Blog Tour: The Queen B* Strikes Back by Crista McHugh

The Queen B* Strikes Back (The Queen B* #2)
by Crista McHugh
YA, Romance, Contemporary

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Alexis Wyndham isn't quite sure what to think about her "friendship" with star quarterback, Brett Pederson. Sure, he has more brains than the entire football team combined. Not to mention that fact he's a great kisser. When he asks her to help him with his college admission essay, she isn't sure if he's doing it to spend more time with her or if he's just using her for her intelligence. But after her nemesis, Summer Hoyt, makes it clear she's not finished chasing after Brett, the war is on, and the head cheerleader will find out that hell hath no fury like a Queen B*.

Book 1
Chapter One
There's a special place in hell reserved for those who wake me up before noon on a Saturday.
And Brett Pederson was on that list.
I'd forgotten that he was on my preferred contact list, so his call came through the Do Not Disturb feature on my phone. Two weeks of a school project with him and now he was ruining my first day without Junior, the mechanical mutant baby that had been the bane of my existence.
The phone wouldn't stop ringing, so I was forced to pick it up. "Give me one reason not to make you the topic of my next blog post."
"Aw, Lexi, you wouldn't do that."
"Don't call me that, and yes, I would."
After all, I was Alexis Wyndham, the Queen Bitch of Eastline High School. My blog, The Eastline Spy, was notorious for taking members of the in-crowd down a peg, and as the hottest guy in school, Brett would be an easy target.
Too bad he'd somehow earned a soft spot in my heart. It was not something my cruel, hard image as the Queen B* would allow, and even though I'd convinced him we were better off as friends, I'd started second-guessing my decision the moment he walked away.
"I was calling to make sure you were ready to go to the senior class carwash. I'll swing by your house in ten minutes to pick you up."
Before I could protest, he hung up.
I glanced at my alarm clock.
8:32 a.m.
A) Where does Brett get off thinking that I want to have anything to do with the idiots I refer to as "classmates"?
B) Why in hell would he think I'd want to go to this event, let alone with him?
But the butterflies in my stomach overruled my brain. As much as I loathed the idea of getting wet all in the name of raising money for a stupid class gift, the idea of Brett picking me up was enough to make me crawl out of bed.
Besides, if I arrived with him, it would piss off my nemesis, Summer Hoyt, to no end. She wanted him, but he wasn't interested. In fact, he seemed more interested in me. At least, if I believed yesterday's conversation behind the scoreboard.
Brett wanted to be more than friends, but I wasn't ready to go there.
At least, not yet.
I'd spent three years building a rep as the hardest bitch in school, and if the star quarterback started dating the Queen B*, then both of our positions in the high school social hierarchy would suffer.
But if we weren't at Eastline…
My thoughts wandered to a few days ago, when we'd hidden in a janitor's closet to keep Principal Lee from catching us in the girls' locker room together. Brett had taken the opportunity to kiss me, and before I knew what was happening, I'd lost my shirt. At least now I understood how my best friend, Morgan, could lose her head over so many guys and end up naked in bed with them. Teenage hormones were powerful things, especially when you factor in a great kisser like Brett.
I rummaged through my drawers until I found the perfect T-shirt. The mid-September day promised to be warm and sunny, but the hickey on my shoulder prevented me from wearing a tank top, so I paired it with a pair of shorts and threw my frizzy hair up in a ponytail.
The doorbell was ringing as I ran down the stairs. I opened the door and pulled Brett in before someone could see him. "You must have some kind of death wish."
"Just want to make sure you show that Eastline pride," he said with a charming grin. "After all, I am SGA president."
Brett was so perfect, I had to force myself to stay angry at him. He was more than a hot bod, although I'd seen enough of the muscles under the shirt to want to run my hands over them. He was more than a handsome face, although there were times I could lose myself while staring into his warm brown eyes. He was more than the star of the football team, although I admit I was beginning to have new appreciation for the sport since watching him play.
He was an annoyingly all-around good guy with a sharp mind and a personality that seemed to put everyone at ease, including me. He was the only person who could get past my prickly outer shell and make me swoon.
Of course, I'd never let him know that.
He handed me a rolled up T-shirt. "I brought you one of my Eastline shirts."
"Why?" I unfurled it and made a show of wrinkling my nose as though I were disgusted. It was a standard Eastline football shirt with a number on the back—one I'd seen dozens of players on the team wear around town. But then I caught a whiff of his scent, and my pulse cranked up a notch. Dear God, the shirt smelled like him. I resisted the urge to cuddle with it, especially since the source of the scent was standing right in front of me.
"So when you're sitting in the stands next to Richard, you'll at least show some school spirit." He winked before he closed the gap between us. "I thought you weren't going to come to the game last night.
"Richard needed a ride," I lied. In truth, I'd been the one to offer him a ride. I'd become a Brett addict over the last two weeks, and I couldn't decline a chance to watch him play. Thankfully, Richard—my other best friend next to Morgan—was a huge football fan.
"I could've sworn I saw you cheer when I threw that touchdown pass."
"I think you may have suffered a concussion when that lineman buried you into the turf."
He chuckled, but continued to inch closer until his lips were a mere breath from mine. "Brushing up on your football slang?"
"Only because I have to listen to Richard." My mouth was dry. My voice was shaking, and I wasn't even sure I could form a coherent sentence, but I refused to give in to him. If he knew how attracted to him I really was, he might use my dark secret against me.
After all, that was what my former best friend, Summer, did to me in junior high.
A hint of a challenge danced in his eyes, making the golden flecks in them appear brighter than before.
My head swam, and my knees wobbled. Even though my mind was screaming Danger! I couldn't look away. If he kissed me again, would I fold

