Spotlight Tour // Excerpt & Giveaway: Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet
Series: Endeavor #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 1st 2019
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Tess Bailey: the galaxy’s Most Wanted.
Captain Tess Bailey is in deep trouble. She and her crew are on the run, pursued by a tyrant who’ll take them dead or alive. Tess’s best hope is a tall, dark, and much-too-appealing stranger, Shade Ganavan, who says he can help her. But his motivations are far from clear…

Shade Ganavan: arrogance, charm…and that special something that makes you want to kick him.
With the dreaded Dark Watch closing in, what Tess and Shade don’t know about each other might get them killed…unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other before it’s too late.

Buy Links:
Amazon EbookAmazon Paperback • Barnes & NobleiTunes • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from Nightchaser! ❤

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“What happened to your ship?” Ganavan asked, nodding vaguely toward where I thought the Squirrel Tree must have been from here. “The Dark Watch blow it full of holes?”

Nerves exploded inside me. It was a joke. He was joking. I forcibly calmed my racing heart. “Unexpected asteroid belt.”

“You fire your navigator for that?”

I shook my head. “It wasn’t her fault.”

He nodded, his hands moving to his hips. I noticed scars on his knuckles and wondered how many times he’d split his skin open punching someone in the face. I had a few of those myself. Prison brawls. They happened.

For his part, Shade Ganavan watched me like a hawk, and I wasn’t quite sure why. I could tell he was interested, but this seemed to go beyond normal awareness. I could have sworn he took in my every blink and breath.

Finally, he said, “I might not have the metal you need for a few days, sugar.”

“You might not have your tongue if you call me ‘sugar’ again.”

His expression flared with a heat I felt branch out into every part of me. The man definitely liked to be provoked, and for some reason, I liked provoking him. I think I even liked it when he provoked me.

His countenance changed suddenly, sharpening. “You know how to carry through on a threat?” he asked quietly.

I frowned. “You want me to slice out your tongue?”

“I want to know if your sharp edges can actually cut.”

“Why?” He’d lost me. Was this kinky talk, and I wasn’t getting it? I wasn’t a virgin or totally inexperienced. There had been Gabe. But then he’d run one way that day and I’d run the other, and we’d never seen each other again.

Shade’s voice came to me on a low whisper over the tinkling of the bell I’d just noticed, but there was nothing seductive about it. “Because the Dark Watch just followed you into my shop.”

*

Panic iced me over, and I froze. It couldn’t be. How did they know?

“Who?” I mouthed more than said aloud.

Shade’s eyes flicked over my shoulder. He gave a slight shrug, speaking so quietly I essentially had to read his lips as well. “I don’t know every goon they’ve got.”

“Uniform?” I breathed.

“Black,” he mouthed back.

I exhaled. A trooper, then. If it had been my uncle coming for me, he would have been wearing red.

I lifted the shiny metallic cartridge box I still had in my hand. “You’re sure all forty rounds are in here?” I asked in a normal voice again, angling the box to reflect what was behind me. I saw a soldier I didn’t recognize. Probably just some Sector 2 guy in here looking for a knickknack or spare part.

I tried to act casual, even though adrenaline was making me jittery underneath. My relief was cerebral. My body hadn’t caught up yet.

“How much for this?” I asked.

“Fifteen,” Shade said, taking the box of bullets from me. “I’ll ring it up.”

I followed him to the register and then paid, only once darting a glance at the soldier who was perusing the shelves a good twenty feet from me. When Shade handed me back the cartridge box and my change, our fingers brushed, but I was too nervous to appreciate the brief contact.

Chuckling, he said, “I thought you were going to walk off without paying for that.”

What in the galaxy made him think that?

“I’m not a petty thief,” I said, coolness creeping into my voice. When I stole something, it wasn’t measly cartridges for guns we hardly used. It was cure-all vaccines and food for the starving and prisoners of war.

“I was teasing.” Shade cocked his head to one side, looking almost sorry.

I blinked. Oh. All right, then. Clearly, I needed a manual on flirting. I felt myself turn crimson again.

“You remember where to find me when you have those parts?” I asked.

He nodded. “See you soon…”

His sentence seemed unfinished. He might have been about to add Tess or another antagonizing sugar, but he chose not to say anything else when the soldier came up beside me and plunked a shaving kit down on the counter.

Ducking my head, I turned and left Ganavan’s Products and Parts, not looking up or slowing down again until I’d reached the base of the Squirrel Tree.

The Dark Watch was on Albion 5, just like they were everywhere. And where there was one, there were many.

