Exclusive Excerpt: Blackbird by Molly McAdams

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Oh you guys… this book!!!! Molly has been talking to me about Blackbird for some time and I’m so excited to chat about it, read it and today, give you an exclusive first look at this must-read romantic suspense coming February! And isn’t the cover just gorgeous?! ♥

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Synopsis

Feb-28

From New York Times bestselling author Molly McAdams comes a powerhouse romantic suspense that will have you questioning your morals and second guessing your view on love.

I live in a world few know exist. I’ve trained for this. I know what to say, what to do, and how to act. I’ve perfected the lethal calm required for this life.

Now it’s time to buy my first girl. But all it takes is one look at the brave girl who starts singing mid-auction for that calm to slip.

Briar Chapman is going to be the death of me, and I don’t care. I’ll take every day with her until that death comes, and I’ll welcome it when it does.

On the outside, Lucas Holt is what nightmares are made of. A man cloaked in darkness, with sin-filled eyes and an enticing grin. A devil so devastatingly beautiful and cruel that his very presence instills fear.

But beneath his terrifying, ever-calm exterior is an affectionate man haunted by a past that refuses to stay buried. And Lucas looks at me as though he’s finally found the only person who can make it all go away.

We’re a battle of the brightest day and the darkest night—and I want to lie in the wake of our war.

Excerpt

“I’m not going to hurt you,” I said, my voice swam with honesty.

“Right now? Or today? Or does that include tomorrow too?” she asked as her voice cracked and tears filled those broken eyes.

I bit back my initial response, and instead echoed, “I’m not going to hurt you. But we need to get you out of this room.” I shifted forward, and watched every movement of her body as I rested my arms on my knees and clasped my hands together.

Her chest hitched and her body jerked, but she didn’t move away from me.

“Now, tell me why you’re still shaking.”

“Because I can’t do this,” she said immediately, her voice weak. “I can’t do what you want me to.” I opened my mouth to speak, but she asked, “Is this a lesson?”

Her question slammed into me and made me lose my hold on that calm as everything I shouldn’t feel assaulted me again and again… The way those broken eyes made me want to beg her to forgive me. The way her screams made me want to tear out my heart.

Within seconds my calm was back and filling me, and I let my lips slowly curve into a wicked grin. “You’ll know when I’m teaching you a lesson.” Once her hatred from my statement had dulled, I nodded toward the plate again. “Eat.”

Only seconds had passed before she picked at the fruit she’d been eating, and after she’d taken a few bites, I slowly reached forward.

She stilled as my hand neared the robe, just above her breasts, and her chest’s movements became exaggerated when I slipped my hand inside to slowly drag the material off one of her shoulders.

When I looked up, green, fear-filled eyes were watching my every move before darting up to my face when I withdrew my hand. As soon as my hands were clasped again, I mumbled, “Eat.”

A full minute came and went before she shakily resumed, and as before, I slowly reached forward after she’d finished taking a few bites.

Her breath rushed out when I grasped the other side of her robe. “Please, d-d—” she said breathlessly, but didn’t continue.

My eyes darted up to hers once her other shoulder was bared, and I forced myself to ignore the way they pled with me and the way they glistened with unshed tears as I reminded her, “You need to be comfortable around me, Blackbird. Eat.”

After another minute, she grabbed for the piece of toast. But even then, she just held onto it as she continued to violently tremble.

I stood from the chair and walked to the edge of the bed. Pressing my knuckles to her chin, I waited until she was looking at me, then slowly dropped my hands to where she was grasping the satin material against her breasts.

“You want to leave this room, and I can’t let you leave it until we’ve passed this point,” I said in a low, soothing tone as I removed the tight grip she had on the robe, and bent to whisper in her ear, “Close your eyes and clear your mind. You can do this.”

But I wasn’t sure that I could.

Because my calm was crumbling, and I couldn’t hold onto that nothing that I so desperately needed to cling to in order to get through this.

This girl and those eyes were devastating me in a way I’d never known—and couldn’t afford now.

I knew what I needed to do, and yet … I wanted to protect her from this, even though I was the one pushing her. I wanted to pull her closer so I could feel her body pressed to mine. I wanted to brush my lips across hers—

Nothing. Feel nothing, I maintained as I fought between covering her up, and continuing with what I knew we had to do.

I forced that calm and that nothingness, and the tips of my thumbs brushed against her breasts as I bunched the material in my hands. Just as I was about to release the robe and let the material pool around her hips, a song fell from her lips, hushed and broken, and the sound made me pause.

