Thursday, October 29, 2015

New Adult Scavenger Hunt with Melissa West and Giveaways!

NewASH Banner 3
Welcome to New Adult Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was inspired as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!
Go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the TEAM GREEN–but there is also a blue team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!
If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page.
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my lucky book number. Collect the lucky book numbers of all the authors on Team Blue, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 26th, at noon Eastern Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.



Deleted Scene

I rushed out of the bar and into the continuous noise that was New York City. Even at midnight, the streets were crowded with honking cars, the sidewalk overrun with people going out, going home, going about their lives. I found myself jealous of them. All I wanted was one last night, but I wasn’t that girl. The kind that hooked up with random guys just to do it. I blamed Trent, my college boyfriend, who I found, not so secretly, screwing his female roommate. I should have known. But now I found myself desperate to prove that I still had it. That I was attractive and sexy. That guys would want to be with me without seeking out someone else. In short, it had bruised my ego and now I was fighting to nurse it back to health.

I lifted my left leg to tighten the buckle on my heel, just as someone rushed past me, knocking me off balance. I reached out for the first thing I could find and my hands wrapped around a hard surface. I glanced up to see what wall I had nearly face planted against and straight into the chocolate brown eyes of a man that could be Chris Hemsworth’s twin. If he opened his mouth and spout out an Australian accent, I was going to faint. His dirty blond hair laid across his forehead in a way that said it knew it was perfect and didn't need ick and stick to make it that way. I reached out to touch the pretty hair and he jerked back, his face painted with humor. "Are you all right? You seem a little..."

Okay, clearly the buzz I thought was wearing off was still very much in place. I closed my eyes. God. I just tried to touch some stranger's hair. I realized I still had my hands on his biceps, which were so impeccably toned I had to wonder if he was flexing. No one had arms this hard. No one except Chris Hemsworth, but he wasn't real. Well, I guess he was real, but not real-real.

Thor Guy bent down so he was on my eye level, his mouth curved up at one corner. "Hello?"

I stepped away from him, suddenly embarrassed and tired and wishing I had listened to Mom's speech about responsibility and all that because I wouldn't be on the street, stroking the arm of some stranger, who kept looking at me like I was a lost puppy. Or a street act. I couldn't be sure.

"Uh, yeah. I'm fine. Thanks." I spun on my heels and went in the opposite direction—even though my apartment was only a few blocks away and I was now going the wrong way. I had to get out of there with the little bit of dignity I had left.

"Wait," the man called. I didn't stop. He reached out for my arm.

"Yes?” I said, turning to look at him. I noticed for the first time that he was wearing a suit. Black with clean lines. Expensive. His white button down was unbuttoned at the top and his red tie had been loosened at the collar. I wondered if he, like me, had just left a bar. It was late. I couldn't imagine he was coming from work.

He shook his head, a grin on his face. “I’ve had a long day, and by the looks of it, so have you. 
There’s another bar just down there.” He pointed past me. “Since this one doesn’t seem to be a favorite. Would you like to get a drink?”

I drew a breath. “I shouldn’t.”

“Just one.”

I fought the urge to smooth down my hair, and that was when I caught sight of Random Bar Guy through the bar’s glass door. He was looking around, carrying something in his hand. Shit. My jacket. In my effort to flee, I must have left it behind.

I eyed the Michael Kors jacket, torn between the three-hundred dollars I’d spent on it and my self-respect. This was why Lauren said I needed therapy for my fashion addiction. If I’d only spent fifty bucks on it, I would walk away without a second glance. Damn it. My heart clenched at the sight of the camel-toned leather. It was so soft, so pretty, fit so perfectly. I sighed heavily.

“Do you know him?” Thor asked, his gaze following mine.

I bit the inside of my cheek, fighting the urge to cry. I loved that jacket. I let my eyes drift back up to his, resolved that I would have to say goodbye to it. So long, beautiful jacket, our time together was fun. “No,” I said with a smile. “I thought he was someone I knew, but I was wrong. So, about that drink.”

His grin widened and he placed a firm hand on my back, directing me toward the bar.

We settled into the far right corner of the bar, him ordering a scotch neat, me a vodka tonic. Losing the jacket had sobered me up fast and I needed a quick fix to heal the hole in my heart. I scolded myself for wearing it at all, but the early fall air in the city had proved to be chilly at night and the Southern girl in me couldn’t survive the chill without a jacket.

I remembered my mother’s face when I told her I’d decided on NYU for college. She looked as though I told her I was going to school in Africa. She hoped I would choose Alabama or Tennessee or any one of the other acceptable Southern universities, which meant a school with a solid football program, because to my family, college was not college without football. But I knew what I wanted to do with my life and I couldn’t do it in the South. I had always loved the idea of advertising and marketing, so when someone from Sanderson-Lowe, the top advertising agency in the country, came to our career day at school, I sat, eyes wide, listening to every word she said. I knew there was no other career for me. I researched the top agencies in the country, and sure enough, all of them were in New York. I remembered applying to NYU and thinking that even though my grades were amazing and my college fund was more than enough to cover the tuition, I would never get in, never get to go. 
But then I received my acceptance packet and everything felt right in my world. Four years and two internships later, and I was there, in New York, the day before my first day as Assistant Account Manager at Sanderson-Lowe. I could almost squeal. Of course, I would be poor. I would be less than poor. But I would be doing what I loved and that was enough. For now.