Finally, a little lot of insanely sweet, squeal-inducing scenes between Brett and Alexis are present in this book. I really like both characters, faults and all. What made this story better throughout reading it are the other characters involved too. 

How the main characters interacted with the others gave readers a chance to get to know the characters well. It opened new stories that need to be heard. It really got me curious to know the past about them and how they came to be what they are. I would like to read more about the other characters, even Summer Hoyt, in the next book (or maybe just an extra chapter). 

What stuck to me the most in the first two books is just the gravity a person, particularly in high school, goes through to learning one's place in the status quo. It has always been an influencing factor when it comes to their decision-making. In your past experiences, where you the one to accept what you were labeled as, or fought with your everythibg against the label others pinned on you?

Crista McHugh is an award-winning author of fantasy and romance who writes heroines who are smart, sexy and anything but ordinary. She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.
She is an active member of the Romance Writers of America (including the Greater Seattle Chapter and the Seattle Eastside Chapters), and Romance Divas.
Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she's had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.
And she's also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

Find Crista McHugh Online

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BLOG TOUR: The Name of the Game by Jennifer Dawson

The Name Of The Game
Something New #3
By: Jennifer Dawson  
Releasing September 29, 2015

"An author to watch out for." --RT Book Reviews

Some people follow the rules. . .

A professor of forensic anthropology, James Donovan is the reasonable sibling among the passionate, impulsive Donovans. But there's nothing reasonable about his reaction to baker Gracie Roberts. She's all wild curls and mouth-watering curves, as deliciously tempting as the sugary treats she's famous for--and twice as irritating. But before long, James decides that getting a taste of her is one indulgence he can't pass up. . .

Some people play to win. . .

Independent, smart, and sexy, Gracie's year-long dry spell has her itching for a man. Responsible, health-obsessed James? Not in a million years! She needs a guy who knows how to let loose! But when James sets out to show her just how satisfying a disciplined man can be when pleasure is at stake, she learns just how sweet--and spicy--he really is.

Have James and Gracie found the recipe for love?

