Welcome to the book blitz for DAWN GIRL, the latest release in the adult thriller Girl series, by bestselling author Leslie Wolfe. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, the book’s trailer, and details on his giveaway.
Her blue eyes wide open, glossed over. A few specks of sand clung to her long, dark lashes. Her beautiful face, immobile, covered in sparkling flecks of sand. Her lips slightly parted as if to let a last breath escape.
Who is the beautiful girl found at dawn, on a deserted stretch of golden sand beach? What is her secret?
FBI Special Agent Tess Winnett searches for answers relentlessly. With each step, each new finding, she uncovers unsettling facts leading to a single possible conclusion: Dawn Girl is not the only victim. Her killer has killed before.
Hiding a terrible secret of her own, Special Agent Tess Winnett faces her inmost fears, in a heart-stopping race to catch a killer who’s getting ready to end yet another life. Will she find the killer in time? Will she be able to stop him? At what cost?
The rules of the game have changed.
So has the textbook definition of a serial killer.
Special Agent Tess Winnett is the bold, direct, and short-fused heroine of Dawn Girl. Putting her life on the line, she doesn’t pull any punches, searching only for the truth, and for the man who takes lives on her watch. Intelligent, resourceful, and uncompromising, Tess will take readers on a memorable, white-knuckled journey in this suspenseful, gripping serial killer thriller.
Fans of David Baldacci and James Patterson will enjoy Leslie Wolfe.
Excerpt – Chapter One: Ready She made an effort to open her eyes, compelling her heavy eyelids to obey. She swallowed hard, her throat raw and dry, as she urged the wave of nausea to subside. Dizzy and confused, she struggled to gain awareness. Where was she? She felt numb and shaky, unable to move, as if awakening from a deep sleep or a coma. She tried to move her arms, but couldn’t. Something kept her immobilized, but didn’t hurt her. Or maybe she couldn’t feel the pain, not anymore.
Her eyes started to adjust to the darkness, enough to distinguish the man moving quietly in the room. His silhouette flooded her foggy brain with a wave of memories. She gasped, feeling her throat constrict and burning tears rolling down her swollen cheeks.
Her increased awareness sent waves of adrenaline through her body, and she tried desperately to free herself from her restraints. With each useless effort, she panted harder, gasping for air, forcing it into her lungs. Fear put a strong chokehold on her throat and was gaining ground, as she rattled her restraints helplessly, growing weaker with every second. She felt a wave of darkness engulf her, this time the darkness coming from within her weary brain. She fought against that darkness, and battled her own betraying body.
The noises she made got the man’s attention.
“I see you’re awake. Excellent,” the man said, without turning.
She watched him place a syringe on a small, metallic tray. Its handle clinked, followed by another sound, this time the raspy, telling sound of a file cutting through the neck of a glass vial. Then a pop when the man opened the vial. He grabbed the syringe and loaded the liquid from the vial, then carefully removed any air, pushing the piston until several droplets of fluid came out.
Dizziness overtook her, and she closed her eyes for a second.
“Shit,” the man mumbled, then opened a drawer and went through it in a hurry.
She felt the needle poke deeply in her thigh, like it was happening to another person. She felt it, but distantly. She perceived a subdued burning sensation where he pushed the fluid into her muscle, then that went away when he pulled the needle out. She closed her weary eyes again, listless against her restraints.
The man cracked open ammonia salts under her nose, and she bounced back into reality at the speed of a lightning strike, aware, alert, and angry. For a second she fought to free herself, but froze when her eyes focused on the man in front of her.
He held a scalpel, close to her face. In itself, the small, shiny, silver object was capable of bringing formidable healing, as well as immense pain. The difference stood in the hand wielding it. She knew no healing was coming her way; only pain.
“No, no, please…” she pleaded, tears falling freely from her puffy eyes, burning as they rolled down her cheeks. “Please, no. I… I’ll do anything.”
“I am ready,” the man said. He seemed calm, composed, and dispassionate. “Are you ready?”
“No, no, please…” she whimpered.
“Yeah,” he said softly, almost whispering, inches away from her face. “Please say no to me. I love that.”
She fell quiet, scared out of her mind. This time was different. He was different.
Author Leslie Wolfe
About the Author Bestselling author Leslie Wolfe is passionate about writing fiction, despite spending a significant number of years climbing the corporate ladder. Leaving the coveted world of boardrooms for the blissful peace of the Florida-based “Wolves’ den,” Leslie answers one true calling: writing.
Leslie’s novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. Fascinated by technology and psychology, Leslie brings extensive background and research in these fields that empower and add texture to a signature, multi-dimensional, engaging writing style.
Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie’s most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller.
Welcome to the book blitz for WORLD TOUR, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Rocking the Pop Star, by L.V. Lewis. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
WORLD TOUR (Rocking the Pop Star #2) by L.V. Lewis
About the Book Title: WORLD TOUR Series: Rocking the Pop Star #2 Author: R.V. Lewis Release Date: May 23, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Synopsis Brody Kent retired from music after the death of his girlfriend during the heyday of his rock band, The Savages. Now, he’s persuaded to take his alter-ego Savage Saban back into the limelight in front of a different audience.
Brody’s new girlfriend, pop icon Skylar Samuelson is preparing for the domestic part of her World Tour, where together they hope to merge their fan bases.
Grappling with the fame that his notoriety brings once again, Brody reluctantly takes the stage. On his first night performing he returns to his dressing room to find a message written in red lipstick on his mirror.
Could Kimberly Heart, his dead ex-girlfriend, really have written it?
Blotting out the possibility, Brody continues with the tour, but his relationship with Sky begins to suffer as his old band members turn up at the fourth concert and criticize him for selling out.
And then he receives another, chilling message.
As Brody’s life and relationship with Sky begins to implode, he finds himself pushed to the very brink by someone he never expected. He now stands to lose everything he holds dear.
Is there any way back for Brody and Sky?
Excerpt I could lie in bed like this forever and never get bored. Waking up next to the woman I love is a high point of my day. Sky is still sleeping next to me, and I refuse to wake her up before I have to. She only had a few weeks off after her European tour, and this is the last free day before we start touring in North America.
She fits perfectly against me as if she is made for me. I’m tempted to steal her away for myself—away from her demanding career and loyal fans. If I were even a little bit more selfish, I’d do just that. But I know I can’t.
Sky lives for her music and her fans. She would finish her tour no matter what. Her passion is just one of the things I love about her. It’s also a reminder of who I used to be.
Before the lavish parties, drinking, and drugs, there was always the music. That was who I was as Savage Saban. The music was at the core of my identity.
But who am I now? There is no more hiding. My life as Brody Kent disappears each day that the media and fans learn about my outing. I don’t regret it.
When I sang for Sky, it reminded me of the life I left behind, the high points mostly. I was in the moment and had to show her how much she meant to me.
Ever since then, the press and gossip rags have been persistent.
The demons of my past slip further away with each day I hold Sky in my arms and she tells me she loves me.
Everything with Sky feels as natural as breathing. She is the fresh sky to my cloudy mess of a dark thunderstorm. Only she can release me. Being with her makes me feel like I can take in the air around me again without choking on it, without having it tear at my lungs and leaving an open scar for the world to see.
As if knowing I’m thinking about her, she stirs next to me.
I run my finger up her arm, and she sighs. I can’t stop myself from kissing her. Sky’s lips make me think of exotic fruit when I kiss her, so soft and sweet that I can’t help but crave more of her.
Author L.V. Lewis
About the Author Growing up, L.V. Lewis wanted to be an internationally known rock star, but unfortunately, lived in the wrong part of the country to pursue that career (and neither American Idol nor The Voice were available then). An early love for the written word gave her the plan B she sought. Her career as a contract manager was not creative writing by a long shot, but it didn’t require her to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars required for a law degree. It does pay the bills while she dabbles in the publishing world as an author on the evenings and weekends.
