Books, Photos & a little bit of everything else: Feb. 5

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  • Where We Belong by Eve Connell: Chapter Reveal & Giveaway

  • Pulse by Amity Cross: Release Day Blitz & Giveaway

 

Title: Where We Belong
Author: Eve Connell
 Release Date: February 19, 2015
Synopsis

One man diving into the past.One woman emerging from the depths. At the age of seventeen, Amelia Baide won silver at the Olympic Games and was the second-fastest woman in the pool. Then one tragic night she crashed into a lake and was dragged out without a pulse. Now twenty-four, she is still haunted by it and hasn’t swum again. Until this year’s anniversary of the accident. It is a day unlike any other and a strange turn of events finds Amelia back at a swimming pool.Harry Jamieson had eyes for one girl, while women and the media had eyes for him. As a trainer of Olympic athletes, he was an in-demand man. Until one boozy morning after … But from bad luck to pure chance he runs into his old flame, Amelia, at a swimming pool no less. She doesn’t remember a thing from the night of the crash.And Harry knows every single secret.

The pair joins forces—a comeback for Amelia and Harry’s ultimate coaching opportunity. But dodging waves is hard to do; and even the strongest swimmer may sink.

Where We Belong is a second-chance love story for young and old, for swimming enthusiasts and romantics at heart.

Chapter 1

Amelia

   We had the fight moments after I slipped the robe off my shoulders into a pool around my feet. I had one foot on the shower base, one on the plush rectangular mat.
At that moment, my fiancé, Kristopher, knocked from the other side of the bathroom door, which I’d already locked for privacy.
He had this tendency often. The first word he would speak to me all day? As I stepped into the shower. Was it okay if he went out with his friends instead of the dinner reservation? As I stepped into the shower. His solution to cancer? As I stepped into the shower.
Clenching my jaw, I awaited the question.
“Aftershave, Amelia?” he asked.
I sighed. “You should have gotten it when I told you I needed to shower. Or while I collected my creams and lotions and make-up. Or while I sniffed around for a clean towel in your stash in the corner.”
The soap—as we both knew—was irrelevant in this argument. For a fleeting moment, I wondered if we stayed together out of laziness. And maybe we did. Because I hated many characteristics about my fiancé. Especially his ignorance of this anniversary.
It was September twenty-ninth.
This year I called my boss’s mobile at the crack of dawn to fake a sick day, playing up my groggy tone as a terrible sore throat in addition to a nauseous tummy. She told me to get well, and I swallowed the news with a lump in my throat, guilty for lying. I was an assistant for a medium-sized advertising business and handled paperwork, invoicing and calls all day long—it wasn’t like my absence would be of consequence to day-to-day activities. I’d pick it up tomorrow.
Last year Kristopher and I made dates apart with our respective best friends, and I’d spent it eating all the ice cream along a strip of shops down the coast. I’d thrown up once and then kept on going. Jaffa flavour, I remember.
I’d licked and slurped the drips down the paper cup, and only thought twice of the anniversary. Once on the drive down to the beach, and then once as I’d clutched the sides of a rusty public bin and spewed my guts up to the backdrop of disgusted gasps from passers-by.
I don’t know what Kristopher did that day, but he came back when the night sky was a deep sapphire blue, whisky on his breath as he climbed in bed behind me.
The year before I took a day off from work and spent $600 buying cocktail dresses I would never have occasion to wear. The next day I donated them to charity.
Six years ago today, I died. Hence, it was the one time of the year we didn’t forget the date. Unlike some years when we had to shop for Christmas gifts at two am on the twenty-fourth.
I stared down the white door of the bathroom, one foot tingling with the sharp cold of the shower base, hand clutching the knob. I stepped back onto the tiles, accepting defeat.
“Come on, Amelia,” he said in a low tone. “Just one Goddamn bottle of aftershave. That’s all I need.”
“No. Just wait till I’m done.”
“Babe.”
“Amelia,” I said.
“Amelia, please,” he said, voice breaking. “I haven’t showered and I stink. I just need a few fucking sprays, and I’ll be out of your way all day.”
I gritted my teeth and hobbled from toe to toe, the cold seeping up my legs. If we kept going on like this staying out of each other’s way was pointless. We knew how to nip at each other’s sensitive spots in a way learned from several years of being together. I saw the forthcoming crash, clenched my eyes shut against the pain. My shoulders heaved, bracing for impact.
Was this what happened to me just before my crash?
Was there a moment of wide-eyed fear as my corded, muscled arms grabbed the wheel at the proper ten and two positions, and I flew through the air, reduced to a thin, crushed and crumpled body at the bottom of the lake?
Hot tears grew heavy behind my eyelids as something inside me snapped. I shut the gate to the horrific visions.
It was too late to shower.
Kristopher banged his fist on the door, the boom echoing. I bent and hurried on my new clothes folded on the counter.
“Come on. This is beyond a joke. It will take you a few seconds to pass it.” The door rattled, the handle jerking, but I’d locked the door already. “Amelia.”
I slipped my arms into the cardigan and threw open the door, despite the bags under my eyes and the chill settling over my chest because of the unbuttoned front.
I said, “Have it all,” pushing the aftershave bottle into his chest, then rushed past him.
And I didn’t look back.