Reading Order: Endeavor series

#1 ~ Nightchaser: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Starbreaker: Ebook • Goodreads (April 28, 2020)

about the author button

Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

Her first novel, A Promise of Fire, won several Romance Writers of America chapter contests, including the Orange Rose Contest and the paranormal category of the prestigious Golden Pen.

A French master’s graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads

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5 copies of Nightchaser

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Spotlight Tour // Excerpt & Giveaway: The One You Fight For by Roni Loren

Roni Loren’s latest release, The One You Fight For, is here! This is book four in her The Ones Who Got Away series. Make sure to check out the excerpt and tour giveaway below!

The One You Fight For by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 1st 2019
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How hard would you fight for the one you love?

Taryn Landry was there that awful night fourteen years ago when Long Acre changed from the name of a town to the title of a national tragedy. Everyone knows she lost her younger sister. No one knows it was her fault. Since then, psychology professor Taryn has dedicated her life’s work to preventing something like that from ever happening again. Falling in love was never part of the plan…

Shaw Miller has spent more than a decade dealing with the fallout of his brother’s horrific actions. After losing everything—his chance at Olympic gold, his family, almost his sanity—he’s changed his name, his look, and he’s finally starting a new life. As long as he keeps a low profile and his identity secret, everything will be okay, right?

When the world and everyone you know defines you by one catastrophic tragedy…
How do you find your happy ending?

Buy Links:
Amazon Ebook • Amazon Paperback
Barnes & NobleiTunes • IndieBound • BAMGoogle Play

Now here’s an excerpt from The One You Fight For! ❤

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Lucas was waiting for her when she stepped inside the main part of the gym. The skylights flashed with the lightning outside, and the rain battered the roof, making it sound like they were inside a huge barrel. Lucas had changed into different clothes—a snug, black T-shirt and a pair of gray track pants. She worked hard not to stare.

Definitely failed.

Lucas smiled, clipboard in hand. “All ready to go?”

She shrugged. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”

He didn’t seem deterred by her lack of enthusiasm as he looked down at the clipboard. “All right. Let’s walk or jog a few laps around the track to get warmed up and then we’ll try The Wall.”

He said the last two words as if they were capitalized and should be followed by of Doom.

“Wait, hold up.” Taryn lifted a finger and pointed to the giant curved wall off to the left behind Lucas. “Surely you don’t mean that wall over there.”

He glanced over his shoulder. “The very one.”

“You’ve got jokes, Lucas.”

He gave her an amused glance. “No jokes. You’re trying that wall tonight.”

Yeah, and ice-skating in hell would follow that event. “You’re nuts.”

“Maybe.” He grinned and set aside his clipboard. “I said you’re safe with me. I never said I’d be easy on you.” He clapped his hands. “Now get moving, songbird.”

“Songbird?”

“Yep.” He started running in place. “A talented singer. But also a lady who’s doing a lot of crowing right now.”

She lifted a brow, affronted. “Did you just call me a crow? Don’t make me throw my shoe at you again.”

He jogged away. “You’ll have to catch me first.”

Well, that did it. She hadn’t been a runner in a long time, but that old competitive spirit from track fired up at the challenge. She jogged after him toward the narrow indoor track and poked him in the arm when she caught up. “I’m out of practice, but not slow.”

“Getting cocky already, songbird,” he said, keeping pace with her.

She picked up her speed a little to pass him and put her arms out to flap them like wings. “Caw-caw.”

His deep laugh was a balm to the nerves she’d felt coming in here tonight. This wasn’t so bad. Lucas was easy to be around, and it actually felt good to be moving. She jogged ahead but didn’t push it too hard, still wary of what had happened at the race, and soon Lucas caught up and kept a steady pace with her.

“I want you to stay at the level of effort where you can talk but it’s a bit of a challenge to hold a conversation,” he said, his feet pounding the track next to her. “And never be afraid to ask for a break. I’ll push you because that’s what you’re coming here for, but I need to be able to trust you to tell me when it’s too much.”

“I’ll tell you,” she promised. “I’m not known for keeping my mouth shut.”

“Good. Now let’s sweat.”

Half an hour later, Taryn was warm from the inside out and dripping with sweat. Lucas looked like he was barely glistening. She hated him a little in that moment.

He handed her a bottle of water and a towel and then took a towel for himself. He wrapped it around his neck and nodded at her. “That was good work. Feeling okay?”

“I’m feeling out of shape.” She took a long sip of the water. “But okay.”

“Out of practice. That’s all,” he said, his tone reassuring. “But that’s why you’re here. Today will be the worst day. The only place to go from this point is up.”

