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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Sampler - Good Cop by Liz Kelly


What happens when best friends fall for the same girl?

A Bromance, A Romance & A Love Triangle

Local sports heroes Brooks Bennett and Vance Evans are used to being part of a winning team. But when it comes to romance their good cop, bad cop images have them handcuffed. They want a woman’s point of view to help unshackle their reputations, and they’ve picked out one pretty, pony-tailed firecracker to do it.

Lolly DuVal longs for a summer fling that can set off all her bells and whistles. So she agrees to tutor Henderson’s hunkiest heroes on what women really want. Now she finds herself caught between two cops and a hard place. And those bells and whistles? They are starting to sound a whole lot more like alarms.

            “Let’s face it, bro," Vance said. "You and I have covered a lot of female territory over the years without much to show for it. And unfortunately I think our reputations have been cemented. We have become the epitome of good cop, bad cop.”
            “Me being the good cop,” Brooks stated.
            “Yeah. So somehow I need to become more like you.”
            “Whatever. It’s gonna be a cold day in hell when I start treating women the way you do.”
            “Fine. Not crazy about the good cop, bad cop analogy? Substitute safe versus sexy.”
            “Really? Sexy?”
            “Well,” Vance said, lifting an eyebrow, “I’m certainly not milquetoast.”
            Brooks planted his ass on the training table Lolly had vacated, shaking himself all over. “Brrr! Just saying the word ‘sexy’ makes me feel ridiculous.”
            “Yeah, and like I wanna be this town’s Golden Boy.” Vance broke into his best Brooks Bennett imitation. “Hey, Mrs. Devine! How’s your golf game? Really? Well, you hang in there,” Vance mimicked. 
            “That is not how I sound.”
            “That is exactly how you sound to me.”
            “Well, you can’t be me and I refuse to be you.”
            “Yes, but we can gain a better understanding of where we’re lacking and improve in those areas. I need to figure out how to lighten up and get women to wave at me when I walk through town like they do to you.”
            “And I need to learn how to make their eyes go dark and misty like Lolly’s did when she told you that you had very, very good hands. What the hell was going on in here, you goddamn son of a bitch?”
            “Brooks, buddy. That crap is so easy.”
            “Not for me.”
            “Which is why, if you go along with my plan, I will reveal to you the secret of my success. Which I learned at the age of fifteen, by the way. It’s certainly not rocket science.”
            “What plan?”
            “We help Lolly with her research and she helps us with ours.”
            “I don’t follow.”
            “She’s the tutor.”
            “No. She’s my date.”
            “Tonight she’s your date. Tomorrow she’s our tutor.”
            “Our tutor, how?”
            “Man, I don’t know. But what I do know is that she was willing to talk about what she didn’t want. So maybe she’d be willing to talk about what she does want. It certainly can’t hurt to ask. Who else are we gonna get?”
            Brooks shrugged. “I don’t know. And I see your point, I really do. But I’m hoping this date isn’t going to be a one and done.”
            “Well then….” Vance spread his arms wide. “What could be better than learning about what women want from the woman you actually want?”
            “Trust me. There’s no downside here. Let’s just talk to her tonight and see if she’d be willing to help us.”
            “I don’t know.”
            “All right. How ’bout this? I give you one piece of bad cop advice to use on your date tonight. If it works out well for you, and it will, you go along with me on this.”
            Brooks looked skeptical. “What’s the advice?”
            “Do we have a deal? Because this is good stuff and frankly, right now, in this town, you are my stiffest competition. I don’t want to be giving you pointers and getting nothing in return.”
            “Jesus, will you just tell me already?”
            “Okay.” Vance took a breath before speaking in a conspiratorial tone. “Tonight, when you take the Lollypop home, the moment you hit that top step of her momma’s porch you shove that lean body of hers right up against the wall and kiss her like you mean it.”
            Vance let that sink in before he added, “You can thank me in the morning.”

