Category Archives: Excerpt

Sneak Peek Wednesday: Spells and Slip-ups by Annie Anderson

Spells and Slip-ups
(The Wrong Witch #1)
by Annie Anderson
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: June 7, 2022
Genre: Urban Fantasy

I suck at witchcraft.

Coming from a long line of famous witches, I should be at the top of the heap. Problem is, if there is a spell cast anywhere in my vicinity, I will somehow mess it up. As a probationary agent with the Arcane Bureau of Investigation, I have two choices: I can limp along and maybe pass myself off as a competent agent, or I can fail. Miserably.

Worse news? If I can’t get my act together, I may not only be out of a job, I could also lose my life.

Whose idea was this again?


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Sneak Peek Wednesday: The History of Us by Jennifer Bardsley (Giveaway)

The History of Us
by Jennifer Bardsley
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication date: July 12, 2022
Genre: Romance

Andrea Wint’s life in the small town of Port Inez, Washington, is a simple one. She works, enjoys the gorgeous view from her bay window, and visits her dad at the memory-care facility. Her father is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, but Andrea brings in one coin from his valuable collection every day—little bits of precious metals that seem to bring him back to himself, even if just for a few moments.

So when Andrea’s house is burgled and the coins disappear, she’s bereft.

To track down the culprit, she turns to Dustin Karlsson, who just happens to be her former high school sweetheart. Years ago, they broke each other’s hearts, and some wounds are slow to heal. But Dustin feels indebted to the ailing Tom Wint and wants to help.

What’s more, Dustin has a personal stake in finding the perpetrator. In fact, he suspects the thief could be his own brother-in-law, a gambler and a drunk who skipped town, leaving Dustin’s sister and two young nieces behind.

As Dustin and Andrea travel the Pacific Northwest in an effort to recover the missing coins, old feelings rekindle. Maybe their happily ever after can still be minted.

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Sneak Peek Wednesday: The Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery

The Boardwalk Bookshop
by Susan Mallery
Publisher: MIRA
Publication date: May 31 2022
Genre: Romance

When fate brings three strangers to a charming space for lease on the California coast, the Boardwalk Bookshop is born. Part bookstore, part gift shop, part bakery, it’s a dream come true for Bree, Mikki and Ashley. But while their business is thriving, their personal lives are…not.

Bree, wounded by brilliant but cold parents and her late husband’s ultimate betrayal, has sworn to protect her heart at all costs. Even from Ashley’s brother, a writer and adventurer who has inspired millions. He’s the first man to see past Bree’s barricades to her true self, which terrifies her. Mikki has this divorce thing all figured out—somehow, she’s stayed friends with her ex and her in-laws…until a new man changes how everyone looks at her, and how she sees herself. Meanwhile, Ashley discovers that the love of her life never intends to marry. Can she live without being a wife if it means she can have everything else she’s ever wanted?

At sunset every Friday on the beach in front of the Boardwalk Bookshop, the three friends share a champagne toast. As their bond grows closer, they challenge one another to become the best versions of themselves in this heartachingly beautiful story of friendship, sisterhood and the transformative power of love.


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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Heather by Natasha Alterici, Ashley A. Woods (Giveaway)

The Complete Series Omnibus Edition
By: Natasha Alterici, Ashley A. Woods (Illustrations)
Publisher: Vault Comics
Publication date: May 17 , 2022
Genre: Fantasy Graphic Novel




Born into a time of warfare, suffering, and subjugation of women, and exiled from her village for kissing another woman, the lesbian Viking warrior, Aydis, sets out to destroy the god-king Odin and end his oppressive reign. She is a friend to many as she is joined by mermaids, immortals, Valkyries, and the talking horse, Saga. But she is also a fearsome enemy to the demons and fantastic monsters that populate the land.

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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Operation Get a Life by Marilyn Jeulin (Giveaway)

Operation Get a Life
(The Bias Wrecker Series, #1)
by Marilyn Jeulin
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: April 22, 2022
Genre: Romance

A chance encounter with an alluring American Music Producer suddenly turns Cha Min-Jun’s world upside down. And as the days go on, and he readies to perform his duty to his country, his mind is elsewhere, imagining how he could seduce the beautiful American girl.

Luisa “Seven” Fernandez is tired of having doors firmly shut in her face, so she packs up and goes to couch surf with her best friends in Seoul. And it’s there that she inadvertently meets one of Kpop’s biggest stars in a bar’s bathroom in Itaewon.

For the happy-go-lucky, quick-witted, no strings attached, Seven, meeting Min-Jun can’t come at a worse time. Not sure where her professional life is going, and seeing as not much is happening in Seoul, Seven makes a drastic decision that affects them both.