I looked back at her face to see it pinched with fear and her eyes squeezed shut, and again, I lost my weak hold on my calm. Only that time, I didn’t try to snap it back in place. I let everything she was making me feel consume me as I pulled her robe back over her shoulders, and stepped away.

“Another day, Blackbird,” I mumbled, and let her voice follow me out of the room.

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Exclusive Excerpt: To The Stars by Molly McAdams

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Molly McAdams delivers perhaps her best written story to date with To The Stars—a poignant narrative about love, fear, resilience and second chances. The topics broached are heavy and hard to read as we witness the harrowing truths of an abusive relationship. We experience just how tightly fear can burrow inside and how the crushing of one’s spirit is often times more hurtful than the pounding of one’s flesh.  And while with Harlow’s story McAdams unflinchingly approaches the reality of domestic violence, she also shows the strength love renders when hope seems vanquished.

“To the moon?… The moon isn’t that far, Harlow.”

“Isn’t it?”

“No. Not far enough…  I want to love you to the stars.”

… “Then to the stars.”

I’m excited to bring you the second part of a two-part excerpt, the first which you can read on USA Today HEA, the second which you can read below.

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Synopsis

Feb-09In the second standalone book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was two and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?

Excerpt

We both held our breath as we watched the person put pressure against the door a few more times before giving up, but that didn’t ease my fear.

“I need to go back out there.”

“Let me take you away from all this,” he pleaded.

“You can’t.” My voice was hoarse as I pulled out of his arms. “I’m sorry, I know you don’t understand, but you can’t. I swear to you I’m much safer staying with him than if I were to leave.”

“Harlow,” he groaned. His shoulders sagged in defeat as he ran his hands over his head. “I can’t make you leave your husband. If you think you and your family are in danger, I won’t go to the police until you give me the okay. But I’m here. After all these years I’m still here. If it ever gets to be too much, if you ever can’t handle it anymore, if you ever need someone to get you away from him, then call me and I’ll be there.”

I hesitated before nodding.

Knox’s too-perceptive eyes narrowed. “What? Do you not have my number anymore?”

I shrugged and quickly shook my head; the action contradicted my next words. “I remember it.”

There was a brief pause before he asked, “Then what, Low? Are you changing your mind? Do you want to get out n—”

“No!” I said on a rush. “No, I just … I won’t be able to call you. He looks for things that I don’t even have, Knox. He searches the house and my car. He goes through my phone.”

“What the hell?” Knox mumbled as I continued.

“I wouldn’t put it past him to check the phone bills to see if I’m hiding something. I can’t risk contacting you.”

Knox looked lost, like he didn’t know what to do with what he knew. His head shook absentmindedly, and he blinked slowly as he stumbled over his next words. “T-then you ne—we’ll—I’ll think of something,” he promised. “I don’t know what, but I’ll think of something. Jesus,” he whispered, and I knew he was still trying to wrap his head around it all.

“It’s not worth it.” I appreciated what Knox wanted to do, but he still didn’t understand what Collin was capable of.

“You, and knowing that you’re ali—okay will always be worth it.” He looked around the room then nodded toward the bathroom. “I’ll hide out in there for a few minutes just in case. If anyone sees me leave, I’ll take care of it. But I don’t want to risk it for you if he’s standing out there right now.”

“Thank you.”

Grabbing my hand, he turned me around and cupped my cheek as he had so many times before. “Please keep yourself safe,” he ground out. Just when I thought he was about to release me, he dipped his head down and pressed his lips to mine.

The kiss started off innocent, but built slowly until he was pressing my back against the wall and I was gripping at his clothes and pulling his body closer to mine. There were three times in the years before I met Collin that Knox kissed me. The first was a promise; the last two—just weeks before I met Collin—were frenzied and unpreventable because of the chemistry that had been surging between us for years. While this one closely resembled the last two, it was so different than any of the ones before.

It was a claiming on both our parts. I was his and he was mine. The passion that rolled between us was something I’d only imagined sharing with someone. My head dropped back when his lips moved across my jaw and down my throat, and he moved his body between my legs. My body arched off the wall, and a breathy moan escaped my lips when he moved his hand up my leg under my dress to hitch it around his hip, and I brought his head up to claim his lips again.

Still fully-clothed. Only kissing. I was getting more of a rush from this than I’d ever gotten from sex with Collin.

“I love you,” I breathed, unable to stop the words from leaving my lips that time.