Buy Links:

Author Bio:

Growing up every summer in a place where dancing and romancing are literally part of its theme song, Liz Kelly can't help but be a romantic at heart. And since her favorite author, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss wrote some of the world's greatest romances, she's just trying to give the world a little more of that. (Okay, maybe a little sexier that, but we are now in a new millennium after all.)

A graduate of Wake Forest University, where she met her handsome golf-addicted husband, (who is now sporting dark glasses everywhere he goes) Liz is a mother of two grown sons (also sporting dark glasses) and a miniature Labradoodle named Isabelle. They live in the Fountain of Youth, a.k.a. Naples, FL where dancing and romancing continues on ad infinitum.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cover Reveal - The Melody in my Head by Nikki Lynn Barrett

Today is a switch up. Instead of Meet the Author, Nikki Lynn Barrett wants reveal the cover of her soon-to-be-released book, The Melody in my Head, the second book in her Love and Music in Texas series. Without further ado, here's the cover.

Blurb for The Melody in my Head 
Welcome back to Harmony's Echo, Texas.....

Melody Roland is on the run from the one person she trusted completely. One who hid a dark past she could never have imagined. When a pregnant woman on the bus she's fleeing on goes into labor, Melody rushes to her aide. Now she finds herself stranded in a tiny remote town just off the highway, with no way to her original destination. 

She's alone, on edge, and unsure who to trust. Her instincts scream to get far away and fast. But how and where?

Jameson Grant struggles through the roughest year of his life. Suffering from the loss of his father, one grief stricken night, he made a mistake. One which cost him the only woman he's ever loved. Each lonely day he's faced with the constant reminders of how quick things can change. Throwing himself into the one thing he has left, his music, helps dull the pain he fights to keep hidden. His last salvation begins to crumble as things spiral out of control and he has no choice but to face the 'music' of his past. 

The last thing he needs or wants in his life is a woman with more trouble on her heels than the best of country music lyrics. But Melody sings a sirens call within him that can't be ignored.

Jameson and Melody bond in ways stronger than either could have imagined, but one dangerous person from her past may threaten it all...

If she doesn't flee before he can convince her to stay, and that some love songs last an eternity. 


She shouldn't have listened to them.
             She really was going to be sick. Melody's stomach clenched, her breaths came out on rasps, images she'd rather not have in her mind played over and over again as the sounds repeated.
            Melody had to get out of here.  Go somewhere, clear her head. She forced herself to stop crying, dried her face. She hesitated before opening the door, hoping Jameson and Blaine were too busy to notice her. She didn't hear them, and wasn't sure where either of them were.
            She made a dash for it. From the sounds of it, the two were still in the kitchen. Melody could go through the front door and get a bit of fresh air. As quick and quiet as she possibly could be, she managed to get out the front door without either of them noticing her.
            The ladder still leaned against the house, from when she and Jameson climbed up there. The old wood creaked underneath her weight as she walked across the front porch. Carefully walking down the steps, Melody gripped the sides of the ladder. One by one, she climbed the rungs, pulled herself up onto the roof and scrambled up. She let her feet dangle over the edge as she let the tears flow again.
            Patchy clouds hid the sun, and a cool, brisk breeze weaved through her hair, tossing it lightly. Melody pushed strands out of her face as her chest constricted with sobs.
            She gasped at the sound of Jameson's voice. She stared down at him. He frowned, jumped onto the ladder and was at her side in seconds. He pulled her to him. Cupping her face, Jameson persuaded her to look at him.
            “What's wrong? I'm sorry. I heard the door and wasn't sure what was going on. Then I saw you up here in tears...” Jameson cradled her to him. “If you need me to leave you alone, I will, but I had to make sure you're okay.”
            Melody liked this man. Way too much. He was always right there to talk to her. He had so much to deal with, but he always put it aside when Melody had something going.  She didn't want to lean on him, she didn't want to drag him into her screwed up world.
            He knew the real reason she ran, so it was a little too late to keep him out. Damn it, why did he have to be such a great guy?  It was the wrong time! 
            “I used your phone to make a long distance call.”
            Jameson pulled away and chuckled. “Okay. So you're crying up here because you made a long distance call?  It's not the end of the world. We have long distance on our phone.”
            Melody nearly laughed, but the gesture actually forced more tears out.  She'd said the completely wrong thing to start off with. Yes, that did sound foolish! Crying over a long distance phone call. If only it were that simple. Oh, if only.  

