Thursday, 1 September 2016

RELEASE DAY BLITZ : A HUSBAND BY ANY OTHER NAME by Cheryl St. John





Blurb

Caught in a lie….


Fourteen years ago Dan Beckett’s identical twin took off without a word to his pregnant young fiancé or their father. Having secretly loved Lorraine for years, Dan assumes his twin’s identity as the first-born son, as Lorraine’s husband and father of the baby she carried. Around the lie, he created the perfect life.


But now his greatest fear is coming true. His long-lost brother is coming home—with amnesia. Dan is about to lose his tenuous hold on this masquerade, and he must tell Lorraine the truth before Tom remembers his true identity.

Lorrie built a life with Tom Beckett, the man she loves, the father of her children—or so she believed. Her first reaction to his confession is disbelief…and then anger and hurt. Her whole married life has been a lie. But Lorrie has a secret of her own—a secret that never seemed important until now.

Will the truth unravel the love they once shared? What will become of their family, their children…their marriage when everyone learns the truth?


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Prologue

Fourteen Years Earlier


“Sometimes I want to take off the top of your head and screw your brain in right.” Turning from his brother, Daniel Beckett gripped the wrench and tightened the last spoke on his vintage Harley, his pride and joy, as though demonstrating the procedure. "You can’t be serious.”

“Never more serious in my life, Danny-boy,” Tom replied. “Don’t make like you’re so surprised.”
Dan stared up at his identical twin standing with their father’s old duffel bag slung over his shoulder, and shock stole any words he might have come up with. He dropped the wrench with a clang and stood, wiping his grimy hands on the jersey he’d appropriated from Tom.

Tom’s dark, troubled gaze swept over the shiny black bike without seeing it and returned to Dan. “I can’t stay, man.”

He turned and faced the road.

Dan struggled with the reality of just how miserable his brother was here. Tom hated the orchards and the rural Nebraska life, always had. “I know last night was bad. Dad rides you—”

“Rides me?” Tom cut in with biting sarcasm. “He has never, for one second, got off my butt for leaving college. He talks to me like I’m some kind of idiot. Like I’m an embarrassment to him, to all of you.”

Dan scrambled for words to keep his brother home. The night before, there had been another shouting match. As usual, Dan had tried to smooth things over and only gotten himself involved in the argument. Now their father was angry with both of them.

“He thinks he knows what’s best for you, Tom. Dad wants you to take over Beckett Orchards someday.”

Tom swung around, dropping the duffel bag. “I don’t want the damned orchards!” he snapped through clenched teeth. “If I stay he’ll keep bending me. He’ll make me work the farm. He’ll make me walk and talk and act like he wants me to." The evening sun was setting behind his shoulder. “I can’t bend anymore.” His tone changed, becoming low-timbered as he confessed, “I’ll break.”

Dan’s chest ached with a growing panic. Maybe if he’d tried harder, fought harder, he could have made a difference.

“Danny, it’s me. Not you,” Tom said.

Tom always knew what he was thinking. Dan met his knowing gaze, and nodded. He shuddered to think of his father’s reaction to this. Whether Tom wanted to admit it or not, he was Gil Beckett’s pride and joy. Or so it had always seemed to Dan. Then his thoughts shifted and something in his heart contracted. “What about Lorraine?” he asked.

Tom and everyone else called her Lorrie, but Dan always thought of her as Lorraine. The name Lorraine held the air of mystery and femininity she deserved.

Tom tilted his dark head and shrugged. “What about her?”

The offhand question sparked the first flame of anger in Dan’s gut. There was a time when he’d had his own eye on Lorraine Loring, but after Tom quit college and came home, Gil had done his best to push a relationship between them, and Lorraine was crazy about Tom. But deep in his heart, Dan had harbored an insane hope that if things didn’t work out with Tom, she might turn to him. He shook his head to clear the image. “What did you tell her?”

Tom choked back a laugh. “Tell her? Man, I haven’t told anybody anything.”

“You’re going to leave without so much as a good-bye?”

Tom scraped his jaw with a thumb. “I’m sorry about her,” he said. “Dad pushed her on me. I like her,” he added quickly. “I just don’t want to marry her. Dad told me last week it’s time to take on responsibilities, get married. Well, I don’t want to marry anybody. At least not until I’m damned good and ready.”

