Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – SHADOW OF THE MOON by Kwen D. Griffeth

SHADOW OF THE MOON Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for SHADOW OF THE MOON, an adult paranormal romance/mystery, by Kwen D. Griffeth. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

SHADOW OF THE MOON by Kwen D. Griffeth

SHADOW OF THE MOON by Kwen D. Griffeth

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: SHADOW OF THE MOON
Author: Kwen D. Griffeth
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance/Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
The grisly murder of a diplomat’s son in Central Park draw NYPD Detective Gerald Meeker and FBI Special Agent Andee Trakes into a twisted and confusing investigation. Within hours, the evidence indicates the man was executed in the manner saved for werewolves. Andee Trakes is assigned to liaison with a history professor, who is an expert on folklore and legends.

Professor Alwyn Lloyd, handsome, articulate and successful, not only agrees the method of death was indeed an execution, he claims to be a werewolf. Andee is torn between the desire to date the man and the suspicion to arrest him.

From the initial killing in the park, a bloody spree is ignited that soon has Andee and Lloyd forced to work together to protect themselves and family members.

Shadow of the Moon explores the world of werewolves and paints a picture of what is good about them, as well as bad. The story explains what is beautiful as well as ugly about the wolf.

The story is fast paced and full of interesting characters and several twists and turns to keep both the fantasy as well as the suspense and romance enthusiasts entertained.

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Excerpt
“I’m Special Agent Trakes, I’m with the FBI. I drove up from New York to see Professor Lloyd.”

“I’m Professor Lloyd’s assistant. Is he expecting you?” Her smile never wavered, though the hand dropped to her side.

“No, as I said, I’m with the FBI, and we don’t normally make appointments.”

Miranda, with smile still in place, walked to the door leading to the professor’s office as she said, “Let me check with him, but I’m sure he will be able to meet with you. I keep his appointment calendar, so I know he’s not overly busy.”

“Hey, I was here first, and I’ve waited thirty minutes.”

Trakes turned back to the office and noticed a blonde had stood to announce her displeasure. She tried to show her indignation with the agent, but her glare fell short.

Trakes smiled at the student and held out her FBI credentials for the blonde to see.

“I’m with the FBI, sweetie. We get cuts.”

Behind her, she heard Miranda say, “Sit down, Shelly, you know as well as I do the professor won’t change your grade.”

Trakes turned back to Miranda and waved the credentials one more time.

“These are really the only announcement I need, but thank you. I’ll just pop in. Then the professor and I will get acquainted.”

Before Miranda could object, the agent turned and stepped through the door.

Her first impression of the office was the desk. It was large, made of wood and appeared antique… Professor Lloyd sat behind the desk.

He studied papers with his head lowered, and her first glimpse of him took in the breadth of his shoulders and his hair. It was thick and dark, almost black down the center of the head, but shaded to grey by the time it reached the man’s ears. It was combed back, but a natural part down the center caused it to fall to each side. She wondered what it felt like, then forced herself to refocus.

As she stepped through the door, Trakes announced, “Good afternoon, I’m…”

He looked up from his papers.

The eyes were a pale blue. Ice blue. The shade of blue used to sell breath mints, and her intake of air seemed fresher as it travelled to her lungs. The eyes were hard and unwelcoming. Andee wished she had waited to be announced. She stepped into the room and tripped on the edge of the rug. She whispered a curse, caught her balance, held her blush to a minimum and muttered an apology.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…” Those eyes, still focused on her, softened enough to indicate his irritation at the interruption had grown into a mild curiosity. As he studied her, he allowed an eyebrow to raise and his head to cant to one side. She suddenly felt exposed, and her blush from the ungainly entry deepened. Her heart paused, and then quickened. Her stomach tickled, then settled into nervousness. Her underarms damped and a question about deodorant flashed through her mind. She tried again to introduce herself, but discovered she had forgotten her name.

“Professor, I’m…a…I’m…”

Her words came in a small squeak. It may have been the squeak a mouse makes when she sees the hawk dive, but it was certainly the squeak of prey. She froze. The corners of his mouth turned.

“Uncle Alwyn, you stop this. Stop it, right now.”

The commands came from Miranda, and the professor looked past Trakes to his niece, who was standing in the doorway. As he broke eye contact, Andee gulped air. She realized she’d forgotten to breathe.

“Uncle Alwyn, I’m ashamed of you,” Miranda continued, and she took Andee’s arm and assisted her to one of the chairs in front of the desk. Andee smiled her gratitude as she felt dizzy. She looked up at the assistant, who smiled down at her.

“Don’t mind my uncle. He does that sometimes. It’s because he is an Alpha.”

“He’s a what?”

Andee felt as if she was clearing a fog.

“He’s an Alpha, and sometimes he takes advantage.”

“An Alpha? Is that a fraternity?”

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Author Kwen D. Griffeth

Author Kwen D. Griffeth

About the Author
Winner of Readers’ Favorite Silver Award for Historical Fiction/Western, Kwen knew he wanted to be a writer when he was fourteen years old. He felt the urge when he finished Earnest Hemingway’s masterpiece For Whom The Bell Tolls. The story touched him in a way no other book ever had. It transported a kid born and raised on a farm and ranch in Idaho to the mountains of Spain. It took him back in time forty years to witness the Spanish Civil War. Kwen knew he wanted to share that wonder with other people.

John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you make other plans.” While Kwen lived a full and varied life, his dream of writing remained in the back of his mind.

Finally, in 2012, he wrote a novella named Dear Emma. He self-published through Amazon and asked people to read it. “The best way to see if I can write is to let people check it out,” he said. Like it, they did. Currently, Dear Emma enjoys a 4.8 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

Often asked what genre he writes, Kwen replies he writes stories about people and uses the genre that best fits the story. “I think of the genre, or setting as another character that interacts to help tell the story,” he says.

His most often received and constant comment is how real his characters seem. Upon the completion of his historical fiction trilogy Sam and Laura books, a reader telephoned Kwen and directed him to write more stories about the couple. When asked why the reader was so adamant about more stories, he replied he “wasn’t ready to tell Sam and Laura good bye yet.”

Kwen considers that comment one of his highest compliments.

Kwen’s books are getting some attention from the literary community. The Law of Moses, the Silver Award winner from Readers’ Favorite, and The Tenth Nail both received the Gold Award from Literary Titan Book Review. The Gold Award is given to books “found to be perfect in their delivery of original content, meticulous development of unique characters in an organic and striking setting, innovative plot that supports a fresh theme, and elegant prose that transforms words into beautifully written novels.” Many of Kwen’s books have received the Gold Award from Literary Titan. In addition, The Law of Moses was awarded five 5 Star Reviews from the reviewers of Readers’ Favorite.

Kwen’s books are available in several formats; e-Book, paperback, and audio. He invites you to check his writings out. Who knows? He might become your next favorite author.

Where to Find Kwen D. Griffeth
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – HIDING LIES (Eleanor Ames) by Julie Cross

HIDING LIES Cover Reveal

Entangled Teen and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Julie Cross are revealing the cover to HIDING LIES, the second book in her young adult mystery romance series, Eleanor Ames, releasing April 17, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, pre-order links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR. Also, check out my five-star review of CHASING TRUTH, book 1 in the series, here.

HIDING LIES (Eleanor Ames #2) by Julie Cross

HIDING LIES (Eleanor Ames #2) by Julie Cross

About the Book
Title:
 HIDING LIES
Series: Eleanor Ames #2
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: April 17, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon  | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | !ndigo | BAM! | Book Depository | Entangled

Synopsis
At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a way of coming to the surface.

Eleanor Ames has never been what she seems. Average high school student on the outside, but reformed con artist trying to break free of her past on the inside. When Eleanor receives startling news about someone from her previous criminal life, plans for a new operation coinciding with her school’s upcoming field trip quickly consume her.

But operations rarely go according to plan. And this is one her irresistible teen FBI agent boyfriend, Miles, would never approve of.

Now, more than just Ellie’s reputation is at stake. If she fails, it could be her life.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Hiding Lies (Eleanor Ames, #2) by NYT bestselling author Julie Cross today!

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Author Julie Cross

Author Julie Cross

About the Author
Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

Where to Find Julie Cross
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – SUGAR LUMP by Megan Gaudino

SUGAR LUMP Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for SUGAR LUMP, a stand-alone young adult mystery by Megan Gaudino, releasing later this month. See below for information on the book, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SUGAR LUMP by Megan Gaudino

SUGAR LUMP by Megan Gaudino

About the Book
Title:
SUGAR LUMP
Author: Megan Gaudino
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Release Date: January, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Seventeen-year-old travel blogger CC is stuck on a never-ending road trip with her wanderlust-addicted father. When her dad lands the job of his dreams in Sugar Lump—wedding capital of the world—CC finally finds a place to call home. Complete with two quirky best friends and a quixotic guy to crush on, Sugar Lump is more shades of perfect than she can possibly count.

But when CC accidentally overhears the mayor complaining that she has to “take out” a rogue employee for not fulfilling the terms of his contract, the idyllic town’s facade crumbles. Devastated by the possibility of having to move yet again, CC discovers everyone has been keeping a massive secret from her—including her own father.

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Excerpt
He moved a little closer, his jeans gliding easily over the leather, and put his right arm on the back of the seat too. Despite looking like he rolled out of a dumpster, he didn’t smell like it. He smelled like Irish Spring soap.

“When did you move to town?”He wasn’t looking at me, or anything in particular for that matter, but I could only assume the question was for me.

“Yesterday.”

“Will you be at school Monday?”

“Yeah.” I wasn’t playing his game. If he wanted to have a conversation with me, he was going to have to look in my eyes and address me like a human being.

“Are you a senior?”

“Junior.” I flashed him a fake smile he didn’t see.

Thorn raked his hands through his thick, gray-tipped hair, then clasped them behind his head. That position only lasted for a few seconds then he lurched forward, resting his elbows on his knees. I couldn’t tell if he didn’t want to be near me or if he just couldn’t keep still. I slid away from him either way.

“Is she always like this? Really, Henry. I know you haven’t known her long but she can speak in sentences, right?”

“Clearly CC has good taste and knows not to even bother talking to you.” Luna’s dislike for him made me think my snap judgement was sound. He was probably some kind of hot, crazy-haired womanizer.

The easy balance of our trio had turned into a volatile quartet. I pulled a curl though my fingers to keep my hands busy.

“Thorn, don’t. Be nice.” Henry said it in a genial way, but Thorn seemed to take it as law. He sat back, flung his knee up, rested his left elbow on the back of the seat, and unleashed the full force of his wide-set, honey-brown eyes on me. They were so clear and so deep it made me wonder if he hadn’t been looking at me on purpose to save me from how cosmic they were.

“CC, it’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry if I scared you or made a bad first impression, but as I’m sure you could sense, my situation was dire. My situation is dire.” His tone changed from confident and clipped to languid and loose, but I couldn’t tell if it was sincere.

“I accept your apology.”

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Author Megan Gaudino

Author Megan Gaudino

About the Author
Megan Gaudino works in a high school library by day and on her own books by night. She’s made up of a mixture of black clothing, iced coffee, and a desire to go adventuring. Those things sort of come together naturally to form a writer. She lives in Pittsburgh where you can find her reading, writing, and Instagraming.

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Where to Find Megan Gaudino
Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Sale Blitz – AWAKE by Natasha Preston

AWAKE Sale Blitz

Welcome to the sale blitz for AWAKE a young adult suspense/psychological thriller, by New York Times bestselling author, Natasha Preston. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $1.99. See below for all the details.

AWAKE by Natasha Preston

AWAKE by Natasha Preston

About the Book
Title: AWAKE
Author: Natasha Preston
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Genre:
 Young Adult Suspense/Psychological Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Of course, the dress was white. This is what I’m supposed to die in, I thought. Not many people knew what their last outfit would be.

I pulled it over my head. It fit me perfectly. It had long, loose fitting sleeves, a modest neckline, and waves of material on the skirt. I hated it.

There were no shoes, and I was afraid I’d have to run through the forest barefoot but there weren’t a lot of options. Besides, I’d run barefoot over a bed of nails to get away.

“Scarlett, are you ready?” he called.

I looked in the mirror and took a deep breath. Time to fight for my life.

Scarlett Garner doesn’t remember anything before the age of four-until a car accident changes everything. She starts to remember pieces of a past that frighten her. A past her parents hid from her…and a secret that could get her killed.

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Author Natasha Preston

Author Natasha Preston

About the Author
My name is Natasha, but most people call me Tash or Tasha. I don’t mind either. I was born in England and have lived in small towns and villages out in the countryside ever since.

