Author Archives: What The Cat Read

Cover Reveal: Dear Agony by Georgia Cates

cvrrvl-dearagony-gcates_final

We wish to offer our thanks to Tasty Book Tours for allowing us to share with you the cover for Georgia Cates’ Dear Agony today. To see all the blogs involved in the reveal, please click on the banner above. =^.^=

ClipArt

Title: Dear Agony

Author: Georgia Cates

Publisher: Self-published

Release Date: March 1, 2017

Dear Agony,

You’ve been my shadow, following me through childhood—filling my days and nights with terror and uncertainty. You cleverly disguised yourself as some form of pain or suffering as I grew into a young woman. We were unwavering companions … until I severed our ties.

I traded homelessness on the streets of New Orleans for a luxurious bed covered by the finest linens.

I traded dumpster diving for dinner in the finest restaurants.

I traded myself to a stranger—Bastien Pascal.

I have a good life within my platonic and mutually beneficial companionship with Bash.

He’s my friend. My mentor. My roommate.

Until everything changes.

I’m not supposed to get goosebumps when his hand brushes my skin.

I’m not supposed to be eager for his soothing touch following one of my nightmares.

I’m not supposed to think about what might happen if I reached out to him in the darkness.

Falling in love with him? Preposterous . . . unavoidable.

Agony, why are you back with a vengeance to rob me of this life I’ve come to love so dearly?

I’m finally happy. Don’t ruin this for me.

Always yours,

Rose

In this epic love story, Dear Agony forges a connection between an unlikely pair—a beautiful rose entwined in barbed wire and a shipwreck sinking into the darkest depths of the ocean. This agonizing romantic novel poses some gut-wrenching questions: What does a woman do when the man she loves is planning his own demise? And how far will she go to give him something to live for?

f4b35-addtogoodreadsblack

dear-agony-ebook-cover

***Pre-order Today***

amazon

dear-agony-ebook-cover-square-2

Excerpt:

Bastien wasn’t lying. The man snores. Loudly.
I was awake for hours after he came to my bed. I had far too many thoughts whirling around in my head to doze off.
I’m proprietor of a sadness I hold so tightly, it’s penetrated my very being. It has wrapped itself around my heart in the form of barbed vines, warning people away. I’m buried chest deep in filth—the filth of my vile past. I’m the captain and my pain is forever my first mate.
I wake to find myself held by his strong arms. Encased in his comforting touch. Strangely, even though I’m clinging tightly to the arm wrapped around my waist, I feel . . . safe in the arms of a man. This man. It’s a first for me.
Bastien is still sleeping, his snoring proof he is unaware of our entanglement. I’m glad. I want to savor this close encounter for a while longer before I pull away.
I steal this moment like a thief, permitting myself to study his face and body without his knowledge.
His chest under my head is hard, as is his stomach beneath my hand. There’s sparse hair between his pec muscles but he has a small patch on his abdomen trailing down into the front of his pants.
I gently lift my head so I can see his face. Long, thick, dark lashes rest against his lower lids. Strong, square jawline—covered in dark whiskers, and a few sparse silver here and there, a little thicker this morning than last night. A tiny dimple in the center of his chin. Full, pink lips with a deep cupid’s bow. Straight nose, slightly asymmetrical to the right side of his face. Hmm … I haven’t noticed that until now. I bet it’s been broken. Probably playing football.
Even in sleep, Bastien’s face doesn’t completely relax. His brow remains wrinkled, the shallow crowfeet around his eyes slightly crinkled.
Lines and all, he’s handsome. Extremely so.
And stirring.
I quickly pull away and roll onto my side, my back turned to him before he fully awakens. I don’t want that awkward moment of waking and coming to face to face, forced to discuss what led him to my bed last night.
Minutes later, there’s a brief dip in the mattress and then I hear the soft click of my bedroom door closing.
He’s gone without a word.
I roll to my back and run my hand along the spot where he was lying. Still warm. Scooting closer, I press my nose into his pillow. Mmm. Woodsy. Earthy spice. Masculine.
Savoring the warmth and smell that remains in my bed after Bastien’s departure is something I shouldn’t enjoy … but I do. Very much.
Liking these things isn’t part of our agreement.
Bastien has clearly stated he doesn’t want a romantic relationship. In fact, he’s very much against it, especially with someone my age. And I refuse to ruin what we have. I like him. I think we can be very good friends.