“Then tell Dad that,” Dan coaxed. “Tell him you don’t want to marry her.”

Tom snorted. “Oh, right. And for once you think he’s going to listen? He won’t believe the farm isn’t my thing. Why would he believe Lorrie isn’t my thing either? He’d make my life hell.”

Dan didn’t argue. He knew Tom was right. It would take something drastic—something more than talk to sway the old man. “Shouldn’t you at least tell her?”

Tom stubbed his booted toe into the dirt and shook his head. He looked past Dan’s shoulder. “She’ll get over it.”

Anger seethed in Dan’s chest. In the distance a car stirred up a cloud of dust on the road. “If you’re going, get it the hell over with then.”

Angrily, Tom scooped up the bag. Their eyes met and held. On the outside they were mirror images of each other. On the inside they were as different as night and day. Dan wished like hell he could solve this problem. Wished he could say or do something that would make a difference. But he knew his brother’s discontent, and he knew, too, that there were no easy answers. He looked away.

“Dan.”

Dan waited for his brother to speak.

“Tell Mom I love her. She’s the last one I’d want to hurt. It’s just that—” he raised his face to the lengthening summer shadows “—I can’t take this anymore.”

Their mother’s stroke had left her bedridden for the past eight months. “Sure. I’ll clean up after you, Tom. I’ve gotten pretty good at it.”

Tom didn’t reply.

Finally Dan glanced around. “How are you getting there?”

Tom’s old car had needed a new fuel pump for a month. Tom hefted the bag over his shoulder. “Someone will come along,” he said with his usual careless confidence.

Dan dug in his jeans pocket, came out with the key to his bike and threw it to Tom.

Tom stared at the key in his open palm. “You’ve barely paid it off.”

“Seems like a good deal to me, trading a bike for a farm.”

Tom turned and tied the bag on the back of the Harley. He threw one leg over the seat and started the engine. Levering the kickstand up with his heel, he headed toward the open road.

Dan’s brother and his bike grew rapidly smaller until both disappeared, leaving a cloud of dust on the gravel road. An unfamiliar emptiness filled him, one he wasn’t sure how to deal with, let alone explain.

Tom was gone. His brother. His twin. Half of himself.

As though by rote, he turned, picked up his spoke wrench, dropped it into the toolbox, and closed the lid. His promise to explain things to their mother, their father, and to Lorraine closed in with suffocating heaviness. Dear God, what had he done? What had Tom done?

He slumped down on the dented lid of the metal toolbox. From inside the garage, the radio announcer predicted fair weather for the extended forecast. Tom would have a safe trip. Wherever he was headed.
A fresh shard of anger knifed through Dan’s chest. Anger at the sudden twist of fate; at being left behind, which was crazy because this was where he wanted to be; at once again taking on the garbage end of the deal and picking up the pieces while Tom went his own merry way.

An hour later, he still sat on the toolbox, chilled by the cool evening breeze, his butt numb. He was no closer to an answer. How was he going to tell his father and break the old man’s heart? It was no secret that Gil Beckett favored Thomas, the son born only minutes before Dan. Tom had the love and approval Dan craved, and he’d just thrown it all away.

Dan carried the metal box to the garage. He might as well get it over with. Come clean. Let the chips fall where they may.

Behind him, gravel crunched. He stepped out of the garage and squinted at the headlights of the car that had pulled in. The engine died and the lights went out. There was no mistaking the old Buick. Lorraine Loring got out, closed the door and walked toward him.

His heart thundered against his ribs. Not now. Not yet. He hadn’t had a chance to talk to his father, hadn’t planned what he’d say, hadn’t come to grips with it in his own mind.

“We need to talk.” Her voice trembled with something strangely like fear. Did she know already? How? Had Tom done the right thing and stopped by on his way to the great unknown? The scent of jasmine floated to him on the night air. His heart kicked into high gear. Tom was gone. Tom was gone. Tom was gone.

And Lorraine was here.

The breeze loosened a silken tendril of hair the rich color of chocolate from her ponytail.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, intuitively sensing he wouldn’t like the answer.

“Tom, I... ”

Oh, hell. Dan glanced down at the faded jersey he wore. Tom’s shirt. As she often did—as everyone did— she’d mistaken him for his brother. He opened his mouth to speak, but she stopped him by pressing her index finger against his lips. The touch struck him like a bolt of lightning and rooted him to the spot. He couldn’t have spoken if his life had depended on it.

