Welcome to the teaser blitz for COLD MALICE, the eighth book in the adult romantic suspense series, Cold Justice, by New York Times bestselling author, Toni Anderson. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive teaser.
Synopsis When an international ring of sex traffickers kidnaps an eight-year-old girl in Boston, FBI Agent Lucas Randall heads undercover. But his rescue operation goes disastrously wrong and Lucas barely escapes with his life. Now the ruthless traffickers are hunting him down, along with everyone else who threatens their operation.
Computer expert Ashley Chen joined the FBI to fight against evil in the world—evil she experienced firsthand. She has mad skills, and deadly secrets, and once she starts working with Lucas, she also has big trouble, because after years of pushing people away, she’s falling for the guy. The feeling is more than mutual, but as Ashley intensifies her online pursuit of the trafficking ring, her traumatic past collides with her present and suddenly Lucas can’t tell which side she’s on. And as the case escalates into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, it turns out Ashley isn’t the only one with something to hide.
If neither can trust the other with their secrets, how can they trust each other with their hearts?
Author Toni Anderson
About the Authors New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.
Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She’s addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.
New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Penelope Ward, is sharing a sneak peek from DRUNK DIAL, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, releasing August 21, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and an exclusive excerpt.
DRUNK DIAL by Penelope Ward
About the Book Title: DRUNK DIAL Author: Penelope Ward Release Date: August 21, 2017 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Synopsis From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.
Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.
I didn’t think he’d call me back.
I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.
Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.
Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.
A complete STANDALONE.
Excerpt After that evening, I hadn’t heard back from him for a few days.
Then, one night, a text came in from the same phone number I recognized as Landon’s. It was the first time he’d texted me.
I looked down to find he’d sent a photo.
It was a heavily tatted man set against the backdrop of the ocean at sunset. Oh, my. It was him—a selfie.
Fuck. Me. He was beautiful.
I wouldn’t have even known it was Landon were it not for the blue eyes I recognized instantly. The shaggy, caramel hair I remembered from the past was now a darker shade of brown and shorter, cropped closer to his head. His arms and his chest were inked, his body so perfect that if I squinted, it almost resembled carved stone.
I couldn’t stop looking at him. My eyes wanted nothing more than to explore the ridges and valleys of his stunning body.
Was this a cruel joke?
This was not Landon!
But, it was.
With my thumb and middle finger, I kept zooming in and out, examining the details of the ink across his chest and on his arms. There was really nothing sexier than a guy with perfect arms and a full sleeve tattoo.
Even though his lips seemed fuller than I recalled, they still curved into a familiar grin that oozed confidence. The eyes and that smile were the only traces of the boy I remembered. I wished I could’ve leapt through the screen to smell him, touch him.
“Hi, Landon,” I whispered, for a brief moment talking to the boy inside, not the man in front of me.
This Landon was the polar opposite of the Ivy League yuppie image previously in my head. The only thing the man pictured might have majored in was badassery. He looked like a rockstar, a rule breaker, displaying a sense of arousing danger—someone who must have had women from all walks of life drooling over him for the sheer fact that either they couldn’t have him or shouldn’t have him. It suddenly became clear why, as he’d alluded to, a woman might have been begging him for sex. That made me wonder if he had any secret tattoos in spots I wasn’t allowed to see.
A fire was burning inside of me, and I knew it was my crush exploding into a full-blown obsession.
A self-conscious feeling came over me. If I was scared to show him a picture of myself before, now I was really hesitant.
The message that went along with the photo simply read:
Now show me you.
Author Penelope Ward
About Penelope Ward Penelope Ward is a New York Times,USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She’s a sixteen-time New York Times bestseller. Her novels are published in over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world. Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 11-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.
USA Today bestselling author, Daisy Prescott, is unveiling the cover to WILD FOR YOU, the third book in her adult contemporary romance series, Love With Altitude, releasing September 14, 2017. See below for information on the book, and a pre-order link. You can pre-order now for just $0.99.
WILD FOR YOU (Love With Altitude #3) by Daisy Prescott
About the Book
Title: WILD YOU Series: Love With Altitude #3
Author: Daisy Prescott Release Date: September 14, 2017 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links: Goodreads |iBooks
Synopsis Cowboy fantasies. Oh boy, do I have them. I blame the shiny belt buckles and those chaps. Mother of pearl buttons, those chaps.
After getting dumped by my Not Future Husband, I’ve decided to spend the summer in Aspen exploring new adventures. First on the list is rugged, sexy rodeo champion Justin Garrison, who seems happy to accept the challenge.
What if I fall in love with the real man behind the fantasy?
Being the charming cowboy is an easy role to play. Whenever I’m on the back of a horse or riding a bull, everything’s simple, uncomplicated. Running my family’s ranch and trying to keep the past buried are a lot harder.
When my path crosses with a beautiful brunette at a rodeo, I’m not looking for more complications. Feisty Zoe Saragossa’s not a typical buckle bunny and I’m definitely not her type.
Can a city girl fall for a real cowboy?
Wild for You is a standalone, slow burn cowboy romance. It’s part of the Love with Altitude series of standalone romantic comedies set in Aspen, high in the Rocky Mountains.
WILD FOR YOU (Love With Altitude #3) by Daisy Prescott (Full Cover)
Author Daisy Prescott
About the Author USA Today Bestselling Author DaisyPrescott writes romantic comedies with heart.
Her Modern Love Stories feature characters in their thirties and forties finding and rediscovering love in unexpected and humorous ways. Her Wingmen books star regular guys who often have beards, drive trucks, and love deeply once they fall. Look for her new Rom Com series, Love with Altitude, in 2017.
Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog, and an indeterminate number of imaginary house goats. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.
Author Bethany Lopez is revealing an excerpt from PINCH OF SALT, the first book in her adult contemporary romance series, Three Sister’s Catering, releasing August 21, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and an exclusive excerpt.
PINCH OF SALT (Three Sister’s Catering #1) by Bethany Lopez
Synopsis For the past year, talented chef Millie has been consumed with running her new catering business with her sisters, Dru and Tasha. It isn’t until Jackson walks through their door that she realizes something may be missing in the recipe of her life.
For the past year, Jackson has been dealing with the fallout of his wife’s abandonment. He’s had to learn how to be a single father to their eight-year-old daughter, and will do anything to fill the void her mother left. It isn’t until he commissions Millie for his daughter’s birthday party that he realizes he’s forgotten that he’s not only a father, but a man.
They both think they’re content in their lives, but sometimes the right amount of spice can turn an okay dish into a magnificent one. A Pinch of Salt may be all that’s needed to bring Millie and Jackson the flavor they’ve been missing.
Excerpt “Fine,” I said with mock exasperation,” I’ll give you the cliff notes.”
Tasha kept her eyes on me as she waited expectantly. She’d recently cut off her long black hair that had matched mine and Dru’s in length into a cute bob, and dyed it a bright red. It totally suited her.
“The party was great, fantastic even. I had a blast decorating, and the girls loved it. I took pictures to show you guys, and for the website,” I began, but Tasha waved her hand, encouraging me to get to the good stuff. “Jackson asked me out,” I said with a shrug, then teased her by saying, “But, I said no.”
“Wha?” Tasha cried, standing and putting her hands on her hips. “Why’d you do that? I thought he was your diary dream man. At least, that’s what Dru said.”
I raised my eyebrow at my twin, who just stuck out her tongue at me and continued stretching her quads.
