A MelanieM Review: Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) by Avon Gale

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.

After spending years guilt ridden for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.

Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

With each new novel in the Scoring Chances series I’m finding myself saying “oh, this is now my favorite story and couple”.  Because this series just keeps getting better and better.

Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) by Avon Gale switches the focus of the series over to the hapless Spartanburg Spitfires, previously mentioned as the worst team in the ECHL, the one you didn’t want to be traded to.  Now it’s undergoing a radical change with a new coach and assistant coach team brought in by it’s owner and GM Max to light a fire and shake things up.  What better way then to team two men to coach together that were featured in one of the most notorious hockey injuries in recent memory?

However, under that powderkeg of a idea and storyline, lies a layered duo and a terrific plot. Misha Samarin, the demonized player (unfairly) in this scenario has since then logged many years both as a NHL player and minor league coach.  He’s earned this spot and respect.  The many dimensions to his personalities that will be plumbed during this story, not only through his interactions with Max and their shared accident and growing romance, but also through a player in the Spitfire team with a shared background.  I really connected with Misha and adored this man utterly.   He’s complex, intelligent, and amazing.  Then Gale pairs him with Max, who’s career as a player was finished by their shared accident on ice while Misha’s continued.  Max has had to rebuild and retool, his goals, his life…and the result is unexpectedly optimistic and charming.  While others might be bitter, Max is forward thinking and positive in his outlook, something that astonishes the Russian, who doesn’t expect forgiveness.

The dynamics and the chemistry between Max and Misha is electrifying.  For that alone, buy this book.  Then comes the hockey and this sad sack bunch that becomes a real cohesive hockey team under the guidance and leadership of these two men. It feels real, and authentic, and wow, do you start to cheer for them all.  Trust me, you’ll be picturing these games in your head and screaming and cheering them on…go Spitfires go.  Even that smarmy Belsy of a GM turns out to have layers….

Then there’s s Isaac Drake, goalie of the Spitfires.  He will win your heart too.  Just a complex character (ok he’s a goalie) and he is getting his own story too.  So worthy of it.

But I can’t help that it’s the Russians that continue to capture my heart.   Here it’s Mikhail ‘Misha’ Samarin who takes the honors.  With that haunted past, reserved manner, intelligence, and yes, humor, I’m addicted to him.  It doesn’t take long,  It didn’t for Max.  And it won’t for anyone picking up this story.

Love contemporary romance?  Whether you love hockey or not, this one is for you. Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) by Avon Gale is well written, beautifully plotted, full of amazing characters and with a sexy, hot romance and great action on ice to boot.  Grab this and the entire series up for a reading experience guaranteed to stay with you!

Cover art: Aaron Anderson.  What that cover might surprise some people, those who love hockey know that the coaches wear suits as do the players coming into the area.  They look sharp and that suit projects the right powerful image i would expect of Misha Samarin.  excellent all around.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published May 9th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Power Play
ISBN 163477244X (ISBN13: 9781634772440)
Edition Language English
Series Scoring Chances #3
setting South Carolina (United States)

Scoring Chances Series

Breakaway

Save of the Game

Power Play

Overtime

Empty Net

Coach’s Challenge

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Broken News by Sara Dobie Bauer

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This book features a crime boss, Eric West, and the prostitute he falls in love with: Will, aka Simon Gladby, freelance reporter working undercover to get the goods on Eric. Neither are the sort of heroes I’d expect to meet in the pages of a romance, yet this story shows that even these men can find love.

I enjoy this author’s work, primarily because of her writing style and ability to build interesting characters and tell a complex story. This was indeed a complex story but there were quite a few situations and actions that were difficult for me to believe and embrace, hence the lower rating. The characters, including secondary, were many and varied. Among those, I disliked Melanie, Eric’s wife, but I believe that was the author’s intention. I thoroughly disliked Selena, editor-and-chief of the large newspaper Simon aspires to work for as a featured reporter. Her stereotypical badass boss role fell flat for me. I couldn’t accept her reasoning behind Simon’s actions in getting the story, nor her threats to destroy him if he didn’t keep doing the undercover work. On the other hand, I liked the other principal female character, Will’s friend and owner of the brothel, Catherine. That woman had a many-faceted personality and meshed well with others in all her roles. Rob, Eric’s second in command, was an interesting character with a strong personality.

