EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Heart and Soul by Nicole Williams

HEART&SOUL_Banner

If you’ve read the beautiful Losers Weepers, then you know that Jesse and Rowen’s story is not over yet and that we are getting a final chapter in their heart-warming romance in Heart and Soul!!! As we are only a few days away from the release of this book, I thought I’d treat you to a never-seen-before excerpt that features not only Jesse and Rowen, but also our beloved Josie and Garth… Enjoy! ♥

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Love is what makes us. It’s also what breaks us.

If this is true, Rowan just became the proverbial wrecking ball to Jesse’s life.

Upon discovering Rowan is pregnant after taking every precaution to ensure otherwise due to a life-threatening heart condition, Jesse is forced to face too many harsh realities and they send him into a desperate, dark place. To consider the possibility that he might lose his wife and unborn child is too much for Jesse to bear.

The situation is out of his control, so he gloms on to the few things he can control. Like noting Rowan’s every move, or dialing the doctor whenever her face goes a shade pale, or even acknowledging the fact he’d be willing to make a deal with the devil in exchange for his wife’s and child’s lives. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do or give or sacrifice to keep them from harm.

But what happens when the devil takes that deal Jesse struck, and the tables turn? A life for a life. A soul for a soul. A heart for a heart. His life for theirs.

Love is what makes us. It’s also what breaks us.

Love’s made Jesse and Rowan. Love’s about to break them too.

excerpt

“See? I told you they’d make it. You can relax now and enjoy the rest of the night.” Josie glanced at Garth before getting back to staring at my stomach as she massaged little circles into it.

It kinda freaked me out, and I would have put a hard stop to it if it was anyone but Josie, but she had always been one of those touchy-feely types. Her running her hands all over me was like someone else nodding at me in acknowledgement.

“Yeah, yeah. They made it. You were right,” Garth replied, his lips still shiny and sparkly from Josie’s lip gloss.

“This guy’s been pouting half the night, worrying you two wouldn’t make it in time,” Josie said, waving at someone who offered a congrats in passing. “He said the only people who are his real friends wouldn’t make it to our engagement party and he’d be stuck making nice with everyone else who was only here because of me.” Josie circled her finger around the barn brimming with people. “Because, you know, the world is out to get and totally against Garth Black.”

“This might be a bad time to bring this up, but the only reason Jesse and I are here is because of Josie too.”

Garth gave me a tight smile as a beer magically appeared over his shoulder. So much for no friends in the crowd.

“Why doesn’t this man have a cold beer in his hands yet?” Garth motioned at Jesse, who’d just shoved off of the mats to take his sentinel at my side. Answering his own question, he held his beer out for Jesse.

Jesse didn’t seem to notice it. Instead he looked like he was still trying to wake up and figure out where he was.

Garth grabbed Jesse’s hand, opened it, and slipped the beer in. “There you go, Jess. Now it’s a party.”

I didn’t know if it was the condensation dripping down the side of the bottle into his hand or if he’d just figured out a way to push the last of the fog aside, but Jesse’s eyes cleared. After taking a look at the three of us, he glanced at the beer. “It’s your party. You need this more than I do.” He lifted the beer toward Garth, who shook his head as adamantly as I’d ever seen him.

“No. You most definitely need that more than I do,” he said, waving when Jesse tried to hand it off again. “Besides, I’ve already met my two-beer limit for the night, so I’m going to pretend to be a good boy and refrain from all bottles unless there’s water inside.” Garth lifted his chin at the people around us. “Half of these people are only here for the free food and the hope I’ll demonstrate just how much of Clay Black is inside these veins. You know how much I love disappointing people. It’s one of the few things I do really well.” Garth winked at me then kissed Josie’s cheek before backing into the crowd. “Speaking of bottles of zero-proof liquid, you want me to grab you one, mama bear?”

Jesse nodded for me while I shook my own head. I’d been drinking so much water today, yesterday, and every day since two pink lines drove a wrecking ball through our lives, I’d actually checked the internet to see how much a person had to drink before it became a bad thing. That was another thing my husband was ever on the ball on—keeping a water bottle within reach and topped off.

“Okay, so do I grab one or don’t I?” Garth waved his finger between Jesse and me.

“Yes.”

“No,” I said at the same time.

Both of us followed it up with a sigh.

“It’s hot in here. You need to stay cool, hydrated,” Jesse said, glancing at my forehead where I could feel sweat beading. “It can’t hurt.”

