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We’re thrilled to be hosting Michelle Bellon’s RESTLESS Book Blast today!  Pick up your copy!

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Title:
Restless
Author: Michelle Bellon
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Pages: 204
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
You grow up. You get married. You have a family. At least,
that’s what Malea Winters believes she’s supposed to do. So why is it that
every time she comes close to finding that happily ever after, she runs?When she meets Garrett Taylor, she warns him that she’s not the marrying type
because history has shown that long-term relationships are not her forte. She
has a tendency to leave when things get too serious; the direct result of being
raised by an emotionally detached mother and a stepdad with philandering ways.
So she swore off men and surrounded herself with her best friends; three
quirky, funny women who are facing challenges of their own.

But Garrett is everything she’s ever looked for; charming, successful, fun, and
sexy. Despite her better judgment, his persistence pays off and she finds
herself falling for him.

Learning how to love and be loved will be the hardest lesson she’s ever faced.
The question is, will her relationships survive that lesson?

For More Information

  • Restless is available at Amazon.

Book Excerpt:

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As I walk down the aisle, avoiding eye contact with my
husband-to-be, I remember the dream and feel the need to run.
I clutch the bountiful bouquet of flowers, red and white for
our Christmastime wedding, and feel the sweat on my palms collect in the
center. I want to rub them down the front of my dress.
But that would be unacceptable. My grandma has lovingly sewn
every stitch, carefully placed every pearly bead, and worked every delicate
piece of lace. It’s a work of labor and love.
Today, I am supposed to be a princess.
But as I look around at familiar faces, friends and family,
watching me take this enormous step into life as a wife, as a life partner, I
feel anything but princess-like.
I feel the lie. I feel the relentless pursuit of truth. Both
follow me down the aisle, tapping on my shoulder and reminding me that I have
no ability to live up to this responsibility.
I am quaking in my white heels. My knees are shaking. But
still I march forward on the arm of the only male in my life I’ve ever thought
of as a father. He isn’t really, but he’s the only man my mom brought home over
the years to whom I formed any real emotional attachment before they’d split
ways. Due to his philandering ways, he was out of our life more than he was in
it. But when he was around, something
inside of me recognized something inside of him, and I cared for him.
I swallow down my fear. It’s only nerves. It’s normal. This
is the natural order of things: you grow up, you get married, you have a
family. That’s how it’s done.
Then what?
I finally make eye contact with Garrett and search
for…safety? Love? Answers?
Only my own fear reflects back. He can see the hesitation,
the anxiety, the angst. He smiles cautiously. He’ll never admit what we both
know.
Just before we reach the altar, I take one last look around.
The gathering within the small church is there for only one purpose: to watch
us get hitched.
I could run right now. This is my last chance. I could just
turn around and make a run for it.

 

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About the Author

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Michelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her four children and boyfriend, Seth. She loves coffee
and has an addiction to chapstick.
She works at a surgery center as a registered nurse and in her spare time writes novels. She writes in the
genres of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards to include making finalist in the New Age category in the USA Book Awards for her latest release, The Fire
Inside. 
Her latest release is the contemporary romance, Restless.
For More Information

 

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Still Life with Strings Blitz Banner 2

Today is release day for L.H. Cosway’s new contemporary romance, Still Life With Strings!

Still Life with Strings
Title: Still Life with Strings
Author: L.H. Cosway
Publisher: L.H. Cosway
Pages: 350
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 24 2014

Book Summary:

My name is Jade Lennon and I stand still for money.

The night I saw Shane Arthur watching me everything changed. A man in a suit always catches my eye, but it was the way he looked at me that was different. Like he knew me or something. He didn’t know me, especially not in my costume. My sobriety rests on staying away from men, but there was something about him that made me throw caution to the wind.

After all, I was never going to see him again, right?

Wrong.