While Min-Jun and Seven try to come to terms with events that bind them together, they also have to race against the clock before Min-Jun’s fans turn on him as news of his current not so single status is splashed across Social Media. Will the secrets that unite them help their budding relationship flourish, or will it all be for nothing?


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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Virtual Reality Bites by Ava Wixx

Virtual Reality Bites
by Ava Wixx
Publisher: Wicked Wixx Press
Publication date: April 19, 2022
Genre: Romance

What happens when a romance author agrees to test romance tropes in virtual reality?

Following divorce number two, Zoe Woods is jaded, bitter, and unable to write her latest novel. For an author whose brand is all about finding true love, that’s kind of a problem.

Desperate to revive her romantic optimism, Zoe accepts an offer from an unlikely place to beta test virtual reality romance tropes. Unfortunately, Zoe jumps in too fast, and instead of a fun romp in virtual Romancelandia to rekindle her creativity, she finds one debacle after another.

Regretting her choices, Zoe realizes nothing is ever what it seems when it comes to love and romance and fantasy vs real world. The only thing she does know for sure is that virtual reality definitely bites.




“Xander?” I called. “Do I get any kind of directions or do I just go …” The rest of my sentence was swallowed as a man on a horse galloped up a nearby hill, heading straight for me. He wasn’t close enough that I could make out his expression yet, but I could see that he had long, dark hair that swept away from his face … and he was massive. Like Conan the Barbarian massive.
I gulped, my first instinct to run. As the horse’s hooves thundered closer, I could no longer sublimate my flight response, despite knowing I was in a fantasy world. Spinning on my heels, I took off at a dead sprint in the opposite direction. I made it only about a few yards when my feet tangled in my annoyingly cumbersome skirt, and I fell to my hands and knees.
“Shit,” I muttered, glancing frantically over my shoulder at my pursuer.
“Clara, lass, why are you runnin’ from me?” The man’s deep voice, dipped in a delightful Scottish brogue, washed over me as he pulled the horse to a halt, bewilderment playing across his chiseled features.
“Do I know you?” Hmmm … interesting. I also sound Scottish.
The man’s full lips turned down into a scowl as he dismounted and made his way to me. Before I could utter another word, he’d lifted me to my feet, resting his warm hands on my shoulders. “Are you all right, Clara? Did you hit your head?”
Nice touch. He sounded Scottish but not ridiculously so. It wasn’t historically accurate, but who needs perfection when it comes to fantasy? Besides, I hated when other authors wrote too much of an accent into their books, making it almost as difficult to decipher on the page as it would be out loud. Of course, I often got criticized for doing the opposite. To each their own, I supposed … Although, I probably should mention to Xander that it might be a good idea to let the client choose that particular detail. It isn’t one size fits all when it comes to fantasies. Or, maybe it already is a choice and this is just mine? Yeah, it would have been really helpful if I had more information going into this. Thanks a lot, Xander.
“Clara? Tell me what’s goin’ on with you, lass. You have me worried.”
I wasn’t exactly sure how to play this one. “Umm … maybe I hit my head? I can’t be sure.”
The man blinked a few times as if processing my response. “What do you mean by you can’t be sure? Do you not remember?”
I nibbled on my bottom lip. “No?” Now that I was no longer being motivated by fear, all I could do was stare at the perfection of man-candy being offered up to me. Where had the image for him come from? My mind? Algorithms? Bah. Guess it doesn’t matter. He’s here, and he’s beautiful.
Scooping me up in his arms, the man hopped back onto his horse with no effort, as if I weighed less than nothing. “I told you not to go wanderin’ off by yourself. Now you’ve gone and hit yer head, knocking Lord knows what out of it. What am I goona do with you, Clara? You’re the most stubborn woman I’ve ever laid eyes on.”
“What’s your name?”
“Och, I have a full day of training, but I can see yer goona be needin’ a doctor immediately.” He swept some of my hair off my forehead, gazing down at me tenderly as he cradled me closer. “Don’t worry, Clara, I’ll take care of you.”
Butterflies divebombed my stomach. “Okay,” I managed on a breathy sigh, much to my horror. Oh, get a hold of yourself. This guy doesn’t actually exist. He’s made up of pixels and … other techy stuff. Whatever.



Meet Ava Wixx

Ava Wixx escaped into books at a young age and decided to stay there. It was only a matter of time before she was driven to create her own fantasy worlds from fear of running out of places to explore. Reader, writer, dreamer … Ava only toils in reality when absolutely necessary. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, and spoiled mini-poodle.