Instead of arguing, I turned it into a negotiation. “Fine. I’ll drink a bottle of water.” His face ironed out in surprise, probably because I never gave in so quickly or easily. “If you drink that bottle of beer.”

His face pinched back together. “What does me drinking a beer have to do with you drinking water?”

“Nothing.” I lifted a shoulder. “And everything.”

“Shit, you guys. This can’t be that difficult of a decision.” From his tone, I could imagine the impatient look on Garth’s face.

Jesse threw him a quick glare for “defiling” our innocent baby’s ears before aiming his attention back at me. “This is crazy.”

“I know.” I lifted his hand holding the beer toward his mouth. “Isn’t it great?”

With a disgruntled sigh, he lifted the bottle to his lips and took a sip.

“That’s fine. You want to nurse your bottle all night long? I will too.” I waved Garth on his water-retrieving way but crossed my arms at Jesse.

“So are you implying that for every bottle of beer I drink, you’ll drink your own bottle of water?” He took another sip, this one not so dainty.

“I didn’t realize I was implying anything. I thought it was pretty obvious.”

“You’re bribing me.”

Yeah, I kinda was. “I’m trying to get you to loosen up for one night and have a good time.”

Finally done running her hands all over my stomach, Josie held her fist out for me. I bumped mine against hers.

“Unbelievable,” Jesse muttered, taking another even longer drink of his beer.

I smiled. He hadn’t had a single drink since he’d found out I was pregnant. When most men would have been reaching for the bottle, Jesse’s got shoved to the back of the fridge. I figured that with his low tolerance even before three months without alcohol, he’d be putty in my hungry, very horny, hands after three, possibly four beers.

Better make it five just to be safe. I wanted him good and tipsy so all I had to do was crook my finger to get him to come running, but I didn’t want him drunk and sloppy. After my own three-month stint of going without, I wanted to take my time and do it right. More than once if possible.

By the time Garth had returned with a few waters, Jesse had almost downed his whole bottle. Sloshing what was left of it in front of me, he lifted an expectant brow at the bottle in my hands.

Two could so easily play at this game.

After unscrewing the lid, I clinked my bottle to his and lifted it to my mouth while I heard Josie whisper to Garth what was going on. Another curse flooded from his mouth. I took my own dainty sip at first, and just when Jesse was crossing his arms, I tipped the bottle back and drained all sixteen ounces in the time it took Garth to mutter yet another comment that would earn his forehead a dent the size of Jesse’s fist if he didn’t watch it.

“Well?” I waved the empty bottle in Jesse’s face. His eyes were wide with surprise. “What’s it going to be? Your wife’s and child’s well-being, hydration included, is in your hands.”

Jesse’s head fell some, his eyes drifting to my stomach. When he looked up, I saw a look of resolve I was all too familiar with.

“Black,” he called, his voice matching his expression, “get me another.”

addtogoodreads

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

✦ ✦ ✦
Lost and Found – Reading Order and Purchase Links
lostandfound_322x500
NearandFar_322x500
finderskeepers_322x500
LosersWeepers
heartandsoul

Lost and Found: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback
Near and FarMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback
Finders KeepersMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback
Losers WeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Heart and SoulAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

BOOK REVIEW: Losers Weepers by Nicole Williams

LosersWeepersIf we didn’t know darkness, we couldn’t fully appreciate the light.

Garth Black’s more familiar with this concept than most people are. He hadn’t just lived in the dark for the majority of his life—he thrived in it. With a mom who’d bailed on him and a dad whose understanding of coddling started and ended with a bottle of whiskey, Garth had never been expected to rise to any sort of occasion other than following down the same dead-end paths.

That changed when he fell in love with Josie Gibson. After years of pulling each other closer before shoving the other way, they finally stopped shoving. Josie’s love is like nothing Garth’s ever experienced. He holds it close. He holds it sacred. He would do anything to preserve it and keep it from pollution, even if that means removing himself from the picture.

Garth might have been allowed a temporary furlough to bask in the light, but that pass has been revoked, and he’s been swallowed again by the dark. Will he revert to his old ways of hurting those he cares for most? Will he go back to the same destructive patterns . . . or will it be worse this time?

We can’t know light without first knowing dark . . . and Garth Black’s about to get acquainted with the dark in a whole new way.

review

“You don’t throw away the love of a lifetime because someone gets injured—that’s when you prove what your love’s really made of.”

