Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – REWIRED by S.R. Johannes

REWIRED Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for REWIRED, a stand-alone young cyber thriller, by S.R. Johannes. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can purchase the ebook for just $3.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

REWIRED by S.R. Johannes

REWIRED by S.R. Johannes

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited.
Title:
 REWIRED
Author: S.R. Johannes
Publisher: Coleman & Stott
Release Date: August 27, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Cyber Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
YA cyber thriller, ReWIRED, by Shelli Johannes-Wells (writing as S.R. Johannes), which offers a fresh and exciting new take on the genre, and could be described as Ally Carter’s HEIST SOCIETY meets THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO for teens.

Sixteen-year-old Ada Lovelace is never more alive and sure of herself than when she’s hacking into a “secure” network as her alter ego, the Dark Angel. In the real world, Ada is broken, reeling from her best friend Simone’s recent suicide. But online, the reclusive daughter of Senator Lovelace (champion of the new Online Privacy Bill) is a daring white hat hacker and the only female member of the Orwellians, an elite group responsible for a string of high-profile hacks against major corporations, with a mission to protect the little guy. Ada is swiftly proving she’s a force to be reckoned with, when a fellow Orwellian betrays her to the FBI. To protect her father’s career, Ada is sent to ReBoot, a technology rehab facility for teens…the same rehab Simone attended right before killing herself.

It’s bad enough that the ReBoot facility is creepy in an Overlook-Hotel-meets-Winchester-Mansion way, but when Ada realizes Simone’s suicide is just one in an increasingly suspicious string of “accidental” deaths and “suicides” occurring just after kids leave ReBoot, Ada knows she can’t leave without figuring out what really happened to her best friend. The massive cyber conspiracy she uncovers will threaten everything she cares about–her dad’s career, her new relationship with a wry, handsome, reformed hacker who gets under her skin, and most of all–the version of herself Ada likes best–the Dark Angel.

With a deliciously twisty plot, the topical bite of Cory Doctorow’s LITTLE BROTHER, ReWIRED delves into technology addiction, internet privacy, and corporate/government collection of data, as it vividly illuminates the universally human questions about ethics, privacy, and self-definition that both underpin these socio-political issues and dovetail with classic coming-of-age themes. Ultimately, ReWIRED is about the daily choices we all make about who we want to be, how much of ourselves we choose to share with others, and the terrifying risks and exhilarating rewards of being ourselves, online and off..

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Excerpt #3
The lab smells like burned toast.

Fisher races back in the room. “Ada, I think this place is on fire. We gotta go.” When I finish uploading the files, he grabs my hand and yanks me out of the room.

We race down the hall and push through a door that leads us to an empty stale room with nothing but a mahogany fireplace in one corner. The small space is already filling with thick, black smoke, and the heat is unbearable. When I glance back, the steel door starts to turn red from the intense temperatures.

This must be what hell feels like.

Fisher tugs on my sleeve. “This place is going to torch quickly. It’s a freakin’ tinderbox.”

And he’s right, the place is already blazing with fire. My eyes burn as I cover my mouth with my shirt, coughing. “Which way?”

“There.” He points in the opposite direction.

As we weave through the labyrinth of suffocating rooms and tiny hallways, neither of us speaks. The air is heavy with soot, burning my throat. Thick gray spirals of smoke crawl out of the cracks in the walls, curling finger-like tendrils around my throat.

I try to control my smoke intake. “Now what?” I choke out.

“Breathe shallow, stay low, and keep moving.” He hands me his handkerchief. “Keep this over your mouth.”

We wind through the twisting hall until we reach a stairway. Flames nip at our heels like a pack of seething dogs. The searing air singes the tiny hairs on my face. I panic and gulp in dirty air, igniting a fit of hacking. The fire alarm remains silent, so I’m guessing help is out of the question. It’s possible that no one at ReBoot is aware of the danger stewing behind the main house.

I holler into the rag, muffling the rising panic in my voice. “We’re trapped!”

Fisher dashes around, frantically opening and slamming cupboards, searching for a hidden escape route. In this place, you never know. The fire prowls across the floor, roaring at anything in its path. The flames chase us, rolling in from all sides.

Fisher steps on a trapdoor in the floor. “Here!” He dusts off the opening with his shoes and jerks the round latch. The wood planks squeak open, revealing a kitchen on the floor below us. He drops through the hole and lands in a kneeling position on the rusted stove.

A beam in the ceiling splits and comes crashing down behind me. I scream and lower myself through the opening, hanging by my hands.

“Drop!” Fisher screams.

I release my grip and hit the counter.

This time, he breaks my fall by grabbing my waist, but pain sears through my sore leg. I crumple to the floor. Without missing a beat, Fisher scoops me up and races toward an exit, half carrying me.

Somewhere in the maze, a door slams. Clunky footsteps cross the floor moving closer and closer.

“Someone’s chasing us,” I hiss under my breath.

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Author S.R. Johannes

Author S.R. Johannes

About the Author
S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She is a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.

Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books.

Currently, she lives in Atlanta, GA with her English-accented husband and the huge imaginations of their prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.

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Where to Find S.R. Johannes
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Teaser + Giveaway – MORE THAN A RISK (More Than a Threat) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

MORE THAN A RISK Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for MORE THAN A RISK, the second book in the adult romantic suspense series, More Than a Threat, by Kennedy L. Mitchell. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up MORE THAN A THREAT, book 1 in the series, for just $0.99!

MORE THAN A RISK (More Than a Threat #2) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

MORE THAN A RISK (More Than a Threat #2) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

About the Book
Title: MORE THAN A RISK
Series: More Than a Threat #2
Author: Kennedy L. Mitchell
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: August, 2017
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay
Book 1 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay – NOW ON SALE For a Limited Time!

Synopsis
Is a life worth living if you don’t risk it all for the one you love?

Shot and left for dead, Dr. Kate Wheeler doesn’t know what to expect when she wakes in a hospital room, especially she sees him. It would take a lot to win her back after abandoning her when she needed him most, which he is prepared to do, but Kate has never been one to give in easily. A surprise visit from a friend pulls Kate into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a local business man, full of dark secrets.

It’s up to Kate to bring this man down knowing her father, the Dallas DA, won’t prosecute without evidence; evidence she is willing to do anything to get. With the love of her life shadowing her every move, will Kate risk losing him to save the lives of others?

When Kate’s charade takes a dangerous turn will Weston be enough to bring her back from the edge, or is it too late for it to matter? Hearts and lives are at risk and Kate and Weston’s fiery relationship returns in this second book of the More Than a Threat series.

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MORE THAN A RISK Teaser 2

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MORE THAN A THREAT Sale

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Author Kennedy L. Mitchell

Author Kennedy L. Mitchell

About the Author
I live in Dallas but I am not a Texan by birth, I am a transplant from Tennessee and married a true Texan so I had to stay. We live in a older home in Dallas proper with our son and goldendoodle (who is roughly the size of a pony).

Writing isn’t my day job, however it is my joy and favorite hobby. I enjoy sending my friends new chapters nightly and hearing their reactions the next day. That is why I write, being published is just a bonus really. My real job is the same every day, but at night I get to be someone else and write about all these fun adventures and sexcapades:) When I’m writing you can find me on the couch, earbuds in and a full glass of wine beside me. Music inspires my stores, at the end of each book I list the playlist that helped me through writing the novel.

When I am not working or writing, I am reading. I go through about 3 books a week and I am 100% sure that I’m that annoying person at book-club that gets on to people when they are not keeping up with the monthly readings or suggest the movie is as good as a book (Sometimes I wish I could vote those people out of book-club like they do on Survivor. “The tribe has spoken”).

My favorite authors that inspire my writing are: Colleen Hoover, Sarah J. Maas, Sandra Brown, and Rainbow Rowell..

Where to Find Kennedy L. Mitchell
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – BODY PARTS by Jessica Kapp

BODY PARTS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BODY PARTS, a stand-alone young adult science fiction thriller, by Jessica Kapp. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, the book’s trailer, and details on her giveaway.

BODY PARTS by Jessica Kapp

BODY PARTS by Jessica Kapp

About the Book
Title: BODY PARTS
Author: Jessica Kapp
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | IndieBound | Audible

Synopsis
People would kill for her body.

Raised in an elite foster center off the California coast, sixteen-year-old Tabitha’s been sculpted into a world-class athlete. Her trainers have told her she’ll need to be in top physical condition to be matched with a loving family, even though personal health has taken a backseat outside the training facility. While Tabitha swims laps and shaves seconds off her mile time, hoping to find a permanent home, the rest of the community takes pills produced by pharmaceutical giant PharmPerfect to erase their wrinkles, grow hair, and develop superhuman strength.