About the Author:

georgia

Georgia Cates resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.

When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her music and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you’d like to enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, please click on the Rafflecopter below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c81211

Dancer’s Review of Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

heartstone

I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to RockStar Book Tours for letting me participate in this amazing blog tour, and to the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. If you would like to see all of the blogs participating in this tour, please click on the banner above. =^.^=

heartstone_pb

Rating: paw5

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Goodreads Description:

A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.

mg amazon B&N KoboIcon itunes

Review:

Take everything you love in Pride & Prejudice and now add some dragons, high fantasy, suspense, sword fighting, and more, and you’ve got the wonderful and amazing book that is Heartstone! Of the many Pride & Prejudice adaptations I have read, this is one of my favorites. I can only hope that White takes on other Austen stories, or tries her hand at writing more high fantasy novels because I definitely plan on reading more of her books!

White does a spectacular job of building and expanding the world and story that we know and love from Austen’s classic novel. Aliza, Elizabeth Bennet, is fiercely intelligent, devoted to her family and her home, and is not one to back down once challenged. She may be considered a regular human by Riders’ standards, but she’s got the potential to be equal to them when everything is said and done. Daired, Darcy, appears overbearing and a snob at first, but eventually his true character is revealed and, like the original Mr. Darcy, it is hard to not fall in love with him as the story progresses. The attraction between these two characters is palpable, it’s very much a dance been love and disdain, and White was able to capture the passion between them perfectly.

One thing that I always look for when reading an Austen adaptation is a blending of the original tale with the inclusion of the author’s own interpretation of the story while conveying it in a unique way. I don’t want an exact retelling with just a few minor tweaks here or there. I want something new, yet familiar at the same time, if that makes any sense. With Heartstone you get the key scenes from the original classic, those moments that fans enjoy, but the path to them, the story surrounding them, and their depiction are entirely unique to White’s story. The dance scene between Darcy and Elizabeth that marks one of the major turning points for their characters’ relationship appears in this novel, but it is more fraught with uncertainty as to whether Aliza and Daired will truly end up together or not. Likewise the scene where Darcy confesses to Elizabeth his feelings, and we all know which scene I’m referring to, appears in this book, and it is even more of a swoon worthy yet cringing of a scene than in the original. You can’t help but love Daired yet want to shake sense into him at the same time during these moments.

And that is another thing which I loved while reading. Just like with the original classic story, I was emotionally drawn into this book and its characters. I laughed, I sighed, I cringed and shook my head in dismay, and I cheered when the characters whom I quickly grew to love overcame the challenges they had to face. And yes, I even cried at the end for the sacrifice of one character. As much as I did not like Charis through a good portion of the story, my respect for her increased greatly toward the final few chapters. What a way to redeem oneself!

While I’ve focused on the ways in which this book handles the adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, this is so much more than a retelling of Austen’s classic novel. This is a beautiful high fantasy story, which feels a little like McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders series and Williams’s Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series. White has created a world with a rich history that I would love to see more of, both within regards to the land itself and the creatures that inhabit it to the magic that we only see glimpses of. There are so many avenues that White can explore in future books if she so desires, and that to me is the sign of a strong world builder.

This book has everything that a lover of fantasy could ask for, and any fan of retellings for that matter. From the first page it will pull you in and it can easily be read in one sitting if the reader is so inclined. I enjoyed this book immensely and my only regret was that I finished it because I honestly didn’t want the story to end. I always say that the best books are those that pull you in and take you away from reality, and this is without a doubt one of those books. I can’t wait to see what White plans to come up with next!

About the Author:

elle-katharine-white_light-in-the-dark-photography-by-kira-spencer

Elle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, where she learned valuable life skills like how to clear a snowy driveway in under twenty minutes (a lot easier than you think) and how to cheer for the perennial underdog (a lot harder than you think).

When she’s not writing she spends her time reading, drinking absurd amounts of tea, having strong feelings about fictional characters, and doing her best to live with no regrets.

