Blog Tour + Deleted Scene, Excerpt & Giveaway: Quintessentially Q by Pepper Winters

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Quintessentially Q by Pepper Winters

Title: Quintessentially Q
Series: Monsters in the Dark #2 (full reading order below)
Author: Pepper Winters
Genre: Erotic/Dark Contemporary Romance
Release Date:  December 15, 2013
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“All my life, I battled with the knowledge I was twisted… fucked up to want something so deliciously dark—wrong on so many levels. But then slave fifty-eight entered my world. Hissing, fighting, with a core of iron, she showed me an existence where two wrongs make a right.”

Tess is Q’s completely. Q is Tess’s irrevocably. But now, they must learn the boundaries of their unconventional relationship, while Tess seeks vengeance on the men who sold her. Q made a blood-oath to deliver their corpses at Tess’s feet, and that’s just what he’ll do.

He may be a monster, but he’s Tess’s monster.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US • Amazon UK • Smashwords • B&N • Amazon AU • Amazon CA

QQ Teaser 6

Deleted Snippets

Wrenching on the shower, I stepped under the needles of heat and tried to relax. Fuck this was hard. I wasn’t used to sharing—laying my secrets out in the open. The closer Tess got to me the more she saw and the more I tried to withdraw. Stop being so weak. I wished I could reprogram myself and accept her promise, to trust in her. No, if I could reprogram myself I wanted to be able to remove these dark thoughts and banish the need to hurt. That’s what I really wished for.

****

The urge to just touch her, not to inflict pain or consume her, grabbed me around the back of the throat. I looked over my shoulder. She stood not far away. Her hair whipping around her as the helicopter ascended into the sky and her skirt torn from my rough handling. If I looked closer, I saw the faint crinkle of where my hands had marred her blazer, and the redness of the tie burn around her wrists.

QQ Teaser 1

excerpt

Q moved suddenly, pushing off from the cage and striding toward the entrance of the aviary. He unlocked the deadbolt and entered the space. Birds chirped louder as Q stood in the centre of their world. He looked like a man robbed of his own wings. A fallen angel that had no place on earth and fought a daily battle to fit in.

I stepped forward. Should I say something? Comfort him? My heart twisted, needing to be there for him, but no longer able to. No matter how many kind words I spoke, Q would see I no longer lived inside.

My soul jangled with chains and locks, saving me but also ruining me. The longer I lived in my tower the more passion and connection faded.

I hated the numbing virus inside, spreading slowly, deleting all memory of who Tess had been. I was replaced with a carbon replica who would float away in the wind, robbed of her convictions and thoughts. All because I wasn’t strong enough to face what I’d done.

Q cursed under his breath, his chest pumping with emotion. “Why should I keep you when you don’t want to be here? You’re not here for me. You’re here because I lock you up. You’re my prisoners, my captives, my trophies.”

He hung his head before waving his arms. Allez vous-en. Je ne veux plus de vous. Elle ne veut plus de plus alors ça sert à quoi, putain? ” Fly away. I no longer want you. She no longer wants me, so what’s the fucking point?

The birds went crazy, darting left and right, spying freedom through the open door. They exploded through the exit and into the conservatory, weaving through plants and water features.

Wings rustled as I ducked from a small flock of robins.

“Get out!” Q yelled; the birds flurried harder. “Get far away from me.”

I stepped backward, not wanting to see Q breakdown. I wanted it to hurt—to kill me with knowledge that I’d ripped out his heart—but all I felt was emptiness.

Q looked up and froze.

His eyes locked on mine, shining with rage and blackness. I prayed for some awakening, so I could put both of us out of our misery. I wanted to bring forth all my love for him and keep hiding from my guilt. I wanted to erase the darkness, the lostness and hate from his eyes, but I was useless.

Bowing my head, I dropped my gaze.

Q cursed, exiting the aviary, humming with anger and rage. He stalked toward me, stopping so close his body heat seared my skin.

I flinched, expecting him to lash out—to grab my hair, slap me—something to wake me up.

When he didn’t touch me, I looked up. Q murmured, “So low you must think of me.” He captured a curl, running it gently through his fingertips. “Fly away, esclave, if that is what you want. I won’t stop you.” His tone was bleak and derelict.