When Tabitha’s finally paired, instead of being taken to meet her new parents, she wakes up immobile on a hospital bed. Moments before she’s sliced open, a group of renegade teenagers rescues her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement factory for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next in line to be harvested.

Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by moody and mysterious Gavin Stiles. As they race to infiltrate the hospital and uncover the rest of PharmPerfect’s secrets, though, Tabitha finds herself with more questions than answers. Will trusting the enigmatic group of rebels lead her back to the slaughterhouse?

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Trailer

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Excerpt
The exit door buzzes. My breath catches when I notice it’s not a trainer—it’s Ms. Preen. And, she’s holding a red file, which can only mean one thing.

One of us is getting out.

Her heels make quick, light clicks as she crosses the floor past the weight equipment and yoga mats. She crinkles her nose as she moves through the thick cloud of sweat. By the time she reaches us, Meghan’s out of the pool. We stand, two-dozen bodies huddled together, anxious to hear the news. I scan my friends’ faces, wondering whose turn it is to go. Parker wraps his free arm around me. I imagine this is how a gymnast feels after a routine, waiting for her scores. Did I perform well enough? Could I have done more?

Will I win the ultimate prize: a family?

Ms. Preen presses through to the pool area, but stands far from our group, as if she thinks we’ll throw her in.

It’s crossed our minds before.

The light shines off her blonde bob, and her face is flawless. Freeze-dried, we like to say.

“Where is she?” Ms. Preen looks at our group as if she can’t tell us apart, which is probably true. Even though she pops in at least once a month to check on our vitals, she isn’t interested in getting to know us. She’s the one in charge of pairing us with families, but all she knows is what we’re good at. Meghan is the fast one; Paige climbs like she’s part monkey; Parker’s built like a brick house; and me, I have the lungs.

“The redhead, where is she?”

All eyes turn to me.

“We have names, you know,” Paige says, her voice curt. “Hers is Tabitha. T-A-B…”

Ms. Preen pulls a piece of paper out of the file, holding it up toward the row of skylights to read it. “Yes. She’s the one.”

Parker tightens his hold on me and I clasp my hands together to stop them from shaking. Ms. Preen doesn’t need to know I’m nervous. I’m supposed to be elated, ready to go. Maybe I’ve been fooling myself.

I wiggle out of Parker’s grip to step forward. “That’s me.”

Ms. Preen shoves the paper back into the file. “Get dressed. I’m taking you for your final screening. If you pass, you’ll be out tomorrow.” Her voice is hard and she turns to walk away.

I glance back at the group, at the faces I’ve known since childhood. They’re excited for me, but I can see the disappointment in their eyes. I know the look, because up until today I’ve watched friends leave, waiting for my turn.

Now that it is, I can’t move.

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Author Jessica Kapp

Author Jessica Kapp

About the Author
Jessica Kapp enjoys writing Young Adult Contemporary and Speculative Fiction. Story ideas often strike at inopportune times, and she’s been known to text herself reminders from under the covers.

She lives on a small farm in Washington with far too many goats and an occasional cow.

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Where to Find Jessica Kapp
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – CHOOSING HOPE by Holly Kammier

CHOOSING HOPE Cover Reveal

Bestselling author, Holly Kammier, is unveiling the cover to CHOOSING HOPE, a stand-alone adult romance/thriller, releasing October 31, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

CHOOSING HOPE by Holly Kammier

CHOOSING HOPE by Holly Kammier

About the Book
Title:
CHOOSING HOPE
Author:
Holly Kammier
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Genre: Adult Romance/Thriller
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Choosing Hope is a harrowing story of passion and deceit, the things we do for love and the rabbit holes we tumble into chasing elusive fairy-tale endings. Dark around the edges with a shocking twist I didn’t see coming, this is the kind of book you’ll be passing around to your friends so you can talk about it. Holly Kammier delivers romance, suspense, and a strong, smart heroine who turns out to be nobody’s victim. Don’t miss this one! – Kat Ross, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea

A broken marriage.
A love affair.
A lie that changes it all…

Hope Rains Sullivan is living the dream—a successful husband, two beautiful young boys, and a charming home in Northern California. She should be happy. She almost convinced herself she was, until Adrian came along.

Adrian, appears to be everything her husband isn’t. He works with his hands, and is even willing to use them in a fight. He’s sexy, strong and fit, with warm brown skin that alludes to his Spanish background. Best of all, he lives for spending time with his kids. Feeling alone in her marriage, Adrian offers her a way out

Hope’s affair is just the beginning. Her journey inward will require untangling her complicated past and surviving an astonishing revelation. Her lover is not who he pretends to be.

She’s searching for her happily-ever-after, and no matter how painful the journey, she’ll find what she’s been looking for all along—the chance to choose Hope.

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Author Holly Kammier

Author Holly Kammier

About the Author
Holly Kammier is a former journalist who has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon. A UCLA honors graduate, she is the author of Kingston Court, her debut novel.

Choosing Hope, her second soon-to-be released novel, is a cross-over to Kingston Court with overlapping characters and locations.

The California native and mother of two, lives in San Diego, California close to her family and friends. Co-Founder of Acorn Publishing, Holly is available for speaking engagements and content editing..

Where to find Holly Kammier
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Book Blitz – Teaser + Giveaway – MORE THAN A RISK (More Than a Threat) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

MORE THAN A RISK Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for MORE THAN A RISK, the second book in the adult romantic suspense series, More Than a Threat, by Kennedy L. Mitchell. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.

MORE THAN A RISK (More Than a Threat #2) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

MORE THAN A RISK (More Than a Threat #2) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

About the Book
Title: MORE THAN A RISK
Series: More Than a Threat #2
Author: Kennedy L. Mitchell
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: August, 2017
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay
Book 1 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Is a life worth living if you don’t risk it all for the one you love?

Shot and left for dead, Dr. Kate Wheeler doesn’t know what to expect when she wakes in a hospital room, especially she sees him. It would take a lot to win her back after abandoning her when she needed him most, which he is prepared to do, but Kate has never been one to give in easily. A surprise visit from a friend pulls Kate into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a local business man, full of dark secrets.

It’s up to Kate to bring this man down knowing her father, the Dallas DA, won’t prosecute without evidence; evidence she is willing to do anything to get. With the love of her life shadowing her every move, will Kate risk losing him to save the lives of others?

When Kate’s charade takes a dangerous turn will Weston be enough to bring her back from the edge, or is it too late for it to matter? Hearts and lives are at risk and Kate and Weston’s fiery relationship returns in this second book of the More Than a Threat series.

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MORE THAN A RISK Teaser

 

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Author Kennedy L. Mitchell

Author Kennedy L. Mitchell

About the Author
I live in Dallas but I am not a Texan by birth, I am a transplant from Tennessee and married a true Texan so I had to stay. We live in a older home in Dallas proper with our son and goldendoodle (who is roughly the size of a pony).

Writing isn’t my day job, however it is my joy and favorite hobby. I enjoy sending my friends new chapters nightly and hearing their reactions the next day. That is why I write, being published is just a bonus really. My real job is the same every day, but at night I get to be someone else and write about all these fun adventures and sexcapades:) When I’m writing you can find me on the couch, earbuds in and a full glass of wine beside me. Music inspires my stores, at the end of each book I list the playlist that helped me through writing the novel.

When I am not working or writing, I am reading. I go through about 3 books a week and I am 100% sure that I’m that annoying person at book-club that gets on to people when they are not keeping up with the monthly readings or suggest the movie is as good as a book (Sometimes I wish I could vote those people out of book-club like they do on Survivor. “The tribe has spoken”).

My favorite authors that inspire my writing are: Colleen Hoover, Sarah J. Maas, Sandra Brown, and Rainbow Rowell..

Where to Find Kennedy L. Mitchell
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Review + Giveaway – TRAP AND TRACE by Megan Carney

TRAP AND TRACE Blog Tour

TRAP AND TRACE by Megan Carney

TRAP AND TRACE by Megan Carney

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
A sabotaged CIA operation makes Navy Trent a captive. But surviving the kidnapping is just the beginning of her ordeal. The CIA will kill her if she doesn’t stay quiet. The saboteurs will kill her if she does. Navy is forced into a high-tech, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse where only her wits – and a little bit of luck – can keep her alive.

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My Review
Navy Trent’s life is turned upside down when she’s mistaken for an influential senator’s niece and is kidnapped by terrorists attempting to get the identities of CIA operatives. Her ability to escape and rescue her friends isn’t the end of her ordeal, it’s only the beginning. She knows more about what happened than she’s supposed to and someone wants to keep her quiet. Maybe permanently. TRAP AND TRACE is a fast-paced, wild ride, part thriller, part suspense, part mystery. I wasn’t sure I was going to like Navy in the beginning, but she won me over.