Standing still isn’t the only way I make my money. I also bartend at a concert hall. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Shane was going to show up there. Not only that, but he’s the most recent addition to the orchestra. So now on a daily basis I have to resist one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever met and he plays the violin. For me that’s one hell of a deadly cocktail.

He wants me to teach him how to live. I’m not sure how much a twenty-six year old recovering alcoholic who works in a bar and moonlights as a living statue can teach a world class concert violinist, but I’m sure going to try.

Still Life with Strings is a story of music, art, sex, magical realism, and romance that you will never forget.
PURCHASE LINKS:

Excerpt:

They call me the Blue Lady.

The more poetic would say a dark angel, or an unexpected, fantastical surprise standing upon the mundane street. I wear a long midnight blue dress, a matching wig, white paint on my hands and face, and glorious, feathery blue wings affixed to my back.

I feel like a gap in reality, a moment where people can pause mid-stride and say in a breathy, wonder-filled voice, wow, look at that. For the more cynical, wow, look at that nutjob.

Perhaps for a moment someone will think that they’ve stepped into a world where normal is not the rule anymore, that the extraordinary is. That my wings aren’t false but real, that my skin is really this white, my hair really this blue.

Unfortunately, none of it is real.

But it’s nice, isn’t it, for a brief moment to imagine that it is?

In reality I’m a twenty-six-year-old woman with a stack of bills I’m struggling to pay and two younger siblings who are reliant on me to keep a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and food in their bellies.

I do this living statue act whenever I have the free time. It gives me an artistic outlet, while also making me some much-needed cash on the side. Admittedly, I don’t normally do it at one o’clock in the morning in the middle of Grafton Street, but it’s a Saturday. That means there’ll be lots of tourists. More to the point, lots of drunk tourists with loose pockets and even looser inhibitions about who they hand over their cash to – such as women who stand very still while dressed like a Manga fairy.

I stare directly ahead, unblinking, controlling my breathing using a qigong method, just as I hear the recognisable loutish shouting and laughter of a stag party up ahead. When they come into my line of sight, I see that they’re all wearing black T-shirts with their nicknames written across the back and Jack’s Stag Weekend across the front.

No shit.

I am an island, an inanimate object among the to and fro of humanity. I brace myself for the possibility that the stag party is going to be trouble. Moments later, one guy stands in front of me, waving his hand in my face and trying to get me to blink. How original.

Sometimes I feel like those guards who stand outside Buckingham Palace. And like those long-suffering buggers, I have also perfected the art of remaining still and giving no reaction at all.

“Are you blue all over?” he slurs with a drunken sideways grin.

As a street performer, you have to take the rough with the smooth. When you put yourself out there, you’re going to encounter every facet of society: the good, the bad, and the drunk off their arses. Kids are the best. They haven’t yet lost the sense of wonder that makes them stare up at you and truly believe you’re some sort of blue-fairy-bird-woman-thing.

“That’s a real nice rack,” says another of the stag partiers.

Yeah, you try carrying it around all day and dealing with the back problems, and then tell me how nice it is, I think. Soon they lose interest and continue on their way. A half an hour passes, and several more pedestrians throw some coins into my hat.

The moon is full tonight, a round white orb perched amid the stars. I want to go up there and see what everything looks like from on high. I flutter my wings and prepare for flight, flapping them through the air and then leaping into the sky. My ascent is an easy one. I pluck a star out of the blackness and stick it in my blue hair as an adornment. When I reach the moon, I find a comfortable spot and sit. Leaning my chin on my hand, I gaze back down at the street. The people look like tiny black ants, the buildings like less brightly coloured blocks of Lego.

I blink, and I’m back on my box, back on the street. I was never really on the moon. My wings are a pretty accessory, but they’re useless for flying. Sometimes I can imagine things so hard that I feel like they’re really happening.

About the Author:

L.H. Cosway

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

Her latest book is the contemporary romance, Still Life with Strings.

Visit her website at www.lhcosway.com.

