Nina Crespo Presents: Book Magic with Tif Marcelo

Nina: I’m so excited to introduce you to Tif Marcelo. I met her at the Romance Writers of America National Conference. She believes in the power of love, great food and coffee. How could I not want to get to know her?

Tif: Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Nina! I love connecting with other authors. It’s really one of the blessings of being one. I’m inspired by the work ethic and passion of others and it keeps me going! So glad to have met you at the RWA National Conference.

Nina: I enjoyed connecting with you too! Thank you for being here. Is there a talisman or something habitual that keeps you motivated or on task with your writing?

Tif: The only real habitual thing about me is that I get up early to write—usually around 5 am. Though not a hundred percent successful in getting all the work done, I’ve attributed most of progress on my first series to this stolen time. After my 5 am sessions, I’m ready by the time everybody else in my family is up, and it kind of sets me up for a productive day! With that said, I am a planner nerd! I look at my daily to-do list often, a constant reminder of what I need to get done, and what I need to prioritize.

Nina: What is your favorite food or beverage reward while writing or for finishing a book?

Tif: Coffee. Coffee. And Coffee. I like mine without sugar and with a little bit of coconut milk. I also love crunchy, savory snacks: raw almonds, popcorn, tortilla chips etc.

Nina: How do romance novels bring magic to the world?

Tif: Ah! It’s my belief that romance novels open the realm of possibility of love, that it’s attainable for everyone. Because the point of it is to bring people together to end in a happily ever after, romance reminds people that dreams—whatever they may be—can come true. Hope can be seen through the characters and their story arc, while they strive to meet their love interest in the middle. Romance plot and obstacles show that struggles in life are inevitable, though not impossible. Since love is truly what brings people together, romance, I believe, is literature for everyone.

About the Book

When an entrepreneur and an Army reservist end up in their own reality show fauxmance, they have to decide whether their love exists just for the cameras…or if it’s for real in this warmhearted romance, perfect for foodies and wine lovers!

Bryn Aquino, the former manager of a Filipino restaurant, knows the value of hard work. With a shiny new MBA in tow and an investor, she’s ready to start her own business: a culinary retreat where visitors can relax, cook, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Dubbed Paraiso Retreats, she leases the childhood home of army reservist Mitchell Dunford—who returned from Afghanistan to revive his family’s vineyard—but finds herself in a bind when her investor pulls out of the business.

When the retreat catches an internet live stream producer’s eye through social media channels, Bryn is offered the opportunity of a lifetime—to document her journey in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Excited, Bryn happily agrees to the arrangement…only to find out that she’s going to have to fake an onscreen romance with her indifferent landlord in order to keep her audience interested.

As Mitchell and Bryn put on a show for the cameras, they find their romance isn’t hard to fake. They’ve got more in common under their bluster, banter, and doubts. As their relationship heats up and the cameras keep rolling, the line between show and reality blurs. And when the pressures of family, business, and the audience stack against them, will their romance survive internet stardom? Or was it just for show?

Excerpt

BRYN

It’s only when the lights of the vans disappear that the muscles in my body relax, but just for a moment, because the gravity of what I signed up for descends like dusk. Starting Monday, my home and my words will be transmitted to the rest of the world.

Shit. What have I done?

The sound of gravel crunching from behind makes me turn. It’s Mitchell, walking down the path. He’s in cargo hiking pants and a thin forest-green fleece jacket. His head’s covered with a beanie.

My heart beat quickens at this fine specimen of a man. I hate to admit it even to myself, because I don’t want to let it show on my face. There’s such a short distance from my brain to my mouth and my expressions, and no filter exists.

Or so I’ve been told. To admit he is droolworthy would serve no purpose. As his tenant, I can only show him my professional persona, just as customers saw me as True North’s manager: fair, firm.

And I bet that he’s firm, in more places than one. My eyes travel the length of his perfectly proportioned body, broad shoulders, pulled back with pride. We’ve kept out of each other’s way the last few days, but I’ve watched his daily work with the vines.

He’s made for a good view in the morning.

“Ms. Aquino.” He addresses me all businesslike. So I paste on my equally flat poker face and pull my brain from the gutter.

“Mr. Dunford. Let me guess, you were watching me and didn’t like how I was standing here admiring the trees.”