“Right.”

“And by up, I mean up that wall.” He cocked his head toward the ridiculous obstacle.

She dried her face with the towel and groaned. “Still with the wall?”

“I keep promises,” he said, a wicked gleam in his eye. “You and I have a date with that wall.”

“I thought you didn’t date,” she teased.

“I make an exception for Wally. We’re in a steady relationship. And we’re about to invite you in.”

“That sounds dirty.” She tossed the towel aside and set her water bottle on the floor next to it. “And is it a requirement for all trainers to be sadists? Do they screen for that? Because I feel like you’re enjoying this a little too much.”

A dimple appeared in his left cheek. “Yes, it’s the third class in trainer school…How to Make Your Clients Hate You Before They Love You.”

“Uh-huh. Gotta be honest. Not loving you so much right now.”

“You’re not supposed to.” He turned. “Let’s get started.”

She frowned, his tone sounding different from the playful one he’d been using, but she followed him to the obstacle course area anyway.

Taryn put her hands on her hips and stared at the giant curved wall in front of her. The thing had to be twelve feet tall, and the rope she was supposed to capture near the top seemed to be miles away. It might as well have been hanging off the side of a ten-story building. “Shouldn’t I have, like, a skateboard or something to get up this thing? A rocket booster?”

Lucas picked up his clipboard from where he’d set it down before their run and then dug around in a gym bag near his feet. He handed her a set of kneepads. “Nope. But don’t freak out. Day one, I just need to see where you are so I can track your progress. It’s a benchmark. I expect you to suck at this one.”

“Well gee, thanks, Coach,” she said as she strapped on the knee pads. “Good speech. Very motivating. You should do a TED talk.”

He smirked, blue eyes crinkling. “Would you rather I lie to you?”

She groaned and bounced on her toes, trying to rev herself up like she used to do before a race. “No, but a little positivity wouldn’t hurt.”

“Okay.” He swung his arm out. “The mat at the bottom is soft, and you’re wearing knee pads so it probably won’t hurt that much when you fall.”

She gave him a droll look. “Are you supposed to want to hit your trainer?”

He set the clipboard aside and crossed his arms over that broad chest, looking like a Greek god with a mean streak. “You should take off the sweatshirt. The bulk is going to make it even harder to build momentum.”

“Right.” She wet her lips and, after a moment of panicked hesitation, nervously tugged off the shirt. When she dropped it to the side, leaving her in what amounted to a skintight tank top and leggings, she felt more than a little exposed and the cold air was probably making things even more visible, but she tried to keep her expression neutral. This was a gym. These were gym clothes. Lucas’s gaze darted down her body and then quickly shifted to a spot over her shoulder.

He cleared his throat. “I’m ready when you are.”

Reading Order: The Ones Who Got Away series

 

#1 ~ The Ones Who Got Away: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The One You Can’t Forget: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The One You Fight For: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ The One For You: Ebook • Goodreads (Dec. 31, 2019)

about the author button

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She holds a master’s degree in social work and spent years as a mental health counselor, but now she writes full time from her cozy office in Dallas, Texas where she puts her characters on the therapy couch instead. She is a two-time RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

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5 Copies of The One You Fight For

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Spotlight Tour + Excerpt & Giveaway: Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
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The riveting conclusion to The Kingmaker Chronicles! 

GODS. I’M AN IDIOT.

Without Griffin—and apparently a few meddling Gods—to push me along, I’d still be telling fortunes at the circus, lying about my past, ignoring my future, and living as far away from my tyrant mother as humanly possible.

True understanding thuds into place. Hope isn’t just an abstract concept; it’s me. Flesh and blood me. Griffin knew it all along. Probably everyone did. I’m an idea in human form.

I have the power of the Gods at my fingertips.

The only thing ever stopping me has been me.

Buy Links:
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Now here’s an excerpt from Heart on Fire! ❤

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Griffin’s hand tightens on my arm.

I roll my eyes. “I’m not going to fall in, you know. The cliff is all the way over there.”

He loosens his hold. Sort of.

I glance up at him, trying to tame my sudden smile. Domineering and overprotective doesn’t even begin to describe my husband. There’s also deliciously jealous, but that’s another subject all together. The black stubble framing his mouth makes his full lips look impossibly kissable. It’s been hours since they were last on mine. And I love to kiss the hawkish curve of his nose. So strong and masculine. I adore that nose. And the rest of him. His powerful body. Muscle. Sinew. Bone.

I gaze up at him, nearly sighing. “I love you.”

Griffin stops dead in his tracks and glares down at me. “That’s it. We’re leaving.”