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Weak at the Knees smTitle: Weak at the Knees
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Author: Jo Kessel
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 292
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1490397604
ISBN-13: 978-1490397603

Purchase at AMAZON

We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”

Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.

The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.

Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.

Only she must resist, because he has a wife – and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.

But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?

Weak at the Knees is Jo’s debut novel in the new adult, contemporary romance genre – a story of love and loss set between London and the heart of the French Alps.

First Chapter:

I don’t like being English. I never have. It’s always felt like such an un-sexy nationality. Let’s face it, if any foreigner were asked to conjure up a vision of the typical male Brit, most likely they’d be thinking of someone slightly overweight, over-boozed and over sunburned. Most other Europeans fare better. The Italians are all considered hot-blooded Romeos whilst the Scandinavians are a blonde bunch of Adonis’s. As for the French, granted they have a reputation for being curt and unfaithful, but deep down the rest of the world respects their infidelity, crediting the lot with being expert lovers even though most of them probably aren’t. The most flattering of British descriptions is that of an English Rose, but that wouldn’t fit someone like me. Far from being a sinewy blonde with a porcelain complexion, I’m more a pint-sized pre-Raphaelite – short, with waist-length brown curly hair and far too many curves. Not that being an English rose is a particularly flattering description anyway. Yes, it might be a beauteous flower, but it’s also got prickly stems which snare. No, in my opinion, whichever way you look at it, on a global, sexual scale, being English isn’t often an asset.

Hugo’s English. He’s as stiff upper lip Hooray Henry as they come. He’s tall and good-looking in that pretty, public schoolboy, foppish kind of way and he’s a charmer to boot. Think Hugh Grant and you’re not far off the mark – although if it was a toss up between Hugh (particularly the Four Weddings Hugh) and Hugo, there’d be no competition. It would be Grant all the way. I’ve always had a bit of a crush on him. Ironically, many women from all over the world would probably jump at the chance to jump on my Hugo because he’s English. Not because he’s the typical Brit though, but because he’s got the Hugh Grant factor and foreign females fall for that kind of thing. It’s the look, the manners and the self-deprecation. For me, however, nothing beats your language being spoken by somebody who’s not from your country. It’s undeniably sexy. It’s why I like foreigners.

Hugo is what you’d call a catch. My mother definitely thinks so. I’m sure she’s secretly hoping we’ll end up together. Son-in-law material doesn’t come any better. She could show him off and brag away till the cows came home. “My Danni’s Hugo” she’d boast to all her friends, with an air of smug superiority, “He’s a Barrister. He’s ever so clever.”

Indeed he is. Apparently you need to be fluent in Ancient Greek and Latin to get a first in Classics at Oxford like Hugo. Now, that might seem a useless skill to the less educated of us – after all there are no more ancient Greeks or Romans with whom to converse – but you’ve still got to be bloody brilliant to master it. You try making head or tail of a page of Homer’s Iliad! You’d soon understand why they coined the phrase ‘It’s all Greek to me’.

We met when I was fifteen. He was a couple of years older. “Danni Lewis” he’d remarked, at the end of our first proper conversation at some run-of-the mill teen party we’d gone to. “I think you’re great. You’re so original. You’re so enigmatic.”

“Well, thanks very much,” I’d replied. “You’re pretty nice too.” What I’d really wanted to ask was ‘what the hell does ‘enigmatic’ mean?’ I didn’t dare though because I didn’t want to come across as intellectually inferior. He’d clearly assumed that I was as clever as he was, which meant knowing a word like enigmatic even at the age of fifteen. These days I work hard at not making assumptions, although most of the time I fail dismally. I suspect we all do.

Anyway, as soon as I got back home I’d fired up my computer and checked the meaning of the word ‘enigmatic’ on an on-line dictionary. ‘Deliberately mysterious’ or ‘puzzling’ were the definitions I got. I’d liked that. It conjured up a vision of someone beautiful but unobtainable, a woman over whom you could obsess but not possess; a woman about whom one could never assume.

