The Perfect Tear
By Connie Lansberg
Genre: YA Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Reached Amazon’s Top 15 “Hot New Releases” beating out Divergent & Insurgent
Summary from Amazon.com: Eleanor is a singer. Her songs keep nature in balance, but when they are stolen from her, a grey mist descends and her world fails to thrive. This timid orphan is thrust into a course of action she never asked for, nor envisioned. Set against a backdrop of abandonment, loss and betrayal, she must find her way through strange and dangerous landscapes in her desperate search for the Perfect Tear, a dark crystal which holds the future of her world. But, Eleanor is no savior. She is a simple girl with strong instincts and she must learn to trust them. Just like the notes of song must connect to create a melody, Eleanor must discover the connections needed to create the harmony required to truly save her world.
Lerion forced his lips into a smile and nodded politely in an effort to feign interest in the creations of his fellow novices. Their excited chatter and heightened energy pulsed the length of the room. They seemed foolish to him, but he managed to conceal his disdain. Social transparency in his society was the norm, but hiding his feelings from the collective was something he excelled at. It was his secret talent. Today however, he struggled to maintain a pleasant countenance.
The novices were allowed to see their competitionfor only a few moments and Lerion extended his glance the length of the narrow corridor again. He had to be certain he would win. Only the best young designers were invited to enter the Creation Contest, and then, only once. Lerion knew this was his only chance to achieve his dream, and he forced himself to scan the room once more. He was searching for any design that might pose a threat, but after another quick reconnaissance, nothing he saw gave him cause for concern. He took a quick, shuddering breath and lifted his chin. Why had he been so nervous? He felt his energy uncoil and his step became light. He'd worked for this opportunity almost from the day his two co-creators sung him into being - he deserved to win.
Lerion clenched his jaw. The arrogance of his desire was not lost on him. The Creation Contest was much more than a matter of whose design was the most innovative or which novice showed the most initiative. The winning design had to uphold and even surpass the standards of creation set by the Ancient Ones. It had to enhance the evolution of their society as a whole. Had he achieved that?
He stopped in front of a nine-dimensional hologram and pretended to be intrigued with the design, while he slyly studied its creator, a feminine-biased novice named Lalycri. The energy emanating from her shimmered against his outer layer and he involuntarily vibrated in response. Her eyes lit up and he swallowed hard. Her animated smile caused her nose to crinkle and her energy swelled in gentle waves. It undulated softly through him. He felt himself surrender to the pleasure of it and immediately blocked its flow. He would not allow himself to respond. This was not the time to reveal his attraction to her, and he nodded curtly. He had to admit, he found Lalycri appealing and she peaked his curiosity. On any other day, he might have encouraged her, but this kind of personal chemistry often led to a desire to co-create and he was not about to break the rules. Not today, anyway.
Novices were forbidden to form creative partnerships of any kind. Only those having twelve activated strands of DNA were allowed the privilege of co-creation. Lerion sighed. He had activated only seven strands of the twelve that lay within each of his cells. More than all the other novices, but still, not enough.
Determined to ignore her vibrant energy, Lerion gave Lalycri a small nod. He leaned in and studied the extremely unusual construct while she beamed at him. He couldn’t work out what its purpose must be, and he stiffened. It had never occurred to him Lalcyri might be competition. How had she managed such a complicated design? He made sure to keep his voice polite rather than accusatory. "I had no idea you'd been selected."
Lalycri tilted her head and her smiled faltered. "Well, I was." Her tone had a sharp edge and he realized he had insulted her. "Certainly. I'm not surprised."
"You sound surprised." Lalycri's voice was stern but the twinkle returned to her eyes. "I'm grateful for the honor. It's definitely the most daring design I've produced so far." She lowered her lashes an her mouth grew firm. "I would give anything to win. I long to pit myself against Tsera."
Her words came fast and her voice had a ferocious quality that startled him. Lerion blinked and looked sharply at her. They all wanted the honor of winning. However, it had not occurred to him there might be others who desired to win as much as he did. Nobody could want this as much as he did. His every cell informed him being Main Creator was his destiny, and the idea she could snatch it from him was ludicrous.
He felt his vibration quicker, but Lalycri did not seem to notice the change in his demeanor. She smiled brightly, as if she had not just made a startling admission, and began to prattle without taking a breath.
Epically fascinating! I've never quite read a book like this that blends a futuristic sci-fi world and medieval times! Completely original, the author weaves a spellbinding web as she immerses you into her flawless worldbuilding. The characters were each unique with palpable emotions and complex personalities. The story is somewhat like a sci-fi angels vs demons set in medieval times if that makes any sense. Sounds strange, but the author completely pulls it off! With plenty of intrigue and tons of plot twists, I was left sitting on the edge of my seat as I devoured the vivid descriptions the tale spooned out. This was a REALLY great read and I can definitely see how they're making it a movie next year - can't wait to see it!
Connie Lansberg is a singer/songwriter and now author based in Melbourne Australia. She’s had her original songs placed in some of Australia’s best loved TV shows that play around the world and The Connie Lansberg Quartet is a fixture in the Melbourne jazz scene. Her most recent original musical project, Alone with Bees, performs her songs written especially for The Perfect Tear. This is Connie’s first novel and the movie is coming. She also received several grants from the Victoria Council of the Arts for the development of mobile phone games that she created. Connie joined the Melbourne Writers Group in 2010 to work on ideas and scripts and during this time the idea for The Perfect Tear began to develop and take shape. She continued her education by taking scriptwriting classes at the Australian Film and Television School in Melbourne and later, worked extensively with Marcy Kennedy on the book. She has two more stories to complete The Perfect Tear Trilogy and is hoping to have the second book finished by 2016.
“The first thing anybody tells you about this business is to say what makes you unique and different, but I couldn’t and the very idea of it never sat well with me and after much deliberation, I finally realized why. Because, I’m not unique or different–I’m exactly like you and I love that. We each have a unique filter through which we interpret the world, and with this filter in place, I write stories and songs and you might find them surprising or intriguing or confronting, you may relate or you may not. They may make you laugh and sometimes, even cry. You may or may not understand what I’m trying to say and you may not understand me, however, rest assured, once we get past the filters, at our core, we are wonderfully and beautifully, exactly the same.”
———————————————————————————————————————-- In 2017, Little Studio Films, is planning to release "The Perfect Tear" as a feature length film. Be on the look out for this incredible story to hit the big screens! For more information check out:
The Fatal Series- Book 10
By Marie Force
Every family has its secrets…
As the first anniversary of her marriage to Vice President Nick Cappuano approaches, Lieutenant Sam Holland is dreaming of Bora Bora—sun, sand and a desperately needed break from the DC grind. But real life has a way of intervening, and Sam soon finds herself taking on one of the most perplexing cases of her career.
Government worker Josh Hamilton begs Sam to investigate his shocking claim that his parents stole him from another family thirty years ago. More complicated still, his “father” is none other than the FBI director. When a member of Josh’s family is brutally murdered, Sam begins to question how deep this cover-up goes. Is it possible the revered director was part of a baby-napping ring and that others involved are also targets?
With a killer intent on deadly revenge and her team still reeling from a devastating loss, Sam’s plate is full—and when Nick and their son, Scotty, take ill, is her dream of a tropical anniversary celebration in peril too?
“I love you. I’m sorry I brought this situation into our home, and I’m sorry I had to say no to you for the first time ever.”
His lips curved into a small, sexy smile. “You’ll make it up to me.” He leaned in close to brush his lips against her ear. “On your back, with your legs on my shoulders, your ass red from my hand and—”
“Stop it,” she said, shivering from the desire that instantly heated her core. “Right now. I’ve got to go to work.”
Chuckling, he released her. “Hurry home, and be careful out there, Samantha. Whoever decided to kill the FBI director won’t think twice about killing again.”
“I’m always careful. Don’t worry.”
“Right. You may as well tell me not to breathe.”
“Don’t do that. I need you alive and well when I get home so I can make it up to you.”
“It’s not fair. You’re suspended and you still have to work. I was sort of looking forward to having you all to myself for a few days. Should’ve known it was too much to hope for. But you’ll pay. Yes, you will. When you get home and when we get to Bora Bora at the end of the month. You will pay.”
Smiling, she kissed him again. “Can’t wait.”
“Me either.” He stole another kiss from her. “Love you so much. Please be careful.”
“I will. I promise. Hold down the fort, and keep an eye on our guest.” She patted his chest one last time and left the kitchen, deciding in that moment to keep the news about Troy from Josh until she knew more. They’d keep it on lockdown so there was no way he’d hear it online or anywhere else until they were ready to release the news.
And don’t forget to grab the previous titles in the Fatal Series Today!
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 2.2 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold more than 1 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Green Mountain Series from Berkley Publishing as well as the new erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force.
Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.
There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours.
It’s time to find out why she has this power.
Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.
The memory has haunted me for years.
In the middle of a bright California summer, dark days came. My mother and grandparents spoke in hushed, serious voice, arguing about my absent father. Was it my fault he left? A soft whimper escaped my throat and my eyes burned. I needed a hug, but no one paid any attention to me that day. So I ran away to the refuge of my grandparents’ garden where I could hide among its statues and flowers.
My eyes lingered over the familiar garden ornaments. I passed the old birdbath, the statues of gnomes, and a cheerful squirrel. I ran one hand over the stone deer. Its brown paint had faded from years under the sun. Walking with quick steps down the gravel path, I made my way to the center of the garden, my special spot where my favorite statue waited.
A gnarled apricot tree grew there. Right now it was covered with tiny green apricots. Later in the summer the sweet fruit I loved would ripen. I would get to pick them with my parents, no, just with my mother. My lip trembled. My father wouldn’t be here.
The bright-green dragon lay curled at the foot of the apricot tree, partially covered by vines. My mother called the color jade green—the same shade as my eyes. As a child she talked to all the statues, but I only spoke to the dragon. I named her Daisy. Sitting down next to her now, the tears welled up at last, spilling over my cheeks. I wrapped my arms around my legs, making myself into a little ball of five year old misery.
“Child, why are you sad?” said a woman’s voice.
“Who said that?” I asked, wiping my cheek.
“Where are you?” I stood and peered at the plants and statues around me.
“Are not,” I retorted.
A soft laugh filled the air and the woman spoke again. “Perhaps you are right. Easy enough to fix, I suppose.”
The breeze picked up. The space beneath the apricot tree shimmered. Ripples warped the air like the heat over the barbecue when my father cooked. The sweet notes of wind chimes filled the yard. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have any wind chimes. I whirled around to find the noise.