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Sneak Peek Wednesday: The Prince by Antony Soehner (Giveaway)

The Prince
(Prince Theo Saga Book 1)
by Antony Soehner
Publisher: Roll15 Publishing
Publication date: April 12, 2022
Genre: Fantasy

Destiny will always test the greatest of leaders.

“Theo never imagined life outside the king’s castle. But when the queen’s funeral reveals the king’s true colors, Theo must rely on his sister, her allies, and his friends to get him to safety. With the help of mercenaries and the native tribes of the plains, Theo must learn to face his destiny and open his mind to the diverse world he’s been thrown into.”

The Prince is a High-Fantasy Adventure and the first book in the Prince Theo Saga by Antony Soehner. A multi-layered story about a young prince who discovers the diverse, fantastic world around him as he escapes his abusive tyrant father, King George. Finding himself in the care of a native tribe thought to be the enemy, Theo begins his long journey of growing and healing from the traumas he faced back home.


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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Sweet Home Cowboy by Maisey Yates, Caitlin Crews, Nicole Helm, Jackie Ashenden

Sweet Home Cowboy
(Jasper Creek #3)
by Maisey Yates, Caitlin Crews, Nicole Helm, Jackie Ashenden
Publisher: HQN Books
Publication date: March 29, 2022
Genre: Romance

Four half sisters create the family they’ve always dreamed of in this enchanting quartet from bestselling authors Maisey Yates, Nicole Helm, Jackie Ashenden and Caitlin Crews.

The Hathaway sisters might have grown up apart, but when they agree to move to Jasper Creek, Oregon, to revitalize their grandfather’s farm, it seems a straightforward decision. Until they meet their neighborhood cowboys…

Sweet-natured Teddy has never met a man worth taking a risk on, until now. Tomboy Joey has more affinity with farm equipment than men, until a brooding cowboy changes her mind. Prickly baker Georgie can’t resist the temptation of the most forbidden cowboy of all, and sparks fly between ceramicist Elliot and the grumpy single-dad rancher next door.

The sisters’ feelings are anything but simple, but with the love and support of each other, they discover that a cowboy might be the sweetest thing of all about coming home.


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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Wolf Marked by Veronica Douglas

Wolf Marked
(Magic Side: Wolf Bound, 1)
by Veronica Douglas
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication date: July 30, 2021
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Werewolves are hunting me down.

I was just an ordinary girl waiting tables in a small-town bar. I had no idea magic was real. That was, until I backed my car over a werewolf a couple times.

In my defense, the wolf was trying to murder me, and I was all out of mace.

Now I’ve got a cult of rogue wolves on my heels, and the only one who can protect me is Jaxson Laurent—the Chicago Alpha.

He suspects I’m special and can’t take his eyes off me, but the problem is—he’s the sworn enemy of my family. Every time we get close it feels like something is going to rip out of my soul, but the heat between us is irresistible.

With danger around every corner and wolves howling in the night, I need to master my magic and stand my ground, or I’ll be dead before the next moon rises.


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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Sadie on a Plate by Amanda Elliot

Sadie on a Plate
by Amanda Elliot
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: March, 15, 2022
Genre: Romance

Sadie is a rising star in the trendy Seattle restaurant scene. Her dream is to create unique, modern, and mouthwatering takes on traditional Jewish recipes. But after a public breakup with her boss, a famous chef, she is sure her career is over–until she lands a coveted spot on the next season of her favorite TV show, Chef Supreme.

On the plane to New York, Sadie has sizzling chemistry with her seatmate, Luke, but tells him that she won’t be able to contact him for the next six weeks. They prolong their night with a spontaneous, magical dinner before parting ways. Or so she thinks. When she turns up to set the next day, she makes a shocking discovery about who Luke is….

If Sadie wants to save her career by winning Chef Supreme, she’s going to have to ignore the simmering heat between her and Luke. But how long can she do that before the pot boils over?


Sneak Peek


I picked up the phone, my shoulders already drooping. “Hello, this is Sadie Rosen.” “Hi, Sadie!” It was a woman on the other end, her tone far too chipper for this hour of the morning. “My name is Adrianna Rogalsky, and I’m calling from Chef Supreme. Is this a good time?”

I almost dropped my phone. “Yes!” I cleared my throat, trying to keep from squeaking the way I did when I got too excited. “I mean yes, this is a good time.”

“Great!” Adrianna chirped. “I’m calling to tell you that the committee really liked your application and your cooking video. Would you mind answering a few more questions for me?”

