EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Pretty When You Cry by Skye Warren

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A gritty romance novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderlust and Prisoner, described as “dark, perverse, and unbearably erotic”, I have an excerpt for you and a chance to win a signed paperback set!! This book can be read as a standalone novel. Enjoy! ♥

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I came from a place of dirt floors and holy scriptures. They told me the world outside was full of sin, and the first night I escape, I find out it’s true. Ivan saves me, but he does more than that. He takes me. He makes me his own girl.

My conditioning runs too deep. Ivan sees what I am.

That’s the thing about showing a mouse to a cat. He wants to play. And it’s terrifying, even for me. Because the only thing darker than my past is his.


The bed is the largest one I’ve ever seen, but somehow too small for two people. Too small if one of the people is Ivan. He’s physically large and, more than that, terrifying. What will he do to me? I can’t fight him. God, I’m not sure I want to try. Home.

In the end I push back the heavy blankets, almost as thick as my sleeping pallet in Harmony Hills, and climb onto the bed. The pillow is perfectly soft, so clean, and I let myself drift away. I’m floating on a cloud, plush and high up.

I dream in those moments. I dream about color and light. I dream about the sky.

There is a deep voice from above and all around me, telling me to get on my knees. Commanding me to pray. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever skipped bedtime prayers. The first time I haven’t begged for salvation. I’m not going to beg, not ever again.

The hand on my face doesn’t feel angry. It isn’t a slap for my insolence. It strokes down my temple and cups my cheek. My eyes flutter open. Ivan.

His hand falls away.

“Candace,” he says in the same deep voice of my dream.

And there’s a look in his eyes, the same look Leader Allen gives Mama. The same look he started giving me. That look is the reason Mama sent me away.

“You’ll stay here,” he says softly. “I don’t want you to dance, but you can stay.”

The allure of it beats through me, a heart of its own, thumping away to a dream that isn’t mine. Safety. Home. I want those things, but I want freedom more. I want the flash of lights and of skin. I want the power those women had onstage.

Ivan wants to put me in a cage, but what I really want is to fly.

“Okay,” I lie, because one sin becomes many. Leader Allen taught me that, and he was right. I’ll convince Ivan, though. One day I’ll dance on that stage, and Ivan will watch me.

One day he’ll teach me everything there is to know.

“Good girl.”

The praise washes over me, undeserved and darkly pleasurable, a stroke along my spine. It feels good, but I know what it is. A trap. A chain around my ankle to keep me on the ground. In this moment, it locks me so tight that I’d accept anything he did to me. If he were to touch me the way the woman with the kind eyes meant. The way Leader Allen touches Mama during prayer.

Ivan leans down, and I hold my breath. Large hands take hold of the blanket, lift slightly. I feel everything between us—anticipation and denial, lust and fear corded together. We feel them together, breathe them in through the air, pulse them with each beat of our hearts. It’s a kind of knowledge, this feeling, connecting a thousand nerve points to the core of my body. This is what he meant by teaching me. This and so much more.

Then he pulls the blanket higher, tucking it around me. “Good night,” he says, eyes glittering in the dark.

He is silver and light, made even brighter by the shadows behind him. It’s strange, the disappointment I feel that he isn’t going to touch me. He isn’t going to teach me. Not tonight. “Good night,” I whisper back.

Then he’s gone, shutting the door against the dark, locking me in. And I slide away into sleep, without dreams, without color, with only the shameless black of contentedness, knowing I am safe for the night.

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Stripped series recommended reading order
Love the Way You Lie_new Better When It Hurts_new Even Better_new

Tough Love (prequel novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Love the Way You LieAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Better When It HurtsAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Even Better (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Pretty When You CryAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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To win a signed paperback set of Love the Way You LieBetter When It Hurts, and Pretty When You Cry, please enter below. By entering this giveaway, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

From the author of the Gabriel’s Inferno trilogy, comes the hotly anticipated follow-up to The Raven, a sensual novel set in Florence featuring the dangerously intoxicating coupling of Raven and William, to be released on 2 Feb 2016!! Enjoy an excerpt from The Shadow and enter to win 1 of 2 signed copies of The Raven!! ♥

The RavenAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
The ShadowAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…


“I think all this deep conversation is because of the view,” she blurted out. “The beauty of the city makes people reflect on life and time and secret desires.”

William chuckled and pressed a kiss to her temple. “What do you desire, little bird?”

“The steadfast love of a good man.”

His arm about her tightened. “I am not a good man. I’m not a man at all. But I love you and my love is certainly steadfast.”

She closed her eyes and leaned against him.

“I admire you.” He spoke into her hair.


“Because you’re principled and you hold fast to those principles even when it’s difficult. You’re noble.”

“I feel awkward and overwhelmed more than anything.”

“That is not how you appear to me.” He lifted her chin. “Knowing what I know about your character and your heart, I’ve never seen anyone more beautiful.”

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Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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The Florentine – Purchase Links
theprince TheRaven The Shadow

The Prince (crossover novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
The RavenAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
The ShadowAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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Gabriel’s Inferno – Reading Order and Purchase Links
gabrielsinferno2 gabrielsrapture2 gabrielsredemption_322x500

Gabriel’s InfernoMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Gabriel’s RaptureAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Gabriel’s RedemptionMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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You can order signed copies of Sylvain Reynards’s books from Pages in Manhattan Beach. All orders for personalized copies must be in by 1 November 2015 and must be pre-paid. International shipping is available. 

