by Mandy Colton GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Gage Knight is a Texas bounty hunter and just doing a tough job when he’s sent to Nashville to pick up a grifting high-dollar fugitive. He arrives at the right place at almost the right time, but he makes a big mistake when he leaves.
Once a debutante, Danica Chastain is now a struggling songwriter with a dream of landing a job in the music business. On the day when her hard work seems to be heading in the right direction, a gruff man with a dark presence and wolfish eyes arrives at her door.
Although their immediate chemistry is off the charts, the two clash—for good reason. Danica is not who he thinks she is, and he’s not listening...
That little bitch had pulled her con off so smoothly, Danica knew just like she knew her rent hadn’t been paid that Tara, if that was even her real name, the money, and her stuff was long gone. She would just wait and call the cops after her appointment at the record company tomorrow. Focus on your meeting with Hank, Danica. If that went well, she’d just find her another roommate, take what was left of her clothes, and leave this dump. She would hold her head up and keep moving forward with her mind on her future and dreams.
* * * *
The next morning, Danica spent much of her time stomping around and grumbling. Her routine was screwed. She’d found the coffee pot gone first and then, after taking her shower, found her blow dryer lifted as well. She’d had to painstakingly brush her hair dry. Then there was the underwear dilemma she’d faced next. She had none. It was all gone, and the only thing she could do was put the bra back on from the day before, which was not going to work for the panties. There had been too much freaking out the night before about bigger issues than to remember to wash them out or even worry about something as minor as going sans the drawers. She’d just have to temporarily go commando and leave early enough to buy herself some undies on the way to her appointment.
She was about ready to leave the apartment when there was a knock on the door. Danica looked out the peephole but didn’t see anyone. Hmm. She shrugged, opened the door to take a step out and look, immediately walking into a wall of man and muscle. Yelping in surprise, she quickly moved her eyes up to his face. Whoa. At first glance, the guy had a dark, daunting presence, almost intimidating as he loomed over her. A closer inspection made another thought cross her mind. What a hunk-o-man! Talk about tall, beefy, and ruggedly handsome. Not exactly swarthy but deeply tanned and a nice amount of past-five-oh-clock shadow framed a nicely chiseled jawline. The whole package made her shiver a little. She could smell the guy, he was so close, and his cologne was a heady alpha male blend of sweat, the non-stinky man-musk kind, and spice. Ooh, and leather. In fear of being zapped by a jolt of supercharged testosterone mixed with potently virile pheromones, she took a step back.
He stood there, intimidating-like, looking down his nose at her, eyeing her, nothing moving except for a pair of odd color eyes. They were mesmerizing. He cleared his throat, which broke her staring spell.
She finally said, “If you’re looking for Tara, she’s gone.” She scanned him again. At least the bitch had a little taste in who she screwed. Couldn’t say the same for the guys.
Suddenly his eyes changed and he looked a bit amused. What a pair of peepers he had on that strikingly handsome and chiseled face. The guy had bright-gray eyes, like a husky dog or a wolf. My goodness, how beautiful they were and framed by lush lashes, those making her a little jealous. Danica was curious if the eye color was real or if he might be wearing contacts. Before she had the chance to ask, he opened his mouth.
“Is that right?”
Wow. The beefcake wasn’t the meathead she was expecting, he could speak. Smooth, sexy voice too. “Yup, bitch is gone. That’s for damn sure.”
He snickered at that. “Mind if I come in?”
“As a matter of fact, I do. I have somewhere I gotta be.”
The guy rudely bumped her aside with his broad chest and walked right past, making her gasp because he didn’t have permission and she was pretty sure that brief contact had created a few sparks underneath her chassis. Sparky, like after a bump in the road and your loose muffler intermittently drags the asphalt before scraping your undercarriage again with a zing. Yeah, like that.
Danica put her hands on her hips and cleared her own throat this time. “Excuse me, but I think I just told you that Tara’s not here and I have someplace to go.”
He walked right through the apartment, opened a bedroom door, and turned to grin at her. Then he walked to the other and opened it. “Mmhmm. Bet you do have some place to go, being that you just missed your court date. Again. Skipping for a second time on the same bondsman. He warned you last time. Somebody was gonna be comin’ for your lily-white ass.”
“Why are saying ‘you’? Like I did that? I don’t have a clue what you’re even talking about. I haven’t done anything, and for your information, my white ass is clean. I have never needed a bondsman.”
That made the corners of his mouth quirk upward into a smile. “Nice to know. Let’s see some ID, sweetheart.”
She still had her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes at the guy. “What? You think I’m her, don’t you?” Thoroughly insulted by the thought, she continued, “Freaking Jesus H. Believe me, I could never be as bad as that nasty-ass, thieving, nympho skank is.”
Those sexy lips began twitching at that. She couldn’t stop focusing on them. He stuck his hand out, doing a “give it”-type motion with his fingers. “ID, please.”
Aggravated now, she grabbed her bag and snapped, “Fine! Who the hell are you, walking right in and demanding ID? Why are you here?”
“I’m a bond enforcement officer working on behalf of the bondsman in Texas. The law and bond was broken by not showing on the scheduled court date. I’m here to collect Tara Morgan and take her to jail. If you’re not her, then just kindly show me some ID and I’ll go.”
Mandy Colton is from Louisville, KY, and lives a very quiet life with her husband and teenage son. A fan of romance, fun adventure, drama, humor, and on occasion, sci-fi stories. Her first book, Way to Go, and the continuing series came from her years, own adventures and experiences working in the travel industry.
Although she’s a great fan of the human imagination, she is also of the opinion that there are just no better stories than those that involve a bit of true life.
If you like my books, please review on Amazon or Goodreads. Subscribe for notifications on future new releases!
The book is Free on Kindle and Nook During the Tour
The Order of The Senary Series Book Two
Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance
Fledgling vampire Jonathan Kerr has just met his match.
Not even his past life as a former marine and FBI agent could prepare him for the battle against the monster inside him, struggling to take hold. After an old nemesis of the Senary surfaces in Brooklyn, unleashing chaos and terror in the battered borough, Jon sets out to take him down. Instead, he ends up with far more than he bargained for when he clashes with the beautiful half-vampire hybrid, Lawan Knight.
After escaping near death and suffering unspeakable horror at the hands of vampires, Lawan trusts no one, regardless of species. In between bouts of drunken stupor, her only goal is to exterminate all those who've wronged her, including every member of Jon's vampire bloodline. But Jon’s soulful eyes and quick smile crawls under her skin, transforming her black and white world into a hazy shade of gray.
As the days rapidly grow darker, Jon and Lawan turn to one another, but their inner demons threaten to tear them apart. The only way either of them will survive is if they overcome their greatest fear—love.
Jon only had time to take a single breath before a dark boot materialized in front of his face, the heel aiming straight for his throat. He snatched it before it made contact and twisted hard, thrusting it away from him. The limb yielded beneath his grip as his attacker collapsed beside him, metal clattering nearby. He levered to his feet, pulling a KA-BAR from his boot as pain lit up his nerves, setting his teeth on edge. His attacker was already standing, the blade of a gorgeous double-edged Kris sword pointed at his throat.
His opponent was female, wearing a slim-fitting black battle uniform and carrying enough artillery to outfit a small army. Her jet-black hair was tied in a long braid and a black mask covered the lower half of her face. Her dark, almond-shaped eyes revealed her Asian heritage, her skin the color of caramel. A scabbard stretched across her back, strapped to her chest, along with the M16 she’d used to tear up the warehouse.
Jon took a step back, but she didn’t hesitate, launching at him with the blade. Metal clashed and sparks flew as he parried the long sword’s quicksilver arcs with his dagger. Although she limped from her injured leg, her strikes were hard, fast, and precise, each blow intended to kill. He nearly tripped over the pirate’s body as she backed him against the wall of the refinery, and he ducked as the blade screeched along the brick.
Before Jon straightened, he jabbed the butt of his KA-BAR into her knee and she yelped, stumbling backward. He slashed at her and caught nothing but air as she lurched away from him. She swung the Kris at his head and he raised the KA-BAR to engage and bind the sword. Both of their weapons trembled as their eyes locked on one another across the tangle of deadly metal.
And as her smoldering gaze drilled into him, he smelled it.
Dama de Noche.
The Lady of the Night, a nocturnal blooming flower he’d first smelled years ago in Nepal, when he was a human soldier. The scent was unmistakable, underlying the incense of vampire. The stench of leech didn’t belong to her, but the floral aroma was all her own.
She’s not a vampire.
Stunned by the revelation, Jon wavered, and she quickly took advantage of him. She sidestepped and lunged at him, sinking the blade in his shoulder. He shouted, dropping his KA-BAR as pain erupted from his dominant limb. Moving lightning fast, she yanked the blade out and sliced an arc across his chest. Luckily, she only scored his Kevlar, and as the sword swooped around again, Jon caught it with his gloved hands, silver biting into leather.
“You’re a hybrid,” he ground out. “I’m on your side!”
She pushed hard against him, drawing blood. “Bullshit.” Her voice was a rich contralto, edged with a growl. “You reek of Temhota.”
The Dama drew back and chopped at his belly, but Jon blocked her with his forearms, metal jarring against his bones. Finally, he managed to kick the blade out of her grip and it spun away, clattering to the ground. She somersaulted backward to retrieve it, but Jon caught hold of her braid in mid-air and wrenched on it. She cried out and landed face-first on the pavement, her breath audibly whooshing from her throat.
Jon wound her braid around his hand like a rope and straddled her, pinning her down. He tore the M16 off and tossed it as she writhed beneath him, fighting hard. Yanking her head up, he leaned close to her ear. “I’m not your enemy,” he hissed.
Her already shallow breath quickened and her struggles intensified, her sweet scent pumping from her pores in cloying waves. Panic. Fear. Restraining her like this completely terrified her.
Jon let up, knowing it was a mistake, but the shred of humanity still left in him couldn’t resist. The Dama slammed the crown of her head into his face and his retinas exploded in a staggering palette of reds, whites, and grays. His nose caved in, but not so far as to bury the bony shards into his brain. Blood poured out of him like a leaky faucet as he fell back, propping himself up on the wall of the refinery.
She was on him in an instant, chopping the edge of a flat hand into his trachea before smashing a fist in his ear. She wobbled to her feet as he struggled desperately to breathe—remember Jon, you don’t have to—and she gave him a vicious kick to his solar plexus, doubling him over. The pain was terrific, a cacophony of agony echoing from every corner of his body.
Jesus Christ, she was beating the shit out of him.
The Dama stood there, shaking, the fabric of her fallen mask fluttering to the ground. Jon blinked, trying to clear his blurred vision as she picked up her sword. He stole a glimpse of her face as she flung the mask up with the blade and caught it. A tattoo marked her cheek, the black symbol unmistakable but jagged, as if she’d thrashed during the process.
The same mark he’d painted on his chest lay branded on her face—the emblem of the Temhota.
Jon yanked down the neckline of his shirt, much like he had with the pirate, but this time he wiped at the mark, smearing it. The Dama paused in front of him, eyes narrowed, a gash marring her forehead. Even with the mark of his enemy on her face, she was breathtaking, and he didn’t have much breath left to spare.
“Not real,” he said past swollen lips, lifting trembling fingers stained with both paint and blood. “No mark.”
“But you are a leech.” She pointed the serpentine blade at the hollow of his throat.
He nodded, swallowing iron. “I work with the Senary. I used to . . . I used to be human. I’m not what you think I am.”
“You stink of them.” Her lip curled in a snarl.
He nodded again, every muscle in his body screaming. “Because I’m one of them. Yet I’m not.”
Brilliant. Maybe a few of those bony shards made their way into his brain after all.
She flipped the sword deftly and held it in a two-handed grip, the sin qua non of impending decapitation. Her dark eyes didn’t have the cat-like gleam signature to vampires, but hate and anger bled through them anyway.
“Makes no difference to me.”
Snapping into action, she sprinted as fast as her legs would carry her, taking sharp turns and cutting across debris-ridden alleyways. She leapt over dumpsters, scaled chain-link fences, and stomped over the carcasses of long dead cars. The blood gave her an extra boost as she blew past the library—bookless, thanks to her—and blazed a trail through Coffey Park, heading straight for her church.
The presence faded as soon as she passed the decrepit playground. Hope swelled in her chest. Maybe she lost them. Maybe they kept going down Dwight Street instead.
