Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Mixing Temptation
 by Sara Jane Stone

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Mixing Temptation
 (Second Shot #3) by Sara Jane Stone

Publication Date: September 13, 2016


Synopsisimg_4048In the third installment in Sara Jane Stone’s dazzling Second Shot series, a beautiful but broken woman must decide if true love is worth risking everything…including her freedom

After a year spent living in hiding—with no end in sight—Caroline Andrews wants to reclaim her life. But the lingering trauma from her days serving with the marines leaves her afraid to trust the tempting logger who delivers friendship and the promise of something more.

Following an accident that nearly robbed him of his hopes for the future, Josh Summers believes life has given him a second chance. He wants to settle down with the woman who stole his attention and his heart. And he’s willing to wait until she’s ready to be more than “just friends.” When fear of discovery leaves Caroline pretending to be his date, Josh tempts her to try the real thing—a relationship built on trust, not lies.

But then the past threatens and Caroline must risk everything—including her freedom—to bury her demons before she can take a chance on happy-ever-after.

Link to Follow Tour

Goodreads Link

Goodreads Series Link

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Excerpt

“May I lick the whipped cream off your face?”
Josh lowered his fork to the pie dish and waited for the Big Buck’s dishwasher to catch up with the conversation. Pie—not flowers—had offered him the perfect way to transition from the guy who found her in the woods to her friend. And he couldn’t resist the temptation to switch from small talk to damn near close to begging for a kiss.
And a date, he thought. I’m going to ask her out today.
Caroline raised one perfect, dark eyebrow. One hand clasped a spoon and the other rested on the stainless steel work surface that on busy nights held stacks of dirty pint glasses waiting for her attention. Right now, it was just the two of them and the pie. The bar wouldn’t open to Forever’s local logging population and the university students who outnumbered the men and woman born and bred in this section of the Willamette Valley for another hour.
“No,” she said. Her tongue darted out from between her pink lips that always looked as if she was wearing a kiss-me-now lipstick. Or course, he knew the woman whose ideas of accessorizing involved a concealed weapon tucked into the waistband of her pants did not bother with makeup. She licked the whipped cream teasing the edge of her mouth. “I’ve got it under control.”
He nodded, refilled his fork and lifted another bite of key lime pie to his mouth. He always asked—for a touch, a taste, a kiss—but he never pushed. Caroline would shift the parameters of their dessert-based friendship in her own time. Or she wouldn’t and he’d be forced to come to terms with the fact that the future he daydreamed about—settling down with Caroline, buying his own home, maybe a dog—would replace sleeping with Megan Fox on the top of his Never Going to Happen list.
“You’re going to Noah’s wedding on Saturday night?” he asked, sliding back into friendly chitchat. He’d waited a year to kiss Caroline the first time. And he’d sit tight for another if it meant more sugarcoated kisses. To hell with his siblings’ opinions.
“Just because I can take the dishwasher apart and fix it every time it tries to quit on us”—she nodded to the restaurant-grade appliance behind her—“doesn’t mean Noah wouldn’t fire me for missing his wedding. Plus, he’s closing the bar for the night. Everyone else is going.”
“Everyone else is in the wedding,” Josh pointed out. Big Buck’s owner and manager was marrying Forever’s former bad girl, who’d burst into his life over a year ago, demanded a job, and quickly worked her way up to assistant manager. And the only other bartender on the payroll right now was the groom’s best friend and the bride’s big brother.
“True. But I owe Noah. I can’t miss his wedding.”
Fair enough, he thought.
“A couple of months ago, you asked me out on a date,” Josh pointed out.
“I was feeling brave at the time.”
“Are you canceling?” he challenged. If she said yes, he’d kiss her again. Maybe not today, but one day soon. And he’d reminder her why she’d summoned the courage to ask in the first place. He’d caught her looking, her eyes roaming over his biceps with a flicker of something more than friendship in their green depths. And if given the chance, he would let her run her fingers over his T-shirt, mapping the muscles beneath . . .
“No, I’m not canceling,” she said thoughtfully. “I’m still working out the details.”
“Be my date to the wedding.”
Her eyes widened, staring back at him as if he’d dropped to one knee and suggested they follow her boss down the aisle.