“Someone’s got to keep you in check.” He pauses. “I’m here because we need to set some parking rules. You can’t allow your guests to park on Dunford’s main driveway. That’s what the meadow is for. Parking on the driveway keeps from any other vehicle from coming up and down the hill safely. So guess whose truck is parked at the bottom? Yep. Mine.”

“Crap, I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.” My answer is sincere, but I falter. Yes, yes it might happen again. Or it will, because Monday the camera crew will be here, along with the contractors and . . . “Actually, Mitchell, that’s something we need to talk about.”

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

About the Author

Tif believes in and writes about heart-eyes romance, the strength of families, and the endurance of friendship. A veteran Army Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Administration, she is a craft enthusiast, food-lover and the occasional half-marathon runner. As a military spouse, she has moved nine times, and this adventure shows in some of her free-spirited characters. Tif currently lives in the DC area with her own real life military hero and four children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub

 

Nina Crespo Presents: Authors’ Summer Fun

I love summer with a passion. Although I had fun shopping for winter clothes and stocking up on a few nice pairs of boots, I’m ready to get out of the cold. Dreams of blue sky, sunglasses, cute sandals, and ice-cold cocktails give me goose bumps. I’ve already started building my summer fun to-do list.

Here are some of the activities I’m planning:

*A weekend birthday barbecue with my favorite cupcakes for dessert
*Attending the RWA National Conference and connecting with friends as well as meeting new people
*Visiting the Library of Congress
*Traveling with my husband 

Admittedly, I could have done a couple of these things earlier this year, but something about experiencing them with the sun warming my face or with the welcome of a nice ocean breeze makes it even more special.

What about writing? Yes, I’ll have a full writing schedule. In fact, I’m going to make an announcement, very soon, about who’s publishing my next two contemporary series in my newsletter. Sign up for it if you’re not already a VIP subscriber and be one of the first to help me celebrate the big news.

Over the next few weeks, I’m talking to authors about their summer plans and their latest books. Find your next summer read on my blog under the feature title, Nina Crespo Presents: Authors’ Summer Fun. Feel free to share what you’ll be doing this summer in the comment section. I’m including some video inspiration below to get you in the mood. Close your eyes. Relax. Daydream about all of the fun coming your way. Until next time….

 

 

Nina Crespo Presents: J. L. Lora’s Guilty Pleasures

Nina Crespo:  What’s your current guilty pleasure? I know you have some!

J. L. Lora:  Anything with Nutella in it and chemistry between two characters. The Nutella because … it’s Nutella. I can’t explain it any other way. The chemistry because, be it a book or a show, when two characters just have off the charts attraction to each other, I can’t stop reading or watching if their story grips me and doesn’t let me go.

Readers, can you relate? Feel free to share your favorite characters in the comment section. J.L’s new book will fit right in with your secret cravings. Check it out!

Now available from J. L. Lora!

Determined to avoid the violence that claimed her family and friends, Carissa Elliott flees her hometown with a dangerous plan. She has proof that Calum DeMateo killed her father—now she just has to catch him. To do so, she’ll have to transform herself from small-town ingénue to New York crime boss.

When her path crosses with Alec McLean, the sexy stranger with whom she once shared a steamy nightclub kiss, things take an unexpected turn. Alec heads his family’s criminal organization, the kind of made man Carissa should want nothing to do with. But he also has a plan to take down Calum, and the flames that flicker between them are irresistible.

Will their vengeful quests jeopardize their chance at lasting love?

Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | BAM

Excerpt

The night, with its clear Miami skies, the air fragrant with lady of the night, whispered excitement.

But not for her.

“I’m ready for a shot,” Carissa yelled at her friends over the music and left the dance floor. She couldn’t spend another twenty minutes getting bumped by drunks. She couldn’t spend another second around a rum-breathed guy without planting her fist in his stupid, grinning face. She couldn’t spend another instant listening to the grief gnawing at her stomach, jagging her nerves.

Her friend Mel caught up with her at the bar. “You OK? I know it’s hard being out and all with your mom gone.”

Carissa bobbed her head and ordered shots. “I’m buying.” She didn’t wait for Mel to respond. “I’m OK. I just need to breathe something fresher than Bacardi and mint.”

Mel put her hand over Carissa’s. “We can all leave if you want.”

The bartender placed the shots in front of them. Carissa wanted to shout yes, let’s get the hell out of here, already picturing her pajamas and the plush hotel bed. Instead, she said, “No. We can stay. I’ll just rest, then we can go dance again. Bottoms up.”