LV lives in Florida with her husband. They are the parents of four children, three of whom don’t think they need their parents anymore, so they share their home with a sweet female German Shepherd and an alpha male Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix who thinks he rules the world.
Her love for writing is only eclipsed by her love for her family.
LV is the winner of the AMB Ovation Award for Outstanding Debut Author in Urban Literature 2014 for her novel, Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever (2013). Her novel, Exit Strategy is a finalist in the 2014 RomCon Readers’ Crown Contest..
Welcome to the blog tour for DONOVAN, the third book in the adult contemporary sports romance series, Face-Off, by Jillian Quinn. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
DONOVAN (Face-Off #3) by Jillian Quinn
About the Book Title: DONOVAN Series: Face-Off #3 Author: Jillian Quinn Release Date: May 24, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Sports Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Synopsis As the starting goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers, Carter Donovan has the toughest position on the team. He’s hot as puck, a caveman in bed, and a beast on the ice. But after another season of missing the playoffs, Carter is taking the off-season harder than normal.
Just when Carter needs a change of luck, his teammate sets him up with Sydney Carroway, a famous romance author who likes to play games of her own. And after a blind date gone wrong, the dark-haired beauty has him wrapped around her finger. Sydney tortures Carter with her dirty words and pictures, thrives off the steamy conversations that give him a never-ending case of blue balls. Carter knows it. But he can’t get enough.
It might be Carter’s job to protect the net when he’s on the ice, but when it comes to Sydney, he needs more than a killer glove save to defend his heart. .
Excerpt – Sydney Carter Donovan has no idea I am messing with him. I bet he thinks I’m an evil witch, toying with his dick along with his emotions. Maybe I am, or at least to some extent, but damn him for shaving his beard. I’m still pissed about that. When I walked into Tyler Kane’s house last weekend, he was dressed in gym clothes and had only a tiny bit of facial hair. I was disappointed, to say the least.
I was hoping to kick things off with his face shoved between my legs and that stubble rubbing against my skin. Over the past two days, Carter has called non-stop. He even sent flowers and gifts to my apartment. To be honest, I was shocked to receive such lavish presents from him. The Chanel sunglasses were a bit overboard, but at least I know he has good taste. And that’s an important quality in a man who I am considering dating.
Flipping through a magazine on my couch, I wait for Carter to knock on the door. He’s twenty minutes early again, same as last time. I didn’t even have a chance to hop in the shower before he said he was almost here.
Part of me wants to take him into my bedroom and have my way with him. The other part of me, the side that likes experimenting with the opposite sex for research purposes, tells me I should make him wait a little while longer. After all, our relationship could make for good writing material for my next book.
As the author of all things smutty and over-the-top, I draw a lot of my inspiration from experiences. Carter just doesn’t know that yet. Poor guy. Kennedy and I did the same thing with Tyler Kane when they had first met. He fell for that shit hook, line, and sinker. Now, the two of them are living together and practically married. There’s a method to my madness.
I fix my dark curls in the mirror on the wall next to the door and double check my makeup before opening it. Drool just about runs down my chin as I take in the sight of Carter. He’s one sexy hunk of man candy. With those big, strong arms that are more suited for boxing than hockey, I want him to grip me up in them and do bad things to me.
Carter smiles so wide it reaches up to his soulful brown eyes. “Hey, baby.”
“Don’t hey, baby, me,” I shoot back, feigning interest. But this is all part of the game.
He leans in to kiss my cheek, because I promised him one kiss, his fingers grazing my bare shoulder as he touches me, fiddling with the strap of my tank top. “You look beautiful, as always, Sydney.”
My willpower almost crumbles with his lips sending shockwaves down my spine. His big hand is dangerously close to my breast as he slides it the rest of the way down my arm. If he were a character in one of my books, I would say the hell with self-control and throw myself at him, allow myself to become consumed in his manly scent and intoxicating sex appeal.
“Thanks, big guy.” I tug on his forearm in an attempt to pull him into the apartment. He’s so big I can hardly move him an inch.
After Carter shuts the door, he surprises me by shoving me up against the wall. I do my best to get away from him, but he makes it difficult with his size. Carter is used to defending the net when he’s on the ice. He sure as hell proves that right now as he blocks my entire view of the living room with his body.
Bending down to my height, he breathes against my neck and ignites a fire beneath my skin. Heat rushes from my cheeks to my toes as he presses his lips to my neck. I move my head to the side to give him better access, my inhibitions lowering along with my guard. The walls I have built up to protect myself come crumbling down in an instant.
My panties are damp. No, more like they are soaking wet. Each kiss Carter plants from my neck to my shoulder is more painful than I can bear. We can’t do this. Giving in to Carter before we even have our first date was not part of my plan.
Plus, his beard…There’s nothing rough scratching my skin as he continues to make his way to my breasts. And I want the full Carter Donovan experience. I will wait for the man with the hot as puck facial hair just so I can get a taste of what it feels like against my pussy.
In a tight, low-cut tank, my girls are out on display and Carter is about to dive head first into them. Before he can make a crash landing into my cleavage, I grip a chunk of his hair in my hand, so his gaze meets mine. His eyes are intense, the passion behind them so fucking sexy I want to rip the fitted shirt from him.
“You like it rough, baby? Is that what you want?”
As much as I want to say, Fuck me up against this wall like one of your puck bunnies, I don’t want him to treat me like one of them either. Carter has earned a reputation as a ladies man over the years, and I have an image to protect. I cannot get sucked into a scandal. Though I can’t help but wonder if one involving Carter would help sell more books. Or at the very least, it may even give me new things to write.
“No, Carter. I would like you to stop touching me.”
I am the biggest liar on the planet. One minute of heavy petting with Carter and I already have to make up an excuse so I can go into my bedroom to change my underwear. My juices are threatening to spill down my leg any second. In a short, tight skirt, I’d rather keep this bit of information to myself.
Slipping from his grasp, I slide my back against the wall to get away from him. We need to put some distance between us before I rip my shirt off like the Hulk and leap into his arms, begging him to fuck me.
“Did I do something wrong?” His tone is defensive.
I shake my head, doing my best to maintain some distance between us. “No, you didn’t do anything. It’s not you, it’s me.”
He narrows his eyes at me, confusion scrolling across his handsome face. “Don’t use that line on me.”
“Don’t get your boxers all twisted up in a bunch. Good things come to those who wait. I promise you that I will make it worth every second.”
Carter lets out an exaggerated sigh. “Whatever. You’re driving me fucking crazy, woman.”
“You made a promise. Remember?” I stroke his chin with my fingers to make sure I have his attention. And I do. “You said you would tell me more about your tattoos. I want to know something personal about you. We can start with something small.”
“That’s not something small,” he says, irritated. What I wouldn’t give for Carter to go back to the sex-crazed animal he was two seconds ago. “You have no idea what you’re even asking me.” Gripping my ass in his hands, Carter picks me up and slams my back against the wall, this time more forceful than before. “If you want me to tell you more, I expect the same from you in return. No more fucking around.”
I’m debating whether I should give into his request. “Fine,” I say and pull the shirt over my head. His eyes fall to my red lace bra. As he licks his lips, I take his hands and cup my breasts with them. “Is this what you want, big guy?”
He nods. “Yes, this is a good start.”
I take his left wrist in my hand and kiss the dark tattoo in black script writing that says, Lux in tenebris. “What does this one mean? I want to know more. Tell me all your secrets, Carter. You give, I give. It’s a win-win.”
He frowns, lowering his head to the ground. “I told you before. It means light in the darkness.”