“He’s also married, and still wears his wedding ring,” I replied, then sighed and added, “But, he assured me that the marriage is very much over, the ring was just an oversight, and we’re going to meet up for coffee this week. So, not a date, just coffee.”
“A coffee date,” Dru said with a grin.
“Shut up,” I replied, but couldn’t hold back my answering smile. “I don’t know, you guys, he scares me.”
“Why?” Tasha asked. “Because you’ve been so focused on the business, and before that, Mom, that you haven’t met a man for coffee, let alone had one between your legs, since you and Dru were at USC?”
“That’s not true,” I argued, offended and a little embarrassed about how right my younger sister was. “There was Joshua…”
“Ewww,” my sisters groaned in unison.
“You mean that creeper guy who kept taking you to Anime movies and trying to get you to give him a handy in the theater?” Dru asked. “You really want to count that guy?”
Author Bethany Lopez
About the Author Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In-N-Out burgers.
Author K. Gorman is revealing the cover to RENEGADES, the second book in her adult science fiction series, The Eurynome Code, releasing September 30, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and an exclusive teaser.
Synopsis The Shadows have taken over, and she is the only one who can fight back.
Genetically engineered from birth, Karin Makos’s powers have made her the Alliance’s most wanted person. With her sister still missing, and only a cryptic notebook left behind for clues, the mystery of her past is going to take a lot more time and resources than they have to unravel it.
And there’s a bigger problem looming. Keeping their promise to heal Ethan’s stepfather and the rest of the people on the Ozark puts them right past Caishen station and its Alliance allies—and there might be another force on their tail.
After the crew split apart on a wild chase that puts Karin in the hot seat, it’ll take all of their strength and ingenuity to bring them back together. With enemies gathering in the wings, a desperate, heavy-handed station commander hard on their tail, and the Shadows an ever-present threat, they must race against the odds and scramble to fight their way out.
Author K. Gorman
About the Author Originally from the west coast of Canada, K. Gorman has switched to the west coast of Taiwan, where she broadcasts a steady stream of Science Fiction and Fantasy stories. When not writing, she enjoys long rides through Taichung on U-Bikes, marathons Twin Peaks and Battlestar Galactica, and is slowly turning Final Fantasy VIII’s Squall into a card-playing god before she runs through the rest of the game.
USA Today bestselling author, Christie Ridgway, is revealing an excerpt from THE SECRET, the sixth book in her adult contemporary romance series, Billionaire’s Beach,releasing August 15, 2017. See below for information on the book and series, pre-order links, the exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE SECRET (Billionaire’s Beach #6) by Christie Ridgeway
Synopsis Being butler to a widower and single father is a dream job in more ways than one for Charlotte “Charlie” Emerson. She helps keep businessman Ethan Archer’s household running without a hitch and enjoys every minute she has with his six-year-old son, Wells. But as time passes, the situation feels alarmingly intimate and when her heart starts beating faster each time Ethan steps through the door, Charlie must exert rigid control over her feelings.
With her secret, falling in love would be all kinds of bad…
Ethan Archer values the woman who keeps his life in order and cares so much for his motherless boy. He and Charlie act in harmony with each other and it’s not hard to picture them as a little family…in fact, it’s so easy, one reckless night he proposes a marriage of convenience.
What will he do if Charlie says yes? And worse, what if she tells him no?
Excerpt Charlie returned to the kitchen to deal with the dishes and restore the pots and pans to their proper place. She liked tidiness and order in all things—emotions included. Emmaline sometimes accused her of capping off her feelings, and Charlie didn’t disagree. Or find anything wrong with it.
“In my book,” she murmured to herself now, “compartmentalizing isn’t a sin.”
“What’s not a sin?” a masculine voice questioned.
Charlie whirled around, instant heat crawling up her throat and cheeks. “Um, hi, Ethan.” Her boss had been on a business trip for the past couple of weeks. Why hadn’t she taken the time to change into something other than cropped leggings and a matching T-shirt? When was the last time she’d brushed her hair?
He smiled, softening the lines of his lean and handsome face. At their first meeting, he’d claimed to be “on the dark side of thirty-five” but she’d met younger men who didn’t come close to his level of attractiveness.
“Charlotte,” he said now.
She pretended to scowl at him and told herself that she found his use of her full name—he was the only one who ever did use it—irksome. It made her feel too…feminine, and she was supposed to merely be a functional feature in his life. A Charlie.
His laughter was low, almost intimate. “On occasion, I must.”
Ignoring the traitorous pleasure she felt in his presence, she busied herself with refolding a kitchen towel. “I didn’t hear you come in.”
“You were lost in thought.” A heavy pause. “Something about sinning?”
At the amused and inquisitive tone, she glanced up at him. He looked back, one dark eyebrow winged up and the hint of a smile on his firm lips. A shiver tried working its way down her spine, but she ruthlessly held back the sensation.
“It was nothing,” she said.
“I’m disappointed to hear that.” He laughed again, sounding slightly chagrined. “For a moment I thought one of us was breaking out of our rut.”
Author Christie Ridgway
About the Author Christie Ridgway is a California native and author of fifty contemporary romances. A six-time RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author, she writes award-winning, emotional reads starring determined heroines and the men who can’t help but love them. Christie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, went to college in Santa Barbara, and now is married to the sweetheart she met there.
She started off as a technical writer and moved on to computer programming before having two sons and pursuing the dream she’d held since childhood—writing romance novels. Her first book stars a hero who was a former professional surfer and since then she’s written about businessmen, TV stars, soldiers, journalists, vintners, race car drivers, and horror novelists. What her heroes have in common is their resistance to love and their hardest of falls when they finally do find their right woman.
Welcome to the pre-order book blitz for CHASING A LEGEND, the fourth book in the adult contemporary sports romance series, Kavanagh Legends, by Sarah Robinson, releasing . See below for information on the book and pre-order links.
CHASING A LEGEND (Kavanagh Legends #4) by Sarah Robinson
The most soulful Kavanagh brother tackles the challenge of a lifetime—with a little help from the girl of his dreams.
“Fans of Lori Foster’s SBC Fighters series will love the MMA atmosphere of [Sarah] Robinson’s Legends.”—Library Journal
A topnotch manager and agent, Quinn Kavanagh pictures a life outside of his family’s renowned MMA gym. Beneath his sleek exterior, Quinn has a secret passion for sculpting. But after a nearly fatal motorcycle accident, he’s struggling just to walk again, let alone get back to the studio—and it doesn’t help that the doctor in charge of his physical therapy is his childhood crush. Quinn’s always ready for a fight, but the bittersweet sting of unrequited love has him begging for mercy.
Dr. Kiera Finley is determined to make her medical residency a success. Six years ago, she gave in and shared a single passionate night with Quinn. Now she’s just hoping the cocky lover from her past doesn’t derail her plans for the future. Little by little, though, Kiera gets to know another side of Quinn. She knew he was a family man, devoted to his parents and brothers, but he’s also a free spirit trapped in a cage—and only she has the key. To heal both Quinn’s body and soul, Kiera’s tempted to give him a special kind of medicine.
Author Sarah Robinson
About the Author Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in criminal psychology. She is married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.
New York Times bestselling authors, Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, are revealing the cover to MY DEAR HAMILTON – A NOVEL OF ELIZA SCHUYLER HAMILTON, an adult historical romance, releasing April 3, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, and details on their giveaway.