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To win 1 of 2 signed paperback copies of The Raven, please enter below. By entering this giveaway, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

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Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Wynn in Doubt by Emily Hemmer

Described as “a story of adventure and history, mystery and suspense, romance and dreams”, this standalone novel is a fan-favourite for many and it recently not only got a new cover, but a new publisher too!!! And today, I have an excerpt for you and a chance to win 1 of 3 signed copies!! Enjoy! ♥

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Wynn Jeffries has wanderlust. Unfortunately, her life stalled somewhere between graduating from college and slinging drinks at the local dive bar. Stuck in a one-room apartment with no career, no boyfriend, no…life, she dreams of something more. Something amazing. Something like Oliver Reeves, her high school crush, who’s back in town and reminding Wynn of the way she used to be.

When a forgotten news clipping falls out of a book belonging to Wynn’s grandmother, a well-kept family secret is finally revealed. Is Wynn’s gypsy spirit the result of an overactive imagination, or did she inherit it from a woman so determined to live a big life, she gave up everything to have it?

Together, Wynn and Oliver attempt to put together the missing pieces of her family’s past and unravel the mystery behind her great-grandmother’s disappearance. But after so much time succumbing to fear and regret, can Wynn ditch her safe, routine life for the chance at an extraordinary future?


I lick my lips and draw a heavy breath through my nose. A bead of sweat clings to his temple, and I wipe it away, then run my fingers through his hair. His mouth is open, his breathing shallow. He moves one arm out from under me, and his fingertips trail from my shoulder down to the back of my hand. I move mine from his cheek to the coarse stubble of his jaw. Oliver Reeves is going to kiss me again, this time on a summer afternoon, and I wonder how life will ever be the same.

I trace his lips with my thumb. They’re full and soft. We meet in the air between, his lips fitting around mine in a light, sweet kiss. I hold his head close. His lips move in lazy indulgence, unhurried in their pursuit to pluck every drop of pleasure from mine.

I open my mouth a fraction and run the tip of my tongue across his bottom lip. I don’t know what possesses me to do it. I don’t know anything right now. Oliver presses me into the grass and dirt and fits his hand around the curve of my hip. He slants his mouth across mine, and I let him taste me. His breathing isn’t shallow anymore. It’s labored and noisy against my cheek.

My hand runs down his back. He always looks so calm, so cool, but I can feel the perspiration beneath his shirt. There’s a satisfaction knowing it wasn’t the heat that finally got to him, but me. My lips. My hips and short dress and the bare leg he’s stroking with strong fingers.

Our kisses become faster, needier. I hold his face in both hands as he touches every exposed part of me. His fingers skim the cotton over my ribs, and I move against him, desperate for the feel of his hand on my breast. He cups me there, groaning quietly against my mouth.

He drags his lips from mine; his forehead drops against my neck. But he doesn’t remove his hand or take his weight from me. I arch back, glimpsing dust in a ray of yellow sunlight behind us. His shoulders move beneath my hands as he breathes in deeply. I bring my eyes back to his and see that they’re full of need.

He doesn’t ask, and I don’t say a word. We stand and walk hand in hand, out of the cemetery and back on the gravel path, the one that leads to my car. I reach for the driver’s-side door when we get there, but he pulls me away, back to him, and kisses me slowly. When we part, and the air conditioning is again crisp and cool on our skin, we drive to the hotel in silence. There are no words for this, for what each of us needs.

The truth is, our paths parted a long time ago. Now he’s looking behind for something he’s lost, and I’m running ahead, trying to find something I’ve never had. It feels like we’ve collided—run into each other at the place between what could’ve been and what can be. I don’t know how it will affect what we’re each searching for, but I’ve always loved him, and he came back for me. It’s enough for now.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback


Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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To win 1 of 3 signed paperback copies of Wynn in Doubt, please enter below. By entering this giveaway, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Absolution Road by Rachel Blaufeld

We met Jake Wrigley as Lane’s troubled twin brother in Redemption Lane, and now we finally get to hear his story!! Absolution Road is the second book in the Crossroads series and it can be read as a standalone novel, even though characters from Redemption Lane return in this book too. I have heard such great things about this series, so today, I have a very special treat for you—the first chapter from Absolution Road, as well as a chance to win a signed set of both books in the series!! Enjoy! ♥

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For Jake Wrigley, the future is bleak. Some people are survivors, but he’s getting by on his bad-boy looks and charming smile. He owns a gym, gets into bar fights, and wrestles his demons with rough workouts—both in and out of the bedroom.

For Alyson Road, the future is bright. Life can only improve from where she grew up. She graduated at the top of her law class, cares for her ailing mom, and in her job, she defends those who can’t afford anyone else. Her work is thankless but honest.

Jake’s twin brother has been covering his ass for as long as they’ve been alive, but that all changes when Jake finds himself in front of the fiery public defender, his future in her hands. For the first time ever, he doesn’t want to involve his brother, finally realizing he needs to stand alone, be his own man.

Even if Jake’s never absolved of his past wrongdoings or his heart is never scrubbed of the blackness that resides there, he can do one good deed—protect the beautiful lawyer who touched his soul—until helping her nearly becomes his own undoing.


Chapter One


The metal door clanked shut, the sound of its lock slamming into place echoing off the cold wall I currently leaned against. As I pressed my back against the coarse cinderblock, reality hit me smack in the chest like a bullet train barreling through my heart.

Christ. After a whole goddamn year of trying to get my life in order, to heal past wounds and move forward, look at where I landed.


Did they hold mass in the slammer? Not that I was religious, but I would need someone like God on my side, because there was no way in hell Lane was coming to get me. Actually, for the first time ever, I told myself I wasn’t calling him. I’d leaned on my twin brother for two decades too long. I’d only deserve whatever wrath he served up if I called him from the clink. Again.