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Reading Order: Monsters in the Dark series

Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters Quintessentially Q by Pepper Winters Twisted Together by Pepper Winters Je suis á toi by Pepper Winters

#1 ~ Tears of Tess: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Quintessentially Q: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Twisted Together: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Je suis á toi: Goodreads (release date TBA)

about the author

Pepper WintersPepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero the better and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby (who speaks French—hot!) who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. She loves to hear from her readers so hit her up at pepperwinters@gmail.com

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Pepper is offering up (5) eBook copies of Tears of Tess (INTL) and (2) swag packs (INTL) up for grabs.
Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST 12/30/2013

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Blog Tour + Excerpt, Deleted Scene & Giveaway: Curve by Nicola Hudson

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Title: Curve
Published Date / Expected Publishing Date: 25th October 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance – with a British sensibility
Appropriate for readers over 15 due to sensitive themes (sexual violence), language and sexual content.

Curve by Nicola Hudson

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Cass is seventeen and never been kissed, let alone touched.  On one humiliating night, that changes when two boys become interested in her.  Flynn is the older brother of her best friend, yet Cass has never considered him as anything other than that.  Rob is the school sports star and becomes obsessed with Cass when he loses a bet because of her.

As the relationship between Cass and Flynn develops, Rob’s interest becomes increasingly malevolent. One terrible night changes Cass’s life and threatens to destroy her relationship with Flynn, as well as her future.

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Buy Links:
Amazon US • Amazon UK

excerpt

Things like this don’t happen to me.

As we swayed slightly awkwardly in time with the warblings of a ballad being sung by one of those manufactured boybands, I tried to enjoy the moment for what it was: me, Cass Jones, dancing with Rob Meadows at the Sixth Form Christmas party.

Rob Meadows, star of the school rugby team.

Rob Meadows, blonde god of gorgeousness.

Me.

The evening was coming to an end and, after the rowdy jump-dancing of earlier, the DJ was playing the compulsory slow numbers that signalled the end of the party for some but just the start of the evening for others.  And there I was, still dancing.

The Sixth Form Christmas party was a highlight of the school social calendar, especially as it usually provided significant fodder for the yearbook.  All of Year 13 had started to think about lives beyond school, our small town, even our friends, as part of the university application process.  Consequently, there was a sense of desperation to our attempts to create some happy memories to take with us.  There we were, on the cusp of legal adulthood, yet not really sure of our place in the world.

Neve and I had debated whether or not to even bother going to the party.  As habitual residents of the social periphery, we didn’t really belong to any of the usual cliques found in most high schools.  And we were OK with that, enjoying the sense of irony in watching those cliques shift and re-shape, occasionally even imploding.

I’m not trying to suggest that the evening was some sort of Ugly Duckling transformation story. I am definitely not Cinderella.

But it was clear that others, as well as me, were surprised to see me there, doing that.  I was dressed in some black lace concoction that Neve had assured me was ‘a little bit sexy, but definitely not slutty’, opaque tights and a pair of ballet flats.  It had been a nightmare trying to find something to wear that looked dressy enough, covered enough and didn’t look like it should be worn by my mum.  Neve had managed to cajole my hair into a side sweep of loose waves and hide the couple of spots that had appeared, as if on cue, that morning. I knew I didn’t look like most of the other girls, especially those with their fake tans, fake hair and fake nails, but I was OK with that.

Usually I was happy with the office-wear rules that made up the dress code for Sixth Form: black trousers, a plain tee shirt and a cardigan had become my own unofficial uniform.  So maybe people were surprised to see me in a dress.  Or maybe it was because Rob was dancing with me.

That was more likely the cause.

About half an hour earlier, Rob Meadows had come over to our table, drink in hand, sat down and started chatting like we were long-time friends.  He joked about some of the teachers, and recalled some of the funny moments from when we had lessons together in main school.  As the conversation continued, he had moved his chair closer to mine, as though he was struggling to hear what I was saying.  At one point, when he touched my arm to point out the drunken antics of one of the other rugby team players, I finally got the message.

Rob was flirting with me.

When he asked me to dance, I looked across at Neve, who was bravely trying not to look like a fifth wheel.  I knew she was as surprised as me at what was happening; this had not even been considered in the endless discussions we had had about the evening before tonight.  She shrugged her shoulders and I got up to follow Rob to the area where a few couples were in varying stages of becoming physically acquainted with each other.  My heart was pounding.  I had never danced with anyone other than Neve, and never like this!  I decided that I just had to follow his lead; clearly this wasn’t going to be his first time.