Plot
The book was expertly plotted. There were so many twists and turns, all of which were perfectly foreshadowed. I loved that I never knew what was going to happen next. Just when I thought I had it figured out, I was proven wrong. My only complaint is that there was a lot of repetitiveness, the same things being told from different points of view, that had me skimming portions.

Characters
I wasn’t sure about Navy at first. She seemed almost too contrived, but as the story unfolded and I learned more about her, it became apparent that everything she did was well within her established character. I loved the entire cast, from Jackson, to Byron, to Erin. Even William came across as the total tool he was for completely plausible reasons.

What I Enjoyed About TRAP AND TRACE
1. Plotting.
The plotting was among the best I’ve ever read!

2. Research. The author did her homework. The world of spies felt authentic and even something as simple as the right way to meditate was accurate.

3. Unexpected Twists. Kept me turning pages long after I should have gone to sleep.

4. Characters. Rich and complex, they drive the story in ways lesser characters couldn’t.

5. The End. No spoilers, here, but it was perfect.

Bottom Line
Expertly plotted suspense with so many unexpected twists. Will be reading more by this author!

Disclaimer
I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: TRAP AND TRACE
Author: Megan Carney
Pages: 453
Category: Adult Suspense/Thriller/Adventure
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Megan Carney

Author Megan Carney

About the Author
Megan Carney is an author, geek and amateur photographer living in the Twin Cities. She has ten years of experience in the field of computer security. Her previous short story publications include: ‘Flighty Youth’ in the Raritan, ‘Modern Mayhem’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Swing By Close’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Directions’ in the Bell Tower. ‘Swing By Close’ and ‘Directions’ both won first prize in the fiction sections of that issue. The Christian Science Monitor dubbed her self-published photography book, ‘Signs of My Cities’ as having “youthful zest.”

Her non-literary creations include: a robot to clean the bathroom tub, Zim and Gir costumes, No-Dig tomato stakes, StickFriend the bear bag hanger, and a burning coal costume so she could be Katniss for a night.

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Where to Find Megan Carney
Goodreads | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt – PERILOUS TRUST by Barbara Freethy

PERILOUS TRUST Release Day

Welcome to the blog tour for PERILOUS TRUST, the first book in the adult romantic suspense series, Off the Grid, by #1 New York Times bestselling author, Barbara Freethy, See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

PERILOUS TRUST (Off the Grid #1) by Barbara Freethy

PERILOUS TRUST (Off the Grid #1) by Barbara Freethy

About the Book
Title: PERILOUS TRUST
Series: Off the Grid #1
Author: Barbara Freethy
Publisher: Fog City Publishing, LLC
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
In PERILOUS TRUST, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy brings you the first book in a new romantic suspense series! OFF THE GRID: An FBI Trilogy offers three breath-stealing books filled with action-packed plot, heart-stopping romance, and page-turning suspense.

It was one dark night that brought Damon Wolfe and Sophie Parker together. They were two tortured souls, looking for escape, and they weren’t supposed to see each other ever again…

Four years later, Sophie’s FBI father, who is also Damon’s mentor, is killed in a suspicious car crash after leaving Sophie a cryptic message to trust no one from the agency. When Damon shows up looking for her, she isn’t sure if he’s friend or enemy, but she knows he could easily rip apart what is left of her heart.

The last thing Damon wants is to get involved with Sophie again. It was hard enough to walk away the first time. But she’s in trouble, her father’s reputation is under attack, and the lives of his fellow agents are at stake if there’s a traitor in their midst.

When someone starts shooting at them, they have no choice but to go on the run and off the grid. Everyone in their world becomes a suspect. They want to uncover the truth, but will it turn out to be the last thing they expect? Proving her father’s innocence might just cost them their hearts…and their lives…

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Excerpt
“Why did you run away from your apartment, your friends, your father’s coworkers? Why did you just disappear, Sophie?” Damon asked.

“Because someone killed my dad.”

“It’s possible it was an accident.”

“You don’t believe that any more than I do.”

“Maybe not, but I think something specific spooked you.”

“You mean like the two men I saw going into my apartment building?”

“You saw the men who broke into your apartment?” he asked in surprise.

“I don’t know if they were the ones, but they could have been.”

“What did they look like?”

“Law enforcement, maybe—I don’t know.”

Damon stared back at her, and she could see him running through her words in his head. “Why would you be afraid of law enforcement when your father is FBI?”

“Gut instinct,” she lied, knowing she wouldn’t have been afraid at all if her father hadn’t told her to be. “And it looks like I was right to run. If I’d gone to my apartment, who knows what would have happened?”

His lips drew into a hard line. “Look, Sophie, I want to help you.”

“Why? Why on earth would you want to help me?”

His gaze darkened, and the air sizzled between them as they found themselves back in a place probably neither of them wanted to revisit, but they were there all the same.

“We’re not friends,” she said quickly, needing to break the tension. “We’re not anything. We haven’t seen each other in four years. Why do you care where I am, what I’m doing? Is it because of loyalty to my dad? That has to be it, right? Nothing else could have made you drive all the way up here.”

“I should have called you after that night,” he said.

“I’m not looking for an apology.”

“Aren’t you?”

“No. Maybe. No,” she said, hating to sound so uncertain. “None of that is important now. I have bigger problems.”

“Then let’s talk about now,” he said, relief in his eyes as he changed the subject. “I respected your father. He was a mentor to me. I owe him for that, and I know that he would want me to help you. He trusted me, and I hope you can trust me, too.”

“I don’t know if my father trusted you,” she said, shaking her head.

Surprise and anger flared in his eyes. “Why would you say that?”

“Because he told me not to trust anyone from the bureau, and since you’re an agent, that includes you. Please, just go. Just leave me alone,” she pleaded, desperate to get him out of the cabin before she did something even more stupid—like start to trust him. “I’ll disappear. I’ll go somewhere no one else knows about. You don’t have to worry about me. You’ve done your duty. You came after me. You did that for my dad. Now do something for me—leave me alone. You’ve managed it for four years. You can keep going.”

His mouth tightened. “I’m not leaving you alone. You won’t be safe. You can’t get help from a friend, because you’ll put them in danger, and even if you are very careful, you’ll make a mistake. You don’t know how to stay off the radar, but I do. You’re going to have to trust someone at some point. You’re going to have to put your anger aside and let it be me.”

Before she could answer, she was suddenly hit with a shower of glass from the nearby window.

What the hell had just happened?

Another pane blew out, and something whizzed by her ear.

Damon grabbed her arm and pulled down as a third window exploded.

Someone was shooting at her!

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PERILOUS TRUST Teaser 3

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Author Barbara Freethy

Author Barbara Freethy

About the Author
Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 60 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Traditionally published for many years, Barbara opened Fog City Publishing in 2011 and has since sold over 7 million books! Twenty-three of her titles have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists, including one title, SUMMER SECRETS, which hit #1 on the NYT. In 2014 Barbara was named the Amazon KDP Bestselling Author of all time! She was also the first Indie writer to sell over a million books on Barnes and Noble.

Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, romance and suspense, Barbara is a six-time finalist and two-time winner in the Romance Writers of America acclaimed RITA contest for her novels DANIEL’S GIFT and THE WAY BACK HOME..

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Where to Find Barbara Freethy
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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Release Day – PERILOUS TRUST (Off The Grid) by Barbara Freethy

PERILOUS TRUST Release Day

Today is release day for PERILOUS TRUST, the first book in the adult romantic suspense series, Off the Grid, by #1 New York Times bestselling author, Barbara Freethy, See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

PERILOUS TRUST (Off the Grid #1) by Barbara Freethy

PERILOUS TRUST (Off the Grid #1) by Barbara Freethy

About the Book
Title: PERILOUS TRUST
Series: Off the Grid #1
Author: Barbara Freethy
Publisher: Fog City Publishing, LLC
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
In PERILOUS TRUST, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy brings you the first book in a new romantic suspense series! OFF THE GRID: An FBI Trilogy offers three breath-stealing books filled with action-packed plot, heart-stopping romance, and page-turning suspense.

It was one dark night that brought Damon Wolfe and Sophie Parker together. They were two tortured souls, looking for escape, and they weren’t supposed to see each other ever again…

Four years later, Sophie’s FBI father, who is also Damon’s mentor, is killed in a suspicious car crash after leaving Sophie a cryptic message to trust no one from the agency. When Damon shows up looking for her, she isn’t sure if he’s friend or enemy, but she knows he could easily rip apart what is left of her heart.

