Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of A Cowboy Sate of Mind by Jennie Marts

Author: Jennie Marts
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: 6/30/2020

The town of Creedence, Colorado, gets involved in horse rescue in bestseller Jennie Marts’ brilliant new series

Zane Taylor has a gift for communicating with animals, particularly horses, but he’s at a loss when it comes to women. He’s a scarred and battered loner who has sworn off love—except he can’t seem to stay away from Bryn Callahan.

Bryn Callahan has a heart for strays, as evidenced by the assembly of abandoned animals that have found their way to her doorstep. But she is through trying to save damaged men. She vows to date only nice guys, which is a category that does not include Zane Taylor. Too bad he’s the one who sets her pulse racing every time she’s around him.

A chance encounter with a horse headed for slaughter brings Zane and Bryn together. Although starting a horse rescue ranch wasn’t in the plan, now Zane and Bryn have a chance to save not just the animals, but maybe each other…

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My thoughts:

A Cowboy State of Mind is the first book in the Credence Horse Rescue series.  The story involves Zane and Bryn as they finally give in to their attraction and find love and home in each other.  This was a pretty angsty romance, but overall, I enjoyed it.  I really felt bad for Zane. He had lived his entire life thinking he wasn't worthy of love and that everyone he ever loved left him. His father was the worst! I wanted to shake him until he realized that Bryn was his soft place to fall.  Brynn drove me crazy as well until she finally started standing up for herself, especially to her brother.  I loved their HEA!  I enjoyed the secondary characters as well.  I can't wait to see whose story is next.  I hope a certain vet gets his love story soon!

Enjoy this excerpt:

The still-nameless dog jumped into the cab as Zane Taylor opened the door of his pickup, and he absently patted its head and rubbed behind its ears. The dog leaned into him and got that blissed-out look on its face, and Zane’s tension eased a little as it always did when he interacted with an animal. The late spring sun warmed Zane’s back, and as soon as he turned his attention away from the dog, he felt the weight of the decision he bore on his shoulders. His former boss, Maggie, had been nagging him to come back to his old job on her Montana ranch. She’d taken in a herd of wild stallions, and she needed him. He’d gotten by so far with vague replies, but it was time to give her an answer. Time to get back on the road and out of Creedence. Except the reason he was so fired up to leave was also the reason he wasn’t ready to walk away.
He shrugged the soreness from his shoulders. He’d had a good morning with Rebel, the headstrong black stallion he’d been working with for weeks now. Maybe the horse could feel the warmth in the air as well. Although it was Colorado, so they could still get a snowstorm or two before spring reluctantly slid into summer.
“Nice job today, horse whisperer,” Logan Rivers, his current boss, and friend, hollered from the corral where he was putting another horse through the paces.
Zane waved a hand in his direction, ignoring the comment, as he turned the engine over and pulled the door shut. He wasn’t fond of the nickname, even though Logan had been using it since they were in high school and working summers at Logan’s family’s ranch.
Zane could admit grudgingly that he did have a gift with horses, especially the dangerous or wild ones, somehow connecting with the animals better than he ever did with people.
The black-and-white border collie mix rested her head on Zane’s leg, and he stroked her neck as he drove toward Creedence, where no one was a stranger and everyone knew not just your business, but your cousin’s as well.
He lowered the windows and turned on the radio, contemplating the errands he needed to run after he grabbed a plate of biscuits and gravy at the diner. The thought made his mouth water. So did the thought of hopefully seeing a certain blond waitress who had been taking up way too many of his thoughts these last few months.
He slowed, his brow furrowing, as he recognized that same waitress’s car sitting empty on the side of the road. The car was an old nondescript blue sedan, but there was no mistaking the colorful bumper stickers stuck to the trunk. A bright blue one read “What if the hokey-pokey really is what it’s all about?” and the hot-pink one above the back taillight read “It was me. I let the dogs out.”
His heart rate quickened as his gaze went from the empty vehicle to a hundred yards up the road, where a woman walked along the side of the highway, her ponytail bouncing with each step and a light-colored dog keeping pace at her heels. Which was pretty impressive, in and of itself, since the dog had only three legs.
But then, everything about Bryn Callahan was kind of bouncy, and she was just as impressive as her dog. The woman was always upbeat and positive. Even now, with her car sitting busted on the side of the road, her steps still seemed to spring, and the bright sunlight glinted off her blond hair.
He drove past the abandoned car and onto the dirt shoulder as he slowed to a stop beside her. “Need a ride?”
She turned, her expression wary, then her face broke into a grin, and it was like the sun shining through the clouds after a rainstorm.
“Hey, Zane,” she said, the smile reaching all the way into her voice as she grasped the door handle. She looked steadily into his eyes, her gaze never wavering, never sliding sideways to stare at the three-inch, jagged scar starting at the corner of his eye and slicing down his cheek. Most people couldn’t keep their eyes off it, but Bryn acted as if it wasn’t there at all. “I sure do. I was supposed to start my shift at the diner ten minutes ago.”
She opened the door, and the dog bounded in, hitting the floorboards, then springing onto the seat to wiggle and sniff noses with the border collie. They could have powered a wind farm, the way their tails were wagging and their little butts were shaking.
“Hey, Lucky.” He leaned in as the dog leapt over the collie’s back and into Zane’s lap, where it proceeded to drench his face in fevered licks and puppy kisses. Lucky was like a hyper three-legged Tigger as he bounced from Zane’s lap back to the collie, over to Bryn, and back to Zane.
“Lucky, get off him,” Bryn scolded. She tried to push her way into the truck as she got her own slobbery reception from the collie.
Zane chuckled and grabbed her hand to help her into the cab. But his laugh stuck in his throat as heat shot down his spine and his mouth went dry. He swallowed and tried to focus on assisting her, instead of staring at the area of bare skin he glimpsed as the top of her dress buckled and gaped from her movement. It was just the side of her neck, but it was the exact spot he’d spent too much time thinking about kissing.
“Silly mutts.” She laughed as she tossed her backpack on the floor and plopped into the seat. Her hand was soft, but her grip was solid, and for a moment, he wondered what would happen if he didn’t let go. “Wow, what a greeting,” she said, as she released his hand to buckle herself in.
Zane’s eyes were drawn to her legs like bees to honey. The woman had great legs, already tan, and muscular and shapely from her work at the diner. Her white cross-trainers were scuffed with the red dirt from the road, and she had a smudge of dust across one ankle that Zane was severely tempted to reach down and brush away so he could let his fingers linger on her skin.
Bryn wore a pink waitress dress, the kind that zips up the front, with a white collar and a little breast pocket, and the fabric hugged her curvy figure in all the right spots. For just a moment, Zane imagined pulling down that zipper—with his teeth. His back started to sweat just thinking about it.
Simmer down, man. He took a deep breath, utilizing the stress-reducing exercise he’d learned in the military, and tried to think of something witty to say. He didn’t usually let himself get carried away with those kinds of fantasies. But he didn’t usually have Bryn in his truck, filling his cab with the sound of her easy laughter and the scent of her skin—traces of honeysuckle and vanilla and the smell of fresh sheets off the line on a warm summer day.
“That dog is serious about kissing. I haven’t had that much action in months.” He winked, then laughed with her, pulling his hand back to ruffle Lucky’s ears as the dog settled into the seat next to the collie. He tried to play it off like a joke, to settle his pounding heart, when what he really wanted to do was pull her into his lap and kiss her face and throat the way Lucky had done to him. Well, not exactly the same way.
Bryn snorted and scratched the ears of the collie, who was softly whining as she pressed into Bryn’s shoulder. “He’s just happy to see you. It’s been a while, ya know?”
“Yeah, I know.” It had, in fact, been months since he’d seen her.
“Well, Lucky has noticed you haven’t been around much.” She dropped her gaze and her voice as she focused on petting the dog. “We both have.”
“Are you saying you missed me?”
“I didn’t say missed. I said noticed.”
His shoulders slumped. Of course she hadn’t missed him.
She playfully nudged his elbow, and he felt the heat of her skin against his arm.
“Of course I missed you. You all but disappeared after the great Christmas pie bake-off in December.”
He chuckled as he shook his head. “I still can’t believe we made fifteen pies in four hours.”
“I still can’t believe you wore a frilly apron with a glittery cupcake on the front.”
He raised an eyebrow. “What other kind of cupcake is there? And I liked that glittery color. I’m thinking of having it added to the paint job on my truck.”
A laugh burst from her. “I dare you to.”
He let his voice drop and offered her what he hoped was a flirtatious grin. “I do enjoy a good dare.”
She chuckled, then lowered her gaze to the dog’s shoulder, where she scratched its fur. “So, why didn’t I hear from you? Was it something I said or did?”
Yeah, it was everything you did—everything that made me want and hope and wish for something more. “Nah. I was going to call you, but we got real busy at the ranch. Then I heard you started dating some rough-stock cowboy, and I didn’t want to overstep.”
“Is it overstepping to be my friend?”
He cocked his head, eyeing her. “Is that what you want me to be? Your friend?”
“Of course. I didn’t give you my number for you to not call me.”
Wrong question, dumbass. Should have asked her if all she wanted was to be his friend. He offered her a shrug. “I’m not much of a talker.”
“That’s perfect. Because I can talk up a blue streak, and I’m always on the lookout for a good listener.”
He chuckled. “I can do that. I can probably even throw in an occasional grunt of agreement just so you know I’m paying attention.”
She giggled softly, and the sound swirled in his chest, melting into him like molasses on a warm pancake. “That sounds great.”
Excerpted from Cowboy State of Mind by Jennie Marts. © 2020 by Jennie Marts. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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About the author:

Jennie Marts is the USA Today bestselling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. She is living her own happily ever after with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies, in the mountains of Colorado.

Author Website:

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Blog Tour: Excerpt of The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards

Author: Karen Robards
ISBN: 9780778309338
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Publisher: MIRA

For fans of The Alice Network and The Lost Girls of Paris comes a thrilling standalone by New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards about a celebrated singer in WWII occupied France who joins the Resistance to save her estranged family from being killed in a German prison.

In Occupied France, the Resistance trembles on the brink of destruction. Its operatives, its secrets, its plans, all will be revealed. One of its leaders, wealthy aristocrat Baron Paul de Rocheford, has been killed in a raid and the surviving members of his cell, including his wife the elegant Baronness Lillian de Rocheford, have been arrested and transported to Germany for interrogation and, inevitably, execution.

Captain Max Ryan, British SOE, is given the job of penetrating the impregnable German prison where the Baroness and the remnants of the cell are being held and tortured. If they can't be rescued he must kill them before they can give up their secrets.

Max is in Paris, currently living under a cover identity as a show business impresario whose star attraction is Genevieve Dumont. Young, beautiful Genevieve is the toast of Europe, an icon of the glittering entertainment world that the Nazis celebrate so that the arts can be seen to be thriving in the occupied territories under their rule.

What no one knows about Genevieve is that she is Lillian and Paul de Rocheford's younger daughter. Her feelings toward her family are bitter since they were estranged twelve years ago. But when she finds out from Max just what his new assignment entails, old, long-buried feelings are rekindled and she knows that no matter what she can't allow her mother to be killed, not by the Nazis and not by Max. She secretly establishes contact with those in the Resistance who can help her. Through them she is able to contact her sister Emmy, and the sisters put aside their estrangement to work together to rescue their mother.

It all hinges on a command performance that Genevieve is to give for a Gestapo General in the Bavarian town where her mother and the others are imprisoned. While Genevieve sings and the show goes on, a daring rescue is underway that involves terrible danger, heartbreaking choices, and the realization that some ties, like the love between a mother and her daughters and between sisters, are forever.