Forget it being fucking Christmas, he had a gorgeous wife and a cute little baby daughter, a big house in the country, a huge career, and lots of cash. He deserved to be left alone.

Me, I deserved this. I’d get to make one phone call, and it looked like it was going to be to that little wench—the same woman who landed me behind bars.

My frayed jeans tightened around my thighs as I slumped to the floor. I tilted my head back against the wall, rolling my neck. Taking a long breath, I noticed the guy opposite me—he was big, tattooed, hairy, and snarling at me.

I could fucking take him. Let him just try to approach me. I own a gym, for Chrissake.

“Jake Wrigley?” the guard yelled as he approached the holding cell. “Which one of you fools is Jake?” He shoved his key in the keyhole, eyeing me up and down. Nothing like a big-as-fuck black dude with his biceps bulging through his polyester uniform looking at me like he was thoroughly pissed.

Who shit in his eggnog?

I stood. “That’s me.” I ran my hand along my buzz cut and smoothed out my beard. “Time for my phone call?”

“Nah, man. PD’s here to see you.”

“Oh, good. Maybe he wants to go home to his family, and I’m gonna get out of here in time for the holidays,” I said, then chuckled to myself.

“I wouldn’t hold your breath, my man,” the guard said, shoving me toward the next set of locked doors.

“Thanks, Paul, I’ve got it from here,” a soft feminine voice called out from behind us.

Sweet . . . a female guard.

“That’s okay, Ms. Road. I’ll make sure he gets to the interview room. This one here’s a live wire,” he said, keeping his hand on my arm as he escorted me forward, not allowing me to turn around.

Paul gave me a little shove inside the dank questioning room. “Sit down over there, hands up on the table, and don’t try no shit. I’ll be right on the other side of the door, you stupid prick,” he said, nodding his chin toward a chair.

I pulled out the metal chair and silently wondered whether it would hold my weight. At least the guard was being lenient and I wasn’t cuffed. I might have beaten the shit out of that neo-Nazi asshole in the bar, but I wasn’t a threat to society at large.

“What kind of dumbass gets into a bar brawl on Christmas Eve?” Paul muttered to himself as he made his way out of the room.

The door swung closed, leaving me in complete silence. While I waited, I stared at my calloused hands, listening to my own breathing as I wondered how everything went from getting a little better to complete shit. Again.

I was so deep in thought, I didn’t hear the door creak open or notice anyone had entered the room until I was enveloped in a fog of perfume or body spray, or whatever that vanilla-and-toasted-almond smell came from.

“Good evening, Mr. Wrigley, and merry Christmas. Looks like I have the pleasure of celebrating with you.”

The leggy female pulled out the chair across from me and dropped into it, crossing her legs and rolling her silver pen along her lip as her gaze skated over the notes in front of her. I felt totally inadequate sitting across from the beauty in my worn-in jeans, beat-up boots, and Henley. Not to mention it’s obvious I’m a shit-for-brains with a short-fused temper. I’m here, aren’t I?

The woman was seriously all legs and tits. Hell, she could be the X Games Best All Around Chest Winner, if that were an actual category in the sporting event. Damn, it should be!

At the moment, her boobs happened to be right across the table from me. Those puppies were perfectly round and mouthwateringly delicious, even through her tight forest-green sweater. I wondered idly if the sweater was in honor of the holiday or to match her big green eyes.

Then there was her hair, all fiery red and secured in a ponytail that was way too neat. All of a sudden, my cock was rising to the occasion, and not for the birth of Jesus Christ. I imagined setting that ponytail free so that red mess would fan around her face, or maybe over my hips as she lowered her mouth . . .

“Excuse me, Mr. Wrigley,” Legs said, interrupting my fantasy with her silky voice. “I hate to interrupt your deep thoughts, but it is Christmas Eve. You opted for public representation, so I’m here. In fact, I’m the only one here, thanks to my lucky draw of this shift, so I’d appreciate your not wasting my time.”

Most women’s voices annoyed me, but not hers. This woman’s words were breathy. Not exactly husky, her voice sounded more like she was recovering from a bad cold and talking for the first time in days. She didn’t need to raise her voice; her quiet demeanor was dominating in some odd way.

And she wasn’t just curvy body parts as I’d thought. She had brains too.

I frowned and my ears pricked at this idea. I was usually the dominant in any situation, the guy in charge, and here was this gal taking over with minimal effort. Strangely, I liked it. I nodded in response as I took in the striking bird of prey in front of me. Silently, I willed her to pick me as her new victim. I could pretend to let her chase me a little before capturing me and bedding me down.

God, I’d fuck the stiff pole right out of her ass, and then she’d know who was really in charge.

“Alyson Road,” she said, offering me her hand. It was creamy and dainty next to my dark skin, roughened from hours in the gym.

“Allison Road? You’ve got to be shitting me? Like the song?” I couldn’t help but burst out laughing while still grasping her hand in mine. I hated that stupid song. Fucking pussy song. “Did your parents write that song? God, I hope not.”

My gaze followed every one of her moves, watching intently as she crossed and uncrossed her legs, her tight black pants doing little to conceal her curves or the knee-high boots she wore underneath, before she pulled her chair more snugly underneath the table. No longer extending her hand, she said flatly, “No. They did not.”

“Thank fuck! That is the worst song I’ve ever heard. God, every time the Gin Blossoms perform on Howard Stern, I want to take his fucking man card away.”

She cleared her throat. “If it’s okay with you, we’ll move on to why you’re in here. I’ve heard all the jokes before, so you’re not impressing me with your quick wit or humor, Mr. Wrigley. And it’s A-L-Y-S-O-N, not A-L-L-I-S-O-N, for your information.” She spelled out the letters of her name, each one rolling off her tongue with a confident ease.