The last thing Damon wants is to get involved with Sophie again. It was hard enough to walk away the first time. But she’s in trouble, her father’s reputation is under attack, and the lives of his fellow agents are at stake if there’s a traitor in their midst.

When someone starts shooting at them, they have no choice but to go on the run and off the grid. Everyone in their world becomes a suspect. They want to uncover the truth, but will it turn out to be the last thing they expect? Proving her father’s innocence might just cost them their hearts…and their lives…

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PERILOUS TRUST Teaser 1

 

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Praise for Barbara Freethy’s Books
“Powerful and absorbing…sheer hold-your-breath suspense.”– NYT Bestselling Author Karen Robards on Don’t Say A Word

“A fabulous, page-turning combination of romance and intrigue. Fans of Nora Roberts and Elizabeth Lowell will love this book.” NYT Bestselling Author Kristin Hannah on Golden Lies

“In the tradition of LaVyrle Spencer, gifted author Barbara Freethy creates an irresistible tale of family secrets, riveting adventure and heart- touching romance.” — NYT Bestselling Author Susan Wiggs on Summer Secrets

“This book has it all: heart, community, and characters who will remain with you long after the book has ended. A wonderful story.” — NYT Bestselling Author Debbie Macomber on Suddenly One Summer

“Freethy has a gift for creating complex characters.”– Library Journal

“Barbara Freethy is a master storyteller with a gift for spinning tales about ordinary people in extraordinary situations and drawing readers into their lives.” — Romance Reviews Today

“Freethy’s skillful plotting and gift for creating sympathetic characters will ensure that few dry eyes will be left at the end of the story.” — Publishers Weekly on The Way Back Home

“Freethy skillfully keeps the reader on the hook, and her tantalizing and believable tale has it all– romance, adventure, and mystery.”– Booklist on Summer Secrets

“A page-turner that engages your mind while it tugs at your heartstrings…Don’t Say A Word has made me a Barbara Freethy fan for life!” — NYT Bestselling Author Diane Chamberlain on Don’t Say a Word

“I love The Callaways! Heartwarming romance, intriguing suspense and sexy alpha heroes. What more could you want?” — NYT Bestselling Author Bella Andre

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Excerpt
She could see the war going on in Damon’s eyes, the need to do the right thing, the desire to feel what they’d felt once before.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he said huskily.

“You won’t hurt me.”

“You said that the last time, but I hurt you then, and I don’t want to do it again.”

“That was different. We know each other better now.”

“That might be true, but there’s something else that’s also true—I don’t do love, Sophie. I’m not good at it, and it doesn’t work out. I might be exactly what you want in the night, but I will never be what you want in the morning.”

“In the morning? We don’t even know if we’re going to have a morning, Damon. You told me that I need to stay in the moment. This is the moment. So, stop fighting. Please, stop fighting.”

“You’re not playing fair, Sophie.”

“I’m not playing at all,” she said, recklessness driving her forward. She pressed her mouth against his, and took what she wanted. It was a heady, glorious, freeing feeling.

 

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PERILOUS TRUST Teaser 2

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Author Barbara Freethy

Author Barbara Freethy

About the Author
Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 60 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Traditionally published for many years, Barbara opened Fog City Publishing in 2011 and has since sold over 7 million books! Twenty-three of her titles have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists, including one title, SUMMER SECRETS, which hit #1 on the NYT. In 2014 Barbara was named the Amazon KDP Bestselling Author of all time! She was also the first Indie writer to sell over a million books on Barnes and Noble.

Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, romance and suspense, Barbara is a six-time finalist and two-time winner in the Romance Writers of America acclaimed RITA contest for her novels DANIEL’S GIFT and THE WAY BACK HOME..

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Where to Find Barbara Freethy
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – HUNGER MOON (The Huntress FBI Thriller) by Alexandra Sokoloff

HUNGER MOON Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for HUNGER MOON, the fifth book in the adult mystery/thriller series, The Huntress FBI Thriller, by Alexandra Sokoloff. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. And for a limited time, you can pick up books one through four for just $1.99 each, or read for free with Kindle Unlimited!

HUNGER MOON (The Huntress FBI Thriller #5) by Alexandra Sokoloff

HUNGER MOON (The Huntress FBI Thriller #5) by Alexandra Sokoloff

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: HUNGER MOON
Series:  The Huntress FBI Thriller #5
Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Revenge has no limits.

Special Agent Matthew Roarke has abandoned his rogue search for serial killer Cara Lindstrom. He’s returned to the FBI to head a task force with one mission: to rid society of its worst predators. But as the skeletal symbols of Santa Muerte, “Lady Death,” mysteriously appear at universities nationwide, threatening death to rapists, Roarke’s team is pressured to investigate. When a frat boy goes missing in Santa Barbara, Roarke realizes a bloodbath is coming—desperate teenagers are about to mete out personal, cold-blooded justice.

Hiding from the law, avenging angel Cara Lindstrom is on her own ruthless quest. She plans to stay as far away from Roarke as possible—until an old enemy comes after both her and the FBI, forcing her back into Roarke’s orbit. This time, the huntress has become the hunted…

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Excerpt
A bleak sky, streaked with white, stretches over the desolate South Rim of the canyon. There will be snow tonight.

The grinding of a pickup truck grates through the silence.

A four-door Tundra. Tonneau cover over the bed. Two men dressed in camouflage inside. Fast-food and jerky wrappers litter the wells at their feet. In the back seat, a cooler packed full of beer.

And three rifles, three-inch twelve-gauge magnums, strapped to the padded back-seat gun rest.

Hunters, driving the rim.

The front-seat passenger sets his sights on something moving ahead of them, leans forward greedily. “There we go, there we go.”

The driver follows his gaze, fixes on what he is tracking. Not a deer, but a young girl, shining black hair underneath the hood of her parka. Schoolgirl’s backpack on her shoulder.

On the men’s faces, something crude and capering.

“That’s some tasty-looking pussy.”

“Oh, yeah, that’ll do.”

“Let’s go.”

“Get her.”

The driver swerves the truck over to the side of the road, squealing brakes.

The girl hears the sound, stiffens, is starting to run before she even completes the glance back.

The truck skids to a stop in the snow. The doors fly open; the men are out of the car, grabbing for their rifles.

The girl runs for the rocks, but her pursuers are bigger, faster. Two of them, grown men, against a teenage girl.

They move forward into the strong wind, a military-style formation, heavy boots crunching in the sandy snow.

They pause at the rock outcropping, looking out over the boulders. The girl seems to have disappeared. Then a scrabble on the rocks betrays her. Hearing it, the men grin at each other.

The driver rounds the rock first, his mouth watering. He is already hard in anticipation . . .

The tire iron bashes him across the face, breaking his jaw. He staggers back, howling inarticulate pain.

The girl kicks him viciously in the knee, crumpling him, then swivels as the second hunter rounds the edge of the rock. She slams the tire iron against the side of his head.

Now both men are collapsed on the ground, moaning and cursing.

She steps forward, no longer feigning that youthful, hesitant gait.

She lifts her arm and uses the tire iron on their skulls. Two, three, four blows, and there is no more moaning. Thick crimson drops spatter the snow. Her breath is harsh. Her face is ice.

There is only the wind, swallowing the sound of her breathing.

Cara stands at the edge of the canyon, looking out at the spires of Spider Rock, the vast open gorge.

Below her is an icy crevasse. The canyon has any number of them, deep splits in the rock wall where whole sheets of the cliff have broken away. Behind her is the hunters’ pickup truck.

Their bodies lie at her feet.

She drags one, then the other, to shove them over the cliff’s edge, stepping back to watch each body hurtle down into the crevasse, tumbling into oblivion.

The snowfall tonight will cover all trace of them. Later, birds and animals will pick the bones clean.

Another offering to the canyon, and the gods and ghosts that haunt it.

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HUNGER MOON Teaser

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Author Alexandra Sokoloff

Author Alexandra Sokoloff

About the Author
“Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.” – The New York Times

ALEXANDRA SOKOLOFF is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON, COLD MOON, BITTER MOON, HUNGER MOON – now in active development as a TV series), and the supernatural HAUNTED thrillers (THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, THE SPACE BETWEEN). The New York Times Book Review called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley,” and her books “Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written three non-fiction workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS, STEALING HOLLYWOOD, and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog (www.ScreenwritingTricks.com), and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA West and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.

Alex is a California native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in theater and minored in everything Berkeley has a reputation for. In her spare time (!) she performs with The Slice Girls and Heather Graham’s all-author Slush Pile Players, and dances like a fiend. She is also very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But not an addict. Seriously, it’s under control.