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Enjoy this Excerpt:

May 15, 1944
When the worst thing that could ever happen to you had already happened, nothing that came after really mattered. The resultant state of apathy was almost pleasant, as long as she didn’t allow herself to think about it—any of it—too much.
She was Genevieve Dumont, a singer, a star. Her latest sold-out performance at one of Paris’s great theaters had ended in a five-minute standing ovation less than an hour before. She was acclaimed, admired, celebrated wherever she went. The Nazis loved her.
She was not quite twenty-five years old. Beautiful when, like now, she was dolled up in all her after-show finery. Not in want, not unhappy.
In this time of fear and mass starvation, of worldwide deaths on a scale never seen before in the whole course of human history, that made her lucky. She knew it. 
Whom she had been before, what had almost destroyed her—that life belonged to someone else. Most of the time, she didn’t even remember it herself.
She refused to remember it.
A siren screamed to life just meters behind the car she was traveling in. Startled, she sat upright in the back seat, heart lurching as she looked around.
Do they know? Are they after us?
A small knot of fans had been waiting outside the stage door as she’d left. One of them had thrust a program at her, requesting an autograph for Francoise. She’d signed—May your heart always sing, Genevieve Dumont—as previously instructed. What it meant she didn’t know. What she did know was that it meant something: it was a prearranged encounter, and the coded message she’d scribbled down was intended for the Resistance.
And now, mere minutes later, here were the Milice, the despised French police who had long since thrown in their lot with the Nazis, on their tail.
Even as icy jets of fear spurted through her, a pair of police cars followed by a military truck flew by. Running without lights, they appeared as no more than hulking black shapes whose passage rattled the big Citroën that up until then had been alone on the road. A split second later, her driver—his name was Otto Cordier; he worked for Max, her manager—slammed on the brakes. The car jerked to a stop.
“Sacre bleu!” Flying forward, she barely stopped herself from smacking into the back of the front seat by throwing her arms out in front of her. “What’s happening?”
“A raid, I think.” Peering out through the windshield, Otto clutched the steering wheel with both hands. He was an old man, short and wiry with white hair. She could read tension in every line of his body. In front of the car, washed by the pale moonlight that painted the scene in ghostly shades of gray, the cavalcade that had passed them was now blocking the road. A screech of brakes and the throwing of a shadow across the nearest building had her casting a quick look over her shoulder. Another military truck shuddered to a halt, filling the road behind them, stopping it up like a cork in a bottle. Men—German soldiers along with officers of the Milice—spilled out of the stopped vehicles. The ones behind swarmed past the Citroën, and all rushed toward what Genevieve tentatively identified as an apartment building. Six stories tall, it squatted, dark and silent, in its own walled garden.
“Oh, no,” she said. Her fear for herself and Otto subsided, but sympathy for the targets of the raid made her chest feel tight. People who were taken away by the Nazis in the middle of the night seldom came back.
The officers banged on the front door. “Open up! Police!”
It was just after 10:00 p.m. Until the siren had ripped it apart, the silence blanketing the city had been close to absolute. Thanks to the strictly enforced blackout, the streets were as dark and mysterious as the nearby Seine. It had rained earlier in the day, and before the siren the big Citroën had been the noisiest thing around, splashing through puddles as they headed back to the Ritz, where she was staying for the duration of her Paris run.
“If they keep arresting people, soon there will be no one left.” Genevieve’s gaze locked on a contingent of soldiers spreading out around the building, apparently looking for another way in—or for exits they could block. One rattled a gate of tall iron spikes that led into the brick-walled garden. It didn’t open, and he moved on, disappearing around the side of the building. She was able to follow the soldiers’ movements by the torches they carried. Fitted with slotted covers intended to direct their light downward so as to make them invisible to the Allied air-raid pilots whose increasingly frequent forays over Paris aroused both joy and dread in the city’s war-weary citizens, the torches’ bobbing looked like the erratic flitting of fireflies in the dark.
“They’re afraid, and that makes them all the more dangerous.” Otto rolled down his window a crack, the better to hear what was happening as they followed the soldiers’ movements. The earthy scent of the rain mixed with the faint smell of cigarette smoke, which, thanks to Max’s never-ending Gauloises, was a permanent feature of the car. The yellow card that was the pass they needed to be on the streets after curfew, prominently displayed on the windshield, blocked her view of the far side of the building, but she thought soldiers were running that way, too. “They know the Allies are coming. The bombings of the Luftwaffe installations right here in France, the Allied victories on the eastern front—they’re being backed into a corner. They’ll do whatever they must to survive.”
“Open the door, or we will break it down!”
The policeman hammered on the door with his nightstick. The staccato beat echoed through the night. Genevieve shivered, imagining the terror of the people inside.
Thin lines of light appeared in the cracks around some of the thick curtains covering the windows up and down the building as, at a guess, tenants dared to peek out. A woman, old and stooped—there was enough light in the hall behind her to allow Genevieve to see that much—opened the front door.
“Out of the way!”
She was shoved roughly back inside the building as the police and the soldiers stormed in. Her frightened cry changed to a shrill scream that was quickly cut off.
Genevieve’s mouth went dry. She clasped her suddenly cold hands in her lap.
There’s nothing to be done. It was the mantra of her life.
“Can we drive on?” She had learned in a hard school that there was no point in agonizing over what couldn’t be cured. To stay and watch what she knew was coming—the arrest of partisans, who would face immediate execution upon arrival at wherever they would be taken, or, perhaps and arguably worse, civilians, in some combination of women, children, old people, clutching what few belongings they’d managed to grab, marched at gunpoint out of the building and loaded into the trucks for deportation—would tear at her heart for days without helping them at all.
“We’re blocked in.” Otto looked around at her. She didn’t know what he saw in her face, but whatever it was made him grimace and reach for the door handle. “I’ll go see if I can get one of them to move.”
When he exited the car, she let her head drop back to rest against the rolled top of the Citroën’s leather seat, stared at the ceiling and tried not to think about what might be happening to the people in the building. Taking deep breaths, she did her best to block out the muffled shouts and thuds that reached her ears and focused on the physical, which, as a performer, she had experience doing. She was so tired she was limp with it. Her temples throbbed. Her legs ached. Her feet hurt. Her throat—that golden throat that had allowed her to survive—felt tight. Deliberately she relaxed her muscles and tugged the scarf tucked into the neckline of her coat higher to warm herself.
