Don’t be afraid * CA Harris

DON’T BE AFRAID by CA Harms

 

A Second Chance Contemporary Romance
Have you ever looked at someone and just knew,

 

knew that they were put in your life for a reason?

 

The one person that would be not only your best friend,
but would be your absolute everything?
That’s how I felt the first time I saw him.
That one day when a few little words changed our entire lives forever…
Don’t be Afraid, he said.
Life can change so quickly.
One moment you can be smiling and feeling as if you’re walking on clouds and the next, everything you love, everything you treasure crumbles at your feet.
I told him to fight, I told him I needed him.
We needed him.
But there are just some fights that can’t be won…
He was my angel then, and he’s still my angel now.
In a way, I believe he’s still looking out for us, giving us a future.
Sometimes it’s as if I can still feel his presence,
guiding us and keeping us safe.
So, I won’t be Afraid.
I’ll live. I’ll fight.
It’s what he would have wanted.
I’ll do it for him…
Releasing January 30th

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EXCERPT REVEAL

I sat in the darkness with my legs curled up in the chair, my body shielded by the large blanket I had wrapped around me. I’d thought of going to bed a long time ago, but instead, I was listening to the Pat’s breathing patterns.

This was his third night sleeping in the hospital bed in the center of our living room, and though he hated it, I knew it was easier for him to sleep on than our old worn out couch.

Each night after he’d fallen asleep, I tried to go to bed, but I eventually found myself back in the living room, watching him and listening to his breathing. I guess I needed it for my piece of mind. Though his breaths were weak and labored, I still needed to be able to hear them. I think in some weird way it was comforting.

When he was asleep he wasn’t angry or fighting to push people away. He was just peaceful. I needed to see him this way, I guess, because the hard times were beginning to drown out those happy memories and each day I found it more and more difficult to hold myself together.

The room was dark, save for the illumination from the light above the sink in the kitchen. The gentle hum of the refrigerator was the only other sound. I’m not sure at what point I allowed myself to fall asleep, but I was jolted awake by the sound of his raspy voice filtering through the darkness.

“Sawyer.”

I sat up straight and the cover slipped from my shoulders as I leaned forward, looking him over from head to toe. My heart raced as the thought of being here alone with him when something catastrophic happened. The moment my eyes reached his, I found him staring back at me.

“Is everything okay?” He shook his head, and my heart seized in my chest. I stood and walked toward his bed, my hands shaking as I did my best to stay in control of my fears. “What hurts?”

He lifted his hand and rested it over his heart.

I stared at him in confusion.

“I’m sorry.” I could sense whatever it was on his mind was hard for him to face as his eyes shimmered with unshed tears. “Please don’t hate me.”

Suddenly it was hard to breathe.

“Why would I hate you?” I took his hand and offered a gentle squeeze. “I could never hate you, Patrick.”

“I’ve been such an ass and knowing this, but unable to control it breaks me.”

“You’re going through so much,” I said as I sat on the edge of his bed.

“So are you.”

I closed my eyes for only a moment when he ran his fingers through my hair that hung loose over my shoulders. “I’ve allowed the fear to consume me and gave it the power to make me forget what I have. I’m just scared.”

I opened my eyes, and his cheeks were wet from the tears he tried to control.

“I’m so scared of everything I’m gonna miss. I’m scared of not being here to protect you an Abigail.” He took in a shuddering breath. “I don’t want you to be alone, Sawyer.”

MEET THE AUTHOR:
C.A. Harms is like any other addicted reader. She enjoys happy endings and HEA love stories. She hasn’t always been a lover of Romance and had once been addicted to a good Mystery. Just recently she has taken on a new liking and now is a full blown Romance novel addict.
She lives in Illinois and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. You will always find her with her kindle or paperback in hand as it is her favorite pass time.
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Full Contact * Excerpt Reveal Tour

FULL CONTACT EXCERPT BANNER

FULL CONTACT, a brand new standalone by USA TODAY Bestselling Authors

HJ Bellus & Kathy Coopmans is releasing January 10th!