The main character, Simon, aka Will, was okay, but unfortunately, I didn’t warm to him, especially when his real personality as Simon was on page, front and center. I couldn’t get behind his love for Eric at all. Having sex with Eric was a job. At least, that’s what he said and repeated when asked. And even when he finally expressed his love, he didn’t feel three dimensional to me. But Eric, the crime boss? My favorite character of all. And I didn’t want to like him, never mind love him. From his background to his present role as head of the organization, he had so many flaws, but he was honest in how much he cared about Will right from the beginning. The oddities in the circumstances of how the final stages of the story worked out were overlooked as I worked my way to the HEA because, after all, Eric needed his redemption. 

I recommend this to those who love a bad guy turned good, age gap, and lots of shooting and underhanded action.

The cover by Sara Dobie Bauer features a cute young man in a suit against a background representing a big city—perfect for the story.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition
Expected publication: August 22nd 2019
ASINB07WG3ST8G
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Forever Nine by Kris T. Bethke

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When Jesse Reid needs emergency surgery, he calls his neighbor to come pick him up instead of one of his many family members. As the youngest of nine, Jesse is used to feeling like a leftover, and he doesn’t need their coddling.

Holden McRae is a big, beautiful man, everything Jesse wants. But Holden has made it clear he doesn’t want Jesse as a submissive.

Under the influence of Holden’s care, Jesse becomes bolder and makes Holden see what he’s been missing. The two men’s interests line up, and the attraction that has always been there is something they can finally act on. As Jesse heals, he shares parts of his life with Holden, and Holden helps him see he’s so much more than #9. Their love might not be the most conventional, but maybe it’s exactly what both men need.

This was a nice short story.  Jesse is tired of being the afterthought with his family and is overwhelmed by them so he calls Holden from the hospital.  Holden has denied his attraction to Jesse for years but their forced closeness breaks through his barriers.

I felt for Jesse with his family and was so glad that Holden stood up for him with his family which helped him to learn some more about his brothers but also help get his thoughts across to them.  Holden seems basically scared of throwing Jesse into the BDSM deep end but Jesse has been curious for years.  I don’t know I think they jumped into some things a bit quick and Jesse had a hard time saying what he wanted which made Holden have to assume.  I’m not sure there was something wrong with the story but it just didn’t click or work for me.

I think the cover art by Written Ink Designs is a nice picture of Jesse.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 83 pages

Published: July 20, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634869454

Edition Language: English

Don’t Miss Out on the Review Tour and Giveaway for Broken News by Sara Dobie Bauer (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Broken News: M/M Mafia Romance

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Quin Perin

Release Date: August 22, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Romance, M/M Thriller

Trope/s: May/December (age gap), mafia

Themes: redemption, first love, sacrifice, age gap, hurt/comfort, prostitution

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 62 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

 

Blurb

He was supposed to hurt him. Ruin him. Instead, he fell in love.

In the big, bad city, Eric West holds the reins. A mafia king, he is feared, ruthless, and obsessed with a man half his age. 

Will, his favorite whore, is young, beautiful, and the only person to ever bring him to his knees. 

Will is a man to kill for.

A man to change for.

But what if Will isn’t what he seems?

*** Broken News is a standalone M/M romance featuring age gap, detailed adult content, violence, hurt/comfort, and mentions of rape/dubious consent.***

 

 

Excerpt 

Miss Catherine paused. “He’s been waiting,” she whispered and walked away. The only evidence of her presence was the sound of velvet dragging on carpet as she disappeared barefoot, back to her other guests.

The rest was up to Eric. Of course he’d flown first class from London but hoped he didn’t smell too much like airplane upholstery and cheap wine. He straightened his tie and adjusted his suit. He ran the palms of his hands over his slick, blond hair and took one long, deep breath before opening the door.

The room was as he imagined, cast in shadows of firelight, and a man stood facing the front window. He had the edge of a heavy curtain raised as he stared into the city’s night. At the sound of the door closing, the man turned—if he could be considered a man. He more resembled a wide-eyed teen, but beautiful, so very beautiful. 

Eric sighed, smiled, and shook his head. “My God,” he said.

Dark eyes appraised him. “I could say the same.”