Under the branches appeared an enormous green dragon’s head. My mouth opened in a silent O and I held my breath.
“Now child,” said the woman. “I won’t hurt you.” Her voice came from the dragon’s mouth.
I opened my lips to scream, but no noise came. Backing away, I bumped into the hammock and froze.
“I don’t eat little girls.” The dragon’s huge golden eyes twinkled.
“How did you know what I was thinking?” I whispered.
“I am a good guesser. Besides, I know I must be very big to you.” The voice sounded kind, like my teacher’s.
“As big as Daddy’s car,” I said.
“Oh, I am much bigger than that,” the dragon said, smiling. Her teeth shone white and enormous. “I’m only showing you a bit of me right now.”
“Where is the rest of you?”
“All around us.”
“Why aren’t you smooshing everything?” I gestured around the garden.
The dragon chuckled. “You are a smart little thing.” The jeweled head tilted to one side. “You would be Siobhan, yes?”
“You said it right. Sha-vauhn.” Everyone messed up my name. I wished on every first star, each night, for a different name— a normal name.
“In the old country Siobhan means ‘God is gracious.’”
“Yep, that’s what Mommy says, too,” I said glumly. “What’s your name?”
“Gwyrdd ferch Heulen ferch Caden ap Haydn.”
“Gwyer-eth?” My mouth struggled with the unfamiliar name.
“Not bad,” said the dragon. “I like the name you gave me—Daisy.”
“It’s easier to say,” I said.
“I am not smooshing the garden because I am not quite here. Only part of me is here. What year is it?”
“It’s 1993, Daisy.”
The dragon stirred. “It’s too early, child. The prophecy says I should not be here yet.”
“What’s a prophecy?” My tongue stumbled on the unfamiliar word.
“It’s a prediction of what might happen in the future.”
“You mean like the weather? My daddy says the guys on TV mess up all the time,” I said.
Daisy chuckled, a low rumble deep in her throat. “Your father is not wrong.”
“What does it say will happen?”
“I am supposed to meet someone, but our appointment is for later,” said Daisy.
“Can’t you stay here until the appointment? I won’t let you be late,” I said.
Daisy frowned. “It’s a secret appointment. There are some people I don’t want to know about the person I’m supposed to meet.”
“Bad people?” I asked. “Is that why you hide and pretend to be a statue?”
“Have you ever had a friend,” asked Daisy, “a friend who misbehaved and needed a break?”
I knew all about that. “Sure, Danny hit Carter. They’re friends, but they both wanted the bike, and wouldn’t take turns. Miss Sarah told them to go sit down and have a time out.”
“Miss Sarah must be very smart,” said the dragon. “As it happens, friends and I have been fighting over something and we needed a time out.”
“Are there more dragons?” I asked.
“Yes, many more.”
“Are there dragons hiding in any other statues?”
The jeweled head moved slowly back and forth. “No, just me. The others cannot pass between worlds.”
“Why just you?”
“I have a job to do,” said Daisy. Her voice sounded sad.
“Are the dragons good guys?” I asked, scooting closer to Daisy and laying a hand on her warm nose. I didn’t want her to be sad.
Daisy snorted, tickling my hand so I giggled. “Yes, dear one, I think we are good.”
“But, if you come back now it would be bad?” My laughter faded.
“It would be very bad indeed, but later, when it is right, I can return.” Daisy sighed.
“I always knew you were real.” I straightened my shoulders. I had found a dragon in hiding.
“Really?” Daisy asked.
“You’re the only statue I named,” I answered. “Nobody fools me.”
The breeze picked up again. Daisy sniffed the wind. “Siobhan, I’m afraid it’s time for me to leave or the bad things will happen. Will you be all right?”
“My daddy’s not coming back, is he?” My worries returned.
Her scales sparkled in the bright sunshine. “No, he is not coming back to your mother although he will visit you and your brother.”
I sighed. “Daisy, will I ever see you again?”
The golden eyes twinkled. “Yes, I believe you will.”
The air warped again. I tried to watch, but a bird warbled close by, and I turned my head. When I glanced back at the apricot tree, the air shimmered and the small, dragon statue lay where Daisy’s head had been. “But, Daisy, who were you fighting with?”
A whisper floated on the breeze. I bent closer to the statue to listen. “That can’t be right,” I said to the empty garden.
On that day everything changed, especially me.
My name is Siobhan Isabella Orsini. It would be twenty years before I saw my dragon again.
About the Author
Erika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.
On a personal level she loves spicy food, twilight, dark chocolate (with sea salt-yum!) and nickel slots at Vegas. Erika lives for time with friends, a nice glass of red wine, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” & “Doctor Who” and good conversation. Her favorite things to do are running, cooking, reading, needlework, gardening… and of course, writing. Erika's music of choice is heavy metal. To pick her out in a lineup you should know that she is very short, fairly loud, and has dark eyebrows. The rest, as her hero Anne McCaffrey once said in her bio, “is subject to change without notice”.
Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it’s Brave New World), you can find her online at www.erikagardner.com.
When Tad Stevens meets Alexandria Lane, their attraction is undeniable – but Alexandria is sure that their different backgrounds mean they could never be together. And just when she starts to change her mind, she discovers something Tad has been hiding, and her doubts come crashing back. Even though their passion drives them back into each other’s arms, more secrets from Tad’s past could make them lose everything. Will Tad’s secrets tear them apart? Or will the fire between them be enough to let their love grow? Find out in book one of the Beholder Series:Dark Little Secrets!
Alexandria sat in stony silence while Philosophy Guy, as she was now beginning to think of him, stood sputtering across the table. She apologized. What else did he want? While she waited for him to either walk away or respond, she studied him as she would a painting. It was a habit she’d gotten into, especially when she was knee-deep in schoolwork. He was perfectly symmetrical, except the slight crookedness of his teeth and the diagonal fall of his dark blonde hair over his forehead. Beauty lay in symmetry. She took in his broad shoulders and narrow waist. He filled out his jeans nicely, with the fabric clinging to his hips and thighs nicely. The cuffs of his button-down were rolled halfway to his elbows, and his forearms were well-muscled and lightly haired. He had strong, graceful hands. She registered all these things clinically, but then a very non-clinical thought popped to mind, which made her almost gasp with the intrusion. I wonder how those hands would feel against my skin….
A.K. Kruse is a romance writer who has written several novels in addition to the Beholder series. She loves romance of all kinds, because it appeals to people from all walks of life. In addition to writing romance, she loves to research romance novels, and even teaches a college course in popular romance, writing, and research. She lives with her husband, three girls (who she hopes wait until they’re teenagers to read her books), and various pets. She enjoys swimming, art, reading, and good T.V.
Wagon Train Sisters
by Shirley Kennedy GENRE: Historical Romance
After the death of her abusive husband, Sarah Gregg is free to join her family along with thousands of others in the nation’s westward march for gold. But in the middle of the hard journey, Sarah’s younger sister, Florrie, disappears. Devastated by the family’s failed attempts to find her missing sister, Sarah now wants only to settle into a quiet, uneventful life when she reaches California . . .
But Jack McCoy, a drifter and one-time gambler riding along their wagon train, sees so much more for Sarah. In the roaring mining town of Gold Creek his attentive persistence points Sarah toward new vistas. Then unexpected news of Florrie arrives—and it’s worse than anyone expected. But driven by a new hopefulness, Sarah seeks help from Jack, despite his troubled past. The two have traveled a rough road together, and only their hearts can tell them where they are headed . . .
“Has anybody seen my sister?”
Lined along the bank, the ladies of the train dutifully halted their labors. “Haven’t seen her since this morning.”
“Haven’t seen her all day.”
“Maybe she ran away.”
Everyone tittered at that last remark. After weeks living in the forced closeness of a wagon train, they knew each other well, and in some cases, better than they wished. Sarah was known to be the hard worker of the family. Her sister-in-law, Becky, was the one with the sharp tongue. Florrie was the quiet one, hadn’t made many friends, and stayed close to their wagon. She’d be the last person in the world who’d run off. Besides, where would she go? Two days ago they’d left the last vestiges of civilization at Fort Hall and were now in a land where rivers raged, wild animals roamed, forests stretched to the horizon and beyond.
`So where was Florrie? Come to think of it, Sarah hadn’t seen her since right after they stopped for the day, and that was hours ago. It wasn’t like her, but she must be visiting at one of the wagons. She’d surely appear in time for supper. Nothing to worry about.
Shirley Kennedy was born and raised in Fresno, California. In her early career as an author, Shirley wrote traditional Regency romances, one for Ballantine, the rest for Signet. Later on, she branched into other genres. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her older daughter, Dianne, and Brutus and Sparky, her two editorial assistants who love to nap in the sunshine next to her computer while she works on her next book. Please visit Shirley at shirleykennedy.com, or follow her Twitter account @ladyk360, or on Facebook at facebook.com/shirley.kennedy.52.
(Shea Stevens Thriller #1) by Dharma Kelleher Genre:Noir Thriller Age category:Adult Release Date:28 June 2016
In this gritty, fast-paced debut thriller, an ex-con biker chick turned law-abiding citizen risks everything to save her new life—and confront the demons of her past.
Shea Stevens is biker royalty. Her father was the president of the Confederate Thunder Motorcycle Club. Under his watchful eye, she learned how to pick locks, disable alarms, and hot-wire cars like a pro. But all that is ancient history. Or so she thought . . .
After a stint in prison, Shea has worked hard to make a quiet, happy life for herself in Arizona. She spends her time bonding with her big-city girlfriend and running her bike shop, Iron Goddess Custom Cycles, with her dedicated team of misfits. But when one of her employees is shot and three of her specially commissioned bikes are stolen, Shea’s new life collides with the criminal underworld she tried to leave behind.
Shea knows better than to trust the police. So, with her Glock on her hip, she takes the investigation into her own hands. Shea’s search for the bike thieves leads her straight to her father’s old gang—and her estranged sister, whose young daughter has been kidnapped by a rival club. The last thing Shea wants is to be caught in the middle of a war—but if she learned one thing from her old man, it’s that when someone comes at you, you push back. Hard. And that’s exactly what she’s going to do.
Sparks exploded from the left footpeg of Shea Stevens’ motorcycle as it scraped against the pavement. She was going too fast through the curves that twisted up the south side of Sycamore Mountain. The road was dark—daybreak still an hour away. Getting up close and personal with an elk at sixty miles an hour would be disastrous. But Shea was in a hurry.