Her blessed church came up fast and Lawan didn’t slow down as she jumped the iron fence and burst into the side door. She skidded to a halt on the crimson carpet, practically tumbling into the main room in front of the ambry. Doubling over, she struggled to catch her breath before she sat down hard on the floor. She slipped off her bag, pulled off her mask, and flopped back, chest heaving as she stared up at the vaulted ceiling.
Oscar trotted over, purring loudly and shoving his furry head into her hand. She couldn’t even speak, her breath sawing in and out of her lungs as she closed her eyes with relief.
Yes. She made it.
For the second time that night, Lawan let her body settle down as Oscar nuzzled her hand and licked her fingers, the same fingers she’d lapped at earlier. Her bag rested beside her and she patted it, feeling the cold blood through the nylon.
“That was a hell of a run for getting nowhere.”
The all-too-familiar timbre stabbed Lawan’s eardrums and wrapped around her throat, yanking her into a seated position. The leech who wasn’t a leech, the hybrids’ vampire stood at the archway, leaning against the jamb. He wasn’t fully geared up, wearing plain clothes and an exposed shoulder holster beneath his open bomber jacket.
His obsidian eyes sparked with amusement as she swiftly pulled her nine and aimed it at his forehead.
“Glad I wore my sneakers,” he added, not the least bit perturbed.
Lawan gaped at him, slack-jawed and stupid. Oscar leapt between them and hissed at him, black fur raised along the length of his spine and claws digging into the carpet.
A vampire had just strolled into her sanctuary, onto hallowed ground. Impossible. Unbelievable. Unreal.
Oh my God. He really isn’t a leech.
L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she's been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. L.D. Rose is a PAN member of the RWA, FF&P, NEC-RWA and CoLoNY. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats.
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Seaside Whispers Seaside Summers #8
By: Melissa Foster
Releasing November 30, 2016
World Literary Press
Having a mad crush on her boss’s son, Matt Lacroux—an intriguing mix of proper gentleman and flirtatious bad boy—is probably not the smartest idea for single mother Mira Savage. Especially when the company, and her job, is already on shaky ground. But as a Princeton professor, Matt’s life is hours away from Mira’s home on Cape Cod, keeping him safely in the fantasy-only zone. And as a single mother to six-year-old Hagen, with a floundering company to save, fantasies are all she has time for.
With hopes of becoming dean off the table, and too many months of longing for a woman who lived too far away to pursue, Matt’s publishing contract couldn’t have come at a better time. He heads home to Cape Cod on a brief sabbatical, intent on starting his book, and finally getting his arms around sweet, seductive Mira.
A surprise encounter leads to white-hot passions and midnight confessions. The more time Matt and Mira spend together, the deeper their relationship grows, and the love and attention Matt showers on Hagen is more than she has ever dreamed of. But Matt’s sabbatical is only temporary, and Mira’s not saving his father’s company so she can leave it behind. Will their whispers of love be enough for one of them to change their life forever?
MATT LACROUX NEEDED a shower, a vacation, and to figure out what the hell he was doing with his life—in that order. And sex. Sex would be good. It had been a long time since he’d had a warm, willing woman in his bed instead of a research project to work on, papers to grade, or notes to coordinate on the book he was writing. In fact, now that he was thinking about it, he might move sex up to the top of his list—if he didn’t have someone else’s blood on his hands.
He tugged off his torn shirt, tossed it in the hamper, and turned on the shower. He’d been back on Cape Cod for less than three hours and had already broken up a fight between drunken college kids over by the Bookstore Restaurant, where he’d eaten dinner and thought he would write for a while. Maybe he should have done what so many other professors did when they took a sabbatical and gone to a nice resort somewhere, or holed up in a mountain cabin. He could have stayed at his cottage on Nantucket, but he missed his family, and his father wasn’t getting any younger. Plus, his siblings’ joint wedding was only two months away. It was taking place on their mother’s birthday, to honor her memory. It was time to reconnect.
His mind drifted to the other person he’d like to reconnect with, Mira Savage, his father’s employee and the woman who had been occupying Matt’s thoughts since he met her last summer at his younger brother Grayson’s engagement party. They’d spent the entire day together with her adorable son, Hagen. He’d seen her half a dozen times since, during brief visits home. They’d taken Hagen to the park together and a few other places, although they’d never gone on an official date. They’d exchanged occasional texts over the weeks in between, but that was as far as it had gone. It being Matt’s attraction to a woman who lived too many hours away to get involved with. Mira wasn’t the type of woman whose life he could complicate with intermittent encounters. She was a selfless woman who put her son and others first. The type of woman who blushed when he got too close. The type of woman a man took the time to get to know--almost a year, that’s pretty damn long—to show her she could trust him, a woman who should be taken care of and protected but not smothered. And she was the only woman he’d like to undress slowly, loving every inch of her incredible body until she was trembling with need and slick as a baby seal. Keeping himself in check had been like dancing on hot coals, but he’d never stopped thinking about the sexy single mother and her inquisitive son.
He stripped off his slacks and stepped into the shower, turning the faucet to cold now that he was hot and bothered over Mira. He closed his eyes and exhaled a long breath. One thing at a time.
The water shifted from his head to his back, and Matt looked up at the faucet, which promptly fell, clipping his cheekbone.
“Ouch! What the—” He grabbed his cheek and pulled away from the water spraying in all directions from the broken spigot. Perfect. Just perfect. He washed the fresh blood from his fingers and quickly rinsed off.
He stepped from the shower and dried off, eyeing the offending fixture. The damn thing had a crack around the housing and rust on the inside. He’d rented his friends’ cottage in the Seaside community for the summer. The place was in great shape, but things like showerheads were easy to miss when renovating. It was after nine o’clock, and Amy and Tony had a little girl. Matt wasn’t about to bother them about a freaking bathroom fixture. He pulled on clean clothes and called his father, who owned Lacroux Hardware Store.
“Hey, Pop. Is the electronic code to your shop still Mom’s birthday?” His father had been talking about retiring lately. The hardware store was meant to be the family legacy, passed down to one of his five children, only none of them wanted to take it over. But right this very moment, Matt had never been so glad that his father was in the hardware business. The Cape wasn’t big on chain stores. The closest Home Depot or Target was a good forty minutes away.
“Yes. What’s wrong?”
“I need a showerhead for Tony’s place.”
“Want me to run one up to you?”
Neil Lacroux would do anything for his children—even though they were all grown up. Matt knew he’d been lonely since their mother passed away unexpectedly from an aneurysm a few years ago, which was another reason he’d chosen to come back home during his sabbatical. He made a mental note to stop by the store and visit with him.
“I’ve got it, Pop. Sorry to bother you.”
The drive to Orleans took only a few minutes. Even though Matt had grown up on the Cape, it always took him a day or two to adjust to being out of the city. Slacks and button-downs were replaced with shorts and tank tops, people moved at a more relaxed pace, and no matter how far from the beach he was, sand was ever-present. Sand in the grass, sand on the floors, sand on the seat of his car—and he hadn’t even been to the beach yet.
He punched in the code to the security keypad, and the minute he was inside the dark store, he heard it. Tap, tap, tap. He froze, every neuron on high alert, and listened. Tap, tap, tap, tap, pause, tap, tap, tap. It was coming from his father’s office. His arms instinctively flexed, preparing for a fight. He moved swiftly and silently to the office door and listened to the incessant tapping. Dad’s calculator?
He pushed the door open, and his body flooded with awareness at the sight of Mira sitting at the desk, her fingers flying over the calculator. Maybe this was his lucky night after all.
Her hand flew to her chest. “Matt…?” His name came out all breathy. “You scared me. I had no idea you were in town.” Because I made a point of wanting to surprise you, although not exactly like this.
“Sorry about that, sunshine. I just got in a little while ago. I came to get a showerhead.” He walked into the small office, taking in the ledger on the desk, illuminated by his father’s ancient single-bulb lamp, and the family photos thumbtacked to the wall. He noticed a new photograph front and center, a picture of Hagen holding a fishing rod with a little sunfish dangling from the line. He knew how much Mira and Hagen meant to his father, but seeing Hagen’s photo among their family’s brought the full impact home. He shifted his gaze to Mira, and as the shock of his arrival wore off, a beautiful smile spread across her face. There it was, the brightness that had hooked him all those months ago. The sweet look of innocence and rebellious I-can-take-on-the-world confidence in her gorgeous eyes. She had no idea what she did to him.
“Sunshine,” she whispered, and shook her head.
“You can’t deny the way you light up everything around you.” He’d given her the nickname last summer because she had such a positive outlook on life.
“You should see me before I have coffee in the mornings.” I’d like that more than you know.
“A showerhead? Let me show you where they are.” She pushed to her feet, nearly bumping into his chest in the close quarters. Her chestnut hair tumbled sexily over her shoulders as she stood before him, one hand perched over his chest, the other reaching up to touch his cheek. “What happened?”
Their attraction had been immediate and intense last summer and had only grown stronger with each subsequent visit—at least he knew it had for him. For months he’d buried any hope of exploring their connection beneath classes and research papers. Now, as she gazed into his eyes, all those heated memories came rushing back.
“I was assaulted by the old one.”
“Ouch.” She grimaced, and the spray of freckles on the bridge of her nose rose with the effort.
He hadn’t been able to get that cute mannerism out of his head when he’d gone back to Princeton, and damn, did he like seeing it again.
“You might need a stitch.” Her fingers lingered on his skin, warm and soft.
He covered her hand with his, pressing it to his cheek. “It’s nothing, really.”
She nibbled nervously on the corner of her mouth. “I’ll just…” She pointed out of the office, and her hand slid from beneath his. Her breasts brushed against his arm as she walked away, stirring more of that same dark attraction.
There was no shortage of women vying for Matt’s attention. From coeds to faculty, he could have his pick back in Princeton, and the choices were just as plentiful here at the Cape. But the only woman he saw when he closed his eyes at night was heading down aisle seven of his father’s hardware store.
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women's fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
by Sandra Evans
Middle Grade Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 352 pages
July 26th 2016 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
This is the story of Raul, a boy of few words, fewer friends, and almost no family. He is a loner—but he isn’t lonely. All week long he looks after the younger boys at One Of Our Kind Boarding School while dodging the barbs of terrible Tuffman, the jerk of a gym teacher.
Like every other kid in the world, he longs for Fridays, but not for the usual reasons. As soon as the other students go home for the weekend, Raul makes his way to a lighthouse deep in the heart of the woods. There he waits for sunset—and the mysterious, marvelous phenomenon that allows him to go home, too. But the woods have secrets . . . and so does Raul. When a new kid arrives at school, they may not stay secret for long.
Sandra Evans is a writer and teacher from the Pacific Northwest. Her forthcoming middle grade novel, This is Not a Werewolf Story (Simon & Schuster July 2016), was inspired by her favorite 12th century French tale, Bisclavret, by Marie de France. Born in Washington state, Sandra spent her childhood on U.S. Navy bases from Florida to Hawaii, and returned to the Northwest as a teenager. Since then, she has lived and traveled in France and Europe, but has never strayed far for long from the Puget Sound region.
Title: Fighting for Phoebe Author: Jennifer Ann Genre: Contemporary Romance Release Day: November 28, 2017 Blog Tour: November 29 - December 12
About Fighting for Phoebe
Jace Daniels is undeniably sexy. I mean who doesn’t like the muscular, tattooed type who’s all mysterious and brooding? But he’s on the run from something dangerous, and I have enough of my own problems. My existence has revolved around deception for as long as I can remember. Sometimes lying is like a damn disease...one I’ve been exposed to since birth. And as many times as I’ve dreamed about running away, my mother’s grasp on me runs deep. Phoebe Carson is hot as hell. She’s not just gorgeous, but quirky and a lot of fun. Even though I can’t afford to get involved with anyone, I feel a need to protect her from her psychotic ex. After a failed attempt to expose the truth about a fellow Marine’s disappearance, running was my only option. I don’t know how much time I have until they’ll arrest me, but I’m determined to make things right. When their paths collide, the passion is so explosive that neither of them can walk away. But once the truth unravels, proving it’s more than fate that brought them together, will Jace still decide she’s worth fighting for?
About Jennifer Ann Jennifer Ann is the pen name used by Jen Naumann when writing steamy romance novels with complex love stories. Like her characters, she's in love with the city of New York, rock concerts, and Marines. Sometimes you can catch her driving a tractor alongside her husband in southern Minnesota while trying to keep up with the madness of their four active children.
A fantasy reimagining of the American Civil War that pits muskets against magic, massive war machines against mind readers, and glass sabers against soldiers in psychic exoskeletons.