“I’m Aidan, by the way,” Thor said, bringing me back to the moment.

“Cameron.” I bit my lip to keep from smiling. He was the sort of man you wanted to smile at just to guarantee you kept his attention. “So what do you do, Mr. Aidan?”

He leaned in closer, his eyes on mine. “Let’s not do that. The small talk. It's a waste of time and a bore. I don't care what you do. And you don't care what I do. But you can keep calling me mister if you'd like." His mouth turned up at the corner. “I like that.”

I dropped my gaze and peered up at him through my lashes. This guy had ignited heat in my stomach without even touching me. "Okay." I lifted my hand to flag the waiter. "Another vodka tonic for me."

“Aidan's eyes swept down to the low neckline of my dress. "Same," he said without looking at the waiter. “I thought you were only having the one.”

“I changed my mind.” I moved in closer, our faces inches apart. A gust of wind could have us kissing. 

"So, if no small talk, then what do you want to do?”

Our drinks came and he turned his back, his eyes never leaving mine. "I have a few ideas."

I smiled, and within minutes we were inside a cab, his lips warm against my cheek, my neck, my ear. 
For a moment, I felt guilty that I barely knew him. What would my mother think? But then his mouth found mine and all thought was gone. I surrendered to him, letting go one last time before responsibility and adulthood took control of my life.

No kissing. No touching. And definitely no falling in love...

Armed with her besties, an embarrassing number of shots, and her list of 10 Wild Things To Do Before Adulthood, recent grad Cameron Lawson is partying it up before she starts her dream job at New York's biggest ad agency. Her last task? Hook up with a random guy. And while it's so not her style, the super-sexy guy sitting next to her is definitely game. No names. No details.
At least, that was the plan.

On her first day of work, Cameron discovers her hook-up is none other than Aidan Truitt-her new boss's boss. Talk about failing the "no fraternizing with coworkers" policy on an epic level. Especially when Aidan makes it clear their one night was only the beginning. Falling for him could cost her everything, but sometimes the only way to get what you want is by breaking a few rules...

Buy Links:

About Melissa West:
Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

Connect with Melissa at or on Twitter @MB_West.

Social media links:

Twitter: @MB_West
Instagram: melissawestauthor

 Awesome!! I’m adding to my TBR, now. How about you? And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Melissa West, and more!

To enter, you need to know that my lucky book number is 9 .

Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on Team Blue and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
Comment below and sign up for my newsletter and you'll be entered to win a surprise!!! 
I also have two contests going on right now on my FB fan page:
Guess My Due Date Prize: Winner's Choice of one of my eBooks
Something Wicked Halloween Blog Hop! Prize: Print Copy of Black Hellebore!
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Ann M. Noser!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Encounter at White’s: a cross-post with Susana Ellis

Another special post featuring characters from the Bluestocking Belles’ holiday box set, Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem. Stephen Huntington, the Duke of Wyndale from my story Joy to the World has just learned about a vicious rumor concerning himself and starts to ask around to see if there might be any truth to it from Oliver Stanton, heir to Stanton's Bank of Susana Ellis' The Ultimate Escape.

Stephen Huntington, Duke of Wyngate
Stephen Huntington, Duke of Wyngate could not get out of the card room fast enough. Normally he always enjoyed his time at White's, but not today. His friends had to be jesting, surely. There was no way the rumor they had sprouted had any truth to it.

He very nearly collided with Oliver Stanton, heir to Stanton's Bank. “Pardon me,” Stephen said, straightening his coat and trying not to feel so ill at ease.

“No need,” said Stanton easily. “Wasn't watching where I was going. Join me in a drink, Your Grace?”

Stephen blinked and stumbled back a step. Really he should go and see if there wasn’t any means to learn the truth, but one drink could not hurt any. Besides, Stanton was a good and decent man. “Why yes, I would appreciate that, Stanton.”

The two men strolled to the drawing room and claimed two leather chairs near the fire.

“A cognac for me,” Stanton told the waiter. “Wyngate?”

“Cognac sounds perfect.” Stephen rubbed his forehead. A headache was starting to plague him.
Oliver Stanton, heir to Stanton's Bank

“Right away, gentlemen.” The waiter bowed and disappeared into the back rooms.

Stephen glanced around to ensure no one was close enough to overhear them and cleared his throat. “I-I have a strange question for you, Stanton, if I may.”

Stanton nodded, his face impassive. Stephen knew he could trust the man to keep his confidence. After all, when one worked with money, they tended to learn of other’s secrets.

