Authors Annette Marie and Rob Jacobsen are revealing the cover to WARPING MINDS & OTHER MISDEMEANORS, the first book in their new adult urban fantasy series, The Guild Codex: Warped, releasing August 7, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
WARPING MINDS AND OTHER MISDEMEANORS (The Guild Codex – Warped Series #1) by Annette Marie and Rob Jacobsen
Synopsis My name is Kit Morris, and welcome to my warped life.
Picture the scene: Me, an average guy with psychic powers—not that my abilities are in any way average—just trying to scrape by in a harsh world. So maybe I’ve conned a few people, but did I really deserve to be thrown in MPD jail alongside magic-wielding serial killers?
According to Agent Lienna Shen, one-hundred-percent yes.
But her hardass attitude and “Arcana prodigy” status aren’t enough to bring down my former best friend, who slipped through the MPD’s fingers and is days away from unleashing untold horrors upon the city. Or he’s going to steal something. I don’t really know.
Whatever he’s up to, that’s why I’m sitting in an interrogation room with Lienna. And that’s why I just offered myself as her temporary new partner for the purposes of thwarting my ex-accomplice.
And that’s how I’m going to escape. I might even help with the case before I cut and run.
Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors is the first book in a new series set in the world of The Guild Codex. It can be read on its own or as part of a larger adventure.
More series in the Guild Codex world: The Guild Codex: Spellbound
The Guild Codex: Demonized
Author Annette Marie
About the Authors Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast- paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities..
Rob is a Canadian writer, actor, and director, who has been in a few TV shows you might watch, had a few films in festivals you might have attended, and authored some stories you might have come across. He’s hoping to accomplish plenty more by the time he inevitably dies surrounded by cats while watching reruns of Mr. Robot.
Currently, he is the Creative Director of Cave Puppet Films, as well as the co-author of the upcoming Guild Codex: Warped book series with Annette Marie.
Author Leslie Scott is revealing the cover to FULL TILT BOOGIE, the third book in her new adult contemporary romance series, Arkadia Fast, releasing July 22, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
FULL TILT BOOGIE (Arkadia Fast Series #3) by Leslie Scott
Synopsis Breanna Casey has only ever wanted two things in life: to race and to get the hell out of Arkadia, Texas. Stifled beneath her family’s turbo-charged reputation, she’s got her thumb firmly on the self-destruct button. A night of hyper-driven racing and rebellion leads to a one night stand with the one guy who knows how to press all her buttons: Noah McKay.
Torn apart by the toll of his high-intensity enlistment in the Marines and guilt-ridden by what he’s seen, Noah McKay left the military to find peace. A chance encounter sends him working for the parents of a raven-haired Amazon goddess with a tongue that cuts sharper than any knife. Quiet is the last thing he’ll get.Finally, she gets her chance.
Calloway Racing wants her to drive for them. But that’s not all they want. A good friend of her father’s, Calloway insists she take Noah along for the ride. Suddenly, her dreams are feeling more like a nightmare. Will they be able to help each other, maybe even find love, when living life full tilt boogie?
About the Author Award nominated author of Two Hearts, One Stone and the Arkadia Fast Series, Leslie Scott has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. The happier the ending, the better. Currently, she lives and writes amidst her own happily ever after with her soul mate, son, and domestic zoo.
Author Bella Di Corte is revealing the cover to MARAUDER, the second book in her adult romantic suspense series, Gangsters of New York, releasing August 7, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
MARAUDER (Gangsters of New York Series #2) by Bella Di Corte
There was one thing I always thought was mine to give: my heart.
I never imagined a marauder would steal it out of vengeance—vengeance that had nothing to do with me. His greatest enemy happened to be the man in love with me, and somehow I became nothing but a pawn. I was no damsel in distress, though. More like an archer, ready to battle.
And my target? The marauder himself.
Cashel “Cash” Kelly.
Kelly might have been as gorgeous as he was ruthless, but he had no idea what I’d do to steal it back. Or better yet, get even.
She was determined to keep what was mine.
They say hearts can’t be stolen unless they’re willing to be. Tell that to the man everyone on the streets called “the marauder.”
Because by the time I was through, Keely Ryan’s heart would be mine. And my enemy’s? As good as broken. Trouble was, the archer was precise with her aim, and her arrow was pointed at my heart.
About the Author Bella Di Corte has been writing romance for seven years, even longer if you count the stories in her head that were never written down, but she didn’t realize how much she enjoyed writing alphas until recently. Tough guys who walk the line between irredeemable and savable, and the strong women who force them to feel, inspire her to keep putting words to the page.
Apart from writing, Bella loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and family. She also loves to read, listen to music, cook meals that were passed down to her, and take photographs. She mostly takes pictures of her family (when they let her) and her three crazy dogs.
Bella grew up in New Orleans, a place she considers a creative playground.
She loves to connect with readers, so don’t hesitate to email her at email@example.com if you’d like to reach out.
Author B. Austin is revealing the cover to THE WITCH WITH NINE LIVES, the second book in her young adult fantasy series, A Dysfunctional Family of Witches, releasing August 27, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, pre-order links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
THE WITCH WITH NINE LIVES (A Dysfunctional Family of Witches Series #2) by B. Austin
Synopsis Nikki and Medea are half-sisters and the daughters of Dima. Their mother is 130-years-old, but because of a shapeshifting stone, she appears to be 19. She insists her daughters treat her as a sister and not a mother. Dima can live forever, due to the shapeshifting stone.
Medea and Nikki are both 18-years-old, but Medea is no ordinary, young woman. Medea turns into a cat at night, due to her mother’s irreversible curse. Medea is living the first of her nine lives. She, too, will live a long time. Medea has a secret that can destroy the sisterly tie between her and Nikki.
Nikki is beautiful but jealous of her mother and sister because she has no magic and works as a maid, rather than in the family witchcraft business.
Unknown to Nikki and her family, she, too, has a magical gift she cannot yet control, a sorcery that will threaten Medea and pit two powerful sisters against each other.
About the Author B. Austin writes Science Fiction and Fantasy, spellbinding tales filled with suspense, mystery, and unique magic. She loves creating future worlds with cool technology.
B writes under two other names. BELINDA AUSTIN writes Psychological Thrillers, Suspense, and Hysterical Fiction. BELINDA V. GARCIA has written award-winning Historical Fiction and middle-grade fantasy.