Mel held up a finger. “Carissa, this weekend getaway is about you. If we go back to our room, Gia may pout for a while, but she understands. She won’t be mad for long.”

“You think so? Look at her on the dance floor—hair flipping, that come-get-me smile—she’s full on flirting. And isn’t that the guy from the other club?”

Mel looked over to Gia. “Yeah, that’s him. That spot was nice, but this one’s sexier. Finally, Braeden recommended something classy and not some ass-shaking shack.”

Carissa threw back her shot of whiskey, grimacing at the liquid lava. She shifted her feet, hoping it would ease the throbbing in her toes. Hell’s flames would lick over her skin before she went back to that dance floor. People-watching sounded heavenly, safe, breathable. She held up two fingers for another round.

Mel watched her, worry lines etched on her forehead. “You know, my mom died seven years ago. I still miss her every day.” The slight tremble in Mel’s lips, blink-of-an-eye brief, implied a pain that never faded.

Her voice, soft and so un-Mel-like, yanked at the loosened threads of Carissa’s heart. She forced back images of the hospital, the smell of antiseptic, the whoosh-click of the ventilator. Carissa shook her head.

“We all knew about Mom . . . It was inevitable. Brae was pretty great during that time, though. He stood by me like a shield.”

“It kills me to admit it, but your little jerk of an ex-boyfriend makes a good friend. I’m glad he was there to protect you from the patron saint of all assholes.” The fire dimmed in Mel’s eyes. “But Calum. That fucker needs to die. What kind of shitty-asshole-from-hell makes a move on a woman at her mother’s funeral?”

The anesthetic effect of the whiskey buzzed through Carissa’s skin, numbness embracing her body. Jesus, that felt good. “Yeah, he needs to die. But who’s going to do it, Mel? Us? Are we teaming up again? Is this another adventure for the Powerpuff Girls? Do you still have your costume?”

Both women laughed hard enough to blur the sadness, picked up another shot, and downed it in one move. This one would do the trick.

“Calum won’t stop calling. That’s why Braeden insisted I get away for a few days.”

Mel leaned her elbows on the bar and rested her chin in her hands. “Tell Braeden I don’t 1,000 percent hate him anymore.”

It had to be the alcohol. Carissa turned her face to the sky and then looked around the outdoor lounge. “Hell has frozen over.”

Mel gave her a slight shove. “Let’s go dance.”

“No way. If someone steps on my foot one more time, there will be blood. Lots of it.”

“Ladies, you’ve been invited to a VIP table.”

Carissa whirled around to face a tall, dark-haired man whose muscles went past impressive to downright intimidating. Dressed in a black T-shirt one size too small and tight, dark pants, the man screamed security guard.

“Not interested.” Carissa turned back to Mel, whose eyes bulged in an are-you-out-of-your-damned-mind? look.

The security guard tapped Carissa’s shoulder. “It’s Noah’s table. He says you would be more comfortable there since you’re taking a break from dancing.”

“The guard pointed to a roped area where a man sat watching the dance floor. She couldn’t see his face. Only his thick, wavy hair. “Who’s Noah?”

The guard tilted his head toward the dance floor. “The man your friend is dancing with. That’s his brother at the table.”

About the Author

J. L. Lora was born in Dominican Republic and came to the United States just at the age of 13. Her goal in life was always to be a writer. As a child, she told stories to her family and friends and wrote fiction about historic figures. Today, her stories explore the dark side of good characters, people who are backed into corners and how they react to it. She loves strong heroines and their equally powerful love interests. She currently lives in Maryland while pursuing her dream of writing compelling, sexy, can’t-put-down stories about empowered, bad-ass heroines and take-your-breath-away heroes.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

 

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Nina Crespo Presents: Wren Michaels’ Guilty Pleasures

Nina Crespo:  What’s your current guilty pleasure? I want details!

Wren Michaels: Binge watching Vampire Diaries and Lost Girl. One of my latest characters is based off Kenzie from Lost Girl because I have a girl crush. LOL

Hey readers, tell us what you’re binge watching in the comments below. Also, take a moment to read aboutWren’s latest and discover your next book crush!

Now available from Wren Michaels!

All’s fair in love and war until one person gets stuck in an arranged marriage.

Catherine ‘Cat’ Marek has a sociology paper due on dissecting the laws of attraction. Project Panty Drop will case study two different men; one she’ll go after in person and the other she’ll attempt to charm online. Hiding behind her beauty, she tries to cover up her true geeky side, and the fact that she’s partially deaf.