Connect with her on Facebook at @ellewhite.author, or witness the hilarious spectacle that is a writer contending with the 140-character limit on Twitter at @elle_k_writes.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you would like to enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 finished copies of HEARTSTONE, US Only, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2527

Release Day Blitz: Roseblood by A.G. Howard

roseblood-rdb

We’re thrilled to be celebrating the release of A.G. Howard’s Roseblood today with RockStar Book Tours! Be sure to swing by the blog tomorrow to read Dancer’s review of this truly haunting novel! =^.^=

roseblood

9014d-addtogoodreads

Publisher: Amulet Books

Date Released: January 10, 2017

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

mg amazon B&N

Book Trailer:

About the Author:

ag-howard

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she’s not writing, A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

rb-book-cover-poster-and-mask

If you would like to enter for your chance to enter an win a signed Roseblood poster and phantom mask, please click on the Rafflecopter below (US Only):

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2528/

Release Day Blitz: Claiming the Billionaire by JM Stewart

claiming-the-billionaire-launch-day-blitz

Our thanks to Forever – Grand Central Publishing for letting us help celebrate the release of J.M. Stewart’s newest book! =^.^=

stewart_claimingthebillionaire_ebook

f4b35-addtogoodreadsblack

Publisher: Forever – Grand Central Publishing

Date Released: January 10, 2017

Series: Seattle Bachelors #4

Code Name: Love

Staff Sergeant Tyler Benson is a survivor. He doesn’t give up on what he wants, and right now, he wants Cassandra Stephanopolous. He thought about her every single day he was gone. Now that he’s back, nothing will stop him from making her his. Plan of Action: Crash Seattle’s biggest billionaire-bachelorette auction and make sure he comes out the highest bidder. If he wins a date with Cassie, she’ll have to talk to him.

Three years. It’s been three years since Cassie said goodbye to Tyler, and she’s been trying to pick up the pieces ever since. Just as she’s starting to feel ready to move on, he walks in, all cocky smiles and blue-collar charm. She’s determined to keep her focus where it should be: on her thriving jewelry business. But as he lays siege to her heart, she wonders just how long her defenses will last . . .

amazon B&N KoboIcon itunes

Excerpt:

As she stepped up to the lane again, he should’ve tossed another cocky taunt at her, some barely disguised innuendo, but he could only watch. Despite her protests regarding bowling, they were having a good time. His head had been quiet so far. Not once in the last hour and a half had he thought of that fucking cell in Iraq. The crowd around him, the deafening noise, hadn’t triggered anything ugly, because he was lost in her, in keeping her smiling and laughing.
By the fourth game two hours later, they both played so lousy he laughed every time he stepped up to the lane. Cassie, though, was ahead by five points. This game would decide who won his little bet.
As it turned out, his ball curved off into gutter. Leaving all ten damn pins still standing.
Cassie let out a victorious squeal behind him, meeting him at the ball return with a grin plastered across her face and her chest puffed out with pride. She stepped into his personal space and poked him in the chest. “You. Are. Mine. I won, fair and square, soldier boy.”
He leaned down and touched his nose to hers. She might have won, but he could still pull a few punches of his own. “I’ve always been yours. Believe me, princess, I’m going to enjoy letting you have your way with me.”
That got her. Cassie froze, heat flaring in her eyes. A heady shiver moved through her as she stared up at him. “So, what now?”
“Well, that depends on you, but”—he leaned his head beside her ear and lowered his voice—“I’m dying to peel you out of those jeans.”
Her breathing hitched. When he met her gaze again, she stared at him for one tension-filled moment, grabbed his hand, and marched off, tugging him behind her. He followed in silence out of the bowling alley and into the quiet of the night. She didn’t say a word or even turn to look at him as she led him to where his brother’s car was parked at the back of the lot. Once there, she pressed him against the driver’s door. Hands braced on his chest, she lifted onto her toes and captured his mouth, all fire and determination. She pushed her tongue inside, her kiss hot and desperate, and he was pretty sure they were both shaking.
As suddenly as she’d kissed him, she released him, pausing a moment to catch his gaze. Hers was filled with the same need that had him tongue-tied. Then she moved around to the passenger side of the car.
His fingers shook as he dug his keys from his pocket and hit the fob. Once the doors unlocked, she climbed inside. When he got in after her, she reached over and threaded her fingers with his. “You should get this car moving, because in about two seconds, I’m going to climb into that seat with you. I need you. I…”
She shook her head, glancing over at him, vulnerability rising in her eyes.
She didn’t have to say the words. What she meant hung in the air, igniting a solar flare between them. She needed what he needed. Something soft and slow. A complete meshing of bodies. He had a feeling they really wouldn’t be sleeping tonight. Not out of physical need, but the soul-deep desire to be as close as possible. To make up for lost time. Three years apart was a lifetime, and the need in her eyes, mixing with the tears hovering at the edges of her lashes, told him she thought something similar.
He squeezed her fingers, then pushed the button to start the car and moved their combined hands to the gearshift. “Me, too, baby. Me too.”