Before writing fiction full time, B. Austin was a Computer Programmer, Web Developer, and Software Engineer. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics. If you are still curious about Belinda, she has written a series of memoirs entitled: MEMOIRS OF A BIGAMIST’S DAUGHTER. She thanks you humbly for your interest.
In her own words: “I would like to have a dinner party on Halloween with all my fans, and Edgar Allan Poe as guest of honor. I fell in love with his writing when I was a kid. We will have chocolate cake, chocolate-covered strawberries, and fudge for dessert. With bated breath, we will ask Eddie the real story of how he died. Everyone loves a good horror tale.”
Belinda invites you to subscribe to her newsletter at her website http://authorBelinda.com under the tab CONNECT. At her website are, also, other social media links.
Welcome to the blog tour for IF WE EVER MEET AGAIN, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, If Love, by Ana Huang. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
IF WE EVER MEET AGAIN (If Love Series #1) by Ana Huang
Synopsis One year, two opposites, and a love that will blindside and, ultimately, shatter them.
She’s an aspiring interior designer who dreams of falling in love. He’s an ex-football star who thinks love is a con.
She’s a virgin, and he doesn’t do virgins. He’s cocky, infuriating, and not her type.
She wants the fairytale. He wants freedom.
Blake and Farrah shouldn’t have fallen for each other the way they did: totally, completely, and irrevocably.
Because they’re studying abroad in Shanghai, and they only have one year.
Because forces at home threaten to rip them apart, even if they don’t know it yet.
And because, eventually, they must face the most heartbreaking lesson they’ll ever learn: sometimes, even the greatest love can’t conquer all.
WARNING: This is the first book in a duet. It’s a full-length novel and there are no sudden cliffhangers, but Blake and Farrah’s story continues in book two, If the Sun Never Sets (due out July 2020), which takes place five years later. HEA guaranteed in the second book!
Excerpt #2 The library door opened. Farrah walked in with what looked like a sketch pad and a stack of magazines tucked under her arm.
Now there was trouble. Farrah was beautiful, and Blake got a kick out of riling her up, but she was off-limits. Not only was she in FEA—which meant he had to see her every day if things between them went south—but she was a virgin.
Blake slept with a virgin once, in high school. Granted, he didn’t know Lorna was a virgin until after the fact, and when he declined to make things exclusive between them, she took a key to his beloved Chevy until it resembled Freddy Krueger’s face.
Then Lorna’s father found out Blake slept with his precious daughter and tracked him down after football practice with a shotgun in hand. Luckily, Blake’s coach saw them and called the police before Blake found himself eating dirt six feet beneath the ground. The police let the man off with a stern warning, since he technically hadn’t tried to shoot Blake (yet), but Blake still filed a restraining order against the girl’s entire damn family.
Even funner times.
Lorna transferred schools soon after, and Blake swore never to hook up with a virgin again. That didn’t mean he couldn’t flirt with Farrah, though. Flirting was harmless.
He retook his seat, laced his hands behind his head, and kicked his feet up on the table with an insouciant smile.
Farrah arched an eyebrow at his unorthodox position. Instead of commenting, she sat at the table next to him and opened one of her magazines.
Blake stretched his arms over his head in a way that showed off his abs—one of his best assets. Along with everything else on his body.
It ain’t cocky if it’s true.
To his annoyance, Farrah didn’t look up. She continued to read, serene as a monk.
Blake swung his feet to the floor. He walked over to her table, plunked his ass in the chair opposite hers, and rested his chin in his hands.
The clock ticked. The A/C hummed. The pages rustled as she turned them.
Finally, Farrah slammed her magazine shut with a huff. “Can I help you?”
Blake grinned. Success!
“Now is that the proper way to greet someone?” he drawled. Austinites don’t have strong accents, but he could lay it on thick when he wanted to. “Didn’t your mama teach you manners?”
“She did. That’s why I left you and your vanity in peace. It would’ve been rude to interrupt.”
Blake placed a hand over his chest. “Vain? Me? You break my heart.”
“I doubt anyone can break your heart.” Farrah fluttered her lashes. “If they do, the proofs from your solo photoshoot earlier will ease the pain.”
His body vibrated with laughter. “You know, I’m down-to-earth once you get to know me.”
“Is that your favorite thing about yourself?”
“Favorite, as in one? I can’t pick just one.” He frowned. “Oh. I see.”
“Uh-huh. Now that we’ve established the obvious fact of your vanity, can you be quiet? I’m trying to work.”
“So am I.”
“You are not working.”
“I was working until you came in and interrupted me.”
“I didn’t say anything when I came in!”
“You distracted me with your radiant presence. It was like a goddess descended from the heavens. How can I focus on something as mundane as Chinese vocabulary when faced with such an extraordinary vision?”
Farrah’s mouth twitched once, twice, until she caved and doubled over with laughter.
A grin stretched across Blake’s face. There was something magical about seeing someone so composed let loose, and to know he was the one who made her laugh like that.
“I don’t know what to do with you.” She wiped tears from her eyes.
“I can suggest a few things.” Blake pictured Farrah climbing into his lap and straddling him. Taking his shirt off. Taking her shirt off. Gripping his hair and moaning while he feasted on those sure-to-be delectable breasts of hers.
Hey, he was a guy. He couldn’t help himself.
Except this guy now needed a cold shower.
Author Ana Huang
About the Author Ana Huang is an Amazon best-selling author of Young Adult, New Adult, and contemporary romance. Her books often feature strong heroines, sexy heroes, and Asian American characters. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Ana started writing stories at age five to improve her English skills (thanks to her mom’s encouragement). She picked up her first romance novel at age twelve by happy accident and never looked back.
Besides reading and writing, Ana loves traveling and learning about new cultures. She majored in international relations and her travels often inspire her story settings. For example, her novel IfWeEverMeetAgain was inspired by her own study abroad adventures in China.
Ana lives in New York, where she prefers cafe-hopping, exploring the city’s hidden gems, and binge-watching Netflix with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s over taking advantage of the city’s nightlife. She doesn’t drink coffee (gasp!) but absolutely lives for matcha and chai lattes..
Author Giulia Lagomarsino is revealing the cover to PARKER, the 25th book in her adult contemporary romance/romantic suspense series, Reed Security, releasing July 3, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
PARKER (Reed Security Series #25) by Giulia Lagomarsino
I’ve been disgraced. I have nothing left to my name after being dishonorably discharged from the military. But I was falsely accused. It doesn’t matter though. It would take a Presidential pardon for me to get my life back, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. But then Knight walked into my life and offered me a chance at redemption. I don’t want to believe that it could be true, but I’m ready to go along for the ride and see what happens. That’s how I met her. She threw me through a window, but that won’t stop me from seeing her again.