In exile since the civil war, former spy and turncoat Marta Childress wants to quietly live out her remaining days in the West. But then her manipulative brother arrives with one final mission: Transport the daughter of a hated inventor deep into the East. Forced to decide between safely delivering the girl and assassinating the inventor, Marta is torn between ensuring peace or sparking a second civil war.
To her surprise Carmichael blinked uncomprehendingly at the name. It had been rattling around Marta’s head like a Breath in a bottle for the last three months, but to him it seemed meaningless. Then the corners of his mouth curled up, Carmichael finally remembering.
“This is about our older sister? I forgot about her entirely.”
His dismissal of her months of misery infuriated Marta all the more, the girl fighting harder against his grip. Her helplessness stoked her anger further, fanning it into blazing rage.
And with the rage came clarity, Marta suddenly aware of each Breath within her body. There were the usual three all humans were born with, one in the center of the chest to representing the Body, the second in the middle of the forehead for the Mind, and the third at the crown of the head signifying the Soul. But in that moment of clarity, Marta could feel a fourth Breath nestled deep in her chest next to the Body. Were she not so angry, she might have been surprised to find it, to feel it thrumming with its own frequency. It had a resonance, a musical identity all its own that only she could hear.
So she inhaled, filling that Breath with both her air and anger.
The fourth Breath stirred, summoned by Marta’s will and obeying on her exhale. Though its base remained firmly in her chest, she felt it elongate as it stretched through her throat and out towards her mouth. The appendage was entirely new to her, but it felt natural as she experienced each sensation through this fresh limb: the light scrape as it edged over her teeth, the sudden coolness of the air outside her body; the crunch of her brother’s bones as it collided with his nose.
Never passing up the opportunity to speak about himself in the third person, M.D. Presley is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is. Born and raised in Texas, he spent several years on the East Coast and now waits for the West Coast to shake him loose. His favorite words include defenestrate, callipygian, and Algonquin. The fact that monosyllabic is such a long word keeps him up at night.
His blogs and short stories can be found at his cleverly titled website: mdpresley.com
Or join him on Facebook at: facebook.com/solsharvest
And you can always pick up his book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IALGCDE?ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_BouHxbKEZD2BZ&tag=kpembed-20&linkCode=kpe
What Happened to Rose
by Helga Zeiner GENRE: suspense/mystery/romance
Carola’s life is perfect – or so it seems. Her husband, her friends, her staff don’t see the emptiness of a loveless existence. Every day is the same, until the day when she has enough. Without warning she leaves her home country of Germany to start a new life in the Canadian wilderness.
But she is not equipped to handle the hardships of a lonely existence in a remote cabin. A five-day snowstorm brings her close to her breaking point. Searching for means to survive, she discovers the written confession of the previous cabin owner who wants to clear his conscience by admitting to a terrible sin he committed involving a girl called Rose.
When the storm subsides, Carola begins to ask questions but nobody is willing to talk. Nobody wants to tell what happened to Rose, but Carola becomes obsessed with finding out the truth.
Will Rose finally get justice? If you love mystery and suspense, with an added romance bonus, this new novel by an Amazon bestselling author will keep you turning the pages all night long.
It started to snow. Thick and heavy.
Deep in thought, she registered the brake lights of the car in front of her a nanosecond too late. Carola hit the brakes hard, and felt her truck fighting the slippery road. She managed to slow down enough to avoid crashing into the rear bumper of the car in front of her, but the right front wheel of her truck slid over the shoulder, hit the snow bank covering the ditch and came to a stop.
She moved into first gear and accelerated again. The truck buried itself deeper. Now both wheels, front and back, slid into the ditch. Leaning sideways, the truck would not right itself without being pulled.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
She hit the steering wheel with her bare hands.
She switched the hazard lights on, climbed out of the cab, walked to the side of the road to avoid oncoming traffic, and pulled out Maria’s cell.
Fat snowflakes danced around her face, seriously reducing visibility and muffling most sounds. Standing by the roadside was getting dangerous.
A pickup passed. A guy leaned across the passenger seat, the window slid down.
“Can I help you?”
Helga Zeiner is a German born Canadian author. She left her home town Augsburg at age eighteen to explore the world. In the following fourteen years she has lived and worked in Australia and Asia, writing in her spare time. Several of her thrilling novels have been on the Amazon bestseller list and enjoy an enthusiastic fan base. She now lives with her husband on a country estate in the wilderness of British Columbia, devoting all her time to writing.
Prince of Honor
House of Terriot Book One
The hunter becomes the prey, a prisoner to his own desire . . .
Turow . . .
Strong, silent man of integrity content to serve his new king as a prince in the turbulent shape-shifter House of Terriot. A tracker and relentless hunter, he’s used to running trails alone until charged with returning a traitor to their mountain top home to face the unforgiving judgment of their clan. On the run with the bad girl he’s loved forever, the choice between duty and desire has never been more difficult . . . or deadly.
Could the bargain made to save their lives become reality?
Sylvia . . . Manipulative schemer or victim caught between a mother’s ambition and a rogue prince’s lust for power? Trust is almost as foreign as the idea of love, but to save herself from certain death, she must risk both on the good man who deserves them . . . from someone worthy. Trapped by the only one who believes in her goodness, will she betray him and run for her life . . . or stay and destroy him with a long hidden truth?
The hunter becomes the prey, a prisoner to his own desire . . .
It was early. Faint daylight crept in through cracks in the curtains, but the room was still quite dark.
Turow couldn’t move. Couldn’t manage more than a quiet moan. His body wouldn’t respond, his mind refusing to engage. A huge weight of sated bliss layered over him, making simple actions impossible. Every breath he took reminded him why.
The covers tossed over his naked body held her unique smell. His tongue still tasted her. But it was what he didn’t feel that finally goaded him into awareness.
Her heat didn’t rest beside him. In fact, the sheet was cold.
He tried to sit up but something jerked him down. That something a metal bracelet about his wrist, shackling him to the bed frame. His hazy mind recoiled in surprise. How could she have gotten to the key where it lay a room away in the pocket of his coat?
Alert and now wary, Turow let his senses sharpen before opening his eyes to a sight that scarred him, heart and soul.
Sylvia stood on the other side of their shabby room, dressed in her castoff clothes, her lovely, kiss-bruised lips narrowed, her expression carefully masked. She met his gaze directly, hers betraying nothing.
Because they were not alone.
“The Terriot Princes . . . Holy Hotness. There is so much deliciousness between all them it’s hard not to drool!” – Sara Kate, Goodreads
Deadly, Damaged, Delicious Brothers too H.o.T to handle!
Nancy Gideon is the award-winning, bestselling author of over 60 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix, and is currently testing the “Hybrid Author” waters of self-publishing. When not at the keyboard, this Central Michigan writer feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl. She also has written under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings.
Taken LOST #5
By: Cynthia Eden
Releasing November 29, 2016
In New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s latest novel, the Last Option Search Team (LOST) returns— and for one agent, the hunt for a serial killer just got very personal . . .
HE SWORE TO PROTECT HER . . .
Bailey Jones somehow survived her harrowing abduction by the infamous Death Angel. But while her physical scars have healed, she can’t stop wondering about a woman she helped to escape, who simply disappeared. When LOST agent Asher Young is assigned to her case, Bailey instantly feels an attraction to the intense ex-SEAL who seems to be carrying dark secrets of his own.
BUT KEEPING HIS PROMISE . . . Asher can’t afford to let his growing feelings for Bailey distract him from his job. Only she can soothe his horrific nightmares, but the last thing he wants is for the demons from his past to ever hurt her. Bailey has gotten past his guard, and the emotions he feels for her—they’re as dark and dangerous as the past he doesn’t want to face.
“Bailey Jones . . .” Asher said her name softly, as if tasting it on his tongue. “There are a few things you should know about me before we begin.” There are things you should know about me, too. But I’m not going to tell you . . . or you won’t help me.
“First, you don’t have to fear me. Part of my job at LOST—well, let’s just say Gabe hired me on because he wanted a bit more muscle. Protection is my role. I’ll keep you safe and track down any clues about that missing woman. On my watch, nothing will happen to you.”
She nodded even though-- I don’t believe you. There is no safety. I learned that.
“And second . . . you don’t have to bullshit me.”
Now she blinked in surprise.
He laughed, a deep, rough rumble of sound that Bailey found she liked to hear.
“You think I can’t tell when you’re wearing a mask? You’ve got yourself locked down tight, under careful control, don’t you? But you don’t have to do that with me. I’m not one of the North Carolina deputies. I’m not going to judge you. And I’m not some lame-ass reporter who wants to splash your story all over the world.” I wear a mask all the time now because something is wrong inside of me. It has been, ever since that fire. That hole. That hell.
“So let’s put a no-bullshit rule in effect,” he murmured.
Her hands curled around the steering wheel. “Liking rules, is that more of a military thing again?”
“Wanting to break rules . . . that’s why I left the SEALs.”
He’d been a SEAL? She turned to look up at him. “Is there a rule number three?”
“We’ll get to that rule later . . .”
She started the vehicle. “I’ll follow you to your place.”
“Do you have any rules for me?” Don’t hurt me. Don’t judge me. Don’t pity me. Bailey cleared her throat. “I’m sure we can get to those rules later, too.”
He slammed her door shut. Through the window, Bailey watched as he strode away—not to another car, but to a shiny, big monster of a motorcycle. He climbed on, revved the engine moments later, and that rumbling growl filled the parking garage.
Asher slid the helmet over his head—a black helmet with a dark visor that completely obscured his face. Her heart beat faster as she stared at him.
That had been her first thought when she’d seen him in the conference room.
But he was on her side. Not a threat to her. He’d help her.
At least, that was what she hoped. Because if something didn’t change soon, Bailey was afraid that the deputies would be right about her. Her shrink would be right. I may go crazy.
Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader bestseller. Cynthia is also a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award (she was a finalist both in the romantic suspense category and in the paranormal romance category).
Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written more than thirty novels and novellas. She lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast.
Bethany should be dead, just like the doctors predicted. But along came the butterflies, altering the order of nature.
And now nature is hell bent on revenge.
Because when fate's path is disrupted, it's only a matter of time before balance must be restored.
Rebecca Carpenter is a native of western Colorado. She is married with two grown children and has been blessed with four amazing grandchildren. She owns and directs a large childcare center where she shares her love for books. In her spare time, she freelances as a copy editor, helping others attain their writing dreams. She finds solace and clarity while spending time with her husband exploring the beautiful mountains of Colorado.
Escape from the Past: The Duke's Wrath
by Annette Oppenlander
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Time-Travel
Release Date: July 31st 2015
When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he's sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn't realize that 1) He's been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player. 2) He’s playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime. And 3) Survival is optional: to return home he must decipher the game's rules and complete its missions—if he lives long enough. To fail means to stay in the past—forever.
Now Max is trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets' nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst.
I leaned forward because all of a sudden my chest was killing me. I was stuck in a truck-sized vise, my ribs squeezing together, body compressing. My lungs throbbed and I couldn’t breathe, not even a little. My arms and legs felt numb. Do something, I thought. I pushed myself to stand. Something is wrong with the game, stop the game, my mind urged. But I couldn’t. Lights exploded behind my eyelids and I had to pay every shred of attention to the task of breathing.
It occurred to me that I was having a heart attack.
My mother’s face flashed by. I wanted to shout for her, but my lungs had quit for good, my tongue a rigid piece of meat. She’d find me in the morning dead on the carpet. My sight turned foggy then black. I was passing out. I sucked frantically and drew in a bit of air. Slowly with each breath the crushing
heaviness disappeared. Blinking away the haze, I wiped my sweaty forehead. I should make an appointment with the family doctor.
Something moved ahead. There at the edge of a clearing cowered the man in rags holding his right elbow. He trembled and now that I was closer, I saw blood dripping from his wrist.
The three riders had surrounded him, their blades pointing toward the man’s neck. One rider dismounted, his face shadowed by a half helmet and curled brownish beard, his hands covered by steel gauntlets like lizard scales. The other two sat motionless, waiting. I tried to get a better view of what the horsemen were doing when I looked down.
I stood on the root of an oak tree. Surely I imagined things.
But those were definitely my Nikes I’d forgotten to take off when I returned home. I moved my foot. Leaves crackled. A twig snapped. Something terrible had happened, something I couldn’t wrap my mind around. I blinked and looked to my right. Trees and undergrowth were losing themselves in the gloom. I remembered the mouse in my right hand, but when I lifted my arm, my fingers came up empty—except for the smear of something sticky on my palm. I was bleeding.