“No,” she said firmly. “Josh, I . . . Just no.”
Caroline refused to look away. She’d spent months learning to read Josh’s facial expressions, forcing herself to look past the red-gold stubble that screamed ‘I’m too sexy for this bar.’
Or his shirt.
Or her . . .
Right now, the corners of his mouth threatened to fall into a frown. Disappointment. But he never let his smile falter for long. He always took a moment. Looked away and then returned his gaze to her as if she hadn’t turned him down twice in ten minutes.
But he knows I’m a long way from whipped cream kisses in the bar’s back room.
And dates.
Yes, she’d asked him out once. But then reality had come crashing down on her. Her life consisted of washing pint glasses and staying out of sight. She couldn’t hope for more—not even a single night out at one of the restaurants near the university—with a federal warrant hanging over her head.
Of course, the police weren’t actively looking for her. As far as she knew. But if the local cops, or even a state trooper passing through town, found out who she was . . . If they learned why she kept to the shadows, she would be under arrest and turned over to the military. She would have to pay the price for her unauthorized absence. For refusing to deploy alongside the men who’d turned a blind eye when their commanding officer ordered her into his bed. The men who’d laughed with Dustin when he’d said he would force open her mouth and make her take him between her lips . . .
And then there was the elephant in the bar’s back room that would also tag along on their date. She hadn’t had sex—oral or otherwise—because she wanted to since before she joined the marines. Josh had never treated her like a victim, but there was a first time for everything.
“I’m sorry,” she added. “But I can’t go to the wedding as your date. There will be too many people. And everyone knows you. If they see me with you . . . they’ll ask questions. And I can’t give them answers. I need to stay in the background, hiding behind a plant or something. And then leave as soon as they cut the cake.”
“A wedding probably isn’t the best place for a first date.” He pointed his fork at her. “Maybe once I get my own place, you can help me christen the kitchen.”
She raised an eyebrow. “That assumes a lot for a first date.”
He laughed. And the familiar sound threatened to lead her into his version of the future. One where they would kiss in the kitchen and then—
“I was talking about baking a pie together,” he said. “I’d invite you over to the farmhouse, but I didn’t think you’d take kindly to receiving the third degree from my siblings and their significant others.”
“Probably not a good idea,” she murmured. She’d spent the past year trying to avoid his two older brothers and his sister. It wasn’t hard seeing as his family lived in Independence Falls, a solid hour’s drive from Big Buck’s Bar. Chad Summers, the middle brother, had tried to befriend her, stopping by the bar’s back room with his girlfriend, a drop-dead gorgeous woman who’d served in the army. But Caroline had shut down their attempts.
Josh Summers remained the one and only person she’d let in since she’d showed up on Noah’s doorstep. There was something about the way he accepted the word ‘no’ that broke down her defenses. He never tossed the word aside, questioning whether it was a knee-jerk response. He never pushed—not once—under the pretense that he knew what was best for her. Not since that first night when he’d found her in the woods. Even Noah, who’d had her back when they were deployed together, pushed. Her fellow soldier turned boss tried over and over to talk her into visiting the local gun club with him. She said no and he asked again and again.
But Josh always listened.
“Have you started looking for a new apartment?” she asked, steering the conversation away from dates that might lead to compromising situations.
“I’m looking, but not for an apartment. I’m still sitting on my split from when we sold the family trucking company. I want to use the cash to buy a piece of land. Someplace with a nice view of the mountains, maybe space to put those viticulture classes I’ve been taking to use and grow some grapes. Not a lot. I’ve learned enough to know that is one tough business. I’d rather keep my day job with Moore Timber and put my blood, sweat, and tears into building my own home.”
“You can do that?” The question slipped out before she could mask the surprise in her voice.
“I’ll need help, but I know what I want. Four bedrooms. Maybe five. Plenty of space to spread out. Timber frame. A second story that is open to a great room below. And one helluva kitchen with all the modern appliances. I’ll hire an architect, and a builder. But I can swing a hammer with the best of them.”
Four bedrooms. Plenty of space . . .