“I’m scared,” she said, tears glistening in the moonlight.

Her fear—and the vulnerability in her eyes—did something queer to Dan’s insides.

“Tom, I—I’m pregnant.”

The evening sounds faded to silence. Her words rang in Dan’s head. She stood in front of him trembling, waiting...waiting for what? His shock? Anger? Rejection?

Rejection. Like Tom’s refusal to marry this girl, or anyone? Like his flip “she’ll get over it”? Like his leaving? Not that Tom had known, but his actions would be a rejection all the same. Lorraine—and her baby—didn’t deserve that.

“Damn,” he said, cursing his brother.

“It was just that one time,” she said on a sob. “I didn’t think it would happen.”

She bit her lower lip and Dan’s heart wrenched. “But it did,” he finished for her.

She nodded. Her gaze touched his and her chin quivered. “Tom?”

He took her delicate shoulders in his hands. It was the first time he’d ever touched her and he liked it. More than he should have, but as much as he’d always known he would. Willingly she came to him—make that to Tom—and nestled against his chest. The tremors in her body arrowed straight to his soul and rekindled his anger. How could Tom have left her like this? How?

Beneath his chin, her soft hair beckoned exploration. He tunneled his callused fingers through the silken strands. Her firm young breasts pressed against him in a delectable fashion. If he was going to tell her, he should tell her now. He could easily grow addicted to her nearness. He’d watched her for years, wanted her from a distance, but she’d been chosen for Tom.

Now this.

The thought that crept into his mind surpassed stupidity. That he entertained it in a rational state bordered on insanity. Sitting on that toolbox must have numbed his brain as well as his backside.
A soft shudder passed through her frame and her damp tears soaked through Tom’s shirt. How long he held her, he wasn’t sure. Finally sounds entered his consciousness: the motor tinging as it cooled beneath the hood of her father’s Buick; locusts in the orchards; LeAnn Rimes’ sultry voice from radio in the garage singing about underneath the starlight…’there's a magical feeling, so right…it'll steal your heart tonight.’

In the end, he really didn’t have a choice. No way could he make himself say the words. Tom’s gone and he won’t be back. Your baby’s father ran off and deserted you. But, hey—you’ll get over it. Had she not been pregnant, had she been someone else, he might have been able to explain things better.
But she wasn’t. She was Lorraine. And he wanted her.

‘Can’t fight the moonlight, no….’

She pulled back and gazed up, her expression so lovely and vulnerable it hurt. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.

The decision was surprisingly easy. “It’s not your fault,” he said shortly. “We can get married.”

She caught her breath.

“Will you marry me?” he asked.

Lorraine nodded and burst into tears against his brother’s jersey.





About Cheryl St. John



Cheryl is the author of more than fifty historical and

contemporary romances. Her stories have earned numerous

RITA nominations, Romantic Times awards and are

published in over a dozen languages. In describing her

stories of second chances and redemption, readers and

reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel,

core values, believable characters and real life situations.”

With a 4.9 star rating on amazon, her bestselling non-fiction

book, Writing With Emotion, Tension & Conflict by Writers

Digest Books is available in print and digital.

Follow Cheryl St. John



RELEASE BLITZ : LOST IN REWIND by Tali Alexander




Title: Lost in Rewind
Series: Audio Fools #3
Author: Tali Alexander
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 1, 2016


Blurb

Inside every story lies more than one truth.

“Come, boy, I will give you a reading…show me your hands.”

Jeffery Rossi wants to be a man of logic but finds himself basing his life’s decisions on a prophecy delivered at the hands of an old gypsy fortuneteller. The death of his beloved wife coupled with the loss of what he thought would be his carefully crafted future, have spun him onto a path of self-destruction.

“Three children will come from you—a king and two queens.”

Jeff believed he knew how his future would unravel, but he’s about to get a lesson in how the Universe works. Fate should not be left to the interpretation of mere mortals. Interfere and suffer, surrender… and let the fates help you find your destiny.

“No matter what you do, no matter how far away you run, what’s written in the stars cannot be undone.”

'Lost In Rewind' is a full-length standalone, romantic novel, and is the 3rd and final book in the Audio Fools Series. 