Pre-Order available now: iTUNES | NOOK | KOBO

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FULL CONTACT by HJ Bellus & Kathy Coopmans
Sports Romance
A mafia princess. The nation’s favorite football player. Can they make it work?
An unlikely matching of the stars.
The opposites had it all for one year.
Justice Bexley, the daughter of Cain and Calla leaders of The Diamond Syndicate, sacrificed true love to protect Liam. Her selfish action destroyed them both.
Liam Blake moved on with his prestigious career. However, his outlook on life was never the same. If his parents could fight for true love with a Pinky Promise he can keep moving forward. At least he tried convincing himself of that.
Some say true love has a way of finding its way back. Justice and Liam know better to believe. That’s up until the day they find themselves in a heated meeting.

 

A Distant Heart * Sonali Dev

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Celebrate the Release of A DISTANT HEART!

Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart in A DISTANT HEART.

“Searingly asks its characters what they’re willing to do for the people they love… explores family dynamics, class issues, and many layers of guilt, hope, and determination in ways that are both distinctly Indian and universally luminous. Another beautiful, breathtaking novel from a not-to-be-missed author.” – Kirkus, STARRED Review

Add A DISTANT HEART to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get an EXCLUSIVE first look and enter the giveaway for a prize pack from Sonali that includes a $50 Amazon gift card and print copies of A Bollywood Affair and A Change of Heart!

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Title: A Distant Heart
Author: Sonali Dev
Genre: Romantic Women’s Fictoin
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Publisher: Kensington
Page Count: 100k
Print ISBN: 978-1496705761
Digital ISBN: B06XZR97YK

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Synopsis:

Her name means “miracle” in Sanskrit, and to her parents, that’s exactly what Kimaya is. The first baby to survive after several miscarriages, Kimi grows up in a mansion at the top of Mumbai’s Pali Hill, surrounded by love and privilege. But at eleven years old, she develops a rare illness that requires her to be confined to a germ-free ivory tower in her home, with only the Arabian Sea churning outside her window for company. . . . Until one person dares venture into her world.

Tasked at fourteen years old with supporting his family, Rahul Savant shows up to wash Kimi’s windows, and an unlikely friendship develops across the plastic curtain of her isolation room. As years pass, Rahul becomes Kimi’s eyes to the outside world–and she becomes his inspiration to better himself by enrolling in the police force. But when a life-saving heart transplant offers the chance of a real future, both must face all that ties them together and keeps them apart.

As Kimi anticipates a new life, Rahul struggles with loving someone he may yet lose. And when his investigation into an organ black market ring run by a sociopathic gang lord exposes dangerous secrets that cut too close to home, only Rahul’s deep, abiding connection with Kimi can keep her safe–and reveal the true meaning of courage, loss, and second chances.

Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart.

Available at:
Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, BAM, IndieBound, Walmart, Hudson Bookseller

Enter the giveaway for a prize pack from Sonali that includes a $50 Amazon gift card and print copies of A Bollywood Affair and A Change of Heart!

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Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29460/?