“I get that, but what does it mean to you? You know you can learn a lot about a person from their tattoos.”
He raises an eyebrow at me. “Is that so?”
“Yup. I dated this guy who got a tattoo every time something significant happened in his life.” Carter looks away from me, biting the inside of his cheek. “Did you do the same thing? Is that why you have so many between all the tribal markings and lines of script?”
“Yes,” he breathes, now staring into my eyes. “I guess you could say I did the same thing. My tattoos are like a life road map if that makes sense.”
“Perfect sense.” I run my fingers along his skin, feeling his tattoos. The more I touch him, the more I realize there’s scar tissue beneath the ink. “What are you hiding underneath this road map? Did you have an awful case of acne or chicken pox?”
“No.” His voice comes off like a growl. “A lot worse.” Carter leaves it at that.
“You can trust me.” And I mean it. “We all have things in our past we want to hide. Would you be surprised that I dated my English teacher for most of high school? I lost my virginity to him.”
He scowls. “I wish I could say he was a lucky guy to have you, but he took advantage. That’s just wrong. When I was in high school, I was lucky if I could get a girl to glance in my direction.”
My plan and the truth worked. Now, I need to keep digging. “What were you like in high school?”
He shrugs, then, lets go of my breasts, his hands dropping down to his sides. “I was weird. Overweight. High school was rough for me. I hated it.”
I’m in awe of Carter’s revelation. “I can’t imagine you being overweight or weird.” I grab hold of his arms and lock onto him, getting his full attention. “You’re so fucking sexy you make my panties melt. I’m sure you had the same effect on the girls at your high school.”
“If I make you so wet, then let me help you out with your problem, Princess.” He bends down to suck on my neck, leaving a trail of kisses on my skin as he clutches my waist, dragging me into his chest. “You promised me a kiss. I want to kiss your pussy and see for myself how wet I make you.”
“Carter,” I moan as he unhooks my bra, the straps sliding down my shoulders. “You still haven’t told me what your tattoo means. Just give me that one, and I will leave you alone. At least for now.”
He stops kissing my breasts just long enough to peek up at me. “Why is my past so important to you? There are some things I don’t like talking about, and the past is one of them.”
I tug at the waistband of his pants, sliding my hand far down enough that I can tell he manscaped for me. My fingers brush up against the tip of his erection. I want to do a more thorough inspection, but I know I need to stop myself from going any further.
“For once, I want to know the man I am having sex with on a more intimate level.” That statement catches his attention, and he perks up a little bit. “I like you, Carter, and if I’m right about you, this could work out between us. We’re both closed off in our own ways. I have secrets, and you have yours. But we’ll never get to know each other if we don’t give in a little and open up.”
“I’m not ready to do that. Sorry.” He takes a step back from me.
Now, that I’m standing here topless, with my girls out on display and a dripping wet pussy, aching for Carter to touch, I have no idea what to do next. I want something more intimate. And Carter apparently wants meaningless sex.
“I guess I was wrong about you,” I say, deflated.
“No, you weren’t wrong about me. I like you, too, Sydney. Otherwise, I would not have put up with these games all week. If all I wanted was sex, I could’ve called up any of the girls in my Contacts and had them over to my house to use however I want. It’s not that hard for me to find pussy when I want it.”
I snort. “I’m sure it’s not. They want the monster cock.” I want it, too. But, not yet, not until he opens up to me.
Taking charge, Carter wraps his arms around me, plastering my breasts against his chiseled chest. His cock is so hard and big it presses into my stomach. Gazing into my eyes, he says, “You’ll have to give me more time. All right? I’m not ready to do what you what.”
I nod, about to speak, when he plants a soft kiss on my lips, sucking on my bottom lip before he shoves his tongue into my mouth, using so much force it takes me by surprise. The aggressive side of Carter turns me on so much my panties are drenched. He’s breaking my rules. But I don’t care.
A kiss on the neck or my breasts was all I had planned to allow before he kissed me, making me powerless. He commands power over my body, and with each second, he strips me of my willpower. Except, he forgets we’re still playing a game. I gave him something in return for the small piece of information he shared with me.
Separating my lips from his, breathless and disoriented, I stagger back. “That was…” I can’t even finish the thought because he rocked my body and mind with that kiss. “You see how this works now, big guy?” It’s a question, not a statement.
“Got it, Princess. But you will have to be patient.”
“Patience is not a virtue I possess,” I deadpan. “But I’ll take what I can get and so will you. Are we clear?”
He blows out a puff of air that causes a piece of my hair to fall on my face. “Crystal.”
I tuck the hair behind my ear. “Good. I’m glad we’re on the same page.” Then, I spin on my heel and walk toward my bedroom to change my panties.
After the number Carter just did on me, I cannot possibly sit here like this for the rest of the night. I should let him take care of what he started, but he needs to finish the conversation before I give him more.
“You’re crazy woman, you know that?” He calls out from behind me.
His comment brings a smile to my face. Of course, I know that. “While that may be true, you cannot get enough of my extra special brand of crazy.”
He grunts in agreement, and I laugh to myself as I enter my bedroom, wondering how long it will take him to grow back his beard and start opening up to me. Let the countdown begin.
Author Jillian Quinn
About the Author Jillian loves Mafia men, sports, bad boys, dirty talkers, strong female characters, and books with plenty of heat, all of which you will find in her books. As a lover of all things bookish, she has a serious book hoarding problem and runs a book blog in her free time. When she’s not reading, writing, or blogging, she’s obsessively fangirling over hockey players and can be found wherever she can catch the next hockey game.
Welcome to the book blitz for ROOK,the first book in the adult post-apocalyptic science fiction romance series, Bridge and Sword: Awakenings, by USA Today bestselling author, J.C. Andrijeski. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
ROOK (Bridge and Sword ~ Awakenings #1) by J.C. Andrijeski
About the Book Title: ROOK Series: Bridge and Sword: Awakenings #1 Author: J.C. Andrijeski Publisher: White Sun Press Release Date: April 22, 2017 Genre: Adult Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis From USA TODAY bestselling author, a psychic warfare alternative history set in a gritty version of Earth. Contains strong romantic elements – a book in the Bridge & Sword World. Apocalyptic. Psychic Romance.
“You are the Bridge…”
Allie Taylor lives in a world populated by seers, a second race discovered on Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century. Psychic, hyper-sexual and enslaved by governments, corporations and wealthy humans, seers are an exotic fascination to Allie, but one she knows she’ll likely never encounter, given how rich you have to be to get near one.
Then a strange man shows up at her work –– then another –– and pretty soon Allie finds herself on the run from the law, labeled a terrorist and in the middle of a race war she didn’t even know existed. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious and uncommunicative Revik, Allie discovers her blood may not be as “human” as she always thought, and the world of seers might not be quite as distant as she always imagined.
When Revik tells her she’s the Bridge, a mystical being meant to usher in the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction––Allie must choose between the race that raised her and the one where she might truly belong..
Excerpt #1 The new man was handsome, startlingly so.
Auburn hair fell on either side of perfect bone structure, large eyes of pale amber, dark brows, a well-formed jaw, and full, beautifully-shaped lips quirked in a faint smirk. His eyes never left the man holding the gun to my head.
The smirk definitely seemed aimed at him.
“Now, now, Revi’,” the auburn-haired man said. “Let’s not get overexcited.”
Mr. Monochrome jammed the gun tighter to my head. “You can’t possibly think I won’t do it.” The German-accented voice was cold as ice. “Turn around. Leave. Now, Terry. Or this ends here.”
My jaw loosened. I looked at my brother, Jon, who was staring between the man holding a gun to my head and the one he’d called “Terry.”