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Buy Links

$2.99 Kindle | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

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Giveaway

($25 Gift Card to eBookseller of Choice)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

img_4049After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and more! Visit http://www.sarajanestone.com and look for her newsletter form.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: STIRRING ATTRACTION (Second Shot #2) By Sara Jane Stone

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STIRRING ATTRACTION (Second Shot #2) By Sara Jane Stone

Publication Date: June 7, 2016

 Synopsis

imageThe second, sizzling book in Sara Jane Stone’s Second Shots series…

When Dominic Fairmore left Oregon to be all he could be as an Army Ranger, he always knew he’d come back to claim Lily Greene. But after six years away and three career-ending bullets, Dominic is battered, broken, and nobody’s hero—so he stays away. Until he learns Lily has been the victim of a seemingly random attack. He’ll do anything to keep her safe . . . even go home.

Lily is starting to find a life without Dominic when suddenly her wounded warrior is home and playing bodyguard—though all she really wants is for him to take her. But she refuses to play the part of a damsel in distress, no matter how much she misses his tempting touch. He’ll leave as soon as she’s safe and Lily knows her heart will never heal.

But as attraction stirs to so much more, danger closes in. With more than Lily’s heart at stake, Dominic can no longer draw a line between protecting Lily and loving her . . .

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Excerpt

Prologue

“You painted your toenails pink.”
Dominic Fairmore stared at Lily’s bumble-gum colored nails. He didn’t trust himself to look up. Downstairs, his dad’s dogs made the familiar trip to the water bowl and back, probably stopping to sniff the bag of Chinese take-out he’d abandoned on the kitchen table. The animals’ nails tapped against the hardwood floors, but otherwise silence filled the farmhouse. His little sister was at the beach and his dad was pulling a double at Forever, Oregon’s woefully understaffed police station. And yeah, he kept track of their locations because at twenty-two he still lived at home.
Lily raised one perfect eyebrow. “I have two hours before my mom expects me home and you’re looking at my toenails?”
Her ironic tone pushed him damn close to his breaking point. He’d take her. Here. Now. Against the wall, pictures falling to the floor. Because he knew she reserved her humor for him. The rest of Forever saw a blond-haired, blue-eyed woman who charmed a room full of five-year olds day after day. A girl who’d been born here, grown up here, and put herself through the local university while still living at home to care for her wheelchair-bound mother and alcoholic father.
But Dominic saw the only girl he’d ever loved. If he closed his eyes, he could still picture her, walking down the halls of their high school. She’d been one year ahead of him. She’d graced the dreary high school halls with her sunshine smile and confidence. And yeah, her short skirts.
He’d memorized the way her cheerleaders outfit teased her thighs while she led the squad her senior year. He’d been a junior, but already shepherding the football team to one victory after another. And sometimes it felt like he busted his ass on the field and won the game just to see her smile . . .
But he couldn’t close his eyes and block out the way Lily looked right now. His gaze drifted up her calves. Every inch of bare skin wrapped around his heart like a noose. He took in the curve of her thighs and tried to go slow. His jaw tightened and his eyes disobeyed.
Fuck slow.
His gaze locked on the slip of fabric disappearing between her legs.
“Your panties match your toenails,” he growled. There wasn’t a hint of humor in his voice. He couldn’t picture laughing now. In two days, he’d wreck her heart. He would shatter their love and leave her with nothing but memories and the promise that he’d come back.
I swear I’ll come back for her.
But so much could change while he was on the other side of the country training to be all he could be. And later, once he deployed, on the other side of the world.
Two more days. Two more nights. How many times could he make love to this woman before they ran out of time?
“Are you sure they match?” she teased. Her fingers brushed the waistband of her panties and then her thumbs slipped beneath the pink fabric.