Leaning my chair back on its two rear legs, I couldn’t help but laugh again before trying to contain myself. This chick and her soft demeanor were all business. Of course, she would be. Who else would work on Christmas Eve? I was pretty certain she could have made me wait until the day after Christmas to post bond, but here she was defending the public on the most holy night of the year.

Add a big heart to the brain, tits, and long legs I’d already noted in her plus column. Maybe I didn’t want to bang her, but rather cherish this sweet thing? The reality of that seemed slim, seeing as the smart, good girls didn’t go for me. Nor did I expect them to. I was the bad boy, and I had the guilty conscience to back that notion right the fuck up.

“Of course, Ms. Road. It’s Jake, by the way. Just J-A-K-E. Full name is J-A-S-O-N, but I haven’t been called that in twenty years.” I mocked her spelling with my very own rendition, teasing the schoolgirl, looking for a reaction like I was in the third grade. “So, let’s get down to brass tacks and get my ass outta here so you can head home to your . . . husband? Boyfriend? He must be waiting for a gem like you to come home to start the holiday, right?”

No harm in trying.

As I spoke, she narrowed her eyes and glared daggers at me. “Are you done with probing into my personal life, interrogating me? I’m pretty sure I’m not the one in jail.”

Obviously annoyed, she followed that volley with another few leg switches. Left over right, right over left. I wanted to grab her knees and spread her limbs and dive in, let my tongue dig deep into her folds, make her let go of all that stuck-up bullshit she had going on while screaming my name. She probably tasted like sweet honey.

I got lost in another wave of thoughts . . . was she bald down there? Or did she have a fiery red landing strip? She didn’t strike me as the full-bush kind of girl; probably had a regular waxing appointment. Yeah, she most definitely kept that area tight and groomed. She was way too uptight to let it go all jungle.

Being detail-oriented wasn’t all that bad. This was the type of woman who remembered birthdays and anniversaries. She’d never leave her kids with the wrong babysitter.

“Mr. Wrigley! Can you please focus? I really do want to go home and have some hours to myself this holiday.”

Herself? Hmm . . .

“In addition to not seeking or calling a lawyer, I understand you still haven’t made any calls? Is that right?”

“Yeah. I don’t want to bug my brother. It’s his first Christmas with his new family and, well, he’s always been the more responsible of the two of us. This would just give him more ammo against me. Basically, Ms. Road, I’m still one huge disappointment even at thirty-one years old, so I didn’t call him. I guess I could call Camper, but she’s the reason I ended up bashing that asshole’s skull into the wall, so I don’t really feel like seeing her right now. So, yep, no call. Looks like I’m spending the holiday in the slammer.”

I leaned forward on my elbows, bowing my head between my arms as the severity of my situation returned. It wasn’t the time for hitting on the hot public defender or thinking about eating her pussy. I was in jail, and this was extremely bad.

Frowning, she asked, “Why did you bash that asshole’s skull?”

The word asshole sounded so funny coming from her pale-pink painted lips. She said it like she wanted to rinse her mouth out with soap afterward, as if her lips had never spoken such an obscenity and now she was forced to while quoting me.

This was a spectacular woman who had everything—smarts, looks, and passion. If my heart hadn’t been painted black, I’d hand it over to Ms. Road to do with it what she wanted. Or someone like her, but I never imagined that for myself.

Lane got that. Not me.

“Mr. Wrigley?”

“Fucking neo-Nazi. He was spewing some shit to Camper earlier in the evening, running off at the mouth over ‘her nose not looking like a Jew girl’ and ‘she should keep herself bald because her dark pubes gave her away.’ I guess she had a night or two with him, and he didn’t like that she was Jewish. He kept going, running off at the mouth over his other lady freaking over him hitting someone Jewish on the side. Can you believe that crap? Guy was downright disrespectful. I mean, if you’re sleeping around with a bunch of women, you don’t go bragging in public. Anyway, she’s a good friend and she works for me, so I let my emotions take over. She had already gone by the time it happened.” Frustrated, I let out a long breath.

“Did he say anything to incite you? Or you just acted on earlier emotions?”

She was scribbling notes on her legal pad, her slender fingers wrapped tightly around the pen. For a moment, my thoughts wandered again, visions of her hands wrapped around my cock skipping through my raddled brain.

“Cocksucker got all up in my face and said, ‘I know you’re tapping her and you should scrub your dick because she’s nothing but a dirty Jew.’” I felt my Adam’s apple bob in my throat, as if trying to clear away the rising emotion. “I really don’t know why I cared that much. I’m a fucking atheist, and it’s not like I’m some protector of the Jews. Yeah, I tap . . . I mean, Camper and I have an arrangement. We hang out together when we aren’t seeing someone else. She’s not dirty, and my dick doesn’t need a scrubbing. I never even realized Camper was Jewish.”

“I hear you, Mr. Wrigley. No need to discuss your manly digit or who you’re tapping anymore. Although the next time, I may recommend getting to know who you’re seeing or dating a little better. At least know their religion.” She actually blushed when she said manly digit. Then she sort of scowled as if the mere thought of my dick disgusted her.

Maybe she’s a lesbian?

“So after the man you assaulted, um,”—she looked down to check her notes—“after Mr. Cameron insulted your body and your friend, you did what?”

“I grabbed his big, fucking ugly bald head and bashed it into the brick wall until it was bloody. Oh, and I coldcocked him in the nose, which also happened to get very bloody. I would’ve done more damage, but the cop was right on me, and now here I am with you on Christmas Eve.”

“I see you’ve been arrested one other time?” She had flipped through a folder, her green eyes concentrating as she used her pen to trail the line she was reading.