Garth Black. This dark, troubled, smart-alecky cowboy stole my heart in Finders Keepers, but I have to admit that getting a continuation of his story was equally thrilling as it was terrifying at first, because every protective bone in my body did not wish any more harm to come to these beloved characters. Garth and Josie’s love story had been a lesson in perseverance, of stubbornly fighting for what we want most in our lives, and of breaking the self-disparaging cycle we might have been born into. But their tale was not over, as blissfully as it had ended, and one more hurdle was needed for Garth to recognise and truly embrace the unconditional love a woman like Josie was offering him. An intensely emotional and thought-provoking story, sugar-coated with light-hearted humour and sarcasm, it never steered away from getting across a very meaningful message of hope and courage, of learning to grab life by the horns instead of fearing it, of living to the fullest regardless of what the future has in store for us, and of seizing every minute of every day like it were our last. I fell in love with these characters all over again, and I still find myself smiling from time to time as certain scenes unexpectedly flash through my mind, because this superb, feel-good story stays with us long after we turn the last page.

“I had nothing to compare to the way she loved me, and that’s what made it so special. No one but her had ever come close to loving me like that. No one had ever believed in me the way she did. Her love was so big and overwhelming that each day with her erased another day of pain and failure from my past. Her love was magic, healing me as it lifted me up, and though she tried convincing me otherwise, I knew I could spend ten lifetimes trying and failing to give her what she’d given me in a year’s time.”

Garth and Josie have found their happy ending in each other’s arms and with a hopeful future before them. But, after a childhood void of affection and approval, and having been told all his life that he was nothing, Garth still struggles with his self-esteem issues, especially when it comes to truly believing that he could ever be worthy of someone as wonderful as Josie. He plans of handing her the world, of making every single one of her dreams come true, thus making her as happy as she makes him, and his career as a bull rider is his means to that very end. But one moment, one flash in time, steals his dreams away and leaves him facing the kind of future he has dreaded all his life.

“My whole life, everything I’d been and everything I’d wanted to become, was spiraling away from me. Fragments of the man I’d been and the man I’d wanted to become were gusting out of reach. My life as I’d known it was over. My life as I’d hoped it would be would never come to fruition.”

As we watch him reverting to his old, sarcastic, self-destructive ways in an attempt to cope emotionally with his own helplessness and inherent pessimism, we also watch him push away those he loves the most in life—his Josie most of all. Convinced that she would be better off without him and determined to give her the life he believes she should want, he becomes his cantankerous old self, the man he knows Josie should not love. But all his plans fall through one by one as he realises that the firecracker he loves more than life itself is not a woman who can be told what to feel or what to do. And that her love comes with no conditions.

“Joze, you and I are more alike than both your mother and father pray every night we’re not.”
“Ah, that’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me. Nothing says romance like implying your woman’s the asshole equivalent of you with boobs.”

Ms Williams has given us a kickass heroine that created the perfect character balance to the hero’s often belligerent and gloomy ways. Josie is Garth’s perfect match in so many ways, defusing his negativity with her sharp tongue and quick wit, disarming him with her bubbliness and playfulness, and mending his broken heart with her endless love and devotion. Even in his darkest hour, she is the beacon that pulls him out of his own misery.

“My God, Joze. You’re the best damn woman God had the audacity to go and create. How did I end up with you?”

There is something so emotionally fulfilling about a story like this one—even the sadder moments leaving us bursting with hope and positivity—but it is the sheer magnitude and beauty of the love present on every single one of these pages that captured my heart irreversibly. This inspiring, uplifting, touching love story was great before, but now it became a sight to behold. I cherished every moment and was only too happy to discover that one way or another, we would not be saying goodbye to these beloved characters just yet, as they would inevitably play a minor role in the final chapter of Jesse and Rowen’s story in Heart and Soul. This is a book for the heart and mine is overflowing right now.

“Nothing’s fine without you, Joze. But with you? Everything’s perfect.”