He inhaled quickly at my confession, and his mouth curved up momentarily. “To the stars, Harlow,” he whispered against my lips. “Always to the stars.”

We froze with our arms still wrapped around each other when someone tried the door again. Our eyes stayed locked on one another … our lips brushed with each ragged breath.

“You’re mine,” he said softly.

I smiled weakly and brushed the tips of my fingers along his jaw. “I’ve al—” I cut myself off, but my mind screamed, I’ve always belonged to you.

His eyes pleaded with me to continue, but I couldn’t—I’d already said too much.

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Review: When We Met by A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King and Christina Lee

My Thoughts

A lovely balance between sexy and sweet, lighthearted and emotional.

4stars

Synopsis

when we metToday’s premiere New Adult authors combine their talents to tell four original stories from inside one house.  When four girls decide to live off campus together as juniors at a college in Michigan, they expect it to be their best year yet. Little do they know, it’s a year that will change the rest of their lives.

BEHIND HER EYES by A.L. Jackson  Unable to live down her ex-boyfriend’s deception, Misha is determined to avoid betrayal. When, the new guy next door, Darryn starts to get under her skin, her defenses start to crumble. But trusting Darryn seems impossible, especially if he’s not sure he can trust himself.

SAVING ME by Molly McAdams  On the outside, Indy is always ready for a party—but inside she’s breaking. Kier makes a weekly routine of saving the girl next door from herself on Saturday nights… but when will she be ready to remember him on Sunday morning?

FOULING OUT by Tiffany King  Working at a sports bar, Courtney has become a pro at sidestepping propositions from arrogant jocks—which makes her a more elusive catch for campus basketball star Dalton than he expected. But when he falls for the saucy waitress, Dalton will have to rethink his game plan to prove he’s not the jerk Courtney expects.

BENEATH YOUR LAYERS by Christina Lee  In order to ace her fashion internship, Chloe must team up with local college dropout and set builder, Blake—much to her chagrin. But after some “hands-on” experience, Chloe will have to ask herself if Blake factors into her carefully laid plans…

My Review

These four talented authors came together to write a book about the collision between past and present, the trepidation of moving past a deeply felt hurt that wouldn’t let go. It’s a foursome of stories about that magical moment when we meet that special person… a moment rife with hope and confusion and fear and chemistry and so many other things. This novel is the union of four distinct stories, of four different girls that live together while in college during those tremulous, uncertain years where a boy’s actions… his gaze… his sincerity or deceit, has the power to shake or shatter the earth as we know it. It was a lovely combination of irresistible sexiness and endearing sweetness as we followed the characters through those moments when they met the boy that would turn it all around. In Behind Her Eyes, Misha is a a girl who’s been wronged in the worst possible way. She’s scared and vulnerable, her heart still in pieces after she once trusted someone in the ultimate way, someone who turned around and deceived her. Coming back to college after some time at home, she meets a new gorgeous neighbor whose gaze unsettles her in a way that should send her running… because one look at Darryn, and all she can think of is trouble. Her story is about getting past something horrible and not letting her fear hold her back. It’s about finding the courage to move on and be herself, and finally finding someone that loves her for who she is. But the moment she finds herself falling for Darryn, another hurtful truth stands to shatter everything she’d been brave enough to build once again.

“He filled my thoughts with need and want. Made me feel beautiful and good and not like a stupid little girl. But the fear was so much greater than all of that, molding the idea of Darryn Wild into nothing but a threat.”

Saving Me tells the story of a girl whose heartache consumes her life, particularly as grief collides with a deception impossible to forget. Indy parties her pain away and one boy is there… always… as her safe haven. The problem is, all those nights of escape are locked away in her thoughts in a way she can’t remember the following day… and that includes Kier, the quiet boy that saves her week after week. The boy that cares for her in a way that no one had in a very long time. Their story felt sad and raw, as both had truths that defined them, but it was also very hopeful as we saw two people work to get past their profound pain, saving each other in the process.

“… this whole semester all I wanted to do was take care of you, help you, save you… be with you. Even before you finally started noticing me… I was already falling for you so hard.”

Second chances never come so easy, as Courtney and Dalton learn in Fouling Out. Fate brings two best friends together again, friends who were once inseparable and then drifted apart suddenly. Courtney had never forgotten the way Dalton had dropped her as he became more entrenched in basketball. Soon enough he’d become a star on the courts and she’d become a long-forgotten memory. So when she saw him again, all that hurt morphed into animosity. For Dalton, however, seeing Courtney brought to life cherished memories and she quickly dominated his thoughts. He couldn’t understand her anger, but the more times they spent together, the more misunderstandings came to light. Their story is about second chances and new beginnings.