Gracie pulled up to the Donovan family’s brick bungalow and turned off the ignition. The modest house was located in a tight-knit neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago and looked nearly identical to all the other bungalows lining the street, except for the brightly colored balloons next to the door.
            She got out of the car and walked up the steps. Today’s event was at Shannon Donovan’s house. The mother of the groom had wanted a close-family-andfriends celebration before the official engagement party tonight. Gracie blew out a deep breath. Another day with the Donovan clan, and a new opportunity to change her ways with the professor.
            As she’d been here before, she knocked on the door and then walked in.
            An explosion was followed by a sound of rapid machine-gun fire, so loud it had to shake the plaster off the walls of the small foyer. Gracie peered into the small living room to find James playing a video game with a chubby, angel-faced boy around twelve or thirteen.
            Neither of them glanced in her direction.
            Controller in hand, James’s attention was riveted on the flat-screen television. The line of his jaw was hard, his cheekbones defined, as he concentrated on the game.
            “Flank him. Go. Go. Go,” James yelled, gesturing wildly with his controller.
            Gracie had never seen him so animated before. The sight was riveting.
            The boy’s arms flailed as his thumbs frantically worked across the controller. “To your left.”
            One of the guys in military garb on the screen moved and James said, “You’ve got it, take the shot.”
            The other animated soldier dropped to one knee and shot, filling the screen with the splatter of blood and brains flying through the air before the screen cut to another scene.
            “Yes!” The boy whooped, his face alight with the thrill of virtual victory.
            “Did you see his head explode?” James grinned, leaning back on the floral brocade couch. The feminine fabric highlighted the masculinity of his face, the broadness of his shoulders in a black waffle-knit shirt.
            Gracie couldn’t help but be charmed at the excited expression the professor wore. She’d never seen him look so carefree or unreserved.
            The boy looked at James with complete adoration, a sweet smile on his round face. “That was awesome.”
            Gracie stepped into the room and leaned against the doorframe, finally making her presence known so she wouldn’t be caught gawking. “That was some impressive splatter.”
            They looked at her.
            James’s gaze flickered over her body. “Gracie.”
            She fought the urge to stiffen at his cool tone. It was a casual brunch, so she wore jeans and a black scoop-neck knit top that highlighted her blond hair and curves. She’d made damn sure she looked good, covering the shadows under her eyes with concealer.
            “Professor,” she returned before beaming at the boy. His mouth hung open as he gaped at her. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?”
            James’s mouth quirked as he noticed the boy’s stunned expression. Gracie thought she detected an eye roll but she couldn’t be sure.
            James jostled the kid out of his daze and said, “Gracie Roberts, this is my cousin, Declan.”
            Gracie walked over and stuck out her hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Declan.”
            The boy turned scarlet as his sweaty palm slid into hers. “Thank you, ma’am.”
            Gracie waved. “Ha, ma’am makes me feel like I’m a hundred years old. Call me Gracie.” She jutted her chin toward the television. “Nice shooting. Maybe later you can show me how it’s done.”
            Declan flushed an even deeper shade of red, jerking his gaze toward the professor. “James did all the hard stuff.”
            Gracie shrugged. “From what I saw you delivered the kill shot.”
            James smiled at her, a real smile, one that flashed the mysterious dimple, and Gracie’s heart gave a hard lurch. In a split second, like the sudden strike of lightning, she saw it. The sun streamed through the window, highlighting the gold in his hair, and she saw the man she’d been refusing to acknowledge since she’d met him. The one everyone else saw. The man Lindsey Lord looked at like a god and Cecilia thought sexy.
            The man who called to some deep, secret place inside her. The attraction that pulled at her while she focused instead on all the things about him that irritated her. The world swung and she blinked, taking a step back.
            Oh no.
            The smile transformed into concern and he stood, walking toward her. “Are you okay?”
            She nodded even as a swell of heat washed through her.
            No. No. No. Not him. Anyone but him. He was all wrong for her. He was her best friend’s brother. He was secure and stable.
            He was coming closer. Too close. Awareness flared, impossible to ignore.
            He was going to touch her. A second later he gripped her arm and she gasped. “You’re as white as a sheet.”
            A jolt of electricity shot up her arm. He was one of those solid-relationship guys who mowed the lawn and had five-year plans. She straightened and squared her shoulders. “I’m fine.”
            He didn’t eat carbs! Or sugar! Flour was a part of her life. She was a baker.
            His forehead creased. “Are you sure?”
            “Yes,” she said, her voice too breathless. He needed to stop touching her. She needed space to get a handle on this. She blurted the first thing that popped into her head. “I have the cake in my truck.”
            His hand dropped away and she could finally breathe. “I can go get it.”
            James’s black shirt stretched over his broad chest. Her fingers twitched as a startling visual of tracing her hands over the lines of all those muscles filled her mind.
            Oh no. Where was his geek-wear? She needed a pair of chinos, stat. She cleared her throat. “It’s a two-man job; you’ll need help.”
            He nodded. “Are you sure you’re okay? You look a little shaky.”
            “I’m great. Just tired.” Her gaze snagged on his mouth, his full mouth, but instead of focusing on what a horrible kisser he’d be, she could see it. Feel his mouth moving over hers. She sucked in a breath. “I’m used to sleeping in my own bed.”
            Expression filled with disbelief, he was clearly perplexed by her behavior. He started to say something, but Evan came in and his mouth snapped shut.
            He stepped away.
            Out of the corner of her vision, she saw James’s face smooth over into the cool remoteness he always seemed to wear whenever she was around.
            “There she is.” Evan bounded over to her and swept her up in his powerful arms, giving her a big smacking kiss on the lips. “How’s my favorite girl?”
            Thankful for the distraction from her troubling thoughts, she laughed and swatted the pro football player and resident wild-child away, relaxing into the easy flirtation. “Ah, if only I could believe you, but after last week’s game you told that pretty reporter with the red hair the same thing.”
            “But with you I mean it.” Evan grinned down at her. At six-five he was built like a Greek god crossed with, well, a pro football player. With the Donovan family’s green eyes and dark brown hair, he was about as gorgeous as a man could be. Considered one of the best wide receivers in the game, he was a media favorite, with all his crazy antics and a new supermodel every week.
            He loved to flirt, and she flirted right back. “You’re a liar, but I still love you.”
            Since they’d met he’d made it plenty clear he’d take her to bed without even the slightest encouragement. He’d whispered outrageous things in her ear. Hugged her. Teased her. They’d gotten drunk together on more than one occasion, and yet she’d never given him the opportunity to make a move. Why?
            He was a hot-as-hell, wild, testosterone-soaked, NFL Pro Bowl-er. Women lined up for a chance to be in his bed. So what the hell was wrong with her? Sure, it would be a fling, because there’s no way Evan was a settlingdown kind of guy, but he’d be the best kind of fling. They’d have fantastic, sweaty sex and still be friends the next morning. So why hadn’t she jumped at the chance to get between the sheets with the notorious Evan Donovan?
            She turned and her gaze collided with James’s. His arms were crossed, his expression had turned stormy, and his jaw was firmed into a hard line.
            Heat spiked across her skin and her belly jumped. Cecilia was right.
            It was because of him.
Jennifer Dawson grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later, they’re married and living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog.