The bush next to me was covered in blood. Not mine, I realized with relief. Disgusted I wiped my shaking hands with a fistful of leaves and turned to look behind me. The woods stretched into darkness—shadows within shadows nearly black.
My room was gone.
Escape from the past: The Kid (Escape from the Past #2)
by Annette Oppenlander
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Time-Travel
Release Date: February 26th 2016
Time-traveling gamer, Max, embarks on a harrowing journey through the Wild West of 1881! After a huge fight with his parents, Max tries to return to his love and his best friend, Bero, in medieval Germany. Instead he lands in 1881 New Mexico. Struggling to get his bearings and coming to terms with Dr. Stuler s evil computer game misleading him, he runs into Billy the Kid. To his amazement Billy isn t at all the ruthless killer history made him out to be. Trouble brews when a dying Warm Springs Apache gives Max a huge gold nugget to help his sister, Ela, escape from Fort Sumner. Shopping for supplies Max attracts the attention of ruthless bandits. Before Max can ask the Kid s help, he and Ela are forced to embark on a journey to find his imaginary goldmine. This is book 2 in the Escape from the Past trilogy."
The voice was deep and cold as the wind. Something hard and unyielding dug into my back. Maybe it was one of Werner’s men or had I run into Schwarzburg’s guards? But something felt wrong, something I couldn’t put my finger on.
Before I knew what to do, the ground shifted as several shadows rose around me.
“Wade, what is it?”
“Found us an intruder,” Wade said. “Showed up like a stray coyote.” For emphasis he shoved at my ribs. I suppressed a yelp as the pain spread to my stomach.
“You sleeping, Wade? Let someone walk in here like that.”
This voice was scratchy as a cheese grater with an Irish-sounding twang. A sudden light stung my eyes. One of the shadows had lit a match not five inches from my nose.
“Look at that. What is that?” the man with the Irish voice said.
“It’s a kid.”
I caught a glimpse of a reddish beard, a grimy bandana on the neck below and a leather vest. Definitely not Duke Schwarzburg or Werner. Wait a minute.
I gulped as new panic sucked away my air and turned my stomach. Though they spoke a weird dialect, these men spoke English. I understood them clearly.
I was nowhere near Hanstein.
I shook my head. It had to be the game. I’d been able to communicate with Bero and Juliana even though they spoke some kind of medieval German. What if they were speaking some other language entirely and it was all an illusion? What had Jimmy’s father done?
Escape from the Past: At Witches' End (Escape from the Past #3)
by Annette Oppenlander
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure
Release Date: November 25th 2016
When Max learns that Karl helped spring him from Schwarzburg’s dungeon during the first game, he feels obligated to return the favor. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but supposedly Max is the one who rescued Karl from Hanstein in 1473 and helped him return home.
With Karl’s programming help Max reluctantly agrees to enter the game a third time. At least he can visit his old friends and get cozy with Juliana while he’s at it. But two years is a long time in the Middle Ages. Something foul is in the air. Lord Werner is mysteriously absent and the new guards refuse Max entrance. Even Bero’s mother is terrified to see him. With no place to stay, Max soon finds himself on the run from Schwarzburg who hasn’t forgotten Max’s miraculous escape two years earlier.
When at last Max finagles a way into the castle, Bero is less than pleased to see him, Lady Clara is near death and Juliana is not meeting his eyes. Can Max sway his friends, help Karl and stay out of Schwarzburg’s clutches? And will he ultimately stop Dr. Stuler’s evil computer game?
This is the final book in the Escape from the Past trilogy.
I stepped to the door and knocked. Nothing. I knocked again.
Something stirred inside.
“It’s Max Nerds,” I said. It felt good to use my old name.
“Go away,” the voice said. That had to be Bero’s mother, but she sounded tired and very old.
“Please open the door. I’ve got some questions.”
“I’ll sit on your doorstep until you speak to me.”
The sound of feet shuffling through straw drew closer and I took a step back. Then the door moved just enough to show the mother’s face. Even in the last light of the evening I saw she’d aged a decade, her hair hung in grayish clumps, the shadows under her eyes dark with fatigue. That’s how Juliana would look one day.
“You must leave at once,” the mother whispered. “It is dangerous.”
I stepped closer. “What happened?”
The mother shook her head. “Leave before you bring us misfortune.”
“Can’t I come in for a minute?”
“Nay!” Surprisingly quickly the broad-shouldered woman stepped outside and scanned the path. I followed her gaze, but didn’t notice anything. The light was almost completely gone,
but I knew that the people of the Middle Ages saw much better in the dark.
“Please go,” the mother repeated.
“Tell me what happened here. The village…”
“Shh,” the mother said. “You hear that?”
“Someone is coming.” As quickly as she’d stepped outside, she disappeared and closed the door behind her. A chain rattled. Last time there hadn’t been one.
Then I froze.
From the direction of the Klausenhof, horses galloped my way. I snuck around the side of the shack toward the outhouse, climbed across the rickety fence and dropped to my knees. The pounding of hooves drew near, stopping in front of Bero’s hut.
“He was here a moment ago,” a voice said.
“Check the Haus,” another voice commanded. There was something cruel and cold about it that made me shiver. Deep down in the recesses of my mind it sounded familiar. I bent lower.
Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for young adults and anyone who loves stories set in the past. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.
"Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story."
In 2012 I visited the ruins of Castle Hanstein in Thuringia, Germany. It’s an amazing place high up on a mountaintop with breathtaking views of the valleys. As I walked through the old torn buildings the voices in my head began to chatter. I know how that sounds, but it was this conviction that I had to write about the castle.
Inside one of the rooms I read about a famous knight who’d lived there in the late 15th century and feuded with a duke over a beautiful woman. At the time I was often annoyed by my boys who are avid gamers and don’t mind spending all night in front of their computers. Somehow putting a gamer into the story made sense.
As soon as I returned to the U.S. I began to research the Hanstein family. Luckily I came across a thick tomb about the family annals that included Werner von Hanstein, family trees and annotations from city journals. That was the beginning of Max’s adventure into the past.
The Scottish Duke Duke Trilogy #1
By: Karen Ranney
Releasing November 29, 2016
New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney returns with the first novel in a new series about dashing, charismatic dukes—and the women who tame them…
Though raised as a gentleman’s daughter, Lorna Gordon is obliged to take a position as an upstairs maid at Blackhall Castle when her father dies. Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is the most tempting man she’s ever seen—and completely unattainable—until, at a fancy dress ball, Lorna disguises herself as Marie Antoinette and pursues an illicit tryst…with scandalous consequences.
Months after his mysterious seductress disappears, Alex encounters her again. Far from the schemer the distrustful duke assumed her to be, Lorna is fiercely independent and resourceful. She’s the one woman capable of piercing his defenses. But when danger threatens Lorna, Alex must prove himself not just the lover of her fantasies, but the man who will fight to protect her.
Scottish Highlands June, 1861
“It would be a waste of my time to tell you this is foolish, wouldn’t it? You wouldn’t pay any attention.”
Nan stepped back and surveyed Lorna, shaking her head all the while.
The room they shared was small and with only a tiny mirror over the common bureau. Nan would have to be her eyes.
Each maid was assigned an oil lamp and a certain amount of oil. If it was used before the end of the month, she had to dress in the dark, a way of ensuring that she rationed the light better the following month.
Lorna hadn’t used any of her oil for a week, saving it all for this one night.
“Maybe it is foolish,” she said, glancing down at the wide panniers of the gown she wore. “But it is such a magical evening and when would I have another chance to experience a ball at Blackhall?”
“You’re a maid, Lorna,” Nan said, sighing heavily. “Not a guest.”
“Tonight, though, Nan, no one will know.”
Nan made a sign in the air and she obediently turned so that the back of the dress could be inspected.
Things happened for a reason, didn’t they? The housekeeper had sent her to find a certain table in the attic and she’d gone, reluctant to climb into the darkened space. She couldn’t disobey Mrs. McDermott. The dear lady had taken her on when she hadn’t a whit of training or background in service.
To her surprise, the attic wasn’t gloomy or dark at all. Porthole windows along the outer wall let in the June sunlight. For an hour she’d pulled up one sheet after another, only discovering the table at the far end of the attic. Between the stairs and the door, however, there’d been dozens and dozens of trunks, each begging to be opened and inspected.
In the third trunk she’d found the carefully wrapped wig and the golden dress with the panniers. A fortuitous find, especially since they’d been preparing for the fancy dress ball at Blackhall for over a month.
She was not one to overlook circumstances, especially when they were calling out to her. Her father had often said that fortune favors the bold – fortuna audaces iuvat.
“We could have found a dress for you, too,” she said now as she tugged on the wig.
She’d taken the precaution of grabbing some flour from the kitchen. None of her training had given her any insight into fashions from a hundred years ago, but the wig had given off a cloud of finely milled powder and the only thing she could think of to substitute was flour. Nan dipped a powder puff into the bowl and patted it on her temples and the tall crown of hair adorned with gold bows.
“I’m not as brave as you.”
“Or as foolish,” Lorna said.
“That, too.” Nan stepped back and surveyed her handiwork. “Mrs. McDermott will have no choice but to dismiss you if you’re found out.”
“Then I’ll make sure I’m not discovered.” She turned and smiled at Nan. “It’s a fancy dress ball, Nan. Everyone will be wearing masks. No one will know who I am.”
“What?” she asked.
Nan shook her head again. “You see what you want to see, Lorna. You have ever since I’ve known you. You’re lucky Mrs. McDermott didn’t assign you to serve the guests. What would you have done then? Come up with some sort of sickness?”
“I would have found some way,” she said, smiling down at Nan.
She’d been deliberately clumsy this past week, especially in the housekeeper’s sight for that very reason. She’d dropped an armload of books she was dusting, fumbled with the jar of spent tea leaves used to clean the carpets, and repeatedly stumbled holding her brushes and pail.
After all that, Mrs. McDermott would have been foolish to select her as one of the servers. Better to dismiss her early, send her to her room, and instruct her to appear at dawn to help clean the ballroom. To her relief the housekeeper had done exactly that.
“Well, how do I look?” she asked, carefully affixing the mask strings behind her ears. That, too, had been another miraculous find, a sign that she had to attend the ball.
It was as if Providence, well aware of her barely contained curiosity and fascination, had provided her with a way to see the Duke of Kinross up close. Granted, it would only be for a few hours on a June night in the Scottish Highlands, but who was she to deny Providence?
“You look beautiful,” Nan said, nodding. “The gold makes your brown eyes sparkle. And the white wig accentuates your complexion.”
“Could I pass for one of the guests?”
Nan sighed again. “Yes, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing.”
“My father was Robert Gordon. I’m the equal to most of them there.”
“But it isn’t because of most of them that you’re going, is it? It’s to see the duke. We both know how foolish that is.”
Lorna reached over and hugged Nan, depositing a fair share of flour onto the other girl’s shoulders. Apologizing, she pulled back.
“Don’t worry, Nan. I’ll go and pretend to be someone else for a few hours. Then I’ll return and be a well disciplined upper maid, I promise.”
Nan didn’t appear convinced. Nor was Lorna, if she were to tell the truth. It was going to be so difficult to be herself after tonight.
Karen Ranney wanted to be a writer from the time she was five years old and filled her Big Chief tablet with stories. People in stories did amazing things and she was too shy to do anything amazing. Years spent in Japan, Paris, and Italy, however, not only fueled her imagination but proved she wasn't that shy after all.
Now a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, she prefers to keep her adventures between the covers of her books. Karen lives in San Antonio, Texas.
It’s Christmas, and the season of holly, Christmas trees, and goodwill is drifting on air in merry holiday wishes. Romantic suspense and paranormal author Lynn Crandall and contemporary author Lainee Cole present in their own way two stories of love in Captured by Christmas. However it finds you—under a Christmas tree or drifted in snow in a backwoods cabin—the spirit of the season will wrap you in love.In Snowbound, Lynn Crandall lets readers check in on favorite Fierce Hearts series were-lynx characters Kennedy Mitchell and Asher Monroe as they uncover the identity of the creature scaring the humans in Octavia, a small rural community in northern Michigan. Plans for an intimate getaway and family-style holiday are crumbling as the snow piles higher and Kennedy and Asher find themselves snowbound with a killer outside their door. In The Mistletoe Effect, Christmas is second-grade teacher Tess McCall’s least favorite holiday, but she’s doing her best not to let it show. Learning he’s a father to seven-year-old Holly makes Alex Randle anxious about the upcoming holidays. When Tess’s class starts reading to shelter dogs, Holly and the antics of shelter dog Mistletoe lead them all to rediscover the magic of Christmas.