It took us ages to get together. We indulged in hours of what we called phone sex. In truth there was nothing remotely sexual about it. A typical late night, tucked up in bed conversation would go as follows:

HUGO: “Watch you doin?”

ME: “Mmmmmm, I’m just lying here, thinking about you lying there. Where are you, watch YOU doin?”

HUGO: “I’m just lying here on my bed, thinking about you lying there.”

ME: “U ON your bed or IN your bed?”

HUGO: “I’m on it.”

ME: “Well, why don’t you get in it?”

HUGO: “Why?”

And so the scintillating dialogue would continue – although you’d have thought that a bloke who was destined to get a first from Oxford might be able to make slightly more dynamic conversation. I think the reason it took me six months to secure a date was because I kept being too enigmatic. The deliberately mysterious and puzzling me was quite clearly sending out the wrong signals. Hugo assumed I wasn’t interested.

Eventually one day, we were both sitting on my box room bed at my parents’ house in Hendon, north London, playing this stupid truth yes or no game when he came clean and I came clean and it was all very sweet and a date was put in the diary.

—————————————————————

I was ten years old and having lunch with my grandmother. I think I’d just dared to ask (even though she was eighty-two) if she was still having sex with my grandfather. She never answered the question, but decided it was time to offer some useful advice. She must have got this from a Mills and Boon novel, because she sure as hell didn’t get it from her marriage. She was a Polish immigrant and married the first man she’d met on British soil. She spent the rest of her life trying to make the best of it. The conversation was remarkably one-sided and as usual, she kept getting her V’s and W’s mixed up. It’s a common Eastern-European linguistic affliction apparently. Anyway, the mentor-like chat went a bit like this.

“Danni darling.”

“Yes grandma?”

“Now I vant to tell you something and I vant you to try to remember it ven you get older.”

“Ok Grandma”.

“If a man ewwer makes you wery dizzy ven you kiss him, make sure you newwer let him go. You vant to make sure you marry him.”

“Why? Does Grandpa make you wery dizzy?”

“Eat your lunch Danni”.

I was on the brink of repeating my original ‘are you and grandpa still having sex’ question, but thought against it, gagging myself with a forkful of lamb and mushy peas. With hindsight, I wish I hadn’t held back. I mean, do most octogenarians still have sex? If so, what are the chances of cardiac arrest mid-orgasm?

——————————————-

Anyway, Hugo didn’t make me wery dizzy when he kissed me, but it was still very nice and he did make me happy. Phone sex progressed to pillow talk and we had a really good, solid relationship. He knew me inside out and always had an uncanny knack of knowing exactly what I was thinking, which often got me in a lot of trouble.

I loved his company. He made me laugh and he stimulated me intellectually. I mean, how many other seventeen-year olds do you know who are nicknamed Ariadne? That’s what he’s always called me. It took a while for me to pluck up the courage to ask who Ariadne actually was. It turned out she was this Princess from Greek mythology who fell in love with a bloke called Theseus who was due to be offered as a sacrificial victim to the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull monster. But in order to save her loved one from his horrible fate she’d stuffed a ball of thread into his pocket as he was led into this prison of a labyrinth, meant to be impossible to escape from. But thanks to her (and the thread) he did escape and was never sacrificed and they lived happily ever after.

Hugo said he hoped an imaginary trail of string would always lead him to me, which is why he’d called me Ariadne. I think he was secretly hoping that I’d embrace this story with a bit more enthusiasm by calling him Theseus. But I couldn’t. It all felt a bit too un-cool. I preferred calling him Achilles, which really pissed him off because it didn’t demonstrate the same level of love and commitment. He hated the thought that he might be my Achilles heel. “Lighten up”, I’d said. “Don’t take everything so bloody literally.”