“Yeah. Some other ass started spewing yo-mama jokes at me at some rinky-dink frat party back in college. My mom’s dead and I don’t take kindly to that shit, so I pummeled him, left him with a concussion and a broken arm. He didn’t press charges. Apparently it was more important that the stupid fraternity not get into trouble for serving alcohol to minors and passing drugs than it was for him to get justice. Lucky me, I guess.”

She nodded while I talked, her eyes intently focused on me as if I was the most fascinating man on earth. And at that moment, I wanted to be. I also wanted to see her head nodding in my crotch, if I was being completely honest.

My semi had yet to subside; Ms. Road had done little to entice it to do so. Not only with her looks, but her eyes that consumed each of my words and her willingness to listen pulled confessions of the truth from my lips. But I knew her intent interest was all part of the gig; she listened for a living. It had nothing to do with me.

Or did it?

“I’d say. Looks like you’re in luck again tonight because when the police went to question Mr. Cameron, they found some very interesting stuff going on in his apartment. Let’s just say, he won’t be pressing charges either. You’re free to go, Mr. Wrigley. Merry Christmas.”

“What the fuck? What were all the questions for?” I stood abruptly, my erection now fully deflated. Here I was thinking this was a pretty cool chick, even though she was nailing my balls to the wall, and she played some mind game with me.

“Had to make sure I wasn’t releasing a full-time scumbag back into the world just in time for the holidays,” she said, barely glancing at me as she shuffled her stack of papers, gathering them into a neat pile.

There she went again, being all stand-up and earnest. And gorgeous, to boot.

She unfolded those long legs and stood, holding out her hand to shake mine again, but I couldn’t move.

I could leave? Just like that? Oh well, who the fuck was I to complain? Except I’d just admitted more to this woman than any other woman in my life.

What a fucked-up night, especially when I realized it was all because of the absurd sexual-favors arrangement I had with Camper. I got a lot of pussy over the years, so I wasn’t sure how I ended up so deep with her, especially since she works for me. Yeah, the responsibility probably fell on me. I’d been in a bad place, desperate for some TLC, and she gave it without strings—mostly. I knew I’d never have what my brother found, but everyone needs a little love, right?

Bottom line: this was on me. I’d fallen down the rabbit hole with Camper, so I’d beat the shit out of this dude when he insulted her, and now I was paying the price. Or not, or whatever the fuck this was.

Following Ms. Road’s lead, I stood, practically jittering on my feet as the adrenaline rush slowly came to a halt.

Finally convincing myself to calm down, I shook her hand and looked straight into her big green eyes. “It’s been a pleasure meeting you, A-L-Y-S-O-N. I’ll never be able to think of that song the same. By the way, do you work out? I own a few gyms around town . . . maybe you’d like a complimentary membership?”

I rambled as I stalled, not wanting to part ways with this chick. Now that I was a free man, I wanted to see her again. She ignited something inside me, a desire to protect and care for her, or some weird crap like that. What was this—Oprah?

“Thank you, but I must decline,” she said, her voice polite but with no hint of regret. “The whole lawyer-and-client thing—it doesn’t look right. But you have a good New Year, Mr. Wrigley.”

And with that, her boots clicked against the floor as Ms. Road walked toward the door and slipped out, leaving Paul to handle the rest of my details, and me wondering what the hell just happened. And I don’t mean being released from jail.

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✦ ✦ ✦
Series Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links

Redemption LaneAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
Absolution Road
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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To win a signed paperback set of Redemption Lane and Absolution Road, please click on the image below and follow the prompts in that post. This contest is open internationally.


Giveaway starts at 9am EST on 30 Sep 2015 and ends 3 days after that.

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Meredith Wild’s addictive Hacker series throws readers into the high-stakes world of tech start ups and hacking, layering in compelling suspense and an erotic edge—and now we have the highly anticipated conclusion in Hard Love!!! Just when Blake Landon and Erica Hathaway think their troubles are safely behind them, Blake finds himself at the centre of controversy, haunted by the transgressions of his hacker past that he has no wish to relive…and today, I have a never-seen-before except for you and a chance to win a signed set of the entire series!!! Enjoy! ♥

Hardwired | Hardpressed | Hardline | Hard Limit | Hard Love

Days after their wedding, Blake and Erica Landon embark on their honeymoon-a journey that deepens their bond and promises to fade the scars of their past.

Just when their troubles seem safely behind them, scandal surrounding would-be Governor Daniel Fitzgerald’s election threatens their newfound peace. Back home, Blake finds himself at the center of the controversy, haunted by the transgressions of his hacker past that he has no wish to relive.

With Blake’s freedom at stake and their future in peril, Erica will stop at nothing to clear his name. But when Blake defies the authorities and refuses to seek the truth, their world gradually begins to crumble. Will he let his past win? Or can Erica convince him that their life together is worth fighting for-now more than ever…


As I took a sip of coffee, a loud knock startled me.

“I’ll get it.” Blake set his mug down and moved for the door. Beyond the threshold stood a man dressed in a brown suit.

“Blake Landon?”

Blake’s stance in front the stranger was wide and defensive. “That’s me. Who the hell are you?”

The man narrowed his eyes at Blake, and my stomach burst into a flurry of nerves. Blake’s cockiness had no bounds at times.

“I’m Agent Evans. FBI.” He flipped open his wallet, revealing his ID. “Can I come in?”

“No, but you can tell me what the f*ck you’re here for.”

“Blake,” I hissed.

He ignored me, staring the man down in the way he so often did when it came to people he didn’t care for.

“I’m here to discuss the very curious results of the Massachusetts governor’s election.”

“What business is that of the FBI?”