A flash of light in the darkness caught her eye. Her head turned as she sought the source. Looking through the iron bars of the garden gate, she discovered a side door in the building that was slowly, stealthily opening.
“Is anyone else in there? Come out or I’ll shoot.” The volume of the soldiers’ shouts increased exponentially with this new gap in the walls. That guttural threat rang out above others less distinct, and she gathered from what she heard that they were searching the building.
The side door opened wider. Light from inside spilled past a figure slipping out: a girl, tall and thin with dark curly hair, wearing what appeared to be an unbuttoned coat thrown on over nightclothes. In her arms she carried a small child with the same dark, curly hair.
The light went out. The door had closed. Genevieve discovered that she was sitting with her nose all but pressed against the window as she tried to find the girl in the darkness. It took her a second, but then she spotted the now shadowy figure as it fled through the garden toward the gate, trying to escape.
They’ll shoot her if they catch her. The child, too.
The Germans had no mercy for those for whom they came.
The girl reached the gate, paused. A pale hand grabbed a bar. From the metallic rattle that reached her ears, Genevieve thought she must be shoving at the gate, shaking it. She assumed it was locked. In any event, it didn’t open. Then that same hand reached through the bars, along with a too-thin arm, stretching and straining.
Toward what? It was too dark to tell.
With the Citroën stopped in the middle of the narrow street and the garden set back only a meter or so from the front facade of the building, the girl was close enough so that Genevieve could read the desperation in her body language, see the way she kept looking back at the now closed door. The child, who appeared to be around ten months old, seemed to be asleep. The small curly head rested trustingly on the girl’s shoulder.
It wasn’t a conscious decision to leave the car. Genevieve just did it, then realized the risk she was taking when her pumps clickety-clacked on the cobblestones. The sound seemed to tear through the night and sent a lightning bolt of panic through her.
Get back in the car. Her sense of self-preservation screamed it at her, but she didn’t. Shivering at the latent menace of the big military trucks looming so close on either side of the Citroën, the police car parked askew in the street, the light spilling from the still open front door and the sounds of the raid going on inside the building, she kept going, taking care to be quiet now as she darted toward the trapped girl.
You’re putting yourself in danger. You’re putting Otto, Max, everyone in danger. The whole network—
Heart thudding, she reached the gate. Even as she and the girl locked eyes through it, the girl jerked her arm back inside and drew herself up.
The sweet scent of flowers from the garden felt obscene in contrast with the fear and despair she sensed in the girl.
“It’s all right. I’m here to help,” Genevieve whispered. She grasped the gate, pulling, pushing as she spoke. The iron bars were solid and cold and slippery with the moisture that still hung in the air. The gate didn’t budge for her, either. The clanking sound it made as she joggled it against its moorings made her break out in a cold sweat. Darkness enfolded her, but it was leavened by moonlight and she didn’t trust it to keep her safe. After all, she’d seen the girl from the car. All it would take was one sharp-eyed soldier, one policeman to come around a corner, or step out of the building and look her way—and she could be seen, too. Caught. Helping a fugitive escape.
The consequences would be dire. Imprisonment, deportation, even death.
Her pulse raced.
She thought of Max, what he would say.
On the other side of the gate, moonlight touched on wide dark eyes set in a face so thin the bones seemed about to push through the skin. The girl appeared to be about her own age, and she thought she must be the child’s mother. The sleeping child—Genevieve couldn’t tell if it was a girl or a boy—was wearing footed pajamas.
Her heart turned over.
“Oh, thank God. Thank you.” Whispering, too, the girl reached through the bars to touch Genevieve’s arm in gratitude. “There’s a key. In the fountainhead. In the mouth. It unlocks the gate.” She cast another of those lightning glances over her shoulder. Shifting from foot to foot, she could hardly stand still in her agitation. Fear rolled off her in waves. “Hurry. Please.”
Genevieve looked in the direction the girl had been reaching, saw the oval stone of the fountainhead set into the brick near the gate, saw the carved lion’s head in its center with its open mouth from which, presumably, water was meant to pour out. Reaching inside, she probed the cavity, ran her fingers over the worn-smooth stone, then did it again.
“There’s no key,” she said. “It’s not here.”
“It has to be. It has to be!” The girl’s voice rose, trembled. The child’s head moved. The girl made a soothing sound, rocked back and forth, patted the small back, and the child settled down again with a sigh. Watching, a pit yawned in Genevieve’s stomach. Glancing hastily down, she crouched to check the ground beneath the fountainhead, in case the key might have fallen out. It was too dark; she couldn’t see. She ran her hand over the cobblestones. Nothing.
“It’s not—” she began, standing up, only to break off with a swiftly indrawn breath as the door through which the girl had exited flew open. This time, in the rectangle of light, a soldier stood.
“My God.” The girl’s whisper as she turned her head to look was scarcely louder than a breath, but it was so loaded with terror that it made the hair stand up on the back of Genevieve’s neck. “What do I do?”
“Who is out there?” the soldier roared. Pistol ready in his hand, he pointed his torch toward the garden. The light played over a tattered cluster of pink peonies, over overgrown green shrubs, over red tulips thrusting their heads through weeds, as it came their way. “Don’t think to hide from me.”
“Take the baby. Please.” Voice hoarse with dread, the girl thrust the child toward her. Genevieve felt a flutter of panic: if this girl only knew, she would be the last person she would ever trust with her child. But there was no one else, and thus no choice to be made. As a little leg and arm came through the gate, Genevieve reached out to help, taking part and then all of the baby’s weight as between them she and the girl maneuvered the little one through the bars. As their hands touched, she could feel the cold clamminess of the girl’s skin, feel her trembling. With the child no longer clutched in her arms, the dark shape of a six-pointed yellow star on her coat became visible. The true horror of what was happening struck Genevieve like a blow.
The girl whispered, “Her name’s Anna. Anna Katz. Leave word of where I’m to come for her in the fountainhead—”
The light flashed toward them.
“You there, by the gate,” the soldier shouted.
With a gasp, the girl whirled away.
“Halt! Stay where you are!”