I began to feel like I’d walked into the middle of a movie set. Jon and I felt almost superfluous to whatever was unfolding. I could tell Jon was struggling to make sense of that same thing, of how he’d been shunted aside even as things escalated. Even so, Jon recovered faster than I did. After a bare breath, held up a hand to Mr. Monochrome.
“Put the gun down, man,” he said, his voice shaken. “Please. Don’t hurt her.”
Mr. Monochrome’s eyes never left the auburn-haired man.
“Leave, Terry,” he growled. “Right now. My orders are fucking clear. I will kill her.”
“No, you won’t.”
The man holding me gripped me tighter, his hand on my shoulder now, his fingers digging into muscle, practically holding me by my collar bone.
“The fuck I won’t. Walk out of here. Now.”
Jon turned, staring at the auburn-haired man without lowering the hand he held up towards Mr. Monochrome. “Are you a cop?” he snapped. “What the fuck are you doing, man? Leave! Don’t you see he means it?”
The auburn-haired man didn’t glance at Jon, either.
“This is so childish, Revi’,” he said, clicking his tongue in an oddly expressive way as he shook his head. “We both know you will not kill her.”
“The police are already on their way, my friend.” The auburn-haired man smiled. He shook his head, that smile still playing around his full lips. “So is SCARB. Are you really so willing to wear a collar again? Do you miss Asia so much, you’d be happy to return there to live on a work camp?” Clicking his tongue again, he sighed, holding out his hand. “Give me the gun, Revi’. Give it to me, and release her. I will let you leave before they get here.”
When he took a step towards us, Mr. Monochrome stepped back.
Gripping me tighter, Mr. Monochrome angled himself behind me, still holding the gun to my temple. He began moving us in a circle, taking a sideways step in the direction of the door, as if he meant to angle us around Jon and the auburn-haired man. Jon turned with us, his hand still up. He was pale now, and I saw his eyes dart towards the door, then back to the gun still pressed hard to my temple. He glanced at the auburn-haired man, without taking his eyes off the gun for more than a millisecond.
“You a cop?” Jon said again.
The auburn-haired man smiled, his eyes still following the man who held me. “In a manner of speaking. Yes.”
“He’s not a fucking cop,” the man holding me said. His voice was hard as metal, still tinged with that German accent. “Jon, you don’t want her to go with him. Trust me.”
Jon gave him a hard look, then looked back at the auburn-haired man.
For some reason, I found myself thinking that Jon actually believed him.
I believed him, too.
It was entirely irrational, but I would rather leave there with Mr. Monochrome than with the handsome man who said he was a cop.
Mr. Monochrome continued to maneuver us towards the door.
The auburn-haired man took a step towards us. Then another. He walked cautiously, his eyes on the man holding me, as if he was approaching a tiger.
“Revi’,” he said. “Be reasonable.”
Like Jon, he held up a hand, as if to calm a wild animal–-one that was cornered, snarling at him. His voice turned soothing, matter-of-fact. “You’ve lost this round, old friend. You waited too long. Let her go. If your people want to negotiate getting her back––”
The man holding me let out a humorless laugh.
“Go fuck yourself, Terry,” he growled.
The man with the auburn hair smiled faintly, then shifted his gaze until he was looking solely at me. His eyes and expression grew solemn as he studied my face.
I found I couldn’t look away from those amber, light-filled irises. They seemed to glow with their own internal light as he watched me seriously.
“Has he told you, little sister?” he said. “Has he told you who you are?”
When I just stared at him blankly, the man broke out in a disarming smile.
“Of course he didn’t,” he mused. “Classic Dehgoies. Why would he tell you anything when it’s easier to simply club you over the head and drag you with him by force?” Clucking his tongue lightly in amusement, the man shook his head, still focusing on me. “We have been looking for you longer than you’ve been alive, Alyson dear––”
“Shut up,” the man holding me growled. “Quit with the fucking head-games, Terry.”
The man ignored him, looking only at me. “Do you have any idea how important you are, Alyson?” he said gently. “How the elders managed to hide you here, after all this time, allowing you to play human… well. Let’s just say, it’s upped my respect for their abilities a fair bit. I would never have guessed they’d be capable of such a thing.”
The auburn-haired man held up a hand. “You are the Bridge, Alyson May Taylor. Do you know what that means?” His smile turned faintly predatory, conspiratorial. “Do you?”
I didn’t answer, swallowing as I glanced sideways at the man holding the gun to my head. It occurred to me again that somehow I was less afraid of him than I was of the man with the auburn hair. The thought made no sense. It was borderline nuts, like the fastest form of Stockholm Syndrome imaginable, but somehow the feeling persisted.
The auburn-haired man seemed to take my silence as an answer.
“The Bridge is sent here to save us, Alyson,” he said, his voice lulling, seductive. “You’re going to save us all. You’re going to return your people to their rightful place––burning the human world, and all of its cruel, empty, child-like bullshit to the ground. You’re going to set us free. You’re going to force them to evolve, Bridge Alyson.”
I stared at him, unable to respond.
Somehow, I could feel he meant what he said.
I saw it in him, like one can see the fervor of a religious fanatic. It reminded me of that sheen in the eyes of people who’d knocked on my front door, there to sell me on their God, prophets and churches. He believed his words. He pinned hope on that belief. Some part of him maybe even lived for it, in a sense.
He truly believed he’d been waiting for me.
I found myself concentrating on him harder.
Silver lights flickered at me, out of time, out of joint. Above him, I glimpsed a pyramid made of light, rotating in the darkness over his head. Something about that vision brought a spike of pain to my temples. It was white-hot, blinding.
I gasped, leaning against the man holding me.
He clutched me tighter. Concern bled through his fingers, a near longing. For the barest instant, I really felt him behind me, like a beating heart. The feeling was familiar––so familiar it brought a rush of something akin to relief. He breathed with me, holding the gun to my head, but we felt almost like a single being, a single heart and set of lungs. Pain twisted through me at the thought, but not like the pain that struck my temples.
Truthfully, it wasn’t like any pain I’d ever felt before. Longing wound into that pain, too, along with another rush of that familiarity.
The man holding me turned his head, looking at me.
I felt that pain on him, too. I felt it intensify––
––when the man with the auburn hair lunged at us both. He leapt towards me, moving without a sound, the instant the man holding me turned his head.
He moved fast––so fast I barely saw the shift.
I saw his attack unfold in the abstract, a blurred motion of aggression and animal-like violence. It was coming straight at me, so fast my heart leapt to my throat. It was too fast for thought, too fast for my mind to make sense of the exact threat.
I just knew I was under attack.
It terrified me more than the threat of the gun. More than the man holding me.
This man coming at me was danger. That’s all my mind fully understood.
Maybe that’s why it happened.
Time slowed to a standstill. I felt every inch of expanding heat as adrenaline shot through my veins, every millimeter of those iron-like fingers gripping my shoulder, my heart hammering, the man holding me breathing hard enough I could feel each breath as it vibrated my body. I saw my brother’s face as he watched, terrified, from a few feet away, his hand still up as he stared at me, his expression full of fear.
I don’t really know how to explain what happened after that.
Something in me just… let go.
That’s how it felt.
It was as if a fist I’d held clenched, somewhere in the middle of my chest, suddenly loosened. Whatever it was, I’d held it for so long, I hadn’t known I held it at all. It was just how it was, to be clenched in that part of me.
When I let go of that tightness I’d carried since birth, it started a chain reaction in some distant part of me. A folding sensation, like a telescope being collapsed in segments, only lightning fast, a ticking film in the background of my mind with an oddly mechanical, almost beautiful precision.
A rush of power hit me somewhere in the middle of the chest.
That time, it didn’t come from outside of me.