Snowbound:Kennedy glanced out the window and noticed the closer they came to Octavia, the deeper the December snow piled. “It is pretty here. There are so many tall pines and, dotted with snow, they feel Christmassy.” “I think you’ll get the Christmas you want this year, complete with a rustic cabin in the woods and lots of snow.” Asher squinted as the early morning sun they’d left in Laurelwood drifted low in the mid-morning sky. “I can’t wait to decorate the cabin. I hope the rest of the colony coming later remembers to bring all the decorations.” Images of a real, family Christmas had been dancing in her head for weeks. At twenty-four, she was more than due. Asher glanced at her slyly. “But since they won’t arrive for a couple days, we’ll have that alone time I was talking about.” Kennedy fisted him in his bicep. “Stop teasing.” “Oww. That hurt.” “Poor baby.” Kennedy blew him a kiss. “That will have to do until later.” She ran her fingers through his tousled blonde hair, enjoying the silky feel of it. “We could stop at the cabin first, you know. We’re making good time.” Asher swept his finger playfully down her nose. “Tempting, but no. I need to get to the rescue facility and set up.” “Hang on!” Asher yelled. At that moment, Kennedy saw what he saw ahead. A very large lynx, speeding out of the snowy forest on her left and into the road. “Holy shit! Don’t hit him!” Asher slammed on the brakes and the car swayed in the snow-packed road. “He’s staring at us.” Kennedy’s pulse raced at their near miss. The lynx’s eyes glistened, fastened on her. “Why did he stop in the road?” She couldn’t believe her eyes. Asher worked to stop the car while swerving, but just as suddenly as it appeared, the huge lynx ran the few steps off the road and quickly disappeared into the forest on the opposing side. Kennedy watched silently as Asher brought the car to a complete stop just short of a snowdrift along the side of the road. She blew out a long breath. “Geez, that was close.” Asher reached over the console and hugged her. “Are you all right? That was harried for a minute.” His arms around her were warm and assuring. It was the gesture that brought tears. She’d been raised to disconnect from emotions and taking care of herself was mandatory, something she’d done from a young age. She prided herself on her strength. But the coldness of the past would always be a part of her, and a caring touch now resonated through her at a deep level of appreciation. She’d stopped resisting tenderness, and her vigilance for the other shoe dropping had diminished, too. “I’m fine. How are you?” she asked, pulling away. He was what she expected. Asher, unflustered but a seething. “I never saw that guy coming. I’m glad I didn’t hit him.” “Have you ever seen such a large lynx before?” A visual of a very real, huge lynx hovered in her mind. “Unfortunately, yes.” “Yeah. Marcus Blue. Killer Marcus.” Kennedy shivered at the thought of the rogue were-lynx who’d been a menace to the colony and a killer. Casey and Michelle, Booker, Lara, Conrad, Asia, Quinn, and Tizzy—each one in the colony, including her and Asher, had suffered under Marcus’s malice.
The Mistletoe Effect:Alex snapped his fingers. That was it! Tess McCall could be the answer to all his problems! He approached her. “I have a huge favor to ask.”Tess watched him cautiously. “Okay…”“Holly wants to adopt Mistletoe.”She smiled, and he felt the brilliance warm his soul. “That’s great! They seem devoted to each other. Mistletoe goes straight to her every time they come to class.”“I don’t know anything about dogs. I need to learn but I want this to be for Christmas.”She crossed her arms. “So what do you want me to do?”“I’d like you to keep Mistletoe until Christmas. Maybe pretend you adopted her. I’d like Holly to learn how to care for a dog, well, and me, too. Maybe we could come help feed her, walk her. I don’t know, just spend some time with her, getting used to her.”Tess studied him. She seemed to do that a lot. Did she find him lacking somehow? Mike had admitted she was reluctant to help him, but had agreed to for Holly’s sake. Maybe he shouldn’t have asked her to help with this. Maybe that was overstepping the bounds of what she was willing to do for them.“I’ll think about it.”Relief rushed through him. “I don’t want to lose Mistletoe. I’ll talk to Mrs. Shull and let her know.”“I haven’t agreed to it yet.”Alex smiled, unable to stop the words before they rushed out. “No, but you will. You care about Holly.”
Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her cat. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don't back down.
Lainee Cole’s love affair with books began when she was young, and her mother encouraged her love of reading. By the time she was in seventh grade, Lainee was making up her own stories and poems, exploring various styles of writing. Ah, the drama of junior high. She wouldn't go back to those days for anything! But reading voraciously and exploring different types of writing led her to romances. She loves the challenge of writing romance, developing characters and figuring out what makes them tick. They often take on a life of their own, surprising and annoying her. But they also give her hope and inspire her to follow her dreams. Lainee strives to write stories that will make readers laugh and cry, give them hope, and encourage them to believe in the power of love.
A searing story of passion, desperation and vengeanceâ¦
BLUE SATIN SASHES
Favorite Things Trilogy: Book Two
Releasing Nov 28th, 2016
From the #1 bestselling author of The Great Pretender comes the highly anticipated second book in the captivating Favorite Things TrilogyâBlue Satin Sashes is a searing story of passion, desperation and vengeanceâ¦
What happens when you fall in love with someone else?
Paris, France. Corporate brand designer Michael Frost knows heâs found a once in a lifetime love in professional illustrator Priscilla Bauer, the granddaughter of a legendary Hollywood iconâbut Michael must now cross an ocean of regrets to repair damage inflicted by his heartbroken high school sweetheart Amber Holland, whose increasingly extreme attempts at sabotage may know no boundsâ¦
How will she win? How will she lose?
Brave the razor-sharp edges of an intensely hot love triangle as Michael and Priscilla discover the depths of Amberâs passion ultimately rivals their own.
Start the Trilogy for ONLY .99 cents!
No one does family and relationship drama quite like bestselling author Millenia Black! Heralded as a double life and relationship expert, she's been a featured guest on radio shows across the country, discussing the 7 Smoke Signals Your Man is Living a Double Life.
Millenia lives in Florida where she's currently unmarried and has never dated anyone living a double life...
It’s been one year since Agent Damian Trent left for Washington without a word.
One year since he’s seen her beautiful face.
One year since he’s heard his name on her lips.
He's been recently called back to New York City on assignment, to catch a criminal who’s trying to infiltrate Sunset Reads. The last thing he expects is to work side by side with the woman he turned his back on.
Having her close is an unwanted distraction that he’s more than willing to ignore, if only she wasn’t so damn tempting.
Everything seems under control, until a night of feverish passion has him abandoning all thoughts of reason. Now, he will do everything in his power to get her back, and even more so to protect her.
Layla Reece wants nothing to do with the man who left her a year ago.
The man who took her heart with him, leaving her broken.
After a year of trying to forget Damian Trent, she is finally ready to move on.
But trying to forget him becomes a tedious task when he suddenly reappears in her life.
Although she fights to stay away, his magnetism is too strong and she finds herself giving into the deep timbre of his voice, and the strength and safety of his arms.
Staying away from Damian turns out to be futile, especially when his kisses consume her and his heart shatters the walls she spent so much time building.
Finding herself in danger, she now has to turn to the only man she trusts to keep her safe, but can she trust him enough to give him her heart once again?
My name is D.C. and I'm the author of a new series currently on Amazon called Sunset Reads. The first book is based on the couple William and Cristina who find themselves fighting their urges to be with one another although a series of heated moments changes their lives forever.
I grew up in New York, I'm the daughter of two wonderful,Colombian immigrant parents. I'm a traveler, the travel bug hit me a couple years ago and my goal is to eventually see the whole world. So far I've gotten to Italy and Japan...I'm thinking Germany next. I started to write as an outlet for being bullied at school and as soon as I started I couldn't put the pen down. It was always my dream to be a published author, ever since the age of fourteen, and now at 34 I finally accomplished my goal.
I plan on continuing to write and really truly want to get to meet new readers and writers and share experiences and ideas. Being a part of forums is new to me, but I would love to get to know about the people who love to dream and create new ideas and fantasies through literature just like I do. Thank you for making me a part of your group and allowing me to join you in these amazing adventures in storytelling and reading.
I hope you enjoy reading William & Cristina’s story and continue to join me in this journey within the doors of Sunset Reads! Please sign up to my email list on http://www.dctriana.com for free giveaways, new excerpts and more on Sunset Reads upcoming new release!
Angles – Part 1
by Erin Lockwood GENRE: Contemporary Romance
This story is about friendship and relationship triangles, love and protection, love and understanding, and love and true love.
By the time I get back to dancing with Dean, I feel something, someone, watching me. The feeling I felt before my speech is stronger now. There’s something consuming my surroundings—an invisible, sweltering blanket over me. As soon as I have the chance, I look around and try to find the source of this feeling—the burning eyes I can’t see, yet, but I sense are focused on me.
I casually scan the room between dips and twirls.
My breath catches. There they are—the eyes I’ve been searching for. A man, a gorgeous man, in a perfectly tailored suit is staring at me. It’s no mistake. Now that I see him, I know his eyes are the source of this feeling I’ve been having.
There are worse people to have stare at you. He might be a little older, but he’s very attractive. He wears his dark brown hair slicked and styled up and back. It looks soft enough to run my fingers through and short enough to create a little edge to it. His blackish gray suit blends in with his olive, tan skin. Every part of him is dark and smoky, except his eyes. His turquoise-blue eyes are so bright; they’re like headlights shining at me. A lighthouse warning me not to come too close or my boat will crash.
Erin Lockwood grew up in Castro Valley, California, and attended the University of Oregon where she graduated with a degree in journalism in 2003. From there, she moved to Denver, Colorado, and spent the next seven years searching for the love of her life and building the family of her dreams.
It wasn’t long until, with children starting preschool and more time on her hands, Erin refocused on her career, beginning with a successful entry into the world of residential real estate as a realtor. Free time was spent reading book after book—and binge-watching the subsequent films—in the New Adult genre. Hopelessly in love with her husband, she wrote him a short story for their fifth wedding anniversary. That’s when she discovered her tireless passion to share her experience of falling in love through fictional characters. That story evolved into the first novel in the Angles Trilogy.
Erin still lives in Denver with her husband, Phil, and their three children. They spend most of their summers and holidays on the beautiful island of Coronado where Erin and Phil wish to retire someday.
Learn more about Erin and the Angles Trilogy at www.anglestrilogy.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
by Ian Sansom GENRE: Mystery & Detective
Welcome to Westmorland. Perhaps the most scenic county in England! Home of the poets! Land of the great artists! District of the Great lakes! And the scene of a mysterious crime…
Swanton Morley, the People's Professor, once again sets off in his Lagonda to continue his history of England, The County Guides.
Stranded in the market town of Appleby after a tragic rail crash, Morley, his daughter Miriam and his assistant, Stephen Sefton, find themselves drawn into a world of country fairs, gypsy lore and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. When a woman's body is discovered at an archaeological dig, for Morley there's only one possible question: could it be murder?
Join Morley, Miriam and Sefton as they journey along the Great North road and the Settle-Carlisle Line into the dark heart of 1930s England.
Delaney’s places were famous for their wide range of entertainments and refreshments, and for the clientele. It used to be said that to meet everyone in England who really mattered one had only to stand for long enough at the foot of the stairs of the Athenaeum on Pall Mall: the same might just as truly be said of Delaney’s basement bars and bottle parties. Poets, artists, lawyers, politicians, doctors, bishops and blackmailers, safebreakers and swindlers: in the end, everyone ended up at Delaney’s.
I’d started out drinking champagne with one of Delaney’s very friendly hostesses, a petite redhead with warm hands, cold blue eyes, sheer stockings and silk knickers, who seemed very keen for us to get to know one another better –but then they always do. She told me her name was Athena, which I rather doubted. Sitting on my lap, and several drinks in, she persuaded me into a card game where I soon found myself out of my depth and drinking a very particular kind of gin fizz, with a very particular kind of kick – a speciality of the house. My head was swimming, the room was thick with the scent of perfumes, smoke and powders, I had spent every penny of the money that Morley had paid me for our Devon adventure, I was in for money I didn’t have – and Athena, needless to say, had disappeared. My old Brigade chums Gleason and MacDonald were watching me closely.