Despite going through a light FM, poem writing phase in high school, Jennifer never grew up wanting to be a writer (she had more practical aspirations of being an international super spy). Then one day, suffering from boredom and disgruntled with a book she’d been reading, she decided to put pen to paper. The rest, as they say, is history.

These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer, writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever watchful eye on her ever growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her husband.


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Callous Truths
Taabia Dupree
Releasing September 25th, 2015

Have you ever loved someone so much that you ignored what was right in front of you?
After a decade of friendship, Zaniel Baker finds himself envious of his best friends, Micheal, Ryan and Trevor. Even with a dark cloud of unspoken tragedy lingering over their friendship, his friends have managed to find everything that Zaniel wants for himself...happiness and love.

Then he meets Anastasia. Love at first sight soon turns to a licentious obsession.

When tragedy strikes yet again, Zaniel's blinders are ripped off, leaving him in a web of lies, deception, and betrayal.

Can he come back from something that has turned his life upside down? Will his past be a part of the problem or the solution?
“You know the worse part about that day bro?” Zaniel asked Ryan as they sat down at their regular both at Monahan’s.

Ryan sighed and shook his head. “Again with you and memory lane man. All the way here you talked about that day. That was over thirty years ago. Why you have to bring that crap up. You make me look like a pussy every time you tell the story.”

Trevor and Michael laughed as they took their spots at the both. The four men have been friends for over thirty years. They started in kindergarten together and celebrating any one of their birthdays, someone reminds them of their rough past.