Heart in her throat, blood turning to ice, Genevieve whirled away, too, in the opposite direction. Cloaked by night, she ran as lightly as she could for the car, careful to keep her heels from striking the cobblestones, holding the child close to her chest, one hand splayed against short, silky curls. The soft baby smell, the feel of the firm little body against her, triggered such an explosion of emotion that she went briefly light-headed. The panicky flutter in her stomach solidified into a knot—and then the child’s wriggling and soft sounds of discontent brought the present sharply back into focus.
If she cried…
Terror tasted sharp and bitter in Genevieve’s mouth.
“Shh. Shh, Anna,” she crooned desperately. “Shh.”
“I said halt!” The soldier’s roar came as Genevieve reached the car, grabbed the door handle, wrenched the door open—
Bang. The bark of a pistol.
A woman’s piercing cry. The girl’s piercing cry.
No. Genevieve screamed it, but only in her mind. The guilt of running away, of leaving the girl behind, crashed into her like a speeding car.
Blowing his whistle furiously, the soldier ran down the steps. More soldiers burst through the door, following the first one down the steps and out of sight.
Had the girl been shot? Was she dead? 
My God, my God. Genevieve’s heart slammed in her chest.
She threw herself and the child into the back seat and—softly, carefully—closed the door. Because she didn’t dare do anything else.
The baby started to cry.
Staring out the window in petrified expectation of seeing the soldiers come charging after her at any second, she found herself panting with fear even as she did her best to quiet the now wailing child.
Could anyone hear? Did the soldiers know the girl had been carrying a baby?
If she was caught with the child…
What else could I have done?
Max would say she should have stayed out of it, stayed in the car. That the common good was more important than the plight of any single individual.
Even a terrified girl. Even a baby.
“It’s all right, Anna. I’ve got you safe. Shh.” Settling back in the seat to position the child more comfortably in her arms, she murmured and patted and rocked. Instinctive actions, long forgotten, reemerged in this moment of crisis.
Through the gate she could see the soldiers clustering around something on the ground. The girl, she had little doubt, although the darkness and the garden’s riotous blooms blocked her view. With Anna, quiet now, sprawled against her chest, a delayed reaction set in and she started to shake.
Otto got back into the car.
“They’re going to be moving the truck in front as soon as it’s loaded up.” His voice was gritty with emotion. Anger? Bitterness? “Someone tipped them off that Jews were hiding in the building, and they’re arresting everybody. Once they’re—”
Otto broke off as the child made a sound.
“Shh.” Genevieve patted, rocked. “Shh, shh.” 
His face a study in incredulity, Otto leaned around in the seat to look. “Holy hell, is that a baby?”
“Her mother was trapped in the garden. She couldn’t get out.”
Otto shot an alarmed look at the building, where soldiers now marched a line of people, young and old, including a couple of small children clutching adults’ hands, out the front door.
“My God,” he said, sounding appalled. “We’ve got to get—”
Appearing out of seemingly nowhere, a soldier rapped on the driver’s window. With his knuckles, hard.
Oh, no. Please no.
Genevieve’s heart pounded. Her stomach dropped like a rock as she stared at the shadowy figure on the other side of the glass.
We’re going to be arrested. Or shot.
Whipping the scarf out of her neckline, she draped the brightly printed square across her shoulder and over the child.
Otto cranked the window down.
“Papers,” the soldier barked.
Fear formed a hard knot under Genevieve’s breastbone. Despite the night’s chilly temperature, she could feel sweat popping out on her forehead and upper lip. On penalty of arrest, everyone in Occupied France, from the oldest to the youngest, was required to have identity documents readily available at all times. Hers were in her handbag, beside her on the seat.
But Anna had none.
Otto passed his cards to the soldier, who turned his torch on them.
As she picked up her handbag, Genevieve felt Anna stir.
Please, God, don’t let her cry.
“Here.” Quickly she thrust her handbag over the top of the seat to Otto. Anna was squirming now. Genevieve had to grab and secure the scarf from underneath to make sure the baby’s movements didn’t knock it askew.
If the soldier saw her…
Anna whimpered. Muffled by the scarf, the sound wasn’t loud, but its effect on Genevieve was electric. She caught her breath as her heart shot into her throat—and reacted instinctively, as, once upon a time, it had been second nature to do.
She slid the tip of her little finger between Anna’s lips.
The baby responded as babies typically did: she latched on and sucked.
Genevieve felt the world start to slide out of focus. The familiarity of it, the bittersweet memories it evoked, made her dizzy. She had to force herself to stay in the present, to concentrate on this child and this moment to the exclusion of all else.
Otto had handed her identity cards over. The soldier examined them with his torch, then bent closer to the window and looked into the back seat.
She almost expired on the spot.
“Mademoiselle Dumont. It is a pleasure. I have enjoyed your singing very much.”
Anna’s hungry little mouth tugged vigorously at her finger.
“Thank you,” Genevieve said, and smiled.
The soldier smiled back. Then he straightened, handed the papers back and, with a thump on the roof, stepped away from the car. Otto cranked the window up.
The tension inside the car was so thick she could almost physically feel the weight of it.
“Let them through,” the soldier called to someone near the first truck. Now loaded with the unfortunate new prisoners, it was just starting to pull out.
With a wave for the soldier, Otto followed, although far too slowly for Genevieve’s peace of mind. As the car crawled after the truck, she cast a last, quick glance at the garden: she could see nothing, not even soldiers.
Was the girl—Anna’s mother—still there on the ground? Or had she already been taken away?
Was she dead? 
Genevieve felt sick to her stomach. But once again, there was nothing to be done.
Acutely aware of the truck’s large side and rear mirrors and what might be able to be seen through them, Genevieve managed to stay upright and keep the baby hidden until the Citroën turned a corner and went its own way.
Then, feeling as though her bones had turned to jelly, she slumped against the door.
Anna gave up on the finger and started to cry, shrill, distressed wails that filled the car. With what felt like the last bit of her strength, Genevieve pushed the scarf away and gathered her up and rocked and patted and crooned to her. Just like she had long ago done with—
Do not think about it.
“Shh, Anna. Shh.”
“That was almost a disaster.” Otto’s voice, tight with reaction, was nonetheless soft for fear of disturbing the quieting child. “What do we do now? You can’t take a baby back to the hotel. Think questions won’t be asked? What do you bet that soldier won’t talk about having met Genevieve Dumont? All it takes is one person to make the connection between the raid and you showing up with a baby and it will ruin us all. It will ruin everything.”
“I know.” Genevieve was limp. “Find Max. He’ll know what to do.” 
Excerpted from The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards, Copyright © 2020 by Karen Robards. Published by MIRA Books.