My husband, Joseph, is the most supportive person in my life. Without his love, help and patience I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m a proud mummy to two amazing little boys who are my whole world.

At school I drifted through, achieving average grades. I fell into administration and receptionist jobs, thinking that I couldn’t really do anything else.

In 2010 I stumbled into writing completely by accident. I was searching the ‘app store’ and came across Wattpad – an amateur writing site. For the first few months I just read, but then I decided to type out some of the ideas swirling around in my head. I’m so glad I did because I love creating new stories.

Writing gave me an escape and Wattpad gave me the confidence I lacked..

Where to find Natasha Preston
Goodreads Website | Newsletter | Facebook Twitter | Instagram
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE TRUTH OF LETTING GO by Amy Sparling

THE TRUTH OF LETTING GO Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE TRUTH OF LETTING GO, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance/mystery/thriller, by Amy Sparling. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE TRUTH OF LETTING GO by Amy Sparling

THE TRUTH OF LETTING GO by Amy Sparling

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE TRUTH OF LETTING GO
Author:  Amy Sparling
Release Date: December 19, 2017
Genre:
 Young Adult Contemporary Romance/Mystery/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
The summer before senior year, Lilah Monroe’s parents take a nine-day trip, leaving her as the guardian of her bipolar cousin, Cece. When Cece’s parents died tragically five years ago, she and her brother moved in with Lilah. Her brother soon went missing and was presumed dead.

Lilah and Cece couldn’t be more different. They used to be best friends, but high school has changed them both. Lilah likes order, schedules, and a tidy room. She has plans for her future and won’t let anything derail it, not even Cece whose life is constantly on the edge of chaos. Cece is messy, erratic and sensitive. She also has a reason to believe that her brother is still alive. Despite Lilah’s reservations, Cece tracks down an old friend who believes her theories. Ezra happens to have gotten really handsome since Lilah last saw him. Too bad they never really got along when they were kids.

Knowing the odds are stacked against them, Lilah breaks all of her parent’s rules for order and reason and joins forces with Cece and Ezra to set out on the road in an old RV in hopes of finding her dead cousin. Lilah and Ezra have a love connection amid the chaos, and when they discover what really happened to Thomas, it’s a truth no one saw coming. One that just might get them killed.

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Excerpt #1
I close my eyes and let the air conditioning tickle my eyelashes. “I’m always down for a good one hundred and four day Netflix marathon.”

“Hey, there’s your cousin,” Kit says, pointing through an opening in the two cars in front of us. To the right, the school busses line up next to the building for the unfortunate students who are too young to drive or can’t bum a ride. Standing in line to board bus sixteen is a chubby girl with long red hair and dark wash jeans that have bleach splatters going up the legs from an unfortunate laundry room accident. “Should we ask if she wants a ride home?”

Kit has met Cece a handful of times in the three years we’ve been friends. Every single occurrence was super awkward and left me reeling with second hand embarrassment. My family is used to Cece’s lack of filter when she talks, but other people aren’t. This is exactly why I prefer to go to Kit’s house instead of invite her over to mine.

“Nah, that’s okay.” As I say the words, I feel a little guilty about it, but Cece is already hopping up the stairs and into the bus. She wouldn’t hear me if I called her name now. I mean, probably not. I give Kit a half smile. “She doesn’t mind the bus.”

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Author Amy Sparling

Author Amy Sparling

About the Author
In case you didn’t know, Amy isn’t my real name. It’s a pen name I use to publish books and novellas for teens that have a romantic theme.

I chose the name Amy Sparling when I independently published my first book, Deadbeat. I wasn’t sure if I would keep the pen name at first–I wasn’t even sure if I’d keep publishing. But I got incredibly lucky and found a group of young adults who loved my stories and kept asking for more. You guys seriously have made my writing hobby into the greatest part of my life. I will continue writing books under this name for as long as my readers want them!

If you’d like to be the first to know about new book releases, sign up for my newsletter..

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Where to find Amy Sparling
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz + Giveaway – BETTER DEAD (B&B Spirits Mysteries) by Pamela Kopfler

BETTER DEAD Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BETTER DEAD, the first book in the adult mystery series, B&B Spirits, by Pamela Kopfler, releasing December 26, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and details on her giveaway.

BETTER DEAD (B&B Spirits Mysteries #1) by Pamela Kopfler

BETTER DEAD (B&B Spirits Mysteries #1) by Pamela Kopfler

About the Book
Title: BETTER DEAD
Series: B&B Spirits Mysteries #1
Author: Pamela Kopfler
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Genre:
 Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
As the owner of a charming Louisiana bed and breakfast, Holly Davis believes in Southern hospitality—but she draws the line at welcoming the ghost of her cheating husband . . .

Burl Davis checked out of this life a little earlier than expected—before Holly could serve him with divorce papers over his extramarital flings. Unfortunately, it was not before he nearly bankrupted her beloved B&B, Holly Grove, a converted plantation that has been in her family for generations. Holly would never wish anyone dead, but three months later she’s feeling a lot more relief than grief.

Until Burl’s ghost appears as an unwelcome guest. Before his spirit can move on, her not-so-dearly departed needs Holly’s human help to bust up the drug smuggling ring he was involved with. She has reservations, to say the least, but agrees to assist him if he’ll make a show of haunting the B&B to draw in visitors. But when Holly’s former love, Jack McCann, mysteriously resurfaces in town and checks in, she has to wonder if her B&B is big enough for the ghost of her husband and the very real physical presence of her old flame . . ..

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BETTER DEAD Giveaway

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Author Pamela Kopfler

Author Pamela Kopfler

About the Author
Pamela Kopfler is Southern-fried and sassy. She writes award-winning humorous mysteries with a kick of Southern sass. Her debut novel, BETTER DEAD, is the first in her B & B Spirits mystery series. (Kensington Books)

She can stir up a roux, mix a cocktail, shoot anything (as long as it doesn’t have eyes), and loves swapping stories. Putting words on the page keeps her alligator mouth from overloading her hummingbird heinie in real life. It doesn’t hurt to be married to a saint who is an attorney either. She marks her time on earth by the lives of the dogs she has loved and who often show up in her stories. Her current fur baby is a seventy-pound pup in black. He thinks he’s a fearless hunter when he’s not pretending he’s a lapdog.

Pamela lives in South Louisiana where the spirits are restless, the food is spicy, and the living is divine.

Where to Find Pamela Kopfler
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sale Blitz – THE CABIN by Natasha Preston

THE CABIN Sale Blitz

Welcome to the sale blitz for THE CABIN, a young adult mystery/psychological suspense, by New York Times bestselling author, Natasha Preston. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $1.99. See below for all the details.

THE CABIN by Natasha Preston

THE CABIN by Natasha Preston

About the Book
Title: THE CABIN
Author: Natasha Preston
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Genre:
 Young Adult Mystery/Psychological Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
New York Times Bestseller!

There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent in this thriller from Natasha Preston, the New York Times bestselling author of The Cellar and The Cabin!

They think they’re invincible.
They think they can do and say whatever they want.
They think there are no consequences.
They’ve left me no choice.
It’s time for them to pay for their sins.

A weekend partying at a remote cabin is just what Mackenzie needs. She can’t wait to let loose with her friends. But a crazy night of fun leaves two of them dead—murdered.

With no signs of a forced entry or struggle, suspicion turns to the five survivors. Someone isn’t telling the truth. And Mackenzie’s first mistake? Assuming the killing is over…

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Author Natasha Preston

Author Natasha Preston

About the Author
My name is Natasha, but most people call me Tash or Tasha. I don’t mind either. I was born in England and have lived in small towns and villages out in the countryside ever since.

My husband, Joseph, is the most supportive person in my life. Without his love, help and patience I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m a proud mummy to two amazing little boys who are my whole world.

At school I drifted through, achieving average grades. I fell into administration and receptionist jobs, thinking that I couldn’t really do anything else.

In 2010 I stumbled into writing completely by accident. I was searching the ‘app store’ and came across Wattpad – an amateur writing site. For the first few months I just read, but then I decided to type out some of the ideas swirling around in my head. I’m so glad I did because I love creating new stories.

Writing gave me an escape and Wattpad gave me the confidence I lacked..

Where to find Natasha Preston
Goodreads Website | Newsletter | Facebook Twitter | Instagram
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – MURDER ON THE LAKE OF FIRE (Mourning Dove Mysteries) by Mikel J. Wilson

MURDER ON THE LAKE OF FIRE Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for MURDER ON THE LAKE OF FIRE, the first book in the adult contemporary LGBTQ romance/mystery series, Mourning Dove Mysteries, by Mikel J. Wilson. See below for information on the book, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

MURDER ON THE LAKE OF FIRE (Mourning Dove Mysteries #1) by Mikel J. Wilson

MURDER ON THE LAKE OF FIRE (Mourning Dove Mysteries #1) by Mikel J. Wilson

About the Book
Title: MURDER ON THE LAKE OF FIRE
Series: Mourning Dove Mysteries #1
Author: Mikel J. Wilson
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Genre:
Adult Contemporary LGBTQ Romance/Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
At twenty-three and with a notorious case under his belt, Emory Rome has already garnered fame as a talented special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is leapfrogging over his colleagues, but the jumping stops when he’s assigned a case he fought to avoid – to investigate an eerie murder in the Smoky Mountain hometown he had abandoned. This mysterious case of a dead teen ice-skater once destined for the pros is just the beginning. In a small town bursting with envious friends and foes, Rome’s own secrets lie just below the surface. The rush to find the murderer before he strikes again pits Rome against artful private investigator, Jeff Woodard. The PI is handsome and smart, seducing Rome and forcing him to confront childhood demons, but Woodard has secrets of his own. He might just be the killer Rome is seeking.

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Excerpt #1
Britt hadn’t been able to even look at her skates since the embarrassment of her last competition, and now as they dangled from her shoulders, she faced the frozen lake like it was a pervy ass-pincher about to get slapped. Knowing someone had drugged her didn’t soothe the humiliation of that night and didn’t make returning to the ice any easier.

“I can do this,” she chanted while her shins cut through the crouching morning fog and her boots crunched a path onto the snow. As she unburdened her shoulder at the lake’s bank, the blades clinked against each other like engaged sabers, shocking the silence to attention. She changed her footwear and stepped onto the frozen water, prepared for battle.

Britt plowed through the thin layer of snow atop the ice and warmed up with minor moves of little friction that evolved into grander displays of gifted athleticism. From a Y-spiral she leapt into a butterfly jump and followed it with a double Axel. When she landed, she spotted something protruding from the ice in her path. Branch! She shuffled her feet and averted a tumble, but the back of her blades scraped each other, which caused a slight spark.

Composure regained, Britt twisted into a purposeful spin. As she drew in her arms to increase her speed, her visible breath encircled her head like the arms of the Milky Way. She couldn’t focus on the white and grey world that whirled around her, but she noticed that the sun had risen and was now warming her face.

The sun, however, was still in its place, hiding behind the snow-covered pines.

Fire surrounded her petite frame and spread across the lake. Britt tried to scream, but the smoke she gasped in gagged her throat.

She continued spinning, unable to stop, as the blaze engulfed her body. In a fiery vortex, Britt plunged through the melting ice.

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Author Mikel J. Wilson

Author Mikel J. Wilson

About Nana Malone
Mystery and science fiction author Mikel J. Wilson received widespread critical praise for his debut novel, Sedona: The Lost Vortex, a science fiction book based on the Northern Arizona town’s legends of energy vortexes and dimensional travel. Wilson now draws on his Southern roots for the Mourning Dove Mysteries, a series of novels featuring bizarre murders in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee.

Murder on the Lake of Fire, the first novel in the Mourning Dove Mysteries series, will be available December 1, 2017.

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Where to Find Mikel J. Wilson
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – WIDOW OF PAPINA by Katie Hamstead

WIDOW OF PAPINA Cover Reveal

Soul Mate Publishing and author Katie Hamstead are revealing the cover to THE WIDOW OF PAPINA, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance/mystery, releasing December 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add to your Goodreads TBR

THE WIDOW OF PAPINA by Katie Hamstead

THE WIDOW OF PAPINA by Katie Hamstead

About the Book
Title: THE WIDOW OF PAPINA
Author: Katie Hamstead
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: December 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance/Mystery
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Forrest and Braydon Miller moved to the small town of Papina to follow their dreams and start a family. Braydon loves her new life in the quiet town, kept alive by the prestigious boarding school overlooking the valley. She is so proud of her husband’s work, helping the teens on the reservation.

Until one day, Forrest doesn’t come home.

