Cooper was seen as being an eccentric artist, the same traits in me apparently made me a bitch. Oh, well.
“He’s pretty cute, too.” Jude added those last words with a sly glance my way. “His arms . . . wow. Well, I’ve got a thing for arms. And those dark eyes? Mmmmm.”
I gave her wide eyes and shook my head. “Jude, you’re a married woman. Really. What would Logan say?”
“He’d say I can look as long as I know whose bed I’m in every night. And I might be married, but I’m far from dead. I also happen to have some single friends, so I keep my eyes open. Ryland Kent looks like he could be a lot of fun.”
I slid off the barstool. This conversation was taking a turn down a road that I’d blocked off a long time ago. There were dangerous potholes there, and I wasn’t in the state of mind to navigate them this morning. “Well, good luck with that. I hope you can find the right single friend for Mr. Kent.”
“I think I already did. Abby, you haven’t had even one date since you moved to the Cove. At least, not as far as I know, which means you’d have to be playing it pretty close to the chest, since nothing happens in Crystal Cove without someone finding out. Why not take a second look at Ryland? Sounds like the sparks are there already.”
I rolled my shoulders, trying to release the tension that had suddenly seized them. “First of all, I’m not looking for a man. Or a relationship. Or even a one-night hookup, if you want to sound like Emmy. Second, if I were looking, it wouldn’t be with anyone from work. Been there, done that, still have the scars. And third, Ryland Kent is younger than me. Considerably younger. He’s not interested in someone like me. Trust me on that.”
Jude sighed. “Abby, you’re hardly ancient. Hell, I’m over ten years older than you and I’m not ancient. Ryland would be stupid not to think you’re incredibly hot. As for the fact that you’re not looking . . . trust me, sweetie. It happens whether you’re looking or not, and more often than not, the guy you fall for isn’t the one your logical brain would choose.”
“And on that note, I need to get to work.” I pulled out my phone to check the time. “My boss is a real stickler for punctuality, and I don’t want to be late. Thanks for the coffee, Jude. See you later on.”
“Don’t forget to send me that info on the winery.” She called the words after me, and I paused to look back, waving to show I’d heard her.
“And don’t forget to check out Ryland’s arms, either. His chest is pretty smokin’, too. Oh and his ass—”
I clapped my hands over my ears and hummed loudly as I pushed through the swinging screen door that led to the parking lot. I probably looked ridiculous, but desperate times and all that. I didn’t need the mental image of the res-toration specialist’s finer points haunting me all day long.

 

Find out what happens next . . . and follow The Path to happily-ever-after! Preorder today.

iBooks/Amazon/Nook/Google Play/Kobo/All Romance Reads/Smashwords

 

The One Teaser

If you visit this site with any regularity, I hope you’ve heard of The One Trilogy. Heck, I hope you’ve read them all! But just in case, today’s Tuesday Teaser gives you a sampler of each book. Bon appetite.

The Last One

“Thanks.” The light was changing as the sun rose fully, and I laid down my pencil. The sketch had turned out well, though not quite the same as I imagined it would look in paint.

I dropped my head back and let it roll, working out the kinks from thirty minutes of looking up. Without breaking the movement, I reached for Sam’s mug. “That smells heavenly. Can I have a taste?”

TKTO3FINALHis brown eyes darkened as they wandered down my face to my lips and back up again. He held the mug to my mouth and tilted it until I tasted the hot sweet liquid on my tongue.

“Mmmmm.” I closed my eyes in appreciation and ran the tip of my tongue over my top lip.

Next to me, Sam made a noise deep in his throat. When I opened my eyes and turned my head to look at him, he was closer than I’d expected. He stared down at me before his gaze dropped lower to my body. I’d run outside in the same clothes I’d worn to bed, my favorite soft white tank, with no bra underneath, and an old pair of green cotton shorts that barely covered my ass. It wasn’t appropriate outside attire, clearly, but that wasn’t bothering Sam.