I’ve got to hand it to him though. He’s the only person who’s ever got me into a bath under the auspices of scientific experimentation. One day he’d told me to bring my bikini with when I went round. I’d hoped that meant we were going to his parents’ posh health club, and was frankly a bit miffed when I got there and he said we were staying put. “Why did I bring my bikini then?” I’d protested. “My fault” he apologised. “You probably don’t need it. But we are doing something with water.”

He led me into his parents’ bathroom. The tub had been filled to the brim. Curiously there were a whole load of plastic measuring jugs strewn across the floor. He explained that he’d been learning all about this Greek mathematician, Archimedes, the first person to work out that the volume of an object placed in a fluid was equal to the volume of the amount of fluid displaced by that object when submerged.

For some bizarre reason, Hugo wanted to work out my body mass Archimedes style. He’d drilled a small hole just above the water line. The plan was that when I got in the bath, my body mass would trickle out the hole and Hugo would be waiting to collect it in the measuring jugs.

“I don’t give a toss what my body mass is Hugo. I don’t even understand what you’re going on about.”

“Don’t be such a killjoy Danni. It’ll take five minutes.”

So off I went to put on my swimsuit and came back to stand hovering by the bath.

“Are you sure this is going to work?” I was no scientist, but felt pretty certain all would not go according to plan.

“Of course it will” snapped Hugo.

I stepped gingerly into the tub. A little bit of water trickled into a jug Hugo was holding up to the hole. “OK, you can sit down now Danni. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it so slowly, it’s all under control.” So I plonked myself down and Hugo looked on in horror as the volume of my body mass cascaded over the edge of the bath onto his parents’ cream shag pile, bypassing his too small hole entirely.

“Achilles, I think you should stick to the Arts,” I laughed.

“Oh shut up Ariadne. You never wanted it to work in the first place!”

See, told you he always knew exactly what I was thinking. Anyway, never one to miss out on a golden opportunity, and seeing as I was already in the bath, he told me to shove up and let some of the water out. He took off his clothes and sloshed himself beside me. Secretly I think the whole thing had been about getting me half-naked in the bath with him. Christ knows why he hadn’t just suggested that in the first place.

—————————

Even by the age of eighteen Hugo and I had spoken loads of times about marriage. “Do you think we’ll end up together” he’d ask.

I’d pondered and then joked about a possible scenario. “I don’t know. If you ever asked me I’m sure I should say yes, but probably wouldn’t. I reckon I’ll be more intent on screwing up my life. Maybe I’ll come crying to you when I’m mid-thirties and divorced, by which time you’ll probably be blissfully married to somebody else and I’ll have to live with the fact that I had the chance of happiness but turned it down.

I don’t know what it is about Hugo. Many people would dream of having what we have. It’s just sometimes I find myself in the kitchen of our Highgate flat (technically his flat, but we both live in it) sticking lemon sole under the grill when I should be out being wild and reckless.

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Love Vindicated banner

Pump Up Your Book and Lila Munro will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card plus a GIFT BASKET during Lila’s Love Vindicated Book Blast today ! This promotion starts at 12 a.m. June 20 and will end at midnight. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!

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Love VindicatedABOUT LOVE VINDICATED

In 1980, Kyle Montgomery’s life was seemingly perfect. Heavily recruited by Force Recon fresh from the Naval Academy, he’d been working black ops for the Marine Corps for six years and was on the cusp of being promoted to Major. He was on the fast track to bigger and better things, had all the right people vetting him, and he’d married the woman of his dreams and was exploring a lifestyle which could have ended his career. With the Iranian embassy under siege and the Middle East in turmoil, Kyle was sent on a mission which would change the course of his life forever.

Returning home after three months of being invisible, Kyle finds his wife has been murdered by the very people he’d been sent to protect. And instead of the government retaliating, they hand him his walking papers with the agreement they’ll never speak of the events again. It’s like Kyle never existed. His wife never existed. And the people who maimed and tortured her never existed.