Scandal spreads when it’s discovered that one of the teenagers is missing, too. But, Braydon refuses to believe her husband would leave her. When the teen is found, she isn’t talking–literally.

While Braydon’s heart is breaking, she must hold her crumbling life together, raise her son, trust in the Sheriff’s loyal, and ever-growing devotion, and find a way to love the MUTE teenager enough to discover the truth of what happened to her husband.

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Author Katie Hamstead

Author Katie Hamstead

About the Author
Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of daydreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.

When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels now available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Where to find Katie Hamstead
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook Twitter
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Blog Tour – Excerpt – DEADLY PREMONITIONS (Safeguard) by Kennedy Layne

DEADLY PREMONITIONS Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for DEADLY PREMONITIONS, the sixth book in the adult mystery/romantic suspense series, Safeguard, by USA Today bestselling author, Kennedy Layne. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

DEADLY PREMONITIONS (Safeguard #6) by Kennedy Layne

DEADLY PREMONITIONS (Safeguard #6) by Kennedy Layne

About the Book
Title: DEADLY PREMONITIONS
Series: Safeguard #6
Author: Kennedy Layne
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Genre:
 Adult Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne continues the Safeguard Series with this fast-paced romantic suspense novel that leads the SSI team on the trail of a serial killer who continually seems to be one step ahead…

Coen Flynn has always done the right thing, even it meant siding against his own family. His sense of justice was what led him to take a job in law enforcement, though his choice of agency was a bit unorthodox. His current assignment was believed to be a simple protection detail.  He was never supposed to be identified by his charge, but a murder took priority and changed the course of his mission.

Brettany Lambert’s life is suddenly rocked when she finds the body of a dead friend on the eve of what was supposed to be a special wedding. Now Brettany and Coen are trapped in the middle of a blizzard and their attraction will fuel the heat of temptation. Good intentions always have a way of backfiring, but his desired intent won’t matter if a notorious serial killer can finish what he started.

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Excerpt
Shailyn hadn’t expected Townes to close the distance between them, but he slowly advanced until he stood mere inches from her. She tried not to breathe, but it became involuntary. The faint scent of his cologne took away the years as if they were nothing more than dandelions gone to seed, blowing away in the wind. She was already shaking her head to deny his attempt to change her mind.

“I am so sorry.”

Those four words were said with such tender sincerity that he brought an immediate cascade of tears to her eyes. The remorse written across his rugged features broke her heart all over again. She tentatively reached up and found herself stroking his scar with her thumb in comfort.

“Had you come to me back then during the trial, I would have told you that you had nothing to be sorry for,” Shailyn murmured, hoping her words eased whatever guilt he still held close to his heart. All she’d ever wanted back then was for him to hold her and tell her it would all be okay. Instead, he’d turned into himself and believed he was solely to blame for her maiming. He was also mistaking her refusal to help him now due to a retaliation of sorts. That couldn’t be further from the truth. “It was my own mistake that put me in Moss’ path, not yours nor anyone else’s.”

“I was hired to protect you,” Townes reminded her forcefully, though he didn’t pull away from her touch. His grey eyes darkened upon his confession. “Instead, I became involved with you. I lost sight of my objective. I failed.”

“That isn’t the truth, and it certainly isn’t the reason I’m walking away now.”

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DEADLY PREMONITIONS Teaser

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Author Kennedy Layne

Author Kennedy Layne

About the Author
Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Where to find Kennedy Layne
Goodreads Website | Newsletter | Facebook Twitter | Instagram
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Release Day – DEADLY PREMONITIONS (Safeguard) by Kennedy Layne

DEADLY PREMONITIONS Release Day

Today is release day for DEADLY PREMONITIONS, the sixth book in the adult mystery/romantic suspense series, Safeguard, by USA Today bestselling author, Kennedy Layne. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

DEADLY PREMONITIONS (Safeguard #6) by Kennedy Layne

DEADLY PREMONITIONS (Safeguard #6) by Kennedy Layne

About the Book
Title: DEADLY PREMONITIONS
Series: Safeguard #6
Author: Kennedy Layne
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Genre:
 Adult Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne continues the Safeguard Series with this fast-paced romantic suspense novel that leads the SSI team on the trail of a serial killer who continually seems to be one step ahead…

Coen Flynn has always done the right thing, even it meant siding against his own family. His sense of justice was what led him to take a job in law enforcement, though his choice of agency was a bit unorthodox. His current assignment was believed to be a simple protection detail.  He was never supposed to be identified by his charge, but a murder took priority and changed the course of his mission.

Brettany Lambert’s life is suddenly rocked when she finds the body of a dead friend on the eve of what was supposed to be a special wedding. Now Brettany and Coen are trapped in the middle of a blizzard and their attraction will fuel the heat of temptation. Good intentions always have a way of backfiring, but his desired intent won’t matter if a notorious serial killer can finish what he started.

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Excerpt
Why would Townes come for her now?

That question nagged at Shailyn as she walked through the office door and down the long hallway to where the elevator banks were located. The black suit he’d been wearing made him seem to be a part of either the FBI or the U.S. Marshals Service. It was hard to believe that he would have joined the federal government in any enterprise, especially considering his affiliation to the one percent motorcycle clubs. She wondered if he was still a patched member bearing the Nomad rocker.

Why was she even curious?

What Townes did with his life was of no concern to her.

“Shailyn.”

His voice brought her up short, as if a wall had appeared. There was a raspiness to his tone that was discernable only to him. She closed her eyes to ward off the onrushing memories, knowing she could never go back and reclaim her past from the wreckage.

“There’s nothing to say, Gunny,” Shailyn whispered, having no doubt that he heard her use his charter name. It wasn’t coincidental that the nickname for his rank in the Corps and his charter name were the same. He’d gone by that handle for so long that at one point a large number of his associates in the one percent world never knew his given name. She’d had the privilege to know that particular nuance due to the closeness of their relationship at the time.

She was afraid to speak in a normal tone for fear she’d break down, but she didn’t want to appear weak. She cleared her throat and gathered what courage she had left. It was easier to use his familiar nickname as a form of self-defense, letting him know that she was a part of the past he’d left behind. He was a remembrance she would have given anything to have back, but that would never happen.

“You shouldn’t have come here. You’re not welcome.”

Shailyn forced her legs to move forward once again. It was getting harder and harder to breathe the longer she remained in his presence. He had taken all the air out of the building. “Moss didn’t give either of us a choice.”

And there it was. He’d been forced to this conclusion. Townes hadn’t come to Maine for her. He’d come because of Moss. His intention wasn’t to help the U.S. Marshals transfer her to another small town under a different banal name in order to maintain her anonymity. He wanted Shepherd Moss, and the only way to draw him out was through her as bait.

“You always have a choice, Gunny. Moss isn’t in charge of your agenda. Or is he?” Shailyn braced herself as she turned around to face him. Her attempt at composure almost cracked before she managed to slip it in place. His grey eyes saw too much. She wondered if he could still read her like a book. She fought the urge to tug her black turtleneck a little higher to hide the scars. “It doesn’t matter. I still have a choice. And I’m choosing to go back to the life that was created for me. You don’t need me to solve your problems.”

“Moss will eventually find you.” Townes turned the tables a bit, causing her to question his original intention. “It’s only a matter of time.”

Shailyn came very close to asking why he thought she would be better off with him, but she stopped herself before the words could escape. He would take her sentiment the wrong way. It was abundantly clear that he still blamed himself for what had happened to her all those years ago. He couldn’t see past his precious, self-involved guilt to recognize the truth— only one man was responsible for what was done to her. His name was Shepherd Moss.

“Moss has had over four months to find me,” Shailyn pointed out, refusing to be drawn into a debate that neither one of them would win. “Other than you placing me at risk by bringing me here tonight, what makes today any different from yesterday?”

A strand of his long brown hair came loose from the tie at the base of his neck, but it didn’t hide the fact that his scar turned white in response to his clenched jaw. He seemed to think she was purposefully making his job harder than it needed to be in terms of her consent.

“What is it exactly you want from me, Townes?”

“I want you to come back home to Florida with me.”

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DEADLY PREMONITIONS Teaser

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Author Kennedy Layne

Author Kennedy Layne

About the Author
Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Where to find Kennedy Layne
Goodreads Website | Newsletter | Facebook Twitter | Instagram
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Chapter Reveal – DEADLY PREMONITIONS (Safeguard) by Kennedy Layne

DEADLY PREMONITIONS Chapter Reveal

USA Today bestselling author, Kennedy Layne, is unveiling the first chapter from DEADLY PREMONITIONS, the sixth book in her adult mystery/romantic suspense series, Safeguard, releasing November 14, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and the exclusive excerpt.

DEADLY PREMONITIONS (Safeguard #6) by Kennedy Layne

DEADLY PREMONITIONS (Safeguard #6) by Kennedy Layne

About the Book
Title: DEADLY PREMONITIONS
Series: Safeguard #6
Author: Kennedy Layne
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Genre:
 Adult Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne continues the Safeguard Series with this fast-paced romantic suspense novel that leads the SSI team on the trail of a serial killer who continually seems to be one step ahead…

Coen Flynn has always done the right thing, even it meant siding against his own family. His sense of justice was what led him to take a job in law enforcement, though his choice of agency was a bit unorthodox. His current assignment was believed to be a simple protection detail.  He was never supposed to be identified by his charge, but a murder took priority and changed the course of his mission.

Brettany Lambert’s life is suddenly rocked when she finds the body of a dead friend on the eve of what was supposed to be a special wedding. Now Brettany and Coen are trapped in the middle of a blizzard and their attraction will fuel the heat of temptation. Good intentions always have a way of backfiring, but his desired intent won’t matter if a notorious serial killer can finish what he started.

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Chapter 1
Pain unlike anything she’d ever experienced before radiated throughout her body. There were no tears. She couldn’t manage a single teardrop. A deathlike chill had settled into her bones, chasing away all other bodily functions.

She was paralyzed.

She was unable to move, to scream… or to hide.

She was at his mercy, of which he had none.

Shailyn Doyle gasped as her upper body came off the bed. She couldn’t suck in enough oxygen. Her vision had become blurry. She would certainly die this time.

Panic took hold as its tentacles slithered around her soul, slowly strangling what life was left within her.

Shailyn wrapped her fingers around her throat in desperation. She struggled to draw air into her lungs to the point that even she could hear the whistling rattle of her frantic attempt at breathing. Seconds ticked by until the terrifying nightmare slowly fragmented into bits and pieces, eventually fading into dust as the terror disappeared. \

“Two hours,” Shailyn murmured to herself after glancing at the clock on her bedside table. The green illuminated numbers read three fourteen in the morning. “Progress.”

Shailyn tossed the heavy comforter and sheet to the side in acceptance. She wouldn’t get any more sleep tonight. What was noteworthy was the fact that the top sheet was dry. She hadn’t even broken a sweat in her throes of memories best forgotten. It was hard to be proud of that detail when she recognized her reaction for what it was— tolerance.

She swung her legs over the side of the bed. She recalled as a child always believing something or someone would reach out of the darkness and grab her ankles if she kept them dangling there long enough. She missed the days when the monsters had been nothing but a figment of her imagination.

Certain kinds of monsters were very real.

Shailyn automatically reached for the journal she kept on the bedside table, ignoring the slight tremor of her fingers. It was a byproduct of her time spent as a victim with a psychopath as her tormentor. She’d been left with a lot of daily reminders. That particular one didn’t rate high on the scale of her insecurities.

It wasn’t a conscious decision to write in her diary. It was a rote behavior after so many years of psychoanalysis. She didn’t even think twice about sliding the pen off the soft brown leather cover and setting the black ink to paper. Her psychiatrist had explained that keeping detailed notes of her dreams and reactions could render the next night a little easier and maybe even less intense. That had never been the truth as she knew it, but it did give her purpose.

She wrote down every facet of her nightmare underneath her last entry almost twenty hours earlier. There was no need for her to turn on a light considering she never slept in the dark anymore. As a matter of fact, every lamp and overhead light in this one-bedroom house was currently shining bright to keep the obscure shadows at bay.

It gave her a false sense of security. The dark represented the evil that crept in with the night.

She honestly didn’t care that the reassurance was a fabrication. The presence of the lights allowed her to physically walk through the rooms without hesitation.

Shailyn clipped the pen back onto the smooth jacket of her journal before setting both onto the nightstand. It didn’t take her long to cross the room and carefully draw the heavy curtain aside. Her bedroom was located on the main floor of the house, facing toward the front where a heavily armored, black government-plated SUV had been parked ever since Shepherd Moss had escaped from a federal prison.

Shepherd Moss— her own private monster.