MY DEAR HAMILTON – A NOVEL OF ELIZA SCHUYLER HAMILTON by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Synopsis Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest to Form a More Perfect Union
From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.
A general’s daughter…
Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.
A founding father’s wife…
But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.
The last surviving light of the Revolution…
When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and the imperfect union he could never have created without her…
To celebrate Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today, we have a surprise for you! Share the cover of MY DEAR HAMILTON and fill out the Rafflecopter below to receive an Exclusive Excerpt!
Author Stephanie Dray
About Stephanie Dray New York Times bestselling author, Stephanie Dray is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.
About Laura Kamoie New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kaye. Her New York Times bestselling debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.
Welcome to the book blitz for I STOP SOMEWHERE, a stand-alone young adult contemporary novel, by T.E. Carter, releasing February 27, 2018. See below for information the book, pre-order links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis THE LOVELY BONES meets ALL THE RAGE in a searing, heartbreaking contemporary story of a lost teenager, and the town she leaves behind.
Ellie Frias disappeared long before she vanished.
Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn’t need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper.
But then the unthinkable happens and Ellie is trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn’t the first victim and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her.
The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.
TE Carter’s stirring and visceral debut not only discusses and dismantles rape culture but also makes you slow down and think about what it is to be human.
What Readers are Saying “an unputdownable mystery. Don’t miss it.” – Hayley Chewins – Author
“Visceral with both rage and tenderness and impossible to put down.” – Amelinda – Goodreads Reviewer
“powerful and profound and makes you think” –Amanda Searcy – Author
Excerpt Nobody noticed me as I cut through the room. I made my way outside, into the cold. Spring was playing games with us. Weeks earlier, it had snuck in overnight, erasing our memory of winter in a matter of hours. When we’d gone to bed, winter had lingered in the snowbanks and in the way the trees still hunched over from the weight of it. And then suddenly, spring. We woke to birds singing, birds who appeared to have been shipped overnight on a secret train, and we remembered music.
But now, winter was trying to force a comeback. Everyone outside stood looking at the pool, wondering what happened. I was shivering, wearing a skirt and thin shirt I’d borrowed from Kate when spring was still a promise.
I saw him from the periphery. From the in-between where the people inside faded into the background, but the people outside were only figures in the night. It made sense; I was a periphery girl.
“Hey,” I said to his back.
When he turned to look at me, I swear the light from the porch surrounded him. But I think I made that up. I think I want to remember him that way. I want to believe there was something that made him special. I want to believe that loneliness doesn’t just mess with our hearts.
“Ellie! You came,” Caleb said.
“I said I would.”
“I know. I wasn’t sure, though. I worried. You’re late.”
I’d walked to the party, after telling my dad I was going to a friend’s. He wouldn’t have stopped me from going to Gina Lynn’s. I didn’t have other friends, so it wouldn’t have made a difference if I’d said her name. But, for some reason, I lied. I lied and I don’t know why I did.
“Yeah, well, I was doing things.”
He laughed. “Mysterious things. Of course. I’d expect nothing less from my Elusive Ellie.”
My. I heard it. The claim he laid on me. I smiled at the word.
He moved closer and I stepped back. It was automatic. Since earlier in the week, by my locker, I hadn’t stopped thinking about the possibility. But now that he was close again, I was scared. I was afraid of the way I knew I’d hurt if he waited months to talk to me again. I didn’t want to fall for a guy just because he’d smiled at me and said my name a few times. I was afraid of what would happen if there was more to it than that, but I was also afraid of how I’d feel if there wasn’t.
“I don’t think I’m supposed to be here,” I said.
I’d always imagined being wanted. Of someone loving me. Choosing me. But here was this boy and if he kissed me, I knew I’d always worry about going back to not being wanted.
Author T.E. Carter
About the Author T.E. Carter was born in New England and has lived in New England for pretty much her entire life. Throughout her career, she’s done a lot of things, although her passion has always been writing. When she’s not writing, she can generally be found reading classic literature, obsessing over Game of Thrones (she’s one hundred percent Team Lannister), playing Xbox, organizing her comic collection, or binge watching baking competitions. She continues to live in New England with her husband and their two cats.
Award-winning author Marlow Kelly is revealing the cover to SUN STORM, the first book in her adult romantic suspense series, The Gathering Storm, releasing August 23, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.
SUN STORM (The Gathering Storm #1) by Marlow Kelly
About the Book – Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited Title: SUN STORM Series: The Gathering Storm #1 Author: Marlow Kelly Publisher: Viceroy Press Release Date: August 23, 2017 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Dr. Marie Wilson is a scientist on the verge of a breakthrough. She has come to Montana on the eve of a blizzard to prove her small, portable solar panel can generate electricity even in the harshest environment. But when four men invade her remote cabin with plans to kill her, she knows she’s in trouble.
Ex-Special Forces soldier, David Quinn, has had enough of danger and death. All he wants is to be left alone on his Montana acreage to pursue his dream of being a beekeeper. But when his old mentor convinces him to help retrieve a stolen solar panel, he thinks it will be a simple job. But the moment he sets eyes on Marie, he knows their assignment is all kinds of wrong.
Together, they escape. Chased by a businessman with unlimited resources, a gunman and a corrupt police force, they are thrust into the frozen Montana landscape. Can a cynical soldier and a naive scientist learn about love and trust in order to survive?
Excerpt A crack of splintering wood and the door crashed open. Marie jumped to her feet, her heart pounding. A scream lodged in her throat as four men burst in, filling the tiny space. She raced to the fireplace and grabbed the poker.
A handsome blond-haired man led the way. He was so good looking he could be an actor. He had a square jaw and wore a well-tailored leather jacket. Even his fair hair was perfectly trimmed. Two burly men followed, both with dark, short-cropped hair. They could be twins. Their thick bodies and the way they swung their arms reminded her of a pair of gorillas. They also had the same flattened nose and malicious, small, dark eyes. They moved to the back of the room near the sink. The last man had unkempt, long, sandy-colored hair. He wore a crumpled, hooded camouflage jacket and baggy gray pants. A long scar ran across one side of his face, starting at his ear and running through his beard, parting it with a jagged white line. He didn’t say a word. He simply nodded at the poker in her hand and shook his head, silently telling her to drop her weapon.
Sensing that any attempt to fight him would be futile, she let it fall to the ground. “You can take the money. I don’t have—”
“Shut up,” the handsome blond barked. A vein on his forehead bulged as he scowled.
Her heart hammered against her ribs. She prayed they would take what they wanted and leave.
Handsome stepped in front of her and placed the barrel of his handgun between her eyes. “Tell us where it is.”
“What are you doing?” The man with the scar strolled over and stood next to her. In her peripheral vision, she could make out his intense, pale, lifeless eyes.
He leaned close to her face so his warm breath touched her cheek. “This is all wrong.”
A small squeal emanated from her throat. He was too close. Too scary. Killer. The word rang through her mind. The scar, those dead eyes, and his demeanor gave the impression of a lethal, terrifying man.
“What do you mean? Our intel is good.” The vein on Handsome’s forehead throbbed to life.
With one finger, Killer nudged the pistol away from her head. “First, how can she tell us where it is when she’s too frightened to talk?”
Handsome shrugged, revealing a smile with perfect white teeth.
Marie released a huge breath. She needed to do something, but couldn’t focus, couldn’t form a coherent thought.