The detective paused, a tight smile pulling at his lips. “When the results indicate voter machine tampering, it becomes the FBI’s business. We’d appreciate your cooperation.”

Blake’s jaw locked, resulting in a twitch. He glowered a moment, and my heart dropped into my stomach.

The man’s stare passed between us. “Mind if I come in?”

Blake didn’t respond, but stood away from the door enough for the other man to enter. Evans looked to be in his early forties. He was taller than I was, but short next to Blake. His eyes were shrewdly narrow as he scanned our yet-to-be decorated home.

“Can I get you coffee?” I twisted my fingers together, unable to hide my anxiety about his presence. Voter tampering? What the hell?

Evans offered a smile that did little to ease my nerves. “That’d be great. You’re Erica Hathaway?”

“Erica Landon,” Blake corrected. “She’s my wife.”

“Right. Congratulations.” Evans casually tucked his hands into his pockets. “Do you mind if I sit?”

Again, Blake didn’t reply, and Evans made his way to the couch. I brought him his coffee and perched at the edge of the adjacent chair.

He took a sip from his cup and looked up at me. “I understand you just returned from your honeymoon.”

“Can we cut the shit?” Blake said. “Why are you here?”

“Is there a reason why you’re being so contentious, Mr. Landon? I’m simply here to ask questions.”

“I haven’t had overwhelmingly positive experiences with the FBI.”

“I’m aware.” Evans’s tone was low and full of meaning. “Your reputation precedes you.”

He glanced at Blake, the look in his eye communicating something that perhaps only he and Blake knew now. No doubt it had to do with Blake’s rumored history as a computer hacker. He’d gotten into hot water years ago. But why would Evans be bringing this to him? Did he think Blake helped pull off election fraud?

My stomach roiled. I gripped the edge of the couch cushion as the blood drained from my face.

“Are you okay, Mrs. Landon? You don’t look well.”

I stood weakly. “I’m fine.”

“You should go.” Blake took a quick step toward Evans.

Evans rose on cue. “Sure. But you’ll be coming with me. Mrs. Landon, you as well.”

“Like hell. You can leave her out of this,” Blake shot back, anger brewing behind his eyes.

Evans took a step toward him. “Mr. Landon, you’re suspected of rigging the governor’s election. We have questions, and we’d appreciate your cooperation.”

Oh my God, no. I couldn’t breathe. Bile rose in my throat. This wasn’t happening. This couldn’t possibly be happening…

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Hacker Series Reading Order and Purchase Links

HardwiredAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
HardlineAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Hard LimitAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Hard LoveAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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To win a signed set of the entire Hacker series, please enter below. By entering this giveaway, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Begging for It by Lilah Pace


One of the most fascinating, well-written, carefully thought-out stories I have ever come across, the Asking For It duet is nothing short of electrifying, and it owned my breath cover to cover. While its key theme might deter some from tipping their toes into this story, I remain in awe of the author’s ability to handle a rather difficult topic in such meticulous detail, intelligently and responsibly, never glorifying any vile acts, but rather giving her characters a chance to express themselves in all their damaged glory, and even find some self-acceptance in the end. If you’re not afraid of the taboo, if you are able to perceive some themes in fiction as just that, without giving them the unnecessary dimension of reality, if you enjoy exploring on occasion a darker but not any less titillating brand of erotic romance, I urge you with all my heart to give this crazy-wonderful story a chance. You might find yourself loving it just as much as I did!

My review of Asking For It | My review of Begging For It ✦

And today, I got to pick one of my favourite scenes from the second and final book in the duet, a scene that spoke to me because it shows, without any spoilers, the heart-breaking vulnerability of these characters, the self-awareness, the hunger for one another, the hope, while knowing all too well that they might be too damaged to ever expect a happy ending in life. And because she is just too awesome for words, Lilah Pace also gave us her own thoughts on this scene, with a very precious insight into the heroine’s state of mind at this point. Enjoy! ♥

“One of the trickiest things about writing BEGGING FOR IT was the fact that it was a sequel. How do you create the necessary emotional and sexual tension between two characters who already had a big story arc in book one? And how do you work in a review of the plot elements readers need to remember while maintaining a sense of the erotic? (When playing a word-association game, few people would answer “exposition” with “sexy.”) However, this excerpt ended up balancing all of those needs. Vivienne is waiting for Jonah, on edge, yearning for him—but with that slight frisson of fear that so often accompanies their “games.” So it’s natural for her to review the limits they agreed to—the things Jonah will and won’t do to her–both to calm herself and to get even more turned on. Writers are always thrilled to discover they’ve found a way to marry the practical needs of the plot with the inner lives of the characters, so this scene made me very happy.

And also—I mean, waiting for Jonah Marks? Oh, my God. Just the thought turns me on. If you guys like that idea half as much as I do, you’ll understand my other reason for loving this scene!” —Lilah Pace

Some secrets should only be shared in the dark.

Jonah and Vivienne’s erotic bond—living out raw scenarios of captivity and force—began as no-strings sex between strangers who shared the same desires. Now the intimacy between them is turning into love, but it’s a love built on fantasies so extreme that exploring them makes guilt inescapable. But the risks they’re taking are far more dangerous than they’d imagined.

A stalker is terrorizing the city, and one of Jonah’s ex-lovers names him as a potential suspect to the police. Standing by a man under suspicion could cost Vivienne everything. But when Jonah’s stepfather takes advantage of the scandal to seize control of the Marks family fortune, Vivienne is drawn into her lover’s broken family and twisted past. Only then will she learn how dark the truth really is…


I don’t know if Jonah will come to me tonight. I don’t know what he’ll do if he does; the nature of my ultimatum means he’ll have total control over the scenario, if we do return to our games.