They both took steps forward, which brought Eric’s new whore further into the orange light. Pressed to guess an age—and knowing Le Chateau only hired whores at least twenty-one or older—Eric guessed twenty-two at most. He wore the body and face of a youth but bearing of a confident man. His hair was black—short on the sides, long on top—and shined with the midnight luster of a thoroughbred’s flank. His eyes were shining, dark pools in the firelight but probably brown in the sun. He had high cheekbones, an angular jaw, and skin the color of untouched morning snow. Despite the poised demeanor, he was small in stature and frame, dressed in a black suit Eric imagined had been sewn for him, stitch by invisible stitch. Despite all the young man’s beautiful accouterments, it was his mouth that deserved worship, possibly idols built: a mouth so full, lush, and decadent, Eric was already half hard.

He stepped into the stranger’s space, towering almost a foot above the young whore, and opened the man’s suit coat. Eric ran his palms over slim sides and thumbed at the tops of jutting hipbones. Then, Eric bent forward with his mouth half open and sucked one wet, gentle kiss against the side of his neck. He smelled like spicy cologne and scotch.

“What’s your name?” He ran the tip of his nose over the stranger’s earlobe.

“Will,” he said.

“My name is Eric.”

“I know.”

Eric pulled back enough to see a small smile on Will’s face. His teeth were white and perfectly, perfectly straight. 

“You must have cost a lot of money,” Eric said.

Will stepped forward and rubbed his nose across Eric’s carved chin. He practically breathed his response into Eric’s mouth: “And worth every penny.”

With that mouth so close, Eric was done talking. He slid one of his hands behind Will’s head and took hold to the back of his neck. His thumb was lost in soft black hair as he pulled Will even closer until their lips met. Eric moved slowly and savored the pliant softness. Will opened his mouth and allowed Eric’s tongue inside. Not only did he smell like scotch but tasted like it, too—something expensive with a lingering edge of vanilla. Eric’s other hand went to Will’s lower back and pressed their bodies together, which earned him a deep, delightful moan from his new toy.

 

About the Author 

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, mental health speaker, and LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she lives in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of the Bite Somebody series and Escape Trilogy, among other sexy things.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Facebook closed group

Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up  

Goodreads  |  Amazon

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of

5 eBook copies of Escaping Exile, book one of the Escape Trilogy

3 eBook copies of my novella, A Lord to Love

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Eva Muñoz on Writing, HEA, and the new release I Dare You to Break Curfew (Inshari Chronicles #1)

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I Dare You to Break Curfew (Inshari Chronicles #1) by Eva Munoz

Harmony Ink Press/Dreamspinner Press

Published August 20th 2019

Cover Art: Kanaxa

Sales Links:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Eva Munoz here today talking about writing, happy endings, and the new release I Dare You to Break Curfew. Welcome, Eva!

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Eva Munoz

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

A: I really see myself in Camron. My curiosity always gets me into more trouble then I should be in. I’ve had my share of rebelliousness in high school. Saying I can’t do something is the fastest way to actually get me to do it. How anyone hasn’t figured this out about me yet is a blessing.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

A: I research as I write. When I’m putting together a scene and something pops up that I need more information on, I do a quick Google search. As much as possible, I want all the information I have to come from the story itself, that way the world building is much stronger.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

A: I’m a romance fan so an HEA is important to me. But, when I’m writing a series, the HEA only lasts until the end of the book. By the next book, everything is fair game. That is actually what is happening with the second book. Poor Camron.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

A: Yes. Anything with romance catches my attention. I love falling in love and I love reading about characters falling in love and the obstacles they face along the way. Reading romance is so satisfying even if you know what the ending will be. There is a comfort to that.

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

A: If you read I DARE YOU TO BREAK CURFEW, I specifically have a scene where Camron debates the merits of ebooks versus physical books. Since I stare at a screen for most of the day, reading from a physical book is a great rest from the bright LCD glare. Plus, the smell. Don’t we all love that book smell?

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

A: I love this Inshari series because it’s my love latter to vampires. I grew up on Anne Rice and Twilight and Holly Black’s THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLD TOWN. I wanted to share the Inshari with the world and I can’t wait for all of you to read the next book in the series.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

A: Harmony Ink just signed my racing book that I can’t wait to share with all of you. Think Fast and Furious but with LGBT characters. All that high-octane action with a sprinkling of romance set in a murder mystery. This is going to be a cool book, I promise.

Blurb

Inshari Chronicles: Book One

To save humankind, Camron may have to fall in love.