“Second,” Killer continued, “what do we really know about this situation?”
Handsome sneered. “You were in the army. You know how it is. We don’t make the decisions. We follow orders.”
“And what exactly are our orders?” Killer asked, his voice low and calm.
“We’re to retrieve what was stolen and eliminate the girl.”
There had to be a misunderstanding. She was a scientist, not someone who needed to be eliminated.
Author Marlow Kelly
About the Author After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories.
She is an award-winning author, and a member of the Romance Writers of America.
Welcome to the Pre-Order Blitz for MYTHS AND MAGIC – A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection, twenty-one exclusive full-length adult science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romance novels by some of the most creative writers in the genres. See below for information on the collection, pre-order links, and details on various giveaways.
MYTHS AND MAGIC – A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection
Pre-Order MYTHS & MAGIC now and get BONUS GIFTS!
MYTHS & MAGIC sends you on a wild ride across universes where a safe return cannot be guaranteed.
Abolished magic returns to Earth. Telekinetic sorcerers, witches, and fairies discover their powers. Humans become cyborgs. Dragons prowl the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes.
All this and more is packed inside one boxed set overflowing with stories from today’s hottest USA Today and International Bestselling authors!
From dystopian thrillers to steampunk romance, from gothic fantasies to paranormal adventures, come journey with unlikely heroes, valiant shifters, rogue vampires, and even a sensual brujo. Dabble in scientific espionage, thwart scheming sorcerers, and challenge hordes of vengeful demons. And maybe fall in love…
If you’re ready for 21 exclusive full-length novels and novellas, including some BRAND NEW material, in a boxed set where vampires, shifters, ghosts, demons, and even Djinn haunt the pages, then fall into MYTHS & MAGIC, a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and a dash of paranormal romance that will take you to the edge of your imagination
Pre-Order today to secure YOUR copy of this exciting collection!
BONUS GIFTS: The Myths and Magic authors are offering FREE gifts to everyone who pre-orders our boxed set. Don’t miss this amazing deal. $.99 pre-order gets you 21 full-length SF&F and paranormal tales in the boxed set, plus 15 FREE eBooks and an exclusive Myths and Magic coloring eBook. Here’s how you can claim these free gifts:
After pre-ordering your copy of Myths and Magic, head to http://www.subscribepage.com/mythsmagic, enter your e-mail address and your confirmation number (or the store name and date, since some vendors don’t have confirmation numbers). You’ll be sent to a “success” page that shows you all the book covers with links to the download sites and then you’ll receive a one-time courtesy e-mail with the download links as well.
Be sure to like the Myths and Magic Facebook page and join the authors on release day, August 22, 2017, for an all-day release party with tons of giveaways, including a loaded Kindle Fire! https://www.facebook.com/MythsMagicGathering/
Author Mary Ting is unveiling the cover to ISAN, a young adult science fiction/dystopian tale, releasing May 1, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.
ISAN by Mary Ting
About the Book
Title: ISAN Author: Mary Ting Release Date: May 1, 2018 Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian Links: Goodr’eads | Amazon
Synopsis The world has changed.
Scientists warned it would happen.
Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.
Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.
While on a training mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.
Author Mary Ting
About the Author International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
Award-winning author, Erika Kelly, is revealing the cover to MINE FOR THE WEEK, the second book in her adult contemporary romance series, Wild Love, releasing October 3, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links as well as buy links for MINE FOR NOW, book 1 in the series.
Synopsis As the top collegiate shortstop in the country, Ryan O’Donnell’s life is about discipline and training. But a growing restlessness causes him to bail on his baseball team over spring break to join his buddies at an exclusive singles resort. He just needs a few days to escape his life, and then he’ll get right back on track. But not twenty minutes after he arrives he meets HER, and the world as he knows it changes irrevocably. It should only be a hookup—that’s what spring break’s all about—but one taste of this sexy, vibrant woman isn’t enough. He has to have her. Even if it’s only for a week.
Sophie Valentine—yes, that Valentine—just found out her siblings want to sell off Crazy Hearts—the Peeps of the Valentine’s Day world. Being the youngest by eight years, she’s used to feeling left out, but selling off her family’s legacy without talking to her first? Not gonna happen. Upset, she takes off with her friends on their spring break vacation. She only wanted an escape—she never imagined meeting HIM. He’s smoking hot and intensely protective of her—and she loves it. But he’s about to start a major league baseball career, and she’s launching a battle to keep the family company. They have no future. It’s just…she’s never felt this way for anyone before.
Are they really going to walk away from this kind of connection…this passion? Or can a week turn into a lifetime?.
Excerpt Sophie reached for the key in the ignition.
“Move over,” Ryan said.
Tearing off his sunglasses, he stuck his face into the Jeep, forcing her to lean back. “Move over. I’m getting in.”
Struck by all that masculinity, the scent of sun-warmed cotton, soap from his shower, and whatever shampoo he’d used, it took her a moment to answer. He was a formidable presence, and the energy rolling off him overwhelmed her. “You can teach me how to use a stick shift from the passenger seat.”
“I’m not going to teach you. I’m driving you.”
“You can’t drive me to the other side of the island.”
“Wanna bet?” he said.
“Because you’re going to get twenty minutes down the road, stall out, and then what? You’ll be stuck on the road in the middle of nowhere by yourself.”
His intense gaze unnerved her. Stirred up all kinds of inappropriate feelings.“Why are you staring at my mouth?”
His jaw clamped shut. “Because I freaking love your mouth. I can’t stop kissing it, remember?”
Heat rushed up her neck, burning her cheeks. “Yes, I remember. That was very rude of you to bring it up.”
His arms reached over his head, hands clutching the roll-over bar of the Jeep. “Move over, Soph.”
“This isn’t a good idea.”
“I’m not coming back until tomorrow.”
His nostrils flared, but he remained silent.
“And you don’t want to see the volcano.”
“I’m not missing the waterfall with magical properties.” She gave him a meaningful look.
“No.” His lips twitched. “I wouldn’t expect you to.”
When she didn’t budge, he finally looked her right in the eyes and gave her the most searing look she’d ever seen. The heat, the intensity, ignited a flurry of explosions in her chest. Holding her gaze, he said, “I think you know I’m going with you.”
Author Erika Kelly
About the Author Award-winning author ErikaKelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life–she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author.
Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.
USA Today bestselling author, Meghan March, is unveiling an excerpt from BENEATH THE TRUTH, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, releasing August 8, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and the exclusive excerpt.
Synopsis From USA Today bestselling author Meghan March comes the final sexy standalone set in the Beneath world of New Orleans.
I used to believe there were lines in life you don’t cross. Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal.
Until I learned people don’t always practice what they preach. I turned in my badge and gun and walked away from everything. Then I got the call no one wants, and I’m back in New Orleans.
What I don’t expect is for her to be here too.
Another line you don’t cross? Don’t touch your best friend’s little sister.
She’s always been off-limits. Too bad I don’t follow the rules anymore.
“Fine. If you don’t want to play me, I’m sure there’s someone in this bar who will.”
She rose from the bar stool and smoothed her dress down her thighs. I swore it looked longer at the cemetery than it did right now, inching up her toned legs. The shoulders and chest were sheer black lace, as sophisticated as could be, but the lace took on a sexier edge in the dim light of the bar. I’d lay money on her being the classiest thing this place had ever seen. And damn, what those heels did for her . . .