You know that phrase ‘I’ve gotten myself into a pickle’? Well, this is a huge pickle. I thought I knew what I was doing when I ran, but this is so much more involved than I ever imagined. I didn’t think someone else would show up at the senator’s house where I was digging up information. I also didn’t expect him to be so hot or to follow me. And I really didn’t expect him to attack me. But I know how to defend myself, so I’m not too worried about it. Now I just have to stay hidden until I can figure out what’s going on. But nothing in my life seems to be going as planned lately. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when he shows up yet again.
Author Giulia Lagomarsino
About the Author I’m a stay at home mom that loves to read. Some of my favorite titles are Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Horatio Hornblower. I started writing when I was trying to come up with suggestions on ways I could help bring in some extra money. I came up with the idea that I could donate plasma because you could earn an extra $500/month. My husband responded with, “No. Find something else. Write a blog. Write a book.” I didn’t think I had anything to share on blog that a thousand other mothers hadn’t already thought of. I decided to take his challenge seriously and sat down to write my first book, Jack. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed writing. From there, the stories continued to flow and I haven’t been able to stop. I hope my readers enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them. Between reading, writing, and taking care of three small kids, my days are quite full.
Author Maggie Mae Gallagher is revealing the cover to THE PROMISE KEPT, the second book in her adult contemporary romance series, Echo Springs, releasing August 19, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and preorder links.
THE PROMISE KEPT (Echo Springs Series #2) by Maggie Mae Gallagher
Synopsis Cybil Roe gave her heart away thirteen years ago only to have it wind up shattered. With painstaking determination, she has rebuilt her life into something to be proud of today. Yet all her future plans are upended when the only man she has ever loved returns to Echo Springs. Nor does it help that he seems bound and determined to draw her back into his life. Cybil vows to stay away from him, no matter what seeing him all the time does to her resolve.
Miles Keaton wiped the dust of his hometown off his shoes years ago, never expecting that life would lead him back to the place where he had begun. Coming home to Echo Springs, to Cybil, to start a new law practice and a new life is a risk he never thought he’d take. She hates him – with good reason. Years ago, he walked away when she needed him the most. But now is he back, and intends to argue the case of his life, one more important than any he has debated in a courtroom, because she is the one woman he cannot live without.
Can Miles convince Cybil to take a second chance on him, or will a secret she has kept all these years destroy any future they might have?
About the Author Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.
Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.
Author Kennedy L. Mitchell is unveiling the cover to POWER SURGE, the fourth book in her adult romantic suspense/political romance series, PowerPlay, releasing June 22, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, pre-order links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
POWER SURGE (Power Play Series #4) by Kennedy L. Mitchell
Everything has changed, and not for the better. The not-so-perfect life I had as VP is gone, along with the team that’s been by my side each step of my political journey. Every move I make, every breath and thought, now affects millions, and the weight wears me down without Trey as a welcomed distraction.
They tell me war is coming, and I’m the one who has to stop it. But how is the question no one can answer. Past enemies lurk in the shadows while new ones hide in plain sight, stalking, watching, and waiting for the right moment to take me out. I need Trey back. I need them all by my side and ready to fight for me.
Can I undo the mess that my predecessor left in his wake, or will I break under the burden to save the world?
No pressure, right?
Power Surge is the fourth book in the five-book Power Play series and is a continuation of Randi and Trey’s epic love story. The books in this series cannot be read as standalones. All five books follow one main couple’s relationship as it grows through a five-year time period. It’s suspenseful, steamy, and oh so unputdownable. If you’re a fan of Tiffany Snow, Meghan March, and Skye Warren, then this series is for YOU!
About the Author Kennedy lives in Dallas with her husband, son, and 80lb Goldendoodle who still believes he’s a lap dog. A bookworm at heart, Kennedy loves to snuggle up in bed or by the campfire with an unputdownable book. She began writing two years ago with Falling for the Chance and has no plans of stopping. Her novels are witty, action-packed, and offer enough steam for a great facial. If you like strong heroines and sexy, tattooed men who can’t keep their hands off them, then this author is the one for you.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Samantha Chase, is revealing the covers to CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE and LAST BEAUTIFUL GIRL, the fifth and sixth books in her adult contemporary romance series, Magnolia Sound, releasing August 10 and September 28, 2020. See below for information on the books and series and preorder links.
CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE (Magnolia Sound Series #5) by Samantha Chase
Synopsis Hunter Jones never thought that shared custody would be part of his life, but it’s the only way to make sure his son still has both parents in his life. But when his ex’s increasing unpredictability leads to a missed day care pick up, he’s not so sure shared custody is the best option anymore. Never mind that he’s now the one being accused of bad parenting by a total stranger.
Violet Drake has zero patience for poor parenting. There’s nothing that angers her more than seeing parents behave in the same irresponsible way her own parents did throughout her childhood. But after going off on a perfect stranger late to pick up his son, her conscience gets the best of her and she realizes she may have been a little harsh.
Violet is only supposed to be in Magnolia Sound for a short time to help out her best friend, so getting involved with a single dad is the absolute last thing she should be doing.
Their timing is all kinds of wrong, but sometimes you just can’t help yourself.
LAST BEAUTIFUL GIRL (Magnolia Sound Series #6) by Samantha Chase
Synopsis Kyle Jones loves women. All women. And just because he’s seen all his siblings settle down it doesn’t mean he has any intention of following in their footsteps. After all, he’s happy to keep going through life like it’s one big party and getting tied down to someone would just get in the way of having a good time. Or so he thought until the one woman he could never forget returns to Magnolia Sound.
Sydney Albright never thought she would become a mother by losing her sister and brother-in-law. But for the sake of her niece she’ll do whatever it takes, even move into the money pit that is her sister’s home. But the good thing about small towns is there’s always someone ready to help. She just never thought Kyle would be the one to land on her front porch to help with the renovations.
Sydney vows she’ll never fall for Kyle again – the past is in the past and that’s right where it should stay. Never mind that she doesn’t even have the time to think about a relationship. But Kyle has other plans. He always said she was the first beautiful girl he loved and now he’s determined to also make her the last.
About the Author Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.
Welcome to the pre-order blitz for FLATLINE, the third book in the adult romantic suspense series, The Investigators, by Linda Bond, releasing May 25, 2020. See below for information on the book and series, pre-order links, and an exclusive excerpt.