She tried to convince herself the call from the security company was another false alarm—a rat looking for a crumb, or maybe a glitch in the sensors. But she couldn’t shake the fear that someone had broken into the shop. If the three custom motorcycles they’d finished the night before were stolen, it would be a quarter-million-dollar loss. Please, God, let it be another false alarm.
The cold air blasting through the vents in her jacket caused her teeth to chatter. In her rush to alleviate her paranoia, she’d thrown on her jeans and T-shirt from the night before. Didn’t bother with a bra. Her only precaution had been the .40-caliber Glock she’d slipped into a pancake holster at the small of her back.
Fifteen minutes later, her bike crested the hill and reached what the residents of Sycamore Springs, Arizona, call Olde Towne—a mile-long strip of locally owned shops including a café, a pharmacy, an antiques shop, and Iron Goddess Custom Cycles—her destination.
She screeched to a stop in front of the cycle shop, killed the engine, and ripped off her helmet. The pungent scent of creosote mixed with dead skunk made her nose crinkle. Moonlight reflected off the desert dust on the plate glass window, obscuring the Iron Goddess logo. Her gaze shifted left to the shop’s front door. Shards of glass clung to the doorframe like broken teeth.
“Fuck.” Her hands tightened into fists. She wanted to beat someone.
She climbed off the bike and scanned the street, hoping to spot the intruder skulking through Olde Towne. Fifty feet away at the Kokopelli Café, a Coca-Cola sign flickered on and off. Across the street, a security gate sliced the blue light of a fifties-era jukebox glowing from within the antiques shop. The rest of Olde Towne’s shops slumbered in darkness.
She dug a flashlight out of her tank bag and drew the Glock, turning her attention back to Iron Goddess. She crept onto the cement porch, paused outside the door, and listened for anyone who might be inside. Somewhere in the darkness, a pack of coyotes performed a predawn symphony of yips and high-pitched howls over a recent kill. Two delivery trucks roared past three minutes apart. But no voices or sounds of crunching glass came from inside Iron Goddess. If anyone was in there, they may have hunkered down when they heard her motorcycle. She had to find out for sure.
Drops of a dark liquid on the concrete caught her attention. Was it oil or blood? She brushed it with a finger, creating a crimson smear. Blood. Her pulse quickened.
She pulled on the door handle. It was unlocked. Thief must’ve reached in and unlocked it after breaking the glass. She scolded herself for not getting a double-cylinder lock.
After slipping in through the door, she scanned the place with her flashlight. Tiny bits of glass sparkled like jewels across the floor. A bowling ball–sized rock lay near the front sales counter. The familiar industrial smell of the showroom mixed with the organic tang of blood. Her fist tightened on the grip of the gun.
More drops of blood led off to the right. She considered turning on the lights, but didn’t want to blow what little stealth she had left. Broken glass crunched under her boots with each step. Moving slower didn’t make it any quieter.
She followed the trail of blood around the counter to where three custom-ordered bikes and several production bikes had been parked hours earlier; they were now gone.
Clothing racks for motorcycle jackets and pants had been cleared. Empty hangers lay scattered on the floor. Shelves that once displayed helmets, boots, and other gear had been stripped bare.
Shea felt sucker-punched. Her mind kept telling her it was a dream.
Her heart leapt into her throat when someone coughed and moaned. She ducked down until she heard it again. Her finger slipped onto the trigger. She swung the flashlight around and found a man lying on the floor in the motor oil aisle. She approached cautiously, ignoring the pulse pounding in her ears.
With the light on the man’s face, she recognized him as Derek Williams, one of her employees.
She slapped on the overhead lights. Derek was a scrawny guy, just shy of his twentieth birthday. His stubbly face was pale and clammy. Blood covered his shirt, pooling on the floor around his chest.
“Aw shit, Derek!” She holstered her gun and knelt down next to him.
He opened his eyes for a moment. “They made me,” he wheezed before coughing up blood.
“Who? Who did this to you?”
His eyes lost focus and closed.
She checked his pulse. Her own heart beat so fast she couldn’t tell if he had a pulse or not. She pulled out her phone.
“Cortes County 911—what’s your emergency?”
“I need an ambulance at Iron Goddess Custom Cycles, 8234 South Sycamore Highway. My friend is bleeding.”
“How is he injured, ma’am?”
“I . . . I don’t know. I just found him. He’s got blood all over his chest. I think someone shot him.”
“Is he breathing?”
“Uh . . . let me check.” She put her ear to his mouth and could hear shallow, gurgling breaths. “He’s breathing, but barely.”
“We’ve dispatched an ambulance. It’ll be there momentarily.”
Shea hung up the phone and checked his pulse again. It was there, but weak. Then it stopped. She struggled to remember the lessons from a CPR course two years earlier. She clasped her hands and compressed in the center of his chest. Blood gushed from his wounds. That wasn’t in the course.
She lifted up his shirt. His chest was smeared with blood. She wiped away as much as she could. Dark liquid oozed from two dime-sized wounds, one right above his heart, the other closer to his left shoulder.
His shirt was soaked. Wouldn’t work to stop the blood, even if she could get it off him. Shea looked for something else to use. The nearby shelves were stocked with bottles of motor oil, industrial cleaners, and cans of chain lube. No shop cloths or clothing.
She scrambled out of her jacket, pulled off her shirt, and twisted it into a tight wad. She pressed it over the wounds and compressed his chest again. The T-shirt kept the bleeding to a minimum. She continued pumping his chest. “Come on, Derek. Gimme a heartbeat.”
After fifty compressions, she checked again. Still no pulse. She continued pounding on his chest, desperately trying to minimize the bleeding and hoping the EMTs would arrive before she ran out of energy.
Her back was beginning to cramp up when the silver bell on the front door jingled.
“Over here!” she yelled.
Two deputies rushed in, guns pointed at her.
“Sheriff’s Office! Get on the floor. Hands behind your head.”
Dharma Kelleher writes gritty tales about outlaws, renegades, and misfits. Her hobbies include riding motorcycles, picking locks, and getting inked. Her debut novel IRON GODDESS will be published by Penguin Random House’s Alibi imprint on June 28, 2016. Learn more about her and her writing at dharmakelleher.com.
If You Only Wanted One Night Would You Take A Chance On a Man Who Wanted Forever?
Rose O'Brian wants to spice up her love life and Jack Winston seems like the answer. Sexy, funny and a killer smile, Jack is every woman's fantasy. All she wants is one night of passion, nothing more. But Jack has a secret that stops him from taking her up on her offer, stops him from having the one thing he wants more than his next breath--beautiful Rose O'Brian. Rose has her own secrets. Emotionally scared, she's never believed in happily ever afters. But for the first time she's met a man who makes her want to open her heart, to dream of love. When Rose's past rears its ugly head can she finally let go and overcome the hurt? Can Jack convince her to take a chance and embrace a future with him? Can he show her that love is there if she will only reach out and take it?.
Other books in the Harper Falls Romance Series:
Publisher: Brook Publications
Published: May 2015
Welcome back to Harper Falls, WA, a place where love is in the air, but danger is just around the corner. Dani Wilde had already met the love of her life and lost him. Two weeks of passion and romance five years ago. Then he had walked away. Dani thought she had moved on, She dated, enjoyed the company of other men, even thought that she was keeping her heart open to the possibility of another love. But when Alex Fleming rode his motorcycle into Harper Falls, she knew she had been kidding herself. Her heart was still his. Alex Fleming knew what was waiting for him in Harper Falls. His sister, his best friend, a good job, and the woman he'd spent the last five years dreaming about--trying to forget. At the time, walking away had seemed like the only way. Now he has a second chance, but it isn't just his personal demons keeping him from Dani, his past is about to put the only woman he's ever loved in danger. He has a choice, walk away again or stay and fight. Love has a way of catching up with you. Dani and Alex are getting a second chance at their happily ever after. Now they just have to be strong enough to take it.
Publisher: Brook Publications
Published: August 2015
Tyler and Drew’s Story
He broke her heart. Now, ten years later he’s finally going to tell her why.
Tyler Jones and Drew Harper.
They came from different worlds.
They weren’t supposed to fall in love.
Teenagers on the brink of adulthood they gave into an uncontrollable attraction, sharing their hopes, fears, and their bodies. The plans they made in secret kept them going until they could leave the small town of Harper Falls and pursue their dreams.
Drew wanted to break free from his family’s wealth and influence, he wanted to make it on his own. Tyler was an artist. People in her hometown laughed at the idea of a girl with her background making anything of herself. Together they planned on conquering the world.
Without warning Drew pulled away. He left town without an explanation, crushing Tyler’s heart.
Now they’re both back where it all started and Drew can finally tell Tyler what really drove them apart. They have a second chance at love. But there are some people who will stop at nothing to keep them apart. Not even murder.
Publisher: Brook Publications
Published: October 2015
Good sister. Good friend. Good girl.
Lila spends her life walking a straight line. No swerves. No excitement. Her future seems mapped out. A very boring future. One where her secret dreams will never see the light of day.
Then one snow-filled day, she meets a man who will shake up her routine, capture her heart, and help make all her dreams come true.
Welcome to a Harper Falls Christmas. Filled with laughs, old friends, and a happily ever after. Oh, and Cooper. A dog who will steal your heart.
About the Author
Mary J. Williams is an author from Washington State who went to school in a small town on the Columbia River. She loves writing, reading, and football. She always wanted to write a novel and she always knew it would be a romance novel. But it wasn’t until her favorite football team lost the Super Bowl on the last play with an interception, that this dream began to come to fruition. She was so depressed that she tuned out all the media. Without television, internet, or newspapers, she had nothing else to do, so she sat down and started writing. Her first romance series, Harper Falls contains four books. Mary has released two new series in 2016, Hollywood Legends and One Pass Away (which combines her love of football with her love of romance).
Dark Dreams and Dead Things
(Dead Things #2)
by Martina McAtee
Genre:YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Release date: July 15th 2016
17-year-old November Lonergan spent her whole life feeling like an outsider. She was right. She’s a reaper like her mother; like her two cousins, Kai and Tristin. The supernatural world believes they are part of a prophecy to save them from an evil known as the Grove. Ember just wants to survive high school and fix the fallout from bringing back her friend.
Old enemies are lurking; waiting for their opportunity to strike but the pack has a new problem. A group of legendary hunters has resurfaced, threatening the reapers and anybody who stands with them. They are making good on their threats too; attacking those closest to the pack.
Their only hope of defeating the Legionaries involves trusting a stranger to perform a dangerous spell to advance Ember and her cousin’s powers. But Ember has a secret; a secret she can’t tell the pack. One that leaves the pack vulnerable.