I ripped my gaze away from her ass to focus on her face.
Her lips flattened in obstinate challenge before she strutted toward the pool table. And yeah, I used the word strutted because there was no other way to describe how she walked in those stilettos now that her attitude was flaring.
Heads turned to follow her progress, and two guys jumped off their stools to follow her.
Oh, hell no. Not a chance, assholes.
I pushed off my seat and stalked toward her. Ari’s back was to me when I stopped behind her at the cue rack. She spun around, unaware of my presence, and smacked into my chest, a pool stick trapped between us. She sucked in a breath, jerking her head up.
“Sorry. Didn’t realize you were so close.”
Years ago, she never would have lost track of where I was if we were in the same room. The realization was a blow to my ego, although not unexpected. I no longer made the cut on her priority list, and that stung.
Rather than move and give her space, I reached around her to snag a cue off the rack, letting my arm brush her shoulder.
Ah . . . there it is. Her facial expression remained static, but her involuntary shiver gave her away. Maybe I’m not off the list completely.
I didn’t know why it mattered, but after the last few brutal days, I needed something good to distract me from the shit show that was my life. And there was no doubt in my mind that Ariel Sampson was everything good.
Her spine straightened and she bobbed around me, avoiding contact in favor of racking the balls and lining them up.
“Do you want to break?” she asked.
Ari rolled her eyes and reached for the chalk. With her stick prepped, she leaned over the edge of the table, her ass jutting out and the hem of her dress riding up her thigh.
Lord . . . I groaned silently. This was torture.
Haven’t I been through enough? I tossed the question skyward and received no sign the big man had heard me.
I tore my gaze off her ass and scanned the bar. Mistake. My fist tightened around the pool cue as a reflex, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t use it to smack every jerk in this bar back into line if they didn’t quit staring. Double standard? Sure. But I didn’t care.
With a step behind her, I blocked the most direct view and turned to glare at all of them. Thankfully, Heath’s interest was hooked on the waitress working our table. One by one, the gazes dropped away, and I turned back to Ari, marginally satisfied that they picked up what I was throwing down. Off-limits, assholes.
Ari cursed and stood up straight, leaning lightly on her pool cue. “Dammit. I had that shot.”
I scanned the green felt and found half her balls were missing. “Jesus, what were you doing? Trying to clear the table?”
Her nose went up in the air. “Trying? If I wanted to clear the table, it would be clear. It’s just angles.”
“Brainiac as always.”
Ari shrugged, but I caught a hint of a smile. “Didn’t you hear? It’s cool to be a geek now.”
I had no doubt that wherever she lived in California, she was exactly what was cool. Shit, she had every man’s attention in this bar.
“You were always cool in my book, Red. My turn.” Even though I wanted to wait for her smile, I chalked my cue and sank two shots before missing the third.
“Not bad.” Her nonchalant tone made me grin.
Her eyes finally locked on mine. “I succeed.”
Hell. Why was that statement so damned sexy coming from her lips?
She pushed off her pool cue and spun around to face the table again, her dress sliding up another inch as she bent over the table.
My dick pulsed against my jeans.
Heath is going to kill me.
Author Meghan March
About the Author Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author J.T. Geissinger is unveiling the cover to BURN FOR YOU,an adult contemporary romance releasing October 17, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, and the book’s trailer.
BURN FOR YOU by J.T. Geissinger
About the Book – Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
Title: BURN FOR YOU Author: J.T. Geissinger Release Date: October 17, 2017 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real… Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.
The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.
As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?
Author J.T. Geissinger
About the Author A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.
She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.
Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.
Lyrical Press and author Jen Colly are revealing the cover to SHELTERED, the fourth book in the paranormal romance series, The Cities Below, releasing January 9, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a pre-order links.
Synopsis Only love can save her from certain death. Too bad, she doesn’t believe in love…
When Bette Dautry comes to him, seeking his protection, Guardian Rollin Casteel suspects the mysterious beauty has an ulterior motive. Unable to resist her seductive charms, he soon hungers to mark her as his. Only Bette disappears before he can sink his teeth into her tender flesh, leaving Rollin with one mission: to find her—and to claim her. . . .
Bette seduces Rollin intent on conceiving his child, believing the mother-child bond to be the only kind of love she can sustain—the only kind of love that can keep her alive. But she never expects to feel so much for her strong and silent lover. Then she discovers Rollin is none other than the heir to the Balinese throne—a man too noble—too dear—to play a role in her dark scheme. A man she would willingly die for, if only he would set her free. . . ..
Author Jen Colly
About the Author Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing her first paranormal romance series: The Cities Below. She will write about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her weaknesses are pirates and vampires. She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one big fluffy dog, and four rescued cats. .
Welcome to the pre-order blitz for THE LUCKY HEART, the third book in the adult contemporary romance series, Jamison Valley, by Devney Perry, releasing August 15, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.
THE LUCKY HEART (Jamison Valley #3) by Devney Perry
Synopsis Life on his ranch could be their future. If they can overcome their past.
Felicity’s life story reads like the script to a bad soap opera. Girl’s high-school boyfriend becomes a drug addict. Girl falls for boyfriend’s best friend. Girl leaves them both behind only to return home years later for murdered ex-boyfriend’s funeral. Now she’s back home in Montana, ready to start fresh. She’s got a long list of amends to make and relationships to rebuild, including one with the man who has owned her heart for sixteen years.
Silas doesn’t need much. He’s got a great horse, close friends and the Lucky Heart ranch, but something has always been missing. He’s not an idiot. He knows the missing piece is Felicity. And now that she’s returned to Prescott, he’s got a second chance to win her heart. This time, the only thing standing in his way is history. Drudging up the past is going to be about as painful as playing tug of war with barbed wire. But if they can heal old wounds, he’ll get the girl he should have had all along..
Author Devney Perry
About the Author Devney lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories.
Author Michael W. Garza is revealing the cover to A VEIL OF SHADOWS, the second book in the young adult fantasy series, The Shadow Gate Chronicles, releasing September 22, 2017. See below for information on the book, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR, and links to purchase THE LAST SHADOW GATE, book 1 in the series.
A VEIL OF SHADOWS (The Shadow Gate Chronicles #2) by Michael W. Garza
Synopsis Naomi and Gavin are on the run. Having narrowly escaped Azzmon’s clutches, they find themselves hunted by Malick, another Shade Lord. He has amassed an army of foul creatures, and the city-state of Tarravale stands on the brink of chaos. Naomi’s ability to open Shadow Gates makes her an alluring target, and the Shade Lord will stop at nothing to possess her. The children must find a way to escape before their new world is buried in an unwinnable war.
FAQ: Where did the idea for The Last Shadow Gate come from? This series was in the draft phase for over a decade. I based the characters on my kids and as they grew and developed their own personalities I allowed the characters in the book to do the same. It’s been a labor of love and seeing it finally in print has been a wonderful experience. Every time I read through it I see my daughter and son on every page.
Where do you get your ideas? Ideas for stories come from the strangest places. I never sit down and say ‘let’s write a book’ there’s usually a spark that comes out of nowhere. It’s the littlest things that lead to the big ideas for me. I’m never in a hurry when it comes to writing so I’ll sit on something for quite a while and let it build until I can see an entire adventure from beginning to end. In that way, by the time I sit down to write I usually know exactly where I’m going.