**All books in the series are interconnected, but each may be read as a standalone**






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Author Bio


Tali Alexander is a Jill-of-all-trades—married mother of three, doctor of pharmacy by day and romance novelist by night. Tali has fulfilled her passion of writing with her debut romance novel LOVE IN REWIND (first book in the Audio Fools trilogy). Since its debut, fans have embraced the unconventional love story of Emily and Louis Bruel making LOVE IN REWIND #1 on Amazon Kindle charts (September 2014). With an increasing demand from her fan base for the next installment, Tali has recently released the next story in the Audio Fools trilogy…LIES IN REWIND, out now!!! Tali’s fans will finally get their third and final book in the series titled, LOST IN REWIND, which is set to release in September 1st 2016.



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RELEASE BLITZ : HEART BORN by Terry Maggert




Title: Heartborn
Author: Terry Maggert
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance  
 Release Date: September 1, 2016



Blurb

Her guardian angel was pushed.
Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where there violence and deceit are just around every corner.
His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.
Until Keiron arrives.
In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.
Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love with someone who will give their very life to save you.





Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK



Excerpt

Chapter One: The Leap

The relentless wind cooled his skin as he mustered the courage to jump. It was a long way to fall, and he’d been poised on the edge for nearly an hour. It wasn’t fear that kept him rooted to the spot, but the effort of reaching through time to see what consequences his action might bring. To think of leaving was akin to dropping a boulder in the pool of his own history; there was no way to foresee what the ripples might cause. Or the waves, since this would make waves, not ripples. It was all an undiscovered thing.

No one had done what he meant to do; at least not in the memory of his House.

Under the points of his boots, featureless mist curled away to reveal an enticing glimpse of color and life so unlike his own home. Gray, he thought. I am so very tired of all the gray in these clouds. The longer he looked at the myriad of colors below, the more acute his hunger to see what mysteries rolled beneath him, unknown and vibrant. The land looked like a fairy tale made real, its hills and rivers gleaming like a promise in the early morning light. The sheer distance and appeal of it all clutched at his chest like a physical thing, making him cover his heart. His body fizzed with excitement and fear, and he liked it.

“You won’t go, you know.” His brother’s voice was bored to the point of insolence, a tone he’d perfected from years of practice. Like others who kept their face an impassable mask, he’d lost much of the joy in his life, if ever he knew it. Brother Garrick appeared from the sullen gray mist that hid the secret columns and towers of their home. Walking toward Keiron, a smile quirked at the cruel lips, so unlike his own. “We’ve already been to the edge of the scrying pool. You won’t go. It is known to us.” A look flickered across the impassive face, something ugly and hot. His control was slipping. That was new, as was his belief that he was equal to their parents. Or older siblings, at that.

“Yes. I will.” Keiron’s voice sounded small in the silence. Even the wind died out of respect for what he was about to say, and if his resolve held, what he would then do.

A sad shake of the perfect head said that was a lie. Garrick was beautiful to the point of distraction. His pupils were nearly colorless in a face framed with fine blonde hair that called sunlight to mind, so different from his brother. Garrick was light, while Keiron was dark, with skin golden from the sun and eyes the black of a starless night. A long, aquiline nose gave him a regal quality that Garrick, for all his perfection, could not possess. His hair was curled and ebony to the point of being liquid, a black mass that he pushed back with irritation at Garrick’s verbal assault. Keiron was lean and tall, and in the stages of bloom where men first leave boyhood behind when they are no longer concerned with a young man’s things.

Garrick spoke again, substituting arrogance for wisdom. “No. There is no escaping that which has passed. Even if you were to—”

A swift cut of Keiron’s hand broke the thought. His brother looked shocked, then amused, and then angry.

He didn’t like being spoken to that way. “I can, and I will. I know how to shift the light of days, and I know when to do it, too.”

“Really? A secret of that size, and you, a minor son, have figured it out? Do tell, fledgling.” He loved using Keiron’s youth as an insult, even though he was barely a year older.

“If you paid attention to anything other than yourself, you’d know that there is logic behind the Moondivers. There have been others, you know.” A hint of smugness colored Keiron’s defense, but his brother had it coming.

The reaction was volcanic.