I blink. “What? Why?”

“You think something terrible is going to happen.”

“No, I don’t.” I frown. “I don’t think so.”

His eyes narrow, wariness hardening his expression. “You do.”

“What are you talking about?”

He scowls at me.

“Well, something terrible could happen,” I concede. “But that’s always true, no matter where or when. Tomorrow, I could trip over my own feet and break my neck for all I know.”

Judging by the look on Griffin’s face, I don’t think that helped.

“You only say you love me or you’re sorry when you’re scared or almost dead. You’re not almost dead, so what’s scaring you?” he demands.

“I say I love you all the time!”

“When we’re in bed. When I’m so deep inside you that you can’t feel anything but me. Not when we’re about to knock on a stranger’s door. What’s scaring you?” he demands again.

I huff. “At the moment? The way your jaw is popping like it’s alive.”

Griffin crosses his arms. “I want honesty. Right now.”

Right now, Your Imperialness?”

His nostrils flare. His hard look is spectacular.

I’m not intimidated. It makes me hot. Then again, so does just about everything at the moment, but not in the same way.

“If you must know, the magic around here is a little intense and…disturbing, but it’s not scaring me. Not really. It’s probably just something coming from whatever is down there in that God Pit,” I say, waving toward the cliff. “I’m a shade nervous. That’s all.”

His eyes stay flinty and unconvinced. “That’s all? That’s not generally cause for a heartfelt declaration, at least not from you.”

I toss my hands in the air. “Fine. I take it back. I looked at you, found you incredibly desirable, and my body got all hot and tingly. I blame pregnancy for an excess of sentimentality and…and…urges!”

Griffin stares at me. Then his mouth splits into a grin that makes me all kinds of angry. He reaches for me again, his grasp lighter this time.

“Incredibly desirable?” Looking smug, he threads his fingers through mine.

Scowling, I poke him in the chest with my free hand. “Well, you do have that whole overbearing warlord thing going on. Plus, plenty of muscles in all the right places, some good ideas, and, you know, a really big sword.”

A laugh cracks out of Griffin, and my heart swoops like an off-balance bird. He’s rarely free with humor these days, or maybe there’s just not enough of it in our lives anymore. The happy flutter that wings through my chest takes any lingering irritation away with it.

Gah! Talk about mood changes!

Griffin captures my other hand and then pulls me in to him until I’m standing between his legs. “I love you, too, Cat.”

He kisses me, his mouth pressing softly against mine. Warmth rolls straight from his lips to my toes, which curl in my boots.

“Tell me again,” he coaxes.

I shake my head, our noses brushing.

“Say it,” he demands against my mouth.

“I don’t think so.”

“Last chance,” he warns, gently nipping at my lower lip.

“Big sword.”

Chuckling, Griffin swats my bottom. “There’s more where that came from.”

I look up at him through my lashes. “I sure hope so.”

He grins. “I think you just managed coy.”

“Good Gods! Has the Underworld frozen over?”

“Next, Centaurs will fly.” He brushes his lips over mine again, not lingering, and when he lifts his head, his black hair ruffling on the faintly sulfurous wind, the teasing gleam is already absent from his eyes. “You’re sure there’s nothing else?”

“Nothing besides our baby wreaking havoc on my moods?” I shake my head. “But I wanted you before. I want you always.”

He lifts his hand and brushes his thumb across my lips. Then his fingers fall away, trailing lightly down my arm until I shiver.

“You’re the air I breathe,” he says without a trace of humor in his voice.

My whole chest clenches hard, squeezing a tight, almost painful beat from my heart. “I admire you,” I reply. “I need you. I love you with all my heart.”

Griffin offers me a different kind of smile this time, small, lopsided, gentle, and so entirely genuine. It fades almost immediately, though, and he straightens to his full, imposing height, abruptly pinning me with his warlord stare. “If you feel anything off here, we leave, with or without the potion we came for. You’ve got great instincts, Cat. Trust your gut.”

I nod. I will. I always do.

Reading Order: Kingmaker Chronicles series

  

#1 ~ A Promise of Fire: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Breath of Fire: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Heart on Fire: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

about the author button

USA Today bestselling author AMANDA BOUCHET grew up in New England and studied French at the undergraduate and graduate levels, first at Bowdoin College and then at Bowling Green State University. She moved to Paris, France, in 2001 and has been there ever since. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children, who will soon be correcting her French. Connect with her at www.amandabouchet.com.

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Enter to win a bundle containing A Promise of Fire and Breath of Fire, the first two books in Amanda Bouchet’s Kingmaker Chronicles!