5stars

signature2
addtogoodreads

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

Read an excerpt ✦

✦ ✦ ✦
Lost and Found – Reading Order and Purchase Links
lostandfound_322x500
NearandFar_322x500
finderskeepers_322x500
LosersWeepers
heartandsoul

Lost and FoundMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Near and FarMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Finders KeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Losers WeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Heart and Soul: iBooks (16 Jun 2015)

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL: Heart and Soul by Nicole Williams

It’s my birthday and I have a little surprise for you!!! Tomorrow, when Losers Weepers comes out, you’ll find out on the very last page that Jesse and Rowen’s story is not over yet and that we will be getting a final chapter in their heart-warming romance, coming in June 2015. And today, I have the honour of sharing with you the cover and blurb of Heart and Soul… ♥

Expected release date: 16 June 2015

heartandsoul

Love is what makes us. It’s also what breaks us.

If this is true, Rowan just became the proverbial wrecking ball to Jesse’s life.

Upon discovering Rowan is pregnant after taking every precaution to ensure otherwise due to a life-threatening heart condition, Jesse is forced to face too many harsh realities and they send him into a desperate, dark place. To consider the possibility that he might lose his wife and unborn child is too much for Jesse to bear.

The situation is out of his control, so he gloms on to the few things he can control. Like noting Rowan’s every move, or dialing the doctor whenever her face goes a shade pale, or even acknowledging the fact he’d be willing to make a deal with the devil in exchange for his wife’s and child’s lives. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do or give or sacrifice to keep them from harm.

But what happens when the devil takes that deal Jesse struck, and the tables turn? A life for a life. A soul for a soul. A heart for a heart. His life for theirs.

Love is what makes us. It’s also what breaks us.

Love’s made Jesse and Rowan. Love’s about to break them too.

addtogoodreads

✦ ✦ ✦
Lost and Found – Reading Order and Purchase Links
lostandfound_322x500
NearandFar_322x500
finderskeepers_322x500
LosersWeepers
heartandsoul

Lost and Found: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback
Near and FarMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback
Finders KeepersMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback
Losers WeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Heart and SouliBooks (16 Jun 2015)

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Losers Weepers by Nicole Williams

BT15_LOSERS WEEPERS_Banner

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day, my book junkies!!! ♥

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am sharing with you a never seen before excerpt from the upcoming fourth book in the Lost and Found series by the super-talented Nicole Williams, featuring one of my all-time favourite book boyfriends: Garth Black. The sequel to Finders Keepers and the continuation to Garth Black’s story, Losers Weepers is expected on 24 February 2015. And if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post, you can enter to win a signed set of both Finders Keepers and Losers Weepers!! ♥

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

If we didn’t know darkness, we couldn’t fully appreciate the light.

Garth Black’s more familiar with this concept than most people are. He hadn’t just lived in the dark for the majority of his life—he thrived in it. With a mom who’d bailed on him and a dad whose understanding of coddling started and ended with a bottle of whiskey, Garth had never been expected to rise to any sort of occasion other than following down the same dead-end paths.

That changed when he fell in love with Josie Gibson. After years of pulling each other closer before shoving the other way, they finally stopped shoving. Josie’s love is like nothing Garth’s ever experienced. He holds it close. He holds it sacred. He would do anything to preserve it and keep it from pollution, even if that means removing himself from the picture.

Garth might have been allowed a temporary furlough to bask in the light, but that pass has been revoked, and he’s been swallowed again by the dark. Will he revert to his old ways of hurting those he cares for most? Will he go back to the same destructive patterns . . . or will it be worse this time?

We can’t know light without first knowing dark . . . and Garth Black’s about to get acquainted with the dark in a whole new way.

excerpt

It was getting close to being my turn to ride, but I liked to wait until the last possible moment to make my way to the chute and the bull. I liked taking my time and running the dirt through my fingers before I got sucked into the adrenaline vortex that resided within a fifty-foot radius of the chutes.

Crouching, I cupped a handful of dirt from the arena and felt the weight of it. This past year, I’d spent more time riding indoors than outdoors, which meant I’d “arrived” in the bull riding world. It seemed kind of backward to me that when a rider made it big, he started spending more of his time indoors than out, but that was the way it worked. The soil in the indoor arenas had taken some getting used to. Don’t get me wrong, it was still dirt, but it had a different feel. It was heavier, grittier almost. Like every grain of dirt was vying to get its own attention. It was darker too.

After spending long summers riding outdoors, where the dirt got dry and hard in August, or spending plenty of time in the red soil of eastern Montana, the dark, thick indoor soil had been as foreign as the bright lights and giant crowds. After a few months, I’d gotten used to it. The bright lights and giant crowds at least. The soil still felt wrong, but I couldn’t let rituals die just because the dirt felt strange.