I breathed it out, and it was as natural as… well, breathing.
That force slammed out of me like a hard exhale, like if I held it in, even a second longer, it might burn me apart from the inside.
Then it was gone.
It left me. I watched it go, fascinated, in that space of no-time. A slow-motion millisecond unfolded with the same precision as that part of my mind that had collapsed, folding within itself just a fraction of that same second before.
It hit the man who’d lunged for me first.
Jon was blown back after him, around the same time the first man’s feet left the ground, as he’d begun to fly backwards through the air, reaching the place where Jon was.
Then Jon’s feet left the ground, too.
I watched in that moment of timeless silence, seeing their bodies fly through the air, going in the opposite direction from where I stood. I saw that same force that came from my chest, only now it looked like a pale green light in the darkened spaces behind my eyes.
My own eyes were light––only light.
Somehow, I saw through that light anyway, for those few seconds at least.
Even though the force hit Jon second, he slammed into something first.
I watched him fly partway over a tabletop where two college-aged kids were eating pie and drinking coffee. They’d been watching the exchange between the four of us, I realized––everyone in the diner had been staring, riveted, the instant Jon showed up at the door, demanding Mr. Monochrome let me go.
Now I saw the two college kids’ faces alter in slow-motion, eyes widening as they saw my brother heading straight for them and their table.
His back slid over their pie and coffee, only an inch or two above the surface. His legs and tennis shoes hit the edge of the chrome tabletop, knocking their plates and glasses sideways and back, causing the girl sitting there to throw up her arms, also in slow-motion. Jon kept going, not stopping until he landed on a second table behind them, which had a tray covered in dirty soda glasses and coffee cups that the other waiter, Corey, must have left there when he went on his smoke break.
Those glasses and coffee cups flew towards the floor even as Jon’s tennis shoes scraped over the edge of the first tabletop, then he was heading for the floor.
The auburn-haired man flew further, since no table stood directly behind him from the direction of that onslaught of pale green light.
My attention shifted to him somewhere in that fraction of a second.
I watched him fly through the air, his amber eyes wide, the handsome face contorted in disbelief even as his arms pinwheeled, his hands and fingers actively looking for purchase. One of his hands was looking for something else, too. It dug into his jacket, reaching for the gun there, fighting to get it free of the holster he wore under the suit. I watched him struggle with it as he flew all the way to the wall.
Then, both struggles abruptly ended. He crashed into a row of glass shelves covered in fifties knick-knacks––an old radio, metal lunch boxes, Elvis Presley records, a letterman’s jacket.
It wasn’t until he hit into all of that, smashing the shelves with his shoulders, head and arms, that the sound seemed to come back in the diner.
Screams were the first thing that penetrated my awareness.
I flinched, violently, sure I was dead.
Something whizzed by me. I felt it pass, but didn’t move.
Then the man holding me grunted, half of his body jerking back, to both of our right.
More gunshots broke the quiet. That time, it was the man holding me who was firing. For the first time, it hit me that he was left-handed.
He wasn’t firing at me.
Instead, when I looked up in shock, I saw the end of his gun smoking. He’d aimed it past me, over my shoulder, at the man with the auburn hair.
I gaped from the gun back to the wall.
The man there held a gun as well. He’d somehow managed to unholster it while he’d been flying through the air. He’d been the one shooting at us, at least until the man holding me ended him. He’d shot the auburn-haired man right in the middle of the forehead. The shot was so precise it shocked me.
My vision slanted out.
Light took its place. That light blocked my view of the surrounding room.
Gasping in panic at my sudden blindness, I found myself acutely aware of everything else happening around us.
I heard people scrambling to their feet, knocking over chairs, moving tables. Screams followed. I felt fear––of the guns, yes, but not only the guns. Some of that fear felt aimed at me. Loud speech and frightened gasps confused me. I felt their panic like a physical force. It made me wince, then grimace from the pain of it––but I couldn’t see them, or anything else.
My eyes wouldn’t work. Everything was light––just light.
Green light, like what my mind conjured around that force in my chest, just before Jon and that other man flew across the room. I blinked, panicking at my seeming blindness.
I blinked, over and over, but the light wouldn’t dim.
Then the fingers holding me tightened so much I let out a gasp.
“Jurekil’a u’hatre davos!” The man was breathing hard, almost as hard as the people panicking around us. He gasped, speaking right near my ear. I couldn’t see him through the light, but his own panic slammed into me, making me nauseous. Was he afraid of me? “Gaos… di’lanlente a’guete… you’re a fucking manipulator! Gaos! Gaos!”
I couldn’t make sense of anything he said.
All I knew was, he sounded afraid. Shocked to the point of paralysis.
I kept blinking, fighting to see.
I felt dizzy, light-headed. Truthfully, I felt like I might be sick.
I leaned against the man where he held me against him, not thinking about the gun anymore, only wanting to see, to know what happened, where I was, why everyone was screaming. Did I really see this man shoot another man in the head?
Then, another thought brought panic back to my throat.
Had I hurt Jon? What happened to Jon?
Terror hit me, along with a surge of dread that nearly overwhelmed me.
“Where’s Jon?” I managed, my words blurred, groggy. “Where is he? Is he all right?
Something in my words seemed to snap the man holding me out of his stupor.
The fingers released me, but for barely a second.
An arm wrapped roughly around my waist, wrenching me against a hard, muscular body. I gripped that arm in my hands, still fighting to see, to think, to move my mind beyond that nausea and dread. I couldn’t budge the arm off me.
Truthfully, I could barely make myself try.
I couldn’t remember ever being so drained, scared or exhausted.
Before I could wrap my head around what he was doing, the feelings coming off him, he was carrying me. Half-carrying me, at least, dragging me with him.
I couldn’t see, but I knew we were heading towards the door.
That’s when I first heard the sirens.
Author J.C. Andrijeski
About the Author JCAndrijeski is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes paranormal mysteries and apocalyptic fiction, often with a sexy, romantic and metaphysical bent. JC has a background in journalism, history and politics, and loves martial arts, yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, painting… and of course reading and writing. She grew up in the Bay Area of California, but travels extensively and has lived abroad in Europe, Australia and Asia, and from coast to coast in the continental United States. She currently lives and writes full-time in Bangkok, Thailand.
If you want an email when JC’s next book is released, as well as special giveaways, offers to read books early and other prizes, join her newsletter, THE REBEL ARMY, at: http://hyperurl.co/JCA-Newsletter
Synopsis My name is Tyler. Yes, I’m a girl. And if you have a demon problem don’t call me, I’m retired.
Tyler Reed is done dealing with demons. After suffering a brutal loss at the hands of one, she runs away to a small town in Iowa to recover. With only her loyal cat, Bear, by her side she starts life over. Demon free. Until Kade walks into the bar she works at and tempts her back into her old ways.
It’s almost like he’s a sin.
TO END THE RAPTURE by Lori Parker (Full Cover)
Author Lori Parker
About the Author Lori Parker does a great many things in her spare time. Writing just happens to be one of them. She’s mother/minion of the first order to the next Supreme. When she’s not writing, designing covers, and reining in her daughter, she’s on facebook chatting with her soulmate from north of the Wall.
Today is release day for MISTAKEN IDENTITY, an adult romantic suspense/psychological thriller, by M.C. Jackson. See below for information on the book, buy links, a couple of exclusive teasers, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis The last time I saw my sister was the day before she vanished from my life. I’ve spent the last five years searching for her, clinging to the hope that one day I will find out what happened to her, but every lead has ended up at a dead end.
He took me because he thinks I’m her.
My instinct is to run. I want to fight my way out of there, but I can’t. This man is my only connection to my sister. I’ll do whatever it takes to uncover the truth. Even if it means falling right into the arms of a psychopath.