Where to Find Alexandra Sokoloff
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Chapter Reveal + Giveaway – SAVING MERCY (Fatal Truth) by Abbie Roads

SAVING MERCY Chapter Reveal

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.

SAVING MERCY (Fatal Truth #1) by Abbie Roads

SAVING MERCY (Fatal Truth #1) by Abbie Roads

About the Book – ON SALE FOR JUST $0.99!
Title:
SAVING MERCY
Series: Fatal Truth #1
Author: Abbie Roads
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Adult Dark Romantic Thriller
Links: Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | GooglePlay

Synopsis
He’s found her at last…

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?

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SAVING MERCY Teaser 1

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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

Chapter 1

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.

Holy.

Fucking.

Christ.

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

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Trailer

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Author Abbie Roads

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.

She’s represented by Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary.

Her first book RACE THE DARKNESS was a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Pick for Fall...

Where to find Abbie Roads
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Facebook GroupTwitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Release Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – GIRL ON THE VERGE by Pintip Dunn

GIRL ON THE VERGE Release Blitz

Welcome to the release week blitz for GIRL ON THE VERGE a young contemporary romance/thriller, by New York Times bestselling author, Pintip Dunn. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can read my five-star review on this fabulous book here.

GIRL ON THE VERGE by Pintip Dunn

GIRL ON THE VERGE by Pintip Dunn

About the Book
Title: GIRL ON THE VERGE
Author: Pintip Dunn
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: June 26, 2017
Category: Young Adult Contemporary Romance/Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

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GIRL ON THE VERGE Teaser 1

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Excerpt
A fish swims beneath the open staircase in my Khun Yai’s house. A real live fish, with its translucent fins fluttering in the water, its belly gold-scaled and bloated from regular feedings. If I part my knees, I can catch long glimpses of its lazy swimming through the gap in the stairs.

Of course, I’m not supposed to part my knees. It’s not ladylike for a twelve-year-old girl, not here, not in Thailand. The land where my parents grew up; the place that’s supposed to be my home, too. That’s what the banner said, when my relatives came to pick us up at the airport. “Welcome home, Kanchana.”

Never mind that I only come to Thailand every couple years. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone else here, with my American build and my frizzy, out-of-control hair. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone in my hometown, either, since I’m the only Asian girl in school. Never mind that the only reason we’re here now is because my father’s dead and my mom can’t keep it together.

For a moment, pain lances through me, so sharp and severe that it might as well slice my heart in half, like in one of those video games my friends like to play. I squeeze my eyes shut, but that doesn’t keep the tears from spilling out. Neither do the glasses sliding down my nose. And so the tears drip down, down, down, past my unladylike knees, through the gap in the stairs, into the fish basin below.

The drops scare the fish, who swims away with its tail swishing in the water, no longer languid, no longer lazy. So, even this creature wants to get away from me—from my grief, from my strangeness—as quickly as possible.

“There you are, luk lak,” Khun Yai says in Thai, coming down the stairs. She is my mother’s mother, and since we arrived, she’s used the endearment—child that I love—more often than my name.

“You’re up early.” She pats her forehead with a handkerchief. It’s only seven a.m., and already sweat drenches my skin like I’ve taken a dip in the basin. No wonder they take two or three showers a day here.

“Couldn’t sleep. Jet lag.”

“I’ve been up for a couple hours myself.” She eases onto the step next to me, her knees pressed together, her legs folded demurely to one side.

Immediately, I try to rearrange my body to look like hers and then give up. My legs just don’t go that way.

“What do you want to do today?” Khun Yai asks. “More shopping?”

“Um, no thanks.” I make a face. “Didn’t you hear those salesgirls at Siam Square yesterday? They rushed up as soon as we entered and said they didn’t have anything in my size.” My cheeks still burn when I think about their haughty expressions.

She sighs. “The clothes there are just ridiculously small. We’ll go to the mall today. They should have something that will fit you.”

I stare at her diminutive frame and her chopstick legs. “One of the salesgirls asked how much I weighed. Another grabbed my arm and said I felt like a side pillow.”

“They didn’t mean any harm. It is just the Thai way to be blunt.” She catches my chin and tilts up my face. “You are so beautiful. I wish you could see that.”

I could say so many things. I could tell her that I’m ugly not only in Thailand but also in the United States. Even though I’m not big by American standards—far from it—I could confess how the boys call me Squinty. How those Thai salesgirls snickered at my poodle-fuzz hair. I could explain how I’m from two worlds but fit in neither.

But I don’t. Because my words will only make her sad, and there have been enough tears in our family.

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GIRL ON THE VERGE Teaser 2

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Author Pintip Dunn

Author Pintip Dunn

About the Author
Pintip is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip’s first novel, FORGET TOMORROW won the RWA RITA® award for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella, BEFORE TOMORROW. She is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.
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Where to Find Pintip Dunn
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Cover Reveal – CARRY ME HOME by Jessica Therrien

CARRY ME HOME Cover Reveal

Bestselling author, Jessica Therrien, is unveiling the cover to CARRY ME HOME, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance/thriller, releasing September 26, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

CARRY ME HOME by Jessica Therrien

CARRY ME HOME by Jessica Therrien

About the Book
Title: CARRY ME HOME
Author: Jessica Therrien
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance/Thriller
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
“A riveting page-turner… Jessica Therrien broke my heart into a million pieces — and then put it back together again. This book will haunt and uplift readers long after they turn the last page.”
-KAT ROSS, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea

CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her, Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.

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Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.

They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.

But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world.

Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.

Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival..

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Author Jessica Therrien

Author Jessica Therrien

About the Author
Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release.

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica’s work can also be found in a published collection of flash fiction stories called Campaigner Challenges 2011. Out of over 350 submissions her story, The Soulless, won first place for people’s choice and fourth place in the judging round of Rachael Harrie’s Writing Campaign Challenge. Her story, Saved, is also available as part of the anthology.

Jessica spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no street lights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language.

In 2003, Jessica attended California State University Long Beach where her passion for language found her studying Chinese, and in 2005 she moved to Taiwan to study abroad. From 2005 to 2006 Jessica was fully immersed in the Chinese language as she attended National Taiwan University, and in 2008 she graduated from San Diego State University magna cum laude.

Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two sons. She is working on an adult novel and a children’s picture book..

Where to Find Jessica Therrien
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook
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Cover Reveal – OFF THE GRID SERIES by Barbara Freethy

OFF THE GRID SERIES Cover Reveal

#1 New York Times bestselling author, Barbara Freethy, is unveiling the covers to her new romantic suspense series, Off the Grid. PERILOUS TRUST, book 1, is releasing August 1, 2017. See below for all three covers, information on book 1, and pre-order links.

PERILOUS TRUST (Off the Grid #1) by Barbara Freethy

PERILOUS TRUST (Off the Grid #1) by Barbara Freethy

About the Book
Title: PERILOUS TRUST
Series: Off the Grid #1
Author: Barbara Freethy
Publisher: Fog City Publishing, LLC
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
In PERILOUS TRUST, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy brings you the first book in a new romantic suspense series! OFF THE GRID: An FBI Trilogy offers three breath-stealing books filled with action-packed plot, heart-stopping romance, and page-turning suspense.

It was one dark night that brought Damon Wolfe and Sophie Parker together. They were two tortured souls, looking for escape, and they weren’t supposed to see each other ever again…

Four years later, Sophie’s FBI father, who is also Damon’s mentor, is killed in a suspicious car crash after leaving Sophie a cryptic message to trust no one from the agency. When Damon shows up looking for her, she isn’t sure if he’s friend or enemy, but she knows he could easily rip apart what is left of her heart.
The last thing Damon wants is to get involved with Sophie again. It was hard enough to walk away the first time. But she’s in trouble, her father’s reputation is under attack, and the lives of his fellow agents are at stake if there’s a traitor in their midst.