As we moved together in time with the music, I felt the tautness of Rob’s waist beneath my hands.  I had worried about what to do with my hands but he had gently taken them and placed them on his hips before gathering his own around my neck, pulling me close.  His thumb was softly rubbing my nape, the tiny movement sending shivers up and down my spine.  My breath became shallower with each tingle.

Was this what all the fuss was about?  If so, I finally got it.

One sway brought us closer together and I was sure that I could feel him pressing into my hip.  I’d never been that close to a boy before, well, not in that way, and I didn’t have the foggiest about what to do.  I was sure that most of the girls would be able to laugh it off with some innuendo-laden joke, some might even have moved in closer.  But I wasn’t one of those girls and the last thing I wanted was to mess up what could be the best night of my life by handling it wrong.  What if he ended up laughing at me? 

Within seconds though his one hand ran down my spine, leaving a line of warmth that went straight to my very core.  Of course I’d been turned on before but never like this; never from the real-life touch of a real-life boy.  The tingling feeling spread through me, taking my disbelief hostage along the way.  Rob’s hand lingered at the curve of my bum and pulled me closer to him.  There was no way I could pretend not to know what it was pressed against me.

“Can I cut in?” What?  I was convinced it must be a joke; Neve’s brother Flynn was trying to ruin my perfect moment? I gave him a withering look and held on tight to Rob.  “Can I have this dance?”  Flynn persisted, like he was a character out of a bloody Jane Austen novel.

“Uh, sure mate.  I’ll go get us another drink, Cass.”  Rob gave me a long look, full of meaning I couldn’t decipher, and walked to the end of the room where his friends were rowdily clustered around the bar.  Meanwhile I was stood like a statue in the middle of the dancing couples.  When Flynn tried to take hold of me, in a bizarre repeat of Rob’s earlier move, I squirmed away.

“What the hell are you doing?” I demanded, unsure whether I was angry, frustrated or both.  Flynn’s shoulder shrug added to my fury.  “Can’t you see that the last thing I want at this precise moment is what has just happened?”  Flynn smirked and put his arms on my shoulders.  “I mean it, Flynn!” I didn’t want to make even more of a spectacle of myself but I couldn’t remember feeling that angry before.

“Just hold me and pretend that you’re having the best time of your life,” he whispered into my ear, so close I felt him inhale.

Deleted Scene

Deleted because it didn’t contribute enough to the plot!

Oh, yes, life was great and here I was, about to officially become an adult.  I was feeling sorry for myself, convinced that this was what the rest of my life was going to be like.

However, there had been one funny moment.  Neve and I had managed to go to the family planning clinic held at the health centre.  Although I was only supposed to be going to support her, it made sense to get sorted at the same time, now that Flynn and I were back on.  When the nurse called Neve’s name, we both went to the consulting room.

“Can Cass come in as well?  We’re together,” Neve asked the nurse.

“Of course.  Now what are you here for?”  The nurse asked in her well-practiced, non-judgemental voice.

“Umm, we both want to go on the pill,” Neve explained.

“Oh, are you sure?” The nurse asked, with a slightly quizzical look.

“Yes, we know that we will soon be having sex so think it’s best to get sorted as soon as possible,” I said, trying to sound like this was the type of conversation I was used to having.

“Right.  OK.”  The nurse paused as though unsure about how to proceed. “You do know that you can’t get pregnant with another girl, don’t you?  I mean, you still need to practise safe sex and we can sort you out with dental dams etc. to help you.  But you don’t need the pill in a gay relationship.”

“Oh, you’ve got it wrong-”  I started to say.

“We’re not together in that way!” Neve interrupted.

“Oh, I am so sorry,” the nurse said but with a hint of a smile.  “We get all types in here and I just thought that was what you meant!”

“That’s OK,” I said, laughing.  “Just to clarify, we are both in a relationship, different ones, with boys.”  I winked at Neve.

“Right then, the pill would work for you then.  Have you thought about protection from STIs?”  The rest of the appointment went as expected.  Neve and I left with packets of pills and handfuls of condoms.  However, with the tension that seemed to keep rearing its head between me and Flynn, I wondered if I would ever need them.

about the author

I’ve always been an avid reader and occasional writer, but only ever for my own eyes!  Then, last year, I read my first New Adult novel – and I was hooked.  After consuming a vast e-pile of NA, the burning need to write my own was overwhelming.  And so I started…

Fitting in writing around a demanding job and a wonderfully supportive husband has been, umm, interesting at times but the whole process has been a fantastic experience.  I have been blown away by the friendliness and support shown by the readers, writers and bloggers who make up the NA and Indie communities; online with them is one of my favourite places to hang out!