FLATLINE (The Investigators Series #3) by Linda Bond
Synopsis People are dying in Dr. Joshua Salvador’s ER. His medical assistant, only weeks from delivering her baby, hangs on to life by a thread. The symptoms seem horrifyingly familiar, and he begins to suspect the deaths are targeted at him. But, before he can figure things out, top TV investigator Rachel Wright is standing in the middle of his ER, convinced an outbreak, an epidemic, or even a botched flu vaccine could be the cause, and she’s going to tell the world.
Excerpt He still hadn’t looked at her.
Rachel’s heart beat like an intern facing her first confrontational news interview.
How many ER physicians worked at Tampa Bay Hospital?
Dozens, at least.
And her ex-boyfriend had to be working today?
Rachel placed a hand on her chest. Could Joshua hear it pounding? Because she could hear her pulse drumming in her ears. She felt like throwing up, herself. “What’s wrong with her?”
“I’m not sure yet.” Joshua said, his voice booming.
So, he did know she was in the room.
Joshua pressed his fingers into Jackie’s wrist. “Nurse Dawson her skin is a bit jaundice, pulse is weak.” He moved Jackie’s sleeve up. “Profound swelling and marked bruising extending over her left upper arm.” He continued in a professional, robotic tone. “I need a complete blood count and a metabolic profile.”
He still hadn’t looked at Rachel.
“Tox screen. Ativan for the seizure.”
“She’s going to be alright, right, Joshua?” She couldn’t keep the doubt out of her voice. She hadn’t meant for it to be there. She knew what her doubt would do to him.
Joshua didn’t look up, but his body stilled for an instant. It was so quick his nurse probably didn’t notice. But, she did.
Jackie stopped shaking, but she continued to twitch.
Rachel’s knees went weak. This felt like déjà vu. For many reasons.
It had been five years since her brother had died in this very ER with Joshua in the room.
Five years since she’d become a mother to her grieving niece.
Five years since she’d investigated Joshua’s ER physician’s group for medical malpractice.
Five years since Todd, the doctor in charge that night, had resigned.
Five years since Joshua had broken up with her over her series of stories.
Five years since she’d been promoted into the investigative unit, becoming ‘Rachel Makes It Right.’
Five years since she signed a new contract, which was up in a few months.
Five years since she’d had a decent night’s sleep.
The beeps of a machine sped up to an alarming rate.
A baby’s cry from another room escalated into a wail.
“Skin is warm to the touch.” Joshua pulled his fingers from Jackie’s wrist.
He finally looked at Rachel.
The heat of his gaze lit her cheeks on fire. She stumbled backwards.
Today felt so different from the day they’d met here in the hospital almost seven years earlier. She’d been with Jackie on that day, too. Jackie had come down with a case of annoying bronchitis. Joshua had been intense. Intensely flirting with her. Jackie had noticed and had slipped Joshua Rachel’s number.
The man in front of her now had hardened into a different kind of man, and she was partially responsible for his change.
“You’re not supposed to be back here,” he said.
The frantic activity stopped. For one brief moment, the room calmed, as if the energy had been vacuumed out of it.
Then his words broke the suction. “You’re not family. I know you’re not. You need to leave.”
Rachel took a step forward, her breath sputtering. At one time, the three of them had been like family. “I can’t leave Jackie. You know I—”
His hand shot out, silencing her. “That was not a request. This is my hospital. My trauma room. My order. Get. Out.”
Feet wide, she braced herself for a fight. She wasn’t leaving until she knew Jackie wasn’t going to die.
About the Author Author Linda Bond was born in San Francisco, California but spent most of her life in the south, attending middle and high school in Greenville, South Carolina and college at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.
She’s worked as a television news reporter and anchor in Fort Myers, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. For more than twenty years, she’s been a reporter, sharing important information with viewers on the latest medical breakthroughs and writing emotional, human-interest stories on those who have the courage and spirit to fight for their lives.
She writes every day, under deadline, but has always loved losing herself in a good fiction story.
Entangled Publishing released Bond’s two romantic thrillers Alive at 5 and Cuba Undercover. Flatline her newest medical thriller, releases in May 2020.
Bond has received numerous writing awards in Romance Writer’s of America chapter contests.
She has also won 13 Emmy awards, numerous Society of Professional Journalist, and Associated Press awards, as well as a Florida Bar award and Edward R. Murrow award.
This former baton-twirling beauty queen from the deep south, now lives in Tampa Florida with her husband, two daughters and two stubborn Bulldogs named Sanford and Athens.
Welcome to the pre-order blitz for ACCIDENTALLY FAMILY, the latest release in the adult contemporary romance series, Pecan Valley, by Sasha Summers, releasing May 26, 2020. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and an exclusive excerpt.
ACCIDENTALLY FAMILY (Pecan Valley Series) by Sasha Summers
Synopsis Welcome to Pecan Valley, where the town may be small but the townspeople will always lend a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on. Where good times, good humor, and good people will always lead to happily ever after.
Life for Felicity, and her teen children, is finally back on track. After her divorce, she wasn’t sure if her sweet family would ever be the same. But things are good––right up until her ex’s spirited toddler lands on Felicity’s doorstep. If the universe is going to throw lemons at her, thank God she has her best friend, Graham, to help her make lemonade out of them. How did she never notice how kind and sexy he is?
Graham is still recovering from his wife’s death years ago and trying to help his teen daughter get her life together. Who is he kidding? His daughter hates him. Forget lemons––he’s got the entire lemon tree. So when Felicity suggests they join forces and help each other, he’s all in. And suddenly he can’t stop thinking about her as more than just a friend. Too bad their timing couldn’t be worse…
Because life rarely goes as planned. Luckily there are many different kinds of family to hold you together and lift you up…plus maybe even a little love between friends.
Excerpt Felicity was too busy wondering how they managed to keep everything white with a toddler running around. There were no toys, no babyproofing, no books—no sign that a toddler lived here. It was gorgeous, in a stark Architectural Digest sort of way. High ceilings. Open concept. A massive abstract painting over a fireplace—a white marble fireplace. “It’s very white,” she murmured. And cold.
Charity laughed. “It’s sophisticated, Filly.”
Felicity shrugged and headed into the kitchen. The kitchen was the heart of her home—the place they all congregated on stools and around her beloved wooden farm table. This was all clean lines and chrome. It looked pokey. And cold.