An attack on pack allies, leaves one member of the group injured and another missing, along with a mysterious girl named Evangeline who may play a bigger part in this than any of them realize. As the Legionaries are closing in, the pack must trust their enemies, enter hostile territories, and play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a psychopath. Their entire plan lynches on a dangerous bargain, but rescuing one member of the pack could mean losing another in their place…possibly forever. Add to Goodreads Buy Links (only $1.99): Amazon
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
(Dead Things #1)
by Martina McAtee
Genre:YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
17 year old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special, that she has a supernatural gift like them…they just don’t know exactly what it is.
They take her to a small Florida town, where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. Ember has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death.
As Ember’s talents are revealed so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friend’s lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together.
Martina McAtee lives in Jupiter, Florida with her teenage daughters, her best friend, two attack Chihuahua’s and two shady looking cats. By day she is a registered nurse but by night she writes young adult books about reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. She wrote her first story when she was five with an orange crayon on a legal pad she stole from her mom’s office. She’s been writing ever since. Her influences include Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Joss Whedon, L.J. Smith and even J.K. Rowling. Living in South Florida provides her with plenty of material for the weird worlds she writes about. When she isn’t working, teaching or writing she’s reading or watching shows involving reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures.
Introduces real-world horrors into the universe of the supernatural.
PORTRAIT OF RAGE
The Marcel Experience #1
Cynthia H. Wise
Released October 31, 2015
âThe air became frigid and the lights flickered as they both watched a shimmering veil of mist rise from the hardwood floor. As it floated toward Kelly, the dim shape of an adolescent came to life in its veiling center. The little girlâs body grew more defined in its advance, until every detail of the portrait at Kellyâs back focused and came alive before them.â
Soon after Thomas Shear buys a house for his art gallery, the spirits of a killerâs child victims haunt his dreams. Believing they were conjured by stress and a vivid imagination, Tom hopes to vanquish the nightmares that leave him shaking and sweat soaked by creating a series of life-sized portraits portraying the suffering of each little girl.
When news of his portrait series spreads, Tom is confronted by the lead investigator for the missing children, Detective Mark Winward. Realizing he has become involved in something more sinister than he could ever have imagined, and becoming the detectiveâs number one suspect, Tom races to find the real killer before he is framed and someone Tom loves becomes the killerâs next victim.
Portrait of Rage sets the stage for The Marcel Experience, giving readers a glimpse into what is to come. Both horror and romance, real and fantastic, Portrait of Rage introduces real-world horrors into the universe of the supernatural.
Cynthia H. Wise lives with her husband in Marietta, Georgia, where her series, The Marcel Experience, is centered. When she is not writing novels about the supernatural and the fantastic, Cynthia can be found with her husband, Cliff, their two dogs, Jake and Sadie, and their cockatiel, Sam.
In Cynthia H. Wiseâs paranormal mystery series, The Marcel Experience, readers will find themselves thrown into haunted houses, avenging ghosts and wandering spirits, and even, possibly, falling in love with a handsome shapeshifter. In the next novel in the series, Eyes of Autumn, releasing this October, a dangerous enemy from Marcusâs past is threatening to destroy everything he holds sacred, including the only woman heâs ever lovedâa woman who doesnât remember him.
For more information and updates on new books, giveaways, and other news, visit her website or follow her on twitter.
By Leddy Harper
Genre - Contemporary Romance
Life doesn’t always start with once upon a time.
Love doesn’t always end with happily ever after.
After spending five years with the love of my life, I did nothing to stop her from walking away. She had her reasons to leave. I had my reasons to stay. But a year later, the realization of loss hits me, and I’ll stop at nothing to fix it. I leave everything behind to drive across the country to win her back, and I refuse to accept anything other than fulfilling old promises.
But the only certainty in life is: nothing is as expected.
The most valuable lessons don’t often revolve around a fairytale ending—frequently, they come from hurt and healing. They come from the kind of personal growth love offers. The mending of your heart, your soul, and your life. And every once in a while, you find the greatest gifts in the packages you never expected to open.
Add EMINENT LOVE to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30760083-eminent-love
Get your hands on EMINENT LOVE: Amazon US: http://bit.ly/1tt0lP3US Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/1Ur7h9cUK Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/1UgxDcCCA iBooks: http://apple.co/21iSuOr B&N: http://bit.ly/1YocGzpBN Kobo: http://bit.ly/25YAhsTKB
She stole my breath away.
I strode across the room to the woman who owned my heart— every part of me. The warmth of her bare skin on mine alleviated the chill in the air and sent a rolling fire through my body. She ran her palms along my chest, over my shoulders, and into the hair on the back of my head.
“If this is too weird for you— being in your parents’ house— we can wait until we return to your apartment. I’m ready, and there is no expiration date on my decision. I told you I wanted to wait for the right time. I didn’t mean it had to be the right date or the right location… just right. So whether it be here or two nights from now in your bed, I don’t care. Because I’m absolutely in love with you and can’t fathom not sharing every part of me with you. I have no doubts, Creed.”
Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl in a house full of boys. At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped.
She often calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters.
She is now a mother of three girls, leaving her husband as the only man in a house full of females.
The decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to go after whatever it is they want to. Love what you do and do it well. Most importantly Leddy wanted to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.
To Win a Viscount
(Daughters of Amhurst #2) Author:Frances Fowlkes Genre:Historical Romance
England, 1820.To gain a certain marquess’s notice, Lady Albina Beauchamp aims to win the derby. What she hadn’t planned for is the price handsome Mr. Edmund White asks in payment to train her to race: each lesson for a kiss. A first place finish isn't the only thing worth racing for Lady Albina Beauchamp is in love with the Marquess of Satterfield. Unfortunately, his only interest is in horses, and doesn’t know she exists. But when the marquess confesses he will bestow his undying admiration on the jockey racing the winning horse at Emberton Derby, Albina sets out to win his affections by training to race. Mr. Edmund White is a master groomsmen for the Earl of Amhurst in line for a viscountcy, should he abandon his passion for horses and become a respectable sheep owner. But horses are his love--until he meets Lady Albina and her silly notions of racing. When she affirms she will enter the derby with or without his assistance, Edmund not only instructs his student in racing, but seduction as well.
For Albina, a first place finish isn’t the only thing at stake. She must decide whether to take her place in society...or follow her heart and love a groom.
“My lady.” Mr. White’s exasperated voice called from behind her. “I only seek to help you.”
Albina turned around, her chin lifted, her plaited hair licking past her arm. “Then do so, Mr. White. Tell me how to correct my form without insulting me. Unless you cannot. In which case, I shall seek out assistance elsewhere.”
He ran up to her and took hold of her hand, pulling her into his chest. Her hat fell to the ground as she crumpled against him, her right hand gripping his arm to steady herself. A thick, hard, and solid arm. Heavens.
He lowered his head, his mouth mere inches from hers. “Your head should be flush with the horse’s.” His words were breathy and low, spoken in a rich tenor she could hardly hear over the hammering of her heart.
“My head,” she whispered. Her thoughts were no longer on her form, but the pair of lips hovering over hers.
“Place it alongside the mare’s, low and even, as though you see and hear as one.”
“See and hear as one,” she repeated, her voice far throatier than it ought to be.
“And your legs,” he continued, “should be tight against her sides.” His hands fell to her outer thighs. With a slight push, he clamped her legs around his. “Like this.” God in heaven. She couldn’t think. At least not of anything beyond the pair of hands resting on her thighs. She gave a slight nod and licked her lips.
He inhaled, an audible, sharp intake of breath. His hands should not have been anywhere on her person. No gentleman would hold her thus, with such bold possession. But Mr. White was not a gentleman. He was a groom.
And she was, for the first time, glad for it. A heady rush of excitement coursed through her.
“Is that all?” she whispered. “My head and legs?”
Slow and sensual, his lips curled. “Your bottom.” His hands slipped to her backside and cupped her supple flesh through the thin leather of her breeches. “It needs to be held high in the air.”
“M-m-my, my bottom,” she stuttered, lapsing into a mode of speech most often associated with her sister, Henrietta. “Must b-b-be higher,” she ended on a gasp.
Her breath caught, his fingers burning on her bottom as though they were on fire. No man had ever dared, never imagined to place his hands upon her…certainly not the marquess, who, as a titled peer, would respect the rules of decorum and treat her as a lady. As he ought.
Yet…she could not deny the surge of pleasure rushing through her at Mr. White’s forwardness. His blatant disregard for propriety was intoxicating. A shot of rebellion that echoed her own. Her rule-breaking, however, was limited to assuming the appearance of the opposite sex. A simple portrayal. A minor deception, though it was quickly becoming more. She had allowed him to kiss her yesterday. Today…today she was allowing him a firm grasp of her bottom. And what’s more, enjoying every second of it.
After viewing her all-time favorite love story, “Anne of Green Gables”, at the impressionable age of ten, Frances Fowlkes has been obsessed with affable boy-next door heroes, red-heads, and romance stories with lots of “highfaluting mumbo jumbo” written within their pages. It only seems natural then that she married the boy who used to pull on her curls in her high school English class, had not one, but THREE red-headed boys, and penned multiple love stories with bits of flowery prose. When not writing, Frances loves spending time with her family, fangirling, and planning her next vacation. Frances Fowlkes, originally a northern mid-westerner, now lives in the southeast with her ardent hero of a husband, three playful and rambunctious boys, and one spoiled standard poodle. A self-professed Anglophile and summa cum laude graduate of LeTourneau University, Frances Fowlkes combines her passion for happily-ever-afters with her interests in both American and English histories.
A Gentleman and a Rogue by Stephanie Burkhart GENRE: Steampunk romance
Lady Keira Russell is destined to bring compressed natural gas to Britain. Her inner courage and mental toughness rarely falter – except when Prince Edmund Windsor is involved.
Edmund of Wales is from the future. His last jaunt through history muffed up the time line. Now, he's here to set it straight and win Keira's heart.
For Keira, if it isn't one obstacle, it's another. Queen Victoria has sponsored a competition to find a cleaner fuel source than coal. Keira's father is trying to build a windmill and the Ridgecrofts are working with gasoline. Then there's Edmund, whose sensual kisses and heated stares distract her down to her bones.
Keira has a choice: trust Edmund's notorious mischief-making or put her faith in Queen Victoria to make the right decision, but if Keira makes the wrong choice, the future of Great Britain will be changed forever.
Alice dug into her reticule and removed a small slender cylinder. She pressed a button and a beam of light shot out.