When someone starts shooting at them, they have no choice but to go on the run and off the grid. Everyone in their world becomes a suspect. They want to uncover the truth, but will it turn out to be the last thing they expect? Proving her father’s innocence might just cost them their hearts…and their lives…

Get the complete trilogy!
Perilous Trust #1
Reckless Whisper #2
Desperate Play #3

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RECKLESS WHISPER (Off the Grid #2) by Barbara Freethy

RECKLESS WHISPER (Off the Grid #2) by Barbara Freethy

DESPERATE PLAY (Off the Grid #3) by Barbara Freethy

DESPERATE PLAY (Off the Grid #3) by Barbara Freethy

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Praise for Barbara Freethy’s Books
“Powerful and absorbing…sheer hold-your-breath suspense.”– NYT Bestselling Author Karen Robards on Don’t Say A Word

“A fabulous, page-turning combination of romance and intrigue. Fans of Nora Roberts and Elizabeth Lowell will love this book.” NYT Bestselling Author Kristin Hannah on Golden Lies

“In the tradition of LaVyrle Spencer, gifted author Barbara Freethy creates an irresistible tale of family secrets, riveting adventure and heart- touching romance.” — NYT Bestselling Author Susan Wiggs on Summer Secrets

“This book has it all: heart, community, and characters who will remain with you long after the book has ended. A wonderful story.” — NYT Bestselling Author Debbie Macomber on Suddenly One Summer

“Freethy has a gift for creating complex characters.”– Library Journal

“Barbara Freethy is a master storyteller with a gift for spinning tales about ordinary people in extraordinary situations and drawing readers into their lives.” — Romance Reviews Today

“Freethy’s skillful plotting and gift for creating sympathetic characters will ensure that few dry eyes will be left at the end of the story.” — Publishers Weekly on The Way Back Home

“Freethy skillfully keeps the reader on the hook, and her tantalizing and believable tale has it all– romance, adventure, and mystery.”– Booklist on Summer Secrets

“A page-turner that engages your mind while it tugs at your heartstrings…Don’t Say A Word has made me a Barbara Freethy fan for life!” — NYT Bestselling Author Diane Chamberlain on Don’t Say a Word

“I love The Callaways! Heartwarming romance, intriguing suspense and sexy alpha heroes. What more could you want?” — NYT Bestselling Author Bella Andre

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Author Barbara Freethy

Author Barbara Freethy

About the Author
Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 60 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Traditionally published for many years, Barbara opened Fog City Publishing in 2011 and has since sold over 7 million books! Twenty-three of her titles have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists, including one title, SUMMER SECRETS, which hit #1 on the NYT. In 2014 Barbara was named the Amazon KDP Bestselling Author of all time! She was also the first Indie writer to sell over a million books on Barnes and Noble.

Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, romance and suspense, Barbara is a six-time finalist and two-time winner in the Romance Writers of America acclaimed RITA contest for her novels DANIEL’S GIFT and THE WAY BACK HOME..

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Where to Find Barbara Freethy
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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Cover Reveal + Giveaway – MORE THAN A RISK (More Than a Threat) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

MORE THAN A RISK Cover Reveal

Author Kennedy L. Mitchell is unveiling the cover to MORE THAN A RISK, the second book in her adult romantic suspense series, More Than a Threat, releasing August 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

MORE THAN A RISK (More Than a Threat #2) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

MORE THAN A RISK (More Than a Threat #2) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

About the Book
Title: MORE THAN A RISK
Series:  More Than a Threat #2
Author: Kennedy L. Mitchell
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: August, 2017
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Is a life worth living if you don’t risk it all for the one you love?

Shot and left for dead, Dr. Kate Wheeler doesn’t know what to expect when she wakes in a hospital room, especially she sees him. It would take a lot to win her back after abandoning her when she needed him most, which he is prepared to do, but Kate has never been one to give in easily. A surprise visit from a friend pulls Kate into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a local business man, full of dark secrets.

It’s up to Kate to bring this man down knowing her father, the Dallas DA, won’t prosecute without evidence; evidence she is willing to do anything to get. With the love of her life shadowing her every move, will Kate risk losing him to save the lives of others?

When Kate’s charade takes a dangerous turn will Weston be enough to bring her back from the edge, or is it too late for it to matter? Hearts and lives are at risk and Kate and Weston’s fiery relationship returns in this second book of the More Than a Threat series.

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MORE THAN A THREAT (More Than a Threat #1) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

MORE THAN A THREAT (More Than a Threat #1) by Kennedy L. Mitchell

About Book 1
Title: MORE THAN A THREAT
Series:  More Than a Threat #1
Author: Kennedy L. Mitchell
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
In the face of danger, the thin line between love and hate is blurred and rules are broken. But are these two prepared to face the consequences?

Dr. Kate Wheeler is an independent, feisty emergency-medicine doctor with a perfect life, or at least that’s what everyone sees from the outside. Her world is turned upside down when she is forced to allow twenty-four-seven protection, disrupting her independent lifestyle leaving Kate to adjust, or not. She finds herself in uncharted territory as she balances a new love interest at work, never being alone and dodging multiple attempts on her life. If it weren’t for her two best friends by her side the stress would be too much, even for her to handle.

Her newly assigned security detail, Casey Weston, is harsh, dismissive, and overbearing. His sexy, strong body and bad-boy tattoos are just the exterior to this thoughtful man who has secrets of his own. As he works to keep Kate at arm’s length he finds himself equally frustrated and fascinated by this woman who pushes his boundaries. Weston’s rules are intense and focused solely on keeping her alive. But as time goes on, will his better judgment falter?

Tempers and emotions flare when these two headstrong individuals go head to head, both used to having their own way and unwilling…or too afraid…to give an inch.  With Kate’s life in the crosshairs and Weston determined to protect her, will their future be happily ever after or torn apart by the same threat that brought them together?

MORE THAN A THREAT is a full-length contemporary romantic suspense novel about love in the face of danger. It’s the first book in the brand new romantic suspense series from Kennedy L. Mitchell. Join my newsletter for updates on the next book in the series.

**Readers be aware that this book does end in a cliffhanger that will leave you anxious to download the second book as soon as it’s available**.

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Author Kennedy L. Mitchell

Author Kennedy L. Mitchell

About the Author
I live in Dallas but I am not a Texan by birth, I am a transplant from Tennessee and married a true Texan so I had to stay. We live in a older home in Dallas proper with our son and goldendoodle (who is roughly the size of a pony).

Writing isn’t my day job, however it is my joy and favorite hobby. I enjoy sending my friends new chapters nightly and hearing their reactions the next day. That is why I write, being published is just a bonus really. My real job is the same every day, but at night I get to be someone else and write about all these fun adventures and sexcapades:) When I’m writing you can find me on the couch, earbuds in and a full glass of wine beside me. Music inspires my stores, at the end of each book I list the playlist that helped me through writing the novel.

When I am not working or writing, I am reading. I go through about 3 books a week and I am 100% sure that I’m that annoying person at book-club that gets on to people when they are not keeping up with the monthly readings or suggest the movie is as good as a book (Sometimes I wish I could vote those people out of book-club like they do on Survivor. “The tribe has spoken”).

My favorite authors that inspire my writing are: Colleen Hoover, Sarah J. Maas, Sandra Brown, and Rainbow Rowell..

Where to Find Kennedy L. Mitchell
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – RUNNING BLIND by Lisette Kristensen

RUNNING BLIND Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for RUNNING BLIND, a stand alone adult romantic thriller, by Lisette Kristensen. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the ebook for just $0.99.

RUNNING BLIND by Lisette Kristensen

RUNNING BLIND by Lisette Kristensen

About the Book – ON SALE FOR $0.99!
Title: RUNNING BLIND
Author: Lisette Kristensen
Release Date: May 17, 2017
Genre: Adult Romantic Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
A murder mystery that is edgy, raw, and gritty. It’s packed full of danger with wild twist and turns

Baleigh Burgess was trapped. Her world spun out of control the night her partner/lover was gunned down. Facing prison on trumped up drug charges, she was forced to go undercover to find the killer. She wasn’t prepared to face her suspects, her old motorcycle gang, she once ran with back in the day.

Faced with her morals being comprised in proving her loyalty. Concealing her identity which if discovered was certain death. Baleigh lived on the edge and only grew darker when a man, a stone cold killer entered her life. Was he there to kill her or lover her?

Running Blind takes you on a taut, dark murder mystery, where everyone is a suspect and a thin line of betrayal looms at every turn.

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Excerpt #1
“Turning to leave the room, Baleigh stopped dead in her tracks.  Voices.  A female voice and one she recognized right away…Jodie. Fuck.  She could also hear footsteps and there were more than one set.  Derrick?  Baleigh was stuck at the door entrance.  The voices came from the back of the house and it dawned her she did not lock the door.  An inward groaned rang through her, they would know right off someone had broken in.

She clutched the revolver and knew she might have to shoot her way out.  What seemed like a nice little tattle tale was turning into a shoot out.  Baleigh’s whole inside were racked with fear.   She had no idea which way to go, cringing she poked her head out to see if she could make out where they were.  Glancing down the hall towards the kitchen her eyes could not focus in the darkness. 

It was pitch black, no shadows of light which was odd to her.  Then with a sudden force something hard smashed to her face.  Baleigh had no idea what hit her, she crumbled to the ground as the haunting silence captured her.”

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Author Lisette Kristensen

Author Lisette Kristensen

About the Author
Lisette grew up surrounded with stories of intrigue, crime and sordid plots. This led her to become fascinated with film noir and pulp fiction. Studying criminal justice in college she developed an interest with the lurid unsolved cases of Hollywood.