She pulled the cart behind her, opening cabinets and drawers, pulling out all the child-size utensils, bowls, sippy cups, bottles, and bibs she could find, filling one grocery bag to the top. The refrigerator was empty, minus a few jars of organic baby food and some almond milk. Was the almond milk for Jack? Did he have digestive issues? Matt didn’t. That left Jack. Or Amber.
“Charity,” she called out. “We need to find Jack’s vaccination records. And any medical stuff—his pediatrician’s name would be even better.” The steel front of the refrigerator was blank, no magnets, no notes, nothing. “His birth certificate. All that stuff.”
“Maybe in her office?” Charity called back. “Looks like she worked from home a lot. I’ll see what I can find.”
“Thank you.” She already felt like she was trespassing. Digging through Amber’s things, learning about Amber and Matt’s life—thank God Charity was here. She flipped off the kitchen lights and tugged the wagon down the hall. The exterior wall was mostly windows, giving her a clear view of the outside world. A world she didn’t belong in. She hurried along, eager to find the nursery.
Considering how very white everything was, the grouping of photos on the interior wall stopped her. Amber and Matt on some snow-covered mountain somewhere. They’d gone to Paris and Italy… A picture of Amber pregnant. And one of the three of them. She knew Matt’s smiles like the back of her hand. These were real smiles. He’d been happy in this new, whitewashed world.
It hurt like hell. It shouldn’t matter that he’d worn that same happy smile for her. But, dammit, it did. There had been so many smiles and special moments and fun travels and real-life struggles they’d made it through together. Time, seventeen years, and there wasn’t a shred of evidence here that those years had existed. They’d been erased, leaving his past as blank as these walls. How empty that would feel to her. Whatever pain he’d caused her, their children deserved his presence in their lives.
Author Sasha Summers
About the Author Sasha Summers grew up surrounded by books. Her passions have always been storytelling, romance and travel–passions she uses when writing. Now a best-selling and award winning-author, Sasha continues to fall a little in love with each hero she writes. From easy-on-the-eyes cowboy, sexy alpha-male werewolves, to heroes of truly mythic proportions, she believes that everyone should have their happy ending–in fiction and real life.
Sasha lives in the suburbs of the Texas Hill country with her amazing and supportive family and her beloved grumpy cat, Gerard, The Feline Overlord. She looks forward to hearing from fans and hopes you’ll visit her online. Facebook: Sasha Summers Author, Twitter: @sashawrites, or her website: www.sashasummers.com
Author Christina Bauer is revealing the cover to CALLA, the second book in her young adult fantasy/paranormal romance series, Pixieland Diaries, releasing July 28, 2020. See below for information on the book and series, preorder links, and details on her giveaway.
CALLA (Pixieland Diaries Series #2) by Christina Bauer
Big news in Pixieland! The Blue Fairy is sending our fave pixie, Calla, and her crush, Dare, on a mini-quest. Unfortunately it’s an adventure that requires a lot of togetherness. We’re talking tons of touching, people.
Blue believes that since Calla and Dare are just friends, this situation shouldn’t be awkward.
It’s totally awkward.
***A 30,000+ word diary written by Calla***
“I absolutely love Christina Bauer’s style, full of action, intense scenes, and characters that will test one’s imaginations to the max!” – Tome Tender Book Blog
About the Author
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby..
Author C.A. Worley is unveiling the cover to SHADOW’S LYRIC, the first book in her adult fantasy/paranormal romance series, Crossing Daggers, releasing June 1, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, preorder links, and details on her giveaway.
SHADOW’S LYRIC (Crossing Daggers Series #1) by C.A. Worley
When twenty-one-year-old Lyric is told by her father, Gabrian, she will be crossing into the Otherland as payment for a favor he owes the Shadow Lord, she thinks her life is over. In truth, it is just beginning. Years of training as a soldier and an uncanny ability to learn pretty much anything give Lyric the tools she needs to survive her new reality—and it totally helps that her new lord and master is sex incarnate.
Draven has long awaited Lyric’s arrival, and not just because he needs her to track a powerful weapon stolen by an unknown adversary. He believes he has everything firmly in hand, despite the subterfuge he foolishly agreed to some twenty years back. When Draven’s enemies and lies of omission both threaten the fragile bond he and Lyric are forming, he refuses to allow anything to stand in the way, not even the razor-sharp blade of Lyric’s favorite sword.
Author C.A. Worley
About the Author C.A. Worley is the alter-ego of Romance Author Cass Alexander. Where Cass tends to focus on humor in her publications, C.A. loves to write fantasy. She chose to write under the two different monikers so as to not confuse (or tick off) her readers.
C.A. currently resides in the Midwest, but was born and raised in the South. She spends her days working from home and her evenings are spent shuttling her kids to and fro. Her dinners are subpar, but she makes a mean dessert.
When she’s tired of living her sons’ travel sports schedules, C.A. enjoys a glass (or four) of wine. She needs the liquid courage to click the publish button for her fantasy romance novels.
Her motto is, “Be Brave,” and she tries to live it every day. It takes a healthy dose of courage to get through this thing we call life.
Synopsis Our relationship, mine and Cole’s, isn’t a simple one.
It’s complicated, frustrating and, at times, downright ugly.
You see, I fell for a man who couldn’t love me back.
Hard as I tried to avoid the dimpled prince of Seattle, life threw us together.
As much as we resisted temptation, he burrowed his way into my heart.
Sinful as our attraction was, our destinies were entwined.
Don’t worry. Ours is a love story, after all. I had no idea how our fairytale would play out, but one thing I knew for certain?
Fate had a twisted sense of humor, and she did not play fair.
Author Krissy Daniels
About the Author Krissy is a full time writer, avid reader, and lover of dark and dirty romance.
Growing up surrounded by the great outdoors, her childhood was full of adventure that fueled an overactive imagination and ignited a passion for storytelling. Whether it be dolls, or running free through the wooded areas surrounding her home, playtime always included a tormented villain, a damsel in distress and a larger than life hero.
After relentless encouragement from friends and family, she finally put the characters in her head to pen and paper. The only thing she loves more than curling up with a steamy romance novel, is cozying up to her desk and writing her own sexy adventures to share with others.
Filles Vertes Publishing and author Candace Robinson are unveiling the cover to LYRICS & CURSES, the first book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Cursed Hearts, releasing November 10, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR, and details on her giveaway.