I was sifting the last of it through my fingers when I heard someone come up behind me. I knew who it was without looking. Before I knew it, I was smiling . . . and I wasn’t supposed to be the goddamned smiling idiot.

“There’s a rumor going around that Garth Black is signing women’s bras at the end of the rider’s hallway.”

The last of the soil slipped through my fingers. “You know what a rumor is, right?”

“A half truth.”

I lifted myself up, fighting every instinct to whirl around and wrestle her into my arms. The other thing I didn’t know about “realizing” my dreams in the arena was that it meant spending plenty of nights in roadside hotels and waking up to a cold bed. Being away from Joze so much was the worst part of it, but a bull rider’s career only lasted a few years. My plan was to win as many competitions and cash as many checks as I could before I was either forced or broken enough to retire. Then I’d spend the rest of my life crawling into bed beside the woman I loved. If I made the same kind of money for the next couple years that I had this past year, we’d be all set to remodel the old farmhouse we’d purchased last summer and purchase the thousand acres around the house to raise cattle on. That was our goal. The guy who’d wanted nothing better than riding bulls and winning buckles wanted to retire as a cattle rancher. Go figure.

“Are you asking me or accusing me?” I tilted my head back just enough to see her silhouette behind me.

Josie’s hand flew to her hip, making my smile stretch. She was about as jealous a girlfriend as she was a prim and proper one, but she was up to something.

“Neither,” she answered, moving closer. “I came to get my own Garth Black autograph . . . right here.”

The coy act was over. Whipping around, I found Josie unbuttoning the top couple buttons of her shirt and pulling it down to reveal the top of her bra.

“Joze,” I warned, looking around and ready to prod any wandering, gaping, or otherwise inappropriate looking eyes.

“Come on. I want an autograph.” She fingered the top ridge of her bra, playing with it. My throat went dry. “With the way he’s been riding this past year, an official Garth Black autographed bra should fetch me at least a few hundred bucks on eBay.”

I feigned a look of insult. “A few hundred? Try a few thousand.”

She smiled, continuing to play with the cup of her bra. “That’s nice . . . but sign my bra already. Before I’m forced to get physical with you.” She wet her lips, slowly and deliberately, as she moved closer.

Shit. I was supposed to be focusing on my ride and doing the whole visualization thing, but the only thing I was visualizing was Josie’s bra and the rest of her clothing winding up in a pile at her feet.

“Now why would I give you your autograph with that threat on the table?” My boots couldn’t stay where they were any longer. I found myself moving toward her without making a conscious decision.

When my arms were about to ring around her waist, she pulled a pen from her pocket and lifted it in front of my face. “My autograph,” she said in a firm voice, tapping the lace of her bra with her finger. “Now.”

I took the pen and pulled the cap off with my teeth. “I can’t say no to my biggest fan, now can I?”

Josie’s eyes held mine as she raised an eyebrow. “Saying no isn’t exactly your strong suit when it comes to me.”

A crooked smile slid into place as I dropped the tip of the pen to her chest. “No, it isn’t.”

Signing a girl’s bra is harder than a guy might like to believe. The unevenness of the lace, matched with the knowledge of what that material is covering or, depending on the style, just barely covering, makes focusing on signing one’s name legibly and correctly next to impossible.

“Oops,” I said as I finished signing my last name on her skin. It may or may not have been done intentionally.

Josie gave me a look, knowing every bit how intentional it had been. “So? How did it compare?”

I capped the pen and handed it back to her, admiring my autograph . . . or admiring the spot where it was. My handwriting was sloppy as hell and looked more like a middle schooler’s graffiti than a grown man’s signature. “How did what compare?”

“Signing your girlfriend’s bra next to signing the rest of those”—Josie cleared her throat to substitute the word, or string of words, she’d been considering—“bras?”

My brows were nearly hidden beneath the brim of my hat, so she couldn’t see them pull together. “There is no comparison.”

She smiled at where I’d signed my name, tracing the letters of my last name with her finger. I realized just how perfect this moment was for pulling out the ring in my back pocket. I had planned on waiting until after the competition, when I’d had a shower and was in fresh clothes, and doing it over a fancy dinner with a fancy bottle of champagne, but this was the moment. I knew it. She was with me for the first time in three weeks, and she was smiling at my last name scribbled on her body—the same last name I was hoping with everything I had left to hope with that she’d want to make her own one day.