Running Blind is her first venture into the mystery genre, it based on her experiences working for the LAPD Gang Intelligence. Coming soon will be a series of books focused on those cold cases from the glory days of Hollywood.

The Dark Desire Series is four books (including a box set) that follows the path of a troubled woman into the dark depths of erotic hedonism, love and conflict. The series is explicit and with strong sexual content.

You can sign up for Sins Fatal Desire Newsletter at https://www.facebook.com/midnightdream2016/app/100265896690345/.

Where to Find Lisette Kristensen
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – DAWN GIRL by Leslie Wolfe

DAWN GIRL Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for DAWN GIRL, the latest release in the adult thriller Girl series, by bestselling author Leslie Wolfe. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, the book’s trailer, and details on his giveaway.

DAWN GIRL by Leslie Wolfe

DAWN GIRL by Leslie Wolfe

About the Book
Title: DAWN GIRL
Series: Girl
Author: Leslie Wolfe
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Genre:
 Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
A GRIPPING SERIAL KILLER THRILLER

Her blue eyes wide open, glossed over. A few specks of sand clung to her long, dark lashes. Her beautiful face, immobile, covered in sparkling flecks of sand. Her lips slightly parted as if to let a last breath escape.

Who is the beautiful girl found at dawn, on a deserted stretch of golden sand beach? What is her secret?

FBI Special Agent Tess Winnett searches for answers relentlessly. With each step, each new finding, she uncovers unsettling facts leading to a single possible conclusion: Dawn Girl is not the only victim. Her killer has killed before.

Hiding a terrible secret of her own, Special Agent Tess Winnett faces her inmost fears, in a heart-stopping race to catch a killer who’s getting ready to end yet another life. Will she find the killer in time? Will she be able to stop him? At what cost?

The rules of the game have changed.
So has the textbook definition of a serial killer.

Special Agent Tess Winnett is the bold, direct, and short-fused heroine of Dawn Girl. Putting her life on the line, she doesn’t pull any punches, searching only for the truth, and for the man who takes lives on her watch. Intelligent, resourceful, and uncompromising, Tess will take readers on a memorable, white-knuckled journey in this suspenseful, gripping serial killer thriller.

Fans of David Baldacci and James Patterson will enjoy Leslie Wolfe.

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DAWN GIRL Teaser

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Excerpt – Chapter One: Ready
She made an effort to open her eyes, compelling her heavy eyelids to obey. She swallowed hard, her throat raw and dry, as she urged the wave of nausea to subside. Dizzy and confused, she struggled to gain awareness. Where was she? She felt numb and shaky, unable to move, as if awakening from a deep sleep or a coma. She tried to move her arms, but couldn’t. Something kept her immobilized, but didn’t hurt her. Or maybe she couldn’t feel the pain, not anymore.

Her eyes started to adjust to the darkness, enough to distinguish the man moving quietly in the room. His silhouette flooded her foggy brain with a wave of memories. She gasped, feeling her throat constrict and burning tears rolling down her swollen cheeks.

Her increased awareness sent waves of adrenaline through her body, and she tried desperately to free herself from her restraints. With each useless effort, she panted harder, gasping for air, forcing it into her lungs. Fear put a strong chokehold on her throat and was gaining ground, as she rattled her restraints helplessly, growing weaker with every second. She felt a wave of darkness engulf her, this time the darkness coming from within her weary brain. She fought against that darkness, and battled her own betraying body.

The noises she made got the man’s attention.

“I see you’re awake. Excellent,” the man said, without turning.

She watched him place a syringe on a small, metallic tray. Its handle clinked, followed by another sound, this time the raspy, telling sound of a file cutting through the neck of a glass vial. Then a pop when the man opened the vial. He grabbed the syringe and loaded the liquid from the vial, then carefully removed any air, pushing the piston until several droplets of fluid came out.

Dizziness overtook her, and she closed her eyes for a second.

“Shit,” the man mumbled, then opened a drawer and went through it in a hurry.

She felt the needle poke deeply in her thigh, like it was happening to another person. She felt it, but distantly. She perceived a subdued burning sensation where he pushed the fluid into her muscle, then that went away when he pulled the needle out. She closed her weary eyes again, listless against her restraints.

The man cracked open ammonia salts under her nose, and she bounced back into reality at the speed of a lightning strike, aware, alert, and angry. For a second she fought to free herself, but froze when her eyes focused on the man in front of her.

He held a scalpel, close to her face. In itself, the small, shiny, silver object was capable of bringing formidable healing, as well as immense pain. The difference stood in the hand wielding it. She knew no healing was coming her way; only pain.

“No, no, please…” she pleaded, tears falling freely from her puffy eyes, burning as they rolled down her cheeks. “Please, no. I… I’ll do anything.”

“I am ready,” the man said. He seemed calm, composed, and dispassionate. “Are you ready?”

“No, no, please…” she whimpered.

“Yeah,” he said softly, almost whispering, inches away from her face. “Please say no to me. I love that.”

She fell quiet, scared out of her mind. This time was different. He was different.

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Trailer

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Author Leslie Wolfe

Author Leslie Wolfe

About the Author
Bestselling author Leslie Wolfe is passionate about writing fiction, despite spending a significant number of years climbing the corporate ladder. Leaving the coveted world of boardrooms for the blissful peace of the Florida-based “Wolves’ den,” Leslie answers one true calling: writing.

Leslie’s novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. Fascinated by technology and psychology, Leslie brings extensive background and research in these fields that empower and add texture to a signature, multi-dimensional, engaging writing style.

Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie’s most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller.

A complete list of Leslie’s titles is available at http://wolfenovels.com/titles.

Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you.

Become an insider: gain early access to previews of Leslie’s new novels.

Where to Find Leslie Wolfe
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – MISTAKEN IDENTITY by M.C. Jackson

MISTAKEN IDENTITY Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for MISTAKEN IDENTITY, an adult romantic suspense/psychological thriller, by M.C. Jackson. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY by M.C. Jackson

MISTAKEN IDENTITY by M.C. Jackson

About the Book
Title: MISTAKEN IDENTITY
Author: M.C. Jackson
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense/Psychological Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
The last time I saw my sister was the day before she vanished from my life. I’ve spent the last five years searching for her, clinging to the hope that one day I will find out what happened to her, but every lead has ended up at a dead end.

Until now.

He took me because he thinks I’m her.

My instinct is to run. I want to fight my way out of there, but I can’t. This man is my only connection to my sister. I’ll do whatever it takes to uncover the truth. Even if it means falling right into the arms of a psychopath.

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Excerpt
“You’re awake,” he comments. His voice is low and gravelly and it sends a shiver down my spine. There is something familiar about the way he looks at me, but I’ve never seen him before in my life. I’d remember him. I’m sure of it. All I can manage is a nod. As if his question needs a response anyway. He can see that I’m am, in fact, awake.

“Where am I?” I whisper.

My heart begins to pound as panic rushes through me. I pull my arms, hard, snapping the rope back to its full capacity, the coarse strands burning against my skin. I wince in pain. He clicks his tongue, his eyes narrowing as he watches me trying to fight my way free. He’s so calm, like he knows I have no hope, and is enjoying the show. The seriousness of the whole situation begins to sink in.

I have to get out of here. The anguish inside me spirals out of control and within minutes, I’m in full meltdown mode. Any hope I had of remaining calm and level headed has gone out the window. Dear God, I’m going to die.

God knows what this guy plans on doing to me. Everything about this situation screams serial rapist and probably murderer. You don’t have this kind of set up without some kind of serious personality problems. This guy probably spent his childhood strangling kittens and burning ants with a magnifying glass.

Am I his first, or were there other girls before me?

“Jesus, calm down. I’m not going to hurt you,” he mutters. His voice is gruff and low, and the furrow in his brow tells me he’s annoyed, like my reaction is frustrating him. How am I supposed to react to being locked in a basement? Am I supposed to believe that because you’re saying it? Of course you’re going to hurt me. Why else would I be here? I shake the cuffs on my wrists again, willing them off me, tears stinging my eyes.

“Calm down for god’s sake,” he growls again, running his hand through his thick, dark hair. Frustration laces his voice, making me nervous, because I get the feeling I don’t want to piss this guy off. But I already have. I’m sure of it.

He leans forward, swiftly unravelling the restraints from my wrists and ankles. I rub at the tender skin beneath them, and jump as his fingers brush past my own. For a moment I forget my own fears and I find myself drawn to him. There’s something about him that is almost intoxicating. It lasts less than a second before my defences kick back in.

Ted Bundy had charm too.