“Understanding our different destinies didn’t make me pull away though. Maybe it was the familiarity of being childhood friends… but being with him felt comfortable—natural. Whatever the reason, I’d decided he was worth the risk.”

In Beneath Your Layers, Chloe and Blake also work through their fair share of misunderstandings, as well as erroneous preconceptions. Two people from two different worlds come together unexpectedly to work on a project, which forces them to get past the layers on the surface to see who they really are. Chemistry sizzles between them and soon, they both realize there is so much more to the other person than originally thought. Their story was full of both angst and humor, sexy and emotion, as these two people fall for each other, making new plans for their futures along the way.

“I quieted down and listened–and admitted some things to myself—I would find my own truth. That beneath all of that panicky anticipation—it absolutely did feel magical, to embrace the unexpected.”

In all four of these stories, each of the girls has been wronged in a way that has the power to shape their future, but as we glimpse into these significant moments in their lives, we see that the power of love can sometimes be exactly what is needed to turn things around in the right direction. addtogoodreads

About the Authors

A.L. Jackson

amy jacksonA.L. Jackson is the NYT bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Come to Me QuietlyPulled, When We Collide, and If Forever Comes. She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life. Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

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Molly McAdams

molly-mcadamsMolly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry four-legged daughters. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies, fried pickles and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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Tiffany King

tiffany kingUSA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iPhone and iPad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Christina Lee

christina leeMother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.  She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job. Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin/InterMix. ALL OF YOU and BEFORE YOU BREAK available now, WHISPER TO ME on May 20th, 2014. Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones (dot com) jewelry.

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Exclusive Interview + Signed Giveaway: A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King and Christina Lee on WHEN WE MET

WHEN WE MET

When four fabulous authors get together to write an anthology, I get really excited… especially when it comes to this talented foursome. When We Met is a series of interconnected short stories about four girls experiencing college, each trying to let go of a part of their past that has caused them hurt in some way. Each facing those experiences as they fall in love. I had the pleasure and honor of interviewing A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King and Christina Lee all about their newest project, which will release tomorrow, November 4th.

Make sure to enter the giveaway for a paperback of When We Met signed by all four authors! Giveaway at the bottom of post!

When We Met: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes ✦

Synopsis

Today’s premier New Adult authors combine their talents to tell four original stories from inside one house. 

When four girls decide to live off campus together as juniors at a college in Michigan, they expect it to be their best year yet. Little do they know, it’s a year that will change the rest of their lives.

Behind Her Eyes

by A.L. Jackson

Unable to live down her ex-boyfriend’s deception, Misha is determined to avoid betrayal. When, the new guy next door, Darryn starts to get under her skin, her defenses start to crumble. But trusting Darryn seems impossible, especially if he’s not sure he can trust himself.

Saving Me

by Molly McAdams

On the outside, Indy is always ready for a party—but inside she’s breaking. Kier makes a weekly routine of saving the girl next door from herself on Saturday nights… but when will she be ready to remember him on Sunday morning?

Fouling Out

by Tiffany King

Working at a sports bar, Courtney has become a pro at sidestepping propositions from arrogant jocks—which makes her a more elusive catch for campus basketball star Dalton than he expected. But when he falls for the saucy waitress, Dalton will have to rethink his game plan to prove he’s not the jerk Courtney expects.

Beneath Your Layers

by Christina Lee

In order to ace her fashion internship, Chloe must team up with local college dropout and set builder, Blake—much to her chagrin. But after some “hands-on” experience, Chloe will have to ask herself if Blake factors into her carefully laid plans…

Interview

About the Authors

A.L. Jackson

amy jacksonA.L. Jackson is the NYT bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Come to Me QuietlyPulled, When We Collide, and If Forever Comes.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

Text jackson to 96000 for mobile updates!

Molly McAdams

molly-mcadamsMolly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry four-legged daughters. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies, fried pickles and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

Facebook | Twitter

Tiffany King

tiffany kingUSA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iPhone and iPad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Christina Lee

christina leeMother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.  She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job. Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin/InterMix. ALL OF YOU and BEFORE YOU BREAK available now, WHISPER TO ME on May 20th, 2014. Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones (dot com) jewelry.

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