How do you find the time to write? As a father of three, time is always a challenge. Writing is a hobby for me. It’s something I’m passionate about but my focus is usually needed elsewhere. A majority of my writing is done in the quiet of a late night when everyone else is in bed. I take my shots whenever I can get them. I’ve been known to disappear for a short time here and there if I see an opening for a writing opportunity but a majority of the good stuff I get down on paper is done long after everyone else is snoring.
Author Michael W. Garza
About the Author Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them.
Monster House Books and author Genevieve Iseult Eldredge are revealing the cover to OUROBOROS, the second book in the young adult paranormal romance series, The Circuit Fae, releasing March 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links for both books.
OUROBOROS (Circuit Fae #2) by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
Synopsis Syl’s a princess of the fair Fae.
Her girlfriend Rouen is a princess of the dark Fae.
Mortal enemies. Girlfriends.
Relationship status: It’s Complicated
All introverted geek girl Syl Skye wants is to get close to her girlfriend. But when you can kill with a simple touch, a normal date night’s not really in the cards. As it happens, Syl is also a sleeper-princess of the fair Fae. Last year after a freak accident, her power Awakened, granting her white flame to purify the darkness.
Rouen Rivoche is that darkness—a dark Fae princess whose power to bewitch mortals is as terrifying as the violet lightning she controls. Rouen is Syl’s total opposite. Her mortal enemy.
She’s also Syl’s beloved girlfriend.
And even though they joined forces to defeat the evil Circuit Fae who harnessed the killing magic in technology to take over the school…that was so last year.
Now, Syl’s touch could mean Rouen’s death. Her increasing power is spiraling out of control, threatening to burn down everything she and Rouen have built together.
Their lives, their love, their very world.
OUROBOROS (Circuit Fae #2) by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge (Full Cover)
Author Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
About the Author Raised by witches and dragons in the northern wilds, GIE writes angsty urban fantasy YA romance–where girls who are mortal enemies kick butt, take names, and fall in love against all odds.
She enjoys long hikes in the woods (where better to find the fair folk?), believing in fairies (in fact, she’s clapping right now), dancing with dark elves (always wear your best shoes), being a self-rescuing princess (hello, black belt!), and writing diverse books about teenage girls finding love, romance, and their own inner power.
She might be planning high tea at the Fae Court right now.
GIE is multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality.
Author Abbie Roads is revealing a chapter from SAVING MERCY, the first book in the adult romantic thriller series, Fatal Truth. For a limited time, you can pick up the ebook for just $0.99! See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive look at Chapter 1, and details on her giveaway.
Cain Killion knows himself to be a damaged man. His only redeeming quality? The extrasensory connection to blood that he uses to catch killers. His latest case takes a macabre turn when he discovers a familiar and haunting symbol linking the crime to his horrific past—and the one woman who might understand what it means.
Only to lose her to a nightmare.
Mercy Ledger is brave, resilient, beautiful—and in terrible danger. The moment Cain finds her the line between good and evil blurs and the only thing clear to them is that they belong together. Love is the antidote for blood—but is their bond strong enough to overcome the madness that stalks them?
Excerpt It’s a sad testament to the state of humanity that we elevate serial killers to the level of mega-celebrity. ~Ellsworth Garyington, M.D, Journal of Human and Philosophical Studies
The air reeked of dirty pennies and death. Days ago the bodies had been removed, but Cain Killion could still feel the desperate energy of the dying and almost—almost—hear the echoes of their screams imprinted on the bones of the house. He abhorred the sight of blood and yet here he was standing in another murder house, in front of another wall smeared, splattered, and sprayed with gore.
His heart banged against the cage of his ribs, trying to bust out and make a break for it. A bead of sweat slid in agonizing slowness down the center of his spine.
“You don’t look so good.” MacNeil Anderson stepped into his line of sight, diverting his attention away from the blood. The furrows around Mac’s eyes cut deeper than normal and three days’ worth of old man stubble fuzzed his cheeks, giving him a haggard and homeless appearance. Not exactly the look the FBI was going for when they promoted Mac to Senior Special Agent.
Cain almost smiled at his own thoughts, but laughter no longer existed in this place. Only horror could thrive here now.
“Do I ever look good when I’m about to…?” Yeah. There wasn’t a name for what he did. To the bureaucrats with their thumbs jammed up their asses Mac called it profiling—had to call it something. But it wasn’t profiling. Not at all. What he had to do with the blood was something worse than profiling. So much worse.
“This is different.” Mac reached up and put his dry palm on Cain’s forehead. “You sick? Have a fever?”
Cain might be thirty years old and lived on his own since he was eighteen, but Mac had never outgrown the role of his adopted dad.
“You can always walk away.” Mac made this offer at every kill scene.
And every time, Cain’s legs twitched with the urge to run. Only determination, masochism, and the promise of sick satisfaction kept him locked in place. “I’m staying. I always stay.”
“I’d stop calling you out for these cases, but I know you’d just find someone else who would.” Mac’s words were slow and glossed with sadness.
“No one else has the history I have. No one else can do what I do. No one else can give you the information I can.” Yeah. His profiles were more accurate, more detailed than anything a traditional profiler could come up with. In the majority of cases his work guided law enforcement directly to their perpetrator. “It’d be stupid not to call me.” Not to mention he needed to be around that dynamic duo—blood and death. They stripped away his mask of normalcy leaving him naked to the one truth about himself he could never forget.
He was Killer Killion’s Kid—Triple K—the media called him. The spawn of a killer with the genetic predisposition to be a murdering machine. One of the only ways he’d found to curb the ugly urges was to force himself to attend these murder scenes. Force himself to witness the destruction.
His deepest, darkest, dirtiest secret—the thing he would never utter out loud because it terrified him: Sometimes he enjoyed himself.
“Son, you don’t have anything to prove. Not to me.” Mac used a caring tone, but that word—son—threatened to transport Cain back to his childhood. Back to his biological father using that word like a curse.
Not going there.
Cain stepped around Mac and moved to look out at window. The Victorian home sat on a miniature peninsula of land that jutted out into a large pond. Such an odd place for a house. A beautiful place, breathtaking, and yet eerie in its loneliness and total isolation. Just the kind of place Cain loved.
Had location been a consideration for the killer? Had he finished with his bloody work then stood in this very spot staring out the window at the water?
Cain sucked in a breath, held it for as long as his lungs would allow then blew it out slowly. “I know I don’t have anything to prove to you. I do this for me.” He tried to make his tone firm, but it came out a little shaky. Mac the-FBI-guy would hear it, but Mac his-adopted-dad wouldn’t press. Time for a change of subject. “You notice anything odd about this place?”
“It’s not the typical.” Mac’s words were spoken on a sigh. “Not that there is a typical. This just isn’t like any other location I’ve been called to investigate.”
“Yeah. Victorian house. In the woods. On a pond. I get why our guy would like the isolation of this place. But there’s something more. It has to do with…” He had trouble finding to words to describe the gut-level truth inside him. “… all of it. The house. The woods. The pond. The family. It’s like this guy wanted the complete package.”
Mac nodded, his expression serious as a gravedigger. “You get that from the blood?”
“Just a feeling I have.” It was the kind of place he’d choose if he were going to plan a murder. Kind of like how salt and sweet tasted so good together—this was violence and peace in one location.
Enough stalling. He turned away from the window and faced the room.