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MISTAKEN IDENTITY Teaser

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About The Author
M.C Jackson is a wife, mother, reader and author. Her debut release, Mistaken Identity is a psychological romantic suspense full of twists that you won’t see coming. When she’s not writing or reading, you’ll find her spending time with her husband and kids.

Where to Find M.C. Jackson
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Giveaway
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Release Day + Giveaway – MISTAKEN IDENTITY by M.C. Jackson

MISTAKEN IDENTITY Release Day

Today is release day for MISTAKEN IDENTITY, an adult romantic suspense/psychological thriller, by M.C. Jackson. See below for information on the book, buy links, a couple of exclusive teasers, and details on her giveaway.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY by M.C. Jackson

MISTAKEN IDENTITY by M.C. Jackson

About the Book
Title: MISTAKEN IDENTITY
Author: M.C. Jackson
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense/Psychological Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
The last time I saw my sister was the day before she vanished from my life. I’ve spent the last five years searching for her, clinging to the hope that one day I will find out what happened to her, but every lead has ended up at a dead end.

Until now.

He took me because he thinks I’m her.

My instinct is to run. I want to fight my way out of there, but I can’t. This man is my only connection to my sister. I’ll do whatever it takes to uncover the truth. Even if it means falling right into the arms of a psychopath.

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MISTAKEN IDENTITY Teaser

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MISTAKEN IDENTITY Teaser 2

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About The Author
M.C Jackson is a wife, mother, reader and author. Her debut release, Mistaken Identity is a psychological romantic suspense full of twists that you won’t see coming. When she’s not writing or reading, you’ll find her spending time with her husband and kids.

Where to Find M.C. Jackson
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – WRITTEN IN BLOOD by Alex R. Carver

WRITTEN IN BLOOD Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for WRITTEN IN BLOOD, a stand-alone adult thriller, by Alex R. Carver. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

WRITTEN IN BLOOD by Alex R. Carver

WRITTEN IN BLOOD by Alex R. Carver

About the Book
Title: WRITTEN IN BLOOD
Author: Alex R. Carver
Release Date: March 1, 2017
Genre:
 Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
A peaceful village torn apart by murder, mistrust, and a desire for revenge.

When Oakhurst’s daughters begin to turn up, brutally murdered and with accusatory words carved into their skin, the residents of the small, close-knit community are unwilling to believe that one of their own might be a killer. Suspicion falls on the village’s newest resident, Zack Wild, attractive, charming, author of violent crime novels, and possessor of a dark history; he seems like the perfect suspect. As the investigation continues, the evidence against Wild mounts, but is prejudice against the newcomer affecting the judgment of Sergeant Mitchell, Constable Turner thinks so; she is determined to bring the killer to justice, no matter who it is, or what she has to do. Who will be proved right, and will they catch the killer before he can strike again?

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WRITTEN IN BLOOD Teaser 1

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Excerpt #5
“Can’t it at least wait ‘til we’ve eaten?” Zack asked. He looked around for somewhere to put the plates down, and for somewhere to sit; that was when he saw movement outside the window. He reacted instinctively, shouting, “Get down.” The plates he was holding, along with the food they contained, went up in the air as he dived for cover; he couldn’t have said how he knew the movement he had seen heralded danger, but his quick reactions saved him, for no sooner had he let go of the plates than the main window of the bay exploded in a crash of thunder.

Zack landed alongside what remained of his sofa, which protected him from the flying glass, though it didn’t protect him from the fry-ups he had thrown. A mix of bacon, sausage, mushroom, egg, and baked beans rained down on him, messing up his hair and leaving him with bean juice running down his neck.

It was only when he looked up from his position on the floor, and saw that Isobel was covered in blood and swaying on her feet, that Zack put together what he had seen and heard and realised what had happened. Scrambling to his feet he launched himself at Isobel so he could protect her, since she didn’t seem able to protect herself. He crashed into her just as the shotgun went off again and felt a wave of pain, unrelated to the injuries he had received at the hands of Sergeant Mitchell and his constables, sweep over him.

He ignored the pain and focused on making sure that Isobel was safe.

He saw straight away that his friend was in bad shape, having been struck many times by the pellets from the shotgun – covered in blood as she was it was impossible to tell how many of the pellets had hit her, or where she had been hit – her breathing was shallow, and her skin was pale beneath its mask of blood. Worst of all, the blood on her lips bubbled and frothed in a way that made Zack fear she had been hit in the lungs; whatever other injuries she might have, the possibility of a punctured lung worried him the most, and he reached into his pocket for his mobile phone.

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WRITTEN IN BLOOD Teaser 2

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Author Alex R. Carver

Author Alex R. Carver

About the Author
Alex Carver has worked a number of jobs over the years, none of which provided the satisfaction he got from writing, and he has now given up the day jobs to write full-time. Primarily he writes crime fiction, reflecting his interest in the seedy underbelly of life, but science fiction and kids adventure have featured in his writing, with books in those genres on the long list of titles he is preparing for release.

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Where to Alex R. Carver
Goodreads | Website | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – FEEL ME FALL by James Morris

FEEL ME FALL Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for FEEL ME FALL, a stand-alone young adult thriller, by James Morris. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

FEEL ME FALL by James Morris

FEEL ME FALL by James Morris

About the Book
Title: FEEL ME FALL
Author: James Morris
Publisher: Inkspot Imaginarium
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Genre:
 Young Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Secrets and survival in the Amazon

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

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Excerpt #2
I was dead to the world and when I came to I was drowning. Water gushed into my mouth and I was tumbling, flailing, not knowing what end was up or down. I heard the sounds of screaming and the roaring of water and then nothingness. Coming up for air, I held something, something rectangular. The seat cushion I was holding kept me afloat. I was in a river and I didn’t know why. I kicked and kicked and it made no difference. I never believed in God, an all-powerful being that allowed so many horrible things to happen, but as I saw the rocks up ahead, I prayed.

The current sped faster, churning like boiling water and I thought I was going to die.

I was 17 and I was going to die.

All the time wasted. All the things I never got to do.

I had one thought over and over: I don’t want to die. Someone else, but not me.

I held onto that seat cushion for dear life and plunged into the rapids. I was a human rag doll. The torrent sucked me into a watery hell and I couldn’t breathe; my eyes shut, mouth shut, face tight against the murk, willing everything to stop. I couldn’t breathe. I started to panic.

Someone else, but not me.

I needed air, my body screamed for it and I opened my mouth about to take in water when I bubbled up to the surface and gasped. As quickly as I was brought above, I was taken under again. I slammed against the rocks and buried my face deeper into the cushion. I saw nothing, heard nothing, and imagined I was in a womb. I could only wait for the terror to pass. There was no outlet; my fear was so deep and tangible I couldn’t scream. It felt like an actual substance that enveloped my body, my brain, my very being. I receded further and further within myself, a dark hole, my entire body a taut muscle.

Suddenly, I took a shot to the head and saw stars. A high-pitched squeal rang in my ears. I fought the growing sensation of darkness that threatened to overcome me, but I knew to give in meant death. I was tempted. So, so tempted. I forced my eyes open and saw the water, the dark water and wondered in that emptiness if I hadn’t died already.

My prayer must’ve been heard.

The water calmed and I was spit out near a bend. I realized I had to give up the cushion, my lifeline—it was holding me back. I let go, cursing myself as it floated away and I swam, giving everything I had. My body had nothing left but I commanded it, willed it, to swim. As I approached the shore, my shoes finally touched bottom and I heaved myself onto land.

I don’t know how long I lay there catching my breath. But there is no greater feeling of security than the sensation of the earth beneath your stomach, hands grabbing dirt. The scent of decay and wet leaves smelled like a bouquet. All this time I’d taken the ground beneath me for granted. Now I was thankful for this place to rest.

I was soaked. My jeans pressed against me, my hair drenched, my socks squished against my feet. I didn’t understand. I had left on a flight from Los Angeles with a layover in Panama City and then on to Asuncion, Paraguay for a year-end class trip. We were traveling as an inter-disciplinary trip for history, international relations, foreign language and biology. We were going to have the trip of a lifetime.

Then it hit me, a delayed reaction: I almost drowned. I almost died. My body seized and I was overwhelmed. I cried; I didn’t even know why or for what, but I sobbed on that little stretch of dirt. I heaved, gasping for breath. Every inhale was a wheeze, and I caught myself hitting the ground, my hands balled into tight fists, pounding and pounding.

Moments passed and I cried myself empty. I told myself: get up. You have to get up.

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Author James Morris

Author James Morris

About the Author
James Morris is a former television writer who now works in digital media. When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching ‘House Hunters Renovation’, or trying new recipes in the kitchen. He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles.

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Where to Find James Morris
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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