A Distant Heart Excerpt
Copyright © 2017 Sonali Dev

Freedom was a beautiful thing! Mumbai in all its grimy, gray, pre-monsoon glory flew past Kimi as her auto-rickshaw sped between cars and pedestrians with the zeal of a bastard child born of a Diwali rocket and an immortal god. She almost asked the driver to slow down, but with the wind whipping her ponytail and the driver’s mop of curls in a joint symphony she felt as recklessly brave as the whirring vehicle racing along on its three wheels.
Emblazoned across the dashboard of the rickshaw was the goddess Durga dancing on the corpse of a demon like the evil-hunting badass she was. Bowing to her was Bollywood’s favorite superhero, Krish, with his muscles bulging like fat rubber balls and his hair coiffed high. In a perfect background score to Kimi’s life’s drama, the techno-beat-laden remix of an old Bollywood number drowned out the cacophony of horns the driver left in his wake.
The combination was delicious and exactly worthy of what she had just done. What she was about to do.
Freedom!
You know who else was badass? Kimaya Kirit Patil, that’s who.
There had been one hundred and twelve instances over twelve years when each breath had been a fight and her limbs had turned to mist. She had fought. Not like a warrior, because that would involve the use of said limbs, but like someone drowning, where all you could do is keep the water out of your nose, so it wouldn’t keep the air from your lungs. Breathe out. Breathe out. She had followed those breaths. Grabbed on to those thin wisps of air like lifelines and made herself live one grip at a time.
Then the cure she had waited twelve years for in a sterile room had come. A heart had become available. Surely that meant something. Someone had died, after all, so she might live. Someone with the exact kind of blood and plasma that would let a foreign heart beat within her chest with the confidence of an indegene. Surely that meant she could now have what she never thought she would—all that she had gazed upon from the windows of her room, sealed tight with every technology known to man, so no germ, no pathogen would dare venture into her world, let alone an entire human being. Except Rahul—he had ventured. And then gone on venturing until he was all the way inside.
He’d helped her understand calculus and the nuanced stories of Premchand. He had known how atoms split, why Europe went to war twice within half a century, and the why and when of each invention that transformed the history of civilization. He had touched her, despite promises he’d made. Because it was exactly what she had needed. His gloved hand in hers. He had given her anything she had asked for when everyone else had been too afraid. And she had known that if she lived, if her parents got what they had sealed her in a room twelve years for—a daughter who lived—she would spend the rest of that life taking care of him. The way he had taken care of her.
Except she hadn’t considered the most important part of her plan: him. She had returned from Hong Kong with her new heart and he had looked at her with those dark-tar eyes turned even darker by all that emotion when she ran to him. “You’re running,” he had said, as usual choosing the least words to say the most.
“Yes,” she had said, knowing exactly why every single hard-won breath had been worth it. But then she had told him her grand plan: the two of them living happily ever after.
As always she had asked him for what she wanted. What she hadn’t for one moment considered that he didn’t also want.
He had thanked her for the offer to love him forever, and passed on it.
The person who had kept her from being alone when she was locked up in a room had finally shown her what loneliness was when he walked away from her, leaving her alone in the crowded world she had craved for so long.
No one had the right to that kind of power.
She leaned back into the overstuffed vinyl seat of the speeding auto-rickshaw feeling awfully light.
It only made sense that losing a part of yourself would bring lightness.
No. She wasn’t doing that. She was not going all morose and doing the Tragic Princess shit anymore. That wasn’t her. No matter how people saw her, that was not her. Not anymore.
Actually, it had never been her. Why the hell was she letting herself go down that path now?
She was past the Rahul-induced sadness. Done with it. He’d made his intentions clear. They were no longer—well, they just weren’t anymore. Nothing, anything, they just weren’t.
Plato would ask if the fact that they weren’t anymore meant they had never been. Or was it Aristotle? You know who would know? The one person who she could not, would not, call for a fact check. This wasn’t a Tragic Princess thought, but here it was anyway: She had to stop thinking of life in terms of thoughts she saved up for Rahul like seashells collected on a walk along the beach. It was time.

Praise for A DISTANT HEART

“Dev crafts another thrilling story filled with intense drama, deep emotion, and well-developed characters; a can’t-put-down book.”—Library Journal, STARRED Review
“Thrilling action sequences and a complex, weighty romance propel this smart, sensitive story. A natural wordsmith, Dev dives into the psyches of disparate characters with voice-driven prose that includes both chilling insights and quirky humor… This poignant, sensual, and exciting tale captures a range of emotions and conflicts.”—Booklist, STARRED Review

“Award-winning Dev returns with another of her emotionally resonating stories that explore, in depth, the intersection of friendship, love, sacrifice and desperation… There is a tremendous richness to this story… A truly captivating tale of friendship and love. Dev always delivers!”—RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars, TOP PICK!