He was a very special demon summoned from the depths of hell itself.

He was out there somewhere, biding his time as he savored her soul. Shailyn didn’t doubt that he was looking for her right this very moment.

After all, she was the only one who had ever gotten away.

Technically, that wasn’t true. She had not been able to work her way out of the restraints Moss had her bound in for three days. An Arthurian hero had found her instead, and her shining knight had refused to let her die. She barely recalled him arriving as dark as the night. His armor had been as rough as sackcloth, moving among the shadows as if they held no sway over him. He was the antithesis of her tormenter.

What did astound her was that the torture she’d undergone had only lasted three days.

A mere seventy-two hours.

How was that even possible when her time spent in that hellhole had seemed like an eternity of several lifetimes? Of course, the same thing could almost be said for the years she’d been in the witness protection program. Now those three hundred and sixty-five day spans seemed endless, consisting of nothingness. Was she actually awaiting Moss’ return with the promise of renewed torture?

She supposed she should be grateful. Eighteen women hadn’t been as lucky as her, but then again, what was so fortunate about living this so-called life she’d been given?

Shailyn let the curtain fall back into place, checking to make sure that not even a sliver of darkness was visible before she crossed the bedroom floor in her bare feet. The coolness of the hardwood didn’t bother her all that much, but wearing any type of shoe made her want to rip them off her feet and burn them. The scars on her ankles always became irritated when material rubbed against them for any period of time. She’d tried slip-ons in the past, as well as flip-flops, but those hadn’t worked either due to the damage done to the heels of her feet.

It didn’t take long for her to enter the living room and walk into the kitchen. The layout was simple, just as she liked it. The walls were devoid of pictures, there were no knick-knacks on the shelves or tabletops, and the few simple sticks of Ikea furniture had been rented with the house. It wasn’t like anyone questioned the way she lived, especially considering she never had any guests. No one was permitted to enter her home, though she did make an exception now and then to the U.S. Marshals who had taken up guarding her night and day since Moss had escaped federal prison. Why make any friendships when she would most likely be relocated sooner rather than later?

Groceries were delivered to a drop box on her front porch from the local store. She had access to the small area from inside the house. She could lock the outside access door to the box before ever opening the inside hatch. The delivery service was a special arrangement the grocery store provided for the elderly and shut-ins.

The Marshals vetted the designated delivery man and all the other employees of the friendly retailer. The grocery store tended to substitute their own brand a lot for other brand names, and they also charged a premium for nearly every item available through their service. Privacy apparently came with a price.

Shailyn hit the brew button, having already prepared the coffee maker three hours ago. She shivered slightly when condensation layered the sides of the glass carafe. Her feet were a little colder on the kitchen tile than they had been on the hardwood floor. The memory of a blue torch flame flashed across her mind’s eye.

She crossed into the living room and looked over at the bay window to ensure the drapes were closed like she’d left them. Her need for solitude had nothing to do with the fact that she was wearing a pair of flannel pajamas.

Everything was as it should be. She didn’t miss a step as she continued directly to the wall where her thermostat was positioned a little lower than eye level.

The digital numbers read seventy-two degrees. She didn’t care what digits were displayed and intentionally pressed the up arrow twice. Heat from the furnace had a tendency to rise from the vents, keeping only the upper half of the room warm while leaving the floors far too cold for her sensitive feet. Winters in Maine tended to get rather brisk, and this house wasn’t insulated properly. She honestly didn’t mind her electricity bill being higher. She always kept to her budget. It wasn’t like she spent her money on anything other than rent, utilities, and groceries.

She turned around to make her way back into the kitchen when the sight of her files on the desk caught her eye. The manila folder with ungraded essays sitting on top of the stack was crooked. She stopped walking, allowing her arms to drop to her sides, anticipating the assault.

Her heart stuttered in fear. Not because of death, but what came before it.

Everything on her desk had been perfect when she’d turned in for the couple hours of sleep she barely managed to obtain. She’d gotten into the habit of positioning items in a manner where only she would recognize if they’d been disturbed. And she was one hundred percent positive that the pile of schoolwork she’d been grading last night had been organized squarely in the left-hand corner. Not a millimeter had been out of place.

Okay. Ninety-nine percent sure, because one of the two U.S. Marshals sitting in the vehicle outside of her house had paid her a visit after noticing one of her two bulbs had burnt out on the porch. He had kindly replaced the lightbulb before rejoining his partner outside in the black sedan.

He could have easily bumped into the edge of her desk, causing the slight misalignment.

How many times had she overreacted over the years? Too many to count, that was for sure.

Shailyn bit her lip as she carefully looked over the living room for any other sign that someone other than the U.S. Marshal had been in her home. She cautiously put one foot in front of the other as she made her way through the entire house, eventually completing her search by returning to her desk after checking every room.

Nothing else was out of place.

“You’re losing your mind, girl.”

It was bound to happen, given the circumstances. She recalled a psychiatrist telling her that the average individual would have been institutionalized after suffering through the ordeal she’d been through. He couldn’t seem to accept that she was nothing extraordinary. She’d switched shrinks after that, going through a long line of men and women who had various opinions on how she should handle her future.

Shailyn gently rested the palm of her right hand underneath her breast on the opposite side. She had been left with a reminder that she would never have a normal life… at least, not the way she’d once envisioned.

The rich aroma of coffee filled the air, prompting her to return to the kitchen. She did stop briefly at the living room window and verify that the ever-present black sedan was still in position. Two silhouettes were easily discernible.

She thought about taking them out a thermos full of coffee, but a couple of things prevented her from doing so. For one, she didn’t go outside of these four walls any more than absolutely necessary. Two, she didn’t even own a thermos.

Shailyn pulled a single brown mug that had seen better days from the cupboard. The eighties-style porcelain dishes came with the rental house, allowing her to travel light when she had to move. Honestly, everything she owned fit in one suitcase and an oversized purse. She was a simple woman, really, even taking her coffee black without any further additions.

She sighed in resignation as she took her steaming coffee into the living room, snatching up the folder of essays that had given her more of a jolt than the caffeine in her coffee could provide. She looked forward to doing some mundane reading from the writing assignments she’d given her students taking the online course she taught to pass the time. It was also a way to make some additional money, though her students knew her as Ms. Rachel Smith.

Her online persona, as detailed in the course curriculum, featured a picture of a random middle-aged spinster freshly returned to the farm after retiring from some teaching position. She sometimes wondered about the identity of the woman in the photograph, considering the lack of a full-fledged backstory. WITSEC wasn’t that original when it came to assigning new identifications to their patrons. Ms. Smith was a retired teacher from Iowa. That was the best they could come up with.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

The essays scattered onto the hardwood floor as the papers fell from her lap, taking the manila folder with them. Each essay was now drenched in coffee as she scrambled to her feet and spilled her hot beverage all over them. Her first thought was that Shepherd Moss wouldn’t knock on her front door to gain entry. He would have just appeared behind her. Her second and most insightful deduction was that trouble had just landed on her front porch.

She quietly stepped over the wet papers and set down her coffee mug on the side table, not stopping until she reached her desk. One of those cheap buy-as-you-go cell phones purchased off the rack at the local drug store was tucked into the top drawer. She always made sure the device was charged and ready to go should she need to leave the property or contact the Marshals. It also came in handy when she needed to call 911… which had never happened in all the years she’d been in WITSEC.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

“Ms. Smith, it’s Deputy U.S. Marshal Sturridge.”

Sturridge was the Marshal who had changed her lightbulb a few hours ago, but she couldn’t fathom why he would need to speak with her at this hour. She quickly opened the top desk drawer and retrieved her phone, pressing in the three numbers without initiating the call. She rested her thumb on the button as she slowly made her way to the door to evaluate the situation further.

“What seems to be the matter, Marshal?” Shailyn asked with concern, but doing her best to keep her fear disguised. She tilted her head so that she could hear Sturridge’s reply through the heavy door. She left off that this wasn’t their usual procedure. Technically, the average WITSEC individual didn’t have two Marshals sitting outside of his or her home on a regular basis. They were all given new identities and then expected to adapt, as if their lives hadn’t been ripped out from underneath them in the most violent way imaginable. “Is everything okay?”

“Ms. Smith, there’s been a development. We need to take you down to the Bureau’s Portland Field Office as soon as possible.”

Shailyn swallowed back the lump of alarm that formed in her throat. Had Moss killed someone else she’d known in her childhood? He’d done that exact thing a couple of months ago, most likely trying to draw her out from under the concealment of her WITSEC identity. The U.S. Marshals Service had been very adamant that she follow their instructions down to the exact letter since Moss had escaped federal custody. She’d complied, but she wasn’t so sure she could continue to do so should he target her friends or family again.

Shailyn rested her forehead against the hard surface of the door and pretended for just a moment that this night was like any other. She’d get close to a couple hours of sleep, work for a couple more on the computer, and then maybe get a half hour rest before her day started with her schedule of online classes. The visual gave her the composure she needed before releasing all three security locks they had installed upon moving her into this house.

“My family?” Shailyn asked hesitantly after opening the door. Sturridge gave her an encouraging smile, though sadness was visible in his soft, brown eyes. He reminded her of those gentle cowboy giants Louis L’Amour had written about when her father had been a young man. She recalled her dad reading her books of the Wild West when she’d been younger, allowing them both to enjoy her bedtime stories. Sometimes she wondered if her father would have preferred a boy. “Are they okay?”

“Yes, ma’am, they’re all fine as far as I’m aware.”

“Then why am I needed at the Portland Field Office in the middle of the night?” Shailyn had once been the spontaneous type, living every second of every day like it was her last when she’d been younger. That day had arrived sooner rather than later, changing her outlook on the simplest of pleasures. “Am I being relocated again?” “

Ms. Smith, you—”

“Please.” The word was just short of a plea. She was only human, and a flawed one at that. “Just tell me.”

“Shepherd Moss killed an agent on the case yesterday.”

Shailyn wasn’t surprised. At least, she shouldn’t have been surprised. Her breathing faltered, though. Moss had targeted someone else, someone unrelated to her. She suspected that it wasn’t with no strings attached. She shouldn’t feel any guilt over the man’s predilection for torturing and killing people, particularly women. She’d done her part by sitting on that witness stand and testifying— no, reliving— every painful cut he’d sliced into her body. That included every burn he branded into her flesh, as well.

“I still don’t understand what that has to do with me, Marshal.”

Shailyn’s mouth had gone dry and she couldn’t even lick her lips to get the words out smoothly. Sturridge was glancing at his watch, as if they should be in a rush to get to the Portland Field Office. Since when had her activities ever been on such a tight timetable?

“Ms. Smith, the agent who was murdered had been assigned to watch over a woman by the name of Brettany Lambert. She was a childhood friend of yours, correct?”

Yes. Brett had been Shailyn’s best friend through elementary and middle school. A memory of them turning up the dial on her old boom box came to mind, along with a made-up game that kept them busy for hours. The first lyric to come through the speaker was what the boy she liked at the time was thinking of her at that very moment. They would each take turns, giggling their weekends away.

“Ms. Smith?”

Shailyn cleared her throat before nodding her agreement. She would go with Sturridge to the Portland Field Office, believing one hundred percent that she would be on a plane by noon. The U.S. Marshals and the FBI had been very cautious. It was their job to ensure her safety from the monster she’d helped put away. There had only ever been one man who’d truly given her that precious sense of security, and she hadn’t seen him once since the day she entered WITSEC.

This was her life now… being alone with only a suitcase to her name. She often wondered when the hand underneath the bed would finally grab her ankles and pull her into the shadows. What if she were to go into that hiding place voluntarily? Was that how she would find her freedom? Was death her only escape?

Or could she slay the monster before he was able to kill her?

  • * * *

He closed his eyes, reliving every second he spent in the company of Shailyn Doyle. Her unblemished flesh had been a canvas from which he had created something beautiful. He did design his masterpiece on her body, but only she had the pleasure of seeing his work every single day in the mirror.

He wanted her back.

He needed to finish the seminal work he’d begun.

Did the authorities not understand that he was the one in control? Had he not proven his dominance time and time again? His parting gift in Colorado he’d left for Townes Calvert should have gotten his message across.

Townes Calvert.

The only adversary who had ever lived up to his most exacting standards. The man’s personal interest in Shailyn Doyle would only make this game that much sweeter in the end. They would meet again soon, but he wasn’t ready to see his entertainment come to an end. He preferred the long game.

He rocked back on the wooden porch and listened to the crickets and frogs communicate in their harmonious languages. Mother Nature could end their conversations with a mere slap of her hand.

He recalled the enchanting screams that fell from Shailyn’s chapped lips— now that was his favorite melody.