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Spotlight Tour + Excerpt & Giveaway: Too Hard to Handle by Julie Ann Walker

Happy Release Day to Julie Ann Walker – Too Hard to Handle is live! Read on for a special message from the author as well as an excerpt and giveaway!

Message from the Author

Hi everyone!  Julie Ann Walker here, delighted to be talking today about my mad love for men on motorcycles whose hearts happen to be as big as their… ehem… hogs.  (That’s slang for their bikes!  Get your heads out of the gutter, you naughty readers! *wink, wink*)

But seriously, from the King of Cool, Steve McQueen, to Marlon Brando in The Wild One, to Charlie Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy, there has always been something about a guy riding around with rolled steel and a V-Twin engine between his legs.  It sets our hearts aflutter.  And in my Black Knights Inc. series, I try to take those badass bikers to a whole new level by also making them covert government operators.  The series is all spies on bikes, leather and chrome, romance and redemption, action and adventure.  So, what’s not to love?  Nothing!  I guarantee it.

Read on for an excerpt of TOO HARD TO HANDLE.  You’ll see the men of Black Knights Inc. have heart, humor, and everything a woman could want in a man…

excerpt button

“Luke Winterfield,” Dan growled. “Under the authority granted to me by the government of the United States of America, I hereby inform you that you’re totally screwed. You made a choice to sell out your country and now you’re gonna face the consequences. Reap the whirlwind, asshole.”

“Nice,” Zoelner said. “Have you been holding on to that one for a while?”

“Came up with it in Bogotá,” Dan admitted, a definite grin in his tone.

“I like it.”

“Thought you might.”

“Really though,” Zoelner went on, “I was expecting some quote from Ted Nugent or Eminem.”

“I can come up with my own material, you know,” Dan insisted. “It’s just I like to give credit to my hometown whenever I can. To make up for the place getting such a bad rap.”

“Maybe it’s because so much bad rap has come out of there,” Zoelner mused. “Insane Clown Posse comes to mind.”

“Hey,” Dan whispered urgently, “don’t say that too loud. You’ll have groups of juggalos beating down your door.”

Zoelner snorted.

“And just so you know,” Dan went on, “what I’ve learned out of this lifetime is you should be proud of where you come from.”

“I’m waiting…”

“Kid Rock said that. Via his Twitter account.”

“And there it is.”

Too Hard to Handle by Julie Ann Walker

Too Hard to Handle by Julie Ann Walker
Series: Black Knights Inc. #8 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 1st 2015
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“The Man” is back


Dan “The Man” Currington is back in fighting form with a mission that takes him four thousand miles south of BKI headquarters, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. He’s hot on the trail of a rogue CIA agent selling classified government secrets to the highest bidder, when Penni DePaul arrives on the scene. Suddenly the stakes are higher, and keeping Penni safe becomes Dan’s number one priority.

And this time she’s ready


A lot has changed since former Secret Service Agent Penni DePaul last saw Dan. Now a civilian, she’s excited about what the future might hold. But before she can grab onto that future with both hands, she has to tie up some loose ends-namely, Dan Currington, the man she just can’t forget. And a secret that’s going to change both their lives-if they can stay alive, that is.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iTunes • IndieBound

Reading Order: Black Knights Inc. series

   
Born Wild by Julie Ann Walker  Full Throttle by Julie Ann Walker Too Hard to Handle by Julie Ann Walker

#1 ~ Hell on Wheels: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ In Rides Trouble: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Rev It Up: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Thrill Ride EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#5 ~ Born Wild: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#6 ~ Hell for Leather: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#7 ~ Full Throttle: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#8 ~ Too Hard to Handle: EbookPaperback • Goodreads

about the author button

Julie Ann WalkerJulie Ann Walker is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She’ll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission. For more information, please visit www.julieannwalker.com or follow her on Facebook www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor and/or Twitter @JAWalkerAuthor.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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Signed set of Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights, Inc. romantic supsense series

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Spotlight Tour + Author Guest Post, Bonus Scene & Giveaway: Hell or High Water by Julie Ann Walker

I’m pleased to be featuring Julie Ann Walker and her upcoming release Hell or High Water on the blog today! Hell or High Water releases on July 7th – check out below for a special message from the author, as well as a bonus scene and a giveaway!