“Aw look at him. Zaniel looking a little sensitive not being able to finish his story about our best friend getting killed.” Michael said as he downed another beer.
That time had been a sad time for them all, and Michael was the last one to want to hear about that day.

“Sorry, I was just saying that Pauly is really missed and that’s it.”

“No, you son of a bitch you were going to say if we had listened to Trevor and stayed the fuck away from that store Pauly would be here right now. Blame me still huh Zan?” Trevor grabbed Michael by the arm when he tried to stand. Zaniel looked away and Ryan shook his head again and called the waitress over. “Hey, can we get another couple rounds over here?”

“Trevor man, I have never said anything like that, that you were to blame. If anything we are all to blame. It was a dumb idea and we all went along with it and now it’s over. Look Happy Birthday man, and a cheery toast too many more.” Zaniel clinked everybody's glass. Michael kept tossing his drink back and ignored him.

His teeth clenched together, but Zaniel kept quiet. Especially when Ryan kicked his foot under the table. When he looked over, Ryan did a small shake of his head.

“Hey remember when Mike here, had that girl in his basement? Remember his big brother Kyle came home, and he heard them down there humping and grinding away, and Kyle ran down in the basement naked screaming the house was on fire, and he couldn’t find his clothes?” Ryan chuckled so hard he could barely get his sentence out. Trevor laughed and beer squirted from his nose.

Michael laughed too, but it wasn’t one of those hearty laughs as the guys had. He glanced over at Zaniel and asked, “Hey, if you don’t blame me, how come you stop talking to me that summer. It was both our birthday’s coming up before school and you didn’t say a damn word to me that summer. Why Zaniel? Why you cut out like that man.”
“Come on Mike. We are here to do shots, drink beer and talk shit. Let’s get some food too.” Ryan said as he waved the waitress over to them once again
“Bullshit Ryan. You have always been like that man, ever since we were kids. The fuck’n peacemaker. You break everything in your body and all you got to say is let’s eat, drink and fuck’n be merry.” Michael took the last swing of his third beer and started to stand.”

Zaniel stood and grabbed his arm, “Hey Mike…”

Michael gave him no chance to say anything else because he punched him in the face. Zaniel went backward, and his back hit the both. He swiftly recovered and went after Michael, who had turned to walk away. He grabbed his arm and was about to hit him when Michael moved and jabbed him in the gut. Zaniel went down to his knees.
States and grew up on the Eastern Seaboard. Her love of books and anything with words came from her parents. As a young person, Taabia read anything she could get her hands on, from cereal boxes, to the Encyclopedia Britannica, to the National Geographic, to the business section of the local newspaper. Yet some of her favorite reads came from writers; L'Amour, Tolstoy, Eddings, Tolkien, Hugo, Wright, Dickens, and Hemingway.
In 1999, Taabia started writing erotic fantasy stories for online story groups. She self-published her first erotic story in 2011.
Today, Taabia Dupree writes poetry and erotic short stories. Her books can be found in several genres, including coming of age, mystery & psychological-thrillers, fantasy, and paranormal. She's currently working on a crime novella and a sci-fi fantasy novella.

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Blog Tour: Breaking Tackles by Erin Brown

Breaking Tackles by Erin Brown 
Contemporary, NA, Romance

Breaking Tackles goes on sale September 22nd!

Add it to Goodreads

Read the entire first chapter on Wattpad 
Courtney Narducci isn’t sure how life could get any better. She’s finally dating her childhood crush and dream guy, Adam Kistler, has a great group of girlfriends, and is loving her life in college. But when Adam is drafted to play professional football and has to move, they decide as a couple that Courtney will return to college and that they won’t make any decisions about their future until after Adam’s first NFL season, which leaves nearly everyone around them in disbelief. As everyone looks to Courtney to find out what decisions she’s going to make, all she wants is for everyone to talk about anything else and understand that she has plenty of time—an entire year—to figure out her next move.

Luckily, Adam isn’t much concerned about long-distance. He loves Courtney – has ever since they were kids – and isn’t about to let something as silly as distance come between them. After she visits him, meeting his teammates and their significant others, most o

f whom, he must admit, err on the side of model, Courtney – a girl who has always been a tomboy and couldn’t care less about fashion and diet trends – is hell-bent on dieting and working out nearly every waking moment.