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About Sonali Dev
Sonali Dev’s first literary work was a play about mistaken identities performed at her neighborhood Diwali extravaganza in Mumbai. She was eight years old. Despite this early success, Sonali spent the next few decades getting degrees in architecture and writing, migrating across the globe, and starting a family while writing for magazines and websites. With the advent of her first gray hair her mad love for telling stories returned full force, and she now combines it with her insights into Indian culture to conjure up stories that make a mad tangle with her life as supermom, domestic goddess, and world traveler.
Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog.
Sonali’s novels have been on Library Journal, NPR, Washington Post, and Kirkus’s lists of Best Books of the year. She won the American Library Association’s award for best romance 2014, and is a RITA® finalist, RT Reviewer Choice Award Nominee, and winner of the RT Seal of Excellence. She was hailed by NPR.org as a ‘stunning debut’.
Connect with Sonali at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Amazon

Expert Reveal * Kystal Clear

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Krystal Clear by Claire Lalique

Series: Shattered #2
Genre: romantic suspense1dc99-addtogoodreads

Synopsis

They thought their lives were settled.
They were wrong.

After rescuing Krystal from the Rattler Kings MC, Samuel promised to love and protect her forever. She trusted him to keep her safe.

Then, the Favoloras Cartel roared into town, declaring blood debt.

They had to run.

How can you keep someone safe when there’s danger at every turn?

Sneak peek

I would like to believe that Samuel “Blue” Donahue and I are one of the great and forever loves that I read about when I was growing up: Anthony and Cleopatra, Jamie and Claire, Roark and Eve. Certainly our first encounter was fate. He was a police officer, I was a victim. He rescued me from the Rattler Kings Motorcycle Gang. I rescued him from a life without true love.

Now, we were together, planning our life, surrounded by family and friends. Our unborn child was going to be encircled by the unconditional love that we had found within each other.

Maeve, Blue’s sister, was downstairs in her own apartment scurrying about, trying to decide what to wear to impress the oh so dark, oh so handsome, Derick Black, ATF Agent Extraordinaire. She had been enamoured of him from the beginning. She had been a friend, so I was reciprocating by doing some matchmaking. When she first met me, Maeve had refused to treat me as if I was damaged, using her nonstop talking and snarky comments to push me from my fear fogged brain that kept me trapped in silence when I first came to the house on Bardstown Road. Now that house was my home.

Now, we were together, planning our life, surrounded by family and friends. Our unborn child was going to be encircled by the unconditional love that we had found within ourselves.

Maeve, Blue’s sister, was downstairs in her own apartment scurrying about, trying to decide what to wear to impress the oh so dark, oh so handsome, Derick Black, ATF Agent Extraordinaire. She had been enamoured of him from the beginning. She had been a true friend, so I was reciprocating by doing some matchmaking. When she first met me, Maeve had refused to treat me as if I was damaged, using her nonstop talking and snarky comments to push me from my fear fogged brain that kept me trapped in silence when I first came to the house on Bardstown Road. Now that house was my home.

Tonight, we were having Derick over for dinner. Maeve had commented more than once that she would like to get to know him better, as she had waggled her eyebrows suggestively. Maeve had quickly insinuated herself as my friend, with her huge heart and concern about people. She was a nurse, finishing her graduate degree as a nurse practitioner in midwifery. All her patients loved her, and so did I,

Part of my fear that was so difficult to remove from my subconscious thoughts, was the memory of my best friend’s murder. I could remember as if it was yesterday, the glint of the blade against Donna’s neck, the spatters of bright red blood on the walls, then Jag’s voice whispering in my ear, “Don’t tell anyone what you seen or your momma’s dead.” I still had horrific nightmares where I would wake up, screaming, with Blue’s arms wrapped so tightly around me I couldn’t move.

I would always miss Donna. Our childhood friendship had kept us together for so long that we could finish each other’s sentences; we could practically read each other’s minds. As my life changed so drastically, I missed being able to talk to her. However, I knew she would have loved Maeve as much as I did and I was comforted by that knowledge.

I was excited about Derick coming over tonight. He had been a good friend and mentor to Blue and he was always gallant to Maeve and me in a dark brooding alpha man kind of way.

Maeve had been flitting about all day, helping me clean the apartment, and talking about how much she liked Derick. She kept hinting that he might be “quirky” in bed, but she refused to elaborate. Now she was downstairs trying to decide what to wear.

It was obvious to Blue and me that Maeve and Derick were interested in each other, so we had decided to push that along a bit by getting them together. Now she was downstairs again, changing her clothes again so she could impress him.