Or maybe it was. His throat worked as his eyes made their way back up to my face. I held my breath, and for the space of a few rapid heartbeats, he didn’t move. And then slowly, so slowly, he snaked the hand not holding the coffee cup around my shoulders and caught my chin between his thumb and forefinger. With just the slightest pressure, he coaxed it up, leaned forward an inch and touched his lips to mine.

I wanted to move my arms around his neck, open my mouth and deepen the kiss. But I held back, afraid of spooking him. Instead, I closed my eyes, waiting for the touch of his tongue to my bottom lip, and let him tug my chin to open my mouth.

His lips were firm but languorous, moving as though we had all morning to do nothing but sit here, connected only at our mouths. His tongue teased, first stroking the inside of my lips, then circling around my tongue, seeking and taking. His fingers splayed over my jaw, moving my face up a little to give him even more access.

He didn’t touch me anywhere else, but I felt the kiss in a line of fire down my body. I wanted to grip his shoulders and pull him down on top of me in the grass. I wanted the weight of him on me, to feel him against my breasts and between my legs.

But I didn’t move. At the same time that I wanted more, this kiss was enough, because it was Sam, and because he had initiated it. With his arm still around me, I felt cherished and protected in a way I’d never known I wanted. His chest pressed against my back and along my side, cocooning me.

I knew the minute he began to pull back. He moved away from me, and I felt the brush of his breath over my still-parted lips. When I opened my eyes, he was staring into them under brows that were drawn together. I didn’t look away, and for a few seconds, he didn’t either.

“I need to get to the fields.” Without warning, he dropped his hand from my face and stood up. I’d been leaning on him more than I’d realized, and I had to catch myself from tumbling off the boulder in his absence.

“Okay.” I looked up at him, waiting. I wanted to push him. God, how I wanted to rise up on my knees, even knowing how the rock would bite into my bare skin, wrap my arms around his waist and make him kiss me again. I craved the touch of his hands down my back and on my ass.

“I need to go.” He repeated the words, but still he didn’t move. I stayed silent this time. His hand reached out toward me, and for a dizzy second I thought he might draw me close again, but he only touched his fingertip to one of my red curls. I held my breath.

 

The First One

I laced my fingers into hers and squeezed, pressing our palms together. “Ali, don’t ever think I don’t want to touch you. God, right now, all I want is . . .” I took a deep breath. “I can’t even say it, because if I do, I’ll end up making it happen.”

“Why don’t you?” She smiled and raised our joined hands to her lips.

“I think . . .” This wasn’t going to be easy. Not when part of me—the part that was a distance south of my cerebral cortex— was screaming that I was an idiot. “I want you, Ali. I want to kiss you all the time. I want to touch you all over. I want to peel off all 10943440_10205012488699255_162617064_nyour clothes, and let you take off mine, and lay out there on the blanket, skin to skin, nothing between us but the night air.” God, I was a fool. “But I like you a lot. You’re more than just my girlfriend, you’re my best friend.” I reached across and tucked a strand of her silky hair behind her ear. “I want to make love to you.” Saying the words made it so real, the throbbing under my zipper became almost unbearable. “But I want us to be ready. Both of us. I want us to make the decision together, so we have no regrets. When we’re together, really together, I want it to be the best moment of our lives. Something we never forget. Something we think about for the rest of our lives.”

When I dared to look into Ali’s eyes, I was half-afraid I’d see incredulity and maybe even scorn. What I was saying wasn’t exactly popular philosophy among high school students. But instead, I saw the sheen of tears and the unmistakable glow of love.

I recognized that expression. I’d seen it in my mother’s eyes when she looked at my father, and in Iona’s when she talked about Mark. I’d known for a while it was how I looked at Ali. Love was more than just the girlfriend/boyfriend stuff that went on all around us at school. It was a big deal, life-changing and forever. It was Ali and me, together against the world for the rest of our lives.