Even through the haze I realised that if I didn’t act soon I was going to be in serious trouble: Delaney was renowned for calling in his debts with terrible persuasion. I excused myself and wandered through to the tiny courtyard out back. There were men and women in dark corners doing what men and women do in dark corners, while several of the hostesses stood around listlessly smoking and chatting, including Athena, who glanced coolly in my direction and ignored me. She was off-duty. Out here, there was no need to pretend.
Ian Sansom is the author of the Mobile Library Mystery Series. As of 2016, he has written three books in a series that will comprise a projected forty-four novels.
He is a frequent contributor to, and critic for, The Guardian and the London Review of Books.
He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge, where he was a fellow of Emmanuel College. He is a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick and teaches in its Writing Program.
In his Nobel Lecture, delivered in Stockholm on the 7th of December 1983, the novelist William Golding recalled that on the day after he learned he had been made Nobel Laureate he drove into town to do some errands. As he returned to his car he saw a traffic warden - ‘a lady of minatory aspect’ - writing him out a ticket. When Golding approached and began to remonstrate with her, the traffic warden wearily pointed to a No Parking sign prominently displayed on a wall nearby. ‘Can’t you read?’ she said. The humiliations never cease.
One of the burdens of being of writer - though ‘burden’ is obviously the wrong word, for in truth a writer’s yoke is light - is having people ask you what you do for a living. If you tell someone you’ve just met that you’re a writer then the question inevitably comes, ‘Have you written anything I’ve heard of?’ To which the inevitable answer - unless you happen to be J.K. Rowling or Paulo Coelho - is of course ‘No’. W.H.Auden, tired of explaining to strangers that he was a poet, would tell people instead that he was a medieval historian.
For writers to feel overlooked, discouraged, and misunderstood, marginalised and maligned is of course perfectly normal, as it is for many other people and professions: cooks; cleaners; journalists; politicians.
Fortunately, there is a simple trick to avoiding one of the greatest disappointments of being of writer, and it is this: don’t write if you what you really want is to be famous. Because you won’t be, unless you find yourself the proverbial right-person-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time and the mysterious hydraulics of fame, or the Oprah Book Club, suddenly whirr into life beneath your feet and raise you up above the common herd. Also, don’t write if what you really want is for people to like you. Because they won’t. If you want people to like you, become a children’s entertainer.
The best advice I have for writers is this: be modest, be resilient. Don’t give up.
Synopsis: Former Army Ranger Stone Mitchum doesn’t have time for sex. Since starting a company with his brother and two buddies, he’s had more important things on his mind. Like transitioning veterans back into society. But when his curvy new tenant falls into his arms—literally—his libido snaps to attention.Jovy Larson has four weeks to prove she’s worthy of taking over the family business. Her challenge? Sell gluten-free, vegan food—in the middle of cattle country, Texas. It’s a tough task, but not half as tough as fighting her attraction to her sexy, surly landlord.Before she knows it, Jovy’s tangling sheets with the hot cowboy, stalked by a jealous cow, and strategizing ways to help Stone’s ranch. But by the time her lease runs out and the test is over, she’s faced with a new challenge…competing against Stone’s sense of duty to win his heart.
ABOUT DONNA MICHAELS
It’s all my mother’s fault. She read to me when I was little and sparked my imagination. Now, my mind is the limit, and believe me, there’s no limit to my mind. Hello, I’m Donna Michaels, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Award winning author of Romaginative fiction. I write romance through the H’s—Hot, Humorous, Heartwarming reads with strong alpha cowboys and military men who are equally matched by their heroines. With a husband in the military fulltime, and a household of nine, and several rescued cats, I never run out of material. From short to epic, my books entertain readers across a variety of sub-genres, and one has even been hand drawn into a Japanese Translation.
Synopsis: Falling in love is the last thing on his busy agenda but compromising positions can lead just about anywhere.When fitness empire CEO David Strong agrees to help teach a yoga class for couples based on poses in The Kama Sutra, he’s put in one compromising position after another. Especially since the instructor is his best friend’s little sister-in-law, doesn’t have a lot of experience with men, and is totally off-limits. She’s everything David’s never wanted. So he can’t understand why he suddenly needs her so much.Sophie DelFino has fantasized about David for over a decade, but he has a type, and she’s far from it. He’s also got all sorts of rules and reasons why they shouldn’t be together. Good thing Sophie is all about bending the rules.
ABOUT JENNA BAYLEY-BURKE
By day, Jenna is faster than a speeding toddler, stronger than a stubborn husband, able to leap tall Lego structures in a single bound…but by night, while the family sleeps she writes romance novels where no one ever has to scoop up after the dog, change diapers, clip coupons, drive carpool, do laundry, mop floors, get silly putty out of hair, vacuum, empty the vacuum bag (gross!), exercise, count calories, apply bandaids, clean up puke…wait where was this going? Oh, Jenna writes romance because it is glamorous. Just ask the dog.
Bear shifters exist.
Professor Bria Lane has known this since she was a child. Now she’s returned to he forests of Deep Creek to prove it to the worlds. She has no idea how close she is to that proof in ruggedly sexy park ranger Derek Poole. Intimately close. But uncovering Derek’s wild side comes with a shattering price.
Like a magnet meeting metal, Derek is drawn to Bria. His destiny. His mate. So beautiful and so vulnerable. So dangerous, too: an encroachment of lions, vengeful and vicious, is closing in and they’re ready for war. Now is not the time to be distracted like a lovesick cub.
If Bria reveals the truth of the Deep Creek shifters to the world, she’ll bring out the worst of both sides. But Derek can’t hide his secrets from the love of his life forever. He knows they’re playing with fire – and that when passion runs this hot, this reckless, someone’s bound to get burned. *Previously published, newly revised and expanded by author
“What an ursus…umm...whatever you said? I’ve always worked with my hands—I never was a college guy. Didn’t have the patience to sit still in the classroom.” Derek kicked at the ground then looked up.
“No worries.” She snapped her attention back to what he was saying. “Most people don’t know what an ursinologist is—it’s someone who studies bears.”
“Bears, huh?” He shook his head and laughed. “You study bears?”
“What’s so funny?” She crossed her arms. “It’s a valid profession. And I’m doing what I love.”
“Nothing wrong with it, Bria.” He stepped so close to her she had to look up to meet his gaze, and held his hands up in mock surrender. “I think it’s a fine profession, I’ve just never heard of it. It’s a totally new job that I’ve never heard of. Yet here you are in the woods with me, so I guess we aren’t that far apart, career-wise.”
Derek was in her space and even though they weren’t touching, she felt his presence touching hers, like a low-level energy buzzing in the evening air, crackling when hers met his. One step closer and she could pull that hair band out and hop into his arms, straddling him as she kissed him. She shook her head to clear her naughty thoughts. Ugh. Stop. The thoughts about what she’d like to do to the hot park ranger needed to stop. Maybe she’d been out in the sun too long. Normally she didn’t ogle guys. In fact, she couldn’t remember the last time she had. She cleared her throat and took a step back. “I thought you were laughing at me.”
“No. I didn’t know there was a name for someone who studies bears. Plus, the word sounds kinda funny.” He scanned the forest, thumbs in his belt loops. “I guess you’re in the right place to look for bears, though. Especially this deep in the forest. Lots of them live in Deep Creek. They’re everywhere. Probably closer than you think.”
“I hope so.” Her shoulders lowered and she blew out a breath. “Have you seen any this season? I know they are more active in summer. After they’ve woken from hibernation.”
“I see them every day. I’m out in the woods a lot.” He chewed his lip. “They really only partially hibernate, though. But yeah, I guess you could say I’ve seen a lot of bears here in Deep Creek.”
He’d seen bears. Recently. Her pulse thumped in her neck and she leaned forward, as if being near him would make the bears closer. Excitement rang in her ears. “Where? Can you show me, or at least give me some pointers where to look? I can’t wait to see them.”
“My best advice is to keep your eyes open. You never know when a bear will appear right in front of you.”
Other Books By Kerry Adrienne:
Waking the Bear
Sexy shifter passion is awakened when two unlikely lovers are challenged by secrets, danger and an unstoppable need to claim one's mate…
For human Amy Francis, the secluded cabin in Deep Creek is the haven she needs to map out a fresh new start. She never expected her heart to be reawakened by a distraction like Griff Martin, commanding yet gentle, too ferociously sensual to ignore. It's clear that patrolling the forest is more than a job to Griff—it's a means of survival. But what Amy doesn't realize is she's reawakened the beast within him.
Griff's dormant hunger is stirred by this intoxicating woman…and threatened by the secret she must never learn. Duty-bound to defend his bear clan against an avenging pride of lion shifters, Griff's entire world is upended when he meets Amy. His animal need to claim his mate has taken hold, but that very desire could seal her fate as an unwitting pawn in battle.
Now, as a shifter war looms, Griff must decide between letting Amy go or following his most carnal instincts. To have her would change his life…but risk everything he knows and was born to protect.
In a world where humans don’t know mermaids exist, Mari leaves her home in the ocean to escape her mother, her betrothed, and her tribe’s expectations in order to make a go of independence on land. Chase, former Navy diver and self-appointed curmudgeon-who-isn’t-worthy-of-love, lost his brother in a freak diving accident and now fears the ocean he once loved.
Mari’s a mermaid with a plan. She has to get the sexy bartender, Chase, to remain on the island so she can get him into her bed. Trouble is, he’s afraid of the water and there’s a hurricane coming. But with Mari's betrothed on the rampage over a centuries-old vendetta, the storm isn't the worst thing they'll have to face.
Repped by the fabulous Marisa Corvisiero with the Corvisiero Literary Agency.http://www.corvisieroagency.com/ Kerry loves history and spends large amounts of time wondering about people who lived and walked on Earth in the past. She’s a mom to three daughters, six cats, and various small animals. Her husband says she’s a marketer’s dream, as she often believes everything she hears—at least initially. Her shoe horde will attest to her fine shopping skills. In addition to writing, Kerry loves to sew (costumes and cosplay, especially), draw, paint, make chainmail, and play guitar. Her new love is her Mini Cooper Convertible, Sheldon, and they have already gone on many adventures. They travel to as many concerts as they can–especially Green Day and Marilyn Manson. You can visit her much-neglected costuming blog here:http://cloakandcostume.blogspot.com/Maybe she’ll have time to update it soon.
Reborn Princess of the Blood Book One Jane Ederlyn Genre: Paranormal
Wary, high-heeled vampire finds sanctuary in the arms of a hot werewolf whose love ignites her worst nightmare.
Marie Josette d’Orgemont, cousin to Louis XVI, watched in horror, as a rogue creature took her husband’s life before turning on her. A powerful vampire swept in and spared her life, but she never suspected that surviving meant immortality or the price she’d have to pay to protect her surviving son.
Centuries later in Miami, with her family on the verge of extinction, Marie is preoccupied with the continuation of her human bloodline. When she meets sexy and persistent, Odin Ulfsson, his icy-blue gaze and burning touch are hard to resist.
Will a forbidden romance with the Nordic werewolf be the key to her happiness or will it set in motion a wrath that endangers not only her last human heir but her entire existence?
Marie Josette d’Orgemont maneuvered her black Bentley out of the South Beach traffic and onto the hedge-encased driveway of the Delano Hotel. Sliding in behind a glossy red Carrera, she killed the engine and turned in her seat to study her great-granddaughter, eight generations removed. “Are you ready?” Abby nodded, but didn’t move. “I have something to tell you.” Marie tensed. She knew of course. She’d known for days. But she clamped down on her emotions, so Abby didn’t read disappointment on her face. “What is it, ma chérie?” Abby took a deep breath and blurted, “I’m not pregnant.” “I know.” “Yes, of course you do.” With her confession in the open, Abby’s shoulders sagged. Marie leaned over the gearshift and cupped her chin. “You are tired. You should be home with your books and not out with me all evening.” “But you miss me when you go out alone.” Abby was so protective you’d think she was the vampire and not the other way around. Marie smiled and brushed a light kiss on her forehead. “True. I always miss you. Let’s go then.” They exited the Bentley and, after tipping the valet, ascended short steps past the porch with its beckoning white sofa. Indoors, the lobby stretched from end to end, dotted with massive white columns, flickering lights, and floor-to-ceiling curtains that reminded Marie of Versailles. The white gossamer wisps billowed like ghosts as she glided past. She closed her eyes, giving in to the pull of her childhood home, of being reprimanded for chasing her cousin Louis down empty hallways. Princesses needed to appear as if their feet never touched the ground, as if they floated rather than walked. And they never, ever, ran. That was a long time ago. Her hand went to the jeweled, cross pendant hanging between her breasts. It had been her mother’s and against her chest, it felt like the heartbeat she didn’t have.