Jaidev ‘Jai’ Sankar needs to knock out a paper for his online sociology class. After an encounter with the Texas Tease, Cat Marek, he decides Project Friend Zoned will be the ultimate topic, proving a guy can remain in the friend zone with a girl he finds attractive.

As Cat puts the moves into overdrive, Jai finds it harder to remain in the ‘friend zone’ with her. The only thing keeping him from letting go is the fact his hardcore Hindu parents have a wedding scheduled for him. When neither can resist their attraction, the fight no longer becomes about their papers, but about the freedom to love each other.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BN | iBooks | Kobo

Excerpt

Her face haunted me. The adorable dimple pitted in her cheek caught my eye first. Sexy full lips that folded into a gorgeous smile just about took my breath away. I did my best not to continuously stare at her, managing to throw just a few glances here and there hoping she got the message. But she didn’t take the bait. Instead, she gave me a ‘too good for you’ glance while she plowed down a server on her way to the bathroom, probably to restock the toilet paper in her bra.

The Texas Tease, I called it. Lots of girls at UT had it—this one in particular—in spades. Shorter than my normal tastes, her alluring doe-eyes caught me off guard. The memory of her petite frame sashaying as she worked those sexy, black pumps played on a loop in my head. Along with the way her long, brown hair bounced with every step like a damn shampoo commercial.

She drove me insane, and I didn’t even know her name. At least Mick confirmed she was a student at UT, apparently in one of his Economics classes.

She intrigued me, sitting in a sports bar drinking beer while her prissy friend sipped wine. I even caught her glancing at the Longhorn game on the big screen. A cute girl who likes beer and football? Every guy’s dream. If only she weren’t a snob. But, I’d put her in her place. And I had the perfect plan.

The ring of my Skype alert disrupted my plotting. Incoming message from Kanti, my best friend.

Kanti: Hey …

Me: What’s up, brat?

Kanti: You busy?

Me: Never too busy for you.

Kanti: Stop with the sugar, you’re giving me diabetes.

Me: LOL Better get used to it.

Kanti: Ugh. Don’t remind me. Quick, what do you want for your birthday? You got the new Mortal Kombat release already?

Me: Yeah, of course I do. But you don’t have to get me anything. You know that.

Kanti: I can’t NOT get you anything.

Me: Tell me you talked to your parents and the wedding’s called off. That would be an awesome present.

Kanti: Seriously? You know that isn’t even in the realm of possibilities. So shut it.

Me: I can dream, can’t I?

Kanti: Yeah, and I know what you do in those dreams. Not even going there.

 Me: You’re such a bitch. Why do I love you?

Kanti: Because we’re best friends.

Me: Well, there’s that.

Mick yelled through the door. “Jai, you comin’ down or what?”

“In a minute,” I replied.

Me: I gotta go. Kegger tonight and we’re hosting.

Kanti: Email me and let me know what to get you.

Me: Fine.

Kanti: LOL Kiss Kiss

Me: Whatever. LOL TTYL

I closed the lid on my laptop as Mick flung the door open.

“People are starting to arrive. You’re on keg duty first.”

I tossed him a nod. “Yeah, I know. I’m coming. Just finishing up some notes on my Sociology project.”

“I thought you dropped that class?” He folded his arms, leaning against the door-frame.

“I was going to until Professor Wilkinson agreed to let me take it online, since it’s the same time as my cinematography course.” I pulled out a notepad. “What’d you say that chick’s name was again? The one we saw at the bar today.”

“Catherine Marek. But I think she goes by Cat.” Mick shrugged. “Why? I thought you said she was a snob, and you weren’t gonna pursue her?”

“Oh, I’m not. I got my sights set on another girl I’ve been talking to for a little while. But I think that Cat chick will make for a perfect target on my sociology paper.” I wrote down her name and underlined it five times. “I’m calling it, Friend Zoned.”

Mick laughed. “Oh, this ought to be good. What’re you gonna do?”

“It’s what I’m not gonna do that’s going be the best part. I’m going to act like I’m interested, then when she takes the bait, I’ll friend zone her. I’m going to prove that a guy can be sexually attracted to a girl who’s interested in him and still remain only friends. I’ll be the best ‘friend’ she’s ever gonna have.”