Message From The Author

Hi everyone! My name is Julie Ann Walker and I’m tickled pink to be here today talking about my BRAND SPANKING NEW romantic suspense series, Deep Six! It revolves around six newly retired Navy SEALs who just can’t seem to shake their past and the Navy SEAL motto that “the only easy day was yesterday.” Set in the Florida Keys, the series is filled with sun, sand, danger, intrigue, adventure, and plenty of half-dressed alpha hotties. LOL! Sound like a good time? I guarantee it is! And I guarantee you’re going to fall in love with these six men.

Take Leo “The Lion” Anderson. With his sun-streaked, sandy blond hair and perpetual tan — not to mention those hazel eyes and beard stubble — he’s sure to win your heart. And that’s before you get to his no-bullshit, take-command-of-any-situation attitude and the fact that he’s trying to fulfill his father’s dying wish.

Then there’s Brando “Bran” Pallidino. A native New Jerseyan, Bran grew up on the mean streets of Newark. He’s rough. He’s tough. And his Italian-American heritage means he comes complete with soulful brown eyes, a face that belongs on billboards, and a love for good food and good wine. (That last part means his beer-loving teammates give him a lot of grief. *wink*)

You won’t be able to resist Mason “Monet” McCarthy. As a boy from Beantown, Mason learned to use the F-bomb in really colorful ways. He’s big. He’s burly. He’s not the kind of guy you’d like to meet in a dark alley. Yet his thick black hair and crystal blue eyes soften what would otherwise be an entirely intimidating appearance.

Who doesn’t love a country boy? Dalton “Doc” Simmons was born and raised in Montana. He’s a lean, mean, fighting machine, with a face that’s all angles as if it’s been carved down to its barest essentials by a hot, stinging prairie wind. Doc has a tragic past. And he’s fighting to come to terms with it.

Next up is Ray “Wolf” Roanhorse. Wolf’s Cherokee heritage makes him strikingly handsome, with a blade of a nose, high cheekbones, flashing black eyes, and a lush, beautifully-shaped mouth. Born into poverty on a reservation in Oklahoma, Wolf has more than himself to worry about. He has his whole family depending on him. But if anyone can shoulder that burden, it’s Wolf.

And last but certainly not least, we have Spiro “Romeo” Delgado. Romeo likes to play up that whole Latin-lover thing. And with his swarthy skin, precisely trimmed goatee, and honed physique, he does a pretty good job of it. But that’s just what’s on the surface. Underneath it all, Romeo is desperately trying to make up for the mistakes of his past.

See? What did I tell you? You love them already, don’t you? Read on for a bonus scene from HELL OR HIGH WATER where you get to meet all of the Deep Six heroes!

Hell or High Water by Julie Ann Walker

Hell or High Water by Julie Ann Walker
Series: Deep Six #1
Publication Date: July 7th 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense
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A brand new romantic suspense series from the author of the New York Times bestselling Black Knights, Inc. series, THE DEEP SIX features six former SEALS on super-secret black ops, and feisty heroines who know how to handle both lethal weapons and alpha men.

Only two things could make former Navy SEAL Leo Anderson return to the world of weapons and warfare. First, a capsule of chemical weapons lost on the ocean floor, and second, a plea for assistance from the one woman he can’t seem to forget-CIA Agent Olivia Mortier.

Now, working together to race against the clock and a deadly terrorist faction, Leo and Olivia must find the missing capsule, all the while battling the intense desire burning between them. If they can survive, can their growing attraction become more than just a momentary flare?

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Now here’s a bonus scene from Hell or High Water! ❤

Bonus Scene

Family isn’t only determined by blood, but by those who stand by you, fightin’ for you. By those you stand beside and fight for…

That was the thought that drifted through Leo “The Lion” Anderson’s head when he looked around the warped wooden table at his men. Correction—the minute those five wild-ass SEALs snapped their final salute to the Navy and followed him to the Florida Keys to join him on his quest for high seas adventure and the hunt for untold riches, they stopped being his men. But they would never stop being his family. If they all lived for a hundred years, the bonds of the blood, sweat, and tears they’d shed together would never come unbound. They were too strong, forged in the fiery crucible of too many wars and missions to count.

“Yo, man!” Brando “Bran” Pallidino leaned close to be heard above the twanging voice and guitar licks of the singer on the stage. The six of them had spent the day in Key West, gathering supplies and finishing up some repairs on Wayfarer I—the leaking, rusty salvage boat Leo had inherited from his father. And now they were enjoying beers and dinner at Schooner Wharf bar, the open-air establishment that saw more than its fair share of revelers, crusty sea captains, and miscreants who’d come to the end of the road in a bid to fall off the map completely. “That brunette in the yellow bikini top and flowery skirt over by the taps keeps giving you come-and-get-me-big-boy looks.”