claiming-the-billionaire-quote-graphic

About the Author:

J.M. Stewart is a coffee and chocolate addict who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two sons and two very spoiled dogs. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily ever after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you would like to enter for your chance to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of Claiming the Billionaire, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26635ce2392

Pre-release Day Blitz: Romancing Dr. Love by Rebecca Heflin

prerb-romancingdrlove-rheflin_final

We’re excited to be able to share with you this wonderful information on Rebecca Heflin’s newest title releasing March 2017! If you’d like to see all of the blogs participating in this event, please click on the banner above. =^.^=

rebeccaheflin_romancingdrlove_cover

f4b35-addtogoodreadsblack

Publisher: Self-published

Release Date: March 7, 2016

Series: Sterling University #1

Dr. Samantha Love says it’s all about the chemistry. A brainy psychology professor and researcher, Sam has based her entire academic career on the theory that what we call love is simply a chemical reaction. She is currently running a study to prove that her compatibility blood test reveals perfect matches—sort of like an organ donor, but for relationships. No romance required.

Along comes sexy literature professor, Dr. Ethan Quinn, who says it’s all about the romance. He thinks the pretty psychology professor has taken love and all its mysteries and reduced it to something as romantic as a cholesterol test, and he sets out to prove her theory wrong.

When Ethan signs up for her study, Sam discovers to her horror, that according to her compatibility test, they are a perfect match. Sam faces an existential crisis over her career and her research. If she believes in her science, shouldn’t it follow that she believes Ethan is her perfect mate? And if she doesn’t believe he’s her perfect mate, doesn’t that bring into question her research? Her compatibility test? Her reputation? And her very career?

As Sam struggles with her dilemma, Ethan pursues her with all the romantic tactics in his arsenal. Will Sam’s theories succumb to his challenge? Or will Ethan lose the battle for Sam’s heart?

Special Pre-Order Price of $0.99!

amazon KoboIcon itunes

Excerpt:

“No, no, no. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening,” Samantha Love muttered as she gently banged her head against the steering wheel.
She turned the key again. Nothing. Not even a wheeze. This was the icing on the cake of her otherwise craptastic day.
A bead of sweat trickled down her back. And another one between her girls. God, she hated boob sweat.
When she’d taken the research and teaching position at Sterling University in North Georgia last fall, she’d never have guessed the summer would be so hot.
Throwing open the door of her car to let in even more stifling heat, she searched for the lever to pop the hood. Finally locating it, she pulled it, then walked around to the front of the car. As if she knew what to do.
Just as she leaned under the hood to jiggle some wire thingies, she heard, “Dr. Love? Do you need some help?”
She let out a startled squeak hitting her head on the underside of the hood. “Ow!” Rubbing the offended spot, she turned and saw Ethan Quinn standing there looking all adorable. Not to mention manly.
Dammit. Why did it have to be him? “No. I’m fine.” Yeah, right. For all her parents’ preaching on women and self-sufficiency, she didn’t know a dipstick from a spark plug when it came to cars. She turned back to the mystery parts under the hood.
“You need a jump.”
“I beg your pardon?” She spun, hand on her hip.
“Your battery.” He pointed in the direction of her open hood. “It probably needs a jump.”
“Oh. Right.” Of course he meant her battery. What else would he be talking about?
“I have jumper cables in my car. I’ll have you going in a few minutes.”
“He’ll have me going in a few minutes,” she mumbled under her breath as she watched him walk to the far corner of the parking lot. Tall, athletic build, dark-wash jeans, white button-down shirt. And that hair. Tousled espresso-brown waves just brushing the top of his collar. “He’s already got me going,” she said to herself.
He tossed his messenger bag in the car and climbed in. And, of course, his car started. Because that’s what cars did. They started when you turned the key. Then they blew cold air, so you didn’t have to stand in the mid-July Georgia heat. Unless they dated back to the Stone Age like hers. Another bead of sweat trickled between her breasts.
She released a wistful sigh. Bet the AC felt good.
He pulled his recent model American-made car around to face hers and then got out to pop the hood. Walking around to the trunk, he opened it and grabbed a set of jumper cables, looking like he knew what he was doing.
Good thing somebody around here did.
“It’s a hot one today,” Ethan commented, as he connected one of the clamp doohickeys to what she assumed was the car battery. His sleeves were rolled up over his forearms, displaying muscles with a light dusting of hair.
Clamping the other end of the cables to his own battery, he then returned to her car. When he walked past her, his cologne wafted to her nose, temporarily erasing her angst at being in his presence.
Then he touched his hand to her back. And the anxiety returned tenfold. “Stand clear.” He leaned into the gaping mouth of the car and attached the remaining clamp, throwing a spark.
“All right. Let’s see if we can get this baby going.” He climbed into the driver’s seat of his car and turned it on.
“Give her a try,” he hollered over the din of his car’s running motor.
Sam dropped into the front seat and turned the key. The older-than-dirt engine tried but couldn’t work up enough energy to turn over.
“Hold on,” Ethan called, then revved his car. “Okay, try her again.”
Her car wheezed then reluctantly cranked a couple of times before coming to life.
Ethan was at her door, leaning over, hands braced on the roof. “Great. Let her run a bit, then I’ll disconnect the cables.” A bead of sweat trickled down his temple. “My AC’s on full blast. Why don’t you sit in my car until yours is ready to go.” He stepped aside to give her room to get out.
Sam felt as wilted as week-old lettuce, so against her better judgment she took him up on the offer.
He opened the front passenger door of his shiny black Lincoln MKS—such a gentleman—and she sank into the leather seats and stuck her face in front of the vent. God, it felt good. The door closed with a solid thunk. Resisting the urge to wipe away the boob sweat, she settled for drying the perspiration on her face and neck.
The car dipped as Ethan took a seat on the driver’s side before shutting the door and closing out the rest of the world. Music played softly in the background—something popular. The intimacy of being alone in the car with Ethan washed over her.
“I’d offer you something cool to drink, but I don’t have anything.”
She realized she hadn’t said a word in the last five minutes. “Thank you.”
“No thanks necessary. You’d do the same for me.”
“No, I wouldn’t.” She smiled. “I don’t know a thing about cars.”
He nodded as a grin split his face. “Well, from the looks of your battery, you’re going to need a new one. I can follow you to Burt’s Automotive. He can have a replacement installed in fifteen minutes.”
She shook her head. “Thanks, but I don’t want to put you out in any further.”
“It’s no trouble. Besides, if you go straight home, I don’t think she’s going to start for you in the morning.”
“Oh.” That would not be good.
“She should be juiced up enough to get you to Burt’s. Stay here until I unhook the cables.” Ethan got out of the car and set to work.
She’d steered clear of Ethan Quinn since the day she was introduced to the rest of the college faculty. The moment they shook hands she’d felt a connection. And from the look on his face, he’d felt it too. That flood of adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin one feels when there is a strong physical attraction.
Relationships were complicated, but getting situated at a new university was already complicated enough.
No. Being in close proximity to Ethan Quinn was a bad idea. So as much as she hated to leave the cool comfort of his car, she jumped out and got in her rolling oven before he could say otherwise.

About the Author:

rebecca

Rebecca Heflin is an award-winning author who has dreamed of writing romantic fiction since she was fifteen and her older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna to her and told her to read it. Rebecca writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job as a practicing attorney.

Rebecca is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, and Florida Writers Association. She and her mountain-climbing husband live at sea level in sunny Florida.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you would like to enter for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c81197/