About the Author

Wren hails from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where beer and cheese are their own food groups. But a cowboy swept her off her feet and carried her below the Mason-Dixon line to Texas, where she promptly lost all tolerance for cold and snow. Fueled by coffee, dreams, and men in kilts, Wren promises to bring you laughter, sexy fun time, and action that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The easiest way to her heart is anything to do with the Green Bay Packers, Doctor Who, or Joss Whedon.

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Nina Crespo Presents: Laura Heffernan’s Guilty Pleasures

Nina Crespo:  What’s your current guilty pleasure? Readers want to know!

Laura Heffernan:  I’m completely addicted to reality TV. Competition shows, lifestyle shows, trivia, home improvement, cooking shows – I love them all.

Readers, what are some of your must-have indulgences? Feel free to share them with us in the comment section. Also, take a moment to check out Laura’s new book. It may become your new guilty pleasure.

Now available from Laura Heffernan!

Seeking the smart one

Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.

Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .

Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo

Excerpt

He touched my chin with two fingers, bringing my gaze up to meet his. Damn those green eyes. I searched them for answers, wishing I knew whether he was putting on an act for the audience. Even with the lights off, the cameras stationed in the yard would capture us. The producers filmed everything, day and night. Everyone in America would know if we kissed. For a moment, I struggled to remember why that was bad.

“I guess it’s not your fault, since I got the question right,” I said begrudgingly, shifting slightly backward.

“If that is the best I can get, I’ll take it. But I’m going to work on complete forgiveness. I’ll pay you double interest on our bet—six cents.”

“Well, then,” I laughed. “Maybe I’ll have to reconsider once I get my money. I’d hate to have to send Birdie to break your kneecaps.”

The image of five-foot-tall Birdie coming after Justin with a baseball bat cracked him up. I laughed, too, crossing my legs and settling more comfortably in the lounger. My knee practically touched Justin’s leg. He didn’t move.

We sat quietly for a few minutes. I wondered if he heard my heart pounding. Even not wanting to get caught kissing on national television with a near-stranger, I found something about Justin irresistible. Possibly his smile. Or his dimples. His brains. The ease of talking to him. His personality. The fact that he was practically perfect for me in every way.

That line of thinking wasn’t helping. I needed to change the subject before I started calling him Mary Poppins.

“It’s a beautiful night.” I gestured at the sky.

“Yes, it is,” Justin said, his eyes never leaving my face. Did he lean forward slightly? Only inches separated our lips.

The warmth definitely wasn’t the beer. I licked my lips nervously and leaned in, closing the gap. If he moved the tiniest bit…

“So—”

About the Author

Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the Northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

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Nina Crespo presents Choked Up by Janey Mack

chokedupScrappy Traffic Enforcement agent Maisie McGrane has finally landed her dream job as a Chicago police officer. There’s just one catch. She must remain undercover as a meter maid to gather evidence against Stannislav Renko, a charismatic Serbian mobster running a brutal multi-million dollar mobile chop-shop operation.

When Maisie is targeted by a killer who leaves a body slumped against her car, Renko comes to her rescue and takes her under his wing. From her perch inside the crime boss’s inner circle, Maisie sets up a daring sting operation to take down Renko once and for all. But can she pull it off before her family of overprotective Irish cops and her sexy ex-Army Ranger boyfriend blow her cover?

Amazon | BN | iBooks

About the Author

aboutJaneyMack-Janey Mack grew up always wanting to be a cop but her dad wouldn’t let her, so she did the next best thing. She created Maisie McGrane, who gets to do everything she can’t. A former Midwesterner, Janey lives with her husband and children in Arizona within driving distance of her parents and brothers.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Nina Crespo presents Ghost For Sale by Sandra Cox

Ghost for SaleCaitlin King can’t believe that her shopaholic cousin actually bought two ghosts off of eBay. But she can’t ignore the truth when she starts seeing sexy Liam O’Reilly, who’s been dead for over a hundred years. He’s a fascinating specter, and the more time Caitlin spends with him, the closer they become—sending them both spiraling into a star-crossed tailspin. No matter how desperately they long for each other, there’s just no future with a guy who’s already stopped breathing.

Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo | Google | eKensington

About the Author

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal and Historical Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Time to Celebrate!

Reid's Deliverance 1Can’t see the new cover? Maybe you need to shake your screen.

Just kidding! It’s coming. Reid and the band are time traveling across the dimensions with the cover for REID’S DELIVERANCE.  Guess what? We can still celebrate!

READ today’s chapter teaser. Check back daily, until 2 October, for a new excerpt.