The doorbell rang so Blue went to get it while I finished getting ready. I still struggled at times talking to strangers or people I didn’t like, but with close friends I only had problems if I got overwhelmed by my feelings, so I was relaxed and comfortable that Maeve and Derick were joining us for dinner. They knew me very well and if I acted unusual or different than normal, they understood the reasons and didn’t question me.

Blue clattered downstairs just as Maeve opened her apartment door, so they both greeted Derick at the same time. I heard the three of them coming back up the stairs so I gave one last brush of my hair and walked into the living room.

Derick looked at Blue and me with a concerned expression. “Krystal, Sam,” he said, “I need to talk to you.”

His serious tone made me nervous, so I immediately went to Blue and curled against his side. He would always be my savior and protector in my eyes and, I think, in his. He immediately wrapped his arms around me and I felt safe once again.

Derick suggested we go into the living room to talk, but I insisted we go into the kitchen so I could finish getting the table set and dinner ready. I announced, “Blue’s made his famous Parmesan Lime Grilled Corn and his White Chili. He used his mom’s recipe for the chili so it’s gotta be good. Maeve and I made a salad.” A dinner party was something I had never done so I smiled nervously at Blue and started pulling silverware out of drawers and the chunky pottery bowls that we had bought a few days ago at the ByBee Pottery Outlet just for this party.

“Sam, Krystal,” He said, interrupting me, “There’s been some chatter from our informants that some men in the Favoloras Cartel from Mexico have come into town. Word has it they are gunning for the people that shut down their pipeline for drugs and guns into this area.”

I stilled, almost not breathing and looked at Blue. He took two steps and had me pressed hard against his body. He put his lips against my ear and whispered, “It doesn’t matter. You and the baby belong to me. I will always protect both of you. Every breath in your body is mine to take care of forever. You will always be safe with me.” My face was against his chest and I heard his steady slow heartbeat. I smelled his spicy cologne with a faint hint of his own musk underneath. My body knew these signals intimately and I relaxed almost unconsciously.

“Unfortunately,” Derick said, “I have some more news. Krystal, I got a call from Captain Frank about twenty minutes ago. I told him not to call you because I wanted to be with you when I told you. The police had a call to the Riverside Trailer Homes this afternoon. A cavalcade of cars went through the park today with guns. They shot up everyone’s trailers from the entrance to the road where your mom lived. A few people were injured, and one person was pronounced dead at the scene.”

The bowl in my hand crashed to the ground as I sagged, unable to support myself on nerveless legs. I remembered what Jag had said about coming after my mom. But he was in jail. How would this cartel know about my mom? We weren’t particularly close anymore, but I loved her. It could not be her that was dead. Maybe someone I knew. Maybe Mom’s new boyfriend . . . my mind kept going in useless circles.

Blue scooped me into his arms and held me tightly against him amid the broken pieces of blue speckled pottery. “Shhhh” he murmured in my ear, “It’s all going to be okay.”

Derick said, “I’m sorry, Krystal. I’m sorry to have to tell you that your mom died this afternoon. Also, from the description of the cars and people it looked like not only was it the Favoloras Cartel, but it was their leader, Aaron Favoloras, who actually shot your mom. That means he’s calling the kill as a blood debt to him personally.”

I knew I should say something, but I felt once more as if my throat had a huge blockage that words couldn’t pass. How was I going to be able to deal with my mom dying? How was I going to deal with more violence and death? I slid out of Blue’s arms, and sat heavily onto the floor. I looked at the broken bowls and whispered, “I need to pick this up, I guess we can just use our regular bowls.”

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Author bio

Claire feels like she sprang into existence, a full blown personality, just like her books. She believes she is made from her imaginary dragons that lived in her closet when she was eight, her half feral imaginary friend, Jennifer, who lived in the Girl Scout Camp woods when she was ten and finally started growing up with her Water Brothers when she was sixteen.

Claire has had many living reincarnations in her life time before becoming an author. She has been a poet, a healer, midwife, nurse, artisan, mother, grandmother, wife and lover.

She and her dear husband (he claims she rescued him, she says it was the other way around) live with their four rescue birds, three rescue dogs and one rescue fish in the wilds of Tennessee in a house with at least two ghosts.

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