His hands formed tight fists at his sides, watching as she drew her underwear down to her toes. Her upper body stole away his view of the blond curls, instead offering the sight of her full, bare breasts hovering in front of her legs. Long locks of blonde hair drifted down as she compared the color of her underwear to her nail polish.
“Lily,” he growled and stepped closer.
She glanced up at him and slowly, as if she knew every movement of her body turned him on and pushed him closer to that place where he lost control. But hell, after six years together, Lily Greene damn well knew how to drive him crazy with lust and longing.
“My nails are a light pink. I think the bottle said ‘Ballet Slipper.’ But my underwear is closer to fuchsia.” She tossed her panties at him. “See?”
Years of training on the football field kicked in and he caught the slip of fabric in his right hand. “You’re right,” he said and he took a step forward. He threw her underwear down to the carpet without bothering to study them.
“You need to be home in two hours?” he asked.
Her teasing smile faded at the reminder of the reality beyond the bedroom walls. “You know I do.”
“We might not have time for the Chinese food.” He momentarily blocked his view as he drew his ‘Go Army!’ T-shirt over his head. He discarded the reminder of where he was heading in two days’ time. He wanted to leave this town and the dead-end future it promised, but not Lily.
“I hate Chinese,” she said.
She reached forward and grabbed onto the belt buckle his father had given him after he won the state championship with his high school football team. He pressed his palms flat against the wall, one on either side of her head. He couldn’t touch her. Not yet.
“I know.” He allowed her to pull him close, her fingers working to free his belt and undo his jeans. “I didn’t want to run the risk that you would want to eat first.”
She smiled as her hands won the battle with his belt. Drawing his zipper down, she leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “Smart man.” Her hands pushed his pants over his hips and then went in search of their target.
“Lily,” he gasped as her fingers wrapped around the part of his body that thought ‘slow’ spelled disaster. Hell, it just might. He wanted her so damn much he might come in her hand. “Careful,” he added. “Or I’ll be about as useful as I was the first time. In the front seat of my truck.”
“Have as much self-control now as you did at seventeen?” she challenged, her hand moving up and down now.
“You know it.” He took his right hand off the wall and cupped her jaw. Angling her lips up to meet his, he kissed her. He knew her mouth. He’d memorized the way she liked his tongue to tease hers.
His hand moved down her neck and over her shoulder. His fingers froze, hovering on her collarbone. He knew the feel of her soft skin as well as he knew his own. But dammit, he couldn’t take the weight of her breast in his hand, her nipple brushing against his palm, and still maintain control.
She broke the kiss. “Don’t hold back, Dominic,” she whispered. “You never have before. Don’t start now. You know how to touch me. You’re the only one—”
His growl cut off her hushed words. He was the only one who knew the color of her panties. The only man in her bed. The only one who heard her sly humor. And yeah, the only man in Forever, Oregon who loved her.
For now . . .

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Buy Links

Amazon | B& N | GooglePlay | iTunes | Kobo

 ~*~*~*~

Giveaway

(a $25 Gift Card to eRetailer of Choice)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

 About the Author

After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat.

Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and more! Visit http://www.sarajanestone.com and look for her newsletter entry form.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Serving Trouble: A Second Shot Novel by Sara Jane Stone

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Serving Trouble: A Second Shot Novel by Sara Jane Stone

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

Synopsis

imageThe first sexy contemporary romance in Sara Jane Stone’s brand new Second Shot series!

Five years ago, Josie Fairmore left timber country in search of a bright future. Now she’s back home with a mountain of debt and reeling from a loss that haunts her. Desperate for a job, she turns to the one man she wishes she could avoid. The man who rocked her world one wild night and then walked right out of it.

Former Marine Noah Tager is managing his dad’s bar and holding tight to the feeling that his time overseas led to failure. The members of his small town think he’s a war hero, but after everything he’s witnessed, Noah doesn’t want a pat on the back. The only thing he desires is a second chance with his best friend’s little sister.