Vampires are real, and they are called the Inshari. After Camron Masters breaks curfew the first time, he discovers them living beneath Braylin Academy. The second time he breaks curfew, he meets a mad scientist who convinces him to take part in an experiment in exchange for more information about the Inshari. A small pinprick later, Camron wakes up as one of them and finds himself bonded to the prince of his dreams—vampire or not, Troyan is dark, brooding, and oh so delicious. But there’s the enigmatic Zaire vying for his attention too. Or is Camron just a pawn in a centuries-old feud?

All Camron’s ever wanted was to live his own fairy tale. But there’s always a catch after meeting Prince Charming

 

 

About the Author

Eva Muñoz loves dreaming of worlds filled with hot guys falling in love with each other. She believes that love is love is love and everyone has a right to find their person. Her love for writing began in high school. It was because her teacher complimented a story she had written that put her on the path she is on today. She would spin yarns on her father’s electric typewriter, bind the pages together, and bring the finished product to school for her classmate to pass around and swoon over. Little did she know at the time that writing would be a career she never knew she wanted.

She may have taken a circuitous path towards her passion for writing, but when she finally made that decision to stick with it after countless rejections, she never looked back. A degree in creative writing helps too. When she’s not at her favorite coffeeshop thinking up new worlds and characters to explore, you can find Eva in a classroom teaching creative writing of all things. Talk about passion meets day job. Today she is molding impressionable minds the way her teacher once did for her.

Twitter: @EvaMunozAuthor

Check out the Release Blitz for Last Call in Wonderland by Rob Browatzke (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Last Call in Wonderland

Author: Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: August 4, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary gay fiction

Length: 62000 words/330 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Paperback  |  Amazon UK

 

Last Call Is Coming

Blurb 

Wonderland is the hottest club in River City, but it’s time to close. It’s a different world now, and club owner Chester doesn’t see Wonderland having a place in it. What will that mean for resident bartender and hotty bottom Brandon Sweet? Or for headliner, the Queen of Hearts? Or customers like Jesse and Colton, whose open relationship and threeways are the stuff of legend? This group of friends navigate the changes in their lives until one night when everything changes for good.

 

 Excerpt 

Jesse Sterling liked dick.

There was no denying that. If there was a twelve-step program, he’d be standing there saying, “My name is Jesse Sterling and I’m a cockaholic,” and he would have been saying it proudly.

Jesse sucked his first dick at thirteen, and he was hooked. All those after school specials about drug dealers who gave new customers that first hit for free? That was Jesse with dick. He was hooked from the first time a guy’s hard dick touched his lips.

He liked all dick: big ones, small ones, cut ones, uncut, curved, straight. He even liked soft ones because he knew they wouldn’t stay that way for long. Not around him.

Through his teenage years, he got his hands (and mouth, and ass) on as much dick as possible. He got them out, got them hard, and got them off. Nothing made him as happy as discovering a new dick and what made them cum. Every dick was unique in how they liked to be stroked or sucked or ridden, but one thing they all had in common…. they were all beautiful.

Well, not all, he sometimes reminded himself. There’d been one that was just…just not good. That had been long ago though, and there’d been dozens of dicks since to wash the taste out of his mouth. Literally.

And then he had met Colton.

Colton Wainford was perhaps the only other man on earth who loved dick as much as Jesse. And Colton’s dick? Perfection. Perfect length. Perfect girth. Perfect rigidity. Simply, perfect.

That they had found each other, that of all the gay bars in all the world, they had walked into the same one on the same night, and paused to take in each other’s sculpted bodies before stumbling and tumbling into a bathroom stall to appreciate each other’s dicks, that was also pretty perfect.

That bar had been Wonderland, nearly a decade earlier, and that’s why, when Brandon texted with the news of pending closure, Jesse had thrown his phone onto the couch, and exclaimed loudly. “Fuck! That sucks dick!”

“What does? Who does?” Colton called from the bedroom. “And do I get some too?”

 

 

About the Author 

Rob Browatzke has been writing for as long as he can remember, and is pretty darn excited for someone else to be reading his stuff finally! When it comes to gay bars and booze and drugs and drama, he knows what he’s talking about. He came out in the mid-90s, and liquor and drama went hand in hand. He has 20+ years of experience working in gay clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, and his current Wonderlounge is every bit as amazing as Alex’s Wonderland. Rob is now 8+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake. 