Fun Facts about The Melody in My Head, and the Love and Music in Texas Book series.
  1. Jameson's character wasn't originally going to be a good guy.  (I know, I know...what was I thinking?) As I wrote Baby Stetson, he surprised me and grew on me. I loved him so much, I had to give him his own story and HEA.              
               2.Melody's character actually had a part in another book. I had her backstory and plot figured out a long time ago, I just had no idea I'd pair her with Jameson and send her to Harmony's Echo, Texas. But it worked out so well! Love it when I can combine story ideas!

3.     I used Keith Urban's intense guitar playing for inspiration when I pictured Jameson playing the guitar. Yes, it's no secret I have a huge celeb crush on Keith, but it's more than that. He's a talented guitar player and he puts his all in when he plays, and that's why I used his image for Jameson.....Honest!

4.     The song lyrics I incorporate in the story are mine. I am a lyric writer, and so I fit some of my own songs in the story as I see fit. :)

5.     When Picking out covers for this series, I try to put items that are part of the story on the covers. Look at Baby Stetson- the hat there has a valid reason for being there. It's part of Avery's history. Same with Melody in My Head- Jameson is the lead guitarist, so why not use a guitar? :)

6.     Book Three will feature Jameson's sister, Blaine, and the keyboardist for Baby Stetson Randy. I started thinking about them while writing The Melody in My Head. That story should come out 2014.

7.     So far, I have probably about 7 stories planned in this series.

8.     I used to not read series- let alone write them! Now, I'm hooked!

9.     I'm going to be working on a project- The songs used in the series, I'm going to try and get them to melody, find a band, and release a music CD with the songs.  (Yep, I'll be singing them. I won't burst your eardrums, promise!)

10.  In my original idea for Melody's story, while on the bus running, she was the one that had a child. That child was ill and the bus driver had dropped them off in a small town to get the child medical attention. Obviously, that idea evolved a bit. Lil.

From now until the end of July, Baby Stetson, the first in the Love and Music in Texas series, is discounted to just $.99.  You'll meet Jameson in this book, and then you can get his story when The Melody in My Head comes out in late July, 2013. 

Baby Stetson Blurb:

In small Texas towns, strangers come and go...

Left in a Stetson hat, on the steps of the local bed and breakfast, Avery Callimer came into the world on a wing and a prayer. Raised by loving adoptive parents, she's never lacked for love...only the knowledge of her past.

By day she works the Inn, but by night...Avery comes alive as lead singer in a band. Life was good...stable, until new guests blew into town.

Some strangers come with secrets and lies

Lucas Bennett is one such stranger. Drifting from one mess to another has left him jaded. Doesn't matter the dramas are never his doing. Giving it one last shot to make a fresh start lands him Harmony's Echo, Texas and smack dab in front of the tantalizing Avery.

Despite his best efforts to ignore the burn Avery's ignited within, he's intent to keep his distance. Secrets have followed him. Secrets he doesn't want Avery to know.

Each time they're near the other things heat up like a brushfire on a dry Texas prairie.

But maybe, after the dust settles and the smoke clears, love can bloom with a fresh start.

Add this book to your goodreads list!


Other books by Nikki Lynn Barrett

The Secret Santa Wishing Well

Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She's an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one subject notebooks by the fifth grade. The Secret Santa Wishing Well is her debut book. You can visit Nikki's site at: www.nikkilynnbarrett.blogspot.com for more information. She is working on her next book. Nikki would love to hear from readers. Email her at nikkilynnbarrett@yahoo.com


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