LYRICS AND CURSES (Cursed Hearts Series #1) by Candace Robinson
About the Book
Title: LYRICS & CURSES, Series: Cursed Hearts Series #1 Author: Candace Robinson Publisher: Filles Vertes Publishing Release Date: November 10, 2020 Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance Links: Goodreads | Filles Vertes Publishing
Synopsis Lark Espinoza could get lost in her music—and she’s not so sure anyone in her family would even care to find her. Her trendy, party-loving twin sister and her mother-come-lately Beth, who’s suddenly sworn off men and onto homemaking, don’t understand her love of cassette tapes, her loathing of the pop scene, or her standoffish personality. For outcast Lark, nothing feels as much like a real home as working at Bubble’s Oddities store and trying to attract the attention of the cute guy who works at the Vinyl shop next door—the same one she traded lyrical notes with in class.
Auden Ellis silences the incessant questions in his own head with a steady stream of beats. Despite the unconditional love of his aunt-turned-mother, he can’t quit thinking about the loss of his parents—or the possibility he might end up afflicted with his father’s issues. Despite his connection with lyric-loving Lark, Auden keeps her at arm’s length because letting her in might mean giving her a peek into something dangerous.
When two strangers arrive in town, one carrying a mysterious, dark object and the other playing an eerie flute tune, Lark and Auden find that their painful pasts have enmeshed them in a cursed future. Now, they must come to terms with their budding attraction while helping each other challenge the reflection they see in the mirror. If they fail, they’ll be trapped for eternity in a place beyond reality.
Author Candace Robinson
About the Author Candace Robinson spends her days consumed by words and hoping to one day find her own DeLorean time machine. Her life consists of avoiding migraines, admiring Bonsai trees, watching classic movies, and living with her husband and daughter in Texas–where it can be forty degrees one day and eighty the next!
Welcome to the book blitz for OUTFOXED, the first book in the adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy series, The Fox Witch, by USA Today bestselling author, R.J. Blain, releasing November 3, 2020. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Death is a way of life outside of the safety of Inner Tulsa, and Jade means to keep flipping Mother Nature off until old age claims her. With one eye always on the sky, the last thing she needs is a pack of bounty hunters out for her living head. With no idea of why anyone would want her, her wits might keep her free, assuming she can resist the charming lures of Sandro, one of the men out to claim her as his own.
Left with the choice of being the evening snack of a tornado or taking shelter with the bounty hunter, she does what she does best: she lives on the edge.
Striking a bargain with the handsome bounty hunter buys her another day of life, but it also dumps her into the heart of a sinister plot, one meant to enslave the residents of the storm-tossed city—and the others brave and foolish enough to call the Alley home.
Excerpt #2 Yep, the bounty hunter knew exactly who I was, although I would’ve preferred if he’d addressed me as Jade. What sort of bounty hunter addressed their victim so formally, anyway? If I had to share a cellar with someone out for my head, living or otherwise, I was of the opinion we needed to be on a first-name basis. “Got a name, or am I going to have to give you one?”
“More leading, less talking,” he ordered. He cast a glance over his shoulder up at the entry for the cellar, which would be a bitch to escape from after we rode out the storm. “They’re coming.”
I could tell; the ground shook, the wind screamed, and the hail graduated to chunks of ice capable of slamming through someone’s skull with terrifying ease. I shouldered open the door, grimacing at the creaking wood; I gave it another storm or two before it gave up the ghost, too.
Fortunately for me, the slope on the other side made it hard for water to penetrate the cellar, and the third door was crafted of good steel. I scrambled up the incline, waiting long enough for the bounty hunter to follow me through. “Close it,” I ordered.
He did as told, and the tunnel fell into darkness. The wood did little to buffer us from the sounds of the storm tearing through the neighborhood above. I made my way to the crest of the incline by feel, patting until I located the top concrete step. “There’s a set of concrete steps at the top. If you’re not careful, you’ll crack your forehead in the ceiling and fall. It’s a long way down.”
I already regretted my decision to be a good person, as it would lose me access to the best storm cellar I’d found in Tulsa. I’d have to search for a new hiding place and hope it was half as secure and safe from the weather.
Then again, I had to get away from my new unwanted friend first, which would be a challenge considering we’d have to share space until the storm ended.
It could take minutes, hours, or days.
I’d only stashed enough food and water for one person for one week, so if it took days, we’d be in trouble.
The bounty hunter joined me, and I eased down the steps once certain he wouldn’t take a lethal tumble to the steel door below. At the bottom, I felt around for the hatch wheel, grabbed hold, and turned until the door popped open.
Light spilled into the staircase from the luminescent moss I’d cultivated on the walls, barely bright enough to guide my way to the crank-powered lamp. I sat on the concrete floor and went to work charging the device. It’d only last for a few hours before I’d have to charge it again, but it would give me a chance to set up my home away from home.
The bounty hunter entered, closed the steel door, and whistled at my shelter. “I definitely stand corrected. Your file didn’t mention you have a good cellar. You’re listed as a vagrant.”
I scowled; unless rich, wealthy, or a hell of a lot braver than I was, everyone in the Alley counted as a vagrant. We went where the storms were least likely to strike, although there were few places left safe from the weather’s fury.
If I’d been thinking, I would’ve taken him an extra block down the road to a shallower cellar, although I had no idea if it’d survive through an entire swarm of twisters. Sighing, I kept cranking on the lamp. “Who isn’t a vagrant here?” I finally asked, aware of him waiting for an answer.
“Those who live in Asylum.”
Asylum. The rich, the famous, and the powerful received invitations from its lord and master, Benedict Mansfield. He’d bought the land rights beneath Tulsa’s city center, digging deep and converting the sandstone and the underlying limestone into habitable space. I’d given up figuring out how people could live underground long ago; they did, and everyone with a grain of sense and a desire to survive wanted to live in Asylum.
Hell would freeze over before average folks like me were welcomed down there.
Author by R.J. Blain
About the Author RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.
Author Theresa Paolo is revealing an excerpt from ALL BECAUSE OF YOU, the first book in her adult contemporary romance series, Morgan’s Bay, releasing May 13, 2020. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
ALL BECAUSE OF YOU (Morgan’s Bay Series #1) by Theresa Paolo
Synopsis Sometimes you have to lose everything to find your happy ending.
Olivia Green had the picture-perfect life. Dating one of the most successful businessmen in New York City, living in a penthouse over Manhattan and a budding career, until one dreadful night when it was all ripped out from under her. If only she’d gone home like she was supposed to, she wouldn’t have known her future fiancé was a two-timing jerk. Now with no choice she is leaving the city to move back in with her parents in the small town of Morgan’s Bay.