About the author:

Karen Robards is the New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than fifty novels and one novella. She is the winner of six Silver Pen awards and numerous other awards.

Author Website:

Release Day Blitz: Defy the Eye by Layla Lochran

A thrilling new sci-fi romance filled with early Norsemen, ancient folklore, on the edge of your seat adventure, and newfound love sure to win your heart is OUT TODAY! Grab your copy of  Layla Lochran's DEFY THE EYE on Amazon!  

Defy The EYE: The Zarbizokian Outsider
by Layla Lochran
July 7, 2020
Astradell is the first female Zarbizokian to become a ‘Defender of the EYE’; an organization of elite beings in search of a menacing force wanting to take over the universe. In her first mission she must gain information from planet Earth. Curiosity winning out, she goes against the EYE by interacting with the humans, finding them too alluring to only observe. Visions of a blue-eyed man consumes her mind, knowing he must be saved before it is too late. Now hunted for her defiance, her Defender brethren will soon realize just how strong she has become.

Gundar’s ancestors hid themselves in the icy tundra on Earth long ago, teaching generations their way of worshiping many Gods and other worlds beyond their own. Folklore or not, he knows there are secrets buried within their kind yet to be discovered. Plagued with a gift to hear others thoughts, he distances himself in hopes of obtaining solace. Strength waning, he finds it difficult to go on, until a beauty baring wings and glowing eyes fills his nights. His Goddess, ready to take him to Valhalla.

Astradell's secret mission will in the end save her planet, but first a mysterious illness begins turning humans into savage beasts and Earth needs protecting. This might take longer than she expected.

Get a first look into the new Ambrotos Defenders Series at the end of this story!


Read FREE on Kindle Unlimited!


Layla Lochran grew up in a tiny ski town in Western New York, always with a variety of books in her hand. Contemporary, Historical, and Paranormal romances struck her fancy, expanding her imagination and dreams in someday becoming an author herself. Rock concerts, photography, and brightly colored hair are just a few of her hobbies, as well as having fun with special FX makeup, props, and costumes with her son and community. Other than reading, she enjoys nature, many different wines and local vineyards, spending time with her family, and helping others to find their creative edge. Someday she will travel the world to see all it has to offer her.

Life is short; live every day to the fullest, love exponentially, stay positive, and give it your all.

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Monday, July 6, 2020

Spotlight: Excerpt & Giveaway of Relentless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell

Author:  Kari Lynn Dell
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: 6/30/2020

There’s a reason they call this cowboy relentless

Gil Sanchez was once rodeo’s biggest and baddest hotshot. Now he's thirteen years sober and finally free of the pain that ended his skyrocketing career. Given one last, near-miraculous shot to claw his way back to rodeo glory, he can't let fantasies of happily-ever-after dull his razor edge...but Carmelita White Fox is every dream he’s never let himself have.

And from the moment he saw the spark of challenge in her eyes, he hasn't been able to look away.

Carma may come from a Blackfeet family noted for its healing abilities, but even she knows better than to try to fix this scarred, cynical, and incredibly sexy cowboy. Yet she’s the only one who can reach past Gil’s jaded armor, and the fiercely loyal heart buried beneath the biting cynicism is impossible to resist. Gil needs Carma just as much as she needs him, but as the pressure builds and the spotlight intensifies, they’ll have to fight like hell to save the one thing neither can live without.

If following Carmelita was a bad idea, it was going to be one of the more interesting mistakes Gil had made. He didn’t just want her. He craved her…and that rarely boded well for him. But just this one time…
When the back door of the bar thumped shut behind them, Carmelita stopped and dragged in a long, deep breath. Her words came out in puffs of vapor. “God, that was suffocating.”
The closeness of the overcrowded bar? The argument with her cousin? The attention? “Why did you come?”
“My grandmother volunteered my services. Fund-raisers are the worst, though. Everyone is so…” Her hands fluttered in a broad circle, encompassing the tearful out­pourings of gratitude that marked benefits.
“You’re used to being in the spotlight.”
“I prefer an audience to a crowd,” she said flatly. And the difference was in the separation. She could walk off a stage without interacting with the masses.
She tipped her head back to gaze into the heavens and her body language slowly shifted, as if she was drawing in the stillness. When she started off through the parking lot, she once again moved with fluid grace. Gil matched her stride, closing the space between them so his coat sleeve swished against hers.
“Bing told me about you, and introduced me to your… friend,” she said.
With that slight hesitation, she summed up Gil’s uncer­tainty about his relationship with Hank, past and future. “I’m his sponsor,” he corrected stiffly.
“Mmm.” A sound that translated to if that’s what you want to tell yourself. “We lack many things up here on the rez, but we do not have a shortage of recovering addicts.”
“I watched Hank grow up. I understand him.”
She angled a searching glance beneath lowered lashes. “I see.”
Yes, she did. There was something in the way she looked at him—through him—that made him want to both hide and move closer. He did neither. The breeze caught her hair, sending a strand fluttering and carrying the scent of pine needles and snow down from the mountains. He swung around to face her as they stopped beside the door to his truck, and when he looked into her eyes, he felt as if he was losing his balance, falling into one of the bottomless mountain lakes—only much warmer. He could just keep sinking and sinking…
She caught him, pressing her hands flat against his chest, but her smile was tinged with regret. “I wish I could stay. You and I would be very good together, I think.”
The image of Carmelita naked and lush under his hands sent heat shuddering through him. Then he regis­tered what she was saying.
“You’re leaving?” Gil frowned at her in disbelief.
The hitch of her shoulder set the moonlight shimmer­ing through her hair. “I can’t leave my grandparents with a sick baby.”
“His mother didn’t seem overly concerned.” Gil’s voice was harsh, along with his judgment of her charming cousin. Even when he’d been regularly popping Vicodin like breath mints, he’d managed to stay clean on the weekends he’d had his son.
Carmelita smoothed her palms over the front of his jacket. “Next time?”
“I won’t be back.”
She angled her head to give him another searching look, then nodded. “You’re taking Hank home. That explains it.”
“This.” Her hand moved down, pressing with unerring accuracy over the clutch in his gut. She reached up with the other to brush cool fingers over the knot of tension in his forehead. “And this.”
He wanted to lean into that touch—into her—and let her wipe his mind clean for a few hours.
“I’m sorry I can’t do more.” She stroked a blissful circle on his temple. “But I can give you something for that headache.”
“A fistful of ibuprofen?”
“A promise.” Her eyes were steady, her tone certain. “Hank will be fine. He’s stronger than you think, and what­ever you’re keeping from him, he’ll understand it was for the best. So will the others.”
Gil jerked his head back. “I never said anything to Bing about that.”
Her hands fell away and she angled her gaze upward, eyes going distant. In the Panhandle the stars were painted on the sky. Here it seemed as if they were standing among them.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I just feel it. But I’m almost always right.”
Without warning, she tipped onto her toes and pressed her mouth to his. Her lips were cool, but at the touch of her tongue the glowing embers they’d been gathering between them burst into flame, whooshing through him like a prairie fire. His thoughts, the last of his reservations, the ability to think at all were consumed by a wall of heat. He gripped the lapels of her coat to drag her hard against him, and she fisted her hands in the sides of his jacket, pressing even closer. Her tongue slid over his, the friction setting off more sparks.
A palpable shudder ran through her. She braced her hands on his shoulders, slowly, inexorably separating her mouth from his. Then she smiled, a copper-skinned Madonna with fathomless eyes, and pressed a palm over his thundering heart. “You should get some rest, Gil Sanchez. You’ve got a long drive tomorrow.”