Leo glanced at the woman and sure enough. Slam! Her gaze collided with his and there was a definite suggestion glowing in her big, dark eyes. “I think she wants you to poke her hontas,” Bran concluded.

Leo scowled at his best friend as a subtle breeze drifted in from the water, mixing the smells of fish and marine fuel with the sweeter aromas of boat drinks and barley hops that continuously flowed from behind the bar. “How long have you been keeping that little gem in your pocket?” he asked Bran.

“Came up with it just this minute.” Bran grinned, wiggling his eyebrows. “My mind,” he continued, “is as nimble and as fertile as a…”

Leo held up a hand. “Don’t finish that analogy. I can already guess what your mind is as nimble and as fertile as.”

“Personally,” Doc said from Leo’s opposite side, twirling the ever-present toothpick in his mouth in a wide circle, “I would have gone with, ‘I think she wants you to engage her in a little gland-to-gland combat.’” Dalton “Doc” Simmons had one of those tough Midwestern faces. But right now it was split in a gleeful grin that made him look almost boyish. It was damn good to see Doc smiling. For too many years he hadn’t.

“She wants you to rock her casbah!” Spiro “Romeo” Delgado piped up from across the table, never one to miss an opportunity to toss in his two bits.

“Churn her butter,” Ray “Wolf” Roanhorse added after plunking his Budweiser bottle down on the table. He turned and slow-winked at the bird in the yellow bikini. Leo watched the brunette’s eyes widen, her head cocking like a cat considering a canary. With his Cherokee heritage, Wolf was the embodiment of the original American warrior. His visage equally fierce and—according to the lady at the hardware store this morning—beautiful. She’d breathed the word while staring all googly-eyed at Wolf.

“And you?” Leo turned to the last remaining man at the table. “What ridiculous euphemism have you come up with tonight?”

Mason “Monet” McCarthy was as big as a mountain, and just as silent. Usually. But even he couldn’t resist joining in. “She wants you to rumble in her jungle,” he said. His south Boston accent making it sound more like rahmble inna jahngle.

And that’s the thing about family, Leo thought with a shake of his head as he slid on his aviator sunglasses despite the fact that the sun had slipped beneath the western horizon. One minute they’re standin’ with you against the world. The next minute they’re bustin’ your balls.

And he wouldn’t have it any other way. Especially since the good-natured ribbing, immature as it might be, was proof positive they were all slowly crawling out from under the thick blanket of mourning that had descended over them, heavy as a death shroud when—

“Yo, man,” Bran interrupted his thoughts. “You better stake your claim. If you don’t, Wolf’s gonna stake his.”

“He’s welcome to it,” Leo said, leaning back in his chair and picking at the label on his Budweiser with the edge of his thumbnail. “’Cause I’m takin’ a pass on this one.”

Bran groaned and took a long slug of his beer.

“What?” Leo demanded, frowning. “What’s that uuuugh for?”

“Just that I coulda guessed as much.” Bran shrugged a shoulder, his holey tank-top accentuating the strength and sinew of his bare arms. According to Bran, if the sun’s out, the guns are out. Bran’s unending supply of tank tops had become a running joke between all of them. Leo’s balls weren’t the only ones that received a regular busting. Every man’s in the group were fair game.

“And why would you have guessed as much?” he raised a brow.

Bran leveled him with a look that called into question the validity of his IQ tests. “You’re kidding me, right?”

“No,” Leo shook his head, feeling his temper flicker to life. What the hell was Bran getting at? Luckily—or unluckily?—he didn’t have to wait long to find out.

“It’s just that this seems to be your new modus operandus,” Bran said.

“What does?”

“Eschewing the soft ministration and willing company of bar bunnies,” Doc interjected.

Leo scowled over at him, then swung his gaze around to each man at the table. They all wore the same expression of agreement.

Okay, and this is one of those times I wish these assholes weren’t my family. Because he could certainly do without them being all up in his goddamn business.

“First off,” he said in his own defense, “after all that runnin’ around today, I’m too tired to sweat, much less do anything else. Secondly, when you start talkin’ bar bunnies, I only have one thought.”

“What’s that?” Wolf asked, only giving him half his attention. The other half was securely focused on Miss Yellow Bikini Top who, having quickly picked up the disinterest Leo was laying down, was now giving Wolf all her come-and-get-me-big-boy looks.

“Hippety hoppety herpes is on its way,” Leo said, his lips twitching when Wolf blanched and swung around to attempt to fry his eyebrows off with a look.

“You really know how to spoil it for those of us not currently hung up on…” Wolf trailed to a stop.