Shane McConnell believed he had no family other than his mother, but on her death bed, she revealed the father who died before he was born, came from a large wealthy family. With nothing to lose he sets out to the east end of Long Island to spend a summer with his newly discovered family. What he doesn’t expect is the secrets and lies dating back to long before his father’s death. Nor could he predict the beautiful hot mess he met on the train would find a way into his closed off heart.
Both struggling with the realities of their new lives they unintentionally lean on each other. As their attraction builds and their undeniable chemistry explodes into passion, Shane holds onto his own secret that threatens his chance at love.
Excerpt “Kissing me out in the open on Main Street? Do you know what that means?”
He stepped closer, heat coming off him in delicious waves that surrounded her in a fiery blanket of desire. “What does it mean?” His voice dipped to a sultry whisper that had her desperate to throw her inhibitions to the curb.
“Next thing you know, the whole town is planning our relationship down to the wedding day and how many kids we’ll have. Probably twins. A boy and a girl.”
Olivia snickered at the squeak in his voice. “Don’t worry. You won’t impregnate me by kissing me.”
“But the town will think you’re carrying twins.”
“You’re learning.” She tapped his chest, and an electric current jolted through her veins. Shane wrapped his hand around her wrist and yanked her into the alley between Pie in the Sky and Book Nook. He backed her into the wall, strong male consuming her. His arms caged her in, and she arched toward him, desperate for his touch.
In one fell swoop, he captured her lips, and lava exploded in her chest and dispersed in heated waves. His mouth moved against hers with a carnal lust so passionate and demanding, she lost sight of everything else. All she could focus on was the hard press of Shane’s lips and the hard bulge in his pants meeting the apex of her thighs.
A moan escaped her throat as his hands cupped her face and tilted her head. His tongue swiped lovingly at the crease between her lips, and she parted, welcoming the slick feel. It was a sensual dance of tongue and teeth, licking and nipping, giving and taking. He tasted of sweet coconut and confidence, kissing her with a potency she would never forget.
The way he kissed her, ravenous and precise, it was as if he’d been doing it for years. She melted in to his lips, letting him take control, and not because she felt he needed to dominate, but because she wanted him to.
His body pressed into her, her back melding to the cool brick wall. It was fire and ice, heaven and hell, and she didn’t want it to end. She grabbed his t-shirt, holding him close, absorbing every sensation flooding her body.
He kissed a trail from the corner of her mouth down her neck and back. The stubble on his face left tracks of passion. She didn’t care. Tonight, when she was in her bed, all she would be thinking about was this kiss.
A giggle broke the cloud that surrounded them. “Don’t mind me. Continue just as you were.” Olivia didn’t need to turn to know whose voice that was—Jean Kelly, owner of Book Nook.
Olivia dropped her head to Shane’s shoulder, embarrassed heat prickling her neck and cheeks. Shane held her, and Olivia felt his arm raise in a wave.
“Have a good day, you love birds,” Jean said, and Olivia covered her face with her hands.
“Is she gone?” Olivia asked a few seconds later.
“She’s gone.” Shane’s warm breath caressed her ear. “So… what do you want to name our twins?”
Author Theresa Paolo
About the Author Theresa Paolo lives on Long Island, NY with her fiancé and their fish. She is the author of NA and Adult contemporary romances. Her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, released in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and the companion novel (ONCE) AGAIN released Summer 2014. Mad About Matt, the first book in her new Red Maple Falls series, released March 2017.
She loves to write heartfelt romances with a dash of fun and a side of spice. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, brewery hopping, daydreaming, wasting time on Pinterest, trying to get 10k steps on her FitBit or can be found chatting away on Twitter and Facebook. She also writes YA romance under Tessa Marie and has no idea how to smile for a picture.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Julia Kent is unveiling the cover to HASTY, the fourth book in the adult comedy romance series, Do-Over, releasing July 28, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, pre-order links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
Synopsis AN ALL-NEW STANDALONE FROM NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR JULIA KENT
I never thought my perp walk would lead to true love.
Then again, I never thought I’d be arrested on RICO charges and hauled away in zip ties on camera for the world to see, minutes after closing the most amazing deal of my career.
And all of it in front of my biggest viral, billionaire wunderkind Ian McRory.
I am broke.
I am disgraced.
I am alone.
I am a sucker.
But the worst part? I have to go back to my hometown and live in my bedroom filled with relics from my childhood.
Lisa Frank never made me so mad before.
Just when I needed a rescue, I got one — in the form of help from my biggest rival.
He can’t bring back my money.
He certainly can’t bring back my reputation or my pride.
But there’s one thing he can bring back to me.
A sense of hope.
Maybe even love.
Ian sees something in me no one else does, and he’s relentless about making me see it, too. As we grow closer, I’m starting to see that while my entire life used to be a lie, the truth is staring me in the present — and it’s a truth I like very, very much, hot eyes and gorgeous smile and all.
But I have to be careful.
I can’t be too —
The final book in the USA Today bestselling Do-Over Series (Fluffy, Perky, Feisty), as Mallory’s sister, Hastings “Hasty” Monahan gets her turn at a happily ever after that starts off with an arrest.
HASTY (Do-Over Series #4) by Julia Kent (Full Cover)
About the Author New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.
Champagne Book Group and debut author, Rosie Weir, are revealing an excerpt from ADAMANTINE, an adult scifi romance, releasing June 1, 2020. See below for information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
Synopsis Deep in the Appalachian Mountains, a brilliant scientist and his daughter retreat from a catastrophic global plague. Worried for Molly’s future, James crafts the ultimate gift for his lonely little girl: A sentient AI charged with the task of protecting her and keeping her company in the event he is no longer able to do so. His creation, Will, is bestowed with an expansive intellect, superhuman strength, and a fierce protective streak. However, as year go by, Will’s feelings start to change from duty and service to something more.
At eighteen, Molly knows little of the world beyond a collection of grainy VHS classics. Life with Will and James is idyllic. But Will’s mission to protect involves keeping dangerous secrets, including some that could destroy the trust between them forever. Will struggles with the rigid self-discipline of his programming, versus turbulent, irrational feelings that grow stronger each day. True love can’t exist without honesty and risk; the two things Will has been programmed to control at all costs. But trouble is brewing outside their sheltered utopia, and ignorance might be a luxury neither of them can afford any longer.
From the primitive heights of the Appalachian Mountains to the revolutionary scientific breakthrough hidden within, Adamantine, a story of love, sacrifice, and sentience is scheduled to be released in June 2020.