Three walls were covered in Victorian era wallpaper—rich gold background, red blossoms on a vine, and fancy peacocks. Ostentatious was the word that came to mind. One wall, the longest, largest wall had been painted the same color as the paper’s background. Yeah. Four walls of peacocks and posies might’ve caused bleeding eyeballs.
Finally, he forced himself to look at the blood on the wall. Rosettes of red seeped into the wallpaper, the fat watercolor splotches almost blending in with the flowers.
Mac cleared his throat as if gearing up for a formal speech. “The techs released the scene this morning. They worked round the clock to get everything cataloged and bagged so we could get you on this ASAP. The blood is, of course clean, I wouldn’t have called you in otherwise.” He pointed to the three distinct blood pools. “The family—Dad, Mom, girl—were found here. Killed here, too. Forensics places their time of death at—”
“Mac.” Cain spoke the name loud enough to smother whatever the guy had been about to say. “Quiet.” He needed the absence of sound to see what happened. And he needed to do it now before he pussied out.
Mac clamped his lips closed, nodded, and moved across the room—out of the way.
Just fucking get it over with.
Cain knelt at the altar of blood. The sweet scent of rotting biological material an abomination to his nose and yet, foul anticipation crawled underneath his skin. His mind slid sideways like it always did when around the red stuff. Back to his childhood. Back to a time when he was very much his father’s son. Back to when blood covered his skin—the slick, silky, warmness of it so wrong and yet so horribly soothing at the same time.
He slapped his hands down into the congealed sludge. The coldness sent pleasant shock waves up his arms. He didn’t want to feel pleasure, didn’t want to enjoy this, but that other part of him had terrible intentions. Helpless to stop himself, he smeared his hands around in the red like a kid playing with finger paints. Only when they were coated with the family’s blood did he raise them to his face.
A miniscule part of him rebelled against what he was about to do, but the rebellion was quashed before it began. He spread the blood over his forehead, his cheeks, coating his skin in the thick, sweet, goo. He painted his neck, his bare arms, then lifted his T-shirt and wiped his hands on his chest.
His head fell back on his shoulders. His breath came in shallow, hyper-ventilating gulps. From a distance, he heard himself moan, only it wasn’t a moan—it was more like the yowling of a feral cat fighting for its life. Or getting ready to mate.
Blood did that to him—was a pleasure and a pain. A gift and a curse.
He had a complicated relationship with blood. He hated it. He loved it. Blood was a conduit, a link, a connection, between him and those who slayed souls. Blood opened a doorway, allowing him to step into the mind and body of those who found bliss in ending life. He became the killer. He saw what the killer saw. Did what the killer did. Felt what the killer felt.
An incandescent light flashed behind his eyelids. Cain was gone. He was now the killer.
He stood on a ladder, rolling simple white primer on the wall.
A song had been locked inside his head for months and only now was it time to give voice to the words.
Lift your feet when you Dance around the old well, Be careful or you’ll tumble pell-mell. Look into the dark, dark, waters For the blood of your fathers.
Show some courage young man, Find your calling young man.
He loved the song. He hated the song. But that was life, wasn’t it? It was all one big paradox.
A breathy sound intruded. He turned on the ladder to see the ones on the floor.
They were laid out in a neat row in the middle of the room. Each of them on their stomachs, hands bound behind their backs and tied to the shackles on their feet, mouths obliterated by duct tape. The male’s wrists were hamburger, dripping blood from fighting against the metal cuffs. But none of them struggled now.
Their faces were wet from tears, or maybe sweat—didn’t really matter—and splotchy red and pale. The child grunted.
“Do you want to sing along?” He used a soft tone, the same as he would if he were cajoling a whipped dog. “I will let you, but you must sing it properly. No mistakes.”
More tears slicked the girl’s face and dripped on the drop cloth underneath her. A bubble of snot blew from her nostril and hovered there waiting to pop. She shrank from him. The female seal-humped herself up and over the girl as if to hide the child beneath her body.
Oh, well. He wouldn’t allow them to destroy the pure freedom of this moment. He turned back to his task, losing himself in his song once more.
Save pomegranate seeds
as payment for the ferry man, Offer red, red wine
as payment to the bar man. Carve some red, red meat
as food for the hungry man. Show some courage young man, Find your calling young man.
And then, the wall was done, the completion of it sneaking up on him like a surprise party. He stepped off the ladder, moved it to the side to have an unobstructed view and then unzipped his painter’s coveralls and let them slide down his body.
The cool air whispered over his naked flesh like an endearment, the sensation wonderful after the confines of the material. His head fell back on his shoulders and he stood there absorbing and savoring. Everything from this moment to his finish would be carefully recorded in his memory. No matter what happened, no one could erase his memories. They were his alone—safe and untouchable—to be lovingly replayed until his death.
The female sobbed, deep throaty sounds similar to gagging. He faced the ones on the floor and used a gentle voice. “I do understand this is distressing for you, but I—” He dropped his tone a couple of octaves to show his seriousness. “—need. Complete. Silence.” He took his time, meeting and holding each one of their gazes before he continued. “I need to rest now.”
Only when they all quieted did he sit on the couch he had moved to face the wall. The material he’d spread over the cushions—couldn’t risk leaving DNA when he left—scratched against his ass and testicles, but that couldn’t be helped. He laid back, stretched out, waiting for his body to relax.
The blank canvas before him was a beautiful thing. All the potential in the world was right here. A picture waiting to be born.
He emptied his mind of all thoughts and feelings and stared at the wall. He stared, unblinking, until his vision yellowed and then darkened into something that looked akin to an x-ray. He stared, until tears watered his cheeks and his eyes burned like hot coals in their sockets. Only then did he catch a flash of what needed to be created—all he needed was a glimpse.
Wings. He saw wings.
He was about to create a masterpiece in blood.
A sense of timelessness came over him as he killed and painted. Painted and killed. He lost himself in his work. Not thinking about anything, just letting his hands wield the brushes mindless of the image he produced. When the blood was nearly gone and an image had been born upon the wall he came back to himself.
He stepped away from the wall taking more and more of it in with each footstep until he stood on the other side of the room, taking in the full magnitude.
The color contrast of blood on white was as breathtaking and beautiful as a flock of cardinal against the brilliance of snow. Tears burned his eyes. His face stung, and a wild freedom he’d hadn’t experienced in years surged through him. He recognized the feeling. In this moment he was God. The author of destruction. And creation.
The image he’d painted was so… No words existed to convey the gloriousness. Words were small and meaningless compared to this wall.
On the wall—a man knelt, head bowed, hair falling forward, shielding his face from view. Even in that supplicant’s position, supremacy and authority radiated from him. He looked like the strongest of warriors after a great battle—exhausted, but not weak. No. Never weak. There wasn’t an ounce of vulnerability in his sinew, muscle, and bone. Nor was there any delicacy to the lacework of scars marring the skin of his arms. And on his chest, directly over his heart were two criss-crossed slashes that dripped blood down his torso.
Surrounding him were a magnificent pair of wings. Not the kind you’d see on a sparrow or even on a chubby cupid, but the kind of wings that conveyed power and strength and utter indestructibility.
He loved the picture as he loved himself.
* * *
An incandescent flash and Cain returned to reality, to the stench of decomposing blood smeared over his face.
His brain re-categorized everything that he’d just seen and done into the it-wasn’t-really-me file. But that didn’t take the feelings away. The awe spreading through his chest at what he’d seen. The guilt sinking into his gut because he’d had no remorse.