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter: @robbrowatzke

Instagram: robbrowatzke 

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

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Cover Reveal for The Marshal’s PI (Yours To Protect #2) by Este Holland (excerpt)

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COVER REVEAL

Book Title: The Marshal’s PI

Author: Este Holland

Cover Artist: The Write Designer – Lisa Messegee

Release Date: August 29, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Enemies to lovers

Themes: Forgiveness

Heat Rating:  3.5 flames   

 

Dodging bullets shouldn’t be fun…should it? 

 

Blurb

It is when the man protecting you is hot as sin.

Kai is a happy-go-lucky guy. At least, he was before the mob came knocking on his door. 

He’ll go to any length to protect a secret, even work with US Marshal Gannin West.

The only man who can help.

The only man who drives him crazy.

To figure out how to stop the one who wants Kai erased, he’ll have to cooperate… But will it be too late? 

 

Excerpt 

Kai woke when the SUV stopped and turned off. Stretching, he looked around. “Where are we?”

“A new hotel. I checked out of the Four Seasons.”

“Why?”

“Because if Walcott was watching the bank, he may have seen me there. Don’t want to take any chances.”

“Good point.”

Kai grabbed his bag and followed Gannin to their room. Apparently, he’d already checked in.

“The Golden Nugget? I haven’t been here in a while. What name did you check-in under?”

“Cliff Williams. It’s one of many names we use for hiding witnesses.”

Kai scrunched his face. “Cliff Williams? Why does that sound familiar?”

“He’s in AC/DC. Famous names throw people off.”

“How? Doesn’t it scream fake?”

“No. The bad guys know we’d know they’d think it’s a fake.”

“Gannin, I just woke up. Why are you giving me riddles?” He rubbed at his face with a knuckle, dizzy from the red-and-orange swirly carpet, then looked around the lobby. “Oh, look!” He smacked Gannin’s arm with the back of his hand and pointed to a sign. “There’s going to be a wedding reception here. We should totally crash it.”

Gannin side-eyed Kai. “Why would we do that?”

Kai stared at him with a puzzled frown. “Free cake.”

Shaking his head, Gannin stalked to the elevator.

Kai had to scramble to keep up. “What?”

“I thought you were going to say something else.”

Kai racked his brain. “You thought I wanted free booze?”

Gannin stared straight ahead. “Never mind.”

“Uh-uh. Nope. You have to tell me, or I will bug the ever-loving shit out of you tonight.”

The elevator stopped on the fifth floor, and Gannin led Kai to the end of the hallway.

“I thought you’d be looking for someone.”

“Someone? Like to hook up with?”

Gannin opened the room door. “That was my first thought.”

“What was your second thought?”

“I don’t know.” Gannin dropped his bag onto the queen-sized bed by the door, leaving the other for Kai. “I guess, I thought, no, he probably wants cake.”

Kai chuckled. “I read somewhere that your first thought is society’s conditioning. Your second, is who you are as a person.” Kai kicked his shoes off and wandered around the room checking out the amenities. The beds were fluffy white clouds he couldn’t wait to sink into.

“Huh, that’s interesting. I’ve never thought about it that way before.” Gannin unzipped his suitcase and took his toiletry bag to the bathroom. “But we aren’t going to that reception. We weren’t invited.”

Kai bounced on his bed and opened his duffle. He grabbed his purple sleep pants and followed Gannin into the bathroom. Kai took off his shirt and tried to turn the water on with his injured hand. “Shit!”

“Let me get it.”

Gannin stood close behind Kai and reached around him to twist the knobs.

“Will you wash my back?” Kai lifted his bandaged hand and stuck his bottom lip out.

Gannin straightened, glanced at Kai’s face, his hand; then a big smile shifted his beard. Straight white teeth contrasted sharply from the black whiskers, and his eyes shone with laughter as he chuckled.

Kai was dumbstruck, lost in a sea of gorgeous smiles, not noticing when Gannin reached forward and unbuttoned his jeans. He snapped out of it when Gannin lowered the zipper, and Kai wiggled until they fell, then kicked them off.

“Go ahead. I’ll watch and make sure you don’t use your hand too much.”

 

About the Author 

Este Holland is a writer and reader of all things romance. She’s also a treasure hunter, a word wizard, a lover, and a fighter. She was born in southern WV, and is a reader and writer. She lives in Virginia now, and works in marketing. Her favorite book is impossible to name. Her favorite movie are Romancing the Stone and Some Like it Hot. She began writing her first novel in 2012 and has practiced and studied ever since to get better. 

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram: @este.holland.writer  |  Pinterest

 

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