About The Author M.C Jackson is a wife, mother, reader and author. Her debut release, Mistaken Identity is a psychological romantic suspense full of twists that you won’t see coming. When she’s not writing or reading, you’ll find her spending time with her husband and kids.
Author Aya Ling is unveiling the cover to EVER AFTER, the third book in her young adult fantasy/fairy tale romance series, Unfinished Fairy Tales, releasing May 20, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and a pre-order link.
EVER AFTER ( Unfinished Fairy Tales #1) by Aya Ling
About the Book Title: EVER AFTER Series: Unfinished Fairy Tales #3 Author: Aya Ling Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance Release Date: May 20, 2017 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Kat has survived. She returns to Athelia as herself, Katherine Wilson. Edward, elated at learning she is alive, vows to bring her back to the palace. The obstacles, however, seem impossible to overcome. Marriage between a royal and a commoner is not recognized, not to mention that he is already legally bound to Katriona Bradshaw, who will do anything to keep her position as princess.
And there’s even more to worry about. Due to an uncommonly harsh winter, the people of Athelia have been suffering from inflated food prices, and are getting irritated at supporting the small, elite group of aristocrats. An uprising in a neighboring country only adds fuel to the fire.
Can Kat and Edward finally get a happily-ever-after?
UGLY STEPSISTER ( Unfinished Fairy Tales #1) by Aya Ling
About Book 1 Title: THE UGLY STEPSISTER Series: Unfinished Fairy Tales #1 Author: Aya Ling Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance Release Date: June 10, 2015 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she’s magically transported into the world of Cinderella–as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she’ll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?
TWICE UPON A TIME ( Unfinished Fairy Tales #2) by Aya Ling
About Book 2 Title: TWICE UPON A TIME Series: Unfinished Fairy Tales #2 Author: Aya Ling Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance Release Date: December 13, 2016 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Seven years have passed since Kat left Athelia. Through the intervention of the goblin king’s baby daughter, the book is re-opened and Kat is transported back to Story World. Upon learning she is given a second chance, Edward is determined not to let her go this time. His chance of succeeding, however, seems like nil. Kat doesn’t remember anything of their past, she loathes life at court, and she’s anxious to return to modern world. Not to mention that there’s a price to pay for tampering with the book again…
Author Aya Ling
About the Author Aya is from Taiwan, where she struggles daily to contain her obsession with mouthwatering and unhealthy foods. Often she will devour a good book instead. Her favorite books include martial arts romances, fairy tale retellings, high fantasy, cozy mysteries, and manga.
She is currently working on Ever After, Book 3 in the Unfinished Fairy Tales series, to be released in 2017. For exclusive bonus scenes, giveaways, and new release info, visit ayaling.com
Welcome to the book blitz for THE NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by Kelsey McKnight. See below for for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt and details on her giveaway.
THE NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT by Kelsey McKnight
About the Book Title: THE NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT Author: Kelsey McKnight Publisher: Limitless Publishing Release Date: May 9, 2017 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis I left my old life, and my broken heart, back in Michigan. When I moved to New York City for a fresh start, I didn’t know I would be made a sinful offer I couldn’t refuse…
My billionaire businessman boss decided that being the most powerful man on the East Coast wasn’t enough. He needed political power, too. But who would vote for a womanizing playboy with a different model on his arm every week? If he wanted to win, he needed a respectable wife…he needed me.
I had the looks, the small town charm—I was even already his employee, but I was willing to pretend to be so much more. And I’ve already signed a non-disclosure agreement, making me the perfect choice.
But will there come a point where pretend just isn’t enough?
Excerpt She stepped over to the security desk and dropped her license and proof of employment in front of the guard. Her hands were sweaty and she kept glancing nervously around the busy lobby. Everyone seemed to be in such a hurry. “Excuse me, sir, but I believe you have a badge for me? My name is Holly McIntyre and I just moved here from Michigan to work for Mr. Cantrell. I’ve never been to New York City and—”
“Here’s your card, sweetheart,” the guard said in a thick Brooklyn accent, slapping a piece of plastic down on the desk. “And a word of advice? Don’t talk so much. You need to be tough to make it in this building.”
Holly nodded and meekly slid the ID off the counter before turning toward the elevators. She felt her cheeks burn with embarrassment and internally abashed herself for rambling to a perfect stranger. She was used to chatting with everyone back in Michigan and now she’d just made herself look like a fool to the first person she met in the building. What a great way to start to her first day.
The elevators were packed, going up, and Holly had to squeeze herself between two very large men carrying briefcases to make her way up to the top floor. As people left the lift to exit to their levels, Holly gave herself a short, meaningful pep talk to fill the time during the long ride up.
Okay, Holly, you can do this. You can make it through this. This is just a building in a city, not one of the most major companies on the East Coast for marketing and international sales. So what if it controls eighty percent of the sales to China? All you’ll be doing it fetching coffee and picking up dry-cleaning. No big deal! Maybe you’ll address envelopes sometimes or water plants. Totally doable! Fake it until you make it. Or crash and burn…oh, God.
When she stepped onto the top floor, she was the last person aboard the elevator and entirely sure she should never be a motivational speaker.
The seventieth floor was as white and bright as the lobby below, but primarily empty. A receptionist tapped away on a keyboard. Across from her desk was a bright red couch for visitors, and three heavy oak doors against the far wall. Holly quietly walked up to the receptionist, her ID card clutched in her hand. The woman was a statuesque brunette wearing a chic sweater dress and a pair of fifties-inspired glasses. She stopped typing and looked up at Holly from behind her vintage eyewear.
“H-hi, I’m Holly McIntyre, the new assistant.“ She cleared her throat and held up her ID for proof, hoping the receptionist wouldn’t notice the wild shaking of her hand.
“Lovely.” The receptionist purred in a way that made Holly think of a cat that’d just spotted a defenseless mouse. “Go on in to Mr. Cantrell’s office. Begin filing the papers on top of the filing cabinet in alphabetical order. He’ll be in shortly to give you further instruction.”
Holly waited to be dismissed, but took the woman’s return to typing as her release. She walked back to the far wall to the three doors. One was labeled Meeting Room 1, the second Meeting Room 2, and the third read Cantrell in bold golden letters next to the door. Slowly, she grasped the handle and pushed the door open to let herself inside.
The room was large and richly furnished with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows behind a stately desk. It was almost sterile-looking with no personal items to be seen between the imposing grandfather clock and leather armchairs. Holly looked around for a picture of her future boss, but the only art on the wall was a modern painting a man might’ve chosen—bright squares of red, blue, and black thrown onto a canvas. She thought a child could’ve put it together. It was nothing like the fine Italian frescos she’d seen online, nor like the famous reproductions of Monet paintings her parents had hanging in their restaurant back home. But what did she know about modern art? Holly had no doubt, however, that the simple piece had cost him thousands.
She placed her secondhand purse on one of the two guest chairs facing the desk and made her way to a very tall, large filing cabinet tucked into the corner of the room. Her hands began to sweat as she saw how monumental the cabinet was. While she was around five feet tall, the cabinet must have been seven feet high. Wondering if she could actually do her duties with this monstrous piece of office furniture, she tried reaching the stack of papers and manila envelopes, but her hands barely grazed the top of the cabinet. She glanced around for a stepladder, or a stool, but only saw the expensive chairs meant for guests. Not finding any other option, she pulled the empty chair toward the cabinet and hopped on, balancing on the plush cushion.
She had just grabbed the heavy stack when the office door burst open, causing her arms to fly up in surprise and the papers to scatter all over the floor, mimicking the worst kind of snowstorm. Holly immediately jumped off the chair with her hand covering her mouth to stifle a small shriek of surprise that escaped as a pained squeak. She had not been in the office more than five minutes and she’d already made a mess. What made it worse was that the only person to witness her shame was her boss, Jackson Cantrell.