Real anger spat forth from Garrick now, contorting his features into something crude and ugly. It was, Keiron thought, the first honest thing he’d seen of his brother in all these years. It was the face of fear and rage, and he knew why. This entire outburst was about power, or the lack of it. To control time was the province of elders, not some child who thought that he could move the forces of worlds to right a wrong. It was arrogance of a kind unlike anything he’d ever embraced, and his brother’s hate for him grew by the second because he knew that for all his perfection, the younger of them was more pure. The elder boy was ambition personified, but without courage and purity he would never control the clocks. For that matter, Garrick would not even control himself, a fact that dawned on him as he sputtered with rage.

Keiron squared his feet and repeated his intentions like a prayer. “The days will bend for me. I can feel it, and your anger will not change the truth.” His words rang with a kind of surety that made his legs shake, if only briefly.

It was something Garrick would say, and for that he was frightened and proud, since unlike his brother, Kieron meant every word of it and aimed to see it through.

In two long strides, his brother came close enough that he could smell the wind herbs on his breath. They were sour with hate, just like the expression contorting his face. “She’s already dead.”

Keiron went rigid, but fought mightily to gain control of the anger that bloomed in his chest. Heat spread like sunlight, and he took three long breaths to contain his next words. “She is now, but she won’t be when I get there. I told you. I can do it.”

“You think falling through time and distance can save her? Landing in that mud-spattered wallow that they crawl about in like feral swine? You don’t even know why they were driven from the land, let alone if death awaits you. What about you? Who can save you?” His brother barked with laughter, a short noise of jealousy and fear. “What if she doesn’t want to be saved? You’re a child. A favored pet who is loved because of his youth. You’re nothing but an amusement to this family.”

The wind blew harder as spots filled Keiron’s vision. He could not lose control, not now. He worked his jaw to let the words out. The sounds followed each other, chastened by the force of his will. “I have watched. I have learned. And I tell you, I am going, and she is worth saving.”

Garrick shrugged as the boredom returned to his face, now a mask of beautiful disinterest. “You actually care about them, don’t you? Those things down there? Those glorified cattle? Do you think they’re even capable of understanding us? We are not the benign, soft creatures that have been reshaped by their pitiful legends. We were born for war, not love. We are made to hurt, not heal.” He shook his head with a mocking grin. “You’ve always been weak, but this is beyond anything the family expected. It’s practically—”

“It’s decent, that’s the word you’re looking for.” Keiron’s voice was like iron, despite a small quiver at the end of his words. His jaw set again, and for an instant Garrick saw their grandfather’s stern profile there, lurking like a boulder under the surface of a still pool.

“You’re not even worth saving, let alone one of them.” Garrick’s eyes flicked down to the vista that unspooled under their feet, or perhaps it was above. It was difficult to tell with the curving horizon and shifting light. Part of what he saw was green, unlike their home. There were blue rivers, brown and green fields, and stony places worn by wind and weather. It was alien, but enticing. He let a woven cord of animal hide fall into his hand. On either end, a heavy molar prized from the jaw of a Windbeast acted as a weight. The teeth were well worn, and tied in with strands of fine leather. It had been a mature beast, killed to make things that the people of the wind needed. Like teeth. And rope.

“Then I belong with them, don’t I?” Keiron’s question was rhetorical.

Again, Garrick shrugged, this time with one shoulder. His lips peeled back to reveal perfect teeth, but there was no kindness in the gesture. “Fine, but you’ll need to know something first.” The cord spun outward from Garrick’s hand in a blur, spinning around Keiron’s wings with brutal efficiency. The weight of the heavy teeth spun the strand tight to bind him, flightless, as Garrick drew his sword and cut downward in a wicked blow that sent Keiron’s wings spinning away into the clouds below.

Paralyzed by pain and betrayal, Keiron stood swaying as Garrick stepped calmly forward, placing both hands on his brother and pushing him into a chaotic tumble from the ledge of House Windhook. Spatters of blood swept up and away in the swirling winds, the last sign of a boy who had been bound, and cut, and sent into the sky in less time than he had to register the sensation of being flightless and wounded.

Keiron’s stomach raged upward as glare and shadow coursed around him in a never-ending circle of dizzying light, and he began the long, cold fall through layers of sky and time that tore the scream from his throat even as it began.

From above, he heard Garrick’s last words, mocking and fat with poisonous joy. “Let us see if you can truly fly.”



Author Bio


Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I've had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of-- well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You've been warned.



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