“Have we crossed paths, recently? Since the Hansens' ball last week, I mean?”

Stanton's eyes narrowed. “Why no, I don't believe so. Why do you ask?”

Stephen tugged at his collar. “Ah… well, that's good. That's good,” he repeated. “You see… I have heard rumors that there is a man impersonating me throughout the country. I can scarcely believe it! But I cannot ignore such a thing, lest it be true and the wretch is up to serious mischief.”

Stanton's eyes widened. “Impersonating you? But how is that possible? You are widely known in London, Your Grace.”

Stephen plucked a glass of brandy from the waiter's tray and took a long sip. The banker did likewise.

“I do not know. I guess the reprobate must resemble me. Sound like me as well.” Stephen took another swallow and set down his glas. “No one has come to the bank asking about my money recently? That could certainly be a factor.”

“Money is always a factor,” Stanton said dryly. “But no, I can assure you that your accounts are safe. I would have been notified had someone come to withdraw funds unexpectedly.” He set his own glass on the table. “How did the news come to you of this extraordinary situation?”

“My friends.” He gestured behind him toward the card room. “They can be rather prone to jokes and mischief, but somehow I doubt they would jest about something as serious as this.” He shrugged. “No need to concern yourself further. I am certain the matter will be resolved shortly. Now tell me, Stanton. I see that Lady Julia has recovered from her illness. Will your nuptials be rescheduled soon?”

To Stephen’s shock, Stanton winced. He had thought the two might be quite compatible given their long friendship and despite their differences in class.

“I do not mean to pry.” Stephen drank the last of cognac. “I was hoping one of us was happy.”

“Soon,” Stanton said. “These things take time to arrange, you know. The ladies expect such things. And I wouldn't want my bride to be deprived of the wedding of her dreams simply because she was taken ill the night before the first one was to take place.” He grinned. “What about you, Wyngate? Any interest in setting up your own nursery any time soon?”

Stephen actually found it in him to laugh. “Oh no. Not I. I am not the least bit interested in marriage. And even if I were, with an imposter running about, I will be far too busy to woo and win the heart of any lady.”

Stanton chuckled. “A wealthy duke could have has choice of any young lady in the ton. With or without the wooing. But you must certainly investigate this matter of an imposter. Particularly if he resembles you to the extent that he could ruin your reputation. Do let me know if I can be of any assistance to you, Your Grace.”

“Thank you. You have always been a loyal and good friend.” Stephen could wait no longer, so he stood. “I would appreciate it if you could keep this matter to yourself. Unless you should happen to see another me…” He shook his head.

“Of course, your Grace.”

“I should be off to try to track this rogue down. Do take care.” Stephen turned and called for his horse.

Stanton rose and offered his hand. “Good luck, Your Grace.”

“You as well.” Stephen shook his hand and gave him a tight smile. “Shall I expect another wedding invitation any time soon?”

“Of course, Your Grace.”


With that, Stephen started in earnest his journey to learn just who this impostor was and where he might find him and bring him to justice. Little did he know what a strange course his life was about to embark on.

Click here to find Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem, wherein you can discover if Oliver and Julia can try and work things out and if Stephen does indeed find the impostor.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Will the Real Duke of Wyndale Please Stand Up?

Today’s post is special. It’s a letter between two characters from the Bluestocking Belles’ holiday box set, Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem. Stephen Huntington, the Duke of Wyndale from my story Joy to the World has written a letter to William Landrum, Earl of Chadbourn, of Caroline Warfield’s A Dangerous Nativity. See Caroline’s blog to read her hero’s response.

William Landrum, Earl of Chadbourn
To The Esteemed William Landrum, Earl of Chadbourn,
While we are as yet unacquainted, desperation drives me to contact you personally. I do hope this letter finds you in better spirits than those in which I currently find myself. As strange as this is to believe, I believe that there might be a person of obviously unscrupulous character impersonating me the length of England.

Of course, I most ardently wish to track this man down and bring him to justice. Unfortunately, I have only rumors to go on, and before I chase them down, I would prefer to find which, if any, may be accurate. The most promising lead points to Suffolk. The Marquess of Glenaire told me you were in the area and might have information. If you have any knowledge concerning my presence in your vicinity—which, I assure you, is not actually me—I would be most appreciative to be notified.

Do forgive me for taking so long to express my sincere sympathy on the death of your brother-in-law. I knew Emery Wheatly rather well. Somewhat well, I should say. We, ah, met at a house party, and our paths crossed a few times thereafter. He… Well, I am sorry he passed. My condolences are yours.

If it is not too deep an imposition on your mourning, I would greatly welcome a swift response. The sooner I can locate the reprobate, the better.

Stephen Huntington, Duke of Wyndale
Yours respectfully,
Stephen Huntington
Duke of Wyndale

How will the earl respond?  See “Two Dukes and an Earl,” on Caroline’s blog to find out. Does the duke find his imposter? Click here to find Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem, wherein lies the answer.