Jane Ederlyn is the alter ego of a writing duo from South Florida.
Jane, a registered nurse by day, by night lives to create havoc and conflict in their stories, relentlessly strategizing ways to kill off one more character.
Ederlyn, a cruise-line professional by day, by night loves to plot meticulous happily-ever-afters for the hero and heroine, often battling Jane to save her favorites.
They can usually be found at their favorite Barnes and Noble sipping lattes and pondering “what ifs?” or at the mall shoe shopping.
Hello! Our name is Jane Ederlyn and we’re a paranormal writing duo. Our book, Reborn, was just released last month. Not only is it the first book in our series, Princess of the Blood, but it’s also our debut.
Our heroine, Marie, is a vampire of royal descent and quite the fashionista, but today we’re talking about some of our favorite male vampires in television and movies. Take a look at our list and see if your favorites made it:
Luke Evans, Dracula—Dracula Untold. After seeing the movie, he escalated to the top of our vampire list.
Gary Oldman, Dracula—Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A classic. And the way this Dracula looks at his Mina…sigh. Johnathan who?
Alexander Skarsgård, Eric Northman—True Blood. He was yummy as our favorite Viking Sheriff. We love book version even more.
Stephen Moyer, Vampire Bill—True Blood. Unlike Eric, television version was better. But our heart still belongs to Northman. Sorry Bill.
Brad Pitt, Louis—Interview with a Vampire. We won’t admit how many times we collectively saw this movie. Ahh, Louis!
Tom Cruise, Lestat—Interview with a Vampire. We were wary about his casting as Lestat, but by the end of the movie we loved him too. Antonio Banderas, Armand—Interview with a Vampire. He was a little hard to understand, but gorgeous so who cares.
Robert Pattinson, Edward Cullen—Twilight. Hello. All that angst…those smoldering looks. We were team Edward, but we’ll admit during shirtless Jacob moments… constraint was necessary not to bail on our vampires.
Peter Facinelli, Carlisle Cullen—Twilight. Kellan Lutz, Emmett Cullen—Twilight. Jackson Rathbone, Jasper Hale—Twilight.
Ian Somerhalder, Damon Salvatore—The Vampire Diaries. When he’s bad, he’s better. And those amazing eyes!
Paul Wesley, Stefan Salvatore—The Vampire Diaries. Joseph Morgan, Klaus—The Vampire Diaries/The Originals.
Wesley Snipes, Blade—Blade. He was only half vampire, but he had to make the list for his amazing pecs. Best shirtless half-vampire ever.
Karl Urban, Black Hat—Priest. A train ride with Urban and Paul Bettany, where can we buy a ticket?
Adrian Paul, Aaron Gray—The Breed.
Kiefer Sutherland, David—The Lost Boys. All the Lost Boys really in their 80’s splendor. Close your eyes…eeny, meeny, miny, moe. You can’t go wrong, but make sure you have hairspray available if you want a midnight rendezvous with one of these cuties.
Colin Farrell, Jerry Dandridge—Fright Night 2011. So deliciously evil! Apples anyone?
Gerard Butler, Dracula—Dracula 2000.
David Boreanaz, Angel—Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
James Marsters, Spike—Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
* Bonus mentions to Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Frank Langella, and Johnny Depp. Langella’s 1979 Dracula with that red lighting love scene was sexy. Ooh la la. And you can’t have a list without Depp. These are the vampires that came to mind when we thought sexy. Can you add to the list? And most importantly…which one is your favorite?
Ares, book 1 in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot new paranormal romance series, Guardians of Hades, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release of Ares and Megan’s romance, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY and sharing sneak peeks of the book.
Here’s more about the book and the sexy Greek god hero and his heroine…
Ares Guardian of Hades - Book 1 By Felicity Heaton
Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Fire, Ares was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai. Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Caged by the manifestation of his power, held apart from those he loves by his own fire and starved of physical contact, Ares lives a cold existence driven by duty and the desire to return to his world. Until his world collides with a daemon who steals his power and a mortal female who shatters the ice around his heart and awakens the true fire within him—a soul-stirring passion both dangerous and seductive. Megan has wandered far from her home, driven from everyone she loves by the devastating realisation that she is different to them all. Unsure who to trust in the world, she keeps to herself, until a fateful stormy night brings a temptingly handsome warrior crashing into her life and into her heart—a warrior who seems to hold powers more frightening and marvellous than her own. When the New York gate comes under threat, and Ares is put to the test, will he choose his duty and regain the power he needs in order to save his world or will he choose the desires of his heart and sacrifice his fire so he can be with the woman becoming his whole world?
Megan looked back at the man on the bed. “I did the only thing I could do to protect him. I shot the man... God, I shot him... I could have killed him. I shouldn’t have done that... I shot a man.” It sank in cold and fast, stealing her strength and leaving her shaking. She had fired upon a person and she had done it with the intent of murdering him. She buried her fingers into her wet shoulder-length hair and dragged it out of her face, her hands trembling against her head. “You shot a daemon and you should have killed him. The bastard should be put down for raising a hand against us.” Megan lifted her chin and caught the look of sheer disgust on Esher’s face before he turned away and went into the bedroom. She looked at Daimon. His pale gaze followed Esher and then slowly shifted back to her. “Your friend said he needed to get his power back,” she said and Esher was in front of her before she could blink, black mist clinging to his long coat and curling over his grey scarf. He grabbed her by the neck of her damp black jumper and shoved her against the wall so hard it shook and pain shot outwards from her shoulder. “What did you say?” His breath washed over her, his face so close to hers that he was all she could focus on. His eyes darkened but then brightened, a corona of blue shining around his pupils. His grip on her tightened and she couldn’t contain her gasp as he hauled her closer to him and a terrible darkness crossed his handsome face. He jerked backwards and turned his head, glaring over his shoulder. “Release her, Esher,” Daimon growled in a low voice and Esher blinked and looked down at his hand that still grasped her jumper. He did as Daimon ordered and stepped back at the same time. “Excuse my brother. Now... what did you say?” Daimon’s expression turned as black and vicious as Esher’s had been. She could see the family resemblance. “The man.” She straightened her clothing out and pointed towards the bed, somehow managing to keep her hand from shaking. “He mentioned something about getting his power back.” Esher and Daimon exchanged murderous glances. “The bastard must have the ability to steal powers.” Daimon paced away from her, taking agitated strides across the wooden floor behind the red couch, his steps heavy and filling the apartment with the beat of a war drum. He clenched his fists and his leather gloves creaked. “Esher... we’re hunting. Warn Keras and the others.” Esher nodded and disappeared in black smoke. Megan was not getting used to that. Daimon turned on her. “What is your name, Female?” “Megan.” She supposed she could have lied but hunger for violence burned in his pale blue eyes and she didn’t want to give him a reason to unleash it on her. These men had powers beyond her imagining. For all she knew, one of those powers might be the ability to detect falsehoods. He crossed the room and halted right in front of her, so she had to tip her head back to hold his gaze. He was tall, the same height as Esher if she had to guess, somewhere in the lower six-foot-plus area, but her protector was taller. “Megan,” he said, voice low and deep, filled with warmth that contradicted the coldness of his expression. “Heal our brother. I know you have the power and I will let you go if you do this. We need him healed so we might speak with him.” She didn’t like being threatened and he had done just that. He might have spoken softly, so it sounded as though his very existence depended on his brother surviving, but he had still slipped in that little bit about him not letting her go until she did as he ordered. She glanced at the door. What was to stop her leaving once these men were gone anyway? “Do not even think about it. You will remain here until we return. You will heal my brother... obey me or suffer the consequences.” Megan glared at him. Who the heck had made him the boss of her? She squared up to him, shutting out the small voice at the back of her mind that warned he might go ahead and make her suffer the consequences right now if she unleashed her temper on him. “I’ll heal him... but I’m not doing it for you. I’m doing it because I owe him for protecting me tonight. You... well, you can just go to Hell.” Her heart pounded and her palms sweated. Had she just told a man with unknown powers and murder on his mind to go to Hell? A wry smile curved his profane mouth. “I am afraid that is the one place I cannot go.” Esher reappeared. “All set.” “We shall track down the daemon scum who did this and will return by dawn.” Daimon stepped back and turned to Esher. “We’ll check the gate first and make sure it is protected and safe, and then scout the city for trouble. Question any daemon you come across. I want to know where the bastard who did this has gone. I want him dead.” Darkness swirled around them both, rising up from their feet to embrace them, and they disappeared. Megan watched the smoke slowly dissipate. “Daemons?” When Esher had called the man a daemon, she had thought he was just angry and considered the man was a lowlife because of what he had done. She had the feeling that wasn’t the case after all. Her dark eyebrows rose. Daemons. The man had powers, and so did these brothers. Were they all daemons too? Creatures of Hell? Megan drifted towards the open side of the bedroom and paused when she reached the bed. Her gaze roamed over the man where he lay on his front, his lower half hidden under the crimson covers. Was he a daemon? She frowned and looked at her hands. Was she? A breeze blew in through the open door onto the balcony and she rounded the foot of the bed and walked between it and the long ebony chest of drawers that lined the short dividing wall between the bedroom and the other smaller room. Her foot caught in something and she almost tripped over, barely catching herself on the drawers. She raised an eyebrow at the clothes strewn across the wooden floorboards. The room was a mess and it wasn’t because of Esher. The ones the man had been wearing tonight were in a small neat pile near the living room area of the apartment. Megan kicked the clothes aside, clearing the floor so she didn’t trip again. Whoever her protector was, he needed to hire a maid. She slid the glass door closed. The view of Manhattan was breathtaking even with the rain making it hazy. She could make out the silhouette of trees in Central Park, a dark patch in the middle of the tall buildings surrounding it. It wasn’t a front row seat but it was certainly an expensive view. Her own apartment had a view of the brick wall across the alley from her building. She would kill for a view like this. Seeing a slice of nature every morning and evening would make her feel closer to home and infinitely happier. She pushed away thoughts of the mountains and forests she had left behind years ago and turned to face the man. She rounded the bed again, her gaze tracking over him, taking all of him in. It settled on his face when she reached his side. He was beautiful. Was he single? The voice of reason piped up again, mentioning that she was trapped in his apartment, a captive who would be facing a death sentence should she try to escape. Now wasn’t the time to be wondering about relationship statuses. Besides, he was so handsome that he was bound to have a string of women vying for his attention and time in his company. She glanced at the dirty clothes littering his bedroom floor and then into the living room to the white pizza cartons scattered around it and across the black granite kitchen counters. The whole apartment had an air of bachelor pad. She hadn’t failed to notice the expensive entertainment centre in the corner of his living room, or the motorcycle in the small room that backed onto the bedroom. Maybe he was single. Or maybe he just didn’t bring women back to his place. Maybe she needed to keep her nose out of his business, do what Daimon wanted her to and get the hell away from them. Megan eased down onto the bed beside her protector. She reached over and curled a strand of his dark damp hair behind his ear, letting her fingers linger on the stubbly line of his jaw. Was it wrong of her to want to stay? It wasn’t just him who had her torn between leaving and remaining. They all had powers and she wanted to know more about them. She needed to know more about them because she hoped that maybe she would learn more about herself in the process. How many others were there like them in the world? She had so many questions she wanted to ask. She had spent the past fifteen years with a gift she didn’t understand and the past decade wandering from city to city, trying to lead a normal life and searching for an explanation. Searching for others like her who might be able to provide her with answers. She looked down at her hands and turned her palms upwards. She sighed, shifted to kneel on the bed beside his hips, and settled her hands on his strong bare back. He was still warm beneath her fingers. She focused and let her power flow through her and into him. His breathing deepened and sped. The draining effect of her power had been quick to manifest in the alley when she had healed his chest wound and it was just as quick now. She breathed slowly against it, focusing on it and her hands to keep her power flowing. Fatigue swept through her but she held her focus, her desire to repay the man for protecting her stronger than her need to protect herself. Her pulse spiked and then slowed, and she willed the burns on his back to heal. Her vision wobbled. She blinked and drew in a deeper breath, holding it for a second before exhaling. She couldn’t figure out why he was so slow to heal and why it took so much out of her. Normally, she could heal these sorts of wounds without breaking a sweat and with only a minimal drain on her strength. He shifted beneath her hands. Her eyes glided up the line of his spine to his face. His eyes opened, irises swirling like fire in the low light. The sight of them didn’t frighten her, not like the