Josie’s determined to hold onto her heart and not repeat her mistakes, but when danger arrives on Noah’s doorstep and takes aim at Josie, they just might discover that sometimes love is worth the risk.

Link to Follow Tour

Goodreads Link

Goodreads Series Link

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

“I drove to the wrong bar.”
Josie Fairmore stared up at the unlit sign towering above the nearly vacant parking lot, her cell phone pressed to her ear. Nothing changed in Forever, Oregon. Everything from the people to the names of the bars remained the same. The triplets, who had to be over a hundred now, still owned The Three Sisters Café downtown. Every car and truck she’d sped past had the high school football team’s flag mounted on the roof or featured on the bumper. And her father was still the chief of police.
Nothing changed. That was why she’d left for college and never looked back.
Until now.
She’d blown past the Forever town line ten minutes ago. She’d driven straight to the place that promised a rescue from her current hell. And she’d parked under the sign, which appeared determined to prove her wrong.
“Josephine Fairmore, it is ten-thirty in the morning,” Daphne said, her tone oddly stern for the owner of a strip club situated outside the town limits. “The fact that you’re at a bar might be your first mistake.”
Damn. If the owner of The Lost Kitten was her voice of reason, Josie was screwed.
“When did they take the “country” out of Big Buck’s Country Bar?” Josie stared at the letters above the entrance to the town’s oldest bar. She twirled the key to her red Mini that looked out of place beside the lone monster truck in the lot. She should probably take the car back to the city. The Mini didn’t belong in the land of four wheelers, pick-ups, and logging trucks. The red car would miss the parking garage.
But I can’t afford the parking garage anymore. I can’t even pay my rent. Or my bills . . .
“Big Buck gave in three years ago,” Daphne explained, drawing Josie’s attention back to the bar parking lot. “He decided to take Noah’s advice and get rid of the mechanical bull. He wanted to attract the college crowd.”
“He got rid of the bull before I went to college.” And before his son left to join the United States Marine Corps. She should know. She’d ridden the bull at his going away party.
With Noah.
And then she’d ridden Noah.
“Well, Buck made a few more changes,” Daphne said. “He added a new sound system and—”
“He changed the name. I guess that explains why Noah came home.” She glanced at the dark, quiet bar. The hours posted by the door read Open from noon until the cows come home (or 3am, whichever comes first!).
“He served for five years and did two tours in Afghanistan. Stop by The Three Sisters and you’ll get an earful about his heroics,” Daphne said. “But from what I’ve heard, Noah didn’t want to sign up for another five. Not after his grandmother died last year.”
“You’ve seen him?” Josie looked down at her cowboy boots. She hadn’t worn them since that night in Noah’s barn. She’d thought they’d help her land the job at the “country” bar. But now she wished she’d worn her converse, maybe a pair of heels.
“Yes.”
“At The Lost Kitten?” Why, after all this time, after she never responded to his apologetic letter, would she care if Noah spent his free time watching women strip off their clothes? One wild, stupid, naked night cut short by her big brother didn’t offer a reason for jealousy.
But the fact that I told him I love him? That might.
“No. I bumped into him at the café.” Daphne hesitated. “He didn’t smile. Not once.”
“PTSD?” she asked quietly. She couldn’t imagine walking into a war zone and leaving without long, lasting trauma. The things he probably saw . . .
“Maybe,” Daphne said. “But he’s not jumpy. He just seems pissed off at the world. Elvira was behind the counter that day. She tried to thank him for serving our country after he ordered a burger. He set a ten on the counter and walked out before his food arrived.”
“He left his manners in the middle east.” Josie stared at the door to Big Buck’s. “Might hurt my chances for getting a job.”
“I think your lack of waitressing or bartending experience will be the nail in the coffin. But if Noah turns you down, you can work here.”
“I’d rather keep my shirt on while I work,” Josie said dryly.
And he won’t turn me down. He promised to help me.
But that was before he turned into a surly former marine.
“You’d make more without it,” Daphne said. “Or you can tell the hospital, the collection agency—whoever’s coming after you—the truth. You’re broke.”