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Author Kennedy Layne

Author Kennedy Layne

About the Author
Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Where to find Kennedy Layne
Goodreads Website | Newsletter | Facebook Twitter | Instagram
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE GIRL WHO SAVED GHOSTS (The Unbelievables) by K.C. Tansley

THE GIRL WHO SAVED GHOSTS Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for THE GIRL WHO SAVED GHOSTS, the second book in the young adult fantasy/mystery series, The Unbelievables, by K.C. Tansley. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE GIRL WHO SAVED GHOSTS (The Unbelievables #2) by K.C. Tansley

THE GIRL WHO SAVED GHOSTS (The Unbelievables #2) by K.C. Tansley

About the Book
Title: THE GIRL WHO SAVED GHOSTS
Series:  The Unbelievables #2
Author: K.C. Tansley
Publisher: Beckett Publishing Group
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy/Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Book 1: THE GIRL WHO IGNORED GHOSTS
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them.

After a summer spent in a haunted castle—a summer in which she traveled through time to solve a murder mystery—Kat is looking forward to a totally normal senior year at McTernan Academy. Then the ghost of a little girl appears and begs Kat for help, and more unquiet apparitions follow. All of them are terrified by the Dark One, and it soon becomes clear that that this evil force wants Kat dead.

Searching for help, Kat leaves school for the ancestral home she’s only just discovered. Her friend Evan, whose family is joined to her own by an arcane history, accompanies her. With the assistance of her eccentric great aunts and a loyal family ghost, Kat soon learns that she and Evan can only fix the present by traveling into the past.

As Kat and Evan make their way through nineteenth-century Vienna, the Dark One stalks them, and Kat must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save a ghost.

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Excerpt
While everyone else rushed off to lunch after class, too many Mountain Dews forced me to duck into the ladies’ room. No matter how quick I was, I was still alone in an old building—a ghost’s paradise. I was washing my hands at the sink when an arctic coldness brushed against my neck. The shadow beside the sink darkened. A ghost was on its way.Not now. Not here. I grabbed for a paper towel and tried to leave, but it was too late. The shadow began to shimmer and white smoke unfurled from it.

A ghost took form in the middle of the ladies’ room. She was young. Maybe eleven. Fear lurked in her round, moss-green eyes. Two curtains of long, light brown hair hung around her face. Lacy pantalettes peeked out from under a periwinkle dress that was trimmed with white ribbon at the waist and hem. When she had completely materialized, I couldn’t stop staring at the blood smeared across her dress. It stained her cheek and her neck too. Crimson. Like it was fresh.

My heart lurched and I pressed my hand to my chest to stop my heart from leaping out.

In death, ghosts usually held onto the good moments of their existence, choosing to appear to me at the peak of health and happiness. But this one hadn’t. What I was seeing had to be from the worst moment of her life, and she was clinging to it in death. What had happened to her?

I stepped back and bumped into the sink.

“Help me,” she pleaded with a lilting Scottish accent.

I gripped the lip of the porcelain sink, letting its coolness seep into my palms. Calm down. You can handle this. I took a deep breath and quickly checked under the stalls. At least, I was alone in here.

“What do you need?”

“I need you to tell the Kingsleys something for me.”

A message. I could pass along a message. Especially to the Kingsleys—they were Evan’s family. But I had to get the ghost out of here before a classmate walked in and caught me talking to myself in the bathroom. Or worse, if she was a believer, she’d see me talking to a ghost and I’d become the campus freak.

“What’s the message?” My words ran together in their rush to be spoken.

“I didn’t kill Percy. I wouldn’t do that.” Her fingers curled into fists. It seemed like her entire body vibrated at a higher frequency. Her ghost form blurred.

“I’ll tell them. What’s your name?”

She came back into focus. “Ellie. Ellie Harding.”

“Who killed him, Ellie?”

Her face scrunched up. “I can’t remember. But I didn’t.”

The lights flickered.

“Is this your reckoning?”

She shook her head. “You have to find out who killed Percy.”

“Percy who? When did he die?”

“Percy Kingsley. In 1831.” She cocked her head to the side, like she was hearing something I couldn’t. Her ghostly form faded in and out. “It’s coming after you.”

“What are you talking about?”

She looked around like it could hear us. “The Dark One,” she whispered. “It’s coming for you.”

“What’s the Dark One?”

“It’s ancient. Pure Darkness.” She shuddered and blurred again.

“Why is it coming after me?”

“You upset the balance for the unbelievables this summer when you changed the past.”

“Is that why the ghosts are rushing to get their reckonings from me?”

She looked too solemn for a child. “They don’t think you will survive the Dark One.”

“What do I do?” My pulse fluttered in my wrist like a captured moth.

Her lips parted in surprise. Fear. “I have to go.”

As she faded away, I lost my balance and slid to the floor. Leaning my head back against the wall tiles, I looked up at the fluorescent lights.

Senior year was not going to be anything like Morgan and I had imagined.

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Author K.C. Tansley

Author K.C. Tansley

About the Author
K.C Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and three quirky golden retrievers on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables–spells, ghosts, time travel–and writes about them.

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days.

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is her debut YA time-travel murder mystery novel. As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.

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Where to Find K.C. Tansley
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterTwitter | Facebook

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – MURDER FEELS BAD (Empath Detective) by Bill Alive

MURDER FEELS BAD Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for MURDER FEELS BAD, the second book in the new adult mystery series, Empath Detective, by Bill Alive. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

MURDER FEELS BAD (Empath Detective #2) by Bill Alive

MURDER FEELS BAD (Empath Detective #2) by Bill Alive

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: MURDER FEELS BAD
Series: Empath Detective #2
Author: Bill Alive
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Genre: New Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
He can feel people’s emotions. And murderers feel super bad.

Mark Falcon, an aspiring detective and (for now) reluctant web developer, has a secret. He can “vibe” other people’s emotions. And when a wedding gets crashed by a seeming suicide, Mark vibes that there’s one aloof groomsman who wasn’t surprised at the death. Problem is, this guy’s also the only current lead for Mark’s website business. And both Mark and I (his trusty sidekick/housemate) are dead broke.

Then, we get our first-ever real detective client … and she’s afraid the wedding killer wants to kill her next.

Exciting, right? Except her reason sounds … delusional. But Mark does vibe that she’s in real danger. Also, she’s super hot. And possibly into me…

Meanwhile, the cops tell us to back off the whole thing, or else. Even when more people in our small Virginia town start dying.

With the cops threatening jail (again), quirky locals turning lethal, and a spiritual crisis on my part which has really bad timing, Mark and I are racing to catch a killer who seems ready to murder anyone…

Including us.

Murder Feels Bad is the second novel in the Empath Detective mystery series, a new cozy mystery series that totally really happened, but is officially fiction. If you like Janet Evanovich, M. C. Beaton, Deb Baker, and long lists of famous author names, you’ll love this new series that has it all — amateur detectives you’ll love, zany small-town characters, sparkling wit, and a cold-blooded killer you’ll never even suspect.

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Excerpt
… But you do at least know about the empathy thing, right?

Okay. Super fast, so we don’t bore all the organized readers … my friend, housemate/landlord, and sidekickee Mark Falcon (I’m the sidekick) is the world’s one and only legit empath detective.

He can feel other people’s emotions. Even when he doesn’t want to.

Which is crazy awesome, but on top of that, Mark has chosen to use this superpower to fight crime, vibing the innermost secrets of real-deal murderers and bringing them to justice. So far we’ve been at it for a solid month.

And there were these two suspects, Dr. Jivanta Kistna and, um, this other guy I won’t name in case you didn’t read Book 1 (Murder Feels Awful) yet, and they did a bunch of crazy stuff I can’t tell you about here but the upshot was, they decided to get married.

Like, right away. I don’t know how they pulled that off, since Jivanta’s family turned out to be Catholic and I thought they had rules about that. I think Jivanta wanted to get the wedding in while the Blue Ridge Mountains were still at Peak Autumn Gorgeous.

In a good year, the view out here in rural Virginia is continuously breathtaking. You can’t even (for instance) be running late for a wedding without a lush distant backdrop of mountainous fall foliage, serene in every direction.

Unfortunately, if you are running late for that wedding, the fantastic scenery on a crisp sunny morning just seems wildly inappropriate, even sinister…

[Mark, Pete (the narrator), and Pete’s plus-one, his nurse friend Ceci, barely make it to the wedding on time…]

We grabbed a pew, just as the music fired up and the first awkward couple started the long march.

I didn’t know any of these people, but Ceci was craning to see the entire wedding party with endless enthusiasm. She’d probably know half of them by the end of the reception.

I caught her eye and grinned. She grinned back, sparkling and happy.

Then Jivanta made her entrance.

I hadn’t seen Jivanta since the “suspect party”, weeks ago. Even in civilian clothes, Jivanta’s eyes and smile can induce a mind-altering state. Now, maxed out in makeup and a bridal gown…

… I kind of blissed out.

Except the bliss was steeped with pain, because how could I ever really have a woman like that?

When my trance faded, Ceci was staring ahead, obviously hurt.

I gave an inward sigh. Even though we were totally here as friends, it couldn’t feel great to have your dude gawking at another woman … especially the bride. I realized I’d have to show some finesse here. Not only is Ceci one of my best friends, but I’d been racking up karmic debt to her like crazy, especially lately. The last thing I wanted was to make her feel bad.

I leaned toward her to whisper some smooth reassurance.

Oops. Wrong sight line.

Because in the next pew over, the hottest blonde I’d seen in months stood alone.

She didn’t just stand, she had that curvy lean thing going on, relaxing on one black-hosed leg, where a woman has so much pent-up curvaceous goodness in so many ways that she can’t even stand up straight, she has to slow burn in a sinuous stance of sensuality.

Even as I looked, she turned right toward me, locked my gaze in her own mascara-ringed infinities, and smiled. At me.

And I thought I’d been blissing over Jivanta.

Ceci groaned.

I startled, panicking that I’d been caught again. “What?” I whispered.

“Female emergency,” Ceci hissed.

“What is it?” I whispered. “You can tell me.”

“No I can’t,” she snapped. “Save my seat.”

She slipped out and clacked away down the aisle. She always wobbles a little on those unfamiliar high heels.

With Ceci gone, the pull of the blonde amped up like crazy. I was terrified to look back, terrified not to look back. At the front of the church, the wedding had already begun, but I was in another world entirely.

Beside me, Mark grunted. “Seriously, Pete? Now?”

Have I mentioned that Mark and I have this weird connection? And it’s getting worse. I wouldn’t mind so much if I could vibe his thoughts once in awhile.

“Dude,” I whispered. “Look at her.”

Mark flicked her a glance. “So?”

So?” I said. “Can you see if she likes me?”

“WHAT?” he snapped. “Did you not hear anything last night from my Akina disaster?”

Oh right. The night before, we’d stayed up too late doing this whole interview thing that turned into a novella. Like, literally, it’s a novella now, you can read it. And it’s free, it’s a mailing-list-only thing — but don’t go get it now if you haven’t read it, I’ll put the link at the end. All you need to know here is that in Mark’s distant past, trying to vibe whether women liked him had led to, um … problems.

“That was different!” I said.

“Sure it’s different,” he said. “You’re fricking here with Ceci.”

“As a friend! And I’m not going to ignore Ceci, I could just get the girl’s number—”

“No! Besides, I’ve got my shields maxed out.”

You remember shields, right? In theory, an empath can reduce the constant emotional onslaught by visualizing some kind of shield. A castle wall, a glowing force field, whatever. But it takes a lot of concentration, and it’s not super reliable, especially (apparently) at keeping out me.

“Why would you have your shields up?” I said. “It’s a wedding!”

“Are you kidding? Weddings are worse than funerals. Every woman’s comparing herself to the bride, every dude’s wishing he could have the bride—”

“Okay, okay, TMI!” I said. “But can’t you just do a quick check? It’ll only take a minute.”

“No.”

“If you don’t, I’ll just be wondering the whole time.”

Mark eyed me. “You’re going to regret this,” he muttered. “At least try to calm down, you’re causing major interference.”

He closed his eyes and looked focused.

I strained to be calm. I tried to focus anywhere but the woman … anywhere at all…

The priest at the front was super young. He was cracking awkward jokes about him being a new priest and this being his first wedding, and hoping he could say the same for Jivanta and the groom. That one didn’t land so well.

I was trying so hard not to look at Mark and guess what he was reading.

Then he gasped.

And not just any gasp. The kind that made the skin of my neck start to crawl.

I looked. He was darting gazes in every direction like a bloodhound.

“What is it?” I whispered. “Does she secretly hate me?”