A dull thumping started behind his eyes. Usually when he did his blood work, he was there for only a few seconds before skipping on to the next images and the next. Those flashes gave him a migraine every time, but seeing entire scenes like this…The migraine was gonna be a badass bitch today. He had maybe ten minutes before the pain ratcheted up to the level of axe-buried-in-his-brain.
Mac handed him a black towel—black concealed the blood better than any other color.
“You back?” Mac knelt next to him, his face full of concern, but Cain could see the concealed disgust in the way Mac’s mouth turned down at the corners, like he was fighting an outright grimace.
That look—especially when it was aimed at him—always took him back to the moment Mac found him. When Cain had been covered in snot and blood and shame. He had to give it Mac, the guy had tried to hide his horror, tried to pretend Cain was just a kid when he’d never been a kid. He’d been more monster than anything.
Cain scrubbed the material over his face, his arms, wiped his hands. The blood on his body—so thick and dry it smeared into his skin—would only come off after a good scouring down in a scalding shower.
He turned his attention to the image on the wall. But… There was no image, instead the wall had been painted gold, perfectly coordinated with the rest of the room. Mac must’ve called him back before the killer covered up his work with the paint.
His legs wobbled when he stood. His hand shook like an alcoholic in need of his jolly juice, but he pointed at the wall. “He painted a picture.” His brain bashed against the backs of his eyeballs. He wanted to press his hands to his eyes to keep them from exploding out of their sockets, but his hands were smeared with the family’s blood. The pain was only beginning.
“I… I don’t know what you mean.” Mac’s tone was full of question.
“He painted the wall white—made a blank canvas. Then he created a portrait—using the family’s blood—of some guy—” Cain closed his eyes, seeing on the back of his lids the scars lined up and down the man’s arms, the slashes over his heart, just like the ones on his—
“Fuck!” His lids popped open, his gaze automatically sought the wall, hoping to see the actual image again, but gold paint pulsed in his vision from the thumping inside his head. He held his arms out in front of him. Underneath the thin coating of blood on his skin, a network of white slashes ran from his wrists to his shoulders.
The wounds had healed decades ago, but the scars still remained. He pulled his shirt up high, and looked down at his chest stained with drying blood. A thick white criss-crossed scar rested over his heart—cut into his flesh by his father. Every scar on his body—placed there by his father.
“What is it?” Mac’s tone was full of question, mixed with a bit of suspicion. “You’ve got to talk to me. I don’t know what’s going on.”
Cain’s heart galloped up and down his rib cage, but he forced himself to speak slowly and quietly—in deference to the axe beating against his skull. He told Mac everything he’d seen and everything he remembered about the artwork in blood. “It’s there. You can’t see it, but it’s there. I’m there. Underneath that gold paint.”
It took a lot to catch Mac off guard and score one for Cain—he’d just done it.
Mac’s mouth was slightly open, lips twitching like they were trying to form words, until a one finally spilled out. “Infrared.” The word came out soft and hesitant. “We might be able to see the image using infrared photography.” Things went quiet for a moment while Mac stared at the perfectly painted gold wall. “Why paint you? Why not paint Killion? I mean people are obsessed with you both, but why choose you over him? And this guy made it clear it was you he painted. Without those scars we would’ve thought it was Killion.”
Yes. Cain was cursed with looking too much like his father—like one of the world’s most horrendous killers. It usually took a double-take and some head scratching before people realized he wasn’t Killer Killion.
Mac shook his head. “But then our guy covered up what he’d painted. Probably thinking we’d never know the image was there.”
“He even fucking signed it.” Cain didn’t realize until the words exited his mouth that he had seen a signature.
“He put his name on it?”
“Not his name. A symbol.” Cain wiped his hands harder on the towel then dropped it on the floor. He yanked his cell from his back pocket, and tapped on the art pad app. The white light from the phone lasered into his skull. It was all he could do to keep his eyes open and not groan out loud. He drew a Christian cross then put a hook on the bottom of it that looked like an upside down question mark “You’ve seen this before. I’ve seen this before.”
He showed the image to Mac and watched the guy’s face turn pink, then tomato with recognition.
“Yeah.” Cain voice was straight as a line. “It’s from my father’s last kill. But he didn’t do this. Not unless Petesville Super Max allows weekend furloughs.”
Mac snorted. “Only way he’s getting out of there is in a body bag.”
Couldn’t happen soon enough. His father was a stain on humanity. “So we know he didn’t do this.”
“But…” Mac’s words disappeared for eight thumps of Cain’s brain. “The girl—Mercy Ledger—made that mark on the wall as she was bleeding out from your father cutting… From her throat being cut. It didn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“Didn’t mean anything until today. That symbol was at that scene twenty years ago and it’s here now.”
Mac shook his head slowly like an old dog with neck problems. “No one ever questioned her about it. The prints on the wall were hers. Jesus—we need to find Mercy Ledger.”
Mac didn’t say it, but Cain knew how the man’s brain worked. Mac thought Mercy must’ve done this. “She didn’t do this. She’s been locked down in The Center of Balance and Wellness for the past few years.” The words popped out his mouth before he censored them. And he really should’ve censored them.
He lifted his arm, pressed his eyes against a clean patch of material near his shoulder, and spoke without looking at Mac. “I—” Yeah. Just what was he going to say? It wasn’t like he could confess that he’d been checking up on Mercy Ledger for the past twenty years. That would make him sound like a damned stalker. And stalking was considered the gateway drug to killing. “Liz told me.” Bold faced, flat-out, flaming-bright lie. And Mac would know it. The guy was trained to spot a lie at thirty paces. And yet, Cain would rather endure the cost of the lie, than spend the truth. Call him chicken shit—he would own it. He kept his eyes closed against his shoulder.
“Isn’t that a violation of confidentiality or something?” Mac worded it as a question, but it sounded like a statement. “Liz could lose her nursing license.”
But Liz hadn’t actually told him. He’d guessed. He’d known Liz long before he’d met Mac. In those dark days of childhood, his father had forced Cain to work with him at The Center. Liz had been a night nurse and the only person to ever show kindness to him. Even after his father had been caught, she remained a part of Cain’s life—babysitting him when Mac was away for work. She was one of the few people he considered a friend and the closest thing he’d ever had to a mother. And now he’d tossed her in front of the bus because he was a pussy.
The quiet closed in around him. His head felt like it was about to burst off his shoulders. His stomach started rolling.
“The Center?” Mac finally broke the quiet. “That’s a horrible irony.”
And it was. That Mercy Ledger had lived the past few years of her life among the same hallways his father had roamed as a janitor was beyond irony. It was downright wrong.
In a recent online auction, the knife Adam Killion used in the Ledger family murders sold for a record breaking 2.3 million dollars. The Son of Sam Law prohibits convicted felons from profiting from their crime, but someone just made a fortune.
~J. C. Brown, www.criminalnewsinvestigations.com
Author Abbie Roads
About the Author Seven Things about Abbie Roads:
She loves Snicker Parfaits. Gotta start with what’s most important, right?
She writes dark emotional books featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.
By day she’s a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. At night she burns up the keyboard. Well… Burn might be too strong a word. She at least sits with her hands poised over the keyboard, waiting for inspiration to strike. And when it does—the keyboard might get a little warm.
She can’t stand it when people drive slowly in the passing lane. Just saying. That’s major annoying. Right?
She loves taking pictures of things she thinks are pretty.