Frenchman’s had or those of the men who claimed to be his brothers. He tried to look at her and his eyes slipped shut again, his broad body relaxing back into the mattress. She eased her power back as the last of his wounds healed and gently stroked his muscled back. Thin scars darted across his golden skin. Hundreds of them. She followed one with her finger from where it started above his right shoulder all the way down to where it ended close to his left hip. His breathing slowed to a gentle rhythm. She stroked another of the silvery scars. This was wrong on so many levels and she felt as though she was taking advantage of him in his unconscious state but she couldn’t help herself. The scar tracked from one shoulder to the other and her insides heated as her fingers trailed over the peaks and valleys of his muscles. He was huge, the span of his shoulders almost twice that of hers, and broader than Daimon’s and Esher’s. None of them looked like brothers. Maybe they were brothers by circumstance rather than blood. She stifled a yawn. How long would his so-called brothers be out? She stared out of the bank of windows at the city. Daimon had said they would return at dawn. Dawn was a long way away and she didn’t think she could stay awake that long. She looked down at the bed beneath her. It was soft and comfortable despite the slightly scratchy bedclothes, but there was no way she was going to curl up on it and fall asleep. No matter how tempting it was. She wasn’t that sort of woman and she didn’t think that the man, or his brothers, would be pleased if they found her sleeping next to him. Megan stood and yawned loudly this time. Her eyes watered and she rubbed them. She pulled the covers up and smoothed them over the man’s shoulders. She had done all she could for him and now she had to take care of her own needs. She trudged back into the pale living room. The door tempted her but she turned away from it. She really did believe that Daimon would track her down and kill her if she left. She had somehow survived a fight between two powerful men tonight but only because one had protected her from the other. If Daimon came after her, she didn’t think the man would protect her from him. He would side with his brother over her. She toed her black trainers off and picked them up, crossed the room to the red couch and set them down beside it. She pulled her black jumper off next and frowned at how soggy it still was. She would catch a chill sleeping on the couch in just her damp jeans and dark pink camisole. Her eyes snuck back to the bed and she forced them away. They settled on the beautiful motorcycle in the small open room next to the bedroom. She dropped her jumper onto the arm of the couch and squeezed between the ebony coffee table cluttered with magazines, DVDs and a pizza carton and the dark red armchair that stood close to the dividing wall. How had he got the motorcycle up to his apartment? Esher had teleported with her. Perhaps they could teleport with objects too. She would have to ask her protector when he woke up. She pushed the ebony coffee table aside so she could move around without banging her legs on it and glanced at the door again. She couldn’t leave even if she was free to do so. She couldn’t leave the man alone. What if he needed her? Megan lay down on the dark wine-coloured couch opposite the black entertainment centre. The material was itchy beneath her. How could such expensive-looking furniture be so damn uncomfortable? She shuffled until she was finally more comfortable and tried to remain awake, fighting the rising tide of fatigue within her. She picked up one of the magazines from the table and flicked through it, reading the articles but not taking them in, her motions slowing until she was just staring at the pictures, her mind on the man in the other room, the two who were his brothers, and the one who had attacked him. Four men with powers even more incredible than hers were. Tonight had been strange, and somewhat exhilarating, but something told her that it wasn’t over yet. When tomorrow came, the sun would dawn on a new world for her, a place with people who were like her, and she would finally know where her powers had come from. She would have the answers she craved and a world where she belonged. A world that felt dangerous and dark. Megan’s eyes drifted closed. A world with powerful warriors. Her protector swam into existence in her dark mind and hurled a fireball at another man. A man who turned glowing eyes on her and smiled cruelly. A world with daemons.
ARES is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.
Books in the Guardians of Hades paranormal romance series: Book 1: Ares Book 2: Valen – Coming in 2017
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, her best-selling Her Angel romance series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm romance series or any of her stand alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try her Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series. Or if you like hot-blooded alpha heroes who will let nothing stand in the way of them claiming their destined woman then try her Eternal Mates series. It’s packed with sexy heroes in a world populated by elves, vampires, fae, demons, shifters, and more. If sexy Greek gods with incredible powers battling to save our world and their home in the Underworld are more your thing, then be sure to step into the world of Guardians of Hades.
The Killing Game Author: The Black Rose Genre: Romantic Suspense
A seductive story about corruption, sin, lust, and redemption. The series opens as Ives Andrich, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the FBI, is confronted with investigating the woman he has waited a lifetime to find. Because of her more than accurate novel about an Italian crime lord, the Bureau, against Ives' wishes, asks for her help in infiltrating the internal organization of the nation's most nefarious Mafia don. When the Bureau's plan fails, and she becomes dangerously entangled in the private life of the United States' most wanted criminal, Ives tolerance for Bureau mishaps vanishes. No holds barred, he puts everything on the line to save the woman he loves in the first book in The Killing Game Series, a suspense thriller series by The Black Rose.
The Black Rose is an author, photographer, and filmmaker. Born in Chicago, she currently resides in New York with the love her life, her Hokkaido Dog, Kuma. She began writing at the age of seven and dabbled until she woke up one day and simply had to write a novel. She has several 5-Star reviewed novels, both part of individual series.
She categorizes her novels very directly; “My writing is deeply rooted interpersonal relationships: people’s feelings, thoughts, emotions, and the intimacies between two people that truly love each other despite the circumstances surrounding them.” Her genres are suspense, thrillers, crime, romance, and espionage. As she says, “I write about love, honor, and doing the right thing, even when it seems disadvantageous, even when it’s not the popular path to take.” She sees her writing as a gift from God, and appreciates and learns from her stories.
Her writing passion stems from her immense love for art, which began with drawing at age five and moved into oil painting by age eight. Her love and study of photography soon became a professional passion, and she spends hours photographing and laying out her book covers. Readers can visit “Privé with The Black Rose” showcasing behind-the-scenes insights into her writing, novels, characters, photography, and films. She films and produces her book trailers and, in the future, plans to make short films.
The Bad Boy Bargain
by Kendra C. Highley Publication Date: November 14, 2016 Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
Baseball player Kyle Sawyer has many labels: bad boy, delinquent, ladies’ man, fearless outfielder… Only one of them is actually true. But then sweet ballet dancer Faith Gladwell asks him to help wreck her reputation, and everything goes sideways.
Faith knows a thing or two about love, and what she had with her cheating jerk of an ex wasn’t it. When he starts spreading rumors about her being an Ice Queen, Faith decides it’s time to let a little bad into her life.
Lucky for her, Kyle Sawyer—dark, dangerous, totally swoonworthy Kyle Sawyer—is landscaping her backyard over Spring Break. Shirtless. And if she can convince him to play along, “dating” Kyle will silence the rumors.
But Faith’s plan threatens to expose Sawyer’s biggest secret of all…and that’s a risk he’s not willing to take.
Disclaimer: This book contains drop-the-book-and-fan-yourself kisses…and touches. Fall in love with a bad boy at your own risk.
Badass, troublemaker, girl magnet—familiar words always followed Kyle from his locker to his senior English classroom. Or from the cafeteria to the parking lot. Or from the locker room to the baseball field. Anywhere he went, the whispers followed.
Today, it went something like, “Ooh, I know who we should vote most likely to drop out before graduation,” as he walked by. Or, “I heard he banged two girls at once at North Texas last weekend. College girls, man!” Or, “Dude, I heard MLB scouts are coming to the games to watch him play.”
He wished that last one were true.
Kyle zipped his hoodie up tighter, acting like he couldn’t hear a word. The dark red hoodie and a pair of headphones were pretty thin armor, even if he did encourage the stories…the lies. Suttonville High was a big enough maze of suck without letting the truth out.
And no way, no how, was he showing any sort of weakness ever again.
“Dude! Wait up!” a guy called.
For a second, Kyle stiffened. Old habits died hard. But he recognized the voice and let his shoulders relax. Cade Adams, unlike the hundreds of rich, snobby kids crowding the halls, was worth waiting for. He slowed his stride until Cade caught up, looking disheveled. For an amused moment, he wondered if Cade was running from a pack of zombified football players, then he noticed the pleading look on Cade’s face. The same one he’d ignored from a half dozen other guys.
He shook his head. “Nope, still not going.”
“It’s supposed to be a great party,” Cade said, running a hand over his hair to coerce it back into shape. It was a little too long, and curls kept springing up on his head. “First night of spring break, man. All the seniors are going.”
“Everyone except me,” Kyle said, quickening his pace.
“Come on,” Cade pleaded. “I need to be your wingman. Just once. Your leftovers would be a feast to us mere mortals.”
That’s what half the baseball team said, too. But if he let someone be his wingman, they’d find out really quick that he wasn’t what everyone assumed. “Sorry, not my scene.”
“Fine. Okay, I get it.” Cade’s crooked smile didn’t do much to hide his disappointment. “Just…think about it.”
He strode off, breezing through the hall filled with students in designer clothes as if his Iron Man T-shirt, wild hair, and faded jeans didn’t matter to him. And it didn’t—at some point last fall, Cade had become cool. Either that, or he’d stopped caring what any of them thought.
Kyle stalked to chemistry, praying he’d pass today’s test. Being dyslexic turned the periodic table into a medieval torture device, even if his teacher was good about giving him tutoring on the down low. He couldn’t let anyone know he actually cared about his grades, aside from passing to play baseball.
“I heard he’s going out with some girl at Texas Woman’s,” a girl whispered to another as he walked in, as if he couldn’t hear them.
“Wish I knew for sure if anyone here has a chance,” said the other girl, a pretty senior who had a reputation of being a man-eater. “Because I’d ride that pony all over town.”
Kyle’s ears flamed up. To hide his discomfort, he rolled his neck, getting a little satisfaction out of the wary stares after the vertebrae cracked. That’s right, the scary kid just cracked his back. You puny humans shouldn’t try that at home.
The bell rang and he sank into his desk, adopting his typical pose of “I’m only here because the truant officer made me show up today” with his legs stretched out in the aisle. Mrs. Moody, the chem teacher, rolled her eyes. She saw right through him. And if she could, how much longer would it be before everyone else did?
During the test—in which chemical compounds morphed into ancient Hebrew right before his eyes—he couldn’t shake the conversation with Cade. He felt bad about letting the guy down, especially since he hadn’t been much of a friend the last few years, but he hated those parties because of the baggage that rode on them. Namely, his reputation.
Because who at Suttonville would believe that the resident delinquent, skateboard-riding, drag-racing, smart-mouthed chick magnet Kyle Sawyer was actually none of those things?
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
Hmm, I think people who say there’s a lot of quirky to me. Probably my fashion sense—I love mashup T-shirts (At-Ats made to look like Eeyore, the Peanuts gang drawn as the Serenity crew, etc) and hoodies. At one point I had turquoise streaks in my hair. At work, I have to be very buttoned up, so at home I let my inner geek out to play.
What is something really interesting that's happened to you?
When I was in college, I marched with the Pride of Oklahoma marching band. One week, the game was televised nationally on ABC. I saw a cameraman and thought he was filming the girl behind me. Two hours after the game, my grandmother called me to say I was on national TV for ten full seconds. And I made it on the front page of the The Daily Oklahoman that season, too. What are some of your pet peeves?
When people use “your” for “you’re” is like nails on a chalkboard. People who aren’t polite. Co-workers who don’t refill the coffeepot when they use the last of it (and I don’t even drink coffee!). What are your top 10 favorite books?
I love that you let me list 10, instead of 5. Okay, here goes: Emma by Jane Austen Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor The Dream Thieves (and the entire Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom (I’m cheating) by Leigh Bardugo The Girl of Fire and Thorns (trilogy) by Rae Carson Golden Son by Pierce Brown (Really the whole series there, too) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir The Final Formula by Becca Andre Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Swchab
What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration actually came from my editor, Heath
er Howland. She heard the song “Please” by Sawyer Fredericks, and came up with the idea of a tough guy with a soft center who is supposedly a ladies’ man, but is actually terribly shy around girls. Thus, Kyle Sawyer (see what we did there? Heh.) was born. We spent some time plotting and the story formed from there.
Tell us what we can expect from you in the future!
I’m in edits with the second Suttonville Sentinels book (all three books feature a high school baseball player for the Sentinels), and have started primary writing on the third. I also plan to finish my Unstrung trilogy next year.