"Amazing! How did you do that?" asked Keira.
"It runs on a battery that generates electricity." Alice walked over to the desk and examined the locks. She fussed in her reticule some more, pulled out some picks and went to work.
Edmund stood next to Keira and placed his hand in the small of her back. "She's brilliant, don't you think?"
"A girl after your own heart, I see."
"Alice may have popped my dirigible, but I respect her all that much more for doing it."
"You are incorrigible."
"Come, let's talk." He guided her away from the desk and next to the window. The drapes
were pulled back, allowing the dim, natural light from the stars and moon to filter into the room. Keira's heart pounded in her chest. Determined to stay strong in Edmund's tempting presence, she crossed her arms.
"Did you tell me everything back in my study?" she whispered.
He looked her over seductively, talking softly. "I told you I would the next time I saw you, and I have."
He placed his hand on her shoulder, trailing his finger up the soft skin of her neck, cupping her cheek. His eyes never left hers. "I want to see you again. Soon."
"It isn't wise."
"I know. I don't care." His voice grew low and husky.
Keira hesitated. Her body thrummed with warmth from his touch. Uncomfortable heat
pooled in her core. She tried to fight, to set her resolve and step away from him, but she couldn't. His gaze riveted on her face and moved over her body slowly. "I didn't forget you. I couldn't. You're never far from my thoughts."
Logic. She needed logic. "You're from the future. I'm your past."
He shrugged. "I don't see it that way."
Her knees weakened. "How do you see it?"
Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She's also an assistant den leader for her son's Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.
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Welcome to my tour stop of "Leaving Triscuit" by Will Pollock, presented by Elite Book Tours. To follow the full tour, please visit here.
"LEAVING TRISCUIT" IS FREE ON AUGUST 9, 10 AND 11!
Say “hello” to better good-byes! “Leaving Triscuit” is a blueprint on how you can heal the stress of leaving pets while you’re away for work or leisure. This poignant and personal story is woven with advice from animal- and human-behavior experts who contribute affirming, indispensible strategies to strengthen and even improve the unique bond between pet and parent. Using picture imaging and harnessing the innate, unspoken connection between pet and parent, your separation anxiety will fade away and a greater understanding will be formed.
Triscuit gazed at me with forlorn eyes and a worried mug. Agitated and distressed, she was in effect saying, ‘Good grief, not again.’ Triscuit hopped on the bed and straight into the suitcase, as if to plant her flag and insist I pack her, too. As a canine parent, you know this doggie agenda: eyes as big as saucers, ears pinned back, shoulders slumped, spirit hanging low. Like Triscuit and so many other dogs and cats of her intuitive ilk, she knew.
Will Pollock is a freelance multimedia journalist, content wrangler, artist and author based in Atlanta. His love of dogs and animals began early on when his family owned a Great Pyrenees in New York City named Yeti. He decided to write “Leaving Triscuit” after the stress of leaving his beloved Rat Terrier, Triscuit, while on a three-week trip to Ireland. Separation anxiety is a problem for most pet owners, and the tips and strategies Will learned from experts will help ease that pain.
I’m extremely superstitious. From my years of playing and watching baseball perhaps, but still: I bounce my tennis ball a set amount of times before I serve. I can’t walk on sidewalk cracks (as a result of growing up in Manhattan I guess). And I have to touch the ceiling of my car when I go through a yellow light.
Recovering from a gunshot wound that nearly killed her, Kylie is tormented by her ex-boyfriend’s final words—to have her forever, even if it means she must die.
Desperate to regain her life, Kylie’s world is turned upside down when she discovers Alex betrayed her. The life she dreamed of now uncertain, she slips further into madness, convinced she is being stalked by John’s ghost.
Kylie fights to regain control of her life and salvage her relationship with Alex. Fearing she will never escape her ex-boyfriend’s revenge, she devises a plan to destroy her demon—at any cost.
"Well, well, if it isn't Kylie Tate."
My eyes pop open. Heat flushes through my body, and I'm instantly tense.
Rebekah. The woman who tried her damnedest to come between Alex and me—who nearly succeeded with her lies about a fake affair—stands in an identical robe with a glass of champagne. She slithers onto the chaise next to me.
"How's your closed head injury?" She tips back her champagne, but her gaze never leaves mine.
My pulse races. I want to smack the glass right out of her hand and choke the shit out of her.
"Getting better everyday. Thank you. How's your escort service?"
"Same rude little bitch you've always been, I see. I hear you drove your ex-boyfriend insane, and he tried to kill you."
"Yes, turns out the two of you have a great deal in common. You're both psychotic and have failed at getting rid of me." Heat surges through my body. How dare she twist John's sadistic games into witty reparte? My head is pounding. The pressure at the base of my neck is about to explode. My jaw is clenched so tight, it’s painful. I don't think I have ever wished violence on anyone—until now.
Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains, Anne L. Parks has spent the last 25 years moving all over the United States. Married to the Navy - well a Commander in the Navy - Parks has lived in various locales throughout the United States. She currently resides in the Washington D.C area, and is loving every minute. When not writing, she spends her time reading, doing yoga, mountain biking, and keeping track of four kids. And drinking wine.
2013 marked her debut in publishing. Her first novel, Strangers, released on her 45th birthday. She was amazed at the number of people who fell in love with a story about two people dealing with grief, and finding love again. Abby and Bryce were the perfect couple to introduce Parks as an up-and-coming author.
Her second novel, The Return, released in December 2013. A wonderful Christmas romance, it is the first book in the Return To Me series. Book two, Return To Newport, released April 29th, and followed the couple through the murky waters of saying good-bye to a past that refused to let go. Lauren's Return, the third book in the series, released on August 19th. This chronicles the challenges of bringing together a family amidst tragedy and death, and still holding firmly to the love they have fought so hard to keep alive. The fourth book, Returning Home, shifts the focus away from Jake and Eve, and delves into the life Eve's eldest daughter. Clarissa has a secret she has guarded for most of her life. Fearing it will be revealed, she refuses to allow love into her heart - until she meets Griff. December 2014 brought the close of this series, with the release of RSVP: A Return To Me Christmas novella. The wedding of the year is threatened by Mother Nature, forcing the couple to re-evaluate whether "happily ever after" is really attainable.
Stepping out of her comfort zone, Parks delved into the paranormal with a group of highly talented authors. The result? An unexpected fantasy of four sisters fighting to save the earth - and each other - from their deranged mother. Elementals, A Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Anthology, released on May 15th. Summer brought more collaboration with the release of a Fourth of July themed short story, FlyBoy, that was included in the Sparks Fly boxed set.
MIDNIGHT SOUL is coming! Being released on August 15th, this amazing fantasy takes place in our world and a parallel universe where fantasies are true…but perhaps not all you would expect. MIDNIGHT SOUL is the highly anticipated finale to Kristen Ashley’s bestselling Fantasyland Series. As a special treat the first books in the series are on sale for a limited time only, including the first book in the series, WILDEST DREAMS, for just $.99! Pre-order this amazing novel today, and be sure to check out the exclusive excerpt below!
“You need to leave,” I declared.
His brows drew together a moment before his expression showed clearly that comprehension had dawned.
Sadly, comprehension might have dawned but he didn’t leave.
He crouched by the bed and offered in a soft voice, “You need me to carry you to the other room so you can have a bit of privacy?”
He thought I needed a chamber pot.
What was happening to my face?
The heat I felt in my cheeks could be nothing other than me blushing.
I didn’t blush. I’d never blushed. Not even when I’d set about seducing my first lover at age sixteen.
I needed to be quit of this man as soon as possible.
“No…I…do…not,” I bit out.
“Sure?” he asked kindly.
“I need you to leave, Noctorno,” I used his full name in an effort to irritate, something that worked if the flare in his eyes was any indication, “so Josette can prepare me. We’re away to Kristian’s this morning.”
Another drawing of his brows before he asked, “What?”
“After my toilette, Josette and I are to my sleigh so we can begin our journey to my brother’s home.”
His eyes got bigger as his mouth inquired peculiarly, “Are you high?”
“No,” I answered his ridiculous question unnecessarily, “Indeed, I’m low. As you can see since I’m lying abed.”
For a second he just stared at me.
Then he threw his head back and burst into loud, deep, beautiful laughter.
I wanted to throw something at him.
Unfortunately, in my current position, this was not an option open to me.
“I fail to see what’s amusing,” I noted.
He controlled his mirth only to mutter, “I’ll explain it later.” He went on more distinctly, “Frannie, you’re not goin’ to your brother’s today. Or tomorrow. Or until you’re fit. Then, maybe Valentine will spirit you there, or whatever the fuck that’s called. But for the foreseeable future, your ass is in that bed and you’re resting so you can heal.”
Who did he think he was, telling me what I would or would not do?
“As you’ve determined,” I began, “this is not the first time I’ve been in this condition so I do believe that I know best what I’m capable of and…”
I stopped speaking because he came slightly out of his crouch so he could put his face into my face and he was no longer looking mirthful.
He was looking angry.
“That was when you had no one lookin’ out for you but that’s not the case anymore. So this is how it’s gonna be,” he announced.
He then, to my shock, irritation and outrage, announced how it was going to be.
Like he had the right to tell me how it was going to be!
Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.
And things aren’t going real great there.
Noc is recruited to help save that world.
What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.
FrankaDrakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.
When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.
When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her mask slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.
About Kristen Ashley: Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning. Nothing’s changed. Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.
Friend of the Devil
by Mark Spivak GENRE: Thriller
In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, sold his soul to the Devil to achieve culinary greatness. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.
Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.
He stepped down from the womb of the 727 onto the stubby metal stairway and descended slowly onto the asphalt of the old Palm Beach Airport, like a child sticking a toe into a hot bath.
The first thing he noticed was the light. By the time he reached the tarmac, it hurt his eyes. It was opaque and shining, milky white and brilliant.
As his feet touched the bottom, a coffee-colored hand plucked the bag from his grasp.
“Mr. Fox?” The teeth were almost as bright as the light reflecting against the pavement.
“Welcome to Palm Beach. West Palm, to be precise.” The voice was cool and melodious, with a Jamaican lilt. “We gladly cross the river to welcome our distinguished guests and ferry them to the other shore.” He extended his hand toward the terminal, smiling broadly. “Come, sir. Your chariot awaits.”
The woman stood next to the limousine, sticking out of the asphalt like an exotic tree. She wore a black leather jacket, and a short, black leather skirt, cut on the bias to give her a schoolgirl look. She was smirking.