ENTER the giveaway. Four chances to win!

SIGN UP for my newsletter by 15 October and be one of the first to read a steamy excerpt reserved for newsletter subscribers only.

PRE-ORDER your copy of Reid’s Deliverance.

  Amazon  Barnes&Noble  iBooks  Kobo  AmazonUK  AmazonCA Google

Haven’t started the series?
Thane’s Redemption is on sale for a limited time!

Chat with Nina

TMiYD_300CoverIt’s been one year since the release of my debut title, Take Me If You Dare, which kicked off the Birthday Dare series with Entangled Publishing. To celebrate, I want to chat with my readers about the book, the characters, this past year and what’s coming next.

I’m hosting three giveaways throughout the month of June and all you have to do is share what you liked about the book. There’s a fun trivia question from the book which offers another opportunity to win, but a quick hello on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads also gives you a chance to win.

The first giveaway is a $10 Amazon e-gift card. The winner will be announced June 12. Two more giveaways will be held so stop by throughout the month and say hi!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nina Crespo presents Blood Stitches by Erin Fanning

Blood Stitches-highresLove and danger intertwine…

It’s called El Toque de la Luna—The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving—or devastating—the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head—until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…

Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters—and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster… And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.

 

Excerpt:

This scene comes from the beginning of the book, when the main character Gabby and her best friend Frank meet a man who will change their lives forever.

A gust of wind scattered leaves across the University of Seattle campus. My hair tangled over my face. New contacts tortured my eyes, and books weighed down my backpack. It didn’t matter. A tornado could have snatched me up. As long as it carried me home and put an end to the anniversary of the worst day of my life.

“Watch out, Gabby.” My best friend Frank thrust his hands deep into the pockets of his pinstriped suit. “We’re being followed by a giant candy corn.”

“Giant candy corn? Yeah, right.” If I turned around, Frank would laugh and say, “Gotcha”, or some other dorky thing. The mind-numbing boredom of Calculus I, our last class of the day, always set Frank off, making him zanier than usual.

“I mean it. We’ve got a candy corn on our tail.” Frank whistled a Lester Ruben song as he sauntered ahead.

“Okay, okay. Let me see this Halloween wonder.” If I didn’t give in, Frank would never leave me alone. I whirled, ready to hear Frank’s laugh, and almost ran into a man. His face glowed orange, like someone who’d spent too much time in a tanning booth, and he wore a white cap pulled down to his ears. A yellow scarf hid his neck and chin. For once, Frank wasn’t kidding. The man resembled a giant candy corn.

Shredded paper and a postage stamp poked out of his scarf, and a moon decorated an edge of the knitting, like one of my older sister Esperanza’s creations. It didn’t seem possible, but no one else I knew added garbage and a signature moon to their knitting. A wool coat covered the rest of him, except his face and steel-tipped boots.

“Sorry.” I jumped back.

Frank’s chuckles mixed with squirrels chattering in a nearby tree. Drizzle moistened my forehead, and a cold dampness seeped into my bones. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion, like watching Esperanza unravel her knitting one stitch at a time to fix a mistake.

The man, smelling of hot chocolate and rotten eggs, stepped closer. He only reached my shoulder but doubled me in width, giving an impression of strength instead of fat, as if more than his boots were constructed of steel. I met his eyes, bloodshot with yellow flecks, and he swayed from foot to foot. “Yeah, they call me Mr. Candy Corn.” He rolled his shoulders like a gangster in an old movie and jabbed a gloved finger at me. “Some people think I’m sweet, but I’m really not.”

Buy:

Kensington/Lyrical:

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/31335

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Stitches-Erin-Fanning-ebook/dp/B00ONTR8I6

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-stitches-erin-fanning/1121044500?ean=9781616506735

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/blood-stitches

Google:

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Erin_Fanning_Blood_Stitches?id=naZdBgAAQBAJ

Itunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blood-stitches/id933601953?mt=11

About the Author:

Erin Fanning spends her summers on a northern Michigan lake, where her imagination explores the water and dense forest for undiscovered creatures. In the winter, she migrates to central Idaho, exchanging mountain bikes and kayaks for skis and snowshoes. She’s the author of a mountain biking guidebook, as well as numerous articles, essays, and short stories.

Find Erin online:

Website: www.erinfanning.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/502190.Erin_Fanning

Twitter: @WriterErin

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Erin-Fanning/e/B002BODQGS

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