Excerpted from Relentless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell. © 2020 by Kari Lynn Dell. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved

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About the author:

KARI LYNN DELL brings a lifetime of personal experience to writing western romance. She is a third generation rancher and rodeo competitor existing in a perpetual state of horse-induced poverty on the Blackfeet Nation of northern Montana, along with her husband, son and Max the Cowdog.

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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of She's Faking It by Kristin Rockaway

Author: Kristin Rockaway
Trade Paperback | Graydon House Books 
On Sale: 6/30/2020 
$19.99 CAN

You can’t put a filter on reality.

Bree Bozeman isn’t exactly pursuing the life of her dreams. Then again, she isn’t too sure what those dreams are. After dropping out of college, she’s living a pretty chill life in the surf community of Pacific Beach, San Diego…if “chill” means delivering food as a GrubGetter, and if it means “uneventful”.

But when Bree starts a new Instagram account — @breebythesea — one of her posts gets a signal boost from none other than wildly popular self-help guru Demi DiPalma, owner of a lifestyle brand empire. Suddenly, Bree just might be a rising star in the world of Instagram influencing. Is this the direction her life has been lacking? It’s not a career choice she’d ever seriously considered, but maybe it’s a sign from the universe. After all, Demi’s the real deal… right?

Everything is lining up for Bree: life goals, career, and even a blossoming romance with the chiseled guy next door, surf star Trey Cantu. But things are about to go sideways fast, and even the perfect filter’s not gonna fix it. Instagram might be free, but when your life looks flawless on camera, what’s the cost?

She’s Faking It was an interesting read. It involves 25 year old Bree who is adrift in her life.  She quit college and makes a very meager living driving for a food delivery service.  She reads a "self-help" book and that starts her on a journey of becoming an Influencer on Instagram.    I did enjoy the overall commentary about social media, but I did not love the main character. 

I thought this was an excellent look at the pitfalls of social media and how one can get wrapped up in the very unreality of Instagram and twitter influence.  I also liked the exploration of cancel culture as one of the characters experiences that aspect because of a tweet.  What I did not like and had a hard time connecting with was Bree herself.  She kept harping on her stoner ex-boyfriend as a loser when she kind of needed to look in the mirror herself.  It was all excuses.  She did show some growth in the end, but her ending was a bit too convenient for me.  So, I did like itoverall, I just didn’t love the story as much as a wanted to.  Give it a shot and see for yourself.

Enjoy this sneak peek:

From Chapter Two
“Don’t these books make your purse really heavy? There’s gotta be some app where you can store all this information.” 
“Studies show you’re more likely to remember things you’ve written by hand, with physical pen and paper.” She reached across my lap and opened the glove compartment, removing a notebook with an antiqued photograph of a vintage luxury car printed on the cover. “For example, this is my auto maintenance log. Maybe if you’d kept one of these, like I told you to, we wouldn’t be in this predicament right now.” 
I loved Natasha, I really did. She was responsible and generous, and without her I’d likely be far worse off than I already was, which was a horrifying thought to consider. But at times like this, I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake the shit out of her. 
“A maintenance log wouldn’t have helped me.” 
“Yes, it would have. Organization is about more than decluttering your home. It’s about decluttering your mind. Making lists, keeping records—these are all ways to help you get your life in order. If you’d had a maintenance log, this problem wouldn’t have caught you off guard in the middle of your delivery shift. You’d have seen it coming, and—” 
“I saw it coming.” 
 “This didn’t catch me off guard. The check engine light came on two weeks ago.” Or maybe it was three. 
“Then why didn’t you take it to the mechanic?” She blinked, genuinely confused. Everything was so cut-and dried with her. When a car needed to be serviced, of course you called the mechanic. 
That is, if you could afford to pay the repair bill. 
Fortunately, she put two and two together without making me say it out loud. “Oh,” she murmured, then bit her lip. I could almost hear the squeak and clank of wheels turning in her head as she tried to piece together the solution to this problem. No doubt it included me setting up a journal or logbook of some sort, though we both knew that would be pointless. The last time she’d tried to set me up with a weekly budget planner, I gave up on day two, when I realized I could GrubGetter around the clock for the rest of my life and still never make enough money to get current on the payments for my student loans. You know, for that degree I’d never finished. 
But Natasha was a determined problem solver. It said so in her business bio: “Natasha DeAngelis, Certified Professional Organizer®, is a determined problem solver with a passion for sorting, purging, arranging, and containerizing.” My life was a perpetual mess, and though she couldn’t seem to be able to clean it up, that didn’t stop her from trying. Over and over and over again.
 “I’ll pay for the repairs,” she said.
 “No.” I shook my head, fending off the very big part of me that wanted to say yes. “I can’t take any money from you.” 
“It’s fine,” she said. “Business is booming. I’ve got so much work right now that I’ve actually had to turn clients away. And ever since Al introduced that new accelerated orthodontic treatment, his office has been raking it in. We can afford to help you.” 
“I know.” Obviously, my sister and her family weren’t hurting for cash. Aside from her wildly successful organizing business, her husband, Al, ran his own orthodontics practice. They owned a four-bedroom house, leased luxury cars, and took triannual vacations to warm, sunny places like Maui and Tulum. They had a smart fridge in their kitchen that was undoubtedly worth more than my nonfunctioning car. 
But my sister wasn’t a safety net, and I needed to stop treating her like one. She’d already done so much for me. More than any big sister should ever have to do.
 “I just can’t,” I said. 
“Well, do you really have any other choice?” There was an edge to Natasha’s voice now. “If you don’t have a car, how are you going to work?”
 “I’ll figure something out.” The words didn’t sound very convincing, even to my own ears. For the past four years, all I’d done was deliver food. I had no other marketable skills, no references, no degree.
 I was a massive failure. 
Tears pooled in my eyes. Natasha sighed again. 
“Look,” she said, “maybe it’s time to admit you need to come up with a solid plan for your life. You’ve been in a downward spiral ever since Rob left.” 
She had a point. I’d never been particularly stable, but things got a whole lot worse seven months earlier, when my live-in ex-boyfriend, Rob, had abruptly announced he was ending our three-year relationship, quitting his job, and embarking on an immersive ayahuasca retreat in the depths of the Peruvian Amazon. 
“I’ve lost my way,” he’d said, his eyes bloodshot from too many hits on his vape pen. “The Divine Mother Shakti at the Temple of Eternal Light can help me find myself again.”
 “What?” I’d been incredulous. “Where is this coming from?” 
He’d unearthed a book from beneath a pile of dirty clothes on our bed and handed it to me—Psychedelic Healers: An Exploratory Journey of the Soul, by Shakti Rebecca Rubinstein.
 “What is this?”
 “It’s the book that changed my life,” he’d said. “I’m ready for deep growth. New energy.” 
Then he’d moved his belongings to a storage unit off the side of the I-8, and left me to pay the full cost of our monthly rent and utilities on my paltry GrubGetter income. 
I told myself this situation was only temporary, that Rob would return as soon as he realized that hallucinating in the rainforest wasn’t going to lead him to some higher consciousness. But I hadn’t heard from him since he took off on that direct flight from LAX to Lima. At this point, it was probably safe to assume he was never coming back. 
Which was probably for the best. It’s not exactly like Rob was Prince Charming or anything. But being with him was better than being alone. At least I’d had someone to split the bills with. 
“Honestly,” she continued, “I can’t stand to see you so miserable anymore. Happiness is a choice, Bree. Choose happy.”
 Of all Natasha’s pithy sayings, “Choose happy” was the one I hated most. It was printed on the back of her business cards in faux brush lettering, silently accusing each potential client of being complicit in their own misery. If they paid her to clean out their closets, though, they could apparently experience unparalleled joy. 
“That’s bullshit, and you know it.” 
She scowled. “It is not.”
 “It is, actually. Shitty things happen all the time and we have no choice in the matter. I didn’t choose to be too broke to fix my car. I work really hard, but this job doesn’t pay well. And I didn’t choose for Rob to abandon me to go find himself in the Amazon, either. He made that choice for us.” 
I almost mentioned the shittiest thing that had ever happened to Natasha or to me, a thing neither of us had chosen. But I stopped myself before the words rolled off my lips. This evening was bad enough without rehashing the details of our mother’s death.
 “Sometimes things happen to us that are beyond our control,” Natasha said, her voice infuriatingly calm. “But we can control how we react to it. Focus on what you can control. And it does no good to dwell on the past, either. Don’t look back, Bree—” 
“Because that’s not where you’re going. Yes, I know. You’ve said that before.” About a thousand times. 
She took a deep breath, most likely to prepare for a lengthy lecture on why it’s important to stay positive and productive in the face of adversity, but then a large tow truck lumbered onto the cul-de-sac and she got out of the car to flag him down. 
Grateful for the interruption, I ditched the casserole on her dashboard and walked over to where the driver had double-parked alongside my car. 
“What’s the problem?” he asked, hopping down from the cab. 
“It won’t start,” I said, to which Natasha quickly followed up with, “The check engine light came on several weeks ago, but the car has not been serviced yet.” 
He grunted and popped the hood, one thick filthy hand stroking his braided beard as he surveyed the engine. Another grunt, then he asked for the keys and tried to start it, only to hear the same sad click and whine as before. 
“It’s not the battery.” He leaned his head out of the open door. “When was the last time you changed your timing belt?” 
“Uh… I don’t know.”
 Natasha shook her head and mouthed, Maintenance log! in my direction but I pretended not to see. 
The driver got out and slammed the hood shut. “Well, this thing is hosed.” 
“Hosed?” My heart thrummed in my chest. “What does that mean? It can’t be fixed?”
 He shrugged, clearly indifferent to my crisis-in-progress. “Can’t say for sure. Your mechanic can take a closer look and let you know. Where do you want me to tow it?”
 I pulled out my phone to look up the address of the mechanic near my apartment down in Pacific Beach. But Natasha answered before I could google it up. 
“Just take it to Encinitas Auto Repair,” she said. “It’s on Second and F.” 
“You got it,” he said, then retreated to his truck to fiddle with some chains.
 Natasha avoided my gaze. Instead, she focused on calling a guy named Jerry, who presumably worked at this repair shop, and told him to expect “a really old Civic that’s in rough shape,” making sure to specify, “It’s not mine, it’s my sister’s.”
 I knew she was going to pay for the repairs. It made me feel icky, taking yet another handout from my big sister. But ultimately, she was right. What other choice did I have? 
The two of us stayed quiet while the driver finished hooking up my car. After he’d towed it away down the cul-desac and out of sight, Natasha turned to me. “Do you want to come over? Izzy’s got piano lessons in fifteen minutes, you can hear how good she is now.”
 Even though I did miss my niece, there was nothing I wanted to do more than go home, tear off these smelly clothes, and cry in solitude. “I’ll take a rain check. Thanks again for coming to get me.” 
“Of course.” She started poking at her phone screen. A moment later, she said, “Your Lyft will be here in four minutes. His name is Neil. He drives a black Sentra.” A quick kiss on my cheek and she was hustling back to her SUV. 
As I watched Natasha drive away, I wished—not for the first time—that I could be more like her: competent, organized, confident enough in my choices to believe I could choose to be happy. Sometimes I felt like she had twenty years on me, instead of only six. So maybe instead of complaining, I should’ve started taking her advice.

Excerpted from She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway, Copyright © 2020 by Allison Amini. Published by Graydon House Books.


Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and planning her next big vacation.

 Facebook: /KristinRockaway

Instagram: @KristinRockway