“I did. They gave me a payment plan and I need to stick to it.” She headed for the door. “I ignored those bills for months. Besides what kind of mother doesn’t pay her child’s medical bills?”
The kind who buried her son twenty-seven days after he was born.
Daphne didn’t say the words, but Josie knew she was thinking them. Her best friend was the only person in Forever who knew the truth about why she was desperate for a paycheck. If only Daphne had inherited a restaurant or a bookstore—a place with fully clothed employees.
“He has to agree,” Josie added. “I need that money.”
“I know.” Daphne sighed. “And I need to get to work. I have a staff of topless waitresses and dancers who depend on me for their paycheck. Good luck, Josie.”
“Thanks.” She ended the call and slipped her phone into the bag slung over her shoulder alongside her wallet and resume.
She drew a deep breath. But a churning feeling started in her belly, foreboding, threatening. She knew this feeling and she didn’t like it. Something bad always followed.
Her boyfriend headed for the door convinced he was too young for a baby . . . Her water broke too early . . .
She tried the door. Locked, dammit.
Ignoring the warning bells in her head telling her to run to her best friend’s club and offer to serve a topless breakfast, she raised her hand and knocked.
“Hang on a sec,” a deep voice called from the other side. She remembered that sound and could hear the echo of his words from five long years ago, before he’d joined the marines and before she’d gone to college hoping for a brighter future—and found more heartache.
Call, email, or send a letter. Hell, send a carrier pigeon. I don’t care how you get in touch, or where I am, if you need me, I’ll find a way to help.
He’d meant every word. But people changed. They hardened. They took hits and got back up leaving their heart beaten and wrecked on the ground.
She glanced down as if the bloody pieces of her broken heart would appear at her feet. Nope. Nothing but cement and her boots. She’d left her heart behind in Portland, dead and buried thank you very much.
The door opened. She looked up and . . .
Oh my . . .wow . . .
She’d gained five pounds—well, more than that, but she’d lost the rest. She’d cried for weeks, tears running down her cheeks while she slept, and flooding her eyes when she woke. And it had aged her. There were lines on her face that made her look a lot older than twenty-three.
But Noah . . .
He’d gained five pounds of pure muscle. His tight black t-shirt clung to his biceps. Dark green cargo pants hung low on his hips. And his face . . .
On the drive, she’d tried to trick herself into believing he was just a friend she’d slept with one wild night. She’d made a fool of herself, losing her heart to him that night.
Never again.
She’d made a promise to her broken, battered heart and she planned to keep it. She would not fall for Noah this time.
But oh the temptation . . .
His short blond hair still looked as if he’d just run his hands through it. Stubble, the same color as his hair, covered his jaw. He’d forgotten to shave, or just didn’t give a damn. But his familiar blue eyes left her ready to pass out at his feet from lack of oxygen.
He stared at her, wariness radiating from those blue depths. Five years ago, he’d smiled at her and it had touched his eyes. Not now.
“Josie?” His brow knitted as if he’d had to search his memory for her name. His grip tightened on the door. Was he debating whether to slam it in her face and pretend his mind had been playing tricks on him?
“Hi Noah.” She placed her right boot in the doorway, determined to follow him inside if he tried to shut her out.
“You’re back,” he said as if putting together the pieces of a puzzle. But still no hint of the warm, welcoming smile he’d worn with an easy-going grace five years ago.
“I guess you didn’t get the carrier pigeon,” she said, forcing a smile. Please let him remember. “But I need your help.”

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Buy Links

AMAZON | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

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Giveaway

(Two (2) full print sets of Sara Jane Stone’s previous series “Independence Falls” to include FULL EXPOSURE, CAUGHT IN THE ACT, HERO BY NIGHT and WILD WITH YOU)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

imageAfter several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and more! Visit http://www.sarajanestone.com and look for her newsletter entry form.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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