The hair on Leo’s head tried to crawl off his scalp. Wolf didn’t need to finish. Leo knew where he was heading. “I’m not hung up on anyone,” he insisted, disgusted to realize he was trying to convince himself more than the guys. An image of Special Agent Olivia Mortier flashed before his eyes. Black hair. Blue eyes. A slightly crooked front tooth that never failed to make his dick twitch. There was just something about that tooth. That tiny imperfection amidst so much beauty only seemed to enhance her appeal. Maybe because it made her real. A real, live, hot-blooded woman with a mind like a steel trap, a wit that was as sharp as a tack and—

Fuck. Maybe he was hung up on her. The wall he’d built up in his mind, the one that was supposed to keep memories of her at bay, was proving frustratingly weak.

“If that’s what you have to tell yourself, cabron,” Romeo said.

Leo sat there, a muscle twitching in his jaw. He refused to respond for nearly thirty seconds. He knew it was thirty seconds because he calculated that for every two seconds that passed he came up with a new way to assassinate the men at the table. He’d totaled out at fifteen.

“You should see your face,” Doc said, the salty sea breeze causing the ends of his shaggy hair to riot. “You look like someone shoved a cactus up your ass.”

“And yo, man,” Bran slung an arm around his shoulders, “there’s no reason to get all hot under the collar.”

“The only reason my collar is hot is ’cause your sweaty arm is around it,” Leo grumbled, shrugging off Bran’s brotherly embrace and taking a hasty swig of beer. Thoughts of Olivia always made him feel punchy. Talking about her, even obliquely, made him feel…something. It was like if horny and confused got together with uncomfortable and had a threesome his current emotional state would be the unholy offspring of the encounter.

“I was born on a farm where we used lots of fertilizer,” Doc said, seemingly apropos of nothing.

Leo turned to him. “And that’s relevant to this because…?” He made a rolling motion with his hand.

“Because it means I know bullshit when I smell it.”

Bran grabbed his belly, crowing like the idiot he was. “You shoulda known better than to ask, bro.”

Leo was considering the most painful way to wipe the grin from Bran’s face when Mason said, “You fuckers need to back the fuck off and leave him the fuck alone.” The man rarely spoke, but when he did his sentences were littered with F-bombs. Mason once told them that was the Southie way. The word fuck could be used as every part of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs…

“Of course you’re the one to jump to his defense when it comes to rebuffing the babes,” Bran scoffed.

“Now what the fuck’s that supposed to mean?” Mason demanded, the vein running up the center of his forehead beginning to pulse.

“How long has it been since—”

Leo figured he better cut Bran off before he went any further. Number one, because Leo could see the bull’s eye was about to slide off his chest and attach itself to Mason’s. And since Mason had come to his rescue…well, then turn about was fair play. And number two, because Leo knew just how much talk of Mason’s past—and the effect Mason’s past was still having on his present—bothered him. “Gentleman,” he said, “I think it’s best of we table this topic of conversation.”

To his great delight, right at that moment their waitress appeared with a tray laden with chicken wings and conch fritters, two of Key West’s official delicacies. “And speakin’ of tables, wait ’til you see what’s about to be laid on ours.”

With a flourish the waitress unloaded the tray. She’d barely stepped back before the feeding frenzy began. As the flavor of buffalo sauce mixed with hops and barley on Leo’s tongue, he once again looked around at the five men who’d been with him through thick and thin. The five men who’d bugged out of the Navy with him after they all made that soul-shaking promise to a dying brother to start living life.

Ones that weren’t filled with death and destruction. These meatheads might be a constant pain in Leo’s ass, but they also happened to be a constant comfort and an unending source of entertainment.

Like family, his mind circled back to its original topic. And it gave him a sense of peace. A sense of contentment. A sense of…urgency. Because they were all depending on him to come through with the big score. He felt the weight of that responsibility as surely as an anchor chain around his shoulders. They’d all made that promise, and now it was up to him to help them make good on it.

Letting his gaze skim out over the marina, he watched as the boats bobbed gently with the tide. Their metal fittings caught the rays of the full moon and glinted as sweetly as the treasure Leo and the guys were ready to start hunting. The Santa Cristina, that legendary ghost galleon, the holy grail of sunken Spanish shipwrecks…she was out there. Somewhere.

And come hell or high water, we’re goin’ to find her…

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Julie Ann WalkerJulie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of award-winning romantic suspense. She has won the Book Buyers Best Award, been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award. Her latest release was named a Top Ten Romance of 2014 by Booklist. Her books have been described as “alpha, edgy, and downright hot.” Most days you can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

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