I have already started the follow-up novel to Curve, Heart, which follows Neve as she starts at university.

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Open Internationally
1 x $25 Amazon giftcard and ebook of Curve
1 x $10 Amazon giftcard and ebook of Curve
1 x $5 Amazon giftcard and ebook of Curve
5 x ebook copies of Curve

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Book Blitz + Exclusive Deleted Scene & Giveaway: Playing With Her Heart by Lauren Blakely

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Playing With Her Heart by Lauren Blakely

Playing With Her Heart by Lauren Blakely
Series: Caught Up In Love #4
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From the NYT & USA Today Bestselling romance author, a sizzling and addictive story of a woman with a broken past and the man who can’t fight his attraction to her…

Twenty-three year old rising theater star Jill McCormick has built a life out of pretending. Pretending she’s happy, pretending she’s not haunted by the dark secret that shattered her world six years ago. But then she comes face to face with her new director – sexy, sophisticated, possessive, all-alpha Davis Milo. He tries to resist the actress he’s cast, but the attraction between them is too powerful, and soon their private rehearsals spiral into new, forbidden territory. The passionate connection, the intense chemistry is undeniable, and it hits them anywhere, and everywhere – in the theater, on the piano, in the limo, in the restaurant…But the tragedy in Jill’s past stands between them. Davis has walls too, so they can either face their fears together, or risk the deepest love and greatest passion either has ever felt…

Buy links:
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Deleted Scene from PLAYING WITH HER HEART

Explanation from Lauren: This deleted scene takes place in chapter 15 prior to the Jill and Davis’ second private rehearsal, which will be more familiar to readers as before the “piano scene.” I had originally written this scene where Jill rehearses with Patrick, and Davis’ reaction to it. But I then decided that I’d rather show Jill and Davis rehearsing. Plus, I felt readers already knew and understood the depths of Davis’ jealousy at this point and that the additional scene showing it wasn’t necessary. I also nixed it because I decided that Patrick was not falling in love with Jill, as Davis surmises from this scene. But, just for fun, here it is from the cutting room floor!!!

xoxo

Lauren

Thirty minutes later, I am coiled full of tension from watching Patrick run his hands through Jill’s hair, from the way she responds, leaning her head back into him, from how she breathily whispers one of the last lines in the scene, “it feels so good,” her microphone taking the words on a trip around the whole theater, up to the proscenium arch and two boxes and back.

“End scene,” Shannon calls out.

I run a hand across my chin roughly. Steel myself, then stand up, walk to the edge of the stage, place a palm against the floorboards as Jill and Patrick look at me expectantly.

“That’s a great start. Now, Patrick what I want you to work on next is really capturing the change in Paolo. This scene is the moment when he starts to soften around her. When he shifts from being the hard ass teacher and into the tender lover he will become. Look for those moments in between the words,” I say, giving him the full, honest truth of what his performance needs, even though if pains every bone in my body to instruct him like this.

He nods several times, taking it in. He’s a pro, and I know he’ll knock this scene out of the park as he always does. He doesn’t command his name on the marquee for nothing. The man can sell tickets for a reason.

Then I turn to Jill. She’s nibbling on her lower lip nervously. She stops when she meets my gaze. I do my best to give away nothing as I talk to her. “For Ava, I really see this moment as the one when it clicks for her. That she’s been confused and unsure for so long about Paolo. Is he just the professor? Is he merely a difficult teacher? Or is there something more? But then they are in the studio working and her hair is a mess and full of paint, and her hands are covered in it, and this is when she understands not only that he has feelings for her, but that she’s falling hard for him too.”

“Thank you. That makes sense,” she says, like a good student.

“Are we going okay on the blocking?” Patrick asks. “It’s a little unformed at this point.”

“You’re doing fine. We’ll get it finalized soon. For now, run it again,” I say, and I return to my seat, feeling absolutely spent from having to tell the two of them to show me more of them falling in love.

Another rounds later, they’re closer to nailing it, and I’m sure I’ll knock the punching bag from its chains the next time I’m at the gym. When Patrick asks to do the scene one final time, I’m about to explode with a resounding “No.” Instead, I keep it all inside, as I manage through gritted teeth, “Of course let’s get it right.”