“It’s not her,” he snapped. His eyes narrowed. “Something is very wrong.”

The priest made another awkward stab at humor, how he was pretty sure he was more nervous than the bride and groom. He’d woken up that morning praying nothing would go wrong—

CLANG.

Everyone in the entire church jolted. What the hell was that?

CLANG. CLANG.

The bell. The bell in the old tower was booming, blasting through the church like an air raid siren.

The priest’s smooth face creased with anxiety.

Mark shoved out of the pew and ran for the back. I stumbled after him, my heart thudding.

As we rushed into the lobby, a piercing wail shrieked beneath the bell.

It was a kid, howling.

And beneath that, a new yell of pain was stabbing us, a woman crying for help.

We followed the cries and burst through a side door into an old brick hallway that led to the tower. We nearly collided with the fat, familiar woman I’d seen before, who was still clutching the cute toddler. Both their faces were distorted with terror. The woman was fleeing, and the girl was squirming frantic against her, trying to escape even faster, mashing her mother’s shoulder with some old holy card. Even in that moment, I noted that the card had a delicate border of lace. It was getting crushed.

Then I saw behind them.

The frayed end of a thick rope lay on the old brick floor like the rattle of a snake. The rope wound back to what was left of a woman.

I could only look for a split second.

The body was crushed and obscene, like a broken deer on the side of the road, the red half-eaten carcass stretched across the asphalt. Except this was much worse.

Revulsion clenched me. I could already feel the doom of my future nightmares. I had to look somewhere, anywhere else. I looked up.

High in the tower, in the dizzy upper darkness, the broken rope dangled. The bell was still ringing from the force of the body’s release…

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Author Bill Alive

Author Bill Alive

About the Author
You know how you keep reading piles and piles and piles of mystery series, and most of them are, like, moderately okay … at least, there weren’t too many typos … and your eyes aren’t actually bleeding … … but then … THEN … every so often … WOW, you’re just smitten.

The style is fabulous, the people are hilarious, the action is fantastic and terrifying and gut-wrenching and you just want to shout, THIS! This right here! Why can’t they all be like THIS?

The next time you find a series like that, could you PLEASE TELL ME?  I mean, please tell this Bill Alive author guy?  Because otherwise, he’s just going to keep trying to write them.

Which is super fun. See that smile? He’s clearly enjoying himself.

But still. Once in awhile, the guy needs to see how it’s done. What’s your favorite series? He’ll probably love it too.

Where to find Bill Alive
Goodreads | Website 
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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sales Blitz – FREE! – BRUTAL OBSESSION (Safeguard) by Kennedy Layne

BRUTAL OBSESSION Sale Blitz

Welcome to the sale blitz for BRUTAL OBSESSION, the first book in the adult mystery/romantic suspense series, Safeguard, by USA Today bestselling author, Kennedy Layne. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for FREE!. See below for all the details.

BRUTAL OBSESSION (Safeguard #1) by Kennedy Layne

BRUTAL OBSESSION (Safeguard #1) by Kennedy Layne

About the Book
Title: BRUTAL OBSESSION
Series: Safeguard #1
Author: Kennedy Layne
Publisher: EverAfter Romance
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Genre:
 Adult Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
From USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne comes a thrilling new military romantic suspense series that will leave you on the edge of your seat… 

Keane Sanderson never thought he’d survive to see a day past his latest deployment with the United States Marines in Iraq.  That was six years ago and he’s finally ready to ease off the accelerator.  A unique opportunity to work for a top-shelf security and investigations firm in Florida is right up his alley.

Ashlyn Ellis had everything she’d ever wanted—a high-profile career as a federal prosecutor, an upscale apartment in the city, and a beach house for when she needed to decompress from all the stress that accompanied the job.  All three are threatened when she realizes someone has been following her every move for a very long time.

When Ashlyn comprehends the lengths her pursuer is willing to take things, she calls in a favor.  She never expected her plea for assistance to materialize in the form of Keane Sanderson—the one man who had every reason to revel in her misfortune.  She’s finally given the chance to rekindle the flames of desire she never should have extinguished, just in time for it all to be taken away when the stalker takes his obsession a step too far.

Series Description: Safeguard Security & Investigations (SSI) is owned and operated by Townes Calvert, a retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant who returned home to the States a bit more damaged than he’d care to admit. Not that anyone could tell outside of a very select group of former active duty buddies. It had taken Townes quite a while to acclimate to civilian life and he’d kept himself busy in the interim working in treacherous situations with even more dangerous friends. The final result is a close-knit unit of highly trained former military men who have the experience to protect the innocent, investigate crimes on the gritty edge, and aid local law enforcement when justice has taken a back seat to political correctness. Follow along as Kennedy Layne conveys each of their gripping stories as they work together on investigations that lead them down perilous paths of passion, intrigue, and suspense…

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Trailer

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Author Kennedy Layne

Author Kennedy Layne

About the Author
Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Where to find Kennedy Layne
Goodreads Website | Newsletter | Facebook Twitter | Instagram
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – ARABELLA PARK (Season 1) by Meiling

ARABELLA PARK Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for ARABELLA PARK, the first season in the young adult mystery series, Arabella Park, by author Evan Tyler writing as Meiling. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

ARABELLA PARK (Season 1) by Meiling

ARABELLA PARK (Season 1) by Meiling

About the Book
Title: ARABELLA PARK
Series: Arabella Park Season 1
Author: Meiling
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Kobo

Synopsis
Everyone knows that losing friends is a natural part of the high school experience. It’s all a game of musical chairs, really. Yet, what happens when a friend doesn’t intentionally “go ghost” but is abruptly taken away?

Kameron, Grayson, Mikey, Yasmin, and Jenna have been thick as thieves from childhood. Rightfully so—they make up the American minority in the German twin city of Arabella Park. When one of the five suddenly turns up missing, the remaining friends must find a way to bring her back while keeping up the facade of leading ordinary small-town lives.

As they search for their missing friend, they discover things about themselves and one another that will catapult them into an explosive climax and the ultimate revelation of who done it.

A multi-faceted mystery told from the alternating points of view of five friends, Arabella Park brings to life what it means to endure the most frightful, profound time of one’s life—the teenage years—while being stretched to the limits of what it means to be an adult, even a hero.

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ARABELLA PARK Teaser 1

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Excerpt #2
I thought about it the whole ride to school—I really could be a priest, given the right criteria were in place. I mean, I don’t mind listening to people’s problems and I’m sure I’d dig being in front of a crowd doing the priestly Mass stuff wearing one of those pimped-out robes. I could do all the priestly duties, given that I’d get a certain time allowance to play soccer on the side and if I could still scribe some verses, maybe perform them at some church gatherings or something. Oh, and last but not least, I couldn’t have eyes. Because the eyes—I mean, the cravings of these eyes of mine—would get me off track every time.

I’m not to be blamed for this. It’s not really my fault that I have a well-trained eye for hotness.

As I make my way through Senior Hall this morning, I blame the hotness of the girl in front of me for this magnetism that keeps me at her heels. If she weren’t so pretty, even from behind—if her waist wasn’t pinched in just so, if her hips weren’t like a hypnosis clock when they moved from side to side—I’d be alright. But as it is, she’s the flame, and I’m the moth. My being drawn to her is just a principle of nature, a law of physics. Trust me, physics is my area of expertise.

“Hey, I thought you had better taste,” I say to London Griffin, referencing the fact that she is walking beside Robert Schwartz, who is carrying her books for her. “I guess we’re all susceptible to acts of desperation at one time or another.”

She turns around to face me, shifting her weight to one side. “Where’s Mikey?”

“Why don’t you text him and find out.”

“Where is he?” She places her hands on her hips, while Schwartz stands beside her all dumb-looking as usual.

“Mikey had an emergency,” I say. “He won’t be at school today.”

“Well, then you must have my phone, you little cretin. Give it to me.”

“Cretin? Dude, even your insults are insult-able. ” I tag on a sly grin. “I mean, insult-able in an adorable kind of way. What makes you think I have your phone?”

“Because Mikey isn’t the kind of guy who would let me go days without my phone. I’m sure he gave it to you to give me.”

“How do you know what type of guy Mikey really is?”

“I just figure he’s your polar opposite, which would make him, at the very least, passable for human.”

“Ah, yeah, well, I guess that’s something to strive for in the future. Anyway, St. Michael your perfect archangel tried to give you back your phone yesterday, but you weren’t here to get it. So, that begs the question, where you were yesterday?”

“None of your business.”

Schwartz steps forward, using the two inches he has over me as intimidation. Too bad I’m not intimidated by anybody. Well, any guy, at least.

“I’ve got this,” London says to him, sliding her books from his hands. “I’ll see you in class.”

He gives me these growling eyes before turning his hulky back to me and walking off.

I begin walking in the opposite direction, toward Physics. I pull London’s phone from my pocket and hold it up to draw her on.

She scurries behind me. “Give me my phone, Blondie.”

I continue walking, a step ahead of her. I tuck the phone back into my pocket. “Why should I, Ballerina? You got my sister suspended. You’re officially my enemy now.”

“Your sister got herself suspended. And did you just call me ballerina, Blondie? You looked in my phone, didn’t you?” She fumes, stuttering for an epithet worthy of my audacity. “You, you, you—”

“Villainous pig? Douchebagette? Butt Munch? Penis breath?”

“Thief. You pathetic thief.”

Thief?”

“You accessed information in my phone that wasn’t yours to access. You’re a thief.”

“Thief—now that’s one harsh insult, little lady. You think because I broke the code to your phone, that I don’t have a heart or something? Well, you’re right. But you still owe me some civility, especially since I’m the current guardian of your phone.”

She takes a deep breath, her chest inflating dramatically. “What do I have to do to get it back?”

“Just say you’ll go to the Halloween dance with me. That’s it.”

“Okay, I’ll go to the Halloween dance with you.”

“You can’t just say it. You have to mean it. Otherwise, I’ll be forced to think of some even more annoying way to strike your fancy. It could get a lot worse than this, baby girl.”

“Don’t call me baby girl, Blondie.”

“Don’t call me Blondie, baby girl.”

“Whatever, Grayson. I’ll go to the Halloween dance with you. I’m not lying. Now, give me the phone.”

“Perfect. It’s in two weeks, so you’ll have plenty of time to find a perfect costume.”

Phone.

I tap my pocket. “You want it, come and get it.”

She first looks me in the eyes to see if I’m serious. In response, I lean back coolly against the wall. Straight-faced, she slides her hand into my pocket and pulls the phone out slowly, so slowly that it becomes like an artful striptease. I know for certain she’s hoping to elicit a rise from me, the kind of rise that will force me to walk into class with my physics books in front of my slacks. Despite my weak knees, I am of sound mind enough to hook my arm around her waist before she can bounce away. Standing chest to breast, I bring my lips to her ear.

“Good job, baby girl.”

I punctuate the statement with a light kiss to her earlobe and turn into Physics right as Headmaster Schumer is approaching, likely intending to break up our miniature tryst.

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ARABELLA PARK Teaser 2

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Author Meiling

Author Meiling

About the Author
I’ve lived the most ordinary life ever. Thus, I write for my own entertainment and hopefully, one day, the entertainment of millions of others. I’m a guitarist/singer/songwriter and above all, a hard worker. (At least, I’d like to think so.) Not sure what other clever thing I could say, so [insert clever line right here.] 🙂

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Where to Find Meiling
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – MURDER FEELS BAD (Empath Detective) by Bill Alive

MURDER FEELS BAD Cover Reveal

Author Bill Alive is unveiling the cover to MURDER FEELS BAD, the second book in his new adult mystery series, Embath Detective, releasing October 10, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

MURDER FEELS AWFUL (Empath Detective #1) by Bill Alive

MURDER FEELS AWFUL (Empath Detective #1) by Bill Alive

About the Book
Title: MURDER FEELS AWFUL
Series: Empath Detective #1
Author: Bill Alive
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Genre: New Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads

Synopsi
He can feel people’s emotions. And murderers feel super bad.

Mark Falcon, an aspiring detective and (for now) reluctant web developer, has a secret. He can “vibe” other people’s emotions. And when a wedding gets crashed by a seeming suicide, Mark vibes that there’s one aloof groomsman who wasn’t surprised at the death. Problem is, this guy’s also the only current lead for Mark’s website business. And both Mark and I (his trusty sidekick/housemate) are dead broke.

Then, we get our first-ever real detective client … and she’s afraid the wedding killer wants to kill her next.

Exciting, right? Except her reason sounds … delusional. But Mark does vibe that she’s in real danger. Also, she’s super hot. And possibly into me…

Meanwhile, the cops tell us to back off the whole thing, or else. Even when more people in our small Virginia town start dying.