As Courtney begins to lose weight, she begins to feel better about herself. She hasn’t been happy with her appearance in quite some time anyway, especially lately, and she’s sure that as soon as she’s happy with how she looks, the rest of her insecurities about her love life, as well as all the change that has come her way recently, will disappear. As soon as she reaches her goal weight, she’ll stop with the restrictive diet and spend less time at the gym. Because as soon as she looks better, she knows she’ll feel better, which means everything will be perfect and she’ll finally be ready to face the changes in her life she’s so actively avoided.

The companion novel to Taking Flight and Making Headlines, Breaking Tackles is a story of love, hard truths, friendship, food, and football.

It’s Friday night and I’m bored.

Worse than that, I’m restless.

Willa has been Skyping with Dan for the last two hours, Sophie is at the Delta Tau house for one of their parties, Kate is party hopping, Becca is out with other friends, and I already talked to Adam tonight. Unlike Willa and Dan, we’re not the kind of couple who talks for hours on end about nothing. I can’t decide if I’m jealous of her ability to do that with her boyfriend or if I think it’s insane.

Both Sophie and Kate invited me to parties, but I’m not in a party mood.

Then again, I’m so bored that maybe a party is a good idea. It will at least give me something to do. Before I can change my mind, I text Sophie and Kate to tell them that I’ll go to the Delta Tau party. After they both send exclamation points and emojis in response, I start getting ready, pulling out a pair of dark-washed bootcut jeans.

When I put them on, it turns out they’re baggy.

Holy crap. I’ve lost enough weight that my jeans are baggy on me!

I feel an immense sense of satisfaction and relief washes over me. I was really beginning to think that my devotion to this diet wasn’t going to ever pay off—that maybe I’d hit some sort of weight-loss wall.

But I haven’t.

Feeling great, I take them off and put on a red dress that’s always been a little snug on me. When I get it over my head, I realize that it fits. In fact, it’s a tiny bit loose.

This is incredible.

I grab a belt and wrap it around my waist, hiding the fact that the dress is a smidge too big, and then, since I’m wearing a dress, decide to put on some makeup. Might as well go all out.

When I’m finished getting ready, I knock on Willa’s door to let her know I’m heading out. I hear her say, “Hold on a second,” to Dan before she opens the door.

“Holy bazoo,” she says. “You look like a freaking sex bomb.”

“Thanks. I think.”

“You look awesome,” she says sincerely. “You should wear red more often. What are you up to tonight?”

“I’m going to head over to the Delta Tau party. Are you in for the night?”

She looks over at her computer and says, “Yeah, probably. If not, I’ll let you know.”

“Okay,” I say. “Tell Dan I say hello.”

She nods and says, “Have fun tonight.”

Ten minutes later, I’m at the front door of the Delta Tau house, where there’s a campus police officer and a guy sitting at a table in front of the front door.

“Hello,” he says, looking me up and down as the officer checks my student ID. “Welcome to Delta Tau.”

The police officer opens the door for me and I walk into the gorgeous entryway and up the stairs that’ll take me to the less gorgeous part of the house where all the guys live and the parties take place.

I text Sophie to let her know I’m here and she meets me at the top of the stairs.

“Look at you!” she says. “You’re making everyone else look bad.”

“Please,” I say, rolling my eyes.

“No, seriously, you look phenomenal.”


“It’s not a compliment, just a freaking fact. Come on. Luke’s room is this way.”

She takes my hand and leads me through the already crowded hallways to Luke’s room, which is in a different part of the house than it was last year. I probably wouldn’t have thought about that and gone directly to his old room, thoroughly embarrassing myself in the process.

There’s a small group gathered in Luke’s room and when he sees me, his eyes widen and he says, “Courtney!” before coming over and giving me a side hug. “Good to see you. What can I get you to drink?”

I try to think of a drink with the least amount of carbs and sugar in it and come up empty. Alcohol is chock full of carbs and sugar. There’s no avoiding it.

“Beer is great,” I say, making a deal with myself to drink the one beer and do thirty extra minutes on the elliptical tomorrow.