 

Chapter 2

Harry

I woke to star-and heart-shaped glow-in-the-dark stickers radiating in neon green from the ceiling. A ceiling I’d never seen before in my life—typically, I wasn’t the sort of man to befriend the fancy sticker type of person.
It was pre-dawn, barely so, the sun a tiny orb just under the horizon through the crack in the curtains.
My world swayed as I tilted my head. I held my ears in my palms, and my fingers weaved through the messy state of my bed hair. Under the purple sheets, my stomach churned, and farther down, morning glory unstuck from the
aforementioned undelightful purple sheets. I crawled out of the bed.
What the fuck was this? I thought. And where the fuck was I?
I remembered flashes from the previous night. A club, a slime party, and breathy kisses with the girl who lay splayed under these purple sheets beneath her stars and hearts glow-in-the-dark ceiling.
Viol … Vick … no, it was Vivienne. No, wait, Vivienna.
I smiled, proud of my achievement. But that dropped into a wobbly set of lips. My stomach churned again. I lurched into the attached bathroom and retched, wiping myself clean with water.
Even though I was ninety-nine-point-nine per cent certain I fucked Vicky (or Vivienna), I shivered at the thought of sharing her toothbrush, so I used the handy finger-stick in lieu and then the mouthwash beside the basin.
Feeling somewhat refreshed, I let out a deep breath and looked around the bathroom, not much of a better sight than the bedroom. The towels were white and pale purple, the soap purple, and more stickers dotted along the corners of the mirror above the basin.
I stared at my reflection, disgusted.
My hair Mohawked, askew to one side, a chunk plastered across my forehead in a teenage boy-crush style. I fussed it around with my hands. It looked as if I just had sex, which was better than it had moments prior.
I stepped back into her bedroom, peering amongst the sheets and all her hair. I sighed upon seeing her, confirming one thing. She had the youthful expression of someone I hoped was legal. I was twenty-eight, she perhaps twenty or twenty-one. I hoped.
Since she was still asleep, I returned to the bathroom and looked around for supplies to make myself appear more human. But I caught my reflection in the mirror and stalled. My tan skin and dark hair vividly contrasted against my steel-blue eyes. Most noticeably, a bloodshot glare, lined with purple bags, rolled lazily at the reflection.
I didn’t suspect my pick-up techniques from last night would have worked if I’d looked like this.
Just twelve or so hours ago, one look at Vivienna and she was under my arm, my lips near her ear telling her things she wanted to hear.
I wished I’d had the foresight to stop drinking and pick up her nuisances: the squeals I thought made her sound cute, the frilly neckline of her dress more girly than sweet, and the bright purple shoes. The poor woman had a young girl trapped inside her body.
I looked through the doorway and whispered, “You’re a little crazy, Purple Vivienna.”
I never should have—
Stop, Harry. I told myself. Find some deodorant, get some clothes on, and get out of here.
So I did just that. Then I walked out of her bedroom without a note or text. I didn’t have her number, plus she didn’t care for me.
The others didn’t, either. They thought they cared.
But they wanted the thrill of a night with the Harry Jamieson.
A night of passion and drinking with the idea of love.
One of us had to have our heads screwed on.
With mine teetering on the right side of sanity, I dashed out and found my car parked by the kerb outside her house, hoping she’d been sober enough by the end of the night to drive it. I knew with absolute certainty I wouldn’t have gotten behind the wheel.
I didn’t drive after drinking. Not anymore.
I travelled home, which took an hour—a long way for pussy, even by my standards—and did the whole routine: shower, force down some hangover-cure food, spend the rest of the day watching TV like a zombie. Late afternoon, I got onto all my emails, responding to meetings, questions and other ad hoc business, then prepared some training sessions for my swimmers.
When I woke the next morning, I stumbled drowsily onto my front lawn in just a pair of sleeping pants and retrieved the delivered roll of newspaper. My neighbour, having noticed my exit, darted her eyes away and scurried inside her house.
I never claimed to be a sight for sore eyes in the morning. But what the hell was that about?

   Five minutes later, as I tipped a steaming cup of coffee to my lips, I saw the headline and cursed, spraying coffee all over my granite countertop.

 

 

Author Bio

 

Writer, kid-at-heart, awesome partner, graphic design dabbler, book lover.
Author Links

a2e0b-yes

 

 

Title: Pulse
Series: The Beat and the Pulse #2
Author: Amity Cross
Genre: Erotic Romance
 Release Date: February 5, 2015

 

Synopsis

Ren Miller never dreamed her life would turn out quite like this.


On the cusp of qualifying for the brand new woman’s UFC league, she’s finally found the thing that makes her tick. She finally has a whole new life before her, but it’s one that doesn’t include Ash Fuller.


No one has seen or heard from Beat’s Golden Boy in six months, not even Ren. He’s disappeared off the face of the earth and he’s just another person who’s ended up abandoning her when she needed him the most. He broke her heart, but he took the one thing that was hers. Her spirit.


When someone unexpected turns up at Beat with an ultimatum, Ren must make a decision. Go after Ash and her own heart or make her Dad’s dream of winning a Championship come true.


Will Ren choose to fight?


Or sacrifice everything to save the man she loves?

18+ due to mature sexual content

 

Links to Buy
AMAZON US / UK / AU
KOBO / B&N / iBOOKS
Also Available
AMAZON US / UK / AU
Author Bio

 

Amity Cross isn’t her real name. That’s no secret.
She is the author of wicked stories about rock stars looking for redemption, gritty romances featuring MMA fighters and dark tales of forbidden romance. She loves to write about screwed up relationships and kick ass female leads
that don’t take s**t lying down.
Amitylives in a leafy country town in southern Australia and can be found chained to her desk, held at ransom by her characters.

Don’t send help. She likes it.

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