She has gorgeous skin, was his first thought, smooth enough to lick. Then there was her hair: jet black, cropped short, spiked liberally with mousse, standing straight up as if from an electrical charge. I am so beautiful that I can mutilate my hair and you will still crave me, she seemed to say. I can masquerade as Elvis Costello and you will still crawl across the runway to worship me.
Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog on www.palmbeachillustrated.com. He is the holder of the Certificate and Advanced diplomas from the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Mark’s work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. He is the author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). His first novel, Friend of the Devil, is published by Black Opal Books.
Official genre of book: Science Fiction - Fantasy crossover
Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has been granted what every man wants: a rich English estate in exchange for his valiant service at the Battle of Hastings. To claim this reward, the Norman knight must wed the estate's Saxon heiress. Most men would leap at such an opportunity, but for Alain, who broke his vow to his dying mother by failing to protect his youngest brother in battle, it means facing more easily broken vows. But when rumors of rampant thievery, dangerous beasts, and sorcery plaguing a neighboring estate reach his ears, nothing will make him shirk duty to king and country when people's lives stand at risk. He assumes the guise of a squire to scout the land, its problems, and its lady.
Lady Kendra of Edgarburh has been granted what no woman wants: a forced marriage to an enemy who may be kith or kin to the man who murdered her beloved brother. Compounding her anguish is her failure to awaken the miraculous healing gift bequeathed by their late mother in time to save his life. Although with his dying breath, he made her promise to seek happiness above all, Kendra vows that she shall find neither comfort nor love in the arms of a Norman…unless it snows in July.
Alain is smitten by Lady Kendra from the first moment of their meeting; Kendra feels the forbidden allure of the handsome and courtly Norman "squire." But a growing evil overshadows everyone, invoking dark forces and ensnaring Kendra in a plot to overthrow the king Alain is oath-bound to serve. Kendra and Alain face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance.
Alain’s friendship with Sir Ruaud, his polished manners and speech, fighting skills, and scars—it made less sense than ever that he could be a squire. “Who are you, really?” she whispered.
His back stiffened, and he released her hand to give her a curious look. Finally, he smiled. “A complete fool.”
She arched an eyebrow. “Hardly that, if you possessed the wit to locate me. I mean, you must be a knight. Don’t bother to deny it. There can be no other reasonable explanation.”
He regarded her for a long moment. “Yes. I am a knight.”
“But why the disguise?” She recoiled as an unpleasant thought returned. “Sir Robert didn’t send you to test my virtue, did he?”
“Mon Dieu, no! Never once did that cross his mind.”
She felt her brow wrinkle. “How can you be so certain?”
“I have known Sir Robert my entire life.” His smile turned enigmatic. “He would never resort to such a ploy.”
“But he would send you and Sir Ruaud ahead to look me over, is that it?” Her ire rose on the wings of indignation. “To determine whether I am a worthy match for his lordship?” His smile inverted to dread. “Hah. I am right.”
Denying him a chance to reply, she shot to her feet. Her instinct suggested escaping into the maze, but fear of becoming lost in the mist pushed her toward the tower’s door. The bolt’s heaviness prevented her from locking him out, so she concentrated on making best speed. Pounding footsteps warned her of Alain’s pursuit.
He caught her wrist while she was still on the stairs, but she yanked it free and continued up. On the landing outside the upper chamber, she had to pause for air. He joined her before she could escape.
“Please, my lady,” he said between breaths. “Let me explain.”
“What’s to explain? Sir Robert sent you to scout me out, and you agreed. You Normans are a despicable lot. Every last, stinking one of you! I thought I had met one who wasn’t.” She blinked hard to fight off the welling tears. “I was wrong.”
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight first edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.
Song of Sovereign
(Songs of Everealm #1)
by J.D. Wright
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Release Date: July 2016
Princess Sarita has everything. Loving parents, a castle fit for royalty, fine clothes, loyal friends, and an exciting job as a scholar of magic. At eighteen years of age, one might think that she would be content with her position. But one thing has always been missing from her life... full magic, itself.
When a strange old woman gave Sarita a secret spellbook as a child, her entire life was changed. The book contains spells, songs, and stories. But most of all, it provides a path to gaining full magic, the only thing that Sarita still needs to feel complete. And now, she has finally prepared to leave her home in search of the Stones of the Divine, the final ingredient she needs to gain magic.
Gabrielle has been known as the sister of a knight and best friend of the princess for as long as she can remember. Now an experienced healer's assistant, she is desperate to find her place and purpose in Junacave. An adventurous mission to help Sarita locate a mystical stone may be just the change in her life that she is looking for.
King Cassidy is still alone, but not for a lack of trying. His attempts to convince the Princess of Junacave to marry him over the past ten years have been for naught. And being twenty years old, with no heir, he is running out of time. If he can't win the heart of the princess, he may have to face a future without the love of his life.
Adventure, romance, and magic await as we travel through Everealm with royalty, wizards, fairies, and more, in the fantasy-romance Songs of Everealm, a five book series by J.D. Wright, author of the Everealm Series.
Note: Adult Content
Songs of Everealm Series is the second series set in the fantasy-filled Everealm. It begins 8 years after the conclusion of the first series, the Everealm Series.
Cassidy smiled, walking toward her. He leaned against the table closest to her desk and studied her. She was so beautiful. He thought she looked a lot like her mother, but she had Rowan’s soft brown eyes. Her long and slightly curly hair was still blonde, though. It hadn’t turned auburn like Bree’s or brown like Rowan’s. It stayed blonde all through her childhood and to now. And it suited her other soft features. To most, the princess might appear delicate. He had angered her enough to know that she wasn’t. And she was just remarkable when she was angry.
Her gown was plainer than the ones he usually saw her wearing, but he rarely entered her space when she was working during his visits. He figured she would probably change into something more formal before supper. And she would be just as striking in an elaborate gown as she was in her riding clothes. Which reminded him…
“I wanted to know if you were up for finishing our race. I brought Stallion with me, this time. So think carefully before you accept. I would hate to make my princess cry when I leave her in my dust.”
Sarita narrowed her eyes at him, then stepped closer.
“I am not your princess and Stallion will never win against Dragonfly. My horse practically flies, hence the name.”
Cassidy snickered. “Does she fly like a dragon or like a fly? Because one doesn’t exist and the other is a giant nuisance.”
She smirked at him. Well played, Your Majesty. “Either one would be faster than your precious Stallion.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. I think we both know that you will be the one in my dust. I hope you choke on it.”
“I love it when you wish harm to come to me.”
“Then you should be the happiest king in the realm because I wish harm on you almost every day.”
“Oh, I am insanely happy. Especially, right now.”
Sarita’s eyes widened. She suddenly realized just how close she had gotten to him. She wasn’t sure how long she had been standing there or when he had put his hands on her waist. Yet, looking down, almost her entire body was pressed against him. She quickly backed away and turned toward her desk.
“I will take that as your agreement to my challenge,” he said, turning to go.
She stared at him as he walked out of the room. When she was alone, again, she sank into her chair and dropped her head onto the desk. This was going to be a disaster. Sneaking away before the tournament was over would be nearly impossible. She wouldn’t get far before Cassidy would realize she was gone.
An absolutely enchanting read! You're immediately whisked away to the magic filled kingdom of Everealm and get to indulge in a story full of adventure, intrigue and romance! The worldbuilding was very intricate and completely original, with special attention paid to details. The characters were very complex with unique personalities that make you really feel for them. I loved the complexities of all the different romances going as as everybody tries to come to terms with their feelings for each other and figuring out who belongs with whom. Even though I didn't read the first Everrealm series, I had no problem picking up this book and never feeling lost, as the author does a great job filling in background information for past events. This story has it all- a magical quest, mages, fairies, sweet romance and even some pretty dangerous situations they have to scrape out of! I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed this story and can't wait to indulge in the next book!
Song of Sparrows
(Songs of Everealm #2)
by J.D. Wright
Genre; Adult Fantasy
Release Date: July 2016
The journey across Everealm to find the magical stones has not come without its challenges. After being plagued by unwanted guests, disagreements, and accidents, Princess Sarita is beginning to wonder if her dream of gaining magic is a fantasy that can't come true.
Along the way, new friends and rekindled sparks between old flames have caused quite a stir within the group. As a new wizard joins the effort and gives the princess a reason to continue, the quest for the next stone ensues...
As the sun rises over the ridge, our story continues into the Song of Sparrows!
Adult content. Intended for mature audiences.
The enchanting adventure continues! The story picks up right where the first book ended and wastes no time getting back to all the adventure! The romances continue to bloom as the characters find new emotions coming to the surface for each other. There's a few new characters and creatures introduced that immensely enhance the story and captivate me even more. The quest continues as Sarita continues to search for the magical stones and I was left racing through the pages just to find out what would happen next! The story is kept light-hearted, yet with plenty of action and romantic angst to keep me completely captivated. I am truly becoming an Everrealm addict and really can't wait to see what the next book in this enchanting series brings!
Writing has always been a hobby of mine, beginning as a young child. It was a way to cope with losing my father at seven years of age. I started with poetry and was featured several times on the amazing poetry blog, Autumn Leaves, by Sondra Ball. My love for poetry soon led to writing songs in middle school and beyond, which I still do occasionally. Music has always been an important part of my existence, so writing songs came naturally to me. In high school, I started my own novel, however, life got in the way and I never finished it.
Fast forward many years later and I find myself married with three children, absorbed in my busy life with commitments to my family, work, school, church, and charities, among other things. One day I came across my old binder, with notes from my first novel, and it was with those notes that I conjured up the elusive Everealm.
I write to please readers such as myself, who have a love for fantasy and romance, but like a little danger and sex in their reading. I wrote the book with a mature audience in mind, who can appreciate a hearty imaginary world with magic and the unknown, but want more than fluffy love stories with wizards in them. They want the romance, magic, and danger, all wrapped into one.
Past Lives Series -
Loves of our Lives and Love by Knight
by AC Chenier GENRE: Romance
The Past Lives series of books introduces two strong women who undergo dramatic changes in their lives when they learn about their soul's past. Through past life regression they learn of their own history and investigate the concept of soul mates reuniting through time. Read Loves of our Lives and Love by Knight to learn about Katie Benjamin and Kelly Taylor.
Love by Knight – Book 2
“Thank you Kelly. I imagine you’re trying to figure out what brought us to Canada?”
“Well, yes, the thought did cross my mind.”
Gramps and Katrine looked at each other. “You start Katrine.”