“Coming right up,” Luke says, going to his mini-fridge, grabbing a beer, untwisting the cap, and pouring it into a red cup before handing it to me.

“Thanks, Mr. President,” I say.

Luke pointedly grins and lifts his eyebrows in Sophie’s direction as she says, “Courtney, no!”


“He keeps asking me to call him Mr. President and I’ve been refusing,” Sophie says.

“Oh,” I say, understanding. “Well. I wouldn’t call him Mr. President in that context, either.”

“See?” Sophie says, returning Luke’s pointed look. But he just laughs and says, “Can’t blame a man for trying.”

“Trying what?” Kate asks, leaning against the door. She’s wearing a tiny dress and sky-high heels, and her face starting to turn red. The Asian Flush, as she calls it.

“Luke wants me to call him Mr. President.”

“In bed?” Kate asks loudly. “Or all the time?”

Everyone in the room laughs at that. “Preferably all the time,” Luke says. “She’s also refused to call me ‘Editor in Chief, sir’ in the newsroom.”

Sophie groans and rolls her eyes.

“So, when’s this party really getting started?” Kate asks.

“Now that you’re here, the festivities can officially begin,” Luke says.

“Has Courtney not made it yet?” she asks, looking around the room, her gaze moving right past me. “She texted and said she was coming.”

“Kate,” I say, and her eyes find mine.

“Oh. My. God,” she says dramatically. “I’m either already so drunk that I didn’t recognize you or you look completely different.”

“I think it might be a little of both,” I say.

“You’re probably right,” she says, moving closer to me. “I just saw you at lunch today and you didn’t look like this.”

“I was wearing running shorts and a T-shirt.”

“You need to stop that and start showing off this body more often. Damn, girl.”

“Back down, Kate,” Luke says. “Otherwise I’ll have to sic Adam on you.”

“You’ll need to sic him on all the guys here,” Kate says. “And probably some of the girls.”

The author was pretty straightforward with what she wants the readers to gain from the book. It's not just about loving others but also learning to love oneself.

Ms. Brown was able to narrate how one's social acceptance pressures oneself to change in what they deem in accordance to society's standards. From the insecurities, to the empowerment of feeling that change and others noticing it, and down to wanting more. It even came to the point that her actions lead to horrible consequences not only to herself but also to those who love her. It showed how her body dismorphic disorder affected those around her as well.

Breaking Tackles talk about a disorder that is quite common yet is something that a lot keep quiet about. The book showed that in order to conquer it, not only do you have to learn to accept yourself but also accept the support of those who has your best interest at heart.

Erin Brown Author Photo  
Erin Brown is a writer, Whedonite, Whovian, yogi, HGTV addict, and connoisseur of The CW’s TV line-up. She was born and raised in Arkansas, lived in New York City for five years, and recently moved to Singapore, where she lives on the beach, which is completely wasted on her because she is a ginger and the sun is not her friend. She is the author of Taking Flight and Making Headlines: A Taking Flight Novel. You can follow her on Twitter @erinbrownwrites.

Blog Tour: The Heat of the Moment by Katie Rose

The Heat of the Moment
The Boys of Summer # 3
By: Katie Rose
Publication Date: September 22, 2015 
The Boys of Summer are back! In Katie Rose’s sweet, sparkling novel, the newest New Jersey Sonic falls for the woman who’s trying desperately to save his career.

Physical therapist Jessica Hart has learned her lesson: Never date professional athletes. She’s been down that road, and barely recovered after the relationship crashed and burned. Then Jessica meets Gavin King. An All-Star slugger with chiseled good looks, Gavin was traded to the Sonics because he hurt his knee sliding into second, and now his future is in her hands. Gavin’s no bad boy—but he’s tempting enough to make Jessica think twice about all her rules.