I might have had a plan for how I wanted to propose, but life was meant to be spontaneous. The same went for engagements.

“Have you been working on that ‘there is no comparison’ answer for a while, Black?” She finished tracing the K before lifting her eyes to mine. “Because it was a good one. I guess since I’ve hardly seen you for a solid twenty-four hours this past month, you’ve had plenty of time to work on it.”

I patted my back pocket for the hundredth time. It was still there. I didn’t know where I thought it would go—it wasn’t like an inanimate object could just hop out of my pocket and bounce out of the arena. “Joze, when I said there was no comparison, I meant that in both the literal and figurative way.”

She lifted an impressed brow. She liked it when I talked as though I used my brain for more than just a cushion when I landed headfirst after being thrown from the back of a two-thousand-pound animal.

“Your bra-slash-chest”—my eyes lowered to my name and everything around it—“correction, your perfect chest, is the first one I’ve ever autographed, so there is, literally, no comparison.” When her forehead started to crease, I continued. “But even if I had signed all of those bras you’ve heard from the rumors I have—even if I’d signed millions—there would be, figuratively, no comparison whatsoever. None.”

She was fighting to keep that stern expression, but it was close to slipping. Joze was a champ at giving me a hard time and making me walk a fine line, but she could never stay upset at me, for real or pretend, when I was layering on the good lines.

“Let’s get a bit more figurative with this whole thing then.” Her gaze dropped to her chest, her finger hooking under the clasp at the center of her bra.

My gaze followed hers.

“Let’s fast forward thirty years, or copious amounts of tanning without sunscreen and bouncing up and down stairs without a bra . . . can you still say there’d be no comparison?” I was opening my mouth to reply when she added, “And look me in the eye while you answer?”

I tipped my hat back just enough she could get a good look at my eyes. Since we were kids, Josie had been able to call out my lies just by taking one good look into my eyes—that was why I’d avoided letting them drift her way for a good portion of our lives—but I didn’t divert them anymore. Not even when she was asking a hard question, and with a history like mine, there was no shortage of difficult questions to ask and answer.

I had to work to keep my face straight before I let myself say one word. “That’s what lots of money and a skilled surgeon are for, so yeah, I can answer that even thirty years from now, with all of that sun . . . bouncing . . . stuff, there will still be no comparison.” I worked my tongue into my cheek when she crossed her arms. “Post operative, of course.”

Her arms crossed tighter. “You drew VooDoo, right? I’m going to go have a little chat with him and request that he drive one or both of his horns into your ass after you give the eight-second ride of your life.”

Josie started toward where the bulls were being sorted into the chutes before I grabbed her hand. I couldn’t let her go one more step without asking my question. I couldn’t let myself go one more step without knowing her answer.

Sure, we’d purchased the old farmhouse together and talked as though we would live and die together, but the actual topic of marriage hadn’t been discussed. I guessed she wasn’t against the concept, but my palms were still breaking out in a sweat and my heart was thudding so powerfully, I could practically feel it vibrating against my chest armor.

“Joze, wait.” I tugged on her hand to bring her back. “I’ve got to ask you something before you go ask VooDoo to pierce my backside.” I peaked a brow at her as I slipped my hand into my back pocket.

addtogoodreads

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

✦ ✦ ✦
Lost and Found – Reading Order and Purchase Links
lostandfound_322x500
NearandFar_322x500
finderskeepers_322x500
LosersWeepers
heartandsoul

Lost and FoundMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Near and FarMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Finders KeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Losers WeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Heart and Soul: coming 16 Jun 2015…

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦

To win a signed paperback set of Finders Keepers and Losers Weepers, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This 48-hour contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL: Losers Weepers by Nicole Williams

Garth Black, that dark, troubled cowboy who stole our hearts in Finders Keepers is getting another book!!! We saw him battle his past, allow himself to succumb to his feelings for the only girl who broke through his snarky facade…but his story is not over. I am so honoured to be able to share with you the title, cover, blurb and release date of the fourth book in the Lost and Found series!! Feast your eyes on Losers Weepers… ♥

Expected release date: 24 February 2015

LosersWeepers

If we didn’t know darkness, we couldn’t fully appreciate the light.