“Alright Dad, well, we have two reasons. The first is obviously Neil. We are both really concerned about him. Since you left in August, he’s been going at a break-neck pace. He’s pushing himself way too much. I’ve begged him to slow down, but he just won’t. He didn’t even come back to Derbyshire for Christmas. Chris and I talked and we feel Neil is working himself to death, trying to push all his feelings aside and just work. It’s a pattern we see all too often in the men of the family when they don’t have their soul mate around. It’s for lack of a better word, a curse the Carter men deal with. They become restless and almost self-destructive when they are alone. I’ve watched my brother for years commit himself entirely to the business he built. He would never admit that the business is his lover and other half, but it is. And now I think Neil is going down the same path. All work, no pleasure, one hundred percent committed to other things than his own well-being. I suspect that you might have been doing the same thing? Trying to drown your sorrows in work?”
“I don’t deny that I miss Neil more than I could imagine. But we live such different lives, from completely different worlds. I just don’t see how we could sustain a relationship based on that. We’re too different.”
“Young lady, I don’t believe that for a second. The two worlds you talk about are the illusion and the superficial world of our minds. At your core, you and Neil live in the same world. You’re both just being stubborn, and scared as far as I can see. The love you two share is so rare. I can understand how it feels to be so in love it scares you. Abigail was that woman for me. But if I hadn’t taken the risk, then none of the rest of them would be here. All of us in the Carter family know that feeling. You just have to trust that the risk is worth it.”
“Gramps, I’ve loved and lost twice already. Once with my father, it nearly killed me too. And when Ken died, I just about gave up on life. I just can’t take that risk again!”
“Kelly, my girl, please. Passion and love are always worth the risk. Life is worth the risk. Don’t let the fear of the hurt stop you from living the moments that will make you happiest. Don’t let the mind and ego stampede over the yearnings in your soul.”
AC Chenier is the author of the Past Lives series of books, including Loves of our Lives and the forthcoming Love by Knight. The novels explore the fascinating spiritual world and the concept that we are all souls who have lived before, and that we reunite with our loved ones through time. The novels allow her to couple her long standing interest in the romance and fantasy genres with a passion for writing. When she’s not busy typing away at her computer, you can find her with her horses or golf clubs.
Her books are available in paperback and ebook.
Do you believe you've lived before and if so, who were you?
I do believe that I’ve lived in the past… many times. I’ve attended a couple of Dr. Brian Weiss workshops, where he conducts a group regression and invites you to explore some of your own past lives. I’ve been given a glimpse of some different times and interesting people. Two that were very notable were a composer in the 1600’s-1700’s and a young girl/student way back in the times just after the dawn of the Christian era.
I’ve also had some very unique experiences when visiting places in Europe. That haunted feeling that you know a place/ have been there in the past….ghosts of the past calling to you. This was especially true for me in Ireland and Paris…. Visiting Notre Dame Cathedral was a truly spine tingling day.
I do not have any names to attach to my lives, at least at this point in time…. But I don’t believe I’ve been anyone famous; just ordinary people, living their lives as best they can in the times they lived.
What are your top ten favorite books?
Top ten favourite books is a tough one…. But these are the books I go back to time and time again….the ones I’ve had to replace numerous times in my collection.
Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen The Lord of the Rings - Tolkien The Mallorean series plus Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress- David Eddings
Almost any book by Judith McNaught (particularly the historical series) The Last Dragonlord and Dragon and Phoenix - Joanne Bertin Red Storm Rising – Tom Clancy Black Beauty – Anne Sewell
It’s a pretty eclectic selection of authors from romance to fantasy to action.
What's the most interesting/ unique thing that's ever happened to you?
I’ve had many interesting experiences in my life, but none that I would say are so unique that they would be different than what anyone else has experienced. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many places in the world, I’ve met and worked with many interesting and talented people, I’ve loved and lost; I’ve lived life. None of this is particularly different than anyone else in the world…and maybe that’s what is unique about it. It’s my life, made up of all those experiences and combines to make it my unique life.
If I had to pinpoint one experience that has been awe inspiring, I would say it was witnessing the true power and uncontrollability of nature. Back in 1992 I was in Kauai when Hurricane Iniki struck the tiny island. I can still remember to this day, standing at the back door to the shelter I was in and watching the trees being pushed horizontal by the power of the wind….and watching a big garbage bin (the commercial ones) go flying through the air. And then after the passing of the storm, seeing the destruction that nature can wreck…it was a very humbling to realize how little we really control of this earth.
What's something unique and quirky about you?
I can’t say that I think of myself as unique and quirky. I guess I would start with not being a girly girl. I far prefer the outdoors and sports over a shopping mall…. I hate shopping actually, unless I’m shopping for my horses. If I’m looking for anything for them, then I could shop forever… they are better dressed than I am. LOL. I also think I’m “allergic” to make-up… I rarely wear any.
Book 1, Moonlight & Jasmine Series
by Kathleen Ann Gallagher GENRE: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Krista Winter is in need of legal counsel. Several years ago she was forced to flee her life as a teacher in New Jersey after being shunned for practicing witchcraft, and her past is about to catch up with her.
Jon Bartolo is a dedicated attorney. His days are spent helping his clients with their struggles, and his nights are spent in agony, lost in a world between life and death. His mother, who died three years ago, lurks in his house, suffering from a curse for eternity, without a final resting place.
A smoldering fire ignites between Jon and Krista almost immediately, however, he’s sure his secret would frighten any woman away. An afternoon escape brings them closer, but doubts linger between the love-struck couple.
Burning questions about how to fuse their futures together with so much of their past still clouding the future becomes a heavy burden that they’re both trying to bear on their own. It will take a touch of magic if there’s any hope in sight.
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Steadying herself, Krista stared into his eyes with her heart racing. As Jon moved in again and plunged his tongue deep into her mouth, he caressed her back, and she surrendered mercifully to his touch. Each passion-filled kiss felt as if he was a long lost lover who had reappeared and claimed her heart’s desire. There was no telling what might happen next. Her whole body relaxed as he nuzzled her ear, teasing her with playful nips at her neck. All rules had been broken, but it didn’t matter. His hard shaft rubbed up against her, and she swayed back and forth, unable to break away from temptation. Jon’s breathing sped up as his hands traveled up and down her back. She quietly moaned, lost in another world. Every movement brought her one step closer. Was she lonely enough to have sex with a man she’d just met? Each kiss weakened her guard. Maybe it was fate. As his hand trailed across her back, her body rocked with his. Each flicker of his tongue along the sides of her mouth was electrifying, as if he wanted to devour her, and she found herself in a trance-like state. This was what she’d been missing. Running her hand across his firm bicep, the room spun. The warmth of his body was raising her level of arousal. Here, in the middle of his office, she experienced a passion like no other. Everything seemed right. Lust took control of her senses, and she let herself go with it. With each kiss, he cradled her in his arms, his embrace warm and protective like a warrior of love. How did this happen? Had she found the man she was destined for, or was it all a dream?
Kathleen writes contemporary and paranormal romance in her home in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and their two fur babies, Luc and Chaz. She spent years working as a registered nurse in an emergency room. She is also active in Community Theater. She has three children and three lovable grandsons. Her favorite romantic getaway is Cape May, New Jersey. You might find Kathleen on a beach down the Jersey Shore, wearing a straw hat and sipping on an iced tea as she plots her next romance novel.
You can find Kathleen at the following places:
DRAGON FEVER by Donna Grant, a novella in her Dark Kings Series brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights, is finally here! Be sure you check out the trailer and excerpt below, and grab your copy today!
Someone was in her hotel room.
Her gaze swung to the bathroom door she’d left cracked open. Her heart hammered against her ribs as her stomach clenched in fear. No one should’ve been able to get into her room. She’d bolted the door.
In an attempt to slow her racing heart, she took a deep breath. Then, slowly pushed open the door. She peered around the edge to find a man sitting casually in the overstuffed chair. Long black hair was pulled away and clasped at the base of his neck. Gold eyes watched her with a wealth of humor. And a smidgen of mockery.
She blew out a breath and leaned against the door of the bathroom as indifferently as she could while wrapped in a towel.
One side of his mouth lifted in a grin. “You don’t seem surprised.”
She took in his British accent that was a bit too perfect. Sam MacDonald was anything but what he said he was. It was a fact she accepted in order to get what she wanted.
His arms rested carelessly along the arms of the chair. One long leg was bent with an ankle resting atop his other knee. His white shirt was unbuttoned at his neck with no tie in sight. But that was usually the case.
There was something undeniably dangerous about Sam MacDonald. He frightened her, but it was men like him that gave her the information she needed to expose the truth to the world. So he was a necessary evil.
But that didn’t mean she had to like him.
“How did you get in?” she demanded.
His smile widened, stretching his full lips but never reaching his gold eyes. “That’s a secret I’ll keep.” Then he blinked, his chest expanding as he took in a breath, and his entire demeanor changed. “Get dressed. We need to talk.”
She stepped back into the bathroom and closed the door with a sigh. She looked down at her hands to find them shaking.
“Stop it,” she whispered to herself.
She had to get her nerves under control and quickly. Without delay, she dressed in a pair of black lounge pants and a loose-fitting, long-sleeved gray shirt. When she exited, Sam was in the same position. Except now there were two glasses of Scotch sitting on the coffee table.
Their gazes met. Rachel had learned to listen to her instincts, and as she looked into Sam’s eyes, she saw determination, anticipation, and…a slow burning anger. He blinked, and the anger was gone, hidden once more.
It would show again. It always did. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t hide it for long. She found it difficult to trust him because she knew he was keeping something from her.
“I don’t like whisky,” she replied as she walked from the bathroom. She tucked her leg beneath her and sat on the sofa opposite him.
He gave an indifferent shrug. “I’d advise you change your mind.”
Rachel Marek is a journalist with a plan. She intends to expose the truth about dragons to the world – and her target is within sight. Nothing matters but getting the truth, especially not the ruggedly handsome, roguishly thrilling Highlander who oozes danger and charm. And when she finds the truth that shatters her faith, she’ll have to trust her heart to the very man who can crush it… A legend in the flesh Suave, dashing Asher is more than just a man. He’s a Dragon King – a being who has roamed this planet since the beginning of time. With everything on the line, Asher must choose to trust an enemy in the form of an all too alluring woman whose tenacity and passion captivate him. Together, Asher and Rachel must fight for their lives – and their love – before an old enemy destroys them both…
About Donna Grant: Donna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the sizzling Dark King series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae. She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding. Despite deadlines and voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two children, four cats, and one long haired Chihuahua.