However, I know some things he absolutely won’t do.

When Jonah and I first agreed to do this, before we knew anything about each other but our names and our desires, we laid down extremely clear boundaries:

  • He can never threaten me with a weapon.

  • He can slap me around, even hurt me, but not to the point of serious pain or injury.

  • He will not take photographs or video of his “attacks.”

  • He will not come on me.

That last one seems so mundane, I know—but Anthony did that when he raped me, and the horror of that moment has stayed with me always. Initially I had other boundaries for Jonah as well, but as our games continued and he earned my trust, I let those boundaries fall. He can tie me up now if he wants. He can even fuck me in the ass.

(Jonah’s the only man who’s ever done that to me, and we only got around to it once. I wonder if he’ll take my ass again tonight.)

I have to obey certain boundaries too:

  • I can fight back, but can’t leave marks or injuries he’d have to explain later.

  • If anyone ever sees part of what’s going on and misunderstands, I have to put aside my embarrassment and defend Jonah if necessary.

  • And I may not call him daddy—a rule I thought was funny when he first laid it down. Now that I know the truth about Carter Hale, Jonah’s need for that rule sickens me, makes me bleed for him inside.

Of course we have a safe word. Silver. I’ve had to use it with him twice so far. Tonight won’t be the third time, I feel sure. Tonight I think I could take anything, if only Jonah will come to me.

I know he might not. Yet I’m already aching for it, the heat between my legs as tight as a clenched fist. As I park my car in front of my little house, I think, Please, Jonah, don’t make me wait much longer.

Even though I know Jonah would never show up early for one of our games, my heart leaps into my throat the minute I walk inside my house. Every rustle of the wind through the trees outside makes me imagine him walking closer. Every creak of the wooden floorboards brings back the memory of him walking toward me in the night, dressed in black, ready to take me down.

Two and a half hours until I unlock my door.

I make myself a simple omelet for dinner, eat it at my tiny table. It occurs to me I’ve never cooked for Jonah. Not that I’m some sort of master chef—anything but. Still, we’ve skipped over so many of the usual, gentler milestones of intimacy. I’d like to make up for that, if I get the chance.

Just not tonight.

I wash the dishes. I take a shower, slathering myself with vanilla-scented body scrub so every inch of my skin will feel like silk. Every place my fingers touch, I imagine being touched by Jonah. He’s gripped me there, bruised me, kissed me.

Afterward I blow-dry my honey-brown hair, trouble I’d never take to just sit at the house alone. I’d usually change into a shapeless T-shirt and leggings after an evening shower; tonight, I slip into a silky white robe. Nothing else. It will be easy for Jonah to peel the robe off. Maybe he’ll use the sash to tie me up.

Assuming he comes here at all, I remind myself. I’m trying to brace myself in case he doesn’t come. Though losing Jonah would crush me no matter what, I want to at least be . . . prepared.

So I try to read, but while my eyes scan over the words, my brain refuses to make sense of them. I go over the same paragraph time and again, attempting to concentrate on the here and now. It never works. Netflix offers me a TV show I’ve been meaning to catch up on, but it’s just colors and light projected from a screen. Meaningless. All I can think about is my ever-quickening pulse, and the progression of the hands around the clock.

9:59. One whole minute early, I walk to my tiny kitchenette, take a deep breath, and unlock the door. Then I cut off all the lights in the house except for one small lamp in my bedroom—the one farthest from the bed. Now I can only lie down and wait.

Will he come in? Is he out there already?

It hits me then: Of course he is. Even if Jonah has no intention of having sex with me tonight, he’s still outside. Because I told him I’d leave the door unlocked for one hour. That means I’m a little bit less safe.

And Jonah—who has tied me, fought me, held me down, bruised me, had me at his mercy—would always want to protect me.

Our relationship is pure paradox.

Or it was. I’ll find out within the hour.

But down deep, I had hoped he would come through the door almost as soon as I’d slid back the bolt. He hasn’t. Jonah must be parked across the street even now, sitting behind the wheel of his car, listening to the radio and not coming in. On some level he wants to; I know that. Wanting isn’t enough.

In the darkness outside, Jonah is fighting a battle inside his own head.

Fifteen minutes go by. Twenty. Arousal begins to fade into sorrow.

I roll onto my belly in the bed, the pillow cool against my flushed face. Now I feel foolish, even manipulative. What do you mean, giving someone an order to fuck you or else? Jonah doesn’t want to hurt you—he’s uncomfortable with our rape fantasy. Shouldn’t he be? Aren’t you?

My ears prick up. My breath catches. You imagined that sound. Just like you’ve been doing all night. You only think that’s the sound of the door hinges—

Then I hear Jonah’s footstep on the floor.

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✦ ✦ ✦
Series Reading Order and Purchase Links

Asking for ItMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
Begging for It
My review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦

To win 1 of 2 paperback sets of Asking For It and Begging For It (unsigned), please enter below. By entering this giveaway, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Beyond What Is Given by Rebecca Yarros

“She frustrates the shit out of me, pushes me past my comfort zone. She breaks down every wall I have with no permission or apologies. She turns me into a lunatic just to get my hands on her, and when I do . . . she owns me.”


Lt. Grayson Masters is focused on graduating the Apache helicopter course, and the last thing he needs is his gorgeous new roommate Samantha Fitzgerald distracting him. While her smart mouth and free spirit are irresistibly irritating, he can’t deny their off-the-charts chemistry, no matter how hard he tries.

Having just been expelled from college, Sam has no business digging for Grayson’s secrets while she’s hiding her own, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to tear down his walls. Each barrier she busts through drops one of her own, though, and she’s not prepared for the truth: another woman laid claim to Grayson’s heart long ago.