My eyes involuntarily darted to my bookshelf, which consisted mainly of cookbooks. I spent too much time in restaurant kitchens to cook much from them-or at least, up until a week ago I had-but I liked flipping through them to gather ideas and marvel at the food photography. Five were written by winners of Chef Supreme, and four by runners-up and semifinalists. I’d watched every episode of all six seasons, seated on the edge of my couch to goggle at every cooking challenge and winning dish and contestant who cried when eliminated.

Season three’s winner, Seattle’s Julie Chee, was my culinary idol. Derek, my boss, had taken me by her restaurant after-hours one day. She’d laughed when I told her how I’d been rooting for her all season, patted my head like I was a little kid, and then cooked me a grilled cheese with bacon and kimchi. It was the best night of my life. Right after that, I’d started dreaming about competing on the show myself.

“Hello? Sadie?”

And if I didn’t get on my game, that dream was going to evaporate like a pot of boiling water forgotten on the stove. I mean, I didn’t really think I was actually going to make it on the show, but it wasn’t like I was going to hang up on someone from Chef Supreme. “Sorry!” I said. “Bad connection for a minute there. Yes, I’d love to answer some questions.” I shook my head and grimaced. Love? Love was a strong word. I should’ve said I’d be happy to answer some questions. Now Adrianna was probably-

Talking! Already! “Your application from six months ago says that you’re a sous-chef at the Green Onion in Seattle?”

I cleared my throat. “Well, um.” This was not off to a great start. “I was a sous-chef there until last week. I decided to leave to . . . um, pursue personal business opportunities.” Another grimace. Personal business opportunities? What did that even mean?

I really wished I wasn’t naked right now. I knew Adrianna from Chef Supreme couldn’t see me through the phone, but I still felt way too exposed.

Fortunately, job-hopping is fairly common in the food world. So Adrianna just said, “Great. And how would you describe your personal style?”

I hoped she meant food-wise and not looks-wise, because my personal fashion style consisted mainly of beat-up Converses, thrift store T-shirts, and constant calculations on how far I could go between haircuts before crossing the line from fashionably mussed to overgrown sheepdog. “At the Green Onion, I was cooking mostly New American food with some French influences and a bit of molecular gastronomy,” I told her. “But my own style, I’d say, is more homestyle, with Jewish influences? Not kosher cooking; that’s a different thing. I’m inspired by traditional Jewish cuisine.”

Paper rustled on the other end. “Right, the matzah ball ramen you cooked in your video looked fantastic. We were all drooling in the room!”

I perked up. Forgot that I was naked. Forgot that lately I was a walking disaster. “That’s one of my go-tos and will definitely be on my future menu. I’ve been experimenting lately with putting a spin on kugels . . .”

As I chattered on, I could practically see my grandma shaking her head at me. Grandma Ruth had cooked up a storm for every Passover, Yom Kippur, and Chanukah, piling her table till it groaned with challah rolls, beef brisket in a ketchup-based sauce, and tomato and cucumber salad so fresh and herby and acidic it could make you feel like summer in the middle of winter. Pastrami-spiced pork shoulder? Really, dear?

I shook my own head back at her, making her poof away in a cloud of metaphorical smoke. I had that power now that she was dead and buried and existing primarily as a manifestation of my own anxiety.

“. . . so in that way it’s really more of a cheesecake with noodles in it,” I finished up. My blood was sparking just talking about my food; I had to do a few quick hops just to burn off some of that excess energy.

“I love your passion,” Adrianna said on the other end of the phone. “So, I take it that opening your own restaurant is hashtag goals for you?”

“Hashtag goals,” I agreed. And my shoulders drooped again, because that was a dream that was never going to happen now. After I got fired by the Green Onion and the chefs at all the other restaurants worth working at learned why, I became the joke of Seattle’s restaurant industry. Who wanted to invest in the local joke?

She asked me a few other questions, pertaining mostly to my schedule and availability (there were only so many ways to say, “I’m free whenever you want me, considering I no longer have a job”). I continued to pace around my apartment, circling the coffee table, bare feet padding over the rug. And then, “It’s been lovely to speak with you, Sadie.”

I stopped short, my shin slamming into the table leg. I swallowed back a curse. “It’s been lovely to speak with you . . . too?” I finished with a question, because I couldn’t ask what I really wanted to ask. Is this it? Did I not meet whatever criteria you have? What’s wrong with me?

“We’ll be in touch soon,” Adrianna said. “Have a great day!”


Meet Amanda Elliot

 Photo by Cassie Gonzales

Amanda Elliot lives with her husband in New York City, where she collects way too many cookbooks for her tiny kitchen, runs in Central Park, and writes for teens and kids under the name Amanda Panitch.

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