Gavin is trying to find a comfortable routine. If he wants his old life back, he must take it easy, stay out of the limelight, and keep his distance from gorgeous redheaded physical therapists. The thing is, Gavin isn’t the kind of guy to sit on his ass and let other people pull his weight. And when he sees something he wants, he can’t help but fight for it, even if it means risking everything, even if it only lasts a single moment: like one kiss from Jessica. 
“Gavin, you see those tweets about the game last night?” Arnie Lutz, outfielder for the Dodgers, approached the first baseman and held up his iPhone. “They caught that line drive you made in the ninth on video.”
“Screw that,” the catcher, Ron Sproules, said, throwing his glove onto the locker room bench. “I hear the chicks are starting a new fan club. Couple of us are the hottest guys in baseball!”
“No shit!” Arnie brought up his Twitter feed.
Gavin King came to stand behind Arnie as the outfielder scrolled through the tweets, pausing only when a female fan expressed her appreciation for his good looks, hot bat, or hard-muscled body.
“Hey, Gav, there is something about you!” He held up the phone so they could both look.
Gavin’s jaw dropped in shock as together they read the tweet:
Dodgers trade star hitter Gavin King to the New Jersey Sonics.
Arnie glanced at Gavin before immediately pocketing the phone. “That doesn’t mean anything,” he said quickly. “You know how it is on Twitter. Most of it’s BS.”
He departed abruptly. Puzzled, Gavin saw the catcher whisper something to the outfielder, and they both looked his way. Before he could question them, Troy Hutchinson, the general manager, walked into the clubhouse.
“Gavin.” He gestured to their first baseman. “Got a second? We need to talk in my office.”
Gavin followed the man, totally confused. Out of the corner of his eye he saw that Arnie was studying his shoes, and the other players seemed to avoid eye contact as if he had suddenly acquired a contagious disease.
He and the general manager walked down the hallway into the executive suite. The Dodgers were known as a first-class ball club, and it showed from the polished hardwood floors, the gleaming offices, the richly appointed rooms with mahogany desks and framed artwork. Among the pictures adorning the wall were some of the all-time great players, Al López, Arky Vaughan, Babe Herman . . .
Gavin’s photo was positioned right in the middle. Although he had just been brought up from the minors the year before, the management had made it clear they felt he was destined for greatness.
Troy lifted a coffeepot and turned toward him with raised brows. When Gavin shook his head, he poured himself a cup.
“The management team has decided to make some changes,” he said as if discussing the weather, not the rest of his life. “I know we originally discussed a no-trade clause with your agent last year, but things are different now. We brought up a few promising rookies, our outfielder has developed into a better hitter than we anticipated, and we believe we have several options for first base. We decided to send you to New Jersey, effective immediately.”
Stunned, Gavin stared at the coffee mug in disbelief before shifting his eyes back to the man before him. His ears were ringing, and he felt light-headed, as if he might pass out. His stomach churning, he realized what this meant.
He’d been traded.
When he could speak, he looked the general manager in the eye. “I don’t understand. Why?”
Troy put the cup down and came to sit on the edge of the desk, and then indicated the upholstered leather chair before him. When Gavin sank into the luxurious butter-soft seat, Troy picked up a CD and tapped it against his fingers.
“We got the results back on your MRI.” His voice was lower, sympathetic but firm. “We don’t like it. Now I know,” he said when Gavin attempted to protest, “a lot of players tear a meniscus and recover completely. But it’s not a risk we are willing to take.”
“But the doctor said I’ll be fine—” This wasn’t just a bad dream. It was more like a nightmare.
“I’m sure you will be,” Troy said smoothly. “This is purely a business decision. You see, we can either invest in you, and take our chances, or we can put that money into half a dozen young prospects, figuring one of them will pan out. The organization feels that’s a better way to go.”
“But New Jersey, for God’s sake!” He got to his feet, anger beginning to replace confusion. He couldn’t help but glance once more at his picture on the wall, framed in California sunshine.
“We spoke to your agent a few minutes ago. Why don’t you give him a call, take your time to pack. We’ll miss you, Gavin, but it’s all part of the game. You know that.”
The first baseman rose from the chair and stormed out of the room. Technically, he had just been fired, dumped from a contending team to a second-rate ball club. Everything he’d hoped for, all of his dreams, now seemed to be circling the drain.
And he saw it first on Twitter.
Award-winning historical author Katie Rose makes her contemporary debut with the Boys of Summer novels, Bring on the Heat and Too Hot to Handle, which combine Katie’s true loves: baseball and romance! When not watching baseball, Katie is at her lake house in New Jersey, hard at work on her next book.

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