I watch one final time, even though it’s fucking eating away at me to see him touch her. Before he even starts the scene, he looks at her with softness in his eyes, and and I know he’s starting to fall for her too. That he’s not merely acting. That he’s only playing a part. The two are starting to blend, and this is why actors all over the world fall for actors. This is why you hear stories of movie set romances, because they aren’t stories. They’re true. There is little, I imagine, more intoxicating than pretending to be in love with someone. After a while, reality and fiction bleed over, and you fall in love for real.

When the scene ends, the stage manager calls take five and Patrick tucks a strand of her hair behind her ear, flashing her that matinee idol smile of his that melts women. I swallow, close my eyes, clench my fists. Selfishly, I had hoped it would all be unrequited. I had hoped it was a one-way thing on her part. But that was stupid of me. I’m falling for her, and he is too.

about the author

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in PLAYING WITH HER HEART, she thinks life should be filled with love, passion, and dreams come true. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. Her novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He’s Mine, Playing With Her Heart, and Trophy Husband.

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Bookish Related Stuff {1}

Hi everyone! I’m a bit bored right now (actually I’m supposed to be studying, ahem, but oh well), so I decided, Why not make a new post? But about what, exactly? Yeah, I’m not really sure either. Well, I guess this post is going to be more of a compilation of random book-related things rather than a typical book review. SO. What should I start off first with…

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OH!! If you didn’t already know from a previous post about the incredible Colleen Hoover, Cathy, Shirley and I LOVE her. We absolutely ADORE WIll and Holder her books. And this morning, Cathy told me that Colleen had a new post up on her blog, and OH MY GOD it’s a deleted scene!!!! AAAAHHHHH!!! It’s acutally PRETTY SPOILERY, so if you haven’t read Slammed yet, you probably shouldn’t read it. But for those who have finished Slammed (WOOT YOU ROCK) then go check it out and read it HERE!!! It’s such a heart-wrenching scene, and Colleen does such an amazing job of portraying all the emotions, so I’m pretty sad this didn’t actually turn up in the book.

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Yesterday (5/28/13), so many new books were released! But the ones I’m SO FREAKING EXCITED to read are:
(Click the covers to go read the summaries!)
Dare You To by Katie McGarryThe Forever of Ella and MichaSpirit by Brigid Kemmerer

Guys, guys, you seriously have no idea how unbelievably excited I am to read Dare You To. Like, holy mackeral. I’ve been waiting for it since I finished the first book, Pushing the Limits, which is one of my all-time FAVORITE books ever. GOD, I’m just anxiously waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail so I can finally read it! Oh, and The Forever of Ella and Micha is an eagerly awaited sequel, even though I thought the first book, The Secret of Ella and Micha, was only okay and not very impressive. And Spirit is book #3 in the Elemental series, which is a fantastic series about a family of 4 boys with awesome powers, and just really fun to read. I’ve already read Book #1 and #2, so if cute boys and magic powers are your thing, check that series out!

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I’m in a huge dilemma. I don’t know what book I’m going to start reading. DUN DUN DUN. But seriously, I have SO many books to read that I don’t know where to start. And it’s killing me! I recently was recommended by a friend a book called Crash, and she LOVED it, so I might start that. Or Prodigy by Marie Lu. GAH I DON’T KNOW WHICH TO CHOOSE THERE’S TOO MANY GOOD ONES!!

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And speaking of Crash, the author, Nicole Williams, has a new series, and it sounds like something I would love to read. Lost and Found is the first book, and the second book, Near and Far, just had its cover revealed. Lookie! Both covers so pretty!

Lost and Found by Nicole WilliamsNear and Far by Nicole Williams

And oh my gosh, a dear friend of mine recently wrote a review for an incredible book called Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, and I just wanted to share it with you because both the review and the book are so heartfelt and amazing! Read her review here!

Susan Ee, author of one of my absolute favorites books ever, just announced that the sequel to Angelfall has a name and description!!!

World After (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 2)

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.  

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

And to wrap this up, here are some upcoming books I’m DYING to read…

Losing Hope by Colleen HooverShooting Stars by Karina HalleAllegiant by Veronica RothThe Retribution of Mara DyerUntold by Sarah Rees BrennanThe Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
❤ Holder ❤ Camden ❤ Four ❤ Noah ❤ Jared ❤ Hector ❤ (LOL sorry I just had to squeeze that in there before I ended things…)

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