Resigned to never again walk that path, Kyle opens the first Steele Image club with the thought of providing a safe haven for others like him, those who were invisible to the public and most of the government. Those who had eclectic sexual tastes. Those who would later become his allies. And his enemies. And both will drive him back to the place he’d thought he’d let go of forever to vindicate his love…

AMAZON | ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS

————————————————–

Lila MunroABOUT LILA MUNRO

Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual softer read to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, the Identity series, and the Private Collection. Currently she is working on two new series set to release summer of 2013, the At Your Service line and the Steele Image line. She’s a member in good standing of RWA. Ms. Munro loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted at lilasromance@gmail.com .

Her latest book is the BDSM contemporary romance, Love Vindicated.

Visit he website at www.lilamunro.com.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER

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I want to thank THE DARK PHANTOM for having me as a guest blogger today. I’m excited to tell you about my book, THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT, book 2 in my Fate with a Helping Hand series.

Today I’m going to talk about setting. When I started writing THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT, I knew I wanted to set the story in a place that had meaning to me. Growing up near Westport, MA, I always visited Horseneck Beach during the summer. Cape Code is beautiful. But there are just as many beautiful places to visit along the Massachusetts coastline. Westport was a perfect seaside town for romance!

In THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT, Cara is struggling with change. Her biological clock is ticking. Her parents are moving from her childhood home to go live thousands of miles away in Florida. And she’s not feeling complete in her relationship with her current boyfriend, who her mother just happens to hate! While she loves her career, she’s at a crossroad that many women and men face in their lives. Add a mother who is so ready to become a grandmother, a free-spirited grandmother who goes skinny dipping on a public beach, a sexy old friend who just happened to scribble a marriage proposal on the back of a birthday card, the charm of a seaside home, and an inept boyfriend who “just doesn’t get it” and you have a recipe for laughter and romance.

While writing THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT, I went home to Westport in my mind many times and reminisced about walking the beach, picking up shells, camping on the beach and walking along the jetty with my boyfriend who is now my husband of 21 years. As I remembered my good times there, I could almost feel the sand between my toes, the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves.

In THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT, Cara reminisces about long ago times as well as she navigates her way through her crossroad until she finally realizes what she really wants. Is there a setting from your past that you revisit in your mind from time to time? Tell me about it. I will be giving away a copy of THE KNIGHT AND MAGGIE’S BABY to one commenter today. So don’t be shy. Leave a comment for a chance to win!

BIO:

Lisa Mondello is the bestselling author of 13 published books. Her first published book, the award winning ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU, was recently reissued as an ebook and has had over 350,000 downloads worldwide. In addition to publishing her Fate with a Helping Hand series, which includes THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT and THE KNIGHT AND MAGGIE’S BABY, she is releasing her popular Texas Hearts Romance series as ebooks, which include Her Heart for the Asking, His Heart for the Trusting and The More I See. She currently writes for Harlequin Books and is collaborating with a film producer/screenwriter on a screenplay.

She loves to hear from readers. You can email her at LisaMondello@aol.com, find her on her blog talking about writing, movies and music at http://www.lisamondello.blogspot.com or chat on Twitter at @LisaMondello.

BLURB for THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT

They were destined to fall in love. But sometimes fate has other plans… Cara Carvalho and Devin Michaels became best friends one distant summer. No two people were more in sync about what they wanted their lives to be. But fate and their own inner need for success forced them to separate. But sometimes love needs a helping hand… Now both are approaching that magic age of 35 and are seeking more from their lives. When Cara’s mom finds a glib promise on the back of Cara’s 17th birthday card, she decides to take matters into her own hands and bring Devin and Cara together again. With a little help and “creative” planning, can they have a second chance at happiness?

LINK to Excerpt of THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/2216604-the-marriage-contract-blog-tour-read-an-excerpt

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