Jackson raised a brow as he inspected his new assistant. She seemed as flighty as a bird, and almost as delicate.
“Oh, goodness! I’m so sorry, Mr. Cantrell…sir…I can’t believe I…” Holly dropped back to the floor and began sweeping the papers into a pile with her quivering hands. “I’m sorry…I didn’t…I couldn’t reach…”
Jackson bent down to her level and began sorting the papers into small piles, slightly uncomfortable with the anxious woman fidgeting on his office floor. “I take it you must be my new assistant?”
“Y-yes. I’m Holly McIntyre.” She looked up at him, green eyes glassy with fear. “I promise, I’m not always so clumsy.”
He was taken aback upon seeing her fully. She was a pleasant-looking woman with a heart shaped face and full lips. As she lifted her emerald eyes to his, peeking at him from beneath her thick lashes, Jackson had to clear his throat. “Good to meet you, Holly.”
“I’m really not like this. I’m very well organized and—”
Jackson held up a hand. “Please, it’s really not a big deal. Why don’t you just go get settled at your desk for now, and I’ll fix this.”
“My desk?” Her face was still pink from embarrassment; a feature Jackson found oddly endearing.
“Yes. Your office connects with mine so that I’ll be able to reach you easily during business hours.” He scooped the rest of the files up and stood, holding a hand out to her.
Holly smiled uneasily, showing off a row of perfectly white teeth. Her hand was delicate in his, and when she rose to standing, he was surprised to see she had rather shapely legs beneath the unflattering sack she wore. “Of course, Mr. Cantrell. Is there anything I can get for you? Latte? Coffee? Tea?”
He shot her a small smile, amused by her nervousness. “No, thank you. Go get settled.”
Holly snatched her purse and tucked it under her arm, disappearing into her adjacent office. Jackson watched her leave, noting how that dowdy suit, and ugly shoes, did little to show her apparent charms. His other assistants were always well-groomed and expertly dressed, looking at ease in their designer clothes. Holly McIntyre almost seemed like a little girl playing dress-up in her mother’s closet. He thought she would do better if she embraced her girl-next-door beauty instead of hiding it.
As he arranged the last of the files on his desk, he wondered if Holly had what it took to survive life in the big city.
Author Kelsey McKnight
About the Author Kelsey McKnight is a university-educated historian from southern New Jersey. She has married her great loves of romance, history, and literature to create her newly finished works. Her first books, “The Scottish Stone Series”, are coming in April of 2017 by Limitless Publishing. Book one is titled “Queen of Emeralds”, and is available now. “The Scottish Stone Series” take readers on a journey through the bustling streets of Victorian London and into the lush hills of the Scottish Highlands. Her second book, a contemporary romance titled “The Non-Disclosure Agreement”, will also be available in May of 2017 and feature a bad boy politician and the small town girl that could change his ways. When she’s not writing, Kelsey can be found reading, drinking too much coffee, spending time with her family, and working on two nonprofits.
Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.
But can she carry the burden of the past?
Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.
Excerpt #2 I was dead to the world and when I came to I was drowning. Water gushed into my mouth and I was tumbling, flailing, not knowing what end was up or down. I heard the sounds of screaming and the roaring of water and then nothingness. Coming up for air, I held something, something rectangular. The seat cushion I was holding kept me afloat. I was in a river and I didn’t know why. I kicked and kicked and it made no difference. I never believed in God, an all-powerful being that allowed so many horrible things to happen, but as I saw the rocks up ahead, I prayed.
The current sped faster, churning like boiling water and I thought I was going to die.
I was 17 and I was going to die.
All the time wasted. All the things I never got to do.
I had one thought over and over: I don’t want to die. Someone else, but not me.
I held onto that seat cushion for dear life and plunged into the rapids. I was a human rag doll. The torrent sucked me into a watery hell and I couldn’t breathe; my eyes shut, mouth shut, face tight against the murk, willing everything to stop. I couldn’t breathe. I started to panic.
Someone else, but not me.
I needed air, my body screamed for it and I opened my mouth about to take in water when I bubbled up to the surface and gasped. As quickly as I was brought above, I was taken under again. I slammed against the rocks and buried my face deeper into the cushion. I saw nothing, heard nothing, and imagined I was in a womb. I could only wait for the terror to pass. There was no outlet; my fear was so deep and tangible I couldn’t scream. It felt like an actual substance that enveloped my body, my brain, my very being. I receded further and further within myself, a dark hole, my entire body a taut muscle.
Suddenly, I took a shot to the head and saw stars. A high-pitched squeal rang in my ears. I fought the growing sensation of darkness that threatened to overcome me, but I knew to give in meant death. I was tempted. So, so tempted. I forced my eyes open and saw the water, the dark water and wondered in that emptiness if I hadn’t died already.
My prayer must’ve been heard.
The water calmed and I was spit out near a bend. I realized I had to give up the cushion, my lifeline—it was holding me back. I let go, cursing myself as it floated away and I swam, giving everything I had. My body had nothing left but I commanded it, willed it, to swim. As I approached the shore, my shoes finally touched bottom and I heaved myself onto land.
I don’t know how long I lay there catching my breath. But there is no greater feeling of security than the sensation of the earth beneath your stomach, hands grabbing dirt. The scent of decay and wet leaves smelled like a bouquet. All this time I’d taken the ground beneath me for granted. Now I was thankful for this place to rest.
I was soaked. My jeans pressed against me, my hair drenched, my socks squished against my feet. I didn’t understand. I had left on a flight from Los Angeles with a layover in Panama City and then on to Asuncion, Paraguay for a year-end class trip. We were traveling as an inter-disciplinary trip for history, international relations, foreign language and biology. We were going to have the trip of a lifetime.
Then it hit me, a delayed reaction: I almost drowned. I almost died. My body seized and I was overwhelmed. I cried; I didn’t even know why or for what, but I sobbed on that little stretch of dirt. I heaved, gasping for breath. Every inhale was a wheeze, and I caught myself hitting the ground, my hands balled into tight fists, pounding and pounding.
Moments passed and I cried myself empty. I told myself: get up. You have to get up.
Author James Morris
About the Author JamesMorris is a former television writer who now works in digital media. When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching ‘House Hunters Renovation’, or trying new recipes in the kitchen. He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles.
Welcome to the book blitz for DEN OF MERCENARIES, the first book in the adult contemporary romantic suspense series, Den of Mercenaries, by London Miller. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $0.99.
DEN OF MERCENARIES (Den of Mercenaries #1) by London Miller
About the Book – ON SALE $0.99
Title: DEN OF MERCENARIES Series: Den of Mercenaries #1 Author: London Miller Release Date: May 4, 2017 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romantic Suspense Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Welcome to the Den
A mysterious, but powerful, man known only as The Kingmaker brought together a team of mercenaries to become a weapon the likes of which no one has ever seen before.
An unrivaled and merciless sniper …
A ruthless, yet charming thief …
A beautiful, but cunning spider …
They do his bidding if and when he calls with no exceptions, but beyond the work they do, their lives are complicated, filled with both love and pain, hate and lust.
Sometimes the line blurs between what’s right and what’s wrong.
Sometimes the line doesn’t exist at all.
Den of Mercenaries: Volume one includes the first four books in the Den of Mercenaries series. Included in this bundle for a limited time are bonus scenes featuring each couple, as well as the first look into how the Den came to be.
Author London MIller
About London Miller With a degree in Creative Writing, London Miller has turned pen to paper, creating riveting fictional worlds where the bad guys are sometimes the good guys. Her debut novel, In the Beginning, is the first in the Volkov Bratva Series.