That was exactly what I wanted. And why I was willing to wait for sex. Getting it right was more important than getting it right away.

The Only One

Ten minutes later, Rilla was back in the kitchen. I sat at the table with Piper on my lap, and the island counter between us meant I only saw Rilla’s upper half. She’d pulled her hair back in a low ponytail, which made her eyes look even bigger. But what caught my attention was her shirt. It was deep blue and sleeveless, showing her toned arms. The top few buttons were undone; there was nothing revealing about the blouse at all, but it actually fit her, molding to her curves just enough that I wanted to investigate closer.

Promo7TawdraKandleAnd then she stepped closer to us, and I couldn’t hide my grin. “Rilla Grant, are you wearing jeans?”

She flushed, but I could tell by the way her eyes shone that she was pleased I’d noticed. “Yes. I thought tonight would be a good time to give them a try.”

Rilla and Meghan had gone shopping together just the weekend past, and while I hadn’t seen any of her new clothes until now, I knew she was excited about what she’d bought.

“Come in here and let me see!” Mom called from her room. “Dang, I always miss out on the good stuff.”

Rilla grinned and turned toward my mother’s room, giving me a tantalizing view of the way the denim hugged her ass. God almighty. Who knew shy little Rilla Grant was rocking a body like this under all that material?

I knew I had to rein myself in. I hadn’t been blowing smoke when I’d told Rocky that Rilla and I were only friends, that she worked for me, that she was far too young for me. I meant it all. But just for now, just for tonight, it was fun to let my mind down paths of possibilities. It felt right to pretend that we were a little family, that I was going to enjoy a night out with my girl and my daughter.

Mom ooohed and ahhhed, and once Rilla was satisfied that she was settled for the evening and would be all right while we were out, the three of us got into my truck. I buckled Piper into the backseat and then stood back to help Rilla climb in, clasping her small hand tight in mine for a little longer than necessary and holding back from giving her a boost. My fingers itched to cup her backside, just to cop a feel over the jeans. I lectured myself sternly as I walked around to the driver’s side. Cool it, buddy.

I’m Reading The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen

We’ve been playing with a theme here the last week or so: strong females, sexuality and how it’s all portrayed in contemporary literature, more specifically in New Adult romance. The book I’ve been reading over the last week is a perfect example of how that’s done well.

You might remember I read the first two Ivy Years books last month and really enjoyed them. I was thrilled to see this new installment come out in April, but since it didn’t involve the main characters from the first two, I was a little worried. Happily, the story was so good and the characters so very engaging that I was immediately captivated. But what drew me in even more was one of the main themes of this novel: healthy sexuality and the role of shaming in our culture.

Bella, the female lead, is an unabashedly sexual character. It’s clear early on that she’s perfectly comfortable with her own body, with her sexuality and with a series of partners. She’s the hockey team’s manager, and she’s definitely more at home with men than she is with girls; we notice that she doesn’t really have any female friends, and the attitudes of the hockey girlfriends are less than warm. Still, the fact that Bella doesn’t feel shame–and in fact celebrates her choices–makes the reader comfortable with her, too.

When she encounters her upstairs neighbor Rafe needing some cheering up, Bella does what comes naturally. His response–or Bella’s perception of it–in the weeks that follow shake her convictions, but what happens next nearly destroys her life. I won’t spoil it, but the way the author weaves this story, subtly showing how easy it is to jump to judgement in situations we don’t understand, is remarkable and extremely well-done.

The juxtaposition of Bella’s open sexuality and that of the men at her school, and how both of those are perceived by others, is eye-opening. (More on that Thursday.)

From a strictly-story point of view, this was fabulous. The love story is gently developed, with believable ebbs and flows. Bella’s evolution and maturity is also nicely done, and I’m excited that one of the related characters will have her own story! (Yay! More Ivy Years!)

If you haven’t tried these books yet, I highly recommend them. Actually, I can’t say enough good about them. One click ’em now.