With the cops threatening jail (again), quirky locals turning lethal, and a spiritual crisis on my part which has really bad timing, Mark and I are racing to catch a killer who seems ready to murder anyone…

Including us.

Murder Feels Bad is the second novel in the Empath Detective mystery series, a new cozy mystery series that totally really happened, but is officially fiction. If you like Janet Evanovich, M. C. Beaton, Deb Baker, and long lists of famous author names, you’ll love this new series that has it all — amateur detectives you’ll love, zany small-town characters, sparkling wit, and a cold-blooded killer you’ll never even suspect.
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Cover Reveal – MURDER FEELS AWFUL (Empath Detective) by Bill Alive

MURDER FEELS AWFUL Cover Reveal

Author Bill Alive is unveiling the cover to MURDER FEELS AWFUL, the first book in his new adult mystery series, Embath Detective, releasing October 10, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.

MURDER FEELS AWFUL (Empath Detective #1) by Bill Alive

MURDER FEELS AWFUL (Empath Detective #1) by Bill Alive

About the Book
Title: MURDER FEELS AWFUL
Series: Empath Detective #1
Author: Bill Alive
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Genre: New Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsi
He can feel people’s emotions. And murderers feel awful.

Mark Falcon can “vibe” other people’s emotions … and they’re usually super painful. So he hides out in rural Virginia, making websites for clients he never has to meet. It’s a not-terrible life, sort of … until he vibes the final panic of a woman’s murder.

The last thing hermit Mark wants to do is go out and investigate, vibing which suspect is seething with secret hate. Even with me along, his trusty new sidekick/housemate. (I’m so cheerful that I double as an emotional air freshener.)

But Mark has no choice. He has to act, because our local cop detective is convinced that there’s no killer and the woman killed herself. Unfortunately, our cop’s also got the overall presence of a Viking goddess, and the last thing she wants is some delusional “psychic” website guy playing amateur sleuth. (Not to mention hitting on her.)

With the cops threatening jail, small-town secrets threatening Mark’s sanity, and a crazy-gorgeous doctor suspect threatening my heart, time’s running out for Mark and I to catch the killer…

Before the killer catches us.

Murder Feels Awful is the very first Empath Detective novel, a new cozy mystery series that totally really happened, but is officially fiction. If you like Janet Evanovich, M. C. Beaton, Deb Baker, and long lists of famous author names, you’ll love this new series that has it all — amateur detectives you’ll love, zany small-town characters, sparkling wit, and a cold-blooded killer you’ll never even suspect.
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Release Day – HONEST INTENTIONS (Safeguard) by Kennedy Layne

HONEST INTENTIONS Chapter Reveal

Today is release day for HONEST INTENTIONS, the fifth book in the adult mystery/romantic suspense series, Safeguard, by USA Today bestselling author, Kennedy Layne. See below for information on the book, buy links, and the exclusive excerpt.

HONEST INTENTIONS (Safeguard #5) by Kennedy Layne

HONEST INTENTIONS (Safeguard #5) by Kennedy Layne

About the Book
Title: HONEST INTENTIONS
Series: Safeguard #4
Author: Kennedy Layne
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Genre:
 Adult Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne continues the Safeguard Series with this fast-paced romantic suspense novel that leads the SSI team on the trail of a serial killer who continually seems to be one step ahead…

Coen Flynn has always done the right thing, even it meant siding against his own family. His sense of justice was what led him to take a job in law enforcement, though his choice of agency was a bit unorthodox. His current assignment was believed to be a simple protection detail.  He was never supposed to be identified by his charge, but a murder took priority and changed the course of his mission.

Brettany Lambert’s life is suddenly rocked when she finds the body of a dead friend on the eve of what was supposed to be a special wedding. Now Brettany and Coen are trapped in the middle of a blizzard and their attraction will fuel the heat of temptation. Good intentions always have a way of backfiring, but his desired intent won’t matter if a notorious serial killer can finish what he started.

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HONEST INTENTIONS Teaser 2

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Chapter 1
“Brettany?” Coen set his half-drained glass of orange juice back on the counter as he regarded her with curiosity. He misunderstood her silence. “Shepherd Moss has been quite busy in Florida, very far from here. It’s doubtful he’d make his way this far west. It’s a risk for him to travel even a short distance.”

Brett didn’t want to talk about murder, serial killers, or anything that had to do with his chosen profession or what she’d stumbled into last weekend. The storm had ended hours ago, the snow plows were out clearing off the streets one by one, and the sun was shining in a clear bright sky. It was a new day and one she wanted to celebrate with him.

She drained the rest of her tea and carefully placed her cup in the sink. This was it. There didn’t seem to be enough oxygen in the air, but that might be due to the fact that she’d stopped breathing. Her adrenaline spiked just enough as she walked around the kitchen island.

“Are you okay?” Coen asked cautiously, turning his stool slightly to the left so that he was facing her. “You haven’t—”

Brett closed the distance between them before she could change her mind. She slipped her fingers underneath the leather of the holster that seemed to be a permanent fixture over his shirt and pulled him close.

“Give me this one morning before you leave,” Brett whispered imploringly, searching for any sign that he was willing to ignore this attraction between them. Her heartbeat faltered when the rich brown of his eyes darkened in sensuality. “No strings. No expectations.”

“You don’t want to do this with me.” Coen raised his arms and gently clasped her wrists to stop her from sliding her hands up behind his neck. “I’m not—”

“Looking for anything serious?” Brett finished for him, although she inferred his statement as a question. “You might not believe this, but I’m not expecting you to want that with me. The plan I’ve laid out for myself doesn’t include a man in your line of work. I do want that white picket fence with a husband who will play baseball with our son in the backyard…but not for some time to come. In the meantime, I’m not without desire, Coen. I’m a woman with sexual needs…and I want to be with you very much before we part ways. I warned you there was a chance I’d take you up on what you had so temptingly dangled in front of me. Well, here I am…just like you wanted.”

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HONEST INTENTIONS Teaser 1

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Author Kennedy Layne

Author Kennedy Layne

About the Author
Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Where to find Kennedy Layne
Goodreads Website | Newsletter | Facebook Twitter | Instagram
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Chapter Reveal – HONEST INTENTIONS (Safeguard) by Kennedy Layne

HONEST INTENTIONS Chapter Reveal

USA Today bestselling author, Kennedy Layne, is unveiling the first chapter to HONEST INTENTIONS, the fifth book in her adult mystery/romantic suspense series, Safeguard, releasing September 19, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and the exclusive excerpt.

HONEST INTENTIONS (Safeguard #5) by Kennedy Layne

HONEST INTENTIONS (Safeguard #5) by Kennedy Layne

About the Book
Title: HONEST INTENTIONS
Series: Safeguard #4
Author: Kennedy Layne
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Genre:
 Adult Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne continues the Safeguard Series with this fast-paced romantic suspense novel that leads the SSI team on the trail of a serial killer who continually seems to be one step ahead…

Coen Flynn has always done the right thing, even it meant siding against his own family. His sense of justice was what led him to take a job in law enforcement, though his choice of agency was a bit unorthodox. His current assignment was believed to be a simple protection detail.  He was never supposed to be identified by his charge, but a murder took priority and changed the course of his mission.

Brettany Lambert’s life is suddenly rocked when she finds the body of a dead friend on the eve of what was supposed to be a special wedding. Now Brettany and Coen are trapped in the middle of a blizzard and their attraction will fuel the heat of temptation. Good intentions always have a way of backfiring, but his desired intent won’t matter if a notorious serial killer can finish what he started.

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HONEST INTENTIONS Teaser 2

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Chapter 1

One week ago…

The shrieking howl of the bitter cold wind pierced through the walls of the tiny log cabin as it endeavored to find a way inside.  The flames of the blazing fire reflected a thousand tiny flickers on the river rock hearth as it rose through the rafters and beyond.  The view was mesmerizing as the dancing columns of blue and yellow fluttered briefly in their efforts to consume enough oxygen.  

The crisp night air finally succeeded in finding an otherwise tiny gap in the roughhewn pine logs that nevertheless continued their valiant fight to keep Old Man Winter at bay.  The tail ends of each curling spark were like desperate souls trying to fight for their survival.

The irony of that useless battle wasn’t lost on her as the fire consumed its fuel.

Brettany Lambert slowly ran her hands up her arms and over the soft fabric of her chain-knit sweater in a vain attempt to absorb the warmth emanating only a few feet from the fire.  The electricity had gone out hours ago, the backup generator had failed to start, and the wind chill had already dipped well below zero.  The night proved to be long, but she didn’t have to spend it alone.

She shot a glance toward the window that usually offered her a charming view of Mount Evans, but all she could see were large, distorted snowflakes battering the windowpane that Jack Frost had decorated with a whimsical etching of the winter winds.   

Beyond that?  

Nothing but darkness.

The Colorado mountain range was picturesque in the middle of winter, but it certainly wasn’t her idea of an idyllic place to host a romantic wedding.  Who wanted to say their vows against a backdrop of a wind chill that was in the double digits?  Add on to that the fact that each of the guests had to use snowmobiles or an arctic cat to reach their destination.  That should have clued in the future bride and groom that a classic Aruba beach wedding would have been much more appropriate—in addition to being a lot warmer, even during the latter part of the season.  Eighty-two degrees sounded pretty good right now.  

Brett sighed in resignation as she reached for the scarf she’d strung up over the coatrack earlier.  She personally would have preferred any Caribbean location, but her proposal had been tossed aside like a bad penny the moment the wedding planning had begun over a year ago.  She usually tried not to dwell over where she stood on the friendship scale, but at that moment she had been shoved aside given that certain souls born in the West Elk Mountains of west-central Colorado were strange breeds anyway.  It was as if exposure to all those dark winter months affected their perception of what was obvious to everyone else.

The bride had listened to her maid of honor, despite all the other opposing views.  Heidi had thought Louise and Chad marrying where they met would be romantic, but it turned out to be a total disaster.  The wedding journey had started off with the incredibly difficult task of finding a heavy winter coat that would cover a traditional wedding dress.  Unfortunately, the beautifully added layer wasn’t needed by the end of the rocky passage to wedded bliss.

Chad had decided the day before the ceremony was the perfect time to bring up old wounds, unearthing some deep-seated bitterness that had never been completely wiped clean.  Louise had been all but blindsided as the groom had heatedly declared that the wedding was off, although most of the still sober guests suspected an alcohol-soaked bachelor party was to blame.  It instantly caused their family and friends to take sides.  

“Complete idiots,” Brett muttered in fondness, wrapping the cashmere scarf around her neck before lightly binding the ends together.  “Any Caribbean island would have sufficed.  But no, we had to come to a place that resembles Antarctica.”

She loved them both dearly and didn’t want either of them to throw away a life together over a past mistake that had been rehashed over and over again until there was nothing but ashes.  Louise and Chad thrived on drama, though.  It followed them no matter where they went—even on their wedding getaway to the great white north.

Luckily for them, all the guests were now stranded on this isolated mountain range until the storm lifted and permitted everyone to take what snowmobiles and conveyances there were across the pass to safety.  Until then, it gave Chad and Louise’s family and friends time to try to talk sense into the two of them…at least those who weren’t in favor of a total and complete separation.  

Had that been Heidi’s plan all along?  She never did like some of Chad’s friends.

Brett shrugged into the horribly expensive parka she’d specifically bought for this trip, ignoring the path her thoughts had taken.  She wasn’t one to judge, and that certainly wouldn’t help the situation now that everything had blown over, so to speak.  The bottom line was that she could either stay out here in this tiny, frosty cabin she’d been assigned to for the whole weekend and go stir crazy, or she could join the others up at the lodge and see if the massive hoard of proffered nuptial booze was still available.

It wasn’t that the main inn was some kind of colossal log structure that could fit hundreds of guests.  It was much more of a larger cabin…maybe triple in size as the one she was currently staying in with a large kitchen to host the twelve or so guests occupying the camp.  It also helped that the lodge had a larger generator that worked even at these temperatures.

Brett checked herself over one more time, taking in her winter jacket, scarf, gloves, and waterproofed Ugg boots.  She had somehow drawn the shortest straw without even realizing it when she’d been assigned the cabin farthest from the lodge.

Suddenly, the scene from Jurassic Park popped into her head when the actors drew lots to see who would race those velociraptors through the utility tunnels to turn the power back on to the contaminated pens.  

She honestly hadn’t minded the distance in the least, until the storm had hit.  Watching the groundskeeper string rope from each cabin had put the dangers of such extreme weather into serious perspective.