Garth Black’s more familiar with this concept than most people are. He hadn’t just lived in the dark for the majority of his life—he thrived in it. With a mom who’d bailed on him and a dad whose understanding of coddling started and ended with a bottle of whiskey, Garth had never been expected to rise to any sort of occasion other than following down the same dead-end paths.

That changed when he fell in love with Josie Gibson. After years of pulling each other closer before shoving the other way, they finally stopped shoving. Josie’s love is like nothing Garth’s ever experienced. He holds it close. He holds it sacred. He would do anything to preserve it and keep it from pollution, even if that means removing himself from the picture.

Garth might have been allowed a temporary furlough to bask in the light, but that pass has been revoked, and he’s been swallowed again by the dark. Will he revert to his old ways of hurting those he cares for most? Will he go back to the same destructive patterns . . . or will it be worse this time?

We can’t know light without first knowing dark . . . and Garth Black’s about to get acquainted with the dark in a whole new way.

addtogoodreads

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

✦ ✦ ✦
Lost and Found – Reading Order and Purchase Links
lostandfound_322x500
NearandFar_322x500
finderskeepers_322x500
LosersWeepers
heartandsoul

Lost and FoundMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Near and FarMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Finders KeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Losers WeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Heart and Soul: coming 16 Jun 2015…

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

BOOK REVIEW: Three Brothers by Nicole Williams

threebrothers

I grew up with three brothers. They weren’t tied to me by blood, but our connection went beyond genetics or bearing the same last name. Our connection was forged the summer I turned thirteen, the summer my mom ended her life and left me in the custody of John Armstrong, a man I’d never met. Packing all I owned in a couple of boxes, I left the familiarity of the big city and headed west to Red Mountain Ranch, set in a lonely valley outside of Jackson Hole.

Nothing was as it seemed at Red Mountain—it didn’t take long for me to figure that out. John was kind to me but distant, as if he was afraid to let anyone get too close. His three teenage sons had their own devices for keeping love as far away as they could. The eldest distracted himself with cheap relationships that had a shelf-life of one night. The middle son threw himself into the rigor of running a ranch, and the third wielded cruelty and mind-games in his quest to keep people from getting close.

Time has gone by, and I’ve spent those years trying to forget the brother I’d fallen for—the biggest mistake of my life.

Finally, I’ve moved on. Finally, I’m back. But what I didn’t realize was that running away from the wrong brother meant I’d also run away from the right one. The one who’d been there for me all along, waiting in his brother’s shadow for the day I either would or could move on.

But a decade is a long time to wait. Has the brother I should have chosen all of those years ago moved on too? Am I about to discover that my biggest mistake wasn’t falling in love with the wrong brother, but failing to return the love of the right one sooner?

Does unrequited love have an expiration date?

I’m about to find out.

review

“There is no one better for me than you. There never has been, and there never will be.”

As someone who reads so avidly and is constantly seeking that next great story, that next unforgettable journey to hold me captive and overwhelm me emotionally, I am getting pickier and pickier the more books I read, and it takes more now than it used to for a story to rock my world and make me swoon over every word in it. But there are some authors who never fail to do just that, time and time again, their powerful prose never disappointing, and their stories always making me feel so much, and always in such different ways. This is one of those extraordinary books. A timeless tale, a tale in which powerful themes are approached with subtlety and sensitivity, a tale in which even the most understated of scenes has the ability to fill us to the brim with emotions, and while the deliberately unhurried pace of this story might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I personally needed it to be just as it is because it ensured that every message took root, that every life lesson got heard, and that every single deeper meaning was conveyed just right. I fell in love with these characters, so much that I never wanted to part with them, but even more than that, I fell in love with a touching story of love, loss, courage and forgiveness, a story that made my heart smile cover to cover.

“I’d spent more time away from that place than I’d spent there, but I’d learned that some places and people leave a deeper impression than others, regardless of time.”

Scout is a young woman in her mid twenties who has spent seven years of her young life running away from a place that made her the person she is today. A place filled with memories, both good and bad, she has allowed her heartbreak to keep her away from the only place she calls home, and from the only people in her life that she considers family. But when a tragic turn of events takes her back to that very place, Scout is forced to confront old demons while rekindling bonds that never should have been severed in the first place.

“I’d let one person and the memories of him keep me from this place for seven years. I’d never make that mistake again.”