Falling in love is something neither Grayson nor Sam can afford, and when that line is crossed and secrets are exposed, they’ll learn that sometimes it’s the answered prayers that will put you through hell.


My hand slipped and knocked the lever on the side of the mixer.

“Fuck!” I shrieked as the mixer whirred a shrill pitch and batter exploded, hitting the walls, the cabinets, my face…everything. I sputtered as some landed in my mouth, and slammed my hand against the lever to turn it off.

This was going to be a bitch to clean up.

“Are you okay?” Grayson ran in, hair damp from the shower. His eyes widened as he took in the state of his precious kitchen. “You weren’t kidding about the mess.”

“Oh this?” I smiled. “It’s a new aeration technique. I totally meant to do this.” My awesome excuse died as a glob of brownie mix fell off the tip of my nose.

“Is that so?” he asked, walking over to me slowly, consuming my vision. My breath hitched as he swiped his finger across my cheek, and then licked the brownie mix off the digit. Holy hot. “Hmm… I think there’s something to be said for this method. Maybe a little more air in the batter?”

My mouth popped open. “Are you making fun of me?”

He smirked, which must have had a direct link to my panties, because they unanimously voted to drop. Now. There was sexy, and there was Grayson’s tongue sweeping across his lower lip, which was a step beyond hedonistic. His eyes took on a mischievous glint but kept the same signature intensity that held me captive, unable to look anywhere else as he lowered his face toward mine. What…what was he doing?

Do you even care? Nope. Not one bit.

“Maybe another taste to be sure?” he asked, his voice low as his lips skimmed across my jawline. “Mmm. Definitely more.” Shivers coursed down my body. Holy shit. His mouth was actually on me, and I was awake.

He flipped the switch on the mixer and chocolate flew.

“You did not!” I let my knees buckle so I slipped to the floor, leaving Grayson to be splattered by the flying confection.

“I most certainly did!” He lifted me up like I weighed nothing, and batter smacked the back of my tank top. “Man, you’re slippery.” He mock-dropped me.

I yelped, locking my ankles around his waist and my hands around his neck. He turned off the mixer and chuckled low in his throat. “You can laugh?” I asked, yanking my head back to look at him.

“I have been known to on occasion,” he answered, that stupid, crazy-sexy smirk in play despite the chocolate on his cheeks and forehead. How the hell could someone look so hot while literally dripping brownie batter?

“I like it,” I admitted.

His smirk disappeared, and his grip tightened on my bare thighs as his gaze dropped to my lips. They parted as if he’d freaking asked them to. We weren’t just stepping out of the friend-zone here, we were on a damn missile into let-me-jump-you-ville.

“I do, too,” he whispered.

His lips moved toward mine, and I threw up my last defense, placing my finger over his lips before I was lost to all things Grayson. “Wait. Don’t you think—”

He supported all of my weight with one of his arms and gently pulled my fingers an inch away. “That’s the problem. When you’re near, I don’t think. I can’t.” He sucked my middle finger into his mouth and swirled his tongue around it, licking it clean. My entire body clenched, and my breath whooshed from my lungs as he did the same with my pointer finger, then let it slip free. “I’m so damn tired of trying to.”

He cupped the back of my neck with the hand that wasn’t cradling my ass, and brought my mouth to his in a consuming kiss. I responded instantly, opening to him as he swept inside with sure strokes of his tongue. He tasted like chocolate, and sin…and sex. Really good sex.

He growled, his hand fisting my hair to hold me to him. I sure as hell wasn’t going anywhere, not if I could get another sound like that out of him. Heat radiated from his skin to my fingers hands as I stroked his neck to wind my fingers around the back of his head. I arched into him, pressing my breasts into his chest as our tongues rubbed and danced, setting fire to every nerve ending in my body. There was nothing else in the world for me, just the feel of Grayson under my hands, the taste of him filling me. He eclipsed everything else until kissing him was my existence.

He moved backward, until he settled onto one of the tall dining room chairs and held me in his lap. My feet slipped from his waist to brace myself on the chair’s supports. I rolled my hips over him, and he hissed as I brushed against his erection.

Holy shit. He was hard. Already. For me.

I broke the kiss, pausing a breath away from his lips as we both took gasping breaths. “Grayson,” I whispered.

“More.” His eyes shone almost nearly silver and cut through any protest I might have managed, if I’d been thinking logically enough to even contemplate stopping.

His answer sent a spiral of pure lust streaking through my body, and I whimpered as he pulled me back to him, using his tongue and lips to caress every inch of my mouth, then biting my lower lip gently. I clung to whatever shred of sanity I had left, but it fled when he ran kisses down my neck, sucking at little patches of skin and then licking to soothe the burn. I shamelessly rocked against him, then ran my fingers down the carved muscles of his back. There wasn’t a spare ounce of fat on him. He was perfectly cut, honed, and strong enough to do whatever I asked him to.

The thought sent another surge of heat through my stomach, pooling lower.

A low rumble started in his chest as he gripped my ass, his hands squeezing and shaping me with the perfect amount of pressure. “Samantha.”

My name sounded like a prayer on his lips, like I was something worthy of worship. Worthy of him. “Say it again.”

His eyes turned hazy, and one hand drifted up my back to tighten in my hair. “Samantha.” He dragged out the syllables until it sounded like a personal request to climb him like a freaking tree and use him as my personal playground.


Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Standalone novels with interconnected characters…
fullmeasures EyesTurnedSkyward

Full Measures: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
Eyes Turned Skyward: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
Beyond What Is GivenAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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To win a signed copy of Beyond What Is Given, please enter below. By entering this giveaway, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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