Only an Earl Will Do
To Marry a Rogue #1
By: Tamara Gill
Released July 25, 2016
Entangled Select Historical
The reigning queen of London society, Lady Elizabeth Worthingham, has her future set out for her. Marry well, and marry without love. An easy promise to make and one she owed her family after her near ruinous past that threatened them all. And the rakish scoundrel Henry Andrews, Earl of Muir whose inability to act a gentleman when she needed one most would one day pay for his treachery.
Returning to England after three years abroad, Henry is determined to make the only woman who captured his heart his wife. But the icy reception he receives from Elizabeth is colder than his home in the Scottish highlands. As past hurts surface and deception runs as thick as blood, so too does a love that will overcome all obstacles, unless a nameless foe, determined with his own path, gets his way and their love never sees the light of day...
Elizabeth hid a repulsed shudder over Lord Riddledale, who stood pompous and proud across the floor, the ever-present scowl on his face no surprise. No doubt her stepping out with another gentleman other than himself had put him out of countenance. She turned back to her sister. “I cannot summon any remorse for annoying Riddledale. As for Lord Dean, I’ll be sorry to hurt him, but no, I will not marry him no matter how much his heart breaks over my decision.”
“Could your feelings change in time, do you believe?” Victoria asked.
Elizabeth shook her head. “No.”
She swallowed the familiar lump which formed in her throat every time she thought of him, the man she refused to name, even in her own thoughts. “I’m not the loving kind. I don’t believe it’s healthy to rely on such feeble unstable emotions when someone is entering the marriage state. Men and their need to be adored, looked up to in awe, can go hang. Lord Newland’s name protects me now. I have no need to marry again.”
Victoria threw her a dubious look. “I believe there is nothing purer and good than love, especially if you are fortunate enough to have it in a marriage.” Her sister sighed, the sound tinged with sadness. “You promised Papa you would try.”
“I am well aware of what I promised Papa, but he did not stipulate marriage is what I should try. I’m friendly and affable. That is enough.”
Tamara Gill is an Australian author who grew up in an old mining town in country South Australia, where her love of history was founded. So much so, she made her darling husband travel to the UK for their honeymoon, where she dragged him from one historical monument and castle to another. A mother of three, her two little gentleman’s in the making, a future lady (she hopes) and a part-time job keep her busy in the real world, but whenever she gets a moment’s peace she loves to write romance novels in an array of genres, including regency, medieval and time travel. Tamara loves hearing from readers and writers alike. You can contact her through her website, and sign up to follow her blog or newsletter.
Beth Huntley, photographer and devoted bachelorette, doesn’t believe in true love. Too much hurt and disappointment has left her hiding behind the camera. All she can see is a black and white world through the lens.
William Lorde, widower and father, was once an open and carefree man. The loss of his wife has left him wrapped up in the needs of his little girl. He can no longer see the colors of the world as he struggles each and every day.
What happens when these two similarly different people meet and help each other to step out of the world they’ve created for themselves? Will they find a love that helps them heal from the past, enjoy their present and create a beautiful future?
I woke the following morning to the sound of the ocean crashing against the beach. I was still wrapped in William's embrace, my head resting on his shoulder. His breathing was even and soft as he slept.
I was too comfortable to start the new day. Looking around without bothering to lift my head, I located our clothes, neatly folded on the other chair under the cabana. Heat rushed to my cheeks. Who had done that? And when had they done it?
William stirred beside me. "Morning, love." His voice was rough with sleep.
"Morning," I whispered, not sure if our mysterious housekeeper was still nearby.
He was immediately focused. "Beth, what's wrong?"
It was impossible to hide anything from him now. I was an open book now and he was my reader.
"We had a visitor," I said, pointing at our neatly-folded clothes.
He relaxed back into the chair. "Oh, Beth, we're grown adults. We didn't do anything the rest of them haven't done."
He was right, but it wasn't something I was so open to having everyone know. "But..."
"Relax, Beth." William consoled me. "Are you regretting it?"
I was shocked at his question. "No, never!"
"So don't be embarrassed. It's a natural part of a relationship," William chuckled. "Stop over thinking everything."
I hid my face on his chest. He was right; he was always right. How could I doubt what had happened between us? We’d both been ready, and I was sure a few people up at the house were curious why it hadn't happened sooner. I had to stop over-analyzing everything.
A different thought crossed my mind. "Oh my god, William!" I jumped up, scrambling for my clothes.
"My camera!" I cursed as I yanked the tank top from the folded clothes over my head.
"Where did you leave it?" He sounded concerned, knowing what my equipment meant to me.
"On the beach, before we went into the water last night," I yelled as I hopped out of the cabana, still attempting to get my other leg in my shorts.
We spent the next twenty minutes searching the beach. My anger quickly turned into horror as reality sunk in. My camera was gone. Had someone taken it, or had the ocean claimed it?
William tried to comfort me as we trudged up the path to the villa. "All those photos... the airport, the flight, the first photos of Jamaica, they're all gone, William." I was more upset over the loss of the photos than the camera itself.
Voices were audible from the kitchen as we stepped through the patio doors. The aromas were incredible, but weren't enough to lighten my mood. Most people would be upset about the camera, but even if it was my favorite, and worth a ridiculous amount of money, it was the loss of so many memories which upset me.
Jude came out of her bedroom and stopped short when she spotted us. She glanced towards the kitchen as she rushed towards us. She wrapped her arms around me, and whispered loud enough so William could hear her, "Everyone thinks you went for an early walk." I stiffened, unsure how much she knew. "I put your camera in your bedroom." She chuckled as she stepped back. As she turned, she reached out and tugged on William's shirt. "You really do pack neatly."
I stood motionless, completely stunned and my body turned to lava with embarrassment. Just before Jude turned the corner to the kitchen, she glanced over her shoulder. "By the way, William, you should get a tan on that ass."
✯This book is specially discounted until this promo tour is over. Get your copy today.✯
28 year old writer, Vanessa Fortney, has travelled the world, living life to the fullest. When she comes home due to the unexpected death of her only blood relatives, she only has one regret; never finding a love that triumphs all others.
In a beautiful valley in the Rocky Mountains, Nessa finds herself wondering about a mysterious stranger who saved her after a nearly disastrous car accident. The mystery that surrounds Daniel is quickly replaced by the increasing attraction Nessa feels for him.
Will she find that love that transcends all love or will an unforeseen tragedy keep them apart?
My love for books began at a very small age. I lived inside the many worlds the local library could provide. The characters within those pages were my companions and my support when I needed someone most.
My imagination began to soar as I grew. I began writing small poems as a teenager, but never thought much about publishing or expanding beyond put my words to paper.
After my children were born our love for a certain TV show fueled my love for writing. Using my children as inspiration, I began to write fanfiction, my children being the characters within the stories.
My passion for putting words to paper (or screen as is the norm now) has turned from passion to obsession. I've made some incredible friends through this journey and in turn, have become not only an author but a promoter and supporter for those whose imagination dreams characters and worlds that I can lose myself in.
I thank my precious children, my beautiful soul-mate and my forever sister and best friend for being my constant rock and support as I continue to walk this road called life.
Sign of the Green Dragon
by C. Lee McKenzie GENRE: Middle Grade
When a wall of their cave hideout crumbles, three boys discover a skeleton, clutching a treasure map. They set off to trace the story of an old murder, but stumble into a modern crime, and confront ancient Chinese dragons.
Sam inched forward and aimed the flashlight inside. “Uh oh.”
“What?” Joey gasped.
“It’s a ... well, kind of a ... skeleton.”
“Awww,” Roger screamed, ran, tripped, and sprawled on his stomach.
“It can’t hurt you, Roger,” Sam said. “Come on.
Take a look.” One thing about being in a family of paleontologists, you got used to bones.
Roger quick-shook his head. “No. No. No.”
Joey took three slow steps and stood next to Sam. “Sweet. A dead guy. Man, let’s get out of here.”
“Hold this.” Sam handed Joey the flashlight. “Keep the light on him, okay?”
The skeleton was partly covered by a tattered shirt and pants. Bony fingers clutched a wooden box with a piece of thin metal about two inches long on its top.
Reaching inside, Sam tried to pry the box from the skeleton’s grasp, but the finger bones fell through the rib cage and clattered to the bottom of the chest. The box lodged between the ribs.
The light jiggled in Joey’s hand. “Come on Sam, enough already.”
Sam picked up the thin metal piece from the top of the box, and held it under the light. One end of it was bent at a right angle. A faded red tassel looped through the other end.
“Here, take this.” Sam handed Joey the strange object, then reached inside the chest and gripped the box. He lifted it slow and easy. It could be a trap. It could be dangerous. His hands twitched and the edge of the box caught on a rod that held the chest lid open. He barely snatched the box free before the lid crashed down.
What sounded like an angry dragon exploded around the cave.
C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication. Her greatest passion is writing for young readers. Sign of the Green Dragon is her third Middle Grade novel. Alligators Overhead and the sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster were her first two. She has traditionally published four young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets.
I'd like to highlight the fact that I always have a free ebook (a different one every few months) available on my website for visitors. http://cleemckenziebooks.com
I couldâve fucking strangled her. She knew it too because she stepped away quickly. âTouch me and Iâll have you!â she snarled.
âBruja mala leche! What the fuck do you think youâre playing at! You canât push me around!â
âSure I can.â Her eyes were slate grey, the same colour as the sky, and just as cold. âI need help, and youâre going to give it.â
âWhat the hell are you talking about?â
âIâve got a situation. I need someone who isnât afraid of murder and mayhem.â
I should have charmed her, offered to help and maybe it would have settled it, but I was too mad to even consider it. âHelp you? Over my dead fucking body!â
She shrugged. âWe can do it that way, too.â She took out her phone. âIâll call you soon, hopefully within the hour. If you still refuse, I call Smith.â The eyes were hard. âIâd rather not shop you, because I hate that bastard, but I will if you make me.â
I gave her my number. I mean, I wanted to kill her, but in London they notice things like bodies in the street. Especially if youâre careless enough to do it in broad daylight next to a cop shop.
Quique is having a bad time. Back in Mexico his marriage has fallen apart and his wife has made him a laughing stock by cheating on him. Now heâs in London and finding himself out of his depth with a complex commercial deal. To make things worse, Natalia Truelove, a chef and pub manager, is blackmailing him. Quique is ready to commit murder and heâs pretty sure who his first victim will be.
Warning: Dirty Dealings contains strong adult language and themes as well as graphic violence and fully depicted love scenes.