Scout grew up with the three Armstrong brothers by having spent five of her most impressionable teen years living under the same roof, raised by the same man and treated as one of them, but she forged very different ties with each of the brothers, their differing personalities reflecting the type of relationship she formed with them—a loving best friend, a playful older brother, and an unrequited teenage crush. But when she returns to Red Mountain Ranch after seven years of absence, nothing is as it once was. And where once there was life and joy, now there is only despair and bereavement haunting the halls of her old childhood home.

“Life was heightened on those thousands on acres, and no one who entered its boundaries was exempt. The highs of life were higher, but the lows followed the same pattern, and in my experience, the lows outweighed the highs at Red Mountain.”

Taken aback by all the changes, Scout is forced to confront all that she has left behind, and the very reasons that drove her away from a place she loves so dearly. She is no longer the vulnerable young girl whose heart led her astray, and the Armstrong brother whose past actions have troubled her for so long no longer has the same power over her. Amidst past and present heartache, Scout has to finally recognise her unhealthy obsession for what it once was and allow her heart to see what had been in front of her all along.

“What I wanted to give and wanted to feel wasn’t hiding in the darkness… it had been in plain sight the whole time.”

But love is the very thing that the Armstrong men fear the most, and sometimes finding the love of your life does not necessarily mean you are allowed to keep it too. Especially when old family secrets are thrown into the mix.

A beautiful and at times heart-shattering story about learning to live life to the fullest, fearing nothing, not even death, and living it with no regrets, the entire story is akin to a nostalgic trip down memory lane, evocative of an old-fashioned world where life was simpler, more predictable, and where human bonds and their connection to the land they lived on formed the essence of a person’s life. With great finesse and unquestionable sophistication, Ms Williams has gifted us with a tale to make us reflect, to stop us in our tracks and make us evaluate our own life’s journey. This is not a story about the highs and lows of one’s life—this is the story about the space in between, the simple joys, the important joys, the daily joys, and about learning to appreciate and celebrate every last one of them.

“You make life fun, not matter what we’re doing. I wake up with a smile, even if the first thing on my list is scouring through a pile of cow crap to see why one of them’s sick, because I know you’re here. I know I’ll get to see you when you show up and chore the say away with me.”

4halfstars

signature2

addtogoodreads

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
✤ ✤ ✤

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

COVER REVEAL: Damaged Goods by Nicole Williams

I pretty much adore every single word Nicole Williams has ever written and I am so excited that she has a new series in the works!!! The first book in The Outsider Chronicles, Hard Knox, is already available and, today, I have the great pleasure of sharing with you the cover of the second book in the series—Damages Goods. Please note that each book highlights a different couple and they can all be read as standalone novels…. ♥

Expected release date: 9 September 2014

DamagedGoods

When Liv Bennett said good-bye to her sinkhole of a hometown, she planned to leave that chapter of her life behind forever. But forever turned out to only be three years.

After her addict of a mother up and disappears, Liv returns to what she considers her own personal hell smack in the middle of nowhere Nevada to take care of her two younger sisters, and she promptly reinstitutes the golden rule that got her through her first nineteen years of life without getting knocked up, roughed up, or messed up: don’t date the local boys and, god forbid, don’t fall in love with one of them.

It isn’t long before that golden rule is put to the test.

Will Goods grew up in the next trailer over, but the wild, careless boy who used to tear up the town with his three brothers has morphed into someone else so completely, he’s almost unrecognizable. The quiet, contemplative man who works on cars every night and takes care of his mentally ill mother every day is nothing like the local boys Liv grew up avoiding.

But when Liv considers suspending her golden rule just this once, she finds out something about Will that will change everything.

Will Goods isn’t who he used to be—he’s not even the man Liv thinks she’s gotten to know over the summer. He’s become someone else entirely.

He’s become . . .

Damaged Goods.

addtogoodreads

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
✤ ✤ ✤
The Outsider Chronicles – Recommended Reading Order
hardknox
DamagedGoods

Hard KnoxAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Damaged GoodsAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA (9 Sep 2014)

✤ ✤ ✤
The Author

Nicole is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Crash series, Lost & Found series, Up in Flames, The Eden Trilogy, and a handful of others. She writes stories about everyday kinds of people who find themselves in extraordinary kinds of situations. She tells love stories with happy endings because she believes in making the world a better place, and that’s one tiny way she can make it so. She’s one of those people who still believes in true love and soul mates, and would rather keep her head in the clouds any day over having her feet firmly on the ground.

Connect with Nicole: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
✤ ✤ ✤

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