Excerpt Fatigue lines circled James Walkers eyes and forehead; dry canals of wrinkled flesh ran down the sides of his face. A flood of light washed over him, flickering ever so often. He found himself hissing at that inconvenience before resuming his examination. James spent months inspecting every piece of hardware and taking voice notes—he was ready to proceed.
“James Walker, Ph.D.,” he said into the recorder. “After meticulous examination that produced minor wins and fails, everything seems to be in order. The mechanism is responsive. I’m proceeding to the next step—implementation. Cooling systems have taken to the previous modifications, refer to doc-234. Internal examinations will continue intermittently.”
James clicked off the recorder and sighed. He walked across the room and paused inches from his destination, letting his eyes scan the table and its contents. The thin, silicone-based polymer suit reflected the soft light in the room. The project was close to completion and when he thought of what was at stake, the usual litany of questions and doubts arose. He scratched his stubble and pushed aside thoughts of consequence. He knew all too well that one wrong move might bring down his research like a flimsy deck of cards.
“Positivity doesn’t exist in the realm of fringe science, but you have to try,” he muttered under his breath. Those words fueled James, who focused on the most favorable outcome.
The augmented bio-hybrid suit had muscles, tendons, and ligaments designed to replicate the human body—an exact replica. He rolled the table close to the gurney then proceeded to couple the parts together. It took thirty minutes of concentrated effort to get the body sheathed. James took a step back and admired his masterpiece. It reminded him of a Renaissance anatomical painting he once saw in a museum. A smile tugged at the corner of his lips, but he wiped it away with the back of his hand. He attached a transfusion tube to the small glass cylinder filled with dense liquid. He injected the mixture into the body’s cervical vertebrae. Spider-like microscopic nanocells hurried down the spine and spread into the hybrid suit. The muscle tissues expanded and solidified over the impenetrable frame underneath.
James watched the process unfold. His heart beat in double time, eager to move to the next phase. The pulsating vibe in his ears synced with his anxiety. He ambled to a wall lined with metal cabinets and retrieved the synthetic skin from its compartment. At the table, he arranged them over the entire body like a giant jigsaw puzzle. He watched the panels of skin adhere to one another. His hands imprisoned within his pockets to resist the urge to touch. Soon, skin covered the mechanical suit and a man lay in its place. The transformation was a success.
Exhausted, James glanced at his watch and wondered if he should call it a night or continue to the next phase. Logic advised against that course of action, but the restless inventor needed to proceed. A tremor ran through his hand, a reminder of the imminent situation he was in. Time was no longer a commodity he could afford.
He shook off the reverie and began the final phase. He flipped a switch and waited.
James didn’t expect movement, so when the eyes fluttered, he was startled. Rapid eye movement meant the system transmitted the packets of data through a private server James created, which allowed limited access to a vast global network.
“William? Can you hear me?” James whispered. He moved closer to the table and repeated the question. The eyes continued to flutter for a moment, then flew open. Gracefully, the body sat up and surveyed the room. It—he—was trying to assess its surroundings.
“How do you feel?” James asked tentatively.
“William? Is that my name?” His deep voice resonated throughout the room. His eyes stopped on the bespectacled man in a dark green, cable knit sweater, who stood next to the table. He looked to be in his fifties with tired blue eyes and short, graying, brown hair.
“Yes. Your name is William. And my name is James. I am your creator.”
The AI tilted his head to the side. His dark brown eyes rose to meet James’. “You’re ill. You ha—”
“I-I know,” James interrupted. “Do you know what you are?”
Will held up his hands and flexed the digits. “Am I awake, or am I programmed to feel awake?”
James smiled and sat in a chair near the wall. Excitement welled up inside him. “The fact you even ask that question gives me hope that you are exactly what you’re meant to be.”
“I’m not human,” Will stated.
“No, you’re far more advanced. I was able to correlate specific patterns of the central nervous system with emotions and thought processes to create something beyond a program—an organism. You are the first AI ever to have this organism installed.”
They held each other’s gaze for a moment before James broke contact and continued.
“This evolutionary system will gradually alter and determine your choices based on the human interaction you experience throughout your life, much like a regular person. Over time—I’m not sure how long—but over time, you will start to engage in a more human-like behavior. You will continue to write code as a sentient being.”
Will canted his head and blinked rapidly. “I’ll be able to freely write my own code?”
“To a degree. There are restrictions, uh, goal-oriented programs. More specifically, there is a source code which will prevent you from accessing data that can alter or corrupt your program. Once certain milestones are crossed, you will have the ability to act upon your own thoughts and emotions.” James looked at Will and let out a deep sigh. The expunged breath formed a visible cloud over his face before it dissipated. “For the time being, I need you to remain here in the lab until I’m certain your program is fully functional and is safe enough.”
“Safe enough for what?” William asked.
James didn’t answer.
Author Rosie Weir
About the Author Rosie Weir is an authoress by passion and now profession. She penned her first story at the age of 10 and has been writing ever since. Obsessed with science fiction, horror, and sometimes dark historical romances, her writing repertoire is wide-ranging and wildly diverse. On a quest to tell unconventional stories, human behavior and humanness are at the heart of all her literary works; stories that inspire readers to rethink and reshape their perspectives. When she’s not busy writing, she’s baking and chasing after a tiny, and rambunctious human.
Her debut novel, Adamantine, is scheduled to be released in June 2020 with The Champagne Book Group..
Author Cassie Cross is revealing the cover to THE PLUS ONE PROPOSAL, the third book in her adult contemporary romance series, Love Is…, releasing May 7, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
THE PLUS ONE PROPOSAL (Love Is… Series #3) by Cassie Cross
Synopsis Peyton Castillo’s life is nearly perfect. She has a job that makes her happy, the perfect apartment, friends who love her, and all the time in the world to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants. She’s single and loving it, but she has a handful of weddings she’s RSVPed to and no plus-one to go with. That’s where Adam Portman, her gorgeous-and-knows-it coworker comes in.
Peyton’s proposal is simple: she’ll complete a work assignment Adam’s been dreading if he agrees to be her date to one of the weddings.
The offer is tempting, but sparks fly when Adam counters with a proposal of his own. That work assignment isn’t the only thing he’s been dreading. His parents’ 30th anniversary celebration is coming up soon and his mother is determined to set him up with her best friend’s daughter, who will be at the party. Adam needs a date to play along and convince his mom he’s off the market, and Peyton is the perfect choice…
Get Caught up on the Series – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
About the Author Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80’s sitcoms.