Brett finally gathered the courage to crack open the hatch.  

The wind was stronger than she had expected.  She barely maintained her hold on the side of the door as a strong gust tried to rip the wood from her fingers.  The snowfall didn’t feel like the normal white fluffy flakes collecting on the ground, but instead like pelting ice crystals trying to penetrate her cheeks similar to little needles.  She pushed down her gathering irritation that they could all be lying on the beach somewhere enjoying the trade winds with those umbrella drinks to drown their disappointment with the cancelled ceremony.

Brett turned away as she pulled the door closed behind her, not bothering to lock the latch.  One, she trusted everyone here not to snoop.  Two, no other sane person not stupid enough to attend this debacle could possibly be this high up on the mountain range in this crappy weather.  Three, there was nothing of value that she’d brought with her other than her laptop anyway.  It wasn’t like her computer was even of any use, considering there wasn’t Wi-Fi or any other type of cellular service that could be activated to reach the Internet.  

This area was as primitive as it got, which was why a shiver ran up the back of her neck that had nothing to do with the bitter cold.  God help them should anything happen that would be considered a real emergency.  They were a very long way from medical rescue help.  There would be no life flight helicopter with this storm, just a whole lot of pain for a very long time.

Another shriek of wind jarringly howled as the strong gusts of frigid air traveled through the ancient pines surrounding the campground.  Had she not been listening to that exact same eerie sound all evening, she would have thought it was a screaming banshee somewhere off in the distance.  It was downright terrifying.  Mother Nature at her worst.  Brett breathed a little easier as the screeching wail slowly faded.

She had no choice but to expose her face to the harsh elements as she looked for the knotted rope that would guide her toward the lodge.  It occurred to her that the knots were evenly spaced at ten foot intervals.  She reached into her right pocket and pulled out a small black lithium battery flashlight they had all been given by the groundskeeper.  That vital contribution alone should have clued her in as to how severe these conditions could develop from a simple prediction of two to four inches into something truly monstrous as the system stalled swirling over the top of the range like a miniature hurricane made up of icy winds.

The meteorologist had certainly gotten this one wrong.   His ass should be fired.

Brett focused the beam in the direction of where the rope had been tied off to a small stake in the ground ahead of her.  She had no trouble locating the line tied to her post on the front porch, though it was rather difficult to walk against the wind out in the open.  At least seven inches of heavy snow had already dropped with many more expected according to the last radio transmission she’d heard this morning before the power and the wedding failed.  

Now one of the children’s songs from Frosty the Snowman got stuck in her head.  

Put one foot in front of the other…

Each step Brett managed to undertake took effort, but it wasn’t quite so hard with the joyful melody in her head.  She mentally kept track of her pace, figuring she wasn’t even halfway to the next cabin and even farther from her intended destination.  That was okay.  Her daily runs kept her in fairly good shape.  It was getting a little hard to breathe, but she chalked it up to the altitude and the temperature.

“Ahh!”

Brett tried to catch herself as her boot caught on something solid buried in the snow.  Not even her tight grip on the rope could keep her upright.  The cushion of the thick white blanket did nothing to stop the blunt force of her body hitting the ground with a muted thud.  She landed on her hands and knees abruptly.  The impact instantly sent her good spirits and the merry little melody packing.  It didn’t help that she’d lost her hold on the tiny flashlight.  The item in question had landed about four feet in front of her.

“Damn it,” Brett muttered in frustration, instantly lifting both hands in the air as she sat back on her legs.  She tried to shake out the snow that had stuck itself into the sleeves of her jacket, but it was too late.  “Ugh.”

The cold slush had already melted against her wrists and was instantly soaked up by the material of her sweater sleeves.  It didn’t help that the thin denim of her jeans became saturated by the cold moisture around her knees in spite of her long johns underneath, though her boots were well insulated and protected her ankles and feet.

There was always a silver lining, right?

Well, she couldn’t stay outside in these unforgiving temperatures forever. She quickly reached for the rope that was now shoulder height above her.  She finally caught onto the coarse twine, but she didn’t stand.  Instead, she scooted forward on her knees and reached out toward the bright light illuminating the snow like a brilliant beam driving up into the night’s sky.  

Wait.

What was on top of the snow?

Blood?

Brett instinctively closed her gloved fingers into the palm of her hand.  Her mind immediately rejected the grisly word it had formed, her heart breaking for whatever poor animal had been hurt in such a harsh winter storm.  She couldn’t stand to think of such an innocent creature suffering in pain.

She tried to look around, but it was a futile effort.

Had the critter found shelter, food, and water?

Brett maintained her hold on the rope as she reached over the splatters of red dots for the flashlight.  She followed the trail with the beam, easily making out the darker circle that had already melted the snow underneath.  

That was a lot of blood for an animal.

“Shit,” Brett muttered, left with a decision that could very well be detrimental to her own health.  She wanted to help whatever animal was bleeding so profusely, but she didn’t want to put herself in any danger of getting lost in the winter landscape.  It could be a bunny rabbit or a doe some hunter had wounded that simply needed a bandage and some shelter in order to recover.  Or it could very well be a very large black bear, in which case she would immediately regret her choice of not leaving well enough alone.  “This is the kind of crap that gets me into trouble.  Nothing like this would have happened in Aruba.”

Brett’s parents had to deal with more strays than any other mother and father in their old neighborhood.  She really should have become a veterinarian, but teaching kids had seemed less daunting than Taming the Shrew, her ode to her favorite classic author.  How wrong she’d been, but she could ruminate about her life’s choices another time.  A wounded animal was somewhere close by, and she couldn’t leave them to fend for themselves in this crap.

She made a rash decision to quickly check out how far the trail of blood went with every intention of turning back once she reached the outer edge of the camp.  She wouldn’t venture any farther than the back clearing the cabins were in.  Taking in how far she’d already walked, Heidi or Martin’s cabin had to be to the right of her current location.  Her search should be safe enough, if she discounted the fact that she was starting to shake from exposure to the cold.

The pool of blood that had soaked into the ground happened to be right underneath one of the other ropes, so Brett grabbed ahold of the thick twine and cautiously proceeded to follow the trail.  She didn’t want to inadvertently stumble upon a wounded animal, so she slowed her steps.  The critter would almost certainly react in defense of itself, most likely striking out at her.  It wouldn’t do to have them both hurt and bleeding.

Brett couldn’t stop her teeth from chattering as the cold moisture from her denim and the wetness from the sleeves of her sweater started to soak into her skin.  It didn’t help that the wind had once again picked up to a howl, propelling the little needles directly into her face.  She blinked several times, unable to stop her eyes from watering as the forceful gusts refused to relent.  

After halting her progress a couple of times to wipe the tears from her cheeks with the back of her gloves, she finally managed to find the end of the blood trail.  Surprisingly, it was on the doorstep to one of the cabins.  Had someone already taken whatever it was inside?

She lifted the flashlight and shined the beam on the assigned number.

Four.

That was Heidi’s cabin.

Brett surmised that the animal must have curled up underneath the small awning, but a slow swipe of the artificial light revealed nothing of interest.  

Well, that wasn’t exactly true.

A splatter of blood was literally at the threshold of the door.  

Had Heidi heard the injured animal and brought it inside?  

“Heidi!” Brett called out after a couple of knocks on the door.  “Heidi, open up!”

No answer.

As a matter of fact, the wind had died down and the snow appeared to be falling at a slower pace as the flakes leisurely found their home with the others on the ground.  It had become eerily quiet as the echo of her voice faded in the clearing.

The smell of firewood burning drifted through the air from every direction, reminding Brett that everyone was trying to ride out the storm and stay warm.  Had Heidi brought the wounded animal inside to keep it warm or had she taken it up to the main lodge?

Brett looked over her shoulder, shifting her hood after she’d released her hold on the rope.  She swiped the beam of the flashlight over the area, though she found no one else around.  That wasn’t surprising.  All the other guests were probably enjoying a late dinner and trying to patch up Chris and Louise’s relationship so that tomorrow’s ceremony could continue without further delay.  

Brett would knock one more time, just in case Heidi was still inside.  She might need help bringing the little critter up to the central cabin.  

“Heidi?” Brett called out with a bang of her fist to the frozen wood, certainly not expecting the door to unlatch and swing open from the simple force of her knock.  She instinctively used her shoulder to push open the entrance upon sensing the heat from inside…only there was no fire.  There was only darkness…and the distinct smell of copper.  “Hello?”

Heidi must have already left to join the others, leaving her fire to burn itself out.  Brett was well aware that leaving a roaring fire burning in the hearth when no one was present wasn’t the brightest of ideas, but this campground had no electricity at the moment.  The only structure she knew of with a working generator was the main lodge, but that didn’t help the individual cabins once the main power to the camp had failed.

It also didn’t help to extinguish the strong odor of what could only be blood.  

Had Heidi been unable to save the animal, or had she sought help from the others?  Brett’s curiosity always got the better of her, and now was no exception to that rule.  She quickly swiped her arm in one long motion, only wanting to confirm that the animal hadn’t been left behind.  It took more than a few seconds for the sight before her to penetrate the deep-seated denial that her mind instantly created.  

The gruesome image trying to form in her mind was of Heidi’s sightless, cloudy, dilated eyes staring directly into the beam of Brett’s flashlight, but that couldn’t be right.  

Her friend couldn’t dead.  

That wasn’t right.

“Heidi?” Brett took a step closer because the name falling from her lips came out as nothing but a whisper as her breath billowed in the air.  Heidi wouldn’t be able to hear her.  She hadn’t been loud enough to be heard properly.  She cleared her throat and tried again.  “Heidi?”

Brett’s boot slipped out from under her.  She tried to catch her balance, but there was nothing for her to grab ahold of as she swung her arms wildly and caught nothing but air.  She landed hard on her side where her hip took the brunt of her body weight.  Unfortunately, her flashlight once again slipped away from her grip and rolled a couple feet away.  

Panic had already started to infuse itself, because there was no way she could accept the scene which was painted in front of her.  This had to be a horrible joke—a very sick and cruel joke.  That didn’t stop the horror of what could possibly be reality bubble into a scream that never released.  Brett was too busy scrambling for the flashlight and crawling toward the beam that was now directed toward herself.

“What—”

Brett stared in revulsion at the red, thick coagulating liquid coating her hand.  She’d first thought her palms had landed in the melting snow she’d brought in with her boots, but this…this was all blood.  

Heidi’s blood.

“No, no, no,” Brett chanted over and over as she finally picked up the flashlight and swung the light back toward Heidi.

Was this real?

Oh, my God!

Heidi’s lips were parted as if she were silently screaming, while her eyes were trained on something no one on this earth could possibly see.  Her normally ivory white skin had lost its vibrancy, reminding Brett of the glue her class used to make arts and crafts.  She’d never be able to glue glitter on construction paper again without recalling this grisly image.

Blue.  The color of Heidi’s lips and her discernable veins were blue.

Her friend was almost certainly dead.

And the blood.  

There was so much blood.

Brett swallowed against the bile in her throat as she attempted to stand without falling.  She recognized the need to call for help, but she couldn’t get her body to agree to move.  No one would hear her anyway.

All she could manage to do was stare in horror at…death.  

Death had come knocking without a wedding invitation.

Heidi was too young to have her life cut so short.

Terror unlike anything Brett had ever experienced settled over her like a cold blanket at the thought that someone had done this to Heidi.  There had been no wounded animal.  The blood outside had been Heidi’s and someone had brought her inside to bleed out.  

Icy spindles wrapped themselves around Brett as she finally grasped the understanding that this hadn’t been an accident.

Someone had done this to her friend.  

Someone had committed murder so far away from the rest of the world.

And that someone had to still be here in the campground, trapped by the storm…trapped here with her.

* * * *

He hadn’t had time to finish what he’d started.

Anger morphed into rage, but he had no outlet.

Not now that the body had been discovered.

That had been taken from him the moment Brettany Lambert had walked into Heidi’s cabin.  He’d been trying to cover the tread of the boot marks he’d left in the snow when he’d heard a muffled cry, alerting him to the fact that he hadn’t been alone anymore.

Brettany had walked right by him, not even realizing she had been arm’s length away from the sharp blade of his knife.  He should have stabbed her then and there, dropping her in the snow.

Now, he had to watch from afar as the beam from her flashlight finally faded from his sight as she entered Heidi’s cabin.  He waited in the darkness for the satisfying scream to carry through the air.

It took longer than he thought it would.

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HONEST INTENTIONS Teaser 1

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Author Kennedy Layne

Author Kennedy Layne

About the Author
Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Where to find Kennedy Layne
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