She currently resides in southern Georgia where she drinks far too much coffee, and spends her nights writing.
To learn more about London Miller and her novels, please visit her through her social media.
Welcome to the book blitz for WHO SHE WAS, a stand-alone new adult contemporary romance, by Stormy Smith. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the ebook for just $0.99!
Synopsis Trevor Adler loathes the music he used to love, but it’s the key to his full-ride scholarship and the ticket away from his dysfunctional parents. To kick off their freshman year, Trevor’s roommate drags him to a frat party, where he ends up face-to-face with his childhood best friend and finds himself entrenched in memories he’d rather forget.
Unable to let Charlie go again without understanding the truth of why she disappeared from his life and chose to become the type of person they always hated, Trevor is relentless in his pursuit of the girl he once knew.
Charlotte (Charlie) Logan is broken. Under her perfectly-crafted exterior are the shards of a shattered heart. A handful of angry words changed her life completely and Charlie’s never been able to forgive herself for the truth she’s hidden from everyone.
While Trevor pushes Charlie to remember the music that lit her soul and the laughter they shared, they find themselves reverting to a banter-filled rhythm that feels all too familiar, yet different now. When Trevor’s own secrets come to light, it becomes clear he and Charlie both must face their tragic pasts if they have any hope at a future together.
Excerpt – Chapter 1 “Are you guys ready for this?”
The overly-excited frat boy in charge yelled into the microphone and the backyard of the Sigma Alpha house hit deafening levels. Inside their dingy kitchen, I shared a wary look with a few of the Kappa pledges.
“As much fun as we’re already having tonight, it’s about to get real! The fifth annual dating auction is about to start. That means the only thing standing between you and a hot little sorority pledge is your parents’ money!”
A petite redhead who barely looked fifteen, let alone eighteen, drew back the curtain of the kitchen window to peek out as he continued and then giggled.
“I can’t believe rush week is finally here and tonight is the auction!” She actually clapped her hands together and I forced my eyes not to disappear into the back of my head. “I hope Austin bids on me,” she gushed. “He’s so hot.”
“And you will be yet another notch on his freshman bedpost,” I muttered before I could stop myself. The girl behind me in line stifled a chuckle, and I smiled knowing there was someone else who understood how absurd this was.
“Your mom was a Kappa, too?” She asked.
I nodded. The line of sorority pledges filed forward through the kitchen to the back door as the emcee announced the next piece of meat up for bid. I kept my eyes forward and not on the half-filled keg cups and ripped open chip bags.
“Can you believe we have to go through with this just to pledge?” The girl twisted a piece of her hair and I didn’t miss the fear that flashed in her eyes. “The worst part was when I told my mom, she was actually excited.”
We took another step forward as I shook my head in disbelief. I hadn’t bothered to even tell my mother since it wouldn’t have mattered. Getting in was all she was worried about and Katie was the only one who ever mattered to her.
Then, I was next. I swallowed down my own anxiety and pressed my sweating palms down my skirt. It was tight and high-waisted, and my heels were higher than I was comfortable with.
Katie would have loved me in it.
I missed my Chucks.
My name came over the crackling sound system and I felt warm fingers encircle my own.
“You’ll do great, Charlotte,” she encouraged. I hadn’t even bothered to ask her name and she’d been astute enough to pluck mine from the bio being read to the crowd. I gave her a tight-lipped smile and returned the gesture even though I wanted to yank my hand from hers and wipe it off again.
I pushed through the torn screen door and pulled the humid August air into my lungs as I straightened my posture and put one foot in front of the other. My smile was so automatic it didn’t matter that I didn’t feel it anywhere but the shift in my cheeks—not too much teeth to seem fake, just enough for no one to ever think anything was wrong.
The emcee’s voice was lost in the cat calls. I heard bids of anywhere from five dollars to twenty as they commented on my rack or how my long hair would come in handy. My fingers tapped out a familiar rhythm onto my hip, one that I refused to acknowledge, but it was the only way I could keep circling the rickety stage.
I had to get into this sorority. It was what she wanted. It wasn’t optional.
“Two hundred and fifty dollars.” His voice silenced the crowd.
My smile didn’t waver as I let out a longer exhale and thanked whoever he was while also praying he wasn’t a psycho.
A sweaty, drunk guy helped me off the stage, and I was thankful when my heels sunk slightly into the ground because it was over and all the attention shifted to the next piece of cattle. I followed the turning heads in the direction of my bidder, who was still lost in the crowd.
The crowd shifted as their attention focused back on the next pledge up for bid. The light from the porch found him and he stood facing me, clearly waiting. For a split second, time stopped.
He smirked, catching my pause. The baby-face Trevor had the last time I saw him was gone. Instead, angular features and questioning eyes stared back at me.
I wanted to spin on my heel and run the other direction. Trevor was the slip knot of my life. The carefully intertwined ropes I’d wrapped around the person I used to be — the one he alone had understood and yet still abandoned — could be unraveled with one tug. He could destroy me and everything I’d done to atone for my mistake.
No one knew what I’d done. How it was all my fault. I’d never told anyone so he couldn’t know. It was a secret I desperately wanted to share so I no longer had to bear it alone, but knew I couldn’t.
“Fancy meeting you here, Charlie,” Trevor said as he pushed his thick-rimmed glass up his nose, failing to convince me he was any more comfortable with our impromptu reunion than I was.
I didn’t need him anymore. He was the who’d disappeared and left me all alone. It didn’t matter that he was the one who knew the rhythm I tapped out to get through the worst of times. Or that in an instant I remembered what real laughter felt like and the feel of ivory under my fingertips. It couldn’t matter. Not anymore.
I charged forward, auto-smiled and played the part I’d cast for myself.
“Charlotte,” I stated. “My name is Charlotte.”
Author Stormy Smith
About the Author Stormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her.
When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband, twin sons or girlfriends. .
Swoon Romance and author Patricia B. Tighe are unveiling the cover to ABOUT LAST SUMMER, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance, releasing May 30, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.
ABOUT LAST SUMMER by Patricia B. Tighe
About the Book Title: ABOUT LAST SUMMER Author: Patricia B. Tighe Publisher: Swoon Romance Release Date: May 30, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Pretend to be from Spain? Act like she can barely speak English? Sure, why not? It wouldn’t be the first time Gabby Vega had agreed to a challenge from her best friend, Kenzie. Besides, it’s only for a week of vacation with Kenzie’s cousins. Gabby will prove to Kenzie she can keep up the fake identity for the whole trip—that she’s not a quitter.
There’s just one major surprise. Noah Jernigan is also staying with Kenzie’s cousins. Noah, the boy she fell in love with at drama camp last summer and the boy she had to dump when it was over. The boy who knows who she really is.
Noah can’t believe it when Gabby appears at the Bryson’s vacation home in the New Mexico mountains. He hasn’t seen her in a year. It practically took that long just to get over her. And now she’s Gabriela from Spain? All he wants is to get as far away as he can. Or maybe the exact opposite. Stick as close to her as possible and find out what the heck happened last summer. And definitely get some payback.
Now Gabby has to keep Noah at arm’s length as she pretends to be Gabriela. She doesn’t want to answer his questions or rehash last summer. Because one thing is clear—the more time she spends with Noah, the more she’s in danger of falling for him all over again...
Author Patricia B. Tighe
About the Author The mother of two grown sons, Patricia B. Tighe lives in West Texas with her husband and two dogs. Her love of the written word caused her to get a journalism degree from Texas A&M University in 1980 and an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2008. When not writing or reading, she can be found walking the dogs or yelling at the TV during an NFL game. She’s also a fan of British TV shows. Downton Abbey, anyone? .